High-Rise (2015)

Director: Ben Wheatley

Writer: Amy Jump (Screenplay) J.G. Ballard (Novel)

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elisabeth Moss, James Purefoy, Keeley Hawes

 

Plot: Life for the residents of a tower block begins to run out of control.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not My Thing

 

Story: High-Rise starts with Dr Laing (Hiddleston) moving into a new high-rise apartment, it doesn’t take long for him to meet the neighbours including Charlotte (Miller), Wilder (Evans), Helen (Moss) and the owner of the building and apparent recluse Royal (Irons).

The longer Laing spends in the building he learns all about the difference between people with in the building find some easier to get on with than others but can he cope with all the drama surrounding them.

 

Thoughts on High-Rise

 

Characters/PerformanceLaing is the stranger moving into the high-rise, he tries to stay on the outside of all social standards in the building but finds himself trapped seeing both sides of the battle within the building. Royal is the king of the castle, he wants to open the door to Laing as he is tired of the crowd he finds himself around. Charlotte is a resident in the building, a single mother that is always trying to go in within the building.

Performance wise, Hiddleston is good without being breath taking best, with Jeremy Iron strange king of the castle being the highlight of the film. Miller is solid without doing too much.

StoryThe story focuses on the different levels of social standard within one building from the view of the outsider trying to piece together what he has seen, this isn’t the most interesting story and turns to the quirkiness of the film to try and attract the audience.

SettingsMost of the film is set on the different levels of the High-Rise building that shows us the different social levels each level has as they slowly descend into obsession.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very weird film and I can clearly see an audience enjoy this movie, but for me I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy what was going on.

 

Overall: Awkward and weird to say the least.

Rating

 

 

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The Hero (2017)

Director: Brett Haley

Writer: Brett Haley, Marc Basch (Screenplay)

Starring: Sam Elliott, Laura Prepon, Nick Offerman, Krysten Ritter, Katharine Ross, Doug Cox

 

Plot: An ailing movie star comes to terms with his past and mortality.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Touching Drama

 

Story: The Hero starts as we meet ailing movie start Lee Hayden (Elliott) who has become reduced to voice over advertisement, but his life is about to take an unexpected twist when he learns that he has cancer. Lee is distant from his family now with his daughter Lucy (Ritter) living her own life.

Lee is about to be given a lifetime achievement award and doesn’t want to attend alone, while his daughter is busy it is stranger Charlotte (Prepon) that gives lee a spark in his life and joins him at the ceremony. When Lee gets into a relationship with Charlotte a much younger woman, Lee starts to make headlines after his speech goes viral but Lee must start facing the mortality he is facing when his popularity is at its highest level.

 

Thoughts on The Hero

 

Characters – Lee Hayden is the aging film start whose career is going out in a whimper and the cancer diagnosis helps him sink to the bottom seeing his life going out with a flicker, but when he meets a younger woman he remaining time changes, he becomes an internet sensation and tries to rebuild his relationship with his daughter. Charlotte gives Lee a reason to continue to fight, she is a comedian who is younger than him but doesn’t think age is important. Jeremy is the drug dealer which accidently introduces the two, he has been Lee’s biggest support for years now. Lucy is the distant daughter of Lee’s who has gone onto live her own life but now gets a chance to get everything off her chest.

PerformancesSam Elliott is fantastic in this lead role, carrying the film with his every action, this performance could be an outside shot for an Oscar nomination this year. Laura Prepon, Nick Offerman and Krysten Ritter are all good through the film working with Elliott very well.

StoryThe story of a once famous movie star having his life and career fading away on front of his eyes is something many people in the industry have faced. This is an important look at how people should treat their elders, be it parents or people that paved the way for them in their field. It shows how it is never too late to make up for mistakes.

SettingsThe settings show us how Lee has made a life away from the busy life of LA but can never look out of place in the city too.


Scene of the Movie –
The Audition

That Moment That Annoyed Me I would have liked to meet the agent over the drug dealer.

Award Wins: 1 Win Newport Beach Film Festival – Outstanding achievement in Filmmaking.

Award Nominations: 2 nominations for Brett Haley from Sundance and Cleveland International.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most touching dramas that show us how important life is no matter what people have done wrong the family members will love them, the people in the industry will remember them and you must continue to fight.

 

Overall: Very impressive drama that could have moments of tears or happiness.

Rating

 

 

Halloween Resurrection (2002)

Director: Rick Rosenthal

Writer: Larry Brand, Sean Hood (Screenplay) Debra Hill, John Carpenter (Characters)

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Busta Rhymes, Bianca Kajlich, Sean Patrick Thomas, Daisy McCrackin, Katee Sackhoff, Luke Kirby, Thomas Ian Nicholas

 

Plot: Three years after he last terrorized his sister, Michael Myers confronts her again, before traveling to Haddonfield to deal with the cast and crew of a reality show which is being broadcast from his old home.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Painful Sequel

 

Story: Halloween: Resurrection starts with Laurie (Curtis) now in a mental home as we learn that she killed an innocent man thinking it was Michael, now she waits for him to arrive so she can finish the job. When Michael finally gets to kill Laurie his rampage must be over, but no, let’ see where this film goes now.

We are not back in Haddonfield meting student Sara (Kajlich), Jen (Sackhoff) and Rudy (Thomas) who have all signed up for a reality television show hosted by Freddie Harris (Rhymes) and Nora (Banks) and joined by Donna (McCrackin), Bill (Nicholas) and Jim (Kirby) where they must stay in the Myers house for one night.

As the students look to investigate the home, they learn that Michael is still living there and ready to kill anybody inside his home, who will make it out and just what is the point in these victims.

 

Thoughts on Halloween: Resurrection

 

Characters/PerformanceLaurie is in this movie, for about 5 minutes and I feel this is the only connection to the Halloween franchise. Michael is deadly but you kind of route for him because the people are invading his home. Sara seems to be the main innocent student that gets pushed into something she wouldn’t normally do. Jen is the slightly slutty friend with Rudy being the lead hero. Freddie is the arrogant host that wants to make money and become famous and that is your ABC cast.

Performance wise, well, where do we start here? This isn’t known for its performance ability, Busta Rhymes please no more acting, and why in the hell would you hire an actress that couldn’t scream or cry on cue for a horror film, Jamie Lee clearly didn’t want to be in this film either.

StoryLooking at story we have a HUGE problem here, one you kill off the Laurie in the opening sequence and forget she has a kid now a young man in his twenties now too. We get an awful run around Michael’s house being picked off one by one for reality TV, none of these characters have a connection to Michael and this is just a hack em slash em film for no reason.

HorrorThis is fine as a standalone slasher horror but the connection it needs sucks the horror out of the film.

SettingsBeing set inside Michael’s childhood home works because it brings us back to Haddonfield, where we need to be but the stakes just don’t feel enough in this house.

Special EffectsThe kills have good effects but otherwise we don’t get many or need many.

Final ThoughtsThis film feels like someone watched The Truman Show and thought let’s make it a slasher film where we have an audience watching what is going on inside the house, we have terrible acting, terrible storytelling and just a boring reason to bring Michael back.

 

Overall: Terrible, terrible sequel.

Rating

 

 

Halloween H20: 20 Years Later (1998)

Director: Steve Miner

Writer: Robert Zappia, Matt Greenberg (Screenplay) Debra Hill, John Carpenter (Characters)

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Adam Arkin, Michelle Williams, Josh Hartnett, LL Cool J, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Janet Leigh, Adam Hann-Bryd

 

Plot: Laurie Strode, now the dean of a Northern California private school with an assumed name, must battle the Shape one last time and now the life of her own son hangs in the balance.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Halloween Sequel

 

Story: Halloween H20: 20 Years Later starts with Michael Myers learns the location of Laurie (Curtis) by continuing his bloody rampage. Laurie now has a child who is 17 in John (Hartnett) who is preparing to look to go onto college but Laurie still haunted by her brother.

Laurie is the Dean of a private school her son attends with his girlfriend Molly (Williams) best friend Charlie (Hann-Byrd) and his girlfriend Sarah (O’Keefe) who find out they are alone in the school over Halloween leaving them to decide to throw themselves are party.

But this Halloween Michael finally returns to haunt Laurie and she must protect her son, his friends from the serial killer that took too many of her friends.

 

Thoughts on Halloween H20: 20 Years Later

 

Characters/PerformanceLaurie is returning to the franchise now as a mother of her child but she is still haunted by the idea of Michael returning kill her and her friends. Now she is the responsible adult with something to fight for. John is Laurie’s son who puts her through the same situation she did, wanting to achieve more and be free of her restrictions. Molly is his girlfriend that has been living off her parent’s money with Will being the love interest of Laurie.

Performance wise, this must be the best all-around cast in any Halloween film because we Jamie Lee Curtis returning, early roles from Michelle Williams, Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Josh Hartnett alongside the heavyweight horror mother of Jamie Lee, Janet Leigh. The performances are all good without Curtis reaching the top level or the rest of the youngster proving just how big they would become.

StoryThe story brings back the favourite of the franchise in Laurie to have a new showdown with the icon Michael Myers, this does bring the story back in the direction it should have stayed before the other sequels that just felt messy at times, it would be fair to say this doesn’t reach the suspense levels the original did but it does the right thing by trying to adapt to be like the Scream films.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror is all slasher level which is fine because that is all you want from this franchise but otherwise you won’t be on edge like you once were.

SettingsNot having the film set in Haddonfield does leave you questioning parts of the idea of the original iconic setting but there is no reason why Laurie would be anywhere near that town anymore, so the change in setting does work for this film.

Special EffectsWe have solid kill effects but the reality is we don’t see too many through the film.

Final ThoughtsFor a pure slasher film with a cast we all know, this must be considered one of the more enjoyable and easy to watch.

 

Overall: This is one of the first Halloween films I saw and I still enjoy the easy to watch factor it has now.

Rating

 

 

Happy Death Day (2017)

Director: Christopher Landon

Writer: Scott Lobdell (Screenplay)

Starring: Jessica Rothe, Israel Broussard, Ruby Modine, Charles Aitken, Laura Clifton, Jason Bayle, Rob Mello

 

Plot: A college student relives the day of her murder with both its unexceptional details and terrifying end until she discovers her killer’s identity.


Tagline – Get Up. Live Your Day. Get Killed. Again.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Watchable Slasher Repeat

 

Story: Happy Death Day starts as Tree (Rothe) wakes in Carter’s (Broussard) dorm room after a heavy night of drinking, completing the walk of shame she goes about her college day, turn up for a moment in class and getting ready to party, only she ends up getting murdered by a masked man.

This should be over right, no, Tree reawakens in Carter’s room being forced to repeat the day, including her death. After being killed a couple of times she gets the idea of trying to solve her murder which brings a series of different murders where she starts to learn what she must do to make it out of the loop.

 

Thoughts on Happy Death Day

 

Characters – Tree is the stuck up college student that believes she is above everyone, she treats people badly while having an affair with her professor. When she gets murdered she must re-live the day over and over, where she must learn to be a better person. This character is designed well because you are meant to hate her at the start because she needs to learn the lessons in life to make it out of her loop. Carter is the one guy that Tree turns to for help, he gives the help needed to make it through the day. The rest of the cast seem to be potential suspects who Tree has rubbed the wrong way.

PerformancesJessica Rothe is solid in the leading role, she is in every scene because it her character’s story is learning as we do too. Israel Broussard is solid in the supporting role as are the rest of the cast, no one really shines through.

StoryThe story follows one person who must repeat the murder day until they learn who is the one murdering them. The idea is basically Groundhog Day with a slasher twist which is fine to watch, but this is the beginning of the problems in the film, as the murder takes place in different locations which is a problem as it makes the film feel like the killer hadn’t been playing as well as first time, which once it is all set and done, the idea was that the killer had planned this day for a reason not making it random.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film is very tame slasher material without any blood or gore. The mystery is about trying to solve who is the one murdering them which is fun to watch unfold.

SettingsThe film is set in and around college campus which shows how Tree must use her location to solve who killed her believing the suspect is on campus.

Special EffectsThe effects are soft when it comes to the kills which disappoints.


Scene of the Movie –
The good day.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The killer seems to be designed as planned but acts spontaneous.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple fun horror slasher, it is easy to watch but when you start thinking about everything more is becomes somewhat of a confusing story that doesn’t connect correctly.

 

Overall: Soft horror that missed a trick.

Rating