Evan Rachel Wood Weekend – The Ides of March (2011)

Director: George Clooney

Writer: George Clooney, Grant Heslov, Beau Willimon (Screenplay) Beau Willimon (Play)

Starring: Ryan Gosling, George Clooney, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti, Evan Rachel Wood, Marisa Tomei, Jeffrey Wright

 

Plot: An idealistic staffer for a new presidential candidate gets a crash course on dirty politics during his stint on the campaign trail.


Tagline – Ambition seduces. Power corrupts.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: All-Star Political Thriller

 

Story: The Ides of March starts as we follow Stephen Meters (Gosling) leading the campaign for presidential candidate Governor Mike Morris (Clooney) under Paul Zara (Hoffman), they are going against Tom Duffy (Giamatti) who is running the campaign for Senator Pullman (Mantell). We are heading into the final week of the campaign as things start to heat up.

When Stephen learns the dirty side to politics, he is caught up in the middle of doing the right thing and getting the win for his candidate, learning that this game is just as dangerous when it gets turned against him.

 

Thoughts on The Ides of March

 

Characters – Stephen Meyers is the ambitious campaign manager who is wildly considered one of the best in the business with his ability to handle the media and remain calm through any situation. His life is turned upside when he becomes a pawn in the dirty tactics involved in an election race and he will need to roll his sleeves up to fight back. Governor Mike Morris is the man Stephen is working for, he is the underdog in the race and seems like the perfect candidate, only he has secrets which could ruin his campaign. Paul is Stephen’s boss, the man who took a chance on Stephen, he values loyalty over anything else and doesn’t always trust the people around him. Tom Duffy is the campaign manager on the opposite side, he does like the ideas Stephen is playing and wants him on his team, he is the first one to play him into his own game. Molly is the intern on the staff that could bring down the whole campaign with her secret. Ida is a journalist that will do anything for a story which will get her on the front page.

PerformancesIn the performances we have a list of all-star actors that show us just how an ensembled cast can make a movie so enjoyable. We have Ryan Gosling taking centre stage, George Clooney playing a role her is perfect for and Hoffman and Giamatti that are just acting masters with these roles showing just how talented they are.

StoryThe story here follows a younger political man o the verge of his biggest campaign victory, when he gets shown the darker side of politics. Now this is an interesting story as we see how the innocent man must get dirty to survive the game and how the seasoned veterans of the game know every trick that will come their way. The mix of this keeps us on the edge of our seat through the film, the weakness in the film comes from the non-Americans struggle to keep up with who is one which Republican or Democratic side of the discussion and what level this is for the presidential candidate races. Unless you know the American political system you might fall short knowing everything going on here.

ThrillerThis film does keep us on edge through the events of the campaign, this is what we want and the twists in the darker side of the political system become clear by the end.

SettingsThe film throws us into every potential political arena you can think of, we get plenty of discussions some in secret others in an open forum to just what goes on behind the scenes of a campaign race.

 

Scene of the Movie – This will be my campaign.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not understand the American political system.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good political thriller that will keep you guessing from start to finish, it has a brilliant cast that all shine too.

 

Overall: Keeps you guessing from start to finish.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – H – Hellions (2015)

Director: Bruce McDonald

Writer: Pascal Trottier (Screenplay)

Starring: Chloe Rose, Rachel Wilson, Rossif Sutherland, Peter DaCunha, Luke Bilyk, Robert Patrick

 

Plot: A teenager must survive a Halloween night from Hell when malevolent trick-or-treaters come knocking at her door.


Tagline – Hell Comes Knocking

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Shock Value Horror

 

Story: Hellions starts when teenager Dora Vogel (Rose) learns that she is pregnant on Halloween, she is meant to be graduating this year, she has the week to decide whether to keep her baby with the advice from Dr Gabe Henry (Sutherland). Dora decides to keep her pregnancy secret from her mother Kate (Wilson) as she prepares for her Halloween night.

This Halloween is going to go in a very different direction, when Dora, home alone gets visited by mysterious masked trick-or-treaters that are willing to kill, Dora must make a stand while her pregnancy isn’t going the way any normal one should.

 

Thoughts on Hellions

 

Characters – Dora is a teenager about to graduate high school, only she has become pregnant, which leaves her facing a difficult decision. Left alone on Halloween night she is left to think about her choice, which sees a string of masked trick-or-treaters come to invade her home, they want something from her and she will fight to keep it. Dora is the main character and involved in every scene of the film. Kate is the mother that has always pushed her daughter to achieve the most, while enjoying life, she takes her son Remi trick-or-treating. Dr Gabe Henry is the one that tells Dora about her pregnancy and offers to be there to help if she ever need help, standard doctor material here. Officer Corman is the first to come and try to help with the situation, only he knows more than he could which will offer Dora help while trying to make it through the night.

PerformancesChloe Rose is the leading lady and is the best performer in the film, she needs to be because of the amount of reaction her character must go through as she needs to keep our attention. When we come to the supporting cast we get the big name in Robert Patrick who does show his experience, while the rest of the cast are good with their limited involvement through the film.

StoryThe story is kept simple here, we have a teenager tormented by a group of masked figures in the form of children on Halloween night. She must fight them off to figure out their motivation for the attacks which will have a bigger impact on her pregnancy. We can clearly see the metaphor being used here on Dora as she must deal with the idea that could abort her pregnancy and this could be the haunting idea that she could become haunted by what she does for the rest of her life, giving her the chance to fight for her child’s life. If we want to dive deeper into the story, it becomes clear that the story can take the back burner for moments of shocking imagery which isn’t always needed for the film to move forward.

HorrorThe horror in this film reflects how Dora is feeling about hearing that she is pregnant, it comes with shocking images and demon child in masks which can work at times to make us feel uncomfortable through the film.

SettingsThe film keeps most of the action on the remote home of Dora’s, it does have weak phone signal, she doesn’t drive, giving this everything it needs to isolate her from the world.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are strong when it comes to practical effects which does include a melting scene which is something that is the standout through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The melting scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Over playing the shocking images over story.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the typical late-night horrors you can put on, enjoy without becoming overly scared, because it turns to shocking images over scary moments.

 

Overall: Horror looking for shocks over substance.

Rating