Memoirs of an Invisible Man (1992)

Director: John Carpenter

Writer: Robert Collector, Dana Olsen, William Goldman (Screenplay) H.F. Saint (Book)

Starring: Chevy Chase, Daryl Hannah, Sam Neill, Michael McKean, Stephen Tobolowsky, Jim Norton

 

Plot: After a freak accident, a yuppie turns invisible and runs from a treacherous CIA official, while trying to cope with his new life.


Tagline – Women want him for his wit. The C.I.A. wants him for his body. All Nick wants is his molecules back.

Runtime: 1 hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Invisible Comedy

 

Story: Memoirs of an Invisible Man starts when a cocky businessman Nick Halloway (Chase) tires to catch a nap during a busy meeting, that he has no interest in, he finds himself caught in the middle of an experiment gone wrong, by being turned invisible. This brings CIA agent David Jenkins (Neill) in to investigate, with Nick becoming a wanted man, only he can’t ask for help because even he doesn’t understand why he is invisible, he tries the people he trusts in hopes of finding out the way to reverse what has happened to him.

 

Thoughts on Memoirs of an Invisible Man

 

Characters – Nick Halloway is a fast-talking businessman that has been getting away with slacking through his job for years now, after another session on the drinks, he looks to skive off, only to get caught in the middle of an experiment which turns him invisible, Nick must figure out who he can trust to help him after the CIA look to hunt him down to use him for their own benefit. He isn’t the most interesting character, he doesn’t come off as funny as it seems he should be either. Alice is the new woman that comes into Nick’s life, she is the one he turns to for help as she is prepared to listen to his story over most other people. David Jenkins is the man hunting down Nick, he is a CIA agent that will do whatever it takes to add to the security of the country, seeing Nick as the next generation of secret agent.

PerformancesChevy Chase does feel slightly mis-cast in this role, he doesn’t seem to handle the comedy on the level it is meant to be coming from his character. Daryl Hannah does all she needs to as the love interest, she doesn’t need to do much either. Sam Neill is highlight of the performances with just how he handles the evil agent.

StoryThe story follows a man that gets turn invisible in a mysterious event, seeing him being chased down by the government while he tries to figure out how to get out of his situation. This is an interesting spin on the invisible man story, it does try to make the story a comedy which is where the story falls short, because it is an unlikable character that gets turn invisible rather than somebody whose experiment going wrong. Nick doesn’t just anything to help himself, which disappoints, it does feel kind of cheesy and by the end you will feel like not everything is answered.

Comedy/Sci-FiThe comedy misses more often than hitting, it just doesn’t seem smooth. The sci-fi elements don’t get bought to the front with incident happening and that being it.

SettingsThe film is set in San Francisco which does always make for a solid back drop for any movie.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film do feel great for the time with certain moments, the make-up shot is the highlight because of camera angle.


Scene of the Movie –
Let’s try make up.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The comedy.

Final ThoughtsThis is a comedy that does miss a lot of the jokes and ends up feeling flatter than it should have been.

 

Overall: Disappointing comedy.

Rating

 

 

Ice Cube Weekend – Ghosts of Mars (2001) Revisited

Director: John Carpenter

Writer: John Carpenter, Larry Sulkis (Screenplay)

Starring: Natasha Henstridge, Ice Cube, Jason Statham, Clea DuVall, Pam Grier, Joanna Cassidy, Richard Cetrone

 

Plot: In 2176, a Martian police unit is sent to pick up a highly dangerous criminal at a remote mining post. Upon arrival, the cops find that the post has become a charnel house.


Tagline – Terror is the same on any planet

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Silly Fun Action Horror

 

Story: Ghosts of Mars starts when the lone survive of a prison transfer Melanie Ballard (Henstridge) is recount the events of her mission. The mission was for Melanie, Jericho (Statham), Bashira (DuVall), Commander Helena (Grier) going to an outpost on Mars in the year 2176 to transfer Desolation Williams (Cube).

When the team arrives, they find the outpost abandoned, bodies hanging from the ceiling and the only breath people seemed to have become infected by something. This forces the team to work with Desolation to battle the infected people coming after them.

 

Thoughts on Ghosts of Mars

 

Characters – Melanie Ballard is one of the police officers sent to the outpost to transfer the prisoner, she does use drugs to relax her, she is the one telling the story of the events, where she must take control of the situation trying to get the people out alive. Desolation Williams is the prisoner they are meant to be transferring, he has been accused and cleared of murder numerous times, he will have to work with Melanie to get out of this situation, where he skills will help the people fight to survive. Jericho Butler is one of the more experienced soldiers that is the go-to guy for weapons and fixing problems. Bashira is the rookie on the squad, who must learn quickly as the situation becomes deadlier. We do have too many characters, which will lead to many blink and you miss it deaths.

PerformancesNatasha Henstridge does a strong job as the reluctant hero, she handles the combat well, while trying to be the tough figure. Ice Cube brings the type of character that we know he will bring to most of his roles. With the large cast, most of the rest of the cast struggle to make any real impact on the story.

StoryThe story follows a group of military police on Mars looking to transfer a prisoner for a trial, only for them to find themselves coming face to face with a mysterious evil that has taken over the locals turning them into crazed killing machines. This is simple concept for a sci-fi horror, we get both sides of the law needing to work together to get the job of survival done, we do get the explanation about where the evil has come from. The problem with the story is that we have way too many characters, we have somebody telling the story, which sees them seeing the story through multiply viewpoints which does become frustrating because at times you hear a scene on the radio, only to cut back to the scene happening, which makes it feel like filler, rather than parts of the story.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action here is plenty of bullets flying around, hand to hand combat and weapons which can see body parts flying off. The horror isn’t as strong as it could be because we don’t get the blood shed the film hints at, the sci-fi side of the film shows us how the colonies on Mars would operate.

SettingsThe film is set mostly on an outpost on Mars, it is remote, we know how long the team will be there before the transport returns, leaving us waiting to see how they could escape the situation.

Special EffectsThe special effects used in the film mostly from the body horrors the evil have been doing to themselves, it is strong use of make up but never feels terrifying like it should do.


Scene of the Movie –
Who is in charge now?

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those silly fun action films in which you can enjoy without expecting anything to be overly serious, it might have plenty of flaws but watch with enjoyment you can laugh along.

 

Overall: Easy to watch action horror.

Rating

 

 

Vampires (1998)

Director: John Carpenter

Writer: Don Jakoby (Screenplay) John Steakley (Novel)

Starring: James Woods, Daniel Baldwin, Sheryl Lee, Thomas Ian Griffith, Maximilian Schell

 

Plot: Recovering from an ambush that killed his entire team, a vengeful vampire slayer must retrieve an ancient Catholic relic that, should it be acquired by vampires, will allow them to walk in sunlight.


Tagline – They’ve been around for 600 years…and they’re very, VERY thirsty.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable addition to the vampire genre

 

Story: Vampires starts as Jack Crow (Woods) and his gang of vampire hunters including Anthony Montoya (Baldwin) as they clean out a nest of vampires only they can’t find the master. Celebrating the success of the day the gang party but when the Master Jan Valek (Griffith) arrives looking for revenge he kills every member of the team except Jack and Anthony while turning Katrina (Lee).

Jack ordered to rebuild the team, must first regroup before he goes against his orders with a new priest Father Guiteau (Guinee) using Katrina as bait to locate Jan Valek who is in search for a legendary relic that would allow Valek to walk in the sunlight.

 

Thoughts on Vampires

 

Characters – Jack Crow is the leader of the vampire hunters, he has been hunting them his whole life, training other to aid in his quest to kill them all. He is ruthless in his action not accepting excuse from any man, woman or priest. Anthony is the only other member of the team that makes it out of the attack, he is a trusted second to Jack but keeps a secret from him during this story. Katrina is the young lady that gets bitten by Valek, Crow uses her to find him while she must battle the turning process. Jan Valek is the ancient vampire that has been terrorising for centuries, he isn’t getting killed as easily as others and now he targets immortality in the day light.

PerformancesJames Woods is great in this leading role, he takes the aggression needed to make us believe the vampire hunter is doing the right thing also showing the loyalty required in his performance. Daniel Baldwin is good but not to the level of Woods while Sheryl Lee does make for a good sexy vampire figure. Thomas Ian Griffith does make for a great vampire villain too being imposing in every single scene.

StoryThe story follows the old school vampire hunters hunting vampires but this time the enemy is stronger than they have ever faced. This film does move away from the gothic tones of previous film and takes us into a realistic setting for our characters to do battle with the vampires. This does work for the story because we now need to see a new less traditional style to vampires even if the story follows the normal it is a fun watch.

Action/HorrorThe action comes with the battles with the vampires, it is bigger than normal for the genre and we get plenty action. The horror comes from how we see the vampires disposed of along with how powerful Valek is

SettingsThe western settings make this feel like a race against time for gunslingers to stop an outlaw, which is what the idea was going for.

Special EffectsThe effects all seem practical with the fire behind the sunlight being some of the most horrific in the vampire genre.


Scene of the Movie –
Valek’s revenge is bloody.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It was slightly confusing why stakes were used when they didn’t kill.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very enjoyable modern take on the vampire genre, it adds action and realism to a traditional gothic style of film which on one hand works but the other hand could get people not enjoying it.

 

Overall: Vampire fans must watch.

Rating

 

 

Halloween (2018)

Director: David Gordon Green

Writer: David Gordon Green, Danny McBride, Jeff Fradley (Screenplay) John Carpenter, Debra Hill (Characters)

Starring: Jamie Lee Curtis, Judy Greer, Andi Matichak, James Jude Courtney, Nick Castle, Haluk Bilginer, Will Patton

 

Plot: Laurie Strode comes to her final confrontation with Michael Myers, the masked figure who has haunted her since she narrowly escaped his killing spree on Halloween night four decades ago


Tagline – Face Your Fate

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Another Sequel

 

Story: Halloween starts 40 years after the events of the original Halloween, Michael Myers is still locked up in a mental home, Laurie (Curtis) still lives in fear of what happened to her friends all that time ago, she has been twice divorced lost her child Karen (Greer) because of her paranoia Michael will return. Karen with a daughter of her own Allyson (Matichak) about to graduate high school wants to reconnect with her grandmother rebuilding the relationship.

When Michael is being transferred on Halloween for some reason, he escapes and goes on his killing spree, where Laurie must protect her family from the man she has been waiting to finally kill.

 

Thoughts on Halloween

 

Characters – Laurie Strode is the icon we know from horror, she is now living in fully secure house prepared for the day Michael gets out, believing it would happen, this has cost her, her family but the moment Michael escapes she is the only one prepared to take on the killing machine. Karen is the daughter of Laurie who has become distant from her mother, she has her own family, though she had been prepared for a moment of crisis, even if she doesn’t believe it will ever happen. Allyson is the youngest member of the family, the teenage daughter that is going through the high school with the modern day problems. The shape, Michael Myers is killing machine, killing anyone he wants to.

PerformancesJamie Lee Curtis is back and she is good enough in the leading role, you understand how the character is meant to be thinking which is the important part of the character. Judy Greer is fine, she doesn’t get too much to do, Andi Matichak is good with her role trying to make herself the new scream queen in Halloween. The rest of the cast are fine without being overly memorable.

StoryThe story here is a sequel to the original only, everything else is gone from the history books and Michael isn’t even related to Laurie. 40 years later Michael escapes an goes on another killing spree, where he ends up going face to face with Laurie who has been waiting for this day. This is slasher film done basic, there is no other way to describe it, the sad reality it we get to see an interesting storyline about a victim who never go over the attack in Laurie which should have been address a lot more over a couple of random killing scenes. We get moments in the story that pay respect to the original, then we get scenes which just seem to copy what the sequels did. The tone of the film is also all over the place with the comedy with the babysitter being way too funny for what is meant to be a serious film. this does feel like just another sequel that didn’t do much for the franchise.

HorrorWhen Michael is killing people we get some brutal kills, there is no doubt about this, they look real, but the tense seems to have been sucked out of the film.

SettingsWe return to Haddonfield here, which is fine it is the iconic location for Michael, we get nothing new and the one location that is important will only annoy you.

Special EffectsThe kills we see do look brutal and are the best part of the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Babysitter banter.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It offers little new to the franchise.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sequel that just doesn’t seem to get anywhere new with anything that we want to see, it is passable for the franchise but didn’t need to reset the clock.

 

Overall: Simple sequel.

Rating

 

 

Tommy Lee Jones Weekend – Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)

Director: Irvin Kershner

Writer: John Carpenter, David Zelag Goodman (Screenplay)

Starring: Faye Dunaway, Tommy Lee Jones, Brad Dourif, Rene Auberjonois, Raul Julia, Frank Adonis, Lisa Taylor

 

Plot: A famous fashion photographer develops a disturbing ability to see through the eyes of a killer.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Lil-Murder Mystery

 

Story: Eyes of Laura Mars starts as we meet fashion photographer Laura Mars (Dunaway) who is on top of the world with her work taking over the city, but her life is about to change when she seems to get visions of murders.

When she comes forward believing she saw the latest murder, detective John Neville (Jones) takes the case only to learn that Laura’s photos are strikingly similar to recent murders. When Laura starts to become paranoid about her visions she teams up with Neville to uncover the truth.

 

Thoughts on Eyes of Laura Mars

 

Characters/PerformanceLaura Mars is one of the most famous fashion photographers in the business, taking things to a new risky level. She finds herself seeing murders of her friends and must deal with trying to solve. John Neville is the nonsense detective that is working on the case and one of the few people that comes to understand what is happening to Laura.

Performance wise, Dunaway and Jones both show their full talents here showing how they can capture everything in their emotions through the different situations they are put through.

StoryThe story gives us a good mystery to solve as we only see the crimes committed through the eyes of our lead Laura Mars, we are left to guess who it could be as we are introduced to plenty of different suspects, while also diving into a potential morale question about how the fashion industry can be over sexualising the models.

Mystery/ThrillerWe are left on edge trying to figure out who the murderer is, we are given plenty of suspects which all could be the villain which is all we want from a mystery thriller.

SettingsThe big city is always a great setting for a murder mystery which is great but in the modern era of cinema would be very difficult to get the body count they do.

Special EffectsThe effects are all good through the film, whether it be the kills which are the main attraction for this film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good thriller that has a mystery you just get drawn into trying to solve.

 

Overall: This is a film that should be watched by all the mystery fans.

Rating