The Falls and Rises of Film Franchises




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Franchise Weekend – Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011)

Director: Jennifer Yuh Nelson

Writer: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jack Black, Dustin Hoffman, Angelina Jolie, Gary Oldman, Jackie Chan, Seth Rogen, Lucy Liu

 

Plot: Po and his friends fight to stop a peacock villain from conquering China with a deadly new weapon, but first the Dragon Warrior must come to terms with his past.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Weaker Sequel

 

Story: Kung Fu Panda 2 starts as we learn of an evil peacock named Shen who has mastered the art of fireworks and has gone into hiding to make the perfect weapon. Meanwhile Po is continuing his training working as a unit in the now Furious Six and when not fighting he is training with Shifu.

With the Furious Six going into battle against Shen, Po must face the truth about where he came from as he finally confronts the realization he was adopted and what happened to his parents.

 

Thoughts on Kung Fu Panda 2

 

Characters Po is still clumsy but a warrior never the less but this time he must face his past while seeing his heroes disappoint him. Shifu lets his team do the work this time not being overly involved in the story. Shen is the peacock looking to conquer China with his powerful unstoppable weapon. The Furious Six all play their part again too with Tigress seemingly getting the biggest part. The characters do all work for the film and do make this feel like a sequel adventure for the characters taking on a new villain.

StoryThe story does feel slightly flatter this time around, now Po is trained it is just the group taking on a new villain as we try to learn about where Po came from and why he is the only Panda around. It feels like a sequel but lacks the punch the first one had by trying to go overly emotional.

Action/Comedy/FamilyThe action is all what we expect, big and martial arts that only works for animated, the comedy seems to have dried up more just not clicking enough. This is fine for a family film though that will keep the kids happier than the adults.

SettingsOnce again the settings do look great for battling kingdoms which are surrounded with smaller town.

AnimationWe know the animation is fantastic and once again it doesn’t let us down.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weaker sequel that just seems to lack the heart the first film had, leaving it all feel like it could have been a straight to DVD sequel.

 

Overall: Weak sequel you just can’t enjoy as much.

Rating

 

 

2018 Anticipated Film #17 Ready Player One

2018 Anticipated Film

2017 was one of my favourite years for movies in years, so through the month of December I am going to look at 31 movies that I am looking forward to in the year of 2018, they are not in any order just 31 I want to discuss.

Ready Player One

Main CastTye Sheridan, Mark Rylance, Hannah John-Kamen

Plot – When the creator of a virtual reality world called the OASIS dies, he releases a video in which he challenges all OASIS users to find his Easter Egg, which will give the finder his fortune. Wade Watts finds the first clue and starts a race for the Egg.

Will I Enjoy It?This should be a lot of fun and could have plenty of Easter Eggs to other Sci-Fi material which is something all the fans should enjoy.

Will it be successful? It is strange this year, Sci-Fi films have been rated the best, but just don’t seem to bring in the audience, will it change this year.

Release Date (UK)30th March 2018

The Rizen (2017)

Director: Matt Mitchell

Writer: Matt Mitchell (Screenplay)

Starring: Sally Philips, Bruce Payne, Julian Rhind-Tutt, Tom Goodman-Hill, Adrian Edmondson, Stephen Marcus, Bruce Herbelin-Earle, Christopher Tajah

 

Plot: The year is 1955. NATO and the Allied Forces have been conducting secret, occult experiments in a bid to win the Arms Race. Now, they have finally succeeded but what the Army has unleashed threatens to tear our world apart. One woman must lead the only survivors past horrors that the military has no way to control – and fight to close what should never have been opened.


Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Twist & Blood Filled Horror

 

Story: The Rizen starts as we dive into a facility under lockdown, blood flying and memories gone, we meet Frances (Swift) as she starts to look for an exit as creatures roam the hallways. Francis is joined by Professor Baughman (Tajah) and solider Briggs (Knowles) in the attempts to survive the creatures from beyond the grave.

With visions, flashbacks the story is filled in and we learn the truth about Frances and what was being created within the facility.

 

Thoughts on The Rizen

 

Characters – Frances is our leading lady, woken without a memory with only paperwork that tell her, her name and her job a cook in the facility, she attempts to lead the survivors out of the facility, while learning her true place and reason for being there. Briggs is a solider on the facility, he refuses to kill the innocent people within leading to him becoming court martialled, he joins the survival group where he shows his worth in battling the creatures. Baughman is the professor that is trying to survive, he does fill in blanks as his memory returns quicker than the rest, he also gives us plenty of comical moments with his reactions to decisions being made.

PerformancesThe performances from our main three stars trying to escape are good without being the most memorable in the genre, we have seen similar characters done better and some done worse, but for the budget of the film this works for the film.

StoryThe film is a mix of survival horror as we follow the group try to locate a way out of the facility, while also giving us an occult meets science storyline where we see how scientist handle getting the information. Think back to the original Resident Evil movie and you have a similar idea, just with much darker tones, settings across the board. The story does have twists along the way, but sometimes we get some just to have another one, which at times can leave you wondering if we needed this many along the way.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is battling the creatures which gives us plenty of blood splatter in the meantime, we start with one enemy and it seems to increase each time we lead into the next battle. The horror comes from the creature creations which are both terrifying and deadly especially with how they can create more. The sci-fi side of the film comes from how the occult and science clash to make what the creatures have used to come through.

SettingsThe film is set in the facility which shows how the characters have no easy escape with creatures hunting them down.

Special EffectsThe effects are a mix of practical effects which are delightful and bloody but the usage of effects to show memory loss are not a pleasant viewing experience.


Scene of the Movie –
The creation of the creature.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The regaining memory sequences, this is the camerawork for it.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good, fun, bloody splatter horror movie, it will be more for the horror fans to enjoy, but don’t be expected to be scared by any moments in the film.

 

Overall: Blood filled horror for horror fans.

Rating