Apr 032012
 

Director: Ridley Scott

Rating: PG

Running Time: 94 minutes

Release Date:12/13/1985

Genre: Fantasy

CastJack(Tom Cruise), Lili(Mia Sara), Lord of Darkness(Tim Curry), Gump(David Bennent), Blix(Alice Playten), Screwball(Billy Barty), Brown Tom(Cork Hubbert), Pox(Peter O’Farrell), Blunder(Kiran Shah), Oona(Annabelle Lanyon)

Synopsis: Long ago the Lord of Darkness, a twelve-foot tall horned demon, rules in the dark underworld and must kill the last unicorn to destroy the daylight and rule the world. Jack (Tom Cruise) is a ‘forest child’ and is in love with the princess Lili (Mia Sara), but then a band of goblins kidnap her. Jack and a band of dwarves, elves, and faeries must fight ogres, goblins, trolls to rescue Lili and the last unicorn and save the world from the Lord of Darkness.

AnalysisThis movies might be one of those that you had to see when you were young and before you knew that Tom Cruise was a crazy person, but I still enjoy it. I think that Cruise does a pretty good job as a naïve young adventurer and Mia Sara is great when she transforms from the sweet and pure Lili to the evil version of herself.

On the negative side, I’ve always liked Tim Curry, but I think that anybody could have been the Lord of Darkness because he is buried under makeup and his voice is unrecognizable due to artificial enhancement.

Pro:

  • The sets are very detailed and varied.
  • Billy Barty as Screwball.
  • Evil dress dances the waltz.
  • Very great evil monsters like the goblins and trolls.

Con:

  • Unicorn sound like dolphins.
  • Random crazy appearance of bubbles for no reason.
  • Soundtrack is a little annoying.
  • Lord of Darkness’ horns are just a little too long.

Conclusion: This is a fun film from the 80s. It might not be for everyone, but the special effects are pretty good and the faerie folk are funny. Might be worth watching it if you catch it on TV.

 

Frank’s Ratings

(1-5)

Characters

2

Story

2

Special Effects

4

Would Watch Again?

3

Average

2.75

 

Apr 022012
 

Director: Tobe Hooper

Rating: PG

Running Time: 114 minutes

Release Date: June 4, 1982

Genre: Horror

Cast:Steve Freeling (Craig T. Nelson ), Diane Freeling (as Jobeth Williams) (JoBeth Williams ), Dr. Lesh (Beatrice Straight ), Dana Freeling (Dominique Dunne ), Robbie Freeling (Oliver Robins ), Carol Anne Freeling (Heather O’Rourke ), Marty (as Marty Casella) (Martin Casella ), Ryan (Richard Lawson ), Tangina (Zelda Rubinstein )

Synopsis: The Freelings are a nice family living in a suburban house inCalifornia. Then, strange things start to happen in the house involving the youngest daughter, Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke), and culminate in her getting sucked into another dimension. The family can only communicate to her through the TV. They ask a team a team of parapsychologists and a spiritualist, Tangina (Zelda Rubinstein) for help. In the end, there is a huge battle between the living and the dead and good and evil.

Analysis: In 1982 when Poltergeist was first out, I can remember that some critics said that it was a coarse and crude film with few good features. Over the past 30 years, it has had a chance to win more people over and now many would consider it a horror classic. I agree, but I was on its side from the beginning.

The film provides some good scares, like the evil clown doll and when the parapsychologist hallucinates that his face peels off. From it, I also have nightmares about falling in murky water and having corpses appear and drag me down. I think that is a pretty good accomplishment because I have become petty immune to scares like that over the years.

Pro:

  • Hilarious remote control duel.

  • The music is great and sets the tone well.

  • Funny how the family treats the strange goings on as something to play with.

  • Looks on the parapsychologists’ faces are priceless when they see ghosts for the first time.

  • Very imaginative unearthly spirit monsters like the giant head and the spider ghost dog.

Con:

  • Some of the special effects are dated, especially those dealing with clouds.

  • The tree monster looks pretty fake.

  • Scene where Carol Anne gets sucked into her close looks pretty bad.

  • Strange unnecessary crotch shot of the mom when she is attacked on the bed.

Conclusion: This is a great movie that freaked me out when I was a kid. Watch it if you get a chance!

 

Frank’s Ratings

(1-5)

Characters

3

Story

3

Special Effects

3

Would Watch Again?

4

Average

3.25

Susan Tyrrell

Mar 292012
 

Director: Steve James

Rating: PG-13

Running Time: 106 Minutes

Release Date: 1/24/1997

Genre: Sports, Biography, Historical, Running

Cast: Steve Prefontaine (Jared Leto ), Bill Bowerman (R. Lee Ermey ), Bill Dellinger (Ed O’Neill ), Pat Tyson (Breckin Meyer ), Elfriede Prefontaine (Lindsay Crouse ), Nancy Alleman (Amy Locane ), Elaine Finley (Laurel Holloman ), Mac Wilkins (Brian McGovern ), Curtis Cunningham (Kurtwood Smith )

Synopsis: Biopic of Steve Prefontaine (Jared Leto ), an up and coming Oregonian distance runner in the 1970s. He is an impressive collegiate runner, that competes in the ill-fated 1972 Munich Olympics. Despite being in the lead until nearly the end of his last race, pushes himself too hard, is passed and does not win a medal. In 1975, as he is training to make his comeback and compete in the 1976 Olympics he is killed in a car accident.

Analysis: Before I had seen Prefontaine, I often heard his last name without any context except for it being related to running. For some reason I assumed that it was related to a time before Fontaine.

I was never very physical during high school or college, but over the past few years I have taken up running as my main method of exercise. I have always been a pretty slow runner and am easily discouraged. One day, I randomly caught Prefontaine when it was on HBO.  As I watched it, the life of Steve Prefontaine really touched me. Even though his life story is a tragedy in the end, the aggressiveness of his running and the attitude that the only way he would give up is if his body physically would not let him go another inch has really helped my attitude towards being discouraged in things I do.

As for running, I am only marginally faster, but I have a much better attitude for when I am getting mentally tired and will often be able to go much farther!

Pro:

  • Always makes me want to run.
  • Some of the outdoor running locations are beautiful.
  • The soundtrack is great including “Baba O’Riley” by The Who and “Crosstown Traffic “ by Jimi Hendrix.
  • The sadness after the terrorist attack at Munich was very moving.
  • Reenactment of film of running events is very well done.

Con:

  • The film is a bit choppy at times when long periods of time are skipped over.
  • When the actors are being interviewed in documentary style, it might have been nice to have the real people instead.
  • I would have liked to see more viewpoints from Prefontaine’s competitors.

Conclusion: This movie is very inspiring and sad. It is one of the only movies that it is alright for a guy to cry during, but he really should also have a bowl of onions to chop nearby in case anyone catches him!

 

Frank’s Ratings

(1-5)

Characters

3

Story

3

Special Effects

3

Would Watch Again?

5

Average

3.5