Scrooged (1988)

Director: Richard Donner

Writer: Mitch Glazer, Michael O’Donoghue (Screenplay) Charles Dickens (Novel)

Starring: Bill Murray, Karen Allen, John Forsythe, John Glover, Bobcat Goldthwait

 

Plot: A selfish, cynical T.V. executive is haunted by three spirits bearing lessons on Christmas Eve.

Tagline – The spirits will move you in odd and hysterical ways.
Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Reimagining of Christmas Carol

 

Story: Scrooged starts as we meet TV executive Frank Cross (Murray) who is preparing the Christmas line up with his own live production of Scrooge. He puts pressure on his assistant Grace, fires staff who go against him in Eliot (Goldthwait) and pushes the boundaries of television.

When Frank gets visited by his former boss Lew Hayward (Forsythe) he gets an encounter from beyond the grave that warns him he will get a visit from three ghosts over the next day to show him his past, present and future.

 

Thoughts on Scrooged

 

Characters – Frank Cross is the ruthless TV executive that sees Christmas as a chance to prove his value by getting the highest ratings, when he pushes people to far he gets a visit from three ghosts that show him the errors of his way, but can he change. Frank is one of the first characters in a Scrooge role that he is going on the same trip, so he doesn’t believe it on the same levels. Claire is the former love that Frank let go for his own career, she was the only person that could get through his selfish ways in the past.

PerformancesThis film is a Bill Murray vehicle, it was designed for his comic timing and quick wit as a stand-alone performer which is something he hasn’t done much previously. It is strange because I am not the biggest fan of his comedy, but in this role, I enjoyed his performance that is filled with arrogance to make us hate his character while also being able to sympathise with him. The rest of the cast work well for the film that show us how Murray can get the best out of many different talents.

StoryThe story is a different take on the classic Christmas Carol, first the film shows characters who know the story, so they know where the ghosts are taking them, which is different and refreshing to see. I can see the traditionalist not enjoying this version, but let’s be honest how many times can you tell the same story? the problems I do have with the film is that we don’t get the full impact of what the supporting characters of the story get enough time see their impact on the story, in the way they were originally designed.

Comedy/Fantasy/RomanceThe comedy comes from Bill Murray, it only comes around him which can give and take from the bigger picture too often, the fantasy and romance both suffer in the same feint.

SettingsThe film is mostly set inside the TV studio showing how Frank sees the characters and the production going on and how he treats them.

Special EffectsWhile the effects are not used very often, but when they do they all work very well for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Final Speech.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The dramatic moments are lacking the punch needed.

Final ThoughtsIf you want to see a different version of the Christmas Carol, this works because it brings us into a world where the book exists.

 

Overall: Nice little Christmas Film.

Rating

 

 

Hercules (1997)

logoDirector: Ron Clements, John Musker

Writer: Ron Clements, John Musker, Don McEnery, Bob Shaw, Irene Mecchi (Screenplay) Kaan Kalyon, Kelly Wightman, Randy Cartwright, John Ramirez, Jeff Snow, Vance Gerry, Kirk Hanson, Francis Glebas, Mark Kennedy, Bruce Morris, Don Dougherty, Thom Enriquez (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Tate Donovan, Josh Keaton, Roger Bart, Danny DeVito, James Woods, Susan Egan, Bobcat Goldthwait, Matt Frewer, Rip Torn

 

Plot: The son of the Greek Gods Zeus and Hera is stripped of his immortality as an infant and must become a true hero in order to reclaim it.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disney’s Weaker Years

 

Story: Hercules starts with narration of the legacy of Hercules before taking us back to the beginning of the Hercules legend. We see Zeus throwing a party of his baby Hercules giving his first present Pegasus before Hades interrupts the party from the underworld. Hades not content with ruling the underworld wants to rule everything and consults the all-seeing future where he learns that when Hercules enters into battle with him he will lose. Hades sends his two slaves Panic and Pain to take Hercules and take away his immortality before killing him. They do remove his immortality but fail to remove his strength or kill him leaving him with a normal family to grow up as a normal kid.

We move forward to a young Hercules struggling to fit in anywhere, not being acceptable by the locals before being told the truth by his adopted parents. Hercules sets out to make it to the home of the Gods to find out where he really came from and meeting his father who sets him off to meet Phil to be trained as a hero along with his long lost friend Pegasus. We end up with a montage to show the training where Phil sees this chance as one last chance to train a true hero. On his first mission Hercules saves Meg from a creature getting his first glimpse of love.

We learn that Meg is in fact working for Hades and once Hades learns that Hercules is still alive he sets out to finish the job Panic & Pain failed to complete all those years ago. Hades’ attempt to kill Hercules only ends up making him a hero making him the hero Hades was warned about. Can Hercules become the hero he was destine to become or will love stand in his way?

Hercules has 17 writers, really 17 how is this possible? The story really does follow a very typical Disney theme of a son trying to prove himself in his father’s shadow and someone trying to find their place in the world. The ideas of the world Hercules lives in are all nice but as a fan of Greek Mythology I always want to see the Hercules myth told in all its greatness rather than a small segment that is clearly made up for a younger audience. I feel this film is very average and the story offers nothing fresh to the animation idea and is easily one of the more forgettable Disney animations. (4/10)

 

Character Review

 

Hercules: Hercules is the son of Zeus who loses his immortality and left on Earth. He grows up a mortal with strength but ends up struggling to fit in before discovering the truth where he must train to become the hero he was always destiny to become. Hercules is a character that we all know but do we really think he has this clumsy tendencies or failure to fit ideas? I don’t think so. (4/10)

 

Hercules, Phil and Pagesus

Hercules, Phil and Pagesus

Phil: Phil is the half man half goat trainer of Hercules, who sees this as a chance for him to get his last chance to train a real hero. Phil is your very generic trainer who really doesn’t get the laughs he needs. (4/10)

 

Hades: Hades is the God of the underworld who plans to take over the world but Hercules being alive puts a spanner in the works as Hercules is destiny to stop him. Hades makes for a good villain as he is always turned into the villain when we talk about the ancient Greeks. He is also the highlight of the film. (6/10)

 hades

Meg: Meg is the first damsel in distress that Hercules saves, but she is really forced to work for Hades even after she starts to fall in love with Hercules. Meg tries to be the alternative damsel in distress but it all gets lost when we don’t care about which side she plays on. (3/10)

 

Pain & Panic: These two are the bumbling slaves of Hades who keep messing up the simple ideas but adding comedic moments. These two are meant to be the comic relief but really fail to capture the idea of funny. (4/10)

 

Pegasus: Hercules’ loyal half horse half bird giving to him as a baby, Pegasus is one friend who is always there for Hercules when he needs him most. Pegasus does what it needs to do adding a protective friend but nothing more. (5/10)

 

Support Characters: Hercules has plenty of names known for being around at the same time as Hercules but not many that make too much of a difference.

 

Director Review: Ron Clements, John Musker – I feel these two don’t give us the film we really wanted from the word Hercules but not many do. (4/10)

 

Animation: Hercules has to get good points for the animation because when the Titans come they are frightening for a young audience. (8/10)

Comedy: Hercules has very few laughs if any throughout. (2/10)

Family: Hercules is one for the family to try to together it has attempted jokes for all ages really. (5/10)

Musical: Hercules has good songs used throughout with only one real memorable one. (6/10)

Romance: Hercules throws in a weak romantic angle which we see too often in Disney films. (3/10)

Settings: Hercules creates the settings Hercules could have fought in. (7/10)

Suggestion: Hercules is one that should be watch with the kids only, it falls to reach the levels other films do with the same style of story. (Try It With The Kids)

 

Best Part: I can go the distance song.

Worst Part: No comedy.

What Could Have Been Better? – Better sidekick characters.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Turned into a television cartoon.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for Best Original Music Score.

Box Office: $252 Million

Budget: $85 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Tagline: Zero to Hero!

 

Overall: Hercules feels so much like a complete rip off of nearly every Disney film and never reaches its true potential.

Rating 35

Willow Creek (2013)

logoDirector: Bobcat Goldthwait

Writer: Bobcat Goldthwait (Screenplay)

Starring: Alexie Gilmore, Bryce Johnson

 

Plot: Jim and his girlfriend Kelly are visiting the infamous Willow Creek, the alleged home of the original Bigfoot legend

 

Verdict: Found Footage Wrong

 

Story: We follow the couple as they film their trip to discover more about Bigfoot. They spend time interviewing people who have experiences to tell as well as the people who just don’t believe, before going into the woods to have their own encounter.

This could have worked as I do believe that found footage could work with the Bigfoot legend. This doesn’t work because we have 50 minutes of the two exploring, nothing remotely close to horror happening. A lengthy ten minute scene with noises outside the tent with the couple inside it. Leaving another 10 minutes of walking around in the day time trying to find a way out before a 2 minute snap scene to finish the film. NO SIGN OF ANY BIGFOOT. Yes we don’t even see a Bigfoot we might not even have been up against one. So if you want to spend an hour watching a couple walk and rive around talking about a legend we already knew the details about enjoy. (1/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Alexie Gilmore: Kelly an aspiring actress who supports her boyfriend on his trip to discover Bigfoot. Easily a forgettable character and performance. (1/10)

 

Bryce Johnson: Jim wants to discover Bigfoot and make his on documentary about his search for the legend. Another forgettable performance from an uninteresting character. (1/10)

 

Director Review: Bobcat Goldthwait – This guy has a reputation for his work, this could have been his worse. (1/10)

 

Horror: For the one moment when it gets interesting I will give this one because the rest is sleepy. (1/10)

Thriller: You don’t care what happens. (0/10)

Settings: how could you mess up the settings for such an easy film idea so much? (3/10)

Suggestion: Don’t even look at what this is about. (Avoid)

 

Best Part: Clutching at straws here, but the one scene when something happens could have made this good if it was same pace as the rest of the film.

Worst Part: The rest of the film

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: PLEASE GOD NO

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 17 Minutes

 

Overall: Terrible

Rating 5