The Magic of Belle Isle (2012) Movie Review


The Magic of Belle Isle is a nice feel-good movie

Director: Rob Reiner

Writer: Guy Thomas, Rob Reiner (Screenplay)

Starring: Morgan Freeman, Virginia Madsen, Madeline Carroll, Emma Fuhrmann, Kenan Thompson, Nicolette Pierini

Plot: Monte Wildhorn, an alcoholic novelist of Westerns, has lost his drive. His nephew pushes him to summer in quiet Belle Isle. He begrudgingly befriends a newly single mom and her 3 girls who help him find the inspiration to write again.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Magic of Belle Isle starts as alcoholic novelist Monte Wildhorn (Freeman) has lost his motivation. With his nephew Henry (Thompson) sets him up in a summer home in Belle Isle, dog sitting.

His neighbours for the summer are Charlotte O’Neil (Madsen) and her three daughters Willow (Carroll), Finnegan (Fuhrmann) and Flora (Pierini). A family looking to find their next chapter in life, as Charlotte’s separation from the girl’s father. An unlikely friendship comes between the two families, as Monte looks to pass on life lesson to the young girls.

Thoughts on The Magic of Belle Isle

The Magic of Belle Isle is a re-coming-of-age tale, showing how it is never too late to learn the importance of finding a new meaning to life, even if it is hard to move on, showing the paths coming together for the people involved, as they look to find the next direction they are searching for.

This will give all the messages about how important life can be, how people can see their life change in a matter of moments, if they just take the time to pass on a good deed. This might be everything you would come to expect, without managing to reach the heights of others in the similar subject. The performances are great, with Morgan Freeman in the leading role, shining, while the young actresses bringing the three different girls to life, needing a little life lesson along the way.

Hot Seat – Release News


Signature Entertainment presents Hot Seat on Digital Platforms 5th August and DVD 15th August.

Mel Gibson (Braveheart, Lethal Weapon) teams with director James Cullen Bressack (Fortress) and the producers of The Irishman and Lone Survivor to deliver the heart-pounding thriller, Hot Seat. Gibson stars as Wallace Reed, a veteran bomb squad officer racing to save Orlando Friar (Kevin DillonEntourage), an IT technician taken hostage by a faceless terrorist mastermind. Orlando must empty Wall Street bank accounts or else the bomb installed into his chair will detonate, vaporizing his entire building. With SWAT teams storming Orlando’s building, Reed must race against the clock to save him before it’s too late. Hot Seat also stars Shannen Doherty (BH90210) and Sam Asghari (Dollface).

Latte & the Magic Waterstone (2019) Movie Review


ABC Film Challenge – Animation – L – Latte & the Magic Waterstone

Director: Regina Welker, Nina Wels

Writer: Martin Behnke, Andrea Deppert (Screenplay)

Cast: (Voice Talents) Ashley Bornancin, Danny Fehsenfeld, Daniel Amerman, Julian Grant, Carter Hastings, Leslie L Miller

Plot: Follows the journey of a young hedgehog who wants to save the forest and its inhabitants from a horrible drought by reclaim a magical waterstone from the bear king.

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Latte & the Magic Waterstone starts as young hedgehog Latte accidentally loses the critters water supply. Being joined by her squirrel Tjum, the pair go on a dangerous mission to find a waterstone.

The unlikely pair head into the dangerous area, searching for the waterstone. They will need to learn about friendship and working together. Something Latte has always struggled with.

Thoughts on Latte & the Magic Waterstone

Latte & the Magic Waterstone is an animated adventure. Following the animals searching for the essential water. Seeing the different animals interact with each other. Each species has their own skills to outsmart the others, with the predators hunting down the pair.

The journey does have a big message about the water supply getting short. Working together would help solve the problems the animals would face.

The animation involved brings the animals to life, giving them all unique characteristics. The stubborn hedgehog and the overly friendly squirrel work well together. The wolves relaxing waiting for their chance and the bears being the kings.

Final ThoughtsLatte & the Magic Waterstone is a fun little animated movie.

Movie Franchise Failures – Video Games


Movie Franchise Failures – Video Games

Over the last few years, we have seen the overuse of franchise movie. Certain franchises have thrived, from the awards-heavy Lord of the Rings to the box office recording smashing Marvel Universe. The low-budget horrors have made their grand return, with the cheaply made movie turning a massive profit.

But for every success, there is usually a failure along the way. Over this week I am going to be looking at the biggest franchise failures to launch the desired cash machine in the series and why they didn’t work. I have broken this down into ‘Books’, ‘Video Games’, ‘Comic Books’, ‘Originals’ and ‘Reboots’.

I have put together a set of rules to make a film eligible for these lists.

  1. There wasn’t a sequel of any sort connected after the first film.
  2. It can have been remade later, for either film or TV, as long as there isn’t a connection.
  3. Most will be money, but there might be other factors, so talking about money isn’t going to be the only motivation.
  4. I haven’t included any that have rumours of sequels going forward.

Movie Franchise Failures – Video Games

The source material has started to change over recent years. Video games becoming a popular means of entertainment. One that keeps millions of people around the world happy. It was only a matter of time before Hollywood decided the stories, could become movies. The movies haven’t always been the most popular. As ‘Resident Evil’ has become the tour du force financially in this sub-genre. Many movies, like the ones below, never seem to get another chance.

This isn’t a ranking just a list of Franchise Failures – Video Games.

Assassin’s Creed

Justin Kurzel’s Assassin’s Creed takes us into the basic creation behind the iconic game series. The game series, sees the character travel through time to a different era, becoming an assassin fighting back against an evil ruler. It has become one of the most popular franchises in gaming, with varying quality according to the fans. The idea that you could go through any era in history to make the story, helps the video game franchise.

Sadly, the movie wasn’t received very well at all. Placing too much focus on the current world, instead of the vastly open world of unknown threats. Takes away what made the game such a treat to play through. This could easily be remade, as the endless possibilities leave so much open for the future.

Tomb Raider

Roar Uthaug’s Tomb Raider was the remake of the franchise. Similar to how the video games adapted to a more natural look for the character. It follows Lara Croft on one of her first adventures, playing out how you would imagine the video game would. Using real-time events for added action tension moments.

Alicia Vikander brings a different dimension to the character, one that is still just as strong, but more daredevil. Not that Angelina Jolie ever did anything wrong in the role. Considering how well the movie was received by fans. It is surprising we haven’t yet got any sort of sequel in the pipeline.

Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

Mike Newell’s Prince of Persia follows a young fugitive prince and princess. That must stop an evil villain who wants to use a special dagger that can reverse time.

In what was a widely well-received video game adaptation, that was for years considered one of the best. It is surprising we never returned to the world. Having other games in the franchise it could still work out but as the video game series has dried up, there might not be an appeal for more.

Monster Hunter

Paul W.S. Anderson’s Monster Hunter is the most modern movie on the list, one that could easily have a sequel, but has yet to have any conversation for one. This is because of his work on the Resident Evil movies, might well have given him more credit from studios.

The movie did get very mixed reactions, where the monsters themselves are considered great, along with some of the fight sequences. It is the fact we get the iconic weapons wielded by Hunter (Tony Jaa) who only seems to be the supporting cast member in the movie. Pushing Milla Jovovich into the lead role and not to mention the racial joke that was cut from the final movie.


Duncan Jones’ Warcraft looks to bring the massive open-world role-playing game to life. A world that is filled with fantasy monsters that are preparing for an evil war that could destroy the world they live in.

The game is one of the most popular games of all time, having constant updates to improve the standard of the product. One of the problems with the game is the lack of a story, which automatically causes problems when it comes to making a movie. Jones did overcome this as the movie was received well, it just struggled to make the money required for a sequel. Proving once again, that the fantasy world is very difficult to pull an audience into.

Max Payne

John Moore’s Max Payne is a video game series following a New York City detective and an assassin coming together to solve a murder. Digging deeper into a ruthless corporation that uses the supernatural.

This was one of the movies that didn’t get received too well. Despite the dark cosmetic it possesses. Being a gritty crime supernatural action movie leaves everything on the table for plenty more to come. The franchise does still have a following, as the short movies are still very popular for the character.

Need for Speed

Scott Waugh’s Need for Speed brings the racing game to life in a dangerous cross-country race. The games themselves are paper thin for stories, they are more focused on driving as many different fast cars as possible.

In the film world where Fast and Furious is dominating the high-speed chases. A rival film was always going to get caught in the shadows of the billion-dollar franchise. The movie tried to grab the love Aaron Paul had in his first post-Breaking Bad role and when it came to the basics, nothing is wrong in the movie. It just never reaches the heights of the Fast franchise.


Andrzej Bartkowiak’s Doom was one of the first of the boom of video game movies, looking to jump on the franchise that should have been easy to make. Casting Dwayne Johnson it could only thrive right. Well, no, it has one amazing first-person sequence, which is straight out of the game, but otherwise, it is just a standard survival horror.

The fact the movie felt rushed and had to build a story from nowhere didn’t help because we end up going down the same path one by one. It is one movie we can dive into and have some fun with but not to the standard of many others.

Doom Annihilation

Tony Giglio’s Doom: Annihilation looked to reboot the franchise after the previous failure to launch. Giving us a similar storyline of going to a location infected with an ancient evil, creating demons to fight back against.

On paper it is simple enough for a reboot, trying to add more depth to the characters. Only it ends up making the same sort of mistakes and never even getting the iconic moments to shine, even in the worst of times.

What Franchise Failures – Video Games do you think are out there?

Kurt Vonnegut: Unstuck in Time – Release News



Listen… literary fame came relatively late to author Kurt Vonnegut, with the publication, in 1969, of his anti-war novel Slaughterhouse-Five. The book, based on Vonnegut’s experiences as a prisoner of war in Dresden when it was bombed during World War Two, is an unclassifiable, iconoclastic masterpiece, a mixture of time travelling sci-fi, slapstick comedy, memoir, and moving meditation on existence, that propelled Vonnegut to superstardom, and hasn’t been out of print since. Anyone who has read it will understand why.

Informing the book was a peculiar incident – Vonnegut claimed to have hugged a tree, and, in that moment, to have witnessed everything that happened during the firebombing of Dresden – before the incident had even happened. Rather than write a typical war memoir – which he struggled to do – and wary of glorifying war, which he knew, from first hand experience, was anything but glorious, Vonnegut subsequently came up with a novel that The Guardian, in 1970, declared was ‘the oddest and most directly and obliquely heart-searching war book for years’.

Prizefighter – Movie Clip


Prizefighter – Movie Clip

Prizefighter is streaming on Prime Video 22 July

In 1800 Jem Belcher became the youngest ever world boxing champion. Belcher, played by Matt Hookings, dominated his early fights with his unique skill, speed, and scientific approach and soon became Champion of England, a natural talent, oozing with charm, style and grace. After a life-changing accident risked ending his career forever, he begins a long, gruelling road to recovery which eventually sees him compete in a death-defying standoff – known only as The Forgotten Fight of the Century – to reclaim his title once and for all as England’s youngest boxing champion.

Oscar® winner Russell Crowe (Gladiator, The Nice Guys) also stars alongside Ray Winstone (Sexy Beast), Marton Csokas (The Last Duel),  Jodhi May (The Witcher), Julian Glover (The Empire Strikes Back) and Steven Berkoff (Octopussy) in this awe-inspiring rags-to-riches biopic. Written by Matt Hookings and directed by Daniel Graham (The Obscure Life of the Grand Duke of Corsica).