ABC Film Challenge – Horror – P – Perfect Creature (2006)

Director: Glenn Standring

Writer: Glenn Standring (Screenplay)

Starring: Dougray Scott, Saffron Burrows, Leo Gregory, Scott Wills, Stuart Wilson, Craig Hall

 

Plot: The vampire myth is given a stylish 1960s treatment, where a human cop partners with a vampire cop to stop a vamp bent on creating a war between the two “separate but equal” races.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Underworld Rip Off

 

Story: Perfect Creature starts in a world where vampires are known as the Brotherhood, an elite society that doesn’t feed on humans instead lives above them, for 300 hundred years this has been the way but now things are about to change. Edgar (Gregory) one of the brotherhood has gone rogue and started feeding on humans, Silus (Scott) his brother must team up with a human cop Lilly (Burrows) to stop him.

Once they capture Edgar, Silus learns more about the bigger plan in the brotherhood and the work Edgar had been working on. When Edgar escapes we get to see Silus team up with Lilly once again to save the outbreak of a virus that could wipe out both races.

 

Thoughts on Perfect Creature

 

Characters – Silus is the vampire from the brotherhood, he has a connection with his brother Edgar and will not let him take over once he becomes the blood thirty infected version of himself. Lilly is the nonsense cop that has suffered her own share of heartache with the viruses in the world, she doesn’t take any shit from anyone she believes to be guilty. Edgar is the brother of Silus that has become infected while trying to find the next cure for the human and Brotherhood medical problems which makes him the first member of the brotherhood to kill a human.

PerformanceDougray Scott is fine without being that impactful in the leading role and the same could be said for Saffron Burrows, the highlight of the film would be Leo Gregory as the Edgar the bloody thirsty crazy vampire.

StoryThe story does feel like it could be another chapter of the Underworld saga, it has the vampires of the world living in peace with the humans but when one goes rogue it becomes personal. This isn’t the most original and strays too far into the middle of the fantasy world we are trying so desperately to head towards. We don’t find enough time to create the fantasy world that could become a franchise let alone a new story because in the end this could have just been a crime thriller.

Action/Fantasy/HorrorThe action is fine, it mostly contains fights that try to offer an extra punch where needed but isn’t the most original, while the fantasy world doesn’t click for the story we are experiencing, the horror is tame too with it only being a couple of vampire like moments.

SettingsWe have murky settings which is designed to show us the different in class between the two races.

Special EffectsThe effects are all fine and at least the film doesn’t turn into a bad CGI moment film.

Scene of the Movie – The special gun that instant sleeps and enemy.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It just doesn’t seem to feel fresh in any way.

Final ThoughtsDisappointing movie that doesn’t connect with the audience on the levels it could have because it wants to be a fantasy film but plays out only like a dark crime thriller.

 

Overall: Disappointing film.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – B – Black Sheep (2006)

Director: Jonathan King

Writer: Jonathan King (Screenplay)

Starring: Oliver Driver, Nathan Meister, Tammy Davis, Peter Feeney

 

Plot: An experiment in genetic engineering turns harmless sheep into bloodthirsty killers that terrorize a sprawling New Zealand farm.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bonkers Horror Comedy

 

Story: Black Sheep starts as Henry Oldfield (Neister) returns home after 15 years away after suffering a traumatic experience at the hands of his brother to sell his half of his family farm. Angus (Feeney) is the brother that remained on the farm running it and performing genetic experiments. When environmentalists Grant (Driver) and Experience (Mason) try to expose what is going on, on the farm they accidently release a mutant sheep that starts infecting the rest of the sheep on the farm.

When the infected sheep start to increase Henry, Experience and farm manager Tucker (Davis) must find a way back to safety while having to fight off seemingly endless amounts of sheep.

 

Thoughts on Black Sheep

 

Characters/PerformanceHenry is the successful brother that gets traumatised when he is young, now grown up he comes to back to the farm to collect his part of the money. When he learns the truth, he must now face his nightmares and fight off the killer sheep running over the farm. Angus the brother that has been experimenting on sheep for his own personal gain, this puts his own life and members of his farm. Experience is the environmentalist that wants to expose the farm but she quickly turns when she needs to fight to survive.

Performance wise, each performance adds to the comedy being told through this film, no one is great but they all know just how to get the extra laugh needed from their characters.

StoryOnly in horror could you come up with an idea of genetical altered sheep that will try to kill people. If you watch this story with this in mind, you will truly enjoy this story because it is just that bonkers it works.

Horror/ComedyThe horror would be, how scary do you find sheep? Well what about killer mutant sheep, that is your horror side to the story but this could also be used to describe the comedy involved in this film too.

SettingsThe film is set upon on the farm which is good for the horror isolation side of the film as they must use the land to fight the sheep off.

Special EffectsAll the effects are practical and all come off looking fantastic when you look to add the extra element of gore to the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those horrors you can put on and enjoy because the laughs and idea are so farfetched you just must laugh to get through it all.

 

Overall: Fun and enjoyable horror comedy.

Rating

 

 

Skinwalkers (2006)

Director: James Isaac

Writer: James DeMonaco, Todd Harthan, James Roday (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Behr, Elias Koteas, Rhona Mitra, Natassia Malthe, Kim Coates, Sarah Carter, Tom Jackson

 

Plot: A 12 year old boy and his mother become the targets of two warring werewolf packs, each with different intentions and motives.


Tagline – For them to live, we must die.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Werewolf 101

 

Story: Skinwalkers starts as Varek (Behr) leads the hunt for a young boy for his werewolf pack, joined by Sonja (Malthe) he learns the location of Timothy (Knight) which takes him to small town to collect him.

Varek didn’t count on Timothy being under the watch of another prepared werewolf pack led by Jonas (Koteas) and his daughter-in-law Rachel (Mitra) who wasn’t ready to learn the truth that on Tim’s 13th birthday everything changes in the battle.

 

Thoughts on Skinwalkers

 

Characters – Varek is the leader of the werewolf pack that wants Timothy dead to stop the event he will cause, he hunts calmly through the film knowing how to get ahead of his enemies, though he is unaware of his connection to the child. Jonas has been protecting his nephew for years now, knowing what he means to the species, he has built the team his truss around him to make sure he is safe. Rachel is the mother of Timothy, she thinks he is just a normal kid and that she lives in a normal town, he must learn fast how to cope in this world filled with werewolves and protect her son. Sonja is the deadliest fighter on Varek side of the war, she enjoys hurting people and we see her take pleasure in this.

PerformancesJason Behr as the conflicted werewolf is good to watch, he shines on the bad boy side of this story, though when he must show the other side of the emotions we see him struggle at times. Elias Koteas is strong for his role which is one that we often see him in. Rhona Mitra does well in the reluctant heroes being the strong need to learn to battle mother figure in the film. everyone else in the film is fine without needing to be anything special, they fit their roles well to help the story flow.

StoryThe story here follows two warring werewolf packs that know the importance of a child for both their existences, so basically something we have seen before only with a modern style to it. The fact the story does feel like an introduction to a much big world building idea is promising and while it isn’t the film’s fault we didn’t see the next chapter, it does show us how story telling can think ahead of time. If we are being honest this is a by the book storyline, it doesn’t bring us anything new to the werewolf mythology it just tries to keep it in the modern world.

Action/Fantasy/HorrorThe action sequences are mixed bag because we have shoot-out which are routine and lack the peril for certain characters, while the fights show the effects that two werewolves fighting would have on each other. The fantasy world of werewolves living among humans is nicely done, showing two sides to them, though the horror does seem weak because we never feel terrified by what we are seeing.

SettingsThe film uses the settings in a mix of quality and generic, the small town gets the big surprise with everyone being part of the protection, then we hit the road and its nothing we haven’t seen before.

Special EffectsThe effects for the werewolves and wounds look nice, its just most are hidden from the full effect of the shock.


Scene of the Movie –
Town stand off.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There are a few blink and you miss it moments.

Final ThoughtsThis is a by the book werewolf film, it has good moments, it has forgettable moments and ends up feeling like the pilot for a television show.

 

Overall: The werewolf genre done safely.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – Y – Fearless (2006)

Director: Ronny Yu

Writer: Chris Chow, Chi-long To (Screenplay)

Starring: Jet Li, Li Sun, Yong Dong, Yun Qu, Ailiing Xu, Collin Chou, Hee Ching Paw

 

Plot: A biography of Chinese Martial Arts Master Huo Yuanjia, who is the founder and spiritual guru of the Jin Wu Sports Federation.


Tagline – “Mastering others is strength. Mastering yourself makes you fearless.”

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Action Packed Biopic

 

Story: Fearless starts in Shanghai 1910, four countries have bought their best fighters for one tournament, Huo Yuanjia (Li) is the Chinese representative. We see how he went from small child wanting to learn, to become the best in his town, proving himself against every single competitor.

Master Huo became the best until he lost everything putting him in a lost state where he finds himself in a small farming community living with a blind woman Moon (Sun) as he looks to find his love for life again before returning to prove himself in combat.

 

Thoughts on Fearless

 

Characters – Huo Yuanjia is considered one of the greatest, if not the greatest fighter of all time in China, he didn’t have it easy though, he fought to become the best before losing everything, being talked into proving himself once again to be the best in the world. Moon is the lady that helps Huo turn his life around, a blind woman that has no judgement on his action only his work. Anno is the biggest rival to Huo one that is also a friend too, the two have learnt to fight together and soon become the best of enemies.

PerformancesJet Li is the complete star of this film, he is involved in the different time periods we follow and we get to see just how deadly he is in the combat with anybody that gets in his way, he keeps the character feeling grounded which is needed for the story being told. As for the supporting cast everyone makes their impact when required too.

StoryThe story follows the life of Huo Yuanjia as he started in a fighting school at a young age became the best before losing everything only to return with a new lust for life to become one of the mot respected fighters the world has ever seen giving Jin Wu Sport Federation something to stand for. This is a by the books redemption story for the character, he doesn’t break the law, he just becomes over confident which is why he lost everything, he continued to prove himself to the top of his game despite creating enemies. Where this film does fall slightly short is in the number of different times we follow with some not getting enough time to show the events with the bet impact.

Action/BiopicThe action is fights, Jet Li is one of the best in the world at the fight sequences, this was no different as he shows us just how to make fights feel edge of your seat. The biopic side of the film does show the like of Huo only it doesn’t give each chapter the time required.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to represent the different positions that Huo finds himself in life, we see how he has risen, fallen and fought his way through the different locations he finds himself in.


Scene of the Movie –
Final fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain chapters don’t get enough time.

Final ThoughtsThis is an action packed biopic that does show the life of one of the greatest fighters the world ever saw.

 

Overall: Action heavy biopic.

Rating

 

 

Meryl Streep Weekend – The Devil Wears Prada (2006)

Director: David Frankel

Writer: Aline Brosh McKenna (Screenplay) Lauren Weisberger (Novel)

Starring: Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Emily Blunt, Stanley Tucci, Simon Baker, Arian Grenier, Tracie Thoms

 

Plot: A smart but sensible new graduate lands a job as an assistant to Miranda Priestly, the demanding editor-in-chief of a high fashion magazine.


Tagline – Hell On Heels.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Funny Comedy

 

Story: The Devil Wears Prada starts as newly graduated journalist Andy Sachs (Hathaway) gets a chance to work as the second assistant to editor-in-chief Miranda Priestly (Streep) at a high fashion magazine. Andy is one of many applicates only she doesn’t have the knowledge of the fashion world, unlike the first assistant Emily (Blunt).

Andy must learn to get through the cold nature of Miranda who always looks down on her and everybody, to get through a year which could put her in a position in the journalist world she has always been dreaming off.

 

Thoughts on The Devil Wears Prada

 

Characters – Miranda Priestly is the feared editor-in-chief of a fashion magazine, her presence makes her employees dress to impress, everybody in the industry respects her opinion and for some reason she decides to take on Andy, she pushes Andy to the limits to see if she is good enough to work or her, like all the employees. Andy Sachs is a journalist graduate who is looking to a job in any publication, she doesn’t understand the fashion industry with this job being her gateway to her dream job, but she must learn fast or face being eaten alive in this industry. Her time in the job sees her change who she once was, pushing her friends and boyfriend away. This one-year job could see her future open, but her friendships vanish. Emily is the first assistant under Miranda, she knows the ins and outs of the business and has been waiting for this role for years. She doesn’t like Andy because she doesn’t have the same desire in the fashion industry. Nigel is the only person in the office that Andy gets along with, he does help put her on the right track for success under Miranda.

PerformancesMeryl Streep is fantastic in this leading role, she brings a horrible boss to life, without making her seem like a truly horrible person, just somebody career driven. Anne Hathaway is wonderful too, to start with it seemed weird that she wasn’t considered the right body shape for position in the fashion world, but it does make perfect sense with how this world is working. Emily Blunt brings what should be a small role, to be one of the most interesting and entertaining part of the film. Stanley Tucci is a delight in the supporting role being the moral compass for the Andy character.

StoryThe story follows a recent graduated journalist that takes a job working under one of the most notoriously difficult editors in the industry, here she must learn the industry to stand a chance to above water in this world, while gaining the experience she requires for her own success. This story first shows how difficult finding the first job for experience could be for any former student trying to get int the industry, it shows how fast the learning curve could be, how you can be looked upon as a replacement for others job too. It shows us how careers can take over lives if you let them which is important for how Andy changes through the story. most importantly it shows us just how you should never forget where you came from and the people that were there for you when you needed them. You will also get to have a laugh at how the fashion industry is considered to operate at the pace which could make or break careers in no time.

ComedyThe comedy in this film come from seeing how the world operates, seeing Andy needing to learn fast, the relationship with Emily and just how everyone can act over the top about the smallest detail.

SettingsThe film is set mostly in New York, it shows how the business lives can move at such a pace it would be hard to keep up.


Scene of the Movie –
Andy sees a real side of Miranda.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not understand brand names.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable comedy with wonderful performances from the whole cast.

 

Overall: Enjoyable comedy.

Rating