Ron Perlman Weekend – The Book of Life (2014)

Director: Jorge R Gutierrez

Writer: Jorge R Gutierrez, Doug Landgale (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Diego Luna, Zoe Saldana, Channing Tatum, Ron Perlman, Christina Applegate, Ice Cube


Plot: Manolo, a young man who is torn between fulfilling the expectations of his family and following his heart, embarks on an adventure that spans three fantastic worlds where he must face his greatest fears.


Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Magical


Story: The Book of Life starts with a school trip being told the story of two Gods Xibalba and La Muerta making a wager to see who gets to rule the land of the living and the land of the dead, their bet follows two young Mexican boys Manolo and Joaquin betting on who will marry Maria.

Manolo is from a bullfighting family and wants to be a musician, while Joaquin becomes General known for fighting off bandits. When everything gets out of hand in the battle between Manolo and Joaquin, Manolo ends up in the land of the dead to save Maria.


Thoughts on The Book of Life


Characters – Manolo is from a family of bullfighters, he is expected to follow in his ancestor’s footsteps even though he dreams of being a musician. He is part of the bet, he has the better heart trying to win her heart through music, he travels through three worlds to win her heart. Joaquin is the brave fighter, he has been selected by the evil to win Maria’s heart given the medal of everlasting life meaning he can’t die, this adds to his confidence he possesses. Maria is the woman the two are fighting over, she is independent as they come willing to lead her people without needing a husband by her side.

StoryThe story does seem to follow what we saw in Coco in places, this one did come first. We have the central character of Manolo that is expected to follow on path not allowing him to follow his own dream of music. We have the travel through the land of the living, the dead and the forgotten. Where we go to be different is by including Gods that can make a bet to keep them entertained. This story does feel magical from start to finish.

Adventure/Comedy/Fantasy/MusicalThe adventure that Manolo goes on is wonderful to see through the different lands of Mexican culture, this does have good comedy going on through the whole film mostly from the side characters. The fantasy world of the land of the dead and forgotten look beautiful to be travelling through. The songs are delightful to listen to even if some are remixes of famous songs.

SettingsThe settings takes us to Mexico, as we follow the culture of the land, both past and present.

AnimationThe animation looks fantastic, different and what we are used to seeing too, the colours stand out and the different lands have a unique look.

Scene of the Movie –
Forgive song.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I had just watched Coco a few weeks again and knowing that movie just stole most of the ideas annoys me.

Final ThoughtsThis is a magical animation that leaves you with a happy thought about what you have just seen.


Overall: Magical and beautiful.




ABC Film Challenge – Action – M – Man of Tai Chi (2013)

manDirector: Keanu Reeves

Writer: Michael G Cooney (Screenplay)

Starring: Tiger Hu Chen, Keanu Reeves, Karen Mok, Jai Yu, Qing Ye, Simon Yam


Plot: A young martial artist’s unparalleled Tai Chi skills land him in a highly lucrative underworld fight club.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Solid Martial Arts Film


Story: Man of Tai Chi starts as Inspector Suen Jing Si (Mok) looks to have finally tracked down underground street fighter boss Donaka mark (Reeves) only for him to kill his latest fighter after learning of his connection with the Inspector. Donaka must search for a new fighter with Inspector Si needing to drop the case.

We move on to meet young fighter Tiger Chen Lin Hu (Chen) who is giving all his effort into learning of Master Yang (Yu) who is about to enter the national combat championships using his art tai chi. His performances grabs Donaka attention and now he can look to recruit his latest fighter.

Accepting the job for Donaka, Tiger enters the world of underground fighter against his Master’s wishes but it isn’t long before Tiger finds himself face tougher and tougher opposition which leads to him having to Donaka other business outside of underground fighting, this will be where he meets him limits.


Thoughts on Man of Tai Chi


Characters/PerformanceTiger is a naïve young fighter who has spent his life looking after the people he loves and wanting to show his skills in his form of tai chi. He is led a stray by Donaka going against his beliefs, style and tradition. Donaka is the ruthless owner of the underground fighting scene, he pays for what he wants, flaunts that he can get away from it all to the Inspector chasing him and most importantly we don’t see him in combat so we are unsure of his fighting skills. Inspector Si is a strong officer that wants to do anything to take down Donaka because she knows his threat.

Tiger Hu Chen dos well to show off his skills in tai chi in this leading role but this is more about his fighting ability over his acting ability. Keanu steps behind the camera for double duty here and does look like he enjoys the villainous role but does have a couple of strange moments through the film. Karen Mok is good in the supporting role in all her what feel like limited scenes.stars

StoryThe story is naïve fighter gets drawn into an underworld of the sport he loves to make enough money to save the people he loves from losing everything they have earnt. Yes, this has been done before and has been done better and worse but this is still a good watch and easy to enjoy.

ActionWe have plenty of fight sequences going on through the film that all hugely entertaining but you don’t ever feel like Tiger will lose.

SettingsThe fights all take place in new arenas the deeper Tiger finds himself getting drawn into. Otherwise everything is what you would expect to see in any martial arts films.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy martial arts film to watch, you don’t ever see Tiger losing, but I did really like the fact we never see Donaka fight until the final fight.


Overall: Easy to watch, nice relaxing average martial arts film.




The Silence (2019)

Director: John R Leonetti

Writer: Carey Van Dyke, Shane Van Dyke (Screenplay) Tim Lebbon (Novel)

Starring: Stanley Tucci, Kiernan Shipka, Miranda Otto, Kate Trotter, John Corbett, Kyle Breitkopf


Plot: A family struggles to survive in a world terrorized by a deadly, primeval species who hunt only with their acute hearing.


Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Painfully Slow


Story: The Silence starts as we meet a family father Hugh (Tucci), Kelly (Otto) deaf teenager daughter Ally (Shipka), youngster child Jude (Breitkopf), grandma Lynn (Trotter) and Uncle Glen (Corbett), they are going through an everyday life situation, until the town comes under attack from mysterious creatures that are attracted by noise.

The family go against the advice of the television and look to get out of the city, which sees them needing to face difficult decisions to survive and learning to operate in silence.


Thoughts on The Silence


Characters – Hugh is the father of the house, he works in construction planning (I think, we get one 10 second scene of his job), he is getting worried about where his daughter will go to college. When the attack starts, he gets his family out of the city and must lead them on the quest for safety, he will have to do the risker jobs along the way. Ally is the teenage daughter who is deaf after an accident, she has adapted to life this way well and she turns out to be one of the few people in the world that can cope with the silence required to survive. Kelly is the mum, she is basically just a mum that is her character. Lynn is the grandmother that is sick, she will need to keep her medication up to survive.

PerformancesStanley Tucci does try hard in this role, only he just can’t get into the role, Kiernan Shipka is never believable in her deaf character role, this is just the beginning of terribly written characters that give nobody a chance to shine.

StoryThe story follows one family as they look to find safety after a new predator who hunts through sound that have taken over America. The story will feel like the early stages of ‘A Quiet Place’ even if this story was written first. Where it follows the first outbreak because it does build the panic, like every single zombie movie, which does make it feel like we have seen it before. The struggles have been done before, this does end up being one of the most done stories we have ever seen, going nowhere fast just becoming boring throughout the film.

HorrorThe horror in the film comes from the creatures which almost feel comical as we don’t get to see just how deadly they are.

SettingsThe film is set in the rural area in America which shows where safety is search for.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are poor too, the creatures are all CGI and just out of place on the screen.

Scene of the Movie –
The credits because it was over.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It was nothing new.

Final ThoughtsThis is a poor, boring and seen before horror movie that just never reaches the potential it wants.


Overall: Disappointing throughout.