Jack's Reviews

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cricket's Avatar
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I really enjoyed the whole Dark Knight trilogy. I'm not sure if I liked that one or the first one better, but I thought that one was probably the most entertaining.

I was curious as to whether or not you ever saw the TV remake with Jack Lemmon and George C. Scott? It's quite good and stands up quite proudly to the original.
Remake of The Sting, is that? I haven't if so, but it sounds interesting.

It's a pretty good remake. Not a huge improvement over the original or anything, but it captures the same feel, and the cast is outstanding.

The Taking of Pelham 123 (2009)

Director: Tony Scott
Cast overview: Denzel Washington, John Travolta
Running time: 106 minutes

I'm not a fan of remakes, least of all ones that show a blatant disregard for the original film, and even end up morphing it into a thing of nightmares. This is one such incidence. I didn't have particularly high hopes, but the reviews I read sounded somewhat promising. Unfortunately, it's pretty dismal.

The acting is terrible - Travolta is scarcely an Olivier at the best of times, but here he's generally uncharismatic, stilted, and plays the stereotypical B-movie villain. There's no depth to his character. Washington gives a noticeably better performance, but he's nonetheless a few notches below his best. At least his character was expanded on a tad. There's a solid supporting cast, but the likes of Turturro and Gandolfini struggle to raise this above the standard of a B-movie.

What annoyed me from the very start was the style of cinematography. Constant flashes, shot changes, and cheap and crass sound effects and rap music all combine to create a real unappetising mess. It's typical of Hollywood film-making - going for action and loud noises over subtlety and a well-written script. I suppose that was inevitable with Tony Scott at the helm. The soundtrack? You guessed it: garbage. The camera work was dizzying, off-putting, badly done.

The film doesn't even manage to be entertaining, with on-screen time countdowns seemingly needed to create any tension. The characters are paper-thin, by and large, and the script is dreadful - I'm not a prude by any stretch, but there must be a "****er" and "mother****er" in every line.

Not a patch on the original. Gone is the calm menace of Robert Shaw and the subtle humour of Walter Matthau. In their places are two actors who do very little worthwhile acting, and a script that sadly lets them down badly. Really not recommended. One of the worst, least enjoyable films I've seen in a while.

Ryder: I talked to God.
Walter Garber: That's good, what did he say?
Ryder: He said I should trust in Him, all others pay cash. How soon can you get it down here?

Ryder: Do you know what I'm looking at? Do you know what I'm looking at?
Walter Garber: No, I do not.
Ryder: Ok, well first there's my gun... and at the end of my gun, what's your name man?
George: George, everyone calls me Geo.
Ryder: George, his friends call him Geo. He's got this kinda eighties skateboard thing going on... he makes it work, but it's not gonna look to good in his casket.

Ryder: [last lines, to Garber] You're my ******* hero.

The Roosevelt Tunnel built under the Waldorf Astoria to which Ryder uses as part of his escape from the subway is actually based on the secret track 61 which is built under the Waldorf Astoria and was commissioned to help President Franklin Roosevelt keep his use of a wheelchair secret.

Garber talks about choosing between purchasing trains from a Japanese company and a Canadian company. Although not mentioned by name, this refers to Kawasaki Heavy Industries and Bombardier Transportation, who have both manufactured subway trains for New York.

The R-142 and R-142A subway cars portrayed in this film are permanently linked into 5-car sets and cannot operate as single units. R-62A 2079, a single car capable of operating alone, was cosmetically modified to resemble a modern car for this film and restored to its original appearance after filming was completed.


Rough review. I find most Scott thrillers to be very watchable and entertaining. Pelham was no exception to this for me. Might not hurt that I have never seen the original.

Rough review. I find most Scott thrillers to be very watchable and entertaining. Pelham was no exception to this for me. Might not hurt that I have never seen the original.
You might be right there. I found his last film, Unstoppable, to be reasonably entertaining. Unfortunately, it was inevitable that I was going to be measuring this up to the original - even subconsciously.

Bright light. Bright light. Uh oh.
Your ratings continue to baffle. There just seems to be no rhyme or reason or standard you stick with - except that you really don't like some films for very odd reasons. Even if you don't like them, your ratings don't seem to use the system properly. But hey, they're your ratings and it's your thread. Sorry. I'll stay out from now on.

cricket's Avatar
Registered User
I'm a big Tony Scott Fan; a lot of his movies I really like, and there's a couple I really love. I thought Pelham was one of his weaker efforts, although I thought it was entertaining enough. I do think that in some of his films he went way overboard on style.

Your ratings continue to baffle. There just seems to be no rhyme or reason or standard you stick with - except that you really don't like some films for very odd reasons. Even if you don't like them, your ratings don't seem to use the system properly. But hey, they're your ratings and it's your thread. Sorry. I'll stay out from now on.
Baffle in what sense? If I don't like a film, what rating am I supposed to give it?

Duel (1971)

Director: Steven Spielberg
Cast overview: Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott
Running time: 90 minutes

Duel is one of Spielberg's earliest works, and its premise couldn't be simpler. Starring Dennis Weaver as David Mann - an, ironically, Everyman on his way to a business meeting. Driving along the desert roads of rural California, he overtakes a huge tanker - his grave mistake. The mysterious truck driver, never really seen, begins to stalk him along the aforementioned roads, seemingly intent on causing death. Indeed, the truck itself is a character.

The fact that we never see the truck driver gives rise to the tension that can be seen in other films - the shark in Jaws, for example, in that we know it's there, but it's not often seen. The same idea works here, and Spielberg is a master at creating suspense with minimal props. It's a truck, a car and its driver, and miles and miles of desert road - but it works tremendously. There's a terrific scene where Mann stops at a roadside diner and attempts to evaluate his situation, and it's here that we see his confusion and frustration boil over into violence as he attacks one of the diner's patrons.

Much of the credit must go to Richard Matheson, the man who came up with this simple-yet-effective story, and the man whom Stephen King claims was his biggest influence. He takes an ordinary, everyday object and manages to create a storyline that is both realistic and suspenseful, all filmed by Spielberg in a 90-minute film. It's one of the few TV movies I've seen that is actually well-made - they don't have to be crap, but too often they are.

There's very little character development, very few locations, not much dialogue or exposition, yet it leaves you fearful, exhilarated, asking questions, and it's why it's one of my all-time favourite films. For me, one of Spielberg's best - his talents, although nascent and not fully formed, can clearly be seen here. Simple, yet superb.

David Mann: Don't... don't... don't sit on the hood. That hood will dent. I told the kids not to get on the hood! Just see if you can bounce it loose, and I'll... ah... just bounce it loose.

David Mann: Come on you miserable fat-head, get that fat-ass truck outta my way!

David Mann: Fill it with Ethel.
Gas Station Attendant: As long as Ethel doesn't mind.

While filming the shot where the truck drives off the cliff, a piece of machinery designed to keep the truck traveling in a straight line without a driver failed. Instead of calling a halt, the driver, who had an important engagement the next day and didn't want to miss it, stayed in the driving seat and only jumped out at the very last second before the truck went over.

During the chase, a parked sedan resembling a squad car is seen, briefly raising Dennis Weaver's hopes, but it turns out to be a service car for a pest exterminator named Grebleips... "Spielberg" in reverse.

When Carey Loftin, playing the truck driver, asked Steven Spielberg what his motivation was for tormenting the car's driver, Spielberg told him, "You're a dirty, rotten, no-good son of a bitch." Loftin replied, "Kid, you hired the right man."


I didn't vote for it but I'm kind of surprised it didn't make the 70's list. That's a real good movie.
So am I. I had it in my top-five, I think. Sadly wasn't enough to propel it into the list.

I really like Duel. BTW, if you watched the end of Jaws, when the shark is sinking to the bottom of the ocean, you can hear the truck from Duel as it goes over. The death of the shark is the same as the truck.
5-time MoFo Award winner.

I really like Duel. BTW, if you watched the end of Jaws, when the shark is sinking to the bottom of the ocean, you can hear the truck from Duel as it goes over. The death of the shark is the same as the truck.
Wow, never knew that, even though I've seen both films many times. Will have to listen out for it next time I see it.

Pulp Fiction (1994)

Director: Quentin Tarantino
Cast overview: John Travolta, Uma Thurman
Running time: 154 minutes

This is the second Tarantino film I've seen - the other being Django Unchained - and I thought both were pretty good. That said, I do think this is overrated. I certainly wouldn't have it in the top few films ever - though I guess I can understand why some consider it to be so. It's influenced pop culture and has created several tropes that have become embedded in the public psyche. It's the quintessential nineties film, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's the best. Not for me, anyway. I don't think it's a patch on Fargo, which really did have fantastic writing.

But there's not much to this. It's a non-linear type of film which involves separate scenes and characters - there's no central plot - that come together. The acting is good - particularly from Samuel L. Jackson, who seems to appear in most Tarantino films. The music was excellent, that's certainly worthy of the film's status. But the rest of it didn't do much for me - it was a reasonable enough watch but it's been overhyped so much that I was expecting a cinema classic. Hype is a terrible thing because it gives you unrealistic expectations - without those, I would've perhaps enjoyed this more.

Some people say the fact that there's no message or meaning to the story is part of its allure, part of the reason why it's considered a masterpiece. Fair enough. It's reasonably well-directed, well-made, and clearly was the film Tarantino always wanted to make, but those ingredients alone don't make a masterpiece.

In short, it's a film I enjoyed to an extent, certainly entertaining at times, but I think it's very overrated for what it is. I don't know, maybe I just don't "understand" Tarantino. No doubt that's the argument his fans would put forward to anyone who dares to criticise this. It's not criticism, simply a lack of the furore with which others seem to regard it. Decent, but nothing more - but that's just me.

Brett: He... he's black...
Jules: Go on...
Brett: He's bald
Jules: Does he look like a bitch?
Brett: What?
Jules: [Shoots Brett in the shoulder] DOES HE LOOK LIKE A BITCH?
Brett: No!
Jules: Then why you try to **** him like a bitch?
Brett: I didn't...
Jules: Yes you did. Yes you did! You tried to **** him. And Marcellus Wallace don't like to be ****ed by anybody except Mrs. Wallace.

Jimmie: I can't believe this is the same car.
The Wolf: Well, let's not start sucking each other's dicks quite yet.

Jules: You, flock of seagulls, you know why we're here? Why don't you tell my man Vincent where you got the **** hid at?
Marvin: It's over th...
Jules: I don't remember askin' you a ******* thing! You were saying?
Roger: It's in the cupboard.
[Vincent starts looking in the upper cupboard]
Roger: No, no, the one by your kn-knees.
Jules: We happy?
[Vincent continues staring at the briefcase's contents]
Jules: Vincent! We happy?
Vincent: Yeah, we happy.
Brett: I'm sorry, I didn't get your name. I got yours, Vincent, right? But I didn't get yours...
Jules: My name's Pitt. And your ass ain't talkin' your way out of this ****.
Brett: No, no, I just want you to know... I just want you to know how sorry we are that things got so ****ed up with us and Mr. Wallace. We got into this thing with the best intentions and I never...
Jules: [Jules shoots the man on the couch] I'm sorry, did I break your concentration? I didn't mean to do that. Please, continue, you were saying something about best intentions. What's the matter? Oh, you were finished! Well, allow me to retort. What does Marsellus Wallace look like?
Brett: What?
Jules: What country are you from?
Brett: What? What? Wh - ?
Jules: "What" ain't no country I've ever heard of. They speak English in What?
Brett: What?
Jules: English, mother****er, do you speak it?
Brett: Yes! Yes!
Jules: Then you know what I'm sayin'!
Brett: Yes!
Jules: Describe what Marsellus Wallace looks like!
Brett: What?
Jules: Say 'what' again. Say 'what' again, I dare you, I double dare you mother****er, say what one more ******* time!

The shot of Vincent plunging the syringe into Mia's chest was filmed by having John Travolta pull the needle out, then running the film backwards.

In real life, Vincent Vega's 1964 Chevelle Malibu convertible belongs to Quentin Tarantino and was stolen during the production of the film. In 2013, a police officer saw two kids stripping an older car. He arrested them and when researching the vehicle found the VIN number had been altered. It turns out that it was the car stolen from 'Quentin Tarantino'. The owner had recently purchased it and had no idea it was stolen.

Whenever Vincent Vega (John Travolta) goes to the toilet something bad happens.