You’ve Got Mail (1998)

youveDirector: Nora Ephron

Writer: Nora Ephron, Delia Ephron (Screenplay) Miklos Laszlo (Play)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Meg Ryan, Greg Kinnear, Parker Posey, Jean Stapleton, Steve Zahn, Heather Burns

 

Plot: Two business rivals who despise each other in real life unwittingly fall in love over the Internet.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Romantic Comedy

 

Story: You’ve Got Mail starts as we see two complete strangers Joe Fox (Hanks) and Kathleen Kelly (Ryan) who chat online every night even though they are both involved in relationships with Patricia (Posey) and Frank (Kinnear). The two set up the rule of not knowing anything about the personal lives of each other and remain friends in New York City.

Kathleen owns a small book shop that is going to have a giant book shop open around the corner from it, Fox Books which just so happens to be run by Joe. When the two business rivals meet the tension between begins but when the two mail each other they still think they are talking to just any stranger.

When the truth comes out the love they feel towards each other online must go against the hatred they have for each other in real life.

 

Thoughts on You’ve Got Mail

 

StoryThe old story of falling in love with someone you have never met through conversation. The idea of not knowing who you are chatting to makes this story have this extra spark. We do get a smaller story about business how small family businesses can be closed by dominating force. I will say this story has now become outdated because of the next level of technology but the fantasy idea still works wonders for this film.

Comedy/RomanceThe romantic side of this story is all good showing how you could fall in love with someone you least expect. We do get small laughs throughout the film without them overshadowing the romantic story.

Characters/PerformanceJoe was the new age business man, he does care about people outside of work but is happy to squash them when it comes to business. Kathleen was one of the dying breed of shopkeepers who cares about their customers offering them the best service in New York. We do have supporting characters who are mostly all involved to advise our Joe and Kathleen.

This film has two brilliant performance from Hanks and Ryan who showed they have excellent chemistry together and you can see that in the romantic or the arguing scenes. I do think everyone else does everything they need to do working with the leads.actors

SettingsLooking in the settings we are have New York which is perfect choice because we get to see how small business would suffer next to the big store, it also plays into the effects of meeting someone even in the busy streets.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the most enjoyable romantic comedies you will have seen, it is accessible for all and will bring a smile to your face.

 

Overall: Sit back and enjoy this sweet charming love story.

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Shakespeare in Love (1998)

shakeDirector: John Madden

Writer: Marc Norman, Tom Stoppard (Screenplay)

Starring: Joseph Fiennes, Gwyneth Paltrow, Geoffrey Rush, Tom Wilkinson, Judi Dench, Colin Firth, Ben Affleck

 

Plot: A young Shakespeare, out of ideas and short of cash, meets his ideal woman and is inspired to write one of his most famous plays.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Oscar Heavy Classic

 

Story: Shakespeare in Love starts as Philip Henslowe (Rush) has been struggling to pay his debts to Hugh Fennyman (Wilkinson) and with his star scripter William Shakespeare (Fiennes) working on the latest play for the theatre which can clean his debts.

Shakespeare looking for his latest muse sees just how Queen Elizabeth (Dench) sees his work where we get to meet Viola De Lesseps (Paltrow) a wealthy daughter of London who dreams of being in a Shakespeare play. When William meets Viola the motivation behind Romeo and Juliet is born and with Viola is undercover as the lead actor of the play but is also being forced into marrying Lord Wessex (Firth) by Queen’s order. With the love between William and Viola being kept a secret one of the most iconic plays in history becomes the reality in the famous Rose theatre.

 

Thoughts on Shakespeare in Love

 

StoryThe story here plays along the lines of seeing how love can inspire the best work from playwrights as we see the struggling Shakespeare re-discover his best work once he falls in love once again. The parallels to what is going on with the play and everyday situation all comes together very well as we see how the final pieces of the puzzle comes together. This does have a full stage feel to everything going on which could easily be a turn off for some people though.

Comedy/Drama/RomanceWe have good theatre based comedy without being a joke a minute throughout this film, the film really does focus on the romantic angle between William, Viola and the problems she must face with arranged marriage to Lord Wessex.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are all loosely based on real people that also become the characters within the Romeo and Juliet story that we have all come to know. The performances are all brilliant here showing us that if we want a stage play movie we can turn to these actors for first choice.

SettingsEach setting fits the time period perfectly as we would all be willing to believe we are in the middle of 1593 watching the creation Romeo and Juliet.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that not everyone will but is easily one of the most fascinating ones around as we learn the creation of one of the greatest plays ever written.

 

Overall: Classic in its own right.

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Franchise Weekend – Bride of Chucky (1998)

brideDirector: Ronny Yu

Writer: Don Mancini (Screenplay)

Starring: Jennifer Tilly, Brad Dourif, Katherine Heigl, Nick Stabile, Alexis Arquette, Gordon Michael Woolvett, John Ritter

 

Plot: Chucky, the doll possessed by a serial killer, discovers the perfect mate to kill and revive into the body of another doll.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Funniest of the Franchise

 

Story: Bride of Chucky starts as Tiffany (Tilly) bribes a police officer to bring her the body of her former lover Chucky who is still stuck inside the good guy doll. We move onto meet our teenagers Jade (Heigl) her boyfriend Jesse (Stabile) and their good friend David (Woolvett) who are sneaking off to prom with, her Uncle Chief Warren (Ritter) wanting to stop Jade being with the wrong guy.

With Tiffany using her voodoo to bring Chucky back to life it isn’t long until he gets his first victim, but things are not as smooth as Tiffany remembers as the two fall out and soon she becomes a doll too. Wanting to come back to life in a human bodies Tiffany recruits Jesse into driving them to Chucky’s body, this gives Jesse a chance to run away with Jade and start a new life.

This becomes the road trip from hell for the young couple but a bonding experience for Tiffany and Chucky as they set out to one up each other on the killing side.

 

Thoughts on Bride of Chucky

 

StoryThis is the return of the Chucky doll after nearly 10 years away from us and this time we build on the Chucky pre-doll character as we learn about the relationship he had before he was killed. I like how this show added another dimension to the horror comedy where we have the dolls almost commentating on what is going on through the film as they see the younger versions of themselves in the young couple. The story does feel fresh to the slasher genre of horror and works on all the right levels.

Horror/ComedyWhen it comes to the horror side of this story I feel this one does fall slightly short of anything scary but on the comedy side of the story this could easily be the funniest of the franchise to date.

Characters/PerformanceChucky is easily one of the most entertaining serial killers in film franchise history and teaming him up with Tiffany only works to improve him to the next level, both the voice work from Dourif and Tilly is excellent throughout. When it comes to the human characters they all feel very basic and don’t get the full development Chucky and Tiffany receive.

SettingsTaking Chucky on a road trip for the kills gives us plenty of comedy to go with the body count but in the end this just makes us want to see what happens on the road next.

Special EffectsThe special effects all work perfectly for the style of film going on through the film adding comedy to the kills throughout.

Final ThoughtsThis takes the films into a different direction as we get to see Chucky in a new light building on the family of doll serial killers which helps enjoy the franchise which could have gotten drowned in the sequels like others have in the past.

 

Overall: Enjoyable sequel that can live long in the memory.

Rating

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Gods and Monsters (1998)

godsDirector: Bill Condon

Writer: Bill Condon (Screenplay) Christopher Bram (Novel)

Starring: Ian McKellen, Brendan Fraser, Lynn Redgrave, Lolita Davidovich, David Dukes, Kevin J O’Connor, Mark Kiely

 

Plot: The last days of Frankenstein (1931) director James Whale are explored.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Biopic

 

Story: Gods and Monsters starts as we meet legendary horror director James Whale (McKellen) who is most remembered for the Frankenstein movies. He has been struggling with illness which for the time has never fully been understood. James is a homosexual which again for the time was still looked down on.

James has a habit of pushing young men into showing him their bodies which the latest attraction coming in the gardener Clayton Boone (Fraser). Over time the two become friends as Clayton gets to learn more about a world he had never have thought twice about entering but also learns more about himself from the encounters.

Gods and Monsters tells the final days of the director James Whales as we see him battle his own mind with his illness as he wants to experience that last moment in his life. We see an unlikely friendship occur between two very opposite people that has an effect of both sides of the friendship. The performances from both Oscar nominated McKellen and Brendan Fraser are brilliant as we fully believe these two men have come from different worlds can see the world the same.

 

Overall: Biopic everything should check out.

Rating75

 

 

Leonardo DiCaprio Weekend – The Man in the Iron Mask (1998)

casting cardDirector: Randall Wallace

Writer: Randall Wallace (Screenplay) Alexandre Dumas (Novel)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Jeremy Irons, John Malkovich, Gerard Depardieu, Gabriel Byrne, Anne Parillaud, Judith Godreche, Edward Atterton, Peter Sarsgaard, Hugh Laurie

 

Plot: The cruel King Louis XIV of France has a secret twin brother who he keeps imprisoned. Can the twin be substituted for the real king?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Adventure Film

 

Story: The Man in the Iron Mask starts as the young King Louis XIV (DiCaprio) finds him rule leading to a civil war within France as he tries to conquer neighbouring countries. Louis has the Musketeers protecting him with the most famous of these being Aramis (Irons) now a priest, Athos (Malkovich) who son Raoul (Sarsgaard) is in training to become a musketeer, Porthos (Depardieu) a drunk and D’Artagnan (Byrne) Louis closest guard.

Tired of the King’s ways Aramis leads the revolution against the King with Porthos and Athos by his side with D’Artagnan struggling with the morale dilemma on which side of the battle to be on. The plan is to free Philippe (DiCaprio) who has been cast into an iron mask to hide his identity of twin to King Louis from the world and replace him with the real King to try and create peace within France.

The Man in the Iron Mask is a historical tale based loosely on the real people following the musketeers attempt to stop a revolution without bloodshed. This shows how conflict could be solved without anyone dying but also shows how one person can become overcome by power which can lead to this conflict happen too. Each character has a good developed story and seeing the musketeers at a later stage of their life comes off fresh to what we have seen too often. The story won’t be for everyone but wouldn’t this have been an amazing true story?

 

Actor Review

 

Leonardo DiCaprio: King Louis XIV is the cruel ruler of France, making his people starve while trying to conquer the neighbouring countries. He is ruthless wanting to kill anyone who goes against him even if it is just for fun.

Leonardo DiCaprio: Philippe is the twin to King Louis who has been imprisoned for years to hide his true identity. Once freed by the musketeers he is given the chance to replace Louis and give France the true leader needed to bring peace to the country. Leonardo gives us two great performances one as the evil ruler with the other as the kind hearted man. This showed how Leo could handle for both sides of the battle.

Jeremy Irons: Aramis is a priest that is one of the former famous musketeers, he is sent to find and kill the leader of the resistance against King Louis, only he is the leader and has plan to replace King Louis with his brother Philippe. Jeremy is good in this role which you could see him play for years to come.

John Malkovich: Athos is a retired musketeer who has devoted his life to make sure his son can follow in his footsteps. When his son is killed serving King Louis he joins Aramis to rid France of the cruel ruler. John is good in this role where he gets to enter into another period piece role.

Gerard Depardieu: Porthos is the drunk of the musketeers filled with the lust for life, he creates the added comedy in the story as we wait to see what he does wrong next. Gerard is fun in this role.

Gabriel Byrne: D’Artagnan is the loyal guard to the King, he does see the error in his ways but refuses to break an oaf to protect the king with his life. His loyalty will leave him facing against his old friends but will this be his downfall. Gabriel is strong in this role throughout the film.

Support Cast: The Man in the Iron Mask has a supporting cast that never look out of place with the interaction with the main cast which does help the story unfold the way it does.

Director Review: Randall WallaceRandall gives us an enjoyable version of this story which I do think is a very interesting story.

 

Action: The Man in the Iron Mask has good combat action being used throughout which is all swords swinging entertainment.

Adventure: The Man in the Iron Mask throws our musketeers on an adventure they wished for to complete their lives work.

Settings: The Man in the Iron Mask puts us in France for the setting with each setting looking like the time period in question.

Suggestion: The Man in the Iron Mask is one to try, the length of the film could turn people off but it is an enjoyable adventure film. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Final showdown.

Worst Part: Slightly long.

 

Believability: Parts were true.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Budget: $35 Minutes

Runtime: 2 Hour 12 Minutes

Tagline: For the honor of a king. And the destiny of a country. All for one.

 

Overall: Enjoyable Adventure that continues the musketeer’s legacy.

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