Tag Archives: Whitney Houston

Potted Film Review: The Bodyguard (1992)

Starring: Kevin Costner, Whitney Houston, Gary Kemp

What’s it all about?
Someone is sending creepy messages to Rachel Marron, one of the biggest movie stars in the world (played by big screen virgin, Whitney Houston). Kevin Costner is the titular bodyguard, Frank Farmer, who is hired to protect her.

At first Frank and Rachel don’t like or even respect each other, but in time they share a bed and begin to bond, but the entirely predictable romance ends before it even gets off the ground… before fate and circumstance brings them together for one more kiss. No spoilers – you all know how this works.

The irony of Whitney Houston playing an Academy Award nominated actress is not lost on me, as she is the most wooden performer in this movie, although thankfully she doesn’t have to deliver any great monologues. Costner is not far behind because he sleepwalks through his role, and I can’t help but wonder how much better this movie may have been with someone like Tom Cruise or Denzel Washington at the helm.

Watching it with the kids…
There’s a smattering of bad language, and the violence is all gunplay with a minimal amount of blood. Oddly for a romantic thriler of this era, there’s no sex.

Verdict…
This is an excruciatingly average movie, centred around a love story that I don’t really buy. It has run-of-the-mill thrills, and seems to meander along with little regard for the two-hour-plus running time. It plays more like a TV movie than one of the biggest box office hits of 1992, and it has a far greater reputation than it deserves. Trust me, there are far better examples of this contrived genre out there if you’re looking for a fix.

But, there is something comforting about a movie that is so familiar the first time you see it. It has an intangible quality that is maybe borne of nostalgia for the time; perhaps also because I know The Girlfriend© likes it, and she will disown me if I don’t give this the thumbs up. The Bodyguard didn’t speak to me, so I’ll never watch it again, but for those of you in the dark, it’s worth watching.

Once.

Recommended (but only just)

Sunday Song Suggestions #6…

Chains – Tina Arena – 1994

When I was younger I used to exercise more than I do these days. Actually, scratch that last bit: when I was younger, I used to exercise. Period. Anyway, for some reason, Chains – which I had bought on disc just before – is what I would put on for my daily sit-up session. Lying on my bedroom floor, feet hooked under the bed, there was eighteen year old me training for my own personal Rocky montage.

With a powerful voice and a heavy soul influence, Tina Arena didn’t fit the familiar Antipodean pop mould that was in vogue at the time. She had more in common with the then current crop of respected vocal gymnasts, such as Whitney Houston, Celine Dion, and Mariah Carey, but she only enjoyed a fraction of their successes.

Chains was released in 1994, and although Tina Arena had been popular in Australia while I had been living there, it had been about four years since I had heard anything from her, and this was her first release in the UK. Unfortunately, she slipped out of favour here rather quickly thereafter, and this is probably the only song most locals will associate with her.

It’s been a while, but I may just have to throw in a few sit-ups, for old times sake.

Songs For January…

Deep And MeaninglessI'm Your Baby TonightNew York State of Mind

Deep and Meaningless – 2005 – Rooster
One of the best songs from a vastly underrated British indie band. This is from their self-titled debut offering. Great, poignant words. It’s a shame they burned out after only two albums.

I’m Your Baby Tonight – 1990 – Whitney Houston
The biggest and best female voice of the eighties started off the nineties with this classic. As far as I’m concerned, this is possibly the most difficult pop song to perform live. Ever.

New York State of Mind – 1976 – Billy Joel
Billy Joel is a master of the melody, but he has always been somewhat overshadowed by his contemporaries, which is a shame because – lyrically – he always has a lot to say.