Sam Neill Weekend – The Dish (2000)

Director: Rob Sitch

Writer: Santo Cilaruo, Tom Gleisner, Jane Kennedy, Rob Sitch (Screenplay)

Starring: Sam Neill, Kevin Harrington, Tom Long, Patrick Warburton, Genevieve Mooy, Tayler Kane, Billie Brown, Roy Billing


Plot: A remote Australian community, populated by quirky characters, plays a key role in the first Apollo moon landing.

Tagline – Man’s first step on the moon nearly stumbled on earth

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Brilliant Look at the Apollo 11 Mission


Story: The Dish starts as a small town named Parkes which has the largest satellite dish in the south hemisphere is selected by NASA to communicate the Apollo 11 mission, the team is a four man operation run by Cliff Buxton (Neill) with his normal team, Ross ‘Mitch Mitchell (Harrington), Glenn Latham (Long) and NASA representative Al Burnett (Warburton).

With the news that Parkes has been selected the whole town gets a buzz with the Mayor (Billing) seeing this a chance to meet the Prime Minister (Brown) and gossip flying around, while the men deal with the added pressure of being part of one of the most important moments in human history.


Thoughts on The Dish


Characters – Cliff Buxton is the director of the facility, he remains calm for the additional pressure placed on him by this mission, he knows how to welcome a new member to the team and keep his loyal team showing the respect required, Cliff has been through his own personal tragedy which has given him extra motivation to be part of this moment in history. Mitch is the senior member of the team in Australia, he has worked with Cliff for years now and doesn’t take too keenly to Al, he must learn to accept his own mistakes and that everyone involved wants the same thing. Glenn is the youngest member of the team, he is nervous person in life and has a side story of whether he will ask a local woman out. Al is the representative from NASA, he is very much by the book figure and this does cause tension in places because he isn’t as laid back as the rest of the team, even though he does have the utmost respect for the team.

PerformancesSam Neill is brilliant in this film, he has always been one of the actors that can portray knowledge with ease and will always be engaging. Kevin Harrington, Tom Long and Patrick Warburton are all wonderful to watch, showing great chemistry throughout the film.

StoryThe story here follows the small team of satellite team in Australia that have been selected to be the link in communication for NASA for the Apollo 11 mission to be the first man to walk on the moon, we see how they team had to overcome their own problems to make sure they are part of history. When it comes to the moon mission, it has to go down as one of the biggest moments in human history and over the years we have seen many stories about the people involved in making this moment in history happen. By seeing how a small crew has operated to make this event visible for the world is entertaining. Seeing how things didn’t go to plan shows how they had to show their skills to adapt to the situation is interesting and the side story of the Mayor seeing how proud he is to be selected for this. This is a complete story that shows us just how wonderful this event was for the people involved.

Comedy/HistoryThe comedy involved in the film shows us just how the crew can make the events fee light-hearted with what happens, showing us how they can feel like they are can operate best with the laidback nature. This does circle around one of the biggest events in human history.

SettingsThe film uses a couple of main locations, first and most importantly is the dish which shows how contained the operation was and how the town came together to be remembered in history.

Scene of the Movie –
Rudy the security guard, he gets so many laughs it is brilliant.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Nothing about this film.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the most underrated movies involving the moon landing, it is one that is easy to enjoy with laughs and historical moments blend effortlessly.


Overall: Wonderful drama.




ABC Film Challenge – Animation – E – The Emperor’s New Groove (2000)

Director: Mark Dindal

Writer: David Reynolds (Screenplay) Chris Williams, Mark Dindal (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) David Spade, John Goodman, Eartha Kitt, Patrick Warburton, Wendie Malick


Plot: Emperor Kuzco is turned into a llama by his ex-administrator Yzma, and must now regain his throne with the help of Pacha, the gentle llama herder.

Tagline – Mingin’!

Runtime: 1 Hour 18 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: There is a Deeper Story Here


Story: The Emperor’s New Groove starts as we meet Emperor Kuzco who has been turned into a llama by Yzma who is trying to take over the Emperor’s jobs, which leads him to fire her, as he looks to demolish a local village where Pachu the llama farmer lives.

When Kuzco is left to go with Pachu, he must find a way to return to his human form, reclaim his thrown and learn the true message of being an Emperor.


Thoughts on The Emperor’s New Groove


Characters – Kuzco is the young Emperor that gets turned into a llama, he craves power and popularity, leaving him to not care about who he steps on to get what he wants. He must learn to treat his people with respect and become the emperor for his land. Pacha is the quiet llama farmer, head to the village, that wants to stop his village being destroyed and reluctantly agrees to help Kuzco to return to his throne. Yzma is the evil adviser that wants to power and will kill Kuzco to get this.

StoryThe story focuses on an Emperor that needs to learn that he doesn’t need to be selfish to be a strong leader to his people by growing up. We get the usual ideas being used here where nothing comes off overly original and more of the story plays into the stand-up comics routines over telling a story. you do feel like there should have been a deeper story being used more often through the film over the jokes.

Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe adventure put two unlikely people needing to get through a jungle back to safety, which is told through jokes too often, the family could get certain laughs but he adults will not enjoy them as much.

SettingsThe settings don’t seem to show us which country Kuzco is the ruler off, with the random jungle having random animals in.

AnimationThe animation works well for the time it was made, but doesn’t feel as strong as possible.

Scene of the Movie –
Bridge breaking.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many jokes.

Final ThoughtsThis is an animated film that could keep the kids happy for an hour, it isn’t on the highest levels of animation or storytelling.


Overall: Basic animation.




Better Watch Out (2017)

Director: Chris Peckover

Writer: Chris Peckover, Zack Kahn (Screenplay) Zack Kahn (Story)

Starring: Virginia Madsen, Patrick Warburton, Olivia DeJonge, Dacre Montgomery, Levi Miller, Ed Oxenbould


Plot: On a quiet suburban street, a babysitter must defend a twelve-year-old boy from intruders, only to discover it’s far from a normal home invasion.

Tagline – You Might Be Home But Your’e Not Alone

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Fun Throughout


Story: Better Watch Out starts as Ashley (DeJonge) a babysitter is about to leave town, she has agreed to take one more job for the Lerner family babysitting Luke (Miller). Luke happens to be madly in love with Ashley and plays to try and make a move tonight, but things take a turn into a sinister when the two get invaded by a stranger.

This night will change both their lives forever, as the night goes into a new direction as everything unfolds.


Thoughts on Better Watch Out


Characters – Ashley is the gorgeous babysitter that can get any guy she wants, she tries to treat Luke with respect as a young adult, but soon takes full control of the night in a battle to survive a game she never thought she would be involved in. Luke is the kid that has a crush on his babysitter, he wants to make his move tonight as it will be his last chance before she moves. Garrett is Luke’s best friend and has been giving him advice, bad advice how to win over Ashley, he isn’t prepared for the direction the night goes.

PerformancesOlivia DeJonge is great through this film, she takes charge when needed and must do a lot of acting through her expression for certain parts of the movie. Levi Miller is fantastic in this role, he takes it to a level you wouldn’t imagine once you learn the motive of his character for the night. The rest of the cast is good throughout the film, without taking the spotlight off the leading two characters.

StoryThe story follows a babysitter and the kid she is looking after as the night goes in a direction they didn’t see it going, there is a lot of foreshadowing used in this film, almost to a level where it is right on the nose. The twist is takes also gives us a new idea of where horror could go, it never takes itself too seriously and you can see how the natural character reactions play into the age of the characters involved. This is a lot of fun, doesn’t rely on twists or shocks, just follows the path to see how things could end up going wrong.

Horror/ComedyThe horror does work in the film, any gore moments are off camera, which can take away from one certain moment, but also lets you think about what could be happening. The comedy comes from the reactions to things not going right and the recovery to try and fix this, it works because the film doesn’t set out to be a comedy nor a full blown horror.

SettingsThe film takes place inside one house, this works for the film because it adds shock value to what is going on with everything, there isn’t a way to communicate outside and escaping could cause death, so we know there isn’t an easy way out.

Special EffectsThe effects are mostly off camera, which works and doesn’t, there is one moment that could have been one of the most shocking moments in horror this year, but it also lets you think how it could look.

Scene of the Movie –
Paint can.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It needed that one moment of pure horror violence.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun horror comedy, it has laughs and goes in a direction you wouldn’t expect.


Overall: Fun Horror Comedy




Ted 2 (2015)

logoDirector: Seth MacFarlane

Writer: Seth MacFarlane, Alec Sulkin, Wellesley Wild (Screenplay)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Seth MacFarlane, Amanda Seyfried, Jessica Barth, Giovanni Ribisi, Morgan Freeman, Sam J Jones, Patrick Warburton, Michael Dorn

Plot: Newly-wed Couple Ted and Tami-Lynn want to have a baby, but in order to qualify to b a parent, Ted will have to prove he’s a person in a court of law.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Solid Sequel

Story: Ted 2 starts with Ted marrying Tami-Lynn (Barth) getting married by Sam Jones (Himself). John (Wahlberg) is no longer married to Lori which means no Mila Kunis this time. It doesn’t take long before the two struggle with married life when they get the idea to have a baby.

Ted needs to find himself sperm donor with his first choice being Flash Gordon doesn’t come off they head after Tom Brady next. When these plans fail Ted turns to Johnny for sperm but things get worse for Ted when they find out Tami-Lynn can’t have children. Ted’s life get worst when he finds out the state only sees him as property meaning he can’t adopt, loses his job and has his marriage annulled.

Deciding this isn’t right the Ted and John go to a lawyer and get young ambitious lawyer Samantha (Seyfried) who accepts their case while getting high with them. Time to introduce a villain as Donnie (Risibi) is still not in jail and works as Hasbro giving the boss a new idea to steal Ted if he loses the case. We are left to wonder whether Ted will get his civil rights back and be treated like a human even when Samantha has to turn to Patrick Meighan (Freeman) for help in the civil rights case.

Ted 2 manages to keep the comedy you would expect after seeing the first film going, even if the story seems to focus on the civil rights of Ted. It almost throws out the whole story from the first film on John’s side of the story which is disappointing because we would like to see how things were going rather than just, they got divorced. The main story of trying to prove Ted should have human rights gets slightly too serious for my liking because I think it takes away from the adult fairy tale which the first film felt like. The comical moments do feel like an episode of family guy because they play out at times as the say something show a clip of it happening moment. On the negative I do think they rely on drugs way too much for my liking. Overall the story is serious but the comical moments work to cover it up enough to make it enjoyable. (7/10)

Actor Review

Mark Wahlberg: John is recently divorced best friend of Ted who offers to help Ted get sperm to become a father. He still is a slacker without having much idea what he is doing with his life. He agrees to help Ted prove he deserves to be treated the same as every other living person. Mark doesn’t reach the comedy levels he is capable this time around but still does give us a solid job. (6/10)john

Seth MacFarlane (Voice): Ted is our teddy bear who gets married and wants to start a family but when the state learn that he is a teddy bear they take away his civil rights. Ted has to fight for his civil rights proving that he is a real person. After his disastrous acting performance last time out Seth steps back behind the voice of character which works for him because he is a great voice actor. (7/10)ted

Amanda Seyfried: Samantha is the young lawyer who takes the case which will be the first of her career, when things don’t go well she reaches out to top civil rights lawyer Patrick Meighan to finally help her win the case, she also offers romantic interest John. Amanda comes into the film and plays a character I wouldn’t want a lawyer but does a solid job. (6/10)samantha

Jessica Barth: Tami-Lynn is Ted’s wife until it gets annulled due to Ted losing his civil rights, she stands by her man through the whole situation. Jessica does a solid job but doesn’t get the screen time you would expect from the importance of her character. (6/10)tammi

Morgan Freeman: Patrick Meighan is the one of the best civil right lawyers in America that Samantha turns to to try and help with the case but only ends up rejecting them because he finds the case too difficult to deal with. Morgan doesn’t appear in enough scenes really. (5/10)

Giovanni Risibi: Donnie is free from jail and still wants Ted, he works for Hasbro as a cleaner as he plans to talk a high ranking member of Hasbro into stealing Ted and discovering what makes hi tick. Giovanni brings the same character back to the film which works because he will be the hapless villain. (7/10)

Support Cast: Ted 2 gives you what you would expect from the series, cameos left right and centre that add extra laughs.

Director Review: Seth MacFarlane Seth returns to what we would expect from him, he brings his style of comedy to film which won’t please everyone but I laughed enough. (7/10)

Comedy: Ted 2 has a range of comedy but the smarter jokes do get pushed aside for sex and drug heavy jokes. (7/10)

Settings: Ted 2 doesn’t really make too much out of its settings, we get what you would expect but nothing much else. (3/10)

Suggestion: Ted 2 is one for the fans of the style of comedy, I can see a lot of people not liking this because they will find the comedy too much. (MacFarlane fans Watch)

Best Part: Liam Neeson Cameo.

Worst Part: No Mila Kunis.

Funniest Scene: Sperm Bank

Favourite Quote: Ted There are no chicks with dicks only guys with tits

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: If it makes money I expect to see one.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $60 Million (Opening Weekend)

Budget: $68 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

Tagline: Thunder Buddies For Life

Overall: The Sequel you would expect, not quite as funny but still strong enough.

Rating 65


Scream 3 (2000)

Director: Wes Craven
Starring: Liev Schreiber, Kelly Rutherford, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Patrick Dempsey, Scott Foley, Lance Henriksen, Deon Richmond, Matt Keeslar, Jenny McCarthy, Emily Mortimer, Parker Posey, Patrick Warburton, David Arquette, Jamie Kennedy
A few years have past now Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber) is now a talk show host of a show called 100% cotton. After filming a cameo in ‘Stab 3’ Cotton gets a phone call from Ghost face who is going to kill his girlfriend Christine Hamilton (Kelly Rutherford). Ghost Face leaves a picture of Sidney’s mother at the scene of the crime.

Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) is high flying presenter now and as she knows about the Woodsboro the police ask her help Detective Mark Kincaid (Patrick Dempsey). Sidney (Neve Campbell) lives in the middle of nowhere working from home as a phone support worker.

Dewey (David Arquette) now works as a technical advisor on ‘Stab 3’ which production gets put into question. the director Roman Bridger (Scott Foley) and producer John Milton (Lance Henriksen) try to keep the film in production. The actors from the movie Tyson Fox (Deon Richmond), Tom Prinze (Matt Keeslar), Sarah Darling (Jenny McCarthy) Angelina Tyler (Emily Mortimer) and Jennifer Jolie (Parker Posey).

With a video sent from Randy (Jamie Kennedy) giving the heroes the rules of trilogy. Having this information we are left to wonder who will survive this time and anyone could be the killer.

This being the third in the trilogy it was meant to be the last coming full circle and giving us the ending we were all looking forward too. Filled with twist and tension which goes to a higher level and even re-writing the history of the first two movies. The characters are all well developed to all be made out to be potential suspects. The final reveal is a big surprise. Still well worth a watch for slasher fans.

My rating is 70%