Hammond (Richard Attenborough) has cloned dinosaurs from DNA captured in amber and created a theme park on an island. Before he opens to the public, he does a test run with several experts including Grant (Sam Neill), Ellie (Laura Dern) and Malcolm (Jeff Goldblum), along with his two grandkids. Unsurprisingly, things don’t go to plan.
I remember seeing this in the cinema back in 1993 and I was petrified. I’m not great with scary films, and I had an unopened Chupa Chup which I dropped during the trailers and whenever things got too scary for me, I’d get on the floor and go hunting for it. Re-watching it on the TV recently, I can totally see why. In particular, the kitchen scene. Oh my goodness.
It’s been twenty years since aliens attacked the Earth (Independence Day) and the whole time, Earth has been expecting a return. In the meantime, the planet has maintained peace and utilised the alien technology to be better able to defend themselves. Only this time, the main alien ship that enters the planet’s atmosphere is not just as big as a city; it’s as bit as an ocean. And that creates it’s own gravity, which leads to an awesome destruction scene with special effects galore. So, plotwise, the old guys come out – there’s David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) who is still the major science guy, only now everyone trusts him. And his dad, Julius (Judd Hirsch) who is not needed, but is useful and a lot of fun. There’s President Whitmore (Bill Pullman), who is retired and not necessarily all that well (I got a bit confused here) but who can still give one hell of a rousing speech. Then there’s the kid who was the son of Will Smith and the stripper in the first film, and he’s now an important air force man. And probably others…
I loved it. It’s always going to be hard to measure up to the original which I loved so much and have rewatched over and over again. I mean, let’s face it, they are not great films. They are cheesy and over the top, with spectacular special effects that take place of science. And it doesn’t matter that the whole world is at peace, it is still the Americans who are the only ones that really count. And yet – I love it.
I had held of watching this film for two reasons: firstly, I didn’t love Wes Anderson’s previous film, Moonrise Kingdom, and was a bit concerned I wouldn’t love this, and I have truly loved many of his previous films; second, I saw a trailer early on and thought that I had seen most of it. I was wrong on both counts. I love it and the trailer actually gave very little away.
Essentially, the film tells the story (in a somewhat convoluted fashion) of a bell boy working at The Grand Budapest Hotel. No, that is not it. There is a lot more, there is theft and betrayal, sex and love, cakes and guns, prison and trains. But to attempt to tell it could give away too much, and it is a story that it is a delight to simply watch unfold. The typical, beautiful style of Wes Anderson is apparently in every shot, and his large cast of some of the most wonderful actors is great. (Although extremely male-heavy, with no really good female roles. Wes Anderson usually does better on this count… shame)
I think that if you do not like Wes Anderson films, you won’t like this one. If you haven’t seen one, perhaps this might be the best to introduce you to him.
The Grand Budapest Hotel won Oscars for Best Achievement in Costume Design, Best Achievement in Makeup and Hairstyling, Best Achievement in Music Written for Motion Pictures, Original Score (Alexandre Desplat) and Best Achievement in Production Design. It was nominated for Best Motion Picture of the Year, Best Achievement in Directing (Wes Anderson), Best Achievement in Cinematography, Best Achievement in Film Editing and Best Writing, Original Screenplay (Wes Anderson, Hugo Guinness).
Valerie(Geena Davis) is having problems with her cheating fiancé, Ted (Charles Rocket). After kicking him out, a spaceship lands in her pool and out come three hairy aliens; Mac (Jeff Goldblum), Wiploc (Jim Carrey) and Zeebo (Damon Wayans). With the help of her friend Candy (Julie Brown), they scrub up to be pretty handsome, and all kinds of crazy things occur. Especially when Wiploc and Zeebo are taken to the beach by stoner pool-cleaner Woody (Michael McKean).
This is one of the silliest films ever made, and I totally love it. It’s totally cheesy, including the songs (oh, yes. It’s a musical) but what I really love is seeing these actors jut playing fun times.
Mysterious spaceships appear over many major cities across the USA and, indeed, across the world. No-one is sure if they are friendly or not – no-one, that is, apart from David Levinson (Jeff Goldblum) who needs to get himself in front of handsome President Thomas J Whitmore (Bill Pullman, and for more on the hotness of Bill Pullman, click here) and convince him of this. Meantime, drunk Vietnam veteran and ex-alien abductee Russell Casse (Randy Quaid) continues to embarrass and annoy his family. Until the aliens attack, killing many and destroying whole cities. Few survive, but they include First Lady Marilyn Whitmore (Mary McDonnell) who is left injured amongst smouldering wreckage and stripper Jasmine Dubrow (Vivica A Fox) and her small son (and dog. Of course, the dog couldn’t die). Why do we care about the stripper? Because she’s got a hot boyfriend – Captain Steven Hiller (Will Smith) who is not only hot, but becomes one of the heroes as the world (well, let’s face it, the USA on behalf of the world) tries to find a way to battle these aliens.
I love Independence Day so much. I love that it is a simple story with a million flaws, but there are a whole heap of explosions and a lot of humour. It is far from a perfect film, but I’ll watch it again and again and again. Without a doubt.
Independence Day won an Oscar for Best Effects, Visual Effects and was nominated for Best Sound.
This film is an unexpected delight. It looks awful – a romantic comedy set in the world of morning television with a young, bright-eyed producer Becky Fuller (Rachel McAdams) attempting to get grumpy newscaster Mike Pomeroy (Harrison Ford) to be a cheerful breakfast hot alongside bitter and resentful Colleen Peck (Diane Keaton). There are a few fairly awful moments in it, but generally, I really enjoyed it. It was fast-paced, funny, stupid but also annoyingly heartwarming. A really good and fun lightweight comedy.