Heath Ledger Weekend – Brokeback Mountain (2005)

Director: Ang Lee

Writer: Larry McMurty, Diana Ossana (Screenplay) Annie Proulx (Short Story)

Starring: Heath Ledger, Jake Gyllenhaal, Michelle Williams, Anne Hathaway, Randy Quaid, Linda Cardellini, Anna Faris, David Harbour

 

Plot: The story of a forbidden and secretive relationship between two cowboys, and their lives over the years.


Tagline – Love Is A Force Of Nature

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Absolutely Brilliant

 

Story: Brokeback Mountain starts as we meet two sheep herders Ennis Del Mar (Ledger) & Jack Twist (Gyllenhaal) who are hired for one summer job, the two are from different backgrounds and Ennis even has woman back home. As the two spend time together they find themselves involved in a forbidden relationship.

After the summer the two go back to their lives, Ennis marries Alma (Williams) and starts a family, while Jack meets and marries Lureen (Hathaway). When the two get back in contact they start spending weekends together with the love they can’t have.

 

Thoughts on Brokeback Mountain

 

Characters – Ennis Del Mar is one of the two cowboys, he is from the local area and is a man of very few words, he is married to Alma with two children of his own. After spending the summer with Jack he finds a new type of love, one that is forbidden by the people in his field, despite the love he finds a way to try and balance both loves which he struggles with more than he could imagine. Jack Twist is the Texan want to be rodeo that takes the job, at the time he is single and helps pull Ennis from his quiet ways, enjoying the love they had he tries to get on with his life marrying a woman that isn’t always there, giving him time to reconnect with Ennis and share his love with him, only he struggles with the short amount of time they spend together. The two wives Alma and Lureen are both trying to deal with normal lives with their men going away at times.

PerformancesHeath Ledger was clearly robbed of the Oscar this year, his performance is easily a career best and shows us just how much we miss this talented actor. Jake Gyllenhaal is also wonderful in his role which could easily have picked up awards. Michelle Williams and Anne Hathaway are both great in their supporting roles.

StoryThe story here follows two cowboys that after spending a summer together fall in love, but know they can’t be together because of homosexual relationship would be forbidden in the 60’s and have normal relationships to cover up their relationship time together. Following their lives for twenty odd years as we see the two lives they live roll on as their relationship and time together gives them drive to make it to those weekends. This is the one of those wonderful dramas that looks at the relationships and how love can come from the least expected location.

RomanceThe romance and love Ennis & Jack feel is unlike anything they believed they would find and one that you can only experience once, for the time the film is set, you can understand why they were conflicted with their choice.

SettingsThe film gives us amazingly beautiful backdrops to different times the two spend together.


Scene of the Movie –
I wish I knew how to quit you.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just what happens to Jack.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the greatest dramas you will ever see, it has two of the best modern cinema performances from Ledger and Gyllenhaal.

 

Overall: Masterpiece of modern cinema.

Rating

 

 

Days of Thunder (1990)

daysDirector: Tony Scott

Writer: Robert Towne (Screenplay) Robert Towne, Tom Cruise (Story)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Robert Duvall, Randy Quaid, Cary Elwes, Michael Rooker, Fred Dalton Thompson, John C Reilly

 

Plot: A young hot-shot stock car driver gets his chance to compete at the top level.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Sports Thriller

 

Story: Days of Thunder starts when Tim Daland (Quaid) comes to experienced mechanic Harry Hogge (Duvall) to build him a car with a brand new driver Cole Trickle (Cruise). When Cole turns out to have brilliant pace Harry comes back into the game but things don’t go smoothly to start with as the two clash. Putting their differences aside Cole gets taught the does and don’ts of driving to keep Tim happy and most importantly competitive.

When Cole finally starts winning he goes head to head with the best driver on the circuit Rowdy Burns (Rooker) which leads to both being involved in a crash leaving them both in the hospital. The two get slammed by the owners of Nascar but build on mutual respect as they have to win the owner back over to get back on the track while Cole gets into a romance with Doctor Lewicki (Kidman).

When Harry decides to start a new team with a new driver Russ Wheeler (Elwes) he pushes Cole the wrong way as he deals with the consequences of the previous accident with his new friend Rowdy struggling to get back behind the wheel.

Days of Thunder sums up a fun enjoyable sports drama though one of the most intense sports around today. We do get to look at side effects from sports which is important because we all know things could go wrong. We all know how the sports dramas will end so the ending is no surprise for us. The love angle does seem kind of forced upon us but when it comes to the racing everything comes off enjoyable.

 

Actor Review

 

Tom Cruise: Cole Trickle is the hot shot young racer who gets his chance in Nascar with a new team, he starts by making plenty of mistakes until he listens to his mechanic who teaches him to turn in pace into finishing races off. He becomes one of the main contenders to be champion but is his style going to be too reckless for the sport. Tom shows that he was on the way to becoming a superstar in Hollywood.

 cole

Nicole Kidman: Dr Claire Lewicki is one of the doctors who helps after the accident, she becomes the love interest of Cole as she has to help both drivers get back on the track. Nicole does a solid job but almost gets put on the back burner.

 

Robert Duvall: Harry Hogge is the mechanic who builds the car, teaches Cole about racing with all of his years’ experience. He becomes like a father to Cole when the team starts clashing against the owner. Robert proves he is the serial supporting actor with this great performance here.

 

Randy Quaid: Tim Daland is the owner of the team but he gets greedy and starts a second team which leads to clash between Cole and new team with hot shot racer Russ Wheeler. Randy gives us a solid supporting that is almost the villain but all businessman style throughout.

 

Cary Elwes: Russ Wheeler is a new rival driver who pushes Cole the wrong way leading to him becoming the new favourite in the world of Nascar and his owner Harry. Cary only has a small supporting role but becomes the smug racer well.

 

Michael Rooker: Rowdy Burns is the experience driver who starts out as a rival but soon becomes best friends on the track after their accident, this accident leads to the two having to deal with the consequences with accidents in the sport. Michael gives the best performance and could be the most interesting character in the film.

 

Support Cast: Days of Thunder has some big names in supporting roles that all make this feel like they are all part of the racing world.

 

Director Review: Tony ScottTony gives us a good enjoyable film that is fun to watch.

 

Action: Days of Thunder has all sports action here.

Sports: Days of Thunder is filled with sports drama from start to finish with edge of your seat action being used.

Settings: Days of Thunder creates the settings to make us part of the action throughout.
Suggestion
: Days of Thunder is one for all the action fans to enjoy and is you love racing this is one for you to watch for sure. (Racing Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Race sequences.

Worst Part: Love story.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final race.

 

Believability: Loosely based on a real driver and you can see elements being real.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for an Oscar

Box Office: $82,7 Million

Budget: $60 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

Tagline: Cruise like Thunder.

 

Overall: Great racing drama film that keeps you on the edge of your seat

Ratingcard

Kingpin (1996)

logoDirector: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly

Writer: Barry Fanaro, Mort Nathan (Screenplay)

Starring: Woody Harrelson, Randy Quaid, Vanessa Angel, Bill Murray, Chris Elliot, William Jordan, Richard Tyson, Lin Shaye

Plot: A star bowler whose career was prematurely “cut off” hopes to ride a new prodigy to success and riches.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Comedy Gets a Strike

Story: Kingpin starts with young Roy Munson as a bowling prodigy, before becoming a bowling champion in the late 70’s. Roy (Harrelson) reaches the peak of his career by winning the national championship beating Ernie McCracken (Murray). When the tour starts costing money Ernie teams up with Roy to hustle but when the hustle gets caught Roy loses his hand as Ernie leaves him to pay the price.

17 years later Roy is now living by the bottle with a hook for a hand working as a salesmen. When Roy hears Ishmael (Quaid) an Amish man bowling he knows he could easily go onto the big stage. When Roy learns about a $1 Million prize for one bowling championship which leads to him going undercover in the Amish community to talk Ishmael into competing in the competition.

What follows is Roy and Ishmael to travelling across America to reach the championship and along the way the meet the beautiful Claudia (Angel) who joins them in the hustling to make the money to make it to the championship.

Kingpin brings us a sports comedy that unlikely many manages to keep the idea serious with good laughs and not going over board. The film has a very good message about doing the right thing even if you think the world is against you. Sure this does have a couple of bad jokes but in the most part it has plenty going for including a double cross like story behind the bowling story. This is a good simple comedy that really manages to tell a good story throughout. (7/10)

Actor Review

Woody Harrelson: Roy Munson is the bowling prodigy who lost his hand while trying to hustle with a fellow professional. Years pass when he finally see his chance to get back into the game as a manager for an Amish man who has the ability he once had. Woody does a great job in the leading role showing he always has a top comedy performance in him. (8/10)roy

Randy Quaid: Ishmael is the Amish man who gets pulled into the bowling world by Roy as he goes to save his community by using his bowling ability. He believes anything Roy tells him as he discovers the world for the first time. Randy does a good job in the role showing he has comical timing. (7/10)ishmael

Vanessa Angel: Claudia is a young woman who ends up joining the boys on the trip offering up a distraction to the hustler game. Vanessa adds the eye candy for the guys. (7/10)claudia

Bill Murray: Ernie McCracken is the champion bowler who ends up tricking Roy into working with him while hustling and ends up being the man that Roy is looking to beat out in the championship. Bill proves you don’t need to be a main character to get the most laughs. (7/10)ernie

Support Cast: Kingpin has a series of character they meet on their journey who add a few laughs but nobody too iconic.

Director Review: Bobby Farrelly, Peter FarrellyThe 90’s were the decade for the Farrelly brothers could do no wrong and this shows they were at the top of their game. (7/10)

Comedy: Kingpin has plenty of laughs throughout without being over the top with them all. (8/10)

Sports: Kingpin brings us into the world on bowling with the characters you would meet in the game. (8/10)

Settings: Kingpin brings us into many different settings which wouldn’t be the best for Amish but nothing really stands out. (5/10)

Suggestion: Kingpin is one for all comedy fans will enjoy and if you like a spots comedy this will tick all the boxes. (Comedy Fans Watch)

Best Part: The Rubber Hand.

Worst Part: The awkward fight.

Funniest Scene: Amish montage.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Dodge ball

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $27 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

Tagline: The movie the Olympuk comitee wouldn’t allow you to see.

Trivia: Bill Murray really bowled three strikes in a row in the scene where his character, Ernie McCracken does the same. The crowd’s reaction is genuine and is actually for Murray.Woody Harrelson, on the other hand, was a terrible bowler and according to the Farrelly brothers maybe got one or two strikes throughout the filming.

Overall: Fun comedy that keeps you laughing till the end.

Rating 75