Kurt Russell week has arrived! This blog-a-thon, hosted by Realweegiemidget Reviews and myself, has had some totally awesome submissions. And we are thrilled to share them with you. And if you would still like to submit something to us, it is not too late. You can check out the information and rules HERE. And if you would like to see a list of who’s doing what, you can check out that list HERE.
If you have not submitted the article, you can have a blast reading and listening to these great submissions. And you can feel free to give some feedback and follow these people.
Here is my contribution to this week’s Kurt Russell Blog-a-thon, hosted by RealWeegieMidget and me. I decided to cover a movie I had never heard of before, let alone see. This movie is The Mean Season, which was released on February 15, 1985.
Run Time 1 hour 43 minutes
Summary/Review Kurt Russell plays Malcolm Anderson, a burnt out reporter of the Miami Journal. Having just returned from a vacation in Colorado, he felt like it was time to move somewhere more quiet, instead of covering grisly murders that take place in Miami. In the meantime, he covers the murder of a teenage girl. You can understand how he is burned out by seeing him go to the crime scene, along with photographer Andy Porter, played by Joe Pantoliano (The Goonies, The Fugitive), and going to the murder victim’s house to interview the mother. Malcolm goes back to the newsroom to write his story, with his boss, Bill Nolan (played by character actor Richard Masur, who you would recognize from many movies and television shows), hanging over his shoulder. An interesting fact about this newsroom, is that it was filmed in the actual newsroom of the Miami Herald, and not a sound stage. Actual reporters were consultants on the film, and even played some of the extras.
Malcolm’s girlfriend, Christine (Mariel Hemingway) is a school teacher. He visits her at work and promises to quit the paper, so they can move to Colorado. Of course, if he actually was able to quit right away, this would have been a very short movie.
While at the newsroom, Malcolm receives a phone call from a strange dude who said he killed the girl from the story that Malcolm had just written about. The killer says that he will kill again, and wants Malcolm to cover the story. He gave a clue about the murder to prove that he was telling the truth. So Malcolm went to see his friend Ray (Andy Garcia), who is a cop, and Ray’s partner, Phil (Richard Bradford), who Malcolm butts heads with throughout the whole movie. Ray confirmed that the killer’s clue was true, so they knew that this was indeed the real killer who was contacting Malcolm.
And sure enough, there is another grisly murder. Malcolm is torn. He doesn’t want to cover the murders because it could encourage the killer. On the other hand, he could try to help figure out who the killer is, and put a stop to it. Then it turns out that Malcolm doesn’t have a choice but to write about the killings because he was starting to get calls at home from the psycho.
It turns out that the killer was reproducing murders that he had done in another state. He was angry that he didn’t get credit for the murders. So, he was hoping to get attention in Miami. However, instead of the killer getting the attention, Malcolm began getting the attention for covering the murders. So, the line was blurred between Malcolm covering the story, and being part of the story. And as you can imagine, this does not go over too well with the killer. The movie then turns into your classic suspense film.
I really enjoyed this movie. I can safely say that I still haven’t seen a Kurt Russell movie that I didn’t like. Kurt Russell was as likable as you would expect Kurt Russell to be. He really stood out among a great cast. Mariel Hemingway was OK. She really didn’t have much to work with. Her character was a typical 80s female romantic partner/nag/woman in peril. She did as well as anybody could do with that role. The killer was creepy, which was cool. He kind of reminded me of a Dirty Harry villain.
I did really enjoy how the movie made a solid social commentary statement, and at the same time, was a sold suspense story. The movie title refers to the late summer months in Florida, where they get nasty storms every day at the same time.
Does the movie stand the test of time?
Story-wise I feel it does stand the test of time, between the theme and the suspense. However, there is a lot of outdated material, such as the newspaper itself. The phones are very old school as well. As much as I despise remakes, I think this is one instance where an updated version wouldn’t be too bad of an idea. It seems that a lot more people are looking for attention these days. Malcolm could be an online reporter or a blogger.
Worth the Return?
I would definitely recommend this movie. Especially, if you are a Kurt Russell fan. The cast and story are great.
I can’t remember how the subject came up, but my good friend Gill, from the awesome blog – RealWeegieMidget Reviews, were discussing the great Kurt Russell. I had mentioned how I have never seen Kurt Russell in a bad movie. So, Gill suggested that we host a Kurt Russell blog-a-thon. What a brilliant idea!
Kurt Russell has an immense body of work in both television and film – from being a child star in the early ’60s through last year’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 to this past December’s Candlelight Procession at Disney’s Epcot:
Yes, I saw him in person, and yes, he was looking right at me.
So I am now formally inviting you to join us in the “Kurt Russell Blogathon” on May 21 – May 23, 2018.
In the blog-a-thon we’d love reviews of his acting career as a film and TV actor in any of his roles large or small. We are accepting no more than 3 duplicates relating to all entries. I’ll be adding a Who’s doing What page.. with a link here. I should also note that this is not limited to his work in the ’80s. Anything from his childhood roles up to his most recent roles, will be accepted and encouraged.
And here’s the rules…
We’d like you to:
Write a post or send us a link to your podcast.
The link to the review/post must be sent to me at Return to the ’80s or Gill at RealWeegieMidget Reviews. Please send these to us on any day and we both will publish the entries as we get them.
We will allow no more than 3 duplicates and 3 entries per person.
Add one of the banners to your site and add this to your post.
Please include your Twitter handle and Facebook page if you have one, the name of your site along with your review choice. Just so as I can promote your post here, there and everywhere!
We allow guest posts – if you want to add a post and don’t have a blog we’ll publish it on one of our sites.
All posts will be published on the Blogathon dates between May 21 – May 23, 2018 and a recap will be added after this.
Have fun and be creative!
And to get things rolling here’s our choices:
Gill from RealWeegieMidget Reviews – Escape from New York (1981)
Paul from Return to the ’80s – The Mean Season (1985)
For inspiration, you can check out his roles on imdb.
And also a big thanks to Gill for creating these awesome banners…
Looking forward to hearing from you and celebrating the life and times of this kick-ass actor.
Well, the moment has arrived! The whole reason why I started reviewing the Star Trek films. I enjoy reading many, many blogs, and listen to many, many podcasts. One awesome blog that I read is Forgotten Films, which is written by Todd Liebenow. Todd also has a related podcast called Forgotten Filmcast, which is also outstanding. A couple of months ago, on his blog, Todd announced that he is hosting a blog-a-thon. A blog-a-thon is an event where several bloggers write about a certain topic, and they are shared. This particular blog-a-thon is going to be on films from 1984 – probably the greatest year of movies, like ever. Seeing that this was ’80s related, I could not resist! By the time I saw the announcement, several good movies were taken. But, I saw that Star Trek III was still open. I had just rewatched the movie, and loved it. So, I decided to take the honor of reviewing Star Trek III: The Search for Spock. You may or may not have noticed the big banner on the side of this page for the 1984 Blog-a-Thon. I will send another reminder when the event officially kicks off, but please check out that page and support the awesome bloggers out there who are participating. All the movies are from 1984, so if you are like me, you will really enjoy these articles.
OK, on with the show.
Star Trek movies have the reputation for having great even numbered movies, but crappy odd numbered movies. I think this is unfair and incorrect. Sure, the first movie was boring and slow, so I’ll agree with that one. I don’t remember how many movies were released before the recent reboot. But, I do know that the last two movies were crappy and not very memorable. Obviously, one of them was an even numbered movie. So that blows that even-odd theory out the window. Another thing that proves that even-odd theory incorrect – Star Trek III was awesome! I read the novelization several times before and after the movie came out. And as I said, I just watched it recently, and really liked it. But, just to be sure, let’s watch it again.
First, the trailer:
Now, let’s continue the voyages of the starship Enterprise.
Aw crap! Right off the bat, we start with Spock’s death from the previous movie! The end of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan is recapped.
Then we get into the opening credits. I like the music.
The Enterprise is headed back to Earth. Everybody is sad because Spock is gone. Everybody except for one person who wants a big celebration when they get home. Hey wait! Is that Jackie Chiles from Seinfeld!?!? Oh no, it’s just the Martian Manhunter from Smallville.
Now we are on board of another ship. It looks like a couple of Federation dudes. But, they are accompanied by a hot Klingon.
They are hailing somebody called Kruge. Whoa, he sounds just like Jim Ignatowski from Taxi! (Back to the Future will come out next year, so no Doc Brown references here). The Klingon ship decloaks, and we meet Kruge.
The female Klingon transmits information about Project Genesis to Kruge’s ship. She informs him that she has seen what was in the transmission. I’m guessing that she wasn’t supposed to see it, because she said she understood what needed to happen. Kruge gets tears in his eyes because they must have had a history. The Klingon ship then blows up the ship with the female Klingon and the two dudes who apparently had sold out.
The Enterprise is now docking. Of course it can’t be that easy. There is a security alarm going off. Somebody is in Spock’s quarters. Kirk high tails it over there. Somebody’s talking, and it sounds like Spock. Is this now a ghost story? Oh, it’s just McCoy. Whoa, crazy eyes!! McCoy is babbling nonsense about going home.
Now the crew is docked and off the ship. They all get extended shore leave. Except for Scotty who is now promoted to Captain of Engineering on the new Excelsior ship. Scotty says thanks, but no thanks. He’ll just stay on the Enterprise for it’s refitting. The admiral basically says that it sucks to be you! The Enterprise is history because it is too old.
We are now on board a slick new starship that is going to the new Genesis planet. Kirk’s son, David, is on board along with Saavik. I know there’s Star Trek makeup involved and everything, but that sure doesn’t look like Kirstie Alley (who played Saavik in The Wrath of Khan). Now Saavik is played by Robin Curtis in her first movie. What a way to start!
They find that there is a life form on the new planet. Captain Asshole won’t let them beam the life form aboard the ship, and won’t let David and Saavik beam down.
Back on Earth Spock’s father, Sarek, meets up with Kirk. Sarek is pissed off at Kirk, which is odd because I thought Vulcans weren’t supposed to show emotion. He’s mad because Kirk left Spock’s body on the Genesis planet, depriving Spock of a future. Kirk is like “Vulcans be crazy. Spock is dead.” Sarek confirmed that Kirk was the last person to be with Spock. He’s right. Here’s the proof:
Sarek said that then he should have known that he should have brought Spock back to Vulcan, and that Spock told him that. Liar! Spock never asked him that! I just saw it last week. Sarek doesn’t believe us, so he does a mind meld with Kirk to get the story. Steve Wilkos was not available to do a lie detector test, so the mind meld had to do.
Oh, NOW Sarek believes him. At least he had the class to apologize. He said that when Vulcans are about to die, they mind meld with somebody to pass on his memories and essence, so that they can then have them returned to their body. Kirk said “Hold the phone! If it was that important, then Spock would have found a way.” So, they pop in the VHS tape of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, to find out what Spock did before he went into that radioactive room.
Booyah!! There it is!!
Now they need to find a way to get McCoy and Spock to Vulcan so that they can perform the ritual that fixes this mess. Oh, and did I mention that Kirk was ordered to stay away from, never mention, and never think of that planet Genesis again. Sarek said that Kirk will find a way. I could be wrong, but I could have sworn that I then heard Sarek mumble under his breath, “You never followed orders before, so why start now?”
Back to the ship hovering over Genesis. Captain Asshole begrudgingly lets Saavik and David beam down. They come across Spock’s coffin – make that Spock’s EMPTY coffin. Well, it’s not totally empty. All that’s left is Spock’s burial robe, which is folded neatly.
Now Kirk is trying to get the Admiral to let them go back and get Spock’s body so they can perform the ritual. All he got was a big fat No! Yeah, that’ll work. He runs into Chekov and Sulu, and tells them that the Admiral said No, but they were gonna go anyway. Now Sulu, ole boy, go fetch Dr. McCoy.
Queue McCoy in a bar. This can’t end well. McCoy is trying to get a ship to bring him to Genesis. Since Han Solo was nowhere to be found, he had to haggle with a bigger scoundrel.
The pain-in-the-ass pilot won’t make a deal unless McCoy tells him where they’re going first. McCoy finally breaks and tells him Genesis. The scoundrel was in shock. “Genesis?!” Then McCoy had the line of the day when he said, “Yes Genesis! How can you be deaf with ears like that?!” The scoundrel is now acting like a goody-two-shoes. “Genesis is forbidden”. Somebody in security hears all this Genesis talk and grabs McCoy. McCoy then tried the Vulcan grip on the security guy. Fail!
McCoy is then put in a holding block. He is then busted out by Kirk and Sulu. Off to the Enterprise.
Uhura beams Kirk, McCoy and Sulu to the Enterprise, and says that she’ll catch up with them later. They join Scotty and Chekov on the bridge of the Enterprise. Off they go. Talk about a skeleton crew! It’s just the 5 of them. No redshirts or anything!
The great new Excelsior ship is giving chase to stop them. Captain Cocky is just hoping the Enterprise goes into warp, so that he could show off and catch them. Unbeknownst to them, Scotty messed with the Excelsior warp drive before they left. With no R2D2 available to get the warp drive back online, they lost the Enterprise.
Saavik and David come across a little boy. They believe that it is Spock regenerated. They request to beam back to the ship with him. Captain Asshole says ‘hold your horses, I better ask Starfleet first!’ But, before he could ask, the Klingon ship arrives and blows the orbiting ship to smithereens. Reverend Jim is pissed because he wanted prisoners. So he shoots the Klingon crew member responsible for the screw-up.
another Klingon on the bridge informs Kruge that there are lifeforms on the planet below – perhaps one of them is the scientist he is looking for.,
Down on the planet, David and Saavik find that the planet is unstable. David has his father’s patience, and took a shortcut when creating Genesis. Now they are seeing the results.
Spock is aging along with the planet since there is a connection between the two. Now Spock is going through Pon Farr, or in Layman’s terms – Vulcan puberty. He needs to get his freak on. But, Saavik calms him down with some ritual.
Kruge and a couple of his men are on the planet and capture Spock, Saavik, and David. But, he leaves when he finds out another Federation ship is approaching – our beloved Enterprise.
The Enterprise arrives, but the Klingon ship is cloaked, so they don’t see it. The cloak comes off so that they can fire on the Enterprise. The Enterprise is faster though, and gets the first hit. Then they get hit back. We have ourselves a good old fashioned space battle!!
Both ships are badly damaged. Kruge informs Kirk that they have prisoners below, and they will kill one at a time until Kirk surrenders. Kirk talks to Saavik and David as they fill him in on what’s going on. The Kruge orders his soldiers to kill one of the prisoners. The soldier is walking around them with a knife. Eenie-meenie-minie-mo. It looks like he was going to kill Saavik, but David saves the day, and tackles the Klingon. They get into a fight. Uh oh. Shit just got real. David’s dead.
Kruge said that he’s going to keep killing until Kirk surrenders. Kirk says OK, OK, you got me. Just give me a minute. The Kocky Klingon Kruge said that he’ll give him 2 minutes, but no tricks. He doesn’t know our Kirk! Kirk and the gang set the self-destruct sequence on the Enterprise so they Klingons will have a nice surprise when they get on board. Kirk and the gang beam off of the ship just as the Klingons beam on board the Enterprise. The Klingon party leader calls Kruge and says that the ship seems to be deserted. The only thing speaking is this annoying computer. It says its name is Siri. What else is it saying? Kruge wants to hear. “9-8-7-6…” Not something I would want to hear on a deserted ship. Kablooey!!
Now all the good guys are on the planet. Spock and Saavik are still captive. Here goes spock going through another growth spurt and is screaming in pain. One of the Klingons comes over to shut him up for good. Bad idea. Spock uses his super strength flings the Klingon, who lands head first onto a rock and dies instantly. Spock continues to transform. The other Klingon comes over, but knows better than to touch him. Then Kirk arrives and shoots the Klingon. They need to figure out how to get off the planet, which is falling apart at the seams.
So, Kirk calls Kruge and antagonizes him to try to get him to beam everybody aboard the Klingon ship. Instead Kruge beams down so he can get the Genesis information. He then has Kirks crew beamed aboard the ship, leaving Kruge, Kirk and Spock on the planet. Kirk and Kruge get into an awesome fight, This is probably the best fight out of all of the movies.
Of course, our mighty hero wins!
Kirk and Spock beam off of the planet just in time. As the planet is blowing up, the Bird of Prey then gets away – you guessed it – just in time.
Off to Vulcan where they are finally able to perform the ritual to put everything back to normal.
McCoy recovers nicely. Spock seems himself again, but is struggling to remember. He talks it out with Kirk, and everything finally comes back to him. Yay! Group Hug. Happy ending!
What a good movie! It went by quickly. It didn’t pack the emotional punch that the last movie had, but it had enough. And it seemed to actually have more action than the last movie. Well, I’ve made it this far. I may as well keep going with the Star Trek movies throughout the ’80s. The next one is known as the Whale movie or something? Maybe Kirk and the gang battle against whales? Come back and find out.
And don’t forget to check out the other blogs and podcasts that are participating in this blog-a-thon. And thanks to Todd for making this happen. It’s been a blast!