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Harry has seen the remake of THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123

I have been waiting to HATE this film since it was announced. Needless. Pointless. Unfun. I was geared to despise the film. This is one of those films that as it was cast, updated and put together, EVERYTHING that I loved about the original was being rendered mute. The very idea of Denzel as Walter Matthau just depressed me. Denzel's a great actor, but Matthau was metaphysically perfect for the role. Travolta as Robert Shaw. It grated me at every conceivable level. The score by Lalo Schifrin. GENIUS. FUCK THIS REMAKE. And yet, even thought the screening was pretty much at the worst possible time and location for me - I had to pull an all nighter working on the DVD column and reading a new draft of a project I'm producing and had to turn notes around by morning. Yeah. That 10 am screening was a BNAT for me. But powered by too many 5 Hour Energy drinks I decided to give it a shot. Upon fighting Rush Hour traffic to the OTHER SIDE of town - Father Geek and I take our seats as one other attendee sat in the auditorium for the longest time. Until the others showed up. There had been a dreadful screening a few days before where the sound was dropping out repeatedly during the first 30 minutes and the audience turned ugly and the screening was canceled as many critics left the theater rather than endure shitty projection and sound. But from what I heard, they kinda were digging what they were seeing. There was a trailer for what I've heard is the terrific film, ARMORED. I'm curious about it. The opening credits for THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123 scared me. It kinda looked like we could possibly seeing something more crappy. Loud, abrasive, jittery. I was concerned. It was the exact opposite of the holy fuck cool credits for the original. However, shortly the film began - and it was instantly obvious that Tony Scott was more in his CRIMSON TIDE mode than his DOMINO/MAN ON FIRE stylization. This looked like what many people refer to as "a real movie." The next couple of hours passed without fury or anger. I didn't once hear my brain attempting to create clever metaphoric rips at the film. Instead I was actually compelled by Denzel Washington and John Travolta... and James Gandolfini. I was on board PELHAM 123 and I wasn't questioning my loyalty to Matthau or Shaw. I tell you what did it. During the end of the opening credits I saw a name that put me at ease. Brian Helgeland. Brian is one of the best MAN writers in the biz. You want characters to pop with testosterone and the scarring of tough lives... sit Brian down with a ribbon fed typewriter in a smokey room with a slowly turning creaky ceiling fan and I feel you'll get exactly what you want. Crisp snappy material. The moderate genius of this film is that they didn't attempt to remake THE TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE. They decided to take the loose framework. Man decides to hold city at ransom with hostages taken in "brilliant & brutal" subway plot - and deals with City Transit Employee. One of the problems with casting Denzel as a Matthau-esque character would be that Denzel projects intelligence and smarts. Whereas Matthau looked like a roughly sculpted clay statue of John Q Public. However, here Brian has crafted a sub-plot about Denzel having been a more prestigious man, that is in the doghouse. That fits him. He's a very smart man that has been humbled and is just trying to keep his head down till the problems blow by. Then there's Travolta. As anyone with eyes and ears can tell. This is that Travolta. The one that we saw in BROKEN ARROW giving birth to this site's name. It's Travolta in his bugnuts looney tunes performance from FACE/OFF. And that seems like such a dreadful concept for who Robert Shaw was. I don't know about you, but to me... Robert Shaw in the original Pelham is one of the scariest mutherfuckers on film. You do not cross him. You do not fuck with him. You do not look him squarely in the eye. Who on Earth is AFRAID of John Travolta? I don't care what sort of Village People moustache and badass tattoos and shades you give him... He's still fucking Travolta and fucking Travolta doesn't scare me! Well, fucking Travolta's bugnuts character in this movie is pretty damn scary. Not at all like Shaw's character. Shaw was a man in total control. Travolta is a nightmare. If you're a hostage negotiator - you kinda want a man that knows what he wants. But Travolta's character seems to want to die. To not be afraid of dying. And he certainly gives two shits about the lives of the people in his Subway car. He's fucking bonkers. The voice on the radio changes? Fuck you, I'm killing someone. 1 minute late, BANG and you know he'll do it because he seems to have a jones for killing. Now - why is Travolta acting the way he is? Pretty simple really. As Helgeland lays it out, I absolutely buy it. Travolta's "Ryder" is a man who used to date an ASS model. Seems to be Catholic. Likes using Wall Street lingo. But when it is revealed exactly who he is, that his character is an insane asshole that loves to scream and dehumanize folks... it makes sense to me. Travolta is an ex-loathsome Wall Street raider that fucked people's pensions up and was sent to prison, where he was buggered on a regular basis as he was made the "ass man" - but god put him in a cell with the GUZMAN who clued him into this scam - and Travolta ran with it. But I buy his character. I do not like this movie more than the original, but I do like this movie. When the film turns brutal, it is brutal. Tony Scott and the team behind this film did a real good job. This is a very entertaining and fun film with solid writing, directing and acting. The only part that I disengage a bit is when Denzel becomes a mobile hero. I don't think I needed that. I would have been fine with Travolta getting nailed at an Airport or other location by Turturro and his men. But that's a small quibble. THE TAKING OF PELHAM 123 does not derail destroying our warm cuddly feelings for the original. Instead, it is an express train that never gives you time to really hop off. Good R rated fun!

Readers Talkback
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  • June 12, 2009, 7:41 p.m. CST

    I'm there

    by _diesel_


  • June 12, 2009, 7:43 p.m. CST

    Tony Scott has gone to shit

    by Stifler's Mom

    from True Romance and Crimson Tide to absolutely ADD garbage... that said, if Harry liked it, especially after being prepared to hate it, I'll give it a shot and hope that Mr. Scott is taking his Ritalin

  • June 12, 2009, 7:44 p.m. CST

    Cool. Didn't expect that.

    by Specktron

  • June 12, 2009, 7:46 p.m. CST

    Now I'm conflicted. Now I want to see it.

    by SoylentMean

    So Harry, did you see the Hangover yet? Do you know what spice tigers don't like?

  • June 12, 2009, 7:46 p.m. CST

    ...especially with Travolta involved.

    by Specktron

  • June 12, 2009, 7:50 p.m. CST

    If you can enjoy this drag ass tired, well then...

    by SoylentMean

    I saw the original last year and was blown away by the whole damn thing. I loved it. When I heard about the remake my eyes started spinning and my intestines clogged. <P> A lot of fiber later I was somewhat ok with it (I mean this movie getting released has to mean a super deluxe, bells and whistles, super shiny new, DVD/Blu-Ray of the original, right. Or maybe not, I thought the same thing about the abyssmal Hitcher remake, no new DVD, those fuckers).<P> Anyways, if you love the original and can watch this movie exhausted and like it, well then now I gots to buy me a ticket!

  • June 12, 2009, 7:53 p.m. CST

    I always thought that was where AICN got its name

    by SoylentMean

    I love being right. I also love waffle fries.

  • June 12, 2009, 7:58 p.m. CST


    by mzungusi

    David Shire did the music. I listen to it regularly on the makes me happy.

  • June 12, 2009, 8 p.m. CST

    It's just a different movie, that's all.

    by Cotton McKnight

    "FUCK THIS REMAKE". Ridiculous. Now don't get me wrong, there are some properties you do not touch. I am just sick of these childish reviews. This is nothing like the original. Nope, no cough (or was it a sneeze) at the end of the movie that makes Denzel Washington giving a funny look.

  • June 12, 2009, 8:04 p.m. CST

    Spoiler but...

    by Cotton McKnight

    I think it took WAY too long for the "MAN writer" to get to the part where people start figuring out that MAYBE.. just MAYBE.. the travolta character is a "Wall Street guy". I mean for crying out loud, he talked about hostages in terms of being commodities. I guess it's a commentary on how incompetent the mayor is, but come on- the movie was halfway over by that point.

  • June 12, 2009, 8:14 p.m. CST

    Screw this

    by WillFerret

    Where's your MOON review Harry?

  • June 12, 2009, 8:35 p.m. CST

    It ain't "mute" Harry

    by RickP66

    It's "moot."

  • June 12, 2009, 8:35 p.m. CST

    Tony Scott man...

    by Nickn328

    What the hell happened to him? Was he hit on the head and he lost his attention gauge or something? That much being said, this looks decent.

  • June 12, 2009, 8:37 p.m. CST

    How did you not mention the quasi car chase?

    by MrClark

    By far my favorite part of this film was the race to get the money to the train. Driving at break neck speeds through one of the most congested cities on earth with only those bat shit insane motorcycle guys between the Charger and lots of oncoming traffic. The way Scott filmed that reminded me a lot of Dan Bradley's Bourne chase sequences, except maybe a little better stylised. Masswyrm got it right this movie is fantastic for the first 2/3rds and average for the final act, but that car chase is what I'll most remember from this film.

  • June 12, 2009, 9 p.m. CST

    You do realize

    by CherryValance

    you made me imagine Denzel Washington starring in a Walter Matthau biopic? As for being scared of Travolta. He did shoot people. I mean that's scary unless you like dying. Maybe we weren't supposed to be scared of him. Maybe we were supposed to want him to get away with it. I did.

  • June 12, 2009, 9:09 p.m. CST

    Yeah that was pretty cool..

    by Cotton McKnight

    Watching all those wrecks. The motorcycle cop flipping over, etc. In fact, that was actually pretty awesome.

  • June 12, 2009, 9:22 p.m. CST

    I am kind of rethinking my view of this movie.

    by Cotton McKnight

    When I was watching it, I kind of thought it was ridiculous- the "wall street guy" scene i mentioned above, among many other things. But I dunno. The whole mayor/assistant thing was actually kind of funny. Among other things, the assistant starts telling the mayor "you're being selfish!" when he didn't want to address the press. That's just odd. And Travolta's stream of obscenities had me laughing during the movie, but just because I thought it was so over the top. But I kind of liked it now. Then there's the supervisor who absolutely INSISTS that the hijackers are still on the train because there's a "dead man's switch", even though the damn thing is practically flying off of the rails. What, he never saw a movie where they used an object to keep the gas pedal down while everyone jumped out? But then.. you start to wonder if all of this isn't just a commentary on a completely inept bureaucracy, which is what Travolta was complaining about.

  • June 12, 2009, 9:25 p.m. CST

    and then there's the webcam.

    by Cotton McKnight

    What was that all about. I thought that was going to go somewhere. But the only thing happened was that one of the hijackers kicks it with his foot.

  • June 12, 2009, 9:29 p.m. CST

    What happened to Yoko's music column?

    by Bob Cryptonight

  • June 12, 2009, 10:02 p.m. CST

    "you're being selfish" (spoilers)

    by CherryValance

    At first I thought that assistant was talking to him like that because he was his boyfriend. Then like 2 seconds later they said he cheated on his wife. LOL

  • June 12, 2009, 10:11 p.m. CST


    by The InSneider

    it did nothing for me. travolta was the best part. guzman was fucking WASTED. stupid ending. was hoping for some kind of twist but it's a straight line point A to point B script. went in with complete opposite view of Harry. thought it looked like a lot of fun and had potential to be awesome. came out very underwhelmed and disappointed. sorry.

  • June 12, 2009, 10:37 p.m. CST

    Umm, Harry?

    by Marko Ramius

    Lalo Schifrin didn't compose the music in the original 1974 version. David Shire did. Not to nitpick, but the original happens to be one of my favorite scores in film history.

  • June 12, 2009, 10:41 p.m. CST

    Sorry mzungusi, you beat me to it.

    by Marko Ramius

  • June 12, 2009, 10:57 p.m. CST

    fuck that tony scott rocks

    by Six Demon Bag

    made more consistent films than his brother.

  • June 12, 2009, 11:03 p.m. CST

    OMG this movie is generic

    by SilentP

    Seriously, you don't get more generic than this.

  • June 12, 2009, 11:11 p.m. CST

    tony scott is the man! and so is denzel

    by fassbinder79

  • June 13, 2009, 12:15 a.m. CST

    You're wrong Harry.

    by Holeman

    Travolta sucked fucking ass in this movie and was a fucking ridiculous clown every second he was on-screen. This movie is trite, forgettable, completely mediocre shit. Christ, this is a shit summer for movies.

  • June 13, 2009, 12:17 a.m. CST

    I can't do it.

    by Tin Snoman

    I can't bring myself to see this.

  • June 13, 2009, 12:23 a.m. CST

    I'll see it.


    There's nothing else out this week. Isn't it supposed to be summer?!?

  • June 13, 2009, 12:50 a.m. CST

    The teen webcam stuff was so lame.

    by GibsonUSA Returns

    It seemed like it was there just to acknowledge the existence of wi-fi. Didnt need it. it was stupid.

  • June 13, 2009, 12:56 a.m. CST


    by Trannyformers_Apologist

  • June 13, 2009, 1:31 a.m. CST

    I agree 100%

    by Firefightersfla

    Loved the original about as much as Harry did and I didn't think I would like the update as much as I did. Although I didn't buy the ending with Washington going Rambo. That wasn't needed.

  • June 13, 2009, 2:40 a.m. CST


    by lalalandlovechild

    Please post a correction.

  • June 13, 2009, 2:47 a.m. CST

    I dont understand why Denzel chased the bad guys....

    by GibsonUSA Returns

    1. He escaped the bad guys. The bad guys are no longer after him or his family whatsoever. <BR> 2. He has a wife and kids anxiously waiting at home. <BR><BR> 3. He is no police officer. He is untrained. He has never held a gun. <BR><BR> 4. There are no longer any hostages. Just a bunch of bad guys walking away with cash.<BR><BR> So why did he steal an innocent bystander's pickup truck and go chasing after the bad guys like he's James Bond? Why didn't he go home and hug his wife?

  • June 13, 2009, 3:46 a.m. CST



    I'll always give TS props for the best R-rated lez scene EVAR.

  • June 13, 2009, 4:11 a.m. CST

    Tony Scott's Next Movie is...

    by VMS

    ANOTHER train movie, ALSO starring Denzel. Why the hell would Denzel say yes to that? "Another train movie.. fuck let's do it."

  • June 13, 2009, 4:26 a.m. CST

    That Lalo Schifrin's a sneaky one.

    by Stalin vs Predator

    He's been working all these years as himself *and* David Shire... no wonder he's so wealthy!

  • June 13, 2009, 6:14 a.m. CST

    Harry whenever you go remakes vs. orginal

    by Logan_1973

    You will always ruin the experience for yourself. Gotta learn to separate, man...

  • June 13, 2009, 7:34 a.m. CST

    Harry didn't mention the car chase...

    by LargoJr

    because it was fucking retarded, and once again he's trying to prove he has the power to drum up interest within the masses. <p> The movie wasn't bad, it wasn't good.. it was fairly worth the time to watch, but the ending was retarded. Everybody here knows, if you fuck up the last act... the movie gets a grade 'S' for SUCK.. and Harry is trying to give this movie a push, so he's not about to mention the ending.

  • June 13, 2009, 7:39 a.m. CST

    i'll skip this

    by animas

    sounds like every denzel movie ever made and fuck travolta.

  • June 13, 2009, 7:47 a.m. CST


    by cifra

    ... is actually better than Denzel, Dustin, Bobby de Niro, Pesci and Pacino combined. Problem is, that he's a movie icon that started as teen idol and then turned to scientology. Plus, he's too cool for moviemaking. Kind of the male Marilyn? The guy rocks in almost everything he does... but Battlefield Earth and Look Who's Talking, of course.

  • June 13, 2009, 7:48 a.m. CST

    Can't wait to see what Harry is 'producing'

    by quantize

    it's like starting a blog about music and expecting U2 to ring you up.

  • June 13, 2009, 7:49 a.m. CST

    Sounds like Harry gave this a big free pass

    by quantize

    Sounds stupid but the very least they deserve to be lambasted for insisting on using the name Pelham 123...fucking call it something else for chrissakes

  • June 13, 2009, 8 a.m. CST

    Who cares? Watch Drag Me To Hell instead!

    by DerLanghaarige

    This movie needs your money and it deserves every cent of it!

  • June 13, 2009, 9:41 a.m. CST

    Harry has been coasting on Batman and Robin.

    by Cotton McKnight

    Or whichever Batman movie that was that he blasted back in the 90s. There has been this misconception for years that Harry had something to do with its failure at the box office because he posted a scathing review. Hell, I wouldn't even be surprised if he takes credit for Batman Begins, because it was his review that ended the first franchise. Uh, okay.<br><br><br>No, Batman and Robin failed because it was a lousy movie and everyone knew it. I bring this up because he seems to be trying to influence the box office again by going WAY off the rails in his reviews. Terminator 4, a decent movie that's at least made its money back in total boxoffice, was called every name in the book by Harry, and he even ended his review with the words "Fuck this movie". Sorry Harry- the big secret is that at the end of the day, reviews don't have as big an impact as you seem to think they do. It's good word of mouth that drives the box office. And while we are on the subject, the original Pelham 123 is better than all of the Terminator movies put together. Why you hold T4 to such a high standard while you give this one a pass is beyond me.

  • June 13, 2009, 9:44 a.m. CST

    Harry, was there a "Gazundheit" moment?

    by AssassinWithSon


  • June 13, 2009, 9:45 a.m. CST

    wall street raider????

    by TheExterminator


  • June 13, 2009, 9:46 a.m. CST

    Sounds like Swordfish

    by SanityKaos

    Where for no reason whatsoever and without any military training Hugh Jackman picks up a rocket launcher and shoots down a helicopter! And what about the other 122 Pelham movies?

  • June 13, 2009, 9:50 a.m. CST



    Never saw that in the trailer!

  • June 13, 2009, 9:54 a.m. CST

    Another LAME-O Harry Knowles review

    by benlinus

    Complete with ridiculous typos; references that are just flat out incorrect and yet MORE mindless exposition about how AWESOME Harry's life is. NO ONE CARES about your suite at the Palms and the fact that you "lept out of bed" even though you are 400lbs and confined to a wheelchair. Seriously Harry, notice that the talkbacks for your threads are getting shorter and shorter. Theres a reason for that. Seriously, just sell this site, take the cash, and let someone who actually is coherent, bring this site back to life....

  • June 13, 2009, 9:57 a.m. CST


    by palimpsest

    And I know it's been said above. It needs saying again though. DAVID SHIRE.

  • June 13, 2009, 10:21 a.m. CST

    Harry's right about one thing..

    by MasterShake

    Travolta isn't even a pimple on Robert Shaw's ass. Robert Shaw was THE MAN. Every movie he did, from the mediocre "Battle Of The Bulge" to "Jaws", he was the scary mutherfucking "out there" character. I can't think of another actor pulling off the roles he took and what he did with them. His untimely passing was a blow to everyone.

  • June 13, 2009, 10:52 a.m. CST

    Try out this Podcast

    by joblessfilmreviews

    Gents, Sorry but if you want to hear a great film review podcast check out I promise you won't be disappointed

  • June 13, 2009, 10:53 a.m. CST

    "Harry, was there a "Gazundheit" moment?"

    by Harry Weinstein

    Not Harry, but NO.<p><p> And this movie was wall-to-wall crap from start to finish. Denzel was adequate and that's the best thing I can say about it.

  • June 13, 2009, 10:53 a.m. CST

    Actually, I AM Harry...

    by Harry Weinstein

    Just not the one you were talking to.

  • June 13, 2009, 11:08 a.m. CST

    Harry, THIS is a review.

    by kuldan

    Harry, I must admit that over the past few years, my tendency to not be steered by your reviews has grown. The fact is that it wasn't so much that you liked a bad film, it was just how you wrote about it. Well, in the case of your review for "Pelham" I actually want to go see it even more now. Because of how easily you put your words down, this will be my choice for the weekend. Good work.

  • June 13, 2009, 11:19 a.m. CST

    John Travolta as Robert Shaw

    by Thunderbolt Ross

    I don't think that's the way it works, but whatever.

  • June 13, 2009, 11:37 a.m. CST

    How easily you put your words down.

    by Cotton McKnight

    lol. I guess you mean a rambling vaguely coherent thesis vs. a rambling incoherent thesis? Oddly enough, Harry's reviews lately have been much like Travolta's lines in this movie. FUCK! etc.

  • June 13, 2009, 11:42 a.m. CST

    THAT'S where this site got its name??

    by redtom

    jesus, mary mother of god...

  • June 13, 2009, 11:55 a.m. CST

    Cotton McKnight....well said

    by quantize

    Harry's positive reviews are no more reliable than his bad ones these days...they all smack of self serving grease for his own wheels.

  • June 13, 2009, 12:28 p.m. CST


    by Flint420

    That's all I wanted to say

  • June 13, 2009, 12:41 p.m. CST

    Sounds like a more realistic version of

    by ThrowMeTheIdol

    The Shawshank Redemption.

  • June 13, 2009, 1:23 p.m. CST didn't know Helgeland was a writer on this?

    by Glory_Fades_ImMaxFischer

    So its your job to know about movies and you were so pissed off and unprepared going to a movie you had no desire to see, to LEARN about one of the scriptwriters on this was one of your favorites???? Yeah Knowles that makes perfect fucking sense..What were you hoping to really accomplish by going into say "I'm going to fucking hate this movie and then I'm going to write a bad review about it"..Even though you obviously knew NOTHING about the film going in? Jesus man...

  • June 13, 2009, 2:19 p.m. CST

    Harry's profile of Travolta's character...

    by Fireball XL-5

    ...turns me off to the movie. It's ridiculous. In the original, Shaw was a former mercenary who was dangerous and always in-control but clearly out of his element, forced to work with amateurs and goons. They should have stuck to that model, cast the character as an old-school merc (which would be exotic now, not ridiculous), and cast Ian McShane. His eyes alone would anchor the film.

  • June 13, 2009, 3:18 p.m. CST

    Who really cares about this movie?

    by Series7

    It looks so generic. It just screams rental, it looks like a movie that came out two years ago. Shit 12 Rounds looked more exciting.

  • June 13, 2009, 3:28 p.m. CST

    Not really interested in this one.

    by Sal_Bando

    I'll pass, watch it on dvd down the pike.

  • June 13, 2009, 3:40 p.m. CST

    I really hated this movie

    by Capnbludd

    I'm the kind of person that usually takes an action movie for what it's supposed to do - crash cars and blow stuff up while the good guy says one liners and the bad guy kills innocents so you want him to die horribly. So I went in with an open mind, and was highly dismayed. Travolta didn't seem scary at all, people were laughing at him when he's trying to be 'badass'. Washington was ok, but I totally didn't buy him chasing Travolta to the bridge at the end, NO reason for him to do it. And as someone who works for the MTA NYC Transit the list of things wrong with the movie there is just too long to list them all 8') There wouldn't have been any trains moving by a train loaded with gunmen and hostages, the mayor's 6 train wouldn't have gotten any where near 59th due to that.. cops setting up tables in the tunnel with trains whizzing by - there is no possible way to get a runaway 6 train to Coney Island, you CAN move one there but it means moving trains to certain yards and stuff like that. That ridiculous helicopter ride.. there was a 6 minute time limit to get there but Denzel has an edlessly long chat with his wife first? Bring a gallon of milk - no I'll bring a half gallon..????? time supposedly running out while that is going on.. Instead of making Denzel's MTA Garber the focus they should have left it like the original with Matthau's cop Garber. I hated the movie so much I called friends at work to tell them how bad it was as I was leaving. Never did that before.

  • June 13, 2009, 4:05 p.m. CST

    Loud, pointless crapfest...

    by Ninja Nerd

    ...and those are the high points. Save some money, NetFlix the original, and enjoy a real movie. Harry fell into the happy pudding and ate his way out, apparently.

  • June 13, 2009, 4:38 p.m. CST

    Tony Scott needs to lay off the cocaine-style

    by Bot-Bot

    All his films seem to be made like someone ready for an all-night drug-induced snort-fest. Loud, jittery, choppy and impatient, as if he can't trust the story or the audience attention span. Insulting.

  • June 13, 2009, 6:20 p.m. CST

    Okay, okay

    by one_guy_from_andromeda

    I'll watch it...

  • June 13, 2009, 6:31 p.m. CST

    I didn't understand the "Ass man" line

    by liljuniorbrown

    So you're saying Travolta's villian is holding a train hostage cause he took it in the ass alot in prison? Thats fucking weird man. I guess i'll still go see it. Weird though.

  • June 13, 2009, 6:47 p.m. CST


    by Harry Weinstein

    They know he's a Wall Street type turned tattooed evildoer because he once took an expensive vacation with an ass model, presumably female(??). from a bluejeans ad. How do we know this? Because he never fucking shuts up. Just listen to the guy from the MTA a few posts up. This film is totally not worth your time.

  • June 13, 2009, 7:01 p.m. CST

    Denzel is set to star in a Walter Matthau biopic?

    by Bruce of all Trades


  • June 13, 2009, 7:09 p.m. CST

    They concluded he was a wall street type from the vacation..

    by Cotton McKnight

    not from the endless talk about commodities. That's all the guy talked about up until that point.

  • June 13, 2009, 8 p.m. CST

    denzel sucks

    by h8tersbeware

    because of this review i will give this movie a shot, but denzel doesnt do it for me, every time i see him in a film, i always feel that someone else could have played the part better.

  • June 13, 2009, 8:18 p.m. CST

    You liked this but hated Terminator?

    by lockesbrokenleg

    Man, I bet he loves the Sandra Bullock movie next week

  • June 13, 2009, 8:55 p.m. CST


    by Series7

    Should've just put this on your DVD column and call it an early review. Travolta needs to pick better movies. Though Denzel's been doing shit like this his whole career. Still can't believe he got a fucking starring role Oscar for a supporting part.

  • June 13, 2009, 8:56 p.m. CST


    by Series7

    I'm waiting for the call to arms about why none of us are seeing the comedic genius that is Imagine That.

  • June 13, 2009, 8:56 p.m. CST


    by kateowyn

    This looked like what many people refer to as "a real movie."

  • June 13, 2009, 9:41 p.m. CST

    decent movie

    by Adelai Niska

    It's a normal movie the whole way through, but the opening and closing are bombastic, fast-cut Tony Scott. The credits give it a completely wrong tone off the beginning.

  • June 13, 2009, 9:50 p.m. CST

    I liked the opening to this movie though.

    by GibsonUSA Returns

    Scott movies always have those badass openings. But the thing is, that kind of loud, quick-cut stuff is awesome for the intro, but if the whole movie is like that, then it sucks! With that said, it was not like that the whole movie here, so there was no issue with headache style editing in this movie.

  • June 13, 2009, 10:27 p.m. CST

    What happened to all the guys who loved Johnny after Pulp F?

    by GQtaste

    After QT brought him back from those Look who's talking films everybody fell in love w/ him again. Don't forget that Daniel Day Lewis and Walter B. wanted that part, along w/ a couple of others i'm not thinking of. But Q stood his groud and it was genius on his part. In many ways John owes QT his comeback and John knows it as well. But w/ Travolta being a major success since being a very young man w/ that tv show and Saturday Night Fever and Grease. That was over thirty years ago. That's a hell of a long time being one of the biggest stars of all time. He has staying power like the old timers like a Jimmy Stuart et al. That's not to say he hasn't made bad choices b/c he has. I'm not the biggest fan but he does have staying power.

  • June 13, 2009, 11:32 p.m. CST

    Broken Arrow

    by BendersShinyAss

    I still remember my friends and I goofing off in the theatre before that film started and suddenly this trailer started with a massive shadow over new york, a fireball destroying the city and then the white house blowing up. <p>I don't even think we actually watched broken arrow and even to this day I still couldn't tell you what happened in that film. it had christian slater right?

  • June 13, 2009, 11:51 p.m. CST

    Tony Scott is the stupid man's Ridley Scott

    by m_reporter

    He has a visual style, and it's interesting at times, but most of his movies lack any structure and story. He's all about being flashy and excessive, which gets tedious after ten minutes.<p> If he wants to continue doing stupid films for stupid people then he needs to go back to Top Gun, Crimson Tide and True Romance. At least those where fun.

  • June 14, 2009, 12:11 a.m. CST

    Pelham was ass

    by Magnum Opus

    Plain and simple. Can't believe this is getting even luke-warm responses. Ridiculously bad acting and writing, but I guess a little eye candy is enough for all the simpletons out there.

  • June 14, 2009, 12:36 a.m. CST

    What movie is the gif mocking?

    by kbarber29

    Harry's jumping head and then dissolving the house, then harry. Is it based on a movie?

  • June 14, 2009, 12:52 a.m. CST

    Tony scott...

    by Out of your element

    What happened to his True Romance days? THAT was a fucking good-ass movie. I'm going to watch the original rather than this pos, b/c ive heard good this about it.

  • June 14, 2009, 1:56 a.m. CST

    Travolta in the Robert Shaw role?

    by Rocco Curioso

    Fucking ludicrous even as an idea. I agree with what MasterShake and Fireball XL-5 are saying. Ian McShane alone could have pulled it off(and probably coerced Washington into an acting duel that would've yielded interesting results). Look back on Shaw's CV as an actor and you'll see that(theoretically)replacing him in any of his movies with another actor, much less doing so in a REMAKE, is a fool's errand.

  • June 14, 2009, 2:10 a.m. CST

    Screw this...give RAIMI your money!

    by Kirbymanly

    "Drag Me To Hell" is an f'ing CLASSIC! Go to see it again and again so he's able to make more movies like this! Don't let it suffer the fate of "Army Of Darkness" on its original release! Come on, geeks and dorks!

  • June 14, 2009, 3:49 a.m. CST

    Robert Shaw is one of the greatest actors ever

    by Prossor

    Suckolta in his role would be like Carrot Top taking on Michael Corleone.

  • June 14, 2009, 3:50 a.m. CST

    Shaw played the best Bond badguy ever

    by Prossor

    as Red Grant in the 2nd bond pic. i mean what a freakin performance.

  • June 14, 2009, 4:15 a.m. CST

    "a project I'm producing"

    by Windowlicker74

    whats that gonna be? ghost town 4?

  • June 14, 2009, 9:17 a.m. CST

    Drag me to hell is horrible and I'm about to watch pelham

    by whothefuckcares

    at home

  • June 14, 2009, 11:55 a.m. CST

    'Drag me to Hell" was freakin' brilliant!

    by m_reporter

    Saw it twice already, and the fucking thing holds up great on a second viewing. Sure, the laughs and scares aren't as effective as on the 1st viewing, but you get to appreciate the filmmaking side of things much more.<p> I think it's going to be a cult classic in a couple of years. It's a one of a kind movie, an perfectly engineered thrill-ride by a true master of his craft.

  • June 14, 2009, 12:53 p.m. CST

    PELHAM got pretty decent reviews....

    by Orbots Commander

    ...including a good write up in The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal. Both reviews noted that one of the reasons this movie works is Brian Helgeland's screenplay. I love LA CONFIDENTIAL so hopefully he pens a few more studio scripts. <br> In any case, the movie didn't do that great in terms of BO. It came in third, I think, over the weekend. <br> I think it was released at the wrong time. Thrillers like these need a late fall, November-ish release, as its in line with the more adult fare of the season. It was inevitable that PELHAM would get lost in the summertime, crammed between raunchy comedies, a Pixar movie, and CGI spectacles.

  • June 14, 2009, 1:47 p.m. CST

    NO! avoid the SWINE FLU, stay at home or die!!!

    by SylarTheCylon

    Why no stories on how the movie industry covered up the swine flu pandemic so people wouldn't stop going to the cinema?

  • June 14, 2009, 2:04 p.m. CST

    I wanted to buttfuck Travolta in the face

    by Cruel_Kingdom

  • June 14, 2009, 2:11 p.m. CST

    Haven't seen it yet...

    by Kid Z

    ... heard it's not-so-bad-even-kinda-good. Sort of sad though re: the current state of affairs of the industry when the best you can say about one of these endless remakes is, "Well, at least it didn't figuratively spew bloody diarrhea all over the original".

  • June 14, 2009, 2:53 p.m. CST

    LOL, Kid Z

    by Orbots Commander

    Permission to use the phrase 'bloody diarrhea', please. Thanks. <br> <br> Love that phrase; I'll strive to use it in my day to day conversation: "This cheeseburger tastes okay, but at least it's not bloody diarrhea."

  • June 14, 2009, 5:14 p.m. CST

    by Harry Weinstein

    "Well, at least it didn't figuratively spew bloody diarrhea all over the original".<p><p>Matter of opinion. I think it absolutely does spew bloody diarrhea all over it. Remember how critics basically gave a pass to INDIANA JONES AND THE KINGDOM OF THE CRYSTAL SKULL even though it was total shit? This is this year's INDY 4 - the movie that inexplicably gets a pass from most critics even though it's painfully obvious that it's painfully bad. Wifi on the 6 train.

  • June 14, 2009, 8:38 p.m. CST


    by TITBAG


  • June 14, 2009, 8:38 p.m. CST

    Poor Denzel

    by lockesbrokenleg

    He just never gets a break.

  • June 14, 2009, 9:24 p.m. CST

    Haven't seen this movie BUT

    by S-Mart shopper

    How in the world did it get a 100mill budget?

  • June 14, 2009, 9:35 p.m. CST

    Watched the original on CW...

    by ClarenceBeaks

    earlier. Have never seen it before.

  • June 14, 2009, 11:07 p.m. CST

    Also watching the original on CW

    by AICNsucks

    I forgot just how much most soundtracks sucked in the '70's as well as the dialogue, direction, lighting, sound, hell practically everything in that decade sucked. No wonder why Harry likes it so much. I think I'll flip the TV back to "Jacob's Ladder." I forgot just how hot Elizabeth Pena used to be.

  • June 14, 2009, 11:43 p.m. CST

    After shelling out $37 bucks for ROTF IMAX tickets, I'm taking a

    by ganymede3010

    This will be out on DVD in 2 months. I'm sure it's a good movie though.

  • June 15, 2009, 12:28 a.m. CST


    by hugejack21


  • June 15, 2009, 12:28 a.m. CST


    by hugejack21


  • June 15, 2009, 12:29 a.m. CST


    by hugejack21


  • June 15, 2009, 7:59 a.m. CST

    Anyone knows a movie with Denzel in which...

    by ricarleite2

    ... he doesn't carry a gun around? I can't remember one!

  • June 15, 2009, 8:07 a.m. CST

    I don't think Denzel held a gun in The Hurricane

    by Nasty In The Pasty

  • June 15, 2009, 11:05 a.m. CST

    sounds like poopy

    by SkeletonParty


  • June 15, 2009, 11:37 a.m. CST

    The remake is quite good

    by fassbinder79

    The original is obviously still better overall. But the new film has some elements I like much more. Very entertaining regardless.

  • June 15, 2009, 11:37 a.m. CST

    Denzel and Blair Underwood to remake The Odd Couple!!!

    by Sequitur

    Take it to the bannk, Frank!

  • June 15, 2009, 11:38 a.m. CST

    Ridley is no Tony

    by fassbinder79

  • June 15, 2009, 1:40 p.m. CST

    Just watched the original on cable

    by Stabby

    If you haven't seen it do yourself a favor and watch that instead of the remake. Both Robert Shaw and Walter Mathau are fantastic. I was rooting for both the bad guy to get away with it and the good guy everyman to stop him at the same time. Robert Shaw is just so ubercool and ruthless I was really disappointed *SPOILER* that he had to stop and kill the hippy cop instead of getting away. Yes, there are some annoying 70s characters in the film, but they all get their asses handed to them by Shaw and Mathau. They really don't make movies like this anymore. They just remake them and they fucking suck. Gerald Butler would have been a better choice to play the Shaw character, Morgan Freeman, the Mathau role IMO.

  • June 15, 2009, 8:50 p.m. CST

    Screw remakes of classics and their idiotic backstories!

    by Redmond

    Who gives a shit about WHY these characters are doing anything? I just saw the original again on TV and was not only struck again by how well it holds up as an action movie, but also its wonderful humor and its kinetic view of New York as a multicultural hotbed of egos, eccentrics and complainers. But one thing it didn't have was stupid back stories and explanations. Know why Robert Shaw held up the train? Money! That's it. That made him scarier, not that he's some Wall St. asshole or whatever Travolta is suppose to be in this movie. You can't reason with a guy who knows exactly what he wants. That's what made Rickman in DIE HARD so great. And Matthau wasn't some complex, failed figure looking for redemption. He was just a lunchbox Joe doing his job during his shift. It was purely simple and beautiful. Every time you see a lame back story like this remake has, you can pretty much tell it came rolling out of a development meeting.

  • June 15, 2009, 9:14 p.m. CST

    Titbag be glad your asshole isnt hairy

    by Prossor

    then you'll have a whole new set of problems! or is it?

  • June 15, 2009, 9:18 p.m. CST

    backstories suuuuck

    by Prossor

    All movies that have backstory or origin are usually shit.

  • June 15, 2009, 9:36 p.m. CST

    Harry A Better Travolta Movie Line For Nameing This Site

    by Red Dawn Don

    Harry A Better Travolta Movie Line For Nameing This Site is... STRANDED-AT-THE-DRIVE-IN.C_M You know from the movie GREASE. The song goes: Stranded At The Drive-In, Branded A fool, What Will They Say, Monday At School... Either that name or BEAUTY SCHOOL DROP OUT.

  • June 17, 2009, 12:15 p.m. CST

    ex-loathesome Wall Street guy?

    by DoctorWho?

    So, he's not loathesome anymore?

  • June 17, 2009, 12:19 p.m. CST

    RE: Robert Shaw

    by DoctorWho?

    Truly the toughest guy ever to grace a movie screen. Cagney? Douglas? Lancaster? Shit...Love those guys but Robert Shaw would have them staring at their shoes with just a word or two.

  • June 18, 2009, 11:29 a.m. CST

    DRAG ME TO HELL is still in theaters, you know

    by NoDiggity

    Please go see it <br><br> Why are you wasting time with these bad movies when Sam Raimi's fantastic "Drag Me to Hell" is still in theaters? Join the "Drag Me To Hell" talkback! <br><br> <br><br>

  • June 18, 2009, 1:41 p.m. CST

    How much longer will Harry continue to...

    by Harry Weinstein

    ...not correct his review to give David Shire proper credit for the music in the original PELHAM ONE TWO THREE? Lalo Schifrin is awesome, but he had nothing to do with TAKING OF PELHAM ONE TWO THREE.<p><p>And clearly, were this site to be created today and take its name from the PELHAM remake, it would be - obviously.

  • June 19, 2009, 7:50 a.m. CST

    Where do I bash Revenge of the Fallen?

    by Smashing

    Loved the first film, want a refund over the second, is it not reviewed here?

  • June 21, 2009, 6:46 p.m. CST


    This movie looks about as good as Pink Panther 2. Remake of a movie that Ive never even cared about. wow about as clever as the remake of the Poseidon Adventure!

  • June 22, 2009, 9:20 a.m. CST

    I want a TV series with James Gandolfini as the MAYOR.

    by riskebiz

    His character was the only saving grace of this movie ... so much so that I would really love an HBO series about his character. Really interesting character with a lot of stories that could be plundered with him.

  • June 23, 2009, 5:53 p.m. CST

    a nothing movie

    by aclockworkkebab

    this was the most obvious case of middle of the road film making ive ever come across, MOR acting MOR script MOR bad guy, im a fan of everybody involved in this film so how did they make a movie that just screams Irrelevance, i just thought what was the point in making this movie it had nothing new to say and didnt redeem itself by doing what it did with any style or passion just a waste of everybodies time wasnt bad, wasnt anything