Mark Strong Weekend – The Guard (2011)

guardDirector: John Michael McDonagh

Writer: John Michael McDonagh (Screenplay)

Starring: Brendan Gleeson, Don Cheadle, Mark Strong, Liam Cunningham

 

Plot: An unorthodox Irish policeman with a confrontational personality is partnered with an up-tight F.B.I. agent to investigate an international drug-smuggling ring.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Darkly Comic Crime Comedy

 

Story: The Guard starts as we meet slacker but smart Irish small town police officer Gerry Boyle (Gleeson) who is happen just to clean up crime scenes than solve the crime when it comes to the petty ones. When his small village has a surprise murder and the number 5 and half written in blood on the wall.

This case brings FBI agent Wendell Everett (Cheadle) from America to track down the drug shipment that went missing and is believed to be in Ireland. This brings us the unlikely pairing of Gerry and Wendell from two different worlds trying to track down drug dealer Francis Sheehy-Skeffington (Cunningham) who is hiding out in the village.

 

Thoughts on The Guard

 

StoryIf you were to bottle down this story it is just an odd couple crime comedy tracking down drug smugglers which is all fine and an enjoyable watch throughout. I have said before I am happy with simple stories and this is just that we get good characters and fun moments and is one that can be enjoyed by all.

Comedy/Crime We get comedy from the odd couple crime story going on which has laughs from start to finish with mostly inappropriate comments from Gerry.

Characters/PerformanceGerry is a great addition to the comedic police officer genre that has many but this one is great fun to watch as you don’t know how inappropriate he will be with his latest comments. The FBI agent Wendell plans the straight honest character who is great at reacting to the comments. The bad guys are all played to be what we expect from the genre with the local drug dealer turned international drug smugglers.

Looking at the performance Brendan Gleeson and Don Cheadle make for a great partnership for comedy that you feel you could watch again and again, when you look at Cunningham and Strong they both enjoy taking the villainous roles.

SettingsHaving the film set in a small Irish village adds to the comedy between local and outsider from the FBI agent but this is a village not used to crime.

Final ThoughtsThis really is a darkly comic crime film that can be enjoyable by all.

 

Overall: Entertaining Irish crime comedy that will make you laugh at all the right points.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – The Moth Diaries (2011)

mothDirector: Mary Harron

Writer: Mary Harron (Screenplay) Rachel Klein (Novel)

Starring: Sarah Bolger, Sarah Gadon, Lily Cole, Scott Speedman

 

Plot: Rebecca is suspicious of Ernessa, the new arrival at her boarding school. But is Rebecca just jealous of Ernessa’s bond with Lucie, or does the new girl truly possess a dark secret?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dull

 

Story: The Moth Diaries starts as we see best friends Rebecca (Bolger) and Lucy (Gadon) returning to boarding school catching up with all their friends after a summer back together. When Ernessa (Cole) arrives at the school she instantly strikes up a friendship with Lucy as we see early on the tension rising between the Ernessa and Rebecca.

When Rebecca starts to think Ernessa is up to something she finds herself becoming distant from her friends but soon she starts to learn they may have more in common. Rebecca becomes obsessed with proving that Ernessa is evil when strange things start happening to her class mates but how does she go about this when she believes she is a ghost.

The Moth Diaries gives us what comes off as the ghost investigation mixed with St Trinian’s. we follow how friendships get pushed and girls get up to things they shouldn’t including drugs and sneaking off for sex. The girls are all unlikable and the serious side of the tory seems to get forgotten. The whole story does come off very average and boring as you never believe any of the fear Rebecca is meant to be feeling.

 

Actor Review

 

Sarah Bolger: Rebecca has been best friends with Lucy for years at boarding school but when Ernessa arrives she starts to find tension between her friends and dealing with the suicide of her father she finds herself wondering if she will act the same in the future. Sarah is solid but doesn’t really pull you into the story enough.

Sarah Gadon: Lucy is the best friend of Rebecca who starts to become distant from Rebecca as soon Ernessa starts school. Sarah does seem to get forgotten through the film sadly and never comes off strong enough.

Lily Cole: Ernessa is the mysterious new girl in the school who seems to have the ability to control other people decisions. She seems to be targeting Rebecca and her friends making Rebecca come off as a loner but does she have an alternative motive. Lily is solid but you can see her struggle with the serious scenes.

Scott Speedman: Mr Davies is the first male teacher the school has had, he is also a big admirer of Rebecca’s father. Scott really is just a small supporting part in this film.

Support Cast: The Moth Diaries has very generic supporting cast which are all very forgettable.

Director Review: Mary HarronMary gives us what comes off like a slightly dull ghost story.

 

Horror: The Moth Diaries doesn’t have any moments of real horror happening at all.

Mystery: The Moth Diaries has a thin mystery about who Ernessa really is but otherwise you don’t really care about what is happening.

Settings: The Moth Diaries keeps nearly the whole film in and around the boarding school which works for the film.
Special Effects
: The Moth Diaries has a few but easily forgettable effects.

Suggestion: The Moth Diaries is easily one you could miss really. (Skip It)

 

Best Part: UMMM.

Worst Part: Story is very thin.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

Tagline: Every girl has her secrets.

 

Overall: Basic and boring ghost mystery film.

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Headhunters (2011)

headhunterDirector: Morten Tyldum

Writer: Ulf Ryberg, Lars Gudmestad (Screenplay) Jo Nesbo (Novel)

Starring: Aksel Henniee, Synnove Macody Lund, Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Eivind Sander, Julie R Olgaard

 

Plot: An accomplished headhunter risks everything to obtain a valuable painting owned by a former mercenary.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Crime Thriller

 

Story: Headhunters starts as we meet Roger (Hennie) a strict thief that has survived with his rules even if he has been struggling to make ends meet for his beautiful wife Diana (Lund) a gallery manager. Roger’s style gets the job done clean, quick and from victims that would never notice.

When Roger meets one of the guests at Diana’s gallery opening Clas Greve (Coster-Waldau) he learns that he owns a painting worth potential hundreds of millions, the kind of job that can help him leave that profession for good and finally offer his wife the children she so desperately wants.

This job takes a turn when Roger learns about the military past of Clas and with plenty of twists along the way this job could easily be the hardest of Roger’s career as the two end up in a deadly cat and mouse chase across the country.

 

Thoughts on Headhunters

 

Characters/PerformanceRoger is strong leading character with his skills in his art of thievery, hidden from his business life and married life, he knows how to handle himself in all the situations he finds himself. Clas is a great ruthless killer that has plenty of secrets behind his action.

When you look at the performances Hennie and Coster-Waldau are both fantastic in these roles with Hennie having the desperate but confident look with Coster-Waldau looking deadly from the moment you first meet him.

StoryThe story here comes from what looks like a basic heist movie before taking a turn into a cat and mouse chase across the country for survival. This keeps you guessing from start to finish and you simply just don’t know the motivation Clas has for his action, as it could be a range of reasons. The story does bring you in and never let you go.

Crime/ThrillerThis is a true crime cat and mouse story following two men who are breaking laws but one as a thief the other as a hired killer, we have no idea where this film will go and the twists keep us guessing until the final conclusion.

SettingsWith our character on the run we get to see a mix of hidden locations and busy locations show how the difference between the hidden world of the crimes mix with the businessman who Roger is.

Final ThoughtsThis is the crime thriller that could easily be one of the best we have seen

 

Overall: A true great thriller that everyone should be watching and enjoying.

Rating90

 

 

The Dam (2011)

damDirector: Sohan Roy

Writer: Sohan Roy (Screenplay)

Starring: Joushua Smith, Vimala Raman, Ashish Vidtarthi, Vinay Rai, Linda Arsenio, Thampy Anthony

 

Plot: After many years two mariners return to homeland with the hope of a new beginning, little did they know about a disaster that would change their destiny.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not What it Says on the Tin

 

Story: The Dam starts as Captain Frederick Brown (Smith) is selling his newest book Dam999 as we flashback to learn the story behind the book. On the cruise liner Captain Brown is with his wife Raziya (Burman) and close friend Vinay (Rai) and his son Samuel (Rath) who are all heading to Vinay home searching for a cure for Sam’s diabetes.

As we follow the idea of lost love between Vinay and Meera (Raman) everything takes place in a small town next to the Dam built by the ancestors of Captain Brown and Sandra (Arsenio) the wife of Vinay arrives in the town. The town is being run by a corrupt Mayor who has cheaped out on the new dam which upon opening becomes a threat to everyone in the town.

 

Thoughts on The Dam

 

StoryWhen you look at the story I can’t help but find this miss-sold because this is very much a love story about following fate or your heart what could have been or what could be with a disaster tagged on the end of the film. This is all fine but it does feel very long in places making us lose interest in wait for the disaster event to actually happy.

Adventure/Thriller The adventure side of the story doesn’t really come through until the disaster moments of the film and with that we get some tense final moments on the dam disaster idea, the problem is the early stages take too long to get going.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters all feel like they have been perfectly pick to deal with the situations of the love story going on and have all the different dynamics going on for the characters without the shock value. When you look at the performances well let’s just say they are not the best and keep it at that.

SettingsThe settings all work giving us the traditional location for the characters with the location next to the dam just part of the bigger story.

Special EffectsThis is subject that I can’t really say anything good about so I will be keeping away from the criticism of it all.

Final ThoughtsThis is mostly an endless love story of how love can never die with the disaster storyline is just tagged on really.

 

Overall: Be carefully what you go into this one looking for.

Ratingcard

 

 

All Superheroes Must Die (2011)

allDirector: Jason Trost

Writer: Jason Trost (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Trost, Lucas Till, James Remar, Sophie Merkley, Lee Valmassy, Sean Whalen

 

Plot: Four Super Heroes find themselves abducted by their Arch Nemesis and are forced to compete in a series of challenges in order to save an abandoned town full of kidnapped innocent civilians.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Good

 

Story: All Superheroes Must Die starts as the superheroes Charge (Trost), Cutthroat (Till), Shadow ((Merkley) and The Wall (Valmassy) all awaken with an implant in their wrists with a message from the villainous Rickshaw (Remar).

Rickshaw sets the heroes tasks they must complete to save innocent lives of their city even if it means break their own rules along the way. We are left to watch as our heroes must work together as they are torn apart by this mastermind villain.

 

Thoughts on All Superheroes Must Die

 

StoryThe story is simple and all it needs to be, we have vulnerable superheroes finally against a villain who has a play that is solely against the superheroes. Each test feels like a genuine threat to the heroes with the villain safely out of danger which only adds to the idea that the film is giving us. The idea theses heroes must learn to fight without their powers also adds to the concept behind the film. The story really does take the superhero genre to a new direction and one we haven’t seen before.

Sci-Fi/ThrillerThe world is filled with superheroes with powers we don’t get to see put into action but the thriller side of the film really does keep us guessing from start to finish.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are all created well to feel like superheroes in everyday life with the villain as always needing to be the stand-out character of the film outsmarting the heroes along the way. Performance wise everything is good with each star becoming their character almost effortlessly.

SettingsThe settings are all inside a small town that has different stores for our heroes to complete their tasks inside which shows us the number of victims there could be if the villain wins.

Special EffectsWe have good special effects for the budget which is all good for the film which tries to make everything practical effects.

Final ThoughtsThis is a refreshing take on the superhero genre that brings us into the story to see them take on a villain that isn’t afraid to kill.

 

Overall: Enjoyable superhero film that fans can enjoy.

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