The Color Purple (1985)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Menno Meyjes (Screenplay) Alice Walker (Novel)

Starring: Danny Glover, Whoopi Goldberg, Margaret Avery, Oprah Winfrey, Willard E Pugh, Akosua Busia, Desreat Jackson

Plot: A black Southern woman struggles to find her identity after suffering abuse from her father and others over four decades.


Tagline – It’s about life. It’s about love. It’s about us.

Runtime: 2 Hours 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Stunning

Story: The Color Purple starts when teenage Celie Johnson (Jackson) who gets sold by her abusive father who has given up their child before giving her to Albert (Glover) who was interested in her younger sister Nettie, stuck having to help raise his three children in 1909.

With Celie (Goldberg) now grown up, she is still living with the abuse, she sees the eldest child Harpo get married to Sofia (Winfrey) who won’t take any sort of abuse, this shows Celie that she can fight back against Mister’s behaviour. We continue to see the years of household abuse that Celie lived through due to her husband and seeing the different people that comes into her family life.

Thoughts on The Color Purple

Characters – Celie Johnson was abused by her father, who fathered a child with her, one they gave up, she is sent to marry Albert and help raise his children, she is constantly abused by him who doesn’t want to let her have her own life, she sees people come and go from her life including Sofia and Shug, both offer her a new way of looking at life too, we follow four decades of her abuse which keeps her in maid like conditions in the home. Albert is the man that takes Celie to be his wife after his first wife died, he wants someone to raise his kids and do the housework for him, not letting her communicate with her sister and even meeting other women on the side. Shug Avery is one of the ladies that Albert starts sleeping with, he even lets her stay at their home, she is a singer and entertainer that isn’t going to let any man walk over her, she helps Celie breakout of the shell, even tempting her to leave. Sofia becomes the wife to one of the children, she won’t let any man or woman of any race walk over her and gets tired of how Harpo treats her, she does have a better chance of life than Celie and tries to prove to her she can have more, but at a cost.

PerformancesWhoopi Goldberg gives us a truly fantastic performance that is up there with the very best by anybody in acting history. Danny Glover gives us a truly evil father figure that makes you hate him through each action he puts Celie through. Oprah Winfrey is stunning too, showing us how somebody can recover from being broken and Margaret Avery is wonderful through the film too.

StoryThe story follows the life of young teenage girl Celie over four decades of her life, from her forced marriage and years of abuse that she suffered at the hands of the men in her life during the early 1900s. This movie shows us just how a woman was held back from her life by her controlling husband, Celie doesn’t seem to ever get mistreated by any white Americans, which is only seen against Sofia, showing that the world may have changed, but it hadn’t moved on with the acceptance of women in the family household, we do see how some of the other women do get their freedom, but due to the abuse Celie struggled to get that freedom. We don’t seem to focus on any of the real-life events which could have been going on at the same time, which might only continues to show how little Celie was allowed to see more of the world. The struggles that she goes through are very real and one that nobody should have ever seen put through.

SettingsThe film does use the settings wonderfully to show how even after the end of slavery, not everything was equal when it comes to living conditions the character find themselves in. the farmhouse and open countryside, show the opposite of the peace Celie was living.


Scene of the Movie – The letters.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We could have seen a couple of real-time events to help identify the year.

Final Thoughts This is truly a wonderful film that must be watch by all, it brings us a truly brilliant story, stunning performances and a reflection of life.

Overall: Easily in Spielberg’s top five films.

James Bond Month – A View to a Kill (1985)

Director: John Glen

Writer: Richard Maibaum, Michael G Wilson (Screenplay)

Starring: Roger Moore, Christopher Walken, Tanya Roberts, Grace Jones, Patrick Macnee, Patrick Bauchau

 

Plot: An investigation of a horse-racing scam leads 007 to a mad industrialist who plans to create a worldwide microchip monopoly by destroying California’s Silicon Valley.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 11 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Doesn’t Feel Like a Bond Film

 

Story: A View to a Kill starts when James Bond (Moore) is assigned his latest mission, one in California looking into Max Zorin (Walken) whose horses never seem to lose, this has attracted known criminals who want to invest in his horses.

James gets an invite to the mansion of Max as he investigates his other business, microchips and ones that can withstand nuclear explosion, he is taking a monopoly on the market which will leave him to demand any price and deal with the highest bidder.

 

Thoughts on A View to a Kill

 

Characters – James Bond remains the man we know, he still uses his charm to get closer to the enemy and always finds a way to get out of the trouble, he isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty when it comes to getting to the bottom of the mission. Max Zorin is the man behind the microchip monopoly, he wants to eliminate the threat of Silicon Valley before it becomes competition, but hi past time in horses paints a target on his chest. Stacey is the Bond girl for the film, she has worked with Zorin which has seen her taking a payoff to become quiet. May Day is the henchwoman this time, strong as anybody else and standing by Zorin’s side, simply to stop him ever needing to get his hands dirty.

PerformancesRoger Moore does seem to struggle more in this more serious role, he is strongest on the campy side which this film doesn’t have much off. Tanya Roberts could be the weakest Bond girl to date, mostly because she doesn’t get much to do in the film. Christopher Walken as the villain is great fun and just as menacing as you would imagine. Grace Jones makes for one of the better henchwomen, what she does is up there with the Jaws character.

StoryThe story here follows James Bond on his latest mission where he must take on a technological genius that is planning to take control of the Silicon Valley technology boom. This story does feel tonal strange because it does feel like a strong action film, only it has James Bond thrown in here, this doesn’t ever feel like a Bond story which confuses as it is an entertaining story. The stakes are high in this film and bringing that extra fear factor to everything what is unfolding here. The fact this isn’t connected to previous films helps too because it doesn’t rely on you needing to have seen them either.

Action/AdventureThe action in the film does have a few chases one with a fire truck being the most notable and the final sequence which has bodies flying everywhere.

SettingsThe film takes place in America which does work and in the San Francisco location would be right where the technology boom would be taking place.


Scene of the Movie –
Fire truck chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It never feels like a Bond movie.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great action movie which does show us just how original stories can be made, the problem is, that it struggles to feel like a Bond movie.

 

Overall: Great action movie.

Rating

 

 

Legend (1985) Movie Review

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: William Hjortsberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Mia Sara, Tim Curry, David Bennent, Alice Playten, Billy Barty, Cork Hubbert

Plot: A young man must stop the Lord of Darkness from both destroying daylight and marrying the woman he loves.


Tagline – “No Good without Evil. No Love without Hate. No Innocence without Lust. I am Darkness.” 

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Typical 80s Fantasy Film

Story: Legend starts when a young beautiful princess Lili (Sara) spends her time into woods with the handsome Jack (Cruise) she gets too close to the unicorns, touching them, breaking the rules of the land. Lili is taken by the lord of darkness to become his bride, while Jack must go on an adventure in a land that has changed because of the events to save his love Lili.

Thoughts on Legend

Characters – Jack is the handsome young man that thrives in the woods, he knows every creature and how to communicate to them, he has been teaching Lili, only he won’t give up every secret. When we see what happens he will do everything he can to try and save her from the darkness that is looking to consume her. Lili is a princess who doesn’t want to be part of the royal life, she enjoys the woodland area only her curiosity only gets her in trouble when she touches a unicorn bringing darkness to the land, being taken by the dark lord to be his wife, she is torn between being seduced by this new world and escape to the world she enjoys being part of. Darkness has been waiting for somebody to make the mistake, now he has a chance to rule by marrying Lili bringing the darkness to the world forever.

PerformancesTom Cruise does show the world that he was going to be as an actor with this role that showed his skills to the world. Mia Sara does show us that she was one of the best actresses of the 80s. Tim Curry does add the class to the role as the villain.

StoryThe story here follows a young man that must travel across a mystical land in hopes of saving his love from the darkness which has taken her. This is typical fantasy styled story that does show us how the different levels of status within the people and creatures and how the legends of the area, must be obeyed or it could affect everyone. We see how one will put a group together to risk everything to get what they want from life, with most being escape from a different situation before a showdown with the big evil.

Adventure/Fantasy/RomanceThe adventure side of the film takes Jack and other creatures on the journey to save Lili, overcoming the difficulties coming their way, in this full-blown fantasy world, showing what will be done for love.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the different challenges that face Jack along the way, each one will become an obstacle for him to overcome.


Scene of the Movie – Final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does feel to 80s.

Final Thoughts This is an 80s filled adventure that does everything it can to fit the era of release, showing just how much somebody will do for love.

Overall: Pure 80s adventure.

ABC Film Challenge – Action – Z – Zone Troopers (1985)

Director: Danny Bilson

Writer: Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo (Screenplay)

Starring: Tim Thomerson, Timothy Van Patten, Art LaFleur, Biff Manard, William Paulson, peter Boom

 

Plot: In Italy, during World War II some American soldiers find an alien UFO.


Tagline – They Take War To A New Dimension.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dated Cheesy B-Movie

 

Story: Zone Troopers starts by following an America troop in Italy during World War II, The Sarge (Thomerson) leads his men including Joey (Van Patten), Mittens (LaFleur) and new solider Dolan (Manard). The four men find themselves standard behind enemy lines.

Preparing their own escape, they learn that the German’s are not the only threat in the woods as they discover an alien ship with aliens running around the woods too.

 

Thoughts on Zone Troopers

 

Characters – The Sarge is the leader of the soldiers, he doesn’t make friends in the troop because of how many people he has lost before, he just wants to get his men home even if Dolan makes everything more difficult. Joey is the naïve member of the squad the youngster, but also the wheeler and dealer in search for the quick solution. Mittens is the tough member of the squad he will keep everything simple while doing the smarter decisions. Dolan is the newest member of the squad, which will see him try to get the story as he is a reporter.

PerformancesThe performances from the four leads play into the generic figures you would expect to see in any movie set during the war time, the actors do the best with what they get without making their characters feel like they need to standout.

StoryThe story follows four American soldiers that get caught behind enemy lines only to learn the Germans are investigating a spaceship that has crashed, the Americans and aliens team up to escape the situation, defeat the Germans for today. This is a simple story of how the Americans will be looking win the war against the Germany villains, easy enough formula just adding aliens into the mix. The story isn’t the deepest and doesn’t offer too much refreshing, only to easy to follow.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action involved in the film is all war based bullet flying without being that anything overly realistic, which does mix in with the sci-fi side of the film with the aliens being laser weapons in the action too.

SettingsThe film is set in the woods which shows the lower budget behind the film, it does show the war can put people into a situation they don’t know how to get out off.


Scene of the Movie –
The laser guns, cheesy as they come.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It hasn’t dated well.

Final ThoughtsThis is one hell of a cheesy fun action film that can just be enjoyed rather than studied.

 

Overall: Cheesy actioner.

Rating

 

 

The Jewel of the Nile (1985)

Director: Lewis Teague

Writer: Mark Rosenthal, Lawrence Konner (Screenplay) Diane Thomas (Characters)

Starring: Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner, Danny DeVito, Spiros Focas, Avner Eisenberg

 

Plot: When Joan Wilder is abducted while on a trip along the Nile, her boyfriend, Jack Colton, and pal Ralph rush to rescue her and retrieve a fabled jewel.


Tagline – When the going gets tough, the tough get going.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun 80s Adventure

 

Story: The Jewel of the Nile starts when struggling author Joan (Turner) can’t think of her latest romance novel, offered a chance to go down the Nile by Omar (Focas), she must leave her boyfriend adventurer Jack (Douglas) to explore the mystery about a mysterious jewel.

When it turns out Omar isn’t the man he presented himself to Joan, Jack must team up with an old friend Ralph (DeVito) to steal the jewel back for the rightful owners and save Joan from the danger she unwittingly finds herself in.

 

Thoughts on The Jewel of the Nile

 

Characters – Jack is the adventure seeker, who travels around the world in search for his own adventure, he has his girl Joan and would give up the time with her for an adventure, only this time he must go after her to rescue her from a villainous man, he gets lucky in fights not being the first to step up and get his hands dirty. Joan is an author that is struggling to start her latest work, she goes to Omar believing it will be a new story only to find herself needing to write a story she isn’t willing to write and learn about her own feelings for Jack. Ralph is the old friend that has always clashed with Jack, he finds himself in the middle of this not prepared for where things will go. Omar is the man that has the jewel, he wants it to control the people of the land which only caused the nation to be torn about who to follow.

PerformancesMichael Douglas in the leading role is a fun choice, you wouldn’t put him down as a leading adventure star, but his performance only adds to the humour in the film, making everything more enjoyable. Kathleen Turner is good to in her role, she shows us a strong female character that does still need the man’s help. Danny DeVito gets to give us the comic relief through the film which does work at times while at other times it misses. Spiros Focas does make for a good villain role.

StoryThe story follows the events of Jack and Joan as they get caught up in another adventure in search of treasure, even though the treasure this time is a person. This is what the 80s stories were all about, we had people outside of their comfort zone battle to survive against an evil ruler trying to take over the control. It plays out like you would imagine as our characters must learn a new culture, make new friends and stumble across defeat the villain. It is an easy watch one that can be enjoyed without being overly complicated and gives us the idea of peril throughout.

Action/Adventure/ComedyThe action shows us just where the characters must fight to survive mostly from bullets flying their way on their adventure across the country hoping to survive and find the treasure. The comedy shows us not taking things too seriously when it comes to the style they survive the adventure.

SettingsThe film takes us across a Middle Eastern country in search for the treasure, it shows a culture people can easily ignore, show the good and bad in people.


Scene of the Movie –
Jet craft.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The racial jokes which wouldn’t work now.

Final ThoughtsThis is a typical 80s adventure film that will give you everything you want from the genre and help you enjoy things along the way.

 

Overall: Enjoyable adventure.

Rating