Monday, 28 December 2015

Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens Review















Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens


Release Date: 17th December 2015 - Australia


Production Companies
Lucasfilm Ltd.
Bad Robot Productions

Distribution
Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures Australia


Genre: Sci-Fi

Rating: M

Runtime: 135 minutes 


Budget: $306,000,000

Box Office Gross: $2,068,223,624
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
Thirty years after the defeat 
of the Galactic Empire, a 
new threat rises. The First 
Order attempts to rule 
the galaxy and only a 
ragtag group of heroes 
can stop them, along 
with the help of the 
Resistance.


Cast
Mark Hamill - Luke Skywalker
Harrison Ford - Han Solo
Carrie Fisher - Gen. Leia Organa
Adam Driver - Kylo Ren
Daisy Ridley - Rey
John Boyega - Finn
Oscar Isaac - Poe Dameron
Lupita Nyong'o - Maz Kanata
Andy Serkis - Supreme Leader Snoke
Domhnall Gleeson - General Hux
Anthony Daniels - C3PO
Kenny Baker - R2D2 Consultant
Peter Mayhew - Chewbacca
Max Von Sydow - Lor San Tekka
Mike Quinn - Nein Numb
Kipsang Rotich - Nein Numb (Voice)
Tim Rose - Admiral Ackbar
Erik Bauersfield - Admiral Ackbar (Voice)
Gwendoline Christine - Capt. Phasma
Simon Pegg - Unkar Plutt
Warwick Davis - Wollivan
Cailey Fleming - Young Rey
Yayan Ruhian - Tasu Leech
Iko Uwais - Razoo Qin-Fee
Cecep Arif Rahman - Crokind Shand
Kiran Shah - Teedo
Brian Herring - BB-8 Performer
Dave Chapman - BB-8 Performer
Bill Hader - BB-8 Voice Consultant
Ben Schwartz - BB-8 Voice Consultant
Daniel Craig - First Order 
Stormtrooper (Cameo) (Uncredited)
Ewan McGregor - Obi-Wan Kenobi (Voice) (Uncredited)

Crew
Writer/Producer/Director - J.J. Abrams
Based on Characters - George Lucas
Writer/Co-Producer (Uncredited)/Creative
Consultant - Lawrence Kasdan
Writer/Associate Producer - Michael Arndt
Creative Consultant - Simon
Kinberg
Executive Producer/Unit Production Manager - Tommy Harper
Executive Producer - Jason D. McGatlin
Producers - Bryan Burk and
Kathleen Kennedy
Co-Producer/First Assistant Director - Tommy Gormley
Co-Producer/Unit Production Manager - Susan Towner
Co-Producers - Pippa Anderson, Michelle Rejwan,
Ben Rosenblatt and John Swartz
Production Designers - Rick Carter and
Darren Gilford
Costume Designer - Michael Kaplan
Director of Photography - Daniel Mindel
Stunt Coordinator - Rob Inch
Sword Trainer - Stephen Oyoung
Special Effects Supervisor - Chris Corbould
Creature & Droid Effects Creative Supervisor/
Creature Shop Concept Designer/Head - Neal Scanlan
Second Unit Director/Visual Effects Supervisor: ILM - 
Roger Guyett
Visual Effects Supervisors: ILM - Patrick Tubach,
Ben Morris, Dave Dally and Michael Mulholland
Visual Effects Creative Consultant - Dennis Muren
Animation Supervisors: ILM - Paul Kavanagh and
Mike Eames
Animator: Holochess - Phil Tippett
Film Editors - Maryann Brandon and
Mary Jo Markey
Sound Designer/Mixer - Ben Burtt
Music - John Williams


Review
In the latest release of movies from 2015, there have been some movies that were eagerly anticipated by audiences. One in particular was the return of an old franchise that took place in a galaxy far, far away.... I was one of those moviegoers that were eager at the prospect of a new Star Wars movie - since it was announced years before when Disney bought the entire science fiction property and its production studio from the series creator George Lucas. We now know that a new trilogy is currently underway with a few spin-offs and is about to explore the next generation of Jedi - as requested by fans after reading the expanded universe in literature. George Lucas may not want to direct the new trilogy himself as updates to the original trilogy - inferior special editions - were not as well received by fans as was expected and the prequels were described by fans as having an overdose of CGI, bad dialogue and bland acting - but I don't mean to continue bashing his favourite character of Jar Jar Binks. The reins of the Star Wars series were now handed down to Disney and only Star Trek alumnus J.J. Abrams would be hired to direct this instalment.

THE FORCE AWAKENS has wielded so much fun and action, bringing back much of the series' old techniques as possible, with set design and special effects from its nostalgic roots. This instalment is complimented with a good use of drama and better dialogue which was written by Lawrence Kasdan - the man who co-wrote two of the original Star Wars films. The new concepts were very much liked in this film with so many of the old and new characters that are to be found in the new and better instalment with Han Solo and the antagonist Kylo Ren as the main important characters. I like how J.J. Abrams convinced the aging Harrison Ford to return as Han along with Mark Hamill and Carrie Fisher reprising their roles as Luke and Leia. The performances of the new actors were as outstanding as the old with standouts such as Daisy Ridley as the heroine, John Boyega as the defector-turned-rebel and Adam Driver as the villain with a more complex evil than our favourite Sith Lord, Darth Vader. 

The instrumental score is once again composed by John Williams' feat of composure after revisiting half of the compositions from the previous films and remixes them together with the newer compositions that are composed for this movie.

I'm glad this film didn't turn out as a rocky start of a trilogy that has happened in the prequels on THE PHANTOM MENACE (click here), but I'm confident that all hope is fully restored on THE FORCE AWAKENS. My vote is still with THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK (click here) as my all-time favourite Star Wars film, now that THE FORCE AWAKENS has been released, I will be placing it as the second best of the franchise as I now formally considered the best film I've watched in 2015. For all those Star Wars fans, you need to go to the cinema and see it for the first time and may the force be with you!

Star rating: (10/10) Best Movie Ever


Thursday, 24 December 2015

It's a Wonderful Life Review











It's a Wonderful Life


Release Date: 16th October 1947 - Australia 


Production Companies 
Liberty Films

Distribution 
Paramount Pictures Australia 


Genre: Drama

Rating: G

Runtime: 130 minutes


Budget: $3,180,000

Box Office Gross: $9,576,159
(Worldwide)


Plot Summary
George Bailey has so many 
problems he is thinking 
about ending it all - and 
it's Christmas! As the 
angels discuss George, 
we see his life in flashback. 
As George is about to 
jump from a bridge, he 
ends up rescuing his 
guardian angel, Clarence. 
Clarence then shows 
George what his town 
would have looked like if 
it hadn't been for all of his 
good deeds over the years. 
Will Clarence be able to 
convince George to return 
to return to his family and 
forget suicide?


Cast
James Stewart - George Bailey
Donna Reed - Mary Hatch
Henry Travers - Clarence
Lionel Barrymore - Mr. Potter
Thomas Mitchell - Uncle Billy
Beulah Bondi - Ma Bailey
Frank Faylen - Ernie
Ward Bond - Bert
Gloria Grahame - Violet
H.B. Warner - Mr. Gower
Todd Karns - Harry Bailey
Samuel S. Hinds - Pa Bailey
Mary Treen - Cousin Billy
Frank Albertson - Sam Wainwright 
Virginia Patton - Ruth Dakin
Charles Williams - Cousin Eustace
Sarah Edwards - Mrs. Hatch
William Edmunds - Mr. Martini
Lillian Randolph - Annie
Argentina Brunetti - Mrs. Martini
Robert J. Anderson - Little George
Ronnie Ralph - Little Sam
Jean Gale - Little Mary
Jeanine Anne Rose - Little Violet
Danny Murmett - Little Marty Hatch
Georgie Nokes - Little Harry Bailey
Sheldon Leonard - Nick
Carol Coombs - Janie Bailey
Karolyn Grimes - Zuzu Bailey 
Larry Simms - Pete Bailey
Jimmy Hawkins - Tommy Bailey
Carl Switzer - Freddie Othello (Cameo)
(Uncredited)

Crew
Screenplay/Producer/Director - Frank Capra
Story - Phillip Van Doren Stern 
Screenplay - Frances Goodrich and
Albert Hackett 
Additional Scenes - Jo Swerling
Contributor to Screenplay - Michael Wilson (Uncredited)
Art Director - Jack Okey
Costumes - Edward Stevenson
Directors of Photography - Joseph F. Biroc,
Joseph Walker and Victor Milner
Special Photographic Effects - Russell A. Calley
Film Editor - William Hornbeck
Music - Dimitri Tiomkin


Awards

1947 Academy Awards
Best Picture (Nominated)
Best Director - Frank Capra (Nominated)
Best Actor in a Leading Role - James Stewart (Nominated)
Best Sound, Recording - John Aalberg (Nominated)
Best Film Editing - William Hornbeck (Nominated)


Review
Season's greetings, everyone! If there is one movie I have to review before the end of Christmas, it'll have to be IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE which is said as one of the holiday's greatest movies by many critics. Since then, the film has gone to become a timeless classic and is considered by anyone who have seen it. I have never been anxious to watch this golden oldie for the first time before Christmas Eve and many years, I have been dying to see it of its original story not unlike those television episodes and other movies that parody its conception. Personally, I would have find IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE to be quite melodramatic just because the film isn't that endearing, but it has its special meaning and value that we've all learned from our experiences that the greatest gift is life. The late Frank Capra is a fabulous director who uses his creative philosophies to get at where he is at and he said that it was his own personal favourite but this is his last great picture to date and what a shame, there is to all of us.

Fortunately, the acting of this film doesn't mire it down completely with such notable names as James Stewart, Donna Reed and Lionel Barrymore. I heard so much about James and his versatility but I never knew that he would act like this as his character starts as an optimist to a very troubled soul who is at its wit's end. I knew this is too good to be true but James Stewart is the movie's best actor and its good luck charm. 

IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE may still remain in our hearts as a cultural heritage and a holiday classic that most young people wouldn't have remembered it when they remained unaware of its existence. Eventually, I'll get around of watching it on next Christmas and you should too when you wait until the twelfth month reaches.

Star rating: (8/10) Very Good Movie 


Tuesday, 22 December 2015

Top 20 Star Wars Moments (5-1)



Sorry, I've been so tardy, It's been three days since I counted down this list while after watching the original films and the new one before but enough all about it, this is the last part of the moments that I have personally considered them in the top twenty. There had been some runner-ups that could have be on the list with moments such as the Battle of Endor, Luke entering the cave and the chase and skirmish around the Death Star is worth mentioning and there are endings that could have come to this list, so enjoy your views!

Be sure that anytime you'll give me feedback as you read them all in the beginning through its closing. You can click in to (20-16), (15-11) and (10-6) if you haven't seen these three parts. Also to remember that the reviews are needed to be checked again unless a few have been updated and before you know it, you'll be able to see 'The Force Awakens' on the big screen.


#5. Vader Redeems Himself (Return of the Jedi)

Probably the one of the good parts in RETURN OF THE JEDI before George mucked it up with a new piece of dialogue he added for Darth Vader to say "NOOOOOOOO!" before the character's eventual turn of redemption and sacrifice. Vader may not have been a good parent to Luke when at a few times, he tries to persuade his son into joining the Empire and then the young Jedi finally defeats him in their second round. Luke is then forced by the Emperor to kill him and refuses to do so which leads to his electrocution by the old Sith Lord. Though Vader has a change of mind and is able to save his son at the cost of his life by pulling the Emperor off his grasp and throws him to his doom. This leads to a emotionally poignant scene as the now redeemed Vader, now Anakin Skywalker lies dying while he begs Luke to take off his own mask to catch a glimpse at his lost humanity before finally resting in peace with the Force.




#4. Han Shot First (A New Hope)

I know what you're thinking but this scene wasn't completely forgotten from all of us when long after George Lucas changed the sequence from Han Solo shooting first to just Greedo and the worst is yet to come when Lucas keeps tinkering that scene in the latest upgrades. Not to mention that fans didn't like this inappropriate change and felt that it just had taken away the only aspect of Han's personality, seriously George! Long before George had this scene altered, it shows Han that while he was being confronted by the Rodian bounty hunter, prepares to use his blaster which he hides it underneath his table resulting a fiery blast that took Greedo in just one shot. Perhaps that Lucas is missing the point of Han is meant to shoot first and the fact remains that it was the only iconic moment that is sought after by those who only want the classic trilogy of its original versions. 




#3. Luke vs. Vader/No, I Am Your Father (The Empire Strikes Back)

Coincidentally on THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, the sequence where Luke faces his dark-side father for the first time in person remains as one of its most iconic lightsaber battle before the duel with Darth Maul in 'The Phantom Menace'. This wasn't the first time they fought, the both of them were in orbit around the attack on the Death Star as they never do see each other in their fighters. No matter how skilled and powerful is Darth Vader when compared to Luke when he is at the near end of his Jedi training. Vader is able to levitate many objects that he throws to the young Jedi and has disarmed him of his lightsaber. This scene ends with a horrifying conclusion that any child should be afraid when Vader tells Luke that he himself behind the mask is his own father causing his own son to let out a big "NOOOOOOOO!" upon being shocking of this discovery. Like father, like son, now we know where Luke gets his genes from and it was an iconic moment of reveal that no one ever expected when we first saw it. Behind this twist is that the scene was originally filmed to have Darth Vader say to Luke that Obi-Wan killed his father when it was unscripted to make sure this actual line wouldn't be leaked to anyone until it was dubbed by James Earl Jones to make sure that the real line is vocally performed.





#2. Obi-Wan and Qui-Gon vs. Darth Maul (The Phantom Menace)

Nothing can beat this truly magnificent scene of its masterful duel choreography and tension created as the only exciting moment aside from the exhilarating Podracing scene in the ambitious but flawed and unequally notorious prequel of THE PHANTOM MENACE. This climatic scene demonstrates the aptitude of a lightsaber duel and it starts off with Darth Maul arriving in the scene to deal with both of the unwanted Jedi as Obi-Wan and his soon-to-be-dead master Qui-Gon aka Liam Neeson are facing a powerful Sith Lord who has ignited his double-edged lightsaber and is in for the kill as only one should gain the upper hand for victory. While not too much as biblical in terms with the other lightsaber duels, it shows its key components with action, camerawork and the instrumental piece of "Duel of the Fates" composed by John Williams matches this scene in a extra detail of hard work. So much of this scene that it would have been picked as number one on the higher spot which unfortunately, now goes to the Trench Run in the Death Star moment.




#1. Death Star Assault (A New Hope)

Since all the other moment entries that were listed in the top twenty, I probably should mention this scene of the attack on the Death Star and is definitely the granddaddy of all space battles. The scene in which Luke and the Rebels are in its trench run as they are piloting their X-wing fighters to try and take out the Imperials of their original Death Star and TIE fighters that are lead by Darth Vader. Luckily, with a little help of Han in the Millennium Falcon, they managed to be victorious on that battle. Very climatic and epic in all of its cinematic portions that created a lot of stir to the audience at this round. It shows all the rousing action and innovative special effects that were combined to make this original space battle come true to the film and is proof that this was largely cemented as the greatest moment in the Star Wars series.



Friday, 18 December 2015

Top 20 Star Wars Moments (10-6)


Two days from now after the long-awaited episode of 'The Force Awakens' is finally showing in theatres and I've yet to have that film until I go see it on Monday night. This list of the top twenty scenes of Star Wars are still counted down for the whole movie. Everyone should know that part one and part two are now published in this blog, we'll be continuing to look at number #10 to #6 on this section. The fact remains that we are so close of reaching the end of this list through No. #5 to No. #1. You better wait till tomorrow or after.

You can (click here for the part one) and (here for part two) that contained these previous entries through the beginning and the second, but there's no telling why of how you missed out on them.


#10. Destruction of Alderaan (A New Hope)

A nightmarish scene that demonstrates the Empire's power to bring fear and rule of destruction. The scene where a captive Princess Leia is forced to witness her home planet's demise by the Death Star after disclosing the hidden Rebel base that shows how the battle station is fully operational when it comes to destroying peaceful planets like Alderaan. The worst case of scenario is that Grand Moff Tarkin is responsible for ordering its obliteration even after knowing it wasn't the location of the Rebels. It affectedly killed millions that were on the planet and so much it caused a disturbance in the force as Obi Wan as he puts it "As if millions of voices suddenly cried out in terror, and were suddenly silenced".




#9. Battle Over Coruscant (Revenge of the Sith)

This opening in REVENGE OF THE SITH starts the prequel in a flash of style as Anakin and Obi-Wan are in a massive space battle attempting to board General Grevious' ship to rescue Palpatine. In there, they wound up with spider droids attempting to dismantle their fighters and a lot of action is going on with this space battle while attacking the droid fighters. This a sturdy action-oriented scene with a lot of brilliant cinematography and visuals involved and its thanks to a massive overload of CGI effects along with some witty dialogue that takes you back to the original trilogy like for lines include "This is where the fun begins".





#8. The Asteroid Chase/This is No Cave (The Empire Strikes Back)

After the rip-roaring moments of the Battle of Hoth and the destruction of the Rebel base, the Millennium Falcon is attempting to outrun the Imperial fleet of Super Star Destroyers and TIE Fighters. Han Solo heads to an asteroid belt to evade capture, much to the discomfort of everyone on board even C3PO finds it impossible in the survival of the odds in an asteroid belt when is told by Han "Never tell me the odds". It continues to ensue the chase with many TIE fighters being blown to bits for oncoming asteroids as Han and the others seek refuge in a cave below on a giant asteroid and find themselves dealing with Mynocks and having to escape the jaws of a giant space slug which Han is realised upon saying "This is no cave". This scene really put the special effects forward with the score by John Williams intact as a definitive moment of Star Wars.




#7. Opening with Star Destroyer (A New Hope)

"A long time ago in a galaxy far, far away..." Then STAR WARS lights up the screen and John Williams epic score announces the arrival of something truly special. This opening scene that starts after the introduction crawl, demonstrates the size and power of the rebels compared to the Imperial fleet. the camera position shows a tiny rebel ship being bombarded by laser fire by a star destroyer that literally swallows the rebel spaceship whole and then we are treated to invading Stormtroopers breaching the ship's interior and Darth Vader makes his grand villainous entrance. He surveys the carnage and continues to hunt for Princess Leia and the stolen plans. 38 years ago, this introduced us to a new world of science fiction and embarked us a scene that no other moviegoer has to forget.




#6. Battle of Hoth (The Empire Strikes Back)

Considering that the STAR WARS series was created under George Lucas himself, it was a plethora of large-scale action and innovative VFX (whether practical, CGI or both used in these films). The Hoth battle sequence remains at large as the second visually iconic moment of THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK and it shows that the Rebels are just more than capable of earning their victories in a war against the Empire. This scene proves it that the Imperials have successfully invaded the Hoth system and took down the Rebel base of its shield generators. Luckily for the Rebels however, they managed to destroy only two Imperial walkers and one Star Destroyer and were able to buy some time to evacuate into orbit. This full-scale action scene was produced at Star Wars' visual effects house of ILM (known as Industrial Light and Magic) and has gone untouched because of the use of stop-motion and miniaturised effects that were personally achieved on this film.



Wednesday, 16 December 2015

Top 20 Star Wars Moments (15-11)




Only one day short before 'The Force Awakens' opens in theatres, I will be continuing the top twenty moments from the quintessential sci-fi blockbuster franchise of Star Wars, only this time it will include the lightsaber duels that were deemed as the greatest aspect of the film series as they provide much of the action choreography and are stunningly filmed. 

If you have missed out on part one, just (click here) if you know that the first picks are good for you.


#15. Anakin vs Obi-Wan/Yoda vs. Palpatine (Revenge of the Sith)

Many will conclude that these two lightsaber battles are absolutely merged as the longest lightsaber fights in Star Wars. There are two duels happening in two worlds that show Anakin facing his former Master  Obi-Wan on the fiery planet of Mustafar while on Coruscant, Yoda duels with the ultimate Sith Lord, Darth Sidious or better known as Palpatine. As the two Jedi Masters are now dealing with two of their common enemies of the Sith in an epic battle between good vs evil, the outcome to these battles is Yoda is defeated by Palpatine while Obi-Wan wins over Anakin. Many fans will be immersed into the long ongoing action between Obi-Wan and Anakin on the volcanic world while the next scene transitions to Yoda and Palpatine fighting in the Senate. If only a few lines of silly dialogue would be changed like for instance "From my point of view, the Jedi were evil" and "Not if there's anything to say about it, I have!" so it wouldn't affect this two-hour large sequence.



#14. Order 66 (Revenge of the Sith)

REVENGE OF THE SITH is the only saving grace of the irredeemable prequel trilogy, the darkest among the Star Wars movies and darker than 'The Empire Strikes Back'. But this depressing moment of the film starts off with Anakin marching the steps of the Jedi Temple with his 501st legion of clone troopers and then a clone is contacted by Palpatine who is playing both sides of the war, orders him along with the others to wipe out their Jedi superiors as his plans have come to fruitioncreating a montage that each Jedi throughout the galaxy is butchered by their clones resulting of their near-permanent extinction even those that've stayed in Coruscant get killed too as a result of that order. Luckily, both Obi-Wan and Yoda were able to survive from their soon-to-be massacre and this moment proves how Palpatine was willing to have the Jedi eradicated and sow the seeds on his new Galactic Empire to abolish the old Republic.



#13. Speeder Bike Chase (Return of the Jedi)

In another brilliant effects scene of Star Wars, the speeder bike pursuit is one of those highlights that were to die for in RETURN OF THE JEDI. Initially, I was going add the Battle of Endor on this rank but I decided on this particular moment instead. It features Luke and Leia as they were both chasing a scout trooper on a speeder bike and causes the other Imperials to follow them as they all tag-along in the immediate ongoing pursuit, then the action soon followed. This incredible scene was before when all the cuteness of the Ewoks begin to trouble the film of its mid half and finale. 



#12. Anakin and Palpatine at the Opera House (Revenge of the Sith)

I must say that REVENGE OF THE SITH has specifically contained any acting that is excellent from the best players that were Ian McDiarmid and Ewan McGregor. Now for this scene is of no exception, sure Hayden Christensen is still Anakin for this whole film as his acting seemed to have improved after being featured in 'Shattered Glass'. This is where Anakin is having a meeting with Chancellor Palpatine in the opera house after reluctantly being sent by the Jedi Knights to spy on him, the latter then tells him about the Jedi and the Sith from each of their perspectives and a story about a dead Sith Lord who has the power to save his loved ones from death which will then lead Anakin to join in the dark side and for his own desire to be strengthen.



#11. Frozen in Carbonite (The Empire Strikes Back)

In the Star Wars movies, there is almost an every heartbreaking moment for each chapter in series. But for this case on THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, I've included the one where our favourite hero Han Solo who is already betrayed by his own friend and is about to face his doom in the Carbonite freezing chamber. Many people will cry a lot for this character to be sacrificed and if that isn't giving you tears enough for you, how about this small scene before when Leia says to Han "I love you" and then Han said her back "I know". See Lucas, this is how a beautiful piece of dialogue has to be written or improvised and not to mention Harrison Ford, the actor you hired to portray Han is responsible for this take of dialogue! I won't forget how much Han Solo is an important character to the movies and is the reason why I liked Star Wars. Fortunately, this character has been brought back in three years later on 'Return of the Jedi'.



Tuesday, 15 December 2015

Top 20 Star Wars Moments (20-16)




In anticipation for the newest STAR WARS episode of 'The Force Awakens' which is two days ahead of its release in Australia, we'll be looking at the first part in the top twenty best moments that have made Star Wars very special for all of us that were fans of the movie series. Oh yes, even some of those who have liked the widely-despised, CGI-overblown prequels will find some of these moments to be there on the list. Unfortunately, I won't be able to include any of the lightsaber duels and that'll have to be in the next part when it will have to be posted on tomorrow's date. So until then, may the force be with you.



#20. Podracing (The Phantom Menace)

First, I'll start off with the podrace sequence, one of the few redeeming moments that were worth-watching in THE PHANTOM MENACE. Some may see it as redundant to the story, but I thought it was very important to this film. We see how young Anakin Skywalker as his piloting skills and Jedi reflexes are put to the test when he enters the podracing tournament to pit against Sebulba and the other racers through the desert lands of Tatoonie. This particular action set-piece was accompanied by the ingenious visual effects and dazzling camera angles. It is so fun to watch that though it would have go a much higher on the top spot if Jar Jar should have been deleted from this moment along with himself being removed from the entire film.




#19. Battle at Geonoisis (Attack of the Clones)
    ATTACK OF THE CLONES may not be as bad as 'The Phantom Menace', maybe not as good as it would be, but the film reaches to one of its climaxes where on Geonosis, Anakin, Obi Wan and Padme are trying to avoid their execution as Mace shows up and he ignites his purple lightsaber before starting a huge battle in the arena with his fellow Jedi comrades after he immediately said to Count Dooku "This party's over". Now, this huge sequence contains with so many Jedi with their lightsabers as they fought against monsters and droids in a huge area of skirmish when this nearly held the record as the longest Star Wars battle that any fan has to envision. In case if you are wondering why this moment didn't go in the top 10, probably because of the unnecessary comic relief courtesy of C3PO.




    #18. The Birth of Darth Vader (Revenge of the Sith)

    Say what you want about this scene, I know that it ended with Darth Vader saying "NOOOOOOOO!" that remains as one of the cheesiest lines of Star Wars. This just shows how Anakin Skywalker aka Darth Vader becomes more machine than man when he is outfitted with mechanical prosthesis and a special armour that keeps him alive after the damage that he had sustained in the lava planet of Mustafar and is now turned into a black-clad warrior that we all love to hate and begins that recognisable breathe through his mask. No one cares how it closes with that cheesy line, it helps that James Earl Jones is reprising the voice of Vader in the end of the character's dramatic transformation.



    #17. Fight at the Great Pit of Carkoon (Return of the Jedi)
    Beginning of this scene of RETURN OF THE JEDI when Luke, Han and Chewie were sentenced to walk over the sail barge and enter the Great Pit of Carkoon by Jabba the Hutt where they are to be fed in the belly of the Sarlacc. Fortunately, Luke receives a new lightsaber from R2-D2 as he catches it and this is where the action begins in this whole skirmish with Luke and the rest of the heroes fending off Jabba's minions and Boba Fett whilst Leia in her slave bikini costume is able to give Jabba into her own chains by having him choked to his own medicine. So much action was delivered and choreographed for this scene and the results came in with a spectacular display of acrobatics, laser-firing and explosions.





    #16. Chase at Coruscant (Attack of the Clones)

    One of the better moments in ATTACK OF THE CLONES aside from the non-stop action in the arena battle at Geonosis that I have liked. Considering how big is the huge city world of Coruscant of its splendor and beauty and is the perfect setting for a chase scene as Anakin and Obi-Wan are in a flying speeder whilst in hot pursuit of a bounty hunter named Zam Wessell after foiling her attempt to assassinate Padme Amidala. Although it was amazing enough for this scene to be in AOTC, but it was not enough to land film in my favourites since it was hindered by the awkwardly acted and terribly-written romantic subplot of Anakin and Padme.




    Monday, 14 December 2015

    Hotel Transylvania 2 Review












    Hotel Transylvania 2


    Release Date: 26th November 2015 - Australia


    Production Companies 
    Columbia Pictures
    L Star Capital (in association with)
    Sony Pictures Animation

    Distribution 
    Sony Pictures Australia 


    Genre: Animation/Family

    Rating: PG

    Runtime: 89 minutes


    Budget: $80,000,000

    Box Office Gross: $473,226,958
    (Worldwide)


    Plot Summary
    Dracula, worried that his
    adorable human/vampire
    grandson Dennis isn't
    showing signs of being a
    vampire, enlists his friends
    to put Dennis through a
    "monster in training"
    boot camp. But little do
    they know that Drac's
    grumpy, old school dad
    Vlad is about to pay a
    family visit to the hotel...
    and when he finds out
    that his great-grandson
    is not a pure blood--and
    that humans are now
    welcome at Hotel
    Transylvania--things
    are going to get batty!


    Voice Cast
    Adam Sandler - Dracula
    Selena Gomez - Mavis
    Andy Samberg - Jonathan
    Asher Blinkoff - Dennis
    David Spade - Griffin the Invisible Man
    Keegan-Michael Key - Murray
    Kevin James - Frank/Frankenstein
    Steve Buscemi - Wayne
    Molly Shannon - Wanda
    Mel Brooks - Vlad
    Rob Riggle - Bela
    Fran Drescher - Eunice
    Jon Lovitz - The Phantom of the Opera
    Nick Offerman - Grandpa Mike
    Megan Mullally - Grandma Linda
    Dana Carvey - Dana
    Jonny Solomon - Blobby
    Sadie Sandler - Winnie
    Nick Swardson - Kelsey
    Chris Parnell - Mr. Fly
    Robert Smigel - Marty
    Chris Kattan - Kakie
    Sunny Sandler - Infant Dennis

    Crew
    Director - Genndy Tartakovsky
    Writer/Executive Producers -
    Robert Smigel and Adam Sandler
    Producer - Michelle Murdocca
    Co-Producer - Skye Lyons
    Executive Producers - Allen
    Covert and Ben Waisbren
    Character Designers - Andre
    Medina, Stephen DeStefano, 
    Tony Siruno and Craig Kellman
    Production Designer - Michael Kurinsky
    Heads of Story - David Wachtenheim
    and Robert Marianetti
    Senior Animation Supervisor - Alan Hawkins
    Visual Effects Supervisor - Karl Herbst
    Film Editor - Catherine Apple
    Music - Mark Mothersbaugh


    Review
    In 2012, I was at one time in the cinema when I began to enjoy the screening of HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA (click here) and reviewed the film shortly after its showing. Two years later, a sequel has been announced and Genndy Tartakovsky is reprising the directional helm of this newest chapter with Adam Sandler and his buddies returning to do the voice-overs. Though Sandler is now in the online streaming of Netflix since he's no longer interested to have his films released in cinemas which they under-performed at the box office, thanks to lowest common denominators like JACK AND JILL (click here) and now this has continued in the latest setback PIXELS (click here). Fortunately for the middle-aged comedian, he had a few recent successes under his belt, but HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2 is no exception, it was on par with the first movie and is more comical mainly it's to do with Sandler's contributions to the film's writing.

    The plot wasn't quite as humanising and could have been more skeletal with several characters that have been added and could have had a few more scenes. For example, Mel Brooks' cantankerous old vampire Vlad is the important factor and he would have not instead shown up in the last third of the film. The comedy is getting clever, cheesy or cartoonish in more sight of contrast to the first movie and the animation is at its very finest of simplicity.

    I have nothing to turn against this sequel, but the fact remains that not so much bad has happened in HOTEL TRANSYLVANIA 2. It's certainly a worth a watch for children and their families who have wanted to see the film before the holidays come.

    Star rating: (7/10) Good Movie


    Monday, 7 December 2015

    Superman IV: The Quest for Peace Review











    Superman IV: The Quest for Peace


    Release Date: 26th December 1987 - Australia


    Production Companies 
    Warner Bros. Pictures
    Cannon Films
    Golan-Globus Productions


    Genre: Action

    Rating: PG

    Runtime: 86 minutes 


    Budget: $17,000,000

    Box Office Gross: $36,700,000 
    (Worldwide)


    Plot Summary
    Lex Luthor creates a new 
    being to challenge the 
    Man of Steel: the radiation-
    charged Nuclear Man. 
    The two foes clash in an 
    explosive extravaganza 
    that sees Superman save 
    the Statue of Liberty, plug 
    a volcanic eruption of 
    Mount Etna and rebuild the 
    demolished Great Wall of 
    China.


    Cast
    Christopher Reeve - Clark Kent/
    Superman
    Margot Kidder - Lois Lane
    Gene Hackman - Lex Luthor
    Mark Pillow - Nuclear Man
    Jackie Cooper - Perry White
    Marc McClure - Jimmy Olsen
    Jon Cryer - Lenny Luthor
    Mariel Hemingway - Lacy Warfield
    Sam Wanamaker - David Warfield
    Susannah York - Lara (Voice)
    Damian McLawhorn - Jeremy
    William Hootkins - Harry Howler
    Jim Broadbent - Jean Pierre Dubois

    Crew
    Director - Sidney J. Furie 
    Based on Comic Book 
    "Superman" - Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster
    Superman Motion Pictures 
    Initiator - Alexander Salkind
    Story/Screenplay - Lawrence 
    Konner and Mark Rosenthal
    Story - Christopher Reeve
    Producers - Menahem Golan
    and Yoram Globus
    Production Designer - John Graysmark
    Costume Designer - John Bloomfield
    Director of Photography - Ernest Day
    Second Unit Director/Visual Effects Supervisor - 
    Harrison Ellenshaw 
    Visual Effects Supervisor - Michael Lessa
    Film Editor - John Shirley
    Themes - John Williams
    Music - Alexander Courage


    Review
    Hello, fanatical movie goers, this is RadDingo here, we'll be looking at one of the worst conclusions to a movie series that is conceived to end all the series production until it was paralleled in ten years later on the original Batman series with the god-awful BATMAN & ROBIN (click here). I would have looked at SUPERMAN IV: THE QUEST FOR PEACE of its flaws since I would have the marathon to be continued with maybe five or two more films reviewed in a circulation. Though produced by different filmmakers in a shoestring budget and edited notoriously with no regards for a huge pace, SUPERMAN IV was known to have been the red-headed step-child of the classic Donner/Lester quadrilogy and serves as a debonair package of cheesiness that is so bad to contain inconsistent plotting, mangled editing, bad science, cheap special effects and a moral that is meant to address how nuclear warfare is becoming a danger to mankind. A message that was actually brought up by the original actor that played the Man of Steel, Christopher Reeve.

    It was meant to move over from the redundant slapstick direction that Richard Lester had overtook and embraced on SUPERMAN III (click here). I suppose that THE QUEST FOR PEACE is no different to its predecessor and has tried to at least make Superman fly again. Having two of the original actors back like Gene Hackman isn't going to have the damage repaired and not even Jon Cryer's performance as Lex's moronic nephew won't save the film from becoming an atrocity. I like to begin of noting how SUPERMAN IV was at its huge missteps such as how they created the villainous Nuclear Man to look more as a reject than a worthy foe to Superman, then there's the moon scene where they battle each other in slow-motion and the flying sequence that it is immensely recycled from the first classic instalment.

    The fiasco of SUPERMAN IV made no chances but to tarnish the reputations of those who have worked on the movie's low budget scale. Even the late actor Christopher Reeve never got to be Superman again after that happened and even after his paralysis affected him in 1995, he may no longer return as the original Man of Steel. Several comic-book fans and movie-goers alike may want to instead watch SUPERMAN RETURNS (click here) and throw this second-rate addition in the bargain bin.

    Star rating: (1/10) Worst Movie Ever