Wednesday, 23 August 2017

Directorial Feature Spotlight: Chris Columbus

'Direction is Pedestrian and A Tad Too Sentimental, But Otherwise, Columbus's Work Has Been Solid & Satisfactory'

Chris Joseph Columbus (no, not that Chris Columbus) is a movie director, born in Spangler Pennsylvania & raised in Champion, Ohio who did Home Alone 1 & 2, Mrs Doubtfire, the first two Harry Potter films, as well as a movie version of the musical, RENT. A protege of Steven Spielberg, Columbus also directed the dramedy, Stepmom starring Julia Roberts & Susan Sarandon & made his directorial debut with The Adventures in Babysitting in 1987.

He's had two of the highest grossing action comedies of the 1990s in Home Alone and Mrs Doubtfire, which made a big star out of Macularly Culkin, well for a brief while, and an even bigger star out of Robin Williams, as his movie career in the 1990s surged upwards and continued to flourish. Columbus also produced the Arnold Schwarzenneger Christmas comedy caper, Jingle All The Way

Columbus's last couple of films, Percy Jackson & The Olympians, I Love You Beth Cooper and Rent all underperformed at the box office and received less than satisfactory reviews. Whereas his last effort to date, Pixels grossed nearly $245 million worldwide, but it was met with negative reviews from critics and movie reviewers alike & whilst they were not as big and were relatively low key movies, even Bicentennial Man (which I loathed) & Stepmom (which I enjoyed), mainstream Hollywood produced efforts, didn't do as well as one would have hoped.

If you grew up in the 1980s and 1990s, then you'd have come across Gremlins, which was a smash hit in the 1980s and The Goonies, which has now become a cult hit, followed by The Adventures of Babysitting starring a young Elisabeth Shue.

When I think of the name Chris Columbus, besides being the famous explorer, is with this Chris Columbus, he has carved a name for himself with his comedies and comedy dramas that incorporate sentimentally and melodrama. He typically creates films that young people and families can enjoy and appreciate and whilst his direction can be accused of playing things too safe for audiences and that it is not very excitable, his protagonist characters are likeable, sympathetic and appealing enough for me to enjoy the film. Thanks to performers such as Robin Williams, Julia Roberts, Macaulay Culkin and Daniel Radcliffe. Now, it would be an entirely different matter altogether if all of his movies are generally terrible or bad, or annoying, but I wouldn't use any of those words to describe his movies because there is not a single film of his I hated. Okay, scratch that, but for Bicentennial Man: I didn't like that movie, whatsoever, it looked silly, seeing Robin in that role was so corny and it is also my least personal favourite Robin Williams film. But other than that awful blip, his movie output has been easy and pleasant on the eyes for me. Nine Months, however, wasn't completely crap; I found some of it amusing, but the actual film and the writing just weren't that entertaining. That, and I wasn't fond of Hugh Grant and Julianne Moore's performances in this one. 

His direction is generally bland, not very creative or daring enough and needs more work and though he is past his best nowadays, like with many other directors who have had hits in the 1980s and 1990s, his best days were the '80s and '90s, some of the best decades for movies, well, in my eyes. Columbus hasn't directed more than one film that I didn't like. Like I mentioned, even with the somewhat pedestrian direction he takes, there are films of his I still enjoy because of the actors' performances especially that impress me & of which help elevate the movie that makes up for it. 

Overall, I find Chris Columbus's output to be rather decent and solid, although with Mrs Doubtfire and Home Alone, as much as I enjoyed those films, he should have toned down the tooth-rotting sentimentality in them. 

But other than that, Columbus has done far more, which I enjoyed that fully outweighs the bad that I disliked in his other films, which are so few.

Notable Favourites: Adventures In Babysitting (1987), Mrs Doubtfire (1993), Home Alone (1990), Stepmom (1998), Gremlins (1984), The Goonies (1985)

Grade I Would Award Towards Chris Columbus:  C+

Retro Review: Flesh + Blood (1985)

Flesh + Blood
Cast: Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tom Burlinson, Jack Thompson, Nancy Cartwright, Bruno Kirby
Genre: Dramatic Adventure
U.S Box Office Gross: $100,000

Plot: In a chaotic, morally bankrupt Europe of 1510, a cold-hearted warrior, Martin leads his motley crew of mercenaries into battle to reclaim the castle of an ousted nobleman. But when the despot betrays them, Martin & his band of ruffians strike back by kidnapping the innocent young maiden betrothed to the nobleman's sona fearless renaissance man who must risk life & limb to rescue the woman he loves 

'So Hateful & Mean-Spirited With A Boring Story To Boot'

Paul Verhoeven's first Hollywood outing is in the form of a medieval epic that truly affirms the Dutch director's trademark style that is dark, hardcore and which doesn't hold back from his violent and extreme -yet unashamedly provocations, which he seeks to reinforce. 

To note, I watched the full uncut version with all the hardcore violence and sex intact.  

Set in the 16th Century middle ages in a part of Europe, a group of mercenaries end up being betrayed by a tyrant and their captain, and so they ambush another captain and kidnap the bride-to-be named Agnes. It is a tale told by the likes of Disney and many others before and after it, yet it is done in a way that is quite unlike any other. Much more so for people who aren't fans of Medieval and chivalry films, that they will find this to be as much of a chore, as it is not very entertaining.  

Like with all of Paul Verhoeven's other movies, the tonality of Flesh + Blood is crass and mean-spirited, which is untypical of a director of his reputation. This is hardly a feel-good movie of any kind and it basically takes all the main aspects of medieval films in general, adds in sex, nudity, including full frontal nudity, violence, cursing and some other unsavoury & repugnant scenes and thus, it becomes a different movie in itself. It was just so hateful that I couldn't bring myself to enjoy this one fully. The medieval setting enables Verhoeven to unleash his extremities in sex and violence that later on appeared in his American offerings. At most, the action here is adequate, & Verhoeven has delivered better in Robocop & Total Recall in that respect. The acting performances by the likes of Rutger Hauer, Jennifer Jason Leigh and Bruno Kirby aren't that memorable, nor very convincing that is one-note-ish and there are hardly any memorable scenes from the film to speak of. Because they are fighting with swords, there is always going to be massive bloodshed, and here, it looks way nastier. 

And as ever with most of Verhoeven's efforts, I didn't emphasize with or felt enough for the characters: they were all despicable, mean & shallow. Flesh + Blood is two hours worth of people cutting each other, slicing and dicing, people getting bludgeoned to death, together with a tepid and bleak story. This is amorality at its most extreme in the medieval context. Full of lust, some overacting and debauchery and the script is not very well-written, with little emphasis on character development, but rather characters acting and behaving awkwardly and crudely, with no intentions of changing for the better. There is a guy trying to tear the clothes off Agnes, with her bare breasts exposed whilst the young boy steals her necklace. In another scene, right after suffering a nasty head wound after it was sliced with a sword, we see a nun lying in bed, whilst she was in the nude. I can understand the first part, but when she was naked, I was like 'what?'. It wasn't just nudity- it was nudity without a point, and a needless one also. 

Flesh + Blood was a difficult watch with characters behaving in such deplorable ways and come to the 20th-minute mark onwards, it started to alienate me and the story became more cumbersome to endure. The cinematography by Verhoeven's patrons Basil Poledouris and Jan De Bont, who later went on to achieve even greater commercial success with Die Hard, Speed & Basic Instinct, was impressive, however.  

The main hero, Stephen is a bore and lacks personality, the dialogue is laughable at times one would assume Flesh + Blood was a dark parody of medieval movies. Ok, not quite, but this is hardly a love letter to them by Verhoeven. 

Flesh + Blood could have been an overly decent movie, had the tensions of the characters relationships been delved a little more and the so-called little moments such as Jennifer Jason Leigh's and Tom Burlinson's characters sharing a tender moment are shot down to pieces, as Verhoeven rams down the throat of the viewer plot twists and scenes that become more violent, but are also uncomfortable and verge on being vulgar. The rape scene involving Jennifer Jason Leigh and Rutger Hauer's characters where the mercenaries tear off her clothes and she gets raped, was unpleasant that I had to shut my eyes when he forced himself onto her. Thankfully, it was brief. 

But aside from the vulgarity, mean-spiritedness, not so likeable characters and action, there is very little else to enjoy from this film with the droning, downbeat and stale story that didn't set Flesh + Blood alight. It is so repetitive that it recycles the same beats of heavy violence and sex, whilst the rest of the movie continuously plods along.

Final Verdict:

With no genuine protagonist to root for, this is one medieval film that is as ugly as it is coarse and unabashed. It does have one or two watchable scenes that aren't filled with violence and sex, though aside from that, Flesh + Blood is in one way a realistically off-putting & depressing version of a medieval tale, minus the romanticism. That, & it has virtually nothing on Robocop and Total Recall

The story is overlong and boring and not engaging enough, along with characters one can barely root for.  

Flesh + Blood will interest cult movie fanatics, as well as those of Paul Verhoeven, but those of you who do not fall into either camp can skip this one. It's a film that, thanks to the medieval fantasy setting it is (so) easy to admire through its visual style, & yet it is also so spiteful and one that is equally difficult to muster up love for. 


Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Retro Review: Tin Men (1987)

Tin Men
Cast: Danny DeVito, Richard Dreyfus, Barbara Hershey, Bruno Kirby, JT Walsh
Genre: Comedy
U.S Box Office Gross: over $25 million

Plot: A minor car accident drives two rival aluminium-siding salesmen to the ridiculous extremes of man versus man in 1963 Baltimore

'Far From Barry Levinson's Absolute Best, Yet Thanks To Devito's Turn, It's Worth Seeing'

Tin Men is a film that was listed whilst I was looking on Barry Levinson's filmography, but it was also one that I was very unfamiliar with. I remember the last time I tried to watch this movie that after the first 15 mins, I gave up completely and turned it off because I just couldn't get into it, whatsoever. And so, I decided to try for a second time just today to see how it would fare and whether this time around, I'd manage to stick this one out to the very end. Fortunately, I did so and in doing so, I see to it that Tin Men touches on certain things and that it shows itself up to be a showcase on how two people who hate each other's guts, share a lot more in common than we originally thought. 

The second outing from Barry Levinson's Baltimore films, following on from Diner and was later preceded by Avalon and Liberty Heights, Tin Men tends to be a darker effort, but at the same time, it comes up short in certain areas and at best, I found it to be okay to reasonably good and that the story should have been a lot more dynamic. 

A pair of door-to-door Alumnimum salesmen (which the title of the movie alludes to & is a slang term) from Baltimore, Earnest Tilly and BB Babowsky are involved in a minor car incident, which then blows up into a massive feud and they end up quarrelling against each other. Both Tilly and Babowsky blame one another for the fiasco and declare war - with Babowsky, stooping as low as stealing and seducing his rival's wife, who becomes increasingly unhappy with her marriage. Their actions incur the wrath of government officials; thus, leading to further investigation. Babowsky is a typical wheeler-dealer hustler type, whilst Earnest is tragi-loser who I felt sorry for and of who does his damn hardest to make things work, but whose efforts go unappreciated by his thankless wife. 

The feud is effective in advancing the film forward and as a plot device, it serves Tin Men rather well, but as it does so, it doesn't make the required and huge impact one expects it ought to do. I will say however that Tin Men is well-written and despite the comedy, which was deft and not being at the forefront as much, the performances by the main two, DeVito & Dreyfus, but more so by the former are what makes this movie worth sitting through. 

Richard Dreyfus's character was a meanie and a cad, whilst Danny DeVito's was more likeable and sympathetic and I couldn't stand Earnest's wife, who cheated on him with his rival. The subplot with Nora and BB falling for each other was totally unconvincing that it didn't work and I didn't feel any chemistry between Barbara Hershey and Richard Dreyfus. On the other hand, DeVito's performance was terrific and for me, he was the more compelling out of himself, Dreyfus and Hershey. Unfortunately, the script doesn't allow his character to grow and develop that well enough. That, and things do not get better for Earnest, which is a shame. Out of all the characters, DeVito's character was one that deserved a far happier ending than the rest. 

Whenever DeVito was onscreen, I became invested in the movie, and when he wasn't, I didn't find Tin Men as interesting and as watchable, and so I zoned out. Some of the banter was lighthearted and snappy, but it wasn't that funny and but for DeVito's character, everyone else was virtually charmless and they just seemed to be going through emotions. 

I liked how it ended, but Tin Men is far from entertaining and it could have been boosted with some more highly amusing one-liners, lines and occasional slapstick, which this film needed.  

Also look out for a cameo appearance by the British pop group, Fine Young Cannibals who perform, 'Good Thing' in a bar scene. 

Final Verdict:

Tin Men was and is a reasonable film and though it is not a high point in terms of commercial and critical success for Levinson, it does have something to say. But it also needed to be funnier in places and more dynamic also. 

Fortunately, in DeVito's Earnest and his performance as that character, in addition to the impressive 1960s set designs, it just about makes Tin Men watchable enough for me.


Monday, 21 August 2017

Directorial Feature Spotlight: Barry Levinson

'A Character-Driven Based Director Who Focuses On Telling The Story That Needs To Be Told'

Barry Levinson is an American film director & writer born in Baltimore, Maryland. His best-known movies are dramas and comedy-dramas that include Diner (1982), Good Morning Vietnam (1987) & Rain Man (1988). Diner was one of four films set in Levinson's birthplace of Baltimore: the other three are Tin Men with Richard Dreyfus and Danny DeVito, Avalon & Liberty Heights. He also served as an uncredited writer for the cross-dressing comedy, Tootsie, starring Dustin Hoffman, of whom he has worked with on four separate occasions as a director. 

This is the man who went on to secure the Oscar as Best Director for Rain Man, although he should have also won for Good Morning, Vietnam as well, but Levinson is also the same man who studied Improvisational classes for comedy. & with Robin Williams, who was known for his improvisational skills, I'm sure he came in handy when working with Robin on that film. 

Known for his versatility in branching out towards different genres and not sticking to one subject matter or style, what I really appreciate about Barry Levinson's approach is how he tries to find a way to make each film work and to tell the story that needs to be told to the audience, without straying so far. It is also very observational, in terms of that his films tell stories and that the movies manage to observe what the characters are doing and saying and the significance of them. I may add also that there is a human interest aspect in most of his characters. He doesn't throw in scenes because they look good to the eye, but because they have something to tell as well. 

1992's Toys was and still is to this day a financial and critical disaster and is still the low point of his career. But at the same time, as surreal and strange as it is, with a bit more work and adding in humour, it would have turned out well. That film and Sphere are movies people don't tend to associate Barry Levinson with and though sometimes, it doesn't always work, there are some elements that stand out for me in those efforts. 

I do realise that there are people who find Levinson's directorial style to be lacking, maybe because it's not that exciting or action-packed as it should be. In the 1980s and 1990s, Barry Levinson was one of the world's most prolific and acclaimed directors and he worked with the likes of established actors such as Robin Williams, Dustin Hoffman and Robert De Niro.

There isn't one film I would say I truly disliked or enjoyed least of all by Levinson that I have seen: Good Morning, Vietnam, Rain Man, Disclosure, Tin Men, even Sphere wasn't too bad. Good Morning, Vietnam has to be my ultimate favourite: not just an incredible performance by Robin Williams, but the direction, cinematography and execution by Levinson were practically flawless. I like Levinson's style and approach and they lend themselves well to the movies that he directs.

A director who has shown his capability in combining and choosing well-written stories and scripts and intelligent imagery for his films that are character-driven, Barry Levinson has produced very few bombs and I would count him as one of my personal favourite movie directors. 

Notable Favourites: Good Morning, Vietnam (1987), Disclosure (1994) & Rain Man (1988)

Grade I Would Award Towards Barry Levinson:  A

Sunday, 20 August 2017

Directorial Feature Spotlight: Paul Verhoeven

'Misogynistic & Terrible Depictions of Female & Hero Characters Hinder My Enjoyment Of His Movies'

Paul Verhoeven is a Dutch filmmaker originally hailing from Amsterdam, who is best known for the 1987 action sci-fi based cyberpunk offering, Robocop amongst other notable American films that became worldwide successes.

In the 1980s and 1990s, Paul Verhoeven shocked Hollywood traditionalists and directed a string of R-rated Hollywood mega-hits that really pushed the boundaries of sex and violence in more ways than one and in deeply provocative ways that lured audiences to their seats, as well as enraged and upset censors and moralists with his ideas. His first English language film was Flesh & Blood made in Paul's native country and was released in 1985, starring Rutger Hauer and Jennifer Jason Leigh.

All the American actresses Verhoeven had turned to to play the lead role of Elle in the 2016 self-titled movie, turned him down and in the end, he settled for a French actress, Isabelle Huppert. Similarly, a number of high-profile actresses turned down the chance to play and had refused to play the role of Catherine in Basic Instinct including Kathleen Turner, Michelle Pfeiffer, Meg Ryan (who coincidentally went on to star in erotic thriller In The Cut), Julia Roberts, Kim Basinger and Demi Moore. With the role eventually snapped up by Sharon Stone, who had previously worked with Verhoeven on Total Recall.

He has a (deeply) disturbing interest/fetish towards rape from both the perspectives of the rapist and the victim: in Spetters, an early Dutch film, a young gay man is gang- raped by a group of bikers, in Flesh & Blood, Martin played by Rutger Hauer rapes Agnes (Jennifer Jason Lee), in Showgirls Nomi's best friend is brutally raped by a pop star, Basic Instinct's Michael Douglas's cop character attempts to rape his estranged wife and in Hollow Man, an invisible serial killer scientist in Sebastian enters a woman's house and rapes her as she lies on her bed. & in Elle, a French-language rape revenge thriller, the main character is raped by her attacker and goes on to stalk her attacker. The latter of which earned him several awards and is the most critically acclaimed movie of his career.

Verhoeven has made a career out of stirring and courting controversy by going beyond the boundaries and merging wit with excesses in sex and violence. His movies, particularly his sci-fi based outings, are typically violent, satirical and contain and conjure up highly provocative and sexual imagery, which each film having a heavily stylised aesthetic look and feel to them. Robocop, Basic Instinct, Total Recall, Starship Troopers, Showgirls are all satires that indulge in his morbid and warped take on socially immoral human behaviour. Verhoeven's portrayals and framing of the female characters, but for in Robocop and Total Recall, lean more towards being misogynistic. The guy loves women: he likes them strong but also in ways that their bodies attract the allure of their male aggressors and that they are used and get taken advantage of. Which is what worries and disturbs me about Verhoeven.

Sharon Stone once alleged the infamous leg crossing scene in Basic Instinct where her vagina was exposed during filming, was filmed without her knowledge. That once she saw the footage with a test audience that she became aware of this and Stone slapped Verhoeven in the face and left the screening. Verhoeven strongly denied this allegation. 

His fascination with sex and violence is given the hardcore treatment with nudity, gore, blood and guts aplenty, which is also glossy and somewhat well-crafted. I loved Robocop and think it is the best movie Paul Verhoeven has directed, followed by Total Recall, which was a brilliant follow-up. But after that, his follow-ups have been a mixed bag for me and not least because of the protagonist/good guy characters we or I am supposed to root for, are so dislikable, unsympathetic and lack redeemable qualities. Had many of his characters been as likeable enough for me, then it would make me enjoy Verhoeven's movies even more. I don't watch movies just for the plot, story, casting, special effects, action scenes etc, but for the characters themselves. & having hero characters that come across as humane and likeable is important in the viewing experience for me. It may not be a big deal for a lot of people, but it is to me.

But alas, minus points for the misogynistic female characters, for the male characters as being the aggressors and but for Robocop, Elle, Total Recall, his other movies that have dislikable protagonist characters that I can't root for, for various reasons.

I find his sci-fi movies more watchable; Basic Instinct was rather underwhelming for me, and but for the highly charged erotic sex scenes, it was absent of the tension needed to rile up the film. Showgirls is a guilty pleasure, Hollow Man was all right but Starship Troopers felt too much like a teen drama in the mode of Saved By The Bell with large blood-thirsty insects & not so interesting story. & again, all the hero-based characters in those movies lacked charm and I found them as equally detestable and not empathetic enough.

Visually, stylistically, aesthetically, Paul Verhoeven's movies look a treat and as much as his movies contain some sort of social message, this is often overlooked in some instances in favour of the nihilistic violence and sexual imagery they evoke. 

Therefore, as strong and heavy- laden as the sex and violence are by Paul Verhoeven, its lack of moralistic and honourable protagonist characters for me to root for, ruins what is otherwise an interesting showing by Verhoeven. He is a director that is not for everyone - which is fine, and though there are some things he does that I find intriguing, the rest is just for shock purposes. 

That, and that some of the rape scenes in his films are uncomfortable for me to sit through.

Notable Favourites: Robocop (1987) & Total Recall (1990)

Grade I Would Award Towards Paul Verhoeven:  C

Saturday, 19 August 2017

Directorial Feature Spotlight: Garry Marshall

'Enjoyed Happy Days and Mork & Mindy, Felt Indifferent Towards His Movie Work'

Born in New York City, New York on November 13, 1934 - July 19, 2016, Garry Marshall was primarily known for directing so-called 'chick flicks' and romcoms with most of them receiving scathing reviews from critics (probably because they are terrible) and because they are the types of films many movie fans, particularly male movie fans, loathe and despise. Yet these same movies, the vast majority of them, still went on to gross millions of dollars at the box office.

His directorial movie debut came in the form of 1984's The Flamengo Kid, with Matt Dillion in the lead role, which to this day is still his most critically acclaimed movie. 

He was single-handly instrumental towards catapulting both Robin Williams and Julia Roberts into super stardom - if not for their Oscar-winning turns in Good Will Hunting & Erin Brockovich; after Mork & Mindy, Williams went one, - or make that 6 times better with Good Morning Vietnam, Dead Poets Society, Hook, Mrs Doubtfire, Aladdin & Good Will Hunting & with Roberts saying she grew up watching Mork & Mindy, Happy Days, Laverne & Shirley: sitcom shows that Marshall was chiefly responsible for. Garry Marshall directed Julia Roberts in Pretty Woman, Runaway Bride & Valentine's Day. 

I have had no real objections towards Garry Marshall's TV output; they were varied, as with the sitcoms, the romance element was less of a focal point of the plots.

But there are fewer movies of Garry Marshall's that I truly love; in fact, there hasn't been one movie of his where I went: ''that was amazing''. There is one movie that I enjoyed, which was Overboard. But other than that, nothing. Since the success of Pretty Woman, which is still his biggest commercial hit and a film I think it is overrated, and one he has been coasting on for years, I have felt nothing but indifference towards his movie output. 

As much as I do blame the scriptwriters sometimes for the low-quality scripts that he accepts and gets greenlighted, Garry's directorial style itself is uninspired with an over-reliance on one sub-genre, the rom-com. His style lacks the wow and excitement factor that he ends up leaving it to the likes of Julia Roberts to bring it to life. It happened with his TV show Mork & Mindy, & one where he was the original creator of the show, particularly the last 2 seasons which weren't as great, and it was only by the virtue of Robin Williams who managed to keep some viewers glued to their sets with his zaniness. When he has a script, Garry Marshall just doesn't do much to it to make me want to care for the characters and love the movie, but to constantly rely on lovey-dovey schtick & leave the rest up to his main stars. But even with this, it feels too predictable and one-dimensional. This has been a major issue I have with him, with regards to his romcoms, of whereby each and every one of them is practically the same as the last. His last ever effort, 2016's Mother's Day with Julia Roberts, Kate Hudson and Jennifer Aniston received a mauling and the most negative reviews from both professional movie critics and general online movie review bloggers, all-round of his career. 

In contrast, his sister Penny Marshall, who coincidentally starred as Laverne in the Happy Days spin-off, Laverne & Shirley, directed way superior and more quality movies: Big with Tom Hanks, A League of Their Own, the fabulous Awakenings starring Robin Williams and Robert De Niro, Jumpin' Jack Flash. & though she may not have an as extensive list of movies under her belt as her older sibling, at least she knows a quality script when she sees one. 

The bottom line and to wrap it up, I enjoyed Mork & Mindy and in some ways, through the Mork & Mindy will they/won't they romantic storyline, it was this setup that eventually paved the way for Garry Marshall's later offerings in Pretty Woman, Valentine's Day and other romcoms. 

But when it comes to his movies, they have been all, but for Overboard, forgettable (who practically knows duds in The Other Sister, Exit in Eden?), too predictable and aren't much to ponder & as a movie director, he hasn't made much of a positive impression on me, personally to say I adore his films. 

(although if I had been creating my own rom-com, I would still have him onboard, just because his name, for me, is synonymous with the genre, more than for any other reason alone). 

Notable Favourites: Overboard (1987)

Grade I Would Award Towards Garry Marshall:  F

Friday, 18 August 2017

Cast The Live- Action F-Zero Crew Movie

What is F-Zero?

F-Zero is a series of futuristic racing video games created by Nintendo's EAD division. The first game, F-Zero was released for the Super Nintendo back in 1991 and its success led to multiple sequels on various Nintendo consoles. The series is known for its high-speed racing sequences. In 2003, there was an Anime series by Ashi Productions titled F-Zero: GP Legend. 51 episodes of the show were produced in total.  It is a reboot of the F-Zero franchise that takes place in the year 2201, with police detective Rick (as known in the North American version) as one of the protagonists, who works with the Mobile Task Force. Its members include Jody Summer and Dr Stewart. Together, they help take down Zoda and the rest of Dark Million. 

The live-action film would be based on the F-Zero GP Legend Anime.

Waiching's casting choices:  

Mobile Task Force (the show's main protagonists and good guys)

Captain Falcon - main protagonist shrouded in mystery & works at a bar when he is not racing (Matthew Fox)


Jody Summer - strict leader who comes down hard on anyone who messes up the mission (Kate Beckinsale)

Rick Wheeler - protagonist of the English version (Grant Gustin)

Jack Levin - a ladies man from Australia who starts off as a rival for Rick but later becomes his friend (Liam Hemsworth)

Dr. Stewart - formerly a surgeon but became a racer after his father died (Dustin Hoffman)

Lucy Liberty - youngest member of the elite mobile task force  (Bella Thorne)

Dr Clash, aged 69 he's an engineer who wants to be a racer (Christopher Lloyd)

Mr EAD - a robot who is a fan of Kate Allen (Danny Devito)

John Tanaka - head cop of the mobile Task Force & fan of Kate Alen (Ryan Higa)

Kate Alen - a famous pop star. Zoda tried to get her to join Dark Million, only to be thwarted by Rick & Mr EAD (Jennifer Hudson)


Dark Million  (Arch Enemies of the Mobile Task Force and Antagonists)

Zoda - a criminal brought back to life and was the cause of Rick's accident, 50 years ago (Jim Carrey)


Black Shadow - main villain of the series and leader of Dark Million (Christian Bale)

Miss Killer - Black Shadow's right hand woman and who was formerly Rick's girlfriend (Christina Ricci)

Deathborn/Phoenix - member of Dark Million & sitting chairman of the F-Zero association (Adam Driver)



Baba - member of Dark Million (Wesley Snipes)

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