Iron Man 3 (2013)

Director: Shane Black

Writer: Drew Pearse, Shane Black (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby, Warren Ellis, Adi Granov (Comics)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Guy Pearce, Rebecca Hall, Jon Favreau, Ben Kingsley

 

Plot: When Tony Stark’s world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution.


Tagline – Unleash the power behind the armor.

Runtime: 2 Hour 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Superhero Movie with Consequences

 

Story: Iron Man 3 starts in the aftermath of The Avengers, Tony Stark (Downey Jr) is still dealing with the side effects from going through the worm hole, to make matters worse Pepper (Paltrow) is getting tired of his action, a new terrorist known as the Mandarin (Kingsley) is bombing the world.

After Tony challenges him to fight him, Tony finds his mansion destroyed, with Tony getting stuck in a small town, when the true identity of the Mandarin is revealed and the man who is controlling him Aldrich Killian (Pearce) a man that Tony once rejected working with.

 

Thoughts on Iron Man 3

 

Characters – Tony Stark is back, this time he can’t sleep because of what happened in New York in the Avengers. He can’t cope with knowing he could know lose somebody he loves in Pepper, he keeps busy by improving his suits and challenge the new terrorist. He must go on a journey of self-discovery before fighting the latest enemy. This is one of the best character arcs in the franchise. Pepper Potts is still running the company, but is getting more distant from Tony, she learns how Tony feels about her by his actions in this film. Rhodey has become the lead guardian turned to for his newly rebranded Iron Patriot. He lets Tony get the important information required to learn the truth. Aldrich Killian is the man that Tony once forget or rejected, he has gone on to master a way to fix limp loss, which has helped him grow a group of soldiers that can explode if not treated properly, he has put a mask on his attacks making it seem like he had nothing to do with it. Maya is another lady from Tony’s past, she has her own reasons for returning, where she plays partly as a love rival for Pepper and somebody who still wants her work to mean something. Trevor is the Mandarin, through to be the big threat in the film, while we get a twist in his purpose in the film which has divided fans ever since.

PerformancesRobert Downey Jr gives one of the best performances in the Marvel Universe because he must deal emotions unlike any other hero in the franchise to date. Gwyneth Paltrow gets to bring her own stamp to this role, getting more involved in the action this time around. Don Cheadle continues to make his character more likeable than ever. Guy Pearce does make for a strong villain, he keeps up guessing to what he will do next hanging on his words. Rebecca Hall struggles, but this is mostly because the character is written poorly. Ben Kingsley gives us one of the funniest performances in the franchise to date.

StoryThe story involves Tony Stark facing consequences of The Avengers, while dealing with a new threat terrorising the world. This way of looking at the story is impressive because we have seen many superhero films that have never looked at dealing with side effects of the previous films, this brings Tony on a character arc which is easily one of the best in the franchise. The idea a villain has created a way for people to recover from limp loss that could end up becoming deadly weapons is strong because it continues to show rival inventors in Tony’s world. This is one of the stories which does get questions over a certain serve in the story, but it only adds to the way we are getting too.

Action/Sci-FiThe action involved in the film is a terrorist that uses explosive to destroy or fight Tony Stark. Which does show us how the sci-fi world of technology is making a new threat to the world.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show Tony stuck in a town where he wouldn’t ever visit, the action scenes do take us to new settings though which does help.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film show how flawlessly Tony can get in and out of his suits, the way the characters look when they could look to explode or regenerate, which fits the style of the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The plane save.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Failure to use Maya well enough.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best character arcs in the franchise to date, we see how he must learn from his mistakes and fight a new threat.

 

Overall: Best character arc to date.

Rating

 

 

All Hallows’ Eve (2013)

Director: Damien Leone

Writer: Damien Leone (Screenplay)

Starring: Katie Maguire, Catherine A Callahan, Kayla Lian, Sydney Freihofer, Cole Mathewson

 

Plot:  A babysitter finds a VHS tape which features various sinister murders performed by a psychotic clown.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Homage to 80s Horror

 

Story: All Hallows’ Eve starts as babysitter Sarah (Maguire) sees one of the children who she is babysitting for receive a video tape, forced into letting them watch it only to see that it is an amateur short horror film.

Forcing the children to bed, Sarah continues to watch the video to see more horror shorts before she starts hearing and seeing things around the house.

 

Thoughts on All Hallows’ Eve

 

Characters – Sarah is our babysitter that is watching these horror shorts, she is trying to be responsible to the children she is babysitting for, the other characters we meet are from the shorts which are horror made and our typical heroines that don’t stand much of a chance against their enemies. The clowns are a big part of the film too appearing in certain parts right along the way and soon are just as involved in the horror.

PerformancesThis is a low budget movie and most of the shorts that were used, were done with actors that were just getting started, you can see the talent there without them being truly standout. Katie Maguire does the most work and is good for her part in the film.

StoryWhen it comes to anthology films we always need variety in the horrors we are watching, we get that which is good, the style of the shorts feels like 80s too, so we get to play with the trademarks of the horror for that era. The story outside that connections the stories works well too because it brings the unexplained to the mix to why the video was given to a child. We clearly have stronger stories which i feel was the third one and as always the middle ones are often the weakest.

HorrorWhen it comes to horror we get to see different styles of horror with an 80s theme throughout, each one gets to play on what we have come to know about where things will go, but with the low budget effects we know just what we have gotten ourselves into.

SettingsThe film takes us to different locations which makes each story feel unique to what we are experiencing.

Special EffectsThe effects are low budget which can make things look cheap, though they are used to make them have a grindhouse feeling which was nice to see.


Scene of the Movie –
Most of the third tape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I felt the first story is too short and I wanted to see more.

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice solid horror anthology which goes mostly for gore over suspense, it works and I can see the horror fans enjoying this one.

 

Overall: Nice low budget horror anthology.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – H – The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia (2013)

Director: Tom Elkins

Writer: David Coggeshall (Screenplay)

Starring: Abigail Spencer, Emily Alyn Lind, Chad Michael Murray, Grant James, Katee Sackoff, Morgana Shaw

 

Plot: A young family moves into a historic home in Georgia, only to learn they are not the house’s only inhabitants. Soon they find themselves in the presence of a secret rising from underground and threatening to bring down anyone in its path.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid, but Flawed Sequel

 

Story: The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia starts when the Wyrick family, Lisa (Spencer), Andy (Murray) and daughter Heidi (Lind) move into an historical home, Lisa like her sister Joyce (Sackhoff) has the ability to see and communicate with ghosts and as her daughter starts seeing them too, what is the message being sent?

Heidi befriends one of the spirits, one that previously lived in the home, but it is the history of the events of this house which will be the one that leads up to the true terror in this story.

 

Thoughts on The Haunting in Connecticut 2: Ghosts of Georgia

 

Characters – Lisa is the wife and mother of the family, she does have an ability to see spirits with her mother helping her through these experiences. In her new home she starts to see more spirits that has trying to send her messages and must use her skills to figure out how to save her child. Andy is the husband and father, he is the only one that doesn’t have the ability to see the spirits which shows him taking on the situation as if there would need to be a logical reason behind it all. Heidi is the daughter of the family, that can also see the spirits and it is her visits which guide us to where the story goes this time, she is encouraged by her Auntie and discouraged by her mum. Joyce is the free-spirited Auntie that joins the family, she tries to embrace the idea of the spirits needing help and will guide Heide unlike her sister.

PerformancesThis is a sequel with no returning cast members, no connection to the original, so the cast is brand new. We do have a couple of known actors from television, Abigail Spencer, Chad  Michael Murray and Katee Sackhoff, they do what they can with the material, but the poor decisions they are forced to make doesn’t help. Emily Alyn Lind does well for a child star put in horror situation.

StoryThe story is based on real events or sold on this idea anyway. We have the events of the story taking place over short amount of time, as we see how everything seems to escalate, which is fine for a horror story. the idea the sisters and daughter can see spirits naturally is a good spin on the idea where only one can usually see the ghosts. The problems do some into this too as the one person who can’t see the spirits still sees them and most of the decisions being made are poor throughout. For the mystery behind everything it does keep us interested throughout and does give us shocks along the way.

Horror/Mystery When it comes to the horror in this film we get plenty of the normal jump scares, most of which just play out like you would imagine, the casual fan will jump along the way. The highlight is the mystery behind what is causing the hauntings because history is always filled with surprises.

SettingsThe setting for the film is good because it is an old house that is bound to be filled with history that could be a terrifying as what we learn as the film unfolds.

Special EffectsThe effects in this film are mixed because the way the flashbacks are shot does look do and feels different to current events, the negatives come from how the injuries can look while inflicted to the modern characters.


Scene of the Movie –
Cut the cord.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The moments Andy saw a ghost.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid enough sequel even though it has no connection to the actual first film, it does have smart ideas but terrible character decisions.

 

Overall: Horror fans should enjoy.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – D – Dark Feed (2013)

Director: Michael Rasmussen, Shawn Rasmussen

Writer: Michael Rasmussen, Shawn Rasmussen (Screenplay)

Starring: Jonathan Thomson, Dayna Cousins, Andrew Rudick, Michael Scott Allen, Elise Couture, Jason Beaubien, Victoria Nugent

 

Plot: A film crew moves into an abandoned psychiatric hospital with a shadowy past to shoot a low budget horror movie.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Confusingly Messy

 

Story: Dark Feed starts as we see the early stages of filming of a horror movie being shot on location in an abandoned psychiatric hospital. We get to see the stars, director and the people working on the movie before the writer Chris (Rudick) joins the set to see how his creation comes out.

With Beth (Nugent) and Marissa (Cousins) assigned to keep Chris busy, the rest of the crew start experiencing strange occurrences which have a connection to the previous experiments that happened in the hospital.

 

Thoughts on Dark Feed

 

Characters – The characters are all designed to be different members of a film crew from actors to special effects guys, we just get to learn which part of the movie they are involved in without getting to see much else about the characters themselves. We don’t see to learn enough about any of the characters making it hard to figure out just who is meant to be the lead character.

PerformanceThe performances are not great which does reflect the idea of the film but by the end you are just left wondering if the lead character is going to take over the performing but no.

StoryThe story is film crew in former mental hospital that once did experiments on the patients is haunted and now they are about to become the latest victims of the hospital, this is fine but sadly it just doesn’t reach the levels it should do with scares which are mostly messing around between the crew and just something we have seen before.

HorrorThere is little to no scares going on through this movie, we have moments that build up but in the end most are false scares which just make you not care about later ones.

SettingsThe setting is the highlight of the film as we get to see the haunted abandoned location making for the scares.

Special EffectsThe effects are not that impressive either.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not knowing who was the main character until too late into the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror film with a good idea but sadly turns into something that gets confusing as we are left wondering who to root for and just if anything scary will happen.

 

Overall: Messy Horror Film

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – R – Refuge (2013)

Director: Andrew Robertson

Writer: Lilly Kanso, Andrew Robertson (Screenplay)

Starring: Carter Roy, Amy Rutberg, Eva Grave Kellner, Chris Kies, Sebastian Beacon, Travis Grant

 

Plot: Refuge is a suspense-thriller about a family struggling to survive in the wake of a great catastrophic event.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gritty Thriller

 

Story: Refuge starts as we learn of the mysterious virus which has spread across America, there is no cure, you just need to survive away from people, we meet one family Jack (Roy) Nell (Rutberg), Birdie (Kellner) and Kyle (Kies) do what they can to survive, while giving Birdie some sort of childhood.

When the threat or marauders comes to the home, the family must make the rash decision to go in search of a new sanctuary through the woods which is where they will face a new amount of threats.

 

Thoughts on Refuge

 

Characters – The characters focus on a family, Jack the father, the man that will do everything to keep his family safe, even if it means taking risks by saving strangers, he doesn’t back down from enemies or threats, but is forced into decisions he doesn’t want to make. Nell is the wife and mother, we don’t really learn too much about her though, she falls in the woman being protected circle. Birdie is the daughter that doesn’t fully understand the world and wants to just be a child in this world. Kyle is one of the people that Jack has saved in the past.

PerformancesThe performances from the cast are great throughout, we feel their bleak outlook on the life they are living which is what we want to see, the final act shows them at their best too.

StoryThe story here follows a family in a post-apocalyptic world where the biggest threats marauders and the virus that has wiped out most of the world. This is a bleak story that helps show us just how desperate the world now is and not having any sort of zombie side to everything giving us the only enemy the human one. This keeps everything simple because it is all we need, even though it does follow the typical mistakes being made by the characters.

ThrillerThis does try to keep us on the edge of our seats about whether our characters will survive and what is next in line for them.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the bleak locations from start to finish, they show where people will survive and keeps us away from the big city.


Scene of the Movie –
The break in.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just shot them.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best looking bleak virus outbreak movies, it does have questionable character decisions but that does add to the drama.

 

Overall: Simple and effective.

Rating