The Unborn (2009)

Director: David S Goyer

Writer: David S Goyer (Screenplay)

Starring: Odette Annable, Gary Oldman, Cam Gigandet, Meagen Good, Idris Elba, Jane Alexander

 

Plot: A young woman fights the spirit that is slowly taking possession of her.


Tagline – Evil will do anything to live.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Fast Paced Horror

 

Story: The Unborn starts when young woman Casey (Annable) starts seeing visions and getting warnings about someone wanting to be born, with her best friend Romy (Good) and her boyfriend Mark (Gigandet) Casey starts to investigate and learns that she did in fact have a twin brother who died in the womb.

When Casey turns to a friend of her mother’s she learns about a spirit that is trying to find his way into the real world and she must turn to Rabbi Sendak (Oldman) for answers and a potential cure from the possession.

 

Thoughts on The Unborn

 

Characters – Casey is a young woman that seems to have a normal life until one day she starts seeing visions, getting strange messages, she must research her past to protect her future, a past that is filled with pain and loss as well as a secret she would never be prepared for. We do follow Casey for most part of this film, the problem with her character is that we don’t learn anything about her before the unusual starts happening, is she a good or bad person, we learn nothing, it just starts with her being visited. Rabbi Sendak is the man Casey must turn to for help, he understands how the exorcizing would need to be done while offering the basic advice to Casey before stepping in himself. Mark is the boyfriend, that is about all we learn about him, he isn’t as supportive of the supernatural side of the events. Romy is the best friend, she will help on everything Casey is going through in an attempt to save her friend from the evil haunting her.

PerformancesOdette Annable is the perfect fit for the leading role, she is a beautiful woman whose life is falling apart, she has a good horror scream and you believe it when she is scared. Gary Oldman, well the guy needs to make money, he does bring class to the role even in his limited role. Cam Gigandet is fine without doing too much Meagan Good gives us the only laughs in the film without being anything great in the supporting role.

StoryThe story here follows one young woman that gets starts getting haunted by visions of a young boy and must figure out how to rid herself of this haunting. This story doesn’t take long to start with us going instantly into the first haunting and this pace doesn’t seem to let off, we are constantly going from moment of scares or explanation to what is causing the haunting. This hinders the story because we don’t get a chance to learn anything about the characters we are meant to be supporting, mostly Casey we know nothing about her or what her everyday life is, making it harder to support her. The story follows the horror genre with ease and is saved by a strong twist ending.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in the film comes from jump scares, well attempted jump scares, most of the horror happens in the dark and is a small child haunting Casey, it does the basics well, though it won’t get the hardcore horror fan to jump. The mystery is more interesting as we must learn the truth about the haunting which goes in direction you wouldn’t see coming.

SettingsThe film is set in Chicago which only adds to the horror because of the big city feeling to everything Casey is experience showing that even in the biggest crowd people could suffer possessional activity.

Special EffectsThe effects have good moments, we the body folding moments being the highlights of the effects which gives us more towards the horror in the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Sofi’s last night.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not learning anything about who or what these people do in everyday life.

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic horror that gets the scares done simply, gives us weakly written characters and could pass the time simply enough.

 

Overall: Simple late night horror.

Rating

 

 

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Ron Perlman Weekend – Blade II (2002)

Director: Guillermo del Torro

Writer: David S Goyer (Screenplay) Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan (Characters)

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kirstofferson, Ron Perlman, Leonor Varela, Norman Reedus, Thomas Kretschmann, Luke Goss, Donnie Yen

 

Plot: Blade forms an uneasy alliance with the vampire council in order to combat the Reapers, who are feeding on vampires.


Tagline – One Man Still Has The Edge

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Blood-Soaked Sequel

 

Story: Blade II starts as a new breed of vampire Nomak (Goss) hunts down vampires for feed, meanwhile Blade (Snipes) has unfinished business with the vampires, he wants Whistler (Krisofferson) back after he was turned and taken from him. Once Whistler is saved, Blade returns him to the human form with his new assistant Scud (Reedus).

When the Vampire council approach Blade to help them stop the Reaper strain Nomak is carrying, Blade must team up with the Blood Pack led by Nyssa (Varela) and including Reinhardt (Perlman), Snowman (Yen) and Chupa (Schulze) to put aside their difference to defeat the newest enemy to them both.

 

Thoughts on Blade II

 

Characters – Blade, daywalker, the half human, half vampire is continuing his battle against vampires, but this time he learns of a new threat the Reapers, who are deadlier than any vampire he has face, so he must unite with the vampires to defeat them. Still as deadly as before, with sword or guns, no vampire can just defeat him. Whistler returns only this time Blade must help him to recover, which leaves us wondering which side of the battle he will be on through the movie. Reinhardt is a member of the Bloodpack, he is the one that hates working with Blade, his sworn enemy for years. He shows his discontent while be one of the best soldiers in the unit. Nyssa is the daughter of Damaskinos, a pure blood vampire and leader of the Bloodpack, she becomes a Love interest for Blade in a strange turn of events. Scud has filled the Whistler role for Blade in his hunt, he creates the weapons needed to defeat the enemies while mostly being a slob for the most part. Damaskinos is the leader of the vampire council, he brings the rivals together to try and end the war. Nomak is the reaper terrorising the streets, he is the first of his creation and now deadly to anyone who he infects.

PerformancesWesley Snipes will always be remembered for this role, it is his most iconic and the one the fans enjoy watching. Here he does everything needed to continue making it people’s favourite. Kristofferson on the other hand does feel like he is mailing it in for the most part. Ron Perlman does the best to try and steal the spotlight bring the few moments of humour to the film. Leonor Varela is good as the only major female character in the film and does have a good opening fight sequence with Blade. Luke Goss is good as the villain showing us the sympathetic side and the brutal side of his character. The rest of the cast are good through the film.

StoryThe story puts our hero Blade needing to team up with his enemy to take on a new enemy, this does work because we didn’t need to see Blade just take on more normal vampires, we needed to up the stakes and the new breed does this. We also get the tension between the two sides with the common enemy, needing to trade secrets to make things happen. We must remember this is a comic book movie, so we need things to be farfetched at time too. We have the traditional twists you would come to expect at times too.

Action/HorrorThe action is fun, we have great fighting sequences, but certain moments feel like a video game. The horror uses the vampires for the blood filled violence moments in the film.

SettingsThe settings show us the dark underworld you would imagine vampires would live in, the new breed in the sewers shows us how they are starting at the bottom looking to raise to the top too.

Special EffectsThe effects for the kills are good throughout, the effects for the fight scenes are at times seems poor CGI.


Scene of the Movie –
Sewer invasion.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Donnie Yen’s characters death, wasted opportunity.

Final ThoughtsThis was a fun comic book action horror, we get plenty of blood flying around with plenty of kills going on which will keep the fans happy.

 

Overall: Great sequel for an iconic character.

Rating

 

 

Jean-Claude Van Damme Weekend – Death Warrant (1990)

Director: Deran Sarafian

Writer: David S Goyer (Screenplay)

Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Robert Guillaume, Cynthia Gibb, George Dickerson, Art LaFleur, Patrick Kilpatrick

 

Plot: In a violent and corrupt prison, decorated cop Louis Burke must infiltrate the jail to find answers to a number of inside murders. What he finds is a struggle of life and death tied in to his own past.


Tagline – In “Bloodsport” and “Kickboxer” he won it all, now there are no rules, no escape, and NOBODY’S playing games!

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Action Film

 

Story: Death Warrant starts as we meet the Canadian detective Louis Burke (Van Damme) who has tracked down serial killer The Sandman (Kilpatrick) who killed his partner. 16 months later Burke is assigned to go undercover inside a prison to solve a string of murders coming from within it.

Inside the prison Burke learns who to trust with Hawkins (Guillaume) being someone he wants to trust, the warden Sergeant DeGraf (LaFleur) having a strict rule through the prison and the gangs running the riots in shadows. Burke uses all his fighting skills to stay alive and solve the murders in a style only he could.

 

Thoughts on Death Warrant

 

Characters – Burke is the determined never say die attitude cop that gets assigned to go undercover in a prison to solve a series of murders happening inside. He must fight to survive against all enemies wanting to kill him. Hawkins is the ears to ground prisoner that Burke wants to work with, he has his own problems with the racial divide within the prison too. Amanda is the rookie agent that assigned to work with Burke from the outside, this is a big case for her and she learns a lot from working with Burke.

PerformancesJean-Claude Van Damme is the star of the film, we are only invested because we want to see him kick ass and he does that. The rest of the cast fit their roles which is good without any of them trying to out shine the star.

StoryThe story is a good simple story to follow, it is a cop going undercover to figure out who is behind a string of murders only to find himself uncovering something much bigger. We know the story isn’t going to be the main focus here which is fine, but it does give us enough time to keep guessing about where the film will end up going.

Action/Crime/MysteryVan Damme brings the action we want to see as he fights the countless amounts of enemies in search for the truth. There is a crime mystery to be solved but this can take the back burner to watching Van Damme fight.

SettingsVan Damme side of the story is inside the prison which is good as we see how he must doubt everyone on all sides, anything outside the prison does solve part of the mystery but is largely forgettable.


Scene of the Movie –
Burke versus the Sandman the final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We could have more focus on the crime story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a typical easy to watch Van Damme movie, lacking the story but is full of the action that entertains.

 

Overall: Easy to watch throughout.

Rating

 

 

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016)

casting card

 

Plot: Fearing the actions of Superman are left unchecked, Batman takes on the man of steel, while the world wrestles with what kind of a hero it really needs. With Batman and Superman fighting each other, a new threat, Doomsday, is created by Lex Luthor. It’s up to Superman and Batman to set aside their differences along with Wonder Woman to stop Lex Luthor and Doomsday from destroying Metropolis.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Start Big Finish

 

Story: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice starts with yet another brief origin story for Bruce Wayne as we see his parents killed yet again, but at least this is just through the opening credits. Bruce Wayne (Affleck) is now just a business man but while Superman (Cavill) is fight Zod from Man of Steal he just so happens to be destroying Metropolis.

18 Months have passed since the events of Man of Steel and Lois (Adams) is still journalist looking to interview war criminals where Superman is using his abilities for good, but the world doesn’t see him as good with Senator Finch (Hunter) seeing the consequences of his actions.

Batman is now fighting crime in his own where with Alfred (Irons) helping his operation where Batman knows they are criminals and is happy to brand the criminals he catches while he prepares himself for the day Superman goes too far. This film does need a villain right well here is Lex Luthor (Eisenberg) a brilliant scientist businessman who has uncovered the weakness behind Superman.

So being forty minutes in we are left with Bruce Wayne playing detective in a case that leads him to Lex Luthor where he gets invited to a party with all of the players including Clark Kent and Diana Prince (Gadot) attending.

All this plays out in a very slow building hour to find out that Bruce Wayne is trying to track down his own weapon to use on Superman thee very same one that Lex Luthor is after but Bruce wants revenge for the lives lost in Superman’s battle. All this is leading to the battle between the two while they both miss the enemy standing right in front of them in Lex Luthor.

Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is a film that I could easily have plenty of hate but I do think it has good and bad parts. First the good, the story of a film that does look at consequences of the destruction unlike many of superhero films that just look over it at times. Lex Luthor’s plan is great because it is the first time a villain has turned too good guys against each other which such ease.

As for the bad side is that everything is very slow with the build-up as we see detective side of the story from Batman. With the new Batman I do understand this is a new universe new version but isn’t the point of Batman not to kill bad guys but he doesn’t seem to care. While the final look stunning it is yet again just a mega destruction scene that feels forced to bring the two back on the same side as well as just forcing Wonder Woman into the franchise. I also feel a lot of the themes as in whether we should allow a hero to stay on Earth or whether we need a hero has been handled in many films including X-Men and Transformers before and this adds very little to the discussion.

While all of this might be looking into too much of the story I feel this is overly long but still a good starting point for the next franchise giving us 3 heroes and a villain that is the closest to a Joker figure we have seen in a long time.

 

Actor Review

 

Ben Affleck: Bruce Wayne/Batman as Bruce Wayne he is trying to track down a way to kill Superman after the damaged he caused during Man of Steel. He has turned into a full blown detective only using his Batman suit to take down the people involved. It isn’t long before he clashes with Superman but ultimately it is his acceptance that heroes can’t save everyone now. He clashes with Superman but unaware of the real villain behind everything. Ben is good in this role taking over the cape from Bale and suits the older looking Bruce but isn’t going to be remember for being good or bad.bat

Henry Cavill: Clark Kent/Superman as Clark he is now just a journalist and boyfriend to Lois but as Superman he has the world divided on whether he is a good or even needed on Earth. He continues to do the right thing when he can but finds himself drawn to the Batman around Gotham as he doesn’t believe in the way he is going about things. He becomes the enemy of the world once framed but will he realize who the true enemy is before it is too late. Henry is solid yet again but Superman is just a very plain character.superman

Amy Adams: Lois is still the journalist that will take all the risks to uncover the story, he relationship with Clark Kent and Superman will be her greatest weakness as the story will tell once one man knows the truth. Amy is good but we just don’t see enough of her smartest good side character in the film.

Jesse Eisenberg: Lex Luthor is a genius that has learnt about the weakness in Superman, he plays all of his business skills to put him in a position to get everything he needs to defeat him. He is truly a mastermind in this world as he puts together all the pieces leading to the battle between Batman and Superman. Jesse is fantastic in this role easily the best and mostly the only good thing in this movie.lex

Support Cast: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has the supporting cast you expect, the returning members of the Man of Steel world, the recasting of the Batman side with Jeremy Irons being hilarious and Wonder Woman getting her first outing.

Director Review: Zack SnyderZack continues to do these wildly over the top action sequence with plenty of destruction that makes little to know sense in the universe created but does know how to create the mystery side about it all.

 

Action: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has the action we have come to know from Snyder, crash bang wallop destroying as much as possible.

Fantasy: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice brings us into a fantasy world where we have to see the superheroes and Batman fight an unkillable villain that can be killed.

Sci-Fi: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has aliens in and made fight unrealistic fights.

Superhero: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice puts us in the world of superheroes and villains and Batman building up to something bigger.

Settings: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is set in the main two cities and quite happy to destroy them and magically rebuild them a day later.
Special Effects
: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice has the effects you would expect to see without doing too much original.

Suggestion: Batman v Superman: Dawn of Justice is one the fan boys will love but it will soon be forgotten in the world of comic book films. (Fan Boys Watch)

 

Best Part: Jesse Eisenberg is a great villain.

Worst Part: Too many attempts at the puns/references to previous films that Deadpool was pulling off with ease.

Action Scene Of The Film: Car chase.

Funniest Scene: Jeremy Irons.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Yes

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $250 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 31 Minutes

 

Overall: An over the top comic book action film that is nothing special.

Ratingcard

 

 

Jennifer Connelly Weekend – Dark City (1998)

logoDirector: Alex Proyas

Writer: Alex Proyas, Lem Dobbs, David S Goyer (Screenplay) Alex Proyas (Story)

Starring: Rufus Sewell, William Hurt, Kiefer Sutherland, Jennifer Connelly, Richard O’Brien, Ian Richardson, Bruce Spence, Colin Friels, John Bluthal, Melissa George

Plot: A man struggles with memories of his past, including a wife he cannot remember, in a nightmarish world with no sun and run by beings with telekinetic powers who seek the souls of humans.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: One of the Best

Story: Dark City starts when John Murdoch (Sewell) wakes up in a bath tub, no memory of where or why he is there. A phone call from Dr Schreber (Sutherland) alerts John on impending threat of people tracking him down Mr Hand (O’Brien), Mr Book (Richardson) and Mr Wall (Spence). John is searching for his memory as Dr Schreber contacts his wife Emma (Connelly) and Inspector Frank Bumstead (Hurt) is investigating the dead body in the hotel room Murdoch awoke in.

Searching for the truth John finds himself not knowing who to trust, having no idea where to turn for help but his biggest surprise in Dark City will leave John in total shock.

Dark City brings us one of the greatest sci-fi twist filled story lines of all time, we look at the idea of alien beings trying to understand humans by creating a seperate world for them to play with them. The way this film can create this around the same time at The Matrix and by mixing the town to look like what Inception went on to master. I do feel this could be slightly before its time because it could be ground breaking to a new level.

Actor Review

Rufus Sewell: John Murdoch is our hero who wakes up without a memory, he must retrace the footsteps while avoiding the people who are after him taking advice where it is given to him as he learns the terrifying truth about the Dark City. Rufus does a good job in this leading role where he get to see him question everything going on.john

William Hurt: Inspector Frank Bumstead is the lead detective looking for the killer of this ladies of the night, he doesn’t understand the bigger picture and will be left just as shocked as Murdoch when he discovers it. William gives us a good supporting performance as the man trying to join forces to understand what is going on.

Kiefer Sutherland: Dr Daniel P Schreber is the man working for the people controlling what is happening in the city, he learns of John’s abilities where he tries to help break him out while keeping face with the beings running the city. Kiefer gives us a good performance in this role where he is playing both sides of the fence to keep himself safe.doc

Jennifer Connelly: Emma Murdoch is the wife of John, or so we are lead to believe in a world where he simple don’t know what to believe. She tries to figure out if John is the murderer while being track by Frank. Jennifer gives us a solid supporting performance but doesn’t get enough screen time for the characters requirements.emma

Richard O’Brien: Mr Hand is the being who is leading the hunt for John, he doesn’t accept that John could have the same powers as him but will not let his people pay for any mistakes. Richard does make for a good villain and as he hunts it a comes off nicely for the character motives.

Support Cast: Dark City has a supporting cast that is the humans and the beings that control the world, they all come together well to make this a sci-fi film that will forever get stuck in the cult history books.

Director Review: Alex ProyasAlex brings us this hugely ambitious sci-fi film that will be considered one of the most underrated of all time.

Fantasy: Dark City brings us into a fantasy world that they don’t give everything away too much away.

Sci-Fi: Dark City brings us a brilliant sci-fi concept that hasn’t been challenged since.

Thriller: Dark City keeps us guessing to where the story will end up going throughout.

Settings: Dark City creates a setting which looks like an everyday for the people but also has a secret without us knowing.
Special Effects: Dark City has brilliant special effects that show just how ambitious the story really is.

Suggestion: Dark City is one to watch I think they need to see it at least once. (Watch)

Best Part: Ambitious idea

Worst Part: Slightly before itself time.

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $27 Million

Budget: $27 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline: You are not who you think you are

Trivia: Roger Ebert called this movie the Best Film of 1998. He recorded a special audio commentary track for the dvd release of the movie.

Overall: One of the best sci-fi films ever made that will keep you guessing throughout.

Ratingcad