Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – House of the Dead (2003)

writtenDirector: Uwe Boll

Writer: Dave Parker, Mark A Altman (Screenplay)

Starring: Jonathan Cherry, Tyron Leitso, Clint Howard, Ona Grauer, Ellie Cornell, Will Sanderson, Enuka Okuma, Kira Clavell, Sonya Salomaa, Michael Eklund


Plot: A group of college students travel to a mysterious island to attend a rave, and end up getting trapped there because it’s been taken over by bloodthirsty zombies.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Is It Really That Bad?


Story: House of the Dead starts as we meet Simon (Leitso), Greg (Sanderson), Cynthia (Salomaa), Karma (Okuma) and Alicia (Grauer) as they try to get to a rave on an island because well they are late for it. The island has been a party home for a while but this time things take a turn when it turns out zombies have come to the island.

The five friends are joined by few other survivors to make it off the island alive in an all-out gun battles body pilling up fest.

House of the Dead is notorious for being one of the worst movie ever made but the question remains is it really THAT BAD? The answer is actually no, sure this isn’t anything amazing but it is something that can kill time and get drunk watching. Sure you won’t care too much about any of the characters and most of the kills seem to be off camera but the nonsense this film gives us it time killing entertainment on the level of a Transformers movie.


Overall: Easy to watch nonsense horror film that people will watch just to see if it is as bad as people say.





The Belko Experiment In UK Cinemas 21st April 2017

The Belko Experiment

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In UK Cinemas 21st April 2017 from Vertigo Releasing

In a twisted social experiment, a group of 80 Americans are locked in their high-rise corporate office in Bogotá, Colombia, and ordered by an unknown voice coming from the company’s intercom system to participate in a deadly game of kill or be killed in order to survive.

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Presented by Orion Pictures, an arm of MGM, The Belko Experiment is directed by Greg McLean (The Darkness, Wolf Creek), written by James Gunn (Guardians of the Galaxy, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2) and produced by Peter Safran (The Conjuring, Annabelle) and Gunn. The film stars John Gallagher, Jr. (The Newsroom, 10 Cloverfield Lane), Tony Goldwyn (Scandal), Adria Arjona (True Detective), John C. McGinley (Stan Against Evil, Scrubs), Melonie Diaz (Fruitvale Station), Josh Brener (Silicon Valley) and Michael Rooker (Guardians of the Galaxy).

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Sprung from the mind of acclaimed filmmaker James Gunn and directed by Greg McLean, The Belko Experiment raises provocative questions while offering a black-humored thrill-ride that pushes ruthless corporate behavior to terrifying extremes.

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When office workers arrive for work at Belko Industries’ isolated high-rise campus outside Bogotá, Colombia, the morning starts much like any other. Mike Pelk (John Gallagher, Jr.) smokes weed in the bathroom and flirts with his beautiful officemate Leandra (Adria Arjona) while new employee Dany Wilkins (Melonie Diaz) settles in for her first day on the job. Everything changes when an anonymous voice comes through the intercom speakers ordering employees to kill two of their colleagues within 30 minutes. Many of the 80 employees assume the order is a sick joke, even when steel-plated doors snap shut sealing off all windows and exits. When they fail to comply before the half hour is up, the heads of four randomly chosen office workers explode. Panic reaches a fever pitch when the disembodied voice issues his next command: thirty people must be killed within the next two hours or 60 people will die. Belko COO Barry Norris (Tony Goldwyn), a former Special Forces operative, commandeers a vault filled with guns, assembles an ad-hoc death squad and begins executing elderly and childless employees. In the ensuing melee, ordinary office workers including stoner Marty (Sean Gunn), nerdy Keith (Josh Brener), creepy Wendell (John C. McGinley) and maintenance guy Bud (Michael Rooker) reveal their true colors.

Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

kingDirector: Ridley Scott

Writer: William Monahan (Screenplay)

Starring: Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons, David Thewlis, Brendan Gleeson, Maron Csokas, Edward Norton


Plot: Balian of Ibelin travels to Jerusalem during the crusades of the 12th century, and there he finds himself as the defender of the city and its people.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Long History Lesson


Story: Kingdom of Heaven starts as we meet Balian (Bloom) a blacksmith whose wife has committed the ultimate sin, suicide. When his father the great warrior Godfrey de Ibelin (Neeson) arrives offering to take him to the promise land of Jerusalem to become a warrior he takes the chance to escape the past which is haunting him. When his father dies, he must continue on without him across the seas and the dessert.

Arriving in Jerusalem Balian must start to find his faith once again in a town where prays can be had by any religion un the strict leadership of King Baldwin (Norton). Balian finds himself having to lead the armies of Baldwin as he finds himself in the middle of a religious war during the crusades.

Kingdom of Heaven gives us the story of the battle for Jerusalem during the crusades, I am not good with all my history so most of this I had no idea before watching which made this film all the more difficult to understand what was going on. The battles sequences all come off very well without being wow.

The performance all seem to be what you would expect from the stars involved with the elder being good for their smaller roles and Bloom struggle to be the leading man. In the end this feel just like all the other historical war films with nothing special about what is going on really.


Overall: Overly long history lesson that we didn’t need to know.




Ghost in the Shell (2017)

Director: Rupert Sanders

Writer: Jamie Moss, William Wheeler (Screenplay) Masamune Shirow (Comics)

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Pilou Asbaek, Takeshi Kitano, Juliette Binoche, Michael Pitt, Chin Han, Danusia Samal, Peter Ferdinando


Plot: In the near future, Major is the first of her kind: A human saved from a terrible crash, who is cyber-enhanced to be a perfect soldier devoted to stopping the world’s most dangerous criminals.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Sci-Fi Action 101


Story: Ghost in the Shell starts as Major (Johansson) gets thee final adjustments as her mind gets place into cyber-enhanced body placed into Sector 9 an elite Police squad run by Aramaki (Kitano). When an unknown machine known as Kuza (Pitt) declares war on the Hanka the company making the cyber-enhancements including Major’s.

The deeper Major gets into the case with her partner Batou (Asbaek) the more she questions her past through Dr Ouelet (Binoche) but she is left in the middle of a battle between Aramaki, Hanka Director Cutter (Ferdinando) and Kuze to who is in fact guiding her down the right path.


Thoughts on Ghost in the Shell


Characters/PerformanceMajor is the human brained cyber-enhanced robot, she is able to make human decisions while being able to move like a robot, take bullets etc. she does end up down the curious line where she starts to question the truth about her past. Batou is the loyal partner of Major who will back her up in any fight. Aramaki is the typical boss of the team, he does what is best for the unit but will put his neck on the line to make sure they are all safe. Dr Ouelet is one of the doctors who put Major together but most of her scenes are information based scenes. Kuze is the robot hacker that is trying to take out the people in Hanka with his enhanced methods. Cutter is the CEO of Hanka that will stop at nothing to keep the information and methods secret.

Performance wise, Scarlett Johansson is built for action, she kicks ass in this leading role and also has the emotional range to back it up, Pilou Asbaek is also good in the supporting role looking the part of the character from the anime with the attitude intact. Michael Pitt does a good job in this role offering the mystery to the story while the rest of the cast all give solid to good performances through the whole film.

StoryThe story is interesting to follow as it focuses mainly on Major trying to find her true identity after learning not everything is what she believes it do have been. We do also focus on looking at how business and government try to work together but are also always battling each other. I think this is a good sci-fi story but I can already hear the anime fans not liking this as much.

Action/Crime/Mystery/Sci-FiThe action is all big and spectacle like without being anything overly original, we do enter into the crime world which is important as the focus on the cybercrime that offers the mystery for Major to need to solve in the futuristic sci-fi world.

SettingsThe world created looks beautiful for the settings, yes, it is mostly CGI but it looks like the world you could imagine this story take place in.

Special EffectsThe special effects all look great even if you can tell most are based around CGI most are hard not to enjoy.

Final ThoughtsI know people are going to compare this to the anime and I think those fans will find a way to dislike this film, but as a stand-alone sci-fi action film this is good, it has plenty of action in a beautifully crafted world that is just what a popcorn movie should be.


Overall: Enjoyable popcorn sci-fi actioner.




Dad’s Army (2016)

dasDirector: Oliver Parker

Writer: Hamish McColl (Screenplay) David Croft, Jimmy Perry (Original Series)

Starring: Toby Jones, Michael Gambon, Bill Nighy, Blake Harrison, Tom Courtenay, Bill Paterson, Catherine Zeta-Jones


Plot: The Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard platoon deal with a visiting female journalist and a German spy as World War II draws to its conclusion.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Insultingly Bad


Story: Dad’s Army starts as World War II could have been lost when a carrier pigeon is released from London but we move to Walmington-on-Sea as we meet the Home Guards, there is Captain George Mainwaring (Jones), Walker (Mays), Frank Pike (Harrison), Godfrey (Gambon), Arthur Wilson (Nighy), Frazer (Paterson) and Jones (Courtenay) who are preparing for any invasion.

With journalist Rose Winters (Zeta-Jones) arriving in town to report on the Home Guards we learn her truth motive and the unlikely heroes must show their real skills.


Thoughts on Dad’s Army


StoryI am a big fan of the sitcom and the mishaps the home guards must go through, this story is so insulting to what the sitcom was we are left with a flat story that has ruined the much-loved character for no reason what so ever.

Comedy/WarThis should be a comedy, it is not, but the war based side of this story works well enough.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are easily the most popular British sitcom character but this films turns them into laughing stocks not understanding where the comedy comes from characters except Godfrey. These actors don’t know how to re-create the comedy struggling to reach any of the levels they need to reach.

SettingsThe setting looks well re-created and might be the only thing the film gets right.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily the biggest insult from British cinema trying to re-capture the fun of a sitcom which was near perfect.


Overall: How did I get through this pathetic attempt that only butchers the source material.