Tango & Cash (1989)

tangoDirector: Andrey Konchalovskiy, Albert Magnoli

Writer: Randy Feldman (Screenplay)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Teri Hatcher, Jack Palance, Brion James, James Hong, Marc Alaimo

 

Plot: Two cops are framed and must clear their names.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Puntastically Fun Action Comedy

 

Story: Tango & Cash starts as we see smartly dressed Beverly Hills cop Lt Raymond Tango (Stallone) take down another drugs bust, as well as laid back street smart cop Lt Gabriel Cash (Russell) having someone try to kill him. The two have been taking down the same drug lord Yves Perret (Palance) who has a plan to get rid of the pair.

When the unlikely pair get framed for a murder of an FBI agent they both get sent to a maximum-security prison to deal with most of the men they have put away. The two must work together using both their sets of skills to bring down the biggest drug ring to have hit the city and clear their names.

Tango & Cash is an action comedy that brings us a buddy cop movie together with two of the biggest stars of the time Stallone and Russell. While the story is very generic odd couple cops must work together to solve a crime no one else believes risking their lives against seemingly endless amounts of enemies it does everything it needs to for the story. The comedy comes from the endless amounts of puns going on through the film which at times poke fun at what are used in serious film but in this are designed for the laughs.

Stallone and Russell are great together getting to poke fun at the characters they have played before with Stallone poking fun and Rambo and Russell getting an Elvis reference in once again. As for the villain, we don’t get too much time with him while the henchmen are what you would expect in these films. Hatcher is written to be tough but only their really to add an extra dimension to the relationship between Tango & Cash. In the end this is purely a great fun film that is easy to watch as long as you don’t want anything too serious.

 

Overall: 80s Fun all in one movie what more could you ask for?

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Halloween Weekend – Halloween 5 (1989)

halloweeenDirector: Dominique Othenin-Girard

Writer: Dominique Othenin-Girard, Michael Jacobs, Shem Bitterman (Screenplay) John Carpenter, Debra Hill (Characters)

Starring: Donald Pleasence, Danielle Harris, Ellie Cornell, Beau Starr, Jeffrey Landman, Tamara Glynn, Jonathan Chapin

 

Plot: One year after the events of Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers (1988), the Shape returns to Haddonfield once again in an attempt to kill his now-mute niece.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disappointing

 

Story: Halloween 5 starts by showing us what really happened to Michael Myers after the final showdown in the previous film as we see he is still alive and killing. We move forward one year where Jamie Lloyd (Harris) is inside child psychiatric home still having nightmares with her connection with Michael her Uncle.

With Jamie having a psychic connection with Michael knows when he is about to kill someone but it is only Dr Loomis (Pleasence) that is willing to listen to her warnings as Rachel (Cornell) becomes one of his victims. Can Dr Loomis put an end to this for good and save Jamie from becoming consumed by the power Michael got taken over by.

Halloween 5 comes back one year later to continue the theme of it all being set on Halloween. This time we still have no one believing Dr Loomis about the danger of Michael and we still have the kids dressing up like him for fun. We seem to be stuck in a world where plenty of people don’t know what really happened and where people are against what they once said. The jumps are nearly all false with the kills coming off plain as we see Michael seem to turn into a calculated killer who sets traps for people too. This story is really disappointing because it feels too late in the series for this to all happen in.

 

Actor Review

 

Donald Pleasence: Dr Sam Loomis is one of the few people that still believes Michael is still alive even after the last film he declared him dead and gone. He is trying to treat Jamie who is going through the same process Michael did but this time he wants and knows how to stop Jamie turning pure evil. Donald is starting to mail it in here with his over the top ramblings about saving the children when he is clearly right.

Danielle Harris: Jamie Lloyd is now in a psychiatric hospital after trying to kill her foster mother, she is also gone mute but she does have a connection with Michael that lets her know when he is about to kill someone. She just wants to be with her family but she has become too dangerous to be around them. Danielle is good with a change in direction for her character.

Ellie Cornell: Rachel is still visiting Jamie as often as she can but this time she might not be able to get away from Michael. Ellie is solid but kind of wasted in this film this time around.

Support Cast: Halloween 5 has a supporting cast which again are jut disposable with the laughable cops with comic sound effects around them too.

Director Review: Dominique Othenin-GirardDominique does solid job with the slashing side of the story but otherwise the false jump scares come off pointless taking away the actual ones.

 

Horror: Halloween 5 has good kills but otherwise the tension behind the horror is lost in this outing of the franchise.

Settings: Halloween 5 brings us back to Haddonfield but in the end leaves you wondering why the kids act the way they do.
Special Effects
: Halloween 5 has very basic slasher effects this time with it just coming off as your stabbed your dead.

Suggestion: Halloween 5 is watchable if you are doing the marathon of the Halloween films. (Marathon Only)

 

Best Part: The useless cops stating the obvious throughout the film.

Worst Part: Too many false jump scares.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $11.6 Million

Budget: $3 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline: He’s Back With A Vengeance

 

Overall: Disappointing sequel that seems to forget what the last film said.

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Shocker (1989)

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Plot: After being sent to the electric chair, a serial killer uses electricity to come back from the dead and carry out his vengeance on the football player who turned him in to the police.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Idea

 

Story: Shocker starts as we see high school football player Jonathan Parker (Berg) a young man that could have anything in the game but is easily distracted by the woman and Alison (Cooper) being the most notable. As Jonathan doesn’t go home he learns the terrible news his mother and sisters are killed by serial killer Horace Pinker (Pileggi) who is mocking his father LT Don Parker (Murphy) the man on his tale.

When Jonathan continues to learn of the whereabouts of Horace through dreams he helps the police finally capture him but not before losing Alison at the hands of the killer. After his execution doesn’t go well he continues to kill from beyond the grave with the Parker family being his main target.

Shocker brings us another twist that only Wes Craven can bring to the horror, while parts of this are just another take on Nightmare on Elm Street with the killer coming back from beyond the grave the side of the story that isn’t all work for the film. What if we did have a killer that could jump between bodies while trying to kill people well that is what this offers. It would be too hard not to see the moments that are the same to Nightmare though which is the reason this doesn’t get the love that one does.

 

Actor Review

 

Michael Murphy: LT Don Parker has been on the trail of the killer for his whole spree and becomes the target once the killer takes out his family. He has to work with his son to find the killer and bring him to justice, but he simply won’t die. Michael is good in this role as your generic cop like figure.

Peter Berg: Jonathan Parker is a young high school football player with all the potential in the world, when his family are killed by the killer he has dream about the man and what his next kill will be making it possible to finally track the man down. When the killer is executed he finds himself the target of the man. Peter is good in this role as the leading character trying to make

Cami Cooper: Alison is the girlfriend of Jonathan who helps him after a sporting injury which is why he wasn’t there when his family was killed. She becomes one of the victims in an attempt at revenge against Jonathan after he learns of Horace’s location. Cami is solid but doesn’t get enough screen time for supporting lead.

Mitch Pileggi: Horace Pinker is a serial killer that has been killing families for years and now he has targeted the office after him. Once he gets caught he shows the powers he has come to control as he continues to kill from beyond the grave. Mitch makes for an intense but never too menacing villain but one you would be afraid to run into.

Support Cast: Shocker has a supporting cast which are mostly victims for the killer to take out with only a few making more than a couple of scenes.

Director Review: Wes CravenWes gives us a horror that does come off original with good elements being used throughout.

 

Comedy: Shocker has elements of comedy but I do think this works better as a serious film.

Horror: Shocker has a good mix of horror being used with a serial killer and one that doesn’t just stay dead.

Thriller: Shocker tries to keep us on edge through the whole film but doesn’t quite pull us to the edge.

Settings: Shocker doesn’t create any iconic settings which I feel is something Craven is always great at.
Special Effects
: Shocker has effects I feel were good at the time but have dated as the times have moved on.

Suggestion: Shocker is one I feel all the Craven fans will enjoy even if it isn’t his best. (Craven Fans)

 

Best Part: The concept is very interesting.

Worst Part: The special effects have dated.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

Tagline: Mass murderer Horace pinker was put to death. Then he really got mad.

Trivia: Was originally intended to be the beginning of a three part trilogy much like “A Nightmare on Elm street” but after the lukewarm box office reception the idea was dropped. 

 

Overall: Solid addition to the Craven film collection that isn’t his best but showed his skills.

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Dead Calm (1989)

deadDirector: Phillip Noyce

Writer: Terry Hayes (Screenplay) Charles Williams (Novel)

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, Billy Zane, Rod Mullinar, Joshua Tilden

 

Plot: After a tragedy, John Ingram and his wife Rae spend some time isolated at sea when they come along a stranger who has abandoned a sinking ship.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Suspenseful

 

Story: Dead Calm starts when married couple Rae (Kidman) and John (Neill) suffer the personal tragedy when their son is killed in a car accident. To cope with the loss, the two head out to sea to get away from the world and grieve in their own way.

The couple’s peace is broken when lone survivor Hughie Warriner (Zane) whose crew have all died as the couple agree to help the stranded sailor. Whilst investigating Hughie’s boat John learns the truth about this man whose sinister side takes over as he takes control of their ship kidnapping Rae along the way. The film becomes a battle for survival from Rae point of view and John must repair the damaged boat to have any chance of saving the day.

Dead Calm keeps the story short and sweet never trying to be anything more than it needs to. We never find anything getting confusing with the most part just being a fight for survival be it on a damaged boat or stay one step ahead of a mad man. This really does make this easy to follow.

 

Actor Review

 

Nicole Kidman: Rae is dealing with the loss of her son in a car accident where she was also badly injured in. she joins her husband on their yacht sailing around the Pacific but her time of grieving is interrupted when she finds herself being held captive by Hughie. Nicole is great in this role showing a strong female character through the ordeal she finds herself in.

Sam Neill: John is the husband of Rae who just so happens to be a sailor, he takes her away to grieve the loss of their son only to find himself in a race against time using all of his skills to save from the hands of a mad man. Sam is good considering he has to spend most of the film alone.

Billy Zane: Hughie is the lone survivor from another yacht claiming his crew all died but soon we learn about his dark side as he has always been planning to hijack the next boat he came across with Rae as his prisoner. I do feel this character could have been even darker than what we got. Billy is good in this role but I feel we did need to see slightly more twisted in his character.

Support Cast: Dead Calm really doesn’t have anyone else truly involved with most extra characters only appearing in an odd scene.

Director Review: Phillip NoycePhillip gives us a tense thriller that keeps us on edge throughout.

 

Thriller: Dead Calm does keep us on edge throughout because we know just how stranded the characters are through the situation.

Settings: Dead Calm puts our characters in the middle of the ocean which shows us there is nowhere they can go to escape what is happening, perfect us of setting.
Special Effects
: Dead Calm has good effects when needed with most just really being used sparingly.

Suggestion: Dead Calm is one I would recommend seeing as it does everything you need it to do as a thriller. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Tension building.

Worst Part: A certain death.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline: High Seas. Deep Terror.

 

Overall: Suspense filled thriller.

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30th Anniversary Weekend – Back to the Future Part II (1989)

logoDirector: Robert Zemeckis

Writer: Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael J Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Lea Thompson, Thomas F Wilson, Elisabeth Shue, James Tolkan, Jeffrey Weissman, Billy Zahn

Plot: After visiting 2015, Marty McFly must repeat his visit to 1955 to prevent disastrous changes to 1985… without interfering with his first trip.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Adventure Continues

Story: Back to the Future Part II starts where the first Back to the Future ends with Doc Brown (Lloyd) Marty McFly (Fox) and his girlfriend Jennifer (Shue) going into the future, only this time Biff (Wilson) witnesses this happening. They travel to the year 2015 where Marty has to stop his son from going along with Griff’s (Wilson) plan which ends up with him in jail.

With the plan successful and the future changed Biff gets his hands on the time machine where he goes back to a young version of himself handing himself a chance to make money and rule the town.

This leads to Marty having to go back to prevent this happening and putting everything back into place so they can end up living their normal lives again.

Back to the Future Part II continues the adventure that we all loved without making it all too over the top. We get to have a story that is built around the existing story without interfering in it and even ends up entering into the idea of questioning time travel. I think this is one of the best sequels that doesn’t get as much love as it could do.

Actor Review

Michael J Fox: Marty McFly is the same teenage hot head that won’t step away from a challenge, this time he goes to the future to stop his son getting into trouble only to get himself mixed up having to change the past yet again when Biff finds out about the time machine. Michael gives us a great performance as Marty that will still get known as one of his best.marty

Christopher Lloyd: Doc Brown is our eccentric scientist who has created the time machine, he comes back from the future to help Marty change his child’s future but when things have changed he has to find a way to correct the changes made. Christopher gives us a building on an iconic character that is now part of everyday reference.brown

Thomas F Wilson: Biff is the high school bully of Marty’s father who after the events of the first film is now finally just a slacker doing odd jobs, but when his older self learns of the time machine he travels back to young Biff to help him make him rich. Biff now runs the town and his Marty’s step father controlling the whole town. Thomas gives us the best performance in the film and really should get more praise for these characters he has to play.

Support Cast: Back to the Future Part II has the supporting cast from the previous films through the time periods, be it Marty’s parents, girlfriend of Biff’s bully friends. They all help to increase the fun in the adventure in their own way.

Director Review: Robert Zemeckis – Robert returns to bring us a continuing chapter to the adventure that is left open once more.

Adventure: Back to the Future Part II brings us an adventure that goes through time itself reaching new levels to the previous outing.

Comedy: Back to the Future Part II has good use of comedy to lighten the mood in what is actually a very serious story line.

Sci-Fi: Back to the Future Part II has to be one of the best uses of sci-fi ever made with the use of time travel.

Settings: Back to the Future Part II creates the future, past and alternative reality really well to show the good and bad side effects of time travel.
Special Effects: Back to the Future Part II has brilliant effect for the time period showing they are still believable today.

Suggestion: Back to the Future Part II is one to watch but I would say watch them all in order first. (Watch in Order)

Best Part: Handling of Time Travel

Worst Part: Being picky, I don’t like the cliff hanger ending.

Action Scene Of The Film: Hover-boarding.

Favourite Quote: Doc BrownRoads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads.

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Middle part of trilogy

Post Credits Scene: Yeah.

Oscar Chances: Nominated for One Oscar

Box Office: $118 Million

Budget: $40 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

Tagline: Roads? Where we’re going, we don’t need roads!

Trivia: Renowned scientist Carl Sagan considered this the greatest time travel movie ever made. He praised the accuracy in handling the multiple time lines as what would really happen if time travel were possible. In Back to the Future: The Game, Carl Sagan is the alias used by Doc Brown when visiting Hill Valley in 1931.

Overall: This is how sequels should be made.

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