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

 

 

Advertisements

Never Say Never Again (1983)

Director: Irvin Kerschner

Writer: Lorenzo Semple Jr (Screenplay) Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham, Ian Fleming (Story)

Starring: Sean Connery, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Max von Sydow, Barbara Carrera, Kim Basinger, Bernie Casey

 

Plot: A SPECTRE agent has stolen two American nuclear warheads, and James Bond must find their targets before they are detonated.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Light-Hearted Bond

 

Story: Never Say Never Again starts as James Bond (Connery) has been working on training routines, mostly successful, but his physical condition isn’t on the levels it once was, he is now in a treatment hospital where he ends stumbling into Blofeld’s (von Sydow) latest plan.

When Blofeld holds the world to ransom, his agent Maximilian Largo (Brandauer) needs to be tracked down by Bond to stop the stolen nuclear war heads being used against the countries not willing to pay.

 

Thoughts on Never Say Never Again

 

Characters – James Bond is back in action after a forced retirement from the business, he knows how the locate his enemies and seduce a lady and this is no different as he goes up against one of his most famous villains. Largo is the main man puling the strings in the operation for the big boss, he goes face to face with Bond. Blofeld is the leader of SPECTRE the criminal organisation that has held the world to ransom.

PerformancesSean Connery gets to have a lot of fun returning to his most famous role, he still has the swagger for it too. Klaus is a solid enough villain and handles the interactions well. Max Von Sydow is one of the most trusted villains in the business, he takes this role and makes it his own well.

StoryThe story follow James Bond on another one of his adventures against an evil genius that plans to destroy the world. We go to luxury locations, with bars women and fighting, making this a complete 101 on how to make James Bond movie. This won’t be the most memorable one but it follows everything you need it to.

Action/AdventureThe action is good for a Bond film, it isn’t over the top but ticks the boxes well and the adventure is everything you are expecting to see from Bond.

SettingsThe film takes us to exotic locations where we see Bond battle the enemies who are of course rich and enjoy bars, sun women.


Scene of the Movie –
Massage

That Moment That Annoyed Me It lacks that moment that makes this memorable like most of the good Bond films.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that will work for all Bond fans, it checks the boxes well but never stands up to the best of the franchise, even though it isn’t an official part of them.

 

Overall: Bond movie 101

Rating

 

 

Christopher Walken Weekend – The Anderson Tapes (1971)

Director: Sidney Lumet

Writer: Frank Pierson (Screenplay) Lawrence Sanders (Novel)

Starring: Sean Connery, Dyan Cannon, Martin Balsam, Ralph Meeker, Alan King, Christopher Walken, Val Avery, Dick Williams

 

Plot: After Duke Anderson is released from prison after ten years for taking the rap for a scion of a Mafia family, he cashes in a debt of honor with the mob to bankroll a caper.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Easy to Watch Crime Thriller

 

Story: The Anderson Tapes starts with Duke Anderson (Connery) being released from prison after his 10-year stretch, he meets his former employees and heads back to his old girlfriend Ingrid (Cannon).

Duke wants to make a score to make up for his time in prison by pulling off his own score with his new team Tommy Haskins (Balsam), The Kid (Walken) and Spencer (Williams) but little does he know that he is being watched by the law, waiting for him and his associates to make a mistake.

 

Thoughts on The Anderson Tapes

 

Characters – Duke Anderson is a safe cracking thief that has done his time in prison, released he wants to use his connections to pull off an honour job with his former employers and uses all the skills he has to put the job together. Ingrid is the girlfriend of Anderson whose flat becomes the base for most of the job. Tommy Haskins is one of the team members, he is the one Anderson trusts the most and can landscape a place instantly for potential. The Kid is another member of the team and the youngest member of it at that, he has the connection but could but he loose cannon of the team.

PerformanceSean Connery is good in the leading role of the team of thieves, we get the first screen role for Christopher Walken here as he shows how he can play character that is always different to the rest of the cast. We also have a good supporting cast that all give us good performance through the film.

StoryThe story follows a former prisoner head out of jail looking to claim what he believes is his. The story shows the team being put together for this job from different backgrounds and the different loopholes to get the green light from the mob to do this job but we also see how the police would be tackling such a crime with the early surveillance technology.

Action/CrimeThe action is pretty tame because most of it is an odd punch but most of the film is about the slickness of the heist going on, we follow everything unfold as the crime gets committed.

SettingsA large amount of this movie is set inside the apartment building which shows how planned out the heist is, outside of this the film is New York streets.

Scene of the Movie – Planning the crime, building visit.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The technology noise.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy to watch heist film, it follows the ideas of most very well and puts together a clever way to make the crime happen.

 

Overall: Easy to watch crime thriller with a slick heist.

Rating

 

 

The Rock (1996)

rockDirector: Michael Bay

Writer: David Weisberg, Douglas Cook, Mark Rosner (Screenplay) David Weisberg, Douglas Cook (Story)

Starring: Sean Connery, Nicolas Cage, Ed Harris, John Spencer, David Morse, William Forsythe, Michael Biehn, Vanessa Marcil, John C. McGinley, Tony Todd

 

Plot: A mild-mannered chemist and an ex-con must lead the counterstrike when a rogue group of military men, led by a renegade general, threaten a nerve gas attack from Alcatraz against San Francisco.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the Best

 

Story: The Rock starts as General Francis Hummel (Harris) and his men including Major Baxter (Morse) take a military base by storm to steal a deadly bio-weapon. We also get to see the effects of the weapon when one of the men gets trapped in the room with it. We also get meet Stanley Goodspeed (Cage) who works as a chemical weapons disarmer.

General Hummel takes Alcatraz prison as his new base of operations where he has his weapons ready for launch unless his demands are met, he wants $100 Million that he can pay to fallen soldier’s family’s the money they deserve. Hummel has kept everything non-violent and keeps everything professional with his negotiations. We see how the FBI Director Womack (Spencer) and the rest of the authority figures in America give us the basic idea of what will be the consequences if the gas goes off and why plan A, B or C can’t work.

This has established the idea that we need our chemical expert Stanley and ex-inmate John Patrick Mason (Connery) who has been locked away with the key thrown away. The plan is to learn his route how he escaped from Alcatraz and use it to enter and get the upper hand on the men controlling the prison.

The Rock gives us an action movie that keeps all of the action in and from America with the terrorist side of the story being American soldiers. The odd couple chemistry between Goodspeed and Mason shows that people will go to lengths stop the men. I liked how Hummel’s also comes off very determined but not willing to take people’s lives into his hands wanting a peaceful ending to everything. we do get the basic action sides of the story but that doesn’t mean this is a bad movie. This is a fully enjoyable action film with a story that makes you question how you feel about Hummel’s.

 

Actor Review

 

Sean Connery: John Patrick Mason is the former inmate of Alcatraz who has been locked up many prisons which he has a habit of escaping from. John gets bought in on this mission because he knows how to get into Alcatraz but he isn’t playing by all the rules. The only man he respects out of the FBI unit is Goodspeed as the two have to become the heroes. Sean gives us one of the best performances of his career in this role showing he still had the action side of his older age.mason

Nicolas Cage: Stanley Goodspeed is the chemical expert that is considered the best in his field, as an FBI agent he gets bought into the situation to secure the bio-weapons that are threatening San Francisco. He has to work with Mason putting aside their differences to save the day. Nicolas is brilliant in this showing how he would become an action star for years to come.goodspeed

Ed Harris: General Francis Hummel is the man who is leading the operation take Alcatraz as his base to get the money owed to the men who died under his watch in black ops mission. He keeps everything non-lethal and wants to use the right paths even if some of the men are more trigger happy. Hummel makes for one of the most interesting villains in action film history because his cause is a worthy, he wants to negotiate in a forceful way without actually having causalities. We never really hate this villain because of this and he even does the right thing during the times when he men have gone out of line. Ed gives a brilliant performance in one of the best villains in action film history.hummels

David Morse: Major Tom Baxter is Hummel’s second in command he isn’t afraid to do jobs that Hummel’s doesn’t want to do and as the story unfold we learn how far he is willing to go. David is great in this supporting role.

Support Cast: The Rock has a massive supporting cast all in either military roles or authority roles.

Director Review: Michael BayMichael gives us one of the greatest action movies ever made.

 

Action: The Rock has great action throughout being is the hand to hand combat or explosions or gun fights.

Adventure: The Rock puts Goodspeed and Mason on an adventure to save the city.

Thriller: The Rock keeps us on our toes from start to finish.

Settings: The Rock uses Alcatraz for the setting which adds a unique take to the action side of the story.
Special Effects
: The Rock uses great effects for the action throughout without being too over the top.

Suggestion: The Rock is one for all the action fans to watch over and over because it is one of the best. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Car Chase.

Worst Part: Not much.

Action Scene Of The Film: Car Chase

Favourite Quote: Mason ‘Your “best”! Losers always whine about their best. Winners go home and fuck the prom queen.’

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for Best Sound

Box Office: $134 Million

Budget: $70 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 16 Minutes

Tagline: Alcatraz. Only one man has ever broken out. Now five million lives depend on two men breaking in.

 

Overall: One of the best action movies ever made which is just easy to watch throughout.

Ratingcard

 

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

Ratingcard