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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Sam and Max Hit the Road (1993) PC Review

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Sam and Max Hit the Road is the first release of the popular point and click adventure series which follow two anthropomorphic animal detectives as they try to solve various wacky crimes, the games are based on the original comic book series Sam and Max: Freelance Police which was created by Steve Purcell in 1987.

12333 The game is based on a 1989 comic book release where Sam and Max need to travel to various tourist locations spread across America in order to find a Bigfoot that has gone missing from a local carnival.

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The game play is similar to any-other game of the genre you will need to collect random objects throughout the game and then either give those objects to those who may desire them or they can be used to solve puzzles, the game does add the ability to question suspects in order to gain clues about where the player should head next or how the player can get past some of the more difficult challenges the game has to offer.

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For me although the game was a lot of fun like most point and click adventure games, the best part was the characters and dialogue, the game is filled to the brim with dry humour which coincidentally is one of the only types of humour I genuinely find funny   and let me just say that I was laughing my ass off throughout the majority of this game, I know a lot of people really like max for his psychotic personality and genuinely random moments but I have to admit that it was actually Sams character that I enjoyed the most, I found that Sam provided the majority of that witty dry humour that I love and although Max did this occasionally as well I just found it was funnier coming from Sam,  I don’t think it really helped that for the most part Max was fairy useless in this game, some of the puzzles require you to use Max in order to solve them but honestly this hardly ever happened and for the rest of the game play you take control of Sam which is a shame because I feel that Max would have been useful for a lot more puzzles that he actually was.

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The Dialogue actually uses voice acting which really surprised me and the best part of this is that it was actually quite impressive, of course Sam and Max sound great Max has a more energetic voice which really suits his character and Sam has a more calm and serious voice which really works for him, everyone you speak too also has a unique voice and not one single character sounds the same as another.

Apart from pausing and a few other commands the game completely uses the mouse and I had no issues at all with the general game-play however I did not like the few keyboard keys that were chosen for smaller things, for some reason you need to press F5 to go to the save menu and if I didn’t look up the manual I never would have figured this out, another key that I hated was pressing full stop to skip dialogue, its a really random choice when the developers could have easily chosen a much easier key that wasn’t in use, this wouldn’t be such an issue but when you keep having to speak to characters over and over again it can really get annoying having to keep listening to them repeat the same sentences.

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The art style and visual choices in the game are absolutely outstanding, the colours are bright, the art is smooth and the many smaller details such as the use of shadows, creases in clothes and the density of different materials such as fur really help bring the game to life, not the mention the constant animations that run in the background of the game, the game has a few still image cut-scenes with some basic animation and if you weren’t actually playing the game you might think they were from a cartoon due to how much effort the game designers put into the visuals.

005fe384ddb3e3394a57771f36203588 Sam and Max Hit the Road is a very good game which I think most people would really appreciate if they put aside some time to play it, It’s not perfect but its an innocent title that provides a lot of laughs and will leave you with some fond memories, I cant say I enjoyed it as much as I do Sierra Games but Lucas Art did a great job with this before the series got taken over by Travellers Tales 7/10

I hope you enjoyed my review of Sam and Max Hit the Road for Microsoft Windows and MS DOS.

By the way you can get yourself a copy of this game for fairly cheap via GOG.com

If you respect my opinion, I will respect yours

By Padawan

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

You can find me on Miiverse by searching for draskafer

Spielberg Month: Always

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Always is a movie that I cant believe I had never heard of until recently, it was released in 1989 and is a remake of a much older black and white film called “A Guy Named Joe” which was directed by famed movie maker Victor Flemming, I cant compare the two movies as I haven’t yet seen the original so please keep that in mind.

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The movie is a romantic war drama which follows the brief life of an aerial firefighter called Pete Sandich “Richard Dreyfuss”, Pete is in a very comfortable relationship with his girlfriend Dorinda “Holly Hunter” but unfortunately he is killed in action when his plane catches on fire and explodes which leaves his now ex girlfriend Holly heartbroken.

Audrey Hepburn, Always (1989, Steven Spielberg) starring Holly Hunter, Richard Dreyfuss and John GoodmanAudrey Hepburn is in this movie, she plays an angel called Hap who guides Pete’s spirit while he try’s to set up Holly with a new love interest so that she can move on with her life and be happy, unfortunately this was the last movie Audrey Hepburn ever starred in before her death in 1993.

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There really isn’t much to say about this movie, It’s very cheesy and corny but it has a fantastic cast who all do a great job so its hard for me too dislike the film, Richard Dreyfuss as usual was outstanding in his performance and Holly Hunter also did an awesome job of portraying her character, the only cast member I wasn’t a fan of was John Goodman, I don’t think hes a bad actor but his acting style works so much better in comedies and action films that I felt that he didn’t really suit this type of movie.

Unfortunately there was no John Williams composing the music this time, however the soundtrack is still very good and it fits the film perfectly, there is nothing epic in there you wont be finding something as iconic as the Jaws theme but its still very well done either way.

I really liked this movie, it was a lot better than I thought it would be and I now really want to see the original, however I do have one massive complaint, as you may recall the lack of directors commentaries have really let me down this month but this Blu-ray has to take the crown as the biggest waste of money since it has no special features apart from the original trailer, I just want to pre warn people who are buying blurays for more than just an enhanced version of the film because if that is the case I would skip out on this one.

And so we end Spielberg Month, Steven Spielberg is one of the most influential film makers in Hollywood and all four of the movies this month have proven that, I have really enjoyed this experience it was fun looking at some of my old favourites as well as some new ones and I cant wait to eventually do something similar to this again, perhaps with a different director.

Want to buy this weeks movie? click the link below to get in from Amazon, I recommend subscribing to Amazon Prime to get fast next day delivery as well a lot of other benefits.

https://www.amazon.co.uk/Always-Blu-ray-Region-Richard-Dreyfuss/dp/B00TYFM25I/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1491601965&sr=8-1&keywords=always+bluray

You can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Remember the Night (1940) Review

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Its Christmas time and Lee Leander (Barbara Stanwyck) a Local Crook has just been caught shoplifting, she is being prosecuted by a Lawyer called John Sargent (Fred MacMurray),the trial is postponed as it is difficult to get a conviction during the Christmas season.

John feels bad for Lee having to spend Christmas behind bars so he pays her bail and ends up taking her to his mothers for Christmas instead.

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John and Lee spend a lot of time together during Christmas, they spend a lot of it with John’s loving family which was a real treat for Lee as her family are complete arse holes, the memories and time spent together over Christmas combined with the atmosphere of a loving family causes John and Lee to fall in love.

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This may seem really sweet but there is a massive problem, John is meant to be putting Lee in jail so how are they going to fix this issue in the court room?

The conclusion may surprise you

Remember the Night is a fantastic Christmas movie, its an emotional experience that will leave you wanting more when it finishes, the cast are great I particularly enjoyed the character of Lee Leander she is a really lovely girl but you can definitely sense how sly she is whenever she’s on screen, I was honestly really surprised by how good this film was, its charming, its emotional and its definitely gonna tug at your heart strings.

you do not want to skip this one this year.

Thanks for reading my Review of Remember the Night

The next Christmas movie I will review is

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you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com

Kings Quest 2: Romancing the Throne Review

After being a little disappointed with the original Kings Quest, I jumped straight into Kings Quest 2 hoping to find a more interesting and satisfying experience. I have beaten the game and here are my thoughts.

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Yet again you take control of Sir Graham who is now the king of Daventry, Graham is lonely and wants to find a fair maiden to become his Queen who will help him rule the kingdom.

after many failures of trying to find a bride to satisfy him Graham consults the magic mirror to help him find his one true love, The mirror shows him a mysterious tower located somewhere in the Kingdom of Kolyma which holds a beautiful girl waiting to be rescued, Graham now sets off to rescue his future bride.

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Again we are given a simple to follow plot, and again I really appreciate this as the game does not need an in depth story line to be interesting and a simple to follow plot is going to benefit younger players of the game. Of course if you want a more in depth look into the games story consult the manual because Sierra did expand on the plot within the manual.

Kings Quest 2 has much better controls than its predecessor, this time around you cant use the mouse at all within the game, but using just the keyboard works really well. I complained that the first game had clunky controls when you tried to move but luckily this time around not once did I have that issue. The controls were smooth and it was easy for me to walk around and communicate with the games environments without stress.

instead of three treasures this time you need to find three keys, that will unlock three doors allowing you to travel through a portal to where the Princess awaits.

You have to ride a seahorse to Atlantis to find King Triton who will give you a key

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One key you can only reach by flying high in the sky on a magic carpet

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And the final key is inside of Dracula’s castle

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Reaching these keys is not easy because as you might expect there are a lot of puzzles to solve within the game and your not just dealing with these three NPC’s.

You also need to steal from a gnome, rescue a woman’s pet bird from a witch, help heal red riding hoods sick grandmother and so much more.

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Sadly just like the original Kings Quest, Kings Quest two also lacks in the audio department with very few audio samples within the game.

Overall I am still to find a kings quest game that I will truly love, Kings Quest two was an enjoyable experience, It was more interesting than the original and in my opinion it had more enjoyable characters and puzzles.

Again it lacked in audio but on the bright side it was full of detail and it looks fantastic considering it was released in 1984. Also the game is full of really cool Easter eggs and secrets to look out for.

In my opinion Kings Quest 2 was slightly better than the first game but not by much.

I give kings Quest 2 a 6.9/10.

and with that I say, Bring on the Third game.

I hope you enjoyed this Review of Kings Quest 2

If you respect my opinion I will respect yours

By Padawan