Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – Burying the Ex (2014)

burying the exDirector: Joe Dante

Writer: Alan Trezza (Screenplay)

Starring: Anton Yelchin, Ashley Greene, Alexandra Daddario, Oliver Cooper

Plot: A guy’s regrets over moving in with his girlfriend are compounded when she dies and comes back as a zombie.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Comedy Horror

Story: Burying the Ex starts with Max (Yelchin) involved in a relationship with Evelyn (Greene) who has been changing him much against his step brother Travis’ (Cooper). Max works in a Horror shop and after he gets a new shipment including a Satan Genie which the young couple promise to be together forever. After the two move in together Max is having second thoughts about the relationship and tries to figure out a way to end their relationship, but on the way to meet Max, Evelyn is hit and killed by a bus.

When Max trying to move on meets Olivia (Daddario) the perfect girl for him he gets the shock of his life when Evelyn comes back from the dead to keep the promise the two made to be together forever, this lives Max struggling with finding a way to get rid of Evelyn forever.

Burying the Ex is a comedy that I actually liked because you all know by now that I struggle to enjoy comedy films. I liked how this film handles the idea of clingy ex’s when one person clearly wants to move on. I liked how the idea that the decomposing reflexes how the relationship is going. My only negative on the story is that it feels like it is very much for the certain fans and not for everyone.

Actor Review

Anton Yelchin: Max is the horror expert who is currently living with his over demanding girlfriend, he wants to break up with her but upon getting around to it she gets killed. While trying to move on with the dream girl his ex comes back from the dead trying to make a promise the two made continue. Max has to find a way to get rid of his ex before the new girl finds out about her. Anton gives us a good comedic performance without being stupid comedy.max

Ashley Greene: Evelyn is Max’s girlfriend, she is vegan and controls Max’s life, she gets very attached to Max but gets killed when she thinks everything is going well. She comes back from the dead stronger and even more clinging than before trying to keep the romance going. Ashley gives us a good performance playing what comes off as a bitch but also in need of someone in her life.

Alexandra Daddario: Olivia is the perfect girl for Max, she loves all the horror movies he does and has similar ambitious, after Evelyn dies she starts a romance with Max but Evelyn becomes a stumbling block in any potential relationship. Alexandra brings us a good performance showing she is moving into more adult roles.

Oliver Cooper: Travis is the step-brother of Max who he goes to when he needs relationship advice, he has an ability to attract beautiful woman even when he treats them like dirt. Oliver makes for perfect comedy relief character for this film.

Support Cast: Burying the Ex really doesn’t have much of a supporting cast with just being in one scene if they do show up.

Director Review: Joe DanteJoe brings his style of horror comedy into this film that gets laughs, references and plenty of gore.

Comedy: Burying the Ex has plenty of laughs throughout with plenty going towards horror references.

Horror: Burying the Ex has horror moments with most being references and simple gore.

Romantic: Burying the Ex uses the idea of ending and starting a relationship with the chemistry between the new love.

Settings: Burying the Ex has a couple of settings which work to show the character everyday life without using any over the top settings.
Special Effects: Burying the Ex has good special effects to show the decaying side of Evelyn.

Suggestion: Burying the Ex is one to watch because it really is just fun. (Watch)

Best Part: Travis reaction to Evelyn still being alive.

Worst Part: It would end up looking like it would only be good for a set audience.

Funniest Scene: Travis reaction to Evelyn still being alive.

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Life After Beth, Clinger

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

Tagline: Some relationships just won’t die.

Overall: Horror comedy that is filled with laughs and gore

Ratingcard

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Tim Robbins Weekend – Arlington Road (1999)

logoDirector: Mark Pellington

Writer: Ehren Kruger (Screenplay)

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Tim Robbins, Joan Cusack, Hope Davis, Robert Gossett, Mason Gamble, Spencer Treat Clark, Stanley Anderson

Plot: A college professor begins to suspect that his neighbour is a terrorist.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Socking Thriller

Story: Arlington Road starts when Michael Faraday (Bridges) finds a young boy walking down the street servilely injured before rushing him to hospital. The boy Brady (Gamble) lives across the street from Michael but as the family has only recently moved in he hasn’t got to know them. The parent Oliver (Robbins) and Cheryl (Cusack) show their gratitude for saving their son opening up a friendship between the two families.

We learn that Michael lost his wife who working for the FBI and that he along with his son are still coming to terms of losing her, Michael is a lecturer who has started with a new relationship with Brooke (Davis). Michael also teaches about terrorism where he preaches about how the effects of certain crimes including the one that saw his wife die, he doesn’t believe the story he has been told.

When Michael starts questioning certain details about the Lang’s he doesn’t know what he will find but what when he does discover the truth he will be left shocked while trying to find a way to spread the truth.

Arlington Road is a film that plays along the idea of conspiracy where our lead thinks something is going on but no one wants to believe him. I do like the idea that this film give us because just because we think someone might be up to something doesn’t mean they are. With the ending being one of the most shocking in modern film I think this is a stand out film that isn’t afraid to go where other films wouldn’t dare. (9/10)

Actor Review

Jeff Bridges: Michael Faraday is the widowed single father who lost his wife in a terrorist attack, he is still dealing with the consequences of her death while trying to move on with his life. When he befriends the new neighbours he thinks it is a chance for his son to make new friends, but when certain things come up between him and Oliver about stories Michael starts investigating the truth. Jeff does a great job in this role showing just how desperate he is to make sure his son is safe going through to the completely on the edge by the end of the film. (9/10)michael

Tim Robbins: Oliver Lang is the neighbour across the road, everything comes off very friendly but when Michael digs into his past he learns that he might be a very different person than he is letting on to be. Tim does a good job keeping everything calm and calculated through the film. (8/10)lang

Joan Cusack: Cheryl Lang is the wife of Oliver also comes off very friendly but is she helping cover up the truth about Oliver or just as involved in what is going on. Joan does a solid job but doesn’t get the screen time required. (6/10)

Hope Davis: Brooke Wolfe is the new girlfriend of Michael, she is just started the relationship so isn’t trying to replace his late wife but is trying to build the bridges with his son. She thinks Michael is getting paranoid while he looks into the truth about the new neighbours. Hope does a solid job but doesn’t get on the par as the leading males. (6/10)

Support Cast: Arlington Road has a supporting cast that includes the kids from both family’s as well as the FBI friend who tries to keep Michael’s feet on the ground.

Director Review: Mark PellingtonMark gives us a thriller that isn’t afraid to shock us and for that he deserves all the praise. (9/10)

Crime: Arlington Road lets us know early on that this will be about a terrorist crime but just what the plan is remains the question. (8/10)

Thriller: Arlington Road keep you on the edge of your seat until the credits because you will be shocked with how the film ends. (10/10)

Settings: Arlington Road creates a normal suburban neighbourhood for the setting which only adds to the shock value. (10/10)

Suggestion: Arlington Road is a film that must be watched mainly just for how shockingly it ends. (Watch)

Best Part: The End.

Worst Part: When you think about what has happened at the end.

Oh My God Moment: The End

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $24 Million

Budget: $21.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

Tagline: How well do you know your neighbour?

Trivia: The script for “Arlington Road”, written by Ehren Kruger, was discovered when it won the Nicholl Fellowship Screenwriting competition from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. This film is only the sixth winner of the competition to actually be produced.

Overall: Truly shocking, stunning thriller

Rating85

Halloween Kingathon – The Running Man (1987) by Cindy

Banner-2Cindy gives us this review This contribution is for my movie buff friend, Rob, who is hosting the MOVIE ROB’S OCTOBER STEPHEN KING BLOGATHON. I selected not a horror film but a 1982 science fiction novel penned by Richard Bachman, the alias of King. According to Stephen King, On Writing: A Memoir of the Craft, it took him a week to write The Running Man. Like several of his film adaptations, the transfer from book to film is difficult. You really need a magical director to pull off the magic of King’s words. Is The Running Man as good as The Shining, Misery, or Carrie? No, not even close. Should you watch The Running Man (1987)? 

A good dystopian story contains satire, and The Running Man film reeks of it, and that’s the challenge with appreciating it. The story-line has a superior message which the inner intellectual embraces, while the film surrounds the viewer with all the crass elements about the 1980s I’d just assume forget. The film could have been a Blade Runner or a Mad Max with its themes developed, but as The Running Man tries to illustrate the ludicrousness of society, that is, a populace addicted to reality television and individual freedoms stolen by a corrupt government, the emphasis of the film shifts away from the warning and stresses the absurdity of the stalkers and the deliverance of those silly one-liners we all associate with Arnold Schwarzenegger. Plus, it lacks the clever special effects admired in Total Recall (1990). 

Richard Dawson as Damon Killian

Richard Dawson as Damon Killian

Does it sound like I disliked the film? No, it is fun if you don’t take it too seriously. After all, you have to admire the cast for they are living examples of the parody and know it. Richard Dawson as the superficial television game host (remember Family Feud?) gives the mob what they want–violence and death in a gladiator-style television show with all the noise and lights and Jane Fonda leotards on dancers who came straight from the MTV set of a Paula Abdul video. How about Jim Brown, the football fullback worshiped for his prowess as a stadium athlete, or Captain Freedom played by Jesse Ventura, the quintessential wrestler famous for his staging in the ring? Or Mick Fleetwood from Fleetwood Mac, a performer from another circus ring, the rock star? All this parodying of the entertainer and their fickle fans, grandmothers, and average Joes who are duped by the media makes me cringe especially since the story is set in the future of 2017.

I like watching old science fiction just to see if their predictions came true. Have we devolved? I think humans have always loved the diversion of entertainment. One can easily see the parallels from 1987 to today; we do live in a dystopian of sorts where violence and technology reign supreme. Where that thin line between appearance and reality is distorted for ratings and sales and the wow-factor. The fizz of the entertainment industry. The assault on the senses. A police-state merging with the entertainment industry to brainwash its society. Taken in this vein, the film from the past contains varying shades of our today. When I first watched it thirty years ago, it did feel like science fiction. Who better illustrates this past-present correlation than Arnold Schwarzenegger who has spent a lifetime in front of a camera as body-builder, actor, politician, and returning today as an actor, a nebulous icon of our world?

If you like good old-fashioned kick-ass films with sarcastic tough-guys bludgeoning their way from point A to B, you’d like this one a lot.  I did love the pod-slalom scenes when runners are transported from the studio set to the outside arena. 3.5 out of 5. 

Halloween Kingathon – The Running Man (1987)

Banner-2logoDirector: Paul Michael Glaser

Writer: Steven E de Souza (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Maria Conchita Alonso, Yaphet Kotto, Jim Brown, Jesse Ventura, Erland van Lidth, Richard Dawson

Plot: A wrongly convicted man must try to survive a public execution gauntlet staged as a game show.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Vintage 80’s Action

Story: The Running Man starts by explaining how the Running Man game show is the most popular on television in the future before moving to Ben Richard (Schwarzenegger) and his team being forced to fire on innocent people, where Richards refuses but the mission still goes on as planned. Richards end up in a working prison where he takes part in an escape with Weiss (McIntyre) and William (Kotto) along with the prisoners escape.

When the ratings start becoming too similar Damon Killian (Dawson) starts looking for a way to improve these ratings, while Ben tries to prove his innocents only to run into feisty Amber Mendez (Alonso). Killian decides that Richards is what he show wants and makes him the latest contestant in the Running Man where Richards must take on a string of villains known as Stalkers including Dynamo, Captain Freedom, Buzzsaw, Fireball and Subzero to survive along with his friends Weiss, William and Amber.

The Running Man is one of those ultimate 80’s action films, that lets the action do the talking on screen. It should also be noted this also bought on the idea of television game shows being run by the government and leading to a revolution. While this story won’t get too many marks for the script, but when did action films need good scripts? The big plus on this film is the fact it is fun. (7/10)

Actor Review

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Ben Richards is the wrongfully committed man who ends up becoming the latest contestant on The Running Man but this gives him a chance to prove his innocence for a crime he never committed and lead a revolution against the government running the television network. Arnold gives one of his good typical performances where we know he will win in the end. (7/10)richards

Maria Conchita Alonso: Amber Mendez is the feisty woman that gets Richards captured but when she starts to look into the truth about him she ends up being part of the game too. Maria does a good job in this role. (7/10)

Richard Dawson: Damon Killian is the charismatic and ruthless host of the Running Man, he picks Richards to help boost the rating but this show could end up being his undoing when Richards starts taking out his Stalkers. Richard does a great job in this role as a villain that wouldn’t stand a chance in a fight against Schwarzenegger. (8/10)

Support Cast: The Running Man has a supporting cast that includes the Stalkers who are all menacing in their own way, the friends of Richards who lead the revolution and an audience that cheer along with us by the end.

Director Review: Paul Michael GlaserPaul gives us a fun filled film that still feels great to watch near 30 years later. (8/10)

Action: The Running Man has plenty of fighting action sequences along with a few chase moments. (7/10)

Sci-Fi: The Running Man gives us a look into the future where the government run the lives. (9/10)

Thriller: The Running Man keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout even if you can work out who will make it out by the end. (8/10)

Settings: The Running Man creates the bleak looking future that we could one day see. (8/10)

Suggestion: The Running Man is one to watch especially if you are a fan of classic 80’s action films. (80’s Action Fans Watch)

Best Part: One Liners.

Worst Part: Stereotyping in supporting characters look.

Action Scene Of The Film: Buzzsaw.

Funniest Scene: Subzero.

Kill Of The Film: Dynamo.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $38 Million

Budget: $27 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

Tagline: It is the year 2017. “The Running Man” is a deadly game no one has ever survived. But….. Schwarzenegger has yet to play.

Trivia: Many people who worked with Richard Dawson, on game show Family Feud (1976) say that in real life Dawson was much like his character Damon Killian in his handling of underlings.

Overall: Fun action film that best describes 80’s action.

Rating 80

Opinion Battles Results Worst Sequel

Worst Sequel Results

When it came to Worst Sequel we did get the widest array of opinions which lead to a a four way tie between Super 4, Ocean; s Eleven, Batman & Robin and Indiana Jones Kingdom of the Crystal Skull which has lead to only 4.25 points for Rob, Khalid, Drew and S.G. Liputsupermanindinabatmanocean 12

The table now looks like

1st Rob – 50.4

2nd Drew – 34.2

3rd Khalid – 33.4

4th Emma – 32.1

5th Flicks Chicks – 29.4

6th James – 22.9

7th S.G. Liput – 22.2

8th Kim – 20.9

9th Filmfunkel – 13.5

10th That Other Critic – 8

11th Darren – 2

We only have a couple more rounds to go this year before we start a fresh next year and I am happy to announce we will be having a couple of new players in the future but as always if anybody new wants to join in contact us at moviereviews101@yahoo.co.uk

We are also looking to making this into a podcast, if anyone is interested in this idea let me know.