Lucy Emerson (Dianne Wiest) is a divorced mother of two teenage sons, Michael (Jason Patric) and Sam (Coey Haim), who relocates to the strange oceanside California town of Santa Carla, which is filled with a mix of punk and hippie cultures. The residents of Santa Carla have taken to calling it the “murder capital of the world”, with deaths and disappearances occurring on an increasingly frequent basis. Kiefer Sutherland plays David, the leader of a motorcycle gang that has been terrorizing the community, and one of the members, a sexy female named Star (Jami Gertz), has taken a mutual liking to Michael. Michael wants to get closer to Star, but this proves to be a risk, as David makes him a member of the gang through a blood ritual that ends up turning Michael into a half-vampire (not full until he makes his first kill). With Star’s help, along with his brother Sam and a couple of comic book geeks with vampire knowledge named Edgar and Allen, aka the Frog Brothers, Michael has to find a way to reverse the curse. Joel Schumacher directs this 80s horror-comedy vampire favorite.
Sean Astin stars as Mikey, the youngest of two brothers who are about to move from their home in Astoria, Oregon because their family lacks the funds to stop a developer from taking over the area to expand a lush country club. This would end many friendships with the other children in the area, which they’ve dubbed “the Goondocks”, and their crew call themselves The Goonies, who are united in their quest for adventure and shenanigans. Things take an interesting turn when a map is discovered in Mikey’s father’s collection of antiques in their attic, which promises to lead to the secret fortune of the infamous One-Eyed Willy, whose cache of jewels promises to make them rich beyond imagination, once they get though all the pirate booty-traps (er, I mean, booby-traps). The gang end up finding the entrance to the caves where the loot is hidden, but a rival group of thieves threatens to get there first, and to kill anyone who gets in their way. Steven Spielberg produces, Chris Columbus scripts, and Richard Donner directs. Also features Josh Brolin, Jeff Cohen, Corey Feldman, Jonathan Ke Quan, Kerri Green, Martha Plimpton, Anne Ramsey, John Matuszak, Robert Davi, and Joe Pantoliano.
A patchwork film that somehow still works great as a piece of entertainment, despite the switch in directors from Richard Donner to Richard Lester a great deal of the way through. Three power-hungry Kryptonians travel to Earth to dominate it, and the only one who can match them is Superman. Alas, he’s nowhere to be found, and has even sacrificed his powers in order to be with Lois Lane. More emphasis on humor and action than the first time out has some proclaiming that SUPERMAN II is better than the first. I debate my own feelings on which is better on this episode. Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder and Gene Hackman star, along with Terence Stamp as Zod.
The granddaddy of the modern-day superhero flick, 1978’s SUPERMAN put together a truly epic experience befitting a popular hero on the magnitude of Superman. Richard Donner directed DC Comics’ legendary property from his infancy on the planet Krypton all the way to donning the cape and costume to right wrongs wherever he may find them on Earth as savior of humanity. With treacherous mastermind Lex Luthor out and about, no one is safe, even Superman, if he has his way. Christopher Reeve, Margot Kidder, Gene Hackman and Marlon Brando star in this grand action-adventure with lots of soaring sounds from composer John Williams and fun character touches from a capable cast.
I look back at a film that some people herald as a great Christmas film. I’ve always had issues, but wanted to give it another shot. Do I come around?
Bill Murray stars as Frank Cross in this modern take on the Charles Dickens’ class, “A Christmas Carol”. Richard Donner directs.
Set in France during the Middle Ages, Philippe ‘The Mouse’ Gaston, a convicted pickpocket escapes from a castle dungeon only to get involved in a bitter feud between the powerful, scheming Bishop of Aquila and two lovers, a former captain of the guard named Etienne of Navarre and a lady named Isabeau d’Anjou, who were cursed with dark magic when the Bishop, who also fancies Isabeau, finds out of their union. The spell transforms the knight into a wolf by night, and the lady into hawk by day, and they can only see each other briefly in human form at dawn or dusk.