The Vault (2017)

Director: Dan Bush

Writer: Dan Bush, Conal Byrne (Screenplay)

Starring: James Franco, Scott Haze, Taryn Manning, Francesca Eastwood, Q’Oiranka Kilcher, Jeff Gum, Clifton Collins Jr

 

Plot: Two estranged sisters are forced to rob a bank in order to save their brother. But this is no ordinary bank.


Tagline – No one is safe.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strangely Disappointing

 

Story: The Vault starts as three siblings Michael (Haze), Vee (Manning) and Leah (Eastwood) put together their team to get what seems like a perfect bank robbery done, to solve Michael’s personal problem. With the hostages locked up and the alarms dealt with things look like they are going smoothly, then they open the vault to discovery next to no money.

Assistant manager Ed Maas (Franco) offer to help get into the old vault, but this is where the terror begins because this bank has a history one, none of the robbers were prepared for.

 

Thoughts on The Vault

 

Characters – Vee is the fiery short tempered of the siblings, she will get the rest of the robbers in more trouble, this is a front to her own insecurity. Leah is the leader of the robbers, the calmer of the group that doesn’t go over the limits, until she does and we lose any support for this character, the one we are meant to be following. Michael is the brother who has gotten himself into trouble and needs the money to fix the problem, he wants to no one hurt mentality and seems to be the only good one of the group. Ed Maas is a man that was one of the hostages that offers to get the money for the robbers.

PerformancesThe cast here is confusing, because James Franco is fine, but completely looks out of place in this movie. When we see the sister performers which does work well together as you feel the strained relationship between them.

StoryThe story is a bank robbery gone wrong, when are they not right? This time it goes wrong when it turns out the location the bank is haunted and now the spirits have returned. This could work for the most part but in the end it doesn’t deliver on the level it could do, mostly because we don’t seem to support anyone because they don’t dive into what Michael has done to need money, the two sisters both come off twisted and evil and the horror side is almost unwatchable.

HorrorThis movie uses the horror to put a twist on the heist idea in the story, the horror side of the film is difficult to watch though as everything comes off just too dark.

SettingsThe film is set inside the bank which keeps the story contained for where the events could go.

Special EffectsThe effects are fine, we only get to see them used sparely which is nice to see when it comes to the horrors.


Scene of the Movie –
Final twist.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many difficult moments that don’t add up.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappointing horror that doesn’t scare us in anyway and has a complete by the book heist movie.

 

Overall: Lacklustre movie.

Rating

 

 

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Stung (2015)

Director: Benni Diez

Writer: Adam Aresty (Screenplay)

Starring: Matt O’Leary, Jessica Cook, Lance Henriksen, Clifton Collins Jr, Cecilia Pillado

 

Plot: A fancy garden party turns into upper class prey when a colony of killer wasps mutates into seven foot tall predators.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Little Creature Feature

 

Story: Stung starts as Julia (Cook) taking over the family business takes her employee Paul (O’Leary) to a fancy garden party for the Perch family. Paul notices there are extremely large wasps around this garden party. This gives us a chance to meet the colourful characters at this party including Mayor Caruthers (Henriksen) and the son of the house Sydney (Collins Jr).

When the wasps invade the party they start stinging the guest who then turn into giant mutant wasps, the few remaining survivors must hide, sneak and fight to survive against this deadly enemy in creature feature 101.

 

Thoughts on Stung

 

Characters/PerformanceJulia is the owner of the catering company having taken over from her father, she is desperate to make sure it is a success which shows us just how determined she is. Paul is the laid-back employee that just wants a pay day but he will soon become the strongest opponent against the wasps. Caruthers is the mayor of the town, he isn’t that interested in being at the party but willing to fight to save the people. The rest of the characters are all colourful in their own way.

Performance wise, Matt O’Leary is good in the leading role show he has come from the child actor well, Jessica Book is good in her role too and we know Lance Henriksen will be a draw to this film whatever happens to him.

StoryDiving into the story we don’t have anything overly difficult to go through here, we have survivors facing off against giant wasps as we follow our plucky survivor’s truths come out about what caused the mutated wasps. It isn’t anything complicated and is as simple as you need it to be.

Comedy/HorrorThe level of horror works for the comedy without the film being a laugh a minute style of comedy, the film completely understands the mix between the two.

SettingsFancy dinner party away from the world makes for good setting, we also have the standard ideas of having no communication to the outside world giving us the isolation we need.

Special EffectsAll the effects are mixed, the CGI does come off clear but the practical effects all look great.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun creature feature that can be enjoyed by all, it is big, crazy and original in places.

 

Overall: Creature Feature Fans Watch

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Horsemen (2009)

Director: Jonas Akerund

Writer: Dave Callaham (Screenplay)

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Ziyi Zhang, Lo Taylor Pucci, Clifton Collins Jr, Barry Shabaka Henley, Patrick Fugit

 

Plot: A recently widowed detective still grieving over his wife’s death discovers a shocking connection between a serial killing spree and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dark Mystery Thriller

 

Story: Horsemen starts as Detective Aidan Breslin (Quaid) a widower raising his two children Alex (Pucci) and Sean (James), but his quiet life gets thrown wide open when a dish of teeth is found on an ice-covered pond and a woman tortured to death left hanging.

When the bodies continue to be discovered Aidan learns that there is a connection to the four horsemen of the apocalypse, making this or these serial killers a major threat to the city. When one of the killers makes, themselves know Aidan must find the rest of the killers before too many people become their victims.

 

Thoughts on Horsemen

 

Characters/PerformanceDetective Aidan Breslin is your 101 detective, he is grieve his lost loved one and not being there as a father, but he is a brilliant detective. Kristen starts off being one of the victim’s family but soon we learn her true part in everything. Alex is the eldest son of Aidan who has taken the responsibility within the house while still dealing with his own grief of losing his mother.

Performance wise, Dennis Quaid is always a solid lead actor and in this film he goes well throughout the story. Ziyi Zhang does well in one of her first English movies with Lou Taylor Pucci also doing well with his final third of the film being the highlight.

StoryThe story is a dark crime thriller which involved tracking down a serial killer that full believes in their cause. We have seen this style of film before and playing into the religious side of thing isn’t the most original either, but it is all a good watch and has plenty of twists along the way.

Mystery/ThrillerThis film does keep you guessing to just what will happen next and this gets a brilliant payoff in the final act, this does also keep us on edge with some horrific looking kills.

SettingsThe town is fine but doesn’t get used to the full level other than the shock of it happening in the town.

Special EffectsMostly all practical effects we get great effects to show just how methodical the killers are.

Final ThoughtsI do like a good crime serial killer hunting film and this does everything I want without being on the very best level, it kept me guessing until the final moments.

 

Overall: Good little thriller most people missed.

Rating

 

 

Sunshine Cleaning (2008)

sunshineDirector: Christine Jeffs

Writer: Megan Holley (Screenplay)

Starring: Amy Adams, Emily Blunt, Alan Arkin, Jason Spevack, Steve Zahn, Mary Lynn Rajskub, Clifton Collins Jr

 

Plot: In order to raise the tuition to send her young son to private school, a mom starts an unusual business — a biohazard removal/crime scene clean-up service — with her unreliable sister.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charmingly Delightful Comedy Drama

 

Story: Sunshine Cleaning starts as we follow single mother Rose (Adams) who works as a cleaner just to make sure her son Oscar (Spevack) gets everything he needs while dealing with the teachers telling her he needs special attention.

Needing to put her son into a private school Rose works with police officer Mac (Zahn) who sets her up with a job cleaning up crime scenes with her slacker sister Norah (Blunt) and the two-start seeing the money fly in as Sunshine Cleaning business is born.

 

Thoughts on Sunshine Cleaning

 

StoryThe story being told here is a story that shows that people out there will work hard to make the life they want they may need to go through difficult stages of life to reach it. We see two sisters whose lives clearly haven’t gone the way they had planned them out both feeling like they are just grinding to make ends meet rather than having their chance to live. The story is put together perfectly to tell what is needed from the story that can be enjoyed by all.

Comedy/Drama The comedy drama mixes together to make light of the serious side of the story where we can get the laughs coming from everyday life rather than forced life situations. This story will make you laugh, smile and cry with the characters.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters of Rose and Norah are great examples of two sisters struggling through the whole story, we get good laughs from their father looking after Rose’s son but otherwise all the characters do end up feeling like they could all be everyday people. When you look at the performances Adams and Blunt are brilliant as the sister with chemistry to burn between them proving they are two of Hollywood’s heavyweights.

SettingsEach setting is a different crime scene in need of cleaning which is where our characters get to see just the different lives people have lived. The settings are just as important as the two relationship between the sisters which shows the struggles the girls are both going through.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the sweetest and nicest dramas you will see, it is filled with real life struggles everyday people go through.

 

Overall: Brilliant drama that people should go out there way to see.

Ratingcard

 

 

Triple 9 (2016)

triple 9

 

Plot: A gang of criminals and corrupt cops plan the murder of a police officer in order to pull off their biggest heist yet across town.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Too Much Going On

 

Story: Triple 9 starts as we watch our criminal team of Michael (Ejiofor), Marcus (Mackie) Russell (Reedus), Gabe (Paul) and Franco (Collins Jr) who are working for a new Russian force run by Irina Vlaslov (Winslett). The job doesn’t go as smoothly as planned but we learn that these men are actually all cops. Jeffrey Allen (Harrelson) is the man trying to solve the robbery as his nephew Chris (Affleck) starts on the force partnering with Marcus.

When Michael thinks they are out he gets given one last job and to show how serious they are by killing one of the crew. The plan to complete the job is to kill a cop taking all of the police to the wrong side of town while they complete job, but not everything is as it seems.

Triple 9 is a crime thriller that does take away the twists we see too often in these films by instantly telling us we are dealing with corrupt cops. This is something I did like and mostly the only thing I really did like. The film has too many characters in that we are meant to want to follow, mostly all bad people too which doesn’t help us route for anyone to win. I think having too many big names doesn’t help either because we are expecting more scenes for them all. This really does come off as over complicated throughout.

 

Actor Review

 

Chiwetel Ejiofor: Michael is the corrupt cop leading the group of thieves, he has all the communication with Irina due to his relationship with her sister and the child they have together. He has to lead his crew on one final job that has the biggest score of their careers but if they don’t complete the job they will be killed. Chiwetel is good in this leading role showing that he could handle leading such a big cast.

Casey Affleck: Chris is fresh to the department a clean by the book officers with a family, he gets assigned to work under Marcus where the styles quickly clash. Chris finds himself trying to learn the new department only to discover the truth. Casey is good but suffers with lack on screen time for what should be one of the main characters.

Anthony Mackie: Marcus is the second in command still working on the force to keep face and connections in the crime world. He has to become the partner of Chris where he does want to make the unthinkable happen. Anthony is solid going against the Captain America character he has been playing recently.

Woody Harrelson: Jeffrey is the detective from the Major Crimes division that is trying to find the men in the crime team, his nephew is Chris which when he learns the truth proves just how desperate he is to solve the crime. Woody is his ever reliable self in this role without reaching his top levels.

Kate Winslet: Irina is running the crime family while her husband is in jail and this involved getting people to do her dirty work including Michael and his team. Kate is solid in this role but you just never believe her in this villainous role.

Support Cast: Triple 9 has a big supporting cast to go along with the main five, not everyone shines enough to make an impact but also nobody is bad. It was good to see Norman Reedus and Aaron Paul stepping up from the television screens.

Director Review: John HillcoatJohn tries to bring a fresh approach to the crime heist world but then gets everything just too over complicated.

 

Action: Triple 9 has a couple of good action sequences with the raid in the flats and the bank robbery coming off nice.

Crime: Triple 9 puts us in the middle of a crime boss, corrupt cop and honest cops trying to stay ahead of each other.

Thriller: Triple 9 tries to keep us on edge from start to finish but doesn’t keep us truly interested with all of the characters involved.

Settings: Triple 9 doesn’t have any iconic settings used in the film which doesn’t help to make anything memorable.
Special Effects
: Triple 9 has basic effects when it comes to the scenes that need them but again nothing special.

Suggestion: Triple 9 is one to wait till it appears on TV to watch. (TV Viewing)

 

Best Part: Bank robbery.

Worst Part: Too many characters.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $28 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

Tagline: Never forget what side you’re on

 

Overall: Overly complicated crime thriller

Ratingcard