Taps (1981)

Director: Harold Becker

Writer: Darryl Ponicsan, Robert Mark Kamen (Screenplay) Devery Freeman (Novel)

Starring: George C Scott, Timothy Hutton, Ronny Cox, Sean Penn, Tom Cruise


Plot: Military cadets take extreme measures to insure the future of their academy when its existence is threatened by local condo developers.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Good Little 80’s Movie


Story: Taps starts as we meet our Military Cadets with Cadet Major Brian Moreland (Hutton) getting the promotion to this rank for his final year at the academy from General Harlan Bache (Scott). Bache informs the students this will be their final year before the academy is going to be knocked down for development.

When there is an altercation outside the grounds Bache accidently kills a young civilian. The consequences of this are that the base is going to close early but Moreland brings together the cadets with his Captains Alex Dwyer (Penn) and David Shawn (Cruise) to hold the base so they can have their final year and prove the academy is important for the community.


Thoughts on Taps


Characters – General Harlan Bache runs the military academy, he has done for years and enjoys developing the next generation of soldiers, when he is accidently involved in a shooting of a civilian he is removed from the base ending up in hospital. Cadet Major Brian Moreland leads the cadets, he was handpicked by the General and once the General is off the base, he leads the defence of the base from the incoming developers. Cadet Captain Dwyer is the closest friend Moreland has on the base and does clash with Shawn at time over clash of styles. Cadet Captain David Shawn is the fellow captain that is determined to prove the cadets can handle themselves, he acts quicker than Dwyer which leads to their tension at times.

PerformanceThe performances are great throughout, George Scott is your big name draw for the time and is good in his role, with Timothy Hutton here right after his Oscar win that is great throughout. Tom Cruise and Sean Penn both show their skills in the supporting role where they easily becoming big stars.

StoryThe story does follow the cadets who look to defend their school after an accident that is about to be getting closed. It shows how they were trained to handle themselves and stand up for what they believe in a bigger cause than themselves. It does have moments where you think it is a kids movie but the reality war is never just this tone and you also couldn’t see both sides fighting for what is mostly property.

SettingsMost of the film is set at the academy which shows how the young men worked together to stand up for what could build on a generation of future soldiers.

Scene of the Movie – Escape the locals.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This does seem like fighting for almost nothing, even if it is mostly tactical building up to a potential battle.

Final ThoughtsThis film shows us three young talented actors who all went onto bigger project in a film which shows the meaning behind being a solider from a young age, working together and understanding when to stand up for something you believe in.


Overall: Good drama showing us plenty of military tactics.





Franchise Weekend – Robocop (1987)

casting card

Plot: In a dystopic and crime-ridden Detroit, a terminally wounded cop returns to the force as a powerful cyborg haunted by submerged memories.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Classic


Story: Robocop starts with the crime ridden city Detroit where the cops are being killed left right and centre by crime lord Clarence J Boddicker (Smith). We meet Officer Alex Murphy (Weller) freshly transferred to the department and assigned to Anne Lewis (Allen) but on his first day he clashes with Clarence and his men leaving brutally gunned down.

With most of his body and mind dead Alex gets taken into Dr Bob Morton’s (Ferrer) experiment to be the first of his new line of defence against the criminals a Robocop. Bob is working for the Old Man (O’Herlihy) who is always trying to find a way to increase police work and after Dick Jones (Cox) pure robot goes wrong.

As Robocop starts cleaning up the streets we see how he starts remember who he original was and worse remembering who left him the way he was. Robocop goes on a mission to bring down the people at the top of the criminal side of the city with just Anne helping him but what he learns will take a twist.

Robocop is one action film that will forever be remembered for its iconic scenes. The story itself takes the crime story to another level in its own way too because usually we would see the partner come on the revenge mission instead of the cop returning from the dead. We also get to see how corruption could run between businessmen trying to make sure they make all the money and the criminals that will finance this happening. This film shows that even before its time we would look at this as a future and even throws in a couple of moments that show just how things could become ridiculous in the future.


Actor Review


Peter Weller: Officer Alex J Murphy is the freshly transferred officer that becomes the latest victim of the crime wave across the city. He gets transformed into the very first Robocop defending the city from the criminals only to have to battle who his former self once was. Peter is great in this role showing how he has to go through all the hard work in the Robocop costume.

Nancy Allen: Officer Anne Lewis is the cop that is Murphy’s partner showing him around the city as well as witnessing his death. When the Robocop starts working there she starts to suspect that he is Murphy and works along with him to bring down the men that killed him. Nancy is good in this supporting role showing a tough female cop in the 80s.

Dan O’Herlihy: The Old Man runs the company looking to being in the new robot defence against the criminals and will listen to anyone who gets results. Dan is good but only in a supporting role.

Ronny Cox: Dick Jones has created a robot he wants to use on the streets against the criminals but when it malfunctions he finds himself at the end of the line looking to get back ahead of the man that put him in this place. Ronny is good in this during the time he was often playing the villains.

Support Cast: Robocop has a good supporting cast with Kurtwood Smith shining as the crime lord of the city and the rest being different members of the gangs or police force.

Director Review: Paul VerhoevenPaul gives us one of the most iconic movies of all time that still stands the test of times.


Action: Robocop has great over the top action that works for the style of film we are watching.

Crime: Robocop puts us in the middle of a crime world where the police are being outnumbered by the criminals which makes the use of Robocop important.

Sci-Fi: Robocop uses the idea that in the future robots will be needed to fight crime using the technology you would think was considered the future for the late 80s.

Settings: Robocop takes us to Detroit for the setting which is always good for a crime story.
Special Effects
: Robocop has great special effects for the time of release which all still look good today apart from moment.

Suggestion: Robocop is one I think everyone should be able to watch at least once. (Watch)


Best Part: Final chase.

Worst Part: ED 209 special effects have dated.

Action Scene Of The Film: Murphy’s attack.

Kill Of The Film: Antonowsky and the toxic waste.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $13 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: Part man. Part machine. All cop. The future of law enforcement.

Trivia: It was discovered that when in full RoboCop costume, Peter Weller could not fit properly into the police car as he was too bulky. That’s why most shots of him show him exiting the car or preparing to get into it. For shots where he actually needed to be in the car, he only wore the top part of the costume and sat in his underwear. However, to maintain the illusion that RoboCop wears the entire suit while inside a car, most shots show his robotic feet exiting the car first.


Overall: An all time classic that will forever be one to live up to.




Murder At 1600 (1997)

posterDirector: Dwight H. Little

Writer: Wayne Beach, David Hodgin (Screenplay)

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Diane Lane, Daniel Benzali, Dennis Miller, Alan Alda, Ronny Cox, Tate Donovan


Story: When the President of the United States of America is under pressure with an international incident one of his staff is murdered under his roof. Detective Regis (Snipes) is put on trying to discover the truth which will lead to a much bigger picture you will not see coming.




Action: Some solid action scenes building up as more of the truth is uncovered. (9/10)


Thriller: Keeps you guessing on the truth all the way through. (8/10)


Settings: Good setting as the murder is in the white house considered one of the safest and most secure places in the world. (9/10)


Suggestion: Would suggest to all thriller fans good watch that keeps you guessing. (9/10)


Best Part: The conspiracy aspect of the story.


Star Performance Wesley Snipes


Favourite Character: Regis  


Trivia: Wesley Snipes replaced Bruce Willis


Overall: in the end this is a good film to watch back when Snipes was a good action lead before his personal problems, strong support cast through out keeping the story flowing well. An enjoyable action thriller.


Rating 79%

Total Recall (1990)

Director: Paul Verhoeven

Writer: Ronald Shusett, Dan O’Bannon, Gary Goldman

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rachel Titcotin, Sharon Stone, Ronny Cox, Michael Ironside, Marshall Bell


Story When mild man Douglas Quaid (Schwarzenegger) is feeling bored with his life he decides to take a virtual holiday. When he starts the process things go terribly wrong and Quaid get dumped off to avoid knowledge of the process. When he comes too he is met by one of his work friends who proceeds to try and kill him. Confused Quaid must go on the run from Richter (Ironside) who is tracing his every move.


Quaid discovers he must go to Mars to discover the truth and with this the Sci-fi action adventure starts.


Verdict This Sci-fi action adventure is a bit of a classic filled with some great effects for the time of release. Having excellent re-watch value is this films strong point being it is just plain fun. This is one of Schwarzenegger’s best films and roles. All the supporting cast add to the movie in a very good way be it Richter (Ironside), Lori (Stone), Melina (Titcotin) and the villainous Cohaagen (Cox). A very ambitious movie is arguable the best Mars based film made being as ‘Doom’ ’Ghost of Mars’ are both poor attempts to create the same atmosphere on the planet.


With its impending remake due out this year 2012 starring Colin Farrell, Kate Beckinsale, Jessica Biel and Bryan Cranston it only seemed like a good time to review now. The remake it clearly never going to be anywhere as good as the original and Colin Farrell in Schwarzenegger roles just isn’t going to be the same.


Overall this is one of the best Sci-fi action adventure made that doesn’t really age as it’s still just as easy to watch over twenty years later. I would personally recommend watching for the enjoyability rating it has sit back and enjoy.


Story Mark 10/10 Good story with plenty of twists and turns


Action Mark 10/10 Great action in an environment people haven’t experienced.


Character Development Mark 9/10 Every scene seems to teach you something else about Quaid’s past.


Special Effects Mark 10/10 Brilliant for its time still very good to watch,


Star Performances Arnold Schwarzenegger the role was made for him so simple for him to step into without really looking out of place.


Favourite Characters Douglas Quaid as he is strong leader, has brilliant one-liners that are still considered funny to date.


Benny the fast-talking taxi driver on Mars very good character in supporting role.


Best Part Special effects are top part but over all it nearly everything is great.


Worst Part Nothing about this film but the idea of a remake is bad much like ‘The Thing’ they both don’t need one.


Best Quote Quaid (after shooting his wife in the head) ‘Consider that a divorce’.


My Rating 94%