Secret Window (2004)

logoDirector: David Koepp

Writer: David Koepp (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Johnny Depp, John Turturro, Maria Bello, Timothy Hutton, Charles s Dutton

 

Plot: When Mort Rainey’s (Depp) life starts falling apart because of his divorce from Amy (Bello) he relocates to their remote cabin in the woods. When one day a stranger comes to the door, that stranger was John Shooter (Turturro) he claims Mort has copied his story. Mort now has to prove he wrote the story first before everyone he has ever cared for or known starts going missing.

 

Verdict: A Stephen King tale that keeps you guessing and is full of tension

Story: a very suspenseful story that will surprise and shock you with the twist ending. The build-up works nicely to throw you off that trail and the lack of conflict between Mort and John keeps everything calm while keeping the tension high. (7/10)

 

Actor Review: Johnny Depp – Mort writer who struggles with his divorce and a man claiming he stole his story. Good performance that is saved by his range in the final act of the film. (8/10)

 depp

Actor Review: John Turturro – John Shooter the man who wants Mort to admit he stole his story at any means. With very small amount of screen time he shines but his lack of screen time doesn’t help the final reveal. (8/10)

turturro

Actor Review: Maria Bello – Amy, Mort’s wife who wants him to sign the divorce papers. Maria struggles to make an impact in her screen time. (5/10)

 maria

Director Review: David Koepp – David can really tell a great story creating scenes of tension and suspense. (8/10)

 

Thriller: Keeps you wanting to know more and try and figure out what is happening. (8/10)

Believability: A lot of writers do struggle with their sanity in the process this is the extremes of that. (4/10)

Chances of Tears: no (0/10)

Settings: The creepy cabin in a remote location adds tension to certain scenes making it a good setting. (8/10)

Suggestion: If you like a non-gore fest thriller this is for you using the build for each moment in the film. If you don’t like this sort of thriller horror this will be hard for you to watch and as always all Stephen King fans must watch. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The reveal is good.

Worst Part: The reveal takes away Turturro performances.

Oscar Chances: None

Chances of Sequel: No

 

Overall: Cabin Fever hit hard

Rating 70

Top 10 Video Game Adaptations

Today I am looking at my favourite video game adaptations. I may not have played many of these games but I generally enjoy these films. I am only adding one per franchise so even if one isn’t very good the rest save it.

10. Tekken (2010)

10

Tekken games have a very thin story line about winning fighting competitions against the best fighters from around the world. The films offers that but went pretty much under the radar in the UK but when it comes to fight game to film this is the best.

9. Wing Commander (1999)

9

The space adventure could have been put to film a little before the time where everything was capable but in the end we get a fun film but could be why more sci-fi games don’t get made into films.

8. Doom (2005)

8

If you played the game you hate this film, but as a film on its own it works as a good sci-fi thriller. Trying to put the first person scene tries to bring the gamer fans back but only gives you a headache. One of the Rock’s first that wouldn’t be in his safety zone he quite often slams it.

7. Prince Of Persia The Sands Of Time (2010)

7

It would be fair to say this was the biggest production of any of the video game adaptations the one most people looked forward to but also let down by. It is fun much like the Mummy films but another film that suffers because the gamers didn’t like it.

6. Alone In The Dark (2005)

6

This is the most hated adaptation on the list which I think is a little bit unfair to the film itself. It may not follow the game but as I have never played the game I enjoyed the basic storyline being told.

5. Mutant Chronicles (2008)

5

This one may surprise many people as even I haven’t heard of the game, but the dark tale would fit into a modern video game world with ease and could easily be compared to many other games out now.

4. Hitman (2007)

4

Out of all the films on my list this could be the one that got the best reception from the critics. Agent 47 looks fully authentic to what the game created and the story is solid in its creation.

3. Lara Croft Tomb Raider (2001)

3

Arguable the biggest female name in video games got the big screen treatment with Angelina Jolie in the role. It was the best action adventure adaptation it was met well by the non-gamers fans and gamers fan alike.

2. Resident Evil (2002 – )

2

With the franchise still going strong the original character Alice goes through the series meeting the video game characters in her fight against Umbrella. The series had been getting worse but has returned to its best with its last outing and has one more to complete the series out later 2014.

1.       Silent Hill (2006)

1

When it comes to the adaptations this has to be my favourite as it creates a creepy eerie atmosphere that continues from start to finish. Even if this was a film on its own it would be one of the best horror films of recent years.

And the Worst 5

  • Street Fighter
  • Bloodrayne
  • House of the Dead
  • Max Payne
  • Super Mario Bros

Witness (1985)

logoDirector: Peter Weir

Writer: Earl W. Wallace, William Kelley (Screenplay) Earl W. Wallace, William Kelley, Pamela Wallace (Story)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Kelly McGillis, Josef Sommer, Lukas Haas, Jan Rubes, Alexander Godunov, Danny Glover, Brent Jennings

 

Plot: When an Amish family Rachel (McGillis) and Samuel (Haas) go to the big city, little Samuel witnesses a murder. Police Detective John Book (Ford) promises to look after Samuel as he tries to track down who the killer was, but when it turns out to be in inside job John takes the family back to Amish country to hide out.

 

Verdict: A great crime story

Story: Most films using the keep the witness safe are all very action heavy, this one goes outside the box showing how one man has to learn to embrace another culture to survive and bring out the truth. Mix in a romantic story we get something very special that is fully deserved it Oscar nomination. (9/10)

 

Actor Review: Harrison Ford – John Book a detective that hides his witness in Amish country and learns about their ways, he learns so much that he ends up being accepted into the community. Great performance that is one of his best acting performance of his career. Star Performance Award (10/10)

ford

Actor Review: Kelly McGillis – Rachel, the mother of the witness and romantic interest of John. Great performance in what was one of her first screen roles. (9/10)

kelly

Actor Review: Josef Sommer – Leader of the corrupt cops trying to cover up his crimes. Good villainous performance but doesn’t get enough screen time to shine. (7/10)

 badie

Actor Review: Lukas Haas – Samuel the witness of the crime, full of young innocent throughout. Great performance from the young boy, who has gone on to be part of some of the biggest films in recent years. (9/10)

 haas

Director Review: Peter Weir – One of the best directors in Hollywood first American based film and this was great. (9/10)

 

Crime: The crime story sometimes takes a back story to what is going on but is still important to everything that happens. (9/10)

Drama: Great dramatic scenes to create the story. (9/10)

Romance: The chemistry between Ford and McGillis is great throughout. (9/10)

Believability: The learning another culture is believable but the crime side driving him to isn’t. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Brilliant use of a small Amish community for the setting. (9/10)

Suggestion: When it comes to crime stories this is one of the best I have seen and it is now nearly 30 years old. It is well worth watching for all. (Watch)

 

Best Part: John Book defends the Amish from some teenagers.

Worst Part: It could be said that the crime side of the film needed to be a bit more upfront story.

Kill Of The Film: Silone scene

Trivia: This is Harrison Ford’s only Oscar nomination.

Oscar Chances: Won two Oscars and was nominated for another 6 including best picture

Chances of Sequel: No

 

Overall: A great crime romance story that may get forgotten but shouldn’t be

Rating 89

The Banshee Chapter (2013)

logoDirector: Blair Erickson

Writer: Blair Erickson (Screenplay) Daniel J. Healy (Story)

Starring: Katia Winter, Ted Levine, Michael McMillian, Monique Candelaria, Jenny Gabrielle, David Midthunder, Chad Brummett, Cyd Schulte, Vivian Nesbitt

 

Plot: After James Hirsch (McMillian) takes an experimental drug used by the government he disappears, he friend recording the events disappears after being questioned about James’ whereabouts. Now an old friend and journalist Anne Roland (Winter) wants to uncover the truth but what she finds will leave her battling to survive.

 

Verdict: Horror jumps all round

Story: The idea of government experiments and conspiracy always make a good story, you add a slice of suspense thriller jump horror you get a pretty good sounding story. Using flashbacks between the two investigating and what the experiments were make it feel like the blanks needed to be filled in but only little by little. Like most of these types of films we get a couple of twist ending just when you think that is it they throw more at you. The story may not be original but it works great to give what it says on the tin, scare the shit out of people. (8/10)

 

Actor Review: Katia Winter – Anne Roland a journalist who wants to know the truth about her friend, but just when she thinks she knows what is going on strange things start to happen around her. Good performance in the lead role acting panicked enough when need and calm when called for. Star Performance Award (9/10)

 anne

Actor Review: Ted Levine – Thomas Blackburn a 70s novelist who enjoys the drugs and arranges to supply them for James and later to try with Anne. Ted Levine the same guy who was Buffalo Bill in Silence of the Lambs gets to have some fun as the bonkers druggie who in a way says what we feel like saying in a horror film. Scene Stealer Award (9/10)

ted

Director Review: Blair Erickson – With his directional debut he gives us a genuine scary film that people need to see, I look forward to see what this guy does next. Debut Performance Award (9/10)

 

Horror: Jumps and tension you just don’t know what will happen next. (10/10)

Thriller: Edge of your seat from start to finish. (9/10)

Special Effects: Great special effects mainly used to create a snap second shot of something. (9/10)

Believability: Depends what you believe the government did in the past. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Some well-chosen settings to create the tension but we could have more in the chamber 5 for added scares. (8/10)

Suggestion: I will be suggesting this to all horror fans that like the paranormal type films, I think other fans may not enjoy this as much. Casual non-horror fans will not like this at all. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Surprise scene in the car with Thomas Blackburn

Worst Part: It is very short.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: Could have one

 

Overall: A great paranormal horror film

Rating 88

Thor: The Dark World (2013)

logoDirector: Alan Taylor

Writer: Christopher Yost, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (Screenplay) Don Payne, Robert Rodat (Story) Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby (Comic Book)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Natalie Portman, Tom Hiddleston, Anthony Hopkins, Christopher Eccleston, Jaimie Alexander, Zachary Levi, Ray Stevenson, Idris Elba, Kat Dennings

 

Plot: Thor (Hemsworth) returns to Asgard and unites all nine realms earning respect from all realms but his heart is still drawn Jane Foster (Portman) on Earth. An old enemy of Asgard Malekith (Eccleston) leader of the Dark Elves has been waiting for his chance to rise up and conquer and once Jane finds the Aether she becomes possessed, Malekith awakens and heads to Earth. Thor must come back to the rescue and brings along his brother Loki (Hiddleston).

 

Verdict: A smart, funny superhero film

Story: As a story on its own it will be very hard to pick up and watch and really understand what is going on. (6/10) As part of the franchise this is brilliant story that offers some much need reunion between Thor and Jane. It also gives us a conclusion to Loki story but leaving enough doors open for a Thor sequel as well as an events to return for the Avengers. (9/10)

 

Actor Review: Chris Hemsworth – Thor goes against orders to save the day much like the first Thor. Chris was made for this role and continues to do a great job in the role. Star Performance Award, Iconic Performance Award, Action Star Award (9/10)

 thor

Actor Review: Natalie Portman – Jane Foster the human love interest that’s curiosity gets the better of her. I feel like this role could go to a more unknown actress as someone of Natalie calibre needs to be in a more dominate screen role. (6/10)

jane

Actor Review: Tom Hiddleston – Loki the scene steals of the Avengers but locked up due to events in that film. Helps Thor escape to stop Malekith. Tom has made a real name for himself in this film and with the role he continues to be the star of the show. Scene Stealer Award, Favourite Character Award (9/10)

 loki

Actor Review: Christopher Eccleston – Malekith the leader of the Dark Elves who want to take control of all realms. Good villain role from a very capable actor. (8/10)

 malekith

Director Review: Alan Taylor – The first steps into movies and he does an excellent job fitting into the world created by previous directors. (9/10)

 

 

Action: The action scenes are very ambitious and stand out. (9/10)

Adventure: The adventure side of the film is good. (8/10)

Fantasy: With the creations of Asgard we get a brilliant fantasy world. (10/10)

Special Effects: Brilliant special effects all round. (10/10)

Believability: No but what comic book it? (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: The setting put together brilliantly be it Asgard, The Dark World or London. (9/10)

Suggestion: I personally enjoyed this film and would recommend this to people, but I do feel that you will need to have seen Thor and Avengers to understand some of the jokes and reasons certain things have happened. (Superhero Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Asgard invasion

Worst Part: Too many inside jokes about previous films.

Action Scene Of The Film: Asgard invasion

Funniest Scene: Any scene with Darcy (Kat Dennings) in

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes being it stand alone or next Avengers

Similar Too: Thor

 

Overall: Super, Superhero Action Film

Rating 88