Go With Me (2015)

goDirector: Daniel Alfredson

Writer: Joe Gangemi, Gregory Jacobs (Screenplay) Castle Freeman Jr (Novel)

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Julia Stiles, Ray Liotta, Alexander Ludwig, Lochlyn Munro, Hal Holbrook

 

Plot: An ex-logger comes to the aid of a woman who returns to her hometown in the Pacific Northwest and finds herself harassed and stalked by a former cop turned crime lord.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Moving Thriller

 

Story: Go with Me starts when Lillian (Stiles) returns to her childhood hometown after her mother’s death to start a new life only to find herself being stalked by Blackway (Liotta) a former cop turned crime lord. Turning to the Sheriff (Wilson) Lillian gets passed over to the local loggers for help, Whizzer (Holbrook) refuses to help but offers his men a chance to join her. Lester (Hopkins) and Nate (Ludwig) go along to investigate as Lillian gets to learn more about how evil Blackway is.

As the three go in search for Blackway we learn more about why Lester agreed to go on what they all say is a suicide mission and learn what drew Blackway’s attention towards Lillian.

 

Thoughts on Go with Me

 

StoryThis story is set mostly over just one day as we follow the three search for the crime lord in an act of revenge. I did think this story did come off slow but I also think this builds the tone nicely for this story. the story is also kept very simple and is character driven throughout. I think if you like a good thriller you will enjoy this one.

ThrillerThis is a slow builder thriller that shows us all the reasons before having the final act releasing all the tension built up.

Characters/PerformanceLillian is designed to be a character that has always ran from problems but this time she wants to fight back. The town’s people are all created with fear of this villainous Blackway who is meant to strike fear in anyone he doesn’t like. While Lester is, a man looking to protect a woman after losing his daughter years before. The characters do all suit this film nicely.

The performances are all good with Stiles taking on a grittier role than in her earlier career but Hopkins and Liotta never come out of their comfort zones as actors.

SettingsThe settings are all within this very small town who know how the community acts towards the man who gives them the most fear, some avoid other work for him but most wait for their chance. this setting plays into the tension being built throughout.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very solid thriller that could be enjoyed by the fans of the genre that went completely under the radar.


Overall: Thriller fans try this one out for size.

Rating60

 

 

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Matt Damon Weekend – Promised Land (2012)

promised landDirector: Gus Van Sant

Writer: John Krasinski, Matt Damon (Screenplay) Dave Eggers (Story)

Starring: Matt Damon, Hal Holbrook, Frances McDormand, Titus Welliver, John Krasinski, Rosemarie DeWitt, Lucas Black, Scoot McNairy

 

Plot: A salesman for a natural gas company experiences life-changing events after arriving in a small town, where his corporation wants to tap into the available resources.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Drama

 

Story: Promised Land starts as we meet Steve Butler (Damon) one of the best salesmen for a natural gas company where he makes the most and cheapest purchases within his company. Steve teams up with Sue (McDormand) to meet the locals of a small town where the natural gas is up for grabs.

What looks like an easy job takes a turn for worse when Frank Yates (Holbrook) challenges the idea of fracking in the town which leads to an environmental guy Dustin Noble (Krasinski) supporting the town. This leads to a battle to make his sell go through with the town turning on him supporting Dustin.

Promised Land is a drama that throws us into the world of potential fracking pros and cons. We get to see how small town America is struggling with money and can get taken advantage of by big businesses. We get to see how even the guy trying to make the deals can fall victim to what is the right to wrong choices being made. The story does flow nicely but in the end it does all come down to an audience member needing to be in the right mood for this film.

 

Actor Review

 

Matt Damon: Steve works for a natural gas company and is one of the best in the business always making the sales. He is on the verge of a promotion but this latest sale which seems so easy takes a turn for the worse when he has to go against an environmentalist while he also falls for a local girl. Matt is good in this leading role.

John Krasinski: Dustin is an environmentalist who has come to the town to warn them of the effects of fracking making Steve’ job very difficult. He is a victim of what happens to fracking and his evidence puts the deal up in the air. John makes for a good opposite to Damon through the film.

Frances McDormand: Sue is the partner of Steve’s, she keeps him in line while keeping her own relationship with her son going. She approaches her deals differently to Steve and is always someone he can throw ideas around with. Frances is good as this supporting character throughout.

Support Cast: Promised Land has a supporting cast that all feel like different members of a tight community the town is with each of their own problems.

Director Review: Gus Van SantGus does a good job directing this showing us Steve’s struggles through the situation.

 

Drama: Promised Land puts us into the morale questions of whether short term money is enough to cover long environmental effects.

Settings: Promised Land puts us in the small town where each moment in the film feels like we are following a small community.
Suggestion
: Promised Land is one to try mostly because the subject isn’t the most popular for the audience to see. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The questions being asked about whether fracking is the right decision or not.

Worst Part: Slightly to campaign heavy.

 

Believability: This is a subject going on around the world at the moment.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

Tagline: What’s your price?

 

Overall: Very informative drama about the pros and cons of fracking.

Ratingcard

 

 

Daniel Day-Lewis Weekend – Lincoln (2012)

lincoln posterDirector: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Tony Kushner (Screenplay) Doris Kearns Goodwin (Book)

Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Sally Field, David Strathairn, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, James Spader, Hal Holbrook, Tommy Lee James, John Hawkes, Jackie Earle Haley

 

Plot: As the Civil War continues to rage, America’s president struggles with continuing carnage on the battlefield as he fights with many inside his own cabinet on the decision to emancipate the slaves.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful History Lesson

 

Story: Lincoln starts as President Lincoln (Day-Lewis) had just been re-elected as the Civil War was entering its four year. Lincoln wants to push a new constitution through congress which is abolishing slavery he must work with fellow members that have difference in opinions on the matter and we follow Lincoln through the meetings.

We follow as all the different sides of the argument try to put their points forward for and against the idea of the 13th amendment with Thaddeus Stevens (Jones) being the stand out campaigner in favour of the amendment. With the Secretary of State William Seward (Strathairn) pushing through the votes for the undecided.

Lincoln really comes off as a history lesson about one of the greatest leaders in American history. This is a slow moving film but it is also very interesting if you want to learn about President Lincoln. There are a lot of courtroom scenes that comes off slow because you want to see Lincoln giving speeches because each one draws you in. overall this really is just a history lesson that will help you learn more about the great man.

 

Actor Review

 

Daniel Day-Lewis: President Abraham Lincoln is the man who fought to campaign for equal rights for all slaves, he is running the country with his speeches and is happy to let his men make things fall into place. Lincoln is arguable the most famous of all Presidents of America and what he achieved will forever be the greatest achievement of any of them. Daniel is incredible in this role where he won his third Oscar.linconl

Sally Field: Mary Todd Lincoln is the wife of Abraham who is still suffering from their lost child as she always wants to stand next to her husband and protect their remaining child. Sally is great in this supporting rolemary

David Strathairn: William Seward is the secretary of defence who has been working with Lincoln to get the votes needed to make the amendment pass. He will stand up to Lincoln when needed showing his strength against the great leader. David is great in this supporting role showing this is what he should be doing in film.

Tommy Lee Jones: Thaddeus Stevens is the one man from the south that agrees with Lincoln, he will stand up in court against any odds for what he believes in to make sure this amendment gets passed. Tommy got himself an Oscar nod in this brilliant supporting performance.ddy

Support Cast: Lincoln has a massive supporting cast that all play different characters that were real people for the time period.

Director Review: Steven SpielbergSteven is the always reliable director when it comes to telling the story from history.

 

Biographical: Lincoln takes us to one of the most important moments of Lincoln’s life as he changes history as we know it.

History: Lincoln gives us everything we need to see in a history lesson about the great man.

War: Lincoln is set through the Civil War but we don’t really end up seeing anyone in actual combat.

Settings: Lincoln re-creates the settings to make us look like the time period in question.
Special Effects
: Lincoln has great effects to make everything look authentic through the film.

Suggestion: Lincoln is one film that you should watch just to learn about Lincoln. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Lincoln’s speeches

Worst Part: Courtroom comes off slightly repetitive.

 

Believability: Based on the real people involved.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 2 Oscars and Nominated for 10 more.

Box Office: $182 Million

Budget: $65 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 30 Minutes

Trivia: Every major character in the film was a real person or at least a composite of real figures and the film strives to reflect the actual actions or thoughts of the historical figures.

 

Overall: Brilliant history lesson but not an easy watch

Ratingcard

 

 

Halloween Kingathon – Creepshow (1982)

Banner-1logoDirector: George A Romero

Writer: Stephen King (Screenplay)

Starring: Hal Holbrook, Adriene Barbeau, Fritz Weaver, Leslie Nielsen, Ed Harris, Ted Danson, E.G. Marshall,

Plot: Inspired by the E.C. comics of the 1950s, George A. Romero and Stephen King bring five tales of terror to the screen.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Terror Filled Tales

Story Reviews

The Crate: The Crate centres around a mysterious crate found under the stairs of a university, the label says it is over 100 years old but the doctors at the university decide to look into the crate, Dexter (Weaver) opens the crate only to find an ape like creature inside, one that has a lust for blood where he turns to Henry (Holbrook) a fellow professor for help, but he has is own ideas for the crate. This story has a great creature feature feel to it with the psychological side of the story when it come to Henry’s visions. (7/10)

Father’s Day: The story starts in a rich society where Hank (Harris) who seems like an everyday life, he joins the rest of the family as they hope to inherit the remaining money as they wait for Aunt Bedelia (Lindfors) the lady with most of the money after she killed her father. This Father’s Day things take a turn when Aunt Bedelia’s father returns from the dead in search of his cake and the living. Father’s Day was a good start to the set of stories as it is filled with plenty of blood and gore. (7/10)

Something to Tide You Over: This one starts with Richard Vickers (Nielsen) confronting his wife’s lover Harry (Danson) to let him listen to the recording of his wife screaming before forcing Harry to come with him on a journey. The journey leads to the beach where Richard forces Harry to bury himself in the sand where he leaves Harry to die, but this is a horror film and the dead don’t stay dead when both Harry and Rebecca come back from the dead for revenge. This is the story that always sticks with me because of the pure terror in what the characters go through. (8/10)

The Lonesome Death of Jordy Verrill: When as meteor crash lands in Jordy Verrill (King) land he sees it as a pay day, but how does he get the meteor to the science department. After Jordy touches the meteor he finds himself becoming infected and slowly starting to grow a new life form. This story gives us the idea of growing out of control once a new life form comes to Earth, it works well but will easily be one to forget. (5/10)

They’re Creeping Up On You: Upson Pratt (Marshall) has a bug phobia in a futuristic world in his germ free apartment that has a cockroaches problem, a problem that will end up causing him to suffer a terrifying night. This really is the most horrific of all the stories being told. (8/10)

Director Review: George A Romero George gives us a brilliant mix of horror through each of the tale. (8/10)

Comedy: Creepshow has a couple of good comedy moments with most of the film being based on horror. (7/10)

Horror: Creepshow has different style of horror for each story that all work very well to create horror themes throughout. (8/10)

Settings: Creepshow uses a mix of different settings for each story and it would be fair to say it is important to each individual story. (9/10)
Special Effects: Creepshow has endless brilliant special effects used throughout. (10/10)

Suggestion: Creepshow is one for all the horror fans to sit down and enjoy as the story unfolds. (Horror Fans Watch)

Best Part: Something to Tide You Over.

Worst Part: Jordy story.

Kill Of The Film: Billy.

Scariest Scene: Creeping on you

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has two sequels

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $8 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours

Tagline: From the Masters of Terror and the Macabre… (George A. Romero & Stephen King)

Trivia: Ted Danson, who played Harry Wentworth in “Something to Tide You Over”, said in a T.V. interview that his daughter was on the set during the scene where his character returns from the dead encased in rotting flesh and seaweed. He purposely tried avoiding his young daughter out of fear of scaring her. Finally, despite his best efforts, she went up to him, looked at him and simply said, “Oh, hi Dad.”

Overall: Great mix of horror throughout, a true mix of camp fire stories.

Rating 75

The Majestic (2001)

logoDirector: Frank Darabont

Writer: Michael Sloane (Screenplay)

Starring: Jim Carrey, Bob Balaban, Jeffrey DeMunn, Hal Holbrook, Laurie Holden, Martin Landau, Brent Briscoe, Ron Rifkin, Amanda Detmer, James Whitmore

 

Plot: Set in 1951, a blacklisted Hollywood writer gets into a car accident, loses his memory and settles down in a small town where he is mistaken for a long-lost son.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Entertaining Drama

Story: The Majestic starts by showing us a movie plot discussion meeting with our protagonist Peter (Carrey). We learn how he is about to break out as a screenwriter with his first film being shown. This goes next to the communist hunt that flew through America in the 1950s. Peter becomes the next victim in the hunt leading him to get blacklisted in Hollywood, after losing it he gets drunk and tries to drive off into the sunset, but things don’t go well for him when he crashes his car on a bridge going over and bumping his head. Peter awakens with no memory of who he is or why he is where he is. Peter is taken into a small town that have lost most of their young generation of men in the war. The town’s people all seem to recognize Peter and one man in particular Harry (Landau) thinks he is his lost son. His appearance in the town makes Harry want to reopen the Majestic cinema to give the people of the town some hope.

It is not long before the whole town is welcoming him home and he gives the whole town inspiration to move on with their lives and the man’s lost love Adele (Holden) tries to rekindle what she once had by taking him around town to the memories they once had together. While his attachment for the town grows we are left to wonder what will come back first, his memory or his past.

The Majestic is a very powerful story about a town struggling to move on while one man who could be one of their own lost ones inspires them to move on with their lives. Where the story shines is by showing how small towns would be suffering to cope after the war and how America panicked through the communist investigation just pointing figures and never getting real answers. On its negative side I find it hard to believe that the amnesia got almost shrugged off by the town’s people and how easily they just assumed a man who couldn’t remember anything would just turn up home. The Majestic does come off giving a very warm feeling after viewing and is easily enjoyable. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

Jim Carrey: Peter Appleton a screenwriter who gets blacklisted when people believe his is a communist. While trying to escape the problems he ends up in a small town where he has a striking resemblance to a man thought to have died in the war. He gives them all inspiration but once he figures out who he really is he has to learn to stand up for a new cause. Jim gives one of his best performances here showing he can give serious performance. (9/10)

 jim

Martin Landau: Harry Timble the man who believes Peter is his son returning after the war and once he sees him wants to reopen the family business. He gets to see his cinema reopened and spend time with what he thinks is his son before passing on before the truth gets out. Martin gives a good performance of a man wanting one more day with his lost son. (7/10)

 martin

Laurie Holden: Adele Stanton the romantic interest of the lost man, she is not sure about Peter but does fall for his charms all over again before finding out the truth. Laurie gives a good performance. (7/10)

 laurie

Support Cast: The Majestic has two main groups of supporting characters; we have the studio people and the men investigating the communist in Hollywood. While the second group are the members of the town who believe Peter is a lost member of the town. Both sets make the story flow well giving us the solid idea between the loss of loved ones in the war and the witch hunt for communists.

Director Review: Frank Darabont – Frank does a good job directing this film even though it doesn’t reach the levels of some of his previous work. (7/10)

 

Drama: The Majestic uses the sense of drama to tell the heart breaking story of loss of the young men during the war in the small town and how it has changed the people’s lives. (9/10)

Settings: The Majestic uses the settings really well to give an authentic feel for the time period the film is set in. (9/10)

Suggestion: The Majestic is a film that could be enjoyed by everyone but may not appeal to everyone due to its character driven story. (Try It)

 

Best Part of The Majestic: The Commission Speech.

Worst Part of The Majestic: Slightly too long for the story it tells.

 

Believability: Forgetting the chance of the character happening to look like another person the two storylines focus on very real effects the war had on two different areas of society. (8/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Jim Carrey could have got a nomination but the film didn’t get any.

Box Office: $37 Million

Budget: $72 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 32 Minutes

Tagline: Sometimes your life comes into focus one frame at a time

 

Overall: Carrey’s Best Was Not A Success But is Must Be Seen By His Fans

Rating 

79