Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Director: Tim Burton

Writer: Caroline Thompson (Screenplay) Tim Burton, Caroline Thompson (Story)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne West, Anthony Michael Hall, Kathy Baker, Robert Oliveri, Conchata Ferrell

 

Plot: A gentle man, with scissors for hands, is brought into a new community after living in isolation.


Tagline – Innocence is what he knows. Beauty is what she sees.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautifully Dark Fantasy Film

 

Story: Edward Scissorhands starts as local Avon saleslady Peg (Wiest) reluctantly goes to the mysterious abandoned mansion overlooking her small community where she finds young man Edward (Depp) who is living in isolation with scissors for hands.

With Edward trying to settle into a normal life, he soon becomes popular with the locals because of his ability to use his hands to create beautiful garden decorations and soon he becomes the talk of the town while slowly falling in love with Kim (Ryder) the daughter of Peg.

 

Thoughts on Edward Scissorhands

 

Characters – Edward has lived in isolation for his whole life, when he is discovered he tries to get used to normal life even with the scissors for hands, he shows amazing abilities when it comes to cutting things be it bushes, hair or grooming, though his isolation has made it difficult for him to understand right from wrong in the world, until the time comes for him to make a difference. Kim is the daughter of the family that take Edward in, she has an abusive boyfriend who fits the generic high school asshole, she sees the kindness in Edward wanting to help make him understand life more. Peg is the Avon saleslady that finds Edward and wants to help him understand a normal life, she doesn’t believe she is doing anything wrong and with her being an outsider of the gossip girls, she suddenly is put in the spotlight too. Jim is the asshole boyfriend that wants to use Edward for his own gain knowing that he wants he girl, he gets jealous of the new bond between the two and looks to find his own way to fix it.

PerformancesJohnny Depp in the leading role is fantastic, he shows the innocence his character needs through each new discovery while looking like he is taking everything in. Winona Ryder works wonderfully as the romantic interest that shows the sweet side and the conflicted side of her character. Dianne Wiest shows us just how a middle-aged woman with her own insecurities can be strong for everybody around her no matter what they think of her and Anthony Michael Hall hits the asshole boyfriend down just like we need him to.

StoryThe story follows Edward a young man that gets bought out of isolation and bought into a normal community while always being the outsider. We see how they want to welcome him with open arms, while also having the fears of just what he could be capable of if something was to go wrong. We get a good strong moral to the story, which is to respect anybody no matter what they look like because inside they could have the same feelings as you. The story is told in fairy tale form which keeps a glimpse of magic about everything we are seeing. From the moment the father gets Edward drunk by accident to the barbecue scene we get to see how Edward adapts to each social situation too. This is one of the stronger of all Tim Burton’s stories which shows us just how important being nice to people in life will be for everyone.

Fantasy/RomanceThe fantasy side of this film focuses on just how Edward a man with scissors first came about and second must be accepted in life. The romance comes from just how Edward learns what love is when he meets Kim, how both learn about difficult decisions when it comes to loved ones and how important acts of kindness can help people.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in one location, a small community which has gossip about anything that happens there and comes together for the better moments.


Scene of the Movie –
Helping the dog see.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact all the women just seem to want to do is gossip.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those beautiful fantasy films, it shows us just how people need to be treated fairly no matter what they look like because kindness can be found in all.

 

Overall: Fantasy fans enjoy.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Action – E – Eliminators (2016)

Director: James Nunn

Writer: Nathan Brookes, Bobby Lee Darby (Screenplay)

Starring: Scot Adkins, Stu Bennett, Daniel Caltagirone, James Cosmo, Ty Glaser, Olivia Mace

 

Plot: A former US Federal Agent must abandon the witness protection program and come out of hiding when his London home is invaded in error due to a wrong address. When the event ends with multiple homicides, the news triggers those hunting him to send Europe’s most dangerous assassin to kill him. Now on the run with his daughter’s life in jeopardy, a determined father must get her to safety before the people he’s been hiding from track him down.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Popcorn Action

 

Story: Eliminators starts when former US Federal Agent Thomas (Adkins) gets his house invaded by the wrong people who he kills to protect his daughter leaving him in hospital with his face plastered over the news, giving away his witness protection status.

The man who is after him Cooper (Cosmo) hires his best assassin Bishop (Bennett) to track him down and kill Thomas and his daughter, this leaves Thomas no choice but to go on the run to save her life and his own.

 

Thoughts on Eliminators

 

Characters – Thomas is a former US Federal Agent that is in witness protection program, he is trying to live a quiet life off the radar, until he becomes the victim of a mistaken identity. Accused of murder he is separated from his daughter only for his identity to be revealed to the world with the former enemy sends an assassin to kill him. He must use his skills to stay ahead of the enemy and save his daughter. Bishop is the assassin hired to eliminate Thomas and his daughter, he knows the tricks of the trade, but I do feel he makes mistakes which give away his position to be known as the best assassin in Europe. Ray is the connection trying to help clean up the exposed witness protection system.

PerformancesScott Adkins is a good action star, there is no questioning this, he has the look and the skills to be one of the best, but his ability to pull off the American accent is terrible in this film. Stu Bennett or former wrestler Wade Barrett is good as the assassin, while he doesn’t make too much of his character original, he does everything he needs to for his role.

StoryThe story plays out easily enough, assassin tracking down his target around London over what feels like just one night. This adds the adrenaline rush the story needs in an old school cat n mouse style story. where this film starts to fall apart in the story is silly mistakes getting exposed, for example this Federal Agent gets in a taxi to escape the killer only to stay in said taxi instead of using intelligence of swapping vehicle, which would have made the escape easy. If you do look past these flaws you can get the enjoyment of the simplistic nature of the story.

ActionThe action in the film is entertaining to watch, we have a mix of chase sequences, bullet flying scenes and hand to hand combat which gets to show of Adkins skills.

SettingsMost of the film is set in and around London, which is good for an American based story as we get to see the race against time unfold, even if we don’t use any of the stand out location.


Scene of the Movie –
Thomas v Bishop on the docks.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Escaping, sure this Federal Agent would have better intelligence.

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to action movies we know sometimes we just need to switch our brains off and enjoy, this is one of those movie, it is a lot of fun even if there are a lot of flaws with the methods things unfold.

 

Overall: Fun popcorn filled action film.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Elektra (2005)

Director: Rob Bowman

Writer: Zak Penn, Stuart Zicherman, M.Raven Metzner (Screenplay) Frank Miller (Comic Book)

Starring: Jennifer Garner, Goran Visnjic, Kristen Zien, Will Yun Lee, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Terrence Stamp

 

Plot: Elektra the warrior survives a near-death experience, becomes an assassin-for-hire, and tries to protect her two latest targets, a single father and his young daughter, from a group of supernatural assassins.


Tagline – She’s the last thing that stands between good and evil.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Generic and Average

 

Story: Elektra starts as Elektra (Garner) has survived the events of the Daredevil movie and is now an assassin to hire, her reputation strikes fear into the enemies that learn she is coming. Elektra’s latest job involves killing Mark (Visnjic) and his daughter Abby (Zien) only for her to have a change of heart.

Elektra must now protect them from a group of assassins led by Kirigi (Lee) who is trying to collect a treasure that can see the secret organisation known as the Hand finally gain power.

 

Thoughts on Elektra

 

Characters – Elektra is an assassin for hire, she is known around the world as the one that can get any job done. Her latest job tests her because she doesn’t want to kill a child, this brings her employers after her and she finds herself into the middle of battle between two different factions, to add something else to the mix, she sudden has OCD too. Mark Miller is the father of Abby who is doing everything he can to keep her and her secret safe. Abby is a teenager that people want dead, she has a secret which could bring her to be a threat to anyone, but must remain safe. Kirigi leads the assassins that are after Abby, working for The Hand, he is supernatural in ability along with his assassins.

PerformancesJennifer Garner is one of the few highlights in this film, she has been doing this style of role for a while and steps in effortlessly even if she is not meant to have enjoyed making the film. Goran Visnjic and Kirsten Zien both struggle to make any sort of impact in this film, while Will Yun Lee does the best he can with his role.

StoryThe story here follows Elektra in one of her own adventures as an assassin for hire, only this time she goes against the deal, so this is the typical assassin with a heart fighting back against her employers, only we end up dealing in supernatural assassins, which takes away anything we would have seen from the human enemy side of Daredevil. This is a by the book movie you know can right the checklist out of how things are going to unfold without being challenged, while this isn’t going to make you surprised by any sort of twists in the ideas.

Action/AdventureThe action is down to the fights which are played out well with a martial arts base to them, the supernatural elements do add small parts to the fights though.

SettingsThe film does take us to a couple of settings which are more open instead of being in a big city, this is fine, as it plays into Elektra’s back story.

Special EffectsThe effects used are basic and do make for believable elements when it comes to how the villains are killed and use their own abilities.


Scene of the Movie –
Snakes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The random OCD element added for no reason.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple to watch assassin going against their employer’s movie, it keeps most things safe, with entertaining action when turned too.

 

Overall: Simple to watch.

Rating

 

 

Elizabeth Harvest (2018)

Elizabeth Harvest is available on Digital Download on the 1st of April 2019 here

Director: Sebastian Gutierrez

Writer: Sebastian Gutierrez (Screenplay)

Starring: Abbey Lee, Ciaran Hinds, Carla Gugino, Matthew Beard, Dylan Baker

 

Plot: A brilliant man marries a beautiful woman and shows her his home, stating that it’s all hers – except a room she can’t enter. First chance she enters and discovers what might be human cloning. When the husband returns she pays the price.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sci-Fi Mystery Consequences

 

Story: Elizabeth Harvest starts when newlyweds Elizabeth (Lee) and Henry (Hinds) return to his mansion to start their lives together, he has workers in his home with Claire (Gugino) and Oliver (Beard) doing the household jobs, while Elizabeth is banned from one room.

Left alone in the house, Elizabeth starts exploring more which does take her into the forbidden room, which only angers Henry to new levels, where he must start his plans again.

 

Thoughts on Elizabeth Harvest

 

Characters – Elizabeth is the new wife ready for her life of luxury, she is delighted with the number of clothes she has, the size of the house, but she isn’t prepared for what she finds in the forbidden room, a clone of herself, she spends the film learning who she is and why she is being cloned. Henry is the husband that has been bring his new wife home for the household, he has been planning this for years, with his clones being used to complete his perfect world, the deeper the story goes, the more we learn about his decisions. Claire is the scientist hired to help Henry with his clones, she doesn’t agree at first before learning just what this could mean for science. Oliver works around the house, he is blind and has been waiting for his chance to learn about the work within the house.

PerformancesAbbey Lee takes on the leading roles of Elizabeth, each one is slightly different which shows how the science has continued to improve through the versions, this comes out in her performances as somebody who becomes riser as the film unfolds. Ciaran Hinds is always going to be strong in the scientist role, with Carla Gugino in the mentor figure and assistant that works well with Matthew Beard doing everything needed for his shining moments in the later part of the film.

StoryThe story follows a young woman marrying a scientist and learning that he has been working on a bigger project which involves clones. This is an interesting story because it plays into the ideas of whether clones should be used in the real world, which is always going to be an interesting conversation. The story does however jump around the timeline with the flashbacks filling in the blanks for Elizabeth. It could get moments that are confusing because keeping up with certain characters can be hard to figure out which is which, but otherwise this does everything needing to make you think you are watching an episode of Black Mirror.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi side of the film uses the idea of clones being welcomed into the world or how they are secretive for the first designers.

SettingsThe settings keep the film in one location which does show the world that Elizabeth must get used too.

Special EffectsWe keep the effects simple and effective to show the wounds inflicted to the characters.


Scene of the Movie –
The meeting of the clones.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many time jumps.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sci-fi film that does ask a question about cloning, and whether they should be included in the world or not.

 

Overall: Black Mirror in film form.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominated – E – The Elephant Man (1980)

Director: David Lynch

Writer: Christopher De Vore, Eric Bergren, David Lynch (Screenplay) Frederick Treves (Book)

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, John Hurt, Anne Bancroft, John Gielgud, Wendy Hiller, Freddie Jones

 

Plot: A Victorian surgeon rescues a heavily disfigured man who is mistreated while scraping a living as a side-show freak. Behind his monstrous façade, there is revealed a person of intelligence and sensitivity.


Tagline – I am not an animal! I am a human being! I…am…a man!

Runtime: 2 Hour 4 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Essential Viewing

 

Story: The Elephant Man starts when Victorian surgeon Frederick Treves (Hopkins) discovers a heavily deformed man John Merrick (Hurt) being used as a side-show freak by Bytes (Jones). Frederick sees the potential in searching for a cure and a break through in science by showing the fellow doctors that he can help John.

However, over time, Frederick learns that underneath all the deformities, John is an intelligent man that is no different than any other man in the world, but not everybody else in the city of London, wants John to have his freedom.

 

Thoughts on The Elephant Man

 

Characters – Frederick Treves is a surgeon that has the respect of London because of the incredible work he has achieved through the years. He learns of John and wants to help him, he soon learns that he is just like him, smart, educated and must learn to teach the world to accept John. John Merrick is the Elephant Man, a side-show freak to the man who hold shim captive, once rescued he learns that not everybody in the world is wanting to laugh or scream at him, some want to help him live a normal life, inside he is a kind sensitive man that only wants to live like any other man. Mrs Kendal is a celebrity in London who is the first to help John in the public light, showing the people just how gentle and intelligent John is.

PerformancesAnthony Hopkins in the leading role is fantastic, show the world that he could pick up the intelligent role perfectly while showing the kind nature behind his character. John Hurt is the true star of the film, he brings the kind nature to the man that others look at with fear, he shows the bravery to be different in the society that only looks down on people that were different. The rest of the cast are strong throughout the film, they show us the emotional impact the film would have on the people involved.

StoryThe story here follows the relationship between doctor Frederick Treves and John Merrick, we see how Frederick saves John from the life of misery, lets him be respected and shows him another side of life away from the freak shows in which he had been trapped in. the story shows us just how cruel the people of the Victoria era were towards people that looked different. Through the story we get to see a fine balance between the men that wanted to use John for financial profit and Frederick that was willing to have him at the forefront of his determination to be remembered for what he bought to science, this one does turn into friendship, but the first impression are clearly there.

BiopicWe follow the time between John Merrick and Frederick Treves as we see the men with similar education and desires in life are both in very different worlds, together they help show the world, just because John looked different, it didn’t make him a bad person, unlike the people that uses him for their own gain.

SettingsThe film is set in the Victorian era London, it shows the difference in class between the people and how the people would have been entertained by seeing someone different.


Scene of the Movie –
I am a human being.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The way John was treated.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful biopic, it shows how cruel the world was towards John Merrick and how the people that wanted a change showed the world he was just like them.

 

Overall: Must watch biopic.

Rating