ABC Film Challenge – 80s Movies – T – Trading Places (1983)

Director: John Landis

Writer: Timothy Harris, Herschal Weingrod (Screenplay)

Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Ralph Bellamy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Ameche

 

Plot: A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires.


Tagline – Some very funny business.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful, Though Dated

 

Story: Trading Places starts as we meet high flying investor Louis Winthorpe III (Aykroyd) who has made his bosses Randolph (Bellamy) and Mortimer (Ameche) millions of dollars, he is preparing to marry is long term girlfriend, life is good for him until he clashes with Billy Ray Valentine (Murphy) a homeless wise cracker.

When the Duke brothers decide to make a wager, they decide to try and prove they can make Billy Ray as successful as Louis, but also show they can destroy Louis in the progress. We are left to see the two men adapt to their new lives trying to understand just what is happening.

 

Thoughts on Trading Places

 

Characters – Louis Winthorpe III has been living the life of with a silver spoon in his mouth his whole life, protected from any hardship as he rises up the ranks to be considered the very top employee. He is going to get married to the girl he was always going to be with until he must learn to live with nothing after being put in a bet. Billy Ray Valentine is a homeless street wise cracker that gets wrongfully accused of a crime only to be placed into a bet given a life with money, wealth and a job. He adapts to the new life like a fish to water. Randolph and Mortimer are two brothers that have too much money to know what to do with a resort to bets over people’s lives. Ophelia is a hooker that gets used as part of the bet to help ruin Louis’ life, she ends up teaching him about the right way to live with no money.

PerformancesDan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy are both wonderful with their comedy moments they both get to show different stage of their comedy from rich and poor situations. Ralph Bellamy and Dom Ameche are both good as the rich businessmen that work with money over anything else. Jamie Lee Curtis turned heads with her role here which people were not expecting to see.

StoryThe story here follows two rich businessmen that put a bet on that they can switch the lives of a successful businessman with a homeless street hustler. This is shows us just how rich people can have too much money for their own good and their aimless fun can ruin lives. See the swap between the two gives them both a chance to learn a lesson about acting different towards people who have their own stories. There are certain jokes which just don’t work for the modern times because they go into race related that wouldn’t stand up now. For the important message that the two learn is the highlight of the film.

ComedyThe comedy in the film shows how Aykroyd and Murphy were on the top of their game in this decade, we get both sides of their skills to rather than just sticking to a solo character.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in New York, for the 80s this was perfect because of the investment game that was going on at the time and still is.


Scene of the Movie –
Joining forces.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The racial comments wouldn’t work now.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great 80s comedy that hits nearly all the jokes, shows two performers at their best in the comedy world and teaches a good life lesson.

 

Overall: Classic 80s comedy.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Cocoon: The Return (1988)

Director: Daniel Petrie

Writer: Stephen McPherson, Elizabeth Bradley (Screenplay) David Saperstein (Characters)

Starring: Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Courteney Cox, Hume Cronyn, Jack Gilford, Steve Guttenberg

 

Plot: The old age pensioners that left at the end of the first film come back to earth to visit their relatives. Will they all decide to go back to the planet where no-one grows old, or will they be tempted to stay back on earth?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Forced Sequel

 

Story: Cocoon: The Return starts as the residents who left in the first film return, Art (Ameche), Ben (Brimley) and Joe (Cronyn) get to reunite with old friends and family that believed they had died, but the aliens are back for their own reasons, to rescue the cocoons that they left at the bottom of the ocean that has been disturbed following an earthquake.

As the for resident spend their time on Earth they start to fall back into old ways be it sickness or mentoring roles being left with the question of whether they want to stay or not. The aliens must find a way to rescue one of their own that has been found by scientists led by Sara (Cox).

 

Thoughts on Cocoon: The Return

 

Characters – Art, Ben and Joe all return to Earth where they get to meet old friends and family, Joe gets caught up in needing to battle his old illness, Ben wants to help his grandson who is struggling with growing up and Art finds his wife pregnant at her age. The three get to look at the life they have missed for the last 5 years and need to make the decision whether to stay or not. Sara is one of the scientists which discovers the cocoons and works with the alien inside even though the rest of the government want to take him away. We do have plenty of other characters in this film but they do seem to take away any focus on enough characters.

PerformanceThe performances do feel like a step back from the first film, the older actors do seem to have a lot of fun with their roles.

StoryThe story does feel like a forced sequel, it brings the aliens back to Earth to rescue the ones they left behind with the elderly characters getting to look at the life they left behind. It does go against what we learnt in the first film with the elderly characters now facing the same question of can they stay or not because of what they missed. The alien side of things does fall into every single one we have seen, the government finds one and what to learn more about it now.

Mystery/Sci-FiThe mystery side of this film comes from the idea of the aliens returning and what the humans will do with the ones they have discovered.

SettingsThe settings do feel the same which is fine but we do have the additional inclusion of the science base working on things.

Special EffectsThe effects here do feel like a step back too where we clearly see any addition used in the film.

Scene of the Movie – Basketball.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact it makes no sense transporting the cocoons after the first film made a point that they couldn’t.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very forced sequel that doesn’t accept the points it made in the first film, the effects are weaker and the performances are just not on the same level.

 

Overall: Disappoint sequel that was forced.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Cocoon (1985)

Director: Ron Howard

Writer: Tom Benedek (Screenplay) David Saperstein (Story)

Starring: Don Ameche, Wilford Brimley, Hume Cronyn, Brian Dennehy, Jack Gilford, Steve Guttenberg, Maureen Stapleton

 

Plot: When a group of trespassing seniors swim in a pool containing alien cocoons, they find themselves energized with youthful vigour.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Sci-Fi Film

 

Story: Cocoon starts as we enter the retirement home where Art (Ameche), Ben (Brimley), Joe (Cronyn) and Bernie (Gilford) like to sneak off to the neighbouring abandoned property for swimming, but when Walter (Dennehy) and his cousins rent the property they lose their hide away.

When it turns out Walter and his family are aliens, the guys from the retirement home get to continue using the swimming pool which seems to cure their illness and making them young once again giving them a new lease for life but how long can this last.

 

Thoughts on Cocoon

 

Characters – Art, Ben and Joe are the three retirement home guests that enjoy breaking the rules swimming in the neighbour’s pool but when new neighbours rent the place they start to become younger again leading to their friendship being tested as they need to learn to keep the secret. Walter is the leader of the aliens that is trying to save the few that we left behind all those years ago, he wants peace and quiet but is willing to let the guys use the pool.

PerformanceThe performances from the whole cast are great, be it the retirement home guys, the aliens or younger folk. The whole cast comes together to make this a film about uniting as one.

StoryThe story here shows us how elderly people in retirement homes do want to continue their lives like how they used too, we also see how not all aliens are bad they just come in peace. We do get to see how people can get affected by being given a chance at the fountain of youth and how this gives people the wrong idea of how to act if they were given this chance. overall the story shows us that people are going to take advantage of a chance to youth or death they will get carried away.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi side of this film brings us the into the world where aliens do exist but in peace which is a nice swap for what we are used too.

SettingsThe retirement home setting takes us to a location we don’t see often in this genre, it shows us the unity between the residents as they take their risks to remain young.

Special EffectsThe effects for the time were fantastic and to be honest they have barely aged a day while watching for the first time in 2017.

Scene of the Movie – The full breakout.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The carers are a bit shit.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the all time classic sci-fi films, it has heart, aliens and a story that shows how people should be treating each other.

 

Overall: Wonderful sci-fi experience.

Rating