ABC Film Challenge – 90’s Movies – W – Wild Bill (1995) Movie Thoughts

Director: Walter Hill

Writer: Walter Hill (Screenplay) Peter Dexter (Book)

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ellen Barkin, John Hurt, Diane Lane, Keith Carradine, David Arquette

Plot: The early career of legendary lawman Wild Bill Hickock is telescoped and culminates in his relocation in Deadwood and a reunion with Calamity Jane.


Tagline – A legend never dies 

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Wild Bill starts at the funeral of Wild Bull Hickock (Bridges) with Charley Prince (Hurt) telling his story, this will see us learn how Bill when from sheriff with a legendary status before losing this position, seeing his status follow him around until he finds himself in Deadwood where he can reunite with Calamity Jane (Barkin).

As Bill learns that his actions have caused him to create enemies, it gives us a list of the people that might well have been the one that finally killed him.

Thoughts on Wild Bill

Final Thoughts Wild Bill brings us the story of another lawman in the old west, we see how his life went through a string of different events, with each one coming along to make something else more difficult for Bill and the number of enemies will always grow against him. The problem with a lot of this story, is that Wild Bill doesn’t seem like an iconic enough name in the history of lawmen to make it justifiable to be in leading figure in a film. When it comes to the cast, we have an excellent cast, with Jeff Bridges, John Hurt, Ellen Barkin and Diane Lane taking the biggest roles in the film, with a strong supporting cast too. In the end this just isn’t the most entertaining western, that just doesn’t get going to any levels that many other westerns can.



ABC Film Challenge – 90s Movies – P – Pocahontas (1995) Movie Review

Director: Mike Gabriel, Eric Goldberg

Writer: Carl Binder, Susannah Grant, Philip LaZebnik (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Joe Baker, Christian Bale, Irene Bedard, Billy Connolly, James Apaumut Fall, Mel Gibson, Linda Hunt

Plot: An English soldier and the daughter of an Algonquin chief share a romance when English colonists invade seventeenth century Virginia.


Tagline – An American legend comes to life

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Pocahontas starts as we meet the English colonists led by Governor Radcliffe who are looking for new land for their hunt for gold, with the fearless warrior John Smith along with them, the English arrive in Virginia where they clash with an Algonquin tribe.

As John explores himself, he meets the daughter of the chief Pocahontas, a dreamer who is always searching for more from the world, one with nature and someone John has never met before. The union between John and Pocahontas could stop the bloodshed the two sides want to bring onto each other.

Thoughts on Pocahontas

ThoughtsPocahontas is one of the many Disney animations that is built around a legendary story, one that doesn’t always connect with the reality of history, it does show the arrogance of the people that invaded lands compared to the people there who just wanted a normal life that is getting shattered. When it comes to the animated Disney, this does feel like one of the weaker ones, which was just the start of the many weaker films we got to see in the later 90’s in the post early 90s boom back to success. The songs never feel as catchy as they should be for a Disney film and while the messaging is clear about accepting people, it just never seems to hit the heights of many other films that have tried and succeeded with the same ideas. Most of the highlights in the film come from sidekick animal characters that will get all the laughs to keep you smiling.

Final Thoughts Pocahontas is the standard Disney animation.

ABC Film Challenge – 1990s Movies – O – Outbreak (1995) Movie Review

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Writer: Laurence Dworet, Robet Roy Pool (Screenplay)

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Rene Russo, Morgan Freeman, Kevin Spacey, Cuba Gooding Jr, Donald Sutherland, Patrick Dempsey

 

Plot: Army doctors struggle to find a cure for a deadly virus spreading throughout a California town that was brought to America by an African monkey.


Tagline – Try to Remain Calm

Runtime: 2 Hours 7 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

 

Story: Outbreak starts when the CDC look to investigate an outbreak of a virus in Zaire, Sam Daniels (Hoffman) Casey Schuler (Spacey) and Major Salt (Gooding Jr) are called off the investigation when General Billy Ford (Freeman) and General Donald McClintock (Sutherland) believe it is connected to something in their past and it is no longer a threat.

When the virus finds itself on America soil it is spreading like wildfire, leading to Sam and his team, along with his ex-wife Robby (Russo) needing to find a solution before the military will turn to a drastic measure to solve problem.

 

Thoughts on Outbreak

 

ThoughtsOutbreak is a thriller that will follow a group of army scientists that are fighting against time to save the lives of millions from a virus which is taking over the nation, while they look for a cure, other members of the military are looking for a more radical solution. This is a thriller that will highlight just how deadly a viral outbreak can become in a major populated area, showing the panic and the speed in which things can spiral out of control, while also pointing out the work the scientist will do to solve the problem. We have an all-star cast that all shine through the film, as we see them all get their strong moments in the film. Watching the search for patient zero is just as intense as trying to stay ahead of the military decision making.

 

Final ThoughtsOutbreak is an intense relentless thriller.

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – Z – Texas Chainsaw Massacre the Next Generation (1995) Movie Review

This is going under Z because of star Renee Zellweger.

Director: Kim Henkel

Writer: Kim Henkel (Screenplay) Kem Henkel, Tobe Hooper (Characters)

Starring: Renee Zellweger, Matthew McConaughey, Robert Jacks, Tonie Perensky, Joe Stevens, Lisa Marie Newmyer, John Harrison

Plot: A group of teenagers get into a car crash in the Texas woods on prom night, and then wander into an old farmhouse that is home to Leatherface (Robert Jacks) and his insane family of cannibalistic psychopaths.


Tagline – He’s back. You’re dead.

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Bad

Story: Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation starts as prom night between Jenny (Zellweger), Heather (Newmyer), Sean (Harrison) and Barry (Cone) goes wrong, leading them to head down a road, having an accident, searching for help with Vilmer (McConaughey) taking one back to the farmhouse, while the rest stumble upon the farmhouse, where Leatherface (Jacks) is living.

The friends have become the latest victims to the psychotic cannibalistic family, where they need to try their best to survive or face becoming the latest dinner in the family.

Thoughts on Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Next Generation

Characters – Jenny is the shy member of the group, she always considered to be an outsider with the popular kids at school and is the only one that will do the rational things during the film, she understands how to get out of the problems, without being judgemental like the others. Vilmer is the leader of the family, he is out of his mind and is willing to hurt his own family to get the point across, he knows how to push everything to the limits. Leatherface does swing the chainsaw like we know, though he does seem to be the most human of the family, understand things might be wrong. Darla works in the local town, that will help the family with their connections.

PerformancesRenee Zellweger in one of her first roles here, does a good job as the final girl character without ever looking out of place. Matthew McConaughey is fun to watch as the villainous leader of the group, he is out of his mind with his character in this film. The rest of the cast are solid enough without needing to do much in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a group of prom aged students that end up becoming the latest targets of the cannibalistic family and must fight to survive. With this turning more into a slasher suddenly, we get the disposable characters in the friends, with the one final girl that is put through the most and has the biggest fight to survive from the family, it tries to build on the ideas in the previous films where the family is closer together with connection elsewhere, but ends up being too over the top for its own good. It can be watch to see just how bad it gets without needing to switch off though.

Comedy/HorrorThis is one film that could easily be a comedy because of how over the top everything is with McConaughey making you laugh more than he should, the horror doesn’t seem very effective in this film because of the comedic side of everything.

SettingsThe film does create the singular location for the family, which does look a dirty and you would imagine, the woods around though do make us feel like we are closer to society than the family would ever want to be.

Special EffectsThe effects aren’t the strongest, though being low budget you can let certain things off, because of camera angles certain scenes don’t work as well.


Scene of the Movie – Vilmer having the gun pointed at him.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too comedic for its own good.

Final Thoughts This is a bad horror film you can have a good time watching, it seems to just keep getting worse and you can’t look away.

Overall: Good bad Film.

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.