ABC Film Challenge – 80s Movies – S – Splash (1984) Movie Review

Director: Ron Howard

Writer: Lowell Ganz, Babaloo Mandel, Bruce Jay Friedman (Screenplay) Brian Grazer (Story)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Daryl Hannah, Eugene Levy, John Candy, Dody Goodman, Shecky Greene, Richard B Shull

Plot: A young man is reunited with a mermaid who saved him from drowning as a boy. He falls in love with her, not knowing who or what she is.


Tagline – She was the woman of his dreams… she had large dark eyes, a beautiful smile and a great pair of fins.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fantasy Love Story 101

Story: Splash starts as we see businessmen brothers, Allen (Hanks) who has his head straight when it comes to business, while Freddie (Candy) tends to get them both in trouble more often than not. When Allen decides to return to his family holiday home in Cape Cod, he gets to be reunited with a mermaid Madison (Hannah) who saved his life as a child and again as an adult.

Returning to New York, Allen finds that Madison has followed him their to return his wallet and finds himself needing to take care of her, as the two fall in love once again, though Madison is trying to keep her secret from Allen.

Thoughts on Splash

Characters – Allen is the straight-headed businessman, he doesn’t have much in his life outside of work with his latest relationship going down the drain and his brother always causing more problems at work. He tries to escape his work life, only to find himself returning to a holiday home, where he is saved by a mysterious woman, who later comes into his life in New York, showing him to fall in love. Madison is a mermaid, she saved Allen’s life when he was young and again when he was older, she decides to visit him in New York to spend one week with him, where she learns the culture quickly as she spends time in New York, but struggles to keep her secret safe from him. Walter is a scientist that is determined to discover a mermaid and spends most of the film trying to prove Madison is a mermaid. Freddie is the reckless brother of Allen that has always gotten him into trouble, strangely we seem to forget about him for a large part of the film.

PerformancesTom Hanks is wonderful in the leading role, he was a perfect choice for a comical lead that can do both serious and funny moments with ease. Daryl Hannah is great to bringing the beauty to the mermaid character as well as the naïve nature at times. Eugene Levy does get laughs, while John Candy gives us a couple of awkward moments.

StoryThe story here follows a man that meets what he thinks is a perfect woman, only for her to have a secret, she is a mermaid. This is a story that does focus on the idea of falling in love with somebody you might not see coming, while mixing the idea that scientists would want to make the most out of a potential new discovery. This is a story that does want you to believe somebody can fall in love over a week long time together and that your business partner won’t notice you being missing for a week.

Comedy/Fantasy/RomanceThe comedy is a mixed bag because Hanks and Levy do hit hard, while John Candy’s comedy has dated pretty badly now. The fantasy idea in the film does focus on the idea of mermaids being part of the world, with the romance needing to look at how the two people can fall in love quickly.

SettingsThe film is set in New York which does literally show Madison being a fish out of water.


Scene of the Movie – Hanks in a boat.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Freddie’s up-skirt actions.

Final Thoughts This is a fun fantasy comedy that just hasn’t dated on the same level it could have, but it does show just how talents Tom Hanks was going to be.

Overall: Dated Comedy.

ABC Film Challenge – 80s Movies – I – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) Movie Review

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz (Screenplay)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Ke Huy Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone

Plot: In 1935, Indiana Jones arrives in India, still part of the British Empire, and is asked to find a mystical stone. He then stumbles upon a secret cult committing enslavement and human sacrifices in the catacombs of an ancient palace.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom starts as Indiana Jones (Ford) looks to escape from Shanghai, which sees him joined by singer Willie Scott (Capshaw) and kid Short Round (Quan), only for them to end up crash landing in India.

Once in India Indiana finds himself trying to help a small village locate a stolen stone, only to find himself in the middle of a secret cult mixed up with enslavement and human sacrifice.

Thoughts on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Characters – Indiana Jones is back, taking part in shady deals with criminals, making narrow escapes, before showing his true nature helping a small village respect their history. He knows how to handle himself in a fight and will always be ready for his next daring escape. Willie Scott is a famous singer in Shanghai, one that is a complete diva, not wanting to be away from the glitz and glamour, she ends up being part of the team, spending more time screaming than doing anything else. Short Round is the quick talk, quick handed young boy that helps Indiana, he seems him as a father figure that could help him have a better life after his own parents death. Mola Ram leads the cult, believing they will get the power if they control the stones.

PerformancesHarrison Ford is always going to be remembered for the role of Indiana Jones, he bought the character to life with ease being one of the most iconic characters in film. Kate Capshaw does get annoying in her role, with the pure amount of screaming she puts us through, this is more about the script than her though. Ke Huy Quan does bring us the loveable sidekick for Indiana, getting laughs through the film. The villainous side of performances do well, giving us very dark characters that are prepared to do anything for their own cause.

StoryThe story here brings us another adventure of Indiana Jones as he finds himself in India trying to stop an evil cult from gaining power, after they start using the local children as slaves. This might well be a much darker tale than the first Indiana, which does make it even more enjoyable, it shows us how Indiana will do the right thing without a monetary incentive being involved, it shows him in a light that history is the most important thing to him. The idea of the secret cult of evil is very dark, it is important to reflect the darkness they are trying to create, which we see through the film. The story does leave us wanting more adventures from the Doctor.

Action/AdventureThe action involved in the film is fights, chases, daring escapes, everything you would expect to see in an adventure, with the bridge sequence being the true highlight of the adventure.

SettingsThe film uses the settings excellently, to show us the hidden world of the cult, the trap tunnels an adventure would find himself in and each location is added to the environment of the adventure sequences we follow.


Scene of the Movie – The bridge sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The crocodiles look so out of place.

Final Thoughts This is an excellent sequel that often gets overlooked compared to the other two in the trilogy.

ABC Film Challenge – 80s – B – Bachelor Party (1984)

Director: Neal Israel

Writer: Neal Israel, Pat Proft (Screenplay) Bob Israel (Story)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Tawny Kitaen, Adrian Zmed, George Grizzard, Barbara Stuart, Robert Prescott, William Tepper

 

Plot: A soon-to-be-married man’s friends throw him the ultimate bachelor party.


Tagline – Shocking, Shameless, Sinful, Wicked. And the party hasn’t even started.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wild Party

 

Story: Bachelor Party starts when Rick (Hanks) announces to his friends, Jay (Zmed), Rudy (Diamond), Gary (Grossman), Ryko (Dudikoff) that he is going to marry his girlfriend Debbie (Kitaen), which means one thing for the guys, a bachelor party. Rick is trusted by Debbie, but her father Ed (Grizzard) doesn’t like him and wants his selection Cole (Prescott) to marry his daughter.

With the bachelor party underway, the boys think they are going to have a couple of strippers, few drinks and a good time, only for Cole to bring problems to the party in his attempts to break up the couple, meanwhile Debbie is having her own quieter party with her friends, which is also in Cole’s plans.

 

Thoughts on Bachelor Party

 

Characters – Rick is considered a bit of a slacker, he drives a school bus and hasn’t ever put his life into any order, he does however decide to marry his girlfriend against her father’s wishes, he is used to getting abused by people who look down on him, though he is the friend that will always be there for a friend in need. Debbie is the future bride, she comes from a rich family which she is tired of the lifestyle that looks down on people and sees the pure nature in Rick. Jay is the best friend that is always trying to get Rick in trouble, he loves to party too. Ed is the father of Debbie, he always looks down on Rick never seeing him as good enough for his daughter and wants to end the relationship before it gets started.

PerformancesTom Hanks is the clear standout in this film, you get to see how he has a different level of acting abilities than most people in the film being able to do the sleazy moments, while bring a human friendship figure to life. The rest of the cast do work for their roles, the party animals work well, the upper-class characters and the one trying to steal the girl work too.

StoryThe story here follows a slacker that is going to marry the love of his life, but before he must have a bachelor party which soon gets out of control. This film doesn’t have the deepest story, it dives into the idea parents don’t always approve of the potential loved ones, your friends will want you have one last mad night before you get married and needing to avoid the person trying to take apart you life. This is everything that we know from the wild party film, it plays out like a checklist without being anything new, but easy to enjoy.

ComedyThe comedy in this film enters us into the wild party, we get to see how things go wrong, they will get us laughing at times even if certain jokes might not have aged well.

SettingsThe film is set in a hotel room for the party, we get to see how the guests get themselves into trouble through the night, looking for extra people to join the party.


Scene of the Movie –
3D experience.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The donkey.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun 80s party movie, which bought us an early role from Tom Hanks, it is everything you expect and can be a good time for all.

 

Overall: Simple, fun and entertaining.

Rating

 

 

The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)

Director: Frank Oz

Writer: Tom Patchett, Frank Oz, Jay Tarses (Screenplay) Tom Patchett, Jay Tarses (Story)

Starring: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Richard Hunt, Jerry Nelson, Juliana Donald, Lonny Price, Louis Zorich

 

Plot: Kermit and his friends go to New York City to get their musical on Broadway only to find it’s a more difficult task than they anticipated.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Muppet Madness Delight

 

Story: The Muppets Take Manhattan starts when Kermit and the gang graduate college and decide to head off to New York City and Broadway to get their show put on there. In New York they learn the harsh reality that they will not get an easy option, this leads to them going their separate ways, leaving Kermit to try and get the show put together.

With Kermit doing his best to sell the musical, when he finally does, he brings the gang back together, only to lose his memory and the gang must locate him before the musical debuts.

 

Thoughts on The Muppets Takes Manhattan

 

Characters – Kermit the frog is the leader of the muppets, he is the one they all turn to and pushes them to achieve their dreams, when the gang struggle to make it in New York, he is the one that must stay in the city to follow the dream while the rest return to their normal lives. He does lose his memory and starts a new life in the big city. Miss Piggy is jealous of Kermit’s friendship with Jenny and is as controlling as we know. The rest of the muppets go on their own adventures while waiting for the show to come about. Jenny is the student waitress waiting to get her big shot in the fashion industry, she helps Kermit follow his dreams. Ronnie Crawford is the one that takes a chance on Kermit, he sees potential in the group even if he isn’t telling the full truth.

PerformancesWe know the muppet characters and the masterminds behind them, they are all great, the additional characters or the real actors, Juliana Donald, Lonny Price and Louis Zorich are all good too knowing how to be part of a muppet movie without looking out of place.

StoryThe story here follows the Muppets as they look to make their names on Broadway, the idea that dreams don’t come true over night works very well because it plays into the reality that many people would have seen as achievable in time. The important side of the story does show us that there is a life away from dreams where jobs can be a back up. The story puts our characters through the usual problems as we see the gang grow as they expand to a wider audience, we know we are going to get a song and dance or two along the way which gives us plenty to work with and can just enjoy ourselves.

Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe adventure side of this film takes us to a new city for our muppets, we also see them in a life away from the group, the comedy comes from a mix of different reactions along the way to how the muppets act, we get jokes for all ages in here too. This helps give the whole family the entertainment required in this film.

SettingsNew York City, one of the best settings for any movie, this shows us how big dreams can come from going to this city.


Scene of the Movie –
The show.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain guest appearances aren’t as big as they once thought they would be.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fine addition to the Muppet franchise, it has plenty of humour, a strong story and is the one that fits in the middle of the quality of the films, behind Christmas Carol.

 

Overall: Muppet fans will always enjoy this.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The NeverEnding Story (1984)

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Writer: Wolfgang Petersen, Herman Weigel (Screenplay) Michael Ende (Novel)

Starring: Barrett Oliver, Noah Hathaway, Alan Oppenheimer, Sydeny Bromley, Tami Stronach

 

Plot: A troubled boy dives into a wondrous fantasy world through the pages of a mysterious book.


Tagline – A boy who needs a friend finds a world that needs a hero in a land beyond imagination!

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Fantasy Film

 

Story: The Never-Ending Story starts as we meet avid reader and bullied young boy Bastian (Oliver) who starts reading his latest book, ‘The Neverending Story’ while avoiding attending school. The book shows the adventure of the creatures living under an Empresses that it sick, which is causing the ‘Nothing’ taking over the land.

Atreyu (Hathaway) is the only one that can save the kingdom, but his adventure is full of challenge and heartache, even though Bastian seems to be able to interact with what happens in the fantasy land. Can Atreyu save the Empresses before it is too late?

 

Thoughts on The Never-Ending Story

 

Characters – Bastian is a lonely child, his mother has recently died, and he is struggling through school, with bullies constantly hounding him, he hides in books and now he gets his hands on this new adventure book where we follow him reading the book. Atreyu is the only one that save Fantasia and even after losing his best friend, he must find a way to save them. We have a whole host of colourful characters in this world that help Atreyu along the way of his mission.

PerformancesWe have three child actors in the main roles here, Noah Hathaway is Atreyu is great showing the strength in his innocence to be the hero of the story. Barrett Oliver as the trouble young boy is good and often becomes the narrator of the story.

StoryThe story follows a troubled young boy that finds hope in a book which takes him on an adventure that he can control where the world needs saving. This story gives our character an escape from the world that he desperately needed after everything that has and is happening to him. The adventure itself throws us into a world of wonderful creatures and isn’t afraid to make us get excited or sad along the way as the world is facing destruction unless our hero can save the day. For a family adventure film this is a fun story to follow and one that can be enjoyed by all.

Adventure/Family/FantasyThe adventure takes us across the world to see the different creatures facing the same reality of destruction. The family can enjoy this even if there are dark moments in the film, while the fantasy side of the film is wonderful to experience for an 80s film.

SettingsEach setting shows the different levels of peril that Atreyu must go through to try and save the world he is a part of, some are dark others are bright.

Special EffectsThe effects have dated in places, but the practical creature creations are a delight to see through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Entering the world.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The horse, come on who didn’t cry?

Final ThoughtsThis is a delightful fantasy adventure film for everyone to enjoy, it may well be over 30 years old but is one you can all enjoy together.

 

Overall: True classic of 80s adventure cinema.

Rating