Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters (2013)

logoDirector: Tommy Wirkola

Writer: Tommy Wirkola (Screenplay)

Starring: Jeremy Renner, Gemma Arterton, Famke Janssen, Pihla Viitala, Derek Mears, Robin Atkin Downes, Ingrid Bolos Berdal, Joanna Kulid, Thomas Mann, Peter Stormare

 

Plot: Hansel & Gretel are bounty hunters who track and kill witches all over the world. As the fabled Blood Moon approaches, the siblings encounter a new form of evil that might hold a secret to their past.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Action Heavy Story Short

 

Story: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters starts with a twist on the known Hansel & Gretel story where as children they were left in the forest by their parents. Hansel & Gretel come upon a candy covered home in search for help but what they find inside is witch but the two handle themselves, deal with the problem and never go back to their parents.

Grown up Hansel (Renner) & Gretel (Arterton) are known as the witch hunters going from town to town to defeat whatever witch is haunting the villagers. Sheriff Berringer (Stormare) is hunting a witch in his town and Hansel & Gretel are bought in by the Mayor to find the witch leading to the instant tension between the two parties. The Sheriff decides to hire his own team to find the witch but she does one better, Muriel (Janssen) finds them and makes quick work of them.

Hansel& Gretel capture one of the witches and discover the plan where Muriel leader of the witches is planning to take 12 children and after they take the 12th Hansel & Gretel become separated. Hansel gets help from a local girl Mina (Viitala) while Gretel receives help from an unlikely source a troll. Hansel & Gretel must face their deadliest enemy to date.

Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters takes an old story we all have heard before and makes it a all grown up version. I like the idea of see what happened when the pair grew up but sadly that is the only real positive I could find in this film. The fact that the action scenes are nearly all identical with running through the woods or the town followed by Hansel or Gretel getting pretty much battered before pulling of something as a pair to defeat the enemy makes me wonder how they have lasted this long. The witch’s motives seem like a very similar take on what ‘The Brothers Grimm’ film had going on and the attempted twists are easier to read that a Dr Seuss book. I felt very disappointed with the lack of originality in this story because I feel the idea has a lot of potential. (4/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Jeremy Renner: Hansel the brother of the pair who is very much the jump in head first kind of guy, he does spend a lot of time running through the woods but is loyal to Gretel until the end. Jeremy does a solid job and takes his beatings well, but never gets to show any of his acting abilities through this film. (5/10)

 hansel

Gemma Arterton: Gretel the brains of the act who uncovers what is really going on, she is much more patient than Hansel but can handle herself in a fight. Gemma has the look of a sexy witch hunter but really that is all. (4/10)

gertel

Famke Janssen: Muriel the evil witch who is out to become the most powerful indestructible witch of all time. She is already more powerful than anything the two have faced before. Famke does a solid job in the villainous role but really doesn’t get a chance to be as evil as her character requires. (5/10)

 

Support Cast: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters has a supporting cast that includes the fellow witches out to complete the ritual, it also has the towns people who are scared of what is happening.

 

Director Review: Tommy Wirkola – I have to say I like Tommy’s work on the Dead Snow films but this seems like it tries too hard to make something extra happen and forgets to make the simple happen. (4/10)

 

Action: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters has plenty of running, getting beaten up, shooting and missing that it takes over the whole story with all easy action. (6/10)

Fantasy: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters takes us into a fantasy world of witches but tries to keep things real, which doesn’t always work. (6/10)

Horror: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters doesn’t really end up being that much of a horror we have some very good effect used on the kills but nothing truly horror. (4/10)

Settings: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters uses the settings well to put us in the time period the film is set in. (7/10)
Special Effects
: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters uses some good special effects but you did know when it is CGI. (6/10)

Suggestion: Hansel & Gretel: Witch Hunters is one to watch late night television when nothing is on and you feel like trying it. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: Certain kills are good.

Worst Part: Lack of story.

Action Scene Of The Film: Attacking the witches.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Open for one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $226 Million

Budget: $50 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

Tagline: Classic Tale New Twist

 

Overall: This is a lacklustre addition to the action horror genre that really doesn’t know which genre it wants to be and falls flat on its face.

Rating 45

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Halloween Kingathon – Maximum Overdrive (1986)

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Director: Stephen King

Writer: Stephen King

Emilio Estevez, Stephen King (cameo)

Plot: When a comet passes through Earth, electronic devices (lawnmowers, electric signs, ATM machines, you name it!) start to move and decide to kill every organic being on the planet.

The film starts with a man (Stephen King) trying to withdraw some money from an ATM machine. But instead of dispensing some cash, the machine calls him “an a**hole.” From that point, everything went from bad to absolute madness in no time at all, as everything that was once useful to mankind started their assault: lawnmowers started shredding dogs, drawbridges began raising their pathways even when cars were still crossing, and electronics started electrocuting everyone. In one scene, a vending machine kills a man by shooting canned sodas at his groin and skull.

Mobile phones were hard to come by back in the late 80s but god knows what would have happened if they were prevalent in Maximum Overdrive. Apart from the power of the Internet, almost everything can now be executed using apps via smart gadgets. Gaming Realms, an entertainment provider that gave life to recreational site Pocket Fruity Humanity’s chances for survival in the movie are slim until an ex-convict by the name of Bill Robinson (Emilio Estevez) appears. When Bill sees a black truck with a Green Goblin mask running over people, he knew he had to do something.

Robinson rallies all the survivors and commands them to fight back using the firearms they discovered in a hidden bunker. Of course, the trucks annihilate most of the humans. At some point during the film, the trucks needed to get their gas tanks refilled and that’s where the tide of the battle changed in favor of the humans.

In a conversation with the trucks that can only be channeled through Morse code, the humans agreed to pump diesel into their tanks in exchange for safety. Distracted by the refueling of their tanks, Robinson pulls the pin of a grenade, puts the explosive inside a vehicle, destroys it, and then uses the commotion to lead the party of survivors to safety.

Actor Review 

Emilio Estevez: This wasn’t one of his finest moments unlike the mainstream success he had with The Mighty Ducks franchise. He was given a Golden Raspberry Award Nomination for the “Worst actor in a film,” for his role in Maximum Overdride. It’s like watching Jean Claude Van Damme in a rom-com. It’s awkward, and Estevez just isn’t the right person to lead a band of survivors against evil machines in this would-be horror movie.

Stephen King: In all honesty, King should’ve just stayed behind the camera. But perhaps the reason for his cameo was to help build the profile of the film, which he later admitted was the worst adaptation of his career.

Director Review: Maximum Overdrive is the perfect example why movie adaptations should tread lightly. Not everything that can be masterfully explained through words can be converted to the silver screen.

Horror: Horror? More like comedy (1/10)

Thriller: At some point, you’ll be expecting to see some new form of killing that a random electronic gadget will execute… (5/10)

Setting: Maximum Overdrive couldn’t have chosen a more perfect setting for a film: a forgettable US-based city filled with forgettable characters (2/10)

Suggestion: It’s so bad it’s like it was if a B-movie director made it. It’s something that you’d want to watch with your mates who are looking for something to amuse them.

Best Part: The end credits

Worst Part: Deciding to see this movie because it has the Stephen King name on it.

Kill Of The Film: A kid being electrocuted by an arcade machine. The part where he instantly gets pulled away by the shock is hilarious.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Please no.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar To: Sharknado

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $7.4 Million

Budget: $9 Million

Runtime: 97 Minutes

Tagline: Stephen King’s Masterpiece of Terror Directed by the Master Himself

Overall: Don’t waste 97 minutes of your life.

Rating: 5%

Halloween Kingathon – Maximum Overdrive (1986) From Tranquil Dreams

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Kim from Tranquil Dreams brings us this review on Stephen King’s only directed film, let’s see what she thinks

 

 

maximum overdrive posterDirector: Stephen King

Cast: Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington, Yeardley Smith, John Short, Holter Graham


A comet just flew over the world.  At a truck stop, a few people stop there and get stuck there when what everyone assumes is the radiation from the comet is causing the machines to start having a mind of their own.  Is it possession or is the world turning around? No one knows what is going on but they only wish that when the comet leaves, things will go back to normal.  Or else, they have no idea how long they can last stuck in the truck stop. 


maximum overdrive group

Maximum Overdrive is one of my guilty pleasures.  It was made the year I was born.  I actually didn’t know that until I was doing research for that review, or maybe I did but it slipped my mind.  Regardless, its a fun campy little movie. I’ve never read the short story that this movie is based on but with the author at the helm, there is a lot of heart.  It reflects what the story itself wanted its readers to see, at least I’m guessing that is a safe bet. Its no masterpiece and the effects are super dated with these laser-y textures and neon-ish lights for the weird comet covering the area.  On our modern day spoiled with great effects days, this movie certainly doesn’t age well but the heart in this is incredible and I think its for that I truly love it. Plus, the soundtrack is AC/DC.  I’m not huge on that usually but it was a perfect fit. 


maximum overdrive emilio estevez

The characters are also very balanced.  We have a good group of people here with different personalities that help cause a little friction.  There’s always the hero and the girl, a mean and selfish boss character, a not so righteous religious guy, a father and son story and most of all, a very memorably annoying newly wed couple.  Emilio Estevez is something like the hero here and while maybe the layout of the story gets a little messy with a ton of subplots going on, his performance is quite commendable.  In fact, some sub-characters are quite over the top.  But at times, it just gave it some laugh out loud moments. 


maximum overdrive trucks

The key to enjoying Maximum Overdrive is to not take it seriously because it doesn’t take itself seriously at all.  Its about trucks and machines going crazy and coming to life.  While it does show that we have a huge reliance on machines, and its probably even more relevant now, the story is decent and a ton of fun.  Stephen King may not be making masterpiece in the director’s chair but he does have a lot of heart and we know exactly what he wants us to get from this story.  Its entertaining and an adventure even if its a little dated. Every once in a while, that’s what we need: suspend our disbeliefs a little, shut our brains off for an hour or two and just get a good laugh out of some random stuff that can happen. And that is exactly how I enjoy Maximum Overdrive

Halloween Kingathon – Maximum Overdrive (1986)

Banner-2ogoDirector: Stephen King

Writer: Stephen King (Screenplay)

Starring: Emilio Estevez, Pat Hingle, Laura Harrington, Yeardley Smith, John Short, Ellen McElduff, J.C. Quinn, Christopher Murney, Holter Graham, Frankie Faison

Plot: A group of people try to survive when machines start to come alive and become homicidal.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: This is Why he Writes

Story: Maximum Overdrive starts with some science explaining ow Earth will be inside radiation from a passing comet for eight days. We follow as a small town starts to get over run by the machines and Bill Robinson (Estevez) an employee at a small diner has to lead the survivors in their quest to survive as the machines try to find the most graphic ways to kill people. Diner manager Bubba (Hingle) brings the weapons and newly-weds Connie (Smith) and Curtis (Short) end up trapped in the diner on the way to their honeymoon.

Maximum Overdrive is one of those invasion like ideas that tries to do something original, but this ends up being something I don’t want to see again. It really gets a lot stuck in the middle of the ideas and never decides if it wants to be a comedy or something serious. The characters get zero development and as for the science angle that just ends up feeling out of place. This is easily one of those films that will get put in the bracket of that bad you have to see though. (3/10)

Actor Review

Emilio Estevez: Bill Robinson is the diner employee who has to step up to protect his friends and customers when they become trapped inside the diner surrounded by trucks with minds of their own. Emilio doesn’t get the most time to show his talents in this role. (4/10)

Support Cast: Maximum Overdrive has a group of survivors who all have different traits which can either help or hinder their chance of making it.

Director Review: Stephen King Stephen has admitted this was a bad film and he knows what he is talking about. (3/10)

Action: Maximum Overdrive has action packed kills but doesn’t really make the most of the chances it has. (5/10)

Comedy: Maximum Overdrive has a few funny moments but never reaches full levels it could. (4/10)

Horror: Maximum Overdrive doesn’t reach any of the horror level required for this style of film. (3/10)

Sci-Fi: Maximum Overdrive tries to add a sci-fi angle but never looks into the idea enough. (4/10)

Settings: Maximum Overdrive put of group trapped works for the film and could be the only highlight out there. (7/10)

Suggestion: Maximum Overdrive is a be drunk to enjoy film. (Watch Drunk)

Best Part: Can machine.

Worst Part: Most of it.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $7.5 Million

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

Tagline: Imagine your worst nightmare: machines take over the world!

Trivia: Stephen King, being a former cocaine addict, later admitted that he was “coked out of my mind” the entire time he was making this picture and often didn’t know what he was doing. He remarked that he’d like to try directing again someday, this time sober.

Overall: This was so bad I might give away my DVD of it.

Rating 20