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

 

 

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Jeffrey Dean Morgan Weekend – Red Dawn (2012)

redDirector: Dan Bradley

Writer: Carl Ellsworth, Jeremy Passmore (Screenplay) Kevin Reynolds, John Milius (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Connor Cruise, Edwin Hodge, Brett Cullen, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Will Yun Lee

 

Plot: A group of teenagers look to save their town from an invasion of North Korean soldiers.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Remake

 

Story: Red Dawn starts as we get filled on how North Korea has risen in power and threatens to take on America in battle. We move to meet our characters with returning marine Jed Eckert (Hemsworth) his high school quarterback brother Matt (Peck) and fellow high schoolers Robert Kitner (Hutcherson), Toni Walsh (Palicki) and Erica Martin (Lucas).

When their quiet town awakens one morning they find themselves under attack by North Korea as we see Jed, Matt, Robert, Danny (Hodge) and other students escape to safety of the cabin. With Jed leading the students they prepare to go up against the army to free their families as they join forces with ex-marines Tanner (Morgan), Smith (Choi) and Hodges (Gerald).

Red Dawn is a remake of one of the iconic 80s movies and to be fair this isn’t as bad as you were thinking it would be. First the war scenario looks like it could have been realistic with the rising tensions between the nations. I will go into a few negatives where Matt is very annoying with his decision making process which causes us to roll our eyes at what he is doing. It does feel more rushed and you do think the Korean army would be able to handle a few rebellious teenagers though. If you watch this with just relaxed style you could see how this would be enjoyed but just don’t expect the emotional level it should have.

 

Overall: Solid remake that is an easy watch.

Rating60

 

 

 

Red Dawn (1984)

red dawnWith the challenge returning Rob pick Red Dawn for me to watch

 

Director: John Milius

Writer: John Milius, Kevin Reynolds (Screenplay) Kevin Reynolds (Story)

Starring: Patrick Swayze, C Thomas Howell, Lea Thompson, Charlie Sheen, Darren Dalton, Jennifer Grey, Brad Savage, Powers Boothe

 

Plot: It is the dawn of World War III. In mid-western America, a group of teenagers bands together to defend their town, and their country, from invading Soviet forces.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic

 

Story: Red Dawn starts when a military group parachute into a small American town as we follow a group of high school student including Robert (Howell), Matt (Sheen), Daryl (Dalton) Danny (Savage) and older brother Jed (Swayze) escape the attack looking to find safety during the attack.

Heading into the mountains Jed has to unite the boys as they look to survive in the mountains. When the boys learn how serious everything is and World War III is happening they have to take care of two girls Erica (Thompson) & Toni (Grey) who join their battle against the soldiers who have taken over their home town with the instructions from Colonel Tanner (Boothe).boy

Red Dawn is one of those stories that puts us into a hypothetical situation where we are left to wonder how we would act if something similar would happen. Saying this I would like to say it shows how this kids start weak and become warriors trying to protect their own country. I do think this is one that will stick in the memory and also offers a new twist to the war genre.

 

Actor Review

 

Patrick Swayze: Jed is the older brother to Matt and the one who takes charge of the teenagers through the fight back against the invading enemy. He keeps calm while the rest just want to break down and turns them all into soldiers. Patrick showed that he is a great leading man in this story showing great leadership.

 

C Thomas Howell: Robert is the friend of Matt, he isn’t as tough as the rest but he quickly learns to fight back after hearing what happened to his parents during the invasion. C Thomas does a good job in this role and is easily the biggest development in the character.

 

Lea Thompson: Erica is one of the two granddaughters of a local who is forced to join the boys for safety, she is the tough one of the two and won’t let the boys walk all over her as she wants to join the fight and proves to be a powerful ally. Lea does a good job in this role showing she was going to be a name for the future.

 

Charlie Sheen: Matt is the younger brother to Jeb who has the survival skills but not the fighting skills, he does learn in the shadow of his brother. Charlie I think struggled to look the part in this role never really looking like he fits in.

 

Support Cast: Red Dawn has good supporting cast that all look like they are struggling to cope with the situation we are in.

 

Director Review: John MiliusJohn does a good job directing a film that will live long in the memory.

 

Action: Red Dawn has good war time action throughout.

War: Red Dawn brings us a nice twist on the war genre.

Settings: Red Dawn shows us just how a small town can fall without knowing of invasion.
Special Effects
: Red Dawn has good war time effects through the film.

Suggestion: Red Dawn this is one film to watch through the course of time. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The development of the boys.

Worst Part: Charlie Sheen doesn’t seem to fit in.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No, but a remake.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Tomorrow When The War Began

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

Tagline: . A Gang of high-school kids become the last line of defence.

 

Overall: A true classic in the war genre that shows how everyone will act during the desperate time

Ratingcard

Conan the Barbarian (1982)

logoDirector: John Milius

Writer: John Milius, Oliver Stone (Screenplay) Robert E Howard (Characters)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max Von Sydow, Sandahl Bergman, Ben Davidson, Cassandra Gava, Gerry Lopez, Mako

 

Plot: A vengeful barbarian warrior sets off to avenge his tribe and his parents whom were slain by an evil sorcerer and his warriors when he was a boy.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Adventure

 

Story: Conan the Barbarian starts with the message ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. We start by meeting a young Conan being told the stories about the Gods and man’s battles and how the secret of steel. We see the soldiers lead by Thulsa Doom (Jones) destroy young Conan’s village killing everyone leaving Conan the only survivor. The children are all forced into slavery and it is here where Conan (Schwarzenegger) becomes a man.

Conan is used in fights due to his considerable size and strength where he gets trained in the art of combat where he stays loyal to his steel respect. When Conan gets set free of his slavery demands he starts his own quest to avenge his parent’s death. Along the way Conan meets a string of characters that help and hinder his journey but most off all test him. Conan befriends himself with Valeria (Bergman) and Subotia (Lopez) where they start to become the most notorious thieves in the land. The reputation growing the group gets given a quest by King Osric (Von Sydow) to retrieve his daughter from the Thulsa Doom for as much as they can carry.

Conan the Barbarian really does fill the tick boxes needed for a good adventure film, we get the unlikely friendships out to stop an evil leader. We get the idea of a cult like leader which makes his army deadly because they will die to protect him, we also end up going through the whole slave to a king storyline around Conan. The story is easy to follow because everything just unfolds and the narration keeps everything that would be difficult to film informing us the important information. This is what you would expect it to be easy to watch action film so just enjoy. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Conan is the slave who gets his freedom where he becomes a thief before entering on a quest that will end up putting him on a path for revenge against the man who killed his parents. Arnold continues to show why he continued to reach the next levels in the acting world with this role. (7/10)

 

James Earl Jones: Thulsa Doom is the leader who killed Conan’s parents before putting him into slavery, he leads an army that’s only desire is to die fighting for him but little does he know what type of man Conan has turned into. James does a good job in the role showing his talents shining through in the villainous role. (7/10)

 

Sandahl Bergman: Valeria is a fellow thief that becomes a love interest of Conan as they both get the chance to collect their biggest pay day as he goes for revenge. Sandahl does give a solid performance as the warrior like fellow fighter. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: Conan the Barbarian has a large supporting cast that fight both for and against Conan which gives us the sidekick characters needed to make Conan stay on the serious side of the film.

 

Director Review: John Milius – John does a good directing an enjoyable action adventure film. (7/10)

 

Action: Conan the Barbarian is filled with combat scenes that keep becoming large and more important as the film unfolds. (8/10)

Adventure: Conan the Barbarian puts our characters on a quest that will take them across the land to fight against the enemies. (8/10)

Fantasy: Conan the Barbarian puts us into a fantasy world with certain beliefs from start to finish. (8/10)

Settings: Conan the Barbarian puts us into a world that we believe we are inside the world. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Conan the Barbarian has solid effects but it would be fair to say they have dated now. (5/10)

Suggestion: Conan the Barbarian is one to try, I personally felt it was a little bit too long but otherwise it is all fun. (Try it)

 

Best Part: Final battle.

Worst Part: Slightly long.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final fight.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has a sequel and a remake

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Won a Golden Globe for New Star in Motion Picture.

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $37.5 Million

Budget: $20 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

Tagline: He conquered an empire with his sword. She conquered HIM with her bare hands.

Trivia: James Earl Jones was a last minute addition to the cast because of his commitments on Broadway. He and Arnold Schwarzenegger became friends on-set; Schwarzenegger helped Jones stay in shape and Jones coached Schwarzenegger on acting; so did Max von Sydow.

 

Overall: Conan is an enjoyable adventure that can still be enjoyed over 30 years later.

Rating 70