Tag Archives: Harrison Ford

Cowboys and Aliens

It’s 1873 … Jake Lonergan (played by Daniel Craig) is an outlaw in the Wild West who suddently “comes to” in the desert – he feels like he’s been knocked out, but his memory is sketchy and he’s not quite sure what has happened or where he’s been – the only clue is a strange heavy metal cuff around his wrist. It’s a hot, dry and dusty day and he finds his way to the nearest town, Absolution, to rest and get his bearings. In town, he gets involved with several locals who don’t take kindly to strangers – then gets involved in a fight with the wrong guy … Percy Dolarhyde (by Paul Dano) who is the smart-mouthed but immature son of a notorious heavyweight bully in town, Colonel Woodrow Dolarhyde (by Harrison Ford). This just can’t get any worse … can it?  … Suddenly, strange lights appear in the night sky and the town is beseiged by weird flying shapes and scary events – several of the townsfolk are snatched from the streets and disappear into the flying shapes.  The men form a posse and plan to hunt down these strange captors. Although the men of Absolution were quick to dismiss the arrogant stranger, Lonergan, they now find themselves dependent on him to help them rescue their kin …..
I have previously written that science fiction just isn’t my thing.  However, this is a really entertaining movie – of course it helps that two of my favourites … Harrison Ford and Daniel Craig … are in it. Part of the entertainment factor is that they are both in an unfamiliar genre here. It’s just good old “Cowboys and Indians” but with an extraterrestrial, seething, slimy and modern twist. You won’t see any explicit Bond or Indiana Jones moments here (nor is there any sophisticated sci-fi) but if you like that sort of stuff, you’ll like this. It’s a witty, funny and good adventure all set in the pioneering days of the Wild West. Enjoy.
Made in 2011.  Directed by Jon Favreau
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Posted by on September 26, 2012 in Movies


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Jack Stanfield (played by Harrison Ford) has a very happy life in Seattle. He’s married to his architect wife Beth (by Virginia Madsen) and they have two great children, Sarah and Andy (by Carly Schroeder and Jimmy Bennett). Jack has worked at the same bank for over twenty years and he has risen to the post of Chief of Security. He knows the bank’s computer system inside out – in fact, he’s developed most of the security software himself. One day, Jack is mystified to discover his personal security is compromised when someone posing has him runs up a huge online gambling debt – and from that point things start to get a bit strange. A business associate Bill Cox (by Paul Bettany) insists that Jack drives Bill to his home, without explaining why – when they arrive, Jack realises this is no ordinary business colleague.  Bill has designs on robbing the bank and plans to use Jack as the instrument with all the computer knowledge to commit the cybercrime for him.  However, Jack is prepared to do anything he needs to just to make sure his family are safe …..

This is a great movie.  The drama is well paced, the stunts are effective without being over the top and the performances are all great.  Harrison Ford and Virginia Madsen work well together on screen and Paul Bettany is an excellent white collar criminal – violent when he needs to be, cool, calculating but also just a little too greedy for his own good.  Jack’s colleagues at the bank are all well portrayed by Mary Lynn Rajskub, Alan Arkin and Eric Keenleyside – these are all strong support roles.  Actually, the direction and plot development does twist a little and at times the viewer may develop suspicions in people which turns out to be unfounded later in the story.  It’s good, plausible story, very entertaining and I enjoyed it.

Made in 2006.  Directed by Richard Loncraine

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Posted by on September 10, 2012 in Movies


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Hanover Street

Living in London during the Second World War means that people have a short-term view about most things – life becomes precious, relationships are valuable and love is to be cherished wherever it is found. Lieutenant David Halloran (played by Harrison Ford) is an American pilot stationed at an RAF base in England. He’s regularly running dangerous sorties with his squadron across the English Channel to France. Each sortie means one step closer to getting home, but also a much higher chance you may not make it back.  One day, on a visit into London, Halloran meets a beautiful young British nurse when they are both caught in an air raid. She is mysterious and not like most other women he’s met in England. Their’s is an instant attraction and he wants to see her again, but she is very reluctant, which mystifies him further.  This is the story of their love, it’s tentative beginning, its growth in complexity as other people get involved and its ultimate, unexpected but hear-warming conclusion – all played out in the chaos of “the blitz” and the humanity everyone tries to keep hold of during these times …

If you feel like a love story with some added (but almost laughable) war-time drama thrown in for good measure (and a good story), then this is the movie for you.  As David Halloran, Harrison Ford displays his capabilities which would become his infamous and much-loved flawed character … Indiana Jones – the movies in this series began with “Raiders of the Lost Ark” in 1981. In this movie he is young, but still his charm is there.  As nurse Margaret, Lesley-Anne Down is beautiful and styled exquisitely in the wartime fashions. The performances in the support roles are marvellous, Christopher Plummer plays Margaret’s husband, Paul, to a tee – he is charming, unaffected and totally in love with his wife. Their daughter, Sarah, is played by a young and confident Patsy Kensit – she earned an award nomination for her work in this role. You will probably also develop a huge affection for Halloran’s squad-mate, Lieutenant Cimino, performed beautifully by Richard Masur.  

It’s a lovely, wartime romance and a nice movie – the “war” drama is only there for interest and the ending may surprise you.  It’s good entertainment.

Made in 1979.  Directed by Peter Hyams

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Posted by on September 7, 2012 in Movies


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Random Hearts

Sargeant “Dutch” van den Broeck (played by Harrison Ford) is a Washington DC cop, happily married to his beautiful wife, Peyton (by Susanna Thompson) who’s a fashion director for an up-market department store. One Friday, Peyton is called away on business at the last minute and leaves a phone message for Dutch to let him know she’ll be away a few days. On the other side of town, Kay Chandler (by Kristin Scott Thomas) is an intelligent and capable candidate for the upcoming election who is totally focussed on her political image and her ambitions to change the world. Kay and her husband are busy professionals who both must travel as part of their jobs and who spend much of their marriage passing like “ships in the night”.  On this day, an aircraft crashes into the river in DC but neither Kay nor Dutch take much notice as it’s a flight to Miami, not on the itinerary of either of their partners – until Dutch realises his wife is not yet home. He checks his messages and discovers she may be on the plane. He finds out that she is, in fact, on the plane but she has lied about the reason for her travels. At the same time, Kay discovers her husband is killed in the crash and a series of circumstances leads Kay and Dutch to lean on each other during this very difficult period in their lives.

I like this movie – the drama unfolds well and it is only predictable to a point. Both Harrison Ford and Kristin Scott Thomas are great. Ford plays his typical rough-around-the-edges kind of guy, who also has deep sensitivity and Scott Thomas is excellent as the stylish, no-nonsense political animal who is a straight-talker but who won’t admit to any vulnerabilities. I like it because it doesn’t go where you expect it to and doesn’t end in the predictable way.  It’s a good drama, but probably a bit too long.  There is a parallel (virtually redundant) storyline around Dutch’s work to investigate a murder, but this really only serves to show the audience that he is really a cop. The main interest is with the unfolding story of the partners who have been killed. A good movie. 

Made in 1999. Directed by Sydney Pollack

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Posted by on July 15, 2012 in Movies


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Extraordinary Measures

In Portland, John Crowley (played by Brendan Fraser) is an advertising executive. He and his wife Aileen (by Keri Russell) are raising three children. Their two youngest, Megan (by Meredith Droeger) and Patrick (by Diego Velazquez) are afflicted by Pompe disease, a genetic disorder with a life expectancy of around nine years. Megan has just had her 8th birthday and a desperate John exhaustively searches for a cure for his children’s disease. He contacts Dr Robert Stonehill (by Harrison Ford) a researcher in Nebraska who has an innovative theory for a new mode of treatment. He’s totally focussed on his work – to the detriment of all else in his life. He’s also eccentric and difficult, but he needs funding for his work so he and John join forces to work on getting a cure developed. They need to navigate business politics to work with venture capitalists and rival teams of researchers but time is running short. Stonehill’s thorny style alienates most of their supporters and threatens to dissolve all John’s hope. They race against time to help the children who suffer from this nasty disease.

This is a nice movie. Harrison Ford is a natural as the abrasive and brilliantly eccentric Stonehill who has no care for anything but his work. Brendan Fraser is believable in this role and Keri Russell supports him well. Very well done to Meredith Droeger who is excellent as Megan. A good family movie.

Made in 2010. Directed by Tom Vaughan

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Posted by on June 24, 2012 in Movies


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Raiders of the Lost Ark

It’s 1936 and Indiana Jones (played by Harrison Ford), our intrepid archaeologist and part-time professor is hacking his way through the South American jungle to retrieve a priceless solid gold archaeological relic from a booby-trapped ancient cave. He gets his hands on the idol but only for fleeting moments, until his arch-rival French archaeologist Rene Belloq (by Paul Freeman), steals it from his grasp as he is held at poison arrow-point by a tribe of South American indians. Indi escapes with his life, but without the idol and he curses Belloq’s victory over him this time.  We next see the mild-mannered, bespectacled Professor Jones teaching class in downtown USA, when his colleague Marcus Brody (by Denholm Elliott) accompanied by US government officials approach Indi to ask him about the The Ark of the Covenant – a biblical artefact that is said to hold the key to human existence. Indi is engaged to find The Ark, knowing that given the Nazi unrest in Europe at this time, others are equally as keen to find it and harness its power for their own evil ends. Indi must first retrieve a medallion with a clue to the Ark’s whereabouts from his old friend Abner Ravenwood, whose daughter, Marion (by Karen Allen) manages to tag along with Indy. The hunt takes Indy and Marion across Asia, Europe and Africa – crossing paths with Belloq and the Nazi’s time and time again – in an adventurous cat-and-mouse search. Indi must find The Ark, keep hold of it and then to return it for safe-keeping to the US. Easy plan … if only it were that simple …
I really love this movie – it’s one of my all time favourites.  It’s just a good old adventure – there’s no swearing, little violence, few special effects – but good ones (for the time) and just a hint of romance.  The dialogue is cleverly witty and the whole thing is just an entertaining jaunt into Boys Own escapism.
I’ve been a fan of Indy ever since I heard him say those immortal words “I hate snakes, Chuck!!” … There are two classic scenes in this movie that always stick in my mind (yes, even thirty years later …). The first is a scene relatively early in the movie when a sword-wielding Arab has Indi cornered in a Cairo Bazaar – he’s waving his sabre around with reckless abandon, the razor-sharp blade getting closer and closer to Indy at every swing – then Indy just takes out his revolver and shoots him … The second scene takes place when Indy and his search partner Sallah (by John Rhys-Davies) are peering into a deep tomb and Sallah says ” … Indy, why does the ground move?” …. Indy just mutters to himself… ” Snakes … why did it have to be snakes??? ….” – that makes me laugh every time!.
The score is great and the stirring theme music evokes imagery of adventure, thrill-seeking and heroics too. 
“Raiders” won the Academy Award (Oscar) in 1981 for Best Visual Effects, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Art Direction and Best Sound Effects Editing.
Made in 1981. Directed by Steven Spielberg

Posted by on March 15, 2012 in Movies


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