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I had heard of this film long before the original 1975 Norman Jewison/James Caan version it is based on, mainly because of the leading actor and the fact that it's not rated well, I am relieved I watched the original before this remake, directed by John McTiernan (Predator, Die Hard, The Hunt for Red October). Basically in 2005, Rollerball is a sport that has become hugely popular in Central Asia, Russia, China, Mongolia and Turkey, it is an extraordinarily violent extension of roller derby involving motorcycles, a metal ball, and many trappings similar to professional wrestling. Marcus Ridley (LL Cool J) invites NHL (National Hockey League) hopeful Jonathan Cross (American Pie's Chris Klein) to become part of a team of rollerball, Jonathan soon becomes the star player, and the poster child of promoter Alexi Petrovich (Jean Reno). Jonathan at first enamoured by the high- octane sport, the fame and popularity, and with female teammate Aurora (Razzie nominated Rebecca Romijn), but he and Ridley discover cynical Alexi and his opportunistic assistant Sanjay (Lost's Naveen Andrews) want to keep the game popular, through planned gory "accidents", and ensuring Jonathan and Ridley will not quit and remain high-profile stars. Aurora is almost killed in an accident, so to save themselves Jonathan and Ridley flee the country, but they are followed by Alexi and several body guards, before they can reach the Russian border, the two are attacked, and Ridley is killed. Alexi tries to stage a public execution for Jonathan, following the escape attempt, by removing all the regular rules of Rollerball for the upcoming match, however Jonathan, with the help of his teammates, start a revolution, and cause the fans to see the sport for what it really is, a violent game where blood brings in the audience figures, and Alexi is killed as a result. Also starring Oleg Taktarov as Denekin, David Hemblen as Serokin, Janet Wright as Coach Olga, Mike Dopud as Michael 'The Assassin' and Kata Dobó as Katya, with cameo appearances by P!nk, Slipknot and Paul Heyman. I assumed Klein missed being in American Pie: The Wedding to be in this, this turned out to be untrue, he lacks charisma to be the lead, Romijn just looks gorgeous and doesn't do much, and the rest of the well known stars like Cool J, Reno and Andrews are silly. Cool J admitted the movie "sucked", but did his "duty" to promote it, he really should not have bothered, the performances are wooden, the story is full of clichés, and the pacy rollerball sequences and action set pieces are worthless, there are no thrills to be had here, it is one of the most boring films I've seen in years, a highly dull and pointless science-fiction sports drama. Poor!
I had heard about the apparently rubbish 2002 film with American Pie's Chris Klein, but I had no idea it was a remake, so it was only right to watch the original 1975 version first, directed by Norman Jewison (In the Heat of the Night, The Thomas Crown Affair, Fiddler on the Roof, Moonstruck). Basically in the not too distant future, the year 2018, the world is a global corporate state, society is controlled by corporations, there is no more crime and there are no more wars. A violent sport called Rollerball has become globally popular, two teams in body armour on roller skates, three are on motorcycles to tow fellow team members, travel on a banked, circular track, to get possession of a small steel ball, fired from a cannon, to throw and hit it on the goal, a magnetic, cone-shaped area on the wall, there is close contact as the opposing team try to take possession of the ball. Energy Corporation sponsors the Houston team, Jonathan E. (James Caan) is the veteran star of the Houston rollerball team, but Energy Corporation chairman Mr. Bartholomew (John Houseman) wants him to retire, he offers him a large sum if he agrees to announce retirement on a special programme about his career, Jonathan struggles to understand why. Jonathan continues playing, despite threats from Bartholomew, the game of rollerball changes as the rules are made more dangerous, in order to force Jonathan out, there is also a point where the sinister corporate forces attempt to kill him, he even gets a surprise visit from his ex-wife Ella (Maud Adams), who confesses the corporation ordered her to convince him to retire. As the game of rollerball reaches the Final, Jonathan is still willing to play, despite many players being incapacitated and killed, the crowd are raucous and energetic, subdued by the building carnage, after violent struggles, the world watches in silence, until Jonathan scores the final point and wins the game for Houston against New York, Mr. Bartholomew exits the arena, knowing that the purpose of the game has been defeated. Also starring John Beck as Moonpie, Moses Gunn as Cletus, Pamela Hensley as Mackie, Barbara Trentham as Daphne, Ralph Richardson as Librarian, Shane Rimmer as Rusty, Team Executive, Burt Kwouk as Japanese Doctor and Richard LeParmentier as Bartholomew's Aide. Caan as the loner champion going against the system is good, Houseman does well in his moments as the vicious corporate villain doing whatever it takes to get rid of him, most of the film is a bit slow with chatty sequences about corruption and politics, but the pace is just about kept up by the energetic and brutal games of rollerball, a lethal mix of hockey, roller derby, motorbike racing and gang warfare, it's a reasonable dystopian science-fiction sports action film. Worth watching!
Kaguyahime no monogatari (2013)
The Tale of Princess Kaguya
There was a slight controversy surrounding this cartoon movie from Japanese Studio Ghibli, that it got the nomination at the Academy Awards, and The Lego Movie was not included, but it's almost no surprise as it follows the nominations tradition, directed by Isao Takahata (Grave of the Fireflies). Basically a Bamboo Cutter (James Caan) is cutting down shoots, when he sees a shoot glowing, cutting it down he is shocked to find a baby girl growing inside, he takes her home where he and his wife (Mary Steenburgen) raise her as their own. Like a shoot of bamboo, the child who they call "Princess", is growing at a fast rate, earning her the nickname "Little Bamboo" from the local children, her adoptive father is protective for some time, but she becomes independent and makes real friends. Now a fully grown adolescent girl, and given the name Kaguya (Chloë Grace Moretz) by a priest, the Princess and her parents have become rich from another magical shoot of bamboo filled with a priceless gold substance, and they change to a higher class of living. Kaguya enthrals all who meet her, and being a mysterious beautiful young woman she gains the attention of many eligible men, specifically five men from prestigious families propose marriage to her, to help her decision who she will marry she asks each of them to find a memorable treasure and gift, including near impossible to find jewels. The men all find their task to prove their love and marry Kaguya impossible, with some of the men giving up and some trying to fake completing their task, eventually she is surprised to be proposed to by the Emperor of Japan. However, Kaguya finds out she must return to the Moon, where she came from, she is told she will be freed of all Earth's impurities, but also all her memories will be erased, she is granted a few moments to say goodbye to tearful parents, but in the end she floats away on a cloud going into the distance. Also starring Darren Criss as Sutemar, Lucy Liu as Lady Sagami, Beau Bridges as Prince Kuramochi, James Marsden as Prince Ishitsukuri, Eraser's Oliver Platt as Lord Minster of the Right Abe, Hynden Walch as Me no Warawa, Lois & Clark's Dean Cain as The Mikado, Daniel Dae Kim as Great Counselor Otomo, George Segal as Inbe no Akita and John Cho as Middle Counselor Isonokami. The cast dubbing the voices into English are all chosen well for their parts, the story is based on an old folk tale, it may be a little longer than it needs to be, have strange narratives, and be dull in places, but it has the right amount of emotional stuff to keep you watching, and you cannot deny the draughtsman style animation, not the same as past Studio Ghibli productions, is very good, overall it is an enjoyable animated fantasy drama. It was nominated the Oscar for Best Animated Feature Film of the Year. Worth watching!
I heard about this film a fair bit while it was out in cinemas, mainly because of the leading actor, I didn't know anything about the plot, so, despite slightly low ratings, I was up for it, directed by David Ayer (Training Day, Fury, Suicide Squad). Basically an elite DEA (Drug Enforcement Administration) team, led by John 'Breacher' Wharton (Arnold Schwarzenegger), raid a drug cartel, during which they find $10 million in cash, they take it all and hide it in the plumbing. When they return later for the cash, it is missing, and the team are under investigation until the money is found, the investigation is lifted after a couple of months, following no evidence. The team are eventually brought back together to train, and celebrate the reunion with a night in a club, but then one by one members are being murdered. The first killed member wakes up in his RV, on train tracks, and hit by an oncoming train, the second killed member is found nailed to the ceiling, the third killed member is gunned down in his remote cabin. Investigating the murders is Detective Caroline Brentwood (The Sixth Sense's Olivia Williams) from the City of Atlanta, with Breach, who is haunted by the memory of his family murdered, they work together to find who is responsible, the obvious connection is the missing millions. The murderer responsible for the brutal killings is not so obvious, following a high speed chase they get what they deserve, it is revealed that Breach in fact kept all the mom. Breach uses it to get a lead to those responsible for killing his family, he murders the man and all his henchmen in a large bloody shootout, after which he is badly injured, and simply sits down to smoke a cigar. Also starring Sam Worthington as James 'Monster' Murray, Mireille Enos as Lizzy Murray, Terrence Howard as Julius 'Sugar' Edmonds, Joe Manganiello as Joe 'Grinder' Phillips, Harold Perrineau as Investigator Darius Jackson, Martin Donovan as Floyd Demel, Max Martini as Tom 'Pyro' Roberts, Josh Holloway as Eddie 'Neck' Jordan, Troy Garity as Agent Spolcheck and Kevin Vance as Bryce 'Tripod' McNeely. Schwarzenegger is always good at being tough, all the supporting cast members are stereotypes, but they do fine, the story is just about interesting to follow, I agree with critics it more about the shock factor, but that is exactly what kept me watching, all the grisly deaths, each more gory than the last, and the sequences with speedy chases and guns blazing are exciting, so overall it was a reasonable crime action thriller. Worth watching!
There were three films made about the famous Greek mythological hero with great strength in 2014, I'd heard about this version, only a little about the terrible Kellan Lutz version, and nothing about the John Morrison version, this was the second of the three to be released, directed by Brett Ratner (The Rush Hour Trilogy, Red Dragon, After the Sunset, X-Men: The Last Stand). Basically in Ancient Greece 1400 B.C., Hercules (Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson) is the powerful son of Zeus, king of the gods, and leader of a band of mercenaries, but he has suffered his entire life. Hercules has carried out twelve arduous labours, including killing the Hydra and the legendary indestructible lion, he has also lost his family, causing him to turn his back on the gods, finding his only solace in bloody battle. Over the years Hercules has been warned of six similar souls, they are only bonded by their love of fighting and presence of death, they never question who or where they fight, just what they will be paid, these mercenaries have been hired by Cotys, King of Thace (John Hurt) to build a great army. These lost souls however will have their eyes opened to how far they have fallen, and Hercules will prove his worth as he battles his enemies, and of course overthrow the vicious rule of Cotys, in the end Hercules is victorious and his companions bow to him. Also starring Ian McShane as Amphiaraus, A Knight's Tale's Rufus Sewell as Autolycus, Aksel Hennie as Tydeus, Ingrid Bolsø Berdal as Atalanta, Reece Ritchie as Iolaus, Joseph Fiennes as King Eurystheus, Tobias Santelmann as Rhesus, Peter Mullan as Sitacles, Rebecca Ferguson as Ergenia, Isaac Andrews as Arius, Joe Anderson as Phineas, Stephen Peacocke as Stephanos, Irina Shayk as Megara and Nicholas Moss as Demetrius. Johnson is certainly suited to the leading role because of his muscly body and has enough stern, he looks good wearing the lion's head and loincloth skirt, Hurt is surprisingly sinister, and the other well known supporting cast members are fine as well, the story is just about simple enough, the special effects for the Greek monsters and big sequences are good, and the fight and battle scenes keep you watching, overall it's a fair and reasonable action fantasy adventure film. Worth watching!
The Legend of Hercules (2014)
The Legend of Hercules
There were three films made about the famous Greek mythological hero with great strength in 2014, I'd heard about the Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson version, nothing about the John Morrison version, this was the first of the three to be released, directed by Renny Harlin (Die Hard 2: Die Harder, Cliffhanger, Cutthroat Island, The Long Kiss Goodnight, Deep Blue Sea). Basically in Ancient Greece 1200 B.C., Queen Alcmene (Roxanne McKee) succumbs to lust for Zeus, king of the gods, she bears a son that is prophesied to overthrow tyranny and restore peace. The son, Hercules (Kellan Lutz), has grown up as a prince, with no knowledge of his true identity or his destiny, his only desire is the love of Hebe, Princess of Crete (Gaia Weiss), who has been promised to his older brother Prince Iphicles (Spartacus' Liam Garrigan). Hercules does learn of his greater purpose and must decide between fleeing with his true love, or fulfilling his destiny and becoming the true hero of his time, he chooses the latter and endures gladiatorial arena death matches and harrowing battles, but in the end he does defeat King Amphitryon (Scott Adkins) and takes back his rightful kingdom. Also starring Liam McIntyre as Sotiris, Johnathon Schaech as Tarak, Rade erbedija as Chiron, Luke Newberry as Agamemnon and Kenneth Cranham as Lucius. Lutz may have the body for the leading role, but he is rather drab, and Garrigan and Adkins are okay as the villains, one of my beefs with this adaptation is that there is not enough mythological stuff, almost none of the Greek monsters and creatures we've come to expect, the special effects are fine and the fight scenes alright, it is mostly let down by predictable script, it verges on pantomime, and overall it is a boring action fantasy. Pretty poor!
Suicide Squad (2016)
The trailer for this DC Comics based movie looked great, many of the most well known supervillains brought together, I was certainly hoping it would be an improvement on the disappointing Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice, directed by David Ayer (The Fast and the Furious, Training Day, End of Watch, Fury). Basically in the aftermath of Superman's death, at Belle Reve Penitentiary, intelligence operative Amanda Waller (Viola Davis) has assembled a team of dangerous criminals: former psychiatrist Harley Quinn (Margot Robbie), elite hit man Floyd Lawton aka Deadshot (Will Smith), pyrokinetic ex-gangster El Diablo (Jay Hernandez), opportunistic thief Captain Boomerang (Jai Courtney), monstrous cannibal Killer Croc (Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and specialised assassin Slipknot (Adam Beach). Under the command of Colonel Rick Flag (RoboCop's Joel Kinnaman), the team are to be used as disposable assets in high-risk missions for the U.S. government, the criminals are told their individual sentences will be reduced, and they have small bombs implanted in their necks, which will detonate if any try to rebel or escape. Former archaeologist and Flag's girlfriend June Moone (Cara Delevingne) was intended recruit, touching a cursed idol she is possessed by a witch-goddess known as "Enchantress", she has turned on everyone and wants to eradicate mankind, she has surrounded Midway City with monsters, begun creating a weapon, and summoned her brother Incubus (Alain Chanoine) to assist her. The squad is deployed and briefed, they are under the impression they are tackling a terrorist attack, but they are convinced it is a suicide mission, they are joined by mystic sword wielding Katana (Karen Fukuhara), she is acting as Flag's bodyguard. Meanwhile, Harley's lover, psychopathic supervillain the Joker (Jared Leto) finds out about her predicament, he tortures Waller's man Griggs (Ike Barinholtz) and is lead to the facility where the nano bombs are made, the Joker blackmails a scientist into disabling Harley's bomb. The team's helicopter is shot down as they approach, forcing them to continue on foot, Slipknot is convinced by Boomerang the bombs are a ruse to keep them under control, he is killed attempting to escape, while the Enchantress' minions attack the team. The team manage to escape and reach a safe room, where they learn Waller herself is their mark, she is trying to cover her involvement, the squad escort Waller to the roof for extraction, but the Joker and his men have hijacked the helicopter, they open fire while Harley climbs aboard, however they are shot down, Harley jumps out while the Joker seemingly perishes in the explosion, Harley rejoins the team. Waller is kidnapped by the Enchantress' minions, while Deadshot confronts Flag about secret files found with the truth about the Enchantress, the squad members and Katana leave Flag after he confesses the truth, with Waller compromised, Flag chooses to continue and relieves the squad of the mission. The team realise they have the opportunity to prove themselves, they rejoin Flag, locate the Enchantress and Waller at a partially flooded subway station, the squad fight the Enchantress and her forces, while Killer Croc and Navy Seals, led by Lieutenant GQ Edwards (Scott Eastwood, Clint's son), plant a bomb underneath Incubus. El Diablo embraces his abilities and manages to hold Incubus down, the bomb goes off underneath, El Diablo, Incubus and Edwards are killed, the squad members are defeated battling Enchantress, in exchange for their allegiance she offers to fulfil their deepest desires, Harley appears to accept in order to get close to Enchantress and cut her heart out. The weapon is destroyed by explosives thrown by Killer Croc and shot by Deadshot, Enchantress' heart is crushed by Flag, Enchantress is killed and June is freed, Waller emerges alive and the squad members are returned to Belle Rave with ten years off their sentences. In the end, all but Captain Boomerang have special privileges, the Joker breaks out Harley, and Waller meets Bruce Wayne (Ben Affleck), who agrees to protect her backlash, in exchange for access to government files on the expanding metahuman community. Also starring Common as Monster T, Jim Parrack as Frost, David Harbour as Dexter Tolliver and We Need to Talk About Kevin's Ezra Miller as The Flash. Smith is great as the expert assassin with a bit of leniency, Robbie is terrifically mad and flirtatious Harley Quin, the big screen live action debut for the character (first invented in Batman: The Animated Series), Leto is an interesting alternative Joker, covered in tattoos with gold teeth, Davis is menacing, and some of the other supporting stars do well also. It seems that the recent trend of superhero movies are dominated and most successful in the Marvel Universe, which does well with its banter and breeziness, this is certainly better than the last offering from DC, the special effects are fantastic, the story is just about passable, the and the soundtrack featuring songs such as Grace feat. G-Eazy - "You Don't Own Me", Eminem" Without Me", The Animals - "The House of the Rising Sun", Creedence Clearwater Revival - "Fortunate Son", Black Sabbath - "Paranoid", The White Stripes "Seven Nation Army", Norman Greenbaum "Spirit in the Sky", K7 "Come Baby Come" and Queen - "Bohemian Rhapsody" is brilliant, all in all it's a fun anti- superhero fantasy action film. Worth watching!
Jason Bourne (2016)
The first three films in the Bourne franchise are fantastic, the one film without the protagonist, Legacy, is good, nine years since Ultimatum, the leading star and director Paul Greengrass (Bloody Sunday, United 93, Green Zone, Captain Phillips) returned for this fifth instalment. Basically it has been ten years since Jason Bourne (Matt Damon) recovered from his amnesia, found out his real name, David Webb, exposed Operation Blackbriar and disappeared, he is isolating himself from the world and making money in illegal fights. Bourne's former Treadstone contact Nicolette "Nicky" Parsons (Julia Stiles) is in Reykjavík collaborating with a hacktivist group led by Christian Dassault (Vinzenz Kiefer), and hacks into the CIA's mainframe server to expose black ops programs, in the process she finds documentation concerning Jason Bourne's Treadstone recruitment and his father's role in the program. Parsons travels to Greece to find and inform Bourne, but her system intrusion has alerted CIA cyber ops division head Heather Lee (The Danish Girl's Alicia Vikander), and CIA Director Robert Dewey (Tommy Lee Jones), a team is sent to locate Parsons, she and Bourne meet at Syntagma Square, in the midst of a violent anti-government protest, Bourne is spotted and also turned into a target, after evading the team, Parsons is killed by ex-Blackbriar assassin the Asset (Vincent Cassel). Before dying, Parsons gives Bourne the key to a locker that holds all CIA files she hacked, Bourne locates Dassault in Berlin, decrypting the files Bourne discovers that his father, Richard Webb (Gregg Henry), was a CIA analyst involved in the creation of the original Treadstone program. The CIA are alerted of Bourne's location, a team is sent to capture him, while Lee remotely erases the files to prevent further leaks, Bourne kills Dassault in a fight, Lee believes Bourne can be persuaded to return to the agency, so alerts Bourne about the team. Bourne uses the few leads he has to track down former Treadstone surveillance operative Malcolm Smith (Bill Camp) in London, he arranges to meet him in Paddington Square, Lee persuades Dewey to allow her to speak to Bourne and try to bring him in, he agrees, but secretly sends the Asset to eliminate her team and kill Bourne, Dewey believes Bourne cannot be reasoned with. Bourne knows the CIA are watching him, he evades them and Lee long enough to talk to Smith, who admits his father created Treadstone, but tried to prevent them recruiting Jason, the Asset was ordered by Dewey to kill his father and staged the death to look like a terrorist attack, so that Bourne would join Treadstone. The Asset kills Smith, Bourne finds Lee, who confesses she is not comfortable with Dewey's methods, she directs Bourne to a technology convention in Las Vegas. Dewey is scheduled to attend the convention for a public debate on privacy rights with Aaron Kalloor (Riz Ahmed), CEO of social media enterprise Deep Dream, Kalloor is the public face of corporate social responsibility in the Internet age, but Dewey secretly funds him, he intends to use Deep Dream for real-time mass surveillance, and resurrect targeted assassination programs Treadstone, Blackbriar, Outcome and LARX projects, now known as "Iron Hand". Dewey suspects Kalloor will refuse the CIA access to Deep Dream, so has authorised the Asset to assassinate him, and Lee who he no longer trusts, Bourne arrives in time to prevent the assassination, and confronts Dewey in his hotel suite. Knowing that the agents are closing in, Dewey stalls Bourne, Bourne kill's Dewey's right-hand man Craig Jeffers (Ato Essandoh), while Dewey is killed by Lee before he can shoot Bourne, Lee's involvement is covered up by Bourne, he then chases the Asset through the Las Vegas Strip, before they both reach the sewer, and after fighting Bourne finally kills him. In the aftermath, Lee convinces Director of National Intelligence Edwin Russell (Scott Shepherd) of Dewey's outdated methods, and offers to be the eyes and ears in the CIA, Lee wants to use Bourne's trust to bring him back into the agency, but knows there are orders to kill him if he refuses, Bourne wants time to consider the offer, but leaves a recording of her conversation with Russell, revealing he does not trust her, Bourne disappears again. Damon was fantastic in the first three films as the troubled assassin, so it is odd to see that he doesn't speak as much in this, apparently he only has 45 lines, mostly with few words, but even with not much dialogue he remains good, Jones is interestingly intense, Vikander is good, and Cassel is suited to being the hired killer. I will admit that the story gets a little complicated at times, but the simple plot of revenge for the death of a father works well, and there are good themes of conspiracy and no privacy in social media, and the fast-paced chase sequences, especially the final car rampage in Vegas, definitely keep you watching, overall it is a worthwhile action thriller. Very good!
Finding Dory (2016)
Finding Nemo in 2003 became one of the highest grossing animated movies of all time, a sequel had been planned, and it only thirteen years later that Disney and Pixar made it happen, I was hoping it would be as good as the original. Basically it has been one year since clown fish Nemo (Hayden Rolence) was reunited with his father Marlin (Albert Brooks), with the help of regal blue tang fish Dory (Ellen DeGeneres), who suffers short-term memory loss, she is now a helping hand raising Nemo. Through flashback it is seen that before joining Marlin in finding Nemo, she was searching for her family, suddenly she recalls the memory that she has a family, she is determined to find them, but her memory loss makes this difficult, she only remembers that they live at the Jewel of Morro Bay. Marlin and Nemo join Dory in her quest, they start with a ride in the water current on the back of sea turtle Crush (Andrew Stanton), arriving in California they soon encounter a predatory giant squid. Dory is hurt by a sarcastic comment Marlin makes, she swims to the surface for help, when caught in six pack rings, she is rescued and captured by staff at the nearby Marine Life Institute, and separated from Marlin and Nemo. Dory is sent to Quarantine and tagged, there she meets grouchy but well-meaning seven-legged octopus Hank (Ed O'Neill), the tag means she will be sent to a permanent aquarium in Cleveland, this is where Hank wants to go, so he agrees to help Dory find her family, in exchange for the tag. Hank carrying Dory in a pot of water, they explore the Institute, along the way they find an exhibit, where Dory encounters childhood friend Destiny (Kaitlin Olson), a nearsighted whale shark, who communicated with her through the pipes, and also Bailey, a beluga whale, who has the ability of echolocation. Dory learns that all regal blue tangs species are being moved to Cleveland, Dory struggles with her memory to recall details to help find her family, but has flashbacks, meanwhile Marlin and Nemo are attempting to rescue Dory, with the help of sea lions named Fluke (Idris Elba) and Rudder (Dominic West), and a common loon named Becky, they manage to get into the Institute. Dory finally remembers how she became separated from her parents: she overheard her mother crying, she went out to find a shell to cheer her up, and was pulled away by an undertow current. Dory travels through the pipes to continue her search, there she reunites with Marlin and Nemo, and they get back to Quarantine, and find the tank of blue tangs, they tell Dory her parents escaped years ago to find her, but never came back, she thinks they are now dead. Hank helps Dory out the tank, but Marlin and Nemo are left behind, an employee apprehends Hank, he unintentionally drops Dory into a drain and flushes her into the ocean. Dory comes across a trail of shells, and recalls a memory of her parents telling her follow shells to help find her way back home, following the shells she finds an empty home, as she is about to leave she is finally reunited with her parents, Charlie (Eugene Levy) and Jenny (Diane Keaton), they tell her that have spent years making shell trails in the hope that she would one day find them. Marlin and Nemo are put in a truck, transporting various aquatic life to Cleveland, Destiny and Bailey escape their exhibit, find Dory, and help her to rescue them, once Dory is in the truck, Hank escapes his tank and together they hijack the vehicle, drive it back to the ocean, and crash into the water, freeing all the fish. In the end, Dory and all her newfound friends have returned to the reef with Marlin and Nemo, after the credits have rolled you also see Gill (Willem Dafoe) and the Tank Gang are still trapped inside their plastic bags, they have reached California after a year of floating, they are rescued by volunteers from the Institute. Also starring Sigourney Weaver as herself, the Institute voice intercom announcer, Bob Peterson as Mr. Ray, Spy's Allison Janney as Peach, Austin Pendleton as Gurgle, Stephen Root as Bubbles, Jerome Ranft as Jacques, Brad Garrett as Bloat, Vicki Lewis as Deb and Flo, Sloane Murray as Young Dory, Ghostbusters' Kate McKinnon as Wife Fish, Bill Hader as Husband Fish and John Ratzenberger as Husband Crab. The characters and voices are terrific, it is nice the supporting character of the first film gets an origins story and becomes the star, the new characters, including the curmudgeonly octopus with camouflage powers, are great, the scale of action is increased, it makes you laugh at the right moments, the emotional journey gets the heartstrings going, and the inventive computer animation remains superb, it is just as compelling as the original, a splendid animated comedy drama adventure. Very good!
Dog Star Man (1964)
Dog Star Man
This experimental documentary style film is a combination of five short films, a prelude and four parts, and has been listed in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You, that's the only reason I watched it to be honest. The five short films mainly consist of various images and colours that appear in quick rushing flashes, along with grainy and static flashes, there is no plot, there is no real subject matter, and there is absolutely no sound or music. The only remnants of content that could be classified as some sort of story, or point to the film, is footage of a bearded man in a murky, snowy landscape, in a forest on a mountain, climbing up from the woodland with his dog, hence the title. The man is seen stumbling up with the dog following, rolling in the snow, stopping with an axe to cut down some trees, struggling with his surroundings, chopping the wood and having a fire, and his blood flowing. Besides this, the flashing images are occasional long shots and things too close up to distinguish, as well as the camera zooming in and out, twisting and turning, sideways and shaking, and footage playing in slow motion and in reverse. The random flashes of footage seen throughout, besides the grainy scattering dots and static bits, include: a head of hair, flames, eyes closed, the moon and clouds, trees, solar flares of the Sun, car lights on a dark road, neon signs, a woman's breasts, rocks, a beating heart, the face of a man, a girl smiling or laughing, an old man with a beard lying down, a mention in words of the Solar photography from High Altitude Observatory in Boulder, Colorado, clouds going across the sky and the forest, someone rolling on the floor, a waterfall, snow dropping (almost an avalanche), blood cells, wet fleshy things, a baby in a cot, the face of a woman, a man without a shirt, stained glass windows of a church, a lactating nipple and a small village covered in snow. Director Stan Brakhage made his career making non-narrative films, this is obviously his most recognised work, specifically by the National Film Registry, and is considered a masterpiece, in my opinion is certainly something different, a film with no soundtrack whatsoever and no real point, just a man and his dog among many random flashes of things, it's not the sort of thing I'd watch more than once, but I can understand why some would recommend it, it is an interesting experimental film. Worth watching!