It is an entertaining fictionalization of high school graduation weekend of the senior class of 1976 in Linklater's former home city of Austin, Texas. Jocks, rednecks, cheerleaders, stoners, frosh, and the other high school demographic groups are all lovingly and respectfully rendered on Linklater's canvas. Though I didn't graduate until the mid-'80s, I'm pretty sure that the amount of pot smoking is this film is not exaggerated. And as evidence of the director's commitment to brutal realism, Foghat's "Slow Ride" is heard not once, not twice, but three times before the end of the movie. Rock on.
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The Scorpion King ably rehashes the plots of the variety of other, better films including Gladiator, the Indiana Jones series, Flash Gordon, Beastmaster, and even The Goonies. Set 5,000 years ago, a warlord named Memnon (Steven Brand), acting on crazed Napoleonic urges, ravages the land and bends its people into totalitarian rule. With the aid of a seer who foretells the future, Memnon stands invincible against all aggressors.
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Unfortunately for Perry, it's April 1992, and not a very good time to be an arrogant, white LAPD officer. The Rodney King trial has set L.A. on the precipice of Armageddon, and the verdict - to be announced imminently - has become the focal point for a metropolis simmering with class and racial tension. Perry, however, has more pressing matters to worry about. His partner, a wet-behind-the-ears rookie named Bobby Keough (played with baby-faced blankness by ex-Felicity hunk Scott Speedman), has screwed up an arrest, and Perry - always looking to back up a fellow brother in blue - has killed the defenseless perp (with Keough's gun) rather than letting him escape. The film begins with both officers knee-deep into lying their way through an eight-hour inquiry, since Perry has decided that his incompetent protégé should take the heat for the killing anyway. As far as Perry is concerned, one's first shooting inquiry is a right of passage - a baptism into an immoral system that's primarily sworn to protect and serve its own members.
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The "someone else", in this case, are Elaine May and Warren Beatty, screenwriters of that earlier romantic comedy, which itself was a remake of 1941's Here Comes Mr. Jordan. But Beatty and May crafted a fresh story with a modern update and some sex appeal, while paying homage to the old version. Down to Earth is just a much weaker version of the same movie.
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So, when the movie was as bad as the previews, I was not a happy camper.
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Of all of the dumb action flicks that I have seen, Hard Target is perhaps the easiest target of all to hit. It sits there, a bloated animal on the silver screen, waiting for some nasty critic to take pen to paper and kick it until it stops moving... and I suppose that job would fall upon yours truly.
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The definitive populist telling of the Wyatt Earp story, Tombstone has more fun with the story than traditionalist versions like Kevin Costner's Wyatt Earp, with a younger, more crowd-pleasing cast -- Thomas Haden Church plays a bad guy; Jason Priestley is a deputy. And it's got more factual holes than the Clanton gang ended up with -- all in the name of serving up Good Clean Fun.
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The film opens during the war in Kosovo as highly trained hand-to-hand combat assassin (or "tracker") Aaron Hallam (Benicio Del Toro) carries out his military assignment to murder a high-ranking official. He receives a silver star for his valor, but he is scarred and haunted by the widespread images of genocide. Like Rambo, his adjustment to civilian life is difficult as he finds himself unable to turn off his instinctual killing machine. He ends up hunting the forest outside Portland, Oregon looking for and killing in cold blood anyone betraying the credo of PETA.
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The latest from Sam Raimi (For Love of the Game) is a muddled thriller, filled with tired clichés and some of the worst casting in years. Raimi, along with screenwriters Billy Bob Thornton and Tom Epperson, try so hard to create a "serious" psychic chiller that the film is practically drained of any excitement.
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Bill Paxton stars as Hank Mitchell, a normal every day kind of guy. Hank, his moronic brother Jacob (Billy Bob Thornton) and Jacob's friend Lou (Brent Briscoe) find a crashed plane filled with 4.4 million dollars one day and decide to keep it. Well, kind of. Hank is the smartest of the three and he thinks it would be a good idea to keep the money until the plane is found, then disperse it among themselves. Here come the murders.
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Mallrats tells the story of two mostly-losers, T.S. (Jeremy London) and Brodie (Jason Lee), who manage to lose and regain their respective girlfriends, Brandi (Claire Forlani) and Rene (Shannen Doherty), in one long day at the mall. Along the way, the pair has a series of big adventures with cops and security guards, a game show organized by Brandi's dad (Michael Rooker), comic book creator Stan Lee, and the returning characters of Jay (Jason Mewes) and Silent Bob (Smith himself). Where all this was supposed to go, I'm not too sure. But I think it was supposed to be about relationships, and I think it was supposed to be funny.
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