Taps (1981)

Director: Harold Becker

Writer: Darryl Ponicsan, Robert Mark Kamen (Screenplay) Devery Freeman (Novel)

Starring: George C Scott, Timothy Hutton, Ronny Cox, Sean Penn, Tom Cruise

 

Plot: Military cadets take extreme measures to insure the future of their academy when its existence is threatened by local condo developers.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Little 80’s Movie

 

Story: Taps starts as we meet our Military Cadets with Cadet Major Brian Moreland (Hutton) getting the promotion to this rank for his final year at the academy from General Harlan Bache (Scott). Bache informs the students this will be their final year before the academy is going to be knocked down for development.

When there is an altercation outside the grounds Bache accidently kills a young civilian. The consequences of this are that the base is going to close early but Moreland brings together the cadets with his Captains Alex Dwyer (Penn) and David Shawn (Cruise) to hold the base so they can have their final year and prove the academy is important for the community.

 

Thoughts on Taps

 

Characters – General Harlan Bache runs the military academy, he has done for years and enjoys developing the next generation of soldiers, when he is accidently involved in a shooting of a civilian he is removed from the base ending up in hospital. Cadet Major Brian Moreland leads the cadets, he was handpicked by the General and once the General is off the base, he leads the defence of the base from the incoming developers. Cadet Captain Dwyer is the closest friend Moreland has on the base and does clash with Shawn at time over clash of styles. Cadet Captain David Shawn is the fellow captain that is determined to prove the cadets can handle themselves, he acts quicker than Dwyer which leads to their tension at times.

PerformanceThe performances are great throughout, George Scott is your big name draw for the time and is good in his role, with Timothy Hutton here right after his Oscar win that is great throughout. Tom Cruise and Sean Penn both show their skills in the supporting role where they easily becoming big stars.

StoryThe story does follow the cadets who look to defend their school after an accident that is about to be getting closed. It shows how they were trained to handle themselves and stand up for what they believe in a bigger cause than themselves. It does have moments where you think it is a kids movie but the reality war is never just this tone and you also couldn’t see both sides fighting for what is mostly property.

SettingsMost of the film is set at the academy which shows how the young men worked together to stand up for what could build on a generation of future soldiers.

Scene of the Movie – Escape the locals.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This does seem like fighting for almost nothing, even if it is mostly tactical building up to a potential battle.

Final ThoughtsThis film shows us three young talented actors who all went onto bigger project in a film which shows the meaning behind being a solider from a young age, working together and understanding when to stand up for something you believe in.

 

Overall: Good drama showing us plenty of military tactics.

Rating

 

 

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All the Money in the World (2017)

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: David Scarpa (Screenplay) John Pearson (Book)

Starring: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Romain Duris, Timothy Hutton, Charlie Plummer

 

Plot: The story of the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother to convince his billionaire grandfather Jean Paul Getty to pay the ransom.


Tagline – J. Paul Getty had a fortune. Everyone else paid the price.

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Crime Thriller

 

Story: All the Money in the World starts when John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) get kidnapped in Rome, the ransom is $17 Million, the only person that can help her mother Gail Harris (Williams) get the money is the estranged billionaire grandfather J Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer) who isn’t willing to pay a single dollar to get his favourite grandson back.

Fletcher Chase (Wahlberg) is recruited to negotiate a deal with the kidnappers, but Getty isn’t willing to spare a dollar to get him back as the situation starts to get out of hand as time starts to run out on getting John Paul Getty III back alive.

 

Thoughts on All the Money in the World

 

Characters – Gail Harris is the mother of John Paul Getty III, she has given up her fortune she could have had from her divorce to keep her son, she must go back to her old father in law to get the money, even after she doesn’t get the money she leads the campaign to save her son. J Paul Getty is the richest man in the world, he has made the money by taking whatever he wants and will never give up money for anything that doesn’t increase his value. Businessman at heart he will only do a deal for his own good. Fletcher Chase is the deal maker, he has been able to negotiate deals for Getty for years and now he is assigned to help retrieve the grandson.

PerformancesMichelle Williams is the true star of this movie, she shines in every scene she is in, showing the strength on front of the cameras and the weakness behind them. Christopher Plummer is great in his role which was one that we get to see him take very late in the process. Mark Wahlberg is surprisingly good in his role, taking a supporting position he handles everything without becoming over the top like you would imagine him doing.

StoryThe story here follows the kidnapping of the grandchild of the richest man in the world and follows whether he is willing to spend his fortune to get him back alive. We have the concerned mother that will do anything to get him back, even go against the father-in-law. While the story does come off slow at times as we do go through the same process too often, but it does show how greed can drive people to make terrible decisions.

Biopic/Crime/MysteryThis is meant to be about a real person, not sure how real the story is truly about, this could be considered one of the biggest kidnapping cases of all time if is real though.

SettingsThe film does use the backdrops wonderfully through the film to make us feel like we are part of the scenes we are watching through, the beauty stands out here.


Scene of the Movie –
Williams performance is something to sit and enjoy.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel long.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good crime thriller, it shows us just how far people will go for money and how far people will go to keep it.

 

Overall: Long strong movie.

Rating

 

 

The General’s Daughter (1999)

logoDirector: Simon West

Writer: Christopher Bertonlini, William Goldman (Screenplay) Nelson Demille (Novel)

Starring: John Travolta, Madeleine Stowe, James Cromwell, Timothy Hutton, Leslie Stefanson, Daniel Von Bargen, James Woods, Clarence Williams III

 

Plot: When well-known and well respect General Joseph Campbell’s (Cromwell) daughter is found dead Paul Brenner (Travolta) and Sara Sunhill (Stowe) are called into investigate. Everything is not as it seems as the pair find themselves trapped in a world cover-ups.

 

Verdict: Cover-ups, that leads to conspiracies

Story: Mystery thrillers always need to keep you guessing to be remembered and this really does offer plenty of different options for you to think about throughout. It also shows how military can try to keep thinks in house to protect themselves from bad press. In the end the story looks like it is about to be complete when suddenly it opens more doors that it had closed. (8/10)

 

Actor Review: John Travolta – Warr. Off. Paul Brenner an undercover CID officer who gets called into solving this crime as he current case closes. A bad solider, but a great policeman which side will he end up siding for. Good from John gets to use small parts of his charm even through the more serious side of the story. (8/10)

 travolta

Actor Review: Madeleine Stowe – Warr. Off. Sara Sunhill a rape counsellor and former partner of Paul, who works on the case in her own way. Good performance from Madeleine but sometimes gets overshadowed by John. (7/10)

stowe

Actor Review: James Cromwell – Lt Gen Joseph Campbell a well-respected who could enter the world of politics but after his daughter’s death things may change. When you see Cromwell’s name on any film you expect to see an authority figure and he always nails it. (8/10)

 cromwell

Actor Review: Timothy Hutton – Col William Kent head of the military police who picks Paul and Sara to uncover the truth. Good supporting role that doesn’t offer enough through the story even though he is important to conclusion. (6/10)

 tim

Actor Review: Leslie Stefanson – Capt. Elizabeth Campbell the victim and her haunting past has led to the outcome. Used mostly in flashbacks but plays the haunted character very well. (8/10)

 leslie

Actor Review: James Woods – Col Robert Moore, Elizabeth’s mentor who even though knows more than he lets on what betray her trust. Good performance from Woods who is always good for s support role. (8/10)

 woods

Actor Review: Clarence Williams III– Col George Fowler, General Campbell’s second hand man who will follow him to the grave. Good performance that shows loyalty at it’s very best. (8/10)

clarence

Director Review: Simon West – Good direction to create a mystery that just keeps you guessing. (8/10)

 

Crime: Haunting crime committed and solving it takes all of what Paul has. (9/10)

Thriller: Keeps you guessing from start to finish. (9/10)

Believability: Seems the overall story is not, but I the idea it could happen to a female soldier could be. (1/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: The military base makes a great setting as everyone is against an outsider trying to solve a problem in the base. (9/10)

 

Suggestion: I think this is one to try, the subject matter could be hard for some people to watch. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The mystery.

Action Scene Of The Film: The boat gun battle.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No

 

Overall: Military Murder Mystery

Rating 74

Secret Window (2004)

logoDirector: David Koepp

Writer: David Koepp (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Johnny Depp, John Turturro, Maria Bello, Timothy Hutton, Charles s Dutton

 

Plot: When Mort Rainey’s (Depp) life starts falling apart because of his divorce from Amy (Bello) he relocates to their remote cabin in the woods. When one day a stranger comes to the door, that stranger was John Shooter (Turturro) he claims Mort has copied his story. Mort now has to prove he wrote the story first before everyone he has ever cared for or known starts going missing.

 

Verdict: A Stephen King tale that keeps you guessing and is full of tension

Story: a very suspenseful story that will surprise and shock you with the twist ending. The build-up works nicely to throw you off that trail and the lack of conflict between Mort and John keeps everything calm while keeping the tension high. (7/10)

 

Actor Review: Johnny Depp – Mort writer who struggles with his divorce and a man claiming he stole his story. Good performance that is saved by his range in the final act of the film. (8/10)

 depp

Actor Review: John Turturro – John Shooter the man who wants Mort to admit he stole his story at any means. With very small amount of screen time he shines but his lack of screen time doesn’t help the final reveal. (8/10)

turturro

Actor Review: Maria Bello – Amy, Mort’s wife who wants him to sign the divorce papers. Maria struggles to make an impact in her screen time. (5/10)

 maria

Director Review: David Koepp – David can really tell a great story creating scenes of tension and suspense. (8/10)

 

Thriller: Keeps you wanting to know more and try and figure out what is happening. (8/10)

Believability: A lot of writers do struggle with their sanity in the process this is the extremes of that. (4/10)

Chances of Tears: no (0/10)

Settings: The creepy cabin in a remote location adds tension to certain scenes making it a good setting. (8/10)

Suggestion: If you like a non-gore fest thriller this is for you using the build for each moment in the film. If you don’t like this sort of thriller horror this will be hard for you to watch and as always all Stephen King fans must watch. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The reveal is good.

Worst Part: The reveal takes away Turturro performances.

Oscar Chances: None

Chances of Sequel: No

 

Overall: Cabin Fever hit hard

Rating 70