Tag Archives: Ed Harris

HBO’s Westworld Debuts First Full Trailer

Turns out whatever shaky ground we may have thought HBO’s Westworld was under could prove false worries. The series looks to be near completion and with that arrives the very first, full trailer for the series.

Check out the trailer:

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HBO’s Westworld Halts Production

HBO has temporarily halted production on its long-gestating television adaptation of Westworld, claiming that writers/executive producers Jonathan Nolan and Lisa Joy need more time to fine tune the final four scripts for the series’ first season.

The project is closing down for two months so that Nolan and Joy can catch up on the final four scripts. Westworld was first ordered to series in November 2014, and fans got a first look video from the series back in August. The series was originally set to premiere during the last quarter of 2015, but was pushed to an unspecified date of 2016. Now with the halted production, that premiere is looking closer to early 2017.

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Westworld Teaser Trailer: HBO’s Epic Sci-fi Western

HBO debuted the first Westworld teaser to coincide with the season 2 finale of True Detective. The brief tease for the series-length remake of Michael Crichton’s 1973 sci-fi film is certainly big, eye-catching and intriguing.

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Grizzly Review: Man on a Ledge

The American film industry has been plagued with so many heists movies, that it sometimes physically pains me to see a trailer for a film of that genre. It’s a genre that only works for a select group of people, most notably Steven Soderbergh in the Ocean’s movies, and a few others that I honestly can’t even recall right now, but when I saw the preview for Man on a Ledge, to be perfectly frank, I was hooked. The premise, admittedly, was rehashed and redone a million times over, but the way that it was presented was strikingly fresh.

Man on a Ledge follows Nick Cassidy (Sam Worthington), an escaped convict who checks into a New York City hotel, with a room on the building’s twenty-first floor. He then climbs out of the window, onto a ledge, garnering the attention of some passersby which soon turns into a large crowd complete with ambulances, cop cars, and news vans. The man in charge of getting Cassidy safely back into the hotel is Detective Jack Dougherty (Ed Burns), but Cassidy doesn’t want him talking him through the ordeal. He wants the infamous Detective Lydia Mercer (Elizabeth Banks), who was once the department’s best until she let a rookie cop jump off the Brooklyn Bridge a month prior.

The whole thing seems rather routine by New York’s standards, but sometimes things aren’t exactly what they seem. Cassidy, who’s an ex-cop, was jailed for the robbery of a $40 million dollar diamond that belonged to David Englander (Ed Harris), one of the city’s most well known and richest businessmen. Cassidy insists that he’s innocent and the only way he can prove it, is if his brother Joey (Jamie Bell), and his girlfriend, Angie (Genesis Rodriguez), are able to get into Englander’s safe, retrieve the diamond, and make it out without a trace.

Written and directed by first time feature filmmakers Pablo F. Fenjves and Asger Leth, respectively, Man on a Ledge is a simply told film with an amazing cast that really have no business being there. Granted, the real purpose of the film is to serve as an exciting distraction from our regular lives, offering a halfway decent story and some predictable twists. In that respect, Man on a Ledge does what it’s supposed to, but not much more.

With some extremely cheesy writing and a sad attempt at a New York accent from Elizabeth Banks, the film is rather a caricature of what it could have been, hinting at greatness with the likes of Ed Harris turning in a great performance, as well as rather inspired performances by Sam Worthington and especially Jamie Bell, who serves as both the comedic relief and the nail biting action hero of this flick.

With that being said, Man on a Ledge does get rather exciting in its last 20 minutes, taking Cassidy off the ledge and into what is possibly the most dangerous places for him to be. The climax of the movie also gives the viewer some pretty decent twists that keep you on your toes for the remainder of the running time, but I just wished that the film’s first 80 minutes could have been as involving.

2.5/5 Bears

Random-Ass Movie Reviews: The Rock

Back in 1996 Micheal Bay was and up and coming Director, with only the 1995 credit Bad Boys to his name, and pension for blowing things up. He had not yet sullied his name with predictably bad sequels like Bad Boys II or the Transformers movies. In fact, the movies he did in the 90’s, though now a bit cliché, were some of the decades best action epics.

The brightest spot on his resume has to be The Rock. This was a movie about a group of Marines who steal 15 chemical weapon powered rockets. They then threaten to launch said rockets against the city of San Francisco from Alcatraz Island, where they are holding 81 hostages. His demands require that all the men that has died under his watch, on Black Ops missions, be recognized as heroes and their families be rewarded a million dollars a piece from dirty money seized from weapons sales. His motives are actually noble which sets him aside from most antagonists in the genre. An honorable man pushed too far, the character is relatable and for that this movie is more than your run of the mill Dwayne Johnson/Vin Diesel movie. So in a joint operation, the FBI and a group of Navy SEALS must get onto the island and squash the threat. In 1996 I was all of 13, and when I walked into the theater I found my self thoroughly entertained for the entire 136 minute ride. Here we are now, 15 years later and the movie still holds up.

Our old buddy Nic Cage is our hero. He plays a chemical weapons specialist with the FBI named Stanley Goodspeed, and Sean Connery is basically an old James Bond. Ed Harris and David Morse play our missile thieves, and there are a slew of other recognizable faces as the movie goes on.

When we met Goodspeed, he is in the lab with Todd Louiso (High Fidelity, Snakes on a Plane) and Xander Berkley (24, Terminator 2) attempting to disarm a poisonous gas bomb. After succeeding he goes home to then learn that his girlfriend is pregnant, which only adds to his desperation to survive later on.

General Hummel (Harris) then makes the threat to launch the stolen rockets into the Bay Area. It is then that Goodspeed is called to San Fran because of his knowledge of the VX Gas used in the rockets. Once he arrives he meets John Mason (Connery), and we learn that Mason has been held, nameless and with no trial for over 30 years. Because however, he is the only man to ever escape Alcatraz, he is to be sent in with the SEAL team to guide them through the tunnels of the former prison. He is however told nothing of the rockets.

Once on the island, the SEAL team is led by none other than Michael Biehn (The Terminator, Aliens, Navy Seals, Tombstone) who promptly get his entire team killed. Nice job Mike! You can see Hummel takes no joy from having to kill more soldiers, but some of his men don’t seem to share his pain. With the destruction of the SEAL team, this leaves only Mason and Goodspeed to diffuse the rockets. And it’s only after Mason is let in on the real threat that he decides to help Stanley complete the mission. Thus truly begins The Rock as Connery delivers one of his greatest quotes ever…

So Mason and Goodspeed continue on in hopes of saving the day and are able to disable 12 of the 15 rockets before the John C. McGinley (Platoon, Se7en, Scrubs) led Marine team interrupts them. Things don’t end well for Dr. Cox however, as Mason lights his ass on fire. Booyah.

General Hummel then announces over the Island PA system that if the guidance chips removed from the rockets are not returned, he will execute a hostage. Upon hearing this Mason sends Goodspeed after the rockets and he heads to confront Hummel. This is the first time either of our heroes come face to face with the General, and it is not a battle of fists, but of minds as Mason and Hummel banter…

After this Goodspeed is able to take out only one of the remaining three rockets before being taken into custody. This now leaves Mason and Goodspeed prisoners, with the Marines still controlling 2 rockets.

Mason however did escape once, as it turns out, he still remembers how and they free themselves from their cells. Not in time however to stop the launch of one of the rockets. Luckily Mason’s instinct was right and Hummel is not a mad man, thus refusing to kill innocents. He diverts the rocket so it detonates underwater and causes a mutiny among his own men. The revolt, let by Tony Todd (Candyman, 24, Platoon) results directly in the deaths of Hummel, Major Baxter (Morse) and Crisp (Bokeem Woodbine). From here its a race to the last rocket and a question if Goodspeed can signal in time to call off the impending Air Strike. He does of course win the race and signal in time.

After this he is able to give Mason a give – his freedom. Goodspeed informs FBI Director Womack (John Spencer) that Mason has been vaporized. A lie that is helped along by Special Agent Paxton (William Forsythe). So Mason is free and all is good in the world.

I don’t feel that it would be a stretch to call this one of the best action movie of the last 20 years. I think this is before Michael Bay became so self-aware and you’re reminded of how he built his name. The pacing is good, really no lulls. The cast is great, and the dialogue, though often simplistic, is both powerful and memorable enough to quote. It’s a shame Bay hasn’t done anything of this quality in so long, but this is one of the movies that helped redefine the genre for the 90’s.

For what it is, I give it a strong 4.5 Bears.