I was searching endlessly for a movie to watch today and I came across one that instantly peaked my interest. Judd Nelson (The Breakfast Club) was one of the coolest bad asses in the 80’s and so I decided to watch him in From The Hip for today’s film. Robin Weathers (Nelson) is a trial lawyer in Boston who is sick and tired of taking those types of cases. He wants to be a full fledged defense attorney, but he can’t do so at his firm. That is until he starts to be a rebel rouser in the courtroom which brings him lots of attention and a big win. After that big win, he is given a huge promotion at the firm despite others not wanting him to so they set him up with a murder case they feel he is guaranteed to lose. The film also stars John Hurt (V For Vendetta) as Douglas Benoit, Elizabeth Perkins (Big) as Jo Ann, David Alan Grier (In The Army Now) as Steve Hadley, Darren McGavin (A Christmas Story) as Craig Duncan, Dan Monahan (Porky’s) as Larry, Nancy Marchand (The Sopranos) as Roberta Winnaker, Allan Arbus (Coffy) as Phil Ames, Ray Walston (Fast Times At Ridgemont High) as 1ST Judge, Edward Winter (Porky’s II: The Next Day) as Raymond Torkenson, and the film was directed by Bob Clark (Porky’s).
This film in my opinion is actually two different movies in one and obviously I’ll explain it to you. The film starts off as this outrageous comedy about a jokester using the system to get ahead by fooling his peers. Then the film turns into an serious crime drama for the second half of the film as he ponders whether what he is doing is right or wrong. I am and always have been a huge fan of Judd Nelson and he definitely does not disappoint in this film, but the real dynamic of this film goes to John Hurt. Hurt absolutely raises the bar for Judd Nelson in this film with his brilliant performance which brings out the brilliance in Judd Nelson. John Hurt’s performance in the film is actually exhilarating for a film that otherwise is trying to find it’s identity. The other thing that bothered me about this film is that it takes place in Boston, but was filmed in the city of Charlotte, North Carolina. So, I am assuming for the most part that the picture above is not the city of Boston. The only thing that was authentic to the city of Boston was the Boston Celtics memorabilia and the New England Patriots sweatshirt he wears. There are barely any outside scenes shot for this film other than on the roof of Nelson’s roof which is OK, but I love shots of the city of Boston. Don’t however hold that against the film because it is enjoyable to watch. I am going to give the film an B for a final grade.
Believe it or not, I was never a huge fan of science fiction films growing up as a kid and in fact I preferred horror movies over them. With all the talk of a new Alien film, I figured what better time than now to see all the films in the franchise and start with the film Alien. A space merchant vessel known as the Nostromo is heading back to Earth after a routine pick up of whatever the cargo is. The crew is nice and asleep in their pods during the long and strenuous travel when they are awoken by MOTHER which is the ships computer. They discover that there is a distress signal from somewhere in space and protocol says that they have to investigate. After investigating the call, one of the crew members is attacked by something and they bring aboard a master alien specie that is takes no prisoners. The crew has to figure out a way to get safely home and away from the alien before it’s too late. The film stars Tom Skerritt (Top Gun) as Dallas, Sigourney Weaver (1492: Conquest Of Paradise) as Ripley, Veronica Cartwright (The Witches Of Eastwick) as Lambert, Harry Dean Stanton (The Green Mile) as Brett, John Hurt (Hellboy) as Kane, Ian Holm (The Fifth Element) as Ash, Yaphet Kotto (The Running Man) as Parker, Bolaji Badejo as the Alien, and the film was directed by Ridley Scott (Blade Runner).
So, I am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised with how much I really liked the film. One thing I noticed about spaceships in space carrying humans and that is all of them are run by a computer that malfunctions. For example in 2001: A Space Odyssey, Hal 9000 runs the ship and basically kills everyone while MOTHER runs the ship in Alien and she’s not very helpful. Humans will never learn throughout time that we should never trust a computer. Nevertheless, the computer in this film is obviously the least of their troubles as they are being chased around and killed by an amazing H.R. Giger designed Alien. Now that is a pretty scary scenario if you ask me, but the beauty of the film wasn’t how much you saw the alien, it was where the hell was he. The film gave you that Jaws effect where you are wondering where on this creepy ship is that scary alien. When it’s time to go, they give you the alien on the ship. The film contained a small cast, but this cast is as brilliant as it gets with the likes of John Hurt, Harry Dean Stanton, etc. As I said above, I was never a huge fan of Sci-Fi films so I avoided watching these, but I am glad that I started because it has a brilliant story and sets. The cinematography and the editing of the film is also a strong point for the film. That is why I am going to give the film an A for a final grade.