Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror Franchise – Land of the Dead (2005)

landDirector: George A Romero

Writer: George A Romero (Screenplay)

Starring: Simon Baker, John Leguizamo, Dennis Hopper, Asia Argento, Robert Joy, Eugene Clark, Joanne Boland, Tony Nappo, Jennifer Baxter

 

Plot: The living dead have taken over the world, and the last humans live in a walled city to protect themselves as they come to grips with the situation.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Addition to Franchise

 

Story: Land of the Dead starts us to a world where the zombies now control as we meet Riley (Baker), Charlie (Joy) and Cholo (Leguizamo) who go out at night to find supplies for the rich in the safely guarded city. On their nights out collecting supplies the humans uses Sky Flowers (fireworks) to distract zombies but one Big Daddy (Clark) has stopped being distracted and has started to lead the zombies in a new life with fragments of their previous one.

Riley has kept his nose to the ground to get his freedom from the runs while Cholo is always looking for a way to buy his freedom which means putting others at risk. The man they are both looking to for attention is Kaufman (Hopper) leader of the rich in the highest tower in the island.

When Cholo go goes rogue the city is torn apart by the smarter zombies who don’t get distracted that easily and it is Riley’s chance to be free of the city after making a deal with Kaufman to bring back Cholo and the weapons he has taken.

Land of the Dead is yet another great addition to the series, while it isn’t going to break any boundaries like the original trilogy did but solid action related zombie film. While it does follow the same formula, group of survivors are safe but soon their safe heaven is overrun by zombies leaving few alive we get to see it in a different light when it comes to number involved. The special effects have become a lot more realistic which I find takes away from the horror because the original was terrifying to see. The idea the zombies have continued to evolve is a huge plus because this seems to be the only franchise that accepts the idea that this could happen. On the negative we see the first film without the strong leading lady which has to be consider a step back for a franchise which has always had very strong leading characters both male and female.

 

Overall: Fun action horror film that is easy to watch

Rating70

 

 

Advertisements

Franchise Weekend – The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005)

Director: Andrew Adamson

Writer: Ann Peacock, Andrew Adamson, Christopher Markus, Stephen McFeely (Screenplay) C.S. Lewis (Book)

Starring: Georgie Henley, Skandar Keynes, Williams Moseley, Anna Popplewell, Tilda Swinton, James McAvoy, Jim Broadbent

 

Plot: Four kids travel through a wardrobe to the land of Narnia and learn of their destiny to free it with the guidance of a mystical lion.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Start to a Franchise

 

Story: The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe starts as the Pevensie children Lucy (Henley), Edmund (Keynes), Peter (Moseley) and Susan (Popplewell) are evacuated to the country during World War II.

When the youngest Lucy discovers a wardrobe in the house she finds the magical world of Narnia and Mr Tumnus (McAvoy) who teaches her all about this winter ravished land with the evil White Witch controlling. With Edmund finding his way into Narnia he meets the White Witch (Swinton) who asks him to bring the rest of the children to her kingdom.

When the four children are reunited, they learn they must fight alongside Aslan the lion in a battle against the evil Witch in an adventure they could never imagine.

 

Thoughts on The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

 

Characters/PerformanceLucy, Edmund, Peter and Susan are thee four children, they all have their difference but most of all they work together to succeed on their mission. They must look after each other through the human war and the fantasy war they find themselves fighting in. thee White Witch is a character that works on the villainous side of the story and with her deceiving white image we can get misled to her true nature. With any extra characters being the different fantasy creatures the children meet along the way we know the world we find ourselves in.

Performances now, the four children all do a good job in their roles showing each of the character’s strengths and weakness. Tilda Swinton always makes for a great villain with McAvoy giving us a good supporting performance.

StoryStory wise this plays into the idea of what children could find themselves doing when they have escaped from a war-torn country. I do understand that this is meant to be a real adventure they find themselves on but the reality is it can be looked at as an escape. The idea of a battle between good and evil is all fine and needed for this film as it is the start of a bigger set of stories to come.

Adventure/Fantasy/FamilyThe adventure is massive for these children as they find themselves in a fantasy world they could never imagine, this is one the whole family could find themselves enjoying.

SettingsThe settings all come off very well for this film as we see the bleakness of the world the children find themselves escaping from and the wonder of the fantasy world they find themselves entering.

Special EffectsMost of the special effects here are brilliant, we do have a lot of CGI which in the most part in flawless it would only be the voice acting for some of the creatures that I would question.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good starter for a franchise, it does go generic with the male children doing the fighting and the female being considered for magic and curing style but this franchise came at the wrong time getting buried by the Harry Potter one.

 

Overall: This is how you start a franchise correctly.

Rating

 

 

Kingdom of Heaven (2005)

kingDirector: Ridley Scott

Writer: William Monahan (Screenplay)

Starring: Orlando Bloom, Eva Green, Liam Neeson, Jeremy Irons, David Thewlis, Brendan Gleeson, Maron Csokas, Edward Norton

 

Plot: Balian of Ibelin travels to Jerusalem during the crusades of the 12th century, and there he finds himself as the defender of the city and its people.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Long History Lesson

 

Story: Kingdom of Heaven starts as we meet Balian (Bloom) a blacksmith whose wife has committed the ultimate sin, suicide. When his father the great warrior Godfrey de Ibelin (Neeson) arrives offering to take him to the promise land of Jerusalem to become a warrior he takes the chance to escape the past which is haunting him. When his father dies, he must continue on without him across the seas and the dessert.

Arriving in Jerusalem Balian must start to find his faith once again in a town where prays can be had by any religion un the strict leadership of King Baldwin (Norton). Balian finds himself having to lead the armies of Baldwin as he finds himself in the middle of a religious war during the crusades.

Kingdom of Heaven gives us the story of the battle for Jerusalem during the crusades, I am not good with all my history so most of this I had no idea before watching which made this film all the more difficult to understand what was going on. The battles sequences all come off very well without being wow.

The performance all seem to be what you would expect from the stars involved with the elder being good for their smaller roles and Bloom struggle to be the leading man. In the end this feel just like all the other historical war films with nothing special about what is going on really.

 

Overall: Overly long history lesson that we didn’t need to know.

Ratingcard

 

 

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang (2005)

kissDirector: Shane Black

Writer: Shane Black (Screenplay) Brett Halliday (Novel)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Val Kilmer, Michelle Monaghan, Corbin Bernsen, Dash Mihok, Larry Miller, Rockmond Dunbar

 

Plot: A murder mystery brings together a private eye, a struggling actress, and a thief masquerading as an actor.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Crime Comedy

 

Story: Kiss Kiss Bang Bang starts as we meet Harry (Downey Jr) who is once a thief but ends up finding himself hired as an actor in LA. We also meet aspiring actress Harmony (Monaghan) and private eye Gay Perry (Kilmer) who are all at the same party in LA. For the role Harry accidently lands himself he has to spend some time with Gay Perry learning how a private investigator works.

When the two find themselves in the middle of a cover up that ended up having to find out who murdered Harmony’s sister.

Kiss Kiss Bang Bang is a crime comedy that only Shane Black can bring us, we get a unique way of telling the story. we get the almost odd couple having to work together but that is more along the lines of a who dun it which could easily fit in any comedy mystery show. It is the creation of the characters and their interactions which makes for all the laughs throughout the film with the overreaction to things that have happened years before.

Downey Jr and Kilmer are excellent together really getting all of the laughs throughout and Monaghan is great completion to the leading trio. When it comes to the villain side of the story we don’t get very strong characters on this side of the story. this is a fun alternative Christmas comedy mystery film but you will have to be used to the style of Shane Black.

 

Overall: Enjoy comedy that will only work if you are prepared for the style of comedy being used.

Ratingcard

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – 2001 Maniacs (2005)

2001Director: Tim Sullivan

Writer: Tim Sullivan, Chris Kobin (Screenplay)

Starring: Robert Englund, Lin Shaye, Giuseppe Andrews, Jay Gillespie, Maria Malcolm, Dylan Edrington, Matthew Carey, Peter Stormare, Gin Marie Heekin, Brian Gross

 

Plot: Eight college students traveling to Florida for Spring Break stumble into a remote town in Georgia where they are set upon by the residents who are out to avenge their deaths by Union troops over 100 years earlier during the Civil War.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gore Filled Horror

 

Story: 2001 Maniacs starts as three history students Anderson (Gillespie), Nelson (Edrington) and Cory (Carey) failing through college before spring breaks gives them a chance to party some more. When the three friends meet fellow travellers including two hot girls Joey (Malcolm), Kat (Heekin) and Ricky (Gross) they arrange to meet back up on the beach and we continue our adventure with our three friends who find Pleasant Valley.

When the six find themselves being welcomed by the Mayor Buckman (Englund) for a celebration they decide to stay. As the strangers spend more time in the town they start to go missing before learning the truth about the people in the town. Who will make it out alive.

2001 Maniacs is one of those horrors that came out at the perfect time, it was the time when gore and nudity were big in the industry and this does everything needed. The story is pretty simple, strangers arrive in town and welcomed only to learn not everything is as it seems. Sure this is easy to watch but it is also important that nothing becomes over-complicated too.

 

Actor Review

 

Robert Englund: Mayor Buckman is the man running Pleasant Valley, he is from a time where the south was still in control meaning he only accepts white people in his town. It isn’t long till we learn his motives as the man who welcomes guests with arms wide open. Robert is always going to be a good lead for a film like this.mayr

Lin Shaye: Granny Boone is the host where the guests are staying. She is welcoming throughout the stay trying to make sure all the women look extra pretty. Lin is good in this role where we get to see the added quirky character.

Giuseppe Andrews: Harper is the charming man of the local town that seduces the women who come to town before finding his own way to kill them. Giuseppe is good in this role as you believe he will be calm and crazy in the same side.

Jay Gillespie: Anderson is the nice guy of the three friends travelling who meets the beautiful Joey where he sees a potential new girlfriend, when he learns what is going on he must try to survive. Jay is solid in this role but it could easily be any of the friends.

Support Cast: 2001 Maniacs has a supporting cast which is mostly the victims but also most of the women end up having to do some sort of nudity.

Director Review: Tim SullivanTim gives us a film that reaches all the special effects levels and is filled with all the gore and nudity fitting the genre.

 

Comedy: 2001 Maniacs has a few good one liners when it comes to the kills.

Horror: 2001 Maniacs is gored filled for all of the kills but isn’t suspense filled.

Settings: 2001 Maniacs keeps most of the film in this small town showing how this is more of a tradition rather than mistake.
Special Effects
: 2001 Maniacs has great effects when it comes to the kills which is important for the film.

Suggestion: 2001 Maniacs is one for the horror fans out there to sit down and watch. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The kills.

Worst Part: No suspense.

Kill Of The Film: Got Milk.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Has one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $3 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

Tagline: The south will rise again!

 

Overall: Enjoyable horror that pushes the boundaries on kills.

Ratingcard