Evan Spiliotopoulos

Evan Spiliotopoulos

Evan Spiliotopoulos Quick Links

News Film RSS

Hercules Review


Good

Far more entertaining than it has any right to be, this is a big, messy blockbuster retelling of the Greek myth that thankfully has a sharp sense of humour and some surprising twists up its sleeve. The cast is also packed with veteran performers who know how to make the most of some eyebrow-raising innuendo, generating intrigue while keeping the audience laughing with them rather than at them.

The premise takes a revisionist approach, grounding the legend of the demigod Hercules (Dwayne Johnson) in real stories that have been exaggerated by his nephew Iolaus (Reece Ritchie), who travels with him as a kind of toga-era marketing expert. Their team of mercenaries includes wryly fatalistic seer Amphiaraus (Ian McShane), quick-witted blade-thrower Autolycus (Rufus Sewell), bow-wielding amazon Atalanta (Ingrid Bolso Berdal) and loyal mute warrior Tydeus (Aksel Hennie). When they're offered a fortune by Lord Cotys (John Hurt) to quell a rebellion, they find themselves in the middle of a massive battle that doesn't go the way they expected. And as events take unforeseen turns, Hercules and his gang have to dig deep to turn the tide in their favour.

Johnson is a natural in the role, so massively pumped up that he looks like he could be popped with a pin. His hulking physique and just enough back-story give the character's reputation some weight, both literally and figuratively, so even if he's not half-god his achievements are still pretty impressive. (There are also plenty of hints that he may turn out to be a god after all.) And the surrounding characters add to this with cleverly written roles that are expertly played by British scene-stealers Hurt, McShane, Sewell, Mullan and Fiennes. McShane is so good that he essentially walks off with the whole movie. But relative newcomers Ritchie, Hennie and Berdal more than hold their own.

Continue reading: Hercules Review

Battle For Terra Review


Good
Made two years before the similarly themed Avatar, this original, vividly designed sci-fi animation makes an astute commentary on current issues. And this depth of feeling more than makes up for the relatively slack pace and thin characters.

When a giant ship of humans arrives at an isolated planet, they don't really understand that the residents are living in peace with nature and others. So they launch an all-out attack on the world they have named Terra. But a feisty local named Mala (Wood) stands up to them, teaming up with crash-landed earthling Stanton (Wilson) and his robot sidekick (Cross). And earth's General Hemmer (Cox) is more than happy to indulge in annihilation top get his hands on this planet.

Continue reading: Battle For Terra Review

Battle For Terra Review


Grim
In this day and age, you simply cannot produce unsophisticated animation like the kind on display in the campy Battle for Terra and hope to compete.

Pixar's industry pioneers push the envelope with each new cartoon, while their closest rivals at DreamWorks Animation have narrowed the quality gap. Even Xbox and Playstation video games boast superior visual sequences to those found in Terra, which chokes on its competition's digitally animated dust.

Continue reading: Battle For Terra Review

The Three Musketeers (2004) Review


Good
While it bears virtually no resemblance to the classic story, Disney's direct-to-video rendition of The Three Musketeers is probably its best DTV outing in a decade. If they'd thrown a little more budget at it, this one could have even merited a theatrical release.

In this rendition, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy are janitors who lobby for jobs as musketeers in the service of the princess (no idea where the king and queen might be) of France (well, animated, animal-populated France), and it isn't long before they get their wish. The mini-film (about 65 minutes long) gets just about every other traditional Disney character into the film in some odd role or another -- most notably the Beagle Boys as the villains of the film and Minnie Mouse as the princess. It isn't long before Mickey and Minnie are making goo-goo eyes, while the heroes have to foil Peg-Leg Pete's plot to steal the throne for himself, with the aid of the precious Beagles.

Continue reading: The Three Musketeers (2004) Review

Pooh's Heffalump Movie Review


OK
Points for a descriptive title: This is where Pooh and friends discover the Heffalump, a purple elephant heretofore thought to be mythical in the Hundred Acre Wood.

About an hour long, Heffalump didn't grab my two-year old, who thought the elephant was cute but then wandered away for programming on another TV where more actually happens.

Continue reading: Pooh's Heffalump Movie Review

The Three Musketeers (2004) Review


Good
While it bears virtually no resemblance to the classic story, Disney's direct-to-video rendition of The Three Musketeers is probably its best DTV outing in a decade. If they'd thrown a little more budget at it, this one could have even merited a theatrical release.

In this rendition, Mickey, Donald, and Goofy are janitors who lobby for jobs as musketeers in the service of the princess (no idea where the king and queen might be) of France (well, animated, animal-populated France), and it isn't long before they get their wish. The mini-film (about 65 minutes long) gets just about every other traditional Disney character into the film in some odd role or another -- most notably the Beagle Boys as the villains of the film and Minnie Mouse as the princess. It isn't long before Mickey and Minnie are making goo-goo eyes, while the heroes have to foil Peg-Leg Pete's plot to steal the throne for himself, with the aid of the precious Beagles.

Continue reading: The Three Musketeers (2004) Review

Evan Spiliotopoulos

Evan Spiliotopoulos Quick Links

News Film RSS
Advertisement

Occupation

Filmmaker


Artists
Actors
    Filmmakers
      Artists
      Bands
        Musicians
          Artists
          Celebrities
             
              Artists
              Interviews
                musicians & bands in the news
                  actors & filmmakers in the news
                    celebrities in the news

                      Go Back in Time using our News archive to see what happened on a particular day in the past.