Chorus Line (1985)

This is a movie I got to watch from a special Park Circus Cinema showing in my local theatre.

Director: Richard Attenborough

Writer: Arnold Schulman (Screenplay) James Kirkwood Jr, Nicholas Dante (Book)

Starring: Michael Douglas, Terrence Mann, Michael Blevins

 

Plot: Hopefuls try out before a demanding director for a part in a new musical.


Tagline – One singular sensation

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Musical

 

Story: Chorus Line starts as the latest Broadway musical is casting the chorus line, director Zach (Douglas) and his choreographer Larry (Mann) have 100s of hopefuls that want this big break. We see scores of auditions going on with the numbers whittled down to 16 hopefuls, 8 women and 8 men, with former star of the show Cassie (Reed) trying to get Zach to give her a chance to audition.

We watch how the hopefuls must prove their quality to Zach so they can be in this latest show, we see how they have come from different backgrounds with their own motives for going into this field.

 

Thoughts on Chorus Line

 

Characters – Zach is the director of the show, he needs perfection and knows what he is looking for, he pushes the auditions to the limits, but gives them the motivation they need to improve for their next audition. Larry plays the nice guy, he will put his arm around anyone that needs help, to deal with the short tempered Zach, he has worked with people like this for years and knows the weakness they can hold. Cassie was once Zack’s top dancer, when things have changed she wants to return to be just one of the chorus line, a direction Zack doesn’t believe she should go in.

PerformancesMichael Douglas is now the biggest name in this movie, he does stand out because of his role as the director showing the calmness when looking out for the dancers, but the strictness while putting them back in their place. Terrence Mann is strong in this role too, we see just how important this is to his character. When it comes to the dancers they are all great through the film too.

StoryThe story shows us the routine a group of dancers must go through to try and make an impact on Broadway, we see how they have come from different background with a common dream to break the moulds of what is the normal. The whole film takes place over the one day of auditions which show how the process must go through to be selected and we are left to feel their stories and desperation to make an impact.

MusicalThe musical numbers are enjoyable through the film, with a number of the performers having their own song to make them stand out.

SettingsThe film takes place on just the Broadway location, where we see the performers on the stage, this is nice because we clearly see how this could be a live performance too.


Scene of the Movie –
Paul’s story.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We have slightly too many performers to whittle down for duration.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good musical, that translates well to screen and to the stage, we have good performance and good songs too.

 

Overall: Musical for all the fans of the genre.

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – Cocoon (1985)

Director: Ron Howard

Writer: Tom Benedek (Screenplay) David Saperstein (Story)

Starring: Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn, Brian Dennehy, Jack Gilford, Steve Guttenberg, Maureen Stapleton

 

Plot: When a group of trespassing seniors swim in a pool containing alien cocoons, they find themselves energized with youthful vigour.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Sci-Fi Film

 

Story: Cocoon starts as we enter the retirement home where Art (Ameche), Ben (Brimley), Joe (Cronyn) and Bernie (Gilford) like to sneak off to the neighbouring abandoned property for swimming, but when Walter (Dennehy) and his cousins rent the property they lose their hide away.

When it turns out Walter and his family are aliens, the guys from the retirement home get to continue using the swimming pool which seems to cure their illness and making them young once again giving them a new lease for life but how long can this last.

 

Thoughts on Cocoon

 

Characters – Art, Ben and Joe are the three retirement home guests that enjoy breaking the rules swimming in the neighbour’s pool but when new neighbours rent the place they start to become younger again leading to their friendship being tested as they need to learn to keep the secret. Walter is the leader of the aliens that is trying to save the few that we left behind all those years ago, he wants peace and quiet but is willing to let the guys use the pool.

PerformanceThe performances from the whole cast are great, be it the retirement home guys, the aliens or younger folk. The whole cast comes together to make this a film about uniting as one.

StoryThe story here shows us how elderly people in retirement homes do want to continue their lives like how they used too, we also see how not all aliens are bad they just come in peace. We do get to see how people can get affected by being given a chance at the fountain of youth and how this gives people the wrong idea of how to act if they were given this chance. overall the story shows us that people are going to take advantage of a chance to youth or death they will get carried away.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi side of this film brings us the into the world where aliens do exist but in peace which is a nice swap for what we are used too.

SettingsThe retirement home setting takes us to a location we don’t see often in this genre, it shows us the unity between the residents as they take their risks to remain young.

Special EffectsThe effects for the time were fantastic and to be honest they have barely aged a day while watching for the first time in 2017.

Scene of the Movie – The full breakout.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The carers are a bit shit.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the all time classic sci-fi films, it has heart, aliens and a story that shows how people should be treating each other.

 

Overall: Wonderful sci-fi experience.

Rating

 

 

Weird Science (1985)

Director: John Hughes

Writer: John Hughes (Screenplay)

Starring: Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly LeBrock, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Bill Paxton Suzanne Snyder, Judie Aronson, Robert Downey Jr

 

Plot: Two high school nerds attempt to create the perfect woman, but she turns out to be more than that.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: 80’s Teen Comedy Fun

 

Story: Weird Science starts as we meet our two social outcasts high school students Gary Wallace (Hall) and Wyatt Donnelly (Mitchell-Smith) who tired of being shunned by the girls at school, decide to build their perfect woman on a computer. This creates their perfect woman, Lisa (LeBrock) who they gave intelligence to go with her sexiness.

Lisa shows the boys a good time as well as teaching them to stand up for themselves be it Wyatt over his military school brother Chet (Paxton) or Gary when it comes to talking to woman. The two boys learn so much from Lisa so they will be ready for the real world.

 

Thoughts on Weird Science

 

Characters/PerformanceGary is the slightly more confident of the two boys, he stays positive through all the bad things that have happened to the two, but he can get them in trouble too. Wyatt is the constantly worrying of the two, he is the computer whiz that does the technical side of creating Lisa. Lisa is the created woman that finds a way to bring out the best in the boys as she is a free spirit that will let the boys see the new vision on life.

Performance wise, Hall was one of the go to teen stars of the time and this shows why he was great in these geek like roles, Mitchel-Smith was also good through the film too showing he could handle the teen comedy genre. Kelly LeBrock fits the role perfectly looking the part needed for the sexy woman the boys couldn’t understand.

StoryThe story does follow two nerds that don’t fit in getting shown the way to fit in by just being themselves rather than trying to impress others. This story fits into the 80 style of storytelling with an over the top idea into a fantasy film.

Comedy/Romance/Sci-FiThe comedy clicks for the time even if some moments do come off dated in places with the romance being teen romance which is all fine and the sci-fi comes from being able to create your own woman.

SettingsThe settings show us the different environment Gary and Wyatt must go into to fit in as well as keeping the home comfortable for them.

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to 80s film this will must go down as one of the best, parts have dated now but this still does what teen comedies should do throughout.

 

Overall: Classic 80s teen comedy.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror Franchise – Day of the Dead (1985)

dayDirector: George A Romero

Writer: George A Romero (Screenplay)

Starring: Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joseph Pilato, Jarlath Conroy, Anthony Dileo Jr, Richard Liberty, Sherman Howard, Gary Howard Klar

 

Plot: A small group of military officers and scientists dwell in an underground bunker as the world above is overrun by zombies.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fitting Conclusion to Trilogy

 

Story: Day of the Dead starts by taking us to the world now completely over run with zombies as we follow a group of survivors including Sarah (Cardille), John (Alexander), Miguel (Dileo Jr) and Rhodes (Pilato) who are hiding out in an underground military bunker.

We see the tensions rising early on between the military side and the scientific side within the bunker as Dr ‘Frankenstein’ Logan (Liberty) has been working finding out more about the zombies. When the tensions reach boiling point we see the base breakdown much like how we have become familiar with through the series of films.

Day of the Dead was set to be the final part of the original trilogy and it continues to bring us further into the world overrun by zombies. This time we don’t get any build up to who these characters are but we know the relationship between the two different minds has been strained to the limits, this is a huge plus because too often we spend time having to meet characters and work out their relationships. Another interesting plus to this film is the concept behind trying to teach the zombies as we look into the idea they will be learning from what has been happening. This might well be the weakest of the three films but it does have one of the most iconic scenes with Bud the zombie using the gun.

 

Overall: This is the weakest off the three but still a classic in it own right.

Rating80

 

 

Jeffrey Combs Weekend – Re-Animator (1985)

Director: Stuart Gordon

Writer: Dennis Paoli, William Norris, Stuart Gordon (Screenplay) H.P. Lovecraft (Story)

Starring: Jeffrey Combs, Bruce Abbott, Barbara Crampton, David Gale, Robert Sampson, Gerry Black

 

Plot: A dedicated student at a medical college and his girlfriend become involved in bizarre experiments centering around the re-animation of dead tissue when an odd new student arrives on campus.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One for All Horror Fans

 

Story: Re-Animator starts as we see Dr Herbert West (Combs) latest experiment in Switzerland go terribly wrong he returns to America. Back in America he joins the class with highly regarded student Dan Cain (Abbott) to which he roommates with. It doesn’t take long for Dr West to clash with his teacher Dr Hill (Gale) who has been doing similar studies with different results.

When Dan learns of Herbert’s experiments he agrees to help in the studying much against his girlfriend Megan (Crampton) and her father Dean Halsey’s (Sampson) wishes, this leads to Herbert getting kicked out and lots of sneaking around, as they look to prove you can bring the dead back to life.

When Herbert and Dan bring someone back from the dead Dr Hill gets jealous and want to steal the abilities they have as his own research leading to the bodies to pile up because when people come back from the dead they are all the deadlier.

 

Thoughts on Re-Animator

 

Characters/PerformanceDr Herbert West is the scientist determined to prove you can bring the dead back to life, he is socially awkward and always believes he is correct. He will do anything to prove his science. Dan is the honest medical student who has a bright future a head of himself but soon finds himself caught in the middle of West and Hill experiments. Megan is the innocent girlfriend of Dan and daughter of the Dean. Dr Hill also believe he knows everything when it comes to dealing with the human brain but once Wet arrives he wants to learn from his ideas to steal them as his own.

Performance wise, Jeffrey Combs shines in this role as he is both creepy and brilliant in his delivery of his lines. Bruce Abbott is good as this character with Barbara Crampton makes for an iconic couple of scenes in horror. David gale is good as the jealous doctor fully making us believe his desires.

StoryThe story is clearly the next advancement of the Frankenstein idea with a scientist who wants to bring people back to life. This does have enough of twist to be its own story and brings in a fresh approach to how the reanimating is performed, we do also have the mad scientist and a love story that makes this a very entertaining horror film.

Comedy/Horror/Sci-FiThere are moments of comedy in this film and I sure people will have a laugh or two, the horror adds to both the comedy and sci-fi elements of the film because we get to see graphic kill and body horror in this film. the idea of bringing people back from the dead helps with the sci-fi side of the story.

SettingsThe settings used in this film do come off the normal for the style of film with the morgue scene being the most iconic of all of the settings being used.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all practical ones and they all look fantastic even after 32 years, this is just amazing to see what they did.

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to horror I do think this is something all the horror fans will enjoy, the effects are brilliant the graphic blood also makes it feel over the top too.

 

Overall: Must watch for all horror fans.

Rating