Showing posts with label Sean Austin. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Sean Austin. Show all posts

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

The Return of the King

The third and final chapter of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Return of the King broke records both financially and critically. It became only the second film to surpass $1 Billion at the box office and received a record equalling eleven Academy Awards having won in every category it was nominated for. It also became only the second sequel to win Best Picture and the first to win when its predecessor hadn’t. Much like The Fellowship of the Ring and The Two Towers, I loved the film upon its initial release and also like the first two; my affinity has waned in the subsequent years. Personally I don’t think it is much better than the other two films and have a feeling that its huge awards haul has more to do with the series as a whole than the individual film.

While Frodo, Sam and Gollum edge ever closer to Mordor, Gondor’s capital Minas Tirith comes under attack from an even larger Orc force than was present at the battle of Helms Deep. Gandalf sends word to Rohan and an old alliance is rekindled as the two nations of men stand side by side one final time. Even with help, Gondor looks set to fall unless Aragorn is able to muster fresh troops and Frodo is able to destroy the Ring.

Monday, 3 December 2012

The Two Towers

Following on from 2001’s The Fellowship of the Ring, the second instalment of Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy finds the Fellowship disbanded. The plot follows what remains of the party in three separate storylines which barely cross paths. Aragorn, Gimli and Legolas set about trying to find Merry and Pippen while killing as many Orcs as they can along the way. The aforementioned Hobbits meanwhile end up in a strange forest full of giant tree herders known as Ents and Frodo and his companion Sam head on towards Mordor, determined to destroy the One Ring. It isn’t long though before they are joined by another companion, Gollum, the former owner of the ring, a creature torn apart by its power and hold over him.

Much like The Fellowship I loved The Two Towers when I first saw it but as my enjoyment of the first has diminished over time, the same can be said for its sequel, only more so. In terms of how much I enjoy the trilogy, this middle part is my least favourite, though not by much. This instalment also has themes which stretch beyond the reach of Middle Earth such as industrialisation and ecology. It also features a battle which lasts close to forty minutes and is considered by many to be one of the greatest ever committed to the big screen.

The Fellowship of the Ring

In December 2001 the film world was enthralled by the first part of New Zealand Director Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy. Not since Cecil B. DeMille’s Biblical epics of the 1950s had filmmaking been seen on such a scale as Jackson’s Fantasy adaptation. Going on to make close to $900 million worldwide and the recipient of four Oscars and five BAFTAS including Best Film, The Fellowship of the Ring helped to shape the way films began to be produced in the early part of cinema’s second century. Shot entirely in the Director’s home nation over several years the Lord of the Rings trilogy soon became one of the most successful and critically acclaimed film trilogies of all time and eleven years ago I thought it was one of the best things I’d ever seen.

Featuring a large ensemble cast the plot of the first film focuses on the grouping of nine individuals who team up to destroy a powerful ring that threatens to destroy peace in Middle Earth. Hobbits Frodo, Samwise, Merry and Pippen join Wizard Gandalf, Dwarf Gimli, Elf Legolas and men Aragorn and Boromir as they set out from the Elven city of Rivendell on a quest to Mordor to ‘cast the ring into the fiery chasm from whence it came.’ Along the way their progress is halted by suspicion, in fighting, and Orcs, a vicious Elf like creature, bred for war.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

The Goonies

The Goonies is a reminder of a time when little boys didn’t sit around at home playing video games or trying to spot Beyonce’s nipples on MTV but went out into the world and had adventures. This is one of the last of those adventures.

A group of friends who call themselves The Goonies are threatened by the expansion of a Country Club. The club are threatening to tear down their houses meaning the friends will all have to move away. One of the boys, Mikey (Sean Austin) finds a map in amongst his father’s antiques which he believes leads to hidden pirate treasure. Along with his older brother (Josh Brolin) and friends (Corey Feldman, Jonathan Ke Quan and Jeff Cohen) Mikey sets out on an adventure to find the hidden gold.

This is exactly the kind of fun 80s movie that Super 8 was trying to replicate and having now seen The Goonies I realise how successful that film was at taking the best of the genre and mixing it with something more modern. The Goonies is full of great adventure and made me wish I was one of them, in a tunnel under the town trying to outwit baddies. It made me feel young again. The film felt more adventurous and fun that the likes of Pirates of the Caribbean and cost a fraction to produce. It is really good fun and features some very funny characters speaking very funny lines. The main characters are stereotypical 80s kids but the film gets away with feeling caricatured. It is maybe that they seem stereotypical to me watching in 2012 but that they are actually the characters upon witch my stereotypes were based.

The chase and constant attempts to outwit the bad guys was reminiscent of another great family action adventure of the time, Home Alone which was directed by The Goonies writer, Chris Columbus. As with Home Alone I felt young while watching and as much a part of the action as I do with any 3D film. And like any good family film, it isn’t afraid to scare the younger viewers slightly.

The film is not without faults. The dialogue feels quite cheesy and at times it did get a bit boring but to be fair, I am not a child or teenager. The acting was also a bit mixed. John Brolin was fine, as were the bad guys Anne Ramsey, Joe Pantoliano and Robert Davi. I thought that Goonies Sean Austin and Jeff Cohen were also good but the rest weren’t. For me, this film had plenty of nostalgia and made me think back to watching the likes of E.T and Indiana Jones with my family as a child. The clothes, bikes and dialogue also reminded me of being a young child (the film is one year older than I am). Overall, I really enjoyed the film and it is that rare film that the whole family can watch and enjoy.