Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Population 436 (2006)

populationDirector: Michelle MacLaren

Writer: Michelle MacLaren (Screenplay)

Starring: Jeremy Sisto, Fred Durst, Charlotte Sullivan, Peter Outerbridge

 

Plot: A census-taker (Sisto) is sent to investigate why a certain small town has had the same population — 436 residents — for the last 100 years.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Mystery Thriller

 

Story: Population 436 starts as we see a desperate race to a hospital for a mother to be only for her car to be involved in an accident, luckily the baby is rescued. We got on to meet Steve Kady (Sisto) who has been looking for Rockwell Falls, upon arriving he damages his car before Deputy Bobby Caine (Durst) brings him back to town once he discovers that Steve is from the census department.

The town’s people welcome Steve with open arms giving him a roof over his head with the beautiful Courtney Lovett (Sullivan) as we see the town preparing for an annual festival. Steve is investigating why the town has had the same population 436 for nearly 100 years.

As Steve spends more time in the town he starts to find himself wondering what is going on in the town when strange action and words come from their mouths of the locals as well as getting in the middle of the relationship between Courtney and Bobby. Steve also discovers there is a mystery fever going around the town that puts the escape from the town an impossible task.

Population 436 brings us into a cult like environment as we follow one man who enters into the world of this one town and its belief that they are being guarded by God. We get to see how everything comes off welcoming and this tries to put Steve at ease but we get a lot of foreshadowing through this film. This does keep us guessing and after that one moment of shock really is the only part of the film that reaches true horror levels.

 

Actor Review

 

Jeremy Sisto: Steve Kady works for the census department who is sent to Rockwell Falls to take up on why the town has had the same population for almost a century. Once in the town he starts to find himself known by everyone in the town but ends up finding out not everything is what it seems. Jeremy is solid in this role but like most of the film is slightly lacklustre.

Fred Durst: Deputy Bobby Caine is the man that brings Steve to the town, he has grown up in the town and with Courtney who he one days wants to ask to marry him. He comes off as the friend of Steve through his time there but that will change in time. Fred is solid in this role which is good early steps into acting career

Charlotte Sullivan: Courtney Lovett is the beautiful lady in the town, she has a desire to leave the town but keeps it hidden from the community. She sees Steve as her way out but how much is she willing to risk. Charlotte is good but I feel we could have seen a lot more from her.

Peter Outerbridge: Deputy Christian Hecker is the partner of Bobby who is against Steve from first sight, he comes off very shady through the film. Peter is basic in this supporting role but we don’t see his character enough.

Support Cast: Population 436 has a very basic supporting cast that really doesn’t stand out as anything special.

Director Review: Michelle MacLarenMichelle does a good job directing without make the real shock moments needed.

 

Horror: Population 436 has one brilliant horror scene without using the idea the film has enough.

Mystery: Population 436 does keep us wondering on where everything is going on.

Thriller: Population 436 has a small sense of tension throughout the film.

Settings: Population 436 keeps nearly all the setting are in this small town with very little place to escape.
Special Effects
: Population 436 has very basic effects with how certain moments.

Suggestion: Population 436 is one for the horror fans to try out. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Festival.

Worst Part: Not enough shock.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: The residents of Rockwell Falls are dying for you to visit.

 

Overall: Solid little horror film that really has good moments but not enough.

Ratingcard

 

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Jersey Boys (2014)

jerseyDirector: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Marshall Brickman, Rick Elice (Screenplay)

Starring: Vincent Piazza, John Lloyd Young, Steve Schirripa, Christopher Walken, Kathrine Narducci, Lou Volpe, Johnny Cannizzaro, Michael Patrick McGill, Erich Bergen, Michael Lomenda

 

Plot: The story of four young men from the wrong side of the tracks in New Jersey who came together to form the iconic 1960s rock group The Four Seasons.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sensational Musical Experience

 

Story: Jersey Boys starts as we meet Tommy DeVito (Piazza) and Frankie Valli (Young) two young men who grow up in New Jersey where there is only three ways out, jail, army or become famous but for now they work for local crime boss Gyp DeCarlo (Walken).

Tommy along with his brother and Nick Massi (Lomenda) are in a band but Tommy makes the decision to make Frankie the new lead singer of the band between the prison spells. Tommy, Nick and Frankie bring in new talented musician Bob Gaudio (Bergen) as the group look to make their break and Bob Crewe (Doyle) offers them the first steps into the music world and The Four Seasons are born. The story goes on to show the rise and fall of the one of the most popular bands of the 60s.

Jersey Boys shows the rise and fall of the Four Seasons, four young men from Jersey trying to make their way in the musical world. This shows how management for small bands wasn’t at the level it was for the time they appeared as we see how they find themselves in trouble both with money and personal life. The story handles both the fame and the personal lives with a perfect balance which is always the hard part of one of these films.

 

Actor Review

 

Vincent Piazza: Tommy DeVito is a true Jersey boy always wanting to make a quick buck, Tommy builds the group as well as dealing with the financial side of the band but doesn’t want to let anyone else take control of this part of the band. Vincent is good in this role and I believe is the only one of the four not from the stage version.

John Lloyd Young: Frankie Valli is the voice of the group, he has being cycled by Tommy and Nick’s criminal past but having local crime boss Gyp DeCarlo supporting him giving him all the time needed. He gets married staying away from the party side of the group and even starts getting involved Bob in their own venture. John steps away from stage and gives a great performance in this role.

Erich Bergen: Bob Gaudio gets bought in from outside the main Jersey click because he has all the music writing skills. He is a better business man but has to deal with Tommy making finance mistakes while he tries to pull up his own deal on the side with Frankie. Erich is good in this role stepping away from the stage version.  

Support Cast: Jersey Boys has a large supporting cast with a mix of stage stars and actors all blend into the story perfectly without over shadowing the main band.

Director Review: Clint EastwoodClint does a good job bring this musical to the bring screen putting together the dynamic between the band members and putting together the shows very well.

 

Biographical: Jersey Boys shows us how this band rose to the top only to crumble from within.

Music: Jersey Boys handles the performances the band puts on very well to make us feel like it could be the first time we have seen them.

Settings: Jersey Boys uses the settings to keep us in the time period the story is set in.
Suggestion
: Jersey Boys is one I do think fans of the music world should watch showing just how the behind the scenes can work with the band. (Music Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Songs.

Worst Part: Slightly long.

 

Believability: Based on the real band.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 2 Hour 14 Minutes

Tagline: Everybody remembers it how they need to.

 

Overall: Good look at an iconic band.

Ratingcard

 

 

 

The Whole Truth (2016)

wholeDirector: Courtney Hunt

Writer: Nicholas Kazan (Screenplay)

Starring: Renee Zellweger, Keanu Reeves, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Kenneth Choi, Jim Belushi, Sean Bridges, Gabriel Basso

 

Plot: A defense attorney works to get his teenage client acquitted of murdering his wealthy father.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Courtroom Drama

 

Story: The Whole Truth starts as hotshot lawyer Richard Ramsey (Reeves) talks us through the case he is about to defend which looks cut and dry guilty murder case against Mike (Basso) but Richard’s personal relationship with the family is the only thing he believes could help him win this case.

As the case starts going through the court Richard has to try and breakdown Mike to communicate about his side of the story as we see the flashbacks of the life before the murder.

The Whole Truth is a courtroom drama that is filled with twists and turns along the way. While this is set nearly entirely inside the courtroom with a few flashbacks as this story is more about the truth being hidden because we do know the man deserved to be killed but we are left to wonder what really happened for the death. This isn’t the most breath-taking courtroom drama but it does do everything you want it to do.

 

Overall: Simple courtroom drama that is one that people can watch easily.

Rating60

 

 

Interview With Johnny Greenlaw

We got a chance to speak to Johnny Greenlaw the writer, director, producer and star of the hugely entertaining award winning comedy drama Mommy’s Box. We would like to thank Johnny for taking time to answer these questions.

 Johnny Greenlaw Picture

Q. Mommy’s Box gets released on September 30th, in theatres and digital how excited are you to see your film get a released?

We are thrilled. It’s been a long, hard fought road to get to this point. Both our cast and crew gave everything to this project, so I could not be happier to share this we them all.mommy

Q. Being involved in every aspect of a film how did you find handling each part of the film?

I felt  as an actor I was ready for this. I had just done four plays the year before and felt really strong from an acting stand point. And having written the script as well I felt very close to the character and material. Producing was the biggest task because every decision revolved around me, on set at times it took me away from my creative duties. Directing was incredible and I was lucky enough to have an amazing cast and crew, along with a super talented director of photography, John Rosario by my side. The next film I direct, I hope to do a little less producing.

Q. Were there any films that inspired decision making for the story?

No, not really. I was just trying to stay as true as we could to the original material that was written.

Q. Working with fellow up and coming stars like Bill Sorvino and Carly Brooke compared with more experienced names like Joseph D’Onofrio and David Harris did you get to learn as an actor by working with a mix of experience?

It was an amazing experience working with all the actors. The veterans can always teach you a new trick or two while the up and comers keep you on your toes. The work we all did in rehearsal was an amazing bonding and learning experience for us all.

Q. How many of the characteristics of yourself are in the Nick character?

As an actor there will always be some of my characteristics in any character I play. From a writing standpoint there were a few but Nick is a much bigger jerk than I am. Which makes for a fun character to play.

Q. Your next project sees you re-teaming with Bill Sorvino, are you looking forward to getting to work on your next film?

Yes, we are. It’s titled “The Empty Handed Painter” written by Laura Fay Lewis. A true story about an amazing man and artist. Love telling True Stories.

Q. Would you have any advice for any aspiring film makers out there?

You have to love this. If you do not love it you will not last. Perseverance is the key. Draw up a plan and work your butt off.

Q. Which Films, Actors and Directors helped inspire you into the film industry?

I’m a big fan of Martin Scorsese. I recently watched Raging Bull, that is a masterpiece. I came across Goodfellas the other day, another masterpiece. The guy is incredible. There are not many filmmakers out there that are even close. I am inspired by Mr Scorsese and his filmmaking and hope that some day I can make films that are as powerful as his.

Q. Would you prefer to continue making smaller projects or move onto big Blockbuster projects?

Why not both? I would like to continue making films my way and would also love to direct a big budget Hollywood film. I know I am ready for it.

Q. If you were given creative freedom on any film franchise, which one would you like to sink your teeth into?

I am a huge fan of the Rocky films. So inspiring, so powerful, so emotional and fun too. Ryan Coogler has done a nice job with Creed, I’d love to take a shot at the next one. Hey Sly give me call!

Q. Are there any actors you haven’t worked with that you would like to one day direct in a film?

I’d love to work with Adrien Brody, Aaron Paul and Jessica Chastain to name a few.

Darren
Talking Stars Podcast

5 Guilty Pleasures #2

Guilty Pleasure is a term all films fans will understand and when we watch as many films as we do, we are bound to like some more than others but then there is a category of films others hated that we loved for all the wrong reasons. This leads to the term Guilty Pleasure, so today I am name five films I consider my guilty pleasures, these are just five of many and my rule for this is that I have to have seen these movies at least 3 times and they have to either be films people disliked or most likely never saw.

5. Speed Racer (2008)speed

Speed Racer is formerly an anime television show and is directed by the siblings that bought us The Matrix. This film got panned for being over the top flashy mess but when you have a love for racing and not too serious racing this film fits in perfectly for you to enjoy.

4. Deep Rising (1998)deep rising

Deep Rising is directed by Stephen Sommers who would go onto bring us the first two Mummy movies that are hugely fun. In this film we get to see the early stages of the CGI he had worked on as well as the comic side to an action horror style film. The all now star cast work well to and the film comes off fun and enjoyable.

3. City of Ember (2008)city

City of Ember is once again a young adult adaptation but one that flew completely under the radar, it follows a society of people who live underground waiting for the time to return to the surface after a disaster. This again all-star cast get to play their quirky roles well and most importantly don’t take the situation completely serious.

2. Kill Zombie! (2012)kill

 Kill Zombie! Is a Dutch zombie horror comedy that follows the survivors trying to escape the city and this works because it is all fun hitting all the comedy marks and is one I just wish more people would see.

1.       No One Lives (2012)no one

No One Lives follows a gang that pick on the wrong guy, a guy who just happens to be a ruthless serial kidnapper and serial killer as he tries to turn his captives into his allies on his killing sprees. This film manages to make us be on the serial killers side and is filled with plenty of good kills and is a must for all horror fans.