James Bond Month – Tomorrow Never Dies (1997)

Director: Roger Spottiswoode

Writer: Bruce Feirstein (Screenplay)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Jonathan Pryce, Michelle Yeoh, Teri Hatcher, Ricky Jay, Gotz Otto, Joe Don Baker

 

Plot: James Bond heads to stop a media mogul’s plan to induce war between China and the UK in order to obtain exclusive global media coverage.


Tagline – The Man. The Number. The License…are all back.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Non-Stop Action

 

Story: Tomorrow Never Dies starts as James Bond (Brosnan) completes another high-risk mission, before heading home. We move to the Chinese sea, where a British military ship a sunk after a clash with Chinese fighter planes, with both sides suffering causalities at the hands of media mogul Elliot Carver (Pryce) who is building stories for his own benefit.

James must investigate this latest case using his connection to Elliot’s wife Paris (Hatcher), James is joined by Chinese agent Wai Lin (Yeoh) as they look to stop Elliot’s plan before the next world war is started.

 

Thoughts on Tomorrow Never Dies

 

Characters – James Bond is back once again, his past is once again the reason he is selected for this mission, we know how he acts, how he can be stealth with his investigation and survive being outnumbered, we don’t learn to much new about him here, just more of the same. Elliot Carver is the media mogul that wants to create his own headlines by starting his own war between China and Britain. He believes he will control the worlds media if this war starts. Wai Lin is the Chinese agent who starts working with James for her side of the potential terrorist attack, she can handle herself in combat, being given fight sequences unlike most female Bond characters. Paris Carver is the wife of Elliot, she did once have a fling with James, which is how James gets into the party to start with, she gets put in the difficult position of choice her power hungry husband or her former fling.

PerformancesPierce Brosnan’s second outing as Bond, sees him handling the comic moments better, he feels like he has grown even more into the role, where he has made his own version of the Bond character. Jonathan Pryce does make for a great villain, his character needs to be well-spoken which Jonathan does bring to the part. Michelle Yeoh does seem to break the trends of the Bond girl figure, being able to handle herself in the fight. Teri Hatcher might have a smaller role, but it works for what the film needs.

StoryThe story here follows a media mogul that wants to create a new war between Britain and China, so he can have full control of the media outlet in the world that only James Bond can stop. This does bring us a new villain with a master plan that is way over the top which does work, the investigation does seem to feel like it blends into the action, unlike most of the film in the franchise. The idea the media wants to control the affairs of the world does seem more realistic to what is happening now. The story might end up playing out how you would imagine, though it does feel more connected than the previous ones.

Action/AdventureThe action in this film is brilliant, we have one of the best chase sequence in the franchise has ever offered, we have the Bond girl bring able to handle herself in fights too. The adventure does take James around the world, might like what we have come to expect.

SettingsThe film uses the setting to make memorable moments, be it the chase or the final base battle.


Scene of the Movie –
Motorbike chase,

That Moment That Annoyed Me It has dated with the media moguls plan.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun addition to the franchise, it does have the smoothest action which seems to be strong in the 90s film and a villain that does feel realistic.

 

Overall: Fun action film.

Rating

 

Franchise Weekend – Another 48 Hrs (1990)

Director: Walter Hill

Writer: John Fasano, Jeb Stuart, Larry Gross (Screenplay) Roger Spottiswoode, Walter Hill, Larry Gross, Steven E de Souza (Characters)

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Nick Nolte, Brion James, Kevin Tighe, Ed O’Ross, David Anthony Marshall, Andrew Divoff, Bernie Caser

 

Plot: Jack Cates once again enlists the aid of ex-con Reggie Hammond–this time, to take down The Iceman, a ruthless drug lord operating in the San Francisco bay area.


Tagline – Here they go again. Only faster. And tougher.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacks the Humour

 

Story: Another 48 Hrs starts as Jack (Nolte) is desperately trying to track down the Iceman, a drug dealer roaming San Francisco, but his latest bust goes wrong leaving him up for man-slaughter charges, with only one clue, a picture of Reggie (Murphy) who is about to be released from jail who now has a bounty on his head, placed by the Iceman.

When the Iceman’s hitmen including Ganz’s brother Cherry (Divoff) come after the pair, they must reunite to bring down the deadliest drug lord in San Francisco area.

 

Thoughts on Another 48 Hrs

 

Characters – Jake Cates has continued his grizzled ways, now he has focused on capturing a drug lord known as the Iceman, but finds the Internal Affairs on his back for his reckless behaviour turning to the only person he can trust Reggie. Reggie is fresh out of jail after being framed into a longer stint, but now he is free, he finds himself being targeted by the drug lord forcing him to work with Jack once again. Cherry is the brother of Ganz who is know being paid to kill Reggie for the Iceman, he turns this into a personal vendetta against Jack too. Blake Wilson is the Internal Affairs agent that is searching for a way to put Jack in jail for his reckless behaviour.

PerformancesNick Nolte is solid in this role, he makes us feel like we are watching a man on edge too. Eddie Murphy tries to bring more energy to this performance which only leaves him not reaching the marks we know he could. Divoff makes for a good villain on the same sort of level of Remar as the next level of psychotic. The actors playing the cops are what you expect through the film.

StoryThe story does continue to build from the last film, it shows the consequences from the previous action to build a bigger world, while also falling into more of the same because we are expecting to see something bigger, but it is just odd couple team up to take down criminals. We do have the story about how the two could swap places with Jack facing criminal charges and Reggie becoming free. The final outcome of the film does see strange when you take into account of the original film too.

Action/Crime/ComedyThe action does feel bigger, we get a lot more shoot-ups and moments of chases too, the crime does feel bigger too with criminals coming from different corners of the world. The comedy is the biggest disappointment here, we have fleeting moments of humour, but nothing comes off with any true effect.

SettingsWe stay in San Francisco for the film which makes for a good choice for a crime story to take place in.


Scene of the Movie –
Basketball.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Lacks any strong moments of humour.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weak sequel to an enjoyable first outing, it does feel rushed and loses the humour the first one had. The crime side of the film does try to world build which is good, but we lose out with a strange ending.

 

Overall: Disappointing sequel that doesn’t hit the marks.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – 48 Hrs (1982)

Director: Walter Hill

Writer: Roger Spottiswoode, Walter Hill, Larry Gross, Steven E de Souza (Screenplay)

Starring: Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy, Annette O’Toole, Frank McRae, James Remar, David Patrick Kelly

 

Plot: A hard-nosed cop reluctantly teams up with a wise-cracking criminal temporarily paroled to him, in order to track down a killer.


Tagline – When a tough cop has a cool convict as a partner and 48 hrs to catch a killer, a lot of funny things can happen in . . . 48 HRS.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable

 

Story: 48 Hrs starts as Ganz (Remar) gets broken out of jail while on work detail by Billy Bear (Landham), he heads off to clean up old debts leaving cops bodies in his path of destruction. It doesn’t take long for Ganz to clash with detective Jack Cates (Nolte), where Ganz forces Jack into a difficult situation.

Jack must go to prisoner Reggie Hammond (Murphy) a wise cracking con man to help track down Ganz using his street knowledge. In what is an unlikely partnership turns into something special as the two find a way to get to the bottom of the crime.

 

Thoughts on 48 Hrs

 

Characters – Jack Cates is a grizzled cop, he gets the job done with his experience keeping him in high regard. He must stop the killer using criminal Reggie Hammond as the best chance to catch this killer. Reggie Hammond is a criminal near the end of his stint in jail, he is wise-cracking fast-talking meaning he can bullshit his way out of any situation he finds himself in. He uses this chance of time out of jail to settle a few scores. Elaine is the girlfriend of Jack who is tired of not making things serious between the two. Ganz is the killer on the loose, after his break from prison, he has a short-temper which causes his itchy trigger finger to fire on any enemy he comes across.

PerformancesNick Nolte is a great choice for a seemingly warn down cop, he takes the non-sense style needed for the role and goes with it. Eddie Murphy was one of the most popular stand-up comedians at the time, this was his film debut and he handed it very well, bringing his own energy to the role which could have been something we have seen before. James Remar is good as a villain because it is a character we have seen before, but he really convinces in this role. There is a negative here, that is Annette O’Toole, which to be fair isn’t her fault because the character is written so poorly

StoryThe story follows a cop and a criminal work together to stop another criminal, yes this is a buddy cop movie. We have unlikely partnership which must work together to get the common goal. This is a story we have seen plenty of times since and it seems to be a hit or miss through the years, but this does keep things simple enough to enjoy not looking to throw us any surprises along the way.

Action/Crime/ComedyThe action is by the book for cops and criminals, nothing is over the top and mostly comes off like you would expect. The crime world is the cop needing to work with the criminal that is the best chance to catch a cop killer. The comedy comes from the odd pairing that must work together.

SettingsThe film is set in San Francisco which always seems to be a great location for any crime comedy world to unfold.


Scene of the Movie –
Settle this with fists.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Ganz seems a lot easier to catch.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good buddy comedy that bought us Eddie Murphy to the big screen. We get the action and comedy without being buried with one too often and most importantly we are entertained.

 

Overall: Great fun action comedy.

Rating

 

 

Turner & Hooch (1989)

Director: Roger Spottiswoode

Writer: Dennis Shryack, Michael Blodgett, Daniel Petrie jr, Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr (Screenplay) Dennis Shryack, Michael Blodgett (Story)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Mare Winningham, Craig t Nelson, Reginald VelJohnson, Scott Paulin, J C Quinn, John McIntire

 

Plot: A detective must adopt the dog of a dead man to help him find the murderer.


Tagline – The Oddest Couple Ever Unleashed!
Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Comedy

 

Story: Turner & Hooch starts as investigator Scott Turner (Hanks) is showing his replacement David Sutton (VelJohnson) to ropes around the city, with two days until he leaves, one of his locals Amos is murdered with his bull mastiff Hooch guarding his body.

With Hooch being almost uncontrollable the only person he will listen to is the ultra-clean Turner that takes him in as he searches for his owner’s killer.

 

Thoughts on Turner & Hooch

 

Characters – Scott Turner is a detective that is about to leave for highway patrol. He has great relationship with the people in his small town and when one of his friends is murdered he ends up being left in control of his dog Hooch, Hooch opens his world to new company and just maybe staying.  Hooch is the French Mastiff (I think) that Turner takes in, he is the only witness to the murder of his owner, he is hard to control but has a heart of gold. Emily Carson is the vet that Turner first goes to but offers a relationship for Turner. We don’t learn much about the villains which is a big draw back.

PerformancesTom Hanks is fantastic in this movie showing his comic time through every scene, having great chemistry with Hooch and being the character who is meant to be leaving. It would be fair to say that Hanks is that good we don’t get enough time on the other characters to judge the performances.

StoryThe story here is thin to say the least, we have a guy who has never looked after a dog needing to take one on to solve a case. The problem is we spend nearly an hour watching the two build their relationship leaving only about 30 minutes focusing on solving the crime. The story is what you expect and very simple to follow but still enjoyable enough.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy comes from nearly every scene with Turner and Hooch being the miss matched pairing, this is easily the strongest part of the film. the crime side does get forgotten for a large part and doesn’t feel like there is much investigating going on.

SettingsThe small town setting does help us understand the situation we find ourselves in where nearly everyone knows everyone.


Scene of the Movie –
Shopping for Hooch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t spend enough time on the crime side of the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable comedy that has plenty of laughs through the film, Hanks shines in his role but we are lacking more from the crime side of the film.

 

Overall: Great enjoyable comedy.

Rating

 

 

The Pursuit of D.B. Cooper (1981)

logoDirector: Roger Spottiswoode, Buzz Kulik

Writer: Jeffrey Alan Fiskin (Screenplay) J.D. Reed(Book)

Starring: Robert Duvall, Treat Williams, Kathryn Harrold, Ed Flanders, Paul Gleason, R.G. Armstrong, Dorothy Fielding, Nicolas Coster, Cooper Huckabee, Howard K. Smith

 

Plot: A speculation on the fate of the famous hijacker, who parachuted with his ransom and disappeared in the mountains, has Cooper following a meticulous plan to disappear into anonymity despite the best efforts of a dogged cop.

 

Verdict: Dated Chase Film

 

Story: The mystery behind D.B. Cooper is remains unsolved and it is one of the most interesting mysteries of recent times. This turns it into a comical pursuit film. I personally only know small parts of the mystery but I would have liked to have learnt more about what happened or what could have happened. I felt a little disappointed after this and add it that it has dated horribly. (5/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Robert Duvall: Gruen the insurance man trying to track down his company’s money, he knows who has it, he knows how he thinks but when it get personal he gets to great lengths to stop him. Solid performance from Duvall. (6/10)

 duvall

Treat Williams: D.B. Cooper the hijacker on the run, going back for his wife before heading on route to Mexico trying his best to get away from Gruen. Solid performance as the cocky hijacker on the run. (6/10)

db

Director Review: Roger Spottiswoode, Buzz Kulik – Started by Buzz finished by Roger we see a fun pursuit film that keeps you entertained but fails to fill you in on what has been happened with the real case. (6/10)

 

Adventure: Good sense of adventure through the film. (7/10)

Crime: One of the biggest unsolved crimes in America. (9/10)

Thriller: You never really get to the edge of your seat here. (5/10)

Settings: Some solid settings used for chases and confrontations but nothing landmark. (6/10)

Suggestion: If you see it on one night you could give it ago but don’t expect to learn anything about the case. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: River Chase

Worst Part: Dated terribly

Action Scene Of The Film: Boat chase

Believability: It is based on the real event but everything after is made up. (3/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $3.75 Million

Budget: $12 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline: Who says you can’t take it with you?

 

Overall: Go Back In Time To Enjoy

Rating 56