Quick hits: LADDER 49, PAPARAZZI, STARSHIP TROOPERS 2, WHEN THE RIDE IS RUFF|
Script Review(s): LADDER 49, PAPARAZZI, STARSHIP TROOPERS 2, WHEN THE RIDE IS RUFF
Review(s) by Honest Abe
NOTE: The screenplays we review are often in development and may experience many rewrites, some could end up being completely different than what is reviewed here. It is our hope that our reviews generate more interest in the film. Thank you.
WHEN THE RIDE IS RUFF (mixed, major spoilers)
Wesley Snipes is set to star in Thomas N. Weber's The Warriors meets motorcycle gangs crossover story. Snipes stars as Sam, the leader of the Ruff Ryders, a bike gang who along with hundreds of others have all come to Myrtle Beach, Florida for an annual bike ride featuring gangs from all up and down the eastern coast. The "grand leader" is Bear who was Sam's Mentor. Sam's chief rival is Snake Eyes. After a scuffle, Snake kills Bear but blames it on Sam and the chase is on. The catch is that a reporter who was there had her camera rolling at the time of the murder and can prove Sam's innocence. Oh yeah, this reporter, Christine, is Bear's daughter, and there is a brief hint of a love triangle between Christine, Sam and a member of Sam's gang, Eve, but it's never really explored and then wrapped up nicely. There's rivalries and double crosses among the other gangs and you're not quite sure who's for Sam and who's against him. Now....what works, well obviously some of the bike riding but then again with the dismal performance recently of Biker Boyz, it's kinda hard to know what kind of heat this will generate. Like I said, it's an update of The Warriors, technically, but I do know there is an actual remake of that classic in the works. I consider myself a Snipes fan but I just don't know if this is something that will really translate into box office success. Maybe a cable or straight to video will be better for this. Bottom line: if it hits the theatre and you're a Snipes fan, maybe, maybe a matinee or a sneak-in, otherwise, wait for video if you're still interested.
LADDER 49 (negative, minor spoilers)
Writer Lewis Colick's firefighting drama has been generating a lot of heat (pun seriously intended) with the casting of John Travolta and Joaquin Phoenix. Well whoopee do. Sorry, I'm not a Phoenix fan. Anyways, Phoenix is Jack Morrison, a top-notch firefighter who finds himself trapped in a burning building. While he waits for his teammates to reach his trapped ass, he thinks back on his life and how he got here. Travolta plays the fire captain, Mike Kennedy, who keeps in radio contact with Jack throughout the ordeal. Through a lot of flashbacks, we see Jack as a rookie work his way up to the big leagues and the clashes he's had over the years. We also get to meet his wife and kids. We see how he first met Linda. If you haven't figured it out by now, this is essentially For The Love of the (Firefighting) Game. (and by the way, I think that was a tremendously underrated movie with Kevin Costner). Jumping from the baseball diamond to a burning building is the only aspect that's unique. Otherwise, I found this to be quite trite and boring at times. Even more so as I reread this recently with Travolta and Phoenix in mind. I don't have a problem with Travolta and his role as Kennedy isn't really anything too special. Just a nice little drama piece. Phoenix on the other hand needs to be bitch-slapped back to acting school. Unless Backdraft 2 with a hint of warm family drama is your cup of tea, I'd skip this drivel. It's boring and the flashbacks take up way more screen time than they need to. I'm sure Jack loves his kids but we get waaaay too many moments with them, and that's just for starters. If you'd like to throw away good money to take a nap, I've got a nice big bed and I'll only charge you half what the theatres will gouge you for this crap. Bottom line: Avoid. If you're a fan of these two stars, (okay, star and a wannabe/neverwillbe) then at least wait till video.
STARSHIP TROOPERS 2 (HERO OF THE FEDERATION) (mixed, major spoilers)
Coming to video stores this fall....another unnecessary sequel! Yay! What we have is a small battalion of Federation soldiers who are in danger of being overrun by bugs and are desperately awaiting pickup from the Fleet. That's the basic gist of Ed Neumeier's screenplay. Aside from the bugs, the references to the Federation, and one character from the first movie, Zim. There really is no reason why this movie should be considered a sequel. What I mean is that this could have been any sci-fi movie. The characters are interchangeable. Actually, while reading this I thought it would be better served as another in the Chronicles of Riddick series that's planned. As a friend suggested to me, it sounds like the writer pitched his idea (with no mention of Starship Troopers) and the producers liked it and figured out a way to spin it around and make it a sequel. Most of the characters are your basic grunts and Zim, who's a prisoner, acts like a Riddick knock-off (hence the comparison). The one major plot twist is that, well, let's just say that in this story, not all the bugs are giants like in the first one. Some are small. Like small enough to infiltrate a human. That's when this became Starship Troopers Meet The Thing From Another World. All in all, it's not bad, it's just not too terribly interesting. I'm glad they're going straight to video with this instead of trying to cram it down our throats in the theatre where it surely would die a quick death. This could find an audience on homevideo though. Bottom line: I was a big fan of the first one. Zim was one of my favorite characters. I don't have a problem dropping the two bucks to rent this. If you're a sci-fi fan, neither should you. If this was a theatrical release, I'd say wait for video.
PAPARAZZI (positive, major spoilers)
Forrest Smith has written a very tight thriller that should have a lot of people in Hollywood talking. What if a major celebrity, like for instance, Harrison Ford, were to turn the tables on four members of the paparazzi who are continually harrasing him? Bo Laramie is one of the hottest actors around. I don't mean hot like flavor of the month but hot like Ford or a Mel Gibson. His problems begin with a tabloid newspaper called "Paparazzi" that lately seems to continually invade his privacy. After a scuffle with one of them, Bo is sentenced to therapy for his temper. After all, he's the one who attacked the photog. The strain soon takes a toll on Bo's marriage but the final straw comes when the four photographers who are continually harrasing Bo cause a traffic accident that injures his wife and son. Of course, the press spins it around to make Bo seem at fault. Pushed to the edge, Bo takes the fight to the photographers and although it begins by accident, he takes revenge on them. So begins the edgy cat and mouse game as it slowly dawns on them that they are now the prey. How far will Bo take this? Damm but it's a fun ride to see what he does. Can't say too much more without ruining it. I always did have sympathy for celebrites and how their private life becomes nothing but a memory once they make it big or have a hit of some kind. I even cheered when the judge threw out the suit against Alec Baldwin for slugging a photog several years ago. This story takes it to a whole new level...and it is good. Every photographer is gonna pause when this comes out, and then of course will blast the practice of ambushing celebs so they can make a quick buck with the flash of a camera. Last I heard, Kurt Russell was interested. This has the potential to be another stellar performance by him kinda like Breakdown was. The storyline alone is enticing. The writing is very sharp and the dialogue is crisp. I bet it holds well with milk also. Bottom line: just about everything for a nutritous night at the movies.
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Published on: 2004-04-14 (5463 reads)[ Go Back ]