REVIEW: PETER PAN (2003)

CAST

Jeremy Sumpter (Excision)
Jason Isaacs (Fury)
Rachel Hurd-Wood (Dorian Gray)
Lynn Redgrave (Kinsey)
Richard Briers (Murder She said)
Olivia Williams (An Education)
Ludivine Sagnier (The Young Pope)
Saffron Burrows (Deep Blue Sea)
Bruce Spence (Mad Max 2)

In the nursery of the Darling home located in Edwardian era London in 1904, Wendy Darling tells her younger brothers John and Michael stories about a boy called Peter Pan and his fairy friend Tinker Bell. Life is disrupted when their Aunt Millicent intervenes. Judging Wendy to be an “almost” full-grown woman, Aunt Millicent advises Mr. and Mrs. Darling to think of Wendy’s future, saying that Wendy should spend less time in the nursery, and more time with herself, to become a grown woman. The very idea terrifies the children.

Wendy daydreams about having seen Peter in the night, and along with the family’s “nurse” dog Nana, embarrasses her father in front of his superiors. As a punishment, Mr. Darling chains Nana outside and declares it time for Wendy to grow up. Peter visits the nursery again looking for his shadow, which Nana had bitten off, and introduces himself. After being acquainted, Wendy sews his shadow back on and is enchanted by Peter’s tales of his adventures in Neverland. She asks Peter if she can kiss him, but because he does not know what a kiss is, ends up giving him a thimble instead. He returns the “kiss” by plucking an acorn from his shirt and giving it to her. Peter invites her to be “mother” to his gang of Lost Boys. She asks to bring her brothers, John and Michael, to which Peter agrees. He grabs Tinker Bell and shakes fairy dust on the children and tells them to think of happy thoughts. Nana, having escaped her chain, leads Mr. and Mrs. Darling back home, but they arrive too late to stop the children.

The Children fly over London and then to Neverland. They spy on Captain Hook’s(Isaacs) ship from a cloud. The pirates spot them and attack with their cannons. One knocks Wendy far away and the other causes Michael and John to fall towards the island below. Peter tells Tinker Bell to find Wendy and take her back to the hideout while he gets the boys. But Tinker Bell reaches the hideout without Wendy and out of jealousy, tricks the Lost Boys into shooting Wendy with an arrow. The boys learn the truth and confess to Peter but Wendy is revealed not to have been killed as the arrow hit the acorn necklace hung around her neck. Angry, Peter banishes Tinker Bell and ends their friendship. When Wendy finally awakens she finds the Lost Boys on their knees begging her to be their mother, which she accepts. They blindfold her and lead her to their hideout, and she finally realizes her brothers are missing. Michael and John stumble across the crocodile that ate Hook’s hand then encounter the Native American princess Tiger Lily (Carsen Gray). All three are then captured by Hook and taken to the Black Castle to use as bait for Peter Pan. Wendy and Peter visit the mermaids’ lagoon to ask the dark and mysterious creatures to help in locating John and Michael, and learn that Hook has her brothers. Peter and Hook engage in a duel but it is stopped when the ticking crocodile arrives and tries to eat Hook, allowing the children to all escape.

That night, after a celebration at the Indians’ camp, Peter shows Wendy the fairies’ home and the two share a dance. Hook spies on the two and soon comes across Tinker Bell, who is still hurt and upset from being banished, and charms her into telling him more about Peter and Wendy. Peter becomes upset with Wendy after she tries to get him to tell her if he loves her in return and tells her to go home and grow up if she’s not happy. Wendy, hurt, leaves to be alone. Hook has the sleeping Wendy carried to his ship. There, he entices her to become a pirate but sends a spy to follow her to the Lost Boys’ underground hideout afterwards. Wendy soon comes to her senses and tells her brothers that the three of them will be going home, which upsets Peter. The Lost Boys ask if they can go too, upsetting Peter even more. Wendy tries to say goodbye to Peter but he turns away in sadness. She leaves him a cup of medicine and tells him not to forget to take it.

The pirates capture the boys outside and Hook goes down into the tree and puts a drop of poison in Peter’s medicine. He is about to drink the medicine, but Tinker Bell stops him and drinks the poison herself. Peter telepathically reaches out to children sleeping around the world, the Darlings, Aunt Millicent, the Lost Boys, and even the pirates to assert their belief in fairies, which brings Tinker Bell back to life. Peter and Tinker Bell save Wendy and the boys from walking the plank by making the pirates think the crocodile is on board, and a battle soon breaks out. Hook sprinkles himself with Tinker Bell’s fairy dust and fights Peter in a duel while flying. Hook taunts him about Wendy abandoning him and forgetting all about him when she grows up. Weakened by those thoughts and unable to fight, Peter gives in to his inevitable death. Seeing this as goodbye, Wendy gives Peter her hidden kiss, which gives him the strength to recover. Peter re-engages Hook, who loses his confidence and falls into the waiting jaws of the crocodile.

With the ship covered in fairy dust, Peter flies Wendy and the boys back to London. Mr. and Mrs. Darling are overjoyed at the return of their children, and adopt the Lost Boys. Slightly, who got lost on the way to London and arrives at the house too late, is adopted by the lonely Aunt Millicent. Peter promises never to forget Wendy and to return someday before heading back to Neverland with Tinker Bell. According to the adult Wendy, she never saw Peter again, but she continues to tell his story to her own children and grandchildren so that his legacy will last forever.

Hogan and company have brought the Barrie work to the screen and have rightly restored to it a child’s sense of awe and wonder, of both beauty and terror co-existing side by side and for this reason alone it is the definitive film version of Peter Pan

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REVIEW: AUSTRALIA

CAST

Nicole Kidman (Stoker)
Hugh Jackman (Chappie)
David Wenham (Van Helsing)
Bryan Brown (F/X)
Jack Thompson (Leatherheads)
Ben Mendelsohn (the Dark Knight Rises)
Essie Davis (Burning Man)
Barry Otto (The Punisher 1989)
John Jarrett (Wolf Creek)
Bruce Spence (Mad Max 2)

In 1939, Lady Sarah Ashley travels from England to northern Australia to force her philandering husband to sell his faltering cattle station, Faraway Downs. Her husband sends an independent cattle drover, called “Drover”, to transport her to Faraway Downs. Lady Sarah’s husband is murdered shortly before she arrives, and the authorities tell her that the killer is an Aboriginal elder, “King George”. Meanwhile, cattle station manager Neil Fletcher is trying to gain control of Faraway Downs, so that Lesley ‘King’ Carney will have a complete cattle monopoly, giving him negotiating leverage with an Australian army officer, Captain Dutton, who wants to buy the cattle.

The childless Lady Sarah is captivated by the boy Nullah, who has an Aboriginal mother and a white father. Nullah tells her that he has seen her cattle being driven onto Carney’s land — in other words, stolen from her. Because of this Fletcher mistreats Nullah and threatens him and his mother, so Lady Sarah fires Fletcher and decides to try to run the cattle station herself. When Nullah and his mother hide from the authorities in a water tower, his mother drowns. Lady Sarah comforts Nullah by singing the song “Over the Rainbow” from the film The Wizard of Oz. Nullah tells her that “King George” is his grandfather, and that like the Wizard, he too is a “magic man”.
Lady Sarah persuades Drover to take the cattle to Darwin for sale. Drover is friendly with the Aborigines, and therefore shunned by many of the other whites in the territory. It is revealed that he was married to an Aboriginal woman, who died after being refused medical treatment in a hospital because of her race. Lady Sarah also reveals she is unable to have children. Drover leads a team of six other riders, including Lady Sarah, Drover’s Aboriginal brother-in-law Magarri, Nullah, and the station’s accountant Kipling Flynn, to drive the 1,500 cattle to Darwin. They encounter various obstacles along the way, including a fire set by Carney’s men that scares the cattle, resulting in the death of Flynn when the group tries to stop the cattle from stampeding over a cliff. Lady Sarah and Drover fall in love, and she gains a new appreciation for the Australian territory. The team drive the cattle through the dangerous Never Never desert. Then, when at last delivering the cattle in Darwin, the group has to race them onto the ship before Carney’s cattle are loaded.Afterwards, Lady Sarah, Nullah, and Drover live together happily at Faraway Downs for two years. Meanwhile, Fletcher kills Carney, marries his daughter Cath Carney, takes over Carney’s cattle empire, and continues to menace Lady Sarah. It is established that Fletcher was the actual murderer of Lady Sarah’s husband, and is also Nullah’s father. Nullah is drawn to go on a walkabout (a rite of passage) with his grandfather “King George”, but is instead taken by the authorities and sent to live on Mission Island (a fictitious island, but inspired by Bathurst Island) with the other half-Aboriginal children (dubbed the “Stolen Generations”). Lady Sarah, who has come to regard Nullah as her adopted son, vows to rescue him. Meanwhile, she works as a radio operator in Darwin during the escalation of World War II. When the Japanese attack the island and Darwin in 1942, Lady Sarah fears that Nullah has been killed. Drover, who had quarrelled with Lady Sarah and left, returns to Darwin and hears (mistakenly) that she has been killed in the bombing. Drover learns of Nullah’s abduction to Mission Island, and goes with Magarri and a young priest to rescue him and the other children. Meanwhile, Lady Sarah is about to be evacuated, but when Drover and the children sail back into port at Darwin, and Nullah plays “Over the Rainbow” on his harmonica, Lady Sarah hears the music and the three are reunited. Fletcher, distraught at the ruination of his plans and at the death of his wife killed during a Japanese air strike, attempts to shoot Nullah, but is speared by King George and falls dead. Lady Sarah, Drover, and Nullah return to the safety of remote Faraway Downs. There, King George calls for Nullah, who returns to the Outback with his grandfather.The reason this film got bad reviews was simple… people took it the wrong way. Some reviewers were saying that people were laughing in the cinema at the beginning, well so was I. Because it’s funny. It’s  intentionally  funny. Baz Luhrmann himself stated that he tried to put a bit of everything in this film including  comedy as well as drama. If you’ve seen Baz’s films before and loved them then you’ll love this. Like Moulin Rouge, it begins humorously before taking you through a roller coaster of emotions to moments of extreme sadness and tension. It looks beautiful and it’s played beautifully by all of the actors. Basically this is Baz Luhrmann’s nod to the old classics. If you think they don’t make films like they used to, this is highly recommended. Don’t take it as fact, just let yourself enjoy it and you’ll soon be swept along with the story.

REVIEW: THE LORD OF THE RINGS: THE RETURN OF THE KING

 

CAST

Elijah Wood (Sin City)
Ian McKellen (X-Men)
Viggo Mortensen (Eastern Promises)
Sean Astin (The Goonies)
Liv Tyler (Super)
Cate Blanchett (Babel)
John Rhys-Davies (Beyond The Mask)
Billy Boyd (Seed of Chucky)
Dominic Monaghan (Lost)
Bernard Hill (True Crime)
Orlando Bloom (Kingdom of Heaven)
Christopher Lee (Star Wars Episode II & III)
Hugo Weaving (The Matrix)
Miranda Otto (I, Frankenstein)
David Wenham (Van Helsing)
Brad Dourif (Curse of Chucky)
Karl Urban (Dredd)
Andy Serkis (Rise of The Planet of The Apes)
John Noble (Sleepy Hollow)
Ian Holm (Alien)
Marton Csokas (Xena: Warrior Princess)
Bruce Spence (Mad Max 2)
Bruce Hopkins (Power Rangers Ninja Storm)
Ian Hughes (Hercules: TLJ)
Bruce Phillips (Power Rangers RPM)
Joel Tobeck (Ash vs Evil Dead)
Stephen Ure (Xena: Warrior Princess)
Jed Brophy (The Hobbit)
Craig Parker (Reign)

Gandalf leads Aragorn, Legolas, Gimli, and King Théoden to Isengard where they reunite with Merry and Pippin. With Saruman defeated, Gandalf retrieves Saruman’s palantír. Overcome by curiosity, Pippin steals a glance into the seeing-stone, and suffers a mental attack from Sauron himself. Gandalf deduces that Sauron will attack Gondor’s capital Minas Tirith, so he rides there to warn them, taking Pippin with him because Sauron thinks Pippin is the ring bearer.Meanwhile, Frodo Baggins and Samwise Gamgee are led by Gollum to Minas Morgul where they witness the Witch-king of Angmar leading an Orc army to drive Denethor’s younger son Faramir and his men from Osgiliath. At Gollum’s urging, the three begin climbing a precarious stair carved in the cliff face that will take them into Mordor via a ‘secret way’. But having overheard Gollum’s plot to regain the Ring, Sam keeps a suspicious eye on him. In Gondor, Pippin follows Gandalf’s instructions and secretly lights the beacon to signal Théoden to assemble the Rohirrim and come to Gondor’s aid.While helping Théoden gather his forces, Aragorn is approached by Elrond who says Arwen is dying. After seeing a vision of her son she refused to leave Middle Earth. Elrond then gives Aragorn the sword Andúril, Isildur’s sword Narsil reforged, so he can reclaim his birthright while gaining reinforcements from the Dead Men of Dunharrow. Joined by Legolas and Gimli, Aragorn travels to the Paths of the Dead, recruiting the Army of the Dead with the promise to release them from their curse once they fulfil their oath to Isildur.Faramir is gravely wounded after a futile effort to retake Osgiliath, and believing his son to be dead, Denethor falls into madness. Gandalf is left to command the city defences against the Orc army led by Gothmog. But as Gothmog’s forces eventually force their way into the city, Denethor tries to kill himself and Faramir on a pyre. Pippin alerts Gandalf and they save Faramir, but Denethor leaps to his death from the top of Minas Tirith just before Théoden and the Rohirrim arrive. Initially the Rohirrim have the advantage at the Battle of the Pelennor Fields, but are eventually overwhelmed by the Oliphaunt-riding Haradrim while the Witch-king mortally wounds Théoden. Though Théoden’s niece Éowyn, having posed as a male soldier, battles and slays the Witch-King with Merry’s help, Théoden dies of his wounds. Aragorn arrives with the Army of the Dead, they overcome the Orcs and win the battle. The Dead are released from their curse, and the wounded are tended to. Aragorn and the other captains of Men decide to lead all who can march upon the Black Gate as a distraction, so Frodo and Sam can get to Mount Doom.Meanwhile, Gollum manipulates Frodo into leaving Sam behind before they arrive at the tunnel leading to Mordor, and then tricks him into lair of the giant spider Shelob, who paralyses and binds Frodo. Sam arrives and drives Shelob away, but believing his friend to be dead takes Frodo’s sword Sting and The One Ring for safekeeping. When he sees Frodo’s body being taken by Orcs to Cirith Ungol he realises that Frodo is still alive, and gives chase. Sam rescues Frodo from the Orcs, and returns the Ring to him.Aragorn’s army draw out Sauron’s forces and empty Mordor, allowing the exhausted Hobbits to stagger to the volcano, but they’re attacked by Gollum when they reach Mount Doom. Frodo finally succumbs to the Ring’s power and claims it as his own, and refuses to destroy it. Gollum attacks Frodo and bites his finger off to reclaim the Ring, but Frodo fights back and knocks Gollum, who is holding the Ring, into the volcano. While Frodo holds onto the ledge for dear life, Sam manages to save him and both escape the volcano at the last second. The Ring and Sauron are both destroyed, causing a chain-reaction that consumes the mountain, topples Barad-dûr, and kills most of the fleeing Orcs as the ground crumbles beneath them. Gandalf flies in with eagles to rescue the Hobbits, who awaken later in Minas Tirith and are reunited with the surviving Fellowship members.Aragorn is crowned King of Gondor and takes Arwen as his queen. They, and all others present at his coronation, bow before Frodo and the Hobbits. The Hobbits then return to the Shire where Sam marries Rosie Cotton. Frodo, while happy for his friends, is unable to cope with the traumas of his journey, and departs Middle Earth for the Grey Havens with his uncle Bilbo, Gandalf, and the Elves. He leaves Sam the Red Book of Westmarch which details their adventures. Though saddened by Frodo’s departure, Sam is gladdened by the warm welcome he receives upon returning home.

This is one of the best series of all time, Fellowship Of The Ring still nicks it as my fave of the three movies if I was pushed to choose. You can’t really detract from what Peter Jackson has achieved with this film, Tolkien himself gave the film rights away for practically nothing, deeming the book impossible to translate to film. Peter Jackson proved him wrong and we now have a great trilogy of films that will stand the test of time.

31 DAYS OF HORROR REVIEW: I, FRANKENSTEIN

CAST

Aaron Eckhart (The Dark Knight)
Bill Nighy (Underworld)
Yvonne Strahovski (Chuck)
Miranda Otto (Lord of The Rings)
Jai Courtney (Spartacus)
Socratis Otto (The Matrix Reloaded)
Kevin Grevioux (Planet of The Apes)
Nicholas Bell (Winners & Losers)
Bruce Spence (Mad Max 2)
Aden Young (Sniper)

In 1795, Dr. Victor Frankenstein (Aden Young) creates a monster (Aaron Eckhart), a soulless creature patched together from corpses, and then rejects it, disgusted with what he’s made. In a fit of rage, the creature kills Victor’s wife Elizabeth (Virginie Le Brun) and Victor chases it to the Arctic to get revenge, but succumbs to the weather. The creature buries his creator in the Frankenstein family crypt and is then attacked by demons before being rescued by the gargoyles Ophir (Mahesh Jadu) and Keziah (Caitlin Stasey), who bring it before the gargoyle queen Leonore (Miranda Otto) and their commander Gideon (Jai Courtney). Leonore explains that they were created by the Archangel Michael to battle demons on Earth and protect humanity. They name the creature “Adam” and invite him to join them, but he declines and departs after being given heavy, baton-like weapons to protect him, as more demons will come after him. The weapons allow him to “descend” demons (destroying their bodies and trapping their souls in Hell) as they have the symbol of the Gargoyle Order carved on them.

Throughout the centuries, Adam fends off the demons that pursue him. During a modern-day confrontation at a nightclub, a human police officer is killed. While Adam is summoned by the gargoyles once more, the demon Helek (Steve Mouzakis) reports that Adam is alive to his leader, the demon-prince Naberius (Bill Nighy), who is disguised as billionaire businessman Charles Wessex, and his right-hand man, Dekar (Kevin Grevioux). Wessex has employed scientists Terra Wade (Yvonne Strahovski) and Carl Avery (Nicholas Bell) to conduct experiments with reanimated corpses, and sends a group of demons led by his most formidable warrior, Zuriel (Socratis Otto), to attack the gargoyles’ cathedral and capture Adam so he can unlock the secret to giving life.

Before Leonore can punish Adam for the police officer’s death, the cathedral is attacked and Adam convinces Ophir to release him. In the ensuing battle, a number of gargoyles, including Ophir and Keziah, are “ascended” (returned to and trapped in Heaven) while Leonore is captured and brought to an abandoned theater. Gideon is instructed to bring Adam as a trade for Leonore; Adam interrogates a demon and gains the same information. Adam having escaped, Gideon descends into the vaults and takes Victor Frankenstein’s journal, which was taken off of Adam’s body the night they found him. He exchanges the journal for Leonore, as it contains the secrets of the experiment. Once Gideon departs with Lenore, Adam attempts to recover the journal, but is prevented as several demons attack. Descending them, Adam then follows Zuriel to the Wessex Institute, where he learns that Naberius plans to recreate Frankenstein’s experiment and use thousands of reanimated corpses as hosts for souls of the descended demons. The demons will be able to return from Hell if they have soulless bodies to possess. Adam retrieves the journal and escapes and later confronts Terra before they are attacked by Zuriel. Adam manages to “descend” Zuriel.

Adam warns the remaining gargoyles of Naberius’ plan, agreeing to give them the journal if they get him and Terra to safety. Leonore agrees, but sends Gideon to kill him and retrieve the journal. After a violent fight, Adam is forced to “ascend” Gideon and then decides to burn Frankenstein’s journal and destroy its secrets before the gargoyles come after him. Adam evades them, leading them to the Wessex Institute where they join battle with Naberius’ demons, descending Dekar early in the fight. While the battle progresses, Adam ventures into the Institute to rescue Terra, who had been kidnapped by Naberius to put the next stage of his plan into process after he killed Avery. Naberius takes his true demonic form and activates the machine. Naberius overpowers Adam and tries to have one of the demon spirits possess him, but Adam proves immune as he has grown his own soul. As the gargoyles attempt to stop the reanimated bodies, Adam carves the symbol of the Gargoyle Order on Naberius, sanctifying his very body and utterly destroying it, descending Naberius alongside all the other demons in his army, and causing the entire building to collapse.

Recognizing Adam’s bravery, Leonore rescues him and Terra and forgives Adam for Gideon’s death. Adam retrieves his weapons. After bidding farewell to Terra, Adam departs to begin an immortal quest to protect the humans of the world and hunt demons for selfless reasons, the attitude that had earned him his soul in the first place. In so doing, he embraces his role and his true name of “Frankenstein”.https://images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com/images/M/MV5BODEwMzcxMWYtYzRiYy00NzY3LWFmZTQtOWFmNTQ2NzFmYTNlXkEyXkFqcGdeQXVyNTc0NjY1ODk@._V1_.jpgInteresting take on Frankenstein. Great visual effects and well cast. Lots of action to keep you engaged, a great Friday night movie.

 

 

REVIEW: QUEEN OF THE DAMNED

 

CAST

Aaliyah (Romeo Must Die)
Stuart Townsend (Shooting Fish)
Marguerite Moreau (Easy)
Vincent Perez (Puppylove)
Paul McGann (Alien 3)
Lena Olin (Alias)
Claudia Black (The Originals)
Bruce Spence (Mad Max 2)

The vampire Lestat is awakened from decades of slumber by the sound of a heavy metal band which he proceeds to take over as the lead singer. Achieving international success and planning a massive live concert, Lestat is approached by Marius, and warned that the vampires of the world will not tolerate his flamboyant public profile.

Jesse Reeves, a researcher for the paranormal studies group Talamasca, is intrigued by Lestat’s lyrics and tells the rest of the group her theory that he really is a vampire. Her mentor, David Talbot, takes her aside and tells her they know he is and that a vampire called Marius made him. He also shows her Lestat’s journal that he recovered and is now in the Talamasca library. In a flashback to his origins, Lestat recalls how he awoke Akasha, the first vampire, with his music. Jesse tracks him down to a London vampire club where he saves and confronts her. She later goes to Los Angeles for the concert and gives him back his journal. The two spend some time together and Lestat shows her both the horrors and the perks of being a vampire. Showing him that she’s not scared of him Jesse stays with Lestat as she sees how lonely and miserable he is. She asks him to turn her as she reveals that it’s her dream to be a vampire, but he refuses as he won’t do it to her. The more time they spend together, the closer they become and soon Lestat and Jesse start to fall in love. Meanwhile, Akasha is awakened by Lestat’s new music. She arrives and torches the club, and all the vampires inside, who want Lestat dead.

At the concert in Death Valley, a mob of vampires attack Lestat and Marius. Akasha bursts through the stage and takes Lestat with her as her new King. The two vampires then proceed to have a sort of sexual intercourse in Akasha’s home where they mutually feed on one another, during which time Lestat becomes spellbound by Akasha and is forced to obey her. Empowered by Akasha’s blood, Lestat and the Queen confront the Ancient Vampires at the home of Maharet, Jesse’s aunt, who is an Ancient Vampire. The Ancient Vampires were planning to kill Akasha, to save the human world from demise. Akasha then commands Lestat to kill Jesse, as The Queen sees her both as an enemy and as food, as she is Maharet’s mortal niece; Maharet and Akasha became mortal enemies before they were turned. Queen Akasha also wanted to make an example out of Jesse because Jesse dared to stand-up to her and to put fear into the other vampires. Lestat ostensibly obeys the Queen, but afterwards he quickly comes to his senses and is released from her power. He then very angrily turns and begins to drain Akasha’s blood with the help of the Ancients. Mael and Pandora are killed by Akasha’s power. Armand is almost killed, but is saved as The Queen’s powers diminish. Maharet is the last to drink Akasha’s blood, and thereby ends up becoming a marble “statue”. Maharet then becomes the new Queen Of the Damned.
Lestat then turns and walks to where Jesse is lying lifeless, and cradling her in his arms, gives her his blood, turning her into a vampire. Jesse, now a vampire, and Lestat then return the journal to the Talamasca, and walk away, among mortals, into the night. As they exit it is shown that they are now a couple and hold hands while Marius enters the Talamasca. The film closes with a scene of David reading the journal as Marius’s voice catches his attention, cheerfully saying, “Hello, David”.All in all, whilst this Vampire film isn’t a classic, it does have all the things you’d want. Over-dressed long-haired, beautifully preserved young vampires. Plenty of blood sucking and spontaneous combustion. Tortured, mournful vampires who’ve grown very tired of their lonely existence and all this wrapped up in a stylish, musical montage. Definitely worth having in your collection… just don’t expect anything too intellectually challenging.

REVIEW: THE MATRIX REVOLUTIONS

CAST

Keanu Reeves (Speed)
Laurence Fishburne (Hannibal)
Carrie-Anne Moss (Jessica Jones)
Hugo Weaving (The Hobbit)
Monica Bellucci (The Brothers Grimm)
Essie Davis (Game of Thrones)
Nathaniel Lees (Power Rangers Jungle Fury)
Harry Lennix (Man of Steel)
Rene Naufahu (Power Rangers Samurai)
Harrold Perrineau (Lost)
Jada Pinkett Smith (Gotham)
Kevin Michael Richardson (The Cleveland Show)
Bruce Spence (Mad Max 2 & 3)
Gina Torres (Firefly)
Anthony Wong (Haywire)
Anthony Zerbe (American Hustle)
Clayton Watson (Under The Radar)Neo (Keanu Reeves) and Bane (Ian Bliss) lie unconscious in the medical bay of the ship Hammer. Meanwhile, Neo finds his digital self trapped in a virtual subway station named “Mobil Ave.”, a transition zone between the Matrix and the Machine City. In that subway station, he meets a family of programs, including a girl named Sati (Tanveer K. Atwal), whose father tells Neo the subway is controlled by the Trainman (Bruce Spence), an exiled program loyal to the Merovingian (Lambert Wilson). When Neo tries to board a train with the family, the Trainman refuses and overpowers him.

Seraph (Collin Chou) contacts Morpheus and Trinity on behalf of the Oracle, who informs them of Neo’s confinement. Seraph, Morpheus and Trinity enter Club Hel, where they confront the Merovingian and force him to release Neo. Troubled by visions of the Machine City, Neo visits the Oracle, who reveals that Smith (Hugo Weaving) intends to destroy both the Matrix and the real world. She states that “everything that has a beginning has an end”, and that the war will conclude. After Neo leaves, a large group of Smiths assimilates Sati, Seraph and the unresisting Oracle, gaining her powers of precognition.

In the real world, the crew of the Nebuchadnezzar and the Hammer find and reactivate Niobe’s ship, the Logos. They interrogate Bane, who says that he has no recollection of the earlier massacre. As the captains plan their defense of Zion, Neo requests a ship to travel to the Machine City. Motivated by her encounter with the Oracle, Niobe (Jada Pinkett Smith) offers him the Logos. Neo departs, accompanied by Trinity. Bane, who has stowed away on the Logos, takes Trinity hostage. Neo realizes that Bane has been assimilated by Smith. Bane cauterizes Neo’s eyes with a power cable, blinding him; however, Neo discovers an ability to perceive the world as golden light. Neo kills Bane, and Trinity pilots them to the Machine City.
Niobe and Morpheus set out for Zion with the Hammer to aid the human defenses against the Sentinels. In Zion, the fatally wounded Captain Mifune (Nathaniel Lees) instructs Kid (Clayton Watson) to open the gate for the Hammer. When it arrives, it discharges its EMP, disabling the Sentinels but also the remaining defenses. The humans are forced to retreat and wait for the next attack, thinking that it will be their last stand. Near the Machine City, Neo and Trinity are greeted by thousands of missiles which Neo attempts to destroy, but is overwhelmed by their numbers. The Logos is attacked by the Sentinels forcing them to fly above the missiles for a few seconds. They breach the cloud layer and see Earth’s real sky, to which Trinity whispers the word “Beautiful”. Upon descent, they lose control causing them to crash the Logos into the Machine City. The crash kills Trinity. Neo enters the Machine City and encounters “Deus Ex Machina”, the machine leader. Neo, warning that Smith plans to conquer both the Matrix and will soon conquer the Machine City, offers to stop Smith in exchange for peace with Zion. The machine leader agrees, and the Sentinels stop attacking Zion.
The Machines provide a connection for Neo to enter the Matrix. Inside, Neo finds that Smith has assimilated all its inhabitants. The Smith with the Oracle’s powers steps forth, saying that he has foreseen his victory against Neo. After a protracted battle, Neo is weakened and Smith recognizes this as his moment of success. Smith repeats the Oracle’s message to Neo, “Everything that has a beginning has an end, Neo”, Smith immediately becomes confused and senses something wrong (throughout all three movies up to this point Smith has only addressed Neo as “Mr Anderson”). Neo hearing the words realizes he cannot defeat Smith by fighting and allows himself to be assimilated. An energy surge causes the Neo-Smith clone and all other Smith clones in the Matrix to be destroyed and revert to their previous forms; the Smith clone that fought Neo transforms back into the Oracle. The Sentinels withdraw from Zion, Morpheus and Niobe embrace, and Neo is carried away by the machines. The Matrix reboots, and the Architect encounters the Oracle in a park. They agree that the peace will last “as long as it can”, and that all humans will be offered the opportunity to leave the Matrix. The Oracle tells Sati that she thinks they will see Neo again. Seraph asks the Oracle if she knew this would happen; she replies that she did not know, but that she believed.

Definitely a flawed film and not a worthy conclusion. But don’t worry if you didn’t get it – you are not stupid it’s just not that good

 

REVIEW: MAD MAX: BEYOND THUNDERDOME

CAST
Mel Gibson (Braveheart)
Tina Turner (Last Action Hero)
Bruce Spence (Star wars – Episode III)
Adam Cockburn (Daydream Believer)
Frank Thring (Ben-Hur)
Paul Larson (Altered States)
Robert Grubb (Gallipoli)
Justine Clarke (Home and Away)
James Napier Robertson (Power Rangers Dino Thunder)
Max Rockatansky crosses the Australian desert in a camel-drawn wagon when he is attacked by a pilot named Jedediah and his son in a Transavia PL-12 Airtruk, stealing his wagon and belongings. Continuing on foot, Max follows their trail to the seedy community of Bartertown. While refused entry at first, Max is brought before the founder and ruler of Bartertown, the ruthless Aunty Entity. She offers to resupply his vehicle and equipment if he completes a task for her.
Aunty explains that Bartertown depends on a crude methane refinery powered by pig feces, which is run by a dwarf called Master and his giant bodyguard Blaster. “Master Blaster” holds an uneasy truce with Aunty for control of Bartertown; however, Master has begun to challenge Aunty’s leadership. Aunty instructs Max to provoke a confrontation with Blaster in Thunderdome, a gladiatorial arena where conflicts are resolved by a duel to the death. Max enters the refinery to size up Master Blaster and befriends Pig Killer, a convict sentenced to work for slaughtering a pig to feed his family. Max finds his stolen vehicle in Master Blaster’s possession, and helps disarm his booby-trapped engine to converse with him. Here he discovers that Blaster is exceptionally strong but extremely sensitive to high-pitched noises.
Max then faces Blaster in the Thunderdome and uses his weakness to gain the upper hand. He refuses to kill him after discovering he is developmentally disabled and has the functional mentality of a child, telling Aunty it was not part of their deal, revealing her plot. Master, previously unaware of this covert deal to kill Blaster, is furious and vows to shut down the refinery and, by extension, Bartertown. An enraged Aunty has Blaster executed, Master imprisoned, and Max exiled, bound, masked, and sent on a horse in a random direction to the wasteland. As his horse perishes in a sinkhole, Max frees himself and presses on.
Near death, Max is found by a desert dweller named Savannah Nix, who hauls him back to her home, a primitive community of children and teenagers who live in an oasis. The children, survivors of a crashed Boeing 747, were left by their parents who went to find civilisation. They believe Max to be the flight captain, returned to fix the aeroplane and fly them to civilisation. Max denies this and insists that they remain in the relative safety of the oasis, knowing that the only “civilization” within reach is Bartertown.
Some of the children, led by Savannah, leave anyway, determined to find the prophesied “Tomorrow-morrow Land”. Max stops them by force, but another tribe member known as Scrooloos, sets them free during the night and leaves with them. Their leader, Slake M’Thirst, asks Max to go after them, and he agrees, taking a few of the children with him to help. They find Savannah’s group in danger but are unable to save one of the children from a sinkhole. With no supplies left, they are forced to head for Bartertown.
The group sneak in via the underground, and, with Pig Killer’s help, free Master and escape in a train-truck, destroying Bartertown’s methane refinery in the process. Aunty leads the inhabitants in pursuit, catching up to the train. Max’s group slows them down while Scrooloos hijacks one of the pursuing vehicles, which happens to be Max’s stolen vehicle. The group comes across Jedediah and his son, and Max coerces Jedediah into helping his group escape with their aeroplane. Max uses his vehicle to clear a path through Aunty’s men, allowing the aeroplane to take off and escape, leaving him at Aunty’s mercy. Aunty spares his life, having come to respect him; she says sardonically, “Well— ain’t we a pair, raggedy man? Goodbye, soldier.”, and departs to presumably make good on her vow to rebuild Bartertown. Jedediah flies the children to the coast, where they discover the ruins of Sydney. Years later, the children have established a small society of themselves and other lost wanderers in the ruins. Savannah, now leader of the group, recites a nightly story of their journey and the man who saved them, as Max, still alive in the desert, wanders on to places unknown.
This film is a cult classic, great memorable set pieces barter town, the thunder dome, plenty of action and an interesting story. A great end to the original trilogy.