ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – N – The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman (2013)

Director: Fredrik Bond

Writer: Matt Drake (Screenplay)

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Evan Rachel Wood, Mads Mikkelsen, Til Schweiger, Rupert Grint, James Buckley

 

Plot: While traveling abroad, a guy falls for a Romanian beauty whose unreachable heart has its origins in her violent, charismatic ex.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Standard Story

 

Story: The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman starts as Charlie (LaBeouf) deals with his mother’s death which pushes him to take a trip to Romania, an idea that the ghost of his mother suggests. On route the Romanian passenger Victor (Caramitru) dies giving Charlie a reason to find his daughter Gabi (Wood).

Charlie meets to Brits Karl (Grint) and Luc (Buckley) who show him how to party in the hostel but the danger comes from Gabi’s estranged husband Nigel (Mikkelsen) a dangerous man in the city. Charlie finds himself in the middle of the cover up that puts his own life in danger.

 

Thoughts on The Necessary Death of Charlie Countryman

 

Characters/PerformanceCharlie is a young man who travels to escape the grieving of his mother’s death, he wants to do the right thing but enjoys partying to, it would be fair to say his true motivations and character are never fully shown though. Gabi is the local Romanian girl that catches Charlie’s eye, she is also grieving the death of a parent but her life is a lot more complicated than he can imagine. Nigel is the ex-husband of Gabi that isn’t going to let her go without a fight which brings us to see how dangerous this man could be.

Performance wise, Shia is good in this role, I know people can slam the guy but this works for him. Evan Rachel Wood is also good throughout the film without trying to steal the movie while Mads Mikkelsen is always great in this type of role.

StoryThis story focuses on the one man looking for a moment to get away from his life to grieve, this is all good we have seen this before because it shows how this solo character finds themselves getting into trouble. The idea is basically ABC and it is simple enough to follow.

Comedy/RomanceThe film doesn’t feel too much like of a comedy and the romance side is basically just guy meets girl in new city but girl has background that makes things difficult for them to be together.

SettingsThe setting is good because not many film are set in Romania.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most average films you will see, there are better and worse that cover the same genre.

 

Overall: Not that impressive.

Rating

 

 

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The Pyramid (2014)

logoDirector: Gregory Levasseur

Writer: Daniel Meersand, Nick Simon (Screenplay)

Starring: Ashley Hinshaw, Denis O’Hare, James Buckley, Christa Nicola, Amir K, Faycal Attougui

 

Plot: An archaeological team attempts to unlock the secrets of a lost pyramid only to find themselves hunted by an insidious creature.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Respect the Story Ignore the CGI

 

Story: The Pyramid in Cairo, Egypt 2013 where a group of American Archaeologists have discovered a new pyramid buried deep beneath the desert. We follow a documentary crew as they arrive through the violence happening in the city to film the discovery. The pyramid is one that history has never seen because it only has only three sides. The discovery is made by father daughter team Holden (O’Hare) and Nora (Hinshaw) with of documentary team is Sunni (Nicola) and cameraman Fitzie (Buckley) looking to spread the story.

The team finally get to the entrance where they get a traditional surprise trap before the team get pulled from the site for safety. Having only one day to get out the team decide to send in robot ‘Shortie’ to explore the opening for any final clues. Things start to go wrong when Shortie malfunctions leading to the team entering into the pyramid to retrieve the robot.

It isn’t long before the team find themselves trapped in the pyramid which starts to look like more of a maze. They find out they are not alone leaving them having to race to find a way to the surface before they all become victims of the pyramid.

The Pyramid is a film that I went into not expecting too much, but with my enjoyment of the found footage genre I ended up being impressed with what I saw. I like the idea to how they ended up inside because it felt like a natural move to enter and film inside a new discovery. I liked how the place turned into a maze because without the right lighting you really wouldn’t know what way to go. I also like how a lot of the horror came when it was needed rather than just pointless jump scares. Let’s look at the negatives now, first I hated the CGI it really let’s all the hard work down. We are also going to look at one of my pet hates in horror, where something very simple could have stopped everything else happening and that was after they thought they couldn’t remember which way was out why didn’t they just look and rewind the camera? There are a lot more positives surrounding this film but the negatives will be the ones remember. I will say this is what the found footage genre could be but it won’t say this is great for it because some of the footage isn’t found footage which almost makes the film forget what it is meant to be or not letting it make up its own mind. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Ashley Hinshaw: Nora is the ambitious young archaeologist who has embraced the new technology era of discovery. She is the character that pushes to go into the pyramid knowing how big a discovery it would be for her career. Ashely does a good job in the role making for a good damsel in distress. (7/10)

 

Denis O’Hare: Holden is the father of Nora and much more of an old school archaeologist who would rather dig, he reluctantly enters the pyramid but has to take charge when things start going wrong. Denis does a good job in this role as the man who fills in most of the gaps for us. (7/10)

 

James Buckley: Fitzie is the British camera man who states all of the obvious lines in the film and makes the most sense with everything he says. James pretty much feels like he is watching the film with all his lines stating the absolutely obvious to every moment in this film. (7/10)

 

Christa Nicola: Sunni is the reporter sent to follow the discovery but along with her cameraman ends up getting trapped in the pyramid. Christa does a solid job as the ambitious reporter looking to win an Emmy. (6/10)

 

Support Cast: The Pyramid has a small supporting cast that only seem to be in a few scenes and are the first to go.

 

Director Review: Gregory Levasseur – Gregory gives us a well told found footage like film but should have avoided the CGI because it holds the film back. (7/10)

 

Horror: The Pyramid does fill the horror check boxes nicely because just when it starts to go calm something big happens again. (7/10)

Thriller: The Pyramid does keep you guess as to what is around the next corner and how will they find their way out. (7/10)

Settings: The Pyramid creates a very good trapped feeling the characters to have to find their way out off. (9/10)
Special Effects
: The Pyramid falls flat because of the special effects for the creatures inside the pyramid because you can tell when they are CGI. (2/10)

Suggestion: The Pyramid is one for the horror fans to enjoy but I also feel it could be enjoyed by fans of the ancient Egyptians. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The idea with the pyramid.

Worst Part: CGI

Kill Of The Film: Holden

Scariest Scene: Holden

Favourite Quote: ‘We’re just like food in a bowl right now’

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Could but not sure.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Most found footage films.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $14 Million

Budget: $6.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

Tagline: You only enter once.

Trivia: The setting of the movie is not a real place, no three-sided pyramids exist.

 

Overall: The Pyramid is a good found footage horror that does bounce between the sub-genres but suffers due to poor CGI.

Rating 65