Tagged: Kenneth Cranham

Maleficent

Summary: The “Sleeping Beauty” tale is told from the perspective of the villainous Maleficent and looks at the events that hardened her heart and drove her to curse young Princess Aurora.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 29th May, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: UK, USA

Director: Robert Stromberg

Screenwriter: Linda Woolverton, Charles Perrault (story), Jacob Grimm (story), Wilhelm Grimm (story), Erdmann Penner (story), Joe Rinaldi (story), Winston Hibler (story), Bill Peet (story), Ted Sears (story), Ralph Wright (story), Milt Banta (story)

Cast: Jackson Bews (Teenage Stefan), Charlotte Chatton (Aurora), Sharlto Copley (Stefan), Kenneth Cranham (King Henry), Elle Fanning (Aurora), Michael Higgins (Young Stefan), Angelina Jolie (Maleficent), Vivienne Jolie-Pitt (Aurora 5 Years Old), Lesley Manville (Flittle), Janet McTeer (Narrator (voice)), Isabelle Molloy (Young Maleficent), Hannah New (Princess Leila), Ella Purnell (Teenage Maleficent), Sam Riley (Diaval), Imelda Staunton (Knotgrass), Juno Temple (Thistletwit), Brenton Thwaites (Prince Phillip), Jermaine Tindell (Tactus), Eleanor Worthington-Cox (Aurora 8 Years Old)

Runtime: 97 mins

Classification: M

 

 

OUR MALEFICENT REVIEWS & RATINGS:

 

Nick Gardener: You can check out Nick’s Maleficent review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #81

Stars(3.5)

 

David Griffiths:

The Hollywood obsession of rebooting famous fairytales continues with Disney’s Maleficent. The trend over the last few years has resulted in some good films such as Snow White & The Huntsman but also some very ordinary films, anybody else remember Red Riding Hood? Therefore as a film fan you find yourself approaching Maleficent with a little bit of hesitance. The good news is there is no reason to because Disney have released a film that deserves two thumbs up.

Technically Maleficent isn’t a reboot it’s simply telling the ‘other side’s’ story of the famous Sleeping Beauty fairytale. The film looks at Maleficent (Angelina Jolie – Kung-Fu Panda 2, The Tourist) aka the wicked witch who cursed the young Sleeping Beauty, Aurora (Elle Fanning – Low Down, Young Ones).

In Maleficent we see what led to those actions as she is left to protect her land from the advances of the greedy King Henry (Kenneth Cranham – The Legend Of Hercules, Closed Circuit) and the pain she if left with after her lover, Stefan (Sharlto Copley – Oldboy, Open Grave) cruelly turns his back on her. We also see her team up with Diaval (Sam Riley – The Dark Valley, On The Road) to try and get revenge on all at hand but her love for Aurora prevents her from being as ghastly as she would like to.

Director Robert Stromberg, who is a first time director but has worked in visual design on some of the world’s best known films and television shows over the years, is almost asked to do the impossible here – that is to make a character who has always been the villain to the audience become someone that film fan’s will warm to. To his credit, and thanks to some help from talented screenwriter Linda Woolverton (Alice In Wonderland, The Lion King), Stromberg manages to pull of this feat wonderfully well, all while creating a film that also looks amazing as well.

Stromberg pulls off his challenge so well that as an audience member you find yourself changing sides very, very easily. Suddenly Maleficent is the good guy and King Stefan is the character that you want to see suffer. Of course knowing that this has to be watched by children means that Stromberg does also bring in some comedic relief to break up the darkness and that mainly occurs with Aurora’s minders – the bumbling fairies (or is that pixies?) Flittle (Lesley Manville – Mr. Turner, The Christmas Candle), Knotgrass (Imelda Staunton – Pride, The Pirates! Band Of Misfits) and Thistletwit (Juno Temple – Horns, Lovelace). The fact that the film manages to make these characters entertaining and not annoying is a feat upon itself.

Maleficent is a film that also looks amazing. Stromberg has created mythical characters that wouldn’t have looked out of place in something like Pan’s Labyrinth and the special effects team has come on board to make the creatures come to life and look spectacular on the big screen. The battle scenes also show that Stromberg is a very visual director and doesn’t always hold back just because he knows that little eyes are watching.

Despite its brilliance though there are a couple of annoying things that occur during Maleficent. The annoying thing is they are so small and can only be put down to lazy filmmaking and screenwriting. Firstly it is never explained why Maleficent can do great feats of magic, including make a tree grow back a branch but can’t do a spell to give herself wings again, and then there is a fact that at one moment the Narrator (Janet McTeer – Hannah Ardent, The Woman In Black) is calling Flittle, Knotgrass and Thistletwit fairies and the next moment pixies. Surely somebody must have noticed that happening during the filmmaking process somewhere along the line.

You do have to feel a little sorry for Elle Fanning in Maleficent. She seems to float along playing Aurora, and while she is one of the heroes of the film is not really given much to work with, except for the direction of ‘look cute.’ No this is very much an Angelina Jolie film and boy does she step up to the plate. Jolie delivers a full range of acting emotions and more importantly makes Maleficent a likable character while she is still really the ‘villain’ at heart. While it is difficult to compare her work here to what she has done in films such as Girl, Interrupted this is certainly one of the better films in her career. A shout out must also be paid to Sam Riley who also seems to steal a lot of the screen time that he is given.

Dark yet beautiful Maleficent is certainly one of the surprise hits of 2014. While many may have dismissed this as a family film it ends up being a brilliantly made film that once again captures that magic that Disney has been known for in the past.

Stars(4)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(4)

 

IMDB Rating:  Maleficent (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Maleficent′: For our full Maleficent review please check The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #81

Trailer:

The Legend Of Hercules

Summary: The origin story of the the mythical Greek hero. Betrayed by his stepfather, the King, and exiled and sold into slavery because of a forbidden love, Hercules must use his formidable powers to fight his way back to his rightful kingdom.

Year: 2014

Australian Cinema Release Date: 20th February, 2014

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA

Director: Renny Harlin

Screenwriter: Sean Hood, Renny Harlin, Daniel Giat, Giulio Steve

Cast: Scott Adkins (King Amphitryon), Kenneth Cranham (Lucius), Dimiter Doichinov (King Galenus/Champion #1), Mariah Gale (Kakia), Saria Givaty (Saphirra), Liam Garrigan (Iphicles), Mihail Georgiev (Hercules), Boris Ivanov (Hercules (Alcides) (New Born)/Hercules’ Son (New Born), Kellan Lutz (Hercules), Liam McIntyre (Sotiris), Roxanne McKee (Queen Alcmene), Luke Newberry (Agamemnon), Radoslav Parvanov (Half Face), Nikolay Petkov (Iphicles – 2 Years Old), Johnathon Schaech (Tarak), Rade Serbedzija (Chiron), Nikolai Sotirov (King Tallas), Dena Stoyanova (Hercules (Alcides) (New Born)), Gaia Weiss (Hebe), Spencer Wilding (Humbaba)

Runtime: 99 mins

Classification:MA15+

OUR THE LEGEND OF HERCULES REVIEWS & RATINGS

David Griffiths:

Sometimes after you watch a film you just have to shake your head. With The Legend Of Hercules it was obvious that there was some good intentions when the filmmakers started out, but along the way some fundamental mistakes were made. It’s just really strange that no one associated to the film ever seemed to notice that those mistakes were about to make it up onto the big screen.

Directed by Renny Harlin (the man who has delivered films such as Cliffhanger, The Long Kiss Goodnight and Die Hard 2) The Legend Of Hercules goes back to the beginning of the mythological legend and sees Hercules (Kellan Lutz) as a young warrior that is an outcast from both his father, King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins) and his brother Iphicles (Liam Garrigan) whom both know that his mother Queen Alcmene (Roxanne McKee) was unfaithful. What they don’t realise is that Hercules has actually been fathered by Zeus the God of all Gods.

When Iphicles and Amphitryon see that Hercules is developing a relationship with the young princess Hebe (Gaia Weiss) they conspire to send him to a battle that will result in his death. But when Hercules and Sotiris (Liam McIntyre) miraculously live the pair find themselves sold into the gladiator market and try to find a way to get back to Greece to rescue Hebe before she is forced to marry Iphicles and to free the people from the reign of King Amphitryon.

So just how bad is The Legend Of Hercules? Well to be honest there is so much wrong with the film that it becomes laughable. At time the special effects look like somebody left the work experience student have a go at creating them while at times shots have been included that crazily mix up the continuity in a way seldom seen on the screen before. To the naked eye it appears that some hastily put together re-shoots may have been done, but sadly they were pieces that just didn’t fit into this jigsaw at all.

The strange thing is though at times the film’s story does actually capture the imagination of the audience but then that illusion is shattered by an inconsistent script that at times seems like the screenwriter was trying to capture the language of Shakespeare while at other times seems to be lifted straight from dialogue spoken on television shows such as Days Of Our Lives or The Young And The Restless. Something that also seems to shatter the imagination of the audience is the fact that Renny Harlin seems to stoop the very low filmmaking technique of turning to slow-motion whenever a blow is delivered in battle… it happens so often it becomes nauseating.

Last but not least there is the acting. The choice of leading man is a bizarre one. Before this film Kellan Lutz was mainly known as playing ‘the big blonde vampire’ in the The Twilight Saga series of films and now he has been thrust into this film and the new Tarzan film as an action hero. While Lutz may carry of the physicality of Hercules his acting isn’t exactly top notch, but even he looks like an Oscar winner alongside some of the other performances in this film. It soon becomes painfully obvious to the audience that Gaia Weiss was only cast in her role because of her looks while Roxanne McKee’s accent seems to change every time she is on the screen. Then there’s Scott Adkins and Liam Garrigan who badly play token bad guys. At least Aussie actor Liam McIntyre actually tries as he portrays Hercules’ trusty side-kick.

The Legend Of Hercules will no doubt go down as one of the worst films of 2014, but the scary thing about this film is that nobody at the studio seemed to realise what a dog they were releasing.

Stars(2)

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(2)

IMDB Rating: The Legend of Hercules (2014) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘The Legend Of Hercules′: Nil.

Trailer:

Closed Circuit

Summary: A high-profile terrorism case unexpectedly binds together two ex-lovers on the defence team – testing the limits of their loyalties and placing their lives in jeopardy.

Year: 2013

Australian Cinema Release Date: 5th December, 2013

Australian DVD Release Date: TBA

Country: USA, UK

Director: John Crowley

Screenwriter: Steven Knight

Cast: Riz Ahmed (Nazrul Sharma), Doug Allen (Ryan), Eric Bana (Martin Rose), Barbara Bobulova (Piccola), Baris Celiloglu (Mine Kemmal), Hasancan Cifci (Emir Erdogan), Kenneth Cranham (Cameron Fischer), Neil D’Souza (Iqbal), Anne-Marie Duff (Melissa), Rebecca Hall (Claudia Simmons-Howe), Ciaran Hinds (Devlin), John Humphreys (himself), James Lowe (Simon Fellowes), Denis Moschitto (Farroukh Erdogan), Pinar Ogun (Olkay Erdogan), Jemma Powell (Elizabeth), Julia Stiles (Joanna Reece), Angus Wright (Andrew Altman), Isaac Hempstead Wright (Tom Rose)

Runtime: 96 mins

Classification:M

OUR CLOSED CIRCUIT REVIEWS & RATINGS

Adam Ross: Stars(3)

Please check Adam’s review of ‘Closed Circuit’ that is available on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep #61

Average Subculture Rating (out of 5): Stars(3)

IMDB Rating: Closed Circuit (2013) on IMDb

Other Subculture Media Reviews of ‘Closed Circuit′: Please check our Closed Circuit review on The Good The Bad The Ugly Film Show Ep 61.

Trailer: