Creepshow (1982)

Creepshow
Director: George A. Romero
Writer: Stephen King
Based on: his own short stories (partly)
Cast: Hal HolbrookAdrienne BarbeauFritz WeaverLeslie NielsenE.G. MarshallViveca LindforsEd HarrisTed Danson, Stephen King, Robert HarperGaylen RossJon LormerDon KeeferBingo O’MalleyJoe Hill
Part of: /slash Filmfestival (extra screening)
Seen on: 8.9.2017
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Plot:
Billy (Joe Hill) reads a Creepshow comic, against the wishes of his father (Tom Atkins). The comic tells different stories – of an awkward family dinner where the murderous past comes back to haunt them; of a farmer finding a strange meteorite; of a vengeful husband doling out punishment to his unfaithful wife and her lover; of a dangerous creature in a crate; of a mysophobic man whose safeguards fail him – that the father doesn’t approve of. But Billy doesn’t want to give up the comic. 

As with many anthology movies, Creepshow’s different segments differ widely and the overall impression I have of the film isn’t particularly great, even though there were many bits that I did enjoy.

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The Thing (1982)

The Thing
Director: John Carpenter
Writer: Bill Lancaster
Based on: John W. Campbell, Jr.‘s novella Who Goes There?
Cast: Kurt RussellWilford BrimleyT.K. CarterDavid ClennonKeith DavidRichard DysartCharles HallahanPeter Maloney, Richard MasurDonald MoffatJoel PolisThomas G. Waites
Seen on: 30.5.2016
[This concludes the John Carpenter special (for me).]

Plot:
A USAmerican research station in Antarctica find themselves the harbor of a sled dog that ran from another facility, chased down by helicopter. But before the hunters can kill the dog, they crash. Irritated by events, the men decide to investigate the Norwegian camp nearby. What they find there, actually raises more questions – and that’s before the saved dog starts mutating into something else entirely.

The Thing – arguably one of Carpenter’s most revered films – cements what I had been suspecting: Carpenter is wasted on me. I thought The Thing was well done and I loved the special effects, but other than that, it just really didn’t speak to me.

thething

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Re-Watch: The Last Unicorn (1982)

The Last Unicorn
Director: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
Writer: Peter S. Beagle
Based on: Peter S. Beagle’s novel
Cast: Mia Farrow, Alan Arkin, Tammy Grimes, Jeff Bridges, Angela Lansbury, Christopher Lee, Rene Auberjonois, Robert Klein
Seen on: 20.7.2015
[Here’s my first review of the film.]

Plot:
The Unicorn (Mia Farrow) hears that she is supposed to be the last in the world, the rest of the unicorns having been chased by the Red Bull. At first, she doesn’t believe those news and she decides to go looking for the others. But as she scours the lands, she doesn’t find them. Instead she hears more stories about King Haggard (Christopher Lee) and his Red Bull. Joined by Schmendrick (Alan Arkin), a rather inept wizard, and Molly (Tammy Grimes), a former robber, they make their way to the castle to find out about the unicorns.

They brought The Last Unicorn on a cinematic tour to Vienna. Peter S. Beagle was supposed to accompany the film, but it appears he fell sick, unfortunately. But in his place, they showed interviews with him and some other people who were involved in the making of the film, which was also very interesting.

It was the first time I saw the film in English, not German, and the first time I saw it in the cinema, and the first time I saw it after reading the book and somehow all three things took a bit of getting used to.

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Personal Best (1982)

Personal Best
Director: Robert Towne
Writer: Robert Towne
Cast: Mariel HemingwayPatrice Donnelly, Scott Glenn, Kenny Moore, Jim Moody, Kari G. Peyton, Jodi Anderson
Part of: identities Festival
Seen on: 13.6.2015

Plot:
Chris (Mariel Hemingway) is trying out for the 1976 Olympic track and field team and doesn’t make the cut. But she does make the acquaintance of older and more experienced athlete Tory (Patrice Donnelly) and they hit it off immediately. They not only become lovers, Tory helps Chris train and finally convinces her own trainer Terry (Scott Glenn) to take Chris on to train for the next Olympic games in 1980. But training gets to Tory and Chis’ relationship: competition is high, Terry doesn’t want Tory interfering with Chris’ training in any way and jealousy isn’t very distant either.

Personal Best has many good qualities but I couldn’t get into it: I just never really cared much about any of the characters and ultimately remained bored by all of it.

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Re-Watch: Poltergeist (1982)

Poltergeist
Director: Tobe Hooper
Writer: Steven Spielberg, Michael Grais, Mark Victor
Cast: Craig T. Nelson, JoBeth WilliamsDominique DunneOliver Robins, Heather O’Rourke, Beatrice Straight, Zelda Rubinstein
Seen on: 1.6.2015

Plot:
The Freelings move into a new home, in the estate father Steve (Craig T. Nelson) is helping to sell the houses in. Mother Diane (JoBeth Williams) takes care of their three children, Dana (Dominique Dunn), Robbie (Oliver Robins) and Carol Anne (Heather O’Rourke). Diane soon realizes that there are strange occurrences in their house. Her initial excitement and scientific curiosity give way to terror though, when Carol Anne goes missing inside their house – and can still be heard on the TV, talking to them. Since their circumstances are extraordinary, they start to seek extraordinary help as well.

I remember I caught Poltergeist on TV a few years ago, in the German dubbed version which I usually abhor. But I was so caught up in the film, that I barely realized it was dubbed. And on second watching (in English this time) I can honestly say: the film is still fantastic.

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Blade Runner (1982)

Blade Runner [Final Cut]
Director: Ridley Scott
Writer: Hampton Fancher, David Webb Peoples
Based on: Philip K. Dick‘s novel Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep?
Cast: Harrison Ford, Rutger Hauer, Sean Young, Edward James Olmos, M. Emmet Walsh, Daryl Hannah, William Sanderson, Brion James, Joe Turkel, Joanna Cassidy, James Hong
Seen on: 24.04.2015

Plot:
Humanity has managed to create replicants: genetically engineered robots. But after an uprising of the replicants, they have been outlawed on earth and have been banned to the off-world colonies. But when four replicants manage to escape back to earth, Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is called on in his capacity as blade runner – a special police force tasked with hunting down replicants – to take them down. Although Deckard didn’t want to take on any more jobs, he agrees to do this last job. He starts his investigation at the company who builds the replicants, where he discovers Rachael (Sean Young), a new version of replicant that doesn’t know that they aren’t human.

Blade Runner was one of those classic films that I never saw until now – and now I’m afraid that I’m too late. In any case I was not particularly taken with the film. In fact, I thought it was rather boring, if very pretty.

bladerunner

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Re-Watch: The Last Unicorn (1982)

The Last Unicorn
Director: Jules Bass, Arthur Rankin Jr.
Writer: Peter S. Beagle
Based on: his novel
Cast: Alan Arkin, Jeff Bridges, Mia Farrow, Tammy Grimes, Robert Klein, Angela Lansbury, Christopher Lee

Plot:
The Unicorn (Mia Farrow) hears that she is supposed to be the last in the world, the rest of the unicorns having been chased by the Red Bull. At first, she doesn’t believe those news and she decides to go looking for the others. But as she scours the lands, she doesn’t find them. Instead she hears more stories about King Haggard (Christopher Lee) and his Red Bull. Joined by Schmendrick (Alan Arkin), a rather inept wizard, and Molly (Tammy Grimes), a former robber, they make their way to the castle to find out about the unicorns.

I am honestly not sure how many times I have seen this film. It’s older than I am and it has been with me through my entire childhood (we used to watch it at least once a year, usually around Christmas). I hadn’t seen it for a while now, so I was very glad when the film still carried the same magic for me as it did back then.

The-Last-Unicorn

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The Flight of Dragons (1982)

The Flight of Dragons is a movie by Jules Bass and Arthur Rankin Jr., based on the novel of the same name by Peter Dickinson and The Dragon and the George by Gordon R. Dickson. It stars the voices of John Ritter, Harry Morgan, Victor Buono, James Gregory and James Earl Jones.

Plot:
Carolinus (Harry Morgan) is a wizard in a world where magic is slowly crowded out by technical advancement and science. He gets together with his three brothers to decide on a course to save the magical world, but one of them, Ommadon (James Earl Jones), wants to see humanity enslaved by its machinery and with that, he starts a war. Carolinus calls on Peter (John Ritter), a young scientist and dragon-afficionado from the future to help them save the world by going on a quest.

The Flight of Dragons is not the subtlest of films. It has one question it asks and explores, that of science vs. magic and it’s quite relentless in the pursuit of an answer and pretty obvious in its imagery. With all the focus on this, other things are a bit lost, such as a decent voice-acting cast or character development. In short, I’ve heard good things about the film but I don’t see its appeal.

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TRON (1982)

TRON is Steven Lisberger‘s cult movie (which just got a sequel), starring Jeff Bridges, Bruce Boxleitner, David Warner and Cindy Morgan.

Plot:
Flynn (Jeff Bridges) is a very talented computer programer, who got fired from his job because his boss Dillinger (David Warner) wanted to use Flynn’s computer games as his own. Now Flynn, with the help of his friends Alan (Bruce Boxleitner) and Lora (Cindy Morgan) who still work at the company, manages to get himself into the company’s network to try and prove that it was him who created the games. Unfortunately, Dillinger has implemented a very tight security protocol which manages to actually pull Flynn into the digital world, where he finds himself battling said protocol – the Master Control Program (David Warner) – alongside Tron (Bruce Boxleitner), Alan’s security program.

I had never seen TRON before, but with the sequel and its cult-status, I figured I should get up to speed with what everyone was talking about. Well. Now I am fully informed and certainly underwhelmed.

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