Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – The Lazarus Effect (2015)

Director: David Gelb

Writer: Luke Dawson, Jeremy Slater (Screenplay)

Starring: Mark Duplass, Olivia Wilde, Sarah Bolger, Evan Peters, Donald Glover, Ray Wise

 

Plot: A group of medical researchers discover a way to bring dead patients back to life.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Didn’t Click

 

Story: The Lazarus Effect starts as we meet our team Frank (Duplass), Zoe (Wilde), Eva (Bolger), Clay (Peters) and Niko (Glover) who have been working on bring animals back from the dead with the Lazarus serum with the latest attempt bringing Rocky the dog back to life.

When the research project is sudden closed down, all the data is taken by Mr Wallace (Wise) who works for a pharmaceutical company, the team break into the lab to perform the experiment one last time so they can take the credit the last few years of their lives have work towards.

When disaster strikes Zoe is killed in an accident but Frank not accepting losing her decides to perform the experiment on her, to bring her back from the grave. It starts by looking like a success but it soon turns strange when Zoe has gifts she didn’t used to possess including telepathic and foresight.

 

Thoughts on The Lazarus Effect

 

Characters/PerformanceFrank is the lead scientist leading the research team, he is engaged to Zoe and once she dies he goes uses his research to bring her back to life. Zoe is the partner of Frank and leading member of the research team, once she is killed in an accident she is bought back to life but this time he is different. Eva is the newest member of the team will Niko and Clay are the generic playful rest of the team.

Performance Wise, it would be fair to say the performance don’t use the talent available to their full abilities, Olivia Wilde isn’t up to her normal levels, but it is the underused Evan Peters and Donald Glover which disappoints most.

StoryScientists look to bring the dead back to life, I have heard this one before and sure we get a modernised tale on this that does feel more scientific but in the end it just falls into ‘what is in the afterlife’ style and you must be evil if you come back from the dead. It is generic, plain and we have seen it all before.

Horror/Mystery/Sci-FiShe comes back from the dead, well that is the horror cover nothing scary going on here we have lazy jump scares mostly. There are elements of a mystery we try to figure out what is happening but we don’t focus on that enough and the sci-fi side well we all know how bringing people back from the dead works.

SettingsOne of the few highlights in this film is keeping most of the action inside the lab because by doing this we see how they must use their intelligence to get around the problem they are facing.

Special EffectsEasy effects are used here with most being in the vision sequences.

Final ThoughtsThis does feel like a lazy horror that doesn’t click to the levels it should do even with a cast of well-respected stars.

 

Overall: Horror that doesn’t work to the levels needed.

Rating

 

 

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The Sweeney (2012)

Director: Nick Love

Writer: Nick Love, John Hodge (Screenplay) Ian Kennedy Martin (Source Material)

Starring: Ray Winstone, Plan B, Hayley Atwell, Steven Mackintosh, Paul Anderson Alan Ford, Damian Lewis

 

Plot: A hardened detective in the Flying Squad of London’s Metropolitan police. Based on the ’70s UK TV show.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gritty Crime Thriller

 

Story: The Sweeney starts as we see just how efficient DI Jack Regan (Winstone) and his team known as the Flying Squad taking down the criminals in any way they know how. Along with his team including rookie George Carter (Plan B) and the woman he is having a fling with DC Nancy Lewis (Atwell).

After a group of criminals that leave one woman dead which leads to the Sweeney needing to get to the bottom of this crime by any means necessary, which will be the toughest case of Regan career with his boss DCI Haskins (Lewis) on his back.

 

Thoughts on The Sweeney

 

Characters/PerformanceDI Jack Regan is a nonsense detective who always gets his man no matter how much he is risking making this happen while also balancing an affair with a young colleague. Carter is the youngest member of the unit and one that is destine to rise through the forces if he doesn’t follow in the footsteps of Regan. Nancy is the younger officers that is married but involved in an affair with Regan, she is a good cop and loyal to the unit.

Winstone does suit this role with just how you could imagine the man fighting crime. Plan B is fine without excelling because you can tell he is not the fully trained actor with Hayley Atwell doing a good job.

StoryThe crime story is what you would have come to understand because it is just another one of these stories where rough cop who pushes the boundaries slightly too much faces his toughest crime to solve. It does have twists along the way but in the end, does have a very British street feeling about it all.

Action/CrimeThe action is all fine with a basic car chase down a country road and some wild shoot outs around London with the crime side of the story focusing on the idea this could be the toughest case Regan has faced.

SettingsLondon makes for a great setting because it shows how tight knit the crime groups are as well as how difficult it could be o get to the truth for the cops.

Final ThoughtsThis is a gritty crime thriller that could be great but I feel the audience won’t quite enjoy it to the levels expected.

 

Overall: Does everything I needs to for the small target audience.

Rating

 

 

The Condo (2017)

Director: James Cullen Bressack

Writer: Bill Dumas, Bill Morroni (Screenplay)

Starring: Baron Jay, Trae Ireland, Michael Joseph, Chris Sapone, Tracy Mcnulty, Viet Wilcots, Aria London, Jackie Moore

 

Plot: Four married friends buy a condo to share as a bachelor pad, a place to bring their mistresses, until the wives and girlfriends bust the cheating spouses.


Tagline – Four married men. Four Mistresses. One Condo. Endless possibilities.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Rom Com

 

Story: The Condo starts as four friends Duke (Jay), Ron (Ireland), Tom (Joseph) and Juan (Sapone) use a mansion that Duke can’t sell as a bachelor pad to escape their wives, girlfriends and partners. While it all seems to be going smoothly for the guys even with their partners getting suspicious of their behaviour.

Duke’s mistresses on the side Sunday (Moore) has problems that Duke wasn’t prepared for and now he finds himself dealing with those problems that could become violent. Can the guys keep everything together and keep their good thing quiet or will they lose the freedom created.

 

Thoughts on The Condo

 

Characters – Duke is the man that is trying to sell the house, he is married and starts using the house for an affair with Sunday. He knows he can trust his friends to help him cover for him while making sure he can keep Sunday from becoming her dangerous alter ego. Ron D is a stand-up comedian who wife is his business manager, he can easily start his own affair on the side and even uses it on his own routine. Tom is the quiet honest married man who has a crush on he hair stylist, when the condo becomes available he goes to break the traditions he seems so keen to keep. Juan is dance instructor who is in a relationship with Robert, but he is seeing women on the side, he is driving his partner crazy with his actions.

PerformancesThe four males leads show their skills at handling the material, Baron Jay with his quick thinking, Trae Ireland shows us his stand-up skills, Michael Joseph shows us the likeable under achiever and Chris Sapone shows us the strong charisma to get the women. The rest of the cast all perform well throughout the film too.

StoryThe story follows of four friends want to use a mansion as a bachelor pad, so they can cheat on their loved ones, as things start to fall apart with their secrets. This shows how people shouldn’t take their partners for granted and that you will always get caught in the end. The story does well to show us the four characters motivation for acting the ways they do, the story does bounce around as we meet at one moment which if you pick up at certain points you might feel lost following.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy follows the characters as they get themselves into trouble with the loved ones, while trying to follow their own romantic ideas.

SettingsThe film mostly is set in the mansion which shows the life the characters want to be living.


Scene of the Movie –
Learning about Sunday and Duke’s reaction.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Once I learnt about Sunday’s character, you wanted to see where things would go.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun comedy showing how men can get themselves into trouble wile trying to chase women.

 

Overall: Enjoyable comedy.

Rating