ABC Film Challenge – Animation – N – Norm of the North (2016)

Director: Trevor Wall

Writer: Daniel Altiere, Steven Altiere, Malcolm T Goldman (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Rob Schneider, Heather Graham, Ken Jeong, Bill Nighy, Colm Meaney, Loretta Devine

 

Plot: When a real estate development invades his Arctic home, Norm and his three lemming friends head to New York City, where Norm becomes the mascot of the corporation in an attempt to bring it down from the inside and protect his homeland.


Tagline – Bear to be different

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Pathetic Comedy

 

Story: Norm of the North starts as we head to the North Pole and the arctic home of Norm an underachieving polar bear. He wants to become the king of the arctic like his Grandfather as he lives in peace around seals, whales, birds and for some reason lemmings.

When the real estate mogul wants to build condos in the Arctic, Norm must travel to New York City to stop Mr Greene from going through with his idea and save the Arctic.

 

Thoughts on Norm of the North

 

Characters – Norm is a polar bear that needs to help save his land in the Arctic, he seems to get himself into trouble with his clumsy action, he is mostly an insult character. Vera is the struggling single mother that is trying to help her daughter even if she doesn’t believe in what she is going. Mr Greene is an evil businessman looking to build the houses in the Arctic which would ruin the life of the wildlife.

StoryThe story should be about how the humans are destroying the wildlife, but ends up just being hapless look at how one polar bear will try to stop it happening, it is mostly insulting to the audience as a story as it never gets to show the message it should be.

Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe adventure just seems like click the fingers and we are there, the comedy misses on nearly every level and I wouldn’t want anyone to put their family through this one.

SettingsThe settings are the Arctic, fine works and the New York because wild animal in New York City is meant to be funny I guess?

AnimationThe animation at least looks good being the only positive side of the whole movie.


Scene of the Movie –
They use the ‘Shut Up and Dance With Me Song’ didn’t like the scene but love the song.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just feels insulting.

Final ThoughtsThis is just a terrible animation that is more insulting that funny, it has an important message and fails to deliver it.

 

Overall: Avoid please.

Rating

 

 

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The Night of the Hunter (1955)

Director: Charles Laughton

Writer: James Agee (Screenplay) Davis Grubb (Novel)

Starring: Robert Mitchum, Shelley Winters, Lillian Gish, James Gleason, Evelyn Varden

 

Plot: A religious fanatic marries a gullible widow whose young children are reluctant to tell him where their real daddy hid $10,000 he’d stolen in a robbery.


Tagline – The Hands Of ROBERT MITCHUM in “The Night of the Hunter”

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic

 

Story: The Night of the Hunter starts as we meet religious con man Harry Powell (Mitchum) who meets soon to be executed prisoner Ben Harper (Graves) who has hidden $10,000 after a robbery gone bad. Harry sets out to meet the widow Willa (Winters) so he can take the money, but the only people who know where the money is are the children John and Pearl.

When Harry proves just how far he will go for the money the kids must escape him before he takes the money leaving them high and dry, the question remains, can they stay ahead of Harry.

 

Thoughts on The Night of the Hunter

 

Characters – Harry Powell is a religious conman, he moves from town to town preying on the religious beliefs while looking for rich widows he can take for everything. Harry knows how to play people into believing everything he says which is why he is successful in his actions. Willa is the latest widow Harry sets his sights on because of the money hidden by her late husband, she believes what he preaches when it comes to dealing with God and purpose in life.

PerformancesRobert Mitchum is full of the menace for this leading role, he shows how manipulative his character is with every scene he is in. Shelley Winters is good in this role while it is the child stars that shine at times in this film.

StoryThe story follows a conman on his latest attempt to make a quick buck off a struggling family. This becomes a battle for one up each other between the kids and Harry which is entertaining to see, as we learn just how determined Harry is and how the kids will not stop working together when they lose their father.

CrimeThe crime side of the story is following Harry and his actions to make sure he gets the money he desires, we see how calculated he is when looking to achieve this.

SettingsThe settings show us the simple life the family once lived, but soon the turns into a race to stay alive.


Scene of the Movie –
The escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Seems to skip a few important scenes at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is considered a classic and you can see why because it does give you the idea it helped build a side genre in film, the film has unfortunately been parodied too often to keep the impact it should be making.

 

Overall: One classic that should be seen by all.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – N – No Escape (2015)

Director: John Erick Dowdle

Writer: John Erick Dowdle, Drew Dowdle (Screenplay)

Starring: Owen Wilson, Lake Bell, Sterling Jerins, Claire Geare, Pierce Brosnan

 

Plot: In their new overseas house, an American family soon finds themselves caught in the middle of a coup, and they frantically look for a safe escape from an environment where foreigners are being immediately executed.


Tagline – Blood for water

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Non-Stop Action Thriller

 

Story: No Escape starts as the Dwyer family moves to an unknown Asian country for the father’s work, Jack (Wilson) has bought his wife Annie (Bell) and girls Lucy (Jerins) and Beeze (Geare) to hopefully start a new life, luckily for them they meet man that knows the area Hammond (Brosnan).

On the first morning Jack learns that the country is about to be nothing like they had ever imagined as the locals are creating a coup which is against the foreigners that have come into their country. Jack must now do everything to get his family out alive before they are murdered.

 

Thoughts on No Escape

 

Characters – Jack is a mechanic sent to this unnamed Asian country, to take over the local water company, he has bought his family along and feels this will be a fresh start for them. He must show his determination as he finds his family in danger during a coup in the country. Annie is the wife of Jack, that has supported him in his decision to move across the world, she helps Jack try to get their family out alive. Hammond is a man that has been to this country a lot, he enjoys a drink and a fight, he also knows the best way to survive against this deadly enemy.

PerformancesOwen Wilson is not known for this style of movie, this helps us understand his helpless to what is happening because anyone that can handle a fight would look out of place in this film. Lake Bell is good in her role because she does at times play the victim, while Pierce Brosnan as the shady guy that can handle a gun offering protection does what he does best.

StoryThe story becomes one of the simplest and most effective one for any action film, a family needing to survive against the locals of a new country that are trying to kill any American people they can get their hands on. This starts early in the with the action and the only thing that matters is getting out alive. We don’t need detailed back stories for anyone else in the film, a history of employment, we just need to see their love is going to be driving them to survive.

ActionThe action is war based, we have a coup happening which will put the characters in danger and needing to survive, each situation is surrounded with tension as the peril always feels real.

SettingsThe film doesn’t give us the name of the country, which works because it shows how a country could rise up against the people taking their jobs.


Scene of the Movie –
The beginning of the coup, shot so well.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We do meet characters seemingly just to be killed off.

Final ThoughtsThis is an action film that just doesn’t stop, it is a must watch for action fans because you will be left needing an extra breath.

 

Overall: Action Fans Watch

Rating

 

 

The Nursery (2018)

Directors: Christopher A Micklos, Jay Sapiro

Writer: Christopher A Micklos (Screenplay)

Starring: Emmanline Friederichs, Madeline Conway, Carly Rae James Sauer, Davie Sapiro, Claudio Parrone Jr

 

Plot: When Ranae agrees to babysit for a family with a tragic past, a run-of-the-mill Saturday night quickly turns into a confrontation with unspeakable horror.


Tagline – Death isn’t always final

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Horror

 

Story: The Nursery starts when Ranae (Conway) gets given a babysitting job with the first night being a Saturday night, it isn’t long before Ranae starts seeing things around the house, her friends Calista (Friederichs), Grace (Sauer) and Jeremy (Parrone Jr) join her. Only for them to see a ghostly figure too.

As the night unfolds they look to confront the spirit and learn why it is haunting the house, only to find themselves facing a violent spirit they can’t control.

 

Thoughts on The Nursery

 

Characters – Ranae is the babysitter who does have her own tragic past to deal with, even though she does seem to overcome them, this night will test her new life and force her to face her past to battle the spirit haunting the house. Calista or Callie as the friends call her is the best friend of Ranae, who visits her at the home to offer support through the nights events. Grace is another one of the friends that visits, she brings her boyfriend which easily makes her the ‘slutty’ friend.

PerformancesThe performances are good in the film, with Madeline Conway taking the leading role and having to go through the largest amount on her character. The supporting cast fill the friends role well for the support.

StoryThe story follows the babysitter that must learn the truth about the house to protect the baby from a violent spirit, joined by her friends, how can she survive the night. That is the core to the story, we have a good and bad points in this film’s story, first the idea of discussion about what type of spirit is an interest spin and easily one of my favourite parts of the film because we don’t just have the same scares happening. The idea that Ranae has a haunted past does help question her character, but this works to start with before undoing the hard work too early. The story can easily be compared to a Grudge type of story with the haunted house with a spirit that’s motivations are not as clear as they could be to our victims. Overall the story works for horror, does the basics well and doesn’t get much wrong.

HorrorThe horror does work for the film, we have well built up moments of horror that give pay offs well through the film.

SettingsThe whole film takes place in the singular location of the house, this does keep the horror confined, but I did find it confusing to just how big this house was.

Special EffectsThe effects which are practical for the most part work very well, they are some clever camera ideas to create extra moments of scares.


Scene of the Movie –
The Skype call discussion, because it tackles the actual research about the truth, which is different to most horror movies.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The house doesn’t seem big enough to not hear screaming.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror, it hits the scare marks well, follows the story and does keep us guessing to where everything will end up going.

 

Overall: Horror fans check it out.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Random – N – Night Moves (2013)

Director: Kelly Reichardt

Writer: Jonathan Raymond (Screenplay)

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard, Alia Shawkat, Logan Miller, Kai Lennox, Katherine Waterston

 

Plot: Three radical environmentalists look to execute the protest of their lives: the explosion of a hydroelectric dam.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Slow

 

Story: Night Moves starts as we follow Josh (Eisenberg) and Dena (Fanning) who are environmentalists looking to find a way to change the world before it gets destroyed. Tired of the peaceful protests the couple head off to meet radical Harmon (Sarsgaard) who has a plan for a true statement the world will take notice off.

We watch how the three bring together the equipment to send their message and we are left to wonder if they will go through with it and what impact it could have on the environment.

 

Thoughts on Night Moves

 

Characters/PerformanceJosh and Dena are young idealistic environmentalists that are out on a mission to work with the radical Harmon they sum up the frustrated generation of how the world get mistreated and want to change it in their own way. Harmon is full left field, he wants to enjoy seeing the world change because of what they do.

Performance wise, we know how capable all three actors are, but sadly through this film we don’t get to see just how talented they are. I feel it is the script which holds most of this back really.

StoryThe story shows how environmentalists can push things to the extremes but must deal with the consequences of those action. The story is incredibly slow paced never pulling you into care about these characters or their actions and by the end everything all feels very flat indeed.

ThrillerYou simply don’t get sucked into this story or what is happening because of the poor pacing within the movie.

SettingsThe settings show the nature that these characters want to see live on, we also get to see just what has been happening with the human impact, so this does help us understand the situation the characters find themselves in, in a weird way.

Final ThoughtsThis was a very slow movie, it has a story that doesn’t drag you in and most disappointingly the film really doesn’t go anywhere.

 

Overall: Disappointing and slow film.

Rating