Skin Collector (2012) Movie Review

Director: Julian Richards

Writer: Robert D Weinbach (Screenplay) Brian Harper (Novel)

Starring: Danielle Harris, John Jarratt, Casper Van Dien, Rae Dawn Chong, Brad Harris, Valerie Harper

Plot: Wendy Alden, a young secretary in Portland lacking in self- confidence becomes victim of a savage killer who has claimed the lives of a number of other women. Somehow Wendy finds the resources of courage to fight back and escape.

Tagline – The Perfect Killer Had Met His Match

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Skin Collector starts as the Griffin (Jarratt) a serial killer has started picking off the vulnerable women in Portland, starting to play games with Detective Delgado (Van Dien) and Detective Burdine (Chong), until his latest victim Wendy Alden (Harris) escapes this grasp.

Franklin Rood isn’t going to let Wendy escape him and a dangerous game of cat-n-mouse starts between the two, where Wendy needs to find a way to survive and come out of the shell she has been stuck in.

Thoughts on Skin Collector

Characters & Performances – Wendy is a secretary that does lack her own self-confidence that has just started to come out of her shell, when she becomes the target of a serial killer, needing to fight back and figure out how to survive the situation, she does learn that she has lived a similar childhood as the serial killer, giving her a chance to feel sympathy for him. Danielle Harris in the leading role continues her position as the character that needs to overcome a serial killer, making for someone who can fight back with ease. Franklin Rood is the mild-mannered serial killer that has been working on killing women, with his latest target being Wendy, he shows us just how unstable he is, going from calm to controlling to murderous in an instant. John Jarratt is known for his role in Wolf Creek, which will show us just how easily he can step into a psychotic character. Detective Delgado and Burdine are the two trying to find the serial killer, filling in most of the information about who he really is. Casper Van Dien and Rae Dawn Chong fill these roles well through the film, even if they are mostly filling in the blanks.

StoryThe story here follows a young woman that gets targeted by a serial killer, which will see her needing to finally stand up for herself to fight back and survive the calculated killer. This is a cat-n-mouse style horror thriller, with the killer needing to go through his own routine to get his satisfaction. We get the basic idea of how twisted the killer can be, but we hold back on the violence, we don’t seem to get much time focusing on his process, this is the same for Wendy, we get a phone call to highlight her problems, but otherwise, we don’t see how much damage has been done to her early life, showing the fighting back being more of a revelation. When it comes to the battle between the two, it is all tidy with how it unfold, leading it to everything in the final battle, even if it does seem to end softly for what the killer is meant to have done before.

ThemesSkin Collector is a horror thriller that will have the dark side of the serial killer’s mind, which does have a twisted desire that gets revealed slowly.

Release Date: Feb 15th (DVD & VOD)

Final Thoughts Skin Collector is an easy watch cat-n-mouse style horror thriller with genre queen Danielle Harris shining.

Franchise Weekend – Starship Troopers: Invasion (2012) Movie Review

Director: Shinji Aramaki

Writer: Shinji Aramaki, Shigehito Kawada, Joseph Chou (Screenplay) Robert A Heinlein (Novel)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Luci Christian, David Matranga, Justin Doran, David Wald, Andrew Love, Leraldo Anzaldua

Plot: A black op has gone terribly wrong. Now, Captain Carmen Ibanez and a hardcore trooper famed as Major Henry “Hero” Varro must lead a team of battle-weary troopers to find the missing ship and discover what went wrong.

Tagline – Everyone Fights. No One Quits.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Great Once the Action Starts

Story: Starship Troopers: Invasion starts as we see how the war on the bugs has continued on, with Captain Carmen Ibanez losing her ship to paranormal general Carl Jenkins, while the soldiers barely escape the ship alive.

Returning home the ship gets a call from Captain Johnny Rico who needs the crew to go on a rescue missing for the very ship Jenkins has taken which has turned dark, with the soldiers agree on one stipulation, that their Major Henry ‘Hero’ leads them despite being under arrest.

Thoughts on Starship Troopers: Invasion

Characters – Carmen Ibanez is the Captain of her own ship, one which she is has lost control of because of people above her command, she wants it back and will do what it takes when the ship goes dark and is in need of rescue. Still the character we know from the very first live-action movie, she will not let anybody hold her back from her part in the war. Johnny Rico assigns the ship to go in search of the dark ship in space, he does answer to others, only here he will need to turn to his old friends to get what is required. Carl Jenkins is the one that has taken the ship, his paranormal warfare department sees hope in taking another queen, only his mistake will lead to the events in the film. Hero is the leader of the solider that has been arrested, they refuse to fight without their leader who will always put his soldiers first. We do get the typical group of soldiers with their own vices, be it macho, sniper skills or religious, every type you could imagine.

StoryThe story here follows the next chapter in the war, seeing how the paranormal warfare unit are looking to us the bugs to the human advantage, only the experiment goes wrong leading them to needing rescuing from a bug infested ship. This is a much darker movie that we are used to seeing, with the events all taking place in a life or death tone like the first, putting most of the action on the ship in space does help contain, showing how the bugs have evolved to deal with human conditions, rather than just their own home world. We do get a lot of baggage in the first 30 minutes or so to introduce all the new soldiers we are likely to see die, to try and give thin backstories for them, but once the mission starts we get everything he need.

Action/Sci-FiThe action plays into the blood spatter that we see through the film, using the sci-fi elements of the space and bugs strengths to the films advantage, easily being the most exciting part of the film.

SettingsThe film does use the settings to keep everything contained on one ship at a time, we see how the soldiers are caught in the middle of a life and death situation where they must fight to survive.

AnimationThe animation in the film does work, it does have a more adult feel, with this being a more adult theme film, which all works for the film.

Scene of the Movie – The new bug.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We do spend too much time meeting all the different soldiers who you know will be disposable.

Final Thoughts This is a darker sequel to the original live action film, it does show the continuing conflict between the three friends from school who have all gone in different directions in the military fields to fight the bugs.

Overall: Darker Sequel.

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – # – The 12 Disasters of Christmas (2012) Movie Review

Director: Steven R Monroe

Writer: Sydney Roper, Rudy Thauberger (Screenplay)

Starring: Ed Quinn, Magda Apanowicz, Holly Elissa, Roark Critchlow, Andrew Airlie, Ryan Grantham, Greg Kean

Plot: It’s Christmas Eve when an ominous dark star appears in the sky; could this star be a sign that Judgment Day is near? When massive earthquakes and natural disasters tear apart cities, it seems that the day of reckoning is upon us – and now a small band of heroes must come together to save the world!

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Enjoyable Disaster Film

Story: The 12 Disasters of Christmas starts on Jacey’s (Apanowicz) 18th birthday as she has a climbing day with her father Joseph (Quinn), the day takes a turn when Jacey’s grandmother gives her a ring claiming she is the chosen one.

Once the sky starts raining shards of ice, it becomes clear that this is just the latest disaster which is claiming the end of the world is coming, through different disasters, with only one person that can stop it, Jacey

Thoughts on The 12 Disasters of Christmas

Characters – Joseph is the husband and father that has been fighting to save his town from new control after seeing the jobs disappear, when the events of the disasters start happening, he will join his daughter in putting the clues together to try and stop the world ending, even if people do try and stop them. Jacey has just turned 18, she enjoys the physical hobbies including climbing, she wants to move away for college, which is the biggest strain in the relationship between her and her father, until she learns she is the chosen one that can stop the disasters, she gets put through pain whenever one is about to hit too. Mary is the mother and wife that is always around for medical problems the town is facing. Kane owns the town, he did grow up there, but has been looking to turn the town around to make more money for himself.

PerformancesEd Quinn does well enough in the leading role, this is a Syfy movie, so we know the performances aren’t going to be winning any awards, they just need to make sure they are passable for a film like this, which they whole cast is strong enough through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a small town that happens to be the epicentre of the end of the world after the prophecy claims that 12 disasters will signal the end of the world, unless the chosen one can stop it. The story does spin the idea of the 12 days of Christmas by turning it into different theories about disasters, which sadly is one of the weakest parts of the film because the disaster doesn’t match the songs ideas. If you look at this as a series of disasters, this is a fun enjoyable story, it plays out just like you would imagine, knowing who will die and when, usually just after giving the message, but it does feel fresh compared to most of the disaster films that don’t feel like they can be stopped with the power of one.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is a lot of different disasters, we have slow chases, nothing is truly ground breaking or leaves us with a giant set piece like most disaster films, while the sci-fi side of the film focuses on the idea of the world coming to an end, where the fantasy elements could be the one thing to stop it.

SettingsThe film is set in a small mountain town, which shows how close everybody is and how they would react to crisis.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are the low-budget ones we would expect, there is a couple of moments that work very well, even with the budget.

Scene of the Movie – The invisible wall.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The disasters don’t match the song lyrics which is implied by the title.

Final Thoughts This is a fun disaster movie, it keeps things simple, has plenty of peril and an idea that bigger things could happen if they are not stopped.

Overall: Simple and Fun.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012) Movie Review

Director: Mira Nair

Writer: Ami Boghani, William Wheller, Mohsin Hamid (Screenplay) Mohsin Hamid (Novel)

Starring: Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber, Kiefer Sutherland, Om Puri, Shabana Azmi

Plot: A young Pakistani man is chasing corporate success on Wall Street. He finds himself embroiled in a conflict between his American Dream, a hostage crisis, and the enduring call of his family’s homeland.

Tagline – When one day changes the world forever.

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Eye Opening Thriller

Story: The Reluctant Fundamentalist starts when a businessman is kidnapped in Pakistan, the American are using their information to search for him, while Changez (Ahmed) becomes one of the suspects, Changez is meeting with an American Bobby Lincoln (Schreiber) who is looking to tell him story.

Changez gives his story about his love for America and how he once worked his way up the ladder in wall street under Jim Cross (Sutherland) in 2001. This is only the beginning of his story, one that will show how he became somebody who wanted to lead change and one that saw the change firsthand.

Thoughts on The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Characters – Changez is a Pakistani man who was the first to leave the country to make something of himself in the modern world, he enters the world of wall street, where he looks to help business run smoother, seeing problems others can’t, he ends up becoming a target of hate after 9/11, now he is being interviewed to show his side of the aftermath from 9/11, where he is back in Pakistan becoming a target of the Americans who see him as a threat, he is smart, he knows how to remain calm and analyse the issues in the world, to show both sides of the views. Erica is the woman that Changez starts dating, she is a photographer and is open to seeing the world in the right way. Bobby Lincoln is a reporter that is interviewing Changez, he is open to hear his story, only he happens to have his own reason for the interview. Jim Cross is the man that offers Changez the job in New York, he sees all his potential to become one of the best in his business being somebody who never bothered about his background.

PerformancesRiz Ahmed is fantastic in this leading role showing everybody how big of a star he was always going to become. Kate Hudson is great to, bringing her style to a character that wouldn’t be normal in the traditional life of Changez life. Liev Schreiber is wonderful to see in the storytelling side of the film, listening and wanting to make an impact with her reasoning. Kiefer Sutherland is strong in his supporting role too, showing he can become the businessman in a film with ease.

StoryThe story here follows a Pakistan man who rose to success in New York, right around and in the aftermath of 9/11, dealing with racism put upon him, while trying to follow the traditions of his family back home, dealing with the idea that he has been placed on the watch list, despite not committing any crimes and trying to prove that anything can be spun to make anybody look guilty because people are blindly following panic. This is a try eye opening at how the world instantly sees certain ethnic backgrounds as bad, despite, never learning who they are or what they are doing in life. The one bad side of the story comes from seeing how we are going through his back story, even if this does offer twists in the story.

ThrillerThe thriller side of this film start heavily, when we see just how the kidnapping happens and the searching for the people responsible, we do drive into drama and seeing how the life can be turned upside down by panic of others.

SettingsThe film does use the key settings of Lahore to show when terrorists are believed to be, New York which sees people turn their heads towards people they don’t like and the world trips that show why Changez could have been seen as a threat, just because of his race.

Scene of the Movie – The moment that changed the world.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The attitudes instantly change no matter how wrong they are.

Final Thoughts This is a very insightful look at how the world changed on 9/11, seeing the people judging without understanding the truth about people is how we are seeing the world now.

Overall: Insightful thriller.

2012 (2009)

Director:  Roland Emmerich

Starring:John Cusack, Amanda Peet, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Thandie Newton, Oliver Platt, Thomas McCarthy, Woody Harrleson, Danny Glover, Liam James, Stephen McHattie

Based on Mayan superstition this is the end of the world, now how do man survive this?

First off Dr Adrien Helmsley (Chiwetel Ejiofor) and one of his associates discover the world is overheating from the inside due to solar flares. so he gets a solution to the end of the world started up with governments all around the world. Now in 2012 things start to accelerate and time is running out.

Meanwhile a struggling divorced writer Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) gets a weekend camping with his two children. He takes them down to Yellowstone only to find out the Lake has nearly all gone and after approaching the army take them back to a base. Here he meets Dr Helmsley a fan and sounding like his only fan of his book. After the chatty chatty big fan speech the family get escorted of the land back tot he camp area. After arriving conspiracy nut Charlie Frost (Woody Harrleson) asks what is there and tells Jackson what he believes to be happening, Jackson just assumes he is crazy and ignores his warnings.

After dropping his kids back home he goes to his day job as a limo driver only to discover that Charlie might be making some sense, he rushes back to the house and get his kids ex wife and boyfriend. now we have one of the most amazing over the top car chase action sequences ever with a limo driving through town avoiding everything possible making it to an airport and fly away to safety for now.

After flying to the Yellowstone abandoned army base to refuel Jackson goes in search of Charlie. After finding him on top of a mountain over looking Yellowstone he learns of the crafts for safety or future of mankind, now for the next chase against nature this time in a camper van with a volcanic cloud after them,

Flying of to the next airport Jackson meets his employer who needs an extra pilot for the trip to China where the vessels are kept, after yet another over the top action sequence they are left to fend for themselves in the middle of the mountains of China, meeting a family who has worked on vessels and created a plan to sneak on a vessel.

Roland Emmerich follows up action blockbuster like Independence day, Godzilla and Day after tomorrow with another action blockbuster and he sure dose like destroying America in his movies.

This is a truly epic survival adventure if not very hard to believe it is full of cliche and cheesy one liners and overall just a good fun movie to watch, he throws up the question ‘what would we do in this situation?’ and puts out how money can buy you safety.

Overall i would give it an 82% as it keeps you holing onto what will happen next.