Intensive Care (2018)

Director: Jared Bentley

Writer: Jared Bentley, Darrin Scane, Eric Storlie (Screenplay)

Starring: Tara Macken, Jai Rodriguez, Kevin Sizemore, Jose Rosete, Leslie Easterbrooke

 

Plot: Three low-life criminals attempt to rob an elderly dying woman’s home, but her live-in nurse turns out to be much more trouble than they bargained for.


Tagline – Crazy knows crazy.

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Action Flick

 

Story: Intensive Care starts as we see just how talented a fighter Alex (Macken) is as she leaves her previous military life to become a live-in nurse for Claire (Easterbrook). Claire has one remain grandson Danny (Rodriguez) who has his own financial problems, which brings in Seth (Sizemore) and Rudy (Rosete).

With Danny trying to distract Alex, so the others can break into the house and steal the life savings, it isn’t long before the three learn they messed with the wrong woman in Alex who will make them pay for what they did.

 

Thoughts on Intensive Care

 

Characters – Alex is a former marine that has shown her skills for audience in the opening sequence, she has step away from that life to become a live-in nurse believing it will be a quiet life. She will once again need to show her skills to fight off three criminals trying to rob her patient. She knows how to take out anyone who is bigger and stronger than her, while also being able to handle large amounts of punishment. Danny is the grandson of Claire, the only living relative who has gotten himself into money problems hoping that he can take her money while she is on her death bed, he uses his charm to distract Alex, while he is being forced into going along with the plan. Seth and Rudy are the two that are left to locate the money hoping to make sure they get their money and finish their deal with Danny.

PerformancesTara Macken in the leading role proves to be a good one, with her background in stunt-work we get to see her handle combat sequences through the film. Jai Rodriguez will give you most memorable scenes in the film with his action being the parts of the film you will remember the most because they bring a small element of humour. Kevin Sizemore and Jose Rosete are both good too as the generic bigger guys for Alex to fight.

StoryThe story follows one former military lady that needs to fight off three criminals who are trying to steal the money in the home. This sounds simple enough right, well it is until we get too the moments where both sides are interested in proving they are better than the opponents. This story could and should have ended a lot earlier because both sides have clear chances to eliminate the problems and for the most part, they fail to do this. This is a story that doesn’t end in the way you would imagine either and please stay for a post-credit scene.

Action/Crime/HorrorThe action is the highlight of the film because we get plenty of fight sequences for Tara Macken to go through, this brings in the crime side of the film as the criminals want the money and will do anything to get it and the horror side of the film plays into the home invasion side to horror that works well here without being truly terrifying.

SettingsThe film takes place in one location, a home in the middle of nowhere with open surroundings which shows just how difficult to escape from, for both sides.


Scene of the Movie –
Car ride.

That Moment That Annoyed Me One phone call seems too random

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice simple action flick that can be enjoyed by the action fans, being just over an hour long we get to keep everything going well, never letting up.

 

Overall: Entertaining action film.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – W – War Dogs (2016)

Director: Todd Phillips

Writer: Stephen Chin, Todd Phillips, Jason Smilovic (Screenplay) Guy Lawson (Article)

Starring: Miles Teller, Jonah Hill, Ana de Armas

 

Plot: Loosely based on the true story of two young men, David Packouz and Efraim Diveroli, who won a three hundred million dollar contract from the Pentagon to arm America’s allies in Afghanistan.


Tagline – Money, corruption and the American dream

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Crime Comedy

 

Story: War Dogs starts as we follow David Packouz’s (Teller) story, he was a massage therapist and lost his money in a bad investment, with his girlfriend Iz (Armas) pregnant, he is left with little ideas for money until his old friend Efraim (Hill) returns to town. Efraim is an arms dealer that has been finding a way to sell weapons in the war.

We follow the two young men as they find a way to get one of the biggest deals done, but is this going to take a toll on their personal lives.

 

Thoughts on War Dogs

 

Characters – David is a young man, he works hard with his massage therapist job while trying to make a business of his own. When this goes wrong he is saved by his old childhood friend that introduces him to the world of arms dealing, he is telling the story to us too. Efraim is the old school friend of David’s that brings him in as a partner, showing him the ropes and just how much money could be getting made in this industry. He has a reputation that doesn’t make him one to trust at the times, which could ruin deals and friendships.

PerformancesMiles Teller and Jonah Hill are both great in these roles, they have great chemistry between them and it shows in their moments together and gives them both the time in solo scenes to be their own characters.

StoryThe story shows the rise of two unlikely young men that became one of the biggest international arms dealers in recent American history and how the greed can take over even the strongest friendships. We are told this story through one of the two men involved, so we do only get to see their own point of view of everything, when you feel there might be more to certain moments in the film. This is an easy to watch film and plays out just like Lord of War which does feel slightly more entertaining though.

Comedy/Crime/WarThe comedy comes mostly from the idea of this feeling completely out of place watching these young men enter this world of crime during the war time of selling weapons.

SettingsThe settings show how the characters go from comfortable America to countries with less money that offer these men a chance of something massive, this is good for the clash of cultures idea.


Scene of the Movie –
The first deal.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Only seeing it from one point of view.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good Todd Phillips style comedy that we all know how his style comes through, it does have good moments throughout and strong performances too.

 

Overall: Good crime comedy well worth watching.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – S – Snatch (2000)

Director: Guy Ritchie

Writer: Guy Ritchie (Screenplay)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Jason Statham, Benicio Del Toro, Dennis Farina, Vinnie Jones, Alan Ford, Lennie James, Ewen Bremner

 

Plot: Unscrupulous boxing promoters, violent bookmakers, a Russian gangster, incompetent amateur robbers, and supposedly Jewish jewelers fight to track down a priceless stolen diamond.


Tagline – Stealing stones is hazardous.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gangster Wonderland

 

Story: Snatch starts as we meet Turkish (Statham) an underground boxing promoter who is on the biggest business with Brick Top (Ford), but when he loses his fighter to gypsy Mickey O’Neil (Pitt), he must work on a new deal to get Mickey to enter the fight.

When the fight doesn’t go as planned Turkish must make amends for the mistake, putting him where he never wants to be in debt to Brick Top, while we follow the gangsters in this world as they get themselves into a string of trouble.

 

Thoughts on Snatch

 

Characters – We have plenty of characters in this film, Turkish is our narrator telling us everything going on, he is a boxing promotor that gets himself in the bad books of the head gangster in the city. Mickey O’Neil is a gypsy that just so happens to be an amateur boxer that ruins the plans of Turkish. Brick Top is the gangster running the city, he keeps everyone in fear and promises to feed anyone that crosses him to his pigs.

PerformancesJason Statham broke out with this role, he had done a couple of supporting roles, but this made him the star we know he is today. Brad Pitt gives us a performance we didn’t see coming from him as he showed us he can bring us a supporting role that wants to break away from the Hollywood main stream. Alan Ford seems to enjoy playing the villainous gangster role too not holding back in anyway.

StoryThe story follows the many different members of the crime world on a serious of miss-adventures during a week long time, this takes us through robbers, thieves, gypsy and gamblers that are all trying to pull something off as things are unfolding. I will say at times it does feel like one too many things are going on, but they do all come full circle by the end of the film. as for gangster style movies this story is one of the more enjoyable without taking itself too seriously.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy comes from things that do go wrong for the characters, with the dog having a squeaky toy instead of a bark is funny. The crime side of the film comes from every character that is from different places in the crime world.

SettingsThe settings keep us seeing everything coming from the different locations you would expect to see gangster films to take place.


Scene of the Movie –
The dog and the toy.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There is one too many stories to keep up with at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good gangster film that doesn’t want to take itself too seriously, which helps bring the colourful characters to life.

 

Overall: Enjoyable throughout.

Rating

 

 

Open House (2010)

Director: Andrew Paquin

Writer: Andrew Paquin (Screenplay)

Starring: Brian Geraghty, Rachel Blanchard, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Tricia Helfer, Gabriel Olds, Jessica Collins

 

Plot: A couple on the verge of a nasty divorce attempt to sell their empty love nest and move on with their lives, separately. After a successful open house they are horrified to discover, days later, that a potential buyer didn’t leave their home. While Alice is being held captive in the basement, the unannounced house guest moves in upstairs. She senses her capture is being kept a rebellious secret. She knows her way out, if only she can get out alive.


Tagline – Welcome to the neighborhood.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Unsettling Thriller

 

Story: Open House starts as Alice (Blanchard) is getting divorced and is looking to sell the couple’s home, things are not going well, but with her friend’s support she believes things will go well. Things take an early drastic change when Alice is held captive by David (Geraghty) and Lila (Helfer).

David and Lila decide to make the home their own, killing anyone that questions them about Alice, how long can they keep this up and how often have they been doing this?

 

Thoughts on Open House

 

Characters – David is the man that keeps Alice captive, he is being controlled by Lila, while also thinking for himself deciding to keep her alive against the wishes of Lila in look for companionship. David seems to be easily manipulated into doing what Lila says. Alice is the owner of the house, going through a divorce and looking to sell their home, she is held captive by the couple who want control of the house. She must follow the rules David gives her in a hope of making it through the ordeal. Lila is the woman who has moved into the house, she uses David to get what she wants and seduces any men that come near the home. The rest of the characters we meet are used to show what David and Lila are capable of, while have a connection to Alice.

PerformancesBrian Geraghty gives us an unsettling feeling throughout the film, he makes it difficult to put your finger on this character. Rachel Blanchard does a solid enough job, though she is mostly needing to look scared or be tied up. Tricia Helfer is good as the seductive woman controlling the situation. The rest of the cast don’t get much time on screen which disappoints when you see some of the talent we had.

StoryThe story follows a man and woman that hold a homeowner captive in their house while they make their own and continue their killer ways. Now this does bring us into the idea that somebody would take over your own home after a open house with people around you expecting you to be leaving you won’t get the support you would imagine. The pacing for the story is one of the weaker moments because we follow David’s interactions with both the women and it is very hard to put your finger on what he is up to through the film. the story however is better than 2018’s Open House which was just too slow.

CrimeThe film uses the crime elements because we see the man and woman killing people, talking like they have been doing this for years and know when to get out of the house before getting captured which is an interesting way to look at the story.

SettingsThe film takes place only inside the house, the place you are meant to feel safe, this is good for the story and easily the strongest part of everything.


Scene of the Movie –
Opening the freezers.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While it is implied, they have been killing for ages, it would have been nice to have it spelled out from how David is acting through the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid addition to the late night horror movies I like to promote, it is an easy watch you can enjoy it even if it doesn’t use the biggest names in the film to the best of their abilities.

 

Overall: Late night Crime Horror film.

Rating

 

 

Classic Franchise Month – Psycho II (1983)

Director: Richard Franklin

Writer: Tom Holland (Screenplay)

Starring: Anthony Perkins, Vera Miles, Meg Tilly, Robert Loggia, Dennis Franz, Hugh Gillin, Claudia Bryar

 

Plot: After twenty-two years of psychiatric care, Norman Bates attempts to return to a life of solitude, but the specters of his crimes – and his mother – continue to haunt him.


Tagline – Norman Bates is back. Coming home was a bad mistake!

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Sequel

 

Story: Psycho II starts when Norman Bates (Perkins) gets released after 22-years in psychiatric care against the wishes of Lila (Miles), returning to his home overlooking the Bates Motel, taking a job in the local diner and opening his door to waitress Mary (Tilly) after she breaks up with her boyfriend.

It isn’t long before Norman starts believing he is seeing his mother and receiving phone calls and notes from people, even with him trying to put his life back together by reopening the motel to the public. Can he keep everything together or is he still unstable to the public?

 

Thoughts on Psycho II

 

Characters – Norman Bates is now out of hospital trying to return to his normal life, he seems fully recovered, but it doesn’t take long before he starts to question his own sanity believing his mother has returned to him or being made to play the victim to someone else’s game. Lila is against Norman being released and she will do anything to stop him from living a normal life. Mary is the waitress that is offered a room by Norman believing he has been cured and now she starts to see the good in him, though she isn’t completely what she seems to be.

PerformancesAnthony Perkins is good in this leading role showing the unstable side of his character when needed. Vera Miles is good in her role but doesn’t get too much to do. Meg Tilly is a good addition to the cast, she is strong throughout the film keeping her character a mystery.

StoryThe story here follows the release of Norman Bates after years locked away as he must come to terms with re-entering society while people still don’t want him released. This is an interesting spin on the idea of the villain from a previous film returning, because it is the time required in hospital before released served and does deal with the idea that being let back into society isn’t going to be accepted by all. Having Norman questioning his own sanity helps us along the way and the twist that comes through the film makes everything tie together nicely.

Crime/Horror/MysteryThe criminal has been released back into normal life which shows us just what it would be like as both sides can argue the point, the horror comes from where the new list of bodies starting to pile up with the mystery being who is behind the killing spree.

SettingsThe film does take us back to the iconic Bates Motel which gives us the best scenes, every time we leave we are left feeling out of place though.

Special EffectsThe effects do try to use the less is more technique only for it not to come off on the level of the original.


Scene of the Movie –
The final twist.

That Moment That Annoyed Me IMDB ruins a big twist in the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good sequel to the classic, it builds on the ideas of Norman Bates being released after serving his time and now we see the next chapter of the story.

 

Overall: Sequel well worth watching.

Rating