Friday, 16 December 2011

King Kong (2005)

The latest version of the 1933 classic film from Peter Jackson who is now in position for making the epic films after his exploits with the Lord of the Ring trilogy. This is a more direct remake of the original story with the characters using the same names with some slight changes to their roles in the film but ultimately they fulfil the same roles as the original.

The biggest difference between this film and the original are the size of the set pieces, from my experience this is the biggest issue that most people have is the fact that a couple of scenes go to far in stretching the believability of even the extreme situation they are in. The dinosaurs stampeding is one of them, the fact that fewer incidents with the people, the vines and the T-Rex fight and the bug attack are all points that stick out where you watch and go that is very clever but really? It takes you out of the film some what.

The best part of the film though is Kong portrayed by Andy Serkis using motion capture technology and while they do put some human emotions on an animal still you can see an intelligence in the eyes of the beast. This is 4 stars, simply for the effects and the tie in to the original film. Worth seeing so you can see what they can do with special effects these days.

Thursday, 15 December 2011

King Kong (1976)

The remake of the 1933 classic , I watched this straight after seeing the original and have to say that I liked where it decided to go, they update the story to what is present day so the 1970's they stretch a bit with the idea that there is an island on earth that has not been discovered in an age when we have walked on the moon but you can let them away with it.

Jeff Bridges plays a hippy photographer and this plays in to the moral of the story when he sneaks on board a petrol explorer boat that believes that if they go to the island which is hidden by fog, the believe it is hidden because of fumes from a massive petrol field that is undiscovered. Ultimately this follows the same basic story as the original but has a moral story about the rape of the natural world and the impact that mankind can have on the world if they do not stop and think about what is best rather than what is best for themselves, quite blatant and not very subtle but does not overly bother me.

This is a solid 3 star film, possibly edging almost to 4 but being a remake it just loses out, if you enjoy watching films and seeing the same story told in different ways then this is well worth a watch.

Wednesday, 14 December 2011

King Kong (1933)

Considering that this film is nearly 80 years old, it still stands up to today's exacting standards, yes some of the effects are a bit dodgy and really the stop motion that they use is dated and you can see the strings and you can tell how some of the effects are done but overall you have to remember that these effects were done in a different time period when things were done properly.

Reading up after watching this film this was actually a risque film, at the time this was made there were little to no rules about what you could show on film. Reading the history of the film from the cuts that were made to being restored it is a snap shot of where we have been with films. Overall this film is excellent you care about the characters and Kong who is the star of this film you care so much about what is happening to him and even though you know the end and you know where it is going you still hold your breath while he scales the tower.

I would say that this is a five star film that everybody who cares about film should at least try and watch once, it is also good if yo have seen the Peter Jackson film from 2005 you will see where he takes lots of his inspiration.

Tuesday, 13 December 2011

The Three Muskateers (2011)

The legendary story from Alexandre Dumas is brought to the big screen in glorious 3D by Paul W S Anderson. You have a fine cast of villains played by Christoph Waltz as Cardinal Richelieu, Milla Jovovich as M'lady and Orlando Bloom as the Duke of Buckingham with your heroes being played by Matthew Macfadyen as Athos, Luke Evans as Aramis and Ray Stevenson as Porthos with Logan Lerman as D'Artagnan and Gabriella Wilde as the young couple in love for the stroty.

This is a story that has been told many times before and to be honest my favourite and best telling was the Muskahounds, but back to this telling of the story. Firstly it does not need to be seen in 3D and there is an element of steamunk to this telling and it fits well with the way they are trying to tell the story. While this is not the best film you will ever see ti is fun and entertaining and actually worth seeing.

So a recommend if you are interested in seeing a retelling of this classic tale and an enjoyable couple of hours. A three star recommend from me, let me know if you saw it in 2D and thought anything was missing as I did not think that the 3D added that much.

Monday, 12 December 2011

Ruthless People (1986)

The classic 80's comedy from Jim Abrahams, David and Jerry Zucker, starring Danny DeVito, Bette Midler, Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater. This is the story of Ken and Sandy Kessler, payed by Judge Reinhold and Helen Slater when wronged by Sam Stone, played by Danny DeVito they kidnap his wife Bette Midler just before he can get rid of her himself and the hilarity of misunderstood and misconstrued ideas leads to some classic scenes.

This is one of these brilliant comedies that gets slightly overlooked when talking about 80's classics as quite often people only get as far as the John Hughes films which are great but overlook the other films that are out there. The acting cast is stellar for the time with DeVito, Midler and Reinhold fulfilling all that you expect and Helen Slater who was famous as Super Girl being brilliant as the ditsy blond. And you also have Bill Pullman and Anita Morris playing great roles as some of the side characters.

Another film that revisited for the first time in a long time and was really glad that I did, there are some flaws with a lot going on and some of the comedy just being down right Silly. Overall this is a recommend for those that have not seen it and maybe time for a re--watch for those that have not seen it for a while 4 stars.

Friday, 9 December 2011

The House on Haunted Hill (1959)

Public Domain films are abundant and easy to get your hands on and one I watched recently via a free podcast was the 1959 Walter Scott classic The House on Haunted Hill starring the classic horror actor VIncent Price who brings his full presence to this atmospheric film.

The set up of this film is a Millionaire, played by Vincent Price invites 5 strangers to a haunted house party and straight from the start there is something going on within the household and the scene between Vincent Price and his screen wife Carol Ohmart is brilliant and will help redifine how you think of black and white films from the 50's if you are not a fan of these films. This film is a true classic of it's time and still holds up today and is worth seeing.

I really enjoyed this film and would recommend that everybody gives it a look, this is a 4 star film for me and as it is public domain it should be easy for everybody to see. Let me know if you have seen it or if you do see it in the near future.

Monday, 5 December 2011

The Thing (2011)

So what did I want from a remake/sequel/prequel to the 1982 John Carpenter's The Thing, which I reviewed here, nothing I did not want the 1982 film touched at all but as I said in my review of the 2011 trailer here, I was not looking forward to it. The biggest issue i have is the fact that we know how it has to end as it has to tie in with the original start. The biggest thing they could not resist that the original could not do was using CGI at least it was done fairly well still not a patch on the effects of the original.

Now trying to be honest I have to say that I enjoyed this film from the stand alone point of view, they do not remake the film but there a certain scenes that they have to make decisions about and they cannot just do what they want, I think that a film in the universe of The Thing with no tie to the original film would have been interesting. A big issue I have is that there are enough questions about the motivation of the creature from the first film and this film just raises some more regarding what where and why and really the tension and enjoyment of the film do not need these concerns to make them a  good tense film.

So the cast were fine it was good to see Mary Elizabeth Winstead in the lead role and the supporting cast were good as well. I liked the differences between it and the original, it took it's own way and had the check points that all prequels have to indulge in but overall it was a solid film and one that i would recommend whatever you think of it the 1982 film is still there. This is a solid 3 star film for me.