ABC Film Challenge – 80’s Movies – X – Firefox (1982) Movie Review

Continuing my cheating ways with the letter X, we have Firefox ending in an X, which will making it the closest I can get to finding a movie.

Director: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Alex Lasker, Wendell Wellman (Screenplay) Craig Thomas (Novel)

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Freddie Jones, David Huffman, Warren Clarke, Ronald Lacey, Kenneth Colley

Plot: A pilot is sent into the Soviet Union on a mission to steal a prototype jet fighter that can be partially controlled by a neuralink.

Tagline – .the most devastating killing machine ever built… his job… steal it!

Runtime: 2 Hour 16 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Espionage 101

Story: Firefox starts when a war veteran pilot Mitchell Gant (Eastwood) who lives off the grid, is located and bought back for a new mission, a dangerous mission, which will see him travel to the Soviet Union to go undercover to steal a prototype jet fighter.

As Mitchell is undercover, he does start to show the side effects of his time in the war, which could bring the mission in trouble, with his instructions changing, can he get the mission complete before it is too late.

Thoughts on Firefox

Characters – Mitchell Gant is a former pilot, retired after being captured during his time in the war, he is often considered the greatest pilot the military saw and now he is trying to live off the map away from everyone in Alaska. He is tracked down and forced into serving his country once again, this time going undercover to steal a prototype plane, one that he will be the best pilot for. He does suffer from the side effects of his previous time in the military, which could expose his identity along the way. We do meet the military men that are trying to push Mitchell into the mission, guiding him along the way, helping fix problems on the mission along the way.

PerformancesClint Eastwood is solid enough in the leading role here, he does make us believe that he could be the military man with problems, but one that will get back out there to fight for what is right. The supporting cast are strong too without needing to do that much with their roles.

StoryThe story here follows a former pilot that is forced into a mission to steal a new plane from Soviet Union and return it to America, while dealing with his own demons from his time in the military. This is a story that is revolving around a single mission behind enemy lines, where the flying will be the easy part, it will be getting to the plane that will be the challenge. This is slow moving with how everything unfolds, with everything seemingly going to plan, which does seem to take off any edge the film could have.

ActionThe action does have basic fight, but we do have the highlight of the film coming from the dog fights.

SettingsThe film uses the locations which will see Mitchell preparing the mission, on the mission as, well as inside the cockpit during the daring escape.

Scene of the Movie – The dog fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Eastwood’s narration of the events in the dog fight.

Final Thoughts This is a by the book spy movie, which is only here to show the tensions between America and Soviet Union and wanting to stay ahead of each other in war.

Overall: By the Book.

ABC Film Challenge – 80’s Movies – K – The King of Comedy (1982) Movie Review

Director: Martin Scorsese

Writer: Paul D Zimmerman (Screenplay)

Starring: Robert De Niro, Jerry Lewis, Diahnne Abbott, Sandra Bernhard, Ed Herlihy, Lou Brown, Loretta Tupper

Plot: Rupert Pupkin is a passionate yet unsuccessful comic who craves nothing more than to be in the spotlight and to achieve this, he stalks and kidnaps his idol to take the spotlight for himself.

Tagline – Nobody knows Rupert Pupkin, but by 11:30 tonight, the whole world will know he’s . . . THE KING OF COMEDY

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Brilliant

Story: The King of Comedy starts as we meet aspiring and unsuccessful comedian Rupert Pupkin (De Niro) who always tries to meet the more famous comedians at the stage door, with the man his idolises the most being host Jerry Langford (Lewis) who he ends up following home believing he will get a chance on the show.

When Rupert tries to visit Jerry, getting his assistant, trying to get his material to Jerry, while Jerry’s stalker Masha (Bernhard) is waiting for her chance to get to see Jerry to, as the two have always been competing for his attention, which eventually forces Rupert to finally break and go to an extreme level to meet his idol.

Thoughts on The King of Comedy

Characters – Rupert Pupkin is a struggling comedian who has yet to take his gig to the stage and wants to go straight to television working with his idol, believing meeting him will open doors, only for the dreams to be dashed, forcing him to team up with Jerry’s stalker to take his chance on the big screen. Jerry Langford is the most famous comedian on the television, he is used to dealing with obsessive fans, which includes Masha and Rupert, he has gotten into a stage of his career where he will say anything to get the people to leave him alone. Rita is the girlfriend of Rupert’s, he has promised her the world, while she is happy to be a woman with a job, that will find love in life, she learns just how corrupt Rupert is, getting embarrassed by his action. Masha is the stalker to Jerry’s, she has worked with Rupert to try and get his attention in the past, now they have come up with a plan to get what they want from him.

PerformancesRobert De Niro is fantastic in the leading role, proving he can give us comedic performance with ease. Jerry Lewis leads the supporting cast with ease, with Diahnne Abbott and Sandra Bernhard both being wonderful, proving the main four stars of the film are truly enjoyable in this film.

StoryThe story here follows a struggling comedian who goes to extreme levels to get his time in the spotlight, showing just how far somebody will go for stardom. This is a story that could still be relevant today, with the idea of having fans willing to do anything to either work with or be with their celebrity idols. The idea that somebody could well believing what they are doing is all working as part of a legal plan before learning the truth. The way this unfolds shows how everybody is prepared for this situation and how Rupert and Masha’s plan unfolds shows how they are desperately nervous.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy in the film shows us how Rupert is in his own world, letting De Niro get so many laughs in the film through the film. The crime shows just how far people will go to get what they want in life.

SettingsThe film is set in New York where the crowds will always have a few people that are not stable in life.

Scene of the Movie – The cue cards.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing.

Final Thoughts This is a brilliant comedy that shows just how impressive De Niro is in comedy and gives us a story that could easily work in any generation of celebrity.

Overall: Essential Watching.

Tobe Hooper Weekend – Poltergeist (1982) Movie Review

Director: Tobe Hooper

Writer: Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, Mark Victor (Screenplay)

Starring: Craig T Nelson, JoBeth Williams, Beatrice Straight, Dominique Dunne, Oliver Robins, Heather O’Rourke, Michael McManus

Plot: A family’s home is haunted by a host of demonic ghosts.

Tagline – Some things have to be believed to be seen.

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Classic Horror

Story: Poltergeist starts as the Freeling family Steve (Nelson), Diane (Williams), Dana (Dunne), Robbie (Robins) and Carol (O’Rourke) who have moved into a new build, that Steve’s company has built. Robbie is struggling to deal with the strange shapes around the house at night, and Carol has started her sleepwalking again, talking to the static on the television.

The family soon find out they have a poltergeist that Diane sees as something friendly only for the events to become must more sinister, targeting the youngest members of the house, the family must figure out how to save their family, where they only learn more troublesome truths about the house, turning to Dr Lesh (Straight) to study what is going on.

Thoughts on Poltergeist

Characters – Steve is the real estate agent that has been selling the house on the new land, he moved his own family into one to show just how confident he is in the neighbourhood and does what ever concerned father would do once the haunting start. Diane is the wife and mother, she plays with the ghosts first thinking it is a harmless haunting, but when things get serious, she won’t leave the house until she gets her daughter back. Dr Lesh is the one that is hired to study the hauntings, she sets up the tests to figure out what is happening and prepares the family for the test they will be facing. Dana is the oldest daughter in the family, she is dealing with being a teenager with ease and must look after Robbie while the rest of the family deal with the hauntings.

PerformancesCraig T Nelson and JoBeth Williams as the parents are both great through, they show the concern and worries they might not find their daughter. Beatrice Straight does bring the confident figure to life, while also showing the fear she sees in the house. The child stars are strong too through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a family that’s new dream home turns into a nightmare when it turns out it is haunted by vengeful spirits forcing them to confront the spirits before losing their family. This is the original haunted house to a new level story, it spins what was designed before with an old house with history being haunted, to a brand-new house being the events of the hauntings, one that wouldn’t be filled with murder or history. This does help the events of the story seem scarier and gives it an original side too because it shows that anybody could be the ones getting haunted.

HorrorThe horror in the film is hauntings, we start with friendly ones which seem harmless and soon become deadly as the children are being targeted, the final act will bring the most horror to the whole film.

SettingsThe film uses the brand-new house build for the main setting, this helps because it changes everything we should know about haunting houses.

Special EffectsThe effects are great considering this came out in 1982, they don’t look terribly like certain horror films since this.

Scene of the Movie – The last night in the house.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The builder’s mentality to a teenage schoolgirl.

Final Thoughts This is a horror film that has stood the test of time and will be remembered as one of the best of the 80’s.

Overall: Brilliant Horror