Evan Spiliotopoulos

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The Huntsman: Winter's War Review

Weak

Aside from success at the box office, there was nothing about 2012's rather uneven fantasy Snow White and the Huntsman that screamed out for a sequel. And indeed, this prequel/sequel hybrid doesn't quite make sense, muddling its premise by straining to keep Snow White herself out of the story (she's always just off screen) while spinning a tale that feels so derivative that we feel like we've seen it all before. The powerhouse cast does what it can, aided by some fabulous costumes, but it's impossible to escape the feeling that there's nothing to it.

Decades before her encounter with Snow White, Queen Ravenna (Charlize Theron) was just beginning her violent march toward power when her sister Freya (Emily Blunt) suffered a terrible tragedy. Believing that love itself betrayed her, Freya moves to another kingdom and inflicts a frozen winter on her subjects, raiding the surrounding lands for children she will raise to fight, with love between them forbidden. When her two top fighters, Eric and Sara (Chris Hemsworth and Jessica Chastain), can't help but fall for each other, they are severely punished. Years later, after Eric's adventure with Ravenna and Snow White, he sets out to get rid of Ravenna's pesky magic mirror, accompanied by four frisky dwarfs (Nick Frost, Rob Brydon, Sheridan Smith and Alexandra Roach). And this puts them all on a collision course with the icy Freya.

The script feels like it was written by a committee desperate to get something, anything on-screen. The first half of the film is essentially the backstory, and the second half is a Hobbit-style quest with moments of random Game of Thrones-style action thrown in simply to give the special effects team a workout. This isn't too surprising considering that the movie is the directing debut of effects expert Cedric Nicolas-Troyan. So if it makes little logical sense, at least it looks achingly cool, especially when the duelling divas are clad in spectacular frocks by Colleen Atwood.

Continue reading: The Huntsman: Winter's War Review

Hercules Review


Very 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

Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Set For SEAL Team 666


Evan Spiliotopoulos Dwayne Johnson

DWAYNE 'THE ROCK' JOHNSON is set to produce and star in a new film about Navy Seals.

The muscleman will appear in upcoming MGM movie, 'SEAL Team 666', which mixes the supernatural with action scenes.

The plot follows an elite group of Navy Seals who battle demons and soon discover that there's a greater supernatural force bent on destroying the world.

Continue reading: Dwayne 'The Rock' Johnson Set For SEAL Team 666

Bob Hoskins To Play Snow White Dwarf


Bob Hoskins Chris Hemsworth Eddie Izzard Eddie Marsan Evan Spiliotopoulos Ian McShane Kristen Stewart Pirates Of The Caribbean Stephen Graham Tarsem Singh Thor Toby Jones

Bob Hoskins has signed up to play a dwarf in 'Snow White and the Huntsman'.

The 'Made In Dagenham' actor will portray Constantine, a blind dwarf who will assist Snow White, to be played by 'Twilight' star Kristen Stewart, as her evil stepmother (Charlize Theron) attempts to have her killed.

Eddie Izzard, Eddie Marsan, Toby Jones and Stephen Graham are all also believed to be in negotiations to play the remaining dwarves.

Continue reading: Bob Hoskins To Play Snow White Dwarf

Battle For Terra Review


Very 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


Weak
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


Very 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


Good
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


Very 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

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Evan Spiliotopoulos Movies

The Huntsman: Winter's War Movie Review

The Huntsman: Winter's War Movie Review

Aside from success at the box office, there was nothing about 2012's rather uneven fantasy...

Hercules Movie Review

Hercules Movie Review

Far more entertaining than it has any right to be, this is a big, messy...

Battle For Terra Movie Review

Battle For Terra Movie Review

Made two years before the similarly themed Avatar, this original, vividly designed sci-fi animation makes...

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