FRED Watch World AIDS Day Special: Holding the Man (2015)

EMBRACING THE MEN.

Transmission Films

On this World AIDS Day, Wayne introduces Phillip to one of Australia’s greatest love stories, Holding the Man.

Based on Timothy Conigrave’s bestseller, the boys discuss if Neil Armfield’s film does justice to Tim and John’s legacy.

Listen to their review here:

 

Check out the trailer here:

Starring: Ryan Corr, Craig Stott, Sarah Snook, Guy Pearce, Anthony LaPaglia, Kerry Fox, Camilla Ah Kin, Tessa de Josselin, Tom Hobbs, PiaGrace Moon, Caleb McClure, Geoffrey Rush, Lee Cormie, Kaarin Fairfax, Paul Goddard.

Director: Neil Armfield | Producer: Kylie Du Fresne | Writer: Tommy Murphy (based on the book by Timothy Conigrave) | Music: Alan John | Cinematographer: Germain McMicking | Editor: Dany Cooper

Available: Google Play and YouTube.

 

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

You’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

 

RELATED PODCAST: FRED Watch World AIDS Day 2019 Special: Philadelphia (1993) ⬇️


FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Coco (2017)

DISNEY PIXAR’S SWEETEST SONG!

I’m a Fulya Kantarmaci and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Disney Pixar’s Coco

Walt Disney Pictures / Pixar Animation Studios

A young boy with a dream to becomes a musician. Unfortunately, his family forbids it…

Miguel Rivera (Anthony Gonzalez) loves playing the guitar, teaching himself by watching his favourite musician Ernesto de la Cruz (Benjamin Bratt) on video. Sadly, he’s had to do this in secret because his family has banned music in their place so he can’t reveal his passion to them. This ban has been set way back when Mamá Imelda (Allanna Ubach) was alive. Her husband left her and their daughter Coco behind to become a famous musician. Because he chose music over family, Imelda decided that there will no longer be a music presence in their household and started a shoe making business. To the present day, the Rivera family still make shoes but Miguel’s passion lies in music.

On Día de los Muertos (Day of the Dead), Miguel accidentally damages a picture frame on the family ofrenda—a photo of Mamá Imelda, Mamá Coco, and a headless man (assumedly the husband). Miguel then discovers a folded in section of the photo which revealed to him a guitar once belonging to Ernesto de la Cruz! He quickly works out that Ernesto was his great great grandfather and goes to the village plaza to register to participate in a talent show. Unfortunately, his Abuelita (Renée Victor) destroyed the one guitar he had made for himself earlier that day. So, he decides to break into Ernesto’s mausoleum and “borrow” his guitar for the talent show. The moment he strums the guitar, he is immediately invisible to everyone in the village plaza and realises he can see skeletal people, including some of his dead relatives. This means, he is now in the Land of the Dead. Miguel quickly learns that he is cursed and must return to the Land of the Living otherwise he will be stuck there. The only way he can return is if he receives a blessing from one of his dead family members before sunrise. Mamá Imelda is happy to give him her blessing, however she had one condition: that Miguel ceases to continue his musical path. This doesn’t sit well with him so he runs off into the Land of the Dead to find his great great grandfather Ernesto de la Cruz to receive a blessing from him.

On his journey, Miguel bumps into Héctor (Gael García Bernal), who says that he knows Ernesto well and that he will take him to Ernesto in exchange for having his photo taken to the Land of the Living, placed on the family ofrenda so he can visit his daughter before she forgets him.

This is the first film that has an all-Latino principal cast and a great representation of Mexican culture. The music, the characters, even the landscapes and architecture transport you to Mexico. During pre-production, Lee Unkrich (from whom the idea of the film was based) and some of the filming crew, visited the colourful country on a research trip to get a better idea of what Mexico was all about. I absolutely love how they incorporated the colour schemes of the buildings and used it to their advantage throughout the movie. This animated feature film widens your eyes to all the colours and textures, especially in the Land of the Dead. Because the film is based on the Day of the Dead celebrations, the Land of the Dead is set overnight and you can see how vivid the colours are here.

The characters in Coco are wonderful! I enjoyed Gonzalez’s performance as Miguel and the fact that he is a young mariachi singer himself is just amazing! What a talented boy! Bernal is probably my favourite of the voice actors. His performance as Héctor was very funny and genuine. There are a few small-part characters that also made me smile (and cry)—Clerk (Gabriel Iglesias), Frida Kahlo (Natalia Cordova-Buckley), and of course Chicharrón (Edward James Olmos).

The music is wonderful and made me feel like I was in Mexico! From what I learnt in the behind the scenes section of the DVD’s bonus features, there are quite a lot of genres in the Mexican music and most of them were included on the soundtrack.

But can I just say how much I loved the story? The story is not really about the music, it’s about family and it is so beautiful. To be able to watch a movie that encapsulates the essence of what it means to be family melted my heart and yes, I shed some tears.

This is a movie to be watched with family and friends. The kids will love the adventure and colours, and the adults will love the story and music. I wholeheartedly recommend Coco to everyone! And remember to love your family. 5 / 5

 

Starring: Starring: Anthony Gonzalez, Gael García Bernal, Benjamin Bratt, Alanna Ubach, Renée Victor, Ana Ofelia Murguía, Edward James Olmos, Alfonso Arau, Selene Luna, Dyana Ortellí, Herbert Sigüenza, Jaime Camil, Sofía Espinosa, Luis Valdez, Lombardo Boyar, Octavio Solis, Cheech Marin, Carla Medina, Blanca Araceli, Natalia Cordova-Buckley, Salvador Reyes, John Ratzenberger, Libertad García Fonzi, Antonio Sol.

Director: Lee Unkrich | Producer: Darla K. Anderson | Writers: Adrian Molina, Matthew Aldrich; Story: Lee Unkrich, Jason Katz, Matthew Aldrich, Adrian Molina | Music: Michael Giacchino | Cinematographers: Matt Aspbury (camera), Danielle Feinberg (lighting) | Editor: Steve Bloom

 

Available: Google Play.

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

I’ve been a Fulya Kantarmaci and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Thor: Ragnarok (2017)

GET READY TO RAGNAROK!

I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Thor: Ragnarok

Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

Deprived of his mighty hammer Mjolnir, Thor (Chris Hemsworth) must escape the other side of the universe to save his home, Asgard, from his older sister Hela (Cate Blanchett), the goddess of death.

Taika Waititi’s trademark wit is evident from the opening scene of Thor: Ragnarok, so we know that we’re in for a film that won’t take itself too seriously from the get-go. And, for the most part, this approach works.

The story is pretty straightforward with siblings battling and/or working with each other to serve the best interests of either themselves or the people of Asgard. With Thor and Hela representing good and evil respectively, it is of little surprise that man in the middle, Loki, is the most fun. We trust him at times, though we should know better by now, and marvel at his cheekiness and selfish endeavours. Needless to say, Tom Hiddleston steals the show as the god of mischeif, and his return to the Marvel Cinematic Universe only works in the extensive franchise’s favour.

Mr. Hiddleston is in good company, with Cate Blanchett having fun with an undemanding villainous role, Jeff Goldblum essentially playing a dictator version of his glorious self, and Tessa Thompson is excellent as Valkyrie. Waititi portrays Korg, a genteel rebel whose reason behind his failed uprising is by far the greatest gag in the entire franchise. Benedict Cumberbatch’s appearance as Doctor Strange is delightful, demonstrating that the character has merit in the franchise even if reiterating how pointless his solo adventure was at the same time.

As returning Avengers Thor and Hulk, Chris Hemsworth and Mark Ruffalo are comfortable and confident without being complacent. The pair have exceptional rapport—the result of numerous films under their belts—and those who have seen the characters’ storylines unfold and overlap throughout the course of the franchise believe the friendship depicted here. Hulk behaves like a spoilt teenager at times; finding the widespread acceptance and adoration he lacked on Earth, there are some lovely nuances to Ruffalo’s performance that keep Hulk relatable. As Bruce Banner, Ruffalo’s scenes with Hemsworth are fun and their opposing traits bounce off one another to great effect. My main gripe, however, is the manner in which Thor has been written and Hemsworth directed this time around. Hemsworth is unmistakably in fine form (you can’t knock his enthusiastic performance), but Thor sometimes speaks and acts in ways that is inconsistent with what we have seen before. His language can be overly informal and some of his physical gags make him the butt of the joke. The joy about Thor ever being away from Asgard is that he is a confident fish out of water, but he has some himbo-esque qualities here (and an unnecessary haircut) to give the audience a laugh.

But Thor: Ragnarok is clever and entertaining enough that it a) doesn’t need to push all of its humour as far as it does, and b) is so effective in achieving what it sets out to do that we can forgive it easily. The film has a gorgeous colour pallet, a terrific soundtrack, and is adequately paced. An overall engaging and thoroughly entertaining comic bookmovie that makes you wish there were like this one. 4½ / 5

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Tom Hiddleston, Cate Blanchett, Idris Elba, Jeff Goldblum, Tessa Thompson, Karl Urban, Mark Ruffalo, Anthony Hopkins, Tadanobu Asano, Ray Stevenson, Zachary Levi, Benedict Cumberbatch, Rachel House, Taika Waititi, Clancy Brown [voice], Sam Neill [cameo], Luke Hemsworth [cameo], Matt Damon [cameo], Scarlett Johansson [archival footage].

Director: Taika Waititi | Producer: Kevin Feige | Writers: Eric Pearson, Craig Kyle, Christopher L. Yost (based on Thor by Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby) | Music: Mark Mothersbaugh | Cinematographer: Javier Aguirresarobe | Editors: Joel Negron, Zene Baker

 

Available: YouTube and Google Play

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

I’ve been a Wayne Stellini and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

 

RELATED VIDEO: Non-Scripted Ramblings #20: Countdown to Thor: Ragnarok ⬇️


 

FRED Watch Episode 23: Doctor Dolittle (1967)

DOCTOR DOES VERY LITTLE.

APJAC Productions / 20th Century Fox

Phillip introduces Wayne to one of his favourite childhood movies, Doctor Dolittle (1967).

The boys discuss whether or not the classic family musical holds up and if it is strong enough to withstand its production problems.

 

Listen to their review here:

 

Check out the trailer:

Starring: Rex Harrison, Samantha Eggar, Anthony Newley, Richard Attenborough, Peter Bull, Muriel Landers, William Dix, Geoffrey Holder, Portia Nelson, Norma Varden, Ginny Tyler [uncredited voice], Jack Raine [uncredited], Paul Vernon [uncredited], Bob Winters [uncredited], Queenie Leonard [uncredited].

Director: Richard Fleischer | Producer: Arthur P. Jacobs | Writer: Leslie Bricusse (based on the story by Hugh Lofting) | Music: Leslie Bricusse, Lionel Newman, Alexander Courage | Cinematographer: Robert L. Surtees | Editor: Samuel E. Beetley, Marjorie Fowler

 

Available: YouTube and GooglePlay.

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

You’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

 

RELATED PODCAST: FRED Watch Episode 3: Oh! What a Lovely War (1969) ⬇️


Beta Test #23: The Sims 4

Beta Test

The year: 2007
The game: The Sims 2
My Brother: Not allowed to watch the giant Woo-Hoo display video concentrated around two sims (one of which is me, and the other my primary school crush that would eventually disappear into the realm of obscurity). I try to tell him to go away, that this is an adult thing and that he’s not allowed to watch. He is 9 years old and thinks he is also very grown up, also that I never let him do anything. My mother is unphased, but to me, a responsible 13 year old with an unhealthy fear of fucking up, letting my brother watch two sims give each other bedroom eyes is unfathomable. I am afraid. My brother is happy to spend time with me. The sims whisper to each other to initiate the coital action…

The cut scene doesn’t play because I forgot I disabled the feature.

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Dag Dag Plumbobs! I’m Bethany Griffiths, and this is Beta Test! A game review platform where I – Tira Mirnah – choose one game a month to go ham on until either I get better or get wrecked. All in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely (un)biased review. 

OH YEAH, the heavyweight of games. The legendary big boi. The only reason I own Origin. The ‘Katsu Tsu’ graveyard of Maxis dreams.No, don’t let my intro fool you, gone are the days of The Sims 2, now it’s all about The Sims 4! I have played this game so heavily over the years I have to tell you, It has become my life for months at a time. I have lost days of sleep due to collecting every single collectable, skill, and expansion pack available. I have gone long long hours of game play only for a Sim to die or the game to crash (early Sims 2) and realise I haven’t saved in the last Seven hours. My love for The Sims can not be eclipsed by anything this worldly on the video game market! (until they bring out a Tanz Der Vampire game, but I don’t see that happening this millennia soooo)

Developed by Maxis, and published by Electronic Arts [EA games ‘Challenge everything’ *fwish*], The Sims 4, most modern of sims franchise games, is a virtual world simulator where you control a fully customisable character(s). The characters are given personalities granted through three base traits that you can expand on by following lifetime achievements, and fulfilling goals. You create everything for them including housing which is also fully customisable, from the ground up. The base game comes with a very comfortable amount of material for you to shape and build your sims’ world around them, build their house, create connections, and family trees however expansion packs are available to provide new exciting experiences for your little mini me’s AND BITCH GUESS WHAT JUST CAME OUT! The Sims 4 is now a ~University Graduate~, and I am so pumped! (Footnote: this review is going to be about the sims 4: Discover University. Want me to review the base game? Drop me a line buckaroo)

Ok so first of all, no I didn’t pre-order, this is not Fallout 76, I will not tell a company that I’m happy with a bullshit product. I look for QUALITY in my Sims. And quality I got. So with that in mind, hold on to your seats because this bitch is back and Tina Turner is Quaking!

The Sims 4: Discover University is an expansion that I’ve frankly been waiting for ever since The Sims 2 stopped being a thing (get outta here with your Sims 3. It’s a completely different game and holds no bearing to the sims universe in my opinion. Also the game renders horribly. Get. Out). Yes, long have the days been since I could add spicy plot lines like ‘oh no I’m failing my degree’, and ‘oh no I didn’t get accepted into my course’, and the coveted ‘bitch watch me change my education degree into an arts degree and grow in HECCS debt’ (all real life Bethany created, Bethany lived scenarios). But now! Now I get to see the glory of education, I get to dive into the sea of fraternities, and dorky drama clubs that I may or may not have been president, vice president, and treasurer of in one single year.  I get cool new clothing options! Yeah baby mamma I’m there! 

The game itself runs beautifully. My computer fans might want to take off and fly about the room, but it’s smooth as a giant memory stored game can be. It seems as well that with every installation the detail gets better and better, for instance, the original hair textures were good, but there were better mods for The Sims 2 that I could have been using (anyone else use Modthesims.com or was it just me? Shout out to Bruno!) These ones though! There’s so much texture, such a variety, there’s so many more options for ethnically diverse sims! I can finally build a sim that has dreads that don’t look like Post Malone got high on meth and tried to style Ariana Grande’s hair. And Hijabs are a thing now! It’s so exciting to be given the gift of creation and I’m so happy that people that felt like they couldn’t truly create themselves or felt excluded in the game can now partake and feel like they can join in the community! (I realise that the game still has a lot it could do to adjust to people and cultures across the world, and while I wholeheartedly rejoice in the small victories that have been given, I do wish they came sooner. I am not blind to that fact. If you want to talk about ethnicity and diversity in the gaming sphere I would love to be an ear for you, and facilitate you. Please drop me a line, and we can get the convo started)

Coming back from that, I have noted some differences to the original 2 package. The most stark being you need to apply to a university, you can’t make sims to slot into Uni like The Sims 2. That was the first thing I tried, and I was ‘uuugh’ing at the effort it would take to put a sim in a house, apply, wait for the response, and move them in to the dorm rooms. (all in all 20 mins of game play). Once I got started though, it was fine, and I feel like the reward for taking care of your sims skills and needs is in the acceptance to the university itself. Springing off that, once you get in there is a finite amount of electives you can do per degree. Elective opportunities hinge of the amount of core subjects you take per term, and once you hit your max you can’t choose more. For example: I took 2 terms of 4 core subjects with 1 elective each, that’s a total of 12 credit points, the next semester I choose 3 core subjects. Because I have hit 15 credit points with my last 3, I can’t choose an elective even though I have room in my calendar. Not a problem for the average or casual gamer but I NOTICED AND WANTED MY SIMS TO TAKE MORE CLASSES DAMN IT. On the tone of classes, you can put out a student loan (which does nothing if not remind me of my $23,500 debt), instead of paying it straight up. Scholarships are available though, and are pretty easy to get into if you grind your sims the way I do. 

From a game play perspective, the only jabs I have are that you don’t actually see the graduation ceremony. I would love a wedding type scenario where your family comes and sees you cross the stage and throw a cap, but I digress it doesn’t detract from the game play at all. School terms also start differently for each sim, dependent on when they enrol, so say I had a set of siblings at the uni but one got in before the other, that sim will graduate first, which is a bit of a hassle if you want to develop them at the same rate. The good news is though, you don’t have to leave campus straight away if you live on an ‘on campus, self owned’ lot, so I could keep my siblings together till they both graduated which I thought was a much nicer feature than ‘your sim has graduated. They have 24 hours to pack up their shit and leave’ (paraphrased obviously). 

Also as a side note, there is no bar to tell you your grades (which for me, perfectionist supremo, was very hard to cope with), however, you can email your lecturer to ask how you’re going, which was a blessing because I HATE accidentally ruining my sims lives. All ruining must be intentional damn it! And I also figured out that once you go into a dorm room you can’t rearrange uni housing, that is, there is no build mode in the University established buildings. This isn’t tooooo bad because there’s a buy station like in the camping expansion that lets you grab furniture, rugs, books, kegs for keg stands, you know…the usual.

Wow this has been long, I didn’t expect this to go on but I had so much to say! All in all I have found this expansion and recent updates very enjoyable, and would absolutely recommend The Sims 4 to anyone seeking a classic casual game to fall into the llama hole of. 

Because of no other reason than it’s the bloody Sims bitch, I give this game:

4/5 PLUMBOB’S for style
0/5 PLUMBOB’S for plot line (it doesn’t need plot line. YOU are the plot line)
5/5 PLUMBOB’S for easiness
5/5 PLUMBOB’S for GOD TIER GAME STATUS

What now? Gonna Game? In the words of the popular YouTuber Thomas ‘TomSka’ Ridgewell, while shaving off his own eyebrows, “Why? Why not? Why anything?”. If that is the case then go ahead and jump on my bandwagon, fling yourself into the abyss of The Sims 4, you won’t regret it! (also if anyone has TomSka’s details please let a bitch know. I NEED that sweet sweet colab deal. We can shave my undercut into a penis, I don’t care) Anyway, I’m way too hyped on the idea of The Sims (I almost said ‘nerd juice’ there in that sentence and I retracted that real quick) to be doing outro’s, sOOOOooooOOOO…

I’ve been Bethany Griffiths, and this has been Beta Test, A game review platform where I either got better or got wrecked. All in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely (un)biased review.

Until next time,

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FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Spider-Man: Homecoming (2017)

HOLLAND SWINGS INTO ACTION!

I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Spider-Man: Homecoming

Columbia Pictures, Marvel Studios, Pascal Pictures, Sony Pictures Releasing

Peter Parker (Tom Holland) tries to stop Adrian ‘The Vulture’ Toomes (Michael Keaton) from selling weapons made with advanced Chitauri technology while trying to balance his life as an ordinary high school student.

Tom Holland swings into action as everyone’s favourite friendly neighbourhood Spider-Man. As teased in Captain America: Civil War (2016), Holland’s take on the hero is a more youthful, energetic, and—considering the character’s age—believable one than previous incarnations.

But the strength of Spider-Man: Homecoming is rooted in its screenplay. With a staggering six writers attributed to it (and perhaps more uncredited), you would be forgiven for expecting the story to be a bit of a mess, as is usually the case. However, nothing could be further from the truth. What works best about the story is its simplicity. Also, Spider-Man is so engrained in popular culture, having been portrayed on television and in film since the 1970s by The Sound of Music’s Nicholas Hammond, the perfectly cast Tobey Maguire, and the grossly underrated Andrew Garfield. Therefore, the detailed origin of the character, encompassing a spider bite and the death of his uncle, is unnecessary.

In the spirit of The Incredible Hulk (2008), though lacking its punchy pacing, Spider-Man: Homecoming is a fun caper in which humour is used to great effect. Director Jon Watts knows he’s onto a winner with the casting of Jacob Batalon as Ned and Marisa Tomei’s final line is the icing on the cake. (Though it’s Chris Evans who proves to be the true scene-stealer.) The action sequences are handled meticulously and the film is quite exciting when things get going.

Although running too long and perhaps not the best Spider-Man story to hit the big screen, it is nonetheless an incredibly well-made comic book movie and breathes some fresh air into the character’s legacy as well as the extensive cinematic universe it is a part of. 4 / 5

Starring: Tom Holland, Michael Keaton, Jon Favreau, Zendaya, Donald Glover, Tyne Daly, Marisa Tomei, Robert Downey Jr., Gwyneth Paltrow, Kerry Condon, Chris Evans, Jacob Batalon, Laura Harrier, Tony Revolori, Garcelle Beauvais Jennifer Connelly [voice], Hemky Madera, Bokeem Woodbine, Logan Marshall-Green, Michael Chernus, Michael Mando, Christopher Berry, Kenneth Choi, Hannibal Buress, Martin Starr, Selenis Leyva, Tunde Adebimpe, John Penick, Isabella Amara, Jorge Lendeborg Jr., J. J. Totah, Abraham Attah, Tiffany Espensen, Angourie Rice, Michael Barbieri, Ethan Dizon, Martha Kelly, Kirk Thatcher [cameo], Stan Lee [cameo].

Director: Jon Watts | Producers: Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal | Writers: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley, Jon Watts, Christopher Ford, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers; Story: Jonathan Goldstein, John Francis Daley (based on Spider-Man by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko) | Music: Michael Giacchino | Cinematographers: Salvatore Totino | Editors: Dan Lebental, Debbie Berman

 

Available: YouTube and Google Play

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

I’ve been a Wayne Stellini and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

 

RELATED VIDEO: Non-Scripted Ramblings #19: Countdown to Spider-Man: Homecoming ⬇️


FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 (2017)

IN A GALAXY OF ITS OWN!

I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2

Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

After an outrageous mission, Star-Lord (Chris Pratt) and his team of galactic defenders meet Ego (Kurt Russell), a man claiming to be his father. However, they set out to investigate the secret of his parentage.

With all the introductions out of the way in their previous instalment, James Gunn’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 is all the better for getting straight into the action and building upon the interpersonal relationships of its titular motley crew.

Though lacking the shiny, newness novelty of their origin, this sequel does what a successful sequel does best. It’s a rip-roaring adventure that builds upon what mades its predecessor such a delight to experience. The perfect balance of humour and heart gives us breathing space from the excellent action sequences, spread across some of the most beautiful and imaginatively conceived worlds and locations ever depicted in a comic book movie.

It goes without saying that the cast are in top-form here, with Groot working more effectively as a pint-sized baby rather than an oversized oaf. And it is through Groot particularly that we see the strong familial bond that the Guardians have developed. It always feels real, so the stakes are always high.

Yes, the film goes a little over-the-top towards the end and there are a few painful examples of clunky dialogue, but we are so enthralled and engaged that these are forgivable sins. The narrative is interesting without being convoluted and the introduction of each new character serves the plot well: Kurt Russell is unsurprisingly good as Ego and Pom Klementieff is likeable as Mantis. Also, Michael Rooker is excellent reprising his role as Yondu Udonta, while Karen Gillan, returning with more to do as Nebula, is quite exceptional.

Fans of the Marvel Cinematic Universe will find this one of the best films so far, and some may rightly favour this over the first Guardians adventure. Sure, it’s a flashy spectacle, but one with its heart firmly on its sleeve that dances to the beat of a terrific soundtrack. 4½ / 5

 

Chris Pratt, Zoe Saldana, Dave Bautista, Vin Diesel, Bradley Cooper, Michael Rooker, Karen Gillan, Pom Klementieff, Elizabeth Debicki, Chris Sullivan, Sean Gunn, Sylvester Stallone, Kurt Russell, Laura Haddock, Gregg Henry, Seth Green [voice], Fred, Evan Jones, Jimmy Urine, Stephen Blackehart, Steve Agee, Mike Escamilla, Joe Fria, Terence Rosemore, Tommy Flanagan, Charred Walls, Richard Christy [cameo], Michael Rosenbaum, Ving Rhames, Michelle Yeoh, Miley Cyrus [uncredited voice cameo], Stan Lee [cameo], David Hasselhoff [cameo], Rob Zombie [voice cameo], Jeff Goldblum, Ben Browder [cameo], Molly Quinn, Jim Gunn Sr. [cameo], Leota Gunn [cameo], Guillermo Rodriguez [uncredited].

Director: James Gunn | Producer: Kevin Feige | Writer: James Gunn (based on Guardians of the Galaxy by Dan Abnett and Andy Lanning) | Music: Tyler Bates | Cinematographer: Henry Braham | Editors: Fred Raskin, Craig Wood

 

Available: YouTube and Google Play

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

I’ve been a Wayne Stellini and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

 

RELATED VIDEO: Non-Scripted Ramblings #18: Countdown to Infinity War—Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 ⬇️


FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Doctor Strange (2016)

DOCTOR IN NEED OF LIFE SUPPORT…

I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Doctor Strange

Marvel Studios / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures

After a tragic car accident, talented neurosurgeon Doctor Stephen Strange (Benedict Cumberbatch) must put his ego aside to learn the secrets of a hidden world of mysticism and alternate dimensions.

With the combination of previous sequels and team-ups, the origin story of yet another hero to the Marvel Cinematic Universe allows for more goodies and baddies of diverse personalities, motivations, and abilities to be introduced to the mix. And as the fourteenth entry into the franchise, you hope for something special.

Unfortunately, Doctor Strange is an assorted bag that does not get its balance right. A technical marvel (full credit to the incredible visual effects crew here) with strong performances across the board, the film suffers from an unconquerable obstacle: the titular protagonist is painfully dull. Strange has the smarts, ego, and good looks of the likes of, say, Tony Stark without the wit or charisma, giving the always reliable Benedict Cumberbatch very little to work with, though his scenes with Rachel McAdams give the character some depth. However, our protagonist is overshadowed by more interesting figures such as the exceptional Tilda Swinton’s Ancient One and Benedict Wong’s fun, coincidentally named Wong.

Jon Spaihts, C. Robert Cargill, and director Scott Derrickson’s script packs a lot of interesting mythology into a film that mercifully runs under two hours, but at this point feels unnecessary in the grand narrative. With some fresh visuals at play here, Doctor Strange will appeal to fans of the extensive franchise, and the character’s addition to it will perhaps prove beneficial, but the film is ultimately a noisy spectacle with little substance. 2½ / 5

 

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Michael Stuhlbarg, Benjamin Bratt, Scott Adkins, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton, Chris Hemsworth, Linda Louise Duan, Mark Anthony Brighton, Topo Wresniwiro, Zara Phythian, Alaa Safi, Katrina Durden, Pat Kiernan, Stan Lee [cameo]..

Director: Scott Derrickson | Producer: Kevin Feige | Writers: Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson, C. Robert Cargill (based on Doctor Strange by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko) | Music: Michael Giacchino | Cinematographer: Ben Davis | Editors: Wyatt Smith, Sabrina Plisco

 

Available: Blu-ray

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

I’ve been a Wayne Stellini and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

 

RELATED VIDEO: Non-Scripted Ramblings #17: Countdown to Infinity War—Doctor Strange ⬇️


FRED Watch Halloween 2019 Special: Psycho (1960)

SHOWERING PRAISE ON HITCHCOCK’S MASTERPIECE!

Shamley Productions / Paramount Pictures

On this Halloween special, Wayne introduces Phillip and special guest Kendall to Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho (1960)!

The team delve into multiple aspects of the classic suspenseful horror, but will they go a little mad for this revered masterpiece?

 

Listen to their review here:

 

Check out the iconic trailer here:

Starring: Anthony Perkins, Janet Leigh, Vera Miles, John Gavin, Martin Balsam, John McIntire, Simon Oakland, Frank Albertson, Pat Hitchcock, Vaughn Taylor, Lurene Tuttle, John Anderson, Mort Mills, Francis De Sales [uncredited], George Eldredge [uncredited], Ted Knight [uncredited], Virginia Gregg [uncredited voice], Paul Jasmin [uncredited voice], and Jeanette Nolan [uncredited voice].

Director/Producer: Alfred Hitchcock | Writer: Joseph Stefano (based on the novel by Robert Bloch) | Music: Bernard Herrmann | Cinematographer: John L. Russell | Editor: George Tomasini

Available: DVD and Blu-ray

Let us know what you thought of this special in the comments!

 

You’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Hotel Transylvania (2012)

A HOTEL WITH BITE!

I’m a Fulya Kantarmaci and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is especially for Halloween—Hotel Transylvania

Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures Releasing

All your traditional monsters under one scary roof and a human. What could possibly go wrong?

 

Vampires, wolves, mummies, ghouls, goblins, witches, and so many other monsters roaming the earth that have to hide in the shadows. But not anymore! Count Dracula (Adam Sandler) has built Hotel Transylvania for all of monster-kind, serving as a refuge for them so they can relax and be safe from the humans. This particular year, Dracula’s daughter Mavis (Selena Gomez) is turning 118 and to celebrate, Dracula is throwing her a big birthday party and all the hotel guests are invited. Even some of Dracula’s closest friends are attending! Frank (Kevin James) and his wife Eunice (Fran Drescher), Wayne (Steve Buscemi) and Wanda (Molly Shannon) the werewolves and their cubs, Murray the mummy (CeeLo Green), and Griffin the invisible man (David Spade).

On this particular birthday, Mavis wants to go out and explore the world to see humans for herself. They can’t all be monster haters, right? To keep her happy, Dracula suspiciously allows Mavis to go out of the hotel and suggests that she go to a nearby human village. Mavis finds the village deserted at first but suddenly, a big group of “humans” come out of every corner holding flaming torches and pitchforks. Mavis is afraid for her life so she quickly abandons the village and hurries back to the hotel where she tells her father he is right, the humans DO hate monsters. Dracula is relieved and can now continue with his monsterly duties.

That same night, an uninvited guest arrives. His name is Jonathan (Andy Samberg) and he is a human! The moment he enters the doors of Hotel Transylvania, Dracula sees him and is in shock! He must do something to hide this human from the monsters’ sight immediately! Dracula quickly grabs him and takes him to a hidden room, dressing Jonathan up like a monster so he can at least blend in. What Dracula wasn’t counting on was Mavis meeting Jonathan and potentially falling in love with him. Operation “Remove Human from Hotel“ has begun.

 

There are so many animated Halloween films out there but none can compare to Hotel Transylvania. The animation itself is unique in its kind because the movements of each monster is exaggerated to the point that it’s almost believable. I am very impressed with the variety of monsters the character designers have included in this animation. Having the zombies as the bell-hops and front-of-house staff, and the witches as the room maids is hilarious! Also, the fact that there’s an invisible man as one of the supporting characters is a brilliant idea (especially since the animators don’t really have to worry about syncing his mouth to the voice).

Speaking of supporting characters, the whole gang of monsters are unsurprisingly voiced by actors who have all worked with Adam Sandler in past films (Grown Ups comes to my mind). They work together really well and their comedic timing is the best! Sandler makes Dracula believable. The stereotypical voice he puts on is very funny and he even sang in that voice with a ukulele (à la 50 First Dates). 

This movie is a lot of fun for the whole family and I’d definitely recommend it for the kids on Halloween. Also, if you’re looking for costume ideas, look no further because this film has a bucketful of inspiration!

And remember, Dracula doesn’t say “Blah, blah, blah.” 3½ / 5

 

Starring: Adam Sandler, Andy Samberg, Selena Gomez, Kevin James, Fran Drescher, Steve Buscemi, Molly Shannon, David Spade, CeeLo Green.

Director: Genndy Tartakovsky | Producer: Michelle Murdocca | Writers: Peter Baynham, Robert Smigel; Story: Todd Durham, Dan Hageman, Kevin Hageman | Music: Mark Mothersbaugh | Editor: Catherine Apple

 

Available: DVD.

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

I’ve been a Fulya Kantarmaci and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.