Archive for the ‘Sean Connery’ Category

medicine man posterIf I were ever to do a forgotten films list, this movie would be in it. I missed it at the movie theaters when it came out.  When it opened the film was the #1 movie in the box office.  Unfortunately for this film, the very next week Wayne’s World was released and this movie quickly faded away. I ended up watching because I worked in the video store section of the grocery store and got all sorts of free rentals.  The film is quite lovely as it was filmed in the jungles of Brazil and John McTiernan directed it and he knows how to shoot a film as he directed one of the best action movies of all time, Die Hard, and a top five Arnold Schwarzenegger film, Predator.  I love this film but I seem to be in the minority because the many paid critics panned the film as it has a 20% rating at Rotten Tomatoes and the very lovely Lorraine Bracco was nominated for a Golden Raspberry for acting.  I say forget them and get on Netflix and watch this movie.

Dr. Rae Crane, played by Lorraine Bracco (Goodfellows,) arrives in the middle of the Brazilian jungle to assess the  work of one her botanists who has been secluded for 3 ½ years by the name of Dr. Robert Campbell, played by Sean Connery (The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen.)  After a brief back and forth and an overnight stay Dr. Crane, who is nicknamed Bronx by Campbell, discovers that he has discovered the cure for cancer in this secluded village.  He believes it to be a flower that lives in the jungle canopy.  There is one slight problem, despite his notes he has been unable to replicate the process that created the successful serum and he is running out of the original supply.  Things get more complicated when one of the children of the tribe comes down with cancer and to compound things a road that is being built through the jungle is fast approaching and will eventually force the evacuation of the tribe from the area with the probably destruction of the flower needed for the cure.  The race for the cure begins.

There are two big stars in this film, one being Sean Connery, and the other is the cinematography which is amazing.  Now you may say that shooting in the middle of a rain forest you would have to try hard to NOT make it amazing.  But for me McTiernan showed that he can make an action movie beautiful by the way he shot Predator.  That was an action movie that looked lovely, even if it was hot and full of muscle bound gun toting men.  I just feel that he did a great job of making sure that every scene was lovely.

medicine man 1   Sean Connery in this film is Sean Connery in every film, a Scottish bad ass that portrays his character in an awesome fashion. Dr. Campbell is haunted by his past in that his actions and the companies accidentally killed off an entire tribe when he had discovered a cheap painkiller years earlier.  His past haunts him to the point where his wife and lab assistant left him and by day is a scientist but by night an alcoholic.  I like how he isn’t a mean drunk but more of a sarcastic funny drunk who refuses to forgive himself for killing off a tribe.  Connery is great in the film.

medicine man 3  The minus are few and insignificant in my eyes but they are there.  A I mentioned earlier Bracco was nominated for a Golden Raspberry for her performance in the film (for those that don’t know the same time the Academy Awards come out, the Golden Raspberry comes out to nominate the worst performance in a film.)  Bracco was born in Brooklyn, New York and sounds like she belongs in films like Good Fellas and TV shows like The Sopranos.  But just because she sounds like that doesn’t mean she is out of place and the writers addressed her heritage by Campbell giving her character the nicknamed Bronx.   A big problem for her was that her character wasn’t nearly as well as Connery’s Campbell.  We find out about his demons and why he is the way he is but with her all we know is that she is smart and is engaged to a high society scientist.  Her character is also written to basically complain for an 1 hour and 30 minutes of the 1 hour and 40 minutes of the film.  Let’s also not forget the romantic undertones between the two as it seems to follow the typical love story.  She shows up and they argue.  As the story movies in the movie then begin to see each other’s true character and they start to fall for each other.  One thing the film doesn’t do which I am grateful is that we don’t actually see any romantic scenes.  But at the end of the film with Dr. Crane staying with Dr. Campbell to continue the search as his lab assistant it is strongly implied that they are in a romantic relationship.

One last thing I want to mention is that this movie was largely panned because the movie studios made the mistake of making this film out to be an action movie. I get why they did it since in the 5 years before this movie McTiernan had directed two amazing action films.  But this film is anything but an action movie.  Sure it’s an adventure film with its exotic location but its clearly a dramatic film.  To quote McTiernan, “It was a little art movie with Sean Connery that cost only $27 million. If the press hadn’t defined it as an action movie, it probably wouldn’t have been considered a disappointment.”


I am a big fan of this film and hope those of you who haven’t seen it will Netflix it tonight but please, please wait to chill.  After all fellas, most women get all excited listening to that Scottish brogue and if you close your eyes and listen to Bracco and her accent is kind of hot.  So watch the film first, chill after.

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the leagueI like the concept of this movie, taking characters from classics of literature and having them come together to fight and save the world. Of course, the great villains of classic literature get together to take over the world. “The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen” is not going to be rated as the best ever, but I think it’s entertaining.

Basically, the premise is, the world is about to go into war with one man creating all of the weapons to profit from this event, and our heroes are trying to stop them. They are Allan Quartermain, played by Sean Connery (Highlander), Captain Nemo, played by Indian actor–as in the country India–Naseeruddin Shah, Mina Harker, played by Peta Wilson (TV’s Le Femme Nikita), Tom Sawyer, played by Shane West (TV’s ER), Dr. Jekyll/Mr. Hyde, played by Jason Flemyng (From Hell), and The Invisible Man, played by Tony Curran (Pearl Harbor). The bad guys are The Phantom/M/Professor Moriarty, played by Richard Roxburgh (Van Helsing), and Dorian Gray, played by Stuart Townsend (Head in the Clouds).

This ensemble cast is very good with enjoyable performances by Stuart Townsend and Peta Wilson. Connery is Connery. With the exception of “The Avengers,” I can’t remember a movie he did which I didn’tlike. I also enjoyed Shane West who, in this movie, looks like a thin Jack Black.

I think the story is what hooked me, however. I like this concept of bringing in literary greats into an ensemble movie. The good guys basically chase the bad guys around the world and also try and conquer their own personal demons at the same time.

My dislikes were small. Special effects were not the best, and I would have liked a happier ending. Although, you knew it kind of had to end the way it did.

Overall, I like this small picture. Get past the special effects and enjoy the film, because if you can’t, you are being to nit-picky and shouldn’t watch any movies ever again!

Brian – the Naked Gun

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highlanderOne of the all time classic 80’s movies, Highlander is one of those movies that people will stop what they are doing to watch it on TV, especially if you were a teenager in the 80’s. It had sword fights and decapitations and nudity. There is even a little love for the ladies who could put up with the bad acting and cheesy visual and sound effects. One of its saving grace’s is that the sound track is done by the band Queen, which leads to its own hilarity. This is one of those great movies of the 80’s that is not a great movie.

Two men are seen having a sword fight in the parking lot of Madison Square Garden during a wrestling match. One of the men, Russell Nash, played by Christopher Lambert (Mortal Kombat,) wins the fight and cuts off the man’s head. He immediately suffers from a mysterious electric charge. He then has a flash back where he is preparing to fight with the Scottish Clan McLeod’s in 16th Century Scotland. So begins the story of Conner McLeod/Russell Nash and the great prize between him and all of the remaining immortals.

There is actually a lot more to the story but it is long and if written out can be somewhat confusing or uninteresting, which it is neither. Actually the script and story is one of the film’s strong points. It is very finite. What I mean by that is that the story is very complete and doesn’t leave any gapping holes or future story lines to explore. I like that about this movie and I don’t understand why the producers decided to make four sequels to this movie. I am proud to say that I have not seen a single sequel and that won’t change because the story for the first movie is perfect and I think it has a good ending.

Another love of this movie is the sword fights. There are plenty and all though very choreographed are fun to watch. There is something about sword fighting that is entertaining. I guess maybe because it looks like a noble way of settling things, also it is a very personal way of combat and that is something that we don’t have now with the worlds ability to blow up 20 people with a car bomb even though sword fighting is very bloody and violent. But that is why Conan The Barbarian, Kill Bill movies and The Last Samurai are fun to watch.

The acting is very ok, except for the 30 minutes that Sean Connery (A Bridge Too Far,) is in the movie as McLeod’s tutor/mentor Juan Sanchez Villa-Lobos Ramirez. He shows up to teach Conner what he is and how he must prepare to kill the worst of the immortals, The Kurgan, played by Clancy Brown (Starship Troopers.) Connery is in a class by himself in this movie in terms of acting although Brown was great as the bad guy and it looked like he had fun with the movie.

The music that is performed by Queen is great. The group really made some classics for this movie, especially the love song, Who Wants to Live Forever. If you like Queen and have not heard the music for the movie, how that is possible I don’t know, then the soundtrack is a must have. The one funny thing about having Queen do the soundtrack is that when the bad guy is playing loud music to emphasize that he is the tough guy, the music that is being played is Queen. I don’t know of any tough guy song’s made by Queen. The orchestrated music sounded like it was done by the same guy who did the first couple of Friday the 13th movies. So obviously it is nothing special.

The movies sound effects and visual effects suffer from being made in the mid 80’s before computers helped with science fiction special effects and the creatures in the final scene look like they have been stole from the Raiders of the Lost Ark ghosts after the ark was open.

Overall this movie is a classic 80’s movie and should be watched by one and all. It’s a great fairy tale and If you watch it I highly suggest you don’t watch the others and if you have watched the others and didn’t like them, give this movie a chance. Even though I haven’t seen the sequels, I am sure this one is the best.

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a bridgeIn the 1960’s and 1970’s, a multitude of movies were made about World War II. Most of the movies made celebrated the victories of the allies over Japan and Germany. “A Bridge Too Far” is unique in that it tells the story of one of the largest military blunders of the war. It is a typical war movie of the time meaning that it has an all star cast and the special effects were good for the day but it was because they had the use of some of the actual equipment used during the war. Not on the same level as “Saving Private Ryan,” but “A Bridge Too Far” is a good movie that tells an interesting story.

The movie is based on the book with the same name about Operation Market Garden. An idea conceived by British Field Marshall (General in our terms) Sir Bernard Law Montgomery, Operation Market Garden involved dropping thousands of paratroopers behind enemy lines to capture major bridges in The Netherlands towns of Eindhoven, Nijmagen, and Arnheim. With the capture of the bridges, the XXX corps of the British Army would drive the 80 miles to Arnheim and capture the surrounding towns in two days. However, the German Army was in full retreat and their high command was convinced that American General Patton was going to lead the attack into Germany from France. So the German High Command pulled two of its Panzer (Tank) divisions into The Netherlands to rest them for their defense of Germany against Patton’s 3rd Army. After they were dropped, the lightly armed paratroopers were no match for Panzer units. Added to the problem, some of the bridges between Eindhoven and Nijmagen were destroyed by the German’s and had to be rebuilt using pontoon bridges by the XXX Army. The XXX Corp made it to within a mile of Arnheim, but did not have the supplies to engage the two divisions that had surrounded the British Paratroopers in Arnheim. Overall, 5,000 (I think) British troops were captured by the German’s and the allies were forced to retreat back into Belgium. The Netherlands would not be liberated for another year.

This is truly an all-star cast staring Sean Connery (Bond Movies), Robert Redford (The Clearing,) Elliot Gould (Ocean’s 12), Ryan O’Neal (Malibu’s Most Wanted,) Gene Hackman (Crimson Tide), Michael Caine (Second hand Lions), James Caan (Erasure), and Anthony Hopkins (Silence of the Lambs.) All of the actors did a good job of portraying their real life characters, except Elliot Gould, who did a good job, but wasn’t an actual person, but a combination of a few, and believe it or not, Gene Hackman. I feel he did a good job, I am just curious in that he plays a Polish General, and if the casting director took the time to cast famous German actors, why not take the time to cast a famous Polish actor.

The special effects are good but the action is tame and by that I mean there is very little blood. No one actor stands out either in a good way or bad, it is a true ensemble cast. I did find it interesting in that there was a British director, Richard Attenborough (Gandhi), and the film was based on a book by Cornelius Ryan, an Irishman, and the movie takes a couple of shots at the British General Montgomery. That is somewhat unusual since he is a legend in British history. The screenplay is by William Goldman who has written some good movies, “Maverick”, “All the President’s Men,” “The Princess Bride,” and some bad ones, “Dreamcatcher,” “Fierce Creatures” and “The Chamber.” I feel that he did an adequate job of converting Ryan’s novel to screen.

Overall, I would say that this is a very adequate war movie from the 1970’s. If you like this kind of movie and you have the time, then I recommend this movie.

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