Starman (1984)

logoDirector: John Carpenter

Writer: Bruce A. Evans, Raynold Gideon (Screenplay)

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Karen Allen, Charles Martin Smith, Richard Jaeckel, Robert Phalen, Tony Edwards

 

Plot: Jenny (Allen) never did get over the death of her husband. So when an alien life form decides to model ‘himself’ on the husband, Jenny is understandably confused if not terrified. The alien known as Starman (Bridges), has a deadline to meet, and kidnaps Jenny in order to meet it, but on their journey together they become close and Starman gives Jenny a chance to say good bye to her husband which she was unable because of his accident. With the government chasing them down they have three days to make the journey across the country.

 

Verdict: Sci-Fi Different

 

Story: Following a very simple story for the modern audience this stories ability to shift between genres effortlessly is incredible. The struggling language and culture barriers for Starman work to great effect as he learns as the journey continues. The idea that the Americans would panic and think the worst when something visits Earth. But they always have one member of the team who would ask questions rather than be violent. We also have a more touching side where Jenny gets to spend time with her former husband and get to say the final good byes. Putting all these together this really makes a trans-genre movie way before its time. (9/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Jeff Bridges: Starman after finding the recording we sent into space, he crash lands on Earth and takes the form of dead painter Scott. He has three days to get across America and takes Jenny with him, first as a hostage but soon as his teacher. He processes powers we can only dream off including reincarnation. Jeff got an Oscar nomination for this and he was brilliant in the role. (10/10)

 jeff

Karen Allen: Jenny the grieving widow, who wakes up to find her dead husband back but different. She travels with the man but is always trying to escape during the first day until she sees his ability and wants desperately to help him find his way home. Good performance from Karen who does stand up next to Jeff very well. (9/10)

karen

Charles Martin Smith: Mark a member of the government trying to find the alien being, but believes the visitor has come in peace and not looking to cause any trouble. Good supporting performance showing that not all government people are evil against visitors. (7/10)

 mark

Richard Jaeckel: George the man who wants to shot first and ask questions later, he sums up how the America’s seem to think that way about visitors from another world. Good performance filling in as the villain of the piece. (7/10)

 george

Director Review: John Carpenter – Great direction from Carpenter showing that he was talented enough to swap genres with ease. (9/10)

 

Adventure: The adventure side of the story is only about the trip, which has a string of events on that put the couple in trouble. (7/10)

Romance: The romance side feels almost awkward but it does offer someone who was in love one last couple of days with the loved one they lose. (7/10)

Sci-Fi: Though the whole story is about visit from space, it could also be a visit back from heaven from a lost loved one. (8/10)

Settings: Each setting adds to the adventure all leading to one of the most talked about places in America. (7/10)
Special Effects
:  The special effects are used rarely but when they are they work very well for the story and haven’t dated too badly at all. (9/10)

Suggestion: I think this is one worth watching, it has plenty for fans of all the genres out there, it really hasn’t dated and with it being 30 years old in the sci-fi world is a rare thing. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The deer scene.

Worst Part: I would say the genetic Government figures.

Favourite Quote: Starman ‘I watched you very carefully. Red light stop, green light go, yellow light go very fast’.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Had a TV Spin Off.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: K-Pax

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for Best Actor.

Box Office: $28,744,356

Budget: $22 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

Tagline: He has travelled from a galaxy far beyond our own. He is 100,000 years ahead of us. He has powers we cannot comprehend. And he is about to face the one force in the universe he has yet to conquer, Love.

Trivia:The only John Carpenter film to have an Academy Award nomination.

 

Overall: Brilliant Sci-Fi Romance

Rating 92

The Purge (2013)

logoDirector: James DeMonaco

Writer: James DeMonaco (Screenplay)

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Lena Headey, Max Burkholder, Adelaide Kane, Edwin Hodge, Rhys Wakefield, Tony Oller

 

Plot: In the future, a wealthy family is held hostage for harbouring the target of a murderous syndicate during the Purge, a 12-hour period in which any and all crime is legalized. The family Sandin James (Hawke), Mary (Headey) Charlie (Burkholder) Zoey (Kane) and her boyfriend Henry (Oller) rescue a bloody stranger (Hodge) but the gang led by a man only known as the polite leader (Wakefield) torment and change their targets as the Purge continues.

 

Verdict: Home Invasion reborn?

Story: In a nut shell the story falls into the category that the kid is stupid. If you were living in a world where this happens there is no way in hell you would even consider opening the doors for a stranger. The whole spilt in sociality is interesting as they consider each level of people to be more important. It comes over well with good build but in the end it all falls apart. (5/10)

 

Actor Review: Ethan Hawke – James the designer of the security system that everyone uses, supports the Purge but will go out his way to make sure his family is safe. Good performance solid throughout and not as good as he seems. (7/10)

 ethan

Actor Review: Lena Headey – Mary the wife who questions what they are doing by scarifying an innocent man. Good performance but could have been made more intense. (7/10)

lena

Actor Review: Max Burkholder – Charlie the stupid son who starts everything. He could easily enter the hall of fame for stupid kids in film, not the actors fault though. (6/10)

 kid

Actor Review: Adelaide Kane – Zoey the rebellious teenager who spends most of the film crying and being annoying. Another poorly written character that is not the actress fault. (6/10)

 daughter

Actor Review: Rhys Wakefield – Polite Leader of the Purge gang, very good leader who it would have been nice to see more of his motives. Good performance but not given enough screen time. (6/10)

 leader

Director Review: James DeMonaco – Good idea, good creation, poorly executed. (5/10)

 

Horror: Doesn’t reach the level it could have. (3/10)

Thriller: You do want to know what happens but it falls apart. (6/10)

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: The trapped in house that is clearly too big for the hiding idea works well. (9/10)

Suggestion: I would only suggest watching this if it is on late one night, it doesn’t create enough to make it truly memorable and with ‘You’re Next’ being a lot better. (Late Night)

 

Best Part: I liked the idea

Worst Part: Poor attempts at twists.

Action Scene Of The Film: Invasion

Kill Of The Film: Polite Leader

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: There is one out later this year

Tagline: Survive The Night

Similar Too: You’re Next

 

Overall: Watch You’re Next instead

Rating 40

Noah (2014)

logoDirector: Darren Aronofsky

Writer: Darren Aronofsky, Ari Handel (Screenplay)

Starring: Russell Crowe, Jennifer Connelly, Ray Winstone, Anthony Hopkins, Emma Watson, Logan Lerman, Douglas Booth, Nick Nolte, Mark Margolis, Kevin Durand

 

Plot: A man is chosen by his world’s creator to undertake a momentous mission before an apocalyptic flood cleanses the world.

 

Verdict: Visual Beautiful

 

Story: We all know the basic story about Noah and his Ark. This builds on the idea that if it was real the human challenges sacrifices would be huge to make, leaving us to watch how the family struggles through them all. We also see how they would deal with the large amounts of animals, but question whether they would be the last humans. All together it is built to an epic scale that does test morale questions about how to deal with what is going on. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Russell Crowe: Noah the man who has had the vision about the great flood and along with his family he sets out to protect them and complete the wishes of God. Good performance as one of the greatest characters the Bible ever created. (8/10)

 noah

Jennifer Connelly: Naameh the wife of Noah who supports on the trip and tests his human side over his religious side. Good supporting role and does have some powerful scenes but otherwise is only a background to the bigger picture. (8/10)

connolly

Ray Winstone: Tubal-Cain the villain of the piece who tries to stop the ark and turn one of Noah’s children against him. Good villainous performance without being pure evil, just desperate to survive. (8/10)

 winstone

Anthony Hopkins: Methuselah the mythical oldest man to live from the Bible, father of Noah and guider on the creation of the ark. Good supporting performance that works for Hopkins. (7/10)

 

Emma Watson: Ila found wounded she becomes part of Noah’s family before becoming a love interest for Shem. Good supporting role breaking out of the Harry Potter character most people are used to seeing her in. (8/10)

 watson

Logan Lerman: Ham the middle child who wants to have love but with what is happening he starts to lose faith in his father. Good performance in the lost son role, showing how each side could be right and wrong with the cleansing.  (7/10)

 hem

Douglas Booth: Shem the oldest son and to become leader of the family once Noah has passed, he works as hard as his father and will be a great replacement but when he love interest starts to change his relationship with his father he is ready to step up now. Good performance from the most unknown of the main characters standing toe-to-toe with the greats involved. (8/10)

shem

Director Review: Darren Aronofsky – Good direction to turn the epic story from the Bible into an epic screen adaptation. (8/10)

 

Action: Even though there are only a couple of action scenes they are put together brilliantly. (8/10)

Drama: Good drama showing the relationships between the characters and how they are being effects by what is going on. (9/10)

Settings: Even though each setting is very much CGI is looks beautiful and authentic. (9/10)
Special Effects
: Stunning CGI to create everything going on with the actors. (10/10)

Suggestion: I think this is one to try it might not be for everyone as it is long and a lot of people nowadays don’t believe or care about Biblical stories. (Try)

 

Best Part: The fight before the ark launch.

Worst Part: It is long.

Action Scene Of The Film: The ark launch fight.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: It could get a few nods most for visual effects.

Box Office: $359 Million

Budget: $125 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 18 Minutes

Tagline: Rediscover the epic story of one man and the most remarkable event in our history.

 

Overall: Epic Tale Comes to Life

Rating 80

 

The Proposal (2009)

logoDirector: Anne Fletcher

Writer: Pete Chiarelli (Screenplay)

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Ryan Reynolds, Mary Steenburgen, Craig T. Nelson, Betty White, Denis O’Hare, Malin Akerman, Oscar Nunez

 

Plot: a pushy boss Margaret (Bullock) forces her young assistant Andrew (Reynolds) to marry her in order to keep her Visa status in the U.S. and avoid deportation to Canada. The odd couple have to spend a weekend with Andrew’s family to convince they are in love before a hearing with the deportation committee and if they are found of fraud they will face jail.

 

Verdict: By the Book Rom Com

 

Story: The whole plot is very similar to the idea of an arranged wedding where both parties are not interested in the serious side but slowly start to fall for each other after spending time together. Putting that a side we have a charming rom com that is simple to follow filled with a group a different but stereotypical characters that make the trip eventful. We get some good comical moments that bring the couple closer. Most of the romance is kept to a minimal which helps the comedy unfold as it focuses on the bonding rather than romance. (7/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Sandra Bullock: Margaret a cold hearted boss who forces her assistant to marry her so she doesn’t get deported. Margaret keeps very much to herself but once she finally opens up we see a real, troubled side of her. Good performance showing that Sandra can play comical roles with ease. (8/10)

 sandra

Ryan Reynolds: Andrew the reluctant assistant who has given up plenty of his time to try and get a chance to move on in his career, he is very family man but his dreams have held up his time to see them. This type of comedy is what Reynolds was made to be doing and he is great. (8/10)

ryan

Director Review: Anne Fletcher – Great direction to create a non-soppy rom com that most people could enjoy. (8/10)

 

Comedy: Has some funny moments with most scenes with Betty White are the funniest. (7/10)

Romance: Simple romance to keep the story flowing. (6/10)

Chemistry: Reynolds and Bullock have good chemistry as the film unfolds it increases. (8/10)

Settings: The small Alaskan town is a good setting creating a very family centred story. (8/10)

Suggestion: This is one for the date night as I think both will enjoy but not watch solo. (Date Night)

 

Best Part: Betty White and Kevin the Dog

Worst Part: Too clichéd

Funniest Scene: Margaret makes a phone call and ends up chasing the dog.

Believability: Bit too farfetched for my liking. (2/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $317,375,031

Budget: $40 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

Tagline: Here comes the bride

 

Overall: Enjoyable Romantic Comedy

Rating 73

Trailer Alert – Tusk

When his best friend and podcast co-host goes missing in the backwoods of Canada, a young guy joins forces with his friend’s girlfriend to search for him. The man in question is kidnapped by one man he is interviewing with the intention of turning him into a walrus.

Release Date:  NA for UK yet

Questions:

A surprisingly dark film from Kevin Smith which also looks like it has some humour behind it all, will it work?

Twisted idea indeed, but is this cashing in on the ideas of the Human Centipede?

Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating – 85%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Murder By Numbers (2002)

logoDirector: Barbet Schroeder

Writer: Tony Gayton (Screenplay)

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Ben Chaplin, Ryan Gosling, Michael Pitt, Agnew Bruckner, Chris Penn

 

Plot: When two gifted high school students Richard (Gosling) and Justin (Pitt) commit the perfect murder, they enter into a game of cat and mouse with seasoned detective Cassie Mayweather (Bullock) and her rookie partner Sam Kennedy (Chaplin). The story follows the teens planning the murder and the aftermath of the crime investigation.

 

Verdict: A slick thriller

Story: When you think you can get away with the perfect crime would you? This story shows what seems like a perfect crime will always have small details to leave questions. The story of the cat and mouse between a criminal who thinks they are smarter than the police aren’t the most original but this one takes a twist on that take by the murder being for proof that they could rather than a need. We are left to guess how the murder happened and what they did to try and get away with it. (8/10)

 

Actor Review: Sandra Bullock – Cassie the nonsense cop with a troubled past who won’t stop fighting for the truth. Good performance providing a cop without the ability to stop fighting for truth. (8/10)

 sandra

Actor Review: Ben Chaplin – Sam a newly promoted cop who is forced to work with Cassie as no one else would. Good supporting role but doesn’t offer enough to the criminal side of the story. (6/10)

ben

Actor Review: Ryan Gosling – Richard the rich, good looking, wise talking guy in high school who is used to getting what he wants. Great performance with a twisted side to go with his popular personality. Scene Stealer Award, Breakout Performance Award, Smooth Talker Award, Scariest Character Award (9/10)

 gosling

Actor Review: Michael Pitt – Justin a smart guy but also a loner who gets a chance to make himself more popular by committing the perfect crime. Good performance that does seem to get overshadowed by Gosling. (8/10)

 pitt

Director Review: Barbet Schroeder – Good direction to create edge of the seat entertainment. (8/10)

 

Crime: Looking at committing the perfect murder. (9/10)

Thriller: Creates an edge of your seat ride from start to finish. (9/10)

Believability: People will believe they can get away with the perfect crime. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Mixed setting that offer nothing to the story until the final abandoned house on the cliff tops. (5/10)

 

Suggestion: I would suggest to all thriller fans but other than that I think most people will miss this. I think it is worth watching and you will be rewarded if you try it. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Gosling performance

Action Scene Of The Film: Final showdown in abandoned house.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No

 

Overall: A good thriller that is worth a watch

Rating 71

Trailer Alert – See No Evil 2

Jacob Goodnight has just completed his first killing spree before being killed off, when his body is taken to the local morgue. The staff at the morgue are celebrating a birthday, when Jacob returns from the dead to continue his murderous rampage.

Adding scream queens Danielle Harris and Katharine Isabelle to the cast joining the returning Glenn Jacobs AKA WWE’s Kane looks like this could be a new entry in the unstoppable killer horror genre.


Release Date:  21st October (hopefully the same in the UK)

Questions:

Could this be Victor Crowley’s competition in modern day slasher?

If the kills are as unique as the Hatchet kills this could be like watching Jason and Michael in the 80s.

Will this be the beginning of a See No Evil Franchise? Hopefully

The Soska Sisters have dealt with horror before, but usually their own creations, how will they handle someone else’s work?

We know they can direct horror and with a couple more films down the line this could be their time to break through much like Darren Lynn Bousman did with the Saw sequels.

Will I Be Watching? Yes

Will You Be Watching?

My Anticipation Rating – 89%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

New Releases – July 25th

Hercules – Having endured his legendary twelve labours, Hercules, the Greek demigod, has his life as a sword-for-hire tested when the King of Thrace and his daughter seek his aid in defeating a tyrannical warlord.

herculesMy Guess for Rating – 76%
My Anticipation Rating – 80%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

 

Joe – An ex-con, who is the unlikeliest of role models, meets a 15-year-old boy and is faced with the choice of redemption or ruin.

joeMy Guess for Rating – 50%
My Anticipation Rating – 30%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

The Purge: Anarchy – A young couple works to survive on the streets after their car breaks down right as the annual purge commences.

purgeMy Guess for Rating – 40%
My Anticipation Rating – 20%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

Earth to Echo – After receiving a bizarre series of encrypted messages, a group of kids embark on an adventure with an alien who needs their help.

earth to echoMy Guess for Rating – 70%
My Anticipation Rating – 75%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

The House of Magic – Thunder, an abandoned young cat seeking shelter from a storm stumbles into the strangest house imaginable, owned by an old magician and inhabited by a dazzling array of automations and gizmos.

houe of magicMy Guess for Rating – 20%
My Anticipation Rating – 1%
Will It Be Number One In UK? – No

 

Newguy’s Pick of the Week – Earth to Echo

Rogue River (2012)

logoDirector: Jourdan McClure

Writer: Ryan Finnerty, Kevin Haskin (Screenplay)

Starring: Michelle Page, Art Alexakis, Chris Coy, Michael Cudilitz, Lucinda Jenney, Bill Moseley

 

Plot: While spreading her father’s ashes, Mara (Page) meets Jon (Moseley) who offers to give her a ride. Risking everything to escape this hell she’s entered, she won’t stop running until she finds safety.

 

Verdict: Shock No Horror

 

Story: We have seen this plenty of times before and we can figure out how sick the couple are quite easily. The only positive I can take from this is the two torture like scenes are both originally twisted but otherwise we have been her seen that. The end is too sudden and you feel like they were side villains to a much darker person. in the end it feels like a couple of chapters were missing. (3/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Michelle Page: Mara off to spread her father’s ashes she ends up being kidnapped by what seems like a nice couple and put through torturous scenes. I doubt she will get much further in the business she doesn’t shine but she couldn’t help the poor script. (4/10)

 mara

Bill Moseley: Jon the nice stranger who offers a lift but ends up having an alternative motive and turns into a monster waiting to take advantage of the young lady. Bill is known for his twisted characters and he fails to make this one a good addition to the list. (5/10)

bill

Lucinda Jenney: Lea the sister of Jon who helps in the torture of the young lady, while suffering from cancer, what they are after seems like it is her dying wish. A forgettable character who could be very dark but ends up being stupid. (3/10)

 lady

Director Review: Jourdan McClure – Test the audience with two shock torture moments but other than that nothing much stands out. (4/10)

 

Horror: What Mara goes through is horrific but would end up being worse. (5/10)

Thriller: Doesn’t really pull you in enough. (4/10)

Settings: The setting works well for the film creating an isolated environment. (5/10)

Suggestion: This is one to miss, but if you are a diehard torture porn film fan you might just be able to get through it. (Avoid)

 

Best Part: The shock torture scenes as they are quite horrific.

Worst Part: The rest.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $2 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

Tagline: Still Waters Run Deep

 

Overall: Torture Porn Turned Up Late To The Party

Rating 25

Top 5 Summer Glau Roles

Summer Glau would be considered one of the Queens of the geek world, today I am looking at my favourite 5 roles of her career.

5. Herself – Big Bang Theory (2009)5

In this episode of the hit show Summer finds herself stuck on the train with everybody’s favourite geeks. She plays out how she tries to be nice to all her fans even the ones that creep her out.

4. Cameron Phillips – Terminator: The Sarah Connor Chronicles (TV)4

Cameron is a Terminator who has been sent back to protect the Connor’s from other Terminators sent back to destroy them.

3. Skylar Adams – Alphas (TV)3

Skylar is a recurring role in the show who is trying to get away from the Alphas problems, Skylar has the ability to create anything but wants to give it all up to keep her daughter safe.

2. Jack Abernathy – Mammoth (2006)2

When an alien species takes over the body of an extinct mammoth, it starts running terror across a small town, Jack and her family have to try and stop it before it ends up causing more damage.

1. River Tam – Firefly (TV) Serenity (2005)1

River is the strange sister of one of the crew members who is the catalyst to the main Alliances Officers hunting them, but she is also been trained to be a ruthless killer but only when she lets it out.