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Psycho III (1986)
Very campy, with many scenes similar to the original
"Psycho III" is a good sequel, but it's loaded with blood and disgusting moments that just make it a regular slasher film from the 80's with no sense of suspense or terror that made the first two films so good. Anthony Perkins again puts on a terrific performance as the nervous, stuttering Norman trying to cover up the murders his "mother" commits.
The plot picks up about one month after "Psycho II" left off. Norman is still "rehabilitated", reopened the motel, and is hiring some help. He meets up with a drifter named Duke (Jeff Fahey) who he hires as an assistant manager and with a young woman known as Maureen Coyle (Diana Scarwid), who bears a striking resemblance to one of his former victims (who we all know of!). A snoopy reporter named Tracy Venable (Roberta Maxwell) is also around, trying to prove that Norman had something to do with the disappearance of Mrs. Spool, from "Psycho II".
There are so many scenes in this film that remind me of the original "Psycho" that it's not hard to figure out that Perkins was owing tribute to the master of suspense. Examples: reuse of the lines, "we all go a little mad sometimes" and "mother, oh god mother, blood! blood!", scenes of Janet Leigh getting hacked up in the shower, a woman who looks like Marion Crane, whom Norman falls in love with, scene with Norman looking through the peephole, a take on the shower scene but this time in a phone booth, the shouting matches with Mother, a take on the falling down the stairs death, and plenty of other ones I can't think of right now. There is way too much blood in this though, though "Psycho II" had it's share of violent moments, this entry goes overboard with the blood, and senseless killings. The cast is so so. Roberta Maxwell is annoying, Diana Scarwid is ok, and Jeff Fahey was downright nasty and awful. The only cast member who does a terrific job, as usual, is Anthony Perkins. This is followed by "Psycho IV: The Beginning", which was a made-for-tv prequel, but I don't consider it a real part of the series. It wasn't well made and it contradicts a lot of which the previous movies said happened. Just have the first three as a trilogy and you could get the real story of Norman.
Psycho II (1983)
Excellent sequel to the Hitchcock classic
"Psycho II" doesn't rehash the plot of "Psycho", but rather expands on it, creating a new plot with a new twist while using the same styles and techniques that Hitchcock used so many years before.
Twenty-two years after the original murders, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) is judged sane and is released from the mental institution even though Lila Loomis (Vera Miles), sister of Marion Crane who was murdered in the shower, strongly protests it. He returns home to run the motel and takes in a girlfriend named Mary (Meg Tilly), while his "mother" is contacting him. All of this is too much and he starts going mad again.
There are some genuinely chilling moments in this sequel, with a great musical score by Jerry Goldsmith. Anthony Perkins again plays the "not-so-normal" Norman, who seems to be going off his rocker towards the end! Vera Miles is outrageous as Lila Loomis. She isn't the concerned, kind-hearted young woman we saw in the original, but rather a nut hellbent on revenge for what Norman did to her sister all those years before. She screams and yells and practically gets in the way to have Bates recommitted. Meg Tilly and Dennis Franz co-star and there is also a nice cameo appearance by Janet Leigh in the beginning as we see her getting murdered in the famous shower scene. The ending will practically make your eyes bulge out of your sockets! Nice plot twist! All in all, a worthy sequel to "Psycho". Followed by two more sequels and a TV series.
After 40 years, it still scares! *SPOILERS*
"Psycho" was indeed, Hitchcock's masterpiece. It combined drama, suspense and terror to create an atmosphere of pure dread. The music was top notch by Bernard Hermann and the cast was excellent, all giving fine performances.
Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) embezzles $40,000 and runs away to meet up with her lover, Sam Loomis (John Gavin). While on her travels she stops at the Bates Motel and meets up with the shy, Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) who lives in a house right above the motel with his "mother". After rethinking what she has done, she ends up taking a shower and, well, you know what happens! A few days later, Marion's sister, Lila (Vera Miles) meets up with Sam and a private investigator (Martin Balsam) to determine what happened to Marion and the money, but not before suspecting Norman and his motel may have something to do with it.
From the beginning theme to the last view of Marion's car being pulled from the swamp, this movie is outstanding. Hitch really knew how to fool around with the audience and created some terrifying moments that still scare even after 40 years. The shower scene still scares me! Anthony Perkins was good here but not as good as in "Psycho II", and the supporting performances from Vera Miles and John Gavin were fine. They made a good investigative team. Miles was very determined to find out what happened to her sister, which made you feel sympathetic to her pleas. Janet Leigh, in the 40 minutes she is on screen, was excellent. Now I can understand where her daughter, Jamie Lee Curtis gets her screaming from! "Psycho" was followed by 3 sequels and a remake which doesn't even come close at what this film did by scaring people.
How it all started...
"Conquest of the Planet of the Apes" would actually be considered the middle part of the "ape" series timeline as Cornelius' and Zira's son, Caesar, rises to power by leading a revolt against the human population. It's actually the darkest one in the series, with an ending that is excellent!
"Conquest" begins 18 years after "Escape". Cornelius' and Zira's son, Caesar (Roddy McDowell), has been kept hidden by friendly circus trainer, Armando (Ricardo Montalban). Dogs and cats have been wiped out by some sort of strange virus leaving people to acquire apes as household pets. This soon develops into training them to be slaves. Caesar sees the way the ape population is being treated, and, knowing he is the son of two extraordinary speaking apes, leads a revolt against the humans. This is how the planet of the apes comes about.
I really liked the dark tones this movie had. The riots at the end against man and ape was very well done and reminded me of the Watts Riots and others that I have seen. Lots of gunfire, flames, yelling, and a great speech at the end from Caesar. I would suggest, if you want to see how the ape civilization actually started, view "Escape" then this one, and then "Battle", because in the timeline these actually come BEFORE the original and "Beneath".
The Nutty Professor (1996)
Absolutely hysterical remake!
"The Nutty Professor" is a remake of the 1963 film starring Jerry Lewis, in which Eddie Murphy plays 7 characters! The basic premise is the same as a man who doesn't quite fit in changes himself in order to get the girl of his dreams. In the 1963 version, it was a nerdy professor, in this remake, it's a fat professor.
Dr. Sherman Klump (Eddie Murphy) is a kind-hearted chemistry professor who takes an interest in fellow professor Dr. Carla Purty (Jada Pinkett). After a humiliating date in which Sherman was literally the brunt of fat jokes, he develops a formula which turns him into the thin, but overly obnoxious Buddy Love. At first, Buddy seems very charming to Carla, but every time Sherman takes a swig of the potion and Buddy emerges, his testosterone levels rise and he rages out of control, making him into a maniac. Sherman has to get rid of Buddy before he loses control of him completely.
This movie is hysterical. One word to describe it. There are so many funny moments in this film it's unreal. Two dinner scenes with the Klump family (played all by Eddie Murphy) were so funny I almost fell to the floor laughing and Buddy's confrontation with a comic (Dave Chapelle) was also a non-stop laughing point in the movie. I know this film makes fun of fat people pretty bad, but if you look past that, it's a film that tries to make a point, where people should accept themselves for who they are and not try to be anyone who they aren't. This film is slightly better than the sequel (which was also hysterical) and it took the 1963 version to new heights with outrageous special effects, but sticking to the same type of story.
Entertaining sequel *SPOILERS*
"Escape from the Planet of the Apes" is slightly better than it's predecessor, "Beneath", but lacks the intelligence of the original. The music is also new, taking on a funky 70's rhythm.
Dr. Zira (Kim Hunter), Dr. Cornelius (Roddy McDowell) and Dr. Milo (Sal Mineo) escape the planet of the apes right as Taylor (played by Charlton Heston in the first two films) activates the nuclear bomb (see "Beneath the Planet of the Apes") and destroys the entire planet. The force of the blast knocks them through a time portal where they enter the year 1973 amongst the human population. At first, they are treated like celebrities but the government has found out that they may be the link to the ape civilization that will occur in the future and wants to have them killed!
This entry in the series is a little bit more humorous than the previous entries and kind of does an opposite effect from the first film, as the two apes are being put under tests because they are seen as "different". It has a lot of suspenseful moments and some nasty villains appearing who want the apes destroyed! The music is downright 70's as well as the clothes and hairstyles, kind of nostalgic. It's not bad for a third entry in the series. It does get sad towards the end though, as Cornelius and Zira have offspring who is destined to one day lead the revolt against the humans, but doesn't get to see his rise to power. Besides that, it's a very good film that continues the storyline nicely with some references to the previous films so the viewer doesn't get completely lost.
Nice continuation, but depressing ending!
"Beneath the Planet of the Apes" continues the plot of the first film rather nicely and introduces us to some, shall we say, new wild and wacked out plot elements for us to see.
The plot picks up directly where the original film left off, it is still 3955 and a new astronaut named Brent (James Franciscus) has landed on the ape planet searching for Taylor (Charlton Heston). He meets up with Nova (Linda Harrison) who takes him back to the ape city, where he meets up with Dr. Zira (Kim Hunter) and Dr. Cornelius (David Watson), discussing the last location of Taylor. Brent and Nova then travel to the remnants of NYC where they meet up with a weird race of mutant humans who can control beings with their minds and worship a nuclear bomb(!). They are followed by an army of apes led by Dr. Zaius (Maurice Evans) and Ursus (James Gregory).
The thing I like best about this sequel is the fact that several key characters from the original return, although Heston is reduced to a cameo role and Kim Hunter is briefly seen in a 10 minute scene and disappears for the rest of the film. Roddy McDowell wasn't available for this one, so another actor played his character. The acting is just as good as the original and James Franciscus fills Heston's shoes nicely. I thought the mind controlling mutants was a nice touch to the film but the fact that they worshipped a nuclear bomb was goofy and utterly laughable. That whole scene where they chant and pray to the bomb was ridiculous and the eye closing, beeping way they control minds was more annoying than anything. The violence is still there, even more so than the original and the ending is much, much, much more depressing than the original! I won't give it away but if you watch it you know what I mean. All in all, a good film that shouldn't be missed.
Planet of the Apes (1968)
"Damn you all to hell!"
I just recently purchased the box set of the "Ape" films, not knowing much about the movies and relying on good reviews about them. Well, this first movie was fantastic. I was intrigued from the beginning right to the end! The story is quite simple. Col. George Taylor (Charlton Heston) and three crew members are traveling through space when they encounter a time warp while in hibernation. They land on a planet in the year 3955, where they are held prisoner by a civilization of apes who capture primitive humans and use them for studying.
The movie has a number of questions that could be answered. How did the apes evolve? Why were the humans primitive? What planet were they exactly on? What really happened in the past for the future to be so different? The acting in this was outstanding. Heston at times did over act but for the most part he was really good. Kim Hunter and Roddy McDowell play the ape psychologists Dr. Zira and Cornelius, who try to help Taylor any way they can. Maurice Evans plays scientist Dr. Zaius, who wants Taylor captured and killed, while Linda Harrison plays a primitive woman named Nova as supporting characters.
The only thing that strikes me about this movie is that it's rated G. If you saw some of the violence this movie has, you would think otherwise! There are also bare butts, apes shooting people and apes beating people with mini baseball bats! This doesn't really take any good qualities away from the movie, the best parts happened to be two classic lines Mr. Heston says ("Damn you all to hell!" "Take your stinking hands off me you damn, dirty ape!") and the ending, which I won't give away because it really is a shocker! Definitely see this film if you love sci-fi, you won't regret it.
Father of the Bride Part II (1995)
Better than the original
"Father of the Bride, Part II" is actually a remake of the 1951 sequel, "Father's Little Dividend", which is turn is a sequel to "Father of the Bride". All of the principle cast members from the original film return with more outrageous situations and more laughs.
George Banks (Steve Martin) is just getting over the wedding of his daughter (Kimberly Williams) when he has even more distressing news, she is going to have a baby! This doesn't settle well with him considering he feels old and is not ready to be a grandfather. Not only that, but his wife Nina (Diane Keaton) is also pregnant! Talk about a wacked situation! This not only makes George a grandfather but also a father at the age of 50.
This movie and the original "Father of the Bride" are two of my favorite movies of all time. They are both dramatic, heartwarming and funny. One thing I like is the fact that it continues the storyline very smoothly with references from the first film and Diane Keaton has a lot more to do in this. Martin Short also returns as the wacky ex-wedding coordinator who now coordinates baby showers, lucky for the Banks family! Rent the original and this one for a night of humor and drama, and for anyone who is having a baby, make them watch this!
The Transformers: The Movie (1986)
Definitely in my top 5 favorite movies of all time
I was 6 years old when the Transformers came out so naturally I grew up with them, had my favorite characters and saw the movie of course! I am now 22 and I love this film just as much as I did when I first saw it in the movies years ago. The film takes place in 2005, where the Decepticons, led by Megatron have taken over Cybertron, the home planet of the Transformers. Optimus Prime and the Autobots plans to take back Cybertron but little do they know a planet eating machine named Unicron is heading their way which might force them to put aside their differences and fight together to save the galaxy. That is pretty much the main plot.
There is not one single boring moment in this film. It's action from start to finish. Granted, this movie is violent. There are deaths. In the first 10 minutes we see several of our favorite characters get blasted away. Now to a 6 year old, this is kind of traumatic, but for all intensive purposes, this was to make way for the new toys being developed. Also, the death of a certain autobot (I won't give it away just in case people have not seen the movie) definitely disturbed me when I was younger! I actually cried the the movies. I could understand why this movie was rated PG. Anyway, we have a talented cast who gave the robots life such as Eric Idle, Judd Nelson, Leonard Nimoy and Orson Wells and some great moments in the film: the attack on Autobot City, the creation of Galvatron and his troops and the transformation of Unicron/attack on Cybertron. This might not be a film for non-Trans fans but nevertheless, it is an excellent film, not only for the animation of the time but for the cast and the action it has. If you have not seen it, rent it. You won't regret it!