Wednesday, 28 May 2014

Faeries Review (Updated)


Broadcast Date: 1999 - UK 

Production Companies
Cartwn Cymru 
HiT Entertainment PLC
United Productions

Genre: Animation/Family

Rating: G

Runtime: 90 minutes

Plot Summary
Two children holidaying on 
farm are transported to 
Fairyland but after one eats 
a charmed fairy-cake they 
are given three tasks to 
complete before they can 
return to their own world.

Little did the two children 
and the faeries suspect 
that inside the realm, an 
enemy of a shapeshifter 
is planning to take over 
the fairy kingdom and 
heard the prophecy about 
what will happen to the 
realm if he plans to usurp 
the throne!

Voice Cast
Carley O'Neill - Nellie 
Geoffrey Williams - George
Dougray Scott - The Fairy Prince
Kate Winslet - Bridget
Jeremy Irons - The Shapeshifter
Michael Burrell - Mr. Coombs/
Patrick Marlowe - Mone
Jane Horrocks - Huccaby
Charlotte Coleman - Merrivale
Tony Robinson - Broom
John Sessions - Chudley

Production Designer/Director -
Gary Burst
Writer - Jocelyn Stevenson
Producer - Naomi Jones
Folklore Consultant - Dr. Juliette
Directors of Photography - Mark
Chamberlain, Simon Jacobs and
Sam James
Motion Control Camera - Peter
Animo Supervisor - Martyn Yates
Film Editor - Keith Ware
Music - Colin Towns

No idea that one of the companies renowned for their preschool shows has a movie possibly made for broadcast. Under the careful guidance of looking at (IMDB) Internet Movie Database online, the movie never actually existed in its home release in my country and neither showed up in television. To my surprise, FAERIES is said to have featured a few talented actors that are known for their heritage in Britain and in my opinion, this film has its good points such as an advanced visual treat of the finest 2D animation merged with live sets, but is let down by some disappointing CGI. The movie's story feels rather underdeveloped and feels episodic as almost if it could come out as an animated kids program. Deeply undeveloped is the interracial love relationship which failed to engage its audience. Heck, if Disney or any hand-drawn studio would allow this poorly-developed story to be on their hands for any better development maybe this disaster could be redeemed, and that is being very optimistic.

The only reason I wanted to watch the movie, it surprisingly contains the benefits of one actor, Jeremy Irons. It's not the first time he's played a power-hungry evil brother. In many similarities, the character is a somewhat less succeedable and deadly villain than our favourite bad cat we know of as Scar. Still, he did a good performance of that versatile vocals and I wished I could have had the pleasure of saying he was perfect in this role because he is one of my favourite actors, but unfortunately I cannot.

Truly this makes FAERIES a dull and prosaic movie that at point clearly needed character building or a sense of adventure. Always had me to believe that it's half misconceived and thinking it'll turn out worse as a non-Disney musical. I'm Film Guru Lad and this is my critique of FAERIES.

Star rating: (4/10) Below Average

Monday, 26 May 2014

After Earth Re-Review (Updated)

After Earth

Release Date: 13th
June 2013 - Australia

Production Companies
Columbia Pictures


Sony Pictures Australia

Genre: Sci-Fi

Rating: M

Runtime: 100 minutes

Budget: $130,000,000

Box Office Gross: 


Plot Summary
A crash landing leaves Kitai
Raige and his legendary
father Cypher stranded on
Earth, 1,000 years after
cataclysmic events forced
humanity's escape. With
Cypher injured, Kitai must
embark on a treacherous
journey to signal for help.

They must learn to work
together and trust each
other, if they want any
chance of returning home.

Will Smith - Cypher Raige
Jaden Smith - Kitai Raige
Sophie Okonedo - Faia Raige
Zoe Kravitz - Senshi Raige
Glenn Morshower - 
Commander Velan
Jaden Martin - 9-Year Old Kitai
David Denman - Private McQuarrie


Producer/Director - M. Night Shyamalan
Story - Will Smith
Screenplay - Gary Whitta
Producers - James Lassiter,
Jada Pinkett Smith, Caleeb
Pinkett and Will Smith
Co-Producer/Unit Production
Manager/First Assistant Director -
John Rusk
Co-Producer - Ashwin Rajan
Production Designer - Thomas E. Sanders
Costume Designer - Amy Westcott
Cinematography - Peter Suschitzky
Visual Effects Supervisor: Tippett Studio -
Craig Barron
Visual Effects Supervisor - Jonathan Rothbart
Film Editor - Steven Rosenblum
Music - James Newton Howard

In 2013, I originally reviewed AFTER EARTH and didn't care for it much, in fact I thought it was just flat and I couldn't wait to turn it off. The flick was from the imagination of Will Smith not M. Night Shyamalan's, he wanted so badly to make this coming of age story into a sci-fi adventure. AFTER EARTH had such a great potential of a solid sci-fi survival/apocalyptic adventure but due to the setbacks like Jaden Smith's bad acting and the misplaced jungle setting. The visuals were at some scenes after school, not necessarily detailed in other-known features like those shown in recent times. The people of ILM (Industrial Light & Magic) must've declined on an offer from Shyamalan after what they had done to try make the visuals look incredible in THE LAST AIRBENDER (click here).

There are still some elements that keep the movie half-intact, the more noticeable was Will Smith who was still doing great for his second large part playing the character of a father to his biological son; he's still different from his earlier sci-fi/action film roles and portrays a stern and cold authority figure. First, the reason why Will of all actors had to act as emotionally distant is because that's the main part of his character. Though his real to life young offspring Jaden while playing the lead hero is second-rate and I'm sad to say is ill-suited.

I do admit however that it was actually Will's fault for casting Jaden in a serious movie that was his vanity project. If that isn't nepotism, I don't know what that is? Best of all, the movie was packed with tension, some drama and action into one combo and what's more is few of the dialogue is actually very simple.

The movie should not have been named AFTER EARTH and be instead called LOST EARTH. Hence the title will be able to make sense and relate to the plot of the movie. This has been a far less forgiving movie with a less re-watch value and still M. Night is nearly a one step ahead to his directorial comeback.

Star rating: (4/10) Below Average

Thursday, 22 May 2014

Feedback Survey

Hello, this is Film Guru Lad, I'm writing to inform you of a change I have made to my blog site. I removed the superhero category and moved all the multiple reviews of the comic book movies into sci-fi or action. If there any people who have ideas or feedback that could make my blog site more accessible, I would utilise this as an opportunity to improve my blog site. I have listed some survey questions below that shouldn't take more than 10 minutes of your time. I will check in regularly to see if there has been any feedback and will make my best effort to respond to this feedback. Thank you.

Question 1: Based on today's visit, how would you rate your site experience overall?

Question 2: Please describe the purpose of your visit.

Question 3: Were you able to complete the purpose of your visit today? (If you answer yes, proceed to question 4. If you answer no, proceed to question 5).

Question 4: What do you value most about the website?

Question 5: Would please tell me why you were not able to complete the purpose of your visit?

Question 6: What features does this site offer that others don't?

Question 7: What could make this site more accessible or user-friendly?

Question 8: Where did you find out about this website?

Please click on the comment tab below to leave feedback for these survey questions. Thank you for taking the time to fill out this survey.

Monday, 19 May 2014

X-Men: First Class Review (Updated)

X-Men: First Class 

Release Date: 2nd June 2011 - Australia

Production Companies
20th Century Fox
Marvel Entertainment
Bad Hat Harry 
The Donners' Company
Ingenious Media (produced in 
association with)

20th Century Fox Australia

Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 131 minutes

Budget: $160,000,000

Box Office Gross: $353,624,124

Plot Summary
Before Charles Xavier and 
Erik Lehnsherr became 
Professor X and Magneto, 
they were two young men 
discovering their powers 
for the first time. Before 
they were enemies, they 
were the closet of friends 
and gathered an elite team 
to form the X-Men in an 
attempt to prevent World 
War III.

James McAvoy - Charles
Xavier/Professor X
Michael Fassbender - Erik 
Jennifer Lawrence - Raven
Kevin Bacon - Dr. Klaus
Schmidt/Sebastian Shaw
Rose Byrne - Moira MacTaggert 
January Jones - Emma Frost 
Nicholas Hoult - Dr. Hank
Oliver Platt - Man in Black Suit
Ray Wise - The United States
Secretary of State
Zoe Kravitz - Angel Salvadore
Caleb Landry Jones - Sean
Lucas Till - Alex Summers/
Edi Gathegi - Armando
Jason Flemyng - Azazel
Alex Gonzalez - Janos
Glenn Morshower - Col. Rob Hendry
Annabelle Wallis - Amy
Don Creech - Agent Stryker
Beth Goddard - Mrs. Xavier
Laurence Belcher - Charles Xavier (12 Years)
Morgan Lily -  Young Raven (10 Years)
Hugh Jackman - Logan/
Wolverine (Cameo) (Uncredited)
Rebecca Romjin - Mystique - Older (Cameo) (Uncredited)

Screenplay/Director - Matthew 
Based on "X-Men" Comics/
Executive Producer - Stan Lee
Based on "X-Men" Comics - Jack Kirby
Story - Sheldon Turner
Story/Producer - Bryan Singer
Screenplay - Ashley Edward 
Miller, Zack Stentz and Jane
Executive Producers - Tarquin
Pack and Josh McLaglen
Producers - Lauren Shuler 
Donner, Simon Kinberg and 
Gregory Goodman
Co-Producer - Jason Taylor
Production Designer - Chris 
Costume Designer - Sammy 
Special Makeup Designer - Mike Elizade 
Makeup and Hair Designer - Frances Hannon
Makeup Designer: Beast - Tom Woodruff Jr.
Makeup Supervisor: Beast - Dave Elsey
Director of Photography - John Matheson
Stunt Coordinators - Jeff Habberstad and 
Tom Struthers
Special Effects Supervisor - Chris Corbould
Visual Effects Designer - John Dykstra
Visual Effects Supervisor: Digital Domain -
Jay Barton
Animation Supervisor - Bernd Angerer
Film Editors - Lee Smith and
Eddie Hamilton
Music - Henry Jackman

An end to the marathon of the X-MEN quadrilogy reviews brings to this fifth instalment. Fundamental to the plot of this film is the themes that includes best friends turning foes. X-MEN: FIRST CLASS revitalises the franchise with a whole new fresh style that puts the franchise back on its feet after having disappointed fans with THE LAST STAND (click here) and ORIGINS: WOLVERINE (click here). The original maker of the series Bryan Singer has returned to co-supervise this film's production and sat on the producer's chair. Director Matthew Vaughn had never done any other superhero features apart from the violent and profane KICK-ASS. His sheer mad genius of direction is combined with Singer's perfection and plausible heartbeats in the original plot. 

I applaud the new cast for taking on the original generation of X-Men and few of the old characters in their young versions. James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender were well-picked to look as young than the two actors that have both originally played Xavier and Magneto. Jennifer Lawrence is flawlessly outstanding as the blue shape-shifter Mystique and playing this soon-to-be future henchwoman is like a dream come true for her. Kevin Bacon manages to portray the vile and even sinister Sebastian Shaw in this undiluted prequel.

The series has been redeemed by the acceptable quality of X-MEN: FIRST CLASS. I do classify it as a great superhero movie; it is more likely to appeal the fans of the original comic book. That is all with the X-MEN movie marathon unless there's a chance to watch DAYS OF FUTURE PAST to finish the list. 

Star rating: (8/10) Very Good Movie

Monday, 12 May 2014

X-Men: The Last Stand Review (Updated)

X-Men: The Last Stand

Release Date: 25th May 2006 - Australia

Production Companies
20th Century Fox
Marvel Entertainment
The Donners' Company

20th Century Fox Australia

Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 110 minutes

Budget: $210,000,000

Box Office Gross: $459,359,555

Plot Summary
It has been several months 
since The X-Men stopped 
William Stryker, but that 
victory came at a price, 
they have lost Jean Grey 
when she tried to save 
them from the collapsed 
reservoir. Scott Summers 
(Cyclops) is still grieving 
about her loss. One day, 
he came out to the place 
which is where Jean Grey 
sacrificed herself. Then, 
Jean Grey appeared right 
in front of him. Though, 
it seemed that after that, 
Scott had disappeared. 

Meanwhile, the rift between 
humans and mutants had 
finally reached the boiling 
point. When humans 
discovered what causes 
humans to mutate, they 
have found a cure for the 
mutation. The X-Men were 
appalled at this idea. It was 
not long at all until the news 
about the cure came to 
Magneto. He decides to 
organise an army of mutants 
and wage his war against 
the humans. Then, it became 
clear that Jean Grey evolved 
into the Phoenix, her new 
mutant powers are so strong 
that she can not control 
her own body.

Hugh Jackman - Logan/
Patrick Stewart - Charles 
Xavier/Professor X
James Marsden - Scott 
Famke Janssen - Dr. Jean 
Halle Berry - Ororo Munroe/
Ian McKellen - Erik Lehnsherr/
Anna Paquin - Marie/Rogue
Rebecca Romjin-Stamos - 
Shawn Ashmore - Bobby
Ellen Page - Kitty Pryde/
Kelsey Grammer - Dr. Hank
Vinnie Jones - Juggernaut
Ben Foster - Warren 
Worthington III/Angel
Aaron Stanford - John

Michael Murphy - Warren Worthington II
Dania Ramirez - Callisto
Shohreh Aghdashloo - Dr. Kavita Rao
Josef Summer - President of the United States
Bill Duk - Secretary Trask
Cayden Boyd - Young Warren Worthington III
Haley Ramm - Young Jean Grey
Daniel Cudmore - Peter 
Eric Dane - James Madrox/
Multiple Man
Melling Melancon - Psylocke
Omahyra Mota - Arclight
Ken Leung - Kid Omega
Cameron Bright - Jimmy/Leech
Via Saleaumua - Phat
Richard Yee - Little Phat
Kea Wong - Jubilee
Shauna Kain - Siryn
Lance Gibson - Spike
Bryce Hodgson - Artie (Uncredited)
Olivia Williams - Moira MacTaggert (Uncredited)

Director - Brett Ratner
Executive Producer/Based on "X Men" Comics - Stan Lee Based on "X-Men" Comics -
Jack Kirby
Screenplay - Simon Kinberg
and Zak Penn
Producers - Lauren Shuler
Donner and Ralph Winter
Co-Producer/Unit Production Manager - Ross Fanger
Co-Producer - Kurt Williams
Co-Producers/First Assistant Directors - Lee Clearly and James M. Freitag
Production Designer - Ed Verreaux
Costume Designer - Judianna
Co-Costume Designer - Lisa Tomczeszyn
Director of Photography - Dante Spinoti
Second Unit Director/Stunt Coordinator -
Simon Crane
Stunt Coordinators - Wade Eastwood and
Mike Mitchell
Special Effects Coordinator/Director/Supervisor -
Mike Vezina
Visual Effects Supervisor - John Bruno
Senior Visual Effects Supervisor: Weta Digital -
Joe Letteri
Film Editors - Mark Goldblatt, Mark Helfrich
and Julia Wong
Music - John Powell

The man Bryan Singer bravely proven in his grand design of the first two X-MEN movies can hangs up his hat in THE LAST STAND to an unworthy change of direction by Brett Ratner. Now in a way, THE LAST STAND is not so good and he didn't follow Bryan's character-building and style. It wasn't the best of the series; it leaves viewers disappointed when this movie is unfavourably compared to the first two hits. The plot is deliberately rushed which reflects badly on merging few of the story concepts. Some of the new mutants are not getting enough attention, due to the reliance on the fighting action and a slice of comedy. Also a few characters were reduced to a minor and their fates sealed too early like Cyclops and Mystique. 

This explained its actors were too busy in other countless movie roles outside of the X-MEN saga. Most notable in fact, James Marsden who went to star in a supporting role on SUPERMAN RETURNS (click here). A movie outside of Marvel adapted from the DC comics and directed by the old boy-wonder of X-MEN. All hope to my liking of the third is gone, but being such a fan I remained optimistic about the next instalment. Kelsey Grammer respectfully plays Beast and therefore he's identical to this character. Another one of the new choices, Ellen Page receives the part of the ghosting mutant Shadowcat. 

Personally, I blame the deficits of this movie to Ratner's poor direction, this film would have been better if it has a richer and cohesive plot. There is also more character depth and sub-plots that need to be aligned with the plot. The team of FOX studios can't do it without Bryan Singer as the head in charge of the trilogy. 

I propose to all of you hardcore fans to ignore the third movie as you not watch it and still wait for DAYS OF FUTURE PAST to end its countdown. Just keep waiting for the prequel X-MEN: FIRST CLASS which I planned to review. 

Star rating: (4/10) Below Average

Thursday, 8 May 2014

Another Important Message

Hello, I'm FilmGuruLad.

I'm just informing you that I have officially made changes to my site. Now this included the search engine I removed which was located in the right side of the homepage. The reason I have deleted this bar is because having two search engines in one page that both serve the same purpose has it been confusing. You can instead use the nav-bar as shown in the image below. Simply type in the movie you wish to view and if I reviewed it, it will come up.

Now, the other tweak I have made is renaming one of the categories; I have changed the category, documentary to other categories. Now the rationale for this decision is because I very rarely review documentaries and thought that I should have a category that broadly covers all the genres I rarely reviewed.

Now, if you're wondering if the X-Men critique marathon will continue or not. Just look forward to Monday, when my review of the third and possibly most demeaning film of the series 'The Last Stand' is published.

I invite you to send me feedback and I just hope the changes I have not inconvenienced you in anyway. Do please check on my reviews of 'Tron: Legacy', 'X-Men 2' and 'Origins: Wolverine' that I updated yesterday.

Monday, 5 May 2014

X-Men 2 Review (Updated)

X-Men 2

Release Date: 30th April 2003 - Australia

Production Companies
20th Century Fox
Marvel Entertainment
The Donners Company
Bad Hat Harry

20th Century Fox Australia

Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 128 minutes

Budget: $110,000,000

Box Office Gross: $407,711,549

Plot Summary
Hatred and distrust brew
between humans and
mutant-kind. An unprovoked
mutant attack on the
President gives General
William Stryker his long-
awaited opportunity to
wage all-out war against
the mutants. A war that
would leave only one race
victorious. Xavier, Wolverine,
Storm and the other X-
Men must unite their old
adversary Magneto to
prevent a devastating
confrontation that could
destroy everyone on the

Hugh Jackman - Logan/
Patrick Stewart - Charles 
Xavier/Professor X
James Marsden - Scott 
Famke Janssen - Dr. Jean Grey
Halle Berry - Ororo Munroe/
Ian McKellen - Erik Lehnsherr/
Anna Paquin - Marie/Rogue
Rebecca Romjin-Stamos - 
Alan Cumming - Nightcrawler
Brian Cox - General William 
Shawn Ashmore - Bobby
Aaron Stanford - John
Kelly Hu - Yuriko Oyama/
Michael Reid McKay -
Mutant 143
Daniel Cudmore - Peter Rasputin/Colossus
Katie Stuart - Kitty Pryde
Kea Wong - Jubilee
Bryce Hodgson - Artie
Shauna Kain - Siryn
James Kirk - Ronny Drake
Jill Teed - Madeline Drake
Alf Humphreys - William Drake
Keely Purvis - Little 143

Story/Executive Producer/
Director - Bryan Singer
Executive Producer/Based on "X Men" Comics - Stan Lee
Based on "X-Men" Comics -
Jack Kirby
Story/Screenplay - David Hayter
Story - Zak Penn
Screenplay - Michael Dougherty
and Dan Harris
Producers - Lauren Shuler
Donner and Ralph Winter
Co-Producers - Ross Fanger and Kevin Feige
Production Designer - Guy Hendrix Dyas
Costume Designer - Louise Mingenbach
Special Make-Up Designer - Gordon J. Smith
Director of Photography - Newton Thomas Sigel
Stunt Coordinators - Ernie Jackson,
Gary Jensen and Melissa R. Stubbs
Special Effects Director - Mike Vezina
Special Effects Supervisors - Gord Davis, Andrew Verhoeven
and Cameron Waldbauer
Visual Effects Supervisors - Michael J. Fink and
Stephen Rosenbaum
Visual Effects Supervisor: 4-Ward Productions - 
Robert Skotak
Film Editor/Music - John Ottman
Co-Editor - Elliot Graham

Now this is a big flawless feature of the X-MEN series. Continuing the marathon with X-MEN 2 (or called in the US as X2) and judging the film next to its solidly-based predecessor (click here) in critical evolution of comparison. The director Bryan Singer successfully manages to use his profound creativity to accomplish a sequel of its structure. No one could be prouder than Bryan Singer at having this smash-hit feature he directed magnificently. It was originally planned for Bryan to direct four features of X-MEN, however, he left the franchise after this movie, to go and direct SUPERMAN RETURNS (click here). Leaving Brett Ratner to step in and film the third instalment which I heard is very disappointing.

The key element of Bryan Singer's direction is his passion to invent a well-written human story. He demonstrates a visual display of direction of fight scenes which are as good to match his nimble plot-creativity. All the cast from the predecessor are back as the mutants between good and evil. Hugh Jackman is at it again back to be our heroic slasher Wolverine. One actor I haven't mentioned in the mutant ensemble in my review of the first film when critiquing some of its actors, James Marsden returns as Cyclops and he could have done a lot more justice and expansion to his role. Had the third film not concluded with Singer's absence and Marsden's reduced role, perhaps this film could have been improved along with Cyclops' portrayal. 

The character rivalry between him and Wolverine would progress to end their jealousy and differences. THE LAST STAND did cut short the conflict they had with Jean Grey as their main romantic interest but only it was rushed. Scottish actor Alan Cumming camouflages in dark-blue make-up while playing the teleporting mutant Nightcrawler. Willingly, he even furnishes a fake German accent to have the character speak in his nationality.

I have no problem deciding that I'll pick X-MEN 2 as the best of its saga. Evidently it's not uneXceptional (no pun intended), it's awe-inspiring and it's a perfect superhero movie. For the record, X-MEN 2 is my third best film of the super hero genre of all time.

Star rating: (10/10) Best Movie Ever

Sunday, 4 May 2014

In Memory of Bob Hoskins (1942-2014) (Updated)

Bob Hoskins (1942-2014)

Sorry to delay the mutant
marathon of the X-Men. We
are informed of the sad news
on British movie actor Bob 
Hoskins who is mainly known 
for much of his famed movie 
roles as Eddie Valiant in 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit' and Mario in the infamous 'Super Mario Bros', passes away of pneumonia at 71 years old in April 29th 2014. Hoskins was born in the Southern English border of Suffolk and that time, he was 2 weeks old when he left his birthplace by his parents when the war bombing occurred in London. Bob was 15 when he quit school and began weird jobs including performing in a circus. In his love for theatre, Hoskins career was only started by accident when he had only seen auditions with a mate and then given a script by one director and was told "You're next". 

This mistake would later get his career full on theatre plays and television. Then later on, he went to cinema in about 1975, receiving only supporting roles. In 1980, it got him the attention that his career going up was building to fame in one of his roles in a movie called 'The Long Good Friday'. He is also known to have portrayed characters in a few worthy films like 'The Cotton Club' and 'Brazil'. Bob then received an Oscar nomination for Best Actor in his performance in 'Mona Lisa'. 1988 saw Bob as he went to Disney and got casted in a leading role by Robert Zemeckis and Steven Spielberg in their new motion picture. The movie of its story would be about a cop teamed up with a toon supposedly wanted for murder is entitled 'Who Framed Roger Rabbit'. The pride of this recognition earned him the chance to be a national star for playing once in Roger Rabbit as the cartoon-hating detective Eddie. Other of his prolific roles include 'Mermaids' with Cher, 'Hook', 'Nixon', 'The Inner Circle', 'Enemy at the Gates', 'Vanity Fair' and a voice role in 'Balto'. In 1993, he gained infamy from video-gamers for being miscast to portray Mario in the underwhelming 'Super Mario Bros' with John Leguizamo and Dennis Hopper. During which, the film became oppressed to financial doom and turned Bob to despise the adaptation. In his later years, Bob made his last credit to 'Snow White and the Huntsman' playing as one of the dwarfs. After this, health takes it's toll on Bob when suffering from Parkinson's and settled in to a 2-year retirement.