Franchise Weekend – The Talent Mr Ripley (1999)

talentedDirector: Anthony Minghella

Writer: Anthony Minghella (Screenplay) Patricia Highsmith (Novel)

Starring: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jack Davenport, James Rebhorn. Philip Baker Hall

 

Plot: In late 1950s New York, Tom Ripley, a young underachiever, is sent to Italy to retrieve Dickie Greenleaf, a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Thriller

 

Story: The Talented Mr Ripley starts as we meet Tom Ripley (Damon) living in New York who has been teaching himself music while getting by without people noticing him. When he meets million Herbert Greenleaf (Rebhorn) he sees potential in Tom and sends him to Italy to bring his playboy son Dickie (Law) back home.

Arriving in Italy Tom introduces himself to locals as Dickie before putting himself into Dickie’s and Marge Sherwood’s (Paltrow) life as he befriends him explaining how he got asked to travel to Italy to bring Dickie home.

The three enjoy a holiday through Italy as Tom studies Dickie he strengths, weakness and tendencies. After falling out of favour with Dickie, Tom kills him and decides to cover it up with Marge while becoming Dickie to the rest of the world but how long can he keep this up?

 

Thoughts on The Talented Mr Ripley

 

StoryThe con-artist film focuses on how one man who has been using his skills to keep his appearance up. The film is slow moving with a well over 2 hour run time but this just helps with the development of the story. Everything plays out that the rich have too much money for their own good making sure they stay above anybody else while Tom goes out his way to become one of them. The story is told brilliantly as we come to understand Ripley’s decision making process through the film.

Crime/ThrillerThe crime going on is always being covered up by Ripley as we are being kept on edge waiting to see what will happen next throughout the film. We get kept on edge as the suspense works almost perfectly through the film.

Characters/PerformanceMatt Damon shines in this leading role as Mr Ripley becomes one of the most fascinating characters from the 90s. Paltrow and Law give brilliant performances in supporting roles while the ever-impressive cast of Blanchett, Hoffman, Rebhorn and Davenport all give excellent performance too.

SettingsItaly makes for a stunning backdrop for the film as we see the lifestyle Tom could only have dreamed of living but soon starts taking part in.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most fascinating films of the 90’s which is full of powerhouse performance from one of the most impressive cast in film.

 

Overall: Truly interesting film that grabs your attention from start to finish.

Ratingcard

 

 

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

eyesDirector: Stanley Kubrick

Writer: Stanley Kubrick, Frederic Raphael (Screenplay) Arthur Schnitzler (Novel)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack, Marie Richardson, Rade Serbedzija, Todd Field, Vinessa Shaw, Sky Du Mont

 

Plot: A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Intense Thriller

 

Story: Eyes Wide Shut starts as Dr William Harford (Cruise) and his wife Alice (Kidman) attend a high society party hosted by Victor Ziegler (Pollack). At the party, Alice is wooed by a rich man at the party while William is almost seduced by two beautiful models before covering up an incident for Ziegler.

The next night the two find themselves arguing about what happened at the party which leads to the revelation that Alice almost cheated on William once before during the marriage. Wondering the streets after helping a patient he visits his old friend Nick Nightingale (Field) who is a pianist at selective parties which gives William a chance to explore a sexual underworld putting his own life in danger in the process.

 

Thoughts on Eyes Wide Shut

 

StoryWhen you look into this story, this is an erotic mystery thriller that shows what happens when you start to question you own marriage by going into the sexual underworld. We see how when William questions his own position what he tries puts not only his own life but everyone he knows life in danger in what feels like a cult heavy story of the rich and famous society. To think this film is over 2 and half hours long is amazing because it never seems to drag which when you try to simplify this story it sounds like an easy hour and half film.

Mystery/ThrillerThe mystery in this film is created once we are left to wonder just what William has gotten himself into, who are these people, why are the people he knows changing after than night, we get plenty of questions that lead to the thrilling side of the story that just keeps us guessing throughout.

Characters/PerformancesWilliam is the almost betrayed husband seeking something for his own desire like what his wife did but what he finds becomes he need to cover up his own action to protect his family. Every other character does just feel like somebody from within the mysterious cult that is following William. Performance wise this is brilliant from both Cruise and Kidman with everyone else give great performances for their few scenes.

SettingsThe streets of New York show just how lost in his life William is as the houses he finds himself in are all expensive houses, hotels or mansion to show how easily he could become part of this world.

Final ThoughtsI can see why people did enjoy this one and you can see just how brilliant Kubrick was as a director because each scene is filled with tension with excellent use of music. I didn’t enjoy this one that much even though I did think it was made so well with brilliant performances throughout.

 

Overall: Masterfully made movie that just wasn’t my cuppa tea.

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My Neighbours the Yamadas (1999)

myDirector: Isao Takahata

Writer: Isao Takahata (Screenplay) Hisaichi Ishii (Comic)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Hayato Isohata, Masako Araki, Naomi Uno, Tore Masuoka, Yukiji Asaoka

 

Plot: The life and misadventures of a family in contemporary Japan.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Family Comedy

 

Story: My Neighbours the Yamadas starts as we meet the Yamada’s Noboru, Nonoko, Takasi, Matsuko a family in Japan we learn how they must get through each different life moment be it positive or negative but whatever happens you will have each other to help you get you through.

 

Thoughts on My Neighbours the Yamadas

 

StoryWhen it comes to the stories going on here we have plenty that can be everyday life for a family each one feels like it could and would have be a Simpsons episode. While these stories are all nice short snippets you just won’t get drawn into this like you could with of Ghibli other pieces of work.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy comes from each odd story going on as most feel like a series of unfortunate events. The family side of the film comes from the idea that we could all relate to moments in this film.

CharactersWhen it comes to the characters in this film you get what you could call a traditional family with their strengths and weakness that get supported by the rest of the family. The characters all work for this film without being anything special.

SettingsThe settings are mostly where you would see a family go to with their wild adventures.

AnimationThe animation is designed to have its very own unique look which does work for the extra comedy.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sweet little family comedy that is filled with little moments for the whole family to enjoy.

 

Overall: Enjoyable for everyone watching.

Rating70

 

 

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai (1999)

ghostDirector: Jim Jarmusch

Writer: Jim Jarmusch (Screenplay)

Starring: Forest Whitaker, Henry Silva, John Tormey, Richard Portnow, Tricia Vessey

 

Plot: An African American mafia hit man who models himself after the samurai of old finds himself targeted for death by the mob.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Unique Crime Drama

 

Story: Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai starts as we meet Ghost Dog (Whitaker) himself, a man who has been studying the samurai way of life, the honour in the kill which makes him stand out as a hitman.

When this quiet hitman completes his latest job, he finds himself being targeted by the mob bosses he works for and he ends up having to use his skills to defend himself while keeping his honour.

Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai is a crime drama that takes things in a slow direction you wouldn’t have thought it could have gone. The quite hitman is unusual to have in the story as we see his pure heart to nature and people but when he is asked to kill he does the job without blinking.

The story is pretty routine, crime boss wants to kill hitman who once worked for him for a job not going wrong but performance wise Whitaker shines showing he has the ability to be a string of different characters you wouldn’t expect and this is one you couldn’t have seen him as. The rest of the characters are very generic but the unique twist on the Ghost Dog character works well.

 

Overall: Unique but by the books crime drama that only shines from the hitman difference.

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Idle Hands (1999)

idleDirector: Rodman Flender

Writer: Terri Hughes, Ron Milbauer (Screenplay)

Starring: Devon Sawa, Seth Green, Elden Hensen, Jessica Alba, Vivica A Fox, Christopher Hart, Jack Noseworthy

 

Plot: A teenage slacker’s right hand becomes possessed with murderous intent.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dull Lacklustre Comedy Horror

 

Story: Idle Hands starts as we meet three stoner teenagers Anton (Sawa), Mick (Green) and Pnub (Henson) who live in a small town that is in the middle of a serial killer rampage. With his parents gone missing Anton thinks nothing of this before coming to the shocking conclusion the killer is inside his house.

The killer is actually his own hand which he no longer has control over and goes on to kill his best friends. Anton must find a way to defeat his own evil possessed hand get the girl Molly (Alba) and stop demon hunter Debi (Fox) from killing him.

Idle Hands is a horror comedy that plays into the simplest levels of comedy that might have worked at the time but has dated now. The whole idea of having the evil hand can’t help but make us feel like we have seen it before at a higher level in the Evil Dead 2. Nothing about this film really does come of original or memorable which disappoints throughout.

The cast are all very much over the top with the three guys being the normal nonsense teenagers while Jessica Alba is left to be the overly sexualised female lead. As for the supporting cast, we barely get to meet most of them for long enough to make an impact.

 

Overall: Horror Comedy more like horror sleep fest

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