Vintage Franchise – Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986)

Director: Leonard Nimoy

Writer: Harve Bennett, Steve Meerson, Peter Krikes, Nicholas Meyer (Screenplay) Gene Roddenberry (Characters)

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

 

Plot: To save Earth from an alien probe, Admiral James T. Kirk and his fugitive crew go back in time to San Francisco in 1986 to retrieve the only beings who can communicate with it: humpback whales.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Adventure

 

Story: Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home starts by picking up where the last film finished, Kirk (Shatner) and his crew are wanted for Star Fleet crimes but when an alien probe starts heading towards Earth trying to communicate, Kirk learns the origin of the signal as the signal are trying to communicate with humpback whales, a species that are extinct in the 23rd century.

Kirk takes his crew back to 1986 San Francisco in search of humpback whales but the clash of the culture makes the mission difficult. Can Kirk and his team overcome the problems to help the future Earth from being destroyed.

 

Thoughts on Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home

 

Characters – Kirk is now a fugitive because of his actions in the previous film, returning home to face the consequences he learns of an impending threat to Earth and decides to go back in time to save the day, Kirk seems to be the one that adapts to the 1980s being able to cover the problems which the others do face. Spock is still remembering who he was before his death and rebirth, his logic does get in the way for moments in the past but he is a quick learner. The crew are involved in the mission getting moments of laughs through the film which adds to the film.

PerformanceThe performances throughout do start to add the comical tone the film ends up taking, we do find ourselves getting more from the rest of the cast though who all understand how to make their character work.

StoryThe story here answers the question the fans of the show had, what if the crew were in the present day. This puts the crew in a time travel mission to find whales to save their present day, this all does sound farfetched but it works on an entertainment levels which was all we wanted from the Star Trek movies by now.

Adventure/Mystery/Sci-FiThe adventure brings our characters back in time on a time travel adventure to save the day, the mystery comes from the idea of the mysterious signal threatening Earth and we know the sci-fi side of this by now but adding in time travel too.

SettingsBring the film into the 1980s adds something to the idea of just spaceships and new world planets, it gives us the chance to see the space bound characters in a real present-day world.

Special EffectsThe effects are dropped in places to try and tell a natural story here and when used they are all fine.

Scene of the Movie – Swimming.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact whales are extinct in the future.

Final ThoughtsAfter the last disappointing outing this does turn into a fun enjoyable but never taking itself too serious addition to the Star Trek world.

 

Overall: Nice addition to the Star Trek universe.

Rating

 

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Original v Remake Weekend – The Hitcher (1986)

Director: Robert Harmon

Writer: Eric Red (Screenplay)

Starring: Rutger Hauer, C Thomas Howell, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jeffrey DeMunn, John M Jackson

 

Plot: A young man who escaped the clutches of a murderous hitch-hiker is subsequently stalked by the hitcher and framed for his crimes.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Thrills

 

Story: The Hitcher starts as student Jim Halsey (Howell) travelling across America to San Diego. Against any warnings, he might have been given he decides to pick up a hitch-hiker John Ryder (Hauer), John promises to kill Jim in the most graphic possible way. Escaping Jim witnesses the path of destruction Ryder has been leaving, this leads to Jim trying to warn people only finding himself as the prime suspect.

Ryder continues leaving bodies including cops in his path as Jim teams up with plucky waitress Nash (Leigh) to clear his name, the problem is the police and Ryder are after Jim in this suspense driven thriller.

 

Thoughts on The Hitcher

 

Characters/PerformanceJim is a young man just looking to get across country to make a new start, he is naïve in how he acts but also desperate to prove his innocence. Ryder is a hitch-hiker with a lust for blood, well killing, it doesn’t matter who you are, your age, sex or reason to be travelling along this road, he will just kill you. His emotionless enjoyment of killing is what makes him stand out. Nash sees a chance to leave this dead-end life she is living by help Jim.

Performance wise, Rutger Hauer is brilliant in this leading role full of terror in every single look he gives us. Howell is good in his role as the determined young man with Leigh giving us a good supporting role.

StoryWhen it comes to the story, this film keeps it all very simple, a young man is chased around the open roads of America by the psychopathic killer as the young man tries his best to prove he is innocent. This is all the film needs to do, keeping everything simple for us the audience to enjoy, but if you want deep character development you need to look somewhere else.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror side of the film comes as we are left wondering how we would act if this happened to us, the thrilling side comes wondering just what Ryder will do next.

SettingsKeeping the film on the open roads shows us just how difficult the situation would be to escape for our character.

Special EffectsThe special effects are only used when needed and the truck tie up scene is brilliant use of them.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple idea that reaches all the tension levels need for a thriller film, it keeps you on edge throughout the film and has a psychopath that is genuinely scary.

 

Overall: This is one of the best horror thrillers of the 80’s one that all can enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Top Gun (1986)

top-gunDirector: Tony Scott

Writer: Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr, Warren Skaaren (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Kelly McGillis, Val Kilmer, Anthony Edwards, Tom Skerritt, Michael Ironside, John Stockwell, Barry Tubb, Tim Robbins

 

Plot: As students at the United States Navy’s elite fighter weapons school compete to be best in the class, one daring young pilot learns a few things from a civilian instructor that are not taught in the classroom.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic 80s Film

 

Story: Top Gun starts as we meet rebellious hot shot fighter pilot Maverick (Cruise) and his co-pilot Goose (Edwards) who take risks but also loyal to their unit within the Navy. The pair get set to the elite training program known as Top Gun to see who is the greatest pilot the US Navy has to offer.

When the pair meet the competition the main threat is Iceman (Kilmer) and under the tutelage of Viper (Skerritt) all the pilot learn the lessons of the sky and combat but most importantly life.

Top Gun bought in this new style of action where everything was way over the top and more about the style rather than believability of what is actually happening. We get an interesting look at fighter pilots because we have a film that has the hero character in Maverick but doesn’t have a true villain because while Iceman is his rival he is right most of the time. We don’t get into any actual combat until the final act where we get to see the full training put to the test and as for the at time awkward romance angle this film ends up being everything you could see in the wildly enjoyable 80s film.

 

Overall: A film that gave birth to the wildly over the top action films.

Rating75

 

 

Jeff Goldblum Weekend – The Fly (1986)

flyDirector: David Cronenberg

Writer: Charles Edward Pogue, David Cronenberg (Screenplay) George Langelaan (Short Story)

Starring: Jeff Goldblum, Geena Davis, John Getz, Joy Boushel, Leslie Carlson, George Chuvalo

 

Plot: A brilliant but eccentric scientist begins to transform into a giant man/fly hybrid after one of his experiments goes horribly wrong.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Horror

 

Story: The Fly starts as Seth Brundle (Goldblum) is talking about his invention that can change the human history to reporter Veronica (Davis). Taking her back to his lab he shows her his teleporters and he wants her to record his moment in history.

Seth wants to be able to make his teleporter be able to teleport living creatures but after failing to teach his teleporters to learn he find himself killing the animal involved. When he finally makes a breakthrough he could well have created something to ease transportation.

When Seth jealous of Veronica’s previous relationship with Stathis Borans (Getz) he has a few drinks and puts himself through the teleporter. Seth’s rash decision finds himself mixing his own DNA with a fly and the transformation has started to take over Seth.

The Fly has a storyline which does challenge the motion of what is best for science as well as asking the questions about what happens if science goes wrong. The story itself is pretty easy to follow and builds upon what the original offered. It would be fair to say the most important aspect of this film was put into the practical effects and trying to make the transformation look as real and shocking as possible but that all helps take away what could have just been a bog standard remake. This story works because of the horror created within the effects and could easily be considered one of the best ever made.

 

Actor Review

 

Jeff Goldblum: Seth Brundle is a brilliant but loner scientist who has committed all of his time into his work but with his life’s work almost done he searches for a reporter to help tell his story. when he finally gets his machine to be able to teleport living things he enters the machine himself only to have his DNA mixed with fly only for him to transform into a life size fly. Jeff gives what could easily be his best performance if not his most famous in this role which is filled with pure terror.

Geena Davis: Veronica Quaife is a reporter looking for a story at a science event where she meets and is instantly intrigued with his story. the two become romantically involved as she witnesses the progress and eventually deconstruction of Seth. Geena is great in this role with each reaction coming off how you could see this really happening.

John Getz: Stathis Borans is the editor of the magazine that Veronica works for as well as being the former partner of her. He doesn’t want anything to do with the story but soon gets involved when he learns about the romantic side to their story in an act of jealous. John is good in this supporting role being your typical jealous former partner.

Support Cast: The Fly doesn’t have the biggest supporting cast with most just being involved in an odd scene.

Director Review: David CronenbergDavid gives us a film that is over 30-year-old and still easily one of the greatest and most shocking horror movies ever made.

 

Horror: The Fly is one of the best if not the true best body horror films ever made.

Sci-Fi: The Fly gives us an answer to what would happen if DNA got wrongly crossed and the horrific effects it can cause.

Settings: The Fly keeps most of the settings within the lab where Seth works showing us just how secretive the work he is working on is.
Special Effects
: The Fly has some of the best practical effects you’ll ever see within any film.

Suggestion: The Fly is one of the most must watch horror film you will ever see. (Must Watch)

 

Best Part: Final Transformation.

Worst Part: It might be too much for some people.

Oh My God Moment: Brundlefly.

Scariest Scene: Baboon scene.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Has one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won an Oscar for Best Make Up

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline: Something went wrong in the lab today. Very wrong.

Trivia: The famous tagline, “Be afraid. Be very afraid”, originated in this film as dialogue spoken by Veronica Quaife

 

Overall: Simple put one of the best sci-fi horror movies ever made.

Ratingcard

 

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger Weekend – Raw Deal (1986)

raw dealDirector: John Irvin

Writer: Gary DeVore, Norman Wexler (Screenplay) Lucian Vincenzoni, Sergio Donati (Story)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Kathryn Harrold, Sam Wanamaker, Paul Shenar, Robert Davi, Ed Lauter, Darren McGavin, Joe Regalbuto

 

Plot: A former FBI agent turned small-town sheriff agrees to help the FBI chief infiltrate the Chicago mafia when the FBI chief’s son is killed by them.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Action Film

 

Story: Raw Deal starts as we see the mob take down a witness protection post killing the son of Harry Shannon (McGavin). We move on to meet Mark Kaminsky (Schwarzenegger) a small town sheriff that was forced to leave the FBI with him and his wife struggling with this quiet existence.

With a phone call from Harry gives Mark a chance to regain his FBI status by going undercover in the Patrovita (Wanamaker) organisation with the promises of getting his old job back. Mark’s new identity is Joseph P Brenner and it doesn’t take long for him to start getting noticed and welcomed into the crime organisation.

Raw Deal is what you would call a typical action crime thriller from the 80s, it has nothing truly fresh but can be enjoyed from the casual viewing. We get to see the redemption story but I do feel we should have seen what Mark had done rather just hear about it. We do get a film that continues to grow Schwarzenegger reputation in the action genre.

 

Actor Review

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Mark Kaminsky/Joseph P Brenner, Mark is the former FBI agent turns small town Sheriff because of his rough justice. He lives a boring life where his wife has grown to hate him. Mark gets a chance to get his old job back by going undercover in a criminal organisation against the men which killed his former partner’s son. Arnold shows his action skills without being trying to hard.

Kathryn Harrold: Monique is a lady Mark meets in the club where he strikes up a friendship with her as the two are only ever friends but nothing more. She is trapped under the thumb of the mobsters who are making her do their scouting from the tables. Kathryn is a simple female character that never really offers too much to the main story.

Sam Wanamaker: Luigi Patrovita is the crime boss who has control of the city that Mark has to get close to, he doesn’t let people in easily but if you mess with him you won’t be around much longer. Sam makes for your typical villain in the business man type of role.

Darren McGavin: Harry Shannon is the former partner of Mark in the FBI who secretly funds the undercover mission to get revenge for the death of his son at the hands of the mob. Darren is a solid supporting character one that is typical for 80s films.

Support Cast: Raw Deal doesn’t have the most memorable supporting cast with most just being extra members of the mob for Mark to take out.

Director Review: John IrvinJohn gives us an easy to watch action film that never really tests us.

 

Action: Raw Deal has standard 8os action going on from start finish.

Crime: Raw Deal puts us into a crime world where we get to see one man undercover looking for revenge for a friend.

Thriller: Raw Deal tries to keep us on edge but we all know Arnie is never in danger.

Settings: Raw Deal doesn’t have the most memorable settings being used in the film.
Special Effects
: Raw Deal has typical effects for the time period the film was made in.

Suggestion: Raw Deal is one for a late night TV where you can sit back and relax. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: Arnie is still strong.

Worst Part: Nothing really fresh.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $8.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

Tagline: Nobody gives him a Raw Deal.

 

Overall: Easy to watch action film

Ratingcard