The Vault (2017)

Director: Dan Bush

Writer: Dan Bush, Conal Byrne (Screenplay)

Starring: James Franco, Scott Haze, Taryn Manning, Francesca Eastwood, Q’Oiranka Kilcher, Jeff Gum, Clifton Collins Jr

 

Plot: Two estranged sisters are forced to rob a bank in order to save their brother. But this is no ordinary bank.


Tagline – No one is safe.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strangely Disappointing

 

Story: The Vault starts as three siblings Michael (Haze), Vee (Manning) and Leah (Eastwood) put together their team to get what seems like a perfect bank robbery done, to solve Michael’s personal problem. With the hostages locked up and the alarms dealt with things look like they are going smoothly, then they open the vault to discovery next to no money.

Assistant manager Ed Maas (Franco) offer to help get into the old vault, but this is where the terror begins because this bank has a history one, none of the robbers were prepared for.

 

Thoughts on The Vault

 

Characters – Vee is the fiery short tempered of the siblings, she will get the rest of the robbers in more trouble, this is a front to her own insecurity. Leah is the leader of the robbers, the calmer of the group that doesn’t go over the limits, until she does and we lose any support for this character, the one we are meant to be following. Michael is the brother who has gotten himself into trouble and needs the money to fix the problem, he wants to no one hurt mentality and seems to be the only good one of the group. Ed Maas is a man that was one of the hostages that offers to get the money for the robbers.

PerformancesThe cast here is confusing, because James Franco is fine, but completely looks out of place in this movie. When we see the sister performers which does work well together as you feel the strained relationship between them.

StoryThe story is a bank robbery gone wrong, when are they not right? This time it goes wrong when it turns out the location the bank is haunted and now the spirits have returned. This could work for the most part but in the end it doesn’t deliver on the level it could do, mostly because we don’t seem to support anyone because they don’t dive into what Michael has done to need money, the two sisters both come off twisted and evil and the horror side is almost unwatchable.

HorrorThis movie uses the horror to put a twist on the heist idea in the story, the horror side of the film is difficult to watch though as everything comes off just too dark.

SettingsThe film is set inside the bank which keeps the story contained for where the events could go.

Special EffectsThe effects are fine, we only get to see them used sparely which is nice to see when it comes to the horrors.


Scene of the Movie –
Final twist.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many difficult moments that don’t add up.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappointing horror that doesn’t scare us in anyway and has a complete by the book heist movie.

 

Overall: Lacklustre movie.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Venom (2018)

Director: Ruben Fleisher

Writer: Scott Rosenberg, Jeff Pinkner, Kelly Marcel, Will Beall (Screenplay) Todd McFarlane, David Michelinie (Comic)

Starring: Tom Hardy, Michelle Williams, Riz Ahmed, Jenny Slate, Marcella Bradio

 

Plot: When Eddie Brock acquires the powers of a symbiote, he will have to release his alter-ego “Venom” to save his life.


Tagline – The world has enough Superheroes.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Starts Way Too Slow

 

Story: Venom starts we hotshot San Francisco reporter Eddie Brock (Hardy) goes to far trying to hatch a story about ultra-rich scientist and visionary Carton Drake (Ahmed), this leaves him fired, his fiancée Anne (Williams) fired and him dumped.

6-months later, Eddie is still feeling the effectives with his career down the toilet, he drinks his life away until one of the scientists working for Drake offers him a scope to the new symbiote research, to which Eddie gets too close to and becomes Venom. The two must learn together to work as one to achieve their own goals in survival with Drake wanting his property back.

 

Thoughts on Venom

 

Characters – Eddie Brock is an unlikable reporter rushing in head first for stories, which he believes he is helping people, he never worries about the consequences of his reporting. His latest attempt to get a story leaves him with nothing and his last attempt to redeem himself leads him to attack the person who killed his career, only he must learn to work with Venom a symbiote that fuses with him. Eddie becomes the good and calm side while Venom is out for destruction willing to kill anyone that gets in his way or just bite their heads off. The two have back and fourth conversations which are more comical than anything showing the balance between good and evil I guess. Anne is the fiancée that loses her job because of Eddie’s action and moves on with her life, though she will always be there to support him once he comes looking for help, most just the love interest she doesn’t really do much in the film. Dr Carlton Drake is a genius who can see the problems in the world being over-population, he has been searching for solutions and believes with the symbiotes he has one, he will give up human lives to make this happen, while keeping a positive face to the public, most a powerful businessman villain.

PerformancesTom Hardy, well this is one of his weaker outings, he struggles to make us care about Eddie, we don’t quite get convinced with his Venom side either, the accent doesn’t help either. Michelle Williams is wasted in this role, sure she will have got paid well which gives her more time to do Oscar bait movies, but this should have been more for her to work with. Riz Ahmed is hot stuff in Hollywood right now, his performance however isn’t great, it feels generic, he doesn’t give us anything we haven’t seen from a villain before either.

StoryThe story is the origin of Venom, it follows the mad scientist idea who is popular to the public but behind closed doors he conducts experiments ethnically wrong. Nosey reporter gets infected and it is a race to stop him becoming too powerful and save the world. this is simple origin storytelling for a Spiderman villain, well this is confusing, wait no, this is an origin for a villain who will not have a hero to face, but he might be good, well Deadpool good. The pacing of this story is all over the place, we spend so much time going through the introduction and we only have three characters, its not like an X-Men film, that we start to lose interest before any of the fun stuff happens. The problem is nothing surprising happens in this story and we are left by the ending thinking about the next comic book movie over the next Venom movie.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action when it happens is a complete mixed bag, the car chase is great fun as we can do things you simply can’t do with humans chasing, the weakness comes from the messy final fight which just becomes confusing in a Transformers way. The film could have a wonderful horror element, it wants to and you can see this, but it just doesn’t follow through. The sci-fi side of things well the ideas are all there to make this stand out more, the problems come by not making too much of the chances given to them.

SettingsWe are set in San Francisco, which is the same location we just saw in Antman and the Wasp, we need more cities in America to set superhero movies if we are having this many a year.

Special EffectsThe effects are yet another mixed bag here, we do have some wonderful uses of the effects, then like with the action the final battles is too messy to be enjoyed.


Scene of the Movie –
Car Chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just why would a secret meeting in the streets lead to sneaking on the base if you were worried about your family? Sure Drake has camera that would show him around his own techno base.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weak comic book movie, giving us an origin for a villain that will never have a hero to face (Due to who owns Spiderman) it is so by the book it feels like the 90’s called and want their movie back.

 

Overall: Forgettable by all accounts.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – V – Very Good Girls (2013)

Director: Naomi Foner

Writer: Naomi Foner (Screenplay)

Starring: Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Olsen, Boyd Holbrook, Ellen Barkin, Demi Moore, Richard Dreyfuss, Peter Sarsgaard

 

Plot: Two New York City girls make a pact to lose their virginity during their first summer out of high school. When they both fall for the same street artist, the friends find their connection tested for the first time.


Tagline – When we lose our innocence, we have to find ourselves.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Romance Between Friends

 

Story: Very Good Girls starts as we met two teenagers Lilly (Fanning) and Gerri (Olsen) who are spending the final summer together before they move onto college. With life problems they are facing they do have each other to keep themselves together and make a pact to lose their virginity before they head off to college.

The two friends both fall for the same street artist David (Holbrook) ad between them they both get a different life change experience through the summer.

 

Thoughts on Very Good Girls

 

Characters – Lilly is the quieter of the two friends, we follow her life with her parents fighting, her job before college and what it was like for her to meet her first love before college, she is trying to hold her family together while not telling Gerri al the details of her life. Gerri is the best friend of Lilly, she tends to do all the talking for the two, she wants David but this summer she must deal with her own personal tragedy. David is the street artist that both the girls fall for, he fits the mysterious figure that can draw the attention of the girls. We do have the parents through the situations the girls are going through too.

PerformancesDakota Fanning is solid enough for this role, she doesn’t do anything wrong, but compared to Olsen for age, there are little elements that show her lack of life experience for this film. Olsen is good she is showing us just capable of filling almost any role in a film here. Boyd Holbrook is good even if he does feel slightly too old for this role which sums up the weakness to a lot of the performances, the age of the leading three is too wide with them meant to be around the same age.

StoryThe story here gives us a coming of age tale between the two friends in their final summer before going of to college. The story does touch on real life situations which could need a best friend to be by your side. We get to see how love can push the boundaries of friendships and how hard life can be when you start to realize that college is the next chapter of life that will big the biggest step you will take and nothing will truly prepare you for it.

RomanceThe romance in the film shows us how two friends can have their friendship pushed to the limits when they both fall for the same boy.

SettingsNew York is a setting that I will always praise for the quality for any setting in the story of growing up, finding yourself.


Scene of the Movie –
The photo.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The two girls don’t seem to have any other friends.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple coming of age movie, it fits the check list well, has good acting but by the ending you will feel we needed that one more spark.

 

Overall: Simple Coming of Age

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – V – Viral (2016)

Director: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman

Writer: Barbara Marshall, Christopher Landon (Screenplay)

Starring: Sofia Black-D’Elia, Analigh Tipton, Travis Tope, Michael Kelly, Machine Gun Kelly, John Cothran

 

Plot: Following the outbreak of a virus that wipes out the majority of the human population, a young woman documents her family’s new life in quarantine and tries to protect her infected sister.


Tagline – Fear what’s inside

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Story Telling, Bland Characters

 

Story: Viral starts as we meet the teenage sisters Emma (Black-D’Elia) the good one, Stacey (Tipton) the rebellious one, have moved to a new town, new home with their father Michael (Keely) taking a biology teacher role. There reports that a disease is spreading through the human population and when one of Emma’s friends gets infected, it seems like it has come home.

When Michael heading off to collect his wife, he leaves the girls to look after themselves, shouldn’t be a problem, until the military arrive with rations to keel them inside during the outbreak. The girls join the rest of the teenagers at a party against the curfew rules which leads to the virus spreading and the two needing to learn to survive and keep each other alive.

 

Thoughts on Viral

 

Characters – Emma is the good, well-behaved of the two girls, she is pure innocence compared to her sister, she is like every other teenager in this mould, she fancies a guy and has been getting on with her best friend. Stacey is the older sister, rebellious by skipping classes and dating generic metal head, she always pushes Emma into things she doesn’t want to do. Evan is the crush across the road, he is used as the love interest nothing more.

PerformancesThe lead girls of Sofia Black-D’Elia and Analeigh Tipton are good through they film, they hit their marks feeling like the both have good chemistry for sisters. The rest of the cast doesn’t get too much time to do anything if we are being honest, so it would be unfair to slam them.

StoryWe know I like a good zombie story, we also know many have been done too often the same. This story brings us an original spin on the idea, well mostly original. This time we look at the early break out of a virus which is turning people into infected people, like zombies, we see the quarantine, how the military will enforce it and follow sisters trying to survive this. This is the positive side of things, which I did like, the problems in this story come from the idea, things only go bad when they break basic curfew rules which would have kept them safe for the most part, we do also have a giant failing to explain how the virus spreads, we do touch on ideas, but soon nothing seems to make sense.

Horror-Sci-FiThis is a horror movie that uses zombie like infection to create the scares, while not scary it is on the levels you would be expecting to see things. The sci-fi side of things shows us just what will be happening to the victims as they slowly start to turn.

SettingsThe film is set in a new suburban area which shows us the groups of people that would be living there, and how they would need to come off.

Special EffectsThe effects are strong through the film which are great when we see the infection spreading.


Scene of the Movie –
Removing the infection.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The characters are frustrating with their mistakes.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid entry to the zombie like sub-genre of horror, this is one to look past the weakness to enjoy the strengths.

 

Overall: The world of zombies has a new enjoyable experience.

Rating

 

 

Chris Hemsworth Weekend – Vacation (2015)

Director: John Francis Daly, Jonathan Goldstein

Writer: John Francis Daly, Jonathan Goldstein (Screenplay) John Hughes (Characters)

Starring: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo, Steele Stebbins, Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann, Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Charlie Day

 

Plot: Rusty Griswold takes his own family on a road trip to “Walley World” in order to spice things up with his wife and reconnect with his sons.


Tagline – What could go wrong?

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mostly Boring Comedy

 

Story: Vacation starts the Griswold family decide to take a different family vacation, Rusty (Helms), Debbie (Applegate) children James (Gisondo), Kevin (Stebbins) head across country to Walley World, the journey will bring them to meet a string of crazy characters.

Along the way they spend the night with Rusty’s sister Audrey (Mann) and her husband Stone (Hemsworth) who have a happier time with their lives.

 

Thoughts on Vacation

 

Characters – Rusty is a pilot, but seemingly a big of a dumbass outside of the job, he takes his family on a vacation across America, he seems to get away with making bad decisions along the way too. Debbie is the long suffering wife that wants to do something different for her holiday, not seeing eye to eye with Rusty. James and Kevin are kids which are different than normal with the younger bullying the older. Along the way the different characters are crazy in their own ways, mostly offence though.

PerformancesWe have a mix of actors that have been doing comedy for a while, Ed Helms should be doing a lot better as do the rest of the regulars, the only person that comes out of this with any credibility is Chris Hemsworth who shows he can hit the comedy levels.

StoryThe story is a family travelling across America where things go wrong along the way as they meet colourful characters. Part remake, part sequel following the family just feel like every basic mishap possible along the way or even having the basic level not hitting home well enough.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure puts us across America to see which is fine, but never believable and the comedy misses more often than it hits.

SettingsThe settings takes us to location you would be used to see across America without them being anything you would need reminding about though.


Scene of the Movie –
Chris Hemsworth showing his early comedy level.

That Moment That Annoyed Me How is Rusty a pilot, he clearly is an idiot.

Final ThoughtsThis is just another offence comedy that misses more than it hits.

 

Overall: This is just another boring comedy that tries too hard.

Rating