ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – U – Uncle Buck (1989)

Director: John Hughes

Writer: John Hughes (Screenplay)

Starring: John Candy, Jean Louisa Kelly, Gaby Hoffman, Macaulay Culkin, Amy Madigan, Elaine Bromka, Garrrett M Brown

 

Plot: Bachelor and all round slob, Buck, babysits his brother’s rebellious teenage daughter and her cute younger brother and sister.


Tagline – He’s crude. He’s crass. He’s family.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Comedy

 

Story: Uncle Buck starts when Cindy (Bromka) and Bob Russell (Brown) must rush out of town, the only option is to turn to Bob’s brother Buck (Candy) to look after their three kids, eldest Tia (Kelly), Maizy (Hoffman) and Miles (Culkin), they know it is a risk, but it is their only option.

We follow how Buck always keep a happy face on the situation regardless of how people are treating him, with the laughs coming from the misfortunes.

 

Thoughts on Uncle Buck

 

Characters – Buck Russell is the unreliable brother to Bob, he struggles to keep a job, stay in a relationship, but in his time of need Buck comes to babysit his nieces and nephew, his methods do offer more love than the kids are normal even if the eldest doesn’t like the attention. Tia is the teenage daughter that believes she could have looked after her young siblings, she doesn’t like having Buck around and would rather be off partying with her boyfriend. Miles is the son that takes a shine to Buck because he is willing to play along with his games. Maizy is the younger daughter who needs the attention, she misses her mother and Buck does the best to comfort her.

PerformancesJohn Candy is brilliant in this leading role, he gets moments where he gets to show his comedy style, while also handling the serious side to his character. Jean Louisa Kelly is good in her role because you instantly don’t like her even though she is playing the typical moody teenager. The two youngster Culkin and Hoffman both give us good performances for their age, Culkin does get a lot of the better funny scenes of the two.

StoryThe story here follows the unwanted uncle forced to look after his nieces and nephews as a last resort. We see how he gives everything to make sure they are kept safe even if not everything is going well with household chores. This story does get to focus on certain family relationship that could be strained through time, even if the person means well with their actions. It does play into the unlikely person being the most important person in a child’s life when they need them most.

Comedy The comedy in the film lets John Candy handle his style, show how Culkin was going to be a mega star with how cute kid routine which steals nearly every scene.

SettingsThe film takes us to a suburban neighbourhood where the family lives to keep the story flowing with the heart and soul is needs.


Scene of the Movie –
Quick questions between Miles and Buck.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Miles and Maizy do take the back burner for the second half of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun comedy that lets the star show his skills and gets laughs every time it goes for.

 

Overall: Laugh out loud moment.

Rating

 

 

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Society (1989)

Director: Brian Yuzna

Writer: Rick Fry, Woody Keith (Screenplay)

Starring: Billy Warlock, Devin DeVasquez, Evan Richards, ben Meyerson, Charles Lucia

 

Plot: An ordinary teenage boy discovers his family is part of a gruesome orgy cult for the social elite.


Tagline – It is not what you think it is.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Shock Filled Horror

 

Story: Society starts as high school student Bill Whitney (Warlock) has always had feelings of not fitting in with his family and soon he starts to believe something unusual is going on for the high society of the local area.

It only gets worse when students start going missing and the deeper Bill searches into the mystery the darker the truth is as it ends up becoming one of the most shocking truths about a cult his family is part of.

 

Thoughts on Society

 

Characters – Billy is the high school student that is starting to question what the truth is about his family, but the more he investigates the dark the truth actually is. He does have a bright future if he does just follow the trends but once he questions things this future is almost gone. Clarissa is a seductive fellow student that does seem to know what is going on but understand Billy needs to be on the right path to survive the next step. Milo is the best friend that helps Billy learn the truth.

PerformancesBill Warlock is good in this leading role where he doesn’t understand what is going on, it was a role we saw a lot in the late 80s for the high school guys. Devin DeVasquez is good too as we see the seductive character come through. The higher society performances are good because you understand how they will be looking down on everyone.

StoryThe story follows a teenager not believing he is fitting in, but the spin comes from the complete truth to what he isn’t part off. The story does tackle the idea of searching for the truth but also takes on the idea of high society believing they are better than other people. This could be looking deeper into the meaning but still we are left in shock with the truth about everything.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy from this film comes from the darker side of how high society believes they are to others, so much so that they are a different species. The horror comes from the gore and effects used in the final scene of the movie which brings us complete and utter shock.

SettingsThe films settings get to show us the different class of people we will be dealing with, where we see the higher society side of things compared to the everyday people.

Special EffectsThe practical effects used here are fantastic to create the final act of the movie which is one you definitely won’t be forgetting any time soon.


Scene of the Movie –
Orgy

That Moment That Annoyed Me I feel we needed an opening reason for Billy to question his position in the family.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most shocking body horror movies of all time, it shows us just how the different classes could have a divide that is could be a different species.

 

Overall: One of the body horror fans.

Rating

 

 

Robin Williams Weekend – Dead Poets Society (1989)

Director: Peter Weir

Writer: Tom Schulman (Screenplay)

Starring: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles, Gale Hansen, Dylan Kussman, Allelon Ruggiero

 

Plot: English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.


Tagline – He was their inspiration. He made their lives extraordinary.

Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the Greatest Movies

 

Story: Dead Poets Society starts as the new school year is starting at an elite boarding school for boys, Todd Anderson (Hawke) is following in his brother’s footsteps by attending, shy and not fitting in with the others. Neil Perry (Leonard) is the charismatic leader of a study group, following his father’s instruction to become a doctor, he welcomes Todd into their group.

The English teacher is a former student John Keating (Williams) who uses different methods to get his message over, including letting the boys know about his former club, ‘The Dead Poets Society’ this gives the boys a chance to experience poetry, both reading and writing, giving the boys a life lesson, no teacher could ever teach them.

 

Thoughts on Dead Poets Society

 

Characters – John Keating is the English teacher that has returned to the school he attended to teach the boys. He has unorthodox methods to teach life lessons to show them that learning doesn’t have to be boring, it can be enlightening. Todd Anderson is the shy new guy in the school, he is taken under the wing by the confident Neil and with both Neil and John motivating him to come out of his shell, he becomes the boy with the potential. Neil Perry is the class leader of the students, he is confident even though he is living the life his father wants him to, the father than has control over him, he pushes by following his own dreams of being an actor, showing the pressure a parent can put on their children.

PerformancesRobin Williams was at the peak of his talents here, he shines in his role which isn’t as loud as previous films, he keeps his performance restrained which is needed to be the leader his character it to the boys. Ethan Hawke is good in this movie, he did break out with his performance of a character that is the one that needs to come out of his shell the most. Robert Sean Leonard is wonderful, he shows the strength around the fellow students and the weakness around his father, which gives us the perfect example of the pressure his character would be feeling.

StoryThe story follows the one teacher that wanted to teach his students to follow their dreams, show their potential to the world, instead of just being part of the system. We follow part of the year which shows how John Keating inspires the boys to go come out of their shells, one to become the person he is hiding from, another to go against his father’s wishes, one to stand up against the whole system and one to be able to show his love for a girl. This shows us that not everything needs to be by the book and different directions can help people learn more than ever before.

ComedyThe comedy for the film helps take the film to a light-hearted nature instead of just being a serious drama which is what John Keating is trying to show the boys, life isn’t all serious.

SettingsThe film takes part in the boarding school, this shows the rules and regulation the boys are being taught to follow, which gets reflected in how the boys are being taught differently by Keating.


Scene of the Movie –
Oh Captain, My Captain!

That Moment That Annoyed Me I hate these types of schools.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the great movies of the 80’s one of the best of Robin Williams career and one that should inspire all to achieve greatness.

 

Overall: Simply Great.

Rating

 

 

Turner & Hooch (1989)

Director: Roger Spottiswoode

Writer: Dennis Shryack, Michael Blodgett, Daniel Petrie jr, Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr (Screenplay) Dennis Shryack, Michael Blodgett (Story)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Mare Winningham, Craig t Nelson, Reginald VelJohnson, Scott Paulin, J C Quinn, John McIntire

 

Plot: A detective must adopt the dog of a dead man to help him find the murderer.


Tagline – The Oddest Couple Ever Unleashed!
Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Comedy

 

Story: Turner & Hooch starts as investigator Scott Turner (Hanks) is showing his replacement David Sutton (VelJohnson) to ropes around the city, with two days until he leaves, one of his locals Amos is murdered with his bull mastiff Hooch guarding his body.

With Hooch being almost uncontrollable the only person he will listen to is the ultra-clean Turner that takes him in as he searches for his owner’s killer.

 

Thoughts on Turner & Hooch

 

Characters – Scott Turner is a detective that is about to leave for highway patrol. He has great relationship with the people in his small town and when one of his friends is murdered he ends up being left in control of his dog Hooch, Hooch opens his world to new company and just maybe staying.  Hooch is the French Mastiff (I think) that Turner takes in, he is the only witness to the murder of his owner, he is hard to control but has a heart of gold. Emily Carson is the vet that Turner first goes to but offers a relationship for Turner. We don’t learn much about the villains which is a big draw back.

PerformancesTom Hanks is fantastic in this movie showing his comic time through every scene, having great chemistry with Hooch and being the character who is meant to be leaving. It would be fair to say that Hanks is that good we don’t get enough time on the other characters to judge the performances.

StoryThe story here is thin to say the least, we have a guy who has never looked after a dog needing to take one on to solve a case. The problem is we spend nearly an hour watching the two build their relationship leaving only about 30 minutes focusing on solving the crime. The story is what you expect and very simple to follow but still enjoyable enough.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy comes from nearly every scene with Turner and Hooch being the miss matched pairing, this is easily the strongest part of the film. the crime side does get forgotten for a large part and doesn’t feel like there is much investigating going on.

SettingsThe small town setting does help us understand the situation we find ourselves in where nearly everyone knows everyone.


Scene of the Movie –
Shopping for Hooch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t spend enough time on the crime side of the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable comedy that has plenty of laughs through the film, Hanks shines in his role but we are lacking more from the crime side of the film.

 

Overall: Great enjoyable comedy.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Karate Kid Part III (1989)

Director: John G Avildsen

Writer: Robert Mark Kamen (Screenplay)

Starring: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Robyn Lively, Thomas Ian Griffith, Martin Kove, Sean Kanan

 

Plot: Ostracised villain John Kreese attempts to gain revenge on Daniel and Miyagi, with the help of a Vietnam War comrade, the wealthy owner of a toxic waste disposal business.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Continuation of the Story

 

Story: The Karate Kid Part III starts as Daniel (Macchio) and Mr Miyagi (Morita) return to America, Daniel alone leaving his new love back in Japan, while his mother is now caring for a family member leaving Miyagi to look after the college bound Daniel. Back in America Sensei John Kreese (Kove) hasn’t recovered since the defeat of his students in the first film, teaming up with his old Vietnam soldier friend Terry Silver (Griffith) wanting to get revenge on Daniel and Miyagi.

When it the one-year anniversary of Daniel’s title win is coming around he gets invited to defend his title, but Miyagi doesn’t want him to need to defend it, the two do start their own bonsai business which Silver is determined to sabotage as he wants Daniel to be embarrassed by his new champion Mike Barnes (Kanan), while Daniel defend his title and honour against the corrupt businessman or will Miyagi convince him otherwise.

 

Thoughts on The Karate Kid Part III

 

Characters – Daniel should be going to college, but soon uses his money to start a business for Miyagi only to find himself needing to train to defend his title or face the vengeance of the fallen Sensei Kreese. Mr Miyagi wants to retire and become a bonsai plant shopkeeper, he doesn’t want to train Daniel to defend his title believing you should only use karate to defend yourself, his reluctance causes a rift between the two, though he is teaching Daniel the next lesson. Jessica is a shopkeeper across the road just visiting who starts a relationship with Daniel. Sensei John Kreese turns to his former army buddy to help him extract revenge on Daniel and Miyagi who he wants to see pay for what they did to him.

PerformanceRalph Macchio is good this time around again, he does continue to show us how his character can be misled along the way. Pat Morita keeps the calmness in his character throughout which shows us who is the right-minded person through everything. Robyn Lively is good but doesn’t get too much to do that is original to the serious. Martin Kove is good as this time we see the effects from the villain in a previous film.

StoryThe story completes the full year since the title win for Daniel, it shows how the people who were defeated will still want to get revenge. The story shows how Daniel can continue to let his emotions guide him down the wrong roads which is the new lesson Miyagi wants to teach Daniel. The romantic story feels lazy and just writing out the girlfriend from the previous film is becoming too annoying this time around. The message in the story is clear, never turn you back on the person that trains you even if something else sounds like it could be better.

Action/Family/SportsWe get more action in this film, which is fun to watch as the fights and pressure to do the fights, this does feel darker and might not be for the whole family.

SettingsTaking the action back to America works because it shows the effects of the first film on the villains.

Scene of the Movie – Dojo showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Writing out the girlfriend again.

Tagline – First it was teacher to student. Then it was father to son. Now, it’s man to man.

Final ThoughtsThis is one for the fans of the original two films, this continues the story nicely but for a one of viewing people might end up feeling confused for certain actions.

 

Overall: Franchise Fans enjoy.

Rating