Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Heavy Metal, based on original works and stories from Heavy Metal Magazine: a Film Review

Synopsis:

The Loc-Nar has been released into the world and has let its evil leech into the universe. As we follow the stories of those it has touched the characters, events and styles change with the situation.

Will the Loc-Nar have its way and continue to pour its pure evil into the world or will it meet its end finally?

General Information

-Genre: Animated, Science-Fiction, Science- Fantasy, Adult Content

-Creator: based off of works and stories from Heavy Metal Magazine

-Length: 90 minutes

-Film Rating: R (For violence, sexual situations and imagery, weapons, death and violent injury, blood and gore)

-Where to watch: STARZ, DVD, Blue-ray, or check your local library for a copy!

-Main Cast: Rodger Bumpass, Jackie Burroughs, John Candy, Joe Flaherty, Don Francks, Martin Lavut, Marylin Lightstone, Eugene Levy, Alice Playten, Harold Remis, Susan Roman, Richard Romanus, August Shellenberg, Jon Vernon, Zal Yanovsky

-Page of Reference in RP1: 87

Review (contains spoilers):

This was super trippy but quite awesome! Gave me very Anamatrix vibes (we will be reviewing that one soon!) with all the stories tying back together but with all of them being written, created, and animated by different artists and creatives.

The overarching story was compelling but I was kind of thrown by just how adult a lot of the content was. I know it mentioned it at the beginning and it is rated R. I guess I was just thinking Princess Mononoke “R” not borderline pornography “R”.

Once I got past that it was a cool film. Definitely not for kids at all but from what I know about Heavy Metal magazine it seems to fit the theming really well. All the different art styles were cool. I love seeing how different animators see their style when given free reign. It makes me want to try and find some older copies of the magazine from the 1980s to see the stories this was based off of!

Overall, very cool and something I’ll probably watch again!

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Big Trouble in Little China, created by John Carpenter: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Jack Burton is the all-American truck driver.  Big, burly, and rough around the edges.  When he arrives in Chinatown, San Francisco it seems like a normal trip.  He plays cards with his friend Wang Chi winning a huge bet against him.  In order to make sure he pays up; Jack decides to accompany him to the airport to pick up Wang’s childhood sweetheart turned fiancée who is on her way from China for their wedding.

As Miao Yin steps off the plane a Chinese street gang and sex traffickers called the Lords of Death attempt to kidnap a different girl but are thwarted by Jack Burton and her friend Gracie Law.  When this happens the gang instead grabs Miao Yin making off with her.  Jack and Wang follow in pursuit hoping to simply grab her back from the gang.

But when the duo stumbles into a gang fight and ends up facing down “The Three Storms”-a trio of ancient warriors with magical powers to control thunder, rain, and lightening- rescuing Miao Yin may not be as easy as the thought.  Especially not when the mysterious underground societies of magic that rumble beneath the Chinatown Jack knows and loves rear their ugly heads.

General Information:

-Genre: Fantasy Martial Arts Action Comedy

-Creator: John Carpenter

-Length: 99 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (mild sexual innuendos and jokes, moderate fantasy and martial arts violence and gore, moderate profanity, mild use of alcohol and smoking, moderate frightening and intense scenes)

-Where to Watch: Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Kurt Russell, Kin Cattrall, Dennis Dun

-Page of Reference in RP1: 292

Review (contains spoilers):

This movie has no business being as good as it is.  It’s a martial arts fantasy action movie…about an ancient guy who needs a special green-eyed woman to marry in order to break the curse he is under.

It is ridiculous, over the top and atrociously cheesy but absolutely fantastic.

And I don’t know why!

There is nothing particularly great about any one part of this movie.  The effects are exactly what you would expect from a 1980s film.  Its kind of a traditional old school kung fu kind of movie.  Kurt Russel is…well….Kurt Russel.  The storyline is absurd.

But it all works.  I’m so glad that I finally sat down and watched this one.

Rating:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central

Hook, created by James V. Hart and Malia Scotch Marmo, based on the story Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barrie: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Peter Banning, a successful lawyer in San Francisco, is struggling with other aspects of his life.  Between his work and his children as well as his relationship with his wife, Moira, Peter seems unaware that his devotion to his job is not only straining these relationships, but they have been brought nearly to the breaking point.  When the family goes to England to celebrate Granny Wendy’s hospital wing dedication the family is thrown back into the world of Peter and Moira’s childhood.

Granny Wendy took in Peter as the first orphan that she helped raise.  Over the years she helpd so many other lost children that there is now a wing of the local hospital being dedicated to her work.  It is on the night of the dedication that tragedy strikes.  While Peter’s children, Jack and Maggie, are staying at the house with Granny Wendy’s housekeeper and one of her friends, Liza and Tootles, someone breaks into the house and steals the children.

Upon their return to find their beds empty Peter is confronted with the fact that the stories of Wendy and Peter Pan are not just stories at all…that he is actually Peter Pan.  And his children have been taken by the notorious Captain Hook and his crew.  But Peter doesn’t want to believe…can’t believe.  It is only when he is finally pulled into Neverland that Peter must confront his past.  The one that he chose to bury a long time ago when he fell in love with Wendy’s granddaughter, Moira.

General Information:

-Genre: Fantasy, Swashbuckler/Pirate, Action/Adventure, Family

-Creator: created by James V. Hart and Malia Scotch Marmo, based on the story Peter and Wendy by J. M. Barrie

-Length: 142 minutes

-Rating: PG (mild violence, mild profanity, mild use of alcohol and smoking, mild frightening scenes and deaths)

-Where to Watch: Netflix (with subscription), Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blu-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, Dustin Hoffman, Bob Hoskins, Maggie Smith, Charlie Korsmo

-Page of Reference in RP1: 62

Review (contains spoilers):

This is by far my favorite rendition of Peter Pan. 

I love the characterization of Wendy and how they aged her.  She isn’t the same Wendy that you know from the Disney version of the story…or from Finding Neverland…or any other rendition of Peter Pan. And Maggie Smith does in incomparable job in her performance.

Peter is a scared and oblivious man that took on so many of the characteristics of Captain Hook that he always fought against.  Not just growing up but greed and selfishness.  Robin Williams does a spectacular job of portraying Peter from start to finish.

Moira and the children are fabulous.  Tootles and Liza are beloved side characters.

And the Lost Boys and Tinkerbell… Rufio in particular… are just how I imagined them when reading Peter Pan as a child.  They are crazy and imaginative and just children. Tink is delightful (and much better than the cartoon version of herself).

Hook in this film is the best Hook.  He is the swashbuckling, vindictive, and overly vain.  Dustin Hoffman was by far the perfect choice for this roll (though I would have been fascinated to see David Bowie in the roll…)

I love the story and the way things develop.  The set dressing is perfect from the house in England to the Lost Boys clearing to Hook’s pirate ship.

The costumes are extravagant and over the top.  Slightly cartoony in places but not in a way that would be considered out of place.  They tell so much of the story of the characters that we don’t get to hear.

And can we just agree that the whole film is a stunning work that expands the story of Peter Pan that we all grew up with.

I ALWAYS recommend this to families with older kids.  It is a great film to watch with the family and one that I continue to enjoy immensely even into my 30s.

Rating:

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Posted in Blog Posts, Flick Central, Week of Love

Stardust, by Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman, based off the novel by Neil Gaiman: a Film Review

Synopsis:

Tristan Thorn lives in the English town of Wall, named for the long wall that runs along the village separating it from the fantasy world that is said to be on the other side.  When he sets to win the heart of the local girl, Victoria, he cannot seem to do anything more than blunder every attempt to do so.  Suddenly he is struck with an idea to win her hand in marriage.  Cross the wall and retrieve a star the pair has seen fall from the sky…which may be easier said than done.

On the other side of the Wall lies the kingdom of Stormhold where a dying king’s seven sons are competing to decide who will reign after his death.  Unfortunately for them it is either the throne or death themselves…but when they cannot seem to defeat each other for the title the king sends out his ruby necklace to be restored by his one true surviving heir.  Which ends up knocking a star out of the sky and to earth.  The same star seen by Tristan and Victoria that fateful night.

But Tristan is not the only one who sees the star fall from the sky.  A trio of witches is also after her heart to make themselves young again and extend their life for another 400 years.

As Tristan crosses the wall in an effort to find the fallen star he meets a host of characters from a swashbuckling pirate, to the deadly prince Septimus, insane witches, and even the fallen star herself…what he could never imagine was the adventure that he would embark on…as soon as he can get past the old man that guards the hole in the Wall.

General Information:

-Genre: Romantic Fantasy Adventure

-Creator: Matthew Vaughn and Jane Goldman, based off the novel by Neil Gaiman

-Length: 128 minutes

-Rating: PG-13 (for mild implied sex and nudity, moderate violence and gore, mild profanity, mild use of alcohol, moderate intense scenes including fighting and magic elements)

-Where to Watch: Netflix (with subscription), Amazon Prime Video (Buy/Rent), iTunes (Buy/Rent), DVD, Blue-Ray, or look for it at your local library

-Main Cast: Claire Danes, Charlie Cox, Sienna Miller, Rickey Gervais, Jason Flemyng, Rupert Evertt, Peter O’Toole, Michelle Pfeiffer, Robert De Niro

-Page of Reference in RP1:

Review (contains spoilers):

I really enjoy this film but be warned I have not read the book at the time of writing this review so I cannot compare the two. 

The story is quite unique to what I have seen in the past.  But that is to be expected from the mind of Neil Gaiman.  Between the adventures through the land of faerie, the cruel princes trying to gain their father’s throne, and witches trying to get ahold of a fallen star, the story is varied with the depth of a fully imagined world.

When I first heard of all of the different stories that go on during the course of the film, I thought it would be quite confusing to keep everything straight but the filmmakers did an exquisite job interweaving everything a way that makes it easy to follow and incredibly enjoyable.

The characters are bright and bold both in their portrayal and their writing.  The costuming is lovely… a perfect mix of historically accurate Victorian styles with fantasy elements. The settings are beautiful.  Just an incredibly done film. 

I love the world that Gaiman created and this film brought to life.

Rating:

Rating: 4 out of 5.