Category Archives: Movies

Siege 2

The Cook, his Niece The Nerd and the Thief
OR
Under Seige 2 (1995)
Stevan Seagal stars as Casey Ryback. Ex SEAL, monosyllabic hero of
another Hero-saves-the-world movie.

You can guess certain things from the start. That the young girl (his
niece) is going to be captured by the bad guys at some stage and used as a hostage. That the *big* bad guy will know our hero, and that he will insist in taking him on at the end of the film hand to hand. Why the hero doesn’t just pick up a gun & blow him away I don’t know.

The plot goes something like :
The USA military develops a particle beam weapon that is launched into space under the guise of a mapping satellite. An ex-employee (the nerd, who looks like a young Eliot Gould) and a band of mercenaries capture a train. They install computers & satellite tracking equipment to gain control of the satellite. The bad guys blow up a chemical factory to show they are serious, then threaten to turn California into an undersea world by triggering the San Andreas fault.

Seagal does the job OK under the direction of NZ director Geoff
Murphy. Unfortunately, speech isn’t one of his good points. A scene
early in the film to establish the relationship between him and the
niece isn’t very convincing. The one-liners only *just* work, and he
is looking a bit too old for the karate moves.

The action, with just enough suspense, makes up for the acting.

Overall 7/10 (OK, but NOT at the James Cameron level)

Broken Arrow

Broken Arrow
(1996)

Starring
John Travolta (Deaker)
Christian Slater (Hale)

Directed by John Woo

“I don’t know what is scarier, that we have a broken arrow or that
we have a term for this situation”

A broken arrow is when a nuclear missile goes missing. We need someone to steal it (Deaker) and a hero to go up against the bad guys, win the day (and get the girl), that’s Hale. Both are army officers only one has been eating American pie, the other just wants lots of money & a comfy place in the sun.

So it’s another testosterone filled action movie by the numbers. But what numbers. From the start the action doesn’t slow down. From destroying aircraft (1 steath bomber & 2 helicopters) to mines to vehicles and finally a scale train set. Some of the stunts are in the “how did they do that ??” and “WOW” category. The story keeps going, with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing to the end.

Christian Slater at times looks to relaxed to be in the Airforce, perhaps they were thinking of Keana Reeves (speed) for the part. John Travolta doesn’t do any dancing, but entertains with his one lines and psycho routine at the end. This is the third film where he has played the nasty (previously “Pulp Fiction” and “Get Shorty”). Perhaps this is a new career move. I understand he got around $10 million for the part.

It’s not that original, the train sequences reminded me of “Under Siege 2”, and the Blackmail/Hero saves the world has been done thousands of times.

It may not have JC Van Dammed in it, but if you can drag yourself (and M) away from the computer you should enjoy it. Don’t wait until it comes out on video, the explosions just don’t have the same impact.

Recommended.

Strip

 

StripTease (1996)
Starring :
Demi Moore
Burt Reynolds
Robert Patrick (Terminator 2)

I knew that you would think that I would go to see this movie.
So I didn’t want to disappoint you. I only went because you will not be allowed to go.

Demi Moore plays the part of a nightclub stripper in a custody battle
with her husband over her daughter. Robert Patrick plays the slimy husband. The sort of low life that puts on a stethescope and doctors gown and roams hospitals snatching wheelchairs with his daughter. He moves when his wife finds out where he is hiding with his daughter.

Burt Reynolds plays a corrupt senator. With a white shock of hair,
and no morals, he hams it up to the max.

OK, yes you do see Demi’s breasts (several times). But in my expert
opinion the best breasts are on the stripper with a python that
almost kills her.

There is also a stripper with gravity defying breasts so large I
am sure that Industrial Light and Magic had a hand in their
constrction.

The story starts with Moore denied access to her daughter. One night at the strip club a drunk senator hits a customer over the head with a bottle. A photograph is taken that is later to be used as a bribe. It’s almost election time, so his minders are trying to keep the
senator in line.

Another customer offers to help Moore with her custody battle, he
knows a senator that can help. So the film sets itself up for a Tom Sharpe type satire about politics, life, sex etc. Unfortunately that’s about as far as gets.

The story drags too much and lacks any sting to succeed as a satire.
It lumbers on as a light comedy, with a few good laughs.

The ending is predictable.

My Rating 5/10

Waterworld

 

Review from 1995

A 170 million dollar flop, or the film of the year ?

In the future, the polar ice-caps have melted, drowning the planet
in seawater. The legend is that dry land exists somewhere.

Kevin Costner is the Marriner, sailing a triple hulled yacht around
the world that looks suspiously like Dennis O’Conners boat that won
the Americas Cup. During the film, it sprouts enough gadgets & gizmos that you would think that M (from the Bond movies) made it.

Dennis Hopper (Speed) plays the bad guy and gets all the good lines.
Jean Tripplehorn is the love interest and looks like a lost puppy
throughout the film.

So the film is about his search for dry land, and holding on to a
ten year old girl, who has a map tattoed on her back of where to find
it. The film looks like “Mad Max” on water, with massive sets of rusting iron.

The good parts are some completely improbable stunts. The bad part is the gooey ending.

The story has the potential for a good SciFi film, but it is just an
excuse for another hollywood good-guy-saves-the-world flick.

I read a review that described it as a B Grade movie.
I would agree, so 5/10.

Another 1/10 for everyone wondering what all the fuss is about.

Sense & Sensibility

Sense & Sensibility
(1995)

Starring :
Hugh (specializing in the did-I-do-something-wrong-Officer look) Grant.
Emma (specialising little-lost-dog look) Thompson

With
Hugh Laurie (“A Bit of Fry & Laurie”, “Blackadder”)
Alan Rickman (“Die Hard”, The Sheriff in “Robin Hood”)
Robert Hardy (“All Creatures great and small”)
and a few other actors frequently seen in British Dramas.

This is the story of a mother and her 3 daughters she is trying to
marry off after their father dies. Emma Thompson is the oldest, and two of the three are of marriageable age

All the women have heaving breasts and swoon at the sight of a
potential husband. All the men have collars around their necks and bow slowly on meeting everyone from the Queen to the local dog.

What is essentially a period drama has lots of laughs due to the
screenplay by Thompson (similar comedy to ex husband Ken Brannagh’s re-writing of Shakespeare)

The props department of the BBC has been used once again for the great costumes, and I am sure that parts of Great Britian have been kept out of the 20th century just for the film industry.

Overall, a good film and deserving of the recognition it got in the
Oscars.

The Net

The Net
(1995)

Starring Sandra Bullock (and other unknown (to me) actors).

Sandra Bullock stars as a computer cunsultant caught up in a web
of people out to cause chaos in computer systems.
As a thriller, it work well. The directing is well focused and delivers
in suspense and drama. The acting is believable and avoids the
stereotypes that could have easily been used.

To understand the plot you will need a basic understanding of computer terms, especially in regard to communications and security. The complete computer dunderhead will not understand the plot.

In order to get a good conspiracy theory going, the reality of
computerization has been extended beyond what the techno-freak
will regard as reality. It’s sufficiently close to reality that
the redneck will probably rant about the encroachment to their
civil liberties to carry sub-atomic machine guns.

If your an Intel PC Nut you won’t like this film.
If your a MAC User you will love it. (Only MACs are shown)

Overall 6/10 (and don’t study the plot too hard)

12 Monkeys


Twelve Monkeys

————–
Starring : Madeline Stowe, Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Christopher Plummer. Directed by Terry Gillian (The Fisher King, ex Pythonite)

A strange tale of time travel, madness and genocide.
Willis Joe Cole, a prisoner some time in the future. His is volunteered for the job of travelling back in time to determine who let out the virus that killed 90% of the worlds population. At first he goes back to 1990, after beating up two policemen, he is put in an insane asylum. There he meets Jeff (Brad Pitt) a seriously nutty teenager. He is assessed by Stowe, playing a psychologist.

The authorities bring him back to the future, them send him back to 1996. The virus starts killing people in December that year. There he again meets the still insane Jeff, and the psychologist. The remainder of the film is about finding the group 12 monkeys and explaining his strange dream.

The film is about 2 hours in length and drags at times. Given Gillian’s
last film “The Fisher King” and it’s social comments and morality, I was often wondering if there should be some meaning or comment apart from the narrative. My only conclusion is that it is about the futility of the human condition in this century, and that sometimes the certified insane are more sane than the rest of us.

Brad Pitt gets acting points for his suitably over the top performance. Something like a less hyperactive Jim Carey. Bruce Willis carries the film as the anti-hero Cole. His cynical roles in previous films are right for this rather morbid tale.

There isn’t any sex, little violence, little bad language and no thrills
or suspense.

Call it a strange SciFi tale. Still don’t know if I would recommend it,
so 5/10.

Now a TV Series

MI-Fallout

 

Mission: Impossible – Fallout is a 2018 American action spy film written, produced and directed by Christopher McQuarrie. It is the sixth installment in the Mission: Impossible film series, and the second film to be directed by McQuarrie, after Rogue Nation (2015), making him the first person to direct more than one film in the franchise.

The cast includes Tom Cruise, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Michelle Monaghan and Alec Baldwin, all of whom reprise their roles from previous films, along with Henry Cavill and Angela Bassett, who join the franchise. In the film, Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his team must track down stolen plutonium while being monitored by a CIA agent (Cavill) after a mission goes awry.


One of the better action films. A good collection of stunts, running, stunts and a great final action sequence involving helicopters  filmed in New Zealand.

The main down side was a slow middle section involving characters standing around telling the story. Ten minutes could easily be removed, making a better movie.

 

Ant + Wasp

Ant-Man and the Wasp is a 2018 American superhero film based on the Marvel Comics characters Scott Lang / Ant-Man and Hope van Dyne / Wasp.

It is the sequel to 2015’s Ant-Man, and the twentieth film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU).

The film is directed by Peyton Reed and written by the writing teams of Chris McKenna and Erik Sommers, and Paul Rudd, Andrew Barrer, and Gabriel Ferrari.

It stars Rudd as Lang and Evangeline Lilly as Van Dyne, alongside Michael Peña, Walton Goggins, Bobby Cannavale, Judy Greer, Tip “T.I.” Harris, David Dastmalchian, Hannah John-Kamen, Abby Ryder Fortson, Randall Park, Michelle Pfeiffer, Laurence Fishburne, and Michael Douglas.

 

Incredible #2

 

Incredibles 2 is a superhero film produced by Pixar Animation Studios. Written and directed by Brad Bird, it is the sequel to 2004’s The Incredibles and second installment of the film series.

The plot follows the Parr family as they balance regaining the public’s trust of superheroes with their civilian family life, only to combat a new foe who seeks to turn the populace against all supers. The film stars Craig T. Nelson, Holly Hunter, Sarah Vowell and Samuel L. Jackson, who reprise their roles from the first film.

Isabella Rossellini stars as the ambassador.

With a budget of $200 million, after just two weeks it has grossed over $500 million and has 93% score on Rotten Tomatoes.

Yet again Pixar combines family values, fast action, intrigue and fun. In fact there are more laughs here than most ‘comedies’.

While it may be about superheroes, most of the plot involves Bob and his new role as house-husband while Helen is off with her new job.

The action sequences are exciting and the plot keeps moving at a decent pace. Another great movie from Pixar.