The Taking of Pelham One Two Three (1974)

Director: Joseph Sargent

Writer: Peter Stone (Screenplay) John Godey (Novel)

Starring: Walter Matthau, Robert Shaw, Martin Balsam, Hector Elizondo, Earl Hindman, James Broderick, Dick O’Neill

 

Plot: In New York, armed men hijack a subway car and demand a ransom for the passengers. Even if it’s paid, how could they get away?


Tagline – 1:23pm. Grand Central Station, New York. A packed commuter train is hijacked. A ransom is set – at one million dollars. The subway is a closed system. For the four hijackers, surely there is no way out. But they have a deadly plan.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense 70’s Thriller

 

Story: The Taking of Pelham One Two Three starts when four man codenamed Blue (Shaw), Green (Balsam), Grey (Elizondo) and Brown (Hindman) hijack a New York subway train, they have demands, one million dollars or they will kill the hostages, Police LT Zachary Garber (Matthau) is left in charge of trying to negotiate the freedom of the passengers.

As the race against time continues to prepare the money we see just how far the hijackers will go for their money and just what is their motives for picking the train system to hijack, which should leave them little chance of escape.

 

Thoughts on The Taking of Pelham One Two Three

 

Characters – Lt Garber is trying to show off the New York subway system to the Japanese investment group, only for his day to turn into chaos, as he must work to protect the passengers on the train from the office, figuring out how to stay ahead of the ring leader. Blue is the man running the operations on board the train, he knows what he wants, how to get it done though he doesn’t trust his whole team. Green is the most trusted man working under Blue, he will not ask questions and will get the job done. Grey is one of the hijackers that Blue isn’t keen on, the newest member of the team which only draws attention to him.

PerformancesWalter Matthau in the leading role is strong, he brings a role that is only considered an everyday person to life, needing to stay ahead of the hijackers. Robert Shaw as the lead hijacker is strong through the film taking control of the situation well. When it comes to the rest of the cast we get strong performance that don’t make the biggest impact from all involved.

StoryThe story follows a group of hijackers that take over a New York subway train wanting money in exchange for passengers and the transport police officers that is trying to stop them. This does play into the ideas of just how people were committing hijackers during the 70’s, it shows how the cities will pay to save the lives of their citizens, it shows us the panic that would come over a city, with the location making everything around watching over the train difficult. We get the usual idea behind the robbery with the team not a smoothly operating as they should be.

Action/CrimeThe action in the film is mostly how the tactical approach is used to prepare for the attempts to take down the hijackers. This does show how the criminals are acting and have put a plan together.

SettingsThe film mostly is set on the train and with the station that the police are watching over the events preparing for the problem to be solved.


Scene of the Movie –
The escape plan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The hostages are slightly annoying.

Final ThoughtsThis is a classic action crime thriller that did get a remake, certain parts haven’t aged that well, while others make it feel more raw.

 

Overall: Classic Action Thriller.

Rating

 

 

Classic Franchise Month – Psycho (1960)

Director: Alfred Hitchcock

Writer: Joseph Stefano (Screenplay) Robert Bloch (Novel)

Starring: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Janet Leigh, Martin Balsam, John IcIntire

 

Plot: A Phoenix secretary embezzles $40,000 from her employer’s client, goes on the run, and checks into a remote motel run by a young man under the domination of his mother.


Tagline – No One … BUT NO ONE … Will Be Admitted To The Theatre After The Start Of Each Performance Of Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Suspenseful Classic

 

Story: Psycho starts when secretary Marion Crane (Leigh) steals $40,000 from her boss and heads off for a life of paradise across America she finds a remote motel, The Bates Motel, where the clerk Norman (Perkins) welcomes her with open arms, as we hear the difficulties she is having with his mother. What seems like a peaceful place soon shows the darker side when Mrs Bates murder Marion leaving Norman to clean up the mess.

Now learning that the money is gone private investigator Arbogast (Balsam) goes in search for Marion, before her boyfriend Sam Loomis (Gavin) and her sister Lila (Miles) uncover the truth about the Bates Motel.

 

Thoughts on Psycho

 

Characters – Marion Crane is the secretary wanting to leave her life for a life in paradise, she steals the money and is left questioning her decision on her journey, she will soon become one of the most iconic characters in horror history. Norman Bates is the shy hotel manager that is polite even if social awkward when talking to the guests, but comes off like a kind man, he is controlled by his mother, he does have a darker side and he becomes a prime suspect in the missing Marion Crane case. Lila Crane is the sister of Marion that heads off with Sam to investigate the whereabouts of Marion.

PerformancesAnthony Perkins gives us one of the most disturbing performances in any horror movie and one that is still talked about today nearly 60 years later as one of the best ever. Janet Leigh is wonderful in her role as we can clearly see the conflict she is facing, while Vera Miles is goo din her role in the film too.

StoryThe story here held redefine horror movies as we know them by having an extended opening act with Marion only to kill her off that surprised the audience believing she would be the star of the movie. This helped introduce us to a new type of horror villain in Norman Bates, one that is human and able to cover for mistakes. We have one of the greatest twists in horror history here too, one that nearly everyone knows now too. To have experienced this movie without knowing the reality of what we know now would have been one of the most shocking experiences in cinema history.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film shows us just how to create a serial killer that could easily be real with his aggression coming from a mental disorder over being drawn to blood. The mystery keeps us guessing to who is the killer and what is their connection to the Bates Motel.

SettingsThe film takes place in the Bates Motel, this is an isolated location which has now become one of the biggest iconic locations in horror history.

Special EffectsThe effects for the kills show us just what you can achieve by showing less for the same effects.


Scene of the Movie –
The basement.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not being able to experience this movie without knowing anything about it.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the greatest movies ever made, it creates suspense with ease, a killer that will reveal us one of the greatest twists of all time and a style of storytelling which created a new style.

 

Overall: Classic on every level.

Rating

 

 

Christopher Walken Weekend – The Anderson Tapes (1971)

Director: Sidney Lumet

Writer: Frank Pierson (Screenplay) Lawrence Sanders (Novel)

Starring: Sean Connery, Dyan Cannon, Martin Balsam, Ralph Meeker, Alan King, Christopher Walken, Val Avery, Dick Williams

 

Plot: After Duke Anderson is released from prison after ten years for taking the rap for a scion of a Mafia family, he cashes in a debt of honor with the mob to bankroll a caper.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Easy to Watch Crime Thriller

 

Story: The Anderson Tapes starts with Duke Anderson (Connery) being released from prison after his 10-year stretch, he meets his former employees and heads back to his old girlfriend Ingrid (Cannon).

Duke wants to make a score to make up for his time in prison by pulling off his own score with his new team Tommy Haskins (Balsam), The Kid (Walken) and Spencer (Williams) but little does he know that he is being watched by the law, waiting for him and his associates to make a mistake.

 

Thoughts on The Anderson Tapes

 

Characters – Duke Anderson is a safe cracking thief that has done his time in prison, released he wants to use his connections to pull off an honour job with his former employers and uses all the skills he has to put the job together. Ingrid is the girlfriend of Anderson whose flat becomes the base for most of the job. Tommy Haskins is one of the team members, he is the one Anderson trusts the most and can landscape a place instantly for potential. The Kid is another member of the team and the youngest member of it at that, he has the connection but could but he loose cannon of the team.

PerformanceSean Connery is good in the leading role of the team of thieves, we get the first screen role for Christopher Walken here as he shows how he can play character that is always different to the rest of the cast. We also have a good supporting cast that all give us good performance through the film.

StoryThe story follows a former prisoner head out of jail looking to claim what he believes is his. The story shows the team being put together for this job from different backgrounds and the different loopholes to get the green light from the mob to do this job but we also see how the police would be tackling such a crime with the early surveillance technology.

Action/CrimeThe action is pretty tame because most of it is an odd punch but most of the film is about the slickness of the heist going on, we follow everything unfold as the crime gets committed.

SettingsA large amount of this movie is set inside the apartment building which shows how planned out the heist is, outside of this the film is New York streets.

Scene of the Movie – Planning the crime, building visit.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The technology noise.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy to watch heist film, it follows the ideas of most very well and puts together a clever way to make the crime happen.

 

Overall: Easy to watch crime thriller with a slick heist.

Rating

 

 

12 Angry Men (1957)

rob challengeThis week on the challenge Rob pick one of the all time classic 12 Angry Men ranked number 5 on the IMDB all time greatest film voted for by fans a like.

logoDirectorSidney Lumet

Writer: Reginald Rose (Screenplay)

Starring: Martin Balsam, John Fiedler, Lee J Cobb, E.G. Marshall, Jack Klugman, Edward Binns, Jack Warden, Henry Fonda, Joseph Sweeney, Ed Begley, George Vokovec, Robert Webber

Plot: A dissenting juror in a murder trial slowly manages to convince the others that the case is not as obviously clear as it seemed in court.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Masterpiece

Story: 12 Angry Men starts with our jury being taken to the jury room to make their verdict. Early conversations discuss the idea that the case being cut and dry, but when the first vote goes up only eleven men pick guilty while one man stands up and votes not guilty. He wants to discuss the case before making it quick decision on whether to send the accused the death row.

As the 12 men discuss the case the solo juror that stood up against the guilty verdict slowly starts to talk the rest of the jury into looking at the facts of the case and slowly starts to turn the jury.

12 Angry Men is one of the simplest stories you will ever see, it also takes a fresh turn on a trial film. On paper this could sound very boring, and it would be hard to talk anyone out of that, but once you watch this you will not be able t look away. When you look at what this film achieves you will bee impressed too a new level and even with this film being nearly 60 years old it hasn’t dated a single bit. (10/10)

Actor Review

Full Cast: 12 Angry Men only uses the 12 actors and I don’t think it would be fair to judge each individual performance because this could easily be the best ensemble cast of all time, each character has their different background and opinion on what is the outcome of the case. Every single cast member does a brilliant job showing just how intense being stuck on a jury can be.cast

Director Review: Sidney Lumet – Sidney gives us one of the greatest films ever put onto film, end of discussion. (10/10)

Crime: 12 Angry Men shows the 12 juror discussing a criminal case while making final verdict, this is a great insight into how they would have got to the final out come. (10/10)

Drama: 12 Angry Men gets top marks for this brilliant piece of work. (10/10)

Settings: 12 Angry Men uses just the jury room for the whole setting giving us an insight to just the conversation between the jurors. (10/10)

Suggestion: 12 Angry Men is a must watch for all the film fans out there I do still think casual film fans might find it not their cup of tea. (Watch)

Best Part: The performances are all brilliant.

Worst Part: No, isn’t one.

Believability: While I have been on a jury and understand how the discussion take place this cold very well be how intense it gets in there. (10/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 3 Oscars

Budget: $350,000

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

Tagline: They have twelve scraps of paper… Twelve chances to kill!

Overall: One of the greatest films you will ever see.

Rating 95