Franchise Weekend – Spiderman 3 (2007)

Director: Sam Raimi

Writer: Sam Raimi, Ivan Raimi, Alvin Sargent (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Steve Ditko (Comic Book)

Starring: Tobey Maguire, Kirsten Dunst, James Franco, Thomas Haden Church, Toper Grace, Bryce Dallas Holland

 

Plot: A strange black entity from another world bonds with Peter Parker and causes inner turmoil as he contends with new villains, temptations, and revenge.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Ending to Trilogy

 

Story: Spider-Man 3 starts as Peter Parker (Maguire) now living with Mary Jane (Dunst) with the whole city loving the Spider-Man which leaves Peter on top of the world, but Mary Jane is struggling to fit in after a string of poor reviews on her performing. Meanwhile Flint Marko (Church) the man that killed Uncle Ben has escaped prison as he looks to make amends for his errors finds himself in the middle of an experiment that turns him into the sandman.

Peter has plenty of life questions to find answers in for through the film because he wants to ask Mary Jane to marry him, faces competition from Eddie Brock (Grace) trying to take his job at the newspaper and Harry (Franco) trying to get his revenge loses his memory leading to the friendship to become fresh.

What Peter doesn’t know is there is a creature from space known as Venom starts attaching itself to Peter, giving Spiderman a darker side the Peter must learn how to fight off to remain the hero the city knows and loves, once this is done Eddie becomes Venom figure.

 

Thoughts on Spider-Man 3

 

Characters – Peter is in the happiest part of his life, he is with Mary Jane, Spiderman is loved by the city and Harry has forgotten the vengeance he holds towards Peter. When Peter starts seeing his life come tumbling down around him once he gets infected by Venom he will face is toughest battle yet. Mary Jane has finally made it to the big stage but is being critically panned and without Peter’s support goes back to Harry, this is starting to become a one-dimensional character. Harry has been waiting for his chance to take out Peter but after it fails forgets his hate towards him until his memories return. Eddie Brock is a new rival photographer that wants to put Peter out of business but soon we learn the truth about him. Flint Marko is the man that really killed Uncle Ben and once he escapes from prison looks to make amends for his failures to his daughter but with new powers that make Peter need to fight him off. Gwen Stacy is a new love interest that could bring an end to Mary Jane and Peter.

PerformancesTobey Maguire doesn’t give as strong of a performance after the first two films but when you look at the reactions to everything Peter goes through you can see it in how he is acting. Kirsten Dunst does continue to slide in quality too but that is because the character continues to be written weakly.  James Franco does get to show a bigger range but also doesn’t get enough time for his character development to show his full talent. Thomas Haden Church does a good job here showing the pain his character feels through the film. Topher Grace does feel out of place at times in this film, he starts strong but slowly fades by the end.

StoryThe Peter Parker story arc is once again the most interesting part of the film as we see how he must face his own flaws to stop the problems in his life, he must learn the ups and downs of his actions.  The new enemies tests Spiderman to the next level as Sandman gives him a moral compass he needs to face while Venom shows who he could have become if he takes the wrong path but the battles are standard for the genre.

Action/AdventureThe action set pieces are bigger but are also fewer in number which makes them feel rewarding when we see the showdown.

SettingsWe do thankfully stay in New York for the setting which helps us show how the city has gotten used to the idea of Spiderman being there now.

Special EffectsThe effects were the most ambitious of the franchise, the Sandman was always going to be CGI and it does look weak now. When things are practical they work otherwise the weakness are clear.

Scene of the Movie – Sandman creation.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I wasn’t a fan of the CGI

Final ThoughtsThis is the most panned of the Spiderman films but I feel it is a fitting ending to the trilogy, yes, it is weaker but the truth is, that it is being ambitious with the villains Peter must take on and reflects the problems he would face if someone he loved knew the truth.

 

Overall: Good ending to the trilogy.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Animation – M – Meet the Robinsons (2007)

Director: Stephen J Anderson

Writer: Jon Bernstein, Michelle Bochner Spitz, Don Hall, Nathan Greno, Aurian Redson, Joseph Mateo, Stephen J Anderson (Screenplay) William Joyce (Book)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Angela Bassett, Daniel Hansen, Jordan Fry, Matthew Josten, John H H Ford, Dara McGarry

 

Plot: Lewis is a brilliant inventor who meets mysterious stranger named Wilbur Robinson, whisking Lewis away in a time machine and together they team up to track down Bowler Hat Guy in a showdown that ends with an unexpected twist of fate.


Tagline – If you think your family’s different, wait ’til you meet the family of the future.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice and Simple Animation

 

Story: Meet the Robinson starts as we meet orphan Lewis, a brilliant inventor that keeps getting over looked for adoption, tired of this, he uses his intervention skills to build a machine which could open the door to memories. When this ends up going wrong, he meets Wilbur a boy from the future, the two go into the future where Lewis will be in his element with the world being full of inventors.

Lewis while happy here must fix the time machine and return to his own time to finish his memory scanner before the future he is in now changes.

 

Thoughts on Meet the Robinson

 

Characters – Lewis is an orphan with bring dreams of being an amazing and brilliant inventor, when he gets a new friend in Wilbur that takes him to the future and his family of inventors, Lewis might have found his place in the world. Lewis is the typical Disney hero figure, worried about one part of their life while missing the truth about another part. Wilbur is the boy from the future that is trying to make up for his own mistake which could change the future he now lives in, this character shows us just what type of responsibility youngsters will need to learn about.

StoryThe story follows a young boy as he looks for answers to why he became an orphan, but over the span of his adventure he ends up in the future where he learns the importance of keeping on working towards his own destiny in typical Disney storytelling process. The story does feel like a flashy version of the Sims video game which is strange for large parts, it does have too many easy twists too.

Adventure/Comedy/Family/Sci-FiThe adventure takes our young orphan inventor to the future which plays into the sci-fi ideas which is his dreams throughout. The comedy is hit or miss with most missing in the most part though.

SettingsThe settings bring us to a future where inventors have become celebrities and their creations are everywhere with everyone using them.

AnimationThe animation works well but you do feel it could have been at a higher level for Disney.


Scene of the Movie –
Closing sequences.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It misses the jokes too many times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic animated movie that is everything Disney do when it comes to being safe.

 

Overall: Safe Disney movie.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – O – Outlaw (2007)

Director: Nick Love

Writer: Nick Love (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Bean, Danny Dyer, Bob Hoskins, Rupert Friend, Sean Harris, Lennie James, Sally Bretton

 

Plot: A group of people who feel betrayed by their government and let down by their police force form a modern-day outlaw posse in order to right what they see as the wrongs of society.


Tagline – There will be no excuses. The guilty will be punished. No one is above OUTLAW

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brutal British Action Film

 

Story: Outlaw starts as we meet five everyday working guys, returning soldier Danny Bryant (Bean), office worker Gene Dekker (Dyer), broken victim Sandy Mardell (Friend), security guard Simon Hillier (Harris), lawyer Cedric Munroe (James) and former police officer Walter Lewis (Hoskins) who have seen the effects of the violence behaviour going on in London.

Simon recruits Danny to build a group they get Gene, Sandy and Cedric to prepare to be fight back against the thugs and criminals in the world. Walter helps feed the information needed to get the job done cleanly, will there be a price for what they are doing.

 

Thoughts on Outlaw

 

Characters – Danny Bryant is a soldier returned from his tour in Iraq, he finds his life gone with his wife moved on, he sees the abusive behaviour of the people and builds a team to fight back. He does control how far the men go. Gene Dekker is an office worker that suffers a beating after an accident which drives him join to fight back. Simon Hillier is a security guard, he is the loose cannon of the group, he wants to push things too far, but he also brings the guys together. Cedric is a lawyer who has his wife and unborn child killed by his latest case, he does offer the biggest moral compass about whether to go through with the murders. Walter Lewis is a former police officer, he has been reduced to pick ups and offers inside help to help clean up the streets.

PerformancesWe have a great British cast here, Sean Bean in the leading role gives us a demanding performance where we always want to see what his character does next. Danny Dyer is giving his best Danny Dyer performance, do well but not offering anything new. Bob Hoskins is good too he shows how people will have been affected by what happened in the past well. Lennie James and Sean Harris show us both sides of the scale as they could take their characters to either side of the fence.

StoryThe story shows us how crime rates are going up with the criminals not facing the consequences, we see the men that got pushed too far and decide to fight back. We have everything you would imagine with an outlaw move would take place, yes we are in London during modern day which adds something new, to the tried and tested formula.

Action/CrimeThe action is thug related behaviour which comes off a brutal as it needs to for the movie, sometimes it will be harder to watch. The crimes are brutal to watch as the behaviour is shown to be out of control.

SettingsMost of the film is set in and around London, this shows the high crime rates, which helps the countryside showing the hiding places for everyone to hide.


Scene of the Movie –
The preparations.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It seems like Gene isn’t quite like the rest.

Final ThoughtsThis is one for the British fans of action films, it keeps us feeling like we are seeing real crimes committed and the idea of an outlaws helps make us understand their motives.

 

Overall: One for the British action fans.

Rating

 

 

Malin Akerman Weekend – The Heartbreak Kid (2007)

Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly

Writer: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Scot Armstrong, Leslie Dixon, Kevin Barnett (Screenplay) Bruce Jay Friedman (Short Story)

Starring: Ben Stiller, Malin Akerman, Michelle Monaghan, Jerry Stiller, Rob Corddry, Carlos Mencia, Scott Wilson

 

Plot: A newly wed man who believes he’s just gotten hitched to the perfect woman encounters another lady on his honeymoon.


Tagline – It seemed like a good idea… at the time

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Laugh Out Loud Comedy

 

Story: The Heartbreak Kid starts as we meet 40-year-old Eddie (Stiller) a single man who has never got near to marrying, with his friends settling down, when he comes out of an ex-girlfriend wedding he is feeling down, but a chance meeting with Lila (Akerman) could change everything in his future.

Being spontaneous and learning that Lila could need to leave for work unless she is married the two get married after just 6 weeks together and head off on their honeymoon in Mexico. The longer the two spend together the bigger secrets that come out and Eddie starts to regret marrying her and it becomes worse when he meets Miranda (Monaghan) while on the honeymoon.

 

Thoughts on The Heartbreak Kid

 

Characters – Eddie is a 40-year-old man who has never committed to a relationship with his friends getting married, but when he meets Lila he bites the bullet and gets married only to learn Lila isn’t the woman he thought she was and tries to start hanging out with another woman at the resort. Lila is the beautiful woman that comes into Eddie’s life, to stay in America she gets married, only to show the flaws that Eddie hasn’t seen yet, one that is different to what he wants. Miranda is a woman that Eddie meets at the resort and they just click, but she doesn’t know his secret.

PerformancesBen Stiller gives one of his best performances of his career on the comic level, he fits the character well and gets both the serious and slapstick style down well. Malin Akerman does great and uses her abilities for the comedy that goes against what you would expect. Michelle Monaghan is always a great choice in these roles and fits the role perfectly.

StoryThe story shows us what it is like to be getting to an age where getting married can become important or facing loneliness and warns us about getting married too quickly, leaving you a chance to fall for the person you are meant to be with. This does work for a story as we watch Eddie try to keep his wife happy and start flirting with another woman and the comedy plays into this well.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy works well in this film we get a range of it from sarcastic to slapstick, the romance works too because it shows what it is like at the age where people would feel the need to settle down.

SettingsMost of the movie is in and around Mexico which looks beautiful throughout the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Everything revealed.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is long in places.

Final ThoughtsThis is one comedy that I did enjoy, it has good jokes and comic moments, as well as a good romantic story involved.

 

Overall: Enjoyable comedy throughout.

Rating

 

 

Original v Remake – [Rec] (2007)

Director: Jaume Balaguero, Paco Plaza

Writer: Jaume Balaguero, Paco Plaza, Luiso Berdejo (Screenplay)

Starring: Manuela Velasco, Ferran Terraza, Jorge-Yamam Serrano, Pablo Rosso, David Vert

 

Plot: A television reporter and cameraman follow emergency workers into a dark apartment building and are quickly locked inside with something terrifying.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Atmospheric Horror

 

Story: [Rec] starts as reporter Angela Vidal (Velasco) is cover the local firefighter department for her latest report on While You’re Sleeping. The first incident the team gets called to is a domestic disturbance case inside an apartment building.

What seems like a simple and even boring story to cover quickly turns into a battle of life and death when the woman causing the disturbance attacks the police officer sent to help. The make the matters worse the people find themselves trapped inside the building which has been locked down by the authorities refusing to let anybody out. When the infection continues to spread, Angela must find a way to survive the terror inside the building and learn the truth about the source of the virus.

 

Thoughts on [Rec]

 

Characters/PerformanceAngela is the reporter that is covering a simple story but finds herself fighting for her life but wanting to report every single part of the story for her audience. The rest of the characters are cops, firefighters, residents of the apartment and the cameraman.

Performance wise, Velasco is good as the main screen attraction for this film, with everyone else all doing a great job with their roles through the film.

StoryThe story is simple to follow, people get trapped in a building as a virus is spreading through the people inside making them killing machines and the ones not infected need to find a way to survive. This all works and the added found footage keeps us believe this could be a breaking story unfolding.

Horror/MysteryThe horror is very good with each corner potentially having a threat as well as each character not knowing what is happening which I think adds to any horror element.

SettingsThe whole film is set within the apartment complex which adds to the tension and horror unfolding through the film.

Special EffectsThe special effects all great to with most being practical effects when it comes to the gore required.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great atmospheric horror that is short, sweet and hits all the marks for found footage horror needs.

 

Overall: One for all the horror fans out there.

Rating