My weekly movie reviews. You can also read these on letterboxd.
This week focuses on three movies starring Sean Connery.
RISING SUN (1993)
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
The first half of this mystery/thriller is quite good, featuring Sean Connery doing what he does best in a mostly one-location setting the provides good suspense. It had me wondering why this early 90s film is so forgotten… and then the second half unravels all the good that came before it.
RISING SUN isn’t a bad film but after it’s solid set-up, director Philip Kaufman can’t keep it together and the overlong script doesn’t do him any good. The writing wastes time on an unnecessary romantic subplot with the Snipes character and the bigger it gets, the more its impact decreases.
This could have been a simple, HIGH AND LOW style thriller but instead it followed the way of most action films and became nothing but a blip in Sean Connery’s legendary career.
Watched on HBO Max.
Rating: 3 out of 5 Stars
Even the mediocre films of old are more interesting to watch than the films being spit out by the studios and streamers these days. One key reason for that are the actors of previous generations. I mean, how can anything recent compete with an ensemble that includes Sean Connery, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden, Martin Landau, and Trevor Howard. Brian Keith even shows up as a Russian scientist and nearly pulls it off!
It’s worth watching METEOR just to see all these fantastic performers play off of each other but also, compared to other disaster films, it isn’t all that bad of a film. It’s smarter and more subtle than its peers, leaning more into the science (however ridiculous it might be) than the soap opera. I particularly liked the finale with a daring, messy escape through a demolished New York.
Watched on Tubi
WRONG IS RIGHT (1982)
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars
It’s not that WRONG IS RIGHT is a bad movie. It’s adequately acted and decently directed. However, the whole concept of the film doesn’t work.
Richard Brooks tries to combine the satire of DR. STRANGELOVE with the suspense of an Alan J. Pakula paranoid political drama. The result is a film that isn’t funny enough to be a comedy, tense enough to be a thriller, and falls flatly in between. It would have been better off going one direction or another and since satire might be the hardest genre to pull off, I would have advised Brooks to lean the other way. The movie has good bones to be another CHINA SYNDROME or PARALLAX VIEW. Unfortunately, it’s a tonal mess.
Watched on Tubi.