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Thursday, 30 November 2017

Retro Review: Drumline (2002)

Cast: Nick Cannon, Zoe Saldana, Orlando Jones, Leonard Roberts, Harry Shum Jr, J. Anthony Brown
Genre: Musical Comedy-Drama
U.S Box Office Gross: over $56 million 

Plot:  A band director recruits a Harlem street drummer to play at a Southern University 

'Can I ''Not'' Get A Drumroll, Please?'

A marching band version of Fame, this teen-based drama starred a then-unknown Nick Cannon, long before he graced U.S audiences as the presenter of the hit reality TV show, America's Got Talent from 2009 to 2016 for 8 seasons. Courtesy of Fox, Drumline is a drama about marching bands, but it is also a movie that even at over 2 hours long, it doesn't go to great lengths to make it more satisfying and entertaining enough. Not only it is completely underwhelming, the material itself is sleep-inducing.

Devon Miles from the Bronx is lured in by a fictitious Atlanta A&T and enrolled onto a highly prestigious music program. The thing is he is cocky and arrogant and can't read music, but still, that doesn't stop him in his attempts to becoming the best drummer he can be.  

Going in with low expectations, I see this movie like a version of a cheerleading film, but a cliched one that doesn't offer anything new or great. 

A film about a marching band sounds banal, but the film should have gone to lengths to make it more entertaining with lively characters, dialogue and amusing scenarios. Though I'm sure the real-life experiences in attending and seeing these types of performances are far more entertaining than what was depicted in Drumline. Likewise, there was hardly any marching that occurred during its sequences. It wasn't hard to see why with movies such as this one, Nick Cannon's acting career didn't really take off and he didn't go on to become a major Hollywood actor. As much as he tries, he lacks that extra something that other performers possess. 

The film's runtime should have been cut and have half an hour removed, as the story felt like it was dragging on and on for ages. 

I was also a little shocked at the use of profanity for a teen movie and but for some of the marching band and drumming sections, the story itself is just utterly one-dimensional and eye-rollingly vanilla and stoic, along with a love subplot that appears to be tacked on, just for the sake of it. It would have been better if the story was about a set of characters, as opposed to just one character, where a marching band had to go to lengths and beyond and practice hard to compete against their rivals and to have them put on a great show in the end. Much better that way than what the writer has opted for this movie. Additionally, the characters are all stocky and lacking any depth of personality. 

Final Verdict:

Tedious viewing with a tedious screenplay, this was a laborious watch from beginning to end, which makes little attempt to entertain and engage audiences into the storyline. It was so laborious and a total drone, I let everything else, but for some of the drumming sections, go over my head. 

Blandly written with a direction that is not just predictable & is extremely taut & lacking in depth, Drumline would have worked better perhaps as a comedy that pokes fun at drumming. 

But the bottom line is, this is a bore, overlong and but for some of the drumming scenes, it has virtually no charm. 


Wednesday, 29 November 2017

Retro Review: Bruce Almighty (2003)

Bruce Almighty
Cast: Jim Carrey, Jennifer Aniston, Morgan Freeman, Phillip Baker Hall, Lisa Ann Walter, Steve Carell
Genre: Fantasy Comedy
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $484 million 

Plot: A guy who complains about God too often is given almighty powers to teach him how difficult it is to run the world

'Almiiiighty Then!'

Released in 2003, Bruce Almighty was Jim Carrey's first big-screen Hollywood studio movie since Liar Liar/The Truman Show and this one took on biblical themes. As someone who isn't religious & doesn't practice any form of religion, I was going into this movie from the perspective of a general moviegoer and film audience & judging it solely as a comedy and less so in terms of the religious themes and aspects. The fact that this film poked fun at religion and at God was something that didn't impact my overall and general feelings as a movie. All I was looking forward towards was an enjoyable, light-hearted film with heart and likeable characters that I can root for.

When a TV news reporter based in Buffalo, New York in Bruce Nolan becomes fed up with life and frustrated at work, he takes his anger out on God & blaming him for his ills. Selfish Bruce then takes his anger and frustrations out on his girlfriend Grace, after he arrives home after being beaten up by some thugs. As a result, God offers his powers to Bruce just to see if he can do a far better job than the man in White. In fact, he has a bit of a God complex to him also. With all the godly powers at his disposal and all the popularity and unforeseen good he has gained that has also gone right to his head, the one thing he is in danger of losing is Grace. Alas, by the Grace of God, when he does so, Bruce has to go out of his way to win her back. 

The element of this film that truly warmed my heart was the relationship between Bruce and Grace, due to Jim Carrey and Jennifer Aniston's onscreen coupling partnership, which worked like a charm. Apart from the wacky comedy, there is that romantic comedy subplot underpinning it that also acts as the bridge for the film's story. Bruce in love with and who has Grace virtually by his side, and doing all these nice things for her, only to lose her at the spur of the moment. They have a great passion together, their love scene was amusing but cute as well and I truly sensed their mutual love & how much they care for one another. Speaking of Aniston, even though she played the supporting role to Carrey's star role, I really liked how grounded her character was amidst all of the craziness that takes place, partly thanks and no thanks to Carrey's Bruce. I was never a huge fan of the sitcom, Friends, but Aniston here was a great foil for Carrey & she displayed a wider range of her acting. 

Directed by Tom Shaydoc who directed Liar Liar and Patch Adams, the thing that worried me was how preachy this film was going to become and that the religious messages would be so overt and overdone. Luckily and fortunately that wasn't so much the case, and besides, they are done in a tongue and cheek way and most of them weren't as heavy as I'd anticipated. There are also one or two genuinely amusing scenes that made me smile and the special effects scenes draw some similarities with 1994's The Mask. & when Carrey is funny, it is great. One example is putting 'words' in a newscaster's mouth, with the newscaster played by Steve Carrell speaking gibberish. 

Bruce Almighty is atypical Jim Carrey comedy vehicle with religious themes, but it is also a lot less toned down and with added heart, & coupled with a good support cast that includes Jennifer Aniston and Morgan Freeman. It merely treads on Liar Liar's familiar waters of the not so nice guy trying to do right what he did wrong. 

A melding of the romantic comedy with fantasy comedy and drama, this one wasn't too bad, so to speak. 

Final Verdict:

Heartfelt, not too preachy as I'd expected, this was surprisingly reasonable as I'd fully anticipated and the last 10 mins were well done and I enjoyed it. I also liked that even with the manic humour one expected from Jim Carrey, he is not so over-the-top as he usually is in his other roles and there were moments where he showed restraint, particularly in the latter scenes with Jennifer Aniston. They worked off each so well, & far more so than with Jim Carrey and Courtney Cox in Ace Ventura

The cast did really well and but for one or two biblical messages, I wasn't bombarded with the deeply religious overtone that had it gone any more deeper, it would have thrown me off. 

In all, this is a harmless and well-done comedy that also can double up as a rom-com of sorts. Bruce Almighty is mighty good fun and a film that I can appreciate and consume in small doses. 


Tuesday, 28 November 2017

Retro Review: Man On The Moon (1999)

Man On The Moon
Cast: Jim Carrey, Danny DeVito, Courtney Love, Paul Giamatti 
Genre: Biographical Comedy- Drama
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $42 million

Plot: The life & career of a legendary comedian, Andy Kaufman 

'An Amazing Jim Carrey Performance Is Marred By A Distinctly Average Movie'

I love the song 'Man on the Moon' by R.E.M, as well the one they recorded for this film's soundtrack, 'The Great Beyond', but I went into Man On The Moon, not knowing very much about Andy Kaufman, other than he was in the sitcom, Taxi, alongside Danny DeVito and Christopher Lloyd.

Writers Alexander and Karaszewski wrapped up their trio of 1990s biopics, Ed Wood (1994) and The People vs Larry Flint (1996) with Man On The Moon, as well as produced by Danny DeVito, this is a biopic story based on the late comedian and actor's rise to fame, his struggles and his uncertain demise & death in 1984. 

Based on what I saw of this portrayal, this Andy Kaufman character, persona, celebrity, whoever you may wish to call him, was not exactly a nice person, but a bit of a loose cannon who insults the audience and has no qualms in hitting women. & whilst many people see him as a comedy genius, nothing in this movie, and but for his turns in the sitcom, Taxi convinced me enough to be a fan of his style of comedy and humour. 

Jim Carrey was nothing short of wonderful here, capturing Andy Kaufman's mannerisms, his voice when he speaks, his attempts at humour, his mania and his comedy style. It was to a tee. It was at this point that the success of this film and the high praise he received for his portrayal as Kaufman that he went on to make a name for himself as a dramatic actor in The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. Even though he doesn't have an extensive resume of movie work under his belt, which I so wished he had, Carrey is still one of my favourite movie stars and actors and I enjoy his brand of comedy, despite some of the flops he has had (Batman Forever & The Number 13) Bruce Almighty was okay, even though I wasn't into the whole religious aspect of it. He has been predominately known as a comedic actor and performer through his work on TV show, In Living Color and films such as Ace Ventura, Dumb & Dumber, Liar Liar & whilst those are the types of projects stuffy critics prefer him not to do and as they are the lowest form of entertainment in their eyes, they have brought me joy. But it is also good of him to stretch his abilities and do serious roles, which are few and far between. He was so deserving of his Golden Globe for his performance here and yet even to this day, his efforts as Kaufman still go unnoticed by many. Carrey is Kaufman and he subsumes the role as if he was Kaufman. I couldn't have anybody else but him in the role, he was just the perfect fit. 

I thought it was an excellent idea to have the cast of Taxi in the movie and as it brings more relevance to it. There is also an appearance by wrestler Jerry ''The King'' Lawler.

As a film, the story just never really exploded, despite its moments such as the wrestling scene and fight between Kaufman and a crew member that turned out to be a prank and as such I was bored senseless. It also played things far too straight and given the guy was supposed to be a funnyman, there just wasn't enough examples which illustrated that Kaufman was that type of person. The writers left out so many hilarious and wonderful and colourful moments from his past life. Plus, it lacked a theme for me to follow through. It was just scenes of Kaufman experiencing his share of highs and lows.

Suffice to say, it just never dug deep enough. 


Final Verdict:

Probably the last significant movie before the turn of the 21st century, Man On The Moon just about survives on the strength of Jim Carrey's standout performance & impersonation of Andy Kaufman. Yet the writers blew it by playing this film a tad too safe and never really going that far and beyond a persona of a man that many others felt was closer to madness than man-child.  

The direction this film took and how it played out, was not what I had envisioned, and not how I'd wanted it to turn out. 

Man On The Moon is a great vehicle for Jim Carrey's dramatic acting talents, in addition to 2 or 3 off-my-seat moments, but that is as far as it goes because as a movie, its execution and one-dimensional stance leave a lot to be desired.  


Monday, 27 November 2017

Retro Review: Police Story 2 (1988) #JackieChan

Police Story 2 (Ging Ghaat Goo Si Chuk Chap)
Cast: Jackie Chan, Bill Tung, Maggie Cheung, Lam Kwok-Hung, Chor Yuen, Charlie Cho
Genre: Action
Hong Kong Box Office Gross: over $34 million

Plot: Villains kidnap a Hong Kong policeman's girlfriend as he investigates a bombing/extortion scheme

'Not As Amazing As Police Story, But Still A Very Good Action Movie'

The sequel to 1985's blockbusting, Police Story sees Jackie Chan reprising his role as Sergeant Chan Ka Kui and the events in this movie occur straight after the first film, and so it is pretty much a continuation from Police Story one, but with different villains. This time, his task is to foil some bombers who intend to blow up shopping complexes and anything and anyone. After receiving a telling off by superiors for the damage he caused during the shopping mall fight, which was insane and incredible to watch, Chan is demoted to highway patrol duty, with his girlfriend, May played by Maggie Cheung pleased and with that, she is looking forward to spending more time with Chan. & yet, just as they are about to go on vacation and get away from all the mayhem and anarchy, Chan is recalled when a bent cop that put the main baddie, Chu Tao behind bars is on the loose. Tao's also in no hurry to harass May and Jackie's mother. Chan has to capture the terrorists, as well as rescue his girlfriend and thus, salvage their relationship before it is too late. 

The Police Story series of films have been a very lucrative business for Jackie Chan as in Hong Kong, they gross over millions of dollars. 

There is a fight scene in a restaurant and one taking place in the playground, which is ace, a set-piece where Chan is jumping and landing from one bus to another & whilst the action is enjoyable for the most part, the story rambles on and it gets to a point where it can be monotonous. There is definitely a tad more action here than Police Story 1 with huge explosions and whatnot, but the story, as interesting as it gets as it progresses further on, isn't that great. 

I found Maggie Cheung's character, May more irritable and her whining really made me take a huge disliking towards her. I mean I do understand her frustration at the way Kai treated her and left her on the plane, but her whining annoyed the heck out of me. & I was relieved whenever she wasn't onscreen. There is also a weird deaf guy baddie, who makes really stupid noises that did my head, but who still kicked ass. 

After I much enjoyed the first film, the second film turns out to be slightly disappointing with the writing here not as good and entertaining, the finale being as good as the first Police Story, but nowhere as larger-than-life and eye-popping and Cheng's May being annoying, even if her character does have a bigger role to play in it.

Final Verdict:

I need to get round to seeing the fourth Police Story & Police Story 3 is great, thanks to the addition of Michelle Yeoh and this film, Police Story 2 is considered as his weakest of the series by many people. Despite its larger scale, bigger budget and being highly ambitious and despite the huge explosions, stunts and Jackie Chan's butt-kicking fight scenes, it doesn't quite pack as much punch and oomph as its predecessor. 

I could have easily done without Maggie Cheung and I didn't like how her character was written by Chan. Police Story 2 is the flipside to Police Story 1 - whilst the first film was low on plot, it was high on action and in this second film, it's the reversal of that: not so much great action and lots of story and plot. It is very heavily story-driven, which I don't mind, just as long as there is plenty of great action - and here, that is not so quite the case. 

Having said all that, this was still highly entertaining and even with the slightly monotonous story, as the action sequences still make up for it.


Saturday, 25 November 2017

Retro Review: Jason's Lyric (1994)

Jason's Lyric
Cast: Allen Payne, Jada Pinkett Smith, Bokeem Woodbine, Eddie Griffin, Suzzanne Douglas, Lisa Nicole Carson, Forest Whitaker
Genre: Erotic Romantic Drama
U.S Box Office Gross: over $20 million

Plot: A salesman's fledging romance with a winsome waitress is jeopardized by his brother, a no-good, drug abusing thief

'A Blighted Tale Of Two Halves: Okay As An Urban Crime Movie, But Forgettable & Shallow In The Love Sense'

Ho-hum and dreary romantic drama that doubles up as a hood drama in the vein of Boyz N Da Hood, Jason's Lyric is quite frankly patchy, which disappoints in the romance elements - yet does well as a standard urban gang-based flick. The film's issues are further bogged down by the inconsistency of the direction it chooses to take, and alas, making it conflicted and confusing to follow. 

Set in Galveston, Houston, Jason's Lyric is a modern urban retelling of the Cain and Abel myth: Jason is the easy-going big brother and exemplary adult, who does right, but who is left haunted by the childhood memory of killing his violent and drunken father, during a fight with his mother. His younger brother is a supposed troublemaker and a wannabe hoodlum and is considered by his mother as the Black sheep of the family. Issues of sibling rivalry and harmony are further wedged by the arrival of a young woman by the name of Lyric, who enters the picture and into Jason's life that is further heightened by the sex scene in the Bayou. Jason is later torn between his love for Lyric and supporting and helping his brother, Joshua who is a gang member & further lured towards Lyric's half-brother, played by Naughty by Nature rapper, Treach and who is so emotionally attached to Jason & their mother. 

When the film goes down the romantic route, it becomes dull and bland, whenever there is a scene involving the brothers getting along or falling out of brotherly love & getting into a feud, it becomes watchable and more effective. The crime heist scene is very much identical to the one as seen in Dead Presidents and Set It Off, although it is not as good as it is here as it was in those movies. 

The film later reveals who shot their father and that Josh is a person who is so set in his ways, he has no intention of changing for the greater good. 

Jason's Lyric, which as a matter of fact was originally rated NC-17 - only for a few seconds of the sex scenes were edited down and thus, making it R-rated - is an attempt to juxtapose a love story onto a hard-edged Boyz N Da Hood gang-land type subtext, but it is also not quite a good one seeing as a) the romance/love story just wasn't that well conceived and b) the street gang's element lacked impetus and clout that other films of this type have achieved and done far better in than with this effort. The performances were good, especially by Allen Payne who has since surfaced on the sitcom, House of Payne, but Jada Pinkett was underwhelming and plus, she did it better in Set It Off, two years after this movie came out. 

This film is also far from being labelled as a romantic drama because the romantic element is not that well done and with the story veering off-track & becoming uneven and swiftly assembled & the emotional relationships becoming so tangled up it puts a strain on Jason's LyricThis really put me off for enjoying it and the performances. 

Final Verdict:

At times evoking emotion and sensibility when it needed to in parts, Jason's Lyric felt uneven and just didn't gel together. Despite the opening and third acts, it truly lacked the slick and tight direction & the story just didn't have that much momentum. Come the end of the movie, Jason's Lyric is a hodgepodge of ideas, storylines, characters that didn't flow so well. After a lively opening, it concludes on a limp note. 

If the film had decided whether to go down the love story route, and it was conceived better, or the hood drama route and stick with it throughout, then the film would have turned out far better than the one I saw. 

Yet as far as I see to it, Jason's Lyric felt to me as a bit of a letdown. 


Retro Review: Set It Off (1996)

Set It Off
Cast: Jada Pinkett Smith, Queen Latifah, Vivica A.Fox, Kimberly Elise, John C. McGinley, Blair Underwood, Dr. Dre
Genre: Crime Action
Worldwide Box Office Gross: over $41 million

Plot: Desperation drives four inner-city women to bank robbery in Los Angeles, then they start mistrusting each other

'Set This One Off'

Dubbed a ''Thelma & Louise meets Waiting To Exhale'' heist movie, Set It Off is, in many ways, the female equivalent to the previous year's Dead Presidents, directed by the Hughes brothers, which I really thought was fantastic. &, if like me, you have seen that film, you'll probably understand why I make that distinction. The similarities in the plot, the circumstances and plight of the characters they find themselves in and turning to crime to fast- track their way to happiness and a way to survive in and to get out of the ghetto, only for this to be short-lived, couldn't be any more different. But it's the way this is executed that the film revels in and makes these movies a fascinating insight into hood culture that is more than just guns, ammo and crime. Set It Off trades underprivileged Black males for Black females.

Four African-American women who feel disenfranchised & marginalized in society, whilst trying to scrape a living fall victim and decide to rob a bank, donning masks ala Point Break - style & stealing millions of dollars. Each of them has a personal reason to exact revenge: Stony's brother, who was about to head off to UCLA, was mistaken for a criminal & is gunned down by cops, Frankie had been fired as a teller at a bank, after a guy she knows robbed it. Even though she wasn't directly involved in the armed robbery, T.T- real name TeShawn- is a single mother, who has mental health issues and whose son is taken in by social workers, Cleo is the butch and hard-nosed lesbian and ringleader, who has a record of previous convictions to her name. After their successful heist, they continue with their crime spree, whilst they are unaware that a cop is on their case.

The other nitpicks were the scenes where they rob the bank was slightly farcical and should have been grittier and without some silly background music & that the romance involving Jada Pinkett Smith and Blair Underwood's characters is thrown in without much thought and therefore isn't that big of a deal. 

Unlike Dead Presidents, I actually had empathy for the women protagonists/antagonists & it focuses more on their bond and closeness together as a foursome and the tone in this film is lighter and not always serious, as I'd had imagined. But as the film got better as it went on, the more compelling the story became. Set It Off was directed by F. Gary Gray, who also directed the comedy, Friday starring Ice Cube & Chris Tucker, the NWA biopic, Straight Outta Compton and the remake of The Italian Job. Performances- wise, Jada Pinkett Smith did far better here than her turn in The Nutty Professor, and there is an appearance by rapper Dr Dre. Scrubs's John C McGliney puts in an effective performance as the cop. In truth, the performances by the main three of Latifah, Pinkett-Smith, A.Fox, along with McGliney as Detective Strode are impressive, with the latter satisfying also, although Kimberley Elise was underutilised and thus, her role could have been meatier. Queen Latifah's career-launching effort is strong, purposeful, fiery and confident as the reckless Cleo, without overacting. Her performances in this film, Chicago and Living Out Loud still reign as the 'Queen's' finest.

Never has there been a Black urban movie with a predominately female lead cast that comes remotely close to Set It Off and with a surprising and intense last half- hour with twists and deaths involving different members of the group, it makes the film way more gratifying and exceptional. & whilst some would have wanted John Singleton or the Hughes brothers instead of Gray as director, as they might have delivered more of that grit and hard-hitting drama & less of the melodrama, I thought Gray did a first-rate job and the characters came across as believable enough & they came alive onscreen, even though the characterisations of Stony, Frankie, T.T. and Cleo should have been further delved into. The action sequences looked great though with that slick and professional touch going for them. 

Final Verdict:

Along with F Gary Gray's ballsy approach that doesn't cut corners, Set It Off deservedly and rightfully deserves its plaudits as one of the best African-American crime based heist movies alongside Dead Presidents. If you enjoyed that movie, you will enjoy this one too. & given the enormous success of Straight Outta Compton and this movie, there is just really no excuse for studios to place more faith on actresses and directors and writers of colour and ethnic minorities to bring forth those stories to the big screen. African American cinema over the last decade or so but for a few exceptions has been virtually stagnant, since the glory days of the 1990s.

Still, a firm favourite with Black audiences, Set It Off should also be regarded as a cult classic as well, amongst other cult films.

Slickly and well produced and is made all the more enthralling, due to the direction and is watchable and entertaining thanks to the leads and supporting cast members in the likes of John C McGinley, this is a compelling and at times nail-biting affair.

Set It Off is an absolute treat that is not to be missed.


Friday, 24 November 2017

My 10 Personally Selected Desert Island Movies I'd Take With Me

: choose 10 films I would take with me if I were to be cast away and stranded on a desert island with just them & my DVD player and discussing my reasons for my choices

Good Morning, Vietnam (1987)

Best and most extraordinary performance by Robin Williams that makes use of his comedic acting and dramatic acting skills in his portrayal of disc jockey, Adrian Cronauer. This film, much like with so many of his efforts from the 1980s and 1990s would not have worked so well without Robin in the main role. Not only does he sell his performance, he owns this movie and makes it watchable. 

Tootsie (1982)

Best Dustin Hoffman performance that like Robin Williams for Good Morning, Vietnam combines his dramatic acting skills with a knack for comedy. There is something unique about Hoffman's dual turn as both a male and female in Michael Dorsey/Dorothy Michaels in drag that doesn't come across as farcical and too over-the-top. Add to that terrific support by Jessica Lange as his onscreen love interest, Teri Garr, Sydney Pollack & Charles Durning & what we have is my favourite romantic comedy of all-time. The humourous and comedy elements within the movie is restrained with a humanity that isn't reeking of sappy and gag-inducing.  

Erin Brockovich (2000)

I am not an admirer of Steven Soderbergh, but this is the one and only movie of his I truly love and with the best performance out of Julia Roberts, who showed she can be a great actress. Whilst fans and people remember her for Pretty Woman, I'd rather best know her as Erin Brockovich, and her no-nonsense, tough-talking turn here was just spellbinding and thus, easily slays her effort from 1990.

Hook (1991) 

If you asked me 10 or 20 years ago, what is my all-time favourite film, I wouldn't have been able to reply to that question. Yet I am happy to say that I can reply with 1991's Hook, the much maligned and panned live-action fantasy flick based on Peter Pan. It has three of my favourite stars in Robin Williams, Julia Roberts and Dustin Hoffman, it has magic, it has a special place in my heart and I don't care that it got trashed: it's a film I will cherish, forever. 

Fathers' Day (1997)

Yet another panned Robin Williams movie, and this time it's a comedy. But you know what? It makes me laugh and smile so much, thanks to Robin Williams, who is hysterical as Dale. As much as I do enjoy Mrs Doubtfire, this comedy feels fresh no matter how many times I see it and it doesn't get old.  

Kramer vs Kramer (1979)

Second favourite Dustin Hoffman movie and role of his and this movie was so watchable all the way through. There wasn't one point where I was bored and the subject matter of single parents raising their children was given a twist, as it was the father left fending and supporting their child, instead of the mother. It raises so many contentious and important issues, but it was also nice to see Ted Kramer come through in the end and his bond with his son strengthening over the course of the movie. Great performances, great screenplay, it was all top notch. 

Little Big Man (1970)

A western that I can sink my teeth into, thanks to Dustin Hoffman's multitude of incarnations of Jack, from young Jack all the way to old man Jack. But for some lull moments, Dustin's charm shines through in this light-hearted Western lore.

Do The Right Thing (1989)

Spike Lee classic and though he has made some interesting movies, most of them have little resonance and impact on me as this movie. I just love everything about Do The Right Thing, from the characters, the themes it covers which still resonate today, how entertaining and light-hearted it is at times and watching it makes me realise how amazing the critics have lauded this as. I don't usually agree with movie critics, but they got this one spot on. 

Police Story (1985)

Terrific and breathtaking stunts, martial arts fight scenes and action scenes with the shopping mall fight being the highlight of the movie, Jackie Chan is at his ass-kicking best and only and probably bettered by Police Story 3.

True Lies (1994)

Big Arnie becomes a James Bond-like superspy in this incredible and entertaining James Cameron action fest, who unknownst to his onscreen wife in Jamie Lee Curtis, is a spy whilst posing as a salesman. Catfights, explosions with a few twists it has it all and more. Amusing, great action, it's just terrific from start to finish.
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