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At 18th November of 1988, the animated film "The Land Before Time" debuted in US theaters. Directed and co-produced by Don Bluth and executive produced by Steven Spielberg, George Lucas, Kathleen Kennedy, and Frank Marshall, the film was a critical and financial success, and spawned a multimillion-dollar franchise with thirteen direct-to-video sequels (without association with Bluth, Spielberg, or Lucas) as well as merchandise (toys, video games, etc.) and a television series.

Five years before 'Jurassic Park' roared into theaters, a gentler, more meditative dinosaur film endeared itself to audiences of all ages. Initially met with mixed reviews, 'The Land Before Time' is now regarded as an animated classic.

The story is about a young brontosaurus who's family is traveling to a paradise on earth known as the great valley, but trouble comes when a "Sharp tooth" or Tyrannosaurus Rex attacks, injures his mother, and she eventually dies.

Now alone, Little Foot as he is known journeys on his own and eventually runs into Cera a Triceratops, Ducky a duck billed dinosaur, Spike a Stegosaurus, and Petry Pteranodon. Together they journey and have there ups and downs but eventually become good friends. And together they defeat Sharp Tooth and make it to the great valley.

The vocal cast was really well suited to all their roles. There were a few instances where some of the lines were a bit muffled and hard to understand, but for the most part, the cast did really well with their lines, made them sound natural, and child-like, and managed not to be overly cute and obnoxious as some characters made for children's films inherently are.

The score by James Horner is a wonderful addition to the film's atmosphere and really does a great job setting the mood. Horner always has a way of infusing his scores with a sense of romanticism that is often lacking in today's film composers, and this film is no exception. He makes really good use of his strings section, especially in this period of his work.

'The Land Before Time' is the film that children will love, and is the kind of film that a person can grow on to love forever. Since dinosaurs are so appealing to young kids, films about dinosaurs, but in a less frightening tone, attract kids. And 'The Land Before Time' is perhaps the best out of them. What it does that other movies about talking dinosaurs do not is that it makes the world in which they live seem perilous and like a nightmare, as children often imagine these enormous reptiles to have lived in.

All of its excellent qualities are apparent while watching the film, most notably the animation (which is excellent for a late 80's film), the voice cast, the score, the story, and the art direction. Without a doubt, it would be well-deserving of a spot in any animated feature hall of fame.

#TheLandBeforeTime #GeorgeLucas
#StevenSpielberg #80sMovies #Movies
#Drama #Animation #AnimatedFilm
#AdventureFilm #DramaFilm
#Onthisday #MovieReview
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At 18th November of 1983, "A Christmas Story" debuted in US theaters. The film has since become a holiday classic in the United States and is shown numerous times on television during the Christmas season. Over the years, the film's critical reputation has grown considerably and it is considered by some to be one of the best films of 1983.

"A Christmas Story" is an actual holiday miracle. Released in 1983 to minuscule box office, "Story" was guaranteed a swift trip to the remote island of cinema obscurity. However, against all odds, the picture hung in there thanks to VHS, DVD, Blu-ray and cable, growing year after year into the current form it enjoys today: a bona fide seasonal classic. It's a buoyant feature film that beautifully projects the angst, heart, and criminally momentary magic of Christmas.

Adapted primarily from Jean Shepherd's "In God We Trust, All Others Pay Cash," "Story" observes the hectic world of 9-year-old Ralphie Parker (Peter Billingsley), a precocious kid growing up in 1940's Indiana, heading towards the Christmas season with unbridled expectations.

All Ralphie wants is a beloved Red Ryder BB gun to satisfy his heroic daydreams, only his family, including Mom (Melinda Dillon), younger brother Randy (Ian Petrella), and fearsome family patriarch The Old Man (Darren McGavin), are too wrapped up in their own lives to care. Struggling with his own impatience, the wrath of bully Farkus (Zack Ward), and the trials of the holiday season, Ralphie awaits Christmas morning with hand-wringing anticipation, hoping to receive the present he's been aching for.

What's so successful about "Story" isn't Ralphie's single-minded pursuit of his cherished BB gun, but his observations on life, provided by Billingsley's crack comic timing and the honeyed squeaks of Shepherd's narration, a sublime offering of vocal jazz the film would be naked without.

"Story" reaches out beyond Ralphie to grab a more intimate sense of madness: finding terror in the presence of the local allegedly-yellow-eyed bully Scut Farkus; the hazardous playground throwdown of the "triple-dog-dare" among Ralphie's friends (leading to the infamous hot-tongue-on-ice-pole scene); Mother's domestic exasperation, alleviated by dinner time humiliations with Randy; and The Old Man's period-specific fight to retain his neighborhood nobility, in constant battle with the careless neighbors ("Bumpasses!"), the busted furnace, and his lust for a fishnet-attired leg lamp marked "fra-geee-lay".

The idiosyncrasies of the characters are where "Story" holds its diamond personality, dodging tightly-plotted hijinks to simply live in the moment, expertly assuming the perspective of a young boy who savors every moment in front of him. "Christmas Story" has climbed the film-appreciation ladder to become one of the preeminent Yuletide features, a credit it wholeheartedly deserves.

It's a delightful movie that holds steady on the impact of the holiday season, weaving through the triumphs and setbacks to appreciate the special time of year when toy lust and household madness collide into a perfect storm of comedy. From top to bottom, the film is a cinematic marvel.

#AChristmasStory #PeterBillingsley
#80sMovies #Movies
#Comedy #ComedyFilm
#FamilyComedy #ChristmasFilm
#Christmas #ChristmasIsComing
#Onthisday #MovieReview
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At 17th November of 1989, "The Little Mermaid" premiered in US theaters. Based on the Danish fairy tale of the same name by Hans Christian Andersen, "The Little Mermaid" tells the story of a beautiful mermaid princess who dreams of becoming human. A box office sucess, "The Little Mermaid" is given credit for breathing life back into the art of Disney animated feature films after a string of critical or commercial failures produced by Disney that dated back to the early 1970s. It also marked the start of the era known as the Disney Renaissance.

This is the Disney blockbuster that started a remarkable winning streak, which would stretch through an entire decade. “The Little Mermaid” has all the familiar ingredients you've come to expect from Disney.

“The Little Mermaid’s” lead character, Ariel, is the youngest of seven royal daughters. Instead of lying around the palace without purpose, Ariel spends her days poking around shipwrecks and chatting up seagulls, learning more about human inventions and human society.

For years now, Ariel has taken an interest in the world above her head, and she’d love nothing more than to cross the human / mermaid divide, live a life of adventure and excitement and exploration on land with endless, endless potential. But she knows it’ll never happen. One, because it’s impossible, and two, her father, the king, despises humans.

Still, an eventful encounter with an admirable human prince who proves her right about humans being more than mindless monsters convinces her not to let the dream die so soon and leaves her with quite a crush. When her father finds out, the king becomes terrifyingly abusive towards her, destroying her collection of human objects, and a pissed-off Ariel decides to cut a deal with Ursula the sea witch to try to become human.

The animation quality in “The Little Mermaid” is really astounding. The film successfully captures the feeling of weightlessness with characters like Ariel, Sebastian and Ursula effortlessly gliding across the ocean floor and propelling themselves forward in a way that lends the movie a real sense of physicality.

Howard Ashman and Alan Menken add catchy, original songs and music to the magical undersea adventure, with such classic tunes as “Under the Sea” and “Kiss the Girl”.

Along with the more pronounced musical elements and strong female lead character, it employs a primarily female-oriented narrative and romance, though the themes, dialogue, and humor allow it to captivate fans of all ages and genders, not unlike the lucrative achievements of Pixar works.

A truly fantastic feat of distinguished creativity, Academy Award-winning songs and score, and characters that melt the heart, “The Little Mermaid” is unquestionably one of the best films Disney has ever released.

#TheLittleMermaid #Ariel
#Disney #80sMovies #Movies
#Animation #AnimatedFilm #Fantasy
#FantasyFilm #Musical #MusicalFilm
#Onthisday #MovieReview
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At 16th November of 1984, "Missing in Action" opened in US theaters. Directed by Joseph Zito and starring Chuck Norris, it is set in the context of the Vietnam War POW/MIA issue. The film was a commercial success and has become one of Chuck Norris's most popular films. The film was followed by a prequel, "Missing in Action 2: The Beginning" (1985), and a sequel, "Braddock: Missing in Action III" (1988).

In 1984, the man who fought both Bruce Lee and David Carradine cast the mold for a generation's straight-to-video action films. At that time, if you wanted to grow hair on your chest (or grow a beard in this case) you were either catching him on one of the countless TV airings or renting his tapes from the local video store. Way before he became a running joke to the internet community, he was a hero to every boy raised in the 80's while shooting a path to the men still Missing in Action.

Chuck Norris stars as Col. James Braddock, a recent prisoner of war escapee in Vietnam to the disbelief of his own government. The Vietnam War is over and no one wants to listen to Braddock's accusations that there are still POW camps in that country.

He has no doubt that some of those men who are labeled as "missing in action" are alive in the jungle with no backup patrols coming to the rescue. Their only chance is the desperate solo mission of the relentless, non-diplomatic, locked and loaded Braddock.

Escorted by American delegates, Braddock agrees to meet with military leaders in Vietnam who are attempting to prove the non-existance of POWs in their country. Upon arrival, however, his own facts are again confirmed when he stares down the very man that tortured him for seven years.

Even Gen. Trau (James Hong) seems to be in on the conspiracy. Traditional politics are quickly rejected as a means of freeing the American soldiers. Col. Braddock must drudge through the jungles of 'Nam alone to find and safely bring home the soldiers long thought to be MIA.

When “Missing in Action” was rushed into production it was imagined as two films. Chuck in the POW camp would come first and then in the sequel would be his return to get his brothers out. Producer and co-writer Lance Hool would direct the first picture while “Friday the 13th: The Final Chapter” director Joseph Zito would helm the second feature.

They shot the movies back to back. But in the editing room, the producers realized that the second film was the better movie. So Part 2 was dubbed “Missing in Action” and Part 1 was called “Missing in Action 2: The Beginning”. The second film being a prequel was very rare in the 1980s but producers wanted to get the series off to a stellar start.

There is a reason why “Missing in Action” is one of Chuck’s best films, if not the best. It is a solid action film, has a story, allows for Chuck to use his martial arts but as well fire many weapons. The film also allows Chuck to act. If it wasn’t for the film’s ludicrous sequels and comparisons to Rambo, probably this film would have been better remembered.

#MissingInAction #ChuckNorris
#80sMovies #Movies #WarFilm
#ActionFilm #War #DramaFilm
#VietnamWar #Thriller #Drama
#Onthisday #MovieReview
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At 11th November of 1988, "Ernest Saves Christmas" premiered in theaters. Directed by John R. Cherry III and starring Jim Varney, this is the third film to feature the character Ernest P. Worrell, and chronicles Ernest's attempt to find a replacement for an aging Santa Claus. Unlike the other Ernest movies, "Ernest Saves Christmas" is the only one that does not feature a villain.

Jim Varney was a man of many talents when it came to comedy. He could write, do impressions and get physical, all in the name of laughter. While he held many roles over the years, he achieved worldwide fame with the role of Ernest P. Worrel. As the dim witted, but well meaning Ernest, Varney was able to carve out a career that made him a pop culture mainstay and touched millions with laughter and joy. Sadly, Varney passed in 2000 at the age of 50 after a battle with lung cancer.

Maybe "Ernest Saves Christmas" will never be one of the most well-respected holiday comedies ever made. Maybe it didn't win the Best Picture Academy Award. Maybe it isn't a five-star movie or even a very popular one, but it's still a Christmas must every year.

Ernest (Jim Varney) is a cab driver who runs the airport routes in a big city. One day, he crashes his taxi into the unloading area of the airport and must make a beeline out of the site. Seeing a white-bearded gentleman who needs a cab, he hustles the old guy into his clutches and speeds off.

Although Ernest sings "O Christmas Tree" with only these three words, he's really a nice guy. But, when the bearded one tells Ernest that his name is Santa Claus, Ernest doesn't really believe him. He drops the old man off, however, at a retirement home, as requested. Picking up a Christmas tree that fell off a truck and a homeless young teenage girl with an attitude, Ernest makes his way over to Vern's house to decorate.

But, wait. The old man left his red, very large duffle-type bag on board. As Ernest opens the bag, he gets a glimpse of the bag's magical powers. Could this really have been Santa ? Trying to return the sack to Mr. Claus, Ernest learns, however, that the old man has been thrown in jail. Is it up to Ernest to make sure Santa can fly on his big day ?

This is a sweet and fun family film that borrows a bit from "Miracle on 34th Street" and other holiday flicks. There is only one Ernest, of course, and Varney provides much comedic mayhem with his unique character. Just watch him talk about "channel number 5 perfume" or a "failure to accumulate" and you will be laughing heartily. His expressions are priceless, too.

The rest of the cast, although unknown, are fine as well. No one will find fault with the look of the film, either, as the costumes, sets, and production values are high. Perhaps you have heard that Varney's humor is sometimes of the gross-out nature and you would rather not share his films with your family.

Please, do reconsider when it comes to this one. Its humor is infectious, not offensive, and its sweet tale will warm the hearts of its viewers. "Ernest Saves Christmas" is a movie that can be enjoyed by virtually everyone in the family. And it is a fun enough movie to put on for some Christmas time comedy.

#ErnestSavesChristmas #ErnestPWorrell
#JimVarney #80sMovies #Movies
#Comedy #ComedyFilm #FamilyComedy
#ChristmasFilm #ChristmasIsComing
#Christmas #Onthisday #MovieReview
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At 9th November of 1984, the movie "A Nightmare on Elm Street'' premiered in theaters. Directed by Wes Craven, the film stars Heather Langenkamp, John Saxon, Ronee Blakley, Amanda Wyss, Jsu Garcia, Robert Englund, and Johnny Depp in his feature film debut. The film is credited with carrying on many tropes found in low-budget horror films of the 1970s and 1980s, originating in John Carpenter's 1978 horror film "Halloween", including the morality play that revolves around sexual promiscuity in teenagers resulting in their eventual death, leading to the term "slasher film".

By 1984, the slasher genre had peaked. The initial success of "Halloween" in 1978 had begat "Friday the 13th" in 1980 and what followed was a slew of knockoffs, sequels and grade Z additions to the genre.

The big series like the aforementioned two would continue on, but there was little else of any consequence being offered. But Wes Craven had something altogether different under his sleeve. "A Nightmare on Elm Street" featured a maniac stalking and killing a group of teenagers, but it looked and felt far different from any of the other films of its type.

Set in Springwood, Ohio, "A Nightmare On Elm Street" tells the story about a group of teenagers who live in the same neighborhood of Elm Street who have been having the same nightmares about a burnt and scarred man with finger knifes named Freddy Krueger (Robert Englund). When one of the teens is killed in their sleep, Nancy Thompson (Heather Langenkamp) has to figure out why Fred Krueger is stalking her and her friends in their nightmares and stop him before it's too late or Nancy won't wake up at all.

The whole cast is great in their roles. Heather Langenkamp does a great job as Nancy, the hero of the film, bringing depth, sympathy and a likable presence to the role. Robert Englund is simply amazing as Freddy Krueger, bringing a menacing, scary and frightening believability to the role. Englund's performance in this film and the sequels made Freddy one of greatest movie villains of all time.

John Saxon is wonderful as LT. Donald Thompson, a cop who is Nancy's father, Saxon is calm and collective in his performance. Ronee Blakley is effective and sad as Marge Thompson, Nancy's alcoholic mother. Johnny Depp does a great job as Glen, Nancy's boyfriend. Who would've known Depp would become one of the biggest stars on the planet.

Amanda Wyss is wonderful in her small role as Tina, Nancy's best friend. Nick Corri does an outstanding job as Rod, Tina's bad boy boyfriend. Wes Craven's direction in the film is fantastic, giving the film and sense of fear and dread, moving the camera and giving the film a great pace and the scares are well done.

"A Nightmare on Elm Street" single handedly reinvented the fantasy horror genre. With its clever story line, surreal environments and tendency to have its audience question their grip on reality this masterpiece stands the test of time as one of the most famous and influential horror movies ever made.

#ANightmareOnElmStreet
#RobertEnglund #FreddyKrueger
#80sMovies #Movies #Horror
#HorrorFilm #SlasherFilm #Thriller
#Onthisday #MovieReview
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At 6th November of 1987, "Less Than Zero", a movie about a group of wealthy young friends in Los Angeles in the 1980s starring Robert Downey Jr., Andrew McCarthy and Jami Gertz, opens in theaters. Although "Less Than Zero" had only a modest box-office presence, grossing $3 million in the opening weekend and $12 million since, it has become an important pop-culture artifact, heralding the death of the innocent '80s teen flick and so thoroughly defining the career of Robert Downey Jr. that when he was arrested in 1996 for drunk driving and drug possession.

If you’re among those who recall the 1980s as a decade of wretched excess, you’ll find validation in 'Less than Zero', the melancholy but trenchant 1987 screen adaptation of Bret Easton Ellis’s bestselling novel. Ellis chronicled the unsavory, even nihilistic antics of several Beverly Hills youths, children of privilege who become morally and spiritually bankrupt as a result of their dissolute lifestyles.

In the film adaptation Andrew McCarthy portrays the author’s protagonist, Clay, who returns home for Christmas vacation following a semester at an eastern college. No longer dependent on the meaningless thrills provided by aimless sex and reckless drug use, he touts sobriety to ex-girlfriend Blair (Jami Gertz) but fails to convince his best friend, Julian (Robert Downey Jr.), a hopelessly addicted loser who eventually plunges into an abyss of degradation.

Director Marek Kanievska takes his viewers on a guided tour of L.A.’s seamy subculture, circa 1987; brainless bimbos and predatory pushers, resplendent in their Rodeo Drive fashions, frequent decadent nightclubs and attend drug-sodden orgies in luxury condos and palatial homes. It’s a harrowing and unforgettable journey, and one that now seems sadly prophetic as well, given how closely Downey’s real-life behavior, in the years since this film was first released, has invited comparisons to his character’s.

Jami Gertz's Blair is likewise hugely different from the novel, she is the emotional heart of the movie, desperately trying to keep her triangular friendship group together, nostalgically clinging to the past. And James Spader once again plays the quintessential villain, this time in the form of drug dealer, managing to combine likability with a sinister evil.

One of the best features of the film is its visual appeal, it is so well filmed, lit and glamorously designed it instantly draws you into the affluent and decadent world of the characters. Their world is beautifully superficial and over the top, and you can easily relate to Clay's disorientation after returning from the East Coast, and the lack of reality all the characters seem to struggle with. The soundtrack also complements this surrealness, with a strange mix of hip-hop and rock and a powerful early score by Thomas Newman.

The movie is wonderfully acted and the chemistry between the characters and their motivations are all very well done. For those of us who live comfortable lives and worry about out kids, this should serve as a cautionary tale of what drug addiction can and often does do.

#LessThanZero #RobertDowneyJr
#AndrewMcCarthy #JamiGertz
#80sMovies #Movies #Drama
#DramaFilm #ComingOfAgeFilm
#Onthisday #MovieReview
#LessThanZero_30ThAnniversary
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At 4th November of 1988, the movie "They Live" opened in US theaters. Horror master John Carpenter directs this heart-pounding thriller. Aliens are systematically gaining control of the earth by masquerading as humans and lulling the public into submission. Humanity's last chance lies with a lone drifter who stumbles upon a harrowing discovery: a unique pair of sunglasses that reveal the terrifying and deadly truth. At release it was number one in the box office, but sales soon suffered, though the film was nominated for two Saturn Awards. "They Live" has since become a cult film.

Director John Carpenter helmed a number of fantastic films during the 1980s (most notably "The Thing"), but "They Live" is perhaps his most fun. Blending together social commentary, violence and terrific one-liners that approach Robocop levels of greatness, it's an engaging and accessible romp that's aged quite well during the last 29 years. It doesn't hurt that its star is well-versed in brawling and over-the-top dialogue, but there's more to "They Live" than its deceptively simple premise of "us vs. them".

John Nada (Roddy Piper) is a drifter who just arrived in Los Angeles, and he's lucky enough to find construction work and shelter at a shantytown with the help of co-worker Frank Armitage (Keith David). As time passes, Nada can't help but notice strange occurrences at a nearby church, and it isn't long before curiosity gets the best of him.

Among other things, he discovers a box of sunglasses that allow their wearer to see...well, "the truth": aliens are lurking about and the unwitting lower classes are being controlled by their advertisements, suggestions and news reports.

Unfortunately, it's tough to convince fellow citizens that they're being brainwashed by extra-terrestrials, especially when you're perceived as a homeless nut job. Soon enough, however, Nada and company begin to fight back against the repulsive invaders...and things get serious pretty fast, since those in power generally like to stay on top.

It's impossible to recollect "They Live" without immediately thinking of the film's most memorable moments. The black-and-white reveal of a seemingly harmless billboard. Those lines about cheese dip and bubble gum. The endless back-alley brawl. A heroic third act takeover of the aliens' news station headquarters. Yet lurking under "They Live's" goofy, over-the-top exterior is a politically subversive story loaded with heart and conviction...and what's more, it plays even better in hindsight.

There is a plot hole or two, some bad alien makeup, and a few cheesy scenes, but its hard not to like this film as an action/sci-fi adventure, and its hard not to appreciate the layers of commentary Carpenter manages to cleverly conceal here. Maybe not everyone's cup of tea, but it should be recommended to any action, sci-fi, or Carpenter fans for the underrated 'hell of an adventure' film this is.

#TheyLive #JohnCarpenter
#RoddyPipper #80sMovies #Movies
#SciFi #SciFiFilm #Thriller
#ActionFilm #Horror #HorrorFilm
#Onthisday #MovieReview
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Happy birthday to Mr. Dolph Lundgren,
60 years completed today.

Despite being a world-class athlete and a gifted student, Dolph Lundgren received little respect from fans and critics, who dismissed his real-life accomplishments and pigeonholed him as a stiff muscle-bound action star. In reality, the Swede held a master's degree in chemical engineering and studied on three continents while mastering seven languages.

He was born on 3rd November 1957 in Stockholm, Sweden, to Sigrid Birgitta (Tjerneld), a language teacher, and Karl Johan Hugo Lundgren, an engineer and economist for the Swedish government. He lived in Stockholm until the age of 13, when he moved in with his grandparents in Nyland, Ångermanland, Sweden.

Despite an early interest in music and the fine arts, Dolph decided to follow in his father's footsteps and pursue an Engineering degree. After having completed his military service, he enrolled at the Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm.

It was in the military when Dolph first came in contact with the martial arts. Five years later, Dolph had become a World-Class competitor in Japanese Karate and was deeply involved with a discipline that was to become an important part of his life. After graduating High School, Dolph spent considerable time studying in the United States and abroad on various academic scholarships.

The general public remembered him best as 1980s Soviet monster Ivan Drago in "Rocky IV" (1985), real-life cartoon He-Man in "Masters of the Universe" (1987) or Jean-Claude Van Damme's reanimated nemesis in "Universal Soldier" (1992). Linked at one time to the equally striking Grace Jones, who arranged for his cameo in the James Bond movie "A View to a Kill" (1985), Lundgren spent most of his career in low-budget action and science fiction films, many of which went straight-to-video.

He reclaimed and revitalized his image, however, with a flashy turn in the ultimate action movie, "The Expendables" (2010), directed by friend Sylvester Stallone. He is due to reprise his role as Gunner Jensen in "The Expendables 4" (2018) and he will reprise his "Rocky IV" role of Ivan Drago in the upcoming sequel to "Creed".

"Rocky IV" is a surprisingly successful addition to the Rocky series. This movie is packed with much more action, emotion and a much brutal final match. Rocky is settling down and maturing when a Russian boxer named Ivan Drago enters professional boxing, when Apollo hears of this he challenges him in an exhibition match.

Apollo is killed and Rocky feels partly responsible and challenges him in Russia where he begins a tough training regime in the heart of Russia, Moscow. Then faces his ultimate fighter The Russian Terminator Ivan Drago in one of the most anticipated and brutal of all Rocky's fights.

Rocky takes a battering but in the end comes through against a tough opponent and a hostile crowd but heart prevails. Rocky truly becomes a true champion of the people. "Rocky IV" is a great movie and a solid installment in this wonderful franchise.

#DolphLundgren #IvanDrago
#Actor #Happybirthday #RockyIV
#80sMovies #Movies #80sMemories
#DramaFilm #SportsFilm #Boxing
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At 30th October of 1981, "Halloween II" premiered in US theaters. "Halloween II" is an American slasher film and the second installment in the Halloween film series. Directed by Rick Rosenthal, written and produced by John Carpenter and Debra Hill, it is a direct sequel to Carpenter's "Halloween", immediately picking up where it had left off. The sequel was a box office success, grossing over $25.5 million in the United States.

Picking up pretty much directly where John Carpenter's original left off, Rick Rosenthal's 1981 sequel, 'Halloween II' begins when infamous murder machine Michael Myers (Dick Warlock) basically gets up and walks away from the damage inflicted on him by Dr. Sam Loomis (Donald Pleasance) and his handy pistol.

Around the same time, Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis), has been whisked off to a nearby hospital after that events that took place earlier that night. With Michael still on the loose and bound and determined to kill poor Laurie, Loomis finds himself in a race against time to stop Myers from killing again and saving Laurie from certain death.

Thankfully a helpful ambulance attendant named Jimmy (Lance Guest), who takes a shining to Laurie, is intent on keeping tabs on her even if the head nurse keeps trying to get rid of him. Myers inevitably shows up and starts systematically eliminating everyone who gets in his path, be they doctor, nurse or what have you, while Loomis starts to ponder the connection between Myers and Laurie.

While Halloween II doesn't really recreate the slasher film the way that the film that came before it did, the movie still works quite well for what it is. It expands on the storyline that the Carpenter's film started things off with in a fairly logical manner and it brings back the surviving characters for another round of mayhem.

As far as the cast are concerned, Jamie Lee Curtis is once again very good as Laurie Strode. She has some legitimately sympathetic character traits that are handled well and we feel for her. Her character is understandably upset and confused by all of this and she handles this range of emotions well.

Dick Warlock doesn't have any dialogue here but he makes for an imposing figure, his menacing frame doing a fine job of playing the boogeyman, while Donald Pleasance ramps things up to ten and doesn't really ever turn it down. While the aging actor doesn't go as over the top as he would in later sequels, Pleasance chews through a fair bit of scenery and the movie is all the better for it.

When it's all said and done, the movie works well for what it is, and although that's not the masterpiece of horror Carpenter's film was, it is a fine follow up. Yes, it's a bit formulaic but the film makes great use of the hospital sets and succeeds in expanding the storyline in a decent way. It's slick, it's bloody, it's scary and it's good entertainment.

#Halloween #HalloweenII
#JohnCarpenter #JamieLeeCurtis
#MichaelMyers #80sMovies #Movies
#Horror #HorrorFilm #SlasherFilm
#Thriller #Onthisday #MovieReview
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