Archive for May, 2013

Well this is another re watch for me. Director Ridley Scott’s Legend is a very nice little fantasy film. It’s definitely a feast for the eyes with some rather stunning cinematography. The plot revolves around the main characters Jack and Lili who are young lovers. Lili is a princess and Jack is like a forest child who spends his days at one with nature. One day Jack has a special surprise for Lili and takes her to see the unicorns. They are the purest creatures in existence and the protectors of light. Lili can’t contain her excitement and wishes to touch the unicorns, even though Jack asked her not to. Whilst she is singing to the unicorn and reaching to touch it a nearby group of goblins use a blowpipe to poison one of the unicorns.

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When the unicorns bolt and Lili meets back up with Jack the leader of the goblins, Blix chops off the unicorn’s horn to take to his master. His master is a huge devil played by the magnificent Tim Curry called darkness. He is amazing in this movie and it is one of the best makeup jobs I have ever seen.

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Darkness basically just wants to kill the unicorns and bring about eternal darkness. Once the first unicorn is slain and de horned the weather turns very extreme. Snow storms wreak havoc and Jack and Lili are separated. Jack soon enlists the help of a few allies, the main one being Honeythorn Gump who is a very wise elf. He soon whips Jack away with his followers to become a hero and get back the unicorn’s horn by defeating darkness.

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This is a very enjoyable fantasy movie. It’s quite dark compared to other fantasy’s around at the time. (see my very last post.) The actors all do a really good job but Tim Curry definitely steals the show as the evil Darkness. The film really does hold up rather well by todays standards, probably thanks to the great direction and scenery. Quite a magical little film this, it’s a great watch for any Fantasy fans.

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Ok so this is a re watch from my childhood that I showed to someone who hadn’t seen it. Shock horror, I thought everyone had seen this movie Hehe. Yeah so it’s a very cheesy over the top family fantasy film from the 80’s. It follows a teenage girl called Sarah who is quite a typical whiney teenager who is self-centered and easy to anger. One night when she is asked to babysit for her parents she wishes her baby brother away to the goblin kingdom. The goblin king is Jareth and he is played by the rather flamboyant David Bowie. When realising what she has done she tells Jareth that she didn’t really mean it. He offers her one chance to save her baby brother, she must solve his Labyrinth.

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On her way through the labyrinth she meets a few colourful characters who become her friends and help her along the way. The puppetry is really fun and I really do enjoy this type of craft in a fantasy. Jim Henson is the man when it comes to puppets and he directs this film very well.

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Along the way Sarah must face many trials that evidently lead her to slowly become a better person. Another character that changes quite a lot along the way is Hoggle. He is a Dwarf and a bit of an odd job man. He is hesitant to help Sarah at first until she tricks him into it. He also is a coward who does exactly what he’s told to do by Jareth. However the more he learns the better person he becomes ultimately leading to a true friend.

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Well I have to sum it up by saying that this is definitely a guilty pleasure and I admit that I really like this movie. I have been a fan of this movie since watching it as a small child. I also nervously admit that I even enjoyed Bowie’s cheesy ass music. “Remind me of the babe!”

As a lover of Italian cinema, there is one genre that I have been meaning to start collecting and watching but havent got around to it. That genre is the Euro crime films. This was my first film in this genre and I have to say that I thoroughly enjoyed every minute of it. Its directed by Umberto Lenzi, who through research seems to be one of the best directors in this genre. It starts Maurizio Merli as commissioner Betti who is a cop not afraid to break a few rules in order to clean violence up from the street. He is great in this role and is extremely badass throughout.

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I was extremely impressed with the pacing of this movie. There is so much action and sub plots going on that you just cant get bored. I even feel like I need to see it again to get my head around it all. There is some really impressive motorbike and car chase scenes that are just expertly shot by Lenzi. The overarching plot is basically just Betti arriving in Naples and setting about taking down the big boss’s of crime.

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This really is a fantastic movie and I am really looking forward to watching more Euro crime films. Especially the works of Umberto Lenzi!

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Life Of Pi 3/5

Posted: May 2, 2013 in Film Review
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This film took my interest, the more I kept hearing about it. I must admit that I found it quite enjoyable. Firstly, this film was definitely made with an artistic flair that’s for sure. The scenery and visuals really are stunning and for me, was the main appeal. The story is pretty good too which is also wrapped in some nice philosophy that becomes more clear near the end. The basic plot follows Pi Patel telling a reporter a story from his life that changed him forever. He and his family were travelling aboard a cargo ship with the animals from the zoo that they own when a ferocious storm causes the ship to go down. Pi manages to survive in a lifeboat along with a few animals, one being a bengal tiger called Richard Parker. Now Pi and Richard Parker must try to survive as they are adrift in the Pacific ocean.

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Pi tries everything he can to help Richard Parker survive and they go through quite an adventure and grow a mutual respect for each other. This is definitely an enjoyable movie and it manages to keep you interested throughout. The ending was a nice touch that left me thinking. As I said before though this is a very arty beautiful looking movie and really quite colourful.

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Oh man this is one hell of a movie right here! and its based on a true story. It’s a  biography of the life of the legendary Yip Man who was a martial arts master. The film focuses on events in Ip’s life that supposedly took place in the city of Foshan during the Sino-Japanease war. Its set in the 1930s and we meet Ip, who is known throughout Foshan as the greatest martial artist in the area. He is a very polite man and keeps a low profile, while only competing in private friendly bouts with local other martial artists.

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One day a new fighter comes to town and tries to humiliate and defeat all the fighters in Foshan. He nearly manages it, until he meets Ip. After this bout Ip becomes a local hero and is widely praised. Things soon become hard for Ip and all the people of Foshan when the Japanese invade and take over. Ip and many others lose their homes and poverty strikes. Ip is soon forced to start work at a coal mine to support his family. Soon though a local Japanese general starts offering the workers bags of rice if they will compete agains Japanese martial artists.

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At first it seems fair enough and Ip goes along to watch. But soon he is enraged when a fellow Foshan master is executed for picking up a bag of rice that he didnt manage to earn. Ip goes in and takes on 10 of their fighters and displays an amazing spectacle of fighting, only this time its no friendly and Ip holds nothing back. Striking furious blows and knocking his opponents out clean.

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The general is extremely impressed with Ip and desperately wants to fight him to prove himself, Ip at first refuses so the general has plans to force Ips hand. This truly is one of the best martial arts movies I have ever seen. It has everything, a fantastic story, great cast and superb fight choreography. I can speak for how accurate it is to the man himself, but I have heard that it is mostly faithful, only throwing the odd bit of drama in for effect. Donnie Yen is fantastic in the lead role and just gives all the emotions needed for the part. I really cant wait to see part 2 after the ending of this movie. I will be watching it at the weekend hopefully so a review will be coming real soon.

So yeah I have been on an Enzo G Castellari kick for a while and this here film is one of his better known movies. In fact in case you havent guessed Quentin Tarantino loves this movie so much that he used the almost identical name for his 2009 movie “Inglorious Basterds.” This is also my first dip into the “macaroni combat” genre. This for me is a perfect example of a “tough guys on a mission” movie. In fact Enzo has already showed he is a master of this type of movie in the awesome  Spaghetti Western “Kill Them All And Come Back Alone.” The story is really great. It starts with a group of American soldiers who are being transported together to be court-martialed for various war crimes.  However all does not go to plan and their convoy is attacked by a German airplane. The five surviving prisoners fight off their captors and team up.

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This is such a badass movie. The characters are all extremely fun and enjoyable. I particularly loved Bo Svenson and Fred Williamson who are basically the two lead characters. There is so much action in this movie that you can barely hold your breath. Enzo really is the best at action when it comes to Italian directors.

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The guys try fleeing to neutral Switzerland but things end up going slightly awry and they end up taking on a dangerous mission to steal a prototype gyroscope from a heavily guarded Nazi train. This is definitely one of Castellari’s best films and I think if I had to recommend one of his films to anyone who hasn’t seen any of his movies, I think it would be this movie. Fans of “tough guys on a mission” movies will love this.