By: Justin Hopkins
This week it was announced that Universal would be taking another swing at one of their classic monsters, following in the heels of The Invisible Man, with The Wolfman, with Ryan Gosling set to play the title character. While I am excited to see what that rendition has in store for us. Gives us the perfect excuse to go back and check out the two that came before it. Going all the way back to 1941 and 2010. So, with a lot to cover, lets dive right in with the original shall we.
The Wolfman 1941
The movie opens with a title card sequence of starts, like a lot of these older movies used to do. Showing us the characters and who plays them and then the definition of Lycanthropy and we see the main character driving down the road. Returning home after he learned his brother died during a hunting trip. Putting all of the bad history between himself and his Dad. During their conversation a glass shipment arrives and the fix up a telescope. Which they test by spying on the town. Larry spots a woman, Gwen, in her bedroom. When he sees it is above an Antique Shop, he goes running. Trying to be..suave I suppose by wanting to buy the jewels she has upstairs. Claiming to know they are there by being psychic. When he can’t buy the jewels. Agrees to buy a cane with a wolf’s head, moon, and pentagram. Reciting the verse of a man pure of heart and says his prayers. Can Become a wolf when the wolfsbane blooms and the autumn moon is bright. When he is leaving, invites her for a walk at 8 and despite saying no. Is waiting with a friend at 8. Wearing the jewels he was asking for. Her friend, Jenny wanting to go get her fortune read by the gypsies and they set off to do that. While that is going on, they go for a walk. While he is admitting to the telescope incident, we see the friend with the gypsies. Who tells her to come back tomorrow and leaves. While she is trying to find them though. Is attacked by a giant wolf. When Larry and Gwen hear her cries and come running. He attacks the wolf and beats him to death with the cane, but is wounded during the altercation and passes out. They get him back home and the police go out, but instead of finding an animal. They find a dead gypsy and Jenny’s deceased body. Questions beginning to arise quickly about what really did happen out there, and why his wounds have disappeared and that is where I will leave it for now.
This was a great story that has not only stood the test of time, but has been an inspiration to Werewolf movies ever since. A simple story of a man getting attacked by a Werewolf, that results in him becoming the very same monster. Not utilizing jump scares, but letting the tension build naturally. Letting the story build it’s way throughout, until Larry becomes the Wolfman and get the payoff of the monster rampaging through the woods, until we get the monster and damsel in distress, a classic moment in older movies.
You are going to here this from me a few times on this review, but it can be quite hard to judge some of the stuff, due to it coming from 1941, Practical effects being in it’s infancy and what they can do in front of a camera being limited and things like gore not being really a thing. The attacks from the wolf were kind of on the bland side and kind of hooky. Which is fine. It’s about context and what you are seeing works just as intended and didn’t need the gore.
Than you get the transformation scene was alright. Must have been something else, back in the day, but we just see hair growing on his legs and feet turning into paws and then pan up to see the final outcome. It’s not bad, just fine.
Lon Chaney Jr. really left his mark on the character. He left a legacy behind that may never be touched by anyone going forward. You really feel his genuine confusion over what happened and his sorrow over the idea that he may have killed a man in his confusion and the horrific response he has when he realizes that he killed people after his first transformation. There is one small thing that I’ll talk about in a bit, but overall Lon was fantastic.
Okay, this is probably the part I get it, 1941 was a long time ago and shouldn’t bash them to hard when it comes to the negatives due to that reason, but there were three things that really hurt it for me. Two small ones and a much larger one. The slight was the score. When it was warranted, it was great, but there are times when silence would have fit the bill so much better and you get the music playing over and taking me right out of the moment and happens throughout.
Then, during his hunt in his Werewolf form, he gets stopped by a bear trap. A menacing monster that strikes fear into everyone, is downed by a bear trap. The entire sequence of him just rolling around is just bad. Out of anything they could have done, and that was what was decided on and it didn’t work at all for me.
Next though was a bigger one for me, and that was the relationship between Larry and Gwen. This starts with Larry spying on her with a telescope, instead of talking to her, tries to buy the jewels from her desk and doesn’t flinch when he finds out she is taken. They are going for sweet, by her kind of laughing it off and going with it and liking him and all, but just casts him in a bad light and makes it hard to care for his more sympathetic moments, because of the moments he has with her.
This is a hard movie to grade. It’s place in history can never be taken away. It’s a legit classic that has inspired so many to get into movies and bring their own ideas of the Werewolves for us to love. At the same time, the negatives really hurt it for me. So, Final Grade: B –
The Wolfman 2010
Open with the man of pure of heart verse and we jump right to it. Showing a man being killed right out by the Werewolf. Than we jump to a man, Lawrence, performing a play. A woman, Gwen, watching closely before going backstage when they finish. Needing to talk to him alone. Telling him that his brother, and her fiancee is missing for a month and she fears the worst, because two other villagers were found dead the same night. At first he refuses, but caves and we see him on a train going home. Talking to a man about a picture of his Mom that fell from his pocket. He offers a wolf’s head cane, but he politely declines it. When the train reaches it’s destination and he is collecting his stuff however, the man disappears. Leaving the cane behind and Lawrence takes it with him. By the time he gets home. His Dad informs him that Ben’s body had been found that morning. He goes to see the body. Learning he had been torn apart. At the bar, listening to the people speculating what it could have been Some believing it to be the gypsies another a werewolf. When they insult his Mother though, it gets his attention. Throwing a drink in their face and gets thrown out of the bar. Later we get a flashback. Seeing him and his brother having a good time and then finding his Mother’s dead body. When he wakes up, after the funeral. We find out he was actually committed after finding her body. Gwen is about to leave. Asking when he is leaving, and he isn’t going anywhere till he find out what happened to Ben. His Dad tells him to wait till the morning. Not to go out during the full moon. Which of course he does. Goes off to the Gypsy Camp. Trying to find the Gypsy who sold Ben the coin and what happened the night he was there. When a posse shows up for their bear. The Werewolf attacks almost immediately. Picking off from the back before sprinting in and getting someone before anyone can realize and panic ensues. A boy runs off and Lawrence spots the wolf going after him and he wastes no time giving chase. Getting attacked himself. Wolf biting his neck, but before killing him. The Gypsies scare him off. Bringing the bloodied Lawrence back. The older Gypsy stitching him up, while a younger woman arguing about whether or not they even should. Knowing what he will become if they do save him and that is where I will leave off.
This was a great telling of the story. Keeping what made the first one special, but fleshed it out and made it bigger. Having him show signs of the beast within before he experiences it. Hearing the horses coming. By having the Werewolf who attacked him survive, they create a bit of suspense and by having Sir Thomas simply come out with it, give us tension and an anticipation of the incoming Werewolf fight.
My main negative from the original was the cringe relationship and the fact Larry was a little more one the creepy side, was remedied here. He build sympathy naturally from him finding his Mother’s dead body and the trauma he experienced afterwards. That lead to him being estranged and the guilt that he wasn’t there for Ben and the chance is gone. He put himself in the line of danger trying to save the kid. All tying into the verse on a good man becoming a wolf.
There is a lot of good kills in this movie. When the Werewolf is around he just goes to town on everyone around him. Biting chunks out of people’s stomachs and throats. Arms and heads are flying and it’s a great time all around. Some moments of CGI are a bit much, but never really distract me to much. Two moments of jump scare attacks, that were both more funny than actually scary. Each were surprise attacks and loved them both.
The Werewolf transformation was a really good one. Using what they didn’t have back in 1941 and really showed how his body changed and morphed and thought the end result was an intimidating version of the Werewolf.
Originally I wasn’t to high on the Asylum scenes. Him being dunked into ice water and shocked, but after it was done and thought about it. Does seem like something that would have happened back in the day. People doing awful things to someone to prove that there infliction were all in their minds and adds a disturbing sense of realism to it that only build to the sympathy toward Lawrence.
You can tell everyone who showed up, really brought their best. Loving the original and wanted to do their best to do it justice and make this one stand out. Benicio Del Toro did a great job making Lawrence a sympathetic character with a lot of heart and felt bad knowing that he wasn’t going to overcome it. Emily Blunt took the bigger role they had for Gwen and made it her own and because of how well they told the story between the two of them. Made the ending all the better. Hugo Weaving was an entertaining foil to play of him. Playing a smart, educated Inspector who is faced with this supernatural force and instead of bulking or questioning it. Is adapting and taking it head on because it is the right thing to do, and Anthony Hopkins is Anthony Hopkins. When it was time for the fight, his mystique and delivery made it all that much better.
Alright, negative time. The first flashback I understand, but when he is being tortured at the asylum, it just fell flat. Due to the way it was shot and the motion blurs and dumb jump scares that was going on during it. Just felt like a way to drag it out and just felt like wasted time.
Yeah, that was my only real complaint. Pacing was a bit slow, but hardly notice because they always had the story moving forward. Tension building to a good Werewolf fight and emotional ending of Gwen realizing there was no reaching him and had to put him down and cliffhanger of Hugo’s character being bitten. All around good movie from start to finish. Final Grade – B+
I get that the 1941 is a classic and has given us so much and the 2010 version both honored and built off it in a positive way and I hope for the same from the Ryan Gosling Wolfman we got coming. For today, The remake takes the prize. As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
By Paul Anthony
I have to admit I am missing hockey and with my beloved Penguins already basically set to be in the playoffs before this mess even happen, and with the news that the NHL does have an plan and agreement to resume action, I needed to find another hockey movie to enjoy and another fun sequel came to mind. Of course I am talking about D2: The Mighty Ducks. Which was released in March of 1994 and became a beloved hit with fans and even spawn another sequel. Now sadly I was not able to find an budget for this film but the first film was ten million and it made 50 million for a gross. Part two didn’t do bad either and came close to first films gross and that gross was around 46 million. If I would have to put number on the budget I would say around 12 to 14 million, in any case I do believe it made a decent little profit.
Anyway let’s get to the plot. The film picks up just after the offseason when the Ducks won the State Championship and their coach left to be a minor league hockey player which he was so good that he was just one step away as the announcers would say from being called up to the NHL despite only playing one season. However a dirty player decided to ruin Bombay’s career by busting up his knee which ended his career for good. So he returns home to figure out what to do next and that when a sponsor shows up to recruit him to coach Team USA with some of his Duck players and some new talent around the country. The team heads out to Los Angles California where they begin to work as a team and win games. Slowly fame goes to Bombay’s head and he begins to change the way he acts and coaches the team and when he full out changes, the team gets crushed by Iceland which has become the number 1 favorite to win it all. After losing the game and losing his team Bombay begins to find himself and realizes the only way to win is to be himself and so it begins and team USA returns to their winning ways however they meet Iceland in the finals which goes to a shootout and uniform to spark the ducks to win the shootout and game and the team returns home where they enjoy a camp fire which happens during the credits.
I don’t think this film was bad not at all actually. I think the biggest problem was that it felt like the first film all over again and I think that was the biggest problem. Some elements like the timeline with Bombay’s career didn’t make sense like how was he so ready for the NHL. Some of the cast from the first film are missing without being explained. Then at the same time too many of the Ducks were on the team and not so many were around the country. Overall though it was still a fun family film to enjoy if you and the kids are missing hockey like I am and in the end I am giving this film a B plus for a rating!
By: Justin Hopkins
Werewolves have always been a strange topic for me. Either love them or strongly dislike them and not much space in between and it often doesn’t really ever come down to the characters, but the actual transformation and how they go about portraying the Werewolf. What parts of the lore they use and there spin on them can easily make or break the movie for me. So much so I have tended to avoid Werewolf movies in general, but that is the point of what I am doing during the lock down. Using my free time to check out movies I have wanted to watch and give my opinion and American Werewolves In London has been on the list longer than it should be. So, without further adieu, let’s dive in to the 1981 classic and discuss shall we.
The movie starts with some looks around the England country side, before meeting two Backpacking travelers, Jack and David. Sitting in the back of a truck with a bunch of sheep. Being dropped off in the middle of nowhere. Being warned to stay on the road and they started to walk. They are on a three month trip and Jack was complaining about not being in Rome and how he wants to hook up with a woman named Debbie. While David is just happy to be here and seeing the sights. When they come across a small Village and the Slaughtered Lamb Pub. Where everyone stops doing what they are doing to look at them when they come in, but they loosen up over a joke about the Alamo. Only to get hostile when Jack asks about the five point star. To the point where they try to leave. Most of them want them to as well, except the bartender, but they leave with the warning to stay on the road and beware the full moon. They immediately stray off the road and get lost. Getting scared by the animal howls and various other sounds. and decide to retreat back to the Slaughtered Lamb. Meanwhile, we go back to the pub and they are arguing about what they have done. Back at Jack and David who are fleeing and David trips. When Jack goes to his aide. He is attacked by a monster. Being ripped and torn apart. David initially flees, but comes back to try and help, but it is to late and gets attacked himself. But as soon as it starts, David is saved by the people from the Pub, who shot the monster and are looking down at him as he blacked out. Taken to a hospital in London. He wakes briefly and says the name, Jack, before blacking out again. The nurses, Miss Price and Gallagher are chatting about him and what happened and the Doctor says he was attacked by a madman and his friend Jack had died. When he finally does come around, it’s three weeks later, and has to be sedated because of the news of his friend’s death. Much to the embassy workers chagrin. Before he falls asleep again. Says it wasn’t a madman, but a wolf that did it. That day, Scotland Yard pays the Doctor and David a visit. Calling him out on his story. That they have an autopsy from the madman and two witnesses saying he was the attacker, but David isn’t budging on his story, although they say the case is closed and leaves. We get a random image of him running through the woods and eat a deer, and we are back at the hospital where Nurse Price, Alex, forces him to eat and they start to bond. When he goes to sleep, he dreams of men in monster masks, killing him and his family. Waking up, seeing another man in a mask killing Alex. He finally does wake and is served breakfast. The door closes and a shredded Jack is standing there. Telling him that he is here to warn him. That they were attacked by a Werewolf. That he is stuck walking the world of limbo, till the bloodline of the wolf is ended, and the only way for that to happen, is for David to kill himself. Needs to do it before the Full Moon, or he will kill more people when David turns into a Werewolf himself and that is where I will leave it for now.
This was a fun little story, especially when it came to the Jack and David story arch. Each time we see Jack he gets more and more deformed. Despite how he was telling him to kill himself, when David finally does come around to the idea. You can tell it was something that Jack wasn’t taking it lightly and wanted it to be as easy and peaceful as it could be. Than they threw in all of his victims following along with Jack, from David’s first shift and that may actually be the best scene in the movie. The prosthetic and make up the ghosts were wearing were great. Making Jack look not only mortifying, but still maintaining levels of sympathy for what he went through at the same time.
Alright, the Werewolf transformation was alright. They went on a more slow approach and for the most part, looked good throughout. Particularly on his face morphing outward and taking on the canine look and did like the look of the Werewolf we got. We only get a few quick shots of him, but what we do see really works. Although, I wasn’t a fan of how it started. With him just starting to scream. Sure it would get to that point, but going from 0 to a hundred didn’t work, but other than that. Was all good.
The character and world was really intriguing. From everyone at the bar at the beginning. The were secretive and not welcoming, but can see that they still cared. To the point they actually saved David when they could have just left him for dead. Would have gladly watched more of them. Alex was a strong character and easily would have liked to see her play more of a role toward the end, but was good throughout. Had a great supporting cast, all making David stand out. Which speaks strongly of the cast.
David Naughton did a great job as David. Being sympathetic and endearing. Wanted to see him pull through it and having a happy ever after. Good chemistry with Griffin Dunne and Jenny Agutter, Jack and Alex. Who each played their worlds perfectly. To the point where I kind of wanted to see more of each. Along with everyone else for that matter.
Alright, to the negatives. This is billed a comedy, but with the exception of one scene, the movie theater with the ghosts of David’s victims telling him ways to kill himself, there wasn’t much in the way of comedy for me. It was mostly dry and while that is my normal preference, it just didn’t really work for me. I think age may have been a factor, because their was the whole, him waking up in the zoo and having to find clothes, which is something I have seen in other movies and cartoons and the bumbling cop is kind of overplayed.
I wasn’t a huge fan of the ending either. David dying wasn’t the issue, but was expecting Alex to play into it and would have liked to see her interacting with David in the Werewolf form. Even for a moment, cause they might have been able to get more out of the ending had they had her there for the shooting and that it was the only way to stop David.
This was a good movie with some solid characters and a good Werewolf and while I did like it and would suggest checking it out if you haven’t seen it. It’s not one I can see myself watching again. The negatives and lackluster ending kind of pushes it below a few other Werewolf movies that I would go for first. Final Grade – B
I hope you enjoyed and as always…
Thank You For Reading.
By Paul Anthony
I have seen plenty of films, since I was born and some films and one film that I haven’t watched and forgot about was DR. Dolittle 2. Now I haven’t seen the latest Dolittle film which I am guessing is a true reboot because it stars Robert Downey Jr. The franchise once had another big name star and his name is Eddie Murphy. In this era Murphy had to become the most famous Actor and everything he was in was gold though that would start to change the next year with Pluto Nash. The film franchise overall has been up and down with fans. The very first film was a bomb in the 60’s though it became a cult classic and the 2020 reboot was a failure. But the Murphy led films were hits. Part 1 came out in 1998 and grossed nearly 295 million on a 70 million dollar budget and you knew what that meant, a sequel was coming and three years later we got a second film. This film didn’t need a bigger budget, which is something you don’t see often like the first film this budget as well was only 70 million. The gross numbers weren’t the same however but it was still a hit because it grossed 176 million which was down nearly 120 million but never the less it made money. This would be the last Murphy film as the following 3 sequels were direct to DVD and focused on his youngest daughter who inherit the family trait, something we saw her trying to do in this film.
The plot starts a few years after the events of the first film and now Dolittle is more famous than ever because his ability to talk to animals. Just when Dolittle thinks his life can’t anymore busier, raccoon shows up telling him a godfather beaver wants his help to save the forest, which will be torn down and the animals are asking for his help. Of course he agrees but learns the only way to save the forest is to have two endangered animals breed there. That’s when he comes across Archie whos is a circus bear but also the last male pacific western bear and he recruits the bear to help him which Archie must breed with AVA the last female pacific western bear. This is no easy task because he realizes Archie is use to the good life and not a bear life. At the same time Dolittle begins to realize since he has become famous he hasn’t focused on his family and everyone is drifting apart but his family comes back together when he needs their help and even learns his oldest daughter can talk to animals as well and even Archie learns the bear life just in the nick of time because the log company owner begins the process of tearing the forest down but the animals band together and attack him every way they can. In the end the forest is saved and Dolittles return home and Archie and AVA breed and have two cubs and the movie ends on a high note.
I really did enjoy this film, to me everything was on par with the first film, the only drop I saw was the comedy wasn’t there as much as the first film. That could be because the plot required less comedy giving the subject but it was still a good family comedy. The drop in the gross could honestly come from other films because this film went up against the fast and the furious as well as other summer hit of that year and there was a lot of them. In all I am giving this film a high B for a review and say its good film to watch with the family.
By Paul Anthony
I have to say many people have dreamed about becoming an astronaut and heading into space. In fact that was a dream of mine to be a space traveler one day before I started write and enjoy that as well. It is no doubt very hard to go into space, the training you have to go through is like no other. Most of the people that work for NASA was in some sort of military before they join NASA. Now even after the physical training, the learning process is hard because one false move and that is all it takes. We can look at NASA history in that department and it is not very good. Even one death is way too many to go exploring the galaxy.
Now we get into another field and that is acting, we know that people to get a role or train for a role is no easy task. If you are an action star staying fit and well kept shape is very important, yes even with green screens and such there are times where you got to do something that involves running, lifting and even fighting and that takes a lot of work, I don’t anyone will doubt that. We have seen many good movies about space and even missions that have gone wrong. Some of my favorite realistic space movies include Apollo 13, Gravity and The Martian. Here is the thing though, yes they were about space but those people were never in space but then news broke that Tom Cruise would do a movie in space not in studio about space and even NASA confirms this.
Tom Cruise may not be everyone favorite actors but he is one of the few people in Hollywood that does most if not all his own stunts and that is something you have to respect the guy for doing and I am sure Justin would disagree but look at Hollywood as a whole and you have him Tom that respect at least. Tom has suffered injuries on set before and even suffered an injury well filming Mission Impossible 7. However Space is a little different much different to be honest. As of right now we don’t know what this film is and if he will even start filming it but this film would be the first true film in space!
Now we don’t know if this trip will be one scene or the entire film. More details will come out as soon as life returns to normal of course. I know this will be dangerous and it is a big risk he is taking to make whatever film he wants to make. With this being history in the making I hope that the film will be good and not a flop because no doubt that is movie will cost a pretty penny, heck it could be one of the most expensive films ever made regardless if it is one scene or not. Training will have to start soon because even with astronauts they train for months just to do one mission. If this film is to be made I have to say I am excited to see this film and what happens next!
By: Justin Hopkins
I almost didn’t watch this. After the last movie. Had no real reason to believe it would get any better here. Unfortunately, would have bothered me if I didn’t actually watch it and since I begrudgingly did. Might as well do the review and polish off the run. We started off with a interesting taking on a really good, smooth talking, intimidating monster in the form of a Djinn. A creature who killed and maimed using the victims own deepest desires. A monster badly diluted in the third. How did they fair in the finale. Lets dive in and check it out.
We start off with the quote from the first movie, that is still missing a part at the end. Then we are with a young couple riding a bike up to a fixer-upper home. Loving couple who immediately go up to the room and break the bed and then draws her in a provocative position before they leave and we jump ahead three years. Seeing her, Lisa, going to a friend and lawyer, Steven. Who is working on a settlement for them after some incident. He gives her a metal box and drops it when he tries to kiss her. Cause he has been so good throughout this and doesn’t like the way Sam treats her. When she looks down she sees the Red Opal. After brief contact with the stone to give it back to him. Getting a glimpse of the monster inside. Giving it back to him and after agreeing to get it appraised he locks it in the safe and she leaves. We see her going home and the bike is in ruin and Sam is in a wheelchair. Drinking, angry man who is looking up porn online. While back at the lawyers, the Djinn wakes up. Once again, using the waker term because that wasn’t irritating enough in the third movie. Taking the identity of Sam and goes about attempting to complete the prophecy and Lisa starts firing them off, since she only ever sees Sam. Doesn’t know who he is and just starts wishing. That the case could be settled, so her and her boyfriend can work on their relationship. Which only results in another argument over sex. Than wishes he could walk. Thinking it would make him calm down. Which results in another argument because he thinks she is sleeping with Sam during the dinner and storms off to the strip club. She goes to Steven and there, she makes another wish, that he would love her for who she really is. He can’t grant it because of free will and sets out to try and find out how to make her love him, fulfilling that wish. Which going by every conversation in this movie, is by having sex with her. While a hunter has been sent to kill the waker.
Okay, the positives, the gore was actually pretty good throughout. The best being the opposing lawyer who was being made to cut parts off himself and I think that may have been it. There was killer sex, but honestly, that rolls into the negative territory. Luckily, we are done with the positives.
This either written by porn writers who had nothing better to do, or freelancers who only know how to write sex. There is not a meaningful conversation held nearly throughout the entire runtime. Diana and the boyfriend’s issues are because they haven’t had sex. Which her friend tells Steven is the way to make her fall in love. Than the same at the strip club. Meanwhile, Sam is angry because they haven’t had sex in three years, and their one good moment was them having sex and her posing for the picture. They couldn’t be bothered to even try and build any other dynamics. Which should not be hard to do, but they simply fail at.
No own to the wish that created the issue for the Djinn…it doesn’t work. No matter what happens, she is directing the wish to Steven. In his view, that would be the equivalent of someone getting arrested for Identity Fraud and being charged under the name they stole. Plus, it doesn’t matter, we have seen wishes that the Djinn couldn’t grant and they would simply have to wish again. Like Alexandra wishing he was dead and Morgana wishing for no evil in the world. If they wish can’t granted, it becomes negated and all he had to do was get her to wish again.
Now, I know the argument is that this is not the same Djinn and his stone was found in a dime store tin that, despite seeing the lines on the side, had never been opened before, but the problem is they opened with the same quote from the first movie. If you don’t want to draw comparisons don’t start us off with a reminder of a movie that so, so much better than this and it’s a shame that it is tied together by name.
The first two movies are some really good horror movies, with Andrew Divoff giving us a stellar monster in the form of the Djinn and when I think of the series. That will be what I hold dear. Leaving this in the bin with the third. Final Grade = F
As always I hope you enjoy and looking forward to a more positive review next time..
Thank You For Reading.
By Paul Anthony
The things I love besides entertainment is history and science. What if there was a movie that was good but also was about history and it was an adventure movie. Well that is what we got for this weekend edition of Saturday Sequel. Today we are going to be talking about the 2007 hit film National Treasure: Book of Secrets. the has the cast from the first film pretty much intact from the first film. The film stars Nicolas Cage, Justin Bartha, Diane Kruger, Jon Voight and Harvey Keitel. The film takes place a short time after the events of the first film. Once again these films peaked my interest because of how they blend their own history with real history. The film made a good amount of money which is a great sign, the total gross was nearly 458 million dollars compared to the first film which made 348 million. The budget was bigger but only by 30 million, in which the budget was 130 million to the film which was 100 million. You would like the grosses to be a little higher than 500 million but Disney can afford it as long as they make their money back.
Here we are back in the civil war era when the film starts, two men one of which is John Wilkes Booth, they ask Thomas Gates to decode a message in which he does but when he realizes what the message is he decides to burn it, which angers the men and they shoot him in which he tells his son clues to what the message was and of course Booth shoots President Lincoln. They fast forwarded to modern day where Patrick and Ben is giving a speech about that situation. They get interrupted by Mitch who is another treasure hunter, that needs to find the city of gold, decides to convince people in which does that Thomas Gates was apart of the group that planned for Lincoln to be killed. This was a trick to get Ben to search for the city of gold, which he does. He pieces together clues from the White House and London and even France that leads him to Mount Rushmore where that mountain is a cover up of the city of Gold. The problem is Mitch isn’t a good guy here, he’s the bad guy that makes his money in the black Market, so he attacks Ben’s family in every sense to get Ben to work for him in which he does. In the final moments when they find the city which is rigged with traps, Mitch shows his better sign telling Ben he just ruined their family’s name to get his help to find this place and allows them to go by sacrificing his life so the crew can get out alive and return Ben informs the president that Mitch deserves the credit as well as him.
The Movie may have not been the best of it’s kind but it did enough, sure I do believe more action scenes may have helped the film a little more but for a Disney film that reached all families I have to say they did a good job overall I am giving this film a high B. if you find something to knock about go ahead because there is much! Part 3 was finally announced, so I am curious to see what they will do with part three, just sad it took this long to announced it!
By: Justin Hopkins
Alright than. So, we bid farewell to Andrew Divoff with Evil Never Dies and march on to Wishmaster 3 Beyond The Gates Of Hell. I knew I would miss him, but willing to see what the new guy has to offer and with his goal being to release his race. Means that there is more than one Djinn and all we are doing is getting a new Djinn which is an interesting prospect… Yeah, I will use my intro to give you a heads up, while I try to be impartial and give both good and bad…this is going to be a lot more negative than I normally give to a movie. Let’s dive in shall we.
We open up with a woman, Diana, having a nightmare of a car flipping over in a nasty accident. She wakes up, but still having flashes of the accident. We see her as a child and getting into an argument with her Mom and her Dad was distracted and missed a down truck and that’s what caused the accident and while he gets her out. When he is trying to get her Mom out though, it explodes. All the while, Diana is climbing up on the roof. Contemplation on her face and they tease it by her boyfriend going up and not being able to find her right away and she scares him. She saying she thought he knew her better and he says you never really know. Romantic moment. The next day, she is meets up with her friend and they talk about her going to grad school and what will her and her boyfriend do and all of that. After class the Professor reminds her of meeting him at the museum at 5:30 which infuriates her boyfriend. Thinking he is losing out to some geek boy professor for reasons I suppose. Jump to 5:30 and she arrives and he isn’t there and she starts without him after only about five minutes go by. Finding a box that she solves after a lengthy amount of time just staring at it and uses a pen to push a button. Finding a fire opal inside. When she wipes it off with a cloth and gets a vision of the monster inside. Inspecting a disturbance and jump scared by the professor, who is proud of her discovery and wants to celebrate with wine and dinner to get to know her. After politely shooting him down, breaking his heart. She leaves and the Djinn and oh no, we are stopping here because just absolutely not.
I get that they couldn’t duplicate what Andrew Divoff did with Nathaniel and would normally applaud them for trying something new, but how could anyone think that this was the right direction to go. You went from a Djinn how was such a smooth, elegant talking monster. Who used charisma to get people to open up to him to someone who said the line,” where is my waker?” Then tried resorting to blackmail the professor for information. This was taking a good, intimidating, force of nature that we got to know in the first two movies and stripping it of everything that made him special, sticking spikes into it’s brain till foam starting coming out of it’s mouth and turned on the cameras.
That isn’t even the only flaw with the it’s a new Djinn though, because they kept the fire stone and the Persia background. So, when you see the Opal you automatically think about Nathaniel who was trapped in the stone by a sorcerer. I.E he was. This one could have been trapped in anything which would have helped at least translate it a little more. She even found the quote from the first movie in her research.
Now I have to apologies to Evil Never Dies, cause I called that one heavy handed with the god angle. Since the Djinn are not in Catholicism or Christianity and such and would have been better had they worked within the Arabic Roots if they gone that way, but they handled it so much better there than they did here. Diana actually called upon the Arch Angel Micheal to stop the Djinn. Which caused so many conversations that made me reach for the remote and created the most painful endings.
Alexandra from the first, genuinely felt like she outsmarted The Djinn and pulled out the win. Even Morgana, within the story they were telling, kind of had to use her mind. By bringing back the man she killed, cleansed her soul and allowed her to take the stone and trap him again. This one though…despite the Djinn having the power to protect the one who woke them up, from gunfire when they are not even around. Had to run over and grab Diana to stop her from falling. Which somehow managed to grant her the chance to use Michael’s sword and stab him in the chest. That was it. All she had to do. A stupid which that brought an Arch Angel down who did nothing but throw his sword at a random moment. Didn’t even bother trying to come up with something cleaver or smart. Just sword to the chest and done.
I am not going to trash the make-up and prosthetic to much. It didn’t look good and changing the eye color was an awful choice. The orange and red flicked contacts were the best features. I get them trying to change from Nathaniel, but they used a ton of other things from him. Should have used that too.
I’ll give them this. The heart break wish was good. That was it. The line of pros end their.
This movie should be held as a gleaming example of how not to recast. Andrew Divoff was the pillar of these movies and if they were going to replace him. They needed to do far better than this. Nothing worked her. From the acting, story, characters and the wises, the thing we are hear for, fail due to changing from an charming, charismatic Djinn to a neanderthal one who just white knuckled everyone and made it underwhelming. This movie gets a F and dreading the fourth. Final Grade = F
Sorry about the rant. As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thank You For Reading.
By Paul Anthony
I heard that this film was becoming so big on Netflix that it wasn’t funny and then I was told it was must watch film. Now when people say it is must watched film, they are either right or they are wrong. Extraction must confuse people because in the end I don’t know if it is a fully must watch film. The film stars Chris Hemsworth, who is no doubt a big time star and his star power continues to grow and it may grow even more because of this film. Yet I am not ready to say this was a great movie. It was one of those movies where you liked things about it but had no clue what is going on.
The biggest issue really with this movie is the plot and the fact that there is no plot. Okay so this movie is about a drug lord trying to kill his rival’s son who is still in high school at least that is how he looks. Chris’s character is hired to protect the boy and the battle begins as they try to get him to safety but this drug lord is powerful and has the police and the military on his side, in the epic battle they manage to save the boy but it appears at the cost of losing Chris’s character. The film ends with the drug lord getting shot in the head and the boy swimming and being at peace.
I want to say that I missed something in the plot but the truth is that was basically the plot. Now I will say each person in this film did what they could with what they had. So I admire that aspect of the movie. The action was the big reason why many people flocked to see this film and the action did live up to what people are saying about it. The fights were basic which is nice in the time where we have CGI making the fights so much more dramatic and fast.
As I mention before the plot was way too basic and here is another problem, when you have a weak plot that also means the character development takes a hit as well. Truth is I had no clue who these characters were. All I knew was that the boy needed protection. It wasn’t until after the fact I realize why he was so important. This film may have strictly relied on Chris’s star power and the word mouth that this was a must see film. Sadly in the end this wasn’t a must see film and in fact Michael Bay action films had more of a story to it and that says something right there. I will say that because of the action and performance I love to see if they can make a much better sequel, which was already announced. They give me a plot that makes sense and develop the characters then we got a must see film. I am giving this film a C for a grade.
By: Justin Hopkins
And off we go in our trip through the Wishmaster series, with Wishmaster 2 Evil Never Dies. A straight to video release that came out in 1999, with Andrew Divoff returning as the villainous Djinn and the last of the series that I have seen before. While the first movie remains a favorite of mine. How does the second one hold up and fair to a more impartial viewing? Let’s dive in and discuss shall we.
They start off fast, with a robbery going south at a museum. Sirens start to go off and shootout commences between the guards and the thieves. One of the shots, hits the statue and knocks out the Fire Opal. Morgana picks it up and ends up saving her, when a bullet hits it again. Shattering and beginning to glow. Before they find out why, a guard shows up and shots her boyfriend, Eric. Who tells her to go. While she is escaping, the Djinn comes out, in his slimy serpent form. Asking Eric if he wishes the pain to go away. To which, Eric replies that he wishes he was never born. and immediately begins to shift in reverse from adult to teen to child and eventually nothing. As the Djinn was collecting the stone. A cop shows up, ordering him to freeze and the Djinn froze him. By the time the rest of the cops arrives, he is in his human form and willingly surrenders and takes full responsibility of all the crimes Morgana and Eric committed. While Morgana is having a break down over her lose and killing the guard. ” Nathaniel” is being interrogated and driving the cop insane. Cop not believing his story while The Djinn is trying to get him to slip up and ask for something, till he just sends him to lock up at county. Morgana sees it and only adds to her guilt. While he is in county, he grants one of the prisoner’s wish of walking right out the bars, by him getting flung up against the bars and forcefully shoved between them, in a gruesome sight. While Morgana sees it in her dreams. The next day she goes off to a Catholic Church to meet Father Gregory. Wanting to talk to him about what was happening and he was not really willing to listen, but let her talk. Asking if he believed in the Devil and when he asked what her point was. She tells him about Eric being dead and he more or less shrugs it off. Saying he wasn’t right for her and she storms away after an argument. Meanwhile, back at a state penitentiary and fulfilling another wish. Telling them to spread the word to their friends. The next morning, she confesses to Gregory and goes to visit Nathaniel, to find out what is going on, and why he confessed and why is he appearing in her dreams and what is the prophecy. He tells her that she’ll learn in time and he is in her only temporarily, needing to collect souls. After catch a glimpse of his true self and panics. Leaving to go find out more about him and what he is collecting souls for before he is finished and comes for her three wishes and will end it there for now.
They really took what made the first movie great doubled down on it. By giving the Djinn the goal of needing a thousand and one souls before he even cares about collecting the three from Morgana, means that we get more Divoff and more wishes. Some being overtly gory and some funny. Most over the top, but wanted so much more just to see how he would twist the conversation to meet his goal. Bringing back the part scene at a casino this time and still works just as well. A bit more CGI affects, but the practical ones were still as much fun as they were in the first.
They changed up the make-up and prosthetic of the Djinn. Losing the armor and cape, for more human body. Face being more shrunken which allowed the horns sticking out of his head and the spiked shoulders stood out more because of this change. Was the same coloring and more slimy but they did a great job and one thing they did keep was his orange and red flicked eyes and that made up for any change. They are just so menacing and make the look that much better for it.
Cast wise, this was very much a one man show, Andrew Divoff just knew this character so well and brought out every nuance and tick and made every second of screen time a blast. He just came across as so unusual and terrifying and when he was even enjoying himself and taunting Morgana and Gregory, it was unsettling and just so well done. In my first review, claimed he was potentially more scary in his human form then he was as the Djinn. This time around, it is absolutely true. He was fantastic and made this such a fun time.
A mixed one, was Holly Field. She wasn’t bad when she wasn’t bad, and was better when she was opposite Andrew. She took a tumble when she was paired with Paul Johansson. She wasn’t very good, but not awful either.
Now, who was awful was Paul Johansson’s character Gregory. Every word out of him is delivered in a flat, near emotionless pitch and so, so repetitively. He offers nothing of substance. He is not likable throughout and has quite a few… jerk lines and can’t even enjoy his death because he is just that bad of a character and acted.
One final negative and don’t know if its a big one or not was that this had such a shove it down your throat Catholicism story thread that just drags things down. Djinn are more attached to Arab religions. Not against going religious to beat him, but at least go through the ones with them more highlighted in. The first movie really felt like Alexandra pulled the win out of the fire by outsmarting him and this just felt so bland in comparison, because Morgana didn’t really didn’t do anything.
At the end of the day, I am giving it a B. While Morgana and Gregory were more on the bad side. Andrew Divoff pulls this film up several levels on his performance as Nathaniel alone. He was just so, so good. The gore is there and some pretty funny moments throughout. It is not as good as the first, but still fun to be had here. Final Grade = B
As always, I hope you enjoyed and…
Thanks For Reading.