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

 

 

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Turner & Hooch (1989)

Director: Roger Spottiswoode

Writer: Dennis Shryack, Michael Blodgett, Daniel Petrie jr, Jim Cash, Jack Epps Jr (Screenplay) Dennis Shryack, Michael Blodgett (Story)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Mare Winningham, Craig t Nelson, Reginald VelJohnson, Scott Paulin, J C Quinn, John McIntire

 

Plot: A detective must adopt the dog of a dead man to help him find the murderer.


Tagline – The Oddest Couple Ever Unleashed!
Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Comedy

 

Story: Turner & Hooch starts as investigator Scott Turner (Hanks) is showing his replacement David Sutton (VelJohnson) to ropes around the city, with two days until he leaves, one of his locals Amos is murdered with his bull mastiff Hooch guarding his body.

With Hooch being almost uncontrollable the only person he will listen to is the ultra-clean Turner that takes him in as he searches for his owner’s killer.

 

Thoughts on Turner & Hooch

 

Characters – Scott Turner is a detective that is about to leave for highway patrol. He has great relationship with the people in his small town and when one of his friends is murdered he ends up being left in control of his dog Hooch, Hooch opens his world to new company and just maybe staying.  Hooch is the French Mastiff (I think) that Turner takes in, he is the only witness to the murder of his owner, he is hard to control but has a heart of gold. Emily Carson is the vet that Turner first goes to but offers a relationship for Turner. We don’t learn much about the villains which is a big draw back.

PerformancesTom Hanks is fantastic in this movie showing his comic time through every scene, having great chemistry with Hooch and being the character who is meant to be leaving. It would be fair to say that Hanks is that good we don’t get enough time on the other characters to judge the performances.

StoryThe story here is thin to say the least, we have a guy who has never looked after a dog needing to take one on to solve a case. The problem is we spend nearly an hour watching the two build their relationship leaving only about 30 minutes focusing on solving the crime. The story is what you expect and very simple to follow but still enjoyable enough.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy comes from nearly every scene with Turner and Hooch being the miss matched pairing, this is easily the strongest part of the film. the crime side does get forgotten for a large part and doesn’t feel like there is much investigating going on.

SettingsThe small town setting does help us understand the situation we find ourselves in where nearly everyone knows everyone.


Scene of the Movie –
Shopping for Hooch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t spend enough time on the crime side of the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable comedy that has plenty of laughs through the film, Hanks shines in his role but we are lacking more from the crime side of the film.

 

Overall: Great enjoyable comedy.

Rating

 

 

Philomena (2013)

logoDirector: Stephen Frears

Writer: Steve Coogan, Jeff Pope (Screenplay) Martin Sixsmith (Book)

Starring: Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Sophie Kennedy Clark, Mare Winningham, Anna Maxwell Martin, Michelle Fairley

 

Plot: A world-weary political journalist Martin Sixsmith (Coogan) picks up the story of a woman’s Philomena (Dench) search for her son, who was taken away from her decades ago after she became pregnant and was forced to live in a convent. Martin and Philomena make an unlikely couple who goes on an adventure to find her long lost son.

 

Verdict: Emotional Story

Story: What can I say that hasn’t been said already? The story is brilliant and being based on a true story is even more incredible. You will laugh, you will cry and you will enjoy the story of one lady’s last attempt to find her long lost son. (10/10)

 

Actor Review: Judi Dench – Philomena a nice old lady who has been looking for her son for fifty years and goes on a trip to find him in America. Dench is brilliant in this role, she has perfect timing on all her lines that will give you the laughs or the tears. (10/10)

 dench

Actor Review: Steve Coogan – Martin Sixsmith disgraced reporter who takes a chance on a human interest piece that will change him forever. Coogan is brilliant and shows he doesn’t need to be that stupid clown comedy actor when he has such talent for the serious roles. (10/10)

 coogan

Director Review: Stephen Frears – Great direction throughout to show the story unfold so well. (10/10)

 

Drama: Brilliant drama that will give you all different emotions throughout. (10/10)

Believability: Based on a true story (10/10)

Chances of Tears: Yes throughout you may get some. (5/10)

Settings: Each setting works well for the story and offers a new look to each scenario that the two end up going through. (9/10)

 

Suggestion: It got nominated for best picture so you know it will be good, this is a must watch film that will make you have a real emotional rollercoaster. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Dench and Coogan work brilliantly together.

Funniest Scene: Philomena being over friendly to everyone.

Favourite Quote: Phinomena ‘You should be nice to the people on the way up, cause you might meet them again on the way down, you of all people should know about that.’

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 4 Oscars

Chances of Sequel: No

Tagline: These two unlikely companions are on a journey to find her long lost son

 

Overall: Brilliant, Brilliant Drama That Is A Must Watch

Rating 98