action, comedy, movie, movie review, thriller

March 27th, 2018 Movie – True Lies

true lies

You know, usually I try to have something witty or funny to say about the movies I watch but regarding today’s movie, I am kind of at a blank. I mean I remember seeing this in theaters and on TV numerous times and enjoying it. When I saw it on DVD for cheap, I obviously decided to buy a copy of it. For all of this, I honestly can’t think of much to say about this movie. Well, I might as well get on and watch today’s movie, True Lies.

The plot: At a high class party in Switzerland, Harry Tasker, a secret agent for Omega Sector, manages to sneak inside and, after locating the owner of the house Jamal Khaled, Harry sneaks up to his office to bug his computer. Keeping in touch with the rest of his team, Albert “Gib” Gibson and Faisil, Harry leaves the office, but security gets suspicious and so Harry dances with a woman, Juno Skinner, to avoid them. Making his way outside, Harry tries to just walk through the front gate but is stopped by security so he detonates the explosives he had set up before hand, then fights his way through security, eventually meeting up with his team. After arriving back in the states, Harry returns home to his wife Helen and daughter Dana, who are unaware of his real job, believing him to be a computer salesman. The next day, Harry’s boss, Spencer Trilby, berates Harry, Gib, and Faisil over the fiasco their mission turned into and Faisil tries to explain what they have so far but Spencer doesn’t believe it is enough hard evidence. After digging into the files some more, Faisil discovers that Jamal sent $2 million to Juno, so Harry decides to go find out more. Posing as an art consultant, Harry visits Juno at her office in DC to try and find out what her connection is, not noticing some of her workers watching him. After Harry leaves, one of the workers, Salim Abu Aziz, asks to speak with Juno alone and when Juno’s assistant leaves, Aziz slaps Juno and tells her that they are being watched and suspects Harry is a government agent. Aziz and two of his men follow Harry as he leaves the hotel to head back home but Gib spots them so they detour to a mall. Aziz’s men attack Harry in the bathroom but he manages to defeat them, only for Aziz to show up and start shooting at Harry. Harry fires back and then chases after Aziz, with Aziz grabbing a motorcycle and Harry commandeering a police officer’s horse. The chase eventually makes it’s way to a hotel roof, where Aziz jumps the motorcycle off of the roof and into the pool of another hotel across the street, and Harry can only stare in frustration as he gets away. Harry returns home and apologizes to Helen but she is upset that he missed the birthday dinner she and Dana prepared for him. The next day, Harry decides to make things up to Helen by surprising her for lunch but he overhears her taking a call from someone named Simon and leaving to meet him. Upset at the idea that Helen might be cheating, Harry has Gib put surveillance equipment into Helen’s purse and then they follow her to her meeting with Simon. As they listen in on Helen and Simon’s conversation, they realize that Simon is passing himself off as a secret agent and using Harry’s exploits as his cover. Learning that Simon is actually a used car salesman, Harry approaches the dealership and talks with Simon during a test drive, learning that he hasn’t done anything yet with Helen. That night, Simon calls Helen and asks her to meet him and he takes her to his trailer, claiming it is a safe house. Inside, he asks her to go to Paris with her as the cover for his mission and Helen agrees but when Simon says they need to practice the part of being a married couple, Helen balks at actually cheating on Harry. Suddenly, Harry and a team of Sector Omega agents, wearing masks, break into the trailer and take Helen and Simon captive. Helen is placed in an interrogation room and Harry and Gib, disguising their voices, interrogate Helen and learn that she had gotten involved with Simon in order to add some excitement to what she felt was a boring life but never slept with him. Harry tells Helen they will be in touch and sends her home, then he and Gib take Simon out to the middle of nowhere and warn him to leave town. The next night, Helen is told to dress sexy and head to the hotel to seduce the man inside an plant a bug on his phone. When she gets there, she sees a man sitting in a chair and is told to undress and start dancing, not knowing that it is Harry sitting there. Harry attempts to kiss her but Helen hits him with the phone, plants the bug, and goes to leave only to stop when Harry calls out to her. Before Harry can explain, Aziz’s men break into the room and grab them both, taking them to a private jet that Juno has waiting for them. Harry tries to convince them to let Helen go but when Helen, shows Juno her locket with pictures of her and Harry, Juno has her brought along as insurance. Harry and Helen are taken to an island off the Florida Keys, where Aziz has smuggled 4 Soviet nuclear warheads, hidden inside some of Juno’s statues. Aziz has Harry verify the warheads are real, revealing to Helen that Harry is a spy, and then has him and Helen taken away for interrogation. Harry is given truth serum and while under the effects, Helen asks him how long he was a spy and he reveals that he was a spy since before they got married. Harry manages to pick his restraints and kill the interrogator and the guards, then he and Helen make their escape. They see Aziz making a video and talking about blowing up the island as a test, then threatening to detonate a warhead in a major city every week unless the U.S. pulls it’s forces out of the Persian Gulf. Realizing they have to stop them, Harry and Helen make their way through Aziz’z compound, with Harry taking out as many men as possible but Helen ends up being captured and placed in a limo with Juno while Harry escapes being blown up. Gib and the Sector Omega agents arrive and Harry explains the situation as they fly off to rescue Helen and stop the missiles. Warning people to stay clear of the island and for the Coast Guard to air lift anyone that can’t get clear, Harry calls in for air support and 2 Harrier jets arrive and take out the bridge, causing the two trucks to crash into the ocean. Meanwhile, Helen begins fighting with Juno, which causes the driver of the limo to accidentally be shot and the car to go out of control. Flying in a helicopter towards them, Harry climbs onto the landing skids and leans down to grab Helen just before the limo plunges off the ruined bridge. Landing the Harriers and helicopters on the highway safely away from the blast zone, Harry and Helen embrace and kiss as the warhead detonates in the background. Gib tells HArry that Aziz has the last warhead at a Miami office building and had grabbed Dana to use as a hostage so Harry jumps into one of the Harriers and flies off to rescue her. At the building, Aziz has a film crew brought in so he can make his demands but while they are not looking, Dana steals the ignition key for the warhead. When he notices it missing, Aziz chases after her with some of his men. Faisil, who was disguised as the cameraman, takes out the remaining soldiers on that floor while Harry arrives and uses the Harrier to take out the others in the building. Dana makes her way out on a crane on the roof and Aziz follows her, ordering his remaining men to get in the helicopter and kill Harry. Harry manages to grab Dana as she jumps onto the nose of the plane and Aziz jumps onto the plane afterwards, and attempts to kill Harry. During the struggle, Aziz ends up stuck onto one of the Harrier’s missiles and Harry fires it at the helicopter, killing Aziz and the last of his men. One year later, Harry’s family life has improved and Helen is shown to have joined Sector Omega. Harry and Helen go on an assignment and, seeing Simon there attempting to seduce another woman, quickly scare him off before dancing a tango while waiting for their contact.

True Lies met with mostly praise from the critics, holding a 72% rating on Rotten Tomatoes. The critical consensus on the site is, “If it doesn’t reach the heights of director James Cameron’s and star Arnold Schwarzenegger’s previous collaborations, True Lies still packs enough action and humor into its sometimes absurd plot to entertain.” The movie was a box office success, earning $378.9 million off of a $120 million budget and garnered several award nominations, including an Academy Award nomination for Best Visual Effects and a Golden Globe win for Jamie Lee Curtis for Best Actress. A sequel was planned which would have reunited the principal cast and a script was written but the movie was scrapped, or at least indefinitely shelved, after 9/11.

James Cameron isn’t really known for his comedies but this is a pretty decent action-comedy. The acting was good, with Arnold Schwarzenegger (Harry) and Jamie Lee Curtis (Helen) doing good jobs in their roles. Tom Arnold made for some great comedic relief as Gib while Art Malik (Aziz) and Tia Carrere (Juno) made for some great bad guys. The story was interesting and had a good mixture of action and comedy going for it that kept it from being too serious while not losing any of the entertainment value. The action scenes were a little over the top, which is to be expected, but no less entertaining. This isn’t something that will absolutely blow you away but it will provide you with some laughs and excitement and makes for an entertaining watch.

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5

Advertisements
Standard
action, drama, movie, movie review, western

February 27th, 2018 Movie – Tombstone

tombstone

It’s been a while since I have watched a western. This is probably due to the fact that it is not a genre of movies that I particularly care for as a whole, but there are several standout movies that do catch my interest. I mean, there are a couple of John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies that I have watched and enjoyed, while some more recent movies and remakes have also been entertaining. However, today’s movie is somewhat a first because it is the first western that I actually liked enough to buy on video/DVD, well maybe the second because I did buy Blazing Saddles first. Anyways, I remember going to see this movie in theaters and thinking it was a lot of fun and even though I own it on DVD, it has been a while since I have watched it. Now let’s see if the teenage memories do today’s movie justice as I watch Tombstone.

The plot: In 1879, a group of outlaws known as the Cochise County Cowboys ride into a Mexican town and interrupt a police officer’s wedding. Holding up two red sashes, which the Cowboys are known for wearing, their leader, William “Curly Bill” Brocius, tells the assembled officers that they killed two of his men, then he and his men proceed to kill all of the police officers there, including the newly married groom and his wife. When the priest starts saying that their acts will be avenged, quoting Revelations and it’s passage of Death riding on a pale horse, he is shot as well. Meanwhile, retired sheriff Wyatt Earp arrives in Tucson Arizona and is approached by two U.S. Marshals but he turns down their offer to work for them. He is then met by his brothers Morgan and Virgil and their wives Allie and Louisa. Wyatt introduces them to Mattie Blaylock, his common–law wife, and then starts putting his suitcases in the wagon for their trip, while Allie gives Mattie a bottle laudanum, which she says is for her headaches. Wyatt and his family eventually reach Tombstone, Arizona and are greeted by Johnny Behan, the town sheriff, who speaks with Wyatt and offers him the use of three cabins that just came up for rent. Later, Wyatt, Morgan, and Virgil are talking with Marshall Fred White, who points out some Cowboys nearby and says they are really the “law” around there. He then talks about the various casinos in town and mentions one, the Oriental, that has fallen on hard times. Wyatt heads over to the Oriental and speaks with the bar tender, commenting on how nice it is and wondering why it is so dead. The bartender explains that a dealer had shown up and taken over one of the tables and essentially run everyone out so Wyatt confronts the man and gets rid of him, then offers his own services for 25% of the house. Wyatt rejoins his brothers to tell them about his good fortunes, not noticing the dealer coming up behind them with a shotgun. Suddenly, Doc Holliday appears, calling out the dealer, who he knows, then shakes hands with his friend Wyatt and the others. After chasing off the dealer, Wyatt introduces Doc to Behan just as a gunshot is heard at a nearby saloon and they see two associates, Texas Jack Vermillion and Turkey Creek Jack Johnson, involved. The two Jack’s say hello to their friends but Fred tells them they have to turn over their guns. When a theater troupe arrives in town, Wyatt finds himself attracted to Josephine Marcus, an actress in the troupe and attends the show that night with the rest of his family as well as Doc and his companion. After the show, Wyatt heads off to work and has an encounter with Curly Bill and his lieutenant Johnny Ringo. Ringo’s attention is focused on Doc, wanting to test his skill against Doc’s but Doc refuses to take the bait and things end up settling down as Curly Bill, Ringo, and the other Cowboys leave. The next day, Wyatt is on his way home when he runs into Josephine and the two end up riding together and talking, where Josephine asks him if he is happy with his life. The next night, Curly Bill gets drunk and ends up shooting his gun around town and when Behan refuses to do anything about it, Fred heads out and tells Curly Bill to turn in his guns but ends up getting shot. Wyatt knocks Curly Bill out and starts taking him to the jail but Ike and Billy Canton, and some of the other Cowboys tell him to let Curly Bill go. Wyatt refuses, saying Curly Bill will stand trial, then holds a gun to Ike’s head while Doc, Morgan, and Virgil back him up. The next day, Curly Bill is let go due to a lack of witnesses to the shooting and the U.S. Marshalls ask Wyatt and his brothers to become the new marshalls but they turn them down at first but later, after rescuing a boy from getting trampled by the Cowboys as they leave town, Virgil becomes the new marshall, and Morgan joins him. Virgil’s first act is to forbid guns from being carried in town, forcing people to check them when they enter. That night, a drunken Ike loses to Doc in a poker game and as he cusses him out, Doc collapses to the ground and Wyatt and Morgan carry him to the hotel. Ike gets his guns from the bartender and drunkenly declares he will kill Wyatt and Doc the next time he sees them but Virgil knocks him out and locks him in a cell. When some Cowboys show up to pick up Ike and get his weapons, they threaten retaliation and Wyatt has Virgil swear him in as a Marshall. Later, 6 Cowboys, including Billy and Ike, ride into town and head over to the O.K. Corral. Doc joins up with the Earps and Wyatt wants to just let them simmer down but Virgil wants to arrest them for carrying weapons as a show that they can’t break the law so Wyatt relents. The four men head over to the corral and are met by Behan, who says that he disarmed the Cowboys but when they continue, he quickly hides inside a nearby building. When they get to the corral, they discover that Behan lied and a gunfight ensues, with Morgan and Virgil getting wounded, Billy and most of the Cowboys getting killed while Ike manages to escape. The next day, a drunken Ringo tries calling out Wyatt and his brothers to fight but they refuse and Curly Bill pulls him away before he starts a fight with Doc, saying that the time isn’t right. A few nights later, Behan tells Josephine, whom he has been seeing, that he knows of the attraction between her and Wyatt but after tonight, he will be the only law in town. Josephine heads over to Virgil’s house to warn Mattie, Allie, and Louisa, then saves them when a Cowboy attempts to kill them. Meanwhile, Wyatt, Morgan, and Virgil are eating dinner and Virgil leaves to go home but is ambushed by the Cowboys and stumbles back into the bar. Wyatt and Morgan carry him to his home and the doctor says he will lose his arm, prompting Morgan to storm off while Allie blames Wyatt for what happened. As Wyatt leaves, he runs into Sherman McMaster, who says he had no part in what happened and is no longer with the Cowboys, throwing his sash on the ground. Sherman is accompanied by the two Jacks, who tell Wyatt that if he needs them to let them know, then the three ride off. Morgan had gone to shoot pool but is shot in the back and ends up dying from the wound. The next day, Wyatt and Doc place Morgan’s coffin in a wagon and ride out of town, with Virgil and the wives following behind them. Wyatt stops to tell Curly Bill that it is over between them but after they leave, Curly Bill sends Ike and Stillwell to follow after them to kill Wyatt. Wyatt has Virgil and the women get on the train but when Stillwell and Ike show up to kill them, Wyatt kills Stillwell, then sends Ike with a message to the other Cowboys, saying that he is coming for anyone wearing a red sash and will kill them. Swearing in Doc, Sherman, and the two Jacks, Wyatt and his posse begin riding out and killing every Cowboy they find. When they come to a river, they get in an ambush set up by Curly Bill but Wyatt walks out into the river, untouched by any of the bullets, and kills Curly Bill, but afterwards Sherman says that Ringo will be coming out for blood. Some time later, Behan has deputized Ringo and the other cowboys to arrest Wyatt and his posse and they come across a stage coach containing Josephine and Mr. Fabian, who was shot by one of the Cowboys while preventing them from robbing them. Josephine chastises Behan for his actions and Behan’s deputy leaves, saying that there has to be some sort of law around there. When Doc’s condition worsens, Wyatt’s posse takes refuge at a farmhouse but a Cowboy appears, dragging Sherman’s body behind him, and tells Wyatt that Ringo is calling him out for a duel. Wyatt agrees and he and the two Jacks ride off, leaving Doc in the care of the rancher. When they get to the meeting place, Wyatt is told where Ringo is and before he leaves, he tells the two Jacks to take off for Mexico if things go south. At the oak tree, Ringo sees a figure approaching but is surprised to find that it is Doc, who had ridden there ahead of Wyatt. Ringo agrees to fight Doc but Doc quickly shoots him in the head then turns as Wyatt approaches and Wyatt says they should finish it. Wyatt and his posse head off to finish killing the Cowboys, with Ike being spared when he removes his sash and leaves the group. Some time later, Doc is placed in the Glenwood Sanatorium where he tells Wyatt to start a new life with Josephine before he ends up dying of his tuberculosis. Wyatt heads to the town that Josephine has moved to and speaks with her after her performance, asking her to go with him and she kisses him and they dance outside in the snow.

Tombstone met with positive results from the critics, holding a certified fresh rating of 73% on Rotten Tomatoes. While there isn’t a critical consensus on the site, many critics felt it was one of the best Westerns to come out in years but others felt that there were too many characters to try and focus on  plot was unfocused while the plot was unfocused. The gunfight scene in the river is supposedly true, with Wyatt Earp actually walking out into the water unscathed and shooting Curly Bill point blank with a shotgun, then shooting a second person in the stomach. Unlike the movie, Johnny Barnes (the man that was gut shot) did not die right away but managed to escape and make it to a farmhouse, where he reported what happened and how Earp walked up to Curly Bill unscathed before killing him. The movie was a hit at the box office, earning $56.5 million off of a $25 million budget.

This is still a great Western and a highly enjoyable movie, but I will say that it does have it’s faults. The acting was really good, with Kurt Russel doing a really good job as Wyatt Earp, but I think Val Kilmer stole the show as Doc Holiday (in fact it might be his best performance in my opinion). Powers Boothe (Curly Bill), Michael Biehn (Ringo), Sam Eliott (Virgil), and Dana Delany (Josephine) were also very good in their roles as well. The story was pretty good and I liked how they tried to keep it fairly accurate to the events. However, one of my favorite, somewhat underrated scenes, was after Doc killed Ringo and placed his badge on top of him, telling Wyatt that his hypocricy can only go so far. This is because he knew what they were doing had nothing to do with the law or justice, but was simply revenge for the Cowboys killing Morgan, but was going along with it to help out his only friend, Wyatt. The one thing I didn’t like was that they had soo many characters that they introduced, that they couldn’t really do half of them any justice. There were several times a character would show up briefly, then you wouldn’t see him again till the very end but he is given a poignant moment in the movie (like the deputy). The special effects regarding the gun fights were pretty good, though a little flashy at times. A great movie and definitely something that is worth watching.

Rating: 4 out of 5

Standard