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Posts Tagged ‘Throwback Thirty’

ROBOCOP – Basil Poledouris

July 27, 2017 1 comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The 1980s was an especially good decade for films which blended extensive, sometimes quite brutal action with pointed social and political commentary that bordered on satire. Robocop is one of the best examples of its type; it stars Peter Weller as Alex Murphy, a dogged cop in crime-ridden Detroit in the near future. After being transferred to a new precinct, and meeting his new partner Lewis (Nancy Allen), Murphy is unexpectedly murdered during his first patrol by a gang of ruthless criminals led by the vicious Clarence Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith). Meanwhile Bob Morton (Miguel Ferrer), an ambitious executive at Omni Consumer Products, the corporate behemoth that runs Detroit’s police department, pitches his ambitious Robocop program to the head of the company after a presentation by the ruthless Dick Jones (Ronny Cox) of his competing ED-209 program goes disastrously wrong. The Robocop program would use the remains of a recently-deceased police officer to form the biological component of a near-unstoppable human-robot cyborg, controlled by OCP. After being given the green light by OCP’s chairman (Daniel O’Herlihy), Morton selects the luckless Murphy to be his test subject, and Robocop quickly embarks on a single-handed crusade to clean up the city. However Jones, never one to be outdone, plots revenge against his rivals on the other side of the boardroom, and enlists Boddicker and his gang to carry it out – bringing Robocop back into conflict with the men who killed him. Read more…

INNERSPACE – Jerry Goldsmith

July 20, 2017 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Innerspace is a fun sci-fi adventure comedy, written by Jeffrey Boam and Chip Proser, and directed by Joe Dante. Dennis Quaid stars as Lt. Tuck Pendleton, an air force test pilot who is part of a top secret science experiment involving a brand new miniaturization technology. Pendleton and his submersible pod are shrunk down to minuscule size, and are supposed to be injected into a laboratory rabbit, but the lab is attacked by industrial saboteurs who want the technology for themselves, and Tuck is instead accidentally injected into the body of hypochondriac Jack Putter (Martin Short). Once Jack has overcome his initial skepticism and terror, he teams up with Tuck’s on-again off-again girlfriend, spunky reporter Lydia Maxwell (Meg Ryan), to find a way to get Tuck out of his body before his air supply runs out – but the saboteurs, led by Victor Scrimshaw (Kevin McCarthy) and Dr. Margaret Canker (Fiona Lewis), still want the miniaturization technology for themselves, and have sent their ruthless henchman Mr. Igoe (Vernon Wells) to get it, at any cost. Read more…

ROXANNE – Bruce Smeaton

July 6, 2017 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Roxanne is one of the best romantic comedies of the 1980s. Directed by Fred Schepisi and written by Steve Martin, the film is an adaptation of Edmond Rostand’s classic 1897 play Cyrano de Bergerac, updated to the present day and relocated to a small ski town in Canada. Martin plays Charlie D. Bales, the town’s fire chief, a witty, charming, intelligent, athletic man whose defining feature is his outrageously large nose. Despite his excellent personality, Charlie is unlucky in love, but things seem to be looking up when his friend Dixie (Shelley Duvall) rents one of her cabins to Roxanne Kowalski (Daryl Hannah), a beautiful astronomer who is working in the area over the summer. Charlie and Roxanne quickly connect, but Charlie is disappointed when Roxanne insinuates she only likes him as a friend, and is instead interested in one of Charlie’s firemen, the impossibly handsome but irredeemably stupid Chris (Rick Rossovich). To make matters worse, Chris is hopelessly inept when it comes to women – and he enlists Charlie to help him overcome his fears… Read more…

PREDATOR – Alan Silvestri

June 29, 2017 2 comments

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Predator is one of the seminal action films of the 1980s, a masterpiece of testosterone-fuelled machismo and inventive storytelling that cemented Arnold Schwarzenegger as one of Hollywood’s most bankable and beloved movie star heroes. Schwarzenegger plays Dutch Schaefer, the leader of a team of elite covert ops commandos which is sent deep into the South American jungle to rescue hostages held by guerrillas; however, it soon becomes apparent that the mission is a cover for an illegal intelligence-gathering exercise, orchestrated by the team’s CIA liaison and Dutch’s old colleague Dillon (Carl Weathers). Worse yet, as the team prepares for a helicopter extraction, they are suddenly attacked by an unknown and seemingly invisible entity – a predator – which has significant firepower and appears to be hunting them for sport. The film, which was directed by John McTiernan and co-stars Bill Duke, Jesse Ventura, Sonny Landham, and Elpidia Carrillo, was a major commercial hit, and is now regarded as a landmark of the action genre. Read more…

THE UNTOUCHABLES – Ennio Morricone

June 15, 2017 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

The colorful life of gangster Al Capone has captured the imagination of the American public for decades. He was the notorious crime boss of Chicago during the prohibition era in the late 1920s and early 1930s, and was beloved, despised, and feared in equal measure – many in Chicago’s working class neighborhoods saw him as a Robin Hood figure, helping the downtrodden of the city. Attitudes towards him changed in the aftermath of the brutal St. Valentine’s Day Massacre in 1929, after which law enforcement officials became more intent on bringing him to justice. Brian De Palma’s 1987 film The Untouchables tells a dramatic version of this largely true story, as dogged federal agent Elliot Ness forms a team of equally determined investigators in an attempt to end Capone’s criminal activity once and for all. The film starred Kevin Costner as Ness, Robert De Niro as Capone, and Sean Connery as Ness’s world-weary ex-cop partner Jimmy Malone, a role which won him an Academy Award for Best Supporting Actor. Read more…

HARRY AND THE HENDERSONS – Bruce Broughton

June 8, 2017 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Harry and the Hendersons – released as Bigfoot and the Hendersons in the UK – is a warm-hearted family comedy about the most famous mythological creature of North American folklore, the sasquatch, or bigfoot. The film stars John Lithgow as George Henderson, an average family man who, while traveling home with his wife and children after a camping vacation, accidentally hits and apparently kills a large animal with his car on a remote forest road. Upon investigation, George realizes that the animal is a real bigfoot, and decides to take the carcass home; unfortunately, once they arrive back in suburban Seattle, it quickly becomes clear that the animal is far from dead. Despite their initial shock, the Hendersons soon discover that the bigfoot – whom they name Harry – is kind, peaceful, and intelligent, and they resolve to take him back to the wilderness, but find opposition in the form of ruthless hunter LaFleur, who has been tracking Harry and his kind for years. The film, which was directed by William Dear and co-stars Don Ameche, David Suchet, and Melinda Dillon, was a modest commercial and popular hit in the early summer of 1987, but went on to win an Academy Award for Best Makeup for the astonishing bigfoot effects applied to 7’2″ actor Kevin Peter Hall. Read more…

EXTREME PREJUDICE – Jerry Goldsmith

May 4, 2017 Leave a comment

THROWBACK THIRTY

Original Review by Jonathan Broxton

Extreme Prejudice is a western-flavored action thriller directed by Walter Hill, starring Nick Nolte as Jack Benteen, a grizzled Texas Ranger who teams up with a platoon of elite US Army commandos led by Major Hackett (Michael Ironside). Their mission is to take down a major trafficker running shipments of narcotics across the border from northern Mexico into El Paso; the only stumbling block, for Benteen at least, is the fact that the trafficker is Cash Bailey (Powers Boothe), Benteen’s childhood best friend. As the soldiers close in on Bailey’s compound, Benteen finds his loyalties tested, especially when a beautiful woman named Sarita (Maria Conchita Alonso) – both men’s ex-girlfriend – enters the fray. The film is a gritty, sweat-soaked, uncompromising thriller, and an homage to the great western The Wild Bunch, which received decent reviews when it opened in cinemas in May 1987. Read more…