Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Writer: Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly (Screenplay) John Gatins (Story)

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L Jackson, Brie Larson, John C Reilly, John Goodman, Corey Hawkins, John Ortiz, Tian Jing, Toby Kebbell, Jason Mitchell

 

Plot: A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mindless Monster Mayhem

 

Story: Kong: Skull Island starts as we see an instant introduction to Kong during World War II, move forward to 1973 Bill Randa (Goodman) want to lead an expedition to the mysterious island in the Pacific Ocean, one that has only just been discovered by satellite images. Joined by his assistant Brooks (Hawkins) and a mapping team Randa puts together a unit to cover him if the stories are true.

The team includes tracker James Conrad (Hiddleston), photographer Mason Weaver (Larson), San (Jing) and army unit led by Preston Packard (Jackson). Upon arrive on the island Kong destroys all the helicopter killing half the unit, with the scientists looking for a way off the island and Packard out for revenge the two battle within as they face enemies they had never imagined including the monstrous Kong.

 

Thoughts on Kong: Skull Island

 

Characters/PerformanceConrad is a British tracker who we rarely see track, Weaver is a photographer who clashes with Packard a lot on the morale side of her job post-Vietnam, she isn’t just the damsel in distress though. Packard is a war-hero who I believe wasn’t a hero in war, he wants one more chance to go into a battle before returning home, as the film unfolds he does feel very similar to Pete Postlethwaite character in Jurassic Park 2. Bill knows more than he lets on but could be considered a businessman villain. Hank steals most of the scenes here, he is the former WWII pilot who has been stuck on the island for 28 years. Kong is a character all to his own, destroying anything that gets in his way while also showing the most emotion of any character in the film. we also have scientists who are forgettable, and soldiers who are giving basic banter to work with.

Performance wise, Hiddleston does struggling to make much of the poorly written character, Larson starts well but again her character is written weakly, Jackson does what Jackson does well without being his best, Goodman also doesn’t reach his potential while Reilly knows how to steal a movie with limited scenes. Most of the stars all struggle with the same problem, their characters are written very weakly.

StoryThe story here is fine, I liked that is wasn’t the same as the 30’s era trying to bring Kong back to New York, this is just a surveillance job turned race against time to survive. So, this is The Lost World with King Kong in the end. There isn’t too much to say good about the story because I found myself confused a lot, we had ONE ship with about SIX helicopters on it and sudden when they reach Skull Island there is about TWENTY helicopters, the same goes for the number of soldiers, one minute we have the FOUR we know and then when we need people to die there suddenly seems to be another group of disposable ones. These inconsistent annoyed me most.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action is very big and sure you can switch off and enjoy it all, the adventure is in the new world unseen and comes off fine throughout, the fantasy comes from battle what should be the impossible.

SettingsI did like that we kept all the action upon Skull Island, I feel this is important to creating the bigger universe they want to.

Special EffectsI also think the special effects are brilliant through the whole film and could barely tell the different between what is real or not.

Final ThoughtsThis is big bad and fun but I feel the character development comes off pointless in places because all we get is a sudden death to a character that doesn’t make sense or it is an unknown character killed to save ones we have got to know.

 

Overall: This will go down in the fun but not great action set piece.

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Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

kissDirector: Shane Black

Writer: Shane Black (Screenplay) Brett Halliday (Novel)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan, Corbin Bernsen, Dash Mihok, Larry Miller, Rockmond Dunbar

 

Plot: A murder mystery brings together a private eye, a struggling actress, and a thief masquerading as an actor.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Crime Comedy

 

Story: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang starts as we meet Harry (Downey Jr) who is once a thief but ends up finding himself hired as an actor in LA. We also meet aspiring actress Harmony (Monaghan) and private eye Gay Perry (Kilmer) who are all at the same party in LA. For the role Harry accidently lands himself he has to spend some time with Gay Perry learning how a private investigator works.

When the two find themselves in the middle of a cover up that ended up having to find out who murdered Harmony’s sister.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a crime comedy that only Shane Black can bring us, we get a unique way of telling the story. we get the almost odd couple having to work together but that is more along the lines of a who dun it which could easily fit in any comedy mystery show. It is the creation of the characters and their interactions which makes for all the laughs throughout the film with the overreaction to things that have happened years before.

Downey Jr and Kilmer are excellent together really getting all of the laughs throughout and Monaghan is great completion to the leading trio. When it comes to the villain side of the story we don’t get very strong characters on this side of the story. this is a fun alternative Christmas comedy mystery film but you will have to be used to the style of Shane Black.

 

Overall: Enjoy comedy that will only work if you are prepared for the style of comedy being used.

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Kubo and the Two Strings (2016)

kuboDirector: Travis Knight

Writer: Marc Haimes, Chris Butler (Screenplay) Shannon Tindle, Marc Maimes (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Charlize Theron, Art Parkinson, Ralph Fiennes, George Takei, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, Rooneey Mara, Matthew McConaughey

 

Plot: A young boy named Kubo must locate a magical suit of armor worn by his late father in order to defeat a vengeful spirit from the past.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Animation

 

Story: Kubo and the Two Strings starts as we see the show a young boy Kubo can put on for the local town where he shows a battle between his characters and the evil Moon King.

When Kudo breaks one of the rules he ends up outside at night where a world he has never experienced before has taken over. Kudo must find his father’s armour to stop his grandfather the Moon King from taking his other eye. Kudo has to go on his own adventure where his charm Monkey and Beetle must travel across the land to defeat his Grandfather.

Kudo and the Two Strings is a beautifully shot animated adventure tell that plays into the fantasy world of magic. We get to see how the adventure gives Kudo a chance to grow and defeat his enemies in the world with friends that take the roles of mother and father figures in his life. We do get plenty of traditional style behind the story which does make us believe the world we are entering.

Kudo is a brilliant look at how a young child can escape into the world of fantasy going into an adventure with pure innocence to become the hero he wants to be to his parents. Monkey is fun as the mother like character which is over protective of Kudo while Beetle is fun in his clueless way of just being the protective warrior figure a father would be. This is easily one of the most beautiful animation of the year that I think can be enjoyed by the whole family.

 

Overall: One of the most beautiful animations ever made that has a story with a real heart about it.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Krampus (2015)

krampusDirector: Michael Dougherty

Writer: Michael Dougherty, Todd Casey, Zach Shields (Screenplay)

Starring: Adam Scott, Toni Collette, David Koechner, Allison Tolman, Conchata Ferrell, Emjay Anthony, Stefania LaVie Owen, Krista Stadler

 

Plot: A boy who has a bad Christmas ends up accidentally summoning a Christmas demon to his family home.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Christmas Cracker Nightmare

 

Story: Krampus starts with the opening credits showing the chaos of Christmas shopping before moving to meet the Engel family father Tom (Scott), mother Sarah (Collette) and children Max (Anthony), Beth (Owen). They are preparing for family visiting Howard (Koechner), Linda (Tolman) along with their children and Aunt Dorothy (Ferrell). What looks like a normal horrendous family holiday together takes a turn when we learn that Max’s letter to Santa is very personal about wanting things to come back to normal.

When a blizzard hits the family find themselves with no hot water increasing tensions and Beth leaving the house finds out that something terrifying is lurking outside their house. When Beth never returns Tom and Howard go searching and find themselves having to fight Krampus and all of his demons of Christmas to protect their own families.

Krampus is a horror fantasy comedy that is set at Christmas much like Gremlins did back in the 80’s. We get to see how a family Christmas is really just like normal with different parts of family coming together. I did like how this took a Christmas wish idea and take a twisted looking at how you need to be careful what you wish for. We get to see things happen we wouldn’t normal see in a Christmas film because the only characters we meet are the family making any victims being close to home. I really didn’t know where it was going which is always good in a horror movie making this one to add to the list of horror Christmas films.

 

Actor Review

 

Adam Scott: Tom Engel is the father of the household, he does spend a lot of his time travelling but this year has promised to stay home with his family. He doesn’t get along with Howard but deals with him to make Christmas work. He must step up when his own daughter Beth disappears and they have to fight Krampus and his helpers. Adam is good in this leading role even a slightly generic father character.tom

Toni Collette: Sarah Engel is the mother of the household, she is a neat freak and has to deal with her sister’s untidy family at Christmas. She will do anything to protect her son after her daughter goes missing. Toni makes for a good supporting character as always.sarh

David Koechner: Howard is the brother in law who is very loud and gun happy. He has never really seen eye to eye with Tom but the events of this night bring them closer than they have ever been. David gives what is the trademark supporting performance you get from him.howard

Allison Tolman: Linda is Sarah’s sister who has bought her family to stay for Christmas, she comes off soft as she deals with what is happening with everything before the events of that night. She comes off as the push over parent compared to the over the top husband Howard. Allison is good as the supporting character.

Support Cast: Krampus has a big supporting cast that is only family which helps add the peril side of the story.

Director Review: Michael DoughertyMichael continues to take over the holiday horror scene with this addition to Christmas horrors.

 

Comedy: Krampus has good comic moment through the film without turning to it every time.

Fantasy: Krampus puts us into a world of fantasy creatures that all come off original with the terror through the film.

Horror: Krampus brings us a new Christmas horror that could easily stand next to Gremlins.

Settings: Krampus keeps us in a small setting with everything in and around the house.
Special Effects
: Krampus uses great special effects to create the demons terrorising the family.

Suggestion: Krampus is one for all the horror fans to enjoy. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Attic scene.

Worst Part: Not much.

Funniest Scene: Gingerbread time.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yeah

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Gremlins

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $42.5 Million

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

Tagline: He sees you when you’re sleeping. He knows when you’re awake. He knows if you’ve been bad or good. So be good for goodness’s sake.

 

Overall: Christmas Horror Comedy that is one of the best in recent years.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – K-Shop (2016)

kshopDirector: Dan Pringle

Writer: Dan Pringle (Screenplay)

Starring: Ziad Abaze, Scot Williams, Darren Morfitt, Reece Noi, Kristin Atherton

 

Plot: A kebab shop owner’s son, Salah, turns vigilante after his father’s death in an effort to clean up the relentless onslaught of boozed up thrill seekers waging war on his doorstep.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Shock Value Horror

 

Story: K-Shop starts as Salah (Abaze) returns from London to his seaside town to run his father’s kebab shop after his time in hospital. When his father leaves the hospital to return to work he gets into a small altercation with drunken thugs he is killed.

Salah wants to follow his father’s dream of a bigger restaurant chain and local ‘celebrity’ Jason Brown (Williams) eyes up a new club to increase the party scene in the town. After seeing the continue waves of drunken yobs Salah decides to hand out his own form of vigilante justice.

K-Shop is a horror thriller that channels the Sweeny Todd storyline in a modern world setting. I did think we had gone into the angle of the story early on but with a final act which does take the story in a different direction because if things had stay in the one direction the story could have fizzled out. In the end we get a nice paced film that has the shock value in the horror side as well as the tension building of a thriller.

 

Actor Review

 

Ziad Abaze: Salah is a university student on the verge of graduating but returns home to see his sick father’s kebab shop in a drunken seaside town. When his father dies during an altercation he finds himself taking over the shop but handing out his own form of justice on the drunks roaming the town. Ziad is great in this leading role working well from the calm and dangerous side of the character.

Scot Williams: Jason Brown is a former Big Brother winner who wants to invest in local nightclubs. He eyes up this new location right next to Salah’s kebab shop which will bring even more drunks to the kebab. Scot made for a good villain of the piece as he tries to control everything in the town he wants to run.

Reece Noi: Malik is a student who comes to work for Salah mostly wanting to know his secret reasoning behind his action but soon wanting to fight back against the drunks himself. Reece is good in this supporting role with his character showing both sides of the battle well.

Support Cast: K-Shop has a supporting cast which are mostly just the victims of Salah which all come off as the drunks you could see on a night out.

Director Review: Dan PringleDan gives us a horror that does modernise the Sweeny Todd story with a modern vigilante story.

 

Horror: K-Shop brings us into a horror where the victims will not realize what is happening to them which reaches the horror most people will only be left in shock for.

Thriller: K-Shop does keep us on edge as we are left to wonder what will be happening next through the film.

Settings: K-Shop the settings show just how a night out can become out of control as we see the settings being used to show the behaviour the people have. I personally can pick parts of this apart because it was filmed in my home town.
Special Effects
: K-Shop has great effects when it comes to dealing with the action Salah takes.

Suggestion: K-Shop is one for all the horror fans out there to watch because it will leave you shocked. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Shock value.

Worst Part: Never getting revenge on the people truly involved with the death.

 

Believability: I hope not.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 2 Hours

Trivia: Filmed in and around Bournemouth on the South Coast of England, many shots were real candid shots of late night party-goers in the town over the weekends.

 

Overall: Shocking horror thriller that will leave your questions your drunken decisions.

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