Showing posts from July 28, 2019

Review: Don’t Say a Word

A band of crims headed by bank robber Sean Bean storm child psychiatrist Michael Douglas’ home and hold his temporarily bedridden wife Famke Janssen and daughter Skye McCole Bartusiak hostage. They want Douglas to tap into the mind of a disturbed young woman (the late Brittany Murphy) and within eight hours, extract a 6-digit number believed to be in her head, that will help them get to some loot that was lost/hidden after a heist some years ago (a crime for which they have just been released). If he does not do this within the allotted time, the kid gets it between the eyes. Janssen, for her part, gets to do a sexy variation on Jimmy Stewart in the climax of “Rear Window” as she tries to avoid the gang’s surveillance detection in order to save her family, all with a broken leg. Oliver Platt plays Douglas’ shrink friend, and Jennifer Esposito is a determined cop on the trail.

Efficient, enjoyable, well-acted 2001 thriller directed by Gary Fleder (“Kiss the Girls”, “Things to Do in Den…

Review: I Now Pronounce You Chuck and Larry

NY fireman and best buddies Adam Sandler (a major womaniser) and Kevin James pretend to be a gay couple so that James (who is a well-meaning, still-grieving widow with kids to care for) can reap the healthcare benefits. Things get a little more complicated when a suspicious government official (Steve Buscemi, unfunny for once) starts snooping around, and Sandler gets the hots for the lawyer (Jessica Biel) the duo hires in response to Buscemi’s trash-searching, super-snooping tactics and subsequently becomes her gay BFF. Dan Aykroyd is their employer, who is wise to their scheme from the get-go, Nicholas Turturro plays the same loud-mouthed homophobe I’ve seen him play about ten times, and Rob Schneider turns up as a supposedly Asian marriage celebrant.

I did not want to see this film. I figured it would be crude, homophobic, drastically unfunny, and above all else, a rip-off of the Aussie film “Strange Bedfellows”, a film I also did not want to see (and have not, as of 2019). But I wa…

Review: Dog Eat Dog

Three former prison buddies of differing personalities and temperaments (Relatively cool-headed Nic Cage, brooding thug Christopher Matthew Cook, and insane druggie murderer Willem Dafoe) have been pulling off heists for a while, despite being far from slick professionals. In fact, Cage is the only one of the three who frankly isn’t insane. Seriously, one of them is even named Mad Dog (that would be Mr. Dafoe). Anyhow, they are offered one more big payday by The Greek (director Paul Schrader himself) that is an opportunity too good to pass up. All they have to do to earn a pretty penny is kidnap a baby and hold it for ransom. Somehow, these three stooges manage to find a way to cock it up. Former Aussie soap star Nicky Whelan turns up as a hooker.

If the idea of a film based on an Eddie Bunker novel, directed by Paul Schrader (the underrated “Blue Collar”, the not-bad “Auto-Focus”), and starring Nic Cage and Willem Dafoe sounds like a lot of fun to you…you’re wrong. Yeah, you’ll proba…

Review: The Tourist

Angelina Jolie plays a mystery woman whose lover is wanted by Scotland Yard (led by Timothy Dalton and Paul Bettany) for some reason. He has arranged for a diversion on a particular train from Paris where she is meant to take the authorities off the scent by sitting next to a man with measurements approximate to his own. That man turns out to be vacationing Wisconsin maths teacher Johnny Depp, who is perplexed, but noticing the gorgeous Jolie, not complaining. Once they arrive in Venice, Italy, Jolie invites Depp to stay in her hotel room, and he’s definitely not complaining about that. However, Depp quickly realises when Scotland Yard and a nasty gangster (Steven Berkoff, natch) start pursuing him, that Jolie might be setting him up as a fall guy in whatever scheme she’s got going on. But are things what they seem? Besides, he kinda has the hots for her anyway. Rufus Sewell is billed as ‘The Englishman’, in a role that seems barely written into the plot at all.

An old-fashioned spy/r…