ABC Film Challenge – 1990s Movies – U – U.S. Marshals (1998) Movie Review

Director: Stuart Baird

Writer: John Pogue (Screenplay) Roy Huggins (Characters)

Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Wesley Snipes, Robert Downey Jr, Joe Pantoliano, Daniel Roebuck, Tom Wood, LaTanya Richardson Jackson, Irene Jacob

Plot: U.S. Marshal Samuel Gerard and his team of Marshals are assigned to track down Sheridan, who has been accused of a double-murder.

Tagline – The cop who won’t stop is back. But this time he’s chasing down a lot more than a fugitive.

Runtime: 2 Hours 11 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: U.S. Marshals starts when Mark (Snipes) is arrested for a double-homicide he didn’t commit and on his transfer on a prison plane, with US Marshal Samuel Gerard (Jones), the plane crashes, giving him a chance to escape.

With Mark on the run, Samuel puts together his team along with an agent from outside his circle Royce (Downey Jr), who isn’t willing to play by his rules. Mark is searching for the truth about the murders he is accused of committing.

Thoughts on U.S. Marshals

ThoughtsU.S. Marshals will see Samuel Gerard return to track down another fugitive free in the US, like the first film, the man is innocent, with his job just to capture the guy before what could be a danger to the world is freed, in his eyes. Much like the first film, we are left with the mystery of what is really going on, with a bigger picture this time. Tommy Lee Jones shines as Gerard, being the dominate leader of the team, while Wesley Snipes was on top of his game in this era of films. The action is just as big, with the plane crash starting things off, before the relentless amounts of chase sequences through different territories looking for answers. The other big plus is that you don’t need to have seen the first film, because it is only another story for Samuel Gerard a US Marshal that is assigned to track down criminals.

Final Thoughts U.S. Marshals is an all out action thriller never giving you a chance to breath.

ABC Film Challenge – 1990s Movies – N – The Negotiator (1998) Movie Review

Director: F Gary Gray

Writer: James DeMonaco, Kevin Fox (Screenplay)

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Kevin Spacey, David Morse, Ron Rifkin, John Spencer, J.T. Walsh, Siobhan Fallon, Paul Giamatti

Plot: In a desperate attempt to prove his innocence, a skilled police negotiator accused of corruption and murder takes hostages in a government office to gain the time he needs to find the truth.

Tagline – Chicago’s two top negotiators must face each other. One of them is holding hostages. The other is demanding surrender. And everyone’s holding their breath.

Runtime: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Negotiator starts when Chicago’s best negotiator Danny Roman (Jackson) finds his life turned upside down when his partner is murdered while investigating corruption within the department. Danny becomes framed for the murder, facing defeat in the courtroom, Danny takes a drastic step.

Danny takes the Internal Affairs office hostage, demanding another negotiator from outside the department Chris Sabian (Spacey) to talk to him, demanding to get the truth of his innocence out and clear his name.

Thoughts on The Negotiator

ThoughtsThe Negotiator is an action thriller that will see a specialist negotiator using his skills to take hostages and maintain control of the situation while the whole police force is trying to take him down. This is a story that will keep us guessing from start to finish, as we look to learn the truth, with the one thing we truly know being that Danny is innocent. This is a story that is relentless once Danny takes control where the 2 hours 20 minutes will fly by without even considering what is going on or letting you take a breath. Samuel L Jackson and Kevin Spacey proved they were on the best of their games during this film. We have a great supporting cast too, with Paul Giamatti getting plenty of laughs along the way. For the late 1990’s this is one of the very best thrillers you will see.

Final Thoughts The Negotiator is one of the best thrillers of the 1990s.

ABC Film Challenge – 1990s Movies – M – Mercury Rising (1998) Movie Review

Director: Harold Becker

Writer: Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal (Screenplay) Ryne Douglas Pearson (Novel)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Miko Hughes, Alec Baldwin, Chi McBride, Kim Dickens, Robert Stanton

Plot: Shadowy elements in the NSA target a nine-year old autistic savant for death when he is able to decipher a top secret code.

Tagline – Someone knows too much.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Mercury Rising starts as disgraced FBI agent Art Jeffries (Willis) finds himself drawn into a case of what is thought to be a missing child Simon Lynch (Hughes) an autistic 9-year-old who solved an unbreakable government code.

Nick Kudrow (Baldwin) wants this covered up, sending assassins to clean up any loose ends to make sure this secret code is safe, while Art isn’t going to let another child die under his watch.

Thoughts on Mercury Rising

ThoughtsMercury Rising is an action thriller that will see a FBI agent doing everything in his power to protect an autistic young boy who has become a target of the NSA. The first thing that will need to be addressed is the way the autistic boy is addressed, being dismissed by most of the film, with language that would never be used or accepted today. Outside of this flaw in the film, we do get a great story that will give us an FBI agent that will do anything to make sure he does the right thing even if everyone else is trying to hunt him down, it will follow a traditional style of storytelling that we have seen many times before, with some people willing to help, while others look to get in the way. Bruce Willis is still in his good form as the agent doing the right thing, while Alec Baldwin will always make fore a strong political villain. The action is routine, with lots of shooting going on around which is held back on more than you would have imagined due to the struggles of Simon around the noises. This is one of the more underrated thrillers of the late 90s one that is entertaining throughout.

Final Thoughts Mercury Rising is an intense entertaining thriller.

ABC Film Challenge – 90’s Movies – D – Doctor Dolittle (1998) Movie Review

Director: Betty Thomas

Writer: Nat Mauldin, Larry Levin (Screenplay) Hugh Lofting (Story)

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Ossie Davis, Oliver Platt, Peter Boyle, Richard Schiff, Kristen Wilson, Jeffrey Tambor

Plot: A doctor discovers that he can communicate with animals.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Doctor Dolittle starts when Doctor John Dolittle (Murphy) is preparing for his biggest business deal with his doctors surgery with this partners, Dr Weller (Platt) and Dr Reiss (Schiff). With the deal pulling him away from his family, Lisa (Wilson), Charissa (Symone) and Maya (Pratt), John gets involved in a car accident avoiding a dog.

This accident will change his life, leading to John learning or remembering he can communicate with animals, leading to him getting caught up in helping the animals in need, with him being the only one that can help solve their problems, while maintain his is not going insane.

Thoughts on Doctor Dolittle

Characters & Performances – Dr John Dolittle is a well-respect doctor who is seeing his practise looking to bought out with his partners, he has the picture perfect family, with everything together in life. When he is involved in an accident, he starts to be able to communicate with animals, helping them out medically, while trying to prove to everyone that he isn’t losing his mind. Eddie Murphy is great in this role, he handles to comedy with ease through the film, while bringing a more sensible side to everything he is going through. Dr Weller and Dr Reiss are the partners that are preparing for the takeover, Weller is all about the money, while Reiss is more cautions about losing the personal approach to treating people. Both Oliver Platt and Richard Schiff both make us believe the two characters care about two different things. We get to meet the family that fill in the stable side of John’s life. The animals add a lot to the film with Lucky the dog being the friend that John needs, with many of the others getting laughs along the way.

StoryThe story here follows a successful doctor that finds his stable life turned on itself head when he starts being able to communicate with animals, putting a takeover, his family and the life he knows at risk for doing the right thing. This is of course the remake, that brings Eddie Murphy into the central characters, bringing his comedy to the story, which is mostly reactional to each different animal that visits him. The idea that we are seeing him battle with himself to prove he isn’t losing his mind works very well for the story, giving us plenty of comedy along the way, showing us the risk reward for doing the right things.

ThemesDoctor Dolittle is a family comedy that will get laughs along the way from the different reactions that Murphy brings to meeting each animal and will give us a big heart with how John connects more with his daughter for the first time in a long time. We get the san Francisco backdrop, which will give us the hectic life that John is current living too.


Doctor Dolittle is a fun family comedy that will get laughs along the way with a story with a nice heart.

Taxi (1998) Movie Review

Director: Gerard Pires

Writer: Luc Besson (Screenplay)

Starring: Samy Naceri, Frederic Diefenthal, Marion Cotillard, Manuela Gourary, Emma Wiklund, Bernard Farcy

Plot: To work off his tarnished driving record, a hip taxi driver must chauffeur a loser police inspector on the trail of German bank robbers.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun

Story: Taxi starts as slick pizza delivery man and scooter racer Daniel (Naceri) finally gets his dream job, as a taxi driver in Marseilles, his driving skills means he can complete the fares which others wouldn’t get completed. Police officer Emilien (Diefenthal) is still struggling to pick up driving, which is making his own position a problem, when the latest job is to stop German thieves.

When the two meet, Emilien sees a chance to redeem himself, while letting Daniel off the misdemeanours he has been committing behind the wheel, as the unlikely duo look to capture the German thieves.

Thoughts on Taxi

Characters – Daniel is a speed demon, he races scooters and once he gets his taxi licence, he uses this passion for racing as a challenge to get fares to destination on time, only this sees him speeding with Emilien in his car, needing to make up for his mistake, he offers to help Emilien crack the case he is working on, as the two become friends. Emilien is a clumsy cop, he can’t pick up driving, with his actions leading to more problems, he knows his time is limited and uses his new found friendship to crack the case that will impress the super intendant. The pair work well together showing they can fill the weaknesses they both have. Lilly is Daniel’s girlfriend that is always missing the chance to spend time with him. Camille is Emilien’s mother that is the only person he has in his life, with her ever positive mood reflecting onto him.

PerformancesSamy Naceri and Frederic Diefenthal together are great to watch, with excellent chemistry together through the whole film. Marion Cotillard in the supporting role is fun, but we don’t get to see enough of her character.

StoryThe story here follows a speed demon taxi driver that reluctantly joins forces with a down on his luck cop to try and take down a group of German thieves in France. This is a buddy comedy, with two different people working together for the greater good, the pair get laughs as they plan for the next robbery. It does show us how sometimes you must find a way to outsmart the criminal and is designed to get more flash out of the car chases, with the comedy in the partnership. We don’t need to get much deeper with everything, letting the simple idea shine through.

Action/ComedyThe action in the film is very entertaining, with flash car chases all the way through, with the comedy coming from seeing how the two as they get through the days together.

SettingsThe film is set in Marseilles, which does bring together a couple of tighter streets and a different location for the car chases, that we would have seen before.

Scene of the Movie – The final chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough of Lilly.

Final Thoughts Fun action comedy that doesn’t hold back on the action, while letting the comedy flow nicely.

Overall: Enjoyable.

Signature Entertainment presents Taxi on Digital HD July 31 and on Amazon Prime August 3rd