Chris Hemsworth Weekend – Cabin in the Woods (2012) Revisited

Director: Drew Goddard

Writer: Drew Goddard, Joss Whedon (Screenplay)

Starring: Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Fran Kranz, Jesse Williams, Richard Jenkins, Bradley Whitford, Brian White, Amy Acker

 

Plot: Five friends go for a break at a remote cabin, where they get more than they bargained for, discovering the truth behind the cabin in the woods.


Tagline – If you hear a strange sound outside… have sex.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Stand Out Horror

 

Story: The Cabin in the Woods starts when five college friends Dana (Connolly), Curt (Hemsworth), Jules (Hutchison), Marty (Kranz) and Holden (Williams) head off for a break in the cabin in the woods, with plenty of booze and laughs.

With the friends starting to act strangely we learn of an operation being run below the cabin, with Sitterson (Jenkins) and Hadley (Whitford) pulling the strings for a much bigger picture, where the teens are selected as sacrifices with the rest of the world getting their plans to suit their cultures.

 

Thoughts on The Cabin in the Woods

 

Characters – When we look at the teenagers, we have Dana who is making up for her own relationship woes with a teacher, being set up with Holden, but downstairs she is classed as the virgin. Curt is dating Jules, he likes his sport especially American Football and is well educated, at the cabin he turns into the jock figure. Jules is the best friend of Dana trying to support her through her problems, she turns into the slut at the cabin. Marty is the stoner, the fifth wheel if you like, he has the funniest lines of the whole movie, best scenes and has found a way to stay immune to the toxics effecting the others, pointing out the horror clichés mistakes. Holden is the friend of Curt’s sent to hook up with Dana, he is a good guy with what he does though, even if we don’t learn that much more about him. This characters are designed to become the stereotypes in the horror genre.

When we look at the people conducting the operations we have the two leaders Sitterson and Hadley who have been doing this for years, Hadley is waiting for a merman which is an on running joke through the film, while Sitterson knows how to fix every single problem. We do have the newest member of the team Truman that questions what is going on with Lin trying to help him understand the situation they are working for. This is all before even showing us the creatures will we be seeing through the film, each one bringing a new level of horror unlike anything we could have imagined.

PerformancesThe stars of the movie are good throughout, Kristen Connolly, Chris Hemsworth, Anna Hutchison, Jesse Williams and Fran Kranz as the teenagers are great with Connolly and Kranz stepping up to steal the show, you do get an early glimpse of what Hemsworth can do for comedy too. Jenkins and Whitford have excellent chemistry together giving us the dry comedy needed for their side of the film.

StoryThe story here turns what we know from your generic horror movies on its head, we know how the cabin in the woods slasher movies go but turning the story into an idea of human sacrifice in a satirical way does make this stand out from the crowd. The story does play into fan service for horror fans by doing this because it does play into clichés for a purpose, though it does go against clichés too and shows us how certain clichés haven’t transferred into the modern horror era. There are so many details you can talk about here and even the later stages go crazy, you will be hooked watching.

Comedy/HorrorThis is a horror movie, there is no questions, we have so many iconic figures from horror concepts, the comedy does show when it comes to going against the ideas of horror, mostly satirising what we know without parodying it.

SettingsThe film uses two major settings, first we have the cabin with the surroundings we know about, it is used for moments of horror too, the underground facility shows us how the operations are unfolding and how the people operate.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film do look great, with the final 30 minutes uses such large amounts of practical and CGI going on.


Scene of the Movie –
Lift opening.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I didn’t not like anything about this film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror movie that plays into the horror clichés to make them noticed, much like what Scream did in the 90s, this took things to the next level and with a final 30 minutes which will leave you jaw dropped.

 

Overall: The modern masterpiece of Horror.

Rating

 

 

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Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

Director: Fran Rubel Kuzui

Writer: Joss Whedon (Screenplay)

Starring: Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland, Paul Reubens, Rutger Hauer, Luke Perry, Michele Abrams, Hilary Swank

 

Plot: A flighty teenage girl learns that she is her generation’s destined battler of vampires.


Tagline – Sometimes it takes more than just good looks to kill.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun, But Not as Good as the TV Show

 

Story: Buffy the Vampire Slayer starts as we meet high school cheerleader Buffy (Swanson), one of the popular girls in school preparing for the latest dance. Buffy’s life is going to take a turn when the mysterious Merrick (Sutherland) enters her life, with the tales of vampires and her being the chosen one to fight them and protect her town.

Buffy now goes through the training process, so she can defeat her first deadlier enemy, Lothos (Hauer) a vampire that is haunting her dreams with the history of the previous slayers and make it to the dance on time.

 

Thoughts on Buffy the Vampire Slayer

 

Characters – Buffy is the high school cheerleader who is more worried the latest school dance to notice her own destiny. She learns she is the slayer that is meant to fight vampires and her town is now in danger. Merrick is the watcher, the man that must teach Buffy how to defeat the vampires and becoming the slayer warrior she is destiny to be. Lothos is the big bad vampire that is waiting to take control of the town that Buffy is part of, we see how he has been planning this attack for a while with his vampires in the shadows.

PerformancesKristy Swanson is good in this leading role, we might not the role of Buffy as Sarah Michelle Gellar, but Kristy was here first and built the unlikely hero very well. Sutherland is good pick for the watcher because it is the answers for wise old man. Going into the supporting cast, none of these performers make an impact on the way they could which only disappoints when we know how these characters are going to be known in the TV series.

StoryThe story is difficult to talk about, because I grew up watching the show and for me, I was used to a different Buffy, an outsider, seeing the popular girl become the slayer just seems strange, but for a teenage action fantasy comedy works as we see one girl find her place in the world. This is an enjoyable watch and plays out just how you would imagine without being as interesting as it should be, because we want the world to be so much bigger.

Action/Fantasy/HorrorWe have action sequences which see Buffy face increasing numbers or difficulties in her battles, in a world that is filled with vampires which plays for the fantasy and the horror side of the film.

SettingsThe film takes place in the small town with a high school, this works for the movie because it shows us what Buffy will need to protect.

Special EffectsThe effects were good for the time of release, while moments have dated, we don’t get the need for the effects for the most part.


Scene of the Movie –
The Dance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Its not the Buffy I am used to seeing.

Final ThoughtsThis does feel like the 90’s movie it is, it gave us the film that went onto become a wonderful TV series, which is something that people will forever be grateful for.

 

Overall: Simple action fantasy.

Rating

 

 

Justice League (2017)

Director: Zack Snyder

Writer: Chris Terrio, Joss Whedon (Screenplay) Bob Kane, Bill Finger, William Moulton Marston, Joe Shuster, Jerry Siegel (Characters)

Starring: Gal Gadot, Ben Affleck, Jason Momoa, Ezra Miller, Connie Nielsen, Henry Cavill, Amber Heard, Amy Adams, Jeremy Irons, Ray Fisher

 

Plot: Fueled by his restored faith in humanity and inspired by Superman’s selfless act, Bruce Wayne enlists the help of his newfound ally, Diana Prince, to face an even greater enemy.


Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Action Blast

 

Story: Justice League starts as a new unknown threat is attacking the world, with criminals committing acts of terror in the aftermath of Superman’s death. Bruce Wayne (Affleck) teams up with Diana Prince (Gadot) to stop this new threat Steppenwolf, who wants to destroy the world, yeah the usual villain stuff.

The team they recruit includes Barry Allen (Miller), Arthur Curry (Momoa) and Victor Stone (Fisher) as these three new recruits get a better introduction than we saw in the Batman v Superman movie. Using their skills they are left with an ultimate decision which could swing the battle in their favour or risk seeing the world destroyed by this ancient evil.

 

Thoughts on Justice League

 

Characters – Bruce Wayne, knows his weakness, uses his money to recruit the team, his technology to spy on the team and his human touch to connect to the characters. Diana Prince lives a quiet life after the event of Wonder Woman over 100 years ago, she still believes in the good in human and beings from different backgrounds. Barry Allen is a young man living off the grid trying to find a way to get his father out of prison, he gets excited to be able to work with a team and gets most of the laughs. Arthur Curry is a man of mystery, one with the ocean, he has left his past behind him which leads him down the Logan road. Victor Stone is a science experiment gone wrong, part human, part robot needing to learn to control his newly found abilities. Lois Lane is here, she doesn’t do much to be honest. Clark Kent is the heart of the characters drives to fight, he selfless actions last time out give hope to them all.

As for the alter-egos Batman looks so out of place in this film, we have Gods, experiments gone wrong and this random rich guy who is past his best, trying to pull the team together, he is ineffective in the combat scenes too. Wonder Woman gets the best moments in the fights, jumping on the beliefs of just how inspirational the character is. The Flash gets moments that will make you laugh, but you would rather be watching Quicksilver moments. Aquaman gets the awkward underwater scenes, which must be hard to shoot, he enjoys a good fight though. Cyborg is the brains of the team, solving the problems before they happen.

As for the villain, Steppenwolf he is a threat there is no doubt about that, he is ruthless too, but his desire for destruction does feel like it got ripped out of a Transformers movie.

PerformancesBen Affleck is a good Bruce Wayne but not a good Batman, you can believe his arrogance when trying to build the team. Gal Gadot is the star of the hero’s side of the story showing in the world of DC she is their trump card. Erza Miller does add the much-needed comedy to the serious film and hits more than he misses. Jason Momoa is good throughout too, his character feels like what Wonder Woman was in Batman v Superman, we just what more. Ray Fisher is strong too, he gives the character the darkness needed to make us want more from his backstory. The none Justice League performances are fine, but no one gets much time to do anything. Having a CGI villain means we only get the voice work which works for the film.

StoryThe origin of the Justice League, well Marvel did it with the Avengers so, why not. To be fair we got the first seeds of this in Batman v Superman and this continued the ideas to show how they could come together to fight an evil presence. My problems with the story come from the trailers, which show the team working together, much like Stephen King’s IT we follow the individual stories for a large amount of time trying to play the will they won’t they game about joining the team, but the trailer gave this away. If you want to see the story continue you strongly I will say DC’s storytelling for the bigger picture is going in the right direction and this is easy to follow and enjoy is this is your style of film.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action is big, like you would expect for the superhero movie, sadly Batman doesn’t fit in the action sequences in my opinion. The ci-fi comes from Gods, aliens and experiments working together in battle be it with each other or against.

SettingsThe settings are all over the place, not in a bad way, we get the references to previous films and teases of locations for our new addition.

Special EffectsThe effects are complete mixed bag, we get certain moments which look great but then we get the weak moments that disappoint.


Scene of the Movie –
Rebirth

That Moment That Annoyed Me Batman feels very out of place in this film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun addition to the superhero collection, in a year of impressive films this doesn’t crack my top 3 in the genre but doesn’t take the spot of the worst, I could happily enjoy watching this again and I hope you do too.

 

Overall: Fun enjoyable superhero movie for everyone to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

 

Alien: Resurrection (1997)

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Writer: Joss Whedon (Screenplay) Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett (Characters)

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Dominique Pinon, Ron Perlman, Gary Dourdan, Michael Wincott, Kim Flowers, Dan Hedaya

 

Plot: Two centuries after her death, Ellen Ripley is revived as a powerful human/alien hybrid clone who must continue her war against the aliens.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mindless Action Aliens

 

Story: Alien: Resurrection starts as we arrive on a US space research facility where General Perez (Hedaya) is working on bringing back the aliens with clones of Ripley (Weaver), the latest number 8 shows incredible strength and development. Waiting for a delivery from Captain Elgyn (Wincott) and his crew Call (Ryder), Vriess (Pinon), Johner (Perlman) Hillard (Flowers) and Christie (Dourdan) a deal is agreed they can spend a couple of days’ rest on the research ship.

After Elgyn’s crew get involved in an altercation with the scientists they must escape but the xenomorphs have escaped onto the ship, joining up with Ripley the crew look for a way off the ship while staying alive.

 

Thoughts on Alien: Resurrection

 

Characters/PerformanceRipley is now a clone and the mother of the xenomorphs being created on the ship, she is stronger than before but becomes the best weapon against the xenomorphs. Call is the newest crew member of the pirates but she is harbouring a secret from the rest of the crew. The rest of the characters are your generic group of fighters, the tough one, the gunslinger, the smart one and the captain nothing original comes from these characters.

Performance wise, this isn’t the best Weaver alien performance but she is also brave enough to take it on with a different approach. Ryder is solid enough through the film. the rest of the cast are also solid with Ron Perlman giving his aggressive dick like performance on the good guys team.

StoryThe story might not be the greatest, but it does capture what is needed for an alien movie, we have the military wanting to study the aliens for their own good, this happens every single film, we also have the group of soldiers needing to fight them off, but this film does offer a chance to build the relationship between the xenomorphs and Ripley. The problem for a lot of this story telling it that it isn’t original and isn’t on the same levels as the earlier films.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is all mindless like you would expect from big budget style sequel too far down the line, the horror is now nearly all gone from the franchise but the sci-fi angle continues on strongly as we see how the aliens are now finding new ways to breed.

SettingsThe whole film is set upon the space facility craft which is good because it keeps everything within the one location which is all we want in these films.

Special EffectsThe special effects are good in this film and are one of the extra highlights within the film.

Final ThoughtsThe weakest part of the Weaver alien films but still a good enjoyable enough watch.

 

Overall: Enjoyable enough.

Rating

 

 

Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015)

logoDirector: Joss Whedon

Writer: Joss Whedon (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Jack Kirby (Comic Book)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Chris Hemsworth, Mark Ruffalo, Chris Evans, Scarlett Johansson, Jeremy Renner, James Spader, Samuel L Jackson, Don Cheadle, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Elizabeth Olsen, Paul Bettany, Cobie Smulders, Anthony Mackie, Hayley Atwell, Idris Elba, Stellan Skarsgard, Andy Serkis

 

Plot: When Tony Stark tries to jumpstart a dormant peacekeeping program, things go awry and it is up to the Avengers to stop the villainous Ultron from enacting his terrible plans.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fight, Regroup, Fight, Repeat

 

Story: Avengers: Age of Ultron starts by showing our Avengers Iron Man (Downey Jr), Thor (Hemsworth) Captain America (Evans) Hawkeye (Renner) Hulk (Ruffalo) and Black Widow (Johansson) trying to take down Hydra in Slovakia. We get to see how they are finally working as a unit, but when Hydra have hidden weapons with Quicksilver (Taylor-Johnson) and Scarlett Witch (Olsen) what looks like a simple missing takes a turn when Hawkeye gets injured, but more worrying Tony gets tricked by the Scarlett Witch as the mission looks like a success when the team collect Loki’s staff.

Tony wants to use Loki’s Staff to create a dream peacekeeping system named Ultron. When Ultron takes over Jarvis we see its intentions are hostile and it decides that the only way to find peace would be to destroy all of the Avengers. Ultron reunites with Quicksilver and Scarlett Witch as they plan to eliminate the Avengers, while on the other side of the battles we watch how the Avengers look for clues to where Ultron is and what went wrong with the programming.

Ultron continues its plan to take over the world and the Avengers have to regroup while going into hiding before figuring out the next plan of attack in the attempts to stop Ultron from destroying the world.

Avengers: Age of Ultron has to really be looked at as an over the top filler before the big fight. We needed a film to finally show how united the Avengers have become and the fact they actually create the villain shows that we just need to see how they can work together to overcome more personal demons. I feel I am going to be very critical about this film mainly because I would have liked something stronger. I personally keep going on about how I think we need to see the villain actually win or have the upper hand by the end of the film much like Star Wars Empire Strikes Back did. I did like how we got to learn more about Hawkeye and Black Widow and focused a lot more about what Hawkeye was fighting for giving the Avengers a human feeling instead of having all the superheroes taking centre stage. I also feel most of the team got good amount of screen time and we have been able to avoid character development because of the previous films. I don’t feel this is up to the story levels we would expect from an Avengers film but I do think it does what it needs to entertain. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Robert Downey Jr: Tony Stark/Iron Man is back to his cocky self where he wants to use his superior intelligence to try and play God building a peacekeeping machine. This only ends up creating the next villain Ultron and Tony has to keep the team together while solving his latest problem. I did get confused how Tony was back working for the Avengers though because I believe he was meant to have given up on the superhero idea and we never learn why he goes back into it. Robert continues to show why he was perfect choice for Tony Stark but I do still wonder why we didn’t get more information about why Tony returned. (7/10)

 ironman

Chris Hemsworth: Thor is the God who is back on Earth fighting with the Avengers, we see how he can still struggle with Earth cultures but he almost goes into background support character. Chris does a good job but I feel his character falls too much into the background of the Avengers. (6/10)

thor

Mark Ruffalo: Bruce Banner/Hulk is as always conflicted with his dark side and we get an awkward romantic angle with Black Widow and lots of moping around about what he can’t control. Mark does a good job as we can see how conflicted he has become because of his alter ego. (7/10)

 hulk

Chris Evans: Steve Rogers/Captain America is the leader of the Avengers now and always tries to do the right thing for every move, we see how he goes toe to toe with Tony but makes sure the safety of the innocent is his priority. Chris shows why he is the leader well throughout making sure he takes centre stage whenever the team needs him. (7/10)

 captain america

Scarlett Johansson: Natasha Romanoff/Black Widow is a character we do get to learn more about her with deeper look into the past, along with the romantic angle with Bruce Banner. Scarlett gives us a different look at her character giving Scarlett a chance to show her skills. (7/10)

 widow

Jeremy Renner: Clint Barton/Hawkeye has plenty of surprises up his sleeves in this one, he actually ends up being the most important character in the film because he is showing the human side to what they are battling for. Jeremy gets to take his character to the front of the team and easily is the star improvement character. (8/10)

 hawkeye

James Spader: Ultron (Voice) is the creation of Tony’s where he uses the power from Loki’s Staff to discover a computer based intelligence that will take over while trying to find real peace in the world. James voice strikes fear with every word he says. (7/10)

 ultron

Aaron Taylor-Johnson: Pietro Maximoff/Quicksilver is the supersonic runner who is against the Avengers and along with his twin sister keeps interfering with the plans of the Avengers against Ultron before seeing the errors of their ways. Aaron does a good job joining the massive cast showing he can join in like a regular with ease. (7/10)

 quicksilver

Elizabeth Olsen: Wanda Maximoff/Scarlett Witch is the woman who has the ability to control the minds of anyone and uses her powers to let the Avengers see their worst nightmares. She also has the ability to fire something from her hands which never seems to get explained as she teams up with Ultron before learning the errors of her way and joining with the Avengers. Elizabeth makes for a great addition to the cast if only I knew more about her characters powers. (7/10)

 witch

Support Cast: Avengers: Age of Ultron has a mega supporting cast that includes plenty of familiar faces from the franchise popping up when the team need them.

 

Director Review: Joss Whedon – Joss give what all the fans boys want, he checks all the boxes for a Blockbuster but he lacks that originality he is famous for. (7/10)

 

Action: Avengers: Age of Ultron has so many action sequences that manage to show each of the Avengers powers/abilities too, but they are also familiar. (9/10)

Superhero: Avengers: Age of Ultron is what every superhero fan will enjoy, build the love for the characters. (9/10)

Thriller: Avengers: Age of Ultron makes you want to watch until the end but I don’t feel the villain threat feels dangerous enough. (7/10)

Settings: Avengers: Age of Ultron uses basic settings that don’t seem to make too much to make any effect on the film until the final one with the town floating away. (6/10)
Special Effects
: Avengers: Age of Ultron uses great effects to make everything look realistic throughout. (8/10)

Suggestion: Avengers: Age of Ultron is one for the popcorn film fan to enjoy, but you know this you never go into an Avenger movie looking for something serious. (Popcorn Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Banter.

Worst Part: Seen the fights before.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final one.

Funniest Scene: The Hammer lifting.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Has a sequels planned with both individual and joint films

Post Credits Scene: Yes

Similar Too: Avengers Assemble

 

Oscar Chances: Could get a few for visual or special effects.

Budget: $250 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 21 Minutes

Tagline: A new age begins

Trivia: James Spader was Joss Whedon’s first and only choice for the role of Ultron, because of his “hypnotic voice that can be eerily calm and compelling while also being very human and humorous”.

 

Overall: Avengers Age of Ultron is a glorified filler film, giving us a chance to see our favourite characters get another win over an unthreatening villain.

Rating 70