Martin Scorsese Weekend – Raging Bull (1980)

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writer: Paul Schrader, Mardik Martin (Screenplay) Jake LaMotta, Joseph Carter, Peter Savage (Book)

Starring: Robert De Niro, Cathy Moriarty, Joe Pesci, Frank Vincent, Nicholas Colasanto, Maria Gallo

 

Plot: An emotionally self-destructive boxer’s journey through life, as the violence and temper that leads him to the top in the ring destroys his life outside it.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Over Hyped Boxing Film

 

Story: Raging Bull starts in 1941 the Bronx, New York City where we meet boxer Jake La Motta (De Niro) and his promoter, sparing partner and brother Joey (Pesci). The two look to set up the next fighter even though the married Jake spots the 15-year-old Vickie (Moriarty) who has connections with the mob.

Through the 40’s Jake remains unbeaten and marries Vickie and on the verge of a potential title fight. With his career taking off, his personal life is starting to fall apart as he becomes paranoid about what Vickie is doing with his violent side coming through.

 

Thoughts on Raging Bull

 

Characters/PerformanceJake is a brilliant boxer, one of the best of his generation but his out the ring temper causes more problems in his life as he is insecure about his wife’s loyalty, his brother’s loyalty and the people in his life. Vickie is the long-suffering wife that must deal with the temper of Jake while trying to retain a personal life against his wishes. Joey is the brother of Jake who also trains and books his fights but the two are always at conflict with each other.

Performance wise, De Niro is great through this film and you can see why people rave of his performance but I feel and we know he is capable of even better now. Pesci does a good job in what must have been a break through role for him. With Moriarty in her debut hanging with the big names very well.

StoryThe story does follow the career of Jake La Motta from small time boxer to champion to what happens to him after his career in the ring is over, we follow his paranoia in his personal life which comes out in his aggression. If you are into your boxing history you will enjoy the story otherwise you might not connect as well.

Biography/SportsLooking at the career is interesting but I do feel other boxing films are painted a more interesting career, the boxing itself looks fantastic through the film.

SettingsThe settings show us the time we are seeing the events unfold in which is done well throughout.

Final ThoughtsThis is a boxing film that I have heard huge things about, but I didn’t find myself getting engaged with the story in the way I was expecting and found elements of this film kind of boring.

 

Overall: This is one of the most popular boxing films of all time but it won’t make the top of any of my lists.

Rating

 

 

Kindergarten Cop (1990)

copDirector: Ivan Reitman

Writer: Murray Salem, Herschel Weingrod, Timothy Harris (Screenplay) Murray Salem (Story)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penelope Ann Miller, Pamela Reed, Linda Hunt, Richard Tyson, Carroll Baker, Cathy Moriarty

 

Plot: A tough cop is given his most difficult assignment ever: to masquerade as a kindergarten teacher in order to find a drug dealer.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Arnold

 

Story: Kindergarten Cop starts with Detective John Kimble (Schwarzenegger) tracking his prime suspect Cullen Crisp Jr (Tyson) who is searching for his ex-wife who is on the run from him. When Kimble finally gets his man he needs to locate Cullen’s ex-wife to finally put him away which means teaming up with Detective Phoebe O’Hara (Reed) and go undercover as a Kindergarten teacher.

The plan goes wrong early on when O’Hara becomes sick meaning Kimble has to take over the undercover role. Kimble trying to control the class becomes his hardest mission and trying to work out who the mother is just keeps becoming a difficult task with many leads from his class of Kindergarteners.

Kindergarten Cop takes the undercover cop genre putting a nice twist on it to make this also have the one man out of his comfort zone comedy. The action side of the story is toned down a lot but this isn’t a bad thing because we don’t really need this to be too action heavy. The crime side of the story shows that innocent victims can be the child but more importantly this film does show us the serious side that suffering child do go through if not dealt with accordingly. This is a great entertaining crime comedy that everyone does a great job in.

 

Actor Review

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Detective John Kimble has spent years of his police career trying to bring down Cullen Crisp, when he finally gets his man he must locate his missing wife that can finally convict him of all his crimes. Finding the wife means going undercover as a kindergarten teacher to find the son but this turns out to be a lot harder than Kimble had planned. Arnold shows how he can handle both action and comedy with this performance.

Penelope Ann Miller: Joyce Palmieri is a teacher at the school that Kimble takes a liking too. She has a son that is in Kimble’s class as her and Kimble get close she becomes one of his leads. Penelope is good in this role where we see both sides of her character.

Pamela Reed: Detective Phoebe O’Hara is the partner Kimble has to work with, she was meant to be the one to go undercover but when she gets sick she has to take the back seat. The two are an odd couple which adds to extra comedy in the film. Pamela is good as the sidekick and opposite to Arnold.

Richard Tyson: Cullen Crisp Jr is the man that Kimble has been tracking down but not before he learns about the location of his ex-wife who can put him away for the rest his life. Richard is good as this cocky crime boss.

Support Cast: Kindergarten Cop has a supporting cast which includes the fellow teachers, cops, mothers and most importantly the children who help Kimble unlock the case.

Director Review: Ivan ReitmanIvan gives us a good crime comedy that has a unique twist on the undercover cop story.

 

Action: Kindergarten Cop has action which is needed for the film but isn’t action heavy with just chase scenes being involved.

Comedy: Kindergarten Cop uses the situation to create the comedy as we Arnold in the position we would never imagine to be in.

Crime: Kindergarten Cop throws us into the world where we follow a cop tracking down a criminal, this is all easy to follow and helps the story out along the way.

Settings: Kindergarten Cop takes us to a small town for the most part of this setting as we see it be a place where people look to start a new life in.
Special Effects
: Kindergarten Cop has effects you would expect to see in this without needing to turn to them.

Suggestion: Kindergarten Cop is one I do think every could enjoy from start to finish. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Training the kids.

Worst Part: Television editing this film down.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Sadly, we are having.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too:

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $26 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

Tagline: An undercover cop in a class by himself.

 

Overall: One of Arnold’s best and most underrated pieces of work.

Ratingcard

 

 

Casper (1995)

lgoDirector: Brad Silberling

Writer: Sherri Stoner, Deanna Oliver (Screenplay) Joseph Oriolo (Characters)

Starring: Christina Ricci, Bill Pullman, Cathy Moriarty, Eric Idle, Ben Stein, Don Novello

Plot: A paranormal expert and his daughter bunk in an abandoned house populated by 3 mischievous ghosts and one friendly one.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Delightful Family Film

Story: Casper starts with two kids going to the abandoned house to get a photo only to meet Casper before running scared. Carrigan (Moriarty) and her lawyer Paul Plutzker (Idle) inheriting the manor house which they discover has a hidden treasure but is haunted by the friendly Casper but three mischievous ghosts Stretch, Stinkie and Fatso.

Casper decides to solve his own problem by getting Carrigan to call noted ghost shrink Dr James Harvey (Pullman) who along with his daughter Kat (Ricci) try to solve the problem. While Casper and Kat become friends Dr Harvey has to deal with the mischievous ghosts, but with the dead and the living having problems that each help solve them.

Casper is a family film that could easily be loved by all, it shows what it is like for a travelling teenager who gets forced into moving because of family issues. It tackles the idea of trying to fit in be in adults, children or ghosts. I think the whole family can enjoy certain part of this film and it doesn’t resort to immature jokes.

Actor Review

Bill Pullman: Dr James Harvey is the man who tries to cure ghosts problems to help them move onto the next life. He has been searching for ghosts so he can see his late wife again but makes his teenage daughter travel around with him against her will. Bill gives a good performance showing how he can pull off comedy too.

Christina Ricci: Kathleen Kat Harvey is the teenage daughter of Dr Harvey who has to go around with her father as he tries to solve ghosts personal problems, she doesn’t get a chance to make friends with her limited time in each town but this latest house could give her a chance when she meets Casper. Christina continued to show she was going to become a show with another great performance.kat

Cathy Moriarty: Carrigan Crittenden has inherited the manor house but when she learns that there is a treasure inside she needs to find a way to get rid f the ghosts inhabiting the manor house. Cathy is only a supporting character but plays the stuck up woman who is used to getting whatever she wants really well.

Eric Idle: Paul Dibbs Plutzkeer is the lawyer of Carrigan who gets treated like crap because she is used to getting everything she ever wants, he ends up becoming thee bumbling idiot of the film. Eric shows off his comic deadpan style in the role where he always looks slightly slow to react to anything.

Character: Casper is the friendly ghost who just wants to make a friend, he gets treated like a door mat by his Uncle’s but when the Harvey’s move in he sees this as an opportunity to make that long awaited friend. Casper is a brilliant addition to the film world and is the first computer generated main character and original friendly ghost.casper

Characters: Stretch, Stinkie, Fatso who are the mischievous ghosts who live in the manor who just like to scare people and make Casper their own slave. They aren’t the most deadly of ghosts but just enjoy themselves. Stretch, Stinkie, Fatso all make good comic supporting characters in the film.

Support Cast: Casper has a supporting cast that includes the school students and some brilliant cameos.

Director Review: Brad Silberling Brad does a great job directing this family comedy that isn’t over the top.

Comedy: Casper has well timed comedy with plenty of reference throughout the film giving us enough laughs without being too many.

Family: Casper brings us a story that the whole family can enjoy with reference all can understand.

Fantasy: Casper brings us into a fantasy world of friendly ghosts that just never passed over rather than them being all horror levels.

Settings: Casper keeps most of the film inside the manor house where the Harvey’s try to understand the ghosts, this works because we don’t need to have too many location for this film.
Special Effects: Casper has great effects for the time showing how far we had come even if certain things look weaker now they still are a lot better than certain ones we see.

Suggestion: Casper is one the whole family can sit down and enjoy. (Family Time Watch)

Best Part: The Halloween party.

Worst Part: I would like to have seen a little bit more comedy.

Funniest Scene: The drinking night between the mischievous ghosts and James.

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: You could have a couple during the final act.

Chances of Sequel: It has sequels

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $100 Million

Budget: $50 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline: Who says there’s no such thing as ghosts?

Trivia: During the filming Christina Ricci and Bill Pullman had to talk to tennis balls in place of the ghosts while the digital ghost were added later on.

Overall: A film the whole family can enjoy filled with laughs and fresh feeling.

Scorecard Ratingcard