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

 

 

Robin Williams Weekend – Dead Poets Society (1989)

Director: Peter Weir

Writer: Tom Schulman (Screenplay)

Starring: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles, Gale Hansen, Dylan Kussman, Allelon Ruggiero

 

Plot: English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.


Tagline – He was their inspiration. He made their lives extraordinary.

Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the Greatest Movies

 

Story: Dead Poets Society starts as the new school year is starting at an elite boarding school for boys, Todd Anderson (Hawke) is following in his brother’s footsteps by attending, shy and not fitting in with the others. Neil Perry (Leonard) is the charismatic leader of a study group, following his father’s instruction to become a doctor, he welcomes Todd into their group.

The English teacher is a former student John Keating (Williams) who uses different methods to get his message over, including letting the boys know about his former club, ‘The Dead Poets Society’ this gives the boys a chance to experience poetry, both reading and writing, giving the boys a life lesson, no teacher could ever teach them.

 

Thoughts on Dead Poets Society

 

Characters – John Keating is the English teacher that has returned to the school he attended to teach the boys. He has unorthodox methods to teach life lessons to show them that learning doesn’t have to be boring, it can be enlightening. Todd Anderson is the shy new guy in the school, he is taken under the wing by the confident Neil and with both Neil and John motivating him to come out of his shell, he becomes the boy with the potential. Neil Perry is the class leader of the students, he is confident even though he is living the life his father wants him to, the father than has control over him, he pushes by following his own dreams of being an actor, showing the pressure a parent can put on their children.

PerformancesRobin Williams was at the peak of his talents here, he shines in his role which isn’t as loud as previous films, he keeps his performance restrained which is needed to be the leader his character it to the boys. Ethan Hawke is good in this movie, he did break out with his performance of a character that is the one that needs to come out of his shell the most. Robert Sean Leonard is wonderful, he shows the strength around the fellow students and the weakness around his father, which gives us the perfect example of the pressure his character would be feeling.

StoryThe story follows the one teacher that wanted to teach his students to follow their dreams, show their potential to the world, instead of just being part of the system. We follow part of the year which shows how John Keating inspires the boys to go come out of their shells, one to become the person he is hiding from, another to go against his father’s wishes, one to stand up against the whole system and one to be able to show his love for a girl. This shows us that not everything needs to be by the book and different directions can help people learn more than ever before.

ComedyThe comedy for the film helps take the film to a light-hearted nature instead of just being a serious drama which is what John Keating is trying to show the boys, life isn’t all serious.

SettingsThe film takes part in the boarding school, this shows the rules and regulation the boys are being taught to follow, which gets reflected in how the boys are being taught differently by Keating.


Scene of the Movie –
Oh Captain, My Captain!

That Moment That Annoyed Me I hate these types of schools.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the great movies of the 80’s one of the best of Robin Williams career and one that should inspire all to achieve greatness.

 

Overall: Simply Great.

Rating

 

 

Sarah Polley Weekend – The I Inside (2004)

insideDirector: Roland Suso Richter

Writer: Michael Cooney, Timothy Scott Bogart (Screenplay) Michael Cooney (Play ‘Point of Death’)

Starring: Ryan Phillippe, Sarah Polley, Piper Perabo, Robert Sean Leonard, Peter Egan, Stephen Lang, Rakie Ayloa, Stephen Graham, Stephen Rea

 

Plot: An amnesiac discovers himself leaping through time between 2000 and 2002 as his past returns to him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: What is Real?

 

Story: The I Inside starts when Simon Cable (Phillippe) wakes up after a near death experience where he gets the shocking news that two years have passed since he last remembers anything, he is now married to Anna (Perabo), his brother Peter (Leonard) is dead and the year is 2002.

After believing someone is trying to kill him Simon wakes up back in 2000 straight after his car accident. Continuing to bounce between the time periods Clair (Polley) comes into his life to make things even more complicated for Simon. Simon must figure out what is happening, did he kill his brother and why nobody else will believe his story.

The I Inside is a film that really does its best to keep us guessing, we find it easy t identify each time period which helps because we have different doctors in each time. The mystery does continue to grow as the film unfolds but sadly in the end we end up getting an ending which does answer the questions but makes everything feel slightly flat.

 

Actor Review

 

Ryan Phillippe: Simon Cable is our leading man who gets stuck between two time periods the year 2000 where he has a car accident and 2002 where he ends up back in the hospital. Simon ends up having to figure out what is happening, what happened and why he is stuck in this loop of time between the two years. Ryan gives us a good leading performance where he constantly looks confused which is important for his character.

Sarah Polley: Clair is the lover of the 2000 Simon who keeps showing up but she just so happens to be the fiancée of his brother Peter. Sarah does a solid job but doesn’t get enough screen time for her character.

Piper Perabo: Anna is the new wife of Simon in 2002 that he doesn’t remember from 2000. She is very different when the two are alone were she has a grip over him that he can’t control. Piper gives us a performance in this role which is very different in each time zone.

Robert Sean Leonard: Peter Cable is Simon’s brother, Clair’s fiancée but he is dead and Simon is accused of killing him over a battle for their family’s estate. Robert gives a solid performance but doesn’t get enough screen time.

 

Support Cast: The I Inside has a supporting that keeps us knowing which time period we are in and which help find the final answer to what is going on.

Director Review: Roland Suso RichterRoland gives us a good mystery about what is happening.

 

Mystery: The I Inside gives us a mystery about what is happening which leave u wondering what is going on and it is the highlight of the film.

Sci-Fi: The I Inside brings us into the time travel element nicely without it being a full blown impact in the film.

Thriller: The I Inside tries to keep us guessing what is going on.

Settings: The I Inside keeps most of the settings inside the hospital which helps make everything feel more contained for the characters.
Special Effects
: The I Inside doesn’t really have too many special effects but the few it uses work well.

Suggestion: The I Inside is a film to try if you love a time travel mystery, but it won’t go down as one of the best of recent years. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The Mystery

Worst Part: Supporting characters don’t get enough time.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $8.8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: Sometimes it is hard to come back.

 

Overall: Time travel film that keeps you wondering what is happening next.

Ratingcard