Tag Archives: aviation

CHASING SLEEP (2000) – My rating: 7/10

Chasing What? — ***slight spoiler***
Chasing SleepThis was definitely a weird movie. It leaves too much to the imagination. A college professor played by Jeff Daniels (an excellent actor) comes home to find his cheating wife missing. Somewhere in this flick, I began to think the professor may have killed his wife because of all the finger business, which was unrealistic. I wasn’t sure if his pill popping, grief or obsession with his wife was causing hallucinations, or if his sleep deprivation was causing him to imagine things, or are we supposed to believe that fingers walk around without a body attached?

Whatever the case, this movie left many questions unanswered.  Since the film is called “Chasing Sleep”, maybe we are not suppose to know who killed his wife or if she is really dead. Maybe it’s about what can happen to the mind without sleep.

The movie was well cast, well directed and I was not bored.  I was, however waiting for answers that never came. I’d call this an unsolved mystery.

CITIZEN JAMES (2000) – My rating: 8/10

Pretty Good for an Amateur!
DougEDougIf uniqueness is the goal of this movie, Doug E. Doug has hit “pay dirt”. Citizen James is about a bored, young black `wanna be’ movie maker. The character, played by Doug E. Doug, who also stared in the last Cosby sitcom in real life, has decided to make a movie about Angela Davis but has no money or clue how to get started. Miraculously, he finds a thug’s money and uses it to finance his endeavor. Before finding this money, he wrote to Bill Cosby asking that he sponsor his project since Bill had donated to other worthy causes. Of course the thug discovers who found his money and takes the appropriate action. There is low level humor and suspense in this movie as well as intrigue. It all comes together in the end.  Since Doug E. Doug wrote, directed and starred in  this low budgeted  movie, there is no DVD cover or any other bells and whistles that go along with regular movie productions.  Citizen James sends a  somewhat, powerful message.  It is truly worth seeing.

THE CORE (2003) – My rating: 8/10

TheCoreHigh Marks for Imagination*** This may contain spoilers ***
Is science really that good? First we have to recognize there is a problem. Next, we have to figure out what the problem is. Then we have to determine if the problem can be resolved and if it can, how? Who is so good as to determine the earth’s core has stopped spinning because of an unexplained electrical storm in California and an attack of birds gone wild in Rome. Who would just happen to have a vessel, named Vergil, that can actually surf through the earth’s core of over 9000 degrees without disintegrating. What team of the worlds far most scientific, master minds would volunteer to journey to the center of the earth to jump start the core and what computer geek could stop a top military project dead in it’s tracks within minutes of a request? Someone has an overactive imagination and was able to put it in writing and tastefully present it on the big screen.

I must say, Jon Amiel did an excellent job of directing this movie into a suspenseful, action packed, science fiction thriller. I was entertained every step of this fantasy of a movie. A lot of research went into this story – it’s almost believable as numbers are calculated, meetings are held by top brass, and billions are spent to turn a 10 year project into a 3 month project. Their plan to restart the earth’s core even has a contingency plan called Destiny, which could turn out to be the death of the planet or our hero.

The success of The core depends more on God than on science as we don’t have the know how, equipment or power to deliver the resolution outlined in this movie. The special effects were excellent and the acting superb. The Core turned out to be a better movie than I thought it would be. 2 thumbs up for imagination and direction. 2 thumbs down if they think we bought it!

DREAMCATCHER (2003) – My rating: 8/10

DreamCatcherA Hard Tale to Tell! ****Warning! A few spoilers in this review****
If you’ve never read the book, you’ll have to rely totally on the movie, which seems to do a pretty good job of sticking to the original story.

Director Lawrence Kasdan keeps us in suspense until we can’t wait a minute longer for Dreamcatchers to straighten us out and supply some answers. Questions like, who is this Duddits 4 childhood friends Henry, Beaver, Pete, and Jonesy keep referring to and what are these 4 friends who seem to have alien powers? Where did these powers come from and who is the real alien anyway?

To make things even more mysterious, the military gets involved and brings in a veteran alien fighter named Colonel Abraham Kurtz, played by Morgan Freeman. The answers come while the 4 are on their annual hunting trip. This story, confusing as it is, comes together by the end and holds your attention while doing so. There’s one big twist, regarding Duddits, that’s left unsettled or maybe it was settled. You’ll have to see it to determine that for yourself.

Overall, Dreamcatchers was entertaining, suspenseful, and action packed. What more can you ask for in a movie? Since it’s futuristic, just about anything goes, right? Give Lawrence Kasdan a hand for even attempting to direct such a difficult story in the first place.

EXIT WOUNDS (2001) – My rating: 6.5/10

I Had Hoped for More!
ExitwoundsStephen Seagal is getting better but he’s not there yet. His image can still use massive tweaking.  His clothing was tolerable and the cropping off of his pony tail helped too. Parts of the movie served as a humbling experience for Seagal, toning down his bad boy/God like image a bit. Teaming up with DMX gave a little boost to his popularity, but not much else! Alas, it’s not all gloom and doom  if you can get past the ridiculous story line, you might be slightly entertained.  Wait for the DVD.

GHOST SHIP (2002) – My rating: 7/10

Potential Out to Sea          *** This comment may contain spoilers ***
GhostShipOh well! Another good idea gone astray. Ghost Ship started out pretty good. It was suspenseful, well acted, funny, and down right interesting. As the story unfolded, I began to suspect it wasn’t going to end well. How right I was. I figured out the villain much too early but I still held out hope for a descent resolution to the movie.

The acting was good, the plot was good, the tension mounted at a normal to fast pace. The only thing that screwed this movie was the lousy ending. I don’t want to give the movie away but I will say, wait for cable. Julianna Margulies should have stayed with ER.

HART’S WAR (2002) – My Rating: 9/10

More Than A War Story!
HartsWarThis movie is slightly over 2 hours and a little drawn out in spots. None-the-less, it’s message was loud and clear. Hollywood is beginning to expose, in depth, the plight of the black man — perhaps offering additional perspective into the problems between blacks and whites today. Bruce Willis gives an outstanding performance as does Terrence Dashon Howard as the black lieutenant who was framed and Colin Farrel as the Lieutenant who defended him. I classify this movie as HEAVY and worth seeing. There is much to be learned from Hart’s War.

THE ITALIAN JOB (2003) – My Rating: 8.5/10

Everyone Wants to be a Critic               *** SOME SPOILERS ***
TheItalianJobBeing a critic doesn’t mean you have to bash every movie you see. This movie received lots of bad reviews from the critics.  It seems they don’t like drama, action or comedy.  I found The Italian Job to be quite entertaining and I think that’s what counts! Ed Norton played an excellent villain who said in the movie, “right or wrong, I don’t care, it’s about what I want”.  His character had no morals which explained why he was able to turn on his follow thieves. The director left no stone unturned. Every word and action was accounted for and in my opinion, that’s a huge contribution to what makes a good flick. While nothing new was introduced, the movie had some of the best car chases I’ve seen in a while. The plot was good and the actors were excellent. I thought The Italian job was well cast and the story was well acted and well told.

The action was endless and I had such satisfaction because the ending was soooo… sweet. It’s okay to just sit back and be entertained by a movie. You don’t have to pick it apart for every little thing. The Italian Job has good intellect and good special effects. I guarantee anyone who sees this movie will walk away satisfied.

ONCE UPON A TIME… WHEN WE WERE COLORED (1995) – My rating: 7/10

Too Nice!
OnceUponATimeWhenWeWereColoredThis was a very nice, scaled down version of how it really was in the Deep South. The movie did not even begin to depict the real horror Blacks faced each day. There was just a hint of the KKK, Jim Crow and the plantation mentality Blacks had to endure. I kept waiting for those historical, explosive events, we all knew to be the law of the land, to explode onto the screen, but it never happened.

Life was unbearable; Blacks were looked upon as animals and treated as such. I walked away from this movie feeling like life was almost a bowl of cherries.

I find it so odd that people are tired of hearing about the Black experience but never get tired of all the holocaust movies. 6 million Jews were slaughtered over a 6 year period (approx) — hundreds of thousand Blacks were hung, beaten, raped, shot, humiliated and abused to death over a period of 150+ years, not to mention the suicides that took place on the slave ships in route to America. Admittedly, the holocaust was an atrocity, hopefully never to be repeated, while discrimination of Blacks is still a reality. Too bad there are no great movies that tell the Black Plight the way it should be told.

VERTICAL LIMIT (2000) – My Rating: 10/10

Are we all on the Same Page?
VerticalLimitI am surprised that there is someone out there that didn’t like Vertical Limit. It is fast paced, action packed, thrilling and has the best special effects I’ve seen in a while. This movie mostly takes place on a mountain, in a storm, with freezing cold weather. Even if the scenes were not real, they looked real and had me on the edge of my seat. Since I don’t know a thing about mountain climbing, which was probably the case for most viewers, I could not imagine what good mountain climbers would do in this horrible situation. The movie is so intense and the acting so powerful, you don’t have time to think about what’s not there.

I think Vertical Limit should have been considered for Oscar but that’s just my opinion. The filming of this movie was quite an accomplishment for Martin Campbell and my hat is off to him.