The Killing Fields (1984)

killingDirector: Roland Joffe

Writer: Bruce Robinson (Screenplay)

Starring: Sam Waterston, Haing S Ngor, John Malkovich, Julian Sands, Craig T Nelson, Spalding Gray

 

Plot: A journalist is trapped in Cambodia during tyrant Pol Pot’s bloody “Year Zero” cleansing campaign, which claimed the lives of two million “undesirable” civilians.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Important Moment in History

 

Story: The Killing Fields starts in Cambodia 1973 when New York reporter Sydney Schanberg (Waterston) arrives in the war-torn country to meet his representative and friend Dith Pran (Ngor) who shows him around the country. When the war gets to a new level of danger the American’s are leaving the country but Sydney wants to stay to cover the atrocities going on in the country but Dith refuses to leave his side even after Sydney gets his family out of the warzone.

Staying behind Sydney, Dith, Al Rockoff (Malkovich) and Jon Swain (Sands) continue to report the atrocities around Cambodia for the news around the world where they will end up having to experience things no one on Earth should ever have to get through.

 

Thoughts on The Killing Fields

 

StoryThe story mostly shows how on local had to survive to get out of the Cambodia before he becomes a victim of the war between Cambodia and Vietnam. We do also have a look at how the reporters are seeing what is going on but they get safe leading to the American’s wanting to help their friends while he survives what is going on. This is shocking story that will leave you in shock, fear and moments of tears in the final outcome.

Biography/History/WarThis film is very important because of what happened in Cambodia and how the people were treated, with this we get to see a time in history which will need to be seen to understand what they went through.

Characters/PerformanceWith each character based on the real people it is hard to look at what we think of the character’s action they take and experiences they must go through. Looking at the performances you can see just how brilliant they all were through the film with Ngor stealing the show.

SettingsEach setting shows us just how horrific the situation in Cambodia was and how if effected anyone involved in the devastation of the war.

Final ThoughtsThis is a hard film to get through because of the subject matter and I can see plenty of people not wanting to see it but this is also essential viewing for any historical film fans.

 

Overall: One of the hardest films to watch but also one of the greatest films to see.

Ratingcard

 

 

Arachnophobia (1990)

logoDirector: Frank Marshall

Writer: Don Jakoby, Wesley Strick (Screenplay) Don Jakoby, Al Williams (Story)

Starring: Jeff Daniels, Harley Jane Kozak, John Goodman, Julian Sands, Stuart Pankin, Brian McNamara, Mark L Taylor

Plot: A species of South American killer spider hitches a lift to the U.S. in a coffin and starts to breed and kill.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Creature Feature

Story: Arachnophobia starts with Doctor Atherton (Sands) has he searches South America for a potential new species of bug or spider. When the expedition discovers a new spider it ends up being the photographer who gets bitten which the bite becomes deadly killing him instantly. The body just s happens to get flown back to America and this small town where one of the spiders catches a ride.

Next we meet the Jennings family Dr Ross (Daniels), Molly (Kozak) Tommy ad Shelly who are moving into a new house in the small town right next to where the spider gets lose. Dr Ross has moved down to get all the patients but the out going Doctor decides to postpone his retirement make the family move even more difficult. As time goes by the spider breeds with the local population and this small town starts to get over run with these killer spiders.

When one of the neighbours dies suddenly Ross’ time settling is has become difficult, with the out going doctor refuses to leave and even branding him for the death of his only patients. When the out going doctor dies of a spider bite Ross finally get the power he needs to investigate the mysterious deaths. Ross does his research getting Doctor Atherton to look into the deaths, exterminator Delbert McClintock (Goodman) could be the towns only hope from the problem.

Arachnophobia is what you always want to see when you hear the words creature features. It is filled with your generic characters that all make the story unfold easily, it fills the horror creature idea which is easy to do building the horror needed because everything comes off with the idea being simple with the addition of new species in a new environment. It is going to be 25 years old this year old and hasn’t aged a day. This will be a good story for any horror director to use that keeps everything simple showing how creature features should be done. (7/10)

Actor Review

Jeff Daniels: Dr Ross Jennings is the new doctor for the small town, he has a massive fear of spiders. He moves to the small town to take over the doctor surgery but when the out going doctor changes his mind, he ends up struggling to gain the patient list. After a couple of sudden deaths in the town he wants to investigate only to find out there is a new species of spider in the town and it is deadly. He must face his fears and win over the town from the deadly spiders. Jeff gives a good performance showing he has the comic ability without being a full comedy. (8/10)ross

Harley Jane Kozak: Molly Jennings is the wife of Ross who has given up her successful job to move to the country, she is the spider catcher in the house hold. Harley does a solid job in the supporting role but never seems to get enough screen time. (6/10)

John Goodman: Delbert McClintock is the town exterminator who gets bought into try and solve the problem, he is no nonsense and kind of enjoys killing any pests. John pretty much steals the show with his supporting role that is the funniest character in the film. (7/10)debert

Julian Sands: Doctor James Atherton is the scientist who discovers the spider in South America, he is studying the new species back home in America but unaware that one of the spiders escaped back with a dead body. He has to come to the small town to help figure out how to stop the spiders from taking over. Julian fills the smarter character role perfectly. (7/10)atherton

Support Cast: Arachnophobia is filled with the generic towns people that all add to the overall story.

Director Review: Frank MarshallFrank manages to give us a good creature feature that is filled with good tension. (7/10)

Comedy: Arachnophobia isn’t a full blown comedy but doesn’t take itself too serious. (7/10)

Horror: Arachnophobia puts our characters in a good horror situation where everything is coming up in everyday life. (7/10)

Thriller: Arachnophobia keeps us guessing about who will get killed next. (7/10)

Settings: Arachnophobia puts most of the action in a small town which helps show of the spread of the spiders will cause the problems. (9/10)

Suggestion: Arachnophobia is one for all the fans of the creature feature fans will enjoy. (Creature Feature Fans Watch)

Best Part: Final battle.

Worst Part: PG rating is the weakness.

Action Scene Of The Film: Ross v the King & Queen.

Funniest Scene: Most of Delbert’s scenes.

Believability: It could happen but not to this level. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $53 Million

Budget: $31 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

Tagline: Eight legs, two fangs and an attitude.

Overall: This is pure creature feature fun that will keep you entertained throughout.

Rating75

Rose Red (2002) Mini Series

logoDirector: Craig R Baxley

Writer: Stephen King (Screenplay)

Starring: Nancy Travis, Matt Keeslar, Kimberly j. Brown, David Dukes, Judith Ivey, Melanie Lynskey, Matt Ross, Julian Sands, Kevin Tighe, Julia Campbell, Emily Deschanel

 

Plot: Rose Red is one of the most haunted mysterious houses in America, with people disappearing and dying mysteriously for a century. Professor Joyce Reardon (Travis) wants to prove the existence of the paranormal. Along with the last remaining family member Steve Rimbauer (Keeslar) she arrange for a team of different type of psychic to investigate. Her team includes Cathy (Ivey), Emery (Ross), Nick (Sands), Victor (Tighe), Pam (Deschanel) and an autistic girl Annie (Brown) and her non-psychic sister Rachel (Lynskey). Spending the weekend in the house how will they cope with all the haunting going on and how many secrets does the house hold?

 

Verdict: King delivers another wonderfully creepy story

Story: Not many people can create a large cast and develop the characters so well, King knows how to do this and this proves it again. With plenty of mystery involved and secrets from the house and the characters we get a genuine creepy story. (9/10)

 

Actor Review: Nancy Travis – Joyce her obsession with Rose Red will push her to professional limits and personally limits. It is a good performance from Nancy showing how an obsession can take over you goals. (9/10)

 joyce

Actor Review: Matt Keeslar – Steve the last remaining family member of the house who has also experienced the houses power as a child. Good performance as one of the voices of reason who seemingly doesn’t suffer from the hauntings compared to the rest. (8/10)

steve

Actor Review: Kimberly J. Brown – Annie the autistic girl with the strongest powers of all the psychics. Good performance from the young actress who is important to the story. (8/10)

 annie

Actor Review: Melanie Lynskey – Rachel one of the non-psychics who also doesn’t seem to suffer from the hauntings but is only there to protect her sister. Good performances with a calm protective domineer. (8/10)

 

Actor Review: Julian Sands – Nick a mind reader who is the one of the nicest characters involved always knowing more than the rest but unwilling to share to protect the rest. The star of the show here, dominating the screen every time he is on it. Star Performance Award, Scene Stealer Award, Favourite Character Award (9/10)

 sands

Actor Review: Matt Ross – Emery a very unlikeable character who only cares about himself but has a power to make the spirits disappear. Great performance to create such an unlikeable but important character. (9/10)

 emery

Actor Review: Judith Ivey – Cathy she believes that god will protect her against anything in the house and with her power she also is an important to the final showdown. Good performance to show a good character that has to deal with all the anti-good in the house. (8/10)

Director Review: Craig R Baxley – Great direction to turn this great story into such an interesting visual experience. (9/10)

 

Horror: Great build for horror that doesn’t scare you silly but offers enough jumps to keep you on the edge of your seat. (8/10)

Thriller: it may be four hours long but you just want to keep watching to see what will happen next. (9/10)

Special Effects: Some great special effects but some poor or dated effects. (7/10)

Believability: Many people believe at haunted house but this goes to the extremes. (5/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Settings: Rose Red is an excellent setting for the film showing that isolation even in the middle of a big city can create extra scares. (10/10)

house

Suggestion: Stephen King fans have to watch this most horror fans have to watch this but just don’t expect gore. This is a great series that people will enjoy watching. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Cathy gets lost in the house.

Worst Part: It could be too long for some.

Oscar Chances: No but got nominated for Prime Time Emmy.

Chances of Sequel: No

 

Overall: Great miniseries that has plenty of scares.

Rating 85