November 25, 1995

Casino

A great movie, and a fine Scorsese movie. It is not as good as GoodFellas, which is hardly a fair comparison. After all, GoodFellas is one of my all-time favorite films!

November 24, 1995

Nick of Time

The only reason I went to see Nick of Time was for its gimmick: Like the TV show 24, all the events in the film take place in "real time", over the 90-minute running time of the film. I thought that meant that the whole film would stick with the Johnny Depp character, without cuts to "parallel action", but that wasn't the case.

November 19, 1995

Goldeneye

A smart and sharp renewal of the Bond franchise. Pierce Brosnan had been on the double-0 waiting list since 1987, when he could not escape his Remington Steele contract. I generally believe Bond should be played by a man in his 30s, but in this case, I believe Brosnan is better as Bond at age 42 than he would have been at age 34.
Izabella Scorpuco is a strong and helpful Bond girl, and Famke Janssen is terrific as a crazed hench-woman.
Alan Cumming as an adorable computer "hacker" and his adequate Russian accent work for me- it's tough to ignore the antiquated computer technology. All the tech in Bond movies is ancient now, but maybe I notice the personal computers, and the password guessing games more because they're from my history?
Tina Turner's Goldeneye theme song (written by Bono and The Edge, produced by Nellee Hooper) is one of my favorites.
2018 Update: It seems whenever I am home sick I watch Bond movies while I convalesce! This time around I noticed:
  • The terrible Eric Serra score. It's very very 1990s. The Bond theme music over the "gun barrel" sequence at the beginning of the movie gets us off to a very bad start. Serra also sings a ballad over the closing credits which sound like lifeless Euro-pop trash.
  • I really enjoyed German character actor Gottfried John as the Russian General Ourumov - is wordless reacting to the action onscreen speaks volumes.
  • In Bond movies, the bad guys always have many chances to kill Bond and never do; in Goldeneye it seems like Sean Bean's villain and his henchwoman Famke Janssen could have shot Bond at a dozen opportunities. It felt like more missed chances than normal.
  • This is the first Bond movie where the script attempts to bring the character into the modern moral era; addressing Bond's misogyny, sexual harassment, and the moral guilt over all the men and women who have died on his missions. Most of the commentary in the movie is too on-the-nose; it would be better to have more competent "Bond girls" with their own agency (pun intended) and without being immediately sexualized. Goldeneye achieves mixed results here: Scorpuco is a computer engineer who actually contributes to saving the mission; Janssen's henchwoman gets off sexually by murdering people; Moneypenny calls out Bond on his harassment but still flirts with Bond; the psychiatrist at the beginning of the movie is seduced by Bond after a brief car chase. The following Bond movies would improve, with Michelle Yeoh, an action star before the Bond movies came along, who portrays a superior agent to Bond, and Halle Berry's Jinx, who deserved that spinoff movie that never happened.

BOND & BOURNE MOVIES on Stub Hubby:

Get Shorty

Barry Sonnenfeld cut together an quick, funny, clever comedy. Lots of world-class character actors (Dennis Farina, Delroy Lindo, James Gandolfini, David Paymer, Martin Ferrero, Miguel Sandoval) and one of my wife's favorite movies of the 1990s.

November 15, 1995

Mighty Aphrodite

mighty Playing a dim-bulb hooker with a funny voice didn't help Mira Sorvino's then-rising star much, even though she won the Best Supporting Actress Oscar. It's too bad this Harvard graduate who speaks three languages hasn't done any work half as good as this since then. (Maine Mall Cinema)

Carrington

The story of the relationship between painter Dora Carrington (Emma Thompson) and author Lytton Strachey (Jonathan Pryce). I don't remember the movie, but I always remember Emma Thompson's sex scenes: All I remember is the sex scene on the sailboat. (Exchange Street, Portland)