ABC Film Challenge – Horror – The Victim (2011)

Director: Michael Biehn

Writer: Michael Biehn (Screenplay) Reed Lackey (Story)

Starring: Michael Biehn, Jennifer Blanc, Ryan Honey, Danielle Harris, Denny Kirkwood

 

Plot: A man lives alone in a remote cabin and is surprised by his visitors.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Thriller That Lacks That Punch

 

Story: The Victim starts when police officers Jonathan Cooger (Kirkwood) and James Harrison (Honey) kill Mary (Harris) (Yes, they did kill Danielle Harris in the opening sequence), Annie (Blanc) escapes through the woods to the remote cabin owned by Kyle (Biehn).

Kyle agrees to help Annie as we are luckily saved from wasting Harris with flashbacks which explain why the two friends found themselves in the woods partying. The two look for proof which can save her life but Kyle’s quiet life soon turns into a nightmare.

 

Thoughts on The Victim

 

Characters/PerformanceKyle is the lonely man who enjoys being away from the world in his cabin in the middle of the woods. He uses his brains to get to the bottom of the situation with the strangers. Annie is the woman in need of help after her best friend is murdered. James Harrison is the cop who killed Mary but now he needs to cover it all up to save his future.

Performance wise, Michael Biehn does take dual roles as director and star but he never convinces in the leading role even if he is the best performer. The rest of the acting is weak throughout the film never being convincing in any of the emotions needed for the characters.

StoryThe story is easy to follow even though you feel there will be a twist because that is the only thing that could make this feel good. The flashbacks do all feel random because you find yourself wondering what the point actually is about them.

ThrillerThe film does try its best to keep us on the edge of our seats but in the end just feels like it fizzles away.

SettingsThe woods make for a good setting because we know the characters can’t just run from the situation but are going to make sure it all ends there.

Special EffectsThe effects are used lightly and do come off but are not important.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller that doesn’t click on the levels it needs to, we are left just watching not the best acting in not the best story.

 

Overall: Plain old thriller

Rating

 

 

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Silencio (2018)

Director: Lorena Villarreal

Writer: Lorena Villarreal (Screenplay)

Starring: John Noble, Rupert Graves, Melina Matthews, Eivaut Rischen, Hoze Melendez, Nic Jackman

 

Plot: In order to save her son’s life, Ana embarks on a quest to find a powerful stone from the Zone of Silence, located in Mexico. Someone finds out the power the stone possesses and believes it is a power worth killing for.


Tagline – The power to turn back time… is a power worth killing for.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mystery That Keeps You Guessing

 

Story: Silencio starts when scientist James (Noble) is cleaning up a missile strike in the zone of silence in Mexico in the 1970s, discovering a strange stone, he gets a chance to save his family who has been killed in an accident, he can only save Ana. Now Ana (Matthews) has grown up to become a doctor, while James has started to lose him memory.

When James’ memory comes back for a short period of time he goes in search of the stone again, unable to find it, he brings trouble back home which leads Ana into searching for the stone to rescue her son from the ruthless criminals who want it for their own power.

 

Thoughts on Silencio

 

Characters – James is the scientist that was left with grief of losing her children and grandchildren, working for the government in the Zone of Silence a freak unexplainable event gives him a chance to save them, he only saves one. He gave his life to raise his granddaughter, but his mind isn’t what it once was, when he gets the glimpse of his former self he only puts his new family in danger. Peter is the student of James’s he was there when the event happened and spent his career studying the effects of the Zone of Silence, family friend throughout, the only one that can help translate the lost memories of James. Ana is the granddaughter of James, the one that is saved, she grew up to become a doctor and a success in her own right, raised a son alone only believing her grandfather’s stories, until she must use the power of the stone for her own reasons.

PerformancesJohn Noble is the biggest name in the film, he does a great job even if his performance does feel like it could have been just another performance from the TV show Fringe. Rupert Graves is good as the family friend, he delivers the information we need the most in this film. Melina Matthews is star of the film, she is the one that is given the most emotional material to get through and handles each on a strong level through the film.

StoryThe story here offers us a chance to question what would you do if you could change time, save a life, for a life? This is always been a great question to see unfold in a movie, because it makes you think about the difficult questions in life. It does explore the ideas of the mythology behind the zone of silence, the Bermuda Triangle of Mexico, which if you like this subject you can get good ideas of what could be in the mystery. We end up going places you might not have seen a safer movie go which is a breath of fresh air, we get the balance science and faith too, which is one that you could see talked about for a long time. This is one that could keep us thinking about what we would do in this situation.

MysteryThis is a film that puts mystery around a stone which has powers which could change the past for anyone who owns it, it has the mystery about where it came from and what will our character do with the power.

SettingsThe film is set in Mexico, while the city could be generic for any city, the idea of the mystery about zone of silence in Mexico.


Scene of the Movie –
The design about the stone.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Could we have picked either English or Spanish and stick with it?

Final ThoughtsThis is a mystery film that brings us to the fine line of a question of what would you do, one that always keeps us wanting to see more.

 

Overall: Must watch mystery.

Rating

 

 

Glass Jaw (2018)

Director: Jeff Celentano

Writer: Brandon Espy, Lee Kholafai, Korrina Rico, Michael Testa (Screenplay)

Starring: Lee Kholafai, Korrina Rico, Jon Gries, Jaime Camil, Reynaldo Gallegos, Mark Rolston, Vernon Wels, Steven Williams, Boosie Badazz, Brandon Sklenar

 

Plot: Glass Jaw is the redemption story of Travis Austin, a one time champion boxer who goes to prison and loses everything. After his release, he experiences the trials and tribulations of redeeming his reputation, his belt, and his true love.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Boxing Redemption 101

 

Story: Glass Jaw starts as we learn about Travis’ rough childhood, where his parents got into financial trouble and abandoned him to be raised through the foster system. This never stop Travis (Kholafai) who went on to be Light Heavyweight Boxing Champion, though tragedy happens at the celebration party as his trainer Eddy’s (Gallegos) daughter dies under his care.

Travis filled with guilt takes the blame and serves time in jail, he loses his house, but his girl Dana (Rico) never leaves his side. Once out Travis must put his life back together, search for a job and reclaim his reputation and title.

 

Thoughts on Glass Jaw

 

Characters – Travis Austin has always fought to be a top boxer, from his difficult childhood to the moment he became Light Heavyweight Champion. His life takes an instant turn for the worst when a family friend dies at his party, he takes the blame, loses his title, goes to prison, loses everything, once released he wants to redeem himself and regain everything he has lost. Dana is Travis’s girl, she stays loyal when he is in prison, but her own mistake causes the biggest problem between the two. Sam is the father that left Travis, he has reconnected with him now he is on top, Travis’s doesn’t want him back, but learns he is one of the people he can turn too.

PerformancesLee Kholafai in the leading role gives us a good performance when it comes to any of the boxing and fitness side of the film, when it comes to the serious side of things, he does struggle to reach the levels required to get complete performance. This is a weakness throughout the cast, everyone is good, but never at the very top that is required to make things a true stand out moments.

StoryThe story follows a champion boxer that takes the fall for a crime, who must rebuild his life and reputation once he is released from prison. When it comes to boxing redemption stories, we have seen many different ones over the years, the most recent notable one would be ‘Southpaw’. This story follows the same sort of lines as that one, without any major crime being committed, or any crime being committed by the boxer who must redeem himself. This is the biggest confusion about this movie because it’s not or could never be proven it was his fault for the death. we do get to see how the celebrity status can cause just as many problems in a personal life.

ThrillerThe thrilling side of the film happens when we are in the ring, we get to see just how intense the boxing can get.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the main settings in the locations you would imagine a boxing film to take place in.


Scene of the Movie –
The final match.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I don’t understand why Travis would need to take any blame for the events of the death.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good film for boxing fans to watch, it has the standard redemption story we know and is one that does everything it needs to.

 

Overall: Boxing Fans to enjoy.

Rating