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.

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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.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Jersey Shore Shark Attack (2012)

jersey shoreDirector: John Shepphird

Writer: John Shepphird, Jeffrey Schenck, Peter Sullivan, Michael Ciminra, Richard Gnolfo (Screenplay)

Starring: Jack Scalia, Jeremy Luke, Joseph Russo, Daniel Booko, Melissa Molinaro, Alex Mauriello, Vinny Guadagnino, Paul Sorvino, William Atherton

 

Plot: The locals of the Jersey Shore find themselves under attack from Sharks.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: So Bad it is Hilarious

 

Story: Jersey Shore Shark Attack starts as we see a young couple eaten by sharks yay a shark movie that kills. We move to meet all of the Jersey Shore guys TC (Luke), Donnie (Russo) and Balzac (Booko) as well as the girls Nooki (Molinaro), J-Moni (Mauriello) and BJ (Resendez).

Getting ready for 4th of July weekend we see the boys drink and party while upsetting the girls, I feel like I am going to hate this film on new levels of hate. We see how Dolan (Atherton) has been working to change the image of the area when they start getting attacked by sharks.

Jersey Shore Shark Attack is a simple story of an area getting attack by sharks but by putting it in Jersey Shore we get all off the comedy need to make this one of the funniest films of recent times. It is funny because of how bad it is but achieving this we get something that can be watched with ease.

 

Actor Review

 

Jack Scalia: Moretti is the chief of police that tries to protect TC from ever going behind bars because of his troubles. By doing this he has to make a deal with Dolan. Jack is solid very typical character for the role.

Paul Sorvino: Mayor Palantine is the man when it comes Jersey Shore. He reopens the beaches once they believe they have captured the shark only to find out he has made a mistake. Paul is clearly here to have a bigger name in the film.

William Atherton: Dolan is trying to redesign the area to make this a tourist hot spot, he only wants certain people to come to the area and will do anything to make that happen. William is solid in the weasel like businessman performance.

Jeremy Luke: TC is the leader of the guy of Jersey Shore he is having problems with his girl Nooki but when one of his boys goes missing he leads the rest in trying to figure out what happened to them. Jeremy is funny in this role which seems to be the leading role.

Support Cast: Jersey Shore Shark Attack has a supporting cast that makes complete fun of all of the Jersey Shore stereotypes which adds to comedy.

Director Review: John ShepphirdJohn turns what could be a terrible film that turns into one of my favourite comedies.

 

Action: Jersey Shore Shark Attack has shark filled action which is mostly CGI.

Comedy: Jersey Shore Shark Attack is a film which made me laugh the most in recent times.

Horror: Jersey Shore Shark Attack has blood and gore but all CGI filled.

Settings: Jersey Shore Shark Attack keeps everything on the Jersey Shore which makes this have added comedy.
Special Effects
: Jersey Shore Shark Attack doesn’t have any good special effects involved.

Suggestion: Jersey Shore Shark Attack is one late night TV treat which will make you laugh for reasons it shouldn’t. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: Comedy.

Worst Part: CGI.

Funniest Scene: When the friends find a boat with blood on and one asks is spaghetti sauce.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

Tagline: Your Worst Fears Will Service

Trivia: The guy with the popcorn getting knocked down wasn’t supposed to happen, but the filmmakers liked the moment so much that they kept it in the movie.

 

Overall: This could be the new guilty pleasure of mine.

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Black Rock (2012)

casting card

 

Plot: Three childhood friends set aside their personal issues and reunite for a girls’ weekend on a remote island off the coast of Maine. One wrong move turns their weekend getaway into a deadly fight for survival.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Bland

 

Story: Black Rock starts as two friends Lou (Bell) & Sarah (Bosworth) travelling to an island only for Sarah to surprise Lou and Abby (Aselton) to try and reconnect. Sarah wants to bring the three friends back together where they search for a time capsule they put on the island when they were kids but it isn’t long before we learn why Abby and Lou haven’t seen talking.

The trip gets interrupted by three guys Henry (Paulson), Derek (Bouvier) and Alex (Richardson) who the girls know from when they were younger. When Abby leads Henry on it leads to him trying to rape her before she kills him leading to Derek and Alex having to make the difficult decision on what to do to them. When the girls escape it turns into a battle to survive as the ex-military men chase down the girls on the island.

Black Rock comes off very frustrating because we start by not learning enough about the three leading ladies apart from the fact they were friends. The reason Derek decides to go on the hunt to kill happens because one of the women over teased one of the guys leading him on way too much before changing her mind and this ends up leaving the film in the morale ground of who was wrong, the guy for not stopping or the girl for saying yes before changing her mind. The survival side of the story is also almost pointless because we have nothing new.

 

Actor Review

 

Katie Aselton: Abby is one of our leading ladies who has fallen out with Lou after something that has happened years before. She reluctantly goes on this trip once Sarah talks her into it. Abby gets drunk leading a guy on but when things get out of hand she ends up killing him leading to his friends hunting the friends down on the island. Katie is solid but we need to actually believe the friendship before the attack.

Lake Bell: Lou is the other friend that has clashed with Abby but spending time together the two have to put the difference behind them to survive the attack on the island. Lake is solid in this role but we need to see more.

Kate Bosworth: Sarah is the friend that is trying to make Abby and Lou patch things together, she is a doctor which offers help when the friends come under attack on the island. Kate seems like she is wasted in what is only a supporting role.

Will Bouvier: Derek is the friend that decides to hunt down the girls after they kill his friend, he treats it like a game enjoying this too much. Will is a very average villain.

Support Cast: Black Rock only has a couple more cast members that don’t really stay around long enough to make a difference with the survival but are the motivation for the hunting.

Director Review: Katie AseltonKatie doesn’t get the most out of this simple story with predictable scenes throughout.

 

Horror: Black Rock doesn’t us the horror elements of this survival horror enough.

Thriller: Black Rock should be keeping us on edge but by the end of the film the suspense has been lost.

Settings: Black Rock keeps nearly all of the film on one island which does create the isolation needed.
Special Effects
: Black Rock has solid effects when it comes to the kills but otherwise not needed.

Suggestion: Black Rock is one you can easily miss because everything has been done better before. (Skip It)

 

Best Part: It is quiet short.

Worst Part: Why did you not just grab the gun?

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Hopefully not.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

Tagline: Not every island is a paradise.

Trivia: Writers Katie Aselton and Mark Duplass are married.

 

Overall: Predictable and flat story with little to no suspense.

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Matt Damon Weekend – Promised Land (2012)

promised landDirector: Gus Van Sant

Writer: John Krasinski, Matt Damon (Screenplay) Dave Eggers (Story)

Starring: Matt Damon, Hal Holbrook, Frances McDormand, Titus Welliver, John Krasinski, Rosemarie DeWitt, Lucas Black, Scoot McNairy

 

Plot: A salesman for a natural gas company experiences life-changing events after arriving in a small town, where his corporation wants to tap into the available resources.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Drama

 

Story: Promised Land starts as we meet Steve Butler (Damon) one of the best salesmen for a natural gas company where he makes the most and cheapest purchases within his company. Steve teams up with Sue (McDormand) to meet the locals of a small town where the natural gas is up for grabs.

What looks like an easy job takes a turn for worse when Frank Yates (Holbrook) challenges the idea of fracking in the town which leads to an environmental guy Dustin Noble (Krasinski) supporting the town. This leads to a battle to make his sell go through with the town turning on him supporting Dustin.

Promised Land is a drama that throws us into the world of potential fracking pros and cons. We get to see how small town America is struggling with money and can get taken advantage of by big businesses. We get to see how even the guy trying to make the deals can fall victim to what is the right to wrong choices being made. The story does flow nicely but in the end it does all come down to an audience member needing to be in the right mood for this film.

 

Actor Review

 

Matt Damon: Steve works for a natural gas company and is one of the best in the business always making the sales. He is on the verge of a promotion but this latest sale which seems so easy takes a turn for the worse when he has to go against an environmentalist while he also falls for a local girl. Matt is good in this leading role.

John Krasinski: Dustin is an environmentalist who has come to the town to warn them of the effects of fracking making Steve’ job very difficult. He is a victim of what happens to fracking and his evidence puts the deal up in the air. John makes for a good opposite to Damon through the film.

Frances McDormand: Sue is the partner of Steve’s, she keeps him in line while keeping her own relationship with her son going. She approaches her deals differently to Steve and is always someone he can throw ideas around with. Frances is good as this supporting character throughout.

Support Cast: Promised Land has a supporting cast that all feel like different members of a tight community the town is with each of their own problems.

Director Review: Gus Van SantGus does a good job directing this showing us Steve’s struggles through the situation.

 

Drama: Promised Land puts us into the morale questions of whether short term money is enough to cover long environmental effects.

Settings: Promised Land puts us in the small town where each moment in the film feels like we are following a small community.
Suggestion
: Promised Land is one to try mostly because the subject isn’t the most popular for the audience to see. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The questions being asked about whether fracking is the right decision or not.

Worst Part: Slightly to campaign heavy.

 

Believability: This is a subject going on around the world at the moment.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

Tagline: What’s your price?

 

Overall: Very informative drama about the pros and cons of fracking.

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