Jon Favreau Weekend – Iron Man (2008)

Director: Jon Favreau

Writer: Mark Fergus, Hawk Ostby, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby (Characters)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Terrence Howard, Jeff Bridges, Gwyneth Paltrow, Leslie Bibb, Shaun Toub, Faran Tahir

 

Plot: After being held captive in an Afghan cave, billionaire engineer Tony Stark creates a unique weaponized suit of armor to fight evil.


Tagline – Heroes aren’t born. They’re built

Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict:  Great Start to the Franchise

 

Story: Iron Man starts as billionaire engineer Tony Stark (Downey Jr) is captured on a routine weapon visit to Afghanistan showing off his latest weapon, his capturer wants him to build a new weapon, but Tony was injured and is in shock at the number of weapons from his company they have.

Tony builds a suit which he will use to escape and save his own life, one which could be used to fight evil, he becomes Iron Man. His long-time friend Rhodey (Howard) is impressed with his new toy, and his partner Obadiah Stane (Bridges) wants to use the weapon to continue the war effort. Tony will have to learn the position he is know in the world to learn to protect it.

 

Thoughts on Iron Man

 

Characters – Tony Stark is a billionaire playboy engineer who has been developing the latest weapons to defend the home land, he looks down on most the people he meets including the soldiers showing around the warzone. He gets captured and designs a weapon that sees him escape, he makes himself Iron Man which will keep him alive, which sees him looking at life through different eyes, where he doesn’t want to supply weapons in conflict. Rhodey is the military best friend of Tony’s he uses the weapons created to help his men, he can get tired of Tony’s partying lifestyle. Obadiah Stane ran Stark enterprise after Tony’s parents death, he has mentored Tony in business, but is left with a difficult decision after Tony’s decision to stop making weapons. Pepper Potts is Tony’s assistant, she handles the affairs while he gets on with his business.

PerformancesRobert Downey Jr is fantastic in the leading role, we can believe his confidence and cocky nature that he is showing through the film. Terrence Howard is playing a more grounded character, he would go onto be replaced in this role, he just doesn’t have the complete opposite against that Robert brings. Jeff Bridges is strong as the villainous businessman who is controlled by greed. Gwyneth Paltrow does a solid job as Pepper, where she is going to become a character we get to know through the franchise.

StoryThe story shows us how Tony Stark went from businessman to Iron Man after learning the cost of his weapons which are being used on both sides of the war and must stop the man running his family’s company into the ground with these action. For origin stories we get to see the change in Tony’s mentality over the course of the story which is what will make somebody a hero. We don’t get the completely over the top destruction, with most of the fight scenes blending into the story where we see Tony learning how to control his suit. We get the first steps into the Marvel Cinematic Universe which brings the franchise to life with this just needing to give the hero an early villain that will make him a new hero in the world.

Action/Sci-Fi The action in this film comes war sequences and how Tony learns about his suits capabilities, the first mission shows what we are going to see in the future. The sci-fi elements in this film comes from how the suit is created to keep Tony alive and the new levels of technology involved.

SettingsThe film takes us to a couple of locations, Miami where Tony lives shows his playboy lifestyle, the Afghan locations show how the war is being fought with the two different sides and the same weapons.

Special EffectsThe effects used in this film show us the scale of what Tony will have do to survive, we have the idea of his heart that never looks out of place.


Scene of the Movie –
Iron Man’s first mission.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Rhodey isn’t the most interesting character in this film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful beginning to the franchise which would go onto change how cinema is experienced, it has the origin of an unknown character to the casual fans of comic book movies, which works for laughs and action, without being a comedy.

 

Overall: Fun, entertaining and enjoyable.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Horror – S – The Sand (2015)

Director: Isaac Gabaeff

Writer: Alex Greenfield, Ben Powell (Screenplay)

Starring: Brooke Butler, Cleo Berry, Cynthia Murell, Dean Geyer, Meagan Holder, Mitchel Musso

 

Plot: After an all-night graduation beach party, a group of hung-over twenty-somethings awake to a beating sun, and a seemingly carnivorous beach that devours anything with a heartbeat that touches the sand.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Idea, Terrible Script

 

Story: The Sand starts when graduates Kaylee (Butler), Gilbert (Berry), Ronnie (Murell), Jonah (Geyer), Chanda (Holder), Mitch (Musso) and others have an all-night beach party the hangover is going to be the least of their worries.

The friends find themselves trapped on the whatever they can to avoid the sand which devours anything with a heartbeat that touches it, now the friends must figure out how to get off the beach before they can become victims of whatever is in the sand.

 

Thoughts on The Sand

 

Characters – College students, well we love them being the characters in horror films because even with their education they shouldn’t make panic filled decisions. Kaylee is the smartest and most responsible of the students who is looking forward to her final exams, Gilbert the big guy who gets wedge in a trash can, that is about his character rounded up, Ronnie is the one that just shouts out what could be causing the sand to react the way it is, we don’t really learn too much about any of these characters to be honest.

PerformanceLooking at the performances you can’t help but laugh because due to the awfully written script the actors don’t stand a chance in this film, the reactions from all are terrible, one character says they are in 1000x more pain than a jellyfish sting and it sounds just like they kicked their toe. The performance all around are terrible and you can’t see a single good thing about them.

StoryAfter trashing the script and performances this part will be strange, I did like the idea of the group of friends trapped on the beach with something waiting to eat them in the most painful way possible. I feel this compares to the Creepshow short with the friends trapped on the wooden island with the blob dissolving anything that comes into the water. The problem with the story comes from the characters involved who don’t make normal decisions, the logical ones are clear here and nobody bothers to take any of them one.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror does come from the fate the students will face if they touch the sand which dissolves anyone that touches it. The sci-fi side comes from just what could be in the sand is not of this world.

SettingsThe beach does make for a wonderful setting for this film because it is a normal location people go to and the new threat adds to something people could experience there.

Special EffectsThis is a low budget film so the CGI isn’t going to be great and you can see it through ever scene it is used in.

Scene of the Movie – Barrel of laughs.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The dialogue between the characters is so bad, it is either you slept with my boyfriend or is X alright just after they are dissolved.

Final ThoughtsThis film does have a good concept but it fails to use this idea to the full extent due to awful performance and dialogue between the characters.

 

Overall: Fails to use what is has, to become great.

Rating

 

 

Patient Seven (2016)

Director: Danny Draven, Paul Davis, Omar Orn Hauksson, Dean Hewison, Joel Morgan, Johannes Persson, Nicholas Peterson, Erlingur Thoroddsen, Rasmus Wassberg

Writer: Paul Davis, Sam Dickson, Paul Fischer, Richard Falkner, Omar orn Hauksson, Jacey Heldrich, Dean Hewison, Barry Jay, Bran McAuley, Joel Morgan, Johannes Persson, Nicholas Peterson, David Steenhoek, Aidee Walker, Rasmus Wassberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Ironside, Jack Plotnick, Drew Fonteiro, Rane Jameson, Grace Van Dein

 

Plot: The film centers on Dr. Marcus, a renowned psychiatrist who has selected 6 severe mentally ill and dangerous patients from the Spring Valley Mental Hospital to interview as part of research for his new book. As Dr. Marcus interviews each patient, one by one the horrors theyve committed begin to unfold. However, Dr. Marcus soon learns that there is one patient who ties them all together – Sarah Pegram

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Horror Anthology

 

Story: Patient Seven starts as Dr Daniel Marcus (Ironside) visit a mental hospital to study six patients with their own different problems, we go through their stories one by one, first Jill who has killed her mother, who believed she saw something in their home, the second patient John Doe believed he was killed by a serial killer in London. The third is an Icelandic woman that claims to have been attacked by zombies.

As each story unfolds Dr Marcus starts to try and push the patient believing they are nothing more than just taking advantage of the system, either they are a killer or just trying to avoid a reality. The fourth patient is accused of killing her best friend even though she claims it was suicide. The fifth won’t talk because of an event with a haunting at a young age. The final patient believes vampires are real, with the stories together, just what is the connection with the seventh patient?

 

Thoughts on Patient Seven

 

Characters – Dr Daniel Marcus is the man trying to learn about six disturbed patients at a mental hospital, each story needs to be broken down in a different way, he is doing research for his book, but leaving us wondering what his motives are is the biggest mystery in this film. we do meet the different patients which all have different stories and we follow the events of their stories each different from the rest. We do meet the doctors, but as the film is an anthology we just don’t get enough time to look into their characters.

PerformancesMichael Ironside is the star of this film with his calming presence while interviewing the patients that can turn on them in a heartbeat. We have a couple of known names in the supporting cast with Alfie Allen in the second story being the highlight of the rest of the performances, while no one is bad in their roles here, they just don’t get the time they deserve.

StoryThe story here is told like an interview process to give us seven short horror stories, the fact each one goes in a different direction helps the audience find one they can enjoy even if the previous one isn’t for them. Vampires, ghost, spirits, serial killers and zombies are the main topics each one feels short enough to be entertaining, even if one did make me want to see a feature film about that character. For a horror anthology this does check the boxes well and is one that can be enjoyed.

HorrorThe horror in the story comes from the different stories, while we don’t always get the best build up to the horror moments, we do follow the horror guidelines well.

SettingsEach story does take us to a new setting which helps make the film feel fresh, though I don’t quiet understand how the crimes from England, New Zealand and Iceland ended up in an American mental home.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film across the different stories are great and make you feel like you are part of them.


Scene of the Movie –
The second story.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Some of the stories are slightly too short though.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror anthology even if the ending feel slightly flat, we get plenty going on and can enjoy the different ideals of horror.

 

Overall: Horror anthology does correctly.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – R – Ruin Me (2017)

Director: Preston DeFrancis

Writer: Preston DeFrancis, Trysta A Bissett (Screenplay)

Starring: Marcienne Dwyer, Matt Dellapina, Chris Hill, Eva Hamilton, John Odom, Sam Ashdown, Cameron Gordon

 

Plot: Alexandra reluctantly tags along for Slasher Sleepout, an extreme event that is part camping trip, part haunted house, and part escape room. But when the fun turns deadly, Alex has to play the game if she wants to make it out alive.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Horror

 

Story: Ruin Me starts as six people, couple Alex (Dwyer) & Nathan (Dellapina), horror expert couple Marina (Hamilton) & Pitch (Odom), Larry (Hill) and Tim (Gordon) take part in a Slasher Sleepout weekend, which is designed to scare the members like they are living in a horror film.

As the weekend continues it soon becomes a race to survive because the game doesn’t seem as friendly as they first thought, and they must figure out if they are in a real slasher event.

 

Thoughts on Ruin Me

 

Characters – Alex joins her boyfriend on this weekend, she isn’t the biggest horror fan, but a couples weekend, is a couple weekends, she has a past which has seen her struggle through events in her life, which will make her fit the typical final girl for a slasher experience. Nathan is the boyfriend that was going on this weekend with his best friend who paid for everything, only to drop out, he has always been loyal toward Alex, whatever her struggles. Larry is a lone man that has been on this style of weekend before and enjoys meeting the new people that take part in the games. Marina is one half of a horror fan couple, she does fill the slutty figure of the cast.

PerformancesMarcienne Dwyer in the leading role is strong through the film, we see her go through the range of emotions as her character becomes more complex as the film unfolds. When it comes to the rest of the cast they do hit their characters well and look like they fit into the horror genre.

StoryThe story follows six people that entertain a horror theme weekend of fun that soon spirals out of control as one of them finds themselves alone and wondering if this is real or not. This is an interesting story to watch unfold, we are entering a world where horror films exists which is important for the way of surviving what is happening. We will be left to wonder if this is real or not which is just what we want. This is a simple enough story that will keep us guessing and waiting to see how the events unfold.

HorrorThe horror in this film comes from knowing horror movies, which will see how the group look to survive the events of a horror film.

SettingsThe film uses the settings that are known in horror, including the woods which is one of the easiest slasher locations in horror.

Special EffectsThe film uses practical effects to achieve everything it wants to during the weekends events.


Scene of the Movie –
The beach.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The supporting members of the group feel too generic for the genre of horror.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun horror that really does try to push the limits of the audience by showing us just how people can become affected by a horror weekend event.

 

Overall: Enjoyable horror.

Rating