After his father dies a young Irishman named Joseph Donnelly (Tom Cruise) and his family are terrorised by their wealthy landlord who wants them to pay up despite their recent loss. So in a fit of drunken rage, Joe decides to shoot his landlord but ends up trapped inside his house and injures himself. While being nursed back to health, because apparently this will make having him hanged more exciting, Joe meets the landlord’s ladylike daughter, Shannon (Nicole Kidman) who is desperate to be more “modern” and the two throw their lot in together and run off to America. Of course when they arrive it’s not the land of milk and honey they expected and both are forced to take on some pretty unpleasant work, until Joe realises that he’s a pretty nifty bare knuckle boxer. This film goes on forever and the Irish accents are bordering on ridiculous. The whole thing just really lacks heart and Cruise is as annoying as ever but it really will remind you of how beautiful Kidman was before she got that batface thing from too much plastic surgery. Mostly lame. 2/5
In this sequel to Desperado El Mariachi (Antonio Banderas) gets dragged into a plot to stage a coup where an army general is supposed to get rid of the Mexican president at the behest of a drug lord called Barillo (Willem Dafoe). There’s also a corrupt FBI agent (Jonny Depp) involved and… oh fuck it… I had NO IDEA what was going on for about 90% of this film. Sometimes Robert Rodriguez gets a head full of ideas and then he wants to just jam all of them into one movie whether they make sense or not. This is one of those times. While Depp is utterly bonkersly brilliant as Sands and El Mariachi is still very, very cool this is nowhere near as good as Desperado. It’s only real saving grace is that it contains the line, “Are you a MexiCAN or are you a MexiCAN’T?” Just watch Desperado again. 2/5
Fragile Sarah Bailey (Robin Tunney) moves to a new town after a suicide attempt and starts attending a Catholic prep school. Here she meets Nancy (Fairuza Balk), Bonnie (Neve Campbell) and Rochelle (Rachel True), three outcasts who have been dabbling in witchcraft. They recognise Sarah’s natural talent and convince her to join them after she dates Nancy’s old flame, Chris (Skeet Ulrich) and he spreads horrible rumours about her. At first the girls have a lot of fun doing tricks, improving their own personal circumstances and getting revenge on those who have wronged them but as Nancy becomes more and more power hungry things start to go to a dark place and Sarah is going to have to fight to escape with her life. If you can get past the fact that all of these actresses are way too old to be playing teenage girls this dark teen movie is really fun and creepy. The star of the show is definitely Balk, who as per usual brings a kind of manic energy that is mesmerising. I loved this movie when I was fifteen when it came out and it’s actually aged pretty well. Basically kicks Twilight’s ass. 3.5/5
Posh Morgan Hiller (James Spader) moves to a new town and takes a shine to Frankie (Kim Richards). Unfortunately Frankie is the girlfriend of gangster, Nick (Paul Mones) who isn’t going to give her up without a fight. That’s literally the extent of the plot. I am not sure why Jen and I keep doing this to ourselves – picking these bizarre movies as a kind of self-inflicted torture. Maybe it was because it features a very young, utterly adorable Robert Downey Jnr in a supporting role. What is most worrying about Tuff Turf is that Morgan’s attempted courtship of Frankie is extremely aggressive and bordering on sexual harrassment. Although there is a long way to go, it makes you realise how far gender politics have come because you’d never see scenes like that in a current movie. Don’t watch this. Watch anything else. It’s terrible. 1/5 (point for RDJ).