ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – T – Titanic (1997)

Director: James Cameron

Writer: James Cameron (Screenplay)

Starring: Leonardo DiCaprio, Kate Winslet, Billy Zane, Kathy Bates, Frances Fisher, Gloria Stuart, Bill Paxton

 

Plot: A seventeen-year-old aristocrat falls in love with a kind but poor artist aboard the luxurious, ill-fated R.M.S. Titanic.


Tagline – Collide With Destiny

Runtime: 3 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Masterpiece in Cinema

 

Story: Titanic starts as treasure hunter Brock Lovett (Paxton) and his team are searching the Titanic wreckage for any remaining treasure that could make them rich, on their latest voyage they find a picture of woman wearing a long-lost necklace, the heart of the ocean. With this picture becoming international news Rose (Stuart) comes aboard the ship to tell her story of her trip in the doomed ship.

Returning to 1912 we follow Rose (Winslet) from a rich family using the trip with her fiancée Cal (Zane) to return to America to start their life together. Jack (DiCaprio) on the other hand wins his ticket in a poker game to be a passenger on the ship, in the third class.

As the two get involved in a chance meeting, Rose is shown the life that is care free away from her prim and proper lifestyle that she has only ever been shown, the two fall in love in their short time together but after the ship hits the iceberg, they must battle to survive the fateful night as the panic of the tragic event occurs.

 

Thoughts on Titanic

 

Characters – Rose is shown to us in two different times, we first meet the modern day one, well 1997 where she has lived the life she had always dreamed off, now she gets to return to the Titanic wreckage to tell her story of events on the maiden voyage that will be remembered forever. The other Rose we meet is the younger one, the 19 year-old that is moving to America to start her life of luxury with her fiancée Cal, at this age she isn’t sure this is what she wants and meeting Jack shows her a new look and even a new love in life, she takes risks that she would never have even imagined taking before meeting Jack. Jack Dawson is a drifter, artist and traveller of the world, winning his ticket in a game of poker, he sees this as his chance to return to America with his new craft, he falls for Rose and his carefree lifestyle shines on her and he is shunned by anyone in the first class of the ship. Cal is the fiancée of Rose, he has used his wealth to get all the benefits in life, he looks down on anyone not from the same class as himself and takes an instant dislike to Jack, he tries to control Rose’s every decision making him the villain of the piece. We have the controlling mother, the fish out of water with money in Molly who steals nearly every scene being the only one that can relate to Jack and the portrays of the real people behind the ship tragedy.

PerformancesLeonardo DiCaprio and Kate Winslet became international A-Listers after this movie, their performances are fantastic and showed the world the talent they both had at this early moments of their career. Billy Zane does make a great villainous character through this film and you will find yourself hating his character. Kathy Bates is fantastic too in a role you could have watched all day long. The whole cast is fantastic in this film and their performances show us just how good they are.

StoryThe story shows us one of the most tragic moments in modern human history, this sinking of the Titanic, an accident in which no one was prepared for, seeing the supporting characters who are based on the real people is fascinating to see how they were to believed to have acted, saying this the love story does feel very forced and having one person telling the story doesn’t give us the understand how she would know what other people were doing at the times without her in the movie. Clocking up at over 3 hours, this story never seems to find a low point well telling the story of this tragedy.

RomanceThe weakest part of the film here, because this event didn’t need a fictional love story which in all fairness is a by the book routine love story of the rich meets poor.

SettingsThe creation of the Titanic for the setting is fantastic, as we follow the journey you feel like you are part of this doomed voyage which is filled with the beauty of first class and the cramped conditions of third class.

Special EffectsThe visual effects used in this movie were ground-breaking at the time, they stand this test of time and deserved any credit the team working on this got.


Scene of the Movie –
The search for survivors, is haunting, disturbing and tragic.

That Moment That Annoyed Me How would Rose know what people were doing in her story.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the greatest movies of all time, a record breaking in its own right, career making, career defining and moment in history that will forever be stuck in tragic events.

 

Overall: Brilliant, and a must watch

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption (2012)

Director: Roel Reine

Writer: Brendan Cowles, Shane Kuhn (Screenplay) Randall McCormick (Story)

Starring: Victor Webster, Billy Zane, Ron Perlman, Selina Lo, Dave Bautista, Krystal Vee

 

Plot: Since his rise to power, Mathayus’ kingdom has fallen. Now an assassin for hire, he must defend a kingdom from an evil tyrant and his ghost warriors for the chance to regain the power and glory he once knew.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Funnier Sequel

 

Story: The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption starts where a disgraced Mathayus (Webster) is in search of a worthy death not that he has lost his kingdom and love, now he fights for money and honour with Horus (Perlman) hiring him to take out his brother Talus (Zane) a man trying to conquer the land. Mathayus is sent with European warrior Olaf (Christopher) who helps save a princess Silda (Vee) for King Ramusan (Morrison).

But this easy looking adventure takes a turn in the search for Cobra before Mathayus must come up against ghost warriors in Argomael (Bautista), Zulu Kondo (Ferguson), Tsukai (Lo) to free the kingdom from war.

 

Thoughts on The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption

 

Characters/PerformanceMathayus is now older which is good because now this is a sequel to the original as we see how he has fallen from grace but is still a brilliant warrior. Silda is the plucky warrior woman starting her own revolution against the evil ruler. With Talus being the over the top cowardly ruler that will never get his hands dirty. Olaf adds most of the laughs in this film with the ghost warriors all have a great look about them.

Performance wise, Victor Webster is solid in the leading role being an improvement on the last outing but never reaching Johnson level. Krystal Vee makes for yet another beautiful warrior but Billy Zane is way to over the top for this role. The early role for Dave Bautista does show how far he has come though. If you are looking to see a lot of Ron Perlman you will be disappointed.

StoryThe story follows what happens once Mathayus has fallen from the top returning to his warrior ways for money. Finding him stuck between two sides in the battle also works and it could be argued that this is the best story yet from a Scorpion King film.

Action/AdventureThe action is almost painfully choregraphed with the adventure side of the film going the wrong direction. The fantasy side does work in places with the ghost warriors.

SettingsThe settings once more could have just been anywhere with no location sticking out.

Special EffectsThe special effects are fine as the film cuts back on them mostly returning just to hand to hand combat.

Final ThoughtsThis story is good but the poorly directed action, poor acting and repetitive action gets tiresome quickly.

 

Overall: Another part of this franchise where you don’t need to see anything else beforehand.

Rating

 

 

Dead Calm (1989)

deadDirector: Phillip Noyce

Writer: Terry Hayes (Screenplay) Charles Williams (Novel)

Starring: Nicole Kidman, Sam Neill, Billy Zane, Rod Mullinar, Joshua Tilden

 

Plot: After a tragedy, John Ingram and his wife Rae spend some time isolated at sea when they come along a stranger who has abandoned a sinking ship.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Suspenseful

 

Story: Dead Calm starts when married couple Rae (Kidman) and John (Neill) suffer the personal tragedy when their son is killed in a car accident. To cope with the loss, the two head out to sea to get away from the world and grieve in their own way.

The couple’s peace is broken when lone survivor Hughie Warriner (Zane) whose crew have all died as the couple agree to help the stranded sailor. Whilst investigating Hughie’s boat John learns the truth about this man whose sinister side takes over as he takes control of their ship kidnapping Rae along the way. The film becomes a battle for survival from Rae point of view and John must repair the damaged boat to have any chance of saving the day.

Dead Calm keeps the story short and sweet never trying to be anything more than it needs to. We never find anything getting confusing with the most part just being a fight for survival be it on a damaged boat or stay one step ahead of a mad man. This really does make this easy to follow.

 

Actor Review

 

Nicole Kidman: Rae is dealing with the loss of her son in a car accident where she was also badly injured in. she joins her husband on their yacht sailing around the Pacific but her time of grieving is interrupted when she finds herself being held captive by Hughie. Nicole is great in this role showing a strong female character through the ordeal she finds herself in.

Sam Neill: John is the husband of Rae who just so happens to be a sailor, he takes her away to grieve the loss of their son only to find himself in a race against time using all of his skills to save from the hands of a mad man. Sam is good considering he has to spend most of the film alone.

Billy Zane: Hughie is the lone survivor from another yacht claiming his crew all died but soon we learn about his dark side as he has always been planning to hijack the next boat he came across with Rae as his prisoner. I do feel this character could have been even darker than what we got. Billy is good in this role but I feel we did need to see slightly more twisted in his character.

Support Cast: Dead Calm really doesn’t have anyone else truly involved with most extra characters only appearing in an odd scene.

Director Review: Phillip NoycePhillip gives us a tense thriller that keeps us on edge throughout.

 

Thriller: Dead Calm does keep us on edge throughout because we know just how stranded the characters are through the situation.

Settings: Dead Calm puts our characters in the middle of the ocean which shows us there is nowhere they can go to escape what is happening, perfect us of setting.
Special Effects
: Dead Calm has good effects when needed with most just really being used sparingly.

Suggestion: Dead Calm is one I would recommend seeing as it does everything you need it to do as a thriller. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Tension building.

Worst Part: A certain death.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline: High Seas. Deep Terror.

 

Overall: Suspense filled thriller.

Ratingcard

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Dead Rising: Endgame (2016)

deadDirector: Pat Williams

Writer: Tim Carter, Michael Ferris (Screenplay)

Starring: Jesse Metcalfe, Keegan Connor Tracy, Jessica Harmon, Dennis Haysbert, Marie Avgeropoulo, Teach Grant, Dakota Guppy, Stephen Lobo, Curtis Lum, Ian Tracey, Billy Zane

 

Plot: DEAD RISING: ENDGAME drops us into the zombie-infested quarantined zone of East Mission City where investigative reporter Chase Carter must stop a secret government conspiracy.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Sequel

 

Story: Dead Rising: Endgame starts by filling in what happened through the first film and explaining how the virus has spread to new levels with Zomdrex being given to every America, we learn how Chase (Metcalfe) has gone in hiding while he searches for the truth. Chase uncovers that General Lyons (Haysbert) is about to unleash ‘Afterlife’ which could end lives of millions in America.

When word gets out about Chase’s video Hancock (Tracey) comes to the rescue but warning him that Afterlife is set for release within the next few hours. Chase, Hancock ad Sandra (Avgeropoulos) must race against time behind the quarantine wall to switch of the connection that could release the Afterlife side of the virus.

Dead Rising: Endgame is the sequel to what I thought was the best video game adaption made to film mostly because it captured the game environment perfectly. My issue is that we do lose certain elements the first one had most notable the real time world seemingly watching what is going on with Frank West’s commentary throughout. The story is a simple race against time that does feel like another chapter to a potential bigger picture for the film franchise and this is an enjoyable casual watch.

 

Actor Review

 

Jesse Metcalfe: Chase is the returning reporter determined to get to the bottom of General Lyons plans after his near escape during Project Watchtower. Now he has the latest information that can expose the truth and must go back into the warzone to stop the releases that will take the lives of millions of American lives. Jesse is a good leading man for this franchise because we need a character that can be over the top at times filled with charm and heroism.

Ian Tracey: Hancock has been working on the Zombrex chips but once he finds out there link to Afterlife he locates Chase to stop Afterlife taking the lives of the American people. Ian is good but I do feel gets left behind our main characters at times.

Marie Avgeropoulos: Sandra Lowe is a brilliant hacker that works with Chase including going on the mission behind the wall. She can handle herself in a fight which is always needed for a film like this. Marie steps into the lead female role well coming off tough and smart with her character.

Dennis Haysbert: General Lyons is still running his seedy operation to get the military involved in the zombie outbreak even if it means killing innocent people. Dennis is good in this villainous role having a permanent authority image.

Support Cast: Dead Rising: Endgame has a supporting cast that does have a returning friend but also includes the type of characters you would expect to see within the Dead Rising video games.

Director Review: Pat WilliamsPat does a good job for the zombie outbreak side of the story but I do feel this film loses the elements that came from the game.

 

Horror: Dead Rising: Endgame does have good horror elements but you never really feel threaten through this movie.

Settings: Dead Rising: Endgame keeps us in the middle of zombie filled city but also shows us how society has continued on during this all.
Special Effects
: Dead Rising: Endgame does have god effects with the kills but sadly it does have some that you can see the CGI.

Suggestion: Dead Rising: Endgame is one for the fans of the game to watch if you enjoyed the original. (Video Game Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The customize weapons all look good.

Worst Part: No Frank West.

Action Scene Of The Film: Saving Jordan.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: It could have one.

Post Credits Scene: Yes

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

Overall: Sequel to one of the better video game films that doesn’t reach all of its potential.

Ratingcard

 

 

Franchise Week – Critters (1986)

80s

For the Ultimate 80s Blogathon hosted by Kim and Drew I have selected this little horror gem Critters, head on over to their sites to see what other people have entered into the Blogathon.

crittersDirector: Stephen Herek

Writer: Domonic Muir, Stephen Herek (Screenplay) Domonic Muir (Story)

Starring: Dee Wallace, M Emmet Walsh, Billy Green Bush, Scott Grimes, Nadine Van Der Velde, Don Keith Opper, Billy Zane, Terrence Mann, Lin Shaye

 

Plot: A race of small, furry aliens make lunch out of the locals in a farming town.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Creature Feature Comedy

 

Story: Critters starts when the Crits escape from their intergalactic prison, bounty hunters are set to follow them across the galaxy. The planet they are heading for is Earth as we meet a family Helen (Wallace), Jay (Bush), Brad (Grimes) and April (Velde) along with their worker Charlie (Opper) all in a small town.

When the Critters crash land near the small farm it is up to the family to fend them off because their apatite just never stops as they will eat anything and everything. The bounty hunters including Ug (Mann) arrive to help but can they stop them in time?

Critters is a classic 80s creature feature taking advantage of what Gremlins created a few years before. It has all the fun needed and creatures that come off harmless but are in fact deadly. We don’t have the biggest body count which helps because with a body count we end up setting up pointless characters just to create a kill. This isn’t going to be a true classic but a fun film with a very simple story.

 

Actor Review

 

Dee Wallace: Helen is the mother of the house who has to look after her kids when the Critters are attacking their family farm. She is very patient with her children being the soft one compared to the stricter father. Dee does a good job without doing too much in a spell where she shone in horror.

M Emmet Walsh: Harv is the sheriff of the small town who has to deal with the Critter invasion, he has to step up when his deputy fails to solve the problem. M Emmet makes for a fun character through the film.

Billy Green Bush: Jay is husband and father in the household who has to do the most part of the investigation of the creatures, he gets attacked the most but will do anything to protect his family. Billy is good in this role without doing too much.

Scott Grimes: Brad is the youngest member of the family who likes using fireworks and a slingshot, he uses his skills to fight off the Critters to protect his family. Scott does a good job in this role as the kid with extra fight in him.

Don Keith Opper: Charlie is the town drunk and believer in something coming from out of space using him to communicate, he works for the family but could be the answer to all the problems. Don is good in what turns into two roles through this film.

Support Cast: Critters has your typical supporting cast, dumb deputy, damsel in distress sister, flashy boyfriend etc they all work for the film.

Director Review: Stephen HerekStephen gives us a fun creature feature that isn’t the strongest but an easy watch.

 

Comedy: Critters has good comedy moments mostly from the Critters themselves.

Horror: Critters isn’t the scariest film because the comical look for the creatures doesn’t help.

Sci-Fi: Critters has creatures from out of space, bounty hunters from out of space coming to our world which ticks all the sci-fi angles.

Thriller: Critters does keep you wondering where the creatures will attack next.

Settings: Critters uses the farm as the setting giving the character’s isolation as they wait for help.
Special Effects
: Critters has the right level of effects needed for the comic side of the film.

Suggestion: Critters is one for the all the creature features fans to enjoy. (Creature Feature Fans)

 

Best Part: Creatures are fun.

Worst Part: Slightly short.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final showdown.

Funniest Scene: Crit meets ET.

Kill Of The Film: Firework eating Crit.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Part one of 4

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Gremlins

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $13 Million

Budget: $2 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

Tagline: The original tasty entree!

 

Overall: Fun creature feature that will make you laughing throughout.

Ratingcard