ABC Film Challenge – 80s Movies – T – Trading Places (1983)

Director: John Landis

Writer: Timothy Harris, Herschal Weingrod (Screenplay)

Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Eddie Murphy, Ralph Bellamy, Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Ameche


Plot: A snobbish investor and a wily street con artist find their positions reversed as part of a bet by two callous millionaires.

Tagline – Some very funny business.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Wonderful, Though Dated


Story: Trading Places starts as we meet high flying investor Louis Winthorpe III (Aykroyd) who has made his bosses Randolph (Bellamy) and Mortimer (Ameche) millions of dollars, he is preparing to marry is long term girlfriend, life is good for him until he clashes with Billy Ray Valentine (Murphy) a homeless wise cracker.

When the Duke brothers decide to make a wager, they decide to try and prove they can make Billy Ray as successful as Louis, but also show they can destroy Louis in the progress. We are left to see the two men adapt to their new lives trying to understand just what is happening.


Thoughts on Trading Places


Characters – Louis Winthorpe III has been living the life of with a silver spoon in his mouth his whole life, protected from any hardship as he rises up the ranks to be considered the very top employee. He is going to get married to the girl he was always going to be with until he must learn to live with nothing after being put in a bet. Billy Ray Valentine is a homeless street wise cracker that gets wrongfully accused of a crime only to be placed into a bet given a life with money, wealth and a job. He adapts to the new life like a fish to water. Randolph and Mortimer are two brothers that have too much money to know what to do with a resort to bets over people’s lives. Ophelia is a hooker that gets used as part of the bet to help ruin Louis’ life, she ends up teaching him about the right way to live with no money.

PerformancesDan Aykroyd and Eddie Murphy are both wonderful with their comedy moments they both get to show different stage of their comedy from rich and poor situations. Ralph Bellamy and Dom Ameche are both good as the rich businessmen that work with money over anything else. Jamie Lee Curtis turned heads with her role here which people were not expecting to see.

StoryThe story here follows two rich businessmen that put a bet on that they can switch the lives of a successful businessman with a homeless street hustler. This is shows us just how rich people can have too much money for their own good and their aimless fun can ruin lives. See the swap between the two gives them both a chance to learn a lesson about acting different towards people who have their own stories. There are certain jokes which just don’t work for the modern times because they go into race related that wouldn’t stand up now. For the important message that the two learn is the highlight of the film.

ComedyThe comedy in the film shows how Aykroyd and Murphy were on the top of their game in this decade, we get both sides of their skills to rather than just sticking to a solo character.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in New York, for the 80s this was perfect because of the investment game that was going on at the time and still is.

Scene of the Movie –
Joining forces.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The racial comments wouldn’t work now.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great 80s comedy that hits nearly all the jokes, shows two performers at their best in the comedy world and teaches a good life lesson.


Overall: Classic 80s comedy.




Arnold Schwarzenegger Weekend – Twins (1988)

twinsDirector: Ivan Reitman

Writer: William Davies, William Osbourne, Timothy Harris, Herschel Weingrod (Screenplay)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Danny DeVito, Kelly Preston, Chloe Webb, Bonnie Bartlett, Trey Wilson, Marshall Bell, David Caruso, Hugh O’Brian


Plot: A physically perfect but innocent man goes in search of his long-lost twin brother, who is a short small-time crook.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Great Odd Couple Comedy


Story: Twins starts when 35 year-old Julius Benedict (Schwarzenegger) who was genetically modified to be almost perfect learns that he has a twin brother from birth and leaves his island to find him. We also meet his brother Vincent (DeVito) a low life criminal that has always gotten by with his quick talking but now he finds himself in big trouble.

When the two finally meet Vincent sees having Julius behind him as a chance to muscle behind him and clear all of his problems but as always Vincent gets himself into bigger trouble showing the bond between the two coming through strong as they go on a road trip to learn about their parents and make Vincent the money he wants.

Twins is what you would expect from the odd couple comedy that were happening through the 80s and sadly struggled to really be as popular as they were since then. We get to see how Schwarzenegger can handle comedy with a much more talent comedian with a crime story thrown in around the mix. This is an easy to watch comedy that will make you laugh at the opposite style we see Schwarzenegger take from his action brute we have all come to know and love.


Actor Review


Arnold Schwarzenegger: Julius has been genetically modified to be a perfect human with superior intelligence, strength but has lived on a desert island all his life. When he learns that he has a twin brother he wants to find him leading him to learn more about the world while becoming his brother’s muscle. He is very naïve to the world but learns quickly. Arnold does a great job in this against typecast role.

Danny DeVito: Vincent is the lowlife criminal that has been struggling his whole life after being put in an orphanage, he owes criminals a lot of money and when Julius walks into his life he finds a chance get back at the criminals but his wise talking will end him up in more trouble. Danny handles all the talking comedy showing off his comic timing throughout.

Kelly Preston: Marnie is the sister to Linda who questions why Linda stays with Vincent but when she sees Julius she falls instantly in love with the muscle bound man. Kelly is good in this supporting role but really is just the pretty woman involved in the film.

Chloe Webb: Linda is Vincent’s girlfriend who will stick by him through all the troubles. She is one of the only people that can get Vincent to follow instructions. Chloe adds extra comedy to the Vincent side of the story nicely.

Support Cast: Twins has a supporting cast which is just involved to make the story have a crime side to the story where they get to go up against Arnie while trying to kill Vincent. They add a few laughs but no threat to the story.

Director Review: Ivan ReitmanIvan gives us a good comedy that is enjoyable from start to finish.


Comedy: Twins has good comedy throughout with it being the not used to the fast paced world from Arnie or the quick talking from DeVito.

Crime: Twins has a crime story almost tagged onto the comedy which works to bring the men closer but you never feel any threat on this side of the story.

Settings: Twins takes from a tropical island before moving to the big city showing the clash in culture that Julius has to deal with.
: Twins is one I think the comedy fans out there will enjoy and hopefully will have seen. (Comedy Fans Watch)


Best Part: Schwarzenegger showing of comedy skills.

Worst Part: Crime story works but feels too tagged on.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Has had rumours.

Post Credits Scene: No


Awards: Nominated for a Golden Globe

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

Tagline: Only their mother can tell them apart.


Overall: Enjoyable comedy of the Odd Couple genre.




Kindergarten Cop (1990)

copDirector: Ivan Reitman

Writer: Murray Salem, Herschel Weingrod, Timothy Harris (Screenplay) Murray Salem (Story)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Penelope Ann Miller, Pamela Reed, Linda Hunt, Richard Tyson, Carroll Baker, Cathy Moriarty


Plot: A tough cop is given his most difficult assignment ever: to masquerade as a kindergarten teacher in order to find a drug dealer.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Classic Arnold


Story: Kindergarten Cop starts with Detective John Kimble (Schwarzenegger) tracking his prime suspect Cullen Crisp Jr (Tyson) who is searching for his ex-wife who is on the run from him. When Kimble finally gets his man he needs to locate Cullen’s ex-wife to finally put him away which means teaming up with Detective Phoebe O’Hara (Reed) and go undercover as a Kindergarten teacher.

The plan goes wrong early on when O’Hara becomes sick meaning Kimble has to take over the undercover role. Kimble trying to control the class becomes his hardest mission and trying to work out who the mother is just keeps becoming a difficult task with many leads from his class of Kindergarteners.

Kindergarten Cop takes the undercover cop genre putting a nice twist on it to make this also have the one man out of his comfort zone comedy. The action side of the story is toned down a lot but this isn’t a bad thing because we don’t really need this to be too action heavy. The crime side of the story shows that innocent victims can be the child but more importantly this film does show us the serious side that suffering child do go through if not dealt with accordingly. This is a great entertaining crime comedy that everyone does a great job in.


Actor Review


Arnold Schwarzenegger: Detective John Kimble has spent years of his police career trying to bring down Cullen Crisp, when he finally gets his man he must locate his missing wife that can finally convict him of all his crimes. Finding the wife means going undercover as a kindergarten teacher to find the son but this turns out to be a lot harder than Kimble had planned. Arnold shows how he can handle both action and comedy with this performance.

Penelope Ann Miller: Joyce Palmieri is a teacher at the school that Kimble takes a liking too. She has a son that is in Kimble’s class as her and Kimble get close she becomes one of his leads. Penelope is good in this role where we see both sides of her character.

Pamela Reed: Detective Phoebe O’Hara is the partner Kimble has to work with, she was meant to be the one to go undercover but when she gets sick she has to take the back seat. The two are an odd couple which adds to extra comedy in the film. Pamela is good as the sidekick and opposite to Arnold.

Richard Tyson: Cullen Crisp Jr is the man that Kimble has been tracking down but not before he learns about the location of his ex-wife who can put him away for the rest his life. Richard is good as this cocky crime boss.

Support Cast: Kindergarten Cop has a supporting cast which includes the fellow teachers, cops, mothers and most importantly the children who help Kimble unlock the case.

Director Review: Ivan ReitmanIvan gives us a good crime comedy that has a unique twist on the undercover cop story.


Action: Kindergarten Cop has action which is needed for the film but isn’t action heavy with just chase scenes being involved.

Comedy: Kindergarten Cop uses the situation to create the comedy as we Arnold in the position we would never imagine to be in.

Crime: Kindergarten Cop throws us into the world where we follow a cop tracking down a criminal, this is all easy to follow and helps the story out along the way.

Settings: Kindergarten Cop takes us to a small town for the most part of this setting as we see it be a place where people look to start a new life in.
Special Effects
: Kindergarten Cop has effects you would expect to see in this without needing to turn to them.

Suggestion: Kindergarten Cop is one I do think every could enjoy from start to finish. (Watch)


Best Part: Training the kids.

Worst Part: Television editing this film down.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Sadly, we are having.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too:


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $26 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

Tagline: An undercover cop in a class by himself.


Overall: One of Arnold’s best and most underrated pieces of work.




Best Friend’s Birthday Pick – Space Jam (1996)

logoDirector: Joe Pytka

Writer: Leo Benvenuti, Steve Rudnick, Timothy Harris, Herschel Weingrod (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Jordan, Wayne Knight, Theresa Randle, Danny DeVito


Plot: Michael Jordan agrees to help the Looney Toons play a basketball game vs. alien slavers to determine their freedom.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Classic Animation


Story: Space Jam starts in 1973 with young Michael Jordan shooting hoops well past midnight with his father talking about his dreams of becoming a basketball legend. Skip through the credits and Jordan’s (playing himself) career we see him retire to take up baseball. When Swackhammer (Voiced by Danny DeVito) wants something new for his planets people he wants to take the Looney Toons back to his planet.

We see how Michael Jordan’s baseball career isn’t going smoothly and he gets a new publicist Stan Podolak (Knight) before the Nerdlucks fly over the real world stadium entering into the Looney Toons world meeting Bugs Bunny. The Looney Toons challenge the Nerdlucks to a game of basketball, where if the Nerdlucks were to win they would take the Looney Toons back to their home planet. The Nerdlucks decide to play dirty and take the talent from basketball stars leaving disabled.

When the Nerdlucks reveal their new look as Monstars the Looney Toons decide they need help and look to recruit Michael Jordan the best in the business.  What followers in training for the match that will decide whether the Looney Toons will stay free or have to return with the Monstars.

Space Jam is one that will always be loved by the kids, the Looney Toons are huge well big not as popular as the release of this film, Michael Jordan is and will forever be known as an icon of basketball. Mixing these together works very well because we get a sports movie and an animated movie, that teaches the ideas of working as a team and overcoming your own fears. Sure I might be looking too deeply into this film but the big word about this film would be ‘FUN’. (7/10)


Actor Review


Michael Jordan: Michael Jordan playing himself as the retiring basketball star who decides to take up baseball but is struggling to make an impact. Michael has to play with the Looney Toons for their freedom in the most difficult game of his life. Michael goes into acting and does what you would expect from a sports star, but don’t forget this is a basketball film so he fits in very well. (7/10)


Wayne Knight: Stan Podolak is the publicist that is hired to look after Michael Jordan in his baseball career and ends up becoming part of the team. Wayne shows he is the actor in this film with good comic timing. (7/10)


Animated Characters: Space Jam has all the Looney Toons that have good comical moments and the villains are all very well created through out.


Director Review: Joe Pytka – Joe does a good job directing a family fun film that is still enjoyable after nearly 20 years. (7/10)


Animation: Space Jam has a good mix of animation and real world which still looks good today. (8/10)

Comedy: Space Jam has good comical moments all the way through the film which helps the enjoyment. (8/10)

Family: Space Jam is one the whole family can enjoy. (10/10)

Sports: Space Jam has to go down as one of the best basketball films of all time. (9/10)

Settings: Space Jam creates the settings used for the basketball game very well even though it is in an animated world. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Space Jam uses great effects to keep the mix of real and animated world together. (9/10)

Suggestion: Space Jam is one that everyone could sit down and enjoy with their family. (Family Film)


Best Part: The Game.

Worst Part: I don’t know the basketball players who lost their skills showing me that it has dated.

Funniest Scene: Lola’s entrance.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $230 Million

Budget: $80 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

Tagline: Get ready to jam


Overall: Fun Family Film that is still one for all to watch.

Rating 75