Maverick (1994)

maverDirector: Richard Donner

Writer: William Goldman (Screenplay) Roy Huggins (TV Show)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Jodie Foster, James Garner, Graham Greene, Alfred Molina, James Coburn, Dub Taylor

 

Plot: Bret Maverick, needing money for a poker tournament, faces various comic mishaps and challenges, including a charming woman thief.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tiresome Comedy

 

Story: Maverick starts as Bret Maverick (Gibson) finds himself at the end of noose recounting what left him in this awkward predicament. Maverick looking to enter a poker tournament and goes on a string of miss-adventures as he finds himself constantly in trouble to make this happen.

Maverick is joined by thief Annabelle Bransford (Foster) and Marshal Zane Cooper (Garner) but also finds himself having a bounty on is head. Will Maverick make it to the game on time along with finding the money to enter the poker tournament

 

Thoughts on Maverick

 

StoryThis story just seems to be a repeating formula of Maverick finding himself in trouble only to be coning everyone involved. The film actually feel like a series of short episodes after all it is based off a television show but in the end just doesn’t strike all the points it needs to.

Action/Comedy/WesternThe action is based from the comedy going on in the film which is a rinse repeat formula all set to the western backdrop.

Characters/PerformanceMaverick feels like a true con-artists like character that always just escapes from what he finds himself in. Annabelle is made to be a clumsy woman which gets boring after a while with the rest of the characters just seemingly being involved in the wild adventures Maverick finds himself in. when you look at the performances they are all fine but they all get tiresome after a while.

SettingsEach setting throws us back to the old west in a bright colourful way for once as we see all the different locations that Maverick finds himself in. They all help push the film into the direction it is needed for the final game.

Final ThoughtsWe have seen this in other genres and in this one we seem to get the same gag over and over while there is a twist in nearly every scene too.

 

Overall: Not the best and could easily be better.

Ratingcard

 

 

Shallow Grave (1994)

shallowDirector: Danny Boyle

Writer: John Hodge (Screenplay)

Starring: Kerry Fox, Christopher Eccleston, Ewan McGregor, Ken Scott, Keith Allen, Colin McCredie, Victoria Mairn

 

Plot: Three friends discover their new flatmate dead but loaded with cash.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Forgotten Classic

 

Story: Shallow Grave starts when Juliet (Fox), David (Eccleston) and Alex (McGregor) are searching for a new flat mate in the centre of London, the friends have fun while interviewing potential candidates until Hugo (Allen) walks into their lives.

When the friends don’t see Hugo after he moves in they enter his room to find him dead but they also find a large suitcase of money. The friends decide to dispose of the body and keep the money for themselves but this only leads them to learn the true characters coming forward as they also find themselves being hunted down by the people the money actually belong too.

Shallow Grave is a character driven thriller that shows how all friendships could be pushed to the limits when it comes to money. This films shows us just how things can go even if it was just slightly too far to the extremes. I think the tension building through the film shows how the story continues to grow and you simple just don’t know where things will end up going. The negatives would be that we just don’t get enough time to learn where the money really came from or what happened to Hugo.

 

Actor Review

 

Kerry Fox: Juliet is the doctor of the friends who welcomes Hugo into the house and using her skills when it comes to how they can dispose of the body. She is a free spirit not involved with either of the two guys. Kerry is good in this leading role playing both sides of the situation well.

Christopher Eccleston: David comes off as the slightly stuck up while working in a tax office we get to see how his life is run by routine. When he wants to say no to the money he gets pulled around only to find himself having to do the dirty work which makes him more dangerous than the other two thought. Christopher shines as the guy you just don’t know about throughout the film.

Ewan McGregor: Alex seems to be the loud mouth flaky character of the three who always seem to just get by. He will also get the others in trouble but will stand with them to clean up the mess. Ewan is good and shows how he can play the both sides of the story well.

Support Cast: Shallow Grave has a supporting cast which all help with the final story but in the end we are only really follow the main three characters.

Director Review: Danny BoyleDanny shows us just how capable of a director in this is debut in a feature film where he balances the three characters throughout the film.

 

Crime: Shallow Grave gives us the cover up of a crime which only leads to more as the battle between the friends continues.

Thriller: Shallow Grave does keep us on edge through the whole film as we wonder just what will be happening next.

Settings: Shallow Grave has most of the pivotal scenes within the flat showing just how all the characters will be tested through the film.
Special Effects
: Shallow Grave has simple effects when needed but doesn’t turn to them for the sake of it.

Suggestion: Shallow Grave is one I do think people should be watching just to see where Boyle and the stars have come from. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The performances.

Worst Part: We don’t learn enough about where the money really came from.

 

Believability: The breakdown of the friendship could be real.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $2.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

Tagline: The award winning thriller that’ll bury you with laughs.

Trivia: Danny Boyle has stated that of the films he has directed, this is his father’s favorite, and that whenever a new film directed by Boyle junior is released (including Slumdog Millionaire (2008), which won the academy award both for best film and best director) and he asks Boyle senior’s opinion, his father’s review is always the same – “It was good, but not as good as ‘Shallow Grave’.”

 

Overall: A true classic with all the tension you could desire from Danny Boyle.

Ratingcard

 

 

John Carpenter Weekend – In the Mouth of Madness (1994)

mouthDirector: John Carpenter

Writer: Michael De Luca (Screenplay)

Starring: Sam Neill, Julie Carmen, Jurgen Prochnow, David Warner, John Glover, Bernie Casey, Peter Jason, Charlton Heston

 

Plot: An insurance investigator begins discovering that the impact a horror writer’s books have on his fans is more than inspirational.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mind Bending Horror

 

Story: In the Mouth of Madness starts as we meet John Trent (Neill) being taken into a mental asylum where he gets approached to tell his story. Rewind to see Trent at work as an insurance claims investigator, he can spot s fraud better than anyone else in the game. When he gets asked to investigate the disappearance of Sutter Cane (Prochnow) he has to team up with Linda Styles (Carmen) from the publicist as he start to figure out what has happened to the world renowned author.

The two travel looking for a place that is on no map and find themselves entering into a nightmare world of Sutter Cane’s very own creation.  

In the Mouth of Madness really does keep you wondering just what the hell is happening from start to finish. The concept of bending the reality of what is real, written or other dimensional all works because you don’t know what to believe which is something I always like to see in a horror film. It is hard to go into complete details of what happens because a lot is very twisted filled and one that you can decide what you want to believe about what happens.

 

Actor Review

 

Sam Neill: John Trent is an insurance claims investigator and one that could sniff out any cons going on. He gets called up by publicist of world famous author Sutter Cane to find out where he as gone. He starts to think it is just a cover up but his nightmare is only just beginning as we know from the start he is telling the story from a mental asylum. Sam gives us a good performance in this role where he is convincing from start to finish because if you see if going crazy something has to be up.trent

Julie Carmen: Linda Styles goes with Trent is the search for Sutter Cane, she is a massive fan of his work which leads to her understand the place they find themselves in, inside one of his books. Julie gives a good performance in this supporting role.

Jurgen Prochnow: Sutter Cane is the mysterious author who has disappeared just before his latest work is about to be released. When Trent discovers where he is we learn that he believes has these powers over the world with his books. Jurgen gives a good performance as this mysterious author.

David Warner: Dr Wrenn is the doctor being told the story by Trent, that is all his involvement is even though he is the first one to actually listen to him. David does all he needs to in this role.

Support Cast: In the Mouth of Madness has a supporting cast that all work to help push the story be it outside the fictional world or within it.

Director Review: John CarpenterJohn shows that he knows how to change and work with a concept that comes off original.

 

Horror: In the Mouth of Madness really goes into a world of nightmares for our character to find himself in.

Settings: In the Mouth of Madness puts us into a world created by a horror author which works for the concept of the film.
Special Effects
: In the Mouth of Madness uses great effects for all the horror going on in the film.

Suggestion: In the Mouth of Madness is one for the horror fans to watch and enjoy because it is very twisted. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Concept.

Worst Part: Giving away slightly too much early on.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $9 Million

Budget: $8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

Tagline: Lived Any Good Books Lately?

Trivia: The Sutter Cane character is clearly based on John Carpenter‘s friend Stephen King, even referencing King’s New England roots, with Hobb’s Corner filling in for King’s Castle Rock. Carpenter directed a film version of King’s Christine (1983). Additionally Michael De Luca had previously written the screenplay for the King adaptation The Lawnmower Man (1987). However, the characters say that Sutter Cane is even more popular than Stephen King.

 

Overall: Minding horror that is twist filled from start to finish that will leave you shocked.

Ratingcard

Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – New Nightmare (1994)

logoDirector: Wes Craven

Writer: Wes Craven (Screenplay) Wes Craven (Characters)

Starring: Robert Englund, Heather Langenkamp, Miko Hughes, Wes Craven

 

Plot: A demonic force has chosen Freddy Krueger as its portal to the real world. Can Heather play the part of Nancy one last time and trap the evil trying to enter our world?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fresh Prospective

 

Story: New Nightmare starts with the filming of the next Freddy film where Heather Langenkamp (Langenkamp) her partner Chase Porter (Newsom) and son Dylan (Hughes) are going to star but when the mechanical hand  breaks down and starts killing the crew we learn it was only a dream. The three are really just going through an Earthquake.

Heather is dealing with a stalker while trying to get her acting career back on track before getting haunting phone calls from Freddy. Heather gets to meet her fellow co-star Robert Englund (Englund) before being offered a chance to return for the next Nightmare film with the original director Wes Craven. When Dylan continues to act strange it becomes clear that not everything is safe when he uses his toy dinosaur for safety from a mysterious man trying to take him in his sleep. Meanwhile Chase is on route to home when Freddy takes him and we learn the truth that Freddy is trying to break into the real world. This brings the battle into a whole new dimension as we have to see the former stars of the franchise fight against the very much fictional killer or so they thought.

New Nightmare manages to take what looked like a dead franchise and breathe brand new life into it. The idea of bringing everything into the real world works brilliantly because we get to see the everyday problems of the stars and that Freddy was just a character in a film they made together. Another huge plus in this film is that the child been haunted by Freddy is actually only a child not a teenager which shows that Freddy will go after any aged person. On the bad side I didn’t like the idea that Freddy was a demon being killed every time a Nightmare on Elm Street killed him and now the franchise was over he wants to burst out. In the end this really is a great imaginative story that changes the way a franchise was going and should be used as an example to dying franchises. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Robert Englund: Freddy Krueger/Robert Englund, we see Robert playing himself a friendly good natured actor supporting the friends of the franchise. We also see him reprise the role as the serial killer but this time he wants to enter the real world through the actors he has killed in the franchise. Robert makes his Freddy the scariest too date in this film and seeing his normal look adds to the scare factor. (8/10)

 

Heather Langenkamp: Heather Langenkamp is the actress celebrating the tenth anniversary of Nightmare on Elm Street, she has her own family now but with fame comes its bad side, she has herself a stalker and to make matters worse Freddy is trying to break into the real world through her dreams. Heather does a good job as the leading lady playing herself taking on Freddy this time around. (7/10)

 

Miko Hughes: Dylan is Heather’s son who starts acting strange when Freddy starts using him to try and break into the real world. He is struggling with the loss of his father and seems to want to use a toy dinosaur as his defence against Freddy. Miko does a good job as the youngest person Freddy has taken on to date. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: New Nightmare is filled with cameo like performances from the stars of the original films, we also have plenty of doctors thinking they know best.

 

Director Review: Wes Craven – Wes returns to finishes his franchise with his first outing since the original one, he plays the game changer card giving this the award as best sequel in the franchise in the series. (8/10)

 

Horror: New Nightmare brings back the scare levels we want to see in a Freddy Krueger film and manages to make them feel fresh. (8/10)

Thriller: New Nightmare makes us guess right the way through about just what will happen next. (8/10)

Settings: New Nightmare brings the settings to LA where we see how the actors are getting haunted while trying to continue their careers. (8/10)
Special Effects
: New Nightmare still has solid effects but it would be fair to say certain ones have dated now. (5/10)

Suggestion: New Nightmare is the one film in the franchise you can go and watch and not wonder why you did after. (Franchise Fans Must Watch)

 

Best Part: The idea.

Worst Part: Freddy being a demon.

 

Believability: While the whole story is fictional the idea is to make us feel like it is real. (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Last in the series

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $17 Million

Budget: $8 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

Tagline: On October 14th, terror no longer stops at the screen

Trivia: Director Wes Craven had intended to ask Johnny Depp to make an appearance as himself in the funeral scene. Craven never worked up the courage to ask him, but after the film’s release, they ran into each other. Craven asked Depp if he would have made an appearance in the movie and Depp said that he would have, and that Craven should have asked him.

 

Overall: Refreshing, Brave, Game Changer all words that could describe this outing of Freddy Krueger.

Rating 75

The Crow Week – The Crow (1994)

lgoDirector: Alex Proyas

Writer: David J Schow, John Shirley (Screenplay) James O’Barr (Comic Book Characters)

Starring: Brandon Lee, Rochelle Davis, Ernie Hudson, Michael Wincott, Bai Ling, Sofia Shinas, Anna Levine, David Patrick Kelly, Tony Todd

Plot: A man brutally murdered comes back to life as an undead avenger of his and his fiancée’s murder.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Spiritual Revenge film

Story: The Crow starts on the Devil’s Night 30th October where we learn the legend of the Crow returning to avenge their death, where a young couple Eric Draven (Lee) and Shelly (Shinas) get attacked and murdered on the verge of their wedding day. Shelly’s last wish is to protect Sarah (Davis) which Sergeant Albrecht (Hudson) does his best too.

One year later Eric returns from his grave summoned by The Crow where he has t re-live the death he suffered the year before. Guided by The Crow Eric tracks down the hooligans lead by Top Dollar (Wincott) that like to go around causing damage and death without a care in the world.

The Crow brings the old school revenge film from the comic book genre and makes it slick stylish and cool. We have seen plenty of revenge films from people who have just survived an attack or lost people in an attack etc etc, but this brings our hero back from the dead. I will say the style of picking the villains off one by one is easy style to achieve without really challenging us but I also feel we didn’t need much else from the story on that front. I will always praise this film because it has that style that can’t be replicated and will always go down as a classic. (8/10)

Actor Review

Brandon Lee: Eric Draven is the man who gets murdered on the eve of his wedding, one year later he returns to avenge the death of him and his lover. He is now un-killable despite taking countless bullets from the enemy. Brandon gave us a great final performance before the tragic accident on the set of this very film. (8/10)eric

Rochelle Davis: Sarah is the young lady Eric has returned to protected, she lives on the street and was good friends with Eric and Shelly. She gets a chance to say goodbye to her old friend when he comes to her rescue putting her life back on the right path. Rochelle does a solid job in the role but doesn’t fully convince in the role. (5/10)

Ernie Hudson: Sergeant Albrecht is the cop who gets the call to the murder and once Eric returns from the dead he goes against orders to Eric complete his revenge mission while cleaning up the streets in his own way. Ernie gives a good supporting performance throughout the film. (7/10)

Michael Wincott: Top Dollar is the leader of the gang who put the hit on anyone inside the apartment, he is very spiritual and doesn’t care who he kills to get everything he believes in his to take. Michael makes for a good villain of the piece that is over the top at times but the character required it. (7/10)

Support Cast: The Crow has a supporting cast the includes the villains the Eric starts to take out one by one, they are all created to be unlikeable.

Director Review: Alex ProyasAlex gives us a great film that will live long in the memory. (8/10)

Action: The Crow is filled with action sequences that used to kill off one of the bad guys. (8/10)

Fantasy: The Crow brings us into a world of reincarnation with Eric coming back from beyond the grave to kill his killers. (9/10)

Settings: The Crow creates a very dark setting for all the action happening showing us just how dangerous the city really is. (9/10)
Special Effects: The Crow has great special effects even if the most part is just the explosions. (7/10)

Suggestion: The Crow is one I feel everyone should have watched at least once, it really is a classic revenge film. (Watch)

Best Part: Crow in flames.

Worst Part: Slightly generic supporting villains.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final fight.

Kill Of The Film: T-Bird

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Part one of 4

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $50 Million

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: Real love is forever.

Overall: Classic Revenge Film that will live long in the memory.

Rating 80