Spooks: The Greater Good (2015)

Director: Bharat Nalluri

Writer: Jonathan Brackley, Sam Vincent (Screenplay)

Starring: Kit Harington, Peter Firth, Jennifer Ehle, David Harewood, Lara Pulver, Tim McInnerny, Tuppence Middleton

 

Plot: When a terrorist escapes custody during a routine handover, Will Holloway must team with disgraced MI5 Intelligence Chief Harry Pearce to track him down before an imminent terrorist attack on London.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Should Have Stayed on TV

 

Story: Spooks: The Greater Good starts when Harry Pearce (Firth) must make the impossible decision to release a known terrorist Hamza Ahmadi (Mallassi) to rescue civilians, this shows massive failure on behalf of MI5.

When Harry goes missing Geraldine Maltby (Ehle), Oliver Mace (McInnerny) and Francis Warrender (Harewood) bring in former spy Will Holloway (Harington) to locate him after he has faked his own disappearance.

Will finds himself playing the middle man working for Harry but under MI5 to work an operation to stop the terrorist from taking London into his own terror target.

 

Thoughts on Spooks: The Greater Good

 

Characters/PerformanceWill being the lead character is the guy who clearly wasn’t meant to be an agent because he is filled with terrible decisions. Harry does come from the TV version so I think if you wanted the show you would understand more but in this he just comes off shady. The rest of the characters do all come off feeling like generic spy TV show character.

Performance wise Harington does well but never reaches the performance levels that Keifer Sutherland, Matt Damon or any of the Bond actors give us. Peter Firth is fine but you can see he is better for TV than film.

StoryThe story feels like a poor version of an episode of 24, because if you haven’t seen the TV show you wouldn’t know the bigger picture going on. This story feels all over the place because the story never reaches the intensity level needed for a film of this subject. It also drags in most places as you just lose interest in what is going on.

Action/ThrillerThe action is simple and never tests with the thrilling side of the story not reaching any strong levels in the film.

SettingsLondon should be a great setting but everything happens too conventionally for how the story end up unfolding.

Special EffectsWe have few and they are fine without being a CGI heavy film.

Final ThoughtsIf you want to see this film watch the show first you might understand it more or just watch 24 because it works in my opinion on a better level.

 

Overall: Slow, confusing and just not reaching the levels it should.

Rating

 

 

Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017)

Director: Anthony C Ferrante

Writer: Scotty Mullen (Screenplay) Thunder Levin (Characters)

Starring: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Cassandra Scerbo, Billy Barratt, Yanet Garcia, Porcha Williams

 

Plot: With much of America lying in ruins, the rest of the world braces for a global sharknado, Fin and his family must travel around the world to stop them.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Like it Should Be

 

Story: Sharknado 5: Global Swarming starts as Nova (Scerbo) has gone full adventurer, searching for answer to why the Sharknados appear, her latest adventure finds her in England where she needs Fin (Ziering) to go full Raiders of the Lost Ark parody. This only releases the deadliest of all Sharknados which is now attacking London.

Defeating the storm in London, Fin’s son Gil (Barratt) gets sucked into the storm and Fin joins NATO in the latest defence efforts against the storm that has become a global killer.

 

Thoughts on Sharknado 5: Global Swarming

 

Characters – Fin is still the hero, NATO turn to him for help when the Sharknados appear again, but this time Fin is involved to save family using all his skills. April is still now advanced android skilled but now she has upgrades when it comes to fighting the sharknadoes. Nova has returned now and has created her own defence league against Sharknados, studying them to uncover the truth about how to stop them. We have a host of characters appearing in the film to help along the way.

PerformanceBy now we have come to love the Sharknado films for the performance that are not the best, we see everything we expect in the performance which fit the style of the film, this gives us a chance to play cameo bingo with the rest of the cast.

StoryThe story here has jumped the shark but I felt the last on went slightly too far, this one works on the levels you need it too. We have a world tour of shark hunting to stop the sharknados which gets extra moments of laughter. This story will never make sense but is one you can switch your brain off and enjoy.

Horror/Sci-FiThe genres involved here work for the film as they use the horror of sharks in tornadoes and a sci-fi story show how over the top the idea is.

SettingsThis time we have a world tour which does add to the comedy involved in the film as we get to see how culture iconic locations can be used as defensive weapons.

Special EffectsThis is a sci-fi film, you already know the special effects you are getting so just enjoy the fact they add to the comedy.

Scene of the Movie – Sharkzilla

That Moment That Annoyed Me In England they edit a lot of the kills out which leaves gaps in parts of the story.

Final ThoughtsIf you are watching the 5th one of these you know what you are getting yourself into and this is one of the better sequels as we get to have plenty of fun this time around.

 

Overall: Great addition to the franchise.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Soulmate (2013)

soulmateDirector: Axelle Carolyn

Writer: Axelle Carolyn (Screenplay)

Starring: Anna Walton, Tom Wisdom, Tanya Myers, Nick Brimble, Emma Cleasby, Guy Armitage

 

Plot: Widowed Audrey retreats to an isolated Welsh cabin after a failed suicide attempt, to recuperate. Still haunted by the tragic death of her husband and struggling with her psychosis, she begins to hear strange noises.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow

 

Story: Soulmate starts as we see widowed Audrey (Walton) move to a small Welsh town to escape her life and get over her own suicide attempt. Being welcomed in by the caretaker Theresa (Myers) we see how small this town really is.

When Audrey starts hearing sounds around the cottage she finds herself face to face with Douglas (Wisdom) a spirit living in the house after his own heartbreak led to his suicide. Audrey starts to try and learn more about what happened to Douglas as the two become friends through their nightly conversations.

Soulmate tells us a ghost story which looks at the two characters who have been through the same loss but have had different outcomes to their suicide attempts. The story starts by trying to build tension only for it just end up being friends chatting which is a huge disappoint. The problem with this film is that we get a build up for a suspenseful horror only to become friendship conversation between living and the dead.

 

Actor Review

 

Anna Walton: Audrey is a struggling widow who has tried to take her own life with her grief. She takes a trip away where she can deal with her own problems through her music, but when she meets the ghost of the former owner of the home who has dealt with similar issues. Anna is a solid lead that we can see the side effects of her loss throughout.

Tom Wisdom: Douglas is the ghost living in the house that has been desperate for contact with a living being which Audrey can give him. He turns into a dangerous spirit who doesn’t want to let Audrey leave. Tom is solid but because of the design of the character we lack that special moment for his character.

Tanya Myers: Theresa is a caretaker for the property who has a connection with the house and the spirit inside. Tanya is solid but I do feel we needed slightly more from the character.

Support Cast: Soulmate doesn’t have the biggest supporting cast with odd scenes from Tanya husband and otherwise mostly voices. This does work to the films advantage with the smaller cast.

Director Review: Axelle CarolynAxelle gives us a solid but not scary ghost story.

 

Horror: Soulmate doesn’t reach any real horror levels with the early jump scares not being anything before it just turns into conversations.

Mystery: Soulmate does make us wonder about what happened to Douglas in the house.

Settings: Soulmate keeps the settings within the country side or inside the cottage which shows us where the characters are in the bigger picture of the world.
Special Effects
: Soulmate has good effects when needed to show Douglas first appear.

Suggestion: Soulmate is one I think can be watched late night for a horror fix. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: Not just being a ghost story.

Worst Part: No scares will disappoint people.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

Tagline: She Thought She Was Alone

 

Overall: Slow moving ghost story without any scares.

Ratingcard

 

 

Sleight (2016)

Director: J.D. Dillard

Writer: J.D. Dillard, Alex Theurer (Screenplay)

Starring: Jacob Latimore, Seychelle Gabriel, Dule Hill, Storm Reid, Sasheer Zamata, Michael Villar, Brandon Johnson, Cameron Esposito

 

Plot: A young street magician (Jacob Latimore) is left to care for his little sister after their parents passing, and turns to illegal activities to keep a roof over their heads. When he gets in too deep, his sister is kidnapped, and he is forced to use his magic and brilliant mind to save her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Throughout

 

Story: Sleight starts as we follow young street magician Bo (Latimore), Bo looks after his little sister Tina (Reid) after their mother has died. At night to make money he is a drug dealer for Angelo (Hill) and he uses all his tricks to stay one step ahead of people.

When Bo gets to see the darker side of the drug dealing game as he learns just how territorial Angelo is, forcing him into actions he would never imagine even though this is the only option for him to make enough money to give his sister the future he wants for her. We are left to see is Bo can get himself out of this world before it is too late.

 

Thoughts on Sleight

 

Characters – Bo is a young street magician, he takes care of his little sister the best he can which means he has become a drug dealer on the side, but when he starts to look for a way out he only finds himself needing to use all his skills to leave the world. Holly is the new girlfriend that walks into Bo’s life, she offers him support through the difficult decision he finds himself in. Angelo is the drug kingpin in the city that Bo works for, he starts off being a friend or father figure for Bo but he soon shows he darker side when it comes to people crossing him.

PerformanceJacob Latimore is great in this leading role, we manage to understand every emotion he finds himself needing to go through during the movie, Seychelle Gabriel is a good in the supporting role but you do feel in places we could have more from the character, Dule Hill is an actor I only know from comedy most Psych, but he shows he can pull off serious in this film being a threat you didn’t see coming.

StoryWe have seen the story of an innocent kid/young man falling into the drug dealing world before, but not many films have shown us a character in Bo that had little choice, while the consequences he faces are only he own doing. Part of myself wonders why he went on with his decision because he seems like he is making the money to make ends meet and follow his magician dreams too. While I do enjoy where this film went I did kind of wish we would see more from the magician side of everything.

Action/Sci-FiThe action side of the film does come from anything on the drug dealing side of the story, while the sci-fi comes from the magic and how it is all achieved.

SettingsLA makes for a wonderful setting to show us just how easy it could be to get caught up in a drug circle, he may not be using but he is selling and dealing with the consequences involved.

Scene of the Movie – Getting Tina back.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It feels like he didn’t need to do what he did to cause everything.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good look at the drug world people can be dragged into, it shows us responsibility that Bo needed to face and most importantly how far people will go for an art form.

 

Overall: Enjoyable movie well worth watching.

Rating

 

 

Double Feature Weekend – Shock Treatment (1981)

Director: Jim Sharman

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

Starring: Jessica Harper, Cliff De Young, Richard O’Brien, Patricia Quinn, Charles Gray, Ruby Wax, Nell Campbell, Rik Mayall

 

Plot: Janet and Brad become contestants on a game show… but wind up as captives instead.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Way Before It’s Time

 

Story: Shock Treatment starts as Brad (de Young) and Janet (Harper) are part of a marriage television show where Brad gets taken away for treatment through Dr Cosmo (O’Brien) and Dr Nation (Quinn).

With each day becoming a new day on the show Janet leaves Brad in the hands of the doctors while she considers her options.

When Brad finds, himself becoming the face of a fast food franchise Janet learns that they have become trapped in this twisted world with no escape as her star power continues to grow.

 

Thoughts on Shock Treatment

 

Characters/PerformanceReturning us to Janet and Brad is an interesting idea but they both seem very different people, Janet gets drawn to the idea of becoming a big star leaving people behind to do this, Brad spends most of the film tied up which doesn’t give him a lot of time to do anything. The Doctors are good without being anything special which is what could be said for the rest of the characters too.

Performance wise, Jessica Harper is great in the leading role but it would be fair to say none of the other stars really stand out on the level she reaches through this film.

StoryThe story is in places complicated, but it does poke fun at reality television which for the time was something unknown, watching it now and seeing how people look at success we do get to see a huge difference in what people think. On the other hand, this is so far away from the Rocky Picture Show we don’t need to use the same characters.

Comedy/MusicalThis doesn’t reach that many levels of comedy but I do think the musical numbers are an improvement from the Rocky Horror.

SettingsThe whole film is set inside a studio showing us just how Janet rose and fell from celebrity status which feels like the television show we are watching.

Special EffectsWe don’t have many special effects here once again but when needed they are good.

Final ThoughtsThis does take the characters in a direction you wouldn’t expect and has fun poking fun at television shows but otherwise it isn’t anything special.

 

Overall: Strange sequel with little connection.

Rating