The Omega Man (1971)

Director: Boris Sagal

Writer: John William Corrington, Joyce Hooper Corrington (Screenplay) Richard Matheson (Novel)

Starring: Charlton Heston, Anthony Zerbe, Rosalind Cash, Paul Koslo, Eric Laneuville, Lincoln Kilpatrick

 

Plot: Army doctor Robert Neville struggles to create a cure for the plague that wiped out most of the human race.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dated Sci-Fi Film

 

Story: The Omega Man starts as we follow Neville (Heston) living in an abandoned New York City as he searches for resources to help him discover a cure for the disease which wiped out most of the population. At night, blind humans who can’t be in sunlight appear, led by Matthias (Zerbe) as we learn both are battling each other.

When the two clash they do discover they are both just fighting to survive but it is the new human in town Lisa (Cash) that saves Neville from certain death from the creatures of the night as they search for the cure.

 

Thoughts on The Omega Man

 

Characters – Neville lives alone in New York City, well by day he treats it like whatever he wants, taking what he wants but preparing for safety from the Brotherhood, he is searching for a cure and when he learns of other humans he steps up his search. Matthias is the leader of the brotherhood who roam the streets at night looking to kill Neville for his involvement in the creation of the infection. Lisa is another human that has been hiding in safety from both the battling sides but when one of their own start to show infection she must risk everything to get Neville to find a cure. She is able to handle herself in battle against enemies that put her life in danger.

PerformanceCharlton Heston was always a good action lead back at the time of release and he was star power with his good performance, Anthony Zerbe is also good as you need to have the creepy villain while Rosalind Cash does make for a strong female character.

StoryA virus as destroyed most of humanity leaving just one man needing to find a cure before the last pocket are killed or infected, well this is easy to follow, I like how the villains are just humans that are infected rather than creatures which we see in the remake, but otherwise is generic in every way as it leads up to the finale moments.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is just random gun battles which is fine but nothing special with the sci-fi elements coming from the idea the world has now been destroyed for the most part.

SettingsAn empty New York is haunting throughout the film, along with all the empty locations we find our character going through, showing just how our big world would become empty with no one in it.

Scene of the Movie – Shopping.

That Moment That Annoyed Me You don’t get enough as to why Matthias is leading a cult like group.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that has dated badly and even not being the biggest fan of I am Legend I couldn’t help but find that a much more interesting film all around.

 

Overall: Sci-Fi doesn’t always stand the test of time.

Rating

 

 

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Christopher Walken Weekend – The Anderson Tapes (1971)

Director: Sidney Lumet

Writer: Frank Pierson (Screenplay) Lawrence Sanders (Novel)

Starring: Sean Connery, Dyan Cannon, Martin Balsam, Ralph Meeker, Alan King, Christopher Walken, Val Avery, Dick Williams

 

Plot: After Duke Anderson is released from prison after ten years for taking the rap for a scion of a Mafia family, he cashes in a debt of honor with the mob to bankroll a caper.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Easy to Watch Crime Thriller

 

Story: The Anderson Tapes starts with Duke Anderson (Connery) being released from prison after his 10-year stretch, he meets his former employees and heads back to his old girlfriend Ingrid (Cannon).

Duke wants to make a score to make up for his time in prison by pulling off his own score with his new team Tommy Haskins (Balsam), The Kid (Walken) and Spencer (Williams) but little does he know that he is being watched by the law, waiting for him and his associates to make a mistake.

 

Thoughts on The Anderson Tapes

 

Characters – Duke Anderson is a safe cracking thief that has done his time in prison, released he wants to use his connections to pull off an honour job with his former employers and uses all the skills he has to put the job together. Ingrid is the girlfriend of Anderson whose flat becomes the base for most of the job. Tommy Haskins is one of the team members, he is the one Anderson trusts the most and can landscape a place instantly for potential. The Kid is another member of the team and the youngest member of it at that, he has the connection but could but he loose cannon of the team.

PerformanceSean Connery is good in the leading role of the team of thieves, we get the first screen role for Christopher Walken here as he shows how he can play character that is always different to the rest of the cast. We also have a good supporting cast that all give us good performance through the film.

StoryThe story follows a former prisoner head out of jail looking to claim what he believes is his. The story shows the team being put together for this job from different backgrounds and the different loopholes to get the green light from the mob to do this job but we also see how the police would be tackling such a crime with the early surveillance technology.

Action/CrimeThe action is pretty tame because most of it is an odd punch but most of the film is about the slickness of the heist going on, we follow everything unfold as the crime gets committed.

SettingsA large amount of this movie is set inside the apartment building which shows how planned out the heist is, outside of this the film is New York streets.

Scene of the Movie – Planning the crime, building visit.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The technology noise.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy to watch heist film, it follows the ideas of most very well and puts together a clever way to make the crime happen.

 

Overall: Easy to watch crime thriller with a slick heist.

Rating

 

 

Classic Franchise – Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

Director: Don Taylor

Writer: Paul Dehn (Screenplay) Pierre Boulle (Characters)

Starring: Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Bradford Dillman, Natalie Trundy, Eric Braeden, William Windom

 

Plot: The world is shocked by the appearance of three talking chimpanzees, who arrived mysteriously in a U.S. spacecraft. They become the toast of society; but one man believes them to be a threat to the human race.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Reverse Planet of the Apes

 

Story: Escape from the Planet of the Apes starts as Zira (Hunter), Cornelius (McDowall) and Mile (Mineo) arrive back in the present time Earth, the three a quarantined in a local zoo where scientist’s Dr Dixon (Dillman), Dr Branton (Trundy) who put Zira and Cornelius through the same struggle to discover why they are not the dominate species on the planet like back home.

When the President (Windom) brings the news to the world, the whole world becomes curious as the world treats them like major celebrities. Dr Hasslein (Braeden) becomes curious about the truth becoming the only man who believes that Zira and Cornelius could be the start of the uprising of the apes taking over the planet. Can the apes live a normal life or will they be the downfall of man?

 

Thoughts on Escape from the Planet of the Apes

 

Characters/PerformanceZira continues her search for answers as she along with Cornelius travels back to where George original came from, present day Earth. She enjoys the new test to prove herself to humans but soon learns what it is like to be the other side of the cage. Cornelius is the supportive husband that is surprised to see how the humans have passed the idea of all believing in one God like figure. Dr Dixon is one of the doctors that supports the apes but Dr Hasslein is the paranoid version of one man seeing them as a threat.

Performance wise, Kim Hunter and Roddy McDowall both are excellent in this film building on what was created from previous films. Bradford is good as is the rest of the cast through the film.

StoryThe story is very interesting, it does reverse the idea of Planet of the Apes by having the apes the strangers in the human world, I think this works well even if it does at times feel just like any sort of friendly alien movie. This does help tell the story of the origin of the rise which in places does help us learn more about what happens in later films.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is mostly a few chase scenes, there isn’t much going on though on this front, the sci-fi works too as it looks to continue the story on for our future run by apes.

SettingsHaving the film back in human time and locations all works because the change in culture comes off perfectly for how the film wants to go.

Special EffectsThe effects are good when needed but this film doesn’t have too much need for them.

Final ThoughtsAnother good addition to the franchise that twists the whole original idea on its head.

 

Overall: Enjoyable prequel but sequel.

Rating

 

 

Play Misty for Me (1971)

playDirector: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Jo Heims, Dean Riesner (Screenplay) Jo Heims (Story)

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Jessica Walter, Donna Mills, John Larch, Jack Ging, Irene Hervey, James McEachin

 

Plot: A brief fling between a male disc jockey and an obsessed female fan takes a frightening, and perhaps even deadly turn when another woman enters the picture.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Thrilling Stalker Film

 

Story: Play Misty for Me starts as meet popular radio DJ Dave (Eastwood) who on every single show as a mysterious fan phone up for him to ‘Play Misty for Me’ when the fan learns of his favourite bar Evelyn (Walter) puts herself into his life for a night of passion. When Dave sees this as a one-night thing he life is turned upside down when Evelyn keeps returning to his life.

Tobie (Mills) returns into Dave’s life which is the one woman Dave would give up his lifestyle for but Evelyn isn’t going to let him get away from him that easily as she goes to extraordinary lengths to make sure Dave stays only with her.

Play Misty for Me brings us into the world of minor celebrities and how they get stalked, I say minor because Dave is on the way to becoming a big name in the business but is only a regional star. We do get the jilted lover believing more is happening than a night of sex. Having the all so familiar story of the stalker in a dangerous mind-set coming after victim and closest people to them. This does keep us guessing and we have seen plenty of films copy moments from this one.

 

Actor Review

 

Clint Eastwood: Dave is the playboy radio DJ who has quite the following of woman, but one fan Evelyn always wants one song played every day. When Dave has a one-night stand with her she just won’t leave his life, which doesn’t help his future as he wants to get back together with his recently returning ex-girlfriend Tobie and a career opportunity. Clint is good in this leading role where he is believable even though he is keeping one eye on his first directing outing.

Jessica Walter: Evelyn is the obsessed fan that comes into Dave’s life, she believes they are now in a relationship after a one-night stand and simply won’t stay out of his life. Starting with just turning up unannounced before threatening behaviour putting Dave’s future in doubt. Jessica makes for a great psycho in this film that many others have built on.

Donna Mills: Tobie is the ex-girlfriend of Dave who has returned to town, she has sparked the interest of Dave to rekindle the love they once had but Evelyn sees her as a threat. Donna is good as the real love interest but isn’t as strong as Jessica.

John Larch: Sgt, McCallum is trying to solve the case of the crazed stalker Evelyn as he finds himself dealing with a stalker unlike any he has previously dealt with. John is a basic supporting character that doesn’t get enough lines for his importance.

Support Cast: Play Misty for Me has a basic supporting cast that offer very little to the final outcome of the movie.

Director Review: Clint EastwoodClint shows he that he was going to be a great director with his ability to capture a great story.

 

Thriller: Play Misty for Me keeps you on edge as you wonder what Evelyn will do next.

Settings: Play Misty for Me keeps the setting in and around that one seaside resort for the radio station.

Suggestion: Play Misty for Me is one for the fans of Eastwood to watch. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Evelyn is a great stalker character.

Worst Part: The End is slightly sudden.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $725,000

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: …an invitation to terror…

 

Overall: Tension filled thriller that keeps us on edge

Ratingcard

 

Franchise Weekend – The French Connection (1971)

frenchDirector: William Friedkin

Writer: Ernest Tidyman (Screenplay) Robin Moore (Book)

Starring: Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco, Marcel Bozzuffi

 

Plot: A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic

 

Story: The French Connection starts by establishing Jimmy Doyle (Hackman) and Buddy Russo (Scheider) as rough and tough cops, we also get to see the criminal enterprise in France run by Alain Charnier (Rey) and just how they will never leave a loose end.

As Doyle and Russo enter into one of their games of following what seems like a nobody in Sal Boca (Lo Bianco) they discover he is too clean leading to them to investigate him uncovering themselves a criminal activity going on unlike anything they have come up against before.

The French Connection brings us into the original feel of what a cat and mouse type chase would be between cops and criminals. Yes that does make it very simple as we do get to learn the vices of all the characters while uncovering the truth about them. We also get to see how investigation were done before everything was computerised with real leg work which creates the multiple chases that bring you to the edge of your seat throughout.

 

Actor Review

 

Gene Hackman: Jimmy Doyle is the nonsense cop who will push all the boundaries while on the job to get answers. He stumbles upon an international drug deal going on and along with his partner has to watch over the potential suspects involved in the deal. Gene gives a great performance in this leading role showing pure determination throughout.doyle

Fernando Rey: Alain is the leader of the criminal syndicate from France who has come to America to complete on big deal, he enters into a cat and mouse game with Doyle which he seems to have the upper hand on. Fernando is good in this role thinking he always has the upper hand over Doyle.

Roy Scheider: Buddy Russo is the partner of Doyle, he comes off as the slightly more responsible one of the two and when it comes to good cop bad cop he will fill in as good cop. Roy does well in this supporting role letting Hackman take the centre stage without being just a standard backup character.

Tony Lo Bianco: Sal Boca is the man trying to get the deal done from the American side of things, it is him that grabs the attention of Doyle starting off the epic game of cat and mouse between the sides. Tony is good in this role with his extra swagger in his movements.

Support Cast: The French Connection has good supporting cast even if the characters are ones you would have come familiar with in the genre.

Director Review: William FriedkinWilliam gives us one of the film that has stood the test of time and will always be one of the benchmarks for great crime thrillers.

 

Action: The French Connection has great action scenes with the famous car chasing down the train being the highlight of the whole film.

Crime: The French Connection puts us into the middle of a crime world with one deal taking place but filled with secrets.

Thriller: The French Connection does keep us guessing to what will happen next throughout.

Settings: The French Connection uses the settings of New York to bring the action to closer rather than on the open roads.

Suggestion: The French Connection is one I think most people should have seen at least once through the life span. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Car, train chase.

Worst Part: Cliff-hanger ending is slightly frustrating now.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 5 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director

Budget: $1,8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

Tagline: Doyle is bad news – but a good cop.

Trivia: The car crash during the chase sequence, at the intersection of Stillwell Ave. and 86th St., was unplanned and was included because of its realism. The man whose car was hit had just left his house a few blocks from the intersection to go to work and was unaware that a car chase was being filmed. The producers later paid the bill for the repairs to his car.

 

Overall: Classic that will forever be one of the best

Ratingcard