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

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – 80’s Movies – C – Clue (1985)

Director: Jonathan Lynn

Writer: John Landis, Jonathan Lynn (Screenplay) Anthony E Pratt (Board Game)

Starring: Eileen Brennan, Tim Curry, Madeline Kahn, Christopher Lloyd, Michael McKean, Martin Mull, Lesley Ann Warren, Colleen Camp

 

Plot: Six guests are invited to a strange house and must cooperate with the staff to solve a murder mystery.


Tagline – “Cluedo” isn’t just a boardgame anymore!

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliantly Fun Mystery

 

Story: Clue starts when six guests using fake names, Mrs Peacock (Brennan), Mrs White (Kahn), Professor Plum (Lloyd), Mr Green (McKean), Colonel Mustard (Mull) and Miss Scarlet (Warren) are invited for a dinner party, with butler Wadsworth (Curry), maid Yvette (Camp) and host Mr Boddy (Ving), they each have a secret that is about to get exposed, only tonight they can end their torment of  being blackmailed by Mr Boddy.

The problem comes when the lights go off and Mr Boddy is murdered by one of the seven, with the weapons Candlestick, Gun, Dagger, Rope, Wretch and Lead Pipe in the room, the eight joined by Yvette must figure out who the murderer is before they leave the house.

 

Thoughts on Clue

 

Characters – Wadsworth is the butler who is preparing everybody for the dinner, he does have a reason for his own reason for the whole party, he must keep everybody calm as he has been just as much of a victim in the film. when it comes to the guests we have the known figures from the game, they have all been blackmailed, we don’t learn too much about their personal lives as the only things we do learn are involved in the blackmailing going on.

PerformancesTim Curry is fantastic in this role, when he does the solving sequences in this film, we see the energy level in the film reach levels we have rarely seen in film. when we look at the rest of the cast, they are strong through each of the events of the film.

StoryThe story here follows the six iconic board games characters put into the middle of the mystery after one of the guests gets killed, they all have motives for being the ones that commit the crime and as the bodies continue to pile up they must solve the case before it is too late. Anybody that has played the game knows how this can be one of the fun games to play, we get the weapons, the characters and the rooms each being involved in the murders which this film offers up. We get a nice pacing to this film which does feel like you are helping to solve the case and with three different ending you will never know which one you will be getting.

Comedy/Crime/MysteryThe comedy in the film comes from word play, it is very quick witted and will get the laughs in the right places. The crime and mystery elements of the film go hand in hand, as we see the guests needing to solve the mystery of who committed the crime.

SettingsThe whole film is set in the house which is simple and effective, it shows us just what is going on with each chapter being unfolded in the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Tim Curry’s energy in the reveal.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Have the larger body count is strange.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderfully fun movie, you can enjoy what is going on with the characters with the crazy connections and be left to try and figure out the truth for yourself.

 

Overall: Fun and Enjoyable.

Rating

 

 

An American Werewolf in Paris (1997)

casting card

 

Plot: An American man unwittingly gets involved with French werewolves who have developed a serum allowing them to transform at will.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Easy to Watch But Simple Sequel

 

Story: An American Werewolf in Paris starts as we follow three American’s Andy (Scott), Brad (Vieluf) and Chris (Buckman) who are on a daredevil tour around Europe. The latest location is Paris, hence the title where Andy has planned to bungee jump off the Eiffel Tower but on that night he finds a mysterious woman Serafine (Delpy) attempting suicide which he does prevent but is left with a bad bump on the head and a show.

When Andy manages to track down Serafine he talks her into a date where we learn something isn’t completely right with Serafine who has strength unlike anyone they have seen. Andy finds himself in the middle of a pack of werewolves were Serafine is the only one trying to save him once he becomes infected with the werewolf virus when the fellow werewolves are only after purity.

An American Werewolf in Paris brings the action to Paris yes the title gives it away really. What I have watching this is that they seem to want to make a sequel that feels like it is in a franchise before its time. It actually feels like it could be a prequel to an Underworld movie because realistically this has nothing to do with the original and is just messy. The only similarity is that we have an American trying to deal with slowly turning into a werewolf. Trying to include all the of cult like side to the story overcomplicates a story which should be easy to follow.

 

Actor Review

 

Tom Everett Scott: Andy is one of three Americans on a daredevil tour when he ends up bungee jumping off the Eiffel Tower. He does this while saving Serafine and ends up getting involved with her unaware that she is in fact a werewolf and he has been bitten. Tom

Julie Delpy: Serafine is the beautiful French girl that Andy has become mesmerized by, she tries to protect him but once he gets bitten we learn that she is a werewolf that she must now prepare for the world. Julie

Vince Vieluf: Brad is one of the friends on the tour it comes off that he is closer to him than Chris but he is killed early on and spends the rest of the film haunting him. Vince

Phil Buckman: Chris is the final friend who finds himself learning the truth first while trying to warn Andy the danger he is entering into. Phil is very much just a basic support character not really appearing too much after the first quarter.

Support Cast: An American Werewolf in Paris has a supporting cast that is quite small with most characters we meet just being disposable.

Director Review: Anthony WallerAnthony does try to give us a good follow up but it just doesn’t reach the levels of the iconic original.

 

Comedy: An American Werewolf in Paris has a few funny moments but mostly due to the idea of idiot American’s in Paris.

Horror: An American Werewolf in Paris doesn’t reach the horror levels needed for the werewolf film.

Thriller: An American Werewolf in Paris tries to keep us guessing but ends up spending too much time on explaining either a cure or how it connects to the original.

Settings: An American Werewolf in Paris uses the Paris setting for what feels like a few added cheap jokes about tourists.
Special Effects
: An American Werewolf in Paris has basic effects that shows this either didn’t have the budget or the creative ability the original had in the transformation.

Suggestion: An American Werewolf in Paris is one that you watch late night on television because it is an easy watch. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: Ghosts look good.

Worst Part: Really cheap feeling jokes.

Funniest Scene: The first date.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $22 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Tagline: Things are about to get a little hairy.

Trivia: This was in development for 6 years.

 

Overall: Simple horror that just doesn’t have the same punch the original has.

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