Franchise Weekend – Exorcist 2: The Heretic (1977)

Director: John Boorman

Writer: William Goodhart (Screenplay)

Starring: Linda Blair, Richard Burton, Louise Fletcher, Max von Sydow, Kitty Winn, Paul Henreid, James Earl Jones, Ned Beatty

 

Plot: A teenage girl once possessed by a demon finds that it still lurks within her. Meanwhile, a priest investigates the death of the girl’s exorcist.


Tagline – It’s four years later…what does she remember?

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Substandard Sequel

 

Story: Exorcist 2: The Heretic starts as we meet Regan (Blair) a couple of years after the events of her exorcism, she doesn’t have any memories on those events and with the help of psychologist Dr Gene Tuskin (Fletcher) they look to rid her mind of any lingering dreams. This is until Father Philip Lamont (Burton) charged with investigating the exorcism which cost the lives of Father Merrin (von Sydow) and Father Karres arrives to see if Regan can help confirm what happened that fateful night.

Father Lamont must travel to Africa to learn the origin of the demon that is still inside Regan in any hopes of stopping before it takes over once again.

 

Thoughts on Exorcist 2: The Heretic

 

Characters – Regan is now little bit older and getting back on with a normal life, she is still seeing a psychologist to keep everything under control, when she starts to get questioned by the church about the exorcism things soon start coming back to her, this time she is in control about where her character goes. Father Philip Lamont is sent by the church to learn the truth about the original exorcism, what he learns sends him on a journey to Africa to hopefully learn the origin of the demon living in Regan. Dr Gene Tuskin is the psychologist helping sick children, one of which is Regan, she has bold ideas that could bring about new ideas to helping children open up. Father Merrin is involved in a few dream sequences, it is his death that is being investigated by Lamont.

PerformancesLinda Blair does return for this outing and doesn’t reach the levels of the first film, mostly because we don’t have to deal with many possession sequences until late in the film. Richard Burton is solid though we know how talent he is and this doesn’t show his full range. Louise Fletcher was struggling to capture her skills too and hen we look at the non-existent involvement from Max von Sydow we don’t get anything better than solid in the performance area.

StoryThe story does start on the right path, the idea that Regan could still be possessed is acceptable because we are still trying to balance the line between actual possession and mental health. Where things go terribly wrong for this story, is when we start looking at an ancient demon that is controlling Regan which has caused the events. The investigation into the origin only confuses and lessen the impact of the original film. it becomes an even bigger mess as thing unfold and we are left wondering just what the hell we are watching.

HorrorThe horror in the film doesn’t come through in any way, nothing involving any of the possesses even remote will scare the audience.

SettingsWe have a new setting, New York I feel, which is fine, but the problems here come from have a large part of the story in Africa investigating the origin over having any possession sequences which should scare us.

Special EffectsThe effects in film are weak even for the time, that locust will have people laughing.


Scene of the Movie –
The first syncing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of possession time.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the weakest sequels to a true classic I have ever seen, it has weak performances, a boring storyline and effects which haven’t dated in any acceptable way.

 

Overall: Just terrible.

Rating

 

 

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Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Steven Spielberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Richard Dreyfuss, Francois Truffaut, Teri Garr, Melinda Dillon, Bob Balaban, J Patrick McNamara

 

Plot: After an encounter with U.F.O.s, a line worker feels undeniably drawn to an isolated area in the wilderness where something spectacular is about to happen.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Sci-Fi Film

 

Story: Close Encounters of the Third Kind starts as a group of planes all have an encounter they can’t or refuses to explain with a UFO. We move to Indiana as the Guiler family get a strange encounter as young boy Barry (Guffey) follows the strange lights and noises in the dark. The area is also suffering from a black out with Roy Neary (Dreyfuss) needing to leave his family to help fix.

As the scientific world is trying to explain the strange noises coming from the sky they must find the location being set to them. Roy becomes obsessed with the vision he has seen but Jillian goes in search for her son that is taken by the lights.

With the government covering up what is about to happen it is up to Roy and Jillian to discover the truth before it is too late but what they find is something completely unexpected.

 

Thoughts on Close Encounters of the Third Kind

 

Characters/PerformanceRoy comes off as the classic crazy person who believe they have been involved in an alien idea, he puts his family life in danger to figure out the message placed inside his head and will stop at nothing to learn the truth, Jillian also suffers a visit but her character is drawn to find her son that is taken. These two work together to get to the bottom of what happen. Claude leads the scientific search for answers and is what you would call the typical scientist.

Performance wise, Dreyfuss is great in the leading role showing his normality between his crazy, Dillon is great too as the concerned mother with the rest of the cast all giving good performances without taking away from the main characters.

StoryFor the time this story was something special, we have an alien coming to visit in a friendly manor which is fine because at the time it was only evil coming from space. When you look at everything that unfolds you are left with the trailblazer for the style of film that has been borrowed from so often. The idea the government can cover up this is believable along with the idea the one person considered crazy will go all out to find the answers does too.

Sci-FiAliens coming to visit, do you get anymore sci-fi that this, no of course not.

SettingsThe settings used in this film show us the aliens would only be coming to small less populated areas rather than big cities as they want to make calm friendly contact.

Special EffectsFor the time the special effects are amazing, in places some of them have dated but they are still good in the most part.

Final ThoughtsThis film was ground breaking for the time, while more recently we have been given Arrival which is strikingly similar with the interactions between the aliens and humans, this is refreshing to see in a world of monsters coming from space.

 

Overall: This is the classic people talk about but I can see the younger audience not enjoying it all.

Rating

 

 

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope (1977)

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Director: George Lucas

Writer: George Lucas (Screenplay)

Starring: Mark Hamill, Harrison Ford, Carrie Fisher, Peter Cushing, Alec Guinness, Anthony Daniels, Kenny Barker, Peter Mayhew, David Prowse

PlotLuke Skywalker joins forces with a Jedi Knight, a cocky pilot, a wookiee and two droids to save the universe from the Empire’s world-destroying battle-station, while also attempting to rescue Princess Leia from the evil Darth Vader.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Beginning of the Saga

Story: Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope starts with iconic strolling text informing us the basic opening scene with Princess Leia (Fisher) trying to escape from the evil Empire lead by Darth Vadar. Cue the space battle where C3P0 and R2-D2 on board Princess Leia ship get boarded by Vadar and his storm-troopers, Vadar is searching for the plans for the Death Star that have been stolen. C3PO and R2-D2 have been given a secret mission by Princess Leia to get the plans to the rebel forces.

Next we meet Luke Skywalker (Hamill) living with his Uncle Owen who just happen to buy the two droids. Luke finds the message sent by Princess Leia, for Ben Obi-Wan Kenobi (Guinness) who just happens to have a connection with Luke’s father. When Luke finds Obi-Wan he learns about his father and his Jedi Knight history where Luke receives his father’s old Lightsaber.

After Luke’s family are killed he joins Obi-Wan on the mission to deliver the droids, where they meet Han Solo (Ford) captain of of the Millennium Falcon and his loyal partner Chewbacca. We continue to see Luke, Han, Obi-Wan, Chewbacca and the droids as they end up inside the Death Star trying to save Princess Leia to complete the mission to destroy the Death Star once and for all in the final showdown.

Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope is the first of what has become the most loved and talked about film franchise of all time. The first entry does a brilliant job of introducing all of the original characters that we all know and love without going to far into the details we see in later films. All we see is a very entertaining and some what dark storyline as we get thrown into the middle of a war rather than having to deal with the beginning or end of it all. Over time this has gone onto be used by many films with the quotes still being used today but this is really how you make the beginning of a franchise. (10/10)

Actor Review

Mark Hamill: Luke Skywalker is a young man isolated on the edge of space, but when he learns about his father’s past he goes on the adventure of a lifetime to fight against the evil empire and understand his destiny to become a Jedi warrior. Mark gives a good performance but when you really look at certain scenes he does ook slightly out his depth now. (7/10)

luke

Harrison Ford: Han Solo is the rebellious captain of the Millennium Falcon who agrees to help Luke and Obi-Wan, he doesn’t have a side because he is always out to look after himself. Harrison gives us a great performance showing all his flair and charisma. (8/10)
han chewwy

Carrie Fisher: Princess Leia Organa is leading the fight against the empire but when she becomes captured she sends a message to former Jedi Knight, she has the influence to bring people into the battle, but spends most of the film in the hands of the empire. Carrie does gives us a good performance with most of her character being held hostage by the empire. (7/10)
leia

 

David Prowse/ James Earl Jones: Darth Vader is the evil leader of the empire’s forces who is ruthless in his quest to take out the any of the rebel forces against the empire. David acting and James voicing both give this icon of film a great introduction that will always be hard to beat. (9/10)
vadar

Anthony Daniels/Kenny Baker: C-3PO & R2 D2 are the two droids that pass over the message but also come in very helpful in battle and with their understanding of multiply languages help understand the different situations they humans find themselves in. The pair make for a great almost comic relief to the serious side to the story. (8/10)
droids

 

Peter Mayhew: Chewbacca is the wookiee who stands alongside Han Solo, loyal to the very end becoming a true icon of this franchise. Peter gives Chewbacca his screen presences but in this one doesn’t get the screen time we would like from him. (7/10)

Alec Guinness: Obi-Wan Kenobi is the former Jedi Knight who has been in hiding after the previous war, he helps Luke get into the battle against the empire before make the ultimate sacrifice against an old enemy. Alec brings the experience to this film and it shows with his almost perfectly performed scenes. (9/10)

obiwan

 

Support Cast: Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope has a supporting cast of all of the empire people trying to end the rebel alliance while we also have our generic soldiers in the fight against the empire.

Director Review: George Lucas – George gives us the classic start of the mega saga that is still just about to get yet another trilogy later this year. (9/10)

Action: Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope has plenty of fire-fighting action as well as good amount of space dog fights. (9/10)

Adventure: Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope takes our humble hero on an adventure he could never image at the start of the film. (10/10)

Fantasy: Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope puts us into the fantasy world in a galaxy far far away. (9/10)

Sci-Fi: Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope will always be considered a sci-fi classic that will still be talked about for years to come. (10/10)

Settings: Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope creates the settings for the battles to look authentic as well as the desert cities where Luke starts out on. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope used stunning effects for the time of release and even though some have dated the most part they all look fresh. (9/10)

 Suggestion: Star Wars: Episode IV A New Hope is one film that I would expect everyone to have watched at least once. (Must Watch)

Best Part: Darth Vadar’s entrance still sends shivers down your spine.

Worst Part: Hard to find one.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final Battle

Funniest Scene: R2-D2 playing a game with Chewbacca.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Part of the Franchise.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: Won 6 Oscars including Best Art Direction, Best Costume, Best Sound, Best Film Editing, Best Visual Effects, Best Music, it was also nominated for another 4 including Best Picture.

Box Office: $775 Million

Budget: $11 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

TaglineComing to your galaxy this summer.

Trivia: In early drafts of the script, R2-D2 could speak standard English, and had a rather foul vocabulary. Although all of R2’s English speech was removed, many of C-3PO’s reactions to it were left in.

Overall: A true classic that will always be a film to turn to for the best sci-fi adventures.

Rating

93