Wishmaster (1997)

Director: Robert Kurtzman

Writer: Peter Atkins (Screenplay)

Starring: Tammy Lauren, Andrew Divoff, Robert Englund, Chris Lemmon, Wendy Benson-Landes

 

Plot: A demonic djinn attempts to grant its owner three wishes, which will allow him to summon his brethren to earth.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Horror Fantasy

 

Story: Wishmaster starts when artefact collector Raymond Beaumont’s (Englund) latest piece arrives but is damaged with a gem finding itself way into the trade markets. When expert Alexandra Amberson (Lauren) learns that something isn’t right about the gem, she finds herself receiving whisper like messages about releasing something from the stone.

When the Djinn (Divoff) starts lurking in the shadows waiting for people to give them his wishes so he can grant them, anything including murder, but Alex feels all of these deaths as the power the Djinn has grows. Alex must learn the power of the stone while Djinn powers himself up as he searches for the one who freedom Alex.

 

Thoughts on Wishmaster

 

Characters – Alexandra is an expert in the analysing of gems but when she releases the Djinn and must gain the knowledge to prevent him from gaining the power to take over the world, we don’t learn too much about what he job is but it does give her connection that can help her along the way. The Djinn is the Wishmaster that once released listens for people’s wishes or desires and makes them happen but not in the way the people would imagine. He does like to play on the words people say to have creative ways of getting rid of the people. Raymond Beaumont is a collector that has been building a collection of all the ancient Gods, he is the one that brings the statue that contains the gem to America.

PerformanceTammy Lauren is a good lead but you do see stronger performance in the similar created characters. Andrew Divoff makes for a menacing villain through the film controlling when needed too. Robert Englund is good in what is a different role for him where he isn’t a villainous character in a horror film.

StoryThe idea that an ancient God can come back granting wishes to release his own power of the Earth is a nice touch, on the three wishes idea how the Djinn can re-word what you say into the nightmare is very clever trying to teach people to be careful what they ask for. This does follow a formula but does disappoint as we only seem to meet a lot of characters just to be victims of the wishes showing the weakness the human spirit can have.

Fantasy/HorrorThe idea of a mystical figure that can create wishes that only turn into nightmares is a very good use of the horror fantasy genres.

SettingsThe settings are not the most important or noticeable part of this film, which disappoints in places.

Special EffectsThe effects do look good for a film that is 20 plus years old, the film did become creative with some of the kills too.

Scene of the Movie – You would have to go through me.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many disposable characters we don’t learn enough about.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good film that does seem to grow in quality as the film unfolds to being something you just want to watch until the end.

 

Overall: Good little horror fantasy

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Who’s Jenna…? (2018)

Director: Thomas Baldinger

Writer: Thomas Baldinger (Screenplay)

Starring: Tracey Birdsall, Bill Sorvino, Joseph D’Onofrio, Vincent Pastore, Garry Pastore, Precious Pia

 

Plot: When Jonathan Burke, a financial advisor, starts dating Jenna Casey, an aspiring lawyer, Johnathan’s best friend Andy Romeo is convinced she looks exactly like a famous adult film star. Not only does Johnathan have to deal with his friends claim but he also has to juggle his relationship with his boss who is possibly black-mailing him and is Jenna’s brother-in-law.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Comedy

 

Story: Who’s Jenna? Starts with life long friends Jonathan (Sorvino) and Andy (D’Onofrio) having their regular karaoke drinks, when the beautiful Jenna (Birdsall) and the two start a relationship, even though Andy believes she is from porn movies and it turns out that Jenna is the sister-in-law to Jonathan’s boss Joe Barcia (Pastore).

With his career about to his a new high, the perfect woman in his life Jonathan’s life is going to be challenged when it comes to dealing with his boss blackmailing him putting his future be questioned.

 

Thoughts on Who’s Jenna?

 

Characters – Jonathan Burke is lifelong friends with Andy they still leave together, they are different too, Jonathan meets Jenna who happens to be his boss’s sister-in-law which means he needs to face his boss who is holding him at ransom over a promotion. Jenna Casey is an aspiring lawyer that falls in love with Jonathan, she is the sister-in-law to his boss, we don’t learn too much about her because of the mystery about whether she was once the porn star. Andy Roma is the lifelong friend of Jonathan, he is easily the comic relief for the film getting over excited when dealing with the porn discussion.

PerformancesBill Sorvino is in the leading role and does a great job throughout because his character does have to react with different levels of characters throughout. Tracey Birdsall is great too keep the mystery about her character. Joseph D’Onofrio does great and does try to steal nearly every scene with his character.

StoryThe story follows one man who life is going to change when he meets the mysterious Jenna, he needs to deal with his boss’s behaviour, his best friend believing his girlfriend is a porn star and how he gets to the next stage of his life. This is a good comedy story which is an easy to watch throughout and does deal with big life issues too.

ComedyThe comedy in the film does work, with Andy getting most of the funny moments throughout with Jonathan being the straight-faced character.

SettingsThe film does keep the film is the business location which works, but the film doesn’t rely on the settings too often apart from one bar sequences.


Scene of the Movie –
Jonathan and Scott go to a bar.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Even though Jenna is meant to be mysterious it feels like we needed something more about her character.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good comedy that hits the jokes more often than misses which is always good.

 

Overall: Comedy that has the laughs.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Random – W – Welcome to Me (2014)

Director: Shira Piven

Writer: Eliot Laurence (Screenplay)

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Wes Bentley, Linda Cardellini, Joan Cusack, Loretta Devine, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Robbins, James Marsden

 

Plot: When Alice Klieg wins the Mega-Millions lottery, she immediately quits her psychiatric meds and buys her own talk show.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Good Drama

 

Story: Welcome to Me starts as we meet Alice Klieg (Wiig) who idolises Oprah studying all the tapes of her shows, she lives an isolated life but that is going to change when she wins the $86 million on the lottery. Believing the money has changed herself she drops her Dr Moffet (Robbins) who has been treating her for multiply personality disorder and heads off to Vegas with her best friend Gina (Cardellini).

When Alice meets studio team Rich Ruskin (Marsden), Gabe Ruskin (Bentley), Dawn Hurley (Cusack) and Deb Moseley (Leigh) wanting to create her own talk show which Rich sees this as a chance to save their studio. As the money being spend increases the show reaches new levels of popularity but can the studio continue to extort Alice’s mental issues to make money.

 

Thoughts on Welcome to Me

 

Characters/PerformanceAlice is a very unstable woman that has struggled through all her mental health problems for years, but after winning the lottery she gets her own show on television show where she can deal with all her problems, but can she deal with this new fame. Gabe is one of the studio producers that is willing to help Alice, but is one of the only ones that does want to help rather than use her. Gina is the best friend that gets left behind as Alice becomes obsessed with her own show. We also have the rest of the studio team that see this as a big payday.

Performance wise, Kristen Wiig is fantastic in this leading role showing she is capable of the serious performance away from the full comedy she is known for. Wes Bentley continues to turn his career around with another good performance. Linda Cardellini is also good throughout the film and the other highly respected stars also good great jobs with James Marsden being hugely memorable.

StoryThe story shows how people with mental health issues will find life difficult, but if you add money they can’t explain to themselves to the mix they will get taken advantage off by greedy people, but it also shows how money shouldn’t change friendships but it will. This is a film that has a story which is very important to show how difficult living with mental health issues can be.

Comedy/DramaThe comedy works in the limited moments because the story isn’t a full laughing matter. The drama shows the issues Alice must live with along with her new money.

SettingsThe settings are important because they show the world that Alice comes from to where she finds herself with all her money.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good movie that tells a very important message for the people who struggle with the mental health issues.

 

Overall: Very impressive film I feel people might not have heard off.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – W – The Wrestler (2008)

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Writer: Robert D Siegel (Screenplay)

Starring: Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood, Mark Margolis, Todd Barry, Wass Stevens

 

Plot: A faded professional wrestler must retire, but finds his quest for a new life outside the ring a dispiriting struggle.


Tagline – Love. Pain. Glory.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Modern Great

 

Story: The Wrestler starts as we follow Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson (Rourke) a once icon of the wrestling business, still working small events where he is the star attraction but struggling to make ends meet on the payment for his own trailer park home. Randy is close with the everyday people in his life and has his own go to stripper Cassidy (Tomei).

One night after another show stealing performance Randy suffers a heart-attack where he is warned not to continue wrestling or it will kill him. Randy tries to rekindle his broken relationship with his daughter Stephanie (Wood) while balancing the idea that he could have one final big payday, a rematch against his biggest rival.

 

Thoughts on The Wrestler

 

Characters – Randy ‘The Ram’ Robinson was once the biggest name in wrestling, now he is nearing retirement where he still performs in small venues. His life is turned upside down after a heart attack where he must decide whether to step away from the limelight or continue performing and risking his health. As a wrestling fan this is an interesting character as it shows just how far someone with go to perform for their fans. Cassidy is the stripper that Randy has become friends with over the years, she keeps her personal life away from the clients but when Randy wants to make their friendship more it turns into a pivotal moment in her life too. Stephanie is the daughter of Randy, he was a terrible father when she grew up, but can she forgive him to start a fresh now, that is the question.

PerformancesMickey Rourke does give the performance of his career here, he breaks away from anything we would know him to make us feel everything we see him go through. Marisa Tomei is great as the stripper with a heart and Evan Rachel Wood continued to show us just how talented she was in her growing career of the time.

StoryThe story follows an aging star of a sport needing to face his own mortality or face losing everything. This is a subject which has always been a popular subject because it is icons who are the ones feel could never finish but once they are gone we miss them. Seeing it from the performers point of view works too because we learn what drives them in the one skill they always believed they had.

SportsThe wrestling sequences do give away secrets of the sport which are well known by now but at the time they were lesser known skills outside the business, but the fights feel as brutal as they seem.

SettingsThe settings show us just how far the once star has fallen from grace, he is now not the man he once was living in trailer park, fighting in small events over the big events he once did.


Scene of the Movie –
Pre-Match Speech.

That Moment That Annoyed Me That ending.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the great movies of modern time, it shows the drive performers have to continue doing what they love when they shouldn’t anymore which is why this is a must watch for anyone who has a passion.

 

Overall: Must watch for all wrestling fans.

Rating

 

 

Winchester (2018)

Director: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig

Writer: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig, Tom Vaughn (Screenplay)

Starring: Helen Mirren, Sarah Snook, Jason Clarke, Angus Sampson, Eamon Farren, Laura Brent, Tyler Coppin

 

Plot: Eccentric firearm heiress believes she is haunted by the souls of people killed by the Winchester repeating rifle.


Tagline – Terror is Building

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Horror Moments

 

Story: Winchester starts as we follow Dr Eric Price (Clarke) as he must travel across America to San Jose to the Winchester residents, Sarah Winchester (Mirren) has been building her mansion believing she is can help spirits killed by her husband created that are coming for vengeance.

The spirits have been contained like normal before, but this latest spirit has targeted her niece’s Marion (Snook) son Henry. And Eric must learn that Sarah isn’t as crazy as her fellow board members believe she is.

 

Thoughts on Winchester

 

Characters – Sarah Winchester is a lady that has become part of spiritual legend, she believes the ghosts of the victims of the Winchester rifles have come to haunt her, which leads her to build rooms for these spirits to be left at peace, she now must battle the deadliest spirit and prove that she isn’t insane. Eric Price is a doctor that has been battling his own demons, his addictions have shadowed his judgement, now he must face his own past to help Sarah through her problems.

PerformancesHelen Mirren is the main draw for this movie and she fits this character wonderfully as you fully believe her as this mysterious lady. Jason Clarke comes in as the male lead and he is good through the film, the character he plays needs to be frightened but not scared by what he sees. This has a good supporting cast that deliver through the film.

StoryThe story here is built on a legend that hasn’t been solved, it follows Sarah Winchester who has put her mansion into constant construction believing she needs offer spirits the chance to rest after their deaths. This is the fact behind the story, whether it is true is another question, this is what you would expect this movie to be about. This decides to lose the maybe question and just focus on the doctor needing to help tackle the deadliest spirit yet, so it becomes a dealing with a haunted house movie. It gets rounded off nicely, but you can see the twists coming from a mile away which just disappoints when looking at a story that has much more history about it.

Biopic/Horror/MysteryWhen hearing of the story of Sarah Winchester is something that should be mysterious and interesting, this doesn’t show enough of this history. This effects the mystery because we need to be left up in the air about what is happening rather than it being, this is a ghost haunting movie. The horror elements are the strongest, we have plenty of jump scares which use the house well through the film, but you are left wondering why people follow noises all the time.

SettingsThe film is set in the Winchester mansion, it checks all the boxes need for the film because we know this house has the mystery about it, but strangely we don’t get the labyrinth scale of the mansion.

Special EffectsThe effects work for the most part of the film, the ghosts do have a different look about them and even with the weaker moment we can see past for what is happening.


Scene of the Movie –
Final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not being given a chance for the story to be potential in her head.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid horror, it has good moment of scares, but when this isn’t happening the film does feel flat for the most part.

 

Overall: Good for horror fans.

Rating