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

 

 

Advertisements

Europe at Sea (2017)

Director: Annalisa Piras

Writer: Annalisa Piras

 

Plot: Exclusive access to top of the EU as Europe faces a crumbling world order.


Runtime: 1 Hour 1 Minute

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Insightful Documentary

 

Story: Europe at Sea starts as we learn Federica Mogherini is leading the Foreign and security policy of the European Union which is 500 million citizens, during the latest year 2017 being one of the worlds most violent since World War II.

Federica is searching for answers to how to make Europe safe with the constant war and poverty surrounding Europe, be it from the East or from the South, the African countries.

We follow how human trafficking is being tackled, immigration is being approached putting lives above anything else and how climate change is being dealt with. We also learn how the Europe is trying to work with Africa in a partnership, how Britain going for the Brexit movement changing how policies would be pushed through and the election of Donald Trump who only wants to put America first, not the world like Federica’s planned policy includes.

 

Thoughts on Europe at Sea

 

ThoughtsWhen it comes to documentaries you need to want to take in the subject, this film takes in the struggles to push European Policy through for Federica Mogherini. 2017 just became even more challenging for reasons outside her control. As one of the people who didn’t see the motivation behind leaving the EU i can see how it can make things difficult going forward. This is essential viewing for anyone who doesn’t understand the EU policies, because it gives you an easy to understand approach to what they are trying to do. I do wish this would be shown on main stream television over the reality TV nonsense, to help educate people too. I have learnt a lot that I didn’t know about and now I feel more able to understand what the EU is planning for.

 

Overall: Must watch documentary for all to see.

Rating

 

 

Classic Franchise – Escape from the Planet of the Apes (1971)

Director: Don Taylor

Writer: Paul Dehn (Screenplay) Pierre Boulle (Characters)

Starring: Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter, Bradford Dillman, Natalie Trundy, Eric Braeden, William Windom

 

Plot: The world is shocked by the appearance of three talking chimpanzees, who arrived mysteriously in a U.S. spacecraft. They become the toast of society; but one man believes them to be a threat to the human race.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Reverse Planet of the Apes

 

Story: Escape from the Planet of the Apes starts as Zira (Hunter), Cornelius (McDowall) and Mile (Mineo) arrive back in the present time Earth, the three a quarantined in a local zoo where scientist’s Dr Dixon (Dillman), Dr Branton (Trundy) who put Zira and Cornelius through the same struggle to discover why they are not the dominate species on the planet like back home.

When the President (Windom) brings the news to the world, the whole world becomes curious as the world treats them like major celebrities. Dr Hasslein (Braeden) becomes curious about the truth becoming the only man who believes that Zira and Cornelius could be the start of the uprising of the apes taking over the planet. Can the apes live a normal life or will they be the downfall of man?

 

Thoughts on Escape from the Planet of the Apes

 

Characters/PerformanceZira continues her search for answers as she along with Cornelius travels back to where George original came from, present day Earth. She enjoys the new test to prove herself to humans but soon learns what it is like to be the other side of the cage. Cornelius is the supportive husband that is surprised to see how the humans have passed the idea of all believing in one God like figure. Dr Dixon is one of the doctors that supports the apes but Dr Hasslein is the paranoid version of one man seeing them as a threat.

Performance wise, Kim Hunter and Roddy McDowall both are excellent in this film building on what was created from previous films. Bradford is good as is the rest of the cast through the film.

StoryThe story is very interesting, it does reverse the idea of Planet of the Apes by having the apes the strangers in the human world, I think this works well even if it does at times feel just like any sort of friendly alien movie. This does help tell the story of the origin of the rise which in places does help us learn more about what happens in later films.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is mostly a few chase scenes, there isn’t much going on though on this front, the sci-fi works too as it looks to continue the story on for our future run by apes.

SettingsHaving the film back in human time and locations all works because the change in culture comes off perfectly for how the film wants to go.

Special EffectsThe effects are good when needed but this film doesn’t have too much need for them.

Final ThoughtsAnother good addition to the franchise that twists the whole original idea on its head.

 

Overall: Enjoyable prequel but sequel.

Rating

 

 

Evolution (2015)

Director: Lucile Hadzihalilovic

Writer: Lucile Hadzihalilovic, Alante Kavaite (Screenplay)

Starring: Max Brebant, Roxane Duran, Julie-Marie Parmentier, Mathieu Goldfeld, Nissim Renard

 

Plot: The only residents of young Nicholas’ sea-side town are women and boys. When he sees a corpse in the ocean one day, he begins to question his existence and surroundings. Why must he, and all the other boys, be hospitalised?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Shockingly Strange

 

Story: Evolution starts in a small community filled with women and boys, Nicolas (Brebant) discovers what he believes to be a dead body with his mother (Parmentier) showing him the truth before he is taken away by Stella (Duran) for a night in the hospital with other boys.

With his curiosity rising Nicolas finds himself going through medical procedures but at night he learns of what is going on, well he tries to understand what he sees with only Stella befriending him in the hospital.

 

Thoughts on Evolution

 

Characters/PerformanceNicolas is the curious young boy who in a world with little in it, finds himself questioning each part of it, he is the curious type. Stella is one of the nurses that takes care of Nicolas but finds herself becoming friends with him. La mere is his mother that follows the community’s rules.

Performance wise, Max Brebant is great as the young Nicolas keeping everything simple in this performance with Roxane giving a strong supporting performance. Most of all the performances in this film are done by expressions.

StoryThe story focuses on the mystery the most, and boy is it hard to describe just what is happening. This story is shocking, it does have twists and will leave you thinking about what you have just seen.

Horror/MysteryThe horror comes from just how shocking everything we see is but the truth is this film focuses most on the mystery involved as we are left to wonder just what is going on.

SettingsThe small village does make for a great setting because we don’t know how big the complete world this film takes place in is which again adds more to the mystery as it seems like the characters don’t know of anything else.

Special EffectsThe special effects here are all great when they are needed because they help improve the shock value of the mystery and story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very strange film that relies on the visuals to tell the story, it will shock you with what you see and only leave you with even more questions.

 

Overall: Well if you want something different this a must watch

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Exorcism of Molly Hartley (2015)

Director: Steven R Monroe

Writer: Matt Venne (Screenplay)

Starring: Sarah Lind, Devon Sawa, Gina Holden, Peter MacNeill, Daina Leitold

 

Plot: Taking place years after The Haunting of Molly Hartley, who now, as an adult, has fallen under the possession of an evil spirit and must be exorcised by a fallen priest before the devil completely takes her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Extreme Exorcism

 

Story: The Exorcism of Molly Hartley starts as we see how young priest Father John Barrow (Sawa) gets led astray during an exorcism, disgraced and banned from the practise. Moving onto meeting Molly Hartley (Lind) celebrating her 24th birthday with a promotion to partner with friends.

When the partying gets out of hand Molly wakes up to two dead bodies with the police ready to arrest her and Molly becoming possessed. Moly finds herself in a religious mental home, the same one where Father Barrow is trying to redeem himself.

Dr Laurie Hawthorne (Holden) tries to treat Molly which includes looking into her past and a previous possession, the only option Laurie can find is to turn to Father Barrow to perform an exorcism inside the mental asylum.

 

Thoughts on The Exorcism of Molly Hartley

 

Characters/PerformanceMolly is the over successful woman in business who finds herself possessed thanks to her past, that seems like all we learn about her. Father Barrow is a priest who wants to make up for his error in a previous exorcism.  Dr Hawthorne is just the doctor trying to get to the bottom of what could be wrong with Molly.

Performance wise, well this is going to be fun, first Sarah Lind just seems to follow every textbook on what an exorcism could look like and nothing more, Devon Sawa at least puts some effort in but doesn’t reach his Final Destination level. Gina Holden also seems to disappear part the way through this film.

StoryExorcism stories are always going to be hard because let’s face it The Exorcist is the granddaddy of them all, so everything just feels like it is trying to keep things up to that level without ever being able too. This story does keep the traditional exorcism routine while trying to balance the idea that she could just be an unstable woman, but sadly this does just fall into the mix of been here seen this, the main reason why I am not the biggest fan of the exorcism sub-genre.

HorrorDo you find exorcism scary, well if the answer is yes then you should get the horror elements out of this, if no you won’t get anything from the horror side of the film.

SettingsThe film is set mostly in a mental asylum which does give us a fresh idea of how to treat an exorcism but it doesn’t look into the doctor treatment with this location.

Special EffectsWe have basic special effects for horror but not much is needed for the film.

Final ThoughtsI personally don’t find many exorcism films scary so for me this just didn’t hit the horror marks for me

 

Overall: Simple exorcism film that isn’t memorable enough.

Rating