Tag Archives: Robert Forster

The Wolf of Snow Hollow (2020) Review

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The Wolf of Snow Hollow

Time: 83 Minutes
Cast:
Jim Cummings as Officer John Marshall
Riki Lindhome as Officer Julia Robson
Chloe East as Jenna Marshall
Jimmy Tatro as PJ Palfrey
Robert Forster as Sheriff Hadley
Director: Jim Cummings

A stressed-out police officer (Jim Cummings) struggles not to give in to the paranoia that grips his small mountain town as bodies turn up after each full moon.

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Jim Cummings wrote, directed and starred in Thunder Road, which was one of the biggest surprises of 2018. It was independent, smaller scale, heartfelt yet really funny, well made, and the lead performance was great. The Wolf of Snow Hollow was his next movie, so naturally I was interested in checking it out. This time it was something of a horror movie and involved werewolves, I really didn’t know what to expect. All in all, while I don’t think it’s quite as strong as Thunder Road, I thought it was pretty good.

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The script was written by Jim Cummings again, and it does feel like the same person who made Thunder Road. It dabbles in comedy, drama, and with this movie now horror. The movie is very much focused with the lead character, much like Thunder Road. Despite the horror aspect, it doesn’t stem too far from that first movie. Both are dark drama comedies, with flawed main characters who are a police officers, have strained relationship with their daughters and are going through a lot (and are also both played by Jim Cummings). The comedy doesn’t hit as strong as in Thunder Road I felt, but the movie was very energetic and kept me constantly paying attention to what was happening. The main characters are well written and feel human. Overall, I will say that I feel like Thunder Road is more complete and better as a movie. I was paying attention to the main murder mystery, but it wasn’t the most interesting. The twists and turns weren’t anything special, and the reveals weren’t particularly clever. There’s also not really any tension throughout, even during the werewolf attack scenes. There was also one implausible aspect of the climax which took me out of it a bit but that was a slight nit-pick. Something worth noting is that this movie is 83 minutes long, which is even shorter than Thunder Road at 90 minutes. It really does feel like the movie would’ve been better if it was longer so that more would happen and some characters and storylines were expanded on a lot more, it certainly had room for that with a larger scale story and movie.

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Of the cast, of course it’s Jim Cummings who stands out in the lead role, his performance is great. His character is pretty unlikable at many points, yet he’s still watchable throughout the movie. His character is a bit like his character in Thunder Road, and like that movie he effectively showed all the pressure that he’s under and covers both comedy and drama. His line delivery was perfect, and Cummings has to be one of the best actors I’ve seen at playing breakdowns, crying, yelling and meltdowns. The rest of the performances range from alright to good. Riki Lindhome plays another police officer on the werewolf case, and Robert Forster plays Cummings’s father is in his final performance here.

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Jim Cummings directs this movie quite well. You immediately can tell that this movie is on a larger scale compared to his last movie. Thunder Road was made with a budget of $200,000, whereas The Wolf of Snow Hollow was made with $2 million. They took advantage of that money quite well, the very snowy setting works effectively and you really feel like you’re out there. This allows for some great snowy cinematography. Sometimes the lighting during the night time sequences looked a bit off though, I’m not sure why though. There are gory parts to the movie during the murder scenes but as said before, the tension and horror aspect wasn’t all that handled the best, it’s not bad but could’ve been a lot better.

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The Wolf of Snow Hollow is well made, darkly comedic dramedy and horror mystery film, featuring another great lead performance and direction from Jim Cummings. It’s not quite as great as his last movie and there were definitely some parts that could’ve been improved on, but it’s still quite good. If you like Thunder Road, I think it is well worth checking this one out. I’m definitely looking forward to what Jim Cummings does next.

Jackie Brown (1997) Review

Time: 154 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Violence, offensive language and sex scenes
Cast:
Pam Grier as Jackie Brown
Samuel L. Jackson as Ordell Robbie
Robert Forster as Max Cherry
Bridget Fonda as Melanie Ralston
Michael Keaton as Ray Nicolette
Robert De Niro as Louis Gara
Director: Quentin Tarantino

When flight attendant Jackie Brown (Pam Grier) is busted smuggling money for her arms dealer boss, Ordell Robbie (Samuel L. Jackson), agent Ray Nicolette (Michael Keaton) and detective Mark Dargus (Michael Bowen) want her help to bring down Robbie. Facing jail time for her silence or death for her cooperation, Brown decides instead to double-cross both parties and make off with the smuggled money. Meanwhile, she enlists the help of bondsman Max Cherry (Robert Forster), a man who loves her.

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Jackie Brown is typically known by most as one of the weaker Quentin Tarantino movies. It’s such an odd movie for him to make, but after the unbelievable success of Pulp Fiction, he wanted to try something very different. When I saw it for the first time, I didn’t know what to think, it was fine and I didn’t dislike it by any means, it’s just that compared to his other movies, it just wasn’t on that same level. I wanted to watch it again to be sure of how I felt about it, and thankfully I liked it a lot more than I did before.

Jackie Brown is the only script by Tarantino that’s not completely original, as he’s adapting an Elmore Leonard’s book titled Rum Punch. I’ve never read the book myself or looked up the similarities and differences between the two, but Quentin no doubt made the movie its own thing. Jackie Brown is a much more lowkey and subtle movie compared to his others. While his movies are generally better experienced when you are actually fully focussed on it, you actually really need to pay attention to everything that’s going on with this movie, it’s very much story driven. It’s surprisingly a noir movie, with the characters, the slow pacing, and the way a lot of the plot points are set up. The dialogue is pure Tarantino, making most of the main characters as 3 dimensional as possible. As far as writing for characters go, this is one of his best. There are a lot of details and subtleties that make the movie one that you have to be fully paying attention to. The movie is 2 hours and a half long and it can drag a little bit towards the middle, but not enough to make the experience tedious (unless you’re expecting a much more flashy and fast paced movie).

There’s a pretty talented cast in Jackie Brown, and they all do a good job with it. Pam Grier is in the lead role of the titular character and she was really great at really brining this character to life, seemed to be a perfect casting choice considering how Jackie Brown is definitely paying homage to a lot of Blaxploitation movies. Robert Forster was one of the standouts, with him and Grier sharing some great chemistry, among the highlights of the film. This is probably one of Samuel L. Jackson’s most overlooked roles as an arms dealer, looking at the dialogue it really seemed like a role that Tarantino specifically wrote for Jackson (in fact at certain points I think he went overboard). While you get the feeling that Tarantino didn’t really take advantage of Robert de Niro as much as he could’ve, he acts here like he hasn’t before, it’s such a lowkey and different performance from him. Other supporting players like Michael Keaton and Bridget Fonda also work well in their roles.

Quentin Tarantino’s direction is also quite lowkey, yet from his style and cinematography you can still tell that it’s his movie, it’s just not as flashy as you’d expect it to be. Some people might accuse him of often having ‘style over substance’ (a very flawed criticism in general I find), but I’m not quite sure how you’d be able to say that about Jackie Brown. Unlike most of his movies, there really isn’t much violence, and when it is present it’s about as graphic as those typically seen in a PG-13/M rated movie. The music is also great, Tarantino typically finds a solid line-up of songs for the movie, Jackie Brown’s is among his best soundtracks for his films, and that’s saying a lot.

Jackie Brown may not rank among Quentin Tarantino’s all time best movies, but is still very solid. The performances from the large cast are good, and Tarantino’s direction and more story-driven script make it all work. Even if you generally don’t like Tarantino’s movies, I’d recommend checking it out, for some it’s even considered to be his best film.

London Has Fallen (2016) Review

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London Has Fallen

Time: 99 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence and Offensive Language.
Cast:
Gerard Butler as Mike Banning
Aaron Eckhart as Benjamin Asher
Morgan Freeman as Allan Trumbull
Alon Moni Aboutboul as Aamir Barkawi
Angela Bassett as Lynne Jacobs
Robert Forster as Edward Clegg
Melissa Leo as Ruth McMillan
Radha Mitchell as Leah Banning
Charlotte Riley as Jacqueline “Jax” Marshall
Jackie Earle Haley as DC Mason
Sean O’Bryan as Ray Monroe
Waleed Zuaiter as Kamran Barkawi
Director: Babak Najafi

After the death of the British prime minister, the world’s most powerful leaders gather in London to pay their respects. Without warning, terrorists unleash a devastating attack that leaves the city in chaos and ruins. Secret Service agent Mike Banning (Gerard Butler) springs into action to bring U.S. President Benjamin Asher (Aaron Eckhart) to safety. When Asher falls into the hands of the sinister organization, it’s up to Banning to save his commander in chief from a horrible fate.

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Olympus Has Fallen was a surprising action movie, it really was the Die Hard that we deserved in 2013 (and unfortunately was a better Die Hard movie than the actual Die Hard we got that year). However I didn’t feel like it needed a sequel and after seeing London Has Fallen, I can say that I was pretty much right. London Has Fallen is still enjoyable with reasonably fine action scenes and a pretty good cast involved. However, it definitely feels like a step down compared to the previous movie.

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Let’s get this out of the way, even if you cared about what happened in Olympus Has Fallen, you likely won’t care about what happens in London Has Fallen. Even though the previous film’s focus wasn’t really on the story, you could at least feel tension for what’s going on. The sequel tries to recapture it but it doesn’t really achieve it. The writing is significantly lesser in comparison, I can’t really describe it, it feels like its missing something, it was probably Antoine Fuqa’s direction from the first film, which really made the first film work. The humour and dialogue is also a little off. Overall though this movie is fine, it’s just really forgettable, typing this review out was hard actually because I was trying to remember what happened in the movie.

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Gerald Butler really worked in the movie, he was great in the action scenes and you bought him in this movie. I also liked Aaron Eckhart who was also really good in this film. I really liked how Butler and Eckhart played off each other, you can actually buy that they are friends. The acting in this movie for the most part is fine, nothing spectacular, nothing horrible, it just works fine. The villain in the first film worked pretty well for the film, the villain in London Has Fallen however isn’t interesting. He worked fine I guess, but there wasn’t anything compelling about him.

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This film definitely feels like it’s missing something, especially when compared to Antoine Fuqua’s direction for Olympus Has Fallen. The direction for the most part is fine though. The action is decent, reasonably entertaining but aren’t anything special. There’s not much tension and it feels more in line with a normal above average action movie (which is really what this movie is). The first film felt a little gritty, but aside from the blood there really is nothing gritty about Olympus Has Fallen. There are some moments which are noticeably CGI and fake. Direction wise this film was quite a significant step back from the previous movie.

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Overall London Has Fallen is entertaining but I’m not sure if I can call it good. I know that it’s a mindless action movie (much like the first film) but even so, the writing isn’t really good and the direction feels like its lacking. I think the main thing missing was Antoine Fuqua’s direction. He made the first film way better than it could’ve been. Still, the action in this film is fine enough and Gerald Butler was great so I can say that I enjoyed the movie. If you liked Olympus Has Fallen, you might like the sequel but know that it’s not as good as the first film. It was fine overall.