ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – R – The Right Stuff (1983)

Director: Philip Kaufman

Writer: Philip Kaufman (Screenplay) Tom Wolfe (Book)

Starring: Sam Shepard, Scott Glen, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid, Fred Ward, Barbara Hershey, Kim Stanley, Veronica Cartwright

 

Plot: The story of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and their macho, seat-of-the-pants approach to the space program.


Tagline – The spectacular story of America’s first astronauts

Runtime: 3 Hours 13 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Story, Too Long a Film

 

Story: The Right Stuff starts as America is trying to break the sound barrier and not having much success with their men crashing, they turn to Chuck Yeager (Shepard) who excels behind the stick of the plane, soon fellow pilots Gordon Cooper (Quaid) and Gus Grissom (Ward) prove they can hang with Chuck.

When Russia make it into space, the program changes with celebrity pilot John Glenn (Harris) and hot shot pilot Alan Shepard (Glenn) joining forces to take on the race to space as the men from different backgrounds try to prove they are the right men for the mission.

 

Thoughts on The Right Stuff

 

Characters – Chuck Yeager is the pilot that breaks the sound barrier for the first time, he is always going to try to beat any records that are being beaten, though he doesn’t go into the Mercury 7 program. He may well be the best of all of the pilots involved in this story. Alan Shepard is the military man through and through, he likes to take things lighter than the rest and is the first to be selected to go in the test flight. John Glenn is the celebrity pilot that is the clear candidate for the first mission into space, he has the best experience with dealing with press, he is by the books and doesn’t want to take things as lightly as the rest of the candidates. Gordon Cooper is the youngest of the candidates he has always go out his way to improve himself, even if his wife doesn’t like the idea of his job. Guy Grissom completes our main pilot group as the one who wants to use his new position to get more attention and is involved in one of the most unexplained errors o the missions. We do get to meet the wives who have to deal with the press invading their privacy through each mission and in constant worry about their husbands.

PerformancesWe have a brilliant cast here, with Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid and Fred Ward all showing us both sides of the pilots turned astronauts as they were willing to go through the punishment and personal difficulties to become the men history will remember.

StoryThe Space Race was a story that took over America in the 60s it is easily one of the most interesting moments in modern history because of the extremes people were going to go to, to make this happen. We follow the training that the men went through, the risks that were put up to make history and the frustration of the Russians beating them over nearly accomplishment. This is easily one that will appeal to anybody who is a fan of the space race, this will give you a story you will know, but will get to enjoy unfold, if you didn’t know it, you will learn the sacrifices they took. The only problem with the story is the length of the film being over 3 hours, we don’t need the film to be that long to tell the same story.

Adventure/BiopicThe adventure behind this story comes from the real risks the men went through to become names in history, which give us the biopic side of everything too, we have the two sides working hand in hand to tell us the moment in history that changed the space race.

SettingsThe film shows us the settings which are mostly military bases and labs where the work must take place in, it is the shots from the air which show us just how heavenly space travel could be for the men involved.


Scene of the Movie –
Chuck’s new plane.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too long for the story it is telling.

Final ThoughtsThis is an incredible story of what these men went through, it shows us just how intense the space race was and the powerhouse performances helps, the only weakness is the length of the film.

 

Overall: Space Race fans must watch.

Rating

 

 

Rising Sun (1993)

sunDirector: Philip Kaufman

Writer: Philip Kaufman, Michael Crichton, Michael Backes (Screenplay) Michael Crichton (Novel)

Starring: Sean Connery, Wesley Snipes, Harvey Keitel, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Kevin Anderson, Mako, Ray Wise, Tia Carrere, Steve Buscemi

 

Plot: At the offices of a Japanese corporation, during a party, a woman, who’s evidently a professional mistress, is found dead, apparently after some rough sex. A police detective, Web Smith is called in to investigate but before getting there, he gets a call from someone who instructs him to pick up John Connor, a former police Captain and expert on Japanese affairs. When they arrive their Web thinks that everything is obvious but Connor tells him that there’s a lot more going on.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Traditional Crime Story

 

Story: Rising Sun starts as we watch a potential deal being handled between the Japanese and Americans to deal with the weapons, when a party is thrown in this event there is a murder of a woman during a sex act. Webster Smith (Snipes) is called into investigate being he is the liaisons officers at the White House, along the way he has to pick up seasoned Captain John Connor (Connery) who is on leave and is an expert on Japanese culture.

The unlikely pair have to work together to solve the crime where the prime suspect Eddie Sakamura (Tagawa) has a personal connection to Connor and not everything is as it seems, leaving them to unwrap the web of conspiracy.

Rising Sun is what you would have to put down as a traditional crime story that goes in the direction you would expect. We get the twists and the odd pairing having to work together leading everything back to where you would expect it to go. The crime has elements of conspiracy even though it is only about one murder. The story is filled with racial tension which is disappointing for the way the film is set.

 

Actor Review

 

Sean Connery: Captain John Connor is the expert on Japan who gets bought into the case because of his connections with the people involved. He has to guide Webster through the case helping him understand the way of thinking of the Japanese involved. Sean is good in this role very much against the type of character we have seen in the past with Bond.

Wesley Snipes: LT Webster Smith is a liaison to the White House and former cop who gets called into investigate the murder where he has to work with Connor. He has a shady past after being accused of a bride case even though it got thrown out. He has to put his problems aside and his differences with Connor to uncover the truth. Wesley is good in this role playing the role we expect to see from him.

Harvey Keitel: LT Tom Graham is the old partner of Webster who was also involved in the bribery case. He tries to just treat his cop work as a job and doesn’t seem to play sides. Harvey does good job in supporting role but considering he is important to the story we don’t see him enough.

Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa: Eddie Sakamura is the prime suspect that is even the easy suspect, he must work with the two to prove his innocence for the crime he never committed. Cary-Hiroyuki is good in this role filled with mystery throughout.

Support Cast: Rising Sun has a supporting that you would expect to see in this type of film that all do good job.

Director Review: Philip KaufmanPhilip gives us a good action mystery thriller that does keep you guessing throughout.

 

Action: Rising Sun has the standard action you would expect to see without being too memorable.

Crime: Rising Sun brings us a crime story which on paper is just a murder but the conspiracy is what keeps us guessing.

Mystery: Rising Sun creates the mystery about who committed the murder which we have to witness who it could have been.

Thriller: Rising Sun keeps us guessing to what will happen next.

Settings: Rising Sun uses the settings well but nothing that is really stand out.

Suggestion: Rising Sun is one for the action fans to enjoy just switch off and enjoy. (Switch Off & Enjoy)

 

Best Part: Off chemistry between Connery and Snipes.

Worst Part: No subtitles.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

Trivia: Writers Michael Crichton and Michael Backes quit the project largely over disagreement with director Philip Kaufman that one of the lead characters should be changed into an African-American.

 

Overall: Standard action mystery thriller

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