Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Evidence (2013)

Director: Olatunde Osunsanmi

Writer: John Swetnam (Screenplay)

Starring: Torrey DeVitto, Caitlin Stasey, Harry Lennix, Stephen Moyer Nolan Gerard Funk, Radha Mitchell

 

Plot: A detective hunts down a killer using video footage shot by the victims of a massacre at an abandoned gas station.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Shocking Murder Mystery

 

Story: Evidence starts as a massacre has happened at a gas station, detectives Reese (Moyer) and Burquez (Mitchell) must look through all potential video evidence to figure out what happened. We follow along with this investigation as we see the film about aspiring actress Leann (DeVitto) being made on a bus trip with friends and strangers along the way.

As the recordings continue to show events unfold we see how a killer started picking off the members of the bus tour as they hide out in an abandoned gas station and the team are having to watch the graphic murders.

 

Thoughts on Evidence

 

Characters – Detective Daniel Reese is the depressed cop that refused to take no as an answer while working on this case and now he must use his skills to prove he is capable to get the job done after his own personal heart ache. Detective Alex Burquez is leading the investigation knowing the pressure she is facing to get killer before the case can spiral out of control. Leann is the aspiring actress that is having her life film in case she can become a famous star. We also have the camerawoman for the most part of the film that of course lasts till near the end and the generic disposable characters.

PerformanceMoyer and Mitchell are the big names in this film which is also the draw but it is hard to say they were at their best as they are only part of the film that is watching the other part, they keep the straight faces well but otherwise don’t get a chance to shine. Torrey DeVitto as the main character from the victims is fine throughout but it is also hard to judge through a found footage film.

StoryThe story is split between the people who are getting picked off or already have if you like and the detectives trying to figure out just what has happened. Watching how the police would analyse the crime is an interesting switch to the story as we have seen the jumping around before and we have seen the story being told, but only using the video footage makes it all feel original. Saying that it does just bottle down to a murder mystery with a serial killer on the lose that needs to be captured but you do want to see who the killer is.

Crime/Mystery The crime side of story is shown in aftermath only first as we see what has happened we watch how it all went down through footage on phones and cameras. The mystery behind it all looks at who was behind it all which does keep us guessing through the film.

SettingsThe settings are split between two, the gas station where the crime takes place and the police station where the investigation is happening.

Special EffectsThe effects used for the kills are graphic as they come making everything come off shocking when you see it.

Scene of the Movie – Final reveal.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We know it is designed to show little parts but it does get frustrating watching certain moments of shaky cam.

Final ThoughtsThis is a shocking film that is one that does get rewards if you watch it until the end.

 

Overall: Great ending.

Rating

 

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Random – E – Exposed (2016)

Director: Gee Malik Linton

Writer: Gee Malik Linton (Screenplay)

Starring: Ana de Armas, Keanu Reeves, Christopher McDonald, Mira Sorvino

 

Plot: A police detective investigates the truth behind his partner’s death. The mysterious case reveals disturbing police corruption and a dangerous secret involving an unlikely young woman.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Painfully Boring

 

Story: Exposed starts as we follow Isabel (Armas) go about her life as a teacher and girlfriend of small time gangsters who are all close, she starts seeing strange thing around town. We also meet Detective Galban (Reeves) who must investigate the murder of his partner after he was found to be investigating the gangs of Harlem.

We follow how Galban must deal with his own demons and Isabel must deal with her own miracle but it takes time for the two to cross paths an understand the meaning of the messages.

 

Thoughts on Exposed

 

Characters/PerformanceDetective Galban is he broken man, his wife has died, his child doesn’t live with him and now his partner has been murdered, he goes out to search for the people responsible, giving himself a chance to face his demons. Isabel is he young woman a teacher that has her boyfriend away in Iraq as she lives with the family in gang filled environment but a miracle changes how she sees the world.

Performance wise, Ana and Keanu are both fine in their roles without being anything up to the levels we know they can reach, most notable together in Knock Knock.

StoryThe story here is very messy, we spend too much time on separate paths which just leave us confused by the time we reach the main conclusion of the story, which is a mix of obvious and confusing.

Crime MysterySomeone got murdered, there is your crime story and mystery is who did it and for some reason we are trying to care about it all.

SettingsNone of the settings are used for the impact in the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a mess of a film that just seems to end as the mess it has been created to be.

 

Overall: Avoid this messy film.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Eden Lodge (2015)

Director: Andreas Prodromou

Writer: Andreas Prodromou (Screenplay)

Starring: Georgina Blackledge, Cyd Casados, Ivy Corbin, Ellie Dickens, Ben Gardner Gray,

 

Plot: A young family are stranded at the Eden Lodge. The people they meet are being killed one by one. They must fight to save their marriage, their family, and most of all their lives.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Forgettable

 

Story: Eden Lodge starts as we follow two hikers Nancy Craven (Blackledge) and Laurie Carpenter (Corbin) as they get picked off by a killer in the woods, also these names are showing the writer, director is a big fan of Wes Craven and John Carpenter. After this introduction, we meet the Michaels family, Adam (Gardner Gray) and Rachel (Casados) along with baby Alfie, who break down in the English countryside and suggested Eden Lodge to stay.

We see how Adam and Rachel are struggling with their relationships which has become strained from even before the baby was born but this weekend could be the final test for the couple or the breaking point when strange events start happening on and around the lodge.

 

Thoughts on Eden Lodge

 

Characters/PerformanceRachel is the wife and mother that is thinking about going back to America because the marriage isn’t working out the way she thought it would, she does get tempted but doesn’t give into it. Adam is the husband and father that made a mistake but married through honour after learning Rachel is pregnant, he gets tempted by beautiful guest but doesn’t want to give into the urges. Mrs Wilkes is the owner of the lodge that does come off strange during the events of the weekend.

Performance wise, we need to get honest here, the acting isn’t that good here, the chemistry between the couple is non-excitant and yes, I do know they are meant to be at a strained part of it but even with that we are left wondering how they were ever together. This film for sure won’t get remembered for the acting.

StoryThe story is also confusing at the most part because it hints heavily have supernatural only for things to end up going in the direction of just a hack em slash em story line. We are not left to wonder enough in any direction to where this film goes and in the end it just feels flat.

Horror/MysteryFirst the supernatural vibes are good but then it is just a slasher with no conviction, the mystery suggests who the killer could be but it just doesn’t make the impact it should.

SettingsThe setting is on a lodge in the middle of nowhere, which is good because our characters can’t get away and can’t call for help.

Special EffectsThe effects are good enough when needed we tend not to need them for what the story wants to do.

Final ThoughtsThis horror lacks the punch needed to make this stand out on the levels of the good ones, instead it just wants to shock for the sake of it.

 

Overall: Forgettable horror film.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – E – Erin Brockovich (2000)

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: Susannah Grant (Screenplay)

Starring: Julia Roberts, Albert Finney, Aaron Eckhart, Marg Helgenberger, Cherry Jones, David Brisbin

 

Plot: An unemployed single mother becomes a legal assistant and almost single-handedly brings down a California power company accused of polluting a city’s water supply.


Tagline –  She brought a small town to its feet and a huge corporation to its knees.

Runtime: 2 Hours 11 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Performance Biopic

 

Story: Erin Brockovich starts as we meet Erin (Roberts), a single mother of three trying to find herself a job but only finds herself involved in a car accident. This forces Erin to get herself a lawyer in Ed Masry (Finney) to get her compensation. When the claim goes badly Erin decides to push for a job there where she gets to work on her own small project.

The case she starts investigating for Ed involved a city power company that has been infecting the water around the planet, causing the people to get sick. Erin strikes a nerve and with Ed go on to take on the power company.

 

Thoughts on Erin Brockovich

 

Characters – The characters in this film are based on the real people, Erin Brockovich is a single mother of three children with two ex-husbands to her name and next to no money to her name either. Erin’s strength is a fighter and when she takes a job at a law firm she ends up getting involved in a case which could become the biggest in American history. Erin doesn’t come off as the nicest person who does seem to want to walk over people to get to the position she finds herself in. Ed Masry is a good lawyer who has been working his whole career doing the right thing on every decision he has made. George is the neighbour that sparks up a relationship with Erin but also shows how difficult it is for Erin to make a professional career happen with a personal one.

PerformancesJulia Roberts won an Oscar for her performance in this movie, you can see why because she does carry the film. Albert Finney and Aaron Eckhart are both good strong supporting performances throughout the film.

StoryThe story follows our driven Erin Brockovich who while just trying to make ends meet with her family ends up being involved in one of the biggest legal cases in history of America. The film shows what she had to sacrifice to make this case happen with the relationships she built to make the case go through to the courts to give her clients the biggest settlements.

BiopicWe get to see the work Erin put into the case while trying to balance being a single mother of three kids, this shows how hard she would work to achieve everything.

SettingsThe settings are used to show most of where Erin lives, works, her clients live and the company she is trying to takedown. This all works well without being the most important of things in the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The results.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I couldn’t help but find Erin slightly selfish at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great biopic that shows that hard work can achieve great results even without the training others might have in the same film.

 

Overall: This is a great film with a powerhouse performance.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Elevator (2011)

Director: Stig Svendsen

Writer: Marc Rosenberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Christopher Backus, Anita Briem, John Getz, Shirley Knight, Michael Mercurio, Amanda Pace, Rachel Pace

 

Plot: Racism collides with corporate greed when nine strangers – one of whom has a bomb – become trapped in a Wall Street elevator.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Thriller

 

Story: Elevator starts as we meet our guests heading to a corporate party, owner Henry Barton (Getz), his granddaughter Madeline (Rachel and Amanda), ambitious employee Don Handley (Backus) his date reporter Maureen (Sunny), another employee Martin Gossling (Ratray), Celine Fouquet (Briem), investor Jane Redding (Knight) hired comedian George Axelrod (Slotnick) and security guard Mohammed (Zuaiter), the group are all on an elevator heading to the party which becomes stuck after the emergency button is pressed. When we learn that one person on the elevator has a bomb the group must work out how to get off the elevator before it goes off.

 

Thoughts on Elevator

 

Characters/PerformanceDon is the ambitious employee that has his own secrets that would get revealed in the panic in the elevator. Celine is the pregnant woman who is going to the party for her own personal reasons, Henry is the boss about to announce his retirement but his action are the motivation behind everything that happens. Jane is there for her own reasons which involve her late husband, Madeline is the granddaughter of the boss, she is a full-blown brat. Martin is the happy go lucky employee that is happy to meet the boss at the party. George is the hired comedian and at the most part the asshole figure in the film. Maureen is the one who helps make report the story to the outside for help. This works for the environment the characters find themselves in.

Performance wise, I feel everyone in this movie is fine, no one really stands out as brilliant or bad just part of the process that is unfolding.

StoryPeople trapped in an elevator facing death if they don’t escape, well this is fine it works for everything we need it too. We get the usual clashes which is fine but otherwise this is nothing new to offer. We don’t get much happen than talking and seeing who will go onto make the difficult decision to save the rest.

ThrillerWe are kind off left wondering just if they will make it out but it doesn’t reach all the potential it should have.

SettingsThe film nearly all takes place in the elevator which is good for creating the tension needed in the story.

Special EffectsThe effects are all good when needed without being a CGI fest.

Final ThoughtsThis film has all the potential in the world but just doesn’t reach the potential it is capable off.

 

Overall: Simple thriller that lacks the punch needed.

Rating