Chorus Line (1985)

This is a movie I got to watch from a special Park Circus Cinema showing in my local theatre.

Director: Richard Attenborough

Writer: Arnold Schulman (Screenplay) James Kirkwood Jr, Nicholas Dante (Book)

Starring: Michael Douglas, Terrence Mann, Michael Blevins


Plot: Hopefuls try out before a demanding director for a part in a new musical.

Tagline – One singular sensation

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Enjoyable Musical


Story: Chorus Line starts as the latest Broadway musical is casting the chorus line, director Zach (Douglas) and his choreographer Larry (Mann) have 100s of hopefuls that want this big break. We see scores of auditions going on with the numbers whittled down to 16 hopefuls, 8 women and 8 men, with former star of the show Cassie (Reed) trying to get Zach to give her a chance to audition.

We watch how the hopefuls must prove their quality to Zach so they can be in this latest show, we see how they have come from different backgrounds with their own motives for going into this field.


Thoughts on Chorus Line


Characters – Zach is the director of the show, he needs perfection and knows what he is looking for, he pushes the auditions to the limits, but gives them the motivation they need to improve for their next audition. Larry plays the nice guy, he will put his arm around anyone that needs help, to deal with the short tempered Zach, he has worked with people like this for years and knows the weakness they can hold. Cassie was once Zack’s top dancer, when things have changed she wants to return to be just one of the chorus line, a direction Zack doesn’t believe she should go in.

PerformancesMichael Douglas is now the biggest name in this movie, he does stand out because of his role as the director showing the calmness when looking out for the dancers, but the strictness while putting them back in their place. Terrence Mann is strong in this role too, we see just how important this is to his character. When it comes to the dancers they are all great through the film too.

StoryThe story shows us the routine a group of dancers must go through to try and make an impact on Broadway, we see how they have come from different background with a common dream to break the moulds of what is the normal. The whole film takes place over the one day of auditions which show how the process must go through to be selected and we are left to feel their stories and desperation to make an impact.

MusicalThe musical numbers are enjoyable through the film, with a number of the performers having their own song to make them stand out.

SettingsThe film takes place on just the Broadway location, where we see the performers on the stage, this is nice because we clearly see how this could be a live performance too.

Scene of the Movie –
Paul’s story.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We have slightly too many performers to whittle down for duration.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good musical, that translates well to screen and to the stage, we have good performance and good songs too.


Overall: Musical for all the fans of the genre.




Franchise Week – Critters 4 (1992)

crittersDirector: Rupert Harvey

Writer: Joseph Lyle, David J Schow (Screenplay) Rupert Harvey, Barry Opper (Story)

Starring: Don Keith Opper, Terrence Mann, Paul Whitthorne, Anders Hove, Angela Bassett, Brad Dourif, Eric DaRe


Plot: After being cryogenically frozen and waking up on a space station in the near future, the Critters aim to have the unwitting crew for lunch.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Running Out of Ideas, Head to Space


Story: Critters 4 starts with Charlie (Opper) searching for any remaining Critters this time in Kannes, only to find himself charged with Zoology preservation act prohibiting the extinction of any species in the galaxy. Ever the clumsy character Charlie finds himself trapped and frozen in the pod carrying the finally Critters where he awakens in the future 2045 on-board a space craft.

The crew includes Ethan (Whitthorne), Rick (Hove), Fran (Bassett) Al Bert (Dourif) and Bernie (DaRe) who are salvagers who travel around to find any lost space equipment when they find themselves trying to unlock the pod with Charlie and the Critters in. one the pod is open the Critters start running amuck on board the ship which leads to them having to fight to survive with nowhere to run.

Critters 4 was the last in the franchise because well, it ended up in space, the Critters are endangered so they need to be protected which works for me. It does continue the feel of the franchise with new characters and Charlie returning to his fun self. This has the feel of the end of a franchise which is all needed without being special.


Actor Review


Don Keith Opper: Charlie is our bumbling hero that has continued to fight the Critters only to find himself stuck in a preservation pod with the remaining ones. He ends up going into the future where he must fight the Critters on a spaceship. Don gives the performances you would expect to see.

Paul Whitthorne: Ethan is the young engineer on-board that listens to Charlie’s story, he is the lowest ranked person on the ship, he has to team up with Charlie to stop the Critters causing problems in space. Paul doesn’t give the best performance here being good and bad throughout.

Angela Bassett: Fran is one of the crew members in the ship, she seems to be the highest ranked behind the captain but on member that actually gets the respect from her crew mates. She is one tough woman that will fight until the very end. Angela shows she was going to be a big star in the future.

Brad Dourif: Al Bert is the ships engineer who is teaching Ethan while on the travel through space, he uses his brains to outsmart the computers and the Critters. Brad gives us a performance we would expect from one of the names of horror.

Support Cast: Critters 4 has a small supporting cast that doesn’t get too much time to do anything.

Director Review: Rupert HarveyRupert gives us a solid ending to the franchise.


Comedy: Critters 4 doesn’t have too many laughs with Charlie being the for comedy.

Horror: Critters 4 doesn’t have too much horror but does use the setting well.

Sci-Fi: Critters 4 uses the space setting making this the most sci-fi in the franchise.

Settings: Critters 4 keeps the action in space which works for the franchise taking the Critters back to where they started space.
Special Effects
: Critters 4 has the effects you have got to know through the series.

Suggestion: Critters 4 is one to watch to finish of the franchise. (Finish the Franchise)


Best Part: Space setting.

Worst Part: Taking the action into space and jumping forward in time.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Gremlins


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline: In space, they love to hear you scream!


Overall: Solid conclusion to end the franchise


Franchise Week – Critters 3 (1991)

crittersDirector: Kristine Peterson

Writer: David J Schow (Screenplay) Rupert Harvey, Barry Opper (Story)

Starring: Don Keith Opper, Leonardo DiCaprio, Aimee Brooks, Terrence Mann, John Calvin, Katherine Cortez, Geoffrey Blake


Plot: The tiny fur ball aliens that will eat anything or anyone set their sights on a Los Angeles apartment tower.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Funny, but Forgettable Sequel


Story: Critters 3 starts when family Clifford (Calvin) his kids Annie (Brooks) and Johnny are travelling home where they end up in a resting area where they bump into young Josh (DiCaprio) and our old friend Charlie (Opper) still dealing with the Critters and visits from space.

Annie arrives with her family to an apartment building where we meet the traditional character we expect to see in the horror film, a lousy janitor, over caring old couple and strong single woman. Little does Annie know they have bought some Critters with them to terrorise the building. Annie has to team up with Josh whose step-father owns the building and is out to evict everyone from the building, but who will make it out alive?

Critters 3 brings the story to a random apartment building losing all the factors it once had. The loss of settings makes us wonder what happened to leave us here and the lack of bounty hunters from space also makes us think they have just given up caring. Charlie going back to being a drunk also doesn’t help because now we don’t know what caused this. As the basic surviving in the building it works for horror comedy without really testing the audience.


Actor Review


Don Keith Opper: Charlie is now back as a drunk telling stories of the Critters again, no longer a full bounty hunter he just needs a chance to save the day again. Don really isn’t in this outing enough and his character has too many plot holes.

Leonardo DiCaprio: Josh is the step-son of the building owner who bumps into Annie on their travels before ending up trapped in the building fighting the Critters. Leonardo is good in one of his first roles of his career.

Aimee Brooks: Annie is the daughter of Clifford who lives in the building, she is trying to make her father step up and stop mourning the death of her mother while looking after her younger brother. She has to step up to fight back against the Critters once the adults get infected. Aimee makes for a strong lead in a horror which is all you need to be in this genre.

John Calvin: Clifford is the father to Annie and Johnny who is struggling with the loss of his wife which has lead him to fill his life with work. He needs to learn that his kids are important even if it is difficult after losing his wife. John feels like a passenger through this film.

Support Cast: Critters 3 has very generic supporting character that only offer a few jokes or to be disposable characters.

Director Review: Kristine PetersonKristine gives us a basic horror comedy that is filled with plot holes.


Comedy: Critters 3 has a few laughs but not enough to really enjoy for a comedy.

Horror: Critters 3 has a few horror moments but nothing that will stick with you.

Sci-Fi: Critters 3 is meant to be about space creatures but this time we don’t see any of the space angle.

Settings: Critters 3 has a good setting for the genre but one that doesn’t make sense for where the tory has come from.
Special Effects
: Critters 3 has the basic special effects you have come to know for the series of the films.

Suggestion: Critters 3 is one to try, I think DiCaprio fans should come back and see his early work. (Try It)


Best Part: Launching DiCaprio’s career.

Worst Part: Almost forgets where it came from.

Funniest Scene: Critters cry for help.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: 3 of 4

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Gremlins 2


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

Tagline: You Are What _They_ Eat

Trivia: Shot back to back with number 4


Overall: Sequel that is fun but lacks the spark the first two offered us


Franchise Week – Critters 2 (1988)

criters 2Director: Mick Garris

Writer: David Twohy, Mick Garris (Screenplay)

Starring: Terrence Mann, Don Keith Opper, Cynthia Garris, Scott Grimes, Liane Curtis, Lin Shaye, Barry Corbin


Plot: Eggs of the small, furry alien carnivores are left behind on Earth and, after hatching, set their appetites on the next neighbouring town.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Bloodier, Funnier and Bigger


Story: Critters 2 starts with space bounty hunters Ug (Mann) and Charlie (Opper) completing their latest mission only to find out that they didn’t complete the previous mission and the Critters are still on Earth. Brad Brown (Grimes) returns to his home town after his family moves away catching the eye of reporter Megan (Curtis) who sees the chance of a story.

The town has found the eggs of the Critters in what just so happens to be Easter as the church turns them all into Easter Eggs for the hunt only to find the town crawling with Critters hungrier than ever.

Critters 2 brings us more action, more critters than last time out, we see how a town comes under attack this time around. We see more people in peril but this brings us more from the bounty hunters fighting against critters which is something the first film really lacked. The negative would have to be the lack of returning characters with only 2 of the Earth characters returning with one being re-cast. This continues to have fun which is all you want this time around.


Actor Review


Terrence Mann: Ug is the bounty hunter from space who has been teaching Charlie how to tackle different space creatures, he finds out that Earth is still in danger and takes Charlie back to Earth to finish what they started. Terrence is good in this role that has good laughs from his character.

Don Keith Opper: Charlie is now a trained bounty hunter working with Ug, he does miss Earth but finally fits in and has meaning to his life, he returns to Earth to take on the Critters once they start taking over the town. Don is good in this role with his bumbling character.

Scott Grimes: Brad is returning home for the first time since the events of the first film. He still misses his friend Charlie but he is older now and must step up when it comes to fighting the larger number of Critters that have come back to life. Scott is good in this role returning to the franchise to see his character need to put everything behind him.

Liane Curtis: Megan is a young reporter that works with Brad to survive against the Critters, she offers a romantic interest as well as being the damsel in distress. Liane is good without really exceling in the role.

Support Cast: Critters 2 has generic supporting character that all works for the story when needed with some being disposable.

Director Review: Mick GarrisMick does a good job directing the sequel that feels a lot more fun throughout.


Comedy: Critters 2 does tone down the laughs to make a more serious story.

Horror: Critters 2 does creature more horror because of the larger numbers of Critters.

Sci-Fi: Critters 2 brings us creatures from out of space along with the bounty hunters returning to Earth.

Thriller: Critters 2 does keep you guessing because we get to see the Critters being deadlier than previously thought off.

Settings: Critters 2 brings the action to the town this time giving us more Critters thing time.
Special Effects
: Critters 2 has good effects which works for the story without being outstanding quality.

Suggestion: Critters 2 is one to watch if you want something easy to watch. (Easy Viewing)


Best Part: more Critters.

Worst Part: Less Laughs

Funniest Scene: Lee’s transformations.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: 2 of 4

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Gremlins


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $3.8 Million

Budget: $4.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

Tagline: It’s Everyone’s Turn For Seconds


Overall: Fun, this is all this film is just relax and enjoy.


Franchise Week – Critters (1986)


For the Ultimate 80s Blogathon hosted by Kim and Drew I have selected this little horror gem Critters, head on over to their sites to see what other people have entered into the Blogathon.

crittersDirector: Stephen Herek

Writer: Domonic Muir, Stephen Herek (Screenplay) Domonic Muir (Story)

Starring: Dee Wallace, M Emmet Walsh, Billy Green Bush, Scott Grimes, Nadine Van Der Velde, Don Keith Opper, Billy Zane, Terrence Mann, Lin Shaye


Plot: A race of small, furry aliens make lunch out of the locals in a farming town.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Fun Creature Feature Comedy


Story: Critters starts when the Crits escape from their intergalactic prison, bounty hunters are set to follow them across the galaxy. The planet they are heading for is Earth as we meet a family Helen (Wallace), Jay (Bush), Brad (Grimes) and April (Velde) along with their worker Charlie (Opper) all in a small town.

When the Critters crash land near the small farm it is up to the family to fend them off because their apatite just never stops as they will eat anything and everything. The bounty hunters including Ug (Mann) arrive to help but can they stop them in time?

Critters is a classic 80s creature feature taking advantage of what Gremlins created a few years before. It has all the fun needed and creatures that come off harmless but are in fact deadly. We don’t have the biggest body count which helps because with a body count we end up setting up pointless characters just to create a kill. This isn’t going to be a true classic but a fun film with a very simple story.


Actor Review


Dee Wallace: Helen is the mother of the house who has to look after her kids when the Critters are attacking their family farm. She is very patient with her children being the soft one compared to the stricter father. Dee does a good job without doing too much in a spell where she shone in horror.

M Emmet Walsh: Harv is the sheriff of the small town who has to deal with the Critter invasion, he has to step up when his deputy fails to solve the problem. M Emmet makes for a fun character through the film.

Billy Green Bush: Jay is husband and father in the household who has to do the most part of the investigation of the creatures, he gets attacked the most but will do anything to protect his family. Billy is good in this role without doing too much.

Scott Grimes: Brad is the youngest member of the family who likes using fireworks and a slingshot, he uses his skills to fight off the Critters to protect his family. Scott does a good job in this role as the kid with extra fight in him.

Don Keith Opper: Charlie is the town drunk and believer in something coming from out of space using him to communicate, he works for the family but could be the answer to all the problems. Don is good in what turns into two roles through this film.

Support Cast: Critters has your typical supporting cast, dumb deputy, damsel in distress sister, flashy boyfriend etc they all work for the film.

Director Review: Stephen HerekStephen gives us a fun creature feature that isn’t the strongest but an easy watch.


Comedy: Critters has good comedy moments mostly from the Critters themselves.

Horror: Critters isn’t the scariest film because the comical look for the creatures doesn’t help.

Sci-Fi: Critters has creatures from out of space, bounty hunters from out of space coming to our world which ticks all the sci-fi angles.

Thriller: Critters does keep you wondering where the creatures will attack next.

Settings: Critters uses the farm as the setting giving the character’s isolation as they wait for help.
Special Effects
: Critters has the right level of effects needed for the comic side of the film.

Suggestion: Critters is one for the all the creature features fans to enjoy. (Creature Feature Fans)


Best Part: Creatures are fun.

Worst Part: Slightly short.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final showdown.

Funniest Scene: Crit meets ET.

Kill Of The Film: Firework eating Crit.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Part one of 4

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Gremlins


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $13 Million

Budget: $2 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

Tagline: The original tasty entree!


Overall: Fun creature feature that will make you laughing throughout.