ABC Film Challenge – Animation – K – Khumba (2013)

Director: Anthony Silverston

Writer: Raffaella Delle Donne, Anthony Silverston, Jonathan Roberts, Camilla Bubna-Kasteliz, Mike De Seve, Joe Vitale, Dave Bejoya (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jake T Austin, Adrian Rhodes, Sam Reigel, Bryce Papenbrook, Devon Graye, Alexander Polinsky, Jonny Rees

 

Plot: Rejected by his superstitious herd, a half-striped zebra embarks on a daring quest to earn his stripes but finds the courage and self-acceptance to save all the animals of the Great Karoo.


Tagline – Half a zebra, a whole lot of adventure!

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Animation

 

Story: Khumba starts as we learn about how the zebras live isolated away from the rest of the animals in the wild, with their own water hole, but when Khumba is born he isn’t like the rest, he is only half striped. Never fitting in with the rest of the zebras, he tries to use his kindness to open the door to other animals only to shows Phango a leopard where the zebras are hiding.

Wanting to find a new place for his herd, he goes outside the border where he joins forces with a wildebeest Mama V and ostrich Bradley to complete his search for this new home, while being hunted down by Phango.

 

Thoughts on Khumba

 

Characters – Khumba is the half-striped zebra that always feels rejected by his herd, when he goes out to search for a new water hole he goes on an adventure of self-discovery in the wild Karoo, meeting different species along the way as he learns his place in the world. Mama V is a wildebeest that takes Khumba under her wings because of her own tragic story of loss in the wild, Bradley is an ostrich that joins the adventure because they are travel together, he likes to be a show man though. We also have the stereotypical villain in the hunter Phango a leopard that is always hunting.

StoryThe story follows a zebra going on an adventure of a lifetime to learn his place in the world, this does follow the normal animated storyline, by putting our character through a test to accept that he is different and that is a good thing for him and will make him be the one to be remembered in the world. We have the inclusion of many different species of animals which must work together to survive the world which helps show us how animals from different locations will need to work together to achieve their own safety. This is one story that is easy to follow, it has moments of peril, but nothing overly scary.

AdventureThe adventure in the movie follows Khumba escaping from his contained life to learn about the full-scale size of his world.

SettingsThe settings show us the world of the Karoo, a beautiful open world safari world.

AnimationThe animation does work well for the whole film and is something good outside of the normal big-name companies that make animation.


Scene of the Movie –
Escape the hunters.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The real world references just miss.

Final ThoughtsThis is an animation that does everything you want without being anything special, it will keep the family happy and tell an important generic story.

 

Overall: Enjoyable animation throughout.

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – The Next Karate Kid (1994)

Director: Christopher Cain

Writer: Mark Lee (Screenplay) Robert Mark Kamen (Characters)

Starring: Pat Morita, Hilary Swank, Michael Ironside, Constance Towers, Chris Conrad

 

Plot: Mr. Miyagi is back and he takes a new pupil under his wing; a troubled adolescent girl.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: For the Franchise Fans

 

Story: The Next Karate Kid starts as Mr Miyagi (Morita) is being involved in tribute to his fallen brothers in war, where he spends time with widow Louisa (Towers) of one of his best friends at war. Louisa is trying to raise her granddaughter Julie (Swank) after the death of her parents, but this is becoming difficult as Julie is becoming a rebellious teenager.

Mr Miyagi offers to take Julie under his wing hoping to offer her the discipline in life that she requires. The principal Col Dugan (Ironside) runs a strict regime on the students and soon clashes with Miyagi. Miyagi offers to teach Julie the art of karate to help her express the main she is feeling about her lost parents.

 

Thoughts on The Next Karate Kid

 

Characters – Mr Miyagi is remembering a lost friend from war, one of the first people he taught karate, now he takes his granddaughter under his wing to help her learn to express her pain from losing her parents, he uses karate passing on the discipline he had learnt through his life. Julie is the rebellious teenager that is filled with anger because of the death of her parents. Under Mr Miyagi she starts to learn karate to give her discipline in life. Colonel Dugan controls the students in the high school, he is strict pushing the students too far too often.

PerformancePat Morita is good giving us the same performance we have seen last time out, he doesn’t over play any part of his performance though. Hillary Swank is one of the big plus points in this movie, we know how far she went after this film and it shows us just what potential she had. Michael Ironside is always good as a villain because he is always that twisted when he plays these roles.

StoryThe story follows Mr Miyagi passing on his discipline to accept life a is comes and being prepared to defend yourself and stand up for yourself. While it is strange not having Daniel involved and we do fall into the idea that a young girl would be more interested in make-up, dancing and dresses, does feel degrading to what the film is meant to be teaching. Otherwise this does follow the same trends as the others which will keep the fans happy.

Action/Family/SportsWe don’t get much fighting in this film, sadly most of the high school fights are between boys not the one learning karate, it does feel like a family film again as it does have moments of humour too.

SettingsThe film does have new setting which changes the tone of the training too, it doesn’t have the streets smart feel to the setting being used.

Scene of the Movie – Learnt the kick.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too girly.

Tagline – It’s ancient wisdom against teenage spunk. 1,000 years of karate tradition is about to get a kick in the pants.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the films that you will only enjoy if you have enjoyed the previous three, it sends the same message but cuts down on the karate.

 

Overall: one of the all the fans to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Karate Kid Part III (1989)

Director: John G Avildsen

Writer: Robert Mark Kamen (Screenplay)

Starring: Ralph Macchio, Pat Morita, Robyn Lively, Thomas Ian Griffith, Martin Kove, Sean Kanan

 

Plot: Ostracised villain John Kreese attempts to gain revenge on Daniel and Miyagi, with the help of a Vietnam War comrade, the wealthy owner of a toxic waste disposal business.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Continuation of the Story

 

Story: The Karate Kid Part III starts as Daniel (Macchio) and Mr Miyagi (Morita) return to America, Daniel alone leaving his new love back in Japan, while his mother is now caring for a family member leaving Miyagi to look after the college bound Daniel. Back in America Sensei John Kreese (Kove) hasn’t recovered since the defeat of his students in the first film, teaming up with his old Vietnam soldier friend Terry Silver (Griffith) wanting to get revenge on Daniel and Miyagi.

When it the one-year anniversary of Daniel’s title win is coming around he gets invited to defend his title, but Miyagi doesn’t want him to need to defend it, the two do start their own bonsai business which Silver is determined to sabotage as he wants Daniel to be embarrassed by his new champion Mike Barnes (Kanan), while Daniel defend his title and honour against the corrupt businessman or will Miyagi convince him otherwise.

 

Thoughts on The Karate Kid Part III

 

Characters – Daniel should be going to college, but soon uses his money to start a business for Miyagi only to find himself needing to train to defend his title or face the vengeance of the fallen Sensei Kreese. Mr Miyagi wants to retire and become a bonsai plant shopkeeper, he doesn’t want to train Daniel to defend his title believing you should only use karate to defend yourself, his reluctance causes a rift between the two, though he is teaching Daniel the next lesson. Jessica is a shopkeeper across the road just visiting who starts a relationship with Daniel. Sensei John Kreese turns to his former army buddy to help him extract revenge on Daniel and Miyagi who he wants to see pay for what they did to him.

PerformanceRalph Macchio is good this time around again, he does continue to show us how his character can be misled along the way. Pat Morita keeps the calmness in his character throughout which shows us who is the right-minded person through everything. Robyn Lively is good but doesn’t get too much to do that is original to the serious. Martin Kove is good as this time we see the effects from the villain in a previous film.

StoryThe story completes the full year since the title win for Daniel, it shows how the people who were defeated will still want to get revenge. The story shows how Daniel can continue to let his emotions guide him down the wrong roads which is the new lesson Miyagi wants to teach Daniel. The romantic story feels lazy and just writing out the girlfriend from the previous film is becoming too annoying this time around. The message in the story is clear, never turn you back on the person that trains you even if something else sounds like it could be better.

Action/Family/SportsWe get more action in this film, which is fun to watch as the fights and pressure to do the fights, this does feel darker and might not be for the whole family.

SettingsTaking the action back to America works because it shows the effects of the first film on the villains.

Scene of the Movie – Dojo showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Writing out the girlfriend again.

Tagline – First it was teacher to student. Then it was father to son. Now, it’s man to man.

Final ThoughtsThis is one for the fans of the original two films, this continues the story nicely but for a one of viewing people might end up feeling confused for certain actions.

 

Overall: Franchise Fans enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Karate Kid Part II (1986)

Director: John G Avildsen

Writer: Robert Mark Kamen (Screenplay)

Starring: Pat Morita, Ralph Macchio, Yuji Okumoto, Danny Kamekona, Tamlyn Tomita, Nobu McCarthy

 

Plot: Daniel accompanies his mentor, Mr. Miyagi, to Miyagi’s childhood home in Okinawa. Miyagi visits his dying father and confronts his old rival, while Daniel falls in love and inadvertently makes a new rival of his own.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Sequel

 

Story: The Karate Kid Part II starts 6 months after Daniel’s (Macchio) big competition win, his girlfriend has left him and now he must get ready to move once again only for Mr Miyagi (Morita) taking Daniel in. when Miyagi receives a note about his father being very ill, he takes Daniel to Okinawa to return to the past where Miyagi left a loved one behind to be with his best friend Sato (Kamekona) who become his biggest rival.

When Miyagi returns to his home village he learns things have changed but Yukie (McCarthy) never married, where Daniel strikes up a relationship with Kumiko (Tomita) which causes a new rivalry in the village.

 

Thoughts on The Karate Kid Part II

 

Characters – Daniel now lives with Miyagi, his girlfriend has left him and his mm has moved for work, he gets to experience a new culture when he goes to Okinawa, the home of Miyagi and soon finds himself in the middle of a battle while also falling in love again. Miyagi takes Daniel in, but when his father is dying he returns home where he must face his old love, his old friend and now sworn enemy Sato, as we learn about his past. Sato is the old rival of Miyagi who has been waiting for a chance to prove his honour against Miyagi, he lets him have the honour of mourning his father’s death before demanding the fight. Chozen is the hot-headed nephew of Sato that takes an instant dislike to Daniel, he has learnt the hate to reach levels higher than Sato

PerformanceRalph Macchio continues from where he left of as the excitable teenager learning the calmer style of karate. Pat Morita is again great as Mr Miyagi showing his characters calm and grace through each situation. Danny Kamekona and Yuji Okumoto both make for goo enemies for our heroes too.

StoryThe story continues to show the relationship between Daniel and Miyagi, even though they just write out Daniel’s girlfriend and mother in one sentence. Moving the action to Japan works because it helps us learn more about Miyagi’s past where he has rivals waiting for him, loves left behind but his beliefs will keep calm even through the toughest situations. This does continue the story well, it opens new doors without closing them either.

Action/Family/RomanceThe action is restrained this time, we don’t get many fights and the ones we get are very short lived. The family side of the film will hopefully teach the value of family and honour, the romance side of the film has the idea of dealing with lost love and the start of a new love with someone from a different culture, which was nice to see.

SettingsMoving the story to Japan gives us a new prospective on everything, it helps Daniel learn about new cultures too.

Scene of the Movie – Final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It hits at more fights then we get.

Tagline – This time, the combat is real.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good sequel to a much-loved original film, which is something that we would like to see more often, it builds on the world and the mystery about Miyagi.

 

Overall: Good sequel for all to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – K – Kite (2014)

kiteDirector: Ralph Ziman

Writer: Brian Cox (Screenplay) Yasuomi Umetsu (Original Film)

Starring: India Eisely, Callan McAuiffe, Samuel L Jackson, Carl Beukes

 

Plot: When her cop father is killed, a young woman tracks the murder with the help of his ex-partner.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: What a Mess

 

Story: Kite starts as Sawa (Eisley) a young woman out for revenge on the gang that killed her parents, she works with Lieutenant Aker (Jackson) as they are targeting the Thornhill’s gang. The deeper Sawa gets the more dangerous is becomes but her bloody quest for revenge isn’t going to stop until the last one pays for what they did.

 

Thoughts on Kite

 

StoryThis story seems to be a blend of Hit Girl and Hanna without anything to make it interesting, we have the revenge story we have seen before and an unlikely hero with the girl working with police officer to take down gang, yay this is just what it is and forgettable at that.

Action/Crime/ThrillerWe do get mindless action and the traditional crime story of trying to take down a gang but it doesn’t feel fresh.

Characters/PerformanceSawa is this new young woman hit girl that takes on the bigger men in a revenge mission, the cop character is also something you have seen before giving nothing fresh to this idea. The performances here are all pretty bad with what feels like dreadful dubbing in place too.

SettingsWe get the typical gang locations all designed to give Sawa a new weapon of chance for a kill or two.

Special EffectsWell finally something that we can have positives about and that is the special effects which are all good enough for the film we are watching which must be over the top and in places pulled from an anime story.

Final ThoughtsThis was a terrible film that is an insult to the anime to live action genre.

 

Overall: Just avoid this mess.

Rating15