The Muppets Take Manhattan (1984)

Director: Frank Oz

Writer: Tom Patchett, Frank Oz, Jay Tarses (Screenplay) Tom Patchett, Jay Tarses (Story)

Starring: Jim Henson, Frank Oz, Dave Goelz, Steve Whitmire, Richard Hunt, Jerry Nelson, Juliana Donald, Lonny Price, Louis Zorich

 

Plot: Kermit and his friends go to New York City to get their musical on Broadway only to find it’s a more difficult task than they anticipated.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Muppet Madness Delight

 

Story: The Muppets Take Manhattan starts when Kermit and the gang graduate college and decide to head off to New York City and Broadway to get their show put on there. In New York they learn the harsh reality that they will not get an easy option, this leads to them going their separate ways, leaving Kermit to try and get the show put together.

With Kermit doing his best to sell the musical, when he finally does, he brings the gang back together, only to lose his memory and the gang must locate him before the musical debuts.

 

Thoughts on The Muppets Takes Manhattan

 

Characters – Kermit the frog is the leader of the muppets, he is the one they all turn to and pushes them to achieve their dreams, when the gang struggle to make it in New York, he is the one that must stay in the city to follow the dream while the rest return to their normal lives. He does lose his memory and starts a new life in the big city. Miss Piggy is jealous of Kermit’s friendship with Jenny and is as controlling as we know. The rest of the muppets go on their own adventures while waiting for the show to come about. Jenny is the student waitress waiting to get her big shot in the fashion industry, she helps Kermit follow his dreams. Ronnie Crawford is the one that takes a chance on Kermit, he sees potential in the group even if he isn’t telling the full truth.

PerformancesWe know the muppet characters and the masterminds behind them, they are all great, the additional characters or the real actors, Juliana Donald, Lonny Price and Louis Zorich are all good too knowing how to be part of a muppet movie without looking out of place.

StoryThe story here follows the Muppets as they look to make their names on Broadway, the idea that dreams don’t come true over night works very well because it plays into the reality that many people would have seen as achievable in time. The important side of the story does show us that there is a life away from dreams where jobs can be a back up. The story puts our characters through the usual problems as we see the gang grow as they expand to a wider audience, we know we are going to get a song and dance or two along the way which gives us plenty to work with and can just enjoy ourselves.

Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe adventure side of this film takes us to a new city for our muppets, we also see them in a life away from the group, the comedy comes from a mix of different reactions along the way to how the muppets act, we get jokes for all ages in here too. This helps give the whole family the entertainment required in this film.

SettingsNew York City, one of the best settings for any movie, this shows us how big dreams can come from going to this city.


Scene of the Movie –
The show.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain guest appearances aren’t as big as they once thought they would be.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fine addition to the Muppet franchise, it has plenty of humour, a strong story and is the one that fits in the middle of the quality of the films, behind Christmas Carol.

 

Overall: Muppet fans will always enjoy this.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Action – M – Man of Tai Chi (2013)

manDirector: Keanu Reeves

Writer: Michael G Cooney (Screenplay)

Starring: Tiger Hu Chen, Keanu Reeves, Karen Mok, Jai Yu, Qing Ye, Simon Yam

 

Plot: A young martial artist’s unparalleled Tai Chi skills land him in a highly lucrative underworld fight club.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Martial Arts Film

 

Story: Man of Tai Chi starts as Inspector Suen Jing Si (Mok) looks to have finally tracked down underground street fighter boss Donaka mark (Reeves) only for him to kill his latest fighter after learning of his connection with the Inspector. Donaka must search for a new fighter with Inspector Si needing to drop the case.

We move on to meet young fighter Tiger Chen Lin Hu (Chen) who is giving all his effort into learning of Master Yang (Yu) who is about to enter the national combat championships using his art tai chi. His performances grabs Donaka attention and now he can look to recruit his latest fighter.

Accepting the job for Donaka, Tiger enters the world of underground fighter against his Master’s wishes but it isn’t long before Tiger finds himself face tougher and tougher opposition which leads to him having to Donaka other business outside of underground fighting, this will be where he meets him limits.

 

Thoughts on Man of Tai Chi

 

Characters/PerformanceTiger is a naïve young fighter who has spent his life looking after the people he loves and wanting to show his skills in his form of tai chi. He is led a stray by Donaka going against his beliefs, style and tradition. Donaka is the ruthless owner of the underground fighting scene, he pays for what he wants, flaunts that he can get away from it all to the Inspector chasing him and most importantly we don’t see him in combat so we are unsure of his fighting skills. Inspector Si is a strong officer that wants to do anything to take down Donaka because she knows his threat.

Tiger Hu Chen dos well to show off his skills in tai chi in this leading role but this is more about his fighting ability over his acting ability. Keanu steps behind the camera for double duty here and does look like he enjoys the villainous role but does have a couple of strange moments through the film. Karen Mok is good in the supporting role in all her what feel like limited scenes.stars

StoryThe story is naïve fighter gets drawn into an underworld of the sport he loves to make enough money to save the people he loves from losing everything they have earnt. Yes, this has been done before and has been done better and worse but this is still a good watch and easy to enjoy.

ActionWe have plenty of fight sequences going on through the film that all hugely entertaining but you don’t ever feel like Tiger will lose.

SettingsThe fights all take place in new arenas the deeper Tiger finds himself getting drawn into. Otherwise everything is what you would expect to see in any martial arts films.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy martial arts film to watch, you don’t ever see Tiger losing, but I did really like the fact we never see Donaka fight until the final fight.

 

Overall: Easy to watch, nice relaxing average martial arts film.

Ratingrating

 

 

Moonshot (2009)

Director: Richard Dale

Writer: Tony Basgallop (Screenplay)

Starring: Daniel Lapaine, James Marsters, Andrew Lincoln, Nigel Whitmey, William Hope, Anna Maxwell Martin

 

Plot: The story leading up to the July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 moon landing launch.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic History Lesson

 

Story: Moonshot starts as we meet the main three astronauts Neil Armstrong (Lapaine), Buzz Aldrin (Marsters) and Michael Collins (Lincoln) as they go through the training regime wondering if they will become the ones that are selected for the first moon landing.

We tend to focus on Buzz’s point of view as he must deal with the idea of being the second man on the moon, even if he is better with the press and has more experience than Neil with actual time in space, but we know the story and how the three men created history.

 

Thoughts on Moonshot

 

Characters – The men involved are version of the three men that created history, Neil Armstrong is the quiet but brilliant pilot who must command the mission, Buzz Aldrin who does seem to be the one we follow most, he desire to impress his father by being the first on this mission, he questions the most however much it seems like he could be a perfect PR guy for the moon landing. Michael Collins in the one that didn’t walk on the moon, he goes through his own problems leading up to the mission including a life changing operation which could ruin his chances.

PerformancesThe three main actors are solid with the roles they are given, they have to play history makers, Daniel Lapaine keeps everything simple and distant which was how Neil is meant to be looked as. James Marsters brings energy to his performance, while Andrew Lincoln is being used to sell the DVD versions of this because of his Walking Dead status.

StoryThe story is designed to show the history of the three men’s journey to the mission which defined their lives. We do seem to follow Buzz slightly more than the rest, but this is more focused on the mission over the personal relationship. It is strange to watch this level of story after seeing just how masterful ‘First Man’ was for the same story. if you know the basic history of the events, you will barely get anything out of this film because it is just the ABC of what happened, rather than showing the scientific nature behind the story.

SettingsThe settings used feel authentic even if they are just the basics of what was used, it does feel like we do use moments of actual footage too which helps when it comes to the settings.


Scene of the Movie –
Deciding who walks on the moon first.

That Moment That Annoyed Me First Man being a lot more interesting.

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic version of one of the most important moments in history, it has since been improved upon when it comes quality of storytelling, but for the basic history lesson it does what it needs to.

 

Overall: History Lesson 101

Rating

 

 

Meet the Deedles (1998)

Director: Steve Boyum

Writer: Jim Herzfeld (Screenplay)

Starring: Steve Van Wormer, Paul Walker, A.J. Langer, John Ashton, Dennis Hopper, Eric Braeden, Robert Englund

 

Plot: Two surfers end up as Yellowstone park rangers and have to stop a former ranger who is out for revenge.


Tagline – To protect and surf.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tasteless Comedy

 

Story: Meet the Deedles starts as we meet the two surfer school slackers Stew (Van Wormer) and Phil (Walker) Deedle whose father has given them everything in life which leads them to expelled from school, as punishment the boys are set to camp to learn responsibility and end up being recruited as rangers in Yellowstone after a misunderstanding.

While learning the ropes from LT Jesse Ryan (Langer) the boys must try to eliminate the prairie dog problem, which does have a connection to disgraced park ranger Frank Slater (Hopper) who is out for revenge.

 

Thoughts on Meet the Deedles

 

Characters – Stew is the brains of the two brothers, he always comes up with the plans to keep their cover while in rangers in Yellowstone. He is the one that is doing the work the pair should be doing. Phil is the dumb brother who does feel like he is a surfer who does take a shine toward the Lt Ryan, he does get the funniest lines and is easily the one that is too honest to lie. LT Jesse Ryan is the rescue chopper pilot, she has been raised to be part of the park and following in her step-father’s footsteps. Frank Slater is the villainous former ranger that plans to ruin the big celebration with his goons doing his dirty work.

PerformancesPaul Walker is the only reason I even considered watching this movie, he does show us that he has the most talent in this role because the playing dumb needs commitment and he hit them on every turn. Steve Van Wormer is solid enough as the other brother either though while watching he isn’t the one we came to see. AJ Langer is good enough as the love interest without getting much to do other than being that. Dennis Hopper was doing a strange number of villainous roles which he always liked to milk.

StoryThe story follows two slacker surfers that end up going into the park ranger training program to help ride Yellowstone to prairie dogs being controlled by a vengeful former ranger hell bent on revenge. This is designed for a younger audience with how most of the jokes unfold and to say this is a 90s movie is the perfect example to describe the story. we get the message of trying to seek parental approval after a string of failures, which mixes nicely with the endless plans to get away with their own mistakes to be a success, we get a villain that gets his goons to do most of his plans which all play into the comedy of the film, overall this is easily one of those films that uses the story to tell the story that everyone will have their day just let them show their potential.

ComedyThe comedy in the film is a mix of slapstick which usually sees someone flying through the air or jokes between the two brothers that only they will understand.

SettingsThe film is set in Yellowstone national park, we know this has place of beauty, legacy for its tourist attraction which all play into the reasons for the villain to have his own plan.


Scene of the Movie –
Mountain climbing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The jokes miss too often.

Final ThoughtsThis is a 90s comedy that showed us the potential of Paul Walker, it does use basic comedy and by the end of the film you will feel like it has dated.

 

Overall: Simple family comedy.

Rating

 

 

Mercy Black (2019)

Director: Owen Egerton

Writer: Owen Egerton (Screenplay)

Starring: Danielle Pineda, Janeane Garofalo, Elle LaMont, Austin Amelio, Dylan Gage, Lee Eddy, Miles Emmons

 

Plot: Fifteen years after stabbing a classmate to conjure an imaginary phantom known as Mercy Black, Marina Hess is coming home. She’s being released from psychiatric care to live with her sister and young nephew. But in the years since her crime, the myth of Mercy Black has gone viral inspiring internet rumors, stories, and even copycat crimes. Marina is haunted by what she has done and the phantom she imagined. Though she would rather leave the past buried, her nephew becomes increasingly obsessed with Mercy Black. To save him, Marina must face her past and uncover the truth behind Mercy Black. What she discovers is a very real and very deadly horror that will stop at nothing to claim her and her nephew.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Horror

 

Story: Mercy Black starts as Marina (Pineda) is being released from psychiatric care home after 15-years because of her childhood incident, Dr Ward (Garofalo) has been working with her for years now believing she is ready to leave. Marina’s sister Alice (LaMont) takes her in as she starts to put her life back on track, still dealing with the nightmares of Mercy Black.

Marina is still living through the memories of what happened, only to learn that her story become an internet story, which bought out copycat killers and other stories of people bringing her to life, Marina must face these stories and put the urban legend to bed.

 

Thoughts on Mercy Black

 

Characters – Marina is just being released from a psychiatric care home, 15-years after committing a terrible action for the ghostly figure of Mercy Black, she has spent years trying to recover from her experience, once she is released, it doesn’t take long for her past to come back and haunt her and her nephew, Marina must remember her past before it is too late, to understand just what her promise was for Mercy. Dr Ward has been treating Marina and is happy to let her leave the care home to re-enter the world. Alice is the sister of Marina who is letting her sister live with her family, she doesn’t want anyone to know about the past, especially her son. Bryce is the son of Alice, he quickly becomes fascinated with the Mercy Black story and soon believes he is seeing her.

PerformancesDaniella Pineda in the leading role is solid enough, the problem with most of performances, comes from the characters who are not written to be that interesting. Janeane Garofalo does feel wasted in her role which felt like it was meant to be a bigger part of the film.

StoryThe story follows a young woman that is released from a psychiatric home after committing a crime as a child which saw her believe she was helping an evil spirit take away the pain in her life, once released her nephew starts following the same path she must figure out how to stop the legend spreading. We have seen the idea of an urban legend spread like wildfire before it just becomes the belief that it is real. We get to follow through the normally interesting investigating the idea behind hauntings going on just doesn’t become the interesting factor it should be. We also end up going down one of the most predictable paths we have seen in horror stories.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film comes from the idea that an urban legend could be true, the mysterious figure known as Mercy Black is still killing people while waiting for her promise to be kept. The mystery adds into the horror as to whether it could be a true story or not.

SettingsThe film is set mostly in the remote house outside of a town, which we never seem to visit, the woodland area where the events of the story happened.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects, we have basic and not the most effective ones here.


Scene of the Movie –
The first visit.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Caught in the middle of two ideas to often.

Final ThoughtsThis is a safe by the book horror, it doesn’t have too many scares, the ones we get you can see coming a mile away along with certain directions the story goes.

 

Overall: By the book horror.

Rating