Deepwater Horizon (2016)

deepDirector: Peter Berg

Writer: Matthew Michael Carnahan, Matthew Sand (Screenplay) David Rohde, Stephanie Saul (Article)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Douglas M Griffin, James DuMont, Joe Chrest, Gina Rodriguez, John Malkovich, Dylan O’Brien


Plot: A dramatization of the April 2010 disaster when the offshore drilling rig, Deepwater Horizon, exploded and created the worst oil spill in U.S. history.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Explosively Entertaining Second Half.


Story: Deepwater Horizon starts with Mike Williams having to report what happened on the day in question on the Deepwater Horizon. We move back to the day of the events with Mike (Wahlberg) joining the team Jimmy Harrell (Russell), Andrea Fleytas (Rodriguez) joining a BP representative Vidrine (Malkovich) on the oil rig Deepwater Horizon.

Clashing on the rig Jimmy challenges Vidrine to invest money on maintaining the rig after the team was sent back early before they will start working. Being named the safest rig for the 7th straight year there is a go ahead to start preparation to commence drilling despite mixed results from the tests.

Finding themselves in the middle of a major blow out it becomes a race against time to prevent disaster and survive what will be one of the most devastating oil rig disasters known to man. It is up to Mike, Jimmy, Andrea and young driller Caleb (O’Brien) to stop things getting out of hand.


Thoughts on Deepwater Horizon


StoryThis is the story of what happened on the rig that caused the biggest disaster in oil drilling history. I will be honest that this starts slow with a good 40 minutes of talking in oil rig language mixed with business, you know the stuff we don’t care too much about, but once this all kicks off it becomes as chaotic as you would imagine it would be. When you look at how this story I can’t help but wonder how a man with Jimmy’s reputation would let anyone interfere with the operations on his rig which is made to look like the reason this is happened.

Action/ThrillerWhen the action starts well it never stops and you are on the edge of your seat from that moment until the final credits.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are all based on the real men and women involved in the disaster so it is hard to question the characters involved. The performances are all fantastic be it as the last man off the rig in Wahlberg, the strong boss in Russell or the businessman that causes the problems in Malkovich.

SettingsThe setting is nearly all on the oil rig which once the incident happens we get to experience the chaos of the disaster first hand seeing just how life-threatening the situation is.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the special effects it is only wow to describe them because they all look amazing making you feel like you are on this rig.

Final ThoughtsThe slow start does almost feel like filler but is important character filler before we want to see them all survive this disaster.


Overall: This was surprisingly one of the most intense films of the year.




Daddy’s Home (2015)

daddysDirector: Sean Anders

Writer: Brian Burns, Sean Anders, John Morris (Screenplay) Brian Burns (Story)

Starring: Will Ferrell, Mark Wahlberg, Linda Cardellini, Thomas Haden Church, Scarlett Estevez, Owen Vaccaro, Bobby Cannavale


Plot: Brad Whitaker is a radio host trying to get his stepchildren to love him and call him Dad. But his plans turn upside down when their biological father, Dusty Mayron, returns.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Average Comedy


Story: Daddy’s Home starts as we meet step-father Brad Whitaker (Ferrell) who couldn’t have his own children but when he fell in love with Sara (Cardellini) and her child Megan (Estevez) and Dylan (Vaccaro) he gets a chance to start his own family. Brad is still trying to win over the children and is willing to do anything to connect with them.

Brad’s new life is about to face a shocking revelation when their bad boy father Dusty Mayron (Wahlberg) turns up. When Dusty talks into Brad into letting, him stay and overtime all the hard work Brad has put in gets thrown out the window as Dusty becomes the cool dad he was once before.

Daddy’s Home is a comedy that tries to recapture the chemistry Ferrell and Wahlberg had in The Other Guys. I do think this isn’t as strong as that film but it didn’t go in a direction I didn’t think it would go. I liked how even though Dusty comes off like a bad boy he isn’t horrible about trying to get his family back he is calculated about his plan. This does come off as a good rivalry film without hitting the main levels it could have.

Ferrell and Wahlberg do give good performance even if they don’t click perfectly while the rest are just basic characters done well throughout. I do think this film misses in places which leaves us feeling disappointed.


Overall: Awkward in places comedy that could upset some but others could enjoy them.




Don’t Hang Up (2017)

dont-hand-upDirector: Damien Mace, Alexis Wajsbrot

Writer: Joe Johnson (Screenplay)

Starring: Sienna Guillory, Gregg Sulkin, Garrett Clayton, Bella Dayne, Parker Sawyers, Jack Brett Anderson


Plot: An evening of drunken prank calls becomes a nightmare for a pair of teenagers when a mysterious stranger turns their own game against them…with deadly consequences.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: I Know What You Did Last Summer With Phones


Story: Don’t Hang Up starts as we see Mrs Kolbein (Guillory) getting a phone call from the police warning her of inturders inside her own home in the middle of the night only it to be the latest prank phone call from internet pranksters Roy (Killingback), Brady (Clayton) and Sam (Sulkin).

Brady tries to cheer up Sam after his break up with Peyton (Dayne) by having their own prank call sessions because I guess that is what asshole teenagers do now. When the pair get a call back the voice at the end of the line threatens to make them pay for the attention they desire.


Thoughts on Don’t Hand Up


Characters/PerformanceSam and Brady are not likeable guys, they are I think high school students and internet pranksters, they have zero reasons to remotely care about them because they act like complete assholes even as best friends. Peyton is a basic damsel in distress who is also unlikable. The voice at the end of the phone is the most interesting character because you know easily that he is out for revenge.

The performances are pretty bad throughout this film, the overreaction from the idiot teenagers just doesn’t do anything for our need to care about the characters they are playing.stars

StoryThis is a story that is very ABC you don’t need to use your brain because it is just two guys being made to pay for after something they did, think I Know What You Did Last Summer with Phones. Sure there is a message about not being a dick and pranking innocent people you don’t know but in the end we get a series of characters we just don’t like making bad decisions throughout.

Horror/ThrillerHorror had a great year in 2016 but this is what is wrong with horror, doing a revenge style horror where the original victim is the villain and the ones that caused the problem are the ones we are meant to cheer for. There isn’t a single scare in this movie it does for shocking tame images that have zero impact with the only thing keeping you going is wondering which one of the prank victims is the ‘villain’.

SettingsThe film is set inside one house which is a big plus because the caller has the two friends trapped in a quiet neighbourhood with houses next door. The caller keeps them trapped but neither tries to use their mobiles to escape and surely someone might have heard the yelling, oh the yelling at the TV like it will make a difference.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all what they need to be without turning to them, it is the camera effects and technology side of this film that leaves a lot of question marks in the air.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is why horror has such a bad name, the biggest name in the film is in one scene while we deal with unlikable characters from start to finish.


Overall: This was bad, just plain bad from start to finish.




Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Delusion (2016)


Director: Christopher Di Nunzio

Writer: Christopher Di Nunzio (Screenplay)

Starring: David Graziano, Jami Tennille, Irina Peligrad, Kris Salvi, Justin Thibault


Plot: Three years after the death of Frank’s wife a mysterious woman appears. As their attraction grows Frank struggles with reality and his loss. He tries to start over not knowing his choices could lead him to his own downfall.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Good Mystery Horror


Story: Delusion starts as Tommy (Thibault) and his widowed Uncle Frank (Graziano) who has received a mysterious later from his late wife Isabella (Fournier). As Frank looks back on his time with his wife and looks on into where his future could go Frank finds himself drawn to a mysterious woman as well as suffering surreal nightmares.

As Frank starts to befriend the mysterious woman Mary (Tennille) he starts to look to his final goodbyes to his late wife and move on with his own life never forgetting her importance to him. This leads to his nightmares becoming reality as he must face his own reality to understand his own future.


Thoughts on Delusion


StoryThe story follows one man who has reached the time in his life where he wants to consider moving on after losing his wife, this is a nice touch because we rarely see a film focus on that moment. With this we find Frank struggling with memories that he will hold close forever with the unknown without the love of his life which leads him into the darker places in life. The horror comes from his nightmares that become reality as he battles to prove he is ready to move on and learn from future mistakes but this new mystery that enters his life shows how he could end up going down the wrong path.

Horror/MysteryThe horror side of this film comes in the images from the nightmares with the mystery side coming from making us wonder just who this mysterious woman really is.

Characters/PerformanceFrank is a strong leading character because he has been through the loss of his wife but has got to the stage where he can look to move on, while he is trying to figure out where to go next like anyone would be. Mary does make for a good seductive character.

Looking through the performance they are all good making us understand the character decisions throughout the film.

SettingsWe keep the settings within a small town where the locations we find Frank going to are the memories any one loved one would visit after losing their loved one.

Special EffectsThis film doesn’t turn to special effects too often but turns to clever camera cuts and good practical effects when needed.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow-moving story that will use the shock value of the nightmares that create the horror mystery you just can’t quite figure out but want to know the truth about.


Overall: Mystery film filled with nightmares we could all suffer from.




Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Deadly Virtues: Love.Honour.Obey. (2014)

deadlyDirector: Ate de Jong

Writer: Mark Rogers (Screenplay)

Starring: Edward Akrout, Mat Barber, Megan Maczko, Helen Bradbury, Sadie Frost


Plot: A stranger breaks into the house of a couple, ties up the husband and, having a whole weekend at his hand, plays a slow game with the woman, a game of threats, fear, obedience – and intimacy.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Shocking Outcome


Story: Deadly Virtues: Love.Honour.Obey. starts when a mysterious man Aaron (Akrout) casual breaks into a home where he finds Tom (Barber) and Alison (Maczko) in the middle of sex where he attacks before bounding them both.

What follows is Aaron taking Alison is hostage to fulfil his twisted fantasies while torturing Tom every time she doesn’t compile with his wishes, but what are his motives for this, that is the big question this film leaves to us to figure out.


Thoughts on Deadly Virtues: Love.Honour.Obey.


StoryThis is a film really has an interesting twist on the home invasion because we have a twist that you really won’t see coming, while I can’t go into details but the build up to this really pays off in the final outcome.

Horror/ThrillerHorror elements in this film come with the home intruder with his motives being the thrilling side of this film as we are left to wonder what will happen next.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are all interesting in their own way the intruder seems to be a man looking to help with just how far he pushing things while the husband and wife are both struggling with their own issues after their loss. The performances are good throughout because they all go in a direction you wouldn’t expect the characters to go in.

SettingsThe film is set within the one house which shows just how trapped our characters are through this film. We see how a house can become a prison even in a business neighbourhood.

Special EffectsLooking at the special effects we are mostly given good practical effects with most happening off camera adding to the shock value.

Final ThoughtsThis is a home invasion film that is saved by the killer twist in the final act.


Overall: This is a slow burner that will shock you in the end.