Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror Franchise – Day of the Dead (1985)

dayDirector: George A Romero

Writer: George A Romero (Screenplay)

Starring: Lori Cardille, Terry Alexander, Joseph Pilato, Jarlath Conroy, Anthony Dileo Jr, Richard Liberty, Sherman Howard, Gary Howard Klar

 

Plot: A small group of military officers and scientists dwell in an underground bunker as the world above is overrun by zombies.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fitting Conclusion to Trilogy

 

Story: Day of the Dead starts by taking us to the world now completely over run with zombies as we follow a group of survivors including Sarah (Cardille), John (Alexander), Miguel (Dileo Jr) and Rhodes (Pilato) who are hiding out in an underground military bunker.

We see the tensions rising early on between the military side and the scientific side within the bunker as Dr ‘Frankenstein’ Logan (Liberty) has been working finding out more about the zombies. When the tensions reach boiling point we see the base breakdown much like how we have become familiar with through the series of films.

Day of the Dead was set to be the final part of the original trilogy and it continues to bring us further into the world overrun by zombies. This time we don’t get any build up to who these characters are but we know the relationship between the two different minds has been strained to the limits, this is a huge plus because too often we spend time having to meet characters and work out their relationships. Another interesting plus to this film is the concept behind trying to teach the zombies as we look into the idea they will be learning from what has been happening. This might well be the weakest of the three films but it does have one of the most iconic scenes with Bud the zombie using the gun.

 

Overall: This is the weakest off the three but still a classic in it own right.

Rating80

 

 

Julia Roberts Weekend – Secret in Their Eyes (2015)

secretDirector: Billy Ray

Writer: Billy Ray (Screenplay) Juan Jose Campanella, Eduardo Sacheri (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Dean Norris, Alfred Molina, Joe Cole, Michael Kelly

 

Plot: A tight-knit team of rising investigators, along with their supervisor, is suddenly torn apart when they discover that one of their own teenage daughters has been brutally murdered.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacklustre Thriller

 

Story: Secret in Their Eyes starts as we see Ray Kasten (Ejiofor) meeting his old team and now DA Claire Sloane (Kidman) Chief Investigator Jessica Cobb (Roberts) and fellow political roles Reg Seifert (Kelly). We flash back to when they were a team of investigators with Bumpy Willis (Norris) when they are tracking terrorists only for one of their own daughters Carolyn Cobb (Graham) being murdered next to their investigation.

Ray has spent the last 13 years of his life searching for the killer and now he believes he has figured out the person responsible and wants the case re-opened between the old team.

 

Thoughts on Secret in Their Eyes

 

StoryThis is an American remake of the Oscar winning movie that has a very bland story which should be a very intense story, the scenes all flow so slowly you just don’t believe this is a case unfolding and the jumps in time are too often leaving us all over the place in the end.

Crime/MysteryThe crime story should be one of the most intense ones we have seen, but it doesn’t work out that way because the film spends way too much time balancing the murder case with a potential terrorist investigation without even giving us the mystery to try and solve ourselves.

Characters/PerformanceThe team are all believable as a unit but as solo characters you just don’t feel the desperation in Ray, the power in what should be a power-hungry role in Claire but you do like get to feel the grief through Jess’s character.

Ejiofor, Kidman and Roberts are all solid but just don’t reach the ability we know all three are capable off. The rest of the performances are all solid without stealing the scene.

SettingsWe have the setting in and around LA without managing to use any settings which are easy to help us identify where the film is set.

Final ThoughtsFor the talent involved this is a very slow, poorly acted thriller that lacks any suspense to the levels it could have got too.

 

Overall: This will always be forgettable in the arena of remakes.

Ratingcard