Tim Burton Weekend – Ed Wood (1994)

Director: Tim Burton

Writer: Scott Alexander, Larry Karaszewski (Screenplay) Rudolph Grey (Book)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Martin Landau, Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette, Jeffrey Jones, Vincent D’Onofrio, Bill Murray

 

Plot: Ambitious but troubled movie director Edward D. Wood Jr. tries his best to fulfill his dreams, despite his lack of support.


Tagline – Movies were his passion. Women were his inspiration. Angora sweaters were his weakness.

Runtime: 2 Hours 7 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful

 

Story: Ed Wood starts as we meet Edward D Wood Jr (Depp) an aspiring director in Hollywood, with his work making the stage for now, when he learns of a story of a transvestite, he jumps at the chance to get his big break in Hollywood. Once Ed Wood makes friends with aging Hollywood icon Bela Lugosi (Landau) he gets given the chance to direct.

When his film gets completely panned, Ed Wood becomes an outcast in Hollywood and sets out to makes his own movies with Bela Lugosi in tow, become the cult favourite in the industry.

 

Thoughts on Ed Wood

 

Characters – Ed Wood was the aspiring director that has crazy ideas in his head, after his first studio produced film is panned, he must set up to make his own movies for limited budget with his new friend Bela Lugosi, Ed Wood also enjoys dressing up in women’s clothes which puts him out on the different in a time when that wasn’t considered acceptable. Bela Lugosi was once one of the most famous men in Hollywood after his role in Dracula, now he is older and mostly forgotten by the fans that once loved him. He befriends Ed Wood and starts to return to acting and hopefully see him kick his drug habits. Dolores is the long-suffering girlfriend of Ed Wood who stars in his pictures, even though she doesn’t like his lifestyle. Kathy O’Hara is a woman that Ed Wood meets that brings new meaning to his life. We meet other characters who are involved in the life and Ed Wood and the films he makes.

PerformancesJohnny Depp is fantastic in this leading role, he showed how he was carving out his career by taking chances against his typecast of a pretty boy. Martin Landau went on to win an Oscar for his supporting performance, this is easily one of the greatest portrays of an actor you will ever see. We do have a host of talents in the supporting roles with Sarah Jessica Parker, Patricia Arquette and Bill Murray who are good through the film.

StoryThe story follows the career of Ed Wood as he was trying to make his name in Hollywood and is only known for bad films which have their own cult following now. Seeing how he went about making this happen is very interesting and the friendship he struck up with Bela Lugosi is what we know with fellow directors and actors in modern film making. Any film that tells a story about Hollywood and the movie making process is one to be checking out.

Biopic/ComedyThe biopic side of the film comes from where we find Ed Wood and Bela Lugosi friendship and the eventually production of Plan 9. The comedy comes from just how the movie was made with the reactions of the people involved.

SettingsThe film is set in the 50s Hollywood and from start to finish you will feel like you are part of this era in time.


Scene of the Movie –
When Ed Wood snaps on set.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The Orson Wells scene because the dubbing was bad.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful look the movie making process behind one of the most infamously bad movies in the history of the business, we have two performances that are simply brilliant and is easily one of the best moving making movies ever made.

 

Overall: Wonderful movie making movie.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – M – Meteor (1979)

Director: Ronald Neame

Writer: Stanley Mann, Edmund H North (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Connery, Natalie Wood, Karl Malden, Brian Keith, Martin Landau, Trevor Howard, Richard Dysart, Henry Fonda

 

Plot: The USA must join forces with the USSR in order to destroy a gigantic asteroid heading straight for Earth.


Tagline – There’s No Place On Earth To Hide!

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Typical 70s Disaster Movie

 

Story: Meteor starts when a gigantic asteroid is discovered in space, heading straight to Earth, now Dr Phil Bradley (Connery) is bought in to use his design of Hercules as a defence to eliminate the threat from space, the problems come from the idea the military have turned his idea into a weapon hovering over Russia, which brings the Russians into the mix with Dr Dubov (Keith) needing to work with the Americans to stop the threat.

As the two superpowers start to put their differences behind them, the threat needs to be addressed and the question remains how the world will prepare for any failure in the missions.

 

Thoughts on Meteor

 

Characters – Paul Bradley created the defence operation in space for any potential threats coming from out of space, he isn’t happy they were used to place missiles on enemy countries and now he must fight to get his ideas used the correct way once a threat from space comes to light. Tatiana is the translator between the two nations, she must help build the bridges between the two sides who are aiming for the same thing. Harry Sherwood runs the operations from the American side as he works to help Paul get his ideas out even if it means going against the higher ups want. Dr Dubov is the Russian with his own version of Hercules, he will help even if it means not everything is working for him.

PerformancesSean Connery gives us the performance we would expect from him, he is good without standing out in anyways.  Most of the performances are just fine, there are a lot of military performances we would expect and power struggle needing to be played out.

StoryThe story here shows how the world first started facing the fact their destruction could come from space, while also balance the idea of the superpowers of the world trying to stay ahead of each other even defending the Earth. When it comes to disaster movies, I feel like I have seen them all, the good, the bad and the ugly of the selection the world has given us. If I was to compare this to a more modern one, it would be Deep Impact as they both show the scientific side to defending the Earth and are not afraid to have the destruction from small asteroids. Everything does play out smoothly enough and with the boom in disaster movies it follows the typical clichés previous movies have offered too.

Action/Sci-FiWhen we look at the action the film gives us, we are looking at destruction caused by the falling asteroids, while you can tell most scenes are miniature modals of city, they do come off good when it comes to the destruction where of course its only major locations that get hit. The sci-fi side of the film shows the focus on the idea that an asteroid could come and hit Earth and offers ideas to prepare for it.

SettingsThe film mostly stays in he science facilities only leaving to show us the destruction to the typical location we always see get destroyed in the disaster movies.

Special EffectsThe effects I believe were good for the time, even though they have dated with how they achieve certain destruction sequences.


Scene of the Movie –
The destruction scenes are the best ones to watch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The awkward tidal wave scene.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid 70s disaster movie, it checks the boxes well and shows the possibilities Earth could face with an asteroid strike.

 

Overall: 70s Disaster movie 101

Rating

 

 

Frankenweenie (2012)

frankDirector: Tim Burton

Writer: John August (Screenplay) Leonard Ripps (Original Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Catherine O’Hara, Martin Short, Martin Landau, Charlie Tahan, Atticus Shaffer, Winona Ryder, Robert Capron

 

Plot: Young Victor conducts a science experiment to bring his beloved dog Sparky back to life, only to face unintended, sometimes monstrous, consequences.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Animated Film

 

Story: Frankenweenie starts as we see the movies Victor makes for his family with his loveable dog Sparky, Victor makes remakes classic films with his toys that show his loneliness of the world he lives in. when the science project comes around Victor’s father does him a deal, try sport and you can enter the project.

Victor agrees but Sparky always the playful character chases after the ball running in the road being killed, breaking Victor’s heart. Victor inspired by his teacher decides to work on his next project, bring Sparky back to life using the power of electricity.

When the other students learn about Victor’s project they turn to him to help them bring their pet back from the dead but things soon get out of hand in the town.

 

Thoughts on Frankenweenie

 

StoryThe story being told is one of the most difficult situation people and especially children must go through, the loss of a pet. The spin comes with the idea of being able to bring them back to life which all works as the desire for more time with a lost pet will always come through. I do think this story works very well with plenty of references to classic horror stories with the dawn of horror and dealing with losing pets.

Animated/Comedy/FamilyThe animation being used is the trademark of Tim Burton and works to keep it unique to the industry. The comedy comes from poking light hearted fun at the classic horror films with the family element coming from the persona situation these children would have to go through, each one compliments the others perfectly.

Characters The characters are all believable for the world created where they all create and are named after famous characters from other films that are all moulded to be. I liked and understood all the characters through the film as they all work to continue the telling.

SettingsThe settings created make us feel like we are in a beautifully created world that only these characters would live in making gothic horror world come to life.

Final ThoughtsThis is a charming tale giving us the most important life lesson as a pet owner, you will outlive your pet no matter what you do.

 

Overall: Enjoyable animated film that is full of Tim Burton’s quirk.

Ratingcard

 

 

Trailer Alert – Remember

Plot – The darkest chapter of the 20th century collides with a contemporary mission of revenge.

Release Date: Non set

Stars: Christopher Plummer, Martin Landau, Dean Norris

What Looks Good? Very haunting look at what would be a revenge film.

What Looks Bad? We might have seen similar before.

Summary: This does look like a very powerful film with a strong cast that I think could be a surprise hit for the year.

Questions:

Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating – 90%

My Guess Rating – 90%

Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

The Majestic (2001)

logoDirector: Frank Darabont

Writer: Michael Sloane (Screenplay)

Starring: Jim Carrey, Bob Balaban, Jeffrey DeMunn, Hal Holbrook, Laurie Holden, Martin Landau, Brent Briscoe, Ron Rifkin, Amanda Detmer, James Whitmore

 

Plot: Set in 1951, a blacklisted Hollywood writer gets into a car accident, loses his memory and settles down in a small town where he is mistaken for a long-lost son.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Entertaining Drama

Story: The Majestic starts by showing us a movie plot discussion meeting with our protagonist Peter (Carrey). We learn how he is about to break out as a screenwriter with his first film being shown. This goes next to the communist hunt that flew through America in the 1950s. Peter becomes the next victim in the hunt leading him to get blacklisted in Hollywood, after losing it he gets drunk and tries to drive off into the sunset, but things don’t go well for him when he crashes his car on a bridge going over and bumping his head. Peter awakens with no memory of who he is or why he is where he is. Peter is taken into a small town that have lost most of their young generation of men in the war. The town’s people all seem to recognize Peter and one man in particular Harry (Landau) thinks he is his lost son. His appearance in the town makes Harry want to reopen the Majestic cinema to give the people of the town some hope.

It is not long before the whole town is welcoming him home and he gives the whole town inspiration to move on with their lives and the man’s lost love Adele (Holden) tries to rekindle what she once had by taking him around town to the memories they once had together. While his attachment for the town grows we are left to wonder what will come back first, his memory or his past.

The Majestic is a very powerful story about a town struggling to move on while one man who could be one of their own lost ones inspires them to move on with their lives. Where the story shines is by showing how small towns would be suffering to cope after the war and how America panicked through the communist investigation just pointing figures and never getting real answers. On its negative side I find it hard to believe that the amnesia got almost shrugged off by the town’s people and how easily they just assumed a man who couldn’t remember anything would just turn up home. The Majestic does come off giving a very warm feeling after viewing and is easily enjoyable. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

Jim Carrey: Peter Appleton a screenwriter who gets blacklisted when people believe his is a communist. While trying to escape the problems he ends up in a small town where he has a striking resemblance to a man thought to have died in the war. He gives them all inspiration but once he figures out who he really is he has to learn to stand up for a new cause. Jim gives one of his best performances here showing he can give serious performance. (9/10)

 jim

Martin Landau: Harry Timble the man who believes Peter is his son returning after the war and once he sees him wants to reopen the family business. He gets to see his cinema reopened and spend time with what he thinks is his son before passing on before the truth gets out. Martin gives a good performance of a man wanting one more day with his lost son. (7/10)

 martin

Laurie Holden: Adele Stanton the romantic interest of the lost man, she is not sure about Peter but does fall for his charms all over again before finding out the truth. Laurie gives a good performance. (7/10)

 laurie

Support Cast: The Majestic has two main groups of supporting characters; we have the studio people and the men investigating the communist in Hollywood. While the second group are the members of the town who believe Peter is a lost member of the town. Both sets make the story flow well giving us the solid idea between the loss of loved ones in the war and the witch hunt for communists.

Director Review: Frank Darabont – Frank does a good job directing this film even though it doesn’t reach the levels of some of his previous work. (7/10)

 

Drama: The Majestic uses the sense of drama to tell the heart breaking story of loss of the young men during the war in the small town and how it has changed the people’s lives. (9/10)

Settings: The Majestic uses the settings really well to give an authentic feel for the time period the film is set in. (9/10)

Suggestion: The Majestic is a film that could be enjoyed by everyone but may not appeal to everyone due to its character driven story. (Try It)

 

Best Part of The Majestic: The Commission Speech.

Worst Part of The Majestic: Slightly too long for the story it tells.

 

Believability: Forgetting the chance of the character happening to look like another person the two storylines focus on very real effects the war had on two different areas of society. (8/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Jim Carrey could have got a nomination but the film didn’t get any.

Box Office: $37 Million

Budget: $72 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 32 Minutes

Tagline: Sometimes your life comes into focus one frame at a time

 

Overall: Carrey’s Best Was Not A Success But is Must Be Seen By His Fans

Rating 

79