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.

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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

 

Franchise Weekend – The Descent (2005)

decsnetDirector: Neil Marshall

Writer: Neil Marshall (Screenplay)

Starring: Shauna Macdonald, Natalie Mendoza, Alex Reid, Saskia Mulder, MyAnna Buring, Nore-Jane Noone

 

Plot: A caving expedition goes horribly wrong, as the explorers become trapped and ultimately pursued by a strange breed of predators.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Horror

 

Story: The Descent starts as we meet adventurers Sarah (Macdonald), Juno (Mendoza) and Beth (Reid) who after their latest adventure suffer a heart-breaking tragedy when Sarah’s husband and child are killed in a car accident.

On year later Sarah and Beth travel to America for Juno’s next adventure, joined by Rebecca (Mulder), Sam (Buring) and Holly (Noone) to go caving. Once in the cave the friends have only one way out, going down but this adventure turns into a nightmare when the girls discover they are not alone in this cave as they must escape from the predators living deep within the cave.

The Descent is one of the most popular modern day horror films out there and it is this because of how simple it keeps the story. we have 6 adventurers who get trapped caving only to have to fight for their lives against creatures from within the cave. This is all we need to create the tension needed in the film but we do also get an interpersonal dynamic between Sarah, Juno and Beth which is also key to decisions being made within the cave. It would be hard to not say this flawless but it is all you need in horror without complicating things.

 

Actor Review

 

Shauna Macdonald: Sarah is our adventurer that suffers a tragedy losing her family in an accident. One year later still suffering the effects she re-joins her friends to go on their latest adventure caving in America to try and forget the tragedy even just for a day or two. Sarah must use all her pent up emotions to fight of the creatures with the cave. Shauna gives us a brilliant performance in this role throughout.

Natalie Mendoza: Juno is the most adventurous of all the girls always arranging the trips. She is in Scotland when Sarah’s family dies and has been involved with Sarah’s husband. Her latest adventure brings the friends back together to go caving but her choice is to explore an unmapped cave which puts everyone’s life at risk. Natalie is a great strong character throughout this film.

Alex Reid: Beth is the best friend of Sarah who has been by her side all the way through the personal tragedy, she joins Sarah and clearly knows what had been going on between Juno and Sarah’s husband. She is the voice of reason between the friends being the oldest of the group. Alex is great in this role being the typical best friend needed to our main character.

Saskia Mulder: Rebecca is one of the other friends joining the trip who comes off like just one of the other three really. Saskia does everything she needs to in this supporting role.

Support Cast: The Descent really has a small supporting cast with the other two cavers doing all they need to giving us a friendship we can believe between them all.

Director Review: Neil MarshallNeil gives us one of the best modern day horror movies that keeps the concept simple but the scares terrifying.

 

Adventure: The Descent gives us an adventure that turns into a nightmare with our girls all enjoying the adventurer’s way of life.

Horror: The Descent starts by making the horror feel like a trapped with no escape which is enough for a horror film but it soon escalates this to the next level by adding the creatures deeper within the cave, the horror is filled with tension building and jump scares and good old fashion gore.

Thriller: The Descent keeps us on edge from the moment the girls enter the cave to the final scene with the tension and suspense built up within.

Settings: The Descent uses the settings perfectly with most of the film taking place within the cave itself. This creates the claustrophobic environment.
Special Effects
: The Descent has great effects to when it comes to the kills with most being practical too.

Suggestion: The Descent is an absolute must watch for all the horror fans out there. (Horror Fans Must Watch)

 

Best Part: Tension building.

Worst Part: Not one

Scariest Scene: First full view on the creatures.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $26 Million

Budget: $3,5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: Afraid of the dark? You will be.

Trivia: The appearance of the creatures was kept secret from the cast members until the first scene in which they encounter them was filmed. When the cast were finally filming the scene where the girls encounter the crawlers, the girls were genuinely scared and screamed the building down, running off set and laughing.

 

Overall: Simply one of the great modern horror films.

Ratingcard

 

 

Melissa George Weekend – The Amityville Horror (2005)

logoDirector: Andrew Douglas

Writer: Scott Kosar (Screenplay) Jay Anson (Novel)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Melissa George, Jesse James, Jimmy Bennett, Chloe Grace Moretz, Rachel Nichols, Philip Baker Hall

Plot: Newly-weds are terrorized by demonic forces after moving into a large house that was the site of a grisly mass murder a year before.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Solid Start Bad Finish

Story: The Amityville Horror starts with The Based On True Story warning, where we watch one member of a family slaughter the rest blaming voices in his head for his action. Move forward one year and we meet the Lutz’s family, George (Reynolds), Kathy (George) kids Billy (James), Michael (Bennett) and Chelsea (Moretz) as they plan on moving into the house where the murders take place.

The family is aware of the crimes committed inside the house and move in anyway but it isn’t long until the family start getting haunted by the ghosts of the house. Chelsea the youngest actually ends up befriending one of the ghost Jodie, while George starts getting effected by the dark spirits inside the house. Will the spirits take over George or will the family make it out.

The Amityville Horror gives us the idea it is based on true events and recently these events have actually been dismissed which takes away that factor from the film. The early idea of the hauntings all works very well but then suddenly in the second half it just ends up being dream sequences followed by dream sequence and flashing images throwing away all the slowly built jump scares. I feel this film ends up becoming forgettable in the second half of the film with the best moments in the opening halves moments. (5/10)

Actor Review

Ryan Reynolds: George Lutz is the step father to the children, and husband to Kathy, he is still struggle to win over the eldest child. After the family moves into the house he starts to act strange with the spirits of the house taking over his mind pushing he to the reaches of potentially harming them. Ryan’s performance is the highlight of the film because he has the biggest character change and ends up being the psycho by the end of the film. (7/10)george

Melissa George: Kathy Lutz is the loving wife and mother to the children, she doesn’t seem to get affected by the goings on but she does notice the changes happening in the house. She has to look for help before it is too late. Melissa does a solid job in the role proving she could become a scream queen. (6/10)kathy

Jesse James: Billy Lutz is the eldest son of the family who wants to grow up quicker because he doesn’t get along with George still, he gets punished by George through the film but will have to show just how grown up he has become by the end. Jesse does a good in the role trying to be the tough brother while also having a weak side. (7/10)

Jimmy Bennett: Michael Lutz is the middle child who is scared from start to finish of the film even though he does seem to be the closest of the kids to George. Jimmy does a good job looking scared all the way through which the kids should be. (7/10)

Chloe Grace Moretz: Chelsea Lutz is the youngest member of the family who has become friends with the victim of the first slaughter on the house and is even being guided by the decisions. Chloe does a good job in the role of a character that doesn’t make sense because she isn’t scared of a ghost girl. (7/10)

Support Cast: The Amityville Horror doesn’t have the biggest support cast, we get the trademark babysitter and priest but that is all that really ends up in the film.

Director Review: Andrew Douglas Andrew starts the film nicely but by the end the film seems rushed and tensionless. (5/10)

Horror: The Amityville Horror has good jump scares in the opening half but in the end it is all flashing lights and blood splatter dreams. (5/10)

Mystery: The Amityville Horror tries too create a mystery about what is going on but the investigation side of it is so fast you could blink and miss it. (3/10)

Thriller: The Amityville Horror starts by making you care about what is happening but loses us half way through. (5/10)

Settings: The Amityville Horror uses the setting of the house for the most part which has a creepy external look but otherwise nothing much. (5/10)
Special Effects: The Amityville Horror has good effects when they are needed with the ghosts with the highlight being the babysitter in the closest. (8/10)

Suggestion: The Amityville Horror is one for the horror fans to try, I think the horror fans will get enough out of this one. (Horror Fans Watch)

Best Part: Babysitter in the closest.

Worst Part: Last half of the film.

Scariest Scene: Michael needs the toilet.

Believability: Now it is not at all. (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $108 Million

Budget: $19 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: What happened over the next 28 days has never been explained.

Trivia:  Ryan Reynolds chose not to become close with his “movie” children. He wasn’t mean or rude to them, just very distant. So distant in fact that the children often confided to those on the set that “Ryan doesn’t like us!” Ryan said that he didn’t want to “fall in love” with the kids. Ryan did this so that when “George Lutz” started changing, he’d have no trouble easing into the verbal and physical abuse.

Overall: Lacklustre remake of a fictional true story.

Rating 55