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Showing 1-10 of 464 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 722 reviews
on June 13, 2016
This is L.A. Southern California and Falling down is a great film. Michael Douglas just did a great job portraying a man who was over educated, divorced and fed up with the system. a man running around with the consciousness, that life is without meaning and that security is a glass wall, living in an obsolete world with an obsolete government.
There are many films that capture the Life of Los Angeles, Training Day, Colors, American History X. It is the home of Hollywood where films are made, the Mystique of a decadent city, a place like most cities where people live on top of one another and you are either economically viable or just another homeless person running around the streets of Santa Monica or anywhere in L.A. for that matter trying to scrounge for a buck or a morsel of food.
The Freeways are always jammed with Grid Lock and the Smog is so bad in the summer time your eyes are just burning,Hey this is L.A. the streets are paved with gold. The graffiti is everywhere the writing is on the walls and shows us where we are going and the gangs and guns and turf wars are all around us.
There is a very thin line between Fiction and reality and although this supposed to be a film or a fictional story it is a direct reflection of our own lives. right here & now.

When the film came out it was said that it only did well here in California. Michael Douglas like his father...A great Actor.
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on January 2, 2016
BOTTOM LINE: This is a sad, angry, disturbing yet still highly entertaining motion picture. Though made back in 1993, FALLING DOWN has lost none of its power to stun & surprise. Michael Douglas & Robert Duvall are both terrific. And as long as the world around us gets faster and people continue to feel unappreciated, put down, disrespected, ignored and pressured to keep up then this movie will always be relevant. I enjoyed FALLING DOWN a lot. In a way it's also quite therapeutic: you can release your pent-up stress by watching Michael Douglas wig out instead. LOL! And in that respect it definitely maintains a high replay value. 4 STARS

THE STORY: Things just haven't been going too well for Bill Foster lately. His marriage ended a year ago and then his wife had a restraining order issued against him, so now he can't even visit his young daughter. A month ago he lost his job. Then while sitting in rush hour traffic this morning, a morning just as frustrating, repetitive and aggravating as every other, Bill finally reached his breaking point. He's tried so hard to stand tall... but this morning Bill Foster has fallen down. And woe be to anyone who crosses his path.

THOUGHTS: Outstanding film showcasing the unraveling of one man's world when he finally cannot contain the pressures within. Michael Douglas gives a truly memorable, powerhouse performance in FALLING DOWN. His role as slowly disintegrating former defense contract worker William Foster is equal parts tragic, honest, sympathetic, terrifying and funny. Most importantly, Douglas is thoroughly believable in what could have easily become a cartoonish, scenery-chewing performance in the wrong actor's hands. Douglas shows why he is such a well-regarded actor here. He is electric in every scene he's in. You can't take your eyes off him because he's a totally loose cannon; you don't know what he's going to do or say. It's a fascinating, frightening and totally fearless performance. Likewise the part of soft-spoken, easy-going police detective Prendergast, played by the always-excellent Robert Duvall. One of acting's greatest treasures, Duvall takes a thinly sketched character and turns him into a fully-realized human being; one we feel we know. In many ways the film becomes as much about Prendergast as it does Foster (D-FENS). Martin Prendergast is supposed to retire at the end of the day's shift. His wife is a constantly nagging & complaining drama queen; even the slightest problem is a Major Event with her. Martin loves being a cop but he loves his wife more, and is willing to do anything to make her happy. Even if if means retiring to Arizona. You know this person. Heck, you might even BE this person... just like you might be Douglas' character. Except that Foster has lost his ability to handle stress, whereas Predergast hasn't. Speaking of which, his brief final exchange with his self-important jerkbag of a police captain is one of the best scenes in the history of ever. Director Joel Schumaker has made some decent films during his long career but will be forever reviled by many because of the two gawd-awful BATMAN sequels he made in the 1990's. However, FALLING DOWN is a truly solid motion picture that any director would be proud to call their own, and is certainly one of the strongest films on his eclectic resume.

THE BLU-RAY: The hi-def release for FALLING DOWN comes to us from Warner and is a good one. The picture is clear & clean, with sharp focus and a level if somewhat soft soundmix. Little artifacting or pixelation that I could detect. Bonus goodies include a full-length audio commentary track with director Schumcher & star Douglas, an on-camera interview with Douglas, and the film's theatrical trailer.
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on November 16, 2016
One of Douglas more impactful films overall- and I offer a slightly different interpretation than the movie itself obviously wants to guide the viewer to. No spoilers but one way to look at why this character acts out and snaps is in an effort to reclaim his lost dignity against the accumulated and daily insults and attacks he has suffered because of his initially meek (appearing) demeanor and his efforts for years to do 'the right thing' as he was essentially brainwashed into thinking there was one was to live life in the 'right' way for country and his fellow man and snaps or wakes up to put it more gently- when he finally realizes that what he has been told his whole life about how he should live simply isn't true. Another thing I don't see often discussed with this film is most of what the character does is either minor property damage or self defense- yes he's mad about being walked on and insulted and lied to his whole life but if you watch the movie again he mostly only acts when he is attacked first; and a lot of the property damage he causes is an accident (most not all) because he is unfamiliar with the em- equipment he is carrying. viewed this way he's not really a hero or villain- maybe an anti hero or an introspective man who's held in his feelings way too long. But if you watch the movie closely we see a character that probably would not have done anything if he wasn't exposed to trauma as well as insulted to his face over and over and then actually attacked just for being in certain places- we also assume the character has suffered a lot of abuse off camera in the years before the film over and over as well- that it's built up. (from the comments in the dialogue of some of the other characters for example) Maybe he's not a hero or villain but a man trying to get his dignity back who (except for some property damage) Didn't hurt anyone til they attacked him first. (in the world of the movie- watched with this in mind he's got a good case for self defense or at least a lot lesser charges) Seeing him go to trial would have been a more interesting choice for the viewer but I guess would have made the movie too long. The settings and filming locations add a lot to this movie and so does the layered main character played by Douglas. Is he a maniac? Or just a man doing his best who was finally pushed too far? What do people think about the character? "You forgot the briefcase!"
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on December 9, 2014
This film is twenty years old and still one of my favorites. My husband and I watch it just about every week. Michael Douglas does a terrific job and the writing is strong enough the audience understands how Bill gets pushed to the breaking point. Please understand: I'm sixty-five and have worked in L.A. theater and taught drama and scriptwriting for decades, and with the amount of talent out there, very little of it gets to the stage and screen. But Falling Down is an exception.

Possible Spoiler: You will hate Barbara Hershey. She is a spoiled, entitled bitc* in this movie. But you will also fall in love with Bill's passion. You feel compassion rather than horror at what he does. And when, at the end, Bill says, "I'm the bad guy?" you might (like me) burst into tears.

For a low-budget production, this is an incredible film.
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on April 17, 2011
Want to see a film that will put you off living in Los Angeles for life? Look no further. As a kid I always saw the City of Angels as a glamorous, exotic place, since most movies back then were set there. But upon watching falling down at the age of 14 I went off it completely. I no longer saw it as a bustling metropolis of wealth and sunshine, but as a fragmented, angry, unjust place barely able to call itself a society.

Michael Douglas stars as William Foster, a middle-aged, middle-management schlub working at a defense company who suddenly finds himself obsolete in an increasingly chaotic, senseless world. Stuck in heavy traffic one morning, he suddenly snaps, leaves his car, and crosses LA on foot en route to his daughter's birthday party. Along the way he has many encounters with what sadly passes as modern humanity. Only now he's just not going to sit by and tolerate it. He's not choosing apathy like the rest of his fellow citizens. Foster (or D-FENS) fights back face to face, unapologetically, And you know what...he's right every time.

Robert Duvall plays Prendergast, the cop who puts together the pieces of D-Fens' rampage. The two men are as far apart as they are so close, but none of the LAPD care much for Prendergast's suspicions.

The lazy, arrogant, ignorant, disinterested cops are the only weak link in Ebbe Roe Smith's otherwise tight screenplay (you might remember him as 'Jim Bob' in Fletch Lives). Creating stupid characters to further the drama is just too easy, and every time one of them speaks it really drags the movie down.

Joel Schumacher's career has been filled with ups and downs (Batman and Robin certainly ain't one of the 'ups'), but Falling Down proves that he can be a good director when he wants to, regardless of how wildly inconsistent his track record is. James Newton Howard also contributes a nice score (which has never been released), but really this is Douglas' film. He's often funny without even meaning to be. D-Fens is just speaking his mind, but still his views come across as controversial or intolerant. If only more people had the courage to take a stand against injustice in real life instead of 'just dealing with it'.

Idiot cop characters aside, Falling Down is one of Douglas's best, and perhaps more relevant now than it was in 1993.

The Blu Ray is in 2.40:1 1080p with Dolby TrueHD stereo sound and is a MASSIVE step-up from the awful DVD. A commentary and interview with Douglas is also included.
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on July 13, 2011
That this film didn't win the Academy Award for Best Picture the year it was considered surprised me; that it wasn't even nominated shocked me. So that it isn't on many-- or any-- "100 Best Films" list is something I now expect. It should be on somebody's "Best" list. It is on mine. The question of "where do these maniacs come from?" is a question Hollywood avoids except as the foundation for franchise-making horror films. A realistic approach is just too cerebral, awkward, and difficult. "Falling Down" tackles the question head-on, and succeeds brilliantly. It also answers the question: "These maniacs come from us". Any of us. All of us. Surviving a series of personal and professional failures doesn't always make us stronger; many, crushed in their own way under the burden, snap. That Michael Douglas was able to move from the implacable snake of "Gordon Gecko" to the lost, angry, and helpless "D-Fens" is the ultimate tribute to his acting ability, and demonstrates his willingness to take on the most difficult of acting challenges. That he makes a character whose apparent goal is to kill his family a sympathetic, comprehensible, yet fearsome "villain" is one of the rarest achievements in film history. Cagney in "White Heat" came close, but his motivations were hate and money. Douglas makes you understand, just a bit, just enough to make you shiver, how someone can kill out of what they think is love.
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Twelve years before the Oscar-winning CRASH (2005) came this underappreciated vehicle about a Southern Californian who just had too much.

**SPOILERS** Michael Douglas, playing down the middle of what could have been a very unsympathetic role, portrays one of society's victims: an unemployed defense worker still with a short-sleeve, button-down shirt, crewcut, "nerd (pocket) pack" and old-fashioned briefcase. In short, a middle-aged white male heading for obsolescence -- until his day takes some very surprising turns. He first abandons his car on the freeway during an interminable delay but cannot walk directly home because of Metrorail construction. Taking a roundabout route, he crosses paths with multiple unsavory types, especially an obnoxious Asian grocery-store owner and two Latino gang members. He also needs regular access to a pay telephone (it would not have been in character for him to have a cell phone in 1993) as he tries to beg his ex-wife for a little face time with his little girl on her birthday.

**MORE SPOILERS**Shockingly, Douglas' character, while originally flummoxed by all this diversity, learns to meet these challenges but on the way becomes a full-fledged urban territorist.** (The similarity to CRASH is most apparent when violence pops up from almost nowhere.)

FALLING DOWN could easily have turned formulaic but happily, it transcends its material (Robert Duvall cast as a cop on his last day before retiring). As well as a good taut script, the movie achieves its excellence in no small part because of his supporting cast, not only the aforesaid Robert Duvall but also Tuesday Weld, Barbara Hershey, Rachel Ticotin, and Lois Smith.

Politics? Well, as in CRASH, there are very few verities in FALLING DOWN. I certainly do not consider it an endorsement of urban terrorism or a delve into ethnic stereotypes. It's a film well worth seeing, perhaps seeing a second time, and worth discussing. Top recommendation.
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on May 22, 2015
Some might find this movie predictable and shallow. It is...

But I loved the McWhammy hamburger scene!

If you are unsure about this movie, do a YouTube search on Falling Down. You can watch a couple of scenes and decide if you want to watch it. The excerpts are pretty much the tone of the entire movie.
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on August 18, 2014
I found this movie entertaining years ago when I first saw it. The struggles of a man who isn't all together and faced a series of events that pushes him over the edge. Great acting by Douglas. Sort of a cult classic movie for me so I got the Blu-ray. Its one of those movies that keeps you tense and feeling frustrated for the character.
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on March 14, 2017
I loved this movie back in the day...decades ago but a little dated now and I found it kind of silly. Michael Douglas did a great job but again that was a long time ago. I wouldn't buy this to keep in my collection.
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