Presumed Innocent (1990)

posterDirector: Alan J Pakula

Writer: Frank Pierson, Alan J Pakula (Screenplay) Scott Turow (Novel)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Brian Dennehy, Raul Julia, Bonnie Bedelia, Paul Winfield, Greta Scacchi, John pencer, Joe Grifasi


Plot: When a female D.A. is killed, the D.A. assigns his assistant to handle the investigation. Only problem is that he was having an affair with her. And the evidence reveals that he is the killer. So he suspects that the man who wants his boss’ job is trying to frame him. He turns to Sandy Stern a highly celebrated defense attorney to represent him.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Slow Courtroom Drama


Story: Presumed Innocent starts when Carolyn Polhemus (Scacchi) an assistant D.A. attorney is killed the D.A. Raymond Horgan (Dennehy) assigns chief deputy Rusty Sabich (Ford) to investigate a case that doesn’t make sense for the cases Carolyn takes part in.

When the case gets complicated it is her past with Rusty that doesn’t make the case easy for him to investigate as what seems like a rape case could turn out to be set to look like a rape case pointing the finger at one of the criminals she had put away.

When Rusty becomes the main suspect for the murder and must turns to his courtroom rival Alejandro ‘Sandy’ Stern (Julia) to take on the D.A. office who have all turned on Rusty using his previous affair as the main motive for the murder.


Thoughts on Presumed Innocent


Characters/PerformanceRusty is a very questionable character, he has had an affair which takes away any respect you could have for him even if he is a brilliant attorney, Sandy you can see as a brilliant attorney in his own right that goes out of his way to get the case in his direction which is good to see playing about what could be considered the disgraced attorney. Raymond the D.A. does feel like your typical political figure that abuses their power as often as they like.

Performance wise everything is good but not their best work no one does anything that stands out and by the end you don’t think this will be a memorable role for the iconic Harrison Ford or Raul Julia.preumed

StoryI am usually a fan of a good courtroom drama as they can pull us in until the final outcome of the crime. This story flows very slowly with a court cast that does feel like you could see solved with ease. I felt this story just doesn’t pull us in enough to care about the case mainly because our defendant isn’t painted to be the most respectable character in the first place so we just don’t care who if he is innocent or not.

Mystery/ThrillerWe get a mystery but we don’t get many suspects for the crime which disappoints the thrilling side as we don’t get a chance to figure out who could be behind the crime.

SettingsWe have the traditional courtroom settings that show us just how most of the suspects would have understood just how to cover up murders with ease.genre

Final ThoughtsThis just doesn’t capture us like the other courtroom dramas and then could have been a lot more intense.


Overall: A Courtroom drama that just doesn’t hit all the levels it could.




Halloween Kingathon – Salem’s Lot (1979)

Banner-1logoDirector: Tobe Hooper

Writer: Paul Monash (Screenplay) Stephen King (Story)

Starring: David Soul, James Mason, Lance Kerwin, Bonnie Bedelia, Lew Ayres, Julie Cobb, Elisha Cook Jr.

Plot: Vampires are invading a small New England town. It’s up to a novelist and a young horror fan to save it.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Just too Long

Story: Salem’s Lot starts in the small town of Salem’s Lot where visitor and author Ben Mears (Soul) is looking to stay. The town has a mystery to it with Ben trying to figure out what is happening around a house on the edge of town but it doesn’t take long for Ben to make a new friend in Susan (Bedelia). The house in question is owned by Richard K Straker (Mason) who goes on trips and upon his latest trip he is having a delivery being handled by Larry Crockett (Willard).

As each nightfalls vampire like creature start haunting the town and people start disappearing leaving it up to Ben to lead the investigation into what is going on.

Salem’s Lot is one of those alternative vampire films it pushes the idea to become an American centred story too, because most vampire films have always seemed to have a European location. I like how the idea was to have a town taken over by the vampires which I do believe other modern vampire films have taken to the next level again. My big problem with this is the length of the story because it just seems to go on and on. In the end this was a landmark at the time horror film that seems to have got forgotten in the modern cinema. (7/10)

Actor Review

David Soul: Ben Mears is the author who has come to the back to his home town but once he returns strange things start happening leading him to start to investigate what is happening to the people in the town. David does a solid job here but I am never convinced with his performance. (6/10)

James Mason: Richard K Straker is the mysterious man who comes to the town to start his new business but when people start going missing he becomes the prime suspect but just what is he hiding? James makes for a good villainous role always thinking he is one step ahead of the rest. (6/10)

Support Cast: Salem’s Lot has a large supporting cast that all seem to be the victims of the vampires in all their own ways as the story decides to let them become the victims.

Director Review: Tobe Hooper Tobe brings his vision of the vampires to this film and each built up brings the scares needed. (7/10)

Horror: Salem’s Lot builds up tension built up horror through each moment the vampires come for their latest victims. (7/10)

Settings: Salem’s Lot uses the small town for the horror which works because they are not sure what is happening to the friends and loved ones. (8/10)

Suggestion: Salem’s Lot is one for all the horror fans out there but make sure you leave enough time if you want to watch all at once. (Horror Fans Watch)

Best Part: Vampire creatures.

Worst Part: Too long.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has a sequel

Post Credits Scene: No

Awards: Nominated for 3 Prime Time Emmys.

Budget: $4 Million

Runtime: Around 3 Hours

Tagline:  Iconic terror from the No 1 bestselling writer.

Overall: Well constructed horror mini series.

Rating 70

Die Hard 2 (1990)

logoDirector: Renny Harlin

Writer: Steven E. de Souza, Doug Richardson (Screenplay) Walter Wager (Novel’58 Minutes’)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Bonnie Bedelia, William Atherton, Reginald VelJohnson, France Nero, William Sadler, John Amos, Dennis Franz


Plot: When Officer John McClane (Willis) goes to the airport to pick up his wife Holly (Bedelia) the airport is all under reporter siege due to General Esperanza (Nero) being bought in on Christmas week. When Colonel Stuart (Sadler) takes over the airport to get Esperanza free, John must investigate to uncover the truth building up a body count along the way when no one else will, John becomes a one man army against an army to save the planes in the air including the one with his wife on.


Verdict: Just when he thought he couldn’t have a worse day


Story: It would be fair to say this is very similar to the original to the point where John has to take on the terrorist solo. It uses a much bigger setting and has a bigger reason behind the crime being committed. John has to go against all the bad guys while going against the good guys who don’t put up a fight. This really is just a sit back an enjoy classic action film. (8/10)


Actor Reviews


Bruce Willis: John McClane does what he does best kills bad guys, throws out one liners and survives impossible odds. Bruce shines as the wise cracking cop who saves the day. (9/10)


Bonnie Bedelia: Holly McClane, John’s wife who is stuck on one of the planes with the reporter she knocked out last time they met. Good performance in what is more of a waiting role rather than fully captured like Die Hard. (7/10)


Franco Nero: General Esperanza the man they are all trying to free. Is mainly the target and doesn’t get too much time to do anything. (5/10)


William Sadler: Colonel Stuart the man with the plan that gets executed perfectly until John gets involved and he has to start thinking outside the box. Great villain role proving he is cold and willing to kill for fun. (9/10)


John Amos: Major Grant part of the army team coming in to help but it is clear he has an alternative motive. Good performance in a role with a twist.(8/10)


Director Review: Renny Harlin – good direction creating plenty of action throughout. (8/10)


Action: Great action sequences, explosions and gun fights throughout. (9/10)

Thriller: This puts you on the edge of your seat while you wait to see what happens. (9/10)

Settings: Creating the film around an airport creates extra panic. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Great effects for the explosion but with some week effects to cover up a clearly dummy for a death scene. (7/10)

Suggestion: This is one sequel that doesn’t live up to the original that is still one to watch as it is one of the films that is just simple action to enjoy watching. (Watch)


Best Part: John gets trapped in a cockpit.

Worst Part: Not as good as the first one.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final battle.

Kill Of The Film: The final one

Believability: Terrorism is happening all the time so this could happen but not to the same level. (4/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has three more sequels

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $240,031,094

Budget: $70 million

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

Tagline: They say lightning never strikes twice… They were wrong.

Trivia:Bruce Willis least favourite of the Die Hard series.


Overall: Great Action

Rating 89