Wild Hogs

Wild Hogs” is a fun adventure comedy about a few somewhat grown-up friends taking a road trip for the old times sake.  It’s a not a bad movie at all, but whether you’ll enjoy it or not depends a lot on your mood.  Gladly, I was in the mood for some light entertainment.  And I had a blast.   While there are a few places which are slow or silly, there are enough of those that made me laugh out loud. Overall it was worth it.

4 out of 5 from me and a solid recommendation for Friday evening entertainment.

From Paris with Love

From Paris with Love” is a fast-paced action comedy with John Travolta and Jonathan Rhys Meyers.  I found this movie by accident, but I quite enjoyed it.  So much in fact, that I watched it twice in the last month or so.  Sure, it has a few weird romantic moments that needed more polish, but all of those are nicely compensated by action, humor, and an explosive, brutal, yet humane character of John Travolta.  It’s John Travolta at his best.  The one I missed for a long time now, since “Pulp Fiction”, “Be Cool”, and “Michael”.

Remember all those James Bond movies with Sean Connery?  And then how all the charm was taken out of Agent 007 by Daniel Craig?  Well, this movie is a variation on a modern James Bond (an American, of course, but still in Europe), with plenty of charm, and yet with enough brutality of Daniel Craig.  Without Daniel Craig.  (Not that I have anything against Daniel Craig outside of James Bond role).

There is not much else that I can say about it.  Not your regular family entertainment, but a bunch of guys could have a blast with it over a pint of beer.  My rating – 4 out of 5.

The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3

Yesterday I went to see “The Taking of Pelham 1 2 3” in the cinema.  I expected it to be good, having seen the trailer and knowing that it was directed by Tony Scott and featuring Denzel Washington and John Travolta.  But it happened to be even better than I expected.

There is more to the story than shown in the trailer.  There is more suspense, than can be guessed from the trailer.  And there is some good acting to be seen, both by Washington and Travolta.

Sometimes the film reminds of another Tony Scott and Denzel Washington venture – “Man on Fire”, however not as a copy of a previous work but rather an expansion of it.  This is especially so during the cuts of the New York City.

Overall, a good entertainment that will keep you on the edge of your seat for the whole during of the film.  5 stars.

Get Shorty

Get Shorty (1995)Since I saw “Be Cool“, which was a sequal, I wanted to see “Get Shorty“. Both movies can be seen separately as they are not connected by the story in any way. Only by the characters.

Directed by: Barry Sonnenfeld
Genres: Comedy, Crime, Drama, Thriller
Cast: John Travolta, Gene Hackman, Rene Russo, Danny DeVito, Dennis Farina, Delroy Lindo, James Gandolfini, Jon Gries, Renee Props, David Paymer, Martin Ferrero, Miguel Sandoval, Jacob Vargas, Bobby Slayton, Linda Hart
IMDB raintg: 7.0
My rating: 6.5 ******½

Continue reading “Get Shorty”

Ladder 49

Ladder 49 (2004)How is that possible? I watched a movie less than a year ago and all I can remember is that I watched it. And I haven’t blogged about it. And it is about the only movie about firefighters that I’ve seen in my life. And both Joaquin Phoenix and John Travolta are in it, so it must have been pretty hard to forget. I guess my memory plays tricks on me. Fixing the holes, I rewatched “Ladder 49

Directed by: Jay Russell
Genres: Action, Drama, Thriller
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, John Travolta, Jacinda Barrett, Robert Patrick, Morris Chestnut, Billy Burke, Balthazar Getty, Tim Guinee, Kevin Chapman, Jay Hernandez, Kevin Daniels, Steve Maye, Robert Lewis, Brooke Hamlin, Spencer Berglund
IMDB raintg: 6.6
My rating: 6.5 ******½

Continue reading “Ladder 49”

Be Cool

Be Cool” is ought to be one of the less promoted celebrity full movies of all times. I haven’t heard anything about this film until today – no posters, no trailers, no rumors – nothing.

Directed by: F. Gary Gray
Genres: Comedy, Crime, Music
Cast: John Travolta, Uma Thurman, Vince Vaughn, Cedric the Entertainer, André 3000, Steven Tyler, Robert Pastorelli, Christina Milian, Paul Adelstein, Debi Mazar, Gregory Alan Williams, Harvey Keitel, The Rock, Danny DeVito, James Woods
IMDB raintg: 5.5
My rating: 7.5 *******½

John Travolta is dancing with Uma Thurman in the movie with Harvey Keitel and it’s not “Pulp Fiction”? Yes. Danny DeVito is in and the film is both a comedy and a crime movie? Yes. The Rock is playing a gay guy and he’s got more screen time than Aerosmith voice Steven Tyler who is also in the movie? Yes. Vince Vaughn is in too and he’s trying to make out for more than himself. See, he thinks that he’s black and he sounds like Samuel Jackson half the time and like Snoop Dog the other half. And I haven’t even named half of the people yet.

The story is rather cliche, but it’s done well. In a nutshell – lots of criminals and show businessmen are trying to get over each other over money and power. But it has lots of charm and humor to it. Cedric the Entertainer plays a leader of a crime gang. But he lives in a good neighborhood himself and has Harward education behind his back. The monologou on racism was outstanding! Oh, and his gang is great too. Especially his first assistant.

There are lots and lots of things happening on the background. They are those nice touches that make up a movie. A Russian mafia guy with two black eyes and a rig, floored armchairs in Uma’s house, her wearing a “Widow” t-shirt after her husband was killed in the first two minutes of the movie – these and lots more is what made the film so good.

Character development and dialogues were outstanding.

Additionally, it was perfect technically. Camera work was great. Soundtrack – excellent. Costume and decor designs – fantastic. Especially costumes. Some of them were changing like for every scene of the movie (Uma’s), and other’s stayed the same during all the time (Travolta’s).

Now, all of that was perfect. The only thing that is offsetting this film is the story. An original plot would have made this one into a perfect movie. As it is, it’ll stay on my “Very good” shelf.


Just watched “Basic” on DVD. This movie anything, but basic. I think that I’ll have to watch it like another five times to get all facts together and understand the thing completely. Or maybe just once will do with some sleep hours beforehand.

Remember me recently complaining about more than half of the films that I watch having a simple story? Well, this film is surely an exception from that. Storyline changes several times during the course of the film. And just when I started to think that it’s getting pretty close to the end and that there were plenty of story changes already, and that this is the final one – ***BOOM*** – and it changed again. And repeat. 3 times. All of these changes are further confused by a pretty fast pace of the movie and a short duration (just one and a half hours for all of them).

There were many familiar actors here, but nothing particularly remarkable about the acting. John Travolta, Samuel L. Jackson, Connie Nielsen and others all did a good job, but I don’t see any awards rushing this direction.

Overall a good film with a good bit of entertainment. It could use some action and light over the jungle scenes, but these are pretty standard complains about any “U.S. Marine” movie.

4 out of 5.