Man on Fire and Boy, Did
We Feel the Heat!
Maven and The Blonde
since Death Wish has revenge tasted so sweet. Man on
Fire is an action movie about a former government
operative named Creasy, played by Denzel Washington
(John Q, Training Day, Philadelphia). Creasy reluctantly
agrees to become the bodyguard for a precocious
ten-year-old girl Pita, played by Dakota Fanning (I am
Sam and Uptown Girls). Due to the numerous kidnappings
of children from wealthy families, bodyguards in Mexico
City have become a necessity.
that Creasy—because of personal problems and all he’s
experienced through his covert work—has all but given up
on life. This relationship with the child touches his
soul and rekindles his spirit. Unfortunately, even
Creasy’s expertise doesn’t prevent Pita from being
kidnapped. We learn that Creasy is facing kidnappers
aided by a conspiracy within the local government.
Nothing, however, stops his desire for fierce
You will have to watch all the major
twists and turns for yourself. We’re not giving anything
The Blonde: This picture is Ransom
meets The Bodyguard meets Proof of Life. If I wanted
this much stress, worry, and tension,, I could have
spent the evening with my family.
Maven: Or mine!
The Blonde: I feel quite comfortable
stating that Denzel is one of the greatest actors of our
time. He makes every character he portrays believable
and gives a unique credibility to each movie he is
involved in. He doesn’t seem to act at all; he is
subtle, real and honest to the role—not to mention, a
The Maven: Mmmm, he can guard my body
any time. Washington’s reactions to the irrepressible
Fanning are priceless.
The Blonde: Talk about
chemistry between two actors. This is the real deal.
This child is so natural, delicious, and a joy to watch
as she lights up the screen. Pita’s mother, played by
Radha Mitchell, is quite beautiful, has a great body and
is a terrific actress as well. However, she really needs
to remove that big mole on her face.
The Maven: I hardly noticed, but I do think
there were two. I loved the mother’s response to the
inept handling by the officials negotiating the ransom.
The Blonde: I also really enjoyed Tony Scott’s
(Top Gun) wonderfully creative directing skills, choice
of camera angles and editing. It made you feel a part of
The Maven: It was refreshing to see
Christopher Walken playing a nice guy and Mickey Rourke
playing a sleazy attorney. I think that would be an
The Blonde: I am not a fan of Rourke,
but he isn’t a moron!
The Maven: I’ll be nice and
won’t even respond.
The Blonde: Although not an
easy movie to watch because of the subject matter and
violence, it was well worth it. The main characters were
so likeable that they seemed to draw you into
their lives and make you care. I found myself
rooting for them. Don’t miss this film. I give it
The Maven: The first half of the picture
was a love story between Creasy and Pita. The tone
changes drastically the second half as he seeks
unstoppable revenge. The range of emotions that this
movie evokes is why I give Man on Fire an A.
Blonde: You are so easy!
The Maven: Now isn’t that
ironic. I think that would go under the “calling the
kettle black” category.
The Blonde: What does that
have to do with cooking?
The Blonde and the Maven: Enjoy the movie and
The Punisher—And Punished We
The Punisher is a poor
adaptation of the popular Marvel comic book. The story
follows the revengeful character Frank Castle, played by
Thomas Jane (Deep Blue Sea and Dreamcatcher), an
FBI special agent and previous Delta Force
Commando. Howard Saint, a criminal businessman, played
by John Travolta (Pulp Fiction and Saturday Night Fever)
starts Frank Castle on his journey of revenge.
During a family reunion in Puerto Rico, the
villainous Howard Saint orders the massacre of Castle’s
entire family. The Punisher is also presumed dead. Saint
is paying back Castle for his own
son’s murder. Blah, blah, blah! The twist in
this shallow plot is how the Punisher manages to
manipulate Saint into his own world of
The Blonde: The Punisher was
Batman meets Rambo meets Kill Bill.
It reminded me of the movie From Here to Eternity,
not so much the plot, but how long I felt this movie
lasted. In my opinion, this was a poorly directed
(Jonathan Hensleigh) film. He made John Travolta look
like “Welcome Back Kotter” was his finest work. John
did look great, though. His character was a
possessive, jealous, brutal, heartless,
cold-blooded killer. However, he did give good
The Maven: Give Hensleigh a break! It
was his directorial debut. Did you know he co-wrote this
film and also wrote Die Hard with a Vengeance and The
Rock? It’s obvious that his talent lies in writing and
not in directing.
The Blonde: I didn’t mind the fact
that this movie was trite, bloody, violent, brutal,
melodramatic, totally cheesy and with a weak
plot. What did bother me was that it was lousy.
Other than Castle’s wife, (Samantha Mathis) and son
(Marcus Johns), the characters were so unlikable
that I really didn’t care about their fates. In
fact, there were several points in the movie I would
have shot them myself just to get to my car
The Maven: Tell us how you really feel!
I disagree with your comment of a weak plot. I thought
it was well developed.
The Blonde: Yeah, the only
well developed part of the whole film was when Thomas
Jane took his shirt off. Nice body. With a six-pack like
that, who needs punishment?
The Maven: Okay, we
agree about that. I also have to agree that Travolta’s
talent was wasted.
The Blonde: When I think I
could have spent two productive hours going shopping at
the mall and stopping for a yummy cafe latte and a
crumb cake, I could kick myself.
The Maven: I’d
like to kick you too! I really think you are being too
harsh. This movie would appeal to younger audiences,
especially to younger men.
Blonde: Like me! Don't
waste your time, money, or a good bucket of popcorn. It
was bad enough that I had to sit there and be punished.
I give The Punisher a D, and only because I like John
The Maven: In defense of this film,
there were terrific action scenes, lots of revenge,
and plenty of punishment.
The Blonde: Sounds like
one of my marriages.
The Maven: At least
yours had action. Let us not forget, Thomas James is a
hunk. That we can agree on. I give this picture a
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