1941 (1979)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale (Screenplay) Robert Zemeckis, Bob Gale, John Milius (Story)

Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Ned Beatty, John Belushi, Lorraine Gary, Murray Hamilton, Christopher Lee, Tim Matheson


Plot: Hysterical Californians prepare for a Japanese invasion in the days after Pearl Harbor.

Tagline – As They Roared Into Battle, Only One Thing Was Missing…The Enemy!

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Simply Not Good Enough


Story: 1941 starts in the aftermath of Pearl Harbour, The Japanese are searching for Hollywood for their latest attack, while the army are planning to create a defence on the Californian coastline, Sgt Frank Tree (Aykroyd) leads his men in preparations while pilot Captain Wild Bill Kelso (Belushi) travels the country to support his troops.

The preparations bring us comical happenings which lead to what is going on between the Americans and the impending Japanese.


Thoughts on 1941


Characters – We have so many characters in this film it is hard to pick out the main ones, we will though, Sgt Frank Tree tries to keep peace between his soldiers and not letting them fight with the locals. Ward Douglas is the man that sees it has an honour to host the army for prime location for defence. Captain Wild Bill Kelso is a pilot that enjoys a drink, he heads across country to join the battle. Where we have too many characters it is hard to see which one we are meant to be follow the most.

PerformancesThe performances are affected by the mass cast because no one gets to show their best skills, we have the comical actors that want to joke, only for them to miss, then the serious actors not hitting their moments either.

StoryThe story follows the Americans as they plan for a potential next attack on America from the Japanese in the aftermath of the Pearl Harbour attack. The problem I see with this story, it showing us how we make light of a devastating moment in history with the Pearl Harbour attack and shows how America did panic but didn’t seem to take the events serious, well that is what the film gives us.

Action/Comedy/WarThe action plays into the comedy which gets basic laughs but most of the laughs seem to have dated badly and even just give us toilet humour, all with the backdrop of World War II.

SettingsThe film puts us in LA for the events of the film which shows how Hollywoodland would react to the impending war.

Scene of the Movie –
Plane sex.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the biggest misses of Spielberg’s career, it has too many characters and doesn’t manage to balance out the comedy and action well enough.


Overall: Disappointing throughout.





Halloween Kingathon – Sometimes They Come Back (1991)

Banner-1logoDirector: Tom McLoughlin

Writer: Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal (Screenplay) Stephen King (Short Story)

Starring: Tim Matheson, Brooke Adams, Robert Rusler, Chris Demetral, Robert Hy Gorman, William Sanderson

Plot: Based on a short story by Stephen King, a man and his family return to his home town, but he is then harassed by teenagers that died when he was a kid.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Ghosts of the Living Dead

Story: Sometimes They Come Back starts the Norman family moving back to Jim (Matheson) home town with wife Sally (Adams) and son Scott (Gorman). Jim has taken a teaching job and the rumours about his past continue to follow him around, while his past haunts him from this town.

We learn what happens to Jim’s brother when he was a kid and that being the main reason why they left the town in the first place. The return to the town brings death of a student before a new student Richard Lawson (Rusler) appears in class who has a striking resemblance to the thug that killed Jim’s brother.

When a second student dies a second member of the gang who died after killing Jim’s brother turns up in his class looking for revenge for their deaths.

Sometimes They Come Back turns the spin on the idea from The Crow where the evil characters come back looking for revenge. It all works very basic but you do wonder why the innocent kids deaths never really got looked into. It ends up being a reliving moment idea and some weak investigation nothing really gets explained to why it all ends up happening. (5/10)

Actor Review

Tim Matheson: Jim Norman is the teacher who is haunted by his childhood where he brother was murdered but it trying to rebuild his life after a professional incident in his home town. His life really comes back to life when the thugs who died during his brother’s death come back for revenge. Tim does a solid job in the film without excelling. (6/10)jim

Robert Rusler: Richard Lawon is the leader of the gang who killed Jim’s brother but died, he has returned with the rest of his gang from the grave to get revenge on Jim. Robert does a good job in this role and you generic villain character. (7/10)

Support Cast: Sometimes They Come Back has the generic supporting cast with worried family and typical thug like characters.

Director Review: Tom McLoughlinTom gives us a basic thriller without hitting any real horror angles. (5/10)

Horror: Sometimes They Come Back doesn’t reach all the horror angles it needs to get to. (4/10)

Thriller: Sometimes They Come Back tries to keep you guessing to what will happen next to the characters. (7/10)

Settings: Sometimes They Come Back uses the basic small town setting which is easily the trademark of Stephen King based film. (5/10)

Suggestion: Sometimes They Come Back is one to try but could easily be missed. (Try It)

Best Part: Basic tunnel scene.

Worst Part: Not enough scares.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has a sequel.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

Overall: Basic horror thriller that is very slow

Rating 40