Michael Rooker Weekend – Whisper (2007)

Director: Stewart Hendler

Writer: Christopher Borrelli (Screenplay)

StarringMichael Rooker, Josh Holloway, Blake Woodruff, Sarah Wayne Callies, Julian Christopher, Joel Edgerton, Dule Hill 

 

Plot: Sinister things begin happening to kidnappers who are holding a young boy for ransom in a remote cabin.


Tagline – The devil’s work is childs play

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Little Horror

 

Story: Whisper starts when a group of criminals Max (Holoway), Sidney (Rooker), Roxanne (Callies) and Vince (Edgerton) kidnap a young boy David (Woodruff) in an attempt to gain a large ransom, as they look to sort their lives out.

Once David is in their possession, the four criminals soon learn that they have bitten off more than they can chew, when it turns out David has some kind of power which he will use against them as he is pure evil.

 

Thoughts on Whisper

 

Characters – Max is the member of the gang that wants to go clean, he wants his own business, but doesn’t have the capital to achieve this, he take the job in hopes that it will give him the money required to get the business and seems to be the only one that can keep it together through the events of the kidnapping. David is the boy that has been kidnapped, he is shown to be a loner even at his own birthday party, but it soon becomes clear that he has some form of powers that even his mother is scared off, using them to trick the criminals. Roxanne is the girlfriend of Max’s she is the first one to fold and want to quit the job as the mother instincts start taking over. Sidney is the leader of the gang that is putting the job together, he knows who to pick which does make this easier for him, though he isn’t prepared for this job.

PerformancesThis is a strange one for performances because our leads are Josh Holloway and Sarah Wayne Callies who at the time were involved in two of the biggest television shows, they both do an acceptable enough job playing to their strengths. Michael Rooker brings the strength in his performance, while young Blake Woodruff makes for an evil child with ease.

StoryThe story here is interesting because it does take a different turn when it comes to the kidnapping genre, by adding the horror elements. It does seem like everything is going to be by the book, until we learn early on when David is pure evil and turns the tables on the kidnappers. Now this should all work well and for the most part is an enjoyable enough watch, only we get a third act twist which only leaves us question large parts of the first act along with certain characters decisions.

Crime/HorrorThe crime side of the film follows the kidnapping which seems to have gone smoothly for the criminals, the don’t get enough focus on the investigation though, which does feel like it could be an important part of the film. The horror side of the film focuses on the idea of the pure evil that David is and just how he uses his powers to make the people do the terrible things.

SettingsThe film has a couple of settings with the safehouse being the cabin in the woods away from any visitors, the small town just helps show how desperate the criminals are too.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects, we get a true mixed bag because the film doesn’t seem to commit on the levels needed to create the scares required.


Scene of the Movie –
The final fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The shower scene is shot badly.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy to watch horror that is all we ask for at times, this isn’t the scariest film you will see and by the end it does have enough surprises to turn heads.

 

Overall: Simple and easy to watch horror.

Rating

 

 

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Emily Blunt Weekend – Wind Chill (2007)

Director: Gregory Jacobs

Writer: Joe Gangemi, Steven Katz (Screenplay)

Starring: Emily Blunt, Ashton Holmes, Martin Donovan, Ned Bellamy

 

Plot: Two college students share a ride home for the holidays, but when they break down on a deserted stretch of road, they are preyed upon by the ghosts of people who have died there.


Tagline – Catch Your Death

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Little Horror

 

Story: Wind Chill starts as a college student only known as Girl (Blunt) is looking to head to Delaware for Christmas, suggested the ride share, she gets a lift with Guy (Holmes) as the difficulties in the journey beginning with their lack of conversation.

When the journey starts to take an unexpected turn with the nature of the lift being offered, the two get caught up in an accident on a snowy highway, needing to survive the cold they wait for rescue until they start seeing people walking past only to not get any reply from them with the visits getting more haunting as the night rolls on.

 

Thoughts on Wind Chill

 

Characters – This is a strange film for trying to describe the characters, no one is named, so we have, Girl who is trying to get home for Christmas, she seems stuck up about everything and feels selfish for the most part. She does start to take the ride share guy for granted without wanting to give him the conversation desired. She does feel more streetwise through certain situations though. The Guy who offers the lift, seems simple enough to start with, only for his true motivation to come to light, as he has planned to use the lift to get to know the girl. The highway Patrolman is one of the more aggressive spirits haunting the highway, we learn more about his presence as the students learn about him.

PerformancesEmily Blunt is now one of the biggest names in the industry and like many young stars they start in a small horror movie, she is good in the leading role, showing all her potential for the world to see. Ashton Holmes is good in the supporting role and Martin Donovan makes for the creepy patrolman.

StoryThe story follows a couple of students that are travelling across country for Christmas, only to find themselves in a crash which leaves them stranded in the freezing condition which only becomes worse then the ghosts of the road start haunting them. This is a mix of survival story which shows how the girl must survive the conditions, while also doing the ghosts haunting to send a warning of what is coming. We do get a lot of sequences which you need to pay attention to certain elements and we do get foreshadowing being used that you will pick up on too. The story doesn’t need to be that complicated which is isn’t and you can follow along even with a twist along the way.

HorrorThe horror comes from first the location of being isolated after the accident, then the ghosts only make it worse because they learn what one of them will do if it gets its hands on them.

SettingsThe film puts our characters on the side of the snow-covered road over the night which is filled with freezing conditions which will only make rescue difficult for the characters.

Special EffectsThe effects are held off for when they are needed to make us understand the paranormal to reality moments.


Scene of the Movie –
The end of it?

That Moment That Annoyed Me One too many false moments.

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice little horror that will get the jumps when needed and clever story telling on what could be going on.

 

Overall: Horror fans check this one out.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – W – West Side Story (1961)

Director: Jerome Robbins, Robert Wise

Writer: Ernest Lehman (Screenplay) Jerome Robbins, William Shakespeare (Play)

Starring: Natalie Wood, Richard Beymer, Russ Tamblyn, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, Simon Oakland, Ned Glass

 

Plot: Two youngsters from rival New York City gangs fall in love, but tensions between their respective friends build toward tragedy.


Tagline – Watch this shot now. Hey. Shoot, man. Go. Hey, yeah

Runtime: 2 Hours 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Musical Fans Enjoy

 

Story: West Side Story starts as we meet the rival gangs, we have The Jets led by Riff (Tamblyn) and the Sharks led by Bernardo (Chakiris) the rising Puerto Rican gang, the two sides are always involved in brawls and Riff wants to bring it to an end soon.

Bringing the two gangs together at the local dance club, Tony (Beymer) the former leader and founder of the Jets is forced to attend, it is here where he meets Bernardo’s sister Maria (Wood) who steals his heart as the too fall instantly in love. As the two side plan their fight for the street, Maria and Tony must keep their love secret as it could bring an end to the warring gangs.

 

Thoughts on West Side Story

 

Characters – Maria is the new to the town Puerto Rican, she wants to make a life in America, starting with her job and dancing, never understand the battling gangs. She falls for one of the men on the rival side not caring about where he has come from. Tony is the founder of the Jets, he has started to grow out of the gang by getting a job and avoid the brawls. When he meets Maria he falls in love and is torn between helping his gang win or ending the war all together. Riff is the one that keeps the jets together, he is looking for a fight around every corner and knows how to fire up the gang, he knows how to push the Sharks to fight back too. Rita is the best friend of Maria that helps her into any situation which could see her have fun, including the dance.

PerformancesNatalie Wood as Maria is wonderful to watch, she can handle the singing and emotion, though it does seem strange to make her play a Puerto Rican. Richard Beymer is good in his role as the one that has started to see the problems with the ideas of the gangs. Russ Tamblyn does bring the energy to the film which is good to see through his singing and dancing numbers. Rita Moreno completes the main cast well showing us just how the supporting performers should do things.

StoryThe story is known to be a musical version of Romeo and Juliet, we have the gangs in New York that are just petty teenagers always up for a brawl as they don’t want to face growing up in life. It follows the trends of the story as the two star crossed lovers want to break the lines of the warring gangs to be together, only for the war to intensify to cause tragic consequences. The idea to modify this for the now audience for the 60s was a good idea because it does deal with plenty of issue of immigration that wasn’t being accepted in America, causing the battles between both sides. The idea of love and forbidden love at that can drive people to do anything and this could bring the end to a war over nothing.

Crime/Musical/RomanceThe crime is just young men or teenagers fighting over streets in New York, it is mostly brawls that lead to tragedy. The musical side does take us out of parts of the film because singing and dancing around the war on the streets does feel weird. The romance story is one of the oldest in the books, two people falling in love from different sides of a battle, knowing they want to be together and knowing being together could cause problems.

SettingsThe film is set in New York which is great for the different sides of the war showing us just where the two sides have come from.


Scene of the Movie –
The conclusion.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is a film that follows pointless battle between gangs over nothing.

Final ThoughtsThis is a musical that grabbed the audience attention back in the 60s, cleaned up at the Oscars, but now it just feels like another great musical without standing out anymore than any other.

 

Overall: Simple classic musical.

Rating

 

 

The Way We Weren’t (2019)

Director: Rick Hays

Writer: Brian DiMuccio, Aran Eisenstat, Rick Hays (Screenplay)

Starring: Fiona Gubelmann, Ben Lawson, Tobin Bell, Keith Powell, Amber Stevens West, Alexandra Davies

 

Plot: Two people meet just after their previous relationships have imploded, so in an effort to make themselves more appealing, they exaggerate, fib and outright lie, and after they move in together all the deception unravels.


Tagline – No Couple Has Ever Been This Badly in Love!

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Twist on Love

 

Story: The Way We Weren’t starts as school teacher Charlotte (Gubelmann) breaks up with her non-committal boyfriend ending up in jail. On the other side of the country, Brandon (Lawson) is still struggling to show his commitment with women. When the two decide to take a change on what they look for in partners, Charlotte and Brandon end up meeting, falling in love with their new selves and rush into marriage.

10 Days later, they want a divorce, we flashback to see what happened as the two discover the truth about each other, which is a relationship built in lies, until they can learn to tell each other the truth.

 

Thoughts on The Way We Weren’t

 

Characters – Charlotte is a school teacher who has spent 14 years with her boyfriend, who doesn’t have much in common with her, while not being ready to commit. The break up pushes her to take a chance and becoming somebody different which leads her to meet Brandon, she wants to keep certain parts of her past a secret though, including her jail term. Brandon is a womaniser that can’t commit, his business isn’t going well. Out of a newly failed relationship broke, he wants to meet a new woman for a relationship, He lies just like Charlotte being someone he isn’t, only for the truth to bring him the new positive vision of life. Jerry is the father of Brandon, he is part hippie and has been fighting the system for his and his wives relationship. He knows how to help Brandon without telling him everything. Dan is the neighbour and best friend who reluctantly lets Brandon use his car to impress Charlotte, he gets the best reactions to anything happening to his car.

PerformancesFiona Gubelmann and Ben Lawson are both wonderful to watch, both stars get to show the range of the emotions their character are going through, each has their moment to shine too. When it comes to the supporting cast get plenty of laughs through the film.

StoryThe story brings us a new look at love, it follows the idea of jumping into marriage to prove how spontaneous people have become only to learn, like if most relationships, not everything is as it seems after the early getting to know each other stage of a relationship. This does show how honest should become more important, but that we can always be afraid of what is in our past being judged. While certain sides to the lies or hidden truths could be considered farfetched ones they come out we get to see just how you can misunderstand somebody who has been working towards something.

ComedyThe comedy through the film will get laughs, be it from learning the truth with a natural reaction or trying to hide it from everybody else.

SettingsThe film is set in LA which sees just how far Charlotte will travel for love and to escape the life she once had.


Scene of the Movie –
Garden party.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain support characters don’t seem to have their own lives, which is an issue with a lot of comedies.

Final ThoughtsThis is a funny comedy about love and just how difficult it can be or everyone, this does bring a new twist on the love story too.

 

Overall: Funny comedy.

Rating

 

 

The Wedding Planner (2001)

Director: Adam Shankman

Writer: Pamela Falk, Michael Ellis (Screenplay)

Starring: Jennifer Lopez, Matthew McConaughey, Bridgette Wilson, Justin Chambers, Judy Greer, Alex Rocco

 

Plot: Mary Fiore is San Francisco’s most successful supplier of romance and glamor. She knows all the tricks. She knows all the rules. But then she breaks the most important rule of all: she falls in love with the groom.


Tagline – His big day is her big problem.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Rom Com

 

Story: The Wedding Planner starts as we meet Mary (Lopez) a wedding planner, one of the best in the business, she makes the most money and the best ceremonies. Looking to get the biggest deal for company which could see her become partner, she impresses the bride Fran (Wilson) who hires her on the spot, but continuing about her business she finds herself in need from rescue, where dreamy doctor Steve (McConaughey) steps in.

When it turns out Steve is the groom for Fran’s wedding, the new happiness Mary was feelings are shattered, but she must go on with this wedding for her future, leaving her needing to face the rules she swore never to break.

 

Thoughts on The Wedding Planner

 

Characters – Mary has dreamed of planning weddings since she was a little girl, now it is her job, but she has given up any hope of love because of this, until she meets Steve, the groom of her latest wedding to plan. She is scared from a broken relationship which has closed her off from wanting to try again. Steve is a children’s doctor (you spell, I can’t) that saves Mary, the two click, but he is marrying Fran the latest client of Mary. He is starting to have second thoughts after spending time with Mary. Fran is the bride in this wedding, a busy businesswoman too, Penny gets a lot of laughs as the assistant to Mary who gets over excited easily.

PerformancesJennifer Lopez is good in this role, she has the look which could steal a heart, but also the determination needed to not let anyone get in her way. Matthew McConaughey is good in this role, he knows that he can pull of rom com which is why he worked so well at this time in his movie career. We do have a good supporting cast that all hit the marks too.

StoryThe story follows a woman that had given up on love for herself, that has made a career out of making people’s wedding days their greatest memory. When she does get that one chance moment and meets a wonderful guy she ends up breaking her own rules and needs to look at what love is truly about. While this looks like it is going in a certain direction, it does pose the question about how far long is too late to potentially break up an engagement or do you go through with it and regret a missed opportunity. This is nice question to ask the audience.

Comedy/RomanceThe romance comes from all the wedding talk and the idea that you might find someone in the last place you imagine. The comedy comes mostly from the supporting characters over the leads, which gives us good moments to laugh along with.

SettingsThe film takes us to plenty of different wedding preparation locations which does make us feel like we can see the different scale people can go for weddings.


Scene of the Movie –
Doll house.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Trying to figure out if her name is Mary or Maria

Final ThoughtsThis is a delightful romantic comedy that hits the marks it should with it giving the audience an idea of how love can change people’s lives forever.

 

Overall: Love is strange thing for all.

Rating