Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1
   Director: David Yates, Rated M, 146 Mins

The first of a two part finale to the Harry Potter franchise has finally been released in time for this year’s holiday season and unless one is a fanatical HP fan this dark and
Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows - Part 1
sinister movie from David Yates (having earlier directed ‘HP and the Order of the Phoenix’ and the ‘Half-Blood Prince’) will disappoint some due in large part to its excessive length and the slow-paced storyline.
   In this penultimate sequel, Harry Potter (Daniel Radcliffe) and his friends Hermione Granger (Emma Watson) and Ron (Rupert Grint) go after the evil wizard Voldemort (played by the talented but unrecognisable Ralph Fiennes) once they’ve destroyed his power source and overcome the Deathly Hallows.
   Despite some good special effects and reasonable performances from the usual players, Yates has made his storyline not only confusing at times but heavy going.
   Regrettably this movie lacks the excitement of the previous Harry Potter movies and here’s hoping that Part 2 brings it all together in a fast-paced magical finale - when it’s released in a few months time.
VIC'S VERDICT:       2 Rubber Stamps


Tron: Legacy
   Release Date: 16 December
   Director: Joseph Kosinski, Rated M, 125 Mins

It is hard to believe that it has taken some 30 years for a sequel to be made of the highly
Tron: Legacy
successful original ‘Tron’ movie featuring a young Jeff Bridges playing Kevin Flynn who is abducted into a computer world and forced to participate in a series of gladiator style contests where his only chance of escape is with the help of a security program.
   Bridges reprises his Flynn character in Joseph Kosinski’s visually stunning 3D sequel as does Bruce Boxleitner who returns as Alan Bradley but this time around Flynn’s tech-savvy son, Sam (Garrett Hedlund) is involved as he investigates his father's mysterious disappearance and finds himself being pulled into the same world of gladiatorial games and fierce programs which his father encountered more than 20 years ago.
   Ultimately this results in both father and son embarking on a hazardous journey that has become far more advanced and exceedingly dangerous.
   Even though the storyline is confusing at times Kosinski (in his directorial debut) has incorporated some breathtaking special effects besides maintaining the same atmospherics experienced in the original movie thus making this a worthy sequel.
VIC'S VERDICT:       3 ½ Rubber Stamps


Yogi Bear
   Release Date: 26 December
   Director: Eric Brevig, Rated PG

Yogi Bear
Following his success with ‘Journey to the Centre of the Earth’ director Eric Brevig has brought to the big screen the lovable animated animal character Yogi Bear together with sidekick Boo Boo in this fun filled comedy movie that the whole family will enjoy, not to mention getting re-acquainted with some of Yogi’s famous sayings.
    In this comedy adventure it is up to Yogi (voiced by well known comedian Dan Aykroyd) and Boo Boo (voiced by Justin Timberlake) to stop Mayor Brown (Andrew Daly) from closing down Jellystone Park because of poor attendances.
   By enlisting the help of Ranger Smith (Tom Cavanagh) both Yogi and Boo Boo go full out to save Jellystone from closing forever with Yogi proving once again that he is "smarter than the average bear".
   This is one holiday movie that is really amusing and worth seeing.
VIC'S VERDICT:       4 Rubber Stamps


Gulliversís Travels
   Release Date: 26 December
   Director: Rob Letterman, Rated PG

Another family oriented movie from ‘Monsters vs Aliens’ director Rob Letterman is the Jonathan Swift novel of the same name ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ that is set in modern times.
   The comedic star of ‘Kung Fu Panda’ Jack Black plays the lead role of Lemuel Gulliver, a budding travel writer who is given an assignment of reporting on his visit to the Bermuda Triangle after having his boat sunk by an unusual storm and himself washed onto the small island of Liliput.
   Gulliver soon learns that he is a giant amongst the inhabitants and after some funny moments goes about helping the little people until he leaves the island to be reunited with his love interest Darcy Silverman (Amanda Peet).
   Letterman has certainly gone to some lengths to ensure that he has incorporated most of Swift’s storyline but added a comedic slant through Black’s role as Gulliver and then making the character larger than life by filming it in 3D.
   A family friendly movie that most should enjoy especially if one is a Jack Black fan.
VIC'S VERDICT:       3 Rubber Stamps


Tangled
   Release Date: 6 January, 2011
   Directors: Nathan Greno and Byron Howard, Rated G, 100 Mins

Here is Disney’s latest animated movie for the entire family to enjoy, especially the
Tangled
younger ones, and it is a beauty.
   The story revolves around the long-haired Princess Rapunzel (voiced by Mandy Moore) who has spent her entire life in a tower until the day she encounters Flynn Rider (voiced by Zachery Levi), a thief seeking refuge in the tower after stealing the crown jewels.
   Having been afraid to venture into the outside world, Rapunzel strikes a deal with Flynn that he can keep his stolen possessions provided he agrees to show her around which is the beginning of their adventurous escapade together.
   Despite the inappropriate title, Disney has introduced another classic fairytale filled with adventure, humour and romance involving a beautiful princess and a thief, two different types of characters (like ‘Beauty and the Beast’) who later fall for each other.
   Besides the charming characters there is the added pleasure of seeing a wonderful storyline that is complemented by Disney’s brilliant animation and further enhanced when seen in 3D. This movie is a must over this holiday season.
VIC'S VERDICT:       4 ½ Rubber Stamps


The Green Hornet
   Release Date: 20 January, 2011
   Director: Michel Gondry, Rated M, 120 Mins

A new crime fighter has been resurrected from the comic books and TV series and made into a major motion picture by French director Michel Gondry (‘Be Kind Rewind’) with none other than ‘Funny People’ star Seth Rogan playing the double role of Britt Reid alias
The Green Hornet
The Green Hornet.
   In his fight for law and order, Britt is assisted by Kato (Jay Chou), a martial arts expert and a role that was brilliantly performed by the iconic Bruce Lee in the TV series of the ‘60’s.
   As was the case with the first ‘Batman’ movie, the audience is provided with an introduction to Britt Reid and Kato taking on the crime fighting mantle following the sudden death of his wealthy father and publishing king James Reid (‘The Ghost Writer’ star Tom Wilkinson).
   Britt is also helped in his endeavours by his beautiful assistant Lenore Case (Cameron Diaz from Knight and Day’).
   It is not too long before they confront the head of the criminal gangs Benjamin Chudnofsky (played by the talented ‘Inglorious Basterds’ star Christoph Waltz).
   Having had his movie filmed in 3D Gondry adds a great deal of entertaining action and humour that should please an older audience and guarantee a number of sequels.
VIC'S VERDICT:       4 Rubber Stamps


DVD REVIEW (Sony)
Twilight Saga- Eclipse
   Release Date: December, 2010
   Directors: David Slade, Summit Entertainment, Rated M, 124 Minutes

This newly released DVD is the much anticipated sequel to the ‘Twilight’ franchise and is a must for the multitude of fans and others who are fascinated by the relationship between Bella (Kristen Stewart) and Edward (Robert Pattinson) a vampire.
Twilight Saga- Eclipse DVD
   In this captivating supernatural thriller, Bella once again finds herself surrounded by danger as her home town of Seattle is ravaged by a string of mysterious killings and a malicious vampire continuing her quest for revenge.
   In the midst of it all she is forced to choose between her love for Edward and her friendship with Jacob (Taylor Lautner) a werewolf, knowing that her decision has the potential to ignite the struggle between the vampires and werewolves.
   With her graduation day quickly approaching, Bella is confronted with the most important decision of her life.
   The result is an opportunity to enjoy an exciting blend of action, drama, romance, special effects and suspense (due in large part to a more stylised direction) with the 2 disc special edition including some interesting commentaries and bonus features.
VIC'S VERDICT:       4 Rubber Stamps


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