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Movie Reviews

Here are my very own movie reviews for the Frank Whaley movies that I have seen so far. Keep checking back because I am continually searching out the video stores for his movies. I'll let you know when I update my reviews! In the meantime, I hope you'll enjoy reading what I have so far.

Little Monsters
This is definitely a very different performance for Frank Whaley. The movie is about a young kid (Fred Savage) who finds a monster living under his bed. The two become good friends. In fact, the monster is the only real friend he has, and soon he's taken to a whole nother world where only monsters live. Its a world full of nothing but fun and games and no adult athority. But soon, the boy's younger brother (played by Fred's real life younger brother, Ben Savage) is kidnapped by one of the evil monsters (Whaley). I almost didn't recognize Frank at all. I only knew it was him by his voice. The movie is a great one for kids, but an embarrassing one to rent when you're a 23 year old college student like myself!

Field of Dreams
When farmer Ray Kinsella (Kevin Costner) hears voices telling him to build a baseball diamond in his field, the whole town thinks he's gone crazy. But he does it anyway and soon, the ghosts of some famous baseball players appear. The ghosts are of the dead White Sox players who were at one time banned from the game for throwing the 1919 World Series. Ray then seeks out a reculsive author (James Earl Jones) to help him find out the meaning of all of this. Frank Whaley plays one of the members of the Chicago White Sox and boy is he cute in that little baseball uniform of his! I just loved this movie. Its kinda slow, but has some funny moments, especially in the scenes with James Earl Jones.

Born on the Fourth of July
Born on the 4th of July is a very realistic and powerful portrayal of Vietnam veteran Ron Kovic (played by Tom Cruise), who joined the Marines and was sent to fight in Vietnam. He came back paralyzed, where he then had to ordeal physical rehabilitation as well as the emotional impact of seeing men die all around him. Soon, he becomes an anti-war activist. Frank Whaley plays a Vietnam veteran and Kovic’s friend. This is one of Oliver Stone’s finest films and one of Cruise’s best performances. Frank is really good too, although the facial hair takes some getting used to!

The Freshman
Matthew Broderick plays a young man just starting college in NYC. But on his first day in the Big Apple, his belongings (including his very expensive text books) are stolen by a small time crook who he made the mistake of putting his trust in. Like Frank says in the movie, "Everyone in this city is a victim.....welcome to New York!" Soon after his things are stolen, he meets Carmine Sabatini (played by Marlon Brando who seems to reprise his Godfather role). Mr. Sabatini hires Broderick to do a job that he can't refuse. My favorite scene is when Broderick and Whaley are chasing the reptile through a local shopping mall. This is such a cute, funny movie and a must see for any Frank fan!

To Dance With the White Dog
What a sweet movie this is! Its worth renting just to see Hume Cronyn and his real life wife, the late Jessica Tandy (what a doll she was)! In the film, they play husband and wife, Sam and Cora Peek. Soon after celebrating their 50th wedding anniversary, Cora dies froma heart attack. Alone and struggling with his own failing health, Sam has to deal with his very overprotective kids (one of which is played by Frank Whaley). Out of nowhere, Sam is vistied by a myserious dog, who's as white as snow, and who shows him how to enjoy life again. Its not exactly an action packed film. In fact, to some it may seem boring and tedious. But although the pace is slow, I found it to be a very warm and romantic love story. I hope to be in the kind of relationship one day that Sam and Cora have! Frank is in the movie quite a bit (which will help those of you who think the movie is too slow), but I wish he'd throw away those ugly glasses!

Seeing that this is Frank's very first movie ever, I didn't expect him to have a big part, but I also wasn't expecting to see him look so young either! I guess he's always been a cute guy! Anyway, the movie stars Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson as two homeless drunks, recalling their earlier days when she was a singer on the radio and he was a husband and father (who accidentally killed his son). Soon he's haunted by his past and sees visions of two other men that he killed. Not a favorite movie of mine, but the performances are worth seeing. Meryl Streep and Jack Nicholson have got to be two of the most talented actors in Hollywood and Frank was so lucky to act with them in his first film!

Swimming With Sharks
A young man named “Guy” (Frank Whaley) gets a job as the new assistant to a top Hollywood executive (Kevin Spacey). “Guy” is willing to do anything to get up the corporate ladder, and that includes being insulted, abused, put down, and dodging everything from coffee to paper weights.....which is all done to him by Spacey. Spacey is, to put it lightly, “the boss from Hell.” But when the boss then puts the moves on his girlfriend, “Guy” decides that he can’t take it anymore, and he takes his boss hostage. One of my favorite scenes is the “sweet & low vs. Equal” scene in the beginning of the film, when its “Guy’s” first day on the job. This movie goes between being a comedy and being a very dark drama. One minute you’re laughing and the next minute you find yourself mesmerized by Frank Whaley’s dark side. This was my first time seeing Frank play such a role and I loved it! Kevin Spacey is equally as wonderful esp. when he’s playing the nasty, abusive boss.

Swing Kids
The time is Nazi Germany and swing music has been banned by Hitler because of its black and Jewish affiliations. But that doesn't stop the German youth from meeting in secret underground dance clubs and listening to the tunes of Benny Goodman and Duke Ellington. Frank Whaley, Christian Bale, and Robert Sean Leonard are three of these youth and soon, their friendship is on the line when Robert is forced to join the Hitler youth and Christian joins to keep him company. Frank would never think of joining, but even if he did, he couldn't because he's a cripple. Soon, Christian becomes brainwashed by the Nazi propaganda and they must all decide what's more important: loyalty to their friendship and their music, or loyalty to the Third Reich. Their different choices soon tear their friendship apart. This is such a powerful movie and it has an awesome soundtrack! The dance hall scenes are some of my favorite scenes in the film. Go rent Swing Kids today!

Filmed in in Pittsburgh (near where I live), Hoffa follows the life of teamster Jimmy Hoffa through the eyes of his close friend, Bobby Ciaro. It follows his countless battles with the RTA and President Roosevelt. Frank Whaley has a minor role (what else is new) but it's still an interesting film about an interesting man. I was never interested in Hoffa before and I only saw this movie because of Whaley and where it was filmed (it's so cool to think that Frank was once in Pittsburgh)! Danny DeVito (who also directed), plays Bobby and Jack Nicholson plays Hoffa. I'd give this movie a chance if I were you!

This is such a sweet little love story. Its about a mechanic named Edward who falls in love with a gorgeous and intelligent woman named Catherine, who is unfortunately engaged to a world class jerk. But lucky for Edward, her uncle likes him more and decides to play matchmaker for the two. Oh yeah, and her uncle just happens to be Albert Einstein. Frank Whaley, in yet another small role, plays a mechanic who works along side Edward. The film stars Meg Ryan and Tim Robbins, the two lovebirds, and Walter Matthau as Albert Einstein. It’s a fun loving movie for the whole family.

The Doors
In this Oliver Stone picture about the life and times of The Doors, Val Kilmer plays its leader, Jim Morrison. At first, I didn't even recognize Frank Whaley who plays one of the band members (it must have been that long hair). When I first saw this movie, I didn't even know Frank Whaley was in it (I was going through some kind of weird "Val Kilmer Phase"). This movie gives us a behind the scenes look at The Doors and as you're watching the film, see if you can recognize Meg Ryan. I watched this movie twice before I even knew she was in it! All of the performances are well acted and the movie even turned me into a bit of a fan as well. It’s a great film not to be missed!

Career Opportunities
Okay, its a pretty cheesy film from the early 90's, but I still love it! Frank Whaley plays the town liar, a 21 year old guy who gets fired from every single job that he gets. He eventually winds up as "the night clean up boy" at Target which means being locked in the store all night by himself. But he soon realizes that he's not alone.....he's trapped inside the store with the town beauty, played by Jennifer Connelly. Pretty soon, the two are surprised even more by a couple of not-so-smart burglars. I found myself laughing so hard at this movie and especially at Frank Whaley. My favorite line is when he's asked if he's a slacker and he replies, "uh, no, Presbyterian." This is another favorite Frank Whaley movie of mine.

A Midnight Clear
Its World War II and a group of young soldiers have just run into a group of Germans, who, they soon learn, aren't Nazi's. Instead, they realize that these Germans are in many ways, just like them. In fact, the Germans want to surrender rather then die in the war. So the two groups decide that the day before the surrender is to happen, they'll put their differences aside and celebrate Christmas together. But the next day, the surrender plan goes bad and both groups are forced to fight one another. This was such a good movie, and I usually hate war movies (with the exception of Saving Private Ryan). The film stars Ethan Hawke, Gary Sinese, and of course, Frank Whaley. It's a really good film and one worth seeing.

This is an absolutely amazing film by Oliver Stone, about New Orleans DA, Jim Garrison, and his obsession with finding out the truth about Kennedy’s assassination. Frank Whaley has an extremely small role as an Oswald imposter in one scene. It may not be a “Frank Whaley movie,” but it’s definitely movie that everyone should see. The acting is top rate and the whole story really makes you think. Gary Oldman plays Oswald, and there are also appearances by Sissy Spacek, Kevin Bacon, John Candy, Joe Pesci, and many others. The real Garrison can be seen playing “Earl Warren.”

Mrs. Lee Harvey Oswald
This is a story that revolves around the wife of one of our country's most famous assassins, Lee Harvey Oswald and her search for the truth. Frank does such a great job playing Oswald. I'm amazed at how much alike they look! This movie isn't on video as far as I know, but its on The History Channel a lot. Catch it if you can! Helena Bonham Carter is just as great as Marina Oswald and the film really makes you think. Plus, it makes you mad to see how this innocent woman and her children were treated because of what her husband did. I am so glad that I taped this movie when it debuted on NBC years ago. I almost didn't, but because Swing Kids had just come out and I was just becomming a Frank Whaley fan, I decided to go ahead of tape it. I wasn't expecting it to be very good, but it was!

Broken Arrow
Broken Arrow is an action packed, fast paced movie that ranks right up there with “Speed.” John Travolta plays Major Deakins, a US Air Force Pilot who is sent on a mission with Captain Hale (Christian Slater). Travolta turns on the government, stealing two nuclear weapons in order to blackmail the country, then trying to blame it all on Slater. But soon, the tables are turned when it’s up to Slater and Samantha Mathis, a park ranger, to bring Travolta and his bad guys to justice. Frank Whaley plays one of the many men who are on a mission to find out the truth..and the nuclear weapons. His role isn’t a big one, but he still does a lot with it. The entire movie is one big roller coaster ride. I enjoyed every minute of it and it’s definitely an A+!

Cannes Man
In this quirky comedy, a film producer named Sy Lerner makes a bet with a fellow film executive that he can turn anyone into a star at the Cannes Film Festival. A NYC cab driver, who happens to be visiting Cannes, is the lucky guy who gets chosen to settle the bet. Sy uses everything in his power to turn this nobody into the hottest new star. The interesting part about this film is that many celebrities make cameos, and they all play themselves. This includes Johnny Depp, John Malcovich, and of course, Frank Whaley. Once again, Frank only has a minor part, but that shouldn’t stop you from renting this movie. It’s very offbeat and wacky, so it may not be for everyone. I had to watch it a couple of times to gets used to it, but if I were you, I’d give it a shot.

A Desperate Trail
After being beaten and abused by her husband, Sarah decides that she can’t take it anymore and kills him. The Marshall, who is also her father in law, sentences her to death by hanging. On her way to the hanging, she holds up the coach she’s riding in, where she gets her hands on $2500. She plans on using the money to start a new life, but soon, a man named Jack Cooper steals the money and she follows him to get it back. Soon, they team up against the Marshall..and they fall in love. Jack takes Sarah back to his home, where she meets his brother, played by Frank Whaley. It’s not long though, before the Marshall and his men find them hiding out there. Considering that I normally hate westerns, I actually enjoyed this one quite a bit. I think it was a combination of a female outlaw (which you don’t see much in westerns) and seeing Frank Whaley. Personally, I think it’s a pretty good movie and one worth renting.

Pulp Fiction
This radical, outrageous movie was a bit too vulgar and confusing for my taste. Samuel L. Jackson and John Travolta play a pair of hit men in a movie that features overlapping stories. Frank Whaley, once again, only has a minor role. In fact, his scene was the only one, in my opinion, worth watching. This is definitely not a film for everyone. Tarantino is featured onscreen as “Jimmy” and both Tarantino and Roger Avery, who won an Oscar for best screenplay, wrote the film. The film also stars Uma Thurman and Bruce Willis.

Back in the USSR
This is the first American movie ever to be filmed entirely in Moscow. and the setting is absolutely gorgeous. Frank has the lead role (its about time, hehehe) as a young American touring Russia. On his last day in the country, he encounters a beautiful woman who lures him onto the Russian underworld. She has stolen a piece of artwork from The Church and soon Frank is being accused of murder. He can't find his passport and is being hunted by the police. Its a fast paced movie full of intrigue and its worth renting, even if its just to see Frank finally get the lead role!