2010 (1984)

2010 Movie Review

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2010 Movie Review

2010 is a 1984 science fiction film directed by Peter Hyams and starring Roy Scheider, Helen Mirren and John Lithgow. It is a pretty good sequel.

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All these worlds are yours, except Europa.

Attempt no landing there.

Use them together. Use them in peace

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2010 Movie Review

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2010 is a sequel to Kubrick’s ‘2001’ and is based on Clarke’s (this time) previously published sequel. So let’s compare the novel to the film and the film to its predecessor. First, let me say that it is of course hugely inferior to its classic movie predecessor, but I am not going to take a grudge towards this film for that as ‘2001’ is one of the best films ever made and almost no movie could ever compare to it so any comparisons are ultimately unwarranted.

Yes, it is certainly much less poetic, ambiguous and artistic in quality and I thought the film’s special effects were infinitely weaker this time around. But this is still a very good, albeit not great movie that does most of the things clearly right and is a very satisfactory cinematic experience.

It is actually very faithful to its source material which I just loved. I was nervous as I do not like changes in movie adaptations, but thankfully they did not change any major thing and they mostly followed the book very closely. Some scenes were even fully recreated from the page both in imagery and in dialogue.

The only gripe I have with it is that they took a Cold War approach with the film whereas in the book that aspect was certainly absent. The book is great for having Russians and Americans for once work together and although here we have that collaboration too, the political climate on Earth is at the brink of a war which was annoying.

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2010 Movie Review

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I would have liked to have seen the Chinese and their failed mission on Europa as they were excluded here, but that was a good choice as it eliminated the poor portrayal of Chinese and made the story much more coherent for the film. But the epilogue was sorely missing here as it was the most fascinating part of the novel and here they just did not film it which was unfortunate.

But the storyline is mostly very well adapted in 2010 and I loved its beginning, ending and especially the Jupiter mission sequences. The action is great here. The special effects are great for the most part, but the explosions and light are poorly done and felt dated. The score is very good and the movie is well paced and actually somewhat more emotional in tone than its source material.

The character development is also a bit better than in the book. I still don’t love these characters, but they are more memorable and I loved the ship dynamic and that the two nations worked well together. Heywood Floyd is very good as the protagonist and so well portrayed here. I loved those Dave Bowman sequences, very eerie in atmosphere and so well done. The same goes with HAL.

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2010 Movie Review

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Chandra is well portrayed and Walter Curnow is much more memorable here thanks in large part to John Litgow’s presence. It is great seeing him and Helen Mirren so early in their careers and their huge talent was obvious back then as well. Her Caroline is actually one of the more interesting characters here and her relationship with Floyd is very well established.

2010 cannot be compared to ‘2001’ as its special effects are a far cry from its predecessor and it is much less poetic, artistic and ambiguous in nature, but that comparison is not fair as the original is one of the best films ever made and rare are those who can rival it. As it stands, this is a good sequel that, despite an annoying Cold War addition to the story, actually adapts the novel really well. I wished that they filmed the book’s fascinating epilogue, but the plot is otherwise faithfully adapted, the characters are actually better developed here, the performances are excellent and some scenes are fantastic leading to a satisfactory cinematic experience.

My Rating – 4

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Romancing the Stone (1984)

Romancing the Stone Movie Review………………………………………………………..

Romancing the Stone Movie Review

Romancing the Stone is a 1984 action adventure romantic comedy film directed by Robert Zemeckis and starring Michael Douglas, Kathleen Turner and Danny DeVito. It is a pleasant, fun flick.

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Joanie, you are now a world-class hopeless romantic.

No, hopeful. Hopeful romantic.

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Romancing the Stone Movie Review………………………………………………………..

I really enjoyed this movie. It has everything the Indiana Jones franchise was supposed to have – romance, adventure, charm and a lot of heart. The story itself is pretty solid for this type of movie. Simplistic and typical, yet certainly well crafted and with some memorable plot points and details. The film is very interesting in terms of its tone and genres. It is mostly a fun adventure flick, but it also has action in it and it is definitely a romantic comedy with humor and romance both being very accentuated.

I liked the characters and they were all very likable. It is interesting that this is one of the rare movies where even Michael Douglas I found to be likable as he is usually annoying to me. But he was very good and sympathetic here. Kathleen Turner is excellent and very charming and cute. And of course, as a big Danny DeVito fan, I liked seeing him here a lot and he was quite funny in a couple of scenes.

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Romancing the Stone Review………………………………………………………..

Romancing the Stone is very memorable in its third act. Yes, the action there is certainly overwhelming, but better than it was in the middle of the film and some of the set pieces are quite interesting. I liked the use of crocodiles quite a bit and the hand chopping sequence is truly dark for a supposed family picture.

I would have gone without the Columbian stereotypes and really the people and especially its representation as a poor and wild country felt very unnerving and dated. But the romance worked in my opinion as some of the scenes between the two were quite charming and even though the ending was overly happy, it was still endearing and satisfying in a typical eighties fashion.

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Romancing the Stone Movie Review………………………………………………………..

It is too much a product of its time, but it also benefits from it as they shot in real locations, Mexico I believe, which led to one fine looking movie with great cinematography and a lot of memorable shots and imagery. The direction from Robert Zemeckis is strong and I think this is one of his earliest movies and he showed great talent and he did deliver with such a strong directorial career. The pacing is somewhat problematic and the movie isn’t always as entertaining as it should have been, but it is always endearing and wonderful to watch plus it is surprisingly well crafted and made for a blockbuster. I liked it a lot and it is one of the best blockbusters of its time and one fine adventurous entertainment.

Romancing the Stone has its flaws such as some stereotypes, sometimes overwhelming action and a somewhat typical and predictable story, but the film is so adventurous and charming with quite likable Michael Douglas and Kathleen Turner, endearing romance, some very memorable set pieces and shots and a genuinely well crafted, intriguing plot.

My Rating – 4

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The Last Starfighter (1984)

The Last Starfighter Movie Review…………………………………………………………

The Last Starfighter Movie Review

The Last Starfighter is a 1984 family science fiction film directed by Nick Castle. It is one of the most overrated blockbusters of its time.

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Greetings, Starfighter.

You have been recruited by the Star League

to defend the frontier against Xur and the Ko-Dan armada

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The Last Starfighter Movie Review…………………………………………………………

It is about a teenager who gets recruited by an alien defense force to fight in an interstellar war due to his particular skills at playing arcade video games. What is the major problem with the story is that it’s just very clichéd and not to mention incredibly unrealistic and too much of a fantasy, even for a kid’s film. And I just was never invested in it at all.

The Last Starfighter is a childish film even by my very low standards. It is just too immature and childish and in my opinion science fiction and family entertainment do not mix well whatsoever and that is best exemplified in this particular flick. It surely has its charm at times and it is of course far from a bad movie as it is pretty serviceable, but it is never particularly good either and it is a film that those that grew up with it of course would love, but because I am a 90s kid and I haven’t seen it as a child, it was to me a too childish and over-the-top experience.

The acting isn’t great and the special effects are a mixed bag. On the one hand, they do look dated and evidently of its time, but on the other hand, this is one of the earliest movies along with ‘Tron‘ to extensively utilize computer-generated imagery and you have to admire it for that.

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The Last Starfighter Movie Review…………………………………………………………

The film starts and ends in a pretty solid manner, but everything that came in the middle was sorely lacking as it was either dull or immature or frankly campy and cheesy at times. The Last Starfighter is one giant 80s cheese and that I never liked and I didn’t like it here too. In the end, although it has its strengths, it is such an overrated, uninspired and cheesy sci-fi flick that only children and those who grew up with it could really enjoy.

The Last Starfighter is sometimes endearing, its use of CGI is groundbreaking and the film is good for children, but it is way too childish for adults and way too cheesy even for 80s standards. It is a movie that those who grew up with it and kids could enjoy, but everyone else would find boring, immature and uninspired and that is exactly what I thought of it.

My Rating – 3

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Sixteen Candles (1984)

Sixteen Candles Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………………..

Sixteen Candles Movie Review

Sixteen Candles is a 1984 teen comedy film directed by John Hughes and starring Molly Ringwald, Michael Schoeffling and Anthony Michael Hall. It is a genre classic and such a delight.

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I don’t think I’ll be able to sleep if I don’t feel this little talk has helped ya.

So would ya be a sport and lie to me?

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Sixteen Candles Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………………..

Sam is having a sixteenth birthday but it turns out to be a very bad day for her as her parents didn’t even remember the date and her crush seems to not even notice her. This is the kind of story that is admittedly very familiar and even clichéd in its ending, but it transcends that thanks to a perfect, charming execution.

I loved the energetic beginning and how we are instantly acquainted with Sam and her problems, I loved the conversation scene between Sam and Ted and I adored that ending. Those three were the highlights for me, but let’s talk about that ending. It has such a perfect use of body language and facial expressions that wonderfully compensate for the lack of words and it was a great choice. Jake comes to Sam’s sister’s wedding and he sees her and waves her. She turns back to find the person he’s waving and when she realizes it’s her, she points at her and shyly whispers – Me? Yes, you. And the two unite, have a small talk and then while they leave, Sam signals her father and he sends a congratulatory hand signal. I just loved everything about this ending and how it’s simply, yet meticulously constructed and it is the best end scene I’ve seen in a long time and the one that I will remember for years to come.

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Sixteen Candles Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………………..

Let’s now talk about that wonderful father-daughter relationship. Yes, the father in Sixteen Candles is too good which may seem unrealistic, but it is still a perfect ideal and a role model for every father out there and the talk they have and the thing that he says to her about her sister and the dangers of getting everything you want early is so truthful and such a great line. That whole sequence is incredibly heartwarming, but never crossing into sugary territory.

Sam is excellent, so likable, yet realistic. Jake is typical, yet also very sympathetic and you get why she is into him as he really is handsome and sweet. Ted is fantastic. At first he seemed like a typical geek teen, but he eventually proved to be probably the best developed character here and his interactions with both Jake and Sam are phenomenal and he is such a grounded in reality character. The acting is also top-notch with both of these actors delivering in their roles and Paul Dooley being wonderful. But of course this is Molly Ringwald’s vehicle and she is magnificent in the role – so charming, so likable and consistently very good.

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Sixteen Candles Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………………..

Sixteen Candles is well filmed and very well directed by Hughes. It is well acted and very well paced and it just flew by how fun it was. The tone is wonderfully light and comedic, the humor is pretty good at times and the dialogue is mostly excellent – realistic and touching. The whole flick manages to be touching, but in just the right way as it is never overly emotional.

Now I have to touch upon some flaws in the movie, those which are obvious and pretty big. Ted’s too sidekicks didn’t work for me as they were too childish and sometimes the movie focused too much on him instead of Sam. The musical choices were good and sometime even great, but those small cues to famous movies I found weird and overloud. And the biggest offender has to be Long Duk Dong. What is there more to say that hasn’t already been said? He is an Asian stereotype, very offensive and incredibly frustrating. Also, quite unnecessary for the film’s plot.

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Sixteen Candles Movie Review……………………………………………………………………………………..

And yes, the film is riddled with one big (Dong) and a couple of smaller flaws and although that made it hugely uneven, I still give it a 4.5 rating just because everything else is great and so satisfying. In my opinion, this film didn’t disappoint and is quite probably on the same quality level as The Breakfast Club which is admirable and I did not expect it to be this good at all.

Sixteen Candles is uneven due to too much emphasis on Ted instead of Sam and a very unfortunate character of Dong who is an awful Asian stereotype, but everything else is great with the standouts being Molly Ringwald who is so good in the main role, the character interactions and the dialogue with some amazing, wonderful lines. But the film also hugely benefits from such a beautiful, perfectly constructed end sequence and from having a lot of heart, but never becoming too emotional. It is a fun, touching teen film that quite successfully transcended its clichéd nature.

My Rating – 4.5

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Splash (1984)

Splash

Splash Review

Splash is a 1984 fantasy romantic comedy directed by Ron Howard and starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah. It is a sweet, albeit clichéd movie.

Splash is about a young man who falls in love with a mermaid, but doesn’t know it at first. This is the kind of film that doesn’t have anything deep or inspired about it, but is nonetheless extremely entertaining and even charming to watch. It is a harmless diversion above all. I liked the story overall with the first act being especially good as it was a great introduction to the story and characters and the second act being the funniest. However, the third act ruined it for me with that cop-out happy ending that just seemed out of place and frankly ridiculous.

Allen is such a charming and fun character whereas Madison is great as a mermaid and his love interest. She is typical and yet so sweet that you can’t help but love her. As for Freddie, he often annoyed me, but is mostly funny and an okay sidekick. And Dr. Walter is the most annoying character here and the one that does have his moments, but is mostly one-note and boring.

As for the acting, it is passable. Nobody here does a particularly great job, but they are all still okay. Daryl Hannah is fine and likable in her role while Eugene Levy did a nice job as well. John Candy is quite good and funny. And Tom Hanks is really charming and likable as always and he gave a solid performance in his breakout role.

Splash is an entertaining movie with often interesting details, but for the most part the attention to detail is underwhelming unfortunately. And the film definitely does not establish enough rules in its fantasy theme. It works as a fantasy nonetheless because the mermaid is well established and it works as a romantic comedy because the two leads are charming together. The dialogue is okay and the direction from Ron Howard is solid. This is one of his most purely entertaining and fun movies. The score is forgettable, but the pacing is solid and the film is never boring despite its longer running time for the genre.

The humor is hit-or-miss. Some of it is really funny and amusing whereas some of it is typical and obvious for the time period. The emotion is well handled as the movie is thankfully never too corny despite its great potential to be so. The tone is well handled and it is interesting that the movie takes a subject research/everyone learns about her instead of the route where only the protagonist learns about her identity and only at the very end. That was interesting and although that research angle is also immensely familiar by now, it was surprisingly well handled for the most part. But that ending infuriated me as it was such a ridiculous way to end the movie, nonsensical and just stupid. Overall, Splash is a fun experience if you tune out your brain and enjoy it as a pure entertainment which it truly is along with being a really sweet and charming movie with a lot of heart at its core. It is a solid romantic comedy that is worth a watch.

Splash works as pure entertainment goes. It has a nonsensical and just stupid cop-put happy ending, the humor is hit-or-miss and the attention to detail is underwhelming, but it is still a fun and even charming film with a lot of heart and with a charming couple at its center. It is a fun fantasy diversion, but also a sweet romantic comedy.

My Rating – 3.5

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Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984)

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Movie Review

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom Review

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is a 1984 adventure film that is the second in the Indiana Jones franchise, once again starring Harrison Ford and directed by Spielberg. It is again a boring experience, but it is better than ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’.

Indiana Jones is asked by village people in India to seek a mystical stone and he later is met by a cult practicing human sacrifice. This is still an awfully weak story, but it is still better than its predecessor as it has its moments and is genuinely more interesting. But also what makes it a less excruciating experience than before is definitely its much darker approach with at times even very dangerous consequences, or close to dangerous at least. I like the incorporation of darker themes with the cult and it is the highlight of the film.

However, it is still filled with an endless amount of action. The action sequences once again are nonsensical, childish and unrealistic tending to go for an awful amount of running time making you question for whom this is supposed to be. I would say children as it is not only frenetic to the point of being absurd, but it is also at times incredibly silly. Though it has some charming moments, it is mostly devoid of it, instead relying on cheap action, campiness and cheesiness. I hate how cheesy this franchise is. I really hate that.

The characters are here even worse than in the original. If that was possible. The protagonist is even more aggressive, cocky and unlikable this time around and that kid is awfully annoying. But it is the woman who is the worst thing about this film. This is inexcusable. She is overloud, annoying and tends to panic for most of the movie. She is awful and there is no other way to say this, but the movie is incredibly sexist. And I hate, despise actually, how it got away with it because of the status of the franchise. It cannot get away because it is not that old and it just goes into complete stereotypical and offensive territory with its portrayal of women. It is awful, unwatchable and done in very poor taste. It should not be forgiven.

The acting is okay, but nothing to write home about. The pacing is of course awful with too tedious action that goes forever. The direction is quite solid and of course the movie again looks great with excellent cinematography and some terrific scenery. It is very well filmed and shot which is the highlight of this whole franchise. The score is repetitive and way too similar to ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’. But overall, comparing it to that movie, as I said before, it is better because it is darker and more engaging, but it has weaker characters on the other hand. It is predictable, it lacks any heart or realism whatsoever and the tone is problematic, shifting from dark to silly abruptly.

Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom is better than its predecessor because the story is more bearable, it is more engaging to watch and it is thankfully much darker, but it still has endless nonsensical action, it is awfully cheesy and the tone is not dealt with properly as it goes from dark to silly abruptly. But the characters are awful, even more so this time around. The protagonist is even more cocky and unlikable and the movie is indescribably sexist in its portrayal of women and I hate how they got away with it because of the status of the franchise whereas in reality what they did here is unforgivable.

My Rating – 3

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