Franchise Weekend – Starship Troopers (1997) Movie Review

Director: Paul Verhoeven

Writer: Edward Neumeier (Screenplay) Robert A Heinlein (Book)

Starring: Casper Van Dien, Dina Meyer, Denise Richards, Jake Busey, Neil Patrick Harris, Clancy Brown, Seth Gilliam

Plot: Humans in a fascist, militaristic future wage war with giant alien bugs.

Tagline – Mankind just became an endangered species

Runtime: 2 Hour 9 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Instant Classic

Story: Starship Troopers starts in a world where humans are not at war with a bug planet across the galaxy, students and young people are expected to join the federal service to become citizens. Johnny Rico (Can Dien), Dizzy (Meyer), Carl (Harris) and Carmen (Richards) all have their sights set on enlisting, Johnny and Dizzy are mobile infantry, while Carmen has bigger sights of being a pilot and Carl has his sights set on military intelligence, with his mind reading ability.

While Rico is going through his training and constant battles with the flashy Ace (Busey) battling for squad leader, Carmen is flourishing in the flight academy, but this is just training, now they must go into combat against the giant deadly bugs.

Thoughts on Starship Troopers

Characters – Johnny Rico comes from a wealthy family that want to send him to Harvard, but he has other plans, he wants to become a citizen, which means he must join the military, here he excels in training until a mistakes sees him disgraced. He loses his family and will remaining fighting under a new squad leader, proving himself as one of the best soldiers in the infantry. Dizzy has spent her school life crushing over Rico, she follows him to mobile infantry, proving herself as one of the best soldiers. Carmen is the girlfriend of Johnny’s through school, she has set her sights on becoming a pilot in the Starfleet, something her grades could make easy for her, she proves an asset to the fleet rising up the ranks with ease. Ace is the rival of Rico’s in training, they both want squad leader and with the rivalry they become brothers in arms.

PerformancesCasper Van Dien in the leading role makes himself remember forever with his character, this will define his career without question. Dina Meyer shines too, while this cast is fantastic and understands just what movie they are in. Denise Richard has been criticised before, but here she works in the modern future world and Jake Busey add more comedy as times to his role.

StoryThe story here takes us to the future where humans are waged in a war with bugs from across the galaxy, we see how the soldiers and pilots are dealing with the increasing threat they are going to be facing. This story does present itself in a satirical look at the military behaviour and how it can become a propaganda machine forcing young people into joining under false promises, it also shows how humans will always look to conquer another area no matter how outnumbered or out of place they are in their invasion behaviour. Plenty of this story over accentuates the idea of what is going on, which will add moments of comedy.

Action/Sci-FiThe action in the film is war style military attacks with laser bullets flying literally everywhere and the bugs ripping bodies apart. The sci-fi side of the film shows us just how far the human race has come with transportation across the galaxy, despite not giving them the brains when it comes to war.

SettingsThe world created is fantastic with Earth looking futuristic without being all that different, while the bug planet feels like a battleground.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are also flawless, with a mix of practical and CGI which barely look like they have dated even after being over 20 years old.

Scene of the Movie – The first battle shows the scale of the war.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing really.

Final Thoughts This is one of the best sci-fi films you will see, it is wildly over the top and doesn’t miss a beat with style that knows just what the film is meant to be.

Overall: Fun, Brilliant and Entertaining.

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – V – Valley of the Lanterns (2018) Movie Review

Director: Caleb Hystad

Writer: Caleb Hystad (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Samantha Ferris, Thomas Haddaway-Graham, Ian Hanlin, Jonathan Love, Nicole Oliver

Plot: An old woman’s hold on the past puts her family’s future in jeopardy.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Animation 101

Story: Valley of the Lanterns starts as young village boy Porter is asked to help his mysterious grandmother Olistene out with her work, she builds lanterns for the village for a yearly celebration, all while searching for her own mystery that has been a lifetime of searching for.

When Olistene finds the secret, she ends up putting the village in an endless cycle, which sees her living the same day on repeat trying to fix the problem she created.

Thoughts on Valley of the Lanterns

Characters – Olistene is the grandmother of the family that builds the village lanterns every year for a celebration, all while searching for her own solution to the magic, she is willing to teach her grandson about the ways of the lanterns, until she finds herself repeating the same year over again, looking for a different outcome to save the village from repeating the day. Porter is the grandson that enjoys kicking a ball around, but is being encouraged to learn from his grandmother, passing on the traditions of the family. Keelan is one of the few people that bought into the cycle, where his greed puts Olistene in a difficult position of wanting to fix things or get what he wants.

StoryThe story here follows a woman that has found herself repeating the same year, a special day for the village, where her magic has caught everyone in a loop, where she needs to start finding a way to change things before it is too late for the people. This is a story that examines accepting time in life and seeing just how greed can leave people stuck in a cycle they can’t control, it also focuses on the idea of tradition still needing to be followed no matter what. This is told in a sweet way, that will appeal to the younger audience that are watching.

SettingsThe film keeps us in a small traditional village which has got plenty of history behind what has happened there and shows us just how close the community really is.

AnimationThe animation might not be the strongest, but it doesn’t hold it back from showing us just how the story is meant to be seen.

Scene of the Movie – The first change.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does play the repeat card too often with how everything happens.

Final Thoughts This is an easy watch animated movie, this can be enjoyed by all and without being anything overly complicated, with a nice sweet message behind it all.

Overall: Sweet Animation.