Paul Walker Weekend – Eight Below (2006)

Director: Frank Marshall

Writer: David DiGilio (Screenplay) Toshiro Ishido, Koreyoshi Kurahara, Tatsui Nogmai, Susumu Saji (original Film)

Starring: Paul Walker, Bruce Greenwood, Moon Bloodgood, Wendy Crewson, Gerald Plunkett, August Schellenberg, Jason Biggs

 

Plot: Brutal cold forces two Antarctic explorers to leave their team of sled dogs behind as they fend for their survival.


Tagline – The Most Amazing Story Of Survival, Friendship, And Adventure Ever Told

Runtime: 2 Hours

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Incredible Survival Story

 

Story: Eight Below starts as we meet our Antarctic research team, with dog handler Jerry Shepard (Walker) who has 8 Siberian Huskies and knows the lay of land, while Charlie Cooper (Biggs) has mapped the land. When scientist Davis McClaren (Greenwood) wants to head towards dangerous territory in the wrong season, Jerry reluctant agrees to take him with the dogs.

When an accident occurs on the expedition, Jerry must get Davis back with a storm breaking out, the team need to evacuate and as the weather continues to turn, the dogs are left behind. Jerry does everything he can to get back with everybody refusing to let him.

 

Thoughts on Eight Below

 

Characters – Jerry Shepard is the dog handler and guide for the Antarctic post, he has a connection with the dogs where he has earnt the respect from them who will do anything to help him, following his instruction, we do get to see his experience as a guide shine through and after saving his guest he learns the dogs were never rescued. He does get filled with guilt and tries everything he can to get back to them believe the worst will happen. Davis is a scientist that is headed to Antarctic in search for meteors, he does push the limits with his last minute changes to the plan, but his determination lets Jerry’s guard down. Katie is the pilot who will take them to and from the research centre, she is known for taking risks and her former relationship with Jerry keeps them close. Charlie Cooper maps the land and gives us the comic relief because of his fear of flying and dogs.

PerformancesPaul Walker was always an actor brave enough to take a role outside of his comfort zone, this is one of those and he shows us that he was an actor that could pull off the serious with one of his best performances of his career. Bruce Greenwood is always an actor that can give us great performances in supporting roles and this is no different, Moon Bloodgood and Jason Biggs complete the main cast and they both known how to hit their roles well. The dogs who performed in the film do require a special mention too as they invest you in their survival story.

StoryThe story here follows a group of Antarctic researchers that must leave the dogs behind when a storm hits early, the story continues to follow their handler try to figure out how to get back to them and we get to see their amazing story of survival during the time away. This is a very loosely based on true story which test us as the audience because there is no way to know what the dogs got up to, away from that minor flaw in the story this is one that dog lovers will understand completely because we would do anything for our dogs, however impossible it might well be. This does have moments which would hard to watch too because of what goes on with the dogs. We could have also seen more of the determination behind wanting to get back even if they were all going to be ‘no’.

Adventure/FamilyThe adventure shows us just how incredible the story the huskies go through, we do have moments from the human side too, but it cuts between because they are pretty safe too. The youngest members of your family might get upset because of certain moments in the film too.

SettingsThe film uses the Antarctic settings wonderfully because it shows us just how difficult of a place it is to one get to and two survive in.


Scene of the Movie –
Max versus the sealion.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The journey home is overly safe with no peril.

Final ThoughtsThis is an incredible story of survival from the dogs that get left behind through a winter season with little hope of survival, while their handler does everything to get back.

 

Overall: Must watch for dog lovers.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – 80s – L – Little Shop of Horrors (1986)

Director: Frank Oz

Writer: Howard Ashman (Screenplay) Roger Corman, Charles B Griffith (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Rick Moranis, Ellen Greene, Vincent Gardenia, Steve Martin, Tichina Arnold

 

Plot: A nerdy florist finds his chance for success and romance with the help of a giant man-eating plant who demands to be fed.


Tagline – Put a rare houseplant on your television. It talks. It sings. It eats people

Runtime: 1 hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Twisted and Fun Musical

 

Story: Little Shop of Horrors starts when a small florist run by Mushnik (Gardenia) is facing closure, until the nerdy florist Seymour (Moranis) has discovered a new Venus Fly Trap, which he has named Audrey II after his co-worker Audrey (Greene). Audrey II starts drawing in a new audience to the shop as Seymour and Audrey learn they have feelings for each other despite her boyfriend, bad boy dentist Orin (Martin).

The problem with Audrey II comes to light with Seymour, as it turns out that he is a carnivorous plant that needs blood to continue to grow, leading Seymour down a path to find a way to feed the plant, one that includes murder.

 

Thoughts on Little Shop of Horrors

 

Characters – Seymour is a nerd florist that has always looked to find something new in the field, he has saved the business with his latest creation, only he needs to figure out how to keep him under control. He has a crush on Audrey his co-worker never knowing how to approach her to tell her how he really feels. Audrey is the co-worker in the florist, she has always been attracted to bad boys with her latest boyfriend being abusive towards her, she does want a life which will see her with an honest man, like Seymour. Mushnik is the owner of the florist who has seen his business start to go downhill until Audrey II appears to him, which draws in a new audience, he sees money and wants to take advantage of his chance. Audrey II is the carnivorous plant that has a taste for human flesh, he slowly starts to get out of control as his hunger continues to grow.

PerformancesRick Moranis really was one of the greatest comic actors in the 80’s this showed another skill he had with singing too. Ellen Greene is a delight to watch too, Vincent Gardenia makes for the typical strict boss figure the film, while the appearances from the comedy icons of the 80s.

StoryThe story here follows a nerdy florist that has discovered a new plant which turns out to be carnivorous that wants to be fed human flesh. This is a remake story which makes for one of the simple stories out there, the idea of having an expert that has discovered something new which the world isn’t prepared for, we have two people that are in love that aren’t together and the greed of a businessman. Everything mixed together with songs makes for a fun story that will keep you guessing to where things will go next.

Comedy/Horror/Musical/RomanceThe comedy in the film comes from the talent which gets to use their skills to create different characters. the horror involved the man eating plant who is always looking for his next meal. The romance shows the two co-workers that would do anything for each other, but have never told each other how they feel. The musical side of the film does tie everything together in the film, with the catchy tunes that people still sing today.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in the florist which sees how the business goes from about to lose everything to an overnight success story.

Special EffectsThe effects are practical which shows just what you can achieve with the right team who bring Audrey II to life.


Scene of the Movie –
Audrey II songs.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Couple of pop culture references have dated.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most enjoyable musical comedies you will see, it has catchy songs, wonderful performances and a creature in Audrey II that will never be forgotten.

 

Overall: Fun Musical.

Rating