Monday, 28 May 2012

Men in Black II Review








Men in Black II


Release Date: 3rd July 2002 - Australia


Production Companies
Amblin Entertainment
Columbia Pictures Corporation
MacDonald/Parkes Productions (in
association with)

Distribution
Sony Pictures Australia


Genre: Sci-Fi/Comedy

Rating: PG

Runtime: 88 minutes


Budget: $140,000,000

Box Office Gross: $441,818,803
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
For Agent J, it is another
day at the office, monitoring,
licensing and policing all
alien activity on Earth. One
day, J receives a report of
an unauthorized landing of
an alien spacecraft near
New York. It is an old
enemy of MIB, a Kylothian
named Serleena. Who is
searching for a powerful
artifact called The Light
of Zartha. J investigates
and quickly realizes he is
going to need help.
Unfortunately, the other
MIB agents do not work
up to par like J can. So,
J decides to bring back
K. J must bring back K's
memory as an MIB agent
and try to stop Serleena,
before she can succeed.


Cast
Tommy Lee Jones - Kevin
Brown/Agent K
Will Smith - James Darrell
Edwards III/Agent J
Rip Torn - Chief Zed
Lara Flynn Boyle - Serleena
Johnny Knoxville - Scrad & Charlie
Rosario Dawson - Laura Vasquez
Tony Shalhoub - Jack Jeebs
Patrick Warburton - Agent T
Jack Kehler - Ben
David Cross - Newton
Michael Jackson - Agent M (Cameo)
Peter Graves - Himself
Tim Blaney - Frank the Pug (Voice)

Crew
Director - Barry Sonnenfeld
Based on Comic "The Men
in Black" - Lovell Cunningham
Story/Screenplay - Robert Gordon
Screenplay - Barry Fanaro
Executive Producer - Steven Spielberg
Producers - Laurie MacDonald
& Walter F. Parkes
Co-Producer - Graham Place
Production Designer - Bo Welch
Alien Make-up Effects - Rick Baker
Costume Designer - Mary E. Vogt
Director of Photography - Greg Gardiner
Visual Effects Supervisor -
John Andrew Berton Jr.
Senior Visual Effects Supervisor: SPI - Ken Ralston
Film Editors - Richard Pearson &
Steven Weisberg
Music - Danny Elfman


Review
MEN IN BLACK II has consistent humour, but the movie feels like it's recycled from the first one (click here). The story was a little far fetched and boring in some parts, lacking the formula that the first one has and the only things that could only save the movie were the expansion of characters like Frank the Pug and the Worm Guys and a cameo by Michael Jackson (MJ). 

If MEN IN BLACK II has an interesting plot which it brought back to basics and not got too carried away with visual effects, it could have been more acclaimed than its predecessor. Perhaps what makes this movie very disappointing is that it is being compared to the original MIB movie.

Star rating: (3/5) Average



Sunday, 27 May 2012

Star Wars: The Clone Wars Review









Star Wars: The Clone Wars


Release Date: 14th August 2008 - Australia


Production Companies
Lucasfilm Animation
Lucasfilm


Genre: Animation/Family

Rating: PG

Runtime: 98 minutes


Budget: $8,500,000

Box Office Gross: $68,282,844
(Worldwide)



Plot Summary
As the Clone Wars sweep
through the galaxy, Anakin
Skywalker and his Padawan
learner Ahsoka Tano plunge
into a dangerous mission
to rescue the kidnapped
son of crime lord Jabba the
Hutt. The renegade Count
Dooku is determined to
make sure that they fail,
and with his deadly assassin
Asajj Ventress in pursuit,
this is a mission with grave
consequences. Meanwhile,
on the front lines, Obi-Wan
Kenobi and Master Yoda
lead the massive clone army
in a valiant effort to defeat
the droid army and resist
the forces of the dark side.


Voice Cast
Matt Lanter - Anakin Skywalker
Ashley Eckstein - Ahsoka Tano
James Arnold Taylor - Obi-Wan
Kenobi/4A-7
Tom Kane - Yoda/Narrator/
Admiral Yularen
Christopher Lee - Count Dooku
Dee Bradley Baker - Captain Rex/
Commander Cody/Clone Troopers
Samuel L. Jackson - Mace Windu
Nika Futterman - Asajj Ventress/
TC-70
Anthony Daniels - C3PO
Ian Abercrombie - Supreme
Chancellor Palpatine/Darth Sidious
Catherine Tabor - Padme Amidala
Corey Burton - Ziro the Hutt/Whorm
Loathsom
David Acord - Rotta the Huttlet
Kevin Michael Richardson -
Jabba the Hutt
Matthew Wood - Battle Droids/
General Grevious

Crew
Development Artist/Director -
Dave Filoni
Based on Characters &
Universe/Executive Producer -
George Lucas
Writers - Henry Gilroy, Steven
Melching & Scott Murphy
Producer - Catherine Winder
Designers - Russel G. Chong
& Darren Marshall
Character Designer - Sergio
Paez
Character Supervisor - Mark
Therrell
Animation Consultant - Rob
Coleman
Film Editor - Jason Tucker
Composer: Star Wars Theme - John Williams
Music - Kevin Kiner


Review
STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS manages to start the animated TV series that is showing on the Cartoon Network channel, but maybe releasing this feature into the big screen was not such a good idea for the Star Wars fans. I'm no fan of the Ahsoka Tano but the female character of her is good and I do like the film's artistically animation style and the vocal performances by Tom Kane for Yoda and Matt Lanter that I don't know if his role as Anakin Skywalker is better than Hayden Christensen's. I'm surprised that three of the actors from the previous Star Wars movies including Christopher Lee, Samuel L. Jackson and C3PO's Anthony Daniels have returned to do the voices for this one.

I do believe that STAR WARS: THE CLONE WARS was good, but it would have been more good if it was aired as a TV movie.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie


Thursday, 24 May 2012

Eragon Review (Updated)








Eragon



Release Date: 14th December 2006 - Australia


Production Companies
Fox 2000 Pictures
Davis Entertainment
Dune Entertainment
Ingenious Film Partners
Major Studio Partners
Mid Atlantic Films
20th Century Fox Film Corporation

Distribution
20th Century Fox Australia


Genre: Fantasy

Rating: M

Runtime: 99 minutes


Budget: $100,000,000

Box Office Gross: $249,488,115
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
Prepare to enter a dazzling
world of myth and magic as
the first thrilling chapter of
the Inheritance Trilogy takes
flight! In a kingdom ravaged
by darkness and tyranny, one
small ray of hope emerges
when Eragon finds a
mysterious blue "stone" that
turns out to be the last
dragon's egg in existence.
From the moment the egg
hatches, the fates of Eragon
and the dragon Saphira are
forever entwined, as they join
forces to battle the evil King
Galbatorix.


Cast
Edward Speleers - Eragon
Jeremy Irons - Brom
Sienna Guillory - Arya
Robert Carlyle - Durza
John Malkovich - Galbatorix
Garrett Hedlund - Murtagh
Alun Armstrong - Garrow
Chris Egan - Roran
Gary Lewis - Hrothgar
Djimon Hounsou - Ajihad
Rachel Weisz - Saphira (Voice)
Richard Rifkin - Horst
Steven Spiers - Sloan
Joss Stone - Angela
Caroline Chikezie - Nasuada

Crew
Director - Stephen Fangmeier
Based on Novel "Eragon" -
Christopher Paolini
Screenplay - Peter Buchman
Producers - John Davis &
Wyck Godfrey
Co-Producer/Film Editor -
Roger Barton
Production Designer - Wolf
Kroeger
Dragon Concept Artist - Patrick Tatopoulos
Costume Designer - Kym Barrett
Director of Photography - Hugh Johnson
Sword Master - C.C. Smiff
Creature Effects Supervisor/
Visual Effects Modeller - Brian Best
Visual Effects Supervisor - Michael J. McAlister
Visual Effects Supervisor: ILM - Samir Hoon
Visual Effects Supervisor: Weta Digital -
George Murphy
Film Editors - Masahiro Hirakubo &
Chris Lebenzon
Music - Patrick Doyle


Review
ERAGON was not bad for a fantasy movie but I must say that it has similarities to STAR WARS except that the sci-fi trilogy doesn't include dragons. This film adaptation was based on the best-selling book series called THE INHERITANCE which I haven't read any of them. It was unoriginal and inconsistent as the storyline was filled with odd choices and I was fortunate to notice each trace as these were deemed unacceptable by the fans of the original novel to be precise.

The film has good CGI visuals and some solid acting performances but for John Malkovich who was omitted for portraying an evil King named Galbatorix. He was ultimately miscast and wooden for a menacing role that doesn't need to require his monotone voice. I was beginning to like the English actor Jeremy Irons, who did an exceptional portrayal of Brom. I didn't even realise that Garrett Hedlund out of TRON: LEGACY was in this feature.

Had the movie been more accepted by audiences the trilogy would have continued in the next instalment called the ELDEST. Overall it was a less than incredible fantasy adventure and one that I would like to forget.

Star rating: (3/5) Average


Monday, 21 May 2012

Armageddon Review (Updated)








Armageddon


Release Date: 20th August 1998 - Australia


Production Companies
Touchstone Pictures (presents)
Jerry Bruckheimer Films
Valhalla Motion Pictures (in association 
with)

Distribution
Walt Disney Studios Motion 
Pictures Australia


Genre: Sci-Fi

Rating: M

Runtime: 151 minutes


Budget: $140,000,000

Box Office Gross: $553,709,788
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
When NASA's Executive
Director, Dan Truman
realizes the earth has 18
days before it's obliterated
by a meteor the size of
Texas, he has only one
option -- land a ragtag
team of roughneck oil
drillers on the asteroid
and drop a nuclear
warhead into its core.


Cast
Bruce Willis - Harry Stamper
Ben Affleck - A. J. Frost
Billy Bob Thornton - Dan Truman
Liv Tyler - Grace Stamper
Will Patton - Charles "Chick" Chappel
Steve Buscemi - "Rockhound"
Michael Clarke Duncan - J. Otis
"Bear" Kurleenbear
Peter Stormare - Lev Andropov
William Fichtner - Colonel Willie Sharp
Ken Hudson Campbell - Max Lennert
Keith David - General Kimsey
Owen Wilson - Oscar Choice
Jessica Steen - Jennifer Watts
Jason Isaacs - Dr. Ronald Quincy
Judith Hoag - Denise Chappel
Chris Ellis - NASA Flight Director Clark
Charlton Heston - Narrator (Voice)

Crew
Producer/Director - Michael Bay
Story - Robert Roy Pool & Jonathan Hensleigh
Adaptation - Tony Gilroy & Shane Salerno
Screenplay - Jonathan Hensleigh & J.J Abrams
Producers - Jerry Bruckheimer & Gale 
Anne Hurd
Consultant: NASA - Joseph P. Allen
Production Designer - Michael White
Costume Designers - Magali Guidasci & Michael 
Kaplan
Director of Photography - John Schwartzman
Special Effects Supervisor - John Frazier
Visual Effects Supervisor: Buena Vista Imaging - 
Mark Donfield
Visual Effects Supervisor: Matte World Digital - 
Craig Barron
Visual Effects Supervisor: Blue Sky/
VIFX - Richard E. Hollander
Visual Effects Supervisors - Richard R.
Hoover & Pat McClung
Film Editors - Mark Goldblatt, Chris
Lebenzon & Glen Scantlebury
Music - Trevor Rabin


Awards

1999 Academy Awards
Best Sound - Kevin O'Connell, Greg P. Russell
& Keith A. Wester (Nominated)
Best Sound Editing - George Watters II (Nominated)
Best Visual Effects - Richard Hoover, Pat McClung
& John Frazier (Nominated)
Best Music, Original Song "I Don't Want to Miss a Thing" -
Diane Warren (Nominated)


Review
A very entertaining disaster movie that ARMAGEDDON is, but it does deliver the audience laughter and drama that gives the appreciation for this entire picture. I don't really care about the scientific errors or even the space goofs that some people do and I positively liked Michael Bay's direction, his style of incredible action and explosions and the performances of the movie stars like Bruce Willis, Ben Affleck and Steve Buscemi. I have to say about ARMAGEDDON that not only was the second best film from the director, it was an explosive and enjoyable popcorn smash for those who have watched disaster features and even the ones that are directed by Bay like the TRANSFORMERS series.

If you want to see this blockbuster, you'll have to find it on DVD, Blu-ray or the Internet or if you prefer a different asteroid flick from DreamWorks, DEEP IMPACT (click here).

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever


Monday, 14 May 2012

Stealth Review (Updated)









Stealth


Release Date: 8th September 2005 - Australia


Production Companies
Columbia Pictures Corporation
Original Film
Phoenix Pictures
Laura Ziskin Productions
AFG Talons Productions

Distribution 
Sony Pictures Australia


Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 121 minutes


Budget: $135,000,000

Box Office Gross: $76,932,872
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
Breathtaking from take-
off, it thrusts you in the
cockpit, hits Mach 5
and never looks back.
Henry, Ben and Kara
are hands down the
world's best tatical
fighter pilots. But a new
member joins their team,
a state-of-the-art, fully-
automated, pilotless,
super-stealth warplane -
inhuman and invincible.
But once this stealth goes
up it's never coming down,
wreaking destruction in
seconds across the globe,
leaving the team with
one last no-fail mission:
to stop it - no matter what.


Cast
Josh Lucas - Lt. Ben Gannon
Jessica Biel - Lt. Kara Wade
Jamie Foxx - Lt. Henry Purcell
Sam Shepard - Capt. George Cummings
Joe Morton - Capt. Dick Marshfield
Richard Roxburgh - Dr. Keith Orbit
Ian Bliss - Lt. Aaron Shaftsbury
Ebon Moss-Bachrach - Tim
David Andrews - Ray
Wentworth Miller - EDI (Voice)

Crew
Director - Rob Cohen
Writer - W.D. Ritcher
Producers - Mike Medavoy,
Neal H. Moritz & Laura Ziskin
Production Designers - Jonathan Lee &
J. Michael Riva
Costume Designer - Lizzy Gardiner
Director of Photography - Dean Semler
Visual Effects Supervisor: Animal Logic - Chris
Godfrey
Visual Effects Supervisor - Joel Hynek
Film Editor - Stephen E. Rivkin
Music Supervision - Bob Badami
Music - BT


Review
STEALTH has a good premise, but unfortunately the film's realism needs to be improved in order to meet some of its contenders such as TOP GUN. Though many claim this box office misfire has taken some elements and few ideas from that original picture, it can be said of STEALTH that it can be criticised for having exposition and dry dialogue which are among its shortcomings. I do praise its photography and visual effects as these aspects of the film make this a visual delight and enjoyable. It even includes interesting parts such as in the movie's mid half where one of the main characters dies is just sad. The acting is typically good coming from few of the main actors like Josh Lucas, Jessica Biel and Jamie Foxx. They weren't good enough to save STEALTH from falling in to a crash landing. 

This movie is probably not Rob Cohen's finest work and is simply an average one. Definitely worth the watch for one time, but nothing to rush out and watch in a hurry.

Star rating: (3/5) Average


Monday, 7 May 2012

Star Wars: The Complete Saga Review








Star Wars: The Complete Saga



Release Date: 14th September 2011 - Australia
(Blu-ray)


Production Companies
20th Century Fox
Lucasfilm

Genre: Sci-Fi

Rating: PG
              M (Revenge)



Cast
Ewan MacGregor - Obi-Wan Kenobi (1-3)
Alec Guinness - Obi-Wan Kenobi (4-6)
Hayden Christensen - Anakin Skywalker/
Darth Vader (2-3 & 6)
David Prowse - Darth Vader (4-6)
James Earl Jones - Darth
Vader (Voice) (3-6)
Natalie Portman - Padme Amidala (1-3)
Anthony Daniels - C3PO
Kenny Baker - R2-D2
Mark Hamill - Luke Skywalker (4-6)
Carrie Fisher - Princess Leia (4-6)
Harrison Ford - Han Solo (4-6)
Peter Mayhew - Chewbacca (3-6)
Billy Dee Williams - Lando
Calrissian (5-6)
Frank Oz - Yoda (1-3 & 5-6)
Ian McDiarmid - Supreme
Chancellor/Emperor
Palpatine/Darth Sidious (1-3
& 5-6)
Christopher Lee - Count Dooku (2-3)
Silas Carson - Nute Gunray/Ki-
Adi-Mundi (1-3)
Ahmed Best - Jar Jar Binks (1-3)
Samuel L. Jackson - Mace Windu (1-3)
Denis Lawson - Wedge Antilles (4-6)
Jeremy Bulloch - Boba Fett (5-6)
Temura Morrison - Jango Fett
(2)/Commander Cody (3) &
Boba Feet (Voice Only) (5)

Crew
Writer (1-4 & 6)/Executive Producer &
Director (1-4) - George Lucas
Director - Irvin Kershner (5)
Director - Richard Marquand (6)
Writer - Lawrence Kazdan (5-6)
Producer - Gary Kurtz (4-5)
Producer - Rick McCallum (1-3 &
4-6 Special Edition Only)
Conceptual Artist - Ralph McQuarrie
(4-6)
Music - John Williams


Review
I'm glad that all of the six movies of STAR WARS is on Blu-ray, but I'm not quite happy with some of the changes that has happened to the two films of the classic trilogy such as the heroic sacrifice of one of the main characters and the scene where R2-D2 is hiding from the Tusken Raiders. If only the franchise's creator George Lucas would stop making those awful things and start doing improvements that are appropriate for the Star Wars fans.

THE COMPLETE SAGA Blu-ray manages to bring its beautiful quality and better colour as well as a slew of extras which includes documentaries and deleted scenes.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Set Ever





Friday, 4 May 2012

The Avengers (2012) Review (Updated)









The Avengers


Release Date: 25th April 2012 - Australia


Production Companies
Marvel Studios (presents)
Paramount Pictures (in association
with)

Distribution
Walt Disney Studios Motion
Pictures Australia


Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 142 minutes


Budget: $220,000,000

Box Office Gross: $1,519,557,910
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
When an unexpected enemy
emerges that threatens the
global safety and security,
Nick Fury, Director of the
international peace-keeping
agency known as S.H.I.E.L.D.
finds himself in need of a team
to pull the world back from
the brink of disaster.
Spanning the globe, a daring
recruitment effort begins.
Iron Man, Captain America,
Hulk, Thor, Black Widow
and Hawkeye team up to
conquer the God of mischief,
Loki (Thor's brother) in his
attempt to destroy the earth.
With all powers combined,
the task seems amateur under
the circumstances. But what
if this isn't the case? Imagine
each superhero on their own,
battling against each other
while trying to overcome the
evil, the most amazing race
to a super human empire. If
it was the Hulk against Captain
America, who would win?
Would a boomerang shield
prevail a rage ignited monster
with self-control? Would Iron
Man's genius armor defeat
Thor's super strength? How
will these superheroes
simultaneously take on
disaster, protect the public
and most importantly,
survive?


Cast
Robert Downey, Jr. - Tony
Stark/Iron Man
Chris Evans - Steve Rogers/
Captain America
Mark Ruffalo - Dr. Bruce Banner/Hulk
Lou Ferrigno - Hulk (Voice)
Chris Hemsworth - Thor
Scarlett Johansson - Natasha
Romanoff/Black Widow
Jeremy Renner - Clint Barton/Hawkeye
Tom Hiddleston - Loki
Samuel L. Jackson - Nick Fury
Cobie Smulders - Maria Hill
Clark Gregg - Phil Coulson
Stellan Skarsgard - Erik Selvig
Gwyneth Paltrow - Pepper Potts
Paul Bettany - JARVIS (Voice)
Alexis Denisof - The Other

Crew
Story/Screenplay/Director - Joss Whedon
Based on Comic Book Series
"The Avengers"/Executive
Producer - Stan Lee
Based on Comic Book Series
"The Avengers" - Jack Kirby
Story - Zak Penn
Producer - Kevin Feige
Production Designer - James
Chinlund
Concept Designer - Steve Jung
Costume Designer - Alexandra Byrne
Cinematography - Seamus McGarvey
Visual Effects Supervisor:
Marvel Studios - Jake Morrison
Visual Effects Supervisors -
Erik Nash, Janek Sirrs, Colin &
Greg Strause & Guy Williams
Visual Effects Supervisor: ILM - Jeff White
Film Editors - Jeffrey Ford & Lisa Lassek
Music Supervisor - Dave Jordan
Music - Alan Silvestri


Review
With a good 3D aspect, THE AVENGERS is one big superhero movie that does have a lot of action as well as scenes that are comedy and dramatic. The actors from the previous Marvel films have returned for this one except for Edward Norton who plays Dr. Bruce Banner aka The Hulk. The previous actor is now replaced by Mark Ruffalo and I would like to thank the director Joss Whedon who brought the Avengers comic book series to the big screen out of the impossible.

I have to admit, THE AVENGERS was definitely an enjoyable movie and I would recommend anyone especially fans of Marvel who will look forward to seeing this motion picture. I hope that Warner and DC might make the JUSTICE LEAGUE movie into the similar fashion as Marvel's title film.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever


Official Website

Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Predator Review (Updated)








Predator


Release Date: 20th August 1987 - Australia


Production Companies
Amercent Films
American Entertainment Partners L.P.
Davis Entertainment
Lawrence Gordon Productions
Silver Pictures
20th Century Fox Film
Corporation

Distribution
20th Century Fox Australia


Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 107 minutes


Budget: $15,000,000

Box Office Gross: $98,267,558
(Worldwide)



Plot Summary
Recruited by the CIA
to rescue hostages held
by guerilla fighters in a
Central American
country, Dutch and his
men encounter an
enemy unimaginably
more deadly than any
on Earth.



Cast
Arnold Schwarzenegger - Major
Alan "Dutch" Schaefer
Carl Weathers - George Dillon
Elpidia Carrillo - Anna
Bill Duke - Mac Eliot
Jesse Ventura - Blain Cooper
Sonny Landham - Billy Sole
Richard Chaves - Jorge "Poncho"
Ramirez
Shane Black - Rick Hawkins
R. G. Armstrong - Major General
Homer Phillips
Kevin Peter Hall - The Predator/
Helicopter Pilot
Peter Cullen - The Predator (Voice)
(Uncredited)

Crew
Director - John McTiernan
Writers - Jim & John Thomas
Producers - Lawrence Gordon, Joel
Silver & John Davis
Production Designer - John Vallone
Creature Creator - Stan Winston
Director of Photography - Donald
McApline, A.S.C
Visual Effects Producer - Robert M. Greenberg
Visual Consultant - Richard Greenberg
Visual Effects Supervisors - Michael
Bigelow & Joel Hynek
Film Editors - Mark Helfrich &
John F, Link
Music - Alan Silvestri


Awards

1988 Academy Awards
Best Visual Effects - Joel Hynek, Robert M. & Richard Greenberg
& Stan Winston (Nominated)


Review
PREDATOR may sound a bit scary, but is an action-packed film that is filled with total surprises. The movie had groundbreaking visual effects and Arnold Schwarzenegger did a terrific job with his acting performance and he is my all-time number one favourite actor. This is the second time I had seen Chubbs, Oops! I mean a character played by Carl Weathers who gets killed off, the first being HAPPY GILMORE (click here) and I love the quote that is said by Arnie "GET TO THE CHOPPER!"

Quite simply, this movie can be described by one word.... SPECTACULAR. This is a timeless movie which even with age will never be boring or unwatchable.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie