Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

Director: Luc Besson

Writer: Luc Besson (Screenplay) Pierre Christin, Jean-Claude Mezleres (Comic Book)

Starring: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, Herbie Hancock, Kris Wu

 

Plot: A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Visually Brilliant, Lacking Chemistry

 

Story: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets starts as we see peaceful world of Mul destroyed setting out a flash out light across the universe. Move forward in time and we meet Major Valerian (DeHaan) and Sergeant Laureline (Delevingne) to elite soldiers that complete the difficult missions.

On their latest mission for Commander Filitt (Owen) the two learn the Alpha station where all races come to communicate in peace live, they learn a secret to what caused the end of Mul and they will need to potential bring down a problem from within.

 

Thoughts on Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

 

Characters – Major Valerian feels like he is meant to be like a Han Solo like space pilot who is trying his hardest to bed his new partner but he is also slick at getting the job done, the ones others wouldn’t. Sergeant Laureline is the partner of Valerian that shows great working relationship but it does feel like she has only just been placed with him, but we don’t know why. Commander Filitt is trying to keep Alpha together from a threat coming from within, this is a typical strict military leader. Bubble is an alien species who can transformer effortless into whatever you desire.

PerformanceThe performances, well this will get interesting. Dane DeHaan does feel slightly miss-cast as he can always give us strange or strong character performances but as a strapping captain is just doesn’t seem to click. Cara Delevingne shows once again she isn’t ready for these leading roles, sure she looks stunning but otherwise not much coming from the delivery. Clive Owen can at least go off and do a string of indie films after this pay day. Rihanna works as the dancer but as soon as emotion is needed she starts to look lost.

StoryThe story is something that does feel like it borrows from a lot of other films, but also has all the potential to be something amazing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t reach the top levels, it does feel like it gets dulled down and wants to be fun but just isn’t, the idea that the International Space Centre has become a beacon of peace across the universe is the highlight of the film showing how it continued to grow with new visitors. The story is easy to follow and you won’t get challenged enough though.

Action/Adventure/Fantasy/Sci-FiThe action is big and huge sci-fi spectacles which is fine to watch but the adventure does feel slightly miss-leading because you feel like it will be across the universe when in truth it is across the mega station. The fantasy world of different alien species is enjoyable to see all the wonderful creations.

SettingsThe settings do look fantastic in places with the different worlds visited but certain other parts all feel like places we have seen before.

Special EffectsThe world created is mostly CGI effects which make the world we visit a great piece of fun.

Scene of the Movie – Quickest Route

That Moment That Annoyed Me –  We lacked subtitles for certain alien conversations.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable movie, it isn’t ground breaking though, you can sit back and enjoy this film unfold but it isn’t Luc Besson’s best sci-fi film.

 

Overall: Sit back and enjoy.

Rating

 

 

The Vanishing (1993)

Director: George Sluizer

Writer: Todd Graff (Screenplay) Tim Krabbe (Novel)

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Kiefer Sutherland, Nancy Travis, Sandra Bullock, Park Overall, Maggie Linderman

 

Plot: The boyfriend of an abducted woman never gives up the search as the abductor looks on.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disturbingly Good Horror

 

Story: The Vanishing starts as we meet everyday teacher, father and husband Barney Cousins (Bridges) who has been researching kidnapping, measuring his heart rate when it comes to the interaction while also searching for a method to drug his victims.

We move onto meet young couple Jeff (Sutherland) and Diane (Bullock) who are travelling cross country for their vacation, but when Diane vanishes at a gas station, Jeff is left powerless for options with the police offering no support until she has been missing 24 hours.

3 years later Diane is still missing and Jeff is still searching for answers. Jeff ends up giving up on his search when he meets Rita (Travis) a woman who gives him a new outlook on life but when he goes to get his book publicised he is asked to write a book about the disappearance of Diane. This opens up old wounds that will test his new relationship.

The game changes when Barney confronts Jeff offering him the answers but only if he joins him on the journey that Diane also went on.

 

Thoughts on The Vanishing

 

Characters/PerformanceBarney comes of calm, calculated and is willing to experiment when it comes to his technique. He is a loving father, husband and science teacher but deep down he is one of the great psychopaths you could imagine on film. He even has the guts to face his victim’s boyfriend to offer the answers he is looking for. Jeff is a good boyfriend but once Diane goes missing he becomes a desperate man with nothing to lose just needing to know the answers to what happened to her, he doesn’t care if she had just left him but he is being destroyed by the unknown. Rita is the new love interest for Jeff but doesn’t understand how his need for answers could come between them even if he loves her. Diane is the victim that we only see her disappearance and flashbacks.

Jeff Bridges shines in this role as a psycho you couldn’t pick out on the street corner and this could easily be one of his most underrated roles. Kiefer continued to show he was going onto bigger and better things in this role with Nancy Travis and Sandra Bullock both showing their skills through the film.

StoryThe story which could be a run of the mill killer turns into a film surrounded in uncertainty as our hero deals with the loss of a loved one in what can only be one of the most disturbing ways possible. We have a killer that isn’t serial but interested in just how far he can go. I do know this is a remake but in the end this works on the levels required for the story being told.

Horror/Mystery/ThrillerHorror, well once you see what Barney does to Diane you will reach the horror levels you need to see, the mystery is what Jeff must suffer through just not knowing what happened with the thrilling side of this film being us working out what will happen next.

SettingsThe settings show us just how easy it could have been for a serial killer to get away with his victims, while this only focuses on one killing the idea shows how it could have been going on for years.

Final ThoughtsThis must go down as one of the more disturbing horror films out there which can be enjoyed by all the fans of the genre.

 

Overall: I must say this is a must watch for all the horror fans out there.

Rating

 

 

James Stewart Weekend – Vertigo (1958)

vertDirector: Alfred Hitchcock

Writer: Alec Coppel, Samuel A Taylor (Screenplay) Pierre Boileau, Thomas Narcejac (Novel)

Starring: James Stewart, Kim Novak, Barbara Bel Geddes, Tom Helmore, Henry Jones, Raymond Bailey

 

Plot: A San Francisco detective suffering from acrophobia investigates the strange activities of an old friend’s wife, all the while becoming dangerously obsessed with her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Classic They Say

 

Story: Vertigo starts as former police detective John ‘Scottie’ Ferguson (Stewart) has been forced into retirement after his acrophobia has caused him to lose his edge. When a former friend Gavin Elster (Helmore) contacts him, he asks for John to follow his wife Madeleine (Novak) who he suspects is up to something behind his back.

John takes the job and after spending time tracking Madeleine he finds himself looking into the history of San Francisco to uncover what she is up to. When John saves Madeleine he ends up joining her on her journey which delves into her past.

 

Thoughts on Vertigo

 

StoryWe get told of films that are classics, films that inspire other films and films you need to watch, well this is one of them, right? The story is an interesting one to follow as you are left to figure out what is going on through the film and we do get to see how facing a fear that freezes us can leave us unable to be as effective as possible. I do fee people will enjoy this one unfold because the characters are unlike most we have seen in film.

Mystery/RomanceThe film does give us a good mystery to figure out as well as keeping us guessing along the way, the romantic story is more about obsession rather than love but also works because it leaves us wondering just what John has become so infatuated with the girl.

Characters/PerformanceJohn makes for a great leading character because his character has a flaw which weakens his ability to do his job correctly, we don’t see this often in film. the character of Madeleine is troubled which is all good for the direction of the film goes.

The performances are all great too even if the age gap between Stewart and Novak is too big to full enjoy the film.

SettingsThe use of San Francisco is a great setting as it is visually fantastic and is filled with the buildings that play into the fear John deals with.

Final ThoughtsWe have all been told to see this if we want to be film critics well you can understand why.

 

Overall: Classical enjoyable thriller.

Ratingcard

 

 

The Void (2017)

Director: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski

Writer: Jeremy Gillespie, Steven Kostanski (Screenplay)

Starring: Aaron Poole, Kenneth Welsh, Daniel Fathers, Kathleen Munroe, Ellen Wong, Mik Byskov, Art Hindle

 

Plot: Shortly after delivering a patient to an understaffed hospital, a police officer experiences strange and violent occurrences seemingly linked to a group of mysterious hooded figures.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bloody Thinking Gorefest

 

Story: The Void starts as Sheriff Daniel Carter (Poole) finds the escaped young man James (Stern) taking him to the local understaffed hospital run by Dr Richard Powell (Welsh) with the nurses Allison Fraser (Munroe) and trainee Kim (Wong).

When a violent attack happens inside the hospital State Trooper Mitchell (Hindle) arrives on the scene but the remaining people inside the hospital find the hospital surrounded by hooded figures and joined the mysterious Father (Fathers) and Son (Byskov) who seem to have been planning for this event, but the question will remain, just what is going on? In what will be the longest night of these people’s lives as they battle to survive.

 

Thoughts on The Void

 

Characters/PerformanceSheriff Carter is a man that just wants to coast through his shifts but when duty calls he steps up to protect and serve, while he still battles with his own tragedy in life. Dr Powell has kept the hospital open for years after the staffing being cut who has also been suffering from his own tragic event. Allison Fraser is one of the nurses in the hospital who has been working to keep her mind of the loss of her unborn child. The Father has been working with the Son searching for everything behind the mysterious creatures within the town.

Performance wise, we have good performances from the whole cast with nobody looking out of place through the film but also nobody standing out as the most memorable member of it.

StoryThe story is a good horror one, you can see it borrowed from other films but let’s face it, what film doesn’t anymore? The idea of being trapped inside a building with an unknown threat works well for horror with the final act being massive but in places slightly complicated which is the biggest downer on this film’s story. there is plenty going on with you needing to think a lot about what has been happening.

Horror/Mystery/Sci-FiThe horror involved in the film is gore, hell and creatures something we love to see in a horror film that gives us a mystery and a sci-fi side of the story that keeps us guessing.

SettingsWith the whole film set inside the hospital we are left to see the horror becoming first hand for the characters involved as the deeper everything gets the bigger the horror elements involved are.

Special EffectsThe effects are all great with most being practical effects where we are left to see gore and blood fly off all the walls.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that will make you think with the final acts but if you just want to gore and blood flying you will go no wrong by watching this one.

 

Overall: This is a good horror that I think fans of the genre will enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – VooDoo (2017)

voodooDirector: Tom Costabile

Writer: Tom Costabile (Screenplay)

Starring: Samantha Stewart, Ruth Reynolds, Dominic Matteucci, Daniel Kozul, Ron Jeremy

 

Plot: When Dani, an innocent southern girl, vacations to Los Angeles to evade her increasingly complicated life, she learns that escaping her past isn’t as easy as she hoped.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Poor Man’s Baskin

 

Story: VooDoo starts when Dani (Stewart) arrives in LA to stay with her cousin Stacy (Reynolds) for a month to see what the Hollywood lifestyle is like, Dani is portrayed to be an innocent girl but that is wrong she is just like her cousin. Dani has escaped her home town to recover from a bad break up where she has been cursed by the wife of her ex-boyfriend who happens to be a Voodoo Priest.

Dani’s trip takes a turn for the worse when she discovers the wife of her former lover in also in LA and she can’t escape the past that has been cursed upon her with a demon following her every move, waiting to take her to hell.

 

Thoughts on VooDoo

 

Characters/PerformanceDani is portrayed to be from New Orleans, an innocent young woman who is happy to act like a party animal freshly out of a relationship with a married man, this character is very, very annoying because she is way too tourist to put up with. Stacy the cousin is the rocker who we never seen play any music so I guess she is just the tour guide for the first part of the movie.

Performance wise well, I hate saying bad things about actress just making their way in the business because they are only just starting their path, but I really can’t see Stewart or Reynolds getting many roles in mainstream films because Stewart just crying and screaming for the last half of this film just isn’t scary.stars

StoryThe story is based on watching a revenge of a woman whose husband cheated on her with our main character using all her voodoo gifts. The first half is all meeting Dani while the second half is all her time in hell paying for what happened. This is a very visual horror so the story doesn’t need to be too deep.

HorrorI can see a market in the horror world for this film, I really can this has a lot of visually hard to watch horror moments that some people will turn away from but for me this was just a horror that wanted to shock as much as possible but didn’t always get it correct, for a similar story I would say Baskin is far superior when looking at entering into hell.

SettingsThe LA setting is fine, we gets a tourist experience but the more interesting setting is the design of the hell Dani finds herself going through which is dark, disturbing and most of all shocking.

Special EffectsCertain moments of this film are CGI effects that you can see come through badly, while when the film turns to practical effects we are filled with shocks in what we see.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that is hard to watch movie, this is because the first half is all talking with the second all hell based, the director new what he wanted and will satisfy the horror corner that will like this style of horror.

 

Overall: This wasn’t for me but it does have shocking moments in the final half of the film.

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