ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – G – Gandhi (1982)

Director: Richard Attenborough

Writer: John Briley (Screenplay)

Starring: Ben Kingsley, Rohini Hattangadi, Roshan Seth, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, John Gielgud, Trevor Howard

 

Plot: Gandhi’s character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed.


Tagline – A WORLD EVENT It took one remarkable man to defeat the British Empire and free a nation of 350 million people. His goal was freedom for India. His strategy was peace. His weapon was his humanity.

Runtime: 3 Hours 11 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Inspirational

 

Story: Gandhi starts in 1893 when Mohandas K Gandhi (Kingsley) an Indian lawyer travelling in South Africa is thrown off a train for sitting in first class, he is opposed to this laws which see Indians as second class citizens in a land which is under the British Empire and starts to lead a non-violent stand to make a change in the country.

After turning the laws in South Africa, Gandhi gets a hero’s welcome return to India, where he goes around the country to learn about the impending war against the British as India is looking for its own independence, and Gandhi’s teaching will become the key to non-violent protests against what is happening to the people of land at the hands of the British.

 

Thoughts on Gandhi

 

Characters – Mohandas K Gandhi was an Indian lawyer educated in England, he gets treated like a second class citizen in South Africa, which makes him want to change the laws, create freedom for people in the British Empire to be treated equal in any of the lands, he wants to fight without ever being violent, he sees war as a tactical idea that could be done without spilling blood. After winning in South Africa, he head home to India where he starts his latest mission to stop the British having control of India, once again preaching his non-violent ways once again, trying to change his own’s people mentality to take the country to a new future. Kasturba is the wife of Mohandas she stands by his side through ever campaign he leads, showing the women of Indian they can be as strong as their men. Pandit Nehru is one of the first followers of Gandhi, he will have differences along the way, but he does know that he is always trying to do the right thing. We do get a host of people that were part of Gandhi’s life and campaigns, we have the reporters that spread his stories, the Indians who learnt to support him and the British who were always trying to remain in control.

PerformancesBen Kingsley is truly breath-taking in this leading role, covering the inspirational man’s life for over 50 years, it shows how he really is one of the greatest actors of all time, in a role he was born to play. The rest of the cast are fantastic too, we have plenty of smaller roles with big name actors who all shine in their roles.

StoryThe story here follows the life of Mahatma Gandhi the man that wanted to use non-violent methods to create freedom for the Indians in two different countries, first South Africa, secondly in India itself trying to break free of the British Empire unfair rule. Seeing the life of Gandhi over the 50 odd years of his life shows us just how much he achieved even while being patient in the achieving his life changing goals for the people of the countries. The story is told in chronological order which shows us just how famous Gandhi become as the man that wanted change, how different people tried to stop him and others reluctantly put themselves in a position where they had to go against him, even though he agreed.

Biopic/HistoryWe do follow Gandhi’s life from the moment he first gets discriminated against until his death, we go through the history of the changes Gandhi fought for through the years as just how he ended up changing the history of India with his teachings.

SettingsThe film recreates the settings used for the events in history with ease, we will believe that we are part of this world and part of the world Gandhi choices to live in.


Scene of the Movie –
Courtroom acceptance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel too long at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brilliant biopic that shows us just how inspirational Gandhi was to the world let alone just the people of India.

 

Overall: Masterpiece of cinema.

Rating

 

 

Tobe Hooper Weekend – Poltergeist (1982) Movie Review

Director: Tobe Hooper

Writer: Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, Mark Victor (Screenplay)

Starring: Craig T Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Beatrice Straight, Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins, Heather O’Rourke, Michael McManus

Plot: A family’s home is haunted by a host of demonic ghosts.


Tagline – Some things have to be believed to be seen.

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Classic Horror

Story: Poltergeist starts as the Freeling family Steve (Nelson), Diane (Williams), Dana (Dunne), Robbie (Robins) and Carol (O’Rourke) who have moved into a new build, that Steve’s company has built. Robbie is struggling to deal with the strange shapes around the house at night, and Carol has started her sleepwalking again, talking to the static on the television.

The family soon find out they have a poltergeist that Diane sees as something friendly only for the events to become must more sinister, targeting the youngest members of the house, the family must figure out how to save their family, where they only learn more troublesome truths about the house, turning to Dr Lesh (Straight) to study what is going on.

Thoughts on Poltergeist

Characters – Steve is the real estate agent that has been selling the house on the new land, he moved his own family into one to show just how confident he is in the neighbourhood and does what ever concerned father would do once the haunting start. Diane is the wife and mother, she plays with the ghosts first thinking it is a harmless haunting, but when things get serious, she won’t leave the house until she gets her daughter back. Dr Lesh is the one that is hired to study the hauntings, she sets up the tests to figure out what is happening and prepares the family for the test they will be facing. Dana is the oldest daughter in the family, she is dealing with being a teenager with ease and must look after Robbie while the rest of the family deal with the hauntings.

PerformancesCraig T Nelson and JoBeth Williams as the parents are both great through, they show the concern and worries they might not find their daughter. Beatrice Straight does bring the confident figure to life, while also showing the fear she sees in the house. The child stars are strong too through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a family that’s new dream home turns into a nightmare when it turns out it is haunted by vengeful spirits forcing them to confront the spirits before losing their family. This is the original haunted house to a new level story, it spins what was designed before with an old house with history being haunted, to a brand-new house being the events of the hauntings, one that wouldn’t be filled with murder or history. This does help the events of the story seem scarier and gives it an original side too because it shows that anybody could be the ones getting haunted.

HorrorThe horror in the film is hauntings, we start with friendly ones which seem harmless and soon become deadly as the children are being targeted, the final act will bring the most horror to the whole film.

SettingsThe film uses the brand-new house build for the main setting, this helps because it changes everything we should know about haunting houses.

Special EffectsThe effects are great considering this came out in 1982, they don’t look terribly like certain horror films since this.


Scene of the Movie – The last night in the house.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The builder’s mentality to a teenage schoolgirl.

Final Thoughts This is a horror film that has stood the test of time and will be remembered as one of the best of the 80’s.

Overall: Brilliant Horror

Richard Gere Weekend – An Officer and a Gentleman (1982)

Director: Taylor Hackford

Writer: Douglas Day Stewart (Screenplay)

Starring: Richard Gere, Debra Winger, David Keith, Robert Loggia, Lisa Blount, Lisa Eilbacher, Louis Gossett Jr

 

Plot: A young man must complete his work at a Navy Officer Candidate School to become an aviator, with the help of a tough Gunnery Sergeant and his new girlfriend.


Tagline – It will lift you up where you belong.

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Love Changes Everyone

 

Story: An Officer and a Gentleman starts when the rebellious Zack Mayo (Gere) tired of living in his father’s Bryon (Loggia) shadow, enlists in the navy, Zack goes through the strict training regime by Sgt Emil Foley (Gossett Jr), here he shines, finding it almost too easy to get through, he even starts his own business to make sure everyone has extra clean material.

Zack makes friends where he needs them with Sid Worley (Keith) helping him with paperwork side of being in the navy, the job he desires most, in flight. Zack soon finds himself meeting Paula Pokrifki (Winger) who always attend the parties looking for their own soldiers. Zack must learn to balance his training with his new girlfriend, finally learning to grow up in his own life.

 

Thoughts on An Officer and a Gentleman

 

Characters – Zack Mayo has grown up under his father that never believed he could achieve anything, he decides to sign up for the navy to follow his dreams of being a pilot, he believes he can just coast through the training alone, only for his way to see him needing to learn to let people in, meet a girl decide whether love is the most important thing in his life or whether he can balance everything together. Paula is a factory worker that goes for parties around the naval candidates, she meets Zack seeing him as different from the rest and gets left constantly wondering if he is willing to change his lone wolf nature. Sid is fellow naval candidate that becomes Zack’s best friend, he pushes him to open up and is the brains that could help Zack through the side that he is struggling through. Sgt Emil Foley is drill sergeant that is training the candidates, he is strict and doesn’t like how Zack thinks he can breeze through the training.

PerformancesRichard Gere in this leading role shows us all that he was going on to have a wonderful run as a leading actor, he could play the loveable rogue that wants to find his place in the world. Debra Winger is great here showing how her character is going through a difficult lifetime, where love can make things even more difficult. David Keith brings us a performance which does show us how depression can be hidden from the world. Louis Gossett Jr does bring us one of the best drill sergeants in film here that did get him an Oscar.

StoryThe story here follows a rebellious young man that finds his place in the navy, where he learns to work with others and to fall in love, to motivate and find himself a career along the way, he will need to overcome life challenges which will shape his future. We do get to see many different challenges that young people could face when they reach a certain age, this will show us just how difficult people will need to overcome to be the people they were always meant to be. We do get to see the darker side of the services because they will show us just how people can hide the emotional troubles which could bring a life changing  moment in their life.

RomanceThe love story in this film shows how a rebel meets a girl searching for hope and fall madly in love either though neither of them were really looking for it.

SettingsThe film uses a couple of main settings, with the training camp being one of the most iconic for the film, the most iconic comes from warehouse where Paula works, which will be the shot everybody remembers from this film.


Scene of the Movie –
Zack breaks to learn to help others.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Lynette wouldn’t still be Paula’s friend by the end of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the classic romantic films out there, one that everybody knows and can enjoy.

 

Overall: Romance to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

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

 

 

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