St. Elmo’s Fire (1985)

Director: Joel Schumacher

Writer: Joel Schumacher, Carl Kurlander (Screenplay)

Starring: Emilio Estevez, Rob Lowe, Andrew McCarthy, Demi Moore, Jud Nelson, Ally Sheedy, Mare Winningham

 

Plot: A group of friends, just out of college, struggle with adulthood.


Tagline – The passion burns deep.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Look at Growing Up

 

Story: St. Elmo’s Fire starts as we meet the seven college friends Kirby (Estevez), Billy (Lowe), Kevin (McCarthy), Jules (Moore), Alec (Nelson), Leslie (Sheedy) and Wendy (Winningham) who are freshly done with college now working normal jobs and needing to learn life lessons.

The problems they face including getting used to a daily job, added responsibility, personal addictions, find their place in life and pressure placed on them from parent.

 

Thoughts on St. Elmo’s Fire

 

Characters – Kirby is the qualified lawyer still working in the local bar and hangout of the group of friends, he wants to impress a girl that he once took on a date. Billy is the musician that still wishes he was back at college with the party every night, struggle to find a job and stay sober. Kevin is secretly gay and in love with Alec, Jules sees it in him and he now faces a difficult moment in life about whether to come out or not, this character is way before its time and addresses the taboo subject in the mid-80s very well, even if it shouldn’t have been. Jules is the party animal that all the guys want a night with, she is building debt even with her job where she is dating her boss, planning to use the relationship to make the most of a future. Alec is the confident one of the group planning to marry Leslie even though he is womaniser and is there to try and help Billy find a job. Leslie is the one waiting before deciding whether to agree to marry Alec, she wants to go further with her career first. Wendy is from a successful family and is being forced into marrying well off to continue the family line, nervous through most encounters.

PerformancesThe performances from this cast are wonderful, we have a collect group of young actors that rose to fame in 80s each giving us great performances and it doesn’t feel fair to comment on just one or two of them by saying the same line over and over.

StoryThe story here shows the struggles that seven friends have with life and remaining friends after the ups and downs through life, career or personal issues. We do address important issues as the time unfolds, addictions, secrets and finding yourself. There was one storyline they were taking on which was big, but they pulled this one away for a safer outcome. The story does show how hard life can be after college and how things change suddenly which is always hard to get through.

RomanceThe romance in the film shows us how love can be hard with the drama of life mixing up in the middle, it shows how love can come from anywhere when you least expect it.

SettingsThe film keeps the friends in the same town where they have their local bar, opportunities in life and memories which will stick with them forever.


Scene of the Movie –
The rooftop.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not going through with the important story angle.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful film that shows how hard growing up can be when entering the real world after college, friends being tested and life catching up with you.

 

Overall: Essential 80s viewing.

Rating

 

 

The Outsiders (1983)

outsidersDirector: Francis Ford Coppola

Writer: Kathleen Rowell (Screenplay) S.E. Hinton (Novel)

Starring: C Thomas Howell, Matt Dillon, Ralph Macchio, Patrick Swayze, Rob Lower, Emilio Estevez, Tom Cruise

 

Plot: The rivalry between two gangs, the poor greasers and the rich Socs, only heats up when one gang member kills a member of the other.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Coming of Age Film

 

Story: The Outsiders starts as we meet the Greasers Ponyboy (Howell), his brothers Darrel (Swayze) and Sodapop (Lowe), as well as Dallas (Dillon) recently out of jail, the loose cannon of the gang, Johnny (Macchio), Two-bit (Estevez), Steve (Cruise) and Tim (Withrow) this teenage gang get chased around town.

The Greasers are the poor gang in town and have a rivalry against the Socs the rich gang, when Ponyboy and Johnny find themselves getting into trouble which leads them to turn to Dallas for the way to make this disappear. This leads to Ponyboy and Johnny going into hiding while the police, Greasers and Socs search for the boys responsible for murder.

 

Thoughts on The Outsiders

 

Characters/PerformancePonyboy is the youngest of three brothers within this gang, his future looks set to be within the gang not getting a chance to have a future away from this dead-end life his elder brothers have had to give up to raise him after their parents death. Johnny is the best friend within the gang of ponyboy, he has the similar problems in life but his is about not being loved by his parent’s. Dallas is the wild one of the film with the Curtis brothers Darrel and Sodapop both working very well to be the guardians of Ponyboy.

The performances here are all great with Howell, Dillon and Macchio getting the most screen time all giving showing they were big child actors but if you look deeper Swayze, Lowe, Estevez, Cruise and Lane all show they were going to be big name stars in the future.stars

StoryThe story follows one group of poor teenagers struggling in small town America, getting themselves in trouble and with no clear out of the cycle they have become a unit against the rest of the world. The story of their unity shines through the story and you could follow everything the youngster members of the gang can go through. This could easily be looked at as one of the more underrated coming of age movies from the 80s.

CrimeThe crime side of this story comes from the accidental murder of one side of the gangs and how what starts off with a bit of hate escalates into a full-blown battle between them.

SettingsSmall town America makes for great setting for this film as it shows just how these guys could easily be in any town when it comes to the difference they both have.genre

Final ThoughtsComing of age, young adult whichever you want to call them are all popular, but this one of the most underrated ones I have seen.

 

Overall: A must watch for all the coming of age fans out there.

Ratingrating

 

 

The Breakfast Club (1985)

casting card

 

Plot: Five high school students, all different stereotypes, meet in detention, where they pour their hearts out to each other, and discover how they have a lot more in common than they thought.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Teen Comedy

 

Story: The Breakfast Club starts as five high school students Claire (Ringwald) the Princess, Andrew (Estevez) the athlete, John (Nelson) the criminal, Brian (Hall) the brain and Allison (Sheedy) the basket case have to attend detention on a Saturday under the watching gaze of Richard Vernon (Gleason). The five are all from different corners of the school and would never spend time together on a normal day.

The five students learn about each other’s problems as they learn that their own problems might not be the only issues in their worlds. We see them bond over the day sharing all their secrets and become friends for just one day.

The Breakfast Club is a classic that has only just been watched by me in the year 2016, well it only took me 29 years even though the film is set 3 years to the date before I was born. I found this such a brilliant story that perfectly shows how different kids can be at school even when they have to spend time together they feel different but are all searching and dealing with the same issues. This shows just how difficult school years are when you are going through them because your future is thrown at you at this age the most. I can’t find a bad thing to say about this film even at over 30 years old.

 

Actor Review

 

Emilio Estevez: Andrew Clark is the athlete who is part of the wrestling team seen to be the future star athlete but this time in detention is to teach him to have a back-up plan. He sees himself a better than the rest of the group while trying to do the right thing. Emilio shows his range through this film much like every one of the kids here.

Paul Gleason: Richard Vernon is the teacher who has to keep the student in line on the Saturday detention. He treats all the students like failures constantly putting them down to try and show his power over them. Paul fills the villain role without being a truly horrible person just how the kids see his character.

Anthony Michael Hall: Brian Johnson is the brains of the students always out to do extra work to get the best grades to impress his parents. He doesn’t like how John treats him but also tries to impress the fellow students. Anthony is great in this role going from quiet geek to part of the gang.

Judd Nelson: John Bender is the criminal who is used to his time in detention because he is your classic bully troublemaker. He starts trying to get to know the students but is a classic case of bad parenting leading him to act out searching for attention. Judd steals the movie being the most interesting out of the 5 as we see just how many moments his character has been through.

Molly Ringwald: Claire is the princess always doing what her parents say and never getting into trouble, well until this time. We see how she acts as if she is better than the rest of the students in detention. Molly is great being the typical girl who thinks her future will be handed to her.

Ally Sheedy: Allison is the basket case or as we would call know the one struggling with mental health issues. Allison is the loner of the school and out of the students she is the last to fully come out of her shell. Ally is also great grabbing our attention without any dialogue for first half of the film.

Support Cast: The Breakfast Club has a supporting cast with most just being the parents dropping the students off, we get to see how they see their children.

Director Review: John HughesJohn gives us yet another classic 80’s comedy that showed how difficult growing up really is.

 

Comedy: The Breakfast Club has good comedy moments to go hand in hand with the serious moments.

Settings: The Breakfast Club is set within the high school during one day showing how these students have lost their day but gained friendships.

Suggestion: The Breakfast Club is one that I do think everyone should have watched at least once. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The serious moment where we learn about the characters.

Worst Part: Allison would be treated a lot different if this film was now.

 

Believability: This could easily be real characters.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $38 Million

Budget: $1 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

Tagline: Five strangers with nothing in common, except each other.

 

Overall: Don’t you forget about this one.

Ratingcard

 

 

Halloween Kingathon – Maximum Overdrive (1986) From Tranquil Dreams

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Kim from Tranquil Dreams brings us this review on Stephen King’s only directed film, let’s see what she thinks

 

 

maximum overdrive posterDirector: Stephen King

Cast: Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington, Yeardley Smith, John Short, Holter Graham


A comet just flew over the world.  At a truck stop, a few people stop there and get stuck there when what everyone assumes is the radiation from the comet is causing the machines to start having a mind of their own.  Is it possession or is the world turning around? No one knows what is going on but they only wish that when the comet leaves, things will go back to normal.  Or else, they have no idea how long they can last stuck in the truck stop. 


maximum overdrive group

Maximum Overdrive is one of my guilty pleasures.  It was made the year I was born.  I actually didn’t know that until I was doing research for that review, or maybe I did but it slipped my mind.  Regardless, its a fun campy little movie. I’ve never read the short story that this movie is based on but with the author at the helm, there is a lot of heart.  It reflects what the story itself wanted its readers to see, at least I’m guessing that is a safe bet. Its no masterpiece and the effects are super dated with these laser-y textures and neon-ish lights for the weird comet covering the area.  On our modern day spoiled with great effects days, this movie certainly doesn’t age well but the heart in this is incredible and I think its for that I truly love it. Plus, the soundtrack is AC/DC.  I’m not huge on that usually but it was a perfect fit. 


maximum overdrive emilio estevez

The characters are also very balanced.  We have a good group of people here with different personalities that help cause a little friction.  There’s always the hero and the girl, a mean and selfish boss character, a not so righteous religious guy, a father and son story and most of all, a very memorably annoying newly wed couple.  Emilio Estevez is something like the hero here and while maybe the layout of the story gets a little messy with a ton of subplots going on, his performance is quite commendable.  In fact, some sub-characters are quite over the top.  But at times, it just gave it some laugh out loud moments. 


maximum overdrive trucks

The key to enjoying Maximum Overdrive is to not take it seriously because it doesn’t take itself seriously at all.  Its about trucks and machines going crazy and coming to life.  While it does show that we have a huge reliance on machines, and its probably even more relevant now, the story is decent and a ton of fun.  Stephen King may not be making masterpiece in the director’s chair but he does have a lot of heart and we know exactly what he wants us to get from this story.  Its entertaining and an adventure even if its a little dated. Every once in a while, that’s what we need: suspend our disbeliefs a little, shut our brains off for an hour or two and just get a good laugh out of some random stuff that can happen. And that is exactly how I enjoy Maximum Overdrive

Halloween Kingathon – Maximum Overdrive (1986)

Banner-2ogoDirector: Stephen King

Writer: Stephen King (Screenplay)

Starring: Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington, Yeardley Smith, John Short, Ellen McElduff, J.C. Quinn, Christopher Murney, Holter Graham, Frankie Faison

Plot: A group of people try to survive when machines start to come alive and become homicidal.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: This is Why he Writes

Story: Maximum Overdrive starts with some science explaining ow Earth will be inside radiation from a passing comet for eight days. We follow as a small town starts to get over run by the machines and Bill Robinson (Estevez) an employee at a small diner has to lead the survivors in their quest to survive as the machines try to find the most graphic ways to kill people. Diner manager Bubba (Hingle) brings the weapons and newly-weds Connie (Smith) and Curtis (Short) end up trapped in the diner on the way to their honeymoon.

Maximum Overdrive is one of those invasion like ideas that tries to do something original, but this ends up being something I don’t want to see again. It really gets a lot stuck in the middle of the ideas and never decides if it wants to be a comedy or something serious. The characters get zero development and as for the science angle that just ends up feeling out of place. This is easily one of those films that will get put in the bracket of that bad you have to see though. (3/10)

Actor Review

Emilio Estevez: Bill Robinson is the diner employee who has to step up to protect his friends and customers when they become trapped inside the diner surrounded by trucks with minds of their own. Emilio doesn’t get the most time to show his talents in this role. (4/10)

Support Cast: Maximum Overdrive has a group of survivors who all have different traits which can either help or hinder their chance of making it.

Director Review: Stephen King Stephen has admitted this was a bad film and he knows what he is talking about. (3/10)

Action: Maximum Overdrive has action packed kills but doesn’t really make the most of the chances it has. (5/10)

Comedy: Maximum Overdrive has a few funny moments but never reaches full levels it could. (4/10)

Horror: Maximum Overdrive doesn’t reach any of the horror level required for this style of film. (3/10)

Sci-Fi: Maximum Overdrive tries to add a sci-fi angle but never looks into the idea enough. (4/10)

Settings: Maximum Overdrive put of group trapped works for the film and could be the only highlight out there. (7/10)

Suggestion: Maximum Overdrive is a be drunk to enjoy film. (Watch Drunk)

Best Part: Can machine.

Worst Part: Most of it.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $7.5 Million

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

Tagline: Imagine your worst nightmare: machines take over the world!

Trivia: Stephen King, being a former cocaine addict, later admitted that he was “coked out of my mind” the entire time he was making this picture and often didn’t know what he was doing. He remarked that he’d like to try directing again someday, this time sober.

Overall: This was so bad I might give away my DVD of it.

Rating 20