ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – W – The Wolfman (2010) Movie Review

Director: Joe Johnston

Writer: Andrew Kevin Walker, David Self (Screenplay) Curt Siodmak (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Emily Blunt, Benicio Del Toro, Rick Baker, Hugo Weaving, Simon Merrells, Gemma Whelan

Plot: Upon his return to his ancestral homeland, an American man is bitten, and subsequently cursed by, a werewolf.


Tagline – When the moon is full the legend comes to life

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Beautiful Gothic Horror

Story: The Wolfman starts when Gwen Conliffe (Blunt) travels to London to locate Lawrence Talbot (Del Toro) to ask for his help to locate his brother and her fiancée Ben (Merrells) who mysteriously disappeared, Lawrence returns to his family home to face his estranged father Sir John (Hopkins) to pay his respects to his brother after his brother’s body is discovered.

Learning the rumours of a terrifying creature lurking the woods, Lawrence isn’t allowed to return home one night, finding himself involved in a hunt through a gypsy camp, where he faces the creatures, using his expert shooting skills, only to find himself bitten. With the curse passed onto Lawrence learns that the legend of a wolfman is real and now he is that wolfman, with the town searching to hunt him down and put an end to his terror.

Thoughts on The Wolfman

Characters – Lawrence Talbot is a stage actor in New York City, one of the most popular in the city too, he gets called to return home to help is his brother’s death and soon finds himself bitten by the mysterious creature that took his brother. Lawrence must learn to control the new curse placed on him, while the rest of the village wants him dead. Sir John Talbot is his father that has been distant from him because of traumatic event from his childhood, he has lived over looking the village for years now, he will protect Lawrence even if he knows the truth. Gwen is the fiancée of Lawrence’s brother, the one that comes to him in search for help, she knows the problems between Lawrence and John, but believes he could be the only one to help with the mystery about his brother. She is the only one willing to help Lawrence once things start to get out of hand. Aberline is from Scotland Yard investigating the attack that happened to Lawrence, his reputation is around how he was once involved in the Jack the Ripper case and now he has been left to hunt down Lawrence.

PerformancesBenicio Del Toro in the leading role is strong in this film, we get to see just how much his character must got through during the film and he shows all the emotional range required for the character. Anthony Hopkins and Emily Blunt complete the main cast where neither put a foot wrong in their roles.

StoryThe story here follows a stage actor that must return home to search for answers about his brother’s death, only to find himself in the middle of hunt for a creature that has gone onto infect him with the curse. This is a remake of the classic universal monster collection, we get the gothic feeling to the story, in a time when legends would feel like they are true stories that small villages would believe to be true. We get to see the uncomfortable relationship between a father and son, as well as seeing the horrors of the wolfman being released upon the world. This is an entertaining story to watch, which is one that would be enjoyed by the horror fans.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy horror side of the film shows us just how the wolfman has come from, playing into the first real horrors of the silver screen too.

SettingsThe settings used in this film does bring us back to the Gothic era, which helps elevate the film to the next level, being it the buildings or the mist layered woodland area.

Special EffectsThe effects might well be more CGI focused when it comes to the transformation, but they still feel just as terrifying as they should be, if you were a witness to the event.


Scene of the Movie – The wolfman unleashed.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Gwen is still just a damsel in distress.

Final Thoughts This is an entertaining blood covered horror that brings a familiar character back to the bring screen, we have a strong cast and nice pacing which will keep the action flowing.

Overall: Blood Filled Horror.

Jack Black Weekend – Gulliver’s Travels (2010) Movie Review

Director: Rob Letterman

Writer: Joe Stillman, Nicholas Stoller (Screenplay) Jonathan Swift (Book)

Starring: Jack Black, Jason Segel, Emily Blunt, Amanda Peet, Billy Connolly, Chris O’Dowd

Plot: Travel writer Lemuel Gulliver takes an assignment in Bermuda, but ends up on the island of Lilliput, where he towers over its tiny citizens.


Tagline – A magical land. A comedy of epic proportions.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Insults a Classic Novel

Story: Gulliver’s Travels starts when New York magazine mailman Lemuel Gulliver (Black) wanting to impress the travel editor Darcy (Peet) accepts an assignment that everyone refuses, which sees him head towards the Bermuda Triangle.

This trip sees him end up in Lilliput where he is giant compared to the residents including King Theodore (Connolly), the stuck up general Edward (O’Dowd) along with Princess Mary (Blunt) and peasant Horatio (Segel), in the land where Gulliver becomes a hero of the land.

Thoughts on Gulliver’s Travels

Characters – Lemuel Gulliver has been living inside his safety zone, where he works in a mail room for a magazine, not looking to get out of the lowest level of the magazine, seeing people come and go through the office, he doesn’t have the guts to ask out the woman of his dreams, taking an assignment he has no qualifications to be part of. Gulliver travels to a new land where the people are tiny, where he starts a revolution taking advantage of their generous natures. Horatio is a peasant that has been locked up for trying to speak to the princess, who he loves and wants to be with, he is the one that helps Gulliver learn about the world he is now part of. Princess Mary believes she is meant to be marrying the man who earns her love, rather than being allowed to get to know the person. Darcy is the travel editor for the magazine that Gulliver wants to impress, she is willing to let people in the office have an opportunity to prove them.

PerformancesJack Black brings his routine of comedy which is too immature for this story, even if he can handle the heart to heart moments well. Jason Segel does all he can with his role, while Emily Blunt clearly decides to make this over the top because of how little she wanted to be part of the movie. Chris O’Dowd is arguably the only strong part of the film when it comes to the acting, knowing he is playing an over the top villain.

StoryThe story is meant to show a slacker that travels to a hidden royal kingdom where the people are tiny, here he helps take the people to the next level of the lives breaking them out of their royal ways. The problem with the story, is that it is based on a classic, which would have the same themes, only for this one to make everything about pop culture references that have completely dated becoming almost insulting to everything that it could have been. The story could easily have been about a slacker that wants to start achieving more from his life, instead of continue to show how much of a joke he is.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure side of the film does take Gulliver to a new land he would never have imagined getting too, though his nervous approach to travelling gets forgotten too quickly here. The comedy is mostly immature jokes that won’t get many laughs in anyway.

SettingsThe film does start with New York before moving to Lilliput, the problem with the setting here is the lack of scale, one minute it is just a palace, the next it feels like a big village or city, we just never learn how big this world is meant to be.

Special EffectsThe effects do look clunky with how the worlds are put together trying to create the fact that Gulliver is massive in this world.


Scene of the Movie – Mail room talk.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The comedy.

Final Thoughts This is an insulting movie that just never reaches the heights it could when it comes to telling the incredible story of Gulliver’s visit to Lilliput like the book does, we end up with immature comedy that misses more often than it hits.

Overall: Disappointing and bland.

Inception (2010)

Director: Christopher Nolan
Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ellen Page, Tom Hardy, Ken Watanabe, Dileep Rao, Cillian Murphy, Tom Berenger, Marion Cotillard, Pete Postlethwaite, Michael Caine, Lukas Haas
 
Cobb (Leonardo DiCaprio) and his trusted partner in crime Arthur (Joseph Gordon Levitt) are on a job trying to steal information from Saito (Ken Watanabe). Only these two are not your normal thieves, They go into the mind and steal from the memories of the victim. The job goes wrong when the subconscious of Cobb’s wife Mal (Marion Cotillard) turns on the two of them. Cobb races to gather in information from Saito’s mind.
 
When they wake up Cobb has to find another way to gather the information and goes more old school by trying to beat it out of him. Things get worse when Saito learns they are still in a dream and the architect Nash (Lukas Haas) hasn’t created a perfect dream world.

They all wake up on a train and Cobb, Arthur and Nash all go their separate ways. Cobb and Arthur meet back up to discuss where to go next only for Saito to find them after Nash sold them out. Saito offers them a job to do Inception and after Saito offers to get Cobb back home to America he accepts the job and they set out to find a new team.

Cobb goes to Miles (Michael Caine) to find a new architect. Miles introduces him to his best student Ariadne (Ellen Page). Cobb sets her a task of drawing maze and takes her into the dream world to see what she can create, while she learns more from Arthur Cobb goes to find a forger Eames (Tom Hardy). Eames is the best Cobb knows and also knows a chemist who has created a formula to make them sleep longer Yusuf (Dileep Rao).

The team is now set and the job is simple enough. Robert Fischer (Cillian Murphy) is going to become sole heir to a multi million dollar company when his father Maurice (Pete Postlethwaite) dies. Saito wants Robert to disband his company a rival to Saito’s but in order to do this they have to enter Robert subconscious and give him the idea. The plan involves using Robert’s relationship with his father and godfather Peter Browning (Tom Berenger) to make him make the decision.

With the plan under way we learn about the relationship between Cobb and his Wife. Ariadne believes Cobb will cause problems having Mal in his subconscious. Can the team complete the job without any hitches and will Cobb get to see his children again. watch and you will find out.

This is something very rare nowadays in Hollywood a truly original story. the special effect are breath taking from the folding streets in France to the anti gravity fight scene. Each character is very well developed

  • Cobb with his mysterious past
  • Arthur by the book guy
  • Eames shady professional
  • Ariadne young and ambitious
  • Saito business man who wants more and more
  • Mal always in Cobb’s dreams

The music by Hans Zimmer adds to the tension being built from start to finish and will keep you on the edge of your seat all the way through. The action scenes are thrilling keeping you guessing how they will get out of the situations they end up in. The twists in the story will keep you wondering what has happened and what will happen and even the end will leave you working out what actually happen give this movie such great re watch value.

This simply is the best action thriller you will ever see more than an absolute must see. Making a stunning $820million this is one of the best money making movies ever.

My rating 100%

Tekken (2010)

Director: Dwight H. Little
Starring: Jon Foo, Kelly Overton, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Ian Anthony Dale, Cung Le, Darrin Dewitt Henson, Luke Goss, Mircea Monroe, Tamlyn Tomita, Candice Hillebrand, Marian Zapico, Gary Daniels, Lateef Crowder, Anton Kasabov

Jin (Jon Foo) a runner with a big fighting skill in the outside city of Anvil get discovered by Tekken the corporation who control the world they come after him and kill his mother Jun (Tamlyn Tomita). Setting out on revenge Jin goes to become the wild card entry in the iron fist competition against the Tekken elite fighters.

To earn the wild card entry Jin meets Steve Fox (Luke Goss) an ex fighter who is hustling crowds to find someone to fight Marshall Law (Cung Le). After becoming victorious Jin is now the people’s choice and Steve becomes his agent/trainer taking him to the iron fist tournament.

Heihachi Mishima (Cary Hiroyuki Tagawa) is the leader of Tekken with his son Kazuya (Ian Anthony Dale) the next in line and head of security. Jin’s goal is to take out the Tekken leader in revenge for his mothers death but first he has to beat the fighters.

  • Christie Monteiro (Kelly Overton)
  • Raven (Darrin Dewitt Henson)
  • Nina Williams (Candice Hillebrand)
  • Anna Williams (Marian Zapico)
  • Bryan Fury (Gary Daniels)
  • Eddy Gordo (Lateef Crowder)
  • Sergel Dragunov (Anton Kasabov)
  • Yoshimistu (Gary Ray Stearns)

 

Can Jin over come the odds and become the first wild card Iron Fist winner ?

This is based on the video game Tekken and from the few i have played i have only heard of a few of the fighters in the movies. I think most Tekken fans will be disappointed with the film as many characters and twist do not follow the games very well. One the other hand having mainly human fighters it will make more sense to an unknown to the series.

As a one of fighting movie this is not actually a bad movie with some well constructed fight scenes. The story is easy to follow seeing who the good and bad guys are but the twists are not as hidden as they could have been. All in all i think i would rate this movie well.

My rating 70%

She’s Out of My League (2010)

Director: Jim Field Smith
Starring: Jay Baruchel, Alice Eve, T.J. Miller, Mike Vogel, Nate Torrence, Lindsay Sloane, Kyle Bornheimer, Jessica St. Clair, Krysten Ritter, Debra Jo Rupp, Adam LeFevre, Kim Shaw, Jasika Nicole, Geiff Stults, Hayes MacArthur

Starting with a genuine nice guy Kirk (Jay Baruchel) who gets put down by his family Dylan (Kyle Bornheimer) Debbie (Jessica St.Clair) and his parents (Debra Jo Rupp, Adam LaFevre) and his ex girlfriend Marnie (Lindsay Sloane) and her boyfriend Ron (Hayes MacArthur). While Kirk just gets on with his life.

Kirk works at the airport with his best friends Stainer (T.J. Miller), Jack (Mike Vogel) and Devon (Nate Torrence) when he meets Molly (Alive Eve) a beautiful woman and with this chance meeting he starts a relationship neither of them are ready for.

Using the idea that everyone has a rating out of ten and we are in a league system we see how Kirk who believe he is a five starts seeing Molly a ten with both friends and family and even Molly’s ex boyfriend Cam (Geoff Stults) making Kirk question how and why Molly is seeing him, We see how Kirk grow into the person who doesn’t need to see a rating system, But the question remains will he learn in time?

This is a nice little rom-com not full on laugh out funny but a nice tale told of being able to judge people not only on looks but personalities. With a great chemistry in the four friends with all different opinions on how relationships could work out.

Having a good soundtrack for all the montage scenes all tunes are catchy and sum up what is going on during the scenes. Having Stainer being in a cover band for Hall & Oats give it an added comic value

My Rating 75%