Justice League (2017)

Director: Zack Snyder

Writer: Chris Terrio, Joss Whedon (Screenplay) Bob Kane, Bill Finger, William Moulton Marston, Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel (Characters)

Starring: Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Connie Nielsen, Henry Cavill, Amber Heard, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Ray Fisher

 

Plot: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.


Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Action Blast

 

Story: Justice League starts as a new unknown threat is attacking the world, with criminals committing acts of terror in the aftermath of Superman’s death. Bruce Wayne (Affleck) teams up with Diana Prince (Gadot) to stop this new threat Steppenwolf, who wants to destroy the world, yeah the usual villain stuff.

The team they recruit includes Barry Allen (Miller), Arthur Curry (Momoa) and Victor Stone (Fisher) as these three new recruits get a better introduction than we saw in the Batman v Superman movie. Using their skills they are left with an ultimate decision which could swing the battle in their favour or risk seeing the world destroyed by this ancient evil.

 

Thoughts on Justice League

 

Characters – Bruce Wayne, knows his weakness, uses his money to recruit the team, his technology to spy on the team and his human touch to connect to the characters. Diana Prince lives a quiet life after the event of Wonder Woman over 100 years ago, she still believes in the good in human and beings from different backgrounds. Barry Allen is a young man living off the grid trying to find a way to get his father out of prison, he gets excited to be able to work with a team and gets most of the laughs. Arthur Curry is a man of mystery, one with the ocean, he has left his past behind him which leads him down the Logan road. Victor Stone is a science experiment gone wrong, part human, part robot needing to learn to control his newly found abilities. Lois Lane is here, she doesn’t do much to be honest. Clark Kent is the heart of the characters drives to fight, he selfless actions last time out give hope to them all.

As for the alter-egos Batman looks so out of place in this film, we have Gods, experiments gone wrong and this random rich guy who is past his best, trying to pull the team together, he is ineffective in the combat scenes too. Wonder Woman gets the best moments in the fights, jumping on the beliefs of just how inspirational the character is. The Flash gets moments that will make you laugh, but you would rather be watching Quicksilver moments. Aquaman gets the awkward underwater scenes, which must be hard to shoot, he enjoys a good fight though. Cyborg is the brains of the team, solving the problems before they happen.

As for the villain, Steppenwolf he is a threat there is no doubt about that, he is ruthless too, but his desire for destruction does feel like it got ripped out of a Transformers movie.

PerformancesBen Affleck is a good Bruce Wayne but not a good Batman, you can believe his arrogance when trying to build the team. Gal Gadot is the star of the hero’s side of the story showing in the world of DC she is their trump card. Erza Miller does add the much-needed comedy to the serious film and hits more than he misses. Jason Momoa is good throughout too, his character feels like what Wonder Woman was in Batman v Superman, we just what more. Ray Fisher is strong too, he gives the character the darkness needed to make us want more from his backstory. The none Justice League performances are fine, but no one gets much time to do anything. Having a CGI villain means we only get the voice work which works for the film.

StoryThe origin of the Justice League, well Marvel did it with the Avengers so, why not. To be fair we got the first seeds of this in Batman v Superman and this continued the ideas to show how they could come together to fight an evil presence. My problems with the story come from the trailers, which show the team working together, much like Stephen King’s IT we follow the individual stories for a large amount of time trying to play the will they won’t they game about joining the team, but the trailer gave this away. If you want to see the story continue you strongly I will say DC’s storytelling for the bigger picture is going in the right direction and this is easy to follow and enjoy is this is your style of film.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action is big, like you would expect for the superhero movie, sadly Batman doesn’t fit in the action sequences in my opinion. The ci-fi comes from Gods, aliens and experiments working together in battle be it with each other or against.

SettingsThe settings are all over the place, not in a bad way, we get the references to previous films and teases of locations for our new addition.

Special EffectsThe effects are complete mixed bag, we get certain moments which look great but then we get the weak moments that disappoint.


Scene of the Movie –
Rebirth

That Moment That Annoyed Me Batman feels very out of place in this film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun addition to the superhero collection, in a year of impressive films this doesn’t crack my top 3 in the genre but doesn’t take the spot of the worst, I could happily enjoy watching this again and I hope you do too.

 

Overall: Fun enjoyable superhero movie for everyone to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

 

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Jigsaw (2017)

Director: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig

Writer: Pete Goldfinger, Josh Stolberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Matt Passmore, Tobin Bll, Callum Keith Rennie, Hannah Emily Anderson, Cle Bennett, Laura Vandervoort

 

Plot: Bodies are turning up around the city, each having met a uniquely gruesome demise. As the investigation proceeds, evidence points to one suspect: John Kramer, the man known as Jigsaw, who has been dead for ten years.


Tagline –  His Legacy Becomes Yours

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Terrible Forced Reboot

 

Story: Jigsaw starts as we follow Detective Halloran (Rennie) answering a call about a man who is planning on setting off a trigger, claiming it would start a game. When the game starts we follow five people trapped in Jigsaw’s latest game.

Outside the game Halloran and Detective Hunt (Bennett) work with coroners Logan Nelson (Passmore) and Eleanor (Anderson) helping investigate bodies that have been turning up which seem like Jigsaw has returned. We are left to figure out whether Jigsaw has returned or is it a copycat killer.

 

Thoughts on Jigsaw

 

Characters – Logan Nelson is a coroner that is also a war veteran, who has lost his wife too. He has worked with Hunt before and ends up trying to help solve the mystery about Jigsaw. John Kramer is the man behind the voice, but is he back, that is the mystery behind the film. Detective Halloran is a hot-headed cop that has a bad reputation but is now solving the mystery the best he can. Eleanor is the assistant to Logan, she has a twisted secret that makes her one of the suspects. Detective Hunt is the best dressed cop ever, who brings Logan into the investigation knowing he is a good man, he also must face the press when the stories break. These characters are the main suspects on who it could be, but we know Saw franchise it could be anyone in the frame of the movie.

PerformancesThe performances for the Saw movies are always the big question marks because they have declined over years, this time the players in the game are almost laughable. The detectives are solid enough and the coroners work, I feel like Cle Bennett is the star of the show.

StoryThe story, well here we go, Jigsaw might be back but who is behind his versions of the new deaths? That is where the film is set-up. The brings the problems, John 100% can’t still be alive he had his throat slit in previous film. The film relies on the twists but it just don’t connect the way it should, we should have some connection to The Final Chapter as we have always had that in the franchise. This is a giant missed opportunity with one of the worst scripts I have seen in a Saw movie.

Horror/MysteryThe horror is all gore which is you want that works, the mystery is who could be the killer which is fine but pushes us too heavily in certain directions when we know a twist will come.

SettingsThe settings also feel off for the franchise, I know it is meant to be a new look idea which is fine but having the city-wide look just feels like it isn’t connected again.

Special EffectsThe special effects are the highlight of the film, with some great looking kills but we needed more from the story to enjoy these.


Scene of the Movie –
Grinder.

That Moment That Annoyed Me That twist.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily the worst in the franchise, it misses all the marks, has a game that makes no sense because it relies too heavily on certain things happening, it also has a twist that will frustrate many fans and no feeling of connection to the previous film.

 

Overall: Just Game Over Please.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday (1993)

Director: Adam Marcus

Writer: Dean Lorey, Jay Huguely (Screenplay) Jay Huguely, Adam Marcus (Story)

Starring: John D LeMay, Kari Keegan, Kane Hodder, Steven Williams, Steven Culp, Erin Gray

 

Plot: Serial killer Jason Voorhees’ supernatural origins are revealed.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brave Enough to Go in New Direction

 

Story: Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday starts as the FBI take down and blow up Jason Voorhees (Hodder) but his heart even away from his body still beats. When the autopsy is going on the coroner eats the heart becoming a killing machine. Bounty hunter Creighton Duke (Williams) offers to kill him once and for all ending the Voorhees rampage.

When we learn that Jason is going body from body looking for a way to come back from beyond the grave as he targets Jessica Kimble (Keegan) and her baby the only way Jason can return with Steven Freeman (LeMay) needing to protect the love of his life and child from the killing machine.

 

Thoughts on Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday

 

Characters/PerformanceSteven Freeman is the only one who knows what can save Jessica the love of his life but she won’t let him near their baby. Jessica is the eldest remaining member of the Voorhees family who could make Jason return from beyond the grave. Creighton Duke is a world-famous bounty hunter that kills for the money and now he wants the bounty of Jason Voorhees.

Performance wise, it would be fair to say that everyone is fine through the film without being anything as you would expect from the 9th instalment of a franchise.

StoryThe story does go in a very different direction which I think is a great idea because this time we have Jason in spirit but we lose any slasher impact the story should have. The story does well being braver but could easily be more of a rip off of Halloween now.

Horror The horror is fine with plenty of gore but nothing we haven’t really seen before.

SettingsWe don’t have any iconic settings which disappoints, in fact I don’t think we even go near the lake.

Special EffectsMuch like the last time the CGI is poor but the practical effects are all great.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good move for the 9th instalment but just doesn’t feel like a Friday the 13th movie.

 

Overall: Bloody, gory and strange.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – JerZualem (2015)

Director: The PAZ Brothers

Writer: The PAZ Brothers (Screenplay)

Starring: Yael Grobglas, Yon Tumarkin, Danielle Jadelyn, Tom Graziani, Sarel Piterman, Howard Rypp

 

Plot: When a couple of American young adults fly to Israel to visit the city of Jerusalem, a biblical nightmare falls upon the city

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Concept, Annoying Shaky Cam

 

Story: JeruZalem starts as we learn about the three entrances to Hell, one in the desert, one in the ocean and one in Jerusalem, now they have found one for real.

We move onto meet Sarah Pullman (Jadelyn) who has just received a pair of eye-sense glasses for her trip away with her best friend Rachel Klein (Grobglas). This holiday will help Sarah get over the personal lose her family have suffered through. When the friends meet Kevin (Tumarkin) the plans change from Tel Aviv and the three head to Jerusalem. As we see the two girls enjoying the party life through annoying shaking cam because of the glasses Sarah is wearing throughout.

So, after 50 minutes the girls find themselves in the middle of a terrorist attack on the city and the residents need to leave as fast as possible as the city is under attack from monstrous creatures from hell.

 

Thoughts on JeruZalem

 

Characters/PerformanceSarah is travelling with her best friend to help her recover from the death f her brother, we don’t actually learn much more about her other than she wears the annoying shaky cam. Rachel is the best friend who wants to party and that is all we learn about her character. Kevin has been studying different religions and gets scared first, that is his character. As you can tell here we don’t get much development in our characters.

Performance wise, well with bad characters comes poor performances because the stars just don’t have anything to work with when it comes to making us care about the characters involved.

StoryThe story takes about 45 minutes before we get close to the horror part, yes that long and then it falls into the lets run from monsters while slowly getting picked off as we watch in shaky cam mode. I will praise the idea behind this film as I do think it is an excellent concept but I don’t think found footage works for it.

HorrorThe horror takes a while to get going, but as soon as it does we get a look at what could be considered hell.

SettingsHaving the film set in Jerusalem works because the films story is based on a term from the bibles of the world.

Special EffectsThe effects do look good but are slightly too good for found footage films.

Final ThoughtsI did like the concept behind this film and I am a fan of found footage, but this film could have easily been a better non-found footage film that didn’t get annoying sucking us out of the story.

 

Overall: Great concept that loses everything when it comes to the found footage angle.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Julia (2014)

juliaDirector: Matthew A Brown

Writer: Matthew A Brown (Screenplay)

Starring: Ashely C Williams, Tahyna Valentina MacManus, Jack Noseworthy, Joel de la Funete, Cary Woodworth, Darren Lipari, Ryan Cooper

 

Plot: A neo-noir revenge thriller centering on Julia Shames, who after suffering a brutal trauma, falls prey to an unorthodox form of therapy to restore herself.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Stylish Thriller

 

Story: Julia starts as we meet quiet girl Julia (Williams) who goes for an interview only to find herself beaten, bloody and left for dead by the men responsible. Broken Julia turns to drink but soon learns about a doctor who has an unorthodox method of helping rape victims by giving them the power back.

Julia has to go through a training process under Sadie (Valentina MacManus) so Dr Sgundud (Noseworthy) can decide whether she can become one of the fighters against the men of the world. Once trained Julia becomes a seductive killer with the other victims who all take out their own form of vengeance of rapist.

Julia is a real slick stylish revenge thriller that plays into all the ideas of how rapist should be treated. There is a twist in the story which makes everything stand away from what could easily be just another knock of version of ‘I Spit on Your Grave’. The revenge scenes all come off very sexualised and like all revenge films we get to see the consequences of the idea. Ashley C Williams shines in this leading role with the rest of the cast almost stuck in her shadow throughout the film.

 

Overall: Sexy, stylish thriller that is all about the visual revenge kills.

Rating65