Dorian's Movie Reviews
Is it worth seeing? Reviews are presented with no cynicism, no comparisons, no biased standards, no pretentiousness - every movie is reviewed on its individual entertainment value including technical presentation.
This one is just for the laughs. When no-nonsense L.A.P.D. detective Mitch Preston (Robert De Niro) shoots an intrusive cameraman's camera, the camera falls in love with him. They are natural born enemies, but a lawsuit brings them cozily together in a TV series. What could improve on this? A second cop who loves the camera, Patrol Officer Trey Sellars (Eddie Murphy). While Sellars is hamming it up for the camera, Preston is seething at them both.
Preston doesn't hate Sellars just for being a bumbling, camera happy cop. Sellars and Preston are brought together for the first time when Sellars stumbles onto Preston's drug bust and ruins it, nearly getting them all killed by a new super-weapon. Sellars's premier performance for the camera is being handcuffed to a fence by an irate Preston. This, too, wins him a place in the hearts of the audience... or at least the producers who know a good element when they see one. Of course these two would now want to spend their lives together, with the camera, and the audience wants to see them try it.
Character makes the magic in this movie, through good acting performances, but it springs from well written situations, a few sight gags, and some nice camera effects. De Niro and Murphy work well together hating each other. For supporting actors, who could be no-nonsense Preston's acting tutor better than William Shatner, who provides some physical comedy himself? (Nice casting.) For sight gags, the veteran cameraman running and falling over a fire hydrant is great. The shot down the side of the tall hotel building was not only breath taking, but also great setup for the scenes that followed.
The set was put to very good use in this movie, from the intrusive cameras, to using cameras as part of the plot and resolving the plot, the use of the TVs and showing the choppers on TV, to the car chases. It was also well edited, never confusing, always showing character reactions.
I give this one four spotlights out of a possible five for the writing, acting, directing, production design, casting, editing, music, costume design, choreography, cinematography, casting, and entertainment value. It carries a PG-13 rating. Enjoy!
My comments below attempt to draw attention to things that make a movie good, especially if they made major contributions, and for professional judgments on these various arts, the reader should consult professionals in these arts.
Note: No half spotlights are given.
My reviews are not based much on my personal taste, or any standard besides entertainment value. I try to be as objective as possible, keeping in mind that entertainment value is very subjective and individualized. If I'm not interested in a movie I usually don't go see it, so it doesn't get reviewed. Each character, and each position in the production company might be highlighted if the contribution affected the enjoyment of the story as either outstanding or dismal and I noticed it, keeping in mind that many contributions are singularly distinguished by their seamless integration with the story, not calling attention to themselves and thereby escaping attention.
- Dorian Scott Cole
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