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Archive for February, 2006

Ransom (1996)

RansomFour and a Half Stars

Who’s in it

Mel Gibson, Rene Russo, Gary Sinise, Liev Shreiber, and Gary Lindo – Ron Howard (Director)

What was good

This is an intense movie. Mel Gibson’s son is kidnapped and he comes to grips with what this means for his son’s life, that more than likely it is lost. He doesn’t give into demands, and he turns the tables on the bad men, gambling with his son’s life. His gamble works, he scares the men into turning on themselves and forces them right into the public eye to get what they were after, money.

What sucked

Not too much. Sometimes you have a hard time believing that a guy as rich as Gibson wouldn’t just pay, that he would risk his son’s life, but that is the point of the movie, so you have to suspend belief. The only other reason this didn’t get a perfect rating for me, is because I couldn’t watch this a million times. But don’t get me wrong, it’s another masterpiece from Ron Howard.

Who should go see this

Everyone should see this. It only gets violent at the end in the shooting scenes, but is it an intense thriller of a movie that is entertaining too.. If you like Mel, this is also a good movie for you, he does a lot of his crazy face grimacing, takes his shirt off, and runs around, the staples of what makes dem ladies swoon.


The Transporter (2002)

The TransporterFour Stars

Who’s in it

Jason Statham, Matt Shultze, Qi Shu

What was good

The plot and most of the movie. The idea is, this ex-military guy drives people or objects without any questions to their destinations based on an initial agreement. If the initial agreement is broken, then nothing happens. Frank’s (Statham) attention to detail, martial arts skills, and nerves of steel make him an extremely compelling character.

What sucked

Not too much. The movie starts to get a little muddled in focus by the end of the movie, where it starts as Frank as the transporter, and in the end because more of a love story between him and Lai (Shu). Lai’s english was really distracting also, it was very broken and hard to follow. But if that sort of stuff doesn’t bother you, then don’t worry. I think this was originally released in England, so this one has a much more British feel, especially with some of the driving scenes, then the second one.

Who should go see this

There is violence in this movie as well, but I think that this is more along the lines of a James Bond flick, then a hyped Mission Impossible movie like the second Transporter. I would probably recommend this to my parents, and to most of my friends who like a compact, funny, action movie with some amazing stunts.


The Transporter 2 (2002)

The Transporter 2Three Stars

Who’s in it

Jason Statham, Amber Valetta, Kate Nauta, Matthew Modine

What was good

Most of the fight scenes, the highlight being the firehose fight scene. These intensely choreographed scenes are not something you have ever seen before, and are pulled off so much more convincingly and with more convinction than say crazy man Jackie Chan in some of his movies.

What sucked

How over the top in disbelief some of the scenes were, from a car driving off the side of a building into a parking garage to an airplane that hits the water and doesn’t shatter into a million pieces. This second movie was really all about the stunts and effects and less about the story than the first. I know that is all relative, but just look at the bad girl in this movie and you will know what I am talking about.

Who should go see this

I would recommend this movie to most people. Probably not either sets of parents, just because there is a decent amount of violence in both movies, plus all of the hand to hand combat scenes. But both movies are short, entertaining and funny, with an interesting premise, so if you can stand a little violence, rent this series.


Underworld (2003)

UnderworldTwo and a Half Stars

Who’s in it

Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Bill Nighy

What was good

Beckinsale as a kick butt werewolf hunter. The first 30 minutes of the movie before everything gets so muddled in backstabbing and back story.

What sucked

I knew I don’t tend to like vampire movies too much, and this wasn’t all that gory like the Blade movies could be. But, although this movie had some new things I had never seen before in this genre, I just got tired of the overblown action scenes with people flying around when being punched, and the growling at each other as a Lykin or Vampire, and the fact that most of the movie revolved around a new breed made from the two species, really, I could care less.

Who should go see this

If you like vampires or if you want to see Beckinsale as a vampire who hardly bites anyone, but runs around in skin tight leather and is vulnerable and convincing in her strange role all at once.


The Road Warrior (1981)

The Road WarriorTwo Stars

Who’s in it

Mel Gibson, and a bunch of other wacky guys

What was good

I can’t think of much. I guess in a way how different the story is. There is nothing like it. It’s about a desolate wasteland destroyed by war in Australia where the few remaining people rule by motorbikes and cars, and they kill each other over fuel.

What sucked

I think this would have been something I would have appreciated more about 15 years ago. This is the second in a trilogy, and seems very dated, but I really don’t see the draw to how these films could have been so popular. Mel Gibson doesn’t barely do anything, he just drives over people. In this movie, I had a really hard time with the kid who only communicated by grunting and looked like Alf’s human baby.

Who should go see this

If you love Mel Gibson and have a commitment to see all of his work. But I wouldn’t recommend this movie to many people, I can’t think of similar movies I have seen to this, there is a whole genre, they are just slipping me right now. Bleak, desert setting, and off the wall plots, this is probably more a cult classic than anything.


The Ice Harvest (2005)

The Ice HarvestThree Stars

Who’s in it

Billy Bob Thorton, John Cusak

What was good

John Cusak had some really funny lines, more so than usual in his quirky mannerisms. The first half of the movie, as the twists and turns were maybe not a surprise, but entertaining.

What sucked

The second half of the movie. It got really dark, and it kept twisting and turning too much, and a lot more violence. Cusak steals money from the mob, and then everyone is out to get everyone.

Who should go see this

People who like weird, twisted movies, which is a touch synonymous with John Cusak. This is a darker comedy even for Cusak who has been in Grosse Point Blank. I wouldn’t recommend this is any of my friends though, it just wasn’t an entertaining movie, and didn’t have a real touching story, instead spent most of the movie in strip clubs.


The Sweet Hereafter (1997)

The Sweet HereafterFour and a Half Stars

Who’s in it

Ian Holm, Sarah Polley, and a bunch of other unknowns

What was good

The whole thing was good, suspense and drama, great acting, and just enough of a haunting event to keep you watching, morbidly curious to know what happens.

What sucked

It was a little slow at times. But it is a great story. There is just a lot of script and acting and not that much action.

Who should go see this

Everyone. It isn’t violent, there is very little language, and if you ever read the book, you may or may not like the movie. But this is a rare instance where I have done both, and think it was a great translation. Oh, and curious what this is about? It’s a small town where a bus full of children die in a horrible accident.