Film Friday #160

Far and Away

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


Tom heard there was a couch open at the Oprah show and he just couldn’t resist

Once Upon A Time in Mexico

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


Seriously… I love these glasses. I am never, ever going to take them off.

The Craft

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

Rochelle was finding the effects of the beans she had eaten a lot more powerful than expected

Rochelle was finding the effects of the beans she had eaten a lot more powerful than expected

Tuff Turf

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).


Yes, I am topless and wearing sunglasses around my neck… you can thank me later


  1. Great post, The Craft has aged pretty well hasn’t it? Balk was amazing in it.

    1. Abbi

      Yeah totally and she is awesome!

  2. Screw Far & Away. I hate that kind of movie! Plus, Tom Cruise is in it. Not seen Once Upon A Time In Mexico or Desperado – I should someday. Never even heard of Tuff Turf but have to admit I have a huge soft spot for The Craft – that movie is loads of fun. 🙂

  3. Cool range of films to review. Haven’t seen The Craft but intrigued. The Lost Boys is my fave Vampire film. Never seen Far and Away but never heard good things.

    1. Abbi

      You should check out The Craft. It’s one of those rare supernatural teen movies that has actually aged well. I love Lost Boys. And don’t watch Far and Away, it’s almost three hours of your life you will never get back.

      1. I plan on it haha. I was reminded when I did a quiz for him and it seems one of the rare poor choices he made in the early part of his career. i imagine you’d say really funny things during a bad film mind.

  4. Ooh, tough week. Hope you don’t take this the wrong way, but just wanted to point out that the post’s title is hidden in the Tuff Turf review, Maybe you pasted it by accident.

    1. Abbi

      Thank-you so much for pointing that out. Sometimes my proofreading gets a bit lazy. I have fixed it up now.

      1. You’re welcome. It happens to all of us.

  5. Your commentary on Far and Away cracked me up– I grew up watching that show and thus have a fondness for it but it truly is ridiculous. Poor Nicole Kidman… her face certainly is kind of odd looking now… I hadn’t thought about it. Might need to spend part of my afternoon looking at Before and After photos.
    Also: I love LOVE your caption on the Tom Cruise photo. It makes my heart sing.

    1. Abbi

      That sounds like the kind of afternoon activity that I would embark on and then realise seven hours had passed… I do have a feeling that if I’d have watched Far and Away as an impressionable teenage girl I probably would have LOVED it. I’m really glad you enjoyed the caption. Doing the captions is half the joy of Film Friday.

  6. Agreed! 😀 Great Reviews as usual!

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