"Clockers" is a disappointing effort from Spike Lee. It is brilliantly filmed and well acted but it marks a decline from the works that made Spike Lee famous such as "Do The Right Thing" and "Jungle Fever". These were much more powerful films which were more controversial and thought provoking. Clockers is too repetitive and becomes uninteresting, a contrast to the must-sees of Lee's earlier career. The cast is full of people that have done better jobs in other Spike Lee films such as John Turturro. There is almost a feeling that this film has been made just for the sake of making a film about drugs on the streets rather than offering any real messages. For Spike Lee at his brilliant best check out "Do The Right Thing", "Malcolm X", and "Jungle Fever".
It seems as if everyone else has already commented on this film so I think I'll be brief. The film was good but perhaps not as brilliant as some of the other comments have suggested. The soundtrack stayed away from many of the real 80s howlers. The best moments had to be the audition with the dude singing Ladies Night stretching "sophisticated mama" to new dimensions and even better the reference to the Sugarhill Gang's Rappers Delight when the old woman has a go at rapping the intro; this was inspired stuff as it brought in a link with the first ever hiphop record at the beginning of the 80s.
I think Bad Girls shows why westerns failed to really cut it in the 1990s. The genre looks outdated here and in many other attempts by the Hollywood studios to revoke interest in the early 1990s. Here they have tried to create a twist by substituting the norm of cowboys being male to an all-girl quartet on the run. It fails to really get past this idea and is unable to debunk western values. For instance although they are supposed to be able to stick up for themselves Drew Barrymore's character resorts to her gender(and the sheriff's weakness) to rescue her friend from jail. Although Barrymore may have looked nice the film does little to prove much about western or gender values. It debunks nothing. Mildly better is Pfeiffer in The Quick And The Dead which provides greater solid entertainment and less hype about how good four Hollywood stars look dressed up as cowboys.
The Arsenal Stadium Mystery is a largely forgotten black and whiter from the thirties. It covers the murder of a football player in the magnificent Highbury stadium in North London. The twist is that the murder is of a player who collapses during a match therefore making it difficult to work out whodunnit. Interesting for English football fans aswell as it stars some of the Arsenal players of the time; Arsenal being England's greatest football team of all time.
Prelude to a Kiss was a pretty poor film. Ryan played a role which seemed similar to other films she's been in while Baldwin's effort was nothing to write home about. The weird storyline was never going to work. Admittedly this genre of film is not my favourite anyway but it seems to me it didn't take much to realise the problems and therefore I was disappointed.
Although this is clearly not Spike Lee's best film which is without doubt the brilliant "Do The Right Thing", Malcolm X is an engrossing film which manages to captivate you for three hours. The film's first hour is disappointing, especially the stereotypical zoot suit scenes, but is necessary to set the scene for what is to come. Following Malcolm's autobiographical text the film deals with the turbulent career of this often controversial leader. On a parallel with the film Denzel Washington in the lead role improves as it goes on, pulling off Malcolm's mannerisms very effectively. Even if you don't agree with some of the politics that the film presents this film really is captivating and shows Lee at his best. It also gives people that don't know the Malcolm X story access to his life and beliefs.
Of all the TV movies that BBC and ITV provide in England late at night usually after you've had a few beers this film is clearly one of the better ones. Especially after Selleck's release from prison, the film fills the "eleven o'clock back from the pub" slot with ease. It deserves such praise due to Sellecks phenominal comeback when it seems like he has been beaten by the bad guys, down and out he leaps from nowhere to save the day.
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels expertly brings together two big name actors into something that is better than your run of the mill star vehicle. Caine is as usual brilliant in his half of a story of two crooks conning the rich out of their fortunes; there is no surprise there then. Steve Martin's performance is a surprise because he pulls of a good, solid, performance which is a visible departure from some of his other comedies, such as House Sitter and Father Of The Bride. The film is good fun and although not a classic it is well worth a watch.
Klute is essentially a good film which is not undeserved of the praise it has received but it seems to have almost gone too far. It is almost too arty and although this is admirable it makes the film a difficult watch. Sutherland and Fonda do a good job of it but the film is too conscious of the suspicious seventies and this makes the film slightly dreary and dull.
It seems that many people have got bad things to say about Face/Off. The implausibility of the plot filled with ridiculous loopholes is the main bone of contention. The point I would like to make is that all the people who criticised it probably watched it all the way through. Obviously the storyline is flawed but who cares as long as its entertainment even if that entertainment is at superficial rather than on a serious level. The film, if overlong, is good value. Not a classic but not something that should be so violently condemned. Too many people are getting too high and mighty. It doesn't take much IQ to realise its faults but give the film a break and enjoy it at a light hearted level.
The Italian Job is one of the best films in film history. There isn't really much more to say. Michael Caine is brilliant; the film of his career. There are few films better than this to this day. It will remain a classic. if you haven't seen it then you should go and watch it because this film is outstanding. It's worth watching just to hear Caine shout "your only supposed to blow the bloody doors off". The ambiguous ending is genius.
It is difficult to fathom why Pollyanna has received so many good ratings in the database. This is the so-called Disney magic at its most cheesy. Most of the grumpy people that Pollyanna is supposed to be cheering up seem to be better off. This leads to Pollyanna seeming to be a nuisance and little more than an annoyance. There are some touching moments and there are times when you genuinely feel sorry for the girl but Pollyanna is overlong and at times cringe making.
Fever Pitch is an excellent book written by acclaimed English writer Nick Hornby covering his love for Arsenal, England's number one soccer team and their 1989 championship win. The film adaptation starring Colin Firth has been well made; the school scenes are particularly well done. Probably unappealing in America where soccer is not as popular this is actually a good adaptation that is surely one of the best films to come out of England in the last five years. Well worth watching even if you don't like soccer Fever Pitch captures the amazing spirit of 1989 that brought Arsenal the most exciting championship ever.
Doing the rounds currently on British television in an off-peak late night slot is Renegade, the tacky action series that is showing its age just six years after its creation. This is an immensley cheesy programme with "they got the woman he loved" voice-over to kick it off. Much of the action is actually quite tame. Programmes like Renegade have no future on the screen because they fail to grip the viewer and especially in Renegade's case leave those watching reaching for the off button.
Although "A Killer Among Us" tries hard to be suspenseful it is a very poor film. Showing all the disappointing traits of bad TV movies the film is essentially unsatisfying despite promising much. There is too much trying to be "Twelve Angry Men" in this film which is the story of a jury that is slowed down by one persuasive member. Where this film differs from the classic "Twelve Angry Men" is the ludicrous twist that the jury foreman is the actual killer in the case the jury are debating. Jasmine Guy's dogged heroine then goes out and solves the case by doing her own detective work. Total poppycock. The story is both unbelievable and ludicrous. Although clearly the makers have tried hard here, the film does not hold much real excitement.