Franchise Weekend – How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014)

Director: Dean DeBlois

Writer: Dean DeBlois (Screenplay) Cressida Cowell (Book)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jay Baruchel, Cate Blanchett, Gerald Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill

 

Plot: When Hiccup and Toothless discover an ice cave that is home to hundreds of new wild dragons and the mysterious Dragon Rider, the two friends find themselves at the center of a battle to protect the peace.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Impressive Sequel

 

Story: How to Train Your Dragon 2 starts a couple of years after the events of the last film, the Vikings and dragons now live side by side, with Hiccup and Toothless exploring the open water searching for new land and opportunity. With Stoick is wanting Hiccup to take over a chief, Hiccup isn’t ready for this responsibility.

When Hiccup goes exploring he learns of a new threat, Drago a man that has a dragon army, wanting to create peace, Hiccup meets another dragon rider, his long-lost mother Valka.

 

Thoughts on How to Train Your Dragon 2

 

Characters – Hiccup is now exploring the surrounding world with Toothless, he goes far and wide, his discovery this time around will bring a new threat to his homeland and the dragons, while giving him a shocking discovery about his past. Hiccup is on the verge of become chief a responsibility he isn’t ready for too. Stoick is still the chief, he keeps the community together, though he is reaching the age of retirement, trying to prepare Hiccup to take over, he will be just as shocked as Hiccup when it comes to dealing with an old face returning to his life. Valka is the mysterious dragon rider, she has a vast friendly army that is only out to protect the dragon community, she is Hiccup’s mother who was long thought to be dead, she had always thought the same as Hiccup. Drago is the evil tyrant who has a dragon army, he wants complete control of the dragons killing anyone who doesn’t follow him.

StoryThe story here puts our character Hiccup in a new dilemma, one where he must face a future responsibility while trying to learn more about the world, using the dragons to see the world. as this is a sequel we get a surprise appearance from a character we thought was dead, the battles will become bigger much like how the world is becoming bigger for the Vikings. We get to see even more wonderful dragon designs. The more dragons we discover, the bigger the threat can become to the people of the world, it shows how people will need to fight for their people in an attempt to save their people.

Action/Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe action in this film is bigger than last time, the large scale dragon battle is breath taking to watch. The adventure in the film takes Hiccup to bigger and further locations than the original showing us how Hiccup is learning about the world. the comedy does take a step back this time, which is fine because we don’t need it with a more serious storyline.

SettingsThe film creates more beautiful locations that could only come from the world filled with dragons, each location has a unique look too.

AnimationThe animation as always is wonderful to see and will be remembered by the end of the film, the scale of the battles is special to see.


Scene of the Movie –
Alpha versus Alpha battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Ruffnet’s obsession with Eret.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brilliant sequel that is better than the original, it keeps us full engrossed in the next adventure of Hiccup.

 

Overall: Must watch sequel.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

ABC Film Challenge – Action – U – Under Siege (1992)

Director: Andrew Davis

Writer: J.F. Lawton (Screenplay)

Starring: Steven Seagal, Gary Busey, Tommy Lee Jones, Patrick O’Neal, Glenn Morshower, Erika Eleniak

 

Plot: An ex-Navy Seal turned cook is the only person who can stop a group of terrorists when they seize control of a U.S. battleship.


Tagline – It’s not a job…It’s an Adventure!

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Action Film

 

Story: Under Siege starts as the USS Missouri is planning a party in honour of the captain Adams (O’Neal) who has had a successful meeting with the President. The cook of the ship is Casey Ryback (Seagal) who hasn’t always seen eye to eye with his superiors including Commander Krill (Busey).

When Krill is joined by the entertainment William Strannix (Jones), their plan is revealed as they take over the battleship leaving the only person that can save the day being Ryback, the loyal soldier.

 

Thoughts on Under Siege

 

Characters – Casey Ryback is the former Navy Seal that has taken the role of chef on the battleship, he is a decoration officers and soon becomes the one leading the fight back against the terrorists who have taken over. Commander Krill is the officers that has snapped, tired of being second in command, he arranges the takeover of the ship with Strannix, he is a loose cannon that should have been taken off duty years before. William Strannix is the mastermind behind taking the ship, he has planned for the moment as an act of revenge against the government who betrayed him in his eyes.

PerformancesSteven Seagal is always going to be known for being a certain type of action star, this plays into his strengths, not needing too many lines, bit of fighting and of course a lot of shooting. Gary Busey as an unstable villain, well this sounds like the perfect choice, while Tommy Lee Jones can always be picked for a villain role to look the part.

StoryThe story is terrorists take over a US battleship and one man must use his skills to get it back before they can do too much damage. It is nice to see it domestic terrorism rather than just slapping any nationality in the role. There isn’t anything overly original in this story, but it is a tried and tested formula that works on every level.

ActionThe action is everything you would have come to expect from the movie, we have fights, gun battles and explosion, what more do we want?

SettingsThe film takes place on the US Battleship, this keeps everything contained and with little or no place to run and with the weapons on board to make them a threat.


Scene of the Movie –
Taking on the Submarine.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is easily too much by the book.

Final ThoughtsThis is everything an action fan will enjoy in a movie, it is easily one that can be enjoyable by all the fans of the genre before Seagal became a parody of himself in his later films.

 

Overall: Action fans will be enjoying.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – How to Train Your Dragon (2010)

Director: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders

Writer: Dean DeBlois, Chris Sanders, William Davies (Screenplay) Cressida Cowell (Book)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jay Baruchel, Gerald Butler, Craig Ferguson, America Ferrera, Jonah Hill, Christopher Mintz-Plasse

 

Plot: A hapless young Viking who aspires to hunt dragons becomes the unlikely friend of a young dragon himself, and learns there may be more to the creatures than he assumed.


Tagline – One adventure will change two worlds

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Highly Entertaining Animation

 

Story: How to Train Your Dragon starts as we meet young Viking Hiccup, he isn’t like the rest of his village including his all powerful father Stoick, the village has been getting attack by dragons for centuries and Hiccup is being forced to follow in his father’s footsteps.

When Hiccup’s form of defence is creating inventions, which could aid in defence, he wounds a young dragon known as a Night Fury, Toothless. Hiccup goes through dragon training he becomes top of his class from learning from Toothless and truing to stop the war between the Vikings and the dragons.

 

Thoughts on How to Train Your Dragon

 

Characters – Hiccup is the outsider of the community of Vikings, he is smarter than the rest and want to fight dragons using ideas which could change everything for the people of his village, he can’t match the rest of the villages strength and his dragon training sees him learn how to control and work side by side with them, can he help the village change. Stoick is the all powerful leading for the community and father to Hiccup, he will be first in line when it comes to fighting the dragons only he doesn’t know the anything other than fighting, he relationship with his son is being put on the line because of the difference in opinions. Toothless is the young dragon which Hiccup wounds, he is raised back to health and becomes friends with Hiccup showing the Vikings can be in peace with the dragons. Gobber is the dragon trainer, he trains the next generation of dragon killers and believes learning the hard way. We do get plenty of support characters which mostly add the laughs to the film.

StoryThe story follows the ideas of a son not living up to his father expectation with the world of Vikings and dragons. This is the simple version of the story and will be related by parents and children alike because we now parents would like their kids to follow in their footsteps, while the child will look up to follow and have their own dreams. Away from the morale side of the story we get a world filled with different dragons which have their own strengths and weakness with terrify the Vikings and the Viking community which is just doing what it can to survive. This might well be a simple story, but the world created is near perfect, it is a story people can relate to without even being part of the Viking community.

Action/Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe action in the film is big, this has battles on mass scales against the dragons which edge of the seat with peril. The adventure takes Hiccup into a world along side the dragons, one he never thought he could be a part of. We get comedy along the way too which only lightens to mood at times. The whole family can relate to the events of the film here which is important too.

SettingsThe film creates a world of Vikings which are at war with dragons, each element looks and feel authentic for the lighter version of the world.

AnimationDreamworks gives us a brilliant animation that could easily go toe-to-toe with Pixar for quality levels.


Scene of the Movie –
The flight with the nest.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Slightly too generic.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best animations of recent years, it brings us a unique spin on the proving yourself to a father storyline we know so well.

 

Overall: Must watch animation.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – T – Tekken: Kazuya’s Revenge (2014)

Director: Wych Kaos

Writer: Nicole Jones, Steven Paul (Screenplay)

Starring: Kane Kosugi, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Rade Serbedzija, Gary Daniels, Kelly Wenham, Paige Lindquist, Charlotte Kirk

 

Plot: Suffering from amnesia, a young man trying to discover his true identity is kidnapped by an underground crime organization and turned into a ruthless assassin.


Tagline – Survival Is No Game

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Badly Acted, Miss Titled

 

Story: Tekken 2: Kazuya’s Revenge starts when K (Kosugi) wakes with amnesia, he is kidnapped by the Minister (Serbedzija) who forces him into his program, it is here he is assigned the name ‘K’. trained to kill on command the group in Tekken city. Going along with the program K uses his time to learn his true identity and motivation behind the Minster’s program.

 

Thoughts on Tekken 2: Kazuya’s Revenge

 

Characters – K or Kazuya is the man with amnesia, he has combat skills, weapon skills, but not memory of who he is, now forced into the Minister’s group of assassins he is killing people on command. He must follow orders or be killed until he learns he may not be working for the right side. The Minister is the man who runs the assassins, he picks the candidates up, forcing them to follow instructions to become the killers he knows they could become. Bryan Fury is key to learning the truth, though we don’t see him enough. We have a world filled with assassins, both deadly and misled.

PerformancesKane Kosugi is solid enough for the action sequences but when it comes to the rest of the cast well, there is a reason not many people saw this movie, most of the acting is poor with painfully delivered lines that make little sense to the characters.

StoryTekken is a fighting game right, yes, I have played them, the first film bought us into a fighting tournament which is what we would accept. This time we watch a man that can fight being trained into become an assassin in some sort of seedy crime-based film. This is a slow-moving story that is rinse repeat even while trying to show us a twist in the final part of the film. this isn’t the most engaging story and is easily one that could be missed.

ActionThe action is the only highlight of the film, we have good fighting sequences which show of Kane Kosugi skills in combat.

SettingsThe film is set in Tekken city, we mostly focuses on the different classes of people living in this city, none of which are involved in the story.


Scene of the Movie –
The fights.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Most of the acting.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sequel that just doesn’t make us care about anything that is going on, it doesn’t even have fight tournament which is the whole point of the game.

 

Overall: Poor sequel to a weak first film.

Rating

 

 

Seventh Moon (2008)

Director: Eduardo Sanchez

Writer: Eduardo Sanchez, Jamie Nash (Screenplay)

Starring: Amy Smart, Tim Chiou, Dennis Chan

 

Plot: Melissa and Yul, Americans honeymooning in China, come across the exotic ‘Hungry Ghost’ festival. When night falls, the couple end up in a remote village, and soon realize the legend is all too real. Plunged into an ancient custom they cannot comprehend, the couple must find a way to survive the night of the Seventh Moon.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Camerawork Ruins the Film

 

Story: Seventh Moon starts as newlywed Melissa (Smart) and Yul (Chiou) are travelling around China for their honeymoon, we get the montage to show the best bits, before they take a trip with their trust guide Ping (Chan) who leaves them in the middle of nowhere in the middle of the night.

Getting concerned the two investigate only to learn not everything is as it seems and now they must battle to survive against the locals and their spirits that are visiting on the Seventh Moon,

 

Thoughts on Seventh Moon

 

Characters – We know horror movies don’t get the best character development and this movie shows why, we have American Melissa who would rather be swimming with dolphins than going to China the homeland of her husband, she is stronger when it comes to surviving horror, forcing her husband to do the manly thing. Yul is the Chinese American that married Melissa and is heading to his homeland for their honeymoon, she doesn’t speak fluent which shows during the non-English moments and needs to be pushed to do the right thing.

PerformancesDoes any remember when Amy Smart was shine in the teenage romantic comedies over the turn of the century, Road Trip and later Just Friends? Well this is where she ended up doing horrors which doesn’t involve too much actual acting. Tim Chiou doesn’t give the best of performances, again this is down to the material and awful camerawork.

StoryThe story wants to be something a lot bigger than what we got, in reality it is American tourist not understand culture and getting caught in the middle of a ritual they don’t understand, mostly running around the woods/forest screaming and hiding. When we watch horror, we don’t always need the best stories, granted but we do at least need something to care about, characters to root for an enemy we might understand. This gives us none of this and ends up feeling flat and boring throughout.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror in this film comes from what is in the woods/forest, it uses the myth of the Seventh Moon to say spirits will come out looking for fresh blood and these creatures are what we must see our character hide and fight against.

SettingsThe setting is the woods or forest, this is fine and works for the idea in the movie, we know that small communities will have different beliefs and while the settings are not used in the most terrifying way they suit the film we are watching.

Special EffectsThe effects are the confusing part of this film, this is because the make-up works very well for the creatures, but the camerawork makes this borderline unwatchable at times.


Scene of the Movie –
The creatures attack.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The camerawork is terrible.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid idea for a horror film, but the camerawork starts to make this feel unwatchable for the most part.

 

Overall: Camerawork ruins a smart idea that should work.

Rating