1941 (1979)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale (Screenplay) Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, John Milius (Story)

Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Ned Beatty, John Belushi, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Christopher Lee, Tim Matheson

 

Plot: Hysterical Californians prepare for a Japanese invasion in the days after Pearl Harbor.


Tagline – As They Roared Into Battle, Only One Thing Was Missing…The Enemy!

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simply Not Good Enough

 

Story: 1941 starts in the aftermath of Pearl Harbour, The Japanese are searching for Hollywood for their latest attack, while the army are planning to create a defence on the Californian coastline, Sgt Frank Tree (Aykroyd) leads his men in preparations while pilot Captain Wild Bill Kelso (Belushi) travels the country to support his troops.

The preparations bring us comical happenings which lead to what is going on between the Americans and the impending Japanese.

 

Thoughts on 1941

 

Characters – We have so many characters in this film it is hard to pick out the main ones, we will though, Sgt Frank Tree tries to keep peace between his soldiers and not letting them fight with the locals. Ward Douglas is the man that sees it has an honour to host the army for prime location for defence. Captain Wild Bill Kelso is a pilot that enjoys a drink, he heads across country to join the battle. Where we have too many characters it is hard to see which one we are meant to be follow the most.

PerformancesThe performances are affected by the mass cast because no one gets to show their best skills, we have the comical actors that want to joke, only for them to miss, then the serious actors not hitting their moments either.

StoryThe story follows the Americans as they plan for a potential next attack on America from the Japanese in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbour attack. The problem I see with this story, it showing us how we make light of a devastating moment in history with the Pearl Harbour attack and shows how America did panic but didn’t seem to take the events serious, well that is what the film gives us.

Action/Comedy/WarThe action plays into the comedy which gets basic laughs but most of the laughs seem to have dated badly and even just give us toilet humour, all with the backdrop of World War II.

SettingsThe film puts us in LA for the events of the film which shows how Hollywoodland would react to the impending war.


Scene of the Movie –
Plane sex.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the biggest misses of Spielberg’s career, it has too many characters and doesn’t manage to balance out the comedy and action well enough.

 

Overall: Disappointing throughout.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Ghostbusters (2016)

ghsotbusterDirector: Paul Feig

Writer: Katie Dippold, Paul Feig (Screenplay) Ivan Reitman, Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Melissa McCarthy, Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones, Chris Hemsworth, Charles Dance, Michael Kenneth Williams, Neil Casey, Ed Begley Jr

 

Plot: Following a ghost invasion of Manhattan, paranormal enthusiasts Erin Gilbert and Abby Yates, nuclear engineer Jillian Holtzmann, and subway worker Patty Tolan band together to stop the otherworldly threat.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hard to Get Through

 

Story: Ghostbusters starts as we meet Erin Gilbert (Wiig) a professor who in her early career wrote a book with her friend Abby Yates (McCarthy) about the hunt for ghosts which brings Ed Mulgrave (Begley Jr) to investigate the Aldridge mansion. With Erin about to get her dream career she must go back to Abby to see her about their book where she meets Jillian Holtzmann (McKinnon) who has been working with Abby.

When the three see an actual ghost, they start to work together to start their own ghost hunting business with new heartthrob receptionist Kevin (Hemsworth). When subway worker Patty Tolan (Jones) witnesses a ghost in the subway she joins the newly formed Ghostbusters to save the city of New York from a ghost invasion.

Ghostbusters is a film that was instantly disliked by most people because the original is considered a true classic and no one wanted a remake, reboot or sequel. Now going into this I was going to ignore that judgement but as I dislike most comedies this was always going to be had to enjoy. I must start with the fact I simply just do NOT find Melissa McCarthy funny at all, Kristen Wiig is solid in this role but I did find Kate McKinnon, Leslie Jones and Chris Hemsworth to be good for laughs.

The story is all too like the original with the disgraced ghostbusters having to redeem themselves by the end. While I love the setting of New York I feel the film doesn’t use it enough and the special effects just don’t hit the marks I would expect from a film of that budget. I am not going to say this is because of the female leading cast because I do think it could have worked if the characters weren’t all looking for laughs and then mixing everything too many pop culture references that will be out dated within a few years.

 

Overall: This is unnecessary reboot/remake/sequel which ever they want to call it that plays for the laughs instead of the fantasy element of the idea.

Ratingcard

 

 

Pixels (2015)

logoDirector: Chris Columbus

Writer: Tim Herlihy, Timothy Dowling (Screenplay) Patrick Jean (Short Film)

Starring: Adam Sandler, Kevin James, Michelle Monaghan, Peter Dinklage, Josh Gad, Matt Lintz, Brian Cox, Sean Bean, Dan Aykroyd

Plot: When aliens misinterpret video feeds of classic arcade games as a declaration of war, they attack the Earth in the form of the video games.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Never Really Levels Up

Story: Pixels starts in 1982 with Brenner and Cooper as the first video game arcade opens in their town where Brenner shines before entering the world championships. At these Championships Brenner and Cooper meet Eddie for competition and Ludlow as a new friend, these games get filmed and sent into space. Even though Eddie wins the championship Brenner and Cooper remain long term friends.

Move forward to the current time Brenner (Sandler) works as an engineer, while Cooper (James) becomes President (yes it is true Kevin James is the president). Brenner meets fellow divorcee Violet (Monaghan) to start to potential romantic angle but more to the problem comes aliens invading using 80’s video games which leads to Cooper calling in Brenner to help with the situation.

Ludlow (Gad) finds the answers and the alien race wants to challenge Earth to the video game with the losing planet being owned by the winning planet. Brenner ad Ludlow need to train the soldiers to go into battle against the aliens, before they take over the assault with the former champion Eddie (Dinklage).

Pixels tries to play on the nostalgia levels on the gaming fans, and on that part of the story the film really works but then you add the Sandler factor which sucks all the fun out of the film. I want to give this a positive review because I do think the idea is a great idea but I just think they used the wrong humour throughout the film. You could see this film reaching the levels of 21 Jump Street with they had played the correct comedy level and used smart jokes but in the end just stick to Wreck it Ralph. (5/10)

Actor Review

Adam Sandler: Brenner is the former gaming prodigy who never used his skills in life. He now works as an engineer but when the alien video games invade his skills come to the forefront as he leads the attack against the video games. Adam give us his used lazy comedy that really doesn’t work for the film world created. (2/10)brenner

Kevin James: Cooper is the best friend on Brenner who is now the President of the USA, when the alien games invade he calls to his best friend and former gaming community to save the world. Kevin does work in the role and that fact it is him adds to the comedy. (6/10)coopr

Michelle Monaghan: Violet starts off as just a random customer for Brenner before we discovery that she works for the President and is the romantic interest for Brenner. Michelle is just used for eye candy never really being a major part of the film. (5/10)

Peter Dinklage: Eddie is the former champion who now is a criminal but he is the best so Cooper turns to him to help with the battle where his ego still hasn’t changed. Peter gives us a solid performance getting extra laughs but just not to the level he could reach. (6/10)eddie

Josh Gad: Ludlow is the former gamer who has turn into a conspiracy theorist who joins Brenner in the battle for the planet, he gets most of the funny lines because he will change mood instantly. Josh is the highlight of the film that easily gets all the laughs. (7/10)ludlow

Support Cast: Pixels has plenty of supporting cast members that all try to add extra comedy that works sometimes in the Sean Bean character but doesn’t in others.

Director Review: Chris ColumbusChris is a class director and I think he could easily have made this great but he doesn’t reach the levels he could here. (5/10)

Action: Pixels has good gaming action used throughout which I think gets created well. (7/10)

Comedy: Pixels has some funny moments but falls from grace when Sandler jokes take over. (3/10)

Sci-Fi: Pixels creates a good idea with aliens using video game characters to attack Earth. (7/10)

Settings: Pixels has basic settings with well known landmarks being the targets of the alien destruction. (5/10)
Special Effects: Pixels has good effects to create the alien invaders which make things look like they have been taken out of the games. (7/10)

Suggestion: Pixels is one to try but I would say you have to deal with Sandler level humour throughout. (Try It)

Best Part: Pacman.

Worst Part: Sandler.

Action Scene Of The Film: Pacman game.

Funniest Scene: Josh Gad in Pacman game.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $68.5 Million

Budget: $88 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

Tagline: Play for the Planet

Overall: Disappointing Effort of smart idea.

Rating 40

 

Dragnet (1987)

logDirector: Tom Mankiewicz

Writer: Tom Mankiewicz, Dan Aykroyd, Alan Zweibel (Screenplay)

Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Tom Hanks, Christopher Plummer, Harry Morgan, Alexandra Paul, Jack O’Halloran, Elizabeth Ashley, Dabney Coleman

Plot: The equally-straight-laced and “by the book” nephew of Joe Friday must work with his more laid-back partner to solve a mystery.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Dated Buddy Cops

Story: Dragnet starts with Joe Friday (Aykroyd) introduces to Los Angeles where he works as a Sergeant in the Police force and takes great pride in it. Joe’s partner leaves him just as a new crime wave from a group called P.A.G.A.N with his new partner Detective Pep Streebek (Hanks). It doesn’t take long until we see the difference between the two men. The new partnership head to the zoo where two animals have been stolen and another one shaved.

Jerry Caesar (Coleman) owner of Bait magazine is also victim of P.A.G.A.N. where his magazines are all stolen or burnt before being released. P.A.G.A.N. continue to commit crimes across the city but what is their target. Reverend Whirley (Plummer) has been making a morale movement across America which grabs the attention of Joe & Pep.

When Joe & Pep go undercover they find P.A.G.A.N attempting a ritual sacrifice to Connie Swail (Paul) leading them to start getting answer to the questions. They discover the truth where they must stop even when they have no one believing them.

Dragnet must have been one of the first films based of a television show with a new cast and it has paved the path for plenty of future film ideas. I think this brings a series I would have never seen to the big screen and it would be one that would have worked during the time of release but I do feel it has dated a lot. I think the story is very basic and easy to follow offering no extra twists to the buddy cop genre. I think this film must have its fans out there but this really did nothing for me. (5/10)

Actor Review

Dan Aykroyd: Sgt. Joe Friday is by the rule book cop who has to deal with a new laid back partner who has to crack the latest case. He will take risks but would prefer to stay inside the rules. Dan is the best part of the film with his style of comedy which works in this format. (7/10)friday

Tom Hanks: Det Pep Streebek is the laid back detective who becomes Friday’s new partner, he doesn’t follow the rules to the same level but does get the job done. I personally just don’t see Tom as a comic actor and I feel he doesn’t really deliver enough in this role. (5/10)pep

Christopher Plummer: Reverend Jonathan Whirley who wants to change the city, he is also the leader of P.A.G.A.N. You see the name Christopher Plummer you know what you have in a villain and he was very basic in this film. (5/10)reeverened

Alexandra Paul: Connie Swail is the target of P.A.G.A.N who want to sacrifice her in their ritual to drive their movement. Alexandra does a basic damsel in distress role that doesn’t really work or get given enough screen time. (5/10)connie

Support Cast: Dragnet has generic supporting character including a police chief who doesn’t want to punish duo and a henchman that over powers our heroes.

Director Review: Tom Mankiewicz Tom does a solid job but doesn’t really get enough out of the idea on paper. (6/10)

Comedy: Dragnet has a few laugh but not enough to be a stand alone comedy. (5/10)

Chemistry: Dragnet does create a nice chemistry level between the two that works for the film. (7/10)

Settings: Dragnet uses Los Angeles as it setting which works for the idea behind the film. (9/10)

Suggestion: Dragnet is one to try but I always struggle to enjoy comedy films, so I think if you are a fan of the type of comedy you will enjoy this. (Try It)

Best Part: First car chase.

Worst Part: Dated style.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $57 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

Tagline: Just The Facts.

Overall: I feel this was good upon time of release, but now the market is flooded and this just seems to have fallen into the rest of them.

Rating 55

Ghost Busters II (1989)

logoDirector: Ivan Reitman

Writer: Dan Aykroyd, Harold Ramis (Screenplay)

Starring: Bill Murray, Dan Aykroyd, Sigourney Weaver, Harold Ramis, Rick Moranis, Ernie Hudson, Annie Potts, Peter MacNicol, Harris Yulin

Plot: The discovery of a massive river of ectoplasm and a resurgence of spectral activity allows the staff of Ghostbusters to revive the business.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Good Sequel

Story: Ghost Busters 2 starts by taking us 5 years after the events of the first film, Dana (Weaver) is now a mother and the Ghost Busters Raymond (Aykroyd) and Winston (Hudson) are now just for entertainment displays at children’s parties as they are now out of business. Dana goes to Egon (Ramis) for advice on what happened with her baby’s run away adventure, Egon is now working in a laboratory but still keeps in contact with the rest of the group. Peter (Murray) now works on television presenting the World of Psychics.

Raymond and Egon take the investigation into the Dana’s baby while Peter goes along to try and rekindle his romance with Dana. The three continue their investigation finding something unusual under the street while Dana’s boss at the museum gets visited by the ghost of Virgo looking for a child so he can be reborn. After the Ghost Busters have their restraining order lifted after the ghost start re appearing all over New York the team is back together and now have to face a new threat to the city.

Ghost Busters 2 is one of the only sequels that actually makes sense because after the mega destruction caused from the first film and having the Ghost Busters being forbidden from ending up in a position where they can cause the destruction again. This is the only sequel I have seen where the damage caused by the heroes is actually addressed. I do think the whole haunting side of the story seems very forced compared to what we had first time but it does still come off entertaining. If you truly enjoyed the first one which I would expect to have you should enjoy this one. (7/10)

Actor Review

Bill Murray: Dr Peter Venkman has become a presenter of a television show after the Ghost Busters has gone out of business, his romance with Dana didn’t last. He gets chance to enter back into the Ghost Busting industry when Dana needs help with a paranormal situation. Bill does continue his dry witted performance through the film. (8/10)peter

Dan Aykroyd: Dr Raymond Stantz is now working as a children entertainment, he still longs for working in the paranormal investigating world and his keeps his eyes open for any chance to get back into business. Dan does a good job in the role but doesn’t reach the levels he reached before. (7/10)ray

Sigourney Weaver: Dana Barrett is now a mother after her romance with Peter didn’t work out she did get married but once her child attracts the attention of the ghost world she gets back in contact with her Ghost Buster friends for help. Sigourney does good job but doesn’t reach the same levels as before. (7/10)dana

Harold Ramis: Dr Egon Spengler has entered into the world of real science now where he studies people, when the chance comes to work with the old teams he jumps at the chance where he ends up helping the city once again. Harold doesn’t get the best amount of screen time this time but does a good job with what he gets. (7/10)egon

Rick Moranis: Louis Tully is now the lawyer for the Ghost Buster team and has to help get back into the game of Ghost Busting after the city bans them. Rick does a good job in the supporting role. (7/10)sully

Ernie Hudson: Winston Zeddemore is the fourth member of the team who is working with Raymond as an entertainer, when the team reunites he brings his a game now he is major part of the team. Ernie continues to add extra everyday man character to the film which is must needed. (7/10)

Support Cast: Ghost Busters 2 has the traditional supporting cast that is city employees who try to take away the Ghost Busters from the city.

Director Review: Ivan ReitmanIvan tries to bring the same levels for this sequel but doesn’t reach the same levels (6/10)

Comedy: Ghost Busters 2 tries to re-work the same comedy routines that will get the laughs but I feel we could have had a few original jokes. (6/10)

Settings: Ghost Busters 2 keeps everything in New York which continues t chaos of adding ghosts to the mega city. (8/10)
Special Effects: Ghost Busters 2 continues the good special effects that were good for the time but will feel dated now. (7/10)

Suggestion: Ghost Busters 2 is one to try, if you loved the original I think you will enjoy this but if you didn’t enjoy you may find this one slower. (Try It)

Best Part: Final Battle

Worst Part: Lack of original laughs.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $112 Million

Budget: $37 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

Tagline: Be ready to believe us.

Overall: A good sequel that works but doesn’t reach the same levels you woul expect from the original.

Rating 70