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The Mummy (1999)
Indiana Jones meets the Mummy
Okay, so it's not Gone With the Wind, but it's a good movie, never-the-less. Despite a couple of inaccurate items (5 jars instead of 4, and shotgun shells that are plastic in an era where they would have been solid brass), it was an awesome movie, people.
Yes, there is a plethora of special effects, and they look really GOOD. This is the first "mummy" movie in my experience that covered the concept/progress of a mummy back into a human being. I rather enjoyed seeing a mummy having a purpose other than to kill off people who had intruded on the mummy's sleep.
There were moments, or particular scenes, which seemed predictable, but they were fun anyway. While the movie seemed reminiscent of an "Indiana Jones" adventure, there were elements of "Aliens", and others as well. Not that this detracted from the enjoyment quotient of this movie.
Okay, so most librarians don't look as good as our heroine and the bookshelf scene reminded me of "Robin Hood: Men in Tights", but don't let that stop you. This movie even managed to poke a little fun at itself ("that sure happens a lot around here").
Go see this movie; kick back and enjoy. I did.
True Lies (1994)
Definitely one of my favorites
In some ways, I view True Lies as a superior form of the James Bond movies; we never really saw Bond-the-man. Arnold has to live a lie every day with his wife and kids; probably a tougher job than his real work, if truth were known.
True Lies has some classic Arnold action, and while this is important to the film, it is not the sole component, as in Predator. Here we have the wife about to stray, and a daughter who steals money from his partner.
It's a difficult choice, but I think my favorite scene in the movie is when Arnold's under the truth drug. She asks if he's ever killed anybody; his reply is yes... but they were all bad. When the evil doctor comes in, Arnold tells him exactly how he's going to kill him, then reveals that he's picked the lock on his handcuffs.
Yes, you need suspension of disbelief to watch this movie, but it IS a lot of fun. And yes, Bill Paxton is good at playing slimy jerks (see him in Weird Science, if you doubt me).
Presumed Innocent (1990)
Not all punishments come from a court room
Harrison Ford plays a district attourney who is still obsessed with a co-worker with whom he had an affair, which she broke off. She then is found murdered, and all the evidence points back at Ford. We don't want to think he committed this brutal murder, but do we know for sure?
There is a strong moral to this film, which should be obvious to anyone watching. Sometimes our actions have consequences that we never would have believed or intended, but does that make us any less guilty?
If you liked this film, you might want to watch Tightrope.
Die Hard (1988)
The quintessential action movie
What more can be said? This is the ultimate action movie. Perhaps the one thing that adds to the believability of this movie is the progression of the state of John McClain -- by the end of this movie he is beaten, bloody and bedraggled. This is a nice change from where the hero comes out at the end with one or two artistic scratches.
In & Out (1997)
Yes, it is funny, but still a bait-and-switch
Without a doubt, much humor and good performances. The scene with the "Exploring Your Masculinity" tape (this is the one where Kline is told that real men don't dance) had me laughing so hard that I had tears in my eyes.
Unfortunately, everything that I had seen and read about this movie before I went to see it indicated that it was a case of a man who was wrongly "outed"... period. When it became evident that he was going to end up being gay (notice his foot-lifting during the kiss with Selleck), I felt very let down.
I didn't want to go see an "it's okay to be gay" movie (there seem to be enough of that type already). I wanted to see the teacher who seems to fit the "gay profile", if you will, gets falsely outed, but nevertheless is "straight".
Making Peter Malloy (Selleck) gay shows that gay doesn't have to fit any preconceived profile (remember, this is the guy who played Magnum, P.I.). But by making Howard Brackett (Kline) gay, it supports the idea that sensitive, poetry-loving (etc.) men must be gay. The viewer would have been better served had the movie stuck with the premise that gay/straight doesn't have to fit a stereotype; let "manly" Sellect be gay and "sensitive" Kline be straight.
Don't interpret this as a gay-bashing/homophobe review; it is not. I sympathize with Kline's character inasmuch as I am a man in his early 30's who is still unmarried, and occasionally catches the "how come he isn't married" sort of thing from people.
What Dreams May Come (1998)
Non-traditional theology aside, a fabulous movie.
A wonderful non-comedic performance by Robin Williams (Awakenings, Dead Poets Society). Some may find this movie somewhat disjointed with various flashbacks, etc., but it does fit the paradigm of human thought. We find ourselves remembering things at different times; a side-tracking of sorts which brings seemingly unrelated events together at various points in time. In this case, it provides a natural unfolding of our understanding of William's character and past.
While the movie does not adhere to traditional views of the afterlife, and (more or less) side-steps the issue of evil, it is nevertheless a tale which carries us off to "what a wonderful heaven it would be...". No doubt some people might find it sacreligious, but those who reject this movie on those grounds will be losing out. Don't let the "feel-good" theology stop you from seeing this film.
One point that this movie made clear, and did a magnificent job of doing so, is that our relationships, especially with family members, is often molded by our preconceptions: our relationships often obscure the other person as an individual. If we could see our loved ones in an objective light, our attitudes may well change for the better. We also see the deep-seated effects that some of our comments may have; consider well the implications of what you say before you say it.
What Dreams May Come has some absolutely delightful imagery; it takes reality and adds magic to it. I will be surprised (and disappointed) if this movie does not win awards for cinematography and special-effects, and will be downright upset if it doesn't get nominated for them.
Go out and see this movie. Think about your relationship(s) with those you love; any moment can be our last.
Never give up.