NYPD detective Buddy Manucci (Roy Scheider) has been getting flak from the higher-ups in the New York City police force because his team of renegade policemen, known as the "seven-ups" (so called because most criminals they arrest receive sentences from seven years and up) has been using unorthodox methods to capture criminals; this is illustrated as the team ransacks an antiques store that is a front for the running of counterfeit money. There has also been a rash of kidnappings of mafia figures and white-collar criminals, such as when Max Kalish is kidnapped and a ransom is paid at a car wash. Manucci and the squad learn of the kidnappings when crooked bail bondsman Festa is grabbed in public by two men claiming to be from the district attorney's office. Buddy gets information from his regular snitch, informant Vito Lucia, who turns out to be untrustworthy. When they stake out a funeral meeting of Kalish and his people, disaster follows, and it leads to the death of one of the seven-up officers. A violent car chase ensues as Buddy chases after the killers, Moon (Richard Lynch) and Bo (Bill Hickman ), and other officers try to block the two at the George Washington Bridge but Moon and Bo crash through the attempted police blockade then escape when Buddy's car violently collides into a truck, shearing off the roof. Miraculously, he survives the almost fatal accident...
This 1973 action cop drama is not all that exiciting to be honest. Not in 2021 at least. Despite the fact that it was produced and directed by Philip D'Antoni, earlier responsible for producing "Bullitt", followed by "The French Connection", which won him the 1971 Academy Award for Best Picture. There´s nothing that really stands out in "The Seven-Ups" except that we get to see New York in 1973. And the always memorable Richard Lynch. Rest in peace.
Trivia: An ancillary branch of the police department, "The Seven-Ups" were so named because any criminals busted by them were guaranteed to spend at least seven years in the slammer. According to the DVD sleeve notes, "The Seven-Ups" police unit are so named "after the minimum sentence of their targeted street hoods", which is seven years.
Washington, D.C. detective and forensic psychologist Alex Cross (Morgan Freeman) heads to Durham, North Carolina when his niece Naomi, a college student, is reported missing. He learns from police detective Nick Ruskin that Naomi is the latest in a series of young women who have vanished. Soon after his arrival, one of the missing women is found dead, bound to a tree, and a short time later, Dr. Kate McTiernan (Ashley Judd) is kidnapped from her home. When she awakens from a drugged state, Kate discovers that she is being held by a masked man calling himself Casanova, and she is one of several prisoners trapped in his lair. She manages to escape and is severely injured when she jumps from a cliff into a river. After she recuperates, she joins forces with Cross to track down her captor, whom Cross concludes is a collector, not a killer, unless his victims fail to follow his rules. This means there is time to rescue the other imprisoned women, as long as they remain obedient. Clues lead them to Los Angeles, where a series of gruesome kidnappings and murders have been credited to Dr. William Rudolph, known as the Gentleman Caller. Cross's efforts to capture and question Rudolph are foiled when Rudolph escapes...
Rotten Tomatoes consensus reads: "Detective Alex Cross makes his inauspicious cinematic debut in Kiss the Girls, a clunky thriller that offers few surprises." Stephen Holden of The New York Times said the film "is cut from the same cloth as The Silence of the Lambs, but the piece of material it uses has the uneven shape and dangling threads of a discarded remnant.... [It] begins promisingly, then loses its direction as the demand for accelerated action overtakes narrative logic." Holden writes of Morgan Freeman that he "projects a kindness, patience and canny intelligence that cut against the movie's fast pace and pumped-up shock effects. His performance is so measured it makes you want to believe in the movie much more than its gimmicky jerry-rigged [sic] plot ever permits." In the Chicago Sun-Times, Roger Ebert gave the film three and a half out of four stars and said, "David Klass, the screenwriter, gives Freeman and Judd more specific dialogue than is usual in thrillers; they sound as if they might actually be talking with each other and not simply advancing plot points.... [They] are so good, you almost wish they'd decided not to make a thriller at all - had simply found a way to construct a drama exploring their personalities." In the San Francisco Chronicle, Peter Stack thought "the story ... goes on too long. It has too many confusing plot twists and keeps losing energy. Blame it on Hollywood excess, or director Gary Fleder's uncertain hand. A cut of 15 minutes would have helped." He was more impressed by the film's stars, calling Morgan Freeman "compelling" and "a hero of extraordinary power that comes almost entirely from his unemotional, calculating calm," and stating that Ashley Judd "gives the sometimes plodding drama a dose of intense vitality. This young actress is getting awfully good at turning potentially gelatinous characters into substantive people who spark viewer interest."
This neo-noir psychological thriller is a very 90s serial killer story with no real thrills, wobbly logic and a silly ending. But, with a solid cast with Morgan Freeman and Ashley Judd in the lead. However, re-seeing "Kiss The Girls" didn´t add anything to my life except that I was reminded that how much I like Ashley Judd.
Criminal defense attorney Mickey Haller (Matthew McConaughey) operates around Los Angeles County, California, mostly from the back seat of his black Lincoln Town Car, chauffeured by Earl Briggs (Laurence Mason). Most of Haller's career has been defending garden-variety criminals, including a local biker club led by Eddie Vogel (Trace Adkins). A high-profile case comes his way and Haller is hired to represent wealthy Louis Roulet (Ryan Phillippe), a Beverly Hills playboy and son of real estate mogul Mary Windsor (Frances Fisher). Roulet is accused of brutally beating prostitute Regina Campo (Margarita Levieva). Roulet insists he is the innocent victim of a setup. Haller and his investigator, Frank Levin (William H. Macy) analyze photos and evidence and find it similar to another Haller case, resulting in a life sentence for his client, Jesus Martinez (Michael Peña), for murdering a woman, despite his repeated proclamations of innocence. Haller's ex-wife, prosecutor Maggie McPherson (Marisa Tomei), has always disliked Haller representing guilty clients, though they remain close. Haller wonders if he was wrong for persuading Martinez to plead guilty to avoid the death penalty. Haller visits Martinez, who becomes agitated when Haller shows him Roulet's photo. Haller now believes Roulet is the killer in the Martinez case, but, bound by attorney–client confidentiality rules, is unable to reveal what he knows...
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus reads: "It doesn't offer any twists on the predictable courtroom thriller formula, but with a charming Matthew McConaughey leading its solid cast, The Lincoln Lawyer offers briskly enjoyable entertainment." After watching a rough cut of the film on November 12, 2010, Michael Connelly, author of the book The Lincoln Lawyer, said: A couple days ago I saw an unfinished cut of it and could not be happier. I thought it was very loyal to the story and the character of Mickey Haller. Matthew McConaughey nails him. Those who loved the book will love the movie, I think. Those who don't know the book will love it just the same. The casting and acting is really superb. Like I said, I could not be happier. I'm very excited and can't wait to see what fans of the book think.
"The Lincoln Lawyer" is a quite generic court drama adapted from the first of several novels by Michael Connelly featuring the character of Mickey Haller, who works out of a chauffeur-driven Lincoln Town Car rather than an office. McConaughey is ok as Mickey Haller while Phillipe has never been a great actor. Nice to see the lovely Marisa Tomei in a supporting role. But, the storyline is predictable with a silly ending. With other words, "The Lincoln Lawyer" is nothing special.
The elderly Charlie Chaplin (Robert Downey Jr) now living in Switzerland) recollects moments from his life during a conversation with George Hayden (Anthony Hopkins), the editor of his autobiography.
The film received mixed reviews, lauded for its high production values, but many critics dismissed it as an overly glossy biopic. Although the film was criticized for taking dramatic license with some aspects of Chaplin's life, Downey's performance as Chaplin won universal acclaim. Attenborough was sufficiently confident in Downey's performance to include historical footage of Chaplin himself at the end of the film. Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus reads, "Chaplin boasts a terrific performance from Robert Downey, Jr. in the title role, but it isn't enough to overcome a formulaic biopic that pales in comparison to its subject's classic films." Vincent Canby of The New York Times lauded Downey's performance, and deemed the film "extremely appreciative". Todd McCarthy of Variety remarked that Chaplin's life was too grand to properly capture in a film, criticizing the screenplay, but praised the casting and the film's first hour. Roger Ebert of The Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two stars, dubbing the film, "a disappointing, misguided movie that has all of the parts in place to be a much better one", but praised Downey and the production values.[ Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times felt Attenborough's filmmaking and Chaplin's life were ill-suited to each other, but said of Downey, "Lithe and lively and looking remarkably like the younger Chaplin, Downey does more than master the man's celebrated duck walk and easy grace. In one of those acts of will and creativity that actors come up with when you least expect it, Downey becomes Chaplin, re-creating his character and his chilly soul so precisely that even the comedian's daughter Geraldine, a featured player here, was both impressed and unnerved."
The film was adapted by William Boyd, Bryan Forbes and William Goldman from Chaplin's 1964 book "My Autobiography" and the 1985 book "Chaplin: His Life and Art" by film critic David Robinson. The film received mixed reviews and was a box office bomb grossing mere $9.5 million against its $31 million budget; however Downey's titular performance garnered critical acclaim, winning him the BAFTA Award for Best Actor and receiving nominations for the Academy Award for Best Actor and Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Motion Picture Drama. Richard Attenbourgh´s film about Charlie Chaplin has been on my to see list for ages. Unfortunately, it wasn´t all that good of an experience in the end. It´s overacted and overdramatized with this strange comic undertone that doesn´t really fit in my book because it´s Chaplin´s life that is in focus, not his on screen comedy. Robert Downey Jr. does mimic Chaplin in many great ways, but his acting is somehow hampered by his will to really be Chaplin. He overacts and overworks the role. "Chaplin" could´ve been so much better as it has all the bits and pieces in place, but someone didn´t assemble them rightin the end.
Trivia: Geraldine Chaplin recalled that when she first saw Robert Downey, Jr. in full costume, she was so awestruck on how much he resembled her late father that she needed a moment to collect her thoughts to even speak.
Kepler 822, a research and drilling facility operated by Tian Industries at the bottom of the Mariana Trench, is struck by a strong earthquake. As part of the facility is destroyed by the quake, mechanical engineer Norah Price (Kristen Stewart) and her colleagues, Rodrigo and Paul, make their way to the escape pod bay. However, the three discover that all of the escape pods have already been deployed, with Captain Lucien (Vincent Cassel) being the only person in the area when the three arrive. Together they reach a control base and find biologist Emily Haversham and engineer Liam Smith, who are unsuccessful in their attempts to make contact with the surface. Lucien suggests using pressurized suits to walk one mile across the ocean floor to Roebuck 641 in the hope of resurfacing from there. As they descend in a freight elevator, Rodrigo's defective helmet implodes under the water pressure. The surviving crew see a distress beacon from one of the escape pods below, and Smith and Paul go to investigate. As they arrive at the location, they find a body in the rubble. A creature emerges from the corpse's back and attacks. Smith kills the creature and takes it inside. Haversham examines the creature and realizes that it belongs to a previously undiscovered species...
Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus reads, "Underwater's strong cast and stylish direction aren't enough to distract from the strong sense of déjà vu provoked by this claustrophobic thriller's derivative story." John DeFore of The Hollywood Reporter wrote: "This is a creature feature, whose gory jump-scares and icktastic critter design are the reason you're here. An ensemble led by Kristen Stewart brings credible camaraderie to the scenario without quite matching the vivid chemistry of Alien and its best descendants; with such a tightly packed survival tale ahead of them, though, few viewers will be calling out for more character development." Owen Gleiberman of Variety wrote: "Underwater is a stupefying entertainment in which every claustrophobic space and apocalyptic crash of water registers as a slick visual trigger, yet it's all built on top of a dramatic void. It's boredom in Sensurround."
We have seen this sort of claustrophobic sci-fi horror storyline many many times since "Alien" back in 1979, but "Underwater" is totally ok with solid suspense and it has a point in that we shouldn´t mess with nature. Some things just needs to be unexplored... Cast ok, even if Vincent Cassel is better in his native language. Kristen Stewart delivers as usual. I have always liked her no matter what sort of role she embraces. All in all "Underwater" entertains and that´s good enough for me.
Harry Faversham (Heath Ledger), a young British officer completing his training, celebrates his engagement to Ethne (Kate Hudson), in a ball with his fellow officers and father. When the Colonel announces that the regiment is being dispatched to Egyptian-ruled Sudan to rescue the British General Charles "Chinese" Gordon, young Faversham has serious ethical reservations about the war, and resigns his commission. Harry's father disowns him. Perceiving his resignation as cowardice, three of his friends and his fiancée each give him a white feather, the symbol of cowardice. Ethne breaks off their engagement. Harry learns that his best friend Jack (Wes Bentley) and his former regiment have come under attack by rebels. Undertaking the perilous journey into the Sudan alone, he strikes up an alliance with Abou Fatma, a mercenary warrior. Harry disguises himself as an Arab. Harry and Abou Fatma follow a group of army workers he believes to be Mahdi spies, and reach the garrison of Abu-Klea, which they realise has been overrun. Harry begs Abou Fatma to warn his friends that their destination is under siege and an attack is likely...
This version of "The Four Feathers", with altered plot events, is the latest in a long line of cinematic adaptations of the 1902 novel "The Four Feathers" by A.E.W. Mason. I agree to what Rotten Tomatoes says, "Though beautiful to look at, The Four Feathers lacks epic excitement and suffers from an ambivalent viewpoint." This film tries to be something like the epic "Zulu" (1964), but fails due to a weak cast, weak dialogue and a silly framestory shot in a overdramatic way.
Trivia: This is the sixth film version of the source novel. The first was Four Feathers (1915).
Julian Kaye (Richard Gere) is a male escort in Los Angeles, whose job is to sell his body to upper-class women. His job supports and requires an expensive taste in cars and clothes and affords him a luxury Westwood apartment. He is blatantly materialistic, narcissistic and superficial. He takes pleasure in his work from being able to sexually satisfy women, offering and selling his body to women. Julian's procurer, Anne, sends him on an assignment with a wealthy old widow, Mrs. Dobrun, who is visiting town. Afterwards, he goes to the hotel bar and meets Michelle Stratton (Lauren Hutton), a California state senator's wife, who becomes obsessed with him. Julian's friend Leon (Bill Duke) sends him to Palm Springs on a "substitute" assignment to the house of Mr. Rheiman, a wealthy financier. Rheiman asks Julian to have sado-masochistic sex with his wife Judy while he is watching them. The next day, Julian berates Leon for sending him to a "rough trick" and makes it clear he declines kinky or gay assignments. Leon warns Julian that the wealthy, older women he serves will turn on him and discard him without a second thought. As Julian begins to have a relationship with Michelle, he learns that Judy Rheiman has been murdered. Los Angeles Police Department Detective Sunday identifies Julian as the prime suspect. Though Julian was with Lisa Williams, another client, on the night of the murder, she protects her marriage by not providing an alibi for Julian...
Roger Ebert gave the film 3.5 stars out of 4, writing, "The whole movie has a winning sadness about it; take away the story's sensational aspects and what you have is a study in loneliness." Gene Siskel of the Chicago Tribune also awarded 3.5 stars out of 4 and called it "an honest, compelling drama that sheds a little light in some beguilingly dark places." Vincent Canby of The New York Times wrote in a negative review that writer-director Schrader "is awfully good at establishing inarticulate, unknowing, self-deluding characters, but he's much less effective when it comes to shepherding these characters through the contingencies of the melodrama that is supposed to ennoble them or, at least, to reveal their unsuspected moral resources." Variety faulted the film for an "evasiveness at its core," finding a "moral and emotional ambivalence" in Gere's character "which makes caring about his predicament and ultimate fate difficult." Charles Champlin of the Los Angeles Times was also negative, calling the film "such an improbable tissue of fantasies and dime-novel borrowings that from moment to moment it seems to be making fun of itself, although the joke is disguised perfectly." Roger Angell of The New Yorker wrote that the film "presents a humorless, Penthouse kind of sex, all dolled up with expensive 'real' settings, foreign cars, hi-fi sets, and designer clothes, but barely alive at its glum, soft core."
Paul Schrader´s slowpaced slick neo-noir crime drama suffers from wobbly and silly dialogue, wobbly editing and wobbly acting at times. Richard Gere is solid in his breakthrough role as Julian, but the rest of the film is really nothing special to be honest. The best part is Blondie´s "Call Me" which became a massive hit and went to No #1 in both the UK and USA, staying at the top of the latter chart for six weeks. The rest of "American Gigolo" is actually forgettable. I remember it being much better than it was now when I re-saw it. Or it simply hasn´t aged very well.
In an Eastern Orthodox church in Pale, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the Bosnian Minister of Foreign Affairs is murdered after being paged to meet a colleague of a fellow member of the Bosnian Parliament outside. At a missile base in Kartaly, Chelyabinsk Oblast, Russia, SS-18 ICBMs are being decommissioned. Ten nuclear warheads are loaded onto a train and sent to a separate site for dismantling. However, Russian Army General Aleksandr Kodoroff, along with a rogue Spetznaz unit, kills the soldiers on board the transport train and transfers nine of the warheads to another train. Kodoroff then activates the timer on the remaining warhead and sends the transport on a collision course with a passenger train. Minutes later, the 500-kiloton warhead detonates, killing thousands of civilians and delaying an investigation. The detonation immediately attracts the attention of the US government. White House nuclear expert Dr. Julia Kelly (Nicole Kidman) believes that Chechen terrorists are behind the incident. US Army Special Forces Lieutenant Colonel Thomas Devoe (George Clooney) interrupts her briefing to suggest that the crash and the detonation were staged to hide the hijacking of the other warheads. A call to Devoe's long-time friend and Russian counterpart, FSB Colonel, Dimitri Vertikoff, adds reliability to his theory and he is assigned as Kelly's military liaison. Kelly and Devoe secures information about the terrorist's hijacking operation through an Austrian trucking company, which is a front for the Russian Mafia. When the Mafia realizes they are US federal personnel, they send thugs to kill them. Vertikoff is killed while he tries to pay them off. Devoe kills all of the attackers before he and Kelly escape. Information from the trucking company says that the nukes are going to Iran. Spy satellites place the truck in a heavy traffic jam in Dagestan after a ongoing territorial dispute between Armenia and Azerbaijan, and Devoe uses a ruse to identify it. The satellite, tracking in real time, is able to verify its license plate...
"The Peacemaker" is quite of a big bombastic actionthriller with suspenseful and fastpaced scenes in New York. Nicole Kidman is a touch wobbly in her attempt to convince us in her role as Dr. Julia Kelly, while George Clooney gives us a solid performance as Lt. Col. Thomas Devoe. Storywise it feels very 90s and yet it feels sadly enough very current and too close to reality. All in all I enjoyed re-seeing this film despite some flaws.
Successful advertising executive Howard Inlet (Will Smith) becomes clinically depressed after his young daughter's tragic death. Howard spends his time alone, rarely sleeping or eating, and at the office, building domino chains and structures. Howard's estranged friends and business partners, Whit Yardsham (Edward Norton), Claire Wilson (Kate Winslet), and Simon Scott (Michael Peña) fear for Howard's health as well as their company's future, as his behavior has cost them numerous high-profile clients and left them on the verge of bankruptcy. As the majority shareholder, Howard has also undermined their efforts to sell the company. The trio hire a private investigator, Sally Price (Ann Dowd), to acquire evidence that Howard is unfit to run the company, allowing them to take control. Sally intercepts three letters written by Howard which he posted to the abstract concepts of Love, Time, and Death, and presents them to the group. Whit, Claire and Simon hire a trio of struggling actors – Brigitte (Helen Mirren), Raffi (Jacob Latimore) and Amy (Keira Knightley) – to masquerade as the abstracts respectively in order to confront Howard about his letters. Their plan is for Sally to record these encounters and then digitally erase the actors to make Howard appear mentally unbalanced, enabling them to sell the company. In preparation for their roles, Brigitte, Raffi, and Amy spend time with Simon, Claire, and Whit, who are going through personal problems of their own: Simon is secretly battling cancer; Whit is struggling to connect with his pre-teen daughter Allison after cheating on her mother; and Claire is looking for sperm donors to conceive a child after neglecting her private life for years. After his encounters with "Love", "Time" and "Death", Howard attends a grief support group where he befriends a woman named Madeleine (Naomie Harris) who has lost her own daughter, Olivia, to cancer; which led to the end of her marriage. As Howard meets with Madeleine, she shows him a note from her husband, "If only we could be strangers again..." and continues enigmatically "And now we are." Howard also tells her about his recent "conversations" with Death, Time, and Love. Madeleine tells him that on the day Olivia died, an old woman at the hospital had told her to notice the "Collateral Beauty", which she has learned to recognize as acts of selfless kindness that follow tragedies...
Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus reads, "Well-meaning but fundamentally flawed, Collateral Beauty aims for uplift but collapses in unintentional hilarity."
Vince Mancini of Uproxx criticized the film for its misleading trailers and dialogue, writing, "Edward Norton's character tells Keira Knightley's about holding his now-estranged daughter (he's a workaholic!) in his arms for the first time. 'It wasn't that I felt love, it was that I felt like I had become love'." Richard Roeper gave the film one out of four stars, saying, "Collateral Beauty is a fraud. It is built on a foundation so contrived, so off-putting, so treacly, the most miraculous thing about this movie is this movie was actually made."
I must say I don´t agree with the panning of this film as this is not at all hilarious storyline wise nor dialogue wise to me. Yes, the sort of fairytale aspect is maybe slightly flawed, but the film doesn´t suffer all that much from it. Will Smith is decent in his role and he has solid support from Edward Norton & Co. Grieving a lost child is something no one can understand unless it has happen to you. I know grief and loss myself and this film did move me emotionally. I can think of so many other films that were hailed by critics which I thought were beyond silliness and this is not one of them in my book.
One night in 1990, a girl drives on a highway, stalked by a motorist. She pulls over at a gas station, where the motorist follows her. The gas station is closed and she is forced to run through the desert. She catches the attention of a passing truck driver, escaping from the pursuit. Some time later in Bakersfield, Kern County deputy sheriff Joe "Deke" Deacon (Denzel Washington) is called to the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department to collect evidence pertaining to a recent murder. Deacon, a former L.A. Sheriff's detective, accompanies recently appointed lead detective Jimmy Baxter (Rami Malek) to the scene of a new murder in L.A. Deacon notices similarities between the M.O. of the killing and the M.O. of an old serial murder case he was unable to solve. That night, a woman, named Ronda Rathbun, is followed by a car while jogging and is reported missing the following morning. Baxter learns from the precinct's captain, Farris, that Deacon got divorced and suffered a heart attack due to his obsession with the unsolved case. He's advised not to involve him any further but Deacon takes vacation leave to assist in solving Baxter's case. The next night, the police discover the body of another victim washed up beneath a bridge. Baxter learns the M.O. is consistent with the earlier murder and earlier killings: the victims were all prostitutes stabbed to death. Deacon begins investigating Albert Sparma (Jared Leto), a suspect working at a repair store in proximity to the murders. Deacon tails Sparma, but is thwarted, so he brings Sparma in for questioning. Sparma taunts the detectives while under interrogation, and is released after provoking Deacon into an angry outburst...
Rotten Tomatoes critics consensus reads: "An exceptionally well-cast throwback thriller, The Little Things will feel deeply familiar to genre fans -- for better and for worse." David Ehrlich of IndieWire gave the film a grade of B and compared it to Seven, writing: "The Little Things is pulpy and ridiculous and requires some major suspension of belief, but — if you didn't know any better — you might even say it's beautiful." David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter wrote: "If the director's generally taut original screenplay settles on an ending too cryptic to be fully satisfying, the performances of Denzel Washington and Rami Malek as cops from the old school and the new who end up having more in common than they anticipated supply enough glue to hold everything together. Add in Jared Leto as the taunting weirdo who becomes their prime suspect in a series of brutal murders, and you have a suspenseful crime thriller with a dark allure." Writing for The Globe and Mail, Barry Hertz gave the film 2.5 out of 4 stars, writing: "Hancock keeps the action moving briskly and with little tonal confusion, highlighting just what a polished studio-favoured professional can do when given gobs of money and zero intellectual-property obligations. And his trio of leading men are all given ample space to play to their strengths." Benjamin Lee of The Guardian gave the film 2 out of 5 stars, saying that "at a time when even small-screen procedurals have perma-frowned detectives who spend more time haunted by their past than actually solving crimes in the present, it all feels a little too familiar and a little too minor." Writing for RogerEbert.com, Brian Tallerico gave the film 2 out of 4 stars, and said: "It feels like Hancock is trying to tell a very True Detective story—one about how a case can pull the people investigating it apart from the inside in a way that breaks them forever—but he can't figure out how to shape that into an intriguing mystery simultaneously." Nick Schager of The Daily Beast wrote: "The ghost of Seven lives on with The Little Things, as does Denzel Washington's search for the type of great serial killer thriller he missed out on when he turned down the lead role in David Fincher's 1995 genre classic. John Lee Hancock's film [...] is deeply indebted in both style and plot particulars to that predecessor, although unfortunately for it—and its headliner—its modest suspense is largely offset by the fact that there's nothing substantial or especially original lurking beneath its eerie exterior."
What a disappointment this neo-noir crime thriller film written and directed by John Lee Hancock is if you ask me. I had really high expectations after having seen a very intriguing and dark trailer. Despite the fact that we get a very visual film with great cinematography and a solid ensemble cast the storyline is quite predictable and there´s nothing original to it with a choppy editing structure that leaves you very unsatisfied. "The Little Things" is inconsistent and a bit all over the place in terms of pacing and build up as well. Denzel Washington is on autopilot, Rami Malek is truly miscasted (I struggle with his facial expressions and his mumbling) while Jared Leto is in true method acting form. Love his way of walking as Sparma. Quite menacing. However, "The Little Things" is as exciting as watching paint dry and that is such a shame with at least Washington and Leto in the lead roles. "The Little Things" should´ve been so much better.
On the evening of November 14, 1970, Southern Airways Flight 932, a McDonnell Douglas DC-9 chartered by Marshall University to transport the Thundering Herd football team back to Huntington, West Virginia following their 17–14 defeat to the East Carolina University Pirates, clips trees on a ridge just one mile short of the runway at Tri-State Airport in Ceredo, West Virginia, and crashes into a nearby gully, killing all 75 people on board. The deceased include the 37 players; head coach Rick Tolley and five members of his coaching staff; Charles E. Kautz, Marshall's athletic director; team athletic trainer Jim Schroer and his assistant, Donald Tackett; sports information director and radio play-by-play announcer Gene Morehouse; 25 boosters; and five crew members. In the wake of the tragedy, University President Donald Dedmon (David Strathairn) leans towards indefinitely suspending the football program, but he is ultimately persuaded to reconsider by the pleas of the Marshall students and Huntington residents, and especially the few football players who didn't make the flight, led by Nate Ruffin. Dedmon hires Jack Lengyel (Matthew McConaughey) as head coach who, with the help of Red Dawson (Matthew Fox), one of two surviving members of the previous coaching staff) manages to rebuild the team in a relatively short time, despite losing many of their prospects to West Virginia University. Dedmon travels to Kansas City, where he pleads with the NCAA to waive their rule prohibiting freshmen from playing varsity football (a rule which had been abolished in 1968 for all sports except for football and basketball, and would be permanently abolished for those sports in 1972). Dedmon returns victorious. The new team is composed mostly of the 18 returning players (three varsity, 15 sophomores) and walk-on athletes from other Marshall sports programs. Due to their lack of experience, the "Young Thundering Herd" ends up losing its first game, 26–6, to the Morehead State Eagles. The loss weighs heavily on Dawson and Ruffin, who had been hurt on the first play of the game. The Herd's first post-crash victory is a 15–13 win against Xavier University in the first home game of the season...
The film received mixed reviews from critics. Rotten Tomatoes consensus stating: "Matthew McConaughey almost runs We Are Marshall to the end zone, but can't stop it from taking the easy, feel-good route in memorializing this historic event in American sports." The film's directing was criticized by many reviewers. Peter Hartlaub, from the San Francisco Chronicle, blamed director McG for "half of the movie problems" and went further on saying that "He has a kinetic and kitschy style that could make next year's "Hot Wheels" movie a surprise hit, but he's completely out of place here." Peter Howell from the Toronto Star said the film lacked genuine drama or conflict. McConaughey's performance was, according to some critics, one of the film's highlights. Roger Moore from the Orlando Sentinel gave it 4 stars out of 5 and said in his review that "We Are Marshall (it's the rally cry of the team) doesn't always have a handle on the grief, but it does keep emotions close to the surface. That allows McConaughey to be the most refreshing, funny and believable he ever has been."
"We Are Marshall" is an emotional true story that never goes over that thin line between strong drama and silly melodrama in my book at least. It depicts the aftermath of the 1970 plane crash that killed 75 people: 37 football players on the Marshall University Thundering Herd football team, along with five coaches, two athletic trainers, the athletic director, 25 boosters, and a crew of five. We get a great cast, a super soundtrack and the film has been nicely shot and edited. You get immersed in the story and it moved me at least.
Former L.A. SWAT officer Jeff Talley (Bruce Willis) is a hostage negotiator in Los Angeles. One day, Talley negotiates with a man who has taken his wife and son hostage after learning his wife was cheating on him. Shortly after Talley denies a SWAT commander's request to give snipers the order to open fire, the despondent man kills his wife, son, and himself. Traumatized, Talley moves with his family and becomes police chief in Bristo Camino, a suburban hamlet in nearby Ventura County. A year later, Talley finds himself in another hostage situation. Two teenagers, Dennis Kelly and his brother Kevin, and their accomplice Marshall "Mars" Krupcheck (Ben Foster) take hostage Walter Smith (Kevin Pollak) and his two children, teenage Jennifer and young Tommy, in Smith's house after a failed robbery attempt. The first officer to respond is shot twice by Mars just before Talley arrives. Talley attempts to rescue the officer, but she dies in front of him. Traumatized and unwilling to put himself through another tragedy, Talley hands authority over to the Ventura County Sheriff's Department and leaves. Smith has been laundering money for a mysterious right-wing militia and criminal syndicate through offshore shell corporations. He was preparing to turn over a batch of important encrypted files recorded on a DVD when he was taken hostage. To prevent the incriminating evidence from being discovered, the syndicate orders someone known only as the Watchman to kidnap Talley's wife and daughter. Talley is instructed to return to the hostage scene, regain authority, and stall for time until the organization can launch its own attack against Smith's house...
Rotten Tomatoes consensus reads, "Grisly and cliched, audiences may feel they're being held Hostage." Roger Ebert gave the film three stars out of four, writing: "In scenes where a hero must outgun four or five armed opponents, however, Hostage does use the reliable action movie technique of cutting from one target to the next, so that we never see what the others are doing while the first ones are being shot. Waiting for their closeups, I suppose."
"Hostage" is overdramatized, overacted and plain boring to be honest. Bruce Willis is on autopilot and Ben Foster in total overdrive. The storyline is too simple and dragged out to oblivion and the acting is quite wobbly. No need to see.
In the 1970s, two Bay City Police detectives, the macho David Starsky (Ben Stiller) and the easy-going Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson (Owen Wilson) are forced to become partners as punishment for recent antics. Meanwhile, Jewish-American drug kingpin Reese Feldma (Vince Vaughn) and his right-hand man Kevin Jutsum (Jason Bateman) develop a new type of cocaine that is untraceable in scent and taste. When one of his dealers botches an operation, Feldman kills him. The body washes ashore a few days later, and Starsky and Hutch investigate the scene. A clue leads them to Feldman, who denies any knowledge of the crime, but his wife mentions the dealer had been dating a cheerleader. After meeting cheerleaders Stacey and Holly, the detectives are given a jacket from cheerleader Heather. Their street-wise informant Huggy Bear directs the pair to Big Earl's motorcycle bar. Disguised as "Captain America" and "Billy" from Easy Rider, Starsky and Hutch learn that Big Earl is in jail, where they question him on his connection to Feldman's illicit dealings; Big Earl, forces the detectives into humiliating acts in exchange for information and a packet of what they believe is cocaine. However, Captain Doby, angered by their wild interrogation, tells them the packet contains artificial sweetener and takes them off the case. The duo invite Stacey and Holly to Starsky's place where Starsky puts the "sweetener" in his coffee while Hutch sings "Don't Give Up on Us". The four visit a disco where Starsky, suffering the effects what proves to be Feldman's modified cocaine, loses a dance-off. Hutch takes him home and puts him to bed, then proceeds to have a threesome with Stacey and Holly. The duo are then assaulted by an Asian dealer and his knife-wielding son, working for Feldman. After an interrogation, they deduce that Feldman stores the drugs in his garage. They go undercover as mimes at his daughter's Bat Mitzvah; confronting Feldman, Starsky shoots the lock off his garage door, inadvertently killing a pony inside that had been a gift for his daughter. Feldman comes to their defense, figuring the botched operation will take heat off him, but Doby indefinitely suspends both detectives, and though Starsky defends Hutch, Doby reveals a complaint Starsky filed against his partner weeks ago. Starsky tries to explain himself to Hutch, but an argument leads to a split in their friendship...
Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus reads: "It's uneven and occasionally somewhat aimless, but Starsky & Hutch benefits from Stiller and Wilson's chemistry and a surprisingly warm-hearted script." Roger Ebert awarded it 3 out of 4 stars. Ebert called it "A surprisingly funny movie, the best of the 1970s recycling jobs, with one laugh ("Are you OK, little pony?") almost as funny as the moment in "Dumb and Dumber" when the kid figured out his parakeet's head was Scotch-taped on." Brian Lowry of Variety magazine wrote: "Blessed with sporadic moments of cheeky fun, isn't painful but seldom advances beyond costumes and hairstyling in terms of creativity." Ben Stiller earned a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Actor. Carmen Electra earned a nomination for Worst Supporting Actress.
Todd Phillips (Still amazes me that he directed the brilliant "Joker" since everything else he´s done is borderline bad comedies) movie adaptation of the great tv show "Starsky & Hutch" (1975-1979) saddens me. I personally think that the writers John O'Brien, Todd Phillips and Scot Armstrong ridicule the characters Detective Ken "Hutch" Hutchinson and Detective David Starsky making them stupid, pathetic and truly unserious in their line as detectives. And their bromance is ridiculously portrayed. I really dislike the casting of Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson as Starsky and Hutch and the same goes for Vince Vaughn (he is truly one-dimensional as an actor) as Reese Feldman. "Starsky & Hutch" is just a horrible comedy ridiculing the tv-show in my point of view.
Two hitmen, Lee Woods (James Spader) and Dosmo Pizzo (Danny Aiello), walk into a bedroom where a sleeping couple, aspiring Olympic athlete Becky Foxx (Teri Hatcher) and her ex-husband Roy Foxx (Peter Horton) are in bed. Lee injects Becky with a tranquilizer then shoots Roy in the head. Lee and Dosmo then drive to an abandoned area off Mulholland Drive, where Lee shoots Dosmo and blows up the car in order to set Dosmo up as the fall guy for the murder. Lee flees the scene with his girlfriend, Helga Svelgen (Charlize Theron). Dosmo was wearing a bulletproof vest and survived the shooting and car explosion. He seeks shelter at the mansion of wealthy art dealer, Allan Hopper (Greg Cruttwell) where he takes Hopper and his assistant, Susan Parish (Glenne Headly) hostage. Dosmo is unaware that Hopper has called his sister, Audrey Hopper (Marsha Mason) a nurse, to come to the house. On her way, Audrey picks up Teddy Peppers (Paul Mazursky) a down-and-out TV producer contemplating suicide. Meanwhile, Becky awakens and discovers Roy's body in bed beside her. She runs from her house and flags down two detectives, young, ambitious Wes Taylor (Eric Stoltz) and cynical veteran Alvin Strayer (Jeff Daniels) who are driving by. Although he is sympathetic, Wes begins to suspect that Becky knows more than she is saying. Becky, who had hired Lee and Dosmo to kill Roy for $30,000, was unaware that they would kill Roy in her own house. Lee goes back to the house to get the money, encounters homicide detectives Creighton (Keith Carradine) and Carla Valenzuela (Ada Maris) working the crime scene, and kills them both. Wes decides to return to the crime scene to see if he can offer any insight on the case. Masquerading as one of the detectives, Lee lures Wes outside, intending to kill him...
The film was given mixed reviews from critics. Writing in The New York Times, Stephen Holden wrote the film "lacks the humanity of Short Cuts or the edgy hipness of Pulp Fiction, but it is still a sleek, amusingly nasty screen debut by a filmmaker whose television credits include an Amy Fisher melodrama." Roger Ebert gave the film three stars out of four on his rating scale, saying that it "looks like a crime movie, but crime is the medium, not the message". Teri Hatcher's performance earned her a Golden Raspberry Award nomination for Worst Supporting Actress.
I haven´t seen "Two Days In The Valley" since it came out in 1996, and to be honest I remembered it being much better than it is. This Tarantino like film has a solid ensemble cast, but a weak script and dialogue if you ask me. It´s not really exciting nor that much entertaining. Maybe it simply hasn´t aged all that well or it tries to be something it´s not creating an unbalanced film.
Jack Mosley (Bruce Willis) is an alcoholic, burned-out NYPD detective. Despite a late shift the night before, his lieutenant orders him to escort a witness, Eddie Bunker (Mos Def), from local custody to the courthouse 16 blocks away to testify on a police corruption case before a grand jury at 10 a.m. Bunker tries to be friendly with Mosley, telling him of his aspirations to move to Seattle to become a cake baker with his sister who he has never met, but Mosley is uninterested, and stops at a liquor store. They are suddenly ambushed by a gunman, and Mosley drags Bunker to a local bar to take shelter and call for backup. Mosley's former partner, Frank Nugent (David Morse), and several other officers arrive. Nugent and his men are part of the corruption scheme, and he tells Mosley that Bunker is not worth defending as his testimony will likely expose several corrupt officers, including Nugent. The corrupt cops try to frame Bunker for firing at an officer before they try to kill him. Mosley intervenes, rescuing Bunker and fleeing. Mosley briefly stops at his sister Diane's (Jenna Stern) apartment to retrieve guns and ammo, and learns the police have already approached her about his activities earlier that day. He and Bunker take steps to further elude the police, and Mosley is wounded in the process. They become cornered in a run-down apartment building as Nugent and his men search floor by floor. Mosley calls the district attorney to arrange for help, but purposely gives the wrong apartment number, suspecting there is a mole involved. Mosley and Bunker are able to escape onto a passenger bus, and as the police follow them, Mosley is forced to treat the passengers as hostages. The bus crashes into a construction site and is soon surrounded by the ESU. Aware that Nugent will likely order the ESU to raid the bus, risking the safety of the passengers, Mosley allows the passengers to go free, using their cover to allow Bunker to sneak off the bus in the confusion. Mosley finds a tape recorder in the discarded possessions on the bus, and prepares a farewell message to Diane...
Rotten Tomatoes consensus reads: "Despite strong performances from Bruce Willis and Mos Def, 16 Blocks barely rises above being a shopworn entry in the buddy-action genre." Michael Atkinson of The Village Voice commented that "the clichés come thick on the ground" and called it "a small movie trying to seem epic, or a bloated monster trying to seem lean." Peter Travers of Rolling Stone gave the film two-and-a-half out of four stars and called Willis and Mos Def "a terrific team," concluding that "Until Richard Wenk's script drives the characters into a brick wall of pukey sentiment, it's a wild ride." Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert gave it three out of four stars and commended Mos Def for his "character performance that's completely unexpected in an action movie," while calling the film "a chase picture conducted at a velocity that is just about right for a middle-age alcoholic." Wesley Morris of The Boston Globe described the film as admirably old fashioned, praising Donner for his direction, but criticized the film for lacking originality, saying it feels like a remake of The Gauntlet directed by Clint Eastwood.
This Richard Donner actionthriller is really nothing special in my book. Generic and weak script about corrupt cops which has been done so many times. I think Bruce Willis did a better down and out character in "The Last Boy Scout" while David Morse does his standard bad guy and Mos Def with his strange speech pattern becomes quite annoying after a bit. No need to see "16 Blocks" as nothing in it carries any originality.
Trivia: It was Richard Donner's last directorial credit for many years until it was announced in 2020 that he would direct a fifth Lethal Weapon film.
When North Carolina secedes from the Union on May 20, 1861, the young men of Cold Mountain enlist in the Confederate States Army. Among them is W.P. Inman (Jude Law), a carpenter who has fallen in love with Ada Monroe (Nicole Kidman), a preacher's daughter who had come from Charleston, South Carolina to care for her ailing father. Their courtship is interrupted by the war, but they share their first kiss the day Inman leaves for the army. Ada promises Inman that she will wait for him. Three years later, Inman fights in the Battle of the Crater and survives; he then comforts a dying acquaintance from Cold Mountain, while fellow soldier Stobrod Thewes plays a tune on his fiddle. Inman is later wounded in a skirmish; as he lies in a hospital near death, a nurse reads him a letter from Ada, who pleads for Inman to come home to her. Inman recovers and deserts, embarking on a long trek back to Cold Mountain. Inman encounters a corrupt preacher named Veasey (Philip Seymour Hoffman), and stops him from drowning his pregnant slave lover. Exiled from his parish, Veasey joins Inman on his journey. They later meet a young man named Junior (Giovanni Ribisi), and join him and his family for dinner. Junior leaves and returns with the Confederate Home Guard, who take Inman and Veasey away along with other deserters. Veasey and the group are killed in a skirmish with Union cavalry, while Inman is left for dead. An elderly hermit living in the woods finds Inman and nurses him back to health. Inman eventually meets a grieving young widow named Sara (Natalie Portman) and her infant child Ethan, and stays the night at her cabin. The next morning, three Union soldiers arrive demanding food; they take Ethan hostage and try to rape Sara, forcing Inman and Sara to kill them. Back in Cold Mountain, Ada's father has died, leaving her with no money and few means to run their property's farm in Black Cove. She survives on the kindness of her neighbors, particularly Esco and Sally Swanger, who eventually send for Ruby Thewes (Renée Zellweger) to help. Ruby moves in and together they bring the farm to working order, becoming close friends. Meanwhile, Ada continues to write letters to Inman, hoping they will reunite and renew their romance...
Cold Mountain was met with overall positive reviews from critics, with Zellweger's performance receiving wide acclaim. Rotten Tomatoes site's critics consensus states: "The well-crafted Cold Mountain has an epic sweep and captures the horror and brutal hardship of war." Roger Ebert gave the film three stars out of four, noting that "It evokes a backwater of the Civil War with rare beauty, and lights up with an assortment of colorful supporting characters." Richard Corliss, film critic for Time, gave the film a positive review. He called it "A grand and poignant movie epic about what is lost in war and what's worth saving in life. It is also a rare blend of purity and maturity—the year's most rapturous love story." In his movie guide, Leonard Maltin gave the film 3 1/2 stars out of 4, writing "Minghella's adaptation of the Charles Frazier best-seller captures both the grimness of battle and the starkness of life on the home front in the South," and concluded the film was "Meticulously crafted" with "First-rate performances all around."
This is one overacted, overlong, silly monologued piece of costume drama riddled with generic southern accents. Yes, the cast is sold, but the storyline and laughable dialogue is just ruining everything in this film for me at least. I simply don´t agree to all the praise this Anthony Minghella film got back in 2003. I can´t understand how Renée Zellweger won that Oscar for her role as Ruby as she isn´t that amazing in my book. "Cold Mountain" didn´t mesmerize me at least contrary to many others.
Joel Reynolds (Jason Bateman) is the owner and founder of Reynolds Extract, a flavoring-extracts company. Although his business is successful, his marriage lacks passion. He is also often accosted by his annoying neighbor, Nathan. One day, a series of mishaps occur at the extract factory, resulting in an employee, Step, losing a testicle. Cindy (Mila Kunis), a con artist, reads a news story about the accident. Hatching a get-rich-quick scheme, she gets a temporary job at the factory, manipulating Joel into giving her more information about Step. She also begins a series of petty thefts from her co-workers, who openly accuse each other of the thefts. Although Step initially decides not to sue the company, he changes his mind after a meeting with Cindy, which she sets up in order to meet and flirt with him. Under Cindy's influence, Step hires attorney Joe Adler...
Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus reads, "Extract has some very funny moments and several fine performances, but the film feels slighter and more uneven than Mike Judge's previous work." Dan Zak of The Washington Post, called it "the most disappointing American comedy of the decade". On the other end of the spectrum, Michael Phillips of the Chicago Tribune called it "the funniest American comedy of the summer".
"Extract" written and directed by Mike Judge is really nothing special, however we get a solid cast with Jason Bateman in the lead. There´s moments for sure, but the storyline is too simple and not really that exciting to be honest.
Turmoil erupts in Nigeria following a military coup d'etat in which the president and his family are killed. Foreigners evacuate the country and Lieutenant A.K. Waters (Bruce Willis) and his U.S. Navy SEAL team consisting of Zee (Eamonn Walker), Slo (Nick Chinlund), Red (Cole Hauser), Lake (Johnny Messner), Silk (Charles Ingram), Doc (Paul Francis), and Flea (Chad Smith), board the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman, to be dispatched by Captain Bill Rhodes (Tom Skerritt) to extract Dr. Lena Fiore Kendricks (Monica Bellucci), a U.S. citizen by marriage and the widowed daughter-in-law of a U.S. senator. Their secondary mission is to extract the mission's priest (Pierrino Mascarino) and two nuns (Fionnula Flanagan and Cornelia Hayes O'Herlihy), should they choose to come. Waters gets to Kendricks, telling her that rebels are closing in on her hospital and the mission, and that his orders are to extract U.S. citizens; however, Kendricks refuses to leave without her patients. Waters calls Rhodes for options; after a brief conversation, he concedes to Kendricks' wishes and agrees to take those refugees able to walk. Kendricks begins assembling the able-bodied for the 12 kilometres (7.5 mi) hike; the priest and the nuns stay behind to take care of the injured. Irritated and behind the schedule, the team and the refugees leave the hospital mission after daybreak. At nightfall they take a short break. The rebels rapidly approach their position, and Waters stealthily kills one. Kendricks warns Waters that the rebels are going to the mission, but he is determined to carry out his orders, and they continue to the extraction point. Back at the mission, the staff and refugees are detained by the rebels. Despite the priest's pleas for mercy, the rebels murder him and the remaining occupants. When the team arrives at the extraction point, Waters' initial plan becomes clear: the SEALs suddenly turn away the refugees from the waiting helicopter. Waters forces Kendricks into the helicopter against her will, leaving the refugees stranded in the jungle, defenseless against the rebels. En route back to the Harry Truman, they fly over the original mission compound, seeing it destroyed and all its occupants murdered, as Kendricks had feared. Remorseful, Waters orders the pilot to return to the refugees. He then loads as many refugees as he can into the helicopter and decides to escort the remaining refugees to the Cameroonian border on foot...
Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus states that the film "tries to be high-minded, but in the end, it's just a stylish action movie." Roger Ebert gave the film three stars out of four and said, "Tears of the Sun is a film constructed out of rain, cinematography and the face of Bruce Willis. These materials are sufficient to build a film almost as good as if there had been a better screenplay."
Antoine Fuqua´s "Tears Of The Sun" is a dramatic, emotional, difficult and very "real" film about clanwars in Africa. Fuqua tells the story how it is and not in a Hollwood way. It´s brutal and gripping, but I believe it´s important to show how reality is in many parts of Africa. Bruce Willis does a pretty solid role as Lieutenant A.K. Waters and all the other actors really put everything in there to make it look as authentic as possible when portraying this group of Navy SEALS. Monica Bellucci is great as well and she really add emotional structure to the film. I love that Fuqua has used real African music and not something else. That adds as well to the film. This is not a gung ho action movie to me at least, this is a strong drama with many layers to it. Even if the ending has a touch of American flagwaving to it. "Tears Of The Sun" touched me for sure when re-seeing it.
Trivia: Tensions between director Antoine Fuqua and Bruce Willis emerged soon after principal photography began, ending with each vowing never to work with the other again.
In the small fishing town of Nightmute, Alaska, 17-year-old Kay Connell is found murdered. Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) detectives Will Dormer (Al Pacino) and Hap Eckhart (Martin Donovan) are sent to assist the local police with their investigation, at the request of police chief Nyback, an old colleague of Dormer's. Ellie Burr (Hilary Swank), a young local detective who is also a fan of Dormer's investigative work, picks them up when they arrive. Back in Los Angeles, Internal Affairs is investigating one of Dormer's past cases. Flying to Alaska, Eckhart reveals that he is going to testify against Dormer in exchange for immunity, to which Dormer responds that many criminals whom he helped to convict using questionable evidence could go free if their cases are reopened. Dormer attracts the murderer to the scene of the crime, but the suspect flees into the fog, shooting one of the police officers through the leg. Dormer spots a figure in the fog and fires with his backup weapon. Rushing to the fallen figure, Dormer picks up a .38 pistol the suspect has dropped. He then discovers that he has shot and killed Eckhart. Because of Eckhart's pending testimony, Dormer knows that Internal Affairs will never believe the shooting was an accident, so he claims that Eckhart was shot by the suspect. He does not mention he has the .38 pistol. Burr is put in charge of the shooting investigation, and her team finds the .38 caliber bullet that hit the officer. That night, Dormer walks to an alley and fires the .38 pistol into an animal carcass, then retrieves and cleans the bullet. At the morgue, the staffer hands him the bagged bullet retrieved from Eckhart's body, but she is unfamiliar with its type. Dormer leaves and switches the .38 bullet for the 9 mm slug from Eckhart's body. Over the next few days, Dormer is plagued by insomnia, brought on by his guilt over killing Eckhart and exacerbated by the perpetual daylight. Dormer starts receiving anonymous phone calls from the killer, who claims to have witnessed Dormer kill his partner. When the police learn that Kay was a fan of local crime writer Walter Finch (Robin Williams), Dormer breaks into Finch's apartment in the nearby village of Umkumiut. Finch arrives home, realizes the police are present, and evades Dormer after a chase. Dormer returns to Finch's apartment and plants the .38 to frame Finch...
Rotten Tomatoes critical consensus reads: "Driven by Pacino's performance, Insomnia is a smart and riveting psychological drama." Lou Lumenick of the New York Post gave the film an enthusiastic review, calling it a "four-course gourmet alternative to summer popcorn flicks, serving up the meatiest performances Al Pacino and Robin Williams have given in many years." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times said that "Unlike most remakes, the Nolan Insomnia is not a pale retread, but a re-examination of the material, like a new production of a good play." Erik Skjoldbjærg, the director of the original film, said of Nolan's reinterpretation: It was quite close, stylistically, to the original. I felt lucky that it's such a well crafted, smart film and that it had a really good director handling it, because as a remake I think it did really well, and it doesn't hurt any original if a remake is well done. So I felt I was lucky that Christopher Nolan took it upon himself to do it. Taste of Cinema complimented Nolan for being able to "capture the excitement of the original while still setting it apart as a notable film itself." IndieWire included Insomnia in their "10 Remakes of Classics by Great Auteurs" list, writing, "Nolan shifts the moral ground from the snowballing moral corruption of the original to shades of guilt and accountability and Pacino's increasingly bleary and hallucinatory perspective becomes an evocative metaphor for his struggle."
Christopher Nolan´s remake of the Norwegian original film is nothing that special in my book at least. Pacino does Pacino and Williams is doing a role that was not his normal type of role, but I do think he manages it ok. We get nice scenery in Alaska, but storywise there´s not much to get excited about. It´s predictable and not really creative nor original. It´s too much routine over "Insomnia".
Trivia: The film grossed over $113 million worldwide against a production budget of $46 million, and received critical praise for its screenplay, cinematography, direction, and acting, particularly Pacino's and Williams' performances.
Disenchanted Brigadier General Francis Hummel (Ed Harris) and his second-in-command Major Tom Baxter (David Morse) lead a group of rogue U.S. Force Recon Marines against a heavily guarded naval weapons depot to steal a stockpile of 15 VX gas-loaded M55 rockets, ultimately losing one of their own men in the process. The next day, along with newly-recruited Captains Frye and Darrow, Hummel and his men seize control of Alcatraz Island, taking eighty-one tourists hostage. Hummel threatens to launch the rockets against San Francisco unless the U.S. government pays him $100 million from a military slush fund, which he will distribute to his men and the families of Recon Marines who died on clandestine missions under his command, but whose deaths were not compensated. The Department of Defense and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) develop a plan to retake the island using a U.S. Navy SEAL team led by Commander Anderson, the FBI's top chemical weapons specialist, Dr. Stanley Goodspeed (Nicolas Cage), and the only inmate to ever escape Alcatraz: John Mason (Sean Connery). FBI Director James Womack bribes Mason with a pardon (which Womack subsequently destroys) and Mason is set up in a hotel. He escapes, resulting in a car chase with Goodspeed through the streets of San Francisco as Mason seeks out his estranged daughter, Jade. They meet but she accuses him of escaping again when Goodspeed arrives; he covers for Mason by telling Jade that Mason is aiding the FBI. The team successfully infiltrates Alcatraz, but Hummel's men are alerted to their presence and ambush them in a shower room. Anderson and all of the SEALs are killed, leaving only Mason and Goodspeed alive. Goodspeed wants to finish the mission and attempts strong-arming Mason into helping; Mason, seeing his chance to escape custody, disarms Goodspeed. Mason changes his mind to help Goodspeed when the Marines, having found the weapons and radio missing from a dead SEAL soldier, start using explosive bombs to ferret out the survivors. They eliminate several teams of Marines and disable twelve of the fifteen rockets by removing their guidance chips. Hummel threatens to execute a hostage if they do not surrender and return the chips; Mason destroys them before surrendering to Hummel to try reasoning with him and stall for time. Goodspeed disables another rocket just before being captured. With the incursion team lost, the backup plan is initiated: an airstrike by F/A-18s with thermite plasma, which will neutralize the poison gas but also kill everyone on the island...
Rotten Tomatoe critics consensus reads: "For visceral thrills, it can't be beat. Just don't expect The Rock to engage your brain." It remains the highest rated film directed by Bay on the site and the only one to have a "fresh" (positive) score. Roger Ebert awarded the film 3.5 out of 4 stars, praising it as "a first-rate, slam-bang action thriller with a lot of style and no little humor". Todd McCarthy of Variety gave the film a positive review, commenting "The yarn has its share of gaping holes and jaw-dropping improbabilities, but director Michael Bay sweeps them all aside with his never-take-a-breath pacing." Richard Corliss, writing for the Time expressed favorable opinions towards the film, saying "Slick, brutal and almost human, this is the team-spirit action movie Mission: Impossible should have been."
"The Rock" is such a silly flagwaving gung ho smelling Bay/Bruckheimer/Simpson production and it doesn´t help that both Ed Harris and Sean Connery add weight to the cast. There´s not much to like here at least for me when re-seeing this actioneer. Only the fact that the film is set in lovely San Francisco. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but it was nominated for Best Sound at the 69th Academy Awards, it earned box-office receipts of over $335 million against a production budget of $75 million, and was the fourth highest-grossing film of 1996.