Showing posts with label 1986. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 1986. Show all posts

Monday, 27 May 2013

Stand by Me

Stand by Me, based on a Steven King novella, is a coming of age drama about four young boys who set out one morning in search of a dead body that is rumoured to be lying not far from their small Oregonian town. Over the course of a couple of days they encounter excitement and danger and return as changed people on the cusp of adulthood. The film has a classic charm and easy on the eyes style which rolls slowly out in front of the audience. It takes its time and focuses on the character’s journey and is only lightly interspersed with action. The movie is more dramatic than the more comedic but similarly themed The Goonies and it features more adult language. I believe however that the language realistically captures the way that boys of that age, from that era would have spoken and it doesn’t hold back to make itself available to all ages.

Even though the film is set nearly thirty years before I was born and on an entirely different continent, many of its ideas reminded me of my own childhood. It made me yearn for the days of adventure when a friend would arrive excitedly at my house to announce that he had found a dead cat or that a window was open in a house under construction around the corner. That rush of youthful excitement and danger is something which you don’t experience as an adult and as the film clearly states, your friends at that age are the closest you’ll ever have. The movie made me feel very nostalgic and sad to be sitting on the sofa with grey hairs, thinking about putting a load of washing on rather than throwing on a jacket and running out of the house with reckless abandon.

Saturday, 6 October 2012


Platoon takes us through a tour of the Vietnam War through the eyes of the fresh and idealistic young volunteer Chris Taylor (Charlie Sheen). We follow Taylor from his first day in Nam to his final battle accompanied by voice-over which expresses his thoughts, worries and ideas. The film appears to accurately portray the day-to-day life of a soldier in the jungle and promotes the views of the monotonous nature of infantry warfare which is punctuated by moments of extreme violence. Platoon creates an environment for its cast whereby the characters fear not only the Vietcong and jungle but also each other as tensions and rivalries run high and suspicion spreads like wildfire. Personally I think it is one of the finest war movies ever made and it went on to win four Oscars including Best Director and Best Picture at the 59th Academy Awards.  

Sunday, 16 September 2012

Hannah and Her Sisters

In typical Woody Allen fashion, Hannah and Her Sisters is a comedy-drama that intertwines several stories from a large cast. The plot centres around three sisters and their often interconnecting relationships. Hannah (Mia Farrow) is a successful Actress and married to financial advisor Elliot (Michael Caine) who in turn is infatuated with Hannah’s sister, Lee (Barbara Hershey). Lee is in a relationship with a reclusive artist named Frederick (Max von Sydow) but begins to realise that she too has feelings for Elliot. The third sister Holly (Dianne Wiest) is an unsuccessful Actress who is recovering from a cocaine addiction. The final piece of the jigsaw is a hypochondriac TV Producer and Hannah’s ex-husband Mickey (Woody Allen) whose philosophy on life changes as the plot progresses due to the sudden realisation that he will one day die.

The film is set over a two year period but also contains flashbacks to times before the narrative began to contextualise certain relationships. Voice over from several of the actors provide the audience with access to the characters inner thoughts as the merry go round of associations and affairs slowly unfolds. The film is witty and sometimes interesting but for a fairly short film, it felt long and sometimes tedious.

Tuesday, 24 July 2012

Ferris Bueller's Day Off

"Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it"

High School senior Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick) decides he doesn’t want to go to school so tricks his parents into believing he’s ill. Having a day off, Ferris persuades his hypochondriac friend Cameron (Alan Ruck) to join him in downtown Chicago for the day and the two of them pick up Ferris’ girlfriend Sloane (Mia Sara) on the way in Cameron’s dad’s ‘borrowed’ Ferrari. Hot on the tails of Ferris and his friends are Dean of Students (Jeffrey Jones) and Ferris’ sister Jeanie (Jennifer Grey) who is angry that Ferris keeps getting away with skipping school.

Ferris Bueller is one of those films which when I tell people I haven’t seen they look at me like I’ve just called their grandmother a whore. It seems to be one of those film which a lot of people absolutely adore and now I’ve seen it I agree with them that it’s very good but I wasn’t enamoured with it as much as many people are.

Friday, 18 May 2012


"Get away from her, you bitch!"

After surviving the onslaught of Alien, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) has spent 57 years in stasis, floating aimlessly through space. By chance she is picked up by a salvaging vessel and woken up from her deep sleep. Upon telling her story to the Weyland-Yutani Corporation she is met with scepticism and is reduced to working in a loading dock. Later she is visited by Burke (Paul Reiser) who informs her that Weyland Co has lost contact with colonists on LV-426 and he requests that she returns to the planet with a group of Colonial Marines to discover the fate of the colonists. Ripley reluctantly agrees and joins the expedition only to discover that the aliens have struck again, only this time on a much greater scale.

Unlike Alien which was a sci-fi/horror, Aliens is more of an action-adventure in the mould of director James Cameron’s recent super hit Terminator and reminded me a little of Predator. In the end the slight genre change had little effect on the final product as the film is in my view very close to as good as the original. The sets look incredible and realistic. I’m a big fan of a well designed and dressed set and those in Aliens are superb. The sets of 80s science fiction movies always look more impressive to me than those of today because you get the feeling that the actors are really there, interacting with their environment as supposed to being stood in front of a green screen and stepping over green boxes. The ships, vehicles, planet and colonist’s HQ all look great. The design of the guns is also very good. They remain grounded in reality but with a slight futuristic edge to them. The effects are a mixed bag with some looking as good as anything today but others looking noticeably aged.

Thursday, 10 May 2012

The Fly

"Your stocking has just been, teleported"

Eccentric scientist Seth Brundle (Jeff Goldblum) meets journalist Veronica Quaife (Geena Davis) at a party. Attempting to impress her he shows off his latest invention, a teleportation device. Suitably impressed she shares the idea with her editor and ex-lover Stathis Borans (John Getz) who thinks the whole thing is a windup. After convincing Veronica not to run a story as the device is not yet complete the two enter into a relationship. One night after discovering that Veronica and Stathis are ex-lovers, Brundle gets drunk and decides to step into the machine. What he doesn’t realise is that a fly is also in the teleporter and when he and the fly are teleported they are merged at a molecular-genetic level. Over the coming months Brundle transforms into a human-fly hybrid which he names ‘Brundlefly’.

The film opens with the orchestral boom of a 1950’s B-Movie in perhaps a nod to the original film upon which it is loosely based. The film retains very little of the original and is much more a metaphor for disease and the process of aging than the original. In my opinion the film owes as much a debt to Franz Kafka’s Metamorphosis as it does to the 1958 version. The film is also thematically very similar to Italian Giallo Horror, especially in its depictions of madness and alienation.