Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Raze (2013)

razeDirector: Josh C Waller

Writer: Robert Beaucage (Screenplay) Robert Beaucage, Kenny Gage, Josh C Waller (Story)

Starring: Zoe Bell, Rachel Nichols, Tracie Thomas, Bruce Thomas, Bailey Anne Borders, Rebecca Marshall, Allene Quincy, Doug Jones

 

Plot: Raze, a horror/action film, focuses on two abducted women & 50 other women who are forced to fight each other using their bare hands.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Messy Fighter Film

 

Story: Raze starts as we watch Sabrina (Bell) and Jamie (Nichols) kidnapped and taken to remote building along with 50 other women who have been whittled down to 22 to fight to the death by Joseph (Jones).

The women are forced to fight or their loved ones will pay the price and we are left to wonder who will make it out alive.

Raze comes off as a fight for survival film which goes along the lines of an Unleashed just without the passion behind any of the character’s decisions or making us care about anyone in the film. This comes from introducing too many characters and having no structure to when they fight. In the end this has no shocks and the twists come off as complete fails by the end of the film.

 

Actor Review

 

Zoe Bell: Sabrina is the tough silent woman who is easy to turn into a deadly weapon. As all the women are fighting for something Sabrina’s battle is to save her daughter from these people. Zoe is solid but doesn’t really carry the film enough for the lead in it.

Doug Jones: Joseph runs the fighting competition and is very proud of his work hosting it. He keeps his fighters in check while keeping his clients happy with the fights. Doug is good with his few scenes but needs to be a much more impactful character for the story.

Tracie Thomas: Teresa is the eldest of the fighters who tries to keep the others calm but she is just as deadly in the combat room. Tracie is good for a supporting role.

Support Cast: Raze has a string of supporting characters who are all disposable fighters with weak generic back story to hopefully make us care about what is going on.

Director Review: Josh C WallerJosh gives us a film that has more potential but really just ends up falling very flat with unlikable characters throughout.

 

Action: Raze has very basic fighting action with nothing really reaching the brutality it could have.

Horror: Raze doesn’t have the elements of horror to become scary in anyway.

Settings: Raze keeps the settings looking very raw throughout to show the conditions the women have to fight in.
Special Effects
: Raze has good effects when it comes to the kills even if a lot is camera work.

Suggestion: Raze is really one you could avoid because it really just comes off messy in places. (Avoid)

 

Best Part: The final act is good.

Worst Part: Fighting choices have no really decision about them.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

Tagline: No man could survive this.

 

Overall: Messy action horror that lacks any moment of real shocks.

Ratingcard

 

 

Double Feature Weekend – The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975)

Director: Jim Sharman

Writer: Jim Sharman, Richard O’Brien (Screenplay) Richard O’Brien (Original Musical)

Starring: Tim Curry, Susan Sarandon, Barry Bostwick, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Nell Campbell, Jonathan Adams

 

Plot: A newly engaged couple have a breakdown in an isolated area and must pay a call to the bizarre residence of Dr. Frank-N-Furter.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cult Classic

 

Story: The Rocky Horror Picture Show starts as Brad Majors (Bostwick) and Janet Weiss (Sarandon) get engaged as they were heading home they get trapped in a storm. Seeking refuge the couple find themselves in a mysterious castle full and strange and colourful characters hosted by Dr Frank-N-Furter (Curry).

Tonight, is a special night for the Doctor as he is about to bring his Creation to life in full Frankenstein style. The longer Brad and Janet spend in the castle the stranger the night becomes but one they will never forget.

 

Thoughts on The Rocky Horror Picture Show

 

Characters/PerformanceDr Frank-N-Furter is bar far one of the most iconic characters in musical and film, leading the transsexual movement in the main stream, he is another version of Dr Frankenstein but one with extreme sexual motivations. Brad is the newly engaged man who feels out of place in the party but grows to respect the choice. Janet is Brad’s new fiancé who enjoys the sexually driven party more than Brad. The rest of the characters all add to the style of the film.

Performance wise, Tim Curry does steal the show with his eccentric performance that you can see he fully commits to, Sarandon and Bostwick are great as the new engaged couple put in the awkward situation with the rest of the cast all giving us the performance we need to see.

StoryThe story is easy to follow like you would imagine with musical and with the narration does make certain things easy. The idea of staying at a strange castle where you could end up involved in a mad party hosted by a crazy scientist. This is a unique story that does have moments from the Frankenstein story involved.

Comedy/MusicalThe comedy is used to make this story come off fun with the musical numbers throughout.

SettingsThe castle makes for a wonderful setting full of the gothic style and the scientific laboratory used to make the creation.

Special EffectsThe special effects are few are far between but all come off when they are needed.

Final ThoughtsI knew this was a cult movie for years but never got around to see it, I found this exactly what I was expecting, unique, crazy and a stand-alone special event.

 

Overall: This is a true cult classic film.

Rating

 

 

Resident Evil: Vendetta (2017)

Director: Takanori Tsujimoto

Writer: Makoto Fukami (Screenplay) Joe McClean (Adaptation)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Erin Cahill, Kevin Dorman, Jason Faunt, Matthew Mercer, Arnie Pantoja, Alexander Polinsky

 

Plot: Chris Redfield enlists the help of Leon S. Kennedy and Rebecca Chambers to stop a death merchant, with a vengeance, from spreading a deadly virus in New York.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Addition to the Animated Resident Evils

 

Story: Resident Evil: Vendetta starts as we see our soldier Chris Redfield searching a mansion for missing persons but the mission goes terribly wrong when the mansion is filled with the infected led by mercenary Glenn Arias who has a grudge with the system.

Chris teams up with Rebecca Chambers a scientist that has found a cure for the new virus being released in different areas of the world. The pair turn to Leon Kennedy to join in the battle against Arias, giving him a chance to finish everything once and for all.

 

Thoughts on Resident Evil: Vendetta

 

Characters Chris Redfield has been fighting the infected for years, he always has a trick up his sleeve when it comes into battling them and now his leadership skills put the team into battle. Leon Kennedy returns once more to put an end to the infection spreading around the world, the same infection he has been battling for years. Rebecca Chambers is a scientist that has discovered a cure for the infection but she doesn’t know everything. Glenn Arias is a man looking for vengeance for the death of his wife to be and now he has all the cards on the table to take down the people that ruined his life. I believe these four characters placed together make this feel like the game more than the live action films.

StoryThe story does feel like it could be part of the video game world created, we have three different good characters looking to battle one big bad with obstacles along the way. This story is a good watch and easily more entertaining and complete than the live action films (which I do have a soft spot for). One glaring story problem is the smart scientist is just a damsel in distress which disappoints in a game world that has created strong female characters.

Action/Horror/MysteryThe action is all good, not quite as big as Damnation but a lot closer quarters. The motorbike sequences are both strange and delicious to watch though. I would say this film hits many of the horror marks needed but does try very hard with the opening sequence. The mystery is easier to solve too but it doesn’t feel like a problem here.

SettingsMoving the biggest action sequence to New York City instead of the fantasy worlds shows us how the infection is starting to become a bigger threat.

AnimationThe animation does look great and does feel like a series of cut scenes from the games.

Final ThoughtsIf you are a fan of the Resident Evil games and or the animated films you will enjoy this outing but I would suggest not starting here.

 

Overall: Enjoyable animated movie well worth watching.

Rating

 

 

Original v Remake Weekend – Rollerball (2002)

rllerDirector: John McTiernan

Writer: Larry Ferguson, John Pogue (Screenplay) William Harrison (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Klein, Jean Reno, LL Cool J, Rebecca Romijn, Naveen Andrews Oleg Takarov

 

Plot: The big thing in 2005 is a violent sport which can have some pretty serious consequences… like dying.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Social Commentary 101

 

Story: Rollerball starts as we see aimless extreme sports lover Jonathan Cross (Klein) taking part in a boarding race through the streets of San Francisco only to be saved by his old friend Marcus Ridley (Cool J) who offers him a chance to take part in Rollerball in Central Asia where he can make a fortune for a couple of seasons work.

The sport is mostly hosted in Kazakhstan which while isn’t related to the film this does sum up big sports being offered major deals in Asia in the likes of football and cricket. Anyway, back to the story, Jonathan has become an overnight success in the sport and new favourite for owner Alexis Petrovich (Reno) with the sponsorship money pouring through Jonathan becomes the star for the whole crowd.

When the sport continues to draw a large audience with the violence we get to see just how deadly this sport can become as Jonathan’s popularity sky rockets he gets to live the life of luxury, fast cars, beautiful women and parties, but looking past this life Jonathan can see the problems within the country and with the sport he has become the star off.

 

Thoughts on Rollerball

 

Characters/PerformanceJonathan being made out to be the naïve extreme sports player works for this version of the film because he is the one that can see the problems in the sport he is the star of but isn’t able to take on what could easily be a dictator for the nation involved. Marcus is the best friend in the sport that is wiser to the country as well as happier to turn away from the problems he has seen. Aurora is your standard love interest with a dark past where she finds from the world. Alexis is the all powerful owner of the sport and what feel like the country that is desperate to be as rich as possible.

Performance wise Chris Klein does struggle to be the lead this film needs in places, but does pull the naïve side off well just not the action man lead. LL Cool J is fun as the best friend role while Rebecca Romijn does work for the love interest. Jean Reno does a good job as the power-hungry owner too. The rest of the supporting cast are all good without being scene stealers.stars

StoryThe story here is different in enough places from the original to only really use the sport as the remaining elements from the original. This time the sport has only just started to take off, the money is in it but the story focuses on the idea the sport is about to become the biggest sport in the world because of the nearly acquired blood lust of the audience, with the star player seeing this and wanting out and to stop this change to the sport. We get the feeling the rest of the world gets when they see the billionaires in similar countries spending money on sports when the rest of the country is struggle to make ends meet.

Action/Sci-Fi/SportsThe action is bigger and bloodier than the original film which shows how the fans will be drawn to the blood sport. The sports side is all entertaining for the fans.

SettingsThe settings are based in Asia showing how that is the new future for high paying sports owned by corrupt billionaire.

Special EffectsThe special effects for this film are all good but the night shot tries to be different and looks very difficult to watch.genre

Final ThoughtsI do have a personal soft spot for this movie and I can see why people don’t like it, but this is one film you can switch your brain off and enjoy the mad over the top entertainment.

 

Overall: Simple and enjoyable sports action movie.

Ratingrating

 

 

Original v Remake Weekend – Rollerball (1975)

rollerballDirector: Norman Jewison

Writer: William Harrison (Screenplay)

Starring: James Caan, John Houseman, Maud Adams, John Beck, Moses Gunn, Pamela Hensley

 

Plot: In a corporate-controlled future, an ultra-violent sport known as Rollerball represents the world, and one of its powerful athletes is out to defy those who want him out of the game.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Entertaining Sci-Fi Sports Film

 

Story: Rollerball starts as we get to see how the sport of Rollerball is played with the star of the league Jonathan E (Caan) and his team picking up another win in the league. The sport of Rollerball is a mix of roller-skating, motorcycling and fighting diving into the violent desires of the audience.

Star player of the Houston team Jonathan E has the attention of the owner of the sport Bartholomew (Houseman)) who will be giving Jonathan his own show looking at his career as the team prepares for semi-finals of the season.

When the powers that be want to change the face of the sport they want Jonathan to retire from the game for the greater good for the world. When Jonathan doesn’t want follow through the league gets new deadlier rules Jonathan and his team must overcome the odds against them to win the title and bring down the corporations running the league.

 

Thoughts on Rollerball

 

Characters/PerformanceJonathan E is the star of a world-famous sport, he teaches up and coming players the game, while being a brilliant face for the sport for the media. He winning mentality is a threat to the people who run the sport but he will fight for trophies and his team mate’s lives. Bartholomew is your typical businessman owner of the league who wants to dictate how the league is run as well as not having anyone bigger than the sport.

Performance wise James Caan is great in the lead role showing the physical side of the sport as well as the brains to want to understand the bigger picture. John Houseman works as the businessman character too showing how corrupt the sport can become. Looking into the rest of the cast they all give good performances too.stars

StoryThe story shows once more a future world where people have found a dangerous sport to turn too while the rest of the world is under control from the corporate leaders. This at the core of the story is the look into one man having to stand up against these people to give the people of the world hope for the future that they won’t be controlled by the corporations.

Action/Sci-Fi/Sports – The action is big and grows through each game on the level of violence being taken into the game, we are kept on the edge through each game to see what the next big hit will be. The sci-fi side of the story comes from where the world is now turning to a sport to get them through their days.

SettingsThe Rollerball arena is a brilliant creation that shows just how deadly the sport can be, we also have plenty of futuristic looking settings showing us how this future will look.

Special EffectsAll the effects are well created to show the brutality of the sport with each game becoming more violent.genre

Final ThoughtsThis film is long and does play into the idea of corporate fear taking over the world nicely, the sport is entertaining to watch with the violent nature it has making it all come together to be an entertaining film.

 

Overall: This is a film that stands up there with the best of the sci-fi world created.

Ratingrating