Flashback Friday- Catherine Zeta Jones Double Feature- Entrapment (1999) & America’s Sweetheart (2001)

I think it is fair to state that no actor wants to be pigeonholed into a certain character type or genre. Since her introduction to Hollywood in the late 1990’s, Catherine Zeta-Jones has proven herself to be a capable actress playing a variety of roles.

One of her earliest movies was Entrapment (1999). Robert MacDougal (Sean Connery) is an art thief with a target on his back. Virginia Baker (Catherine Zeta Jones) is an insurance agent who needs to take Robert into custody for the theft of a valuable piece of art. But that won’t be so easy.

Posing as a wannabe thief, Virginia put’s herself in Robert’s cross hairs. But before they go on the first job together, Robert puts Virginia through her paces. Things become complicated when Robert and Virginia are attracted, but mistrustful of each other. Will Virginia be able to complete her task or will she fail?

This movie is not bad. The heist element certain ups the ante in terms of keeping the audience on the edge of their toes. The only thing that I find myself not liking is the same old tired May/December romance.

Two years later in 2001, she jumped into the romantic comedy genre with America’s Sweetheart’s. Gwen Harrison (Catherine Zeta-Jones) and Eddie Thomas (John Cusack) were the toast of Hollywood at one time. Now Gwen and Eddie, together on and off screen, are getting a divorce. Lee Phillips (Billy Crystal) is trying to keep the press at bay while the director, Hector Gorgonzolas (Hank Azaria) refuses to release the print of the film.  While this is happening, Gwen’s sister/assistant Kiki (Julia Roberts) has changed her appearance and is attracting the attention because of the change.

In terms of a romantic comedy, this movie is not bad. It also casts a light on the absurdity of Hollywood and the cracks that are beneath the surface.

I recommend both.




Flashback Friday- Ocean’s Eleven (2001)

There is something tantalizing about a theft on a large scale. The planning, the thrill of the theft and finally, the joy that you have achieved your goal.

In 2001, Ocean’s Eleven, a remake of the 1960 film was released.

Stepping into the role made iconic by Frank Sinatra is George Clooney. Danny Ocean (Clooney) has one goal: to score the biggest heist in history. His target are the biggest hotels in Las Vegas: The Bellagio, the Mirage and the MGM Grand. To pull off the heist, Danny pulls together the best of the best. His team includes Frank Catton (the late Bernie Mac) and Rusty Ryan (Brad Pitt).

The owner of the hotels is Terry Benedict. The plan becomes complicated it is revealed that Tess (Julia Roberts), Danny’s ex-wife, is seeing Terry. Can Danny pull of the heist while dealing the presence of his ex-wife?

As remakes go, this film is not bad. There is a sense of fun to this story. Clooney infuses this film with a lightheartedness that just allows the audience to enjoy the ride.

I recommend it.

Flashback Friday- Dance Movies Triple Feature-Step Up (2006), Dance With Me (1998) & Shall We Dance? (2004)

Dance movies have been made by Hollywood since it’s earliest days. The question that audiences have to ask, is the dancing there to speak for the characters or is it being used because of an underdeveloped plot?

That is the question I am going to ask with this post.

The first movie I will review is Step Up (2006).

Tyler Gage (Channing Tatum) has been gifted with the ability to dance. But he also has the ability to get in trouble. After a run in with the law, Tyler’s punishment is to clean up the school that he and his friends destroyed. At the school, Tyler meets Nora (Jenna Dewan Tatum). Nora’s partner has recently been injured and she needs Tyler to help with the choreography of a show she is working on.  Nora and Tyler begin to work with each and soon find that they can learn from each other.

For a teenaged dance movie, as a stand alone movie,  it’s not bad. I can’t say the same for the film’s sequels, which seem to get worse with every film. It’s not the most intellectually stimulating film, but I’ve seen worse.

The second movie is Dance With Me (1998).

Originally from Cuba, Chayanne (Rafael Infante) has just buried his mother. Now he is in Houston looking for his father.  John (Kris Kristofferson) does not know that Rafael is his son when they meet for the first time. John runs a dance school and is hoping to win World Open Dance Championship. The school’s best hope to win is Ruby (Vanessa Williams). When it is discovered that Rafael can dance, he and Ruby are partnered together. Can they win and bring home the trophy for the school?

Overall, this movie is not bad. The dance sequences don’t threaten to overtake weak points in the plot. And it’s nice to see a diverse cast on screen.

Finally, the third film is Shall We Dance? (2004).

John Clark (Richard Gere) is a middle aged lawyer who finds that his life has become very boring.  Deciding to add some excitement to his life, he signs up for ballroom dance lessons. One of the instructors is Paulina (Jennifer Lopez), who has her own troubles.  The classes will lead John down a path that he never expects and opens up new opportunities that may end up changing his life.

As dance movies go, this movie is the best of all three. The dance scenes only enhance the characters journeys, instead of simply being filler.

I recommend all three.

%d bloggers like this: