Jack Nicholson Weekend – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest (1975)

one flewDirector: Milos Forman

Writer: Lawrence Hauben, Bo Goldman (Screenplay) Ken Kesey (Novel)

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Louise Fletcher, Christopher Lloyd, Danny DeVito, Brad Dourif, Michael Berryman, Will Sampson

 

Plot: A criminal pleads insanity after getting into trouble again and once in the mental institution rebels against the oppressive nurse and rallies up the scared patients.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Masterpiece Classic

 

Story: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest starts as we see R.P. McMurphy (Nicholson) entering into the mental institute and on the ward run by Nurse Ratched (Fletcher). On the world McMurphy meets all the patient that all have different problems but McMurphy runs his mouth with his confident mood that sees him trying to help the fellow patience including Martini (DeVito), Taber (Lloyd), Billy Bibbit (Dourif) and Chief Bromden (Sampson).

McMurphy clashes with Nurse Ratched as he tries to teach the men to stand up for themselves which shows that McMurphy really isn’t as insane as he is coming off.patient

One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is one of the all-time classics that has avoided me for years, I have no idea why it has taken be this long to watch but is has now happened. Going into this film I knew the ending which wants the best thing to know but the building up to that was something I was unaware off. I found that the time in the institute really works well because we see how the time spent in the institute we see how McMurphy tries to help patients. In the end this is one of the best films ever made which is why it really it still stands the test of time 41 years later.

 

Actor Review

 

Jack Nicholson: R.P. McMurphy is a criminal that claimed insanity ending him up in the mental institute, we clearly see that he shouldn’t be in the ward but because he is committed he sees this as an easy way out only to find out that it isn’t going to be an easy trip. While in the ward he is tries to help the actual patient with their problems getting through to them on a level the doctors never could. Jack gives his best performance of his career that rightfully won the Oscar.mcmrphy

Louise Fletcher: Nurse Ratched runs the ward that McMurphy finds himself on, she has all her patient in line but when McMurphy arrives her life becomes difficult as she clashes with him, she actually stands up for keeping McMurphy in her ward but she has an alternative motive behind this choice. Louise is brilliant in this role where she won the Oscar.nurs

Danny DeVito: Martini is one of the patient that McMurphy helps, he comes off as the one man that looks up to McMurphy as a big brother learning all his bad habits. Danny shows that he going onto be a bigger star in the future.

Christopher Lloyd: Taber is one of the fellow committed patients in the ward, he is one of the men that McMurphy starts to help as we see him change over time. Christopher is great in this supporting role.

Brad Dourif: Billy Bibbit is one of the patients that has a nervous side that tries to learn about to put that uncertain side about him behind him. Brad gave us a brilliant supporting role that got him an Oscar nomination.

Will Sampson: Chief Bromden is the patient that everyone thinks is deaf and dumb, but with McMurphy trying to bring him out his shell by talking to him as a human rather than a problem we get to see what he is all about. Will gives us the most interesting character in the film as the silent man early on.

Support Cast: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest has a brilliant supporting cast that all shine through the film.

Director Review: Milos FormanMilos gave us one of the best films ever made.

 

Drama: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest will always be one of the best dramas of all time.

Settings: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest keeps most of the film inside the Mental home but the one time outside really works to shows us the different life the men could have.

Suggestion: One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest is one that everyone should watch. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Performances.

Worst Part: Nothing.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 5 Oscars

Box Office: $112 Million

Budget: $4.4 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 13 Minutes

Tagline: If he’s crazy, what does that make you?

 

Overall: One of the true all time classics from Hollywood

Ratingcard

 

Franchise Weekend – The French Connection II (1975)

frenchDirector: John Frankenheimer

Writer: Alexander Jacobs, Robert Dillon, Laurie Dillon (Screenplay) Robert Dillon, Laurie Dillon (Story)

Starring: Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Bernard Fresson, Philippe Leotard, Ed Lauter, Charles Millot

 

Plot: “Popeye” Doyle travels to Marseille to find Alain Charnier, the drug smuggler who eluded him in New York.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Conclusion to Story

 

Story: The French Connection II starts as Doyle (Hackman) has gone to France to track down Alain Charnier (Rey) who left him looking stupid with his escape from New York. Henri Barthelemy (Fresson) is the connection with the French Police who are happier to push him off the trial leaving Doyle to work on his own in a country he doesn’t understand the language and sticks out like a saw thumb.

After Doyle gets captured by Charnier and his men they force him onto drugs for three weeks before realizing that this is making their operations hard when the police are all over the streets looking for Doyle, could this really have been the first miss-step in Charnier plans that will lead him to get catch.

The French Connection II does end up just continuing the story and how it ended last time around. We do get a much more personal story for Doyle with the drug abuse he is forced to go through. The style feels very similar as we have plenty of foot races through the streets. We do get plenty to look forward to but the base story is just one man chasing down the criminal.

 

Actor Review

 

Gene Hackman: Doyle is the New York police detective that travels to France to try and capture his nemesis Alain Charnier, unwanted by the French police he is giving the corner like desk and followed around the town before he gets captured by Charnier and force into drugs for three weeks before having to go through withdrawal before he can finally take down his enemy. Gene does good returning to this character who has to go through a lot more than his previous outing.

Fernando Rey: Alain Charnier is the man who escaped from Doyle hands in New York, he continues to run his enterprise in France but now the games are on his home soil. He takes things to the next level to get Doyle to leave him alone only to find himself against an even more determined Doyle. Fernando returns as this character but doesn’t feel as strong as previous film.

Bernard Fresson: Barthelemy is the inspector in France who tries to push Doyle away by just letting him do his thing but ends up team up with Doyle to take down Charnier once and for all. Bernard does good job in this role making him good supporting character.

Support Cast: The French Connection II has the typical supporting cast you would see in most cop dramas.

Director Review: John FrankenheimerJohn does well to continue the story even though he doesn’t reach the full intensity of the original.

 

Action: The French Connection II has plenty of chase sequences through the film but mostly foot ones.

Crime: The French Connection II continues the crime story created from the first film to finish the personal battle.

Thriller: The French Connection II doesn’t manage to pull you to the edge of your seat like the previous outing.

Settings: The French Connection II uses all the French settings which works for the film giving us beautiful backdrops as well as tight streets.
Suggestion
: The French Connection II is a film that you should watch after seeing the original. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Final chase.

Worst Part: Bit slower that original

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

Tagline: THE FRENCH CONNECTION was only the beginning-THIS is the climax

 

Overall: Climax that answers all the final questions

Ratingcard

The Passenger (1975)

ogoDirector: Michelangelo Antonioni

Writer: Michelangelo Antonioni, Mark People, Peter Wollen (Screenplay) Mark People (Story)

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Maria Schneider, Jenny Runacre, Ian Hendry, Steven Berkoff, Ambroise Bia, Jose maria Caffarel, James Campbell

Plot: A frustrated war correspondent, unable to find the war he’s been asked to cover, takes the risky path of co-opting the I.D. of a dead arms dealer acquaintance.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Long and Boring

Story: The Passenger starts with David Locke (Nicholson) searching for through a small town as he looks for a way into a country so he can report on the guerillas. Dealing only in cigarettes we follow David as he looks for a way in, and having little way of connecting with the people. David catches a break when one of the fellow guests in his hotel that has a striking resemblance to him dies leading David to steal his ID to help him cross the boarders.

David is reported dead himself leaving him with a chance to go undercover as this stranger who just happens to be an international arms dealer. David continues to travel the world to learn more about the international arms dealing community but as the story unfolds he finds himself getting himself into a deeper situation having to deal with all of the worst types of people.

The Passenger is a very sow moving film that really doesn’t go anywhere, all we seem to do is follow David as he travels around looking to make connection with the mystery Mr Robinson has but constantly coming up empty. I really don’t know what the point of this film because nothing actually happens and this film is 2 hours long. I am really disappointed with this because I thought this would be exciting. (2/10)

Actor Review

Jack Nicholson: David Locke is a documentary film maker who has been trying to interview the guerillas and when a guest dies in his hotel he ends up using his identity to go undercover in the world of international arms dealing. Having a chance at a new life David finds himself grabbing the chance and running away with the mysterious stranger only adds to his excitement. I was sold on on this film because of Jack but he does the best he can. (5/10)

Support Cast: The Passenger has a supporting cast that end up being the people chasing the David but I don’t know what they were after.

Director Review: Michelangelo AntonioniMichelangelo gives us a very slow moving film that doesn’t really pull us in. (2/10)

Mystery: The Passenger has a mystery but I don’t really know what it is meant to be. (1/10)

Thriller: The Passenger doesn’t pull you in and really does come off very boring. (2/10)

Settings: The Passenger tries using settings from all over Europe I think but nothing is made very clear. (1/10)

Suggestion: The Passenger is one to avoid it has very little happening and even with the star of Jack Nicholson doesn’t help the film. (Avoid)

Best Part: Nothing.

Worst Part: The Whole thing.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

Tagline: I used to be somebody else…but I traded him in.

Trivia: The entire movie is supposed to have taken place in just one day, this is the reason that the film has no night-time scenes. Director Michelangelo Antonioni mentioned the fact in a 1986 interview, where he said “Actually the entire story takes place in a short period of one day, from early morning until some time before sunset.”

Overall: Very disappointing film.

Rating 10

Shivers (1975)

logoDirector: David Cronenberg

Writer: David Cronenberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Paul Hampton, Joe Silver, Lynn Lowry, Allan Kolman, Susan Petrie, Barbara Steele, Ronald Mlodzik

 

Plot: The residents of a suburban high-rise apartment building are being infected by a strain of parasites that turn them into mindless, sex-crazed fiends out to infect others by the slightest sexual contact.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Messy, Practical Effects Horror Film

 

Story: Shivers starts by advertising the building Starlight apartment where our film is going to be set. We see a family coming to stay at the hotel while also watching an older man strangling a school girl. The man then performs some kind of operation on the passed out girl before killing himself. We meet some of the residents Nicolas (Kolman) who has been meeting the girl from the beginning and finds her body, we also meet the doctor of the building Roger St Luc (Hampton).

We learn that the man from the start has been working on the idea of creating a parasite that could be used to replace organ transplants. When one of the parasites gets loose in the building, it starts looking for a new host making anyone in the building a potential victim. Before long the building is overrun by sex crazed maniacs trying to spread the parasite.

Shivers is a film from one of the best directors in the business David Cronenberg and when you see his name you are looking to be watching something bizarre to say the least. The does fall into that category but in the end the story telling side of it becomes very lost in translation. My main problems would that we meet a couple thinking they will be the main characters and they just disappear into the background. We do tackle the idea of scientist going too far which is all good for the genre we are handling but instead of making a strong story we end up with a film more interested in its special effects. (3/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Paul Hampton: Roger St Luc doctor of the building who is investigating what has happened in the building as it may well be related to the work of a former work colleague. Paul doesn’t look like the strong leading man and never really takes charge when needed to. (2/10)

 

Joe Silver: Rollo Linsky the research partner of the man behind the outbreak who has to team up with Roger to try and solve the problem. Joe is the information guy filling us in on all what is going on but again doesn’t add anything with his performance. (2/10)

 

Support Cast: Shivers has a large cast that are all forgettable because we only have a couple of scenes to learn who they are before they turn.

 

Director Review: David Cronenberg – You can see David’s work all over this film and the early ideas he had for practical effects. Though this film isn’t ever going to be considered his best. (4/10)

 

Horror: Shivers puts out all the horror elements of blood and gore throughout the film. (8/10)

Sci-Fi: Shivers show sus what could happen with scientific experimentation going wrong. (7/10)

Settings: Shivers creates an isolated location for the film to be set in. (7/10)
Special Effects
: Shivers uses very good practical effects throughout especially when you see the budget. (7/10)

Suggestion: Shivers is one for the fans of the great man to watch, I simply can’t recommend this to all horror fans though. (Cronenberg Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Practical Effects.

Worst Part: Storyline.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Slither

 

Budget: CAS 179,000

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

Tagline: Going MAD is just the beginning.

Trivia: Canadian journalist Robert Fulford attacked the content of “Shivers” in the pages of the national magazine “Saturday Night.” Since Cronenberg’s film was partially financed by the taxpayer-funded National Film Board of Canada (or NFB), Fulford headlined the article “You Should Know How Bad this Movie Is: You Paid for It.” Not only did this high-profile attack make it more difficult for Cronenberg to obtain funding for his subsequent movies, Cronenberg later said that Fulford’s attack also resulted in him being kicked out of his Toronto apartment.

 

Overall: Shivers shows what you can make with small budget, a messy no direction film that still gets talked about today.

Rating 35

The Devil’s Rain (1975)

logoDirector: Robert Fuest

Writer: Gabe Essoe, James Ashton, Gerald Hopman (Screenplay)

Starring: Ernest Borgnine, Eddie Albert, Ida Lupino, William Shatner, Keenan Wynn, Tom Skerritt, Joan Prather, Woody Chambliss, John Travolta

 

Plot: This one gets straight to the point when Mark Preston (Shatner) father returns from the desert he passes on a message, return what is mine from a man called Corbis (Borgnine). Mark out to settle the score for himself ends up leaving his family to be taken by Corbis fuelling his revenge mission against the mystery man of a satanic cult. The cult has the power to melt people’s face but as they continue on their ways Mark gets captured while keeping a secrete book safe. Tom (Skerritt) and Julie (Prather) go in search of Mark after he is not heard from after a storm. The three family members must overpower the satanic cult to stop any danger to future generations.

 

Verdict: Satanic Shocker

 

Story: While the story was meant to be shocking at the time it trusn out very familiar following how people rush into battle they have no idea how to battle it. The backstory comes of a bit shallow and fails to fill in enough to understand what is really going on in the present. In the end it is very basic story that never challenges us, but also tries to throw in a twist or two along the way. (6/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Ernest Borgnine: Jonathan Corbis the leader of the cult who uses his powers to create an army of followers, he also has the ability to turn people into melting corpses. Good stereotyped cult leader who never really dominates the screen like he should. (6/10)

 ernest

William Shatner: Mark the first family member who goes after Corbis while trying to find his mother, he runs in too fast and ends up being tortured and turned into one of Corbis’ puppets. Interesting performance from Shatner not filled with his overacting but works for his role. (7/10)

 shatner

Tom Skerritt: Tom the brother, who goes after Corbis to save his brother, learns some more back story of what he will be dealing with but stills rushes in too fast. Simple performance from an actor you would learn to expect more from. (6/10)

 

Director Review: Robert Fuest – Simple direction who gives us good use of effects to add to the horror. (7/10)

 

Horror: Basic horror that relies on its special effects. (6/10)

Settings: The settings work well creating isolation for the cult so they can achieve what they want. (8/10)
Special Effects
: The melting effects work brilliantly and really are the highlight of the film. (9/10)

Suggestion: This is one to try it would really only appeal to the fans of vintage horrors, the more modern fans will find this more difficult to watch. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The melting effects.

Worst Part: Poor backstory.

Kill Of The Film: Melting cult.

Believability: Satanic cults are around but what this aims for is difficult to believe. (1/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Could have one

Post Credits Scene: There is a scene during the credits rolling.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

Tagline: Absolutely the most incredible ending of any motion picture.

Trivia:John Travolta’s film debut

 

Overall: Satanic simplicity  

Rating 60