Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)

Director: Jonathan Liebesman

Writer: Sheldon Turner (Screenplay) Sheldon Turner, David J Schow (Story)

Starring: Jordana Brewster, Taylor Handley, Diora Baird, Matt Bomer, R Lee Ermey, Andrew Bryniarski, Lee Tergesen

 

Plot: Before being sent to serve in Vietnam, two brothers and their girlfriends take one last road trip, but when they get into an accident, a terrifying experience will take them to a secluded house of horrors, with a chainsaw-wielding killer.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gore Over Substances

 

Story: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning starts as we learn more about the origin of Leatherface (Bryniarski), how he was a misunderstand young man with mental problems that loses his job at the slaughter house once it goes out of business. We learn how this becomes the turning point for his family. On the other side of the story we have Eric (Bomer) returning to the Vietnam war along with his brother Dean (Handley) who is reluctant to return. We also have their girlfriends Chrissie (Brewster) and Bailey (Baird) on a journey across America.

After an altercation with a robber, the friends find themselves targets of the Hewitt family as Uncle Charlie now pretending to be a Sheriff and Leatherface look to make sure they have enough food to survive, human flesh.

 

Thoughts on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

 

Characters/PerformanceChrissie is take her boyfriend across country to reenlist in the army. She ends up on her own most of this film as she searches for a way to save her friends, before we know she will be involved in the final chase. Dean is the younger brother of the two who doesn’t want to go to war but hasn’t told his brother until this trip. Eric is looking to return to war with his brother this time and is the one most likely to stand up against the evil.  Bailey is the other girlfriend, that is about as much of her character we get. Leatherface is still simple minded here with Uncle Hewitt being the major part of the bringing the victims to the home, we also learn his origin story as it is a twist in the last version.

Performance wise, Let’s all be honest here, the characters are written horrendously so most of the actors didn’t stand a chance of giving a good performance in this film.

StoryAn origin of Leatherface, did we need one, well we got one, so deal with it. The story is basically the same as the original just without interesting characters, any scares or tension. We have group of friends get captured must fight to survive against leatherface and his family. So here it is nothing new, nothing original.

Horror This is all about the gore, we get little to no shocks in this film and the iconic killer is reduced to subplot to a bigger picture of a family.

SettingsWe get the iconic house, sure but otherwise nothing of any note here in the settings.

Special EffectsThe gore and effects do work well for shock value but otherwise it just becomes about making them look good.

Final ThoughtsThis is one from the franchise that falls flat on its face, you get little tension through any scene and are left wondering why this got made.

 

Overall: Disappointing addition to a much loved franchise.

Rating

 

 

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Tattooist (2007)

Director: Peter Burger

Writer: Matthew Grainger, Jonathan King (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Behr, Mia Blake, David Fane, Robbie Magasiva, Ian Vincent, Caroline Cheong, Nathaniel Lees, Michael Hurst

 

Plot: A young artist unknowingly plays a role in releasing a deadly spirit as he attempts to learn tatau, the Samoan tradition of tattooing.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Idea for Horror

 

Story: The Tattooist starts as we follow Jake Sawyer (Behr) a young tattoo artist who wants to learn the ways of the cultures behind tattooing, leaving Singapore he learns of an older way of printing a tattoo. Heading to New Zealand he wants to continue to learn about the Samoan technique.

When Jake accidentally touches a piece of equipment used in printing the tattoos he finds his hand infected by something that seems to spread and doesn’t clean off. Travelling around with his guide and friend Sina (Blake) he Jake gets embraced by some within the Samoan culture but others want him out, but he needs to learn what is causing the infection in his hand, as the people he has tattooed are being consumed by their tattoos.

 

Thoughts on The Tattooist

 

Characters/PerformanceJake is the young tattoo artist who wants to learn each and every culture behind the art of tattooing, he finds himself learning something he shouldn’t going against the culture he has been studying. Sina is the guide and love interest of Jake that takes Jake into the world of Samoan tattooing.

Performance wise, well this is the first of the negatives, I didn’t think anybody in this film shines to any level to show any fear or believable dialogue in the interaction the characters have.

StoryThe story is one that comes off very interesting, diving into the beliefs of culture behind the art of tattooing. The idea that we dive into the ancient beliefs is a huge plus, along with how the spirit comes for the victims. Where the story does fall short is within the inconsistencies with how the spirit acts toward finishing everything off. We also have issues with how certain people never truly follow what they believe when it comes to the tattooing.

HorrorCertain moments do come off horrific in places as we see how the people get consumed by the tattoo but otherwise it all comes off quite soft in the end.

SettingsThe settings show the different cultures Jake is learning about, which is all good but nothing becomes iconic for what is going on.

Special EffectsThe special effects also come off slightly weak as you can see the CGI going on through the killing scenes.

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice idea for horror as mixing the true culture behind a belief with horror can come off very effective, but other times I can miss when it comes to the final product.

 

Overall: Easy to watch but slightly weak horror film.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Taking of Deborah Logan (2014)

takingDirector: Adam Robitel

Writer: Adam Robitel, Gavin Heffernan (Screenplay)

Starring: Jill Larson, Anne Ramsay, Michelle Ang, Brett Gentile, Jeremy DeCarlos, Ryan Cutrona, Tonya Bludsworth

 

Plot: An elderly woman battling Alzheimer’s disease agrees to let a film crew document her condition, but what they discover is something far more sinister going on.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Shock Filled Horror

 

Story: The Taking of Deborah Logan starts as the film crew Mia Medine (Ang), Gavin (Gentile) and cameraman Luis (DeCarlos) head out to record the Logan family with Sarah (Ramsay) arranging it all for the interview of Deborah (Larson). The concept of the documentary film is to study how Alzheimer’s diseases effects the victim and the family around them. When even stranger events than the effects of the disease start happening, the doctors are just as confused what is causing the problems with Deborah’s behaviour. As the days and night continue the events become strange and even more interesting as a link to a past unsolved case could hold the truth to what has been going on.

The Take of Deborah Logan is a found footage film that makes sense for the recording to continue as it starts off as a documentary about illness and solving the situation once it hits the supernatural side of everything. The horror side of the story comes through very strong throughout the film as we see just how far into the truth we go and the ending will leave you even more shocked than you could have imagined.

Jill Larson is truly terrifying in the title role with Anne Ramsay giving us a good performance as the one trying to care for her mother. Michelle Ang is good as the journalist looking for a story that actually cares for the family enough to risk her own life which comes through in her performance but it is this film where the men are written quite weakly with none of them getting too involved with the final outcome of the story. this is a horror that is filled with shocks and the final one is one of the most shockingly terrifying ones in recent cinema.

 

Overall: Horror that builds and builds till the shocking ending.

Ratingcard

 

 

Transformers: The Last Knight (2017)

Director: Michael Bay

Writer: Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan (Screenplay) Akiva Goldsman, Art Marcum, Matt Holloway, Ken Nolan (Story)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Anthony Hopkins, Josh Duhamel, Laura Haddock, Santiago Cabrera, Isabela Moner, Stanley Tucci

 

Plot: Humans and Transformers are at war, Optimus Prime is gone. The key to saving our future lies buried in the secrets of the past, in the hidden history of Transformers on Earth.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Mad Action Film

 

Story: Transformers: The Last Knight starts as we learn about the ancient battles the English had where the Transformers helped Merlin (Tucci) win the battle. The world has now banned from most places on the Earth but in Cuba they are still welcomed. Optimus Prime is gone and the Transformers continue to arrival. Cade Yeager (Wahlberg) continues to protect the Transformers with Colonel William Lennox (Duhamel) refuses let the good Autobots from being captured but the impending return of Megatron brings the threats to Earth.

Meanwhile in England Sir Edmund Burton (Hopkins) is preparing for the final battle, Vivian Wembley (Haddock) doesn’t believe in the legends of King Arthur and her tours prove what it could be. On Cybertron Optimus Prime wants to rebuild his home planet which means returning to Earth to find an ancient Staff giving to Merlin.

Cade finds himself teaming up with Vivian in the middle of the battle between the Decepticons, Autobots and the Government as Cybertron heads towards Earth which would cause the end of the world.

 

Thoughts on Transformers: The Last Knight

 

Characters/PerformanceCade Yeager is now an outlaw hiding the Autobots in a junkyard, here he lives a quiet life but when a new threat heads toward Earth he finds himself being selected as the Last Knight that can fight to save the Earth. Sir Edmund Burton is the guardian of the secrets of the Transformers, he fills in all the gaps as to what is happening as well as bringing together the team. Vivian Wembley is an anti-believer in the history of King Arthur but when she learns she is the last descendant of Merlin she must work with Cade to save the Earth. Vivian is added for a new love interest for Cade and the high educated between the two.

We have the military characters which includes the returning Colonel Lennox, who just do military stuff and mostly get in the way. The King Arthur and Merlin figure who just re-tell the story we know. We have the comic relief with Izabella, Jimmy and many of the Transformers but we never get too close to any of the characters.

The performances are what you have come to expect, Wahlberg is good in the leading role even if he can look lost at times he has the charisma to lead the films, Laura Haddock adds class with her performance by not only being the stunning woman but a smart one, and Anthony Hopkins enjoys the chance to have fun in a mega blockbuster.

StoryThe Transformers storylines are never the most in detail stories, we know this by now on film number 5. We mix into the Transformers story King Arthur legend, well it is new and does continue to world build and it is as nonsense as you expect for a Transformers film because if we are being honest the story isn’t the most important part of the film.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action is massive once more with Transformer battles in a giant scale and the city-wide battles and even ocean size battles being a massive experience. The adventure takes across the world again to save the world from not only Megatron but Cybertron this time. The sci-fi side does bring us into a world of giant robots that can be vehicles in a giant space battle.

SettingsWe have a couple of settings, we see how Chicago still devastated by the effects of the previous films, the hidden locations of Cade at the Autobots, we also have London being used for the chase sequences and while this isn’t anything new it is a fun watch, but in the end, we just use locations of iconic landmarks.

Special EffectsThe effects for the battles are great throughout the film bring us into the story to enjoy the massive over the top battles.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that always gets criticized because it doesn’t have the most intense storyline but the reality is this is one franchise that is all about the massive action sequences that take away of beliefs needed for the world of Transformers.

 

Overall: Bonkers, Enjoyable, nonsense action film

Rating

 

 

To the Bone (2017)

Director: Marti Noxon

Writer: Marti Noxon (Screenplay)

Starring: Lily Collins, Keanu Reeves, Alex Sharp, Ciara Bravo, Liana Liberato, Carrie Preston, Leslie Bibb, Lili Taylor

 

Plot: A young woman is dealing with anorexia. She meets an unconventional doctor who challenges her to face her condition and embrace life.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hard But Important Watch

 

Story: To the Bone starts as we meet young woman Ellen (Collins) who has been battle anorexia nervosa, she is given a chance to move in with her father and stepmother Susan (Preston) who arranges for her to see a specialist Dr Beckham (Reeves) whose methods have offered people a new chance to recover.

Ellen goes to stay in an outpatient’s home, where she meets fellow suffers including Luke (Sharp), Kendra (McDowell), Anna (Prescott), Pearl (Eshet), Megan (Bibb), and Tracey (Bravo) as Dr Beckham uses the idea of friendship, desire to live and acceptance of people around them.

 

Thoughts on To the Bone

 

Characters – Ellen is the young lady suffering with anorexia nervosa, while her family does support her they just don’t understand her disease, Ellen goes to a new treatment hospital where she meets more people suffering and it is here she must learn the biggest lesson if she wants to cure herself. This is a very important character that shows how easily a person can hide their problems from family and friends. Dr Beckham shows us a doctor can give up plenty of his own time to treat the people most people don’t know how to deal with. Luke is one of the patients at the home that always seem positive and has made hug improvements but deep down he knows the truth about his future and his confidence hides this. We also have the parental characters that don’t understand how to act and other sufferers that are at different stages of the disease.

PerformanceLily Collins is great in this leading role, she shows us the suffering her character must be going through in every scene. Keanu Reeves does give us a good performance here showing he can be a doctor figure that can help people and doesn’t need true emotional range. Alex Sharp carries most of the energy in this film and shows that he could be a name to watch out for future.

StoryThe story focuses on dealing with eating disorders, it shows how difficult it can be to get people to understand the troubles the characters are going through and how they need to find a way to improve themselves. This is an important watch because it shows how easily this disease can go unnoticed until it is too late and is one people need to go and watch.

SettingsThe settings show that home doesn’t understand, but the hospital home does its best to help the characters get better, this shows us just what is needed to help the people suffering.

Scene of the Movie – The Trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The father is a complete asshole and we never see him.

Final ThoughtsThis is an important film that does tackle an important subject matter that people should be seeing but it isn’t just a casual evening movie because of this subject matter.

 

Overall: Important watch for all.

Rating