ABC Film Challenge – 90s Movies – # – Home Alone 3 (1997) Movie Review

Director: Raja Gosnell

Writer: John Hughes (Screenplay)

Starring: Alex D Linz, Olek Krupa, Rya Kihlstedt, Lenny von Dohlen, David Thornton, Haviland Morris

Plot: Alex Pruitt, an 8-year-old boy living in Chicago, must fend off international spies who seek a top-secret computer chip in his toy car.


Tagline – This Christmas, staying at home will be an adventure.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Home Alone 3 starts when a group of terrorists Petr (Krupa), Alice (Kihlstedt), Burton (Von Dohlen) and Earl (Thornton) lose a chip, forcing them to race to Chicago to get it back. They set up in a quiet neighbourhood, looking to get the job done quietly, but they are unaware of young Alex Pruitt (Linz) who has been off school with the chicken pots, seeing them break into the different homes.

Alex looks to stop the thieves and will need to make his own traps to make sure the terrorist don’t break into his own home.

Thoughts on Home Alone 3

ThoughtsHome Alone 3 is the latest film to come into the franchise, with this one putting the kid up against a group of terrorists who just want a computer chip, forcing the kid needing to defend his home. This does bring a bigger serious of peril that the kid will find himself in, even if the terrorist don’t plan on killing anyone, meaning you might end up having more sympathy for them. The traps created are a lot of fun and do feel like they are painful as they are planned for. The comedy from the film does seem to rely on how people react to each incident the characters go through. The performances are strong throughout, with the first supporting role from Scarlett Johansson being one you will remember for a while.

Final Thoughts Home Alone 3 is an easy to watch family film that the whole family can enjoy, despite never reaching the heights of the original.

ABC Film Challenge – 90’s Movies – F – The Full Monty (1997) Movie Review

Director: Peter Cattaneo

Writer: Simon Beaufoy (Screenplay)

Starring: Robert Carlyle, Tom Wilkinson, Mark Addy, Paul Barber, Steve Huison, Hugo Speer, Lesley Sharp, Emily Wolf

Plot: Six unemployed steel workers form a male striptease act. The women cheer them on to go for “the full monty” – total nudity.


Tagline – Six men. With nothing to lose. Who dare to go..

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Full Monty starts as Gaz (Carlyle) and Dave (Addy) two recently unemployed steel workers are struggling to find themselves new jobs, with themselves finding life difficult to get through, until they learn about the Chip n Dales. The pair find Lomper (Huison), Guy (Speer), Horse (Barber) and their old gaffer Gerald (Wilkinson) also struggling after unemployment.

When the six decide to try their luck at a striptease in their local town, they will find themselves needing to overcome their own obstacles about themselves in their last attempt to try and make money.

Thoughts on The Full Monty

Characters & Performances – Gaz has seen his life turned upside down, his wife has left him, he is about to lose the rights to see his kid, as he is looking to find a way to put his life back together. He is always looking to make money and when he learns the money behind a striptease, he looks to bring the guys back for their own striptease and to have enough money to still see his son. Robert Carlyle is great here, bringing the tough as nails character to life, despite all his inner vulnerabilities. Dave is the best friend that will find himself working with Gaz through the difference schemes to make money, he has started to become lifeless at home, losing the spark he once had in life. He is always worried about his weight, which is the biggest talking point in the film, showing us how a man can question how men talk about women. Mark Addy brings us the likeable character to life, being the heart and soul of the film. Gerald is the former gaffer to the guys, he has kept his unemployment a secret from his wife as he is looking for a new job, his dancing skills have grabs the attention of the guys as he looks to put them to use for the people he used to work with. Tom Wilkinson completes the main three members of the cast who all work wonderfully together. The rest of the characters do help address the other problems they would be facing in this world, as they look for their own reason to get out of their slumps, with the whole cast being brilliant here.

StoryThe story here follows six unemployed former steel workers that put their differences aside to put together a striptease after hearing the money that could be made from it. This is a story with so much more going on, with the deeper diving into the mass unemployment in certain areas, the damage is has done to the people, mostly the men who have lost their jobs, different reactions to cover for it and even touching on the darker side of suicidal thoughts when everything is taken away from them. We get to look a body image, agism and sexism, with this being one of the most complete scripts in years. It will give us the idea that people can come together for a better reason to make things better for everyone around them.

ThemesThe Full Monty is a comedy set in the backdrop of an area Sheffield that has been struck by a massive unemployment levels, showing us just how bleak the areas looks, even if it is bringing the people together more. While the story is a comedy, it will hold these moments back for the serious side of the film, which is why it is such a stand out.

 

The Full Monty is the full package of reality for people who must come together for their own better futures.

ABC Film Challenge – 90’s Movies – B – Bean (1997) Movie Review

Director: Mel Smith

Writer: Richard Curtis, Robin Driscoll (Screenplay)

Starring: Rowan Atkinson, Peter MacNicol, John Mills, Pamela Reed, Harris Yulin, Burt Reynolds

Plot: The bumbling Mr. Bean travels to America when he is given the responsibility of bringing a highly valuable painting to a Los Angeles museum.


Tagline – Be afraid, be very afraid, Mr. Bean has a passport.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Bean starts when Mr Bean (Atkinson) gets sent from the Royal National Gallery of London to LA to represent England in their gallery working with David Langley (MacNicol). With the Americans believing Mr Bean is a great art expect, they grant him all access to the gallery.

When a famous painting, Whistler’s Mother arrives, it doesn’t take long for Mr Bean to ruin the pieces, leading to David needing to go on a desperate mission to try and save his career.

Thoughts on Bean

Characters & Performances – Mr Bean is known as the slacker at the National Gallery of London who most board members want axed, but the chairman won’t allow it, he gets sent to America to mostly get rid of him. He doesn’t know a thing about art but is thrust into a world where they believe he is an expect, which is filled with his errors along the way, ones that will lead to him needing to comically try and fix. Rowan Atkinson became an international star with this role, while it might not be a character I enjoy watching, he commits to make a role that will enjoy laughing with. David Langley is the expect in the LA gallery knowing this latest piece of art will be a moment that changes his life, he welcomes Mr Bean into his home, but at a cost, as his family doesn’t want him around, Mr Bean could bring his life into chaos on levels he would never have imagined. Peter MacNicol does well in this role, which will see him needing to work off Rowan’s slapstick style. The supporting cast will all bring us a serious side that must react to the slapstick style of his comedy.

StoryThe story here follows Mr Bean as he is set to LA to get out of the hair of the British Gallery, here he finds himself in a position where the people believe he is an expect on art, only for his actions to cause more problems that he is used to getting involved in. this is an extended version of a typical Mr Bean skit, taking him into a world where he shouldn’t be involved in, while trying to have the heart of a family adventure. It doesn’t try to complicate a simple idea either which is could well have done like many other extended comedy show films.

ThemesBean is a comedy that will get the laughs if you like the slapstick style of Mr Bean, using the location to put Mr Bean in a new land, a place where he has never been, making him the tourist in this world. The straight faced reaction to most of what is going on with the American characters does help for parts of the film.

 

Bean is a comedy that might not get the laughs he wants to, but ends up coming off well enough for the fans of the style.

Franchise Weekend – Starship Troopers (1997) Movie Review

Director: Paul Verhoeven

Writer: Edward Neumeier (Screenplay) Robert A Heinlein (Book)

Starring: Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, Denise Richards, Jake Busey, Neil Patrick Harris, Clancy Brown, Seth Gilliam

Plot: Humans in a fascist, militaristic future wage war with giant alien bugs.


Tagline – Mankind just became an endangered species

Runtime: 2 Hour 9 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Instant Classic

Story: Starship Troopers starts in a world where humans are not at war with a bug planet across the galaxy, students and young people are expected to join the federal service to become citizens. Johnny Rico (Can Dien), Dizzy (Meyer), Carl (Harris) and Carmen (Richards) all have their sights set on enlisting, Johnny and Dizzy are mobile infantry, while Carmen has bigger sights of being a pilot and Carl has his sights set on military intelligence, with his mind reading ability.

While Rico is going through his training and constant battles with the flashy Ace (Busey) battling for squad leader, Carmen is flourishing in the flight academy, but this is just training, now they must go into combat against the giant deadly bugs.

Thoughts on Starship Troopers

Characters – Johnny Rico comes from a wealthy family that want to send him to Harvard, but he has other plans, he wants to become a citizen, which means he must join the military, here he excels in training until a mistakes sees him disgraced. He loses his family and will remaining fighting under a new squad leader, proving himself as one of the best soldiers in the infantry. Dizzy has spent her school life crushing over Rico, she follows him to mobile infantry, proving herself as one of the best soldiers. Carmen is the girlfriend of Johnny’s through school, she has set her sights on becoming a pilot in the Starfleet, something her grades could make easy for her, she proves an asset to the fleet rising up the ranks with ease. Ace is the rival of Rico’s in training, they both want squad leader and with the rivalry they become brothers in arms.

PerformancesCasper Van Dien in the leading role makes himself remember forever with his character, this will define his career without question. Dina Meyer shines too, while this cast is fantastic and understands just what movie they are in. Denise Richard has been criticised before, but here she works in the modern future world and Jake Busey add more comedy as times to his role.

StoryThe story here takes us to the future where humans are waged in a war with bugs from across the galaxy, we see how the soldiers and pilots are dealing with the increasing threat they are going to be facing. This story does present itself in a satirical look at the military behaviour and how it can become a propaganda machine forcing young people into joining under false promises, it also shows how humans will always look to conquer another area no matter how outnumbered or out of place they are in their invasion behaviour. Plenty of this story over accentuates the idea of what is going on, which will add moments of comedy.

Action/Sci-FiThe action in the film is war style military attacks with laser bullets flying literally everywhere and the bugs ripping bodies apart. The sci-fi side of the film shows us just how far the human race has come with transportation across the galaxy, despite not giving them the brains when it comes to war.

SettingsThe world created is fantastic with Earth looking futuristic without being all that different, while the bug planet feels like a battleground.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are also flawless, with a mix of practical and CGI which barely look like they have dated even after being over 20 years old.


Scene of the Movie – The first battle shows the scale of the war.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing really.

Final Thoughts This is one of the best sci-fi films you will see, it is wildly over the top and doesn’t miss a beat with style that knows just what the film is meant to be.

Overall: Fun, Brilliant and Entertaining.

Money Talks (1997) Movie Review

Director: Brett Ratner

Writer: Joel Cohen, Alex Sokolow (Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Tucker, Charlie Sheen, Heather Locklear, Elisa Neal, Paul Sorvino, David Lee McLain

Plot: Sought by police and criminals, a small-time huster makes a deal with a TV newsman for protection.


Tagline – They’re getting the lowdown on the high price of living.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Forgettable

Story: Money Talks starts as small-time criminal hustler Franklin Hatchett (Tucker) gets busted while TV reporter James Russell (Sheen) is trying to get a big story on criminals. When Franklin gets caught in the middle of a grand escape, he becomes targeted by the police for killing their own, only Franklin didn’t have anything to do with the escape, turning to James to help clear his name.

James plans to hide Franklin for the weekend by taking him to his wedding, which sees him trying to clear his name and clean up the mess that was created during the escape, now the unlikely couple are forced to work together from the dangerous criminals hunting for him.

Thoughts on Money Talks

Characters – Franklin Hatchett is a fast-talking small-time hustler that has been making a living on the streets getting tickets and just doing the odd deal, while illegal, it isn’t hurting anybody, he does get caught and sent to prison, only to get involved into the escape. He constantly gets himself in trouble by not being able to keep his mouth shut. James Russell is a TV reporter that is always looking for a big story, his latest centres around Franklin and once Franklin gets out of prison, he is the only one he can turn to, James is always ready to help his career no matter who he steps over. Grace and Paula are the loved ones of the two, they both get frustrated by the actions of their partners.

PerformancesChris Tucker is an actor that has a borderline between being entertaining or annoying, here he hits the annoying more often than not. Charlie Sheen doesn’t bring much to the film either, never looking like a desperate enough as a reporter. Sadly, nobody else gets a chance to do much in the film either.

StoryThe story here follows a small-time criminal that must turn to an ambitious reporter in hopes of clearing his name after a ruthless criminal and the police start trying to hunt him down. This is a story that tries to play into the buddy cop idea that have worked very well in the past and if you get a great partnership, you have something entertaining to watch, sadly, the two just don’t click they you would imagine and just become just a set of random scenes. The whole story just does seem to have a lot missing to make it feel connected which only just disappoints. By the time the story has finished it does seem to leave us trying to put together the bland story.

Action/Comedy/CrimeThe action in the film isn’t very impressive, while the comedy just misses more often than getting close to hitting, while the crime world again just could have been gritty that we see.

SettingsThe film is set in LA, which is always going to be filled with the criminal activity next to the luxury side of the world.


Scene of the Movie – Helicopter jump.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The lack of chemistry between Sheen and Tucker.

Final Thoughts This is a forgettable action comedy that doesn’t have any redeem qualities anyway and will just leave you trying your hardest to remember anything that happens.

Overall: Forgettable.