Ice Cube Weekend – Ghosts of Mars (2001) Revisited

Director: John Carpenter

Writer: John Carpenter, Larry Sulkis (Screenplay)

Starring: Natasha Henstridge, Ice Cube, Jason Statham, Clea DuVall, Pam Grier, Joanna Cassidy, Richard Cetrone

 

Plot: In 2176, a Martian police unit is sent to pick up a highly dangerous criminal at a remote mining post. Upon arrival, the cops find that the post has become a charnel house.


Tagline – Terror is the same on any planet

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Silly Fun Action Horror

 

Story: Ghosts of Mars starts when the lone survive of a prison transfer Melanie Ballard (Henstridge) is recount the events of her mission. The mission was for Melanie, Jericho (Statham), Bashira (DuVall), Commander Helena (Grier) going to an outpost on Mars in the year 2176 to transfer Desolation Williams (Cube).

When the team arrives, they find the outpost abandoned, bodies hanging from the ceiling and the only breath people seemed to have become infected by something. This forces the team to work with Desolation to battle the infected people coming after them.

 

Thoughts on Ghosts of Mars

 

Characters – Melanie Ballard is one of the police officers sent to the outpost to transfer the prisoner, she does use drugs to relax her, she is the one telling the story of the events, where she must take control of the situation trying to get the people out alive. Desolation Williams is the prisoner they are meant to be transferring, he has been accused and cleared of murder numerous times, he will have to work with Melanie to get out of this situation, where he skills will help the people fight to survive. Jericho Butler is one of the more experienced soldiers that is the go-to guy for weapons and fixing problems. Bashira is the rookie on the squad, who must learn quickly as the situation becomes deadlier. We do have too many characters, which will lead to many blink and you miss it deaths.

PerformancesNatasha Henstridge does a strong job as the reluctant hero, she handles the combat well, while trying to be the tough figure. Ice Cube brings the type of character that we know he will bring to most of his roles. With the large cast, most of the rest of the cast struggle to make any real impact on the story.

StoryThe story follows a group of military police on Mars looking to transfer a prisoner for a trial, only for them to find themselves coming face to face with a mysterious evil that has taken over the locals turning them into crazed killing machines. This is simple concept for a sci-fi horror, we get both sides of the law needing to work together to get the job of survival done, we do get the explanation about where the evil has come from. The problem with the story is that we have way too many characters, we have somebody telling the story, which sees them seeing the story through multiply viewpoints which does become frustrating because at times you hear a scene on the radio, only to cut back to the scene happening, which makes it feel like filler, rather than parts of the story.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action here is plenty of bullets flying around, hand to hand combat and weapons which can see body parts flying off. The horror isn’t as strong as it could be because we don’t get the blood shed the film hints at, the sci-fi side of the film shows us how the colonies on Mars would operate.

SettingsThe film is set mostly on an outpost on Mars, it is remote, we know how long the team will be there before the transport returns, leaving us waiting to see how they could escape the situation.

Special EffectsThe special effects used in the film mostly from the body horrors the evil have been doing to themselves, it is strong use of make up but never feels terrifying like it should do.


Scene of the Movie –
Who is in charge now?

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those silly fun action films in which you can enjoy without expecting anything to be overly serious, it might have plenty of flaws but watch with enjoyment you can laugh along.

 

Overall: Easy to watch action horror.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – O – Office (2015)

Director: Won-chan Hong

Writer: Choi Yun-jin (Screenplay)

Starring: Ko Asung, Seong-woo Bae, Eui-sung Kim, Sung-woong Park

 

Plot: The investigation following a sales manager brutally killing his entire family leads to a track of mystery and tragedy in an overwhelmed work team at Seoul.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tension Fuelled

 

Story: Office starts when a section chief Byeong-Gook Kim (Bae) murders his family before going on the run, the police head to his office run by director Sang-Gyu Kim (Kim) to question the employees. Detective Jong-Hoon (Park) leads the investigation which sees him learning only good about the suspect.

Th newest intern Mi-Rye Lee (Asung) is question after being warned about how to answer the questions, which soon hints at a mystery surrounding the office and what goes on within the walls, as the manhunt for Byeong-Gook continues.

 

Thoughts on Office

 

Characters – Mi-Rye Lee is an intern in the office, she is the newest member of the staff, with the least knowledge of the accused murderer, she travels the furthest for this job seeing working in the big city as her dream. She knows the least about what the company and just what have caused the unusual behaviour. Byeong-Gook Kim is the section chief, he is the man that murdered his family before going into hiding, he was respected by his employees and seems to have a motivation for coming back. Director Sang-Gyu Kim wants answers and wants the company name kept out of the papers. Detective Jong-Hoon is leading the investigation into the murders which sees him asking the office the questions trying to figure out a way to understand how the office operates, he is honest in his approach which sees him searching for answers in places others would even think of looking.

PerformancesKo Asung is brilliant in this leading role of a character that is constantly evolving as the story unfolds, the range displayed is wonderful to see. Seong-woo Bae is haunting in his scenes in the film, you will be genuinely unsettled by his presence on screen. Sung-woong Park is the determined detective who shows us just how determined he is to get to the truth. Eui-sung Kim brings us the strict boss which seems to be his strength when it comes to movies.

StoryThe story follows an office that becomes the centre of attention after a murder by one of the member of the office, the investigation sees the truth slowly starting to surfaces with a shocking truth behind what is happening. This is a story that does truly keep us guessing through the film, it shows how an office could see extra stress placed upon the employees which would see the bickering between them increase, while the investigation shows just how far people would go for a promotion. Most of the story is spent wondering what the motivation for the murder in the first place was.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in the film comes from just seeing what happens when somebody is left alone in the office, with some uncomfortable tense scenes. The mystery surrounds just what is happening, why it is happening and whether it could be stopped from happening again.

SettingsMost of the film is set in and around the office which see how close these workers must be at all times, no matter how they feel about each other which could see tension rise between them.


Scene of the Movie –
The late visit one.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel like not everything is answered.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the tensest movies you will see, it does keep you guessing, no matter what is going in and is filled with horror moments that drag you to the edge of your seat.

 

Overall: Edge of your seat thriller.

Rating