Franchise Weekend – The NeverEnding Story (1984)

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Writer: Wolfgang Petersen, Herman Weigel (Screenplay) Michael Ende (Novel)

Starring: Barrett Oliver, Noah Hathaway, Alan Oppenheimer, Sydeny Bromley, Tami Stronach

 

Plot: A troubled boy dives into a wondrous fantasy world through the pages of a mysterious book.


Tagline – A boy who needs a friend finds a world that needs a hero in a land beyond imagination!

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Fantasy Film

 

Story: The Never-Ending Story starts as we meet avid reader and bullied young boy Bastian (Oliver) who starts reading his latest book, ‘The Neverending Story’ while avoiding attending school. The book shows the adventure of the creatures living under an Empresses that it sick, which is causing the ‘Nothing’ taking over the land.

Atreyu (Hathaway) is the only one that can save the kingdom, but his adventure is full of challenge and heartache, even though Bastian seems to be able to interact with what happens in the fantasy land. Can Atreyu save the Empresses before it is too late?

 

Thoughts on The Never-Ending Story

 

Characters – Bastian is a lonely child, his mother has recently died, and he is struggling through school, with bullies constantly hounding him, he hides in books and now he gets his hands on this new adventure book where we follow him reading the book. Atreyu is the only one that save Fantasia and even after losing his best friend, he must find a way to save them. We have a whole host of colourful characters in this world that help Atreyu along the way of his mission.

PerformancesWe have three child actors in the main roles here, Noah Hathaway is Atreyu is great showing the strength in his innocence to be the hero of the story. Barrett Oliver as the trouble young boy is good and often becomes the narrator of the story.

StoryThe story follows a troubled young boy that finds hope in a book which takes him on an adventure that he can control where the world needs saving. This story gives our character an escape from the world that he desperately needed after everything that has and is happening to him. The adventure itself throws us into a world of wonderful creatures and isn’t afraid to make us get excited or sad along the way as the world is facing destruction unless our hero can save the day. For a family adventure film this is a fun story to follow and one that can be enjoyed by all.

Adventure/Family/FantasyThe adventure takes us across the world to see the different creatures facing the same reality of destruction. The family can enjoy this even if there are dark moments in the film, while the fantasy side of the film is wonderful to experience for an 80s film.

SettingsEach setting shows the different levels of peril that Atreyu must go through to try and save the world he is a part of, some are dark others are bright.

Special EffectsThe effects have dated in places, but the practical creature creations are a delight to see through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Entering the world.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The horse, come on who didn’t cry?

Final ThoughtsThis is a delightful fantasy adventure film for everyone to enjoy, it may well be over 30 years old but is one you can all enjoy together.

 

Overall: True classic of 80s adventure cinema.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – P – Perfect Storm (2000)

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Writer: William D Wittliff (Screenplay) Sebastian Junger (Book)

Starring: George Clooney, Mark Wahlberg, John C Reilly, Diane Lane, William Fichtner, John Hawkes, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Allen Payne

 

Plot: An unusually intense storm pattern catches some commercial fishermen unaware and puts them in mortal danger.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sea Worthy Disaster Adventure

 

Story: The Perfect Storm starts as Captain Billy Tyne (Clooney) has been hitting a dry patch when it comes to his boats fishing quota. Determined to turn this around Billy takes his crew Bobby (Wahlberg), Murph (Reilly), Sully (Fichtner), Bugsy (Hawkes) and Alfred (Payne) out again further than normal but also to a location which should have larger number of fish.

As the crew hit the ocean get go further than before, but they catch more than they could imagine, the problem they now face is getting home, which includes going through a hurricane the size no one has seen before.

 

Thoughts on The Perfect Storm

 

Characters/PerformanceCaptain Billy Tyne is a once successful fisherman but his luck has dried up, determined to turn it around he takes his crew out further than normal risking their lives. Bobby is the younger member of the crew who loves the adventure at sea but his girlfriend wants him to start a less risky job, this could be his last mission to sea. Murph is the divorced father that is dealing with the idea is son isn’t going to be seeing him as often as he would like to. Sully is the newest crew member, he seems difficult to work with but also loyal to the end and one of the best fishermen in own. We do also have the remaining crew who are loyal, other boats that get trapped in the storm, Linda Greenlaw a fellow fisherwoman that knows how capable Billy is and finally Christina, Bobby’s girl that waits for him back home.

Performance wise, Clooney shows here that he was ready to start being taken seriously by Hollywood here, we also get a good performance from Wahlberg here too, we also have a supporting cast we can always rely on to give us brilliant performance and they know their importance to the film.

StoryThe story is based on the true events of the 1991 hurricanes that hit off the coast of America, we follow the fishing boat primary but we do also have the coastguards being followed as they look to rescue other boats which at times does take away from the characters we get to have a good time meeting in the opening sequence of the film. away from that we get to see how the main boat must decide whether to stay safe or risk it all be going through the storm.

Action/AdventureThe action sequences through the storm are brilliant, they put us in complete location with the crew dealing with every single up and down they must face. The adventure shows us what the men must overcome to return home.

SettingsThe film is set all at sea which is fine because it is about the fishing boat that needs to battle the storm to make it home, but this makes us feel like we are in the middle of this adventure through the whole film.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to make each and every scene look realistic and still do till this day.

Final ThoughtsOne of the films that shows us just how people will fight through storms to make money and how mother nature will not always be one your side.

 

Overall: Edge of your seat action thriller.

Rating

 

 

Original v Remake – Poseidon (2006)

poseideonDirector: Wolfgang Petersen

Writer: Mark Protosevich (Screenplay) Paul Gallico (Novel)

Starring: Josh Lucas, Kurt Russell, Jacinda Barrett, Richard Dreyfuss, Emmy Rossum, Mia Maestro, Mike Vogel, Kevin Dillon, Freddy Rodriguez, Andre Braugher

 

Plot: On New Year’s Eve, the luxury ocean liner Poseidon capsizes after being swamped by a rogue wave. The survivors are left to fight for their lives as they attempt to escape the sinking ship.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Glossy but Pointless Remake

 

Story: Poseidon starts on board the Luxury Ocean Liner Poseidon and we go through meeting al our characters Robert Ramsey (Russell) and his daughter Jennifer (Rossum) who is with her boyfriend Christian (Vogel), we also meet gambler Dylan Johns (Lucas), Elena (Maestro) who has snuck on board to be with her boyfriend Marco (Rodriguez) who works on the crew. Richard Nelson (Dreyfuss) is celebrating his trip away wanting a midnight call from his loved one even though he has had his heartbroken back home with Captain Bradford (Braugher) keeping everything calm. This character introduction feels very rushed and I am not sure if I want to cheer for any of these characters. Actually I want to see Richard’s story.

New Year’s Eve again and the celebrations start the new year before the disaster strikes as a rogue enormous wave strikes the ship rolling it upside down. As if all the characters we met are important they are the ones that survive and go out to search for a way out while the rest stay behind in safety so we have Robert, Jennifer, Dylan, Elena, Marco, Richard, Maggie (Barrett) and her son Conor (Bennett). It would be fair to say this is slightly too many characters to be dealing with so I guess we need to trim them down by having over the top deaths for the supporting ones, there we go it starts.

We are left to wonder which ones of the survivors will make it out alive even if we use the process of elimination we know which ones will make it to the end.

Poseidon is a remake of the classic disaster film and what this film does this time is go for the overkill on the characters that are not part of the main group, be it through the first wave, the survivors who didn’t want to go with the rest or just the less important characters have big, Hollywood style kills. The threat remains good because if your ship gets tipped upside down it is easy to create the peril needed for this film. It ends up being nothing but a Hollywood glorified over the top disaster film with under developed characters.

When it comes to the cast you see Josh Lucas get a leading role in an action film where due to poorly written character he is never good or bad with the way he behaves this can also be said about the Kurt Russell character with neither taking the roles filled by Hackman or Borgnine is the original. None of the other performance stand out with as I said before just being disposable characters throughout the film. This film almost feels like a pointless cash in remake for a film that never need to be remade as an action set piece rather than the quest to survive.

 

Overall: Easy to watch disaster film that lacks character development needed.

Ratingcard

 

 

Air Force One (1997)

forceDirector: Wolfgang Petersen

Writer: Andrew W. Marlowe (Screenplay)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Gary Oldman, Glenn Close, Wendy Crewson, Liesel Matthews, Paul Guilfoyle, Xander Berkeley, William H Macy, Dean Stockwell, Tom Everett

 

Plot: Hijackers seize the plane carrying the President of the United States and his family, but he – an ex-soldier – works from hiding to defeat them.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Pulse Pounding Action Flick

 

Story: Air Force One starts as we see President James Marshall (Ford) having a proud moment after capturing a terrorist leader and coming out with how he wants to take on Congress. Returning home on Air Force One President Marshall finds his plane hijacked by Ivan Korshunov (Oldman) who wants the recently captured terrorist released.

Once in control of Air Force One Ivan uses the President’s wife Grace (Crewson) and daughter Alice (Matthews) as leverage to push the President into breaking his no negotiations with terrorist’s stance, as he uses his combat skills to take out the terrorists himself from on board. The Vice President Kathryn Bennett (Close) has to control things from the ground potentially having to make the biggest decisions.

Air Force One gave us an action film unlike anything we had seen before because this time the action hero was none other than the President himself and yes I know we did get a strong leader in Independence Day but this time he was the star of the show. We get to see how the President will handle the action pressure as well as the big decisions. Another great part of this film is that we get to see the traitor from the start and always wonder what their next move will be. When we see action films we like to cheer for the guy who is against the odds and this gives us that and plenty more as we watch a nation wait for the news of his safety.

 

Actor Review

 

Harrison Ford: President James Marshall is a medal of honour winning soldier who has bought in a new no negotiation with terrorist stance. He finds his Air Force One under hijack where instead of escaping like procedure he takes a stand as he tries to take out the men taking over the plane. James is one of the best action Presidents in film history instead of being just a by the book nice guy. Harrison is brilliant in this role where he gets to show a new line of stunt work to go with a strong leader and action star.president

Gary Oldman: Ivan Korshunov is the extremist terrorist who has taken over Air Force One, he will kill any hostages to get what he wants which is one extremist leader to be released from prison. Ivan is one of the most memorable villains of the 90s because he is ruthless to the core. Gary is brilliant in this role showing he can play any character.ivan

Glenn Close: Vice President Kathryn Bennett has to make the decisions back in America as she is left helpless with the hijack of Air Force One. She must deal with all the diplomatic decisions as well as helping her President and innocent people on board the plane. Glenn is great in this role showing how difficult the side of this story is away from the action.vice

Wendy Crewson: Grace Marshall is the wife of the President who is on Air Force One, she becomes the leverage for Ivan to get what he wants. Wendy is good even if the character isn’t given the true screen time needed.

Support Cast: Air Force One has a big supporting cast that is filled with known names in the business who all help the story unfold with their different acts of bravery and betray.

Director Review: Wolfgang PetersenWolfgang gives us one of the best action films from the 90s that also gives us glimpses of political decision being made.

 

Action: Air Force One has plenty of action being most of the President taking on the terrorists.

Adventure: Air Force One works for the adventure side of story trying to save the day.

Thriller: Air Force One keeps us on the edge from the moment that Air Force One is hijack until the end credits.

Settings: Air Force One keeps the settings on both Air Force One and White House as the decisions get made for the good of the country.
Special Effects
: Air Force One has good effects for the time but have started to date now.

Suggestion: Air Force One is one for all the action junkies to enjoy. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Parachute escape.

Worst Part: Political side gets slightly annoying.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Con Air, The Rock

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for Best Sound and Film Editing

Box Office: $172 Million

Budget: $85 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

Tagline: Harrison Ford is the President of the United States.

 

Overall: Brilliant action film that keeps us on edge from start to finish.

Ratingcard