Speed 2: Cruise Control (1997)

Director: Jan de Bont

Writer: Randall McCormick, Jeff Nathanson (Screenplay) Jan de Bont, Randall McCormick (Story)

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Jason Patric, Willem Dafoe, Temuera Morrison, Brian McCardie, Christine Firkins

 

Plot: A computer hacker breaks into the computer system of the Seabourn Legend cruise liner and sets it speeding on a collision course into a gigantic oil tanker.


Tagline – Rush hour hits the water.

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Passable Action Film

 

Story: Speed 2: Cruise Control starts as we meet Annie (Bullock) still trying to get her driving licence back, long past dating Jack (Because Keanu was smart enough not to come back) and has moved onto what she thinks is a quiet cop role of Alex Shaw (Patric) who is actually a SWAT officer too.

To break the tension, Alex takes Annie on a cruise, which happens to have John Geiger (Dafoe) onboard that has his own plans for the cruise. As John takes over the boat, he plans to evacuate the passengers which will leave him the ship, but Alex will get to the bottom of this and try to save the day.

 

Thoughts on Speed 2: Cruise Control

 

Characters – Annie is back, she still can’t drive and now she has fallen for another risk-taking cop in Alex, this is a character that strangely feels iconic for the genre, while not being bad character or being weak, she doesn’t do much over than panic. Alex is the risk-taking cop, this sounds familiar doesn’t it? He will do anything to save the day. John Geiger is the villain of the piece, he has made his plan and wants to operate through his plan, though he didn’t plan for Alex. Strangely he never plans to kill anyone.

PerformancesSandra Bullock is fine in her role here, she works for these films. Jason Patric just lacks the charisma Keanu had in the first one which doesn’t make you care about his character. Willem Dafoe is one of the most reliable villains in Hollywood, it is strange that he is good, but the character is largely forgettable.

StoryThe story is just like the first Speed, it has a criminal that takes a vehicle with the promise to kill everyone if demands aren’t met. This is the old tried and tested formula without being overly impressive and never reaches the levels of the first film. it does everything it needs to do while being easy to watch from start to finish.

Action/Crime/RomanceThe action sequences for the most part are entertaining even if they are overly long at times, like the sequence crashing into the island, just seems to go on and on. The romance involved is just more of the same mostly tagged on too.

SettingsThe film being set on the bottle, tries to do something different, but it just lacks the tension the first one has.

Special EffectsThe effects for the most part are terrible and even in places laughable.


Scene of the Movie –
While long the boat crashing into the harbour is fun watch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The random dog sequence.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that gets a lot of bashing, it does everything it needs to for an action film, that just isn’t on the same level as the first film.

 

Overall: Sequel that works well enough.

Rating

 

 

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The Vanishing (1993)

Director: George Sluizer

Writer: Todd Graff (Screenplay) Tim Krabbe (Novel)

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland, Nancy Travis, Sandra Bullock, Park Overall, Maggie Linderman

 

Plot: The boyfriend of an abducted woman never gives up the search as the abductor looks on.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disturbingly Good Horror

 

Story: The Vanishing starts as we meet everyday teacher, father and husband Barney Cousins (Bridges) who has been researching kidnapping, measuring his heart rate when it comes to the interaction while also searching for a method to drug his victims.

We move onto meet young couple Jeff (Sutherland) and Diane (Bullock) who are travelling cross country for their vacation, but when Diane vanishes at a gas station, Jeff is left powerless for options with the police offering no support until she has been missing 24 hours.

3 years later Diane is still missing and Jeff is still searching for answers. Jeff ends up giving up on his search when he meets Rita (Travis) a woman who gives him a new outlook on life but when he goes to get his book publicised he is asked to write a book about the disappearance of Diane. This opens up old wounds that will test his new relationship.

The game changes when Barney confronts Jeff offering him the answers but only if he joins him on the journey that Diane also went on.

 

Thoughts on The Vanishing

 

Characters/PerformanceBarney comes of calm, calculated and is willing to experiment when it comes to his technique. He is a loving father, husband and science teacher but deep down he is one of the great psychopaths you could imagine on film. He even has the guts to face his victim’s boyfriend to offer the answers he is looking for. Jeff is a good boyfriend but once Diane goes missing he becomes a desperate man with nothing to lose just needing to know the answers to what happened to her, he doesn’t care if she had just left him but he is being destroyed by the unknown. Rita is the new love interest for Jeff but doesn’t understand how his need for answers could come between them even if he loves her. Diane is the victim that we only see her disappearance and flashbacks.

Jeff Bridges shines in this role as a psycho you couldn’t pick out on the street corner and this could easily be one of his most underrated roles. Kiefer continued to show he was going onto bigger and better things in this role with Nancy Travis and Sandra Bullock both showing their skills through the film.

StoryThe story which could be a run of the mill killer turns into a film surrounded in uncertainty as our hero deals with the loss of a loved one in what can only be one of the most disturbing ways possible. We have a killer that isn’t serial but interested in just how far he can go. I do know this is a remake but in the end this works on the levels required for the story being told.

Horror/Mystery/ThrillerHorror, well once you see what Barney does to Diane you will reach the horror levels you need to see, the mystery is what Jeff must suffer through just not knowing what happened with the thrilling side of this film being us working out what will happen next.

SettingsThe settings show us just how easy it could have been for a serial killer to get away with his victims, while this only focuses on one killing the idea shows how it could have been going on for years.

Final ThoughtsThis must go down as one of the more disturbing horror films out there which can be enjoyed by all the fans of the genre.

 

Overall: I must say this is a must watch for all the horror fans out there.

Rating

 

 

Matthew McConaughey Weekend – A Time To Kill (1996)

a  timeDirector: Joel Schumacher

Writer: Akiva Goldsman (Screenplay) John Grisham (Novel)

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Sandra Bullock, Samuel L Jackson, Kevin Spacey, Oliver Platt, Charles S Dutton, Brenda Fricker, Donald Sutherland, Kiefer Sutherland, Ashley Judd

 

Plot: A young lawyer defends a black man accused of murdering two men who raped his 10-year-old daughter, sparking a rebirth of the K.K.K.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant

 

Story: A Time to Kill starts a we see 10-year-old Tonya beaten and raped by Billy Ray Cobb (Katt) and James Louis Willard (Hutchison) and with the case taken to court it looks like they will get off the charge, her father Carl Lee Hailey (Jackson) takes matters into his own hands.

Carl Lee facing a double murder charge Jake Tyler Brigance (McConaughey) takes the case having to go up against powerful DA Rufus Buckley (Spacey) in what is a case fuelled with racial tension.

When the case brings the Ku Klux Klan back from grave Jake puts his own family in danger but thanks to young law student Ellen Roark (Bullock) and his mentor Lucien Wilbanks (D.Sutherland) to help him keep his business a float and win this case.

A Time to Kill is a racial driven courtroom crime thriller that touches on everything with the nice amount of time. We get left to question what you would do if you were in any of the position between the case which is a huge plus for the film. The idea that we get the racial tension going on because of how the case could be treated differently depending on the skin colour of a character also helps drive the story. when it comes to courtroom drama this is by fair one of the best out there.

 

Actor Review

 

Matthew McConaughey: Jake Tyler Brigance is a young lawyer who has taken over a small law firm from his mentor who struggles to keep the business afloat. When this case comes his way he wants to do the right thing because he knows how this can be a difficult decision and believe he can win the case against the odds. Matthew shows early on in his career he could handle the serious films in leading role.

Sandra Bullock: Ellen Roark is a young law student who has helped on many murder cases and wants to help Jake with this case to help clear Carl Lee from the charges. She has different political beliefs to him which they do class on but their passion together can drive the case. Sandra shines in this role in her early career showing how she can pull of the serious roles too.

Samuel L Jackson: Carl Lee Hailey is the man that finds his daughter beaten and raped and decides to take justice into his own hands by killing the men involved. He doesn’t care what happens to him just as long as he makes these men pay but not faces a double murder charge. Samuel is great in this role as a man who got pushed to his limits.

Kevin Spacey: D A Rufus Buckley is the cocky DA who thinks this case is a slam dunk as he knows he can get the white man’s vote on the jury and questions Jake ability in a courtroom. Kevin while playing a standard character for the villain of the courtroom hit it ot the park in every scene.

Support Cast: A Time to Kill has a supporting cast which is filled with stars in nearly every scene and each one gives a brilliant performance throughout the film.

Director Review: Joel SchumacherJoel gives us one of his best films that balance the racial tension with the crime case perfectly.

 

Crime: A Time to Kill leaves us in the middle of a court case handle a sensitive subject which poses us questions on where you would stand on such a case.

Thriller: A Time to Kill does keep us one edge wondering where the next twist will come in the story be it in the courtroom or the tension building outside the courts.

Settings: A Time to Kill keeps nearly all the settings within the Louisiana town where racial tension is still strong and you can see the difference in both sides even with the same struggles.

Suggestion: A Time to Kill is one of the most must watch courtroom dramas out there with such a sensitive subject. (Must Watch)

 

Best Part: Closing speech.

Worst Part: Slightly long if you are being picky.

 

Believability: Parts could be.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $40 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 29 Minutes

Tagline: A lawyer and his assistant fighting to save a father on trial for murder. A time to question what they believe. A time to doubt what they trust. And no time for mistakes.

 

Overall: One of the all-time best courtroom drams out there.

Ratingcard

 

 

Jeff Goldblum Weekend – The Prince of Egypt (1998)

princesDirector: Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, Simon Wells

Writer: Philip LaZebnik (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talent) Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Danny Glover, Patrick Stewart, Helen Mirren, Steve Martin, Martin Short

 

Plot: An Egyptian prince learns of his identity as a Hebrew and, later his destiny to become the chosen deliverer of his people.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Story

 

Story: The Prince of Egypt starts in the traditional story as we see Moses as a baby floated down the river by his poor mother who wants him to have a future. Moses finds himself in the hands of the pharaoh Seti where he becomes the brother of Rameses. Growing up together the two have brotherly rivalry while both disappointing their father.

When Moses learns his true identity from his real brother Aaron and sister Miriam he starts to learn how Seti captured and force his people into slavery. Moses starting a new life as a shepherd gets a message from the burning bush to return to Egypt to bring down his former brother Rameses and let his people go and the rest well you know is history.

The Prince of Egypt tells the story of Moses leading the slaves of Egypt to freedom from the tyrant like leader. This is one of the most famous stories from within the Bible and I do believe that it could easily be in the top 3 most memorable and with this we get the amazing story of how one man challenged a pharaoh without turning to violence but instead turns to faith to win his battle for what is right. This is my favourite story from the Bible and this show each element of that story very well.

 

Character Review

 

Moses: Moses was raised within the royal family of Egypt taught to believe in Raa but when he learns his true identity he leads the revolution to free his people from slavery from his brother. Moses brings the 12 plagues of Egypt with him and is easily on of the most iconic character from within the Bible. Moses is always a character that comes off interesting because his story is one of the most famous from the Bible and this show his characters change when he learns the truth.

Rameses: Rameses is raised as the older brother of Moses and always destine to take of the leadership of Egypt as the future Pharaoh. He always wants to supporting Moses even with his new belief but when he challenges his position as ruler the brotherhood is thrown into turmoil. Rameses is always considered the villain of this story and it is true he is but he is also very misunderstood as he is following what he has been taught from his father.

Tzipporah: Tzipporah becomes the wife of Moses when he escapes his life and she stands next to him during his revolution within Egypt. Tzipporah comes off like a strong character early on but soon get forgotten when it becomes Moses versus Rameses.

Miriam: Miriam is the sister of Moses who has witnessed his freedom granted but is waiting for him to lead their people to their freedom. Miriam feels like she is going to be an important character but in the end just becomes a supporting character in this story.

Support Characters: The Prince of Egypt has a supporting cast that doesn’t turn into a heavy amount of comic relief which other animated films have done but instead the characters whose lives have been affected by the slavery.

Director Review: Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, Simon WellsThe directing team puts together a fresh look at the iconic story from within the Bible.

 

Animation: The Prince of Egypt has great animation which shines when it comes to all the plagues going on as well as the ma landscapes scenes.

Family: The Prince of Egypt is a story I would imagine school kids would hear and is one that the whole family can enjoy.

Fantasy: The Prince of Egypt is a story that does have elements of fantasy which all come through the story.

Musical: The Prince of Egypt has songs that show the tone of each scene they are being used in near perfectly.

Settings: The Prince of Egypt throws us into an Egypt we could only imagine for the ancient time.
Suggestion
: The Prince of Egypt is one I do think everyone should watch because of the story it tells. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The first child plague is haunting.

Worst Part: If you don’t believe in religion you might not enjoy.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 1 Oscar for Best Original Song

Budget: $70 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline:  The Story Is Forever

 

Overall: Beautiful telling of the iconic story.

Ratingcard

 

 

 

Premonition (2007)

premDirector: Mennan Yapo

Writer: Bill Kelly (Screenplay)

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Julian McMahon, Amber Valletta, Shyann McClure, Courtney Taylor Burness, Nia Long, Marc Macaulay, Kate Nelligan, Irene Ziegler, Phillip DeVona, Peter Stormare

 

Plot: Depressed housewife learns her husband was killed in a car accident the day previously, awakens the next morning to find him alive and well at home, and then awakens the next day after to a world in which he is still dead.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: An Ending That Ruins Everything

 

Story: Premonition starts as happily married couple Linda (Bullock) and Jim (McMahon) move into their new home, they have two children Megan (McClure) and Bridgette (Burness) giving them what seems like a perfect life. Linda’s life is turned upside when she learns that Jim has been killed in a car accident. Linda’s life takes another twist when after spending time grieving she finds her husband alive again.

Falling asleep with her husband Linda awakes at his wake with one of her daughter horrible scared. As Linda continues to jump through the before and after of the accident she starts to believe that she could change any future out comings.

Premonition is a film that tackles the idea of being able to see the future and trying to change what happens, which for me works really well. That is the end of the positives in the story because certain things that happen leave me wonder how or why, for example how does a child rum through a glass door? And the final act just made me think you deserved this you are an idiot. I just wish we had a lot more from this film which would make it all come off nicely.

 

Actor Review

 

Sandra Bullock: Linda Hanson is the wife and mother who gets stuck in a time loop where she goes between the day before her husband’s death and the time after his death. She has to plan a way to figure out what happened and how she could prevent the future occurring. Sandra is good in this role even if the character is flawed by the end of the film.linda

Julian McMahon: Jim Hanson is the husband and father who dies on the way back from a work meeting, only did he really die and did he die to cover up a secret that Linda learns about. Julian is solid in this basic supporting role which needed a lot more mystery about him.jim

Amber Valletta: Claire Francis is a work colleague of Jim’s who Linda had never met until his funeral only for her to go back to learn who she really was. Amber gives us a basic supporting performance without much screen time.

Support Cast: Premonition has a basic supporting cast that don’t offer enough for the final outcome of the film.

Director Review: Mennan YapoMennan gives us a good film that is ruined by the ending.

 

Mystery: Premonition does keep us guessing to watch is going on from start to finish.

Thriller: Premonition does keep us on edge with what actually happened.

Settings: Premonition uses basic settings with what happens to Jim.
Special Effects
: Premonition has basic effects with what happens but you can see it is CGI.

Suggestion: Premonition is one to try but I found the ending a let-down. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Piecing it together.

Worst Part: The Ending.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: The I Inside

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $48 Million

Budget: $20 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline: It’s not your imagination.

 

Overall: Good film ruined by an ending that just makes no sense

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