Marion Cotillard Weekend – Rust and Bone (2012)

Director: Jacques Audiard

Writer: Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain (Screenplay) Craig Davidson (Story)

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Armand Verdure, Celine Sallette, Corinne Masiero, Bouli Lanners

 

Plot: Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain’s bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Drama

 

Story: Rust and Bone starts Alain (Schoenaraerts) moves to start a new life with his son Sam (Verdure), he moves in with his sister Anna (Masiero) until he can put enough money together. Working as a bouncer he meets Stephanie (Cotillard) after a brawl at his club. The two become friends after Stephanie a worker with killer whales suffers a tragic accident losing both her legs leaving her in deep depression. As Alain finds a way to bring the life back into Stephanie he looks to improve his financial situation by entering a kick boxing tournament which could help himself and Sam find their own place. The closer the two get the happier Stephanie finds herself with her new chance at life showing you can get anything out of a tragic event.

 

Thoughts on Rust and Bone

 

Characters/PerformanceStephanie works in an ocean tour park with killer whales but when she is involved in an accident she finds herself needing to start her life again. She dives into depression but a new friendship offers her a new look on life. Alain is a single parent not having much luck on the job front and ends up getting involved in underground fighter for quick money. He befriends Stephanie as he gets to see another way of life where he could settle down giving his son a stable future.

Marion continues to show her ability as an actress with this brilliant performance showing all the emotional levels need for her character. Matthias also goes a fantastic job here showing he is just as capable as Marion.

StoryThe story shows how two people can overcome problems in their lives, be it Stephanie’s life changing injuries or Alain needing to make a life for his young son. With this we get to see how a relationship between these two can motivate the two to make more of their lives and still enjoy the rest of their lives. It shows how you can’t let anything stop you doing what you want in your life.

Romance The romantic side of the film comes from the potential relationship the two could find themselves in, Stephanie wants something serious while Alain is happy sleeping around but can they put this aside and fall in love.

SettingsWhen you look at the settings most of this film is considered normal for the most part, they all have simple and do what they need without being anything special.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderfully shot drama that gives us two heavyweight performances and a story that shows you can overcome any injury suffered.

 

Overall: Wonderful film for all the drama fans out there to go and watch.

Rating

 

 

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Static (2012)

staticDirector: Todd Levin

Writer: Gabriel Cowan, Todd Levin, John Suits (Screenplay) Gabriel Cowan, Andrew Orci, John Suits (Story)

Starring: Milo Ventimiglia, Sarah Shahi, William Mapother, Sara Paxton, Dominic Bogart, Oz Kalvan, Luke Barnett, Oz Kalvan

 

Plot: A couple facing marital problems after losing their child finds their life together further complicated by a mysterious visitor.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Burning Final Twist Saving Film

 

Story: Static starts as we meet author Jonathan Dade (Ventimiglia) and his wife Addie (Shahi) who are grieving the loss of their son in their own way. Trying to work on their relationship they get interrupted by stranger Rachel (Paxton) who claims to be followed by some masked men.

Questioning her story only builds the tension between the couple until the lights go out and the intruders set their sights on getting into the house to take Jonathan and Addie too. Can they survive the night and what is the motives behind this invasion?

 

Thoughts on Static

 

StoryStatic goes down the home invasion angle for the story telling which is always going to be hard to top the big ones out there like The Strangers, The Purge or even Panic Room. This film clearly doesn’t reach these levels as it focuses on other trauma side to a couple’s relationship but I will say is saved by the final twist I didn’t see coming.

Horror/Mystery/ThrillerThe horror in this story comes from the idea behind everything the unknown home invasion which works in parts but when it comes to the horror rules they all get broken with bad decision making. The mystery comes from just not knowing what is going on and why first Rachel and then the couple have been targeted. The thrilling side of this story comes from the attempts to make us uneasy about what could happen next.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters put into this situation are generic ones as we see the grieving couple trying to make things work out which means this night could re-build their relationship while the intruders just come off very outsiderish which does help make us feel uneasy whenever they come onto the screen. The Rachel character does feel slightly out of place because why wouldn’t the couple know their neighbours. When it comes to the acting well this isn’t the highlight of the film and I am a fan of all the four leading actors (Mapother is barely even in the film) in this film but there just seems to be zero chemistry between the couple. Each character does make sense by the end of the film though.

SettingsThe film takes place in nearly the whole time in and around the house which makes it all feel isolated because the characters don’t have anywhere to run and adding in the darkness builds the atmosphere needed.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to special effects we don’t have or need many but the few we get all come off well enough for the final story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a home invasion film that has everything nicely put together for a good feel but due to poor acting and chemistry it just doesn’t come together to the level it should do. The twist on what the intruders want seem like it is waiting to happen from early on but ends up giving us a twist I didn’t see coming.

 

Overall: Saved by the final twist because getting there is very slow.

Ratingcard

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Stitches (2012)

stitchesDirector: Conor McMahon

Writer: Conor McMahon, David O’Brien (Screenplay)

Starring: Ross Noble, Tommy Knight, Shane Murray-Corcoran, Gemma-Leah Devereux, Thommas Kane Byrnes, Eoghan McQuinn, Roisin Barron

 

Plot: A clown comes back from the dead to haunt those who took his life during a fatal party mishap.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Late Night TV Watch

 

Story: Stitches starts as we meet clown Stitches (Noble), he isn’t a very good clown and barely entertains the children’s party he is hired to perform at. The party goes from bad to worse as Tom whose birthday it is gets involved in a prank leading to his death.

6 years later Tom (Knight) is still being haunted by that day, and this weekend it just so happens to be his birthday once again and his mother is leaving him with a free home. With the party in full swing Stitches comes back from his grave to make his own guest appearance to get revenge on the kids that sent him to an early grave.

 

Thoughts on Stitches

 

StoryWhen it comes to the story we get a generic build up, lead character is traumatised by an event in their youth while others have moved on and dealt with it their own way. It leads to a party that evil spirit or ghost or this case zombie comes back to life to get revenge on the person who killed them. The build to the party shows the change the characters have been through while the party all works to have divided chaos for the revenge plan to happen. Overall the story is simple enough for the idea behind the horror comedy.

Comedy/HorrorWhen it comes to the comedy nearly everything comes from the over the top kills and pun like lines coming from Stitches, the kills are funny but the puns do feel cheap. When it comes to horror well it is a killer clown it will only work for people scared of clowns.

Characters/PerformancesTom is your typical lead for a horror as mentioned before with the traumatised youth still haunted, his friends are the cocky, the creepy and the fat comic relief. We also have the assholes and the love interest for Tom which all are by the book generic characters, Stitches is a good addition to the horror world without being on the level of the iconic killers with Ross Noble giving the starring performance here. Some of the acting comes off quite bad when it comes to the reactions and this definitely won’t be getting many awards.

SettingsMost of the film takes place inside the house which works having the whole party being the end for the character’s good time for the guests and the end for the victims.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the kills we get to see the special effects go for it with each kill trying to outdo the last with the umbrella being the highlight of the kills in my opinion.

Final Thoughts This is a simple to watch horror comedy that just never really picks which side it wants to be, the horror isn’t scary and the comedy isn’t that funny which leaves it feeling very much as a forgettable film in the long run.

 

Overall: Try it but just don’t buy it because it really comes off lazy but watchable.

Ratingcard

 

 

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