ABC Film Challenge – Animation – F – The Fox and the Hound (1981)

Director: Ted Berman, Richard Rich, Art Stevens

Writer: Daniel P Mannix (Book) Larry Clemmons, Ted Berman, David Michener, Peter Young, Burny Mattinson, Steve Hulett, Earl Kress, Vance Gerry (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Micky Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Baily, Jack Albertson, Sandy Duncan, Jeanette Nolan, Pat Buttram

 

Plot: Two childhood friends find themselves forced to become enemies.


Tagline – A New Captivating Animated Adventure!

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sweet Disney Animation

 

Story: The Fox and the Hound starts as we see Tod’s mother killed by a hunter, trying to keep him safe, the other animals in the woods including Big Mama an owl takes the cub to Widow Tweed to look after him, but they just so happen to be living next door to a hunter that gets a new bloodhound pup Copper and the two become unlikely friends.

After the two grow up over a winter, Copper becomes the hunting dog he was meant to be, but refuses to attack Tod, forcing Widow Tweed into letting Tod go into the wild. As the two grow up they follow their nature until one fateful clash between the two reminds them who they were.

 

Thoughts on The Fox and the Hound

 

Characters – Tod is a curious orphaned fox that just wants to explore the world and without his real mother struggles to understand boundaries. He must learn that his new friend will soon become his biggest enemy. Copper is the bloodhound that befriends Tod when they were pups and cubs. He gets trained to become a hunter including Tod, but their friendship puts his instinct on the back burner. Big Mama helps guide Tod through his countryside adventures warning him of things to come.

StoryThe story follows the two young animals that become friends only to follow their natural instinct and become sworn enemies. The story tries to show us that friendship will last till the end even when the two at meant to be enemies in the natural selection of things. We do get other messages in this film, including how hunting is bad and shouldn’t be turned into a sport and learning about your place in the world.

Adventure/FamilyThe adventure in the movie shows us just where Tod and Copper life will take them, this is one for the family, but maybe not the youngest members.

SettingsThe settings created show us the world the animals will be living their whole lives, peaceful quiet countryside.

AnimationThe animation used shows where Disney was and makes things look the magical style.


Scene of the Movie –
The bear scene is terrifying.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Dinky and Boomer sounding like mobsters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sweet and simple Disney story, it focuses on friendship over anything else with two unlikely friends.

 

Overall: Short and Sweet.

Rating

 

 

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Taps (1981)

Director: Harold Becker

Writer: Darryl Ponicsan, Robert Mark Kamen (Screenplay) Devery Freeman (Novel)

Starring: George C Scott, Timothy Hutton, Ronny Cox, Sean Penn, Tom Cruise

 

Plot: Military cadets take extreme measures to insure the future of their academy when its existence is threatened by local condo developers.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Little 80’s Movie

 

Story: Taps starts as we meet our Military Cadets with Cadet Major Brian Moreland (Hutton) getting the promotion to this rank for his final year at the academy from General Harlan Bache (Scott). Bache informs the students this will be their final year before the academy is going to be knocked down for development.

When there is an altercation outside the grounds Bache accidently kills a young civilian. The consequences of this are that the base is going to close early but Moreland brings together the cadets with his Captains Alex Dwyer (Penn) and David Shawn (Cruise) to hold the base so they can have their final year and prove the academy is important for the community.

 

Thoughts on Taps

 

Characters – General Harlan Bache runs the military academy, he has done for years and enjoys developing the next generation of soldiers, when he is accidently involved in a shooting of a civilian he is removed from the base ending up in hospital. Cadet Major Brian Moreland leads the cadets, he was handpicked by the General and once the General is off the base, he leads the defence of the base from the incoming developers. Cadet Captain Dwyer is the closest friend Moreland has on the base and does clash with Shawn at time over clash of styles. Cadet Captain David Shawn is the fellow captain that is determined to prove the cadets can handle themselves, he acts quicker than Dwyer which leads to their tension at times.

PerformanceThe performances are great throughout, George Scott is your big name draw for the time and is good in his role, with Timothy Hutton here right after his Oscar win that is great throughout. Tom Cruise and Sean Penn both show their skills in the supporting role where they easily becoming big stars.

StoryThe story does follow the cadets who look to defend their school after an accident that is about to be getting closed. It shows how they were trained to handle themselves and stand up for what they believe in a bigger cause than themselves. It does have moments where you think it is a kids movie but the reality war is never just this tone and you also couldn’t see both sides fighting for what is mostly property.

SettingsMost of the film is set at the academy which shows how the young men worked together to stand up for what could build on a generation of future soldiers.

Scene of the Movie – Escape the locals.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This does seem like fighting for almost nothing, even if it is mostly tactical building up to a potential battle.

Final ThoughtsThis film shows us three young talented actors who all went onto bigger project in a film which shows the meaning behind being a solider from a young age, working together and understanding when to stand up for something you believe in.

 

Overall: Good drama showing us plenty of military tactics.

Rating

 

 

Double Feature Weekend – Shock Treatment (1981)

Director: Jim Sharman

Writer: Jim Sharman, Richard O’Brien (Screenplay)

Starring: Jessica Harper, Cliff De Young, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Charles Gray, Ruby Wax, Nell Campbell, Rik Mayall

 

Plot: Janet and Brad become contestants on a game show… but wind up as captives instead.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Way Before It’s Time

 

Story: Shock Treatment starts as Brad (de Young) and Janet (Harper) are part of a marriage television show where Brad gets taken away for treatment through Dr Cosmo (O’Brien) and Dr Nation (Quinn).

With each day becoming a new day on the show Janet leaves Brad in the hands of the doctors while she considers her options.

When Brad finds, himself becoming the face of a fast food franchise Janet learns that they have become trapped in this twisted world with no escape as her star power continues to grow.

 

Thoughts on Shock Treatment

 

Characters/PerformanceReturning us to Janet and Brad is an interesting idea but they both seem very different people, Janet gets drawn to the idea of becoming a big star leaving people behind to do this, Brad spends most of the film tied up which doesn’t give him a lot of time to do anything. The Doctors are good without being anything special which is what could be said for the rest of the characters too.

Performance wise, Jessica Harper is great in the leading role but it would be fair to say none of the other stars really stand out on the level she reaches through this film.

StoryThe story is in places complicated, but it does poke fun at reality television which for the time was something unknown, watching it now and seeing how people look at success we do get to see a huge difference in what people think. On the other hand, this is so far away from the Rocky Picture Show we don’t need to use the same characters.

Comedy/MusicalThis doesn’t reach that many levels of comedy but I do think the musical numbers are an improvement from the Rocky Horror.

SettingsThe whole film is set inside a studio showing us just how Janet rose and fell from celebrity status which feels like the television show we are watching.

Special EffectsWe don’t have many special effects here once again but when needed they are good.

Final ThoughtsThis does take the characters in a direction you wouldn’t expect and has fun poking fun at television shows but otherwise it isn’t anything special.

 

Overall: Strange sequel with little connection.

Rating

 

 

Chariots of Fire (1981)

chaiotsDirector: Hugh Hudson

Writer: Colin Welland (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicholas Farrell, Nigel Havers, Ian Charleson, Ben Cross, Daniel Gerroll, Ian Holm

 

Plot: Two British track athletes, one a determined Jew and the other a devout Christian, compete in the 1924 Olympics.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dated Sports Biopic

 

Story: Chariots of Fire starts in 1919 Cambridge University as we follow Harold Abrahams (Cross), and Aubrey Montague (Farrell) in the elite university of England. Here we get to see how fast the Jewish Harold is, also in Scotland we get to see Eric Liddell (Charleson) a rugby player turned runner that is also in the elite of the racing speed but he is a devote Christian who doesn’t believe in playing sports on a Sunday.

What follows is seeing the paths both Eric and Harold take to become the best in the nation as they become favourites for the British team heading into the Olympics. The two become rivals but their own personal beliefs could become a barrier in going for the gold medal.

 

Thoughts on Chariots of Fire

 

Characters/PerformanceHaving the characters based on the real people makes it difficult to say anything bad about them, we have two men who have been forced to put aside their difference in religious beliefs to make an impact on the sport they love taking part in. this is a story of success which is easy to enjoy for all that are involved.

Performance wise everything is good without being anything truly special by anyone involved through the film.stars

StoryThis is a story about how two men put aside their difference to make their way to the top of the sport of athletes, it is easy to follow but does come off slightly too posh in places when you look at how the British come off.

Biography/SportsLooking into the way we follow the two men’s journey to the Olympics we get to see how the races unfold which is all good but I would say this is one of the more average biopics that I have seen.

SettingsThe settings show us the upper classes going into the sport of running, which is all good with the races at the Olympics coming off great for settings.genre

Final ThoughtsMy final thoughts are that this is slightly too British showing you had to come from money to achieve in sports at this time, I also don’t feel the film does enough to show us all of the characters involved.

 

Overall: Nice but no cigar especially when we prefer the struggle to make it and become the story of success, rather than the winner.

Ratingrating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Mad Max 2 The Road Warrior (1981)

roadDirector: George Miller

Writer: Terry Hayes, George Miller, Brian Hannant (Screenplay)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Michal Preston, Max Phipps Vernon Wells, Kjell Nilsson, Virginia Hey, William Zappa

 

Plot: In the post-apocalyptic Australian wasteland, a cynical drifter agrees to help a small, gasoline rich, community escape a band of bandits.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Big, Better and Bloodier

 

Story: Mad Max 2 The Road Warrior starts by showing us the dystopian world Max (Gibson) roams and just how destructive it has become with oil running low. Max is now deadlier than ever taking zero prisoners when it comes to fighting on the road.

When Max meets, the wasteland guy The Gyro Captain (Spence) he learns about an endless supply of gas which keep Max supplied for years but there is one problem it is controlled by warriors who are under threat from The Humengus (Nilsson) and his bloody thirsty gang that want the gas for themselves.

Max reluctant helps the warriors defend the gas from the gang in what is a battle in the middle of the desert for the most valuable resource in the new world gas.

 

Thoughts on Mad Max 2 The Road Warrior

 

StoryThe story picks up where the last one finished with the character of Max now ready to rule the wasteland, the first film introduced us to Max this one unleashes him to be the bad ass action character we need and the story shows just how he is willing to work for the greater good when need be. This also enters into the time when stories were simple and this one shows just how simple story telling can be something the audience of the Fury Road chapter learnt in 2015.

Action/ThrillerThe action is bigger with the chases being riskier and edge of your seat throughout but this time when it comes to the genres it makes everything very clear that this a post-apocalyptic world we are now in. The film uses the genres to improve this film to the next level.

Characters/PerformanceMad Max is the strong silent type not having many lines in the whole film and this works for Gibson who continues to shine in the role, this time we get some comic relief to lighten the higher end action going on. The villains on the other side feel like a much bigger threat and wildly over the top so much so that not one but two of the references whether it be the nickname of image became huge through the World Wrestling Federation.

SettingsThe settings are again very simple but effective as nearly the whole movie is set on battle to protect the gas supply, this continues the trend this film set by making sure the story is big but simple.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the special effects everything is all perfectly placed stunt work to make sure the chase or battle scenes come off to their full effect.

Final ThoughtsThis is the improvement the fans wanted from the original, everything is bigger, bloodier and just overall way more entertaining.

 

Overall: How all action films should improve themselves.

Ratingcard