Curse of the Witch’s Doll (2018)

Director: Lawrence Fowler

Writer: Lawrence Fowler (Screenplay)

Starring: Helen Crevel, Philip Ridout, Layla Watts, Neil Hobbs, Claire Carreno, Michelle Archer

 

Plot: After a series of inexplicable events, Adeline Gray believes a haunted doll possesses the soul of a vengeful Witch. To have any hope of being reunited with her missing daughter, she knows she must defeat the evil curse of The Witch’s Doll.


Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Horror Tipped on it’s Head

 

Story: Curse of the Witch’s Doll starts during World War II Adeline (Crevel) takes her daughter Chloe (Watts) to a remote mansion whose doors are opened by Arthur (Ridout) to help them survive the blitz in the big cities.

When it becomes clear the mansion is haunted Chloe goes missing with a witch (Carreno) controlling Adeline forcing her to go through everything to learn the truth.

 

Thoughts on Curse of the Witch’s Doll

 

Characters – Adeline is the mother taking her daughter to safety during the war, she is protective like you would imagine any mother, but what she must go through is another battle she must face. Arthur is the owner of the mansion that has opened the door to Adeline and her daughter. Chloe is the daughter that doesn’t want to move and soon enjoys playing hide and seek.

PerformancesHelen Crevel is good in the leading role especially with where he character goes through the film. Philip Ridout is strong because his character becomes crucial in the second half of the film.

StoryThe story starts out just how you would imagine things going, but half way through this story gets turned on its head going into a direction you never see coming. This both keeps the story feeling fresh, but also takes away from what we experience in the opening part of the film. doing this does break away from the normal main stream story telling and could have given us the shocking twist only to fail to use all the potential it had.

HorrorThis does follow the early ideas of horror, it does play into the same scares mostly involving creepy noises or things being thrown on front of the camera, but the lack interest in the characters doesn’t help us care about whether the characters survive any scares.

SettingsMost of the film, in whichever part of the film takes place in the mansion away from the world, which helps create the isolation needed for the horror to take place in.

Special EffectsThe effects only seem to be used in small moments, anything that happens does seem to happen off camera to stop the need of too many effects being needed.


Scene of the Movie –
The doll image, while cheesy it also seems strangely effective too.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The last 10 minutes just see added for no reason.

Final ThoughtsThis is a clever idea for a horror, but it fails to capitalise on the smart twist it takes, this had potential to be original, but not following through takes away anything new.

 

Overall: Horror that missed the chance.

Rating

 

 

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Weird Science (1985)

Director: John Hughes

Writer: John Hughes (Screenplay)

Starring: Anthony Michael Hall, Kelly LeBrock, Ilan Mitchell-Smith, Bill Paxton Suzanne Snyder, Judie Aronson, Robert Downey Jr

 

Plot: Two high school nerds attempt to create the perfect woman, but she turns out to be more than that.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: 80’s Teen Comedy Fun

 

Story: Weird Science starts as we meet our two social outcasts high school students Gary Wallace (Hall) and Wyatt Donnelly (Mitchell-Smith) who tired of being shunned by the girls at school, decide to build their perfect woman on a computer. This creates their perfect woman, Lisa (LeBrock) who they gave intelligence to go with her sexiness.

Lisa shows the boys a good time as well as teaching them to stand up for themselves be it Wyatt over his military school brother Chet (Paxton) or Gary when it comes to talking to woman. The two boys learn so much from Lisa so they will be ready for the real world.

 

Thoughts on Weird Science

 

Characters/PerformanceGary is the slightly more confident of the two boys, he stays positive through all the bad things that have happened to the two, but he can get them in trouble too. Wyatt is the constantly worrying of the two, he is the computer whiz that does the technical side of creating Lisa. Lisa is the created woman that finds a way to bring out the best in the boys as she is a free spirit that will let the boys see the new vision on life.

Performance wise, Hall was one of the go to teen stars of the time and this shows why he was great in these geek like roles, Mitchel-Smith was also good through the film too showing he could handle the teen comedy genre. Kelly LeBrock fits the role perfectly looking the part needed for the sexy woman the boys couldn’t understand.

StoryThe story does follow two nerds that don’t fit in getting shown the way to fit in by just being themselves rather than trying to impress others. This story fits into the 80 style of storytelling with an over the top idea into a fantasy film.

Comedy/Romance/Sci-FiThe comedy clicks for the time even if some moments do come off dated in places with the romance being teen romance which is all fine and the sci-fi comes from being able to create your own woman.

SettingsThe settings show us the different environment Gary and Wyatt must go into to fit in as well as keeping the home comfortable for them.

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to 80s film this will must go down as one of the best, parts have dated now but this still does what teen comedies should do throughout.

 

Overall: Classic 80s teen comedy.

Rating

 

 

The Texture of Falling (2018)

Director: Maria Allred

Writer: Maria Allred (Screenplay)

Starring: Maria Allred, Benjamin Farmer, Patrick D Green, Donny Persons, Julie Webb

 

Plot: Louisa (Julie Webb) is a filmmaker reeling from a recent professional dejection, who meets Luke (Patrick Green), a pianist experiencing his own artistic crisis. Despite a long-term relationship with Ati, (Donny Persons), Louisa is intrigued by Luke. As Louisa falls for him, her skepticism of romantic love begins to unravel as she surrenders to her passions. But as Louisa and Luke’s romance blooms, a simultaneous story arises as Michael (Benjamin Farmer), a wayward architect estranged from his wife, meets Sylvia, an enigmatic painter. But are these parallels merely a coincidence?


Tagline – An intricate tapestry of love, power dynamics, and artistic drive weaves through Portland, Oregon’s picturesque cityscape and begs the question, what is real?

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Thriller

 

Story: The Texture of Falling starts as we meet filmmaker Louisa (Webb) that is struggling with her work, who bumps into Luke (Green) a man she had previously met at a film gathering even though Louisa is in a dwindling relationship. We also follow Michael (Farmer) an architect who isn’t enjoying the company of his wife who meets artist Sylvia (Allred) that opens new doors for experiences for him.

Just when things start to look promising for the four, things start to go badly as the previous current relationships show the importance of where they want to be going.

 

Thoughts on The Texture of Falling

 

Characters – Louisa is a filmmaker that is struggling with her latest project, she has put added pressure on herself to succeed with this project, but a spark with musician Luke distracts her from this only to leave her right where she started. Luke is a musician that previously worked with Louisa on projects, but now he is also lost with his carer which drives him to the arms of Louisa even if it does mean losing he kids or not. Sylvia is an artist that gets involved with Michael the architect, she pushes him to new limits, while having an air of mystery about her. Michael is an architect that has never come out of his comfort zone until he meets Sylvia a woman that shows him something new away from his wife.

PerformancesThe performances across the film are good with Julie Webb giving the strongest as down on her luck and inspiration filmmaker, I feel we do spend slightly more time with her and Patrick Green and they work well together. Maria Allred pulls double duty, both behind the camera and on front and you can see her talent through as a director with her use of visuals in the movie.

StoryThe story follows two different relationships play out with four people who have their own problems which could stop them finding their way to make everything work out. Everything plays out to give us a real relationship feeling and by the end of the film everything will be turned on its head for you.

ThrillerThis does a thriller side to things as we see how things could be going wrong.

SettingsThe settings keep us in Portland which is a big city showing the people from different worlds can collide.


Scene of the Movie –
The final 10 minutes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Michael really can’t pour champagne

Final ThoughtsThis an enjoyable relationship based drama thriller that shows how difficult it can be when meeting people in the life which could change it, with a twist that will surprise you.

 

Overall: Smart drama thriller that reflects moments of real life.

Rating

 

 

Jungle (2017)

Director: Greg McLean

Writer: Justin Monjo (Screenplay) Yossi Ghinsberg (Book)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Thomas Kretschmann, Alex Russell, Joel Jackson, Lily Sullivan, Joel Jackson

 

Plot: A group of friends join a guide for a trek into the Bolivian jungle, searching for an Indian village. The men soon realize that the jungle is a difficult place to be.


Tagline – Nature Has Only One Law – Survival

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brutal Adventure Story

 

Story: Jungle starts as we follow Israeli young men Yossi Ghinsberg (Radcliffe) as he spends a planned year travelling, finding himself in Bolivia meeting Marcus (Jackson) and Kevin (Russell) two fellow travellers. When they meet guide Karl (Kretschmann) he offers to guide them through the jungle, which the three accept as an experience they couldn’t refuse.

When Marcus becomes injured and unable to walk, the group must find another way out of the jungle, which involve heading down the river on a raft. This causes the group to split up with Karl taking Marcus back by foot, while Yossi and Kevin head off further into the jungle. Once the friends hit some strong rapids, the two becomes separate and now Yossi is alone in the jungle.

 

Thoughts on Jungle

 

Characters – Yossi is the Israeli backpacker that in Bolivia heads off into the jungle with newly found friends, when he gets separated we follow his epic battle to survive the wilderness in the harsh environment where he must learn to survive. Kevin is the American photographer that joins on the adventure through the jungle hoping to get some breath-taking shots, he does get them but does find himself alone once he gets split up from the rest of the group. Karl is the guide that knows he way through the jungle, he takes the injured Marcus back to safety leaving the other two to fend for themselves.

PerformancesDaniel Radcliffe is fantastic in this leading role, he continues to push himself away from the Harry Potter films with another challenging role which pushed to the limits. We have a good supporting cast who all perform well, but they don’t get much time to be anything but good.

StoryThe story follows Yossi incredible story of survival when he got lost in the Bolivian jungle. It starts out as an innocent trip in the jungle, but soon turns into a nightmare, this is based on the book by Yossi, so, well you know how it is going to end, but seeing what he goes through is hellacious to say the least. If you want to see a story of one man’s desperate battle to survive then this one will be for you to enjoy.

Action/AdventureThe action adventure side of the film shows just how much Yossi must do to survive the situation he finds himself in and just what he must do to survive.

SettingsThe film is set in the jungle, which makes perfect sense, we get to see just how real the experience would have been for Yossi, we even get the moments of beauty he was searching for.

Special EffectsWe have a mix of effects here, the practical ones that Radcliffe goes through, but the strange vision sequences don’t seem to click well enough.


Scene of the Movie –
Head Bug.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It needed more in the endurance.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that has a brilliant performance from Radcliffe who goes through a hell of a lot. It does feel slightly long in places though.

 

Overall: Radcliffe Shines.

Rating

 

 

Jean-Claude Van Damme Weekend – Dragon Eyes (2012)

Director: John Hyams

Writer: Tim Tori (Screenplay)

Starring: Cung Le, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Johnny Holmes, Peter Weller, Sam Medina

 

Plot: In St. Jude, drug dealers and corrupt cops have destroyed an urban neighborhood. But newcomer, Hong, has the fighting skills and moral vision to save this town from itself.


Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Action Film

 

Story: Dragon Eyes starts as Hong (Le) gets taken under the mentorship of Tiano (Van Damme) while in prison, once released he heads to St Jude, a rough neighbourhood with waring drug dealers who are destroying the lives of the innocent residents in the area.

Creating a war between the two sides, Hong finds himself targeted by the main kingpin between the two Mister V (Weller) who uses him to clean up the messes he has, but Hong wants to bring down the whole system which involves corrupt police and everything.

 

Thoughts on Dragon Eyes

 

Characters – Hong is a mysterious stranger that locates himself in the middle of the St Jude drug war, he rises up the ranks to make an impact on gangs becoming the go to man for Mister V, but he refuses to kill people and has been training for his own form of revenge. Tiano trained Hong in prison, he taught him how to handle himself in conflict which lets him go into battle against the gangs. Mister V runs the drug movement in the area, he has the police under his fingers and is willing to go to all ends to make sure his money continues to come in.

PerformancesCung Le handles the combat side of the film well, never looking out of place, but his dialogue delivery sometimes leaves something to the imagination. Van Damme is barely in the film, he is used in the flashbacks to learn the training. Peter Weller enjoys the villainous role which is the highlight of the storytelling of everything.

StoryThe story here plays out like one man sets to bring down the drug culture in a small town but not everything goes to the plan. The way the story is told does feel messy because it jumps between timelines making us unsure which is the current timeline, until we are well into the film. the story is just like you would expect a film based on the action to turn out like though.

Action/Crime The action in the film is good for entertainment because we have the action that never challenges the audience. The crime world we enter works too because we see how hopeless it feels for the people.

SettingsThe main setting in the film is St Jude, a drug filled crime area of town which needs cleaning up, this isn’t the worst, but it could be anything you want it to be in a location.


Scene of the Movie –
Final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The way the story is told.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid enough action movie, it ticks the boxes needed but never ends up looking as polished as it could have been.

 

Overall: Easy to watch.

Rating