Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning (2006)

Director: Jonathan Liebesman

Writer: Sheldon Turner (Screenplay) Sheldon Turner, David J Schow (Story)

Starring: Jordana Brewster, Taylor Handley, Diora Baird, Matt Bomer, R Lee Ermey, Andrew Bryniarski, Lee Tergesen

 

Plot: Before being sent to serve in Vietnam, two brothers and their girlfriends take one last road trip, but when they get into an accident, a terrifying experience will take them to a secluded house of horrors, with a chainsaw-wielding killer.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gore Over Substances

 

Story: The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning starts as we learn more about the origin of Leatherface (Bryniarski), how he was a misunderstand young man with mental problems that loses his job at the slaughter house once it goes out of business. We learn how this becomes the turning point for his family. On the other side of the story we have Eric (Bomer) returning to the Vietnam war along with his brother Dean (Handley) who is reluctant to return. We also have their girlfriends Chrissie (Brewster) and Bailey (Baird) on a journey across America.

After an altercation with a robber, the friends find themselves targets of the Hewitt family as Uncle Charlie now pretending to be a Sheriff and Leatherface look to make sure they have enough food to survive, human flesh.

 

Thoughts on The Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning

 

Characters/PerformanceChrissie is take her boyfriend across country to reenlist in the army. She ends up on her own most of this film as she searches for a way to save her friends, before we know she will be involved in the final chase. Dean is the younger brother of the two who doesn’t want to go to war but hasn’t told his brother until this trip. Eric is looking to return to war with his brother this time and is the one most likely to stand up against the evil.  Bailey is the other girlfriend, that is about as much of her character we get. Leatherface is still simple minded here with Uncle Hewitt being the major part of the bringing the victims to the home, we also learn his origin story as it is a twist in the last version.

Performance wise, Let’s all be honest here, the characters are written horrendously so most of the actors didn’t stand a chance of giving a good performance in this film.

StoryAn origin of Leatherface, did we need one, well we got one, so deal with it. The story is basically the same as the original just without interesting characters, any scares or tension. We have group of friends get captured must fight to survive against leatherface and his family. So here it is nothing new, nothing original.

Horror This is all about the gore, we get little to no shocks in this film and the iconic killer is reduced to subplot to a bigger picture of a family.

SettingsWe get the iconic house, sure but otherwise nothing of any note here in the settings.

Special EffectsThe gore and effects do work well for shock value but otherwise it just becomes about making them look good.

Final ThoughtsThis is one from the franchise that falls flat on its face, you get little tension through any scene and are left wondering why this got made.

 

Overall: Disappointing addition to a much loved franchise.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014)

teenageDirector: Jonathan Liebesman

Writer: Josh Appelbaum, Andre Nemec, Evan Daughterty (Screenplay) Peter Laird, Kevin Eastman (Characters)

Starring: Megan Fox, Will Arnett, William Fichtner, Noe Fisher, Pete Ploszek, Johnny Knoxville, Jeremey Howard, Danny Woodburn

 

Plot: When a kingpin threatens New York City, a group of mutated turtle warriors must emerge from the shadows to protect their home.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bonkers Fun

 

Story: Teenage mutant Ninja Turtles starts as we learn of Shredder and his foot clan have the city of New York in terror when they keep up their attacks, with a mentor keeping his children underground until they are ready to fight back. We move on to meet ambitious reporter April O’Neil (Fox) who is trying to break a big story on the foot clan but must continue pointless stories with her cameraman Vernon (Arnett).

When April witnesses a failed Foot Clan robbery she believes there is a vigilante protecting the city and with Eric Sacks (Fichtner) leading the NYPD’s defence against the Foot Clan we are ready to meet the turtles Raphael, Michelangelo, Leonardo and Donatello who are fighting back against the Foot Clan.

When the turtles become the new targets the true villain behind Shredder is revealed and the turtles are finally allowed to go out and fight against the criminals of New York City.

 

Thoughts on Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles

 

Characters/PerformanceWe all know the teenage mutant ninja turtles and all their different characteristics, with some we love more than others and here we have what we all remember from the turtles. April O’Neil is a strong reporter character that also has a connection to the turtle’s origins which is all good with her cameraman Vernon offering most of the comic relief through the whole film. Eric Sacks makes the typical villainous businessman role which is fine for this film.

Performance wise Megan Fox is good in this role, she brings the added beauty needed for this film to stop it become just another turtle film with Will Arnett getting all the comedy he needs to make us smile. William Fichtner is always reliable for this type of role too.stars

StoryThe origin for the turtle’s story is never going to be perfectly but do we care? No we just want a film to be fun and this is just nonsense fun when you look at the story. we get the ambitious journalist, check, the easy to defeat villain, check, comic sidekick check, and the turtles check all mixing together to make a watchable film you don’t need to think about.

Action/Adventure/ComedyThe action is big, over the top and fun for the casual film can to enjoy, the adventure shows the team working together for the first time. The comedy comes when needed without burying the whole film.

SettingsNew York City the main attraction for newly every single comic book origin story, we get everything we need from the city apart from the random mountain which feels out of place.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all good in the film with the mix of the CGI turtles with the human world.genre

Final ThoughtsSometimes you just need a film to be entertaining and this film does that, it will have a target audience that will enjoy and get the most out of it.

 

Overall: Switch off your brain and enjoy the movie.

Ratingratinng

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – Darkness Falls (2003)

logoDirector: Jonathan Liebesman

Writer: John Fasano, James Vanderbilt, Joe Harris (Screenplay) Joe Harris (Story)

Starring: Chaney Kley, Emma Caulfield, Lee Cormie, Grant Piro, Sullivan Stapleton, Steve Mouzakis, Peter Curtin, Kestie Morassi, Jenny Lovell, Joshua Anderson, Emily Browning

 

Plot: A vengeful spirit has taken the form of the Tooth Fairy to exact vengeance on the town that lynched her 150 years earlier. Her only opposition is the only child, now grown up, who has survived her before.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Short but Sweet

 

Story: Darkness Falls starts by explaining the legend of Matilda Dixon who was a loved member of the town who used to give coins to the children of the town after they lose their teeth gaining her the nickname ‘The Tooth Fairy’. After a fire she became disfigured but the town burns her when two children don’t come home, she puts curses on the town and after the children are found safe the town of Darkness Falls buries the secret. Matilda curse reads ‘What I took before in kindness, I will take forever in revenge’.

We see young Kyle (Anderson) lose his final baby tooth he does what every kid does and puts it under his pillow but when he gets suddenly awaken by the noise of the Tooth Fairy he catches a glimpse at her. Kyle’s life is going to change forever when the Tooth Fairy kills his mother but can’t get to him because of the light.

12 years later we get to meet a grown up version of Kyle’s school sweetheart Caitlin (Caulfield) whose own little brother Michael (Cormie) is struggling with the same problem hiding in the light. Caitlin reaches out to Kyle (Kley) who she hasn’t seen since the night out his mother’s death trying to find answers. Kyle decides to return to Darkness Falls to help even if he hasn’t got over the problem. When a local gets killed by the Tooth Fairy the town turns on Kyle framing him for the murder. Caitlin must team up with Kyle to save her brother and end the curse once and for all.

Darkness Falls is a horror film that builds on legend that children are led to believe and turns it dark, we all know the idea of the tooth fairy coming to take teeth in exchange for money and we all know it is all fake, but add in an urban legend you do actually get a frightening idea. I can’t help but want to compare this to ‘The Boogeyman’ having very similar storyline and yes I know this came out first. I feel this has good moments but I don’t quite understand how the Tooth Fairy suddenly went on a murderous rampage because she starts out slowly stalking the prey but suddenly just bursts into room to kill as many people as possible. I also feel the film is too short but then again because it is short it never seems to want to let you take a breath. This is one the horror fans will enjoy but don’t expect too much from it. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Chaney Kley: Kyle Walsh is the traumatised young man who has been frightened of the dark for most of his life after seeing the Tooth Fairy at a young age. He returns to the town to help his childhood sweethearts little brother and to face his demon ending the curse once and for all. Chaney does a solid job but I can’t help but think he is a cheaper Ryan Reynolds. (6/10)

 kyle

Emma Caulfield: Caitlin Greene is the former sweetheart of Kyle whose younger brother is now being haunted by the Tooth Fairy, she reconnects with Kyle hoping to get the answers. Emma does a solid job but never really gets enough time to do much in the film. (5/10)

 

Lee Cormie: Michael Greene is the one boy being haunted by the Tooth Fairy that Kyle has returned to town to help. Lee does gives us a terrified child performance which works very well in the film. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: Darkness Falls has a supporting cast that really is all disposable characters that don’t really do much for the film.

 

Director Review: Jonathan Liebesman – Jonathan does give us a very standard horror that doesn’t give too much new to the genre. (6/10)

 

Horror: Darkness Falls has plenty of easy jump scares but doesn’t build the tension is needed. (5/10)

Thriller: Darkness Falls doesn’t let you go from the first return and keeps things going at a steady pace throughout. (7/10)

Settings: Darkness Falls uses the small isolated town for the story which works to make the urban legend become more realistic. (7/10)
Special Effects
: Darkness Falls has good effects for the tooth fairy creation. (8/10)

Suggestion: Darkness Falls is one for the horror fans to enjoy but just enjoy don’t expect too much. (Horror Fans Try)

 

Best Part: Urban legend turned dark is nice touch.

Worst Part: Too short.

Scariest Scene: Opening sequence.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: The Boogeyman

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $47.5 Million

Budget: $11 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

Tagline: Stay In The Light!

Trivia: The closing credits run for 11 minutes. This is because without the extra time, the movie would have been considered too short to release theatrically.

 

Overall: Darkness Falls is a solid horror that has good jump scares that will keep the popcorn fans happy but won’t satisfy the true horror fans.

Rating 60

Wrath Of The Titans (2012)

logoDirector: Jonathan Liebesman

Writer: Dan Mazeau, David Johnson (Screenplay) Beverley Cross (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Sam Worthington, Liam Neeson, Ralph Fiennes, Edgar Ramirez, Toby Kebbell, Rosamund Pike, Bill Nighy, Danny Huston

 

Plot: Perseus (Worthington) braves the treacherous underworld to rescue his father, Zeus (Neeson) captured by his son Ares (Ramirez) and brother Hades (Fiennes) who unleash the ancient Titans upon the world.

 

Verdict: Bigger, Louder, Less Brains Needed

 

Story: Having the moody brother trying to get revenge was the story in the first film right? Well he is back at it trying to destroy his brother’s legacy and his creation, way to think outside the box. The adventure travel mission is also pretty much the same with a battle with a mythical creature that ends up helping, and old wider person passing the torch to the next chapter and a maze that could get them killed round every corner concluding with an epic sized battle against a giant creature. So looking at this we didn’t even get new story just different characters. The only positive is that they used some well-known mythical creatures that the less knowledgeable would know. (5/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Sam Worthington: Perseus the demi-god know family man who wife has die, he must go back into battle to stop his father being killed. The strong hero returns in what is a standard performance. (6/10)

 percy

Liam Neeson: Zeus the captured god who has to talk his brother into not kill him and their creation. Only an in and out performance that doesn’t get given enough time to shine. (6/10)

 

Ralph Fiennes: Hades the god of the underworld who wants to finally get his chance to reign over the heavens. Bit like Neeson doesn’t get to shine as much as he should but takes advantage of the chances more. (7/10)

 hades

Edgar Ramirez: Ares the son of Zeus and god of war, he turns on his father and goes to lengths to take his seat at the heavens. Standard villainous performance with no stand out moments. (5/10)

 ares

Director Review: Jonathan Liebesman – Creates some big action scenes but doesn’t offer anything new to the series. (6/10)

 

Action: Great action scenes from start to finish that really carry the film. (8/10)

Fantasy: The fantasy behind the mythology works enough but isn’t same standard as previous one. (7/10)

Settings: Each setting is very well created leading to some brilliant looking scenes. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Great special effects from start to finish. (8/10)

Suggestion: If you didn’t like the first one don’t waste your time, but if you were a fan and don’t mind switching your brain off for film this is for you. (If you like Clash Watch)

 

Best Part: The labyrinth

Worst Part: Copied story.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final Battle

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Hopefully Not

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $305,270,083

Budget: $150 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: Feel the wrath

 

Overall: A Sequel, More Like A Lazy Copy

Rating 51