Franchise Weekend – The Karate Kid Part II (1986)

Director: John G Avildsen

Writer: Robert Mark Kamen (Screenplay)

Starring: Pat Morita, Ralph Macchio, Yuji Okumoto, Danny Kamekona, Tamlyn Tomita, Nobu McCarthy

 

Plot: Daniel accompanies his mentor, Mr. Miyagi, to Miyagi’s childhood home in Okinawa. Miyagi visits his dying father and confronts his old rival, while Daniel falls in love and inadvertently makes a new rival of his own.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Sequel

 

Story: The Karate Kid Part II starts 6 months after Daniel’s (Macchio) big competition win, his girlfriend has left him and now he must get ready to move once again only for Mr Miyagi (Morita) taking Daniel in. when Miyagi receives a note about his father being very ill, he takes Daniel to Okinawa to return to the past where Miyagi left a loved one behind to be with his best friend Sato (Kamekona) who become his biggest rival.

When Miyagi returns to his home village he learns things have changed but Yukie (McCarthy) never married, where Daniel strikes up a relationship with Kumiko (Tomita) which causes a new rivalry in the village.

 

Thoughts on The Karate Kid Part II

 

Characters – Daniel now lives with Miyagi, his girlfriend has left him and his mm has moved for work, he gets to experience a new culture when he goes to Okinawa, the home of Miyagi and soon finds himself in the middle of a battle while also falling in love again. Miyagi takes Daniel in, but when his father is dying he returns home where he must face his old love, his old friend and now sworn enemy Sato, as we learn about his past. Sato is the old rival of Miyagi who has been waiting for a chance to prove his honour against Miyagi, he lets him have the honour of mourning his father’s death before demanding the fight. Chozen is the hot-headed nephew of Sato that takes an instant dislike to Daniel, he has learnt the hate to reach levels higher than Sato

PerformanceRalph Macchio continues from where he left of as the excitable teenager learning the calmer style of karate. Pat Morita is again great as Mr Miyagi showing his characters calm and grace through each situation. Danny Kamekona and Yuji Okumoto both make for goo enemies for our heroes too.

StoryThe story continues to show the relationship between Daniel and Miyagi, even though they just write out Daniel’s girlfriend and mother in one sentence. Moving the action to Japan works because it helps us learn more about Miyagi’s past where he has rivals waiting for him, loves left behind but his beliefs will keep calm even through the toughest situations. This does continue the story well, it opens new doors without closing them either.

Action/Family/RomanceThe action is restrained this time, we don’t get many fights and the ones we get are very short lived. The family side of the film will hopefully teach the value of family and honour, the romance side of the film has the idea of dealing with lost love and the start of a new love with someone from a different culture, which was nice to see.

SettingsMoving the story to Japan gives us a new prospective on everything, it helps Daniel learn about new cultures too.

Scene of the Movie – Final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It hits at more fights then we get.

Tagline – This time, the combat is real.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good sequel to a much-loved original film, which is something that we would like to see more often, it builds on the world and the mystery about Miyagi.

 

Overall: Good sequel for all to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

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

 

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