Archive for September, 2008

The Magnificent Seven

Posted in Action/Adventure, Classics, Movie Reviews, Westerns with tags , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2008 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

A Mexican village is periodically raided by bandits led by Calvera (Eli Wallach). As he and his men ride away from their latest visit, Calvera promises to return.

Desperate, the village leaders travel to a border town to buy guns to defend themselves. They approach a veteran gunslinger, Chris (Yul Brynner). He tells them guns alone will not do them any good; they are farmers, not fighters. They ask him to lead them, but Chris rejects them, telling them a single man is not enough. They keep at him though, and he eventually gives in. He recruits men, though the pay is a pittance.

First to answer the call is the hotheaded, inexperienced Chico (Horst Buchholz), but he is rejected. Harry Luck (Brad Dexter), an old friend of Chris, joins because he believes Chris is looking for treasure. Vin (Steve McQueen) signs on after going broke from gambling. Other recruits include Bernardo O’Reilly (Charles Bronson), Britt (James Coburn), fast and deadly with his switchblade, and Lee (Robert Vaughn), who is on the run and needs someplace to lie low until things cool down. Chico trails the group as they ride south, and is eventually allowed to join them.

Even with seven, the group knows they will be vastly outnumbered by the bandits. However, their expectation is that once the bandits know they will have to fight, they will decide to move on to some other unprotected village, rather than bother with an all-out battle. Upon reaching the village, the group begins training the residents. As they work together, the gunmen and villagers begin to bond such as when the gunfighters decide to share their food with the villagers upon realizing they are going without while their protectors feast. Chico finds a woman he is attracted to, Petra (Rosenda Monteros), and Bernardo befriends the children of the village.

Calvera comes back and is disappointed to find the villagers have hired gunmen. After a brief exchange, the bandits are chased away. Later, Chico spies on the outlaws and returns with the news that Calvera and his men will not simply be moving on, as had been expected. They are planning to return in full force, as the outlaws are broke and starving, and need the crops from the village to survive.

The seven debate whether they should leave. Not having expected a full-scale war, some of the seven as well as some of the villagers are in favor of the group’s departure. However, Chris adamantly insists that they will stay. They decide to make a surprise raid on the bandit camp but find it empty. Returning, they are ambushed by Calvera’s men, who have been let into the village by those villagers fearful of the impending fight. The seven’s lives are spared, as Calvera is certain that by now, the Americans have lost any further desire to fight for this village, and he fears revenge if they are killed; they are disarmed and escorted out of the village.

Despite the odds against them, and despite their betrayal by the villagers, all of Chris’ group except Harry decide to return and finish the job the next morning. During the ensuing battle, Harry returns to rescue Chris, and is mortally wounded. Bernardo is killed protecting children he had befriended; Lee and Britt are also slain. Seeing the gunmen’s bravery, the villagers are inspired to overcome their own fear, and they grab whatever they can as weapons and join the battle. The bandits are routed. Calvera is shot by Chris; puzzled, he asks why a man like Chris came back, but dies without an answer.

As the three survivors leave, Chico decides to stay with Petra. Chris and Vin ride away, pausing briefly at the graves of their fallen comrades. Chris observes, “Only the farmers won. We lost. We always lose.”

REVIEW:

I’m not usually a fan of remakes. This is a remake of a Japanese film, The Seven Samurai. However, in the ’60s, people still had original ideas, and this is a total remake, not a reboot.

The acting in this film is dwarfed only by the gunfights. It’s the perfect Western.

The film’s score, composed by Elmer Bernstein, is memorable. Of course, I’m a little biased due to the fact that I played an arrangement of it in high school band.

Calvert, the villain, reminds me of Tony Shaloub’s character in Men in Black. Not in terms of personality, but in terms of his mannerisms.

I always am fascinated when I see established actors in their younger days. James Coburn and Charles Bronson’s youthful looks astounded me as I watched this film.

Each of the seven have their own set of issues that the audience can relate to, which makes them human, and Yul Brynner is more than a capable leader of this rag tag mob of hired guns.

They just don’t make movies like this anymore. Anyone want to make a bet on how long it’ll be before someone decides they want to reboot this. You know it’s bound to happen!

4 out of 5 stars

Spider Man

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Superhero Films with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2008 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

Peter Parker, his best friend Harry Osborn, and secret crush Mary Jane Watson visit a genetics laboratory at Columbia University with their high school class. While taking photos in the laboratory, Peter is bitten on the hand by a genetically engineered “super spider”. Feeling unwell, he passes out shortly after arriving home. Meanwhile, scientist Norman Osborn, Harry’s father, is attempting to preserve his company’s military contract, knowing that its loss will mean the end of his business. He experiments on himself with his company’s new, but unstable, performance-enhancing chemical vapor which increases his speed, strength, and stamina. However, it also causes him to become insane and he kills his assistant, Mendel Stromm. The next morning, Peter wakes to find that his previously impaired vision has improved and that his body has metamorphosized into a more muscular physique. At school, he finds himself producing webbing and having the quick reflexes to avoid being injured in a fight with bully Flash Thompson. Peter escapes from the school and realizes that he has acquired spider-like abilities from the spider bite. He quickly learns to scale walls, long jump across building rooftops and swing via webs from his wrists.

Lying to his aunt and uncle about where he is going, Peter decides to enter a wrestling tournament to get money to buy a car and impress Mary Jane. During an argument, Uncle Ben advises Peter, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Peter lashes out at his uncle and leaves for the tournament. Peter wins, but is cheated out of the contest money. In retaliation he allows a thief to escape with the promoter’s gate money. Afterward, Peter finds his uncle has been carjacked and killed. Peter tracks down the carjacker only to find out it was the same thief he allowed to escape earlier. After Peter disarms him, the carjacker tries to get away but falls out of a window and is killed.

Upon graduating school, Peter decides to use his abilities to fight injustice, and dons a new costume and the persona of Spider-Man. Peter is hired as a freelance photographer when he arrives in newspaper editor J. Jonah Jameson’s office with the only clear images of Spider-Man.

Norman, upon finding out that Oscorp’s board members plan to sell the company, attacks them at the World Unity Fair. Although he successfully murders them, Spider-Man arrives and drives him off. Jameson quickly dubs Norman the “Green Goblin”. The Goblin offers Spider-Man a place at his side, but Spider-Man refuses, knowing that it is the right thing to do. At the Osborn and Parkers’ Thanksgiving dinner, Norman, unknown to Peter, figures out Spider-Man’s true identity; the Green Goblin subsequently attacks Aunt May. While Aunt May recovers in the hospital, Mary Jane admits she has a crush on Spider-Man, who rescued her on numerous occasions, and asks Peter whether he ever asked about her. Peter reflects on his own feelings, during which Harry enters. Feeling betrayed by his girlfriend and best friend, Harry tells his father whom Peter loves the most, unintentionally revealing Spider-Man’s biggest weakness.

The Goblin holds Mary Jane and a tram car full of children hostage on top the Queensboro Bridge where Spider-Man arrives. The Goblin forces Spider-Man to choose who he wants to save, and drops Mary Jane and the children. Spider-Man manages to save both Mary Jane and the tram car, while the Goblin is pelted by civilians showing loyalty to Spider-Man. The Goblin then grabs Spider-Man and throws him into an abandoned building where he begins to beat him [similar to how The Joker’s black goon beats up Batman in the 1989 film]. The tables turn as the Goblin boasts of how he will later kill Mary Jane, and an enraged Spider-Man dominates over him, forcing the Goblin into being unmasked. Norman begs for forgiveness, but his Goblin persona attempts to remote-control his glider to impale Spider-Man. The superhero evades the attack, causing the glider to impale Norman instead, and he dies asking Peter not to reveal his secret to Harry. At Norman’s funeral, Harry swears vengeance toward Spider-Man, who he believes is responsible for killing his father, and asserts that Peter is all he has left. Mary Jane confesses to Peter that she’s in love with him, but Peter, feeling that he must protect her from the unwanted attentions of Spider-Man’s enemies, hides his true feelings. As Peter leaves the funeral, he recalls Uncle Ben’s words about responsibility, and accepts his new life as Spider-Man.

REVIEW:

When it was first announced that Tobey Maguire would be cast as Spider Man, I joined in with most other people and was skeptical. I had recently watched him in Pleasantville. After watching the finished product, I was pleasantly surprised.

Kirsten Dunst was brilliantly cast as Mary Jane Watson, although, I think they could have done a bit more with her character. She does look even hotter with red hair, though.

It’s not often that someone looks like they were plucked out of the funny pages, but J.K. Simmons is a dead on ringer for J. Jonah Jameson.

I understand that this is the first in the series, but they spent the first hour developing the origin an backstory of Spiderman and the Green goblin, then rushed all the action and plot into the last 30 min. To me, it seems as if they could have come to some sort of better balance.

My other qualm is with the differences from the comic. Yes, I’m a purist when ti comes to movies like this. They shouldn’t change just to make an extra buck. Fact of the matter is, if you make it they will come. If you make it and its good more people will come.

In the comics, Harry is a nerdy kid who fears his father. In the movie, he’s a spoiled rich kid, who has flunked out of private school.

Also, Goblin’s demise is taken from an issue from the 70s, I believe, but don’t quote me. They pretty much have it dead on, but if I remember right, Mary Jane gets transported to another dimension and Goblin is impaled by his own glider (which they did happen). The whole Spider Man carrying Norman back to his mansion and Harry seeing him and vowing revenge is not in the books to my knowledge.

I love that they chose to go with the lighter side of things. Not every superhero is dark. As a matter of fact, only Batman is a brooding and emo. Spider Man actually has fun with his crime fighting. I think they captured that for the most part with this film.

5 out of 5 stars

Clerks 2

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2008 by Mystery Man

 

PLOT:

Randal Graves accidentally leaves the coffee pot warmer on overnight, burning down the Quick Stop convenience store where he and Dante Hicks have worked for over a decade. Approximately one year later, they are working at a Mooby’s fast food restaurant. Dante is planning to leave his minimum wage lifestyle in favor of a family life in Florida with his domineering fiancée Emma Bunting (Jennifer Schwalbach Smith), whose father will even provide them with a house to live in and a commercial car wash to run. Jay and Silent Bob are now drug-free (to reflect Jason Mewes’ new-found sobriety) after having been busted and put on probation, which means that they must now undergo drug testing. However, they still deal cannabis and are otherwise still up to their usual antics, following Dante and Randal from the Quick Stop to Mooby’s. Dante is also close to their boss, laid back free spirit Becky Scott (Rosario Dawson), with whom he had a one night stand on a food preparation table in the back of Mooby’s several weeks prior to the start of the movie’s events.

Thanks to some snide remarks from an old high school nemesis turned internet millionaire, Lance Dowds (Jason Lee), Randal (Jeff Anderson) realizes he is not as happy with his position in life as he had thought. Not only that, but he is scared, both at the prospect of never amounting to anything, and at the idea of losing Dante. He quietly shrugs off this mid-life crisis, but not without causing some trouble of his own in the store. 19-year-old Elias (Trevor Fehrman), a The Lord of the Rings/Transformers geek and isolated Christian virgin, works at Mooby’s with Dante and Randal, and is frequently subjected to Randal’s brand of social abuse. Randal is shocked at how gullible Elias is when Elias explains to him that he has never slept with his girlfriend because a troll called “Pillowpants” dwells inside her vagina and will bite off his penis if they have sex before “the troll is peed out” when she turns 21.

After Dante confesses he is worried about dancing at his wedding, Becky takes Dante onto the roof to teach him some moves and asks Jay and Silent Bob to supply the music. They initially play “Welcome Home” by King Diamond before being scolded and replacing that with The Jackson 5. At this point an elaborately choreographed dance routine to the song is performed by dozens of extras. As the song, “ABC,” plays, Dante realizes that he is in love with Becky, and at the end of the song, he admits this to her. Becky then reveals to Dante that she is pregnant with his child. She tells him that she will keep the baby, but will not ruin his upcoming marriage by telling Emma, leaving Dante free to pursue his own life in Florida. Anticipating Dante’s move there, Randal throws Dante a going away party, which includes “Kinky Kelly and the Sexy Stud”, an “interspecies erotica” performance (a donkey show), complete with a fog machine. Dante, having been sent away by Randal to maintain the surprise, arrives back at the restaurant, mistakes the fog for another fire, and calls the fire department. When he discovers that it is not a fire, he watches the show with Randal, Jay, Bob and an increasingly intoxicated and aroused Elias. They are soon horrified to find that Kinky Kelly is not a woman, but the featured donkey. The “Sexy Stud” turns out to be a leather clad, overweight man, whom Randal originally thought was the donkey’s wrangler. Everyone is disgusted (but intrigued) at this show except Elias, who unzips his pants, whimpers “I’m sorry Jesus” and then masturbates openly while crying.

Becky arrives, and although she is initially shocked at the presence of the performance in her restaurant, she and Dante share a close moment, in which he tells her that he thinks she has feelings for him, and that he feels the same way about her. They kiss, only to be discovered by Emma, who arrives with a cake she baked for Dante. The situation escalates when Jay mistakenly congratulates Emma for her pregnancy; when Jay realizes what is going on, he encourages Emma to assault Dante (which she does) before asking her out. Emma leaves the restaurant in disgust.

The fire and police departments arrive at the restaurant, responding to the emergency phone call that Dante made but never cancelled and are shocked at what they see. Dante, Randal, Elias, Jay, Silent Bob, and The Sexy Stud are taken to jail while the police decide if charges will be filed; the Sexy Stud calmly recites the New Jersey penal code, reassuring them all that there is no law against watching an act of bestiality, and that he is the only one who will face any recourse– a small fine. An enraged Dante announces the end of his and Randal’s friendship, leaving Randal hurt and devastated. Randal confesses his fear of losing his best friend, and suggests that the duo buy the Quick Stop and RST Video store for themselves. Jay and Silent Bob agree to lend them the money (a deleted scene reveals that the pair received thousands of dollars in royalties after the events of Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back), on the condition that they be allowed to loiter in front of the Quick Stop as they did years ago. Jay tacks on a second condition– that Randall and Dante must blow each other, then they have to go ass to mouth– that Silent Bob quickly nixes. Dante and Randall take the money from Jay and Silent Bob and buy the Quick Stop and RST Video. Dante proposes to Becky, who accepts, and helps Dante and Randall repair and remodel the stores.

Dante and Randal repair the Quick Stop. Elias applies for Randall’s old job at RST Video. Randal is hesitant to hire him, but Dante eventually convinces him to give Elias the position. Then, while a visibly pregnant Becky and Elias look on, Dante and Randal reveal an “I assure you, we’re re-open!” sign (a reference to the original Clerks) on the front of the Quick Stop. Jay and Silent Bob, the latter playing the song Goodbye Horsesyet again as Jay puts on his chapstick and assumingly does his whole dance all over again (a spoof of Buffalo Bill’s dance in The Silence of the Lambs). Finally, Dante and Randal are behind the Quick Stop counter. Randal says to Dante “You’re not even supposed to be here today” in a nod to the first film, to which Dante repiles “Can you feel it? Today is the first day of the rest of our lives”. The movie ends with a reverse zoom of Dante and Randal, passing the Milk Maid (Smith’s mother) from the first film, as the scene fades from color to the black and white of the original film. The song Misery by Soul Asylum starts to play, and Dante and Randal look out with affection on the Quick Shop before returning to work, bringing the The View Askewiverse full circle.

REVIEW:

This is supposedly the final chapter in the View Askew universe. Of course, that was also said about Dogma and Jay and Silent Bob Strike Back. However, this one feels a little more final. The growth Kevin Smith has shown from the first Clerks to this one and all those in between is evident.

I remember reading that a well known film critic actually got up and walked out of the theater when this came out. I really don’t see why, unless he’s just too uptight and conservative. There’s nothing excessively gross or over the top. As a matter of fact, this may be the tamest of the View Askew films.

Dante and Randall have maintained the chemistry they had all those years ago. Cameos by Ben Affleck, Jason Lee (did you think we’d have a Kevin Smith movie without them?), Wanda Sykes, and others as customers really stand out.

Elias has some of the best parts of the film. The pillow pants sequence between him and Randall is cinematic comedy genius.

Rosario Dawson is gorgeous as always.

The ending is fitting. It all comes back full circle, complete with the shoe polish sign, selling cigarettes to the same guy that was the first customer in the original Clerks, milk maids, and the black and white. The only thing missing was a Silent Bob story, but he did have a few lines.

5 out of 5 stars

Cars

Posted in Movie Reviews, Pixar with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 29, 2008 by Mystery Man

Before I begin this review, I think its best we take a moment to remember two of the stars that have recently passed. George Carlin lent his voice to Filmore and Paul Newman lent his voice to the Hudson Hornet, Doc Hudson . They will be missed!

PLOT:

The last race of the Piston Cup stock car racing season ends in a three-way tie between retiring veteran Strip “The King” Weathers, perennial runner-up and dirty fighter Chick Hicks, and rookie Lightning McQueen. A tiebreaker race is scheduled for one week later at the Los Angeles International Speedway. McQueen, eager to start practice in California as soon as possible in order to become Cup champion and gain the sponsorship of Dinoco Oil, pushes his driver Mack to travel all night long. Mack is too exhausted to notice when McQueen, asleep, falls out the back of the truck. McQueen awakes in traffic and speeds off to try to find Mack, but ends up in the run-down town of Radiator Springs, inadvertently tearing up its main street. McQueen is arrested and tried the next day by the town’s judge and doctor, Doc Hudson, who at first wants McQueen out of town as fast as possible, but at the insistence of Sally Carerra, the town’s lawyer, assigns him community service to repave the road.

McQueen finds that the job of pulling the asphalt-laying machine requires a slow pace despite attempts to complete it faster. As the days pass, McQueen becomes friends with many of the townsfolk, and learns that Radiator Springs was once a popular waypoint along U.S. Route 66, but effectively disappeared from the map when a nearby interstate was built and bypassed the town, causing many of the businesses and residents to leave. McQueen also discovers that Doc is actually the “Hudson Hornet”, a three-time Piston Cup champion forced to retire after a racing accident, who chose to disappear quietly in Radiator Springs. McQueen, encouraged by his new friends, successfully completes the road and spends an extra day in town, cruising with Sally and partaking of businesses from the remaining shops to get a new paint job and tires. However, that night, Mack, followed by the media, finally catches up to McQueen, who reluctantly leaves Radiator Springs in order to make the race on time.

As McQueen prepares to race, his thoughts keep returning to his new friends, and distracts him from performing well. However, he is surprised to discover that Doc, outfitted in his “Hudson Hornet” colors, and others from Radiator Springs are serving as his pit crew. Encouraged by their presence and their incredible pit stop speed, as well as using tricks he learned from them while in Radiator Springs to overcome Chick Hicks’ dirty tactics, McQueen is able to gain the lead. On the last lap of the race, Hicks purposely runs into The King to try to catch up to McQueen, sending The King into a accident. McQueen stops inches short of winning the Cup to drive back and push The King across the finish line, preventing what happened to Doc from happening to The King, and allowing Hicks to take the Cup. After the race, Hicks is shunned for his tactics despite his victory, while McQueen is praised by The King and his wife as well as the press and crowd for his sportsmanship. McQueen returns to Radiator Springs and announces that he will set up his off-season headquarters there, helping to revitalize the town and its business, much to the pleasure of his new friends.

REVIEW:

As with all other Pixar films, this is top notch animation. This is especially obvious near the beginning when Mac and Lightning are traveling across the country. It really looks like they spent the time to capture the scenery. They did a good job of capturing the breathtaking beauty of the American countryside.

Mater is the funniest element of this film. I don’t know if this would work as well without him. His funniest moment involves tractor tipping (a twist on cow tipping).

There are some touching moments and a bit of romance. This film has it all.

Watching this today, I was thinking, this is a world where 98% of the people are vehicles. The other 2% are planes, blimps, etc. So, what would be a NASCAR race to us, seems to me would be nothing more than a track meet, but I could be wrong.

I’m not a racing fan in the least, but if they were more like this, maybe I’d actually watch them.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Leatherheads

Posted in Comedy, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2008 by Mystery Man

 

 

PLOT:

Clooney plays Dodge Connolly, captain of a struggling professional American Football team during the 1920s, the Duluth Bulldogs. Dodge is determined to save both his team and pro football in general when the players lose their sponsor and the league is on the brink of collapse. He convinces a college football star, Carter “the Bullet” Rutherford, to join the Bulldogs, hoping to capitalize on Carter’s fame as a decorated hero of the First World War (like Alvin York, he singlehandedly captured a large group of German soldiers).

In addition to his legendary tales of combat heroism, Carter has dashing good looks and unparalleled speed and skill on the field. As a result of his presence, both the Bulldogs and pro football in general begin to prosper.

Zellweger provides a romantic interest as Chicago newspaper reporter Lexie Littleton, who becomes the object of the affections of both Dodge and Carter. One knows but the other doesn’t that Lexie has been assigned to find proof that Carter’s war heroics are bogus. Indeed, Carter confesses that the surrender of the Germans was a lucky accident and in no way heroic.

Meanwhile, Dodge’s attempts to legitimize pro football start to backfire, as rules are formalized, taking away much of the improvisational antics that made the game fun for many of its players.

With his own playing career near an end, Dodge gets to play in one last big game. This time it will be against Carter, who has changed sides to the Chicago team. Their rivalry for Lexie’s affection spills over onto the football field for one last day

REVIEW:

Normally, I’m a big fan of sports films, especially those that deal with football and are comedies. This one didn’t quite stack up, though. I’m not sure if I expected more or what, but it just wasn’t what I expected.

The film was marketed as a screwball comedy.  While this is a comedy, there aren’t many funny moments.

The plot is a bit weak. I believe it could have been written more soundly, thusly resulting in a better movie. That being said, for George Clooney’s first foray into directing, this is a god job. Only time will tell how good this is. I truly hope this isn’t his best work, because quite frankly, it wasn’t that special.

Not to end this review on a negative note. Renee Zelweger seems to fit best in these movies set in the ’20s. Even in her anorexic (allegedly) state. Women at that time were quite thin. Putting that aside, she just fits in these period films.

3 1/2 out of 5 stars

Robocop

Posted in Action/Adventure, Movie Reviews, Sci-Fi/Fantasy with tags , , , , , , on September 27, 2008 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The film is set in a dystopian near future, in Detroit, Michigan. Violent crime is out of control, and the city is in financial ruin. The city government contracts the megacorporation Omni Consumer Products (OCP) to fund and operate the police department, in effect privatizing it. OCP is not interested in rebuilding “Old Detroit” but rather replacing it with a modern utopia called “Delta City”. Before this construction project can begin, OCP wishes to end crime in the city, but knows it can’t rely on an already overwhelmed police department.

OCP Senior President Dick Jones (Ronny Cox) presents the new law enforcement droid ED-209, which he believes will end crime in Old Detroit, at an executive meeting. The demonstration quickly goes awry when ED-209 fails to recognize that the OCP volunteer dropped his weapon, as commanded by the droid. The unarmed executive unsuccessfully tries to flee and is gunned down. Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer) uses this opportunity to propose his alternative project, the RoboCop program, directly to the head of OCP (Daniel O’Herlihy) who accepts, earning Morton the wrath of Jones.

Detroit police officer Alex J. Murphy (Peter Weller), recently assigned to the Metro West precinct, is mortally wounded in action by a gang of criminals led by the notorious Clarence J. Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) and pronounced dead in the hospital. Murphy’s brain and face are rebuilt into a robot body, and he is dubbed RoboCop. RoboCop patrols the city and upholds the law and is extremely effective at stopping crime. Morton’s overwhelmingly successful project propels him to an OCP vice presidency, but Dick Jones warns him that his humiliation won’t go unanswered. Boddicker, who has been secretly working with Jones, later kills Bob Morton on Jones’ orders.

RoboCop starts to experience memories from his previous life and starts hunting Boddicker and his gang. Boddicker is arrested in a cocaine factory by RoboCop. In desperation, Boddicker inadvertently implicates Dick Jones. While trying to arrest Jones, RoboCop is stopped by a directive in his program, Directive Four, prohibiting him from arresting any senior OCP executive. RoboCop is severely damaged by an ED-209 unit and a police SWAT team but escapes with the help of his former partner, Anne Lewis (Nancy Allen).

Jones frees Boddicker and tasks him with the destruction of RoboCop, promising to make him a crime lord when OCP starts the construction of Delta City. Boddicker’s gang members, rounded up by RoboCop, are released when the police force goes on strike. Supplied with military weapons by Jones, they follow RoboCop to the same abandoned steel mill in which Murphy had been killed by the gang. In a final showdown, RoboCop and Lewis kill Boddicker and the gang. The battle leaves RoboCop damaged and Lewis wounded.

RoboCop proceeds to the OCP headquarters and reveals Jones’ criminal activities to the head of OCP. Jones tries to take the OCP head hostage. But as he starts making demands, he is fired, which refutes his protection under Directive Four. RoboCop immediately shoots Jones, forcing him through a window to fall to his death. When the head of OCP asks RoboCop for his name, he replies, “Murphy”, before leaving the boardroom.

REVIEW:

Back in the 80s, movies weren’t so scrutinized. Thusly, they were of higher quality. Robocop is no exception. While the effects aren’t on par with today’s standards, you can’t watch this and not be impressed.

I remember this being the first R rated movie I ever saw that wasn’t a horror movie. Today I look at it with different, more mature eyes. and still love it.

Though I do love it, there are some flaws. This could be because they spend so much on the origin part of the story. As far as I know, they didn’t know there were going to be two sequels, so there was no need to spend half the movie on it. Also, they could have spent a little more time developing the human aspect of Officer Murphy and a little more in depth with Clarence Boddicker. Those are just my opinions, though.

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Forrest Gump

Posted in Drama, Movie Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , , on September 27, 2008 by Mystery Man

PLOT:

The film begins with a feather falling to the feet of Forrest Gump who is sitting at a bus stop in Savannah, Georgia. Forrest picks up the feather and puts it in the book Curious George, then tells the story of his life to a woman seated next to him. The listeners at the bus stop change regularly throughout his narration, each showing a different attitude ranging from disbelief and indifference to rapt veneration.

On his first day of school, he meets a girl named Jenny, whose life is followed in parallel to Forrest’s at times. One day after school, he is being threatened by a group of bullies because of his leg braces. Jenny tells him to run, and he does so, losing his leg braces in the process. Having discarded his leg braces, his ability to run at lightning speed gets him into college on a football scholarship. He excels at football so much that he becomes an All-American, and meets John F. Kennedy.

After his college graduation, he enlists in the army and is sent to Vietnam. In Boot Camp, Forrest makes fast friends with a man named Bubba (Mykelti Williamson), who convinces Forrest to go into the shrimping business with him when the war is over. After finishing Boot Camp, Bubba and Forrest are assigned to the same platoon and upon arrival in Vietnam, Forrest meets his commanding officer, Lieutenant Dan Taylor (Gary Sinise). Lieutenant Dan came from a military family, and had lost an ancestor in every American war. Later while on patrol, Forrest’s platoon is attacked. Though Forrest rescues many of the men, including Lt Dan, whose legs were severely injured and are later amputated, Bubba is killed in action. Forrest is awarded the Medal of Honor for his heroism, and meets Lyndon B. Johnson at his award ceremony.

While Forrest is in recovery for a bullet shot to his buttocks, he discovers his uncanny ability for ping-pong, eventually gaining popularity and rising to celebrity status, later playing ping-pong in China. After meeting Abbie Hoffman at an anti-war rally in Washington, D.C. Forrest reunites with Jenny, who has been living a hippie counterculture lifestyle. He also encounters Lt. Dan, who has become a bitter alcoholic having felt that it was his destiny to die on the battlefield in Vietnam. Forrest celebrates New Years Eve with Dan, who is initially hostile and uses Forrest as a means of obtaining alcohol. When Forrest tells of his plan to buy a shrimping boat, Dan mocks Forrest and sarcastically states that he will become first mate of the ship. However, Dan later finds empathy with the fact that Forrest has been discriminated against in the past because of his low IQ.

Forrest endorses a company that makes ping-pong paddles, earning himself $25,000, which he uses to buy a shrimping boat, fulfilling his promise to Bubba. Lieutenant Dan returns and fulfills his earlier promise and becomes first mate of the ship. Though initially Forrest has little success, after finding his boat the only surviving boat in the area after Hurricane Carmen, he begins to pull in huge amounts of shrimp and uses it to buy an entire fleet of shrimp boats. Lt. Dan invests the money in “some kind of fruit company” and Forrest is financially secure for the rest of his life. Forrest names his company Bubba Gump, which inspired an actual shrimp restaurant. Returning home, Forrest finds out that his mother has cancer and later dies.

One day, Jenny returns to visit Forrest and he proposes marriage to her. She declines, though feels obliged to prove her love to him by sleeping with him. She leaves early the next morning. On a whim, Forrest elects to go for a run. Seemingly capriciously, he decides to keep running across the country several times, over some three and a half years, becoming famous. During his run, Forrest unwittingly inspires two separate entrepreneurs to create Smiley Face/”Have a Nice Day” t-shirts and “Shit Happens” bumper stickers.

In present-day, Forrest reveals that he is waiting at the bus stop because he received a letter from Jenny who, having seen him run on television, asks him to visit her. Once he is reunited with Jenny, Forrest discovers she has a young son, of whom Forrest is the father. Jenny tells Forrest she is suffering from a virus (probably AIDS, though this is never definitively stated). Together the three move back to Greenbow, Alabama. Jenny and Forrest finally marry, with Lieutenant Dan arriving for the wedding, walking on two legs with the use of prosthetic limbs. However, Jenny dies soon afterward.

The film ends with father and son waiting for the school bus on little Forrest’s first day of school. Opening the book his son is taking to school, the white feather from the beginning of the movie is seen to fall from within the pages. As the bus pulls away, the white feather is caught on a breeze and drifts skyward.

REVIEW:

This film was nominated for countless awards and won quite a few of them, including the Oscar for best picture and best leading man. It’s not very hard to see why. This movie has it all, comedy, tear jerking moments, romance, and a twist. The only thing missing was stuff blowing up!

I’m not sure how much was left out from the novel or what was added, nor do I know what differences are, but I do know thios is a good movie!

“My momma always said life is like a box of chocolates.”

5 out of 5 stars