Monday, January 27, 2014

Best Defense Review



Wylie Cooper (Dudley Moore) believes that a new super-tank he designed is a real lemon on treads. T.M. Landry (Eddie Murphy) is the Army grunt who puts Cooper's tank to the acid test during combat in Kuwait two years later. Via some choice flashbacks, Cooper works furiously to correct the design flaws before the tank is rushed into production. Question is, will he work out the kinks before Murphy gets behind the wheel?

First off, let me start by saying that I liked the idea behind the plot of this film and felt that it was a good base for a story. That said the story of this film was very poorly executed and the constant going back and forth between the two points in time of the story felt very clunky. Had they focused on one point of view , and then showed the other towards the end of the film it would have been more enjoyable.

The parts of the story that focused on Dudley Moore's character were entertaining, but it felt like there was so much going on with it that it got to the point of me not caring enough to keep up with it. Not only did you have him working as an engineer, you then had him getting mixed up with a KGB agent and then the U.S. Government and finally he turns around in the end and takes his job seriously. In the end this portion of the movie is just a jumbled mess that feels like it has 2 different film plots combined into this one film.

Eddie Murphy's side of the story, as brief as it is , was some of the most entertaining bits of the film. I think it says a lot when the most entertaining parts of your movie are the flash forwards that only make up maybe 25 minutes of the film. This portion of the film made me wonder why this wasn't its own movie, especially considering Murphy's popularity in the 80's and how many military comedies were being made at the time.

The acting in the film was actually pretty entertaining. Moore was his usual charming self and while his jokes were hit or miss, he did provide a few good laughs. Kate Capshaw turned in a great performance as Mrs. Cooper and had good chemistry with Dudley. Helen Shaver on the other hand didn't have much of a spark with Moore, but put on a good performance nonetheless.

There were a few things I did like about this film, despite it being the mess that it was. Dudley Moore's performance was good, but towards the end when his character was determined to solve this issue with the DIP device, that was when I really enjoyed his acting. Had the whole film had him being a little more serious with a more deadpan delivery it would have been much more entertaining.

Another thing that I really liked was the character interaction. It really felt like how people interact in the real world work environment. The conversations that Wylie and Steve Loparino (George Dzundza) had, felt genuine and were hilarious at points.

Even though there were things that I enjoyed about the movie, there are two sides to that coin and there were things that I didn't like. First this movie was a mess with its plot layout. Going between two points in time over the course of the film was annoying to me and really interrupted the story as it was getting good. It should have focused on Moore's character, then showed the results with Murphy. Also I really found the scenes with the KGB agent to be pointless and it really didn't add anything to the film. Had this been taken out it would have left more room to improve in other areas.

Overall this is an average film, but it does have a few laughs. Even being an average film, some people might find the movie entertaining for what it is. Personally though I can't recommend this film, it just wasn't that good in my opinion. If you want a military comedy about building a super-tank, check out "The Pentagon Wars", it was more entertaining and funnier in my opinion.

Verdict: Decent enough film, but nothing much to brag about.

Trailer:


Saturday, January 18, 2014

The Prophecy


Christopher Walken, Elias Koteas and Virginia Madsen star in The Prophecy, which tells the story of Thomas Dagget (Kotaes) and how he gets caught in the center of the second war of heaven while trying to solve a murder case with connections to darker side of religion. As Dagget is looking into this case, the soul of the most evil man on the planet is implanted into a little girl named Mary. The race is on between Dagget who wants to save the girl and destroy the evil soul, and Archangel Gabriel (Walken) who wants to take the soul and destroy Mary in the process.


The films story was really outstanding and interesting even without really knowing that much about religion. It has all the elements of good storytelling with drama, action, good versus evil and most of all it makes you think about the events of the film. It may have a slow start, but it more than makes up for it with the second and third acts which both deliver entertaining and memorable moments.


The acting here is top notch from the entire cast, but the two that really made this movie for me were Koteas and Walken. Koteas was able to convey his characters struggles to the viewer and it got me more invested in the character than I normally would have been. I wanted to see his character succeed in his task of saving this girl and I might not have if the character didn't have such a great actor delivering the performance. Christopher Walken was great as Gabriel. Sure he was essentially being himself, but he doesn't really need to do much else and he is still entertaining with just that.  A notable mention goes to Viggo Mortensen who delivered one of the best performances of Lucifer/ the devil that I have ever seen in a film.


One of the things that I really loved about this movie is that good and evil isn't really as clear as black and white. For instance Eric Stoltz's character Simon isn't shown to be good or bad at first, he does some things to make you believe the character could go either way. It made for a much more interesting group of characters because you have to wait and see what their motivations are, and if they are good or evil.


This was a very enjoyable film for me, and despite its slow pace at first it was very entertaining. It has a great cast of actors who really put forth an effort into their characters and making this film interesting. Take that and add to it an outstanding story and you have a great supernatural horror film with a little dark humor thrown in for good measure.

Verdict: Great film that even people that aren't fans of supernatural horror movies might be able to enjoy.


Trailer:









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