REVIEW: AROUND THE WORLD IN 80 DAYS

CAST

Jackie Chan (Rush Hour)
Owen Wilson (Wedding Crashers)
Steve Coogan (The Other Guys)
Jim Broadbent (The Legend of Tarzan)
Arnold Schwarzenegger (The Terminator)
Luke Wilson (Charlies Angels)
John CLeese (Rat Race)
Cécile de France (The Jungle Book)
David Ryall (Outnumbered)
Roger Hammond (Rome)
Ian McNeice (Dune)
Kathy Bates (Misery)
Rob Scneider (Big Daddy)
Ewen Bremner (Trainspotting)
Adam Godley (Powers)
Will Forte (MacGruber)
Maggie Q (Divergent)
Mark Addy (Game of Thrones)

In the late 19th century, a Chinese man, Lau Xing, robs the Bank of England. To evade the police, Xing becomes the valet for Phileas Fogg, an inventor, taking the pseudonym Passepartout. Phileas, just before Xing arrived, had been trying to break the 50-mph speed barrier, and after succeeding with the help of Passepartout, they head to the Royal Academy of Science. There, Fogg is insulted by the other “brilliant minds”, in particular Lord Kelvin, who believes that everything worth discovering has already been discovered. After a debate between the scientists about the bank thief, Phileas is pressured into a bet to see whether he can travel around the world in 80 days. If he wins, he will become Minister of Science in Lord Kelvin’s place, if not, he will destroy his lab and never invent anything again. Phileas and Xing start their journey around the world, taking a carriage and leaving London after a confrontation with Inspector Fix, a corrupt officer hired by Lord Kelvin to stop them.

Xing and Phileas journey to Paris. Pretending to take Phileas to a convention with Thomas Edison, Xing leads him to an art school where Phileas meets Monique La Roche, a would-be impressionist. There, Xing is attacked by disguised warriors, the Black Scorpions, sent by General Fang, a female Chinese warlord who is after the Jade Buddha that he stole. Fang had previously given it to Kelvin in exchange for military assistance in China. When Monique learns of Phileas’s ambition, she convinces them to take her with them. They depart in a hot-air balloon, chased by Fang’s warriors.

Whilst on the Orient Express, Monique learns that Xing is trying to return the Jade Buddha back to his village, and is travelling with Phileas to get there quickly. Monique keeps his secret in exchange for him convincing Phileas to let her travel with him. They travel to Turkey, where the train stops. Guards climb onboard and inform the trio that they are greeted by Prince Hapi. During the Prince’s banquet, he orders Monique to stay as his seventh wife while the men are ordered to leave. The men blackmail Prince Hapi into releasing Monique using a prized but apparently flimsy “The Thinker” statue of the Prince. The statue is destroyed, much to Hapi’s anger, but the trio escape from the guards. Lord Kelvin, learning that Phileas has been abetting a thief’s escape, orders the British colonial authorities in India to arrest both. Xing notices this and warns his companions, disguising themselves as Indian women to evade capture and successfully flee to China.

Xing leads his friends to his village, Lanzhou, where they are happily greeted. His real identity is revealed and they are held captive by the Black Scorpions. Xing challenges the leader of the group to a fight, during which he is joined by the martial arts masters of the “Ten Tigers of Canton”, of which Xing is a member. The Tigers drive the Black Scorpions from the village and free the Westerners. The Buddha is returned to the village temple. Phileas, feeling used by Xing and Monique, leaves for San Francisco alone, only to be proven wrong when the latter decide to help him win his bet. In New York City, Fang’s disguised minions trick the trio to an ambush site. Fang reveals the nature of their arrangements with Lord Kelvin to take Lanzhou and tap the jade reserves underneath it. A battle against Fang and her minions commences in the workshop where the Statue of Liberty is being constructed, resulting in Phileas missing a boat to help Xing, Fang being knocked out by Monique with a punch (revealing Monique to be the fabled 11th Tiger) and Fang’s minions being either killed or knocked out. Phileas feels he has lost, but the other two say they may still make it if they catch the next ship.

They board an old ship and Phileas convinces the captain to let him build a plane out of the ship’s old wood in exchange for a new ship. Using an altered version of the Wright brothers’ plans, Phileas builds the plane while the ship’s crew builds a catapult to launch it into the sky. They reach London, where the machine falls apart and they crash in front of the Royal Academy. Lord Kelvin sends police to arrest them for robbing the bank, in order to stop them from making it to the top step of the Academy, and proclaims himself the victor when Big Ben strikes noon, seemingly ending the wager. Monique, Fix and other ministers attest to Kelvin’s unfair methods and his bullying nature, but Kelvin scoffs at them. In the process he insults Queen Victoria, who arrives on the scene. She learned that he had sold her arsenal to Fang in exchange for jade mines in China thanks to one of his aides. Kelvin is arrested and sent to prison, and Phileas realizes he is one day early thanks to crossing the international date line. He victoriously ascends the stairs of the Academy and kisses Monique.

The end result is a beautiful film that is suitable for all ages and provides that wonderful feel-good sensation that only the greatest adventures can provide.

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REVIEW: HARRY POTTER AND THE CHAMBER OF SECRETS

 

CAST

Daniel Radcliffe (Horns)
Rupert Grint (Cherrybomb)
Emma Watson (This Is The End)
Kenneth Branagh (Dead Again)
John Cleese (Rat Race)
Robbie Coltrane (Flash Gordon)
Warwick Davis (Leprechaun)
Richard Griffiths (Sleepy Hollow)
Richard Harris (Gladiator)
Alan Rickman (Alice Through The Looking Glass)
Fiona Shaw (Jane Eyre)
Maggie Smith (Clash of The Titans)
Julie Walters (Brooklyn)
Toby Jones (The Hunger Games)
Bonnie Wright (Before I Sleep)
Mark Williams (Agent Cody Banks 2)
Tom Felton (The Flash)
Jason Isaacs (Peter Pan)
Matthew Lewis (Happy Valley)
David Bradley (Game of Thrones)
Julian Glover (Game of Thrones)

Harry Potter spends the summer without receiving letters from his Hogwarts friends. In his room, Harry meets Dobby, a house-elf who warns him bad things will happen if he returns to Hogwarts, and reveals he intercepted his friends’ letters. Harry chases him downstairs, where Dobby destroys a cake. The Dursleys lock Harry up, but Ron, Fred and George Weasley rescue him in their father’s flying Ford Anglia.

While buying school supplies, Harry and the Weasley family encounter Rubeus Hagrid and Hermione Granger, and they attend a book-signing by celebrity wizard Gilderoy Lockhart, who announces he will be the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. Harry also encounters Draco Malfoy and his father Lucius, who slips a book in Ginny Weasley’s belongings. When Harry and Ron are blocked from entering Platform Nine and Three-Quarters (later revealed to be Dobby’s doing), they fly to Hogwarts in the Ford Anglia and crash into the hostile Whomping Willow. Ron’s wand is damaged, and the car throws them out before driving off. They are allowed back into school but face detention.

While serving detention with Lockhart, Harry hears strange voices and later finds caretaker Argus Filch’s cat, Mrs. Norris, petrified, and a message written in blood announcing the “Chamber of Secrets has been opened, Enemies of the Heir, beware”. Professor McGonagall explains that one of Hogwarts’ founders, Salazar Slytherin, supposedly constructed a secret Chamber and placed inside it a monster that only his Heir can control, to purge the school of impure-blooded wizards and witches. More attacks occur over the course of the year. Harry and Ron suspect Malfoy is the Heir, so Hermione suggests they question him while disguised using polyjuice potion. Their makeshift laboratory is in a disused bathroom haunted by a ghost, Moaning Myrtle.

When Harry communicates with a snake (something Salazar Slytherin could do) the school suspects him as the Heir. At Christmas, Harry and Ron learn that Malfoy is not the Heir, but he mentions that a girl died when the Chamber was last opened fifty years ago. Harry finds an enchanted diary, owned by a former student named Tom Riddle, which shows him a flashback to fifty years before, where Riddle accused Hagrid, then a student, of opening the Chamber. When the diary disappears and Hermione is petrified, Harry and Ron question Hagrid. Professor Dumbledore, Cornelius Fudge, and Lucius Malfoy come to take Hagrid to Azkaban, but he discreetly tells the boys to “follow the spiders”. Lucius has Dumbledore suspended. In the Forbidden Forest, Harry and Ron find Aragog, a giant spider who reveals Hagrid’s innocence and that the dead girl was found in a bathroom. Aragog then sets his colony of Acromantula on the boys, but the now-wild Ford Anglia saves them.

A book page in Hermione’s hand identifies the monster is a basilisk, a giant serpent that instantly kills those who make direct eye contact with it; the petrified victims saw it indirectly. The school staff learn that Ginny was taken into the Chamber, and convince Lockhart to save her. Harry and Ron find Lockhart, exposed as a fraud, planning to flee; knowing Myrtle was the girl the Basilisk killed, they drag him to her bathroom and find the Chamber’s entrance. Once inside, Lockhart uses Ron’s damaged wand against them, but it backfires, wiping his memory, and causes a cave-in.

Harry enters the Chamber alone and finds Ginny unconscious and dying guarded by Tom Riddle. Harry realises Riddle is the Heir and he used the diary to manipulate Ginny and reopen the Chamber. Riddle then reveals his full name, Tom Marvolo Riddle, from which he created the anagram for his future new identity, “I am Lord Voldemort”. After Harry expresses support for Dumbledore, Dumbledore’s Fawkes flies in with the Sorting Hat, and Riddle summons the Basilisk. Fawkes blinds the Basilisk, and the Sorting Hat eventually produces a sword with which Harry battles and slays the Basilisk, but he is poisoned by its fangs.

Harry defeats Riddle and revives Ginny by stabbing the diary with a basilisk fang. Fawkes’ tears heal him, and he returns to Hogwarts with his friends and a baffled Lockhart. Dumbledore, reinstated as headmaster, praises them and orders for Hagrid’s release. Dumbledore shows Harry that the sword he wielded was Godric Gryffindor’s own sword, and says he is different from Voldemort because he chose Gryffindor House instead of Slytherin House. Harry accuses Lucius, Dobby’s master, of putting the diary in Ginny’s cauldron and tricks him into freeing Dobby. The Basilisk’s victims are healed, Hermione reunites with Harry and Ron, and Hagrid returns.

The movie sticks closely to the novel, but as in the last movie we miss some of those scenes where we start to learn a little more about the characters, especially the hate-hate relationship between Harry and Professor Snape. All in all it’s definitely worth checking out, the running time of 160 minutes may seem a little long but it doesn’t seem that long when you’re watching it.

REVIEW: MARY SHELLEY’S FRANKENSTEIN

CAST

Robert De Niro (Joy)
Kenneth Branagh (Valkyrie)
Tom Hulce (Amadeus)
Helena Bonham Carter (Alice In Wonderland)
Aidan Quinn (Legends of The Fall)
Ian Holm (Lord of The Rings)
Richard Briers (Watership Down)
John Cleese (A Fish Called Wanda)
Celia Imrie (Highlander)

In 1794, Captain Walton leads a troubled, expedition to reach the North Pole. While their ship is trapped in the ice of the Arctic Sea, the crew discovers a man, Victor Frankenstein, traveling across the Arctic on his own. Victor grows up in Geneva with his adopted sister, Elizabeth Lavenza, who will become the love of his life. Before he leaves for the university at Ingolstadt, Victor’s mother dies giving birth to his brother William. Victor vows on his mother’s grave that he will find a way to conquer death.At university, Victor’s interest in the works of alchemists make him unpopular with professors. He finds a friend in Henry Clerval and a mentor in Professor Waldman. Victor comes to believe that the only way to cheat death is to create life. Professor Waldman warns Victor not to follow through with his theory; he tested it once, but ended his experiments because they resulted in an “abomination.”  While performing vaccinations, Waldman is murdered by a patient, who is later hanged in the village square. Victor breaks into Waldman’s laboratory, takes his notes, and begins to work on a creation. Victor gives his creature dead body parts from various sources, including the body of Waldman’s murderer and Waldman’s own brain. He is so obsessed with his work that not even a cholera outbreak tears him from it. Victor finally gives his creation life, but he recoils from it in horror and renounces his experiments.Image result for mary shelley's frankensteinThe creature escapes, running off to the wilderness with Victor’s coat which contains Victor’s journal. He spends months living in a family’s barn without their knowledge, gradually learning to read and speak. He attempts to earn the family’s trust by anonymously helping them with their failing farm, and eventually converses with the patriarch, an elderly blind man, after aiding him and his grandson against violent debt collectors. But when the blind man’s family returns, they mistakenly think the creature committed the assaults against the patriarch and grandson, and chase the creature away and abandon the cottage. The creature reads Victor’s journal, learning of the circumstances of his creation. He vows revenge on his creator.Image result for mary shelley's frankensteinVictor, who believes the creature has died of cholera, returns to Geneva to marry Elizabeth. He finds his younger brother William has been murdered. Justine, a servant of the Frankenstein household, is framed for the crime by the creature and hanged by a lynch mob. Victor is approached by his creation demanding that Victor make a companion for him, promising that if Victor does, he will disappear with his mate. Victor begins gathering the tools he used to create life, but when the creature insists he use Justine’s body to make the companion, Victor breaks his promise and the creature vows revenge.Image result for mary shelley's frankensteinVictor and Elizabeth are married. Shortly after, unknown to them, the creature silently kills Baron Frankenstein in his own bedroom. Victor takes every precaution to defend his wife on their honeymoon, but the creature gains access to their bedroom and tears out Elizabeth’s heart, killing her. Maddened with grief beyond measure, Victor races home to bring Elizabeth back to life. He stitches Elizabeth’s head onto Justine’s fully intact body, and she awakes as a re-animated creature. The two are briefly and happily reunited until the creature appears. Victor and the monster fight for Elizabeth’s affections, but Elizabeth, horrified by what she has become, commits suicide by setting herself on fire, burning the mansion to the ground.Image result for mary shelley's frankensteinThe story returns to the Arctic Circle. Victor tells Walton that he has been pursuing his creation for months to kill him. Soon after relating his story, Victor dies from pneumonia. Walton discovers the creature weeping over Victor’s body. The crew prepares a funeral pyre for Victor, but the ceremony is interrupted when the ice around the ship cracks. Walton invites the creature to stay with the ship, but the creature insists on remaining with the pyre. He takes the torch and burns himself alive with Victor’s body. Walton, having seen the consequences of Victor’s obsession, puts his own obsession aside and orders the ship to return home.Image result for mary shelley's frankensteinThe ending goes beyond the scope of the original novel, and it does so in a strikingly grisly way, but the overall effect of this film is true to Shelley’s original vision. Robert De Niro gives a particularly compelling performance as Frankenstein’s monster, the look and feel of the late eighteenth-century setting is spot on, and the musical soundtrack complements the plot extraordinarily well. While I would prefer to see a movie strictly faithful to Shelley’s novel, this exemplary albeit somewhat effusive adaptation hits the core messages of the story dead on and stands, in my opinion, as a truly impressive cinematic accomplishment.

REVIEW: SHREK FOREVER AFTER

CAST

Mike Myers (Austin Powers)
Eddie Murphy (Dr. Dolittle)
Cameron Diaz (Bad Teacher)
Antonio Banderas (Legend of Zorro)
Walt Dohm (Trolls)
Cody Cameron (Turbo)
Jon Hamm (Mad Men)
Craig Robinson (Pineapple Express)
Jane Lynch (Role Models)
John Cleese (Rat Race)
Julie Andrews (The Princess Diaries)
Kristen Schaal (The Muppets)
Kathy Griffin (Hall Pass)
Lake Bell (No Strings Attached)

Shrek has grown steadily tired of being a family man and celebrity among the local villagers, leading him to yearn for the days when he felt like a “real ogre”. When he takes his family to Far Far Away to celebrate his children’s first birthday, a series of mishaps further injure his ego, causing him to lose his temper and walk out in anger.

Shrek encounters Rumpelstiltskin, who seizes his chance, having observed Shrek’s angry outburst. He follows Shrek and arranges for Shrek to appear to save his life. To “thank” him, he gives Shrek a day to live like a real ogre, in exchange for a day from his childhood that he would not remember being erased.

Shrek signs the contract and appears in a reality where he is feared by villagers. He takes the opportunity to cause some lighthearted mischief until he finds “WANTED” posters for Fiona and his home deserted and desolate. He is kidnapped by witches and taken to Rumpelstiltskin, now the King of Far Far Away, which has become derelict and run down.

Upon inquiry, Rumpelstiltskin reveals that the day he erased was the day of Shrek’s birth. Therefore, Shrek never saved Fiona, never met Donkey, and consequently Rumpelstiltskin was able to get King Harold and Queen Lillian to sign their kingdom away, making them both disappear. When the day ends, Shrek will disappear as well. Shrek escapes Rumpelstiltskin’s castle with Donkey. Initially terrified of Shrek, Donkey decides to trust him after seeing Shrek cry over his erased history, something he had never seen an ogre do before. After Shrek explains the situation, Donkey helps him find a hidden exit clause: the contract can be nullified by true love’s kiss.

They soon encounter a band of ogres who are resisting Rumpelstiltskin. The ogres are led by a still-cursed Fiona who, after escaping from the tower where she was held captive, keeps the retired and overweight Puss in Boots as a pet. Shrek does everything he can to gain Fiona’s love, but she is too busy preparing an ambush on Rumpelstiltskin. She is also bitterly cynical and disillusioned about the power of true love and throws herself into planning Rumpelstiltskin’s capture. While sparring with her, Fiona begins to like Shrek, but stops short of kissing him. Puss encourages him to continue pursuing Fiona.

During the ambush, the ogres are captured by the Pied Piper, though Shrek and Fiona escape with the intervention of Puss and Donkey. Shrek insists Fiona kiss him, saying it will fix everything; however, because in this altered timeline Fiona does not truly love him, the kiss does not work. When he hears that Rumpelstiltskin is offering the “deal of a lifetime” (where all wishes come true) to the one who brings him Shrek, Shrek turns himself in and uses the deal to free the other ogres, who then storm into the castle, battle the witches, and capture Rumpelstiltskin.

As the sun rises, Shrek begins to fade from existence. But Fiona, having fallen in love with him, kisses Shrek just before he disappears, thereby voiding the contract and restoring Shrek to his world, just before he lashed out at the party. Shrek embraces his friends and family with a newfound appreciation for everything he has, truly living happily forever after.

As a fan of Shrek I enjoyed every bit of this film and was even the music. Lots of fight scenes to keep me interested, slapstick comedy, and a good story and ending to wrap everything up. If you like the first couple of Shrek films get this. It definitely makes up for the third film. Get it and enjoy.

REVIEW: SHREK THE THIRD

CAST

Mike Myers (Austin Powers)
Eddie Murphy (Dr. Dolittle)
Cameron Diaz (Bad Teacher)
Antonio Banderas (Legend of Zorro)
John Cleese (Rat Race)
Julie Andrews (The Princess Diaries)
Rupert Everett (Pret-a-Porter)
Justin Timberlake (The Social Network)
Eric Idle (Not The Messiah)
Amy Poehler (Mean Girls)
Maya Rudolph (Bridesmaids)
Amy Sedaris (Strangers With Candy)
Cheri Oteri (Scary Movie)
Ian McShane (Hercules)
Mark Valley (Human Target)
Seth Rogen (Bad neighbours)
John Lithgow (3rd rock From The Sun)
John Krasinski (License To Wed)

Prince Charming vows that he will become King of Far, Far Away and avenge the death of his mother, the Fairy Godmother. Meanwhile, King Harold is dying and his ogre son-in-law Shrek and daughter Princess Fiona are to succeed him. Shrek’s attempts at trying to serve as the Regent during the King’s medical leave end in disaster, and insists that an ogre as king is a bad idea and that there must be someone else to rule the kingdom. Before dying, Harold tells Shrek of another heir: his nephew, Arthur Pendragon. Prince Charming goes to the Poison Apple tavern and persuades fairy tale villains to fight for their “happily ever after” by appealing to the defeats given in their stories.

Shrek, Donkey and Puss in Boots set out to retrieve Arthur; as they are sailing away, Fiona yells to Shrek that she is pregnant. The trio journey to Worcestershire Academy, an elite magical boarding school, where they discover Arthur or “Artie” is a scrawny 16-year-old underachiever picked on by everyone. At the school pep rally, Shrek tells Artie he is going to be king of Far Far Away. Artie is excited until Donkey and Puss inadvertently frighten him by discussing the responsibilities of being king. Artie tries taking control of the ship and crashes it on a remote island, where they meet Artie’s retired wizard teacher, Merlin.

Meanwhile, Charming and the other villains attack the castle, but Wolfie, Pinocchio, Gingy, the Three Little Pigs and the Blind Mice stall them long enough for Fiona and her mother Queen Lilian to escape along with Snow White, Rapunzel, Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty and Doris the Ugly Stepsister. One of the Pigs accidentally blurts out that Shrek has gone to retrieve Arthur, and Prince Charming sends Captain Hook and his pirates to track down Shrek. The ladies are put in a tower when Rapunzel betrays them because she loves Charming.

Captain Hook and his pirates track Shrek and his friends to Merlin’s island, where they attempt to capture Shrek alive and defeat the others. Shrek and Artie defeat the villains, and Hook mentions Charming and the takeover of Far Far Away. Concerned for his wife and future child, Shrek urges Artie to return to Worcestershire. Instead, Artie cons Merlin into using his magic to send them to Far Far Away. The spell works, but causes Puss and Donkey to accidentally switch bodies. They find Pinocchio and learn that Charming plans to kill Shrek as part of a play. Charming’s men arrive, but Artie tricks the knights into not taking them into custody and they break into the castle during rehearsals for the play. Caught in Charming’s dressing room, the four are taken captive.

Charming prepares to kill Artie, believing he is the next king. To save Artie’s life, Shrek tells Charming that Artie was a pawn to take his place as King of Far Far Away. Charming believes Shrek and allows Artie to leave. Donkey and Puss are imprisoned with Fiona and the ladies, where Fiona grows frustrated with their lack of initiative. Queen Lilian smashes the stone wall of the prison by head butting the walls. While the princesses launch a rescue mission for Shrek, Donkey and Puss free Gingy, Pinocchio, the wolf and pigs, Dragon and Donkey’s children. They encounter Artie, and Puss and Donkey explain that Shrek lied to save him.

By nightfall, Charming stages a musical in front of the kingdom. Just as Charming is about to defeat Shrek, Fiona, along with Puss, Donkey, the princesses and the fairy tale characters confront the villains. Artie convinces the villains that just because they are being treated like losers does not mean that they have to be losers.

Infuriated, Charming lunges at Artie with his sword, but Shrek blocks the blow, so Charming attacks him instead. Shrek, who seems fatally injured, informs Charming that he needs to work on his aim and that the Prince needs to keep looking for his own happily ever after. As Shrek pushes him aside, Dragon knocks Rapunzel’s tower on Charming presumably killing him. Artie is then crowned king, and takes the throne. While the kingdom celebrates, Merlin restores Puss and Donkey to their proper bodies, accidentally switching their tails temporarily. Shrek returns home to the swamp with Fiona, becoming the parents of ogre triplets.

Shrek the 3rd was a great continuation of the other 2 shrek films. When I watched this film, I got exactally what I was looking for. A new adventure and a load of laughs.  The movie is great if you love humor and shrek.

REVIEW: SHREK 2

CAST

Mike Myers (Austin Powers)
Eddie Murphy (Dr. Dolittle)
Cameron Diaz (Bad Teacher)
Antonio Banderas (Legend of Zorro)
John Cleese (Rat Race)
Julie Andrews (The Princess Diaries)
Rupert Everett (Pret-a-Porter)
Jennifer Saunders (Ansolutely Fabulous)
Joan Rivers (Spaceballs)
Cody Cameron (Turbo)

Shrek and Fiona return from their honeymoon to find they have been invited by Fiona’s parents to a royal ball to celebrate their marriage. Shrek refuses to go at first, but Fiona talks him into it, and along with Donkey, they travel to the kingdom of Far Far Away. They meet Fiona’s parents, King Harold and Queen Lillian, who are surprised to see their daughter as an ogre, with Harold particularly repulsed. At dinner, Shrek and Harold get into a heated argument over how Shrek and Fiona will raise their family, and Fiona, disgusted at Shrek and Harold’s behavior, locks herself away in her room that evening. Shrek worries that he has lost his true love, particularly after finding her childhood diary and reading that she was once infatuated with Prince Charming.

Harold is reprimanded by the Fairy Godmother and Charming, her son, by reminding Harold for violating a promise that Charming would be able to marry Fiona, and request that he find a manner to get rid of Shrek. Harold arranges for Shrek and Donkey to join him on a fictitious hunting trip, which actually is a trap to lure them into the hands of an assassin, Puss in Boots. However, Puss is unable to defeat Shrek and, revealing that he was paid by Harold, requests to come along and make amends. The three sneak into the Fairy Godmother’s potion factory and steal a “Happily Ever After” potion that Shrek thinks will restore Fiona’s love for him.

Shrek and Donkey both drink the potion and fall into a deep sleep, awakening the next morning to discover its effects: Shrek is now a handsome human, while Donkey has turned into an elegant white stallion. In order to make the change permanent, Shrek must kiss Fiona by midnight. He, Donkey, and Puss return to the castle to discover that the potion has transformed Fiona back into her former human self as well. However, the Fairy Godmother, having discovered the potion’s theft, intercepts Shrek and sends Charming to pose as him and win her love. At the Fairy Godmother’s urging, Shrek leaves the castle, thinking that the best way to make Fiona happy is to let her go.

To ensure that Fiona falls in love with Charming, the Fairy Godmother gives Harold a love potion to put into Fiona’s tea. This exchange is overheard by Shrek, Donkey, and Puss, who are soon arrested by the royal guards and thrown into a dungeon. While the royal ball begins, several of Shrek’s friends band together to free the trio, creating a monster-sized gingerbread man, which breaks through the castle’s defences so Shrek can prevent Charming from kissing Fiona. He is too late to stop them; instead of falling in love with Charming, though, Fiona knocks him out with a headbutt. Harold reveals that he never gave Fiona the love potion, whereupon the now enraged Fairy Godmother attacks Shrek. In the ensuing melee, Harold sacrifices himself to save Shrek; Harold’s armour ricochets the Fairy Godmother’s spell which disintegrates her into bubbles; it also returns Harold to his true form as the Frog Prince. He had used the Happily Ever After potion years before in order to marry Lillian, but she tells him that she loves him regardless of his appearance.

As the clock strikes midnight, Shrek and Fiona let the potion’s effects wear off and they revert to their ogre forms, while Donkey changes back to his natural form as well. Harold gives his blessing to the marriage and apologizes for his earlier behavior, and the party resumes. After the party, the Dragon, who had previously romanced Donkey, arrives and reveals that they now have several dragon-donkey hybrid babies.

It’s an enchanting, highly entertaining, very funny movie, one you can watch again and again and still marvel at aspects of the production you missed first time round.

 

 

REVIEW: RAT RACE

CAST

John Cleese (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Breckin Meyer (Road Trip)
Cuba Gooding Jr. Jerry Maguire)
Seth Green (Family Guy)
Amy Smart (The Butterfly Effect)
Rowan Atkinson (Johnny English0
Whoopi Goldberg (Star Trek: TNG)
Lanei Chapman (Space: Above and Beyond)
Jon Lovitz (Southland Tales)
Dave Thomas (Grace Under Fire)
Dean Cain (Lois & Clark)
Wayne Knight (Jurassic Park)
Brandy Ledford (Andromeda)
Silas Weir Mitchell (My Name Is Earl)
Kathy Bates (Misery)

Donald Sinclair (John Cleese), the eccentric owner of The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino in Las Vegas, devises a new game to entertain the high rollers who visit his hotel. Six special tokens are placed in the casino’s slot machines, and the winners are gathered together and told that $2 million in cash is hidden in a duffel bag in a train station locker in Silver City, New Mexico, 563 miles southeast of Las Vegas. Each team is given a key to the locker and told to race across the desert to the train station and claim the money. Unbeknownst to the competitors, Sinclair’s wealthy patrons are placing bets on who will win.

Among the racers are scheming siblings Duane (Seth Green) and Blaine Cody (Vince Vieluf), businesswoman Merrill Jennings (Lanai Chapman) and her estranged mother Vera (Whoopi Goldberg), disgraced American football referee Owen Templeton (Cuba Gooding, Jr.), the Pear family led by opportunistic father Randy (Jon Lovitz), eccentric Italian tourist Enrico Pollini (Rowan Atkinson), and no-nonsense Nick Schaffer (Breckin Meyer).

Unable to get on the earliest flight, Duane and Blaine manage to destroy the radar with their Ford Bronco, grounding everybody else. However their car is wrecked in the sabotage, so they steal another before deciding to split up to double their chances of winning by creating a replica key. The locksmith (Silas Weir Mitchell) overhears their plan, and makes off with the key, trying to escape in a hot air balloon. Duane and Blaine catch up to him, leaving the locksmith and a stray dairy cow hanging from the balloon’s anchor rope. The brothers later accidentally swerve their vehicle into a monster truck rally, where it is destroyed. They therefore steal a monster truck and continue on to Silver City.

Merrill and Vera crash their car thanks to malicious road directions given by a crazed squirrel saleswoman (Kathy Bates). They steal a rocket car, which races across the desert until it runs out of fuel. The women dizzily stumble onto a bus full of mental patients which eventually drives toward Silver City.

Owen is left stranded in the desert by a vengeful cab driver (Paul Rodriguez) who lost $20,000 on his bad call in a football game. He comes across a coach bus filled with Lucille Ball impersonators going to an I Love Lucy convention and disguises himself as the driver. Just outside Silver City, the bus hits the cow dangling from the hot air balloon, swerving off the road and suffering a puncture (and eventually rolling over). Owen breaks down, reveals he is not a coach driver, and is forced to flee from the women on foot. After hiding, he steals some clothes from a scarecrow and rides a stolen horse the rest of the way.  Randy Pear deceives his family into accompanying him in the race, but they mistakenly visit a museum dedicated to the Nazi Klaus Barbie. After the Cody brothers vandalize their car, the Pears steal Adolf Hitler’s staff car to continue. Randy accidentally insults a biker gang and they attack, causing the Pears to crash into a meeting for World War II veterans who believe the family to be Nazis after seeing Randy exiting Hitler’s car while unknowingly resembling Hitler. After being chased away, the family tell Randy they want to stop the race, but he drugs them with sleeping pills, and bundles them into a semi-truck to reach Silver City.

Nick chooses not to participate in the race until he meets pilot Tracy Faucet (Amy Smart), one of the few still able to fly using her non-fixed-wing helicopter; he realizes she gives him a large advantage, then persuades her to give him a lift. They pass over Tracy’s boyfriend’s (Dean Cain) house but spot him with his ex-girlfriend, enraging Tracy to the point that she attacks and chases him in the helicopter. It stalls out, causing her and Nick to steal her boyfriend’s truck. Now without a job and on the run, Tracey accompanies Nick to Silver City.

Narcoleptic Enrico falls asleep at the start of the race but awakens hours later. He rushes out of the casino to be run down by ambulance driver Zack (Wayne Knight), who is delivering a transplant heart to El Paso. Wishing to avoid trouble, Zack agrees to take Enrico to Silver City. When Zack shows off the heart, it bounces out the window and a stray dog picks it up; Enrico plays fetch with it, until the dog gets killed by an electric fence. Zack considers removing Enrico’s heart to replace the first, before Enrico flees onto a passing train. In despair Zack touches the electric fence, which brings the retrieved heart back to life. All the racers reunite in Silver City, most running side-by-side on foot toward the station. Enrico arrives first by train, only to fall asleep with his key in the locker. The others show up and tackle each other to open the locker, only to find it is empty. They all run outside and find Sinclair’s assistant Grisham (Dave Thomas) and a call girl he hired making off with the money bag. They lose it when the locksmith ties it to the balloon, only for the three to crash their car.

The racers follow the balloon until it lands at an outdoor charity concert hosted by Smash Mouth. All are persuaded to give the money to charity. Nick then surprises a horrified Sinclair and his patrons by declaring that they will match the amount raised (which is shown increasing at an alarming rate on the display board). The film ends with the racers dancing to “All Star” and crowd surfing in the exuberant audience as Sinclair bawls hysterically.Rat Race is one of the funniest movies of 2001. It’s energetic, irrelevant, and entertaining. You are sure to have a decent time.