ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – K – Klute (1971)

Director: Alan J Pakula

Writer: Andy Lewis, David E Lewis (Screenplay)

Starring: Jane Fonda, Donald Sutherland, Charles Cioffi, Roy Scheider, Dorothy Tristan, Rita Gam, Nathan George

 

Plot: A small-town detective searching for a missing man has only one lead: a connection with a New York prostitute.


Tagline – You’d never take her for a call girl. You’d never take him for a cop.

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Thriller

 

Story: Klute starts when a man goes missing with one of the last people to see him alive being a New York prostitute Bree Daniels (Fonda) a woman that is trying to get into acting, she has had many clients through the years and has now started unsettling phone calls. Detective John Klute (Sutherland) is still trying to get to the bottom of the missing persons case, which sees him returning to Bree for more information.

As Klute spends more time learning how Bree operates, he starts to meet the other people in the sex underworld of New York city including her former pimp Frank Ligourin (Scheider) and fellow prostitute Arlyn Page (Tristan), with each leading him to the answer in his missing persons case.

 

Thoughts on Klute

 

Characters – Bree Daniels is the New York prostitute that has been trying to become an actress, she has stop taking as many tricks as before and is the key witness in a missing persons case, she is being watched over by Klute who starts to help her see life in a different light, one which makes her happy, though she is always fearing about how he will judge her for her past. John Klute is a detective trying to locate a missing person, he keeps watch over Bree become romantically involved with her, he shows her a different way to see life, while seeing how this underworld operate. Frank Ligourin is Bree’s pimp that is always trying to get the best for his women, no matter what that means for the women, if they get paid, he gets paid.

PerformancesJane Fonda is wonderful in this leading role, she brings the upfront confidence you would expect from a call girl, with the ability to show change through the film. Donald Sutherland is brilliant too, he keeps his character straight down the line like he needs to through the film. the rest of the cast are flawless and let the leads take the centre stage throughout.

StoryThe story here follows a police detective that spends time with prostitute that might hold the answers to a missing person only to find himself involved in a bigger mystery about who she is. We do spend plenty of time following Bree and seeing how she operates her off the record career and how she is trying to go straight, while being stalked, we get the unsettling feeling that she is going through during the film. seeing how the investigation unfolds is interesting because we see how he doesn’t worry about how many different illegal activities he finds himself going into. This is a tense thriller that does keep us on edge just to see what will happen next to the characters.

Crime/MysteryThe crime side of the film does show us how the prostitute world operates and how the answers for the case will come from what Klute learns.

SettingsThe film is set in New York City which will is always a busy city for any crime story to unfold in.


Scene of the Movie –
First meeting with Frank.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It doesn’t seem to give us enough clues to what happened to the missing person.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller that does keep us guessing to just what will happen next and what is going on in this world.

 

Overall: Intense Thriller.

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

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The French Connection (1971)

frenchDirector: William Friedkin

Writer: Ernest Tidyman (Screenplay) Robin Moore (Book)

Starring: Gene Hackman, Fernando Rey, Roy Scheider, Tony Lo Bianco, Marcel Bozzuffi

 

Plot: A pair of NYC cops in the Narcotics Bureau stumble onto a drug smuggling job with a French connection.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic

 

Story: The French Connection starts by establishing Jimmy Doyle (Hackman) and Buddy Russo (Scheider) as rough and tough cops, we also get to see the criminal enterprise in France run by Alain Charnier (Rey) and just how they will never leave a loose end.

As Doyle and Russo enter into one of their games of following what seems like a nobody in Sal Boca (Lo Bianco) they discover he is too clean leading to them to investigate him uncovering themselves a criminal activity going on unlike anything they have come up against before.

The French Connection brings us into the original feel of what a cat and mouse type chase would be between cops and criminals. Yes that does make it very simple as we do get to learn the vices of all the characters while uncovering the truth about them. We also get to see how investigation were done before everything was computerised with real leg work which creates the multiple chases that bring you to the edge of your seat throughout.

 

Actor Review

 

Gene Hackman: Jimmy Doyle is the nonsense cop who will push all the boundaries while on the job to get answers. He stumbles upon an international drug deal going on and along with his partner has to watch over the potential suspects involved in the deal. Gene gives a great performance in this leading role showing pure determination throughout.doyle

Fernando Rey: Alain is the leader of the criminal syndicate from France who has come to America to complete on big deal, he enters into a cat and mouse game with Doyle which he seems to have the upper hand on. Fernando is good in this role thinking he always has the upper hand over Doyle.

Roy Scheider: Buddy Russo is the partner of Doyle, he comes off as the slightly more responsible one of the two and when it comes to good cop bad cop he will fill in as good cop. Roy does well in this supporting role letting Hackman take the centre stage without being just a standard backup character.

Tony Lo Bianco: Sal Boca is the man trying to get the deal done from the American side of things, it is him that grabs the attention of Doyle starting off the epic game of cat and mouse between the sides. Tony is good in this role with his extra swagger in his movements.

Support Cast: The French Connection has good supporting cast even if the characters are ones you would have come familiar with in the genre.

Director Review: William FriedkinWilliam gives us one of the film that has stood the test of time and will always be one of the benchmarks for great crime thrillers.

 

Action: The French Connection has great action scenes with the famous car chasing down the train being the highlight of the whole film.

Crime: The French Connection puts us into the middle of a crime world with one deal taking place but filled with secrets.

Thriller: The French Connection does keep us guessing to what will happen next throughout.

Settings: The French Connection uses the settings of New York to bring the action to closer rather than on the open roads.

Suggestion: The French Connection is one I think most people should have seen at least once through the life span. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Car, train chase.

Worst Part: Cliff-hanger ending is slightly frustrating now.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 5 Oscars including Best Picture, Best Actor and Best Director

Budget: $1,8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

Tagline: Doyle is bad news – but a good cop.

Trivia: The car crash during the chase sequence, at the intersection of Stillwell Ave. and 86th St., was unplanned and was included because of its realism. The man whose car was hit had just left his house a few blocks from the intersection to go to work and was unaware that a car chase was being filmed. The producers later paid the bill for the repairs to his car.

 

Overall: Classic that will forever be one of the best

Ratingcard