Monday, 30 May 2011

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides Review (Updated)

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

Release Date: 19th May 2011 - Australia

Production Companies
Jerry Bruckheimer Films
Walt Disney Pictures 

Walt Disney Studios Motion 
Pictures Australia

Genre: Action/Adventure

Rating: M

Runtime: 147 minutes

Budget: $250,000,000

Box Office Gross: $1,045,713,802

Plot Summary
When Jack crosses paths
with a woman from his past,
he's not sure if it's love - or
if she's a ruthless con artist
who's using him to find the
fabled Fountain of Youth.
When she forces him aboard
the Queen Anne's Revenge,
the ship of the formidable
pirate Blackbeard, Jack
finds himself on an
unexpected adventure in
which he doesn't know who
to fear more: Blackbeard or
the woman from his past.

Johnny Depp - Captain Jack Sparrow
Penelope Cruz - Angelica
Ian McShane - Edward "Blackbeard" Teach
Geoffrey Rush - Captain Hector Barbossa
Kevin McNally - Joshamee Gibbs
Sam Cliffin - Philip Swift
Astrid Berges-Frisbey - Syrena
Stephen Graham - Scrum
Keith Richards - Captain Teague
Richard Griffiths - King George
Greg Ellis - Lt. Commander Theodore Groves
Damian O'Hare - Gillette
Oscar Jaenada - The Spaniard
Sebastian Armesto - King Ferdinand
Anton Lesser - Lord John Carteret
Roger Allam - Prime Minister - Henry Pelham
Christopher Fairbank - Ezekiel
Paul Bazely - Salaman
Bronson Webb - Cook
Richard Thomson - Derrick
Yuki Matsuzaki - Garheng
Robbie Kay - Cabin Boy
Gemma Ward - Tamara - First Mermaid
Judi Dench - Society Lady (Cameo)

Director - Rob Marshall
Based on Novel: On Stranger Tides/Suggestion -
Tim Powers
Screen Story/Based on Characters/Screenplay/
Executive Producers - Terry Rossio & Ted Elliott
Based on Characters - Stuart Beattie &
Jay Wolpert
Executive Producers - John DeLuca, Chad Oman,
Mike Stenson and Barry H. Waldman
Producer - Jerry Bruckheimer
Production Designer - John Myhre
Costume Designer - Penny Rose
Director of Photography - Dariusz Wolski
Second Unit Director/Stunt Coordinator - George Marshall Ruge
Sword Master/Fight Coordinator/Stunt Double: Geoffrey Rush - 
Thomas DuPont 
Special Effects Supervisor - John Fraizer
Visual Effects Supervisor: ILM - Ben Snow
Visual Effects Supervisor - Matt Dessero
Second Unit Director/Visual Effects Supervisor -
Charles Gibson
Creature Supervisor - Kaori Ogino
Film Editors - David Brenner & Wyatt Smith
Additional Editing - Michael Kahn
Music - Hans Zimmer

PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN: ON STRANGER TIDES was simple and shorter than the last two films which I didn't get to watch both of them as I would have done it ages ago. The visual effects were advanced and stunning and the 3D aspect of the movie improved the effects of the movie. The direction by Rob Marshall wasn't half as bad as other reviewers have said it. I probably enjoy the acting of Johnny Depp and newcomers Ian McShane and Penelope Cruz. I loved the intense part of the film where it involved killer mermaids. 

ON STRANGER TIDES was better than the last two films or so I think it was in my opinion. Most people would disagree about the feature as they preferred its iconic predecessor. In all, Jerry Bruckheimer has done a wonderful job with the film and there's a talk of the fifth coming out and so does the sixth.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie

Sunday, 29 May 2011

My New Blogsite

Hi, this is Film Guru Lad here! Sorry, I didn't post a review last Monday but just so you know, I have started another blog site. This one is about my trip to New Zealand which is from last month, here's the link to it ( Hope you enjoy!

Thursday, 19 May 2011

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith Review

Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith

Release Date: 19th May 2005 - Australia

Production Companies

20th Century Fox Australia

Genre: Sci-Fi

Rating: M

Runtime: 140 minutes

Budget: $113,000,000

Box Office Gross: $848,754,768

Plot Summary
(19 Years before Episode IV)
Three years after the onset of
the Clone Wars, the noble
Jedi Knights have been
leading a massive clone army
into a galaxy-wide battle
against the Separatists.
When the sinister Sith
unveil a thousand-year-old
plot to rule the galaxy, the
Republic crumbles and
from its ashes rises the evil
Galactic Empire. Jedi hero
Anakin Skywalker is
seduced by the dark side
of the Force to become the
Emperor's new apprentice -
Darth Vader. The Jedi are
decimated, as Obi-Wan
Kenobi and Jedi Master Yoda
are forced into hiding.
The only hope for the galaxy
are Anakin's own offspring -
the twin children born in
secrecy who will grow up
to become Luke Skywalker
and Princess Leia Organa.

Ewan McGregor - Obi-Wan Kenobi
Natalie Portman - Padme Amidala
Hayden Christensen - Anakin Skywalker
Ian McDiarmid - Supreme
Chancellor Palpatine/Darth
Samuel L. Jackson - Mace Windu
Jimmy Smits - Senator Bail Organa
Frank Oz - Yoda (Voice)
Anthony Daniels - C3PO
Kenny Baker - R2D2
Christopher Lee - Count Dooku
Silas Carson - Ki-Adi-Mundi/
Nute Gunray
Temuera Morrison - Commander Cody
Peter Mayhew - Chewbacca
Matthew Wood - General Grevious (Voice)
Joel Edgerton - Owen Lars (Cameo)
Bonnie Piesse - Beru Lars (Cameo)
Jay Laga'aia - Captain Typho
Oliver Ford Davies - Sio
Bibble (Cameo)
Keisha Castle-Hughes - Queen
of Naboo
Rohan Nicol - Captain
Raymus Antilles
Bruce Spence - Tion Medon
Wayne Pygram - Grand Moff Tarkin

Writer/Executive Producer/
Director - George Lucas
Producer - Rick McCallum
Concept Design Supervisors -
Erik Tiemens & Ryan Church
Production Designer - Gavin Bocquet
Costume Designer - Trisha Biggar
Make-up Supervisor - Nikki Gooley
Director of Photography - David Tattersall
Stunt Coordinator/Sword Master - Nick Gillard
Visual Effects Supervisors: ILM - John Knoll & Roger
Creature Shop Creative Supervisor - Dave Elsey
Practical Model Supervisor - Brian Gernand
Animation Director - Rob Coleman
R2-D2 Designer - Tony Dyson (Uncredited)
Sound Design/Film Editor - Ben Burtt
Film Editor - Roger Barton
Music - John Williams


2006 Academy Awards
Best Makeup - Dave Elsey & Nikki Gooley (Nominated)

REVENGE OF THE SITH is probably darker than THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (click here). It's a sad but tragic movie of the STAR WARS prequel trilogy. In REVENGE however, we finally get to see Anakin Skywalker turn into Darth Vader and even the return of the character Chewbacca since the classic films. I enjoyed the character of General Grevious along with the tremendous acting performances of Hayden Christensen, Ewan McGregor, Natalie Portman and Ian McDiarmid. Who could not forget the amazing star-fighter battle between the Jedi and Republic and the Separatist droids and the final two light-saber duels such as Obi Wan vs Vader and Yoda vs Palpatine.

REVENGE is not only much better than the other two prequels, but it's a must see for all everyone including die-hard fans of George Lucas's famous science fiction franchise. It is also my third favourite Star Wars film.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever

Monday, 16 May 2011

Get Smart Review

Get Smart

Release Date: 26th June 2008 – Australia

Production Companies
Warner Bros. Pictures (presents)
Village Roadshow Pictures (in association with)
Mosaic Media Group
Mad Chance
Callahan Filmworks
Atlas Entertainment
WV Films IV

Roadshow Distribution

Genre: Comedy

Rating: PG

Runtime: 110 minutes

Budget: $80,000,000

Box Office Gross: $264,370,531

Plot Summary
When the headquarters of
U.S. spy agency Control is
attacked and identities of
its agents compromised,
the Chief has no choice but
to promote his ever-eager
analyst Maxwell Smart,
who has always dreamt of
working in the field
alongside stalwart superstar
Agent 23. Smart is partnered
instead with the only other
agent whose identity has
not been compromised: the
lovely-but-lethal veteran
Agent 99.

As Smart and 99 get closer
to unravelling KAOS' master
plan - and each other-they
discover that key KAOS
operative Siegfried and his
sidekick Shtarker are
scheming to cash in with
their network of terror.
Given little field experience
and even less time, Smart -
armed with nothing but a
few spy-tech gadgets and
his unbridled enthusiasm -
must defeat KAOS if he has
to save the day.

Steve Carell - Maxwell Smart
Anne Hathaway - Agent 99
Dwayne "The Rock"
Johnson - Agent 23
Alan Arkin - The Chief
Terence Stamp - Siegfried
Masi Oka - Bruce
Nate Torrence - Lloyd
Ken Davitian - Shtarker
Terry Crews - Agent 91
David Koechner - Larabee
James Caan - The President of the United States
David S. Lee - Ladislas Kristic
Dalip Singh - Dalip
Bill Murray - Agent 13
Patrick Warburton - Hymie

Executive Producer/Director - Peter Segal
Based on Characters - Mel Brooks &
Buck Henry
Screenplay - Tom J. Astle & Matt Ember
Executive Producers - Bruce Berman,
Steve Carell, Dana Goldberg, Jimmy Miller
& Brent O'Connor
Producers - Michael Ewing, Alex Gartner,
Andrew Lazar & Charles Roven
Co-Producer - Alan Glazer
Production Designer - Wynn Thomas
Costume Designer - Deborah Lynn Scott
Director of Photography - Dean Semler
Special Effects Supervisor - Michael Lantieri
Visual Effects Supervisors - Joe Bauer,
Eric D. Christensen & Elad Offer
Film Editor - Richard Pearson
Music - Trevor Rabin

The 2008 film iteration of GET SMART was faithful to Mel Brooks' classic spy comedy series, but it was a good movie adaptation of a TV show that I ever seen. I praise the acting of Steve Carell and Anne Hathaway who both look perfect for the agent duo of Maxwell Smart and Agent 99 and some funny parts of the movie such as where Max tries to get rid of the handcuffs on the airplane only to accidentally fall through the trapdoor in the plane causing him to free-fall only to be rescued by 99 in a parachute and the other funny scene is where he's trying to pass through the lasers whilst he's got a rat in his pants.

This movie was overall a comedic blast of laughs and entertainment for all ages.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie

Monday, 9 May 2011

Raiders of the Lost Ark Review (Updated)

Raiders of the Lost Ark

Release Date: 13th August 1981 – Australia

Production Companies
Paramount Pictures (presents)

Genre: Action/Adventure

Rating: M

Runtime: 115 minutes

Budget: $18,000,000

Box Office Gross: $389,925,971

Plot Summary
The year is 1936. A professor who
studies archeology named Indiana
Jones is venturing in the jungles in
South America searching for a
golden statue. Unfortunately, he
sets off a deadly trap doing so,
miraculously, he escapes. Then,
Jones hears from a museum curator
named Marcus Brody about a
biblical artifact called The Ark of
the Covenant, which can
hold the key to humanly
existence. Jones has to
venture to vast places such
as Nepal and Egypt to find
this artifact. However, he
will have to fight his enemy
Rene Belloq and a band of
Nazis in order to reach it.

Harrison Ford – Indiana Jones
Karen Allen – Marion Ravenwood
Paul Freeman – Dr. Rene Belloq
Ronald Lacey – Major Arnold Toht
John Rhys-Davies – Sallah
Denholm Elliot – Dr. Marcus Brody
Wolf Kahler – Colonel Dietrich
Alfred Molina – Satipo
George Harris – Captain Katanga
Anthony Higgins – Major Gobler
Vic Tablian –  Barranca/
Monkey Man
Don Fellows – Colonel Musgrove
William Hootkins – Major Eaton

Director – Steven Spielberg
Story/Executive Producer/Film Editor
(Uncredited) – George Lucas
Story – Philip Kaufman
Screenplay – Lawrence Kasdan
Producer – Frank Marshall
Executive Producer – Howard G. Kazanjian
Production Artist – Ron Cobb
Production Designer – Norman Reynolds
Costume Design – Deborah Nadoolman
Director of Photography – Douglas Slocombe
Stunt Coordinator – Glenn Randall Jr
Mechanical Effects Supervisor – Kit West
Visual Effects Supervisor – Richard Edlund
Film Editor – Michael Kahn
Sound Designer – Ben Burtt
Music – John Williams


1982 Academy Awards
Best Art Direction-Set Decoration – Norman Reynolds,
Leslie Dilley & Michael Ford (Won)
Best Sound – Bill Varney, Steve Maslow,
Gregg Landaker & Roy Charman (Won)
Best Film Editing – Michael Kahn (Won)
Best Visual Effects – Richard Edlund, Kit West,
Bruce Nicholson & Joe Johnston (Won)
Special Achievement Award – Ben Burtt (Won)
Best Picture – Frank Marshall (Nominated)
Best Director – Steven Spielberg (Nominated)
Best Cinematography – Douglas Slocombe (Nominated)
Best Original Score – John Williams (Nominated)

Despite being made in the collaboration of George Lucas and director Steven Spielberg, RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK is an amazing but enjoyable adventure movie that has lots of action and humour. This film contains scenes such as Indiana being chased by the boulder at the start of the film, descending into the pit of snakes even with his fear of snakes and a fight scene between Indy and a bald and burly German mechanic. I liked the acting of Harrison Ford, he's terrific for the part of the main hero Indiana Jones and as well as the performance of the love interest Marion for Miss Karen Allen. John Williams' truly breathtaking music score is one other factor I loved about in RAIDERS. It evokes the classic compositions shown in the atmosphere of the old action/adventure serials from the 1930s and early 40s.

RAIDERS was a brilliant start of the franchise and is followed by a prequel and two sequels (minus one) not to be missed by fans of the series.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever

Official Website

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

The Thief and the Cobbler Review (Updated)

The Thief and the Cobbler

Release Date: 30th June 1994 – Australia (as The Princess and the Cobbler)

Production Companies
Allied Filmmakers
Richard Williams Productions

Genre: Animation

Rating: PG (Work-print/Re-cobbled Cut)
            G (Australia)

Runtime: 91 minutes 
              77 minutes
              (Allied Filmmakers

Budget: $28,000,000

Plot Summary
The story is around a nameless thief who unleashes an ancient prophecy of destruction and death by releasing 3 magical golden balls on the top of a minaret that protects the magnificent Golden City causing it to be in danger of invasion by an army of one-eyed men. The only one who could save the city is a young and shy but poor shoemaker named Tack and with the help of Princess Yum Yum along with her nanny, a band of brigands and most unlikely the Thief himself. Together they must attempt to find the 3 golden balls and prevent the one-eyed army and the evil grand vizier ZigZag from conquering the Golden City.

Voice Cast (All Versions)
Vincent Price – Zig-Zag the Grand Vizier
Windsor Davies – Chief Roofless
Donald Pleasence – Phido the Vulture
Joan Sims – Mad Holy Old Witch

Voice Cast (Original Version)
Felix Aylmer – Narrator
Sara Crowe – Princess Yum Yum
Anthony Quayle – King Nod
Joan Sims – Princess Yum Yum's Nanny
Chris Greener - Mighty One-Eye

Voice Cast (Allied Filmmakers Version)
Steve Lively – Narrator/Tack the Cobbler
Bobbi Page – Princess Yum Yum
Ed E. Caroll – The Thief
Clive Revill – King Nod
Kevin Dorsey – Mighty One-Eye
Mona Marshall – Princess Yum Yum's Nanny/Mad Holy Old Witch

Writer/Producer/Director/Lead Animator – Richard Williams
Completion Producer/Director: Los Angeles – Fred Calvert
Executive Producer – Jake Eberts
Producer – Imogen Sutton
Writer – Margaret French
Additional Story & Dialogue – Parker Bennett, Terry Runte, Tom Towler & Stephen Zito
Additional Story & Dialogue/
Completion Producer: Los Angeles – Bette L. Smith
Art Director – Roy Naisbitt
Background Styling – Errol Le Cain
Master Animator – Ken Harris
Director of Photography – John Leatherbarrow
Lyricist: Songs – Norman Gimbel
Composer: Songs/Music – Robert Folk
Editor – Peter Bond

THE THIEF AND THE COBBLER known as THE PRINCESS AND THE COBBLER in Australia was a magnificent but unfinished animated film by Richard Williams who did the animation for WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT. I liked the film's M.C Escher like backgrounds as well its animation style which almost feels like CGI except that it's done in two dimensions by hand, but it's such a shame that it was taken away from its creator after 28 years in production. The film was cheaply finished, edited and half of the footage was changed, it was made into a rip-off of ALADDIN by adding these stupid songs and the full dialogue for the silent character Tack which I felt were too unnecessary.

I do praise the surviving original content of the film such as Vincent Price's marvelous but last performance as Zigzag. Keeping the Thief and Phido silent as well as the character of the Witch in most scenes. Best of all, its moments including a scene where Tack chases the Thief after he steals Princess Yum Yum's shoe and most of the War Machine.

If you have and haven't seen THE PRINCESS AND THE COBBLER, try the RE-COBBLED CUT version instead of the Australian version except that it doesn't have any forgettable songs. THE RE-COBBLED CUT shows what the original version could have been if it was finished and it's available now on You-Tube.

Star rating: (3/5) Average

Titan A.E. Review (Updated)

Titan A.E.

Release Date: 4th January 2001 – Australia

Production Companies
20th Century Fox
Fox Animation Studios
David Kirschner Productions

20th Century Fox Australia

Genre: Animation/Famiily

Rating: PG

Runtime: 94 minutes

Budget: $90,000,000

Box Office Gross: $36,754,634

Plot Summary
In the year 3028 the Drej, a vicious alien race, has destroyed Earth. Fifteen years later a young man named Cale learns he possesses a genetically encoded map to the Titan, a spaceship that holds the secret to the salvation of the human race. With the Drej in hot pursuit, Cale blasts off with the new crew of the Valkyrie in an attempt to find the Titan before the Drej destroy it, and with it mankind's last chance for a home of their own. Featuring an all star cast that includes Matt Damon and Drew Barrymore and an edgy, out-of-this-world soundtrack, Titan A.E is an intergalactic thrill ride for a new generation.

Matt Damon – Cale Tucker
Bill Pullman – Captain Joseph Korso
John Leguizamo – Gune
Nathan Lane – Preed
Janeane Garofalo – Stith
Drew Barrymore – Akima
Alex D Linz – Young Cale
Tone Loc – Tek

Producers/Directors – Don
Bluth & Gary Goldman
Associate Producer/Story – Hans Bauer
Story – Randall McCormick
Writers – Ben Edlund, John
August & Joss Whedon
Producer – David Kirschner
Executive Producer – Paul Gertz
Conceptual Artists – Ron Cobb & Steve Burg
Conceptual Designers – Barry
E. Jackson & Oliver Scholl
Character Designer – Wayne D. Barlowe
Film Editors – Bob Bender,
Paul Martin Smith & Fiona Trayler
Sound Designer/Re-Recording Mixer – Christopher Boyes
Music Supervisor – Glen Ballard
Music – Graeme Revell & Tim Simonec

Despite being made by Don Bluth and having references of the first two STAR WARS films, TITAN A.E. was an amazing sci-fi movie that blends traditional 2D and computer 3D animation. I liked the stuff around the movie such as the action, the voice acting of Matt Damon, Drew Barrymore and Nathan Lane as well as three impressive scenes including the opening where Earth gets destroyed, the Wake Angels and the chase on the Ice Rings of Tilgrin. 

I always loved TITAN A.E. but I think that Disney's similar movie TREASURE PLANET (click here) was way better than the first because it was set in the alternate universe and has more of a story-line.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever

Monday, 2 May 2011

The Benchwarmers Review (Updated)

The Benchwarmers

Release Date: 16th May 2006 - Australia

Production Companies
Revolution Studios
Happy Madison Productions

Sony Pictures Australia

Genre: Comedy

Rating: PG

Runtime: 80 minutes

Budget: $33,000,000

Box Office Gross: $64,957,291

Plot Summary
For anyone who's ever 
been picked on, put down 
or pushed around, you 
heroes are here!. Rob 
Schneider, David Spade 
and Jon Heder star as three 
older guys who know what 
it's like to be bulled. After 
catching some nasty 
neighbourhood kids picking 
on a friend's son, they 
strike back by forming a 
three-man baseball team 
to challenge the state's 
best Little Leaguers. Now, 
cheered on by every nerd, 
geek and misfit from every 
town, these underdogs are 
about to have a field day 
in this grand slam comedy.

Rob Schneider - Gus
David Spade - Richie
Jon Heder - Clark
Jon Lovitz - Mel
Craig Kilborn - Jerry
Molly Sims - Liz
Tim Meadows - Wayne
Nick Swardson - Howie
Erinn Bartlett - Salad Girl/
Amaury Nolasco - Carlos
Max Prado - Nelson
Reggie Jackson - Himself
James Earl Jones - Darth 
Vader (Voice) (Cameo)

Director - Dennis Dugan
Screenplay - Allen Covert
Screenplay/Co-Producer - 
Nick Swardson
Producers - Jack Giarraputo 
& Adam Sandler
Cinematography - Thomas 
E. Ackerman
Music - Waddy Wachtel
Film Editing - Peck Prior 
and Sandy S. Solowitz

For those of you Australians who have learned the history or played the sport of baseball in the USA. THE BENCHWARMERS is all but comical hilarity that consists of nerve racking action and some funny parts or quotes like the Hot Potato scene. I didn't come this way to see the film in its meaningful story-line. For none of you who would know, I'm just in for the laughter. 

Overall, the three major-star cast of Jon Heder, David Spade and Ron Schneider were all above great in their leading roles. I enjoyed the cameo of baseball legend Reggie Jackson, though I never heard of him since I am technically not from America as well as the presence of K.I.T.T and Darth Vader. In the movie, there is also a very interesting minor character I would like best portrayed by Nick Swardson is the one who was afraid to go out into the sun.

THE BENCHWARMERS is a good sports comedy for it's the least I battered up the respect of that movie. It's nowhere near closer to that Adam Sandler movie which specialises a theme of golf and it's an comedy produced by the very same man.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie