ABC Film Challenge – Animation – F – The Fox and the Hound (1981)

Director: Ted Berman, Richard Rich, Art Stevens

Writer: Daniel P Mannix (Book) Larry Clemmons, Ted Berman, David Michener, Peter Young, Burny Mattinson, Steve Hulett, Earl Kress, Vance Gerry (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Micky Rooney, Kurt Russell, Pearl Baily, Jack Albertson, Sandy Duncan, Jeanette Nolan, Pat Buttram

 

Plot: Two childhood friends find themselves forced to become enemies.


Tagline – A New Captivating Animated Adventure!

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sweet Disney Animation

 

Story: The Fox and the Hound starts as we see Tod’s mother killed by a hunter, trying to keep him safe, the other animals in the woods including Big Mama an owl takes the cub to Widow Tweed to look after him, but they just so happen to be living next door to a hunter that gets a new bloodhound pup Copper and the two become unlikely friends.

After the two grow up over a winter, Copper becomes the hunting dog he was meant to be, but refuses to attack Tod, forcing Widow Tweed into letting Tod go into the wild. As the two grow up they follow their nature until one fateful clash between the two reminds them who they were.

 

Thoughts on The Fox and the Hound

 

Characters – Tod is a curious orphaned fox that just wants to explore the world and without his real mother struggles to understand boundaries. He must learn that his new friend will soon become his biggest enemy. Copper is the bloodhound that befriends Tod when they were pups and cubs. He gets trained to become a hunter including Tod, but their friendship puts his instinct on the back burner. Big Mama helps guide Tod through his countryside adventures warning him of things to come.

StoryThe story follows the two young animals that become friends only to follow their natural instinct and become sworn enemies. The story tries to show us that friendship will last till the end even when the two at meant to be enemies in the natural selection of things. We do get other messages in this film, including how hunting is bad and shouldn’t be turned into a sport and learning about your place in the world.

Adventure/FamilyThe adventure in the movie shows us just where Tod and Copper life will take them, this is one for the family, but maybe not the youngest members.

SettingsThe settings created show us the world the animals will be living their whole lives, peaceful quiet countryside.

AnimationThe animation used shows where Disney was and makes things look the magical style.


Scene of the Movie –
The bear scene is terrifying.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Dinky and Boomer sounding like mobsters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sweet and simple Disney story, it focuses on friendship over anything else with two unlikely friends.

 

Overall: Short and Sweet.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Fahrenheit 451 (2018)

Director: Ramin Bahrani

Writer: Amir Naderi, Ramin Bahrani (Screenplay) Ray Bradbury (Novel)

Starring: Michael B Jordan, Michael Shannon, Sofia Boutella, Lilly Singh, Khandi Alexander, Keir Dullea

 

Plot: In a terrifying care-free future, a young man, Guy Montag, whose job as a fireman is to burn all books, questions his actions after meeting a young girl…and begins to rebel against society.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dull and Uninspiring

 

Story: Fahrenheit 451 starts in the future where books have become illegal and firefighters job is to burn books, Captain Beatty (Shannon) and Guy Montag (Jordan) are our two lead firefighters, with Beatty about to get promoted. The Eels (the people behind the books) continue to fight for the true history with their identity being erased if they get caught with books.

When one of the investigations goes in a direction they can’t control, Guy starts to question the decisions to burn the books, learning from Clarisse (Boutella) about the culture that came before and fighting back against the system.

 

Thoughts on Fahrenheit 451

 

Characters – Guy Montag is the charismatic firefighter, one of the faces of the movement which burns the books, he starts to question his decisions about burning the books and the history being left behind, he could become the big part of the change needed. Captain Beatty is the mentor of Guy, the partner in firefighting, he is cold hearted through every action he does, truly believing in what he is working for. Clarisse is one of the victims of the burning, deleted from the records she is the connection for Beatty as he looks to eliminate other pockets of Eels.

PerformancesThe movie here has three of the best actors in the business today in, they struggle here, Michael B Jordan doesn’t give us any of the charisma we know he is capable off, just becoming background for the most part. Michael Shannon does the best work in the film as the man leading the firefighters, while Sofia Boutella is solid without being great.

StoryThe story here takes us to a world where books are bad and if you were to be caught with them, you become burned, this is a remake of a film I have never seen, but it also feels like it should be called Equilibrium because the similarities are striking.  We know how this type of story will go as the once great firefighter now wants to work for the other side questioning everything he has been doing. It doesn’t come off as original, it has poor pacing throughout and the story ends up feeling boring.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi world we enter seems interesting, but we never get to explore why the books became banned and how the movement came about.

SettingsThe film seems to be set in a modern looking world, which shows how efficient things are meant to be, but we never get to explore the different classes in this world.

Special EffectsThe effects are solid enough, even if we don’t turn to them too often.


Scene of the Movie –
The moment Guy starts to question everything.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too slow.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow moving movie that does ask a big question, we never get to focus on everything needed to make this interesting.

 

Overall: Slow moving throughout.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – F – The Forbidden Kingdom (2008)

 

Director: Rob Minkoff

Writer: John Fusco (Screenplay)

Starring: Jet Li, Michael Angarano, Jackie Chan, Juana Collignon, Morgan Benoit, Jack Posobiec, Yifei Liu, Bingbing Li

 

Plot: A discovery made by a kung fu obsessed American teen sends him on an adventure to China, where he joins up with a band of martial arts warriors in order to free the imprisoned Monkey King.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Martial Arts Film

 

Story: The Forbidden Kingdom starts as we meet outsider teenager Jason (Angarano) who has a love for kung fu movies, his life is tipped upside down when he ends up in Ancient China with an important weapon, but no one speaks his language. Once in China Jason meets Lu Yan (Chan) a drunken master that helps him return the weapon a staff to the Monkey King (Li) the only man that could stop the Jade Warlord (Chou) reign of terror.

Jason becomes Lu Yan’s student as he joins him on a quest to save the Monkey King, where they are joined by the Golden Sparrow (Liu) on their journey, where the enemies come thick and fast, Jason will need to learn who to trust though.

 

 

Thoughts on The Forbidden Kingdom

 

Characters – Jason is an American teenager who loves kung fu, he is a loner but soon finds himself transported back to Ancient China in the middle of a battle against the Jade Emperor’s reign of terror. Here he must learn the skills he loves on an adventure he could never have dreamed off. Lu Yan is one of the eight immortals living, his elixir is wine, he takes Jason under his wing to head to release the Monkey King. The Silent Monk also joins the journey as another great warrior in need of fighting his way to the give himself the freedom. Golden Sparrow also joins the party as she is fighting for revenge against the Jade Emperor for slaughtering her family. Ni Chang is the general set to retrieve the staff from Jason for the Jade Warlord, she is beautiful and deadly showing why she was the first choice by the warlord.

PerformancesMichael Angarano is the teenager, he performs well with the highly trained talent within the film. Jackie Chan and Jet Li are the big draws for this film, they bring the skills and get to have some fun in their roles. the female leads are strong too, with Yifei Liu and Bingbing Li both showing their skills in combat with the elite in the industry.

StoryThe story follows the loner that gets transported to the time he loves, in this case Ancient China where he finds himself in the middle of an ancient battle for power. This is a routine story that brings two of the biggest icons of martial arts together for the world audience. We have the elements of our teenager learning and the characters that fit the film wonderfully throughout to tell the story of redemption needed to complete their destinies.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action is big like you would expect in any martial arts film, with have plenty of fights for both Chan and Li to show off their skills. The adventure takes out unlikely hero from the streets of Boston to Ancient China in what is a fantasy world of immortals, witches and warlords.

SettingsThe American settings show just how far our teenager will go on his adventure, while the ancient Chinese setting shows us the old traditions that Jason must learn to stay alive.

Special EffectsThe effects are the weakest part of the film, we have certain moments that look genuine, but they are soon followed by moments you can almost see the stunt being performed.


Scene of the Movie –
Final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is slightly too by the book.

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice fun enjoyable action adventure film, it doesn’t take things too seriously and can be enjoyed by all martial arts fans.

 

Overall: Enjoyable and fun throughout.

Rating

 

 

Jessica Alba Weekend – Fantastic Four (2005)

fanDirector: Tim Story

Writer: Mark Frost, Michael France (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Jack Kirby (Comics)

Starring: Ioan Gruffudd, Jessica Alba, Chris Evans, Michael Chiklis, Julian McMahon, Hamish Linklater, Kerry Washington

 

Plot: A group of astronauts gain superpowers after a cosmic radiation exposure and must use them to oppose the plans of their enemy, Doctor Victor Von Doom.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Superhero Film

 

Story: Fantastic Four starts as Reed Richards (Gruffudd) and Ben Grimm (Chiklis) trying to negotiate a deal with Victor Von Doom (McMahon) a business man who runs the city as the two plan their mission in space. With the mission lined up the three are joined by Sue (Alba) and Johnny Storm (Evans) but when the solar storm heads to them earlier disaster strikes the space station with the whole crew getting exposed to the solar winds.

Put in quarantine the astronauts soon start seeing side effects and almost extra abilities they have gained, Johnny is literally a human torch, Ben turns into a rock man, Reed can stretch, Sue can turn invisible and Victor is dealing with telepathic powers. While the Fantastic Four are born, Victor Doom sees his empire crumble as his evil side comes out.

With Victor becoming a danger to the Earth the Fantastic Four must embrace their powers to save the world and become the heroes the world comes to love and accept.

Fantastic Four is a superhero film straight off the back of the X-Men and Spiderman success. The origin story works well and the battle is all good enough for what we expect for the first battle they face.  The negatives are clear here and that is with the special effects that have dated badly. The settings also don’t leave too much to the imagination as they are just the standard superhero fight locations.

The cast are all picked perfectly really with each one of the characters suiting the actor’s abilities. Chris Evans stands out as the cocky Human Torch character but it is his chemistry with Michael Chiklis that gets most of the laughs in the film. Julian McMahon as the villain works because he always looks like the powerful business man.

 

Overall: For the time this was a great addition to the genre but now it feels slightly out of place.

Ratingcard

 

 

James McAvoy Weekend – Filth (2013)

Director: Jon S Baird

Writer: Jon S Baird (Screenplay) Irvine Welsh (Novel)

Starring: James McAvoy, Jamie Bell, Eddie Marsan, Imogen Poots, Brian McCardie, Emun Elliott, Gary Lewis, Jim Broadbent

 

Plot: A corrupt, junkie cop with bipolar disorder attempts to manipulate his way through a promotion in order to win back his wife and daughter while also fighting his own borderline-fueled inner demons.


Tagline – This Little Piggy went to town!

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Offensive Mess

 

Story: Filth starts as we follow foul-mouth sex crazed cop Bruce (McAvoy) as he gives us his thoughts on his department Lennox (Bell) and Drummond (Poots) to mention a few. He believes he is on the verge of the promotion he has been waiting for, for years, but after a trip to Dr Rossi (Broadbent) we learn there may well be a deeper problem is Bruce.

With this going on, we follow Bruce as he looks to solve the murder of a Japanese student by a local gang, his may rival is Drummond who he believes is offering sex for promotions.

 

Thoughts on Filth

 

Characters – Bruce is a junkie, sex addict cop who will use his position to get whatever he wants, abusing his power, while not being mentally stable in anyway. He is desperate to get his promotion while battling his own demons. The rest of the characters are just cops that are just as dirty of Bruce and the random wives we just see Bruce having sex with.

PerformancesWhile James McAvoy does full commit to this role and shows how he can go to the extremes in roles which is soon going to be his trademark. The performances from the rest of the cast are fine, but they don’t get enough time to shine.

StoryThe story just seems to be Bruce going around having sex, collecting drugs, taking drugs and being a general asshole. I think that is the story, there doesn’t seem to be anything constructive going on through the film in anyway, even though there is a clear alternative issue going on which doesn’t seem to get enough attention.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy level is poor with most of the jokes being misses and the crime tries to focus on how the police are just as bad as the criminals.

SettingsThe settings put us in Scotland which work for the accents, but never making anything iconic.


Scene of the Movie –
Dr Rossi Trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me No direction for the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a messy movie, the story doesn’t follow any direction, we follow a character with no redeemable qualities through troubles but overall this is just offensive with how it treats women and how men are meant to act towards them.

 

Overall: Awful watch for the whole audience.

Rating