Lawrence Gordon

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Lawrence Gordon - Saturday 22nd January 2011 at Beverly Hilton Hotel Los Angeles, California

Lawrence Gordon
Lawrence Gordon

Hellboy II: The Golden Army Review


Excellent
Get in a discussion about comic-book movies and someone will indubitably bring up this theory: Part one of a comic-book movie anthology is always just OK; the series peaks with part two; and in part three (usually the final chapter) everything falls apart. (Think X-Men, Spider-man, and Superman). Hellboy II only furthers this theory. Part one, though visually sensational, delivered a weak jab in terms of its story, characters, and writing. But its sequel connects with a mighty punch, delivering everything you could possibly want from a summer blockbuster and more.

Hellboy II takes the fantastic make-up artistry, creature creation, and set design that we grew fond of in Pan's Labyrinth and combines all of these elements with mindblowing CGI and stunning choreography. The script this time around is sharp and witty; you'll be laughing for most of this movie (which is good, because Hellboy II would look silly if it took itself too seriously). Most importantly, the movie contains some of the best (i.e., least-fake-looking) action sequences I've ever seen in a comic-book movie, and lots of them, too, which makes it even better than Iron Man, its biggest summer contender next to the upcoming Dark Knight.

Continue reading: Hellboy II: The Golden Army Review

Event Horizon Review


OK
After Paul W.S. Anderson unleashed the blockbuster Mortal Kombat, he could do no wrong in the eyes of millions of geeks. He was the fanboy's filmmaker, creating a video game movie that was as fun and trashy as the game itself. All the nerds had high, high hopes that Anderson would settle into a career as fandom's new hotshot. Boy were they disappointed. Somewhere along the line, poor Anderson went from the top of the heap to the bottom of the barrel. (Poor bastard's name is rubbed in the mud almost as often as Uwe Boll!) And most fanboys say that Event Horizon was Anderson's fall from grace. A shame really, because the film's better than most science fiction hokum. (And heads above his next pic, Soldier. Not to mention every... other... film.... after... that. Geez, guy just can't catch a break, huh?)

The plot concerns a scientific spaceship - the Event Horizon - that was sent into a black hole with a full crew. The ship, naturally, vanishes and reappears years later, empty and sulking in a space fog. A small rescue crew is sent out to rendezvous with the Event Horizon, comprised of all your traditional stock characters (stoic Captain Miller (Laurence Fishburne), Dr. William Weir (Sam Neill), Med Tech Peters (Kathleen Quinlan), and the usual spacefaring grunts). Once onboard the desolate Event Horizon, all manner of bizarre things begin taking place, and it's quite clear from the outset that wherever the Event Horizon was, it didn't come back alone. We're not talking Alien territory here, nothing that tangible, but the residue of some otherworldly hell that has infested the hulk of the ship and imbued it was a hideous life of its own. Or perhaps, it really did go to the hell. It's a bit unclear.

Continue reading: Event Horizon Review

Predator 2 Review


OK
Every good monster movie deserves a sequel, and with few exceptions they get a crappy one. Predator 2 is right in line with that legacy, a lackluster (and Schwarzenegger-free) action flick that steals every page it can from the Aliens playbook.

Since Predator took place in the jungle, Hollywood's sense of irony dictates that the sequel should take place in the city: In this case, Los Angeles, where a bloody gang war is underway. But the cops (notably renegade do-gooder Danny Glover) can't quite reconcile the body count, and it isn't long until they start to realize that another force is at work, which might explain the metallic bits that no one can identify and the corpses missing all their vital organs.

Continue reading: Predator 2 Review

Streets Of Fire Review


Weak
A bizarre take on West Side Story, Streets of Fire gives us Paré and Lane as the beast and the beauty in the music scene of "another time, another place" -- a time that manages to muddle the hair styles, attire, and vehicles of the 1930s, 1950s, and 1980s. Needless to say, it's an ugly time, an ugly place. The "rock-and-roll fable" of Streets of Fire doesn't have much to say, culminating in a pick-axe fight between Paré and bad-boy Dafoe, which I think says just about all you need to know.

The Driver Review


Very Good
No names. Literally. The Driver is one of those films where no character's name is ever given, and its too-cool-for-school sentiment bleeds through the entire production. Ryan O'Neal is the title character, a heist getaway driver with mad skills like you wouldn't believe. (The scene where he proves his merit in a parking garage -- all but demolishing the ride along the way -- is worth the price of admission alone.) Sadly, there's a plot attached to this, with Bruce Dern the cop who's always one frustrating step behind the driver, but this movie excels so greatly during its chase scenes that you'll forget about all that business.

Die Hard Review


Essential
If I were teaching a film class at a college (a shuddering prospect, I know), Die Hard would be studied the way Citizen Kane and Potemkin are. It's a perfect action movie in every detail, the kind of movie that makes your summer memorable.

Unfortunately, star Bruce Willis, director John McTiernan and company couldn't duplicate the heart-pulling thrill of the first one with two increasingly mediocre sequels. Die Hard 2 and Die Hard: With a Vengeance suffered because of stuffing thrills and spills in every crevice, to the point where I expected the Road Runner to make a cameo. Everyone involved seemed to forget that simplicity made the original so riveting. There's one flawed New York City detective trapped in a skyscraper with only his wits and some firearms to stop a band of talented international terrorists.

Continue reading: Die Hard Review

Brewster's Millions Review


Good
A guilty pleasure from my childhood, Brewster's Millions is based on an ancient novel. In fact, it's at least the fifth adaptation of the old novel by the same name -- only the spending money is more and more each time.

What money is that? Oh, just $30 million, left to Montgomery Brewster (Richard Pryor) by his sole relative. The catch? The real inheritance is $300 million -- and if Monty wants it, he has to spend the $30 million in 30 days, and at the end of that time he can't have any assets to show for it. Oh, and he can't tell anyone what's going on, either.

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K-PAX Review


Good
It would be an exaggeration to say that there are no original ideas anymore, that every movie fits some formula we've seen before. But, ya know, the claim isn't that far off the mark, and if the shoe fits...

So the genre we're talking about in the case of K-PAX: A crazy man thinks he's an alien (a psychic, a king, etc.). The obvious question: Which is he: crazy, or an alien, or both? (A crazy alien, now that would be a fun twist on the whole genre wouldn't it?)

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Predator Review


Bad
The scariest thing about Predator is that its lead actor, Arnold Schwarzenegger, is currently serving as governor of California. I'm not questioning Schwarzenegger's leadership or intellectual abilities, but it does worry me that the he-man who, in this movie, swings from trees, rolls in mud, and mumbles lines like, "If it bleeds, we can kill it," is leading the most populous state in the country. Beyond Schwarzenegger's startling career change, Predator offers little else that's remotely frightening. Unless you are still sucking your thumbs and cuddling with teddy bears, Predator offers only laughs, not chills. If you're mature enough to cross the street by yourself, you're far too mature to find Predator scary.

Yet, Predator does exhibit a few morsels of potential. Given the effective atmosphere and pacing of the film, it is evident that more capable minds could have molded this thriller into an ageless, unrelenting struggle between man and beast. Unfortunately, instead of penning a daring, original plot, writers Jim Thomas and John Thomas recycle formulas from movies like Rambo and Alien. It goes without saying that Predator brings nothing new to the table, and lacks both surprise and suspense.

Continue reading: Predator Review

The Warriors Review


Excellent
There are certain films that by some unforeseen circumstance tap into a generation, a culture, a time, perfectly. The Warriors is just such a film. It is by no means a perfect movie. It is well crafted and dramatic, but what moves it beyond cult adoration and fanboy drooling is its epic storyline and intensely rendered narrative.

The Warriors isn't really a movie about a gang trying to get home. It's an archetypal tale of survival, of revenge, of power and corruption and the human spirit. Sounds like a load of over-educated/under-paid horseshit, I admit. But The Warriors really does have that kind of power.

Continue reading: The Warriors Review

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Lawrence Gordon Movies

Hellboy II: The Golden Army Movie Review

Hellboy II: The Golden Army Movie Review

Get in a discussion about comic-book movies and someone will indubitably bring up this theory:...

Event Horizon Movie Review

Event Horizon Movie Review

After Paul W.S. Anderson unleashed the blockbuster Mortal Kombat, he could do no wrong in...

Advertisement
K-PAX Movie Review

K-PAX Movie Review

It would be an exaggeration to say that there are no original ideas anymore, that...

Mystery Men Movie Review

Mystery Men Movie Review

"Hey now, you're an all-star, get your game on, go play..." then sit back and...

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Movie Review

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider Movie Review

The now-classic video game Tomb Raider is a geek boy's dream -- a hot heroine...

Hellboy Movie Review

Hellboy Movie Review

You can't help but dig Hellboy the character - born a demon, summoned by Nazis,...

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