Solace (2015)

solaceDirector: Afonso Poyart

Writer: Sean Bailey, Ted Griffin (Screenplay)

Starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Colin Farrell, Abbie Cornish, Anthony Hopkins, Xander Berkeley, Marley Shelton, Janine Turner, Kenny Johnson


Plot: A psychic works with the FBI in order to hunt down a serial killer.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Too Many False Moments


Story: Solace starts with Agents Merriweather (Morgan) & Cowles (Cornish) dealing with a serial killer that has strike before, Joe wants to bring in a specialist against his partners wishes, a psychic John Clancy (Hopkins). John has been out of the game after the tragic death of his daughter but his friendship with Joe pushes him into looking into this latest case.

As the three investigate the serial killer they learn the shocking truth that he can see into the future and he has been selecting his victims from people that have terminal illnesses that he puts out of their misery.

Solace is a cat and mouse film that has psychic versus psychic but we spend large portions of this film flashing between what has happened and what could happen to the characters involved. It all becomes very messy to start with, the next problem is that we have to deal with the fact we only meet the killer very late on in the film. On the positives we get a very interesting moral question about whether we could deal with watching or going through the suffering terminal illness causes and if we would want it over quickly. This will end up disappointing in the mystery thriller side of the story but morally it is a good film.


Actor Review


Jeffrey Dean Morgan: Agent Joe Merriweather is the lead in the partnership that wants to bring in his psychic John Clancy, a man he has worked with before who help solve multiply cases in the past. He a family man that became close with John during their time working together and considered him a close friend, but he is hiding something from his friends, family but John can see it. Jeffrey is good in this role even though he really just looks like a standard FBI agent.

Colin Farrell: Charles Ambrose is the serial killer who believes he is putting people out of their own misery through quick painless death before they end up having to suffer from a terminal illness. He can see how anyone is going to die and uses this his psychic abilities to make his decisions. Colin is good as this character but we don’t meet him until too late in the film.

Abbie Cornish: Agent Katherine Cowles is the partner to Joe, she is a trained psychological doctor who doesn’t believe in psychics which creates a clash between her and John. She has to put her differences a side without putting John’s methods to shame to try and uncover the answers to who is the killer. Abbie is good but the reality is she is just a basic FBI agent.

Anthony Hopkins: John Clancy is a psychic who works with FBI before giving up everything when his daughter dies. When this newest case comes his way he finds himself tracking a new serial killer that offers him a question of whether he would have wanted his daughter to suffer from her terminal illness or not. Anthony feels kind of out of place in this one where he is good in certain scene but almost looks tired in other scenes.

Support Cast: Solace has a supporting cast that all works for where this film is going without being too involved with the final outcome of the story.

Director Review: Afonso PoyartAfonso gives us a film that is filled with flashbacks or flash-forwards which gets mixed up with the story which is also a run of the mill cat and mouse chase.


Mystery: Solace makes us wonder about the serial killer but never offers us enough to investigate as a viewer.

Thriller: Solace doesn’t even keep us guessing until the like a film like this is meant to be.

Settings: Solace doesn’t seem to create any special when it comes to locations being used.
Special Effects
: Solace has solid effects to show the flashbacks and flash-forwards in what could happen.

Suggestion: Solace is one to try but don’t expect to see too much special in this one. (Try It)


Best Part: Moral question being asked.

Worst Part: Not enough of the Killer.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

Trivia: The script for this movie was originally picked up by New Line Cinema, with the intention to rewrite it as a sequel to Se7en (1995), tentatively titled Ei8ht. The main character was supposed to be Se7en’s Detective William Somerset who had acquired psychic powers. This idea was dropped after Se7en director David Fincher reacted negatively to the idea, after which it was produced as a stand-alone film.


Overall: Lacklustre mystery thriller that doesn’t get into the action quick enough.


Opinion Battles Round Two Results

opinion battlesOpinion Battles Results

We have had an amazing selection of Favourite Oscar Winning Best Pictures this round but what were the most popular answers?table

3rd – Lord of the Rings: Return of the King – Selected by Jen from Combustible Reviews and S.G. Liput From Rhyme and Reason Both getting 3 Points.lord of rings

2nd – Silence of the Lambs – Which has given myself 6 Points, yeah somehow I have scored points in two rounds this year.silence

1st – One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest – Selected by both Emma from Emma Explains It All and Table Nine Mutant from Cinema Parrot Disco who both get 12 flew

Here is the table, (Drew’s Movie Reviews, Tranquil Dreams, Cinema Parrot Disco, Riley Central, Serendipitous Anachronisms, Combustible Reviews, Emma Explains It All, The Humpo Show, Rhyme and Reason, What About Movies, Rob, A Tale of Two Dans, Slip/Through, Film & Nuance) can anyone take this league by storm like last year?league table

Upcoming Release – Watch The Sunset

WATCH THE SUNSET, an upcoming Australian thriller shot in ONE TAKE!
The powerful crime drama, akin to ANIMAL KINGDOM, comes from Victorian filmmakers  Tristan Barr and Michael Gosden and is set across a single afternoon where a a man comes to grips with the power of his past when his estranged family becomes entangled in its web.
The film will be released across the globe later this year/early 2017 – at present the filmmakers are hosting a crowdfunding campaign to help with the expenses needed to get the film on an international stage Click Here for the information.


 Logline: In a single afternoon a man comes to grips with the power of his past when his estranged family becomes entangled in its web.
About: ‘Watch the Sunset’ was shot on location in the country town of Kerang, Victoria. The cast and crew were able to utilise the entire town of Kerang as our set for the film, where the action follows through 8 different locations in this beautiful regional town. Using actors amongst a real community to bring true sincerity, honesty and immersion into identifiable Aussie backdrop.
The story centers on Danny Biaro, an outlaw bikie member, who wants to change his ways and start a new life with his estranged family. But his past quickly catches up to him and he is compelled to make a decision that will affect his life forever. The journey follows him rushing against the clock to save his family.
‘Watch the Sunset’ has an underlying theme about effects of Crystal Meth or Ice, which is very real contemporary Australian issue. The one shot concept of our film allows the viewers to observe the harsh reality of this regional problem on
an intimate and raw level. But at the core of this film we find a story of love and an unrelenting quest for redemption.
Featuring: Tristan Barr, Chelsea Zeller, Annabelle Williamson, Aaron Walton, Michael Gosden,   Zia Zantis-Vinycomb, Catherine Dawson, Dennis Robertson
Directed by: Tristan Barr & Michael Gosden

Franchise Week – Critters 4 (1992)

crittersDirector: Rupert Harvey

Writer: Joseph Lyle, David J Schow (Screenplay) Rupert Harvey, Barry Opper (Story)

Starring: Don Keith Opper, Terrence Mann, Paul Whitthorne, Anders Hove, Angela Bassett, Brad Dourif, Eric DaRe


Plot: After being cryogenically frozen and waking up on a space station in the near future, the Critters aim to have the unwitting crew for lunch.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Running Out of Ideas, Head to Space


Story: Critters 4 starts with Charlie (Opper) searching for any remaining Critters this time in Kannes, only to find himself charged with Zoology preservation act prohibiting the extinction of any species in the galaxy. Ever the clumsy character Charlie finds himself trapped and frozen in the pod carrying the finally Critters where he awakens in the future 2045 on-board a space craft.

The crew includes Ethan (Whitthorne), Rick (Hove), Fran (Bassett) Al Bert (Dourif) and Bernie (DaRe) who are salvagers who travel around to find any lost space equipment when they find themselves trying to unlock the pod with Charlie and the Critters in. one the pod is open the Critters start running amuck on board the ship which leads to them having to fight to survive with nowhere to run.

Critters 4 was the last in the franchise because well, it ended up in space, the Critters are endangered so they need to be protected which works for me. It does continue the feel of the franchise with new characters and Charlie returning to his fun self. This has the feel of the end of a franchise which is all needed without being special.


Actor Review


Don Keith Opper: Charlie is our bumbling hero that has continued to fight the Critters only to find himself stuck in a preservation pod with the remaining ones. He ends up going into the future where he must fight the Critters on a spaceship. Don gives the performances you would expect to see.

Paul Whitthorne: Ethan is the young engineer on-board that listens to Charlie’s story, he is the lowest ranked person on the ship, he has to team up with Charlie to stop the Critters causing problems in space. Paul doesn’t give the best performance here being good and bad throughout.

Angela Bassett: Fran is one of the crew members in the ship, she seems to be the highest ranked behind the captain but on member that actually gets the respect from her crew mates. She is one tough woman that will fight until the very end. Angela shows she was going to be a big star in the future.

Brad Dourif: Al Bert is the ships engineer who is teaching Ethan while on the travel through space, he uses his brains to outsmart the computers and the Critters. Brad gives us a performance we would expect from one of the names of horror.

Support Cast: Critters 4 has a small supporting cast that doesn’t get too much time to do anything.

Director Review: Rupert HarveyRupert gives us a solid ending to the franchise.


Comedy: Critters 4 doesn’t have too many laughs with Charlie being the for comedy.

Horror: Critters 4 doesn’t have too much horror but does use the setting well.

Sci-Fi: Critters 4 uses the space setting making this the most sci-fi in the franchise.

Settings: Critters 4 keeps the action in space which works for the franchise taking the Critters back to where they started space.
Special Effects
: Critters 4 has the effects you have got to know through the series.

Suggestion: Critters 4 is one to watch to finish of the franchise. (Finish the Franchise)


Best Part: Space setting.

Worst Part: Taking the action into space and jumping forward in time.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Gremlins


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline: In space, they love to hear you scream!


Overall: Solid conclusion to end the franchise


Franchise Week – Critters 3 (1991)

crittersDirector: Kristine Peterson

Writer: David J Schow (Screenplay) Rupert Harvey, Barry Opper (Story)

Starring: Don Keith Opper, Leonardo DiCaprio, Aimee Brooks, Terrence Mann, John Calvin, Katherine Cortez, Geoffrey Blake


Plot: The tiny fur ball aliens that will eat anything or anyone set their sights on a Los Angeles apartment tower.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Funny, but Forgettable Sequel


Story: Critters 3 starts when family Clifford (Calvin) his kids Annie (Brooks) and Johnny are travelling home where they end up in a resting area where they bump into young Josh (DiCaprio) and our old friend Charlie (Opper) still dealing with the Critters and visits from space.

Annie arrives with her family to an apartment building where we meet the traditional character we expect to see in the horror film, a lousy janitor, over caring old couple and strong single woman. Little does Annie know they have bought some Critters with them to terrorise the building. Annie has to team up with Josh whose step-father owns the building and is out to evict everyone from the building, but who will make it out alive?

Critters 3 brings the story to a random apartment building losing all the factors it once had. The loss of settings makes us wonder what happened to leave us here and the lack of bounty hunters from space also makes us think they have just given up caring. Charlie going back to being a drunk also doesn’t help because now we don’t know what caused this. As the basic surviving in the building it works for horror comedy without really testing the audience.


Actor Review


Don Keith Opper: Charlie is now back as a drunk telling stories of the Critters again, no longer a full bounty hunter he just needs a chance to save the day again. Don really isn’t in this outing enough and his character has too many plot holes.

Leonardo DiCaprio: Josh is the step-son of the building owner who bumps into Annie on their travels before ending up trapped in the building fighting the Critters. Leonardo is good in one of his first roles of his career.

Aimee Brooks: Annie is the daughter of Clifford who lives in the building, she is trying to make her father step up and stop mourning the death of her mother while looking after her younger brother. She has to step up to fight back against the Critters once the adults get infected. Aimee makes for a strong lead in a horror which is all you need to be in this genre.

John Calvin: Clifford is the father to Annie and Johnny who is struggling with the loss of his wife which has lead him to fill his life with work. He needs to learn that his kids are important even if it is difficult after losing his wife. John feels like a passenger through this film.

Support Cast: Critters 3 has very generic supporting character that only offer a few jokes or to be disposable characters.

Director Review: Kristine PetersonKristine gives us a basic horror comedy that is filled with plot holes.


Comedy: Critters 3 has a few laughs but not enough to really enjoy for a comedy.

Horror: Critters 3 has a few horror moments but nothing that will stick with you.

Sci-Fi: Critters 3 is meant to be about space creatures but this time we don’t see any of the space angle.

Settings: Critters 3 has a good setting for the genre but one that doesn’t make sense for where the tory has come from.
Special Effects
: Critters 3 has the basic special effects you have come to know for the series of the films.

Suggestion: Critters 3 is one to try, I think DiCaprio fans should come back and see his early work. (Try It)


Best Part: Launching DiCaprio’s career.

Worst Part: Almost forgets where it came from.

Funniest Scene: Critters cry for help.


Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: 3 of 4

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Gremlins 2


Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

Tagline: You Are What _They_ Eat

Trivia: Shot back to back with number 4


Overall: Sequel that is fun but lacks the spark the first two offered us