The Flintstones Viva Rock Vegas (2000)

Director: Brian Levant

Writer: Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont, Jim Cash, Jack Epp Jr (Screenplay)

Starring: Mark Addy, Stephen Baldwin, Kristen Johnston, Jane Krakowski, Joan Collins, Thomas Gibson, Alan Cumming

 

Plot: In this live-action prequel to the 1994 comedy hit, the Flintstones and the Rubbles go on a trip to Rock Vegas, where Wilma is pursued by playboy Chip Rockefeller.


Tagline – Get ready to rock!

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not On the Same Level

 

Story: The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas starts with Fred (Addy) and Barney (Baldwin) graduate into employment and head out to celebrate. Wilma (Johnston) is looking to escape her life from the rich friends and family she has lived in and finds herself meeting waitress Betty (Krakowski) becoming friends.

When the two friends meet they fall in love with Wilma’s past family being the rich gets the couples an invite to Rock Vegas for a holiday of a lifetime.

 

Thoughts on The Flintstones in Viva Rock Vegas

 

Characters – Fred Flintstone is the working class citizen of Bedrock, he wants to meet a woman and he does meet Wilma, only to show us that he has a dark side when it comes to gambling. Barney is the bumbling best friend of Fred, which is strange because this time he is made out to be a bigger idiot than Fred. Wilma is escaping her life from the rich which leads her to Betty and then Fred while Betty is a waitress that falls in love with Barney. We don’t get the full character development we need for these characters this time around.

PerformancesMark Addy does fit the Fred Flintstone role well and to be honest the performances are not bad they just don’t have much to work with even if they do look the part more than the first cast.

StoryThis is a prequel and looks at how the couples met, which is fine, but not something we needed to see, we know how this story is going to end which also takes away from the story because we know Fred and Wilma and Barney and Betty end up together, so any mistakes made along the way mean nothing. We also focus on the idea of trying to do too many parodies of modern times.

Comedy/Family/RomanceThe comedy seem thicker than last time out, mostly because it comes too often with too many pop culture references which have dated badly, the family will struggle to enjoy this because there are not enough jokes for the older audience, with the romance being here working even if we know how it ends.

SettingsThe look of Bedrock still looks great and the idea of Rock Vegas works for the fil showing the bigger idea the movie wanted to give us.

Special EffectsThe practical effects do work for the film but when the CGI get used we see the short comings the film has.


Scene of the Movie –
The Viva Rock Vegas number.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Playing a romance angle on characters we know get married.

Final ThoughtsThis movie doesn’t hit on the same level as the first, the performances are fine, but the story just falls flat on its face.

 

Overall: Substandard sequel.

Rating

 

 

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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

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – F – The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest (2002)

Director: Mick Jackson

Writer: Jon Favreau, Gary Tieche (Screenplay) Po Bronson (Novel)

Starring: Adam Garcia, Rosario Dawson, Jake Busey, Enrico Colantoni, Ethan Suplee, Anjul Nigam

 

Plot: Andy, a successful marketing guy quits his job, because he feels disconnected with the values about work he learned from his father. He gets a new job at a top notch research facility, where he quickly makes a powerful enemy who makes him volunteer for a nearly impossible project: The $99 Personal Computer. He recruits the only available guys at the lab, three sociopaths. Together they really compile a revolutionary PC for $99, but then they become the victims of a venture capitalist and Andy’s old foe from the research lab. Can he and his new friends find a way to overcome the problems?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Little Comedy

 

Story: The First $20 Million is Always the Hardest starts when marketing man Andy Kasper (Garcia) decides he wants to get back to his inventing ways by being transferred to the developmental department. Not being welcomed to department by Francis (Colantoni) on the main project, he accepts what seems like an impossible project, a $99 laptop.

Andy is joined by the outsiders of the developmental department Salman (Nigam), Curtis (Suplee) and Darrell (Busey) as they look achieve the impossible in the limited time.

 

Thoughts on The First $20 Million is Always the Hardest

 

Characters – Andy Kasper is a top marketing guy, making money that could keep him happy for his whole life, beautiful girlfriend, he gives this all up to get back to the developmental side of things, where he uses his leadership and motivation skills to build a revolutionary computer. Alisa is the new neighbour for Andy that is a dreamer like him, that welcomes Andy and his team to the duplex to make their own idea. Darrell is the loud aggressive genius that is part of the team, he is also afraid of germs which making any connect with humans. We have the normal characters involved here too, the shy one, the traditional one, the enemy that wants to steal ideas and the rich one that only cares about money too.

PerformancesAdam Garcia is good in the leading role, he has the image of marketing guy which helps his need for the leadership required. Rosario Dawson is good in her role, but it seems to just be love interest 101 character. Jake Busey, Ethan Suplee and Anjul Nigam are all good at the team, they work well together to get certain laughs.

StoryThe story here focuses on one man wanting to focus on what he loves, designing and development. He gets to follow his dream using his motivational skills he brings the world something fantastic, but in the dot com boom era, he learns the brutal truth behind the business. The story here has aged in places because the technology boom that this focuses on has past in places, but it almost plays out like a documentary in places too.

ComedyThe comedy is good for the most part, it ticks the basic boxes without being anything over the top, just little moments that will make you chuckle.

SettingsThe film shows how tech firms can offer the resources, but the smaller garages offer the ideas, showing the different locations inventions can be made.

Scene of the Movie – The big answer.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It could escape the generic characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good comedy that proves that the dream of invention can drive people to achieve greatness.

 

Overall: Comedy well worth watching.

Rating

 

 

First Man (2018)

Director: Damien Chazelle

Writer: Josh Singer (Screenplay) James R Hansen (Book)

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Corey Stoll, Pablo Schreiber, Christopher Abbot, Ethan Embry, Ciaran Hinds, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler

 

Plot: A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.


Tagline – Experience the impossible journey to the Moon.

Runtime: 2 Hours 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Biopic

 

Story: First Man starts as we see how Neil Armstrong (Gosling) can solve problems in flight with one of his test mission to the limits of the atmosphere going wrong before he saved it, we meet his family wife Janet (Foy) and children Richard and Karen, we see how they suffered a tragic loss of young Karen, which drove him to apply to become an astronaut.

We follow the astronaut training program which showed Neil’s abilities to solve problems even after seeing his friends around him lose their lives to the pursuit of space. We follow up to the legendary mission he will always been known for as he was the first man to walk on the moon.

 

Thoughts on First Man

 

Characters – These characters are and were real people, Neil Armstrong is always going to be remembered as the first man to walk on the moon, we see how this shy man managed to overcome his own personal tragedies to achieve this as we see how he reacts and deals with everything that gets thrown at him until he made history. Janet is his wife, she also suffers through the tragedies, she will give Neil all the support he needs to make sure he will keep his promises to come home, we mostly watch how she must keep the life for their children normal and calm. Edward Higgins White is one of the fellow astronauts, one that becomes close friends with him through the training and the program, he is the one that will offer a shoulder if Neil ever needed it. We meet many famous names from the astronaut programs each gets there moment, we know Buzz Aldrin was onboard Apollo 11 and of the other big named astronauts we know Jim Lovell from the Apollo 13 mission.

PerformancesRyan Gosling gives us a magnificent performance as the icon of astronauts, he shows us how shy, timid and genius Neil was, never making him a cocky man, this simple performance makes you understand each emotion he is going through. Claire Foy sets away from the small screen to give us a flawless performance as the wife who must remain strong, but dealing with anxiety of the unknown through each mission. The rest of the cast are great through the film, each actor gets to pay the respect to the man they are performing as.

StoryThe story here follows Neil Armstrong’s life from 1961 to his moon landing in 1969. We do have plenty of interesting aspects to his life, be it the battle to remain strong after his daughter’s death or the feeling of proving himself worthy of being part of the astronaut program. While these are all wonderful to watch, they do feel like they are being told, like, this is what happened here, then this, then this and so on. It never feels like a smooth story and the movie does make out that Neil was an excellent astronaut, but terrible PR man, he didn’t do anything stupid or risky, he lack charisma that other astronauts had, he was just the right choice for the job. The biggest warning you must have before going in, is that this does follow his life over the space program, yes, we do have parts of the space program and they are the most entertaining parts, but we also follow his life away from this.

Biopic/History8 years in the life of the most iconic man to go into space, we see his lowest point in his life, to the crowning achievement, nobody can ever take away from him. The history side of the film shows us the key moments in the space race, if you know the basics you will know these moments.

SettingsThe film recreates the settings brilliantly, be it the world around the space race, or the cockpits the astronauts get rammed into with little space for any freedom on these deadly missions.

Special EffectsThe effects are mesmerizing, when we are in space we are left stunned by the beauty of the views these men had. The film is also used to make it feel like it is shot for the same time the events took place.


Scene of the Movie –
Apollo 11

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many close ups.

Final ThoughtsAs a space race fan this manages to shed new light on the man who made history, it gave us brilliant performance, effects and shows us there was more behind the man than just the icon.

 

Overall: Must watch biopic.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – F – Freehold (2017)

Director: Dominic Bridges

Writer: Dominic Bridges, Rae Brunton (Screenplay)

Starring: Javier Botet, Mandeep Dhillon, Mim Shaikh, Michael McKell, Kola Bokinni

 

Plot: An oily, amoral estate agent is preyed upon by one of his victims, who quietly moves into his flat and, unseen, begins a deliciously malicious campaign of revenge.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Creepy

 

Story: Freehold starts as we follow estate agent Hussein (Shaikh) go about his daily routines in his small London flat, but as soon as he leaves for a skinny man Orlan (Botet) appears, he has been secretly living in the flat, going around using the supplies while he is out.

When Mel (Dhillon) comes to live with Hussein we start to see the bigger picture of what Orlan’s plan is causing havoc in the flat, but what is his motivation for this?

 

Thoughts on Freehold

 

Characters – Orlan is the man secretly living in the flat, he seems to be making the life of the man living in the flat, sneaking around when he is asleep or at work, his motivation unfolds through the film, he does have a strikingly haunting look about him with his skinny bone structure coming through. Hussein is the estate agent that is living in the flat, he is very cocky with everything he does and starts to believe he is being haunted, though never investigates. Mel is the girlfriend of Hussein that wants to do the best with the small flat but soon gets tired of Hussein’s behaviour.

PerformancesJavier Botet does have an extremely creepy look which makes him stand out in this role which he is creepy throughout the film. Mandeep Dhillon isn’t in the film long enough to make the impact you feel she could have. Mim Shaikh is good in this role because he does end up being the person getting tortured through the film without knowing it.

StoryThe story follows one man that tries to live his normal life, only for us to learn that he isn’t alone in his flat. The story follows this mysterious man doing random acts to try and make Hussein’s life a nightmare. Most of the film is following Hussein trying to keep everything together, leaving us to wonder just how far people will go through the get this to happen and whether we would be able to notice this.

Comedy/Horror This does have an air of comedy about what is going on while not a full laugh out loud moment, the horror comes off the biggest part of the film because it shows just how difficult it could be to learn the truth.

SettingsThe film is set inside the flat, which keeps everything together and adds the creepy disturbing factor the film needed.


Scene of the Movie –
The first appearance of Orlan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Orlan believes there is a ghost but never investigates more.

Final ThoughtsThis is a short creepy movie that will keep you on edge form start to finish as we see just how far this one man will go and what would you do if you found out that someone was living in your flat.

 

Overall: Disturbing and creepy

Rating