Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Last Shift (2014)

lastDirector: Anthony DiBlasi

Writer: Anthony DiBlasi, Scott Poiley (Screenplay)

Starring: Juliana Harkavy, Joshua Mikel, Hank Stone, J LaRose, Sarah Sculco

 

Plot: A rookie cop’s 1st shift in the last night of a closing police station alone turns into a living nightmare.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Horror

 

Story: Last Shift starts as we follow rookie police officer Jessica Loren (Harkavy) on her first assignment replacing veteran officer Grip Cohen (Stone) looking after a closing police station for the final night.

Alone in the station Jessica start receive calls from a woman in distress when all the calls should have been diverted as well as strange goings on around the station, things that she can’t explain as well as having a homeless continually breaking into the station.

When it becomes clear that Jessica is being haunted by the Paymon cult that her father died taking down, but now she must face a battle against the devil worshipers led by John Michael Paymon (Mikel).

 

Thoughts on Last Shift

 

StoryThe story here shows how one officer must survive the hauntings happening with her own police station. We have a good use of suspense in the story because we have a creditable lead character that wants to look past the supernatural and shouldn’t be scared around each scare. This is an easy to follow even if it is all by the book because you get the scare moment calm, slightly scary moment calm and this goes on until the outcome of the film.

Horror/Mystery/ThrillerWhen it comes to the horror this film is very good at build up and execution of the scare going on throughout with no false jump scares which can hold horror up. We are left on edge throughout with what could happen by the end of the film which keeps the thrilling side of the story up, the film balance pure horror and thrills together to complement each genre throughout.

Characters/PerformanceWe only really meet one character in this film with the Officer which means she does need to carry the whole film. We get the scares with the odd characters but we only learn about the characters from events in the past as Jessica does too which I think does help the film. Juliana Harkavy is brilliant in the lead role because if she is bad this film is bad it is as simple as that.

SettingsThe whole film is set within the police station which works because you wouldn’t expect to see a location like that being the main target of supernatural horror.

Special EffectsAll the effects going on in the film add to the horror making us feel like we are experience the horror with the character.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror that is well worth a watch for all the horror fans out there.

 

Overall: Good scares, good suspense, great horror.

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Franchise Weekend – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

teenageDirector: Jonathan Liebesman

Writer: Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Evan Daughterty (Screenplay) Peter Laird, Kevin Eastman (Characters)

Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Noe Fisher, Pete Ploszek, Johnny Knoxville, Jeremey Howard, Danny Woodburn

 

Plot: When a kingpin threatens New York City, a group of mutated turtle warriors must emerge from the shadows to protect their home.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bonkers Fun

 

Story: Teenage mutant Ninja Turtles starts as we learn of Shredder and his foot clan have the city of New York in terror when they keep up their attacks, with a mentor keeping his children underground until they are ready to fight back. We move on to meet ambitious reporter April O’Neil (Fox) who is trying to break a big story on the foot clan but must continue pointless stories with her cameraman Vernon (Arnett).

When April witnesses a failed Foot Clan robbery she believes there is a vigilante protecting the city and with Eric Sacks (Fichtner) leading the NYPD’s defence against the Foot Clan we are ready to meet the turtles Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Donatello who are fighting back against the Foot Clan.

When the turtles become the new targets the true villain behind Shredder is revealed and the turtles are finally allowed to go out and fight against the criminals of New York City.

 

Thoughts on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

 

Characters/PerformanceWe all know the teenage mutant ninja turtles and all their different characteristics, with some we love more than others and here we have what we all remember from the turtles. April O’Neil is a strong reporter character that also has a connection to the turtle’s origins which is all good with her cameraman Vernon offering most of the comic relief through the whole film. Eric Sacks makes the typical villainous businessman role which is fine for this film.

Performance wise Megan Fox is good in this role, she brings the added beauty needed for this film to stop it become just another turtle film with Will Arnett getting all the comedy he needs to make us smile. William Fichtner is always reliable for this type of role too.stars

StoryThe origin for the turtle’s story is never going to be perfectly but do we care? No we just want a film to be fun and this is just nonsense fun when you look at the story. we get the ambitious journalist, check, the easy to defeat villain, check, comic sidekick check, and the turtles check all mixing together to make a watchable film you don’t need to think about.

Action/Adventure/ComedyThe action is big, over the top and fun for the casual film can to enjoy, the adventure shows the team working together for the first time. The comedy comes when needed without burying the whole film.

SettingsNew York City the main attraction for newly every single comic book origin story, we get everything we need from the city apart from the random mountain which feels out of place.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all good in the film with the mix of the CGI turtles with the human world.genre

Final ThoughtsSometimes you just need a film to be entertaining and this film does that, it will have a target audience that will enjoy and get the most out of it.

 

Overall: Switch off your brain and enjoy the movie.

Ratingratinng

 

 

Seventh Son (2014)

seventhDirector: Sergey Bodrov

Writer: Charles Leavitt, Steven Knight (Screenplay) Joseph Delaney (Novel) Matt Greenberg (Screen Story)

Starring: Jeff Bridges, Ben Barnes, Julianne Moore, Alicia Vikander, Antje Traue, Olivia Williams, John DeSantis, Kit Harington, Djimon Hounou

 

Plot: When Mother Malkin, the queen of evil witches, escapes the pit she was imprisoned in by professional monster hunter Spook decades ago and kills his apprentice, he recruits young Tom, the seventh son of the seventh son, to help him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fantasy Film ABC

 

Story: Seventh Son starts when evil witch Mother Malkin (Moore) escapes her prison and only Master Gregory (Bridges) can stop her, but this time she is stronger than ever. We move to meet small town farm boy Tom (Barnes) who is struggling with visions and he just happens to be the seventh son of a seventh son which brings Master Gregory to take him on his adventure.

As Gregory trains Tom, Mother Malkin prepares her troops which include her niece Alice (Vikander). We watch as both sides are coming together for a final showdown but Tom and Alice feel almost lost in the middle of the battle not understand why they are both involved.

Seventh Son is a fantasy film that really follows the ABC of basic fantasy but doesn’t make us sit back and go wow like other films have. This is slow running and with the heavyweight cast I think it would be fair to say we would expect more from stars of this calibre. There are some good moments but like a lot of films at the moment this really is just a builder for a franchise and doesn’t hit the marks needed.

 

Actor Review

 

Jeff Bridges: Master Gregory is the warrior that has been battling witches for decades, he is the last remaining fighter against them and is training an apprentice. He selects Tom his next apprentice who is the seventh son of a seventh son making him the best choice. Gregory has a history with Mother Malkin which makes their battle even more personal. Jeff gives a good performance what was it with that accent.greg

Ben Barnes: Tom Ward is the seventh son of a seventh son and selected by Master Gregory to be his latest apprentice in the fight against witches. He is the son of a witch trained to fight against them while also falling in love with a witch. Ben struggles to make as much impact as the rest of the bigger named stars.

Julianne Moore: Mother Malkin is the Queen of the evil witches who wants complete rule over the world, she has been locked away by Master Gregory but with the blood moon arising she is ready to claim her throne winning a life time battle against Master Gregory. Julianne is making a habit of this villainous roles give the performance you expect but you would have to say this could be one to help fund her braver performances else.mother

Alicia Vikander: Alice is the niece of Mother Malkin, a good witch trying to understand why there is a war between the two sides, she falls in love with Tom but will she turn to the dark side of make her own path. Alicia uses this performance to show what she is capable of with such a poorly written character.

Support Cast: Seventh Son has a very creditable supporting cast of well-respected stars that all play basic supporting character clearly wasting their talents.

Director Review: Sergey BodrovSergey doesn’t give us the most convincing fantasy adventure film, with basic easy to make action sequences.

 

Action: Seventh Son has the action you would expect to see and in the most part have seen before.

Adventure: Seventh Son tries to take us on this big adventure that we really just don’t get excited about.

Fantasy: Seventh Son has a world full of fantasy creatures throughout.

Settings: Seventh Son puts us into a fantasy world we have seen plenty of times before.
Special Effects
: Seventh Son has great effects with the shapeshifting creatures al coming off looking very realistic.

Suggestion: Seventh Son is one that only fantasy film fans might like, this isn’t one of the best but far from being the worst. (Fantasy Fans Try)

 

Best Part: The effects are good.

Worst Part: Wasting top talented stars.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Left open for one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $95 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: When darkness falls, the son will rise

 

Overall: Basic fantasy film offering nothing new to the genre

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American Mummy (2014)

Director: Charles Pinion

Writer: Charles Pinion, Greg Salman (Screenplay)

Starring: Suziey Block, Aidan Bristow, Aaron Burt, Esther Canata, Erin Condry, Jack Grimmett

 

Plot: A group of university students in the New Mexico desert unearth an ancient mummy, on which one of the students performs a secret, primeval blood ritual. This awakens the death-hungry spirit of the Aztec Lord Tezcalipoca, intent on finishing his centuries-old reign of terror. Soon, the mummy’s curse possesses the students’ souls, turning them against each other in a bid to spread his evil to the entire world.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Not Good Enough

 

Story: American Mummy starts as a couple of student discover an Aztec mummy in the New Mexico desert, Professor Jenson (Block) leads her team of students, Max (Bristow), Derek (Burt), Carmen (Canata), Conniee (Condry), Albert (Marr) and Becca (Ross) are all working on the discovery, but it is clear one of the students has alternative means for being there.

Once the ritual has been performed the mummy of the Aztec lord Tezcalipoca rises in search for blood, the surviving members of dig are forced to use their intelligence to stop the mummy from taking back over the whole world.

 

Thoughts on American Mummy

 

Characters/PerformanceThis is the part if hate, saying all the bad things about the poorly written characters, the Professor Jenson character doesn’t seem to have any idea, control or plan for the dig with the students falling into the generic we have all seen before.

Performance wise, we don’t get much improvement here, nobody does themselves any credit here and you are left wondering just what happened.

StoryI want to start this with saying I am a HUGE fan of the Mummy concept in films, I will watch any and give small idea a chance. going into this story I couldn’t help but think it missed on every level, it seems to mix Cabin Fever with a Mummy movie and doesn’t quite click.

HorrorWe have gore, sure but too me this is never scary which is what I want in a horror film.

SettingsWe are left in the desert for the most part of the movie which is fine but it could be any desert you would have expected someone would have found by now.

Special EffectsThe effects are all used for the gore and are fine without being anything special.

Final ThoughtsThis was a poor attempt to bring another Mummy film to life, it lacks characters we care about and a Mummy figure or disease that feels like a real threat.

 

Overall: Poor Mummy film.

Rating

 

 

Freezer (2014)

frezzerDirector: Mikael Salomon

Writer: Tom Doganoglu, Shane Weisfeld (Screenplay)

Starring: Dylan McDermott, Peeter Facinelli, Yuiya Snigir, Rafael Petardi, Markus Parilo

 

Plot: Robert is an ordinary man who is faced with extraordinary circumstances. He is locked in a meat freezer by Russian thugs who believe that he owes them 8 million dollars. Robert, who is in every frame of the film soon discovers that he is not alone in the freezer. Sam, a stranger, is also locked in with him, and it becomes a struggle to survive the cold and the forces that are against them.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Painfully Average

 

Story: Freezer starts when Robert (McDermott) wakes up tied inside a meat locker, trying to figure out why he is confronted by Alisa (Snigir) who works for the Russian mob claiming he has 8 million dollars of theirs. Trying to explain he is the wrong guy he must find a way out of the locker before it is too late with undercover Detective Sam Gurov (Facinelli) injured inside the locker too.

As the time counts down we are left to wonder who really has the money and what is Robert’s real involvement in this abduction.

 

Thoughts on Freezer

 

StoryThe story going on here is very thin and tries to use the idea of one man trapped in a small location which has been good in other ideas but in the end, has just turned into something that never really works because you would never see the Russian Mafia looking this weak, because this makes the look fully useless when it comes to looking after their money. The story is at least short which doesn’t let the tension side of the story slow down.

Action/ThrillerWe do get certain moments of well-built up tension but in the end each scene feels like it is leading to something but it ends up being small arguments and a punch here or there.

Characters/PerformancesRobert is not a likeable character which doesn’t help us to side with him, he comes off rash cocky and arrogant throughout the ordeal. The Russian’s are all made to be painfully generic with them being portrayed as pure thugs. The performances are nothing special either with nobody doing anything memorable through the film.

SettingsThe whole film is set inside the meat locker which does create the idea of the solo location needed as part of a torture to get the money. This works for the film but in the end is nothing on the level of what Saw or Buried achieved.

Special EffectsHas small use of effects which all work well for the moments they are needed.

Final ThoughtsAverage at best thriller that just doesn’t use the material it should with the levels it could have.

 

Overall: Thriller that just doesn’t know when to cut the twists out when it needs to.

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