Archive for the ‘1992’ 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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leagueofthierownThere are two reasons which make this movie very watchable. Unfortunately, there are so many reasons not to watch this movie, I go through different emotions every time I watch it. I go from laughter to utter contempt in about five seconds. So, I do recommend watching this movie but keep in mind, it really is not a baseball movie. It’s more of a touchy, feely, 1990’s politically correct crappy movie.

The movie takes place in the 1940’s and discusses the creation of the All-American Woman’s Baseball League which supplemented the men’s baseball league during the war. Again, it’s not a baseball movie, but more of a political commentary on how these women were given an opportunity to play a sport which was “men only.” I say this, because there are many times during the movie when the script talks about how important women were during the war. There also was the obligatory comment of the situation of black people in America during that time, with their separate but equal situation. There are also lots of relationship issues which happen between sisters, but that’s something I can’t relate to.

The best two reasons to watch this movie are Tom Hanks and Jon Lovitz. Tom Hanks (The Terminal) plays Jimmy Dugan, manager of the Racine Peaches. His timing is effortless and plays the role of a has-been baseball player, full of regret, beautifully. If it wasn’t for him, the movie is not watchable and should be burned in effigy of Bill Clinton.  Enjoy some scenes with Hanks being awesome in it:

The other reason to watch this movie is Jon Lovitz (The Stepford Wives), who plays the role of baseball scout Ernie Capadino. He scouts the two main characters Dottie and Kit. His sarcasm and wit are biting, and it’s a part which seemed to be written for him. This made it so enjoyable. Also worth mentioning is the script. While I hated the political commentary of the movie, the humor written for Hanks character, as well as Lovitz, was flat-out hilarious. So, I do give kudos for writers Lowell Ganz (Robots) and Babaloo Mandell (Robots) for the humor of the movie, not the politics.

Notice how I have not mentioned the “real” stars of the movie, the women of the baseball team of which the story was about, with the exception of Geena Davis (Stuart Little 2) who plays Dottie and Lori Petty (Tank Girl) who plays her younger sister Kit. These two do a good job tackling the sister-sister relationship.

Other than these two, the parts could have been played by anybody, and for the most part they were, except for two actresses who were cast for only one reason, name recognition. They were Rosie O’Donnel and Madonna. I thought Madonna was a pointless character, written in the show as a cheap fifty-cent hooker, which her character basically pointed out. The only reason she got the job was, she was friends with director Penny Marshall. Speaking of her, Marshall (Riding in Cars with Toys) made the decision to make this movie more politically driven than character driven, which I feel is a poor choice. This movie could have been a great character movie and would have been much more enjoyable.

That’s that. If it wasn’t for Hanks, this movie isn’t worth that fifty cent hooker I was talking about earlier. Watch this for Hanks’ acting ability, ignore the rest.


Brian – the Naked Gun

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