Franchise Weekend – Mythica: A Quest for Heroes (2014)

Director: Anne K Black

Writer: Anne K Black, Jason Faller, Kynan Griffin (Screenplay)

Starring: Melanie Stone, Adam Johnson, Jake Stormoen, Nicola Posener, Christopher Robin Miller, Natalie Devine Riskas

 

Plot: The young magician Marek dreams of exciting adventures. When she meets the help-seeking priestess Teela she offers her assistance and provides a motley troupe. Together they go in search of Teela’s sister, who was kidnapped by a wild ogre.


Tagline – Heroes will rise. Legends will come to life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Made for TV Adventure

 

Story: Mythica: A Quest for Heroes when Teela (Posener) is set away with a hidden item from a wild ogre, meanwhile in a small village, disabled young woman Marek (Stone) has been learning about spells and is forced into using one after her owner gets abusive, forcing her on the run.

With Teela desperately in need to people to help fight back to save her sister, the only person that offers to help is Marek, seeing it as a chance to go on her first quest, Teela uses her own ability to see just how much potential Marek has, accepting her help, building her own team including Thane (Johnson) and Dagen (Stormoen), all to save Teela’s sister.

 

Thoughts on Mythica: A Quest for Heroes

 

Characters – Marek is a young slave woman, left to struggle through life because of her limp too. She dreams of going on her own adventures, which has seen her learning about magic, only a beginner, she has learnt about spells, she jumps at a chance every other bounty hunter refuses, which sees her build her own team, which will give her a chance to go on her first adventure. Thane is a warrior that isn’t afraid to get involved in a big fight against the odds, Dagen is a thief that gets forced into helping on the quest, his skills will be used to sneak with him being an archer when forced into combat. Teela is the sister of a priestess, she is sent for help to rescue her sister, which sees her using her powers to help her team.

PerformancesMelanie Stone is the leading lady that shows us how much she wants to go on the adventures, she doesn’t do anything wrong and makes us care about her characters adventures. Adam Johnson brings the brute performance needed, while Jake Stormeon shows us a cocky figure. Nicola Posener does well in her role too.

StoryThe story here follows a new group of fantasy based characters, a witch, brute, thief and a healer that go on a rescue mission to try and save a priestess from an evil ogre. This story does feel like one of the opening levels of an RPG video game, we get to meet the different characters, all drawn together for different motivations that will work together to save the day. It is strange because if this was a cinema movie, you would feel disappointed with the story, but for television, this is everything you need to introduce our characters and show what they are capable off, with a villain that can be defeated easily in a world which will offer bigger threats.

Action/FantasyThe action in this film is basic television style fight sequences, they are easy to watch, but you always know the heroes will win them. The fantasy world we get to enter shows us just how many different people with different skills are in this world.

SettingsThe settings fill us with small farming villages, mixed with woodland walking which shows us that we are meant to be in an ancient times.

Special EffectsThe effects are not the greatest, but they do work for the film, they bring us a disturbing looking creature as well as the use of magic in its own unique way.


Scene of the Movie –
The creature in the woods.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The clearing monster, it is the weakest of the CGI moments.

Final ThoughtsThis is an entertain opening to a franchise, we get to meet the characters, learn their abilities and see them face their first enemy.

 

Overall: Simple and effective.

Rating

 

 

ABc Film Challenge – Horror – # – Flight 7500 (2014)

Director: Takashi Shimizu

Writer: Craig Rosenberg (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Kwanten, Amy Smart, Leslie Bibb, Jamie Chung, Scout Taylor-Compton, Nicky Whelan, Jerry Ferrera, Christian Serratos

 

Plot: Flight 7500 departs Los Angeles International Airport bound for Tokyo. As the overnight flight makes its way over the Pacific Ocean during its ten-hour course, the passengers encounter what appears to be a supernatural force in the cabin.


Tagline – At 30,000 feet. There’s Nowhere to Run

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tries too Hard

 

Story: Flight 7500 starts by letting us meet the crew Laura (Bibb), Suzy (Chung) and Captain Pete (Schaech), along with the passengers including couples Brad (Kwanten), Pia (Smart), Liz (Whelan) and Rick (Ferrara) along with a host of singletons Jacinta (Taylor-Compton), Raquel (Serratos) and Jake (Frost) who are traveling from LA to Tokyo on an overnight flight.

When a passenger suddenly dies on the flight, it is only the beginning of a nightmare journey, which brings a supernatural force to the plane, one that nobody is prepared to fight against.

 

Thoughts on Flight 7500

 

Characters – Brad and Pia are a married couple looking to take a vacation away from their normal lives, there is some tension between them because of the decision, Brad will help out more during the supernatural phases of the flight as he is prepared for an emergency situation. Laura and Suzy are the two flight attendants, one is having an affair with the pilot, the other is waiting for her wedding day, they are quick to judge the passengers on the flight. We do meet slightly too many characters in this film because we have newlyweds on their honeymoon, a rebellious looking woman, a prankster and a woman worried about her past. By giving us this many characters it makes it hard to learn everything about them.

PerformancesWe have a cast that are all known actors here, most you might not remember their names, but you will have seen them before, first we have Ryan Kwanten, who like most of this cast is going to get the same problem with their performance, they don’t get time to make an impact, we seem to waste Amy Smart getting not enough time to make any impact for her talent. Leslie Bibb is stronger, but only because her character is in the position to be allowed to make a different.

StoryThe story follows the passengers and crew of a 10 hour flight that start getting haunted by a supernatural presence mid-flight causing them to need to figure out what is going on before it is too late, with nowhere to run. This story does end up throwing us into a mystery about what is happening, which doesn’t really get solved by the characters on the plane, only to end up trying to turn to a big reveal on the truth, which feels more like a cop out leaving too many unanswered questioned in the story.

Horror/Mystery/Sci-FiThe horror elements are interesting because we do get to focus on the idea of something supernatural going on, this does dive into the mystery, sci-fi elements of the film because once we learn what the answers are.

SettingsThe film is set on a plane which is important because once in flight, there is nowhere our passengers can go and when things start going through the supernatural events.


Scene of the Movie –
Adding the pieces together.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It just seems to end.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror mystery which starts off keeping us interested, only for it to run out of ideas and just end suddenly.

 

Overall: A horror without a true ending.

Rating

 

 

At the Devil’s Door (2014)

Director: Nicholas McCarthy

Writer: Nicholas McCarthy (Screenplay)

Starring: Ashley Rickards, Nick Eversman, Michael Massee, Mark Steger, Catalina Sandino Moreno, Naya Rivera

 

Plot: A real-estate agent finds herself caught up in something sinister when she has to sell a house with a dark past and meets the troubled teen who used to live there.


Tagline –  It’s looking for a home.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Messy & Confused

 

Story: At the Devil’s Door starts as we see teenage runaway Hannah (Rickards) planning to run away with her boyfriend, only to find herself in the middle cult like environment. Moving away from this situation Leigh (Moreno) an ambitious real-estate agent gets the chance to sale a house with a history, only to learn Hannah is haunting those hallways.

Hannah has been taken over by a dark force who has set her sights on her latest target, only this time it isn’t Leigh, it is her artist sister Vera (Rivera). What have they gotten themselves into, that is the question.

 

Thoughts on At the Devil’s Door

 

Characters – This was a hard film to figure out who the main character was until the end, so I will talk about the three biggest characters in no particular order. Hannah is the first one we meet, she is a runaway that finds herself in the middle of a demon worshiping cult, walking the halls of a house up for sale, she has a secret waiting to reveal. Leigh is the real-estate agent that is trying toe sale the house only to learn that there is a force in the house trying to control certain movements. Vera is the younger sister of Leigh, an artists that becomes the target of the presence that is haunting the land.

PerformancesWhile I don’t think the actors do a bad job in anyway in this film, the scorecard is being harsh on them, most of this complaint that the characters don’t become the main until late in the film which doesn’t give us enough time to get behind the actors. The three actresses do well with what they have without having that one moment that makes them stand out.

StoryThe story follows a potential demon being born into the world, I think, it would be fair to say this movie does put forward all the generic ideas that something is off with each scene, but as I was saying with the characters, we follow ones events only for the to mean nothing and these scenes go on for a healthy 20 odd minutes before we move onto the next character’s story, which only leaves us confused and feeling withdrawn from where the story is going.

HorrorThe horror is the normal, people walking around the empty houses following or running from noises, the only scene that stands out is involving the hospital.

SettingsThe film keeps us in a few houses that always seem to be empty, nothing is overly interesting with the locations being used.

Special EffectsThe effects are the strongest part of the film, it does have a couple of stand out moments which will make you look away but also make you want to watch.


Scene of the Movie –
Hospital time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not knowing the main character early on.

Final ThoughtsThis is a messy confusing movie that does try to break the mould because of the source material of demon trying to be born, we skip over the been there scene that parts but it takes too long to get there.

 

Overall: Not good enough horror movie.

Rating

 

 

Bill Murray Weekend – St. Vincent (2014)

Director: Theodore Melfi

Writer: Theodore Melfi (Screenplay)

Starring: Bill Murray, Melissa McCarthy, Naomi Watts, Chris O’Dowd, Terrence Howard, Jaeden Lieberher

 

Plot: A young boy whose parents have just divorced finds an unlikely friend and mentor in the misanthropic, bawdy, hedonistic war veteran who lives next door.


Tagline – With neighbours like these, who needs family?

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Comedy

 

Story: St. Vincent starts as we meet Vincent (Murray) a selfish man living in New York city, he has a hooker on call in Daka (Watts), he owes people money, drinks and gamblers. He gets a new neighbour in Maggie (McCarthy) and her young son Oliver (Lieberher) who are going to change his way of life.

With Maggie working to keep Oliver in school and away from her husband, which keeps her working late, giving her needing to turn Vincent to babysit after school, leaving Vincent to teach life lesson, while dealing with his own problems.

 

Thoughts on St. Vincent

 

Characters – Vincent is a lonely figure that drinks, gamblers and spends time with a hooker. He struggles for money and when he meets his new neighbour he ends up with a babysitting job, where he gets to teach life lessons which opens the doors to his own problems in life. Maggie is the single mother trying to keep her son with her as we as working a fulltime job, meaning she must turn to Vincent. Daka is a stripper and hooker that spends time with Vincent, she is also pregnant which has seen her job disappear, but her loyalty to Vincent comes through. Oliver is the young boy that gets taken in by Vincent to help cover for her mother’s work. He is the new kid at his school which he learns from Vincent how to fit in here.

PerformancesBill Murray is wonderful in this role, he must handle a mix of situations which only helps with the carefree style Murray delivers. Melissa McCarthy is always an actress I never have time for, but this is my favourite performance of her career. Naomi Watts never looks out of place in this role with her accent not missing once through the film. Jaeden Leiberher is an actor that has gone onto bigger things, this showed his potential.

StoryThe story shows us that you can meet people in life that are not what the cover seems, it has the idea of one man being down on life, but he has a story that he has never been seen by the people closest to him. A young boy is the person that learns the most as he must learn to grow up quicker than he should. This is a coming of age type of movie for Oliver which is important for him too.

ComedyThis movie does have good comedy coming from each moment that will make you laugh, it also has moments which you need feel.

SettingsThe setting works because it shows us how people in and around New York can live different lives.


Scene of the Movie –
The project.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The debt collector character seems to fade away.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good and enjoyable comedy that shows the important side of life from the people you don’t think will be as big as people believe.

 

Overall: Comedy fans enjoy.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – E – Extinction: Jurassic Predators (2014)

Director: Adam Spinks

Writer: Ben Loyd-Holmes, Adam Spinks (Screenplay)

Starring: Sarah Mac, Ben Loyd-Holmes, Neil Newbon, Daniel Caren, Emma Lillie Lees

 

Plot: Deep in the Amazon jungle a research team lead by a respected Professor strive to protect vulnerable and endangered species, but when their guides abandon them they soon realize they are in the hunting ground of prehistoric apex predators.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: By the Book ABC Found Footage

 

Story: Extinction: Jurassic Predators starts as we follow our documentary film crew, presenter Michelle (Mac) and cameraman James (Caren) who join the Professor John Howson (Loyd-Holmes), Rob (Newborn), Lisa (Lees), Tim (Burbage) on the expedition into the Peruvian rainforest to prove the effects humans have been having on the rainforest.  

When one of the guides leaves the crew, they must make their way through the rainforest to find new species and for some reason we film a lot of walking and trying to get interviews and following the team collect moss. At the hour mark we get a visit from the dinosaurs living in the remote part of the rainforest and now we follow them look for a way to escape.

 

Thoughts on Extinction: Jurassic Predators

 

Characters – Michelle is the presenter of the documentary and we barely see her do any presenting, we have a small moment early on but otherwise the camera spends a lot of time to following her ass on screen. Professor Howson is the expect in the field and meant to be the star alongside Michelle in the documentary, he must lead them to safety through the rainforest. Rob is the second in command being a lot more laid back when dealing with any danger believing in his own abilities. James is the cameraman that at one moment states the obvious, another moment does all the stupid things and somewhere along the lines becomes the bravest member of the crew.

PerformanceThe performances from the whole cast are fine, where the cast are not big-name actors which brings us into the found footage idea perfectly and nobody seems to overact through the film.

StoryDocumentary crew heads into the rainforest to look for new species and they find some, but they are deadly, this is all we need from the film as a story, there are no major twists but it does take a while to get going as we must watch, walking, collecting moss, running and rocks for a lot of the time.

Adventure/ThrillerThe adventure comes from the idea that we could be finding new species in the deepest darkest corners of the world and we are kept guess just who will make it out of the rainforest alive.

SettingsThe rainforest is filled with species we might not have discovered yet, so this works for the settings needed for the film to take places.

Special EffectsThe effects are a mixed bag, some parts of them are good while others feel like someone just stuck a dinosaur into the shot with CGI.

Scene of the Movie – Can’t sense us if we don’t move.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Camera crew inside the tent ‘there is something out there, I can’t see anything’ this dialogue is why films get a bad name.

Final ThoughtsThis does feel like a long-found footage film that could have been cut down by a good 20 minutes to fit the idea of a found footage concept that works, short sweat and plenty of fun.

 

Overall: Watchable found footage.

Rating