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Posts Tagged ‘Pirates of The Caribbean Trilogy’

Underworld: Rise of The Lycans

March 1, 2010 Leave a comment

The third installment of the franchise that I quickly became a fan of from the very first scene in the first film. This time being a prequel that gives us the origin of Lucian’s rise to being the powerful leader of the Lycans. First being the human born son of a werewolf and thus being enslaved by Viktor, the leader of the vampires, to create a new species called the Lycans that act as protectors during the daylight from the werewolves. A secret and forsaken love affair between Lucian and Viktor’s daughter Sonja starts a chain of events that leads to the centuries long feud between the two bloodlines.

All the actors involved in the first two films whose characters can fit into this story have returned, most being supporting cast. Viktor is played by Bill Nighy (Pirates of The Caribbean Trilogy, Love Actually) and Michael Sheen (Frost/Nixon, Alice in Wonderland) as Lucian. Kevin Grevioux returns as Lucian’s friend Raze, he also originally created the characters and co-wrote the original story. Newcomer to the film who plays the essential role that starts the feud is Rhona Mitra (Doomsday, Shooter) as Sonja. Sadly but rightfully so, the beautiful Kate Beckinsale (Serendipity, Pearl Harbor) is only seen as Selene at the very end of the movie which is actually the opening scene to the first film. She does act as narrator in this installment though.

The director’s chair has been handed off to Patrick Tatopoulos, who was the creature designer on the previous two films as well as numerous other films like Independence Day & I Am Legend. Len Wiseman (Live Free or Die Hard), the director of the first two films and husband to Kate Beckinsale, stayed on as a producer and is currently working on a fourth installment to the franchise once again as a producer.

The argument can be made that this film may not have been necessary since the mythos behind the feud was pretty well told in the previous two installments but now we just get it in feature-length. It’s still an enjoyable film if you are a fan and the quality has not been diminished. The gothic asthetic look that this franchise has is how I like to see my vampire/werewolves movies done which is probably why I was attracted to the first movie to begin with. Plus its Kate Beckinsale in leather and Rhona Mitra is just as fine in this one as well. The performances by the main two characters are great as these two actors can’t do wrong, both being critically praised and/or nominated for awards  for previous works. I’ll keep watching this franchise if it continues to be handled by the same crew. Rating 7/10

Star Wars I – The Phantom Menace

February 28, 2010 Leave a comment

I had the sudden urge to watch the first 3 Star Wars films, don’t know why but there are some parts of these films I really enjoyed. I always enjoy Liam Neeson (Batman Begins, Taken) in any of his roles and I may have to say that he may be my favorite part of this first film.

The visual effects are astounding but nothing beats the real thing which is what made the original Star Wars trilogy so enjoyable for me. Yes some scenes aren’t going to be brought to the screen correctly without CGI, but there is such thing as going overboard and not being believable. I give much more respect to films when people actually put the time into making these ships, droids, and when people wore the alien costumes. It had that realism to it and didn’t have that glossy look  or where it just looked like the human actors were looking into whatever direction they were told to and a CGI creature was inserted later. Like all the scenes with Jar Jar Binks.

In the opening lines of this film, a kid says “With all due respect.” It just made me laugh because all I thought about was Talladega Nights.

Ewan McGregor (Big Fish, Moulin Rouge) does a find job of playing Obi-Wan in this film, but it annoys me everything he had a smirk on his face after a really bad joke or smiled. Alec Guinness never did that in IV-VI to my recollection. I absolutely hated Jake Lloyd in the role of Anakin Skywalker, it may be unfair for him though because I just straight up didn’t care for seeing Darth Vader as a kid. But since this movie is about him, I don’t like him and he annoys me when he talks. We also get Samuel L Jackson (Shaft, Pulp Fiction) as Mace Windu, a Jedi Knight. His role in the trilogy is small in this film but expands in the next two installments. His light saber got the letters BMF inscribed on it, BAD MOTHER F*^*^*.

I remember when I was younger I was so excited to see this film and was glad to hear when Natalie Portman (V for Vendetta) was casted in the movie since I’ve always had a crush on her since first seeing her on film in Heat & Leon: The Professional. But what I also got was seeing Keira Knightley (Pirate of The Caribbean Trilogy) for the first time. She plays Sabé who is  a decoy for Queen Amidala, played by Natalie Portman that sits in her place to protect her.

The biggest part of this movie could arguably be the Pod Race. Now when watching it, it feels like one big commercial for the Nintendo 64 racing game that came out which I probably played just as much as I watched this movie. The announcers for the race annoy me too. At the beginning of the race we see Warwick Davis (Professor Flitwick in The Harry Potter Films) who played Willow. I don’t know how much this is common knowledge to the Star Wars fans out there but he played Wicket in Star Wars VI – The Return of The Jedi, the main ewok.

Another actor got his break with this film as well. Ray Park, who plays Darth Maul. Who played the headless horseman in Tim Burton’s Sleepy Hollow, Toad in Bryan Singer’s X-Men & Snake Eyes in G.I. Joe: The Rise of  Cobra. So the only time I can remember actually seeing his face in something that I’ve seen is on the tv show ‘Heroes’ where he plays Edgar. Yoda looks horrible. The end is a little ridiculous, Anakin just accidently destroys the main reactor from the inside, that’s convenient. The light saber fight between Obi-Wan, Qui-Gon Jinn & Darth Maul was pretty to watch except the final death-blow was weak.

Overall, if this movie along with the two following installments were handled a lot better I would include these films in a day where I would watch all the Star Wars films….. I like to pretend that this trilogy is a stand-alone in the Star Wars universe. Rating 5/10