Franchise Weekend – The Devil’s Rejects (2005) Movie Review

Director: Rob Zombie

Writer: Rob Zombie (Screenplay)

Starring: Sid Haig, Bill Moseley, Sheri Moon Zombie, William Forsythe, Ken Foree, Matthew McGrory, Leslie Easterbrook

Plot: The murderous, backwoods Firefly family take to the road to escape a vengeful police force which is not afraid of being as ruthless as their target.

Tagline – Hell doesn’t want them. Hell doesn’t need them. Hell doesn’t love them. This world rejects them.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Big Improvement

Story: The Devil’s Rejects starts as the Firefly family have been dubbed ‘The Devil’s Rejects’ by the media see their house surrounded by a vengeful police force led by Sheriff Wydell (Forsythe), with a massive shootout on the ranch. Mother Firely (Easterbrook) is captured, while Otis (Moseley) and Baby (Zombie) escape turning to Captain Spaulding (Haig) for shelter.

Otis and Baby find shelter in a motel, taking a family hostage, while they wait for the showdown with the Sheriff, giving them a chance to continue their murderous way.

Thoughts on The Devil’s Rejects

Characters – Captain Spaulding still runs his house of horrors away from the house, despite being part of the house, he must go on the run to meet the other members of the Fireflies, which sees him showing a much nastier side than we have seen before. Otis is the most twisted member of the family, he will punish anybody, he doesn’t care about anybody and will show his sadistic side too often. Baby is the youngest member of the family, she has grown up in this environment, acting like it is just second nature to her, she enjoys the punishment even turning it into a game at times. Sheriff Wydell is determined to capture and kill the whole Firefly family after they killed his brother, he will break a few rules along the way to make sure it gets done.

PerformancesSid Haig, Bill Moseley and Sheri Moon Zombie have helped develop their characters to have a much darker side to them, which shows us more about how sadistic they are meant to be through the film. William Forsythe brings us a strong police figure that clearly shows the vengeful side he is going through in the film.

StoryThe story here follows the events of the first film, the Firefly family have been discovered and are now on the run from a vengeful sheriff that wants the whole family dead for what they did to his family member. Where this story improves on the original comes from seeing just how the fireflies are able to react to a threat, we get a glimpse of their sadistic side, but instead of it just them being twisted, we get to see them dealing with a relentless cop that isn’t going to let them get away with their crimes. The story is constructed better too because we don’t just have random clips like we had in the first film, which shows how the film can be put together to give us a better story.

Action/HorrorThis is much more action back with shoot outs going on between the two sides, while the horror is still there when the fireflies get to step into their sadistic ways.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show how the Fireflies can go on the run from the law, we see the back country motels which they would hide out in and the connections of other shady business they would know.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film show the gore being done by the family, it shows the wounds looking brutal and real through the film.

Scene of the Movie – The escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It still doesn’t give us any likeable figures in the fight.

Final Thoughts This is an improvement on the first film, it does give us a more rounded figures in the Firefly family and shows us just how capable they are when pushed against the wall.

Overall: Sick Improvement.

Will Smith Weekend – Hitch (2005) Movie Review

Director: Andy Tennant

Writer: Kevin Bisch (Screenplay)

Starring: Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin James, Amber Valletta, Julie Ann Emery, Adam Arkin, Robinne Lee

Plot: While helping his latest client woo the woman of his dreams, a professional “date doctor” finds that his game doesn’t quite work on the gossip columnist with whom he’s smitten.

Tagline – The cure for the common man.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Will Smith at His Best

Story: Hitch starts as we meet Alex ‘Hitch’ Hitchens (Smith) who has a private business of helping men get the women they want, he coaches from into making the right moves to get through the first three dates, his job is word of mouth though outside of the business, he is a womanizer that was a late bloomer.

Hitch’s latest client is Albert (James) a clumsy accountant who wants to date heiress Allegra (Valletta) who barely knows he exists, he sees this as his biggest challenge. Hitch does find himself meeting a gossip columnist Sara (Mendes) who hasn’t been look for a relationship because of her career and suddenly Hitch can’t talk the smooth way he has always done before.

Thoughts on Hitch

Characters – Alex ‘Hitch’ Hitchens is a date doctor, he helps men around Chicago become themselves around the women they want to date, he only helps the ones that want to find love, anything else, he walks away from anyone looking for a quick night of sex. He has an amazing success rate, where he just brings out the confidence in people helps, until he meets Sara, a woman that he can’t show the confidence around. Sara is a gossip columnist that has always put her career before love, she meets Hitch and falls for his charms, while trying to crack a new story that just so happens to include one of Hitch’s clients. She has always wanted to find the date doctor never knowing nothing about the process. Albert is the latest client that has set his sights high and has only pure love, he is clumsy, nervous and doesn’t have a clue how to talk to women, something Hitch teaches him. Allegra Cole is the heiress that has recently broken up with her latest boyfriend, she is the person Albert wants to fall in love with and with her life always being guarding, she doesn’t always get to meet people outside the players, which is why she sees the good in Albert.

PerformancesWill Smith is at his confident best here, this plays into everything we know Will Smith as, nobody else could have pulled this role off. Eva Mendes is great in her role too, showing the confident career driven woman who is finally getting broken down with love. Kevin James might have a couple a silly moments, though it works in the small amounts this film gives him to do, while Amber Valletta plays the role of heiress with ease.

StoryThe story here follows a date doctor who has help many men fall in love, who finds love himself and can’t be the confident man he has made his clients. This story does show how one man has made a career out of helping men find confidence, not offering a one night stand business, offering a love business, he gives all the tips to put them in the right direction, only he can’t follow his own instructions and learns about how love really works. We do get the message about how some people can’t always be themselves without a little bit of confidence put in their own mind and how there will always be the bad eggs in the love circle. We get the strongest message about love, with laughs along the way, showing how love can make you do the strangest things in life.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy works very well, we get a mix of situational and slapstick, which isn’t too heavy handed, while the romance is front and centre, showing us just how love can change anybody.

SettingsThe film is set in Chicago, which shows how many people are around who might never notice each other, while love could be staring them straight in the face.

Scene of the Movie – Speed Dating.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Vance, though he is meant to.

Final Thoughts This is a delightful romantic comedy that does show how difficult love can be, how magical it can be and just what people will do just for a chance.

Overall: Delightful.

Boo (2005) Movie Review

Director: Anthony C Ferrante

Writer: Anthony C Ferrante (Screenplay)

Starring: Trish Coren, M Steven Felty, Jilon VanOver, Dee Wallace Stone, Happy Mahaney, Nicole Rayburn, Josh Holt

Plot: A handful of college students get trapped in a haunted hospital on Halloween.

Tagline – You Don’t Have A Ghost Of A Chance

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Simple Fun Horror

Story: Boo starts on Halloween night, four friends Jessie (Coren), Kevin (VanOver), Marie (Rayburn) and Freddy (Holt) head to the old abandoned haunted hospital, where Emmett (Mahaney) has rigged a few tricks for the night to scare the girls. Little do they know that Allan (Samluk) has recruited his father’s old partner Arlo (Wayne) to help search for his missing sister in the hospital.

As the friends split up in the hospital, they start to learn about ghosts that haunt the hallways, with Jessie getting flashbacks from her past and the killer which once walked the halls.

Thoughts on Boo

Characters – Jessie is the reluctant girlfriend to go into the haunted hospital, she sees a ghost on the way in and it isn’t long before she has living memories of what happened in the hospital, she starts to put the pieces together about the truth. Jacob is the murderous ghost walking the halls of the hospital, he has been killing visitors for years waiting for his own release from his own nightmare. Kevin is one of the friends that has been planning this haunted night for the year, he is the boyfriend of Jessie, though he isn’t a good boyfriend with his actions behind her back. We get the generic group of people outside of this group inside the cast, the slutty friend, the quiet one, the defensive brother and the one trying to make up for his mistakes.

PerformancesTrish Coren in the leading role is fine, she isn’t as convincing as you would like in a horror lead, but this is a problem with most of this film, none of the acting reaches the levels you would expect to see in a film that is meant to be a haunted horror film that can always create colourful characters.

StoryThe story follows a group of people that end up locked inside a haunted hospital with ghosts that want out and they will kill to get their freedom. This story does fall into the haunted hospital generic storytelling process, it is watchable, though it is filled with generic characters, it does have the idea of haunting being clues to the truth, which slowly builds to a final showdown, only most of the story to be the errors of most horror films, splitting up being picked off, though we do get a unique way to show how the ghost possession people can be shown.

HorrorThe horror in the film is hauntings and exploding bodies, it does work for the film, making it entertaining for the horror audience, though the fake jump scares don’t help this film.

SettingsThe film uses the singular location of the haunted hospital, this gives us plenty of long corridors and creepy rooms for the characters to wonder through.

Special EffectsThe effects are surprisingly interesting with the first shock value of what the ghost is capable of and then the ghostly characters work for the creepiness of the film.

Scene of the Movie – The first revel of what happens with the ghost.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The characters aren’t flushed out enough.

Final Thoughts This is a fun easy to watch horror movie that gives us simple haunting moments and a unique spin on the haunted hospital idea.

Overall: Easy to Watch.

Kinky Boots (2005) Movie Review

Director: Julian Jarrold

Writer: Geoff Deane, Tim Firth (Screenplay)

Starring: Joel Edgerton, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Sarah-Jane Potts, Jemima Rooper, Nick Frost, Linda Bassett, Robert Pugh

Plot: A drag queen comes to the rescue of a man who, after inheriting his father’s shoe factory, needs to diversify his product if he wants to keep the business afloat.

Tagline – How Far Would You Go To Save The Family Business?

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Enjoyable

Story: Kinky Boots starts as we meet two men Charlie (Edgerton) and Lola (Ejiofor) who have grown up under the shadows of their father’s that wanted them to follow in their footsteps. Charlie is forced to take over his family’s show making business, finding it about to go under unless he can find a new idea, which sees him making a chance meeting with the drag queen Lola, who has a full show in London.

Charlie sees a chance to grab his company into a new niche market, by producing shoes for drag queen, seeing how they are struggling to find heels that could support a man’s weight, Charlie risks his whole company on this, while needing to deal with the homophobia shown towards Lola in Northampton.

Thoughts on Kinky Boots

Characters – Charlie is the son of a show maker, the business has kept the community together for generations and despite his decision to leave the area, he is drawn back after his father’s death. He is facing the hardest decision of his life once he learns that the business will need to close, but risks everything to take a chance on a new niche market, where he has to put his uncertainties behind him. Lola is a drag queen in Soho, they take centre stage on a daily show, even if they deal with the haters in life, a chance meeting gives them a chance to design heels for drag queens, both characters have been struggling with father’s that are disapproving in their life choices. Lola has also been dealing with discrimination for years. Lauren is one of the employees that is being made redundant, but pushes Charlie into finding a niche market. Nicola is the fiancée of Charlie who is set for a move to London, who does try to support him through his decisions, but pushed to the limits when he puts their own home on the line.

PerformancesChiwetel Ejiofor gives us a brilliant performance committing to the character through the whole film. Joel Edgerton is great too, in a role that shows him looking a lot weaker than his normal tougher guy roles. Sarah-Jane Potts and Jemima Rooper complete the main supporting cast where everybody does a great job.

StoryThe story here follows a struggling shoe company owner that makes a drastic design to turn his factor into a place where they make heels and shoes for drag queens after meeting with one on a trip in London. This is a story that is based on a true story, which showed an unlikely partnership saved a factory from closure even if Charlie had to risk everything to make sure his employees have a job and put aside his feelings towards drag queens. We do get the deeper story about how people will have their own desires and interests that people shouldn’t judge them on.

Comedy/MusicalThe comedy in the film mostly comes from the different reactions to Lola, while some are positive, others are negative, but it is Lola’s respond that gets the laughs, with the musical side of the film coming from Lola’s performance.

SettingsThe film uses the two main settings, first London where people are more accepting and Northampton where they aren’t used to seeing drag queens, the settings show the different mindsets.

Scene of the Movie – Milan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The factory workers mentality.

Final Thoughts This is a fun musical that does put out the important messages about how to treat people in life because you never know how important they could be to your own future.

Overall: Important Comedy.

Dwayne Johnson Weekend – Doom (2005) Movie Review Revisited

Director: Andrzej Bartkowiak

Writer: David Callaham, Wesley Strick (Screenplay)

Starring: Karl Urban, Roasmund Pike, Dwayne Johnson, Deobia Oparei, Ben Daniels, Razaaq Adoti, Dexter Fletcher

Plot: Space Marines are sent to investigate strange events at a research facility on Mars but find themselves at the mercy of genetically enhanced killing machines.

Tagline – Hell Breaks Loose

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Action Horror

Story: Doom starts when an incident occurs on a Mars research facility in Olduvai a Rapid Response Tactical Squad (RRTS) led by Sarge (Johnson) and his team John Grimm ‘Reaper’ (Urban), Destroyer (Oparei), Goat (Daniels), Duke (Adoti), Portman (Brake), The Kid (Weaver) and Mac (Chin) are sent from Earth through the Arc to the facility for a quarantine tactical search of the facility.

The team is joined by John’s sister Samantha (Pike) who is assigned to collect research information and we are ready to get the teams off in pairs to search the facility for any threats and they find plenty.

Thoughts on Doom

Characters – John Grimm has suffered an incident back on Earth, which does give his acceptance for leave before the latest mission, he refuses knowing his sister could be one of the victims and while everything unfolds he tries to rebuild his relationship with his sister. The biggest thing John lacks is anything about his character, he is too straight laced, compared to most of the others having some flaw about them. Samantha is his sister who works at the facility following in the footsteps of their parents, she does find small answers about what is happening being the only scientist amongst the characters. Sarge is running the operation, he follows orders, trusts his men and will do whatever the mission states, even if it means leaving dead bodies behind. The rest of the soldiers fill the basic roles required, the rookie, the talker, the religious, the aggressive and strong silent type, they have their moments.

PerformancesKarl Urban might have put himself on the map as an action star in this role, he fills the honest solider effortlessly, Rosamund Pike is great too bringing the intelligence required for the role and Dwayne Johnson brings a character you wouldn’t normally see from him to life too.

StoryThe story follows a group of specialist soldiers that must travel to Mars to figure out what happened in a facility which has seen the people there come under attack, as they must learn the secrets of the base. This does end up being a pretty routine story and while it is based on a video game, the story doesn’t need to be overly deep, it is just a simple search and destroy mission which does what is required, with generic character and that one scene that plays all the respect the game needs. We can easily point out the flaws and lack of development behind the Grimm character, but in the end we get a story that entertains from start to finish even if it isn’t the most original.

Action/Fantasy/Horror/Sci-FiThe action side of the film is plenty of mindless shooting, but it is the corridor first person sequence that does save this from being too average, with the horror being the creatures being created from the sci-fi world the humans aren’t used to being around.

SettingsThe settings are mostly kept in darkness which would be used to keep the creatures in the shadows and add into the fact that we don’t know what is going to be around each corner.

Special EffectsThe effects when it comes to the creatures are strong, while certain CGI moments come off weaker, the rest if right up there for what we are looking to see.

Scene of the Movie – First Person Shooting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does feel like there is more to John’s character.

Final Thoughts This is a fun action sci-fi film, it isn’t going to win any awards, but it knows how to keep everything simple and the blood flying.

Overall: Simple and enjoyable.