Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Hangar 10 (2014)

hangarDirector: Daniel Simpson

Writer: Adam Preston, Daniel Simpson (Screenplay)

Starring: Robert Curtis, Abbie Salt, Danny Shayler

 

Plot: 33 years after the infamous Rendlesham Forest UFO incident, three metal detector enthusiasts hunting for Saxon gold in the same region, capture incredible footage of UFO’s whilst filming their expedition. As night falls and with their navigation equipment failing, they find themselves facing a terrifying encounter with an unforgiving alien presence.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: How Not to Make Found Footage

 

Story: Hangar 10 starts as we meet Gus (Curtis), Sally (Salt) and Jake (Shayler) who are travelling around the countryside with their metal detectors, they just so happen to be near the Rendlesham Forest the location of one of the most famous UFO sightings.

When the friends have an encounter with something they can’t explain they find themselves wandering around the forest with either aliens or military tracking them down.

Hangar 10 is a perfect example of how found footage films are being made incorrectly. We get teased of the real events in the Rendlesham Forest which is all good work with it but no we just get the we are looking for gold so I accept the use of the cameras for that as the friends want to record what they find. Once the alien encounter happens the cameras should be put away and escape is the only thing that matters but no they decide to give us all motion sickness with shaky cams for no apparent reason. This idea works if the friends are investigating the Rendlesham Forest story but otherwise they have no reason to film anymore, we get nothing fresh to the sub-genre and because we are using the term found footage we don’t need good special effects which are used for the crafts.

 

Overall: This just sums up how found footage gets its bad name.

Rating15

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Havenhurst (2017)

haevntDirector: Andrew C Erin

Writer: Andrew C Erin, Daniel Farrands (Screenplay)

Starring: Julie Benz, Belle Shouse, Josh Stamberg, Danielle Harris, Douglas Tait, Matt Lasky, Dendrie Taylor, Fionnula Flanagan

 

Plot: A troubled young woman takes up residence in a gothic apartment building where she must confront a terrifying evil.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: New Horror Franchise?

 

Story: Havenhurst starts when Jackie (Benz) is released from rehab for alcoholism where she gets a chance to move into the Havenhurst apartment for people needing a place to stay after rehab, a place where her good friend Danielle (Harris) had been staying. The one rule here is if you fall off the wagon your contract is terminated otherwise you can stay till you die thanks to the manager Eleanor (Flanagan).

When fellow residents start going missing Jackie befriends young girl Sarah (Shouse) who has been living in the building with her foster parents for a while now and with the help of Jackie’s police detective friend Tim (Stamberg) they investigate the goings on within the Havenhurst apartments.

 

Thoughts on Havenhurst

 

Characters/PerformanceJackie is a reforming alcoholic who has dealt with personal loss by her own hand which makes for a great leading character for this film. the innocent character of Sarah works for this film because it gives Jackie an extra reason to fight for in her redemption story. Eleanor makes for a great mother figure in this film with the killers being strength in the fight making them a difficult enemy to overcome.

Performances we have good leading lady performance from Julie Benz, with Flanagan being full of all the menace without getting her hands dirty in this film. I do question what feels like the wasted use of horror icon Danielle Harris though.star

StoryWith most of my breakdown going to be positive I have to question certain parts of the story, while I did like the idea of a giant apartment for people fresh out of rehab getting a chance to live unless they lapse making them the victims. What I didn’t like was the fact the film wants to set up for a sequel more than finish the story it was telling in the first place.

Horror/Mystery The horror elements of the film are where we get the mix of scares, blood and gore mixing together nicely, the mystery is all about what is going on within the apartment which does make for the questions we need to see unfolding through the film.

SettingsAll the horror elements of the film are from within this apartment complex which does make for a good setting with the gothic look and hidden passages. When the horror remains in the one location it is always better for the audience.

Special EffectsThe special effects all come off looking bloody and gory which is all we want when it comes to horror, this saves these moments up to not to go for the overkill too.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable horror that could easily be the beginning of a bigger franchise because it has opened doors to plenty of ideas for the future, be it through the kills or how easy it would be to collect victims, so I hope we see where this can go.

 

Overall: Short and sweet horror that can be enjoyed by the casual horror fans out there.

Ratingrating

 

 

Hacksaw Ridge (2016)

hacksawDirector: Mel Gibson

Writer: Robert Schenkkan, Andrew Knight (Screenplay)

Starring: Andrew Garfield, Sam Worthington, Luke Bracey, Hugo Weaving, Teresa Palmer, Vince Vaughn

 

Plot: WWII American Army Medic Desmond T. Doss, who served during the Battle of Okinawa, refuses to kill people, and becomes the first man in American history to receive the Medal of Honor without firing a shot.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Absolutely Amazing

 

Story: Hacksaw Ridge starts as we meet a young Desmond Doss who along with his brother Hal must deal with their abusive father Tom (Weaving), once Desmond reaches his early twenties Desmond finds his calling in life to become a doctor after saving a local man’s life, even though he hasn’t the education to do so.

Meeting beautiful nurse Dorothy Schutte (Palmer) he falls in love but like his brother is drawn to support his country in World War II. Desmond wants to be a field medic refusing to carry a weapon which Sgt Howell (Vaughn) and Captain Glover (Worthington) use to turn the company against him with Smitty Ryker (Bracey) leading the ribbing.

With everyone against Desmond he must fight for his right to go to war to save the soldier’s lives without using a firearm through court before he joins the forces in Japan. What follows is the incredible story of Desmond Dobbs as he risks his own life to save as many soldiers as he can during the battle for Hacksaw Ridge.

 

Thoughts on Hacksaw Ridge

 

StoryThe story we are shown is of one man’s act of heroism during the Battle for Hacksaw Ridge, we do get to see how hard Desmond had to fight to get the chance to even serve his country against all the odds. The film is split into two stories with the first being about being able to go to war and the second is for battle. You hardly notice the time pass through this film either.

History/WarThe film gives us a look into one of the many brutal battles through World War II this one on Hacksaw Ridge as we follow the hero of the battle who saved countless lives. The war side of this story is realistic throughout showing the full brutality of the events.

Characters/PerformancesDesmond Doss is one of the most heroic characters we have seen in any film and the fact he was a real hero makes this man more than just any hero. With most of the other characters all being the expected levels for a war movie. The performances are brilliant with Andrew Garfield giving a performance that will re-define his career. I think we get brilliant performance from both Sam Worthington and Vince Vaughn showing they both have all the ability given the right direction and I finally think Luke Bracey gives a great supporting performance as another member of the unit.

SettingsThe settings are used to show how brutal the battle was, everything is put together to make this feel like one of the most realistic war movies you will ever see.

Special EffectsWhen you look at the effects used to re-create this battle you are left to see just how difficult the battle was and just how brutal the combat would have been for the soldiers.

Final ThoughtsThis is by far the great war film I have seen in my life when it comes to the battle side of the film.

 

Overall: Breath-takingly amazing that cannot stop grabbing your attention.

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Hidden Figures (2016)

hiddneDirector: Theodore Melfi

Writer: Allison Schroeder, Theofore Melfi (Screenplay) Margot Lee Shetterly (Book)

Starring: Taraji P Henson, Octavia Spencer, Janelle Monae, Kevin Costner, Kirsten Dunst, Jim Parsons, Mahershala Ali

 

Plot: Based on a true story. A team of African-American women provide NASA with important mathematical data needed to launch the program’s first successful space missions.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Important and Enjoyable Drama

 

Story: Hidden Figures starts as we meet our three African-American women working for Nasa Katherine G Johnson (Henson), Dorothy Vaughan (Spencer) and Mary Jackson (Monae), the three still must deal with racial hate but have learnt to overcome the hate. With Al Harrison (Costner) having to lead the team with engineer Paul Strafford (Parsons) to get the first American into space.

Katherine being a mathematical genius gets the chance to work under Al Harrison in a room full of higher class white people who all look down on her except Al, while Mary is being pushed by a Jewish Polish immigrant Karl Zielinski (Krupa) to try out for the engineering opportunity who knows how to overcome what can look impossible. Dorothy is just trying to help motivate and get the supervisor role looking after the rest of the African American women working in Nasa known as ‘computers’. We get to see how these three women overcome the discrimination going through America to play key parts in America’s finest achievements.

 

Thoughts on Hidden Figures

 

StoryWe all know the space race story but not many of us know the story behind the incredible achievement. This story shows the hard work and the discrimination these three women had to overcome to make one of America’s great achievements happen. This type of story annoys me because I can’t believe how naïve people were when it came to treating people differently because of their race or religion has held back humans from so many crowning achievements it could have accomplished. Seeing how everything unfold is charming as it is serious subject matter because you want to support these ladies on their own ability to overcome the racial divides that were still going through America.

Characters/PerformancesThe characters are mostly based on real people with Katherine, Mary and Dorothy all show how ground breaking these women were for both race and women everywhere. Al Harrison shows us a man who knew of the racial divide but chose to ignore it while we have Paul Stafford being the stumbling block between the two as he doesn’t accept the inclusion of an African American woman in his field. When you look at the performances Henson, Spencer and Monae are all brilliant all giving performances that show all the skills these actresses have. Costner and Parsons are also great in the supporting roles with everyone else making this feel like the true story with none of the overacting.

SettingsThe settings are all perfectly recreated for the time 1961 America including the old-fashioned computer usage, cars and use of the segregation between the races. We feel like we are fully in the time of the events in this story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a must watch for all as we learn about the ground-breaking people in history that are often over looked.

 

Overall: Watch and learn just how important these women were to history.

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Jason Bateman Weekend – Horrible Bosses (2011)

horribleDirector: Seth Gordon

Writer: Michael Markowitz, John Francis Daley, Jonathan Goldstein (Screenplay) Michael Markowitz (Story)

Starring: Jason Bateman, Kevin Spacey, Charlie Day, Jennifer Aniston, Jason Sudeikis, Colin Farrell, Donald Sutherland, Jamie Fox

 

Plot: Three friends conspire to murder their awful bosses when they realize they are standing in the way of their happiness.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Comedy

 

Story: Horrible Bosses starts by introducing us in traditional comedy style as we meet Nick (Bateman) who has been working hard for a promotion from Dave Harken (Spacey), dental assistant Dale (Day) who works for crazy horny dentist Dr Julia Harris (Aniston) and Kurt (Sudeikis) who actually likes his boss Jack Pellit (Sutherland) but his son Bobby (Farrell) is cokehead who takes over the family business.

The three are all high school friends that all now are working for bosses they hate spending each night moaning about how they hate their days. This leads to the three to want to kill their bosses and they look for a hitman and find Dean ‘MF’ Jones (Foxx). The friends must find out a way to make their bosses have accidents to get rid of them.

Horrible Bosses is a comedy circling around the idea of having to work for difficult bosses and how you can go to the extremes and want to kill them. This shows how difficult it can be to work with difficult bosses but is mostly about how friends can bitch about how they hate them. The comedy does work in places even if certain parts are flipped reverse on sexual harassment.

Bateman, Sudeikis and Day do have good chemistry throughout while Spacey, Aniston and Farrell get to have great fun with their horrible boss characters each getting to play against the normal characters we are used to. This does turn into a good comedy that people will enjoy as they can relate to the struggle with difficult bosses.

 

Overall: Fun comedy that hits all the levels it needs too with the subject matter.

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