Showgirls (1995)

  

Recently most of the main cast of Saved by the Bell reunited on Tonight with Jimmy Fallon. They made a joke saying that Jimmy Fallon going on a date with Nicole Kidman (something that oblivious to Fallon at the time actually happened) is just as absurd as Jessie becoming a stripper. The joke went down hilariously well, due to the fact that Elizabeth Berkley indeed played a stripper soon after SBTB. Who’d have thought that the girl who played straight up, book smart Jessie would go on to star in 1995’s Showgirls?

Elizabeth Berkley is sassy, strong, sensual, sexy, and a million miles from Saved by the Bell. A girl with a past she’s running from, she tries to make it as dancer in Las Vegas and ends up making her way up from strip joint to star. It kinda reminds me of Black Swan in some respect; girls very much bitching and back-stabbing to claw their way to the top and a whole lot of mind games. 

The film doesn’t hold back in its level of nudity -Berkley delivers a performance which is human, real and quite raw, and a lot of the time she hasn’t got a whole lot of clothes on. If this movie was released in cinemas today, you’d get a lot of backlash and probably some serious editing. There’s every taboo going, particularly for that time period -there’s violence, rape, quite vivid sex scenes/lap dances and a heavy lesbian overtone. The film was not received well at the time and is still known for being an awful film. However I quite enjoyed it for what it was; a film that clearly was out of the box, especially for that time period. The chereogrsohy in the movie is slick and Berkley shows she can dance well. But she also shows she can act; from fake innocence to anger to despair, she plays a girl who’s trapped in a world that’s shady and immoral, but she at least is following her own moral path leading her on to one city at a time 

 Cristal Connors: There’s always someone younger and hungrier coming down the stairs after you. 


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Fast and the Furious 7

  

Usually a 7th installment of a franchise is what you expect; not as good as earlier movies, to the point where it’s time to call it a day. However Fast and the Furious 7 certainly doesn’t fall into that category. Ever since Fast Five the franchise has had a new lease of life, the car sequences becoming more elaborate, and the levels of adrenaline reaching top peak. 

Fast 7’s central theme is of family, and you can see it in more than just one way. The plot opens with the arrival of the film’s bad guy -Jason Statham, playing the big bad brother of Fast 6’s Owen Shaw. He’s out for revenge on Dom (Vin Diesel) and the gang and the death of Han which we saw in the end credits of the previous scene is the start of a game of cat and mouse which takes in Abu Dhabi all the way to the streets of LA, where the series all started. 

This franchise never tries to pull the wool over its audiences’ eyes in the sense it doesn’t try to be something it’s not. It knows that it’s not the most intelligent movie ever or that it’s going to win worldwide awards, but it knows that it can deliver on those adrenaline, action and wow moments. Everything from cars parachuting out of a plane to a car jumping from buildings, this is the biggest the films have been and it’s brilliant. 

Dom and Letty’s (Michelle Rodriguez) relationship is developing within the film, despite all of their history, Letty’s memory loss is driving a wedge between the pair. Diesel and Rodriguez have a great chemistry together and it’s a welcome break to the action to have a love story admist the story. 

Of course the real heart of this story and the notion of family is bittersweet with the tragic loss of Paul Walker who plays Brian O’Conner in the movies back in Novermber 2013. The film was completed with the help of Walker’s brothers and CGI and through the cast’s interviews you can tell the cast were a real family and that the on screen emotions are real. The movie deals with Walker’s death well and in a tasteful way and it genuinely moves the audience when ‘See You Again’ by Wiz Khalifa plays and a montage of Walker’s time in the franchise plays. The screening I was in broke into applause at the end of the film, a true mark of respect. 

Fast and the Furious 7 is an adrenaline fuelled ride, full of fantastic stunts, great action and full of heart and emotion. For Fast fans, it certainly doesn’t disappoint and offers a true send-off for a much loved character and an actor who was truly loved. As Dom states in the film ‘he doesn’t have friends, he has family’, and that’s truly the message of this film. 

Letty: Did you bring the cavalry?

Hobbs: Woman, I am the cavalry