Thursday, 30 August 2012

Moonwalker Review


Release Date: 26th December 1988 - Australia

Production Companies
Ultimate Productions

Genre: Musical

Rating: PG

Runtime: 89 minutes

Budget: $22,000,000

Plot Summary
A true collector's treasure,
Moonwalker combines
Michael Jackson's greatest
videos with rare clips from
his early days in the Jackson
5, live concert and Grammy
performances. Also included
is a wild adventure film
written by Michael Jackson
himself, allowing a rare and
unique glimpse into the
creative mind of this musical

Michael Jackson - Himself
Kellie Parker - Katie
Sean Lennon - Sean
Brandon Quintin Adams - Zeke
"Baby Bad" Michael (Smooth
Criminal)/Kid MJ (Badder)
Joe Pesci - Frankie "Mr. Big"

Producer/Director - Jerry Kramer
Directors - Jim Blashfield
("Leave Me Alone") &
Colin Chilvers ("Smooth
Story ("Smooth Criminal")/
Executive Producer/
Singer - Michael Jackson
Screenplay ("Smooth
Criminal') - David Newman
Producers - Dennis E. Jones & Paul Diener ("Leave Me Alone")
Choreographer - Vincent Paterson
Co-Choreographer - Jeffrey Daniel
Production Designers - Bryan Jones & Michael G. Ploog
Make-up Supervisor - Rick Stratton
Costume Designer - Betty Pecha Madden
Cinematographers - Thomas E. Ackerman, Robert E. Collins,
Frederick Elmes, John Hora & Crescenzo G.P. Notarile
Special Visual Effects Supervisor - Hoyt Yeatman
Clay Animation ("Speed Demon") - Will Vinton
Film Editors - Dale Beldin, David E. Blewitt & Mitchell Sinoway
Music - Bruce Broughton & Ladysmith Black Mambazo

In celebration of what could have been the 54th birthday of the late and famous singer and artist Michael Jackson, here's a review of his movie that I wrote for MOONWALKER. To me, it wasn't so bad and who cares if his film doesn't have a plot, but it is a one journey trip to this experience that features the King of Pop's imagination. I won't spoil anything from the whole movie, but I loved the amazing dance sequence "Smooth Criminal" which is the biggest highlight of all and I am surprised that one of the kids from the final segment was played by John Lennon's son Sean.

This is a must-see for people including myself are fans of the late King of Pop and I still love his dance moves, his videos and most importantly, his music.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie

Monday, 27 August 2012

Top Gun Review (Updated)

Top Gun

Release Date: 13th July 1986 - Australia

Production Companies
Paramount Pictures

Paramount Pictures Australia

Genre: Action

Rating: PG

Runtime: 110 minutes

Budget: $15,000,000

Box Office Gross: $356,830,601

Plot Summary
Maverick is a hot pilot. 
When he encounters a 
pair of MiGs over the 
Persian Gulf, his wingman 
is clearly outflown and 
freaks. On almost no fuel, 
Maverick is able to talk 
him back down to the 
Carrier. When his wingman 
turns in his wings, Maverick 
is moved up in the standings 
and sent to the Top Gun 
Naval Flying School. There 
he fights the attitudes of 
the other pilots and an old 
story of his father's death in 
combat that killed others 
due to his father's error. 
Maverick struggles to be 
the best pilot, stepping on 
the toes of his other students 
and in a different way to 
Charlie, a civilian instructor 
to whom he is strongly 

Tom Cruise - Lt. Pete
"Maverick" Mitchell
Kelly McGillis - Charlotte
"Charlie" Blackwood
Anthony Edwards - Lt. (JG)
Nick "Goose" Bradshaw
Meg Ryan - Carol Bradshaw
Val Kilmer - Lt. Tom "Iceman"
Rick Rossovich - Lt. (JG) Ron
"Slider" Kerner
Tom Skerritt - Commander
Mike "Viper" Metcalf
Michael Ironside - Lt.
Commander Rick "Jester"
John Stockwell - Lt. Bill
"Cougar" Cortell
Tim Robbins - Lt. Sam "Merlin"
Whip Hubley - Lt. Rick
"Hollywood" Neven
James Tolkan - Commander
Tom "Stinger" Jordan

Director - Tony Scott
Based on Magazine Article
"Top Guns" - Ehud Yonay
Writers - Jim Cash & Jack Epps Jr.
Producers - Jerry Bruckheimer
& Don Simpson
Aerial Consultant - Richard T. Stevens
Director of Photography - Jeffrey L. Kimball
Supervisor of Special Photographic
Effects - Gary Gutierrez
Film Editors - Chris Lenbenzon
& Billy Weber
Songs - Giorgio Moroder
Lyrics - Tom Whitlock
Music - Harold Faltermayer


1987 Academy Awards
Best Music, Original Song "Take My Breath Away" -
Giorgio Moroder & Tom Whitlock (Won)
Best Sound - Donald O. Mitchell, Kevin O'Connell,
Rick Kline & William B. Kaplan (Nominated)
Best Film Editing - Billy Weber & Chris Lenbenzon
Best Sound Editing - Cecelia Hall & George Watters II

Very remarkable, but a total high-flying action movie. TOP GUN has done well with its perfectly choreographed flight sequences, amazing cinematography and even the romantic chemistry between the characters that are played by Tom Cruise and Kelly McGillis. The film provides great acting, the best would be Cruise for his unforgettable role as Maverick. Terrific 80's songs such as Kenny Loggins' "Danger Zone" and Berlin's "Take My Breath Away" and the music score by Harold Faltermeyer are the last to be suited in this airborne drama of overall superb quality.

Way superior than the last jet movie STEALTH (click here) which fails to bring any amazement. TOP GUN is certainly a unique one from producer Jerry Bruckheimer and the now late director Tony Scott and I'm putting this on my top action feature list.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever

Thursday, 23 August 2012

The Bourne Legacy Review (Updated)

The Bourne Legacy 

Release Date: 16th August 2012 - Australia

Production Companies
Universal Pictures (presentation)
Relativity Media (in association with)
The Kennedy/Marshall Company
Captivate Entertainment (in
association with)
Dentsu (in association with)

Universal Pictures Australia

Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 150 minutes

Budget: $125,000,000

Box Office Gross: $276,144,750

Plot Summary
Aaron Cross, a new hero, 
experiences life-or-death 
stakes that have been 
triggered by previous events.

Jeremy Renner - Aaron Cross
Rachel Weisz - Dr. Marta Shearing
Edward Norton - Col. Eric Byer
Joan Allen - Pamela Landy
Stacy Keach - Adm Mark Turso
Dennis Boutsikaris - Terrence Ward
David Strathairn - Noah Vosen
Albert Finney - Dr. Albert Hirsch
Michael Chernus - Arthur Ingram
Nell Brooks Cunningham - Dr. Dan
Louis Ozawa Changchien - LARX-03
Scott Glenn - Ezra Kramer
Donna Murphy - Dita Mandy
Oscar Isaac - Outcome-3
Ċ½eljko Ivanek - Dr. Donald Foite
Corey Stoll - Vendel
Shane Jacobson - Mackie
Elizabeth Marvel - Dr. Connie Dowd
John Douglas Thompson - Lt. Gen. Paulsen 
Corey Johnson - Ray Wills
Michael Berresse - Leonard

Story/Screenplay/Director - Tony Gilroy
Based on "Bourne" Series and
Inspiration - Robert Ludlum
Screenplay - Dan Gilroy
Producers - Patrick Crowley, Frank Marshall,
Ben Smith & Jeffrey M. Weiner
Co-Producers - Andrew R. Tennenbaum
Production Designer - Kevin Thompson
Costume Designer - Shay Cunliffe
Director of Photography - Robert Elswit
Second Unit Director/Stunt Coordinator - Dan Bradley
Fight Coordinator - Jonathan Eusebio
Stunt Coordinator - Chris O'Hara
Film Editor - John Gilroy
Music - James Newton Howard
Writer/Producer/Singer: Extreme Ways - Moby

While I haven't watched all of the Bourne movies that starred Matt Damon, I instead went straight onto the fourth instalment. THE BOURNE LEGACY is in every way that it is sleek and not as good as everyone compares it to the originals. Though the action was good and the suspense is chilling, it's just a shame that this feature reinvents the franchise and has no cameo for Matt. I think this could let down fans who have watched the movies just from Matt Damon. For Jeremy Renner's character Aaron Cross who had just taken over the reins of Damon's Jason Bourne as the main hero and the performance by the same actor is magnificent and he should be teaming up with Matt in the next sequel. Other actors Rachel Weisz and Edward Norton were presented in the movie and I thought they're both convincing and naturally fitted into the genre and in closing, I thought the final half of the film was impressive because of the motorcycle chase scene which I thought was unforgettable.

An absolute espionage action thriller, but a very mild one because THE BOURNE LEGACY does have the occasional thrills for this picture and unfortunately I think it lacks the flair of the three original instalments.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

In Memory of Tony Scott (1944-2012) (Updated)

Tony Scott (1944-2012)

Hello, blog site viewers, this is
Film Guru Lad here, I have
very sad news, Tony Scott
the director of movies like
'Top Gun' and 'Crimson Tide'
and younger brother of
Ridley Scott, was killed
in an accidental suicide on
the 19th August 2012 at
the age of 68.

He began his career at age 16 when he appeared in a short film called 'Boy and Bicycle' which is also the first movie produced by his brother Ridley Scott. He then followed in his brother's footsteps, studying at various schools like Grangfield, West Hartlepool College of Art and Sunderland Art School. He graduated from the Royal College of Art where he fully intended to become a painter, but instead turned his attentions to film.  He worked at his elder brother's television commercial production unit where he directed thousands of commercials during the next two decades and also overseeing the company's operations while his brother is developing his feature film career. Tony also took time out in 1975 to direct a television adaptation of Henry James story 'The Author of Beltraffio' and then in 1980, he was beginning to receive overtures from Hollywood himself. In 1983, he directed a vampire film called 'The Hunger' which was a box-office disappointment and had failed to find audience, it was then in 1985 when producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Don Simpson approached Tony to direct 'Top Gun' which was released in 1986 and starring Tom Cruise.

After 'Top Gun', he directed other films like 'Beverly Hills Cop II', 'Revenge', 'Days of Thunder', again with Cruise, 'The Last Boy Scout', 'Crimson Tide', 'Enemy of the State' and others. His last movie that Tony had directed in 2010 was the train movie starring Denzel Washington and Chris Pine called 'Unstoppable'.

Tuesday, 21 August 2012

Dr. No Review

Dr. No 

Release Date: 1962 - Australia

Production Companies
Eon Productions

Genre: Action

Rating: PG

Runtime: 105 minutes

Budget: $1,000,000

Box Office Gross: $59.600,000

Plot Summary
Bond's mission takes him 
to the steamy island of 
Jamaica, where mysterious 
energy waves are interfering 
with U.S. missile launches. 
As he unravels the astonishing 
truth, 007 must fight deadly 
assassins, sexy femmes 
fatales and even a poisonous 

With the help of crack CIA 

agent Felix Leiter and the 
beautiful Honey Rider, he 
searches for the headquarters 
of Dr. No, a fanatical scientist 
who is implementing an evil 
plan of world domination. 
Only James Bond, with his 
combination of wit, charm 
and skill, can confront the 
madman and save the 
human race from a horrible 

Sean Connery - James Bond
Ursula Andress - Honey Ryder
Joseph Wiseman - Dr. No
Jack Lord - Felix Leiter
Bernard Lee - M
Anthony Dawson - Professor
John Kitzmiller - Quarrel
Zena Marshall - Miss Taro
Eunice Gayson - Sylvia Trench
Lois Maxwell - Miss Moneypenny
Peter Burton - Major Boothroyd
Timothy Moxon - John Strangways
Marguerite LeWars - The Photographer

Director - Terence Young
Based on Novel "Dr. No" -
Ian Fleming
Screenplay - Richard Maibaum,
Johanna Harwood & Berkeley
Producers - Albert R. Broccoli
& Harry Saltzman
Production Designer - Ken Adam
Director of Photography - Ted Moore
Stunt Arranger - Bob Simmons (Uncredited)
Film Editor - Peter Hunt
Main Title Designer - Maurice Binder
Music/Writer: James Bond Theme - Monty Norman
Performer/Arranger: James Bond Theme - John Barry

To coincide with the 50th anniversary of Bond... James Bond in the big screen, here's a review of the first Bond movie that I wrote for, DR. NO. Sure it was a good entry and did have some action scenes, but it introduced some of the iconic formula that it is currently following. I liked Sean Connery for performing the title character, in fact, he is the best actor to play that role and others like Daniel Craig and Pierce Brosnan are close to matching his charisma and style. The other things in the movie that I find fantastic which include the sets by Ken Adam and James Bond's main theme music.

While it may have lacked a few things including the cool gadgets, but it did set the benchmark for all Bond movies to come.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie

Thursday, 16 August 2012

In Memory of Marvin Hamlisch (1944-2012) (Updated)

Marvin Hamlisch (1944-2012) 

Greetings, blog viewers,
I have some sad news,
Oscar winning composer
Marvin Hamlisch, the man
who is responsible for doing
music score of movies such
as 'The Sting' and 'The
Spy Who Loved Me'
has passed away in Los
Angeles at age 68 on August
6th, 2012.

He wrote dozens of scores for film, Broadway and television. He scooped up many awards throughout his career including three Oscars, four Golden Globes and others. Although incredibly
versatile for his style, he composed more than 40 scores for pictures as 'Sophie's Choice', Woody
Allen's 'Bananas', 'The Way We Were' in which he was best known for his re-imaginings of Scott Joplin such as "The Entertainer", which appeared in 'The Sting' and 'The Spy Who Loved Me'.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Step Up: Miami Heat Review (Updated)

Step Up: Miami Heat 

Release Date: 2nd August 2012 - Australia

Production Companies
Offspring Entertainment
Summit Entertainment

Universal Pictures Australia

Genre: Music/Drama

Rating: PG

Runtime: 99 minutes

Budget: $33,000,000

Box Office Gross: $93,723,802

Plot Summary
Emily, the daughter of a 
wealthy businessman, 
arrives in Miami hoping 
to become a professional 
dancer. She falls in love 
with Sean, a young man 
who leads a dance crew 
in elaborate, cutting-edge 
flash mobs. The crew, 
called the MOB, strives 
to win a contest for a 
major sponsorship 
opportunity, but Emily's 
father threatens to 
develop the MOB's 
historic neighborhood 
and displace thousands 
of people.

Kathryn McCormick - Emily
Ryan Guzman - Sean
Adam Sevani - Robert "Moose"
Alexander III
Misha Gabriel - Eddie
Peter Gallagher - William "Bill"
Stephen "tWitch" Boss - Jason
Chadd "Madd Chadd" Smith -
Tommy Dewey - Tripp
Cleopatra Coleman - Penelope
Megan Boone - Claire

Director - Scott Speer
Based on Characters - Duane Adler
Writer - Amanda Brody
Producers - Erik Feig, Jennifer Gibgot,
Garrett Grant, Adam Shankman &
Patrick Waschberger
Production Designer - Carlos Menendez
Director of Photography - Karsten Gopinath
Choreographers - Chuck Maldonado,
Christopher Scott, Jamal Sims
& Travis Wall
Film Editors - Matt Friedman &
Avi Youabian
Music - Aaron Zigman

I'm unfamiliar with the STEP UP series and never watched any of the other dance films of the series, MIAMI HEAT is a very solid fourth instalment and I guarantee that it'll give good entertainment. The movie's story is not bad and has a good romantic subplot, but I am amazed by its dance choreography which is really energetic and Michael Jackson would have been proud of it. MIAMI HEAT does deliver something and I would give four well deserved stars for this one.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie

Monday, 6 August 2012

Die Hard Review (Updated)

Die Hard

Release Date: 6th October 1988 - Australia

Production Companies
20th Century Fox
Gordon Company
Lawrence Gordon Productions
Silver Pictures

20th Century Fox Australia

Genre: Action

Rating: M (Not Suitable for
Young Children)

Runtime: 126 minutes

Budget: $28,000,000

Box Office Gross: $140,767,956

Plot Summary
New York City detective
John McClane, who's in Los
Angeles to spend the holidays
with his estranged wife Holly,
is waiting for her office party
to end, when terrorists take
control of the building. As
their sinister leader, Hans
Gruber, and his savage
henchman round up hostages,
McClane gets ready to
blast a few rounds of his
own and launch a one-man
war - as only McClane can!

Bruce Willis - John McClane
Alan Rickman - Hans Gruber
Alexander Godunov - Karl
Bonnie Bedelia - Holly Gennaro-McClane
Reginald VelJohnson - Sgt. Al Powell
Paul Gleason - Dwayne T. Robinson
De'voreaux White - Argyle
William Atherton - Richard Thornburg
Hart Bochner - Harry Ellis
James Shigeta - Joseph Yoshinobu Takagi

Director - John McTiernan
Based on Novel "Nothing Lasts Forever" -
Roderick Thorp
Screenplay - Jeb Stuart & Steven E. de Souza
Producers - Lawrence Gordon & Joel Silver
Production Designer - Jackson DeGovia
Director of Photography - Jan De Bont
Visual Effects Producer - Richard Edlund
Film Editors - Frank J. Urioste & John F. Link
Music - Michael Kamen


1989 Academy Awards
Best Sound - Don J. Bassman, Kevin F. Cleary,
Richard Overton & Al Overton Jr. (Nominated)
Best Film Editing - Frank J. Urioste &
John F. Link (Nominated)
Best Sound Editing - Stephen Hunter Flick &
Richard Shorr (Nominated)
Best Visual Effects - Richard Edlund, Al Di Sarro,
Brent Boates & Thaine Morris (Nominated)

DIE HARD was simply an action-packed bonanza which has all the elements such as, explosions and action sequences that you would want a film to have and it creates some tough competition for rivals such as LETHAL WEAPON and later SPEED (click here). This movie started a tradition where other features began to imitate its original concept and plot and have shared its impact to many different results. The only positive thing in this feature is the acting performances of Bruce Willis and Alan Rickman who play both characters, one of them is a hero and the other is a villainous psychopath.

I have only seen several DIE HARD movies like the third and the latest addition LIVE FREE OR DIE HARD, but the original was definitely a great and memorable film to experience for action movie fans.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie