Tag Archives: Thriller

Donnie Darko: Playing with Time

DARK. DARKER. DARKO. I have had dreams where I’m being chased by Nazis in a forest. I have dreamt that I was a cast member of Falcon Crest. I have had many weird dreams, but in none of them have there appeared a large, evil-looking bunny rabbit predicting that the world will come to an end … Continue reading Donnie Darko: Playing with Time

Signs

THE FIRST SIGN YOU CAN’T EXPLAIN. THE SECOND SIGN YOU CAN’T IGNORE. THE THIRD SIGN YOU WON’T BELIEVE. Pennsylvania farmer Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) discovers huge circles in his corn field; similar events are taking place all over the world and mankind soon learns that aliens are on their way. Another fantastical concept from M. Night … Continue reading Signs

French Connection: How It Was Broken

DOYLE IS BAD NEWS… BUT A GOOD COP! In 1971, director William Friedkin was not happy at all. The French Connection had the potential to become not only his breakthrough but also a great cop movie, but Friedkin was afraid that the cast would kill it. Gene Hackman had been chosen to play no-nonsense cop “Popeye” Doyle, … Continue reading French Connection: How It Was Broken

End of Days

PREPARE FOR THE END. As the millennium approaches, the devil (Gabriel Byrne) comes to Earth looking for a woman who is the key to his kingdom; ex-cop Jericho Cane (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is on his trail. A traditional action movie for Arnold, but his character has more depth than usual. Jericho’s alcoholism and grief makes it … Continue reading End of Days

Enemy at the Gates

A BATTLE BETWEEN TWO NATIONS BECAME A CONFLICT BETWEEN TWO MEN.  Clever WWII marksman Vassili Zaitsev (Jude Law) becomes a living legend all over the USSR, but eventually has to face Nazi Germany’s best man. This multi-country endeavor avoids becoming an elephantine mess; versatile director Jean-Jacques Annaud expertly recreates a Stalingrad bombed to pieces, and … Continue reading Enemy at the Gates

Ocean’s Twelve

TWELVE IS THE NEW ELEVEN. Director Steven Soderbergh and his buddies on another vacation; the excuse is a story where Danny Ocean (George Clooney) and his fellow criminals are confronted by their nemesis (Andy Garcia) and then find themselves in Amsterdam performing another heist. By the time Julia Roberts’s character is goaded into assuming the … Continue reading Ocean’s Twelve

Ocean’s Eleven

ARE YOU IN OR OUT? Director Steven Soderbergh and his buddies obviously felt that the best way to spend a vacation would be remaking an old “Rat Pack” movie. This version, an improvement on the original, still carries the burden of a pretty tedious screenplay, but at least the filmmakers do their best to offset … Continue reading Ocean’s Eleven

Ocean’s Eleven

YOU WOULDN’T CALL IT A GANG. JUST DANNY OCEAN AND HIS 11 PALS – THE NIGHT THEY BLEW ALL THE LIGHTS IN LAS VEGAS! Ah, the glory of having the entire ”Rat Pack” gathered in one film – Frank Sinatra, Dean Martin, Sammy Davis, Jr., Joey Bishop and Peter Lawford are fun to watch as … Continue reading Ocean’s Eleven

Antitrust

TRUST IS NOT AN OPTION.  It shares similarities with The Devil’s Advocate (1997), this story about Milo Hoffmann (Ryan Phillippe), a very clever (and uncharacteristically good-looking) computer geek who is hired by a huge corporation and its boyish, enthusiastic CEO who looks like Bill Gates. But it’s not a serious tale about attempts to monopolize … Continue reading Antitrust

The Manchurian Candidate

THIS SUMMER EVERYTHING IS UNDER CONTROL. We had a right to expect something good when a director of Jonathan Demme’s caliber decided to remake John Frankenheimer’s great political thriller from 1962. The war in Korea has been cleverly updated to the Gulf War, but the main story of the original is intact and still relevant … Continue reading The Manchurian Candidate

Clear and Present Danger

TRUTH NEEDS A SOLDIER. As Jack Ryan (Harrison Ford) climbs the CIA ladder, the president declares an illegal war on Colombian drug cartels. The sequel to Patriot Games (1992) was made by the same director, but suffers a bit from its length; it takes some time to sort out the complicated, political mess that Ryan gets entangled with. The … Continue reading Clear and Present Danger