Open House (2010)

Director: Andrew Paquin

Writer: Andrew Paquin (Screenplay)

Starring: Brian Geraghty, Rachel Blanchard, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Tricia Helfer, Gabriel Olds, Jessica Collins

 

Plot: A couple on the verge of a nasty divorce attempt to sell their empty love nest and move on with their lives, separately. After a successful open house they are horrified to discover, days later, that a potential buyer didn’t leave their home. While Alice is being held captive in the basement, the unannounced house guest moves in upstairs. She senses her capture is being kept a rebellious secret. She knows her way out, if only she can get out alive.


Tagline – Welcome to the neighborhood.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Unsettling Thriller

 

Story: Open House starts as Alice (Blanchard) is getting divorced and is looking to sell the couple’s home, things are not going well, but with her friend’s support she believes things will go well. Things take an early drastic change when Alice is held captive by David (Geraghty) and Lila (Helfer).

David and Lila decide to make the home their own, killing anyone that questions them about Alice, how long can they keep this up and how often have they been doing this?

 

Thoughts on Open House

 

Characters – David is the man that keeps Alice captive, he is being controlled by Lila, while also thinking for himself deciding to keep her alive against the wishes of Lila in look for companionship. David seems to be easily manipulated into doing what Lila says. Alice is the owner of the house, going through a divorce and looking to sell their home, she is held captive by the couple who want control of the house. She must follow the rules David gives her in a hope of making it through the ordeal. Lila is the woman who has moved into the house, she uses David to get what she wants and seduces any men that come near the home. The rest of the characters we meet are used to show what David and Lila are capable of, while have a connection to Alice.

PerformancesBrian Geraghty gives us an unsettling feeling throughout the film, he makes it difficult to put your finger on this character. Rachel Blanchard does a solid enough job, though she is mostly needing to look scared or be tied up. Tricia Helfer is good as the seductive woman controlling the situation. The rest of the cast don’t get much time on screen which disappoints when you see some of the talent we had.

StoryThe story follows a man and woman that hold a homeowner captive in their house while they make their own and continue their killer ways. Now this does bring us into the idea that somebody would take over your own home after a open house with people around you expecting you to be leaving you won’t get the support you would imagine. The pacing for the story is one of the weaker moments because we follow David’s interactions with both the women and it is very hard to put your finger on what he is up to through the film. the story however is better than 2018’s Open House which was just too slow.

CrimeThe film uses the crime elements because we see the man and woman killing people, talking like they have been doing this for years and know when to get out of the house before getting captured which is an interesting way to look at the story.

SettingsThe film takes place only inside the house, the place you are meant to feel safe, this is good for the story and easily the strongest part of everything.


Scene of the Movie –
Opening the freezers.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While it is implied, they have been killing for ages, it would have been nice to have it spelled out from how David is acting through the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid addition to the late night horror movies I like to promote, it is an easy watch you can enjoy it even if it doesn’t use the biggest names in the film to the best of their abilities.

 

Overall: Late night Crime Horror film.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Challenge – Comedy – O – Ordinary World (2016)

Director: Lee Kirk

Writer: Le Kirk (Screenplay)

Starring: Billie Joe Armstrong, Fred Armisen, Judy Greer, Selma Blaire, Chris Messina, Brian Baumgartner

 

Plot: An aging punk rocker copes with life after rock.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable

 

Story: Ordinary World starts as we follow former punk rocker Perry (Armstrong) who is now married to Karen (Blair) with two children with eldest Salome (Shipman) about to be involved in a talent contest at school. He now has a 9-5 type of job while his wife is a high life lawyer and today is his 40th birthday.

Perry is struggling through, missing his music and lacking the concentration in life, being late for work, forgetting appointments and not enjoying his life, as he goes through his own mid-life crisis. This changes when he decides to have a party with his former band mates and must learn to accept the next stage of his life.

 

Thoughts on Ordinary World

 

Characters – Perry was once a punk rocker but he settled down starting a family, but not everything is where he wants his life now. He has a mid-life crisis where he must learn about his life and where it will go next. Karen is Perry’s wife that is a lawyer that brings in the larger amount of the income, but puts up with his distraction mind. Christy is the former flame of Perry’s in his band days, she happens to walk into his life the same time as his mid-life crisis offering him a chance he never got in his music dream.

PerformancesBillie Joe Armstrong is good in this leading role as we see him reflect what you could see as an aging musician questioning his place. Blair and Greer are both good in the supporting roles as is the rest of the cast.

StoryThe story shows a mid-life crisis from a rocker point of view, it does follow how one day things go in a different way to how he would imagine which is by the books but it works so why change it. The idea of seeing how he is supported by the loved ones is refreshing as he would usually have a bigger freak out but for a feel good mid-life crisis film this hits the marks.

Comedy/MusicThe comedy is light through the film as we see how things are going wrong for Perry with the music moments letting Billie Joe show off his skills and true talent.

SettingsThe film is set in New York which shows us the different location the family wold be in as well as the big city.


Scene of the Movie –
Talent Show.

That Moment That Annoyed Me You feel certain characters might get mad at some point in this movie.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good feel good movie, it has good music and shows how hard it is to let your dreams go.

 

Overall: Enjoyable comedy drama.

Rating

 

 

Outlaw King (2018)

Director: David Mackenzie

Writer: Bathsheba Doran, David Mackenzie, James MacInnes (Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Pine, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Florence Pugh, Billy Howle, Paul Blair, Sam Spruell

 

Plot: A true David v Goliath story of how the great 14th Century Scottish ‘Outlaw King’ Robert The Bruce used cunning and bravery to defeat and repel the much larger and better equipped occupying English army.


Tagline – Based on the Untold True Story

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Brutality of War

 

Story: Outlaw King starts after William Wallace has been defeated and the English have taken over Scotland, accepting the surrounding kings and lords. Robert Bruce (Pine) is ready to take over his father’s role with King Edward I (Dilldane) controlling the land, with Elizabeth (Pugh) being married to Robert.

When Robert kills, he breaks the peace between the two nations with Scotland naming him King, England brand him the Outlaw king forcing him to build a new army to fight back against the English against all the odds.

 

Thoughts on Outlaw King

 

Characters – Robert Bruce is the son of his father’s name, next in line for royalty during a time of peace under English control, his action start a new war where he becomes King and must lead the fellow Scots in battle against the odds. He offers the people a chance to be by his side or against him without holding their decision against them, remaining fair to everyone in conflict. Elizabeth Burgh is the English lady that is forced to marry Robert, the two do get on which helps complete the peace, when the peace is broken she stands by his side and is used to bait Robert out of hiding. James Douglas joins the battle with Robert as he looks to regain the honour his family name deserves. Prince Edward is leading the English army in hunting down Robert and the rebels, he is doing this to impress his father with his place of King in his future.

PerformancesChris Pine gives us a wonderful performance showing us once again how he can adapt to any role given to him, never looking out of place playing a Scotsman. Florence Pugh continues her run in the period piece films, she shows us once again that she does have the talent for someone as young as she is. Aaron Taylor-Johnson is strong in the supporting role, he looks like the desperate man that he is meant to be playing. Billy Howle is strong too, we see how he can make his desire for power be the thing which drives his performance.

StoryThe story here shows us the story of Robert Bruce the Outlaw King of Scotland who fought against the odds to reclaim the kingdom of Scotland from the English. We know how ‘Braveheart’ has its own version of the battle which the English won, this story takes place in the aftermath of the real story which peace couldn’t be kept leading us to battle once again and showed us just how confrontational the two nations were. We get a lot of different titles which can become slightly confusing to keep up on who is what and in what line to become king of whichever nation they are fighting for.

Action/Biopic/HistoryThe action is massive scale battles which are shot in the same style of Game of Thrones, this being realistic is great for effect, but difficult to watch when it comes to see the horses getting slaughtered in the battle. The history lesson and biopic side of the film shows who Robert and his men were along with they would end up becoming.

SettingsThe film gives us locations that feel like they could be from the same time, we get the beauty of the Scottish countryside which only shows how they made their own advantage.


Scene of the Movie –
The battles.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Keeping on top of who is what ranking.

Final ThoughtsThis is a new brutal battle movie, it gives the history lesson needed and shows how people defined the future for people in the world.

 

Overall: Brutal history lesson.

Rating

 

 

The Old Man & The Gun (2018)

Director: David Lowery

Writer: David Lowery (Screenplay) David Grann (Article)

Starring: Robert Redford, Casey Affleck, Sissy Spacek, Danny Glover, Tom Waits, Tika Sumpter, Ari Elizabeth Johnson

 

Plot: Based on the true story of Forrest Tucker and his audacious escape from San Quentin at the age of 70 to an unprecedented string of heists that confounded authorities and enchanted the public.


Tagline – This Story is Mostly True.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Crime Comedy

 

Story: The Old Man & The Gun starts as we see how Forrest Tucker (Redford) would do his bank robberies, casually walk in and politely ask for the money before calmly walking out and escaping, only on this latest job he meets Jewel (Spacek) a widow who he wants to charm.

After another robbery that happened to have cop John Hunt (Affleck) who didn’t even see it happen, John decides to investigate Forrest robberies where he learns about the lifetime of crimes and the myth behind the man who escaped multiple prisons and returned to a life of crime, can he finally be caught for good?

 

Thoughts on The Old Man & The Gun

 

Characters – Forrest Tucker is a career criminal that has been committing robberies his hole life, he never hurts anyone and is always a gentleman about how he goes around his robberies. Even in his later years he still loves the crime, he does want a relationship with Jewel and sees her in the same lonely situation she is at times. John Hunt is a detective that starts to investigate the robberies after being in the bank when one of the heists goes down, he seems to enjoy the chase over the capture, giving his life new meaning. Jewel is a widow that has seen her children grow up and is living in a remote farm, she sees Forrest as a charmer who could bring her new zest for life and lets him into her life. Teddy and Waller are the partners in the crimes called in for the bigger jobs.

PerformancesRobert Redford is wonderful in the leading role which is meant to be his last and he goes out on top showing that his skills are permanently.  Casey Affleck gives us a good performance that is shows how withdrawn his character has become with his life. Sissy Spacek is great too showing us just how lonely she has become with her life. The supporting cast are good too all fitting the story very well.

StoryThe story follows the later robberies of Forrest Tucker one of the most notorious criminals in America, he escaped prison multiply times and continued to rob banks just to keep him entertained while never resorting to violence. We follow one cop that decides to investigate other robberies connecting the dots to learn who the man behind them really is. If you liked ‘Catch me if you Can’ the story is told in the same style which helps us find comedy in moments which could have been calm. The time jumps showing the pure number of robberies happening can be blink and you miss them and if you don’t know your American states you won’t be able to connect them quickly.

Comedy/CrimeThe film is told in a way that makes everything become light-hearted which helps make the crimes seem like they weren’t as bad as they were.

SettingsThe settings are the weakest part of the film if you don’t know where or how close cities and states are because we see so many robberies that just show us the place not saying how far away they are.


Scene of the Movie –
What Forrest did next.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel too similar to Catch Me If you Can.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good crime comedy that gets the fun comedy moments while telling a true story about how one man was addicted to robbing banks.

 

Overall: Fun true crime story.

Rating

 

 

Overlord (2018)

Director: Julius Avery

Writer: Billy Ray, Mark L Smith (Screenplay)

Starring: Wyatt Russell, Mathilda Ollivier, Pilou Asbaek, Jovan Adepo, John Margaro, Iain De Caestecker, Bokeem Woodbine

 

Plot: The story of two American soldiers behind enemy lines on D Day.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bloody & Brutal

 

Story: Overlord starts when a unit of American soldiers led by Ford (Russell) and with rookie Boyce (Adepo) being the man we follow through the film. The unit is on a mission to destroy a radio tower behind enemy lines in France during World War II to stop the communication lines before D-Day.

When their plane is shot down the team is down to just four, Ford, Boyce, Tibbet (Magaro) and Chase (Caestecker) who team up with a French lady Chloe (Olliver) whose village has been overrun by Wafner (Asbaek) and his men. When Boyce learns the truth about what the Germans have been doing they must complete their mission and stop their experiments before they become the most dangerous army in the world.

 

Thoughts on Overlord

 

Characters – Boyce is the rookie soldier, considered weak by his unit, he does make rookie mistakes like many soldiers, we see most of the events through his eyes, unlike the rest of the soldiers he does want to make human decisions however dangerous they may seem. We do see how he evolves as a soldier through the film. Ford is the no nonsense explosive expert that knows the mission is more important than his life. He is born a soldier that does seem to have a past which leaves him in the unit even after the being on previous mission. Chloe is a French woman that has been terrorised by the German soldiers, she does everything she can to protect her younger brother, she sees hope in the American soldiers and helps them take on the Germans. Wafner is one of the German soldiers that targets Chloe, he goes to the new strength from the secrets being held within the lab. The supporting soldiers are good too mostly used for comedy.

PerformancesJovan Adepo in the leading role is very strong, he is an actor I hadn’t seen in anything before and his innocent nature plays perfectly. Wyatt Russell easily becomes the guy you want to watch the most, you can see he is following in his father’s footsteps with the performance he gives us here. Mathilde Olliver is good too with Pilou Asbaek making for a good villain.

StoryThe story here brings us into the idea that the Nazi’s were performing experiments on innocent and making them a new threat in World War II. We follow the soldiers that are trying to complete a mission which is the important part of the D-Day landing mission. The story does have a real-time feeling which gives everything an extra level of tension. In fairness everything around the experiment has been done before, the biggest plus however comes from the limited number of zombies being used which shows us just how the early parts are starting to come from the results. This is one of the most simple and effective storylines you will see and this should be praised.

Action/Horror/Mystery/Sci-FiThe action in this movie starts of with war conflict with a brilliant sequence on a plane before the units landing, we follow the usual until we get to the zombie side of things which involves plenty of brutal bloody fights. This plays well in the hands of the horror because we see just how brutal each fight becomes for each person involved, the mystery comes from the soldiers needing to learn what the German’s are up to inside the church and the big part is that it gets solved. With what they are doing we enter the world of sci-fi which becomes an easy go to for war films involving what the Nazi’s might have been up to.

SettingsThe film gives us realistic settings which show us the small town with the church that needs to have the radio tower destroyed, the woodland area gives cover and for any sort of experiment side of things, the settings fit in perfectly.

Special EffectsThe effects here are bloody covered crazy enjoyment, we do have certain CGI moments, mostly being see with how to stop the zombies and from the first visit to the lab.


Scene of the Movie –
Exploring the lab for the first time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I think we could have been given a moment of truth from why Ford was moved to this unit as certain moments suggest different rumours.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun bloody and over the top film that can be enjoyed by anyone in the horror world, it knows how to make the action feel like a popcorn film and that is all we ask for at times.

 

Overall: Truly enjoyable horror movie.

Rating