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

 

 

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Beauty and the Beast 2017 Review

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Tale as old as time? We’ll see about that

NE33gHKN7fMA68_2_bSo Emma Watson takes the lead in this new adaptation of the much beloved animated classic and while I was afraid that she would do a miserable job playing such an important role, I will say that I was wrong and she was a perfect cast for the character, she gave a good performance which helped to represent Belle’s can do attitude and sense of adventure and for the most part you could tell she enjoyed playing the role, but the one and only issue I had was what everyone else has been saying, Emma Watson’s singing should have been dubbed, the poor girl couldn’t hold a tune to save the queen and this really took a lot of people out of the movies fantastic atmosphere.

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The rest of the live action cast were also fine, they all gave energetic performances which matched their characters, this was especially good during the musical segments, however I hate the design of the furniture in the castle, in the original film the designs were bright and colourful, even the voice actors in the older animated movie put more effort into their voice acting but here these characters just look so ugly and unerringly creepy, this design works well on the beast because he is supposed to frighten you and he is supposed to be hideous, I don’t know if this was a design choice to help the castle match the beasts disturbing character design but it is honestly just awful.

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Those are my only real complaints with the movie as the rest of it was absolutely fantastic, it has all of the songs you love plus a few new and very well written original songs, the story here is slightly different to the original, this takes more from the book while adding it’s own few additions to the story, the reasoning for the prince being transformed into a beast is explained more clearly in this movie, we get an explanation to what happened to Belle’s mother and to top it all off even the ending isn’t quite as abrupt as the 1991 animated classic, its got all the charm of the original with a couple of mishaps but it makes up for it with the new additions to the story and amazing character performances, I am not even ashamed to say that this may be the better film of the two but only slightly, if you haven’t seen Beauty and the Beast in the cinema yet book your tickets as soon as you can and you wont be disappointed.

What did you think of Beauty and the Beast?

Do you agree with my opinion of the film?

Thanks for reading

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Rayman Origins (2011) (PS3,360,Wii,Vita,3DS,PC) Review

2530004-the_wacky_world_of_rayman_origins_by_cuddlesnowy-d4oli36It had been 11 years since a proper Rayman game had been released and for the longest time fans of the series accepted that Rayman was essentially dead and we just had to accept that those bloody Rabbids had taken over, but in November of 2011 we were all surprised and shocked when a new Rayman title hit retail store shelves.

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Rayman and his friends are chilling out and having a nap at the Snoring Tree, however they are snoring so loudly that they disturb the living corpse of an old woman in the Underworld which in this game is called the Land of the Livid Dead, in retaliation the old woman sends an army of nasty creatures to Raymans world, these creatures capture all of the Electoons and trap Betilla the Nymph (Not a fairy yet) and her sisters, of course Rayman manages to escape and its up to him to rescue all of the Nymphs and the Electoons so he can get back to his nap.

6936403695_fbcac3330f_bI was very pleased when I found out that Rayman was going back to being a 2D platformer because we haven’t one of those on a home console since the original and that came out in 1995, however the gameplay does differ from the original game and in Rayman Origins case that is a good thing, first of all you do not need to collect all of the Electoons in the game to face the final boss however there is another collectible in the game called Ruby Teeth and if you manage to find all 10 you will gain access to the Land of the Livid Dead which contains a bunch of secret levels and a secret boss, the game has 10 main worlds and each contain a bunch of levels and half of the worlds contain a boss fight, the majority of the levels consist of fast paced platforming where your goal is get from point A to point B as fast as you can while hunting for Electoons along the way.

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Some stages bring back our Mosquito friend from previous installments and he helps carry Rayman through side-scrolling, shooting segments, there are a lot more of these here than there were in the original game but they are a little bit easier which I think was a nice touch because lets be honest in the original Rayman they were much too difficult.

672667-rayman-origins-windows-screenshot-chasing-the-treasure-chestIn order to collect those Ruby Teeth I mentioned earlier you will need to complete a treasure chase stage and I hope your good at platformers because these are really tough to beat, you will need to sprint,jump and swim your way through all of these levels, they are side-scrollers that scroll really fast and you will need really quick reactions in order to survive each one, they last around 2-3 minutes long and if you die you go back to the start of the level every time.

You can play the game as multiple characters but honestly I didn’t find that any of them appealed more to myself than Rayman and a lot of the unlockable characters are just re- skins, these characters are not just for one person though as the game can be played with up to four players which is really cool and is a first for a Rayman Campaign.

 

This game without a doubt has the best soundtrack to any Rayman game I have yet to play, the music is upbeat and fun so it always keeps you wanting to carry on playing, every track has its own personality and the composers have used different instruments in every track to help shape its uniqueness and general quality, I have linked the entire soundtrack above so please feel free to check it out and I promise you wont regret it.

ubisoft_rayman_origins_09Rayman has had a re-design and I know a lot of people really like it but personally I do prefer how he looked in the first game however the world around him I really enjoyed looking at, the artistic detail is outstanding and the team behind the visuals need a reward for how fantastic this game looks, it honestly feels like you playing though a cartoon and with the games sense of humor and smooth gameplay it only goes to show how great a proper Rayman animated series could be, and yes I am aware that there was one in the past but like many people I don’t like to talk about it but maybe I will write a review of it at some point to show you just how insulting it actually was.

Rayman Origins is a great game which is to be expected with all of the praise it received upon its release, I had a blast playing through this game and I think anyone else would as well even if this is your introduction to the series, its not quite as difficult as the first Rayman game but it is still very challenging and is a promising renewal of the Rayman series, the only thing stopping this getting full marks is that the unlockable characters were not very special considering that they are your reward for beating all of the challenges including time trials and collecting all of the Golden Toons.

9.7/10

and yes a Rayman 3 review will be coming at some point

I hope you enjoyed this review of Rayman Origins

 

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Rayman (1995) (Atari Jaguar, Sega Saturn, PS1, GBA, PC) Review

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The recent Rayman games Origins and Legends have gotten a lot of praise since they have been released and they are very popular among both old and new fans of the series, I recently ordered a copy of Rayman 2 and I’m still waiting on that to arrive and while I am waiting I figured it would be a good idea to revisit the original game and too see if it still holds up today.

 

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Rayman has a fairly simple plot, Mr Dark steals a ball of energy called the Great Protoon, due to the Great Protoon being taken away smaller balls of energy called the Electoons are scattered across the land and are stuffed into cages by Mr Dark’s minions, a local magician calls upon Rayman to find and rescue all of the Electoons and to defeat Mr Dark returning the Great Protoon back to its resting place.

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Rayman is an action/adventure platformer with a twist, your job is not too simply get to the end of each stage but too also find and rescue six Electoons in every level.

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This may seem like a farily easy task but I guarantee that this will be one of the most difficult games you have ever played, Rayman has no mercy not only are the majority of the cages hidden in ridiculous locations but most of them require you to find small sparks in order to make the cages appear and these sparks are very easy to miss due to their small size, for example one stage requires the player to jump off a cliff to a cloud below, they then need to crawl under a small spike covered roof and then fight a rock troll only to be brought to a dead end, the player will need to walk to the left wall and look up they will then see the spark which they must jump up to grab, they now need to back track to the top of the cliff where the cage will be waiting.

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Not only is getting the cages difficult but the general game play will also provide quite a challenge, the world that surrounds Rayman may seem innocent but almost everything is out to kill you, Mr Dark’s Minions are not too dangerous as most of the time they can be taken out with a couple of punches, the biggest threat is the environment I tended to be killed the most by pitfalls and spikes as this is a very difficult platformer which requires precise jumps and good reflexes in order for you too survive.

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But fear not as a fairy called Betilla will help Rayman through out his quest by occasionally giving him new powers.

  • Telescopic fist: This ability allows Rayman to attack his enemies by literally throwing his fist.
  • Hanging: This ability allows Rayman to hang off of ledges, this is very useful for helping rayman reach far platforms as well as avoiding enemy attacks
  • Grappling Fist: This ability allows Rayman to swing from these floating pink and red rings, some sections of the game require this ability to complete
  • Helicopter: This ability allows Rayman to hover temporarily
  • Running: This ability allows Rayman to sprint

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Rayman does have its fair share of Boss fights, all of these battles are very creative and each is unique in how it attacks and how it can be defeated, my favorite battle is against the Mosquito in world 1.

With a game as difficult as this tight and responsive controls are extremely important, luckily Rayman’s controls are perfect, the game runs smoothly with responsive controls so if you die it will always be your fault no matter how difficult the game gets.

Graphically the game looks outstanding, the game goes for a cartoon style look and it really pays off, it suits the silly atmosphere of the game perfectly some of the finer details really help the game feel more realistic than it needs too which is a nice touch, while playing you will notice plants blowing in the wind and when Rayman steps on a light platform you can see the effect that his weight has on those platforms, these days such small details may not seem too special but for a game that came out over 20 years ago this is very impressive.

Even more impressive is the games soundtrack, this is in my opinion the best part of the game and its definitely what I look forward too the most when I play, you can sense the amount of love that went into every track in the game, almost every world uses a different music style to help fit the atmosphere from the charming and happy music of the first world all the way to the rock and roll soundtrack that accompanies the final boss all of it is amazing.

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The original Rayman is one of the greatest games ever made, sure its hard and it can be a real pain in the butt especially when it comes to collecting all of the cages, but with all that aside you still have a fantastic platformer and if collecting the cages is putting you off playing the game then I recommend you use the cheat to unlock em all because honestly that’s what I usually do as I hate collecting the cages and some of them are just too hard to find which is the games only real flaw.

Different Versions of the game obviously do have some big differences due to console restrictions but if you want to play the game in all its glory I recommend either you pick it up on PS1, PSN or PC, some of the handheld versions of the game are very restrictive but the best version in opinion is the GBA port (Rayman Advance), its lacking in the awesome soundtrack, and a few levels are completely missing but apart from that everything is essentially the same and I recommend picking it up as its quite cheap.

Rayman still holds up today and is still mostly a fantastic game the only problem is how cryptic getting some of the cages can be, other than that this is a game I highly recommend

8.6/10

I hope you enjoyed this review of Rayman

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

 

 

Time Lord (NES) Review

Today I review a game called time lord , now from looking at the cover you may think that the game looks awesome and you instantly want to buy it but beware hide your wallets and stay far away because behind that awesome cover art is a real video game demon.

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Story

Time lord released in 1991 by Milton Bradley is based in the year 2999 it is January 1st and the earth is under attack by aliens, the aliens have sent armies to four historical locations with a plan to destroy the earth on January 1st 3000, the goverment send a time lord to travel to the four historical locations and wipe out the aliens before the planet is destroyed and to save mankind.

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Gameplay

You take control of the time lord in this side scrolling action platformer and you need travel to all four historical locations (Medieval England 1250 AD, Western USA 1860 AD, Caribbean 1650 AD and France 1943 AD) before heading to the final stage to fight the Alien leader. Time lord suffers from a lot of issues within its game play you see before the player can fight a levels end boss they need to find and collect 5 orbs which they can use to power the time machiene to get to each location, the problem is that the game is so glitchy that sometimes these orbs don’t turn up so the only option is to die or hit reset, another issue is that the game is pretty much impossible due to it being time based, that’s right that one year or the planet is destroyed actually has the player racing against the clock the problem is that a day passes every four seconds meaning that the player only 24 minutes and 34 seconds to finish game otherwise its gameover. I don’t know if this was some sort of sick joke by the developers but you can not expect children to have that sort of patience plus the game is really difficult to play with its dodgy controls and the enemies having an unfair amount of health compared to the player so these issues really don’t help.

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Graphics

The enviroments and colours used in a lot of the locations in time lord are quite pleasent to look at I only wish that the screens wouldnt repeat most of the time and because of this I feel the game lacks in creativity, for example in the medieval stage you are on top of a castle but all you can see in the background is mountains couldnt the developers have had dragons flying around, castles within the mountain, wizards etc. Its the same with the western stage all you seem to do is pass saloons and other buildings you have seen 10 times already. I would comment on the other areas but to be honest my copy never seems to give me the final orb in this stage so ive never passed stage 2. The characters in time lord for some reason all seem to be one colour the most common being the colour red, you could argue that there may be some radiation in the future or say that the time lord altered history and caused all the characters to look like they are from the old nicktoons show Doug but I blame laziness?

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Music

Time lord may be a pretty awful game but if there is one thing it does right its the music, the music in time lord is awesome. The tracks are really enjoyable and they suit the evironments perfectly which is a real shame because if the game was this good in all departments I can asure you it would have become an instant classic.

Final Verdict

Time lord was desperatly trying to be Doctor Who, it had a similar concept but it failed in almost all departments. Like I said the music is fantastic but that does not make up for the rest of the game, time lord is one big false advertisement, what you see on the cover art you dont get and the game is a cruel and broken mess and so I now have no choice but to give time lord the lowest score we here at Raggle Fraggle have ever given a game , I give time lord for the NES a 2/10 definatly a game to avoid.

This review was written by Dan (Padawan)