Numb (2015)

Director: Jason R Goode

Writer: Andre Harden (Screenplay)

Starring: Jamie Bamber, Marie Avgeropoulos, Aleks Paunovic, Stefanie von Pfetten, Colin Cunningham, Paul McGillion

 

Plot: When a couple in financial distress discover GPS coordinates that promise to lead to stolen gold they must partner with a pair of mysterious hitchhikers to enter the remote winter wilderness to recover the coins.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Little Thriller

 

Story: Numb starts when down on their luck couple Will (Bamber) and Dawn (Pfetten) are travelling back home to Vancouver pick up hitchhikers Lee (Paunovic) and Cheryl (Avgeropoulos) and along the way they find a stranger with GPS coordinates to a missing loot.

The four reluctantly team up to locate the loot which could be $4 million and the strains of whether to trust each other becomes just as much of an enemy in the snow filled mountain range as the weather.

 

Thoughts on Numb

 

Characters – Will is the out of work man, desperately trying to get a job to keep his family home with his wife after financial hardships, he takes part in the search in a hope to keep the lack of job a secret and his skills come in to help against the elements in nature. Dawn is his wife that believes they are getting to the turning around their lives, she does overcome her fears to make it. Lee is one of the strangers met on the road, he talks everyone into completing the search while protecting his sister along the way. Cheryl is the sister of Lee, she is clearly a loose cannon of the four. These are our main characters, while I do understand Lee and Cheryl being the we will do anything for the money, it is the married couple which confused me because they seem to be leaving a life above their pay checks as it seems clear they should be able to afford the basics of a home with the jobs they could do.

PerformancesThe performances from the four leads are good through the film, they make each character feel individual from one another, we understand the struggles their characters are going through too.

StoryThe story here shows how four people can be driven by greed when it comes to getting rich quickly, we have an air of tension between the two couples as they don’t know who to trust when it comes to searching for the gold. The story does focus too much on Will’s side of things even though we learn in the opening scene that he survives, leaving us not having any belief in the peril he is in. the story keeps everything serious which is strange because of the decision-making process the characters are making.

MysteryThe movie does have a mystery about whether the gold is real and who can be trusted which does try to keep us guessing along the way.

SettingsThe film does keep the film in the wilderness of the Canadian snow covered mountain range as the search for the gold does one.


Scene of the Movie –
The escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We know Will survives, so watching his solo peril adventure seems almost pointless.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good mystery thriller, it keeps everything against the weather which is good while the human nature takes over through the film too.

 

Overall: Solid thriller worth watching.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – N – The Night Watchmen (2017)

Director: Mitchell Altieri

Writer: Ken Arnold, Dan DeLuca, Jamie Nash (Screenplay) Ken Arnold, Dan DeLuca, Jamie Nash (Story)

Starring: Ken Arnold, Dan DeLuca, Kevin Jiggetts, Kara Lutz, Max Gray Wilbur, James Remar

 

Plot: Three inept night watchmen, aided by a young rookie and a fearless tabloid journalist, fight an epic battle for their lives against a horde of hungry vampires.


Tagline – Let’s Go Kill Some Dead People!

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Bloody Horror Comedy

 

Story: The Night Watchmen starts when Justin (Wilbur) gets a new job as a security guard with Ken (Arnold), Luca (DeLuca) and Jiggetts (Jiggetts) putting him through the ringer on his first night. When a coffin is delivered by accident it has a body of an infected clown.

When the virus starts infecting the employees in the building the four hapless security guards must work together to save the company cutie Karen (Luiz) and escape from the undead vampires running riot in the building.

 

Thoughts on The Night Watchmen

 

Characters – Ken and Jiggetts are the two louder security guards, they test the new staff and go on the jobs leaving Luca behind, Ken is the closest to the smartest of the guys, while Jiggetts plays into the stereotype to black guy jokes. Luca is the mysterious guard that could be a seeing him in hiding, this is interesting to watch as we wonder what he will do next. Karen is the cutie the guys have a crush on, she is the one they try to rescue during the attack. Justin is the new guard on his first night which is going to be something he never saw coming.

PerformancesThe performances from the whole cast are good, the chemistry between Arnold and Jiggetts is the highlight of the film, while DeLuca keeps the mystery about his character throughout. Kara Luiz is good, though she isn’t the fearless warrior figure we could have seen.

StoryThe story here is simple, which we like, it follows four security guards and one employee that must work together to survive vampire zombies that have infested the building. This sees the hapless attempts they must try and escape, poking fun at certain traits of the genre along the way. It does bring us a comical idea of a villain, as we haven’t seen zombie vampires before, well I haven’t. this is a self-aware story that knows not to take anything too seriously and enjoy telling the audience the story.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy in this film is happy to poke fun at the genre, it doesn’t want to take the film too seriously which is fun to watch. The horror side of the film comes from the countless number off vampire zombies that are killing anyone coming through to get them.

SettingsThe film takes place in the building which shows how the guards can’t leave because the threat is outside and can’t let the increasing number of vampire zombies escape either.

Special EffectsWhen we get to have practical effects, the film is good because it is buckets of blood, the CGI moments do miss but for the scale of them it was the only option.


Scene of the Movie –
Shot to the head.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The large CGI moment near the end.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun horror comedy that gets the laughs right, never takes itself seriously and even brings us a new threat in a villainous set of vampire zombies to battle.

 

Overall: Funny, enjoyable and bloody.

Rating

 

 

Navy Seals vs Zombies (2015)

Director: Stanton Barrett

Writer: Matthew Carpenter (Screenplay) A.K. Waters (Story)

Starring: Ed Quinn, Michael Dudikoff, Rick Fox, Chad Lail, Molly Hagen, Mikal Vega, Kevin Kent, Lolo Jones

 

Plot: A team of highly skilled Navy SEALS find themselves embarking on the battle of their lives when they come face-to-face with the undead. After a deadly outbreak occurs in Baton Rouge, the SEALS must fight for their lives, and the city, against an army of zombies.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Basic Zombie Film.

 

Story: Navy Seals vs. Zombies starts when Vice President Bentley (Fox) is on a campaign trail in the city of Baton Rouge, the city comes under attack by rage filled zombies, forcing him into hiding. In response to the situation Commander Sher (Dudikoff) sends in a highly skilled Navy SEALS team led by LT Pete Cunningham (Quinn) with Carl (Lail), Billy (Vega), Travis (Kent) and new recruit AJ (Lipari) to rescue the VP.

With the plan for the VP underway, it won’t be the only mission for the SEALS need to go on, they must also save the scientists that could have a cure for the outbreak.

 

Thoughts on Navy Seals vs. Zombies

 

Characters – LT Pete Cunningham is leading the Navy SEALS, he must put his trust in the newest member of the team in AJ, while trying to get the team through the hordes of zombies to prove once again that his team in the elite military team. Commander Sheer is running the operations from the military base, he doesn’t want to see his men take any unnecessary risks. VP Bentley is the man the team are sent to rescue, he is in the running for the next presidential race. AJ is he newest member of the SEALS team, he is about to become a father and this is his first mission as part of the team, where he must prove himself to the rest of the unit.

PerformancesThe performances in the film suffer because of the lack of interesting non-generic characters. none of the actors get a chance to show their skills as performers, with large parts of the film just being headless running around.

StoryThe story here follows a Navy SEALS unit that must go into Baton Rouge to rescue the Vice president and the scientists behind the outbreak. This is everything a zombie story has given us before, we have a group of people running around a city trying to elude the zombies that outnumber them. We know the team will dwindle down as the film unfolds which is the normal. The starting point for the weaknesses comes from that fact this story is set in a world where zombie film don’t exist, which is clear by all the behaviour through the film. Most of the actual storytelling is saved for the closing of the film which fills in most of the blanks we don’t mention until then.

Action/HorrorThe action in the film is just shooting zombies, it is nothing new and becomes overly repetitive after a while. The horror side of the film gives us zombies that run, they never feel like a threat to the anybody.

SettingsThe film is set in Baton Rouge, which is considered a military area, I think, the truth is, it could have been any city without any major locations being shown.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are weak with even basic door explosion looking weak, the zombie look is acceptable for a low budget film.


Scene of the Movie –
The explaining.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The stupid decisions.

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic zombie film that offers nothing new to the genre, it I filled with stupid decisions and generic action.

 

Overall: Basic zombie nonsense.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – N – Nightworld (2017)

Director: Patricio Valladares

Writer: Barry Keating, Milan Konjevic (Screenplay) Loris Curci (Story)

Starring: Jason London, Robert Englund, Gianni Capaldi, Lorina Kamburova, Diana Lyubenova, Atanas Srebrev

 

Plot: When former LAPD officer Brett Anderson takes a job as head of security at an old apartment building in Bulgaria’s capital, Sofia, he soon begins to experience a series of bizarre and terrifying events. Once he begins to delve deeper into the building’s sinister history and investigate its shadowy owners and past employees, Brett soon uncovers a malevolent force nestled deep in the bowels of the building that will do anything to be set free into our world.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Start, Exciting Finish

 

Story: Nightworld starts when Brett Anderson (London) takes a job as a security officers in an elite Bulgarian apartment building to help him deal with the death of his wife. Given the grand tour by the manager Martin (Capaldi) Brett sees the strange side to the apartment, with the secret being kept in the basement.

When Brett starts seeing strange images on the cameras he must call Jacob (Englund) to help uncover the truth about the apartment, with local girl Zara (Kamburova) who fills in the rumours that the town has about the building.

 

Thoughts on Nightworld

 

Characters – Brett Anderson is a grief stricken for police officer, he retired from the force after his wife’s death, he takes a job as a security guard in an apartment in Bulgaria which leads him to get caught up in a mystery about the apartment which brings him past back to haunt him. Jacob is a former guard that lost his eye sight, he knows the mystery about the apartment and helps guide Brett through the strange events. Martin is the apartment manager and needs to find a new guard to watch over any problems in the apartment when he is away. Zara is the waitress at the local café that offer a romantic angle for Brett, while filling in the blanks about the history of the apartment.

PerformancesJason London is solid enough in the leading role, most of what he does is ask questions which is how the audience must learn what is going on. Robert Englund as the elderly figure that is trying to help works well because he is the biggest draw for the film. Gianna Capaldi and Lorina Kamburova are both fine they never get out of first gear for their performances though.

StoryThe story here follows a man that needs to rebuild his life, get given a job as a security guard for an apartment building that has secrets he can’t even imagine. The pace of the story is slow, because we have a lot of building up with little to no hints to what the big conclusion will be, the final third of the film lets everything go, making the early parts of the story more interesting, the time loss angle does feel tagged in for no reason and by the end you still won’t completely understand what just happened. The reveals in the film are big, though they could be considered overkill for what could have be a much more subtle story.

HorrorThe horror comes from the nightmares Brett suffers before the big reveal in the final act which shows us just what has been going on.

SettingsThe whole film is set in one building, it shows how the layers can hold secrets and the mystery about the building is key t the story being told.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are used well when needed, we don’t go over the top with them and the best one are used for the final act.


Scene of the Movie –
Behind the door.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Starts too slow for the ending.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow burning horror thriller, it does reward us with a manic ending which is worth the wait for, only it does take too long to get there with little hints to help us understand the ending.

 

Overall: Slow though rewarding.

Rating

 

 

Richard Gere Weekend – Norman (2016)

Director: Joseph Cedar

Writer: Joseph Cedar (Screenplay)

Starring: Richard Gere, Lior Ashkenazi, Michael Sheen, Steve Buscemi, Yahuda Almagor, Neta Riskin, Josh Charles, Dan Stevens

 

Plot: Norman Oppenheimer is a small time operator who befriends a young politician at a low point in his life. Three years later, when the politician becomes an influential world leader, Norman’s life dramatically changes for better and worse.


Tagline – The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Political Borefest

 

Story: Norman starts as we learn about Norman Oppenheimer (Gere) who is trying to make political connections, his latest target is Israeli deputy minister Micha Eshel (Ashkenazi) who is grateful for the support.

Three years later Micha is now the Israeli prime minister and remembers Norman, but now Norman must use his skills as a fixer to solve a problem as everything changes for him

 

Thoughts on Norman

 

Characters – Norman is a political connections man, he makes the connections for different Politicians while finding a way to talk his way out of any situations. We see his rise and fall in the world where he ends up biting off more than he can chew. When it comes to the fellow characters we meet a host of different political figures that want to make connections with each other.

PerformancesRichard Gere is in the leading role here and he is fine in this role without reaching the levels we know he could, we do have a big cast of talented actors who do the basics well without any of them taking centre stage.

StoryThe story isn’t the most interesting, mostly because we are follow Norman as he makes connections in the political world and over the next couple of years things start getting out of hand and he must keep all his connection happy. The story never draws you in and easily becomes one of the more boring movies of the recent years.

ThrillerThe film here tries to keep us invested only for it to become too slow and disinteresting.

SettingsMost of the film is set in and around New York city as we see how the connections are made and maintained.


Scene of the Movie –
Hard to find one, the shoes scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Its just not interesting.

Final ThoughtsThis is a dull all-star movie which doesn’t hit any of the marks it is aiming for and just ends up being boring.

 

Overall: Boring is being nice.

Rating