ABC Film Challenge – 80s Movies – H – Howard the Duck (1986) Movie Rob’s Pick

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“No one laughs at a master of Quack Fu! ” – Howard T. Duck

Number of Times Seen – 1 (7 Sep 2020)

Brief Synopsis – An anthropomorphic duck from another planet is transported to Earth and must find a way back to his home world.

My Take on it – This is a film that I had avoided watching for 34 years since I never heard anything good about it.

This film has a strong cult following and based on the story and the way that they present things, I’m not surprised by that at all even if it is far from being my kind of film.

This movie is terrible and has very few reasons to watch it.

The story relies far too heavily on special effects and the poorly done animatronics doesn’t help make it any more enjoyable to watch unfold because it seems far too unrealistic as presented which is quite a shame.

The story is done in a really boring way and fails to find a way to stay interesting at all.

The tone is constantly off the whole way through which also hurts this far too much.

George Lucas produced this film and that alone says so much about the kind of potential that he believed this story had.

Unfortunately for him, it was a box office bomb and it all comes across as being far too silly.

The film has a talented cast who are completely wasted here.

Lea Thompson, just off her success in Back to the Future (1985) is really wasted in the co-lead role here which is so unfortunate because she had so much potential as an actress that was squandered with this role.

Jeffrey Jones and Tim Robbins are also great actors but aren’t given enough to do here.

The look of Howard the Duck is so unrealistic that it’s quite laughable due to the way that they present things here.

Bottom Line – Horrendously bad movie that has very little saving graces. The story itself is quite boring and the tone is off kilter the entire way through. The special effects are passable, but the animatronics don’t seem to work well enough which makes things look even more unreal which is a shame. The fact that Lucas produced this film for his new Production Company says so much about his hopes for this movie working much better, but it was a complete box office bomb due to the silliness of it all. The cast is completely wasted in these roles especially Thompson who had so much promise. I can definitely understand how this film could gain a cult status, but it is not my kind of thing at all.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – According to reports at the time of the movie’s release, George Lucas had just built the $50-million Skywalker Ranch complex, and was counting on this film to get him back in the black. When it bombed, he was forced to start selling off assets to stay afloat. His friend Steve Jobs, the CEO of Apple Computer, offered to help by buying Lucasfilm’s newly-launched CGI animation division for a price well above market value. Lucas, in desperate straits and thankful for the assistance, agreed. That division eventually become Pixar Animation Studios. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (2/10)

ABC Film Challenge – 80s Movies – E – Evil Dead 2 (1987)

ABC Film Challenge

80’s Movies

Evil Dead 2

Evil Dead and Evil Dead 2 are two of the most essential movies for any horror movie fan to watch, they show how the dedicated filmmakers work within the tight budgets to bring us a horror that was different, blood soaked and turned many heads with what it created. While this is part of the trilogy, we do get to see just how creative the film is, with Bruce Campbell giving one of the best solo horror movie performances of all time.

ABC Film Challenge – 80s Movies – D – Down and Out in Beverly Hills (1986) Movie Rob’s Pick

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“Oh, come on! The dog is running the whole house! ” – Dave Whiteman

Number of Times Seen – 1 (3 Sep 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A down on his luck homeless man tries to commit suicide in the pool of a wealthy family and forms a bond with them after he is saved.

My Take on it – This is a movie that I’ve known about ever since it first came out 34 years ago, yet never had much of a desire to see what it was all about.

This month’s theme helped me decide to finally tackle the movie and see if my instincts were correct to avoid it for so many years.

The overall premise is definitely intriguing, yet they never manage to finds a way to keep things flowing more fluidly.

The film sports a great cast with Nick Nolte, Richard Dreyfuss and Bette Midler all doing nice jobs here, but even they can’t help make things more enjoyable to watch.

The main premise of the story is that social classes are all based solely on perception an one can easily move between them when needed.

The story itself moves along and a fairly good pace, yet constantly brings up some very strange aspects of the story which take away from things too much.

This does allow the characters to actually do some very crazy things but it all comes across quite uneven with some of the aspects working so much better than other ones.

The story itself is a bit too inconsistent and it therefore has a lot of trouble holding the audience’s attention for too long at a time.

The final third of the film works too hard to put things together far too neatly which hurts the credibility and reliability of things whole also detracting from the believably of it all.

Bottom Line – Intriguing idea that just doesn’t work well enough, The cast is great and they do a nice job of showing that there really isn’t much of difference between the social classes. The story moves in some very strange directions and this allows the characters to all do some very crazy things; some work much better than others tho. The story unfortunately doesn’t manage to hold on to things very well, and it all fits together much too neatly by the end to seem believable enough.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Nick Nolte spent five weeks as a homeless person in preparation for his role. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – S – Spirited Away (2001) Movie Rob’s Pick

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“Once you do something, you never forget. Even if you can’t remember. ” – Zeniba

Number of Times Seen – 1 (18 Aug 2020)

Brief Synopsis – A young girl is accidentally transported to the spirit word and must find a way back home before it’s too late.

My Take on it – I have never been the biggest fan of animated films from Studio Ghibli and have actually avoided watching this film for years because I usually find the movies to be far too strange for my taste.

This month’s theme gave me the opportunity to finally see if my intuition was right or wrong.

I can sorta understand why so many people would rave over this film, but I wasn’t drawn into it enough to really care about the story or characters.

The way things are presented are in a very strange and crazy way and it is reminiscent of an Alice in Wonderland kind of story but even more abstract in so many ways.

This film is visually stunning, but the story rambled on and didn’t really go anywhere which was disappointing for me.

The look and feel of this film is on par with the uniqueness of the rest of the films from Studio Ghibli and from an animation standpoint, things are great.

The characters are drawn in very strange ways and that made the story even harder to are about due to he abstractness of it all.

This movie was able to win an Oscar for Best Animated movie in a year with 4 pretty weak films alongside it in the category and I can understand why this film would be able to beat the competition even if I wasn’t really able to connect with things here.

Bottom Line – Really strange and crazy fairy tale-esque kind of story that is visually stunning but has a far too abstract story line. This film goes along with the rest of the Studio Ghibli fare with the way that the look and feel seem quite unique from an animation standpoint.  The characters are all drawn in very strange ways and that took away much of the wonderment from the storyline. This movie somehow won an Oscar for Best Animated film and I’m a bit surprised that the rest of the nominees were quite weak that year.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – In order to animate the scene where Chihiro force feeds Haku the medicine in his dragon form, Hayao Miyazaki had his animators study a dog’s mouth as they fed it treats while a veterinarian held its lower jaw. (From IMDB)

Rating – BAFTA Worthy (5/10)

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – P – Peter Pan: The Quest for the Never Book (2018) Suggestion for the Kids

Director: Chandrasekaran

Writer: Romain van Liemt (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Michelle Creber, Michael Dobson, Matt Hill Michelle Molineux, Sarah Natochenny

Plot: The longest day of the year in Neverland has finally arrived. Festivities are being organized by the Red Skins and celebrations are underway. To get the best of the day filled with fun and folly, the traditional Pichipock games have been organized for the lost boys, Native Tribes, Peter, Tinker bell and the darling family. Tired of defeats, Captain Hook realizes that the longest day could turn in his favor, and comes up with a web of wicked plans to make Peter and his friends surrender. He decides to tamper with the dangers lurking in cursed swamps and the golden temple. From plotting to kidnap Princess Tiger Lilly, to snatching away the treasured egg of the Choombaas – From convincing the evil Synapse to join forces with him, to unleashing the dastardly door of nightmares. Hook has planned it all. Determined not to be defeated, hook seems to be one step ahead of Peter this time. So imagine, what would happen if Hook finally gets his hands on the book of Neverland and figure out a way…

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes