BIRTH OF THE DRAGON
In San Francisco in the 1960’s, a legendary fight took place
between Bruce Lee and Wong Jack Man.
It occurred in front of a small number of witnesses,
no two of whom could agree on what actually happened.
But it changed the history of martial arts.
This story is inspired by that fight.
In the world of martial arts, there is one man above all: Bruce Lee. San Francisco, 1965. Young, hungry and looking for an opportunity to make a name for himself, Lee (Philip Ng) challengeslegendary Shaolin monk and kung fu master, Wong Jack Man (Xia Yu), to a fight when he hears that he’s crossing the Pacific to observe the state of kung fu in America. Their legendary fight would change the history of martial arts forever.
George Nolfi (The Adjustment Bureau)
Stephen J. Rivele & Christopher Wilkinson (Ali, Nixon)
Philip Ng (TV’s A Fist Within Four Walls, Invisible Target, New Police Story)
Xia Yu (In the Heat of the Sun, The Painted Veil)
Billy Magnussen (Into the Woods, Bridge of Spies)
Writer: Lawrence Fowler (Screenplay)
Starring: Helen Crevel, Philip Ridout, Layla Watts, Neil Hobbs, Claire Carreno, Michelle Archer
Plot: After a series of inexplicable events, Adeline Gray believes a haunted doll possesses the soul of a vengeful Witch. To have any hope of being reunited with her missing daughter, she knows she must defeat the evil curse of The Witch’s Doll.
Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Horror Tipped on it’s Head
Story: Curse of the Witch’s Doll starts during World War II Adeline (Crevel) takes her daughter Chloe (Watts) to a remote mansion whose doors are opened by Arthur (Ridout) to help them survive the blitz in the big cities.
When it becomes clear the mansion is haunted Chloe goes missing with a witch (Carreno) controlling Adeline forcing her to go through everything to learn the truth.
Thoughts on Curse of the Witch’s Doll
Characters – Adeline is the mother taking her daughter to safety during the war, she is protective like you would imagine any mother, but what she must go through is another battle she must face. Arthur is the owner of the mansion that has opened the door to Adeline and her daughter. Chloe is the daughter that doesn’t want to move and soon enjoys playing hide and seek.
Performances – Helen Crevel is good in the leading role especially with where he character goes through the film. Philip Ridout is strong because his character becomes crucial in the second half of the film.
Story – The story starts out just how you would imagine things going, but half way through this story gets turned on its head going into a direction you never see coming. This both keeps the story feeling fresh, but also takes away from what we experience in the opening part of the film. doing this does break away from the normal main stream story telling and could have given us the shocking twist only to fail to use all the potential it had.
Horror – This does follow the early ideas of horror, it does play into the same scares mostly involving creepy noises or things being thrown on front of the camera, but the lack interest in the characters doesn’t help us care about whether the characters survive any scares.
Settings – Most of the film, in whichever part of the film takes place in the mansion away from the world, which helps create the isolation needed for the horror to take place in.
Special Effects – The effects only seem to be used in small moments, anything that happens does seem to happen off camera to stop the need of too many effects being needed.
Final Thoughts – This is a clever idea for a horror, but it fails to capitalise on the smart twist it takes, this had potential to be original, but not following through takes away anything new.
Overall: Horror that missed the chance.
What I Enjoyed in 2017
This month I won’t be doing reviews at all, just a small discussion who gave us a brilliant performance this year.
Jeremy Renner – Wind River
Why I’ve Picked this choice – Jeremy Renner has been turning heads for a few years now, he has a couple of Oscar nominations to his name, but this role here could well be his best. Renner players a veteran tracker in search for answers to a murder of a native American woman, one that hits hard for him personally, you feel the pain his character is going through and his determination to get the person responsible for this latest murder. In fairness this is one of the contenders for film of the year with stunning cinematography through the breath-taking landscapes we visit.
January is here and that means award season and for the whole of January I will be looking at a range of best and worst subjects, this year I have decided to only pick films that are within the UK release dates of 2017 so if you do see a few films you would expect to have seen last year that is the reason behind my madness.
Reason – This movie has made such an impact in Hollywood this year it is even being considered for the Oscar nomination for Best Picture and is even a favourite for it. The horror is all psychological which makes nearly every scene tension filled while addresses social issues, the cast are fantastic and the directing from Jordan Peele is strategical and up there with the best in the business.