REVIEW: BLACK DEATH

CAST

Sean Bean (Game of Thrones)
Eddie Redmayne (Fantastic Beasts and Where To Find Them)
Carice Van Houten (Valkyrie)
John Lynch (Sliding Doors)
Tim McInnerny (Automata)
Kimberley Nixon (Wild Child)
Andy Nyman (Dead Set)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Johnny Harris (Monsters: Dark Continent)
Emun Elliott (Filth)

Carice van Houten in Black Death (2010)The film takes place in 1348 in plague-ridden medieval England. Osmund, a young monk, has been separated from other people in order to see whether he shows any symptoms of having the plague. After he is released, he sneaks away to meet with a woman, Averill, whom he loves despite his vows of chastity to God as a result of being a monk. Osmund tells Averill the plague has reached the monastery and she must leave to escape the disease. Though Averill asks him to run away with her, he wants to stay at the monastery. She promises to wait for him for one week at a meeting place in the forest in case he changes his mind. Osmund prays to God asking for guidance on whether he can serve God outside of the monastery in order to join his lover Averill. Sean Bean, Eddie Redmayne, and Keith Dunphy in Black Death (2010)At that moment knight Ulric arrives with orders from the Bishop to take a monk as a guide on a quest into the forest. Osmund decides this is a sign from God and volunteers to go. After leaving, Osmund learns that Ulric and his group of mercenaries are tasked with finding a remote marshland village which has remained untouched by the Black Death. The town is said to sacrifice people in order to remain free of the plague, and they are rumored to be led by a necromancer who is able to bring the dead back to life. Their mission is to capture the necromancer, put a stop to the town’s sacrifices, and bring the necromancer back to the Bishop. Osmund is supposed to guide them to the village because he has knowledge of the surrounding forest and marsh from his childhood.Eddie Redmayne in Black Death (2010)On the way to the village, Osmund leaves the group while they are sleeping one morning in an attempt to meet with Averill at their meeting spot. Osmund finds Averill’s horse and her torn blood-stained clothing in their meeting spot. He also sees a group of bandits and thieves nearby in the forest and runs back to Ulric and the mercenaries. The bandits from the forest attack Ulric, Osmund, and the mercenaries. Though the bandits are defeated, one member of the mercenary group is killed and Osmund is stabbed (not fatally, but badly). Eventually, Ulric and his group find the village they seek beyond the forest and marsh. The village is an eerie disease-free utopia led by a beautiful woman, Langiva. Ulric’s group initially claims to be seeking shelter (hiding their true purpose) because they are unsure who the necromancer in the village is and want to draw the necromancer out with deceit.  Carice van Houten in Black Death (2010)Ulric does not trust the villagers. Ulric tells Osmund that an earlier group of four men had been sent by the church to find the village as well, none of the four men had returned, and Ulric found one of the group’s church-medallions being worn by a villager who claimed to have found it in the marsh. Langiva treats Osmund’s wound from the bandit attack and then leads Osmund to the body of Averill. Langiva claims that she had found Averill injured in the woods, and that Averill had spoken about Osmund just before her death. While treating Osmund’s wounds Langiva reveals that her husband had been killed by “men of God”. That night the town has a feast welcoming their guests. As everyone eats Langiva leads Osmund into the forest where many women are performing a ritual over the buried body of Averill. During this ritual Langiva appears to resurrect the dead body of Averill, and Osmund runs away upon seeing this. Osmund runs into the crucified corpses of the four men who had previously been sent by the church, and he is taken prisoner by the town. At the feast, Ulric and his mercenaries are drugged and then taken prisoner by the town. They all awake the next day tied in a pit of water.Sean Bean, Johnny Harris, and Emun Elliott in Black Death (2010)Langiva and the villagers tell the prisoners they know the men had come to the village to do them harm, and they had found Ulric’s torture machine which he had brought and hidden in the forest for the purpose of capturing and transporting the necromancer to the Bishop. They offer the men a choice of death or to renounce God and be allowed to leave the village. The first mercenary refuses to renounce God, he is crucified, and his stomach is split open. A second mercenary agrees to renounce God and is led away by the villagers while being told he will be freed at the edge of the village in the forest; in reality, once outside of the village they hang him by his neck from a tree until he is dead. Langiva then takes Osmund from the pit and says that she has brought Averill back to life, she says Osmund must renounce God, but then he will be allowed to live in the village with Averill for the rest of his life. She points him towards a hut where Averill is located. Osmund walks into the hut alone and finds Averill alive, but seeming to be possessed. She is drooling, she can not focus her eyes at all, she does not speak except gibberish, she does not react to or recognize his presence, and she is holding a knife which she stabs into a wooden table and into a wall. She even briefly seems to half-hardheartedly (though not vigorously) try to attack Osmund when he touches her. Black Death (2010)Osmund believes Averill is a zombie or possessed, or that her soul is trapped in purgatory, and he kills Averill in order to free her soul from purgatory and from the witch’s spell so that Averill’s soul may ascend to heaven. He carries Averill’s dead body to the villagers, and Langiva says that the Christians are so cruel that they kill the ones they love. Osmund slashes at Langiva’s face. The villagers stop Osmund and beat him bloody and near unconsciousness. During the beating, Osmund drops his knife next to the remaining prisoners. The villagers then take Ulric from the pit and tie his arms and legs to ropes attached to two horses pulling in opposite directions. Langiva attempts to make Ulric renounce God. Ulric calls for Osmund (who is permitted to approach), and Ulric orders Osmond to remove his shirt. When Osmund removes Ulric’s shirt it is seen Ulric is infected with the plague and that he has thereby brought the plague into the uninfected village. The villagers then whip the horses so that they pull Ulric’s body apart limb from limb.Black Death (2010)At that moment the remaining two prisoners/mercenaries grab the knife Osmund had dropped earlier and free themselves. The two mercenaries are battle-tested and manage to kill all of the untrained villagers that oppose them, though one of the two mercenaries dies in the battle. The last remaining mercenary takes the village’s second-in-command male as prisoner to be presented to the Bishop as the necromancer the group had been sent to find. During the final battle, Osmund chases Langiva into the marsh in an attempt to kill her. In the marsh, Osmund loses Langiva in the mist and fog, though they shout to each other through the fog. Langiva reveals that she is not a witch at all but simply a herbalist who is skilled with plants and drugs. She says that Averill had never been dead at all, Langiva had drugged Averill, and that Osmund killed her himself for the one and only time. Osmund asks why they had buried Averill if she had not really been dead, and Langiva says that it is because “people need miracles” and people worship the one who provides the miracles. Eddie Redmayne and Kimberley Nixon in Black Death (2010)Langiva had used drugs and fake ceremonies to make herself appear powerful in order to gain leadership over the village. She also did this to sway the villagers away from Christianity which Langiva believes is evil because it leads men to commit terrible acts in the name of God and religion. Osmund collapses from grief and shouts at Langiva to bring Averill back (seeming as if he does not believe or is unwilling to believe that Langiva has no powers). Langiva says that she can’t bring Averill back and that Osmund should pray to his God for help. Langiva disappears into the mist and escapes. Osmund and the last surviving mercenary return to the monastery with the male “necromancer” villager in tow as their cargo.Sean Bean in Black Death (2010)In the final scenes, the last surviving mercenary acts as a narrator. He says the village had been untouched by the plague because it had been remote and far removed from other towns (and not because of the “witch’s protection”). However, after the mercenaries brought the plague with them, the surviving people in the remote village and forest also fell victim to the plague. Finally he says that in the years that followed he heard stories that Osmund had lost his heart, had grown cruel, and took up the sword in God’s name. An older church-empowered Osmund sets out with soldiers to hunt and kill Langiva and other witches throughout England. The audience is shown scenes where Osmund appears to falsely mistake other women for Langiva, as well as falsely accuse many other women of witchcraft, all of whom are ultimately tortured and executed in the name of God.It isn’t a standout film, but it’s certainly an interesting one. It’s well made and acted and it leaves you with plenty to think about. Any film-maker who wants to truly convey the feel of the Middle Ages – brutal and squalid, and at once alien and familiar – should watch Black Death and take notes.

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REVIEW: THE LAST LEPRECHAUN

The Last Leprechaun (1998)

CAST

Veronica Hamel (Carquake)
Jack Scalia (Dallas)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Mick Walter (Lexx)
Brittney Bomann (The Little Unicorn)
Andrew J. Ferchland  (Buffy)

hqdefaultEthel and Tommy Barrick are sent to Ireland to spend the summer with their new stepmother. Once there, they discover her to be an evil, power-seeking witch, with real magical powers and a hatred for all things green. maxresdefaultMy favourite thing about this terrible film are the accents.. not since Natascha McElhone’s attempt at the Irish accent in The Devil’s Own have i heard such terrible Irish accents. The leprechaun clearly has some sort of strange Yorkshire accent.The-Last-Leprechaun-2The next great thing about the film – the location. Looks like it was filmed in California. Looks precisely nothing like Ireland, and the house which is central to it is clearly an American lodge. In the first five minutes there is an American Lincoln limousine with apparently Irish number-plates which show it to be from Kildare.The-Last-Leprechaun-3The story’s great… it has it all – leprechauns from northern England, property development, American landscapes… all tied together with a brilliant 5 second refrain of trad flute music which is repeated over and over in an annoying loop. I love this film!

 

REVIEW: TRON

CAST

Jeff Bridges (R.I.P.D.)
Bruce Boxleitner (Babylon 5)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2)
Cindy Morgan (Caddyshack)
Bernard Hughes (Da)
Peter Jurasik (Babylon 5)

Bruce Boxleitner and Cindy Morgan in TRON (1982)In 1982, computer software engineer extraordinaire and former ENCOM employee Kevin Flynn owns and operates a video arcade called Flynn’s. During his time at ENCOM he wrote several video games and was about to start his own enterprise when Ed Dillinger, a colleague, stole Flynn’s ideas and passed them off as his own, earning himself a meteoric rise through ENCOM’s ranks to Senior Executive VP, and the authority to fire Flynn to cover up his larceny. In the nearly three years since Flynn’s dismissal, he has made attempts to obtain evidence of Dillinger’s crime by hacking into the ENCOM mainframe, but despite his shrewdness Flynn keeps getting caught by ENCOM’s Master Control Program (“MCP”), an AI software program which was originally a chess program created by Dr. Walter Gibbs, ENCOM’s co-founder. But with Dillinger’s modifications, the MCP has become sentient and power-hungry, unlawfully annexing personal, corporate, and even government and military programs, assimilating them to itself to increase its own capabilities; the MCP informs Dillinger of its plans to subjugate both the Pentagon and the Kremlin, and expresses interest in China with its request for Chinese language files, going so far as to blackmail Dillinger himself into compliance by threatening to publicly reveal records of his theft.Bruce Boxleitner and Jeff Bridges in TRON (1982)Flynn’s ex-girlfriend Lora Baines and her current boyfriend, fellow ENCOM engineer Alan Bradley, visit Flynn at his arcade to warn him that Dillinger is aware of his hacking attempts and has tightened security at ENCOM. Flynn explains his situation to them and then persuades them to sneak him back into the facility where he forges access for the three. Lora takes Flynn to the terminal in her lab to continue searching for evidence of Dillinger’s theft. In response, the MCP uses an experimental laser to digitize and download Flynn into the ENCOM mainframe, particularly an area the MCP calls the Game Grid, where programs are living entities appearing in the likeness of the human “Users” who created them. Once inside, Flynn quickly learns that the system is under the totalitarian rule of the MCP and its second-in-command, Sark, who enslave and intimidate other programs to renounce their “belief” in the Users; those who refuse are imprisoned in the Game Grid and forced to play in lethal competition against other programs. Flynn meets Tron and Ram as they are about to compete in a Light Cycle match; the three defeat their opponents and escape from the Grid and into the system, but Flynn and Ram are attacked by a pursuit force of game tanks that Flynn himself created; Flynn is only stunned, but Ram is mortally wounded. They stop to rest, but to Flynn and Ram’s surprise, Flynn learns that as a User he can manipulate energy and matter within the system, effectively allowing him to control its environment. With his newfound User power Flynn reassembles a destroyed pursuit ship (called a “Recognizer”). Just before he de-rezzes, Ram begs Flynn to help Tron.Cindy Morgan in TRON (1982)Separated from Flynn and Ram, Tron reunites with his love, Yori (an input/output program created by Lora), and they furtively make their way to an input/output junction where Tron makes contact with his User “Alan-1”, who writes information on Tron’s code disc that will erase the MCP, but only if Tron can get the disc to the MCP’s base. Tron and Yori then steal a “solar-sail simulation” to travel to the MCP’s core and are reunited with Flynn who unwittingly disguised himself as one of Sark’s soldiers; Flynn then reveals to them that he himself is a User. Before they can reach the core, Sark’s command ship overtakes and destroys the simulation, capturing Flynn and Yori and supposedly destroying Tron. Sark alights from his command ship and orders its de-resolution, but Flynn keeps it intact with his User power while Sark reaches the MCP’s core on a shuttle carrying other captured programs slated to be subsumed by the MCP, making it complete. Tron then reemerges and critically damages Sark in a fierce disc fight, prompting the MCP to transfer its functions to Sark increasing his size and power. As Tron repeatedly hurls his disc at the MCP’s base in an attempt to breach its shield and get to its core, Flynn leaps off the command ship into the MCP’s beam, distracting it just long enough to reveal a gap in its shield; Tron then throws his disc through the gap which destroys the MCP and Sark.Jeff Bridges and Cindy Morgan in TRON (1982)As programs throughout the system are once again able to communicate with their Users, the laser that digitized Flynn reverses its function and restores Flynn’s corporeal form, and a nearby printer provides the hard copy proving that Dillinger had stolen Flynn’s creations. At daybreak, when Dillinger enters his office and finds the MCP deleted and proof of his theft now unrestricted, he slumps in his chair in defeat. Flynn later ascends to his rightful place as ENCOM’s new boss and is greeted by Alan and Lora on his first day.Tron has survived the years- more so than many other contemporary SF films, and more than I think most critics would have guessed. Instead of looking out-dated and corny, as the years have passed, Tron has aged gracefully. Sure, the monochrome-screen terminals might look a bit old, and the arcade is a distant, fond memory, but the SFX are still beautiful, and the storyline, in this era of the Internet, seems shockingly modern.

REVIEW: PLANET OF THE APES (2001)

CAST
Mark Wahlberg (The Perfect Storm)
Helena Bonham Carter (Dark Shadows)
Tim Roth (Lie To Me)
Michael Clarke Duncan (The Scorpion King)
Paul Giamatti (The Amazing Spider-Man 2)
Estella Warren (I Accuse)
Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa (Elektra)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2)
Kris Kristofferson (Blade)
Erick Avari (Stargate)
Charlton Heston (Planet of the Apes Original)
Evan Parke (Alias)
Glenn Shadix (Hercules: TLJ)
Linda Harrison (60s Batman)
Melody Perkins (Power Rangers In Space)
Martin Klebba (Project X)
Mark Christopher Lawrence (Chuck)
In 2029, aboard the United States Air Force space station Oberon, Leo Davidson works closely with primates who are trained for space missions. His favorite simian co-worker is a chimpanzee named Pericles. With a deadly electromagnetic storm approaching the station, a small space pod piloted by Pericles is used to probe the storm. Pericles’s pod heads into the storm and disappears. Against his commanding officer’s orders, Leo takes a second pod and goes in pursuit of Pericles. Entering the storm, Leo loses contact with the Oberon and crashes on a planet called Ashlar in the year 5021. He discovers that the world is ruled by humanoid apes who can speak human language and treat human beings as slaves.
Leo comes across a female chimpanzee named Ari, who protests the awful treatment humans receive. Ari decides to buy Leo and a female slave named Daena to have them work as servants in the house of her father, Senator Sandar. Leo escapes his cage and frees other humans. Ari sees them, but Leo convinces her to join a human rebellion against the apes. General Thade and Colonel Attar march ape warriors in pursuit of the humans. Leo discovers Calima (the temple of “Semos”), a forbidden, but holy, site for the apes.
Calima turns out to be the remains of the Oberon, Leo’s space station, which has crashed on the planet’s surface and looks ancient (the name Calima coming from the sign “CAution LIve aniMAls”, the relevant letters being the only ones not covered in dust). According to the computer logs, the station has been there for thousands of years. Leo deduces that when he entered the vortex he was pushed forward in time, while the Oberon, searching after him, was not, crashing on the planet long before he did.
The Oberon‍ ’s log reveals that the apes on board, led by Semos, organized a mutiny and took control of the vessel after it crashed. The human and ape survivors of the struggle left the ship and their descendants are the people Leo has encountered since landing. In the present, a battle ensues between the humans and the apes. A familiar vehicle descends from the sky and is identified immediately by Leo as the pod piloted by Pericles, the chimpanzee astronaut. Pericles was pushed forward in time as Leo was, and had just now found his way to the planet. When Pericles lands, the apes interpret his landing as the return arrival of Semos, the first ape, who is their god. They bow, and hostilities between humans and apes disappear.
Pericles then runs into the Oberon and Leo runs after him, followed by General Thade. Inside, Thade and Leo fight, with Pericles trying to help Leo, only to be thrown hard against a wall. Thade gets hold of Leo’s gun, but does not understand how to use it at first. Seeing that Thade is in the pilot’s deck, Leo closes the automatic door of the entrance, trapping Thade as he shoots the gun, the bullets ricocheting off the door harmlessly. Thade thrashes around to escape, but after all attempts to do so fail, he finally gives up. Leo then decides that it is time for him to leave the Planet of the Apes, so he gives Pericles to Ari, with her promising to look after him, also saying farewell to Daena. Leo climbs aboard Pericles’s undamaged pod and uses it to travel back in time through the same electromagnetic storm. Leo ends up crashing in front of the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C. on Earth. He looks up at the Memorial, and sees it is now a monument in honor of General Thade. A swarm of police officers, firefighters, and news reporters descend on Leo, but on closer inspection, they are all apes.
This is a remake which managed to outdo all the production values of the previous ‘Apes’ films, but ended up with a film which feels like it was made for a straight-to-TV. We all make mistakes, and this one was was Tim Burton’s. There was no reason to remake what was (and is) a classic film.

REVIEW: SPIDER-MAN (1994) – SEASON 1-5

 

 

CAST

Christopher Daniel Barnes (The Little Mermaid)
Edward Asner (Elf)
Linda Gary (He-Man)
Rodney Saulsberry (The Animatrix)
Jennifer Hale (Wreck-It Ralph)
Gary Imhoff (The Green Mile)
Sara Ballantine (Batman Year One)

RECURRING / NOTABLE GUEST STARS

Liz Georges (As Told By Ginger)
Hank Azaria (The Smurfs)
Joseph Campanella (Ben)
Patrick Labyorteaux (Yes Man)
Maxwell Caulfield (Alien Intruder)
Neil Ross (Rambo)
Roscoe Lee Brown (Babe)
Efrem Zimbalist Jr. (Batman: TAS)
Dawnn Lewis (Futurama)
Martin Landau (Ed Wood)
Gregg Berger (Transformers)
Don Stark (That 70s Show)
Mark Hamill (Star Wars)
George Buza (Mutant X)
Cedric Smith (Earth: Final Conflict)
Norm Spencer (Rescue Heroes)
Catherine Disher (Forever Knight)
Alison Sealy-Smith (You Kill Me)
Alyson Court (Beetlejuice TV)
Chris Potter (Heartland)
Malcolm McDowell (Star Trek Generations)
J.D. Hall (Undercover Brother)
Peter Mark Richman (Friday the 13th – Part 8)
George Takei (Star Trek)
John Vernon (Batman: TAS)
Courtney Peldon (Frozen)
Edward Albert (Power Rangers Time Force)
Robert Hays (Airplane)
Barbara Goodson (Power Rangers)
James Avery (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 80s)
Tony Jay (Lois & Clark)
Dorian Harewood (Earth: Final Conflict)
Jack Angel (A.I.)
Jeff Corey (Conan The Destroyer)
Nichelle Nichols (Star Trek)
Richard Moll (Scary Movie 2)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Mira Furlan (Lost)
Earl Boen (The Terminator)
David Hayter (X-Men)
Roy Dotrice (Hercules: TLJ)
Paul Winfield (Star Trek II)
Majel Barrett (Star Trek)
Stan Lee (Avengers Assemble)

The set itself is well presented, although the artwork is a little cheap, and clearly done in a way as to mimic the style of the 90s series. Anyone who has the recent X-Men Season releases will be familiar with this. Unlike those, this one also has a slipcase. A booklet with episode synopses is also included.

Spider-Man has season-long arcs, which when viewed in succession make for great television. Christopher Barnes is brilliant as Spider-Man (especially in those fleeting moments of extreme rage), and the guests were memorable too, particularly Rob Paulsen’s oafish Hydro Man and Jennifer Hale as Felicia Hardy/ Black Cat.

The music was great too, but while Spider-Man relied on several repeated  cues,  Another thing about Spider-Man is that even after all these years I find myself being surprised by some of the plot twists, which were even more abundant upon first viewing. Thankfully, John Semper (creative head of the show) was bold enough to change much of the original stories to make them worth animating in the first place. What else? A minor triumph, but the colouring on this cartoon is the best of any I’ve ever seen. A simple praise. While the show lost its way during the muddled fourth year it had some great episodes in the last series, with one of the greatest resolution-with-cliffhanger endings in animation history. A rare treat in that its much, much better than you remember it.

Some of the best episodes were – the three-parter, “The Alien Costume”- a marvellous introduction for the ultimately underused Venom (a deliciously insane Hank Azaria)- and the two-part “Hobgoblin” are among the best in the show’s five-year run. “Night of the Lizard”, a pilot of sorts, is interesting in that there’s an awful lot more effort put into the animation than in later episodes, as is often the case.

Animation from the 1990s doesn’t come much better than this, and Marvel have yet to top it.

REVIEW: SCREAM 2

CAST

Neve Campbell (Wild Things)
Courteney Cox (Masters of The Universe)
David Arquette (Eight Legged Freaks)
Jamie Kennedy (Son of The Mask)
Liev Schreiber (The Fifth Wave)
Jada Pinkett Smith (Gotham)
Laurie Metcalf (The Big Bang Theory)
Omar Epps (House)
Timothy Olyphant (Hitman)
Sarah Michelle Gellar (Gruel Intentions)
Jerry O’Connell (Sliders)
Joshua Jackson (Cursed)
Heather Graham (Killing Me Softly)
Duane Martin (Any Given Sunday)
Rebecca Gayheart (Dead Like Me)
Portia de Rossi (Stigmata)
Roger Jackson (The Powerpuff Girls)
Rebecca McFarland (Two and A Half Men)
Elise Neal (Hustle & Flow)
Lewis Arquette (Tango & CAsh)
Marisol Nichols (Riverdale)
Tori Spelling (Scary Movie 2)
Luke Wilson (That 70s Show)
David Warner (Tenage Mutant Ninja Turtles 2)
Selma Blair (Hellboy)
Matthew Lillard (Scooby-Doo)

573707754A year after the Woodsboro murders, while attending a preview of the film Stab, a film within a film based on the murders, two Windsor College seniors, Maureen Evans and Phil Stevens (Jada Pinkett Smith and Omar Epps) are murdered by Ghostface. Phil is stabbed through the ear in a bathroom stall while trying to eavesdrop on strange whimpering noises. The killer, wearing a Ghostface costume, then returns to the screening and sits beside Maureen before mortally stabbing her. At first the audience believes the act to be a publicity stunt until she falls dead in front of the cinema screen. The following day, the news media including local journalist Debbie Salt (Laurie Metcalf), descend on Windsor College where Sidney Prescott (Neve Campbell) now studies alongside her best friend Hallie (Elise Neal) and her new boyfriend Derek (Jerry O’Connell), fellow Woodsboro survivor Randy (Jamie Kennedy), and Derek’s best friend Mickey (Timothy Olyphant). Sidney receives prank calls but is oblivious to the recent killings until someone instructs her to watch the news.MV5BMTg1ODc2NTUxNV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwMDk5MTk4NA@@._V1_SY1000_CR0,0,1400,1000_AL_Two other Woodsboro survivors arrive at the campus: officer Dewey Riley (David Arquette) to help Sidney, and reporter Gale Weathers (Courteney Cox) to cover the case. Gale tries to stage a confrontation between Sidney and Cotton Weary (Liev Schreiber), who is attempting to gain fame from his exoneration for the murder of Sidney’s mother. After Gale forcibly confronts Sidney with Cotton, Sidney angrily hits Gale. Later that evening, Sidney goes to a party with Hallie. At a sorority house, Ghostface murders fellow student Cici (Sarah Michelle Gellar). After all the partygoers leave, the killer then crashes the party and attacks Sidney, though Derek intervenes. The killer injures Derek but Dewey and the police arrive, prompting the killer to flee. The next morning, Gale discusses the case with the police. Upon realizing that Cici’s real name is Casey, she concludes that the killer is a copycat who targets students who share the same names as the Woodsboro murder victims.Normal_scream2_167That afternoon, while Gale is talking to Dewey and Randy on the campus lawn, she receives a call from Ghostface hinting that he is watching them. They search for him, but Randy, who tries to keep the killer on the phone, is dragged into Gale’s broadcast van and is killed by Ghostface. As night falls, Dewey and Gale review the tape of Ghostface killing Randy hoping to find some clues but the killer attacks them and seemingly kills Dewey. Gale hides and eventually escapes. In the wake of the escalating murders, two officers drive Sidney and Hallie to a local police station, but the killer murders them. In the ensuing struggle, Ghostface is knocked unconscious. After they climb out of the car, Sidney insists on unmasking him, while Hallie insists they escape. When Sidney walks back to the car, she sees that Ghostface has escaped, who then stabs Hallie to death, forcing Sidney to flee.OQAAAK3y1RS0GNuFo8uh3KwBwm0jLi2eJfnDkJV787EW0dpie41YgymEVevThxMv5vyoWjN7orOrzK6de54DkpWxJyEAm1T1UNAJtW_1G5dV_7joZ5uXyRrqP4DtSidney goes back to the campus and finds Derek in the auditorium tied to a crucifix, his mouth gagged with duct tape. Once Sidney unties him, she is confronted by Ghostface, who reveals himself as Mickey and kills Derek. Mickey details his plan to become famous in the ensuing trial and media spectacle. He then announces his accomplice, Debbie Salt, who arrives holding Gale at gunpoint. Sidney recognizes that Salt is actually Billy Loomis’ mother, seeking revenge for her son’s death. Mrs. Loomis betrays Mickey and shoots him, as she plans to pin the murders on Mickey. Before he collapses, Mickey accidentally shoots Gale, causing her to fall off the stage. Sidney and Mrs. Loomis fight, until Cotton intervenes and eventually shoots Mrs. Loomis in the throat. As they debate whether or not she is still alive, they find Gale still alive. Mickey suddenly jumps to his feet, only to be shot dead by Sidney and Gale. Sidney then shoots Mrs. Loomis in the head to confirm her death. When the police arrive the next morning, Gale finds Dewey badly injured but still alive and accompanies him to the hospital. Sidney instructs the press to direct questions to Cotton, rewarding him with the fame he has been chasing while removing the attention from herself as she leaves the university campus.scream-2Although Craven did a great job building suspense in the first film, he does manage to improve upon his efforts in the second film. While some of the killings are shockingly abrupt, the suspense in the film is quite impressive. While Scream will be revered for years as a modern horror classic, “Scream 2” is a worthy successor. While likely not destined to be a classic on its own, it is clear that Williamson and Craven did not rest on their laurels and truly put an impressive effort into this film, which pays off well, and helps to establish the whole trilogy as a landmark in the horror film genre.

 

REVIEW: RETURN TO THE LOST WORLD

CAST

John Rhys-Davis (The Lord of The Rings)
David Warner (Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles II)
Eric McCormack (Free Enterprise)
Tamara Gorski (Hercules: TLJ)
Ian Yule (Cyborg Cop III)

untitledBelgian scientist Bertram Hammonds, along with Gomez, who survived being injured in the first film, arrives in the Lost World to drill for crude oil. He and his men begin capturing the natives for slave labor, throwing Chief Palala off the top of the plateau. He survives and is rescued by Malu and taken to a nearby village. Word reaches Edward Malone and Jenny Nielson in England, who remind Professors Challenger and Summerlee of the promise they made to Palala: that they would return to the Lost World should they be needed. However the professors are having a feud. Challenger recently discredited Summerlee on a theory and now they aren’t on speaking terms. With help from Jim, Malone and Jenny manage to bamboozle Challenger and Summerlee into coming along with each mistakenly believing they are commanding the expedition while the other is remaining in England. When they encounter one another aboard the steamship bound for Africa, they nearly come to blows. Upon arriving they are led to the base of the plateau by Malu, where she found Chief Palala.lwfilm3Above, attacks by dinosaurs have set back Hammonds’ work. His drilling crews accidentally tap into a volcanic pipe during a tyrannosaurus’ visit, triggering a volcanic eruption that threatens to destroy the whole plateau. The initial eruption destroys the plane they arrived in. Fleeing, Hammonds and Gomez take hostage Chief Palala’s daughter and threaten to kill her unless the natives show them how to leave. Suddenly Challenger and the others arrive, having come the same way they left last time, through the caves.6244-2Challenger shoots and kills Gomez, and Hammonds is taken prisoner. After several adventures including clashes with the hostile drilling crew members, the group struggles to stop the erupting volcano. Challenger creates a new explosive, “Challengerite,” with which to seal the volcano. Boxes of the explosive are put into a cave nearby but Hammonds chases Jim inside, not wanting them to set off the explosives. He tries to ply Jim with promises of wealth but Jim sets off the explosives, stopping the eruption and seemingly killing Hammonds in the process. Afterward, Summerlee congratulates Challenger on the Challengerite, and they muse on how much longer they can keep the Lost World safe from human intervention1992-the-lost-world-rhys-challengerReturn to the Lost World was not as good as The Lost World. It starts off with the promise of being better than the previous film but it just doesn’t measure up. But that doesn’t mean it is not enjoyable. John Rhys-Davies and David Warner play their roles very well and the lead villain does over act, in a bad way. If you’ve seen the previous movie, I suggest watching this. It’s filled with fun and adventure.