Monday, 27 July 2015

Up Review


Release Date: 3rd September 2009 - Australia

Production Companies
Walt Disney Pictures (presents)
Pixar Animation Studios

Walt Disney Studios Motion
Pictures Australia

Genre: Animation/Family

Rating: PG

Runtime: 91 minutes

Budget: $175,000,000

Box Office Gross: $731,342,744

Plot Summary
Carl Fredricksen, a retired 
balloon salesman, is part 
rascal, part dreamer who 
is ready for his last chance 
at high-flying excitement. 
Tying thousands of balloons 
To his house, Carl sets off 
to the lost world of his 
childhood dreams. 
Unbeknownst to Carl, 
Russell, an overeager 8-year 
old Wilderness explorer who 
has never ventured beyond 
his backyard, is in the wrong 
place at the wrong time - 
Carl's front porch! 

The world's most unlikeable 
duo reach new heights and 
meet fantastic friends like Dug, 
a dog with a special collar that 
allows him to speak, and 
Kevin, a rare 13-foot-tall 
flightless bird. Stuck together 
in the wilds of the jungle, Carl 
realises that sometime life's
biggest adventures aren't the
ones you set looking for.

Voice Cast
Edward Asner - Carl Fredricksen
Jordan Nagai - Russell
Christopher Plummer - Charles 
Bob Peterson - Dug/Alpha
Pete Docter - Kevin/
Campmaster Strauch
Delroy Lindo - Benta
Jerome Ranft - Gamma
John Ratzenberger - Construction
Foreman Tom
Elie Docter - Young Ellie
Jeremy Leary - Young Carl

Story/Screenplay/Director - Pete Docter
Story/Screenplay/Co-Director - Bob Peterson
Story - Tom McCarthy
Additional Screenplay Material/Story Supervisor/
Storyboard Artist (Uncredited) - Ronnie Del Carmen
Executive Producers - John Lasseter and
Andrew Stanton
Producer - Jonas Rivera
Production Designer - Ricky Nierva
Character Supervisor - Thomas Jordan
Animation and Crowds Supervisor - John Pottebaum
Supervising Animator - Scott Clark
Director of Photography: Camera - Patrick Lin
Director of Photography: Lightning - Jean-Claude Kalache
Film Editor - Kevin Nolting
Sound Designer - Tom Myers
Music - Michael Giacchino


2010 Academy Awards
Best Animated Feature - Pete Docter (Won)
Best Music - Michael Giacchino (Won)
Best Picture - Jonas Rivera (Nominated)
Best Writing, Original Screenplay - Bob Peterson,
Pete Docter and Tom McCarthy (Nominated)
Best Sound Editing - Michael Silvers and
Tom Myers (Nominated)

It can be said that PIXAR has consistently shown the ongoing stories of heartwarming magic for the young and old over the decades since TOY STORY (click here) when they first introduced CGI features to the world in 1995. Upon its release about in 2009, UP ended up as one of the studio's last two critically acclaimed endeavours and not all of us have responded positively to this charming, new age, milestone classic. I however find it a little too similar to its previous feature WALL-E (click here). Sure the characterisation is nice and colourful but there's not so much to say about the comedy and drama in this movie as it was rather predictable. 

The highlight of this film was the montage scene where Carl and Ellie are married and something tragic befalls them. Not even Wes Anderson can replicate a moment of this affecting sadness and poignancy. I understood the message that this film communicates which is that life is one big adventure and that you should live life to your fullest potential and follow your wildest dreams. Unfortunately, this can't save UP from its small imperfections. I felt that Christopher Plummer's voice acting has really iced the cake and he does an impressive antagonist portrayal than few of his other villainous roles.

That being said, UP is a semi-decent movie but I'm not so much on the plot though, I am a tough critic when it comes to animation films as I have viewed and reviewed many of them so that being said, I think if you have not much experience with this type of film, than it might be more appealing to you.

Star rating: (7/10) Good Movie

Wednesday, 22 July 2015

The African Queen Review

The African Queen

Release Date: 23rd December 1951 - USA

Production Companies
Romulus Films (presents)
Horizon Films

Genre: Adventure

Rating: G

Runtime: 100 minutes

Budget: $1,000,000

Box Office Gross: $10,750,000

Plot Summary
After religious spinster's
missionary brother is killed
in WWI Africa, dissolute
steamer captain offers her
safe passage. She's not
satisfied so she persuades
him to destroy a German
gunboat. The two spend
most of their time fighting
with each other rather than
the Germans. Time alone
on the river leads to love.

Humphrey Bogart - Charlie Allnut
Katherine Hepburn - Rose Sayer
Robert Morley - Rev. Samuel Sayer
Peter Bull - Captain of Louisa
Theodore Bikel - First Officer
Walter Gotell - Second Officer
Peter Swanwick - First Officer of Shona
Richard Marner - Second Officer of Shona

Writer/Director - John Huston
Based on Novel "The African
Queen" - C.S. Forester
Writers - James Agee, John Collier (Uncredited)
and Peter Viertel (Uncredited)
Producers - Sam Spiegel and John Woolf (Uncredited)
Art Director - Wilfred Shingleton
Costume Designer: Miss Hepburn's -
Doris Langley Moore
Director of Photography - Jack Cardiff
Film Editor - Ralph Kempen
Music - Allan Grey


1952 Academy Awards
Best Actor - Humphrey Bogart (Won)
Best Actress - Katherine Hepburn (Nominated)
Best Director - John Huston (Nominated)
Best Writing, Screenplay - James Agee and
John Huston (Nominated)

THE AFRICAN QUEEN is a 1951 romantic adventure film which is remembered as one of the defining films of its era. In my era, the recognised Hollywood acting couples were Tom Cruise/Nicole Kidman, Patrick Swayze/Demi Moore, Richard Gere/Julia Roberts and Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan just to name a few. This film isn't delicate enough to be reputed as the greatest movie of all time. Though THE AFRICAN QUEEN is still good, enjoyable and uplifted by the strong chemistry its two notable actors who portrayed the fictional romantic couple and deliver a heart-warming love story between two indifferent people who embark on an adventure. It was a good directorial decision to cast Humphrey Bogart and Katherine Hepburn by director John Huston as these two lead actors are very convincing in creating a connection between their characters.

I am glad to have watched THE AFRICAN QUEEN and felt that even with its age, it still can be appreciated as a classic love story. This film has aged well, and all though it may not have been perfect, it is still entertaining and fun to watch.

Star rating: (7/10) Good Movie

Monday, 20 July 2015

Interstellar Review


Release Date: November 6th 2014 - Australia

Production Companies
Paramount Pictures (presents)
Warner Bros. Pictures (presents)
Legendary Pictures (in association with)
Lynda Obst Productions

Roadshow Distribution

Genre: Sci-Fi

Rating: M

Runtime: 169 minutes

Budget: $165,000,000

Box Office Gross: $675,120,017 

Plot Summary
A group of explorers 
make use of a newly 
discovered wormhole to 
surpass the limitations 
on human space travel 
and conquer the vast 
distances involved in 
an interstellar voyage.

Matthew McConaughey -
Anne Hathaway - Dr. Amelia Brand
Jessica Chastain - Murph (10 years)
Bill Irwin - TARS
Ellen Burstyn - Murph (older)
Michael Caine - Prof. Brand
David Gyasi - Romilly
Wes Bentley - Doyle
Josh Stewart - CASE (Voice)
John Lithgow - Donald
Timothee Chalamet - Tom (15 years)
Casey Affleck - Tom
Leah Cairns - Lois
Matt Damon - Dr. Mann
Topher Grace - Getty

Writer/Producer/Director - 
Christopher Nolan
Writer - Jonathan Nolan
Producers - Emma Thomas 
and Lynda Obst
Production Designer - Nathan Crowley
Costume Designer - Mary Zophres
Director of Photography - Hoyte van Hoytema
Special Effects Coordinators - Ian Hunter and
Scott R. Fisher
Visual Effects Supervisor - Paul J. Franklin
Visual Effects Supervisor: Double Negative -
Andrew Lockley
Supervising Sound Editor - Richard King
Film Editor - Lee Smith
Music - Hans Zimmer


2015 Academy Awards
Best Visual Effects - Paul J. Franklin, Andrew Lockley,
Ian Hunter and Scott R. Fisher (Won)
Best Original Score - Hans Zimmer (Nominated)
Best Sound Mixing - Gary Rizzo, Gregg Landaker
and Mark Weingarten (Nominated)
Best Sound Editing - Richard King (Nominated)
Best Production Design - Nathan Crowley and
Gary Fettis (Nominated)

In 2014, I felt anxious when Chris Nolan's latest directional effort of INTERSTELLAR met its eventual release in cinemas - I have long awaited for the moment to come. Unfortunately for me, I wasn't around to see the film myself as I instead waited for it to be available on Blu-Ray and DVD. Around that time, I thought that the deep space epic was to be the next equivalent of the classic 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY (click here) and following the same grandiose of prior film works from the director like THE DARK KNIGHT series, INCEPTION (click here) and many others. After a year has gone by and I have now watched the movie, I make no mistake in finding INTERSTELLAR excellent as it would have been a fatal catastrophic blow to Chris Nolan's career as a filmmaker if it wasn't. Unlike 2001 for starters, INTERSTELLAR isn't any different to look at space exploration and trippier images, it's more to see its fleshy-developed plot and operatic drama compared to the more visualised experience of Stanley Kubrick's original sensation.

I quite liked the plot concept of a wormhole which is above fascinating for the large scientific themes implanted in INTERSTELLAR. In certain ways, the acting is still notably of a professional standard, especially Matthew McConaughey for the character he portrays. The other actors Anne Hathaway, Michael Caine and Jessica Chastain have displayed exceptional talent when paired with McConaughey's protagonist. I didn't realise that Matt Damon was in the supporting cast as he was always in a leading role in a few sci-fi movies such as ELYSIUM and the animation TITAN A.E (click here). Finally, the last feature to compliment the film is Hans Zimmer's music score. He has written brilliant compositions for INTERSTELLAR and surprisingly, this is to be his latest best work for the director since INCEPTION.

Near to surpassing the depth of his previous directional efforts, Nolan is a visionary ahead of his time and has a destiny to be the next Spielberg. INTERSTELLAR may be a movie that is divisive to some viewers as a result of its questionable ending, but this does not change the way I feel about it. 

Star rating: (9/10) Excellent Movie

Thursday, 16 July 2015

Tad the Lost Explorer Review

Tad the Lost Explorer 

Release Date: 10th August 2013 - Australia

Production Companies
El Toro Pictures
Lightbox Entertainment
Ikiru Films
Telecinco Cinema
Telefonica Producciones
Media Networks (in co-
production with)

StudioCanal Australia

Genre: Animation/Family

Rating: PG

Runtime: 88 minutes

Budget: €500,000,000

Box Office Gross: $51,300,000

Plot Summary
Tad Jones, a frustrated
construction worker,
dreams of becoming a
dashing archaeologist.
His dream soon becomes
a reality after he pairs
up with a plucky
young woman and fight
unscrupulous treasure-
hunters on the search
for Inca treasure.

Voice Cast (English)
Kerry Shale - Tad/Kopponen
Fiona Glascott - Sara Lavrof
Adam James - Max Mordon
Enriqueta Linares - Melinda
Lewis MacLeod - Freddy
Mac MacDonald - Professor
Lavrof/Professor Humbert
Bruce Mackinnon - The Mummy
Liza Ross - Grandma
Maria Darling - Young Tad

Director - Enrique Gato
Based on Comic/Screenplay -
Javier Lopez Barreia and
Gorka Magallion
Screenplay - Ignacio del Moral
Screenplay/Producer - Jordi Gasull
Producer - Neil Landau
Additional Dialogue - Diego San Jose
Additional Writing - Veronica Fernandez
Producers - Alvaro Augustin,
Ghislain Barrois, Nicolas Matji,
Ezequiel Nieto, Edmon Roch
and Cesar Vargas
Co-Producers - Flavio Balaguer,
Manuel Echanove and Werner
Schuler Schutz
Art Director/Character
Supervision/Compositing Supervisor - Juan Jesus
Garcia Galocha
Character Supervision/Cloth Supervisor/
Technical Animation - Ignacio Santalla
Animation Supervisor - Inigo Berasategui
Animation Director - Maximino Diaz Gerveno
Film Editor - Alexander Adams
Music - Zacarias M. de la Riva

A certain foreign movie like this does never get the awareness it deserves, this probably what you won't call TAD THE LOST EXPLORER a great animated movie. It's neither a creative nor a visualised animated product; its only stability was to try parody INDIANA JONES just for pre-teens and young adults. Complete with unfunny jokes and clich├ęd plot does ruin the movie's sake and I'm completely interested about the action scenes. I did praise a few characters like the speech-impaired bird and did sooth things down a bit. Lacking more of what could have made TAD so special is the celebrity voice cast and a few more interesting characters, just present in absence.

Not the brightest bulb of CGI, but certainly a sub-par cake of enjoyment for one plot reached to deep thin. Shame that Pixar or Dreamworks have never made TAD THE LOST EXPLORER and this is only for young kids who would eventually learn of what archaeology is all about.

Star rating: (4/10) Below Average

Monday, 13 July 2015

Minions Review


Release Date: 18th June 2015 - Australia 

Production Companies
Universal Pictures
Illumination Entertainment 

Universal Pictures Australia

Genre: Animation/Family
Rating: G

Runtime: 91 minutes

Budget: $74,000,000

Box Office Gross: $1,159,398,397

Plot Summary
The story of Universal Pictures
and Illumination Entertainment's
Minions begins at the dawn of
time. Starting as single-celled
yellow organisms, Minions
evolve through the ages,
perpetually serving the most
despicable of masters.

Continuously unsuccessful
at keeping these masters-
from T. Rex to Napoleon-
the Minions find themselves
without someone to serve
and fall into a deep depression.

But one Minion named Kevin
has a plan, and he alongside
teenage rebel Stuart and
loveable little Bob ventures
out into the world to find a
new evil boss for his
brethren to follow.

The trio embarks upon a
thrilling journey that ultimately
leads them to their next
potential master, Scarlet
Overkill, the world's first
female super-villain. They
travel from frigid Antarctica
to 1960s New York City,
ending in mod London, where
they must face their biggest
challenge to date: saving all
of Minionkind...from

Voice Cast
Pierre Coffin - Kevin/Stuart/
Bob/Various Minions
Sandra Bullock - Scarlet Overkill
Jon Hamm - Herb Overkill
Michael Keaton - Walter Nelson
Allison Janney - Madge Nelson
Steve Coogan - Professor Flux/
Tower Guard
Geoffrey Rush - Narrator
Jennifer Saunders - Queen Elizabeth II
Hiroyuki Sanada - Sumo Villain
Steve Carrell - Young Gru

Directors - Pierre Coffin and
Kyle Balda
Writer -  Bryan Lynch
Executive Producer - Chris Renaud
Producers - Janet Healy and
Christopher Meledandri
Character/Production Designer - Eric Guillon
Animation Directors - Bruno Dequier
and Pierre Leduc
Film Editor - Claire Dodgson
Music - Heitor Pereira

Just as you thought when DESPICABLE ME (click here) turned out to be a great and wild animated comedy when it first came out to the big screen and spawned only one sequel with the third now upcoming. The Minions were the very significant part of the films instant success as they were the supporting characters and provide nearly all of its slapstick material. To capitalise on their initial iconic status, the producers have made their decision to have these characters star in their very own movie which shows them of how they were employed as "minions" before fate took them to Gru. MINIONS as the film already named for its known aforementioned characters has the ability to generate laughs for everyone, but it's not quite what I had in mind for a prequel to be that slow in some of its parts that I deem unfitting. Maybe this film could have been better and more entertaining with some more humour instead? 

As much as I can't waste on one of its many factors like the voice acting for example, Sandra Bullock really shines her dark side as she voices the notorious femme foe Scarlet Overkill. The name of that villain as I felt it could have been written for a movie that isn't part of the DESPICABLE ME series and instead be used in James Bond. 

It's not so much despicable when this turns out to be a typical family-oriented animated feature that somehow falls into the lines of obscurity. I wasn't expecting the structure of the film to be in above fairness, but I simply enjoy watching these yellow-tablet shaped blokes again for the third time.

Star rating: (6/10) Fair Movie

Thursday, 9 July 2015

Jurassic World Review

Jurassic World

Release Date: 11th June 2015 - Australia 

Production Companies
Universal Pictures (present)
Amblin Entertainment (present)
Legendary Pictures (in association with)
Dentsu (presented in association with)
Fuji Television Network (presented in 
association with) 

Universal Pictures Australia 

Genre: Adventure

Rating: M

Runtime: 125 minutes

Budget: $150,000,000

Box Office Gross: $1,670,400,637

Plot Summary
Claire is one of a team 
of scientists who have 
created a genetically 
modified new type of 
dinosaur for Jurassic 
World, a fully functioning 
dinosaur theme park 
as originally envisioned 
by John Hammond. 

However, not everyone 
agrees that this is a good 
idea. Owen, who works 
at the theme park, soon 
finds out his misgivings 
were correct and he has 
to evacuate the island 
before the thousands of 
visitors are hurt or killed.

Chris Pratt - Owen
Bryce Dallas Howard - Claire
Ty Simpkins - Gray Mitchell
Nick Robinson - Zach Mitchell
B.D. Wong - Dr. Henry Wu
Irrfan Khan - Simon Masrani
Vincent D'Onofrio - Vic Hoskins
Jake Johnson - Lowery
Omar Sy - Barry
Lauren Lapkus - Vivian
Brian Tee - Hamada
Katie McGrath - Zara
Judy Greer - Karen Mitchell
Andy Buckley - Scott Mitchell
Eric Edelstein - Nick
Jimmy Fallon - Himself (Cameo)
James DuMont - Hal Osterly
Colin Trevorrow - Mr. DNA (Voice)

Screenplay/Director - Colin Trevorrow
Based on Characters - Michael Critchon
Story/Screenplay - Rick Jaffa
and Amanda Silver
Screenplay - Derek Connolly
Producers - Patrick Crowley 
and Frank Marshall 
Executive Producers - Jon
Jashni, Steven Spielberg and
Thomas Tull
Production Designer - Ed Verreaux
Visual Consultant - Rick Carter
Costume Designers - April
Ferry and Daniel Orlandi
Director of Photography - John
Special Dinosaur Effects - Michael Lantieri
Creature/Special Effects
Supervisor - John Rosengrant
Animation Supervisor - Glen McIntosh
Visual Effects Supervisor - Tim Alexander
Visual Effects Supervisor:
Stereoscopic - Katherine Rodtsbrooks
Full-Motion Dinosaurs - Dennis Muren
Dinosaur Motion Supervisor - Randy Dutra
Dinosaur Consultant - Phil Tippett
Film Editor - Kevin Stitt
Composer: Theme Music - John Williams
Music - Michael Giacchino

I had some thoughts of wanting to see JURASSIC WORLD after it came out in theatres. I hope I wasn't too stalled of reviewing this new instalment instead of the last movie which I'll get on to it later. Here comes JURASSIC WORLD as it has never been so terrifying and fun to the people who have seen all three of the features, I felt that it wasn't exactly as subtle and entertaining to what other people say of this new chapter. The visuals were getting better at being complex than the originals, I was quite relieved that there's a new twist in the plot that is similar to the first JURASSIC PARK (click here) and it provided more terror to have all the audiences shocked as this is a more scarier version than the first two. I quite enjoyed the direction by Colin Trevorrow after Joe Johnston was booted out of the franchise for making the third movie seem like an average blockbuster, he really gives this the edge of a feeling that Steven Spielberg couldn't do to have the first movie come off as a full throttled thriller. 

I support my praise on any of the ensemble team of actors and Chris Pratt was one of them. He had already being given of the leading role status in films from last year like doing one of the voices in THE LEGO MOVIE (click here) and as Star Lord in GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY (click here). It is here that he really succeeds on his own, better than the original actors such as Sam Neill and Jeff Goldblum whom both of them failed to show up as a supporting character and even a cameo appearance in this new blockbuster.

While this doesn't regain the level of acclaim that it was shown once on the first predecessor, it is a still a solid popcorn movie that seems to have everyone frenzied of its entertainment. Be sure you watch all the classics (minus JURASSIC PARK III) before you go see this one till it finishes.

Star rating: (7/10) Good Movie

Monday, 6 July 2015

San Andreas Review

San Andreas

Release Date: 28th May 2015 - Australia

Production Companies
Warner Bros. Pictures
Village Roadshow Pictures
New Line Cinema
Flynn Picture Company
RatPac-Dune Entertainment

Roadshow Distribution

Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 108 minutes

Budget: $110,000,000

Box Office Gross: $473,990,832

Plot Summary
A sudden and destructive
magnitude nine earthquake
leaves California in peril
as it tears through the state,
leaving a horrible path of
destruction in its wake.

As it rips apart the West
Coast bit by bit, Ray, a
rescue chopper pilot,
tries to make his way to
his estranged daughter
with his ex-wife before
it's too late.

Dwayne Johnson - Ray Gaines
Carla Gugino - Emma Gaines
Alexandra Daddario - Blake Gaines
Hugo Johnstone-Burt - Ben Taylor
Art Parkinson - Ollie Taylor
Ioan Gruffudd - Daniel Riddick
Archie Panjabi - Serena Johnson
Paul Giamatti - Dr. Lawrence Hayes
Will Yun Lee - Dr. Kim Park
Alec Utgoff - Alexi
Matt Gerald - Harrison
Todd Williams - Marcus Crawlings
Colton Haynes - Joby
Morgan Griffin - Natalie
Kylie Minogue - Susan Riddick

Director - Brad Peyton
Story - Andre Fabrizio and
Jeremy Passmore
Screenplay - Carlton Cuse
Executive Producers - Bruce
Berman, Richard Brener,
Toby Emmerich and Rob
Producer - Beau Flynn
Co-Producer - Hiram Garcia
Production Designer - Barry Chusid
Special Makeup Effects - Tom Woodruff Jr.
Cinematography - Steve Yedlin
Second Unit Director/Stunt Coordinator - Paul Jennings
Stunt Coordinators - Keith Campbell,
Jon Devore and Allan Poppleton
Special Effects Supervisor - Brian Cox
Visual Effects Supervisors - Katherine Rodtsbrooks
and Colin & Greg Strause
Film Editor - Bob Ducsay
Music - Andrew Lockington

It came without a disappointment and I haven't been in theatres to see a disaster film since I first saw Roland Emmerich's 2012 about in 2009. This recent movie mayhem of SAN ANDREAS is much different to this other film as there are both different stories that consistently feature a main character who is divorced/separated and revolved a life-threatening cataclysmic event. In other words, SAN ANDREAS shares some of its elements and though not in the same emphasis of destruction and mind blowing impact. This has never been firm that were a few cracks on the wall that could diminish this picture, I simply cannot tell whether if this is a home improvement to 2012 or not. Director Brad Peyton must've captured the reality and boasted the drama and the visual spectacle to make this an Emmerich-styled film. 

Taking that time now all for good in this catastrophic blaze is the star-studded performances by Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino and Paul Giamatti. Dwayne however is a competent and probably the best suitable actor who will do much good for having the movie look as a bold, refreshing and splendid cinematic piece of ongoing tension. 

The things I said about SAN ANDREAS are for the better, the more it was being a semi-decent school holiday feature. I may not know if I can watch it again, but I deem this to be a necessary film for anyone old enough to watch it. 

Star rating: (7/10) Good Movie

Thursday, 2 July 2015

Few Updates, One Critique Re-Uploaded

I thought you would like to know in this news update, there's not so much I improved in my blog aside from minor adjustments in some film reviews to re-word the sentences and type in more names for the descriptions of the cast and crew as to try and have these tweaked and properly finished. Fortunately, there is good news for everyone that I brought back 'Stealth' and having it re-uploaded. These are few of the movies that I previously reviewed in the past three years, and it is clear that only three were listed.

These are....

  1. Top Gun
  2. Journey to the Center of the Earth (2008)
  3. Men In Black II