Crystal Inferno (2017)

Director: Eric Summer

Writer: Regina Luvitt, Phillip J Roth (Screenplay)

Starring: Claire Forlani, Jamie Bamber, Riley Jackson, Isaac Rouse, Nigel Barber, Atana Srebrev

 

Plot: Disaster hits when two teenagers are caught in a fire on the 20th floor of a skyscraper. Their parents are on the 60th. Will they survive the flames?

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Boring Throughout

 

Story: Crystal Inferno starts as we see how a shady businessman Lucas Beaumont (Barber) will look to cut costs in his latest skyscraper at any cost. His latest target to corrupt is Brianna (Forlani) who already is in a difficult marriage to Tom (Bamber) and sets up a fake affair to get her out of the business dealings.

When the divorce starts going through, Anne (Jackson) and Ben (Rouse) the children learn the photos are fake they head to save the marriage in the very building Brianna was meant to be inspecting, when disaster strikes as a fire breaks out and the parents must figure out how to save their children.

 

Thoughts on Crystal Inferno

 

Characters – Brianna is a structural engineer that has been framed with an affair to keep her quiet from exposing the cost-cutting on the latest building. She is trying to save her marriage, but once the fire breaks out it will be her skills that come in handy to save their children trapped in the fire. Tom is the husband that has been feeling distant from his wife and the photos sent to him give him means to be. He must however trust Brianna to save their children while he seeks more help. We have the two kids too that are trying to prevent the divorce after discovering the truth about the photos, they need rescuing, that is their job here.

PerformancesThe performances are not the best, the supporting cast are at the awful level of being lost more than anything in most scenes. As for the leads, Claire Forlani, what the happened to her, remember she used to be one of the hottest properties in the business, reduced to this and not giving us any belief things could get better for her. The rest of the family just don’t get the moment to shine in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a family torn apart in their real life, that gets bought back together after getting captured in a skyscraper fire, we do have one twist in the parental figure that needs to prove their love with it being the wife that may have done wrong. The rescue attempt happens without anything being anything overly memorable and you will forget anything about the story quickly.

Action/AdventureThe action is weak for a disaster styled film which only seems to have the one explosion and not much on the case of near misses or edge of your seat action.

SettingsThe film is set in the skyscraper, but apart from the lift shaft you would barely remember it was set in one.

Special EffectsThe effects are weak too when anything is out of place.


Scene of the Movie –
The credits because it is over.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It just isn’t interesting.

Final ThoughtsThis is a boring action movie which just never gets going, never gives us characters we care about and just becomes terrible.

 

Overall: Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Animation – C – Coraline (2009)

Director: Henry Selick

Writer: Henry Selick (Screenplay) Neil Gaiman (Book)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Dakoka Fanning, Teri Hatcher, Jennifer Saunders, Dawn French, Keith David, John Hodgman, Robert Bailey Jr

 

Plot: An adventurous girl finds another world that is a strangely idealized version of her frustrating home, but it has sinister secrets.


Tagline – An Adventure too Weird for Words

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dark Animated Fantasy

 

Story: Coraline starts as we meet Coraline Jones, a young girl that moved into a new home with her over busy parents, who never find time for her, her imagination tris to run wild and once she discovers an alternative world where her parents always have time for her, she starts on this new adventure.

The longer Coraline stays in this dream world with her other parents the deeper the truth about this world will strike fear into her, as she tries desperately to return to her real parents.

 

Thoughts on Coraline

 

Characters – Coraline is a young girl that needs to let her imagination free, which her parents are not letting happen, when she gets into this new world she goes on the adventure she dreams off only to see what is the most important to her. The parents are too different sides of what Coraline is wanting, one side busy the other side always free to play. We do have the other colourful characters which help Coraline unlock the truth.

StoryThe story plays into the idea that a young child (this time a girl) imagination can run wild leaving them to get into trouble and going on an adventure to save her family. To me this felt like a Studio Ghibli story, with the fantasy elements and the young girl needing to save the day in a world which could contain nightmares. This story does contain large amounts of peril which will keep you wanting to see where things will end up going next for Coraline.

FantasyThe fantasy elements being used in this movie are wonderful to see, as it uses moments and worlds that could easily grace a horror film.

SettingsThe film does take place in and around the one house which shows how the mind can create an adventure that only a little girl could uncover.

AnimationThe animation used looks wonderful and plays into the fantasy elements of the film that are going on through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Searching for parents.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Slightly too dark for a kids film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful animated movie that knows how to keep the story interesting and keeps us guessing until we get to the end.

 

Overall: Animation must watch.

Rating

 

 

Cargo (2018)

Director: Ben Howling, Yolanda Ramke

Writer: Yolanda Ramka (Screenplay)

Starring: Martin Freeman, Anthony Hayes, Susie Porter, Caren Pistorius, Kris McQuade, Natasha Wanganeen

 

Plot: CARGO is a post apocalyptic thriller and an emotional story of a father trying to save his child at all costs.


Tagline – The future is fragile

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Compelling Zombie Film

 

Story: Cargo starts as we meet Andy (Freeman), his wife Kay (Porter) and baby daughter Josie who are travelling across Australia to a military base after a zombie outbreak has swept across the country. Using the river their guide, things take a turn for the worse, when Kay gets bitten leaving her just 48 hours to live. When she turns she bites Andy, leaving him with 48 hours to find someone to care for his daughter.

Along the way he meets Vic (Hayes) a man that is using bait to keep his land safe, with not everything being as it seems and it ends up with Andy having to join a fellow survivor Thoomi (Landers) for the right person to look after his daughter.

 

Thoughts on Cargo

 

Characters – Andy is the husband and father trying to find safety for his family, he fails in this attempt with his wife now dead and him infected. He must rush to find somebody in the outback to care for his baby before he turns too, he is a man pushed to limits never imaginable. Vic is a man that Andy meets, he seems like the best possible pick until Andy sees the darker side of his survival. Thoomi is a young girl from the outback that joins with Andy to find a new home for baby Josie.

PerformancesMartin Freeman is brilliant in this leading role, he carries the story with his characters pure desperation to save his daughter. New comer Simone Landers is great too showing as one from the natives in the tribal lands. If we are honest we don’t meet enough of the supporting characters to give a true rating on their performances.

StoryThe story is adapted from a short film of the same name, with the same idea. The simple idea is one man in a zombie outbreak must find someone to care for his baby daughter after he becomes infected, 48 hours is his time limit. When it first got announced this sounded like a breath of fresh area, it does deliver on this because we are happy to follow along on this journey. The only draw back is that we do get to see him have options which might not be the best pick for such a short time limit in search for help. In fairness this is a simple and easy to watch story, it will test the moral discussion about what to do, but isn’t filled with any scenes that feel out of place.

Horror/ThrillerAny film that is set in a zombie apocalypse is going to get the marks for the horror, the undead do have traits we know as well as a few original ideas behind them which adds to certain moments of horror.

SettingsThe film is set in the Australian outback which is something that makes this stand out for the zombie genre, we don’t have big cities, we have large open spaces, which low numbers of the infected.

Special EffectsWhen we look at effects we must be praising them because the practical ones used for the zombie effects and injury effects look spot on.


Scene of the Movie –
The final walk.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I would question how he ended up in Australia in the first place.

Final ThoughtsThis is another good spin on the zombie genre, we often have the desperate attempts to save babies or loved ones, but this time we know his fate and we are gripped waiting to see where it will end up going.

 

Overall: Gripping and Intense zombie film.

Rating

 

 

The Cured (2017)

Director: David Freyne

Writer: David Freyne (Screenplay)

Starring: Ellen Page, Sam Keeley, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Stuart Graham, Paula Malcomson, Natalia Kostrzewa

 

Plot: A disease that turns people into zombies has been cured. The once-infected zombies are discriminated against by society and their own families, which causes social issues to arise. This leads to militant government interference.


Tagline – The cure is just the beginning

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Starts With Nice Spin on Zzombie Genre

 

Story: The Cured starts in Ireland in the aftermath of a zombie outbreak, 75% of the infected have now been cured and are slowly being released back into society, they are scared with the horrors they committed while in the zombie state, Senan (Keeley) is one of the latest to be released in the care of his sister-in-law Abbie (Page).

The world isn’t ready to let the cured back into society, seeing them as criminals, Senan must keep his head down and get on with his job, which involves trying to help cure the remaining 25%. As the tension between the cured and the never infected rises, the cured create a group of terrorism against the people who treat them like diseased and the film turns into a moral discussion about what would happen.

 

Thoughts on The Cured

 

Characters – Abbie is the single mother that lost her husband in her outbreak. She takes her brother-in-law in to help he enter back into society after he is cured from the infection. She is doing the right thing only she finds herself in the middle of a political battle between the two sides. Senan is the man that has been cured, he is still having the nightmares of what he did through the infection, given an honest chance by his sister-in-law he is left tempted by his friend who wants to start a rebellion for the cured. Conor is trying to create a rebellion against the system that won’t give the cured a chance, he will go too far and start a battle people are not prepared for.

PerformancesEllen Page is clearly the big draw for this movie, she is good even if her role is basic lead zombie film material. Sam Keeley is the best in the because he is the one torn between the two sides, he does the guilt he feels and the desperation to fit in again. Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as the cured villainous figure works well because he makes us understand he full motives well throughout.

StoryThe story brings us into the world where the zombie outbreak has happened and now the infected can be cured and bought back into the world, we follow the effects on how society would act when letting the cured members of the community back into everyday life. This side of the film is the most interesting because it brings up the divide people can have in general life, not being given a chance, sadly the film does turn too political and ends up being like every other zombie film.

Horror/Sci-FiWe have here a zombie apocalypse, check one for the horror, the problem is that this isn’t the scariest by any means. The sci-fi elements are clear when it comes to dealing with the zombie outbreak.

SettingsThe film is set in Ireland, with one town that is dealing with the aftermath of the zombie outbreak and how they act towards the cured coming back into their lives.

Special EffectsThe effects are good without needing to be turned to, that often.


Scene of the Movie –
The final scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Is Abbie meant to be Irish?

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice fresh spin on the zombie genre, it does ask big questions, before turning into the typical zombie styled movie.

 

Overall: New, but not brave enough to follow through.

Rating

 

 

Malin Akerman Weekend – Couples Retreat (2009)

Director: Peter Billingsley

Writer: Jon Favreau, Vince Vaughn, Dana Fox (Screenplay)

Starring: Vince Vaughn, Jason Bateman, Faizon Love, Jon Favreau, Malin Akerman, Kristen Bell, Kristin David, Kali Hawk, Tasha Smith, Jean Reno

 

Plot: A comedy centered around four couples who settle into a tropical-island resort for a vacation. While one of the couples is there to work on the marriage, the others fail to realize that participation in the resort’s therapy sessions is not optional.


Tagline –  A comedy about a vacation in paradise they’ll never forget

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Well Casted Comedy

 

Story: Couples Retreat starts as we meet the four couples at the different stages of their relationships, Dave (Vaughn) & Ronnie (Akerman) who have infant kids, Joey (Favreau) & Lucy (Davis) who are about to see their kid go off to college, leaving them to go their desperate ways, Shane (Love) who has just separated from his wife and dating 20-year-old Trudy (Hawk) and Jason (Bateman) & Cynthia (Bell) who are struggling to conceive and want the support of their friends by going on the tropical retreat.

Once the couples arrive on the island they learn they all must take part in the exercises, which isn’t what they signed up for and we are left to see which couples will make it through under the guidance of Marcel (Reno) and his theories.

 

Thoughts on Couples Retreat

 

Characters – We have a lot of characters here, we are going to go through the couples first, Dave is a video game designer who has a young family, married to Ronnie, he is the most reluctant to go because of the age of their kids. Ronnie is similar to Dave, the kids are taking their time, taking away from their free time. Jason & Cynthia are the couple that request the help on the holiday, they want children and are two people that are almost identical with their planning. Joey & Lucy have accepted they are going to separate once their daughter goes to college, they are both looking for options on the island because they have been together since high school. Shane has separated from his wife already, he has fallen into a relationship with a 20-year-old in Trudy as part of his mid-life crisis. Trudy is a youngster of the group always unhappy that Shane can’t keep up with her.

PerformancesWe do have a very good cast here, Vince Vaughn gives us his normal comic idea, which is something I enjoy watching, it goes well opposite Jason Bateman’s slightly uptight style. Jon Favreau is good in his role and the most unknown f the four men is Faizon Love that keeps up with the rest well. The women get to focus on the different stages of life too, the thing is they could all be interchangeable in their roles if we are being honest. Kali Hawk is the stand out of the women performers.

StoryThe story follows four couples at different stages of their relationships, this is important because friends will need to learn from their friend’s positions and see where things could go. While this doesn’t always give each relationship, the time required to show where things are going for the couples, but this unleashes more comical moments in the film. While not overly loved by everyone, I feel this does work for the people that will enjoy a simple comedy movie.

ComedyThis comedy does work in most places, we have couples moments and solo moments which work to keep things flowing.

SettingsMost of the film is on the tropical island which gives us the beautiful backdrop for the events.


Scene of the Movie –
Clashing with employees.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We have the man problems, but we don’t see enough of what the women problems are.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable comedy that hints more often than it misses and has good cast working towards their strengths.

 

Overall: Enjoyable throughout.

Rating