With the final round we are returning to the worst of, this time in animated movies, we seem to get a lot of sequels that just don’t work, this is going to give us a chance to vent about the animated cash ins we didn’t want to see.
Next Round – This is going to be the final Opinion Battles in its current form, I would like to thank everyone for playing and voting along.
Darren – Movie Reviews 101
Atlantis: Milo’s Return
I wasn’t a fan of the first Atlantis, this sequel brings the character back in three separate stories as it was meant to be a pilot for a television series, which only make things worse. The mysterious are not interesting and by the end of the mini adventure we are left wondering just what was the point.
To be honest, it’s pretty bloody hard to sequel-ize ANY Disney classic. That’s definitely one thing that sets the Classics aside from Pixar – Pixar do seem able to make pretty good sequels. Perhaps because they don’t generally have the ‘big’ happy ending and are more comical, who knows. I don’t know. I’m wittering. But yeah, The Little Mermaid is my all time favourite animated film and this ridiculous sequel was NEVER needed. If it had been brought out as a cut-price, cheap kids film maybe it would have been excusable but putting it up with, arguably, one of the best kids movies OF ALL TIME………well, it never had a hope. And if that wasn’t enough argument, in 2011,Total Film ranked it 27th of the 50 worst children’s films ever made. So vote for me. It’s my birthday this month!
I’m sure there can be a ton of direct to video Disney movie to choose but for the mainstream Pixar delivered quite a stinker with Cars 2. It was boring and not fun. There was nothing new and seemed like an obvious cash grab. It was a letdown from the first one.
Worst animated sequel is difficult as there have been so many bad ones. Disney alone has loads of straight-to-video ones that I haven’t even seen. I’m sure a lot of those are actually the “worst” but I’ll go with a cinema release and say Cars 2. That’s mainly because it’s the worst Pixar film yet they couldn’t just let it die. I say this as a huge Pixar fan, too. Before Cars, they could do no wrong. Cars was the first disappointing Pixar film. And yet they made more..
This is a bit of a hard one since no obvious candidates immediately come to mind. I’m guessing that something like Cars 2 will be the favourite but I haven’t seen that one – not having enjoyed the first one enough.
For some reason, there are plenty of direct-to-video sequels to amazing Disney films (The Little Mermaid 2, Lady & The Tramp 2 – WHY?!) but I’ve avoided many of them on principal.
But I have seen this particular one (plus the sequel to The Lion King and the Aladdin follow ups, which I actually liked) and it’s just another example of an unnecessary and inferior sequel to a beloved classic. It’s unremarkable, the story’s dull, the cast isn’t as good and the animation looks cheap.
A vote for this is a vote against direct-to-video Disney sequels!!
Interesting idea that just doesn’t work as well as I would have hoped. The best thing about this film is the innocent idiocy of Mater. The story feels too unoriginal and many of the reveals are too predictable. Deviates too far from the original concept and just isn’t as interesting.
The Harry Potter franchise of films took the world by storm, they broke box office records and had people talking about them for years, the books bought a whole new audience to the cinema and, now we have the latest Fantastic Beasts out which is only covered in controversy. We are going to talk about our favourite performances through the franchise.
Next Round Worst Animated Sequel – Closing Date Friday 30th November 2018
Darren – Movie Reviews 101
Evanna Lynch – Luna Lovegood
I have only seen the Harry Potter films once, I did marathon them which did increase the enjoyment, but when it came to the Order of the Phoenix, they had become the generic concept I was starting to get bored of, the main child stars were comfortable in their roles, the adults were too, Evanna bought us a new colourful character, that never seemed to fit in like the rest, she grabbed the attention with her mysterious character which I only want to know more about.
Alan Rickman – Severus Snape In all honesty, I’m no Harry Potter head. However, I’m on board with whatever the late, great Rickman graces with his presence so sure, Snape it is. What? You gonna argue with Alan Rickman?
To be honest, I had no idea. Despite loving the books – and going to Harry Potter world in LA earlier this year (just casually dropping that one in), I never really loved the movies that much. Not in a snobbish way – I did think they were pretty fitting adaptations, with a good British cast – but for me the magic (no pun intended, who am I kidding, ALL puns intended) was really in the books, not the movies. So I haven’t even seen them all. Nor do I really care to.
Based on that, I’m choosing Daniel Radcliffe because I genuinely think he’s a really good actor (a lovely person too) AND I think he’s the cutest little thing ever in the first two movies. And it makes me smile seeing him. Little cutie pie.
Given my love for Harry Potter LOL. (sarcasm). I have seen the movies though and I have to say “Deathly Hallows Part II” Alan Rickman, RIP, as Severus Snape. His character is different because he looks mean and sardonic when he is actually harboring all sorts of emotions, some protective and some good. I was impressed when he walked in the room.
The best performance in the Harry Potter franchise is Alan Rickman and I dont think it is close. He is deliciously evil while having an arc that makes you care for or at least understand his choices. Rickman nails the voice, mannerisms and everything else that makes Snape work in the books. By the end he has arguably the most emotional moment of the whole series when he says goodbye to Harry. It’s why they could never film Cursed Child because he is irreplaceable.
alan rickman as Snape because his character is evolved so well over the course of the books (films) that we can only fully understand his actions at the end and that changes everything when looking back
Yeah, it has to be. With that unmistakable voice, commanding screen presence, the depth that he brings to the character, and the occasional droll one-liners, he’s the most memorable actor in the franchise and he’s the one we all remember and miss. For very good reason.
It is October once again, which means we must pick a horror related subject, this time we are looking at the ones we didn’t like, the simple rule is, the franchise must have at least 5 films in it. Lets see what we hate in the world of horror below.
Next Round – Favourite Performance in a Harry Potter Movie – Closing Date 2nd November 2018
Darren – Movie Reviews 101
The Wrong Turn franchise is one that I did watch from start to finish, now I will praise three of the films the first, second and sixth, but for me the middle three are easily worst horror films I have seen. The problems start with the tonal difference between each film, the first two are a cannibalistic tribe living in America which works, the third just brings us three, the fourth is a prequel which focuses more on getting all the actresses naked and fails to just kill the villains when we had the chance, the fifth just becomes a mess of the same trying to bring an end to the saga, while the sixth is trying to restore family connection which adds interest to the story. for me this is the reason why I simple couldn’t get through them all again.
I love horror films but I’m unlikely to ever watch ANY of the Paranormal Activity films either again or for the first time (I’ve seen the first and second one, I think). I mean I can appreciate them SLIGHTLY for what they are in a way but personally – just not for me. Kinda boring, not my cup of tea. I’d genuinely be more excited about watching the next Saw or Hatchet film, or a film from ANY other horror franchise (even the really silly ones).
The horror genre is an interesting ones, films can be genuinely scary or weird or disturbing or clever or shocking ORRRRRR just a load of crap – but somehow still enjoyable (like some of the Friday the 13th franchise – ludicrous, of course, but still fun). And for me, Paranormal Activity has nothing going on really. It’s not scary, it’s not particularly likable or fun. It’s just MEH. Commendable effort due to tiny budget of course, but still easily forgettable to me.
My name is Milo White and I have something to say: Paranormal Activity has f*cked up horror. In all seriousness, however, the franchise it utter tat, drawn along by the same, thin, boring-ass concept. Colour me not interested.
I’m missing a ton of horror franchises under my belt to give an accurate answer but in my memory, I think the franchise that has gone downhill in accelerated speed has to go to Underworld. While the first (and maybe even the second) had its fun moments, by the time it got to the third movie, it was just stupid action horror thing that made no sense at all. How it got to 5 films (or maybe more at this point) seems like a surprise.
At 6 movies in, I consider this a colossal waste of time and money. Technically it’s a small screen film so it could be worse. Everything from the concept to the acting is unengaging and not interesting. I’ve sat through 2 if these and can say they were awful.
I feel a bit underqualified for this round, considering that I don’t think I’ve even seen a horror franchise with more than a couple entries (at least not all of them), but I can certainly pick one based on reputation. One horror franchise I regard with contempt is the Saw series. While I’ve heard the first film has merit, the rest seem like a sick excuse for inventing new ways to kill people gruesomely, and I really don’t understand why anyone would want to watch such torture porn, especially for “entertainment.” Why did they even make so many? When it comes to horror, I’d rather be creeped out than grossed out, so this is one series I’ll continue to avoid.
One of the most iconic slasher films of the 80’s was “Friday The 13th”. It was simple and effective: a group of good looking kids were slaughtered at a summer camp by Jason Voorhees, who became a horror legend. Then they made ELEVEN sequels, reach less successful than the one before, reaching its nadir with the inevitable “franchise swapping” turkey “Freddy Vs. Jason”, which hurt more than a stab wound from either of them.
Martin Scorsese is one of the greatest directors of all time, his latest film ‘The Irishman’ will be coming out soon and we will be looking at the films we enjoy from this legend who has given as a excellent collections of classic movies.
Next Round Worst Horror Franchise (5 Movies minimum) – Closing Date Friday 5th October 2018
Darren – Movie Reviews 101
When it comes of Martin Scorsese, I know and respect he is one of the greatest of all the directors in the world, however I am not a fane of gangster films, which takes a couple of titles of the table for me, when picking the favourite of his career. I have gone with Shutter Island because I love a good mystery thriller and watching the pieces of this puzzle unfold is one of the most exciting and tense films I have seen and easily one that can get over looked by all Scorsese fans.
The ultimate gangster movie is, not surprisingly, my ultimate Scorsese flick. Ray Liotta’s career-defining performance, along with a terrifying Pesci and De Niro combo, made this a thrilling film to watch, even when someone just tells a joke.
Easy choice. I’m not a massive fan of Scorsese movies but I loved The Wolf Of Wall Street. And Leonardo DiCaprio was fantastic in it. I just found it far more entertaining than the violent, gangster type movies he often does. (But I’d also like to mention Hugo as an honorable mention – I loved that one as well)
Easy for me, I LOVE The Departed. Obviously with a top notch writer / director like Mr Scorsese we do have a lot of options but none of his films, in all honesty, have ever made me go ‘OMG’ quite as much as The Departed.
It’s hard to say why in a way. I mean on the surface it’s kind of a ‘regular’ crime film but there’s something about it that hits me hard (in a good way) and basically, I just think it’s a great movie. To point out the obvious, it has a good script, great dialogue and a superb cast who all (with the SLIGHT exception of Ray Winstone) play their characters so well. Leonardo DiCaprio is fantastic and perfectly displays the vulnerability and compassion of Billy Costigan. Absolutely brilliant. Oh and the awesome soundtrack helps too!
Nothing has resounded in Martin Scorsese’s movies quite like Hugo did. It brings to life a very unique story adapted from a beautiful book full of lovely drawings and writings. Not surprisingly, the story is captured really well and part of it has to go to its talented young and experienced cast from Ben Kingsley to Asa Butterfield to Chloe Grace Moretz. It’s a magical adventure that is visually stunning set in a 1930s Paris and ties in with the love of cinema by Georges Melies. It’s a rare genre of film to show up in Martin Scorsese’s filmography but one that I wished he’d dive into more often.
So many classics, and while “Taxi Driver” is #3 on my all-time favorite films, this one, at #6, is what I want to share, because “The King Of Comedy” is one of the most prescient films ever made. Scorsese and Screenwriter Paul Zimmerman forecast a world where “becoming famous” is the only criteria for being famous. Untalented Comic Rupert Pupkin kidnaps a late night Talk Show Host in order to showcase his act to America. And it works. Robert DeNiro is pitch perfect. This dark dark comedy bombed upon release and was then called the most “neglected” film of the 80’s. Jerry Lewis was never better as well, and Sandra Bernhard’s movie debut is mesmerizing.
My favourite movie from Martin Scorsese is The Aviator. Scorsese may have achieved directional brilliance in his other films, but The Aviator is not only technically good, it is also a very enjoyable and entertaining film to watch. The fascinating account of the rise to glory of Howard Hughes is simply a must-watch film, and while Leonardo DiCaprio plays eccentric Hughes with marked enthusiasm it is Cate Blanchett who truly shines in the role of Katharine Hepburn. Blanchett gives her now second best career performance and her amazing transformation is completely deserving of an Academy Award. Moreover, by watching The Aviator you also learn the history of film-making, old Hollywood and aviation in general. So, The Aviator is also an educational film.
I must admit I haven’t seen many Martin Scorsese films. His content can be a bit too R rated for my taste and he tends to make movies on subject matter I don’t connect with like mafia movies.
All that said my favorite of his films is the delightful Hugo. This film is especially great in 3D taking you into the world of the 1930s Paris train station. It’s magical, fun and full of nostalgia for classic films, a perfect combination.
Excellent look at the life of mobsters in New York in the 70’s. Scorsese does an amazing job getting us to love these characters despite everything they do. In some ways, its easy to see that this is a continuation of Coppola’s Godfather series to show the ‘modern’ effects of the mob on society. Works really well as a biopic despite the fact that we’ll never really know how much is true. Amazing cast led by little known Liotta. One of Scorsese’s best films to date because of the realism and strong characters.
No hesitation – it’s my favourite Scorcese film and (currently) my favourite film in general.
It has an exciting story, the characters are incredibly colourful, the acting’s awesome (Joe Pesci, anyone?), there’s thrilling events and brutal violence galore, the direction is passionate and the soundtrack is amazing; the use of “Layla: Piano Exit” is absolutely incredible.
We are well into 2018 now, so now it is a good chance to look back at 2017 and our favourite film from that year, we had some classic join the libraries of many, we also had some stinkers though, we don’t want to talk about them though. We are focusing on the ones we enjoyed the most, so lets see what we are picking.
Next Round Favourite Martin Scorsese –Closing Date Friday 7th September 2018
Darren – Movie Reviews 101
The Shape of Water
The Shape of Water is one film that struck home perfectly, it showed how loneliness can be difficult to get through and finding hope in the most different person can turn the life around. We have beautifully shot movie with stunning performance and it did go onto to win Best Picture at the Oscar, which says something about the quality of the film.
My favorite movie from 2017 was the new adaptation of Stephen King’s It. I’m still kind of in shock that a Star Wars film didn’t make it to the number one spot on my list but I really did love It. I’m a huge King fan and am always happy when I see a really good adaptation of one of his books. Here’s hoping Part 2 is as good!
It was between this and Detroit (which I reviewed recently on my blog – go read it, plug plug plug!) but in the end I had to go with my horror loving heart and choose IT, which I not only loved, but also thought was pretty much as sturdy, brilliant, scary, enjoyable and fabulous as it could possibly be, especially given the amazing 1990 original (though let’s just get this straight everyone, it’s not really a ‘remake’ when it’s based on a book…). That is mainly the reason that I chose IT. I mean, to make any sort of mark after enjoying Tim Curry for soooo long, would have been impressive. But to make SUCH a big mark and to hit the nail on the head so darn well – I just couldn’t choose anything else.
As a big of a cult boy myself, it’s no surprise that the story of the ultimate cult film (the cultimate if you don’t mind) is my pick. With James Franco’s passion for the project showing in both his performance and his painstaking direction, everything here is really, really done well and with a meticulous level of detail. That, and it’s just bloody brilliant.
It’s actually hard to figure out just what constitutes a 2017 film these days. There’s great films like Lady Macbeth and Hacksaw Ridge which we in the UK would have seen in 2017 but are officially 2016 films according to IMDB, there’s amazing ones like Coco, The Shape of Water and Phantom Thread that we’ve only been able to see this year, and then there’s the mighty Paddington 2 which is surely one of the very best but one that I believe US audiences only got to see earlier this year.
But anyway, as one of the most critically acclaimed films of 2017, A Ghost Story truly is an incredible film – it’s a patient, powerful and extremely moving tale about life and death set over the course of several decades which looks at where we’re heading as a species and it of course talks about great love and great loss.
There are those moments where nothing happens (Rooney Mara eating a pie, anyone?) but it’s never boring and many moments, especially those brief moments involving the neighbour ghost, are incredibly sad and jarring. Plus, the idea that there’s so much history in a building really speaks to me – it’s something that I often think about.
A memorable experience and an overall intelligent and important film.
2017 was a fairly decent year in movies. I still have a lot to catch up but from what I saw, it was honestly a battle between IT and Kong: Skull Island. The reason Kong: Skull Island won is because of the entire movie coming together so well. Its one of my first King Kong experiences and the fight and the island setting and the good comedic inserts to break up the tension and all the thrills were absolutely fantastic. Not to mention, the cast overall is great including Samuel L. Jackson who always elevates a movie even when he is playing a stubborn soldier masked with vengeance. Its some impressive stuff and it was so entertaining to watch.
“The Shape Of Water” was the somewhat surprising and completely worthy Best Picture of 2017. Director Guillermo Del Toro brought his cinematic passions for fantasy, sympathetic creatures and evil governments into clear focus with this story of a cold war science experiment that becomes an otherworldly love story.
I read that Del Toro wrote the film with Sally Hawkins and Michael Shannon in mind, and you see it in their performances. Richard Jenkins was also perfect in his role as a gay man seeking love in an uncaring world.
In a year when some films sledge-hammered home their points, Del Toro spoke to so many current issues in a much more relevant way.
Amazing film that is told so well by Nolan. He is a master at telling complex stories in complex ways and this film is no exception to that rule. The cast is less important here because it is the story that acts as the main character throughout. The story expertly weaves three storylines together in a unique way to give us an even grander perspective on the whole event. The music by Zimmer helps keep the tension high as things get more and more tense as the story moves along. One of the best films of 2017, if not THE best.
It will be no surprise what my favorite movie of 2017 was, although I did think about going with other movies I enjoyed from last year like Wonder Woman, Gifted, Patriot’s Day, or Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri. War for the Planet of the Apes is the kind of movie you either love or hate, there really isn’t a middle ground. Caesar and his apes really altered the Planet of the Apes universe, providing us with unbelievable performances that go above and beyond the original story by Pierre Boulle. This story was admirable because Caesar persevered through many hardships and never give up hope for his apes to live a peaceful life they deserved.
So last year may have brought you Wonderwoman and Thor in those comic book superhero comedies we’ve been wanting to see since Antman… but for me this film was undoubtedly the best. Also as one of the “Harrison Ford Returns to…” series following Star Wars The Force Awakens and Indiana Jones and the Crystal Skull, its probably the best of the bunch. So I prepared for this by rewatching the first film and discussed it at length with my husband on the all things sci-fi that go with it, I’ll admit I was prepared to be disappointed as most sequels, reboots etc just don’t measure up to that retro original.. But yay, it turned out to be just as fantastic as the first. It got 5 Oscar nods too and won two for winning Best Cinematography and Best Visual Effects. And there are plenty of opportunities to marvel at the stunning backdrop to this great film, which certainly meets the high standard of the original.
The sequel, has Ryan Gosling in centre stage – an actor I also recently enjoyed in The Nice Guys and La La Land – as a replicant called K who works as a Blade Runner for the police force. A Blade Runner – for those who confused already – kills replicants gone rogue. On his discovery that a replicant can reproduce, he is ordered by his superior to find the child of a replicant to avoid war between the replicants and humans. And on finding this child, K is to retire or kill it. The replicant child is believed to be the spawn Rachael and Deckard (Harrison) from the first film. And of course its a case of who is it? rather than who done it?. And when will Harrison Ford turn up? And more importantly which of Harrison Ford’s 80s films will be next in the “You’re the daddy” series…
I know it’s become one of the more controversial entries in the Star Wars canon, lauded and savaged by fans in equal measure, but Rian Johnson’s The Last Jedi had everything I could have wanted in a Star Wars sequel. The action is spectacular, the humor is frequent (yes, that’s a good thing in my book), and the fast-paced plot took some daring and genuinely surprising turns, which were refreshing after the copy-and-paste storyline of The Force Awakens (which I still liked a lot, no hate intended). Despite its bittersweet ending, The Last Jedi left me thrilled and excited for more from one of my favorite franchises.