ABC Film Challenge – Animation – X – FernGully the Last Rainforest (1992) Movie Review

We are going under X because of Hexxus, the villainous character.

Director: Bill Kroyer

Writer: Jim Cox (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Tim Curry, Samantha Mathis, Christian Slater, Jonathan Ward, Robin Williams, Grace Zabriskie

Plot: The magical inhabitants of a rainforest fight to save their home, which is threatened by logging and a polluting force of destruction called Hexxus.


Tagline – They live in a secret world touched by magic and surrounded by nature, and the only human who has ever been there, must now fight to save it.

Runtime: 1 Hour 16 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Dark and Important Message

Story: FernGully: The Last Rainforest starts as we meet the fairies in the rainforest, Crysta is a young fairy learning from the wise Magi Lune who defeated the evil Hexxus that would bring devastation to the rainforest if released, spreading the poison to the land.

When Crysta discovers smoke in the distance, she wants to explore, with Magi Lune knowing the threat the return of the humans could bring to the rainforest, with Hexxus being given something to feed and grow on, so it can consume the rainforest once again. Crysta must work with the other fairies and the human she accidentally shrunk Zak to save the rainforest.

Thoughts on FernGully: The Last Rainforest

Characters – Crysta is a young fairy that is still learning how to control her magic like the elders, she is curious about what she could discover in the world, where she brings a human back to the village, where she must learn the harsh reality of humans involvement in the world as well as stop an evil coming to the land. Magi Lune is the mentor of Crysta, she has fought the battles for years and is ready to pass on her experience to Crysta to fight for the next generation of fairies. Zak is the human that gets shrunk, he is a city boy that is just working mostly as a slacker, only he learns the magic of the rainforest with his time with the fairies. Hexxus is the evil toxic poison that was defeated from consuming the rainforest, now he has been freed and looks to bring his devastation on the fairies and other creatures in the rainforest.

StoryThe story here shows how an evil toxic poison created by humans will destroy a rainforest unless the fairies can come together to look for a way to defeat it before they lose their homes. This is a story that seems like it is way before its time, with the message about deforestation coming through clearly, we might well have a fantasy element involved, but the idea that humans will destroy different species homes unless they can learn is clear here. We have the musical numbers and the side of the story that is about someone learning their own potential coming through strong too. The message is clear, the importance is relevant, this is a great story for all to understand.

FantasyThe fantasy side of this film is about the idea that fairies and toxic poisons are real in the fight for nature, rather than just the battle between humans and nature.

SettingsThe film uses the rainforest setting to show the beauty that was once there, the destruction caused and how we can have beauty once again in the world.

AnimationThe animation is on the top level for the early 1990s, we see the brightness of the beauty and the darkness that could consume the world.


Scene of the Movie – Hexxus growing into the world.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It isn’t long enough.

Final Thoughts This is an important animation that has a clear message that should be told to all, it has beauty and darkness through the film and is one that could become one of the most important for years to come.

Overall: Important Animation.

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – N – The Crying Game (1992) Movie Review

This is under N because of director Neil Jordan who did win an Oscar for the film.

Director: Neil Jordan

Writer: Neil Jordan (Screenplay)

Starring: Stephen Rea, Jaye Davidson, Forest Whitaker, Miranda Richardson, Jim Broadbent

Plot: A British soldier kidnapped by IRA terrorists soon befriends one of his captors, who then becomes drawn into the soldier’s world.


Tagline – The movie everyone is talking about… But no one is giving away its secrets.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Tense Romance

Story: The Crying Game starts when British solider Jody (Whitaker) is kidnapped by the IRA with Fergus (Rea) being one of the captors, one that befriends him, while Maguire (Dunbar) wants to keep the operation professional, with a good chance of wanting to kill him at the end of their demands.

After the hostage situation goes badly, Fergus heads to England in search of Jody’s girl, here he gets to meet Dil (Davidson) a hairdresser that he looks to get to know more about.

Thoughts on The Crying Game

Characters – Fergus is a member of the IRA who on his latest mission becomes friends with the hostage and after things go bad, he wants out of the terrorist group, he tries to start a new life where he meets the partner of the hostage, getting conflicted with his own feelings, even after his past catches up with him. Jody is the solider that is the hostage that befriends Fergus during his capture, he shows Fergus that they might be on opposite sides, but they both just want to live. Dil is the woman that Jody is always talking about back home that Fergus comes to see and falls for, she does however have a secret which will leave Fergus shocked, while any more detail about this character is spoiler heavy. Jude is one of the partners in the IRA, she has been baiting the soldier and then spends her time searching for Fergus after the incident which went wrong.

PerformancesStephen Rea is brilliant in the leading role showing the remorse of somebody that didn’t want to be involved in murder, looking like he is trying to make up for it through the film. Jaye Davidson is wonderful too with their first role, which nabbed them an Oscar nomination. Forest Whitaker and Miranda Richardson in the supporting roles are both strong when they need to make the impact in the film.

StoryThe story here follows an IRA fighter that sees his latest mission go sour, leading him to want to make up and escape the life he had been thrown into. When it comes to any film about the IRA, we will always have to step carefully, while this shows a member wanting to new life, which shows how difficult it could be to get out off the life, while also showing us how what seems like a normal relationship for him, could take a dramatic turn needing someone to look at themselves when it comes to love. We do see the story in two clear acts, with one being the hostage situation, the other being the aftermath, which does keep the pacing at a nice entertaining level.

Crime/RomanceThe crime side of this film shows us just how the IRA would operate, how things wouldn’t always go to plan, while the romance comes from Fergus trying to put his life back together after what happened in Ireland, showing us how love can change people.

SettingsThe film uses two main locations, firs the hideout in Ireland where the soldier is held captive, then we move to London to show a new life, new setting for Fergus to learn about.


Scene of the Movie – The surprise.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Knowing the surprise going in.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting story that seems to be about remorse and recovery after being involved in a terrible incident, one that love looks to fix, however unlikely it is for our leading character.

Overall: Surprise crime romance.

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – C – Chaplin (1992)

Director: Richard Attenborough

Writer: William Boy, Bryan Forbes, William Goldman (Screenplay) David Robinson, Charles Chaplin (Book)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Geraldine Chaplin, Paul Rhys, John Thaw, Moira Kelly, Anthony Hopkins, Dan Aykroyd, Marisa Tomei

 

Plot: A movie about the troubled and controversial life of the master comedy filmmaker Charlie Chaplin.


Tagline – Everyone has a wild side. Even a legend.

Runtime: 2 Hours 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Biopic

 

Story: Chaplin starts as an older Charlie (Downey Jr) is telling his life story to his publicist George Hayden (Hopkins), we move back to 1894 when Charlie first took the stage, taking over from his mother Hannah (Chaplin) who froze on stage. Charlie and his brother Sydney (Rhys) had to learn to adapt to the rough life in London. Charlie soon became one of the hottest prospects in comedy performance in England.

We see how Charlie moved to America with the dawn of the motion pictures, being given a job on the production of Mack Sennett’s (Aykroyd) movies. We see just how fast Charlie became the biggest name in comedy getting his own studio, while continuing his own vices, young women. Charlie made enemies along the way which would lead to the downfall of his career.

 

Thoughts on Chaplin

 

Characters – Charlie Chaplin is one of the most influential men in comedy history, we follow his life, through his own autobiography, from is tough upbringing for the child labour camps in England, to his break out in comedy in England. He would go on to become a sensation of the motion picture world, only to fail to make adapt to American life when the Talkies came into circulation. He made enemies which would see his career come to an end. Outside the celebrity status, he finds himself drawn to teenage women which would see him go through multiply marriages, never finding true happiness. George Hayden is the one learning the story from Charlie, he is pushing him into going over each of the details of her story. Sydney is Charlie’s older brother, he helped get him started and became his manager, he tries to help Charlie make the right decisions to keep his career in Hollywood. Douglas Fairbank is another one of the biggest actors in Hollywood, he is one friend Charlie never seems to lose through his time there.

PerformancesRobert Downey Jr gives his career best performance here, he is stunning as Charlie, be it recreating the iconic moments or the personal life situations. Anthony Hopkins is wonderful too even just in an almost narration role, while the whole cast which is huge makes the impact they need to for their own roles.

StoryThe story here follows Charlie Chaplin’s career from his poor beginnings right up to the moment the Academy finally recognised his work. We get to see his personal life his many marriages which didn’t go to plan because of his work. We do get to see how the films were made, how the Tramp became the biggest character in comedy history. We see how the tension in Hollywood only made him an enemy forcing him out of the country and how his failure to truly adapt to the talkie era saw his career come to an abrupt end. If you want to see the career of one of the greatest comedians of all time, this is how the story comes to the light.

Biopic/ComedyThe biopic shows the career of Charlie Chaplin we get to see his professional and personal life through his career to see just how much lost potential his career had. The comedy in this film comes from just how certain moments will get laughs along the way.

SettingsThe film recreates the settings of the world that you would expect when it comes to looking it Hollywood in the early 19th century.


Scene of the Movie –
The Oscars moment.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Most of Hoover’s scenes.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best biopics that you will see, it has the life and career of one of the biggest names in Hollywood history and makes us understand the difficulties he will have gone through.

 

Overall: Biopic for a true legend.

Rating

 

 

Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992)

Director: John Carpenter

Writer: Robert Collector, Dana Olsen, William Goldman (Screenplay) H.F. Saint (Book)

Starring: Chevy Chase, Daryl Hannah, Sam Neill, Michael McKean, Stephen Tobolowsky, Jim Norton

 

Plot: After a freak accident, a yuppie turns invisible and runs from a treacherous CIA official, while trying to cope with his new life.


Tagline – Women want him for his wit. The C.I.A. wants him for his body. All Nick wants is his molecules back.

Runtime: 1 hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Invisible Comedy

 

Story: Memoirs of an Invisible Man starts when a cocky businessman Nick Halloway (Chase) tires to catch a nap during a busy meeting, that he has no interest in, he finds himself caught in the middle of an experiment gone wrong, by being turned invisible. This brings CIA agent David Jenkins (Neill) in to investigate, with Nick becoming a wanted man, only he can’t ask for help because even he doesn’t understand why he is invisible, he tries the people he trusts in hopes of finding out the way to reverse what has happened to him.

 

Thoughts on Memoirs of an Invisible Man

 

Characters – Nick Halloway is a fast-talking businessman that has been getting away with slacking through his job for years now, after another session on the drinks, he looks to skive off, only to get caught in the middle of an experiment which turns him invisible, Nick must figure out who he can trust to help him after the CIA look to hunt him down to use him for their own benefit. He isn’t the most interesting character, he doesn’t come off as funny as it seems he should be either. Alice is the new woman that comes into Nick’s life, she is the one he turns to for help as she is prepared to listen to his story over most other people. David Jenkins is the man hunting down Nick, he is a CIA agent that will do whatever it takes to add to the security of the country, seeing Nick as the next generation of secret agent.

PerformancesChevy Chase does feel slightly mis-cast in this role, he doesn’t seem to handle the comedy on the level it is meant to be coming from his character. Daryl Hannah does all she needs to as the love interest, she doesn’t need to do much either. Sam Neill is highlight of the performances with just how he handles the evil agent.

StoryThe story follows a man that gets turn invisible in a mysterious event, seeing him being chased down by the government while he tries to figure out how to get out of his situation. This is an interesting spin on the invisible man story, it does try to make the story a comedy which is where the story falls short, because it is an unlikable character that gets turn invisible rather than somebody whose experiment going wrong. Nick doesn’t just anything to help himself, which disappoints, it does feel kind of cheesy and by the end you will feel like not everything is answered.

Comedy/Sci-FiThe comedy misses more often than hitting, it just doesn’t seem smooth. The sci-fi elements don’t get bought to the front with incident happening and that being it.

SettingsThe film is set in San Francisco which does always make for a solid back drop for any movie.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film do feel great for the time with certain moments, the make-up shot is the highlight because of camera angle.


Scene of the Movie –
Let’s try make up.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The comedy.

Final ThoughtsThis is a comedy that does miss a lot of the jokes and ends up feeling flatter than it should have been.

 

Overall: Disappointing comedy.

Rating

 

 

Accidental Hero (1992)

Director: Stephen Frears

Writer: David Webb Peoples (Screenplay) Laura Ziskin, Alvin Sargent, David Webb Peoples (Story)

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis, Andy Garcia, Joan Cusack, Kevin J O’Connor, Maury Chaykin, Stephen Tobolowsky

 

Plot: A not-so-nice man rescues passengers from a crashed airliner, only to see someone else take credit.


Tagline – We’re all heroes if you catch us at the right moment. Even Bernie LaPlante.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Idea, Not Funny Enough

 

Story: Accidental Hero starts as we meet Bernie LaPlante (Hoffman) who is facing jail time for his streetwise action, he is trying to talk himself out of jail time, without much success. We also meet reporter Gale (Davis) who has just received an award for her work even if her boss isn’t given her the chances she has earnt.

When the plane carrying Gale crash lands, Bernie happens to be next to accident, he ends up saving everybody on board, before vanishing into the night. When Gale wants to make the story out of the event, a fellow homeless man John Bubber (Garcia) takes credit, who wants to use his new-found fame to help the homeless, while Bernie is left in jail watching the events unfold.

 

Thoughts on Accidental Hero

 

Characters – Bernie LaPlante is a homeless man that has blown his successful life out the water, he lost his wife, most of his time with his son and is facing jail, he knows how to survive and push the limits to make sure he survives on the street, with his car being his home. He ends up doing an act of greatness, saving the passengers on a plane, but not wanting the praise for this, until a monetary reward comes up, he must figure out how to prove it was him. Gale is a reporter on the rise in the business, she is receiving an award, while still fighting her time on the big screen, she makes a story out of the plane crash, which sees her take a homeless man to celebrity status. John Bubber is a homeless man that decides to come forward and claim the reward for being the hero, he soon becomes the talk of the town that would inspire many into doing the right thing.

PerformancesDustin Hoffman is the right man for the job because he fits the unlikely hero that has been through the struggles in life. Geena Davis is fun in the role that sums up the struggle women would have in the professional field. Andy Garcia goes through the biggest change which sees him doing everything to live with the new fame.

StoryThe story follows a reporter who wants to make the hero of a plane crash rescue known to the people they saved, only for the real person behind it all, not getting the game after a fake takes the limelight. This does pain the picture of faster acting celebrities coming from such simple ideas of rescuing somebody, people struggling with new fame and how people are quick to just judge anybody that might be helping others out. Strangely enough this is one of the stories that could really become more appealing in the social media heavy world we now live in and would be an interesting one to see reach new level.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in this film doesn’t come off, it never feels like a film you could have a giggle about anything happening, the romance is strange because it just doesn’t give us a believable one either.

SettingsThe settings show us just how the big city can capture a story which would make an unknown a celebrity over night.


Scene of the Movie –
The balcony.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of comedy in the comedy film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a lacklustre romantic comedy that just doesn’t hit the marks it could and actually feels like it could be one film that makes a bigger impact now.

 

Overall: Stuck between too many genres.

Rating