The Cured (2017)

Director: David Freyne

Writer: David Freyne (Screenplay)

Starring: Ellen Page, Sam Keeley, Tom Vaughan-Lawlor, Stuart Graham, Paula Malcomson, Natalia Kostrzewa

 

Plot: A disease that turns people into zombies has been cured. The once-infected zombies are discriminated against by society and their own families, which causes social issues to arise. This leads to militant government interference.


Tagline – The cure is just the beginning

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Starts With Nice Spin on Zzombie Genre

 

Story: The Cured starts in Ireland in the aftermath of a zombie outbreak, 75% of the infected have now been cured and are slowly being released back into society, they are scared with the horrors they committed while in the zombie state, Senan (Keeley) is one of the latest to be released in the care of his sister-in-law Abbie (Page).

The world isn’t ready to let the cured back into society, seeing them as criminals, Senan must keep his head down and get on with his job, which involves trying to help cure the remaining 25%. As the tension between the cured and the never infected rises, the cured create a group of terrorism against the people who treat them like diseased and the film turns into a moral discussion about what would happen.

 

Thoughts on The Cured

 

Characters – Abbie is the single mother that lost her husband in her outbreak. She takes her brother-in-law in to help he enter back into society after he is cured from the infection. She is doing the right thing only she finds herself in the middle of a political battle between the two sides. Senan is the man that has been cured, he is still having the nightmares of what he did through the infection, given an honest chance by his sister-in-law he is left tempted by his friend who wants to start a rebellion for the cured. Conor is trying to create a rebellion against the system that won’t give the cured a chance, he will go too far and start a battle people are not prepared for.

PerformancesEllen Page is clearly the big draw for this movie, she is good even if her role is basic lead zombie film material. Sam Keeley is the best in the because he is the one torn between the two sides, he does the guilt he feels and the desperation to fit in again. Tom Vaughan-Lawlor as the cured villainous figure works well because he makes us understand he full motives well throughout.

StoryThe story brings us into the world where the zombie outbreak has happened and now the infected can be cured and bought back into the world, we follow the effects on how society would act when letting the cured members of the community back into everyday life. This side of the film is the most interesting because it brings up the divide people can have in general life, not being given a chance, sadly the film does turn too political and ends up being like every other zombie film.

Horror/Sci-FiWe have here a zombie apocalypse, check one for the horror, the problem is that this isn’t the scariest by any means. The sci-fi elements are clear when it comes to dealing with the zombie outbreak.

SettingsThe film is set in Ireland, with one town that is dealing with the aftermath of the zombie outbreak and how they act towards the cured coming back into their lives.

Special EffectsThe effects are good without needing to be turned to, that often.


Scene of the Movie –
The final scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Is Abbie meant to be Irish?

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice fresh spin on the zombie genre, it does ask big questions, before turning into the typical zombie styled movie.

 

Overall: New, but not brave enough to follow through.

Rating

 

 

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Hangman (2017)

Director: Johnny Martin

Writer: Michael Caissie, Charles Huttinger (Screenplay)

Starring: Al Pacino, Karl Urban, Brittany Snow, Joe Anderson, Sarah Shahi, Sloane Warren

 

Plot: A homicide detective teams up with a criminal profiler to catch a serial killer whose crimes are inspired by the children’s game Hangman.


Tagline – The killing game.

Runtime: 1 hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Mystery Thriller

 

Story: Hangman starts as FBI Profiler Will Ruiney (Urban) is given the short straw of having to guide a reporter Christi Davies (Snow) around his job just as the latest murder happens, joined by retired homicide detective Ray Archer (Pacino) as the bodies start piling up and now they must stop a serial killer.

When the three learn that the serial killer is playing a game from the childhood game of Hangman, they realize how long they have between murders as they look to figure out just what the motive behind the game is.

 

Thoughts on Hangman

 

Characters – Ray Archer is the retired homicide detective that spends his time doing crosswords while supporting his partner through the murder of his wife, he still has the tricks to go against the criminals trying to be the friend Will needs through the latest case. Det Will Ruiney is a profiler that is battling with the murder of his wife, he gets given a reporter to show around, but when this case becomes personal he will not stop until he gets his hands on the serial killer. Christi Davies is the reporter that gets assigned to shadow Will giving her an insight to how the job rolls, this does open the door to her being a help when it comes to different parts of the crime. The Hangman is the serial killer that is playing the games against the cops, he seems to be able to stay one step ahead of them and can predict their next moves.

PerformancesAl Pacino is one of the greatest actors of all time, so to see him in any film in the crime world is a pleasure, this role he is good, he doesn’t reach the levels we know he can, but does give us a good performance. Karl Urban is strong in his role we get to see his desperate side through the film. Brittany Snow does well with her role even if her character can feel out of place in certain scenes.

StoryThe story here follows two detectives that are tracking a serial killer that is forcing them into a game of Hangman. That is the core of the story which is fine, we establish the idea early and run with it, we have twists along the way to keep us guessing, but the putting the pieces together doesn’t get to happen for the audience, everything we learn is what the detectives learns and you won’t be able to get the outcome by guessing. This does add and take away from the film because it was good to see the killer stay ahead of them and us, but sometime the audience does like to put the pieces together themselves.

Crime/MysteryThe crime is like clockwork and does show what the killer is planning with his kills as the game is left there for them to guess, which adds into the mystery as who is this guy remains the biggest question.

SettingsThe film takes place in one city where the crime does start to make the locals panic about what is happening, it shows how a crimewave can bring a town to panic, even if we don’t see it unfold that way.


Scene of the Movie –
Trainline.

That Moment That Annoyed Me That final shot.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good crime mystery thriller that keeps us guessing to the motivation and identity of the serial killer, which is all we ask in these films.

 

Overall: Tense thriller that keeps us guessing.

Rating

 

 

Ghost House (2017)

Director: Rich Ragsdale

Writer: Kevin O’Sullivan, Jason Chase Tyrrell (Screenplay) Rich Ragsdale, Kevin Ragsdale (Story)

Starring: Scout Taylor-Compton, James Landry Hebert, Mark Boone Junior, Russell Geoffrey Banks, Rich Lee Gray, Elana Krausz

 

Plot: A young couple go on an adventurous vacation to Thailand only to find themselves haunted by a malevolent spirit after naively disrespecting a Ghost House.


Tagline – She Will Never Let You Go

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Terrifying Horror

 

Story: Ghost House starts as our young American couple Julie (Taylor-Compton) and Jim (Hebert) arrive in Bangkok, Thailand for a romantic holiday with Jim planning to propose to her. With the holiday going well the newly engaged couple meet to British men Robert (Banks) and Bill (Gray) who enjoy a night partying before taking the couple to a remote Ghost House Graveyard to perform a ritual.

This ritual leaves Julie haunted by a malevolent spirit that haunts her dreams, her days and her nightmares, leaving Jim to figure out how to save her before her time is up and the local curse makes her the latest victim.

 

Thoughts on Ghost House

 

Characters – Julie is one half of the couple, she loves learning about new cultures and uses her camera to capture every moment possible, this does make her an easier victim to become cursed as she must battle the spirits to stay alive. Jim is the other half of the couple, he has planned to propose on this holiday and it all goes well for him. When the partying gets out of control he must show how committed he is to Julie to find a way to lift the curse that has been placed on her. Reno is the connection to the darker arts of the spirits, he offers to help, but for a price, this character here shows us what an outside can achieve when he gets to know the area.

PerformancesScout Taylor-Compton is most notably known for her work on the Halloween reboot, so she is no stranger to horror, she does a good job with her terrified reaction. James Landry Hebert is good to with the determination his character needs coming through strongly. The rest of the cast do work well with the film even if you will struggle to enjoy watching the English characters.

StoryThe story here plays into Thai culture, which is something horror movies love to do, playing into any culture outside the normal for the man characters. They get cursed and must lift it before becoming the latest victims, this all works well through the film and can’t be faulted one bit. The whole curse will bring us reminders to most Asian ghost/spirit movies because it is easier to get the scares on the audience. Making Jim much more involved is a slight spin on what we have seen before because usually it is the female character doing all the investigating side of the film. This story will tick the boxes for one of my favourite sub-genres of horror and it should keep the horror fans entertained throughout.

HorrorThe horror we get in the film does use the jump scares, something we have seen before and something that we know when scares are coming, but not always what they will be.

SettingsThailand makes for a wonderful setting because it is filled with spiritual culture which outsides always claim to understand and fail too often, the location helps the story.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to effects we do have a mixed bag, one of my favourite sayings, we get good ghost effects for the spirit which both look terrifying and creepy, but also are similar to what we have seen before.


Scene of the Movie –
Looking at the photos.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The English characters didn’t have the strongest acting to support them.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good ghost horror movie, it has jump scares where needed, it plays into a countries culture and most importantly keeps the pace going on the scares.

 

Overall: Horror Fans Watch

Rating

 

 

All the Money in the World (2017)

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: David Scarpa (Screenplay) John Pearson (Book)

Starring: Michelle Williams, Christopher Plummer, Mark Wahlberg, Romain Duris, Timothy Hutton, Charlie Plummer

 

Plot: The story of the kidnapping of 16-year-old John Paul Getty III and the desperate attempt by his devoted mother to convince his billionaire grandfather Jean Paul Getty to pay the ransom.


Tagline – J. Paul Getty had a fortune. Everyone else paid the price.

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Crime Thriller

 

Story: All the Money in the World starts when John Paul Getty III (Charlie Plummer) get kidnapped in Rome, the ransom is $17 Million, the only person that can help her mother Gail Harris (Williams) get the money is the estranged billionaire grandfather J Paul Getty (Christopher Plummer) who isn’t willing to pay a single dollar to get his favourite grandson back.

Fletcher Chase (Wahlberg) is recruited to negotiate a deal with the kidnappers, but Getty isn’t willing to spare a dollar to get him back as the situation starts to get out of hand as time starts to run out on getting John Paul Getty III back alive.

 

Thoughts on All the Money in the World

 

Characters – Gail Harris is the mother of John Paul Getty III, she has given up her fortune she could have had from her divorce to keep her son, she must go back to her old father in law to get the money, even after she doesn’t get the money she leads the campaign to save her son. J Paul Getty is the richest man in the world, he has made the money by taking whatever he wants and will never give up money for anything that doesn’t increase his value. Businessman at heart he will only do a deal for his own good. Fletcher Chase is the deal maker, he has been able to negotiate deals for Getty for years and now he is assigned to help retrieve the grandson.

PerformancesMichelle Williams is the true star of this movie, she shines in every scene she is in, showing the strength on front of the cameras and the weakness behind them. Christopher Plummer is great in his role which was one that we get to see him take very late in the process. Mark Wahlberg is surprisingly good in his role, taking a supporting position he handles everything without becoming over the top like you would imagine him doing.

StoryThe story here follows the kidnapping of the grandchild of the richest man in the world and follows whether he is willing to spend his fortune to get him back alive. We have the concerned mother that will do anything to get him back, even go against the father-in-law. While the story does come off slow at times as we do go through the same process too often, but it does show how greed can drive people to make terrible decisions.

Biopic/Crime/MysteryThis is meant to be about a real person, not sure how real the story is truly about, this could be considered one of the biggest kidnapping cases of all time if is real though.

SettingsThe film does use the backdrops wonderfully through the film to make us feel like we are part of the scenes we are watching through, the beauty stands out here.


Scene of the Movie –
Williams performance is something to sit and enjoy.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel long.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good crime thriller, it shows us just how far people will go for money and how far people will go to keep it.

 

Overall: Long strong movie.

Rating

 

 

James McAvoy Weekend – Atomic Blonde (2017)

Director: David Leitch

Writer: Kurt Johnstad (Screenplay) Antony Johnston, Sam Hart (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Charlize Theron, James McAvoy, Eddie Marsan, John Goodman, Toby Jones, James Faulkner, Sofia Boutella, Bill Skarsgard

 

Plot: An undercover MI6 agent is sent to Berlin during the Cold War to investigate the murder of a fellow agent and recover a missing list of double agents.


Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Entertaining at Best

 

Story: Atomic Blonde starts with history about the bringing down the Berlin War being different to how would be it would be led to believe, so we follow Lorraine Broughton (Theron) a British spy being debriefed by Eric Gray (Jones) and Emmet Kurzfeld (Goodman) on just what happened with her latest mission.

Lorraine’s mission is to locate and extract Spyglass (Marsan), she must work with local spy David Percival (McAvoy) to get around Berlin as we learn about the web of conspiracies she must take on.

 

Thoughts on Atomic Blonde

 

Characters – Lorraine Broughton is the British spy, drop dead gorgeous and deadly when it comes to combat, she can handle herself in any situation which makes her a deadly weapon looking to bring down the truth in Germany. David Percival is the partner Lorraine and the man in the know in German, he has researched the area but we sense something not quite right about him, much like Lorraine does. Spyglass is the man that is being extracted with the answers that could end the cold war, Emmett and Eric are both the CIA and MI6 agents that are learning just what went wrong on this mission.

PerformancesCharlize Theron is our kick ass lead in the film, she handles herself in combat and looks sexy along the way. James McAvoy continues to show strength in the supporting roles where he must be over the top at times. Goodman and Jones are perfect choices for the office like roles in the film and they are good throughout the film.

StoryThe story follows a special agent going to Berlin to discover who the double agent is while getting the only person with the information out of Berlin but not everything goes to plan as we are thrown into a world a spies and double crossing. By telling us the most part of this film in a report style story takes away the peril our lead is ever in and by having the number of twists we do it sometimes comes off slightly short.

Action/MysteryThe action sequences are the highlight of this film, we have three main one where we see just how exhausting they are one Lorraine. The mystery is here as we wonder just who the double agent it even if things seem clear from the start.

SettingsMost of the film is set in Berlin which fits the time for the setting and the tension is created with the world where people are on edge.

Special EffectsThe effects are good when it comes to the kills and is only used sparing which works for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Single Shot Escape

That Moment That Annoyed Me Time jumping.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good little action film that hits all the marks, it entertains while it does become complicated at times.

 

Overall: Entertaining Action Film

Rating