Movie Reviews

One of my all-time favourite films is The Fifth Element, a ground-breaking sci-fi from summer 1997. These movie summaries and reviews were written in 1997 and 1998.

Lethal Weapon 4 15

Lethal Weapon 4 - Safety behind police car from a shower of bullets and flamer thrower
Lethal Weapon 4 - Tanker explodes as lunatic looses control

Two cops are caught, once again, in the centre of the action as an armoured man flames the shops and cars in the town centre. A ridiculous and embarrassing, skinned chicken joke, catches the lunatic’s attention for long enough for cop: Mel Gibson to grab him. This results in a few explosions and wrecked cars, including a fried lunatic.

I was quite surprised when I heard that yet another Lethal Weapon movie was going to hit the big screens. I watched Lethal Weapon 4, in French, a month before it arrived in the UK, as I was cycling through France, during the summer. I cannot say that the plot was very original, it consisted or the usual: very old Japanese mob leader and money forger as well as the amazing, calm samurai, who can kill as easily as look at a person. I had hoped for something more inventive. Mel Gibson and Danny Glover make a good pair, one is always dragging the other into dangerous situations, which probably made this and previous films popular. I feel that in some areas the plot was twisted to allow for some neat stunts. Overall is it alright as an action movie, but you must forget about real life for a couple of hours.

Armageddon 12

Armageddon - The heros line up as they are briefed for their mission in space

The world falls silent as the impeding death of all humanity is here. It is quoted as being the worst part of the bible. Fortunately the US government and NASA have an amazing idea that could avert disaster from a huge asteroid (which is similar to the one 65 million years ago, which wiped out the dinosaurs). They decide to assign a group of inexperienced men, plus two to supervise, into space to set it off its death-course for planet Earth.

I have to tell you straight away that I thought this movie was crap, for a number of reasons. Almost everything was unrealistic , including basic scientific facts (they forgot about gravity), the graphics, pathetic romance and melodrama, jokes where you laughed at them and not with them. This is the second flump asteroid movie this summer, but at least in “Deep Impact” you could just about believe it. Bruce Willis continually acts like a hard man trying to conceal his total ineptness for space travel. This movie tries to highlight a serious theme, but what idiot would write this rubbish script with stupid lunatics going into space trying to save the earth. Avoid this movie unless you want to fall asleep in the cinema out of boredom.

City of Angels 12

The city of Los Angeles is the city of angels. These angels guide the recently deceased to another place. One angel falls in love with a doctor, she has feelings towards him but they soon she despairs as she already has a mortal love to whom she is engaged.

A moving and thought provoking film, but not of the same quality as “Michael”. Some of the small touching in film are nice, for example the music of the sunrise and the city library as there home. Nicholas Cage makes his best effort not to wink and he is suited in this romantic role. The film has quite a mournful ending, so be prepared. This is a nice film and if you like “Ghost” or ” Michael ” you should like this unusually thoughtful film.

The Wedding Singer 12

Wedding Singer

A romantic comedy set in 1985, about a wedding singer who, after his unfortunate (groom only) wedding, has the ability to bring the simple reality of life to the happy atmosphere of a wedding. This message is “life stinks”, and is a result of his disappointing relationship between him and his past and present girlfriends.

I thoroughly enjoyed this film, it contained a lot of good humour which is often lacking in American films nowadays. Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore (picture on the right) make ideal partners in this comedy-romance. For once the romance is not too soppy whilst there are several clever twists in the plot which leave you uncertain of Robbie and Julia’s future. Worth seeing.

Deep Impact PG

Deep Impact - Traffic jams to get away from coastal cities before massive tidal wave

A massive comet is headed in the direction of Earth. Attempts prove fruitless and the Earth’s population (basically a few humans in the US) have to prepare for the worst.

I did not think much of this of this film, the few characters that are shown are very weak and, for the most part, stupid. I was surprised at many of the incidents in the film: the US government only notified its people a short time before the impact, very little fuel was taken on the mission to blow up the comet in space, the girl preferred to die along with her parents rather than being safe with another close family, and the stupidity of people running along a blocked road with a 500m tidal wave speeding behind them at 200mph. I could name more, but I am sure that if you saw it you could make your own long list. My expectations were not dashed to pieces, as these films are often based on special effects, in this instance they were very short and far between.

Jackie Brown 15

Jackie Brown

Ordell, a gun trafficker, needs Jackie, an air hostess to transport his money from Mexico into the US right under the noses of the police.

I really like watching Tarantino films as they are portrayed very differently from other movies, this makes everything more life-like as small, casual moves are picked out by the camera and made to stand alone. Everything in this film was just right and all the characters are played well and with style. This movie is excellent and worth seeing, if you haven’t already.

Good Will Hunting 12

Good Will Hunting - Doctor and Patient

Good Will has not been such a good boy, his life is in a mess, yet he will not admit as much. Proving complicated mathematical theories is as easy as picking up chalk to write an answer on a black board. A maths professor quickly realises his genius and set a program of difficult theories for him to prove, a psychologist is brought into the scene and brings out the conflict in his life maths and socialising with the wrong type. Will’s life becomes an increasing tangle as he falls in love with an English student studying biology at his college. Finally he must choose between maths, his psychological well-being and his girl friend.

I was impressed by this film and it must have been a great achievement for two young writers to make a double Oscar winning performance. Matt Damon realistically portrayed his character bringing the movie to life. The psychologist was well played by Robin Williams, who usually stars in movies for younger audiences, this film shows his true potential which normally is not shown. The setting of the movie suited the characters roles and showed the reality of everyday life in lower class cities unlike the familiar Hollywood set. I advise you to see this movie, the script is surprisingly good and it offers a different perceptive to the life of a genius, with only little of the stereotypical glamour.

Sphere 12


The US Navy has discovered a space buried under the sea. A crew of seven are commissioned to find out what is inside the ship. A golden sphere is discovered along with a long dead, US astronaut. The sphere mysteriously projected thoughts of the crew making the deep sea expedition suddenly very treacherous.

This film was actually not as good as I expected, it was surprisingly dull and monotonous, it basically consisted of floating dead bodied and giant squid. There was room for a more plot, but it never forefilled any of these opportunities . Dustin Hoffman has been in three films recently, he is certainly moving around a bit, the cast are fine but were so many needed to go on the expedition ? I see no point in seeing this film, it has no feeling of purpose and the material could have been used more effectively.

Flubber PG


Absent-minded Professor (Robin Williams) is not getting very far in his romantic life. Will his partner be waiting at the alter without him? There are more important things in life: Science. He has discovered a new substance which has practical uses for everything under the sun. It is called flying rubber or flubber and will make him a rich man and save his college from closure, unless someone else can get their hands on the stuff first.

I found this film quite enjoyable, the flubber was very strange, there were so many things that the flubber could do. Robin Williams was the right person for the role of the nutty professor, though it didn’t portray very well on his acting skills. There is a classic lab in the basement with several big explosions frequently rocking the foundations. I feel slightly more could have been achieved with the film material such as space exploration!?. Why didn’t the professor develop his amazing computer systems which he built? Well, all possibilities weren’t covered, but that doesn’t really matter. It is worth seeing for a laugh, make sure that the young ones come along too.

Starship Troopers 15

Starship Troopers

If you want to be accepted you must be a citizen. To be a citizen you must join the forces. Asteroids are been hurled towards the earth from the other side of the galaxy. Humanity is about to have it’s revenge but there is increasing doubt as the fighting continues. There are more bugs than anyone had imagined and they have their own strategies planned to crush the humans.

Starship Troopers

There is much comedy and violence, it is not for the very light-hearted (I wondered how some of the soldiers could bare the pain as a bug’s talons ripped through their flesh). Action is never far away, but be prepared: most of the people you see at the beginning will soon be dead, only after a short time on the bug’s barren planet.

I was quite surprised to find only a pilot and a handful of young soldiers achieved such a huge outcome in a short space of time at the Federation. It is a good movie to see with friends as there will be something to talk about when you come out of the cinema.

Tomorrow Never Dies 12

Tomorrow Never Dies

007 has been assigned the mission to stop a man from causing World War III for the purpose of giving interesting news for his new satellite channels.

James Bond has is equipped with a mobile phone which meets the demands of the secret agent as he avoids the bad guys. He is able to control his BMW from a screen in his phone, the car has the usual features: missiles, guns and even a little saw on the bonnet which was used to cut a cable in the car’s path.

In my opinion the movie “Golden Eye” was a better representation of the excellent performance by Pierce Brosnan. The ending of the film was actually quite weak compared to the action filled initial sequence where he escaped a Russian black-market just before it was hit by a missile. It is worth the visit to the cinema but you won’t want to see it again, save for the action which is always second-to-none.

A Life Less Ordinary 15

There are too many unhappy marriages in the world. Two celestial cops have been told to make an impossible match between two very different people. On one side there is a very incompetent Robert, who fantasizes about a very beautiful daughter of a multi- millionaire , which he wants to write a trashy novel about. Robert decides to kidnap Celine, the beautiful daughter of the boss of the company where is about to loose his job. There is help from Celine as the dreamer, Robert, is not practiced in the art of kidnapping, or anything else.

This is an excellent representation of a series of events would could not possibly happen under any circumstances, but actually do. This is a good film and is worth seeing.

Beavis and Butthead Do America 12

Beavis and Butthead have found there television has gone. In the search for their old television they manage to end up on the other side of America, causing chaos as they go.

I must admit I did find this film very funny, which was very much expected. I am not sure how they do it but Beavis and Butthead always make a right mess of things, most laughably basic.

Beavis takes advantage of an old lady’s view of teenagers and swallows her entire prescription in one dose with very peculiar, but funny, side effects. The psychotic pair take full advantage of a paid trip to “do” a drunken man’s wife for him. Unfortunately for the man, Beavis and Butthead have no idea what he meant.

The animated film is of the same standard as the cartoon on television. I do not think any extra amount of animation effort has been put in. This makes the film easier to respond to for Beavis and Butthead fans and more wild at the same time. On the downside the lack of animation quality makes it not worth viewing at a cinema, with almost the same effect achievable with a television. It is worth seeing if you just want to laugh. The jokes are not particularly good but stupidity covers this.

Con Air 15

Cameron was a proud soldier, finishing his time at the US army. He now has lots of free time to be with his wife and future baby. A fight puts all his hopes behind bars. The baby is born and Cameron serves the sentence of manslaughter. Now there is only a short flight before he sees his family again after years of waiting.

A very good representation of the attitudes of prisons and what can happen when the country’s most violent men take control of an aeroplane. There is a reasonable amount of action and a good script. Not the best film that I have seen though.

The Fifth Element 12

Egypt, 1912 – an Egyptologists discovers hieroglyphs in a remote rock in the centre of the desert. Written are four elements, earth, fire, wind and water. There is also another object, the fifth element? Evil attacks the universe every five-thousand years. Well, that’s OK, the next encounter is over a quarter of a millennium away.

This film is totally different from what I had imagined. It was not just ordinary, but brilliant. All the cast are excellent, Bruce Willis is ideal for the leading role as an ex-officer cab driver named Korben. The super-human goddess, Loula, is also played very well. To really enjoy this film you have to accept it as a futurist comedy rather than another version of Star Wars. Unlike the film Beavis & Butthead Do America, the jokes are not over-the-top stupid, but good. The plot can be quite confusing at times, but it very often makes sense later. The effects are excellent as is the music. I especially like the singing in one particular scene in a concert hall on a (space) ship. Some of the places are absolutely outrageous, this adds to the stew, the aliens are original and sometimes quite humorous in appearance and intellect. There are all types of people in the movie, a bad guy with very bad luck, a president who cries, an element who is extremely good at karate, a transsexual radio presenter… the list goes on. I thoroughly advise you not to miss this film.

Romeo + Juliet 12

Shakespeare’s great love tragedy, two lovers are misunderstood by their elders and in the centre of an on-going feud.

Set on and around a beach in Verona, in a semi futuristic time warp. This Shakespeare tragedy has been made into many movies in the past; but none like this. This film is garnished with guns and gangsters. A huge invisible barrier is set between the two families of Montague and Capulet. The Montagues are hard fast and slick, the Capulets are laid back and humorous. The film is set to modern music, the music is bold but sometimes spoils the effect. It is heavily cut in places, leaving gaps in the story line. The film does not seem to be seriously affected as it is made up with the quality of the acting, especially from the main characters. You should not notice the cuts if you haven’t already read the play. I found some of the background sound effects quite irritating and I feel it is not needed as the effect is already there. There are many original sets in this version of Romeo and Juliet, the balcony scene mainly takes part in a swimming pool below the balcony. This is very effective as it is different and therefore more attention is placed on the love between Romeo and Juliet and their gestures. The persistent background hum of the swimming pool spoils the subtle conversation between the lovers. The overall purpose of their meeting: to quietly converse with one another, is dimmed by the noise. This movie is very adventurous with style and prejudice of the characters. The balance of strength of personality in the characters is variable, the nurse is too drawn back, while the actors are perfect for this film. On the whole the acting is excellent and the actors are well-suited to their parts. I recommend you to see this film.

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