Archives for posts with tag: Richard Gere

Grade B +

A mega-hit from the early 1980s, “An Officer And A Gentleman” is a story of a young hustler, played by Richard Gere, who enters the U.S. Navy’s Officer Candidate School and gets a lot more than what he bargained for.

Fresh out of college and carrying a ton of emotional baggage, Gere is off to a rough start in OCS with his loner personality, money making schemes, and defiant nature.  Although he cruises easily through the physical parts of his training, there are still many things that can trip him up: a tough, ever vigilant Drill Instructor (played by Louis Gossett, Jr.); a factory worker (played by Debra Winger) who falls in love with Gere; and a fellow candidate –who is carrying his own set of destructive, emotional problems — who befriends Gere.  OCS isn’t just a test to see if Gere has what it takes to be a Naval pilot, it is also a journey to see if he can open himself to accept life’s most precious gift.

My most memorable, movie moment of “An Officer And A Gentleman” is the scene when Gere and Gossett take their differences to the extreme and engage in a brutal, karate fight.

People looking for accurate, basic training of soldiers will find many faults in this movie; but “An Officer And A Gentleman” is not a documentary on the U.S. Navy.  It is a story of romance and emotional growth, and it hits all the right emotions and sentiments for those who love this genre.

— M

 

 

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Unless you’re a big Richard Gere fan, you won’t be seeing “The Double” more than once.

Richard Gere plays an ex-CIA agent who is called back into active duty because a Russian spy/assassin — code name Cassius — is believed to have come out of hiding and is being blamed for the killing of a prominent politician.  Gere doesn’t believe it, but his ex-boss coerces him to join a young, FBI agent (played by Topher Grace) to seek out the truth and apprehend Cassius if Cassius is really alive.

Stereotypical of this type of movie, the partnership between Gere and Grace — sounds like the title of a sit-com — is uneasy, but as the movie goes on they develop a friendship and respect for each other.  Gasp!  I didn’t see that one coming.   So, as the two men look for clues as to where Cassius is and if Cassius is alive, Gere becomes more reluctant to open up this can of worms.  What could he be hiding?  Perhaps a better draft of this script.

My most memorable, movie moment of “The Double” is the scene when Gere is having a chat with his ex-boss while they are getting coffee from one of those food trucks parked on a sidewalk.   Gere makes a comment about how spooks shouldn’t follow the same routines, referring to his ex-boss getting coffee from the same place.  And then we see that the person who serving Gere and his ex-boss is a black dude!  Yes, Gere was referring to spies when he uses the term spooks.  Still, I don’t think it’s wise to say the word spook when a black person is present.

It also wasn’t wise to pair Gere with Grace.  The two had no chemistry together.  Adding to the blandness of many of the scenes is Gere looking tired and uninterested, like he had something better to do than be in this movie.  Yes, he plays a character who is retired and old and has no interest in looking for Cassius; but damn, he was just boring.

“The Double” is a competent spy flick, not much more.  If this movie was a food, I would say it was a low sodium, low fat soup.  Filling, but not satisfying.

M

“Brooklyn’s Finest” has Richard Gere, Don Cheadle, and Ethan Hawke playing cops in NYC who are under tremendous pressure.  Gere is an old-timer, about to retire, does the minimum possible until he retires, and he’s suicidal.  Cheadle is an undercover cop rooted into the lives and business of drug dealers; he’s burnt out, wants to get out of his undercover work, and he’s being forced by his bosses to set-up a drug dealer friend who saved his life years ago.  Hawke is a dirty cop who will do whatever it takes to get more money so that he can better take care of his kids, his sick wife, and his unborn twins.

Whether you like or hate cops, “Brooklyn’s Finest” is a very good movie that gives us samples of what some cops’ lives are like.   There is virtually non-stop tension in this movie that still manages to continue up to the last shot of the third act.

One of my memorable, movie moments is the scene where Hawke is confessing to a priest about a recent sin he committed.  The priest tells Hawke to ask for God’s forgiveness.  Hawke replies, “I don’t want God’s forgiveness.  I want his fucking help!”  How many of us feel this way?  Plenty, I’m willing to bet.  I know I do.

Another memorable, movie moment of “Brooklyn’s Finest” is the last part of the third act, where the three policemen converge on the same housing project.  One is there to rip off drug dealers, one is there for revenge, and the third is there to rescue kidnapped women.  Years before this movie came out, I made an indie flick called “Six” where the last act was similar to the one in “Brooklyn’s Finest.”  So, it was a pleasure to get a glimpse of what the ending of “Six” would’ve looked like if I had a real budget.  I think people criticized the ending of “Brooklyn’s Finest,” calling it too contrived, or forced.  Hey, I thought it was good; but then again, I may be partial.

I strongly suggest you watch the deleted scenes.  Most should have been left in — they were that good.  Some deleted scenes offer juicy surprises as to what the director, Antoine Fuqua, had in mind for how some of the characters end up.

My most memorable, movie moment is the scene where Hawke’s partner in the NYPD tells him that Hawke doesn’t know how good he has it.  Hawke has a wife, kids, a house, etc.  I think some of us can connect with what is said to Hawke.  Sometimes we focus too much on the bad, and forget how good we really have it.  That is one of my many faults that I struggle to correct many times.  We want more — for ourselves and our loved ones.  We want to do more, help more.   And in some cases, all that wanting leads to desperate measures that can destroy us — or worse, destroy the ones we hope to help.  I’ve been through that on a much smaller scale than what Hawke’s character went through, which is why he’s the character I sympathize with the most.

M

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