Tommy Lee Jones Weekend – Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)

Director: Irvin Kershner

Writer: John Carpenter, David Zelag Goodman (Screenplay)

Starring: Faye Dunaway, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Dourif, Rene Auberjonois, Raul Julia, Frank Adonis, Lisa Taylor

 

Plot: A famous fashion photographer develops a disturbing ability to see through the eyes of a killer.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Lil-Murder Mystery

 

Story: Eyes of Laura Mars starts as we meet fashion photographer Laura Mars (Dunaway) who is on top of the world with her work taking over the city, but her life is about to change when she seems to get visions of murders.

When she comes forward believing she saw the latest murder, detective John Neville (Jones) takes the case only to learn that Laura’s photos are strikingly similar to recent murders. When Laura starts to become paranoid about her visions she teams up with Neville to uncover the truth.

 

Thoughts on Eyes of Laura Mars

 

Characters/PerformanceLaura Mars is one of the most famous fashion photographers in the business, taking things to a new risky level. She finds herself seeing murders of her friends and must deal with trying to solve. John Neville is the nonsense detective that is working on the case and one of the few people that comes to understand what is happening to Laura.

Performance wise, Dunaway and Jones both show their full talents here showing how they can capture everything in their emotions through the different situations they are put through.

StoryThe story gives us a good mystery to solve as we only see the crimes committed through the eyes of our lead Laura Mars, we are left to guess who it could be as we are introduced to plenty of different suspects, while also diving into a potential morale question about how the fashion industry can be over sexualising the models.

Mystery/ThrillerWe are left on edge trying to figure out who the murderer is, we are given plenty of suspects which all could be the villain which is all we want from a mystery thriller.

SettingsThe big city is always a great setting for a murder mystery which is great but in the modern era of cinema would be very difficult to get the body count they do.

Special EffectsThe effects are all good through the film, whether it be the kills which are the main attraction for this film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good thriller that has a mystery you just get drawn into trying to solve.

 

Overall: This is a film that should be watched by all the mystery fans.

Rating

 

 

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Mississippi Burning (1988)

Director: Alan Parker

Writer: Chris Gerolmo (Screenplay)

Starring: Gene Hackman, Willem Dafoe, Frances McDormand, Brad Dourif, R Lee Ermey, Gailard Sartain, Michael Rooker

 

Plot: Two FBI agents with wildly different styles arrive in Mississippi to investigate the disappearance of some civil rights activists.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Difficult to Watch but Brilliant Thriller

 

Story: Mississippi Burning starts by taking us to 1964 Mississippi where we see a group of civil rights activates executed on the road. Agent Rupert Anderson (Hackman) and Agent Alan Ward (Dafoe) get assigned to the case where they must work with local Sheriff Ray Stuckey (Sartain).

In the middle of the racial tension the colour divide is still strong here with the Ku Klux Klan ruling the neighbourhood, Agent Ward is open to anyone for information, race isn’t an issue for him, Agent Anderson is similar but also knows how to handle the tension by being more discreet. When the agents find themselves targeted the inexperience Ward calls for more agents starting a full task force in the town as they search for the missing civil rights activists.

The case becomes difficult to investigate for the agents as they find themselves being shunned by both races but also needing to investigate the law in the town as they look for the answers to this case.

 

Thoughts on Mississippi Burning

 

Characters/PerformanceAgent Rupert Anderson is an experienced FBI agent that knows how to deal with racial tension in towns and knows how to get people to talk. He gets frustrated having to work under Ward as he feels like he knows how to work this case better. Agent Alan Ward comes into this case with no experience in the field, he is used to everyone being treated equal and takes time to learn that his by the book methods aren’t going to get the answers required. He does learn from Anderson as the case continues and the two make a brilliant team. Mrs Pell is one of the most important witnesses in the case but it is whether she can be honest about her husband’s Deputy Pell’s where about. Nearly all of the white authority characters are suspects in this film, we literally just don’t know who is the leader but they are all single minded in their cause.

Performance wise, Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe are fantastic together in this film, you can see in their performances the difference in characters but not in motives. Frances McDormand is also great through the supporting role and the cast is filled with stars that show their skills.

StoryThe story is based on a real event that happened, so you would have to be sensitive when considering this story too much. The truth is shown to us what the biggest problem in American modern history, the failure of certain states to give up the racial divide. The story is driven by the racial tension which keeps the story on edge from start to finish which makes the story fly by.

Crime/History/MysteryThe crime side of this film is full of all the tension need as we know early on just what has happened but we are left to wonder just how long until the mystery if fully solved. It also shows us the history of these cases that show us just how backwards people’s mindsets were.

SettingsThe film is set in Mississippi which gives us a look at the locations the crimes would have taken place.

Final ThoughtsThis is difficult to watch in places but is also one of the tensest thrillers you will see.

 

Overall: This is a must watch for all thriller fans.

Rating

 

 

Cult of Chucky (2017)

Director: Don Mancini

Writer: Don Mancini (Screenplay)

Starring: Allison Dawn Doiron, Alex Vincent, Brad Dourif, Fiona Dourif, Jennifer Tilly, Adam Hurtig, Elisabeth Rosen, Tony Gardner

 

Plot: Chucky returns to terrorize his human victim, Nica. Meanwhile, the killer doll has some scores to settle with his old enemies, with the help of his former wife.


Tagline – Friends till the end, remember?

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Addition

 

Story: Cult of Chucky starts as we see how Andy (Vincent) is keeping Chucky as a torture subject, to stop him getting free again. Meanwhile Nica (F. Dourif) is in a mental home after being accused of killing the victims in the last movie, but not she is going into a lighter security facility where we get to meet other patients including Michael (Hurtig) and under the care of Dr Foley (Therriault) who wants to use a Good Guy doll to aid the therapy.

Tiffany (Tilly) visits Nica in the home claiming Alice her niece has died leaving her another Good Guy Doll. With two Good Guy Dolls around and Andy having a third, bodies start to pile up from inside the asylum, as he is looking to finish off unfinished business.

 

Thoughts on Cult of Chucky

 

Characters – Chucky is the Good Guy Doll possessed by the serial Charles Lee Ray. He is back this time but now he has started to multiply becoming deadlier than ever, hitting the one liners when he has killed someone. Andy has returned after his brief post credits scene in Curse of Chucky, he is now grown up but still working on getting over the idea of Chucky tormenting him as a child, but now he is on top of it all, keep what he thinks in the only version of Chucky, but now he knows he must continue the fight. Nica is the victim and survivor from the last film, she is blamed for murders which has left her in asylums but now in a softer security one she must face her nightmare again. Tiffany is the girlfriend of Charles, that has been bringing the Chucky dolls to the asylum as she builds her own army of Chucky dolls. We also have the doctor that is pushing things too far, Michael or Malcolm or whoever he is today as one of the patience.

PerformancesBrad Dourif while only the voice of Chucky is still one of the biggest draws and he continues to give the same quality level of performance here. Fiona Dourif, daughter of Brad is very good in the leading role, she is the best performer in the whole film. Alex Vincent returning to the franchise is great to see, and he is good in supporting role of the film. Jennifer Tilly might have a small role but she does enjoy what she gets to work with while poking fun at certain parts of the previous films. The rest of the performances are all good for the franchise.

StoryThe story continues on from Curse of Chucky, we might be a couple of years later but we know Andy has a doll which he is keeping under control, while Nica is facing the consequences of what happened in the previous film. We get Chucky unleashes looking for revenge on the people that have stopped him in the past which works too. This goes into a new direction that continues to build the franchise to be enjoyable with the story and is left waiting for the next chapter.

HorrorThe horror continues to be moments of tongue in cheek when it comes to the kills, we do have bloody filled kills but we do lack the suspense the previous have.

SettingsThe film is set in the asylum which I think works, it keeps the film into one location making it hard to escape and believe the Chucky is real for everyone around.

Special EffectsThe effects for the most part are good but you can see a couple of moments that seem to come off strange.


Scene of the Movie –
Sometimes I scare myself’.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The Carlos death scene seems strange when it comes to the effects.

Final ThoughtsIf you are a fan of the Chucky films, you will enjoy this one, I don’t think it is the best in the franchise but I do think it is a welcome addition to the whole series.

 

Overall: Enjoyable and welcome addition to the franchise.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Seed of Chucky (2004)

seedDirector: Don Mancini

Writer: Don Mancini (Screenplay)

Starring: Brad Dourif, Jennifer Tilly, Billy Boyd, Redman, Hannah Spearritt, John Waters, Jason Flemyng

 

Plot: Chucky and Tiffany are resurrected by their innocent son, Glen, and hit Hollywood, where a movie depicting the killer dolls’ murder spree is underway.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Addition

 

Story: Seed of Chucky starts as we meet Glen (Voiced by Boyd) the son of Chucky and Tiffany who has been having nightmares about killing people but he knows nothing about his parent’s past as he is just used in a ventriloquist competition.

Elsewhere in the world, there is a new Chucky movie being made following Chucky and Tiffany with Jennifer Tilly returning to the franchise. When Glen sees a feature about the making of the film he sets out to find what he believes to be his parents all the way in Hollywood.

When Glen brings Chucky and Tiffany back to life the killing spree begins once again but this time in Hollywood. With the dolls looking for new bodies Chucky and Tiffany battle with what sex Glen or Glenda is as he learns how his parents are killers and they need to teach him their ways.

 

Thoughts on Seed of Chucky

 

StoryWhen you look at the Chucky film franchise it went in a new direction with Bride of Chucky and this story continues that idea with the family dynamic, this story as well before it’s time by tackling the transgender character in Glen/Glenda as well as having the parental reaction one supporting the other against. Putting the film within the settings of the real world of making a film does borrows heavily from New Nightmare and the Scream franchise which works adding a new dimension to the comedy but in the end this became the of the franchise direction.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy in this film comes from the references being used within the film to other films as we see how the dolls try to cover up their kills from their child. The horror is a slasher and comes off very effective for the genre with all blood, gore and unique kills.

Characters/PerformanceThe returning characters are al fun throughout the additions all work well with Glen/Glenda adding to the laughs and Jennifer Tilly not being afraid to poke fun at herself. The performances all fit the film well without being one of the most iconic of the franchise.

SettingsBring the action to Hollywood makes this film have a lot more fun with itself where it gets to bring the characters into the real world of being the stars of the films they are being made for.

Special EffectsWhen you look at the special effects, you can see how it has started to date over time which does take away from some of the kills.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun addition to the franchise not being the best or the worst just another addition to it.

 

Overall: Enjoy the crazy adventures of Chucky and his family.

Ratingcard

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Bride of Chucky (1998)

brideDirector: Ronny Yu

Writer: Don Mancini (Screenplay)

Starring: Jennifer Tilly, Brad Dourif, Katherine Heigl, Nick Stabile, Alexis Arquette, Gordon Michael Woolvett, John Ritter

 

Plot: Chucky, the doll possessed by a serial killer, discovers the perfect mate to kill and revive into the body of another doll.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Funniest of the Franchise

 

Story: Bride of Chucky starts as Tiffany (Tilly) bribes a police officer to bring her the body of her former lover Chucky who is still stuck inside the good guy doll. We move onto meet our teenagers Jade (Heigl) her boyfriend Jesse (Stabile) and their good friend David (Woolvett) who are sneaking off to prom with, her Uncle Chief Warren (Ritter) wanting to stop Jade being with the wrong guy.

With Tiffany using her voodoo to bring Chucky back to life it isn’t long until he gets his first victim, but things are not as smooth as Tiffany remembers as the two fall out and soon she becomes a doll too. Wanting to come back to life in a human bodies Tiffany recruits Jesse into driving them to Chucky’s body, this gives Jesse a chance to run away with Jade and start a new life.

This becomes the road trip from hell for the young couple but a bonding experience for Tiffany and Chucky as they set out to one up each other on the killing side.

 

Thoughts on Bride of Chucky

 

StoryThis is the return of the Chucky doll after nearly 10 years away from us and this time we build on the Chucky pre-doll character as we learn about the relationship he had before he was killed. I like how this show added another dimension to the horror comedy where we have the dolls almost commentating on what is going on through the film as they see the younger versions of themselves in the young couple. The story does feel fresh to the slasher genre of horror and works on all the right levels.

Horror/ComedyWhen it comes to the horror side of this story I feel this one does fall slightly short of anything scary but on the comedy side of the story this could easily be the funniest of the franchise to date.

Characters/PerformanceChucky is easily one of the most entertaining serial killers in film franchise history and teaming him up with Tiffany only works to improve him to the next level, both the voice work from Dourif and Tilly is excellent throughout. When it comes to the human characters they all feel very basic and don’t get the full development Chucky and Tiffany receive.

SettingsTaking Chucky on a road trip for the kills gives us plenty of comedy to go with the body count but in the end this just makes us want to see what happens on the road next.

Special EffectsThe special effects all work perfectly for the style of film going on through the film adding comedy to the kills throughout.

Final ThoughtsThis takes the films into a different direction as we get to see Chucky in a new light building on the family of doll serial killers which helps enjoy the franchise which could have gotten drowned in the sequels like others have in the past.

 

Overall: Enjoyable sequel that can live long in the memory.

Rating

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