Never Say Never Again (1983)

Director: Irvin Kerschner

Writer: Lorenzo Semple Jr (Screenplay) Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham, Ian Fleming (Story)

Starring: Sean Connery, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Max von Sydow, Barbara Carrera, Kim Basinger, Bernie Casey

 

Plot: A SPECTRE agent has stolen two American nuclear warheads, and James Bond must find their targets before they are detonated.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Light-Hearted Bond

 

Story: Never Say Never Again starts as James Bond (Connery) has been working on training routines, mostly successful, but his physical condition isn’t on the levels it once was, he is now in a treatment hospital where he ends stumbling into Blofeld’s (von Sydow) latest plan.

When Blofeld holds the world to ransom, his agent Maximilian Largo (Brandauer) needs to be tracked down by Bond to stop the stolen nuclear war heads being used against the countries not willing to pay.

 

Thoughts on Never Say Never Again

 

Characters – James Bond is back in action after a forced retirement from the business, he knows how the locate his enemies and seduce a lady and this is no different as he goes up against one of his most famous villains. Largo is the main man puling the strings in the operation for the big boss, he goes face to face with Bond. Blofeld is the leader of SPECTRE the criminal organisation that has held the world to ransom.

PerformancesSean Connery gets to have a lot of fun returning to his most famous role, he still has the swagger for it too. Klaus is a solid enough villain and handles the interactions well. Max Von Sydow is one of the most trusted villains in the business, he takes this role and makes it his own well.

StoryThe story follow James Bond on another one of his adventures against an evil genius that plans to destroy the world. We go to luxury locations, with bars women and fighting, making this a complete 101 on how to make James Bond movie. This won’t be the most memorable one but it follows everything you need it to.

Action/AdventureThe action is good for a Bond film, it isn’t over the top but ticks the boxes well and the adventure is everything you are expecting to see from Bond.

SettingsThe film takes us to exotic locations where we see Bond battle the enemies who are of course rich and enjoy bars, sun women.


Scene of the Movie –
Massage

That Moment That Annoyed Me It lacks that moment that makes this memorable like most of the good Bond films.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that will work for all Bond fans, it checks the boxes well but never stands up to the best of the franchise, even though it isn’t an official part of them.

 

Overall: Bond movie 101

Rating

 

 

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Russell Crowe Weekend – Robin Hood (2010)

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: Brian Helgeland (Screenplay) Brian Helgeland, Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris (Story)

Starring: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Max von Sydow, William Hurt, Mark Strong, Oscar Isaac, Danny Huston

 

Plot: In 12th century England, Robin and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Burner

 

Story: Robin Hood starts with England at war with France, King Richard the Lionheart is leading his men which does include archer Robin Longstride (Crowe), when Richard is killed in battle the kingdom of England falls into Prince John (Isaac) a stricter ruler that wants to tax the country.

Robin returning a sword finds himself needing to pretend to be Marion Loxley’s (Blanchett) husband in Nottingham, while Godfrey (Strong) continues to play both sides as the French look to take advantage of John’s weaknesses. Robin starts to act in the way we know, stealing from what is heading towards the king to return to the poor but how long can he keep this up?

 

Thoughts on Robin Hood

 

Characters/PerformanceRobin Longstribe is an archer with loyal friends, he fights next to King Richard but once he is killed he wants to avoid returning to the new king, he soon finds himself needing to become the hero for the people of the land against the new enemy. Marion is the strong lady that wants what is best for her people wanting to lead in a time where women wouldn’t lead. Prince John becomes king but he is stricter than the previous king as he wants money from people who don’t have it. Godfrey is a man that has been playing both sides to raise himself through the ranks in England or France whoever was to win.

Performance wise, Russell Crowe is fine in this role but if you want to see him at his best Gladiator is superior. Cate Blanchett was an interesting choice here but she does well with her screen time. Mark Strong is always a good choice for villain and does what is needed here. The cast in general is all fine without being great in what is a solid but slow burning film.

StoryRobin Hood is easily one of the most iconic stories in British legend, we have seen plenty of versions of his actions of stealing from the reach giving to the poor, but this time we story has sucked all the fun out of the story and turned it into a medieval story that feels just like everything we have seen in the sub-genre before.

Action/Adventure/RomanceThe action is everything we have come to expect swords, shields and arrows being used throughout. The adventure side of the film is almost non-existent and calling it a romance film well there isn’t any.

SettingsThe settings are the only highlight as each look like the correct time in question.

Special EffectsThe effects all work for the film without becoming too heavily involved.

Final ThoughtsThis is a poor re-imaging or the iconic hero that just doesn’t make the subject matter interesting.

 

Overall: Uninspiring Robin Hood Story.

Rating

 

 

David Lynch Weekend – Dune (1984)

Director: David Lynch

Writer: David Lynch (Screenplay) Frank Herbert (Novel)

Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Virginia Madsen, Francesca Annis, Sean Young, Sting, Everett McGill, Patrick Stewart, Max von Sydow

 

Plot: A Duke’s son leads desert warriors against the galactic emperor and his father’s evil nemesis when they assassinate his father and free their desert world from the emperor’s rule.


Tagline – You are about to enter a world where the unexpected, the unknown, and the unbelievable meet.

Runtime: 2 Hours 17 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Ambitious Sci-Fi Film

 

Story: Dune starts as we learn about a single planet in the universe which contains a substance known as ‘Spice’ which is the most important item in the universe as it aids in space travel, four planets have plans to take control of the planet but the residents of the planet that remain a mystery to all.

Paul Atreides (MacLachlan) becomes the key to the peace between the planets, he heads to the planet after preparing for every known obstacle that could get in his way. The evil Baron Vladimir Harkonnen (McMillan) is planning to kill the Duke, Paul’s father and take control of Dune, can Paul fulfil his destiny and be the one to protect and save the people from this evil ruler.

 

Thoughts on Dune

 

Characters – Paul Atreides is our hero, he is the son of the Duke of the family that run by the planet of Dune, he is learning about the secrets of the planet and becomes the one person that can lead the defence from the enemy waiting to take over the planet, ending the peace. Doctor Kynes is he man that understands how the planet works, one of the resident of the planet, but he does understand how to make the best of the spice. Feyd Rautha is one of the generals set to kill the Atreides’ by Baron Harkonnen, he has swagger while enjoying the kill. Lady Jessica is the mother of Paul, she has the power of controlling minds even though she has gone against the desires of the family by having a son. Gurney Halleck is the man that has trained Paul in combat for years preparing him for any enemy attacks he may face.

PerformancesThe performances here work for the film Kyle MacLachlan is the leading performer and makes for a good leader in the film, the rest of the cast do embrace their characters well without looking out of place.

StoryThe story does give us a lot to take in during the first hour, we must learn who is on whose side, what their plans are and just how big the world we are entering is. This can take time to process which does make for a weaker start to the movie. The second half of the film does become a battle preparation which is a lot more interesting even if a large portion is set in montage scenes. This does feel like a story that needed more time to make it easier to follow, but for a one off viewing you can see the confusion placed on parts of the film.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action side of the film comes from the battle sequences which are highly sci-fi based with the laser guns and explosion, this is an easy part of the film to watch. Diving further into the sci-fi side of the film we have an intergalactic battle for the rule of a planet which holds the key to everything.

SettingsThe settings put us on the planet of Dune, it shows us the bleak vision of the planet but the importance of what it holds.

Special EffectsThe effects for the time would have been great, while they have dated they are worth praising for how they re-defined cinema.


Scene of the Movie –
Taming the Worm.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There is a lot to take in.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sci-fi film with ambitious that is just too much for the ideas behind everything. this is a film that can be enjoyed unless you have read the source material where you might feel disappointed.

 

Overall: Sci-fi ambitious not reaching the levels.

Rating

 

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

star warsDirector: J.J. Abrams

Writer: J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, Michael Arndt (Screenplay) George Lucas (Characters)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Max Von Sydow, Peter Mayhew

 

Plot: Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a rag-tag group of heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: This is the Droid we were Looking For

 

Story: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens starts by giving us the information about the time between Return of the Jedi and now, 30 years have passed and Luke Skywalker (Hamill) has vanished while Princess Leia (Fisher) is trying to locate him to stop a new threat to the galaxy The First Order.

We meet brilliant fighter pilot Poe Dameron (Isaac) who is locating a map to Luke’s location which he entrusts to droid BB-8 before he gets captured. He gets rescued by Stormtrooper Finn (Boyega) who decides to go against the training he has received only to lose him after they crash land. Meanwhile we meet scavenger Rey (Ridley) who finds the BB-8 but also grabs the attention of the First Order lead by Kylo Ren (Driver).

Rey has to team up with Finn and the familiar faces of Han Solo (Ford) and Chewbacca (Mayhew) to take down the First Order and find Luke Skywalker before the galaxy is placed back into a dark era.

Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens brings us the story we were waiting for since the end of Return of the Jedi. We get to meet three leading characters that are fresh throughout but sadly I did feel the villain came off overly moany, not reaching the levels we had with Darth Vader. This has a great feel about it with the returning characters not taking over the story. My only disappointment with this is the slight loose ends about how everything came about being where it is when you thought everything was going to be peaceful after the end of Return of the Jedi.

 

 

Actor Review

 

Daisy Ridley: Rey is a scavenger that lives on the remote planet that BB-8 is from, she is waiting for her family to return and can handle herself in a fight. She is also able to fix anything with minimal tools at her disposal.  She has a connection to the force which gives her the reason to finally leave and stay away from her home planet where she even catches the eye of Han Solo as a potential successor to his Millennium Falcon. Daisy gives us a brilliant performance that could be the best leading character from an original Star Wars story.rey

John Boyega: Finn is the former Stormtrooper who was plunked from his family before being turned into a mindless Stormtrooper. He seems to relapse from his training where he wants to do the right thing which includes helping Rey and Poe against the First Order. John is great in this role as a character we wouldn’t have ever thought about seeing before.finn

Adam Driver: Kylo Ren is the leader of the First Order, he has the power of the force but not the presences of Vadar. He throws tantrums whenever things don’t go his way as he is still battling his good side with his dark side. Adam does a good job in this role even if I wasn’t the biggest fan of the character’s action.kylo

Oscar Isaac: Poe Dameron is the brilliant pilot tasked with finding Luke Skywalker, he is loyal to Leia and the leader in the battle. Oscar gives a good supporting performance as a character we would like to learn more about.poe

Harrison Ford: Han Solo returns to reclaim his ship but once on board he gets to finish his own personal battle that he has found himself running from for years. Harrison gives us a good performance returning to the levels we would expect.han

Support Cast: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens has a good supporting cast that include returning faces and fresh that all feel like they are part of the Star Wars world.

Director Review: J.J. AbramsJ.J. brings us the sequel needed to bring us back to the Star Wars world we love.

 

Action: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens gives us good action from start to finish be it chases, combat or light saber battles.

Adventure: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens gives us a great space adventure from start to finish.

Sci-Fi: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens brings us back to the galaxy far, far away a place that people call home.

Settings: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens each settings makes us feel like we are just back to where we were when Return of the Jedi finishes.
Special Effects
: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens has brilliant special effects from start to finish that never look out of place in the universe.

Suggestion: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens is one for the fans of the original saga to all enjoy. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Having the guts to do what Avengers doesn’t.

Worst Part: Villain sometimes comes off moany.

Action Scene Of The Film: Attacking the First Order.

Funniest Scene: BB-8 and Finn arguing while Rey fixes the Falcon.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Has plenty lined up for the future.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Star Wars A New Hope

 

Oscar Chances: Could get a few technical awards.

Budget: $200 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 7 Minutes

Tagline: Coming to your galaxy this winter.

Trivia: This film takes place 30 years after the Return of the Jedi. The film itself is released 32 years and 7 months after the previous film.

 

Overall: The sequel we all wanted that will make all the fans happy

Ratingcard

Conan the Barbarian (1982)

logoDirector: John Milius

Writer: John Milius, Oliver Stone (Screenplay) Robert E Howard (Characters)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, James Earl Jones, Max Von Sydow, Sandahl Bergman, Ben Davidson, Cassandra Gava, Gerry Lopez, Mako

 

Plot: A vengeful barbarian warrior sets off to avenge his tribe and his parents whom were slain by an evil sorcerer and his warriors when he was a boy.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Adventure

 

Story: Conan the Barbarian starts with the message ‘What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger’. We start by meeting a young Conan being told the stories about the Gods and man’s battles and how the secret of steel. We see the soldiers lead by Thulsa Doom (Jones) destroy young Conan’s village killing everyone leaving Conan the only survivor. The children are all forced into slavery and it is here where Conan (Schwarzenegger) becomes a man.

Conan is used in fights due to his considerable size and strength where he gets trained in the art of combat where he stays loyal to his steel respect. When Conan gets set free of his slavery demands he starts his own quest to avenge his parent’s death. Along the way Conan meets a string of characters that help and hinder his journey but most off all test him. Conan befriends himself with Valeria (Bergman) and Subotia (Lopez) where they start to become the most notorious thieves in the land. The reputation growing the group gets given a quest by King Osric (Von Sydow) to retrieve his daughter from the Thulsa Doom for as much as they can carry.

Conan the Barbarian really does fill the tick boxes needed for a good adventure film, we get the unlikely friendships out to stop an evil leader. We get the idea of a cult like leader which makes his army deadly because they will die to protect him, we also end up going through the whole slave to a king storyline around Conan. The story is easy to follow because everything just unfolds and the narration keeps everything that would be difficult to film informing us the important information. This is what you would expect it to be easy to watch action film so just enjoy. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Conan is the slave who gets his freedom where he becomes a thief before entering on a quest that will end up putting him on a path for revenge against the man who killed his parents. Arnold continues to show why he continued to reach the next levels in the acting world with this role. (7/10)

 

James Earl Jones: Thulsa Doom is the leader who killed Conan’s parents before putting him into slavery, he leads an army that’s only desire is to die fighting for him but little does he know what type of man Conan has turned into. James does a good job in the role showing his talents shining through in the villainous role. (7/10)

 

Sandahl Bergman: Valeria is a fellow thief that becomes a love interest of Conan as they both get the chance to collect their biggest pay day as he goes for revenge. Sandahl does give a solid performance as the warrior like fellow fighter. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: Conan the Barbarian has a large supporting cast that fight both for and against Conan which gives us the sidekick characters needed to make Conan stay on the serious side of the film.

 

Director Review: John Milius – John does a good directing an enjoyable action adventure film. (7/10)

 

Action: Conan the Barbarian is filled with combat scenes that keep becoming large and more important as the film unfolds. (8/10)

Adventure: Conan the Barbarian puts our characters on a quest that will take them across the land to fight against the enemies. (8/10)

Fantasy: Conan the Barbarian puts us into a fantasy world with certain beliefs from start to finish. (8/10)

Settings: Conan the Barbarian puts us into a world that we believe we are inside the world. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Conan the Barbarian has solid effects but it would be fair to say they have dated now. (5/10)

Suggestion: Conan the Barbarian is one to try, I personally felt it was a little bit too long but otherwise it is all fun. (Try it)

 

Best Part: Final battle.

Worst Part: Slightly long.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final fight.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has a sequel and a remake

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Won a Golden Globe for New Star in Motion Picture.

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $37.5 Million

Budget: $20 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

Tagline: He conquered an empire with his sword. She conquered HIM with her bare hands.

Trivia: James Earl Jones was a last minute addition to the cast because of his commitments on Broadway. He and Arnold Schwarzenegger became friends on-set; Schwarzenegger helped Jones stay in shape and Jones coached Schwarzenegger on acting; so did Max von Sydow.

 

Overall: Conan is an enjoyable adventure that can still be enjoyed over 30 years later.

Rating 70