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

Ratingcard

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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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Echoes (2014)

echoesDirector: Nils Timm

Writer: Nils Timm (Screenplay)

Starring: Kate French, Steven Brand, Steve Hanks, Billy Wirth, Caroline Whitney Smith, Kevin Brewerton

 

Plot: Struggling with horrifying, sleep-paralysis induced visions, a young writer retreats with her boyfriend to an isolated desert house. As the visions intensify, she finds herself on the verge of losing her mind…or uncovering a life-threatening secret.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Horror

 

Story: Echoes starts as we see Anna Parker (French) who has been suffering from sleep paralysis during the night and while trying to get her screenplay looked at past her agent Paul (Brand) during the day even if he is her boyfriend outside the office.

Looking to escape from the busy life the couple head out to a remote cabin to relax and focus on their relationship and work. When Paul must return to the city Anna finds herself alone in the cabin and it isn’t long before she starts getting haunted by a strange ghostly figure during her sleep paralysis. As the pieces come together we learn the truth about what happened to the ghostly figure haunting that home.

Echoes turns out to be just like most ghost investigation story where we have a ghost trying to get revenge on the people who were responsible for their death. There are not many scares going on during this film with most parts of the film just being designed to try and hide what is the most obvious conclusion of the story.

Kate does a solid job in the leading role while Brand is good in this role. The rest of the cast are just used as tools to help learn more about the bigger picture with none of them getting enough time to really make the impact on the overall story. this really is a simple horror film that doesn’t get any surprises along the way.

 

Overall: Horror investigation 101, nothing new, nothing fresh

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3 Days to Kill (2014)

daysDirector: McG

Writer: Adi Hasak, Luc Besson (Screenplay) Luc Besson (Story)

Starring: Kevin Costner, Amber Heard, Hailee Steinfeld, Connie Nielsen, Tomas Lemarquis, Richard Sammel

 

Plot: A dying CIA agent trying to reconnect with his estranged daughter is offered an experimental drug that could save his life in exchange for one last assignment.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Too Long

 

Story: 3 Days to Kill starts as we meet CIA agent Ethan Renner (Costner) who along with his team is about to take down one of the biggest threats in the world The Wolf (Sammel) by eliminating his closest associate The Albino (Lemarquis) only the mission gets compromised when Ethan’s health catches up with him as he learns he only has 3 months to live.

Released by the CIA Ethan sets out on cleaning up his own personal affairs wanting to build a relationship with daughter Zooey (Steinfeld) through his ex-wife Christine (Nielsen) after years of times apart working. With everything going badly Ethan knows that it will become difficult but when fellow agent Vivi Delay (Heard) offers him a chance to live longer Ethan comes out of retirement for one last assignment.

 

Thoughts on 3 Days to Kill

 

StoryThe story for this film tries to balance a dying man’s final months with his family and his CIA life that he has meant to have walked away from. The CIA story does feel very generic of this modern day slick hitman style which is all fine. The dying man’s wish story ends up feeling like an awkward comedy in places. The story also feels very long and doesn’t seem to end up deciding if it wants to be serious or not.

Action/ThrillerThe action is all very good and entertaining with the opening sequence looking like it set the tone but in the end if just turns into another slick hitman film.

Characters/PerformanceI can’t find anything wrong with Costner’s performance as well as Steinfeld or Neilsen, it is the Heard performance that doesn’t make sense because she doesn’t suit the character and the character doesn’t suit the movie. The movie tries to make all the characters fit into everyday experiences but for some reason Vivi character is wildly over the top for no apparent reason.

SettingsThe settings are mostly all in Paris which all works for the film which is trying to make us have a location we want to visit but showing that crime can happen there I guess.

Special EffectsThe Special effects are mostly used for the action sequences and they all come off to the level you need them too.

Final ThoughtsThis is an overlong action thriller that ends up getting caught up in the middle of comedy too often for its own good.

 

 

Overall: Solid action film that starts too strong for its own benefits.

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