Franchise Weekend – Bad Boys (1995) Movie Review

Director: Michael Bay

Writer: Michael Barrie, Jim Mulholland, Doug Richardson (Screenplay) George Gallo (Story)

Starring: Martin Lawrence, Will Smith, Lisa Boyle, Theresa Randle, Joe Pantoliano, Tea Leoni, Tcheky Karyo

Plot: Two hip detectives protect a witness to a murder while investigating a case of stolen heroin from the evidence storage room from their police precinct.


Tagline – Whatcha gonna do?

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Wildly Entertaining

Story: Bad Boys starts as Fouchet (Karyo) and his crew pull of a heist that sees them rob the police lock up of all the seized drugs, Captain Howard (Pantoliano) turns to the two men that got the drugs in the first place Marcus (Lawrence) and Mike (Smith) to get them back before Internal Affairs look to put the blame on the force themselves.

After a second shooting, witness Julie Mott (Leoni) escapes turning to Mike for help, which sees her putting her life in the hands of the two cops, knowing she can’t trust anybody else, even though the men have to swap lives.

Thoughts on Bad Boys

Characters – Mike and Marcus are excellent cops they always get their suspects and are given the biggest case in the force, off duty, Marcus is married with kids, struggling to keep his marriage alive, while Mike has money, making him a womaniser who has women all around town waiting for his call. Even though the two must swap lives, they get to have fun living and understanding the complaints they are both suffering through. Julie is a witness to the thieve and murderer job that killer her friend, she doesn’t know who to trust except Mike, who isn’t around when they need to do the pickup, so she ends up meeting Marcus pretending to be Mike. Fouchet is the criminal that has arrange the heist, he has a perfect plan which only the problems being the people he has selected to help him, where he could have gotten away with everything smoothly if it wasn’t for their mistakes, he will do anything to clean up the mess left behind him.

PerformancesWill Smith and Martin Lawrence are perfectly cast in the leading roles, they play into Will Smith’s smooth style and Martin Lawrence constant panic filled comedy. Tea Leoni works well as the witness, while Tcheky Karyo as the villain is generic, but does fill the typical 90’s style of villain well.

StoryThe story here follows two Miami Cops that must protect a witness who can help them take down one of the biggest crimes against the police after the drugs from their lock up are stolen. When it came to the 90’s we knew how the action stories would unfold, we have one villain that does seem deadly that makes things very personal and the cops being conflicted at times, but needing to work together to solve the case. We do have elements of comedy in the story, with the whole life swapping, which does make things different to watch, taking away from certain moments of action too, which does keep everything feeling nice a fresh.

Action/Comedy/CrimeThe action in the film is held back, which is surprising for a Michael Bay film, we save most of the action until the later parts of the film, being full Bay, though it does work, the comedy comes from the partnership between the two cops and the lives they must swap to get the job done, all in a crime heavy world.

SettingsThe film uses the Miami setting to show us the fast paced lifestyles, the drugs culture around the nightclub scene and the different lives the two cops live.


Scene of the Movie – Final chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not as much action as I thought we would have.

Final Thoughts This is a wildly entertaining action comedy with two of the best leading performances in the genre, we have everything the 90’s would have given us showing the early signs of Michael Bay as an action director too.

Overall: Entertaining.

Mallrats (1995) Movie Review

Director: Kevin Smith

Writer: Kevin Smith (Screenplay)

Starring: Shannen Doherty, Jeremy London, Jason Lee, Claire Forlani, Ben Affleck, Joey Lauren Adams

Plot: Both dumped by their girlfriends, two best friends seek refuge in the local mall.


Tagline – It’s mall or nothing

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Brilliant Comedy

Story: Mallrats starts when TS (London) gets dumped by his girlfriend Brandi (Forlani), while his best friend Brodie (Lee) also gets dumped by Rene (Doherty), to get over the loss the two head to the mall to hang out, only to learn that Brandi’s father Svenning (Rooker) is hosting his dating gameshow in the mall, with Brandi as a contestant, leading the pair to look to sabotage the event.

As the day unfolds Brodie and TS do what they can to get their girlfriends back, learning what they need to focus on in life, while seeing their perfect lives going away from them.

Thoughts on Mallrats

Characters – TS is about to propose to his girlfriend only to get involved in argument breaking up with her, he turns to his best friend to help him through the day, as he plans to get her back, looking through his life, trying to figure out what went wrong. Brodie is the best friend that talks too much, he also gets dumped by his girlfriend and takes it differently to TS, he plans to just hang out at the mall, like most days, where he knows everybody, being more of a slacker than anything else. Rene is Brodie’s ex-girlfriend that just wanted him to get serious and has given him too many chances without getting any success in change from him. Brandi breaks up with TS after his joke ends up with a tragic ending, forcing her to go on the show and thinking Brodie needs to focus on something else in life.

PerformancesJeremy London is great in his role, but it is Jason Lee that easily steals this movie with his perfect comedy timing. Shannen Doherty and Claire Forlani are both strong when they get a chance on centre stage, with the performances from the supporting roles all being great too.

StoryThe story here follows two men that get dumped and spend the day planning on trying to get them back, learning about their mistakes to move forward in life, all from their favourite mall. This story does work very well and does show that sometimes you do need to just look at your life and reassess mistakes you might have been making in a relationship, it is told in a way that shows how well the two friends get on and how they know everybody there too. We get plenty of events which lead up to the conclusion of the story, showing that each member of the cast we meet is important to the final story.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy here comes from the events of the day, more comes from Brodie and the supporting cast who will get plenty of laughs. The romance focuses on how two young men need to learn what is important in life for them both.

SettingsThe film is set in one shopping mall, it shows how it can bring people together and how a day in a life can happen with so much going on.


Scene of the Movie – The gameshow.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We could see more from the women’s point of view.

Final Thoughts This is one of the best comedies from the 90s, it has perfect timing for the most part and shows how life can be about a series of events in one day, making life bigger than you could imagine.

Overall: Laugh Out Loud Funny.

James Bond Month – GoldenEye (1995)

Director: Martin Campbell

Writer: Jeffrey Caine, Bruce Feirstein (Screenplay) Michael France (Story)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Sean Bean, Izabella Scorupco, Famke Janssen, Joe Don Baker, Judi Dench, Robbie Coltrane

 

Plot: James Bond teams up with the lone survivor of a destroyed Russian research center to stop the hijacking of a nuclear space weapon by a fellow Agent formerly believed to be dead.


Tagline – When the world is the target and the threat is real, you can still depend on one man. 

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Most Action Packed Bond

 

Story: GoldenEye starts with James Bond (Brosnan) joined by 006 Alec Trevelyan (Bean) on the latest mission, one that goes wrong, seeing Alec executed and James escaping. James starts his latest mission 9-years-later investigating a Georgian woman Xenia Onatopp (Janssen) who has connections to a criminal group operating in Russia.

When the group launch their first attack, James must search for the lone survive Natalya Simonova (Scorupco), first to find out what was being worked on in the apparent abandon satellite facility and soon stop an old friend that has changed sides.

 

Thoughts on GoldenEye

 

Characters – James Bond still sees himself, charming the ladies, completing the missions, enjoying a drink. This latest mission will see him come face to face with an old friend, which will see him face his toughest enemy, a man he once trusted. Alec Trevelyan is the fellow 00 agent who James believed died in action. He didn’t and now he has been working with the Russians to become richer than God (his words), he does hold a grudge against James, with this being a chance to kill two birds with one stone, he will become the most difficult enemy to face because of his knowledge of how James operates. Natalya works in the satellite facility, she becomes a target after not being killed, which makes her one of the few people in the world that could disarm the bomb that is being planned to be released. Xenia Onatopp is the henchwoman in this case, military trained, willing to kill anybody, she even enjoys killing her victims.

PerformancesPierce Brosnan in his first outing as Bond is great to watch, he mixes the charm of the most popular, with the action presence needing to make the character his own. Sean Bean brings us one of the best villains to the franchise, he makes his character feel like a try terrorist over super villain. Famke Janssen as the henchwoman is strong, she does make the character her own, but it is the lack of character behind Izabella Scorupco that struggles the most in this film.

StoryThe story here sees James take on one of his closest enemies, in Alec a former agent turned terrorist that is planning on sending England back to the stone age. This story does seem to bring everything into a more personal level for James, it feels fresh from the last few outings, it does have the longest gap between the film to date. We do seem to have the most realistic battle between hero and villain because Alec could easily be James himself if he was to turn, they know each other’s tricks. For me this is easily the most entertaining story we have seen, as we do start to lose some of he sexist behaviour James was known for.

Action/AdventureThe action in this film is easily the best the franchise has offered to date, we have the tank chase through St Petersburg before the train collision with a tank, even the fight sequences feel more intense in this film. The adventure takes James around the world once more, this time we go through Russia and Cuba to save the world.

SettingsThe settings takes us to the known locations we are used to seeing, this does however have one of the most memorable endings in any Bond film with the hidden satellite dish.


Scene of the Movie –
The old friend returns.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Alan Cumming’s generic Russian accent.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily the best Bond movie in the franchise to date, it has the most intense villain for James to face and a personal story for James to take on.

 

Overall: Pure action entertainment.

Rating

 

 

Braveheart (1995)

Director: Mel Gibson

Writer: Randall Wallace (Screenplay)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Sophie Marceau, Catherine McCormack, Patrick McGoohan, Angus Macfadyen, Brendan Gleeson, James Cosmo, Brian Cox

 

Plot: When his secret bride is executed for assaulting an English soldier who tried to rape her, William Wallace begins a revolt against King Edward I of England.


Tagline – Every man’s spirit is free. Not every man has the courage to follow it.

Runtime: 2 Hours 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Long Biopic

 

Story: Braveheart starts when young William Wallace see his father and brother killed fighting for the independence of the land, taken in by his Uncle Argyle (Cox) he is raised to be a fighter. King Edward I (McGoohan) is trying to take control of the whole of Britain planning on leading the pressure on the Scots to fold, his son Prince Edward (Hanly) marries Princess Isabelle (Marceau) to unite with France.

William (Gibson) wants a life of peace which sees him marry Murron (McCormack) in secret after seeing what happens to the brides on their wedding night. When an English soldier tries to rape Murron, she fights back, only for this to lead to her execution. William is now ready for war and will lead the Scottish into battle against the English.

 

Thoughts on Braveheart

 

Characters – William Wallace saw his family die at war, raised in the peaceful land, wanting a peaceful life, his life if turned upside down when his wife is executed by the English. William becomes thee general for the Scottish army in the fight for freedom, becoming a leader put into legend. Princess Isabelle is from France, married to the Prince of England, she doesn’t like the conflict, turning to William to help him in the time of need. King Edward I is driven by war, he wants to conquer Scotland using his armies to try and keep them in order. Robert the Bruce is torn between keeping the peace or joining William’s war, he comes from the royal bloodline knowing his choice will be seen by the people. Murron is the common woman that William marries and sees killed for defending herself.

PerformancesMel Gibson in the leading role is strong for the most part even if he can’t manage to pull off the accent to a high enough standard, add in his age isn’t on the right scale required for this man. Sophie Marceau gets the strongest female role in the film, while the rest of the performance come off strong without anybody becoming overly memorable.

StoryThe story here shows a fictionalised version of the battle between William Wallace as he led the Scottish in battle with the English after the king tried to take control of the land, taking their freedom. While the scale of this story is massive, the reality it that most of the historical side of the film just doesn’t live up to the reality of what really happened, you can use the internet yourselves to learn the truth. For an inspirational hero of war leading a nation this is everything you want though. We do see how both sides prepare for the battles and just how they believe they are in the right, with both sides having people that don’t back what the leaders are doing to each others.

Biopic/History/WarThis is where we must look at how you read the movie, for a history lesson that is wrong this is easy to watch, it does everything to make it feel like a realistic version of events, but not the complete truth. The war between the English and the Scottish was real, was bloody and this film shows us just how brutal the wars of this time would have been.

SettingsThe film shows us just how large scale the battles were, when it comes to the pure numbers involved in the battles, we get the beauty of the highlands too which show us just how beautiful the land would have been for fighting for.


Scene of the Movie –
The battles.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The length of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a historically incorrect movie that can be watch for the pure scale of the epic battle between the nations, with have strong performance, wonderful directing when it comes to the battle scenes too.

 

Overall: Brutal at times, long at others.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – Q – Gene Quintano – Sudden Death (1995)

Director: Peter Hyams

Writer: Gene Quintano (Screenplay) Karen Baldwin (Story)

Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Powers Boothe, Raymond J Barry, Whittni Wright, Ross Malinger, Dorian Harewood

 

Plot: A former fireman takes on a group of terrorists holding the Vice President and others hostage during the seventh game of the NHL Stanley Cup finals.


Tagline – Tonight, 17 thousand hockey fans have been taken hostage…but just one of them knows it.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hugely Entertaining Action Film

 

Story: Sudden Death starts as we meet firefighter Darren McCord (Van Damme) who is involved in a tragic rescue resulting in a young girls death. 2-years-later McCord has got a job as a fire inspector for the city ice hockey team as they are preparing for the seventh game in the Stanley Cup, taking his two children Emily (Wright) and Tyler (Malinger) to the game.

With the game under way Joshua Foss (Boothe) executes his plan to hold the Vice President (Barry) hostage along with the rest of the arena threatening to kill the hostage unless he gets paid, McCord becomes the only person that can save the arena and redeem his reputation.

 

Thoughts on Sudden Death

 

Characters – Darren McCord is a former firefighter who lost a young girl during a rescue, 2-years-late he is now a fire marshal for the ice hockey arena, he takes his kids to the game only for his daughter to be taken by the terrorists. He must use his fighting skills to stay ahead of the terrorists and save not only his daughter, but the vice President and the rest of the spectators in the arena. Joshua Foss is the leader of the terrorists, he wants money and lots of it, knowing where to take it from, he will kill anyone who is involved in the plan, he will kill hostages being a man of his word knowing he has a full arena of victims. Vice President is the man being held hostage by Joshua, he remains calm knowing that the situation doesn’t need to get out of hand no matter how many people Joshua executes. We do have Darren’s kids who are both just what you would expect with the members of the terrorist group completing the mix with the generic ones we know.

PerformancesJean-Claude Van Damme is one of the biggest icons in action, this could very well be one of his best roles, he looks like an everyday man with his own problems acting like a hero and showing us the fighting skills which have made him famous Power Boothe is great in the villainous role, he calmness makes his character fell disturbing throughout the film and is easily on of the underrated villains of the action genre. The rest of the cast are good, while the main two steal the show.

StoryThe story is what people branded ‘Die Hard, in an Ice Hockey Arena’ that is the best way to describe it, a former hero needing to redeem himself from a past mistake and when the chance presents itself in the ice hockey arena he must save the people from a criminal. It uses the real-time feeling as the have the game being the countdown through the events which does help show the rush to save the day as well as dealing with a villain that is cold-hearted and has been planning this job for years. For action we don’t always need the deepest of stories, this shows us what we can have achieved within the time period in question.

Action/CrimeThe action shows McCord going up against different henchman in different locations around the arena, even if the kitchen one against the penguin suit is the one you will most likely remember. The crime shows how a robbery can be put together to work like clockwork even if things don’t always go to plan.

SettingsThe film is set in the ice hockey arena, the action needs to remain here for the whole game giving us a tidy timeline to deal with through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
McCord versus the penguin.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We miss the comic relief needed for the bonkers side of the idea.

Final Thoughts – This is an enjoyable action film that shows us just how entertaining Jean-Claude Van Damme can be if we are allowed to let him off his leash to fight.

 

Overall: Action film to enjoy.

Rating