Rating: The Ugly – 63.9 Genre: Action Duration: 101 mins Director: John Badham Stars: Wesley Snipes, Gary Busey, Yancy Butler
John Badham’s Drop Zone shamelessly attempted to exploit the appetite for sky-diving action that Point Break revealed and not one of those sky-diving scenes came anywhere close to being as good as the handful of sky-diving scenes in Point Break – in fact those scenes which used the fake backdrop are simply laughable. That said this film is a lot of fun. Wesley Snipes plays the federal marshal trying to track down the elite sky-diving team of drug smugglers who killed his brother in a daring mid-air prisoner snatch. As usual Snipes does the funny and tough thing very well and he even has a little fun with the role by making his character a tad whiny. Gary Busey (yes, him from Point Break) does the bad guy thing better than most journeymen actors and he doesn’t disappoint here either. Don’t think too much about this one, just sit back and enjoy the ride.
Rating: The Good – 78.8 Genre: Action, Horror Duration: 120 mins Director: Stephen Norrington Stars: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson
Ultra cool vampire flick with Wesley Snipes in the form of his life as the eponymous day-walking vampire who suppresses his darker appetites in favouring of beating 10 bells out of every other vampire he comes across. Director Stephen Norrington gives the film a stylish but menacing look (check out those muscular scenes where Blade is driving through the city) and crafts action sequence after action sequence that will blow your socks off (so much so that the Matrix may have even borrowed an idea or two). Kris Kristofferson excels as Blade’s gnarly old right-hand man and mentor while Stephen Dorff revels in the role of the nasty Deacon Frost. Blade is as slick and original as it gets and it’s is easily one of the best comic-book adaptations and/or vampire films out there.
Rating: The Good – 70.7 Genre: Sporting Comedy Duration: 107 mins Director: David S. Ward Stars: Tom Berenger, Charlie Sheen, Corbin Bernsen, Rene Russo
David S. Ward’s sports comedy about a wealthy widow’s nefarious attempts to ensure her former husband’s baseball franchise, the Cleveland Indians, finishes the season in last place so she can up sticks and move to Miami is nothing more than 100% fun and entertainment from start to finish. Platoon buddies Tom Berenger and Charlie Sheen team up again as a broken down former all-star (Berenger) and a young punk with a great arm but bad eyesight (Sheen) who among others are brought in to ensure the team stinks. Regardless of how cynical they might be, there’s nobody out there who can resist the small charms of this comedy. The jokes aren’t side splitting but they’ll consistently bring a smile to your face and who doesn’t like a good old fashioned against-the-odds-movie. Corbin Bernsen and Wesley Snipes are also on hand to add to the good vibes this little beauty gives off.
Rating: The Good – 64.4 Genre: Thriller Duration: 129 mins Director: Philip Kaufman Stars: Sean Connery, Wesley Snipes, Harvey Keitel
Philip Kaufman takes on the task of adapting Michael Chrichton’s novel and creates a largely uneven but interesting story of murder and Japanese corporate intrigue. Sean Connery plays a seasoned cop specialising in Japanese relations who is asked to shepherd a younger detective (Wesley Snipes) as he investigates a murder that seems related to the Japanese corporate takeover of an American company. It’s a fascinating premise and Kaufman does a nice job in imbuing the proceedings with a sense of other-worldliness as we are introduced to the intrigue and ruthlessness of Japanese business culture (using some of the techniques he mastered in his version of Invasion of the Body Snatchers). The two leads work well together and Harvey Keitel pops up here and there to steal the show as a bigoted cop with a chip on his shoulder. Crichton’s story entertains and at times, it even captivates but unfortunately, there are too many broad strokes employed in its adaptation particularly when it comes to the plot construction. Ultimately, Rising Sun counts as an opportunity missed but as a thriller it does manage to offer something different to the norm.