The Sure Thing (1985) Film Review

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Gib (John Cusack) has gone to college on the East coast hoping that his wit and intellect (well, mostly wit) will prove him to be a charm with the ladies, but he is striking out as much as he did in high school. When his mate Lance (Anthony Edwards), who is partying his way through his degree in California, invites Gib to California for the holidays, it is the promise of a ‘sure thing’ (Nicollette Sheridan) that seals the deal. Only, Gib can’t afford to get there, and ends up car pooling with a couple of perky nuts (Tim Robbins and Lisa Jane Persky) and his nemisis, the girl he has desperately tried to hit on and failed, Alison Bradbury (Daphne Zuniga). When they are kicked out of the vehicle, Gib and Alison must pair up to get across the line.

It’s a classic hate-each-other romantic comedy, but there is something special about this. What is it? I reckon good scriptwriting and Cusack. This charming character of Cusack’s is not unusual – he probably plays the same character in pretty much every romantic comedy he’s been in, but this was probably the first and the most fresh. Zuniga is awesome as well, great comic timing, and I’m surprised she didn’t go on to a more prominent career, but you never can tell. Eighties charm with a hell of a lot of heart. Check it out.

 

 

The Shawshank Redemption(1994) Film Review

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After being falsely convicted for killing his wife, Andy (Tim Robbins) ends up in Shawshank prison. Eventually he befriends Red (Morgan Freeman) and a group of other prisoners, and settles in for a long stay. And then…

I recently heard someone state that this is a hugely overrated film, but I disagree. It’s a great story that does not go where you expect it to go. If you haven’t watched it, do. It’s on television all of the time, but get it on DVD or stream it, or whatever so you don’t have to deal with annoying advertising, and enjoy it.

The Shawshank Redemption was nominated for Oscars for Best Picture, Best Actor in a Leading Role (Morgan Freeman), Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material Previously Produced or Published (Frank Darabont), Best Cinematography, Best Sound, Best Film Editing and Best Music, Original Score

 

 

The Hudsucker Proxy (1994) Film Review

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Midway though a board meeting, company president Waring Hudsucker (Charles Durning) throws himself to his death. No-one knows why; the company is going well. However, now his majority stock is to be sold to the general public and the board (led by the slimy Sidney J. Mussberger played by Paul Newman) decide the only way they can gain control is to make the stock plummet so much that no-one else will buy it and they can snap it up. To do this, they need an idiot to become president and run the company into the ground. Enter country bumpkin Norville Barnes (Tim Robbins) who has started work in the mailroom and manages to stumble into Mussberger’s sights. But, when his invention, the hula hoop (“You know, for kids”) becomes a massive success, Mussberger needs to find another way to make his plans succeed.

I’m a huge fan of the Cohen brothers’ films. I don’t recall having seen any of their films that I haven’t enjoyed on some level, even if I haven’t totally loved them. The Hudsucker Proxy is one of their earlier films and has the crazy humour that I’ve come to love. The characters are quirky yet mostly fully developed and realised, and there is a sense of magic throughout. It’s a film that most definitely makes me laugh, but also brings a tear not so much of sadness; can it be a tear of hope?