Tag Archives: Richard Dreyfuss

Red

After trading in his professional past as a black-ops CIA operative for a new identity, Frank Moses (Bruce Willis) is basking in normality. But he’s forced to return to old habits when an assassin puts a target on his back and goes after the woman (Mary-Louise Parker) he loves. Helen Mirren and John Malkovich co-star as former members of Frank’s team who reluctantly reassemble to save his life in this Golden Globe-nominated action-comedy.

Brian
Rating: 3 out of 10

Red is a bad movie. There’s no way around it. I tried to focus on the positive elements of this film. The cast is fantastic all around, particularly Hellen Mirren and John Malkovich. They chew up every scene they’re in and deliver the dialogue in a fun and engaging way. Bruce Willis is also good, as he always is, playing the action hero (a role he was born to play going all the way back to 1988’s Die Hard).

But, I have to point out that the story just plain sucks. It centers on the idea that the Vice President wants to kill a group of ex-CIA soldiers that witnessed his war crimes years and years ago in South America. That’s it…..boooorrriiinngg! It also brings up several questions: Why the hell would he wait 20+ years to take them out? Also, who was talking about his war crimes or threatening to go public? Not a soul! It’s such a huge gaping hole in the plot that is never explained and can’t be excused away as: “Well, it’s just an action movie.” All movies, regardless of genre, have to give me a reason to give a shit about what I’m experiencing. Red gives me zero reasons to stay attentive except for the great cast that is given nothing to do that’s remotely interesting. In fact, I can’t remember a film that had this much action that was so boring. There’s very little danger, no one dies, and the situations are just flat out ridiculous. For example, Bruce Willis has a shootout with a character on a city street. Well, you could call it a city street except for the fact that THERE’S NO PEOPLE ON IT!!! Then, there’s another scene where Bruce Willis breaks into the CIA headquarters, which can apparently be done if you dress in a general’s uniform and have a special contact lens. Once he’s inside the headquarters, he goes to the file room where he meets an old CIA rep. who is old friends with him and hands him the whole file he needs. Why didn’t he just give him a call and meet up with him outside? The mere fact that I’m figuring out all this shit after one viewing and the makers of this turd lived with it for years is just shocking.

W.

Oscar winner Oliver Stone directs an all-star cast in this satiric retrospective of the life and political career of George W. Bush (Josh Brolin), from his troubles as a young adult through his governorship of Texas and all the way to the Oval Office. Richard Dreyfuss plays Vice President Dick Cheney, with Elizabeth Banks as First Lady Laura Bush and Thandie Newton as Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. Directed by Oliver Stone (World Trade Center, Any Given Sunday).

Matt
Rating: 4 out of 10

Oliver Stone is one of the most overrated directors in Hollywood. I lobbied my brother to put him on our list, but he didn’t make the cut.

“W.” came out too soon, much like the flop “World Trade Center.” Bush was still in office when this hit theaters, and no one cared then or now. Stone can’t get a budget, but actors like Brolin and Al Pacino still come out and work for him. “W.” lacked focus and realism. Stone didn’t want to totally nail Bush against the wall, which is easily done and justifiable. Instead, he wanted to show that Bush is human, and like the rest of us, makes mistakes. Stone portrayed Bush with great naivete, taking the stance that he actually was duped into believing that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction by bigger powers like Dick Cheney — played to perfection by Richard Dreyfuss, a lone golden nugget in this below average film.He also took the stance that Bush wanted to get revenge for his daddy and his cabinet wanted to finish the job he never did.

Personally, I found this to be a cartoonish apology by Stone on Bush’s behalf, taking the position that he didn’t know better, so it made everything OK. There was also the portrayal of Colin Powell by Jeffrey Wright as the voice of reason, the veteran with a conscious who tries to talk the cabinet out of going to war because of the lack of proof. Powell later admitted to fabricating the weapons of mass destruction speech he gave to the United Nations. I have a hard time believing he was the voice of reason.

In the end, the story is not very strong — it jumps from his youth to presidency numerous times and develops neither. With a watered down story and weak direction, “W.” is a clunker.

Piranha 3-D

Ravenous piranhas with razor-sharp teeth terrorize Lake Havasu vacationers in director Alexandre Aja’s 3-D remake of Joe Dante’s campy 1978 horror film, itself a satire of Steven Spielberg’s Jaws. When an earthquake tears open the bottom of Lake Havasu, schools of carnivorous piranhas are released from their underwater lair, and the lake turns into a bloody, frenzied death trap for unwitting water-goers.

Brian
Rating: 2 out of 10

I would have loved to have been a fly on the wall during the script writing session for this film. I can just imagine a group of talentless hacks smiling and patting each other on the back after coming up with the brilliant scene of having piranha eat the genitalia off of a character and have the audience watch said genitalia float to the bottom of the river where two of the fish fight over what’s left of it……in 3-D!!!

Piranha 3-D is my pick so far for worst film of the year. It’s a completely brainless, boring, unfunny, and unscary attempt to cash in on the current fad of 3D movies adapted from old horror films. It’s 1 hour and 29 minutes and I’m not kidding when I say at least 45 minutes is dedicated to college kids on spring break being drunk and annoying. Normally this would irritate me enough to cheer whenever the killer shows up. In this case, the killer is CG fish and I didn’t give a shit about the characters being alive, dead, or out to lunch. This film gives them nothing to do that’s remotely interesting. They don’t even die interestingly!! Piranha show up and basically you just see mass chaos underwater followed by screaming and pools of blood. Zzzzzzz!!! Shit, almost fell asleep there. Let me finish this review before I pass out.

The quality of 3D is probably your next question since the only thing left is the novelty of that format. I’ll admit I love cheesy movies in 3D when they overuse the “pop out at you” gimmick but this film rarely does it and the effect just doesn’t immerse you any more than normal. I think the 3D fad, much like killer creatures in the water, has run its course.

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