Franchise Weekend – The Mask of Zorro (1998)

Director: Martin Campbell

Writer: John Eskow, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio (Screenplay) Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Randall Jahnson, Johnston McCuulley (Story)

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta Jones, Matt Letscher, Stuart Wilson, Tony Amendola

 

Plot: A young thief, seeking revenge for the death of his brother, is trained by the once great, but aged Zorro, who also pursues vengeance of his own.


Tagline – No one has seen his face….but everyone….knows this mark.

Runtime: 2 Hours 16 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Adventure Film

 

Story: The Mask of Zorro starts when the Spanish are trying to control Mexico, Don Diego (Hopkins) has created an alter ego Zorro who has become the hero in the eyes of the Mexicans, when he is finally tracked down by Don Rafael (Wilson) who locks up Diego and raises his baby as his own.

Twenty years later Diego escapes from prison to extract his revenge, only to learn the Elena (Jones) has remained by Rafael’s side and instead of getting revenge himself, he trains Alejandro (Banderas) to become the new Zorro and icon for a nation.

 

Thoughts on The Mask of Zorro

 

Characters – Alejandro grew up idolising the great Zorro that helped free Mexico, though he turned into a lowlife thief who sees his brother killed and turning to the bottle he is saved by Diego who offers him a chance to use his skills to become the new Zorro as Mexico needs a new hero. He does lack the calm that Diego had in his time as the masked icon. Don Diego helped free a nation before seeing his wife killed and child raised by another man while he is locked in prison, once freed he sets out to train a new Zorro to help get his revenge. Don Rafael was once the closest friend of to Diego until the night he wants to stop him being Zorro and take his wife, he has continued his greedy lifestyle which makes the people he controls his latest victims. Elena is the grown up daughter Diego didn’t know he had, raised by Rafael as his own, she is knows the better life until Alejandro shows her something different.

PerformancesAntonio Banderas in the leading role is good run to watch, we know he has the authentic background for the role too. Anthony Hopkins is solid enough in this role, even if we are not sure if she is meant to be British of Mexican. Catherine Zeta Jones on the other hand is poor throughout, her accent is all over the place throughout the film. Stuart Wilson is fine without being anything memorable in the villainous role.

StoryThe story here follows the legendary figure of Zorro that helped Mexico become free from Spain, only it takes a twist on a revenge when an older version of Zorro must train a new icon to help him get the revenge and lift the hopes of a nation again. This won’t bring anything new to the adventure genre and can be fun for the story, the problem with the story is the length of the film which does drag after a while. If we can be serious this does feel like Zorro is the Mexican version of Robin Hood which does entertain and show us how another country has an icon of hope.

Action/Adventure/Comedy/Romance/WesternWe have a lot of genres that get touched on through this film, first the action the best part of the film because once we get into the sword fighting we get the best moments of the film. the adventure takes our heroes on the revenge mission, we do get a touch of comedy through the film with Alejandro getting the best parts of comedy. The romance does fall slightly short because we just don’t believe everything going on, with the western side of the film being fine and never the most believable.

SettingsThe film doesn’t use the settings to the best because you never truly believe we are at any of these locations.


Scene of the Movie –
Final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Zeta Jones’s accent.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple, but fun adventure film that you can enjoy without needing to remember it by the end.

 

Overall: Simple and enjoyable.

Rating

 

 

Annabelle (2014)

logoDirector: John R. Leonetti

Writer: Gary Dauberman (Screenplay)

Starring: Annabelle Wallis, Ward Horton, Tony Amendola, Alfre Woodard, Kerry O’Malley, Brain Howe, Eric Ladin, Ivar Brogger

 

Plot: A couple begins to experience terrifying supernatural occurrences involving a vintage doll shortly after their home is invaded by satanic cultists.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Another Demon Film

Story: Annabelle starts by telling us the part of the story that happened in ‘The Conjuring’ just to remind us about what we will be watching. We go back a year earlier Mia (Wallis) and John (Horton) are planning for their first child. We see early stages of tension between the couple and they both try to keep everything together. John happens to buy an Annabelle doll for their child, which I might add they don’t know whether it will be a boy or a girl, but they have way to many dolls if it turns out to be a boy.

The first night of having this creepy ass doll Mia hears screams coming from the house next door and the neighbours needing an ambulance. The incident leads to Mia getting stabbed and the two intruders who are part of a cult both die one from being shot the other suicide.  Luckily for the couple the baby is unharmed but Mia is ordered to stick to bed rest for the rest of the pregnancy.doll

The ordeal for the couple has only just starting when strange things start happening around the house, including the sewing machine turning itself on. Disposing of the doll because the suicide girl died holding it. Mia has the baby even though the house catches fire, but just in time for the couple of move for John’s new job. The couple have a baby girl Leah, good job they had all the dolls ready for a baby girl, but one doll made the trip that they didn’t want to, the Annabelle doll. It soon becomes apparent that whatever was haunting them at the old house is back but John doesn’t know what to make of Mia’s claims. Mia alone in the apartment overnight continues to get haunted by strange goings on, Mia must fight off whatever is after her and her baby before it is too late. Mia learns that she could be up against a demon that the cult that tried to kill her had summoned. Mia has to find a way to give the demon a soul to make it vanish once and for all.

Annabelle is the prequel to the good horror film ‘The Conjuring’ and it focuses on somewhat of a side note from that film with the creepy doll. The problem is that the doll is nothing but a creepy doll that just gets moved around by a demon. Nearly everything that happens is very generic for the genre right down to the characters decisions. We have the trademark priest falling to actually do anything to help. The idea does put the story into a real horror situation from the intruders to the possession which should really make this a much scarier film than we actually get. It just seems to take too long to really roll into the main side of the haunting especially as we already know about the doll. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

Annabelle Wallis: Mia loving wife and soon to be mother who gets attacked, but once she has the baby she continues to get haunted by a spirit demon who wants her baby. Annabelle does a solid job in the lead role but really struggles to make an impact when it comes to the legacy of a role like this. (6/10)

 mia

Ward Horton: John Gordon father and husband who spends most of the film at work leaving Mia to do all the work against the demons. Ward does what he can with what little he has to work with here. (4/10)

 

Support Cast: Annabelle has a supporting cast of people who try to help mainly the useless priest and a lady full of regret because of what happened to her own child. They offer the usual help without really doing much to the story.

Director Review: John R. Leonetti – John gives us a standard modern horror with easy jump scares instead of any tension building. (5/10)

 

Horror: Annabelle enters into the world of cheap jump scares that can be called well before they happen. (5/10)

Settings: Annabelle has most of the hauntings going on inside a house which brings the horror back home for the characters. (9/10)

Suggestion: Annabelle is one for the horror fans to try but don’t expect too much from it. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Ghost attack changing age through a door.

Worst Part: Cheap jump scares.

Scariest Scene: Ghost changing age after running through a door.

 

Believability: it is said to be based on real events but it is up to you what you want to believe. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It will have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $255 Million

Budget: $6.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

Overall: This really is a lacklustre prequel to one of the better recent horror films, it becomes lazy with its scares and turns into something we have seen before.

Rating 50