Friday, 30 September 2011

Speed Review (Updated)


Release Date: 30th June 1994 - Australia

Production Companies
20th Century Fox Film Corporation

20th Century Fox Australia

Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 116 minutes

Budget: $30,000,000

Box Office Gross: $350,448,145

Plot Summary
as Jack Traven, an L.A.P.D.
SWAT team specialist who
is sent to diffuse a bomb
that a revenge-driven
extortionist has planted on
a bus.

But until he does, Jack
and passenger SANDRA
BULLOCK must keep
the bus speeding through
the streets of Los Angeles
at more than 50 miles per
hour - or the bomb will

Keanu Reeves - Officer Jack
Dennis Hopper - Howard Payne
Sandra Bullock - Annie Porter
Jeff Daniels - Det. Harold
"Harry" Temple
Joe Morton - Lt. McMahon
Richard Lineback - Sgt. Norwood
Alan Ruck - Doug Stephens
Margaret Medina - Officer
Robin Barnette
Hawthorne James - Sam
Beth Grant - Helen
Carlos Carrasco - Ortiz
Glenn Plummer - Jaguar Owner

Director - Jan de Bont
Writers - Graham Yost and 
Joss Whedon (Uncredited)
Executive Producer - Ian Bryce
Producer - Mark Gordon
Co-Producer - Allison Lyon Segan
Production Designer - Jackson DeGovia
Director of Photography - Andrzej Bartkowiak
Stunt Coordinator - Gary Hymes
Visual Effects Supervisor - Boyd Shermis
Film Editor - John Wright
Music - Mark Mancina


1995 Academy Awards
Best Sound - Gregg Landaker, Steve Maslow,
Bob Beemer and David MacMillian (Won)
Best Sound Editing - Stephen Hunter Flick (Won)
Best Film Editing - John Wright (Nominated)

SPEED from start to end was a full throttle action sensation that features the well talented performances of Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper and Sandra Bullock and excellent direction by Jan de Bont. This is a typical action-blockbuster movie where it is hero vs villain, the hero has a certain amount of time to disarm a bomb in a bus and the villain sits back and devises evil plans to cause havoc and destruction. The stunt performances of this movie were very extraordinary and quite the visual spectacle, especially considering the age of this feature and the limited technology that existed when it was filmed. 

With the exclusion of the bus jump scene which was theoretically proven as bad physics, I mean the bus simply could not physically have realistically cleared a jump of that length given its weight and size. I guess that explains some of that Hollywood magic.

I liked to think of SPEED as a feature that certainly qualifies as one of the greatest action hits and has the pleasure to be enjoyed by the movie viewers in an action-oriented marathon or just one viewing at a time. This high-octane action thriller SPEED is close to being the best film of 1994 which is awarded to THE LION KING (click here).

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever

Wednesday, 28 September 2011

The Lion King 3D Review (Updated)

The Lion King 3D

Release Date: 22nd September 2011 - Australia

Production Companies
Walt Disney Pictures (presents)
Walt Disney Feature Animation (Uncredited)

Walt Disney Studios Motion
Pictures Australia

Genre: Animation/Family

Rating: G

Runtime: 89 minutes

Budget: $45,000,000

Box Office Gross: $514,183,777

Plot Summary
Now in 3D. An unforgettable 
story, breathtaking 
animation, beloved characters,
and Academy Award(R)-
winning music (Best Original 
Score, 1994; Best Song, 
"Can You Feel The Love 
Tonight") set the stage for 
the adventures of Simba, the 
feisty lion cub who "just can't 
wait to be king." But his 
envious Uncle Scar has plans 
for his own ascent to the 
throne, and he forces Simba's 
exile from the kingdom. Alone 
and adrift, Simba soon joins 
the escapades of a hilarious 
meerkat named Timon and 
his warmhearted warthog 
pal, Pumbaa. 

Adopting their carefree lifestyle 
of "Hakuna Matata," Simba
ignores his real responsibilities
until he realizes his destiny and
returns to the Pride Lands to
claim his place in the "Circle
of Life.

Voice Cast
Jonathan Taylor Thomas – Young Simba
Jason Weaver  Young Simba 
(singing voice)
Matthew Broderick – Adult Simba
Joseph Williams – Adult Simba
(singing voice)
Jeremy Irons – Scar
James Earl Jones – Mufasa
Moira Kelly – Adult Nala
Sally Dworsky – Adult Nala
(singing voice)
Niketa Calame – Young Nala
Laura Williams – Young Nala
(singing voice)
Nathan Lane – Timon
Ernie Sabella – Pumbaa
Robert Guillaume – Rafiki
Rowan Atkinson – Zazu
Whoopi Goldberg – Shenzi
Cheech Marin – Banzai
Jim Cummings – Ed/Gopher/
Scar (singing voice) (in last part of Be Prepared) (uncredited)
Madge Sinclair – Sarabi

Directors – Roger Allers & 
Rob Minkoff
Story/Story Supervisor – Brenda Chapman
Story – Burny Mattinson, Barry 
Johnson, Thorn Enriquez, Gary 
Trousdale, Jim Capobianco, 
Kevin Harkey,  Jorgen Klubien, Tom Sito, 
Larry Leker, Joe Ranft, Rick Maki, Ed Gombert, 
Francis Glebas & Mark Kausler
Story/Art Director – Andy Gaskill
Story/Production Designer – Chris Sanders
Story/Animator: Adult Simba - Lorna Cook
Additional Story Material – J.T. Allen, George 
Scribner, Miguel Tejada-Flores, Jenny Tripp, 
Bob Tzudiker, Christopher Vogler, Kirk Wise 
& Noni White
Writers – Irene Mecchi, Jonathan 
Roberts & Linda Woolverton
Executive Producers – Thomas Schumacher
& John Lasseter (3D Version Only)
Producers – Don Hahn & Jennifer
Magee-Cook (3D Version Only)
Stereoscopic Supervisor: 3D Version Only –
Robert Neumann
Film Editor – Ivan Bilancio
Supervising Editors – John Carnochan 
& Tom Finan
Songs – Elton John
Lyrics – Tim Rice
Choral Arranger/Conductor/Vocal Solos: African
Improvisations (Uncredited) – Lebo M
Music – Hans Zimmer

Still the same as the original, THE LION KING 3D was now even more realistic which keeps you glued to the screen. More exciting and appealing to the people who have and have not seen the movie and to the fans, but it's still my favourite which I could see it over and over again. I'm glad they removed the Morning Report song because nobody liked it and they changed it back to the pouncing lesson scene. It started the tradition of old movies being re-released in 3D. 

If you have seen it on 2D (click here), check out the 3D version. I'm sure you like it or you prefer the original one.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever

Official Website

Monday, 26 September 2011

Johnny English Reborn Review (Updated)

Johnny English Reborn

Release Date: 15th September 2011 -

Production Companies
Universal Pictures (presents)
Relativity Media
Studio Canal
Working Title Films

Universal Pictures Australia

Genre: Comedy

Rating: PG

Runtime: 101 minutes

Budget: $45,000,000

Box Office Gross: $160,078,586

Plot Summary
Johnny English goes up against
international assassins hunting
down the Chinese premier.

Rowan Atkinson - MI7
Agent Johnny English
Gillian Anderson - MI7 Head
Pamela Thornton
Rosamund Pike - Kate Sumner
Dominic West - Simon Ambrose
Daniel Kaluuya - Agent Tucker
Richard Schiff - Titus Fisher
Tim McInnerny - Patch Quartermain
Mark Ivanir - Artem Karlenko
Pik-Sen-Lim - Killer Cleaner
Togo Igawa - Ting Wang
Lobo Chan - Chinese Premier
Stephen Campbell Moore -
British Prime Minister

Director - Oliver Parker
Based on Characters - Neal
Purvis & Robert Wade
Story/Executive Producer - William Davies
Screenplay - Hamish McCool
Executive Producers - Liza
Chasin & Debra Hayward
Producers - Tim Bevan, Chris
Clark & Eric Fellner
Co-Producer - Ronaldo Vasconcellos
Production Designer - Jim Clay
Costume Designer - Beatrix
Aruna Pasztor
Cinematography - Danny Cohen
Film Editor - Guy Bensley
Music - Ilan Eshkeri

A pretty impressive sequel to the first movie (click here). JOHNNY ENGLISH REBORN has more fun and more action than the original. This film was jam-packed with outrageous humour which appeals to vast range of audience. I loved the running gag of the movie where English is after an old female assassin and keeps whacking the wrong one.

Rowan Atkinson has surely proved his superiority in comedic movies, easily comparing to performances of Jim Carrey, Steve Martin and Chevy Chase.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever

Monday, 19 September 2011

Batman & Robin Review (Updated)

Batman & Robin

Release Date: 26th June 1997 - Australia

Production Companies
Warner Bros. Pictures
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment
(produced in association with)

Genre: Action

Rating: PG

Runtime: 125 minutes

Budget: $140,000,000

Box Office Gross: $238,207,122

Plot Summary
Chills and thrills - will Gotham
City be put on ice? George
Clooney is Batman as the dark
knight battles his greatest
threat yet, cold-hearted
Mr. Freeze and venomous
Poison Ivy. Batman has more
than Gotham City to protect
the youthful eagerness of crime
fighting comrades Robin and
Batgirl puts them frequently
in harms way.

George Clooney - Bruce Wayne/Batman
Chris O'Donnell - Dick Grayson/Robin
Arnold Schwarzenegger - Dr.
Victor Fries/Mr. Freeze
Uma Thurman - Dr. Pamela Isley/Poison Ivy
Alicia Silverstone - Barbara Wilson/Batgirl
Michael Gough - Alfred Pennyworth
Pat Hingle - Commissioner James Gordon
John Glover - Dr. Jason Woodrue
Jeep Swenson - Bane
Elle Macpherson - Julie Madison
Elizabeth Sanders - Gossip Gerty
Eric Lloyd - Young Bruce Wayne
Vendela Kirsebom - Nora Fries

Director - Joel Schumacher
Based on Characters/Project
Consultant - Bob Kane
Writer - Akiva Goldsman
Executive Producers -
Benjamin Melniker & Michael E. Uslan
Producer - Peter Macgregor-Scott
Co-Producer/First Assistant
Director - William M. Elvin
Production Designer - Barbara Ling
Costume Designers - Ingrid
Ferrin & Robert Turturice
Make-up Artist: Mr. Freeze - Jeff Dawn
Director of Photography - Stephen Goldblatt
Visual Effects Supervisors - Andrew Adamson,
Eric Durst, Wendy Rogers & David Stump
Visual Effects - John Dykstra
Visual Effects Supervisor: PDI - Richard Chuang
Film Editors - Mark Stevens &
Dennis Virkler
Music - Elliot Goldenthal

As a kid, I thought that BATMAN & ROBIN was quite a favourite movie of mine, but unfortunately as I got older, it was too much similar to the 1960s classic TV show and comes across as childish which makes this movie completely uninventive and comes across as though the director was playing safe and not taking creative risks. I cannot believe that it killed the Burton/Schumacher film quadrilogy and nearly killed the superhero genre period. Probably because it had the unintentional humour with the suits of Batman and Robin which has those embarrassing Bat-nipples again complete with close-up shots of buttocks which makes them look exposed and as though they are glamour boys instead of heroic tough guys. What made the movie more worse is changing the comic book character of Bane from the main villain to Poison Ivy's brainless henchman and Arnold Schwarzenegger's performance as Mr Freeze with those awful freeze-puns that he bored us with the whole feature. I didn't mean to criticise Arnold because he is my best actor, but I must withhold my integrity in being unbiased and completely honest about the facts of my observations with the reviews.

The only thing that did little to save this movie is the acting of George Clooney, Uma Thurman and Alicia Silverstone. Chris O'Donnell was getting old to play Robin as he was a little over the top and I think he pushed it too far. Each moments of the film such as one where Clooney's caped avenger shows his Bat credit-card to his partner were out of place because Bruce Wayne should be the character who would normally do this, not his alter ego.

No wonder this turned out to be the worst of the Batman movies. This put a potentially great film series on thin ice (no pun intended) and shocked fans for the disastrous results. Thank god, the franchise was redeemed and rebooted by the masterly work from director Christopher Nolan in BATMAN BEGINS and THE DARK KNIGHT.

Star rating: (1/5) Not Worth Watching

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace Review (Updated)

Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace

Release Date: 3rd June 1999 – Australia

Production Companies
20th Century Fox
Lucasfilm Ltd

Genre: Sci-Fi

Rating: PG

Runtime: 136 minutes

Budget: $115,000,000

Box Office Gross: $1,027,044,667

Plot Summary
(32 years before Episode 
IV) Stranded on the desert 
planet Tatooine after rescuing 
young Queen Amidala from 
the impending invasion of 
Naboo, Jedi apprentice Obi-
Wan Kenobi and his Jedi 
Master discover nine-
year-old Anakin Skywalker, 
a young slave unusually 
strong in the Force. Anakin 
wins a thrilling Podrace and 
with it his freedom as he 
leaves his home to be trained 
as a Jedi. The heroes return 
to Naboo where Anakin 
and the Queen… face massive 
invasion forces while the two 
Jedi contend with a deadly 
foe named Darth Maul. Only 
then do they realize the 
invasion is merely the first 
step in a sinister scheme by 
the re-emergent forces of 
darkness known as the 

Liam Neeson – Qui Gon Jinn
Ewan McGregor – Obi Wan 
Natalie Portman – Queen 
Padme Amidala
Jake Lloyd – Anakin Skywalker
Ian McDiarmid – Senator/
Supreme Chancellor Palpatine/
Darth Sidious
Ahmed Best – Jar Jar Binks
Pernilla August – Shmi Skywalker
Ray Park – Darth Maul
Peter Serafinowicz – Darth 
Maul/Various (Voices)
Anthony Daniels – C3PO
Kenny Baker – R2D2
Silas Carson – Nute Gunray/Various
Jerome St. John Blake Rune Haako/Various
Hugh Quarshie – Captain Panaka
Andy Secombe – Watto (Voice)
Frank Oz  Yoda (Voice)
Samuel L Jackson – Mace Windu
Terence Stamp – Supreme 
Chancellor Finis Valorum
Brian Blessed – Boss Nass (Voice)
Lewis Macleod – Sebulba (Voice)
Sofia Coppola – SachĂ©
Keira Knightley  SabĂ©
Oliver Ford Davies – Sio Bibble
Warwick Davis Wald/Pod Racer Spectator/Mos Espa Citizen
Ralph Brown Ric Olie
Steve Speirs Captain Tarpals
James Taylor Rune Haako (Voice)
Greg Proops Fode (Voice)
Scott Capurro Beed (Voice)  
Dhruv Chanchani Kitster 

Producer – George Lucas
Producer – Rick McCallum
Production Designer – Gavin 
Design Director/Visual Effects 
Production Designer: ILM – 
Doug Chiang
Live Action Creature Effects Supervisor – Nick Dudman  
Costume Designer – Trisha Biggar
Director of Photography – David Tattersall
Stunt Coordinator/Sword Master/Fight Unit Director – 
Nick Gillard
Visual Effects Supervisors – Dennis Muren,  
John Knoll & Scott Squires
Animation Director Rob Coleman
R2-D2 Designer – Tony Dyson (Uncredited)
Supervising Sound Editor/Designer/ 
Film Editor – Ben Burtt
Film Editor – Paul Martin Smith
Music – John Williams


2000 Academy Awards
Best Sound - Gary Rydstrom, Tom Johnson, 
Shawn Murphy & John Midgely (Nominated)
Best Sound Editing - Ben Burtt & Tom Bellfort 
Best Visual Effects - John Knoll, Dennis Murren, 
Scott Squires & Rob Coleman (Nominated)

STAR WARS EPISODE I: THE PHANTOM MENACE has good action sequences and CGI visuals and was the most over-hyped film in the year 1999 and a planet-hopping adventure. I liked the impressive scenes of the movie such as the podracing sequence and the lightsaber duel of Qui Gon & Obi Wan vs Darth Maul. The acting of Liam Neeson, Ewan McGregor & Natalie Portman were good, but the plot is too convoluted. The character of Jar Jar Binks was a bit of a comedian and probably the worst thing that has ever happened in the history of the franchise. I certainly hate to badmouth young Jake Lloyd for his performance as little Anakin Skywalker, he tries so hard and he did his best as he could. 

Unlike the other Star Wars movies, THE PHANTOM MENACE was not as good as many fans would’ve hoped. The whole feature was something of a disappointment, yet it did a great job of bringing the franchise back to the big screen as well as launching the prequel trilogy which leads right up to ATTACK OF THE CLONES and REVENGE OF THE SITH (click here). If you have seen THE PHANTOM MENACE, you might have to check out my review of the 3D version (click here).

Star rating: (3/5) Average

Monday, 12 September 2011

Batman Forever Review (Updated)

Batman Forever

Release Date: 29th June 1995 - Australia

Production Companies
Warner Bros. Pictures
PolyGram Filmed Entertainment (produced
in association with)

Genre: Action

Rating: PG

Runtime: 121 minutes

Budget: $100,000,000

Box Office Gross: $336,529,144

Plot Summary
The Dark Knight of Gotham
City confronts a dastardly
duo: Two Face and the
Riddler. Formerly District
Attorney Harvey Dent,
Two-Face incorrectly
believes Batman caused the
courtroom accident which
left him disfigured on one
side; he has unleashed a
reign of terror on the good
people of Gotham. Edward
Nygma, computer genius
and former employee of
millionaire Bruce Wayne, is
out to get the philanthropist;
as The Riddler he perfects
a device for draining
information from all the brains
in Gotham, including Bruce
Wayne's knowledge of
his other identity. Batman/
Wayne is are the love
focus of Dr. Chase Meridan.
Former circus acrobat
Dick Grayson, his family
killed by Two-Face,
becomes Wayne's ward
and Batman's new partner
Robin the Boy Wonder.

Val Kilmer - Bruce Wayne/
Tommy Lee Jones - Harvey
Jim Carrey - Dr. Edward
Nygma/The Riddler
Nicole Kidman - Dr. Chase
Chris O'Donnell - Dick Grayson/Robin
Michael Gough - Alfred Pennyworth
Pat Hingle - Commissioner James Gordon
Ed Begley, Jr - Fred Stickley
Drew Barrymore - Sugar
Debi Mazar - Spice
Elizabeth Sanders - Gossip Gerty
Rene Auberjonois - Dr. Burton

Director - Joel Schumacher
Based on Batman Characters/
Project Consultant - Bob Kane
Story/Screenplay - Lee & Janet Scott Batchler
Screenplay - Akiva Goldsman
Executive Producers - Benjamin Melniker
& Michael E. Uslan
Producers - Tim Burton & Peter MacGregor-Scott
Production Designer - Barbara Ling
Costume Designers - Ingrid Ferrin &
Bob Ringwood
Special Make-up Designer & Creator -
Rick Baker
Director of Photography - Stephen Goldblatt
Visual Effects Supervisors - Andrew Adamson,
Eric Durst, John Dykstra, Boyd Shermis,
David Stump & Stephen Brand (Uncredited)
Visual Effects Supervisor: Pacific Data Images -
Richard Chuang
Supervisor: Grant McCune Design -
Grant McCune
Film Editors - Mark Stevens & Dennis Virkler
Music - Elliot Goldenthal


1996 Academy Awards
Best Cinematography - Stephen Goldblatt (Nominated)
Best Sound - Donald O. Mitchell, Frank A. Montano,
Michael Herbick & Petur Hiddal (Nominated)
Best Sound Editing - John Leveque & Bruce Stambler

BATMAN FOREVER was a little darker, yet more light-hearted and entertaining compared to the other movies in the franchise. It was the first Batman instalment from director Joel Schumacher who easily matched the standards of Tim Burton's interpretation of the Batman franchise. Even though that this neon and colourful style of the third movie isn't exactly appropriate to be fitted and change this dark and gothic world of Batman as to bother the fans expectations. Although Tommy Lee Jones' acting of Two-Face was a bit too overacted and comical, I think Val Kilmer, Nicole Kidman, Chris O'Donnell and Jim Carrey smashed Jones's performance. 

My only grievance with the movie other than Lee Jones' goofier portrayal of Two Face is being those darn nipples on the Bat-suit. Other than that, this was an explosive movie with an all-star cast.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie