Richard Gere Weekend – An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)

Director: Taylor Hackford

Writer: Douglas Day Stewart (Screenplay)

Starring: Richard Gere, Debra Winger, David Keith, Robert Loggia, Lisa Blount, Lisa Eilbacher, Louis Gossett Jr

 

Plot: A young man must complete his work at a Navy Officer Candidate School to become an aviator, with the help of a tough Gunnery Sergeant and his new girlfriend.


Tagline – It will lift you up where you belong.

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Love Changes Everyone

 

Story: An Officer and a Gentleman starts when the rebellious Zack Mayo (Gere) tired of living in his father’s Bryon (Loggia) shadow, enlists in the navy, Zack goes through the strict training regime by Sgt Emil Foley (Gossett Jr), here he shines, finding it almost too easy to get through, he even starts his own business to make sure everyone has extra clean material.

Zack makes friends where he needs them with Sid Worley (Keith) helping him with paperwork side of being in the navy, the job he desires most, in flight. Zack soon finds himself meeting Paula Pokrifki (Winger) who always attend the parties looking for their own soldiers. Zack must learn to balance his training with his new girlfriend, finally learning to grow up in his own life.

 

Thoughts on An Officer and a Gentleman

 

Characters – Zack Mayo has grown up under his father that never believed he could achieve anything, he decides to sign up for the navy to follow his dreams of being a pilot, he believes he can just coast through the training alone, only for his way to see him needing to learn to let people in, meet a girl decide whether love is the most important thing in his life or whether he can balance everything together. Paula is a factory worker that goes for parties around the naval candidates, she meets Zack seeing him as different from the rest and gets left constantly wondering if he is willing to change his lone wolf nature. Sid is fellow naval candidate that becomes Zack’s best friend, he pushes him to open up and is the brains that could help Zack through the side that he is struggling through. Sgt Emil Foley is drill sergeant that is training the candidates, he is strict and doesn’t like how Zack thinks he can breeze through the training.

PerformancesRichard Gere in this leading role shows us all that he was going on to have a wonderful run as a leading actor, he could play the loveable rogue that wants to find his place in the world. Debra Winger is great here showing how her character is going through a difficult lifetime, where love can make things even more difficult. David Keith brings us a performance which does show us how depression can be hidden from the world. Louis Gossett Jr does bring us one of the best drill sergeants in film here that did get him an Oscar.

StoryThe story here follows a rebellious young man that finds his place in the navy, where he learns to work with others and to fall in love, to motivate and find himself a career along the way, he will need to overcome life challenges which will shape his future. We do get to see many different challenges that young people could face when they reach a certain age, this will show us just how difficult people will need to overcome to be the people they were always meant to be. We do get to see the darker side of the services because they will show us just how people can hide the emotional troubles which could bring a life changing  moment in their life.

RomanceThe love story in this film shows how a rebel meets a girl searching for hope and fall madly in love either though neither of them were really looking for it.

SettingsThe film uses a couple of main settings, with the training camp being one of the most iconic for the film, the most iconic comes from warehouse where Paula works, which will be the shot everybody remembers from this film.


Scene of the Movie –
Zack breaks to learn to help others.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Lynette wouldn’t still be Paula’s friend by the end of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the classic romantic films out there, one that everybody knows and can enjoy.

 

Overall: Romance to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Richard Gere Weekend – Norman (2016)

Director: Joseph Cedar

Writer: Joseph Cedar (Screenplay)

Starring: Richard Gere, Lior Ashkenazi, Michael Sheen, Steve Buscemi, Yahuda Almagor, Neta Riskin, Josh Charles, Dan Stevens

 

Plot: Norman Oppenheimer is a small time operator who befriends a young politician at a low point in his life. Three years later, when the politician becomes an influential world leader, Norman’s life dramatically changes for better and worse.


Tagline – The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Political Borefest

 

Story: Norman starts as we learn about Norman Oppenheimer (Gere) who is trying to make political connections, his latest target is Israeli deputy minister Micha Eshel (Ashkenazi) who is grateful for the support.

Three years later Micha is now the Israeli prime minister and remembers Norman, but now Norman must use his skills as a fixer to solve a problem as everything changes for him

 

Thoughts on Norman

 

Characters – Norman is a political connections man, he makes the connections for different Politicians while finding a way to talk his way out of any situations. We see his rise and fall in the world where he ends up biting off more than he can chew. When it comes to the fellow characters we meet a host of different political figures that want to make connections with each other.

PerformancesRichard Gere is in the leading role here and he is fine in this role without reaching the levels we know he could, we do have a big cast of talented actors who do the basics well without any of them taking centre stage.

StoryThe story isn’t the most interesting, mostly because we are follow Norman as he makes connections in the political world and over the next couple of years things start getting out of hand and he must keep all his connection happy. The story never draws you in and easily becomes one of the more boring movies of the recent years.

ThrillerThe film here tries to keep us invested only for it to become too slow and disinteresting.

SettingsMost of the film is set in and around New York city as we see how the connections are made and maintained.


Scene of the Movie –
Hard to find one, the shoes scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Its just not interesting.

Final ThoughtsThis is a dull all-star movie which doesn’t hit any of the marks it is aiming for and just ends up being boring.

 

Overall: Boring is being nice.

Rating

 

 

Edward Norton Weekend – Primal Fear (1996)

Director: Gregory Hobilt

Writer: Steve Shagan, Ann Biderman (Screenplay) William Diehl (Novel)

Starring: Richard Gere, Laura Linney, John Mahoney, Alfre Woodard, Frances McDormand, Edward Norton, Terry O’Quinn, Andre Braugher

 

Plot: An altar boy is accused of murdering a priest, and the truth is buried several layers deep.


Tagline – Sooner or later a man who wears two faces forgets which one is real.

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Thriller

 

Story: Primal Fear starts when the Archbishop is murdered, all clues point to bloody covered Aaron (Norton) as the murderer, he shy stuttering alter boy. When former district prosecutor Martin Vail (Gere) turned defence lawyer sees this as a spotlight for his new career direction and going against former colleague Janet (Linney) and her boss the district attorney Shaughnessy (Mahoney) the case goes to trial.

When Martin learns that Aaron has a split personality disorder with a much more aggressive Roy doing the dirty work for Aaron and the bigger picture of the motivation behind the murder comes to light.

 

Thoughts on Primal Fear

 

Characters – Martin Vail is the lawyer, he once was one of the biggest prosecutors in the city but has turned his back on that career to become a defence lawyer. He sees this case as the one that will give him his big break as a defence lawyer doing this case for free. He has a strong trusted team, he is made out to be a womaniser, though we never see him hit on anyone, only that he once had a fling with Janet in the past. Janet is the prosecutor that is taking the case, she is the one taking over Martin’s role and with a previous relationship with him. She knows this will be a career maker for her and is enjoying going head to head with her former mentor. Shaughnessy is the District Attorney that wants the death penalty and will not let Janet forget this. Aaron is the shy alter boy that is accused of murder but with him being found covered in blood even if you can’t see him doing this murder, Roy is the aggressive personality next to Aaron that knows the truth and seems to be the release of everything Aaron holds in. Shoat is the judge trying to control the case in what lawyers are trying to pull for their wins. Molly is psychologist that is studying Aaron trying to figure out what his mindset learning about Roy.

PerformancesRichard Gere is fantastic in the leading role, you see here how he shows the desperate he is to win this case. Laura Linney is strong in her role which must go against Richard Gere. Edward Norton gives one of the best debut roles of any actor in the history of film, he is disturbed when needed and calm when Aaron and crazed when Roy. The supporting cast are great too without taking the spotlight of the rest of the cast.

StoryThe story follows the trial of a disturbed young man accused of murdering an archbishop. While the court case unfolds like you would expect with twists coming from every corner and evidence coming to light through nearly every witness. As a fan of courtroom dramas this plays into everything I enjoy and I love watching crimes get solved in a courtroom. The story is very well paced and even being over 2 hours long doesn’t feel like you are giving the film this much time.

Crime/MysteryThe crime focuses on the murder and what gave the killer motivation, the mystery plays into the motivation too and just how the shy timid altar boy could have committed the murder.

SettingsThe film uses the courtroom for most of the scenes, we have the location involved in the crime too which shows how the lawyers are operating on both sides of the case.


Scene of the Movie –
The final twist.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I would say the side case Martin worked on being touched on through the main case gets slightly annoying.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best courtroom dramas of all time, with a crime which does balance the line between what would be considered a bigger crime and performances that could be considered the career best for members of the cast.

 

Overall: Courtroom delight.

Rating

 

 

Julia Roberts Weekend – Pretty Woman (1990)

Director: Garry Marshall

Writer: J.F. Lawton (Screenplay)

Starring: Richard Gere, Julia Roberts, Ralph Bellamy, Jason Alexander, Laura San Giacomo, Hector Elizondo

 

Plot: A man in a legal but hurtful business needs an escort for some social events, and hires a beautiful prostitute he meets… only to fall in love.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Romantic Classic

 

Story: Pretty Woman starts as we see the worlds both businessman Edward (Gere) and prostitute Vivian (Robert) comes from before they meet when as Edward is looking for company. As the time spent together continues Edward wants to keep Vivian around, so much that she would be his date for a business meeting.

While Edward works, he leaves Vivian to shop in the high end of Beverly Hills where she gets treated differently to start with but open with arms wide open once they learn that she has money to spend. The more time they spend together the more they start to fall in love but could anything between these two work out.

 

Thoughts on Pretty Woman

 

Characters/PerformanceEdward is the ruthless businessman, divorced and dumped looking for some company. He hires Vivian to keep him company through the business dealings to keep the love out of the relationship while completing to deal. Vivian is a prostitute that finds herself in a world she is too smart to be part off but it is her only option. She accepts the offer from Edward getting to live a life she never imagined for a week and her shock at each situation comes off genuine throughout.

Performance wise, Richard Gere and Julia Roberts are fantastic here, with Roberts edging the pure quality coming from her performance through the film. the rest of the cast are only in a couple of scenes and are great throughout too.

StoryThe story is mostly about two people from different worlds coming together and falling in love. Yes, this story does show how both the characters could face a change in their lives, Vivian a life off the streets, Edward that not everything is about being ruthless. While most people focus on the love side of the story I liked the change Edward goes through.

Romantic/ComedyThe romantic side of the film is something everyone knows and looks at as one of the iconic moments in the history of film. we have moments of comedy that come from Vivian’s reactions to the high life.

SettingsThe settings are important because it shows how different the two characters come from, the look that Vivian goes through thanks to the settings show how she never imagined this life being.

Final ThoughtsThis will always go down in history as one of the iconic romantic films in film history.

 

Overall: Romantic film for the ages.

Rating

 

 

Terrence Howard Weekend – The Hunting Party (2007)

huntingDirector: Richard Shepard

Writer: Richard Shepard (Screenplay) Scott Anderson (Article)

Starring: Terrence Howard, Richard Gere, James Brolin, Jesse Eisenberg

 

Plot: A young journalist, a seasoned cameraman and a discredited war correspondent embark on an unauthorized mission to find the No.1 war criminal in Bosnia. However, their extremely dangerous target decides to come after them.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Story

 

Story: The Hunting Party starts by introducing us to our extreme reporters Simon Hunt (Gere) and his cameraman Duck (Howard) who put themselves in the most extreme warzones risking their lives. In 1994 Bosnia Simon reaches his limits after seeing the slaughter of a small village. We watch how the two go very different directions Duck gets a promotion and Simon goes off the radar.

The war over in the year 2000 Duck returns with young intern Benjamin (Eisenberg) for a story when Duck gets a visit from Simon who is looking for the notorious war criminal known only as The Fox (Kerekes). The three go on the adventure to uncover the war criminal with their liaison Mirjana (Kruger) as they go for an interview which is also a plan to capture him and regain the fame and fortune Simon once had.team

The Hunting Party is a loose look at what happened with a reporter trying to get his own personal revenge on a war criminal, I think that is the fair way to look at this one. The idea that reporters locate a war criminal works to an extent but the humour comes with how none of the military force seem to care about what is happened. The three have good chemistry which all helps with all the reaction to events. The down side for this film is that we just don’t seem to get pulled in enough for what happens with the story never believing what actually happened.

 

Actor Review

 

Richard Gere: Simon Hunt is a world renowned reporter that goes to all the warzones around the world collecting stories and awards. After he has a breakdown he goes under the radar before coming back into Duck’s life to finally capture the war criminal The Fox. Richard is good using his charm throughout the film.

Terrence Howard: Duck is the cameraman for Simon who went on all the stories, after Simon’s breakdown he gets the promotion and is enjoying the safer life, while returning to Bosnia for a story he has to team up with Simon one more time for the most extreme of all their adventures. Terrence is good in this role working well with Richard.

Jesse Eisenberg: Benjamin is the young intern who gets a chance to work with Duck in and Simon which will help with his much needed experience when it comes to getting into the world journalism. Jesse showed he was going to be a big star with this role.

Diane Kruger: Mirjana is a source in Bosnia she thinks the crew are CIA and tries to help them locate the Fox. Diane seems to only be in a few scenes and we don’t seem to see enough to give her fair criticism.

Support Cast: The Hunting Party has a supporting cast that includes all the different people that the crew really met on their adventure.

Director Review: Richard ShepardRichard gives us a light hearted look at very real situation that was much darker.

 

Adventure: The Hunting Party puts our character on a dangerous explosive adventure.

Comedy: The Hunting Party is told in a comical tone throughout.

War: The Hunting Party leaves us looking at the aftermath of war and how people are still too scared to worry about what happened.

Settings: The Hunting Party takes us to the areas involved in the Bosnia civil war as we see the effects it has had on the country.
Special Effects
: The Hunting Party uses good effects when need without turning to them.

Suggestion: The Hunting Party is one to try it isn’t the most exciting but it does what it needs to for basic storytelling. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Richard and Terrence have good chemistry.

Worst Part: Slightly slow and difficult to follow.

Funniest Scene: Indian UN guy.

 

Believability: Based on the real adventure I guess it is up to us to decide what we believe to be real.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $25 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

Tagline: How can they find the world’s most wanted war criminal when the C.I.A. can’t? [by actually looking]

 

Overall: Fun look at how the media think the military characters are looking into war criminals

Ratingcard