For some reason I expected Crocodile Dundee to be much more of a straight-up laugh riot. Rather, it's a quaint little fish-out-of-water story turned romantic comedy. Paul Hogan is far more likable than he is funny, which means that I enjoyed the film while not honestly finding it all that funny. I'm a little surprised that it garnered a sequel, but I guess it was somewhat of a hit at the time and remains fondly remembered which is why I knew the "That's not a knife, *this* is a knife" quote even though I'd never seen it before.
I didn't full-on love Star Trek: Into Darkness as much as I did the previous film, but it's still a damned good action adventure film. If I had to point to any "major" problems, I'm not really sure there are many. The twist with the villain's blood at the end was convenient, but so was the Red Matter in the first film. The plot was a bit jam-packed and convoluted, but these big budget, action packed, sci-fi/fantasy franchise films usually are these days (though maybe that's not a good excuse for looking past it). I guess I just didn't care for the overall story as much this time around.
On the plus side, Benedict Cumberbatch made a much more interesting villain than Eric Bana. This was my first real exposure to Cumberbatch (though I've been meaning to watch Sherlock) and I enjoyed his performance a great deal. His was a pretty one dimensional character, but I enjoyed the hell out of Peter Weller as well. Alice Eve seemed to have been cast just for her clothes-chaning scene, but she's also pretty good at belting out mortified screams. The main cast are just as likable and fun to watch as the last time around, though Chekov and Sulu felt a bit shortchanged.
Something I was surprised by was that the callbacks to the original Star Trek films were some of my favorite parts of the movie. I've never been a big Trek fan outside of the J.J. Abrams films and have only seen the 6 original films one time each, but the Leonard Nimoy cameo and a few spoiler-y winks, nods, and full-on homages that I don't want to give away here were had more of an impact on me than I was expecting.
I didn't love the opening of Into Darkness. Though it did set up some important themes and plot threads which continue throughout the film, it didn't stack up to the first few minutes of it's predecessor which really knocked me on my ass the first time I saw it. Then there's the climax which seemed like a very standard action movie ending and the bad-guy-wanting-to-be-captured-as-part-of-his-master-plan sequence which feels a bit overdone these days. While it's true that these are all pretty minor nit-picks, I'll admit that I was more conscious of them than I was of any of the flaws that the first Star Trek had while I was watching it. So while I did really enjoy Into Darkness, it definitely feels like it occupies an unfortunate place in the shadow of the previous film.
What an odd little film. The young, spoiled son of a filthy rich newspaper/department store magnate is told by his father that he can go to the toy store and pick out ANYTHING he wants. The down on his luck janitor played by Richard Pryor inadvertently makes the boy laugh and, because he's technically IN the store, the boy decides he wants to buy him. Yes...a rich white family BUYS a down-on-his-luck black man. There are brief references to slavery made throughout the film, but the subject is never dwelled upon. Between that basic premise, references to the KKK and the flaunting of the monstrous breasts of the boy's stepmother, I dare say that this film could NEVER be made today, and if it were it would CERTAINLY never garner a PG rating.
I'm a bit ashamed to say that The Toy is my first foray into the career of Richard Pryor. He had an occasional funny one-liner or facial expression, but I was overall unimpressed. Thrust me though, I am not going to condemn the man's entire career based on The Toy. Like a lot of comedies from the 70's/early 80's I didn't think the plot was much of a plot. During this era it seems that a lot of comedies consisted of amassing some talent, throwing a premise at them, and then editing random, often disconnected scenes together relating to the same basic idea. Parts were entertaining, but as a narrative I was a bit let down.
Back in 1999 I was 15 years old and I REALLY wanted to see this movie. At the time I was a fan of Martin Lawrence, but otherwise I'm not sure what drew me to this movie. I know I saw it in the theater, but I have no real recollection of it or what I thought. I'd forgotten all about Life until it popped up on TV recently and I recorded it on my DVR to see if I could recall what about it had appealed so much to me more than a decade ago.
Life is kind of like a quaint, light-hearted version of Shawshank redemption. Murphy, Lawrence, and honestly the entire cast are great. Many of the tropes of prison films are played to their full effect here, but the cast is really what makes this movie shine. By the time the ending rolls around the story feels sort of shunted and pointless, but while the film doesn't honestly build up to much, it's still a lot of fun to watch while it plays out in front of you. Maybe that's why it didn't stick with me over the years, because it leaves you feeling like the plot went nowhere. I still really enjoyed it though, and I look forward to revisiting it in another 14 years.
Tomb Raider's CG has not held up well. It's story is generic and uninteresting. The characters are all boring stereotypes. The action is mostly dull and fake-looking. The music and visual style are unfortunate holdovers from the 90's. In short...it kind of sucks.
The one thing they did right in this film was casting Angelina Jolie. Aside from having to put on a fake British accent, she was meant to play this part just as much as Patrick Stewart was destined to be Professor X in the X-Men films. At the time she was super hot, resembled the character, and wasn't afraid to show some side-boob.
- Simon (the robot) didn't belong in this movie at all and, as unrealistic as most things in this movie are, he still manages to stick out like a sore thumb in the logic department.
- The silk pajamas, bungee cord bouncing from the ceiling scene. What the fuck WAS that? I know, I know...it was just some intern's idea of a way to incorporate a cool post-Matrix mid-air fight scene when some black ops guys rappel in through the ceiling, but...that the fuck WAS that?
- Lara skiing on the soles of her boots while being pulled by some dogs through a chamber that's crumbling apart around her. Extreme sports much?
There's a lot more I could mention, but it's Tomb Raider. What more is there to say?
Wow. Hackers does NOT hold up. The representation of hacking and hackers in this film is so ludicrous that it's hard to imagine that it made it into theaters without the creators being laughed out of the studio. It manages to get by on the relative likability of the characters alone, but outside of that it's just an odd curiosity these days. Also, it's crazy to think that Angelina Jolie was only 20 years old when this movie came out.
Fast Times At Ridgemont High is one of those "classic" comedies that I've been meaning to check off of my To Do list for a while now. The first thing I was drawn to was the music, which sets the mood and establishes the time period so well. The cast were all great and the famous nude scene (perhaps the most famous nude scene?) didn't disappoint. I can't think of much to say about Fast Times other than it's one of those rare examples of an older comedy that manages to live up to the hype.
Just now, while doing a search for this movie on Letterboxd so I could log that I'd watched it, I discovered that there is a 7 minute Looney Tunes short starring Bugs Bunny that is also, oddly enough, called "Transylvania 6-5000". If you're thinking of watching this movie, take my word for it and watch the cartoon instead. It HAS to be better than this turd.
I saw that Jeff Goldblum and Michael Richards were in this, so I thought I'd give it a shot. Unfortunately, it's a slap-sticky mess of a movie. From scene to scene I felt little cohesion to the plot, the over-the-top acting didn't work at all for me, and the movie looks and sounds like shit. Jeffrey Jones is criminally under-used, Jeff Goldblum's performance is just barely passable, but Michael Richards and Ed Begley Jr are atrocious. Richards seems like he's from another planet where the definition of the word "comedy" is defined as "falling down and making weird, guttural moaning noises".
The premise about two reporters being sent to Transylvania to write a story on Frankenstein is just a hollow shell of a reason to get the characters into an old castle so silly shit can happen. The reveal at the end as to where all the monsters come from comes out of NOWHERE and makes for a run-on, unfunny climax. The mad scientist character and his mood swings when he enters his lab are stupid and annoying. Frankenstein's monster is bland and uninteresting. The mummy does nothing. The Wolfman looks kind of shitty and his dubbed dialogue sounds like shit. The highlight of the film is probably Geena Davis' vampire character because, though she's annoying as well, her tits are out for pretty much the entire movie.
I thought Silverado was pretty boring. I liked seeing so many recognizable faces transplanted into the western genre, but the story was pretty weak and it goes on a bit too long. The best part is easily the cast, consisting of good to forgettable performances from Danny Glover, Kevin Kline, Kevin Costner, Brian Dennehy, Jeff Goldblum, and John Cleese for some reason, amongst others.
The first half of the film is just a long, drawn-out introduction to the main four characters (Glover, Kline, Costner, and Scott Glenn) that sets up their friendship. It really felt like an overlong prologue because the plot switches direction when the gang briefly breaks up and goes their separate ways before being thrust back together to take down a corrupt sheriff in the final act. There are nice scenes and some fun moments throughout, but I personally felt that the climax was pretty underwhelming. When you put a team of good guys against a whole gang of bad guys for your big finale, I want more than one scene of action with each hero. Costner shoots 2 guys, Glenn has a horse chase scene, Glover...I can't even remember, and then Kline has a little showdown with the sheriff. And that's it. It was pretty lame. There was a good movie buried somewhere deep within Silverado, but you kind of have to dig for it.