Halloween Weekend – Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers (1995)

halloweenDirector: Joe Chappelle

Writer: Daniel Farrands (Screenplay) Debra Hill, John Carpenter (Characters)

Starring: Donald Pleasence, Paul Rudd, Marianna Hagan, Mitchell Ryan, Kim Darby, Bradford English, Keith Bogart

 

Plot: Six years after Michael Myers last terrorized Haddonfield, he returns there in pursuit of his niece, Jamie Lloyd, who has escaped with her newborn child, for which Michael and a mysterious cult have sinister plans.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Poor Chapter

 

Story: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers starts by filling in the last 6 years as Michael Myers and Jamie Lloyd have gone missing captured by the cult controlling Michael. When Jamie escapes with her baby Michael reappears to continue his body count and this time we have to meet a new string of people who have to find a way to stop him.

We have Tommy Doyle (Rudd) returning claiming to have seen Michael when he was younger and a new Strode family with Kara (Hagan) being the main target and finally Dr Loomis (Pleasence) has to come out of retirement to finish this once and for all.

Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is the last time we see Dr Loomis and the film really tries to give us something fresh behind the reasons why Michael kills but because this is the first time we learn about it we find ourselves wondering where this has suddenly come from. The film itself is a mess because we just don’t get enough to work with that is original and you can see why they went back to Jamie Lee Curtis after this one.

 

Actor Review

 

Donald Pleasence: Dr Loomis is all retired writing his book about hi experience with Michael Myers is force into returning to Haddonfield once again when Michael and Jamie have reappeared after disappearing at the end of the last outing. Donald passed during the production of this film so it is unfair to judge him on his performance in a bad way at all.

Paul Rudd: Tommy Doyle is returning as an adult now as he is still haunted by what happened to him as a child. He has been studying the cases his whole life as it has consumed him and now he can finally stop Michael and the cult that is controlling him. Paul is solid in this role and at least his character makes some sense to the overall story line.

Marianna Hagan: Kara Strode is related to the family that adopted Laurie who now lives in the same house, she is a single mother trying to get herself an education but now she must fight to protect her son. Marianna is solid in this role but her character doesn’t seem to fit the series.

Support Cast: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers has a supporting cast which like all the films in this franchise just become disposable characters.

Director Review: Joe ChappelleJoe doesn’t give us the best instalment of the franchise here but at least we did get to tackle potential origins behind Michael.

 

Horror: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers has bloodier kills than before but when it comes to scares they just don’t come off very well at all.

Settings: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers mixing up the settings somewhat by returning to Haddonfield but also moving away for the bigger picture to what has been going on.
Special Effects
: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers has basic effects when it comes to the kills but otherwise not new to the genre.

Suggestion: Halloween: The Curse of Michael Myers is one you could watch as part of the marathon but otherwise it can just be avoided. (Marathon Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The bigger picture works in some parts.

Worst Part: The bigger picture also takes away what made Michael Frightening.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $15 Million

Budget: $5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

Tagline: Terror Never Rests In Peace!

 

Overall: Plain sequel that was so bad it needed to be rebooted in the future.

Ratingcard

 

 

Twelve Monkeys (1995)

mmonkeysDirector: Terry Gilliam

Writer: David Webb Peoples, Janet Peoples (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Madeleine Stowe, David Morse, Christopher Plummer

 

Plot: In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic of Time Travel Genre

 

Story: Twelve Monkeys starts as we learn 7 billion people died thanks to virus released and the animals have taken control of the planet once more. The remaining humans live underground and we follow James Cole (Willis) a prisoner who is assigned to visit the surface before being selected to visit the past to try and stop the virus outbreak.

When James is sent back to 1990 he finds himself being set to a mental institute thanks to the doctor Kathryn Railly (Stowe) who sees his ramblings of a mad man as he searches for the army of the 12 monkeys. On his time in the mental home he meets the eccentric Jeffrey Goines (Pitt) who has to show him around and preach his beliefs.

Failing on his first mission Cole gets sent back again and again until he works with Kathryn to uncover the truth behind the secrets of the twelve monkeys and the virus who destroyed the world.

Twelve Monkeys gives us a time travel movie that is also plays out as a virus outbreak that has happened. We get a time travel story that does try to solve the mystery of how the virus came about as we have to put together loose clues sent back. The mystery is great to see how it gets solved even though we get a false lead for most of the film. There are certain moments in the film which could have given us more mystery for example one big side to the story is whether Cole is sane or not and there is never a doubt that he has time travelled and I believe creating that doubt could add another dimension to this film.

 

Actor Review

 

Bruce Willis: James Cole comes from the future to try and uncover the truth about a virus which wiped out humanity while he was just a child. Each time he returns he uncovers more clues working with doctor Kathryn Railly they search for the answers to what will create the future where humans have been whittled down to 1%. Bruce is great showing how he can work the more serious roles stepping away from the action genre.

Madeleine Stowe: Kathryn Railly is a psychologist that has been treated Cole on his first visit only for when he disappears. When he returns she finds herself believing everything and working with him to save the human race. Madeleine is a good supporting character working with Bruce very well.

Brad Pitt: Jeffrey Goines is the leader of the army of the twelve monkeys who is going against his powerful father that has been experimenting on animals but is he the guy that released the virus? Brad gives us a performance that did truly break him out of the current roles of a pretty boy he had been making his name in.

David Morse: Dr Peters works for the animal trials where he gets close up information on what the monkeys are receiving making him just as much of a suspect as Jeffrey. David is only just a supporting role but he does well in the few scenes he has.

Support Cast: Twelve Monkeys has a supporting cast which interact with our main cast with the strange scientists in the future who are Terry Gilliam written all over them.

Director Review: Terry GilliamTerry unique style is all over this fil even with the most important part of the film coming off serious we get small elements which keep this being his own work.

 

Mystery: Twelve Monkeys keeps us wondering throughout the film to where the virus really came from even though the element of time travel will always stick to the fact he was a time traveller.

Sci-Fi: Twelve Monkeys has the idea that the world has been destroyed by a virus as well as having time travel shows the sci-fi side of the story.

Settings: Twelve Monkeys keeps the past and present looking very different so we can easily tell the two apart from Cole’s journeys.
Special Effects
: Twelve Monkeys has good effects when needed without turning to them too often.

Suggestion: Twelve Monkeys is one I suggest everyone who is into time travel to watch at least once to see if they can understand the spin on an outbreak film. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The time travel spin on a virus film.

Worst Part: You may need a couple of viewings to understand parts of the film

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 2 Oscars.

Box Office: $57 Million

Budget: $29 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 9 Minutes

Tagline: The future is history

 

Overall: One of the best mind-bending time travel films out there.

Ratingtwelve

 

 

Bryan Singer Weekend – The Usual Suspects (1995)

sualDirector: Bryan Singer

Writer: Christopher McQuarrie (Screenplay)

Starring: Stephen Baldwin, Gabriel Byrne, Benicio Del Toro, Kevin Pollak, Kevin Spacey, Chazz Palminteri, Pete Postlethwaite

 

Plot: A sole survivor tells of the twisty events leading up to a horrific gun battle on a boat, which begin when five criminals meet at a seemingly random police lineup.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simply Brilliant Thriller

 

Story: The Usual Suspects starts as we see Verbal Kint (Spacey) explaining what happened after a crime gone wrong, telling his story to Dave Kujan (Palminteri). We meet all of the suspects in a line up Keaton (Byrne), McManus (Baldwin), Fenster (Del Toro), Hockney (Pollak) and Verbal himself. We watch as the guys get questioned about a missing gun shipment.

While in custody the five criminals agree to work on a new job as we move between before and after the crime and learn that Keyser Soze a mythical criminal was involved. We are left to piece the puzzle parts together in a crime story that will leave your jaw dropping.

The Usual Suspects is one of those crime mystery thrillers that does down as one of the greatest off all time. The flow of this film is so smooth you never notice the time go by and the final act will leave you shocked with a twist you would never see coming. There are no negatives about this story it is simply brilliant because of how simple it all is even with the killer twist.

 

Actor Review

 

Gabriel Byrne: Keaton is the disgraced former cop that went into the life of crime, he retired trying to change his life and come up clean. His new life is ruined when he is questioned leading him to going on a new crime wave with a new group of criminals. Keaton becomes the leader of the new crew because if his calmness under pressure. Gabriel is great in this role where he shines without becoming to dominate in the leading role.keatn

Kevin Spacey: Verbal is our story telling the sole survivor of the job gone wrong. He gets bought into the job as the biggest outsider but through the story he makes the plans with his ideas but with his diplomatic immunity given to him by the DA he finds his story to giving Dave something else to chase in Keyser Soze. Kevin won an Oscar for this performance where he truly does give a brilliant performance.verbal

Chazz Palminteri: Dave Kujan is the customs officer trying to get to the bottom of what happened on the ship with Verbal is the lone survivor, he has been chasing Keaton his whole career but hearing the story from Verbal he finds a new ghost to chase. Chazz is great as the investigator in this film.dave

Stephen Baldwin: McManus has years of experience working with his partner in crime Fenster, he is a hot head but brilliant marks man. He is the first to suggest the guys work together on a job. Stephen is good as the loose cannon of the group.mcmanus

Pete Postlethwaite: Kobayashi is the lawyer for Keyser Soze who puts the pieces together to make this crime happen. He is always cool under pressure when it comes to the confrontation but loyal to Soze to the end. Pete gives the performance you would expect to see from him throughout.kobayashi

Support Cast: The Usual Suspects has a good remaining supporting cast that all work well even though they are only small numbers involved.

Director Review: Bryan SingerBryan gives us one of the greatest crime thrillers ever made showing he knows how to handle an ensemble cast.

 

Crime: The Usual Suspects gives us a crime story full of the criminals we see as the heroes

Mystery: The Usual Suspects keeps us wondering about what will happen next.

Thriller: The Usual Suspects brings us to the edge of our seats from start to finish of this film.

Settings: The Usual Suspects uses the settings you would expect to see with the key locations being the office where the story is being told and the boat where everything happened.

Suggestion: The Usual Suspects is one I think everyone should have seen at least once and enjoy. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Final act.

Worst Part: Nope

Oh My God Moment: Final scene.

Favourite Quote: Verbal ‘After that my guess is that you will never hear from him again. The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he did not exist. And like that… he is gone.’

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won Two Oscars including Best Supporting Actor and Best Screenplay.

Budget: $6 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

Tagline: In a world where nothing is what it seems you’ve got to look beyond.

Trivia: The Japanese characters on the outside of the meeting room where Kobayashi is talking with Edie Finneran and others say “Kobayashi” and “bengoshi” (attorney); the ones in reverse on the window read “seikou” (success), “chikara” (strength), and “zaisan” (assets).

 

Overall: One of the greatest crime thrillers ever put to film that will leave you shocked with its final outcome.

Ratingcard

 

Tank Girl (1995)

tankDirector: Rachel Talalay

Writer: Tedi Sarafian (Screenplay) Alan Martin, Jamie Hewlett (Comic Strip)

Starring: Lori Petty, Ice-T, Naomi Watts, Don Harvey, Jeff Kober, Reg E Cathey, Scott Coffey, Malcolm McDowell

 

Plot: Based on the British cult comic-strip, our tank-riding anti-heroine fights a mega-corporation, which controls the world’s water supply.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: New Guilty Pleasure

 

Story: Tank Girl starts with Tank Girl (Petty) herself explaining how the world has been devastated after a comet took out most of the population and the world is in constant battle for the remaining water. Tank Girl lives in a small underground community where everything is treated like a party, while their enemy is Kesslee (McDowell) who runs the water and power for the surrounding enemy and he will not let anyone go unpunished for letting him down.

When the community gets invaded by the Water & Power company Tank Girl finds herself a slave for them. Ever the bubbly character Tank Girl wants to find a way to escape and turning to the timid Jet Girl (Watts) could see her lead a revolution against Kesslee.

Tank Girl is a cult classic that has reach the age of 20 years old. It follows the comic concept very nicely with it’s over the top characters be it heroine or villain. We get the world that is unique for the story and which is everyone fighting over the most important thing need for life, water. Overall this is all fun really and as long as you don’t go in looking for a serious film you will enjoy it.

 

Actor Review

 

Lori Petty: Tank Girl is the constantly happy girl living in the apocalyptic world with a water shortage. She is always bubbly even in the face of danger but just as dangerous herself when it comes to combat, she leads the revolution against the evil Water & Power. Lori is great in this role with all the flair you need in a leading lady.girl

Ice-T: T-Saint is one of the kangaroo/human mutation that joins forces Tank Girl to take down Water & Power even though he doesn’t trust anything they say. Ice-T doesn’t end up as involved as you would like in the final story.

Naomi Watts: Jet Girl is the timid young woman who escapes from Water & Power and joins Tank Girl in the revolution with her skills of fixing machines makes her a brilliant asset to have on your side. Naomi shows she was going onto bigger things with this performance.

Malcolm McDowell: Kesslee is the evil owner of Water & Power who wants complete control of the land, he makes anyone who gets in his way slaves and if they don’t follow his instructions he kills them. Malcolm is always a good go to villain in these type of films.kesslee

Support Cast: Tank Girl has a supporting cast that makes you think they could all have come from comic book.

Director Review: Rachel TalalayRachel gives us a fun film that will be a cult classic for years to come.

 

Action: Tank Girl is filled with plenty of comic book action throughout.

Comedy: Tank Girl gets nearly all the comedy from Tank Girl herself and her attitude.

Sci-Fi: Tank Girl does create a future world that has been mostly destroyed.

Settings: Tank Girl much like the sci-fi rating the settings are brilliant for what is created.
Special Effects
: Tank Girl has good effects when need with the water sucking device the highlight of them.

Suggestion: Tank Girl is on to try, it won’t be for everyone but it is fun. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Just how fun it is.

Worst Part: Way over the top.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $25 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

Tagline: In 2033, justice rides a tank and wears lip gloss

Trivia: Ice-T recalled one interview on a hip-hop show where the host made fun of him for doing Tank Girl. He replied “I was paid $800,000 for that movie”. The host moved on

 

Overall: Pure cult classic that is just a fun flick

Ratingcard

Ghost in the Shell (1995)

ghostDirector: Mamoru Oshii

Writer: Kazunori Ito (Screenplay) Masamune Shirow (Comic)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Atsuko Tanaka, Akio Otsuka, Koichi Yamadera, Tamio Oki, Tessho Genda

 

Plot: A female cyborg cop and her partner hunt a mysterious and powerful hacker called the Puppet Master.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: What Happened?

 

Story: Ghost in the Shell starts when Motoko Kusanagi a cyborg cop who along with her partner Togusa who are trying to track down a mysterious hacker known as the Puppet Master. The Puppet Master is trying to hack into the government computers by using the Ghosts in the cyborgs.

We follow Motoko and fellow cyborg Batou as they deal with the idea that they too could be hacked into by the Puppet Master as we see how Motoko wants to figure out if there is more than why she has been programed into doing. When we learn of the Puppet Master’s true identity we are left to watch Motoko uncover a bigger conspiracy going in within the Government.

Ghost in the Shell is a film that really left me confused, I felt it ended suddenly and might have missed the point of where it was going. If someone would like to explain I could give this more thought. From what I did understand it seems like a government program trying to improve its own existence in the world through Motoko who already started to show signs of thinking on her own.

 

Character Review

 

Motoko Kusanagi: Motoko is the cyborg cop who is questioning her own mortality while protecting humans from a hacker known as the Puppet Master. Motoko comes off as a strong character that is being built for future films too.

Batou: Batou is the fellow cyborg trying to hack down the Puppet Master, he is more computerised than Motoko but still just as god of a cop.  Batou seems to be a standard supporting character.

Togusa: Togusa is the only human in the cop unit, handpicked by Motoko due to his honest side when it comes to police work. He works with Motoko who ends up being the one who can think of the non-logical solution to problems. Togusa is important because having a human factor helps with the different in decisions being made.

Project 2501: Project 2051 is the Puppet Master who is trying to get undercover the government of the separate sector within the new government. Project 2501 makes for a good villainous character even though not everything is bad in the action.

Support Characters: Ghost in the Shell has your typical anime supporting characters.

Director Review: Mamoru OshiiMamoru gives us a film you would expect from the anime world, colourful, over the top and confusing.

 

Action: Ghost in the Shell is filled with anime action scenes which don’t leave too much to the imagination.

Animation: Ghost in the Shell uses good anime animation throughout.

Mystery: Ghost in the Shell does make you wonder what is going on.

Sci-Fi: Ghost in the Shell enters us into the world with cyborgs in a future world we might not be ready for.

Thriller: Ghost in the Shell does keep you guessing to just what will happen next.

Settings: Ghost in the Shell creates the settings to make the future look very different to the current world.
Suggestion
: Ghost in the Shell is one for the anime fans to watch only. (Anime Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The kills look great.

Worst Part: Random anime nudity doesn’t seem to make sense.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

Tagline: It Found A Voice… Now It Needs A Body

 

Overall: An Anime I really didn’t understand

Ratingcard