ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – P – Paranormal Investigation (2018)

Director: Franck Phelizon

Writer: Franck Phelizon, Marie Durand (Screenplay)

Starring: Andrei Indreies, Jean-Baptiste Heuet, Pierre Porquet, Jose Atuncar

 

Plot: When a young man becomes possessed after playing a Ouija game,a ghost hunter investigated the evil spirit dwelling within him.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lifeless Found Footage Film

 

Story: Paranormal Investigation starts when a group of friends play with a Ouija board, one of them Dylan becomes possessed acting strangely, the friends call in paranormal investigator Andrei to try and learn what has taken over their friend.

As the investigation continues, Andrei turns to a priest to perform an exorcism to free Dylan from the soul which has taken over his body.

 

Thoughts on Paranormal Investigation

 

Characters – Andrei is the man leading the investigation, he has worked in the paranormal field before with this latest investigation becoming the toughest of his career to date. Dylan is the man that has become possessed by the evil which has seen him start to act aggressive towards his loved ones.

PerformancesThe performances in the film are hard to judge, mostly because a lot of the film is just behind a camera.

StoryThe story follows a possession case which sees a paranormal investigator trying to get to the bottom of the case. The problems with this story start early because we have seen everything that happens before, we get nothing new and just follow the basics over everything that was done in the Paranormal Activity franchises. This is dull to watch without making us care about either of the main two characters.

HorrorThe horror in this film is slow and ineffective, the final act of the film is the closest we get to anything remotely scary and just lets us feeling let down.

SettingsThe film is set in one house which seems like it is in one location, the house is on a busy street which does work, showing us this could happen to anyone. The problem comes it just feels like we are watching a moody person potential possessed.

Special EffectsThe effects are poor through this film, we could have good moments, only it fails.


Scene of the Movie –
Most of the final act.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Final shot of the final act.

Final ThoughtsThis is just another poor found footage movie that just misses on every level it is trying to get to work.

 

Overall: Boring throughout.

Rating

 

 

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The Perfection (2019)

Director: Richard Shepard

Writer: Eric C Charmelo, Richard Shepard, Nicole Snyder (Screenplay)

Starring: Allison Williams, Logan Browning, Alaina Huffman, Steven Weber, Glynis Davies, Christina Jastrzembska

 

Plot: When troubled musical prodigy Charlotte (Allison Williams) seeks out Elizabeth (Logan Browning), the new star pupil of her former school, the encounter sends both musicians down a sinister path with shocking consequences.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: More Average than Perfect

 

Story: The Perfection starts when former musical prodigy Charlotte (Williams) returns to her mentor Anton (Weber) after spending time away to care for her dying mother, Charlotte is joined by the new star pupil Lizzie (Browning) and gets to remember the world musical academics once again.

The two start a relationship which sees them travelling around China, only for the journey to take a nightmare turn when Lizzie starts becoming sick, leading to the truth to come out about everything.

 

Thoughts on The Perfection

 

Characters – Charlotte is a former music prodigy that had to walk away because of her sick mother, once her mother has passed away, Charlotte looks to re-enter the world, turning to her former mentor Anton for another chance. Charlotte does have her own reason for returning that she keeps hidden from everybody else. Lizzie is the new biggest name in cello performing, she used to idolise Charlotte with music being the only thing that is important in her life. She does become sick which becomes the catalyst to everything that happens in the film. Anton is the mentor that has been able to produce countless numbers of brilliant celloist only his methods have never been seen until Charlotte returns. Paloma is the partner of Anton, she accepts his methods and shows that the couple are powerful in music.

PerformancesAllison Williams comes off the back of Get Out here, where she gives us a performance that is complicated to describe because certain moments are entertaining, while others are just poor. Logan Browning is the best of the cast with her role which does go through the biggest amounts of change through the film. Steven Weber gets his moments to shine, but it is too late to make a true impact in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a woman returning to the world of celloist where a sinister plan unfolds. We can’t get into too much detail without diving into spoiler territory here, we do go in directions you would expect which does please, only for it have one too many attempts to pull the rug from under the audience’s feet. We do end up going into serious themes which should be addressed on a large scale, rather than just tagged into the motivation. We also get to see the levels people will go to make themselves the star of specialist field in music.

HorrorThe horror elements in this film come from the sickness Lizzie is feeling and the motivation behind everything that happens, this sees graphic injuries once we get to them.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the public life the celloist perform in, the private house and the empty space where the biggest event changes the story.

Special EffectsThe effects here are mixed, because we have the injury detail which looks nasty in places, then we get a moment of CGI which just looks bad.


Scene of the Movie –
The sickness evolves.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The Rewind.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that does have plenty going on, it relies on trying to bend what the audience sees to surprise us, only to go to the well too many times to execute it strong enough.

 

Overall: Pushes the audience just too far.

Rating

 

 

Possession Diaries (2019)

Director: Juan Frausto

Writer: Juan Frausto, Rich Wealthy (Screenplay)

Starring: Katherine Munroe, James Russo, Johnny Ortiz, Eileen Dietz

 

Plot: The story follows Rebecca Clarkson, suffering from demonic attacks after playing with an Ouija board one night. Fearful people will think she’s crazy, or lying, she documents her experiences in a video blog on her webcam over the course of a week. In a series of escalating events, shadowing figures appearing and disappearing, the creepy factor grows. Soon the supernatural activity becomes violent, and Rebecca is repeatedly attacked by the demonic forces until finally, evil takes possession of her body. Will Rebecca be able to beat the Devil and protect her soul, or will she die, and lose her soul to hell fire?

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Another Forgettable Possession Movie

 

Story: Possession Diaries starts with Rebecca (Munroe) starting her own video diary to explain what she believes is demonic possession, she has tried seeking medical help, religious health and nobody has seen anything wrong with her, she can’t even escape by moving because it follows her.

When the strange events continue to happen, Rebecca fills in the diary after each one, with only her boyfriend Dante’s fleeting visits to support her.

 

Thoughts on Possession Diaries

 

Characters – Rebecca is the young woman that believes she is possessed, she has tried everything from medical and religious sides only to decide to record for the internet the events that follow, she is trying to solve the problems she is facing. She is front and centre in every scene, only she is meant to be an average everyday person, making a point that she isn’t an actress. Aunt Peggy has connections that could help with the supernatural around her life. Father Brien is the man that comes to try and perform an exorcism. Dante is the boyfriend that comes and goes even though he knows Rebecca is struggle, he is a bit of an asshole if we are honest here.

PerformancesKatherine Munroe is our main actor in this film, we need a strong performance from her to make this film work, she does struggle to  make us convinced with her performance, though it is meant to be an everyday person not an actresses which is just as difficult to play. The rest of the performance are an even bigger step back though with most being laughable.

StoryThe story follows a young lady that believes she is being possessed by a demonic force and decides to record the events in an attempt to find help. This should work for found footage because it would make sense if she just left the camera rolling without any cuts, she doesn’t which just confuses because a lot of events happen when she isn’t there or behind her. The possession films have been done to death now anyway, there is only so much you can do to stand out, we get the film trying to go against the rules by just telling the audience what the other films have done before. This does feel like the film is talking down to us to early which only takes away the interesting in caring about Rebecca’s story. the story doesn’t offer anything to the genre and ends up feeling like a largely forgettable story.

HorrorWhen it comes to the horror, well it is possession based, which isn’t always going to get the biggest fear moments.

SettingsThe film does keep the film in one location, Rebecca’s bedroom where she records the events, this would have worked better if we had kept a lot more around the webcam recording instead of jumping to normal camera work.

Special EffectsThe effects are low budget, we can forgive moments of weakness here, we don’t get many and the ones we get work well enough.


Scene of the Movie –
Ummm nope.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Dante, just Dante in general.

Final ThoughtsThis is just another possession movie that gives us nothing new and just ends up feeling bland and boring.

 

Overall: Just another bad possession film.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – P – Professor Marston and the Wonder Women (2017)

Director: Angela Robinson

Writer: Angela Robinson (Screenplay)

Starring: Luke Evans, Rebecca Hall, Bella Heathcote, Connie Britton, Monica Giordano, JJ Field, Oliver Platt

 

Plot: The story of psychologist William Moulton Marston, and his polyamorous relationship with his wife and their mistress who would inspire his creation of the superheroine, Wonder Woman.


Tagline – Ever wonder?

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lots of Science, Not Enough Wonder Woman

 

Story: Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman starts as Professor William Marston (Evans) is explaining the motivation behind the Wonder Woman character to Josette Frank (Britton) and the rest of the board. We dive back to 1928 where William a Harvard professor along with his wife Elizabeth (Hall) who selects Olive Byrne (Heathcote) to help with the latest research project.

The research includes studying relationships and social commentary with the idea to help create the lie-detector and only ends up help create the comic book character we know after going for a forbidden relationship.

 

Thoughts on Professor Marston and the Wonder Woman

 

Characters – Professor William Marston is telling the story about his creation of the Wonder Woman character which takes us back to his time at Harvard where he was creating the lie-detector, he has a wonderful relationship with his wife that the two often search for more in love. Elizabeth Marston is just as educated at William, but doesn’t get the accredited title, she is fighting for this right while exploring the research they are working on together. Olive Byrne is the student the two take a liking to, they invite her into their research before getting involved in an even more complicated and forbidden relationship.

PerformancesLuke Evans in the leading role as the storyteller going on to show us just how desperate he is to succeed in his field. Rebecca Hall as the movement supporter shows strength throughout too while Bella Heathcote is great too turning from innocent to forward thinking woman as the story progresses.

StoryThe story follows William Marston, the man who created the Wonder Woman character and his unconventional relationship with his wife and mistress. The story here does have serious pacing issues because we spend well over half the film focusing on the build up to the relationship between the three and not enough time focusing on the creation of Wonder Woman, sure parts of the film are surrounding the ideas of Wonder Woman, but watching the fight to create and continuing publishing the comic book icon would have been a lot more interesting to watch.

BiopicThe biopic side of this film does show how William Marston went from Harvard professor to comic book creator of one of the most iconic characters in comic book history.

SettingsThe settings used in the film show us the different time period from the late 20’s to the mid 40’s, nothing looks out of place for what we are telling, though we do jump the timeline quickly.


Scene of the Movie –
The Rise of Wonder Woman.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too much time building the relationship.

Final ThoughtsThis is a biopic that shows us just how the character of Wonder Woman came to life, it shows the unconventional relationship the creator had with his wife and lover which saw them shunted in life but did end up bring the strongest female comic book figure to life.

 

Overall: Strong but misguided biopic.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – P – Police Story 3 (1992)

Director: Stanley Tong

Writer: Edward Tang, Fibe Ma, Lee Wai Yee (Screenplay)

Starring: Jackie Chan, Michelle Yeoh, Maggie Cheung, Kenneth Tsang, Wah Yuen, Bill Tung

 

Plot: A Hong Kong detective teams up with his female Red Chinese counterpart to stop a Chinese drug czar.


Tagline – Meet the cop that can’t be stopped!

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Jackie Chan Movie

 

Story: Police Story 3 starts when a Hong Kong gangster Panther (Yuen) is rumoured to broken out of a Chinese prison, Inspector Ka Kui Chan (Chan) is sent to China to work with the authorities, Inspector Jessica Yang (Yeoh). He must break Panther out and escort him back to Hong Kong so he can face his own countries law.

When back in his home city, Chan must work with Yang as the crime boss Chaibat (Tsang) is preparing to free his wife from prison, while trying to keep his cover from his girlfriend May (Cheung).

 

Thoughts on Police Story 3

 

Characters – Inspector Ka Kui Chan (or Kevin in the dubbed version) he is considered a super cop in Hong Kong and must go undercover in China to bring down a gangster, he can handle himself in a fight even if certain moments it looks like luck over judgement. Inspector Jessica Yang is working for the Chinese police and works with Ka as she looks to use her strict style which clashes with the laidback nature of Ka. May is the girlfriend of Ka Kui and she is the one that blows his cover because the two have no form of communication. Chaibat is the gangster that is trying to get his wife out of prison, he runs Hong Kong and taking him down is just what is needed for the city.

PerformancesJackie Chan is one of those actors you can watch do anything, he is committed to his art form and this shows that he has a little bit of everything, from his pure energy in the action, but his comic timing too. Michelle Yeoh showed us that she was going to become a big action star in this film, handling the comedy just as well as the action. Maggie Cheung is mostly wasted here, her character doesn’t have much to do, while Kenneth Tsang fills the villainous role without any problems.

StoryThe story follows two cops from different countries working together to try and take down a big crime group who find themselves split between the two countries. We get the undercover idea here which works well, the awkward chemistry works well, thee action blends into the story taking our attention away from the simple side of everything involved. This does end up being by the books, we know they will get made and will be forced into action police wouldn’t consider and by the end we will see the cop come out on top with the criminal needing to face him in a final battle. The twists are not going to shock and the major turning point comes from somebody else’s stupidity.

Action/Comedy/CrimeWe are going into a Jackie Chan movie, we know the action is going to be big fight sequences and crazy stunts, this hits all the required expectations for this movie, certain stunts or fights get the laughs required too, which surprises with the number of funny moments that don’t take away from the action.

SettingsThe film keep the settings ready for the set pieces, we have the big cities, the working prisoners and the hideouts, everything you would expect to see.


Scene of the Movie –
Train sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The badly dubbed version shown on TV.

Final ThoughtsThis is a purely entertaining Jackie Chan movie, it has the action we would expect, the comedy that works without trying to be more than it needs to be.

 

Overall: Enjoyable action film.

Rating