Franchise Weekend – Jeepers Creepers II (2003)

Director: Victor Salva

Writer: Victor Salva (Screenplay)

Starring: Ray Wise, Jonathan Breck, Garikayi Mutambirwa, Eric Nenninger, Nicki Aycox, Travis Schiffner

 

Plot: Set a few days after the original, a championship basketball team’s bus is attacked by The Creeper, the winged, flesh-eating terror, on the last day of his 23-day feeding frenzy.


Tagline – The Creeper is back for more.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Fun Sequel

 

Story: Jeepers Creeper II starts as we see Jack Taggart Sr (Wise) lose a child to the Creeper (Breck), he has had to wait for the creature to returns and on the final day of his feeding frenzy a basketball team travelling home finds themselves becoming the next attraction of his menu.

Minxie (Aycox), Double D (Mutambirwa), Scotty (Nenninger), Izzy (Schiffner) are just a couple of the players who get standard as the Creeper starts to pick them off one by one. the team must work together to fight back, while Jack will finally get to have revenge on the Creeper.

 

Thoughts on Jeepers Creepers II

 

Characters – Jack Taggart Sr sees his youngest son taken by the creeper, he has been waiting for revenge and learning this is the final night of hunting, he looks to get the revenge he desires and stop the creeper once and for all. The Creeper is still hunting, it is on the last day of the 23rd day feeding frenzy, it will select its options and has the ability to regenerate damage done to it. Minxie is one of the cheerleaders that gets a message in her dreams from the previous victims warning her about the Creeper and the rules that apply to him. We have a string over different basketball players that have tension between each other as they show their true colours when trying to survive.

PerformancesRay Wise is the star of the movie, he makes us believe that he is the desperate and will do anything to get revenge. Jonathan Breck is great as the creeper which only makes us feel scared of this character. When we get to the high school students, the actors are fine, we have too many different ones for anyone to truly stand out from the rest.

StoryThe story continues the legacy of the Creeper, we know how it comes out every 23 years to eat for 23 days, we are on the final day which leaves our characters being picked off as the Creepers final few meals. Now, this does bring a couple o problems to the table, first off comes the fact we have too many characters, none of them get enough time to shine in anyway when it comes to facing off against the creeper, there doesn’t seem to be a true leading figure of the student. That is the weak, the strong side comes from seeing how one man has been hunting the Creeper to get revenge for what happened to his son, this is a side of the story I feel we could have seen a lot more time spent on, instead of the weak slasher side of the events.

HorrorThe horror in the film focuses on the Creeper hunting down its latest victims, now this turns the horror into a slasher style more often than not, stepping away from the gothic feel the first one created.

SettingsThe film is set on a random road in the middle of nowhere after the student get standard, they can’t run because the Creeper is outside, we then spend most of the film following them decide whether to run around fields or not.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects it would be fair to say they are solid for the most part, the practical ones do feel as brutal as they need to be which is what is important.


Scene of the Movie –
The field of screams.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The switch from gothic to slasher disappoints.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid enough sequel which will continue the legacy of the Creeper for the fans of the original film, the style might well have changed, but overall we can have a good time watching.

 

Overall: Simple fun sequel.

Rating

 

 

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The Station Agent (2003)

Director: Tom McCarthy

Writer: Tom McCarthy (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale, Michelle Williams, Josh Pais

 

Plot: When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor and a woman dealing with her own personal loss.


Tagline – Loneliness is much better when you have got someone to share it with

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming

 

Story: The Station Agent starts when Finbar McBride (Dinklage) must relocate to rural new Jersey after his friend passes away, he wants a quiet solitude life, as he moves into an abandoned train station. He just so happens to be opposite a chatty hotdog vendor Joe (Cannavale). Finbar continues to meet the locals including the clumsy Olivia (Clarkson) and Emily (Williams).

Finbar, Joe and Olivia end up striking up an unlikely friendship as Fin learns to let people in to his life, Joe learns to open up more about life and Olivia reveals her own tragic story.

 

Thoughts on The Station Agent

 

Characters – Finbar has always worked and lived in the same location until his friend dies, Fin is forced to move out of the city where he wants to continue his life of isolation, only the overly welcoming locals want to be his friend. Finbar starts to learn about other people’s problems as loneliness isn’t the best thing in his life. Olivia nearly runs Finbar over, she is dealing with her own problems that she is covering up with a bubbly personality, she becomes one of the people that Fin wants to help. Joe runs a hot dog stand opposite Fin’s new home, he likes to chat and wants to become Fin’s friend, he has his own problems that he doesn’t want to talk to anybody else about.

PerformancesPeter Dinklage showed the whole world just how talented he is as an actor in this leading role, Patricia Clarkson is also wonderful in her role as we feel the pain her character is going through. Bobby Cannavale completes the main cast with an enjoyable performance

StoryThe story here follows one man that must relocate after his friend dies, he wants to be left in isolation only for the locals to just want to welcome him to the neighbourhood, even if they have their own problems. This is a story that teaches people that need to have a friend to get through your problems, even if the friend comes from the most unlikely location in your everyday life. It shows how people can live a life in pain without you knowing until you are willing to listen to them. It can show how life isn’t going to be easy and it can take you down dark paths and you will need people to help you.

ComedyThe film fits the comedy drama wonderfully, handling the serious nature of the events of the film, while getting the laughs when needed.

SettingsThe film is set in a small location of a town outside of New Jersey, the people are friendly and have problems, they want to stay strong in the eyes of the other members of the community.


Scene of the Movie –
The final shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We do have too many dwarf jokes, which feel like they haven’t aged well.

Final ThoughtsThis is a charming comedy drama that shows the real struggles in life with friendship coming from the unlikely places.

 

Overall: Enjoyable comedy drama.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Daredevil (2003)

Director: Mark Steven Johnson

Writer: Mark Steven Johnson (Screenplay)

Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jon Favreau, Scott Terra, Ellen Pompeo

 

Plot: A man blinded by toxic waste which also enhanced his remaining senses fights crime as an acrobatic martial arts superhero.


Tagline – A man without hope, is a man without… fear.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Origin Film

 

Story: Daredevil starts when young Matt Murdock becomes blind through a freak accident only to see his other sense bring him new life and after his father’s death, he dedicates his life to help fight for the ones who need it. Now an adult Matt (Affleck) he has become a lawyer to help people the mob victimise, if he doesn’t get justice in a courtroom, he puts on the mask to become Daredevil and eliminates the threat.

The Kingpin (Duncan) runs the town and he keeps everyone working for him under control, tired of Daredevil causing problems, he hires Bullseye (Farrell). With a new love interest in warrior Elektra (Garner) the daughter of a billionaire, the sides all come together to give Matt his toughest battle yet.

 

Thoughts on Daredevil

 

Characters – Matt Murdock was blinded as a child and saw his father killed by the mob. He dedicates his life to stopping the mob in a courtroom and if that fails, he will take justice into his own hands. A trained warrior who uses sound to visualise his enemies believing that revenge in the best way to solve the problems. Elektra is the daughter of a billionaire who grabs Matt’s attention, she is trained to protect herself and after her father is killed, she sets out on her own mission for revenge. Bullseye is an assassin for hire, he never misses, well that is his skill, he can turn anything into a weapon and enjoys the competition. The Kingpin is the man that runs the neighbourhood’s crime ring, he will kill anyone that gets in his way and doesn’t care who he kills.

PerformancesBen Affleck in the leading role is good for what he needs to do, there might be a few questions over the blind scenes, but for the fights he can handle himself well. Jennifer Garner has the look and experience in the combat roles, she doesn’t have much to do outside of this though. Michael Clarke Duncan in a villainous role where he is bigger than his opponent is an easy and good choice, while Colin Farrell seems to love playing this role.

StoryThe story shows us how Daredevil rose up to take on the biggest crime boss in the city of New York, he does have to question where he lays in the battle, will he cross the lines the villains do and get revenge for his father’s death. this might seem like a pretty safe origin story which is all we want at times. We do keep most of the story around human enhancements over superpowers which is good to see to because at times we are facing anything from Gods to aliens. The way this story is told does make it feel like an adult Spider-man though.

Action/AdventureThe action in the film is entertaining, we have a couple of close combat sequences bringing in an Eastern fight style to the Western heroes mentality which was different at the time compared to what the other comic book films were giving us.

SettingsThe film is set in New York city which is always known for the high crime levels which would make a vigilante believable.

Special EffectsThe effects are interesting because we get the idea of how Matt can see being the main use of effects which does feel unique in style and does add that little something to the fights.


Scene of the Movie –
I never miss.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The blind scenes don’t look natural.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that gets a lot more stick that it deserves if we are being honest, it is a simple to watch comic book movie that gets what it needs to right and doesn’t go wildly over the top.

 

Overall: Entertaining and watchable comic book movie.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life (2003)

Director: Jan de Bont

Writer: Dean Georgaris (Screenplay) Steven E de Souza, James V Hart (Story)

Starring: Angelina Jolie, Gerald Butler, Ciaran Hinds, Chris Barrie, Noah Taylor, Djimon Hounsou, Til Schweiger

 

Plot: Adventurer Lara Croft goes on a quest to save the mythical Pandora’s Box, before an evil scientist finds it, and recruits a former Marine turned mercenary to assist her.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Enough Sequel

 

Story: Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life starts when Lara Croft’s (Jolie) latest treasure hunt ends up with her team killed and her treasure stolen by Chen Lo (Yam) who is willing to sell the orb to arms dealer Jonathan Reiss (Hinds) a former MI6 agent turned evil, that wants to use the orb to locate Pandora’s Box which could bring about the next viral apocalypse on the world.

Lara working with MI6 is joined by disgraced former agent Terry Sheridan (Butler) as per her request as they race around the world to unlock the truth about Pandora’s Box before it ends up in the wrong hands.

 

Thoughts on Lara Croft Tomb Raider: The Cradle of Life

 

Characters – Lara Croft the treasure hunting heroine that travels the world to locate the treasure of the world before they fall into the wrong hands. She is still the kick ass resourceful heroine we know, we see how her connections around the world can help and hinder her quest. Terry Sheridan is the disgraced former MI6 agent, he is granted freedom for information and his former connection with Lara puts him in the middle of the two sides. Jonathan Reiss is the arms dealer that wants Pandora’s Box to be able to sell to the highest bidders to create chaos in the world. he knows how to get results and is happy to kill anyone that crosses his paths. Bryce and Hillary return in the same roles getting the laughs and doing the background work Lara. Kosa is one of the many connections that Lara has around the world, they are good friends after the previous work and respect between the cultures.

PerformancesAngelina Jolie continues to be great in the role of Lara Croft, she had the perfect look for the character and handled the swagger about the character perfectly well. Gerald Butler is good as the shady partner to Lara through the film, giving us rough around the edges figure. Ciaran Hinds is good in the villainous role even if the character is everything you would expect them to be. Barrie and Taylor continue to give the humour when needed. The rest of the cast are fine as they just fill the role required.

StoryThe story here follows Lara Croft on her next treasure hunt where she faces a new shady society lead by weapons dealer who wants to unlock the power of Pandora’s Box. We get to see her globe trot as she is aided by MI6 to locate the mysterious and deadly item. This does continue keep us in the peril filled situations, the idea that Lara has connections around the world to make treasure hunting possible, the shady organisation and treasure that could cause major destruction to the world. This doesn’t test us to the same levels as the first film because as it ends up just following the same formula.

Action/AdventureThe action in the film is big as we have bigger stunts going on through the film including a motorbike sequence along the Great Wall China, flying through the streets of Hong Kong and giant monsters in Africa. The adventure does take us around the world once again which is what we want, but we don’t get enough in tomb locations.

SettingsThe film does take us around the world as we see different locations some iconic, some secret tombs with historic stories.

Special EffectsThe effects are weaker than last time without taking us too far out of the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The Great Wall motorbike scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not enough Tomb location.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid enough sequel that the fans of the original should enjoy, but if you didn’t like the first one you won’t be enjoying as much.

 

Overall: Solid enough for a sequel.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Open Water (2003)

Director: Chris Kentis

Writer: Chris Kentis (Screenplay)

Starring: Blanchard Ryan, Daniel Travis

 

Plot: Based on the true story of two scuba divers accidentally stranded in shark infested waters after their tour boat has left.


Tagline – Who will save you?

Runtime: 1 Hour 19 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Little Thriller

 

Story: Open Water starts as we follow our young couple Susan (Ryan) and Daniel (Travis) who set off for a holiday in the Caribbean, filled with sun, sea and sand. One of their planned activities is a diving trip and heading off in this paradise dive we a healthy amount of people.

Their dream paradise trip takes a turn for the worse when during their dive, a miscalculation by the crew leaves the couple stranded in the ocean. The couple find themselves surrounded by different sea life, starting with jellyfish, but soon turns into hungry sharks, how long can they survive this.

 

Thoughts on Open Water

 

Characters – Susan and Daniel are just your everyday couple looking for a vacation, they have the same arguments and making up moments as you would imagine, even after being left stranded in the ocean, they try to remain calm using their knowledge of documentaries to survive. We must follow them for most of the film, so you will have to get used to their characters.

PerformancesDaniel and Blanchard do a good job holding our attention through the film, they must work and not being given the whole over panicking idea does help with their performances.

StoryThe story keeps everything simple, a couple head off on a diving trip only to be left behind in the open ocean, we follow as we see if they can survive as they wait for rescue with sharks starting to sense an easy meal. This does everything it needs to with the story, we don’t need to get overly invested in the supporting characters and just focus on the hopelessness the main characters must be feeling.

Adventure/HorrorThe adventure takes our characters into the open ocean, the horror comes from being left there waiting for rescue, it is simple but effective.

SettingsThe setting is in the title, we have the couple in the middle of the ocean, no clue of direction which adds to the tension being felt through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The first shark appearance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me the reckless counting system.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good thriller, it makes something people could be doing a leisure into a terrifying experience as the couple don’t do anything wrong to be left, they follow the ideas to survive and are left hoping someone could rescue them.

 

Overall: Simple and effective.

Rating