Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Stage Fright (2014)

casting card

 

Plot: A snobby musical theater camp is terrorized by a blood-thirsty killer who hates musical theater.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Glee Style Horror Musical

 

Story: Stage Fright starts as we see Kylie (Driver) performing on the opera while her children Camilla and Buddy watch on. When Kylie is murdered after the show musical producer Roger McCall (Meat Loaf) take the two children in. Ten years later Roger runs a camp for all musical fans with Camilla (MacDonald) who dreams of becoming her own singer and Buddy (Smith) who just wants to leave working as the cooks.

This year is special as the director Artie Getz (Uranowitz) has picked Phantom of the Opera the very musical that Kylie was performing on her death. He has ideas to take a fresh spin on it and when Camilla lands the lead role heads turn for all the campers. When Artie turns out to be just another pervy director we see the killer turn up making him the first victim before terrorising the camp.

Stage Fright brings us into the world that feels like a High School Musical or Glee feel to the horror genre. Lets face it this is never gonna be scary but does play on songs throughout. This isn’t going to be anything overly special but can be enjoyed if you go in to see the musical styled story. the twist on the killer I think Stevie Wonder would have seen which does take away the guessing game.

 

Actor Review

 

Minnie Driver: Kylie is the singer that is about to get her big break on front of her own children, she is a fabulous singer but she is killed by an unknown masked man. Minnie is good in this cameo like performance.

Meat Loaf: Roger is the producer that is now running the camp, he has taken care of Kylie children giving them jobs at the camp. He agrees to let his former show be made and Camilla, Kylie daughter take the lead role. Meat Loaf is solid in this role where we do get to see his singing ability.

Allie MacDonald: Camilla is the daughter of Kylie she has dreamed of becoming a singer just like her mother and now she gets the chance to perform to a real audience. Allie is good in this role where we get to hear her amazing singing voice.

Douglas Smith: Buddy is the brother who just wants to get out of the musical world but always stands there to protect Camilla. Douglas is solid in this supporting role without really fitting in with the movie.

Support Cast: Stage Fright has the supporting cast you would learn to know from a Glee style musical.

Director Review: Jerome SableJerome gives us a musical performance that is fun to watch.

 

Horror: Stage Fright has plenty of slasher style kills but never comes off scary.

Musical: Stage Fright is filled with songs but I do feel thee rock ones come off very annoying.

Settings: Stage Fright keeps most of the film on the camp site which helps with how the story unfolds for the horror side of everything.
Special Effects
: Stage Fright has good but basic effects when it comes to the kills happening in the film.

Suggestion: Stage Fright is one to try, I do think you will need to be in the right state of mind though. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Allie MacDonald has a brilliant voice.

Worst Part: The Rock side making rock music out to be the bad guy almost.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

Tagline: Sing Your Heart Out!

 

Overall: Original with musical side to horror but doesn’t reach the highest levels.

Rating

 card

 

 

Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Director: Bill Condon

Writer: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos (Screenplay)

Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Hattie Morahan, Hayden Gwynne, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci

 

Plot: An adaptation of the Disney fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beauty and the Beasty CGI

 

Story: Beauty and the Beast starts as we learn about the curse placed upon the selfish prince who becomes the Beast (Stevens). Years, an unknown number of which never gets explained either pass, as the castle, the Prince and his memories are forgotten.

Meanwhile in the small French village is Belle (Watson) a British young woman who reads and that is taboo in this town, she is considered different but her father Maurice (Kline) continues to encourage her to remain different. Enter the arrogant Captain Gaston (Evans) who wants Belle’s hand in marriage but she isn’t having that.

When Maurice gets captured after taking the wrong path by the Beast, Belle goes in search of him, taking his place as the prisoner of the Beast, learning about the curse and the household objects that are alive, candlestick Lumiere (McGregor), clock Cogsworth (McKellen), teapot Mrs Potts (Thomspon), tea cup Chip (Mack) and many others who are trying their hardest to break the curse on the Beast.

We know the story is all about love and that is the only way to break the curse, as time goes by, I say time I think it is more days Belle learns that the Beast isn’t all his appearance appears and he is also much like her struggling to fit in because of he is different and love blossoms in a battle for freedom.

 

Thoughts on Beauty and the Beast

 

Characters/PerformanceBelle is a character I think is good because it does encourage women to be different regardless of what people say, she is a dreamer who isn’t willing to marry just for status. Where I don’t think this character is good is the way she acts like she is better than other people because she is willing to be educated. The Beast is also a mixed feelings character, he was selfish and got what he deserved but he does learn his lesson about his ways going nervous when getting to know Belle. Gaston is by far my favourite character in the film as the typical arrogant captain who thinks he can get what he wants, he is willing to fight rather than hide but you are never meant to root for him. Maurice is fun but I feel plays into my own issues with the film as it plays into time between the village and castle. We also have a lot of fun with the Lumiere character who is trying to make love happen between the two with the other household items all being the highlights of the film.

Performance wise, I found myself wondering why Watson was cast in the lead because she doesn’t convince to the levels needed, while I do think Dan Stevens is a good actor but couldn’t buy him as the Beast. Luke Evans is great in his role pulling off the singing and actor wonderfully. The voice talents are all great too with well established stars in the roles.

StoryLooking at the story we get something that is fully Disney styled, we have the woman who is different in a good way, falling in the love with the outside to avoid the asshole captain/prince, the story encourages individualism and has plenty of fantasy elements about curses. It is all fine and kids could enjoy as well as nostalgic fans.

Family/Fantasy/MusicalThe family can all enjoy this movie, the fantasy elements are good the curse is all great and work for the film. the music is also good with solid singing throughout.

SettingsThe settings all work good, they are mostly CGI creation but are working for how the story is going.

Special EffectsHere is my biggest issue with the movie, the CGI special effects look weak throughout, you can see the green screen throughout which took me out of the film most of the time.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film for the fans out the 1991 version of the film, they will get enough out of this film, I found it too long in places being over an hour long and the CGI left me losing the fantasy side of the film.

 

Overall: Disney will make money but that is the only positive they want.

Rating

 

 

Trolls (2016)

trollsDirector: Walt Dohrn, Mike Mitchell

Writer: Jonathan Aibel, Glenn Berger, Erica Rivinoja (Screenplay) Thomas Dam (Good Luck Trolls)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Anna Kendrick, Justin Timberlake, Zooe Deschanel, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Christine Baranski, Russell Brand, Gwen Stefani

 

Plot: After the Bergens invade Troll Village, Poppy, the happiest Troll ever born, and the curmudgeonly Branch set off on a journey to rescue her friends.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Animated Story

 

Story: Trolls starts with the Trolls living a happy life but the Bergens discover them and learn that eating a troll will make them happy. On the grand day of Prince Gristle is to be feed his first troll the Trolls escape to rebuild their society.

20 years later Princess Poppy continues the stories of how they escaped and continue to be positive with single and dancing but on troll Branch doesn’t believe they will ever be safe from the Bergens.

When the Bergens find the trolls Princess Poppy must team up with Branch to save the taken trolls from the Bergen and save the day.

 

Thoughts on Trolls

 

StoryThe story feels like it could just be another episode of the Smurfs really because it is about a small group of creatures Trolls that get taken by bigger creatures Bergens that want to eat them. Everything that goes on through the is generic with the reluctant hero having to work with the overly cheerful character to beat a villain that is using the royal figure to get what they want. This all works for keeping things simple without being anything overly original.

Animation/Comedy/Family/MusicalThe animation is all good and works for the world of toy trolls but the comedy misses on most levels but would work for the young audience. I don’t feel this has enough for all ages but the musical songs used will bring back memories for the fans of the music of people’ youths.

Characters/PerformancePoppy is your typical heroine for this style of film plucky and over ambitious while Branch is your reluctant hero. The villains all come off like Gargamel from Smurfs while the others feel like mis-lead over the years. The choice of Kendrick and Timberlake in the lead singer characters does work because know they are great singers.

SettingsThe settings all would be what you would expect from the world of Trolls with nothing else coming off too exceptional.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good film to stick on for the kids to enjoy but otherwise it will be hard to get through.

 

Overall: Easy to watch kids distraction film.

Ratingcard

 

 

La La Land (2016)

lalaDirector: Damien Chazelle

Writer: Damien Chazelle (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Emma Stone, John Legend, Rosemarie DeWitt

 

Plot: A jazz pianist falls for an aspiring actress in Los Angeles.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Fairy Tale of the Big City

 

Story: La La Land starts as we see aspiring actress Mia (Stone) dreaming off getting out of her coffee job and becoming a star, even if she keeps getting rejected in her audition. We also meet Sebastian (Gosling) a jazz musician who is one of the final lovers of the original art in a world that is modernising the style forgetting the magic jazz had on people.

When the two keep clashing it starts with a case of try to get one over each other between the two before it turned into flirting and sparks fly. Both searching for a way to make their dream come true they both take different paths to find it motivating each other two rise to the occasion. This is all singing, all dancing road to following your own dreams.

 

Thoughts on La La Land

 

StoryThe story here shines through as it pushes you to follow your dreams and not want to let them become compromised for anything. We see how both motivate to chase the dreams which are both old fashioned in the modern world of both Hollywood and Jazz. I did like the style of the story telling going over the four seasons showing how times in the relationship are changing. The story will leave you with a smile on your face.

Comedy/Musical/RomanceThe comedy going on in this movie is placed just when you need it without taking over the film. The main attraction of this film is the romantic angle which feels fresh and modern with everything that happens. The musical side isn’t as heavy as I was expecting but has all the elements of beautiful songs fitting each situation.

Characters/PerformanceMia represents all the aspiring actresses that struggle to get that first role that could make them, Sebastian is a musician that dreams of being able to listen and play the purest form of jazz, both these characters could easily be relatable if you are a fan of the subjects the way they are. Emma Stone gives what is easily her best performance of her career and I feel is also above Gosling who again is also brilliant. When you consider the supporting cast we don’t get enough from them to reach the levels of these two.

SettingsThe backdrop of Hollywood makes this film feel like the fairy tale Hollywood can be for anybody dreaming of making it in the city of dreams.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the films of the year, original, feel good and charming, one that everyone can enjoy.

 

Overall: The true film of the year contender.

Ratingcard

 

 

August Rush (2007)

august-rushDirector: Kirsten Sheridan

Writer: Nick Castle, James V Hart (Screenplay) Paul Castro, Nick Castle (Story)

Starring: Freddie Highmore, Keri Russell, Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Terrence Howard, Robin Williams, William Sadler, Marian Seldes

 

Plot: A drama with fairy tale elements, where an orphaned musical prodigy uses his gift as a clue to finding his birth parents.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Touching Fantasy Drama

 

Story: August Rush starts as we meet Evan Taylor (Highmore) a young boy at an orphanage who believes in the music to life as he dreams of finding his long lost parents. We flashback to the night Evan’s parents Lyla (Russell) a member of an orchestra and Louis (Meyers) a rocker from England.

Evan is determined to find out about his parents and sets out on an adventure with music guiding him to learn just who his parents really were. On his adventure Evan meets Wizard (Williams) who has been guarding other orphans in the big city who all have dreams of becoming musicians on their own and it is here where Evan learns to play the music he has only ever heard before.

August Rush plays into the idea music can bring everyone together regardless of the style it is always about just how it is played. We get to see how you can regret moments in life but the ones that are most important are were always meant to be. We get a story that shows us all how you can believe in your own dreams no matter who stands in your way. We also get a great performance from Freddie Highmore along with great performances from the supporting cast. This a film that went right under the radar and does deserve the time to go out and watch.

 

Overall: Delightful story that can be watched by all the dreamers out there.

Rating75