Alan Tudyk Weekend – Tucker & Dale vs Evil (2010) Revisited

Director: Eli Craig

Writer: Eli Craig, Morgan Jurgenson (Screenplay)

Starring: Tyler Labine, Alan Tudyk, Katrina Bowden, Jesse Moss, Philip Granger, Brandon Jay McLaren

 

Plot: Affable hillbillies Tucker and Dale are on vacation at their dilapidated mountain cabin when they are mistaken for murderers by a group of preppy college students.


Tagline – The perfect love story… with a high body count.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bloody Hilarious

 

Story: Tucker and Dale vs Evil starts when Tucker (Tudyk) and Dale (Labine) head into the woods to their holiday home by the lake, the same weekend Chad (Moss) leads his college house out to the woods for their own weekend of drinks and drugs.

When one of the students Allison (Bowden) gets injured, Tucker & Dale take her to rescue, this is where the miscommunication starts when Chad makes the rest believe Tucker & Dale are hillbilly killers and a series of failed rescue attempts get to see the body count only complicated for the rest.

 

Thoughts on Tucker and Dale vs Evil

 

Characters – Tucker is the smarter of the two friends, he looks over Dale when he is struggling with life decisions and talks the two out of trouble. Dale is the simply minded of the two, he does have the ability to remember an information he is told, he gets a crush on Allison and we follow how he tries to gain the confidence to speak to her, while trying to defend himself from the college students. Allison is the beautiful college student that doesn’t completely fit in with the rest of the group, she gets injured and rescued by the friends. She learns to accept people that look different which causes most of the confusing in this film. Chad is the leader of the college group, he has a tragic backstory which motivates him into his actions through the film.

PerformancesTyler Labine & Alan Tudyk show wonderful chemistry through this film as they show they have comic timing that fits the characters. Katrina Bowden fits the beautiful young woman roe well, the looks are important to make this character standout. Jesse Moss plays his character well become more psychotic as the film unfolds.

StoryThe story follows a pair of hillbillies that run into a group of college kids in the woods, we get to play into the ideas that are the typical traits within the horror, as the hillbillies are calm instead of bloody hungry killers and the students have played into the fears people can have for who people are. This is how the genre can turn the ideas on its head which plays into the comedy needed for the film and the story gets a chance to just play along with everything that is going on. We do go down the typical slasher genre, because we get the large group picked off, while most look like suicide it does falls into the ideas the slasher genre has.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy gets to turn the typical horror traits on its head, which is it what makes this film feel refreshing to watch and if you are a horror fans you will get most of the jokes being used.

SettingsThe film keeps nearly all the action in and around the wood area, with have no easy escape after the car leaves early on and the signal is gone, meaning the college students must think for themselves.

Special EffectsThe effects are very impressive when it comes to the deaths, we get original ones that manage to by funny as well as brutal.


Scene of the Movie –
The woodchipper.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The students are portrayed to be complete idiots.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the best horror comedies out there, it will get laughs from the audience with the horror audience understanding nearly every joke being played out in the film.

 

Overall: Funny, entertaining, a must watch.

Rating

 

 

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Gemma Arterton Weekend – Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

Director: Mike Newell

Writer: Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard (Screenplay) Jordan Mechner (Video Game)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, Steve Toussaint, Toby Kebbell

 

Plot: A young fugitive Prince and Princess must stop a villain who unknowingly threatens to destroy the world with a special dagger that enables the magic sand inside to reverse time.


Tagline – Defy the Future

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Action Adventure

 

Story: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time starts in the land of Persia, ruler Nizam (Kingsley) and brother to the king Sharaman (Pickup) leads his armies in battle with his generals and rebellious prince Dastan (Gyllenhaal) still keeping his streetwise behaviour in him. The latest show of strength sees Dastan lead an attack on Princess Tamina (Arterton) city bringing the two cities together.

When Dastan gets framed for the King’s death, he goes on the with Tamina only to learn about a dagger that can control time, that his brother really wanted from the siege, Dastan must prove his innocence and return home while unlocking his own destiny.

 

Thoughts on Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

 

Characters – Dastan was born on the streets, but raised in the place after impressing the king, he still remains close to the people on the streets which leaves him unable to follow orders. He leads an assault on a new kingdom only to find himself a pawn in a game of power for control of Persia and must learn his true destiny and save the kingdom. Tamina is the princess of a new land that the Persian’s claim, she is forced to marry one, but knows the secrets behind the dagger and the power it gives. She is willing to help get the dagger to safety and away from those who will use the power for their own greed. Nizam is the brother to the king, Uncle to Dastan, he has always lived in the shadow of his brother and no matter who takes over, he will not be king. Sheik Amar is a man that Dastan keeps running into on his travels, a man that is driven by gold which he sees with the bounty on Dastan’s head.

PerformancesJake Gyllenhaal is good when it comes to the action and physical side of the film, though his accent does bounce around at times. Gemma Arterton has the look of a princess, though the accent involved is questionable, for the location she is meant to be from. Ben Kingsley is an easy choice for a villainous character, which is fine he doesn’t get truly challenge in his role, while Alfred Molina adds comedy it can lighten up the movie enough.

StoryThe story is adapted from the video games series, which had a smart idea of a dagger that could control time and the battle for power of the dagger. The film does follow those lines well showing us that not everything is going to be easy for our hero and he simply won’t know who to trust when it comes to gaining power for good or evil. It does follow a trend which was going on at the time with the unlikely couple from different worlds that are slowly falling in love as they look to save the day, with unlikely friendship and enemies made along the way. The idea of a weapon which could possesses the ability to change time is interesting addition to the normal adventure movie too.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action in the film is good and entertaining, it includes the fights and battles which will show the number of people fighting for each side. The adventure side of the film shows us how far Dastan must travel to make his position right in the kingdom, going through location which would be considered dangerous on other days. The weapons power adds in the fantasy element which sees us reverse time when suited.

SettingsThe film does use the generic temple style cities and royal locations as well as the open deserts to show us where out character is going on their adventure.

Special EffectsThe effects are a mixed bag, when we see the time rewind, we do get a unique look which is good, the weakness come from certain larger scale moments.


Scene of the Movie –
The rewind of time scenes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The giant CGI moments.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun video game adventure movie, it has an idea which can become just like we could imagine a video game playing out which is what we would like at times.

 

Overall: Enjoyable adventure film.

Rating

 

 

Logan Lerman Weekend – Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief (2010)

Director: Chris Columbus

Writer: Craig Titley (Screenplay) Rick Riordan (Novel)

Starring: Logan Lerman, Peirce Brosnan, Uma Thurman, Steve Coogan, Sean Bean, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T Jackson, Jake Abel

 

Plot: A teenager discovers he’s the descendant of a Greek god and sets out on an adventure to settle an on-going battle between the gods.


Tagline – Worlds collide.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Adventure Film

 

Story: Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief starts when struggling high school student Percy Jackson (Lerman) learns about his mysterious father, when a teacher turns into a monster of sorts, Percy is a demi-god and is being targeted by the Greek Gods who believe he has stolen Zeus Lightning.

Percy’s life changes when he is taken to a secret location for all demi-gods by his protector Grover (Jackson), where he must learn to fight like the rest of the demi-gods as he is joined by Annabeth (Daddario) on an adventure to learn who has the stolen the lightning.

 

Thoughts on Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief

 

Characters – Percy Jackson is your average struggling high school student, raised by his mother with no clue about his father. His life is about to change forever when he learns that he is a demi-god and must prove he isn’t the person responsible for the potential war between the gods and learn his place in the world. Grover is the protector of Percy in the real world and helps guide him through the world. Annabeth is the best warrior of the demi-gods in training, she hasn’t been to go on quests before and sees this as her chance to experience the world. Zeus is in search of his lightning bolt with the gods believing it is Percy. Chiron trains the demi-gods in battle, he keeps them safe while they are preparing to any encounters. We do have the gods we know too with Athena, Hades and Poseidon being involved in the adventure.

PerformancesLogan Lerman is good in this leading role, when it comes to this genre, we need a young actor that can bring the energy and the acting which Logan brings. Brandon and Alexandra give great supporting performances which bring together both the comedy and the brains needs to guide Percy. We have the A-listers here too with Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Uma Thurman and Steve Coogan having fun in the role.

StoryThe story follows an unlikely high school student that finds himself learning his true identity as a demi-god and must go on his first adventure with the Gods searching for him. This is a wonderful introduction to the character of Percy and the people will be working with or fighting against. We go through the learning curve with Percy which also brings the mythology of the Greeks to different location around America. We do get darker moments in the story even though it is just as fun as it needs to be for vision of the Greek Gods in modern society. The flaw in the story comes from the fact that Percy does seem to get out of each situation too easily as a lot are dealing with the idea of Gods he wouldn’t know how to battle against.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure side of this film takes Percy into a world he had no idea of, Annabeth into the real world and the two needing to advise each other through the battles they will face. The fantasy world of Gods and monsters is front and centre here, mixing with he modern day world wonderfully well.

SettingsThe film brings the mythology of the Greek Gods to America where we learn just how the two become one with the iconic locations from history being reimagined in America.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are good, we have a lot that could come off terrible, but this is a success for the ambitious ideas behind different moments in the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Hades meeting in the underworld.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too easy for Percy to escape certain situations.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun adventure film that is a great introduction to a much bigger series of stories we could see coming in the future.

 

Overall: Fun and enjoyable throughout.

Rating

 

 

Open House (2010)

Director: Andrew Paquin

Writer: Andrew Paquin (Screenplay)

Starring: Brian Geraghty, Rachel Blanchard, Anna Paquin, Stephen Moyer, Tricia Helfer, Gabriel Olds, Jessica Collins

 

Plot: A couple on the verge of a nasty divorce attempt to sell their empty love nest and move on with their lives, separately. After a successful open house they are horrified to discover, days later, that a potential buyer didn’t leave their home. While Alice is being held captive in the basement, the unannounced house guest moves in upstairs. She senses her capture is being kept a rebellious secret. She knows her way out, if only she can get out alive.


Tagline – Welcome to the neighborhood.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Unsettling Thriller

 

Story: Open House starts as Alice (Blanchard) is getting divorced and is looking to sell the couple’s home, things are not going well, but with her friend’s support she believes things will go well. Things take an early drastic change when Alice is held captive by David (Geraghty) and Lila (Helfer).

David and Lila decide to make the home their own, killing anyone that questions them about Alice, how long can they keep this up and how often have they been doing this?

 

Thoughts on Open House

 

Characters – David is the man that keeps Alice captive, he is being controlled by Lila, while also thinking for himself deciding to keep her alive against the wishes of Lila in look for companionship. David seems to be easily manipulated into doing what Lila says. Alice is the owner of the house, going through a divorce and looking to sell their home, she is held captive by the couple who want control of the house. She must follow the rules David gives her in a hope of making it through the ordeal. Lila is the woman who has moved into the house, she uses David to get what she wants and seduces any men that come near the home. The rest of the characters we meet are used to show what David and Lila are capable of, while have a connection to Alice.

PerformancesBrian Geraghty gives us an unsettling feeling throughout the film, he makes it difficult to put your finger on this character. Rachel Blanchard does a solid enough job, though she is mostly needing to look scared or be tied up. Tricia Helfer is good as the seductive woman controlling the situation. The rest of the cast don’t get much time on screen which disappoints when you see some of the talent we had.

StoryThe story follows a man and woman that hold a homeowner captive in their house while they make their own and continue their killer ways. Now this does bring us into the idea that somebody would take over your own home after a open house with people around you expecting you to be leaving you won’t get the support you would imagine. The pacing for the story is one of the weaker moments because we follow David’s interactions with both the women and it is very hard to put your finger on what he is up to through the film. the story however is better than 2018’s Open House which was just too slow.

CrimeThe film uses the crime elements because we see the man and woman killing people, talking like they have been doing this for years and know when to get out of the house before getting captured which is an interesting way to look at the story.

SettingsThe film takes place only inside the house, the place you are meant to feel safe, this is good for the story and easily the strongest part of everything.


Scene of the Movie –
Opening the freezers.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While it is implied, they have been killing for ages, it would have been nice to have it spelled out from how David is acting through the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid addition to the late night horror movies I like to promote, it is an easy watch you can enjoy it even if it doesn’t use the biggest names in the film to the best of their abilities.

 

Overall: Late night Crime Horror film.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – I – It’s a Wonderful Afterlife (2010)

Director: Gurinder Chadha

Writer: Gurinder Chadha (Screenplay)

Starring: Sanjeev Bhaskar, Steve Morphew, Steve Jones, Jamie Sives, Sendhill Ramamurthy, Mark Addy

 

Plot: A comedy centered on an Indian mother who takes her obsession with marriage into the world of serial murder.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Rom Com Horror

 

Story: It’s a Wonderful Afterlife starts with four mysterious Indian cuisine related murders, D S Raj Murthy (Ramamurthy) is bought into help get information from the Indian community but we learn early on that his old family friend Mrs Sethi (Azmi) is behind the murders as she is trying to find a husband for her daughter Roopi (Notay) and all the victims have insulted her daughter but are now haunting Mrs Sethi.

As the investigation points in Roopi’s direction the spirits haunting her mother works with them to find her a husband before she will confess to the murders giving the spirits a chance to be reincarnated and with Raj back in the life he makes for a perfect choice.

 

Thoughts on It’s a Wonderful Afterlife

 

Characters – D S Raj Murthy is assigned to go undercover in search for the killer that is killing people in the Indian community, he offers a love interest for Roopi but is also finding out if she is the killer. Roopi is the Indian woman that hasn’t gotten married yet with her mother trying to find her a husband, she is a kind woman helping others but just doesn’t believe in herself. Linda is the best friend that returns believing she can handle spirits and that she will be finding her partner. Mrs Sethi is the murderer, she is killing people that insult her daughter but finds herself being haunted by the spirits.

PerformanceThe performances through the film are great with Sendhil Ramamurthy from heroes taking the leading man role with ease, Shabana Azmi is also great as the concerned murdering mother. Goldy Notay does a great job too as the daughter looking for love but not searching for it and Sally Hawkins does seem to get the most laughs from her character.

StoryThe story uses the idea of arranged marriage being around in Indian culture still and this film takes things to the next level showing how a mother would kill to make sure her daughter would get married to the right person. It does have the usual misleading issues with our characters being involved in a murder case but otherwise things all go the way you would expect in the story.

Comedy/Horror/RomanceThe comedy comes from all the idea of the kills, the spirits haunting the mother and the arranging of finding Roopi a husband. The horror comes from the haunting of Mrs Sethi but is used for the comedy with the romance focusing on the idea of searching for the husband.

SettingsThe settings show how the Indian culture has become a part of England and the mix can work in harmony for the story.

Special EffectsThe effects are good through the film only being used to show interaction with the spirits.

Scene of the Movie – Carrie parody.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It focuses too much on the rom com side of things over the horror.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable rom com with a small part horror, it shows us about how people can go too far for the happiness of their own family with laughter and murder.

 

Overall: One to try for rom com community out there.

Rating