Saturday, 25 June 2011

Kung Fu Panda 2 Review (Updated)













Kung Fu Panda 2


Release Date: 23rd June 2011 - Australia


Production Companies 
DreamWorks Animation

Distribution
Paramount Pictures Australia


Genre: Animation/Family

Rating:
PG

Runtime:
90 minutes


Budget: $150,000,000

Box Office Gross: $665,692,281
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
Po is now living his dream as
The Dragon Warrior,
protecting the Valley of
Peace alongside his friends
and fellow kung fu masters,
The Furious Five - Tigress,
Crane, Mantis, Viper and
Monkey. But Po's new life of
awesomeness is threatened by
the emergence of a formidable
villain, who plans to use a
secret, unstoppable weapon
to conquer China and destroy
kung fu. It is up to Po and The
Furious Five to journey across
China to face this threat and
vanquish it. But how can Po
stop a weapon that can stop
kung fu? He must look to his
past and uncover the secrets
of his mysterious origins; only
then will he be able to unlock
the strength he needs to
succeed.


Voice Cast
Jack Black - Po
Angelina Jolie - Tigress
Gary Oldman - Lord Shen
Jackie Chan - Monkey
Seth Rogen - Mantis
Lucy Liu - Viper
David Cross - Crane
Dustin Hoffman - Master Shifu
James Hong - Mr. Ping
Michelle Yeoh - Soothsayer
Danny McBride - Wolf Boss
Dennis Haysbert - Master Storming Ox
Jean-Claude Van Damme - Master Croc
Victor Garber - Master Thundering Rhino

Crew
Director - Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Writers - Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger
Executive Producer/Creative Consultant - Guillermo del Toro
Producer - Melissa Cobb
Co-Producers - Jonathan Aibel,
Glenn Berger & Suzanne Buirgy
Production Designer - Raymond Zibach
Head of Character Animation - Dan Wagner
Character Designer - Nicolas Marlet
Animation Supervisors - Marek Kochout
& David Pate
Choreographer: Kung Fu - Rodolphe Guenoden
Film Editors - Maryann Brandon & Clare De Chenu
Music - John Powell & Hans Zimmer


Review
Not only is KUNG FU PANDA 2 more awesome and more funny than the first movie (click here), but it's also has a darker tone. Alongside Jack Black, Angelina Jolie, Dustin Hoffman, Seth Rogen and others are the new additions of the voice cast that I praise such as Gary Oldman who did a fantastic job of voicing Lord Shen which is compared to Ian McShane's Tai Lung in the predecessor and I can't believe that all this time that I knew that the goose Mr Ping is not really Po's dad. I laughed at the scene where Po says "My fist hungers for justice", then his stomach growls "That was my fist". 

This was an exciting experience in 3D which delivers the fans an entertaining if not a more action-oriented sequel.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever


Monday, 20 June 2011

Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade Review (Updated)
















Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade


Release Date:
8th June 1989 - Australia


Production Companies
Paramount Pictures (presents)
Lucasfilm


Genre: Action/Adventure

Rating: PG

Runtime: 127 minutes


Budget: $48,000,000

Box Office Gross: $474,171,806
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
The year is 1938. Twenty-
six years ago, young Indiana
Jones was thwarted in an
attempt to retrieve the
legendary Cross of Coronado
from the hands of robbers.
But an older, wiser and
stronger Indy has finally
returned the jewel encrusted
Cross of Coronado to his
boss, Marcus Brody.

Almost as soon as he arrives
back at his quiet, New
England college, though,
Indy is whisked away by
representatives of multi-
millionaire Walter Donovan,
who has unearthed a mysterious
stone. Indy recognizes it as
the first of three long-buried
markers that reveal the location
of the Holy Grail itself.


Cast
Harrison Ford - Dr. Indiana Jones
Sean Connery - Professor Henry Jones
Denholm Elliott - Dr. Marcus Brody
Alison Doody - Dr. Elsa Schneider
John Rhys Davies - Sallah
Julian Glover - Walter Donovan
River Phoenix - Indiana Jones (aged 13)
Michael Byrne - Colonel Ernst Vogel
Kevork Malikyan - Kazim
Robert Eddison - The Grail Knight
Alex Hyde-White - Young Henry
Jones

Crew
Director - Steven Spielberg
Screenplay - Jeffrey Boam
Story - Menno Meyjes
Characters - Philip Kaufman
Story/Characters/Executive Producer/
Film Editor (Uncredited) - George Lucas
Producer - Robert Watts
Production Designer - Elliott Scott
Costume Designers - Joanna Johnston & Anthony Powell
Cinematography - Douglas Slocombe
Stunt Coordinator - Vic Armstrong
Special Effects Supervisor: USA - Michael Lantieri
Mechanical Effects Supervisor - George Gibbs
Visual Effects Supervisor - Michael J. McAlister
Film Editor - Michael Kahn
Sound: Design/Re-Recording Mixer - Ben Burtt
Music - John Williams


Awards

1990 Academy Awards
Best Sound Editing - Ben Burtt & 
Richard Hymns (Won)
----------------------
Best Sound - Ben Burtt, Gary Summers, 
Shawn Murphy & Tony Daw (Nominated)
Best Original Score - John Williams (Nominated)


Review
Definitely the second best movie ever in the trilogy, INDIANA JONES AND THE LAST CRUSADE had a great story that deals about the father-son relationship between the two Jones, Indiana and Henry as well as the Holy Grail which is a bit similar to the MONTY PYTHON movie. I enjoyed the action and the humour as well as the performances of (James Bond actor) Sean Connery as Indiana's estranged father and River Phoenix as young Indiana. I particularly loved two scenes where young Indiana is jumping on the rooftops of the train cabins and falls into one of cabins and to his shock finds a collection of vicious snakes and motorcycle chase scene where Indy and his father Henry are escaping from the Nazis.

Overall, this is the last INDIANA JONES movie until 2008 when THE KINGDOM OF CRYSTAL SKULL was brought to the fans at last. There has been talks of the fifth instalment of INDIANA JONES.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever


Sunday, 19 June 2011

Kung Fu Panda Review (Updated)













Kung Fu Panda


Release Date: 26th June 2008 – Australia


Production Companies
DreamWorks Animation

Distribution
Paramount Pictures Australia 


Genre: Animation/Family 

Rating: PG

Runtime: 92 minutes


Budget: $130,000,000

Box Office Gross: $631,744,560
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
Enthusiastic, big and a little
clumsy, Po is the biggest
fan of Kung Fu around
which doesn't exactly
come in handy while
working every day in
his family's noodle shop.
Unexpectedly chosen to
fulfill an ancient prophecy,
Po's dreams become
reality when he joins the
world of Kung Fu and
studies alongside his
idols the legendary fighters
Tigress, Crane, Mantis,
Viper and Monkey under
the leadership of their
teacher and trainer, Master
Shifu.

But before they know
it, the vengeful and
treacherous snow leopard
Tai Lung is headed
their way, and it's up to
Po to defend everyone
from the oncoming threat.
Can he turn his dreams
of becoming a Kung Fu
master into reality? Po
puts his heart - and his
girth - into the task, and
the unlikely hero ultimately
finds that his greatest
weaknesses turn out to
be his greatest strengths.



Cast
Jack Black – Po
Dustin Hoffman – Master Shifu
Angelina Jolie – Tigress
Ian McShane – Tai Lung
Seth Rogen – Mantis
Lucy Liu – Viper
David Cross – Crane
Randall Duk Kim – Master Oogway
James Hong – Mr. Ping
Dan Fogler – Zeng
Michael Clarke Duncan – Commander Vachir
Jackie Chan – Monkey

Crew
Directors – John Wayne
Stevenson & Mark Orsbone
Story – Ethan Reiff & Cyrus Voris
Screenplay – Jonathan Aibel & Glenn Berger
Head of Story/Director: Dream Sequence/
Supervisor: Action Sequences – Jennifer Yuh Nelson
Producers – Melissa Cobb & Lorne Orleans (IMAX Version)
Co-Producers – Jonathan Aibel &
Glenn Berger
Production Designer – Raymond Zibach
Art Director – Tang Heng
Head of Character Animation – Dan Wagner
Character Designers – Buck Lewis & Nicholas Marlet
Story Artist/Supervisor: Action Sequences –
Simon Wells
Animation Director: Dream Sequence –
James Baxter
Animation Supervisor – Philippe Le Brun
Animation Supervisor/Story Artist/Choreographer:
Kung Fu – Rodolphe Guenoden
Animation Supervisor/Story Artist – Alessandro Carloni
Cinematography – Yong Duk Jhun
Film Editor – Clare De Chenu
Music – John Powell & Hans Zimmer


Awards

2009 Academy Awards
Best Animated Feature - John Stevenson & 
Mark Osborne (Nominated)


Review
KUNG FU PANDA is an action-packed but hilarious CGI animated movie that has loads of everything which includes being faithful to the Chinese culture, humour and the all-star voice cast of Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Ian McShane, Angelina Jolie and others. The most important thing in the movie is the kung-fu action. I must say that this animated movie is extremely awesome and is my second favourite DreamWorks animated film with HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON (click here) coming in at number #1.

The other animation studios such as PIXAR and Blue Sky Studios do not have the secret mix which makes DreamWorks the ultimate competitor in computer animation. If you watched the first movie, you should check out the sequel KUNG FU PANDA 2 (click here).

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever


Wednesday, 8 June 2011

Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen Review (Updated)












Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen


Release Date: 24th June 2009 – Australia


Production Companies
Dreamworks SKG (presents)
Paramount Pictures (presents)
Hasbro (in association with)
Di Bonaventura Pictures
Amblin Entertainment (uncredited)
Platinum Dunes (uncredited)

Distribution
Paramount Pictures Australia


Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 149 minutes
               144 minutes (DVD)


Budget: $200,000,000 

Box Office Gross: $836,303,693
(Worldwide)

 
Plot Summary
When college-bound Sam 
Witwicky learns the truth 
about the ancient origins 
of the Transformers, he 
must accept his destiny 
and join Optimus Prime 
and Bumblebee in their 
epic battle against the 
Decepticons, who have 
returned stronger than 
ever with a plan to destroy 
our world.


Cast

Humans
Shia LaBeouf - Sam Witwicky
Megan Fox - Mikaela Banes
John Turturro - Seymour Simmons
Ramon Rodriguez - Leo Spitz
Josh Duhamel - U.S. Army 
Major William Lennox
Tyrese Gibson - USAF 
Master Sergeant Robert Epps
Kevin Dunn - Ron Witwicky
Julie White - Judy Witwicky
John Benjamin Hickey - Theodore Galloway
Glenn Morshower - General Morshower
Deep Roy - Egyptian Guard (Cameo)

Autobots
Peter Cullen - Optimus Prime (Voice)
Mark Ryan - Jetfire (Voice)
Tom Kenny & Reno Wilson - 
Skids & Mudflap (Voices)
Jess Harnell - Ironhide (Voice)
Robert Foxworth - Ratchet (Voice)
Grey DeLisle - Arcee/
Chromia/Elita One (Voices)
Andre Sogliuzzo - Sideswipe (Voice)

Decepticons
Tony Todd - The Fallen (Voice)
Hugo Weaving - Megatron 
(Voice)
Charles Adler - Starscream 
(Voice)
Frank Welker - Soundwave/
Reedman/Devastator (Voices)
Tom Kenny - Wheelie (Voice) 


Crew 

Executive Producer/Director - 
Michael Bay
Writers - Ehren Kruger, 

Roberto Orci & Alex 
Kurtzman 
Executive Producers - Steven  
Spielberg, Brian Goldner & Mark Vahradian 
Producers - Ian Bryce, Tom 
DeSanto, Lorenzo di 
Bonaventura & Don Murphy 
Co-Producer/Unit Production 
Manager - Allegra Clegg
Co-Producer/Second Unit 
Director (Uncredited)/Stunt Coordinator - Kenny Bates
Production Designer - Nigel Phelps
Costume Designer - Deborah Lynn Scott
Director of Photography - Ben Seresin 
Special Effects Supervisor John Frazier
Visual Effects Supervisors - 
Scott Farrar & 
Richard Kidd 
Animation Director Scott Benza
Film Editors - Roger Barton, Tom Muldoon, 
Joel Negron & Paul Rubell 
Composer: Additional Music - Hans Zimmer
Music - Steve Jablonsky


Awards

2010 Academy Awards
Best Sound Mixing - Greg P. Russell, Gary Summers 
& Geoffrey Patterson (Nominated)


Review 
Michael Bay's sequel TRANSFORMERS: REVENGE OF THE FALLEN has great action and terrific CGI effects from Industrial Light & Magic, but it has more good Transformers. I thought the plot was lousy that weakens the entire movie, it's actually pretty cheesy. Probably it's due to the writers' strike that led to the crew to try and complete the sequel as the best they can. Though this instalment ended being widely savaged by many critics who weren't too fond of how it was loud, illogical and childish. The five things that were not quite right in this film include too much adult comedy. The other Transformers such as the Arcee triplets weren't given enough focus. The Fallen was an uninteresting foe who is unnecessary and it should have been our favourite Decepticon leader Megatron. Devastator's two wrecking balls looked like a private body part and the Autobot twins Skids and Mudflap who both sounded and acted like two rapping African-American teenagers that I find them as bad racial-stereotypes.

I'm glad that the original G1 voice actor Frank Welker has returned to voice Soundwave but no Megatron which the character is still vocally played by Hugo Weaving. 

To me and the other fans of the franchise, REVENGE OF THE FALLEN is mildly enjoyable than the first movie (click here), but would have had less humour and the twins wouldn't be there in the first place. 

Star rating: (3/5) Average


Monday, 6 June 2011

Men in Black Review (Updated)













Men in Black


Release Date: 11th September 1997 - Australia


Production Companies
Amblin Entertainment
Columbia Pictures
MacDonald/Parkes Productions

Distribution
Sony Pictures Australia


Genre: Sci-Fi/Comedy

Rating: M

Runtime: 98 minutes


Budget: $90,000,000

Box Office Gross: $589,390,539
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
Men in Black follows the
exploits of agents K and J,
members of a top secret
organization established
to monitor and police
alien activity on Earth. The
two Men in Black find
themselves in the middle
of the deadly plot by an
intergalactic terrorist who
has arrived on Earth to
assassinate two ambassadors
from opposing galaxies. In
order to prevent worlds
from colliding, the MiB must
track down the terrorist and
prevent the destruction of
Earth. It's just another
typical day for the Men in
Black.


Cast
Tommy Lee Jones - Kevin
Brown/Agent K
Will Smith - James Darrell
Edwards III/Agent J
Vincent D'Onofrio - Edgar
the Bug
Linda Fiorentino - Dr. Laurel
Weaver/Agent L
Rip Torn - Chief Zed
Tony Shalhoub - Jack Jeebs
Mike Nussbam - Gentle 
Rosenberg the Arquillian 
Jeweler
Tim Blaney - Frank the Pug 
(Voice)
David Cross - Newton the 
Morgue Attendant
Sylvester Stallone - Alien on 
TV (Uncredited Cameo)

Crew 
Director - Barry Sonnenfield
Comic - Lowell Cunningham
Screen Story/Screenplay - Ed Solomon
Executive Producer - Steven Spielberg
Producers - Laurie MacDonald
Walter F. Parkes 
Co-Producer - Graham Place
Alien Makeup Effects - Rick Baker
Production Designer - Bo Welch 
Costume Designer - Mary E. Vogt 
Cinematography - Donald Peterman
Visual Effects Supervisor - Eric Brevig 
Animation Supervisor - Rob Coleman
Film Editor - Jim Miller
Music - Danny Elfman


Awards

1998 Academy Awards
Best Makeup - Rick Baker & 
David LeRoy Anderson (Won)
----------------------
Best Art Direction-Set Decoration - Bo Welch &
Cheryl Carasik (Nominated)
Best Original Score - Danny Elfman (Nominated)


Review
Unlike many other science fiction movies, MEN IN BLACK was incredibly smart but pretty hilarious and very similar to GHOSTBUSTERS. I liked the acting pair of Tommy Lee Jones and Will Smith and the funny parts of the movie which includes a scene where Agent K delivers a squid baby from a wife of a taxi driver and a quote said by K when after he squishes a bug which ticks off that giant cockroach "Oh, I'm sorry. Was that your auntie? Then that must be your uncle over there!". 

This has been a flesh-dropping but slimy action comedy movie that is made exclusively for the entire geeks of sci-fi. BREAKING NEWS!! I had just announced that the third MEN IN BLACK movie is now in cinemas in both 2D and 3D and that it features new actors like Josh Brolin and Jermaine Clement.

Star rating:
(5/5) Best Movie Ever

Sunday, 5 June 2011

WALL-E Review (Updated)






WALL-E


Release Date:
18th
September 2008 – 
Australia


Production Companies
Walt Disney Pictures
Pixar Animation Studios

Distribution
Walt Disney Studios Motion 
Pictures Australia


Genre: Animation/Family

Rating: G

Runtime: 98 minutes


Budget: $180,000,000

Box Office Gross: $521,311,860
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
The highly acclaimed 
director of Finding 
Nemo and the creative 
storytellers behind 
Cars and Ratatouille 
transport you to a 
galaxy not so far away 
for a new cosmic 
comedy adventure 
about a determined 
robot named WALL-E.

After hundreds of lonely 
years of doing what he 
is built for, the curious 
and lovable WALL-E
discovers a new purpose
in life when he meets a
sleek search robot
named EVE. Join them
and a hilarious cast of
characters on a fantastic
journey across the
universe.


Voice Cast
Ben Burtt - WALL-E/M-O
Elissa Knight - EVE
Jeff Garlin - Captain
MacInTalk - AUTO
John Ratzenberger - John
Kathy Najimy - Mary
Sigourney Weaver - Axiom's Computer

Live Action Cast
Fred Willard - Shelby Forthright, Bnl CEO


Crew
Original Story/Screenplay/
Director - Andrew Stanton
Original Story - Pete Docter
Story Supervisor/Screenplay - Jim Reardon
Executive Producer - John Lasseter
Producer - Jim Morris
Co-Producer - Lindsey Collins
Visual Consultants - Roger
Deakins & Dennis Muren
Production Designer - Ralph Eggelston
Character Supervisor - Bill Wise
Director of Photography: Camera - Jeremy Lasky
Director of Photography: Lighting - Danielle Feinberg
Character Voice/Sound Designer/Re-Recording 
Mixer/Supervising Sound Editor - Ben Burtt
Film Editor - Stephen Schaffer
Music - Thomas Newman


Awards

2009 Academy Awards
Best Animated Feature (Won)
--------------
Best Original Score - Thomas Newman (Nominated)
Best Original Song "Down to Earth" -
Peter Gabriel (Nominated)
Best Sound Editing - Ben Burtt &
Matthew Wood (Nominated)
Best Sound Mixing - Tom Myers, Michael
Semanick & Ben Burtt (Nominated)
Best Original Screenplay - Andrew Stanton,
Jim Reardon & Pete Docter (Nominated)


Review
WALL-E is a charming, funny, exciting, beautiful and cute CGI animated film that is an outstanding effort of Disney and PIXAR. I was moved by the environmental message where the planet Earth has suffered from environmental disaster, the cities are abandoned and the population evacuated to a ship called The AXIOM. I liked the love relationship of the two robots EVE and the title character who is the little tractor robot which is the large point of the movie. Almost all of the movie is silent except for the characters interaction with each other. 

The excellent sound design is a breath of fresh air which is thanks to Ben Burtt of STAR WARS fame. The musical score by Thomas Newman is absolutely vivid to listen to and compliments the sequences really well.

Although WALL-E was one of my favourites, not only is it much better than the sci-fi family movie E.T. THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL (click here) in my opinion. It also manages to create a story and world that is completely unique and unparalleled by any other movie I have seen. Like Disney's LILO & STITCH (click here), it did succeed in the sci-fi animation boom where others tried and failed. I cannot think of a single bad thing to say about this animated hit, this is clearly reflected in my star rating.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever



Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Treasure Planet Review (Updated)














Treasure Planet


Release Date: 26th December 2002 – Australia


Production Companies
Walt Disney Feature Animation
Walt Disney Pictures

Distribution
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Australia


Genre: Animation/Family

Rating: PG

Runtime: 95 minutes


Budget: $140,000,000

Box Office Gross: $109,578,115
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
A futuristic twist on Robert Louis Stevenson's Treasure Island, Treasure Planet follows restless teen Jim Hawkins on a fantastic journey across the universe as cabin boy aboard a majestic space galleon. Befriended by the ship's charismatic cyborg cook, John Silver, Jim blossoms under his guidance and shows the makings of a fine shipmate as he and the alien crew battle a supernova, a black hole, and a ferocious space storm. But even greater dangers lie ahead when Jim discovers that his trusted friend Silver is actually a scheming pirate with mutiny on his mind.


Voice Cast
Joseph Gordon-Levitt – Jim Hawkins
Brian Murray – John Silver
David Hyde Pierce – Dr. Delbert Doppler
Emma Thompson – Captain Amelia
Dane A. Davis – Morph
Martin Short – B.E.N
Tony Jay – Narrator
Austin Majors – Young Jim
Laurie Metcalf – Sarah Hawkins
Patrick McGoohan – Billy Bones
Roscoe Lee Browne – Mr. Arrow
Corey Burton – Onus
Michael Wincott – Scroop

Crew
Producers/Animation Story/
Screenplay/Directors – Ron Clements & John Musker
Based on Novel “Treasure Island” – Robert Louis Stevenson
Screenplay – Rob Edwards
Animation Story – Ted Elliott & Terry Rossio
Producer – Roy Conli
Production Designer/Story
Artist – Frank Nissen
Production Designer – Steven Olds
Art Director – Andy Gaskill
Story Supervisor – Barry Johnson
Visual Effects Supervisor – Dave Tidgwell
Film Editor – Michael Kelly
Music – James Newton Howard


Awards

2003 Academy Awards
Best Animated Feature - Ron Clements (Nominated)


Review
TREASURE PLANET is a science-fiction adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson's classic story Treasure Island except the difference from the novel includes changing the characters such as Long John Silver from a one-legged pirate to a cyborg and so does the main hero Jim Hawkins as a rebellious teen. I was amazed that the space looked like an atmosphere and the spaceships look like old ships from the 18th century that, I found it very imaginative. I liked the heartwarming relationship between Hawkins and Silver as well as the character of the little shape-shifting blob Morph, the voice acting of Joseph Gordon Levitt, Brian Murray, David Hyde Pierce and Emma Thompson, the film's music score by James Newton Howard and the way of the movie is combined with 2D and CGI animation.

I thought that TREASURE PLANET was interesting, instead it turns out that it was better than the similar movie TITAN A.E (click here) and it was my second Disney animated fave. For anyone who loved Disney, this film is worth-seeing otherwise you might like to watch the PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN movies instead.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever