40 Days and 40 Nights (2002)

40Director: Michael Lehmann

Writer: Robert Perez (Screenplay)

Starring: Josh Hartnett, Shannyn Sossamon, Paulo Costanzo, Adam Tree, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Vinessa Shaw, Maggie Gyllenhaal

 

Plot: After a brutal break-up, a young man vows to stay celibate during the forty days of Lent, but finds the girl of his dreams and is unable to do anything about it.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Comedy

 

Story: 40 Days and 40 Nights starts as we meet Matt (Hartnett) who has been struggling with his break up from Nicole (Shaw), this has led Matt to a string of one night stands that lead to him having visions of a black hole. Matt’s brother John (Tree) is in training to become a priest where Matt learns about lent and vows to give up all sexual activity for 40 days and 40 nights.

When his roommate Ryan (Costanzo) decides to spread the news about the vow a betting pool opens up and to make Matt’s life more difficult when he finally meets the perfect woman Erica (Sossamon). Matt has to learn to balance his vow while starting a new relationship where sex is out of the question.

40 Days and 40 Nights is a film I did enjoy watching even if I can see big flaws in the story, this mostly comes from the idea that it is written that every guy is obsessed with sex and couldn’t possible go 40 days without having it. The problems comes where everyone is against Matt rather than having even just one person supporting him through his self-improvement idea. I do however feel the story works for what it is trying to be even if it comes off unbelievable throughout.

 

Actor Review

 

Josh Hartnett: Matt Sullivan is a struggling man who can’t get over his ex-girlfriend Nicole. Running through a string of one night stands he wakes from these with a vision of the world coming to an end. Coming up with the idea to give up sexual activity for lent his life becomes a game for people around the world who has bet on when it will end and the perfect woman come into his life his whole life becomes difficult. Josh shows with this performance he can handle comedy.

Shannyn Sossamon: Erica has been struggling to find the right guy and her job doesn’t help. She meets Matt and see him as a different guy to the normal ones she meets but doesn’t fully understand the vow. Shannyn is good in this role being a strong leading lady.

Paulo Costanzo: Ryan is Matt’s roommate who is always looking to go out and meet girls for sex. He keeps watch over Matt after telling everyone about the vow. Paulo is solid as this supporting friend even if this generic.

Adam Tree: John Sullivan is the priest in training brother of Matt’s who doesn’t believe he can achieve his vow because he knows how difficult it is to go through. Adam is solid but in the end is just another supporting character.

Support Cast: 40 Days and 40 Nights has a supporting cast which includes plenty of different characters that are trying to make Matt break his vow with not a single person actually supporting him.

Director Review: Michael LehmannMichael gives us a fun comedy even if it is very one sided with the reactions and mind set people are meant to be in.

 

Comedy: 40 Days and 40 Nights has moments of comedy which mostly surround people trying to make Matt break the vow.

Romance: 40 Days and 40 Nights does try to tackle relationships by trying to make it more about how sex isn’t the most important part of the relationship.

Settings: 40 Days and 40 Nights keeps the settings around San Francisco which is always a great visual location for a film.

Suggestion: 40 Days and 40 Nights is one to try it does have good moments of good comedy but it also has a story which seems to be very much sex is all people think about. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Hartnett works for comedy.

Worst Part: Not everyone is sex obsessed.

Romantic Moment: No contact date.

 

Believability: The way things go I would say no.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $17 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline:  It’s Easy to Say But Harder To Do! 

 

Overall: Simple comedy that does work well for what it is trying to achieve.

Ratingcard

 

 

47 Meters Down (2017)

Director: Johannes Roberts

Writer: Johannes Roberts, Ernest Riera (Screenplay)

Starring: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Chris Johnson, Yani Gellman, Santiago Segura, Matthew Modine

 

Plot: Two sisters vacationing in Mexico are trapped in a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean. With less than an hour of oxygen left and great white sharks circling nearby, they must fight to survive.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Underwater Shark Attack Suspense Miss

 

Story: 47 Meters Down starts as two sisters Lisa (Moore) and Kate (Holt) are holidaying in Mexico with Lisa trying to get over her ex, the two look to have a good time. Two locals Benjamin (Segura), Louis (Gellman) talk the girls into joining Captain Taylor (Modine) on the Sea Esta to swim with sharks.

When the dream experience for the girls turns into a nightmare when the cable holding the cage snaps, sending them both trapped in the cage 47 metres to the bottoms of the ocean, the two must stay calm and wait for rescue but do they have the air to wait that long?

 

Thoughts on 47 Meters Down

 

Characters/PerformanceLisa is the stable one of the two sisters, she doesn’t take the risks her sister does and finds herself using this holiday to follow her sisters lead. Kate is the free spirited of the two sisters that enjoys taking risk and will not be saying no to an adventure. We do have a captain and his crew too but we barely see them.

Performance wise, Holt and Moore are fine, you don’t actually believe them to be sisters and the peril they find themselves in doesn’t seem to be anything overly fresh in performance eyes.

StoryThe story does offer us something fresh when it comes to the shark attack genre, the film takes place underwater instead of on the surface as the girls are trapped at the bottom of the ocean. The problem using this situation is that the near death moments just don’t come off, for example we have a good 5 minutes sequence with one of the girls trying to drag an oxygen tank closer, now this happens too early in the film for us to believe that she might die. On the surface this is a good idea and does work but puts together the maybes too far apart.

Adventure/HorrorThe adventure would be about what the two girls could be experiencing with the horror being how this adventure could go horribly wrong with shark attack happening.

SettingsThe bottom of the ocean in a shark cage, well this is a new and brilliant setting for the movie and is easily the highlight of everything.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to create the shark attack sequences which are all filled with terror.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fresh approach to the shark attack movie, it is smartly created but does lack in the idea of peril which the surface has on the higher levels.

 

Overall: Shark attack movie with new breath but less teeth.

Rating

 

 

3 Days to Kill (2014)

daysDirector: McG

Writer: Adi Hasak, Luc Besson (Screenplay) Luc Besson (Story)

Starring: Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen, Tomas Lemarquis, Richard Sammel

 

Plot: A dying CIA agent trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter is offered an experimental drug that could save his life in exchange for one last assignment.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Too Long

 

Story: 3 Days to Kill starts as we meet CIA agent Ethan Renner (Costner) who along with his team is about to take down one of the biggest threats in the world The Wolf (Sammel) by eliminating his closest associate The Albino (Lemarquis) only the mission gets compromised when Ethan’s health catches up with him as he learns he only has 3 months to live.

Released by the CIA Ethan sets out on cleaning up his own personal affairs wanting to build a relationship with daughter Zooey (Steinfeld) through his ex-wife Christine (Nielsen) after years of times apart working. With everything going badly Ethan knows that it will become difficult but when fellow agent Vivi Delay (Heard) offers him a chance to live longer Ethan comes out of retirement for one last assignment.

 

Thoughts on 3 Days to Kill

 

StoryThe story for this film tries to balance a dying man’s final months with his family and his CIA life that he has meant to have walked away from. The CIA story does feel very generic of this modern day slick hitman style which is all fine. The dying man’s wish story ends up feeling like an awkward comedy in places. The story also feels very long and doesn’t seem to end up deciding if it wants to be serious or not.

Action/ThrillerThe action is all very good and entertaining with the opening sequence looking like it set the tone but in the end if just turns into another slick hitman film.

Characters/PerformanceI can’t find anything wrong with Costner’s performance as well as Steinfeld or Neilsen, it is the Heard performance that doesn’t make sense because she doesn’t suit the character and the character doesn’t suit the movie. The movie tries to make all the characters fit into everyday experiences but for some reason Vivi character is wildly over the top for no apparent reason.

SettingsThe settings are mostly all in Paris which all works for the film which is trying to make us have a location we want to visit but showing that crime can happen there I guess.

Special EffectsThe Special effects are mostly used for the action sequences and they all come off to the level you need them too.

Final ThoughtsThis is an overlong action thriller that ends up getting caught up in the middle of comedy too often for its own good.

 

 

Overall: Solid action film that starts too strong for its own benefits.

Ratingcard

 

’71 (2014)

71Director: Yann Demange

Writer: Gregory Burke (Screenplay)

Starring: Jack O’Connell, Sam Reid, Sean Harris, Sam Hazeldine, Killian Scott

 

Plot: In 1971, a young and disorientated British soldier is accidentally abandoned by his unit following a riot on the deadly streets of Belfast.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Behind Enemy Lines – Ireland

 

Story: 71 starts as we see Gary Hook (O’Connell) going through his training with his regiment before they get deployed to Belfast to deal with the riot situation. In Ireland the regiment receive their instructions and onto the Catholic side of the war. When the riots get out of hand Gary finds himself on the wrong side of the barrier alone and unarmed in the Irish territory.

With tensions rising Gary finds himself in the middle of the battle not knowing which side to trust as both side are preparing to attack each other as Gary learns the harsh reality of what these riots are causing.

71 puts us into the middle of the Irish riots showing just one soldier’s experience behind enemy lines, this works well. My issue with the story is unless you know the history which I only know the basics you are left kind of wondering why the riots are happening in the first place. Another problem I found was telling what was going on with the supporting characters like who was on whose side which I do understand adds to the mystery but in this situation we should be able to identify them easily. As a film about survival in an urban setting this is great though.

 

Actor Review

 

Jack O’Connell: Gary Hook is the young soldier who is on his first mission on the streets on Belfast during the riots of 71, trying to receive a lost weapon he gets separated by his unit and stranded alone behind enemy lines never sure who to trust. Jack is great in this leading role in what was an outstanding year for the young actor.gary

Sam Reid: Lt. Armitage is one of the men that wants to start searching for Gary but constantly gets put down Captain Browning. Sam is solid in this role but doesn’t get enough screen time.

Sean Harris: Captain Sandy Browning is the man running the situation he knows that Gary is alive but really is playing both sides of the battle. Sean is also solid but only in a supporting role.

Killian Scott: Quinn is one of the leaders out trying to kill Gary, he takes his men and boys out on the streets on the hunt for him and will hurt anyone who gets in his way. Killian is good in what seems like one of the primary villains.

Support Cast: 71 has a large supporting cast but working out which side they are on gets confusing at times.

Director Review: Yann DemangeYann gives us wonderfully shot sequences throughout but not enough back story to the events on the film.

 

Action: 71 has intensely shot action sequences involved.

Thriller: 71 keeps us on edge as we watch Gary trying to survive the warzone.

War: 71 puts us into a warzone as we see Gary trying to avoid conflict seemingly around every single corner.

Settings: 71 puts us in the warzone of the Belfast streets which really works to pull us into the story.
Special Effects
: 71 has great effects when needed without having to just go overboard with them.

Suggestion: 71 is one for fans of the genre but otherwise people might find it slightly hard to keep up with. (War Film Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Bomb shock.

Worst Part: Not enough history of the events.

 

Believability: The riots were real but story is fictional.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Behind Enemy Lines

 

Awards: Nominated for One BAFTA.

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Trivia: Most scenes within the film were shot in Northern England, not in the film’s setting of Belfast.

 

Overall: Good history war thriller that is intense but never fully drags you into believing everything.

Ratingcard

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – 51 (2011)

51Director: Jason Connery

Writer: Kenny Yakkel (Screenplay) Lucy Mukerjee-Brown (Story)

Starring: Vanessa Branch, Bruce Boxleitner, Rachel Miner, Jason London, John Shea

 

Plot: 51 chronicles what happens after political pressure from the American public forces the Air Force to provide a few well-known reporters with limited access to the most secretive base on the planet: Area 51. When one of the base’s hidden ‘long term visitors’ exploits this unprecedented visit as a chance to liberate himself and his fellow alien captives, Area 51 turns from a secure government base to a horrifying destination of terror.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Area 51 Done Well

 

Story: 51 starts when the government are finally going to let people into Area 51 for the first time with Sam Whitaker (Shea) and new blogger Claire (Branch). Colonel Martin (Boxleitner) is showing the guests around the base with the idea of showing just the simple ones rather than the real secrets.

With the tour happening around the base we see how the aliens held there start their own escape. The tour group must work together to survive while the soldiers on the outside also have to deal with the aliens coming up the levels.

51 is a horror sci-fi film set inside Area 51, we actually get to see the idea that aliens have been trapped there for decades and most importantly we get to see different types of aliens. This helps play into the conspiracy side to the story very well. When it comes to the survival side of the story there isn’t too much fresh happening here but it does make you wonder what abilities each of these aliens actually has while the film unfolds.

 

Actor Review

 

Vanessa Branch: Claire is an internet reporter with a reputation of pushing the limits to make sure she breaks the story, she isn’t one of the Colonel’s first choices to be part of the tour but while she is here she will look to break the big story. Vanessa is a solid strong leading lady for this horror film.

Bruce Boxleitner: Col Martin is the man who has to lead the tour group around Area 51, he doesn’t like the idea and will try to make this the simplest tour possible giving away only small amounts of details. Bruce comes off like a normal colonel you would expect to see in thi style of film.

Rachel Miner: Sgt Hanna is on the outside guarding the base she leads the men while having her own troubled past and reputation to live up to. Rachel is solid in this role which feels like a completely different story to the main tour.

Jason London: Aaron ‘Shoes’ Schumacher is a rookie soldier that is under the wing of Sgt Hanna, he wants to see combat but has to deal with not having this chance for now. Jason is solid in this role where we do get a few extra laugh from this film.

Support Cast: 51 has a supporting cast which includes different of soldiers as well as the fellow reporters, each one comes off slightly disposable through the story.

Director Review: Jason ConneryJason gives us a horror that has fresh twists while being the standard survival thriller.

 

Horror: 51 is filled with blood soaked kills throughout the survival horror side of the story.

Sci-Fi: 51 takes us to Area 51 with aliens trying to escape their prisons which heaps all of the sci-fi side of the story involved.

Settings: 51 is set at Area 51 for the whole film which plays into the conspiracy side of the story.
Special Effects
: 51 has low budget effects which work once we see the aliens made with practical effects.

Suggestion: 51 is one I feel the horror fans out there can watch late night on TV and get the enjoyment out of it. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: Different types of aliens involved.

Worst Part: Hanna and Shoes storyline seems out of place and almost talking to audience early on.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $1 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline:  The military’s best-kept secret just broke loose.

 

Overall: Simple but enjoyable sci-fi horror film.

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