Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – The Joker (2014)

Director: Greg Francis

Writer: Doug Buchanan, Greg Francis (Screenplay)

Starring: Beau Mirchoff, Ron Perlman, Giancarlo Esposito, Titus Welliver, Michael Eklund, Ron Eldard, Halston Sage

 

Plot: When you become a detective in Warsaw Indiana – you go to Poker Night, where you play against some of the best cops in the business. They tell you stories about their time on the job – their successes and failures. When new Detective Stan Jeter leaves the game, he is caught by a vicious psychopath and locked in a basement. Using the stories he heard at Poker Night, he must match wits against his captor – and save not only himself, but the young girl trapped in the basement with him. Like Seven and Usual Suspect, Poker Night combines thrills and twists and turns that will leave you guessing till the very end.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Complicated Crime Horror

 

Story: The Joker starts as Stan Jeter (Mirchoff) recounts what has happened after a poker night, where the shit hit the fan. The poker game is played between the biggest cops in town, Calabrese (Perlman), Bernard (Esposito), Maxwell (Welliver), Cunningham (Eldard) and Davis (Large). These cops trade stories about their biggest busts as Stan the rookie gets to learn lessons from the other cops.

Stan finds himself being abducted by a masked killer that has two rules, have sex with little girls and kill anyone who gets in the way. As Stan looks to survive his situation he always remembers the stories told by the rest of the cops.

 

Thoughts on The Joker

 

Characters/PerformanceStan Jeter is the rookie cop recently becoming a hero cop, which has gotten him to the high ranking cops poker night to learn their stories. He also must look for his own safety as he finds himself one of the latest victims of a serial killer. Calabrese, Bernard, Maxwell, Cunningham and Davis are the cops telling the stories and are all good characters.

Performance wise, Beau Mirchoff does struggle in this leading role against the bigger named supporting cast but mostly just because his character is stuck in three different stories and times. The rest of the cast does what they need to without being anything special.

StoryThe story here finds us going through plenty of stories as the rookie hears all about veteran cops best stories while needing to fight a serial killer. The problem here is we have too many stories going on as we hope they do all connect by the final act, the way this is told is mostly a mess though.

Action/Crime/HorrorWe have moments of action with the weak fight sequences or chases, this does help with the crime side of the story too and if we had focuses on just one part of it all we could have been sucked in, the horror is mostly about a serial killer do what he wants.

SettingsThe settings are not anything special with random basement or poker game.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well when needed but we don’t end up having too much going on with them.

Final ThoughtsThis is a messy film that just spends too much time trying to get to the interesting part of the story.

 

Overall: Plain crime horror movie.

Rating

 

 

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Christmas Movie Weekend – Jingle All the Way (1996)

Director: Brian Levant

Writer: Randy Kornfield (Screenplay)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sinbad, Phil Hartman, Rita Wilson, Robert Conrad, Martin Mull

 

Plot: A father vows to get his son a Turbo Man action figure for Christmas, however, every store is sold out of them, and he must travel all over town and compete with everybody else in order to find one.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Truly Enjoyable Christmas Movie

 

Story: Jingle All the Way starts as we see how businessman Howard (Schwarzenegger) is constantly letting his son Jamie (Lloyd) down because he works late, after missing his latest karate class Howard knows he needs to make up for everything this Christmas by giving Jamie and Turbo Man doll, but they are sold out everywhere.

Christmas Eve comes and Howard joins the race with other parents including mail man Myron (Sinbad) who becomes a rival in the hunt for Turbo Man action figure which takes them across town in a way to hopefully make up for all the promises he has broken.

 

Thoughts on Jingle All the Way

 

Characters – Howard is a hard-working businessman but this has caused problems with his personal life as he is neglecting his time with his son Jamie. He has once again forgotten to buy Jamie Christmas present and must go on a desperate chase to find one before Christmas but learns along the way he needs to just be there for Jamie. Myron is the mail man that is also after a Turbo Man action figure and becomes involved in a battle with Howard to locate one. Ted is the neighbour of Howard’s family that acts like a better father figure to Jamie because he has learned to take time for his family after his divorce. Jamie is the son that is getting let down by his father, we don’t learn much from him over than the disappointment he feels towards his father.

PerformanceSchwarzenegger does seem to enjoy this role, he gets to poke fun at himself even if he does at times look slightly out of place as a suburban businessman father. Sinbad brings all the comedy to this film and echoes the frustration of all mail men in America. Phil Hartman does a good job in the supporting role which does also get a lot of laughs but usually away from Schwarzenegger.

StoryThe story is watered down to being very simple and does have heart that is needed to tell everything. we have the traditional father that has been letting his kid down that needs to step up and that is the story, one event can change how a child will see his father. This has good heart and Christmas feel good idea as it brings the family together.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy is in parts slapstick but does also have adult jokes meaning the whole family could get laughs out of different parts of the movie.

SettingsThe settings are used to show the calm family life he could have and the hustle and bustle he faces while trying to get a present in the big city.

Scene of the Movie – The parade.

That Moment That Annoyed Me At times you would have like a natural looking leading man.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable Christmas film that you can relax, get a laugh and just enjoy at Christmas.

 

Overall: Sit back and enjoy.

Rating

 

 

2018 Anticipated Film #22 A Wrinkle in Time

2018 Anticipated Film

2017 was one of my favourite years for movies in years, so through the month of December I am going to look at 31 movies that I am looking forward to in the year of 2018, they are not in any order just 31 I want to discuss.

A Wrinkle in Time

Main CastChris Pine, Reese Witherspoon, Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Plot – After the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother, and her friend to space in order to find him.

Will I Enjoy It?This is one that I think could be a surprise package but it could also be one of the first failures of the big studios this year.

Will it be successful? This is one that could get the kid audience but the Blockbuster start earlier and earlier and this could easily be one of the flops of the year.

Release Date (UK)23rd March 2018