Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Elevator (2011)

Director: Stig Svendsen

Writer: Marc Rosenberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Christopher Backus, Anita Briem, John Getz, Shirley Knight, Michael Mercurio, Amanda Pace, Rachel Pace

 

Plot: Racism collides with corporate greed when nine strangers – one of whom has a bomb – become trapped in a Wall Street elevator.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Thriller

 

Story: Elevator starts as we meet our guests heading to a corporate party, owner Henry Barton (Getz), his granddaughter Madeline (Rachel and Amanda), ambitious employee Don Handley (Backus) his date reporter Maureen (Sunny), another employee Martin Gossling (Ratray), Celine Fouquet (Briem), investor Jane Redding (Knight) hired comedian George Axelrod (Slotnick) and security guard Mohammed (Zuaiter), the group are all on an elevator heading to the party which becomes stuck after the emergency button is pressed. When we learn that one person on the elevator has a bomb the group must work out how to get off the elevator before it goes off.

 

Thoughts on Elevator

 

Characters/PerformanceDon is the ambitious employee that has his own secrets that would get revealed in the panic in the elevator. Celine is the pregnant woman who is going to the party for her own personal reasons, Henry is the boss about to announce his retirement but his action are the motivation behind everything that happens. Jane is there for her own reasons which involve her late husband, Madeline is the granddaughter of the boss, she is a full-blown brat. Martin is the happy go lucky employee that is happy to meet the boss at the party. George is the hired comedian and at the most part the asshole figure in the film. Maureen is the one who helps make report the story to the outside for help. This works for the environment the characters find themselves in.

Performance wise, I feel everyone in this movie is fine, no one really stands out as brilliant or bad just part of the process that is unfolding.

StoryPeople trapped in an elevator facing death if they don’t escape, well this is fine it works for everything we need it too. We get the usual clashes which is fine but otherwise this is nothing new to offer. We don’t get much happen than talking and seeing who will go onto make the difficult decision to save the rest.

ThrillerWe are kind off left wondering just if they will make it out but it doesn’t reach all the potential it should have.

SettingsThe film nearly all takes place in the elevator which is good for creating the tension needed in the story.

Special EffectsThe effects are all good when needed without being a CGI fest.

Final ThoughtsThis film has all the potential in the world but just doesn’t reach the potential it is capable off.

 

Overall: Simple thriller that lacks the punch needed.

Rating

 

 

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Seconds Apart (2011)

secondsDirector: Antonio Negret

Writer: George Richards (Screenplay)

Starring: Orlando Jones, Edmund Entin, Gary Entin, Samantha Droke, Morgana Shaw, Louis Herthum, Marc Macaulay, James DuMont

 

Plot: Seth and Jonah are twins with a dangerous ability: telepathy. Things start to spiral out of their control as their classmates end up dying in twisted and bizarre ways. The police suspect them. But, jealousy begins to divide them and soon they can no longer trust each other. Leading up to a horrific battle against themselves.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Thriller

 

Story: Seconds Apart start with twins Jonah (Edmund) and Seth (Gary) using their abilities to make four-star American football student commit suicide leading Detective Lampkin (Jones) to investigate the incident. The twins have been working on a ‘project’ but Detective Lampkin believes they could be behind the crimes.

When Jonah befriends new student Eve (Droke) elements of jealous start coming through on Seth who starts pushing the project to the next level.

Seconds Apart brings us back to the whole evil twin’s storyline which does work, we see how the twins have their ability under complete control and have a plan in place to see how far they can push things. The problems come when we never really see where the plan is meant to take them and with the idea something as simple as a girl will break up their bond. Saying this is does come off enjoyable for horror and has the abilities to keep us guessing.

 

Actor Review

 

Orlando Jones: Detective Lampkin is the man who first questions whether there is a suicide pact or rather than a homicide forcing him to go into questioning all the students where he comes up against the Trimble twins who bring back all the tragic memories of his past. We watch how he has to put his past behind him to stop this crime spree. Orlando is good in the leading role playing the detective with a dark past.

Edmund Entin: Jonah Trimble is one of the twins with the telepathic abilities that he has been using with Seth, Jonah’s life changes when he meets new girl Eve who seems to be the first on to take any notice of him at all. He does start to see a good side of him as the link to his brother starts to take over. Edmund does work well in this role next to his brother.

Gary Entin: Seth Trimble is the other side of the twins who seems to find himself getting jealous of his brother’s new girlfriend. We get to see the evil side of his character. Gary does well in this role working well with his brother.

Samantha Droke: Eve is the new girl that comes to the school that takes a shining to Jonah as she just wants to make new friends in the area. She finds herself stuck in the middle of the twins who go into a battle with their abilities. Samantha is good in this supporting role with the whole girl next door persona.

Support Cast: Seconds Apart has a small supporting cast with most of them that we meet just being used to be part of the project the twins are working on.

Director Review: Antonio NegretAntonio gives us a suspenseful horror that does keep us guessing to where the final outcome will go.

 

Horror: Seconds Apart has good horror elements as we follow these twins who can make people do anything they want them too. This creates good scare scenes because we don’t know what they will do next or to who.

Thriller: Seconds Apart does keep us wondering what will be happening next to anyone in the film.

Settings: Seconds Apart keeps most of the settings revolving around the story being told, be it where the twins go to school or where Lampkin does to forget his past.
Special Effects
: Seconds Apart has good effects when it comes to the kills being used or the powers the twins are using against others.

Suggestion: Seconds Apart is one I do think the horror fans out there will enjoy. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Twins powers.

Worst Part: The fact it is a girl that tears them apart.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

Tagline:  Two times the terror.

 

Overall: Good horror thriller that keeps you guessing.

Ratingcard

 

 

1911 Revolution (2011)

Director: Li Zhang, Jackie Chan

Writer: Xiagdong Wang, Baoguang Chen (Screenplay)

Starring: Jackie Chan, Winston Chao, Bingbing Li, Chun Sun, Joan Cheen, Wu Jiang, Jayceee Chan

 

Plot: A historical drama based on the founding of the Republic of China when nationalist forces led by Sun Yat-sen overthrew the Qing Dynasty.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hard to Follow

 

Story: 1911 Revolution starts as we start learning the facts of the revolution against the Qing Dynasty, we have Sun Yat-sen (Chao) who is leading the revolution with his loyal soldier Commander Huang Xing (Chan) heading into the battles. As the story unfolds we continue to get pop up information about each battle which does make this hard to follow because instead of letting the story unfold on front of us a lot of details happens off camera with just information filling in the gaps.

 

Thoughts on 1911 Revolution

 

Final ThoughtsI have decided not to do the breakdown like normal here, mostly because this wasn’t a very impressive film. Jackie Chan just doesn’t seem to fit a straight-faced war character, while I have no issues with him doing non-comic roles this is one serious role that doesn’t come off. The war sequences do all look great without being anything special but it is the story telling process I have most issues with. The story is show us a short scene then throw some text up to explain who this new character is and this happens a lot making us wonder what is actually happening.

 

Overall: Very poor storytelling of what could have been an interesting war film.

Rating 1/10

 

 

The Iron lady (2011)

Director: Phyllida Lloyd

Writer: Abi Morgan (Screenplay)

Starring: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Richard E Grant, Olivia Coleman, Alexandra Roach, Iain Glen

 

Plot: An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Biopic

 

Story: The Iron Lady starts as we meet an elderly former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Streep) who has been having conversations with her husband Denis (Broadbent) while finding herself trying to escape the guards guarding her.

Margaret (Roach, younger Margaret) has flashbacks to the war time the lessons her father Alfred (Glen) gave her in life as she gets into Oxford. Getting through Oxford she meets Denis who loves her determined mindset on making change, we continue to watch in flashbacks as the elderly Margaret remembers her rise through political career to become one of the most famous Prime Ministers England has every had.

 

Thoughts on The Iron Lady

 

Characters/PerformanceMargaret Thatcher is easily one of the most iconic Prime Ministers England has ever had, seeing how her life from humble grocery’s daughter to leader of a country comes about, she was one of the strongest women in history taking on the world centred around men, but in her elderly age she looks back at her role in defying the country. Denis is her husband, we see how he keeps her grounded even after he passes on he plays a big part in what she sees when looking back. The rest of the characters are people from her life, her whole life which all have an impact on the decision-making process.

Performance wise, Meryl Streep is fantastic and you can see why she went on to win the Oscar. Jim Broadbent is fun in this role as the husband both alive and dead talking to Margaret. The rest of the cast all go great even if this is the Meryl Streep Show.

StoryWe all know that Margaret Thatcher is one of the most famous prime minsters the UK ever had. This film focuses on how Margaret was looking back on the key incident leading to her run to Prime Minister, through it and what led to the end of it. I really liked how we looked back without getting bogged down with the politics of her reign. The story is told as if a once great leader looked at what she sees as success and failure.

BiographyThis is a great look at Margaret Thatcher, a woman who came from a family of groceries to become leader of the Prime Minister, we see the good and bad moments of her life as well as paving the way for women in politics.

SettingsEach setting used fits the time we are seeing, nothing looks out of place for this great moment she lives through.

Final ThoughtsHaving a history lesson can sometimes get boring when looking at one person’s life, but this doesn’t focus on this too much instead looks at the idea of how she remembers everything.

 

Overall: This is a biopic with a difference and well worth a watch.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Scream of the Banshee (2011)

screamDirector: Steven C Miller

Writer: Anthony C Ferrante, Jacob Hair (Screenplay)

Starring: Lauren Holly, Lance Henriksen, Eric F Adams, Marcelle Baer, Edrick Browne, Leanne Cochran, Thomas C Daniel

 

Plot: An archaeology professor unearths a dangerous artefact, unwittingly releasing a creature that is able to kill with the power of its bone-splitting scream.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Horror

 

Story: Scream of the Banshee starts in 12th century Ireland as we see an evil vanquished before moving to present day. We get to meet researcher Professor Isla Whelan (Holly) and her students Shayla (Baer), Janie (Cochran) and Otto (Haberkorn) who are getting the latest project ready.

When the team discovers a box from the 12th century they discover the head inside which unleashes a terrifying scream before vanishing. When the research team start getting haunted by the banshee they must locate former professors Samuel Page (Adams) and Broderick Duncan (Henriksen) for answers on how to stop the creature.

Scream of the Banshee plays into the screaming banshee myth which is the first time I have seen this in a horror movie which I am happy to see. The problems do build from that though because the story makes a big point of this being an Irish myth and sets the film in America almost randomly. We get the banshee that can only attack when you scream but in the final act it doesn’t seem to matter so we have built up nicely on for it to end playing against all of the rules created earlier in the film. The overall story is easy to follow so just enjoy the kills and look into an interesting myth.

 

Actor Review

 

Lauren Holly: Professor Isla Whelan leads an archiving team at the university who discover a 12th century box with a head inside. Once they open the box they start getting haunted by the banshee as she needs to rebuild her crumbling relationship with her daughter. Lauren is solid in this role but the character doesn’t seem to be as big of an expert as we are led to believe.

Lance Henriksen: Broderick Duncan is a former professor who was obsessed with the box so much so that he has become a fanatic theorist. Lance is the big name in the film even though we don’t meet his character in person till the final act.

Eric F Adams: Samuel Page is the former assistant to Duncan who doesn’t want anything to do with but once he starts also getting haunted by the banshee he must help the researchers find Duncan to put a stop to everything. Eric does a basic job as the character telling more of the story.

Support Cast: Scream of the Banshee has a supporting cast which are mostly made up for the students who just become disposable as the story unfolds.

Director Review: Steven C MillerSteven give us a horror that looks into Irish folk law to get the horror but has one too many false jump scares.

 

Horror: Scream of the Banshee plays into the jump scares of horror as we see each character getting haunted with jump scares coming in nearly every scene but often too many times.

Settings: Scream of the Banshee throws us into the university style settings to start with before moving out, the settings don’t really have any impact on where the story actually goes.
Special Effects
: Scream of the Banshee has solid effects throughout while not everything is jaw-dropping it all works for the concept of the film.

Suggestion: Scream of the Banshee is a late night television experience that can be enjoyed by the horror fans. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: Banshee idea works.

Worst Part: Certain inconsistency in how the banshee acts.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: She hasn’t been out for a thousand years.

 

Overall: Simple horror that does all it needs to.

Ratingcard