ABC Film Challenge – Catch Up 2020 – W – The Warrant (2020) Movie Review

Director: Brent Christy

Writer: Shea Sizemore (Screenplay)

Starring: Neal McDonough, Steven R McQueen, Casper Van Dien, Annabeth Gish, Gregory Cruz, Greg Perrow

Plot: After fighting in the Civil War, two Union Army buddies find themselves on opposite sides of the law with the post-war peace at risk.

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Dull Western

Story: The Warrant starts in 1864 during the Civil War, John Breaker (McDonough) and his son Cal (McQueen) fought on the union side, next to a more aggressive soldier The Saint (Van Dien). After the war in 1869, John is a sheriff in a small town, where his ways have caused problems in the past.

When Cal now a US Marshal comes back to his father for help in tracking down The Saint, the memories of the war come back, with the need to stop the deadly outlaw before they get caught in the crossfire.

Thoughts on The Warrant

Characters – John Breaker was one of the best soldiers in the Civil War, he fought with honour, becoming an example to his son, who fought next to him, he has become a local sheriff post-war and now he must work with his son again to track down a deadly outlaw and former friend. Cal is John’s son, he is a US Marshall, travelling around hunting down the outlaws of America, turning to his father for the latest bounty. The Saint is notorious outlaw that once fought alongside the Breakers, he has built a gang which is now caught the attention of the government and needs to be stopped once and for all.

PerformancesNeal McDonough does struggle in the leading role, a position he would normal perform with ease in, it is in fact Casper Van Dien you want to watch the most, with his scenery chewing performance.

StoryThe story here follows a father and son who fought together in the civil war now needing to work together to hunt down a fellow soldier who has become a notorious outlaw. When you type in western story in google, you will without any doubt find this generic idea for a story, offering nothing fresh and ending up feeling flat and uninspiring, we get nothing we haven’t seen before and a story that feels more like a stronger episode of a western TV show.

WesternThis is everything western without being anything we haven’t seen before.

SettingsThe film uses the post-war landscape to show how the rebuilding had happened, but the actions were still violent, it could have been any woodland area.

Scene of the Movie – The Saint getting what he wants.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The flat story.

Final Thoughts This is a flat western that brings nothing new to the table and ends up feeling flat throughout the film.

Overall: Flat Western.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2020 – V – Antebellum (2020) Movie Thoughts

This is under V because of the lead character Veronica.

Director: Gerard Bush, Christopher Renz

Writer: Gerard Bush, Christopher Renz (Screenplay)

Starring: Janelle Monae, Jack Huston, Kiersey Clemons, Jena Malone, Tongayi Chirisa, Gabourey Sidibe, Marque Richardson

Plot: Successful author Veronica Henley finds herself trapped in a horrifying reality and must uncover the mind-bending mystery before it’s too late.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Antebellum starts as Eden (Monae) one of the many slaves working under Captain Jasper (Huston), being sold to Elizabeth (Malone) where one of her few friends in Julia (Clemons) another woman left with no option to work.

We jump to the modern era with Veronica (Monae) a successful author that has been having the nightmares of her past on the plantation and on a night out with her girlfriends, she learns the truth about this reality.

Thoughts on Antebellum

Final Thoughts Antebellum is a movie that is very difficult to talk about without giving away too many spoilers, while the two different time periods show the different times for the people involved, from slaves to modern day icons of industries. The story does feel like it does have too much going on, because when you put together the truth, it would impossible to see how certain moments would be happening all together. The acting in the film is strong throughout, with Janelle Monae being great to watch through both sides of everything. It is the story that is the biggest weakness, because it just ends up not connecting in a way which would make sense.

12 Hour Shift (2020) Movie Review

12 Hour Shift – Deviously Dark

Director: Brea Grant

Writer: Brea Grant (Screenplay)

Starring: Angela Bettis, David Arquette, Chloe Farnworth, Mick Foley, Kit Williamson, Nikea Gamby-Turner

Plot: Bodies start to pile up when a drug-user nurse and her cousin try to find a replacement kidney for an organ trafficker.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: 12 Hour Shift starts as Mandy (Bettis) is starting her 12-hour-shift as a nurse, she takes a couple of drugs to keep her going, while preparing the deal with her cousin Regina (Farnworth) to transfer organs to an organ dealer Nicholas (Foley).

When the exchange doesn’t go as planned, Regina turns to Mandy to get another kidney, which will se the pair looking to create a number of potential victims, before the bodies start piling up.

Thoughts on 12 Hour Shift

Characters & Performances – Mandy is a drug abusing nurse that has been transporting organs with her cousin on a side business for a while, her latest deal seems to be done, with her usual cold personality coming off with the patients, she is forced into getting another kidney when her cousin messes up, leading to her needing to work around the hospital in search for someone about to die, cleaning up the mess left in her way. Angela Bettis does bring this constantly busy character to life with ease. Jefferson is a convict bought into the hospital, he is the prime suspect when the bodies start turning up, always in the shadows of Mandy’s night. David Arquette looks like he has fun with this supporting character, though we don’t see enough of what he could have bought to this film. Regina the cousin who transports the organs, she does get easily distracted and becomes dumb character through the events. She is trying to fix the error she has made which sees her only making more. Chloe Farnworth plays this role well, keeping everything together, not hitting the over the top silly, hitting the dumb role well. The rest of the supporting characters are fun through the film, each offer something different, the odd laugh along the way.

StoryThe story here follows the 12-hour-shift for a drug abusing, organ dealing nurse after the deal goes wrong and people start dying in the hospital. This is a story that does take place over one night which does show us the chaos involved in the story, it does cram plenty into the night, with lots of mystery, comedy and will get us wondering who will make it through the night alive. Most of the story does follow Mandy needing to keep everything under control, while Regina just makes things more complicated for her, which will add to the humour in the film.

Themes12 Hour Shift does give us a very dark tone of comedy, with how certain scenes unfold, with colourful characters that show us just how many different people you might well be working with. We don’t dive into enough horror, even if we have the mystery about the bodies piling up, turning more into an action film about getting out alive. The film is mostly set inside the hospital, which will contain the action going on through the film, within the contain corridors and different patients ‘s rooms.

Final Thoughts 12 Hour Shift is a dark comedy that will get laughs to cover up the chaos going on through the film.

FrightFest Presents and Signature Entertainment present 12 Hour Shift on Digital Platforms 25th January 2021

ABC Film Challenge – Catch Up 2020 – U – Underwater (2020) Movie Review

Director: William Eubank

Writer: Brian Duffield, Adam Cozad (Screenplay) Brian Duffield (Story)

Starring: Kristen Stewart, Jessica Henwick, T.J. Miller, Vincent Cassel, John Gallagher Jr, Mamoudou Athie, Fiona Rene, Amanda Troop, Gunner Wright

Plot: A crew of aquatic researchers work to get to safety after an earthquake devastates their subterranean laboratory. But the crew has more than the ocean seabed to fear.

Tagline – 7 Miles Below the Ocean Surface Something Has Awakened

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Nice Underwater Horror

Story: Underwater starts when the underwater research facility is hit by an earthquake, compromising the whole station, Norah (Stewart), Captain (Cassel) Paul (Miller), Emily (Henwick), Smith (Gallagher Jr) and Rodrigo (Athie) are left stranded after the escape pods are used, leading to them needing to make a daring journey across the ocean floor to their own option for rescue.

With the journey already facing obstacles, the crew find themselves facing up against an unknown creature from deep, one that will hunt anything in their territory.

Thoughts on Underwater

Characters – Norah takes centre stage of this story, she is an engineer on the facility, she knows how to deal with crisis, needing to take on difficult decisions along the way, she will dive in head force to make sure other could make it and will use her knowledge to stay ahead of the problems that might come her way. Captain takes the lead with the plan, he gives the crew two options, neither of them is letting them die, he remains the leader through the problems they are facing. Emily is the youngster member of the team trying to get out, she is the least experience when it comes to diving with the rest of the team needing to give her more time, while still rushing her.

PerformancesKristen Stewart does standout in this role, giving us a strong leading performance as the tough smart character, we see everything from her point of view. When we go into the supporting Jessica Henwick, Vincent Cassel, T.J. Miller and John Gallagher Jr all give performances that play to the strengths of the characters in the film.

StoryThe story here follows the crew of an underwater research facility needing to fight to survive after an Earthquake destroys part of their base, with a new unknown threat from the deep looking to hunt them down too. This story does get straight into the action with the incident starting the film, which does help us get right into wanting to know how they will survive, without needing to get too involved with the backstory behind the characters, as they wouldn’t need to discuss this as part of their everyday routine. This could easily be compared to many films, while it still gives us something fresh with the approach to how they look to escape, it shows the calm required and how the plan could work to survive, the pace keeps things flowing nicely is everything needed for the story to keep us engaged.

Action/HorrorThe action in the film does follow the destruction happening around them with the race against time, add in the creatures which give us a horror inclusion to the story which plays into not knowing what is in the dark or the bottom of ocean.

SettingsThe film remains at the bottom of the oceans which shows us how the team must stay calm to escape, with the unknown out there waiting for them.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to show the destruction which looks wonderful, with the creatures looking good even though they remain in the dark.

Scene of the Movie – The earthquake.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Getting to know people too much.

Final Thoughts This is a nice little action horror, it flows nicely and doesn’t want to stop once the early action starts, even if it might have a couple of traits borrowed from other successful franchises.

Overall: Enjoyable Horror.

Rattlers 2 (2020) Movie Review

Director: Dustin Ferguson

Writer: Josh Price, Lee Turner (Screenplay)

Starring: Mel Novak, Brinke Stevens, Dawna Lee Heising, Jennifer Nangle, Shawn C Phillips, Julie Anna Prescott, Peter Stickles, Mercedes Peterson

Plot: A series of fatal rattlesnake attacks in the California desert re-opens an investigation that began 45 years ago.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Rattlers 2 starts when a small desert town and surrounding area starts to see a fresh set of fatal rattlesnake attacks, with large numbers striking the local area and Sheriff Wilson (Carney) looking to protect the area before the body count adds up.

As the body do sadly pile up, the snakes start to take over the town with the battle to save the people before it is too late.

Thoughts on Rattlers 2

ThoughtsRattlers 2 is a film that is paying full-blown respect to the 1970’s B-movie that knows they don’t have the money to go big, but do end up have a big body count to give us screams coming from each corner of the film. This is going to be one film that is only going to be enjoyed by the fans of the B-movie fans, it doesn’t give us enough time to get invested in the characters with most characters we meet are being used as disposable to create the big body count. This will go down as a film you could easily watch late at night and will give us entertainment.

Final Thoughts Rattlers 2 is a late-night horror treat.