Matthew McConaughey Weekend – A Time To Kill (1996)

a  timeDirector: Joel Schumacher

Writer: Akiva Goldsman (Screenplay) John Grisham (Novel)

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L Jackson, Kevin Spacey, Oliver Platt, Charles S Dutton, Brenda Fricker, Donald Sutherland, Kiefer Sutherland, Ashley Judd

 

Plot: A young lawyer defends a black man accused of murdering two men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, sparking a rebirth of the K.K.K.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant

 

Story: A Time to Kill starts a we see 10-year-old Tonya beaten and raped by Billy Ray Cobb (Katt) and James Louis Willard (Hutchison) and with the case taken to court it looks like they will get off the charge, her father Carl Lee Hailey (Jackson) takes matters into his own hands.

Carl Lee facing a double murder charge Jake Tyler Brigance (McConaughey) takes the case having to go up against powerful DA Rufus Buckley (Spacey) in what is a case fuelled with racial tension.

When the case brings the Ku Klux Klan back from grave Jake puts his own family in danger but thanks to young law student Ellen Roark (Bullock) and his mentor Lucien Wilbanks (D.Sutherland) to help him keep his business a float and win this case.

A Time to Kill is a racial driven courtroom crime thriller that touches on everything with the nice amount of time. We get left to question what you would do if you were in any of the position between the case which is a huge plus for the film. The idea that we get the racial tension going on because of how the case could be treated differently depending on the skin colour of a character also helps drive the story. when it comes to courtroom drama this is by fair one of the best out there.

 

Actor Review

 

Matthew McConaughey: Jake Tyler Brigance is a young lawyer who has taken over a small law firm from his mentor who struggles to keep the business afloat. When this case comes his way he wants to do the right thing because he knows how this can be a difficult decision and believe he can win the case against the odds. Matthew shows early on in his career he could handle the serious films in leading role.

Sandra Bullock: Ellen Roark is a young law student who has helped on many murder cases and wants to help Jake with this case to help clear Carl Lee from the charges. She has different political beliefs to him which they do class on but their passion together can drive the case. Sandra shines in this role in her early career showing how she can pull of the serious roles too.

Samuel L Jackson: Carl Lee Hailey is the man that finds his daughter beaten and raped and decides to take justice into his own hands by killing the men involved. He doesn’t care what happens to him just as long as he makes these men pay but not faces a double murder charge. Samuel is great in this role as a man who got pushed to his limits.

Kevin Spacey: D A Rufus Buckley is the cocky DA who thinks this case is a slam dunk as he knows he can get the white man’s vote on the jury and questions Jake ability in a courtroom. Kevin while playing a standard character for the villain of the courtroom hit it ot the park in every scene.

Support Cast: A Time to Kill has a supporting cast which is filled with stars in nearly every scene and each one gives a brilliant performance throughout the film.

Director Review: Joel SchumacherJoel gives us one of his best films that balance the racial tension with the crime case perfectly.

 

Crime: A Time to Kill leaves us in the middle of a court case handle a sensitive subject which poses us questions on where you would stand on such a case.

Thriller: A Time to Kill does keep us one edge wondering where the next twist will come in the story be it in the courtroom or the tension building outside the courts.

Settings: A Time to Kill keeps nearly all the settings within the Louisiana town where racial tension is still strong and you can see the difference in both sides even with the same struggles.

Suggestion: A Time to Kill is one of the most must watch courtroom dramas out there with such a sensitive subject. (Must Watch)

 

Best Part: Closing speech.

Worst Part: Slightly long if you are being picky.

 

Believability: Parts could be.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $40 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 29 Minutes

Tagline: A lawyer and his assistant fighting to save a father on trial for murder. A time to question what they believe. A time to doubt what they trust. And no time for mistakes.

 

Overall: One of the all-time best courtroom drams out there.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror Franchise – Tremors 2 Aftershock (1996)

castin card

 

Plot: Earl Bassett, now a laid-back living legend, is coaxed by the Mexican government into hunting and exterminating the Graboids that are threatening an important oil-refinery. But no amount of explosives could prepare him for what the worms have in store.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Sequel

 

Story: Tremors 2 Aftershock starts as we meet Earl (Ward) alone now an ostrich farmer, he gets approached by Senor Ortega (Tubert) who has been having problems with the graboids in Mexico, along with huge fan Grady (Gartin) gets offered $50,000 per graboid.

Travelling down to Mexico Earl & Grady team up with geologist Kate Reilly (Shaver) to go graboid hunting and they find themselves picking plenty of graboids. When Earl finds himself having to take on too many graboids he turns to his old friend Burt (Gross) who jumps at the chance to kill some graboids. When the graboids evolve we find our hunters chasing something complete new.cast

Tremors 2 Aftershock is what would need to be considered a solid sequel, it keeps the idea very simple with hunting down the graboids and what it does means it gets straight into the action. Evolving the creature also helps because we get a new enemy which turns out not to be so easy to kill. The only drawback would be that we don’t get enough supporting cast members to be put into peril. This is an easy story to follow though.

 

Actor Review

 

Fred Ward: Earl Bassett has blown his chance at fame now living off the last moments alone on an ostrich farm. He gets a chance to make big money by hunting graboids with a new partner Grady. He uses all his skills to take down the graboids with an old friend and a potential new flame. Fred is still strong in this leading role but doesn’t have the same chemistry with Chris.

Chris Gartin: Grady Hoover a fan of Earl and Val and after failing to get Val to help he turns to Earl where he also wants to be part of the hunting team with his ideas of where to market any extra money out of the graboid situation. Grady goes through plenty of scenes where he makes it clear he is the replacement. Chris is good but not reaching the same levels Kevin Bacon did.

Helen Shaver: Kate ‘White’ Reilly is the geologist in Mexico that helps the guys with their hunting mission. She has learnt how to track them which gives the hunters a big advantage. Helen is solid but seems to just be a supporting member of the cast.

Michael Gross: Burt Gummer is also feeling the effects of the aftermath and sees this as a chance to come after the graboids one more time. He comes armed to a military truck and just as eager as before. Michael evolves his character to become the iconic one from the franchise.

Support Cast: Tremors 2 Aftershock has a very small supporting cast with the man who hires them and a few employees being the only cast members in the film.

Director Review: S.S. WilsonS.S. does a good job directing take the film in a different direction as well as opening it out for any type of franchise idea.

 

Action: Tremors 2 Aftershock has a lot more action as we go straight into the hunting side of the story.

Comedy: Tremors 2 Aftershock doesn’t reach the same levels on a comical sense which is slightly disappointing but has a few laughs.

Horror: Tremors 2 Aftershock doesn’t reach all the levels of the horror from the first outing.

Settings: Tremors 2 Aftershock takes the action to the Mexico which works but leaves us wondering why the change in location.
Special Effects
: Tremors 2 Aftershock has good effects throughout with only one questionable moment.

Suggestion: Tremors 2 Aftershock is one to try, if you like the first one you will enjoy this. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Final act.

Worst Part: That one bad moment of CGI.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $4 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline:  The Worms have turned.

 

Overall: Enjoyable sequel that doesn’t quite reach the levels of the original.

Ratingcard

 

Daylight (1996)

dayligthDirector: Rob Cohen

Writer: Leslie Bohem (Screenplay)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Amy Brenneman, Viggo Mortensen, Dan Hedaya, Jay O Sanders, Karen Young, Claire Bloom, Vanessa Bell Calloway, Renoly Santiago, Danielle Harris

 

Plot: Disaster in a New York tunnel as explosions collapse both ends of it. One hero tries to help the people inside find their way to safety.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic 90s

 

Story: Daylight starts as we see a busy New York evening filled with rush hour traffic piling into the tunnel which connects Manhattan and New Jersey. The normal night turns into a nightmare when illegal toxic waste is being transported and ends up exploding causing both sides of the bridge to become blocked.

When taxi driver and former emergency response analysist Kit Latura (Stallone) brings all his experience to the situation enters the tunnel to find a way to rescue the survivors before their air runs out or the people making the decisions make the wrong ones.

Daylight gives us what we saw a plenty during the 90s, a good enjoyable disaster film. This time we find our survivors trapped in a tunnel after an explosion blocking both ends. When it comes to disaster films you really don’t need the deepest stories going on and this doesn’t give us too much to think of either. The hero is a fallen hero looking for redemption, the leading lady is struggling with her own life and the string of genetic supporting character could go on for a while. The thing that makes this good that we don’t see many bad decisions being made only panicking ones which work for the character designs so by the end of the film you do root for all of the survivors to make it. This film sums up the 90s action disaster craze nearly perfectly.

 

Actor Review

 

Sylvester Stallone: Kit Latura is now a taxi driver but used to work with the emergency services finding as many possible mistakes or correct decisions when dealing with disaster like situations. When he sees the tunnel get closed he jumps into action as he has studied this tunnel for years. Kit must lead the survivors to safety against all the odds. Sylvester does a good job in this leading role which you would expect from Stallone in the 90s.

Amy Brenneman: Madelyne is a struggling theatre writer who finds herself stuck inside the tunnel when cover a friend’s work shift. She can analysis a problem which comes into great help during the struggle within the tunnel. Amy is good as this leading lady in the action film.

Viggo Mortensen: Roy is a rich businessman about to make a deal of his career and he has never back away from a challenge in his life. Roy is quickly thrust into the human villain in this story but unlike most we don’t have him hanging around long. Viggo is good but doesn’t get enough time for this character’s purpose.

Dan Hedaya: Frank Kraft is the former friend and partner of Kit who has to make the right decisions from the outside but can his former friendship cloud his judgement. Dan is a solid supporting performance in this role.

Support Cast: Daylight has a supporting cast that do all have the genetic stories to make you care for the good characters against the ones who are outside the tunnel who we are not meant to like as much. This all helps when the battle for survival continues.

Director Review: Rob CohenRob gives us an action disaster we saw plenty of during the 90s and this is one that gets everything correct.

 

Action: Daylight has plenty of action with the actual explosion being the highlight of the action side of the film.

Adventure: Daylight puts us into a story where the adventure is survival against the odds after a disaster.

Settings: Daylight has most of the film set inside the tunnel as we see how the survivors will make it through the disaster.
Special Effects
: Daylight has great effects for the time it was made that haven’t really dated with the only negative being able to see the dolls in the cars during the explosions.

Suggestion: Daylight is one for all the action fans out there to enjoy and if you like a disaster film you will also love this one. (Action Disaster Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Explosion.

Worst Part: While I could see it being a good thing but the Roy character isn’t involved enough.

Favourite Quote: Chief Dennis Wilson ‘The person who says it can’t be done is always interrupted by the one who just did it!’

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 1 Oscar

Budget: $80 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: On December 6th, Universal Pictures dares you to take on the tunnel

Trivia: One reason Sylvester Stallone agreed to act in this movie was to help him overcome his fear of confined spaces. He’d agreed to appear in Cliffhanger (1993) to help him overcome his fear of heights.

 

Overall: Classic 90s action disaster movie.

Ratingcard

 

 

The Rock (1996)

rockDirector: Michael Bay

Writer: David Weisberg, Douglas Cook, Mark Rosner (Screenplay) David Weisberg, Douglas Cook (Story)

Starring: Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, John Spencer, David Morse, William Forsythe, Michael Biehn, Vanessa Marcil, John C. McGinley, Tony Todd

 

Plot: A mild-mannered chemist and an ex-con must lead the counterstrike when a rogue group of military men, led by a renegade general, threaten a nerve gas attack from Alcatraz against San Francisco.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the Best

 

Story: The Rock starts as General Francis Hummel (Harris) and his men including Major Baxter (Morse) take a military base by storm to steal a deadly bio-weapon. We also get to see the effects of the weapon when one of the men gets trapped in the room with it. We also get meet Stanley Goodspeed (Cage) who works as a chemical weapons disarmer.

General Hummel takes Alcatraz prison as his new base of operations where he has his weapons ready for launch unless his demands are met, he wants $100 Million that he can pay to fallen soldier’s family’s the money they deserve. Hummel has kept everything non-violent and keeps everything professional with his negotiations. We see how the FBI Director Womack (Spencer) and the rest of the authority figures in America give us the basic idea of what will be the consequences if the gas goes off and why plan A, B or C can’t work.

This has established the idea that we need our chemical expert Stanley and ex-inmate John Patrick Mason (Connery) who has been locked away with the key thrown away. The plan is to learn his route how he escaped from Alcatraz and use it to enter and get the upper hand on the men controlling the prison.

The Rock gives us an action movie that keeps all of the action in and from America with the terrorist side of the story being American soldiers. The odd couple chemistry between Goodspeed and Mason shows that people will go to lengths stop the men. I liked how Hummel’s also comes off very determined but not willing to take people’s lives into his hands wanting a peaceful ending to everything. we do get the basic action sides of the story but that doesn’t mean this is a bad movie. This is a fully enjoyable action film with a story that makes you question how you feel about Hummel’s.

 

Actor Review

 

Sean Connery: John Patrick Mason is the former inmate of Alcatraz who has been locked up many prisons which he has a habit of escaping from. John gets bought in on this mission because he knows how to get into Alcatraz but he isn’t playing by all the rules. The only man he respects out of the FBI unit is Goodspeed as the two have to become the heroes. Sean gives us one of the best performances of his career in this role showing he still had the action side of his older age.mason

Nicolas Cage: Stanley Goodspeed is the chemical expert that is considered the best in his field, as an FBI agent he gets bought into the situation to secure the bio-weapons that are threatening San Francisco. He has to work with Mason putting aside their differences to save the day. Nicolas is brilliant in this showing how he would become an action star for years to come.goodspeed

Ed Harris: General Francis Hummel is the man who is leading the operation take Alcatraz as his base to get the money owed to the men who died under his watch in black ops mission. He keeps everything non-lethal and wants to use the right paths even if some of the men are more trigger happy. Hummel makes for one of the most interesting villains in action film history because his cause is a worthy, he wants to negotiate in a forceful way without actually having causalities. We never really hate this villain because of this and he even does the right thing during the times when he men have gone out of line. Ed gives a brilliant performance in one of the best villains in action film history.hummels

David Morse: Major Tom Baxter is Hummel’s second in command he isn’t afraid to do jobs that Hummel’s doesn’t want to do and as the story unfold we learn how far he is willing to go. David is great in this supporting role.

Support Cast: The Rock has a massive supporting cast all in either military roles or authority roles.

Director Review: Michael BayMichael gives us one of the greatest action movies ever made.

 

Action: The Rock has great action throughout being is the hand to hand combat or explosions or gun fights.

Adventure: The Rock puts Goodspeed and Mason on an adventure to save the city.

Thriller: The Rock keeps us on our toes from start to finish.

Settings: The Rock uses Alcatraz for the setting which adds a unique take to the action side of the story.
Special Effects
: The Rock uses great effects for the action throughout without being too over the top.

Suggestion: The Rock is one for all the action fans to watch over and over because it is one of the best. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Car Chase.

Worst Part: Not much.

Action Scene Of The Film: Car Chase

Favourite Quote: Mason ‘Your “best”! Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen.’

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for Best Sound

Box Office: $134 Million

Budget: $70 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 16 Minutes

Tagline: Alcatraz. Only one man has ever broken out. Now five million lives depend on two men breaking in.

 

Overall: One of the best action movies ever made which is just easy to watch throughout.

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The Crow Week – The Crow: City of Angels (1996)

logoDirector: Tim Pope

Writer: David S Goyer (Screenplay) James O’Barr (Comic Book Characters)

Starring: Vincent Perez, Mia Kirshner, Richard Brooks, Iggy Pop, Thomas Jane, Vincent Castellanos

Plot: Many years after the first film, the spirit of the Crow resurrects another man seeking revenge for the murder of his son.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: If It’s Not Broken Don’t Fix It, Just Ruin It

Story: The Crow: City of Angels starts Sarah (Kirshner) returning grown up in the City of Angels, she is having visions of the murder of Ashe Corven (Perez) and his son Danny (Acosta). Judah Earl (Brooks) is now the kingpin of the city supplying drugs all over the city showing just how happy and emotionless when it comes to dealing with problem.

Using her knowledge of the legend of the Crow Sarah brings Ashe back to life to help him get his revenge upon the people who killed him. Once Ashe relives the moments before his death he learns the reason for his return and gears up ready to continue the legend of The Crow.

The Crow: City of Angels decided to just try and copy everything from the first film with a slight different origin story but the revenge side of everything is just the same. I do think it loses the dark tone the first one had and because this isn’t as dark the impact just doesn’t come off. I found this film just didn’t understand the darkness needed for the idea and ends up feeling toned down version. (5/10)

Actor Review

Vincent Perez: Ashe Corven/The Crow is the man murdered along with his son, his life is over until Sarah brings him back to life with the power of The Crow so he can get revenge on the men who took his son and his own life. Vincent is a solid lead but doesn’t have the same level as Brandon Lee. (6/10)

Mia Kirshner: Sarah is all grown up now and mastered the power of the Crow, when she gets nightmares about the death of Ashe she brings him back from the dead to take out the people responsible for his death. Mia doesn’t seem to capture this role enough for my liking just becoming a basic supporting character. (5/10)

Richard Brooks: Judah Earl is the leader of the gang running the city, it was his men that killed Ashe but much like the villain from the last time he is very spiritual with all his decisions. Richard gives a similar performance to what we saw first time but doesn’t end being as creepy. (6/10)

Support Cast: The Crow: City of Angels has a genetic supporting cast filled with villains for our new Crow to take out.

Director Review: Tim Pope Tim doesn’t manage to ogive us a film that has the same effect as the first one making this feel cheaper and low production quality. (4/10)

Action: The Crow: City of Angels has simply action sequences but nothing stand out. (4/10)

Fantasy: The Crow: City of Angels puts us in the fantasy world of people coming back from the dead. (8/10)

Settings: The Crow: City of Angels makes the city very dark from start to finish making us feel like we are part of the dark world. (8/10)
Special Effects: The Crow: City of Angels has to be slammed for the effects that are a huge step back from what the first one had you can easily see the CGI being used. (2/10)

Suggestion: The Crow: City of Angels is one to try but I wouldn’t be recommending it to anyone fast. (Try It)

Best Part: Difficult to pick something really.

Worst Part: The effects are laughable.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has 2 More sequels

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $17 Million

Budget: $13 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

Tagline: Believe in the power of another.

Overall: Disappointing sequel to a classic that sucks all the fun out of the film

Rating 40