Sylvester Stallone Weekend – The Expendables (2010)

Director: Sylvester Stallone

Writer: Sylvester Stallone, Dave Callaham (Screenplay)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Jason Statham, Jet Li, Dolph Lundgren, Eric Roberts, Randy Couture, Steve Austin

 

Plot: A CIA operative hires a team of mercenaries to eliminate a Latin dictator and a renegade CIA agent.


Tagline – Every movie has a hero. This one has them all.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mindlessly Entertaining Action Film

 

Story: The Expendables starts as we get to see Barney Ross (Stallone) and his team Lee (Statham), Yin (Li), Gunner (Lundgren), Toll (Couture) and Hale (Crews) eliminate a threat, to show just how capable they are at dealing with international threats.

Once home Barney is given a new assignment, to take out General Garza (Zayas) and James Munroe (Roberts) who are controlling an asset the government require, this soon turns into the five-man army taking on a full army.

 

Thoughts on The Expendables

 

Characters – Barney Ross is the leader of the mercenaries, he does play by a rule book, which sees him needing make a difficult decision with one of his team. He takes the latest job once he realizes that sometimes the impossible can make a big difference being a better all-around combat asset. Lee Christmas is Barney’s second in command, the one that Barney will turn to most, during this story he finds himself having lady problems and shows a man what will happen if you beat one up, he is also the knife expert on the team. Yin is the smallest member of the team, he is the martial artist of the team and is always worried about enough money for his family. Gunner is the member of the team which gets kicked out because he wants too much brutality in the missions, he has a drug problem which needs to be cleaned up before he could ever be considered back on the team. Eric Roberts is the businessman that has taken over the island, he is paying for everything even if it makes enemies out of the locals, he will strike fear into them with fear. Paine is the strongest member of Munroe’s team, he has been waiting for a challenge which Barney and his team will offer him.

PerformancesThis movie does have an all-star cast of action heroes, Sylvester Stallone does take centre stage here and does what he knows how to be, a lead action star, Jason Statham does this too, with a little more subtle side to his outside the business performance. These two both get the best action moments in the film. Jet Li does well with the action, but gets wasted outside of these moments, while Dolph Lundgren does what he can with a character that does have plenty more to offer to this film. Eric Roberts fits the generic villainous role, he doesn’t get enough time to make his character as memorable as he could have been.

StoryThe story follows a group of mercenaries that are hired to solve the militant control of a small island in the Gulf of Mexico. When it comes to the story, we don’t need too much, this film is more designed to show of the action stars of the movie industry. By keeping everything on the simple side we get an enjoyable story to see unfold, though it would have been nice to get some sort of character development about the crew. This story is easy to watch without ever needing to test us.

Action/AdventureThe action in the film is wildly over the top with a mix of guns, knives and hand to hand combat, all you would want from the cast we have here. The adventure side of the film does take our crew to a new island that they haven’t heard of before to make the events of the film happen.

SettingsThe film mixes the home that the men have back in America with the island that needs freeing, showing how they can and will adapt to any landscape they are placed in.


Scene of the Movie –
Fly by.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t get enough Jet Li.

Final ThoughtsThis is one movie that is purely for the action fans, it goes well over the top and deliveries you favourite action stars doing what they do best, shooting gun and fighting.

 

Overall: Fun Filled Action Film.

Rating

 

 

The Bunker: Project 12 (2018)

Director: Jaime Falero

Writer: Joaquin Sanchez, Jaime Falero (Screenplay)

Starring: James Cosmo, Joaquin Sanchez, Natasha Alam, Eric Roberts, Timothy Gibbs, Tony Corvillo

 

Plot: The Russians scrap a dangerous scientific project designed to change the course of history. A manhunt ensues after they unsuccessfully attempt to exterminate all the scientists involved in the top secret project.


Tagline – Outpost meets Terminator

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Action sci-Fi 101

 

Story: The Bunker: Project 12 starts as we learn about three scientists that escaped a secret Sovient Union experiment, now in the modern time Tabeel (Sanchez) leads a team including Irina (Alam), Alan (Corvillo) and other are hired by business tycoon Henderson (Roberts) to locate Brian Balanowsky (Cosmo) one of those scientists for a secret experiment of their own.

As Brian guides the team through the bunker for the research, he must face the past while revealing the secrets that will end up trying to eliminate the team.

 

Thoughts on The Bunker: Project 12

 

Characters – Brian Balanowsky is a former Russian scientist, gone into hiding after the projects were closed down, when he is located years later, he is forced to guide a team into the bunkers to bring out his research. He is a reluctant scientist who knows what he created was wrong. Tabeel is the leader of the team, he keeps the team in line refusing to let them cross the line and risk each other’s lives. Irina is another member of the team, she starts out strong just like the rest of the team, but soon she just becomes another one running for safety. Henderson is the man funding the search, he does have his own reasons for being involved.

PerformancesIn the performances we get a couple of big names in James Cosmo and Eric Roberts who are both reliable for any project and this is no different. It is the members of the team that are looking to make an impact with Joaquin Sanchez doing well as the leader of the team. The rest of the team does feel interchangeable with nobody standing out from the crowd.

StoryThe story of secret experiments from different countries is always going to be able to create an interesting motivation in a story, in this one we see what the Russians had been working on during the Cold War with a team entering one of the abandoned bunkers in search of the research. This plays out how you would imagine with the team being able to tackle the situation only to realize that things are much deadlier than they could imagine. You can see the comparisons to ‘Outpost’ as that movie gave us an experiment that left a team facing the odds to survive. If you are going to be looking for anything overly fresh from a story, you will be disappointed and the extra added twists feel forced more than anything.

Action/Sci-FiThe action in the film comes from the big shoot outs between the team and what is in the bunker, the weapons become bigger as the film unfolds, the sci-fi side of the film shows us just how certain experiments would have been going on during the Cold War.

SettingsOnce we hit the bunker we have a nice contained location which only has one way in or out, this does help us feel like the battle for life or death is more realistic.

Special EffectsThe effects are solid enough, the creations look good with the only weakness in them coming from their eyes.


Scene of the Movie –
The first introduction of the creation.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The extra twist is too much.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting action sci-fi film that does borrow from certain other movies, anything to do with the secret experiments is always entertaining to watch.

 

Overall: Simple action sci-fi movie.

Rating

 

 

Hide in the Light (2018)

Director: Mikey McGregor

Writer: Cynthia Bravo, Gonzalo Digenio, Mikey McGregor (Screenplay)

Starring: Alexis Sterling, Jesse James, Clayton Snyder, David Kaye, Mercy Malick, Chandler Massey, Lindsay Lamb

 

Plot: An adventurous group of friends dare to break into the abandoned orphanage and quickly find themselves trapped and fighting against unnatural forces.


Tagline – Trapped in the famous Witch’s House, a group of urban explorers soon realize that a thirsty demon hides in the shadows awaiting for new souls.

Runtime: 1 Hour 18 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Haunted Abandoned Building Done Correctly

 

Story: Hide in the Light starts as the Urban Explorers group including Kate (Sterling) who picked this location, Adam (Kaye), Todd (James), Shane (Massey), Ryan (Snyder), Becca (Jones), Eric (Jones), Karen (Bravo) and Tiff (Schwartz) head to a former orphanage which mysteriously closed down in the 60s.

As the night goes on the friends investigate the many rooms to learn the truth about what happened, leaving them to battle against an evil force surrounded the mysterious Amanda, one of the orphans in the home.

 

Thoughts on Hide in the Light

 

Characters – The characters are large group of Urban Explorers that head off to nights in haunted or mysterious locations, they don’t go in search of ghosts, rather go in search of adventure searching for thrills. Apart from the brother sister relationships we don’t learn too much more about this group, other than that they enjoy this type of experience. This helps us because it keeps us guessing to who could be in for the next attack.

PerformancesThe performances are strong from the whole cast, it would be unfair to stay anyone didn’t stick out as the true star of the show, but no one came off like the weak link. Each performance made the film feel real throughout.

StoryThe story is one that in the past could have been one that goes in a couple of direction, we have had awful ones, we have had forgettable ones and on that rare occasion we have had that one that stands out. This is in the stand out group, because it takes away the details of ghost hunting to keep the story focus on a group that just enjoy exploring the abandoned buildings. The keep things simple as the film does everything to keep us guessing o just where things will be going and who might make it to the end which is, all we ask for at times.

HorrorThe eerie tone of the movie helps with the horror, we have the setting which makes each moment feel like we are trapped in a building which could leave horror around any corner. The horror also doesn’t hold back any moment, which will surprise you.

SettingsThe film is set in an abandoned building with a history to be mysterious, it keeps our characters in a location through the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are strong here, instead of using too many we are left to imagine what is happening in the scene.


Scene of the Movie –
Cellar doors closing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not knowing any stories of the previous adventures of this group.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the horrors to watch out for in 2018, this brings a forgettable sub-genre and makes it one of the best enjoyable and edge of your seat horrors of the year.

 

Overall: Early contender for Horror of the year.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Prophecy II (1998)

Director: Greg Spence

Writer: Matt Greenberg, Greg Spence (Screenplay) Gregory Widen (Characters)

Starring: Christopher Walken, Russell Wong, Jennifer Beals, Brittany Murphy, Eric Roberts, Glenn Danzig, Steve Hytner

 

Plot: Gabriel returns to try to destroy the human race he despises so much, with the help of a suicidal teen and the opposition of the angel Danyael.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Sequel

 

Story: The Prophecy II starts as the former angel Gabriel (Walken) returns from hell to once again give the angels the upper hand in the battle for heaven. Angel Danyael (Wong) also has plans for this battle which involves impregnating Valerie (Beals), Danyael continues to eliminate Gabriel’s army as the two battle for the upper hand in this battle. Valerie is carrying the child written in prophecy that could help one side win the war but who will walk out of this battle alive?

 

Thoughts on The Prophecy II

 

Characters/PerformanceGabriel is back and even deadlier than last time wanting to take his war back to heaven but he just isn’t as threatening as he was before because he doesn’t understand technology now. Danyael is a hugely forgettable character that is an angel on the good side of the battle. Valerie is a nurse that becomes the mother too be in the battle between good and evil.

Performance wise, Walken just isn’t as menacing as he once was, Wong is forgettable throughout and Beals is fine but not at the level of Madsen.

StoryThe story continues to build on the battle within heaven being played out on Earth, this tries to give us a bigger world battle but in the end it just feels like more of the same.

Fantasy/HorrorWe move into fantasy more here by learn of prophecies and different angels but this doesn’t reach the horror needed for the subject.

SettingsThe settings are once again forgettable and could be used for any film out there.

Special EffectsWe continue to have weak special effects that all come off dated.

Final ThoughtsWeak sequel that just doesn’t capture anything from the first film and you can see how it ended up on DVD.

 

Overall: Poor sequel.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Camp Dread (2014)

campDirector: Harrison Smith

Writer: Harrison Smith (Screenplay)

Starring: Eric Roberts, Danielle Harris, Felissa Rose, Joe Raffa, Montana Marks, Davy Raphaely, Gnomi Gre, Alexander Mandell, Ashely Summer, Angel Anthony Marrero, Nicole Cinaglia

 

Plot: The “Summer Camp” horror trilogy was one of the most popular franchises of the 1980s. However, the decade ended and so did director/writer Julian Barrett’s career. Now Barrett has a plan to resurrect “Summer Camp” in a modern reboot that entails using a reality show as its template and source of fundraising. Should it succeed Barrett would once again be at the helm. Bringing together an eclectic group of young “contestants” as well as his former stars Rachel Steele and John Hill, Barrett seems to have put together a sure fire recipe for success. Then people start dying. For real. And “elimination” takes on a whole new meaning as “Dead.tv” clearly shows the slasher film has grown up.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fresh Approach to the Slasher

 

Story: Camp Dread starts with audition tapes of the contestants Novak (Raffa), Katie (Marks), Vinny (Raphaely), Missy (Gre), Matty (Mandell), Sarah (Summer), Calvin (Marrero), Adrienne (Cinaglia) and Jerry (Brennan) in the new reality show being hosted by horror director Julian Barrett (Roberts) in his attempts to get a reboot going on his horror trilogy Summer Camp. We get to see the early tension between Julian and Sheriff Donlyn (Harris) about her father’s time in the sheriff’s role.

With the kids arrived Julian plays out the rules turning what was meant to be a rehab outreach program into a reality show with the winner taking away $1million. Julian has a limited crew well he has Rachel (Rose) the former star of his films turned therapist.

The rules in place we learn the contestants are going to be ‘killed’ with the lone survivor taking home the prize but things take a turn for the worse when the contestants start getting killed for real but just who is the killer?camper

Camp Dread is a film that could have gone down many roads to mediocrity because the slasher genre isn’t as strong as it once was. Saying this we do get offered up a fresh take on everything with creative twists on what would be basic characters. Having the film set as if a horror director is desperate to reclaim the fame he has lost works because it establishes a new take on the leader of the camp. Having the contestants in their early 20s gets to have fun at the age of the casting we once saw for ‘teenagers’ in the slasher genre. The overall biggest plus I found about this movie is that it channels what Scream once did where it is a serious horror in places but it also likes to poke fun at the horror genre without being a parody but pointing out errors the serious horrors can have. My only negative was that we didn’t see the Sheriff enough especially with it being Danielle Harris one of the best Scream Queens in horror today. Overall the story is great because we need a fresh look at the slasher genre that we needed.

 

Actor Review

 

Eric Roberts: Julian is the director of the horror films Summer Camp trilogy, he is desperate to bring his franchise back he designs a reality show on the set of Summer Camp where the contestants get killed off. Julian is filled with anger against the people he worked with turning their back on him and his measures will leave him the prime suspect. Eric is good in this role as we know he can be Mr reliable in any film role.julian

Felissa Rose: Rachel is the star of the Summer Camp movies, she is bought back by Julian as a therapist for contestants but it soon leads to them questioning her skills and her questioning Julian’s motives. Felissa is good in this role which is clearly created as a nod to her fame from the cult horror film Sleepaway Camp.

Joe Raffa: Novak is the typical asshole jock of the contestants he believes he shouldn’t be there but is only there because easiest option. He will do anything for the prize. Joe is good in this role because creating an asshole character is something needed in horror films.

Nicole Cinaglia: Adrienne is the trouble young woman that is one of the contestants, she has committed the biggest of the crimes but in self-defence. She doesn’t fit in with the rest of the players because of her distant mentality throughout but when it comes to fighting she can handle herself. Nicole is good in this role as the one we have to feel sympathy for over the rest of the contestants.

Support Cast: Camp Dread does give us the supporting cast we expect to see with the slutty character, the joker, the redeemer, the spiritual one and the class underachiever. Each one of these cast members is strong and given enough time to developed their character enough to make us understand their mind-set.

Director Review: Harrison SmithHarrison writes, produces and directs this film that has taken the slasher genre in a direction we haven’t seen before by adding extra twists on what could have been a ‘we have seen this before’ slasher, that we once saw the great Wes Craven do with Scream and New Nightmare. If you want to see more from Harrison check out his production company Class of 85harrison

 

Horror: Camp Dread uses the kills to create the horror side of the story which are filled with plenty of blood and gore the trademarks for a slasher horror.

Mystery: Camp Dread creates a mystery about who is the killer and even after finishing you are left to wonder who did commit the early ones.

Thriller: Camp Dread keeps us on edge as we wonder where the film with go and who is killing off the contestants.

Settings: Camp Dread puts our characters in a camp creating the isolation of having nowhere to escape.
Special Effects
: Camp Dread uses great effects to create the kills making each one come off believable.

Suggestion: Camp Dread is one for all the horror fans to enjoy. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The final morning.

Worst Part: Not enough Danielle Harris.

Kill Of The Film: Drink this.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Friday the 13th Scream Style.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

Tagline: Pitch your tent, dig your grave.

Trivia: The film was shot at a real summer camp in the Poconos of Pennsylvania.

 

Overall: One of the best modern slasher movies out there.

Ratingcard