Martin Brest

Despite directing some pretty successful movies, Martin Brest has had a relatively small career, directing only six movies. His last movie, Gigli (2003) is considered one of the worst movies ever, but it was reportedly butchered by the studios (who forced it to be a rom-com), so how much blame Martin deserves is questionable. From the rest of his movies, he seems to be a competent director who has difficulty making cuts as they tend to run on the long side.

Meet Joe Black: A remake of sorts of the 1934 movie Death Takes A Holiday, where Death (Brad Pitt) strikes a deal with a multi-millionaire (Anthony Hopkins); the millionaire can live a little longer if he gives Death a tour of mortal pleasures (one of those being Claire Forlani). Well-acted, and a somewhat intriguing premise, but at three hours is about ninety minutes too long. My most significant memory of this movie is how bad I had to pee when it was over. At least I felt it was good enough to stay in the theater until it was over.

Grade: C+

Beverly Hills Cop: Eddie Murphy at his best in a only slightly dated comedy about a rogue Detroit cop solving crime in Beverly Hills. Judge Reinhold is fun and Bronson Pinchot’s cameo is fantastic.

Grade: B 

Scent of a Woman: Al Pacino, a blind former colonel, takes a desperate-for-cash college student (Chris O’Donnell, who thought he’d just be babysitting an old person) to New York City for one crazy weekend filled with many antics and some predictable moral lessons. Pacino won an Oscar for his performance. He was electrifying for sure, a bit of a caricature, but still entertaining.

Grade: B+

Other Martin Brest Films You May Have Seen

Going In Style
Midnight Run
Gigli

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4 thoughts on “Martin Brest

  1. Meet Joe Black is one of the WORST movies of all time!!! You are insane to have given it anything higher than an F-!!! Though it has Sir Anthony Hopkins, it is horrifically done. It is one of the worst movies of all time next to The Happening and Vanilla Sky.

  2. I’ve seen three of these as well – take away Meet Joe Black and add Midnight Run, which is pretty funny, though occasionally dated in the humor department (it is ludicrous how often profanity is used for comedic effect here. It was novel for any movie to have that much at that time, and some of them went completely overboard). Yaphet Kotto proclaimed Brest one of the hardest, most awful directors he ever worked for, because he was so controlling (even in comparison to other directors) and allowed the actors no room to create anything. Maybe that’s why he works so sporadically…

      • I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that someone who gets as broad as Murphy works best in a controlled environment, but I’ve not read about his experiences in that one.

        I actually just saw that movie for the first time a few months ago. It was fine, as I remember, but for some reason I really don’t remember it. That’s usually not a good sign, but maybe I was distracted by Spookymilk Survivor or something.

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