Franchise Weekend – Lara Croft Tomb Raider (2001) Revisited

This is a revisited review, I first did this as one of my very first reviews in 2012.

 

Director: Simon West

Writer: Patrick Massett, John Zinman (Screenplay) Sara B Cooper, Mike Werb, Michael Colleary (Story)

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Jon Voight, Iain Glen, Noah Taylor, Daniel Craig, Chris Barrie, Leslie Phillips

 

Plot: Video game adventurer Lara Croft comes to life in a movie where she races against time and villains to recover powerful ancient artefacts.


Tagline – Who Is Lara Croft?

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Pure Fun

 

Story: Lara Croft: Tomb Raider starts on the anniversary of Lara Croft’s (Jolie) father death, with a once in a lifetime planetary alinement happening, Lara just so happens to discover the all seeing eye in her mansion and now she is involved in an adventure she is interested in. Lara’s connection lead her to Manfred Powell (Glen) a man assigned to locate the eye for secret society that want to use its powers for their own desires.

Once Manfred takes the artefact, Lara must go on adventure showing her tomb raiding skills hoping to stop them powerful device causing havoc on the world.

 

Thoughts on Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

 

Characters – Lara Croft lifted straight from the video game, the Lady of Croft Manor, she has found treasures all over the world becoming slightly bored of the popular location, getting a hidden message from her later father Lara’s interest spikes and soon she will be battle a secret society that are using her latest discovery to hopefully control time. We know she is the kick ass action heroine from the video games, calm through each situation, competitive rivalry with Alex West and the best in her field. Lord Richard Croft had died before the story starts, he appears in dreams guiding Lara as he was the one that trained her, he started learning about this event long before it started. Manfred Powell is hired by an underground society that want control of time, he will do anything to get what he wants to prove his value to the society and doesn’t lift a finger when it comes to searching for treasure. Alex West is the American rival to Lara, he works for money over desire to find treasure even if the two do just have an honest rivalry. Bryce and Hillary are the two most trusted people in Lara’s life, one works on her tech while the other looks after the manor.

PerformancesAngelina Jolie was the perfect choice in the year 2001 for this role, she was the best action heroine for the time, had the look of Lara Croft down to perfection as well as the swagger filled attitude. Jon Voight while only in a couple of scenes is good as the father figure needed for Lara. Iain Glen is good as the calculated villain who can kill just as quickly as Lara, he shows the calmness through the film to stay a threat in the film. Daniel Craig as the rival tomb raider is fine, his accent is his weakness though. Noah Taylor and Chris Barrie get most of the laughs which keeps the story on a lighter note.

StoryThe story gives us one of Lara Croft adventures as a Tomb Raider against the Illuminati. The story shows us an established Lara, accepting her place in the high society with connections in the antique world, we see she is trained in combat and this helps us get right into the story. the story shows us how Lara is almost bored of the generic treasure hunts and this knew one sparks her interest once again. When it comes to the story it unfolds as you would imagine, going from one location to the next location for the next chapter of the adventure as we get the different parts to complete the quest.

Action/AdventureThe action in the film is set pieces set up on the different adventures Lara is on, be it in the tombs or in the manor which get bigger as the film goes on.

SettingsThe settings take us from the manor, to the tombs in the jungle and Siberia as well as Venice. Each place would be where you could imagine Lara going on her adventures.

Special EffectsThe effects are a mix of good and bad, for the time however they would have been excellent to watch, with the stone figures in the tomb sequence.


Scene of the Movie –
First Tomb sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain effects have dated.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun action adventure bring to life one of the most iconic video game characters in Lara Croft.

 

Overall: Action adventure worth watching.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – Z – Zapped (2014)

Director: Peter DeLuise

Writer: Billy Eddy, Matt Eddy, Rachelle Skoretz (Screenplay) Leslie Margolis (Novel)

Starring: Zendaya, Chanelle Peloso, Spencer Boldman, Emilia McCarthy, Adam DiMarco, William Ainscough

 

Plot: When Zoey’s mom remarries, Zoey finds it hard adjusting to her new life – no longer the only kid in the family.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disney Movie 101

 

Story: Zapped starts when Zoey (Zendaya) moves after her mother remarries, she must get use to living with four guys suddenly, the school is different that she is used to with Rachel (Peloso) being the first to show her friendship and it doesn’t take her long to meet the school heartthrob Jackson (Boldman).

Zoey’s life changes after she downloads an app to try and control the family dog only for it to get amplified to being about to boys which she starts to use to her advantage to clean up the problems in her life.

 

Thoughts on Zapped

 

Characters – Zoey has lived a normal life with her mother, she must learn to change after her mother gets married and she must move in with his family which includes 3 boys. She must learn to adapt to her new school and turns to an app on her phone to control the men in her life. She is the typical new girl that doesn’t get the welcome she should from most, but soon learns her place in the school with her new app. Rachel is one of the few people that welcomes Zoey, she is an outsider nervous at times even if she is confident in herself. Jackson is the school heartthrob with mystery about him, he takes a shine to Zoey which only makes the other girls at the school jealous. Taylor is the dance team leader that doesn’t want to let Zoey be part of the team.

PerformancesZendaya takes the leading role and it is clear that this movie was built for her, she is good in the leading role showing both sides of her character. Chanelle Peloso gives us plenty of laughs in her role as the best friend. Spencer Boldman as the mysterious boy at school is good for the film. Emilia McCarthy does struggle to be the bad girl we need her to be, this is due to writing rather than acting though.

StoryThe story here shows how the new girl to a family and school struggles to deal with the boys in her life and when her phone gives her an app which can control them she uses it to make life easier, with the normal consequences. This teaches Zoey a life lesson that she must learn to change because not everything will go her way, no matter how much she wants to control things, it does show us how difficult starting a new school can be this almost shows how people can dream a way to move away from the struggle. We also learn about new family life, which is weird because the family on move in together after the wedding.

Comedy/Family/FantasyThe comedy in this film comes from how Zoey controls the guys and just what happens with different instructions. It is one the whole family can get a laugh out of because of the different moments of comedy with the fantasy side of the film coming from the idea a phone app can control people.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in and around high school which puts us through the normal locations we would imagine seeing problems taking place in.


Scene of the Movie –
Dance off.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Surely the family would have tried living together before getting married.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those Disney channel movies that will hit the target audience perfectly, it knows the strengths and plays into them.

 

Overall: The target audience will enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Flintstones (1994)

Director: Brian Levant

Writer: Tom S Parker, Jim Jennewein, Steve E de Souza (Screenplay)

Starring: John Goodman, Elizabeth Perkins, Rick Moranis, Rosie O’Donnell, Kyle MacLachlan, Halle Berry, Elizabeth Taylor

 

Plot: In this live-action feature of the cartoon show, Fred Flintstone finally gets the job he’s always wanted, but it may just come at a price.


Tagline – Yabba-dabba-doo it!

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Family Film

 

Story: The Flintstones starts as we jump into Bedrock the place we loved as the cartoon, Fred Flintstone (Goodman) helps out his best friend Barney Rubble (Moranis) adopt Bam Bam their first child, in return Barney secretly swaps test scores with Fred leading to Fred getting a promotion to vice President.

Fred finds himself in a role he isn’t prepared for as he is being used by Cliff Vandercave (MacLachlan) who wants to use Fred to get away with stealing from the company and leaving Fred to take the blame, it isn’t long before the two families friendship put to the test.

 

Thoughts on The Flintstones

 

Characters – Fred Flintstone is the loveable idiot with a heart of gold, he works in the quarry, enjoys bowling and always has Barney for company, in this adventure he ends up in a role he can’t handle and his friendship being tested. Barney Rubble is the best friend of Fred’s that helps Fred get a promotion only to suffer the consequences, he wants to keep it a secret which will ruin the friendship. Wilma and Betty are the wives that support in the places with Cliff Vandercave being the typical business minded villain.

PerformancesJohn Goodman in the role of Fred work wonderfully because he first looks the part and secondly knows how to handle comedy. Rick Moranis handles the side comedy wonderfully while the rest of the cast are good without being overly interesting.

StoryThe question here was how do you turn the much loved cartoon into a functional feature length film, the story here does show us how Fred gets himself into a position he can’t handle and shows how Barney is the one to help him out of the position. It does feel like a feature length episode of the show which works well for the story even if it does have a couple of more serious sides to the story. the story is what we have seen in other comedies and won’t be overly testing on the audience.

Comedy/Family/FantasyThe film uses the comedy much like the cartoon does, things feel over the top and do get the laughs required, the whole family can enjoy moments of this film which does know how to offer comedy for all ages.

SettingsThe look of the Bedrock look great and pays the respect to the cartoon where we see the different dinosaurs living with the humans. Everything looks and seems to be practical too.

Special EffectsThe effects show us how practical effects can be used to create a world where the human dinosaur relationship works for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The quarry showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not enough Dino.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun family film that can be enjoyed by the fans of the original show, it has the jokes and references to what we know.

 

Overall: One for the family.

Rating

 

 

Cinderella (2015)

cinderellaDirector: Kenneth Branagh

Writer: Chris Weitz (Screenplay)

Starring: Cate Blanchett, Lily James, Richard Madden, Helena Bonham Carter, Nonso Anozie, Stellan Skarsgard, Sophie McShera

 

Plot: When her father unexpectedly passes away, young Ella finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother and her scheming step-sisters. Never one to give up hope, Ella’s fortunes begin to change after meeting a dashing stranger.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Telling of Classic

 

Story: Cinderella starts as we see Ella getting raised by her parents Mother (Atwell) and Father (Chaplin) who teach her to be honest and good before we see the tragic death of her mother. Years pass on and her father decides to real marry to her new Stepmother (Blanchett) but the now grown up Cinderella (James) has to get used to a new step sisters Drisella (McShera)) and Anastasia (Grainger). When Cinderella’s father dies on a trip she ends up getting placed in the role of housekeeper and all around slave for the family.

When Cinderella meets the handsome Prince (Madden) the two find themselves hiding their true identities as sparks fly between the two. The Prince is about the host a ball where he must pick a bride and he opens the doors to every woman in his kingdom.

Cinderella wants to attend the ball to meet the charming man she met in the woods but her dreams are dashed by her evil stepmother but her Fairy Godmother (Carter) is always looking over her to make the dream happen.

Cinderella is one of the most classic tales there is to tell and this outing keeps the fairy tale in the wonderful world we expect to see. We all know where the story is going and this does give us a couple of extra twits to the story with the Stepmother being more involved with where the story goes. If you just want to see a fantasy romance unfold this is all you need to see from the story.

 

Actor Review

 

Cate Blanchett: Stepmother is the lady Ella’s father marries, she has two daughters that are used to the high lifestyle. When her new husband dies she turns Cinderella into the slave of the house while the three continue to try and live their lives of luxury. Cate is good in this role where she looks like she enjoys the role.stepmother

Lily James: Cinderella grew up as Ella with her caring loving parents but when she is left with her new stepmother she ends up becoming the slave of the household. She only ever wants to see good, be good and be treated fairly, she never wants to look down on any a true pure sole. When she gets to go to the ball she could escape her life locked away by her stepmother. Lily is good in this role really looking the part.ella

Richard Madden: Prince is the charming stranger that Ella meets in the woods one day, they have instant attraction but keep their names a secret. When it becomes time for him to select a wife he opens the doors to any woman hoping to find her once more. Richard fits the character very well giving us a good performance.prince

Helena Bonham Carter: Fairy Godmother has been watching over Cinderella all her life but shows herself to make her dream of going to the ball a reality. Helena does well in her main scene and role of narrator.godmothr

Support Cast: Cinderella has great supporting cast that all give good performance throughout.

Director Review: Kenneth BranaghKenneth does a great job telling the story that every girl loves to hear.

 

Family: Cinderella is one for the whole family to enjoy.

Fantasy: Cinderella brings us into a fantasy idea where magic happens.

Romance: Cinderella brings us into a romantic story of true love.

Settings: Cinderella takes us into the fictional kingdom which all look beautifully created.
Special Effects
: Cinderella uses great effects that all look great in a fictional story.

Suggestion: Cinderella is one to watch with the family. (Family Time)

 

Best Part: Preparing for the ball.

Worst Part: Slightly too long with the final act going on too long.

Funniest Scene: Goose driving.

Favourite Quote: ‘I can’t drive, I’m a goose’.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for One Oscar.

Box Office: $201 Million

Budget: $95 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Tagline: Midnight is just the beginning.

 

Overall: Easy to watch fictional fairy tale that is being retold once more

Ratingcard

 

Tales of Halloween (2015)

Directors: Darren Lynn Dousman, Axelle Caroyln, Ada Gierasch, Andrew Kasch, Neil Marshall, Lucky McKee, Mike Mendez, Dave Parker, Ryan Schifrin, John Skipp, Paul Solet

 

Plot: Ten stories are woven together by their shared theme of Halloween night in an American suburb, where ghouls, imps, aliens and axe murderers appear for one night only to terrorize unsuspecting residents.


Tagline – One night. One town. Ten chilling stories.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Horror Anthology

 

 

Thoughts on Tales of Halloween

 

3 I enjoyed the Most

 

·        The Night Billy Raised Hellthis story follows a young boy tricked into pranking the town crazy only to find himself going on a night out with the town crazy raising havoc all over town. This has a great twist in it and having Barry Bostwick in only makes it better.

·        Friday the 31stThis follows a lone girl being hunted down by serial killer similar to a Jason, only for things to take a very different twist half way through, this has comedy and horror down perfectly.

·        The Ransom of Rusty RexWhen two criminal kidnap a boy on Halloween hoping to claim a ransom for him, but things take a turn when the discover what they have taken this is moments of humour that work very well and can be enjoyed too.


3 I didn’t enjoy

 

·        The Weak and the WickedThis story follows a young man being chased down by a group of psychotic thugs, but he has a reason, this is a good story, but generic in how things unfold.

·        Grim Grinning Ghost – This follows a trip home by a woman that soon becomes haunted by ghosts and then it seems to end.

·        This Means War We have rival neighbours trying to compete over the best Halloween displays, which feels like an extension of All America Rejects Give You Hell.


Final Thoughts
This is one for the anthology fans out there, the stories are short and sweet which is what the fans of the horror stories will enjoy and this ticks the boxes well, it does have a few misses, but what anthology doesn’t.

 

Overall: Nice simple anthology that can be enjoyed by horror fans.

Rating