Wednesday, 31 October 2012

Disney Buys Lucasfilm, Here Comes Star Wars VII



Hello there, Lucas hounds
and Star Wars fanboys, I
have some very interesting
news that Lucasfilm, Ltd is
being bought by the Walt
Disney company for $4.05
billion which means that
they now own the 'Indiana
Jones' franchise as well as
effects house Industrial Light
and Magic and Skywalker
Sound.

It was also announced that Disney will make 'Star Wars: Episode VII' which is set for release in 2015. We don't know about the plot of 'Episode VII', my guess is that it will continue the adventures of Luke, Han and Leia but let's just hope that they begun work on the story.

According to the press release, it is said that Kathleen Kennedy the current Co-Chairman of Lucasfilm will become President of that company and serve as brand manager for Star Wars, working directly with Disney's global lines of business to build, further integrate, and maximize the value of this global franchise. Ms. Kennedy will now serve as executive producer on the new Star Wars feature film while its creator George Lucas will serve as creative consultant.

I know that some of you fans will not be in a good mood with Lucasfilm being purchased by the company that created Mickey Mouse, but I'm glad that haven't made a live-action Star Wars film since 'Revenge of the Sith'. I'm sure to know that you'll give me a comment of what you think of this news update.


Monday, 29 October 2012

Thunderball Review









Thunderball


Release Date: 17th December 1965 - Australia


Production Companies
EON Productions

Distribution
United Artists (Australia)

Genre: Action

Rating: PG

Runtime: 130 minutes


Budget: $9,000,000

Box Office Gross: $142.200,000
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
James Bond heads to The
Bahamas to recover two
nuclear warheads stolen
by SPECTRE agent Emilio
Largo in an international
extortion scheme.


Cast
Sean Connery - James Bond
Adolfo Celi - Emilio Largo
Claudine Auger - Dominque
"Domino" Derval
Luciana Paluzzi - Fiona Volpe
Rik Van Nutter - Felix Leiter
Bernard Lee - M
Guy Doleman - Count Lippe
Martine Beswick - Paula Caplan
Molly Peters - Patricia Fearing
Desmond Llewelyn - Q
Lois Maxwell - Miss Moneypenny
Phillip Locke - Vargas

Crew
Director - Terence Young
Based on Novel "Thunderball"/
Original Story - Ian Fleming
Original Story/Producer -
Kevin McClory
Original Story/Screenplay -
Jack Whittingham
Screenplay - Richard Maibaum
& John Hopkins
Producers - Albert R. Broccoli
& Harry Saltzman (Uncredited)
Production Designer - Ken Adam
Director of Photography - Ted Moore
Action Sequences - Bob Simmons
Director: Underwater Sequences -
Ricou Browning
Special Effects - John Stears
Film Editor - Ernest Hosler
Main Titles Designer - Maurice Binder
Composer: James Bond Theme -
Monty Norman
Singer: Thunderball - Tom Jones
Music - John Barry


Awards

1966 Academy Awards
Best Special Visual Effects - John Stears (Won)


Review
Not nearly quite as perfect as the third Bond film GOLDFINGER (click here), THUNDERBALL is a another good one and it has some great moments. The things that made this movie are worthwhile besides Connery such as the evil female character Fiona Volpe, the theme song by Tom Jones, the setting of underwater and the well-choreographed action scenes of it.

It takes a lot of steps to get this spy-picture done, THUNDERBALL is perhaps a good impression of the world of Bond but also not as good as the previous instalment.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie

Monday, 22 October 2012

Slipstream Review













Slipstream


Release Date: 22nd June 1989 - Australia


Production Companies
Entertainment Film


Genre: Sci-Fi

Rating: PG

Runtime: 102 minutes


Plot Summary
In the near future, where
Earth has been ravaged
by natural disasters and
devastated by man's
pollution, giant winds
rule the planet. Bounty
hunter Matt kidnaps a
murderer out of the
hands of two police
officers, planning to
get the bounty himself.
These in turn try to hunt
the two men down.

Cast
Mark Hamill - Will Tasker
Kitty Aldridge - Belitski
Bill Paxton - Matt Owens
Bob Peck - Bryon
Eleanor David - Ariel
Robbie Coltrane - Montclaire
Ben Kingsley - Avatar
F. Murray Abraham - Cornelius

Crew
Director - Steven Lisberger
Story - Bill Bauer (Uncredited)
Writer - Tony Kayden
Producer - Gary Kurtz
Production Designer - Andrew McAlpine
Cinematography - Frank Tidy
Visual Effects Supervisor - Brian Johnson
Film Editor - Terry Rawlings
Music - Elmer Bernstein


Review
I didn't quite understand the plot of the sci-fi movie SLIPSTREAM that was made by TRON director Steven Lisberger and STAR WARS producer Gary Kurtz, but now I realise that the film is much like BLADE RUNNER or MAD MAX 2 except with a very different story. The cast is extremely well placed, especially Mark Hamill who I am amazed he played a ruthless lawman who is edgier than Harrison Ford's Han Solo and he gave a fine yet best performance in this sci-fi feature as well as the interesting design and the remarkable music score by Elmer Bernstein.

In the bottom line, SLIPSTREAM is an overlooked gem, but it has to be re-discovered by those who have watched the previous movies from the two filmmakers.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie


Friday, 19 October 2012

Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show Review








Ed, Edd n Eddy's Big Picture Show


Broadcast Date: June 5th 2009 - Australia


Production Companies
a.k.a. Cartoon

Distribution
Cartoon Network (Australia)


Genre: Animation/Family

Rating: PG

Runtime: 89 minutes


Plot Summary
After a scam goes badly 
wrong, Ed, Edd and Eddy 
are forced to hightail it 
from the cul-de-sac. 
Panicked, Eddy suggests 
they hideout at his brother's 
place at least until the dust 
settles. Agreeing, the Eds 
embark on an epic journey 
through uncharted territories 
to locate "Big Bro's" 
whereabouts ... unaware 
that the enraged 
neighborhood kids are 
tracking them down for 
a 'dork' pounding!


Voice Cast
Matt Hill - Ed
Samuel Vincent - Edd
Tony Sampson - Eddy
David Paul Grove - Jonny
Kathleen Barr - Kevin, Marie
Kanker
Erin Fitzgerald - Nazz, May
Kanker
Peter Kelamis - Rolf
Janyse Jaud - Sarah, Lee
Kanker
Keenan Christenson - Jimmy
Terry Klassen - Eddy's Brother

Crew
Based on Animated Show "Ed, Edd n Eddy"/
Writer/Art Director/Executive Producer/
Director - Danny Antonucci
Writers - Jono Howard, Mike Kubat,
Rachel Connor & Stacy Warrick
Producers - Dan Sioui & Ruth Vincent
Film Editor - Ken Cathro
Music - Patric Caird


Review
Hi there! This is Film Guru Lad, as you may know most animated movies were based on television shows and are released in theaters such as THE SIMPSONS MOVIE (click here), some are released on TV like the one that is based on one of my fave cartoon shows ED, EDD N EDDY. Yes, BIG PICTURE SHOW has all the outrageous sense of humor and the sheer-twisted animation of the Cartoon Network series, but it also takes care of the story as well as some character development which probably makes this film well done. It's a good thing that we finally get to see Eddy's brother, but there's only one compliant that I might want to add is that they didn't show what's underneath Double D's hat which is a really big disappointment for the Ed fanboys.

While BIG PICTURE SHOW is such a good animated TV movie, it gave a very big farewell to the Eds and the other characters of the cul-de-sac from a cartoon that took 65 episodes and four holiday specials.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie


Monday, 15 October 2012

Goldfinger Review










Goldfinger 


Release Date: 1964 - Australia


Production Companies
EON Productions

Distribution
United Artists (Australia)


Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 110 minutes


Budget: $3,000,000

Box Office Gross: $124.900,000
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
Special agent 007 has just
come face to face with one
of the most notorious villains
of all time. And now he will
have to outwit and outgun
this powerful tycoon to
prevent him from cashing
in on a devious scheme
to raid Fort Knox - and
obliterate the world
economy!


Cast
Sean Connery - James Bond
Honor Blackman - Pussy Galore
Gert Frobe - Auric Goldfinger
Harold Sakata - Oddjob
Bernard Lee - M
Lois Maxwell - Miss Moneypenny
Desmond Llewelyn - Q
Cec Linder - Felix Leiter
Shirley Eaton - Jill Masterson
Tania Mallet - Tilly Masterson
Martin Benson - Mr Solo
Michael Mellinger - Kisch
Burt Kwouk - Mr Ling

Crew
Director - Guy Hamilton
Based on Novel "Goldfinger"
& Characters "James Bond"
- Ian Fleming
Screenplay - Richard Maibaum
& Paul Dehn
Producers - Albert R. Broccoli
& Harry Saltzman
Production Designer - Ken Adam
Director of Photography -
Ted Moore
Action Sequences - Bob Simmons
Special Effects - John Stears
Film Editor - Peter Hunt
Titles Designer - Robert Brownjohn
Composer: James Bond Theme -
Monty Norman
Lyrics: Goldfinger - Leslie
Bricusse & Anthony Newley
Singer: Goldfinger - Shirley
Bassey
Music - John Barry


Awards

1965 Academy Awards
Best Sound Effects - Norman Wanstall (Won)


Review
Hello, this is Film Guru Lad, as you heard from my review of FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE (click here), I will be reviewing the James Bond film which brings us to the third instalment GOLDFINGER. Yes, this classic has perfected all the right elements for the formula and it really keeps the punches rolling with its action set-pieces and innovative gadgets. While this picture still has Connery as James Bond, I loved the features that were in GOLDFINGER. Some of them are iconic such as the favourite line said by Bond and Goldfinger "You expect me to talk?", "No, Mr. Bond! I expect you to die!" and the title song by Shirley Bassey.

I would have to say that GOLDFINGER in my opinion is not only the best of all movies of the Bond-mania, but is pure gold (no pun intended).

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever


Thursday, 11 October 2012

Superman Returns Review










Superman Returns


Release Date: 29th June 2006 - Australia


Production Companies
Warner Bros. Pictures (presents)
Legendary Pictures (in association with)
Peters Entertainment
Bad Hat Harry Productions (in association with)
DC Comics
Red Sun Productions Pty. Ltd. (Uncredited)

Distribution
Roadshow Distribution


Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 154 minutes


Budget: US$209,000,000

Box Office Gross: $391,081,192
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
He's back. A hero for our
millennium. And not a moment
too soon, because during the
five years Superman sought
his home planet, things changed
on his adopted planet. Nations
moved on without him. Lois
Lane now has a son, a fiancée
and a Pulitzer for "Why the
World Doesn't Need
Superman." And Lex Luthor
has a plan that will destroy
millions - no, billions - of
lives.


Cast
Brandon Routh - Clark Kent/
Superman
Kate Bosworth - Lois Lane
Kevin Spacey - Lex Luthor
James Marsden - Richard White
Parker Posey - Kitty Kowalski
Marlon Brando - Jor-El
(Archived Footage)
Tristan Lake Leabu - Jason White
Frank Langella - Perry White
Sam Huntington - Jimmy Olsen
Eva Marie Saint - Martha Kent

Crew
Story/Producer/Director - Bryan Singer
Based on Comic Book "Superman" -
Jerry Siegel & Joe Shuster
Story/Screenplay - Michael Dougherty &
Dan Harris
Producers - Gilbert Adler, Lorne Orleans
(IMAX) & Jon Peters
Production Designer - Guy Hendrix Dyas
Costume Designer - Louise Mingenbach
Choreographer/Movement Coach -
Terry Notary
Director of Photography - Newton
Thomas Sigel
Special Effects Supervisor - Neil Corbould
Visual Effects Supervisors - Tim Hawkins
& Mark Stetson
Visual Effects Supervisor: SPI - Richard R. Hoover
Visual Effects Supervisor: Framestore CFC -
Jon Thum
Film Editor - Elliot Graham
Film Editor/Music - John Ottman


Awards

2007 Academy Awards
Best Visual Effects - Mark Stetson, Neil Corbould,
Richard R. Hoover & Jon Thum (Nominated)


Review
SUPERMAN RETURNS was a pretty decent addition to the film series, but it does owe a heavy debt to the spirit of the two classic movies, thanks to its director Bryan Singer who finally returned the Man of Steel back to the big screen. The cast was a really good example particularly Brandon Routh who did an extraordinary job as the Man of Steel and Kevin Spacey was impressive as Lex Luthor. My only interesting part of the film was Superman saving an airplane with a space shuttle was a very strong piece of the feature.

It's too bad that the sequel didn't get made and perhaps fans were disappointed because it didn't include the material from the comics. While this movie was not a flop, a film to this scale and proportion should have made a lot more.

Star rating: (3/5) Average


Monday, 8 October 2012

From Russia with Love Review (Updated)








From Russia with Love


Release Date: 1963 - Australia


Production Companies
Eon Productions
Danjaq


Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 115 minutes


Budget: $2,000,000

Box Office Gross: $78.9,000,000
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
James Bond squares off 
against the evil SPECTRE 
organisation in a pulse-
pounding race to seize the 
Soviet Lektor decoding 
machine. His mission 
thrusts him into a thrilling 
boat chase, a brutal 
helicopter attack and a 
deadly brawl aboard the 
Orient Express, proving 
once again that Agent 007 
can't be stopped!


Cast
Sean Connery - James Bond
Daniela Bianchi - Tatiana Romanova
Pedro Armendariz - Ali Kerim Bey
Lotte Lenya - Rosa Klebb
Robert Shaw - Red Grant
Bernard Lee - M
Walter Gotell - Morzeny
Vladek Sheybal - Kronsteen
Anthony Dawson - Ernest Stavro
Blofield (Body) (Uncredited)
Eric Pohlmann - Ernest Stavro
Blofield (Voice) (Uncredited)
Lois Maxwell - Miss Moneypenny
Desmond Llewelyn - Major Boothroyd
Eunice Gayson - Sylvia Trench
Francis de Wolff - Vavra
Aliza Gur - Vida
Martine Beswick - Zora
Fred Haggerty - Krilencu
Desmond Llewelyn - Major Boothroyd


Crew
Director - Terence Young
Based on Novel "From Russia
with Love" - Ian Fleming
Adaptation - Joanna Harwood
Screenplay - Richard Maibaum
Producers - Albert R. Broccoli
& Harry Saltzman
Art Director - Syd Cain
Director of Photography - Ted Moore
Stunt Work Arranger - Peter Perkins
Special Effects - John Stears
Film Editor - Peter R. Hunt
Titles Designer - Robert Brownjohn
Composer: James Bond Theme -
Monty Norman
Music - John Barry


Review
Genuine Bond film, but not the best. FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE manages to bring something that the first film didn't have which are the neat gadgets as well as the kind of the action that is part of the Bond cliche. The movie had great details like the late Robert Shaw's performance as the cunning blond-haired assassin Red Grant. Desmond Llewelyn's introduction as the gadget-master Q and a few impressive scenes.

I know that many people have considered FROM RUSSIA WITH LOVE to be the best instalment of the series. I think that GOLDFINGER (click here) is the one that really deserves it and I prefer this film over the second entry. That movie in my opinion is probably not bad at all but significantly great.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie


Friday, 5 October 2012

The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot Review (Updated)












The Magic Sword: Quest for Camelot


Release Date:
17th September 1998 - Australia


Production Companies
Warner Bros. Pictures
Warner Bros. Feature Animation


Genre: Animation/Family

Rating: G

Runtime: 86 minutes


Budget: $40,000,000

Box Office Gross: $38,172,500
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
A spirited teenage girl 
named Kayley answers 
the call to adventure when 
Ruber the evil knight steals 
King Arthur's legendary 
sword, Excalibur. Aided 
by Garrett, a handsome, 
blind squire, Kayley 
embarks on a thrilling 
quest to recover the 
sword and save her 
beloved kingdom. 
Along the way, these 
two unlikely heroes meet 
up with one outrageously 
funny creature - a wise-
craking, two-headed 
dragon named Devon 
and Cornwall. On their 
magical, musical journey, 
Kayley and Garrett discover 
the unlimited power of 
friendship and courage.


Voice Cast
Jessalyn Gilsig - Kayley
Andrea Corr - Kayley
(singing voice)
Sarah Freeman - Young Kayley
Cary Elwes - Garrett
Bryan White - Garrett (singing
voice)
Gary Oldman - Ruber
Eric Idle & Don Rickles -
Devon & Cornwall
Jane Seymour - Juliana
Celine Dion - Juliana (singing
voice)
Pierce Brosnan - King Arthur
Steve Perry - King Arthur
(singing voice)
Bronson Pinchot - The Griffin
Jaleel White - Bladebeak
Gabriel Byrne - Sir Lionel
John Gielgud - Merlin
Frank Welker - Ayden

Crew
Director - Frederik Du Chau
Based on Novel "The King's Damosel" -
Vera Chapman
Screenplay - Kirk De Micco, William Schifrin,
Jacqueline Feather & David Seidler
Producer - Dalisa Cohen
Production Designer - Steve Pilcher
Choreographer - Kenny Ortega
Head of Effects - Michel Gagne
Film Editor - Stanford C. Allen
Songs & Lyrics - David Foster &
Carole Bayer Sager
Music - Patrick Doyle


Awards

1999 Academy Awards
Best Music, Original Song "The Prayer" - Carol Bayer Sager,
David Foster, Tony Renis and Alberto Testa (Nominated)


Review
The animated feature THE MAGIC SWORD: QUEST FOR CAMELOT was okay, but it's obviously an attempt by Warner Bros to do non-Disney animated musicals aside from their Looney Tunes to compete with that studio. Because it has forgettable songs except a few, cultural references and sidekicks like that two-headed dragon Devon and Cornwall which is nothing more but a wasted comic relief. It's funny how you mention that Warner and Disney have been competing each other since the Golden Age of Animation. What makes this film worse are a few plot inconsistencies, but there are few things that were good like the blind character voiced by Cary Elwes and the falcon Ayden.

THE MAGIC SWORD was really pretentious and mediocre, but could have been a lot better if it has less songs, less comic relief and no references which would make this movie be different and more interesting.

Star rating: (3/5) Average



Tuesday, 2 October 2012

Atlantis the Lost Empire Review (Updated)











Atlantis the Lost Empire


Release Date: 20th September 2001 - Australia


Production Companies
Walt Disney Pictures
Walt Disney Feature Animation
Toon City

Distribution
Walt Disney Studios Motion
Pictures Australia


Genre: Animation/Family

Rating: PG

Runtime: 96 minutes


Budget: $120,000,000

Box Office Gross: $186,053,725
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
Driven to find the sunken 
mythical kingdom, a young 
adventurer named Milo 
discovers an ancient journal 
with clues to it’s hidden 
location. Along with a skilled 
yet quirky group of explorers 
led by the confident 
Commander Rourke, Milo 
boards the Ulysses, an 
amazing state-of-the-art 
submarine, for a risky 
expedition to the bottom 
of the sea. There, they 
discover a lost continent 
of supreme technology, 
mystical power and 
priceless riches. But when 
a surprise takeover plot 
surfaces, Milo must switch 
his mission from a Search 
and Explore to a Track 
and Rescue in a bid to 
save Altantis from 
devastation. 


Voice Cast
Michael J. Fox - Milo James
Thatch
Cree Summer - Kidagakash
"Kida" Nedakh
James Garner - Commander
Lyle Tiberius Rourke
Corey Burton - Gaetan "Mole"
Moliere
Claudia Christian - Lieutenant
Helga Katrina Sinclair
John Mahoney - Preston B.
Whitmore
Phil Morris - Doctor Joshua
Strongbear Sweet
Leonard Nimoy - Kashekim
Nedakh
Don Novello - Vincenzo
"Vinny" Santorini
Jacqueline Obradors - Audrey Rocio Ramirez
Florence Stanley - Wilhelmina Bertha Packard
David Ogden Stiers - Fenton P. Harcourt
Jim Varney - Jebidiah Allerdyce "Cookie"
Farnsworth

Crew
Story/Directors - Kirk Wise & Gary Trousdale
Story - Joss Whedon & Bryce & Jackie Zabel
Story/Screenplay - Tab Murphy
Additional Screenplay Material - David Reynolds
Producer - Don Hahn
Production Designers - Matt Cobb, Ricardo F.
Delgado, Jim Martin & Mike Mignola
Developer: Atlantean Language - Marc Okrand
Film Editor - Ellen Keneshea
Sound Designer/Re-Recording
Mixer/Supervisor - Gary Rydstrom
Music - James Newton Howard


Review
Partially an attempt by Disney that doesn't include any singing, ATLANTIS THE LOST EMPIRE is kind of like an adventure by Jules Verne mixed with a Indiana Jones feel, but has a lot of potential and excitement. It doesn't matter about the plot-holes, the picture has a lot of moments, Mike Mignola's involvement on the outstanding design, humour, great visuals, spectacular action, brilliant animation, incredible voice cast of Michael J. Fox, Don Novello, James Garner and the late Jim Varney and the magnificent music score by James Newton Howard. I hear on the internet that some people accuse ATLANTIS of ripping-off the movie of STARGATE (click here), but it has nothing to do with it and I also find that this movie and James Cameron's AVATAR (click here) are similar to each other.

Not quite as successful as it hoped to be, but I'm glad that ATLANTIS didn't kill off the 2D animation genre, not like TREASURE PLANET (click here). It was in fact, the second favourite Disney movie of mine that I enjoyed and it's a real treat for the animation fans.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever