Jeffrey Dean Morgan Weekend – The Possession (2012)

possesDirector: Ole Bornedal

Writer: Juliet Snowden, Stiles White (Screenplay) Leslie Gornstein (Article)

Starring: Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Kyra Sedgwick, Natasha Calis, Madison Davenport, Matisyahu, Grant Snow

 

Plot: A young girl buys an antique box at a yard sale, unaware that inside the collectible lives a malicious ancient spirit. The girl’s father teams with his ex-wife to find a way to end the curse upon their child.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Surprisingly Good

 

Story: The Possession starts as we see how the box has the power to make people possessed before we meet our main characters. We have recently divorced couple Clyde (Morgan) and Stephanie (Sedgwick) who are trying to keep their daughter’s Em (Calis) and Hannah (Davenport) happy through the difficult time.

After Clyde purchases a mysterious box his youngest daughter Em starts acting strange as the house seems to be getting infested with moths and she becomes very protective of the box. When Em’s behaviour gets worse we see just how the evil spirit is taking over and the possession is becoming deadly to all the people involved.

 

Thoughts on The Possession

 

StoryThis story is very loosely based on a real series of events in which an ancient cursed box caused nightmares and possession like symptoms in its owners. The story we get told is very simple for the possession genre of films with the youngest member getting taken over by the spirit and because of her parents’ divorce she is easier to target. The story does have good attempts at trying to balance the idea of a young girl acting out against the divorce but falls into the supernatural side of the story easily which tries to go with shock moments throughout. While this is one of the better modern day possession films it doesn’t reach the true shock value it could have.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror comes with the possession side of the story which is usually a side of horror I don’t find scary or interesting but this one at least has moments of interest because the real case behind this story is one that I find interesting. You do wonder where the story will go as in can it pull off anything shocking and original as the story unfolds. The MRI scene is the stand out scare scene though.

Characters/PerformancesLooking at the characters you get very little new, we have the divorcing parents who are trying to stay friends for their kids. We get the busy teenager who is too busy worrying about herself than her family. The main victim is the youngest and quieter of the two daughters whose behaviour starts out with it mostly being against the divorce, this character is the most important and must go through the most. When you look at the performances they are all good without being The Exorcist level.

SettingsKeeping the settings simple we get the homes which show that it could happen to anyone in their safe place with all the other settings being ones you would expect to see with events of the story, police station, hospital, church and schools.

Special EffectsWe have good special effects throughout without having to turn to them for every single scene going on through the film which other possession films do.

Final ThoughtsWhen it comes to possession films this is one of the better ones out there, it shows the struggle the family go through without going over the top with the shock moments.

 

Overall: Enjoyable for all the horror fans out there.

Ratingcard

 

 

Jeffrey Dean Morgan Weekend – Red Dawn (2012)

redDirector: Dan Bradley

Writer: Carl Ellsworth, Jeremy Passmore (Screenplay) Kevin Reynolds, John Milius (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Josh Peck, Josh Hutcherson, Adrianne Palicki, Isabel Lucas, Connor Cruise, Edwin Hodge, Brett Cullen, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Will Yun Lee

 

Plot: A group of teenagers look to save their town from an invasion of North Korean soldiers.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Remake

 

Story: Red Dawn starts as we get filled on how North Korea has risen in power and threatens to take on America in battle. We move to meet our characters with returning marine Jed Eckert (Hemsworth) his high school quarterback brother Matt (Peck) and fellow high schoolers Robert Kitner (Hutcherson), Toni Walsh (Palicki) and Erica Martin (Lucas).

When their quiet town awakens one morning they find themselves under attack by North Korea as we see Jed, Matt, Robert, Danny (Hodge) and other students escape to safety of the cabin. With Jed leading the students they prepare to go up against the army to free their families as they join forces with ex-marines Tanner (Morgan), Smith (Choi) and Hodges (Gerald).

Red Dawn is a remake of one of the iconic 80s movies and to be fair this isn’t as bad as you were thinking it would be. First the war scenario looks like it could have been realistic with the rising tensions between the nations. I will go into a few negatives where Matt is very annoying with his decision making process which causes us to roll our eyes at what he is doing. It does feel more rushed and you do think the Korean army would be able to handle a few rebellious teenagers though. If you watch this with just relaxed style you could see how this would be enjoyed but just don’t expect the emotional level it should have.

 

Overall: Solid remake that is an easy watch.

Rating60

 

 

 

World Cinema Weekend – The End (2012)

endDirector: Jorge Torregrossa

Writer: Sergio G Sanchez, Jorge Guerricaechevarria (Screenplay) David Monteagudo (Novel)

Starring: Maribel Verdu, Daniel Grao, Clara Lago, Carmen Ruiz, Andres Velencoso, Miquel Fernandez, Blanca Romero

 

Plot: A group of old friends gets together for a weekend in a mountain cabin. Years have gone by and yet nothing seems to have changed between them. But lurking behind the laughter and stories is a murky episode from the past that continues to haunt them. A strange, sudden incident alters their plans, leaving them stranded and with no line of communication to the outside world. On their way for help, the group starts to disintegrate, just as a new natural order is unveiled before their astonished eyes.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Impressive Sci-Fi Drama

 

Story: The End starts as an old group of school friend reunite for the weekend we have Maribel (Verdu), Felix (Grao), Eva (Lago), Sara (Ruiz), Hugo (Velencoso), Sergio (Fernandez), Cova (Romero) and Rafa (Garrido) all in the cabin within the mountain region of Spain.

Their trip is interrupted by a sudden light and boom in the distance with all the phones going dead along with all of their cars. They all beginning to question an incident in their past with another student Angel known as the Prophet where the consequences of what they did are still being felt.

Finding themselves standard they look for a way down from the mountain top back to society but find unusual occurrences along the way, what has happened to make this happen and who will make it back alive?

 

Thoughts on The End

 

StoryThe story plays nicely into the idea that the end of the world has happened and people could be left behind, we have a nice mix of not knowing going on throughout the film and with the characters disappearing one at a time we are left wondering just what is happening within the film. This gives us a compelling story even if it isn’t the most original. The big plus point I u just not knowing who will go missing next or why these people have been left.

Sci-Fi/ThrillerThe sci-fi side of this story comes from the end of the world happening with people being left behind and just not knowing what to expect from being left behind. The thriller side is us left wondering just what is left for our characters to find and what is their fate.

Characters/PerformanceEach character is different in their own way but in a way where you could see them all being a group of friends. Each performance a great from the actors and by not knowing who most of these actors are it is hard at times to figure out who the most important ones will be early on.

SettingsThe settings are used to show us the remote isolated location our characters start in when the incident happens as well as showing us just how empty the world would look without humans in.

Special EffectsThe special effects all work well but the film focuses more on the drama of what is going on between the characters as they slowly disappear from each other’s lives.

Final ThoughtsThis films shows just what life is like as the people we once loved will eventually leave our lives at different stages of it, sure everything is put into an end of the world situation but the metaphor for growing older shines through in my opinion.

 

Overall: Very good sci-fi thriller that just keeps you guessing.

Ratingcard

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Underworld Awakening (2012)

underDirector: Mans Marling, Bjorn Stein

Writer: Len Wiseman, John Hlavin, J Michael Straczynski, Allison Burnett (Screenplay) Len Wiseman, John Hlavin (Story)

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Stephen Rea, Michael Ealy, Theo James, India Eisley, Sandrine Holt, Charles Dance

 

Plot: When human forces discover the existence of the Vampire and Lycan clans, a war to eradicate both species commences. The vampire warrior Selene leads the battle against humankind.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Action Packed Sequel

 

Story: Underworld: Awakening starts with back story in case you missed the first three films Selene (Beckinsale) explains to us the audience where we are in the story now, the story she thought she had won, but no humans are now the enemies. Humans are now tracking down both vampires and lycans killing any they find.

After being captured Selene returns to where she last remembers being only to discover it was 12 years ago, and her beloved Michael is missing. Selene goes on a killing revenge mission to discover the truth behind the reason why the humans kept her alive all this time. Selene works with fellow vampire David (James) as she learns just what remains of both species now.

Underworld: Awakening brings a new enemy in humans only to forget that issue quite quickly into the film by going back to the vampire and lycan battle. We get a massive middle finger to what the originals had by just going fully blown Resident Evil mode by having genetically enhanced lycans for the bigger opponent in battle, come on really? The special effects actually feel like a step back from the first films too while the action is just wildly over the top like before.

Beckinsale being back is a huge plus because she is just as ruthless as we remember her to be. James is just a poor replacement for Michael but that is down to character development no James’ performance, much the same could be said Ealy’s cop character who just helps with a solo scene to explain and no rival cop to contend with either and finally Stephen Rea is the doctor character you expect him to be, Charles Dance gets added for an experienced elder character while the rest are just generic almost extras.

 

Overall: All action no story with a love character just thrown into this story.

Ratingcard

 

 

Matthew McConaughey Weekend – Mud (2012)

mudDirector: Jeff Nichols

Writer: Jeff Nichols (Screenplay)

Starring: Matthew McConaughey, Reese Witherspoon, Tye Sheridan, Jacob Lofland, Sam Shepard, Ray McKinnon, Sarah Paulson, Michael Shannon

 

Plot: Two young boys encounter a fugitive and form a pact to help him evade the vigilantes that are on his trail and to reunite him with his true love.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: ABC Coming Of Age

 

Story: Mud starts when two teenagers Ellis (Sheridan) and Neckbone (Lofland) find a mysterious man hiding out in a wrecked boat in a tree. The man offers them a deal with them bringing him food as Mud (McConaughey) waiting for his lost love Juniper (Witherspoon) to meet him on this random island.

When the boys learn that Mud is in fact a wanted man they still decide to help once they hear his story as Ellis learns a valuable lesson about growing up as his parents want to move him to a new town away from his friends.

Mud is a coming of age movie that checks off all the essentials needed to be a great one, we get the boy who has to learn change before he is really ready for the change to happen. He learns from someone who shouldn’t be a role model but has a way of thinking that he could learn more from than his parents could ever teach him. The crime side to the story is fine but doesn’t hit the impact that the learning curve Ellis goes on really. It does have slow moments but in the end is one of the good coming of age tales out there.

 

Actor Review

 

Matthew McConaughey: Mud is an estranged man living in an abandoned boat when he befriends two teenage boys. We learn that he is wanted for murder and it is his love the Juniper which has caused all of his problems. Matthew is great and in a role that showed the beginning of the next step of his career.

Reese Witherspoon: Juniper is the reason why Mud has been waiting and is the reason for everything Mud has ever done. She comes off as the girl that leads a man astray. Reese is great in this supporting performance.

Tye Sheridan: Ellis is one of the two teenagers that find Mud and wants to help him. As he is helping Mud he learns life lessons on love which will help him in the future. Tye gives us a great early career performance.

Support Cast: Mud has a supporting cast filled with star names that all take a back seat to the main story being told.

Director Review: Jeff NicholsJeff gives us a good drama which has coming of age elements going on throughout the serious storyline.

 

Drama: Mud is a drama that really is a coming of age tale for Ellis who has to learn about love through the miss-adventures of Mud.

Settings: Mud keep everything looking like the small town these boys live in which shows how tough the families have it.
Suggestion
: Mud is one I think should be watch but I will say you need to be in the mood for a slow moving drama. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The performances from Matthew an Tye Sheridan.

Worst Part: Slightly slow.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 2 Hour 10 Minutes

 

Overall: Beautiful coming of age movie with powerhouse performances.

Ratingcard