Alaska (1996)

Director: Fraser C Heston

Writer: Andy Burg, Scott Myers (Screenplay)

Starring: Thora Birch, Vincent Kartheiser, Dirk Benedict, Charlton Heston, Duncan Fraser

 

Plot: While searching for their missing father in the mountains of Alaska, two siblings come across a baby polar bear on the run from a pair of poachers.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Adventure Family Film

 

Story: Alaska starts as we meet the Barnes family, father Jake (Benedict) a small plane pilot and his kids Jessie (Birch) and Sean (Kartheiser), the family has started a new life in Alaska after their death of Jake’s wife and mother of Jessie and Sean. While Jessie has embraced this new life enjoying the beautiful sites, Sean is struggling with new life. We also get to meet to poachers Perry (Heston) and Koontz (Fraser) who have been hunting polar bears.

When their father goes missing, Jessie and Sean aim to go in search of him through the Alaskan wilderness discovering a captured baby polar bear cub that they release who joins them on their adventure, which only attracts the poachers attention as they find themselves chased through the wilderness by the poachers too in a race against time to find their father.

 

Thoughts on Alaska

 

Characters/PerformanceJessie is the sister of the siblings, she has embraced the change to Alaska learning to be part of the team with her father, while they both want to search for their father, she is the most prepared of the two. Sean hates his new life in Alaska and wants to move back to Chicago but you can clearly see he is grieving his mother with his behaviour, but with his father missing he will do everything he can to find him, learning to love the beautiful landscape they are part of now. Jake is the father of the family that has given up his 747-pilot job to start a new life in the small town in Alaska, he does spend most of the film trapped in his plane but his character gives Jessie and Sean the reason for going on their adventure. Perry and Koontz are two poachers hunting polar bears, they cross paths with the kids as they menacingly try to recapture the polar bear cub that they had released.

Performance wise, Thora Birch and Vincent Kartheiser are both great in the lead roles as the children in search of their father. Dirk doesn’t have much to do but does what he needs to well. Charlton Heston as the menacing poacher does seem to enjoy the role he plays in the movie.

StoryThe story of two young teenagers going into the wilderness to find their missing father is a nice tried and tested formula, this style of film seemed to be the rave for family films around the time too, so to stand out you had to do something different. We get the moments of peril which are good and well-paced but we also get the moments of discovery which are just as important. Obviously, there are negatives here which include the idea the adults are clueless when searching for people in crashes and poachers being just evil people. I would also like to point out, that it is very unlikely a polar bear mother is just going to accept another cub, well that is what David Attenborough has taught me.

Adventure/FamilyThe adventure the kids get to go on is one I remember watching as a kid going, I wanna do that and I still would like to. The family side of this film is about the unity between a broken family doing everything to stay together and of course having a cute little polar bear helping them out.

SettingsAlaska as a setting, beautiful, stunning, peril filled and perfect for the story being told.

EffectsWe only have a few effects in use here, most feels practical with the stunt work and working with a potential deadly animal in a polar bear.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the better kids work with animal films of the 90s, one that gives you hope in humanity and a wonderful setting.

 

Overall: Family night sorted.

Rating

 

 

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2017 Award Best Film

2017 Award

Best Film

January is here and that means award season and for the whole of January I will be looking at a range of best and worst subjects, this is going to be a countdown of my 10 favourite films of the year.

NOMINATIONS

10. Wonder

9. Logan

8. Baby Driver

7. Ingrid Goes West

6. Okja

5. Get Out

4. Your Name

3. Wind River

2. Dunkirk

Winner

War for the Planet of the Apes

Reason – This might well have been the third instalment of the trilogy, but it is potentially the best third instalment in any movie, it brings Caesar’s story in full circle in the battle to just live in peace alongside the humans, but this time he gets pushed to limits that could turn him into his worst enemy, Koba. This is visually spectacular, the directing, the acting the effects are just fantastic from start to finish.

Let’s Be Evil (2016)

Director: Martin Owen

Writer: Elizabeth Morris, Martin Owen, Jonathan Willis (Screenplay)

Starring: Kara Tointon, Jamie Bernadette, Isabelle Allen, Elizabeth Morris, Elliot James Landridge

 

Plot: A vision of augmented reality.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mystery Brain Tester

 

Story: Let’s Be Evil starts in a world where education is being blamed for the flaws in the next generation of human intelligence, Jenny (Morris), Tiggs (Tionton) and Darby (Landridge) all get hired for a secret job where they will be watching over candidates and guided by the artificial intelligence (Voiced by Bernadette).

In this facility, the three watch over gifted children who are being educated in a way unlike anything we or the mentors have seen before, this doesn’t give Jenny the interaction she had imagined and soon things take a turn when the candidates take over the facility leaving Jenny, Tiggs and Darby needing to find a way out.

 

Thoughts on Let’s Be Evil

 

Characters/PerformanceJenny is a young woman who has worked to help care for her sick mother, but when this dream job comes up it is a chance to work with gifted children and make enough money to cover her mother’s medical bills. Tiggs is another member of the carers team that has more worldly experience and fights when needed. Darby is the third member that is meant to be the smartest but also the one that would break easiest. Cassandra is one of the candidates not acting like the rest.

Performance wise, Elizabeth does a good job at the everyday woman in this film as well as getting herself a writing credit along the way. Kara and Elliot make for good supporting characters too.

StoryThe story follows three adults picked to look after gifted children in a future where the intelligence levels are crashing. This story does keep us guessing to why the children are kept separate to learn, what are they learning and in the final third of the just how much is reality, this keeps us on our toes which is always great to see in a mystery thriller.

ThrillerThis film does keep us on the edge of our seats from start to finish as we just want to know what is going on and what will happen next.

SettingsThe film is set completely inside the underground facility which gives us the true feeling of an experiment going on as well as helping us understand there is no easy escape.

Special EffectsThe effects are all used to create the artificial intelligence, Arial is all computer style which we see through the effects as well as different parts of the reality.

Final ThoughtsThis is a mystery thriller I do feel should be going to watch, it does test morale ideas even if certain parts do feel long at times, you will always be wanting to know what is happening.

 

Overall: Thriller that is a must watch for the fans of the genre.

Rating

 

 

ARROW FILMS TO RELEASE KORE-EDA HIROKAZU’S ‘THE THIRD MURDER’ IN UK CINEMAS 23RD MARCH

ARROW FILMS TO RELEASE KORE-EDA HIROKAZU’S ‘THE THIRD MURDER’ IN UK CINEMAS 23RD MARCH

UK, London: Tuesday 30th January 2018 – Arrow Films are thrilled to announce the release of THE THIRD MURDER from award-winning Director, Kore-eda Hirokazu (After the Storm, Our Little Sister, Like Father, Like Son, Still Walking) in UK cinemas 23rd March.

Directed, written and edited by Kore-eda HirokazuThe Third Murder is produced by Matsuzaki Kaoru & Taguchi Hijiri and stars Fukuyama Masaharu (Like Father, Like Son, Midsummer’s Equation, Galileo), Yakusho Koji (13 Assassins, Memoirs of a Geisha, Babel) and Hirose Suzu (Our Little Sister, Rage, The Boy and the Beast). It was nominated for the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival 2017.

Leading attorney Shigemori takes on the defence of murder-robbery suspect Misumi who served jail time for another murder 30 years ago. Shigemori’s chances of winning the case seem low – his client freely admits his guilt, despite facing the death penalty if he is convicted. As he digs deeper into the case, as he hears the testimonies of the victim’s family and Misumi himself, the once confident Shigemori begins to doubt whether his client is the murderer after all.

THE THIRD MURDER directed by Kore-Eda Hirokazu will be in UK cinemas 23rd March