ABC Film Challenge – Horror – N – Nina Forever (2015)

Director: Ben Blaine, Chris Blaine

Writer: Ben Blaine, Chris Blaine (Screenplay)

Starring: Cian Barry, Abigail Hardingham, Fiona O’Shaughnessy Mandeep Dhillon, Katharine Bennett-Fox, Barry Castagnola

 

Plot: After his girlfriend Nina dies in a car crash, Rob unsuccessfully attempts suicide. As he begins to overcome his grief, he falls in love with a co-worker, Holly. Their relationship is complicated when Nina, unable to find rest in the afterlife, comes back to life to sarcastically torment them whenever they have sex.


Tagline – A fucked up fairy tale

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Return of the Dead Girlfriend Working Again

 

Story: Nina Forever starts as the employees of a store learn that Rob (Barry) tried to kill himself after the death of his girlfriend, where Holly (Hardingham) a student paramedic finds this to be a turn on wanting to get to know Rob unlike most of the other staff. The two do start hanging out together which does lead to a romantic story between the two.

When the two go to have their first night together things take a turn when Nina (O’Shaughnessy) appears from within the bed, but she is meant to be dead, why has she returned from the afterlife to stop Rob moving on?

 

Thoughts on Nina Forever

 

Characters – Rob is a grieving young man, working in a supermarket as he gets over his ex-girlfriend death, he has tried killing himself but didn’t get very far. He gets haunted by Nina once he tries to start dating again but must face the closure her spirit never got. Holly gets drawn to Rob and starts a relationship but it gets confusing for her once Nina arrive on the scene but it doesn’t scare her away. Nina is the deceased girlfriend of Rob’s who returns whenever he has sex with another woman, she doesn’t believe they are broken up believing they will be together forever.

PerformancesCian Barry is good in his role as the grieving young man trying to move on, he shows how difficult it could be for anyone in that situation. Abigail Hardingham is good in this role where she must show the support needed as well as the innocence for a young woman in her first relationship. Fiona O’Shaughnessy is also good throughout the film as the dead girlfriend that turns up during sex, being almost seductive at times.

StoryThe story enters into the idea of a loved one needing to deal with an undead version of their partner stopping them from starting a new relationship. It plays into a darker comical side rather than the light-hearted nature of other films such as Clinger, Life After Beth or Burying the Ex. This film does try to tackle the more serious effects of what could happen with dealing with the grief of losing a loved one.

Comedy/Horror/RomanceThe comedy comes from the darker side of the story because it takes things on a more serious side than it wants to. The romance side of everything comes from the idea of trying to move on with someone new you could love while still being haunted by the memories of the one that left you. The horror is there but mostly based on the undead being alive and lots of blood.

SettingsThe try to have everyday settings for the building of the relationship but it is the bedroom where the idea of Nina coming back comes from as we see her haunting the new couple.

Special EffectsWhen we look at the effects we will be diving into practical for the most part, we don’t get many either because we need to focus on the story over the effects.


Scene of the Movie –
Nina’s first appearance because it is a surprise for us to see how it comes about.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I would have liked an extra laugh or two.

Final ThoughtsThis is yet another good addition in this new little subgenre in horror, the dead partner haunting the old partners new love interest. It does work well because it is different enough from the others because this takes a darker tone for the most part.

 

Overall: Nice addition to the dead girlfriend haunting ex-partner.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Romance – N – The Notebook (2004)

Director: Nick Cassavetes

Writer: Jeremy Leven, Jan Sardi (Screenplay) Nicholas Sparks (Novel)

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Rachel McAdams, James Garner, Gena Rowlands, Sam Shepard, Joan Allen, James Marsden, Kevin Connolly,

 

Plot: A poor yet passionate young man falls in love with a rich young woman, giving her a sense of freedom, but they are soon separated because of their social differences.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Date Night Sorted

 

Story: The Notebook starts as Duke (Garner) a positive thinking elderly man is getting ready to continue a story to Miss Hamilton (Rowlands) at the home, this story takes us back to Noah (Gosling) who meets the 17-year-old Allie (McAdams), both from different backgrounds, Noah poor and Allie rich.

When the two fall wildly in love Allie’s parent’s don’t want her to spend her life with what they call trash, leading to a break-up of the loving couple. Years fly by the two live their own lives away from each other where Allie falls in love with a man her family approve off. While the two cross paths again the love they felt will always be there, but life always gets in the way.

 

Thoughts on The Notebook

 

Characters – Noah came from the wrong side of town, the side with no money or prospects, he earns everything he has to prove that he can escape this world, he makes it through war but his love for Allie will never stop being there. Allie comes from the rich part of town, she accepts Noah for being different but her parents stop her from following the true love she felt for him, while she does fall in love with another man she will always have that flame for Noah. Duke is the man telling us the story to Miss Hamilton who is listening to the story, we learn that they are a bigger part of the story too.

PerformanceGosling and McAdams both shine in these roles which will always be considered two of their more popular roles of their careers. James Garner and Gena Rowlands are both great in the older roles too.

StoryThe story focuses on two people who fell in love, they face stumbling blocks along the way be it personal or otherwise but the love they feel will be what no other can give them. We do flash between the story unfolding as it is being told that does give us hints to who the elder characters are which at times can be frustrating because the final reveal is the one that plays on the heart strings. This is a fairy tale love story, which the likely hood of every happening seems unlikely, but it gives the audience hope of true love.

RomanceThe romance in this film does show how two people can fall in love and it last forever even through illness, war and everyday situations.

SettingsThe settings give us a clear difference in class the two come from and just how the love they feel can bring people together from different background

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Scene of the Movie – Swans and rain.

 

That Moment That Annoyed Me I think they give away a twist too early.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the all time most popular date night movies, you can see why because it does work on the love side of things.

 

Overall: This is a bitter sweet love story that plays for tears.

Rating

 

 

The Nun (2018)

Director: Corin Hardy

Writer: Gary Dauberman (Screenplay) James Wan, Gary Dauberman (Story)

Starring: Demian Bichir, Taissa Farmiga, Jonas Bloquet, Bonnie Aarons, Ingrid Bisu, Charlotte Hope, Sandra Teles

 

Plot: A priest with a haunted past and a novice on the threshold of her final vows are sent by the Vatican to investigate the death of a young nun in Romania and confront a malevolent force in the form of a demonic nun.


Tagline – Witness the Darkest Chapter in The Conjuring Universe

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Jump Scares 101

 

Story: The Nun starts after the mysterious death of a nun in an abbey in Romania, Father Burke (Bichir) and Sister Irene (Farmiga) are set to figure out if there was an unholy reason behind the death. joined by mostly outcast local and delivery man Frenchie (Bloquet) the three head off to the remote isolated abbey.

Once there it doesn’t take long before the three start suffering horrific visions of a ghost nun (Aarons) and moments from their own pasts, now they must work together to turn the once holy place, holy once again and rid the area of the demonic nun.

 

Thoughts on The Nun

 

Characters – Father Burke is the experience priest who has been the man to prove miracles or cure unexplainable events for the Vatican, he takes this job just like any other goes to investigate without needing to run from the horrors placed on front of him. Well he should be experienced enough not to make sloppy mistakes, not understanding certain abbey procedures, while he does talk a good game, he shouldn’t be as scared through what he is seeing. Sister Irene is preparing to become a nun, she is selected for this mission and the reason will become clear as the story unfolds. She is innocent with the world travelling, understand what is expected of her and tries to uncover the truth in the most sensible way possible, learning her true calling along the way. Frenchie is the delivery boy and womanizer of the local village, he reluctantly helps the two arrive at their destination only to help try to solve the goings on once her learns the evil has started to reach the town. The Nun figure is one we met first in the Conjuring 2, she stalks the hallways preying on people’s fears and now she has the latest victims. The demonic presence which will only add to the horrors the group will encounter.

PerformancesDemian Bichir as Father Burke is good for the most part, we believe his reactions when facing fear and he brings a calming nature to the story. Taissa Farmiga follows her sister into this franchise where she does a good job again with the fear side of the film, we get to see her show the innocence her character starts with too. Jonas Bloquet brings us a couple of laughs, while they are not needed they can lighten the mood at times. Bonnie Aarons as the nun is great, because we know how creepy this figure is and just what she will bring to the scares.

StoryThe story here brings us another back story to one of the stories of the Warren’s, this time we focus on the Nun and just where this demonic entity came from, first off we know this demon has a name from the previous encounters, so any studying up is not needed. We do go to the remote abbey to where the nun came from following the Vatican team set to try and solve the mystery and over a two-day period we watch how this mystery unravels. Now if we are to look at the story everything is simple, we arrive, its creepy, jump scares happen and the battle is on. The simplistic side of the story is also the weakness, Father Burke acts like he has battle this type of evil before, though he doesn’t seem to know anything to do with religion. The foreshadowing is too obvious through everything, we seem to lose a lot of the time, it is light, then dark and certain times it does feel like we are still watching the same events happening through the time change. If you are going just for the jump scares you will get what you want, because the story is sacrifice for the jump scares.

Horror/MysteryThe horror is following the new model of horror, hush the sounds, slow everything down before either crashing our ear drums with noise or throwing something at the camera, sure it works for a reaction stand point, but elsewhere it misses. The mystery should be a lot more interesting, the problems comes from focusing on jump scares over investigations.

SettingsThe setting, arguably the best part of the film, we have a beautiful remote gothic looking abbey that first puts our characters into the isolated location and secondly gives us all the chances we want to use the environment to add to the horror, with the chapel scene being a true highlight of the film.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are great too, we get a mix of practical make up mostly which looks creepy, we do get CGI which is only used when needed without being anything overly fancy.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The Time Scale felt confusing.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good addition to the Conjuring Universe, it does use the jump scares a lot, and while I wasn’t a fan of the weak story, I also don’t need to learn too much about the back story to need to worry about not enjoying jumping.

 

Overall: Jump scares a plenty, story lacks words.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – N – Neon City (1991)

Director: Monte Markham

Writer: Jeff Begun, Buck Finch, Monte Markham, Gus Peters (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Ironside, Vanity, Lyle Alzado, Valerie Wildman, Nick Klar, Juliet Landau

 

Plot: “Mad Max” clone set in the not-too-distant future about a group of people trying to escape to a safe haven called Neon City after a solar disaster that has decimated the Earth.


Tagline – Take a deep breath, it may be your last. Welcome to the year 2053.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Mad Max Rip Off

 

Story: Neon City starts in the 2053 as lone drifter Harry M Stark (Ironside) goes around the wasteland searching for the next payday, his latest was Reno (Vanity) being the choice in a hope to get to a place known as Neon City, a safe haven from the wasteland.

With the latest transport heading from Jericho to the Neon City, Harry is forced into the transport along with a host of colourful characters, but the journey isn’t going to be that easy for them.

 

Thoughts on Neon City

 

Characters – Harry M Stark is the lone drifter looking to make the money to head to Neon City to extract his revenge on the man that murdered his mutated son, he has nothing to lose but will make sure the transport gets to the city in the best condition possible. Reno is the latest criminal that Harry is transferring to jail for the murder of her parents, she is a fighter and will help the people in need on the transport too. Bulk is the old friend of Harry that is leading the transport, he knows his clients are the most valuable part of the transport and will do the right thing for the people he is transporting. The rest of the characters we meet are the different people with different stories to why they are on the transport.

PerformancesMichael Ironside is the biggest name in the film, he does a good job in the leading role and shows why he is the star of the film. Vanity is good for the supporting role showing enough fire in her performance and Lyle Alzado is good fun in the role he plays too and the whole cast does look like they are enjoying their roles enough to be good throughout.

StoryIf you don’t compare this movie to Mad Max, then you would be lying about knowing too much about film, the wasteland the concept and even certain styles are just what we have seen in those movies. The story does follow a group travelling across a wasteland in hopes of reaching a safe haven from the harsh conditions, each character has their own reasons for being on the trip which gives meaning to what they are willing to risk in the battle to survive. This is an easy watch with how the story flows keeps the pacing good throughout.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action follows the transport as they go from one city to the safe haven, we get the shoot outs from the vehicles which give us general explosion, this plays into the adventure side of the film as we see the obstacles they must face. The sci-fi side of the takes us to the wasteland where we see just what has become of the world.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us just how the wasteland can look for the journey which can hold the problems they will be facing.

Special EffectsThe effects are solid enough, but never come off to standout for the film to great.


Scene of the Movie –
The final run in.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It isn’t the most original.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable and easy to watch sci-fi movie in the same ideas as Mad Max, which can be fun to watch.

 

Overall: Fun and easy to watch.

Rating

 

 

Never Say Never Again (1983)

Director: Irvin Kerschner

Writer: Lorenzo Semple Jr (Screenplay) Kevin McClory, Jack Whittingham, Ian Fleming (Story)

Starring: Sean Connery, Klaus Maria Brandauer, Max von Sydow, Barbara Carrera, Kim Basinger, Bernie Casey

 

Plot: A SPECTRE agent has stolen two American nuclear warheads, and James Bond must find their targets before they are detonated.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Light-Hearted Bond

 

Story: Never Say Never Again starts as James Bond (Connery) has been working on training routines, mostly successful, but his physical condition isn’t on the levels it once was, he is now in a treatment hospital where he ends stumbling into Blofeld’s (von Sydow) latest plan.

When Blofeld holds the world to ransom, his agent Maximilian Largo (Brandauer) needs to be tracked down by Bond to stop the stolen nuclear war heads being used against the countries not willing to pay.

 

Thoughts on Never Say Never Again

 

Characters – James Bond is back in action after a forced retirement from the business, he knows how the locate his enemies and seduce a lady and this is no different as he goes up against one of his most famous villains. Largo is the main man puling the strings in the operation for the big boss, he goes face to face with Bond. Blofeld is the leader of SPECTRE the criminal organisation that has held the world to ransom.

PerformancesSean Connery gets to have a lot of fun returning to his most famous role, he still has the swagger for it too. Klaus is a solid enough villain and handles the interactions well. Max Von Sydow is one of the most trusted villains in the business, he takes this role and makes it his own well.

StoryThe story follow James Bond on another one of his adventures against an evil genius that plans to destroy the world. We go to luxury locations, with bars women and fighting, making this a complete 101 on how to make James Bond movie. This won’t be the most memorable one but it follows everything you need it to.

Action/AdventureThe action is good for a Bond film, it isn’t over the top but ticks the boxes well and the adventure is everything you are expecting to see from Bond.

SettingsThe film takes us to exotic locations where we see Bond battle the enemies who are of course rich and enjoy bars, sun women.


Scene of the Movie –
Massage

That Moment That Annoyed Me It lacks that moment that makes this memorable like most of the good Bond films.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that will work for all Bond fans, it checks the boxes well but never stands up to the best of the franchise, even though it isn’t an official part of them.

 

Overall: Bond movie 101

Rating