True Lies (1994) Film Review

Harry Tasker (Arnold Schwarzenegger) is a super spy, travelling the globe, shooting the bad guys and getting the intel – until he gets home to his bored wife, Helen (Jamie Lee Curtis) and wayward daughter, Dana (Eliza Dushku). But when he discovers a sleaze ball (Bill Paxton) preying on Helen, he decides to teach the guy a lesson, and accidentally drags his family into his secret life.

I was obsessed with this film when it came out. Funny, great action, Jamie Lee Curtis being fabulous, just generally awesome. And watching it back, it’s still great. This will always be a favourite of mine. And I totally forgot about Bill Paxton in it – oh, he’s great!

Edge of Tomorrow (2014) Film Review


The world has been attacked by smart aliens that can anticipate the every move of people who try to attack it. US Army media spokesman Cage (Tom Cruise) who is fearful of combat, is pushed into battle by the General Brigham (Brendan Gleeson) and quickly dies. Only doesn’t actually die – he wakes again the day before and re-lives the same day – again and again, each time ending in death. He ends up finding legendary soldier Rita (Emily Blunt) and discovers that he has a special skill that can help them destroy the aliens. But he will need to die over and over, and watch those around him die, until the problem is solved.

Ace. Funny at times, and so amusing to watch Tom Cruise getting killed over and over again. The character of Cage at the start was just so unlikable and entitled, so it was wonderful to see him go through a whole variety of stages including bewilderment and depression. Watch this. It’s seriously fabulous.


Apollo 13 (1995) Film Review


Jim Lovell (Tom Hanks), Fred Haise (Bill Paxton) and Jack Swigert (Kevin Bacon) are astronauts on the Apollo 13 trip which is meant to land on the moon, only things go wrong. Back on Earth, fellow astronaut (Gary Sinese) who was supposed to be on the flight works with mission controller Gene Krantz (Ed Harris) and the whole team to find ways to bring the men in the broken ship back home to his family.

Ron Howard usually gets it exactly right. This is an amazing story, told with magnificent tension and torment. It’s a melodrama, a real melodrama, along with all of the swelling music and tight close-ups, and gee, that is wonderful. I loved it when I watched it in the cinema back in 1995 and I loved watching it on DVD just recently.

Apollo 13 won Oscars for Best Sound and Best Film Editing and was nominated for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Ed Harris), Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Kathleen Quinlan), Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published, Best Art Direction – Set Direction, Best Effects, Visual Effects and Best Music Original Score.

Big Love – TV Review



Mormons are crazy. No, that’s not strictly true; I think most religion is pretty crazy in one way or another. If you read Under The Banner of Heaven by Jon Krakauer you can see some of the craziness that led to the formation of this religion. But essentially, it’s not that much crazier that most religions. One of the big issues that a lot of non-Mormons have with this religion is the whole polygamous marriage concept. Most branches of Mormonism do not approve of multiple marriages, but if we cannot laugh at the crazy man with many wives, what’s the point?

Big Love looks at several aspects of Mormon life in Utah. One is the main family; Bill Henrickson(Bill Paxton) has three wives, Barb (Jeanne Tripplehorn), Nicolette (Chloe Sevigny) and Margene(Ginnifer Goodwin) and has children with them all. They live a quite mainstream existence – they have three separate houses with a communal backyard area. Most people don’t know about their complicated relationship, not even the neighbours. But Bill also has to deal with his family back on the compound. These are the types of Mormons regularly featured on Jerry Springer and the like. You know, wearing prairie dresses and often one man has, like, twenty wives (often sisters, often very young) and a million children and they live off welfare. On the compound there is ‘the prophet’, Roman Grant (Harry Dean Stanton) who is out to destroy Bill.

It’s a very interesting show, but I lost steam for it somewhere around the third season. There have been five seasons made, but for me I don’t really care what happens from here.