Monsters: Dark Continent (2015)

logoDirector: Tom Green

Writer: Tom Green, Jay Basu (Screenplay)

Starring: Sofia Boutella, Joe Dempsie, Johnny Harris, Nicholas Pinnock, Kyle Soller, Sam Keeley, Parker Sawyers, Michaela Coel, Jesse Nagy

 

Plot: Ten years on from the events of Monsters, and the ‘Infected Zones’ have now spread worldwide. In the Middle East a new insurgency has begun. At the same time there has also been a proliferation of Monsters in that region. The Army decide to draft in more numbers to help deal with this insurgency.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Insulting Toward the Original

 

Story: Monsters: Dark Continent starts with narration from Michael Parkes (Keeley) a reluctant solider who explains that the monsters have started to spread destroying cities through the Middle East, where the new Infected Zone is. Frater (Harris) is a sniper who has completed his mission before making his swift getaway back to the US base.

Flashback I think to watch Michael and his unit Frankie (Dempsie) Inkelaar (Soller) and Shaun (Sawyers) back in Detroit preparing to be shipped out again. We learn how the unit all has each other’s back and will fight anyone to protect each other. Drugs, booze and hookers this must mean we are having a leaving party because that is what everyone does right? Well that was a painful excuse to show boobs in a war based film.

Now for the real story to start, we are now following the helicopter assault of a heard of giant monsters which is quickly completed. Frater and Forrest (Pinnock) run the base and give the new recruits the rules on how to survive the situation. We follow the soldiers on basic missions around towns as we witness the effects of war not just on with the monsters but with the terrorists.

The unit has been on plenty of patrols without seeing much action before they get a mission to locate a group of missing soldiers. When the convoy gets hit, the mission changes to one of survival against a human enemy as well as a monster threat. Frater, Michael, Inkelaar and Frankie are the four surviving members of the unit who have to try and stay ahead of the enemy, but aren’t very successful. Before long Frater and Michael are left alone, captured by the enemy they have to escape while the enemy is dealing with a monster attack.

Monsters: Dark Continent moves the action to a different continent and never explains how the monsters ended up in that location considering the first one being set in Mexico. The most part of this film is a dreadfully boring war story that just has monsters on the outside of it, I am willing to say I don’t even know what the point of having the monsters in this film actually is. The war side of the story has been done so many times it offers nothing to the genre and ends up ruining anything the first film created. I personally think this will be one of the worst stories of the year. (2/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Johnny Harris: Noah Frater the veteran on tour who leads the unit on the mission and after things go wrong he takes charge of the inexperienced unit as they try to fight against enemies both human and monster. Johnny ends up being a very generic soldier who has been at war too long. (3/10)

 

Sam Keeley: Michael the rookie soldier who is with his unit and after they all die he is left alone with Frater as they try to survive against the odds. Sam fills the generic rookie soldier and doesn’t make an impact in the role. (3/10)

 

Support Cast: Monsters: Dark Continent has a supporting cast that includes the fellow soldiers who mostly die early on and we get to see the effects of their death on the two remaining soldiers.

 

Director Review: Tom Green – Tom doesn’t do the original film any justice and gives us one of the most misleading films of the year. (2/10)

 

Sci-Fi: Monsters: Dark Continent tries to put us in a world where the monsters are now part of the world but doesn’t rise to the levels it could have. (5/10)

Thriller: Monsters: Dark Continent is meant to be a thriller but you will spend time looking at your watch wondering how much more. (2/10)

Settings: Monsters: Dark Continent brings the action to the Middle East but never explains why it ends up there. (4/10)
Special Effects
: Monsters: Dark Continent has one positive, the monster creations all look very good and very real throughout the film. (10/10)

Suggestion: Monsters: Dark Continent is really going to have to be one to avoid, it is too long, too dull and lacks any real monster action. (Avoid)

 

Best Part: The monsters all look very real.

Worst Part: Too Long and no monster action.

What Could Have Been Better? – Explain how the monsters ended up in the Middle East, Involve the monsters, make it interesting.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Left open to one and made right I would watch a sequel.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

Trivia: The main actor from the first Monsters movie Scott McNairy is signed on as an Executive Producer for Monsters:Dark Continent.

 

Overall: Very disappoint sequel to one of the best low budget films of recent years.

Rating 25

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Top 5 Favourite Kirsten Dunst Roles

Kirsten Dunst has been making movies since 1989 at the tender age of 7 and she has gone onto to make a grand total of 70 appearances in film and television. She managed to be one of the child stars who managed to break through to the adult level without any hiccups or problems. It would be fair to say the early noughties were her most successfully at the Box Office but now she is focusing on choices she wants to do. Today marks her birthday and as always I will be picking my favourite five roles.

5. Christy Fimple – Small Soldiers (1998)small

When the evil toy soldiers start trying to take over her friend’s house she gets dragged into the battle when her Barbie’s get turned into maniacs with the same chips used in the combating toys.

4. Justine – Melancholia (2011)melan

Justine is the focal character in both stories being told here, the first is her wedding day and the second is her slow breakdown when she finds out the world is going to end. This is an example of how she is willing to take risker roles.

3. Mary Jane Watson – Spiderman (2002)spider

Mary Jane is the love interest of Peter Parker who he can’t get involved with because of his Spider Man identity. I think this would be one of her biggest roles and shows that people trusted her to become a megastar.

2. Judy Shepherd – Jumanji (1996)juma

In what is the deadliest board game film involving children we get to see this adventure comedy with the late great Robin Williams. I have to pick this because this was one of my favourite childhood movies.

1. Claudia – Interview With The Vampire (1994)vampire

In what is one of my favourite vampire films this might only be a supporting role but it is one of the few films that ever showed what it would have been like for a child to be an immortal vampire and what happens to her character is truly horrific.

Lake Placid (1999)

logoDirector: Steve Miner

Writer: David E. Kelley (Screenplay)

Starring: Bill Pullman, Bridget Fonda, Oliver Platt, Brendan Gleeson, Betty White, David Lewis, Tim Dixon, Natassia Malthe, Mariska Hargitay

 

Plot: A group attempts to destroy a giant, 30-foot-long man-eating crocodile, which terrorizes Black Lake, Maine.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Creature Feature Before it was Mega

 

Story: Lake Placid starts with a scientist tagging beavers with Sheriff Keough (Gleeson) looking after the boat, but something attacks the scientist leaving the Sheriff to pull out half his body. Move to the city where we meet Kelly Scott (Fonda) palaeontologist. Next back to Lake Placid and Jack Wells (Pullman) from Fish and Game has turned up to investigate the body and what could have attack the man. Kelly is sent to Placid to look at a strange tooth that is found on the body only to discover it is from a living reptile.

Hank, Jack and Kelly have to put aside their differences and work together to figure out what is in the lake and what could potential do the damage to actually rip a man in half. When Hector Cyr (Platt) arrives believing they are after a crocodile. Finding remains of the first victim they discover they are in fact after a crocodile so they prepare to capture it.

The four still struggling to get along they finally get to see how big the crocodile actually is when it takes down a grizzly bear. They have to decide whether to catch or kill the crocodile and after they decide to try and catch it we are left to see if it was the right decision.croc

Lake Placid is a film that is almost before its time, I say that because we look at what is getting made on a regular basis now (Mega Shark, Giant Octopus, Sharkzilla the list goes on) this was how to make one with a little bit of money and practicial effects. I am not saying this was brilliant but most importantly it was fun and made for a good horror comedy. I like the idea of four main characters and seeing them not get along as well as having that feeling that one might get eaten throughout the film. On the negative side we don’t get a real body count which takes away certain aspects of the horror side of the film. I personally found this fun and easily re-watchable just don’t watch it with your serious head on. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Bill Pullman: Jack Wells man from Fish & Game who is in charge of the investigation and has the final say on any of the ideas going on. Jack constantly takes charge and flirts between being a good guy and bad guy with his choice even though we know he is making the right ones each time. Bill gives a solid performance but doesn’t reach the levels we know he can. (6/10)

 rest

Bridget Fonda: Kelly Scott palaeontologist who is sent from New York to identify what cause an animal attack and ends up staying to help catch the creature even though she spends more time falling out boats or cars. Bridget does a good job as the constant damsel in distress. (6/10)

 

Oliver Platt: Hector Cyr the crocodile expert who wants to try and catch this creature and his constant trap setting makes for extra laughs because the friction between Hector and Hank is very funny. Oliver does a good job and shows off a good comic side here. (7/10)

 

Brendan Gleeson: Sheriff Hank Keough is from the school of seeing is believing and doesn’t believe there is a crocodile until he sees one. He wants to keep the people safe at all costs. Brendan does a good job in this role that has good comic side to it. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: Lake Placid has a support cast that in different levels of authority who help out, an old lady who has been feeding the crocodile and the people who sent Kelly along. They all help for a bit of extra comedy.

 

Director Review: Steve Miner – Steve does a good job directing and we know we can trust him with this genre of film. (7/10)

 

Comedy: Lake Placid has good comedy moments mostly involving Hank and Hector. (7/10)

Horror: Lake Placid doesn’t reach many horror levels but also doesn’t try too hard to be one. (5/10)

Settings: Lake Placid has a beautiful showing how a paradise can turn into something terrible. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Lake Placid uses very good practical effects for the crocodile making it feel more like a real attack. (8/10)

Suggestion: Lake Placid is one for the horror comedy creature feature fans to enjoy. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Crocodile and the bear.

Worst Part: Bit short.

Funniest Scene: Hank falls for another one of Hectors traps.odd couple

Kill Of The Film: Deputy on the boat.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has 3 TV movie sequels

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $57 Million

Budget: $27 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

Tagline: Part Mystery Part Thriller Parts Missing

 

Overall: Lake Placid is a fun film that really hasn’t dated over 15 years, but really could have been the top dog on the world we are in now with all these creature feature like films.

Rating 71

The Hunter (2011)

logoDirector: Daniel Nettheim

Writer: Alice Addison (Screenplay) Julia Leigh (Novel)

Starring: Willem Dafoe, Frances O’Connor, Sam Neill, Morgana Davies, Finn Woodlock, Jacek Koman

 

Plot: Martin, a mercenary, is sent from Europe by a mysterious biotech company to the Tasmanian wilderness on a hunt for the last Tasmanian tiger.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Visually Brilliant

 

Story: The Hunter starts by introducing Martin (Dafoe) a mercenary who is hired by Red Leaf a Biotech company who want DNA samples, hair, blood of a long thought extinct Tasmanian tiger for their own use. Martin travels to Tasmanian where two reported sightings in the last year have be confirmed. Martin stays with a family whose father is lost out in the outback and gets his own tour guide Jack (Neill).

Martin starts with the basics learning about the local wildlife and showing off his expert trapping skills. We watch how he continues to hunt but it soon becomes apparent he isn’t alone in his pursuit. Martin also learns about the family he is staying with and helps Lucy (O’Connor) get over her personal demons. Martin finds himself in the middle of political battle between environmentalists and the local workers. All these things come together to force Martin to uncover the truth about what is going on.

The Hunter is a film not only about the quest to find the last Tasmanian tiger, it also focuses on the human factor and greed people will have to potential rule a species extinct to get ahead. I personally am a man who believes we should be trying to save our endangered species and this film plays on that urban legend of this one still being alive out there. I think all the hunting scenes are harder to watch but important in the development of Martin because we learn about his drive. As the story continues we learn that he relaxes his situation onto the tigers and feels for both the family he is staying with and the tiger he is hunting. I will say this is going to displease the nature lovers out there, but as a story this is truly a heart breaking tale. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Willem Dafoe: Martin Our lone hunter who is very ritual in his routines, he gets hired by a biotech company to hunt down the last remaining Tasmanian tiger. Along his way he meets and becomes friends with a small family and stands up for what is right. Willem gives a great performance making himself a screen presence in every single scene. (9/10)

 dafoe

Frances O’Connor: Lucy wife of the missing man that Martin stays with, she is struggling to deal with his disappearance but her children help around the house and with Martin. Frances gives a good performance in this role. (7/10)

 

Sam Neill: Jack family friend who brings Martin to the area but seems to be hiding a secret or two. Sam does a good job in this supporting role. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: The Hunter has three main supporting areas, we have the children who help understand how this hunt could cause troubles, we have the environmentalist who want to protect anything that could be there and we have the people who don’t want to be out of a job. Everything single member of the cast does a good job.

 

Director Review: Daniel Nettheim – David does a good job directing this film that leaves you with your feelings exposed by the end. (8/10)

 

Drama: The Hunter creates a conflict that puts our characters in a position that is very difficult, letting us see how they handle the situations. (9/10)

Thriller: The Hunter has a thriller element to it but sometimes loses to focus upon something else. (7/10)

Cinematography: The Hunter is visually beautiful with the landscapes shots. (10/10)

Music: The Hunter uses its music to let us know how the characters feel throughout each scene. (9/10)

Settings: The Hunter has beautiful settings of the outback in Australia. (10/10)

Suggestion: The Hunter is one to try I don’t think it will be for everything, but this is a bleak thriller that will break your heart but will send the message about what we need to stop doing. (Try It)

 

Best Part: I am putting the final hunt as best and worst moment, because it is the best but also the worst part because of what happens.

Worst Part: Final hunt.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: You could have some with the final scene. (3/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for 12 Australian Film Institute Awards Winning two

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: Some Mysteries Should Never Be Solved

Trivia: During the beginning of this film, actual original black-and-white archival footage is seen of the last ever Tasmanian Tiger living in captivity.

 

Overall: Beautifully Shot Drama Thriller

Rating 76

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies (2014)

logoDirector: Peter Jackson

Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson, Guillermo del Toro (Screenplay) J.R.R. Tolkien (Novel)

Starring: Ian McKellen, Martin Freeman, Richard Armitage, Ken Scott, Graham McTavish, William Kircher, James Nesbitt, Stephen Hunter Orlando Bloom, Evangeline Lilly, Lee Pace, Cate Blanchett, Hugo Weaving, Christopher Lee, Ian Holm, Benedict Cumberbatch, Luke Evans, Stephen Fry

 

Plot: Bilbo and Company are forced to engage in a war against an array of combatants and keep the Lonely Mountain from falling into the hands of a rising darkness.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Shortest of the Saga but Still Too Long

 

Story: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies starts with the effects of the previous film with Smaug entering into the town destroying everything in its way. Bilbo (Freeman) and the rest of the dwarfs watch on helplessly while Bard (Evans) tries to be hero the town saving his family along the way. Bard manages to put the beast down saving what is left of the town but away from the destruction we see how Gandalf (McKellen) is still captured.

We see the aftermath of the attack with the towns people ready to turn on each other before the dwarfs going onto their next chapter with Thorin (Armitage) starting to become obsessed with the newly discovered gold. Bard taking control of the town’s people must lead them to safety while Legolas (Bloom) but find out who is going to be interested in the newly discovered gold. The mountain has become the target for all of the powers in middle earth and they all come together for one long battle for the gold.

The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is based on five pages of a children’s book and turns out to be well over 2 hours long, let’s face it there isn’t much of a story here, nothing happens except a battle that goes on, and on and almost decides to go Fuck it lets put this animal in it see what happens. The opening of the film is confusing because if you forgot what happened last time it doesn’t make any sense and to make things worse the characters are so easily forgettable you don’t care what happens to them. This is simply put a terrible conclusion to a saga that over stayed its welcome. (2/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Ian McKellen: Gandalf is the wizard who seems to have a calming influence on every side but even he can’t stop the battle from going on. Ian is in it but I don’t really know what he does, swings his stick a little and chats to Bilbo, could have had anyone do this really. (3/10)

 

Martin Freeman: Bilbo Baggins is on his biggest adventure and always tries to do the right thing even if it makes enemies of friends. Martin becomes the supporting character in a film about his own adventure but he does a solid job. (5/10)

bilbo

Richard Armitage: Thorin is the dwarf king who is losing control because of his hold over the gold, this is making him isolated from his friends and leaving him making rash decision. Richard does a solid job but is he happy or sad oh wait I don’t know. (5/10)

 rich

Orlando Bloom: Legolas is our returning hero who completes his appearances in all of the sagas with an investigation mission to who is preparing for battle for the mountain. Orlando clearly needed an extra pay day so he can go back to the shit movies he has been making here. (3/10)

 

Luke Evans: Bard is the warrior fighting for his city and saving it from the dragon Smaug before holding everything together trying to find a peaceful conclusion to the gold in the mountain. I personally thought Luke played the most interesting character of the whole film but that was because he got to kick ass at the start. (6/10)

bard

Support Cast: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has so many supporting characters I just didn’t remember the names of it is unbelievable really, none of the made an impact enough to make you care about them.

 

Director Review: Peter Jackson – Peter has finally slipped off the top of the mountain after the success of his first trilogy we get a very complete lacklustre one. (4/10)

 

Adventure: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies doesn’t really have much adventure because no one seems to do any travelling in this one. (0/10)

Fantasy: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies puts us in a fantasy world where they seem to just put any creature they like on screen. (6/10)

Settings: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies have a very CGI world to battle in with location that make for assistance in battle. (5/10)
Special Effects
: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies has very poor special effects for the budget the film has. (3/10)

Suggestion: The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies is one for only the fans to see and even then I think they will feel disappointed with the final product. (Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Opening Dragon attack.

Worst Part: The Rest

Action Scene Of The Film: The Battle looks epic but I don’t know who is who.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for 1 Oscar

Box Office: $955 Million

Budget: $250 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 24 Minutes

Tagline: Witness the defining chapter of the Middle-Earth saga

Trivia: In the book, the whole Battle Of The Five Armies takes place in just one chapter, and is described to the reader after the fact. While in the film, the battle takes up nearly half of the running time.

 

Overall: This has to go down as a bad, boring film that really doesn’t have any redeeming qualities.

Rating 30