ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – H – The Hurricane (1999)

Director: Norman Jewison

Writer: Armyan Bernstein, Dan Gordon (Screenplay) Rubin ‘Hurricane’ Carter, Sam Chaiton Terry Swinton (Book)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Vicellous Shannon, Deborah Kara Unger, Liev Schreiber, John Hannah, Dan Hedaya, Debbi Morgan

 

Plot: The story of Rubin “Hurricane” Carter, a boxer wrongly imprisoned for murder, and the people who aided in his fight to prove his innocence.


Tagline – Based on the inspirational true story of a champion.

Runtime: 2 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Incredible Battle for Freedom

 

Story: The Hurricane starts as we see Rubin Carter (Washington) win his first boxing title, but not he is in prison for what he claims is a crime he never committed, a murder. In prison he has written a book to tell his side of the story and his life. When his book is published it goes through the system until 7-years later Lesra (Shannon) picks it up with his home tutors Sam (Schreiber), Terry (Hannah) and Lisa (Unger).

As Lesra reads more of the book he learns how hard the life of Rubin had been with a white cop constantly targeting him including the framing of the murders. Lesra becomes the one young man that will try to defend Rubin and over turn the charges given to him with a new case and a fair jury.

 

Thoughts on The Hurricane

 

Characters – Rubin ‘The Hurricane’ Carter was a champion boxer, he had to overcome the race discrimination that was still flowing through America, targeted by one cop who wants him behind bars. Found guilty of a murder he never committed having given up hope of ever getting released his book sheds new light on the case. When he becomes friends with Lesra and his guardians his hope of freedom is restored. Lesra is a young man that gets taken in by three Canadians who want to give him an education, he gets inspired by Rubin’s book and wants to help him become free for his wrongful imprisonment. Lisa, Sam and Terry are the three guardians of Lesra who end up investigating the case trying to shed new light on the evidence that has been put in the trials before. These characters are all based on real people, they show us just how hard the people worked to clear one man’s name when other wouldn’t or couldn’t.

PerformancesDenzel Washington received one of his Oscar nominations for this role, you can see why because he is fantastic in this leading role, having to go through a body transformation for only limited boxing time too, which shows his dedication to the role. Vicellous Shannon is the least known of this cast and he shows the enthusiasm to help his character see the bright future. Unger, Schreiber and Hannah are actors you know you will always get great performances from and this is no difference even if Hannah’s accent is questionable at times.

StoryThe story focuses on the real case of Rubin Carter, a wrongfully committed prisoner who is running low on options to find his freedom until young man and his guardians come to help with the case. This story shows the racial problems that America had during the 60’s and 70’s in a time where times were changing we still had victims to the old guard that didn’t want to change. It shows how hope could help guide one man to his freedom even after people had almost given up on him.

Biopic/SportsThe sports side of this film is a well-constructed boxing match, but this is only used once because it ruined the career of the fighter. The biopic shows how the life was changed by a wrongful conviction and needing to find a way to get out of prison.

SettingsThe settings show the different locations Rubin would be in out of prison, how confined he felt in jail and where the Lesra and his family have come from to help free him.


Scene of the Movie –
The trial.

That Moment That Annoyed Me John Hannah’s accent doesn’t work.

Final ThoughtsThis is a biopic that is very strong, it has brilliant performances from the whole cast, a story that is almost unbelievable to think it true becomes a reality for Rubin Carter.

 

Overall: Must watch for Biopic fans.

Rating

 

 

The Mummy Tomb Of The Dragon Emperor (2008)

Director: Rob Cohen
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Jet Li, Maria Bello, John Hannah, Michelle Yeoh, Luke Ford, Isabella Leong, Anthony Wong Chau Sang, Russel Wong, Liam Cunningham, David Calder

This third installment on The Mummy movies in based in China rather than Egypt so no Imhotep this time. Starting off with the traditional back story following the evil emperor Han (Jet Li) and after being cured by sorceress Zi Yuan (Michelle Yeoh) Han and his army are turned into a terracotta army a lost in time.

We now have a more grown up Alex (Luke Ford) on an archaeological dig finds the terracotta army along with his professor Roger Wilson (David Calder) and take the Emperor Han back to the museum for an exhibit. On the other side of the world Rick (Brendan Fraser) and Evy O’Connell (Maria Bello) are asked to escort The Eye of Shangri-La to China. All the family meet up in Jonathan (John Hannah) club in China.

While passing on the relic at the museum Roger Wilson teams up with General Yang (Anthony Wong Chau Sang) to betray the O’Connells and raise Emperor Han who sets of on a rampage escape through China. With the help of mysterious young lady Lin (Isabella Leong) the O’Connells attempt in vein to stop Han’s escape. With the help of one of Rick’s old buddies Mad Dog Maguire (Liam Cunningham) the O’Connells and Lin must now race across China visiting ancient ruins and finding the mythical fountain of Youth and stop Emperor Han from taking over the world.

The story is a good story with the twists of seeing and learning on Chinese myths including Yetis, even tho it is very similar to the original Mummy movie going back to the basic ideas losing the whole reincarnation back story built in the Mummy returns. Another couple of things that weaken this movie in a comparison to the first two is no Stephen Sommers or Rachel Weisz.

Overall the basic action adventure in products just not the high standards we would be used to Brendan Fraser and John Hannah both put in their good performances while Maria Bello as the concerned mother more than adventurous Liberian. Jet Li villain seems more ruthless than Imhotep but was always a fighter who wanted it all rather than a guy who would do anything for love.

My rating 78%

The Mummy Returns (2001)

Director: Stephen Sommers
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Oded Fehr, Dwayne Johnson, Freddie Boath, Patricia Velasquez, Alun Armstrong, Adewale Akinnuoye-Adbaje, Shaun Parkes

This time we start even further back in ancient Egypt with the Scorpion King (Dwayne Johnson) as a warrior who is about to loses a war and is exiled to the desert, on the brink off death he make a deal with Anubis to defeat all his foes, Anubis accepts and sends an unbeatable army who conquer all. After this the Scorpion King is taken in to a bracelet where he must wait to be awaken when someone puts on his bracelet.

Almost forgotten from history Evy (Rachel Weisz) Rick (Brendan Fraser) and their son Alex (Freddie Boath) locate the Scorpion King’s bracelet better known as Bracelet of Anubis are return to the rather posh mansion where they meet Jonathan (John Hannah) pretend to be Rick to impress a woman. Back in another part of Egypt an expedition to Hamanutra to recover the remains of Imhetop (Aronld Vosloo) lead by Baltus Hafez (Alun Armstrong) a curator at the London museum and Meela Nais (Patricia Velasquez) who seems to know too much information. After locating the body and the book of the dead they head back to London to steal the bracelet of Anubis from the O’Connell’s.

Alex trying to hide that he opened the case with the bracelet put its on and is shown a location. Lock-Nah (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and his men kidnap Evy and steal the case of the bracelet of Anubis leaving Rick, John, Alex and Ardeth Bay (Oded Fehr) to go and save her. As we learn some of the consequences of Alex putting on the bracelet just the apocalypse this time.

After Baltus Hafez, Meela Nais and Lock-Nah bring Imhotep back to life and he in return brings some mummies back to life to kill Rick and Ardeth Bay for saving Evy, we have a great chase through London in double Decker bus fighting these mummies before Lock-Nah kidnaps Alex after figuring out he has the bracelet and they head off back to Egypt. Rock. Evy and Arbeth bay follow and with the help of an old buddy of Rick’s Izzy (Shaun Parkes) they race across Egypt to find their son and save the world again by stopping the Scorpion King and his army rising from the dead.

We get a lot more reincarnation back story learning how some characters are more important to each other than the original lead us to believe. With some stunning landscapes this is one sequel that could actually be considered better than the original. Also having back story between Lock-Nah and Ardeth Bay gives scenes with the two of them have a nice added tension.

As an action adventure fan i would consider this one of my favourites knowing nearly all the lines shows how many times i have watched this movie with incredible re watch value. Strong story line gives all watching something to keep them interested but you may need to check out The Mummy (1999) to understand all relationships fully.

My overall rating is 95%

The Mummy (1999)

Director; Stephen Sommers
Starring: Brendan Fraser, Rachel Weisz, John Hannah, Arnold Vosloo, Kevin j. O’Connor, Oded Fehr, Jonathan Hyde, Erick Avari, Omid Djalili, Patricia Velasquez

Starting in ancient Egypt High Priest Imhotep (Arnold Vosloo) has a forbidden love with the Pharaoh’s mistress Anck Su Namun (Patricia Velasquez) only for Imhotep to run and Anck Su Namun to kill the Pharaoh and then herself. The Pharaoh’s bodyguards Capture Imhotep and his soldiers and puts them to death leaving the most gruesome death for Imhotep himself the Hom-Dai mummified alive.

We are now in the 1920s at the same spot Hamunaptra the city of the dead. There is a war battle going on with Rick O’Connell (Brendan Fraser) and Beni (Kevin J. O’Connor) Rick and Beni’s side get over powered and Beni runs and hides leaving rick for dead only for the sand to shape into a face and scare the other side away. Looking over Ardeth Bay (Oded Fehr) and his guardians on the city leave Rick for the desert to finish off.

Fast forward a few more years and we meet Evy (Rachel Weisz) an over qualified Liberian working in Cairo. Her Brother Jonathan (John Hannah) brings her a map to Hamunaptra and asks the curator (Erick Avari) to set out s mission to explore the area only to burn the map and rubbish the idea. They go to the jail where Rick is being held and negotiate his release with the warden (Omid Djalili).

The team now set off on the expedition only to discover there is a rival expedition guided by Beni. Racing to Hamunaptra the both start digging in separate areas both making different discoveries and after accidentally raise Imhotep and they face a race against time to stop Imhotep from taking over the world.

This is a very much like the Indiana Jones movies full of action and one liners. Brendan Fraser is great as the reluctant hero with the support role giving used for vitals lines and parts of the movie you will remember for when you watch the movie second time you will know the lines coming.

The special effects are what makes this movie special with Imhotep not being full human when first bought back to life and going through the regeneration process. solid story that will keep audience involved from start to finish.

My rating a great action adventure movie 92%