The Glass House (2001)

glassDirector: Daniel Sackheim

Writer: Wesley Strick (Screenplay)

Starring: Leelee Sobieski, Diane Lane, Stellan Skarsgard, Bruce Dern, Kathy Baker, Trevor Morgan, Chris North

 

Plot: An orphaned teenager is taken in by a Malibu couple but discovers they aren’t the caring friends they seemed to be.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Solid Thriller

 

Story: The Glass House starts as high school student Ruby Baker (Sobieski) and her younger brother Rhett (Morgan) lose their parents in a car accident they find themselves orphaned and having to move into the Glass household with Erin (Lane) and Terry (Skarsgard).

After spending time with the family Ruby starts to suspect something strange going on with the Glass family and that they have an alternative motive for wanting to take the orphaned children in.

The Glass House is a thriller that does follow the ABC ideas of most of these domestic thrillers where the eldest child has to prove their new guardians are not who they thought they could be even if they have trick the others into believe they are good and all the people that are important. The problem here is that this is nothing overly fresh, it also doesn’t push any of the boundaries needed for the thriller side of the story. it all just becomes extreme average as easily forgettable.

 

Overall: Basic thriller that just doesn’t hit any of the good marks needed in a true thriller.

Rating45

 

 

Movie Reviews Midnight Halloween Horror Franchise – Tremors 3: Back to Perfection (2001)

casting card

 

Plot: Third entry in series returns to the small desert town of Perfection, Nevada seen in the first and briefly in the second.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Yet Another Solid Sequel

 

Story: Tremors 3: Back to Perfection starts as Burt (Gross) has continued to track graboids and shriekers around the world and this time he is in Argentina to rid them of the problems. Completing this mission Burt returns to Perfection only to find Jack Sawyer (Christian) has been leading tourists around the desert for a graboid experience.

When the graboids return to Perfection Burt leads a few familiar faces including Nancy (Stewart), Mindy (Richards) and Miguel (Genaro) in what was meant to be a fight until Agent Rusk (Pappas) and Dr Merliss (Livingston) arrive claiming it to be illegal to hunt an endangered species of the graboids. This time the graboids and shriekers have evolved once more into ass-blasters.

Tremors 3: Back to Perfection brings the action back to the home town of the graboids which is what the second film lost. I do think we need to keep the action in this location because we also bring back fellow members in the town. As for originality we don’t get too much as it is just a group of people trying to survive. The only fresh angle which never got used enough was that the government want to protect the graboids. For some reason I remember more from this film from when I was younger though.

 

Actor Review

 

Michael Gross: Burt returns home only to find that the graboids have returned, he has built his house to be a fortress when the graboids try to attack but he can’t hunt to kill this time as the government wants to protect them. He uses all his experience to follow these rules and save his hometown once more. Michael finally becomes the character I have known went I heard the name Tremors.

Shawn Christian: Desert Jack runs a fake tourist attraction in the town of Perfection but when the graboids really turn up he must work with Burt to fight and survive from the attacks. Shawn fits the description need for the role without being anything special.

Susan Chuang: Jodi is the new shop keeper of the town of Perfection, she has been selling merchandise from the graboids that have made her money after giving up high salary job in the big city. Susan is good in this role that is the strongest of the leading females we have seen.

Charlotte Stewart: Nancy is one of the town’s people still leaving in Perfection, she is still protecting her daughter from the graboids but this time she calls in the government to deal with the problem. Charlotte is good but nothing over most of the supporting cast.

Support Cast: Tremors 3: Back to Perfection has a very standard supporting cast not adding too much to the final film.

Director Review: Brent MaddockBrent continues the fun behind the movie which works for making it enjoyable.

 

Action: Tremors 3: Back to Perfection has good action when it comes to fighting the creatures.

Comedy: Tremors 3: Back to Perfection has a few laughs but not to the same level the first two did.

Horror: Tremors 3: Back to Perfection brings in us yet another creature into the battle making the horror coming from three different directions.

Settings: Tremors 3: Back to Perfection brings us back to Perfection which I feel is the best thing for the franchise.
Special Effects
: Tremors 3: Back to Perfection has solid special effects with a mix of practical and CGI effects.

Suggestion: Tremors 3: Back to Perfection is one for the fans of the franchise to still enjoy. (Franchise Fans)

 

Best Part: New creature.

Worst Part: We do keep losing the leading actors who are not returning.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

Tagline: They’re Baaack!!!!

Trivia: In the scene involving the tourist mother and son conversing with Burt Gummer, the boy asks for his picture to be taken with ‘the tremor’, playing on a common misconception that the title ‘Tremors’ was also the name of the creatures despite the fact they are actually referred to as ‘graboids’ in the previous films.

 

Overall: Solid sequel that is yet again a fun watch.

Ratingcard

 

Shaolin Soccer (2001)

shaolinDirector: Stephen Chow

Writer: Stephen Chow, Kan-Cheung Tsang, Min Hun Fung, Chi Keung Fung (Screenplay)

Starring: Stephen Chow, Zhou Wei, Man-Tat Mg, Yin Tse, Cecilia Cheung, Karen Mok, Vincent Kok

 

Plot: A young Shaolin follower reunites with his discouraged brothers to form a soccer team using their martial art skills to their advantage.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable

 

Story: Shaolin Soccer starts as we see Golden Leg Fung the star football (I am calling it football not soccer because that is the name of the sport) player takes a bride to missed from Hung only to find himself crippled by the crowd. 20 years later Hung (Tse) is the coach of Team Evil and Golden Leg (Ng) is a crippled kit man who wants to coach his own team.

Golden Leg’s luck is about to change when he meets Mighty Steel Leg Sing (Chow) who has been practising the Kung Fu style of Shaolin and wants to embrace it into the game of football. Steel Leg brings together his brothers to form a team to take on Team Evil for the prize of $1 Million but can this unique style work on the football pitch?

Shaolin Soccer is one of those films where the story feels like it has been ripped from a comic book and thrown together to enter us into a world where we have to suspense our disbelief throughout the story. I do think it does play out like your standard sports film coming from nowhere to beat the best known team we know the final will be the biggest test too so on that side nothing is truly fresh. The films story is all about how Kung Fu can be used to make football an achievable sport for the talentless players.

 

Actor Review

 

Stephen Chow: Mighty Steel Leg Sing lives on the streets as he is determined to find a use for his Shaolin Kung Fu training. When he meets Golden Leg Fung he decides to try football and with this he reunites his brothers to make the most unorthodox team to enter the tournament. Stephen shines in this showing off his kung fu skills with his comedy skills.

Zhou Wei: Mui is a street cook that hides herself from the world but Steel Leg sees past her to see her real beauty as he tries to bring her out of her shell. Zhou is good in this supporting role which all works for the film.

Man-Tat Ng: Golden Leg Fung is a former football star that took a bride which ended his career, tired of being just the kit man he agrees to coach Mighty Steal Leg and his team as they enter the most famous tournament around. Man-Tat is good in this role as the man seeking one last chance to make up for his mistake.

Yin Tse: Team Evil Coach Hung ruined Golden Leg’s football career before using all of his wealth to control the gang making his team the all powerful force in the sports. Yin is good in this supporting role playing your typical villain.

Support Cast: Shaolin Soccer has a supporting cat which is mostly the rest of the team who all have their own abilities, they all add to the comedy being used through the film.

Director Review: Stephen ChowStephen puts together this entertaining film as well as starring in the leading role showing he can handle both sides of the job.

 

Action: Shaolin Soccer is filled with over the top whacky kung fu action.

Comedy: Shaolin Soccer makes you laugh with just how over the top everything really is going on through the film.

Sports: Shaolin Soccer brings us a fresh mix on football which we haven’t seen before.

Settings: Shaolin Soccer shows how the men are coming from the bottom of the streets to become household names.
Special Effects
: Shaolin Soccer uses the effects to make everything happen with the Shaolin work which works but you can see them happening.

Suggestion: Shaolin Soccer is one you can just put on to sit back and relax. (Relax and Watch)

 

Best Part: All the over the top Kung Fu football mixing.

Worst Part: Certain special effects you can see how fake they are.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: The sensation that swept Asia is coming to theaters!

 

Overall: A true sit back and relax film that can be enjoyed

Ratingcard

 

 

Paul Bettany Weekend – A Beautiful Mind (2001)

beatfulDirector: Ron Howard

Writer: Akiva Goldman (Screenplay) Sylvia Nasar (Book)

Starring: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Christopher Plummer, Adam Goldberg, Josh Lucas, Jason Gray-Stanford, Judd Hirsch

 

Plot: After a brilliant but asocial mathematician, John Nash, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Drama

 

Story: A Beautiful Mind starts as we see John Nash (Crowe) start his time at Princeton University where we meet fellow students Sol (Goldberg), Hansen (Lucas), Bender (Rapp), Ainsley (Gray-Stanford) and his roommate Charles (Bettany). Struggling to find his place in the University it takes an everyday occurrence for John to final start rolling on his theory.

After becoming the brightest student John moves onto becoming a teacher while secretly working for the government on code breaking reporting to Parcher (Harris). While teaching he meets the beautiful Alicia Nash (Connelly) and the two strike it off before starting their lives together.

When it becomes apparent John is struggling to manage both live the people that care about him with Charles returning to his life, Parcher pushing him too much and his wife wondering what he is up to, but this beautiful mind is about to be tested when Dr Rosen (Plummer) a psychologist enters his life.

A Beautiful Mind is a wonderfully drama showing us the story of one of the greatest minds of our generation. We see how difficult the life was for John before learning of his mind being damaged due to his schizophrenia. We follow from his time in school until his Noble Peace Prize. We see John deal and learn with his condition to still go on achieve greatness in his life. This is such a brilliant story that shows how success you can achieve your potential regardless.

 

Actor Review

 

Russell Crowe: John Nash is the brilliant mathematician that believes he has been working for the government cracking codes, but when we and he learns the truth we discover this beautiful mind is damaged in other ways. We see John’s life from early Princeton till his final acceptance in the scientific world. Russell gives the best performance of his career her where he shines in the drama.john

Ed Harris: Parcher is the man John believes works for the government as he lives the life of mystery and code breaking John believes he is part of. Ed is great in this supporting role.parcher

Jennifer Connelly: Alicia Nash starts off as a student of John’s before being the only person that sees there is something wrong with his mind, she supports him through every decision in their lives. Jennifer is brilliant in this role of the patience wife.

Paul Bettany: Charles is the roommate John has at Princeton that helps him break out of the problems he has been suffering through but we learn the truth about Charles once we learn John’s mental state. Paul put himself on the map with this great supporting role.charles

Support Cast: A Beautiful Mind has a brilliant supporting cast that all give performances worthy of this subject matter.

Director Review: Ron HowardRon shows that he can handle the serious films that are important to see the greatest people in human history.

 

Biographical: A Beautiful Mind shows the struggles John Nash had with his own sanity to achieve unlocking all of the potential inside his mind.

History: A Beautiful Mind is one film that shows the mind of someone so troubled achieving so much.

Settings: A Beautiful Mind uses the real life location re-created for the story to be unfolded in.
Suggestion
: A Beautiful Mind is one for everyone to watch at least once. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The Pen scene.

Worst Part: Slightly too much time on the imagined side of John’s life.

Favourite Quote: Dr Rosen ‘Imagine if you suddenly learned that the people, the places, the moments most important to you were not gone, not dead, but worse, had never been. What kind of hell would that be?’

 

Believability: Based on the John Nash and his amazing story.

Chances of Tears: Maybe a few nearer the end.

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 4 Oscars including Best Picture, Director and Supporting Actress with another 4 Nomination including Best Actor.

Budget: $60 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 15 Minutes

Tagline: The Only Thing Greater Than the Power of the Mind is the Courage of the Heart

Trivia: John Nash is shown smoking in the film. In reality, he was a militant anti-smoker.

 

Overall: Brilliant Biographical film that is a must watch for all.

Ratingcard

 

 

The 51st State (2001)

logoDirector: Ronny Yu

Writer: Stel Pavlou (Screenplay)

Starring: Samuel L Jackson, Robert Carlyle, Emily Mortimer, Meat Loaf, Sean Pertwee, Rhys Ifans, Ricky Tomlinson

 

Plot: An American master chemist plans to score big on a once in a lifetime drug deal. All does not go as planned and he is soon entangled in a web of deceit.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Loud Fowl Mouthed Drug Film

 

Story: The 51st State starts in 1971 California where Elmo McElroy (Jackson) getting caught smoking weed losing he recently receive diploma in pharmacy. Move forward 30 years Elmo works as a drug maker for The Lizard (Meat Loaf). We learn that Dakota (Mortimer) owes The Lizard a debt which she pays off with her assassin skills. Elmo has taken it upon himself to escape The Lizard but he doesn’t get the job done, this leads to The Lizard giving Dakota a chance to clean her slate for good by sending her to kill Elmo and the drug dealer who never turned up for the deal Durant (Tomlinson).

Next we meet Felix DeSouza (Carlyle) a fellow dealer who is happy to live in Manchester while cheering for Liverpool putting him into conflict when he doesn’t need too. Felix has to deliver Elmo to Durant to help with the latest deal as Elmo brings his product to England but to keep things interesting Dakota just so happens to be Felix’s ex make the assassination attempt difficult due to the personal side.

It is up to Felix and Elmo to try and work out a deal in the city before the time runs out with Dakota trying to track down Elmo to for The Lizard. All this while determined detective Kane (Pertwee) want in on the action and to stop the deal taking place. All these factors lead to the final outcome of the film when we find out just who is playing who.

The 51st State is a film that really made me want to switch it off very early because the needless amount of swearing and aggressive toning of the language just seemed to be there because someone couldn’t think of any real words. I wasn’t the most interested in this film because of the heavy drug use either because I feel drugs over use makes people out to stupid because not everyone needs drugs but the films seems to make the point everyone does. After getting through the opening half of the film and getting used the poorly written script the story does unfold to be quite interesting. We get plenty of twists and turn along the way and the final twist does actually make you smile because of how Elmo has handled it all. (5/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Samuel L Jackson: Elmo McElroy is the most wanted chemist in the world of drugs, he decides to leave his old market behind and take his work to England where he gets stuck in the middle of a battle for power between the drug lords. Samuel does end up giving us a performance you would expect but his image if something that will shock with his kilt. (7/10)

 elmo

Robert Carlyle: Felix DeSouza is the hot head Liverpool fan who works for a drug lord in the city but when things get out of hand he has to help settle the deal for Elmo and his price tickets to Liverpool v Manchester United. Robert gives the performance you would expect from the British star. (7/10)

robert

Emily Mortimer: Dakota Parker is the deadly beautiful assassin who is working off a debt from The Lizard, she has history with Felix but is working on catching Elmo for The Lizard. Emily does a good job as the assassin with a past. (7/10)

 dakota

Meat Loaf: The Lizard is the American drug lord that has been double crossed by Elmo but he isn’t taking it lightly when he sends his best assassin to bring him back to complete the business deal they had going down. Meat Loaf does end up giving a performance you wouldn’t expect from the musician. (7/10)

 

Rhys Ifans: Iki is the local dealer who can help get the deal done in Liverpool once everything gets out of hand. He is playing both sides because he is the go to guy in the city. Rhys is one of the best over the top crazy performers in the acting work and he shows why here. (7/10)

 ike

Support Cast: The 51st State has a supporting cast that includes plenty of different characters involved in the drug world that all help motive our characters.

 

Director Review: Ronny Yu – Ronny does try to give us a crime caper but does he need to just have the characters swearing for the sake of it. (5/10)

 

Action: The 51st State has a couple of fights but most of the action is almost happening. (5/10)

Crime: The 51st State puts us in a drug world well giving us a mixture of colourful characters. (8/10)

Thriller: The 51st State doesn’t pull you in as much as it should because we think everything is done and dusted early on and by the time it has changed we are not sure what to think. (6/10)

Settings: The 51st State uses the setting of Liverpool very well making everything feel like a normal day with the crime happening around it. (8/10)

Suggestion: The 51st State is one to try, I think if you are a fan of the genre you will enjoy but otherwise it might end up feeling like too much. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Final deal.

Worst Part: Too much needless aggressive swearing.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: Early on in the credits.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $28 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Tagline: In a world of shady characters and dirty deals, this is just business as usual.

 

Overall: This is a typical over aggressive drug filled film that has a twist that makes it more enjoyable.

Rating 40