Four Lions (2010)

four-lionsDirector: Christopher Morris

Writer: Christopher Morris, Sam Bain, Jesse Armstrong (Screenplay)

Starring: Riz Ahmed, Arsher Ali, Nigel Lindsay, Kayvan Novak, Adeel Akhtar, Julia Davis, Craig Parkinson

 

Plot: Four incompetent British jihadists set out to train for and commit an act of terror.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Funny Comedy

 

Story: Four Lions starts as we meet four British Muslims working simple jobs in England, Omar (Ahmed), Barry (Lindsay), Waj (Novak) and Faisal (Akhtar) who want to going be Jihadists. Omar and Waj get the call to travel to Pakistan to go through the training with Barry keeping up the fight back in the UK recruiting Hassan (Ali).

When the group reunite, they plan their own terrorist attack in the UK but as things continue to go wrong with Barry’s extreme behaviour, while Omar wanting to be more calculated with his attack. When they finally put their difference behind them the group look to plan their attack with of course comical consequences.

 

Thoughts on Four Lions

 

Characters/PerformanceOmar is the calm leader who has the plan down perfectly and tries to do the right thing for his friend, Waj is the simple-minded character who is easily led astray by Barry and Omar. Barry is the true British extremist who enjoys the terrorist idea and wants to hurt as many people as he can, he is the true bad example of this whole film. we get to see the comic side of these hopeless characters who want to be terrorists.

Performance wise Riz Ahmed is brilliant in this role with Nigel Lindasy and Kayvan Novak being equally as entertaining through the whole film. I think the whole cast do a great job at how we can see the nativity behind the jihadists extremists.stars

StoryThe story shows us how naïve jihadists believe they can follow others into the terrorist’s idea when they are clearly just clueless about the whole situation. This is an advert about how people can be led astray by these extremist’s beliefs but never understand the true meaning of everything they are doing. The story is mostly parody which works all so well for the film.

Comedy/CrimeWe have laughs from start to finish in this film while the crime terrorist attack is being planned.

SettingsThe settings show how these men can come from everyday background to be the terrorists, we see whole London can be a target with the links to escape or find trapped.

Special EffectsThe special effects are only used in small places but they all work well for the film.genre

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to comedy this is by far one of the best you will see and I think everyone could enjoy even with a sensitive subject.

 

Overall: A must watch for all the comedy fans out there.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Hybrid (2010)

hybridDirector: Eric Valette

Writer: Neal Marshall Stevens (Screenplay)

Starring: Oded Fehr, Adrien Dorval, Ryan Kennedy, Melanie Papalia, John Reardon, Shannon Beckner

 

Plot: Late one night, a mysterious car is brought into the Chicago police impound garage after a deadly traffic accident. The on-call mechanics soon discover the car has a mind of its own. With hundreds of horsepower and two tons of reinforced steel at its command, it’s a seemingly unstoppable killing machine capable of outrunning — and outwitting — humans.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Horror

 

Story: Hybrid starts as a slick looking car drive to an ally to draw the attention of the couple of car thieves, who become the first victims of this car cruising the streets at night, but when the car is involved in an accident the Chicago Police Department have a new mystery on their hands.

The car gets taken to a local garage for the investigation where Ray (Fehr) runs the garage with Gordy (Dorval), Bobby (Kennedy) and Tilda (Beckner) all working there. When the car continues, its body count the survivors must fight to survive against the killer car and hybrid creature that lurks inside.

 

Thoughts on Hybrid

 

StoryWhen it comes to the story it does have good elements of original story telling, we do have parts borrowed from other films too though. We have the killer car which is obviously one of the more iconic killer objects in horror. Where this story becomes different is when we learn how the car can morph into any car it has seen making it turn into a deadlier predator.  When we look at what our characters aim to do the beat this creature it does become a power struggle of reluctant team work nothing outside the normal really. The story is smart and enjoyable throughout.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror elements used are the fact that we have a killer car and we find ourselves on edge as we wait to see what the car will become next.

Characters/PerformanceWhen it comes to the characters you know exactly what you are going to get from this film, we have the strong female lead, the asshole greedy boss, the kid, well the youngster one studying for more, the ‘dumb’ receptionist and the minority that gets killed off first. The characters are nothing special and as for the performances they are solid without exceling to the top level within the genre.

SettingsNearly the whole film takes place within the garage which our characters find themselves trapped inside creating the isolation from the outside world and having all the different cars it can pick from leads to the suspense being gained throughout.

Special EffectsThe special effects do have moments that leave you wondering but the budget does explain certain drawbacks when it comes to the creature animations.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable horror if you switch you mind of to what is logical in anyway, this is fun more than scary.

 

Overall: This is a strong and enjoyable horror but mostly fun.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Prowl (2010)

 

prowlDirector: Patrick Syversen

Writer: Tim Tori (Screenplay)

Starring: Courtney Hope, Ruta Gedmintas, Josh Bowman, Perdita Weeks, Jamie Blackley, Saxon Trainor, Bruce Payne

 

Plot: Amber dreams of escaping her small town existence and persuades her friends to accompany her to find an apartment in the big city. When their transportation breaks down, she and her friends gratefully accept a ride in the back of a semi. But when the driver refuses to stop and they discover the cargo is hundreds of cartons of blood, they panic. Their panic turns to terror when the truck disgorges them into a dark, abandoned warehouse where blood-thirsty creatures learn to hunt human prey, which, the friends realize, is what they now are the human prey fighting to save their lives the realize they must work together but will they survive.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Little Horror

 

Story: Prowl starts with Amber (Hope) looking for a new start but having to spend time with the friends she is leaving Susie (Gedmintas), Peter (Bowman), Fiona (Weeks), Ray (Blackley) and Eric (Hawes). The small town is getting to be too much for Amber who knows her future is going to be in the big city.

Needing a ride to get to the big city the six friends see this is a chance to go on a road trip but metres after leaving the town they breakdown but they get a lift with a truck driver showing that Amber could finally make it out of her town.

Well this is a horror film which means this road trip is never going to run smoothly as Amber, Susie, Peter, Fiona and Ray find themselves trapped in the back of the truck that is transporting blood and Eric, well he is dead. The friends find themselves lambs to the slaughter for blood thirsty creatures in a battle to survive, who will make it out alive?

Prowl is a horror thriller that follows the very basic needs for a horror, group of disposable teenagers, remote location, blood thirsty creatures and darkness. With all these checked off we off course have the strong leading character usually the female and this is no different who can suddenly become a survival expert.

Courtney Hope is good in the leading role with the rest of the cast being nothing more than glorified body count never getting enough time in the horror side of the story to show their characters in the crisis. The creatures seem to be a mix of infected and vampire keeping very human form with added abilities to make them deadlier predators. Having this set up like a training exercise for the creatures works because it opens everything up to a future threat from these creatures.

 

Overall: Blood filled horror that never stops once the creatures are unleashed.

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World Cinema Weekend – King of Devil’s Island (2010)

kingDirector: Marius Holst

Writer: Dennis Magnusson, Eric Schmid (Screenplay) Mette M Bolstad, Lars Saabye Christensen (Story)

Starring: Benjamin Helstad, Trond Nilssen, Stellan Skarsgard, Kristoffer Joner, Magnus Langlete, Morten Lovstad

 

Plot: Norwegian winter, early 20th century. On the boys home Bastoy, a new inmate leads the boys to a violent uprising against a brutal regime. How far is he willing to go to attain freedom?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful Performance Heavy Drama

 

Story: King of Devil’s Island starts Erling C-19 (Helstad) and Ivar C-5 (Langlete) arrive on Devil’s Island a young offenders prison run by Bestyrer Hakon (Skarsgard). We see how both the boys learn to deal with the new surrounding C-5 the quiet, shy one gets taken advantage of as he can’t handle the physical work involved while C-19 fails to follow the rules as he looks desperately for an escape from the reign of Bestyrer and Husfar Brathen (Joner). With C-1 (Nilssen) trying to teach the rules it is only a matter of time before C-19 gets what he wants, his freedom by forcing the boys to up rise against the men running the prison.stellen

 

Thoughts on King of Devil’s Island

 

StoryThe story here is showing just how disciplining young men can be a fine line between putting them in their place or only driving them further away from the right path. We see how the boys have come from different worlds but must learn to work together to make the right choice and how these boys were made to suffer at the hands of the discipline heavy authority they found themselves under. This is a hard story to watch but it well worth seeing.

Action/DramaWhen it comes to the action it is mostly from the different levels of discipline our characters find themselves facing as well as the fighting, it all seems to be just what the film needs without being overly violent or just for the sake of it. The drama comes from seeing the situation the boys must go through with the consequences they face for what happens.

Characters/PerformancesThe characters are all brilliantly defined to show their pat present and future with our main five showing their weaknesses as well as their strengths. The performances are all wonderful with Skarsgard being powerful as ever, Joner showing all the shines his character represents. The younger cast also give powerful performances with Helstad, Nilssen and Langlete showing they will be names to follow in Nordic cinema.

SettingsWith the whole film being set on the island we get to see that these boys were prisoners we get to see just how extreme the weather condition are when it comes to the punishment these boys have to go through that is becomes it very own character in the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very powerful film that has truly powerhouse performances from the lead stars that tells a very important true story.

 

Overall: Very intense and powerful drama that is a must for all fans of the prison uprising films.

Rating

 80

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Burning Bright (2010)

burningDirector: Carlos Brooks

Writer: Christine Coyle Johnson, Julie Prendiville Roux (Screenplay) David Higgins, Christine Coyle Johnson, Julie Prendiville Roux (Story)

Starring: Garret Dillahunt, Briana Evigan, Charlie Tahan, Peggy Sheffield, Mary Rachel Dudley

 

Plot: A thriller centered on a young woman and her autistic little brother who are trapped in a house with a ravenous tiger during a hurricane.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Best Trapped in a House with Tiger?

 

Story: Burning Bright starts as we see reckless spending step-father Johnny (Dillahunt) buy himself a tiger to start his own safari park. We also meet his step-daughter Kelly (Evigan) who is about to go off to college but first must find someone to care for her autistic brother Tom (Tahan) but her plan has gone out the window after Johnny spends all her money.

With an inbound hurricane Kelly is facing the reality of losing her scholarship to raise her brother but her day is only going to get worst when she finds herself boarded inside the house with her brother and the tiger. No escape available Kelly must do all she can to protect her brother for the night.

Burning Bright is one of those really easy to watch horror thrillers because it doesn’t get over complicated or bogged down on with too many characters. We have the traditional story of how far one person will have to go to survive which is important for the story. we get to see how difficult it is for Kelly because of her brother’s disability and we all know Briana Evigan has become a bit of a modern day horror actress this shows how far she has come.

 

Overall: Good Horror Thriller that is an easy watch for all the fans out there.

Rating65