Classic Franchise Month – Psycho II (1983)

Director: Richard Franklin

Writer: Tom Holland (Screenplay)

Starring: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Meg Tilly, Robert Loggia, Dennis Franz, Hugh Gillin, Claudia Bryar

 

Plot: After twenty-two years of psychiatric care, Norman Bates attempts to return to a life of solitude, but the specters of his crimes – and his mother – continue to haunt him.


Tagline – Norman Bates is back. Coming home was a bad mistake!

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Sequel

 

Story: Psycho II starts when Norman Bates (Perkins) gets released after 22-years in psychiatric care against the wishes of Lila (Miles), returning to his home overlooking the Bates Motel, taking a job in the local diner and opening his door to waitress Mary (Tilly) after she breaks up with her boyfriend.

It isn’t long before Norman starts believing he is seeing his mother and receiving phone calls and notes from people, even with him trying to put his life back together by reopening the motel to the public. Can he keep everything together or is he still unstable to the public?

 

Thoughts on Psycho II

 

Characters – Norman Bates is now out of hospital trying to return to his normal life, he seems fully recovered, but it doesn’t take long before he starts to question his own sanity believing his mother has returned to him or being made to play the victim to someone else’s game. Lila is against Norman being released and she will do anything to stop him from living a normal life. Mary is the waitress that is offered a room by Norman believing he has been cured and now she starts to see the good in him, though she isn’t completely what she seems to be.

PerformancesAnthony Perkins is good in this leading role showing the unstable side of his character when needed. Vera Miles is good in her role but doesn’t get too much to do. Meg Tilly is a good addition to the cast, she is strong throughout the film keeping her character a mystery.

StoryThe story here follows the release of Norman Bates after years locked away as he must come to terms with re-entering society while people still don’t want him released. This is an interesting spin on the idea of the villain from a previous film returning, because it is the time required in hospital before released served and does deal with the idea that being let back into society isn’t going to be accepted by all. Having Norman questioning his own sanity helps us along the way and the twist that comes through the film makes everything tie together nicely.

Crime/Horror/MysteryThe criminal has been released back into normal life which shows us just what it would be like as both sides can argue the point, the horror comes from where the new list of bodies starting to pile up with the mystery being who is behind the killing spree.

SettingsThe film does take us back to the iconic Bates Motel which gives us the best scenes, every time we leave we are left feeling out of place though.

Special EffectsThe effects do try to use the less is more technique only for it not to come off on the level of the original.


Scene of the Movie –
The final twist.

That Moment That Annoyed Me IMDB ruins a big twist in the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good sequel to the classic, it builds on the ideas of Norman Bates being released after serving his time and now we see the next chapter of the story.

 

Overall: Sequel well worth watching.

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – Jaws 3D (1983)

Director: Joe Alves

Writer: Richard Matheson, Carl Gottlieb (Screenplay) Guerdon Trueblood (Story)

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Bess Armstrong, Simon MacCorkindale, Louis Gossett Jr, John Putch, Lea Thompson

 

Plot: The sons of police chief Brody must protect customers at a SeaWorld theme park after a thirty-five-foot shark becomes trapped in the park with them.


Tagline – The third dimension is terror

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: They Can’t Get Worse

 

Story: Jaws 3 starts as we follow the sons of Chief Brody, Mike (Quaid) who works at sea world with his girlfriend Dr Kathryn Morgan (Armstrong) as they receive a visit from Sean (Putch) who has followed in his father’s footsteps by being afraid of the water. With Seaworld getting a visit from celebrity Philip FitzRoyce (MacCorkindale) everything is ready for a new stamp of approval.

When it turns out that a great white shark has taken up home in the lagoon Kay wants to capture it for good reasons, while Philip wants to turn into a sport and kill it, can they find a safe solution?

 

Thoughts on Jaws 3

 

Characters – Mike Brody is the son of the Chief in the first two films, now grown up, he builds the worlds for Seaworld alongside his girlfriend who works with the animals, he is on the verge of a big transfer which will make serious money and his career, now he must work to save the park much like his father did, fighting a shark. Kay is girlfriend of Mike, she works with the wildlife in the park, wanting to do the best for the shark that appears there. Philip FitzRoyce is here to help with press as he knows how to add the crowds to the audience.

PerformancesDennis Quaid is ok in this movie, he doesn’t reach the levels we know he can reach, Bess Armstrong is the strongest part of the film because you can understand both her and her characters reactions. The rest of the cast are fine to poor, they are not as annoying as the kids in the last film.

StoryThe story has jumped a few years now, following the kids does make sense, we follow of a Seaworld that gets an uninvited guest in sharks move into the lagoon. The team must get them out, this is the story as the ambitious money hunger park owner puts lives at risk and a guy named Brody must try to save the day. There is nothing overly new here, it doesn’t build on the scale of the original two films and just feels almost a waste in the most part.

Adventure/HorrorThis doesn’t have the feel of an adventure and sadly it doesn’t come off scary in anyway, this just turns out to be bland.

SettingsHaving the film set in a Seaworld environment is something we wouldn’t see anymore because of the hatred towards them, but this setting almost plays out like a marketing campaign for them,

Special EffectsThis film tried to do 3D, it failed.


Scene of the Movie –
Watching someone get eaten.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Those effects.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weaker sequel that just ends up being boring for the most part, it doesn’t build on the legacy in anyway either.

 

Overall: Just bad all around.

Rating

 

 

Never Say Never Again (1983)

Director: Irvin Kerschner

Writer: Lorenzo Semple Jr (Screenplay) Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham, Ian Fleming (Story)

Starring: Sean Connery, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Max von Sydow, Barbara Carrera, Kim Basinger, Bernie Casey

 

Plot: A SPECTRE agent has stolen two American nuclear warheads, and James Bond must find their targets before they are detonated.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Light-Hearted Bond

 

Story: Never Say Never Again starts as James Bond (Connery) has been working on training routines, mostly successful, but his physical condition isn’t on the levels it once was, he is now in a treatment hospital where he ends stumbling into Blofeld’s (von Sydow) latest plan.

When Blofeld holds the world to ransom, his agent Maximilian Largo (Brandauer) needs to be tracked down by Bond to stop the stolen nuclear war heads being used against the countries not willing to pay.

 

Thoughts on Never Say Never Again

 

Characters – James Bond is back in action after a forced retirement from the business, he knows how the locate his enemies and seduce a lady and this is no different as he goes up against one of his most famous villains. Largo is the main man puling the strings in the operation for the big boss, he goes face to face with Bond. Blofeld is the leader of SPECTRE the criminal organisation that has held the world to ransom.

PerformancesSean Connery gets to have a lot of fun returning to his most famous role, he still has the swagger for it too. Klaus is a solid enough villain and handles the interactions well. Max Von Sydow is one of the most trusted villains in the business, he takes this role and makes it his own well.

StoryThe story follow James Bond on another one of his adventures against an evil genius that plans to destroy the world. We go to luxury locations, with bars women and fighting, making this a complete 101 on how to make James Bond movie. This won’t be the most memorable one but it follows everything you need it to.

Action/AdventureThe action is good for a Bond film, it isn’t over the top but ticks the boxes well and the adventure is everything you are expecting to see from Bond.

SettingsThe film takes us to exotic locations where we see Bond battle the enemies who are of course rich and enjoy bars, sun women.


Scene of the Movie –
Massage

That Moment That Annoyed Me It lacks that moment that makes this memorable like most of the good Bond films.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that will work for all Bond fans, it checks the boxes well but never stands up to the best of the franchise, even though it isn’t an official part of them.

 

Overall: Bond movie 101

Rating

 

 

Uncommon Valor (1983)

Director: Ted Kotcheff

Writer: Joe Gayton (Screenplay)

Starring: Gene Hackman, Robert Stack, Fred Ward, Reb Brown, Patrick Swayze, Harold Sylvester

 

Plot: Ten years after his son went M.I.A. in Vietnam, U.S. Marine retired Colonel Jason Rhodes assembles a private rescue team to find Americans held in P.O.W. camps in Laos.


Tagline – Seven men with one thing in common.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good War Movie

 

Story: Uncommon Valor starts when Col Jason Rhodes (Hackman) recruits for Vietnam soldiers Wilkes (Ward), Blaster (Brown), Sailor (Cobb), Johnson (Sylvester), Charts (Thomerson) and son of a mission in action soldier Kevin Scott (Swayze) to go on a mission in Laos, to free the soldiers in a prisoner of war camp believed to be controlled by the former Vietnamese soldiers.

First he must get them back into shape, before taking them on this mission which could break the bonds that are being rebuilt between the countries and go against the men’s wishes. This is a life or death mission that could be for the right reasons, but deadly for those involve.

 

Thoughts on Uncommon Valor

 

Characters – Col Jason Rhodes had to eave his son in Vietnam while escaping the enemy, never giving up hope of finding his son alive, her learns of a prisoner of war camp and puts together a team to rescue those prisoners and return them to his family, what is a broken man inside but a determined one on the outside we have a leader that will put this team together. Wilkes is the member of the team, still suffering from the nightmares of what happened to him, maybe the deadliest member of the unit, he will be the one to watch out for through the film, the rest of the unit have their strengths and weaknesses which helps bring them together to be the full unit.

PerformancesGene Hackman was always a brilliant choice in a leading role, this is no different because he can control the people well, while also being able to show of his strengths as an actor. Fred Ward shows us a great performance in his supporting role, while Patrick Swayze comes well in this film, he is the rookie character and working in this role we see his strengths too.

StoryThe story came out when people were still feeling the effects from the Vietnam war, American families were not complete and loved ones were still unaccounted for, this story shows us just how far soldiers would go for a loved one with the unit they were close to during the war. While the story is good it does play into what you will expect with an American group of soldiers being better than anyone else, which entertains throughout.

Action/WarThe action is mostly saved for the finally, which does feel safe with everything and is filled with war themed battle going on.

SettingsThe film keeps us in a couple of locations, first the training camp to prepare for the battle, then the mission to the location before the final battle, this works for the film, we don’t need to see more or less from the settings.


Scene of the Movie –
Final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is more of America to the rescue.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good war film that plays everything safe and makes us believe that the war wasn’t over on the first date believed, it was the prisoners of war that still needed rescuing from the impending fates.

 

Overall: War fans will enjoy this one.

Rating

 

 

Videodrome (1983)

Director: David Cronenberg

Writer: David Cronenberg (Screenplay)

Starring: James Woods, Sonja Smits, Debbie Harry, Peter Dvorsky, Leslie Carlson, Jack Creley

 

Plot: A sleazy cable-TV programmer begins to see his life and the future of media spin out of control in a very unusual fashion when he acquires a new kind of programming for his station.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Game Changing Movie

 

Story: Videodrome starts as we get to see cable TV President Max Renn (Woods) as he is looking for the next show for his network which will continue to push the boundaries for his audience. When Max learns from one of his technicians Harlan (Dvorsky) about an extreme torture show known as Videodrome.

Becoming obsessed with Videodrome he shows his new flame, radio presenter Nicki Brand (Harry) who wants to become a contestant on the show but just what is the marketing for this show, is it real or is it well staged?

Diving into the truth of Videodrome we see how Max starts to question his own reality when he starts hallucinating which leads him to find the truth through Bianca O’Blivion (Smits) in what is one of the most shocking outcomes you could imagine.  

 

Thoughts on Videodrome

 

Characters/PerformanceMax Renn is the typical president of a television network, he is always looking for the next show which could give his network the spike they require. He quickly becomes obsessed with learning the truth about Videodrome only to be sucked into the world it has created. Bianca is one of the potential people behind Videodrome while Nicki is a love interest that wants to be on Videodrome.

Performance wise, James Woods was brilliant in this leading role easily become the star of the show with the rest of the cast all doing good jobs throughout.

StoryThe story is one that is well before its time, when you look back now and see how people wanted to find the next level of television shows like we do now this offers up a look at just how far things could go. This story does have plenty of mystery about where everything could end up going and does have moments that make you react as simple as what the hell is going on but they are all worth it when it comes to the final outcome.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror in this film is filled around the gore effects going on and Max questioning just what is going on. The sci-fi world created shows us an extreme level of where television shows could go.

SettingsThe settings are not the most impactful but do all work for where the story goes.

Special EffectsThis is a practical effects exhibition showing us just what you can do if you know how to use them.

Final ThoughtsThis will always be a true classic on how to push the special effects limits, we get pushed as far as we can with them that are truly amazing for the time.

 

Overall: The violent classic we all know off.

Rating