Ron Perlman Weekend – Blade II (2002)

Director: Guillermo del Torro

Writer: David S Goyer (Screenplay) Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan (Characters)

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kirstofferson, Ron Perlman, Leonor Varela, Norman Reedus, Thomas Kretschmann, Luke Goss, Donnie Yen

 

Plot: Blade forms an uneasy alliance with the vampire council in order to combat the Reapers, who are feeding on vampires.


Tagline – One Man Still Has The Edge

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Blood-Soaked Sequel

 

Story: Blade II starts as a new breed of vampire Nomak (Goss) hunts down vampires for feed, meanwhile Blade (Snipes) has unfinished business with the vampires, he wants Whistler (Krisofferson) back after he was turned and taken from him. Once Whistler is saved, Blade returns him to the human form with his new assistant Scud (Reedus).

When the Vampire council approach Blade to help them stop the Reaper strain Nomak is carrying, Blade must team up with the Blood Pack led by Nyssa (Varela) and including Reinhardt (Perlman), Snowman (Yen) and Chupa (Schulze) to put aside their difference to defeat the newest enemy to them both.

 

Thoughts on Blade II

 

Characters – Blade, daywalker, the half human, half vampire is continuing his battle against vampires, but this time he learns of a new threat the Reapers, who are deadlier than any vampire he has face, so he must unite with the vampires to defeat them. Still as deadly as before, with sword or guns, no vampire can just defeat him. Whistler returns only this time Blade must help him to recover, which leaves us wondering which side of the battle he will be on through the movie. Reinhardt is a member of the Bloodpack, he is the one that hates working with Blade, his sworn enemy for years. He shows his discontent while be one of the best soldiers in the unit. Nyssa is the daughter of Damaskinos, a pure blood vampire and leader of the Bloodpack, she becomes a Love interest for Blade in a strange turn of events. Scud has filled the Whistler role for Blade in his hunt, he creates the weapons needed to defeat the enemies while mostly being a slob for the most part. Damaskinos is the leader of the vampire council, he brings the rivals together to try and end the war. Nomak is the reaper terrorising the streets, he is the first of his creation and now deadly to anyone who he infects.

PerformancesWesley Snipes will always be remembered for this role, it is his most iconic and the one the fans enjoy watching. Here he does everything needed to continue making it people’s favourite. Kristofferson on the other hand does feel like he is mailing it in for the most part. Ron Perlman does the best to try and steal the spotlight bring the few moments of humour to the film. Leonor Varela is good as the only major female character in the film and does have a good opening fight sequence with Blade. Luke Goss is good as the villain showing us the sympathetic side and the brutal side of his character. The rest of the cast are good through the film.

StoryThe story puts our hero Blade needing to team up with his enemy to take on a new enemy, this does work because we didn’t need to see Blade just take on more normal vampires, we needed to up the stakes and the new breed does this. We also get the tension between the two sides with the common enemy, needing to trade secrets to make things happen. We must remember this is a comic book movie, so we need things to be farfetched at time too. We have the traditional twists you would come to expect at times too.

Action/HorrorThe action is fun, we have great fighting sequences, but certain moments feel like a video game. The horror uses the vampires for the blood filled violence moments in the film.

SettingsThe settings show us the dark underworld you would imagine vampires would live in, the new breed in the sewers shows us how they are starting at the bottom looking to raise to the top too.

Special EffectsThe effects for the kills are good throughout, the effects for the fight scenes are at times seems poor CGI.


Scene of the Movie –
Sewer invasion.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Donnie Yen’s characters death, wasted opportunity.

Final ThoughtsThis was a fun comic book action horror, we get plenty of blood flying around with plenty of kills going on which will keep the fans happy.

 

Overall: Great sequel for an iconic character.

Rating

 

 

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About a Boy (2002)

Director: Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz

Writer: Chris Weitz, Paul Weitz, Peter Hedges (Screenplay) Nick Hornby (Novel)

Starring: Hugh Grant, Nicholas Hoult, Toni Collette, Natalia Tena, Rachel Weisz

 

Plot: A cynical, immature young man is taught how to act like a grown-up by a little boy.


Tagline – Growing up has nothing to do with age.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant British Comedy

 

Story: About a Boy starts as we meet Will Freeman (Grant) who lives the perfect life in his head, no job because of his father’s royalties, no responsibilities and no relationship, he can jump from woman to woman and now he has learnt about single mums, he new target. Marcus (Hoult) is a young boy whose single mother is battling depression and when the two become unlikely friends.

As the friendship builds between Will and Marcus, the two learn valuable life lessons with Will finally learning the serious side to life, one he had coasted over through his life.

 

Thoughts on About a Boy

 

Characters – Will is the playboy bachelor who has gone from woman to woman never taking responsibility in anything in his life, at the age of 38 he isn’t getting any younger and wants to look to a new location to meet women, which finally gives him a chance to look at his own life errors and start to make something from life. Marcus is a bullied young boy, his mother is battling depression and he never fits in at school, he sees a male role model in Will and starts to becoming friends with Will where he can starts to learn how to be who he should be. This character is drawn up wonderfully because he doesn’t understand the problems his mother is going through, while he is aware there is a problem it reflects in his everyday life. Fiona is the mother of Marcus, she is battle depression in her life while trying her hardest to stay positive for Marcus, a battle she isn’t always winning. Rachel is the woman that shows Will a new meaning to life, only she is the one that could shatter his new look too.

PerformancesHugh Grant is easily one of the most British actors out there, he gives one of his best performances here that will make you like his bad character. This role could easily be a look at the person people believed he would be in real life. Nicholas Hoult gives one of the greatest breakthrough performances for a young star and by seeing just how far he has gone since this shows the early talent he showed. Toni Collette gives us a supporting performance that is just as difficult to watch because of her characters problems that it is an essential performance to see. Rachel Weisz is good in her supporting role, she doesn’t need to do too much with her character though.

StoryThe story here plays out as a middle-aged man needing to grow up, a young boy who needs a male role model and understand that life isn’t going to be perfect no matter how much you want to believe it. The growing up side of the story is the one that we get to focus on the most and is everything you expect it to be. There is however a much deeper and stronger side to this story we see, that comes from seeing how young Marcus doesn’t completely understand his mother’s depression and just wants somebody to talk to, while finding his own way to fix her. Now this is important because the mental health issues are a bigger talking point now and showing it through the eyes of an innocent young boy shows how difficult it can be to talk about and deal with, with him never truly understanding what the problems are.

Comedy/RomanceThis film did get me laughing a lot, this is usually hard for any comedy movie, this has so many clever visions on life through the shallow nature Will has. The romance is the backburner because it shows us just how Will is trying to find women, even if one does change his life.

SettingsThe film is set in London, we get the see the home environment, which for the most part are empty, the social life and everyday life, nothing is new.


Scene of the Movie –
Be a Godfather question?

That Moment That Annoyed Me The generic bullies.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brilliant comedy that gets everything right with the way the comedy is handled, we do get a big issue covered and is a film that people need to look back on and watch.

 

Overall: Must watch comedy.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – # – 8 Mile (2002)

Director: Curtis Hanson

Writer: Scott Silver (Screenplay)

Starring: Eminem, Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy, Evan Jones, Omar Benson Miller, Michael Shannon

 

Plot: A young rapper, struggling with every aspect of his life, wants to make it big but his friends and foes make this odyssey of rap harder than it may seem.


Tagline –  If the streets had a voice, this would be the story they’d tell.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Rap Based Drama

 

Story: 8 Mile starts as we head to Detroit to follow Jimmy B-Rabbit Smith (Eminem) as along with his friends David ‘Future’ Porter (Phifer) Cheddar Bob (Jones), Sol George (Miller) are trying to make an impact in the raping world, this world is dominated by the black community though he does have the skills.

The world is filled with gangs that are out for control, Jimmy must deal with his mother Stephanie (Basinger) and her problems as well as meeting a new love in Alex (Murphy), we follow as he is desperate to get out of the town which has held back man before.

 

Thoughts on 8 Mile

 

Characters – Jimmy B-Rabbit Smith is a young man who aspires to be a rapper, he is from the wrong side of town in Detroit, where he is given a chance to prove himself in the underground rap battle world, where any wrong move could be his last move with the gangs around him. He has the close friends that will watch his back, while working a dead-end job for any money he can get. Stephanie Smith is the mother of Rabbit, she is dating an aggressive man around he sons age and struggling to pay the rent to keep the roof over her daughter’s head. She does try to do the best things but has her own personal demons holding her back. David is the closest friend to Jimmy, he offers him the chance he wants to reach the next level but also needs to be the one to stop him making the mistakes in his life. Alex is the new romance in Jimmy’s life, she dreams of leaving too, to become a model which helps the to connect on a level unlike what Jimmy is used to.

PerformancesEminem is strong in this leading role, there are a few moments where he does look lost, one second too long for fight sequences, but the emotional levels he shows good. Kim Basinger is good in her role which shows that we have the most experience from her. Mekhi Phifer continued his rise in the early 2000s with this performance where he shows his ability to blend into any film. the whole cast performers well through the film with talent that went onto bigger things.  

StoryThe story shows the struggles of a young man trying to break into the world of rapping in the mean streets of Detroit, he is from the wrong side of the town and the gangs are always dangerous. Seeing the struggles for everyday life is very interesting to see unfold, however I was expecting something different with more rap battles. If you are a fan of the underground rap scene this will be a story that you want to watch.

MusicThe music in the film starts with a battle rap and I was expecting more as the song Lose yourself did win Best Oscar Song.

SettingsThe film shows us just how difficult growing up in Detroit can be, we feel the tension and feeling of abandonment the city is feeling.


Scene of the Movie –
Battle rap.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not enough rapping.

Final ThoughtsThis is a look at the mean streets of Detroit in the battle rap world where every corner could be dangerous.

 

Overall: The rap world unfolded.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – F – The First $20 Million Is Always the Hardest (2002)

Director: Mick Jackson

Writer: Jon Favreau, Gary Tieche (Screenplay) Po Bronson (Novel)

Starring: Adam Garcia, Rosario Dawson, Jake Busey, Enrico Colantoni, Ethan Suplee, Anjul Nigam

 

Plot: Andy, a successful marketing guy quits his job, because he feels disconnected with the values about work he learned from his father. He gets a new job at a top notch research facility, where he quickly makes a powerful enemy who makes him volunteer for a nearly impossible project: The $99 Personal Computer. He recruits the only available guys at the lab, three sociopaths. Together they really compile a revolutionary PC for $99, but then they become the victims of a venture capitalist and Andy’s old foe from the research lab. Can he and his new friends find a way to overcome the problems?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Little Comedy

 

Story: The First $20 Million is Always the Hardest starts when marketing man Andy Kasper (Garcia) decides he wants to get back to his inventing ways by being transferred to the developmental department. Not being welcomed to department by Francis (Colantoni) on the main project, he accepts what seems like an impossible project, a $99 laptop.

Andy is joined by the outsiders of the developmental department Salman (Nigam), Curtis (Suplee) and Darrell (Busey) as they look achieve the impossible in the limited time.

 

Thoughts on The First $20 Million is Always the Hardest

 

Characters – Andy Kasper is a top marketing guy, making money that could keep him happy for his whole life, beautiful girlfriend, he gives this all up to get back to the developmental side of things, where he uses his leadership and motivation skills to build a revolutionary computer. Alisa is the new neighbour for Andy that is a dreamer like him, that welcomes Andy and his team to the duplex to make their own idea. Darrell is the loud aggressive genius that is part of the team, he is also afraid of germs which making any connect with humans. We have the normal characters involved here too, the shy one, the traditional one, the enemy that wants to steal ideas and the rich one that only cares about money too.

PerformancesAdam Garcia is good in the leading role, he has the image of marketing guy which helps his need for the leadership required. Rosario Dawson is good in her role, but it seems to just be love interest 101 character. Jake Busey, Ethan Suplee and Anjul Nigam are all good at the team, they work well together to get certain laughs.

StoryThe story here focuses on one man wanting to focus on what he loves, designing and development. He gets to follow his dream using his motivational skills he brings the world something fantastic, but in the dot com boom era, he learns the brutal truth behind the business. The story here has aged in places because the technology boom that this focuses on has past in places, but it almost plays out like a documentary in places too.

ComedyThe comedy is good for the most part, it ticks the basic boxes without being anything over the top, just little moments that will make you chuckle.

SettingsThe film shows how tech firms can offer the resources, but the smaller garages offer the ideas, showing the different locations inventions can be made.

Scene of the Movie – The big answer.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It could escape the generic characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good comedy that proves that the dream of invention can drive people to achieve greatness.

 

Overall: Comedy well worth watching.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – # – Eight Legged Freaks (2002)

Director: Ellory Elkayem

Writer: Ellory Elkayem, Randy Kornfield (Screenplay) Jesse Alexander, Ellory Elkayem (Story)

Starring: David Arquette, Kari Wuhrer, Scott Terra, Scarlett Johansson, Doug E Doug, Rick Overton, Leon Rippy, Matt Czuchry

 

Plot: A variety of horrible poisonous spiders get exposed to a noxious chemical that causes them to grow to monumental proportions.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Creature Feature

 

Story: Eight Legged Freaks starts by showing us the Mike Parker (Terra) visiting Joshua the spider expert of the town who has been feeding his spiders enlarged crickets and of course they now escape. One week later when Mike goes to return his mother Sheriff Samantha Parker (Wuhrer) stops the visit because of waste being dumped into the local watering hole.

With this we get to see the rebellious teenage daughter Ashley (Johansson) who is dating bad boy biker Bret (Czuchry) step-son of Mayor Wade (Rippy) who is trying to cover up the fact the town is nearly broke. Chris McCormick (Arquette) a local who returned to town after his father’s death refusing to sell the mine in a deal which could save the town.

When Mike makes it back to Joshua’s he learns of the super-sized spiders that have been released into this small town, the resident must now fight against the spiders that have infested the town.

 

Thoughts on Eight Legged Freaks

 

Characters/Performance –  Chris McCormick returns to his hometown to claim what is his, the mine, he also needs to make up for the mistakes he has made and this gives him the perfect chance too. Sheriff Parker is a single mother of two trying to keep the local community together and being the former love interest of Chris. Mike is the expert on everything going on playing out as the reminder to all the different spiders attacking styles. Ashley is the bad girl daughter of Samantha who is mostly trying to discover who she is. We have the rest of the town which includes the conspiracy crazed radio host, the greedy mayor the comic relief deputy.

Performance wise, David Arquette is great in this leading role managing the comedy side of everything as well as the action horror when needed. Kari Wuhrer fits the part of sexy sheriff very well too. Both Scott Terra and Scarlett Johansson are good choices too. The rest of the actors all give good performances to fit the films mentality.

StorySmall town gets invaded by giant spiders thanks to cost cutting measures. We do have a reluctantly hero needing to help save the day but otherwise this is everything you need in a creature feature, plenty of potential victims, plenty of creature and plenty of laughs.

Action/Comedy/HorrorThe action is all big and plans into the idea of the comedy being used in the creature feature side of the film.

SettingsThe small town setting helps with the story telling here because they have no communication with the outside world after the attack starts and not many escape routes of places to hide.

Special EffectsWe have a mix of practical and CGI here which all help create the low budget feel behind this film and while moments have dated other parts are all fun.

Final ThoughtsThis is by far one of my favourite creature features out there, it is fun, over the top and filled with perfect comic timing, never trying to be serious.

 

Overall: Purely fun creature feature.

Rating