Sunday, July 31, 2016

Double Identities

The Long Kiss Goodnight
Director: Renny Harlin
Cast: Geena Davis, Samuel L. Jackson, Craig Bierko, Brian Cox, Davis Morse
Released: October 11, 1996



For a movie approaching its 20th anniversary, the action scenes hold up quite nicely and are still thrilling to watch. This was probably the third, maybe fourth time I've seen this movie and I'm still not quite sure the plot of this film! All you need to know is that Geena Davis's character has amnesia and Samuel L. Jackson plays a detective trying to help her. When we first meet our main character, her name is Samantha Caine and she tells the audience she was "born eight years ago", that she doesn't remember anything prior to those years. She has an eight-year-old daughter named Caitlin, but doesn't know who the father is and she is seeing a guy named Hal (who is such a nonentity in the movie that I had to look up his name). She lives in a small town in Pennsylvania and teaches at an elementary school. She's the kind of woman who plays Mrs. Claus in the town's Christmas parade, doesn't curse, and scolds the next door neighbor boy for smoking. 

Memories began to trickle back after she suffers from a concussion after she gets into a horrific car accident when she hits a deer and goes flying through the windshield. This is just one of many scenes where something that should kill, or at the very least, break a few bones of one of the characters, happens. But she's just bloodied and is able to stand up and break the neck of the deer who is still alive and suffering. She breaks the neck with such ease that it makes you wonder if she's ever done this before. She has a dream that night where she's looking in the mirror and sees a woman who looks like her, except her hair is blonde and cut shorter and the woman tells her that her name is Charly and they'll soon be meeting. 

One afternoon, Samantha is cutting carrots and isn't doing a very good job as she cuts her finger, then, all of a sudden, she is cutting the carrots like she's a five-star chef and tells her boyfriend and daughter to give her more vegetables to cut. She declares she must have been a chef in her past life and throws a tomato followed by the knife which pins it to the wall. This freaks out her boyfriend and daughter to which she tells them, "Chefs do that." Another day, she takes her daughter ice-skating, but Caitlin falls on her arm and starts crying and Samantha starts talking to her in a gruff voice, in a tone we've never heard her take with her daughter before. She tells her to stop being a baby and that "life is pain - get used to it." Remember this speech because it will come back later.

A one-eyed man who has escaped from jail after seeing Samantha (or, "Samantha" I should say!) on TV during the Christmas parade (seriously, a small town televises that? And some guy in jail is watching that?) comes to her house ready to kill her. The home fight is very reminiscent to the fight Uma Thurman and Vivica A. Fox have in Kill Bill with a Home Alone-esque fall thrown in there when the guy slips on some M&Ms that have spilled. In a ridiculous scene, Samantha throws her daughter through the hole the guy has just blown through her house with his gun and into her tree house which is several feet away from the house. Luckily his gun has run out of bullets, but he's about to get a large knife when they're fighting in the kitchen, but she's able to stop him with a lemon meringue pie in the face....well, actually it was the glass pie pan that knocked him out and gave him a nasty gash across the face. She gives the man one final blow to the head and breaks his neck (as we saw her do earlier with the deer). We later learn that in her previous life, Samantha, then Charly, was nearly killed by that same man, but stuck a syringe in his eye.

Knowing that her boyfriend (er, fiance, maybe?) and daughter aren't safe until she gets some answers, Samantha hires a private detective named Mitch (Samuel L. Jackson) to help her. They head out on a roadtrip with a suitcase that is full of clues to Charly's past. (I'm just gonna refer to her as Charly from now on so it doesn't get too confusing.) There's a phone number she calls and reaches a man named Waldman (Brian Cox) who tells her that there are people out there trying to kill her and wants to meet her at the train station the next morning. When she sees a man approaching her, Charly (still in Samantha mode as Charly wouldn't do something so dumb), stupidly asks the man if he's Dr. Waldman and the guy, obviously NOT Waldman, begins to take out a gun, but fortunately Mitch is armed and she grabs his gun and shoots the guy. The main bad guy of the movie, Timothy (Craig Bierko) is also there with his henchmen who are blocking all the exits when Charly and Mitch try to escape. They run upstairs to the third floor and hide behind a wall, ready to shoot at any bad guys, but their plans are thwarted when a grenade is tossed their way. They run down the hall, the only way out is a window which Charly shoots at. Then, as they're falling, she shoots at the frozen lake below them. It's a cool action scene, but highly implausible. First of all, the fact that she was able to use a gun while falling from a third-story building? Please! Second of all, the fact that when they fell in the ice-covered lake, they were lucky to come up in the same spot. Third of all, hypothermia didn't seem to be a factor for them as they get out and run back to their car. And there are scenes that are a lot more insane than this one!

As they're still running from the bad guys, the real Waldman drives up to them and tells them to get into the car. He tells Charly the truth about her past: that she's an assassin working for the U.S. Government. They decide to ditch Waldman when Mitch smartly brings up that he was the only one who knew they were going to be at the train station and how did those guys who attacked them knew they would be there? To be honest, I was never sure if Waldman was a good guy or bad guy because he doesn't last very long in this movie. Hmmm, I guess I just answered my own question as he is killed by a definite bad guy.

Charly and Mitch find another clue that leads them to a man named Luke (David Morse) who Charly believes was one her fiance and is most likely the father of her daughter. He seems like a nice enough guy, but surprise! He's one of the bad guys! The reason Charly has such vivid memories of him is because he was a target and she learned a lot of things about him. Something like that. Waldman, who found out where they went, comes to warn them, but more evil henchmen get to them before they can escape. They knock out Charly, kill Waldman, and lock up Mitch. When Charly wakes up, she's tied to a water wheel which Luke uses to torture her for prolonged amounts of time under the water to get information out of her, but on her third trip under the water (which she insists on taking, so you think that would have been his first clue not to take her under the water again!), she gets out of the rope her hands are tied in and grabs the gun out of the now dead Waldman who is now under the water and when she comes back up, she shoots Luke and rescues Mitch.

This is around the time Charly fully starts to emerge and all traces of the goody-goody Samantha are completely gone. She physically transfers herself by cutting her long curly brown hair and dying it blonde and putting on gobs of makeup which looks absolutely ridiculous. I like the hair, though
.

There's this scene where she has to get back to Mitch fast because the bad guys have come upon him and attacking him, so she grabs a pair of skates and starts skating across a pond with a gun strapped to her back. I'm sorry, but in the time it would have taken her to put on and lace up those skates, she wouldn't have been able to get there in time. I also could have sworn that this was the movie where a bad guy dies from getting an ice skate blade across the throat. I know there's a movie out there where a woman escaping from a bad guy is on skates and picks up a child and swings the child around to slice the bad guy's throat with the blade of the ice skates. What movie am I thinking of???

It turns out the father of Charly's daughter is Timothy (guess Charly had to go undercover and get really close to him...eww...) He kidnaps the young girl and locks both her and Charly in a large freezer and turns down the temperature. In a very MacGuyver type move, Charly takes Caitlin's doll, which is filled with gasoline (don't ask) and tries to light a fire with some utensil, but can't, until her daughter gives her a package of matches which she has because she lights a candle every night. Seriously, why did she let her mother try to light a fire for five minutes when she had matches at her disposal? Caitlin asks her mother if they're going to die and I did get a bit of a chuckle when Charly replies with, "No, sweetie, they are" and lights the fire which explodes the entire building. It also knocks Mitch, who is tied to a chair and is about to get shot by Timothy, out of a second story building window and through a billboard sign and he hits a tree. He must have flown at least 100 feet. That should have EASILY killed him, or, at best, broken a bunch of bones. But nope! He is able to stand up and walk away. WTF? He only has a few scratches and there's blood running down his face.

So there's a bomb in a big semi truck and as Charly and Caitlin escape, they are ambushed by the bad guys and Charly tells her daughter to go somewhere safe, so she runs and hides in the truck with the bomb. Charly ends up driving the truck out of the town and there's more excitement as she kills more bad guys and tries to save her daughter. Which she manages to do, but is so exhausted and can't move anymore after she tells her daughter to run away from there. Caitlin does leave, but comes back and gives Charly the exact same speech her mother gave her when they went ice-skating and uses the line, "Life is pain." This awakens something in Charly and she gets up to finish the job of killing Timothy. Let's just say the bomb does its part in killing him.

The movie ends with a nod to Thelma and Louise (which is so much better than this movie, but perhaps it's unfair to compare the two!) as we see Geena Davis driving a convertible and wearing a headscarf. We also see her living a happy life with her boyfriend (probably now husband) and daughter. This movie has some great action scenes, but I found myself not caring about the story.

Sunday, July 24, 2016

Hoo-wah!

Scent of a Woman
Director: Martin Brest
Cast: Al Pacino, Chris O'Donnell, James Rebhorn, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Bradley Whitford
Released: December 23, 1992

Oscar nominations:
Best Picture (lost to Unforgiven)
Best Director - Martin Brest (lost to Clint Eastwood for Unforgiven)
Best Actor - Al Pacino (won)
Best Adapted Screenplay - Bo Goldman (lost to Ruth Prawer Jhabvala for Howards End)


This movie kind of reminded me of Rain Man, in that there's a younger guy aiding around an older guy who needs assistance and the younger guy learns a lesson from the older guy. But that's about where the similarities end.

This is a movie I thought I had seen before, but when I watched it, nothing about it was familiar to me so I must have been thinking of another movie (hmmm, maybe it was Rain Man? I know I've seen that!) Charlie Simms (Chris O'Donnell) is a student at a prep school who takes a job of taking care of blind, retired Lieutenant Colonel Frank Slade (Al Pacino). Frank lives with his niece and her family. They are going out of town for the Thanksgiving weekend and the niece is looking for someone to watch her uncle because she would feel more comfortable if she knew he had someone around to help him. Even though he goes to a private school, Charlie does not come from a wealthy family and needs money to fly home to Oregon next Christmas. The gig pays $300 and seeing that he is the only one to show up for the interview, he gets the job.

When he first meets Frank, he keeps calling him "sir" even though Frank's niece told him not to call him that. It is clear to see that the Colonel is miserable and grouchy and likes to drink. Charlie is unsure about what he's gotten himself into, but since he needs the money, he goes ahead and takes the job.

The day before he is suppose to start his new temporary job, Charlie is at school with his friend George (played by a young Phillip Seymour Hoffman) and they see a couple guys they know setting up a prank which happens the next day. They fill up a huge balloon full of some kind of goop on a lamp post that hangs over the spot where the headmaster (James Rebhorn) usually parks. The goop goes all over the headmaster's fancy new car AND the headmaster. Charlie and George are both questioned, but neither say anything. They both agree not to tell their parents about it, then Charlie finds out that George has told his father because he's rich and he thinks he can get him out of it.

Before they leave for their trip, the niece tells Charlie to make sure her uncle doesn't have more than four drinks and to water them down. She gives him a piece of paper with the number where they can be reached if he needs to contact them for anything.  To Charlie's surprise, Frank ends up whisking him away on a first class flight trip to New York City. Charlie wants to know what's going on, but Frank says he will tell him "on a need-to-know-basis".  He gets them a room at the Waldorf-Astoria and takes them to dinner at a fancy restaurant. Charlie asks him how he's paying for all this and Frank tells him he saved up a lot of his disability checks and that that is all part of his "plan". Charlie inquires about this so-called plan and Frank simply tells him that his plan is to stay at a first class hotel, eat an agreeable meal, drink a nice glass of wine, see his big brother, and make love to a terrific woman. He concludes his plan by saying, "And after all that, I'm gonna lie down on my big, beautiful bed at the Waldorf and blow my brains out." Needless to say, Charlie is taken aback by this and says, "Excuse me, did you say you were going to kill yourself?" And Frank replies with, "No, I said I was gonna blow my brains out!" It was right at this moment where I told myself, He's not going to go through with it! And remember, I've never seen this movie before...I didn't even know this was a plot point! Okay, maybe it's not a surprise that he (uh....spoiler alert?) did NOT die!

They go to visit his brother for a surprise Thanksgiving visit and nobody is very happy that he's there as he's the black sheep of the family. I can see why the family isn't very fond of Frank. He harasses them and tells inappropriate stories around the dinner table (good thing there were no kids present!) and is very forward. Bradley Whitford plays his nephew and he especially despises his Uncle Frank. He tells Charlie the story of how Frank lost his eyesight: he was teaching hand to hand combat to another lieutenant and juggling grenades. He dropped one and the pin came out and blew up, thus blinding him. He was drunk at the time which explains the stupidity of this act.


The title of the movie comes from Frank being able to tell the type of perfume a woman is wearing. One of the more well-known scenes from the film is when he dances the tango with a young woman who he's trying to hook Charlie up with, but alas, the woman is married. Charlie is worried about Frank's depression so he takes him to a car dealership so they can test drive a Ferrari. The salesman tells them that he cannot let a 17-year-old kid behind the wheel of a $190,000 car with a blind companion. Even though Chris O'Donnell does look young (because he was young in this!), he does not look 17! I believe he was 22 when he filmed this. They should have just made his character a college student. Phillip Seymour Hoffman was also very young in this, but again, does NOT look like a teenager! Oh, well, this was the early '90s when 30 year olds were playing teenagers on Beverly Hills, 90210! Colonel Slade bribes the guy with $2,000 in cash and tell him he's the boy's father and he's a very safe driver and he lets them test drive it. As they're driving, Charlie notices Frank still looks depressed so he takes the car to an abandoned street part of the city (I didn't know there were even places like that in New York!) and lets him drive.


He's driving the car super fast and tells Charlie to let him know when to turn, but Charlie doesn't want him to and he tells him he's going to turn whether he helps him or not, so Charlie finally tells him and he skids the car on a turn. They are eventually caught by a police officer who gives them a warning...and he doesn't even notice that Frank is blind! That seems a bit stupid on the police officer's part! He's even holding out the registration to Frank and asks him if he wants it back.

The big emotional scene of the movie comes when they return to the hotel and Frank says he's going to take a nap and asks Charlie to go downstairs to get him some aspirin. He also wants him to go to a shop and get him some cigars. Charlie makes it down to the lobby and is about to leave, but has a sudden change of heart as we see him turn around and walk back on the elevator. Right after they had returned from test driving the Ferrari, Frank had a bit of a meltdown as he started walking across a busy street. Charlie kept asking him if he was okay and he insisted he was. When Charlie returns to the room, he sees the Colonel is in his uniform and has his gun out. Charlie tells him to give him the gun, but Frank points it at him and threatens him, telling him he's going to shoot him first, that his life's finished anyway since he's most likely to get expelled from school since George is going to tell on him for knowing about the prank. The Colonel begins a countdown from five and when he reaches one and points the gun at his head, Charlie lunges at him and grabs the gun. Frank tells him to "Get out of here!" and Charlie says he's staying right there and Frank, once again, threatens to kill him to which Charlie replies, "You want to do it? Do it!" Charlie tells him to get on with his life, but Frank tells him he has no life and that "I'm in the dark here!" Charlie tells him they should both give up and encourages him to pull the trigger. Oh, I get it. He was using reverse psychology, right? Frank tells him he (Charlie) doesn't want to die and Charlie in return tells Frank he doesn't want to die either. Frank says, "Give me one reason not to" and Charlie tells him, "I'll give you two: you can dance the tango and drive a Ferrari better than anyone I've ever seen." This reveal seems to amuse Frank and tells him, "You've never seen anyone do either." This seems to work because we hear the swell of triumphant music as Frank puts down the gun.

The last big scene of the movie is when Charlie goes back to school the following Monday and there whole school has assembled together to have a hearing about the prank. I feel like if you question a student in front of the ENTIRE school, of course they're not going to say anything! Colonel Slade, who had dropped Charlie off, comes back with his chauffeur and sits next to Charlie for support. To be honest, this entire subplot of the movie with the school prank disinterested me, but Charlie doesn't snitch on his friends and isn't expelled and everyone cheers...for some reason. I forgot to mention there was a nice moment when Colonel Slade has just dropped Charlie off (well, his chauffeur, obviously) and he touches Charlie's face as a way to remember him.

I would recommend this movie, but it is a little on the long side, so be prepared for that. I was about two hours into it and I checked to see how much time was left, and there was still about another hour! While Al Pacino is great as the blind Colonel Slade and deserving of an Oscar nomination, it does seem a bit crazy that he won over Denzel Washington in Malcolm X. It's been awhile since I've seen that movie, but that was more of the Oscar baity role. Well, that's probably why Denzel won for Training Day several years later. If you remember, a lot of people thought it was going to go to Russell Crowe for A Beautiful Mind, but I knew Denzel was going to win, because, if you remember, Crowe had just won the year before for Gladiator, plus wasn't this around the time he was being a huge prick?  I don't think anyone is angry Al Pacino has an Oscar, but he had some pretty stiff competition. But when have the Oscars ever made sense? Exactly.

Monday, July 18, 2016

A Made Man

Goodfellas
Director: Martin Scorsese
Cast: Ray Liotta, Robert DeNiro, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino
Released: September 21, 1990

Oscar nominations:
Best Picture (lost to Dances with Wolves)
Best Director - Martin Scorsese (lost to Kevin Costner for Dances with Wolves)
Best Supporting Actor - Joe Pesci (won)
Best Supporting Actress - Lorraine Bracco (lost to Whoopi Goldberg for Ghost)
Best Adapted Screenplay - Martin Scorsese and Nicholas Pileggi (lost to Michael Blake for Dances with Wolves)
Best Film Editing (lost to Dances with Wolves)


I need to watch Dances with Wolves in the near future to see if I agree with the Academy's decision of awarding that Best Picture over Goodfellas. I call BS on Kevin Costner winning Best Director over Marty Scorsese, though, ESPECIALLY since at this point in time Scorsese had never won an Oscar for directing (and wouldn't win one until 2007 for The Departed....personally, I liked
Goodfellas better, though I will admit it's been awhile since I've seen The Departed). If you remember, back in 2010, I posted several videos about a poll asking which was the biggest Best Picture upset in Oscar history. Dances with Wolves winning over Goodfellas was on the list, but it was not the one that won the poll and not the one I thought should have win....oh, trust me, there's a much bigger upset! You'll just have to go back and watch to find out, but if you know me, then you already know my answer!

Goodfellas is based on a book by Nicholas Pileggi called "Wiseguy" (damn, I can never remember if book titles are suppose to be italicized, underlined, or in parentheses which is why I just do all three!) Since there was already a show on TV called Wiseguy, Scorsese (smartly) changed the name. I think Goodfellas is a better title anyway. Wiseguy sounds like a comedy. "Ehhhh, Wiseguy!" The book and movie are based on the true story of Henry Hill (played by Ray Liotta), a man who got sucked into the mafia life at a very young age and would eventually turn on his mob family. The movie begins with him saying, in voiceover, "As far back as I can remember, I've always wanted to be a gangster." He tells the audience that as a young child and teen in the '50s, he was always awed by the power these Italian-American men in his Brooklyn community held. He was able to get part-time work from them by running errands for them and doing small jobs. This soon became a full-time job and he was part of their family.

His mentor is Jimmy Conway (Robert De Niro) who Henry is in awe of the first time he meets him at a club because Jimmy is just tipping everyone one hundred dollars, like he has money to blow through like it's no big deal. He gives the doorman $100 just for opening the door and the bartender $100 for keeping the drinks coming. When he meets Henry he gives him a couple hundreds, just for the hell of it, really. Jimmy likes to sell things on the black market, such as cigarettes, booze, shrimp and lobster. He gives Henry two important pieces of advice: "Never rat on your friends and always keep your mouth shut." Henry will NOT abide by these rules later on in the movie!

He meets Tommy DeVito (Joe Pesci) a very volatile man which makes him extremely scary and dangerous. One of the most well-known scenes in the movie is when Tommy is telling a story to a group of guys including Henry and the punchline of the story is, "Yeah, I told this guy to go f*** his mother" and then he sees this guy again and he says, "Hey, I thought I told you to go f*** your mother!" All the guys are laughing hysterically, including Henry who says, "You're really funny." Tommy seems to take this more as an insult and asks him, "Funny how? Like I'm a clown? I amuse you? I make you laugh? I'm here to f***ing amuse you? What do you mean funny?" The whole table is silent and Henry has to try to backtrack what he meant so he's not insulting Tommy anymore than he (apparently!) already is. He tells him he thought the way he told the story was funny and Tommy gets even more angry and says, "How the f*** am I funny?" Henry gets a little freaked out then calls him out and says, "Get the f*** out of here!" and Tommy laughs and says, "I almost had him!" So he was just playing with him the entire time. Although, as it turns out, when he gets angry, sometimes he's not always playing around. This proves to be true in another scene when the guys are playing poker and and a young guy named Spider (played by Michael Imperioli aka Christopher (Christofuh!) from The Sopranos) is serving them drinks. He misunderstood Tommy wanted a drink after delivering the beverages to the table and Tommy says to him, "Where's my f***ing drink?" Spider tries to explain to him he thought he said he didn't need a drink, but this only makes matters worse. Spider asks him if he wants a drink and Tommy says, "Yeah, I want a f***ing drink! Move it, you f***ing bastard!" He thinks it would be hilarious if he made Spider "dance" and takes out his pistol and shoots him in the foot. The other guys are like, "What's the matter with you, Tommy?" and Henry goes over to help Spider. Tommy says, "So what? He got shot in the foot! Big f***ing deal!" Henry and another guy go take him to get his foot taken care of and Tommy says, "Let him crawl there like he crawls to get the drinks!" He is laughing and smiling and obviously does not feel bad he just shot someone in the foot. (Well, he does do worse things than shoot people in the foot and he never feels bad about those either!) He tells Spider, "Don't make a big f***ing thing out of this, you little prick!" and "It was an accident!" At a following game, we see Spider has a cast on his foot. Tommy makes fun of him and Spider tells him, "Why don't you go f*** yourself, Tommy." Big mistake. BIG. MISTAKE! The other guys (except for Tommy who is just sitting there looking mighty pissed!) are laughing and Jimmy jokes that he has respect for Spider for standing up to Tommy. The second he tells Tommy, "You gonna let him get away with that?", I KNEW Spider was a dead man. Because Tommy takes out his gun and just brutally blows him away. All the guys are shocked and Jimmy says, "I was f***ing kidding with you and you f***ing shoot the guy?" And I'm thinking, Well, maybe you shouldn't have egged him on! We all knew this was going to happen!

I wrote in my Breakfast Club review that I grew up knowing Emilio Estevez best as the coach from The Mighty Ducks because that was the generation I grew up with. Well, it probably won't surprise you when I say that Joe Pesci will always be one half of the Wet Bandits from Home Alone to me. I was a kid when that movie came out (and you know I'm a big Home Alone fan!), so I will always associate him with that movie. It only came out two months after this one, but I was too young to see Goodfellas! I don't even think I was even aware of it until several years later. Haha, can you imagine if Tommy DeVito was the character in that movie? First of all, I don't think Kevin would survive! Or Marv after that scene with the crowbar and the tarantula! Second of all, those f-bombs would be dropping every which way!

I heard somewhere that 27 people who were in this movie, would later go on to appear in The Sopranos, which is pretty much the TV version of Goodfellas. I already mentioned Michael Imperioli, but probably the most well-known one would be Lorraine Bracco who plays Henry's wife, Karen Hill. They first meet on a double date they have with Tommy and a woman who is a friend of Karen's. While Tommy and his date are canoodling and having a great time, Henry and Karen aren't talking to each other and show no interest in each other. Another double date is set up, but this time Henry doesn't show up and Karen is pissed about that. We suddenly get voice over from her which was a little jarring at first because so far at this point, we've only heard voice overs from Henry. When she confronts Henry about standing her up, he is attracted to her fiery personality and they soon start dating.  There's a great scene where Henry takes her to the Copacabana nightclub and instead of going through the front doors and waiting in line, he takes her through the back and there's this great one-take scene of them walking through the back halls and the kitchen. Here's the scene:





Man, I tell you, that Marty Scorsese is a great movie director. That is a brilliant scene. This is why I enjoy this movie so much; a lot of the scenes just suck you in like this one. Although I will say I mostly associate that song with Adventure in Baby-Sitting! (I have seen that movie a lot more than this one! This is only the second time I've seen Goodfellas).

Needless to say, Karen is very seduced by Henry and becomes even more attractive to him when he beats up her neighbor with the handle of his gun when he tries to get too handsy with her. Henry hands Karen the bloodied gun and she says she knows this would have scared most woman, but it made her even more attracted to him. They eventually get married, but that won't stop Henry from having some fun with another woman on the side.

The movie begins with Henry, Jimmy, and Tommy driving at night when they hear a sound coming from the trunk. They stop the car and open the trunk to reveal to the audience a bloodied and beat up man who they thought was dead, but is still alive (but barely because he looks really bad). We see Tommy take out a huge knife and stab the poor guy several times and then the movie starts in chronological order. About an hour in the movie, we will find out about the man in the trunk. He is a mobster named Billy Batts and he did a very stupid thing by insulting Tommy. Do these people never learn. You don't f*** with Tommy DeVito! Not if you want to live! Billy is actually an old friend of Tommy who he hasn't seen in several years because they do hug and seem happy to see each other after all this time. But then Billy starts joking around with Tommy about his shoe shining days and this really ticks off Tommy. (Someone needs to go to anger management!) Billy tells him to calm down, that he's only kidding with him. Everything seems to be calm, but then Billy (who must be a really idiot), has to make another crack and this really sets Tommy off and he goes to attack Billy, but is stopped by Henry and Jimmy. Later, when Billy is alone, Jimmy distracts him so Tommy can sneak up on him and start beating the crap out of him with Jimmy's help. They put him in the trunk of the car and head to Tommy's mother's house because Tommy tells them there's a shovel at her house. Here's a fun fact: Tommy's mother is played by Scorsese's real-life mother, Catherine Scorsese (Another fun fact about this movie is that Samuel L. Jackson has a small role. He plays a man who helps the guys with a big heist, but then after he carelessly leaves a trail for police, he is whacked). He tells the guys to be quiet because he doesn't want to wake her up, but she's already up when the enter the house. She ends up making this big Italian meal for the three men in the middle of the night and Tommy takes this huge carving knife and asks her if he can take it because he hit a deer (he explains to her that's why he has blood on his shirt!) and he needs the knife to hack off the hoof of the animal! We then return to the very first scene of the movie and see him use the knife to stab Billy and kill for good this time. Since Billy was a made man, Tommy soon gets his comeuppance and I think we all saw that coming!


Towards the end of the movie, things start to spiral for Henry and he is forced to go into the Witness Protection Program and rat on Jimmy and mob boss leader, Paulie (Paul Sorvino). I just love the way this movie is shot; lots of brilliant camera work. Yes, the movie is very violent, but it IS a gangster movie, after all! It also makes me want to read the book it was based on. I am looking for something to read!

Sunday, July 10, 2016

Don't Bug Me

Arachnophobia 
Director: Frank Marshall
Cast: Jeff Daniels, John Goodman, Harley Jane Kozak, Julians Sands
Released: July 18, 1990



"Arachnophobia" is a noun defined as the pathological fear or loathing of spiders. Even though I don't particularly care for spiders, I wouldn't say I have arachnophobia. If I see one on my wall or ceiling, I"ll just grab a plastic cup and trap it under there, then place a measuring cup over it to make sure the spider doesn't get out (I don't want it touching me!) I will either toss it down the toilet, or, if I'm feeling generous, I'll let it outside. My most recent "scary" encounter with a spider was about a year ago. I felt something on my leg and I just figured it was my cat's tail brushing up against my leg because that's what it felt like...but when I looked down, I saw a daddy-long-legs on my bare legs. OMG, I shrieked so loud and brushed that sucker off of me! Ughghghghg! I hate the feeling of creepy crawlies crawling on you! 

However, my most terrifying encounter with a spider happened when I was about six or seven years old. I was sitting in my bed, doing whatever (like I remember...this happened a long time ago! I was probably reading or playing with My Little Ponies because those were my toy of choice!) and I had my bedspread folded over. When I unfolded the bedspread, I saw, I swear to God, I am not making this up, the BIGGEST spider I have ever seen in my entire life. It was black and was about the size of a sand dollar and I remember it looking very shiny, like it had this sheen to it. But like I said, this happened so long ago that I may be remembering certain details wrong! Surprisingly, I remember being very calm and went down to the basement where my dad was and told him there was a spider on my bed and he came up and disposed of it for me. I'll have to ask him if he remembers this. I feel like if this spider was as big as I remember, there's no way he would be able to forget about it! 

But other than those two instances, I haven't had any really bad experiences with spiders. I had already seen this movie twice before (and I could have sworn it was rated R, but it's PG-13) but it still make me shriek out loud several times. I scared my cat, who was sitting next to me, the first time I shrieked. This is the beginning of the movie where an American photographer is in Venezuela taking photos of new species of insects British entomologist James Atherton (Julians Sands) hopes to find in the Amazon. They spray this gas up into a tree and all these different insects fall out and into jars that they have set up to collect them. They hear bigger thumps and notice a few spiders, quite large. The photographer asks Atherton if the spider is dead and he assures him it is and he gets really close to the spider with his camera and the spider jumps on the lens! OMG, that made me shriek so loud, thus scaring my poor cat! Then I screamed again, minutes later, when the photographer, who isn't feeling very well and has a fever, takes a nap in his sleeping bag. Unbeknownst to him, one of the new species of spiders has crawled and hidden in his bag and it crawls in his sleeping bag and I screamed when he felt something and opened his sleeping bag and sees the spider and it bites him on the leg. The guy dies and they think it was because of the fever.

He is sent back to his small home town of Canaima, California along with the spider that hitches a ride in the coffin. The spider makes its way outside where it is captured by a crow who drops dead after the spider bites it and it ends up in the woods near a house with a barn. The Jennings family from San Francisco is moving into this house. Ross (Jeff Daniels) is a doctor who has moved to the small town to take over the practice of the aging town doctor, Dr. Metcalf. He has moved here with his wife, Molly (Harley Jane Kozak - yeah, I've never heard of her either) and his kids, Shelley and Tommy. We learn very quickly that Ross has arachnophobia when his son tells him there's a spider in one of the moving boxes and he has his wife come and deal with it. She tells them that the spider is more afraid of them than they are of it. She lifts it up with a magazine and carries it to the barn. Well, guess who else decided to make its home in the barn? The venomous Venezuelan spider. There is an odd scene of the two spiders rubbing legs together as they have fallen in love and now are going to procreate (ugh!) A huge web is spun in the barn and hundred of eggs are hatched :::shudder:::

Molly, who is a photographer, has found the web and takes photos of it, thinking it's beautiful. It is quite an impressive web. She also takes Ross to see it, thinking it might be good therapy for his fear of spiders. His fear goes back all the way to when he was two years old. He claims he remembers being in his crib in his diaper and a spider crawling along his bare skin, paralyzing him with fear and he has never gotten over his arachnophobia. As he's looking at the web, the ladder breaks and he falls into it and a DEAD RAT is revealed to be caught in the web. The Jennings are laughing about the whole incident, but I would be a little concerned that there's a dead rat in the web...spiders aren't suppose to eat rats! That would send alarm bells off in me!

Ross finds out that Dr. Metcalf has decided not to retire and wants to keep his practice so this means that Dr. Jennings only has one patient, an older woman who is a retired teacher. He (half-jokingly) tells his wife he hopes she has a lot of things wrong with her, but she turns out to be quite healthy. She was on heart medication, but he tells her she doesn't need it anymore. When she is found dead in her house a few days later, he admits he took her off the pills and Dr. Metcalf blames her death on that, but Ross is adamant that she didn't need them anymore and wants an autopsy but Dr. Metcalf refuses. Even though she was technically Dr. Jenning's patient at the time, Dr. Metcalf says he has seniority over him since she was his patient much longer than she was Jenning's patient. What actually happened was she was bitten by a spider offspring that had crawled up her lamp and bit her hand when she reached to turn it off. There was a close call earlier when the spider was crawling on the couch her cat was sitting on and she scooped her up just before the spider reached her. There's also a scene earlier when the Venezuelan spider has just gotten out of the coffin and there's a cat hissing at it and a dog barking at it. I was so worried for all the cats and dogs in this movie the first time I saw this, but the only animal that dies is the crow...oh, and the rat found in the web. I can handle that, but I would have been so upset if any dogs or cats had died!

Ross gets more patients when the high school football coach wants him to give his players physicals. During a football game, a spider crawls into one of the player's helmets (after crawling on the bleachers and a handful of people unknowingly having close calls with it) and when the teen is called to be in the game, he puts on his helmet only to collapse seconds after being tackled. He is pronounced dead at the scene and everyone is confused because the tackle wasn't that hard. Can you imagine being the guy who tackled him, thinking you killed somebody? I would never play football again if I were him! Again, Ross is refused an autopsy of the young man. He has been given the unfortunate nickname "Dr. Death" since all his patients have died after being treated by him.

The next victim is Dr. Metcalf himself when a spider crawls into one of his slippers as he's walking on the treadmill. He's going to take a shower and is about to walk to the bathroom when his wife tells him that the floor is cold and he should put on his slippers....so his wife basically killed him! He puts on the slippers, and, you guessed it, is dead seconds later. Ross and the police arrive at the Metcalf house. Mrs. Metcalf tells them her husband had complained about a spider bite, but one of the police officers thinks he died of cardiac arrest since he had just been on the treadmill. Ross finally gets to have an autopsy performed and the cause of death was caused by an excess amount of venom. Ross wants the two other bodies exhumed so they can see if they were also killed because of spider bites and finds out, indeed, they were. 

He gets in touch with Atherton who says that Canaima sounds familiar to him. Ross soon finds out that the photographer who died on a recent trip to Venezuela was from the same small town and they also find out he died from a poisonous spider bite instead of a fever.

Ross's daughter has a sleepover at her friend's house and he tells the girls if they see any spiders, to run away. We get a scene of the girls scaring each other with spider riddles and songs, and of course, we see a spider slowly making its way down on its web-making material (whatever you call that!) The girls never even notice the spider (and why would they notice such a small creature?), but a doll laying around near them OPENS ITS EYES when the spider descends down. Um, how the hell did a doll manage to open its eyes on its own?? Is this doll related to Chucky or something? Geeze, that was almost creepier than anything with spiders in this movie. There's also another scene where Ross is checking his kids' room to make sure there are no spiders in sight. He checks under the bed and around the room and claims the rooms are "all cleared". Does he really think those rooms are cleared of spiders? Does he know how small spiders are and they can easily hide in every nook and cranny? That would be terrifying if there were spiders around that could kill people within minutes. I'm surprised the entire town wasn't quarantined! 

By this time there are so many spiders that an exterminator named Delbert (John Goodman) is called. His company is called Bugs-B-Gone. This movie is classified as a comedy-horror and he provides most, if not all the comedy moments. He doesn't seem to be a very good exterminator, though, because instead of spraying the chemicals in the rooms where people claim they saw spiders, he just looks around and says, "No spiders here." He does this in the bathroom of the high school coach. The coach's daughter had been taking a shower and she's closing her eyes as she's washing her hair and a spider is crawling along on the curtain rod, then it FALLS ON HER FACE! :::Shudder::: For some reason, she doesn't even notice there's a spider on her face...and she wasn't even under the nozzle! I would understand if she was standing under the water and didn't notice it. The spider crawls down her body and she only notices it when it's on her foot and screams. When Delbert comes to the house, he just looks behind the toilet, but doesn't do a good job because we see that one is hiding behind there!

Atherton sees the photograph of the web that Molly took that's in Ross's waiting room and wants to be taken to the barn because he knows that's where the nest is. He recognizes the web as the same one the photographer took in Venezuela. He goes inside the barn, knowing full well how dangerous these spiders are and knowing he's entering their domain and ends up getting attacked and killed by the OG spider. Delbert later comes into the barn (smartly wearing protective gear...I don't know why EVERYBODY didn't cover themselves from head to toe in hazmat suits) and finds Atherton's body wrapped in the web material. He arrives not long after the spider attacked Atherton so I don't know how the hell he got wrapped up so quickly!

Ross needs to urgently ask the undertake a question, but his phone is off the hook because he and his wife want to watch Wheel of Fortune without any interruptions. They also make popcorn to watch it which seems like a waste of popcorn to me....popcorn should only be consumed when watching movies! That should be a law! He arrives at the house to find both of them dead. I understood why the wife died because we see her reaching for a handful of popcorn (while her eyes are on the TV screen, of course!) and there's a spider in the bowl she grabs. So she must have eaten the spider and died from its toxins...but then how did her husband die? Unless the spider bit her hand, she shrieked and flung her hands and the spider ended up on her husband and bit him too? I guess that makes more sense....but you never see how they were killed, just that they're dead when Ross arrives at their house.

Now knowing that the nest is in his barn, he knows he must go back and kill the "Queen". His house is crawling with spiders and he's trying to get his family out. There's a nice little '80s/'90s cultural reference with Family Ties being on TV and they see a spider crawling down the screen on Michael J. Fox's (aka Alex P. Keaton....yeah, I watched Family Ties!) face. Ross tries to kill the main spider but even throwing it into the fire proves to be unsuccessful as it just leaps out back at him! He ends up shooting a nail at it with his nail gun and all this nasty liquid comes oozing out of it. But before that there was this scene that made me jump out of my skin! He sees the spider go through a pipe and is waiting at the other end with a lighter and a can of bug spray so he can light the spider on fire when it comes out the other end, but he waits and waits and nothing happens. When he takes down the flame, the spider comes rushing past him and jumps on his face! OMG, that scared me so much. I feel like spiders should not be this smart!

I found this movie to be more on the horror side, than on the comedy side! I definitely jumped and shrieked more than I laughed! In fact, I don't think I ever actually laughed! I may not have arachnophobia and I prefer to keep it that way....just keep the spiders away from me!

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Pop Quiz, Hotshot!

Speed
Director: Jan De Bont
Cast: Keanu Reeves, Sandra Bullock, Dennis Hopper, Joe Morton, Jeff Daniels
Released: June 10, 1994

Oscar nominations:

Best Sound (won)
Best Sound Effects Editing (won)
Best Editing (lost to Forrest Gump)


Speed is one of those movies I wished I had been able to see in the theaters. It's probably been a good ten years since I last saw it and I was getting very into the movie; screaming and shrieking at my TV and holding my breath at certain times and I can only imagine what it would have been like to see it in a theater full of enthusiastic movie goers. This has to be one of those movies that is a great movie theater going experiences. The most recent one I had of those is last year when I saw Jurassic World and you could just feel a palpable excitement in the air and someone was even humming the theme song before the movie started. 

This movie, simply put, is AMAZING! I love it so much! If you haven't seen this movie for whatever reason, what are you waiting for?? Go see it now! Everyone knows this movie as the "Bomb on the bus movie." There are three acts to this movie and the "bomb on the bus" part is the second act, and of course, the longest. But before we get to that, we need a little backstory first.

"I AM AN FBI AGENT!"
Keanu Reeves and Jeff Daniels play L.A. SWAT team members Jack Traven and Harry Temple who are called to an office building where a mad man named Howard Payne (Dennis Hopper) has rigged an elevator full of 13 people with explosions and is threatening to detonate it unless he gets three million dollars. Everyone is rescued and nobody dies, but there are some close calls and when the last person is rescued from the elevator, seconds later it comes crashing down to the ground and smashes into smithereens. Jack and Harry find Payne, but he escapes and detonates his bomb and everyone thinks he's dead....OR IS HE???

The next scene is the medal ceremony of Jack and Harry accepting their medals for rescuing the 13 people in the elevator. I have no idea how much time has elapsed since the actual accident. One day? One week? One month? Hell if I know! But we are getting closer to the second act of the movie and this is when things start to get good. A bus explodes after Jack has gotten some coffee and exchanged some friendly words with the bus driver who he seemed to know. Luckily, no one else was on the bus. I had totally forgotten about the exploding bus and it kinda startled me when it happened! As he's running towards the bus to see if the bus driver made it (does he really think anyone could survive that??), he hears a pay phone nearby ringing. Haha, a pay phone! Well, it WAS 1994! He answers the phone and surprise, surprise, it's Howard Payne, the mad man. I should mention that the ceremony was televised and we see a scene of a man with a thumb missing clapping when Jack gets his medal and it is revealed to be Payne. He tells Jack that he's very upset that he messed up his elevator job because he had taken three years to plan this and now he has planted a bomb on a bus! Um, so it took three years to plan the elevator bomb, but a bus bomb only takes a month to plan? I want to know how much time elapsed!! I'm so confused. He tells Jack, "Pop quiz, hotshot. There's a bomb on a bus. Once the bus goes 50 miles an hour, the bomb is armed. If it drops below 50, it blows up. What do you do? WHAT DO YOU DO?" He got the "pop quiz" part from Harry who said that to Jack in the first act when they were trying to figure out what to do. Jack tells him he'd want to know what bus it is and Payne tells him it's the bus numbered 2525. He obviously wanted Jack to find the bus because he easily and readily gives him not only the bus number, but also the location of where the bus left from so Jack races to catch the bus which is now getting on the freeway....and for eight a.m. in Los Angeles, it doesn't look THAT busy. It's busy enough that the bus is still below 50 (we see close ups of the speedometer every few minutes and it does get a bit higher each time). Oh, remember the bus that just exploded? Well, several minutes has passed and there are NO police cars or firetrucks that have come to investigate it or put out the fire. You think someone would have called 911 when they saw an exploding bus, no?

Jack really needs to find this bus and soon because Payne said he will turn off the bomb if he gets his 3.7 million dollars by eleven a.m. and it's eight right now. He races around the other cars as much as he can. The traffic is slowing down because of construction and he gets caught in the roadwork and decides to get out his car and run to the bus and screams at the bus driver to open his doors. Well, of course the driver isn't going to open the doors if they see some random dude running and screaming to be allowed to get on the bus. And he also hits the door with his fist and breaks the glass...would you let somebody like that on a bus? No, I don't think so! And like Sam (the bus driver) said, "This ain't no bus stop!" I don't understand why he didn't just flash his badge and then I can see him being able to get on the bus. The traffic starts to let up and the bus gains some speed. Jack stops a black man in a convertible with a license plate that says TUNEMAN and flashes his badge at him and the guy exclaims, "This is my car! It's not stolen!" and Jack replies, "It is now!" At least he let the guy sit in the passenger seat instead of making him get out like so many other movies do when the main character needs a car and just steals it from some poor soul and makes them get out, probably to never see their car again.

He catches up to the bus and motions for the driver to roll his window down so he can yell, "There's a bomb on your bus!" Because of the wind, the driver can't hear him, so Jack's passenger has to relay the message and after he says, "There's a bomb on your bus!", he realizes what's he saying and turns to Jack and says, "WHAT?!" By this time the bomb has activated because the bus has now reached 50 mph. Jack wants his passenger to write "BOMB ON BUS!" on a piece of paper and hold it up so the driver can see it. He pulls in front of the bus and the guy holds up the sign, but it blows out of his hands and right into the windshield of the bus where the driver sees it before it blows away. Naturally, he lifts his foot off the gas pedal as anyone would do in that situation. Your first inclination would be to stop a vehicle that has a bomb on it and evacuate it! Realizing the bus is starting to slowly down, Jack drives next to the bus and tells him to open the door and tells him to make sure he keeps the bus over 50 mph. He asks his passenger if his car is insured and when he learns that it is, he speeds up ahead of the bus, opens the door, then slams on the brakes so the bus comes by and rips the door off. He tells the man to take the wheel so he can jump on the bus and while he's doing that, a passenger (played by Alan Ruck), who is visiting L.A., takes a photo of him. Now, if this movie were made today, the guy would be taking a video of him and uploading it to Snapchat!

As far as the passengers go, we only really get to know a handful of them. Including the driver and Jack, there are 19 people on the bus. Being that the movie takes place in Los Angeles, there is a diverse group of people on the bus. The driver is African-American; there is an elderly African-American couple and a couple African-American women on the bus; there's an elderly Asian woman; there's a couple of Latino guys; and there are some white people. Obviously the passenger that has the most screen time is the one played by Sandra Bullock, Annie. Even though Bullock had been in a handful of movies before this, Speed was really the movie that catapulted her career. She has been taking the bus lately because her license was revoked for speeding. When she first gets on the bus, she's talking to a passenger named Helen who tells her she likes taking the bus so she can relax all the way to work without worrying about traffic. Oh, haha, movie, how funny! When Jack jumps on the bus, Annie asks him if he's crazy and demands to know what's going on. A young Hispanic guy charges at him with a gun, thinking the police is there for him. I wonder what he did? You know, we never do find out. Jack takes out his gun and points it at him and tells him he doesn't care about what he did and explains about the bomb. A big guy that Jacks nicknames "Gigantor" attacks the guy with the gun and the gun ends up going off and shoots the bus driver in the shoulder. Annie takes over driving the bus and Jack knows she'll be good for the job when she admits to him that her license was revoked for speeding.

Jack has Doug, the tourist, call Harry (he took the car phone from the car he hijacked) so he can tell him about the bomb. He is able to lift a floor panel on the bus so he can look underneath the bus at the bomb. There's a funny moment when Jack says "F**k me!" and Doug hesitates for a moment and translates it as "Oh, darn." The reason Jack had such a reaction is because there was "enough C4 o put a hole in the world." Annie sees that traffic is starting to back up again and wants to know where they should go and Jack tells her to get on the shoulder at the next exit to get off and she does and she is just ramming into poles and signs and other cars. It is such a hot mess! She is now off the freeway and has to run through red lights and has a scary close call when a lady with a baby carriage is crossing the street and she hits the carriage and it goes flying through the air. Naturally, she is freaking out because she just thinks she killed a baby, but then it is revealed - thank God - that the carriage was only full of cans and they go everywhere when the carriage lands.

They now have a police escort which Jack's boss, Mac (Joe Morton) has arranged for them.  The police cars go past a teacher with a group of kids waiting to cross the street and after they pass, the teacher thinks it's okay for them to cross now. Apparently they didn't see the huge bus that comes whizzing by and jump back just in time. Mac has also arranged for the bus to be escorted to the 105 Freeway which hasn't been open to the public yet, so they will be able to cruise on that for awhile without worrying about obstacles while they think of a way to safely get the people off of the bus. Mac wants to transfer the passengers from the bus to a flatbed truck that the police are driving next to them, but Jack tells him they can't do that because Payne told him if any passengers get off the bus, then he will detonate the bomb. Jack knows that Payne will know because there are news helicopters above them so he knows they are being shown on TV. He gets a call from Payne (he called the police and asked to speak to Jack) who tells him he better be careful. Jack asks him if he can at least unload the bus driver who's been shot as a show of good faith and tells him it might help him get his money faster. Payne agrees to this arrangement but says he better not let anyone else off. After Sam has safely been transferred, Helen decides to go for it and as a police officer is reaching out to help her, Payne detonates a smaller bomb that he has placed on the first step and she falls and slips under the bus. This is when all the passengers realize that this whole ordeal is real now and they're all very shaken up by the death of one of their fellow passengers. Even though I know the movie would have ended right here if it had happened, I do wonder why Payne didn't detonate the entire bus like he told Jack he would if any passengers got off the bus and he could clearly see that was what Helen was doing. Guess he just wanted to give him a scare before he decided to kill EVERYONE.

As if losing one passenger wasn't bad enough, they soon get more bad news when Mac informs them that a section of an overpass on the highway up ahead is missing....about fifty feet! Jack tells everyone to put their stuff under their seats and cover their heads. OMG....if I were on this bus, I would be so scared! I mean, I would already be scared in the first place because of the, you know, BOMB, but if I were informed that the bus I was riding on was about to jump a 50 foot gap in the freeway, I'd be thinking, Oh, HELL NO! He tells Annie to speed up and just seconds before they reach the gap, he grabs her and covers her head and the bus makes its leap and lands on the other side. It's a little (okay, A LOT!) bumpy, but everyone is okay and they all cheer. I'm sorry, but I call BS on this. There's no way that bus would have been able to jump that! But I loved it!


Jack tells Annie to get off at the next exit which takes them to the airport. This way they can just cruise around the runway in circles. He is granted permission by Payne to get off the bus (he tells them if he is able to get off, his money will more likely be delivered to him). He goes under the bus on a wooden plank with wheel to see if he can diffuse the bomb while talking to Harry, but while that is going on, the bus hits some debris on the runway (uh....I would hope they cleared that debris before any planes took off on that runway!) and Jack gets caught up and he almost goes under the back wheel, but manages to stab the oil tank with his screwdriver and lets go of the wheely device and it goes under the wheel and Annie starts freaking out, thinking they have run over Jack. Ortiz, the passenger Jack nicknamed "Gigantor" looks under the panel and sees Jack hanging onto the bottom of the bus and pulls him up through the panel door. Doug asks him, "Did you have any luck with the bomb?" and Jack replies with, "Yeah, it didn't go off!" Jack is safe, but the bus is now leaking gas and they are about to have an empty tank. Jack realizes that Payne is able to see them because he has hooked up the bus's camera to a TV in his home. He tells Mac this and he gets a TV news crew person to tape off the bus and then play it so Payne thinks he's watching a live stream of the bus, but it's actually just a tape and this way they are able to transport everyone from the bomb bus to a safe bus. Payne only notices this when everyone is off the bus and it has run into a plane and exploded.

We now get into the third act of the movie and while still exciting and full of suspense, this is where it sort of drops off for me. The reason why I watch this movie is for the bomb on the bus! And not only do we not have a bus with a bomb on it anymore, we no longer even have a bus! The SWAT team has found out that Howard Payne is a former police officer who feels he deserves a lot more than what he got when he retired. Harry and a team go to his home, only to find a huge bomb (of course) that goes off and kills them all. Payne poses as a police officer and tells Annie that she needs to come with him. (Remember, he knows what she looks like from the camera on the bus). When Payne doesn't show up to collect his money where he instructed the police to put it, Jack knows something is up. Now instead of a bus, the movie is taking place on a subway! Jack finds Payne with Annie who has a bomb strapped to her. Payne takes her on a subway. He is holding a controller and if he lets go of the button, the bomb will explode. See, I would rather have a controller where I pushed the button rather than have to hold it down. I would be so worried that my finger would slip! Whenever I'm in a really long line at a drive-thru, I'm always worried my foot is going to come off my brake so if I know I'll be there for awhile, I'll just put my car in park. That's weird, I know. Jack gets on the subway and climbs on top of the car that Annie and Payne are in and Payne gives the remote to Annie to hold (after killing the subway conductor) and gets into a fight with Jack. They are really close to the ceiling and there are these low hanging lights which Payne gets decapitated with and Jack makes this odd comments about being taller which makes no sense.

They manage to stop the bomb, but Annie can't get off the subway because she is handcuffed to a pole so they cling to each other as the subway crashes, but they survive and kiss. However, three years later they are no longer together because that's when Speed 2 came out and Annie is now dating the guy played by Jason Patric who replaces Keanu Reeves in this film. I guess he was smart when he decided not to be in that movie! I saw Speed 2 but I don't remember anything about it except that it takes place on a cruise ship and it was bad. Even Sandra Bullock has said it was a pretty bad movie! I don't remember if they explain why Annie and Jack are no longer together. Watch Speed, but skip its sequel!