Friday, 31 October 2014

The Sixth Sense Review (Updated)









The Sixth Sense


Release Date: 7th October 1999 - Australia


Production Companies
Hollywood Pictures
Spyglass Entertainment
The Kennedy/Marshall Company

Distribution
Walt Disney Studios Motion 
Pictures Australia


Genre: Horror

Rating: M

Runtime: 107 minutes


Budget: $40,000,000 

Box Office Gross: $672,806,292 
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
Malcolm Crowe is a child 
psychologist who receives 
the award on the same night 
that he is visited by a very 
unhappy ex-patient. After 
this encounter, Crowe takes 
on the task of curing the 
young boy with the same ills 
as the ex-patient. This boy 
"sees dead people". Crowe 
spends a lot of time with 
the boy (Cole) much to the 
dismay of his wife. Cole's 
mum is at her wit's end with 
what to do about her son's
increasing problems. Crowe 
is the boy's only hope.


Cast
Bruce Willis - Malcolm Crowe
Haley Joel Osment - Cole Sear
Toni Colette - Lynn Sear
Olivia Williams - Anna Crowe
Trevor Morgan - Tommy Tammismo
Donnie Wahlberg - Vincent Grey
Peter Anthony Tambakis - 
Darren
Jeffrey Zubernis - Bobby
Bruce Norris - Stanley Cunningham
Glenn Fitzgerald - Sean
Mischa Barton - Kyra Collins
Greg Wood - Mr. Collins
Angelica Page - Mrs. Collins

Crew
Writer/Director - M. Night Shyamalan 
Producers - Frank Marshall, 
Kathleen Kennedy and Barry Mendel
Production Designer - Larry Fulton
Director of Photography - Tak Fujimoto
Effects Supervisor: Stan Winston Studio -
John Rosengrant
Film Editor - Andrew Mondshein 
Music - James Newton Howard


Awards

2000 Academy Awards
Best Picture - Frank Marshall, Kathleen Kennedy
and Barry Mendel (Nominated)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role - Haley Joel Osment
(Nominated)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role - Toni Colette
(Nominated)
Best Director - M. Night Shyamalan (Nominated)
Best Original Screenplay - M. Night Shyamalan
(Nominated)
Best Film Editing - Andrew Mondshein (Nominated)


Review
This is the most recognised great feature from the once famous director M. Night Shyamalan that shared the acclaim between the audiences and critics alike of its scare factor and superbly written conclusion that thrills viewers with a completely unexpected reveal. The follow-ups to the movie in the later years from the same director like the abysmal THE LAST AIRBENDER (click here), AFTER EARTH (click here) and few of his other movies weren't up to the challenge in enduring the masterful quality that is forever to be used in THE SIXTH SENSE. Except for maybe UNBREAKABLE, if I get a chance around of watching it as an alternative. Likewise, this movie of its sheer mystery, drama and scary content does however prove Shyamalan that he is a capable director for the Hollywood spotlight. Besides the twist ending, the chemistry of the two lead characters was truly ahead of its time and especially the young troubled child which is portrayed in such a way no one will keep audiences speculating and formulating their own conclusions only to get to the end of the movie and have all the pre-conceived ideas blown away by the shocking conclusion that unravels.

I enjoyed Bruce Willis as one of the main actors of the film's cast, I am certainly not in to his usual glamorised macho style in his action-hero movies. He definitely pulls off his character with a high standard of depth and sincerity. I liked young Haley Joel Osment's performance and character in the movie a lot, I feel he succeeded in creating a character who was overwhelmed with fear, anxiety and distress that was impressively realistic. It's a miracle that none of these child stars like Jake Loyd of STAR WARS could ever fetch up to his promising talents. 

I quite consider THE SIXTH SENSE to be one of the three luckiest of M. Night's movie collection. I've been wanting to watch this atmospheric film for a long time now, but now it's a genuine pleasure to have seen it. Sure leaves you feeling as though you would be too terrified to watch it yourself!

Star rating: (8/10) Very Good Movie


Monday, 27 October 2014

Ghost Rider Review (Updated)









Ghost Rider


Release Date: 15th February 2007 - Australia


Production Companies
Columbia Pictures
Crystal Sky Pictures
Marvel Entertainment

Distribution
Sony Pictures Australia


Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 114 minutes
               123 minutes
               (extended)


Budget: $110,000,000

Box Office Gross: $228,738,393
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
When the motorcyclist 
Johnny Blaze finds that his 
father Barton Blake has
a terminal cancer, he
accepts a pact with the
Mephistopheles, giving his
soul for the health of his
beloved father. But the devil
deceives him, and Barton 
dies in a motorcycle accident 
during an exhibition. Johnny 
leaves the carnival, his town, 
his friends and his girlfriend 
Roxanne. Years later Johnny 
becomes a famous motor-
cyclist, who risks his life in his 
shows, and he meets Roxanne 
again, now a TV reporter. 

However, Mephistopheles 
proposes Johnny to release his 
contract if he become the 
"Ghost Rider" and defeat his 
evil son Blackheart, who 
wants to possess one 
thousand evil souls and 
transform hell on Earth.


Cast
Nicolas Cage - Johnny Blaze/
Ghost Rider
Eva Mendes - Roxanne Simpson 
Wes Bentley - Blackheart
Peter Fonda - Mephistopheles 
Sam Elliott - The Caretaker
Donal Logue - Mack
Brett Cullen - Barton Blaze
Matt Long - Young Johnny Blaze
Rachel Aquissi - Young
Roxanne Simpson
Arthur Angel - Officer Edwards

Crew
Screen Story/Screenplay/
Director - Mark Steven Johnson
Based on Marvel Comic "Ghost 
Rider" - Gary Friedrich, Roy 
Thomas and Mike Ploog
Executive Producer/Producer - Avi Arad
Producers - Michael De Luca, Gary Foster and Steven Paul
Production Designer - Kirk M.
Petruccelli
Costume Designer - Lizzy Gardiner
Director of Photography -
Russell Boyd
Stunt Coordinator - Glenn Boswell
Film Editor - Richard Francis-Bruce
Special Effects Supervisor - Peter Stubbs
Additional Creature Designer - Mark 'Crash' McCreery
Visual Effects Supervisor - Kevin Scott Mack
Visual Effects Supervisor: Cafe FX - John F.K. Parenteau
Animation Supervisor - Marco Marenghi
Music Supervisor - Dave Jordan
Music - Christopher Young


Review
In 2012 when I first saw the movie GHOST RIDER on its introduction, my first choice should have been the another feature from Marvel, the violent-oriented THE PUNISHER. Unfortunately, I ended up watching GHOST RIDER and although I have watched some of Cage's previous work even his talented acting could not redeem this second rate trashy superhero film. Overtime, I happen to have acquired that movie in my collection along with few other of his known movies and usually his films are to a better standard than this, I was quite underwhelmed of its whole performance. This came out in the same year as SPIDER-MAN 3, they are both ambitious films of the genre that the critics judged as inferior and failures. Director Mark Steven Johnson has failed to immerse the audience of seeing a dark and supernatural world. Personally, I felt Johnson should have picked up his game after DAREDEVIL which is also a weak comic book movie.

Nicolas Cage should not be in this film, being a completely different style of interpretation which just did not seem to fit Cage's character and personality. The role of the Ghost Rider should have been given to a much better actor like the late Paul Walker or Cyclops' actor James Marsden. I do think Sam Elliott was enjoying his time in the movie as he has fun with his supporting role that is worthy of him. Unfortunately, the other secondary cast were out of touch of their roles and probably the least-favourites would be Peter Fonda and Wes Bentley of their posse of antagonists. Summing up the more unqualified aspects that disregards the feature of its supposedly dark flavour is the cheesily-written dialogue. 

This is just one of these less-distinctive movies I could barely watch again. I certainly will not worry about watching the sequel, so my recommendation to you is don't go borrowing it on Blu-ray and DVD.

Star rating: (4/10) Below Average


Monday, 20 October 2014

R.I.P.D. Review (Updated)












R.I.P.D.


Release Date: 12th September 2013 - Australia


Production Companies
Universal Pictures
Original Film
Dark Horse Entertainment

Distribution
Universal Pictures Australia


Genre: Action/Comedy

Rating: M

Runtime: 96 minutes


Budget: $130,000,000

Box Office Gross: $78,324,220 
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
Wise-cracking Sheriff Roy 
Pulsifer is a veteran of the 
R.I.P.D. He has assigned 
Nick Walker a rising star 
detective killed in his prime. 
The unlikely partners 
uncover a plot that could 
end life as we know it and 
have to work together 
before the earth is overcome 
by angry souls unwilling to 
face justice.


Cast
Ryan Reynolds - Nick Walker
Jeff Bridges - Sheriff Roy Pulsifer
Kevin Bacon - Bobby Hayes
Mary-Louise Parker - Mildred 
Protctor
Stephanie Szostak - Julia Walker
James Hong - Grandpa Jerry 
Chang
Marisa Miller - Opal Pavlenko
Devin Ratray - Pulaski
Robert Knepper - Stanley Nawlicki

Crew
Director - Robert Schwentke
Based on Dark Horse Comic 
Book "R.I.P.D."/Executive 
Producer - Peter M. Lenkov
Story/Executive Producer -
David Dobkin
Story/Screenplay - Phil Hay
and Matt Manfredi
Producers - Neal H. Moritz,
Mike Richardson and Michael
Fottrell
Production Designer - Alec
Hammond
Costume Designer - Susan Lyall
Director of Photography - Alwin Küchler
Creature Design Consultant - Mike Elizalde
Visual Effects Supervisors - Jeffrey Stewart
and Mike Wassel
Visual Effects Supervisor: Rhythm & Hues -
Derek Spears
Film Editor - Mark Helfrich
Music - Christophe Beck


Review
In 2013, everyone was rising up to see the new money-making hits like the sequel of HUNGER GAMES, the overrated Disney feature FROZEN and many others. But what of the other movies that are buggered by the big giants at the box office? There are many people that consider AFTER EARTH (click here), THE LONE RANGER and R.I.P.D. to be this year's contenders, I choose the latter for its improper missteps. The movie is not bad nor too good, it was just below in average. I do believe that it does approach the similarities to MEN IN BLACK (MIB) (click here), I don't see the valour that it supposedly contained in the film such as the good acting chemistry or the big rounds of vfx.

I was not convinced that Ryan Reynolds reached his potential in this big-budget lacklustre movie. At least, his performance was quite restrained in comparison to some of his previous work. Elderly co-star Jeff Bridges did a perfect but over-the-top cowboy impression for one of the main characters he portrays, needless to say it won't stop the movie from getting its fractures. More of the complaints I mope about this entire monster-mayhem is the monsters looking poorly visually-integrated and unrealistic in a way the artists are not rendering the designs properly. That convinced me to see the creatures needed some improvement.

Humour probably being one of the few strengths of R.I.P.D., this however will not be enough to change my opinion of this MIB/GHOSTBUSTERS wannabe. My recommendation to everyone is if you are eager for a comedic supernatural action flick, don't waste your time with this movie. Instead you may like to watch the first MEN IN BLACK film.

Star rating: (4/10) Below Average


Monday, 13 October 2014

The Terminator Review













The Terminator 


Release Date: 20th December 1984 - Australia


Production Companies
Hemdale Corporation
Pacific Western
Cinema 84
Euro Film Funding


Genre: Sci-Fi/Action

Rating: M (Not Suitable for 
Younger Children)

Runtime: 107 minutes


Budget: $6,400,000

Box Office Gross: $78,371,200
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
In 2029, giant super-computers 
dominate the planet, hell-
bent on exterminating the 
human race! And to destroy 
man's future by changing 
the past, they send an 
indestructible cyborg - a 
Terminator - back in time 
to kill Sarah Connor, the 
woman whose unborn son 
will become mankind's only 
hope. But can Sarah protect 
herself from this unstoppable 
menace to save the life of 
her unborn child? Or will the 
human race be extinguished 
by "one mean hunk of mutant 
metal".


Cast
Arnold Schwarzenegger - The 
Terminator
Linda Hamilton - Sarah Connor 
Michael Biehn - Kyle Reese
Lance Henriksen - Detective
Hal Vukovich
Paul Winfield - Lt. Ed Traxler
Rick Rossovich - Matt Buchanan
Bess Motta - Ginger Ventura
Earl Boen - Dr. Peter Silberman
Dick Miller - Pawn Shop Clerk
Shawn Schepps - Nancy
Franco Columbu - Future Terminator
Bill Paxton - Punk Leader
Brian Thompson - Punk
Marianne Muellerlelie - Wrong Sarah

Crew
Writer/Director - James Cameron 
Writer/Producer - Gale Anne Hurd 
Additional Dialogue - William Wisher Jr.
Director of Photography - Adam Greenberg
Special Terminator Effects Supervisor -
Stan Winston
Special Effects Supervisor: Fantasy II Film Effects -
Gene Warren Jr.
Film Editor - Mark Goldblatt
Music - Brad Fiedel


Review
One film that I can confidently say only good things about is THE TERMINATOR. In saying this, I did prefer the second feature (click here) since it has more depth and exclusive budget and the title character was now changed from just being a cold-blooded machine into a hero which was an unexpected piece of story-writing. It's actually one of the neatest movies to make the action genre look very rough, tough and busy and this is the first breakthrough from future legend director James Cameron. James is a decent guy and a struggling visionaire, he would soon be destined after TERMINATOR 1 to make film masterpieces to an unmatched scale of visual craft and proportion. After all these years, THE TERMINATOR withstood the test of time and hasn't lost the touch of its thrills and action-based clichés like gun-blazed scenes or explosions. The performance by Arnie Schwarzenegger still hasn't changed much when he was first got the role of the killer android, menacing tone and brutish posture is exactly what the character is written for in the script. 

James Cameron took a gamble with two unknown actors (soon to become famous and underrated) Michael Biehn and Linda Hamilton who proved themselves worthy of their membership as movie stars. It is impressive that not much of the vfx wizardry were outdated in a sense that even by its anniversary, it is still good-looking (excluding the stop-motion technology used in the near-ending scene where the terminator is chasing the lead heroes). 

THE TERMINATOR serves James Cameron as his first break to film making or otherwise be known as his compelling achievement. No longer will you have to be waiting and wondering if I plan to review the rest of the TERMINATOR series as I am happy to announce that I will be continuing my review on the whole collection, please stay posted to see my new reviews. 

Star rating: (10/10) Best Movie Ever


Monday, 6 October 2014

Shaun of the Dead Review (Updated)












Shaun of the Dead


Release Date: 7th October 2004 - Australia 


Production Companies
Universal Pictures (present)
StudioCanal (present)
Working Title Films (present)
WT2
Big Talk Productions (in 
association with)
Inside Track 2 (in association with)
FilmFour (developed and produced with the assistance of)

Distribution
Universal Pictures Australia


Genre: Comedy

Rating: MA15+ (Not Suitable 
for Young Children)

Runtime: 95 minutes


Budget: $6,000,000

Box Office Gross: $30,039,392 
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
Life is going nowhere for 
Shaun. He spends his 
life in his local pub, The 
Winchester, with his best 
mate Ed, has issues with 
his Mum and neglects his 
girlfriend Liz.

When Liz dumps him, 
Shaun finally decides to 
get his life in order. He 
must win back the heart 
of his girlfriend, repair his 
relationship with his mum 
and face up to the 
responsibilities of adult-
hood. 

Unfortunately THE DEAD 
are returning to life and 
attempting to eat the 
living. For the newly 
inspired Shaun, this is just 
another obstacle. In the 
face of a full scale ZOMBIE 
EPIDEMIC, armed with a 
cricket bat and spade, 
Shaun sets out with Ed in 
tow, to rescue his mum 
and grudgingly his step-
dad, his girlfriend and 
even more grudgingly 
her friends David and 
Dianne and take them to 
the safest most secure 
place he knows, The 
Winchester.


Cast
Simon Pegg - Shaun
Nick Frost - Ed
Kate Ashfield - Liz
Dylan Moran - David
Lucy Davis - Dianne
Bill Nighy - Phillip
Penelope Wilton - Barbara
Jessica Stevenson - Yvonne
Peter Serafinowicz - Pete
Rafe Spall - Noel
Martin Freeman - Declan
Reece Shearsmith - Mark
Tamsin Greig - Maggie

Crew
Writer/Director - Edgar Wright
Writer - Simon Pegg
Producer - Nira Park
Production Designer - Marcus Rowland
Makeup Designer/Hair Stylist - Jane Walker
Costume Designer - Anne Hardinge
Director of Photography - David M. Dunlap
Visual Effects Supervisor - Jeremy Hattingh
Editor - Chris Dickens
Original Score - Daniel Mudford and
Pete Woodhead


Review
For the first time in watching SHAUN OF THE DEAD, there was a period where I was eager to watch a horror movie which people undoubtedly consider all of these in the genre - brutal, horrifying or very gory. Having seen a few thrillers and not the horror ones that contain plots about slashers, ghouls, zombies and other themes of horror except for ALIEN (click here) which I've watched, then WORLD WAR Z and decided I would watch more horror themed movies and to review some of them. Now for SHAUN, it mixes the bloodshed with tears of laughter and joy for the viewers but at the same time shocking them in fear. For director Edgar Wright and actors Simon Pegg and Nick Frost, this is their first movie under their partnership and it later gained recognition for the three of them to make two more of their English comedies. Perhaps this was known as the start of the Cornetto trilogy, the movie has never been more frightful and hilarious and harvested the combination of satirical and dry humour and writing.

I'm still very satisfied with the duo of Simon and Nick together, I admire the chemistry of these two likeable characters and their comical friendship portrayed in later features like HOT FUZZ (click here) and PAUL. Bill Nighy takes the reins as one of the film's supporting leads, later in his career he is rejoined with the same creators in another two films to the Cornetto trilogy as featured in cameo roles. Complimenting the powerful use of soundtracks is the use of the song used in the legendary fight scene, entitled "Don't Stop Me Now" by the band Queen. The rock band Queen have been a powerful influence in modern day cinema as some of their music are frequently used in films such as FLASH GORDON, HIGHLANDER and WAYNE'S WORLD.

I am now a self confessed fan of these two comedies: HOT FUZZ and SHAUN OF THE DEAD. I really adore the film's parodying of the classic zombie horror flicks. I certainly must watch it again and it's not recommended to those who are too young and may be traumatised of its scary content and even gore and cuss just like HOT FUZZ.

Star rating: (10/10) Best Movie Ever