Liar Liar (1997)

liarDirector: Tom Shadyac

Writer: Paul Guay, Stephen Mazur (Screenplay)

Starring: Jim Carrey, Maura Tierney, Justin Cooper, Cary Elwes, Anne Haney, Jennifer Tilly, Amanda Donohoe

 

Plot: A fast-track lawyer can’t lie for 24 hours due to his son’s birthday wish after he turns his son down for the last time.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Laugh a Minute Comedy

 

Story: Liar, Liar starts as we meet Fletcher Reede (Carrey) a high-flying lawyer who has gone through a smooth divorce with Audrey (Tierney) to keep life happy for their son Max (Cooper). With Audrey moving on with her life with new boyfriend Jerry (Elwes), Fletcher is focusing on his career where he has an ever-growing reputation of being able to lie his way through any case.

When Fletcher’s lying effects his relationship with his son and Fletcher misses Max’s birthday, Max makes the wish that his dad can’t lie for one whole day. We follow how Fletcher must get through the day without being able to tell a lie in what could be the biggest case of his career.

 

Thoughts on Liar, Liar

 

StoryThe story here shows us many different problems when it comes to overworking parents, lawyers lying and being a good parent. We get to see how the fantasy element of this film comes through to show how the new vision to life Fletcher must go through, I will say the film has a similar message to Mrs Doubtfire about a father finally need to become responsible about the parenting. I think this is a very good story that allows Carrey to perform his comedy to the strongest levels he can.

Comedy/FantasyJim Carrey single handily carries all the comedy within this film, with his joke a minute routine going on that will find a joke that works for anyone at some point in the film. The fantasy side of the story comes from the change that Fletcher must go through when the wish comes true.

Characters/PerformancesFletcher away from the comedy is your typical overworking lying father and lawyer who has put his career before his personal life. The rest of the characters are the always struggling wife which can make her look like the bad guy, the son that is always getting disappointed, the new love that wants to impress the son and the lawyer community. When you look at the performance Jim Carrey carries this film on every single level not giving enough time for the rest of the characters to truly develop in the end.

SettingsThe settings are never designed to be the most important for the story but are important for the lawyer side of the office which shows that the true opinion of the characters can be seen through the eyes of the truth.

Final ThoughtsCarrey shines, the story shines the rest will soon become something people would forget.

 

Overall: This is a hugely enjoyable comedy that shows Carrey at the top of his game.

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Insomnia (1997)

insomniaDirector: Erik Skjoldbjaerg

Writer: Erik Skjoldbjaerg, Nikolaj Frobenius (Screenplay)

Starring: Maria Mathiesen, Stellan Skarsgard, Sverre Anker Ousdal, Giskenn Armand, Kristian Figenschow, Thor Michael Aamodt

 

Plot: In a Norwegian city with a 24-hour daylight cycle a Swedish murder investigator has been brought in on a special case. Sleep deprived, he makes a horrible mistake which is discovered by the killer he has been hunting.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Thriller

 

Story: Insomnia starts with the brutal murder of the young woman Tanja (Mathiesen) before we see the Swedish investigator Jonas Engstrom (Skarsgard) arrive in Norway to help solve this crime with his partner Erik Vik (Ousdal). With the first piece of evidence discovered Jonas uses it as bait to hopefully draw the killer out, but with mist covering the area the killer is lost in the mist and Jonas finds himself in a foot race firing his gun randomly at what he thinks is the killer only to discover he has shot his own partner.

Covering up his own crime Jonas returns to look for the killer with the clues leading him to author Jon Holt (Floberg).

Insomnia is the original before Christopher Nolan cast Al Pacino and Robin Williams in the American remake, so going into this one I knew the basic story. I was surprised to see this film being much darker character made out of Jonas who just didn’t seem to want to play by any of the police rules when in the remake we get a cop that breaks the rules to get a conviction only. The killer just doesn’t feel very intense with the interactions just not hitting the true potential.

I can see why this helped inspire the remake and I can see just how it can stand out as one of the better dark thrillers out there.

 

Overall: Dark tense thriller that shows just how to cope with a mistake that can change your life.

Rating

 75

 

John Malkovich Weekend – Con Air (1997)

con airDirector: Simon West

Writer: Scott Rosenberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, John Malkovich, John Cusack, Ving Rhames, Dave Chappelle, Steve Buscemi, Monica Potter, Danny Trejo

 

Plot: Newly paroled ex-con and former U.S. Ranger Cameron Poe finds himself trapped in a prisoner transport plane when the passengers seize control.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Purely Enjoyable Action Film

 

Story: Con Air starts as war veteran Cameron Poe (Cage) returns to his wife Tricia (Potter) but due to the local drinks attacking him 3-1 style one ends up dead and Cameron finds himself facing jail, somehow. We get a montage to show how Cameron spends his time in jail never wanting to meet his daughter but communicating with her through letters.

Cameron is about to be released on a transport that includes his friend Baby-O (Williamson) but also a large number of deadly prisoners including Cyrus ‘The Virus’ Grissom (Malkovich), Diamond Dog (Rhames), Johnny-23 (Trejo), Swamp Thing (Gainey), Pinball (Chappelle) and Garland Greene (Buscemi) as well as other characters. Vince Larkin (Cusack) is overseeing the transfer with Duncan Malloy (Meaney) who are trying to interrogate one of the prisoners on route.

Once in the air Cyrus has arranged a prison escape and as he quotes ‘welcome to con air’. Cameron decides to stay on the plane and protect his friend and female guard, making him the only line of defence between the prisoners and freedom.

Con Air gave us one of the most entertaining action thrillers of the 90s, the story is very thin which is what we need to let the action unfold. Our leading man is the main development as we instantly feel sympathy for him after his imprisonment for defending himself. One man doing the right thing against criminals all works for what we need but let’s face it we only want to see the action unfold and this gives us everything.

 

Actor Review

 

Nicolas Cage: Cameron Poe is the war veteran who gets sent to jail after defending himself in a bar brawl, he has served his time and his coming home on the prisoner transport. Once the prisoners take over the plane he stays to stop them escaping and saving his friend. Nicolas gives us one of the most entertaining action leading performances of the 90’s.poe

John Malkovich: Cyrus ‘The Virus’ Grissom is the leader of the prisoner escape, he has spent most of his life in jail becoming a genius in the process. He is calculated with every move he makes when it comes to this escape making him a villain not to be messed with. John makes for a great villain that stays calm until the very end.cyrus

John Cusack: Vince Larkin is overseeing the prison transfer and is battling with the loud mouth Malloy. He using longer words to annoy Malloy but is the only one to believe that Cameron is the hero on the plane. John works in this role but sometimes feels out of place with the action stars.

Steve Buscemi: Garland ‘The Marietta Mangler’ Greene is a late addition to the transport, he is one of the most notorious serial killers on the planet. He is completing out of his mind but not involved in the main part of the escape. Steve gives us one of the most memorable supporting character that never really seems to be involved with the main story.

Support Cast: Con Air has a big supporting cast that all help show the hero side of Cameron.

Director Review: Simon WestSimon gives us an action film we can all enjoy still 20 years after its release.

 

Action: Con Air has plenty of action from the moment the plane gets taken over to the final scenes.

Crime: Con Air gives us a prison escape on a plane which helps the crime side of the story.

Thriller: Con Air keeps us on edge from start to finish as we watch waiting to see if Cameron will save the day.

Settings: Con Air keeps the settings mostly on the plane with the criminals having rising tension while the scenes outside always feel desperate against the time.
Special Effects
: Con Air uses great effects throughout for all the action sequences.

Suggestion: Con Air is one to switch on and just relax and enjoy. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Bunny.

Worst Part: Malloy is terrible character for the role he is meant to be in the DEA.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final sequence.

Favourite Quote: Garland Greene ‘Define irony. Bunch of idiots dancing on a plane to a song made famous by a band that died in a plane crash.’

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: The Rock

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 2 Oscars

Budget: $75 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

Tagline: One wrong flight can ruin your whole day

Trivia: The song “How Do I Live” was nominated for both an Oscar as Best Original Song and a Razzie as Worst Original Song. It did not win either award.

 

Overall: Action film that will always be one that is easy to watch.

Ratingcard

Flubber (1997)

flubberDirector: Les Mayfield

Writer: John Hughes, Bill Walsh (Screenplay) Samuel W Taylor (Short Story)

Starring: Robin Williams, Marcia Gay Harden, Christopher McDonald, Ted Levine, Clancy Brown, Raymond J Barry, Wil Wheaton, Edie McClurg

 

Plot: An absent-minded professor discovers “flubber,” a rubber-like super-bouncy substance.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just bad

 

Story: Flubber starts as we meet forgetful genius Professor Philip Brainard (Williams) who has been working towards finding a more reliable energy source but while working on that he keeps forgetting his own wedding to Dr Sara Reynolds (Harden) and on his actually wedding day he makes the biggest discovery of his career with a flubber like material.

When Philip misses the latest attempt to get married he uses the flubber to try and impress Sara who has warned him that was his last time, he has to go against his former rival Wilson Croft (McDonald) as well as dealing with a rich father and his goons.

Flubber is a film I remember from my youth being something I enjoyed as a kid but re-watching it now I found myself think what is this? We get terrible cheap comedy which never really hits with a lot of the goon comedy feeling like it was just stolen from Home Alone. Williams does what he can with his quick delivery but even he looks like he is struggling to make this work. The story is simple and while it flows past quickly you never really get invested in the characters. This is one I can only see young children enjoying.

 

Overall: Not worth the time really

Rating25

 

 

Matt Damon Weekend – Good Will Hunting (1997)

godDirector: Gus Van Sant

Writer: Matt Damon, Ben Affleck (Screenplay)

Starring: Matt Damon, Robin Williams, Ben Affleck, Stellan Skarsgard, Minnie Driver, Casey Affleck, Cole Hauser

 

Plot: Will Hunting, a janitor at M.I.T., has a gift for mathematics, but needs help from a psychologist to find direction in his life.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Amazing

 

Story: Good Will Hunting starts with Bostonians janitor Will Hunting (Damon) and his best friend Chuckie Sullivan (Affleck) who have always had to look after themselves. When professor Gerald Lambeau (Skarsgard) puts a theorem outside his M.I.T. room for his students to solve over the year Will solves it while cleaning the floors.

When Will finds himself in trouble with the law Gerald arranges to get him out of jail time with the deal of working with Gerald and seeing a therapist and after going through the professional respected ones Gerald turns to his old roommate Sean Maguire (Williams) who has alternative methods as his last resort.

Sean gets through to Will on a new level pushing him to actually us his gift while Will’s loyalty to his friends could put this future in jeopardy.

Good Will Hunting is one of the most powerful films of the whole of the 90s if not all of film time. The following of one man trying to find his place in the world with all the potential in the world is always going to be difficult to turn into a natural story but this one hits it on every level. The idea of building to genius to need to see what they are capable is brilliant as we see how understand the gift is just as important too. I believe the friendships feel natural and showing how the friendship between Will and Sean builds not only improves Will’s life but Sean’s too. I find this to be one of the most motivating films I have ever seen.

 

Actor Review

 

Matt Damon: Will Hunting is a self-taught genius that is living South Boston working as a janitor in M.I.T. spending the nights drinking with his buddies. When professor Lambeau learns his of his gift Will must go through therapy becoming one of the most wanted men in business world while deciding his own future. Matt showed all of potential in this performance where he is brilliant in.

Robin Williams: Sean Maguire is a brilliant therapist who was roommate of Gerald Lambeau. He is the only therapist that is willing to give Will the time needed as well as having the heartbreak of losing his wife to a long battle with cancer. Sean helps guide Will into deciding his future becoming the father figure he has never had. Robin is sensational in this role especially when you think this comes in the middle of a string of comedic roles.

Ben Affleck: Chuckie Sullivan is the best friend of Will’s who is the closest to family that Will has ever had. Chuckie sees the gift Will has and is involved in my favourite scene of the film. He will stand by Will through every moment of his life. Ben is great in this supporting role being the friend that Will needs and with the natural friendship between Ben and Matt shows through.

Stellan Skarsgard: Prof Gerald Lambeau is the teacher at M.I.T. who has put the tests up for his student only to find Will solving them. He is the one that save Will from jail putting him on the right path because he sees just how great he could be. Stellan is great in this role and the scene in the pub with Robin Williams brilliant.

Support Cast: Good Will Hunting has quite a small supporting cast with the extra characters being the rest of the group of friends and the love interest.

Director Review: Gus Van SantGus gives us one of the most powerful dramas filled with all the emotion needed.

 

Drama: Good Will Hunting is a powerful drama filled with emotion and life choices need to be made by Will.

Settings: Good Will Hunting keeps most of the settings simple but enough to show the different worlds Will seems to be stuck between.
Suggestion
: Good Will Hunting is one I do think everyone should be watching. (Must Watch)

 

Best Part: Best part of my day.

Worst Part: Nothing.

Funniest Scene: Harvard bar.

Favourite Quote: Chuckie ‘Every day I come by your house and I pick you up. And we go out. We have a few drinks, and a few laughs, and it’s great. But you know what the best part of my day is? For about ten seconds, from when I pull up to the curb and when I get to your door, ’cause I think, maybe I’ll get up there and I’ll knock on the door and you won’t be there. No goodbye. No see you later. No nothing. You just left. I don’t know much, but I know that.’

 

Believability: It could easily be a real story.

Chances of Tears: Happy tears.

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 2 Oscars including Best Supporting Actor and Best Original Screenplay

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes

Tagline: Some people can never believe in themselves, until someone believes in them.

 

Overall: One of the most powerful, motivating and emotional movies ever made.

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