The 13th Friday (2017)

Director: Justin Price

Writer: Justin Price (Screenplay)

Starring: Lisa May, Khu, Melissa L Vega, Victoria Valdez, David E Cazares, Deanna Grace Congo

 

Plot: When a female refugee discovers an ancient demonic device that opens the gateway to another realm, she unleashes a dark entity that poses as her daughter. After many failed attempts to have the church explain the creation of her worst nightmares, she learns that the house is cursed by an enraged spirit that died on Friday the 13th. And now a group of thrill seeking friends unknowingly unleash its wrath and damn their souls.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Standard Low Budget Horror

 

Story: The 13th Friday starts as we learn the legend behind a church where the daughter of a previous owner sacrificed here demonic daughter, but the house was waiting for more victims and the party of teenagers offers them that with the victims all disappearing.

Allison (May) has been preparing with her friends for what is meant to be the thirteenth sacrifice, while junior reporter Paige (Khu) is searching for answers to the disappearances going on around the house, can the answers be found before it is too late.

 

Thoughts on The 13th Friday

 

Characters – Allison becomes friends with the group that entered the house, she wants to learn more about what has been happening with the house but her friendship with the group might be to help solve the curse. Paige is a junior reporter that is investigating the string of disappearances in the town, but we don’t see that much from this character. Ryn is one of the friends who entered the house and must find a sacrifice to save herself and the friends. We get the usual group of friends, the person that has spent years investigate the first cast there and the easy victims.

PerformancesWhen you look into the performances here, it would be fair to say these are not going to be remembered on any of the stars highlight reel, the performances just seem to fail to connect with what the horror is offering up.

StoryThe story is an idea which sounds very interesting, because watching friends look to solve a curse which is coming for them with people from outside the group investigating the truth works. The problem I found is the way this story is told, we follow to separate people trying to solve the curse while also seeing the original group of friends not doing anything to investigate it themselves and if the story was told in a smoother way we would get a more complete horror movie.

Horror/ThrillerMany of the scares do feel borrowed from other horror ideas (The Ring, Lights Out just to mention a couple), but I did think the image of the ghost does come off frightening every time we see it.

SettingsThe house or church starts the horror but then we fall into small town America and here the people don’t seem to know each other either and don’t seem to have one location where you would find them all.

Special EffectsThe CGI effects do show us the budget the film was working with but the practical ones, well they are good with the make effects on the ghost.


Scene of the Movie –
Lights Out

That Moment That Annoyed Me Having two characters doing the same thing.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror film with a lot of potential but due to a poor storytelling process, we lose out on better developed characters, horror moments and most importantly any reason to care about these characters.

 

Overall: A horror that misses the marks

Rating

 

 

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Keanu Reeves Weekend – 47 Ronin (2013)

47Director: Carl Rinsch

Writer: Chris Morgan, Hossein Amini, Walter Hamada (Screenplay)

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ko Shibaski, Tadanobu Asano, Min Tanaka, Jim Akanishi, Masayoshi Haneda

 

Plot: A band of samurai set out to avenge the death and dishonor of their master at the hands of a ruthless shogun.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Samurai

 

Story: 47 Ronin starts as we learn how Kai (Reeves) a half-breed is discovered in ancient Japan, he is bought into village by Lord Asano (Tanaka). Attracted to his daughter Mika (Shibasaki) and looked down on by her brother Oishi (Sanada) and the rest of the samurai Kai lives on the outskirts. Even after saving Oishi from a beast he is looked down by the samurai.

When Lord Kira (Asano) visits not everything is as it seems as Kai believes one of the members is in fact a witch. When Lord Asano becomes bewitched into harming Lord Kira he must accept the ancient act of Seppuku the rest of the samurais and Kai go out for revenge once they discover that Lore Kira has been planning this all along.

47 Ronin gives us a very simple samurai storyline that we can easily follow and offers us very little fresh. We get the revenge story that is driven by honour as is apparently based on real events I am guessing it doesn’t include the mental supernatural side to everything. I do feel we could have had more in this story because I found Kai was kind of a confusing character one minute he is the main character the next he is the support. I would have also liked to have seen more of the supernatural side to the story. This is an easy watch but never challenging.

 

Actor Review

 

Keanu Reeves: Kai is a half-breed in the middle of Japan, he is loyal to the man that saved him even if the rest of the men disapprove of him being part of their village. When he is the one to first notice the witchcraft he is questioned but after the master is killed he must work with the samurai that final see him as one of their own to get revenge. Keanu is solid but does sometimes look out of place at times.kai

Hiroyuki Sanada: Oishi is the son of the Lord Asano, he is in charge of the samurai and doesn’t like Kai around because of honour. When his father is framed he most turn to Kai and his men to lead a revenge mission against Kira. Hiroyuki does well in this role getting to show off his skills.oishi

Ko Shibasaki: Mika is the daughter of Lord Asano that is involved in a forbidden love is Kai, when her father is killed she is forced into marrying Lord Kira so he can take over the village. Ko is solid in this role where she does become the damsel in distress.

Tadanobu Asano: Lord Kira is the evil man using witchcraft to take over the ancient kingdoms, he takes Mika to be his wife while taking out anybody who gets in his way. Tadanobu is solid in this role but I feel we needed to see more from his character.

Support Cast: 47 Ronin has a supporting cast that are all involved in the fights without being overly memorable.

Director Review: Carl RinschCarl gives us an easy to watch film without really testing the audience.

 

Action: 47 Ronin has plenty of action when it comes to the fight scenes.

Adventure: 47 Ronin puts our characters on the adventure to get their revenge.

Fantasy: 47 Ronin shows us a world where witches and demons are in fact real.

Settings: 47 Ronin doesn’t create any truly memorable location which doesn’t help when it comes to the story.
Special Effects
: 47 Ronin has solid effects when entering the supernatural side of everything but if it is based on a real story where did they come from?

Suggestion: 47 Ronin is one to try, it isn’t the most memorable but could be enjoyed without having to think much. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Final fight.

Worst Part: Slightly too long.

 

Believability: It is based on a legend.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $175 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

Tagline: This Christmas, seize eternity.

 

Overall: Samurai film done in very easy style.

Rating

 

 

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