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.

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’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.

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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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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – 2001 Maniacs (2005)

2001Director: Tim Sullivan

Writer: Tim Sullivan, Chris Kobin (Screenplay)

Starring: Robert Englund, Lin Shaye, Giuseppe Andrews, Jay Gillespie, Maria Malcolm, Dylan Edrington, Matthew Carey, Peter Stormare, Gin Marie Heekin, Brian Gross

 

Plot: Eight college students traveling to Florida for Spring Break stumble into a remote town in Georgia where they are set upon by the residents who are out to avenge their deaths by Union troops over 100 years earlier during the Civil War.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gore Filled Horror

 

Story: 2001 Maniacs starts as three history students Anderson (Gillespie), Nelson (Edrington) and Cory (Carey) failing through college before spring breaks gives them a chance to party some more. When the three friends meet fellow travellers including two hot girls Joey (Malcolm), Kat (Heekin) and Ricky (Gross) they arrange to meet back up on the beach and we continue our adventure with our three friends who find Pleasant Valley.

When the six find themselves being welcomed by the Mayor Buckman (Englund) for a celebration they decide to stay. As the strangers spend more time in the town they start to go missing before learning the truth about the people in the town. Who will make it out alive.

2001 Maniacs is one of those horrors that came out at the perfect time, it was the time when gore and nudity were big in the industry and this does everything needed. The story is pretty simple, strangers arrive in town and welcomed only to learn not everything is as it seems. Sure this is easy to watch but it is also important that nothing becomes over-complicated too.

 

Actor Review

 

Robert Englund: Mayor Buckman is the man running Pleasant Valley, he is from a time where the south was still in control meaning he only accepts white people in his town. It isn’t long till we learn his motives as the man who welcomes guests with arms wide open. Robert is always going to be a good lead for a film like this.mayr

Lin Shaye: Granny Boone is the host where the guests are staying. She is welcoming throughout the stay trying to make sure all the women look extra pretty. Lin is good in this role where we get to see the added quirky character.

Giuseppe Andrews: Harper is the charming man of the local town that seduces the women who come to town before finding his own way to kill them. Giuseppe is good in this role as you believe he will be calm and crazy in the same side.

Jay Gillespie: Anderson is the nice guy of the three friends travelling who meets the beautiful Joey where he sees a potential new girlfriend, when he learns what is going on he must try to survive. Jay is solid in this role but it could easily be any of the friends.

Support Cast: 2001 Maniacs has a supporting cast which is mostly the victims but also most of the women end up having to do some sort of nudity.

Director Review: Tim SullivanTim gives us a film that reaches all the special effects levels and is filled with all the gore and nudity fitting the genre.

 

Comedy: 2001 Maniacs has a few good one liners when it comes to the kills.

Horror: 2001 Maniacs is gored filled for all of the kills but isn’t suspense filled.

Settings: 2001 Maniacs keeps most of the film in this small town showing how this is more of a tradition rather than mistake.
Special Effects
: 2001 Maniacs has great effects when it comes to the kills which is important for the film.

Suggestion: 2001 Maniacs is one for the horror fans out there to sit down and watch. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The kills.

Worst Part: No suspense.

Kill Of The Film: Got Milk.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Has one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $3 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

Tagline: The south will rise again!

 

Overall: Enjoyable horror that pushes the boundaries on kills.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – 13 Eerie (2013)

ddfkdDirector: Lowell Dean

Writer: Christian Piers Betley (Screenplay)

Starring: Katharine Isabelle, Michael Shanks, Brendan Fehr, Brendan Fletcher, Nick Moran, Jesse Moss

 

Plot: Six forensic undergrads embark on a scientific expedition to a remote island that was once used as illegal biological testing grounds for life-term prisoners.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Forensic Zombies

 

Story: 13 Eerie starts when our 6 forensic students Megan (Isabelle), Daniel (Fehr), Josh (Fletcher), Patrick (Moss) Kate (Patterson) and Rob (Eisner) along with their driver former criminal Larry (Moran) heading to abandoned prison the 13 Eerie for a test under the instructions from Tomkins (Shanks). The prize is that two students will get a chance to move into the forensic science learning division.

When the groups start having technical issues that is only the beginning of their problems as the dead from the Eerie seem to be coming back looking to feed on the students. Is there something about the prison that Tomkins didn’t know about that has put everyone in danger and who will make it out alive?

13 Eerie comes off nicely but does have its’s flaws. First off the idea of these people learning how to deal with dead bodies and investigating what happened to them is very good concept because they shouldn’t panic easily. The problem is we learn very little about any of the characters before they get there with none of the students coming off as bad people while a couple do come off to dumb to be standing in this environment. We also only learn very thin ideas to what happened at the prison which does leave it feeling incomplete really. If you just want the blood and gore this is everything you would expect but you can pick plenty of holes in the story.

 

Actor Review

 

Katharine Isabelle: Megan is one of the students who I think is meant to be the hard working one who has earnt all her chances, she is determined to overcome an obstacle put in her way along the test but now she will have to face the undead to make it out alive. Katharine is always a great leading lady in horror.

Michael Shanks: Tomkins is the man running the test, he has created the crime scenes and is extra strict towards his students as they look to be the very best. He doesn’t listen to any warnings from Larry and ends up having to join the remaining students to fight the undead. Michael does a solid job in this role where he is the authority to the situation.

Brendan Fehr: Daniel is the most serious of all the students, he looks like he is going to be one of the two selected winners and isn’t afraid to get his hands dirty on the job. He takes charge of the situation when his partner goes missing. Brendan is good in this role where he is the smartest of the people involved.

Brendan Fletcher: Josh seems to be the slightly more deranged one that is enjoying the investigation of the dead bodies, much like Daniel he isn’t afraid to her his hands dirty when it comes to this job. Brendan does a good job in this role but is sadly only really supporting.

Nick Moran: Larry is the idiot driver and former criminal that is scared to be just going to this place because he has heard the stories about what has gone on there in the past. He does make for extra laughs because he is very clumsy. Nick gives us the required comedy light hearted side to the story we needed.

Support Cast: 13 Eerie has a supporting cast that are really just the disposable characters in the film.

Director Review: Lowell DeanLowell gives us a good blood and gore film but doesn’t have the best storyline decisions.

 

Horror: 13 Eerie is filled with plenty of blood and gore throughout.

Sci-Fi: 13 Eerie has the idea of being used with the undead coming back to life.

Settings: 13 Eerie puts our characters into an isolated location with history which works for all the concept behind the film.
Special Effects
: 13 Eerie has great effects with the kills being used through the film.

Suggestion: 13 Eerie is one for the horror fans to enjoy but only if you like the blood and gore side of the genre. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part:  Blood and gore

Worst Part: Character development

Kill Of The Film: Zombie Rob

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: CAD$ 3 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

 

Overall: Bloody gorefest that is enjoyable throughout

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