Christopher Lee Weekend – The Mummy (1959)

mummyDirector: Terence Fisher

Writer: Jimmy Sangster (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, Yvonne Furneaux, Eddie Byrne, Felix Aylmer, Raymond Huntley

 

Plot: In 1895, British archaeologists find and open the tomb of Egyptian Princess Ananka with nefarious consequences.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Hammer Horror

 

Story: The Mummy starts in 1895 when British archaeologists John (Cushing) and Stephen Banning (Aylmer) searching for the ancient Egyptian tomb of Princess Ananka which they do discover only for Stephen the father finding himself in a retirement home believing a Mummy Kharis (Lee) came to life furious for disturbing the resting place of Princess Ananka.

3 years later John finally gets some sense out of his father who gives him an ominous warning that the mummy is coming for him and anyone who was involved in the opening of Ananka tomb.

 

Thoughts on The Mummy

 

StoryAs the only Mummy films I had seen were the Rick O’Connor ones I did know the basic outline of the story and this is a very much watered down version of that. We have the archaeologists who discover the tomb and get caught in the middle of the curse which for the 1950s was still around because of the Tutankhamun discovery. This doesn’t get too over the top which let’s face it is why we all love the 1999 version of the film. this does have a simple enough story to follow and can be enjoyed by all the Hammer Horror fans.

Adventure/Fantasy/HorrorWe are thrown into the fantasy horror world of the undead of Egyptian God coming back to avenge the people who opened their resting place. This doesn’t have the biggest scares but is also using the music to create the tension and fear involved in the film.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters come off fitting what would be considered upper class archaeologists which are used to make us not care for them like later editions. We also have the extremist Egyptian who still believes in the God that is guarding the tomb. The performances are all good but when it comes to looking at the characters they all suit the timing of the film.

SettingsThe settings are mixed between the Egyptian tomb which the body was found and what is made to look like the English countryside where the Banning’s live. The settings are not used to the full extent of the scenes going on.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy watch and shows how Hammer Horror really knew how to make horror.

 

Overall: Classic Hammer Horror that can be enjoyed by all the fans out there.

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Christopher Lee Weekend – The Wicker Man (1973)

wickerDirector: Robin Hardy

Writer: Anthony Shaffer (Screenplay)

Starring: Edward Woodward, Christopher Lee, Diane Cilento, Britt Ekland, Ingrid Pitt, Lindsay Kemp, Rseell Waters

 

Plot: A police sergeant is sent to a Scottish island village in search of a missing girl whom the townsfolk claim never existed. Stranger still are the rites that take place there.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic

 

Story: The Wicker Man starts as Sergeant Howie (Woodward) flies to Summerisle a remote island of the coast of Scotland to investigate the case of a missing child Rowan Morrison. Howie finds the island to be very strange and not the most welcoming to strangers but they understand he is the law. While Howie continues to see the strange events on the island Lord Summerisle comes to the inn to see Willow (Eklund) the Goddess of love.

Howie meeting the Lord discovers that the island has created its own beliefs against any Christian ones he has with the belief that the Pagan way of life is no longer respected the way the island follows it.

Finding himself stranded on the island Howie gets to experience the May Day festival which would give him all the answers to what happened to the missing girl.

The Wicker Man is considered one of the greatest horror movies of all time and watching it you can see why. The horror comes from how a cult can have such a belief in something that they could become the most dangerous group imaginable. The story does a very good balance between religion beliefs and how they can cause the difference between people which we see in the shocking finale which will forever go down as one of the most shocking in horror.

Woodward is great as the detective with the Christian belief that is trying his hardest to do everything by the book. Christopher Lee gives one of his most terrifying performances as the lord of this cult staying calm and fully believing everything his character is doing is correct. The rest of the cast are all great without being anything truly stand out apart from Eklund who plays the very seductive character with the famous dancing scene.

 

Overall: One of the boldest and bravest horrors ever made.

Ratingcard

 

 

Hugo (2011)

rob challengeThis week in the challenge Rob selected Hugo for me to watch, this is one film that i always planned to watch one day but had never got around to see it.

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Director: Martin Scorsese

Writer: John Logan (Screenplay) Brian Selznick (Book)

Starring: Asa Butterfield, Ben Kingsley, Sacha Baron Cohen, Chloe Grace Moretz, Ray Winstone, Emily Mortimer, Christopher Lee, Jude Law

Plot: Set in 1930s Paris, an orphan who lives in the walls of a train station is wrapped up in a mystery involving his late father and an automaton.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Special Little Story

Story: Hugo starts in the Paris train station where we see young Hugo (Butterfield) an orphan who lives in the walls of the station. He is always out to keep away from Station Inspector (Cohen). Hugo has been working on trying to work on his father’s work and Georges Melies (Kingsley) has discovered the work and stolen his book. Hugo not giving up easily follows Georges and meets Isabelle (Moretz) who agrees to help retrieve the book for Hugo.

We learn that Hugo’s Father (Law) was trying to build this automaton with Hugo but the mystery of how to get the machine to work is one both of them are searching for before his father is killed in a freak accident. Hugo is left having to live with his Uncle Claude (Winstone) who teaches him about running the clocks but takes him out of school. We do continue to flash between the two time periods and in the 1930s Hugo must now earn his notebook back from Georges by working in his stale for all the parts he has stolen.

We watch how Hugo gets his first love interest as well as learning about growing up by working in the stands inside the train station as he could final get to finish his father’s work and unlock a secret about Georges.

Hugo is a story that is very easy to watch unfold and brings us a positive feeling through a negative time. I really didn’t know where the film was really going which is always a good part of a story. When we end up looking into the past of the film director it ends up going towards giving the people who deserve credit getting what they deserve. We also have the idea of learning and a building friendship with a clash of different backgrounds. There is also small parts to the story that show romances between minor characters. I think this will give everyone a feel good factor by the end, but I slightly too long especially having two different character explain about the directors past. (9/10)

Actor Review

Asa Butterfield: Hugo Cabret is our orphan who lives inside the train station, he is still trying to finishes his late father’s work which will help him unlock a secret somebody is trying to keep quiet. He spends his time constantly trying to hide from the station inspector who wants to send him to an orphanage as he keeps all the clocks running inside the train station. Hugo ends up going on an adventure with Isabelle. Asa does a great job in the leading role alongside a much more famous cast. (9/10)hugo

Chloe Grace Moretz: Isabelle is the young girl similar age to Hugo that tries to help him unlock the secrets that have been kept hidden. Chloe continues her career here with a good supporting performance. (7/10)isabelle

Sacha Baron Cohen: Station Inspector is the hapless inspector who is trying to keep the orphans out of the train station, he enjoys catching them, but Hugo always escapes his grasps. Sacha shows that he doesn’t need to do all these horrible comedy films because he is a very good actor. (8/10)inspector

Ben Kingsley: Georges Melies is the Godfather to Isabelle who has taken Hugo’s notebook, but the truth is that he is hiding a secret that he doesn’t want coming back out. Ben brings the heavyweight performance here having to show a true range of emotions through the film. (8/10)georis

Support Cast: Hugo has a mega cast of cameos and small parts that all help the story unfold, including Christopher Lee, Jude Law, Emily Mortimer and Ray Winstone.

Director Review: Martin ScorseseMartin uses all his skills from the years and experience and brings us a great film. (9/10)

Action: Hugo doesn’t have the most action with most just being chases around the train station. (6/10)

Family: Hugo is one for the whole family to enjoy because they can have the moments of family, friendship and a final chase to be remembered. (/10)

Mystery: Hugo does create a small mystery but it isn’t the whole factor from the story. (6/10)

Settings: Hugo re-creates the settings perfectly for the time periods being used during the film. (10/10)
Special Effects: Hugo uses the special effects to help create the authentic look of the locations. (9/10)

Suggestion: Hugo is one for the family to sit down and watch together giving you a nice feeling by the end. (Watch)

Best Part: Learning about the early films.

Worst Part: Repeating the same story in the film.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: Won 5 Oscars and nominated for another 6.

Box Office: $74 Million

Budget: $170 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes

Tagline: Unlock the secret

Trivia: Martin Scorsese and Christopher Lee are very good friends, but up until 2010 had never worked together. Lee’s response when he was asked by Scorsese to appear in Hugo was: “It’s about time!”

Overall: Brilliant Tale an achievement in story telling.

Rating 90

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

logoDirector: Peter Jackson

Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro (Screenplay) J.R.R. Tolkien (Novel)

Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Scott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Benedict Cumberbatch, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry

 

Plot: Bilbo and Company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the Lonely Mountain from falling into the hands of a rising darkness.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Shortest of the Saga but Still Too Long

 

Story: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies starts with the effects of the previous film with Smaug entering into the town destroying everything in its way. Bilbo (Freeman) and the rest of the dwarfs watch on helplessly while Bard (Evans) tries to be hero the town saving his family along the way. Bard manages to put the beast down saving what is left of the town but away from the destruction we see how Gandalf (McKellen) is still captured.

We see the aftermath of the attack with the towns people ready to turn on each other before the dwarfs going onto their next chapter with Thorin (Armitage) starting to become obsessed with the newly discovered gold. Bard taking control of the town’s people must lead them to safety while Legolas (Bloom) but find out who is going to be interested in the newly discovered gold. The mountain has become the target for all of the powers in middle earth and they all come together for one long battle for the gold.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is based on five pages of a children’s book and turns out to be well over 2 hours long, let’s face it there isn’t much of a story here, nothing happens except a battle that goes on, and on and almost decides to go Fuck it lets put this animal in it see what happens. The opening of the film is confusing because if you forgot what happened last time it doesn’t make any sense and to make things worse the characters are so easily forgettable you don’t care what happens to them. This is simply put a terrible conclusion to a saga that over stayed its welcome. (2/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Ian McKellen: Gandalf is the wizard who seems to have a calming influence on every side but even he can’t stop the battle from going on. Ian is in it but I don’t really know what he does, swings his stick a little and chats to Bilbo, could have had anyone do this really. (3/10)

 

Martin Freeman: Bilbo Baggins is on his biggest adventure and always tries to do the right thing even if it makes enemies of friends. Martin becomes the supporting character in a film about his own adventure but he does a solid job. (5/10)

bilbo

Richard Armitage: Thorin is the dwarf king who is losing control because of his hold over the gold, this is making him isolated from his friends and leaving him making rash decision. Richard does a solid job but is he happy or sad oh wait I don’t know. (5/10)

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Orlando Bloom: Legolas is our returning hero who completes his appearances in all of the sagas with an investigation mission to who is preparing for battle for the mountain. Orlando clearly needed an extra pay day so he can go back to the shit movies he has been making here. (3/10)

 

Luke Evans: Bard is the warrior fighting for his city and saving it from the dragon Smaug before holding everything together trying to find a peaceful conclusion to the gold in the mountain. I personally thought Luke played the most interesting character of the whole film but that was because he got to kick ass at the start. (6/10)

bard

Support Cast: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has so many supporting characters I just didn’t remember the names of it is unbelievable really, none of the made an impact enough to make you care about them.

 

Director Review: Peter Jackson – Peter has finally slipped off the top of the mountain after the success of his first trilogy we get a very complete lacklustre one. (4/10)

 

Adventure: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies doesn’t really have much adventure because no one seems to do any travelling in this one. (0/10)

Fantasy: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies puts us in a fantasy world where they seem to just put any creature they like on screen. (6/10)

Settings: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies have a very CGI world to battle in with location that make for assistance in battle. (5/10)
Special Effects
: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has very poor special effects for the budget the film has. (3/10)

Suggestion: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is one for only the fans to see and even then I think they will feel disappointed with the final product. (Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Opening Dragon attack.

Worst Part: The Rest

Action Scene Of The Film: The Battle looks epic but I don’t know who is who.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 1 Oscar

Box Office: $955 Million

Budget: $250 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 24 Minutes

Tagline: Witness the defining chapter of the Middle-Earth saga

Trivia: In the book, the whole Battle Of The Five Armies takes place in just one chapter, and is described to the reader after the fact. While in the film, the battle takes up nearly half of the running time.

 

Overall: This has to go down as a bad, boring film that really doesn’t have any redeeming qualities.

Rating 30

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

posterDirector: Tim Burton

Writer: John August (Screenplay) Roald Dahl (Book)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Freddie Highmore, David Kelly, Helena Bonham Carter, Noah Taylor, Missi Pyle, James Fox, Deep Roy, Christopher Lee, AnnaSophia Robb

 

Plot: A young boy wins a tour through the most magnificent chocolate factory in the world, led by the world’s most unusual candy maker.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Colourful Remake

 

Story: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, starts by showing us the golden tickets being placed into the chocolate bars which later get distributed around the world. Time to introduce Charlie Bucket (Highmore) a regular boy whose family struggles to make ends meet, who live in an odd shaped house. Back story time and we learn about Willy Wonka (Depp) who started with a small corner shop before entering into his factory, telling us he has a knack for the strange. We learn how Wonka became a recluse because of how his secrets got stolen, but for one time only he offers a chance for 5 children a chance to see his factory.

We start by meeting the kids who win the tickets Augustus Gloop (Wiegratz), Veruca Salt (Winter), Violet Beauregarde (Robb) and Mike Teavee (Fry) all these kids have signs of showing who they really are and what type of people they will become. Charlie’s life is about to change when he finds money lying on the street and buys a Wonka bar that just so happens to have the last golden ticket. Charlie along with Grandpa Joe (Kelly) go to the factory for the tour along with the rest of the winners. Wonka shows off his factory and its work force the Oompa Loompas (Roy) for an adventure of a life time for all the children.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one of the first books I read, Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory is one of the first films I loved even though I know they changed the book slightly. This visually is everything I imagined from what I once read. I also think the story is captured perfectly, but one to the negatives. I didn’t really like the whole Willy Wonka backstory I felt it looked very forced and took away from the adventure in the factory. The story itself will always be a classic and to be fair to the story is base idea is captured well. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Johnny Depp: Willy Wonka the recluse chocolate factory owner who invites five children to tour his factory. He lacks social skills and clearly has father issue, he is also very strange. Johnny does a great job to create and change the previously created character to be his own. (8/10)

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Freddie Highmore: Charlie Bucket the poor average nothing special boy who gets the chance of a lifetime to go to Willy Wonka’s factory where he will have the adventure of a lifetime. Freddie does a good job in this early role that showed he was going to be a bigger name. (8/10)

charlie

Support Cast: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has a mix of supporting characters the other contestants all works well and show the problems children can end up having. We have the Bucket family who all give Charlie hope and the Oompa Loompas all played by the same actor. Every single actor does a great job in the role they play.

 

Director Review: Tim Burton – Tim does a great job putting his stamp onto this film showing how colourful if could be. (8/10)

 

Adventure: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory gives the five children a chance of adventure which would be amazing for someone in Charlie’s position. (8/10)

Comedy: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory doesn’t have the most comedy it has a few chuckles but nothing full blown funny. (5/10)

Family: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is always going to be a family classic and this will offer discuss about which is the favourite. (7/10)

Music: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has good songs used but nothing as catchy as the originals. (5/10)

Settings: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has beautifully created settings that make you feel like you are on the adventure along with the heroes. (10/10)
Special Effects
: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory has great effects with what happens to the ‘naughty’ kids during the trip in the factory. (8/10)

Suggestion: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is one for the family to sit down and enjoy together. (Family Watch)

 

Best Part: The first moment you see the candy room.

Worst Part: Dentist father is not needed.

Favourite Quote: Willy Wonka ‘Everything in this room is eatable, even *I’m* eatable! But that is called “cannibalism,” my dear children, and is in fact frowned upon in most societies.’

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for Best Achievement is Costume.

Box Office: $475 Million

Budget: $150 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

Tagline: Willy Wonka Is semi-sweet and nuts

Trivia: To his surprise, Deep Roy played every Oompa-Loompa himself, repeating the same movements several hundred times. While these were then put together digitally, each Oompa-Loompa represents a separate performance by Roy. In recognition of this, Roy’s salary was raised to $1,000,000.

 

Overall: Let the discussion about which is better begin

Rating 72