Monday, 29 April 2013

Ernest Goes to Jail Review

Ernest Goes to Jail

Release Date: 6th April 1990 - USA

Production Companies
Touchstone Pictures (presents)
Emshell Producers

Walt Disney Studios Motion
Pictures Australia

Genre: Comedy

Rating: PG

Runtime: 81 minutes

Box Office Gross: $25,029,569

Plot Summary
Only a bumbling bank
janitor like know-it-all
knucklehead Ernest P.
Worrell could serve on
jury duty and wind up
serving time -- in the
slammer! The laughs
start when a crooked
lawyer discovers that
Ernest is a dead ringer
for his crime-boss client
... and before you can
say "Framed!" -- the
switch is on! While
Ernest is behind bars
trying to fit in and
break out, he manages
to turn the big house
into a nuthouse full of
big laughs. Meanwhile,
his evil double is busy
taking his place at the
bank and in his girlfriend's

Jim Varney - Ernest P. Worrell/
Derek Nash
Gailard Sartain - Chuck
Bill Byrge - Bobby
Barbara Tyson - Charlotte Sparrow
Barry Scott - Rubin Bartlett
Randall "Tex" Cobb - Lyle
Dan Leegant - Oscar Pendlesmythe
Charles Napier - Warden
Jim Conrad - Eddie
Emily Corbishdale - Betty McGee
Andy Stahl - Jerry
Myke R. Mueller - Vinnie

Director - John Cherry III
Writer - Charlie Cohen
Producer - Stacy Williams
Co-Producer - Coke Sams
Production Designer - Chris August
Costume Designer - Shawn Barry
Cinematography - Peter Stein
Visual Effects Supervisor - Tim McHugh
Film Editor - Sharyn L. Ross
Music - Bruce Arnston &
Kirby Shelstad

Of all the Ernest movies I had watched, ERNEST GOES TO JAIL is the only one in the series that I haven't seen and I have heard on YouTube that it was Jim Varney's best film that he had done. Now, let's mention about the details, first is that the plot is quite clever and comical, the slapstick humour is very appropriated in good use and I am surprised that Jim Varney has played a character besides Ernest is an evil impostor and I never seen the comedian could perform so serious or double. There's one thing I needed to say is that I liked the part where Ernest says an Elvis joke to himself after he sees of what happened to his room.

ERNEST GOES TO JAIL is undoubtedly funny, not pointless and I always thought that ERNEST GOES TO AFRICA was the greatest. It turns out it was much better and this might be the last fun movie of the Ernest trilogy.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever

Thursday, 25 April 2013

Star Kid Review (Updated)

Star Kid

Release Date: 16th January 1998 - USA

Production Companies
Trimark Pictures
Manny Coto Productions

Genre: Sci-Fi/Family

Rating: G

Runtime: 101 minutes

Budget: $12,000,000

Box Office Gross: $7,803,272

Plot Summary
Shy seventh-grader Spencer
Griffith's life changes when
a meteor falls into a local
junkyard and he finds a
Cybersuit - an exoskeleton
with AI from another galaxy.
Spencer puts on the
Cybersuit and becomes
a different kind of person.

Joseph Mazzello - Spencer
Arthur Burghardt - Cybersuit
Alex Daniels - Cybersuit
Richard Gilland - Roland Griffith
Joey Simmirin - Manfred "Turbo"
Brian Simpson - The Broodwarrior
Ashlee Levtich - Stacey Griffith
Lauren Eckstorm - Michelle

Writer/Director - Manny Coto
Producer - Jennie Lew Tugend
Co-Producers - Jonathon Komack Martin & Cami Winikoff 
Production Designer - C.J. Strawn
Costume Designer - Ileane Meltzer
Special Make-Up Effects - Thomas
R. Burman
Cinematography - Rohn Schmidt
Alien Creature Effects - Patrick M.
Creature Designer/Supervisor of
Velert and Tracker Characters -
Dan Rebert
Visual Effects Supervisor - Thomas C.
Film Editor - Bob Ducsay
Music - Nicholas Pike

Another one of those rare and lost childhood films that were profoundly forgotten by anybody who has seen it, STAR KID is for sure a brilliant concept. An interesting premise for a family film and stars child actor Joseph Mazzello. The plot wasn't as good as I was fairly expecting and the humour is only appealing to little and older children. For example, it seems that some of the story of STAR KID is taken from THE NEVER-ENDING STORY which both share the same terms of the young lead hero whose mom is dead, his dad is a workaholic and was picked on by bullies. Apparently it still has traces of originality left in the feature, Mazzello does a fine portrayal as Spencer and there are some obvious CGI effects that were featured in a few scenes.

As I give a response to the viewers that STAR KID wasn't exactly an exciting and imaginative all-ready movie, this is hardly forgettable and okay that only attracts some viewers who only watch B-movies for low-budget.

Star rating: (3/5) Average

Monday, 22 April 2013

GoldenEye Review


Release Date: 26th December 1995 - Australia

Production Companies
EON Productions (made by)
United Artists

Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 124 minutes

Budget: $58,000,000

Box Office Gross: $352,194,054

Plot Summary
When an M16 agent turns
rogue and plans world
domination with a
terrifying satellite-borne
weapon, Bond must pursue
his former ally to Cuba,
Monte Carlo, Switzerland
and even Russia, all the
while dodging a sexy,
deadly female fatale who
will stop at nothing to put
the "squeeze" on the intrepid

Pierce Brosnan - James Bond
Sean Bean - Alec Treyalan
Izabella Scorupco - Natayla
Judi Dench - M
Desmond Llewellyn - Q
Famke Janssen - Xenia Onatopp
Alan Cumming - Boris Grishenko
Joe Don Baker - Jack Wade
Robbie Coltrane - Valentin Zukovsky
Gottfried John - General Ourumov

Director - Martin Campbell
Story - Michael France
Screenplay - Jeffrey Caine &
Bruce Fierstein
Producers - Michael G. Wilson
& Barbara Broccoli
Production Designer - Peter
Director of Photography -
Phil Meheux
Stunt Coordinator - Simon Crane
Parachute Coordinator - B.J. Worth
Special Effects Supervisor -
Chris Corbould
Miniature Effects Supervisor -
Derek Meddings
Film Editor - Terry Rawlings
Title Designer: Main Titles - Daniel Kleinman
Composer: James Bond
Theme - Monty Norman
Music - Eric Serra
Singer: GoldenEye - Tina Turner
Lyrics: GoldenEye - Bono & The Edge

In 1995, after six years without a Bond film that for the first time, James Bond was re-introduced to its fans and the audience of seeing him again in the big screen, GOLDENEYE completely re-evaluates the status of the franchise into the modern era and Pierce Brosnan not only gives a fresh start of thoroughly portraying the secret agent hero, but gives charm and sportier face looks to the main character without changing him in neither a comedic or darker attitude. In a trade of fashion, the characterization of the supporting acting performances felt hugely splendorous like Sean Bean when playing the traitorous villain is actually promising, Famke Janessen who does the female henchman is highly sexy when deadly and last, we wouldn't forget about the feminine Judi Dench in her first role as M, she is at the chief of moodiness who doesn't give a respect

Two of the antique highlights that are paired in this film includes the opening sequence and the tank chase, the visuals are classy and non-computerized in CGI, Tina Turner performs an incredibly singing voice for the theme song that catches up to Shirley Bassey's old tunes and Martin Campbell's direction defines the story into a single combination of the emotion and thrills. 

GOLDENEYE is the only Bond feature that include Brosnan in the lead that is shaken but not stirred and in a capacity, it does show the audience how explosive and tight action that exploiting people into becoming the Bond fans of the 90s. 

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever

Monday, 15 April 2013

The Phantom Review

The Phantom

Release Date: 26th September 1996 - Australia

Production Companies
Paramount Pictures
Village Roadshow Pictures
The Ladd Company

Paramount Pictures Australia

Genre: Action/Adventure

Rating: PG

Runtime: 96 minutes

Budget: $45,000,000

Box Office Gross: $45,521,469

Plot Summary
The story begins as an
lands on the island of
Bengalla, seeking the
legendary skulls of
Touganda. Believed to
harness an energy force
of incalculable power,
the skulls could spell
disaster for mankind.
And that's exactly what
ruthless tycoon Xander
Drax has in mind...
unless one man can save

Billy Zane - Kit Walker/The
Treat Williams - Xander Drax
Kristy Swanson - Diana Palmer
Catherine Zeta-Jones - Sala
James Remar - Quill
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa - The
Great Kabai Sengh
Patrick McGoohan - Phantom's
Bill Smitrovich - Dave Palmer
Casey Siemaszko - Morgan
David Proval - Charlie Zephro
Joseph Ragno - Ray Zephro
Samantha Eggar - Lily Palmer
Robert Coleby - Capt. Phillip Horton
Al Ruscio - Police Commissioner Farley
Leon Rossum - Mayor Krebs
Bernard Kates - Falkmore the Butler
John Capodice - Al the Cabby

Director - Simon Wincer
Based on Characters - Lee Falk
Writer/Co-Producer - Jeffrey
Executive Producers - Graham Burke,
Greg Coote, Joe Dante, Bruce Sherlock,
Peter Sjoquist & Richard Vane
Producers - Robert Evans &
Alan Ladd, Jr.
Production Designer - Paul Peters
Costume Designer - Marlene Stewart
Director of Photography - David Burr
Stunt Coordinator/Stunts - William H. Burton Jr.
Sword Master - Bob Anderson
Visual Effects Supervisor: Buena Vista Visual Effects -
Wally Schaab
Film Editors - O. Nicholas Brown &
Bryan H. Carroll
Music - David Newman

The original greatest superhero was made before Batman and appears only in newspaper comic strips, the film adaptation of THE PHANTOM is respectful enough to follow the spirit of Lee Falk's creation and shows its loyalty. A few big missteps did to have the 1996 movie being prevented from making it into my top favourite superhero features. I hate to be harsh on this movie but let's talk of the complaints. For the primary example, the opening was too short and feels like an intro to an action television serial and cartoon, the story is getting too simpler and there's not much romantic elements basically for the whole film.

Few of the film's flaws did hurt a little and on the brightness, the action scenes are remarkably done well and the cast are excessively good and chosen like Kristy Swanson, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Patrick McGoohan and James Remar but two actors that stand-out in their roles include Treat Williams who plays Xander as a campy, yet threatening enemy to the Phantom and Billy Zane does a good, over-the-top performance as the title character and there's an interesting fact why director James Cameron chose him in TITANIC (click here) because he loved his acting.

It isn't the picture that was said to be thrilling as I thought of it when watching a long time ago on VHS and I know some people didn't like the film when comparing it to the more-worthy and acclaimed Indiana Jones series. THE PHANTOM is an old-fashioned and understated movie that is both overtaking and fun enough to be watched by anyone who has the knowledge and experience of the old comics and it could be the only tribute of the first classic crusader.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie

Thursday, 11 April 2013

In Memory of Roger Ebert (1942-2013)

Roger Ebert (1942-2013)

Moviegoers and fellow critics,
it is a sad day that has come
to this that eight weeks ago, the
legendary Roger Ebert who is
one of the two men that were
responsible for making the
Thumbs Up/Thumbs Down
phrase, the first to win the Pulitzer Prize for Criticism, an honorary award that is only given to newspaper writers and critic for the Chicago Sun-Times for print and online whose life is now ended at the age of 70 at April 4th 2013.

His career as a film critic began about in 1967 when he started to write for Chicago Sun-Times and then in 1975 for his reviewing talent he was first film critic to ever receive an award of Pulitzer Prize Award. During that same year, he begins to host a TV show called Sneak Previews with Gene Siskel as the co-reviewer/co-host of this program and many years the pair of them became partners and as the years went on the two began to have two 'At the Movies' shows on two different networks and made appearances including doing guest star voices on an episode of an animated prime-time show 'The Critic'.

When Siskel unexpectedly passed away in 1999, the name of the show was changed by the producers as 'Roger Ebert & The Movies' and substitute co-hosts were used then until next year when columnist of the same newspaper organization that Ebert worked for, Richard Roeper was assigned to be his permanent co-host and the show was upgraded with a new title 'At the Movies with Ebert & Roeper' and they continue to criticize or review features until 2008. Unfortunately, Roger Ebert's health issues begun to took away his physical health and in 2006, a surgery that removed his jaw costs his ability of speech but doesn't affected his reviewing and returns to Chicago Sun-Times in 2007 where he continued to do the rest of life and then on Twitter where he becomes a huge presence.

The revelation of his success of reviewing comes from his love or extensive knowledge of them and the reason he both had and his serious view to features makes him not just an ultimate movie lover but an intelligent critic and for his work, fans would genuinely express their love of him for that. I confess that Roger Ebert was not my inspiration but the fictional character of The Critic, Jay Sherman was the one that got me into that. Here are few previous clips that contain Ebert and the movies he did with Siskel and Roeper at his side and I concur that two might be positive are 'Return of the Jedi' and 'The Lion King' and the other is negative.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Monty Python and the Holy Grail Review

Monty Python and the Holy Grail

Release Date: 14th August 1974 – Australia

Production Companies
Michael White Productions
National Film Trustee Company
Python (Monty) Pictures
Twickenham Film Studios (Technical Completion)

Sony Pictures Australia

Genre: Comedy

Rating: M

Runtime: 91 minutes

Budget: £229,575

Box Office Gross: $127,878,662

Plot Summary
King Arthur and his knights 
embark on a low-budget 
search for the Grail, 
encountering many very
silly obstacles.

Graham Chapman – King 
John Cleese – Sir Lancelot/
Terry Gilliam – Patsy/Various
Eric Idle – Sir Robin/Various
Terry Jones – Sir Bedevere/
Michael Palin – Sir Galahad/
Neil Innes – Sir Robin's 
Minstrel/Various Artists
Connie Booth – The Witch
Carol Cleveland – Zoot/Dinbo

(Uncredited) – Terry Gilliam
Writer/Director – Terry Jones
Writers – Graham Chapman, 
John Cleese, Eric Idle & 
Michael Palin
Producers – Mark Forstater & 
Michael White
Lighting Cameraman – Terry Bedford
Special Effects  John Horton
Film Editor – John Hackney
Music/Songs  Neil Innes

Many years ago when I didn't have any knowledge of the show MONTY PYTHON AND THE FLYING CIRCUS, I began watching THE HOLY GRAIL shortly before the film was re-released on DVD and used to find it rather disappointing because of the finale. As I grew older, my opinion of the film had changed and I found that the ending was funny, I just re-watched it and thought that it was a simply natural and best pure comedy of the group's films. The main cast like Python favourites Graham Chapman, John Cleese, Eric Idle and Terry Jones are still excellent and plenty of bits and moments that are amusing such as the Knights of the Round Table musical number and my favourite that you don't want to let your kids watch is the vicious and gory Killer Rabbit scene. 

MONTY PYTHON AND THE HOLY GRAIL is perhaps a movie with hilarity that is so well-loved as a classic and cheerful in cheer but trust me, it’s superb and best for the Python fan-base and you might even like watching this old flick.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever

Sunday, 7 April 2013

In Memory of Richard Griffiths (1948-2013)

Richard Griffiths (1948-2013)

Last month, English actor
Richard Griffiths, who is known
for portraying Harry's terrible
uncle Vernon Dursley in the
'Harry Potter' film series has
passed away at the age of 65
in March 28th 2013 after
experiencing problems with
heart surgery.

Beginning about in the 70s, Richard earned a top spot at BBC Radio then working in small theatres, some acting roles and some managing. His early reputation had started out as Shakespearean comic reliefs in plays like 'The Comedy of Error's and 'The Merry Wives of Windsor' from the Royal Shakespeare company and went on to play the King in Henry VIII. He moves to Manchester eventually and began to do lead roles in play productions. He entered to appear in television and got his debut in film in 'It Should Happen to a Vet' and then during the early 80s, he stars in a television serial show from the BBC called 'Bird of Prey' and again in 1984 in its sequel. Landing in supporting roles that Richard does appear throughout his movie career are 'The French Lieutenant's Woman', 'Chariots of Fire', 'Gandhi', 'Gorky Park', 'Withnail and I', 'King Ralph' and a whole slew, in 2001 he takes the part of Vernon on the 'Harry Potter' features appearing all five of them. His Potter co-star Daniel Radcliffe, they were featured in the stage revival of Equus and later in 2009, he takes over the part of W.H. Auden which is originally meant for Michael Gambon in The Habit of Art before it premiered at the National Theatre. Griffiths also has played in adaptations in The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, especially playing the Vogon Jeltz in 2005 version of 'The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy'. In 2006, he was awarded at Teesside University for an honorary degree and in the 2008 New Year Honours where he was first appointed an Officer of the Order of the British Empire (OBE).

Tuesday, 2 April 2013

A Good Day to Die Hard Review (April Fools 2013) (Updated)

A Good Day to Die Hard

Release Date: 21st March 2013 - Australia

Production Companies
20th Century Fox
TSG Entertainment (in association with)
Giant Pictures
Dune Entertainment (made in
association with)
Ingenious Media (produced in
association with)

20th Century Fox Australia

Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 98 minutes

Budget: $92,000,000

Box Office Gross: $304,654,182

Plot Summary
John McClane travels to
Russia to help out his
seemingly wayward son,
Jack, only to discover
that Jack is a CIA
operative working to
prevent a nuclear-
weapons heist.

Bruce Willis - John McClane
Jai Courtney - Jack McClane
Sebastian Koch - Yuri
Mary Elizabeth Winstead -
Lucy McClane
Yuliya Singer - Irina
Radivoje Bukvic - Alik
Cole Hauser - Mike Collins

Director - John Moore
Based on Characters -
Roderick Thorp
Writer - Skip Thorn
Producers - Wyck Godfrey
& Alex Young
Director of Photography -
Jonathan Sela
Stunt Coordinator - Steve M. Davison
Visual Effects Supervisors -
Everett Burrell, Randy Goux &
Viktor Miller
Film Editor - Dan Zimmerman
Music - Marco Beltrami

Remember on my E.T. review that I was planning to do a new review post of THE RETURN OF THE KING but tricked you all, April Fools! And I know that it's pretty funnier than the last joke about Jon Faverau directing a new THUNDERBIRDS film. This day, it isn't a review for the best LORD OF THE RINGS film, it's instead about the fifth recent Die Hard instalment. I know confused is entirely the word and I get that so many times in my daily life I've had, they're not as confusing as the plotting of A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD and this was the reason why critics became disinterested with this action film cause there are too many plot twists such as the revelation of the real villain in the story, it's so pointless. The gun-shooting and explosions are very spectacular and still stellar to fit this sequel and the father-son teaming up does seem to be good but not in this conclusion.

Overall, this sequel is a real average blockbuster and I was very in-anxious about A GOOD DAY TO DIE HARD of not watching it and I ended up seeing the entire film. I just wish this feature would be better with only one single reveal of the main nemesis.

Star rating: (3/5) Average

Monday, 1 April 2013

E.T. the Extra Terrestrial Review (Updated)

E.T. the Extra Terrestrial

Release Date: 26th November 1982 - Australia

Production Companies
Universal Pictures
Amblin Entertainment (Uncredited)

Universal Pictures Australia

Genre: Sci-Fi/Family

Rating: PG

Runtime: 115 minutes

Budget: $10,500,000

Box Office Gross: $792,910,554

Plot Summary
A meek and alienated little
boy finds a stranded
extra-terrestrial. He has
to find the courage to
defy the authorities to
help the alien returns to
its home planet.

Henry Thomas - Elliott
Robert MacNaughton - Michael
Drew Barrymore - Gertie
Dee Wallace-Stone - Mary
Peter Coyote - Keys
Pat Welsh - E.T. (Voice) (Uncredited)
K.C. Martel - Greg
Sean Frye - Steve
C. Thomas Howell - Tyler

Producer/Director - Steven Spielberg
Writer/Associate Producer - Melissa Mathison
Producer - Kathleen Kennedy
Space Ship Design: ILM -
Ralph McQuarrie
Production Designer - James D. Bissell
Director of Photography - Allen Daviau
Creator: E.T. - Carlo Rambaldi
Visual Effects Supervisor - Dennis Muren
Film Editor - Carol Littleton
Voice Designer: E.T. - Ben Burtt
Music - John Williams


1983 Academy Awards
Best Sound Effects - Robert Knudson,
Robert Glass, Don Digirolamo &
Gene S. Cantamessa (Won)
Best Visual Effects - Carlo Rambaldi,
Dennis Muren & Kenneth Smith (Won)
Best Sound Editing - Charles L. Campbell
& Ben Burtt (Won)
Best Original Score - John Williams (Won)
Best Picture - Steven Spielberg &
Kathleen Kennedy (Nominated)
Best Director - Steven Spielberg (Nominated)
Best Cinematography - Allen Daviau (Nominated)
Best Film Editing - Carol Littleton (Nominated)

G'day, this is your favourite movie guy Film Guru Lad, here's a special review of a special movie that I just reviewed. It's directed by Steven Spielberg and it happened to be the most cherished of all his features aside from JAWS (click here) and RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARK (click here) which I actually both love. I think that kids movies are too cute, tolerable and overrated and in my opinion, I find them very enjoyable for just families, but for E.T. THE EXTRA TERRESTRIAL, I feel this is suitable for all ages and I pretty much finding it to be an overwhelming classic.

The cast was very good in their roles including young Henry Thomas and Drew Barrymore whom the pair had started their careers as stars and the orchestral music score by John Williams that sounds very powerful and mighty which rivals Beethoven as the greatest composer to have ever lived. Previously, I said about WALL-E (click here) was better than E.T., well, I do find the 1982 classic to be the second best family sci-fi picture and many other people that have tried to imitate it like MAC & ME which I have never seen, didn't seem to work or appeal for the audiences and it's just a movie that can't be criticised.

If you enjoyed this film, I would strongly recommend that you find another sci-fi movie SUPER 8 (click here) that shares the same qualities as E.T. and is appealing to you. Next up tomorrow, I will be reviewing the final and third Lord of the Rings feature of the main trilogy THE RETURN OF THE KING.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever