Closer (2004)

Director: Mike Nichols

Writer: Patrick Marber (Screenplay)

Starring: Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman, Clive Owen

 

Plot: The relationships of two couples become complicated and deceitful when the man from one couple meets the woman of the other.


Tagline – If you believe in love at first sight, you never stop looking.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Play Movie

 

Story: Closer starts as we meet journalist Dan (Law) as he meets American tourist Alice (Portman) and starts a relationship, with his book about to be released he is having a photo shoot with Anna (Roberts) as he wants to start seeing her, his joke ends up setting her up with doctor Larry (Owen) and the two continue their affair even after Anna and Larry get married.

As the truth emerges, we see how the four parties must deal with the consequences of their action with the two victims needing to learn to move on, while the cheaters try to end things in a smart way.

 

Thoughts on Closer

 

Characters – Anna is a photographer that meets Dan at a shoot for his new book, she ends up being put in the middle of a game by Dan which leads her to her next husband, only she continues her affair with Dan even after getting married. Dan is a journalist who works for the paper while trying to get his book published, he meets Alice crossing a street which starts their relationship, only he falls for Anna and continues to see her even after his book fails. Alice is the young American the meets Dan, she works as a waitress making ends meet until she needs to turn to stripping. Larry is a doctor that gets played into a game with Anna becoming his new wife, he is the victim of her affair, but his aggressive nature puts him back into the game.

PerformancesWe have four of the best actors in the business here with Julia Roberts, Jude Law, Natalie Portman and Clive Owen all giving us good performances through the film, they do what they can do with unlikeable characters.

StoryThe story follows four people whose relationships cross paths as they must decide whether they love each other or won’t stay loyal to each other. The story telling process is poor because we jump through times to different stages of the relationships, we get short mentions of the time jump though it only becomes confusing at times. The story focuses on how fickle people can be in relationships and when people get hurt, they will do things to get revenge, it doesn’t paint any of the characters to be good redeemable people and that they are better being away from each other.

RomanceThe romance in the film comes from showing us just what happens when love can go wrong and puts people in the place they don’t want to be, rather than happiness that we are often made to believe.

SettingsThe film is set in London showing how the lives of these people can cross paths, each location will at some point show the working environment for the characters.


Scene of the Movie –
Taxi opening.

That Moment That Annoyed Me None of the characters seem like nice people.

Final ThoughtsThis is a study of relationships and how easily they can go from the best moments to the worst, it doesn’t become the most interesting thing to watch with it being a lot of discussion about how people are feeling over being wronged.

 

Overall: Relationship study.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – B – Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 (2000) Movie Review

Director: Joe Berlinger

Writer: Dick Beebe, Joe Berlinger (Screenplay) Eduardo Sanchez, Daniel Myrick (Characters)

Starring: Jeffrey Donovan, Kurt Loder, Tristine Skyler, Erica Leerhsen, Kim Director, Lanny Flaherty

Plot: A group of tourists arrives in Burkittsville, Maryland after seeing The Blair Witch Project (1999) to explore the mythology and phenomenon, only to come face to face with their own neuroses and possibly the witch herself.


Tagline – Evil Doesn’t Die.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Easy Watch Horror

Story: Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2 starts in the small town of Burkittsville that has become an overnight tourist attraction because of the success of The Blair Witch Project, with people wanting to know whether the legend is true or not.

Local man Jeffrey Patterson (Donovan) leads a group of tourists, Stephen (Turner) and his girlfriend Tristen (Skyler) who are looking to write a book about the legend, Erica (Leerhsen) a witch and psychic Kim (Director) who all head into the woods to see if they can find some truth about the legend. Only after the first night the five learn that the woods might not be the safest place to go searching for the supernatural.

Thoughts on Book of Shadows: Blair Witch 2

Characters – Jeffrey is the local man that has used the success of The Blair Witch Project to create his own business, mostly merchandise before offering tour guides, which this is his first one, he has a reputation within the town for being harmless trouble, which is show in his paranoid mentality he shows in his own home. Kim is a psychic who doesn’t care what people think about her appearance, though we don’t seem to get any hints of any of the abilities she might have. Erica believes she is a witch and is looking forward to getting back with the nature of a witch by arriving in the woods, while Tristen and Stephen are a couple that are writing a book about what has happened with the legend, looking into the reality of it.

PerformancesSeeing Jeffrey Donovan in this film is the biggest surprise because of how far he has come, like most of the cast nobody does much wrong, just playing the characters how you would imagine.

StoryThe story here follows a group of tourists that have joined the interesting in the town where the Blair Witch Project was set, only to learn they have been caught in the spell behind the legend. Now this is a story that does take us into a world where the previous film was a film in the universe, which is interesting a nice concept that always works, where the story might falls slightly short is by it being about the five people slowly starting to go crazy within the house, with us slowly learning who has made it out of house, revealing slowly who has made it and what they might have done to get out of it. It isn’t as bad as I had heard, though it is just something you could watch with ease.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy side of the film comes from seeing how the witch might well be real and not just part of the film, with the horror coming from just what happens from the time spent in the woods.

SettingsWe do return to the same town the first film is set in, the woodland area and the random house which is transformed from an abandoned location, which adds to the unsure nature of the location.

Special EffectsThe effects are mostly just jumps that work without doing much else, with quick flashes.


Scene of the Movie – The video truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too many just jump reaction scares.

Final Thoughts This is a simple sequel that does everything it needs to, while having certain strange events that don’t always add up.

Overall: Easy to watch.

Apex Predator – Release News

Signature Entertainment presents Apex Predator on Digital Platforms 12th November and DVD 15th November

 LET THE HUNT BEGIN. Serving a life sentence for a crime he did not commit, Jim (Bruce Willis – Die Hard, McClane) is offered a chance of freedom. But the price of freedom could be his life as he finds himself face to face with the world’s greatest hunters… traps, guerrilla warfare and all out violence. Will Jim survive this murderous game of cat and mouse, or will the hunters discover just how far he will go to survive APEX? Also starring Neal McDonough (Minority Report) and Alexia Fast (Jack Reacher), Apex Predator was written and directed by Edward Drake (Broil) with additional writing from Corey Large (Anti-Life).

Old Henry – Release News

Signature Entertainment presents Old Henry on Digital Platforms 8th November 

Critics and audiences are going wild for Old Henry A Brooding, twisty and classically-executed western, featuring outstanding performances from Tim Blake Nelson (O Brother, Where Art Though?) and Stephen Dorff (Blade). A widowed farmer and his son who warily take in a mysterious, injured man with a satchel of cash soon live to regret their decision as wild-west chaos descends on their sleepy farmhouse. When a posse of men claiming to be the law come for the money, the farmer must decide who to trust. Defending against a siege of his homestead, he reveals a talent for gunslinging that surprises everyone, calling his identity into question. Old Henry was written and directed by Potsy Ponciroli (Still the King).