Friday, 31 March 2017

My Fifteenth Important Message

Breaking news!

I did re-publish two of the reviews that were put into draft mode about two weeks ago as they are newly updated; these include 'Jack and Jill' and 'Eragon' which have been changed from their old review descriptions and star ratings. Because my original opinion of these films have since changed. I managed to re-link these two back in the index page. For more comments, be sure take a look and leave some feedback. Thank you.

Tuesday, 28 March 2017

Kong: Skull Island Review

Kong: Skull Island

Release Date: 9th March 2017 - Australia  

Production Companies 
Warner Bros. Pictures 
Legendary Entertainment
Tencent Pictures

Roadshow Distribution  

Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 118 minutes

Budget: $185,000,000

Box Office Gross: $566,652,812 (Worldwide)

Plot Summary 
In the 1970s, a diverse team of explorers is brought together to venture deep into an uncharted but beautiful isolated island that goes by the name of Skull Island, in the Indian Ocean. 

They soon discover that the island hides a treacherous secret — it is the home of the gigantic and prehistoric ape known as King Kong, who possesses great strength and semi-human intelligence.

Tom Hiddleston - James Conrad
Samuel L. Jackson - Preston Packard
John Goodman - Bill Randa
Brie Larson - Mason Weaver
Tian Jing - San
John Ortiz - Victor Nieves
Terry Notary - Kong
John C. Reilly - Hank Marlow
Toby Kebbell - Jack Chapman/Kong
Jason Mitchell - Mills
Shea Whigham - Cole
Thomas Mann - Slivko
Eugene Cordero - Reles
Marc Evan Jackson - Landsat Steve
Will Brittain - Young Marlow/Marlow's Son
Miyavi - Gunpei Ikari
Richard Jenkins - Senator Willis
Allyn Rachel - Secretary O'Brien

Director - Jordan Vogt-Roberts
Based on "King Kong" - Merian C. Cooper and Edgar Wallace
Story - John Gatins
Screenplay - Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein and Derek Connolly
Executive Producers - Edward Cheng and Eric McLeod
Producers - Alex Garcia, Jon Jashni, Mary Parent and Thomas Tull
Co-Producer/Production Supervisor - Jennifer Conroy
Co-Producer - Tom C. Peitzman
Production Designer - Stefan Dechant
Creature Designer - Zachary Berger
Costume Designer - Mary E. Vogt
Director of Photography - Larry Fong
Stunt Coordinator - Spiro Razatos
Supervising Stunt Coordinator - George Cuttle
Fight Choreographer - Ilram Choi
Special Make-up Effects Supervisor - Jason Baird
Special Effects Supervisor - Florent Andorra
Senior Visual Effects Supervisor - Stephen Rosenbaum
Visual Effects Supervisors - Jeff Capogreco and Jeff White
Co-Visual Effects Supervisor: ILM - Robert Weaver
Additional Visual Effects Supervisors - Jason Smith and John Dykstra
Animation Supervisor: ILM - Scott Benza
Editor - Richard Pearson
Additional Editors - Bob Murawski and Christian Wagner
Music - Henry Jackman

It's been over a year since the original king of beasts was last seen on Peter Jackson's remake of the 1933 classic. It proved to be divisive for newcomers and old-timers whom some of them were biased towards the 2005 version. Now the character has been retooled for the latest iteration of KONG: SKULL ISLAND and was meant to start a crossover with Godzilla from 2014's monster hit (click here) in their shared cinematic universe. I have missed several opportunities to watch the classic and the previous interpretations when someone insisted on me seeing another film instead. SKULL ISLAND is no longer taking the giant ape from a tropical island to the Big Apple in the 1930s and was now a survival-based film set in the last days of Vietnam War. It's different to the rest of the KONG films whereas this one has a vibe of APOCALYPSE NOW while incredibly entertaining with its action violence and laughter. 

Tom Hiddleston was remarkable at portraying the Harrison Ford-type figure in the film as it was a sideline from his known villainous portrayal of Loki. More prominent players that were featured include Brie Larson, Samuel L. Jackson, John Goodman and John C. Reilly. The latter was acting as a marooned character who was a bit of comic relief to the heroes. Even Samuel L. Jackson was noted for good publicity when he portrays a vicious Colonel who is about to have a grudge against Kong. As for the ape-like titular character of the movie, he was nearly as good in motion capture back when he is originally portrayed by Andy Serkis in 2005. But he has now decided to go ape in another mantle on a similarly-themed series of PLANET OF THE APES.

KONG: SKULL ISLAND is in the thin wafers of characterisation and world-building, it's a semi-decent film. On a positive note, most people will be thrilled and find this version more enjoyable than Peter Jackson's polarising interpretation. You better go straight to the cinemas before it finishes screening.

Star rating: (7/10) Good Movie

Monday, 20 March 2017

Logan Review


Release Date: 2nd March 2017 - Australia

Production Companies
20th Century Fox
Marvel Entertainment 
Donners' Company
Kinberg Genre
TSG Entertainment 

20th Century Fox Australia

Genre: Action

Rating: MA15+ (Not Suitable for Young Children)

Runtime: 137 minutes

Budget: $97,000,000

Box Office Gross: $619,021,436

Plot Summary
In 2024, Logan and Professor Charles Xavier must cope with the loss of the X-Men when a corporation is destroying the world, with Logan's mutant healing abilities slowly fading away and Xavier succumbing to Alzheimer's Disease.  Logan must defeat the company's personnel with the help of a young girl named Laura Kinney, a female clone of Wolverine. 

Hugh Jackman - Logan/Wolverine/X-24
Patrick Stewart - Charles Xavier/Professor X
Richard E. Grant - Dr. Rice
Boyd Holbrook - Pierce
Stephen Merchant - Caliban
Dafne Keen - Laura Kinney/X-23
Elizabeth Rodriguez - Gabriela
Eriq La Salle - Will Munson
Elise Neal - Kathryn Munson
Quincy Fouse - Nate Munson 

Story/Screenplay/Executive Producer/Director - James Mangold
Based on Characters - John Romita Sr., Roy Thomas, Len Wein and Herb Trimpe (Uncredited)
Creators: Character: Laura Kinney/X23 - Craig Kyle and Christopher Yost (Uncredited)
Screenplay - Scott Frank and Michael Green
Executive Producers - Joseph M. Caracciolo Jr. and Stan Lee
Executive Producer/First Assistant Director - Josh McLaglen
Producers - Simon Kinberg, Hutch Parker and Lauren Shulen Donner
Co-Producer/Unit Production Manager - Dana Robin
Co-Producer - Kurt Williams
Production Designer - Fran├žois Audouy
Costume Designer - Daniel
Director of Photography - John
Stunt Coordinator - Garrett Warren
Fight Choreographer - Steve
Stunt Coordinator: Reshoots -
Nuo Sun
Special Effects Supervisor -
Garry Elmendorf
Visual Effects Supervisors - Berj Bannayan, Richard Betts and Chas Jarrett
Film Editors - Michael McCusker and Dirk Westervelt
Music - Marco Beltrami 

A realistically brutal, tragic and complex film, this was the last to feature Wolverine of the X-MEN film series. It is also Hugh Jackman's swan song as the character Wolverine in this haunting goodbye after 17 years of portrayal in his nine film appearances. James Mangold has learned from mistakes made in his previous instalment and takes the eponymous hero into a cynical future where he was among the few mutants left from extinction. LOGAN was the ultimate standalone feature that remains as dark, violent and gritty and brought a cynical take of the character who was aging and has seen better days. It didn't disappoint fans just as its first predecessor did in altering the character's backstory and the second was a mild improvement. That being said, LOGAN has attained all the aspects that none of the other spin-offs can have with the same bleak and fierce tone, feel of a western, writing and characterisation that were greatly assembled in the whole film.

Hugh Jackman wasn't the only actor to take a bow as Wolverine aka Logan, Patrick Stewart was in his late 70s when he portrayed Xavier for the last time as the character was now a senile and forgetful figure no longer a teacher. Both of these actors deserved better and it was their send-off to the X-MEN movie franchise. Dafne Keen was a new starlet from Hollywood in her role of Laura was absolutely superb. Richard E. Grant and Boyd Holbrook also did a unique job in their roles as the villains.

LOGAN was the long-awaited conclusion that many fans have come to expect from a movie such as this. It's definitely not recommended for younger fans under 15 years without parental supervision, due to the disturbing violence and a lot of cussing in this feature, so be warned.

Star rating: (10/10) Best Movie Ever

Tuesday, 14 March 2017

The Great Escape Review

The Great Escape

Release Date: 10th December 1963 - Australia (Sydney) (premiere)

Production Companies 
The Mirisch Company
Alpha (Uncredited)

Genre: War

Rating: PG

Runtime: 172 minutes

Budget: $3,800,000

Box Office Gross: $11,744,471

Plot Summary 
The Nazis, exasperated at the number of escapes from their prison camps by a relatively small number of Allied prisoners, relocates them to a high-security "escape proof" camp to sit out the remainder of the war. Undaunted, the prisoners plan one of the most ambitious escape attempts in the history of World War II. Based on a true story. 

Steve McQueen - Hilts 'The Cooler King'
James Garner - Hendley 'The Scrounger'
Richard Attenborough - Bartlett 'Big X'
James Donald - Ramsey 'The SBO'
Charles Bronson - Danny 'Tunnel King'
Donald Pleasence - Blythe 'The Forger'
James Coburn - Sedgwick 'Manufacturer'
Hannes Messemer - Von Luger 'The Kommandant'
David McCallum - Ashley-Pitt 'Dispersal'
Gordon Jackson - MacGordon 'Intelligence'
John Leyton - Willie 'Tunnel King'
Angus Lennie - Ives 'The Mole'
Nigel Stock - Cavendish 'The Surveyor'
Robert Graf - Werner 'The Ferret'
Jud Taylor - Goff

Producer/Director - John Sturges
Based on Novel "The Great Escape" -
Paul Brickhill
Writer/Producer (Uncredited) - James Clavell
Writers - W.R. Burnett and Walter Newman (Uncredited)
Executive Producer - Walter Mirisch (Uncredited)
Assistant to Producer/Second Unit Director (Uncredited) -
Robert E. Relyea
Technical Advisor - Wally Floody (Uncredited)
Art Director - Fernando Carrere
Director of Photography - Daniel L. Fapp
Film Editor - Ferris Webster
Composer - Elmer Bernstein


1964 Academy Awards
Best Film Editing - Ferris Webster (Nominated) 

Following the successful release of 1960's THE MAGNIFICENT SEVEN (click here), director John Sturges was able to adapt Paul Brickhill's novel of THE GREAT ESCAPE to become one of the top-grossing movies of 1963. It was based on the author's tragic experience in World War II where he was involved in a huge escape attempt devised by his fellow prisoners-of-war (POWs). It was hailed by many as one of the greatest war movies of all time and I remember seeing it on pay-tv when it was shown on the now defunct MOVIE GREATS channel. It got me with its famed motorcycle chase scene starring Steve McQueen who was the greatest actor that has ever lived. For a long time I have waited to see this milestone film again which keeps the old-fashioned edge of the seat experience. THE GREAT ESCAPE retains some historical accuracy and was shot in authentic German locations with elaborate set pieces.

The cast was made-up with notable actors like the aforementioned actor McQueen, Richard Attenborough, James Garner, Charles Bronson, James Coburn and Donald Pleasence. Each of these actors pulled through their stellar performances like McQueen who has the persona of a daredevil and likes to take risks in any of his acting roles. Coburn an American actor, surprises Australian film-goers that he can truly play a character being Aussie accented. The background music by Elmer Bernstein was simply tremendous combining the score with the film's tragedy and cleverness.

In closing, this is one of my favourite movies of all time and I feel that THE GREAT ESCAPE is comparable to the other movies in this day. For anyone else who wants to view it can purchase it online and in DVD format.

Star rating: (10/10) Best Movie Ever

Saturday, 11 March 2017

My Fourteenth Important Message

Newsflash, I have taken out my previous reviews of 'Jack and Jill'  and 'Eragon' as they are currently under maintenance and I have yet to rewatch one of these two films. I can assure you blog-viewers that when I'm finished with the updates, I'll just re-post them for about two weeks as well as re-link them back to the review index page as you look up to the top.

Tuesday, 7 March 2017

Spider-Man 3 Review

Spider-Man 3

Release Date: 3rd May 2007 - Australia

Production Companies
Columbia Pictures
Marvel Enterprises
Laura Ziskin Productions

Sony Pictures Australia

Genre: Action

Rating: M

Runtime: 133 minutes

Budget: $258,000,000

Box Office Gross: $890,871,626

Plot Summary
Peter Parker has finally managed to strike a balance between his devotion to M.J. and his duties as a superhero. But when his suit suddenly changes, turning jet-black and enchanting his powers, it transforms Peter as well. 

Under the influence of the suit, Peter becomes prideful and overconfident and he begins to neglect the ones he cares about most. As two of the most-feared villains yet, Sandman and Venom, gather unparalleled power of thirst for retribution, Peter's greatest battle will become the one within himself. 

Tobey Maguire - Peter Parker/Spider-Man
Kristen Dunst - Mary Jane Watson
James Franco - Harry Osborn/New Goblin
Thomas Haden Church - Flint Marko/Sandman
Topher Grace - Eddie Brock/Venom
Bryce Dallas Howard - Gwen Stacy
J. K. Simmons - J. Jonah Jameson
James Cromwell - Captain Stacy
Rosemary Harris - Aunt May
Theresa Russell - Emma Marko
Dylan Baker - Dr. Curt Connors
Bill Nunn - Joseph 'Robbie'
Willem Dafoe - Norman Osborn/The Green Goblin
Cliff Robertson - Ben Parker (Cameo)
Elya Baskin - Mr. Ditkovich
Mageina Tovah - Ursula
Ted Raimi - Hoffman
Elizabeth Banks - Betty Brant
Bruce Campbell - Maitre d' (Cameo)
Michael Papajohn - Dennis Carradine/Carjacker
Joe Manganiello - Flash
Thompson (Cameo) 

Screen Story/Screenplay/Director - Sam Raimi
Based on Marvel Comic Book "The Amazing Spider-Man"/Executive Producer - Stan Lee
Based on Marvel Comic Book "The Amazing Spider-Man" - Steve Ditko
Screen Story/Screenplay - Ivan Raimi
Screenplay - Alvin Sargent 
Executive Producers - Joseph
M. Caracciolo and Kevin Fiege
Producers - Laura Ziskin,
Avi Arad and Grant Curtis
Production Designers - Neil Spisak and J. Michael Riva 
Costume Designers - James Acheson and Katina Le Kerr
Director of Photography - Bill Pope
Second Unit Director/Stunt Coordinator - Dan Bradley
Stunt Coordinator - Scott Rogers
Special Effects Supervisors - John Frazier and Jim Schwalm 
Special Effects Foreman/
Supervisor - John Shea
Visual Effects Supervisors - Richard Kidd, Scott Stokdyk
and Mark Larranaga
Digital Effects Supervisor: SPI - Peter Nofz
Animation Supervisor - Spencer Cook
Film Editor - Bob Murawski
Original Music Themes - Danny Elfman
Score - Christopher Young

What should have been a major step-forward in Sam Raimi's SPIDER-MAN trilogy has put a nail in the coffin and left Sony to reboot the film franchise as THE AMAZING SPIDER-MAN with a mixed response. If it weren't for the unnecessary additions to the story-line like the Emo Peter subplot and the character of Venom, the latter having less screen-time and affecting a few character arcs like Peter, The Sandman and Harry Osborn's. For future reference, these two elements should have been used for potential sequels and spin-offs and not been forced into the third instalment.

This is why SPIDER-MAN 3 would have been a good film if had been faithfully integrated with the director's vision and not the studio's which might explain a lot. The characters and story would have been fleshed out more including Gwen Stacy who was underused and would have had a larger role if included in more scenes of Peter Parker's conflict of his affections between her or MJ.

Topher Grace is an appalling cast decision for the role of Venom - one of the lead villains as well as his bitter alter-ego Eddie Brock in an over-hyped superhero movie like SPIDER-MAN 3. Grace wasn't the only actor whose performance has let down the whole fan-base, Tobey Maguire while in my opinion was still near-perfect in his interpretation of both Peter Parker and Spider-Man has seemed to collide with a darker version that he looked ridiculous. Thomas Haden Church was the best actor of the movie and he gets a performance right in portraying the arch-foe of Sandman. That character leaves a lot to be desired by anyone who can relate to his pain after seeing his backstory.

This was in-arguably the second least favourite of all SPIDER-MAN movies, you may want to forget that it has its flaws. It's bad enough that this was the last of Sam Raimi's film adaptations of the character and it's close to being a huge disappointment.

Star rating: (5/10) Average

Wednesday, 1 March 2017

In Memory of Bill Paxton (1955-2017)

Bill Paxton (1955-2017)

For those of you who remember his name in each of his films, I'm very sad to announce that Bill Paxton, the known frequent collaborator of Director James Cameron and star of 'Aliens', 'Twister', 'Apollo 13', 'Titanic' and 'True Lies' has passed away, due to surgical complications at the age of 61 on February 25th 2017.

Paxton first started acting in 1975 where he was seen in minor roles like 'Stripes' and 'The Terminator'. The latter being his first movie that he worked with Director James Cameron while portraying a thug. He became more well known as an actor as he was cast in more prominent supporting roles. 'Weird Science' was one of them where he plays a bully sibling of the main character. It was his breakthrough role as Private Hudson in 'Aliens' that got him to his peak of stardom. Starring opposite Sigourney Weaver and fellow 'Terminator' co-stars Lance Henriksen and Michael Biehn, Paxton improvised some of the character's dialogue in the film including "Game over, man". Eventually Paxton continued to do full-time work as an actor in other collaborations with James Cameron like 'True Lies' and 'Titanic' and lead and ensemble roles including 'One False Move', 'Apollo 13', 'Twister', 'Mighty Joe Young', 'A Simple Plan', 'U-571, 'Vertical Limit', 'Thunderbirds', 'Edge of Tomorrow' and much more. He even featured himself and narrated James Cameron's documentary that was released in IMAX theatres named 'Ghosts of the Abyss'.

In addition to acting, Bill Paxton was a Director of a few movies like 'Fraility' (which he also starred) and 'The Greatest Game Ever Played'. He also did television work where he made guest appearances in shows like 'Miami Vice', 'The Hitchhiker', 'Tales from the Crypt' and 'Frasier' before he went into lead and recurring roles in 'Big Love', 'Hatfields and McCoys' and 'Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.' 

At the time of his death, he had finished work on his current television series based on a film of 'Training Day' and the upcoming film 'The Circle'.