Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Stage Fright (2014)

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Plot: A snobby musical theater camp is terrorized by a blood-thirsty killer who hates musical theater.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Glee Style Horror Musical

 

Story: Stage Fright starts as we see Kylie (Driver) performing on the opera while her children Camilla and Buddy watch on. When Kylie is murdered after the show musical producer Roger McCall (Meat Loaf) take the two children in. Ten years later Roger runs a camp for all musical fans with Camilla (MacDonald) who dreams of becoming her own singer and Buddy (Smith) who just wants to leave working as the cooks.

This year is special as the director Artie Getz (Uranowitz) has picked Phantom of the Opera the very musical that Kylie was performing on her death. He has ideas to take a fresh spin on it and when Camilla lands the lead role heads turn for all the campers. When Artie turns out to be just another pervy director we see the killer turn up making him the first victim before terrorising the camp.

Stage Fright brings us into the world that feels like a High School Musical or Glee feel to the horror genre. Lets face it this is never gonna be scary but does play on songs throughout. This isn’t going to be anything overly special but can be enjoyed if you go in to see the musical styled story. the twist on the killer I think Stevie Wonder would have seen which does take away the guessing game.

 

Actor Review

 

Minnie Driver: Kylie is the singer that is about to get her big break on front of her own children, she is a fabulous singer but she is killed by an unknown masked man. Minnie is good in this cameo like performance.

Meat Loaf: Roger is the producer that is now running the camp, he has taken care of Kylie children giving them jobs at the camp. He agrees to let his former show be made and Camilla, Kylie daughter take the lead role. Meat Loaf is solid in this role where we do get to see his singing ability.

Allie MacDonald: Camilla is the daughter of Kylie she has dreamed of becoming a singer just like her mother and now she gets the chance to perform to a real audience. Allie is good in this role where we get to hear her amazing singing voice.

Douglas Smith: Buddy is the brother who just wants to get out of the musical world but always stands there to protect Camilla. Douglas is solid in this supporting role without really fitting in with the movie.

Support Cast: Stage Fright has the supporting cast you would learn to know from a Glee style musical.

Director Review: Jerome SableJerome gives us a musical performance that is fun to watch.

 

Horror: Stage Fright has plenty of slasher style kills but never comes off scary.

Musical: Stage Fright is filled with songs but I do feel thee rock ones come off very annoying.

Settings: Stage Fright keeps most of the film on the camp site which helps with how the story unfolds for the horror side of everything.
Special Effects
: Stage Fright has good but basic effects when it comes to the kills happening in the film.

Suggestion: Stage Fright is one to try, I do think you will need to be in the right state of mind though. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Allie MacDonald has a brilliant voice.

Worst Part: The Rock side making rock music out to be the bad guy almost.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

Tagline: Sing Your Heart Out!

 

Overall: Original with musical side to horror but doesn’t reach the highest levels.

Rating

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Fast & Furious 8 (2017)

Director: F Gary Gray

Writer: Chris Morgan (Screenplay) Gary Scott Thompson (Characters)

Starring: Vin Diesel, Dwayne Johnson, Charlize Theron, Jason Statham, Michelle Rodriguez, Tyrese Gibson, Ludacris, Kurt Russell, Nathalie Emmanuel, Elsa Pataky, Kristofer Hivju, Helen Mirren, Scott Eastwood

 

Plot: When a mysterious woman seduces Dom into the world of terrorism and a betrayal of those closest to him, the crew face trials that will test them as never before.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Watchable Fun

 

Story: Fast & Furious 8 starts as Dom (Diesel) and Letty (Rodriguez) travelling through Cuba finding themselves in a new location for a street race. Making new friends and preparing for the next stage of their lives, Dom finds himself approached by a mysterious woman Cipher (Theron) telling him they have crossed paths and she wants him to work for her giving him no choice.

Hobbs (Johnson) gets his latest off the record mission and calls upon Dom and the team, Letty, Roman (Gibson), Tej (Ludacris) and Ramsey (Emmanuel) to get the job done. With the mission complete and escape assured Dom turns rogue on his team leaving Hobbs to be captured and locked up.

Mr Nobody (Russell) and his latest rookie Little Nobody (Eastwood) offer Hobbs an easy way out but Hobbs refuses finding himself needing to share a prison with Deckard Shaw (Statham), but Mr Nobody has a plan to break them both out to create a new team to track down Dom and learn why he is working with cyber terrorist Cipher.

 

Thoughts on Fast & Furious 8

 

Characters Dom the man who lives for his family turns on them for what seems like an unknown reason but it soon becomes clear why, he tries to keep his morals but finds himself being pushed to the limits. Hobbs becomes the leader of the team, replacing Dom if you like as they hunt down Dom, he is all intensity and being forced to work with Deckard means we get plenty of insults between the two. Deckard joins the team to get his own revenge on the person truly behind what happened to Owen, he is easily the most skilled within the team both in combat and behind the wheel, making him a great addition and one that works for the film. Letty is by far the strongest character in this film, she never gives up on Dom, knowing there must be a reason behind everything, we also see her at her strongest in combat. Cipher is a great villain, emotionless, bigger threat and ruthless when pushed, that is until the final act and she just loses control which does disappoint. Mr Nobody is good once again, not giving too much away about who he works for but being there to fill in all the blanks. Little Nobody is clearly added to the franchise to offer us a replacement to Brian while Roman and Tej continue their chemistry. Ramsey is the biggest disappointment when it comes to character, I feel there is a lot more potential in her character but all we see is a passenger who does the same as Tej.

Performance – This is solely about what I think of the performance not the character. I felt Vin Diesel did lack the range for the motivation behind his character, he just looked sulky for the most part and continues to show he hasn’t been improving on the levels Johnson and Statham have. Talking Johnson, he is good, this isn’t his best outing in the film but he does the job well. Statham looks like he is enjoying this franchise a lot, almost like he has found his own new franchise for the Expendables. Rodriguez gives us what I think is her best performance in the franchise to date. Theron is good in the lead villain role. Eastwood is good but you feel he will always get compared to Paul Walker. The rest of the cast all have fun in the film without being their best performances in the franchise.

StoryThe story does work for the franchise, in fact it does feel like the newest season of your favourite TV where the previous bad guys are good and the good guys have gone bad. Yes, this does sound almost negative but we all knew the stories couldn’t maintain the levels from the previous outings. The darker tone comes through in places but the jokes do seem to miss at times. I do also think the picky fans will be able to pick holes from within the film.

Action/Crime/Thriller The action is big like you would expect but truly I found the scenes shot slightly uncomfortably, the crime side of the story is what you would also come to expect, let’s get the weapon of mass destruction before the villain uses it.

SettingsWe continue to be placed in settings which are designed to add to the bigger picture, Cuba, Berlin, New York and Russia, they are all fine and used creatively for the action.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all used for the over the top action sequence going on through the film, nothing comes off bad apart from the zombie cars.

Final ThoughtsI do have a few issues with parts of this film, I didn’t like how the action sequences were shot and I feel there is a lot of cloak and dagger attempts at twists to complete the story. I also feel some of the characters seem less relevant and small moments from the previous films have been forgotten. When it comes to mindless action you can’t go wrong here though.

 

Overall: This does what you expect, it isn’t great, it is fun though.

Rating

 

 

Surveillance (2008)

survDirector: Jennifer Lynch

Writer: Kent Harper, Jennifer Lynch (Screenplay)

Starring: Julia Ormond, Bill Pullman, Pell James, Michael Ironside, Kent Harper, Ryan Simpkins, French Stewart, Cheri Oteri

 

Plot: Two FBI agents attempt to clarify the murders occurring in a desolate region. They approach the witnesses of the latest incident with the help of the local police. All of them hide something and all have wildly different stories to tell.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Well Designed Thriller

 

Story: Surveillance starts with a bloody murder when FBI agents Elizabeth Anderson (Ormond) and Sam Hallaway (Pullman) come to investigate what has been going on much to the disagreement to the local law with Captain Billings (Ironside). The agents have a young girl Stephanie (Simpkins) who isn’t saying a word and a stoner Bobbi Prescott (James) worried she will get busted as their only witnesses.

With the cameras set up the interviews beginning as we learn what led to the events of the day in question. The longer the investigation goes on we get to learn how the two police officers involved took advantage of the victims for fun before we learn the outcome of the film.

 

Thoughts on Surveillance

 

StoryThe story is slow moving as we must go through the events of one day from three different points of view leading up to the final reveal. I did find this very slow because we had a lot of character development before everything kicks off, I think the final twist in the film is one you won’t see coming but the build-up takes too long.

Crime/Horror/Mystery/ThrillerThe whole film is circling around the idea of a crime being retold through the eyes of the witnesses which is all solid enough and you add in the mystery about what has happened to the mix you get the horror side to the story. the mix all work well to make us wonder what the hell is going on through the film.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters all come off feeling like different generic characters, we have the survivors of an incident one being innocent young girl, another being a stoner with the third being a shady cop. The FBI agents both come off very simple but instantly deal with the political material we are used too. As for performances, we get good from everyone because we don’t know who the killers really are throughout.

SettingsWhen it comes to the settings we have large part inside the police station with the rest just being on the open road, both settings are used well throughout the film.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the special effects they are only used when needed to make the accident look extra special when it finally happens.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow but well built up crime mystery horror thriller that is saved by the final twist within the film.

 

Overall: Slow thriller but rewarding by the end.

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