ROCK STAR (2001)

Directed By: Stephen Herek 
Written By: John Stockwell
Cinematography: Ueli Steiger 
Editor: Trudy Sharp 

Cast: Mark Wahlberg, Jennifer Aniston, Dominic West, Timothy Spall, Dagmara Domincyzk, Jason Flemyng, Timothy Olyphant, Matthew Glave, Michael Shamus Wiles, Beth Grant, Stephen Jenkins, Jason Bonham, Jeff Pilson, Zakk Wylde, Colleen Ann Fitzpatrick, Amy Miller, Rachel Hunter, Heidi Mark, Carrie Stevens, Carey Lassard, Kristin Willits 

The lead singer of a tribute band becomes the lead singer of the real band he idolizes.


This is a film built off of wish fulfillment and watching the life and fantasy most members of the audience dream of, sort of like those entertainment shows that show you the houses and yachts of celebrities to impress you even though you might never actually get a chance to actually see or experience it and better yet this is based on a true story.

So while the film is showing someone else living it up. It feels within arms reach for the audience. Like voluntary torture with a story. A real-life fairy tale with a moral to it.

It’s the old talented being careful what you wish for because you get what you want but you might not be prepared for what it entails and what you have to do to maintain it

An all-American dream movie that shows the dark side and in the end is a happy ending that lets the hero stand on his own Terms. Yet ends up feeling cheesy

Mark Wahlberg is strong. Here as the devoted fan and Everyman who won’t bend in his fandom and cover their songs but when he gets the chance to be part of them finds he has to constantly make compromises

He sees the dark side of stardom and the same type of doctoral behavior he had with his cover band he notices it’s the same way in the actual band

There are many scenes showing the access of rock-star life the lifestyle and legendary parties but also the toll they can take and how they can change you and practically make you a slave or zombie to it. Change who you are and who you are to people how flexible your morals can become

Jennifer Aniston is sexy but  the outfits they give her are made to be flattering but they also, unfortunately, show the limitations of her body and for some odd reasons  make her appear older than Her co-star

This is one of the folks that showed his appeal and has a prepared audience for his more Everyman appeal yet who they would want to Be. Watch him have good times and imagine themselves there.

This seems like a film that would have more of an impact when it is set more in the 1980s or even 90s to show how bloated that period of time was. Watching it now it seems to deliver more an obvious message as well as trying to be a kind of throwback that feels out of date and a satire with little to say about the time. Instead of just throwing in hooked jabs of Jokes

The casting of Mark Wahlberg seems ironic considering his past as an overnight music star as Marky Mark in his teens. So while his character here is in a different genre of music. You can’t help but think if he dealt with some of the same issues when he was a music star rapper.

Based on a true story it stays entertaining and funny at parts but seems to try so hard for something that is more of a minor tale. 

Though pretty much of ItMs time and more disposable back then. This film plays much better over time. Still ridiculous but more heartfelt. An earnestness of the modern era That is kind of missing in most modern films of these times. 

Grade: C+

TRANSPORTER 2 (2005)

Directed By: Louis Leterrier
Written By: Luc Besson & Robert Mark Kamen 
Cinematography: Mitchell Amundsen
Editor: Christine Lucas Navarro & Vincent Tabaillon

Cast: Jason Statham, Amber Valletta, Alessandro Grossman, Kate Nauta, Matthew Modine, Jason Flemyng, Keith David, Francois Baerleand, Annalynne McCord

Transporter Frank Martin surfaces in Miami, Florida, and is implicated in the kidnapping of the young son of a powerful USA official.


Luc Besson is a director who has always flirted with more action-oriented projects as well as his own artistic ones. At a certain point, he seemed to abandon directing films altogether and instead write and produce continuous action films. Leaving the directing to others. Where you wonder if his brand is all over these films and lets up-and-coming directors spearhead the projects. Yet still maintains control.

As he is mroe than capable of directing them himself, maybe even he knows that they are mroe commercial projects and he wants to be seen more as an actual artistic director. Whatever the reasons he has made a fortune from writing and producing these mid-level budget action films that seemed to be everywhere in the 1990s and especially early 2000’s he seems to have set the rules somewhat for modern action cinema that unfortunately isn’t made anticipating the future and revising as the years go by More they are trashy and ridiculous yet fun and seek to stick to a formula and offer diversity and international casts.

This film became a franchise. One has to wonder was that always the intended aim to make this into a series of films or did the original make it easy to set up further adventures for the character who helped make Jason Statham An action star. In fact, the plan for most of his action films and scripts is to try to create a franchise and the others don’t do as well.

As there was never a sequel to LA FEMME NIKITA, there was not only a remake but eventually a television series. Which after a few mroe sequels was the same fate of this franchise. Even though Jason Statham only came back to the role to complete the trilogy with the next film in the series. 

This was only the second action film I saw Jason Statham star in after the first film. As I had mainly seen him in films by director Guy Ritchie when he was still making criminal caper films Such as SNATCH and LOCK, STOCK & TWO SMOKING BARRELS though he also was in the similar remake of THE ITALIAN JOB also. 

This franchise is like the character is an underworld James Bond of old. As he is usually somehow double-crossed in his own line of work or is brought into a conspiracy because he cares. Even though he has a supposedly strict set of rules. Yet in each new film, they are mroe stand-alone involving few recurring characters. Though no old girlfriends or attachments. Allowing for romance or sex for him in each new film

When it comes to this film It’s ridiculous, Loud, flashy, and fun full of  jokes and impressive action scenes where Jason Statham barely gets a R.I.P. on his suit 

This film is even filtered to be glossy where almost everyone seems to have a shin sheen of sweat that brings out any bright colors to almost be blindingly obvious 

Kate Nauta makes an impression as the villain’s henchwoman lover who seems to be a masochist. She is memorable in the film. One wishes she had been in more films or found a way to bring her back or get a spin-off or action hero series of her own

The film is legitimized by having Matthew Modine in the cast of having an actor who usually doesn’t appear in these types of films. While offering former supermodel Amber valets a role as a maybe love interest and whose scenes are more dramatic 

The film ends up being something that is hard to take seriously. As everything is over the top with the hero being the only one to truly not only save the day but figure things out. But also everyone is disposable especially when it comes to living g or dying except the heroes and villains.

Not to mention the action sequences are a sight to behold as they all truly depend on the fight choreography mroe than anything as the fights include so many people and the only way one can hold off so many are desperate luck and knowing the moves the others will make.

There is So much damage done yet you never question it and just want to see where it goes and how it resolves itself.

Grade: B

SEED OF CHUCKY (2004)

seed-of-chucky

Written & Directed By: Don Mancini
Based On Characters Created By: Don Mancini
Cinematography By: Vernon Layton
Editor: Chris Dickens 


Cast: Jennifer Tilly, Redman, Hannah Spearritt, Brad Dourif, Jason Flemyng, Billy Boyd, John Waters 

Chucky and Tiffany are resurrected by their innocent son, Glen, and hit Hollywood, where a movie depicting the killer dolls’ murder spree is underway.

Continue reading “SEED OF CHUCKY (2004)”

HANNA (2011)

Hanna - Saoirse Ronan-1

 

Directed By: Joe Wright
Written By: Seth Lochhead & David Carr
Based on a Story by: Seth Lochhead
Cinematography By: Alwin H. Kuchler
Editor: Paul Tothill

Cast: Eric Bana, Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Olivia Williams, Tom Hollander, Jason Flemyng, Michelle Dockery, Jessica Barden, Vicky Krepis, Tom Hollander

Hanna  is a teenage girl. Uniquely, she has the strength, the stamina, and the skills of a soldier; these come from being raised by her father, an ex-CIA man, in the wilds of Finland. Living a life unlike any other teenager, her upbringing and training have been one and the same, all geared to making her the perfect assassin. The turning point in her adolescence is a sharp one; sent into the world by her father on a mission, Hanna journeys stealthily across Europe while eluding agents dispatched after her by a ruthless intelligence operative with secrets of her own. As she nears her ultimate target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and unexpected questions about her humanity. Continue reading “HANNA (2011)”