In her spectacular film debut Houston plays Rachel Marron a music and movie superstar at her peak. Fans want to see her touch her. But one wants to kill her - and that's where security expert Frank Farmer (Costner) comes in. Farmer is a professional who never lets his guard down. Rachel's glamorous life often puts her at risk. Each expects to be in charge. What they don't expect is to fall in love...
Tom Hanks's debut as a writer and director is a lively, affectionate account of the shooting-star career of a forgotten (fictional) 1960s pop-rock band called The Wonders--as in "one-hit wonders". Hanks plays the manager of the group, which includes drummer Guy "Sticks" Patterson (Tom Everett Scott) who works the floor at his parents' appliance store in Erie, Pennsylvania; Jimmy (Johnathon Schaech), the talented and temperamental lead singer and songwriter; Lenny (Steve Zahn), the goofy guitarist; and Ethan Embry as a geeky little fellow identified in the cast list only as "The Bass Player". The movie traces their meteoric rise and fall, from cutting their first record, to going on tour with a Phil Spector/Motown-type revue, to the internal tensions that lead to the band's disintegration, which comes when they fail to follow up their smash hit single, "That Thing You Do!" And that song, by the way, is so catchy it would definitely have been a hit in 1964--and deserves to be one today. This delightful movie would make a great double-bill with Allison Anders's wonderful Grace of My Heart. --Jim Emerson
Birdee Pruitt has a life most people would envy. But when her cheating husband reveals his infidelity to her on a national TV talk show her perfect life comes crashing down. Devastated Birdee and her young daughter head home to the small town she left behind. As mother and daughter struggle to adjust to their new lives Birdee slowly gains the strength to open her heart - and find hope again...
There was so much story left to tell after I Know What You Did Last Summer that the filmmakers brought back all the beloved, surviving characters from the first film for this sequel. Ray (Freddie Prinze Jr), Julie (Jennifer Love Hewitt), and Julie's white tank top (Jennifer Love Hewitt's white tank top) return to once again face a hook-wielding maniac. Not satisfied merely to repeat a theme, director Danny Cannon and screenwriter Trey Callaway add variation by introducing Karla (Brandy) as Julie's best friend in the whole wide world. Karla and Julie have won a summer trip to the Bahamas with their current infatuations but find that they've arrived at the start of the storm season and that at their hotel "Do Not Disturb" signs should flip to say "R.I.P." One can only hope to hang just such a sign on this repetitive, tedious franchise, especially since this version is less scary than the price of beer in those little hotel room refrigerators. Definite contender for Gratuitous T&A Shot of the Year (it's of Hewitt and that's not meant as a recommendation). --Keith Simanton
After a long time in the army an Afro-American soldier returns to his hometown where years ago his brother was exucuted for the murder of two white girls. He believes his brother was innocent and sets out to prove it. But there are some people in town who will stop at nothing to keep their secrets hidden.
Waking up on his very first morning newborn puppy Fluke discovers a wondrous world of excitement and fun. Whether romping and wrestling with his brothers and sisters or curling up by his mother for a nap Fluke is as contented as any young pooch can be. But when recurring dreams and a series of mishaps trigger memories of a very different world he slowly realises that he once had a very different life - as a man! Convinced of his previous identity Fluke sets out on an extraordinary
Martin Scorcese handles directing duties in this 1986 sequel to the classic 1961 film The Hustler, which marks the return of Paul Newman to the role of pool shark Fast Eddie Felson. Anxious to break into the big time again, Eddie finds a talented protégé (Tom Cruise) to groom; but with the addition of the latter's manipulative girlfriend (Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio) and the wild streak in Cruise's character, the trio make for a fascinating portrait in group psychology. The cast is brilliant, the script by Richard Price (Clockers) is a paragon of tightly controlled character study and drama (at least in the film's first half), and Scorcese and cinematographer Michael Ballhaus make an ornate show of the collision and flight of pool balls through space--something of a metaphor for the dynamics among the three principals. The film is generally regarded as weaker in its second half, and rightly so, as everything that was interesting in the first place disappears. Still, Newman won a deserved Oscar for his performance. --Tom Keogh
Jennifer Lopez marries her dream man, but soon discovers he isn't the man she thought he was. For her own safety - and that of her daughter - she decides to take drastic action...
Some pundits called it a flawed, exploitative action film that glamorised drug dealing and the luxury of a lucrative criminal lifestyle, spawning a trend of films that attracted youth gangs and provoked violence in cinemas. Others hailed it as a breakthrough movie that depicted drug dealers as ruthless, corrupt, and evil, leading dead-end lives that no rational youth would want to emulate. However you interpret it, New Jack City is still one of the first and best films of the 1990s to crack open the underworld of cocaine and peer inside with its eyes wide open. It's also the film that established Wesley Snipes as an actor to watch, with enough charisma to bring an insidious quality of seduction to his role as coke-lord Nino Brown, and enough intelligence to portray a character deluded by his own sense of indestructible power. Director Mario Van Peebles stretched his otherwise-limited talent to bring vivid authenticity and urgency to this crime story, and subplots involving a pair of tenacious cops (Ice-T, Judd Nelson) and a recovering coke addict (Chris Rock) provide additional dramatic tension. Although some critics may hesitate to admit it, New Jack City deserves mention in any serious discussion about African American filmmakers and influential films. --Jeff Shannon
Trapped inside a fortified home owned by a mysterious couple an impoverished young boy is suddenly thrust into a nightmare. Quickly learning the true nature of the house's homicidal inhabitants the boy battles against sadistic security devices befriends an elusive and abused young girl and finally learns the secret of the creatures deep within the house...
This 1992 crowd pleaser made almost as much money for Whitney Houston as its chart-busting soundtrack. A high-wattage star vehicle as only Hollywood can make, The Bodyguard stars Houston as a pop-music diva (now there's a stretch) and Kevin Costner as the stern bodyguard who is assigned to protect her after the singer receives some nasty death threats. Pop star and bodyguard don't hit it off at first, but they wear down each others' defenses, and before long Houston is baring her tonsils with a rousing rendition of the Dolly Parton chestnut "I Will Always Love You." The film, written by Lawrence Kasden, was originally intended for Steve McQueen, but the script languished for years before Houston took an interest in the project. A proposed sequel would potentially have starred Costner and Princess Diana, until Diana's tragic death precluded that possibility. --Jeff Shannon, Amazon.com
After a foolproof scam turns sour, Jimmy the Saint (a soulful but miscast Andy Garcia, who mainly acts with his hair) and his hard-bitten crew must put their various sordid affairs in order before facing their final bloody curtain call. It's not nearly as clever as it thinks it is, but Things To Do In Denver When You're Dead is a terminally wise-ass (and extremely violent) caper flick, and is still one of the better post-Tarantino crime opuses, with some sharp dialogue, a scenery-chewing Christopher Walken (as a paraplegic archcriminal) and unhinged performances by Treat Williams and the obsequious Steve Buscemi that must be seen to be (dis)believed. Neophyte scripter Scott Rosenberg would later pen hipper-than-thou scripts for Beautiful Girls, Con Air and Armageddon, while director Gary Fleder moved on to the somewhat more reputable Kiss the Girls. The tongue-twisting title is from a Warren Zevon song. --Andrew Wright
The human beings are almost as interesting as the title character in the surprisingly subtle and engaging Paulie, a film about the cross-country adventures of a smart-mouthed parrot. As director John Roberts deploys the footage, the bird becomes a vivid personality; every quizzical twist of his head is oddly expressive. The people who interact with Paulie are a quirky and interesting bunch as well, and the casting is topnotch: Tony Shalhoub (The Siege) as a Russian immigrant janitor, Cheech Marin as an open-hearted mariachi musician, and Gena Rowlands as a widowed painter in a footloose Winnebago--all are vividly eccentric individuals, memorable in their own right. There are some tired swipes at the cold-blooded meanies of Big Science (beady-eyed researcher Bruce Davison has Paulie clapped in irons), but for the most part the film respects the complexity of everyone's motivations, and that's virtually unheard of in today's Hollywood, even in films supposedly designed for grownups. --David Chute
Ben Stiller, Robin Williams, Owen Wilson, Ricky Gervais, Steve Coogan and a host of fun new characters all return in this wild comedy adventure where everything comes back to life in ways you've never imagined.
Ben Stiller faces a shift he'll remember as the exhibits at the museum he works come to life late one night.
Patrick McCardle (High School Musical star Zac Efron) is a typical fifteen year old kid who doesn't know what he wants to do with his life. With pressure from his rather to commit to his baseball career Patrick meets mysterious horse trainer who gives him a shot at riding in the famous Derby Cup. Along with the difficulties and challenges of training Patrick must overcome the malicious intentions of Randy Adams the rich town bully and five-time Derby Cup Champion.
A Seriously Sexy Comedy Nola Darling has three different men in her life. All three men want her to commit solely to them forcing her to make a choice. But is the choice she makes what she really wants?
In 'Rage Of Angels' Jaclyn Smith plays determined young lawyer Jennifer Parker who fights against the odds to triumph as a top trial attorney in New York's tough world of power glamour and crime. Based on the best-selling novel by Sidney Sheldon this compelling drama switches from New York Acapulco and Paris as Jennifer finds herself in a highly-charged love triangle romantically pursued by two powerful men on opposite sides of the law. With the passion and tension in her life reaching boiling point Jennifer faces a terrifying confrontation that could destroy them all. As she moves from the law of the land to the law of the jungle the only case Jennifer can't seem to win is the trial for her heart.
I Know What You Did Last Summer (Dir. Jim Gillespie 1997): On the magic Summer's night of high school's end Julie Helen Ray and Barry get into Barry's new Beamer and drive out to celebrate their lives and hopes before them. But on the road they have a terrible accident; hit and kill a man. In the shock and panic that follow they dump the body in the sea rather than reporting the accident. As the body sinks the hand of the dead man breaks the surface in a last grasp at life then disappears into the murky depths. The four friends realise they are now guilty of murder and swear to take their secret to their graves. But now someone is stalking them someone who knows who they are knows what they did last Summer and seeks revenge... I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (Dir. Danny Cannon 1998): Remember Ben Willis? He's the fisherman who killed the boy who was driving the car when it went off the road in the fatal accident that killed his daughter Sara. He's the man in the slicker with a hook in his hand ready to exact bloody justice. Well he's back.... I'll Always Know What You Did Last Summer (Dir. Sylvain White 2006): When a seemingly harmless Fourth of July prank goes horribly wrong resulting in the death of a friend four teenagers from a small Colorado town agree to take their secret to the grave... Come the next Fourth of July the group of friends are going to find themselves fighting for there very lives as a terrifying killer stalks each and every one of them. It's a race against time to uncover the malevolent murderer before they all end up six feet under.
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