Sylvester Stallone Weekend – Driven (2001)

Director: Renny Harlin

Writer: Sylvester Stallone (Screenplay) Jan Skrentny, Neal Tabachnick (Story)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Burt Reynolds, Kip Pardue, Stacey Edwards, Til Schweiger, Gina Gershon, Estella Warren, Robert Sean Leonard

 

Plot: A young hot shot driver is in the middle of a championship season and is coming apart at the seams. A former CART champion is called in to give him guidance.


Tagline – Get ready for the race of your life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Sports Drama

 

Story: Driven starts as we get to see how a racing season is going, Beau Brandenburg (Schweiger) the reigning champion starts shinning until rookie driver Jimmy Bly (Pardue) starts becoming competition for the title. When Jimmy starts to fade, team manager Carl Henry (Reynolds) brings back former champion Joe Tanto (Stallone) to help keep the head on straight of the rookie driver.

With Joe back to be used as an experienced blocker to help Jimmy, it is Jimmy that will need to make the difficult decisions and with his brother and manager Demille Bly (Leonard) who is trying to control the young drivers ever movement. Can he get the title won on his rookie season or will the pressure get to him?

 

Thoughts on Driven

 

Characters – Joe Tanto was the once great driver, former champion and past his prime, still considered one for the experience factor. He needs to help guide the rookie who is destining to become champion, while facing his own personal regrets. Carl Henry is the owner of the team, he knows Jimmy will become champion and will do anything to make sure his team brings the title back. Jimmy Bly is the rookie making big waves in the sport, controlled by his brother to avoid the pressure that comes with being at the top. He makes the rookie mistakes and need guidance to become champion. Beau Brandenburg is the champion, the best in the game right now even if he can come of arrogant at times. Sophia is the girlfriend of Beau, she has been for years now and after a disagreement she befriends Jimmy adding extra tension between the two potential champions. Demille Bly is the brother and manager of Jimmy, he is trying to control every decision of his career, he is the closest to being the villain in the film.

PerformancesSylvester Stallone is solid enough for this film he fills in the mentor role well enough. Burt Reynolds as the team manager works for the film, we needed an older figure in this role. Kip Pardue does suit the rookie driver well even certain parts of the script are poor. Til Schweiger, Estella Warren and Robert Sean Leonard are good in the supporting roles which give them a chance to have fun with their roles.

StoryThe story follows a rookie facing a champion for an unlike season in race car driving, we see the good and bad moments for the whole field, the pressures thrown on the young driver, with a friendly rivalry being created between the two. We have the older mentor role needed to keep the head on the straight for the younger driver. While being a Formula One fan I can enjoy a good rivalry film which this does give us even if the races have been intensified for the cinematic audience. We get lesson to be learnt by the drivers, team and managers which this season will give us.

Action/SportsThe action in this film comes from the races, while the special effects used have dated horrendously the flat out racing is a join to watch. The sport side of the film gives us a look into the racing industry and just how dangerous it can be when racing for victory.

SettingsThe film takes us around the world to different race tracks used in the sport in real life.


Scene of the Movie –
The accident.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The special effects.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film the fans of racing will enjoy, it has good sequence even if the special effects are weak, it does feel like we are watch Cars the live action movie.

 

Overall: Racing fun film.

Rating

 

 

9/11 (2017)

Director: Martin Guigui

Writer: Steven James Golebiowski, Martin Guigui (Screenplay) Patrick James Carson (Play)

Starring: Charlie Sheen, Whoopi Goldberg, Gina Gershon, Luis Guzman, Wood Harris, Olga Fonda, Bruce Davison

 

Plot: A group of five people find themselves trapped in an elevator in the World Trade Center’s North Tower on 9/11. They work together, never giving up hope, to try to escape before the unthinkable happens.


Tagline – The world watched it, they lived it.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tasteless Thriller

 

Story: 9/11 starts as we meet our characters who work in the World Trade Centre, impending divorcing couple Jeffrey (Sheen), Eve (Gershon), janitor Eddie (Guzman), deliveryman Michael (Harris) and Tina (Fonda) who are in an elevator when the 9/11 attacks happen. Metzie (Goldberg) keeps an eye on the elevators and must use her skills to keep the people calm during the panic, leaving us to wonder if they will survive.

 

Thoughts on 9/11

 

Characters – Jeffrey was once a wall street wizard, now he faces divorce and weekends with his kid. He is one of the people trapped in the elevator, he becomes the voice of reason and calmness between the five. Eve is the wife soon to be ex-wife of Jeffrey, his work built their strain and she needs out of it now. Eddie is the janitor that knows the building but not the elevator. Metzie is trying to find a way out of the elevator for the survivors using as much knowledge as she can find.

Performances – Charlie Sheen in the leading role is very difficult to watch because we just can’t take him seriously anymore, while he does an ok job in the role we know we will never see the 80s Sheen again. The rest of the cast do seem like needed a pay day and are never believable in their roles.

StoryThe story is fictional and focuses on one of the darkest days in modern history, this makes the film difficult to watch because we do know thousands died in the event, watching a group try to figure out how to escape is a problem because it has been done before in horror, on a better level which makes this feel like it doesn’t need to be told in such a basic and poor manor.

ActionThe action mixed with drama doesn’t work on any level for the film.

SettingsThe film takes place for the most part in the elevator which should work, but every time we jump out we lose the sense we should have.


Scene of the Movie –
There isn’t one.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Charlie Sheen in the leading role.

Final ThoughtsThis is a tasteless movie that only seems to cause offence to the people who did die in the tragedy.

 

Overall: Poor unwatchable

Rating

 

 

Cocktail (1988)

Director: Roger Donaldson

Writer: Heywood Gould (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Bryan Brown, Elisabeth Shue, Lisa Banes, Laurence Luckinbill, Kelly Lynch, Gina Gershon

 

Plot: A talented New York City bartender takes a job at a bar in Jamaica and falls in love.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Barely Dated a Day

 

Story: Cocktail starts a Brian Flanagan (Cruise) returns from the services and heads to New York looking to walk into a successful job on wall street, he gets rejected everywhere due to his lack of qualifications. Finding a job in a bar as a bartender where he learns the art of the cocktail from Doug Coughlin (Brown). While studying he finds, himself failing once again but his cocktail reputation grows.

When Brian and Doug decide, they want to go into business together and open their own cocktail bar, but their friendship is broken and Brian goes out on his own to Jamaica to make the money to have his own cocktail bar. Falling in love with Jordan (Shue) he decides to let her go to following in Doug’s footsteps and marry a rich woman, but love will have control over him.

 

Thoughts on Cocktail

 

Characters/PerformanceBrian is an ex-service man that finds it hard to get a job without qualification, wow if this isn’t a relatable character or what? Brian finds to make money as a cocktail bartender but his friendship and romantic personality changes his path. Doug is the teacher to Brian, he teaches the tricks of the trade and how to get away with everything. Jordan is the woman that Brian falls for but only finds a way to make a mess of it.

Performance wise, Tom Cruise is good in this leading role showing that he was always going to be a big star for years to come. Bryan Brown is good in his role with Elisabeth Shue doing a good job through the parts of the film she is in.

StoryThe story here isn’t the most important thing going on here as it isn’t the most interesting part of the film. The part of the story that does stick out is the fact we see how hard it is to find a job without qualifications. There is a romantic angle which is fine without being anything stand out in the film and the success the guy faces also works well.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy is light in places but nothing fancy, the romantic side is something we have seen before but is mostly about a guy that screws up and gets a second chance somehow.

SettingsThe settings all work for the film showing the New York setting, the Jamaica setting as well as the high life and lower life the characters find themselves in.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun and enjoyable movie that has poor scores everywhere but it is hard to find anyone that doesn’t like it.

 

Overall: Enjoyable film.

Rating

 

 

Red Heat (1988)

redDirector: Walter Hill

Writer: Harry Kleiner, Walter Hill, Troy Kennedy-Martin (Screenplay) Walter Hill (Story)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jim Belushi, Peter Boyle, Ed O’Ross, Laurence Fishburne, Gina Gershon

 

Plot: A tough Russian policeman is forced to partner up with a cocky Chicago police detective when he is sent to Chicago to apprehend a Georgian drug lord who killed his partner and fled the country.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Standard Crime Comedy

 

Story: Red Heat starts as we follow Ivan Danko (Schwarzenegger) a Russian police officer trying to crack down on the war of drugs in Russia, but when his partner is killed by Viktor Rostavili (O’Ross), Ivan must travel to America to get his on revenge. Over in America Chicago we meet cocky police officer Art Ridzik (Belushi) who is on his last warning and not helping himself.

The two have to work together to track down Viktor on the streets of Chicago as the two become the unlikely partners with very opposite personalities.

Red Heat is an action crime comedy that follows the traditions of the opposites having to work together to achieve a common goal. It isn’t the most original storyline wise but does the job to the best of its abilities. The settings are all good for Chicago being used with the reputation it has. The comedy misses in places as they don’t let Belushi free to do what he is best at.

As for the acting Schwarzenegger and Belushi do work well with each other even if the accents come of slight strange in places. The villain is pretty much generic performance and the police chief will we all know how they turn up to be the same in these films. The rest of the supporting cast is pretty generic for the genre but again nothing special.

 

Overall: Odd couple action crime comedy that hits in place and misses in others and just doesn’t bring the heat.

Rating

 card

 

Killer Joe (2011)

logoDirector: William Friedkin

Writer: Tracy Letts (Screenplay) Tracy Letts (Play)

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Emile Hirsch, Juno Temple, Thomas Hayden Church, Gina Gershon, Marc Macaulay

 

Plot: When Chris (Hirsch) gets himself into trouble he comes up with a morally questionable decision to get himself out of his money troubles. He plans to hire a hit man Joe (McConaughey) to kill his mother and split the insurance money with his father Ansel (Church) and sister Dottie (Temple). After finding out Chris can’t pay upfront Joe offers to keep Dottie as a retainer until he can pay.

 

Verdict: A dark thriller

Story: When it comes to a thriller we usually get an easy to understand good and bad character with a few plot twists thrown in. This tests the moral boundaries for committing a crime for money. The story leaves each scene with you guessing what will happen next, what the character are capable of. Mixing everything together you get a group of very unlikeable characters committing a morally wrong crime to solve a problem that one person has. (8/10)

 

Actor Review: Matthew McConaughey – Killer Joe, a police detective who also works as a hit man. He gets hired and takes a shine to Dottie to complete his job. This is the beginning of the change in direction for Matthew’s career and much darker role than previously seen and he does shine in it. Star Performance Award, Smooth Talker Award, Scariest Character Award (9/10)

 joe

Actor Review: Emile Hirsch – Chris a gambler who has come up with a twisted plan to get the money he needs to clear his debts. Emile creates a very unlikeable character that is something I was not aware he could do after a string a goodie, goodie characters. (7/10)

hirsch

Actor Review: Juno Temple – Dottie she offers a chance to see how blissfully innocent a younger family member can be in the scenario created. Does a great job and creates a performance shines through against all the dark characters. (9/10)

 juno

Actor Review: Thomas Hayden Church – Ansel, Chris father who has been remarried and reluctantly goes along with the plan to help Dottie. Good supporting role but doesn’t shine as well as fellow co-stars. (6/10)

 thomas

Actor Review: Gina Gershon – Sharla, Ansel’s new wife who doesn’t get on with Chris and hides a bigger secret. Good supporting role that creates an even more unlikable character than the rest. (7/10)

 gina

Director Review: William Friedkin – Good direction to create this very dark thriller. (8/10)

 

Crime: Good crime that tests morals. (8/10)

Thriller: The tension builds up throughout and the final twenty odd minutes were edge of the seat. (9/10)

Believability: There would be people this twisted in real life. (2/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: The settings are mixed throughout the only setting that stays the same is the caravan park which shows the type of characters you will be dealing with. (7/10)

 

Suggestion: I feel this is one that will only be for certain audience, it is very dark, bloody and has too much unnecessary nudity. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Most of the final scene.

Worst Part: One part of the final scene awkward and uncomfortable to watch.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No

 

Overall: Dark Twist Thriller

Rating 70