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Posts Tagged ‘keanu reeves’

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For my money, Keanu Reeves is one of those actors who it is impossible to dislike. People may say he can’t act (I disagree with this) but I never hear anyone say that they don’t like him. Personally I’m interested in seeing pretty much any of his films – he’s always entertaining, picks interesting roles – and okay; on a shallow basis he’s lovely to look at.

So it’s almost disconcerting to see him playing a cold hearted serial killer here. He’s charismatic and charming, but evil to the core. James Spader is Joel Campbell, the FBI agent, who haunted by his inability to catch the man who has been killing young women in LA, moves to Chicago, where frankly he becomes a mess. Semi conscious half the time, on all kinds of medication and suffering from guilt induced migraines, his purpose is restored when Reeves’s David Griffin follows him to Chicago and continues his killing spree. The two have a symbiotic relationship – Griffin needs Campbell to notice him, and Campbell lives to catch Griffin.

The director of the film is apparently a music video director and it shows. The stylised flashbacks, the slow mo effects – they’re all here. The script too does not really contain anything groundbreaking or shocking, but nonetheless the action moves on at a decent pace, and kept me interested.

If you like thrillers, give this one a try – as long as you go in expecting an hour and a half of decent entertainment and nothing too mind-glowingly brilliant, I think you might enjoy it.

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Year of release: 200

Director: Joe Charbanic

Writers: Darcy Meyers, David Elliot, Clay Ayers

Main cast: James Spader, Keanu Reeves, Marisa Tomei, Chris Ellis

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Genre: Thriller

Highlights: The delectable Keanu Reeves, always

Lowlights: Slightly over stylised

Overall: A pretty decent thriller and a good way to pass 90 minutes of your time

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replacements

Sports film (not often my genre) about American Football (a game I do not enjoy). Should’ve hated it, but really enjoyed it.

Due to a players strike, the Washington Sentinels American Football team need to put together a team from a ragtag bunch of has-beens and never-weres. (The film was actually inspired by the actual strike of 1987). Keanu Reeves leads the fray as Shane Falco, a washed up player. Other cast members include Gene Hackman as Coach Jimmy McGinty, and Jon Favreau, Orlando Jones, Rhys Ifans (yes really) and Michael Jace as other players, with Brooke Langton as the obligatory love interest.

The film is played for a lot of laughs, and perhaps for this reason, I really enjoyed it. (Also maybe because I watched it with my husband after in the pub. And because Keanu Reeves.)

Recommended to fans of sports films, underdog films, or Keanu Reeves!

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Year of release: 2000

Director: Howard Deutch

Writer: Vince McKewin

Main cast: Gene Hackman, Keanu Reeves, Brooke Langton, Jon Favreau, Orlando Jones, Rhys Ifans

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Dr Kate Forster (Sandra Bullock) leaves the lake house which she loves so much, to go and live in the city in Chicago. She leaves a letter for the next resident, who is Alex Wyler (Keanu Reeves). He replies and the two start a correspondence which turns into a romance – however it seems that the two will never be able to meet, as Kate is writing the letters in 2006, while Alex is reading them in 2004. Is there a way they can be together, or are they forever destined to remain separated by the years?

There are all kinds of reasons not to like this film. Some people say Reeves is a wooden actor – I think this is a bit harsh. He’s likeable in the role, and certainly good enough to make me root for Alex and Kate. And then there’s the whole time-travel element…yes if you think too much about it, it might give you a headache. The first time I saw this film I kept thinking, “But what about…”, “Well, how did they….”, “Hang on a moment…” etc. But the second time I watched it, I ignored all that and just decided to enjoy the film for what it is.

And what it is is a lovely, sweet romantic film, with two incredibly likeable leads – oh, and a very cute dog, who seems to be able to cross time zones!

Naturally, there are obstacles for the couple to overcome – and that’s before you factor in that they are communicating across two years – and yes you obviously have to suspend your disbelief, but if you can do that, and you are a fan of gentle, romantic films, then I would definitely recommend giving this one a look.

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Year of release: 2006

Director: Alejandro Agresti

Producers: Bruce Berman, Dana Goldberg, Mary McLagen, Erwin Stoff, Doug Davison, Roy Lee, Sonny Mallhi

Writers: Eun-Jeong Kim (motion picture ‘Siworae’), Ji-na Yeo (motion picture ‘Swore’), David Auburn

Main cast: Sandra Bullock, Keanu Reeves, Christopher Plummer, Ebon Moss-Bachrach

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This Shakespeare play revolves around two pairs of lovers – Claudio (Robert Sean Leonard) and Hero (Kate Beckinsale), who find that because of the deception of others, the path of true love does not always run smoothly; and Beatrice (Emma Thompson) and Benedick (Kenneth Branagh), who have an antagonistic relationship and fall in love almost against their own wills.

Kenneth Branagh directs, co-produces and stars in this adaptation, and what a truly wonderful adaptation it is.  It is full of colour and life, and left me with such a feeling of happiness afterwards, that it should be available to view on prescription!  Denzel Washington has never looked more handsome than he does here as the Spanish Prince Don Pedro, Richard Briers as Hero’s father Leonato and Brian Blessed as Leonato’s brother Antonio are both wonderful in their roles, and Kate Beckinsale is sweet and lovely as Hero.  It hardly needs to be said that Kenneth Branagh and Emma Thompson are both note-perfect as the squabbling Benedick and Beatrice, making perfect use of Shakespeare’s sharp and witty banter.  It’s worth mentioning Michael Keaton’s small but important part as police constable Dogberry, which he certainly makes the most of, stealing most of the scenes he is in.  The casting isn’t perfect – Keanu Reeves is an odd choice for the villain Don John, who leads Claudio into mistakenly believing that Hero has been unfaithful, and Robert Sean Leonard is rather wooden as Claudio.  However, there is so much to enjoy in this film that it hardly matters.

Although it does contain dark themes – the aborted first wedding of Claudio and Hero is upsetting, particularly as the viewer knows that Hero has been slandered – it is mainly cheerful with a happy tone throughout.  I’d recommend this to fans and non-fans of Shakespeare alike.  It is definitely one of my favourite Shakespeare adaptations.

Year of release: 1993

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Producers: Kenneth Branagh, Stephen Evans, David Parfitt

Writers: William Shakespeare (play), Kenneth Branagh (screenplay)

Main cast: Kenneth Branagh, Emma Thompson, Kate Beckinsale, Robert Sean Leonard, Denzel Washington, Keanu Reeves, Richard Briers, Brian Blessed, Michael Keaton

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Click here for my review of the televised live performance of Much Ado About Nothing at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre (2011)

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Glenn Close, John Malkovich and Michelle Pfeiffer head up the cast of this story of scheming and sex, set in pre-revolutionary France. Close plays Marquise Isabelle de Merteuil, an outwardly respectable lady, who sets out to avenge a former lover by asking Vicomte Sebastian de Valmont (Malkovich) to seduce her former lover’s new fiancee, the young Cecile (Uma Thurman). Valmont in turn, decides to seduce Madame de Tourvel (Pfeiffer), for nothing more than the fun of it….but neither Isabelle nor Valmont has reckoned on their personal feelings getting in the way…

Well! I wasn’t sure what I expected from this film, but what I got was a steamy, seedy, decadent story of two rather unpleasant individuals who seem intent on humiliating and debasing their peers, simply for the fun of it. But that is not to say that the film is not enjoyable; I actually found it very gripping, and at times amusing. Malkovich seems to relish playing the villain – he’s just so good at it, and far sexier than such a dastardly character deserves to be. Close really shows off her acting chops here – she is brilliant, managing to convey such feeling with just a subtle change of expression. Pfeiffer too is great – this is possibly the best acting I have ever seen her do.

Swoosie Kurtz heads up the supporting cast admirably, and Uma Thurman plays the innocent (but soon to be corrupted) Cecile very well. Keanu Reeves plays the unsuspecting and innocent young music teacher who falls for Cecile, but who is used as a pawn by Isabelle and is drawn into her world of deceit.

I’m not sure that this is a film I would watch again, but it is certainly a film that I would recommend people to watch at least once. Enjoyable, if not exactly uplifting.

Year of release: 1988

Director: Stephen Frears

Producers: Norma Heyman, Hank Moonjean, Christopher Hampton

Writers: Choderlos de Laclos (book), Christopher Hampton

Main cast: Glenn Close, John Malkovich, Michelle Pfeiffer, Uma Thurman, Keanu Reeves, Swoosie Kurtz

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After returning home from World War II and having a less-than-successful reunion with his wife, soldier Paul Sutton (Keanu Reeves) meets a young pregnant Mexican woman named Victoria Aragon (Aitana Sanchez Gijon) who is going to see her family at their vineyard at Napa Valley.  When she tells him that she’s terrified of letting her very traditional father know that she’s pregnant – and her boyfriend has deserted her – Paul offers to pretend to be her husband.  But then the pair find themselves drawn to each other…

There are reasons why this movie shouldn’t be enjoyable – for starters, the storyline is very predictable – it’s fairly obvious what’s going to happen right from the beginning – but nonetheless the journey from beginning to end of the film is very watchable.  Keanu Reeves really isn’t a great actor, but it somehow doesn’t matter because he is just so likeable.  And this film is also just so likeable.  No sex, no violence, no swearing even – just a very sweet, heartwarming film.

The movie was shot in Napa Valley, where it is set, and there is some truly beautiful and luscious scenery – it’s almost worth watching for that alone.  There are some gentle comedic moments, and some touching moments.  It certainly left me with a smile on my face!

(Trivia: This movie is based on the 1942 Italian film ‘Quattro Passi Fra Le Nuvole’ (Four Steps In The Clouds); however, there are some some slight differences in the plot.)

Year of release: 1995

Director: Alfonso Arau

Writers: Robert Mark Kamen, Mark Miller, Harvey Weitzman, Piero Tellini, Cesare Zavattini, Vittorio de Benedetti

Main cast: Keanu Reeves, Aitana Sanchez Gijon, Anthony Quinn, Giancarlo Giannini, Angelica Aragon, Evangelina Elizondo

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