Monday, 26 August 2013

Now You See Me Review (Updated)

Now You See Me

Release Date: 8th August 2013 - Australia

Production Companies
Summit Entertainment (presents)
K/O Paper Products
See Me Louisiana

Hopscotch Films

Genre: Thriller

Rating: M

Runtime: 116 minutes

Budget: $75,000,000 

Box Office Gross: $351,723,989 

Plot Summary
An FBI agent and an 
Interpol detective track 
a team of illusionists who
pull off bank heists during
their performances and
reward their audiences
with the money. NOW 
YOU SEE ME pits an
elite FBI squad in a game 
of cat and mouse against
the Four Horsemen, a super-
team of the world's greatest 

The Four Horsemen pull 
off a series of daring heists
against corrupt business
leaders during their
performances, showering
the stolen profits on their
audience while staying
one step ahead of the law.

Jesse Eisenberg - J. Daniel 
Mark Ruffalo - Dylan Rhodes
Woody Harrelson - Merritt 
Isla Fisher - Henley Reeves
Dave Franco - Jack Wilder
Morgan Freeman - Thaddeus 
Michael Caine - Arthur Tressler
Mélanie Laurent - Alma Dray
Michael Kelly - Agent Fuller
Common - Agent Evans
David Warshofsky - Cowan
José Garcia - Etienne Forcier
Jessica Lindsey - Hermia
Caitriona Balfe - Jasmine Tressler
Stephanie Honore - Atlas Groupie
Conan O'Brien - Himself 
Diego Mero - Dylan (12 Years Old)
Elias Koteas - Lionel Shrike (Uncredited)

Director - Louis Leterier
Story/Screenplay/Executive Producer - Boaz Yakin
Story/Screenplay - Edward Ricourt
Screenplay - Ed Solomon
Executive Producer - Michael Schaefer
Executive Producer/Unit Production Manager - 
Stan Wlodkowski
Producers - Bobby Cohen, 
Alex Kurtzman and Roberto Orci
Head Magic Consultant - David Kwong
Production Designer - Peter Wenham
Costume Designer - Jenny Egan
Directors of Photography - Mitchell Amundsen
and Larry Fong
Visual Effects Supervisor: ILM - Craig Hammack
Senior Visual Effects Supervisor - Nicholas Brooks
Film Editors - Robert Leighton and
Vincent Tabaillon 
Music - Brian Tyler

This film was an astonishing surprise and I wasn't expecting it to be a decent film at the start, until it actually began to dazzle me with its twists and turns. NOW YOU SEE ME is a detailed portrayal of a heist plot mixed with a hybrid of magicians and trickery, doing a Robin Hood robbery. The movie is cleverly imposed like the broad and ambitious visions revealed in INCEPTION (click here). The characters conduct themselves deviously and include a suave style which compliments the stylised nature of their personalities. The director Louis Leterrier is really successful at creating mystery, suspense, fun and magic in a complex and twisted storyline that compels viewers from the beginning to the end. The film isn't as flawed as critics and other people say to complain about its twist ending.

Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, Isla Fisher, Dave Franco, Michael Caine, Mark Ruffalo and Morgan Freeman were all professionally committed to their roles and demonstrated the finest acting money could buy, the leading role for this film could perhaps have been better suited to Cillian Murphy or Jim Sturgess.

I have values for this ingenious picture with a lesser budget than INCEPTION but it isn't a sci-fi themed caper of going into people's dreams, it's just showcasing elaborate illusions, tricks and action. It is my recommendation that if you enjoyed this film that you also watch similar magic-themed non-heist movies THE PRESTIGE and THE ILLUSIONIST for obvious comparisons to NOW YOU SEE ME.

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie

Monday, 19 August 2013

Monsters Review (Updated)


Release Date: 25th November 2010 - Australia

Production Companies
Vertigo Films

Madman Entertainment

Genre: Sci-Fi

Rating: M

Runtime: 94 minutes

Budget: $500,000

Box Office Gross: $4,242,978

Plot Summary
Six years ago NASA 
discovered the possibility 
of alien life within our 
solar system. A probe 
was launched to collect 
samples, but crashed 
upon re-entry over 
Central America. Soon 
after, new life forms
began to appear and 
half of Mexico was 
quarantined as an 
Today, the American 
and Mexican military 
still struggle to contain 
"the creatures"...... Our 
story begins when a 
US journalist agrees to 
escort a shaken tourist 
through the infected 
zone in Mexico to the 
safety of the US border.

Scoot McNairy - Andrew Kaulder
Whitney Able - Samantha Wynden

Designer/Director of Photography/
Visual Effects - Gareth Edwards
Producers - Alain Nilbo and 
James Richardson
Film Editor - Colin Goudie
Music - Jon Hopkins

The 2010 movie of MONSTERS was not quite the indie sci-fi flick that I was expecting as it could have been a lot better if it was a different kind of a monster feature and has horror-blazing action. Then it would have been well-liked by everyone. Instead, all the film focuses is drama and romance between the two characters and there are no scenes that are even remotely scary or intensive. Even the giant squid aliens are barely the film's main focus and they were part of the backdrop. Because of this reason, this film doesn't really live up to its title.

I'm not like the other critics that loved the movie but here’s the truth, MONSTERS is by far a lacklustre movie generally. I would be better off watching INDEPENDENCE DAY (click here) because this film was a spectacle that I was privileged to watch over Gareth Edwards' boring debut. MONSTERS is undoubtedly not the best representation of an alien invasion, if you want a real movie that dealt these cliches, go for Will Smith's blockbuster.

Star rating: (2/5) Bad Movie

Monday, 12 August 2013

The Road to El Dorado Review (Updated)

The Road to El Dorado

Release Date: 7th September 2000 - Australia

Production Companies
DreamWorks SKG
DreamWorks Animation

20th Century Fox Australia 

Genre: Animation/Family 

Rating: PG

Runtime: 89 minutes

Budget: $95,000,000

Box Office Gross: $76,432,727

Plot Summary
Upon landing on the 
shores of El Dorado, 
the legendary Lost 
City of Gold, Tulio 
and Miguel are 
mistaken for gods 
and are lavished 
with riches beyond 
their wildest dreams. 
As friendship, loyalty 
and greed collide, 
our unlikely heroes 
must make the 
decision of their 
lives: run off with 
the gold or face 
up to unforeseen 
dangers to save the 
people of El Dorado... 

Voice Cast
Kevin Kline - Tulio
Kenneth Branagh - Miguel 
Rosie Pérez - Chel
Armand Asseste - Tzezel-Kan
Edward James Olmos - Chief 
Jim Cummings - Hernán Cortéz
Frank Welker - Altivo

Directors - Eric "Bibo" 
Bergeron and Don Paul
Additional Sequences - Will Finn 
and David Silverman
Writers - Ted Elliot and Terry 
Additional Dialogue - Karey 
Executive Producer - Jeffrey Katzenberg
Co-Executive Producer - Bill Damaschke
Producers - Bonne Radford 
and Brooke Breton 
Production Designers - Vicky 
Jenson and Christian Schellewald 
Artistic Supervisor: Story - Ronnie Del Carmen 
Artistic Supervisor: Story/Head of Story - Jeff Snow
Songs - Elton John
Lyrics - Tim Rice
Film Editors - John Carnochan, Vicki Hiatt, 
Dan Molina and Lynne Southerland
Music - Hans Zimmer and John Powell

As a kid in the year 2000, the full-length animated movie of THE ROAD TO EL DORADO came out and I used to enjoyed it all the time with so much fondness of two of its main characters. In an interesting story of its part historical revisionism that during its making, the comical duo were meant to be the humorous sidekicks and steal the spotlight like in the instance of Timon and Pumbaa for Disney's THE LION KING (click here). But this is the reason why the animation team wanted to make something different in changing these two characters as the real main heroes. Dominating the film are marrying the classical and CGI animation into one mixture and also the great background songs (excluding one which isn't entirely background) from the unforgettable pop star Elton John.

While I did enjoy the soundtrack in this feature, there is no comparison to THE LION KING as these songs weren't very memorable to begin with (apart from the number "It's Tough To Be a God"). More praise in forward are the two renowned actors Kevin Kline and Kenneth Brannagh for the non-stop vocalisation of the leads Tulio and Miguel and I almost forgot about Edward James Olmos for doing one of the voices in the movie.

Bursting in out-pitched laughter with joy, but nearly shining as a best effort from the animation studio of DreamWorks. EL DORADO is still entertaining and most unfortunate that it could have ruled the seven seas of the box office with the unlikeable duo and have easily been made by Disney not DreamWorks. 

Star rating: (4/5) Good Movie

Monday, 5 August 2013

Jumper Review (Updated)


Release Date: 14th February 2008 - Australia

Production Companies
20th Century Fox (presents)
Regency Enterprises (presents)
New Regency

20th Century Fox Australia

Genre: Sci-Fi

Rating: M

Runtime: 84 minutes

Budget: $85,000,000

Box Office Gross: $222,231,186

Plot Summary
David Rice is a young
man who knows no
boundaries -- a Jumper,
born with the uncanny
ability to teleport
instantly to any place
on Earth. When he
discovers others like
himself, David is thrust
into the midst of an
ancient war while being
hunted by a bloodthirsty
band of zealots sworn
to destroy all Jumpers.

Now, David's extra-
ordinary gift may be his
only hope for survival!

Hayden Christensen - David Rice
Rachel Bilson - Millie Harris
Samuel L. Jackson - Roland Cox
Jamie Bell - Griffin O'Connor
Diane Lane - Mary Rice
Teddy Dunn - Mark Kobold
Max Thieriot - 15-Year Old David
Ryan Grantham - 5-Year Old David
Annasophia Robb - Young Millie
Jess James - Young Mark
Michael Rooker - William Rice
Kristen Stewart - Sophie
Barbara Garrick - Ellen
Meredith Henderson - Fiona

Director - Doug Liman
Based on Novel "Jumper" - 
Steven Gould
Screenplay - David S. Goyer 
and Jim Uhls
Screenplay/Producer - 
Simon Kinberg
Associate Producer/Second Unit Director/
Stunt Coordinator - Simon Crane
Producers - Arnon Milchan, Lucas Foster and
Jay Sanders
Production Designer - Oliver Scholl
Costume Designer - Magali Guidasci
Director of Photography - Barry Peterson
Visual Effects Producer/Supervisor - Kevin Elam
Visual Effects Supervisors - Joel Hynek,
Colin & Greg Strause and Andy Williams
Visual Effects Supervisors: Weta Digital - Dan Lemmon
and Erik Winquist
Film Editors - Saar Klein and Don
& Dean Zinnerman
Music Supervisor - Julliane Jordan 
Music - John Powell 

A lacklustre feature that is missing a humanised spark, I just felt as though it was an effort to watch this un-engaging sci-fi concept as revealed in JUMPER. Fittingly, it didn't deserve any equals for having the plot without much-decency and it was immediately evident to me to that the film interpretation has a real Star Wars connection with the two actors Hayden Christensen and Samuel L. Jackson. Talking about the both actors, the underrated one-timer Christensen has yet again failed to make the main character likeable and just edgier. In 2005, the young male star redeemed himself with some of his decent performing in REVENGE OF THE SITH (click here) which made him a fine actor with bucket loads of talent to offer. L. Jackson and the other co-star Jamie Bell were significantly better than Hayden and from my perspective were the stand-out performances for this dreadful film.

Overall, it has failed me to understand about JUMPER that it failed to please all viewers, perhaps they were hungry for more awesomeness and power-pack to keep this product at large or healthy and maintain the areas of a solid novel-to-movie adaptation from director Doug Liman and his associates.

Star rating: (2/5) Bad Movie

Thursday, 1 August 2013

Ernest Goes to Camp Review

Ernest Goes to Camp

Release Date: 17th September 1987 - Australia

Production Companies
Emshell Producers
Silver Screen Partners III
Touchstone Pictures

Walt Disney Studios Motion
Pictures Australia

Genre: Comedy

Rating: PG

Runtime: 92 minutes

Budget: $3,000,000

Box Office Gross: $23,509,382

Plot Summary
The handyman at Kamp
Kikakee, Ernest achieves
his greatest ambition and
becomes a camp counselor
to a gang of juvenile
delinquents from the
Midstate Boys Detention
Center! Not only must
Mr. Advice-for-every-
possible-occasion wrangle
the wayward youths, but
he has to save the camp
from the ruthless clutches
of a giant mining company

Jim Varney - Ernest P. Worrell
Victoria Racimo - Nurse St. Cloud
John Vernon - Sherman Krader
Iron Eyes Cody - Old Indian
'Chief St. Cloud'
Lyle Alzado - Bronk Stinson
Gailard Sartain - Jake
Patrick Day - Bobby Day
Daniel Butler - Eddie
Scott Menville - Crutchfield
Jacob Vargas - Butch 'Too Cool'
Todd Lloyd - Chip Ozgood
Hakim Abdulsamad - Moustafa
"Moose" Hakeem Jones

Screenplay/Director - John R. Cherry III
Screenplay/Creative Consultant/
Second Unit Director - Coke Sams
Additional Dialogue - Steve Leasure &
Glenn Petach
Producer - Stacy Williams
Cinematography - Harry Mathias & Jim May
Film Editor - Marshall Harvey
Music - Shane Keister

The first instalment of the Ernest series that responsibly turned Jim Varney into a movie star as well as introducing his lovable character Ernest P. Worrell into the big screen, ERNEST GOES TO CAMP has the sentimental light-hearted goofiness and a glitter of accidental laughs. This family comedy is pretty good when it comes to the setting of the story which is seemingly made to be heart-warming, aside from the comical mischief are two things including John Vernon's character portrayal of the villain Sherman Krader and the poignant moment of Ernest singing "Gee I'm Glad It's Raining".

If some of you believe that the most of the Ernest features are bad or especially stupid and I tend to disagree about them, ERNEST GOES TO CAMP is the wackiest and refreshing movie of 1987 and also the first best of the comedy series PERIOD.

Star rating: (5/5) Best Movie Ever