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Van Helsing (2004)
The one name they all fear...
Van Helsing is a Universal Horror picture, made some fifty years after the Universal Horror era. It stars actors Hugh Jackman, Kate Beckinsale, Richard Roxburgh and David Wenham, and it was directed by Stephen Sommers.
The movie begins inside an original Universal Horror picture, Frankenstein. Shot in black white, and staring Sam West as Doctor Victor Frankenstein, who, when in costume, looks surprisingly alike Colin Clive, who played Doctor Frankenstein in the original Frankenstein movie. After having seen West yell "It's Alive!" several times, seen Shuler Hensley as the Frankenstein Monster wake up, and seen the townsfolk charge up to Frankensteins laboratory with pitchforks, flames and battle rams, we are stunned by Richard Roxburgh's performance as Count Dracula, showing us an amazing, and very different interpretation on Dracula, than we have seen in the past. In the first scene, we see some great visual effects, (it appears to be the same Computer Generated Images as used for the cursed pirates in "Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl".) Strangely enough, there are no credits, not even a title card, but we do get to see Van Helsings name on a wanted poster in this next scene of the movie. Van Helsing is in Paris, hunting 'Mr Edward Hyde', voiced by the fabulous, Robbie Coltraine, a cannibalistic, Computer Generated character who appears to be at least eight foot tall, separating itself from the Metro Goldwyn Mayer movies (Universal never made a Doctor Jeckyll and Mr Hyde movie as a part of their horror genre), in which Mr Hyde was a short, crippled man. When returning from an action packed fight with Mr Hyde, to a secret society consisting of all the known religions in the world, Van Helsing is given his next assignment, he must go to Transylvania, and kill Count Dracula, before Count Dracula kills the Valerious family, who, if are killed before Dracula is killed, will never enter the gates of heaven.
Having established where we stand in this world, and that men can drink potions and become hideous beasts, men can create life via robbing body parts of others, and that vampires exist, we now get to see one of Universals most loved monsters... The Wolf Man. The wolf doesn't charge around on all fours all the time, as the Werewolf does in 'An American Werewolf in London', yet it doesn't always walk around on two legs like the wolf does in films such as 'The Wolf Man' and 'Werewolf of London'. It is a mixture of both. They run and charge at their prey on all fours, yet when they walk they walk around on their hind legs, like a human. The wolves seem to be huge in size, and the speed they run at suggests that no human can outrun them even with a head start.
These are not the only characters included in this film from the classics, Igor from Frankenstein, makes a good B villain, and much more characters are included as the story progresses.
Alan Slyvestri, the composer of the memorable and powerful music of the Back to the Future films, doesn't let us down, and provides a once-again powerful musical score, with a score you would expect to find in modern movies, and at the same time, gives us music you would find in the Universal Horror Classics.
The film displays some excellent acting talents, especially those of Hugh Jackman and Richard Roxburgh. Also, I might add, the visual effects in the film are definitely Industrial Light and Magic, displaying 'their' true talents. They are undoubtedly, the best of the best, when it comes to CGI. Stephen Sommers also shows us some great writing talents and some fantastic shots.
This is definitely one of my all time favorite films. Anyone who enjoys a good Universal Horror picture, should watch this.
The Wolf Man (1941)
Even a man who is pure in heart...
The Wolf Man is a Universal Horror picture, made in 1941, directed by George Waggner and starring Lon Chaney Jr. as Larry Talbot, or, as listed in the credits ' The Wolf Man'.
The 1940's Universal Studios music,plying over the Universal logo did not go well with the overall film, as it was jolly, loud, and slightly comedic, and it gave me the wrong impression as to how the film was going to turn out. However, I am pleased to say, it is one of the few flaws of the film.
The film begins with the title screen of the Wolf Man, accompanied by eerie music, followed by the credits, which consisted of clips of the actors taken from the film, with their name and the character they starred as, overlaid on top of those clips. The credits of the crew are then played, with the backing video track, slowly tracking through a forest, the same shot used in the opening credits of Ghost of Frankenstein, Night Monster and The Mummy's Curse.
Claude Rains as Sir John Talbot, delivers a terrific performance as a father figure for Larry, despite the difference in appearance of Rains and Chaney Jr. Lon Chaney's performance as Larry Talbot, is just as good, although I find it easier to sympathise with Henry Hull's character 'Doctor Wilfred Glendon' in 'Werewolf of London'.
I would recommend this movie to anyone, young or old, as it is a true classic, and everyone should have the experience of viewing it.
Catch Me If You Can (2002)
Spielberg still continues to make good films
When I first saw Catch me if you Can, (Christmas 04) I was a little put off by it. My Dad said he didn't find it an enjoyable film, and that it was not one of Spielberg's better works. However, I am pleased to say I found the film immensely enjoyable, and would class it as one of my favorite films of all Time.
The cinematography is great, acting is superb, and the music is a lovely piece.
Although not sounding like your typical John Williams score, the music is another fantastic delivery from Mr. Williams. Not only does it make a great movie score, but it also makes good music to listen to in general (As opposed to pieces such as Star Wars and Superman.) Spielberg still continues to make good films, fun for everyone.
Johnny English (2003)
Great piece of comedy...
Film Title: Johnny English. Rating (out of five): ****
The film Johnny English is a great piece of comedy, and by no means deserves the slagging off it gets. Rowan Atkinson delivers a great performance, that bares very few similarities to his previous characters that people associate him with (Blackadder, Mr Bean), and John Malkovich gives us a great villain.
The gags, visual and verbal are hilariously funny. With two of Britains funniest men in the leading roles what could possibly go wrong?
I do not understand the film critics when they rip this film apart. It definitely earns a page in my book.
Ratchet: Deadlocked (2005)
Ratchet: Deadlocked (Ratchet: Gladiator- UK title)
This game is fantastic. Great choice from all Ratchet and Clank fans out there. You can play this game over and over again. You'll love it even more each time. This is the best game of all time. If you haven't gotten it you don't know what you are missing. Simply the best Ratchet and Clank game in the series. Great graphics, great gameplay and the control scheme is superb in my opinion. Its so much easier to strafe and look around, and to aim with precision. The multiplayer is excellent in this as well. Great level design too. I recommend this game to anyone who has played the first three of the games. Ratchet and Clank will go on forever.