Trailer Alert – When Marnie Was There

Plot – A young girl is sent to the country for health reasons, where she meets an unlikely friend in the form of Marnie, a young girl with flowing blonde hair. As the friendship unravels it is possible that Marnie has closer ties to the protagonist than we might expect.

Release Date:  Non set for UK

Summary: You see the name Studio Ghibili and you know you have to watch the film, the film looks beautiful and shows just how difficult growing up alone can be, it also looks like it adds a lot of mystery to what would be considered a forbidden friendship.


Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating – 90%

My Guess Rating – 90%

Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Righteous Kill (2008)

logoDirector: Jon Avnet

Writer: Russell Gewirtz (Screenplay)

Starring: Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Curtis Jackson, Carla Gugino, John Leguizamo, Donnie Wahlberg, Brian Dennehy


Plot: Two veteran New York City detectives work on a case of serial executions of criminals who escaped justice.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Heavyweight Casting, Average Story


Story: Righteous Kill starts by introducing us to Turk (De Niro) and Rooster (Pacino) two cops who have been partners for years before showing how Turk is confessing how he had killed people on the force. We also see how the pair worked together to frame a man who was guilty but got off the crime. We continue to see how the pair takes out the trash as they see it.

The next case the partnership take is to take down drug dealer Spider (Jackson) but when their normal methods get the case thrown out the couple find themselves seeing shrinks. Learning that another couple of Detectives Perez (Leguizamo) and Riley (Wahlberg) are investigating the cards left at the crime scenes, which are the guilty men that Turk and Rooster are leaving. Fearing there is a serial killer Turk and Rooster end up becoming the leads case investigating themselves.

As the shrink sessions are showing the differences between the two starts to show, with Rooster coming off calm and collected but Turk is tightening up. Riley and Perez start to suspect that Turk could be behind the killings mostly because of their disagreements between them. As the story continues we learn that not everything is as it seems but all the clues point to Turk.

Righteous Kill is a film that took a lot of criticism which I think is unfair. The problem with this film was that it was sold as Pacino and De Niro together which on paper sounds great but if things don’t go well people turn around and says the film is bad. The positive about this film is that the story is actually quite good, it puts you in the position of knowing who the villain should be and watches how things get investigated, but the twist comes (though it is easy to work out) and makes you have to re-watch certain scenes to figure out the truth. I do think if this didn’t have the big names in it, we would have had a much more popular film but as a story alone this is very interesting. (7/10)


Actor Review


Robert De Niro: Turk the man telling the story about how they killed people but his reasons is righteous. He starts to crack under the pressure starting to let everything get to him. Robert doesn’t give a star performance but still gives a solid one. (6/10)


Al Pacino: Rooster slick partner who always seem to be calm during ever situation, he keeps the hot headed Turk under control. Pacino gives a solid performance but not to the level you would expect to see from him. (6/10)


Support Cast: Righteous Kill has the supporting cast of the fellow detectives trying to solve the case that starts to suspect Turk. It also has the victims of the killer who are all criminal in their own right.


Director Review: Jon Avnet – Jon does give us an interesting investigation film with good mystery and thrills but struggles to get the most out of the a-list cast. (6/10)


Action: Righteous Kill doesn’t have as much action as you would like to see in a film with this subject matter with nothing really sticking with me. (2/10)

Crime: Righteous Kill enters into the real crime world of potential police corruption. (7/10)

Mystery: Righteous Kill does manage to keep the mystery of who will be next alive well throughout. (7/10)

Thriller: Righteous Kill tries to keep you guessing but the twist seems clear from early on. (6/10)

Settings: Righteous Kill doesn’t really make a point of any settings being key to the story. (5/10)

Suggestion: Righteous Kill is one to try, it doesn’t deserve to be hated as much as it does. (Try It)


Best Part: De Niro and Pacino

Worst Part: De Niro and Pacino not at their best.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $78.5 Million

Budget: $60 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

Tagline: There’s nothing wrong with a little shooting as long as the right people get shot


Overall: Righteous Kill has such a heavyweight cast you would expect perfection, look past the mediocre performance and you get a very interesting film.

Rating 66

Trailer Alert – The Visit

Plot – A single mother finds that things in her family’s life go very wrong after her two young children visit their grandparents.

Release Date:  11 September 2015

Director: M. Night Shyamalan (The Sixth Sense)

What Looks Good? The mystery side.

What Looks Bad? We will expect too much.

Summary: Over the years M. Night has given use the brilliant Sixth Sense, Unbreakable and Signs but he also gave us the terrible The Happening, The Last Airbender and After Earth. We know he is capable of giving us a brilliant horror but sometime he gets caught up in the idea of trying to shock the audience again. This looks like it will be filled with surprise and doesn’t give too much away, leaving me thinking this will be a good film, but I have been wrong before.


Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating – 80%

My Guess Rating – 70%

Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Devil’s Advocate (1997)

logoDirector: Taylor Hackford

Writer: Jonathan Lemkin, Tony Gilroy (Screenplay) Andrew Neiderman (Novel)

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Al Pacino, Charlize Theron, Jeffrey Jones, Judith Ivey, Connie Nielsen, Craig T Nelson, Tamara Tunie


Plot: An exceptionally adept Florida lawyer is offered a job to work in New York City for a high-end law firm with a high-end boss – the biggest opportunity of his career to date.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Damned if you, Damned if you don’t


Story: Devil’s Advocate starts with defence lawyer Kevin Lomax (Reeves) defending a paedophile who Lomax knows is guilty but he hasn’t lost a case before isn’t prepared to give up his undefeated streak. After doing the seemingly impossible Kevin proves himself to be one of the best trial lawyers in Florida.

This latest win grabs the attention of Milton, Chadwick & Waters attorneys in New York and along with his wife Mary Ann (Theron) head of firstly to just pick a jury for them. Kevin gets the case won in record time which leads him to meet John Milton (Pacino) who offers him a job in the firm. Kevin gets all the perks of a partner and gets put on his first case which is a simple health code case, which of course he wins with ease.

When one of the biggest clients on the books gets charged with triple homicide Alex Cullen (Nelson) get given Kevin to prove he is innocent even when the city has already decided he is guilty. Kevin is being a success Mary Ann is struggling to cope with the lifestyle in New York and her only to friends are all about the spending their husband’s money and starts to have the beginning of a breakdown.

The further Mary Ann falls into madness the more Kevin discovers that he is in fact working for a company that doesn’t do everything by the books and maybe after something else.

Devil’s Advocate manages to put the characters that could be conceded evil in defence lawyers be turned into the actual home of the devil. It is hinted heavily throughout and the lack of real involvement in what actually is happening in the case shows us the cases are not the most important side of the story. Showing the mental stat of Mary Ann works well because as she loses her mind and the parallels between Mary Ann and Kevin’s transformations become important to the final outcome. This is a very well told story that tries to keep you guessing throughout. (7/10)


Actor Review


Keanu Reeves: Kevin Lomax hot young lawyer who doesn’t seem to lose a case, he gets recruited by one of the top law firms in New York where he continues to shine in the courtroom. Keanu gives a good performance and shows he can have the intense scenes. (7/10)


Al Pacino: John Milton the senior partner of the firm who has taken an interest in Kevin, he shows him around and becomes part father mentor to Kevin, John decides to give Kevin the biggest case in the city. Al gives a good performance who makes the scenes look effortless. (7/10)


Charlize Theron: Mary Ann Lomax, Kevin’s wife who loves the idea of moving to the big city but she soon starts to become unhinged by being alone in the apartment and making no new friends. Charlize does a good job showing she was a rising star in the business. (7/10)


Support Cast: Devil’s Advocate has a supporting cast that includes fellow lawyers, clients and wives who mislead Mary Ann. They all help our characters end up with the decision they have to make.


Director Review: Taylor Hackford – Taylor does a good job directing by balancing between the two changes the married couple go through. (7/10)


Mystery: Devil’s Advocate does keep you guessing throughout to what is really going on. (8/10)

Thriller: Devil’s Advocate keeps you at the edge of your seat with how the case could go. (8/10)

Settings: Devil’s Advocate uses New York as the primary setting showing how easily looks can be deceiving. (9/10)

Suggestion: Devil’s Advocate is one to try, I don’t think it will be for everyone but it can be enjoyed. (Try It)


Best Part: Kevin’s ability to turn any case.

Worst Part: Slightly too long.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $152 Million

Budget: $57 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 24 Minutes

Tagline: Don’t trust the devil

Trivia: Originally the film was a more special-effects oriented, blockbuster-type movie and was turned down by Al Pacino five times. But when Taylor Hackford went through a few script re-writes he offered it to Pacino again. Pacino liked it, but didn’t think he could portray Milton properly, and suggested Sean Connery or Robert Redford instead.


Overall: Devil’s Advocate is one of the most interesting films because it shows how it is about how far you would go for success.

Rating 72

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

logoDirector: Joss Whedon

Writer: Joss Whedon (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Jack Kirby (Comic Book)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, James Spader, Samuel L Jackson, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgard, Andy Serkis


Plot: When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Fight, Regroup, Fight, Repeat


Story: Avengers: Age of Ultron starts by showing our Avengers Iron Man (Downey Jr), Thor (Hemsworth) Captain America (Evans) Hawkeye (Renner) Hulk (Ruffalo) and Black Widow (Johansson) trying to take down Hydra in Slovakia. We get to see how they are finally working as a unit, but when Hydra have hidden weapons with Quicksilver (Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlett Witch (Olsen) what looks like a simple missing takes a turn when Hawkeye gets injured, but more worrying Tony gets tricked by the Scarlett Witch as the mission looks like a success when the team collect Loki’s staff.

Tony wants to use Loki’s Staff to create a dream peacekeeping system named Ultron. When Ultron takes over Jarvis we see its intentions are hostile and it decides that the only way to find peace would be to destroy all of the Avengers. Ultron reunites with Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch as they plan to eliminate the Avengers, while on the other side of the battles we watch how the Avengers look for clues to where Ultron is and what went wrong with the programming.

Ultron continues its plan to take over the world and the Avengers have to regroup while going into hiding before figuring out the next plan of attack in the attempts to stop Ultron from destroying the world.

Avengers: Age of Ultron has to really be looked at as an over the top filler before the big fight. We needed a film to finally show how united the Avengers have become and the fact they actually create the villain shows that we just need to see how they can work together to overcome more personal demons. I feel I am going to be very critical about this film mainly because I would have liked something stronger. I personally keep going on about how I think we need to see the villain actually win or have the upper hand by the end of the film much like Star Wars Empire Strikes Back did. I did like how we got to learn more about Hawkeye and Black Widow and focused a lot more about what Hawkeye was fighting for giving the Avengers a human feeling instead of having all the superheroes taking centre stage. I also feel most of the team got good amount of screen time and we have been able to avoid character development because of the previous films. I don’t feel this is up to the story levels we would expect from an Avengers film but I do think it does what it needs to entertain. (7/10)


Actor Review


Robert Downey Jr: Tony Stark/Iron Man is back to his cocky self where he wants to use his superior intelligence to try and play God building a peacekeeping machine. This only ends up creating the next villain Ultron and Tony has to keep the team together while solving his latest problem. I did get confused how Tony was back working for the Avengers though because I believe he was meant to have given up on the superhero idea and we never learn why he goes back into it. Robert continues to show why he was perfect choice for Tony Stark but I do still wonder why we didn’t get more information about why Tony returned. (7/10)


Chris Hemsworth: Thor is the God who is back on Earth fighting with the Avengers, we see how he can still struggle with Earth cultures but he almost goes into background support character. Chris does a good job but I feel his character falls too much into the background of the Avengers. (6/10)


Mark Ruffalo: Bruce Banner/Hulk is as always conflicted with his dark side and we get an awkward romantic angle with Black Widow and lots of moping around about what he can’t control. Mark does a good job as we can see how conflicted he has become because of his alter ego. (7/10)


Chris Evans: Steve Rogers/Captain America is the leader of the Avengers now and always tries to do the right thing for every move, we see how he goes toe to toe with Tony but makes sure the safety of the innocent is his priority. Chris shows why he is the leader well throughout making sure he takes centre stage whenever the team needs him. (7/10)

 captain america

Scarlett Johansson: Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow is a character we do get to learn more about her with deeper look into the past, along with the romantic angle with Bruce Banner. Scarlett gives us a different look at her character giving Scarlett a chance to show her skills. (7/10)


Jeremy Renner: Clint Barton/Hawkeye has plenty of surprises up his sleeves in this one, he actually ends up being the most important character in the film because he is showing the human side to what they are battling for. Jeremy gets to take his character to the front of the team and easily is the star improvement character. (8/10)


James Spader: Ultron (Voice) is the creation of Tony’s where he uses the power from Loki’s Staff to discover a computer based intelligence that will take over while trying to find real peace in the world. James voice strikes fear with every word he says. (7/10)


Aaron Taylor-Johnson: Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver is the supersonic runner who is against the Avengers and along with his twin sister keeps interfering with the plans of the Avengers against Ultron before seeing the errors of their ways. Aaron does a good job joining the massive cast showing he can join in like a regular with ease. (7/10)


Elizabeth Olsen: Wanda Maximoff/Scarlett Witch is the woman who has the ability to control the minds of anyone and uses her powers to let the Avengers see their worst nightmares. She also has the ability to fire something from her hands which never seems to get explained as she teams up with Ultron before learning the errors of her way and joining with the Avengers. Elizabeth makes for a great addition to the cast if only I knew more about her characters powers. (7/10)


Support Cast: Avengers: Age of Ultron has a mega supporting cast that includes plenty of familiar faces from the franchise popping up when the team need them.


Director Review: Joss Whedon – Joss give what all the fans boys want, he checks all the boxes for a Blockbuster but he lacks that originality he is famous for. (7/10)


Action: Avengers: Age of Ultron has so many action sequences that manage to show each of the Avengers powers/abilities too, but they are also familiar. (9/10)

Superhero: Avengers: Age of Ultron is what every superhero fan will enjoy, build the love for the characters. (9/10)

Thriller: Avengers: Age of Ultron makes you want to watch until the end but I don’t feel the villain threat feels dangerous enough. (7/10)

Settings: Avengers: Age of Ultron uses basic settings that don’t seem to make too much to make any effect on the film until the final one with the town floating away. (6/10)
Special Effects
: Avengers: Age of Ultron uses great effects to make everything look realistic throughout. (8/10)

Suggestion: Avengers: Age of Ultron is one for the popcorn film fan to enjoy, but you know this you never go into an Avenger movie looking for something serious. (Popcorn Fans Watch)


Best Part: Banter.

Worst Part: Seen the fights before.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final one.

Funniest Scene: The Hammer lifting.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has a sequels planned with both individual and joint films

Post Credits Scene: Yes

Similar Too: Avengers Assemble


Oscar Chances: Could get a few for visual or special effects.

Budget: $250 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 21 Minutes

Tagline: A new age begins

Trivia: James Spader was Joss Whedon’s first and only choice for the role of Ultron, because of his “hypnotic voice that can be eerily calm and compelling while also being very human and humorous”.


Overall: Avengers Age of Ultron is a glorified filler film, giving us a chance to see our favourite characters get another win over an unthreatening villain.

Rating 70

Trailer Alert – Area 51

Plot – Terror strikes when reporters visit a secret base that houses extraterrestrials.

Release Date:  No date for UK

Director: Oren Peli (Paranormal Activity)

What Looks Good? Looks like it will break the rules on investigating Area 51.

What Looks Bad? Very high definition for found footage.

Summary: I believe found footage can work and we know the director can handle the genre well. This looks like it could do with Aliens what Exists did with Bigfoot.


Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating – 76%

My Guess Rating – 70%

Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – The Barrens (2012)

logoDirector: Darren Lynn Bousman

Writer: Darren Lynn Bousman (Screenplay)

Starring: Stephen Moyer, Mia Kirshner, Allie MacDonald, Peter DaCunha, David Keely, Erik Knudsen


Plot: The Vineyard family Richard (Moyer), Cynthia (Kirshner), Sadie (MacDonald) and Danny (DaCunha) go into the woods for a camping trip. The trip is to help Richard get over the loss of his father by scattering his ashes in the lake he spent his childhood. Richard’s ideal trip would be no technology and an increased bonding time, but things don’t go his way when the family arrival with everyone using technology just in the woods. Richard moves his family further into the woods but the deeper they get the more isolated the family becomes. With Richard starting to go into madness and it is left for us to decide whether he is going crazy or whether he is being followed by the Jersey Devil.


Verdict: Lovely Build Terrible Conclusion


Story: I am going to be harsh to this because I feel the whole film builds up really well to show one man’s decent into madness, but then it gets ruined with the conclusion. The positive side of this film is that it builds up like a poor man’s Shinning and that would have worked because the cause of the madness would have happened due to a relatively innocent incident. Using a real life urban legend the Jersey Devil gives the idea of creditability behind the horror and unexpected. In conclusion this film is watchable but the end ruins it all. (5/10)


Actor Review


Stephen Moyer: Richard the father of the family who believes he once saw the Jersey Devil as a child, he takes his family to the same woods to get some family time but he soon starts getting paranoid about what he has seen. Does a good job in the role showing that he can play a man who is losing his mind. (7/10)


Mia Kirshner: Cynthia the awkward step mother to Sadie who tries to win her over by being the good guy in the disagreements, she sees her husband start to lose his mind but struggles to do anything about it. Poor performance as she never looks convincing as the concerned parent. (4/10)


Allie MacDonald: Sadie the teenage daughter who hates the idea of camping and has no choice but to go. She plays the typical teenage daughter offering nothing new to a role we have seen too many times. (5/10)


Peter DaCunha: Danny the son of the family who enjoys the idea of camping but soon becomes what looks like the target of the evil. Simple performance that never does much. (5/10)


Director Review: Darren Lynn Bousman – Creates some good suspense but then ruins it all with the ending. (6/10)


Horror: Good build up for one horror never really giving the actual ending enough of a shock value. (7/10)

Settings: The setting works well to create the isolation needed for this type of horror. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Most of the effects happen off camera or is an aftermath of something happening. Which all work well but the final encounter is poor standard. (6/10)

Suggestion: This is one for the horror fans to try I think most will enjoy all but the end of this film. (Horror Fans Try)


Best Part: The decent into what looks like madness.

Worst Part: The ending.

Scariest Scene: Dream sequences.

Believability: Using a real legend it is all up to whether you believe it. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Could do.

Post Credits Scene: Yes


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

Tagline: The terrifying legend of the Jersey Devil is alive


Overall: Great Built Up Horror, Terrible Finishing Horror

Rating 50

Ride Along (2014)

posterDirector: Tim Story

Writer: Greg Coolidge, Jason Mantzoukas, Phil Hay, Matt Manfredi (Screenplay) Greg Coolidge (Story)

Starring: Ice Cube, Kevin Hart, John Leguizamo, Bruce McGill, Tika Sumpter, Bryan Callen, Laurence Fishburne, Dragos Bucur


Plot: Security guard Ben must prove himself to his girlfriend’s brother, top cop James. He rides along James on a 24-hour patrol of Atlanta.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Odd Couple Blah Comedy


Story: Ride Along starts by showing James Payton (Cube) on an undercover job trying to get information on Omar (Fishburne) but the job goes wrong he only busts one of his men. Next we meet Ben (Hart) a security guard who is dating Angela (Sumpter) sister of James. James’ case against Omar is falling apart because of his wild car chase. Ben finally gets a chance to join the Police academy giving him the chance to ask for the blessing to marry Angela. James offers to take Ben on a ride along so that Ben can prove himself.

James and Ben set off on their day together with tension already between them, with James disliking Ben and Ben wanting to prove himself. James takes the idea to turn the day into a training day to try and chase ben away from his sister, but sales it on putting a good word in at the academy. The odd couple comedy starts simple but soon ends up putting the two unlikely men’s life in danger as they try to uncover the truth about Omar.

Ride Along is one of those odd couple comedies that tries to go in a slightly different direction. We have seen new partners along with father and son ideas but goes with brother and potential brother in law. It plays to the simple comedy levels and the story tries not to turn into a spoof. It might use previously used ideas and made them comical but it does keep a serious side to the story. It lacks supporting characters so when it comes to the twist you can see it coming from the start. This story struggles to grab the full attention because certain comedy scenes go on too long. (6/10)


Actor Review


Ice Cube: James Payton tough cop who always breaks the rules and always wants to protect his sister from what he thinks is slacker who is not good enough for her. He takes Ben on a ride along to try and scare him off. Ice does a good job and you simply wouldn’t mess with him. (7/10)


Kevin Hart: Ben Barber security guard who wants to become a real cop and going on the ride along gives him a chance to experience the cop world along with trying to get to know James and get his permission to marry his sister. Kevin does a good job getting to show off his comic skills. (7/10)


Support Cast: Ride Along doesn’t have a big supporting cast with most becoming very generic characters for the genre.


Director Review: Tim Story – Tim does a solid job creating this odd couple comedy but it does lack a few original laughs. (6/10)


Action: Ride Along doesn’t use the action as much as it should with only a couple of scenes that are all very generic. (5/10)

Comedy: Ride Along has odd couple comedy that has a few laugh out loud moments but mostly falls into chuckles. (7/10)

Settings: Ride Along uses generic cop settings to help the story unfold. (6/10)

Suggestion: Ride Along is one to try, if you are big on comedies this could appeal to you but otherwise people might struggle to enjoy this one. (Try It)


Best Part: Gun range

Worst Part: Hart’s comedy gets old quick with every scene being the same.

Funniest Scene: Gun range


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has one planned

Post Credits Scene: Has one early on.


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $154 Million

Budget: $25 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: Propose to this cop’s sister? Rookie mistake.

Trivia: Originally the movie intended for Dwayne Johnson to play James and Ryan Reynolds to play Ben.


Overall: Standard Odd Couple Comedy

Rating 60

New Releases – 24th April 2015

Avengers: Age of Ultron avenrger When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.

My Guess for Rating – 75%
My Anticipation Rating – 85%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – Yes

Stonehearst Asylum stonehearst A recent medical school grad who takes a position at a mental institution soon finds himself taken with one of his colleagues — though he has no initial idea of a recent, horrifying staffing change.

My Guess for Rating – 75%
My Anticipation Rating – 80%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

The Good Lie good lie Sudanese refugees given the chance to resettle in America arrive in Kansas City, Missouri. where their encounter with an employment agency counselor forever changes all of their lives.

My Guess for Rating – 70%
My Anticipation Rating – 40%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

The Salt of the Earth salt of earth For the last 40 years, the photographer Sebastião Salgado has been travelling through the continents, in the footsteps of an ever-changing humanity. He has witnessed some of the major events of our recent history; international conflicts, starvation and exodus. He is now embarking on the discovery of pristine territories, of wild fauna and flora, and of grandiose landscapes as part of a huge photographic project which is a tribute to the planet’s beauty.

My Guess for Rating – 90%
My Anticipation Rating – 95%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Movie Reviews 101 Pick of the Week – The Salt of the Earth

Skin Trade (2015)

logoDirector: Ekachai Uekrongtham

Writer: Gabriel Dowrick, Steven Elder, John Hyams, Dolph Lundgren (Screenplay)

Starring: Ron Perlman, Tony Jaa, Dolph Lundgren, Celina Jade, Michael Jai White, Peter Weller, Conan Stevens, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa


Plot: After his family is killed by a Serbian gangster with international interests. NYC detective Nick goes to S.E. Asia and teams up with a Thai detective to get revenge and destroy the syndicate’s human trafficking network.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Brilliant Pure Action Film


Story: Skin Trade starts with a young girl running from Cambodia where she gets tricked into becoming another victim to the Skin Trade. Skip to New Jersey where we meet Detective Nick Cassidy (Lundgren) using his know how to track down a suspect. We also meet Tony (Jaa) in Tokyo trying to take down the latest Skin Trade. Both men get the information they need and show that they are on the good side of the law.

Viktor Dragovic (Perlman) is the Serbian mobster working in Russia with the Skin Trade being his primary money maker. Viktor is having his latest shipment delivered to New Jersey and all the law authorities are there waiting to finally take him down. The bust at the docks leads to plenty of bloodshed with Viktor’s son being one of the victims of Nick’s, but most importantly Viktor is put behind bars.

Viktor may well behind bars but his boys are out for revenge for the death of their brother and target Nick, killing his wife and his daughter, leaving him for dead. To make matters worse Viktor has fled the country.

Nick travels to Thailand where FBI agent Reed (White) teams up with Tony to try and stop his rampage from getting out of hand. Nick becomes a most wanted man when Reed frames him for the murder of Tony’s partner. It isn’t long before Tony and Nick learn they are after the same thing and only have each other to trust as they aim to take down Viktor as his crime syndicate.

Skin Trade is a film that I went into not expecting anything amazing but the cast make enjoyable action films so this had to be watch. What is got was a pleasant surprise with a great story that enters into the realm of reality (without the endless bullets part) where we have a real look into the horrors of the human trafficking business. I maybe well be slightly biased towards action films but I must say this one pulls you in early and simply never lets you go. We do get a few generic traits in both good and bad guys but hey, this film isn’t going to be about character building it is about fighting. I am willing to say this is the best storyline in an action film that I have seen this year. (9/10)


Actor Review


Ron Perlman: Viktor Dragovic is the Serbian mobster who runs a human trafficking ring around the world. When he gets captured and his son is killed he takes out the man responsible before going into hiding. Ron makes for a great villain with his blank stares when he comes face to face with Nick that show he really has no fear or regret for his characters action. (8/10)


Tony Jaa: Tony Vitayakul is the Tokyo agent trying to stop the human trafficking working with his connection in the US to stop it. Tony teams up with Nick to take down Viktor after losing his partner to one of Viktor’s men. Tony kicks serious butt here showing he is ready to take the US market by storm. (8/10)


Dolph Lundgren: Nick Cassidy is the good cop who finally gets to take down Viktor but due to a technicality ends up on his bad side when Viktor takes out his family leaving him for dead. Nick sets out on a one man crusade to kill anyone working with Viktor and anyone who gets in his way. Dolph does a great job apart from when he is running where he looks like he is showing his age. (7/10)


Michael Jai White: Reed is the FBI agent who gets involved in trying to take down the human trafficking ring offering help where it is needed, but he is really staying close to inform Viktor about investigations. Michael does a solid job in the supporting role where he gets to have a great fight with Tony Jaa. (6/10)


Support Cast: Skin Trade has a supporting cast that includes the victims of the Skin Trade as well as the people involved in dealing in it or preventing it.


Director Review: Ekachai Uekrongtham – He does a great job directing this all out action film that never seems to let you take a breath. (8/10)


Action: Skin Trade is filled with hand to hand combat, chases and firefights to keep the action rolling throughout. (9/10)

Thriller: Skin Trade starts off making you interested but by the end of the film I was at the edge of my seat waiting for what will happen next. (10/10)

Settings: Skin Trade takes the action all over the world showing just how widespread the human trafficking really is. (9/10)

Suggestion: Skin Trade is an absolute must watch for any action fan out there, dare I say action film of the year? (Action MUST Watch)


Best Part: Jaa & Lundgren together.

Worst Part: Lundgren running.

Action Scene Of The Film: Jaa versus White.


Believability: The idea behind what is going on is a very real problem but the action side it not. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: It could have a sequel.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Taken


Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $9 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline: All scars tell a story.

Trivia: Dolph Lundgren wrote the script before ‘Taken’ (2008) came out or was produced, after he had read a newspaper article on human trafficking.


Overall: When it comes to Action Skin Trade is packed with everything you want and then some, being the action surprise film of the year.

Rating 89