Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – The Appearing (2014)

Director: Daric Gates

Writer: Daric Gates, Matthew J Ryan (Screenplay)

Starring: Will Wallace, Dean Cain, Don Swayze, Quinton Aaron, Emily Brooks, Wolfgang Bodison

 

Plot: A woman once possessed by a mysterious entity uncovers a shocking secret about her past and must face the demon that dwells inside of her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Terrible ‘Horror’

 

Story: The Appearing starts with the school kids giving us the information about the haunted house and the truth about what happened there, because back story. we move onto meeting our main characters, Michael (Wallace) who is the new deputy escaping the big city with his wife Rachel (Brooks) to work under Sheriff Hendricks (Swayze).

The first day on the job Michael finds himself working a missing persons case when one of the high school girls has gone missing, while his wife is dealing with her own grief from their tragic loss back in the big city.

When the mystery seems to be connected, the answers might well be found in the mental home where Dr Shaw (Cain) or Father Callahan (Bodison) both know about the history of the town.

 

Thoughts on The Appearing

 

Characters/PerformanceMichael is the deputy that is trying to start a new life with his wife after the tragedy. He snaps easily when questioning subjects and not as friendly when it comes to dealing with the town’s people. Dr Shaw is the good doctor caring about his patients but otherwise plays the science side of the supernatural idea. Sheriff Hendricks has a good relationship with the town’s people but also has a dark past. Rachel is the wife of Michael who is suffering through the paranormal side of the story while dealing with the loss of their child.

Performance wise, well here is the questions because none of the cast are very convincing in the film, which full takes us out of the story involved.

StoryThe story here is also a problem, we spend way too much time with the missing persons case that when we finally get to see the bigger picture of the previous incident within the story. if we had started with this story I feel we would understand the connection earlier and be waiting for the twists in the past story too.

Horror/MysteryThere isn’t much horror going on here and the mystery angle is very misleading taking us in a direction we don’t need to go before the final outcome.

SettingsThe small-town setting is fine but not used to the full effect other than some beautiful shots early on.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all mostly flashing lights and never become believable as the story is unfolding.

Final ThoughtsThis was just bad, bad storytelling, bad acting and bad idea.

 

Overall: Appearing, I wish it was Disappearing.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Anaconda: The Offspring (2008)

Director: Don E FauntLeRoy

Writer: Nicholas Davidoff, David C Olson (Screenplay)

Starring: David Hasselhoff, Crystal Allen, Ryan McCluskey, Patrick Regis, Anthony Green, John Rhys-Davies, Alan O’Silva

 

Plot: A mercenary-for-hire accepts a mission from a billionaire to capture a dangerous snake that could possibly help cure a terminal illness.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: No Amount of Alcohol Can Make This Good

 

Story: Anaconda: The Offspring starts with Hammett (Hasselhoff) with his group of mercenaries telling everyone to sit back and enjoy the ride as his men kill a giant anaconda with very annoying cutting between gun, blood, snake, screaming on a rinse repeat idea.

Now back in America Mr Murdoch (Rhys-Davies) the CEO for Wexel Hall has continued the blood orchid experiments to help cure Murdoch’s cancer, but when questions on the methods of the experiment are getting questioned leading to Murdoch looking into the methods. Amanda Hayes (Allen) is the handler of the snake and security is concerned with the safety in the research lab and she is correct when the anaconda escapes.

To contain this situation an elite group of mercenaries are called in to hunt down the anaconda with Hammett needing to return from his own travels to help with the clean-up operation.

 

Thoughts on Anaconda: The Offspring

 

Characters/PerformanceHammett is the master hunter, he will do anything for money and enjoys hunting down the any animal he faces. Amanda has worked with the snakes for the whole research mission and now she is the only one that knows the true danger the snakes possess, she wants to end the project before it gets out of hand. The rest of the characters are generic soldiers, a millionaire and an officer lackey that don’t do much to the film.

Performance wise, well when you cast the Hoff in the leading role you know you won’t get acting gold, the acting isn’t good from anyone in the film.

StoryGenetical enhanced snakes have escaped and need hunting down to save a millionaire’s life, this seems like an easy formula, well it works on the basic level but ends up just being lost of running around shooting trees, I mean snakes. This does try to build on what the last one created though.

Action/Horror The action is mostly guys running around shooting, while the horror is a giant snake trying to kill people, there isn’t anything scary going on here.

SettingsThe setting is back in America but for budget reason it looks like anyone went down to some local woods and ran around with toy guns.

Special EffectsNope.

Final ThoughtsThis feels like an idea to just use the name Anaconda and go full blown we just don’t care anymore.

 

Overall: Just terrible now.

Rating

 

 

The Warriors’ Gate (2017)

Director: Matthias Hoene

Writer: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen (Screenplay)

Starring: Mark Chao, Ni Ni, Dave Bautista, Sienna Guillory, Uriah Shelton, Francis Ng

 

Plot: A teenager is magically transported to China and learns to convert his video game skills into those of a Kung Fu warrior

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Entertaining Blast

 

Story: The Warriors’ Gate starts as we follow gamer teenager Jack (Shelton) whose single mother Annie (Guillory) is struggling to make ends meet, he is bullied at school but has a Chinese antique shop owner friend that gives him a gift which has passed down through generations of his family.

That gift is a pot which brings out an ancient princess Su Lin (Ni) and Zhoo (Chao), when Su Lin is captured by ancient warriors, Jack is transported to ancient China in search for Su Lin in an adventure with Zhoo to save the princess from Arun (Bautista) and his massive army.

 

Thoughts on The Warriors’ Gate

 

Characters – Jack is the gamer kid, bullied and struggling home life, he is taken to Ancient China where he must learn to fight for himself, stand up for what is right, all to save the princess, while this isn’t the most original character design, it is all that is needed for the leading role. Zhoo is the great warrior that must guide Jack through Ancient China to save Su Lin, his life has been training to be the warrior and this will be his greatest moment. Su Lin in the princess who will become the Empress of China, she loves the new world she enters in America but once captured and returned to Ancient China she is able to be forced to marrying Arun. Arun is the evil ruler that wants to marry Su Lin so he can become Emperor of China. He doesn’t bluff but can be misunderstood by his soldiers. Annie the mother of Jack just trying to give him the best chances in life.

PerformancesUriah Shelton taking the leading role does a good job throughout the film working very well with both Mark Chao and Ni Ni. Mark Chao fills the mentor warrior role to be entertaining and watching the two together is enjoyable. Ni Ni is the entertaining in her role. The big name draw for this film is Dave Bautista who strangely becomes similar to the Chris Pratt role form Guardians of the Galaxy to him needing to explain codes, but does get to enjoy the villainous role.

StoryThe story takes our unsung wimpy teenager that needs to grow up and stand up for himself, to do this he ends up in ancient China where he must learn a new culture to save a princess from evil ruler. While this isn’t the most original concept it does check all the entertainment check points, but the one aspect that is original is having our main character learning moments needed from video games which is why the confusion starts in the first place. If you want an easy to follow story, that is light hearted with plenty of action this is great fun.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action through the film is all purely entertaining with the opening bike chase through the town being a big highlight. The adventure side of the film takes Jack in the new world for an adventure of a lifetime. The fantasy world created explains how the different worlds can meet.

SettingsThe two main worlds show the modern world that Jack lives in works well without being new, the ancient China setting follows the generic ideas of what we expect to see.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well through the film, there is one easy to see blue screen moment but otherwise things all click when needed.


Scene of the Movie –
Bike Chase, even though it is early in the film, it shows the level of entertainment we are going to get.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not everything is original.

Chances of Sequel: We could have one.

Final ThoughtsThis is an entertaining film that does check the all the marks needed for a generic action film which entertains from start to finish.

 

Overall: Entertaining action movie.

Rating