Monday, 25 March 2013

Dragonheart Review


Release Date: 12th December 1996 - Australia

Production Companies
Universal Pictures (presents)

Universal Pictures Australia

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: M

Runtime: 103 minutes

Budget: $57,000,000

Box Office Gross: $115,267,375

Plot Summary
The last dragon and a 
disillusioned dragon-slaying 
knight must cooperate to 
stop an evil king who was 
given partial immortality.

Dennis Quaid - Bowen
Sean Connery - Draco (Voice)
David Thewlis - King Einon
Lee Oakes - Young Einon
Pete Postlethwaite - Gilbert of
Jason Isaacs - Lord Felton
Julie Christie - Queen Aislinn
Dina Meyer - Kara
Peter Hric - King Freyne
Brian Thompson - Brok
Terry O'Neill - Redbeard
John Gielgud - King Arthur (Voice) (Uncredited)

Director - Rob Cohen
Story/Executive Producer -
Patrick Read Johnson
Story/Screenplay - Charles
Edward Progue
Producer - Raffaella De Laurentiis
Production Designer - Benjamin
Director of Photography - David Eggby
Dragon Supervisor: ILM - Phil Tippett
Special Effects Supervisor - Kit West
Visual Effects Supervisor - Scott Squires
Character Animation Supervisor -
James Straus
Film Editor - Peter Amundson
Music - Randy Edelman


1997 Academy Awards
Best Visual Effects - Scott Squires, Phil Tippett,
James Straus and Kit West (Nominated)

As a teenager when I used to think that DRAGONHEART was overrated since I thought that the start of it was going to focus on David Thewlis's character as the hero of the story instead of Dennis Quaid. David's character turn out to be a bloodthirsty villainous king, now I realise that it was such a great fantasy movie of its time from director Rob Cohen. Fitted together is the solid acting of Quaid and Thewlis, the appropriated comical slapstick, the well-known music by Randy Edelman and most importantly the dragon character Draco which is brought to life by the use of CGI and the voice by Sean Connery.

DRAGONHEART was surprisingly entertaining but somewhat a lively and pleasant flick that keeps it to the heart and takes viewers on an unforgettable journey.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie

Monday, 18 March 2013

200th Review!! Oz the Great and Powerful

Oz the Great and Powerful

Release Date: 7th March 2013 - Australia

Production Companies
Walt Disney Pictures
Roth Films

Walt Disney Studios Motion
Pictures Australia

Genre: Fantasy

Rating: PG

Runtime: 130 minutes

Budget: $215,000,000

Box Office Gross: $493,311,825

Plot Summary
A small-time circus magician
with dubious ethics is hurled
to an enchanting land, where
he encounters three witches,
as well as the opportunity
to transform himself into a
great wizard - and an even
greater man.

James Franco - Oscar "Oz"
Mila Kunis - Theodara
Rachel Weisz - Evanora
Michelle Williams - Glinda/
Zach Braff - Finley (Voice)/Frank
Joey King - China Girl (Voice)
Bill Cobbs - Master Tinker
Tony Cox - Knuck

Director - Sam Raimi
Based on The OZ Series -
L. Frank Baum
Screen Story/Screenplay -
Mitchell Kapner
Screenplay - David Lindsay-
Producer - Joe Roth
Production Designer - Robert Stromberg
Costume Designer - Gary Jones
Cinematography - Peter Deming
Visual Effects Supervisors -
Pavan Kumar Potluri &
Scott Stokdyk
Film Editor - Bob Murawski
Music - Danny Elfman

Some week ago, I thought about doing a review for the 1939 classic of THE WIZARD OF OZ that I grew up with an ageless classic effectively enthralling every generation of a critic or a filmgoer, but I didn't have time and instead watched the prequel called OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL. While it isn't marvellous as the old film because there were no songs included, it still has unique fantasy and scenery. Few of the scenes of the prequel are ghastly frighting, one thing I need to mention are the visuals that were extraordinary, the acting performance by James Franco whose character The Wizard that he's portraying is somewhat different than the one played by Frank Morgan and the direction Sam Raimi whose directional skills are very good indeed. The film's usage of 3D is handled very well and often when you see yourself in an imaginative land like OZ, you feel as though you have been immersed into to this magical, exotic land.

OZ THE GREAT AND POWERFUL is much better than I had expected, it's entirely a great prequel and the OZ fans should go and feel free to watch it and you too if you have the brain, the heart or the courage to know what is good for you.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie

Monday, 11 March 2013

Aladdin Review


Release Date: 3rd June 1993 - Australia

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

Walt Disney Studios Motion
Pictures Australia

Genre: Animation/Family

Rating: G

Runtime: 90 minutes

Budget: $28,000,000

Box Office Gross: $504,050,219

Plot Summary
Aladdin is a street-urchin
who lives in a large and busy
town long ago with his faithful
monkey friend Abu. When
Princess Jasmine gets tired
of being forced to remain
in the palace that overlooks
the city, she sneaks out to
the marketplace, where she
accidentally meets Aladdin.

Under the orders of the evil
Jafar (the Sultan's adviser),
Aladdin is thrown in jail and
becomes caught up in Jafar's
plot to rule the land with the
aid of a mysterious lamp.
Legend has it that only a
person who is a diamond
in the rough can retrieve the
lamp from the Cave of
Wonders. Aladdin might
fit that description, but
that's not enough to marry
the princess, who must (by
law) marry a prince.

Voice Cast
Scott Weinger - Aladdin
Jonathan Freeman - Jafar
Robin Williams - The Genie/
Linda Larkin - Princess Jasmine
Frank Welker - Abu/The
Cave of Wonders/Rajah
Gilbert Gottfried - Iago
Douglas Seale - The Sultan
Jim Cummings - Razoul
Brad Kane - Aladdin (singing
Lea Salonga - Princess
Jasmine (singing voice)

Directors - John Musker & Ron Clements
Story/Visual Development - Francis Glebas
Story - Burny Mattinson, Roger Allers, Daan Jippes,
Kevin Harkey, Sue C. Nichols, Darrell Rooney,
Larry Leker, James Fuiji, Kirk Hanson, Kevin
Lima, Rebecca Rees, David S. Smith, Chris Sanders,
Brian Pimental & Patrick A. Ventura
Story Supervisor - Ed Gombert
Production Designer - Richard Vander Wende
Character Designer/Supervising Animator: Genie -
Eric Goldberg
Film Editor - H. Lee Peterson
Original Score/Songs - Alan Menken
Lyrics/Pre-Production Development - Howard Ashman
Lyrics - Tim Rice


1993 Academy Awards
Best Music, Original Song "A Whole New World" -
Alan Menken & Tim Rice (Won)
Best Music, Original Score - Alan Menken (Won)
Best Sound - Terry Porter, Mel Metcafe,
David J. Hudson & Doc Kane (Nominated)
Best Sound Editing - Mark A. Mangini (Nominated)
Best Music, Original Song "Friend Like Me" -
Alan Menken & Howard Ashman (posthumously)

ALADDIN is a kind of Disney animated classic that takes on a magic carpet ride, it also relies on three goodies, romance, action and the main thing of the movie that emphasises on is pure comedy. I remember previously watching it when I was very little and then again, I was 12, now in last year, I do notice some flaws in this old childhood feature like the opening, but it's better off in-discussed. I enjoyed everything in the movie such as Robin Williams’s manically vocal performance as the Genie which makes me laugh, the way his character acts and does celebrity impersonations like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jack Nicholson, Groucho Marx, Peter Lorre and Rodney Dangerfield which he improvises mostly, exquisite characterizations and the fantastic songs by Alan Menken such as the best, the enchanting and romantic tune “A Whole New World”. 

How wondrous is that ALADDIN happened to be the first animated film to use cultural references which is why the writers got the idea to turn the first SHREK into an entertaining feature and it happened to be a harmless piece of entertainment, not a stereotyped and offensive flick that the Arabs thought of it. Ether way, it's still got a lot of excitement and Disney magic.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Delgo Review


Release Date: 12th December 2008 - USA

Production Companies
Fathom Studios (presents)
Electric Eye Entertainment 

20th Century Fox Australia 

Genre: Animation/Family

Rating: PG

Runtime: 90 minutes

Budget: $40,000,000 

Box Office Gross: $915,840 (USA)

Plot Summary
When a forgotten enemy 
returns, the fate of the world 
lies with a spirited princess 
and an unlikely hero who both
enter a forbidden romance
and must a stop a war of
two of their opposing races.

Voice Cast
Freddie Prinze Jr. - Delgo
Jennifer Love Hewitt - Princess 
Chris Kattan - Filo
Val Kilmer - General Bogardus 
Anne Bancroft - Sedessa
Lou Gossett Jr. - King Zahn
Malcolm McDowell - General 
Michael Clarke Duncan - Elder 
Sally Kellerman - Narrator
Burt Reynolds - Delgo's Father 
Mary Mouser - Baby Delgo

Story/Executive Producer/Producer/Editor/Director - Marc F. Adler
Story/Screenplay/Editor - 
Jason Maurer
Story/Screenplay - Scott Biear
Screenplay - Patrick J. Kowan and Carl Dream
Producer - Jennifer Jones-Mitchell
Art Director - A.W. Jackson
Cinematography - Herb Kossover
Animation Director - Warren Grubb
Visual Effects Supervisor - Floyd Casey
Sound Design - Tom Ozanich
Music - Geoff Zanelli

After reviewing RED DOG (click here) for Australia Day, I decided to begin work on the review of DELGO and watch it for the second time. It happened to be the second lowest grossing CGI film of all time and has a lot of potential of becoming a great independent animated picture, namely because of the fantasy and action and let's face it, DELGO didn't have the charm that people would want. The CGI animation is okay and most of the comedy is lame, particularly Flio who is ten times more annoying than Star Wars own Jar Jar Binks and by god, he is so irritating and even Chris Kattan's voice performance makes it even worse. Next there is the bright side, the backgrounds and designs of the creatures are incredible, the action is quite superb and some of the vocal talent like Michael Clarke Duncan, Malcolm McDowell and the late Anne Bancroft are good, but it won't save DELGO this time.

It's no fault that the animated fantasy epic had bombed at the box office and failed all of the attention of the audiences not because of Flio and the cliched plot, it was the result of lacking promotion or marketing and even a big time distributor. DELGO is an overlooked feature that is average, deserves to be forgotten and sometimes be called as weird and strange. If you want to see a similar movie that has an interracial romance and floating islands, pick AVATAR (click here) instead which came out in the next year.

Star rating: (3/5) Average

Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Winners of the 85th Academy Awards (Updated)

Sorry, blog viewers, I absolutely forgot
to write down that Christopher Waltz
was in the nominees section for Best
Supporting Actor because I didn't
notice him in this category, I guess
some of you did miss watching the
Academy Awards. Here are the
winners that received the Oscars for
this 85th ceremony and you'll might
find that there is a tie in one of the
award categories.

Best Visual Effects

Life of Pi - Bill Westenhofer, Guillaume Rocheron,
Erik-Jan De Boer and R. Christopher White

Best Film Editing

Argo - William Goldenberg

Best Costume Design

Anna Karenina - Jacqueline Durran

Best Make-up and Hairstyling

Les Miserables - Lisa Westcott and
Julie Dartnell

Best Cinematography

Life of Pi - Claudio Miranda

Best Production Design

Lincoln - Rick Carter and Jim Erickson

Best Sound Mixing

Les Miserables - Andy Nelson, Mark Peterson
and Simon Hayes

Best Sound Editing (tie)

Skyfall - Per Hallberg and Karen Baker
Zero Dark Thirty - Paul N. J. Ottosson

Best Original Song

"Skyfall" from Skyfall - Adele Adkins
and Paul Epworth

Best Original Score

Life of Pi - Mychael Danna

Best Animated Short Film

Paperman - John Kahrs

Best Live Action Short Film

Curfew - Shawn Christensen

Best Documentary Short

Inocente - Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fane

Best Documentary Feature

Searching for Sugar Man - Simon Chinn and John

Best Foreign Language Film

Amour (Austria)

Best Animated Film

Brave - Mark Andrews and Brenda Chapman

Best Writing - Adapted Screenplay

Argo - Chris Terrio

Best Writing - Original Screenplay

Django Unchained - Quentin Tarantino

Best Supporting Actress

Anne Hathaway - Les Miserables

Best Supporting Actor

Christopher Waltz - Django Unchained

Best Actress

Jennifer Lawrence - Silver Linings Playbook

Best Actor 

Daniel Day-Lewis - Lincoln

Best Director

Ang Lee - Life of Pi

Best Picture

Argo - Grant Heslov, Ben Affleck and
George Clooney

Academy Honorary Award

D.A. Pennebaker

Hal Needham
George Stevens Jr.

I was little surprised that the PIXAR animated feature BRAVE (click here) took home the prize, I was completely outraged for this to happen. It should have been the other movies like Tim Burton's FRANKENWEENIE (click here) just as I once believed that HUGO (click here) was going to win for Best Picture in last year's awards ceremony but why would somebody pick BRAVE as the ultimate contender, it's not acceptable and it is a very inbodacious choice. If some of you people are unhappy about it, just tell me about the 85th Academy Awards.

Monday, 4 March 2013

Beverly Hills Ninja Review (Updated)

Beverly Hills Ninja 

Release Date: 10th April 1997 - Australia

Production Companies
Beverly Hills Ninja Productions
Motion Picture Corporation of
America (MPCA)

Sony Pictures Australia

Genre: Comedy

Rating: M

Runtime: 88 minutes

Budget: $18,000,000

Box Office Gross: $37,639,029

Plot Summary
Thirty years ago, an American
boy washed up on the shores 
of Japan and was taken in by 
a clan of ninja masters. They 
raised him as their own, 
believing him to be the child 
of the prophecy who would 
become the greatest martial 
arts master the world had 
ever seen. THEY WERE 

Chris Farley - Haru
Nicollette Sheridan - Alison
Page/Sally Jones
Nathaniel Parker - Martin Tanley 
Keith Cooke Hirabayashi - Nobu
Soon-Tek Oh - Sensei
Chris Rock - Joey Washington
Robin Shou - Gobei
Will Sasso - Chet Walters

Director - Dennis Dugan
Writer - Mark Feldberg 
Writer/Co-Producer - Mitchell Klebanoff
Producers - Bradley Jenkel,
Brad Krevoy, Tony Shimkin
& Steven Stabler
Co-Producer - Marc S. Fischer
Production Designer - Ninkey Dalton
Costume Designer - Mary Claire Hannan
Martial Arts Trainer - Master Jian-Hua Guo
Cinematography - Arthur Albert  
Film Editor - Jeff Gourson
Music - George S. Clinton

Good but silly, the movie BEVERLY HILLS NINJA has tons of action as well as comedic laughs that is provided by the late Chris Farley who plays the main character of a klutz who needs to be more careful at stuff. I'm surprised that this was one of the earliest roles by Chris Rock and I might find that some of the music sounded like the film adaptation of MORTAL KOMBAT. What a tragedy, this was Farley's last film that he made while he was still alive and it's a shame that the late comedian Chris had hated this movie because he wasn't pleased about the finished project.

I think BEVERLY HILLS NINJA had hilarity on its side, yet it's a still basic original film that needs to be watched.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie

Friday, 1 March 2013

Aliens Review (Updated)


Release Date: 6th November 1986 - Australia

Production Companies
20th Century Fox
Brandywine Productions

20th Century Fox Australia

Genre: Sci-Fi

Rating: M

Runtime: 132 minutes
               154 minutes
               (special edition)

Budget: $18,000,000

Box Office Gross: $131,060,248

Plot Summary
The only survivor of the
Nostromo's deadly encounter
with the alien, Ripley's
escape pod floats in space
for 57 years. After being
rescued, Ripley is stunned
when her story is met with
disbelief. Then all
communication is lost with
the colonists who've settled
on the alien planet. When
the Company asks Ripley to
accompany a team of high-
tech colonial Marines back
to LV-426, she refuses. But
she ultimately realizes that
the only way to banish her
fear is to confront it head on.

Sigourney Weaver - Ellen Ripley
Michael Biehn - Cpl. Dwayne
Carrie Henn - Rebecca 'Newt'
Paul Reiser - Carter Burke
Lance Henriksen - Bishop
Jenette Goldstein - Private
Jenette Vasquez
William Hope - Lt. William Gorman
Al Matthews - Sgt. Al Apone
Bill Paxton - Private William

Story/Screenplay/Queen Alien
Designer (Uncredited)/Director -
James Cameron
Based on Characters - Dan
O'Bannon & Ronald Shusett
Story/Executive Producers -
David Giler & Walter Hill
Producer - Gale Anne Hurd
Production Designer - Peter Lamont
Conceptual Designer - Ron Cobb
Conceptual Artist - Syd Mead
Original Alien Designer - H.R. Giger
Director of Photography - Adrian Biddle
Alien Effects Creator/Second Unit Director -
Stan Winston
Special Effects Supervisor - John Richardson
Visual Effects Supervisors - Dennis
& Robert Skotak
Film Editor - Ray Lovejoy
Music - James Horner


1987 Academy Awards
Best Sound Editing - Don Sharpe (Won)
Best Visual Effects - John Richardson,
Dennis Skotak, Stan Winston &
Suzanne M. Benson (Won)
Best Actress - Sigourney Weaver (Nominated)
Best Art Direction-Set Decoration - Peter Lamont
& Crispian Sallis (Nominated)
Best Sound Effects - Graham V. Hartstone,
Nicolas Le Messuirer, Michael A. Carter
& Roy Charman (Nominated)
Best Film Editing - Ray Lovejoy (Nominated)
Best Original Score - James Horner (Nominated)

It's hard to think that ALIENS might be the best sequel to Ridley Scott's ALIEN (click here), it's very completely different and matches up to the predecessor, mostly because of the direction by James Cameron. He added the action violence and then took a few inspirations out of STARSHIP TROOPERS which is only the book. It still has the intensity and the scariness on the inside that is part of the series formula and I subscribe to the details that were in ALIENS like Sigourney Weaver's continuation of her acting as Ripley, great moments including where Ripley is fighting against the Alien Queen, substantial performances by Lance Henriksen, Michael Biehn and Bill Paxton.

Personally, I feel ALIENS is a great James Cameron classic that has the loyal appreciation of the fans and it's a speciality.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie