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

Over the Garden Wall Review

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Over the Garden Wall is an animated miniseries created by Patrick McHale for Cartoon Network, Patrick McHale has worked for Cartoon Network before, you may recognise some of the shows Patrick has created including Adventure Time and The Marvellous Misadventures of Flap Jack.

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The first thing that needs to be known about Over the Garden Wall is that it really is a mini series, it only consists of 10 episodes which are all approximately 12 minutes long, the shows follows the journey of two brothers Wirt and Greg who are lost in a forest and are trying to find their way home, of course from a creator of such imaginative shows the forest in Over the Garden Wall is far from ordinary, without giving away too much the two brothers meet a large array of characters including a crazy woodsman who constantly warns the boys of a creature called the Beast, a primary school of anthropomorphic animals and a woman who has been turned into a bluebird.

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The art direction the designers took here is simplistic but I find that it’s the smaller touches that really make it stand out, from the above image you will notice that darker shades of colour and a heavy use of shadows really help make the imagery unique, I cant help but feel that the decision to use a lot of darker art choices was to help support the rather dark premise of the show, now that is not too say that their isn’t the occasional uplifting and happier moments in the show and when these few moments do happen the art style is more brighter with much less shadows and shading, I cant help but feel that the art style of Over the Garden Wall will become a prime example in the future of just how smaller details can help bring out such vibrant detail in many forms of art.

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The voice cast is phenomenal, the majority of characters in the show are voiced by very famous actors including but not limited too Elijah Wood, John Cleese, Christopher Lloyd, Samuel Ramey and Tim Currey, as you can imagine all of these actors do an outstanding job with their roles and Elijah Wood actually voices Wirt one of the main characters, the rest of the voice cast may not be as well known but that doesn’t mean that they are short on talent, to be honest my favourite character in the show was Greg who was in fact voiced by a young boy called Collin Dean, in the past Collin has done voice work for Hotel Transylvania and he even played a small role in the 2015 Christmas movie Krampus.

Over the Garden Wall was a show that I held off from watching for a long time and now I really regret that decision, this is one of the greatest animated series I have ever had the pleasure of watching and I do hope that a second season is being considered, I understand that the majority of voice actors here are very busy but I wouldn’t mind watching a second series with completely new characters and even a brand new cast, if you haven’t see the show yet then stop reading this review and go watch it right now and I guarantee you wont regret it.

Thank you for reading this review of Over the Garden Wall

The June Zbox review is coming, due to an issue at Zavvi’s warehouse one of the items didn’t arrive until recently and therefore the boxes have been delayed to early July, once the box does arrive I will get the review out as soon as possible.

 

Pete’s Dragon 2016 Review

petes_dragon_2016_posterOut of every Disney movie that could possibly be remade Pete’s Dragon was one that I never expected Disney to touch again, the original movie was a 1977 musical about a young boy and his pet dragon who are on the run from his abusive adoptive family, the movie is a lot of fun and the songs will be stuck in your head for years after you see it, unfortunately the movie didn’t make a lot of money at the box office and Pete’s Dragon was eventually kicked under the rug by Disney and it was never mentioned again until this year when it got remade.

petes-dragonFor the remake they didn’t take the musical route, they instead tried to make Pete’s Dragon into a Drama which is fine if its still entertaining but the problem is that it isn’t, the film is so boring that I honestly just wanted to walk out of the cinema, the CGI is amazing and Elliot the Dragon looks awesome but the tone of movie really makes the film too slow for you too really care that much about how good the CGI is, I believe that if the film wasn’t about a dragon then it would have been a half decent Drama about a family trying to adopt a little boy who they find in the woods but because its a Disney movie and it really tries to reach that younger audience it just ended up being a film that wanted to be taken seriously but ultimately ended up being trapped inside of a kids film.

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I have to admit that I really liked Elliot in this movie, he wasn’t quite as charming as the quirky cartoon dragon I’m used too but this new version of Elliot more closely resembled an actual animal which was really cool to see, I notice a lot of people complaining that they didn’t like the directors choice to make Elliot act like a big green dog at times but I personally found it gave him a more playful and cuddly personality, I just wanna give him a big old hug.

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The casting is great, I love the cast from the original film but I never really liked the actor who played Pete (Sean Marshall) and in the remake the actor who played Pete (Oakes Fegleywas surprisingly really good at acting,I felt his emotions throughout this movie and I hope that this role pays off for him and he gets to be in a lot more films in the future, the rest of the cast was also very good but honestly the 1977 version had Mickey Rooney and you just cant top that.

Am I saying that the movie is terrible? no but I would be surprised if you don’t end up falling asleep or giving up half way through.

What did you think of Pete’s Dragon?

Do you agree with my opinion of the film?

Thanks for reading

you can contact me at ragglefragglereviews@gmail.com