Logan Lerman Weekend – Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013)

Director: Thor Freudenthal

Writer: Marc Guggenheim (Screenplay) Rick Riordan (Novel)

Starring: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Douglas Smith, Brandon T Jackson, Stanley Tucci, Nathan Fillion

 

Plot: In order to restore their dying safe haven, the son of Poseidon and his friends embark on a quest to the Sea of Monsters, to find the mythical Golden Fleece, all the while trying to stop an ancient evil from rising.


Tagline – Where there are gods there are monsters.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple & Enjoyable

 

Story: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters starts as we head back to camp half blood, we learn more about the barrier that protects Percy (Lerman), Annabeth (Daddario) and Grover (Jackson) from the evils of the world. When a stranger Tyson (Smith) a cyclops arrives in the camp the barrier becomes weakened the best warrior Clarisse (Rambin) is selected to search for the Golden Fleece.

Percy learning of a prophecy that shows he could once again save Olympus, he is joined by Annabeth, Grover and Tyson to stop an old enemy that is targeting the same golden fleece which could save the demi-gods.

 

Thoughts on Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

 

Characters – Percy Jackson has now become the star pupil in the camp, only he hasn’t been on any more quest, lost looking for his place in the world, he learns of a prophecy which gives him a purpose in the world as he looks to save the day again with his friends. Annabeth isn’t the warrior we once new from the last film, we do learn more about her past, though she just seems to be standing around letting Clarisse be the warrior figure. Clarisse is the rival in the camp, she is ultra-competitive when it comes to being the best, which sees her selected for the quest. She is very confident that she is can succeed on any quest too. Tyson is the cyclops who arrives in the camp, claiming to also be related to Poseidon, he has been in hiding, considered an outcast for the most part, he does join Percy on his adventure as the two half brothers must learn to bond. Grover does take a back seat more in this film too as he ends up being taken early on during the adventure. Luke is back once again trying to figure out how to destroy the Gods above, showing that he wants to bring Percy onto his side of the battle.

PerformancesLogan Lerman does continue to be strong in the leading role of this film, it is when we look at the supporting roles things start to go downhill, first they waste Daddario and Jackson’s chemistry from the first film, by bringing us two new actors to work with. Douglas Smith doesn’t hit the comedy which is meant to be shown from his character and Jake Abel returning as the villain gets to have fun with the role.

StoryThe story here brings us the next chapter in the Percy Jackson adventures, this time the stakes seem to be higher with the potential return of a deadly enemy, even if we focus more on team work which is important for the characters in the camp environment. This does give us a similar style of adventure and brings more mythology from the Greek history which is always good to see. The biggest weakness of this story comes from the world building we never got to see the next chapter for. The story feels like it could become a wonderful television show which could teach elements of Greek mythology with a modern style which has been the main part of these films.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure side of this film takes us to new locations which at meant to be American versions of the Greek historic location, which is fun to see, with Tyson seeing them for the first time. The idea of Greek Gods and monsters in the real world is always going to fascinate which it what makes this film stand out that little bit more.

SettingsThe film does take us to new locations which could easily be modern versions of the Greek Gods location, be it the abandon theme park with a cyclops in or the oceans giant monster literally eating everything in its path.

Special EffectsThe effects do take a step back, mostly because of the extra amounts needed in this film, we have Tyson which cyclops eye never looks right and the battles never hit home enough.


Scene of the Movie –
Final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact we never get the next chapter.

Final ThoughtsThis is still a fun adventure film that does deliver on what it is trying to give us, it doesn’t hit as well as the first film, but can still be enjoyed along the way.

 

Overall: Fun adventure exploring the Gods.

Rating

 

 

Logan Lerman Weekend – Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief (2010)

Director: Chris Columbus

Writer: Craig Titley (Screenplay) Rick Riordan (Novel)

Starring: Logan Lerman, Peirce Brosnan, Uma Thurman, Steve Coogan, Sean Bean, Alexandra Daddario, Brandon T Jackson, Jake Abel

 

Plot: A teenager discovers he’s the descendant of a Greek god and sets out on an adventure to settle an on-going battle between the gods.


Tagline – Worlds collide.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Adventure Film

 

Story: Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief starts when struggling high school student Percy Jackson (Lerman) learns about his mysterious father, when a teacher turns into a monster of sorts, Percy is a demi-god and is being targeted by the Greek Gods who believe he has stolen Zeus Lightning.

Percy’s life changes when he is taken to a secret location for all demi-gods by his protector Grover (Jackson), where he must learn to fight like the rest of the demi-gods as he is joined by Annabeth (Daddario) on an adventure to learn who has the stolen the lightning.

 

Thoughts on Percy Jackson & the Lightning Thief

 

Characters – Percy Jackson is your average struggling high school student, raised by his mother with no clue about his father. His life is about to change forever when he learns that he is a demi-god and must prove he isn’t the person responsible for the potential war between the gods and learn his place in the world. Grover is the protector of Percy in the real world and helps guide him through the world. Annabeth is the best warrior of the demi-gods in training, she hasn’t been to go on quests before and sees this as her chance to experience the world. Zeus is in search of his lightning bolt with the gods believing it is Percy. Chiron trains the demi-gods in battle, he keeps them safe while they are preparing to any encounters. We do have the gods we know too with Athena, Hades and Poseidon being involved in the adventure.

PerformancesLogan Lerman is good in this leading role, when it comes to this genre, we need a young actor that can bring the energy and the acting which Logan brings. Brandon and Alexandra give great supporting performances which bring together both the comedy and the brains needs to guide Percy. We have the A-listers here too with Sean Bean, Pierce Brosnan, Uma Thurman and Steve Coogan having fun in the role.

StoryThe story follows an unlikely high school student that finds himself learning his true identity as a demi-god and must go on his first adventure with the Gods searching for him. This is a wonderful introduction to the character of Percy and the people will be working with or fighting against. We go through the learning curve with Percy which also brings the mythology of the Greeks to different location around America. We do get darker moments in the story even though it is just as fun as it needs to be for vision of the Greek Gods in modern society. The flaw in the story comes from the fact that Percy does seem to get out of each situation too easily as a lot are dealing with the idea of Gods he wouldn’t know how to battle against.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure side of this film takes Percy into a world he had no idea of, Annabeth into the real world and the two needing to advise each other through the battles they will face. The fantasy world of Gods and monsters is front and centre here, mixing with he modern day world wonderfully well.

SettingsThe film brings the mythology of the Greek Gods to America where we learn just how the two become one with the iconic locations from history being reimagined in America.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are good, we have a lot that could come off terrible, but this is a success for the ambitious ideas behind different moments in the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Hades meeting in the underworld.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too easy for Percy to escape certain situations.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun adventure film that is a great introduction to a much bigger series of stories we could see coming in the future.

 

Overall: Fun and enjoyable throughout.

Rating

 

 

Baywatch (2017)

Director: Seth Gordon

Writer: Damian Shannon, Mark Swift (Screenplay) Jay Scherick, David Ronn, Thomas Lennon, Robert Ben Garant (Story)

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Zac Efron, Priyanka Chopra, Alexandra Daddario, Kelly Rohrbach, Ilfenesh Hadera, Jon Bass

 

Plot: Devoted lifeguard Mitch Buchanan butts heads with a brash new recruit. Together, they uncover a local criminal plot that threatens the future of the Bay.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Standard Action Comedy

 

Story: Baywatch starts as hugely popular lifeguard Mitch (Johnson) and his team CJ (Rohrbach) and Stephanie (Hadera) look to make fresh addition to their elite team. The first two candidates Summer (Daddario) and Ronnie (Bass) fit what Mitch wants, commitment to the cause and no showboating. The final recruit is forced upon Mitch, that is disgraced two-time Olympic Gold Medallist Matt Brody (Efron) that is only there on probation.

With the training under way, Mitch starts investigating the increase level of a drug washing up on shore he starts using his team to look into the actions Victoria Leeds (Chopra), a rich woman that has been buying up all the real estate along the bay. As the investigation deepens Mitch must overcome his superior, the law and Victoria herself to bring the calm back to the bay.

 

Thoughts on Baywatch

 

Characters/PerformanceMitch is the lifeguard that has all the respect on the bay, the physical presence and is a born leader, he knows how to get the best out of his team and will risk his own life before theirs.  Matt Brody is the disgraced Olympic Gold Medallist who is forced to join the lifeguards and must learn to work as part of a team and stop being selfish. Victoria is a ruthless growing reputation drug dealer who is making it her aim to make the bay her empire but the lifeguards keep getting in her way. I do feel we needed more from her character because it did feel very generic. Now looking at the female life guards, this would be fair to say they are very undeveloped as characters when you compare them with two leading guys. Ronnie is the increased level of comic relief and you will either enjoy his story or hate it.

Performance wise, Dwayne Johnson is good as always knowing how to get the most out of this character, Zac Efron does continue to show he can handle comedy and uses his body for extra statement. Priyanka looks fantastic in this role and does the best she can with a weakly written role. The rest of the cast are all good without being excellent and not overshadowing the leads.

StoryI never saw the original show, I loved 21 Jump Street and I fully expected this to become the latest idea, but the story does fall short. The story is very generic which is unlikely couple team up to solve crime with the police avoiding getting involved, yes it does sound like the show. It is easy to watch though but does miss certain moments we needed to see.

Action/Crime/ComedyThe action is just what you have come to expect from the action comedy genre, there is nothing new here, the crime story is also by the books and the comedy is adult and is very hit or miss with most of the best lines in the trailer.

SettingsThe setting gives us a chance to have beautiful people not wearing much showing off their assets to grab sex appeal.

Final ThoughtsThis had potential to get to the next level but it isn’t terrible, it can be enjoyed by the fans of the actors with good moments of comedy.

 

Overall: Easy to watch and enjoyable in places.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Texas Chainsaw (2013)

texasDirector: John Luessenhop

Writer: Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan, Kirsten McCallion (Screenplay) Stephen Susco, Adam Marcus, Debra Sullivan (Story) Tobe Hooper, Kim Henkel (Characters)

Starring: Alexandra Daddario, Dan Yeager, Trey Songz, Scott Eastwood, Tania Raymonde, Shaun Sipos, Keram Malicki-Sanchez, Bill Moseley, Gunnar Hansen

 

Plot: A young woman travels to Texas to collect an inheritance; little does she know that an encounter with a chainsaw-wielding killer is part of the reward.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just What is This?

 

Story: Texas Chainsaw starts right were the original 1974 classic ended with Sheriff Hooper (Barry) coming to arrest Leatherface leading to a stand-off against the Sawyer family with the local town’s people burning the house to the floor.

Move forward in time (we don’t know how many years though) where we meet Heather (Daddario) who receives the news that her grandmother has died, only to find out she was in fact the baby of the Sawyer family. Heather sets off with her boyfriend Ryan (Songz) best friend Nikki (Raymonde), Kenny (Malicki-Sanchez) to Texas and along the way they pick up hitchhiker Daryl (Sipos).

We do go through a large amounts of really stupid questions being asked including ‘Why didn’t you tell me I was adopted?’ ‘how could you not tell me I was part of that murderous (My choice of words) family?’ after nearly running over Daryl ‘where you heading’ ‘do you want a lift’ before Daryl offers to pay for the lift. Really this interaction has already made me hate this film and we have barely even got started. Time to get back to the real story going on.

Once in Texas Heather discovers the home she has been left the friends get ready for a party only to learn they are not alone in the house that Leatherface (Yeager) still lives in and he wants to be left alone. We end up having to watch as the friends get picked off one by one by the deranged killer.

Texas Chainsaw really tries to give us a sequel to the original completely forgetting the remakes that could have been a building block for this. I am hugely disappointed with this one because Texas Chainsaw Massacre is one of the most iconic horror films of all time. We get disposable characters and stupid question and decision making from start to finish. The fact we have Leatherface kill the friends before teaming up with his relative to get revenge on the town makes NO SENSE WHAT SO EVER. We could have the revenge film, fine I will accept that but having him kill the innocent members first then become the good guy just doesn’t work. I could easily go on about how wrong this story really is but I am getting tired of moaning about this one.

 

Actor Review

 

Alexandra Daddario: Heather just so happens to inherit the house where Leatherface lives, she brings her friend there for what she thinks will be a dream home only to find herself in the middle of a nightmare but it is her own family she never knew she has which is the true shocking reality Heather must face. Alexandra fits the leading role well, being the beautiful damsel in distress, but won’t get into the acting.heather

Dan Yeager: Leatherface is the icon that went on a killing spree years ago and long thought to be dead. Well he isn’t and now he lives in the house Heather inherits and just so happens to be related to her. He is bigger, faster and deadlier that ever. Dan makes for an imposing Leatherface character.leather

Trey Songz: Ryan is the boyfriend of Heather who goes along on the journey only to find himself having to fight off Leatherface. Ryan really is just there as one of the friends the character offers very little to the main story with only a small side story that he is having a fling with Heather’s best friend Nikki. Trey does all h can with such a poorly written character.

Scott Eastwood: Carl is the young officer in the town that helps Heather fight off Leatherface, he comes off as the friend officers always trying to do the right thing which is the complete opposite to others officers we meet or is he after something else. Scott doesn’t get used enough for where his character goes.

Support Cast: Texas Chainsaw has a supporting cast that really is just disposable for the main story.

Director Review: John LuessenhopJohn takes this in a different direction but loses all of the tension this original once had.

 

Horror: Texas Chainsaw doesn’t have the scare factor it should have with it going down the action horror film genre.

Thriller: Texas Chainsaw doesn’t have any tension which is needed for this film.

Settings: Texas Chainsaw doesn’t make any settings stand out with where the film goes.
Special Effects
: Texas Chainsaw has a couple of good effects but you can almost see the CGI gore which is disappointing.

Suggestion: Texas Chainsaw is one to avoid and if you are a fan of the original don’t even look at the case. (Avoid)

 

Best Part: Camera phone blood trail follow.

Worst Part: Story.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No, maybe another reboot.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Won 2 Awards (Including Worst Film) and nominated for 7 more.

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $34 Million

Budget: $10 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: Evil wears many faces.

Trivia: Originally, a plan for a new trilogy was pitched. The films would be released out of chronological order, with the second film coming out first and being set almost entirely in a hospital. The next film would be a prequel explaining the events that led up to the hospital scenario. The third film would complete the storyline. Fearing it was too ambitious and risky, the producers opted for a follow up to the original instead.

 

Overall: Terrible sequel to one of the best horror movies or all time.

Ratingcard

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Bereavement (2010)

casting card

 

Plot: The horrific account of 6-year-old Martin Bristol, abducted from his backyard swing and forced to witness the brutal crimes of a deranged madman.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Standard Horror

 

Story: Bereavement starts as we see a young boy Martin Bristol kidnapped from his own backyard, we learn that he has a condition where he can’t feel pain that needs to be watched and checked daily. The man who takes him is a serial killer but that is all we know as we move 5 years into the future to meet Jonathan Miller (Biehn) and his niece Allison (Daddario) who is coming to stay with him for the first time in years.

We learn that the killer is still doing his thing and has Martin with him still, the killer like to kidnap young woman before torturing and killing them. Allison moving to this new area after her parent’s die has to learn to be with a new family and it isn’t long before she meets William (Funk) to show her around.

When Allison becomes the latest victim we see how she must fight to survive against the killer.

Bereavement is a horror film that plays out like most, we have a character move to a new area where something strange has been happening but not to the levels that anyone would notice. Because she is new she starts piecing it together only to find herself the latest target and then the film aims for shock value of any development. We get something that is the tried and tested theory that will always stick but never test.

 

Actor Review

 

Michael Biehn: Jonathan Miller is the Uncle to Allison who has promised to look after her if anything ever happened to his brother and after that tragedy strikes he takes her in. he has to convince her this is right while protecting her from their estranged neighbour. Michael is solid but used mostly because of his name really.

Alexandra Daddario: Allison Miller has to move to live with her Uncle after her parents are killed, she has to adapt to this new town which she doesn’t want to be part of where she clashes with her Uncle. Allison ends up getting kidnapped by the local killer and must battle to survive. Alexandra makes for a good horror victim because she will bring in the sex appeal but she just looks too old for this role.

Brett Rickaby: Graham Sutter is the killer that has been taking woman for years, but has always gotten away with it. He believes he is doing this for a greater good as he keeps a young boy to witness everything he does. Brett is solid but you just feel the character needed that final level to him.

Nolan Gerard Funk: William is the local boy that gets the instant attraction to Allison but due to his family’s reputation he gets pushed away by her Uncle. Nolan is solid in this supporting role but really doesn’t do enough.

Support Cast: Bereavement has a supporting cast that is mostly just disposable characters with no real development given to any of them.

Director Review: Stevan MenaStevan gives us a shock film but the problem is that it goes for too many shocks over developed characters.

 

Crime: Bereavement has a serial killer but that is the only place it goes with the crime side of the story.

Horror: Bereavement uses the killer to kidnap and torture the girls as well as the family.

Thriller: Bereavement tries to keep us on edge through the film as we wait to see how the film unfolds.

Settings: Bereavement keeps us in the farming town where we see how isolated the houses are.
Special Effects
: Bereavement uses solid effects for the kills but that is it really.

Suggestion: Bereavement is one to watch late night television only. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: Daddario is good to see in this role.

Worst Part: Lack of character development.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: Yes

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $3.6 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

Tagline: There are some evils…so unspeakable…they will scar you forever.

 

Overall: Horror film that goes for shock value over story telling.

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