Tag Archives: Richard Gere

Brian’s Review – “Days Of Heaven”

Director Terrence Malick’s beautifully shot period piece, which won an Oscar for its cinematography, tells the story of Bill (Richard Gere), an early-1900s Chicago steel-mill worker who flees town after accidentally killing a man. In search of a better life, he moves his girlfriend Abby (Brooke Adams) and younger sister to the wheat fields of Texas. But they run into tragedy when a wealthy farmer (Sam Shepard) falls for Abby.

Brian – 3 out of 10
Have you ever been in a run down diner sipping a cup of coffee and you look over and see the most boring art piece on the wall? Sometimes it’s a picture of a crappy abstract design formulated on a computer. Other times it’s a shitty version of an expressionist piece that has been copied to death and you could swear you saw in several other diners but can’t remember which ones. Well, Days of Heaven is just like that shitty expressionist piece: somewhat pleasing at first, then quickly forgotten, and eventually completely obsolete but still hangs on the wall in some people’s minds. We are given several long sequences of an older America shot over the plains during “magic hour.” If you’re not familiar with the term “magic hour,” it refers to the the time of day when the sun is close to setting and the camera picks up the longer shadows and reddish hues. It gives a very warm picture and can be very effective in picking up a particular mood. It’s also quite beautiful. The majority of the beauty shots in Days of Heaven are shot during this period and have misplaced people’s opinions into thinking this is a work of art. Now, in terms of still photography, yes, this might be a work of art. But, as a cohesive plot that is designed to draw in an audience and give them an experience, it’s a complete failure. Have you noticed how I have yet to mention the story? Well, that’s because there is no fucking story!! You want the synopsis? Richard Gere kills a man, escapes, and gets in the middle of a romantic triangle via the backdrop of a bad diner painting. Why in the world anyone would want to watch this hunk of dung is beyond me. I dare any art house nerd to try to convince me that this is a good movie without mentioning the “purty pictures.” There’s long stretches of shitty dialogue where Richard Gere tries to find the best backdrop he can so that the cinematographer gets his shot. He mumbles crap that no one would ever say and then there’s more long shots of carriages meandering down the road, people working in the fields, and the sun setting.

I am telling you right now that despite its small 94 minute running time, you’ll feel like you just watched Titanic…..TWICE!!! Director Terrence Malick has a reputation for making slow films but this is unbearable. I can’t find myself recommending this to anyone. The story is weak, the acting is bad, and the flow is like frozen molasses. If staring at expressionist pictures is your idea of a good film, look at a painting the next time you’re in a rundown diner: it’s free!


Hilary Swank stars as famed aviator Amelia Earhart in this dramatic biopic that follows the daring pilot’s rise from obscurity in Kansas to her troubled marriage to businessman George Putnam (Richard Gere), who recruited her for her first transatlantic flight. Mira Nair (The Namesake, Vanity Fair) directs; Ewan McGregor, Joe Anderson, Christopher Eccleston and Mia Wasikowska co-star.

Rating: 4 out of 10

In a word: boring.

Amelia Earhart was a pretty kick-ass chick. I didn’t get any of that from this movie, and the performance by Hilary Swank was drab. Richard Gere delivered a hammy, 1920 public relations man with little spark or chemistry with Swank.

The film is pretty accurate in the historic portrayal of Earhart, but it wasn’t told in a way that kept my interest or gave me any sense of pleasure. The film has some beautiful cinematography in the flight scenes and the decor and wardrobe are that of a high-quality period piece.

For a movie about such a strong and fascinating woman, I was surprised it was so week. It felt more like a Lifetime made-for-TV flick.

Brooklyn’s Finest

Antoine Fuqua (Training Day, Tears of the Sun) directs this tense drama about three New York cops whose paths collide in a Brooklyn housing project where each must make a decision that will change the course of their lives forever. Cynical, washed-up Eddie (Richard Gere) no longer cares about the job or the rules; cash-strapped Sal (Ethan Hawke) sees a shortcut to solvency; and Tango (Don Cheadle) is torn between conflicting loyalties. Ellen Barkin and Wesley Snipes co-star.

Rating: 8 out of 10

This is one of those movies I rave about to people only to have them turn around and say, “That was awful! It was so dark.”

It’s true, I have a liking for dark cinema, and this is no exception. Antoine Fuqua brings us a sharp film about the more realistic side of being a cop, and it’s a multi-faceted one. There is no one type of anything, let alone police officers. Fuqua does a great job at looking at the world they live in, the crime they see, and the internal and external conflicts they endure. The performances are excellent.

We follow the lives of an undercover officer dealing with drugs and organized crime, a lazy cop seven days from retirement, and a family man who can’t afford to support his family who tries to steal from drug dealers. It’s not an uplifting story by any stretch, but it’s a good one, and it’s ending is unexpected and intense.

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Hachi: A Dog’s Tale

“Hachi: A Dog’s Tale” is an American adaptation of a true Japanese tale about a loyal dog named Hachiko. This Akita would walk with his master to the train station every day and return each afternoon just before he arrived to greet him. Sadly, his master departs one day, dies at work and never returns to the station. Hachiko faithfully returns to the station the very next day, and every day for the next nine years to wait for his beloved master. During his daily visits, Hachiko touches the lives of many who work near and commute through the town square. He teaches the local people with his devotion, love, compassion and above all unyielding loyalty. Today, a bronze statue of Hachiko sits in his waiting spot outside the Shibuya station in Japan as a permanent reminder. Directed by Lasse Hallström (What’s Eating Gilbert Grape, The Cider House Rules, My Life as a Dog).

Rating: 8 out 0f 10

Family films don’t often make their way into my Blu-ray player. But when I saw the trailer for this touching story, I had to give it a shot.

This is a very simple picture, one of faith, love, and unending loyalty. A man and his dog walk to the train station every day. One day, the man dies and never returns. For the next ten years, the dog comes back daily. Waiting.

This movie looks straight into the heart ache of loss. Hachi naturally doesn’t understand his master is never returning, but it forces others around him to face their loss straight on. Richard Gere stars in the American adaptation of this story and brings a charm needed to make this story click. The true tale of Hachiko happened in 1930’s Japan — his name in Japanese means “eight,” a celestial number because it touches heaven and comes back to earth. Despite the cultural and date differences, the updating of this story does no harm to the real story.

Hallström is a sharp director who brings us a movie that is hard at times to watch, exceptionally honest, emotional, and all while taking on a very simple concept. It’s not what you’d expect from a G-rated movie that was poorly marketed in the States as a family movie (should have been targeted to art house-going dog lovers). Some critics say this movie generates “Awww” from people, as if that’s a bad thing. The idea of art is to get you to react, to feel something, and this movie does. But while I recognize this film is not for everyone — young kids may be bored — I’d highly recommend it for families and dog lovers.

For more information on Hachiko, visit www.forensicgenealogy.info/contest_232_results.html

The real Hachiko, who lived from 1923 until 1935 in Japan.