Mercy Black (2019)

Director: Owen Egerton

Writer: Owen Egerton (Screenplay)

Starring: Danielle Pineda, Janeane Garofalo, Elle LaMont, Austin Amelio, Dylan Gage, Lee Eddy, Miles Emmons

 

Plot: Fifteen years after stabbing a classmate to conjure an imaginary phantom known as Mercy Black, Marina Hess is coming home. She’s being released from psychiatric care to live with her sister and young nephew. But in the years since her crime, the myth of Mercy Black has gone viral inspiring internet rumors, stories, and even copycat crimes. Marina is haunted by what she has done and the phantom she imagined. Though she would rather leave the past buried, her nephew becomes increasingly obsessed with Mercy Black. To save him, Marina must face her past and uncover the truth behind Mercy Black. What she discovers is a very real and very deadly horror that will stop at nothing to claim her and her nephew.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Horror

 

Story: Mercy Black starts as Marina (Pineda) is being released from psychiatric care home after 15-years because of her childhood incident, Dr Ward (Garofalo) has been working with her for years now believing she is ready to leave. Marina’s sister Alice (LaMont) takes her in as she starts to put her life back on track, still dealing with the nightmares of Mercy Black.

Marina is still living through the memories of what happened, only to learn that her story become an internet story, which bought out copycat killers and other stories of people bringing her to life, Marina must face these stories and put the urban legend to bed.

 

Thoughts on Mercy Black

 

Characters – Marina is just being released from a psychiatric care home, 15-years after committing a terrible action for the ghostly figure of Mercy Black, she has spent years trying to recover from her experience, once she is released, it doesn’t take long for her past to come back and haunt her and her nephew, Marina must remember her past before it is too late, to understand just what her promise was for Mercy. Dr Ward has been treating Marina and is happy to let her leave the care home to re-enter the world. Alice is the sister of Marina who is letting her sister live with her family, she doesn’t want anyone to know about the past, especially her son. Bryce is the son of Alice, he quickly becomes fascinated with the Mercy Black story and soon believes he is seeing her.

PerformancesDaniella Pineda in the leading role is solid enough, the problem with most of performances, comes from the characters who are not written to be that interesting. Janeane Garofalo does feel wasted in her role which felt like it was meant to be a bigger part of the film.

StoryThe story follows a young woman that is released from a psychiatric home after committing a crime as a child which saw her believe she was helping an evil spirit take away the pain in her life, once released her nephew starts following the same path she must figure out how to stop the legend spreading. We have seen the idea of an urban legend spread like wildfire before it just becomes the belief that it is real. We get to follow through the normally interesting investigating the idea behind hauntings going on just doesn’t become the interesting factor it should be. We also end up going down one of the most predictable paths we have seen in horror stories.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film comes from the idea that an urban legend could be true, the mysterious figure known as Mercy Black is still killing people while waiting for her promise to be kept. The mystery adds into the horror as to whether it could be a true story or not.

SettingsThe film is set mostly in the remote house outside of a town, which we never seem to visit, the woodland area where the events of the story happened.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects, we have basic and not the most effective ones here.


Scene of the Movie –
The first visit.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Caught in the middle of two ideas to often.

Final ThoughtsThis is a safe by the book horror, it doesn’t have too many scares, the ones we get you can see coming a mile away along with certain directions the story goes.

 

Overall: By the book horror.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Franchise Weekend – The Legend of Zorro (2005)

Director: Martin Campbell

Writer: Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman (Screenplay) Roberto Orci, Alex Kurtzman, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio (Story)

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Catherine Zeta-Jones, Rufus Sewell, Nick Chinlund, Adrian Alonso

 

Plot: Despite trying to keep his swashbuckling to a minimum, a threat to California’s pending statehood causes the adventure-loving Alejandro de la Vega (Banderas) — and his wife, Elena (Zeta-Jones) — to take action.


Tagline – This Fall, adventure begins with a Z.

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Become a Parody of Itself

 

Story: The Legend of Zorro starts as Don Alejandro (Banderas) is still riding under the mask of Zorro, his wife Elena (Zeta-Jones) wants him to retire the mask and be the father to their son Joaquin (Alonso), with his desire to continue to help California prepare for the statehood, has put a strain on their relationship.

When the two go through a divorce, Elena starts dating Armand (Sewell) from Spain looking to make a vineyard only he has other plans which only Zorro could stop.

 

Thoughts on The Legend of Zorro

 

Characters – Alejandro is Zorro, he has been working on trying to retire, but America needs him, he is left with a hard choice on whether to protect the land or be there for his father. He choices wrong and ends up falling back in the same circle he once did, before needing to put the mask on again to save California. Elena is the wife of Alejandro that wants him to give up the life, when he doesn’t, she divorces him to go under cover with an old family friend that has moved to the area, who has his own ideas. For some reason this character goes in a different direction from the stronger figure we met in the first film. Armand has moved to California to open a vineyard, he has stolen Elena from Alejandro and now he has bigger plans for America, which brings Zorro out of his retirement.

PerformancesAntonio Banderas has all the right parts to make this character legendary, he just struggles to make the impact we know he can this time, this follows Catherine Zeta-Jones who disappoints too as we know she could lead the film with ease. Rufus Sewell does a solid enough job in the villainous role, though he never makes his character feel like a threat.

StoryThe story takes place 10 years after the first movie, this does work for the film because it takes us to a time where the couple have a child and must decide what to do (following in the Mummy’s footsteps here) with their future adventures. The decision-making process shows us just how important the figure of Zorro has become to the people and just how difficult walking away from it would be for the city. The problem comes with the tone of the story which seems to just spend more time watching the couple bicker it just takes everything out of the life of the story.

Action/Adventure/RomanceThe action continues to bring us the sword swing fights we are used to seeing from the Zorro character, with a stronger final chase, this doesn’t seem to offer much new to the western action genre, with the adventure that we go on, never seeming like it will go anywhere new for the characters. the romance is the most annoying part of the film because it just focuses on the bickering between the characters.

SettingsThe film is set in the early stages of California which never looks out of place for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Train chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The bickering.

Final ThoughtsThis is not on the same level as the previous film, it feels like it wants to be taken seriously, only for it to become somewhat of a parody of itself.

 

Overall: Disappointing sequel.

Rating

 

 

Rottentail (2018)

Director: Brian Skiba

Writer: Brian Skida (Screenplay) Kurt Belcher, David C Hayes, Kevin Moyers (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Dominique Swain, Corin Nemec, William McNamara, Gianni Capaldi, Vincent De Paul, Brian Skiba, Tank Jones, Gianna Frangella

 

Plot: Rottentail tells the bizarre tale of young Peter Cotton, who grew up in the town of Easter Falls and loves rabbits. Peter’s Science project on rabbit breeding is ruined when the school bullies beat up, and actually kill, his rabbit. Years later, the kind but still shy Dr. Cotton works steadily and gently with his rabbits to cure human infertility. Unbeknownst to Peter, the military is perverting his work, developing fierce soldiers with strength far exceeding a human of their size, and with Peter’s fertility serum, the ability to breed in the field.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: B-Movie Madness

 

Story: Rottentail starts in a secret military research facility where Dr Serius Stanley (Capaldi) has been working with the military on new dangerous killer rabbit, while Peter Cotten (Nemec) has been working on his own infertility research. When Peter is bitten by one of the enhanced rabbits, we slowly starts to change turning into a rabbit himself, with two different personalities.

With Peter now turned into Rottentail, he looks to get revenge on the people that wronged him in life, including former high school bully Jake Mulligan (McNamara) who is planning on using his power as a pastor to change the church from the local history.

 

Thoughts on Rottentail

 

Characters – Peter Cotten is a shy scientist working on an infertility treatment using rabbits, he was bullied in in high school, which has seen him become vengeful and after he was bitten by a genetically modified rabbit, he turns into a giant killer rabbit who gets to unleash all his rage on everyone that crosses him. Anna is the girl from high school that has returned to protect her family church from Jake giving her a chance to see Peter after all the years away. Jake Mulligan is the celebrity pastor who is returning home to build his latest church, he used to bully Peter in school and he still use the bully techniques to get what he wants. Dr Serius Stanley has been working on genetically modified rabbits for the army, he keeps working on ideas that could stop the newly created Rottentail.

PerformancesCorin Nemec playing the two roles here, goes to both extremes, the quiet shy nerdy scientist to the foul-mouthed killer rabbit, both side help with the nature of the film. William McNamara and Gianni Capaldi are both well over the top which again help with style of the movie. Dominique Swain is more restraint with her performance, but this is what the character is meant to be.

StoryThe story follows a scientist that has been pushed around and bullied his whole life that becomes infected by a generically modified rabbit, turning him into a killer rabbit that can take back his frustration the world has caused him. First thing you need to know about this story is that everything is told through a b-movie style, we do get an over the top style which does work as we have the mad scientists, the over masculine military person and an evil pastor that only cares about money. The idea of a man turning into a killer rabbit man isn’t going to be something you have seen before and works for a b-movie. As long as you don’t go into this story for a serious story, you will end up enjoying this one.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy in this film comes from just the concept, the reactions and style of kills, it might go too far for some people though. The horror is everything you would expect from a B-Movie which for horror fans is something we can enjoy, we have wild kills, blood flying everywhere and evil scientist.

SettingsThe film is set in a small town called Easter Falls which shows how the people will always be connected through their past.

Special EffectsThe effects have blood filled practical effects which are wonderful, but certain sides of Rottentail’s attack seem like CGI which don’t always work.


Scene of the Movie –
The escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The sex scene is uncomfortable to watch.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun b-movie style horror comedy, it will get the laughs when it needs to, splatter blood when required and a character in Rottentail you won’t forget easily.

 

Overall: B-Movie Delight

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Mask of Zorro (1998)

Director: Martin Campbell

Writer: John Eskow, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio (Screenplay) Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio, Randall Jahnson, Johnston McCuulley (Story)

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Anthony Hopkins, Catherine Zeta Jones, Matt Letscher, Stuart Wilson, Tony Amendola

 

Plot: A young thief, seeking revenge for the death of his brother, is trained by the once great, but aged Zorro, who also pursues vengeance of his own.


Tagline – No one has seen his face….but everyone….knows this mark.

Runtime: 2 Hours 16 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Adventure Film

 

Story: The Mask of Zorro starts when the Spanish are trying to control Mexico, Don Diego (Hopkins) has created an alter ego Zorro who has become the hero in the eyes of the Mexicans, when he is finally tracked down by Don Rafael (Wilson) who locks up Diego and raises his baby as his own.

Twenty years later Diego escapes from prison to extract his revenge, only to learn the Elena (Jones) has remained by Rafael’s side and instead of getting revenge himself, he trains Alejandro (Banderas) to become the new Zorro and icon for a nation.

 

Thoughts on The Mask of Zorro

 

Characters – Alejandro grew up idolising the great Zorro that helped free Mexico, though he turned into a lowlife thief who sees his brother killed and turning to the bottle he is saved by Diego who offers him a chance to use his skills to become the new Zorro as Mexico needs a new hero. He does lack the calm that Diego had in his time as the masked icon. Don Diego helped free a nation before seeing his wife killed and child raised by another man while he is locked in prison, once freed he sets out to train a new Zorro to help get his revenge. Don Rafael was once the closest friend of to Diego until the night he wants to stop him being Zorro and take his wife, he has continued his greedy lifestyle which makes the people he controls his latest victims. Elena is the grown up daughter Diego didn’t know he had, raised by Rafael as his own, she is knows the better life until Alejandro shows her something different.

PerformancesAntonio Banderas in the leading role is good run to watch, we know he has the authentic background for the role too. Anthony Hopkins is solid enough in this role, even if we are not sure if she is meant to be British of Mexican. Catherine Zeta Jones on the other hand is poor throughout, her accent is all over the place throughout the film. Stuart Wilson is fine without being anything memorable in the villainous role.

StoryThe story here follows the legendary figure of Zorro that helped Mexico become free from Spain, only it takes a twist on a revenge when an older version of Zorro must train a new icon to help him get the revenge and lift the hopes of a nation again. This won’t bring anything new to the adventure genre and can be fun for the story, the problem with the story is the length of the film which does drag after a while. If we can be serious this does feel like Zorro is the Mexican version of Robin Hood which does entertain and show us how another country has an icon of hope.

Action/Adventure/Comedy/Romance/WesternWe have a lot of genres that get touched on through this film, first the action the best part of the film because once we get into the sword fighting we get the best moments of the film. the adventure takes our heroes on the revenge mission, we do get a touch of comedy through the film with Alejandro getting the best parts of comedy. The romance does fall slightly short because we just don’t believe everything going on, with the western side of the film being fine and never the most believable.

SettingsThe film doesn’t use the settings to the best because you never truly believe we are at any of these locations.


Scene of the Movie –
Final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Zeta Jones’s accent.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple, but fun adventure film that you can enjoy without needing to remember it by the end.

 

Overall: Simple and enjoyable.

Rating

 

 

Free Trip to Egypt (2019)

Director: Ingrid Serban

 

Plot: A feature length documentary film following one man’s search for random Americans concerned about an Islamic threat and offering them a free trip to Egypt.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Change the View, Change the World

 

Story: Free Trip to Egypt starts when Tarek Mounib wants to figure out why Americans are concerned by the Islamic threat, he wants to meet Americans from different backgrounds, different beliefs and different views on how they view Egyptian culture.

Tarek will place each American with a different Egyptian person or family, to learn that they are live normal lives, believe in their own religious beliefs that are considered different to their own, with the plan to show, just because the country has a few bad apples, most of the people are honest as the Americans.

 

Thoughts on Free Trip to Egypt

 

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to documentaries, we do need to see a new understanding on how to view the world, we get to see how negative the American attitude towards what they have been made to believe Egypt to be, they see them as bad people because of a religion they don’t understand. We see how many people just rejected the idea of a trip to Egypt because of their negative thoughts.

Seeing how the selected Americans openly admit they were unsure of what Egypt really is like, is important because they need to learn how headlines don’t mean everyone is wrong. We can look at how this like life swap with Americans just being put with Egyptian families, instead of letting them truly learn how a purely unprepared relationship would be between the two nations. While I am more open minded, I have experienced spending time with a culture I knew nothing about through a wonderful family who was open and non-judgemental, showing I can relate to everything being experienced. This is an interesting documentary that shows we all need to become more accepting of different cultures from around the world, deep down we are just people that want to be in a family, have friends and follow our own dreams.

 

Overall: Wonderful & Important

Rating