Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

posterDirector: David O. Russell

Writer: David O. Russell (Screenplay) Matthew Quick (Novel)

Starring: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher, John Ortiz, Shea Whigham, Julia Stiles

 

Story: When Pat (Cooper) finds his wife cheating on him he snaps and ends up in a mental institution. After his release he moves back in with his parents Pat Sr (De Niro) and Dolores (Weaver) where he tries to rebuild his life. This involves weekly therapy with Doctor Patel (Kher) all along Pat is trying to reconnect with his wife, but with the restraining order against him this is a small problem he must overcome. A chance meeting with beautiful but troubled Tiffany (Lawrence) offers him a chance to connect with his wife but in return he must help Tiffany in a dance tournament.

 

Verdict: All the Oscar recognition this film got a fully deserved every single performer is outstanding and the story is wonderful told showing how people with small problems in life can overcome them for the better, be it Bi-Polar, OCD, Depression. Each character grows with the story and you really do start to feel for each character.

Comedy: Gentle light hearted moments that will make you laugh which work for the story (9/10)

Romance: a strong romantic story told without be fully in your face. (10/10)

Suggestion: I would suggest this to all film fans this will soon become one of the favourites on many people’s lists. (10/10)

 

Star Performance:  Bradley Cooper – could easily have won the Oscar on any other year

Jennifer Lawrence – proving that there is great talent in the young actress fully deserved her Oscar

Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver – both provided great supporting acting and also got their Oscar nods but not wins

Favourite Character:  Pat – struggles so much with everything through the film and learns so much

 

Best Part: the dance tournament

 

Favourite Quote: Pat ‘The world will break your heart ten ways to Sunday. That’s guaranteed. I can’t begin to explain that. Or the craziness inside myself and everyone else. But guess what? Sunday’s my favourite day again. I think of what everyone did for me, and I feel like a very lucky guy.’

Similar Too: Gigantic, Punch Drunk Love

Overall: Now one of my favourite films this is a truly great film that will not age. I believe this film should have won the best picture as I found this the most entertaining of all the brilliant films made.

Rating 98%

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Hatchet 2 (2010)

posterDirector: Adam Green

Writer: Adam Green (Screenplay)

Starring: Danielle Harris, Tony Todd, Kane Hodder, Perry Shen, Tom Holland

 

Story: Picking up right where Hatchet finished, we have Marybeth (now played by Danielle Harris) escaping from Victor Crowley (Hodder). Marybeth seeks out help from Reverend Zombie (Todd). She wants to take out Victor Crowley after his murdered her father and brother. Through Reverend Zombie we learn the horrific origin story behind Victor Crowley. Zombie brings together all the best hunters or anyone who wants to make some money to finally put an end to Victor Crowley and start his tour business again with the guide to the terror from the night before Marybeth.

 

Verdict: A modern day slasher that offers plenty of blood and gore. Having horror film icons Tony Todd (Candyman, Final Destination) and Kane Hodder (Jason Voorhees Friday the 13th 7-10) is a huge selling point along with Danielle Harris (From Halloween 4-5 as well as the Rob Zombie remakes) as the tough girl taking on the monster. Using the idea of voodoo in New Orleans has an alternative take on how to create a serial villain to be the new generations Michael Myers, Freddy Kruger or Jason Voorhees. In the new world of horror where you find a lot more about supernatural phenomenon it is refreshing to see a much more old school horror.

 

Horror: Slasher horror at its very best in a more modern world of special effects (10/10)

Special Effects: With some of the most horrific kills in horror the special effects make this stand out with how real even if over the top the kills look (9/10)

Settings: New Orleans Swamps creating isolation with surrounding area adding potential jumps round every corner (9/10)

Suggestion: Every horror fan will enjoy the blood and gore fans will come to love this I would suggest to all fans to watch this and the rest of the films in the series. (9/10)

 

Star Performance: Danielle Harris – takes over from Tamara Feldman and takes Marybeth character to the next level.

Favourite Character: Reverend Zombie – full of sinister nature

Best Part: The Chainsaw scene, shocking violent and funny at the same time

Worst Part: is too short is the only fault

Favourite Quote: Bob ‘Come on, you hatcher-faced fuck!’

Trivia: There is a small cameo showing an interview on the news of one of Adam Green’s characters from Frozen talking about what happened to them during the film.

Similar Too: Hatchet, Halloween (2007)

Overall: Modern day slasher that will leave you wanting more proof you can make a good horror film for less than one million dollars.

Rating 88%

 

The Shining (1997) (Mini Series)

posterDirector: Mick Garris

Writer: Stephen King (Screenplay) Stephen King (Story)

Starring: Steven Weber, Rebecca de Mornay, Courtland Mead, Wil Horneff, Melvin Van Peebles, Pat Hingle, Elliott Gould

 

Story: Recovering alcoholic Jack Torrance (Weber) has hit rock bottom after losing his job and even striking his child Daniel (Mead). After a year off the wagon he gets a chance to become a caretaker for the winter at a The Overview Hotel. Jack takes his family with him using it as a chance to rebuild and start his novel. In the hand over at the hotel Daniel meets Richard Hallorann (Van Peebles) who helps Daniel work on his powers his Shining. Being left alone in the hotel strange things start to unfold and with this happening can Jack hold it together or will he slip off the wagon before the end of winter.

 

Verdict: After Stephen King wasn’t a fan of the film he decided to make sure he was going to be more involved in the next production his work, this shows in how much more character development is done on Jack and Daniel. The build-up is very suspenseful but it isn’t just about the scares it also adds some human aspects to the going on tackle trust between married couple and that some things are not always as simple as they seem.

 

Horror: A good horror level filled with jumps and scares (9/10)

Thriller: Very thrilling tale which will keep you at the edge of your seat right up to its conclusion (9/10)

Special Effects: sadly some of the CGI effects have dated but some of the makeup effects are still very good (7/10)

Music: Music adds tensions throughout the story (9/10)

Settings: isolation is always perfect for horror (10/10)

Suggestion: All horror fans should give this a go, if you have read the book you will appreciate the telling of the story more than the film did, if you are only a fan of the film you may not get the same level of enjoyment as the film is more scares all the way through and less about Jack’s battle with alcoholism. (9/10)

 

Star Performance:  Steven Weber – does a great job dealing with how his character deals with all the problems

Favourite Character: Richard – as he is the guide and shows great commitment to helping Daniel  

Best Part: Each pieces of build-up but the stand out one for me is with the animal bushes with the music comes off very good

Worst Part: I would say it is a bit long for a casual fan to really enjoy

 

Trivia: Frank Darabont and Sam Raimi have cameos in the show.

 

Overall: This is a top show that lives up to all the hype of thrills and chills along with human problems, it shows how good an author Stephen King is and how he can mix supernatural with human issues. Top stuff with King’s tv show director Garris who also did The Stand and later Bag of Bones, sometimes you just need a good team to get the best out of everyone.

Rating 92%

Ruby Sparks (2012)

posterDirector: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

Writer: Zoe Kazan (Screenplay)

Starring: Paul Dano, Zoe Kazan, Chris Messina, Annette Bening, Antonio Banderas, Aasif Mandvi, Steve Coogan, Elliot Gould

 

Story: When writer Calvin Weir-Fields (Dano) who’s first book is considered a classic he just can’t find a way to get inspiration for his next novel.  One dream starts his mind working on something that could change his life forever. Ruby Sparks (Kazan) Calvin starts writing about a love story between him and her only what is real and what has he just made up?

 

Verdict:

 

Comedy: Some light hearted funny moments work nicely (8/10)

Romance: Good love story filled with everything that could go well or badly (9/10)

Suggestion: I would say that all fans of the romantic drama comedy genre would like this film it shows a different story of love and life. (9/10)

 

Star Performance Paul Dano and Zoe Kazan

Favourite Character Calvin

 

Best Part: The whole story is just great really should be watched

 

Similar Too: Stranger Than Fiction, 500 Days of Summer

 

Overall: This was really a special film yet again Paul Dano shines in a small romantic comedy drama and Zoe Kazan as well as writing this has a wonderful job a Ruby going through all the emotions of a relationship. This will give you a chance to think about what you could do with Calvin’s ability and whether you could change someone to be moulded into the person you want them to be. Scotty Calvin’s dog is also quite the little scene stealer always popping up when he most needs his trusted companion. After watching this I am left wondering why this films don’t get more success at the cinema as the story is one people will have related to but never had a chance to do anything about.

Rating 95%

The Iceman (2012)

posterDirector: Ariel Vromen

Writer: Ariel Vromen, Morgan Land (Screenplay) Anthony Bruno (Book)

Starring: Michael Shannon, Winona Ryder, Chris Evans, Ray Liotta, David Schwimmer,

 

Story: The true story about Richard Kuklunski (Shannon) who managed to live a normal family life with his wife Deborah (Ryder) and children while also having a much darker side. Richard was also a ruthless contract killer who gets a break working for Roy Demeo (Liotta) before perfecting his art by teaming up with Mr Freezy (Evans) another contract killer to take down more people for outside contracts. The story shows how Kuklunski continued his double life for over two decades before he finally get arrested.

 

Verdict:

 

Thriller: nearly every scene involving the contract killer side of Richard comes off thrilling as you know what is likely to happen but you have to wait and see how it plays out (8/10)

Suggestion: It is an interesting watch comes off well but may not be for everyone in fact it would really be for a select audience but those who are a fan of looking at how serial killers worked. (7/10)

 

Star Performance Michael Shannon

Favourite Character Mr Freezy

 

Overall: A good thriller with Michael Shannon shining again, but in the end it comes off a bit slow and never really pulls you completely in to either side of the character. It really could have been a bit longer and more edgy instead of just routine kills.

Rating 68%