America: where the President would rather annihilate 81 innocent civilians than pay reperations to families of people who died on illegal missions that he sent them on. The plot is full of rockin’ entertainment but is occasionally hard to get into when said country is such a major player in it and isn’t always viewed through a critical lens. Still, the cast’s got charisma for days (Cage and Conn err not once) and the action overflows (see the destructive joyride through San Fran tangent).
A resourceful British government agent seeks answers in a case involving the disappearance of a colleague and the disruption of the American space program. (IMDb)
A pleasantly paced detective/spy drama. Bond’s predictable womanizing is eye-rolling but fortunately his cool and collected investigative work in the missing-person mystery takes center stage (“One takes cyanide, another would’ve stood for her arm being broken, neither would talk. Who puts that sort of scare into people?”). Bond’s climactic convo with Dr. No is no cinematic slouch but the control-center action sequence to follow feels a little silly and the stakes aren’t made clear.
When Dr. Henry Jones Sr. suddenly goes missing while pursuing the Holy Grail, eminent archaeologist Indiana Jones must follow in his father’s footsteps and stop the Nazis. (IMDb)
The Grail-quest plot adds a decent dollop of tempered intrigue to the still stellar fast-paced action antics, giving the film a more mature tone than its wacky and wild predecessor, while the opening glimpse into Indy’s childhood and the introduction of his father (their constant bickering and brains vs. brawn dynamic are hilarious–see Connery’s silent look during their motorcycle escape) add some welcome character depth as well as some great humour that goes beyond just one-liners.
Federal Agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop Al Capone; because of rampant corruption, he assembles a small, hand-picked team. (IMDb)
Aside from an excellent jazzy score and a great looking 1940s set, this film is largely underwhelming: Its compelling cop vs. Capone true tale is lost amidst a script that breezes through simple plot points with little development or character study, and a notable cast gives middling performances (apart from an underused DeNiro) thanks in part to often unmemorable dialogue. The dashes of bloody violence (“TOUCHABLE”) grab you but they don’t make up for the mostly weak writing here.
In Victorian England, a master criminal makes elaborate plans to steal a shipment of gold from a moving train. (IMDb)
A thoroughly enjoyable heist movie, with naught a wasted scene in its entirety. The con jobs, building up to and including the big heist are wonderfully detailed and have a charm that only the technologically-simple Victorian era in which the movie is set can provide, while the cinematography, with its glossy sort of glow, gives the set a warm, nostalgic feel. Add a delightful soundtrack and engaging performances from Connery and Sutherland to this set-up and you have a really fun film.