Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Alien Abduction (2014)

logoDirector: Matty Beckerman

Writer: Robert Lewis (Screenplay)

Starring: Katherine Sigismund, Corey Eid, Riley Polanski, Jillian Clare, Jeff Bowser, Peter Holden, Walter Phelan, Jordan Turchin

 

Plot: A vacationing family encounters an alien threat in this thriller based on the real-life Brown Mountain Lights phenomenon in North Carolina.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Better Than Expected

 

Story: Alien Abduction starts by informing us this is based on actual footage found, *sigh*. This before going off to show us footage that looks like is being shot through a pair of fingers with screaming in the background. All this and the camera gets dropped out the spacecraft. The film then decides to inform us about The Brown Mountain Lights a location in North Carolina that has a high disappearance rate. Time for the experts and locals to give us their stories about what has been happening and a theory behind what is happening. More reading before we find out who the camera belonged too.

Oh great now the film starts with the Morris family and their camcorder holiday being filmed by autistic 11 year old boy Riley (Polanski). The family which includes Katie (Sigismund), Corey (Eid), Jillian (Clare) and Peter (Holden) are camping out around the The Brown Mountain. On the first night the children see UFOs in the sky and film it but don’t seem to rewind and watch it. The family continues their trip and gets lost while travelling to the next location and the family finds themselves stranded very low on gas. What the family finds next is a string of abandoned cars blocking the road and investigating the tunnel they find themselves under attack from aliens.

We now have to deal with an over panicked family running for their lives against an enemy they can’t imagine beating. The family makes out hiding with generic redneck Sean (Bowser) where they have to survive the night.

Alien Abduction started off by really annoying me for first 5 odd minutes because of the amount of reading on a found footage film is too much. One thing that always annoys me with found footage is bad decision and this is filled with them starting very early on. Let’s list them panicking too much, turning the light on in the dark so the aliens know where you are, not turning around after finding plenty of abandoned cars and finally after the first light sighting why didn’t you just pack up and go home. I know a lot of these found footage films criticise why they carry on filming but I think this one gets away with it by making the kid autistic and needs to film everything to keep him happy. In the end this does have good scares but not original ones and you never really end up feeling truly scared as everything unfolds because you know how it ends thanks to the beginning. (4/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Katherine Sigismund: Katie Morris is the mother of the family who is all out to protect her family from the aliens, she tries to stay strong after the early loss of the father. Katherine does a solid job by making us feel like she really is the mother of the house. (6/10)

 

Corey Eid: Corey Morris is the eldest son who has to become the man after his father sacrifices himself to save the rest of the family. Corey does solid job and like most of the cast we really do believe they are just a family. (6/10)

 

Riley Polanski: Riley Morris is our autistic cameraman and we see nearly the whole film from his point of view, this helps use try and get into the idea of the fear he would be going through watching his family being picked off one by one. It is hard to rate someone behind the camera. (5/10)

 

Jillian Clare: Jillian Morris is the only daughter of the family who has to try and help keep Riley safe once the aliens start turning up. Jillian gives a solid performance but never really shines. (6/10)

 

Jeff Bowser: Sean is the nice redneck who lives in and around the mountains that helps the family try and survive the horror that is out there waiting for them. Jeff does a solid job and his character constantly turning up makes us believe they could survive. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: Alien Abduction doesn’t really have much of a supporting cast with the only character we actual meet in the father of the family who doesn’t last too long.

 

Director Review: Matty Beckerman – Matty does a solid job with the scares, but gave away too much information about the location because there was no reason or chance for the characters to learn about the history. (5/10)

 

Horror: Alien Abduction enters the found footage horror genre nicely but will end up going down as a standard one. (7/10)

Sci-Fi: Alien Abduction uses the alien abduction well but never really makes us see more than we need to about the ship. (6/10)

Thriller: Alien Abduction never lets you care about the characters because you know what happens at the end, not all found footage films need everyone to die. (6/10)

Settings: Alien Abduction puts us in a location that could very well have unexplained experiences happening there but surely people would suggest not going there on a camping trip. (8/10)

Suggestion: Alien Abduction is one for the found footage fans out there to try it isn’t special but does have its good moments. (Found Footage Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Not holding back with the first alien encounter.

Worst Part: Too much given away early on with the reading.

Kill Of The Film: Katie

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: Yes there are two.

Similar Too: VHS 2 Alien Abduction part.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

Tagline: Fear The Lights

 

Overall: Found Footage falls from the sky here, literally.

Rating 45

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John Hurt – Nineteen Eighty-Four (1984)

1984Director: Michael Radford

Writer: Michael Radford (Screenplay) George Orwell (Novel)

Starring: John Hurt, Richard Burton, Suzanna Hamilton, Cyril Cusack, Gregor Fisher, James Walker, Andrew Wilde

 

Plot: George Orwell’s novel of a totalitarian future society in which a man whose daily work is rewriting history tries to rebel by falling in love.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bleak Futures All Around

 

Story: Nineteen Eighty-Four starts in the dystopia world where Winton Smith (Hurt) is part of the Big Brother world the human race now lives in, they are routine in every part of the day being watched over by O’Brien (Burton) the saviour of their kind.

Winston is tired of the way of life and could easily be considered a ‘Thought Criminal’. Once he meets Julia (Hamilton) he starts having a romance which is highly against anything allowed within the city. As their romance because more about having a chance to show their feelings the world around them starts to go into a new war against anyone going against their beliefs which makes them both targets.

Nineteen Eighty-Four brings us into bleak futures which is an element of sci-fi that everyone loves, it shows how the world could look under one big brother. We do get to see slowly one person trying to change but we also get to see the consequences of it all. I do like how this story is all about dealing with a future we are not being told time the truth and are left be almost being sheep forcing to them to believe.

 

Actor Review

 

John Hurt: Winston Smith is our leading man who is slowly starting to want to feel and think on his own, which is a crime in this world. When he keeps taking continuing to think he becomes an enemy having to be forced to go through re-habitation to prove he can return back. John gives one of his best performance of his career here.

Richard Burton: O’Brien is the man that has to control and test the members of the society. He gets to push the people as far as he wants which leads to him to clash with Winston. Richard is great in this performance throughout.

Suzanna Hamilton: Julia is the romantic and fellow free thinking with Winston as they end up having to have a whirlwind romance but only when they are available to have free time. Suzanna gives a good performance in this role.

Support Cast: Nineteen Eighty-Four has a supporting cast all in the world but they all seem in line, we don’t really meet too many of them as we focus on the main three.

Director Review: Michael RadfordMichael gives us a brilliant directed movie that keeps us interested in the bleak world our characters in.

 

Romance: Nineteen Eighty-Four gives us a forbidden romance angle which works nicely.

Sci-Fi: Nineteen Eighty-Four enters us into a dystopia world of a future we could one day face.

Thriller: Nineteen Eighty-Four does keep you wondering but not at the edge of your seat.

Settings: Nineteen Eighty-Four has a dark world for our film to take place where we see everything happen in.
Special Effects
: Nineteen Eighty-Four uses the effects for certain parts but only when needed.

Suggestion: Nineteen Eighty-Four is one that should have been watch at least once by all to see how these dystopia world films work. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Future world.

Worst Part: Slightly to bleak though.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances:

Box Office: $8.4 Million

Budget: £3 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

Tagline: 2+2=5

 

Overall: Brilliantly dark bleak dystopia film that still stands the test of time.

Ratingcard

Death in the Desert (2015)

desertDirector: Josh Evans

Writer: John Steppling (Screenplay) Cathy Scott (Book)

Starring: Michael Madsen, Shayla Beesley, John Palladino, Paz de la Huerta, Roxy Saint, Stephen Manley, Julian Brand, Mark Justice

 

Plot: Death in the Desert is a love triangle set in the fast-paced, sometimes lonely world of Las Vegas. The life of Kim Davis, the young live-in girlfriend of legendary casino owner Ray Easler, is thrown upside down when she falls for Matt Duvall, the man Ray hires to bury his $20 million fortune of silver on the floor of the Nevada desert.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hard Work Really

 

Story: Death in the Desert starts by introducing us to stripper Kim (Beesley) who lives in Las Vegas who manage to catch the eye of Ray Easler (Madsen) whose family runs the city, Kim is his on the side girlfriend who gets paid very well for her services.  When Ray asks Kim to give up her life as a dancer and move in with him Kim finds herself living a life of luxury in the city.

When Ray starts becoming a disgrace in in the town and comes up with a plan to smuggle money out of Vegas and the man he turns to for help is young man Matt (Palladino) who just so happens to catch the attention of Kim who is getting tired of the drug usage problem Ray has. When all this mix all their lives are put in risk but who will make it out alive.

Death in the Desert really is a slow moving story that really fails to pull us into the narrative. We get stuck with Ray narrating the story with what felt like just random quotes. Sadly this is just a story about a character that we don’t like because he is clearly a bad guy we are not meant to like. I just found this story going nowhere with little happening that makes us need to see where anything goes.

 

Actor Review

 

Michael Madsen: Ray is the son the man who runs Las Vegas, he walks around the town like he owns the place but his drug habit is getting the best of him with the gaming commission wanting to take his licence. He comes up with an idea to take his money out of the city. He also has a taste for the ladies and his latest is the beautiful Kim who he convinces to give her up stripping life to be with him. Michael is clearly an actor that needs the right director to get the best performances out of him.

Shayla Beesley: Kim is the beautiful young stripper who gets a chance to leave that life behind her when Ray comes into her life, but she finds herself fighting against his drug usage and abusive nature and when a new man comes into her life she finds herself in the middle of a love triangle. Shayla does a solid job but doesn’t reach the levels that could be expected in a leading role.

John Palladino: Matt is the one man that comes into the lives of our couple, he works for Ray but gets involved with Kim, the two plan to stay together even behind the back of Ray. John doesn’t get enough screen time for how important his character is meant to be.

Paz de la Huerta: Margo is the best friend of Kim, she is older and wiser with how she acts around Las Vegas, she is also worried about how she making that decision. Paz doesn’t get enough screen time in this supporting role.

Support Cast: Death in the Desert doesn’t have the biggest or most impactful supporting cast with most just coming and going so quickly.

Director Review: Josh EvansJosh gives us a film that really comes and goes from nowhere to give us little to get excited about.

 

Action: Death in the Desert doesn’t have much or any action in.

Crime: Death in the Desert has a subtle crime story that isn’t to special.

Settings: Death in the Desert uses Las Vegas for setting which is always a great setting for film.

Suggestion: Death in the Desert is one to try but it isn’t anything too special. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Las Vegas is always a great setting.

Worst Part: Story is very slow.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

 

Overall: Disappoint crime thriller that really doesn’t get enough into the story.

Rating

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2015 Awards – Best Sequel or Remake

Through the month of January I will be looking back on 2015, I will be looking at a range of subjects where I will be picking my best or worst in separate posts.

Today I will be look at Best Sequel or Remake. We are now going to look at some of the best sequels or remakes which hasn’t really had a strong year past the best one.

Mentions that could have been number one;

·         Furious 7 furious The final chapter of the Brian storyline that actually made us cry, perfect enjoyable action film.

·         Jurassic World jurrassicPart sequel, part reboot, part remake this film brings back the magic of the original.

·         Mission Impossible Rogue Nation mission Ethan Hunt returns to take on a whole nation with his elite skills with breath taking stunts.

·         Maze Runner Scorch Trials maze runner I have been very vocal for my hate towards the young adult films but this one surprised me by being enjoyable from start to finish.

My favourite

·         Mad Max Fury Road mad max This breath-taking rebirth of a classic that blow everyone away with the action sequence unlike anything we have ever seen before.