Edge of Fear (2018)

Director: Bobby Roth

Writer: Scott Barkan, Gregg Zehentner (Screenplay) Daxing Zhang (Story)

Starring: Robert Patrick, Zhu Zhu, Shen Lin, Robert Knepper, Rockmond Dunbar, Amaury Nolasco, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe

 

Plot: After being stabbed in the heart by ruthless home invaders, a man is left for dead. Now weak, outnumbered, and knife sticking from his chest, he attempts to do the impossible: save his wife from these murderers before he bleeds to death.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Edge of Your Seat Thriller

 

Story: Edge of Fear starts as we get the introduction to our doctor couple Laura (Zhu) and Patrick Chen (Lin) who show their skills saving Mike Dwyer (Dunbar). We move on to meet our criminals led by Jack Pryor (Patrick) who along with his team break Victor Novak (Knepper) out of a prison convoy.

With Patrick and Laura spending time with Mike in his remote cabin, which just so happens to be the first place Jack and his team find as they look for a new vehicle, when the two collide, Patrick is left with a knife stuck in his chest and must figure out how to save his wife from the criminals.

 

Thoughts on Edge of Fear

 

Characters – Patrick is a brilliant surgeon, he is spending a weekend away with his wife and at a patient whose live he saved cabin in the wood. When the unwelcome visitors arrive he tries to defend his wife only to be left with a knife in his chest, somehow he survive with the knife lodged in his chest and starts to figure out how to fight back to save his wife. Laura is the nurse wife that was involved in saving the patient’s life, her weekend sees her husband stabbed and being forced to help one of the wounded criminals. She is trapped forced to wait with the criminals believing her husband is dead. Jack is running the breakout operation, he knows he will be getting a massive payday for getting Victor out of prison, he doesn’t have complete control of his team though which causes the problems, he doesn’t hold up promises which only annoys Victor. Victor is the man they all want to get out of prison, he is one of the most famous criminals in Mexico, however he does seem to honour promises believing karma will help him along the way.

PerformancesWhen we look at the performances we see Shen Lin give us a performance which needs to remain wound and not physical strong while facing the criminals. Robert Patrick as the loose cannon criminal, this is his strongest skill and he shows why he is picked for these roles. The choice of Robert Knepper in the role is strange because we are used to him being one of the crazy ones over the kinder villain of the piece. Zhu Zhu is solid enough in her role even though she is just the victim for the most part.

StoryThe story is nice and simple, it is a group of criminals that home invade a group of friends while waiting for a vehicle, they try to kill one man, only for him to not die and plan how to save his wife from the group of criminals. This is a formula that we have seen before, it is one that works, we have seen the biggest names in action handle this role, think Crank only without the bonkers side. The idea that our leading character Patrick is stuck with a knife in his chest only add suspense to the story as we know any movement in that knife would result in his death. the weaknesses in the story comes from the criminals themselves who are generic as they come giving us nothing new along the way.

ThrillerThe does keep us on the edge of our seats because we know that Patrick is seriously injured and any wrong moves will finish him off.

SettingsThe film is set in a remote cabin which is where the friends are for calm weekend and the criminals are looking to stay off the radar. It shows us how there isn’t going to be an easy escape for anyone visiting.


Scene of the Movie –
Tractor time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The group of criminals are not the most original.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable thriller, it doesn’t reinvent the genre and follows the rules to a level that can be enjoyed.

 

Overall: Enjoyable thriller

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Horror – E – Exit Humanity (2011)

Director: John Geddes

Writer: John Geddes (Screenplay)

Starring: Brian Cox, Mark Gibson, Dee Wallace, Bill Moseley, Stephen McHattie, Jordan Hayes

 

Plot: A young man’s struggle to survive in the aftermath of a deadly undead outbreak during the American Civil War.


Tagline – History has a violent way of repeating itself.

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow, But Enjoyable Zombie Movie

 

Story: Exit Humanity starts during the civil war, where Edward Young (Gibson) battled but the war bought the rise of the undead which Edward has battled successfully until they get his family, looking to get across country to spread his son’s ashes he sets out alone.

Along the way he meets a fellow survivor who has been battling General Williams (Moseley) and his men including Medic Johnson (McHattie) who believe they can control the undead, so know teaming with Isaac (Seybold) he sets out on helping him defeat these evil men, all while being narrated but Malcolm Young (Voiced by Cox).

 

Thoughts on Exit Humanity

 

Characters – Malcolm Young is our narrator, he tells the story like he is writing it in a book, Edward Young is the man who fought in the Civil War but now lives in an undead infested land where he loses his family but now he fights the undead in a quest to put his son’s ashes to rest. Eve is a lone woman living in the woods, she is believed to be a witch which built her reputation for the locals, she opens her doors to Edward and his party. General Williams is the man that believes there is a cure, but his evil ways lead to them experimenting on the living to find it. Medic Johnson is Williams’ doctor who performs these experiments.

PerformancesThe performances from the cast are good, we have the horror icons in Dee Wallace, Bill Moseley and Stephen McHattie that give us good performances throughout. Brian Cox narrating is engaging throughout while Mark Gibson as our lead is good with all the bigger named actors.

StoryThe story here is a zombie one, which we have seen plenty off, but it does take place in a Civil War era, which is an original spin on it. We have the journey our hero goes on, a villain that would end it and as always someone looking for a cure. The story is also told in chapter as if it was read from a book and strangely the narration side of the story being told in more interesting than the acting side of everything unfolding.

HorrorThe horror is a zombie world where the humans seem to be the bigger enemy, which works but isn’t on the scary factor.

SettingsThe film is set in the Civil War era, so we don’t have big strong structures for safety we are in the woods with our characters needing to find a way to survive without the ammunition the modern zombie films would have.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well which is mostly practical as we see how the zombies are created to fit the time.


Scene of the Movie –
I liked how the opening was narrated to us.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel like a long movie, with the muted action sequences.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting take on the zombie genre, it places us into a different era with the same threat but does feel at times like it is being told as something one of the great poets would have written in the era.

 

Overall: This is an interesting if take on the genre even if slightly too slow.

Rating

 

 

 

 

 

Tommy Lee Jones Weekend – Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)

Director: Irvin Kershner

Writer: John Carpenter, David Zelag Goodman (Screenplay)

Starring: Faye Dunaway, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Dourif, Rene Auberjonois, Raul Julia, Frank Adonis, Lisa Taylor

 

Plot: A famous fashion photographer develops a disturbing ability to see through the eyes of a killer.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Lil-Murder Mystery

 

Story: Eyes of Laura Mars starts as we meet fashion photographer Laura Mars (Dunaway) who is on top of the world with her work taking over the city, but her life is about to change when she seems to get visions of murders.

When she comes forward believing she saw the latest murder, detective John Neville (Jones) takes the case only to learn that Laura’s photos are strikingly similar to recent murders. When Laura starts to become paranoid about her visions she teams up with Neville to uncover the truth.

 

Thoughts on Eyes of Laura Mars

 

Characters/PerformanceLaura Mars is one of the most famous fashion photographers in the business, taking things to a new risky level. She finds herself seeing murders of her friends and must deal with trying to solve. John Neville is the nonsense detective that is working on the case and one of the few people that comes to understand what is happening to Laura.

Performance wise, Dunaway and Jones both show their full talents here showing how they can capture everything in their emotions through the different situations they are put through.

StoryThe story gives us a good mystery to solve as we only see the crimes committed through the eyes of our lead Laura Mars, we are left to guess who it could be as we are introduced to plenty of different suspects, while also diving into a potential morale question about how the fashion industry can be over sexualising the models.

Mystery/ThrillerWe are left on edge trying to figure out who the murderer is, we are given plenty of suspects which all could be the villain which is all we want from a mystery thriller.

SettingsThe big city is always a great setting for a murder mystery which is great but in the modern era of cinema would be very difficult to get the body count they do.

Special EffectsThe effects are all good through the film, whether it be the kills which are the main attraction for this film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good thriller that has a mystery you just get drawn into trying to solve.

 

Overall: This is a film that should be watched by all the mystery fans.

Rating

 

 

Easy Rider (1969)

Director: Dennis Hopper

Writer: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Terry Southern (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Fonda, Dennis Hopper, Antonio Mendoza, Phil Spector, Jack Nicholson

 

Plot: Two counterculture bikers travel from Los Angeles to New Orleans in search of America.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Cultural Event

 

Story: Easy Rider starts as our two hippies Wyatt (Fonda) and Billy (Hopper) pick up their parcel in LA, which leaves them to set out on their adventure to New Orleans for Mardi Grad. Along the way they spend time with fellow hippies before finding themselves in jail.

George Hanson (Nicholson) the town drunk lawyer gets them out of jail and gets invited along to New Orleans with the two and as they continue their journey they must deal with being treated differently.

 

Thoughts on Easy Rider

 

Characters – Wyatt is one of the two friends travelling, he is the more laid back of the two keeping Billy in line when he starts to question moments and never finding himself too out of it on the drugs. Billy is the friend that just wants to get the job done, though when he stops he takes more grass than he needs to have. George Hanson is a lawyer that has a drinking problem, he helps the two get out of jail and joins them on their adventure across country enjoying the drugs for the first time.

PerformancesThe performances from Peter Fonda and Dennis Hopper are both great, they completely embrace their characters with their own unique look to defying the hippie era. Jack Nicholson in the supporting role is great too showing just the talent he was going to show us all.

StoryThe story here shows us two hippies travelling across America, which for the time of release would have been one of the truest movies you could see in a story, but not it feels like a glimpse into the past events in America, which once again shows us how American can’t treat people equal. If you have never studied the hippie era you won’t understand most of the story if I am being honest because it is an moment that doesn’t connect to all.

AdventureThe adventure the two friends go on does take them across America, but it is hard to figure out which state they are in for the most part.

SettingsThe settings are hard to tell about in this film, the only one I could pick out was the airport in LA at the beginning.


Scene of the Movie –
The first night the three are together.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not understand the direction of their trip.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that was cultural relevant for the time of release, it hasn’t dated by the best standard and now leaves us watching a time that if you never lived through you wouldn’t understand.

 

Overall: One of the culture books.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – E – Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)

Director: Michel Gondry

Writer: Charlie Kaufman (Screenplay) Charlie Kaufman, Michel Gondry, Pierre Bismuth (Story)

Starring: Jim Carrey, Kate Winslet, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, Kirsten Dunst, Tom Wilkinson

 

Plot: When their relationship turns sour, a young couple undergoes a medical procedure to have each other erased from their memories.


Tagline – Replace my memory.

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dark Look at Relationships

 

Story: Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind starts as we follow two strangers Joel (Carrey) and Clementine (Winslet) who meet on a train, fall in love, but darkness soon falls over Joel’s life when for some reason Clementine doesn’t remember him and dates someone else.

Clementine has had Joel erased from her memory, Joel is never meant to know this, but when he learns about this, Dr Mierzwiak (Wilkinson) performs the same procedure for Joel and with the technicians Stan (Ruffalo), Patrick (Wood) and Mary (Dunst) help Joel through the destruction of the memories.

 

Thoughts on External Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

 

Characters – Joel is the man that fell in love with Clementine, but sees his life fall to pieces when she goes through a procedure to erase him. Joel broken up about this follows through with his own procedure and now his mind is living through the nightmare of losing his memories and trying to save them. Clementine is the woman Joel falls in love with, after they break up she has him erased and we see how they had their ups and downs through their time together. Dr Mierzwiak is the man behind the technology and his work makes it possible for memories erased. Patrick is one of the technicians working on Joel, he has done an unethical thing when performing the procedure before. Stan is the main man working on Joel, he sees it as an easy job, but this case because more difficult than he could imagine and his reckless behaviour with Mary the receptionist causes more problems than they needed too.

PerformancesJim Carrey is great in his leading role, we get to see a new level because he shows that his serious ability is taking over now, Kate Winslet works here because she gets to be the quirky girlfriend while also feeling like an everyday real woman. We have an excellent supporting cast that all give great performances too.

StoryThe story here plays into the idea that sometimes relationships don’t go the way you would plan them too, but in this world you can erase the person you have fallen out of love with. This is a smart idea, because how often have people fallen in and out of love with the heartache of the break up holding people back, this answers this with a solution people could turn too. Only watching it from Joel’s point of view is good and bad, because he is the one that must witness the idea of being left, ignored by the person he once loved.

Romance/Sci-FiThe romance side of the film shows us just how relationships can play out, they always start amazing but soon they turn into the normality that can put people off where things are going which leads to what happens. The sci-fi elements are smartly used as we see just how the technology used can create everything that happens.

SettingsThe settings try to keep us in everyday life and memories, which help Joel find the moments he needs to erase.

Special EffectsThe effects are effortless because you barely notice moments as the world falls apart in the memories of Joel.


Scene of the Movie –
Escaping the world collapsing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The technicians are too reckless for me.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of films people are always hyping over, I have struggle to watch this before, but made it through this time and did enjoy for the most part as it looks at how relationships are not always as planned.

 

Overall: Smart romance movie.

Rating