Thursday, 21 July 2011

Fantasia 2000 Review

Fantasia 2000

Release Date: 1st June 2000 – Australia

Production Companies
Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Feature Animation

Walt Disney Studios Motion
Pictures Australia

Genre: Animation/Family

Rating: G

Runtime: 74 minutes

Budget: $80,000,000

Box Office Gross: $90,874,570

Plot Summary
In this fun-filled movie,
breathtaking images are
coupled with classical
music favorites. From
Beethoven to Gershwin --
from flamingos bobbing
yo-yos to a city in bluesy
motion -- vivid animation
brings the music of the
masters to colorful life.

Leopold Stokowski – Himself – Conductor (The Sorcerer's Apprentice) (archive footage)
Deems Taylor – Host – Introduction (archive footage)
Steve Martin – Himself – Introductory Host
Itzhack Perlman – Himself – Host (Pines of Rome)
Quincy Jones – Himself – Host (Rhapsody in Blue)
Bette Midler – Herself – Hostess (Piano Concerto No. 2, Allegro, Opus 102)
James Earl Jones – Himself – Host (The Carnival of the Animals)
Penn Jillette & Teller – Himself – Host (The Sorcerer's Apprentice)
James Levine – Himself – Host (Pomp and Circumstance), Conductor (Chicago Symphony
Angela Lansbury – Herself – Hostess (The Firebird Suite)
Wayne Allwine – Mickey Mouse (Pomp and Circumstance) (Voice)
Tony Anselmo – Donald Duck (Pomp and Circumstance) (Voice)
Russi Taylor – Daisy Duck (Pomp and Circumstance) (Voice)

Director/Art Director (Symphony No. 5)/Production Designer (Host Segments) – Pixote Hunt
Director (Pines of Rome & Piano Concerto No. 2)/
Supervising Animation Director – Hendel Butoy
Director (Pomp and Circumstance)/Visual Development (Pines of Rome) – Francis Glebas
Director – James Algar (The Sorcerer's Apprentice)
Writer/Director – Don Hahn
(Host Sequences)
Story/Director (The Firebird
Suite) – Gaetan & Paul Brizzi
(Rhapsody in Blue & The
Carnival of the Animals) –
Eric Goldberg
Story – Brenda Chapman
Based on Story "The Steadfast
Tin Solider (Piano Concerto
No. 2) – Hans Christian Anderson
Original Concept (The
Carnival of the Animals) –
Joe Grant
Story Development (The Sorcerer's Apprentice) –
Perce Pearce & Carl Fallberg
Writers (Host Sequences) – David Reynolds
& Irene Mecchi
Executive Producer – Roy Edward Disney
Producer – Donald W. Ernst
Co-Producer (Rhapsody in Blue) – Patricia Hicks
Cinematography – Tim Suhrstedt
Artistic Consultant (Rhapsody in Blue) – Al Hirschfeld
Film Editors – Jessica Ambinder-Rojas,
Lois Freeman-Fox, Julia Gray, Craig Paulsen &
Gregory F. Plotts

FANTASIA 2000 manages to bring back most of the intelligence from the original movie (click here), but it still has the animation creativity and classical music. I'm glad that they reused the classic segment "The Sorcerer's Apprentice" and I enjoyed the new ones like Beethoven's Symphony No. 5, Pines of Rome, George Gershwin's Rhapsody in Blue, The Firebird Suite and Pomp and Circumstance which features Donald and Daisy Duck and is based off Noah's Ark.

FANTASIA 2000 lives up to Walt's original concept and it's a good animation movie to watch, especially for minors and fans of Disney and animated features.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie

Wednesday, 13 July 2011

Star Trek Review (Updated)

Star Trek

Release Date: 7th April 2009 – Australia

Production Companies
Paramount Pictures (presents)
Spyglass Entertainment (presents)
Bad Robot Productions

Paramount Pictures Australia

Genre: Sci-Fi

Rating: M

Runtime: 127 minutes

Budget: $150,000,000

Box Office Gross: $385,680,446

Plot Summary
The cocky, renegade James
Kirk and the equally youthful
half-Vulcan, half-human
Spock are among the young
members of a fledgling
Starfleet crew, and about to
launch the most advanced
starship ever created: the
U.S.S. Enterprise. During
their incredible galactic
voyage of exploration and
discovery, they will encounter
the evil Nero whose mission
of vengeance threatens all
of mankind.

Chris Pine – James T. Kirk
Jimmy Bennett – Young James T. Kirk
Zachary Quinto – Spock
Jacob Kogan – Young Spock
Karl Urban – Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy
Zoe Saldana – Uhura
Simon Pegg – Montgomery 'Scotty” Scott
John Cho – Hikaru Sulu
Anton Yelchin – Pavel Chekov
Eric Bana – Nero
Bruce Greenwood – Christopher Pike
Chris Hemsworth – George
Samuel Kirk, Sr
Ben Cross – Sarek
Winona Ryder – Amanda Grayson
Leonard Nimoy – Elder Spock
Farah Tahir  Captain Robau
Deep Roy – Keenser
Jennifer Morrison – Winona Kirk

Based on Television Series –
Gene Roddenberry
Producer/Director – J.J. Abrams
Producers – Alex Kurtzman & Roberto Orci
Producer – Damon Lindelof
Co-Producer/Unit Production Manager – 
David Witz
Production Designer – Scott Chambliss
Conceptual Illustrator – John Eaves
Delta Vega Creatures, Romulans, Insect 
and Aliens Designer – Neville Page
Prosthetic Make-Up Designer – Barney
Prosthetic Make-Up Supervisor – Joel
Costume Designer – Michael Kaplan
Director of Photography – Daniel Mindel
Visual Efffects Supervisor/Second Unit 
Director – Roger Guyett
Visual Effects Supervisor: ILM – Russell Earl
Visual Effects Producer – Shari Hanson
Sound Designer/Editor – Ben Burtt
Film Editors – Maryann Brandon & Mary Jo
Composer: Theme "Star Trek" – Alexander Courage
Music – Michael Giacchino


2010 Academy Awards
Best Makeup - Barney Burman, Mindy Hall
& Joel Harlow (Won)
Best Sound Mixing - Anna Behlmer,
Andy Nelson & Peter J. Devlin (Nominated)
Best Sound Editing - Mark P. Stoeckinger
& Alan Rankin (Nominated)
Best Visual Effects - Roger Guyett,
Russell Earl, Paul Kavangh &
Burt Dalton (Nominated)

The new version of the STAR TREK movie lives up to the classic TV series since it has rebooted the franchise. The storyline was smart but very unusual and introduced new interesting concepts such as Red Matter. J.J. Abrams' direction of the reboot was so very sophisticated in style. The visual effects of the movie were great and the actors Chris Pine and Zachary Quinto did a spectacular job of playing Kirk and Spock and so does the Aussie actor Eric Bana as the Romulan villain Nero. I was delighted to see the return of the original actor that played Spock, Leonard Nimoy who portrays as the elder version of the iconic character.

I'm not a big fan of STAR TREK, but I must say that this film is excellent and enjoyable for Trekkies since it has rebooted the entire franchise all over again.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever

Friday, 8 July 2011

Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope Review (Updated)

Star Wars: Episode IV – A New Hope

Release Date: 27th October 1977 – Australia

Production Companies
20th Century Fox

Genre: Sci-Fi

Rating: PG

Runtime: 121 minutes
               125 minutes 
               (Special Edition)

Budget: $11,000,000

Box Office Gross: $775,398,007

Plot Summary
The Jedi Knights have been 
exterminated and the Empire 
rules the galaxy with an iron 
fist. A small group of Rebels 
have dared to fight back by 
stealing the secret plans to 
the Empire's mightiest 
weapon the Death Star 
battle station. The Emperor's 
most trusted servant, Darth 
Vader, must find the plans 
and locate the hidden Rebel 
base. Princess Leia, 
captive Rebel leader sends 
out a distress signal that is 
intercepted by a simple farm 
boy, Luke Skywalker. 

Seizing his destiny, Luke 
takes up the challenge to 
rescue the princess and help 
the Rebellion overthrow the 
Empire, along with such 
unforgettable allies as the 
wise Obi Wan Kenobi, the 
cocky Han Solo, the loyal 
Chewbacca and the droids 
R2-D2 and C3PO.

Mark Hamill – Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford – Han Solo
Carrie Fisher – Princess Leia Organa
Alec Guinness – Obi Wan “Ben” Kenobi
Peter Mayhew – Chewbacca
Anthony Daniels – C3PO
Kenny Baker – R2-D2
David Prowse – Darth Vader
James Earl Jones – Darth Vader (Voice)
Peter Cushing – Grand Moff Tarkin
Phil Brown – Uncle Owen
Shelagh Fraser – Aunt Beru
Jack Purvis – Chief Jawa
Alex McCrindle – General McGrindle
Eddie Byrne – General Willard
Drew’s Henley – Red Leader Denis Lawson – Wedge Antilles
Garrick Hagon – Biggs Darklighter
Jack Klaff – Red Four (John D.)
William Hootkins – Red Six (Porkins) 
Angus MacInnes – Gold Leader
Jeremy Sniden – Gold Two
Don Henderson – General Taggi
Richard LeParmentier – General Motti
Leslie Schofield Commander #1
Paul Blake & Maria De Aragon – Greedo (Uncredited)
Larry Ward – Greedo (Voice) (Uncredited)
Alfie Curtis – Dr. Evazan (Uncredited)
Tommy Ilsley – Pondo Baba (Uncredited)
David Ankrum – Wedge Antilles (Voice) (Uncredited)

Producer/Editor (Uncredited)/Music Producer (Uncredited) – George Lucas
Producers – Gary Kurtz & Rick 
McCallum (Special Edition)
Production Illustrator/Planet 
and Satellite Artist: Miniature 
and Optical Effects Unit – 
Ralph McQuarrie
Production Designer – John Barry
Creature Design (Uncredited)/Make-up Supervisor – Stuart Freeborn
Costume Designer – John Mollo
Cinematography – Gilbert Taylor
Special Production and 
Mechanical Effects 
Supervisor – John Stears
R2-D2 Designer – Tony Dyson (Uncredited)
Special Photographic Effects 
Supervisor – John Dykstra
Second Cameraman: Miniature and Optical Effects Unit/
Visual Effects Supervisor: ILM (Special Edition) – Dennis Muren
Optical Camera Assistant: Miniature and Optical Effects Unit/
Visual Effects Supervisor: ILM (Special Edition)  Bruce Nicholson
Stop-Motion Animation: Miniature and Optical Effects Unit – Phil Tippett
Animator: Lightsaber – Nelson Shin (Uncredited)
Visual Effects Supervisors: ILM (Special Edition) – Dave Carson, 
John Knoll, Joe Letteri, Alex Seiden & Stephen Williams
Film Editors – David Marcus, Richard Chew, 
Marcia Lucas & T.M Christopher (Special Edition)
Special Dialogue and Sound Effects – Ben Burtt
Music – John Williams


1978 Academy Awards
Best Art Direction - John Barry, Norman Reynolds,
Leslie Dilley & Roger Christian (Won)
Best Costume Design - John Mollo (Won)
Best Visual Effects - John Stears, John Dykstra, 
Richard Edlund, Grant McCune & Robert Blalack (Won)
Best Film Editing - Paul Hirsch, Marcia Lucas & 
Richard Chew (Won)
Best Original Score - John Williams (Won)
Best Sound - Don MacDougall, Ray West, 
Bob Minkler & Derek Ball (Won)
Special Achievement Award - Ben Burtt (Won)
Best Supporting Actor - Alec Guinness (Nominated)
Best Director - George Lucas (Nominated)
Best Picture (Nominated)
Best Original Screenplay - George Lucas (Nominated)

STAR WARS: EPISODE IV – A NEW HOPE was a brilliant way to start the franchise. Not only was it the first film in the classic trilogy, but it's the fourth in the complete series. I praise its classic visual effects along with the acting of Harrison Ford, the memorable music score by John Williams and even its famous scenes which includes the opening, the shot of Luke seeing the two suns, the light-saber duel of Obi Wan vs Vader (Round Two) and the climatic space battle on the first Death Star. 

A NEW HOPE was my favourite, but not the best as THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (click here). Its definitely the greatest science fiction movie of all time which everyone would love to see, especially Star Wars fans young and old. May the Force be with you.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever

Tuesday, 5 July 2011

Transformers: Dark of the Moon Review (Updated)

Transformers: Dark of the Moon

Release Date: 29th June 2011 - Australia

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

Paramount Pictures Australia

Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 154 minutes 

Budget: $195,000,000

Box Office Gross: $1,123,794,079

Plot Summary
The Autobots Bumblebee, Ratchet, Ironhide and Sideswipe led by Optimus Prime, are back in action, taking on the evil Decepticons, who are determined to avenge their defeat in 2009's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen. In this new movie, the Autobots and Decepticons become involved in a perilous space race between the US and Russia, and once again human Sam Witwicky has to come to the aid of his robot friends.



Shia LaBeouf - Sam Witwicky
Josh Duhamel - U.S. Army Lt. Colonel William Lennox
John Turturro - Seymour Simmons
Tyrese Gibson - USAF Chief Robert Epps
Rosie Huntington-Whitely - Carly Spencer
Patrick Dempsey - Dylan Gould
Kevin Dunn - Ron Witwicky
Julie White - Judy Witwicky
John Malkovich - Bruce Brazos
Frances McDormand - Charlotte Mearing
Lester Speight - "Hardcore" Eddie
Josh Kelly - Stone
Alan Tudyk - Dutch
Ken Jeong - Jerry Wang
Glenn Morshower - General Morshower
Buzz Aldrin - Himself
Bill O'Reilly - Himself
Ravil Isyanov - Voshkod 
Don Jeanes - Neil Armstrong
Cory Tucker - Young Buzz Aldrin  

Peter Cullen - Optimus Prime (voice)

Leonard Nimoy - Sentinel Prime (voice)
Jess Harnell - Ironhide (Voice)
Robert Foxworth - Ratchet (voice)
James Remar - Sideswipe (voice)
Tom Kenny - Wheelie (voice)
Reno Wilson - Brains (voice)
Francesco Quinn - Dino (voice)
George Coe - Que/Wheeljack (voice)
John DiMaggio - Leadfoot (voice)
Ron Bottitta - Roadbuster (voice)

Hugo Weaving - Megatron (voice)

Frank Welker - Shockwave/Soundwave/ 
Barricade (voices)
Charlie Adler - Starscream (voice)
Keith Szarabajka - Laserbeak (voice)
Greg Berg - Igor (voice)
Jimmie Wood - Crowbar (voice)

Executive Producer/Director - Michael Bay
Writer - Ehren Kruger
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/
Stunt Coordinator - Kenny Bates
Production Designer - Nigel Phelps
Costume Designer - Deborah Lynn Scott
Director of Photography - Amir Mokri
Special Effects Supervisor – John Frazier
Visual Effects Supervisor: ILM - Scott Farrar
Visual Effects Supervisor: Digital Domain - Matthew E. Butler
Animation Supervisor: ILM - Scott Benza
Film Editors - Roger Barton, William Goldenberg 
& Joel Negron
Music - Steve Jablonsky

TRANSFORMERS: DARK OF THE MOON was much better than the last movie in the series, REVENGE OF THE FALLEN (click here), but this sequel now includes the less crude humour and finally, no Skids and Mudflap. I still love the heart-pounding action and the CGI effects, the script isn't too bad at least, I like a lot of plot twists. I'm surprised that Leonard Nimoy aka Mr. Spock from Star Trek does the voice of Sentinel Prime and this is the second time that Nimoy did a vocal performance in a TRANSFORMERS movie since the animated version (click here). I have a few disappointments over the movie which I forgive is that the previous actress Megan Fox didn't return to this sequel with her character, got fired and replaced by the new lead actress.

As I loved the 3D aspect of this film and not only I think DARK OF THE MOON is the last of the Michael Bay trilogy. It's the strongest improvement to we had this coming in theatres. I invite all my viewers to comment on the name of the movie what they think of it.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever

 and I'm a bit disappointed that actress Megan Fox didn't return to this sequel, probably because she got fired and replaced by a new actress. Not only is DARK OF THE MOON the last of the Michael Bay trilogy, but it's also the strongest and most likely the best 3D film ever. I invite all my viewers to comment on the name of the movie of what they think of it.
Star Rating: (5/5) Best Movie Eve

Monday, 4 July 2011

MouseHunt Review (Updated)


Release Date: 1st January 1998 – Australia

Production Companies
DreamWorks SKG (presents)

Paramount Pictures Australia

Genre: Comedy

Rating: PG

Runtime: 98 minutes

Budget: $38,000,000

Box Office Gross: $122,417,389

Plot Summary
Down-on-their luck brothers
Lars and Ernie Smuntz
discover that they are the
heirs to nothing more than
a run-down string factory and
a creaky old house. The
brothers' fortunes seem to
be looking up when they learn
that their dilapidated estate is
actually worth millions. But
before they can cash in,
they've got to rid the house
of its single, stubborn
occupant: a tiny and
tenacious mouse. What
might seem like child's play
becomes an epic battle of
hysterical proportions.

Nathan Lane – Ernie Smuntz
Lee Evans – Lars Smuntz
Vicki Lewis – April Smuntz
Maury Chaykin – Alexander Falko
Frank Welker – Mouse/
Catzilla (Voice)
Christopher Walken – Caesar, the Exterminator
William Hickey – Rudolf Smuntz
Ernie Sabella – Maury, the
Cat Care Society Owner
Michael Jeter – Quincy Thorpe
Debra Christofferson – Ingrid
Camilla S√łeberg – Hilde, the Bench Lady
Cliff Emmich – Mayor McKrinle
Melanie McQueen – Mayor's Wife
Ian Abercrombie – Auctioneer
Annabelle Gurwitch – Roxanne Atkins
Eric Poppick – The Banker
Brianna & Danielle Shebby – Becky & Betty
Leslie Upson – Leslie Reinhart
Steve Bean – Lester Dinkus

Director – Gore Verbinski
Writer – Adam Rifkin
Producers – Bruce Cohen, Tony Ludwig 
& Alan Riche
Production Designer – Linda DeScenna
Costume Designer – Jill M. Ohanneson
Animatronic Creature Design and Effects – Stan Winston
Director of Photography – Phedon Papamichael
Special Effects Supervisors – Keith Marbory 
& Paul Mejias
Visual Effects Supervisor – Charles Gibson
Visual Effects Supervisor: 4-Ward Productions – 
Robert Skotak
Film Editor – Craig Wood
Music – Alan Silvestri

MOUSEHUNT was an enjoyable funny movie that it was the first family movie made from DreamWorks and it is a kind of a mix of HOME ALONE and the cartoons of TOM AND JERRY. The only good features of this movie is the actors Nathan Lane and Christopher Walken as well as the character of the mouse who is very intelligent and a clever little rodent who avoids booby traps set up by the two brothers.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie