ABC Film Challenge – Animation – T – Tarzan (1999) Movie Review

Director: Chris Buck, Kevin Lima

Writer: Tab Murphy, Bob Tzudiker, Noni White (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Brian Blessed, Glenn Close, Minnie Driver, Tony Goldwyn, Nigel Hawthorne, Lance Henriksen, Wayne Knight

Plot: A man raised by gorillas must decide where he really belongs when he discovers he is a human.


Tagline – An immortal legend. As you’ve only imagined.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Typical Disney

Story: Tarzan starts when baby Tarzan is lost in the jungle taken in by gorilla Kala to be raised in the jungle despite the elder Kerchak not wanting him around.

As Tarzan because part of the tribe, he becomes the defender of the area until humans arrive where Tarzan falls in love with Jane and must prove himself to the tribe after other humans want to hunt the gorillas.

Thoughts on Tarzan

Characters – Tarzan was raised by gorillas in the jungle despite being seen as the enemy, he proves his value to the tribe until humans visit and he gets his head turned to the life she should have been living. Kala raised Tarzan despite being against the wishes of the leader of the tribe, she teaches him well, just to become a true leader. Jane is the human woman Tarzan falls in love with, she wants the best for the gorillas, like her father who want to studio, not harm them. Clayton is the hunter that just wants to collect more animals in his collection.

StoryThe story shows the human Tarzan raised by gorillas to live in the jungle where becomes part of the tribe, when humans arrives he must decides where he wants to go and who to protect. This is another version of the classic tale, it goes full Disney with the musical numbers, while never getting dark enough to understand the reality of the situation. It is tame enough for the family to enjoy, it feels very safe for the most part.

Adventure The adventure is everything we know for Tarzan, his adventures in the jungle before and after Jane arrives.

SettingsThe film is set in the jungle which looks beautiful through the film, which is the highlight of the film.

AnimationThe animation in this film is everything you could see from Disney, it looks flawless through the film.


Scene of the Movie – Elephant hair.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not dark enough.

Final Thoughts This is just another Disney movie that is fun enough without being too serious along the way.

Overall: Disney 101.

Stigmata (1999) Movie Review

Director: Rupert Wainwright

Writer: Tom Lazarus, Rick Ramage (Screenplay)

Starring: Patricia Arquette, Gabriel Byrne, Jonathan Pryce, Nia Long, Thomas Kopache, Rade Serbedzija, Enrico Colantoni

Plot: When a young woman becomes afflicted by stigmata, a priest is sent to investigate her case, which may have severe ramifications for his faith and for the Catholic Church itself.


Tagline – The messenger must be silenced.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Science & Religion as One

Story: Stigmata starts as we meet Father Andrew Kiernan (Byrne) who travels the world in search of a way to debunk religious miracles, with his latest one putting him in the bad books at the Vatican, meanwhile in Pittsburg party girl Frankie Paige (Arquette) receives rosary beads from her travelling mother and soon starts experiencing strange vision and events that she denies doing.

Father Andrew is set to Pittsburg to investigate the mysterious events of what is happening to Frankie, trying to get to the bottom of why she has become targeted by evil forces.

Thoughts on Stigmata

Characters – Frankie Paige is a hairdresser and party girl, with her latest worry being, whether she has become pregnant or not, she receives gifts and letters from her mother that is travelling, with the latest being a rosary beads. Her life is turned upside down when she starts going through horrific visions and events, causing her to have the effects of a stigmata, unaware of the injuries being inflicted upon her, needing help and being unaware of where to find it. Father Andrew Kiernan travels the world in search for answers about religious miracles, he is drawn in the very thin line between science and religion, where he is willing to leave people believing miracles, if it makes their lives better, which doesn’t always set well with the Vatican. He is assigned to learn the truth about what is happening to Frankie, a case that will let him question his own faith more than ever. Cardinal Daniel Houseman sends out the order for the investigators, he choices when they get closed down and that includes seeing him trying to make sure Father Kiernan only does what he wants.

PerformancesPatricia Arquette as the young lady going through the painful experience is strong, we do believe her everyday woman, while seeing the frustration building up within her. Gabriel Byrne is always strong in an investigate role, this is no different from him. Jonathan Pryce only turns up a little bit and brings his class to the film, while the rest of the cast don’t have anything to do.

StoryThe story here follows a young lady that has become the target of an evil presence putting her through a stigmata, where the person sent to try and save her is an investigator priest who has started to lose his faith. This is an interesting story with a twist on the exorcism ideas, we do have a woman getting put through a ritual by an evil presence, while also having a priest that isn’t all about letting religion be the answer to everything. We do get plenty of balance between science and religion showing how the two sides can be spoken about in the same conversation. It does show how the findings have always changed the stories of how religion has been revealed, which is interesting to see how history can always been seen in different lights.

HorrorThe horror in this film revolves around how Frankie is going through an unexplainable experience, it does show how religion can bring the worst horrors in life.

SettingsThe film put the film in modern American in Pittsburg, which shows us that these events could happen to anybody, though Frankie’s apartment is just weird.


Scene of the Movie – The train of terror.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The sound mixing is terrible.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting horror that will balance science and religion together well, with strong performance.

Overall: Interesting Horror.

James Bond Month – The World is Not Enough (1999)

Director: Michael Apted

Writer: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Bruce Feirstein (Screenplay)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle, Denise Richards, Robbie Coltrane, Judi Dench, Desmond Llewelyn

 

Plot: James Bond uncovers a nuclear plot when he protects an oil heiress from her former kidnapper, an international terrorist who can’t feel pain.


Tagline – Some men want to rule the world… Some women ask for the world… Some believe the world is theirs for the taking… But for one man, The World Is Not Enough!!

Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Average at Best

 

Story: The World is Not Enough starts when MI6 suffers a bomb from within, James Bond (Brosnan) must investigate terrorist Renard (Carlyle) a man that has survive a gun shot to the head, James works with daughter of the murdered man Elektra King (Marceau) who he does believe is the only connection to the terrorist, be it working with or the next target.

James starts working with Dr Christmas Jones (Richards) a brilliant scientist and Renard reveals his plan which involves transporting a bomb through an oil pipeline for his own destructive plan.

 

Thoughts on The World is Not Enough

 

Characters – James Bond is back once again, he continues to fight for his country, he is the only one who suspects Elektra being behind her own father’s murder, his methods involve him pretending he is dead this time around. Elektra King is the heiress of an Oil tycoon, she was once kidnapped by Renard, with MI6 helping with her rescue, she welcomes Bond into her world after her father is murdered, even if she has her own plans. Renard is a known terrorist, he survived a bullet to the head which means he can’t feel pain, making it hard to fight against, he doesn’t have limits to what he will do. Dr Christmas Jones is a nuclear scientist that works with James to stop the potential nuclear threat.

PerformancesPierce Brosnan is still a good choice for Bond, he has made this own figure which is all we want from a Bond film. Sophie Marceau takes on the role as a seductive Bond villain which does work very well for the film, with most of her scenes being the best in the film. Robert Carlyle feels almost wasted in his role because the character has so much more potential than we get here. Denise Richards on the other hand struggles to be believable in her role for most of the film.

StoryThe story here takes James Bond on his latest adventure to stop a terrorist and oil heiress that want to take over the world because money simple isn’t enough for them. The story does feel confusing because we never truly know what the aim of the villains is and if it does, it doesn’t feel complete explained. We have the traditional formula we all know, it works without being anything new to the franchise, Bond does his job gets the girl and saves the day. We do try to build up some of the supporting members of MI6 which just felt like filling rather than anything important. We do feel like we have some characters wasted, others missed cast, but in the end everything is watchable for the franchise itself.

Action/AdventureThe action gives away the best scene with the opening chase through London, it is easily the most memorable part of the film for the action because everything else always feels too busy.

SettingsThe film continues to take us around the world on James’s missions, this time we focus on the path between Asia and Europe, which works for the oil side of the story, but doesn’t give us many beauty spots like previous films.


Scene of the Movie –
Opening speed boat chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Wasting Carlyle character.

Final ThoughtsThis is an average Bond film, if you have followed the franchise you can enjoy this one enough, but it wouldn’t be the one to draw in the unknown audience.

 

Overall: Average Bond

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – From Dusk Till Dawn 3: The Hangman’s Daughter (1999)

Director: P.J. Pesce

Writer: Alvaro Rodriguez (Screenplay)

Starring: Marco Leonardi, Michael Parks, Temuera Morrison, Rebecca Gayheart, Ara Celi, Lennie Loftin, Sonia Braga

 

Plot: Set 100 years ago in Mexico, this horror/western is the story of the birth of the vampire princess Santanico Pandemonium.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Western Re-Hash of Original

 

Story: From Dusk till Dawn 3: The Hangman’s Daughter starts when an outlaw Johnny Madrid (Leonardi) escapes his hanging, taking the Hangman’s (Morrison) daughter Esmeralda (Celi) with him, to reunite with his gang, with a new rescuer who offers them a new job which will see them trying to rob Ambrose Bierce (Parks) the gang gear up.

It isn’t long before the outlaws end up in a mysterious saloon which will offer the men anything they want, which will soon put them in the false sense of security as it turns out the saloon is run by vampires.

 

Thoughts on From Dusk till Dawn 3: The Hangman’s Daughter

 

Characters – Johnny Madrid is one of the most feared outlaws in the west, about to be executed, he is rescued and returns to his gang to continue his life of crime, he will kill some people, while protecting others, making him a morally confusing figure. Ambrose Bierce has come from America where he has survived a shooting, he wants peaceful life only to find himself in the middle of the battle. The Hangman is trying to eliminate the threats in the gang world including Johnny, mostly to protect his daughter, only it isn’t for him to choose. Esmeralda is his daughter that has been getting controlled for too long and is in love with Johnny, she goes on the run with him only to be left questioning his choices.

PerformancesThe performances here are poor once again, Marco Leonardi overplays is role in the film, while Michael Parks does the best he can with his role. We do end up meeting too many random characters that just seems to make everything struggle to get going in the performance side of the film.

StoryThe story does return to the original format only in the western era, we have the outlaws, the victims and the authorities all ending up in the bar which is crawling with vampires and must put their difference aside to survive. This style did work first time, it doesn’t fail this time, but it is hard to become invested in the characters. the build up before the bar is a lot of filler because we do have a lot of people to learn their place and mentality which makes it hard to figure out who is the good and bad guys for the piece. We try to have a connection to the original movie with the creation of one of the vampires which better than the last time out too.

Horror/WesternThe horror involved in the film is returning to the vampire outlet which again doesn’t feel scary as it could have been. The western side of the film just uses the criminal side of the last one only making it a prequel to the original.

SettingsThe film is set in the western area, we do eventually hit the saloon made famous from the first film and this time we get to dive into the larger scale of the building.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are not at the best, we do get a couple of good moments only nothing that reaches the levels of the first film.


Scene of the Movie –
Escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me To many characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid enough prequel, at least it does feel connected to the previous film which helps build on the legacy of the bar.

 

Overall: Simple prequel.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – From Dusk Till Dawn 2: Texas Blood Money (1999)

Director: Scott Spiegel

Writer: Scott Spiegel, Duane Whitaker (Screenplay) Scott Spiegel, Boaz Yakin (Story)

Starring: Robert Patrick, Bo Hopkins, Duane Whitaker, Muse Watson, Brett Harrelson, Raymond Cruz, Danny Trejo

 

Plot: More people are turned into vampires as they go around spreading their evil satanic hate.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sucks the life out of you

 

Story: From Dusk till Dawn 2 Blood Money starts when criminal Buck (Patrick) is offered a new job from his partner Luther (Whitaker), he puts a teams together including C.W. (Watson), Ray Bob (Harrelson) and Jesus (Cruz) and sets off to allude Sheriff Otis Lawson (Hopkins) who believes he is about to get involved in a new job.

It isn’t long the crew finds themselves at the Titty Twister bar and being hunted down by the vampires that are trying to rebuild their numbers and the five thieves seem to be their choice.

 

Thoughts on From Dusk till Dawn 2 Blood Money

 

Characters – Buck is a thieve that has claimed to have gone clean after his recent stint in prison, the cops do still watch him, only now he gets a chance at a new job which will see him put his crew together, he has a way to work with his men, well that is about it, his character doesn’t have much more to him, Sheriff Otis Lawson has been waiting for Buck to make a mistake for years now, using the latest former member of his crew as hope that he could catch him in the act once again. Luther is the one that brings the job to Buck, only on his way back to the crew, he ends up at the Titty Twister grabbing the attention of the vampires, looking for spread the curse to a new selection of victims. C.W. is another member of the crew and just like the rest they don’t get much to make them stand out.

PerformancesRobert Patrick does try to make the most of his character only he doesn’t get anything to work with here. This is the big problem for the rest of the cast, nobody gets a chance to make anything from their characters who all end up being painful bland.

StoryThe story follows a group of criminals that are looking to head to Mexico for their latest job, only to attract the attention of the vampires using the Titty Twister becoming the latest target, can they survive the night? The story here is very weak, we get five criminals with little to no character development, not making us care about what is happening. We get thrown into another direction with the story which doesn’t help because we know what is happening, while certain members of the crew don’t, this does against what we learnt about the vampires in the first film. this story just feels like a forced sequel nobody really asked for.

Crime/Horror The crime side of this horror comes from seeing just how the crew is operating, how they plan to get the job done, the horror comes from the vampire side of the film, it does have darker moments, only it still doesn’t feel like a scarier film.

SettingsThe film is set between Mexico and Texas, no location involved does make us feel like we are in iconic location the first one did.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are not at the same standard either, with most of the attacks being from bats which seem to be extreme close ups that just feel too difficult to watch.


Scene of the Movie –
A helping hand?

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of interest around the characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappoint sequel that pulls the quality level right down to just a basic sequel that just so happens to visit the same bar, having no connection to the previous film.

 

Overall: Bland sequel.

Rating