Doug Richardson

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Hostage Review

Near the end of this chaotic and clichéd movie, Bruce Willis' character is told, "The less you know, the better." While he may be better off not knowing a damn thing, we would be better off knowing something about this film. Hostage is predicated on an interesting concept, but it is quickly lost with the familiar, violence-heavy plot that typifies below average thrillers.

Willis plays Jeff Talley, a former LAPD hostage negotiator who resigns his guilt-ridden, big city post for a quiet, safe position as chief of police in the small town of Bristo Camino. Even with the new surroundings, Talley has yet to heal the emotional scarring he's inflicted on his wife and daughter. Instead of reconciling the damage at home, he runs from it: "See you next weekend" he tells his family before scurrying off to work. It's hardly the behavior you'd expect from someone touted as an expert in mediation.

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Die Hard 2 Review

Die Hard had it all: a sympathetic hero, a wonderfully serpentine villain, kick-ass fight scenes and shootouts (which are really hard to make entertaining, in the glut of routine action flicks that overflow our video racks), an enjoyably quirky supporting cast of character actors, and dialogue you could really sink your teeth into. ("I wanted this to be professional. Efficient, adroit, cooperative, not a lot to ask. Alas, your Mr. Takagi did not see it that way, so he won't be joining us for the rest of his life.") This flick was so pervasive, we had to endure a slew of rip-offs: Die Hard at sea, Die Hard on an ocean liner, Die Hard in a friggin' library! OK, so they never did one in a library, but that would be pretty funny, wouldn't it? [Indeed they did do it in a library: Masterminds. -Ed.]

What a pity that Die Hard 2: Die Harder (based on the novel 58 Minutes) falls into the trap of being just another Die Hard in Washington's Dulles Airport. I mean, it's kinda funny that John McClane (Bruce Willis, having a good ol' time) acknowledges his pathetic luck. Not this shit again! He's waiting for his wife's plane to land when terrorists seize control of the airport, crashing a plane just to prove that they'll stop at nothing. Yes, they will stop at nothing! Insert an evil laugh here, and throw in a moustache twirl, why dontcha?

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Bad Boys Review

Competent yet asinine, Bad Boys teams Will Smith and Martin Lawrence as an Odd Couple-ish pair of cops. Will helps Martin get his groove back while the duo fight crime. Typical Bruckheimer fare with explosions a-plenty, though less vapid than usual, mainly because Smith lends an air of credibility to the whole thing that Lawrence tries -- in every scene -- to destroy.
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