Stealth

For reasons I cannot fathom right now, I decided to watch this film again after having seen it years ago, and well remembering that it was a crappy film. It is still a crappy film.

The story is about three ace pilots who fly a new extremely high-tech fighter. They are all quite annoying, mostly because of the buddy-banter, as well as their extremely white teeth. They are not too pleased when a new even more high-tech fighter joins their little squadron, a plane flown by an AI robot thing. It goes berzerb when hit by lightning and causes all kinds of grief, but by the end of the film comes to it’s senses and tries to make up for killing one of the pilots, and of course sacrifices itself to save the two remaining pilots.

A lot of the story is so improbable that it is just plain funny. My favourite was the high-altitude unmanned blimp which carries tonnes of jet fuel for mid-air refuelling… basic physics be damned. I found a blimp payload calculator online that told me in order to lift 1000 kg of payload you would need 1,000,000 litres of helium, which is a lot. The blimp in the film seemed to be carrying much more than that though. But this film was probably written by teenagers and for teenagers, so science and making sense is a low priority.

What was very annoying though was the camera work. In some flying action sequences the camera seemed to be set on a low shutter speed and the cameraman was just wildly swinging the camera around. On top of that more blur was added in with CGI so that not only could I not figure out what the heck was going on, but I also felt rather queasy and unsure of my spatial existence.

This was a huge bomb back in 2005, making a loss of US$111 million, and also making it one of the worst in history in fact. Despite it’s bombiness though everyone involved in this seems to have continued on as normal in their careers, including the director, Rob Cohen. Perhaps it was the huge successes of his previous films The Fast and the Furious (made US$207 million from it’s US$38 million budget) and xXx that saved him, and his next film after Stealth made a huge bucket in profits too (The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor).

To erase the memory of this film from my consciousness I must watch something to cancel out it’s negative effects, so the first film that comes to mind is Top Gun… Tom’s pearly whites in that film actually make sense.

I did enjoy writing this entry though, so that is something.

Date watched: September 22nd
Score: 2/10
Film count 2019: 28

Edge Of Tomorrow

Looking through Amazon Prime last night I came across this. The title of this film in Japan is “All You Need Is Kill”, which is the name of the Japanese story this was based on, so I thought I had not seen it until a few minutes in. But, I felt like a silly science fiction/action film, and it has The Cruiser, so I was more than happy to watch it again.

I last saw this in 2015, and I had forgotten quite a lot of it, so that was good. Here is some of what I said about it last time:

Tom Cruise is usually a good bet these days, his films are entertaining, don’t require any brain power, and have plenty of action. This one also had a few funny bits which Tom carried out well. The story, which is based on a Japanese novel is pretty good although it is just a futuristic action version of Groundhog Day. The CG was fabs, especially the aliens. Bill Paxton was in this, he has been annoying in some films in the past, but I thought he was good in this and he did some good comedy bits.

I totally agree with myself on all counts. Jolly good fun.

Date watched: September 16th
Score: 9/10
Tommo score: 9/10
Film count 2018: 58

American Made

I will pretty much watch anything with the Cruiser, the guy knows how to make himself look good on film, and the stories he tells are good with a large Coke and plenty of potato chips.

This is very loosely based on the true story of Barry Seal, a pilot who got himself involved in smuggling all kinds of stuff for Central and South American drug lords and dictators.

What the film spends most of the time on is convincing us that being a crafty pilot smuggler is damn cool because you can buy anything you want, people will love you, and the law cannot touch you. And to top it off the CIA is helping you do all of this, so it’s all good, no need to feel guilty about any of it. Not only that, but the government right up to Olly North, and even Ronno Reagan himself, were ordering the CIA what to do in their campaign to rid South America of dirty commies. They didn’t come off looking so good.

In the story, as in real life, Barry was assassinated, while the CIA, Olly, and Ronno all got off scot-free, and went on to dream up the Iran-Contra affair (which didn’t work either).

So, what I have read about the real goings-on, and what this film portrayed, showed that Tom made Barry look too good (Barry was a large fellow too). He was not some outlaw hero who stuck it to the man, he was just a greedy criminal with a licence to ill, although he was quite brave to do some of the things he did.

The real Barry was at one point one of the richest men in America with over $60 million big ones, although Tom himself is worth $550 million in today’s money (which back in the eighties was over $200 million). Tommo is 15th on the list of rich celebs, with Stevo Spielberg at number one, worth $3.7 billion.

As a film it was pure entertainment. It was well made with some good action sequences here and there, some funny bits, and of course the Cruiser being his usual charming self. There were a few ficticious scenes added in for extra laughs or gasps, such as Bazza landing a plane on a suburban street, getting out of the plane covered in cocaine, then handing a kid huge amounts of cash to a kid for the damage caused to his house, then another bundle of cash for his bike, which he then speeds away on.

We did not at any point in the film get to see Tom running…disappointing, but the bike scene was close enough.

Another purely entertaining Tom Cruise film, not quite up there with Mission Impossible, but still well worth a watch.

And here is Tom running…

Date watched: August 2nd
Score: 7.5/10
Film count 2018: 50

Jack Reacher: Never Go Back

In my recent book review I said that “Antarktos Rising” is something The Cruiser might be interested in making into a film, but after watching this I am not so sure now.

Tommo is looking just a bit too old for this kind of rough and tumble acting, he seemed slow and tired most of the time, much like the film’s plot. We didn’t get to see the famous “Tom sprint” at all…

cruiser-run

He was trying though, and we all know Tom does not give up.

The actual film though was tedious and underwhelming, it felt more like a made-for-TV flick than a 96 million dollar blockbuster. They just pulled out the book of Hollywood action cliches, watched a few Clint Eastwood films, then started filming. There was a lot of talk and excessive mobile phone use, with little action, most of which was fisticuffs and shootin’. There were no decent car chases, motorcycle stunts, holding onto aircraft as they take off, or vehicles being exploded then flipping right over people. There were some rocket launchers, but they were not used and were just stuffed with drugs…disappointing.

So I think it is time for Tom to start making family films, or perhaps experiment with independent films…ha!

He is working on the new Mission Impossible now, and perhaps that will be a return to form, but I suspect not. Surely it will be his last action film, and he will get to work on the “Kindergarten Cop” remake.

Date watched: February 12th
Score: 5.5/10
Film count 2018: 14

The Color Of Money

I watched The Hustler back in 2015, which was a most excellent film. So, I had to watch this.

What I completely forgot was that Martin Scorcese directed this, so when I saw his name in the opening credits my expectations rose. And it was a classic Marty film with it’s sweeping, snappy, and busy shots. It never really felt like a Marty film though.

Paul Newman was great as usual, he carried most of the film, and deservedly won an Academy Award for best actor. The Cruiser was his usual self, and he had made Top Gun in the same year, so he was on a buzz. His performance was actually quite good, although he was basically playing the nine ball player version of his role in Top Gun. He did a lot of the pool shots himself, just leaving the tricky shots to a pool stuntman. Did you know that before deciding to become a famous actor he had aspirations to be a Catholic priest? Yep.

Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio played Tom’s girlfriend, and she was equally fabulous, she held her own well against Paul and Tommo. She hasn’t acted in a film since 2004 which is a shame, although she continues to work in television and on stage.

So this was good stuff to watch. The cast was great, and the story engaging but not overly thrilling. Marty did his thing well, but this can’t be included in a top ten of the best films made by him.

Date watched: February 2nd
Score: 8/10
Film count 2017: 25

color-of-money

Jerry Maguire

This is a film I have been wanting to see for some time, no particular reason why.

It turned out to be a little better than expected, although Thomas did do his overacting bits occasionally, usually when he was excited and yelling “YEAH!”, and waving his arms around a lot. He also did his trademark grin/smile a lot, he seems to think this will get him an Academy Award or something. But at times he was really quite decent and not annoying at all.

The story too was pretty good and kind of original, and there was a good cast including Renée Zellweger and Cuba Gooding Jr., and Jonathan Lipnicki as the cute kid. It did get a bit too soppy at times, uncomfortably so, but at other times it was quite funny.

Worth a watch just not only to see Thomas do his thing, but also for the rest of it if you can block out the soppiness.

Date watched: March 25th
Score: 7.5/10
Film count 2015: 41

Here is Jerry Maguire playing Thomas…

Edge of Tomorrow

James and I watched this last night and enjoyed it.

Tom Cruise is usually a good bet these days, his films are entertaining, don’t require any brain power, and have plenty of action. This one also had a few funny bits which Tom carried out well.

The story, which is based on a Japanese novel is pretty good although it is just a futuristic action version of Groundhog Day.

The CG was fabs, especially the aliens. Bill Paxton was in this, he has been annoying in some films in the past, but I thought he was good in this and he did some good comedy bits.

So it was good to watch something entertaining after the disappointment of Need for Speed.

Date watched: February 14th
Score: 9/10
Film count 2015: 22