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

 

 

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Against All Odds (1984)

Director: Taylor Hackford

Writer:  Eric Hughes, Daniel Mainwaring (Screenplay)

Starring: Rachel Ward, Jeff Bridges, James Woods, Alex Karras, Jane Greer, Richard Widmark

 

Plot: A gangster hires an ex-football player to find his girlfriend. When he finds her, they fall in love, and the twists start to appear.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Twisty Thriller

 

Story: Against All Odds starts as veteran American football Terry Brogan (Bridges) gets cu from his team, wanting to take legal action it is his former friend and gangster Jake Wise (Woods) that hires him to track down a woman Jessie Wyler (Ward) daughter of Terry’s former employer.

Terry ends up doing the job with both sides fighting to pay him to finds Jessie, Terry uses this as a chance for a paid vacation even after locating Jessie who he gets to spend time with and fall in love with. Soon not everything is as it seems and Terry finds himself needing to fight for his own life too.

 

Thoughts on Against All Odds

 

Characters/PerformanceTerry Brogan is a veteran American footballer, his career is about to be ended on the field due to injuries and after not saving money in his life, he finds himself with nothing. Terry finds himself needing to work for both Mrs Wyler and Jake Wise from different sides to locate Jessie but soon he finds himself in bigger trouble. Jessie is the daughter of the owner of the football team and former lover of Jake Wise, she has gone into hiding for her own reasons with Terry searching for her to hopefully return to the States. Jake is the gangster that has details on Terry which could ruin his legacy but offers him money to find Jessie for him.

Performance wise, Jeff Bridges is good as he always is through any film he steps into and shows that he was always going to be a big name, Rachel Ward is good but doesn’t reach the levels of Bridges and James Woods can always splay the creepy figure which is why we love him so.

StoryA former sports star needs money and takes a risky job for a shady figure to earn the money and not have his career exposed. This all seems like a simple enough story and one we can all follow nicely. We have twists along the way which try to put u in the wrong direction but otherwise everything is all simple enough to enjoy for an 80s style of film.

Action/Adventure/Crime/RomanceWhen we break down the genres we get plenty to go through but the reality is that because we focus on too many we don’t get a strong enough side to any of them with each part being the first part of the generic of any of them.

SettingsThe two main settings are LA which is the one we can all understand as being the glitz and glamour with the crimes taking place in while the Mexico setting shows us the calm before the storm.

Final ThoughtsThe 80s were a decade of films with unlikely heroes taking over the leading roles in action like films and this was no different, it can be enjoyed throughout the film.

 

Overall: Thriller that just says 80s all over it.   

Rating

 

 

David Lynch Weekend – Dune (1984)

Director: David Lynch

Writer: David Lynch (Screenplay) Frank Herbert (Novel)

Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Virginia Madsen, Francesca Annis, Sean Young, Sting, Everett McGill, Patrick Stewart, Max von Sydow

 

Plot: A Duke’s son leads desert warriors against the galactic emperor and his father’s evil nemesis when they assassinate his father and free their desert world from the emperor’s rule.


Tagline – You are about to enter a world where the unexpected, the unknown, and the unbelievable meet.

Runtime: 2 Hours 17 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Ambitious Sci-Fi Film

 

Story: Dune starts as we learn about a single planet in the universe which contains a substance known as ‘Spice’ which is the most important item in the universe as it aids in space travel, four planets have plans to take control of the planet but the residents of the planet that remain a mystery to all.

Paul Atreides (MacLachlan) becomes the key to the peace between the planets, he heads to the planet after preparing for every known obstacle that could get in his way. The evil Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (McMillan) is planning to kill the Duke, Paul’s father and take control of Dune, can Paul fulfil his destiny and be the one to protect and save the people from this evil ruler.

 

Thoughts on Dune

 

Characters – Paul Atreides is our hero, he is the son of the Duke of the family that run by the planet of Dune, he is learning about the secrets of the planet and becomes the one person that can lead the defence from the enemy waiting to take over the planet, ending the peace. Doctor Kynes is he man that understands how the planet works, one of the resident of the planet, but he does understand how to make the best of the spice. Feyd Rautha is one of the generals set to kill the Atreides’ by Baron Harkonnen, he has swagger while enjoying the kill. Lady Jessica is the mother of Paul, she has the power of controlling minds even though she has gone against the desires of the family by having a son. Gurney Halleck is the man that has trained Paul in combat for years preparing him for any enemy attacks he may face.

PerformancesThe performances here work for the film Kyle MacLachlan is the leading performer and makes for a good leader in the film, the rest of the cast do embrace their characters well without looking out of place.

StoryThe story does give us a lot to take in during the first hour, we must learn who is on whose side, what their plans are and just how big the world we are entering is. This can take time to process which does make for a weaker start to the movie. The second half of the film does become a battle preparation which is a lot more interesting even if a large portion is set in montage scenes. This does feel like a story that needed more time to make it easier to follow, but for a one off viewing you can see the confusion placed on parts of the film.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action side of the film comes from the battle sequences which are highly sci-fi based with the laser guns and explosion, this is an easy part of the film to watch. Diving further into the sci-fi side of the film we have an intergalactic battle for the rule of a planet which holds the key to everything.

SettingsThe settings put us on the planet of Dune, it shows us the bleak vision of the planet but the importance of what it holds.

Special EffectsThe effects for the time would have been great, while they have dated they are worth praising for how they re-defined cinema.


Scene of the Movie –
Taming the Worm.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There is a lot to take in.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sci-fi film with ambitious that is just too much for the ideas behind everything. this is a film that can be enjoyed unless you have read the source material where you might feel disappointed.

 

Overall: Sci-fi ambitious not reaching the levels.

Rating

 

 

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

Rating

 

 

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