Hugh Jackman Weekend – Rise of the Guardians (2012)

Director: Peter Ramsey

Writer: David Lindsay-Abaire (Screenplay) William Joyce (Book)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Chris Pine, Alec Baldwin, Jude Law, Isla Fisher, Hugh Jackman, Dakota Goyo, Khamani Griffin

 

Plot: When the evil spirit Pitch launches an assault on Earth, the Immortal Guardians team up to protect the innocence of children all around the world.


Tagline – The Sandman Is More Than A Dream

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Family Animation

 

Story: Rise of the Guardians starts when Pitch or the boogeyman decides he wants to take back his role as the one children feared, the guardians of childhood memories, North (Santa), Tooth (tooth fairy), Bunny (Easter Bunny) and Sandy (Sandman) must bring in the newest guardians Jack Frost, the one that is being ignored as never believed in by children.

When Pitch starts to gain more power, the guardians must use all their abilities to fight back to keep the childhood hopes and happiness alive as Jack will find his place along side the guardians.

 

Thoughts on Rise of the Guardians

 

Characters – Jack Frost is the spiritual figure that nobody believes in, he keeps children happy everyday, but no one will remember him for his work, now he gets given a chance to become a guardian giving him the chance to be the hero the world needs. North is the leader of the guardians the first selected to help to replace Pitch giving the children of the world hope, even if he does feel like colossus from Deadpool. Pitch was once the one that struck fear into children, he wants his crown back and will look to take the belief out of any children in the world. Tooth, Bunny and Sandy make up the rest of the guardians that have mixed feelings towards Jack being chosen as their newest member. Using the iconic fantasy characters does make us understand what they thieve for, but is often used for a pun throughout the film.

StoryThe story here follows a reckless potential new guardian that must prove his place in the guardians with the much more experienced and famous icons of fantasy. While this does follow a generic idea, it is fun throughout and does play into the idea of childhood innocence keeping legends alive. The idea of Jack Frost needing to find his place in the battle is the strongest part of the film and is easily the one part of the film you want to see most of.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure that Jack Frost must go on brings him to the next moment of his stage of immortality, being on a level with a Santa or Tooth Fairy, this is him finding himself in this world that is full of fantasy icons that children will always be believing in.

SettingsThe film takes us to different lands which would be the ones you would imagine finding the fantasy icons, the north pole being the most iconic.

AnimationThe animation standard is top notch just like we are expecting from a major study involvement in a film.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me A lot of the jokes are aimed at how people would imagine talking to each of the guardians.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fantasy family animation that can be enjoyed by all, it doesn’t over test the audience and comes off fun throughout.

 

Overall: Fun family animation that will give you a smile.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Horror – C – Citadel (2012)

Director: Ciaran Foy

Writer: Ciaran Foy (Screenplay)

Starring: James Cosmo, Aneurin Barnard, Wunmi Mosaku, Ian Hanmore, Amy Shiels, Ingrid Craigie, Jake Wilson

 

Plot: An agoraphobic father teams up with a renegade priest to save his daughter from the clutches of a gang of twisted feral children who committed an act of violence against his family years earlier.


Tagline – They see your fear

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Evil Children 101

 

Story: Citadel starts when Tommy (Barnard) sees him pregnant wife violently attacked by a group of children with him helpless to protect her, the baby is born, but his wife Joanne (Shiels) dies after the attack. Tommy still be agoraphobic after the attack he is trying to raise his own baby with his only support being Marie (Mosaku).

With the children still trying to take his baby, Tommy is forced to turn to renegade priest (Cosmo) to help him get rid of the problem that is targeting his family, which will see Tommy facing his biggest fear in life.

 

Thoughts on Citadel

 

Characters – Tommy is a father with agoraphobia after he saw his wife attacked by a group of children, he is trying to be the good father for his new born child, but his fears are controlling the situation, he sees children trying to take his child, he needs to face his fears to make it through this trauma he is going through. Priest is a renegade man that is aggressively searching for a way to bring down the feral children, he sees Tommy as a chance to get the job done, even if it is against what his religion states. Marie is one of the social workers that will help Tommy, she is trying to help him through the medical side even if she is the one that puts him in contact with the priest. The Feral Children are the highlight of the film because they are genuinely frightening when they attack.

PerformancesAneurin Barnard in the leading role does make us feel for his character, we believe he has been through the trauma and is the desperation to save his family. James Cosmo is fun to watch as anti-priest figure. Wunmi Mosaku doesn’t do anything wrong in the supporting role, if only we could have seen more from the character.

StoryThe story here follows a new father that is dealing with his own trauma while raising his new born child, which will see him needing to face off against feral child that feed on people’s fears. The early thing that must be pointed out here, comes from the idea that we are not full convinced that we are seeing the fears of the character dealt with, for the most part we are seeing one man terrorised but even the people without the fear seem to be targets too, this mostly confuses the rule point in place. the idea that the feral child live in the abandoned flat complex doesn’t improve on things either because you would think more incidents would happen. The part of the story that does standout and is interesting to watch would be seeing how Tommy is dealing with his own traumas while remaining strong facing the possibility of not being able to raise his own child because of his problems, sadly we don’t see enough of this addressed with the horror side of the story taking over, which simply put, isn’t as interesting.

HorrorThe horror starts of being home invasion like horror, which worked for the illness Tommy had, but when we enter the flats, it does become the highlight of the action in the film, feeling dark, scary with anything able to jump out to get them.

SettingsThe settings show us the run down neighbourhood in which Tommy lives, the support groups around it and most importantly the empty flat block which has the feral children in it.

Special EffectsThe effects are used mostly look practical, with the moments surrounding the feral child being the most notable and scary ones.


Scene of the Movie –
Inside the flat block.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It breaks the rules it sets up too easily.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror film that does take its time getting going, one the chaos is unleashed with get a highly intense final act which ramps the fear up to the max.

 

Overall: Slow Start, Strong Finish.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – A – The Apparition (2012)

Director: Todd Lincoln

Writer: Todd Lincoln (Screenplay)

Starring: Ashley Greene, Sebastian Stan, Tom Felton, Julianna Guill, Luke Pasqualino

 

Plot: A couple is haunted by a supernatural presence that is unleashed during a college experiment.


Tagline – Once You Believe You Die

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacklustre Horror

 

Story: The Apparition starts as we follow a college experiment where Patrick (Felton) and his team including Lydia (Guill) are trying to re-perform the Charles Experiments from the 70’s, but something goes wrong. We move onto meet young couple Kelly (Greene) and Ben (Stan) who are living in their parent’s investment.

When strange occurrences start happening around the home Kelly and Ben must look for answers, first believing it is the mould in the house, but then when Patrick gets hold of Ben we learn that they had summoned an entity in his house and it is still there haunting them. The couple must work with Patrick to stop it going entity before it becomes deadly.

 

Thoughts on The Apparition

 

Characters – Kelly is a trainee vet, she moves into one of her parent’s rental properties with her boyfriend where she starts experiencing the haunting events. Ben is the boyfriend of Kelly, he is a good handy man and searching for his career. It is his past that comes back to haunt them. Patrick is part of the team that did the experiment with Ben back in the college days and now he will help right the wrongs.

PerformancesThe performances, well this is fun and this is not just the actors performances that hold them back, the characters are written one dimension which gives the actors nothing to work with. If we look at the main three stars, they all struggle to make an impact and it shows through the film.

StoryThe story here follows an experiment gone wrong and now there is an entity haunting the people who released it from whether it came from, it plays into the idea that you shouldn’t mess with the dead because they will come to haunt you. Anyway this story is simple enough, it is a survival horror against a ghost figure that doesn’t have too much going on about it. We have plenty of just dark sequences that seem to go nowhere or lead to false jump scares and before long it is over, I think. I can’t say the story offers too much for the horror fans or just film fans and it feels like it is flat by the end of the film

Horror/ThrillerThe horror is mostly false scares which just frustrate throughout, you are now looking to be on the edge of your seats, well this doesn’t give you any of that.

SettingsThe settings just feel like they went and grabbed the Poltergeist location and thought this will do, nothing makes sense for the entity and the hauntings though.

Special EffectsThe effects look poor throughout, it all looks like CGI which is poor to see in a modern horror.


Scene of the Movie –
Credits were good.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Kelly criticising people who work in stores, these people work hard and deserve praise.

Final ThoughtsThis is a poor lazy horror that just doesn’t do anything for the genre and becomes dull quickly.

 

Overall: Boring horror that has no scares.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – Z – Zombibi (Kill Zombie!) (2012)

Director: Martijn Smits, Erwin van den Eshof

Writer: Tijs van Marle (Screenplay)

Starring: Yahya Gaier, Mumoun Ouled Radi, Gigi Ravelli, Sergio Hasselbaink, Uriah Arnhem, Noel Deelen, Nadia Poeschmann

 

Plot: The bizarre story takes place in Amsterdam-West, where a virus turns people into bloodthirsty zombies. Although much blood is flowing and many limbs chopped off, there is a lot to laugh at in this bizarre horror comedy.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Horror Comedy

 

Story: Kill Zombie starts when hard working Aziz (Gaier) gets fired because of his brother’s Mo (Radi) party mentality, to make matters worse, they end up in jail after a party problem. That night something crash lands in Amsterdam, destroying parts of it and turning people into zombies.

Aziz is joined by his brother, police officer Kim (Ravelli), Nolan (Arnhem) and Jeffrey (Hasselbaink) as they look to rescue his love Tess from the building block where one of the strikes hit, can they make it through the zombies before it is too late.

 

Thoughts on Kill Zombie!

 

Characters – Aziz is a man hat is happy enough to work in an office, hoping for one day the office crush will notice him. He gets fired because of his brother that has always gotten him in trouble. He now wants to do the right thing during the zombie outbreak to save the girl of his dreams, which means going against the fellow survivors. Mo is the brother of Aziz, who lets his mouth get him in and out of trouble, he keeps himself out of danger by usually thinking about himself over anybody else even his brother. Kim is the police officer that did arrest the group, she does join with them in an attempt to fight for survival, being the bad ass of the group. Jeffrey and Nolan are our comic relief, they come from the other side of the offence which finds them all in jail, they do get the funniest lines in the film.

PerformancesThe performances in the film know they are in a wacky comedy, Yahya Gaier in the leading role plays the more serious figure which give us a character the supporting stars to get the laughs from. Gigi Ravelli gets to bring us a strong female character to deal with, the rest of the cast get the laughs which is all we need them to do.

StoryThe story follows a group of unsuspecting residents of Amsterdam that awake to discover a zombie apocalypse has taken over the city, they must get to safety after saving ones fictional girlfriend from a crumbling building. This does follow all the traditional zombie outbreak storyline with everything going how we would imagine. The characters are being put through their own arcs to make sure they have an impact on the main story. This is a fun story to watch, it never takes things too seriously either.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy in the film get to see how the supporting characters deal with the zombie fights, certain jokes do go on one line too long, but for the most part they hit home. The zombie outbreak is the horror side of the film.

SettingsThe film is set in Amsterdam which does make for a good setting because it is a location we haven’t normally seen a zombie outbreak in.

Special EffectsThe effects are low budget and this does work for the film because it gets to through blood and guts at the characters which only adds to the comedy in the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Video game fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does follow too many generic mistakes the characters will make.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun zombie comedy, it gets the jokes right and will keep the audience laughing from the action of the supporting cast.

 

Overall: Pure fun in Amsterdam.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – H – Hyde Park on Hudson (2012)

Director: Roger Michell

Writer: Richard Nelson (Screenplay)

Starring: Bill Murray, Laura Linney, Samuel West, Olivia Colman, Elizabeth Marvel, Martin McDougall

 

Plot: The story of the love affair between FDR and his distant cousin Margaret “Daisy” Suckley, centered around the weekend in 1939 when the King and Queen of the United Kingdom visited upstate New York.


Tagline – One weekend that would unite two great nations 

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dull

 

Story: Hyde Park on Hudson starts as the 5th cousin Daisy (Linney) gets called to keep her cousin President Franklin D Roosevelt (Murray), the two have a unique friendship with it being a forbidden romance. This weekend, FDR is hosting the king of England Bertie (West) and his wife Elizabeth (Colman).

The weekend arrives with FDR opening his family home to the royals, with him striking up a friendship with Bertie, while Daisy now needing to figure out whether she is in love with FDR and willing to share him or not.

 

Thoughts on Hyde Park on Hudson

 

Characters – Franklin D Roosevelt is the president of the United States of America, he lives with his mother and mistresses, with his latest one coming from his own cousin line, he is hosting the King of England Bertie who has his own stuttering problem, FDR is willing to help him learn that isn’t going to hold him back. Daisy is the 5th cousin to the President who ends up in an affair with him, even if she can’t have the same standard as the other mistresses, with the story being told from her point of view. Bertie is the king of England who is visiting America to spend the weekend with the President, he is still working with his stutter, which is his biggest fear. Elizabeth is the queen of England, she tries to stop Bertie doing anything that could put a bad light on the royal family.

PerformancesBill Murray is strong as the former president, it might have seemed like a strange casting choice, but it did work for what the film was trying to say, this can go for Laura Linney too, the lover figure that doesn’t know completely where she stands, we see the uncertainty on her in every scene. The cast all do the job required without anybody getting to shine to their strongest ability.

StoryThe story looks at one of the mistresses of FDR, the royal visit before the second world war and just how everybody was keeping their lives together during this weekend which has a major spotlight on two of the most powerful people in the world. the story is told in a diary format showing just how the events of the weekend unfolded through the eyes of Daisy and it just drags along without giving the audience enough interest to go, ‘that was interesting’ this does feel like we could have had more about it before it just falling into a film about King George eating a hotdog.

Biopic/ComedyThe biopic side of the film does follow just the one weekend which led to the relationship between FDR and Daisy, we don’t learn enough about the lives they have been living before either. The comedy comes from certain moments involving FDR which will give the lighter mood to the film rather than a laugh out loud moment.

SettingsThe film is set in and around the home of FDR during the weekend, it tries to show us just how the relationship drama of everyone involved plays out.


Scene of the Movie –
The hotdog.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact this film seems to be about whether the king would eat a hotdog or not.

Final ThoughtsThis is a dull movie that seems to lack any sort of interesting story, the performances are as strong as possible with the lack of much to do.

 

Overall: Uninspiring Drama.

Rating