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

 

 

Advertisements

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – G – The Graduate (1967)

Director: Mike Nichols

Writer: Calder Willingham, Buck Henry (Screenplay) Charles Webb (Novel)

Starring: Anne Bancroft, Dustin Hoffman, Katharine Ross, Williams Daniels, Murray Hamilton, Elizabeth Wilson

 

Plot: A disillusioned college graduate finds himself torn between his older lover and her daughter.


Tagline – This is Benjamin. He’s a little worried about his future.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Coming of Age Movie

 

Story: The Graduate starts when college student Ben Braddock (Hoffman) returns home after the four years of studying, he has no idea what to do with his future and when he his father’s partner’s wife Mrs Robinson (Bancroft) tries to seduce him, he starts having an affair throughout the summer.

With the affair keeping the sex happening whenever they want it, when Mrs Robinson’s daughter Elaine (Ross) returns to town the two are set up by the rest of the parents. Soon Ben is torn between the two women as he searches for answers in his future.

 

Thoughts on The Graduate

 

Characters – Ben Braddock is the college student that has finished his studies and now he doesn’t know where to start the next chapter of his life, this changes when he ends up in an affair with Mrs Robinson before falling for her daughter complicating his life even more. This character shows how difficult life after college can be for anyone that spends years studying if they have no direction afterwards. Mrs Robinson is Ben’s father’s partner’s wife (wow that is a mouthful) who seduces Ben offering his sex in secret whenever he would like it, they have an affair and she becomes very demanding to escape her loveless marriage. Elaine is the daughter of Mrs Robinson that has grown up with Ben, also back from studying the two start dating against Mrs Robinson’s wish.

PerformancesDustin Hoffman in the leading role is great, he shows the nervous side to his character during the affair and the determination to be with Elaine. Anne Bancroft as the older woman coming into the young man’s life is great to, we see how easily she could have seduced someone. Katharine Ross is good as the daughter that has good chemistry with Hoffman.

StoryThe story here follows a young man taking his first steps into the real world after college, he has no idea where he wants to go and ends up in the middle of a love triangle with a mother and daughter. This does touch on the difficult side of life after college even though we don’t spend enough time face this truth. The main part we focus on dealing with one man trying to understand love even when people are going to make things difficult for him. This does send the message about finding love before a career, which is strange. The idea works well for this story as does pace things perfectly well.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy comes from Dustin Hoffman’s reaction to most things, he looks awkward throughout which does make us laugh, the romance however is strange because why would the woman date the guy she knows had an affair with her mum, just why?

SettingsThe film settings show the everyday life these people would be going through, we do get to head off to different cities as long as you know the university lay out you will know where we are.


Scene of the Movie –
The single shot of the summer follow Ben.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The weird idea of the relationships between the women and Ben.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the biggest coming of age movies of all time, it has iconic scenes and is one people will always remember the songs for.

 

Overall: One of the classics of cinema.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Jaws 2 (1978)

Director: Jeannot Szwarc

Writer: Carl Gottlieb, Howard Sackler (Screenplay)

Starring: Roy Scheider, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Joseph Mascolo, Jeffrey Kramer

 

Plot: Police chief Brody must protect the citizens of Amity after a second monstrous shark begins terrorizing the waters.


Tagline – Just when you thought it was safe to go back in the water.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacks the Tension

 

Story: Jaws 2 starts with Brody (Scheider) having to go back to the basic problems in the town again, noise complaints being the hardest part of his day, or the wife Ellen (Gary) who is happy their eldest son still doesn’t have a job.

When a string of unusual shark attack along the coastline start happening again, Brody must once again go against the orders of Mayor Vaughn (Hamilton) to stop people getting killed, but this becomes more difficult when his own son goes against his request and takes to the ocean in his boat.

 

Thoughts on Jaws 2

 

Characters – Brody is now open to going out to sea in search for any sharks, when things start to look clear again, he finds himself questioning attacks in the area, which leads him getting into trouble and losing his job, this time he must fight the shark alone, but to save teenagers, which include his own children stranded in the ocean. Ellen is the wife of Brody, she works for the town which only adds to the confliction between the two when Brody starts panicking too early. Mayor Vaughn keeps his same stance through everything and that is about his character. We have a lot of annoying teenagers breaking the rules and boating.

PerformancesRoy Scheider is the highlight of the performances here, he carries every scene he is in and you generally switch off when he isn’t on camera. The rest of the performances are average while most of the teenager characters and performances just annoy you.

StoryThe story does feel like more of the same, all is calm now, but Brody won’t rest and when the shark returns he must rescue stranded teenagers which include his own children. This story does seem to have increased peril but does have decreased tension level because you don’t find yourself caring about the teenagers in peril and lose the colourful characters we had in the first film.

Adventure/HorrorThe adventure does side of things doesn’t connect enough, while the horror could be more intense.

SettingsWe are out at sea for longer point of the film, but it doesn’t help the film because it is just calm, attack, panic, calm, attack, panic calm on repeat.

Special EffectsThe effects are good for the time, but seeing the shark more takes away from the tension of the first film.


Scene of the Movie –
Brody versus the shark

That Moment That Annoyed Me The kids are annoying and stupid and I hate them.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weaker sequel to much loved first film, it is carried by Roy Scheider while the rest of the cast struggle, but the final battle with the shark is a lot of fun.

 

Overall: Weaker sequel, but maybe not the worst.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Jaws (1975)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Peter Benchley, Carl Gottlieb (Screenplay) Peter Benchley (Novel)

Starring: Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw, Richard Dreyfuss, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton

 

Plot: A local sheriff, a marine biologist and an old seafarer team up to hunt down a great white shark wrecking havoc in a beach resort.


Tagline – See it before you go swimming.

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Suspenseful Classic

 

Story: Jaws starts as when a college student goes missing, Chief Brody (Scheider) believes it to be a shark attack and wants to close the beaches, but the Mayor (Hamilton) refuses to allow it, when the shark takes another victim, the town becomes a panic after a reward is put forward.

Quint (Shaw) offers to rid the town of the shark, but for a price, but random hunters from around America turn up to try and capture the shark. Marr Hooper (Dreyfuss) arrives in town to help with the higher level of knowledge even understand the species of shark behind it.

With July 4th around the corner Chief Brody must battle the mayor on whether to keep the beaches open until the latest appearance leaves Brody, Quint and Matt needing to hunt down the great white.

 

Thoughts on Jaws

 

Characters – Chief Brody is the police on the island, he is afraid of the water, he does want to do the right thing and close the beaches, but doesn’t get the support from the mayor, he must work on his fears to hunt down the shark. Quint is an expert hunter, he offers to kill the shark for a higher target, an outsider in society, a drunk, blunt with anyone he doesn’t like, which is most people. Matt Hooper is the expert that comes down to identify which shark species could be feeding off the shores, he knows his sharks and the danger, habits they possess.

PerformancesRoy Scheider is great in the leading role because he needs to be the fear between the three men, while also being the authority. Robert Shaw as the outsider works well, he makes us believe he is an outsider with each action. Richard Dreyfuss is great too which does complete the chemistry the three lead men need for the second half of the film.

StoryThe story follows a tourist island which finds itself being targeted by a shark, wanting to treat it as the new feeding ground. We follow the three different characters, from different fields that must work together to rid the waters of the shark before the tourist industry is ruined for the residents. This is a simple story to follow which is good because that is what it needs to be, it bottles down to needing to deal with a problem the quickest way possible.

AdventureThe adventure side of the film shows the three needing to work together to take on the shark, roaming the waters.

SettingsThe film keeps the settings simple, we have the land island surrounded by water which because the hunting ground of the shark, this could be any water related resort.

Special EffectsThis is where Spielberg became an icon, he knows how to handle the need for the use of effects, which is used only when required.


Scene of the Movie –
Bigger boat.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Mayor power.

Final ThoughtsThis is always going to go own as one of thee greatest movies of all time, still feeling timeless which is what we like in our movies, the simple story works and the use of music adds to the tension throughout the film.

 

Overall: Wonderful thriller.

Rating