Hellboy (2019)

Director: Neil Marshall

Writer: Andrew Cosby (Screenplay) Mike Mignola (Comic)

Starring: David Harbour, Ian McShane, Milla Jovovich, Penelope Mitchell, Sasha Lane, Daniel Dae Kim

 

Plot: Based on the graphic novels by Mike Mignola, Hellboy, caught between the worlds of the supernatural and human, battles an ancient sorceress bent on revenge.


Tagline – Save the World for the Hell of It

Runtime: 2 Hours

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Goriest Comic Movie Ever

 

Story: Hellboy starts as we learn about the history of Nimue the Blood Queen (Jovovich) an ancient sorceress who clashed with King Arthur, leading to her being dismembered and scattered across the land. Move into the modern day and Hellboy (Harbour) is the reluctant hero taking on the paranormal under the influence of his father Professor Broom (McShane).

The latest case sees Hellboy reconnecting with an old friend Alice (Lane) who he once saved from evil forces, a British paranormal agent Major Ben Daimio (Kim) as they must race against time to stop Nimue returning to finally spread the disease on humans, so the creatures from the dark can rise up, Hellboy must figure out which side of this war he wants to fight on.

 

Thoughts on Hellboy

 

Characters – Hellboy is a demon from hell that came to Earth as a baby, which saw him raised to protect humans from the paranormal, multiple people want him dead, he is meant to bring about the end of mankind, yet he keeps fighting for the human race. He uses one liners to react (most of these miss though) and his does have an identity crisis because of Nimue appearance which could show him his own power, this story does give Hellboy a personal arc he must learn to control just how he sees his powers. Nimue is an ancient sorceress that was at war with the human race, betrayed, left trapped in boxes until she is freed. She has come back for revenge and this time she sees what could turn the table in her favour, Hellboy. She knows how to use beings to get what she wants and wile never getting into a physical fight, she will use her powers to inflict great pain. Alice is a friend to Hellboy, she once was saved and her own psychic powers and connections to the dead will prove to be a useful asset to have around. Major Ben Daimio is from the British side of the paranormal investigation, he doesn’t want to work with Hellboy, he is by the books, even if he does have his own secret. Professor Broom is the man that took Hellboy in to teach and use to fight back against the evil in the world.

PerformancesDavid Harbour stepping into the shoes of Ron Perlman, was always going to need to do something very special, he does everything he can which works for the darker side of the character, but he doesn’t hit the comedy Perlman could. Milla Jovovich always works in her own way for an evil figure, she isn’t truly challenged, but doesn’t seem to do much wrong. Ian McShane again suffers from stepping into big shoes, he does enough however to make this feel like his own version of the character. Sasha Lane brings the attitude to her character well, while Daniel Dae Kim could be the best performer in the film.

StoryThe story follows Hellboy as he must learn who is truly is when it comes to battle to stop the biggest threat yet, Nimue a sorceress that wants to wipe out humanity. The first thing that must be discussed when talking about the story, is the style, it does feel like we are watching a comic book unfold. When we dive more into the story it does fall into the story technique of, we must go here to do that, we must go there to do this, which soon becomes repetitive. However, what we lack in storytelling style, we do get in other areas which includes the pure bloodshed levels thrown into this story. there is an angle in the story which basically sees Hellboy being tempted into becoming the evil he was always meant to be, which is nice and does play into the anti-hero idea of Hellboy. The story works for the basics being told without needing to be anything complicated, we do fill in most back stories which could annoy people with the number of flashbacks.

Action/Fantasy/Horror/Sci-FiThe action in this movie is huge, be it Hellboy fighting giants, a giant pig or the creatures coming to inflict pain on the humans. This does play into the fantasy and we learn how Hellboy could be dragged into other locations to meet a friend or foe. The horror comes from the number of bodies that pile up, we never hold back when it comes to seeing the wounds being inflicted or the aftermath.

SettingsThe film does use the idea London will be the main destruction area, which is fine, we need a big city for reference, when we see certain other locations we do hit the weird secret locations that could only come from the mind of a comic book author.

Special EffectsThe effects are going to be one of the bigger talking points, we do have a major weak moment which will most likely be mocked, but this is one of the best practical effects movies you will see, the wounds, the injuries, the blood shed are brutal to watch and must be praised.


Scene of the Movie –
London creatures.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The trailer gives away Daimio’s secret skill.

Final ThoughtsThis can easily be called the goriest comic book movie ever, it does have a basic story though, which could hold back its greatness, we do go in a direction far enough away from the original two, which does help make this feel like its own movie.

 

Overall: Blood shed galore.

Rating

 

 

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Truth or Dare (2018)

Director: Jeff Wadlow

Writer: Michael Reisz, Jillian Jacobs, Christopher Roach, Jeff Wadlow (Screenplay)

Starring: Lucy Hale, Tyler Posey, Violett Beane, Hayden Szeto, Sophia Ali, Nolan Gerard Funk, Landon Liboiron

 

Plot: A harmless game of Truth or Dare among friends turns deadly when someone — or something — begins to punish those who tell a lie or refuse the dare.


Tagline – Truth, Dare And Die.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Idea

 

Story: Truth or Dare starts when college friends Olivia (Hale), Lucas (Posey), Markie (Beane), Brad (Szeto), Penelope (Ali), Tyson (Funk) and Ronnie (Lerner) head to Mexico for Spring Break, when a stranger Carter (Liboiron) takes the friends for a last night party, he passes on a curse of a game of Truth or Dare.

Returning home Olivia starts to see strange thing around, which involves he needing to play a game of Truth or Dare, soon the rest of the friends get visited and must complete their truth or dare or face death, with each dare becoming deadlier.

 

Thoughts on Truth or Dare

 

Characters – Olivia is the sweet hardworking college student, she wants to do good in the world, before getting dragged on spring break. She ends up becoming one of the victims of the latest game of truth or dare, being the one that does start to figure out the bigger picture of what is going on. Lucas is the best friend’s boyfriend that Olivia does have a thing for, he becomes torn when Markie’s secret is revealed. Markie is the best friend for life to Olivia, only she has been cheating on her boyfriend that Olivia loves, she makes out that she is the victim which is confusing. Brad is the friend that is gay, he has been keeping this from his father in fear of being disowned. The friends do fit the stereotypes you would expect to see in horror films, but at least this gives us a body count.

PerformancesLucy Hale in the leading role is solid enough in the leading role, it is hard to see the chemistry between any of the cast because of the unrealistic, which doesn’t help any of the performances through the film. Tyler Posey, Violett Beane complete the main cast again not given enough time to do anything in their role.

StoryThe story follows a group of college student who find themselves caught in a deadly game of Truth or Dare, where if they don’t play they will kill themselves. Now this story does need to be broken down and looked at because there were certain moments of the story which are interesting. The concept of the game becoming deadly and supernatural does work. Where the story struggles is creating the characters we can actually support because most of them are just idiotic students. The rules and decisions can make sense, but the secrets they are keeping from each other are ridiculous to believe that they are real. The truths and dares can leave you scratching your head because they don’t seem to have racial side to them as they can be sleep with someone or kill someone, it should escalate rather than just jump around.

HorrorThe horror side of this film comes from seeing just how the game tricks the people into doing the truth or dare, then what will happen if they don’t. it not scary in the way it could be, but one that could work to keep your attention.

SettingsThe film is mostly set around the college after the trip to Mexico, it makes it feel like everyday locations these people would be forced into making their decisions.

Special EffectsThe effects are part of the questionable side of the film because they do us the snapchat like filter which just looks bad.


Scene of the Movie –
Using certain parts of common sense.

That Moment That Annoyed Me They are the worst best friends ever

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that I was expecting the worst from, but in the end enjoyed watching to see just what will happen, it has a smart concept even if the outcome isn’t on the levels of the best horrors.

 

Overall: Smart idea, not as scary as it should be.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – K – Killing Gunther (2017)

Director: Taran Killam

Writer: Taran Killam (Screenplay)

Starring: Taran Killam, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Cobie Smulders, Bobby Moynihan, Hannah Simone, Aaron Yoo

 

Plot: A group of eccentric assassins are fed up with Gunther, the world’s greatest hitman, and decide to kill him, but their plan turns into a series of bungled encounters as Gunther seems to always be one step ahead.


Tagline – They’re Out to Change the Killing Business

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Silly Fun

 

Story: Killing Gunther starts as assassin Blake (Killam) hires a documentary crew to film himself putting a team together to hunt down the most famous assassin Gunther (Schwarzenegger). Blake’s team includes Donnie (Moynihan), Sanaa (Simone), Gabe (Brittain) Izzat (Talai) Young (Yoo), Mia (Tolman) and Barold (Gaul), each has their own reason to go after Gunther.

It doesn’t take long before things go terribly wrong as Gunther learns of the hit on him and starts picking off the members of the team, until they are left whether to continue on this mission or walk away.

 

Thoughts on Killing Gunther

 

Characters – Blake is the hitman that wants the title of the best in the world, one that Gunther has, he believes that if he can take out Gunther, he will get that position and he puts together the team. It is his plan even though it does have personal motivation for this too, which he doesn’t let the rest of the team know about. Donnie is the explosives expert that tends to be part of an on running joke going through the film. Sanaa is the daughter of a previous deadliest assassin, he still follows her around trying to protect her, she wants to prove herself to be better than him and does seem to be the deadliest of the group. Gunther is the assassin that has the biggest reputation within the world, he has become the target and has decided to have some fun at their expense.

PerformancesTaran Killam directs and stars in the leading role, the best way to judge the performances go down to just how you read the comedy, if you make sure this is just a bit of fun style, you will like the performances. This film revolves around just how committed Arnold Schwarzenegger was willing to be poking fun at himself, he isn’t afraid making this work with the final acts being the funniest.

StoryThe story follows a group of assassins that go on the hunt for the most legendary assassin in the business, things don’t go well for the team as the learn the hard way just how dangerous Gunther is. This story is sent in documentary style which sees the camera crew following the team around with interviews going on between scenes. This does add to the comedy in the story and prepares us not to take anything too seriously. We do get foreshadowing leading up to certain deaths too which works out well.

Action/ComedyThe action comes from the different situations where Gunther is almost caught and the explosions going on through the film. the comedy works because we get to poke fun first at assassins we have seen in films before and then at Schwarzenegger can laugh at his previous roles.

SettingsThe film takes our team to different cities in the search for Gunther, this leads to different moments through the film which again adds to the comedy.


Scene of the Movie –
Meeting Gunther.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Slightly hard to see these assassins being considered the best let alone good.

Final ThoughtsThis is a silly fun comedy that will get the laughs required as long as you don’t go in looking for anything serious.

 

Overall: Simple and silly fun.

Rating

 

 

The Station Agent (2003)

Director: Tom McCarthy

Writer: Tom McCarthy (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale, Michelle Williams, Josh Pais

 

Plot: When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor and a woman dealing with her own personal loss.


Tagline – Loneliness is much better when you have got someone to share it with

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming

 

Story: The Station Agent starts when Finbar McBride (Dinklage) must relocate to rural new Jersey after his friend passes away, he wants a quiet solitude life, as he moves into an abandoned train station. He just so happens to be opposite a chatty hotdog vendor Joe (Cannavale). Finbar continues to meet the locals including the clumsy Olivia (Clarkson) and Emily (Williams).

Finbar, Joe and Olivia end up striking up an unlikely friendship as Fin learns to let people in to his life, Joe learns to open up more about life and Olivia reveals her own tragic story.

 

Thoughts on The Station Agent

 

Characters – Finbar has always worked and lived in the same location until his friend dies, Fin is forced to move out of the city where he wants to continue his life of isolation, only the overly welcoming locals want to be his friend. Finbar starts to learn about other people’s problems as loneliness isn’t the best thing in his life. Olivia nearly runs Finbar over, she is dealing with her own problems that she is covering up with a bubbly personality, she becomes one of the people that Fin wants to help. Joe runs a hot dog stand opposite Fin’s new home, he likes to chat and wants to become Fin’s friend, he has his own problems that he doesn’t want to talk to anybody else about.

PerformancesPeter Dinklage showed the whole world just how talented he is as an actor in this leading role, Patricia Clarkson is also wonderful in her role as we feel the pain her character is going through. Bobby Cannavale completes the main cast with an enjoyable performance

StoryThe story here follows one man that must relocate after his friend dies, he wants to be left in isolation only for the locals to just want to welcome him to the neighbourhood, even if they have their own problems. This is a story that teaches people that need to have a friend to get through your problems, even if the friend comes from the most unlikely location in your everyday life. It shows how people can live a life in pain without you knowing until you are willing to listen to them. It can show how life isn’t going to be easy and it can take you down dark paths and you will need people to help you.

ComedyThe film fits the comedy drama wonderfully, handling the serious nature of the events of the film, while getting the laughs when needed.

SettingsThe film is set in a small location of a town outside of New Jersey, the people are friendly and have problems, they want to stay strong in the eyes of the other members of the community.


Scene of the Movie –
The final shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We do have too many dwarf jokes, which feel like they haven’t aged well.

Final ThoughtsThis is a charming comedy drama that shows the real struggles in life with friendship coming from the unlikely places.

 

Overall: Enjoyable comedy drama.

Rating