Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Jake’s Road (2014)

logoDirector: Mike Mayhall

Writer: Mike Mayhall (Screenplay)

Starring: Eric Roberts, Garrett Hines, Leticia Jimenez, Patrick Flanagan, Tim Bell, Mike Mayhall, Ashton Leigh, Miles Doleac, Taryn Terrell

Plot: Jake’s Road, a full length suspense thriller that descends into horror. A young man awakens in a hospital bruised and beaten. He struggles to piece together the events flooding through his mind. As flashes of a relaxing weekend with friends slowly emerge, so does the horrific image of a killer – creeping ever closer. Somewhere within the madness is the key to the killer’s identity, but once discovered it may be more horrific than the murders themselves. Set in rural southern Louisiana ‘Jake’s Road’ is a tale of family and how one moment can rip you apart or bind you forever together. With enough twists and turns to keep you guessing until the very end as we discover what drives a man to kill all he loves and fight for all he has.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Recycled Slasher Film

Story: Jake’s Road starts with an injured young man Patrick (Flanagan) trying to remember what happened where he got picked up at Jake’s Road. Flashback to what is happened as he remembers his time in the cabin with his friends where Sam (Hines) was hurt. We move back to the cabin once more where we re-live the reunion between friends Sam, Kay (Jimenez), Mike (Bell), George (Mayhall), Joanie (Leigh), Heath (Doleac), Silvia (Terrell) and Chris along with Chris’ parents Martha (Samuelson) and Keith (Roberts).

Things take a turn when brothers Sam and Mike decide to sell the cabin that is filled with memories of their parents much to Keith’s disgust as he and his family have lived on the land for generations. When one of the friends get brutal murdered the rest find themselves being stalked by a killer in the woods.

Jake’s Road brings us a modern take on the slasher genre one more time. I liked how the characters got introduced even if they come off very generic in the supporting side of things. I liked how the story made the attack happen all in one day with great created isolation. Now with all this positives I have to look at the negatives. The opening sequences, does make sense but also gives too much away and the final twists is difficult to believe from what we have seen through the film but I am glad they didn’t go for the obvious. While this will make the general slasher fans but it will not offer much new. (6/10)

Actor Review

Eric Roberts: Keith is the family friend who the children want to move out as they look to sell the land, he doesn’t take the news well. Eric is added as the false villain that we all wanted to see but is also the biggest name in the film. (6/10)

Garrett Hines: Sam is one of the owners of the cabin who has bought his new girlfriend Kay there to propose but once he informs his friends he and his brother are selling the cabin he upsets the family friend before having to guide his friends against a mad man picking them off one by one. Garrett does a solid job in the leading role. (6/10)

Leticia Jimenez: Kay is the new girlfriend of Sam’s who is meeting all his friends for the first time, she ends up learning about the secrets of the cabin while having to fight for her life. Leticia does a solid job without being the standard damsel in distress. (6/10)kay

Patrick Flanagan: Chris is the best friend of Sam’s and the lone survivor from the opening scenes, it is him re-living the moments. He has to make the decision of backing his friends to sell or his family who live on the land. Patrick is solid in this role and has to offer the most. (6/10)chris

Support Cast: Jake’s Road has supporting characters that are rather generic and mostly used for disposable.

Director Review: Mike MayhallMike does a good job trying to bring us a new slasher film that gives us an attempted twist on the genre. (6/10)

Horror: Jake’s Road fills all the slasher check marks for the horror genre but doesn’t create any tension. (7/10)

Thriller: Jake’s Road builds the characters nicely but doesn’t end up letting the tension build up with the second half of the film. (3/10)

Settings: Jake’s Road creates an isolated location with the traditional cabin in the woods setting. (8/10)

Suggestion: Jake’s Road is one for the slasher fans to try but otherwise it is a horror film that can be missed. (Slasher Fans Try)

Best Part: The killer doesn’t hold back.

Worst Part: Too many twists.

Action Scene Of The Film:

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Wilderness

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $300,000

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

Overall: Slasher with too many twits for its own good.

Rating 55

Dragnet (1987)

logDirector: Tom Mankiewicz

Writer: Tom Mankiewicz, Dan Aykroyd, Alan Zweibel (Screenplay)

Starring: Dan Aykroyd, Tom Hanks, Christopher Plummer, Harry Morgan, Alexandra Paul, Jack O’Halloran, Elizabeth Ashley, Dabney Coleman

Plot: The equally-straight-laced and “by the book” nephew of Joe Friday must work with his more laid-back partner to solve a mystery.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Dated Buddy Cops

Story: Dragnet starts with Joe Friday (Aykroyd) introduces to Los Angeles where he works as a Sergeant in the Police force and takes great pride in it. Joe’s partner leaves him just as a new crime wave from a group called P.A.G.A.N with his new partner Detective Pep Streebek (Hanks). It doesn’t take long until we see the difference between the two men. The new partnership head to the zoo where two animals have been stolen and another one shaved.

Jerry Caesar (Coleman) owner of Bait magazine is also victim of P.A.G.A.N. where his magazines are all stolen or burnt before being released. P.A.G.A.N. continue to commit crimes across the city but what is their target. Reverend Whirley (Plummer) has been making a morale movement across America which grabs the attention of Joe & Pep.

When Joe & Pep go undercover they find P.A.G.A.N attempting a ritual sacrifice to Connie Swail (Paul) leading them to start getting answer to the questions. They discover the truth where they must stop even when they have no one believing them.

Dragnet must have been one of the first films based of a television show with a new cast and it has paved the path for plenty of future film ideas. I think this brings a series I would have never seen to the big screen and it would be one that would have worked during the time of release but I do feel it has dated a lot. I think the story is very basic and easy to follow offering no extra twists to the buddy cop genre. I think this film must have its fans out there but this really did nothing for me. (5/10)

Actor Review

Dan Aykroyd: Sgt. Joe Friday is by the rule book cop who has to deal with a new laid back partner who has to crack the latest case. He will take risks but would prefer to stay inside the rules. Dan is the best part of the film with his style of comedy which works in this format. (7/10)friday

Tom Hanks: Det Pep Streebek is the laid back detective who becomes Friday’s new partner, he doesn’t follow the rules to the same level but does get the job done. I personally just don’t see Tom as a comic actor and I feel he doesn’t really deliver enough in this role. (5/10)pep

Christopher Plummer: Reverend Jonathan Whirley who wants to change the city, he is also the leader of P.A.G.A.N. You see the name Christopher Plummer you know what you have in a villain and he was very basic in this film. (5/10)reeverened

Alexandra Paul: Connie Swail is the target of P.A.G.A.N who want to sacrifice her in their ritual to drive their movement. Alexandra does a basic damsel in distress role that doesn’t really work or get given enough screen time. (5/10)connie

Support Cast: Dragnet has generic supporting character including a police chief who doesn’t want to punish duo and a henchman that over powers our heroes.

Director Review: Tom Mankiewicz Tom does a solid job but doesn’t really get enough out of the idea on paper. (6/10)

Comedy: Dragnet has a few laugh but not enough to be a stand alone comedy. (5/10)

Chemistry: Dragnet does create a nice chemistry level between the two that works for the film. (7/10)

Settings: Dragnet uses Los Angeles as it setting which works for the idea behind the film. (9/10)

Suggestion: Dragnet is one to try but I always struggle to enjoy comedy films, so I think if you are a fan of the type of comedy you will enjoy this. (Try It)

Best Part: First car chase.

Worst Part: Dated style.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $57 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

Tagline: Just The Facts.

Overall: I feel this was good upon time of release, but now the market is flooded and this just seems to have fallen into the rest of them.

Rating 55