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.

Ratingcard

 

 

Jeff Goldblum Weekend – The Prince of Egypt (1998)

princesDirector: Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, Simon Wells

Writer: Philip LaZebnik (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talent) Val Kilmer, Ralph Fiennes, Michelle Pfeiffer, Sandra Bullock, Jeff Goldblum, Danny Glover, Patrick Stewart, Helen Mirren, Steve Martin, Martin Short

 

Plot: An Egyptian prince learns of his identity as a Hebrew and, later his destiny to become the chosen deliverer of his people.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Story

 

Story: The Prince of Egypt starts in the traditional story as we see Moses as a baby floated down the river by his poor mother who wants him to have a future. Moses finds himself in the hands of the pharaoh Seti where he becomes the brother of Rameses. Growing up together the two have brotherly rivalry while both disappointing their father.

When Moses learns his true identity from his real brother Aaron and sister Miriam he starts to learn how Seti captured and force his people into slavery. Moses starting a new life as a shepherd gets a message from the burning bush to return to Egypt to bring down his former brother Rameses and let his people go and the rest well you know is history.

The Prince of Egypt tells the story of Moses leading the slaves of Egypt to freedom from the tyrant like leader. This is one of the most famous stories from within the Bible and I do believe that it could easily be in the top 3 most memorable and with this we get the amazing story of how one man challenged a pharaoh without turning to violence but instead turns to faith to win his battle for what is right. This is my favourite story from the Bible and this show each element of that story very well.

 

Character Review

 

Moses: Moses was raised within the royal family of Egypt taught to believe in Raa but when he learns his true identity he leads the revolution to free his people from slavery from his brother. Moses brings the 12 plagues of Egypt with him and is easily on of the most iconic character from within the Bible. Moses is always a character that comes off interesting because his story is one of the most famous from the Bible and this show his characters change when he learns the truth.

Rameses: Rameses is raised as the older brother of Moses and always destine to take of the leadership of Egypt as the future Pharaoh. He always wants to supporting Moses even with his new belief but when he challenges his position as ruler the brotherhood is thrown into turmoil. Rameses is always considered the villain of this story and it is true he is but he is also very misunderstood as he is following what he has been taught from his father.

Tzipporah: Tzipporah becomes the wife of Moses when he escapes his life and she stands next to him during his revolution within Egypt. Tzipporah comes off like a strong character early on but soon get forgotten when it becomes Moses versus Rameses.

Miriam: Miriam is the sister of Moses who has witnessed his freedom granted but is waiting for him to lead their people to their freedom. Miriam feels like she is going to be an important character but in the end just becomes a supporting character in this story.

Support Characters: The Prince of Egypt has a supporting cast that doesn’t turn into a heavy amount of comic relief which other animated films have done but instead the characters whose lives have been affected by the slavery.

Director Review: Brenda Chapman, Steve Hickner, Simon WellsThe directing team puts together a fresh look at the iconic story from within the Bible.

 

Animation: The Prince of Egypt has great animation which shines when it comes to all the plagues going on as well as the ma landscapes scenes.

Family: The Prince of Egypt is a story I would imagine school kids would hear and is one that the whole family can enjoy.

Fantasy: The Prince of Egypt is a story that does have elements of fantasy which all come through the story.

Musical: The Prince of Egypt has songs that show the tone of each scene they are being used in near perfectly.

Settings: The Prince of Egypt throws us into an Egypt we could only imagine for the ancient time.
Suggestion
: The Prince of Egypt is one I do think everyone should watch because of the story it tells. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The first child plague is haunting.

Worst Part: If you don’t believe in religion you might not enjoy.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 1 Oscar for Best Original Song

Budget: $70 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline:  The Story Is Forever

 

Overall: Beautiful telling of the iconic story.

Ratingcard

 

 

 

Franchise Weekend – I Still Know What You Did Last Summer (1998)

still knowDirector: Danny Cannon

Writer: Trey Callaway (Screenplay) Lois Duncan (Characters)

Starring: Jennifer Love Hewitt, Freddie Prinze Jr, Brandy Norwood, Mekhi Phifer, Muse Watson, Bill Cobbs, Matthew Settle, Jeffrey Combs, Jennifer Esposito, John Hawkes, Jack Black

 

Plot: The murderous fisherman with a hook is back to once again stalk the two surviving teens, Julie and Ray, who left him for dead, as well as cause even more murder and mayhem, this time at a posh island resort.

 

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Pointless Sequel

 

Story: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer starts as Julie James (Hewitt) is still having nightmares about what happened the summer before. Ray (Prinze Jr) still being the boyfriend figure wants to keep the relationship to mark the anniversary of the accident, break up time. Introduce Karla (Norwood) a new best friend of Julie who is trying to make her come out of her shell by hooking her up with nice guy Will (Settle).

When Karla wins tickets to the Bahamas she offers Julie two tickets with one going to Ray if he can make it the other being Tyrell (Phifer). Julie, Karla, Tyrell and Will go on the holiday because Ray never turns on. Ray escapes from hospital while our guest discover they are on the island in the off season making them the only guest on the island. The friends find out they are not alone on this island when the man with hook returns to finish what he started, but is it the same person?

I Still Know What You Did Last Summer follows up one year later from the last film yet again when we see Julie still struggling but moving on which does work for me because it is what is needed to make the character continue their life. My problem comes that we all know that they got the answer wrong to win the competition so we know it is a trap. Also I find it hard to believe the girls who love the sun wouldn’t know when storm season is. I really find it hard to believe that this horror makes any sense because a character that is watching their back falls for such a simple trick and what Ray is up to is almost comical. This is a sequel we didn’t need to see really.

 

Actor Review

 

Jennifer Love Hewitt: Julie James is still traumatised by what happened on the previous two years but is also trying to make something of her life. She has made it through another year of college and is spending this 4th of July on a tropical island with her best friend, only to discover the killer hasn’t finished with her yet. Jennifer is good for the look of this role but doesn’t really do too much in the role.julie

Freddie Prinze Jr: Ray Bronson is the other lone survivor from the first film that is working for a living, he is still involved but getting distance from Julie who invites in a holiday away but never makes it. He has a run in with the killer and has to make his way to the island to save Julie. Freddie gets to work on a random story seemingly through the film.ray

Brandy Norwood: Karla Wilson is the best friend of Julie now and she wins the trip to the Bahamas for the friends to go on. She is always trying to bring her out of her shell but never knew the true story about what happened. Brandy is the standard in this supporting role.

Mekhi Phifer: Tyrell is the boyfriend of Karla who puts up with the issues with Julie to support his girl but even he starts getting tired of the stories once Julie starts acting paranoid. Mekhi doesn’t get out of the basic supporting performance through the film.

Support Cast: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer has big names in the supporting cast that are nearly all used as just extra bodies pilling up.

Director Review: Danny CannonDanny gives us such a basic slasher sequel that really just doesn’t go too far into original ideas.

 

Horror: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer has basic slasher check mark without being scary in one bit.

Mystery: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer tries to add mystery about who the killer is only to give us an awful twist ending.

Thriller: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer tries to keep us on edge but we only meet the killer late on in the film.

Settings: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer puts out main cast on a tropical island during a storm which does create isolation but also doesn’t seem to make much sense.
Special Effects
: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer has basic effects when it comes to the kills.

Suggestion: I Still Know What You Did Last Summer is one for the horror fans to just give a go, it isn’t brilliant but will give you the basic horror genre something to watch. (Give it A Go)

 

Best Part: Jack Black is funny.

Worst Part: Nothing original.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $25 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline: Get Hooked Again

 

Overall:  Basic slasher that we didn’t really need a sequel for.

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