Julia Roberts

Hook

Year: 1991
Directed By: Steven Spielberg
Written By: J.M. Barrie (novel), James V Hart, Nick Castle, and Malia Scotch Marmo

RYAN’S REVIEW

I once heard the hosts of my favorite morning radio show, Two Guys Named Chris, criticizing this movie and suggesting that it was a stain on Spielberg’s career.  I was shocked because I was under the impression that everyone loved this movie. Although maybe that is just because I have grown up loving this movie and still do. I was seven years old when it came out and I was exactly who the movie was made for.  I supposed it seemed silly to adults then and probably does now as well but through a seven year old’s eyes it just doesn’t get any better than this. Hook was made for young kids and it was made by a director with a reputation for getting through to kids.  This movie is dear to me for many reasons and it is one that I look forward to watching with my children one day.

If there is a stain on Steven Spielberg’s career it’s Indiana Jones 4 or the re-editing of E.T.. I say if for the simple fact that Spielberg’s career has been so distinguished that it’s easy to overlook the minor lapses like the aforementioned. I hardly think this movie was bad though, it might fail in comparison to some of his other work but I think it had a real special quality to it.  Spielberg used his talents to get great acting out of a group of young kids and paired them with a group of seasoned and talented actors. Robin Williams was on the rise in the early 90s and I think he was great as the grown up version of Peter Pan.  Dustin Hoffman was fantastic as Captain Hook, his wardrobe and stylist had a lot to do with that but he was really terrific.  As I got older and saw more Dustin Hoffman movies I could never believe that he was the guy that played Captain Hook.  The guy that I saw in those other movies just didn’t look the same.  It’s because Hoffman wasn’t Hoffman in this movie, he was Captain Hook in this movie. I think his performance makes the movie memorable as much as anything else does. I am not usually a Julia Roberts fan but I think she was great as Tinkerbell in this movie.  It was a role that I don’t think will ever be matched with that character. Roberts looked so great in that little outfit too, she has great legs. Though I read that she was so difficult to work with on set they nicknamed her “Tinkerhell.” Bob Hoskins is great playing the part of Smee, but I think he is too lovable as the character.  Hoskins is at his best when he is the mean and nasty villain, but I like the diversity we see with this character.

I also think a good argument against the critics of this film is the simple fact that it is a good idea.  I like the idea that Peter Pan decided to leave Neverland and grew up in the real world. That he forgot all about who he was until the day that he had to return to Neverland. The Lost Boys have had to learn how to survive without him and they turned to a new leader, one who isn’t keen on the idea of turning leadership back over.  When I was a kid I thought Rufio was the coolest guy I had ever seen.  I desperately wanted to have my hair done in that crazy multi-mohawk thing he had going on but my mom wouldn’t allow it.  She was protecting me from reality though really, it never would have worked with my hair and I would have looked ridiculous. I also like the idea that Neverland as a place can start to change who you are, just as the real world did for Peter Pan.  We see this with Peter’s son played by Charlie Korsmo.  By the time his father has regained his persona he barely remembers who his father even is, and he has become the protégé of Hook.

The battle at the end of the movie is epic and fulfilled all my wildest expectations out of a movie at seven.  It was big and exciting battles like this that influenced and developed my love for these types of scenes in movies today.  The all-in fighting and swordplay was so exciting, and then the tragedy makes it all real before the ultimate and final showdown between Pan and Hook. I also like that in the end Hook isn’t finished off by his greatest enemy, but by the creature he feared the most.  There were many themes I related to as a kid watching this movie.  Such as having a father that spent the majority of his time at work and missed things.  It was a movie that gave me comfort at the time because there was so much excitement and everything worked out happily in the end.

This movie may have been hated on by plenty but I doubt I am the only person of my generation that has sentimental feelings for it.  It’s that movie we all loved during the same age range and we remember the feelings it invoked within us.  I would recommend this as a good movie you could watch with your kids and one that if you take it for what it is you will enjoy yourself.  This movie is worth your time and I hope I have convinced you to give it a chance.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I remember watching this movie as a kid and loving it. I still love it. I think it especially special to kids who grew learning about the Peter Pan story. This is a real-life version of it including some popular people in the cast. I think Robin Williams makes a good Peter Pan, and in my book Julia Roberts is Tinkerbell.

I don’t hate this poster, but I don’t love it either. I think it is a little done over and over, this use of old paper and torn edges. This poster reminds me somewhat of the Goonies style poster. The characters are in a painting style, which I feel leaves Robin Williams looking way younger than he actually is in the movie. The font choice is perfect; it’s my favorite thing about this poster.

NEXT MOVIE: Hostel Part 1 & 2 (2005 &2007)

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Flatliners

Year: 1990
Directed By: Joel Schumacher
Written By: Peter Filardi

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is an interesting movie about five medical students who start a daring experiment to learn more about life after death.  Together the five of them meet with the necessary equipment to kill one of them for a specific amount of time and then bring them back to life to explain what they saw. It starts with just one of them wanting to do the experiment but after it is successful they all want a turn, and chance to raise the stakes.  To the horror of all of them they find that while they are successfully brought back to life, they don’t come back alone.  All of them soon find something from their own past haunting them in the real world.

To go along with such an interesting story was a really great cast of actors who were all on the rise at the time. Julia Roberts made this the same year she made Pretty Woman. She quickly became a superstar over night with that one so this film probably got overshadowed as far as her performance goes. This was a good movie for Kiefer Sutherland at this point in his career but things seemed to go downhill for him after this. He really struggled to have a hit or significant role until he landed the part of Jack Bauer on 24. I was a really big fan of that show and stuck with it even when everything went to hell during the writer’s strike.  So naturally I am a big fan of Kiefer and I think he was good in this movie.  I have always liked Kevin Bacon as well but he has had an up and down career too.  I do think that of all the performances in this film his was one of the strongest but no one does anything specifically distinguishing in this film.  The other two doctors are played by William Baldwin and Oliver Platt.  Platt has been able to survive as an actor for all these years but I have never been a big fan.  I’m not sure what it is that the other Baldwins are lacking next to their incredibly talented brother Alec, but you can’t say none of them made an effort.  They all had roles in one movie or another but somehow can’t get anything going.  Things weren’t always so rosy for Alec either though, my daughter does own his Thomas and the Magic Railroad movie, and he must have been really desperate when he did that one.

This movie was made by Joel Schumacher, and like Sheldon Cooper I also loathe the man for ruining the Batman franchise during the 90s.  What he did to the Batman character and film franchise is unforgivable, but fortunately this movie predates that disaster.  That being said I can still enjoy this film by him, as well as The Lost Boys that he did with Kiefer a few years before this one.  A viewer with a watchful eye can easily see Schumacher’s style in this film. He likes gothic images and the glowing use of colors and fancy lights that we saw so much of in his Batman films.  It all works in this movie though and he made a great film.

This movie starts off with a great cast and an awesome story but does get a little silly near the end.  The tone of the film doesn’t have much continuity to it, but I don’t think it really takes anything away from the movie. I do really like the cast too but I don’t think any of them specifically offered a fantastic performance.  They do their jobs well enough though and their names do enough to bring attention to the film and give it an audience.  I have heard before that there might eventually be a remake of this film and that wouldn’t surprise me at all.  A cool idea like this is an easy choice to make in this world of rehashed movies we now live in.  I think this one is good though and I would recommend it to anyone.  This movie is worth your time and if you give it a chance I think you will enjoy it.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I kept telling Ryan that I had already seen this movie. Apparently, he was right. This movie had me intrigued from the get-go. The whole idea of the afterlife is an interesting aspect; I don’t care who you are, we have all thought about what happens to you when you die. The idea that doctors are going to kill themselves and bring themselves back to life is amazingly interesting. I was in to the movie the whole time, while little by little each doctor kills themselves and then has the others bring them back to life in order to see what the afterlife is like. If you haven’t seen this movie, you should. It has some really key actors and is based on an interesting subject. Sometimes the movie gets a little cliché, but overall I really enjoyed watching it and would watch it again.

NEXT MOVIE: Forrest Gump (1994)

Closer

Year: 2004
Directed By: Mike Nichols
Written By: Patrick Marber

RYAN’S REVIEW

This is an interesting movie about love and betrayal and the complexities of human relationships.  The thing about it is, you can make 100 movies like this and they would all be different yet all be the same as well.  That’s just the nature of how human relationships work though isn’t it? Love is personal in a way that makes us all feel our stories are unique but these things typically tend to follow the same patterns.  I don’t really think there is anything that separates this film from the typical story within the genre but that doesn’t mean it is a bad film.  The film is made by a well renowned director and sports an excellent cast.

This film is based on a broadway show that was adapted to the screen by the original writer, Patrick Marber, and from what I understand it follows the play very closely. It was directed by Mike Nichols who is better known for films like The Graduate and The Birdcage. I don’t think he did anything exceptional with this film but he did a good job, he had some good people to work with. Natalie Portman plays one of the four leads and she is an actress truly bursting with talent.  I have never understood her decision-making when it comes to choosing roles but she is great in everything she is in.  I am not a fan of Julia Roberts but she does a good job in this movie and looks great.  I am not a fan of Jude Law either but I suppose he was appropriately cast as the sleazy British guy.  I have always liked Clive Owen but his career seems to be going nowhere.  He was on a hot streak during the mid 2000s though when this film was made, and he does well in this movie.

I do not like movies that center on infidelity, it usually makes for an awful story in which everybody loses.  This is no different yet I do not mind this movie. Although I think it would have been better with some nudity, there is something unfair about an R rated movie about sex with these two beautiful women and neither of them get naked. One of them even plays a stripper, it’s just a tease to those of us who were good enough to sit through this with our significant others.  I may be a lover of movies and found something to appreciate, but the everyday Joe out there must have been really disappointed.   We own it because Amber liked it but I can appreciate something outside my norm if it is worth wild.  This is a good movie but I would never recommend a movie like this to anybody.  Infidelity is an awful thing, we shouldn’t spend our time with it and I personally don’t like watching movies about it.

AMBER’S REVIEW

Obviously, this is my movie. When I was in college I randomly picked it out one night at Blockbuster. I hardly ever got to pick out movies, so I was surprised when I actually picked one out that became one of my favorite movies of all time. I don’t really agree with Ryan’s review at all. This is a love story, but it is not a love story like all of the rest. It centers around infidelity and the real world love stories that happen. And if you think this movie plays out like the rest, you would be wrong. I also want to point out that it is true, Ryan hates movies about infidelity, but what he can tolerate is when men cheat on women. He cannot stand to see a woman cheating on a man. It visibly upsets him to the point of sometimes not even being able to finish the movie. Honestly, I am surprised he lets this film sit on the shelf among the others.

This is a great film, that tells an original story about the way we love, and the way we lose it, and the way we handle ourselves when we do lose it. I completely recommend this movie if you have ever loved someone.

NEXT MOVIE: Cold Mountain (2003)