Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz (2013)

Director: Kieran Parker

Writer: Rae Brunton (Screenplay)

Starring: Bryan Larkin, Ivan Kamaras, Velibor Topic, Laurence Possa, Alec Utgoff, Johnny Meres, Michael McKell

 

Plot: In this third installment of the hit Nazi Zombie action horror movie, Outpost: Rise Of The Spetnaz, we discover the horrifying origins of these supernatural soldiers and see them in ferocious gladiatorial battle against the most ruthless and notorious of all military special forces: the Russian Spetsnaz.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sloppy and Poor Sequel

 

Story: Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz starts in 1945 as we follow a Russian special forces unit led by Dolokhov (Larkin) navigating the German forest looking for the secret base which has rumours of special experiments.

The plan doesn’t go the way they hoped, they find themselves captured or killed, waking in an underground bunker where they must find a way out joined by American spy Rogers (Lambert), they will learn the truth about the German experiments.

 

Thoughts on Outpost: Rise of the Spetsnaz

 

Characters – Dolokhov is the leader of the Russian military unit searching for the secrets to the German’s work during World War II, he is loyal to his men and when he starts seeing them killed he will fight back no matter what the odds. Captured he goes through the experiments proving to be the best candidate for the Germans. When we reach the rest of the characters, we hit the weaknesses here, we have the rest of the unit which gets picked off bit by bit, the German soldiers and scientist with only one standing out, that being the man running the outpost.

PerformancesWhen we look at the performances we must face the facts here, the characters are not that interesting which doesn’t give the actors must to work with, Bryan Larkin in the lead role is fine with the combat side of everything, but when it comes to the deep fake accent we see the weakness coming through too often. This is a problem for most of the stars of the film.

StoryThe story here tries to continue to build on the legacy behind this mysterious bunker which was the focal point of the very first Outpost movie, this time we follow Russians that are searching for the bunker only to become the latest victims. Now this has many problems early on, the first film we know this place is abandoned which makes the story interesting, this film tries to explain what happened in the bunker before the English unit finds the location, well I think that is what I saw. The idea that the German’s were doing experiments has been done too much which only leaves us thinking we have seen this before because of the lack of shock behind anything we see. This is a story which doesn’t give us enough investment in the characters to make us care about what is happening through the film.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is war based, with gun shots through the woods, fighting in the bunker and genre hordes of zombie fighting, certain scenes are shot badly with too many cuts and the action does feel clunky. The horror side of the film comes from seeing what the experiments were about and how the zombie like soldiers will not stop, this does play into the sci-fi elements of the film too as we see how far the Nazi’s were going in the war.

SettingsThe film mostly takes place in the bunker, or outpost if you like, it doesn’t feel as claustrophobic as the first film and the lighting makes this a harder watch too.

Special EffectsThe effects are basic and with the editing we lose the moments of gore we would like to see.


Scene of the Movie –
Unleash for the fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Nothing is exciting.

Final ThoughtsThis feels more like a pointless sequel in a franchise which has already gone on too long for its own good.

 

Overall: Dull and lifeless.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Horror – G – Ghost Shark (2013)

Director: Griff Furst

Writer: Paul A Birkett (Screenplay) Eric Forsberg, Griff Furst (Story)

Starring: Mackenzie Rosman, Dave Davis, Lucky Johnson, Shawn C Phillips, Richard Moll

 

Plot: When rednecks on a fishing trip kill a great white shark, its spirit comes back for revenge, and soon turns its sights on the town of Smallport.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mad Shark Fun

 

Story: Ghost Shark starts when a couple of redneck fishermen get annoyed and kill a great white shark, but the shark doesn’t stay dead and comes back as a ghost looking to kill any the rednecks. When teenager Ava (Roseman) and little sister Cicely (Coe) join Blaise (David) and other friends on the beach the shark attacks anyone in the water.

When the shark starts hunting in any form of water, Mayor Stahl (Johnson) tries to cover up any panic but also doesn’t want to believe that this could be a threat. As the body count continues to rise, Ava must work with Blaise and Cameron to solve the ghost shark mystery before nowhere becomes safe.

 

Thoughts on Ghost Shark

 

Characters – Ava is one of the teenagers that is trying to solve the shark mystery, her father is a local boat owner which has gotten her the chance to understand the local water but now she must convince the town of the problem. Blaise is another one of the teenagers trying to solve the mystery and I guess kind of feels like the potential boyfriend. Mayor Stahl is trying to keep the town calm as well as protect his son from a scandal which could expose him. The rest of the character include the local crazy person who knows more than people give him credit for and all the generic characters to be killed off.

PerformanceThe performances do feel solid through the film, we do have moments of poor acting but otherwise nothing is overly special but it does all work for the level the film is trying to reach.

StoryThe idea that a dying shark can transform into a ghost shark that can go through any water, is a good spin on the crazy shark genre. We have the traditional crazy scenarios our characters find themselves in as they start getting picked off by sharks using any means of normal everyday water events. This is one of the ones which is easy to watch and doesn’t full into the completely terrible side.

Fantasy/HorrorThe horror here is shark attacks which as comical in the most part but are the only side of horror involved, the fantasy comes from the idea that a dying creature can come back as a ghost to kill from beyond the grave.

SettingsThe small town settings shows us how a community could be ruined by the incident involving death, we get the character which become everyday moments you would see in your local town.

Special EffectsThe effects are the low budget ones you would expect to see a sci-fi movie, some add the comedy in the film.

Scene of the Movie – That is some bad coffee.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Some scenes are here just to have bikini clad girls.

Final ThoughtsThis is a shark movie you can switch off and watch, it isn’t bad and anything remotely bad turns comical through the film.

 

Overall: Relaction shark movie

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Before Midnight (2013)

Director: Richard Linklater

Writer: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke (Screenplay) Richard Linklater, Kim Krizan (Story)

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

 

Plot: We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna.


Tagline – Everything’s better with maturity

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Conclusion

 

Story: Before Midnight starts in Greece now, Jesse (Hawke) must say goodbye to his son who lives back in America, Jesse and Celine (Delpy) are now married living the life they had dreamt with children of their own with a vacation.

While Jesse is having troubles dealing with the idea that his son will be hitting the important years of his life away from his father. Jesse is also working on his new book which is going to be more ambitious that he previous work, the books which told his time with Celine. The couple enter conversations how different generations have dealt with love, the first meetings and how they each kept their relationship happy.

 

Thoughts on Before Midnight

 

Characters – Jesse and Celine are now a married couple, they live in Paris with their own twins, they have grown older like they had imagined. They are the same characters that we have met, with the only thing that keeps them feeling different is that Jesse has a son from his previous marriage he wishes to be able to spend time with.

PerformancesEthan Hawke and Julie Delpy pick up where they left off 9 years previously, older, mature performance which has done well, even if the characters have started to become generic married couple.

StoryThe story picks up 9 years later, Jesse and Celine are now married, dealing with everyday life with their own problems, Celine with the job she has dreamed off and Jesse torn between whether he can spend more time with his son back in America. This shows us just where relationships can go, teaching us they do become harder over time, but love will always pull people through.

RomanceThe romance focuses more on what happens when you have been with someone for a longer period of time, it changes what we have been seeing even though it can remain true life.

SettingsWe are in Greece this time, showing us the beauty the backdrops this country has, this complete the special look each film offers.


Scene of the Movie –
The walk together.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This one is longer, it does start to lose its special uniqueness of the other two have.

Final ThoughtsFor a final chapter of a trilogy this is delightful, it has everything you need to see when it comes to the main idea of being in love with someone, needing to face difficult decisions.

 

Overall: The end we all deserved.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – V – Very Good Girls (2013)

Director: Naomi Foner

Writer: Naomi Foner (Screenplay)

Starring: Dakota Fanning, Elizabeth Olsen, Boyd Holbrook, Ellen Barkin, Demi Moore, Richard Dreyfuss, Peter Sarsgaard

 

Plot: Two New York City girls make a pact to lose their virginity during their first summer out of high school. When they both fall for the same street artist, the friends find their connection tested for the first time.


Tagline – When we lose our innocence, we have to find ourselves.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Romance Between Friends

 

Story: Very Good Girls starts as we met two teenagers Lilly (Fanning) and Gerri (Olsen) who are spending the final summer together before they move onto college. With life problems they are facing they do have each other to keep themselves together and make a pact to lose their virginity before they head off to college.

The two friends both fall for the same street artist David (Holbrook) ad between them they both get a different life change experience through the summer.

 

Thoughts on Very Good Girls

 

Characters – Lilly is the quieter of the two friends, we follow her life with her parents fighting, her job before college and what it was like for her to meet her first love before college, she is trying to hold her family together while not telling Gerri al the details of her life. Gerri is the best friend of Lilly, she tends to do all the talking for the two, she wants David but this summer she must deal with her own personal tragedy. David is the street artist that both the girls fall for, he fits the mysterious figure that can draw the attention of the girls. We do have the parents through the situations the girls are going through too.

PerformancesDakota Fanning is solid enough for this role, she doesn’t do anything wrong, but compared to Olsen for age, there are little elements that show her lack of life experience for this film. Olsen is good she is showing us just capable of filling almost any role in a film here. Boyd Holbrook is good even if he does feel slightly too old for this role which sums up the weakness to a lot of the performances, the age of the leading three is too wide with them meant to be around the same age.

StoryThe story here gives us a coming of age tale between the two friends in their final summer before going of to college. The story does touch on real life situations which could need a best friend to be by your side. We get to see how love can push the boundaries of friendships and how hard life can be when you start to realize that college is the next chapter of life that will big the biggest step you will take and nothing will truly prepare you for it.

RomanceThe romance in the film shows us how two friends can have their friendship pushed to the limits when they both fall for the same boy.

SettingsNew York is a setting that I will always praise for the quality for any setting in the story of growing up, finding yourself.


Scene of the Movie –
The photo.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The two girls don’t seem to have any other friends.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple coming of age movie, it fits the check list well, has good acting but by the ending you will feel we needed that one more spark.

 

Overall: Simple Coming of Age

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – S – Sunshine on Leith (2013)

Director: Dexter Fletcher

Writer: Stephen Greenhorn (Screenplay) Stephen Greenhorn (Stage Play)

Starring: Paul Brannigan, George MacKay, Kevin Guthrie, Jane Horrocks, Peter Mullan, Freya Mavor, Antonia Thomas, Jason Flemyng

 

Plot: Two soldiers return home to Edinburgh to resume their romantic and family lives.


Tagline – When it happens… there’s nothing like it!

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Absolute Delight

 

Story: Sunshine of Leith starts as the two soldiers Davy (MacKay) and Ally (Guthrie) return to Edinburgh to continue their lives, Ally dating Liz (Mavor) while Davy meets Yvonne (Thomas) and the romantic lives of the four-young people come through in the tough times they must live.

As the young men learn to adapt back to a normal life they sing their way through different situations young couples and even the older couples must go through in normal life.

 

Thoughts on Sunshine of Leith

 

Characters – Davy is one of the two soldiers who returned, the squad leader who has lost men, but returns with a few issues, but starts enjoying life more when he meets Yvonne, he needs to show that he will be haunted by moments from his past and deal with them the right way. Ally has returned home believing he can get a job and just marry his girl Liz, he must learn that not everything is what he had planned for. Liz is Davy’s sister, a nurse and Ally’s girlfriend, she has been dreaming of seeing the world one day, that time is now, can she handle letting Ally know what she wants the most. Yvonne is a fellow nurse, an English girl who moved to Scotland for love once, she has a connection with Davy, but not sure how to accept Davy’s past and his reactions to trouble. We do also have Rab and Jean the parents of Liz & Davy who are going through their own struggles even after their long marriage.

PerformancesThe performances across the board here are fantastic, with the leading men George MacKay & Kevin Guthrie showing the emotional trauma of returning from war. Freya Mavor shows how the ambition of one person can show in conflict they are showing in her and Antonia Thomas shows us how hesitate someone can be to open up to someone who could have problems of their own.

StoryThe story follows 6 lives, two soldiers returning from war, one older couple who must put the past behind them and two young women who careers are about to take them in new directions, but love could hold them back. The stories blend together wonderfully that gives us relatable characters who have everyday problems they must overcome to find the answers they want from life, it will leave you with a smile on your face when it ends.

Comedy/Romance/MusicalThe comedy is light-hearted as we get to see how the lives of the characters is not taken overly serious for them, the romance shows us just how difficult love can be for people who have dreams to follow. Everything is told in a musical style which is filled with catchy songs that give our characters the express of their feelings.

SettingsThe Scottish setting works for the film, it gets to show how normal people are going and return from war to live normal lives.


Scene of the Movie –
500 miles.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While I get most of the references, if you don’t know too much about Scottish culture, you may struggle to understand certain moments.

Final ThoughtsThis was a treat of a movie, it has real characters that must make life changing decisions that could have affect on the people they love, it has delightful songs you can sing along to and wonderful performance.

 

Overall: This is a MUST WATCH

Rating