Vintage Franchise – Star Trek III: The Search for Spock (1984)

Director: Leonard Nimoy

Writer: Harve Bennett (Screenplay) Gene Roddenberry (Characters)

Starring: William Shatner, Leonard Nimoy, DeForest Kelley, James Doohan, George Takei, Walter Koenig, Christopher Lloyd

 

Plot: Admiral Kirk and his bridge crew risk their careers stealing the decommissioned Enterprise to return to the restricted Genesis planet to recover Spock’s body.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Start of the Downhill Slope

 

Story: Star Trek III: The Search for Spock starts where the last film ended, Kirk (Shatner) is struggling with the loss of his friend but when he returns to Star fleet his team is decommissioned but when Kirk learns McCoy (Kelley) has mind moulded with Spock (Nimoy) and two need to be reunited to give Spock a proper resting place.

The crew decide ignore orders risking their careers in a hope to find Spock’s body to give him the chance to reach the next level of Vulcan pass, but Klingon Kruge (Lloyd) also wants something from the planet but what the discover is a surprise they could never imagine.

 

Thoughts on Star Trek III: The Search for Spock

 

Characters – Kirk still struggling with the loss of Spock learns he didn’t carry out the right funeral process for the Vulcan and must risk his career to recover the body and return him to Vulcan. Spock has been reborn on Genesis but his mind is inside Bones as the two need to be reunited before it is too late. Kruge is the Klingon commander that wants the power of Genesis for himself and will travel the galaxy to get it.

PerformanceThe performance from the crew are good with Shatner starting to go into the campy level he can get mocked for, Nimoy isn’t the only person playing Spock with his growing through the film so judging his performance comes both on camera and behind it. Christopher Lloyd is the highlight from the performances in this film.

StoryThe story continuing from the last film is a good thing and easily the best part of the film, it shows us just how the crew will work together even if it goes against his authority figures. This is the only thing that becomes as the rest of the story feels downhill as we follow the effects of Genesis before it was fully tested but the battle between a random enemy is a huge step back after the last battle and the aging planet just doesn’t connect enough.

Adventure/Mystery/Sci-FiThe adventure side of the film comes from the idea that we are going to see the crew go rogue against star fleet. The mystery is around what is happening on the planet with the sci-fi being what we know from the star Trek franchise.

SettingsThe settings do feel underused here with the moments on the ships being fine but the planet feels like a missed opportunity.

Special EffectsThe effects also start to take a step back now too almost feeling like the budget is less to make them believable.

Scene of the Movie – Fight on the planet.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This just feels like we are adding what could have been 30 minutes to Khan in an extra-long story.

Final ThoughtsThis isn’t the best so far in fact it is the weakest to date offering us nothing overly interesting going on.

 

Overall: Disappointing sequel

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Original V Remake – The Karate Kid (1984)

This is also an entry into the Then and Now Blogathon, with the Then appearing on Realweemidget site

 

Director: John G Avildsen

Writer: Robert Mark Kamen (Screenplay)

Starring: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Elisabeth Shue, martin Kove, Randee Heller, William Zabka

 

Plot: A martial arts master agrees to teach karate to a bullied teenager.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic

 

Story: Karate Kid starts as Daniel (Macchio) moves from New Jersey to California with his mother, he needs to make new friends and it isn’t long before he meets a girl Ali (Shue) from his new school but also grabs the attention of the local bullies and their leader Johnny (Zabka) who knows karate.

When the handy man Mr Miyagi (Morita) of the building sees Daniel’s struggle he comes to his aid showing that he is a martial arts master and agrees to train him ready to face Johnny and the bullies in a karate tournament. Daniel goes through an unusual training routine to prepare him for the fight.

 

Thoughts on Karate Kid

 

Characters – Daniel moves to a new town where knows nobody, he finds himself targeted by the local bullies but with the help of Miyagi he learns karate to get one over the main bully. Miyagi is the karate master that works as a building handyman to cover his personal pain, he does see bright things in Daniel and agrees to train him with unusual methods. Ali is the girl that Daniel falls for at school, she is the ex of the bully, she likes Daniel even though he is from the wrong side of town. Johnny is our bully, he doesn’t like that Daniel will stand up to him and uses his advance karate to point him in his place.

PerformanceRalph Macchio gave us a performance here that made people want to be in a karate movie, he sums up the lost teenage perfectly. Pat Morita is fantastic in his role as the mentor which often gets emulated but never duplicated. Elisabeth Shue is good as the love interest and William Zabka is good as thee bully.

StoryThe story shows how an ill-disciplined student can be turned into a calm fighter ready to defend himself against anyone who challenges him. This shows us that anyone can blossom into something great given the right guidance and self-belief in their own abilities, making it a bench mark for anyone that has been questioning their own skills.

Action/Family/SportThe action plays to a typical 80s musical background being high school level chases and fights. The family side shows us just what you need to be doing within a family when it comes to guiding children. The sport is karate in competition.

SettingsThe settings show us the places 80s high school student would hang out and the trouble they can find themselves in.

Scene of the Movie – Training.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I would say the film is slightly too long for the same point message.

Tagline – He taught him the secret to Karate lies in the mind and heart. Not in the hands.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the classic films of all cinema, it is a film that shows character needed to defeat in the right manner.

 

Overall: One of the best sports films of all time.

Rating

 

 

The Killing Fields (1984)

killingDirector: Roland Joffe

Writer: Bruce Robinson (Screenplay)

Starring: Sam Waterston, Haing S Ngor, John Malkovich, Julian Sands, Craig T Nelson, Spalding Gray

 

Plot: A journalist is trapped in Cambodia during tyrant Pol Pot’s bloody “Year Zero” cleansing campaign, which claimed the lives of two million “undesirable” civilians.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Important Moment in History

 

Story: The Killing Fields starts in Cambodia 1973 when New York reporter Sydney Schanberg (Waterston) arrives in the war-torn country to meet his representative and friend Dith Pran (Ngor) who shows him around the country. When the war gets to a new level of danger the American’s are leaving the country but Sydney wants to stay to cover the atrocities going on in the country but Dith refuses to leave his side even after Sydney gets his family out of the warzone.

Staying behind Sydney, Dith, Al Rockoff (Malkovich) and Jon Swain (Sands) continue to report the atrocities around Cambodia for the news around the world where they will end up having to experience things no one on Earth should ever have to get through.

 

Thoughts on The Killing Fields

 

StoryThe story mostly shows how on local had to survive to get out of the Cambodia before he becomes a victim of the war between Cambodia and Vietnam. We do also have a look at how the reporters are seeing what is going on but they get safe leading to the American’s wanting to help their friends while he survives what is going on. This is shocking story that will leave you in shock, fear and moments of tears in the final outcome.

Biography/History/WarThis film is very important because of what happened in Cambodia and how the people were treated, with this we get to see a time in history which will need to be seen to understand what they went through.

Characters/PerformanceWith each character based on the real people it is hard to look at what we think of the character’s action they take and experiences they must go through. Looking at the performances you can see just how brilliant they all were through the film with Ngor stealing the show.

SettingsEach setting shows us just how horrific the situation in Cambodia was and how if effected anyone involved in the devastation of the war.

Final ThoughtsThis is a hard film to get through because of the subject matter and I can see plenty of people not wanting to see it but this is also essential viewing for any historical film fans.

 

Overall: One of the hardest films to watch but also one of the greatest films to see.

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The Terminator (1984)

terminatorDirector: James Cameron

Writer: James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd (Screenplay)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen, Rick Rossovich, Bess Motta, Earl Boen, Dick Miller

 

Plot: A human-looking indestructible cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic

 

Story: The Terminator starts first by the traditional introduction to our three main characters, first we have the cyborg Terminator (Schwarzenegger) who along with Kyle Reese (Biehn) have both been sent back from the future where robots control the Earth. Both are on a mission to find waitress Sarah Connor (Hamilton) who is key to the resistance against the robot battle.

When the Terminator starts tracking down all the local Sarah Connors he starts merciless killing them while Kyle is out to protect her from the cyborg. Sarah must work with Reese to survive and defeat this Terminator as she learns the truth about her own importance to the future of mankind.

The Terminator is one of the most iconic films from the 80s that has become one of the most talked about film franchises of all time. This role turned the fresh face powerhouse Arnold Schwarzenegger who has only been the good guy taking a cold-hearted killer role which was a huge risk but works to perfection. We get Linda Hamilton being the reluctant hero that evolves through the film to become the kick ass action lead we all know from the second film. We finally get a great action hero performance from Michael Biehn. We see this early film from James Cameron show all his potential to go on to make bigger projects with this still being one of his greatest achieves because of the budget this one had.

The action through this film is great because of how raw it all looks as it feels like it could easily be happening on the streets at any the present time while the special effects still stand the test of time. The concept behind the story comes off feeling so original for the time even if elements of this have been copied in recent years that this truly is one of the classics of the genre and film history.

 

Overall: Easily one of the most icon and brilliant films ever put to film.

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Body Double (1984)

bodyDirector: Brian De Palma

Writer: Brian De Palma, Robert J Avrech (Screenplay) Brian De Palma (Story)

Starring: Craig Wasson, Melanie Griffith, Gregg Henry, Deborah Shelton, Guy Boyd, Dennis Franz

 

Plot: A young actor’s obsession with spying on a beautiful woman who lives nearby leads to a baffling series of events with drastic consequences.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Long Thriller

 

Story: Body Double starts when Jake Scully (Wasson) is working on his latest film only to return home finding his partner cheating on him. When Jake meets fellow actor Sam (Henry) he offers him a place to stay as puts his life back together. This new location while only temporary gives him a view into the beautiful Gloria (Shelton) apartment where she puts on these dancing shows every night.

Jake becomes obsessed with Gloria following her around town only to find that she is being stalked by someone else who has a much deadlier motive. When Gloria is murdered Jake discovers the moves to be similar to porn star Holly Body (Griffith). This leads him to investigate what the connection between the two is.

Body Double is a thriller that tries to create a mystery thriller but takes way too long to get going. Think Read Window just done in a much slower method with a few extra twists along the way. This is really a thriller that is a murder based film trying to figure what happened while trying to clear his own name along the way. My big question would really be how did it take slow long to Holly who is meant to be one of the top billed stars of the film? The stalking scenes are easy to ready giving the film no suspense on them because Jake pretty much stands next to the girl. This is a thriller that really has dated and doesn’t capture the suspense needed for the style of film.

 

Actor Review

 

Craig Wasson: Jake Scully is a struggling actor down on his luck who is giving a luxury place to look after while he gets back on his feet. While in this house he starts to watch a beautiful neighbour who enjoys an explicit dance every night, becoming obsessed with this lady he finds himself in the middle on a murder case where only a porn star can help him get to the truth. Craig is good in this role but never convince in the leading role.jake

Melanie Griffith: Holly Body is a porn star that Jake notices has the same moves as the girl across the way, Jake tracks her down to figure out how she fits into the picture of the murder. Melanie is good once she turns up but I think we would have liked to have met her character sooner.

Gregg Henry: Sam is the man who gives Jake the house to stay in, he also points out about the neighbour but what is his real motives about placing Jake in the house. Gregg is important to final outcome but doesn’t get enough time.

Deborah Shelton: Gloria is the beautiful lady across the way from the house Jake is staying in, she is being followed by someone and Jake wants to figure out who it is while she becomes the victim of her own stalker. Deborah is good in this role.

Support Cast: Body Double has a supporting cast which mostly involves typical Hollywood members.

Director Review: Brian De PalmaBrian gives us a thriller that is slowly paced which doesn’t reach all of its potential.

 

Crime: Body Double gives us a good crime story but doesn’t give us enough on it.

Mystery: Body Double leaves us wondering what is going on once the first home invasion angle.

Thriller: Body Double does try to try to keep us guessing from start to finish.

Settings: Body Double puts us into a setting of Hollywood where we see a darker side.
Special Effects
: Body Double has good effects throughout whenever needed.

Suggestion: Body Double is on to try its slow pace might turn people off. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Good idea.

Worst Part: Too long.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: Yes

 

Awards: Nominated for a Golden Globe

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: You can’t believe everything you see.

 

Overall: Slightly too slow for my liking but solid thriller never the less.

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