Not so Christmas film Review: Bridget Jones Diary

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Hugh Grant returns to play a cynical prick in the hit film  Bridget Jones Diary which is based on a book of the same name.

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Hugh Grant isn’t the only recognisable star in this British Classic as he is joined by co star Colin Firth and Renée Zellweger who plays the lead character Bridget Jones.

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Bridget Jones is a lonely, single, chain smoking 32 year old woman whos never had a boyfriend and is fed up with her life so she starts a diary to try and get control of her life.

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Bridget Jones Diary is a comedy and therefore the jokes really need to hit for the film to work and thankfully they do, its not by any means the funniest film ever made but it does pack a lot of laughs especially due to the way Bridget looks at the world and how she portrays those views into her diary, the diary is really the star of the film maybe even more than Bridget herself, its due to the diary that we had so many iconic moments in the first film including blue soup, tarts and vicars and of course the Bridget’s many drunken moments

Bridget Jones Diary is an iconic British romcom and with its massive legacy, great cast and lots of memorable moments its become a Christmas Classic too.

I hope you enjoyed my review of Bridget Jones Diary

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at

ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

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Not so Christmas film Review: About a Boy

Every December people watch and share their favourite Christmas movies with friends and family, but what about those films that are not necessarily Christmas related but tend to be watched around the holiday season, everyone has their own favourite films in this category but this month I want to share with you some of my not so Christmas favourites and we are going to kick start the month with 2002’s About a Boy.

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Based on a novel of the same name About a Boy is a drama starring Hugh Grant who plays a selfish, spoilt rich person called Will who has never had to work a day in his life and has never needed responsibility, our other star of the movie is Nicholas Hoult who plays 12 year old weird kid Marcus who is having troubles in school and at home

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The film is a comedy as well as a drama and even though it is very funny with a lot of memorable moments for me the best part of movie is the interactions between Marcus and Will, Will is a childish prick who lies to woman for sex and doesn’t care about anyone but himself and Marcus is a misunderstood child who has an odd nature about him which causes him to be bullied at school  not to mention all of the trouble he also has at home with his suicidal and depressed mother.

Both characters are in need of guidance, Marcus needs to be more cool and Will needs to grow up and its just by chance that our two main characters happen to meet, just like two angels helping each other earn their wings, ok maybe that was a bit over the top but honestly it does sort of feel that way if you really get into the movie.

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Apart from our main characters much of the supporting cast isn’t very memorable with the one exception of Toni Collette who plays Marcus’s mom she’s even odder than him and as previously stated a bit of a mess , its her character who brings just as many laughs as our two mains and I don’t think anyone could have played this character better than she did.

About a boy is forgotten classic which was very popular when it first came out but has been lost over the years, It packs a lot of laughs, emotions and goofiness and it really needs to aired more often on television, If you ever get the chance I highly recommend giving this one a watch

I hope you enjoyed my review of About a Boy

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at

ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

P.S. I am going on a Christmas vacation on Monday the 11th of December so next weeks review might be slightly delayed.

 

 

Super Mario Odyssey (Nintendo Switch) Review

Is this Mario’s greatest adventure to date?

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Usually I would just post a picture of a games cover art but in this rare occasion I wanted to show off the free Cappy hat you got for pre-ordering Mario Odyssey, Its pretty cool being able to wear your hat while playing the game I think its a great collectible for little kids and big kids too 😉

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Bowser and Peach are actually getting married and its up too Mario to stop Bowser and save the wedding but the only problem is that Bowser wins the fight and destroys Mario’s trusty hat which many fans know gives Mario most of his power, Bowser kicks Mario off his air ship to a mysterious land where he lays unconscious,defenseless and without his hat powerless so how can he save Peach this time?

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Meet Cappy a helpful Boo who Mario Meets in the cap kingdom a world filled with top hat inspired architecture, Bowser has stolen Cappy’s sister Tiara so he’s quick to turn himself into a replica of Mario’s hat in order to help Mario on his adventure.

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metro kingdomI have to say that this is the strangest Mario game I have ever played, its not a bad thing but its very different to its predecessors for one their are no power ups in the game but Mario has the ability to transform into most enemies and objects in the game by throwing Cappy at things, also the game adds a whole new wardrobe of outfits that Mario can purchase and wear throughout his adventure these new features are a nice change for the series and I hope that at least the outfits stay for future entries.

maxresdefault1He’s collected Stars, he’s collected Shine Sprites so we all knew it wouldn’t be long before Mario was collecting moons and this game has a whopping 999 for you to find and buy, most of them can be collected fairly quickly but they are well hidden, thankfully you can collect the majority of the moons in a kingdom in a single visit as Mario Odyssey takes away the need to revisit a level every time you want to collect a moon.

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For the majority of his games Mario has had very tight and responsive controls and the case isn’t much different for Super Mario Odyssey, I found the controls a little slippery at first but I soon got used to them, one issue with the game is that even though it has many control options available only the motion controls actually allow you do all of Mario’s moves, it really sucks because most people don’t care much for motion controls these days and it baffles me how this problem wasn’t fixed before shipping especially from a company such as Nintendo.

The music is an odd choice for a Super Mario game but it works extremely well, I find it has a jazzy beat to it and each soundtrack suits each world differently for example the forest world has a calm and natural feel to it while the city music is loud and upbeat and all of the different sounds give off the effect of a noisy and energetic place, although by far the best song in the game is “I’ll be your one up girl” which is sang by none other than Pauline from the Donkey Kong arcade game, to my knowledge its the first song in the series to use vocals and its a perfect fit for Mario’s adventure across the unusual world of Mario Odyssey.

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Super Mario odyssey is an epic edition to the Super Mario series and it takes Mario in a whole new direction, gone are the limited power ups, the graphics are the best the series has seen yet, the colors are eye popping and its the small details such as falling snow, dust blowing in the wind and grass moving to one side as you step through it which really helps immerse you into the experience,  the soundtrack is absolutely brilliant  as always and the controls while they are not best are easy enough to get used too, I wish the game had a hub world, I imagined New Donk City to be the hub while different shops would take you to each stage so I was disappointed when this wasn’t the case, but apart from this Super Mario Odyssey is an amazing game however I personally don’t think its the best game in the series but its definitely a close contender.

Super Mario Odyssey is the Mario game that you could only dream of but with a few  things missing and slightly slippery controls it doesn’t quite make a top score 9.6/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Super Mario Odyssey for the Nintendo Switch

Want me to review a specific game/movie/product or do you have a general question you would like me to answer? if so please email me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

The Phantom of the Opera (1943) Review

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The Phantom of the Opera is the final review of the month and unfortunately its the worst film in the Universal Classic Monsters Collection.

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Claude Rains who was well known for playing the Invisible Man takes on the role of Erique Claudin a violinist who is fired by the Paris Opera house after 20 years of service due to sudden arthritis in his left hand.

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Of  course anyone who knows the story of the book or stage play will know that Erique eventually becomes the Phantom and Claude Rains does an excellent job at playing both roles, in this production Christine is played by Susanna Foster, Susanna has quite an interesting past she went to a singing and acting school with the likes of Judy Garland and Mickey Rooney she was only 17 when she took on the lead female role in Phantom of the Opera, two other big names in the film were Nelson Eddy who played Antone Garron and Edgar Barrier who played police officer Raoul Daubert.

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In my personal opinion the best part of the movie was the sets, the Paris Opera House used in this adaption of the book was the same set that was built for the 1925 film of the same name starring Lon Chaney, if the Paris Opera House set wasn’t impressive enough another great set is the Phantoms home hidden underneath the Opera, the set is very gothic which helps to set the mood before the love interest rips off the Phantoms mask revealing his disfigurement.

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The 1943 adaptation of the Phantom of the Opera is ok and that’s unfortunately the best I can say for the movie, I really enjoyed the cast they were campy and fun, the movie used comedy in a way that it didn’t ruin the dark romantic atmosphere of the movie, Claude Rains did a fantastic job at playing the Phantom and the sets were all extremely memorable, the film was even filmed in Technicolour but even with all this going for it something was missing and that was the the monster movie I was promised, this is not a monster movie and I’m not even sure if I could class it as a horror, the Phantom of the Opera is more of a romantic drama with a dark coat of paint, even twilight has a vampires and werewolves but would you cast that a horror? At least Twilight had monsters which is something I cant say about this so why on earth was it included in a classic monster collection? To most it’s the Phantom of the Opera but to me its more like the Phantom of the Mediocre.

The Bluray for Phantom of the Opera wasn’t very generous with its bonus features it does have a documentary and a commentary track   but that’s about all that’s worth looking at.

you can purchase the Universal Classics Monsters Collection on Blu-ray here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Classic-Monsters-Essential-Collection/dp/B008H45YSO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-1&keywords=universal+monster+collection

A DVD version can be bought here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/THE-CLASSIC-MONSTER-COLLECTION/dp/B001GQWT24/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-2&keywords=universal+monster+collection

Thank you for joining me for all of these reviews, all of these movies had a great effect on horror movies today and even though they are old, most of them are not in colour and the effects aren’t great compared to CGI but they are still great films that need to be seen if only to help you appreciate how far film has come over the years.

Happy Halloween

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

 

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954) Review

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We’ve taken quite a time jump with Creature of the Black Lagoon, this is the first time I have ever seen the film and I was surprised that it was able to use my wide screen television to its advantage as the other films we have looked at only took up a percentage of the screen.

Julie Adams and the Gill Man in CREATURE FROM THE BLACK LAGOON, 1954.

The creature is one of the most popular monsters of all time, it became a beloved icon after the success of the movie and many toys, food promotions, board games and plush toys made Universal more than 10 times the amount they got from the film alone, today the simple story of a group of scientist’s hunting a man/fish monster so they can study it probably wouldn’t be so popular compared too some of the more complex horror movies of today, so what made this so famous and why did so many people love the monster?

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Some may believe that the creatures success is purely due to how brilliant the movie is and the creative design of the monster but I beg to differ, I believe the success was for two reasons, the first is that the movie was shot in 3D which was a new concept back then which would surely draw in an audience and the other reason is just because of when it was released, in the 1950’s monster movies were huge and more popular than they have every been and throughout the decade many popular monster movies were released including Invasion of the body snatchers, Tarantula, It came from out of space and Godzilla just to name a few.

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The creature was played by two people Ben Chapman played the creature on land while a gentleman named Rico Browning played the creature whenever he was in the water, the supporting cast is a lot of fun they each bring a lot of energy and charisma to the production, apart from the creature itself  Richard Carlson, Richard Dennings and Julie Adams are the best part of the film these three actors have an amazing chemistry and their personalities are always bouncing off of each other also Julie Adams did a bikini scene which helped to sky rocket her acting career.

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The sets for creature are not too great but this is due to a big chunk of the movie taking place underwater and when the movie takes us somewhere else its only for a short while, the underwater scenes are fantastic and beautifully shot, they were recorded in the North Florida Wakulla Springs while the rest of the film was shot at the Universal back lot in California, the problem I have with the sets is that apart from the Wakulla Springs the rest just aren’t that memorable you haven’t got a Dracula’s Castle or a Doctor Frankenstein’s Laboratory which is a real shame.

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The Creature from the Black Lagoon is a really great film, the movie is a lot of fun to watch, out of all of the films this month I would say that this one felt like a proper monster movie, Creature from the Black Lagoon was like watching a Godzilla movie that’s loosely based on King Kong its absolutely brilliant.

The Blu-Ray is once again lacking in Bonus Features although there is a decent documentary and a directors commentary to watch also a 3D version of the movie is available on the disk which is pretty cool.

you can purchase the Universal Classics Monsters Collection on Blu-ray here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Classic-Monsters-Essential-Collection/dp/B008H45YSO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-1&keywords=universal+monster+collection

A DVD version can be bought here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/THE-CLASSIC-MONSTER-COLLECTION/dp/B001GQWT24/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-2&keywords=universal+monster+collection

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

Bride of Frankenstein (1935) Review

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The monster returns in this exemplary sequel to Universals original Frankenstein film, James Whale came back to direct the Bride of Frankenstein much to his displeasure , Whale never wanted Frankenstein to continue in his vision the monster had died at the end of the first film and he had too make a sequel due to his contracted agreement with Universal and the massive success of the original picture.

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As much as James Whale didn’t want to make the picture it actually ended up being one of the greatest horror films of all time and a favorite for many critics including myself.

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Boris Karloff is back playing the role of the monster and as can be expected he is absolutely fantastic playing the part, the monster is a killer but Karloff plays the part with so much emotion and innocence it is so difficult to not feel sorry for him, my favorite scene in the movie is a perfect example to sum up not only why this film is so brilliant but also just how amazing Karloff was as an actor, in the scene the monster while running away from trigger happy villagers stumbles across a blind hermit in the woods and the hermit is the only human from the village that doesn’t want to kill the monster, this is great because the guy is blind and wont judge the monster because he cant see him, the hermit takes care of the monster and teaches him how to speak, during the scene the monster becomes more calm and even somewhat gentle and friendly, and once he loses the hermit and the villages start acting aggressively towards him the monster becomes dangerous and deadly once again.

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As well as packing in plenty of action and emotion, Bride of Frankenstein is also extremely creative and the special effects are very impressive, the most impressive has got to be when Doctor Pretorius shows Frankenstein his previous experiments to create life which involved him growing humans, this led the people that Pretorius grew to be very small and they all kept in separate glass bottles.

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Makeup artist Jack Pierce who has done a lot of the famous monster makeups in the past came back for Bride of Frankenstein to do Karloff’s monster makeup and Elsa Lanchester who played the monsters bride, Pierce’s makeup work is iconic he created the way we view the original horror icons and his work is always highly respected and inspirational, as well designing the makeup for the monster pierce was also the mastermind behind the brides hair and makeup, Pierce’s work was masterful and many makeup artists have taken inspiration from him.

884862_61cb718b203946aab2a76f29d6e83bc0-mv2The Bride of Frankenstein is my favorite horror movie of all time, its a perfect mix of horror, comedy and emotion, it truly is a wonderful film, the cast are all very good at playing their roles and with such a legendary director leading the project you honestly cant go wrong, if you enjoyed Frankenstein I guarantee you will love his Bride.

The Blu-Ray for Bride of Frankenstein is unfortunately once again lacking in special features apart from one documentary and a commentary track all you get are some production shots, advertisement pictures and a collection of trailers, with this being my favorite horror movie it was incredibly disappointing when I wasn’t given more bonus material.

you can purchase the Universal Classics Monsters Collection on Blu-ray here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Classic-Monsters-Essential-Collection/dp/B008H45YSO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-1&keywords=universal+monster+collection

A DVD version can be bought here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/THE-CLASSIC-MONSTER-COLLECTION/dp/B001GQWT24/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-2&keywords=universal+monster+collection

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

The Wolf Man (1941) Review

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The Wolf Man is quite a peculiar production as for an older film it doesn’t throw the possibility of a monster into your face, it is entirely possible that Larry Talbot didn’t actually get turned into a werewolf and it may just be the trauma of him killing a wolf and the old folk tales that have driven him into madness and turned him into a serial killer who doesn’t know that he is a murderer.

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The Title role is played by Lon Chaney Jr who is the second son of Lon Chaney aka the man of a thousand faces, the Wolf Man is a very sympathetic monster and I would argue that he is the most sympathetic of the Universal Monsters even more so than the Frankenstein Monster because even though the Monster didn’t understand his actions and didn’t realise he was causing harm Larry Talbot had no control over his actions at all when he transformed into the Wolf Man and once he transformed back into a man he couldn’t even remember what he had done just a few hours before.

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The make up for the Wolf Man was once again created by Jack Pierce who did work in some of the previous movies we have taken a look at this month, during the production process it is a well known fact that Lon Chaney Jr and Jack Pierce didn’t get along at all, the photograph above is very famous as it looks like Chaney is about to punch Jack Pierce in the face and while many believe it to be genuine I personally believe that Chaney is just messing around and having a laugh.

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A few famous face made their way into the Wolf Man including big stars Claude Rains and Bela Legosi, other well known actors include the likes of Maria Ouspenskaya and Evelyn Ankers.

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The sets and prop design for the Wolf Man are absolutely beautiful, from Talbot castle to the design of the silver cane and the most amazing set design has got to go to the forest where the Wolf Man makes most of his kills, the designers added a mystifying fog for a more spooky effect but I like to think that the fog is to symbolize getting lost in the forest while trying to hide from the wolf in a similar manner to Red Riding Hood or broadway productions such as Into the Woods.

the_wolf_man_1941_poster_2_by_smalltownhero The Wolf Man is a really fun movie to watch, unlike the Invisible Man which used a lot of comedy to entertain its audience the Wolf Man is fun due to its fast pace, it has a good build up to the monster but unlike some films it doesn’t wait too long for its reveal, the movie is quite action packed for a horror and I am sure it would have scared the pants off people back in the day, a cool fact is that the Wolf Man created the legacy that were wolves can only be killed by silver and also that if they bite another person they too will transform into a were wolf.

With his hairy make up and terrifying growl the Wolf Man is a horror movie to watch every year.

The Wolf Man is generous with its Bonus Features it includes four documentaries, original trailers and a commentary track

you can purchase the Universal Classics Monsters Collection on Blu-ray here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Universal-Classic-Monsters-Essential-Collection/dp/B008H45YSO/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-1&keywords=universal+monster+collection

A DVD version can be bought here

https://www.amazon.co.uk/THE-CLASSIC-MONSTER-COLLECTION/dp/B001GQWT24/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1506697249&sr=8-2&keywords=universal+monster+collection

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com