Posts Tagged ‘Val Kilmer’

This week’s releases include: an overview of a complicated family; mankind’s first trip to Mars; a sci-fi depiction of a dog eat dog world; all five seasons of the exploration of the Lost City; a never-before-seen adaption; an indie drama about indie rockers; a tale about AI gone bad; and the story of a boy forced to make difficult decisions. (more…)

This week’s releases include: a sci-fi tour de force; a famous, tragic love story; a plunge into darkness; the true story of a kind-hearted drug dealer; the ultimate public, political betrayal; an entrancing mafia tale; a new Charlie Brown narrative; an amazing crime drama; an appalling future; an HBO series about the New Orleans; and a documentary that demonstrates one man’s trash is another’s treasure. (more…)

Heat was a revelation – it was the first time heavyweight actors Robert De Niro and Al Pacino took the screen together (they’ve since repeated the milestone event in Righteous Kill). Though they only shared the screen for one incredibly performed conversation, the cat and mouse drama still lived up to all expectations.

Neil McCauley (De Niro) is an expert thief with a cutthroat philosophy: don’t become attached to anything you can’t walk away from in 30 seconds if the cops get too close. His crew (Val Kilmer and Tom Sizemore) gains the attention of Detective Vince Hanna (Pacino) with a series of professional robberies that culminate in a shootout outside a federal bank. However, both men have met their match and are determined to win at the expense of their personal relationships.

In addition to the stellar performances put forward by Pacino and De Niro, Kilmer records one of the best portrayals of his career. In fact, there is not a single weak performer amongst the entire cast, which also includes Jon Voight, Ashley Judd and Natalie Portman.

At just under three hours, writer/director Michael Mann ensures there is never a dull moment whether through daylight shootouts, struggling relationships or life-changing decisions. While Heat is at heart a crime drama, it is captivatingly heavy in the drama department, taking full advantage of the calibre of actors involved. Characters are constantly facing difficult decisions, often forcing them to choose one love or another.

Blu-ray special features include: additional film content, commentary by Mann, 11 additional scenes and five documentaries: “True Crime,” which recalls the lives of the story’s inspirations; “Crime Stories,” which explores the film’s history and start; “Into the Fire,” a production featurette; “Pacino and De Niro: The Conversation”; and “Return to the Scene of the Crime,” revisiting the real-life Los Angeles filming locations years later.

Quentin Tarantino made his second splash on the scene after Reservoir Dogs with a writer’s credit rather than a director’s with this romantic black comedy.

Clarence Worley (Christian Slater) works at a comic book store, likes kung fu movies and has a special relationship with Elvis Presley’s ghost. He thought his life was pretty complete until he met Alabama (Patricia Arquette). She was an escort hired by Clarence’s boss but they fell in love and got married a few days later. After an unplanned shootout, Clarence finds himself in possession of $500,000 worth of cocaine, which the Sicilian gangsters it originally belonged to want back. His attempt to cash in on his fortune in Hollywood sinks Clarence and Alabama into a river of blood via a Mexican standoff.

Not only is this movie an edge-of-your-seat bloody thriller, it’s packed with a lot of impressive names – Dennis Hopper, Christopher Walken, Gary Oldman, Samuel L. Jackson, James Gandolfini, Michael Rapaport, Brad Pitt, Chris Penn, Bronson Pinchot, Saul Rubinek and Val Kilmer. There are several very intense scenes of violence but they are all laid over Tarantino’s signature dark humour; thus, characters laugh and tell jokes as they endure brutal beatings. The infamous “Sicilian scene” is one of these occurrences and it is one of the best scenes ever put on film.

Even though Tarantino didn’t direct True Romance, his style of story and violence radiates through the whole movie. It’s fast-paced with memorable monologues rather than just the usual one-liners. Fans of Tarantino’s will not be disappointed and haters will welcome the direction of Tony Scott. Scott didn’t make any major alterations to the script, except for the ending (which even Tarantino agrees is better) and some musical choices, but his editing style is prominent. It is Scott’s influence that gives the film its fairy tale quality.

The special features match those of the previous two-disc DVD release. There are three feature commentaries that stand as examples for all others because for each major scene they provide different insider information. Commentators include: Slater and Arquette; Scott; and Tarantino. Additional commentary is provided by Hopper, Kilmer, Pitt and Rapaport on only the scenes in which they appear. A five-minute original featurette includes interviews with the cast about the evolution of their characters and a short behind-the-scenes featurette has an option to see footage from on-set during production. There are 11 deleted and extended scenes with optional director’s commentary that explains most scenes were eliminated due to time and momentum issues. One of the most significant extras is the original alternate ending with separate director and writer commentary.

The Batman franchise is one of the most successful in comic book-movie history; and it continues to thrive.

The Batman Anthology contains the first four film installments, starring Michael Keaton, Val Kilmer and George Clooney in the title role.

In Batman, the caped crusader (Keaton) faces off against Joker (Jack Nicholson). At the same time, Batman’s alter ego Bruce Wayne tries to juggle a relationship with psychiatrist Vicki Vale (Kim Basinger) while keeping his secret identity under wraps.

In Batman Returns, the dark knight (Keaton) has his hands full dealing with Penguin (Danny DeVito) and Catwoman (Michelle Pfeiffer). The latter battle is further complicated by an undeniable attraction between the two adversaries.

In Batman Forever, the big bat’s (Kilmer) enemies join forces to put the odds in their favour. Two-face (Tommy Lee Jones) and The Riddler (Jim Carrey) scheme together to uncover Batman’s true identity and prepare a surprise attack. Meanwhile, Wayne tries to mentor a young man (Chris O’Donnell) and prevent him from going down the same path of vigilante justice.

In Batman and Robin, the masked crime fighter (Clooney) and his sidekick (O’Connell) take on Mr. Freeze (Arnold Schwarzenegger) and Poison Ivy (Uma Thurman).

The first two chapters were directed by Tim Burton. His dark sensibility was perfectly suited to the story. The invention of Catwoman in Batman Returns is exceptionally well-done. Under Joel Schumacher’s wing, Batman Forever aimed for a somewhat lighter tone, particularly with the casting of Carrey; and although it wasn’t a complete disaster it was not up to par. The fourth flick is by far the worst episode of the series, with the weakest character development and lamest story arcs.

But this neat little package makes even the worst of the films worth owning. Taking the lid off the box reveals four individually packaged Blu-ray discs and each disc contains more than five hours of special features. The bonus elements explore every facet of the film from start to finish with countless interviews with cast, directors and crew as well clips from each film, arranged in character profiles, documentaries, featurettes and director commentaries. Then there are extras like the Prince music videos for Batman Returns, which add another angle to the Batman experience. The high-def presentations of the pictures, particularly the first two that highlight all the varieties of darkness used, are stunning. Finally, a digital copy of Batman is included in the package.

Delgo is an epic tale of love, war and heroism all shoved into a 90-minute cartoon marketed towards children.

The winged Nohrin and the terrestrial Lockni grudgingly share the land of Jhamora; their mutual prejudices support a rigid divide. When Delgo (Freddie Prinze, Jr.), a reckless Lockni teenager, forms a forbidden friendship with the Nohrin princess Kyla (Jennifer Love Hewitt), hostilities between the two peoples escalate. This sets the stage for the exiled Empress Sedessa (Anne Bancroft) to exact her revenge and seize the throne. Suddenly, Delgo and his cowardly best friend Filo (Chris Kattan) must put aside their differences to join forces with a Nohrin general (Val Kilmer) and save Jhamora.

The magical world created by directors Marc Adler and Jason Maurer for these disagreeing factions is wonderful. The creatures that populate it are strange yet huggable – one even has the temperament of a canine. The Nohrin somewhat resemble the extraterrestrials of the ’80s sci-fi flick Alien Nation, while the Lockni are like large, smooth-skinned reptiles. The animation style, to some extent, resembles that of a video game; however, its colouring and overall look is far more brilliant.

The list of talented actors who lent their voices to this project is quite impressive. In addition to those mentioned above, Malcolm McDowell, Lou Gossett, Jr., Michael Clarke Duncan, Eric Idle, Kelly Ripa and Burt Reynolds bring life to the characters of Delgo. Each of the performers’ intonations is well suited to the personalities they animate; Kattan and Idle are the only actors that sound like they use voices other than their natural ones.

The film’s messages are clear. It’s about overcoming cultural differences, cooperation, friendship and tolerance. The characters discover assumptions and judgement only cause further trouble. It’s impossible not to gain these lessons while watching. However, the lesson relating to mercy is somewhat muddied by succeeding events.

The history and characters are fairly complicated and the story unfolds rather slowly. It is a tale of epic proportions but the need to squeeze it into 90 minutes means none of the chapters are really given enough time to develop. The deaths feel passed over, the romance is awkward and swift, and conclusions are drawn quickly.

The result is a more-or-less enjoyable adventure that oddly feels both rushed and sluggish.