Susan Sarandon

Nothing To Lose

Year: 1997
Directed By: Steve Oedekerk
Written By: Steve Oedekerk

RYAN’S REVIEW

It wouldn’t be for almost another ten years before the name Steve Oedekerk meant anything to me, but long before I saw Kungpow I was laughing at this movie.  It was a popular film in my home after it came to video and many evenings of my early high school years were spent watching it. As it goes with comedies like this it’s a pretty simple film.  The strength lies in the chemistry of the men who play the unlikely companions in the film and this one does well enough.  The unlikely pairing of Tim Robbins and Martin Lawrence is pretty funny and I still enjoy watching it on occasion.

Back in the days before one, or two, or THREE Big Momma movies I thought Martin Lawrence was great.  I still think he is great but he never impressed me with his career as a leading actor.  My favorite role of his has always been his part in Bad Boys but this movie is a really close second.  This one takes me back to a time when I was younger and before I and my siblings grew up to move away. I think he has surprisingly good chemistry with Tim Robbins. While he never impressed me as a leading actor, I always felt the strength of Lawrence’s acting came in the supporting role.  Much like his role in this film or in Bad Boys where he isn’t the center of attention but the funny guy who brings his chemistry and comedy to the movie. I have not seen his new show where he is paired with Kelsey Grammer but I think that is an interesting duo with a lot of potential to be funny.  If anybody has seen this show I’d love to hear thoughts on how it is.

I have never been much of a fan of Robbins.  He is a great actor and there is no denying that. I think part of my disliking of him goes back to my younger days when I was simply jealous that this goofy looking guy got to go home to Susan Sarandon during his downtime.  They had a long time relationship that my ill place adolescent admiration of her took hold of my better senses.  I have long since though Sarandon was one of the most beautiful and talented actresses to grace the screen.  She is much older now but still doesn’t fail to be beautiful and even sexy in her later years.  It’s sad that with such a distinguished actor such as Tim Robbins that all I can do is talk about how lucky he was with the wife he had but like I said I’ve never been much of a fan.  He plays a different role in this movie and I do think he is quite funny at it.  He had surprisingly good chemistry with Martin Lawrence and it made for good comedy.

Now, to Steve Oedekerk.  I have said in many reviews now that I think he is hilarious and this has been a pleasant surprise because I had no idea until watching this film recently that he was responsible for it.  It makes sense though, when a movie is really funny as much credit goes to the man directing the show as it does to the talents of those playing the parts.  Oedekerk wrote a funny script for this movie and he did a good job directing it.  He plays a small cameo in the film to that I had also never noticed or made the connection with.  He plays the security guard that goes wild with his own personal and presumed to be private dance routine during the scene when Lawrence and Robbins are breaking into Robbins’ boss’s office.

Also worth mentioning is Irma P. Hall who plays Mama in the film.  I specifically remember Hall from her role in The Ladykillers and I thought she was hilarious in that part as well as this one.  This movie precedes Martin Lawrence’s Big Momma trilogy and I have to think that her role in this film was a significant influence on the idea Lawrence had when he started that franchise. If she wasn’t what influenced him from the get go then her performance in this film undoubtedly influenced Lawrence in his performance in the part.  Granted I only saw the first one, or at least part of it, but I can clearly see a correlation between Big Momma and Irma P. Hall.  Hall was a very talented woman who always fit the roles she was cast in appropriately.

If you haven’t seen this movie you really haven’t missed anything significant but you may have missed something you would enjoy.  I love the movie that came out in the later 90s when comedies weren’t made with the teenage market in mind.  We still have plenty of funny R rated comedies coming out today but not like we did in the late 90s.  Martin Lawrence is without doubt funnier when he has free reign on his vocabulary.  When you censor him down to a PG-13 rating you have take something away from him.  I wouldn’t go out of my way to see this film but if you get a chance to see it your time won’t be wasted.

AMBER’S REVIEW

This is one of those easy-to-watch movies that they usually play on TBS, or Comedy Central on repeat during certain times of the year. It’s always interesting when they put to people you normally wouldn’t see together and see how they play off of each other’s comedic abilities. This is a funny movie and I always like watching it, if even just listening to it while doing something else. It’s completely easy to follow.

nothingtolose

There isn’t anything special about this poster, but it’s not completely horrible either. I love how they play up the height difference between Lawrence and Robbins. The typography is simple, but a little offset, and I think that replicates the movie pretty well. I don’t know if “The Funniest Comedy Of The Year” is true or not, I am guessing not, but ultimately I hate this little retail plug. I don’t think the viewer cares at all about this opinion.

NEXT MOVIE: Notorious (2009)

The Client

Year: 1994
Directed By: Joel Schumacher
Written By: John Grisham

RYAN’S REVIEW

The Client is the film adaptation of John Grisham‘s novel by the same name.  It’s just one of several movies that were made during the 90s based off of his books.  Some of the other movies being The Pelican Brief, The Firm, A Time to Kill, The Chamber, and The Rainmaker. I do think this one was one of the better of those films, although A Time to Kill was also particularly good.  I read most of these books when I was a teenager as well, I don’t remember much about them now but I do remember liking this book.  It’s hard not to like such a great story though.

I was almost of an age with the Brad Renfro character the first time I saw this movie and that was probably what got me interested in reading John Grisham’s books to begin with. The cast of this movie was obviously really well thought out because so many stars are in it, the casting of the Mark Sway must have been challenging because of his age.  Brad Renfro came out of no where and blew everybody away, he seemed to have a lot of promise but has practically been a one hit wonder.  He has starred in a few other notable films but his performance has never matched this one.  It was a tough role for such young inexperienced actor because the film centers on him.  He was surrounded by a lot of talented actors and actresses in the movie though.

Tommy Lee Jones is great at this kind of role.  He fits in nicely as the powerful man who like to monologue as he leads his subordinates around like geese in a flying V.  He played similar roles in The Fugitive and U.S. Marshalls.  I am always in favor of Susan Sarandon being the female lead in any movie. She is not only beautiful but very talented.  She had an interesting ability to get more beautiful the older she got.  This movie is literally loaded with stars in smaller parts after that.  Mary-Louise Parker, William H. Macy, Kim Coates, Anthony Edwards, Will Patton, and several others.  The cast alone makes the movie worth seeing but you should see it because the story is awesome.

This is also like a window into 1994 too, that makes it interesting. You can see the style of clothing on several levels of society. You see smoking in a hospital and smoking by children, two things that are rarely if ever seen in media today.  Mark’s mother mentions her minimum wage pay as $5.00 an hour, that gives us insight into the  economics of the year.  There are plenty of things that this movie can remind some of us about and give others insight into what life was like 17 years ago.

This was a popular movie when it came out and I think it will stand the test of time for years to come.  I am not typically a fan of Joel Schumacher, he ruined the Batman franchise, but he managed to not screw this one up.  This movie is worth your time and I would recommend it to anyone.

AMBER’S REVIEW

I had never seen this movie before, heck I didn’t even know that we owned it. I was immediately sucked in. The story follows 2 kids that accidentally witness a mobster’s attorney’s suicide. However, before the suicide he confides in the boy that he know where some bodies are buried. I would hate to be this kid. He is put into a horrible position. The kid is a great little actor and is a badass kid that isn’t very well off. He wears Led Zeppelin cut off t-shirts and cusses. He isn’t a stupid kid, however and when he feels like he is being pressured by the FBI he decides to find an attorney to take care of things for him, played by Susan Sarandon. (Ryan is hopelessly in love with her, I think it’s the red hair.)

This movie is worth your time. It is interesting and holds your attention well and has some really notable people in the film. I know I wouldn’t want to be in this kids position.

NEXT MOVIE: Cliffhanger (1993)