Night Crossing (1982)

Director: Delbert Mann

Writer: John McGreevey (Screenplay)

Starring: John Hurt, Jane Alxeander, Doug McKeon, Keith McKeon, Beau Bridges, Glynnis O’Connor

 

Plot: Two men want to escape from East Germany, but they will only go if they can take their families with them.


Tagline – The East German border: 836 miles of barbed wire walls, automated machine guns, armed guards, and deadly land mines. On September 15, 1979 two families tried to cross it.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brave Story

 

Story: Night Crossing starts as we go to East Germany in 1979, The Strelzyk family, Peter (Hurt), Doris (Alexander), Frank (D.McKeon) and Fitscher (K.McKeon) who are getting tired of not being able to go to the west side of Germany, one they see as fairer. The friendship between this family and the Wetzel’s Gunter (Bridges) and Petra (O’Connor) keeps them strong, while they see the friends trying to escape getting killed.

When Peter comes up with up the idea to build a balloon with Gunter to escape, it will mean working in secret because getting caught will only see him killed. When Gunter leaves for family reasons, Peter must keep the idea within the family for the hope for their future.

 

Thoughts on Night Crossing

 

Characters – Peter is a father that has been living with his family in Eastern Germany, he is getting tired of the lack of change or unity with the Western side and decides he wants to risk his family’s life to escape, he plans to build a balloon which would fly over the borders in place. Doris is the wife of Peter, she is reluctant to help at first, but soon sees this being the only option. Gunter is the friend that wants to help build the balloon, only for his wife to push him into staying behind because of the young age of their children. Petra is Gunter’s wife that doesn’t want to risk their infant children with an escape plan so dangerous.

PerformancesJohn Hurt in the leading role is the strongest member of the cast, he shows that even a common man can have the hope required for his character. Jane Alexander and Glynnis O’Connor are both fitting the wife type of role which doesn’t get much else to do. Beau Bridges completes the cast with a performance that shows just how young men would have been affected in this world.

StoryThe story follows two families that work together to find a way to escape East Germany and get into West Germany in the late 70s, they must risk everything for this, which is failing would see them face certain death. this is a story of inspiration that showed us just how much people were willing to risk escaping a land they couldn’t live their natural life without being dictated too, it shows the patience to make it happen and how family can inspire you to risk everything.

Family/HistoryThis might be classed as a family film that is because of the families involved in trying to make this high risk situation happen, the history of their escape is one that could inspire many who were trapped in the land.

SettingsThe film is set in the harsh living conditions the families would have been living in and how secretive their plan would have been to make happen.


Scene of the Movie –
Are we in the West?

That Moment That Annoyed Me It could have been a lot darker.

Final ThoughtsThis is an inspiration story of two family’s determination to make it out of a life which didn’t offer them a true future.

 

Overall: True story that shows bravery and inspiration.

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – Amityville II: The Possession (1982)

Director: Damiano Damiani

Writer: Tommy Lee Wallace (Screenplay) Hans Holzer (Book)

Starring: James Olson, Burt Young, Rutanya Alda, Jack Magner, Andrew Prine, Diane Franklin, Moses Gunn

 

Plot: A family moves into their new home, which proves to be satanic, resulting in the demonic possession of the teenage son. Only the local priest can save him.


Tagline – The night of February 5, 1976, George and Kathleen Lutz fled their home in Amityville, New York. They got out alive! Their living nightmare shocked audiences around the world in “The Amityville Horror”. But before them, another family lived in this house and were caught by the original evil. They weren’t so lucky… this is their story!

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Enough Prequel

 

Story: Amityville II: The Possession starts with the Montelli family moving into a new home, father Anthony (Young), mother Delores (Alda) with children Sonny (Magner), Patricia (Franklin) Jan and Mark. The family has the normal problems with Anthony being very strict with how the children should be acting.

When Sonny the eldest starts acting differently and being isolated from the rest of the family, the only person to see the change in him is his sister Patricia who must deal with the unwanted advances from her own brother, the normally kind and friendly one.

 

Thoughts on Amityville II: The Possession

 

Characters – Father Adamsky is the priest asked to bless he house, Patricia turns to him when she needs help, he tries to help and is left in the middle of not being welcomed by the father and needing to accept his decision and thinking something is very wrong. Anthony is the father of the house, he doesn’t like religion and is strict with the children, he is short tempered in the home. Delores is the one that is welcoming the priest into the house, he notices too late the problems with her children. Sonny is the eldest son, he changes after moving into the house which makes him act out of character before he does the unthinkable.

PerformancesThe performances in this film are a step down, Jack Magner does keep us on edge with his performance which shows the transformation he goes through with the time in the hoe. James Olson does take the priest role to the next level which is better because we deal with the idea of the investigation. The parental figures are solid enough though they never hit the heights of the previous film.

StoryThe story here follows the family in the house before the Lutz, it does change the names for its own story which does tell the ideas which lead up to and after the murders in the home. This is all simple enough, we know the outcome for most of the family, so there was no point ending the film with this, the last half of the film follows a priest trying to help Sonny get the demon out of his body, while the legal side of the story plays out. This doesn’t hit the truly scary factors in the film because it does all into just another exorcism movie, trying to continue the legacy of the Amityville Horror. We do get the most random incest storyline which is awkward to watch and also is fictionalised for increased change in the Sonny character.

HorrorThe horror is mostly just hearing voices and falls into just exorcism style horror, nothing is overly scary and it depends what your feelings about exorcisms are.

SettingsThe film takes place in the home which shows the change, much like the first film, its when we hit the courtroom, hospital etc as we try to deal with the change things get slow.

Special EffectsFor the time this was released it would be fair to say the effects are good enough without being anything memorable.


Scene of the Movie –
The exorcism.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The incest side of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a prequel that tries to continue on the legacy of the Amityville story, we learn about the family before which only seems to be changed to make a more interesting family dynamic.

 

Overall: Simple, solid prequel.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – 48 Hrs (1982)

Director: Walter Hill

Writer: Roger Spottiswoode, Walter Hill, Larry Gross, Steven E de Souza (Screenplay)

Starring: Nick Nolte, Eddie Murphy, Annette O’Toole, Frank McRae, James Remar, David Patrick Kelly

 

Plot: A hard-nosed cop reluctantly teams up with a wise-cracking criminal temporarily paroled to him, in order to track down a killer.


Tagline – When a tough cop has a cool convict as a partner and 48 hrs to catch a killer, a lot of funny things can happen in . . . 48 HRS.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable

 

Story: 48 Hrs starts as Ganz (Remar) gets broken out of jail while on work detail by Billy Bear (Landham), he heads off to clean up old debts leaving cops bodies in his path of destruction. It doesn’t take long for Ganz to clash with detective Jack Cates (Nolte), where Ganz forces Jack into a difficult situation.

Jack must go to prisoner Reggie Hammond (Murphy) a wise cracking con man to help track down Ganz using his street knowledge. In what is an unlikely partnership turns into something special as the two find a way to get to the bottom of the crime.

 

Thoughts on 48 Hrs

 

Characters – Jack Cates is a grizzled cop, he gets the job done with his experience keeping him in high regard. He must stop the killer using criminal Reggie Hammond as the best chance to catch this killer. Reggie Hammond is a criminal near the end of his stint in jail, he is wise-cracking fast-talking meaning he can bullshit his way out of any situation he finds himself in. He uses this chance of time out of jail to settle a few scores. Elaine is the girlfriend of Jack who is tired of not making things serious between the two. Ganz is the killer on the loose, after his break from prison, he has a short-temper which causes his itchy trigger finger to fire on any enemy he comes across.

PerformancesNick Nolte is a great choice for a seemingly warn down cop, he takes the non-sense style needed for the role and goes with it. Eddie Murphy was one of the most popular stand-up comedians at the time, this was his film debut and he handed it very well, bringing his own energy to the role which could have been something we have seen before. James Remar is good as a villain because it is a character we have seen before, but he really convinces in this role. There is a negative here, that is Annette O’Toole, which to be fair isn’t her fault because the character is written so poorly

StoryThe story follows a cop and a criminal work together to stop another criminal, yes this is a buddy cop movie. We have unlikely partnership which must work together to get the common goal. This is a story we have seen plenty of times since and it seems to be a hit or miss through the years, but this does keep things simple enough to enjoy not looking to throw us any surprises along the way.

Action/Crime/ComedyThe action is by the book for cops and criminals, nothing is over the top and mostly comes off like you would expect. The crime world is the cop needing to work with the criminal that is the best chance to catch a cop killer. The comedy comes from the odd pairing that must work together.

SettingsThe film is set in San Francisco which always seems to be a great location for any crime comedy world to unfold.


Scene of the Movie –
Settle this with fists.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Ganz seems a lot easier to catch.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good buddy comedy that bought us Eddie Murphy to the big screen. We get the action and comedy without being buried with one too often and most importantly we are entertained.

 

Overall: Great fun action comedy.

Rating

 

 

Vintage Franchise – Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982)

Director: Nicholas Meyer

Writer: Nicholas Meyer, Samuel A Peeples (Screenplay) Gene Roddenberry (Characters)

Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Ricardo Montalban, Walter Koenig

 

Plot: With the assistance of the Enterprise crew, Admiral Kirk must stop an old nemesis, Khan Noonien Singh, from using the life-generating Genesis Device as the ultimate weapon.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Excellent Sci-Fi Adventure

 

Story: Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan starts as Admiral Kirk (Shatner) is trying to create a young crew for the Enterprise with the help of Spock (Nimoy), but when feel star fleet crew with Chekov (Koenig) on trying to select a planet for a new life-generating device known as Genesis gets captured by an old nemesis Khan (Montalban) who wants revenge on Kirk, the training missing takes a turn.

When Kirk and Khan come face to face (through video) the battle becomes a tactical battle between the men before the final showdown which will leave one of the crew needing to make an ultimate sacrifice.

 

Thoughts on Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan

 

Characters – Admiral Kirk is on a routine training mission as he searches for a younger crew to explore the galaxy, he does still long to have the Enterprise back though and he will get his wish when he clashes with his old enemy Khan. Spock is the voice of logic for Kirk and the mentor training the new crew, he believes in his crew through this situation. Khan has been stranded on a planet with his crew by Kirk, waiting for his chance to get revenge and now he goes for it, planning a tactical battle against Kirk and he isn’t afraid to use or kill anyone who gets in his way.

PerformanceThe original crew all give great performances that we know they can give, not quite going on the top like we know they can do, but it is the additions to the cast here that shine with Ricardo Montalban being a great villain and even thee young Kirstie Alley being a welcome addition to the cast.

StoryThe story is one that is easy to follow as we see an old enemy seeking revenge against Kirk and this will be his hardest test to date. This is what the fans of the series would love because it offers our characters a chance to grow even more while the neutral fan might not understand everything, I say this because it references what happened before and as not a fan I am not sure if it was in the series or not. The tactical battle is something we can see happen in most Star Trek films which is good to see.

Adventure/Mystery/Sci-FiThe adventure while darker does take our characters to new worlds to face enemies in the galaxy, we do have a mystery to everything but this time everything gets answered early on with the space based format being the one we all know.

SettingsThe settings look fantastic again, with the space working well throughout but the planets all offering a new look for each different location.

Special EffectsThe effects for the time all were great even if moment might have dated they all work for the film.

Scene of the Movie – Kirk’s surprise.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not knowing if Khan is from the TV show or not.

Final ThoughtsThis is an improvement on the last film and from what I understand the best in the series of films, it offers character development and surprise ending and a villain that is menacing throughout.

 

Overall: One of the best if not the best in the series.

Rating

 


Blade Runner (1982)

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: Hampton Fancher, David Webb Peoples (Screenplay) Philip K Dick (Novel)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hanna, William Sanderson

 

Plot: A blade runner must pursue and try to terminate four replicants who stole a ship in space and have returned to Earth to find their creator.


Tagline – A chilling, bold, mesmerizing, futuristic detective thriller.

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Iconic Classic

 

Story: Blade Runner starts in the 21st century where humans have created replicants to work off world in hazardous condition, but when a mutiny makes them free they become illegal on Earth where Blade Runners hunt them down killing them on sight in a process known as retirement not execution.

When four replicants Roy Batty (Hauer), Pris (Hannah), Leon (James) and Zhora (Cassidy) return to Earth Bryant (Walsh) brings Blade Runner Rick Deckard (Ford) into track them down. With newer models being developed like Rachael (Young) tracking down the replicants is becoming harder for Deckard but with him being the best in the business he must use all his experience to stop them causing anymore problems in the world.

 

Thoughts on Blade Runner

 

Characters – Rick Deckard is the Blade Runner, well one of them, the best of them, he keeps to himself for the most part but when a job becomes too serious, Deckard is the man to clean up by hunting down the replicants. He does have a moral compass when it comes to dealing with the upgraded Rachael who doesn’t seem to be a threat but when dealing with the others it will be his hardest test. Roy Batty is the leader of the escaped replicants, he only wants to find a way for his replicants to extended their lives and is filled with philosophical ideas. Racheal is the upgraded replicant that is being kept secret until she goes on the run with on Deckard to protect her from retirement. We also have the other replicants looking for freedom in their own way as well as the people who want Deckard to hunt them down.

PerformancesHarrison Ford gives us a performance that does against everything we were expecting from his Han Solo and Indiana Jones days where he plays the serious character in the bleak look at the future. Rutger Hauer gives us one of the best villainous performance of any film, he is haunting with his lines and deadly with his fights. Sean Young is good in the film too as the learning replicant. There isn’t a single weak performance in this movie which is always good to see.

StoryThe story shows how the androids created known as replicants only want to survive and be treated equal in a world that will not accept them. We watch the one man try to hunt down the escaped replicants before they hurt anymore innocent people. This is a noir thriller that keeps us guessing the in bleak sci-fi world that has a story without many twists which keeps the story flowing in the one direction needed.

Sci-FiWhen this was released sci-fi was all aliens and space travel but this showed us a future, a bleak future reliant on technology for the people, it showed us how the world could look in the future.

SettingsThis is a visual treat for the settings, it takes us into the future where we see the world we could one day be living in.

Special EffectsThe effects still stand the test of time because of the visual look at the world we are finding out characters in with the technology designed for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
I always like the final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Deciding which cut to watch.

Chances of Sequel: We have one now.

Budget: $28 Million

Final ThoughtsThis is a sci-fi film that inspired a generation of film makers, it broke boundaries and became one of the all-time classics in cinema.

 

Overall: Classic we can never get bored off.

Rating