ABC Film Challenge – Crime – R – Raising Arizona (1987)

Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Writer: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, holly Hunter, Trey Wilson, John Goodman, William Forsythe, Sam McMurray, Frances McDormand

 

Plot: When a childless couple of an ex-con and an ex-cop decide to help themselves to one of another family’s quintuplets, their lives become more complicated than they anticipated.


Tagline – Their lawless years are behind them. Their child-rearing years lay ahead.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Laugh Out Loud Comedy

 

Story: Raising Arizona starts as we meet H.I. McDunnough (Cage) a petty thieve that has a habit of robbing convenience stores, he falls for police officer Ed (Hunter) and after his third spell in prison he decides to settle down with Ed and hope to start a family.

When the couple learn they can’t have children, their lives take a turn for the worse until rich businessman Nathan Arizona Sr (Wilson) has 5 babies, believing they can help, they steal one of the babies and the events of the film follows them trying to keep the baby and avoid the law.

 

Thoughts on Raising Arizona

 

Characters – H.I. McDunnough has been in and out of prison for the last decade each time getting closer to the arresting officer, deciding he wants to go clean he gets married and plans to start a family, only for his past to come back and haunt him forcing him to return to the life of crime. He is a character that has fallen into the life of crime and just can’t get out of it. Ed is a police officer that hasn’t had the best life, she falls for H.I. getting married and wanting to start a family. She learns she can’t have child, turning to a life of crime to get her own child. Nathan Arizona Sr is the father of the five babies willing to pay anything to get his son back legally or not. Gale is one half of criminal buddies pairing of H.I. that after breaking out of prison turns to his friend for help.

PerformancesNicolas Cage is wonderful in the leading role, where we see him show moments of his crazy level while giving a performance you will remember. Holly Hunter is great too where we see her create a performance where you feel for the pain and confliction her character goes through. When we look at the supporting cast we do get good performances from everyone that will give us enough to enjoy what we saw.

StoryThe story here follows an unlikely couple that decide to take a child because they couldn’t have one of their own. We follow the build up to their relationship and focus on how the couple’s life had the ups and downs before the incident.  By using a very real situation people could go through by not being able to have children and showing the fact the adoption process isn’t the fairest on the people that would offer a good home is important for the film. the hapless events the couple go through adds to the story and as with most of the Coen bothers movies we get lots of arcs that come together to add up to a final act which pts everything together.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy in the film comes from the events that the couple must go through, usually coming from H.I. actions in what is a crime world where he is a petty criminal taking any advantages he can.

SettingsThe film takes us to the open America where money would be tight leading to the mistakes being made by the people who are just desperate for anything to come their way.


Scene of the Movie –
The diaper chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The baby forgetting scenes.

Final ThoughtsThis is a classic crime comedy that shows us just how talented the Coen Brothers are, we get to see the best of Cage and a story which can be enjoyed by all.

 

Overall: Crime Comedy that is a must watch.

Rating

 

 

Cold Pursuit (2019)

Director: Hans Petter Moland

Writer: Frank Baldwin (Screenplay) Kim Fupz Aakeson (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Liam Neeson, Laura Dern, Michael Richardson, Michael Eklund, Bradley Stryker, Wesley MacInnes, Tom Bateman, Tom Jackson, William Forsythe

 

Plot: A snowplow driver seeks revenge against the drug dealers he thinks killed his son.


Tagline – The Perfect Revenge is all in the Execution.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightfully Dark

 

Story: Cold Pursuit starts when Nels Coxman (Neeson) wins the man of the year for his small town of Kehoe, he clears the roads for the residents in the snowy town, his son Kyle (Richardson) becomes a target for the local drug dealer Speedo (Eklund) who murders him.

Nels decides to go on a revenge mission, targeting Speedo first before moving up the chain, which sees him target the drug lord Viking (Bateman). Nels uses his brother Brock (Forsythe) to learn the field, which soon sees the Indians White Bull (Jackson) creating a turf war between the rival gangs.

 

Thoughts on Cold Pursuit

 

Characters – Nels is a quiet man who has spent his life cleaning the roads of snow, earning the respect of his town so much so that he gets the man of the city. When his son is murdered he goes out on a revenge mission against the local drug lords behind his murder. He remains calm even though he has lost everything, being prepared for every situation believing he is in control through the revenge. Grace is the wife and mother that just switches off leaving Nels after what happened. Viking is the local drug lord, he dictates everything in his life including his child’s menu, he is easily the one character you quickly come to hate because of his actions. White Bull is the leader of the Indians that run the operation in Kehoe, he end sup being dragged into the battle when Viking targets him for his own missing men, he isn’t happy with changes from the native land his forefathers once had.

PerformancesLiam Neeson does give us a different performance than we are used to in this action films, this is one where he clearly looks like a reluctant killer who has lost everything. Tom Bateman is the highlight of the film, because he is the one that makes us hate him by how he treats everybody in his life, both personal and business. Tom Jackson brings a calm performance to his drug lord figure which will see a different idea to how his character sees the business. We get plenty of supporting performances that will get the laughs when needed.

StoryThe story follows a mild-mannered man who sees his son murdered by the local drug lord and decides to go on his own revenge mission to eliminate the problem once and for all. This does play out differently than your normal revenge movie, because Nels side is slowly learning the hierarchy involved like normal, but how the drug lord deals with the problem sees him going after the rival gang which only builds the size of chaos going on. One of the weaknesses in the story is the police, who only seem to be involved to fill in certain blanks in the story rather than doing anything for the case. We do also tend to have conversations that aren’t needed which only drags certain scenes out for no reason, let not talk about the whole watching a car drive into Denver every single time.

ActionThe action does feel held back in places which saves for the big blow off scene to complete the war between everybody involved.

SettingsThe film is set in Kehoe, just outside of Denver, this is a snow covered town which is filled with tight roads in need of clearing, the locals are close and will help each other out.


Scene of the Movie –
The death messages which show who has died and by which side of the battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Driving to Denver.

Final ThoughtsThis is a dark action thriller which is filled with a dark humour, it is a simple revenge idea which will take things in different directions than the normal.

 

Overall: Darkly entertaining revenge film.

Rating

 

 

Julianne Moore Weekend – Freedomland (2006)

freeDirector: Joe Roth

Writer: Richard Price (Screenplay) Richard Price (Novel)

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Julianne Moore, Edie Falco, Ron Eldard, William Forsythe, Aunjanue Ellis, Anthony Mackie

 

Plot: A black police detective must solve a strange case of a kidnapped boy and deal with a big racial protest.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Crime Thriller

 

Story: Freedomland starts when a bloodied woman Brenda Martin (Moore) stumbles into an emergency room claim she was car jacked with her son still inside the car. Local cop Lorenzo Council (Jackson) who knows everyone in the troubled area takes the lead trying to find the car-jacker. With racial tension building within the neighbourhood and the fellow cop Danny Martin (Eldard) wanting to find his nephew we have to wait to see where Brenda’s story is really going.

When we learn Brenda is respected with in the neighbourhood containing all black members we see how Lorenzo starts questioning whether someone in the neighbourhood could actually be involved in the carjacking. We are left to see where the twists will be going in this story.

Freedomland is a crime thriller that has plenty of twists along the way with the background racial tension as the wrong person can get accused. We get to see the trauma of losing a child through the character of Brenda as well as having the lead detective having to stay neutral through the case which is filled with one too many questions for his own likely. This does have good elements for any crime thriller and does keep you guessing to where the story will be going next. We do get good performance from both Jackson and Moore in the leading roles as we see how they both deal with the characters they are playing.

 

Overall: Great crime thriller that shows consequences with one story.

Rating70

 

 

 

The Hollow (2016)

hollowDirector: Miles Doleac

Writer: Miles Doleac (Screenplay)

Starring: William Sadler, James Callis, Jeff Fahey, William Forsythe, David Warshofsky, Christiane Seidel

 

Plot: When a U.S. congressman’s daughter passing through a small town in Mississippi dies in a mysterious triple homicide, a team of F.B.I. agents descends to investigate, the team’s brilliant but jaded lead agent battling demons both past and present, as his beautiful, tough-as-nails partner tries to hold him and the case together. They find a struggling and corrupt sheriff’s department, a shadowy and much-feared figure, who seems to be pulling all of the town’s strings from his mansion on the edge of town and a local victim with a strange connection to a number of the town’s most prominent figures.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Burner Crime Thriller

 

Story: The Hollow starts when a murder turns into a triple homicide in this small town. When one of the victims turns out to be a congressman’s daughter this brings the FBI to this town with Vaughn Killinger (Callis) and partner Sarah Desoto (Seidel) stepping on the toes of the local law enforcement with Sheriff Beau McKinney (Sadler) trying to keep their own business under wraps.

As the case becomes clearer the FBI and local cops clash as we see the truth surfaces as we see Vaughn deal with his own personal demons.

The Hollow gives us a small town crime story with a lot of detail put into trying to develop all of the characters. This has to go down as a slight downside because this takes away too much away from the crime side of the story in places. The personal life of Vaughn is key to this story because it shows conflict between the local law and FBI. The pace of this film really drags everything down even though you have the feeling something is going to be happening you just find yourself wondering why certain scenes are included.

 

Overall: Slow Burner with little pay off at the end.

Rating50

 

 

The Rock (1996)

rockDirector: Michael Bay

Writer: David Weisberg, Douglas Cook, Mark Rosner (Screenplay) David Weisberg, Douglas Cook (Story)

Starring: Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, John Spencer, David Morse, William Forsythe, Michael Biehn, Vanessa Marcil, John C. McGinley, Tony Todd

 

Plot: A mild-mannered chemist and an ex-con must lead the counterstrike when a rogue group of military men, led by a renegade general, threaten a nerve gas attack from Alcatraz against San Francisco.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the Best

 

Story: The Rock starts as General Francis Hummel (Harris) and his men including Major Baxter (Morse) take a military base by storm to steal a deadly bio-weapon. We also get to see the effects of the weapon when one of the men gets trapped in the room with it. We also get meet Stanley Goodspeed (Cage) who works as a chemical weapons disarmer.

General Hummel takes Alcatraz prison as his new base of operations where he has his weapons ready for launch unless his demands are met, he wants $100 Million that he can pay to fallen soldier’s family’s the money they deserve. Hummel has kept everything non-violent and keeps everything professional with his negotiations. We see how the FBI Director Womack (Spencer) and the rest of the authority figures in America give us the basic idea of what will be the consequences if the gas goes off and why plan A, B or C can’t work.

This has established the idea that we need our chemical expert Stanley and ex-inmate John Patrick Mason (Connery) who has been locked away with the key thrown away. The plan is to learn his route how he escaped from Alcatraz and use it to enter and get the upper hand on the men controlling the prison.

The Rock gives us an action movie that keeps all of the action in and from America with the terrorist side of the story being American soldiers. The odd couple chemistry between Goodspeed and Mason shows that people will go to lengths stop the men. I liked how Hummel’s also comes off very determined but not willing to take people’s lives into his hands wanting a peaceful ending to everything. we do get the basic action sides of the story but that doesn’t mean this is a bad movie. This is a fully enjoyable action film with a story that makes you question how you feel about Hummel’s.

 

Actor Review

 

Sean Connery: John Patrick Mason is the former inmate of Alcatraz who has been locked up many prisons which he has a habit of escaping from. John gets bought in on this mission because he knows how to get into Alcatraz but he isn’t playing by all the rules. The only man he respects out of the FBI unit is Goodspeed as the two have to become the heroes. Sean gives us one of the best performances of his career in this role showing he still had the action side of his older age.mason

Nicolas Cage: Stanley Goodspeed is the chemical expert that is considered the best in his field, as an FBI agent he gets bought into the situation to secure the bio-weapons that are threatening San Francisco. He has to work with Mason putting aside their differences to save the day. Nicolas is brilliant in this showing how he would become an action star for years to come.goodspeed

Ed Harris: General Francis Hummel is the man who is leading the operation take Alcatraz as his base to get the money owed to the men who died under his watch in black ops mission. He keeps everything non-lethal and wants to use the right paths even if some of the men are more trigger happy. Hummel makes for one of the most interesting villains in action film history because his cause is a worthy, he wants to negotiate in a forceful way without actually having causalities. We never really hate this villain because of this and he even does the right thing during the times when he men have gone out of line. Ed gives a brilliant performance in one of the best villains in action film history.hummels

David Morse: Major Tom Baxter is Hummel’s second in command he isn’t afraid to do jobs that Hummel’s doesn’t want to do and as the story unfold we learn how far he is willing to go. David is great in this supporting role.

Support Cast: The Rock has a massive supporting cast all in either military roles or authority roles.

Director Review: Michael BayMichael gives us one of the greatest action movies ever made.

 

Action: The Rock has great action throughout being is the hand to hand combat or explosions or gun fights.

Adventure: The Rock puts Goodspeed and Mason on an adventure to save the city.

Thriller: The Rock keeps us on our toes from start to finish.

Settings: The Rock uses Alcatraz for the setting which adds a unique take to the action side of the story.
Special Effects
: The Rock uses great effects for the action throughout without being too over the top.

Suggestion: The Rock is one for all the action fans to watch over and over because it is one of the best. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Car Chase.

Worst Part: Not much.

Action Scene Of The Film: Car Chase

Favourite Quote: Mason ‘Your “best”! Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen.’

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for Best Sound

Box Office: $134 Million

Budget: $70 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 16 Minutes

Tagline: Alcatraz. Only one man has ever broken out. Now five million lives depend on two men breaking in.

 

Overall: One of the best action movies ever made which is just easy to watch throughout.

Ratingcard