Christmas Weekend – Silent Night (2012)

Director: Steven C Miller

Writer: Jayson Rothwell (Screenplay)

Starring: Malcolm McDowell, Jaime King, Donal Logue, Rick Skene, Ellen Wong

 

Plot: The police force of a remote Midwestern town search for a killer Santa Claus who is picking off citizens on Christmas Eve.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Horror Remake

 

Story: Silent Night starts in this small town where deputy Aubrey Bradimore (King) is forced to work Christmas Eve by Sherriff Cooper (McDowell), the town is overrun by Santa’s but we learn early on that one of them is killing he residents.

As the bodies start to build up Aubrey and Cooper must track down this serial killer Santa that has a past to the town that has caused the vengeful nature of the killer Santa.

 

Thoughts on Silent Night

 

Characters/PerformanceDeputy Bradimore is expecting Christmas off but that changes when she is forced into work, her day gets worse when a serial killer Santa starts killing people and she must face her worries to take down this killer. Sheriff Cooper is the heartless boss of the cops, he expects them to be good at his jobs and will stay loyal to them when they are in danger. The killer Santa is menacing through the film with his increased size making him a threat to anybody who gets in his way.

Performance wise, Malcolm McDowell is always a good for a horror film and he is solid throughout the film. Jaime King continues her run in horror remakes and is solid through the film too. The rest of the cast are fine but most only have the odd scene.

StoryThe original Silent Night Deadly Night is something of a cult classic now and these are the type of horrors you don’t mind getting a remake happen. This time we don’t get enough of the backstory to why the Santa has gone on the rampage, we also don’t have the best written characters as they all come of plain and the kills are all created to try and push some boundaries in the slasher kill list. The strong point is that this all happens over one day.

Comedy/Horror/MysteryCertain parts of the film will give you a laugh, this does include some of the kills too, the horror side is all slasher and a joy for the fans but does lack any suspense. The mystery comes into this one as we want to know why he is killing people.

SettingsThe small town setting does make for a good choice because the cops all know the victims and understand the trauma the families would be going through.

Special EffectsLooking at the effects the practical kills are good throughout but a couple of shots look very awkward CGI.

Final ThoughtsThis is one for all the slasher horror fans to enjoy, I can’t see a mainstream audience wanting to see this film. most of the kills are not Christmas related which you feel is part of the ongoing joke of this style of film too.

 

Overall: Drunk Slashing Enjoyment.

Rating

 

 

Blade (1998)

logoDirector: Stephen Norrington

Writer: David S. Goyer (Screenplay)

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Stephen Dorff, Kris Kristofferson, N’Bushe Wright, Donal Logue, Udo Kier, Arly Jover, Traci Lords, Kevin Patrick Walls, Wim Guinee, Sanaa Lathan

 

Plot: In a world where vampires walk the earth, Blade has a goal. His goal is to rid the world of all vampire evil. When Blade witnesses a vampire bite Dr. Karen Jenson, he fights away the beast and takes Jenson back to his hideout. Here, alongside Abraham Whistler, Blade attempts to help heal Jenson. The vampire Quinn who was attacked by Blade, reports back to his master Deacon Frost, who is planning a huge surprise for the human population.

 

Verdict: Sword Swinging Fun

 

Story: When Blade hit the screens it ushered in a new genre for the vampire film. We had been having gothic for decades and we had entered into the teen side of the story. We also ended up being introduced to an anti-hero in Blade who seems to do the right thing but the wrong way. As the story goes we have a young none pure blood vampire Deacon Frost who wants to take over from the pure bloods and their traditions. This means using Blade to get what he wants, a chase to unleash a vampire god. It is all very much comic book style with plenty of action to complete a solid story. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Wesley Snipes: Blade half-blood vampire who loses some of the weaknesses of a normal vampire but possesses all their strengths. He fights the vampires to protect the humans and with his skills most vampires don’t stand a chance. Good performance from Wesley who really creates an icon in the already heavily populated vampire genre. (9/10)

 blade

Stephen Dorff: Deacon Frost young cocky vampire who was once human, but has risen in the ranks and now officially wants to take over the vampire underworld. He is trying to raise his own army to unleash a vampire god. Good villain performance who help introduce Blade before he steps up to bigger villains. (8/10)

deacon

Kris Kristofferson: Whistler helper of Blade who helps build the next set of weapons to face the vampires. He has a dark back story which fuels his vengeance against the vampires. Good supporting performance who helps fill in information as Blade is a man of very little words. (8/10)

 whitstler

N’Bushe Wright: Karen doctor who gets bitten and that Blade tries to save before she turns. She becomes helpful for the good fight by offering a way to get survive before turning. Good supporting performance in role where she isn’t just the helpless victim. (7/10)

 karen

Donal Logue: Quinn Deacon’s first in command that constantly gets left for dead by Blade, he goes through the most punishment through the film but in the end gets what’s coming to him. Good support performance who gains most of the laughs. (7/10)

 quinn

Director Review: Stephen Norrington – Good direction to help bring the vampire genre into the action genre. (8/10)

 

Action: Plenty of fights which all use great combat, including swords and guns. (9/10)

Horror: Though the action is good the horror side of the story decreases as we focus too much on the action and not on the horror. (3/10)

Settings: Each setting is used well to create a vampire hideout, be it a seeded night club, underground temple or a high rise where Deacon wishes to be. (7/10)
Special Effects
: Solid special effects with the vampire deaths. (8/10)

Suggestion: This is a film to be watched by all, it had plenty of entertainment throughout and will be enjoyed by all. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Final Battle

Worst Part: Loses a lot of horror which you would expect in a vampire film.

Action Scene Of The Film: The final fight.

Funniest Scene: Train Scene

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has two films and a television series.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $131 Million

Budget: $45 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours

Tagline: The power of an immortal. The soul of a human. The heart of a hero.

 

Overall: Great Action Vampire Film

Rating 80

The Lodger (2009)

logoDirector: David Ondaatje

Writer: David Ondaatje (Screenplay) Marie Belloc (Book)

Starring: Alfred Molina, Hope Davis, Shane West, Donal Logue, Philip Baker Hall, Rachael Leigh Cook, Rebecca Pidgeon, Simon Baker

 

Plot: A couple rents out a room to a mysterious young man, who may or may not be guilty of a series of grisly neighborhood murders.

 

Verdict: Put Your Detective Hat On

 

Story: We follow two detectives are they try to figure out who killed a hooker and whether it is connected to a previous closed case about a serial killer. We also follow a struggling couple as they rent a room to a mystery stranger who requires privacy. We see how the lead detective’s personally life was put through hell because of the previous case and now things could go bad for him again. He must work with a new detective to figure out the truth before the killer takes more lives.

This one tries to keep you guessing all along with who the killer is, the only problem is, that if the cops are to be the one the lodger storyline is pointless. Just when you think you might have solved it, it throws the theory out the window. It does have small side story that poses the question about whether capital punishment should happen. It uses the idea of a Jack the Ripper copycat well trying suggests the idea that someone could one day happen. This turns into an interesting thriller that keeps you attention but in the end throws out one too many twists. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Alfred Molina: Chandler Manning detective who thought he had solved the crimes seven years before, but now the killer is back and he is left to question everything he did and find the new killer. He also has to battle his own personal demons which happened because of the first case. Solid performance from Alfred, who plays the broken detective very well. (7/10)

 

Hope Davis: Ellen Bunting lonely housewife who spends all her looking after her house, while her husband works and looking after the new lodger. Good performance from Hope. (7/10)

 

Shane West: Street Wilkenson new detective who comes in to work with Chandler and ends up being part of the big case, but he ends up not being sure who he can trust. Good performance letting the other characters do the extra work whiles his studies. (7/10)

 

Donal Logue: Joe Bunting husband to Ellen who spends most of his time out the house making him look like a prime suspect in the murder investigation. Solid performance from Donal. (7/10)

 

Simon Baker: Malcolm the mysterious lodger who comes in the Bunting’s life, he wants to be left alone and only deals with Ellen. Good performance creating the mysterious figure. (7/10)

 

Director Review: David Ondaatje – Solid direction to keep us guessing about what is happening and who the murderer is. (7/10)

 

Crime: Uses the mystery behind a crime to keep the story going. (10/10)

Mystery: Really keeps you wondering who the killer is. (9/10)

Thriller: You do end up wanting to know who the killer is but you have to figure out everything which could be a bit too much. (8/10)

Settings: The settings all come off like regular crime location which doesn’t help the murders stand out. (7/10)

Suggestion: This is one for the crime fans to try, they mind find it too much because there are too many twists and turns, but having multiply suspects helps keep everything interesting. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The mystery.

Worst Part: Final Twist

Believability: Having copycat killers happens but will they be like this? (4/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

Tagline: Everyone Is Suspect

 

Overall: Twists & Turns Galore

Rating 71

 

Max Payne (2008)

logoDirector: John Moore

Writer: Beau Thorne (Screenplay) Sam Lake (Video Game Characters)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Beau Bridges, Ludacris, Chris O’Donnell, Donal Logue, Amaury Nolasco, Kate burton, Olga Kurylenko

 

Plot: Three years ago, NYPD detective Max Payne (Wahlberg) wife and baby were murdered. Max gets himself transferred to the cold case office where he can continue searching for the killer who got away. He’s a loner, but two people reach out to him during a fateful week. Alex (Logue) his ex-partner who may have found a clue and BB (Bridges), the security chief at the pharmaceutical company where Max’s wife worked. Meanwhile bodies are piling up, some as a result of a drug on the street that is highly addictive and for many who take it brings hideous hallucinations. When one of the bodies is a woman Payne was the last to see alive her sister Mona (Kunis) comes looking for him armed to the teeth. Max must move fast.

 

Verdict: Video Game Action success?

Story: Having never played the games or even knowing anything about the games I could really see this fresh as an action fan. I was expecting some form of supernatural side to the story but I was wrong. It is just a revenge thriller that has lots of action and very little dialogue. Most of the support characters have very little development and are each only used to pass on a small part of the story. In the end as a standalone action film it is switch the mind of acceptable. (6/10)

 

Actor Review: Mark Wahlberg – Max Payne the determined cop who wants to truth who ends up getting caught up in something bigger than he could have ever imagined. Solid from Mark but the fans of the games will dislike what he does to the character. (7/10)

 max

Actor Review: Mila Kunis – Mona from the more underworld side of the city she ends up teaming up with Max to take down the people responsible for the death of their loved ones. I think this was a bit too early in her career, she looks a little bit out of place, and maybe she could return for a sequel and use what she has learned. (4/10)

mila

Actor Review: Beau Bridges – BB Hensley friend of Max who was also good friends with his wife, he tries to help but ultimately is the guy responsible for everything that has driven Max. Good but nothing special performance. (6/10)

 

Actor Review: Ludacris – Jim the internal affairs officer trying to figure out what the corruption in the Police could change how they look at crimes being committed in the town. Another guy who was in a role that is hard to believe too early in his acting career, he tries but it just doesn’t quite some off for him. (5/10)

 ludicrus

Actor Review: Chris O’Donnell – Jason a former work colleague of Max’s wife, knows more than he is letting on. Good supporting role that is good use for information only. (5/10)

 

Actor Review: Donal Logue – Alex ex-partner who tries to reconnect after discovering a new clue about Max’s wife’s murder. Only a small role but the look of a desperate friend works well. (6/10)

 

Actor Review: Amaury Nolasco – Jack a man that spends a lot of time watching what is going on with Max and Mona, but he does have a motive, but we never know what he final motive is. Good supporting role used well to create a target for Max. (6/10)

amruay

Director Review: John Moore – Simple direction used to create plenty of over the top action for the more casual fan to enjoy. (6/10)

 

Action: Plenty of gun fights throughout, I really don’t know how many bullets they must have used. (9/10)

Crime: Simple crime aspects used nothing truly original though. (6/10)

Thriller: Tries to pull of some thrills but doesn’t really succeed. (6/10)

Special Effects: Good special effects for the hallucination scenes and gun battles. (9/10)

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Dark settings used to create a very dark world similar to the story they are in. (8/10)

 

Suggestion: This is really one to try I can’t say it is very original and like most video game films isn’t the most popular compared to the games. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Gun rights.

Worst Part: poor support character development.

Action Scene Of The Film: The office gun battle

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: Do to the poor box office it would be a no.

 

Overall: Video Game Action, You Know What You Are Getting

Rating 56