Thursday, 30 April 2015

Old Reviews Re-Uploaded/New Star Wars Teaser

Hello there, everyone, it's FilmGuruLad here and I just came to inform you that I have updated some of my original reviews these include: the two films of 'How to Train Your Dragon' along with single films of 'Kung Fu Panda 2', 'White House Down' and the latest, 'Gallipoli'. There is also two I recently re-uploaded which include 'The Bourne Legacy' and the 2012 remake of 'Red Dawn' which I taken them off my blog because I just not yet re-explored them.

In case you're wondering why I have not yet shown you the new 'Star Wars' teaser, it is because my efforts directed to more important issues such as tributes to Paul Walker and Anzac Day. But here, this will make up to you, I hope you'll enjoy.

Monday, 27 April 2015

Gallipoli Review (Updated)


Release Date: 13th August 1981 - Australia

Production Companies
The Australian Film Commission 
R & R Films

20th Century Fox Australia

Genre: War

Rating: M

Runtime: 111 minutes

Budget: A$1,800,000

Box Office Gross: A$11,740,000

Plot Summary
Two young sprinters from
Western Australia, the
cynical larrikin Frank and
the idealistic Archy meet in
1915, during WWI. Friends
and rivals, they enlist and
are sent to fight in Turkey.
A the two men battle in the
chaotic and blood-soaked
trenches of Gallipoli, they
epitomise the sacrifice, the
mateship and the tragic
waste of the men whose
undying courage in the face
of overwhelming odds has
defined Australia's identity

Mark Lee - Archy Hamilton
Mel Gibson - Frank Rudd
Bill Kerr - Jack
Harold Hopkins - Les McCann
Bill Hunter - Major Barton
Robert Grubb - Billy
Tim McKenzie - Barney
David Argue - Snowy
Charles Lathalu Yunipingu -
Ron Graham - Wallace Hamilton
Gerda Nicolson - Rose Hamilton
John Morris - Col. Robinson

Story/Director - Peter Weir
Screenplay - David Williamson
Producers - Patricia Lovell and 
Robert Stigwood
Military Advisor - Bill Gammage
Art Director - Herbert Pinter
Director of Photography - Russell Boyd
Film Editor - William M. Anderson
Music - Brian May

In light of the celebration of Anzac Day and having most immersed myself in some of its history, I felt inspired to review GALLIPOLI as a tribute to all of those brave men who have fallen in that infamous battle which results in the birth of the annual holiday in Australia. I know the film may be historically incorrect, but it didn't stop Peter Weir from directing this Aussie war drama of 1981 which presents a portrait of the tragedy and heartbreak that has befallen in this conflict. Nevertheless, it captures the devastation and how human lives were lost on the battlefield and it exposed us to this theme of mateship which held the men together in close bond and helped them to deal with the trauma experiences of the loss, pain and suffering. To my knowledge that there was only one movie and two miniseries that were based on the battle, instead of features that were set after Gallipoli. Among these one of the features include BENEATH HILL 60 as a noted example. 

Mel Gibson before he was Hollywood's original sweetheart was a superb actor for having portrayed one of the main protagonists when this movie along with MAD MAX 2 had set him into the international borders of film stardom. I'm surprised to find out that his co-star Mark Lee never had the chance to attain this celebrity status that Mel developed in the following years after GALLIPOLI. He still has his moments of his worthwhile performance, but it's never enough to land him an opportunity in presenting himself for bigger roles in pictures.

There is much heartbreak and melancholy left to be seen through audiences after having watched the final half of GALLIPOLI. Nobody can tell that feature would be a deserving well-known classic, even in Australia where it was more popular there and become one of those movies that were in the New Wave cinema resurgence. It's quite a less-pretentious movie and evidently that many will probably get to know as a tribute to the Anzac tradition. 

Star rating: (8/10) Very Good Movie

Monday, 20 April 2015

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014) Review

Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

Release Date: 11th September 2014 - Australia

Production Companies
Paramount Pictures
Nickelodeon Movies
Platinum Dunes

Paramount Pictures Australia

Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 101 minutes

Budget: $125,000,000

Box Office Gross: $493,333,584

Plot Summary
Darkness has settled 
over New York City as 
Shredder and his evil 
Foot Clan have an iron 
grip on everything 
from the police to the 
politicians. The future 
is grim until four 
unlikely outcast brothers 
rise from the sewers and 
discover their destiny 
as the Teenage Mutant 
Ninja Turtles. The Turtles 
must work with fearless 
reporter April O'Neil and 
her wisecracking camera-
man Vern Fenwick to 
save the city and unravel 
Shredder's diabolical 

Megan Fox - April O'Neil
Will Arnett - Vern Fenwick
William Fichtner - Eric Sacks
Alan Ritchson - Raphael
Noel Fisher - Michelangelo
Pete Ploszek - Leonardo
Johnny Knoxville - Leonardo
Jeremy Howard - Donatello
Danny Woodburn - Splinter
Tony Shalhoub - Splinter (Voice)
Tohoru Masamume - Shredder
Whoopi Goldberg - Bernadette
Minae Noji - Karai
Abby Elliott - Taylor
Taran Kilam - McNaughton
K. Todd Freeman - Dr. Baxter
Paul Fitzgerald - Dr. O'Neil
Derek Mears - Dojo Ninja

Director - Jonathan Liebesman
Based on Characters  - Kevin
Eastman and Peter Laird
Writers - Josh Appelbaum,
Andre Nemec and Evan
Producers - Michael Bay,
Ian Bryce, Andrew Form,
Bradley Fuller, Scott Mendick
and Galen Walker
Production Designer - Neil Spisak
Costume Designer - Sarah Edwards
Director of Photography - Lula Carvalho
Fight Coordinator - Jonathan Eusebio
Visual Effects Supervisor - Pablo Helman
Film Editors - Joel Negron and
Glen Scantlebury
Music - Brian Tyler

As a fellow nostalgic reviewer, I've learned so much about TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES through endlessly reading a few books and comic issues plus watched two television series and three movies from which it is based on. I wasn't very excited about seeing the 2014 reboot of the movie when I heard all its negative news when in production. I've seen movies in better days that are extremely good enough to watch, the recent interpretation of TMNT is juvenile, cheesy and almost unfaithful to the original incarnation which is due to Michael Bay's involvement and a fair amount of problems. I did not like the CGI character designs of the Turtles which looked nothing more but part reptilian and part human alike to their mutation. The ILM effects company have been trying to shape up these four heroic reptiles as organic and much to the filmmakers best intentions to try make them as different to the old-school puppetry used in the three original films.

With a focus on the acting performances in this big-budgeted remake, Megan Fox does not deserve to be cast as April O'Neill and she should have dyed her hair red or give away the role to another actress in playing the lead female so as to more accurately re-convey the traditional appearance of April. Although the other cast aren't perfect in the contrast to Megan herself, the best actor who stays in most of the film would be Will Arnett in playing a supporting character that is almost the exact opposite to April and on a different note I admire his role in the ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT program.

I may sum up that this isn't the feature I expected it would be, but it still definitely breaks out of its shell with a firework display of action and thrills. TEENAGE MUTANT NINJA TURTLES is perhaps an example of a film that due to a lack of direction and writing, I feel should only be watched once. Cowabunga dudes!

Star rating: (5/10) Average

Monday, 13 April 2015

Fast & Furious 7 Review (Updated)

Fast & Furious 7

Release Date: 2nd April 2015 - Australia

Production Companies 
Universal Pictures
Original Film
One Race Films
Media Rights Capital (in association with)
China Film Co. (in association with)
Fast 7 Productions
Dentsu (presented in association with)

Universal Pictures Australia

Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 137 minutes

Budget: $190,000,000

Box Office Gross: $1,516,045,911

Plot Summary
Dominic Toretto and his
crew thought they had left
the criminal mercenary life
behind. They defeated an
international terrorist named
Owen Shaw and went their
separate ways. But now,
Shaw's brother Deckard is
out killing the crew one by
one for revenge. Worse, a
Somalian terrorist called
Jarkade, and a shady
government official called
"Mr. Nobody" are both
competing to steal a
computer terrorism program
called God's Eye, that can
turn any technological
device into a weapon.

Toretto must reconvene
with his team to stop Shaw
and retrieve the God's Eye
program while caught in a
power struggle between
terrorist and the United
States government.

Vin Diesel - Dominic Toretto
Paul Walker - Brian O'Conner
Dwayne Johnson - Luke Hobbs
Michelle Rodriguez - Leticia
"Letty" Ortiz

Jordana Brewster - Mia Toretto
Tyrese Gibson - Roman Pearce
Chris 'Ludacris' Bridges - Tej
Jason Statham - Deckard Shaw
Kurt Russell - Mr. Nobody
Nathalie Emmanuel - Ramsey
Elsa Pataky - Elena
Tony Jaa - Kiet
Djimon Hounsou - Jakande
Sung Kang - Han Seoul-Oh
Lucas Black - Sean Boswell
Luke Evans - Owen Shaw

Director - James Wan
Based on Characters - Gary
Scott Thompson
Writer - Chris Morgan
Producers - Vin Diesel, Neal H.
Moritz and Michael Fottrell
Co-Producer - Brandon Birtell
Co-Producer/Production Supervisor - Adam McCarthy
Production Designer - Bill Brzeski
Costume Designer - Sanja
Milkovic Hays
Cinematography - Marc Spicer
and Stephen F. Windon
Action Coordinator - David
Supervising Stunt Coordinator/
Stunt Player/Performer - Joel
Second Unit Director/Stunt Coordinator - Spiro Razatos
Stunt Coordinators - Jack Gill,
and Troy Robinson
Stunt Coordinator/Stunt Double:
Paul Walker - Oakley Lehman
Visual Effects Supervisor -
Mike Wassel
Visual Effects Co-Supervisor -
Kelvin McIlwain
Visual Effects Supervisor:
Weta Digital - Martin Hill
Film Editors - Leigh Bolsom
Boyd, Dylan Highsmith, Kirk M.
Morri and Christian Wagner
Music - Brian Tyler

In the beginning, there were six films of the FAST & THE FURIOUS series and only two made it into greater attention. It took me a year and a half after Paul Walker's death to as a tribute spend some time revisiting the fourth instalment and fix this critique along with other previous F&F films to coincide with the screening of FAST & FURIOUS 7. I was glad that the seventh feature was full of surprises and made the audiences feel engaged without being disappointed. Key strengths in F&F7 is not just the amazing car stunts and action scenery, it is also the fact that this feature serves as a parting gift to Paul Walker and sure it would have been more genuine for his character get killed in a emotional blow to the series. But I am happy with how it ends with a deep heart-warming message and I won't forget that this is his partially-completed film where sadly, he never got to finish. I never had a chance to look at his horror flicks, but I admire James Wan taking over the direction from Justin Lin, he pulls more wit and is more capable of stylised action than horror. 

I have my thoughts about the two new members who have joined the cast which include newcomer Kurt Russell who seems to be a commendable choice as a government ally to the heroes. I choose Englishman Jason Statham over Kurt who like fellow action star Dwayne Johnson displays some unusual talent and he is most capable of portraying the lead antagonist role. He not only presents himself as a menacing foe wanting for revenge but also as being a cold-blooded assassin. This is made apparent when he was introduced to that character in the mid-credits scene of FAST & FURIOUS 6 (click here), I felt that he was a much more formidable opponent in the contrast to the previous bad guy by Luke Evans.

Next to FAST & FURIOUS 5 (click here), this is now the second best of the movies and it remains undiluted for the seventh movie to continue on with the action scenes and not run out of its race formula. I am uncertain if there will be an eighth FAST & FURIOUS feature and I feel it won't succeed without Paul coming back alive to duet with Vin Diesel. 

Star rating: (10/10) Best Movie Ever

Friday, 10 April 2015

Film Guru Lad's Top Movie Villains: Part 5

Here we are in another post from myself as Rad Dingo, this is the last part of the top evildoers that are shown no remorse in capable of doing the bad things that made us hate them in their monstrosity. So these are the last three that will end the top spot of the list and if you haven't known any of these film villains, you be prepared for a shocking surprise of evil treachery.

If you missed the last parts of this list, you can (click here for part one), (part two), (part three) and (part four) to check on the other entries. 

#3. Scar (The Lion King)

Not all villains are live-action,
some of them are animated and
when it comes to family members
who plot against their relatives,
Scar is at the very forefront as
one of these types of villains.
This vain, cunning, deceptive
and power-hungry bad lion has
committed a lot of atrocities 
such as betraying his own
brother and murdering 
him as well as deceiving his 
own nephew that it was his fault 
for doing so, etc. English actor
Jeremy Irons did a terrifying 
ghastly voice of that ferocious 
feline and Scar is just one of the 
few Disney villains that gets away 
with their plans until the very end gets their deserts. Unlike Maleficent who has no intentions to have those qualities like obtain power through stealing one's right to rule or the other.  

#2. The Joker (The Dark Knight)
One of Batman's greatest
enemies, The Joker is an
insane psychopathic  
clown who murders people
and plans to plunge Gotham 
City into anarchy where he
has terrorised. Unlike the
comic's origins, this murderous 
mastermind hasn't had his 
whole skin bleached by the 
use of toxic chemicals. He is 
actually shown to be wearing 
makeup and having scars 
on parts of his mouth to match the character's twisted grin. He has absolutely no redemption and therefore is described as having zero empathy. This definitive portrayal of the character was incredibly disturbing and dark with the acting of the late Heath Ledger. Since this is one of the last roles he performed, and what a massive role for him to have as a swan song. He had received an Oscar win posthumously and I think that I might want to keep this version in the list instead of other interpretations of the Joker. 

#1. Darth Vader (Star Wars 

And finally, the best of all these
movie villains who's in my
opinion is also the best
character of 'Star Wars'.... Darth
Vader. This dark lord of an
estranged father did most of the
things that were evil such as
exterminating the Jedi including
the young-lings, force-choking
minor imperial officers to death
for failure and incompetence, 
inflicting torture on Han Solo 
among other evil deeds. Vader 
is encased in a special suit and helmet that keeps him alive and breathing. Mechanical limbs that enhance his abilities as a result of a fight with his former master Obi-Wan and also sustained burns from lava on the planet Mustafar. Darth Vader is not only the greatest of all the film adversaries, but someone that you don't wanna tick off or doesn't take any apologies.

Thursday, 9 April 2015

My Tenth Important Message

Greetings, fellow moviegoers, I'm Rad Dingo and you may as well discovered that the re-review of 'Inception' is no longer available on the blog archive or to use the Navbar in searching it but why? Me of course, I deleted it for making it similar to a post which is of the same name on an other film review site. Aside from that big change, here are some reviews that were changed in accuracy for the present time.

Unless some viewers have already explored a few and seen through my updates. Just remember the last time that I will be checking for more reviews that are stuck with typos and short review descriptions.

  1. Terminator 2: Judgement Day 
  2. Inception (old review)
  3. Blended
  4. Rio
  5. Hot Fuzz
  6. The Green Hornet
  7. The Lost World: Jurassic Park
  8. Speed
  9. Jumper
  10. The Avengers (2012)
  11. Cowboys & Aliens
  12. The Empire Strikes Back
  13. Return of the Jedi
  14. The Dark Knight
  15. How to Train Your Dragon

I am still bothered that none of you wished to look at the magical thriller of 'Now You See Me', even that I fixed the whole critique description. 

Just go into 'Now You See Me' or type in ( among other ways to get in to this review.

Monday, 6 April 2015

Fast & Furious Review (Updated)

Fast & Furious 

Release Date: 16th April 2009 - Australia

Production Companies
Universal Pictures
Relativity Media (in association with)
Original Film
One Race Films
Dentsu (in association with)

Universal Pictures Australia 

Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 102 minutes

Budget: $85,000,000

Box Office Gross: $363,164,265

Plot Summary
When a crime brings them
back to L.A, fugitive ex-con
Dom Toretto reignites his
feud with agent Brian
O'Conner. But as they are
forced to confront a shared
enemy, they find the best
way to get revenge: push
the limits of what's possible
behind the wheel!

Vin Diesel - Dominic Toretto
Paul Walker - Brian O'Conner
Michelle Rodriguez - Leticia
"Letty" Ortiz

Jordana Brewster - Mia Toretto
John Ortiz - Ramon Campos
Gal Gadot - Gisele Yashar
Laz Alonso - Felix Calderon 
Sung Kang - Han Seoul-Oh
Tego Calderón - Leo Tego
Don Omar - Rico Santos
Jack Conley - Penning
Shea Whigham - Agent Stasiak
Liza Lapira - Sophie Trinh
Mirtha Michelle - Cara Mirtha
Greg Cipes - Dwight Mueller
Ron Yuan - David Park

Director - Justin Lin
Based on Characters - Gary
Scott Thompson
Writer - Chris Morgan
Producers - Vin Diesel, Neal H.
Moritz and Michael Fottrell

Production Designer - Ida Random 
Costume Designer - Sanja Milkovic Hays
Director of Photography - Amir Mokri
Stunt Coordinators - Mike 
Gunther and Freddie Hice
Visual Effects Supervisors - 
Thad Beier, Kelvin McIlwain,
Bob Mercier and Mike Wassel
Film Editors - Christian Wagner 
and Fred Raskin
Music - Brian Tyler

I must admit, prior to watching FAST AND FURIOUS 5 (click here) before reviewing it, I actually saw the fourth movie when I inadvertently purchased it by mistake. FAST AND FURIOUS was a positive change for the series and it was great to see the whole team of original cast from the first instalment back together. While on one hand, I would say that this film is a fast paced, fuel injected action, I feel the quality is let down by the special effects of some of the scenes which look over-the-top. Everyone should be grateful it didn't let the franchise be turned into a mindless money-making propaganda. Brisk-moving pace, vehicle action and Vin Diesel is all the vital elements that is needed for the fans enjoy this movie. As for the action star Vin, he kept his cool and it was refreshing to see Paul and Vin reunited in their characters who portray a brotherly chemistry.

Not quite fast, not quite furious, but it did foreshadow the new movies and was the first step to rejuvenating the TF&TF series. I would definitely watch this movie again as it has a well paced story-line with the moments of induced action.

Star rating: (7/10) Good Movie

Sunday, 5 April 2015

Hop Re-Review


Release Date: 7th April 2011 - Australia

Production Companies
Universal Pictures (presents)
Relativity Media (in association with)
Illumination Entertainment

Universal Studios Australia

Genre: Family

Rating: G

Runtime: 95 minutes

Budget: $63,000,000

Box Office Gross: $183,953,723

Plot Summary
Blending state-of-the-art
animation with live
action, Hop tells the
comic tale of Fred, an
out-of-work slacker who
accidentally injures the
Easter Bunny's son and
must take him in as he
recovers. As Fred struggles
with the world's worst
house guest, both will
learn what it takes to
finally grow up.

Live Action Cast
James Marsden - Fred O'Hare
Coleton Ray - Young Fred
Kaley Cuoco - Samantha "Sam" O'Hare
Gary Cole - Henry O'Hare
Elizabeth Perkins - Bonnie O'Hare
Tiffany Espensen - Alex O'Hare
David Hasselhoff - Himself
Chelsea Handler - Mrs. Beck
Russell Brand - Production Assistant (Cameo)

Voice Cast
Russell Brand - E.B.
Django Marsh - Young E.B.
Hugh Laurie - Mr. Bunny
Hank Azaria - Carlos & Phil
Hugh Hefner - Voice at Playboy
Mansion (Cameo)

Director - Tim Hill
Story/Screenplay - Cinco Paul & Ken Daurio
Screenplay - Brian Lynch
Producers - Michele Imperato &
Christopher Meledandri
Production Designer - Richard Holland
Character Designer - Peter DeSeve
Director of Photography - Peter Lyons Collister
Animation Supervisor/Designer: Young E.B./
Senior Animation Supervisor - Chris Bailey
Visual Effects Supervisor: Rhythm & Hues -
Raymond Chen
Animation Supervisor: Rhythm & Hues -
Ryan O'Donoghue
Film Editors - Peter S. Elliot & Gregory Perler
Music - Christopher Lennertz

Happy Easter, everyone! I noticed there are so not many movies made for Easter which I don't have to watch them in a daily basis. In re-experiencing the family-oriented sugar rush HOP which I have reviewed in 2012. I just realised HOP wasn't so good after all, true but it makes the first ALVIN & THE CHIPMUNKS movie look shabbier to the comparison. It wasn't enough when you see James Marsden throughout of its running time, you'll be disappointed for watching HOP at the big and flat screens. To at my critical beating, I felt the film would have been better if E.B. was the main focus, if the story wasn't banal and insipid and not share it with the actor who once played Cyclops.

This bunny would have become a very acceptable character to the children's parents as with the film that it needs to be better to include less childlike humour and moments as to not appeal it to the 6-to-12 year olds. There a few jokes that I did get as an adult and I still find the animation very terrific in eye candy.

Only the juveniles and the families can watch HOP if it is below average for the smart older viewers. I should continue on with my work as you all should wait for my next review to be posted.

Star rating: (4/10) Below Average