Halloween Kingathon – Hearts in Atlantis (2001)

Banner-3logoDirector: Scott Hicks

Writer: William Goldman (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Anton Yelchin, Hope Davis, Mika Boorem, David Morse, Alan Tudyk, Tom Bower, Celia Weston, Adam LeFevre

Plot: A widowed mother and her son change when a mysterious stranger enters their lives.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Truly Touching Film

Story: Hearts in Atlantis starts an adult Bobby Garfield (Morse) receiving news of a childhood friends death John Sullivan in military service. The bad news continues as Bobby finds out that the other member of the three friends Carol has also died, leaving him to take a trip down memory lane.

Wee move back to when Bobby (Yelchin) was 11 years old with his best friend Carol (Boorem) and Sully. Bobby’s mother Liz (Davis) struggles for money making his birthday present disappointing but he is happy with being able to spend time with his friends. To help with money they rent out a room and their new tenant Ted Brautigan (Hopkins) who comes in full of mystery.

Ted offers Bobby a chance to earn some money by simply reading the newspapers and keeping an eye out for people who are to get him as he knows everyone in town. As the mystery about Ted grows Bobby gets a chance to grow up in a way he never thought it could.friends

Hearts in Atlantis is a drama that brings us the coming of age tale in a subtle manor, it shows how looking back on childhood will be amazing because things will have changed. It also puts us in a position of wondering just whether to believe Ted’s story as we learn about his abilities as it also plays into the ideas of government ideas. Somehow without being the most amazing story this film always gets me with its simple side or just how the little things were important in growing up. I personal really enjoy this one for all those reasons. (8/10)

Actor Review

Anthony Hopkins: Ted Brautigan is the mysterious stranger who moves into the spare room at the Garfield household. He has the ability to read minds but is on the run from something he doesn’t let us know who is after him. Anthony gives us a good performance where we see him in a stable role. (7/10)ted

Anton Yelchin: Bobby Garfield is the 11 year old boy who lives with his single mother who is happy with the friendship he has with Sully and Carol. When Ted moves in he starts to learn life lessons while working on trying to protect him an unknown enemy. Anton shows that he was going to be a bigger star one day. (7/10)bobby

Hope Davis: Liz Garfield is the mother of Bobby who is always struggling for money but we really see she looks after herself when it comes to money. Hope gives a good dimension to this character. (7/10)

Mika Boorem: Carol Gerber is the first love Bobby, they grew up as youngsters and we follow this period of her life with Bobby as they experience the first chapters of the romantic lives. Mika does a good job showing she was going on to something more. (7/10)

Support Cast: Hearts in Atlantis has the supporting character you would expect to see in a coming of age story as well as the old Bobby played by David Morse.

Director Review: Scott HicksScott brings us a beautifully shot film that will touch you. (7/10)

Drama: Hearts in Atlantis uses the coming of age angle for the drama side of the story. (7/10)

Mystery: Hearts in Atlantis does keep you wondering what Ted really has done or his ability. (9/10)

Settings: Hearts in Atlantis re-creates the look of the time period in question well. (7/10)

Suggestion: Hearts in Atlantis is one for all the coming of age movie fans. (Coming of Age Fans Watch)

Best Part: The fun fair scene.

Worst Part: I can never find one.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $31 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

Tagline: What if one of life’s great mysteries moved in upstairs?

Overall: A wonderful coming of age film.

Rating 80

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Horns (2013)

logoDirector: Alexandre Aja

Writer: Keith Bunin (Screenplay) Joe Hill (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Max Minghella, Joe Anderson, Juno Temple, Kelli Garner, James Remar, Kathleen Quinlan, Heather Graham, David Morse


Plot: In the aftermath of his girlfriend’s mysterious death, a young man awakens to find strange horns sprouting from his temples.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Unique Thriller


Story: Horns starts with narration from Ig (Radcliffe) who sees himself as an outsider in his town, but that doesn’t bother him because he is in love with his girlfriend Merrin (Temple). Merrin gets murdered and the whole town believes Ig killed her. Ig has his only friend Lee Tourneau (Minghella) who is trying to prove his innocence while Ig’s family doesn’t know what to believe. Ig wants to know the truth but only seeks help in the bottom of a bottle booze while becoming very destruction.

With the stress of what is happening continuing Ig starts to grow horns becoming the literal image of the devil which the town has painted him as. Ig tries to find answers that only make his day more confusing as everyone he meets seems to give away their deepest and darkest secrets. We get a flashback of the blossoming romance between Ig and Merrin from childhood sweethearts into where they were before her murder.

Ig goes out using his new ability to look for the answers to Merrin’s murder which leads to him cause chaos through the town. As the story continues we learn what really happened on the final night between Ig and Merrin with them breaking up and we see who the murderer really is.

Horns is one of the few films I have gone into not knowing too much about, so I was prepared for pretty much anything. Learning just before I put the disc in who actually wrote the story did manage to make me a lot more interested Joe Hill son of Stephen King. What we ended up getting was a surprisingly interesting thriller that sways the direction you would expect a King story to go, just when you thought you knew what happening everything was got swept away right in front of you. I would like to point out that I did feel the film lack a depth is potential suspects though. I liked how the story manages to mix the flashbacks into the story to show enough to get us to the next stage of the investigation without giving away all the answers too. I think this was one of the film that really seemed to go under the radar when it was released and is certainly a film to see. (8/10)


Actor Review


Daniel Radcliffe: Ig Perrish is the man who is accused of murdering his girlfriend and becomes the literally image of the devil, ig must try and figure out who really killed her and along the way he learns that his perfect world was nothing like he imagined. Daniel is still trying to shake the Harry Potter name that will be attached to him for his whole career, but he does a good job making himself a good character in this thriller. (8/10)


Max Minghella: Lee Tourneau is Ig’s loyal friend and lawyer who is the only one that will defend Ig from the guilty verdict everyone is expecting him to get. Max is going to end up being given the same marks as most of the supporting cast because his character never gets fully developed to the level which is required. (6/10)


Joe Anderson: Terry Perrish is Ig’s brother who spends his life on drugs and playing music, he does look after Ig but his knows more than he lets on about the murder. Joe, much like Max doesn’t get enough time to develop. (6/10)


Juno Temple: Merrin Williams the victim in this story, we get to see how when she started to want something more things become deadly as we have to figure out who killed her. Juno continues to show she can be a good lead supporting character. (7/10)


Support Cast: Horns has a supporting cast that in mainly the people who are accusing Ig of the crime they all paint the town to be very generic and easily misled.


Director Review: Alexandre Aja – Alexandre wakes a step back from his usual horror films that are usually gore filled to give us this very well made film. (8/10)


Fantasy: Horns enters us into the world where turning into the devil could make people do and say anything. (8/10)

Thriller: Horns does really keep you wondering what really happened and who did kill Merrin. (8/10)

Settings: Horns gives us a real small town setting making us feel like the close community would believe what they are being told. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Horns has great special effects for the transformation Ig goes through mixing the practical with the CGI nicely. (8/10)

Suggestion: Horns is one to give a try, I think it shows how a good romantic mystery thriller could go, but I am sure there will be the doubters out there. (Try It)


Best Part: Radcliffe shows how he has left Harry Potter behind.

Worst Part: I felt like it was clear who the killer was early on.

Favourite Quote: Merrin ‘Just love me till the end of my life’.


Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No


Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $3.3 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours

Tagline: Love hurts like hell


Overall: Horns is a beautifully shot romantic mystery thriller that has a secret around every corner.


World War Z (2013)

posterDirector: Marc Forster

Writer: Matthew Michael Carnahan, Drew Goddard, Damon Lindelof (Screenplay) Max Brooks (Book)

Starring: Brad Pitt, Mireille Enos, Daniella Kertesz, James Badge Dale, Ludi Boeken, Matthew Fox, Fana Mokoena, David Morse, Peter Capaldi

Story: Retired United Nations employee Gerry Lane (Pitt) has to use his former connection Thierry (Mokoena) to save his family from a zombie outbreak. Racing against near impossible odds he makes it, but there is a price for his family’s safety. Gerry has to go back into the field and try to discover the origin of the disease. This leads Gerry on a worldwide trip for answers and along the way he meets a string of characters.


Verdict: After reading the book I was unsure how to look at this film especially having a main character unlike the book. In the end it turns out very clever and instead of just trying to copy a story from the book it creates its own encounters with one overviewing character. Due to some high tension throughout you hardly even recognise that you have a huge name actor in the lead role. Another thing that really adds to this story is the range of different characters Gerry meets, each one offer something to his mission along with an alternative theory on what is happening.

Action: Some good chase scenes be it car or on foot (9/10)

Horror: for a zombie film this is more about the survival rather than the very graphic death scene which does take some horror out of the film but still leave you in a horrific scenario (9/10)

Thriller: From the first step of each scene you feel the tension raising each encounter leads to more edge of your seat scenarios much like the books encounters. (10/10)

Special Effects: A lot of CGI but some good effects for the closer encounter scenes (8/10)

Settings: The settings for all the encounters are very different and all have interesting outcomes (9/10)

Suggestion: When it comes to anything with zombies in I usually suggest to all horror fans and not many others, but with this one I feel it could be enjoyed by all action thriller fans too. The main reason for this is that the zombies are very almost PG and even though there are deaths they just are not very graphic, which is usually the turn off for certain viewers. The whole film feeling created is very similar to the aftermath in ‘I Am Legend’ along with the situations created in ‘2012’ so if you enjoyed either of these I feel you will enjoy this. (9/10)

Star Performance: Brad Pitt – pretty much because he holds each scene together even though some of the characters steal parts of scenes it’s his ability to look the part that gets him this pick

Favourite Character: Captain Speke (James Badge Dale) – A very interesting solider who has survived the outbreak with his platoon.  


Best Part: I will pick the bicycle scene because I enjoyed the uniqueness of the idea.

Worst Part: Even though it is one of the best parts the whole zombie building some form of ladder to climb over the wall is very farfetched even for me.

Favourite Quote: ‘Most people don’t believe something can happen until it already has. That’s not stupidity or weakness, that’s just human nature’.

Trivia: Matthew Fox has a bigger role in the film which would have built up to being a human villain in a potential sequel, but due to re-writes his role ended up having only FIVE lines.

Similar Too: I Am Legend

Overall: A thrill ride from start to finish sit back and enjoy the story unfold

Rating 89%