Franchise Weekend – Candyman: Day of the Dead (1999)

Director: Turi Meyer

Writer: Al Septien, Turi Meyer (Screenplay) Clive Barker (Characters)

Starring: Tony Todd, Donna D’Errico, Jsu Garcia, Wade Williams, Alexia Robinson, Lupe Ontiveros, Mark Adair-Rios

 

Plot: The Candyman is back, trying to convince his descendent, an artist, to join him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: What Happened?

 

Story: Candyman: Day of the Dead starts with a random bathroom scene, a big ass bathroom a normal person would never have when a random girl gets a visit from the Candyman without saying his name, I feel like I am not going to like this film.

Ok turns out the random girl is our leading character Caroline (D’Errico) the great, great granddaughter of Daniel Robitaille (Todd) who is all grown up now and is honouring his art in a gallery back in LA. This time we get the backstory once again changing the time of the death of Daniel and the rise of the Candyman.

After Caroline gets pushed into calling the Candyman five times she starts finding herself haunted by him as he has returned to continue his bloody trail of horror. Caroline must work with David (Garcia) to stop the Candyman after the first murders happen, can she put her descendant to rest once and for all?

 

Thoughts on Candyman: Day of the Dead

 

Characters/PerformanceCandyman is back, don’t ask me how he is back but he is, he still continues to be creepy throughout the film which is what we want and willing to kill anyone in the most brutal way. Caroline is the daughter of last leading lady Annie that works to help remember her great great grandfather. David is also involved but turns into bait.

Performance wise, Tony Todd does the best he can with this awful script but the person that stands out as awful all around is Donna D’Errico, a former playboy girl taking over the leading role from much better actress, in this performance here you could easily see in porn. The acting all around is pretty bad to be honest.

StoryThe story here continues to confuse because it was made clear the curse was over but No, it is still happening and the time jump to the adult version of the child in the end scene doesn’t help either. We do have mostly more of the same Candyman wants to swap souls with his selected woman killing anyone else. The story is filled with painful stereotypes and instead of growing the story we just get boobs this time around.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy side of this story is nearly all but gone now with the only horror in this film being the acting.

SettingsWe are back in LA now, because what the hell and the Candyman legend is even celebrated in this town now, sure why not it doesn’t help the film in anyway though.

Special EffectsI don’t think there was much of a budget for special effect because they all come off badly in this film.

Final ThoughtsThis was a dreadful third instalment of the franchise which I did enjoy until now, the acting is so bad, the director just gave up on storytelling and went with boobs as we end up with nearly every female cast member topless at some point.

 

Overall: Terrible ending to this franchise.

Rating

 

 

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Jeffrey Combs Weekend – House on Haunted Hill (1999)

Director: William Malone

Writer: Dick Beebe (Screenplay) Robb White (Story)

Starring: Geoffrey Rush, Famke Janssen, Taye Diggs, Peter Gallagher, Ali Larter, Bridgette Wilson, Jeffrey Combs

 

Plot: An amusement park mogul offers a group of diverse people $1,000,000 to spend the night in a haunted house with a horrifying past.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Creepy Mysterious Horror

 

Story: House on Haunted Hill starts as we see the horrors that took place in the Vannacutt institute, where the inmates escaped the torture the Dr Richard Benjamin Vannacutt (Combs) was performing on them with everyone dying within the fire.

Move to present day which is 1999 where Evelyn Stockard-Price (Janssen) wants her husband Stephen Price (Rush) an amusement park mogul to host her birthday inside the abandoned institute. The guest list includes Eddie Baker (Diggs), Donald Blackburn (Gallagher), Sara Wolfe (Larter) and Melissa Marr (Wilson) but the problem is neither of the Price’s know them and they have no idea why they have been invited.

When the guests along with the caretaker Watson Pritchett (Kattan) find themselves locked in the prize Stephen is offering of $1 Million becomes a draw for them all but the house has a history of coming alive at night, can these guests survive a night with Dr Richard Benjamin Vannacutt and the other victims of the mental institute?

 

Thoughts on House on Haunted Hill

 

Characters/PerformanceStephen Price is a man who has made his money in amusement parks, he has a strained relationship with his wife becoming the suspect in who is behind the goings on within the house. Evelyn believes that this whole party is a game by her husband but is happy to play the game her own way. The guests are all what you would expect, the ambitious celebrity driven, the kind hearted, the one trying to prove themselves and the doctor. The highlight comes from the creepy doctor haunting the hallways.

Performance wise, Geoffrey Rush gets to have a lot of fun in this leading role where he shows his class whereas Famke Janssen adds the dominate leading lady with a plan. Diggs and Larter both do well filling in blanks of the story with Jeffrey Combs being the doctor we all know and love.

StoryThe story is easy to follow and does explain the reasons for everything to be happening well. We do have slightly too much focus on the marriage between the Price’s and just how much they hate each other but otherwise this is a classic haunted asylum movie where it is who will survive the horrors of the house.

Horror/MysteryThe horror is all good and if you watch too young you can see just how scary certain moments are, when you look at the mystery which does get solved but is surrounding why these people got invited to the house in the first place.

SettingsAfter the introduction to the Price’s the rest of the movie is set within the house on haunted hill and that is great for everything which unfolds.

Special EffectsThe special effects do all go well until the final act where the special effects have dated being it nearly 20 years old now.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror film I do enjoy, it is short, easy to watch and has plenty of good horror moments involved.

 

Overall: Easy to watch fun horror film.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Talent Mr Ripley (1999)

talentedDirector: Anthony Minghella

Writer: Anthony Minghella (Screenplay) Patricia Highsmith (Novel)

Starring: Matt Damon, Gwyneth Paltrow, Jude Law, Cate Blanchett, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jack Davenport, James Rebhorn. Philip Baker Hall

 

Plot: In late 1950s New York, Tom Ripley, a young underachiever, is sent to Italy to retrieve Dickie Greenleaf, a rich and spoiled millionaire playboy. But when the errand fails, Ripley takes extreme measures.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Thriller

 

Story: The Talented Mr Ripley starts as we meet Tom Ripley (Damon) living in New York who has been teaching himself music while getting by without people noticing him. When he meets million Herbert Greenleaf (Rebhorn) he sees potential in Tom and sends him to Italy to bring his playboy son Dickie (Law) back home.

Arriving in Italy Tom introduces himself to locals as Dickie before putting himself into Dickie’s and Marge Sherwood’s (Paltrow) life as he befriends him explaining how he got asked to travel to Italy to bring Dickie home.

The three enjoy a holiday through Italy as Tom studies Dickie he strengths, weakness and tendencies. After falling out of favour with Dickie, Tom kills him and decides to cover it up with Marge while becoming Dickie to the rest of the world but how long can he keep this up?

 

Thoughts on The Talented Mr Ripley

 

StoryThe con-artist film focuses on how one man who has been using his skills to keep his appearance up. The film is slow moving with a well over 2 hour run time but this just helps with the development of the story. Everything plays out that the rich have too much money for their own good making sure they stay above anybody else while Tom goes out his way to become one of them. The story is told brilliantly as we come to understand Ripley’s decision making process through the film.

Crime/ThrillerThe crime going on is always being covered up by Ripley as we are being kept on edge waiting to see what will happen next throughout the film. We get kept on edge as the suspense works almost perfectly through the film.

Characters/PerformanceMatt Damon shines in this leading role as Mr Ripley becomes one of the most fascinating characters from the 90s. Paltrow and Law give brilliant performances in supporting roles while the ever-impressive cast of Blanchett, Hoffman, Rebhorn and Davenport all give excellent performance too.

SettingsItaly makes for a stunning backdrop for the film as we see the lifestyle Tom could only have dreamed of living but soon starts taking part in.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most fascinating films of the 90’s which is full of powerhouse performance from one of the most impressive cast in film.

 

Overall: Truly interesting film that grabs your attention from start to finish.

Ratingcard

 

 

Eyes Wide Shut (1999)

eyesDirector: Stanley Kubrick

Writer: Stanley Kubrick, Frederic Raphael (Screenplay) Arthur Schnitzler (Novel)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, Sydney Pollack, Marie Richardson, Rade Serbedzija, Todd Field, Vinessa Shaw, Sky Du Mont

 

Plot: A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Intense Thriller

 

Story: Eyes Wide Shut starts as Dr William Harford (Cruise) and his wife Alice (Kidman) attend a high society party hosted by Victor Ziegler (Pollack). At the party, Alice is wooed by a rich man at the party while William is almost seduced by two beautiful models before covering up an incident for Ziegler.

The next night the two find themselves arguing about what happened at the party which leads to the revelation that Alice almost cheated on William once before during the marriage. Wondering the streets after helping a patient he visits his old friend Nick Nightingale (Field) who is a pianist at selective parties which gives William a chance to explore a sexual underworld putting his own life in danger in the process.

 

Thoughts on Eyes Wide Shut

 

StoryWhen you look into this story, this is an erotic mystery thriller that shows what happens when you start to question you own marriage by going into the sexual underworld. We see how when William questions his own position what he tries puts not only his own life but everyone he knows life in danger in what feels like a cult heavy story of the rich and famous society. To think this film is over 2 and half hours long is amazing because it never seems to drag which when you try to simplify this story it sounds like an easy hour and half film.

Mystery/ThrillerThe mystery in this film is created once we are left to wonder just what William has gotten himself into, who are these people, why are the people he knows changing after than night, we get plenty of questions that lead to the thrilling side of the story that just keeps us guessing throughout.

Characters/PerformancesWilliam is the almost betrayed husband seeking something for his own desire like what his wife did but what he finds becomes he need to cover up his own action to protect his family. Every other character does just feel like somebody from within the mysterious cult that is following William. Performance wise this is brilliant from both Cruise and Kidman with everyone else give great performances for their few scenes.

SettingsThe streets of New York show just how lost in his life William is as the houses he finds himself in are all expensive houses, hotels or mansion to show how easily he could become part of this world.

Final ThoughtsI can see why people did enjoy this one and you can see just how brilliant Kubrick was as a director because each scene is filled with tension with excellent use of music. I didn’t enjoy this one that much even though I did think it was made so well with brilliant performances throughout.

 

Overall: Masterfully made movie that just wasn’t my cuppa tea.

Ratingcard

 

 

My Neighbours the Yamadas (1999)

myDirector: Isao Takahata

Writer: Isao Takahata (Screenplay) Hisaichi Ishii (Comic)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Hayato Isohata, Masako Araki, Naomi Uno, Tore Masuoka, Yukiji Asaoka

 

Plot: The life and misadventures of a family in contemporary Japan.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Family Comedy

 

Story: My Neighbours the Yamadas starts as we meet the Yamada’s Noboru, Nonoko, Takasi, Matsuko a family in Japan we learn how they must get through each different life moment be it positive or negative but whatever happens you will have each other to help you get you through.

 

Thoughts on My Neighbours the Yamadas

 

StoryWhen it comes to the stories going on here we have plenty that can be everyday life for a family each one feels like it could and would have be a Simpsons episode. While these stories are all nice short snippets you just won’t get drawn into this like you could with of Ghibli other pieces of work.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy comes from each odd story going on as most feel like a series of unfortunate events. The family side of the film comes from the idea that we could all relate to moments in this film.

CharactersWhen it comes to the characters in this film you get what you could call a traditional family with their strengths and weakness that get supported by the rest of the family. The characters all work for this film without being anything special.

SettingsThe settings are mostly where you would see a family go to with their wild adventures.

AnimationThe animation is designed to have its very own unique look which does work for the extra comedy.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sweet little family comedy that is filled with little moments for the whole family to enjoy.

 

Overall: Enjoyable for everyone watching.

Rating70