Deliverance (1972)

Director: John Boorman

Writer: James Dickey (Screenplay) James Dickey (Novel)

Starring: Jon Voight, Burt Reynolds, Ned Beatty, Ronny Cox, Ed Ramey, Billy Redden

 

Plot: Intent on seeing the Cahulawassee River before it’s turned into one huge lake, outdoor fanatic Lewis Medlock takes his friends on a river-rafting trip they’ll never forget into the dangerous American back-country.


Tagline –  Four men ride a wild river. A weekend turns into a nightmare.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Intense Thriller

 

Story: Deliverance starts when four city man Ed (Voight), Lewis (Reynolds), Bobby (Beatty) and Drew (Cox) head to the Cahulawassee river for a river-rafting trip down the river before the river is turned into a lake, Lewis leads the group being an outdoors man.

What seems like a pleasant enough trip takes a brutal turn when the locals force themselves on Bobby before Lewis kills one of them. The friends now face a race against time to make it out of the wilderness before the rest come for revenge in the deadliest chase of their lives.

 

Thoughts on Deliverance

 

Characters – Lewis is the outdoors man of the group, he is close friends with Ed and you feel like they have been on many an adventure together. He has the plans for the trip believing he doesn’t need to ask for help and when their backs are against the wall he must step up. Ed is the linchpin between the friends, the one they turn to when things are not going their way for advice and almost comfort, he does witness the attack on Bobby, left helpless to only watch. Bobby is an insurance salesman that joins the trip, he clearly isn’t used to being in the outdoors and goes through the worst ordeal of them all. Drew is the final member of the group or tries to play the morale and legal compass when things get out of hand.

PerformancesThe performances here give us four of the best actors of a generation at different stages of their careers, they are all fantastic in what they do too. Jon Voight stands above them all, but you can’t deny they shine in the moments they need too.

StoryThe story keeps things very simple, four friends go on an adventure rafting trip only for a peaceful trip to turn into a nightmare as they are attacked and hunted down by the local hillbillies. We have a moral discussion about what to do when you murder to protect yourself, seeing how difficult it can be for one man to get pushed to the limits of needing to take a life and an environmental discussion around the ideas of what would happen when rivers are being turned into lakes. This is one of those movies where the story never needs to get complicated, you truly believe the peril the characters are in too.

Adventure/ThrillerThe adventure the friends go on, takes out characters on a rafting trip, one that was meant for pure happiness and endurance, they got the endurance, but a race against time too. We are kept on the edge of our seats from the moment the attack happened, because we don’t know how many people are going to be looking to hunt them down.

SettingsThe film takes place in the wilderness of the American countryside, this is used for the beauty of the settings and the peril of the situation with the nature and the locals being the threat.


Scene of the Movie –
The clifftop.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I feel like there would be bigger scars after what happened to Bobby.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the greatest thriller to ever be made, it has four excellent performances and shows that we can have horror in moments that should be calm.

 

Overall: Brilliant from start to finish.

Rating

 

 

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Devil’s Path (2019)

Director: Matthew Montgomery

Writer: Matthew Montgomery, Stephen Twardokus (Screenplay)

Starring: Stephen Twardokus, JD Scalzo, Jon Gale, Michael Hampton, Steve Callahan

 

Plot: Two men encounter each other on a dangerous gay cruising park trail, and quickly find themselves caught up in a deadly game of cat and mouse.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Twist Filled Thriller

 

Story: Devil’s Path starts as two men Noah (Twardokus) and Patrick (Scalzo) both go to a notorious gay cruising park about to go about the business of the quickie hook up, before getting attacked by two men.

As the two men search for safety and to stay one step ahead of the attackers, the two men get to know each other, learning they are different than what they were expecting from the hook up, the dangerous game of cat and mouse only adds to the intensity of whether they can make it out alive.

 

Thoughts on Devil’s Path

 

Characters – Noah heads into this forest to search answers, he is acting like the rest of the men as he locates somebody to help him in his search, he carries tarot cards which he uses as a conversation starter, he has his reasons which will become clear after spending time with Patrick. Patrick is another man in the woods, he is looking for the quick hook up even if he does have a secret which will keep his time with Noah there for a reason. We don’t meet anyone else for more than a couple of scenes, even with the two men hunting down our couple.

PerformancesWe have two main leads in Stephen Twardokus and JD Scalzo who both give strong performances as we see how they go through the uncomfortable meet, while trying to learn the truth behind each one being in the woods.

StoryThe story follows two singletons heading into the woods in search of a quick hook up only to find themselves needing to hide from two men searching for them, only for everything to get turned on its head, when the true motivation of being in the woods comes out. This is a thriller that deals with the twist and suspense elements, it isn’t going to be as routine as two people hiding or fighting back the whole time, we get the twists which help us reach the final goal. The story does feel like it is well written with each moment having an importance to the final outcome of the film without having any pointless filler too.

ThrillerThe will keep you guessing as you are never sure what to think about either of the two men, who is holding a secret or not, which is nice to be watching things unfold.

SettingsThe film is set in the woods, it is known as a location for hook ups which is all we need to know.


Scene of the Movie –
The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Running shaky cam.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller that will keep you guessing and will surprise you with how it all ends up playing out.

 

Overall: Smart thriller.

Rating

 

 

Departures (2019)

Director:  Peter Hutchings

Writer: Fergal Rock (Screenplay)

Starring: Asa Butterfield, Maisie Williams, Nina Dobrev, Ken Jeong, Tyler Hoechlin, David Koechne, Peyton List

 

Plot: A hypochondriac working as an airport baggage handler is forced to confront his fears when a British teenager with a terminal illness enlists him to help her carry out her eccentric bucket list.


Tagline – Living in the moment is hard to do alone.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Emotional Rollercoaster

 

Story: Departures starts as we see Skye (Williams) receives the news that her terminal cancer isn’t giving her much more time, even though she takes the news positively. Meanwhile teenager Calvin (Butterfield) believes he has cancer with his hypochondriac state, even though every test says he is completely fine.

Calvin attends cancer support groups where he meets Skye, who wants a ‘To Die List’ which sees Calvin reluctantly help Skye complete, even though he can’t find the courage to tell her the truth, even though she is teaching him to live hi life more, than he could ever imagine.

 

Thoughts on Departures

 

Characters – Calvin is a hypochondriac luggage handler, he goes through tests believing he is ill even though every test says he is fine. He attends cancer support groups in a hope to get prospective of his mindset, only to meet cancer victim Skye who brings him out of his shell, he goes from shy to outgoing through his time with Skye. Skye is a British teenager that has been given the terminal diagnosis for her cancer, she has gotten to the stage where she just wants to make the most out of her remaining life, which sees her befriend Calvin, mostly because he is the only friend she can find in the world, using humour as her biggest defence to what is going to happen to her. Izzy is a flight attendant that has been having no luck in love until she meets Calvin and sees a different type of guy in him. The remaining characters we meet include the parents that have been through their own problems, two random police officers that end up helping the two complete the goals which will get the laughs.

PerformancesAsa Butterfield takes the leading role here and over the past for years he has handle a few of the teenage coming of age roles, he has never put a foot wrong with his own performances in these, with this film once again showing him to be a big talent in the future. Maisie Williams steps out of Game of Thrones to a role that is full of energy, which should be lower in her character, to show us a character that just wanted to live life to the fullest. Nina Dobrev is the best of the rest, with the supporting cast getting their moments when needed for an extra emotional moment or a laugh.

StoryThe story follows a teenage girl that is going to die who befriends a teenage boy that is scared he is going to and the two help each other learn to make the most of their life, through their time together. The story doesn’t hide any facts about the two characters from the audience, which with other films using the same subject matters have used as a late twist in the film. This story is about friendship, adventure, enjoying life and taking chances. While the story might be easy to read just where everything is going to go, you will still need to bring the tissues for this film.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure elements used in this film are a lot simpler than you would imagine, this is because we get to see how Calvin learns to make life an adventure instead of being scared about what could happen. The comedy in the film is handled tastefully, I have always seen people say ‘you can’t have comedy in a cancer film’ this comedy comes from seeing how Skye is dealing with everything, she wants to laugh and not feel sorry for herself.

SettingsThe film is set in New York, using the airport as one of the main backdrops, elsewhere we see how Calvin ends up going places he never would have considered until he met Skye.


Scene of the Movie –
The real list.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I am going to pick timescale, not sure if it was days weeks or months.

Final ThoughtsThis is an emotional rollercoaster of a film, it will make you laugh, smile and cry, sometimes in the same scene.

 

Overall: Must watch with tissues.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – D – Dreamgirls (2006)

Director: Bill Condon

Writer: Bill Condon (Screenplay) Tom Eyen (Book)

Starring: Jamie Foxx, Beyonce, Eddie Murphy, Danny Glover, Jennifer Hudson, Anika Noni Rose

 

Plot: A trio of black female soul singers cross over to the pop charts in the early 1960s, facing their own personal struggles along the way.


Tagline – One Dream Will Change Everything

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Magical Musical

 

Story: Dreamgirls starts as we meet the three soul singers from Detroit Deena Jones (Beyonce), Effie White (Hudson) and Lorrell Robinson (Rose), the Dreams, they are trying to make a name for themselves and catch the attention of Curtis Taylor Jr (Foxx) who arranges them to be back up singers for James ‘Thunder’ Early.

When Curtis sees the girls future alone, but with Deena taking the lead of the trio it doesn’t set well with Effie and with the act breaking barriers across the world it builds the tension between the band before eventually seeing Effie leaving the act as Deena becoming the international star and Effie must face the consequences of giving up her own chance of stardom.

 

Thoughts on Dreamgirls

 

Characters – Curtis Taylor Jr gave up his car dealership to turn the Dreams into stars, he knows how to challenge the market to get the goes famous, taking a shine to Deena he sees her being the front of the trio which causes the tension within the trio, he delivers on his promises even if things don’t come off as clean as they should. Deena is one of the trio, she gets the most attention because she is the most attractive and while taking over the leading role in the trio where her stardom divides the friendship. James ‘Thunder’ Early is the artist that the Dreams start as backup, he watches the Dreams go onto be bigger stars than he had ever been because of the lack of support. Effie White is the best singer in the trio, she is the first to oppose being just a backup singer, wanting to take her position to the next level, which only sees he removed from the band.

PerformancesJamie Foxx was at the top of his career here and it shows because he is great, the biggest surprises come from the rest of the main cast, Eddie Murphy, well this is easily his best performance in the last 30 years and shows everyone just what he is capable off. Beyonce and Jennifer Hudson are both fantastic in their roles as the completely understand how difficult the music industry can be for anyone.

StoryThe story follows the trio of soul singers who start in just a talent contest to hopefully get a big break, only to find themselves becoming international superstars, but with success comes at a price as the trio go their own ways with one becoming the biggest name in music and the other resorted to performing in clubs. We get to see the harsh reality of the music industry from the four main characters and directions they end up taking. Having a film balance the four characters stories so, well is unusual and a great watch.

MusicalThe song and numbers are all wonderful with plenty of different genre touched on as the sound of the band changes through the years too.

SettingsThe film shows the different worlds these women could be living in, the riot filled streets of Detroit or the fame and celebrity world.


Scene of the Movie –
Final performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Wondering why Eddie Murphy can’t perform this well more often.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable musical that shines a spotlight on the soul music scene during the 60’s, it has wonderful performance throughout and is a must watch for the fans of the music genre and musical fans in general.

 

Overall: Beautiful movie.

Rating

 

 

The Demonologist (2018)

Director: J.M. Stelly

Writer: J.M. Stelly (Screenplay)

Starring: Brian Krause, Jared Bankens, Lara Grice, Scott Allen Perry, Thomas Francis Murphy, Jeff Pearson, Manon Pages, Dane Rhodes

 

Plot: Detective Damien Seryph investigates a string of murders that connects to a group trying to bring forth the 4 King Demons of Hell. Damien’s past connects him to those involved and will force him to become “The Demonologist”.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Slow

 

Story: The Demonologist starts as two detectives Damian (Krause) and Billy (Hoefer) stat investigating a string a ritual murders. Meredith (Pages) has been possessed and used by the demon preparing to bring his children back to Earth for the next stage in process of life, with the most loyal follower being Ian Parrish (Bankes).

As the bodies continue to pile up, Damian learns out that it has become personal and he learns about his own past with the fight against demons before the evil will rise.

 

Thoughts on The Demonologist

 

Characters – Damian is a police detective, he is about to get engaged with his latest case involving a ritual manner, going through the investigation it becomes personal and he must learn to balance the personal side with the professional side. He must also learn about his past with the work of his family having dealt with the demons before. Ian Parrish is the one leading the ritual murders, he is following the orders of his chosen demon waiting for his chance. Meredith is the vessel for the demon, using her sexy seductive ways to keep her followers doing whatever she needs done. Frank is the partner of Damian’s trying to keep him on the right path when the case becomes too personal, he is the friend that is always there for him.

PerformancesBrian Krause leads a cast that do just enough to get by without doing enough to make you want to see more from their character. Jared Bankes does look creepy, though we don’t get enough from his character, while Manon Pages brings the sexy side to the character, without getting to completely dive into her character.

StoryThe story here takes an unsuspecting police detective that finds himself getting involved a case which involved ritual murders, only to learn that he was always meant to be involved in this battle. The pace of this story is weak because it does feel like it is dragging along and unless you know the ritual world certain terms will go straight over your head. We do seem to get introduced to a lot of characters and ends up feeling like the pilot episode to a television show giving the character of Damian everything he needs for the first fight with this new light in his career.

HorrorThe horror involved in the film deals with possession and the potential rise of a demon from hell that will change Earth.

SettingsThe film takes us to a city which has the dark arts going on within it, it could be any city because it has no iconic locations used.

Special EffectsThe CGI used in the film does look weak and unconvincing throughout the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The number of characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weak horror that doesn’t get much help from the pacing of everything going on either, it feels like a pilot episode which cold turn into an interesting show.

 

Overall: Weak and disappointing.

Rating