Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Eden Lodge (2015)

Director: Andreas Prodromou

Writer: Andreas Prodromou (Screenplay)

Starring: Georgina Blackledge, Cyd Casados, Ivy Corbin, Ellie Dickens, Ben Gardner Gray,

 

Plot: A young family are stranded at the Eden Lodge. The people they meet are being killed one by one. They must fight to save their marriage, their family, and most of all their lives.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Forgettable

 

Story: Eden Lodge starts as we follow two hikers Nancy Craven (Blackledge) and Laurie Carpenter (Corbin) as they get picked off by a killer in the woods, also these names are showing the writer, director is a big fan of Wes Craven and John Carpenter. After this introduction, we meet the Michaels family, Adam (Gardner Gray) and Rachel (Casados) along with baby Alfie, who break down in the English countryside and suggested Eden Lodge to stay.

We see how Adam and Rachel are struggling with their relationships which has become strained from even before the baby was born but this weekend could be the final test for the couple or the breaking point when strange events start happening on and around the lodge.

 

Thoughts on Eden Lodge

 

Characters/PerformanceRachel is the wife and mother that is thinking about going back to America because the marriage isn’t working out the way she thought it would, she does get tempted but doesn’t give into it. Adam is the husband and father that made a mistake but married through honour after learning Rachel is pregnant, he gets tempted by beautiful guest but doesn’t want to give into the urges. Mrs Wilkes is the owner of the lodge that does come off strange during the events of the weekend.

Performance wise, we need to get honest here, the acting isn’t that good here, the chemistry between the couple is non-excitant and yes, I do know they are meant to be at a strained part of it but even with that we are left wondering how they were ever together. This film for sure won’t get remembered for the acting.

StoryThe story is also confusing at the most part because it hints heavily have supernatural only for things to end up going in the direction of just a hack em slash em story line. We are not left to wonder enough in any direction to where this film goes and in the end it just feels flat.

Horror/MysteryFirst the supernatural vibes are good but then it is just a slasher with no conviction, the mystery suggests who the killer could be but it just doesn’t make the impact it should.

SettingsThe setting is on a lodge in the middle of nowhere, which is good because our characters can’t get away and can’t call for help.

Special EffectsThe effects are good enough when needed we tend not to need them for what the story wants to do.

Final ThoughtsThis horror lacks the punch needed to make this stand out on the levels of the good ones, instead it just wants to shock for the sake of it.

 

Overall: Forgettable horror film.

Rating

 

 

Hell’s Kitty (2018)

Director: Nicholas Tana

Writer: Nicholas Tana (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicholas Tana, Doug Jones, Michael Berryman, Nina Hartley, Dale Midkiff, Adrienne Barbeau, Barbara Nedeljakova, Ashley C Williams, Nina Kate

 

Plot: Hell’s Kitty is a comedy horror series based on the true life events of Nick, a Hollywood writer, and Angel, his possessed and very possessive pussycat.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Paying Respects to Horror

 

Story: Hell’s Kitty starts as we meet screenwriter Nick (Tana) that lives with his cat Angel, he hasn’t had work in a while and struggles to find a woman, with his latest date ending badly when Angel attacks the woman.

Searching for help he starts seeing psychologist Dr Laurie Strodes (Kate) and along with his neighbour Adam, the three must come to the bottom of whether the cat is evil or Nick is losing his mind.

 

Thoughts on Hell’s Kitty

 

Characters – Nick is an everyday struggling screenwriter, he lives with his cat and struggles to get into a relationship, when he tries he ends up needing to cover up the cat’s kills as she doesn’t want him to see other people. As the bodies pile up and the different resources come up short, we learn more about the truth behind the problems in Nick’s life. We get a host of supporting characters here, we have the neighbour who loves horror, the psychologist, the priests and many others each referencing’s a different horror movie.

PerformancesNick is in the leading role of the film, he does a good job with his reaction and storytelling, the cameo like performances from the icons of horror are good throughout the film, this does help with the comedy too.

StoryThe story puts us in a world where one man finds his life being thrown upside down by his cat that is killing people that she sees being friends with Nick. The idea is farfetched, but this is movie right? This plays into horror moments which are references from previous horror movies which is fine and gives us an acceptance to this story being tongue in cheek.

Comedy/HorrorIf you are a horror fan, you will get the comedy references going on the film, most hit, but it does takeaway from the horror limits in the film.

SettingsThe film is set in the apartment of Nick’s which works because it shows the different people that comes into the life that could become the next victim.

Special EffectsThe practical effects are done really well, it is the moments that require CGI that show the budget of the movie.


Scene of the Movie –
Detective Pluto’s appearance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The CGI effects.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror that does pay a lot of respect to horror movies of the past, we have a story that works in the horror comedy genre only and it will keep you guessing.

 

Overall: Horror fans will get a kick out of this.

Rating

 

 

Chorus Line (1985)

This is a movie I got to watch from a special Park Circus Cinema showing in my local theatre.

Director: Richard Attenborough

Writer: Arnold Schulman (Screenplay) James Kirkwood Jr, Nicholas Dante (Book)

Starring: Michael Douglas, Terrence Mann, Michael Blevins

 

Plot: Hopefuls try out before a demanding director for a part in a new musical.


Tagline – One singular sensation

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Musical

 

Story: Chorus Line starts as the latest Broadway musical is casting the chorus line, director Zach (Douglas) and his choreographer Larry (Mann) have 100s of hopefuls that want this big break. We see scores of auditions going on with the numbers whittled down to 16 hopefuls, 8 women and 8 men, with former star of the show Cassie (Reed) trying to get Zach to give her a chance to audition.

We watch how the hopefuls must prove their quality to Zach so they can be in this latest show, we see how they have come from different backgrounds with their own motives for going into this field.

 

Thoughts on Chorus Line

 

Characters – Zach is the director of the show, he needs perfection and knows what he is looking for, he pushes the auditions to the limits, but gives them the motivation they need to improve for their next audition. Larry plays the nice guy, he will put his arm around anyone that needs help, to deal with the short tempered Zach, he has worked with people like this for years and knows the weakness they can hold. Cassie was once Zack’s top dancer, when things have changed she wants to return to be just one of the chorus line, a direction Zack doesn’t believe she should go in.

PerformancesMichael Douglas is now the biggest name in this movie, he does stand out because of his role as the director showing the calmness when looking out for the dancers, but the strictness while putting them back in their place. Terrence Mann is strong in this role too, we see just how important this is to his character. When it comes to the dancers they are all great through the film too.

StoryThe story shows us the routine a group of dancers must go through to try and make an impact on Broadway, we see how they have come from different background with a common dream to break the moulds of what is the normal. The whole film takes place over the one day of auditions which show how the process must go through to be selected and we are left to feel their stories and desperation to make an impact.

MusicalThe musical numbers are enjoyable through the film, with a number of the performers having their own song to make them stand out.

SettingsThe film takes place on just the Broadway location, where we see the performers on the stage, this is nice because we clearly see how this could be a live performance too.


Scene of the Movie –
Paul’s story.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We have slightly too many performers to whittle down for duration.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good musical, that translates well to screen and to the stage, we have good performance and good songs too.

 

Overall: Musical for all the fans of the genre.

Rating

 

 

Phantom Thread (2017)

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson (Screenplay)

Starring: Daniel Day Lewis, Lesley Manville, Vicky Krieps, Sue Clark, Joan Brown, Harriet Leitch

 

Plot: Set in 1950’s London, Reynolds Woodcock is a renowned dressmaker whose fastidious life is disrupted by a young, strong-willed woman, Alma, who becomes his muse and lover.

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Battle to get Through

 

Story: The Phantom Thread starts as we meet the eccentric dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Day-Lewis), he is renowned for his quality in his work, he has always had a muse, but when his latest one has become tiresome in his eyes, he needs an escape. This brings him into contact with waitress Alma (Krieps) that has the look he loves for his dressmaking style.

With Alma becoming his new muse, she moves in with Reynolds and his sister Cyril (Manville) in London as they aim to continue the next level of their relationship and design which includes royalty, as time goes by we learn how Reynolds has his own way of doing things and doesn’t like anyone getting in the way of his routine.

 

Thoughts on The Phantom Thread

 

Characters – Reynolds Woodcock is a famous dressmaker, he makes the most desired dresses in London with the rich and famous coming to him for his latest design. He needs a muse to inspire him and order to keep him motivated, without the order, he can’t focus on his work. Alma is just a waitress that captures the eye of Reynold’s this gives her new meaning in life as she goes from shy quiet waitress to part of the fashion industry, still wanting more from her life she tries to inspire Reynolds to take her seriously. Cyril is the sister of Reynolds, that keeps his affairs in order, his routine in place and the right people around him to inspire him.

PerformancesThe performances in this movie are great throughout, we know Daniel Day-Lewis will always be a top performer and this being his last is a nice exit for him. Vicky Krieps is strong throughout the film too, showing that we can get more unknown stars opposite Day-Lewis and not look out of places, while Lesley Manville works wonderfully in the supporting role of the film.

StoryThe story follows an eccentric dressmaker that always strives for perfection in his work, but he always needs inspiration in his work too. This comes from his new muse which only turns him comfort zone against him, as he prepares for his next work. This is a slow moving story, it shows one man’s imprisonment in his work as he blocks out the people close to him, making mistakes in both his lives. In all honesty this does play out in a rather slow and boring style, we learn nothing about dressmaking, which isn’t what I wanted from the movie, but he doesn’t seem to do anything, it is his team that do most of the work, the relationship is weird and not interesting to see unfold even though you do think something will happen.

RomanceThis does have a twisted romance side to the story, which when it all comes out becomes even more disturbing.

SettingsThe settings are mostly inside the house as we see the different rooms for the designing and living.


Scene of the Movie –
Final scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The Slowness

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow movie that builds up for an eventually big pay off, the problem is that is takes way to long to get to this moment.

 

Overall: Slow and hard work

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – I – In the Name of the Father (1993)

Director: Jim Sheridan

Writer: Terry George, Jim Sheridan (Screenplay) Gerry Conlon (Book)

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Emma Thompson, Pete Postlethwaite, John Lynch, Corin Redgrave, Beatie Edney

 

Plot: A man’s coerced confession to an IRA bombing he did not commit results in the imprisonment of his father as well. An English lawyer fights to free them.


Tagline – In the name of truth… In the name of justice… In the name of love.

Runtime: 2 Hours 13 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful & Provoking

 

Story: In the Name of the Father starts as Gareth Peirce (Thompson) an English lawyer is listening to the story of Gerry Conlon (Day-Lewis) as he tells his story of why he was in England at the time of the bombing Gerry from Belfast during the middle of the battle between the Irish and the English, but not part of the IRA. He gets himself in trouble at home and gets sent to England to lay low.

When a bomb goes off in London Gerry gets blamed and coerced into confessing to the bombing by the overly aggressive English police, along with his father Giuseppe (Postlethwaite). Gareth is the only one that will stand up for him through the courts, can he have his name cleared.

 

Thoughts on In the Name of the Father

 

Characters – Gerry Conlon is a rebellious young Irish man that finds himself in London when one of the IRA bombs went off, being Irish he becomes a prime suspect in this terrorist attack and is forced into confessing to the murders he might not be the best-behaved man in the world, but he knows he isn’t a terrorist. Giuseppe Conlon is Gerry’s father that has always tried to teach his son the best and to be best he can be, he stands next to his son on trial while facing the same offences while being innocent. Gareth Peirce is the English lawyer that looks to prove the innocence of Gerry and Giuseppe, she is being told the story before putting her case together.

PerformancesDaniel Day-Lewis is as always fantastic in this role, he fully commits to the role like he does every time he gets a role. Pete Postlethwaite is wonderful in the supporting role despite only being 11 years older than Day-Lewis and Emma Thompson is good in her role through the film.

StoryThe story follows the wrongfully convicted Irish family that are sentenced to long term prison time for an IRA bombing attack they were never involved in. We see how the English police forced a confession out of the suspects giving proof that the nearly included terrorist Protection act.  The story does show us the panic created between the two countries during this time and how people will jump to quick answers to solve the problem in the short term.

BiopicThe movie shows the struggle the Conlon’s faced when facing and serving long prison sentences for crimes they have never committed, with only one lawyer that will try to support their case.

SettingsEach setting shows us where the characters have been during the events of the film, how they were not near the bombing but still blamed.


Scene of the Movie –
The prison tribute.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact not everything follows the truth about what happened.

Final ThoughtsThe story of Gerry Conlon and his fellow friends and family that were wrongfully imprisoned is another case of panic to solve the problem rather than solve the case, we have a character that starts off flawed in places before maturing into a man facing reality.

 

Overall: Powerful performed biopic.

Rating