ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – M – Meteor (1979)

Director: Ronald Neame

Writer: Stanley Mann, Edmund H North (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Connery, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden, Brian Keith, Martin Landau, Trevor Howard, Richard Dysart, Henry Fonda

 

Plot: The USA must join forces with the USSR in order to destroy a gigantic asteroid heading straight for Earth.


Tagline – There’s No Place On Earth To Hide!

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Typical 70s Disaster Movie

 

Story: Meteor starts when a gigantic asteroid is discovered in space, heading straight to Earth, now Dr Phil Bradley (Connery) is bought in to use his design of Hercules as a defence to eliminate the threat from space, the problems come from the idea the military have turned his idea into a weapon hovering over Russia, which brings the Russians into the mix with Dr Dubov (Keith) needing to work with the Americans to stop the threat.

As the two superpowers start to put their differences behind them, the threat needs to be addressed and the question remains how the world will prepare for any failure in the missions.

 

Thoughts on Meteor

 

Characters – Paul Bradley created the defence operation in space for any potential threats coming from out of space, he isn’t happy they were used to place missiles on enemy countries and now he must fight to get his ideas used the correct way once a threat from space comes to light. Tatiana is the translator between the two nations, she must help build the bridges between the two sides who are aiming for the same thing. Harry Sherwood runs the operations from the American side as he works to help Paul get his ideas out even if it means going against the higher ups want. Dr Dubov is the Russian with his own version of Hercules, he will help even if it means not everything is working for him.

PerformancesSean Connery gives us the performance we would expect from him, he is good without standing out in anyways.  Most of the performances are just fine, there are a lot of military performances we would expect and power struggle needing to be played out.

StoryThe story here shows how the world first started facing the fact their destruction could come from space, while also balance the idea of the superpowers of the world trying to stay ahead of each other even defending the Earth. When it comes to disaster movies, I feel like I have seen them all, the good, the bad and the ugly of the selection the world has given us. If I was to compare this to a more modern one, it would be Deep Impact as they both show the scientific side to defending the Earth and are not afraid to have the destruction from small asteroids. Everything does play out smoothly enough and with the boom in disaster movies it follows the typical clichés previous movies have offered too.

Action/Sci-FiWhen we look at the action the film gives us, we are looking at destruction caused by the falling asteroids, while you can tell most scenes are miniature modals of city, they do come off good when it comes to the destruction where of course its only major locations that get hit. The sci-fi side of the film shows the focus on the idea that an asteroid could come and hit Earth and offers ideas to prepare for it.

SettingsThe film mostly stays in he science facilities only leaving to show us the destruction to the typical location we always see get destroyed in the disaster movies.

Special EffectsThe effects I believe were good for the time, even though they have dated with how they achieve certain destruction sequences.


Scene of the Movie –
The destruction scenes are the best ones to watch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The awkward tidal wave scene.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid 70s disaster movie, it checks the boxes well and shows the possibilities Earth could face with an asteroid strike.

 

Overall: 70s Disaster movie 101

Rating

 

 

30th Anniversary Weekend – Back to the Future Part III (1990)

logoDirector: Robert Zemeckis

Writer: Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael J Fox, Christopher Lloyd, Mary Steenburgen, Thomas F Wilson, Lea Thompson, Elisabeth Shue, Matt Clark, Richard Dysart

Plot: Enjoying a peaceable existence in 1885, Doctor Emmet Brown is about to be killed by Buford “Mad Dog” Tannen. Marty McFly travels back in time to save his friend.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Fitting Conclusion

Story: Back to the Future Part III starts picks up right where part II ends with Marty (Fox) having to turn to Doc Brown (Lloyd) of the past to help him save Doc Brown from the future from the past. Doc Brown has ended up in 1885 while Marty is in 1955, in 1955 Doc Brown must team up with Marty fix the time machine and go back to save Doc Brown after they discover that Doc gets killed one week after he wrote the letter to Marty.

Marty arrives and ends up making an enemy with Buford ‘Mad Dog’ Tannen (Wilson) the badest man in the west who has already made an enemy out of Doc Brown. We are left to watch the pair work out how to fuel up the DeLorean and go back to the future.team

Back to the Future Part III completes the saga with wonderful enjoyment by going back in time even further with the western theme. I liked how this continues the adventure to a new level and shows enough respect to what will happen later in the story. This is the perfectly completion to a trilogy that can easily be watched in one go and not feel old.

Actor Review

Michael J Fox: Marty McFly continues this adventure through time as he goes back to 1885 to save Doc Brown but he ends up getting stuck there as the two have to find a way to go back to the future. Michael does it great job in this role where he completes the final chapter of the saga.marty

Christopher Lloyd: Doc Brown must first help Marty go back to the old west but while there the original Doc Brown must then learn his new fate before returning to the future but he has finally found love. Christopher gives his best of the trilogy performance where he gets to shine with his story unfolding.doc

Mary Steenburgen: Clara Clayton is the new love interest of Doc Brown and how he ends up saving her life, she ends up putting a difficult decision in Doc’s mind as he has never found love before. Mary is a welcome addition to the story that is much need as she becomes the strongest female character in the series.

Thomas F Wilson: Buford ‘Mad Dog’ Tannen is the badest man in the west, he is responsible for Doc Brown’s death, he clashes with Marty as he first goes back leading to a final showdown between the two. Thomas does well in yet another role in the series showing he can look the part in any time period.

Support Cast: Back to the Future Part III has the supporting cast works really well and you get to see them all in their roles through a different time periods.

Director Review: Robert ZemeckisRobert finishes his trilogy off marvellously with this finish instalments.

Action: Back to the Future Part III brings in the wild west action into the story which all comes off very generic for the ideas.

Adventure: Back to the Future Part III finishes the saga off which ends up becoming one of the greatest of all time.

Comedy: Back to the Future Part III has the funniest moments in the franchise with where ti all ends up going.

Sci-Fi: Back to the Future Part III uses the idea of sci-fi world of time travel but steps away from it slightly more.

Western: Back to the Future Part III brings us into the western world and makes it easy to watch rather than just settling with the idea easy to use style.

Settings: Back to the Future Part III creates the western setting for the story which works to change the idea of the story again but keeps the peril in there.
Special Effects: Back to the Future Part III continues the use of great effects which have hardly dated.

Suggestion: Back to the Future Part III has to be watched once you have seen the rest of the saga. (Watch)

Best Part: Doc Brown falling in love.

Worst Part: That evil looking kid.

Favourite Quote: Doc Brown It means your future hasn’t been written yet. No one’s has. Your future is whatever you make it. So make it a good one, both of you.

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Nope

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $88 Million

Budget: $40 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

Tagline: They’ve saved the best trip for last… But this time they may have gone too far.

Trivia: When Doc and Marty are at the drive-in preparing the DeLorean for the trip to 1885, Marty mentions Clint Eastwood and Doc replies, “Clint who?” In this shot, there is a movie poster on the drive-in’s wall showcasing Revenge of the Creature (1955) and Tarantula(1955), containing some of the first film appearances of a young, then-unknown Eastwood.

Overall: Brilliant conclusion to one of the great set of films ever made.

Ratingcard

 

Laputa: Castle in the Sky (1986)

logoDirector: Hayao Miyazaki

Writer: Hayao Miyazaki (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents English) Anna Paquin, James Van Der Beek, Cloris Leachman, Mark Hamill, Richard Dysart, Jim Cummings, Michael McShane, Mandy Patinkin, Andy Dick, Corey Burton

 

Plot: A young boy and a girl with a magic crystal must race against pirates and foreign agents in a search for a legendary floating castle.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Animated Adventure

 

Story: Laputa: Castle in the Sky starts when we see an aerial attack on a future flying craft from Dola and her men. They are after Sheeta and her crystal but she escapes the attack by jumping and guided to safety by her crystal. Sheeta lands literally in the arms of Pazu a young boy who helps on a mining job. Pazu dreams of being able to find the legendary Laputa a floating castle that his father once saw on a trip before spending his life searching for the castle a second time.

Sheeta has to team up with Pazu as they try to escape from pirates and military who both want to get their hands on Sheeta. Sheeta and Pazu get captured by the military side of the people after her and with Muska leading the search for Laputa. Pazu joins force with Dola and her pirates to save Sheeta as everyone involved wants to find the secrets of Laputa.sheeta nd pazu

Laputa: Castle in the Sky is a good action adventure story that could easily be put in the same league as many of the most popular live action ones. It has the traditional multi sided story that follows a range of characters with different motivations to want to find the island in the sky. We have some just after adventure, some after treasure while we have another group who believe they have a connection to the island. Mixing all this together gives you everything you need for a solid and enjoyable action adventure film. (8/10)

 

Character Review

 

Sheeta: Sheeta is a young girl who is from Laputa who both Muska and Dola are after, she befriends Pazu and will learn the truth about her past. Sheeta is very traditional princess like character who is always willing to sacrifice to save people from suffering. (8/10)

 

Pazu: Pazu is a young orphaned boy who wants to follow in his father’s footsteps and find the legendary floating castle Laputa. He saves Sheeta and with this his adventure can begin once and for all. Pazu is like most young men who want an adventure and this works well for the character because it makes us care for his journey for answers about what happened to his father. (8/10)

 

Dola: Dola is the leader of the pirates who wants the crystal and will do anything to make sure she gets the crystal. Dola does start off looking like a villain but in actually fact she turns into almost like the original jack Sparrow. (8/10)

 

Muska: Muska is the agent working for the military to find Laputa but his methods will include a large body count to get his answers. Muska does make for a good villainous character very calm and calculated throughout. (8/10)

 

Support Characters: Laputa: Castle in the Sky has a support character list that is mainly used for extra comedy and extra parts of the story.

 

Director Review: Hayao Miyazaki – Hayao does what he has always done, given us a good animated film that can still be talked about nearly 30 years later. (9/10)

 

Action: Laputa: Castle in the Sky is filled with action that ranges over nearly every type you would expect to see in an action adventure film. (9/10)

Adventure: Laputa: Castle in the Sky uses the idea of a mystery that is surrounding a legend to drive the adventure side of the story. (9/10)

Animation: Laputa: Castle in the Sky is what you expect from Studio Ghibili great animation. (9/10)

Family: Laputa: Castle in the Sky is one for the whole family to enjoy as they see how the story unfolds. (9/10)

Romance: Laputa: Castle in the Sky has a romance angle which you would find in most action adventure but isn’t the most important part. (4/10)

Settings: Laputa: Castle in the Sky creates beautiful settings for all of the action to take place in. (9/10)

Suggestion: Laputa: Castle in the Sky is one for all the action adventure fans to enjoy, I think most people will enjoy how this one unfolds. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The story mixes basic love of exploring with legend.

Worst Part: Not one.

Action Scene Of The Film: Everything on the island.

Funniest Scene: The crew all take a shine to Sheeta.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Indiana Jones

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

 

Overall: Laputa is one of the best action adventure films you never heard of, so go back and watch it.

Rating 83

The Thing (1982)

Director: John Carpenter

Writer: Bill Lancaster

Starring: Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, T.K. Carter, David Clennon, Richard Dysart, Charles Hallahan, Peter Maloney, Richard Masur, Donald Moffat

 

Story Set in Antarctica a small base filled with scientist, there peaceful environment is interrupted by a Norwegian helicopter chasing a husky. After the helicopter lands one man comes out with a gun and starts shooting aiming for the dog, not very well shooting one of the scientists before being killed himself. Another man falls out the helicopter dropping some dynamite blowing up the helicopter and himself.

 

R.J. MacReady Mac for short (Russell) goes to investigate the base of the Norwegian only to find the place has been burnt out and what looks like a deformed body burnt outside. Upon further investigation Mac finds a block of ice half melted inside the base.

 

Back at the home base the husky from the beginning has been wondering around all day but is forced to stay with the over huskies. With the people gone the dog soon starts changing shape shifting trying to use the other dogs. The scientists catch it during the process. Grab the flamethrower to dispose of the creature; is that the only creature on the base? Isolated tension between the scientist’s rises no one knows who to trust, who is still human? What is the creature?

Verdict This horror film is considered one of the best films of all time. And after watching again just yesterday this film just doesn’t seem to age. It is truly a brilliant film the tension through out is full blown edge of your seat stuff. Each character has hints they could be one of the creatures but just after you start thinking it one character you are more convinced it is another. John Carpenter is one of the masters of horror and this is a strong contender to be his best having Halloween in there to makes it hard to pick his best. If you a horror fan you watch this movie, if you a film fan in general you should watch this movie.

 

Story Mark 10/10 Many films have tried to copy the simple ideas this one uses to brilliant effect, this would be the best of the ones with the same story.

 

Action Mark 9/10 Explosions, flamethrowers all against an snow storm background.

 

Horror Mark 10/10 The shock values brilliant the fear given to the characters works to great effect, isolated in the middle of Antarctica no where to run against a deadly creature.

 

Special Effects Mark 10/10 No CGI just old fashion brilliant special effects.

 

Star Performances Kurt Russell great lead performance able to keep calm through out all the panic.

 

Favourite Character Childs (David) seems to be level headed but also looks ready to snap at any time

 

Best Part One of the characters who has died head comes off turning into a creature and tries to sneak off.

 

Worst Part Nothing

 

Best Quote Clark ‘I dunno what the hell’s in there, but it’s weird and pissed off, whatever it is.’

 

Fun Trivia John Carpenter has stated that of all his films this is his personal favourite.

 

Similar Too – Well only comparing this to worse movies in Whiteout, The Thing (2011)

 

My Rating 94%