Rating: PG Length: 1h 45 Release: 23.6.2006 Dir: Alejandro Agresti About: Love blooms when Kate, a doctor, exchanges letters with Alex, an architect who is fed up with his life. Unknown to them, they lead lives two years apart.
Who doesn’t want to see Sandra Bullock and Keanu Reeves reconnect onscreen? If that’s what you’re after, I’m not sure it matters about the plot or quality of the film, so long as that chemistry between the two is still there.
It’s essentially Jumpin’ Jack Flash, but with letters and time travel instead of the internet and global espionage.
I don’t like the characters of Kate and Alex. They’re both really boring.
The film feels very clinical and sterilised of all emotion. perhaps it is the separation of the two main characters and their isolation within their time periods. The interaction they each have with other people feels artificial and for exposition only.
The time travel aspect is just shit and doesn’t make sense. At the heart of it is a massive paradox that, as a fan of all things sci-fi, I can’t ignore. The magic of time travel falls flat and also seems too integral to the plot. I know, I know, suspend belief and all that shit, but I have too many questions about what I saw leading up to the changes in the timeline and they’re not answered.
Who gave that shockingly back haircut to Sandra Bullock?! It does nothing for her and, while very circa ’06, has not aged well at all.
You manage to get two people together who have chemistry and they physically share a screen within the same time zone for less than five minutes?! What the actual fuck?! I want to see them together!
I think I’ll just rewatch Speed in future. Love Bullock and Reeves, but this was underwhelming.
Rating: 15 Length: 1h 56 Release: 30.9.1994 Dir: Jan de Bont About: A disgruntled, dangerous man plants a bomb in an elevator. When his mission fails, he plants a bomb in a local bus and threatens to set it off unless his demand is met.
I love the music. While it doesn’t have the iconic status of Jaws, Jurassic Park or … anything by John Williams, it still packs punch and pulls the audience into a scene. And it starts with those impeccably 90’s opening titles. You know you’re going into something. There will be no easing into a situation, the audience hits the ground running and that score makes sure that your body knows that.
As I said, the audience go straight in and meet the bad guy before anyone else. No holding back. Well, except for who he actually is and what he wants. Dennis Hopper has everything you need for this sort of villain, the main thing being a distinctive voice. While the audience do get to see him a lot of his communication is done solely through audio, so the voice has to be right.
The film has so many instances and dialogue that may not seem like much, but do have call backs either almost instantly, or later in the film. It helps develop the thread running through the film.
The cast is awesome. There’s not a single person I’d replace. It goes without saying that Reeves and Bullock are perfect in their lead roles so I’m going to gush about two others. Firstly, there’s Alan Ruck. Its not the biggest of parts, but he has some excellent interactions within the main act. My favourite moment comes when he’s relaying Jack’s description of the bomb. He can’t bring himself to say what Jack had, so instead utters “oh, darn.” which gives us quite a lot about the character.
There is also my favourite character, Harry. Played by the wonderful Jeff Daniels. The chemistry he has with Reeves equates to what we would now call a bromance and I’m sold. There’s a moment in the first act when both Jack and Harry need to descend to the access point of the lift and its in that moment one takes to the cables like they’re a fireman’s pole, the other uses the ladder. This indication that Harry doesn’t jump in and, as a result, isn’t as reckless as Jack has a rather sad payoff towards the end of the film. None of which I think is possible without Jeff Daniels in the role. While he isn’t as prominent after the first act, he is crucial to the plot and the mindset of the character of Jack. You do feel his absence from Jack’s side, but he’s still very much working with him. Right up until the point Harry doesn’t look at where he’s going. That close up we’re given gets me every single time.
The film does gauge how long its focus should be on the bus. Just as I find myself drifting, the stakes are changed and the goalpost is moved; giving the audience a bit of an adrenaline jolt.
The ‘Annie reveal’ in the final act doesn’t sit right with me. It’s edited in a way that makes me think I’m meant to, even for a spilt second, think that she is in some way involved. However, there needs to be some more editing for that to work, given that we see her interaction with Payne and therefore know she’d never met him before. I know there was original plans to have it revealed that Harry was working with Payne, perhaps this edit is what remains of a plan to have *someone* double cross Jack.
The final act Vs the bus jump. For me, one of them has to go. While the bus jump gives us that great visual, I’m not sure what else you can put in the final act that would give us the resolution we need. Perhaps have it that there’s another set of cars on the track at the next station?! Doesn’t seem as good as “the track’s not finished yet.” As it stands its two overly identical situations and it almost gives the audience fatigue. The set up is the same, the way out of the situation is the same and the success only varies slightly.
I love this movie. I only watched it a few days ago and I already want to watch it again. Boiling it down to “Die Hard on a bus” doesn’t do this film nearly enough justice as it’s execution goes beyond that.
Rating: 15 Length: 1hr 41 Release: 10.4.2015 Director: Chad Stahelshi (David Leitch-uncredited) About: John Wick, a retired hitman, is forced to return to his old ways after a group of Russian gangsters steal his car and kill a puppy gifted to him by his late wife.
It’s a pretty decent movie that plays on a number of genres in order to make its story work. The action and dialogue keep a decent pace and plays on all the actor’s strengths. It feels like a comic or game come to life.
Reeves, to many, is perfect in the role; bringing his stoic Neo chops to this hit-man revenge chaos. I can see why he, and the franchise, is so successful. I feel a little apathetic to his presence, preferring to see him in Bill & Ted or Speed type roles. But I cannot fault his performance.
It’s always a pleasure to have Ian McShane in a film. There’s never much diversity in his delivery, but he’s certainly fun to watch and almost the middle ground to Tim Curry’s ham and Ian Hart’s classically trained performances.
I found the opening act a little clunky. It felt a bit like the obligatory ‘death of Bruce Wayne’s parents’ scene at the start of EVERY. BATMAN. MOVIE. MADE. However, I feel very detached from the protagonist and I don’t like that I ever get a sense of who he was. Wick feels very flat as a character.
“Just a dog” fuck me, I’ve never ugly cried so much at an action movie in my life, nor have I known a death was as much of a sure thing since Coach died in Rocky. I’m amazed how invested I was in little Daisy considering her screen time. In fact I was more invested in the revenge for her than in the character of John Wick.
The score and soundtrack was a little too trance and techno for my liking. It was a little too loud and relied too much on the bass for me to enjoy the film fully.
I think it is very telling that I had originally planned to watch the films in a movie night, back to back. I couldn’t bring myself to even put on Chapter 2, let alone watch all three. That said, I am aware that they will be enjoyed by others.