Accidental Hero (1992)

Director: Stephen Frears

Writer: David Webb Peoples (Screenplay) Laura Ziskin, Alvin Sargent, David Webb Peoples (Story)

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis, Andy Garcia, Joan Cusack, Kevin J O’Connor, Maury Chaykin, Stephen Tobolowsky

 

Plot: A not-so-nice man rescues passengers from a crashed airliner, only to see someone else take credit.


Tagline – We’re all heroes if you catch us at the right moment. Even Bernie LaPlante.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Idea, Not Funny Enough

 

Story: Accidental Hero starts as we meet Bernie LaPlante (Hoffman) who is facing jail time for his streetwise action, he is trying to talk himself out of jail time, without much success. We also meet reporter Gale (Davis) who has just received an award for her work even if her boss isn’t given her the chances she has earnt.

When the plane carrying Gale crash lands, Bernie happens to be next to accident, he ends up saving everybody on board, before vanishing into the night. When Gale wants to make the story out of the event, a fellow homeless man John Bubber (Garcia) takes credit, who wants to use his new-found fame to help the homeless, while Bernie is left in jail watching the events unfold.

 

Thoughts on Accidental Hero

 

Characters – Bernie LaPlante is a homeless man that has blown his successful life out the water, he lost his wife, most of his time with his son and is facing jail, he knows how to survive and push the limits to make sure he survives on the street, with his car being his home. He ends up doing an act of greatness, saving the passengers on a plane, but not wanting the praise for this, until a monetary reward comes up, he must figure out how to prove it was him. Gale is a reporter on the rise in the business, she is receiving an award, while still fighting her time on the big screen, she makes a story out of the plane crash, which sees her take a homeless man to celebrity status. John Bubber is a homeless man that decides to come forward and claim the reward for being the hero, he soon becomes the talk of the town that would inspire many into doing the right thing.

PerformancesDustin Hoffman is the right man for the job because he fits the unlikely hero that has been through the struggles in life. Geena Davis is fun in the role that sums up the struggle women would have in the professional field. Andy Garcia goes through the biggest change which sees him doing everything to live with the new fame.

StoryThe story follows a reporter who wants to make the hero of a plane crash rescue known to the people they saved, only for the real person behind it all, not getting the game after a fake takes the limelight. This does pain the picture of faster acting celebrities coming from such simple ideas of rescuing somebody, people struggling with new fame and how people are quick to just judge anybody that might be helping others out. Strangely enough this is one of the stories that could really become more appealing in the social media heavy world we now live in and would be an interesting one to see reach new level.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in this film doesn’t come off, it never feels like a film you could have a giggle about anything happening, the romance is strange because it just doesn’t give us a believable one either.

SettingsThe settings show us just how the big city can capture a story which would make an unknown a celebrity over night.


Scene of the Movie –
The balcony.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of comedy in the comedy film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a lacklustre romantic comedy that just doesn’t hit the marks it could and actually feels like it could be one film that makes a bigger impact now.

 

Overall: Stuck between too many genres.

Rating

 

 

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Strange Nature (2018)

Director: James Ojala

Writer: James Ojala (Screenplay)

Starring: Stephen Tobolowsky, Carlos Alazraqui, John Hennigan, Lisa Sheridan, Tiffany Shepis, David Mattey, Ann Hearn, Bruce Bohne, Faust Checho

 

Plot: The first film to expose unsolved wildlife deformity outbreaks and where they may lead.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Suspenseful Sci-Fi Shocker

 

Story: Strange Nature starts when single mother Kim Sweet (Sheridan) returns home with her son Brody (Beres) to live with her father Chuck (Bohne) and it doesn’t take long before the locals start locating deformed frogs, which leads to Kim investigate just what is happening with the local wildlife.

Soon an unknown creature starts picking off the residents of the area which takes Kim’s investigation to the Mayor Paulson (Tobolowsky). Joined by local teacher Trent (Checho) we see how the species being deformed are evolving into deadlier animals showing they must stop the cause before it is too late.

 

Thoughts on Strange Nature

 

Characters – Kim Sweet was once a rising popstar whose life didn’t turn out the way she had planned, she finds herself a single mother returning home to care for her dying father, once home she gets to see just how bad the situation back home has become and must lead the fight to save the town from a threat causing deformities in its locals. Mayor Paulson is trying his best to keep everything under wraps in the town, to stop the people panicking even if he does have his own reasons for doing so. Sam is one of the locals who sticks with his kind, he doesn’t like people that are different only for it to become clear he isn’t even safe from the deformities himself. Trent is the closest to a scientist we have in this film, a school teacher that helps Kim with her investigation.

PerformancesLisa Sheridan in the leading role is strong through the film, we get to see her show the parental side, independent side and remains strong though the challenging subject matters. Stephen Tobolowsky always makes for a good political figure and this is no different, while John Hennigan brings us a different character we are used to seeing, a villainous one that fits the trouble maker in town. The rest of the cast are good through the film.

StoryThe story here brings us to a small town which has started to get birth defecates on the first small animals soon becoming more serious and deadlier. This gives us the small-town community that begins to point fingers at what or who is causing everything going on, which of course brings moments of panic. The scientific side of the investigation is interesting because we do get to see different potential answers over the cause and by holding back on the biggest reveals and side effects we get to be left to see just how far up the evolution chain the defects will go. As we mostly follow a single mother we get to see extra protection and concern being shown, while other members of the town want to turn a blind eye to what is happening. The story does try to ask us the question about what we think about potential problems we might be causing to our environment and how the side effects could bring something terrible towards us.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi side of this story comes from just showing us how the defects are affecting the environment, this is something we are seeing in real life, just this side goes that little bit further with everything.

SettingsThe film is set in one small town, this brings us a sense of community which only makes us understand how tight knit the people are.

Special EffectsThe Effects give us plenty of practical ones showing how different animals will look if they were to become deformed. They only make things look more disturbing through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The afterbirth effects.

That Moment That Annoyed Me That final twist.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sci-fi thriller that does ask questions, it holds back any big reveals until the final third of the film which keeps us guessing to just what we will be facing once the battle gets made clear and shows that pointing fingers never solves anything.

 

Overall: Sci-Fi for the thinkers.

Rating

 

 

Groundhog Day (1993)

Director: Harold Ramis

Writer: Danny Rubin, Harold Ramis (Screenplay)

Starring: Bill Murray, Andie MacDowell, Chris Elliott, Stephen Tobolowsky, Brian Doyle-Murray, Marita Geraghty

 

Plot: A weatherman finds himself inexplicably living the same day over and over again.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bill Murray Machine

 

Story: Groundhog Day starts as weatherman Phil (Murray) is reluctantly covering the fourth year in a row Groundhog Day where the people of the small town believe if the groundhog appears it marks the start of spring. O his trip Phil is joined by his faithful cameraman Larry (Elliott) and new producer Rita (MacDowell).

When a blizzard keeps Phil in the town for one more night, he finds himself waking up on Groundhog Day once again, confused about what is happening he makes nothing of it at first, but when the day keeps restarting Phil starts to question his own sanity. Phil starts by taking advantage of the situation using each day to get to know Rita better, but just how many times can he go through the same day.

 

Thoughts on Groundhog Day

 

Characters/PerformancePhil is the weatherman who wants to do more with his career, he is selfish and doesn’t care about what happened to anybody in his life. He does go through the change in the film as he continues to live the same day getting to know the whole town. Rita is the new love interest who is also career minded, Larry is the cameraman and like most of the rest of the characters are largely forgettable.

Bill Murray is the star of this movie, he has to show his range as an actor while the rest of the cast just must go through the motions of repeating their actions.

StoryThe story is good as it shows how one man can repeat one day over again, learning about people who would never take time to get to know. The story shows us just how much the character of Phil could go through he is does go through the same day.

Comedy/Fantasy/RomanceWe have good moments of laughter from Bill Murray but not too many full blown laughs, the fantasy side comes from the repeating the same day with the romance coming from Phil trying to get to know Rita.

SettingsThe film is mostly set within the small town which makes for a good setting for the big cocky weatherman.

Special EffectsWe don’t have many special effects but the ones we do have all work very well for the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is considered a classic and I can understand why but for me a lot of this film is just how great Murray can be.

 

Overall: This is a full-blown Bill Murray vehicle.

Rating

 

 

Single White Female (1992)

posterDirector: Barbet Schreoder

Writer: Don Roos (Screenplay) John Lutz (Novel)

Starring: Bridget Fonda, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Steven Weber, Peter Friedman, Stephen Tobolowsky, Frances Bay

 

Plot: A woman advertising for a new roommate finds that something very strange is going on with the tenant who decides to move in.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Stalker Roommate Film

 

Story: Single White Female starts when advertising computer tech Allison Jones (Fonda) has a big break up with her current partner Sam (Weber) leading to her reaching desperate times with her career, trying to find the income she looks for a new roommate to help with the rent.

The ideal roommate comes into Allison’s life, Hedra (Leigh) a young lady that has great chemistry with Allison. When Sam comes back into Allison’s life Hedra starts getting jealous leading to a string of unusual events affecting Allison’s life, Allison soon learns the truth about Hedra needing to find a way to move her out before her own life becomes in danger.

 

Thoughts on Single White Female

 

StoryThe old psycho roommate story, well this does give us a female driven version of the story with most of the men being made out to be horrible throughout, we have plenty of by the books material but if it isn’t broken why fix it right? This is an easy watch and you can believe how everything unfolds without it being anything that stands out from the rest in the genre.

ThrillerThis is a film that does keep us on edge through the film wondering just how the clogs will be ticking inside the head of Hedra.

Characters/PerformanceAllison comes off a strong career driven woman but slightly naïve when it comes to other things in her life, she is happy to have a lying cheating boyfriend but struggles to make friends in the big city. Hedra is an interesting character who is happy to get obsessed with what she thinks is her perfect friend if not sister, calm calculated through each and every decision she makes.

The performance from both Fonda and Leigh are great with Leigh stealing the show as the psycho roommate. We do have a few other characters but they don’t get enough time to shine with their limited screen time.stars

SettingsThe settings for this film keep us within the apartment for the most part with only glimpse outside in the city. Keeping everything inside the apartment helps with the suspense of not knowing someone before letting the live with you.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller that builds on the psycho roommate idea with a very strong female leading performance between the two actresses.

 genre

Overall: Well-made psycho roommate film

Ratingrating