Tag Archives: Danny DeVito

Big Fish Review

Why must Englishmen be told they can do a convincing American accent? It leads only to disaster. Ewan McGregor finds this out with his leading role in Big Fish, the oddball family drama from Tim Burton. His hick-like accent is an odd approach to the role of Edward Bloom, a man whose passions are huge. Bloom has the material of a larger-than-life man, so larger-than-life performers are necessary to bring him to life. Albert Finney and McGregor are the men responsible for this, and under the direction of Burton, are capable of drawing on their own desires to live a free and famed lifestyle. That is the goal of many, is it not? Big Fish understands that, somewhat anyway.  

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Mars Attacks! Review

When, not if, the aliens invade, what is our course of action? How do we respond? It is fight or flight. For Tim Burton, it is neither. His reaction and response to the casual invasion of Planet Earth by the little green men from beyond the stars is to continue as best he can, business as normal. Who can blame him? Mars Attacks! is his offering of such a period, as much a mockery of 1950s sci-fi as it is of itself. But Burton casts his net too wide, and as he tries to satirise and jab anything and everything the world around him has to offer, he loses not just his charm as a director, but his ability to string a story together too.  

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The Rainmaker Review

Taking the right course of action, the road that leads to moral and personal justification is the road most travelled in Hollywood. Time and time again, producers offer the story of someone that perseveres through all the odds to see that justice is served. More often than not, we as an audience merely hope such goodness happens in reality when we also know that it is far from the truth. The Rainmaker, then, is one such film. It is filled with bad people, but those few good eggs that shine through like diamonds in the rough are trying to make the world a better place.  

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Romancing the Stone Review

If the Robert Zemeckis of the 1980s could see what he would morph into only four decades later, he would naturally seek out to destroy this terrifying beast that dared to stand where a good man once lingered. Romancing the Stone isn’t much of quality, the ego-trip of producer and leading man Michael Douglas as obvious as the day is long, but having such a man at the centre of it all, colliding into Zemeckis, was a good enough draw. With Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito added to the mix, there was a chance – a slim, slim chance – that Romancing the Stone could be of value. 

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One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest Review

From the calm acoustics and mellow pondlife that open One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, one could be forgiven for thinking such tranquil life would last forever. The procedural and sanitized white walls broken by the arrival of a woman clad in black attire, the contrast is immediate and pristine. Director Miloš Forman presents an immediate yin and yang, two tones that would battle with one another throughout this adaptation of the Ken Kesey novel. Sedated oddities line the halls of Forman’s work, and the catalyst of entertaining and free behaviour they find themselves adorned with are all thanks to one Randle Patrick McMurphy, here portrayed by Jack Nicholson.  

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Hercules Review

To refuse the charms and cohesion of Hercules is to invite hate and harm into your life. A bold man would write Hercules off as charming fun that doesn’t hit the highs they’d hoped for, but a truly brave man would go for the jugular, denounce it as whimsical mediocrity and have no more to do with it. The latter may be dangerous, but it’s truthful also. For while this loose adaptation of Greek mythology plays well for the nostalgia shot people often look for in Disney flicks, it doesn’t match well with contemporary eyes. That same animation style of the glory days is there, the allure of big names on the cast appears also, but Hercules is missing one key ingredient. Heart. 

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Terms of Endearment Review

It’s such a shame that, with the strengths of this cast, nothing of interest comes out of Terms of Endearment. A drama film that compiles the various struggles of a mother and daughter team over the course of many years, this piece from director James L. Brooks is an Oscar darling, Best Picture winner and lauded film. At times, it’s easy to understand why that is the case, especially given the immense talent on display throughout. But for me, this talent isn’t consistent enough to make for an interesting or ultimately worthwhile piece of film. Not because it’s bad or uninteresting, but because the drama it showcases doesn’t feel all that worthwhile.

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Man on the Moon (1999) Review

Years ago, the release of Jim and Andy: The Great Beyond on Netflix inspired a whole new era of interest in both the work of late comedian Andy Kaufman and the biopic of his life, Man on the Moon. Carrey’s blending of reality and fiction with his method acting approach, coupled with the already engaging life of Kaufman, was a recipe for success. The final year of the 20th century saw such success in the form of Miloš Forman’s Man on the Moon, a biopic that documents the rise, fall and return of performance artist Andy Kaufman.

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