Franchise Weekend – Urban Legends: Bloody Mary (2005)

Director: Mary Lambert

Writer: Michael Dougherty, Dan Harris (Screenplay)

Starring: Kate Mara, Robert Vito, Tina Lifford, Ed Marinaro, Michael Coe, Lillith Fields

 

Plot: On a prom-night dare, a trio of high school friends chant an incantation, unleashing an evil spirit from the past with deadly consequences.


Tagline – Mary’s Evil is Beyond Legend

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Better Than I Remembered

 

Story: Urban Legends: Bloody Mary starts as we follow three high school students including Samantha Owens (Mara) who are playing with the ideas of urban legends and the Bloody Mary myth, which sees them disappear for a couple of days.

When they return Samantha’s brother David (Vito) believes it had something to do with the football team that she exposed, but soon the Mary ghost starts putting the students through their own nightmares.

 

Thoughts on Urban Legends: Bloody Mary

 

Characters – Samantha Owens is on of the high school reporters, her latest story exposes the football team which leads to her being exiled from the school dance, victim of a prank she is put through the same ordeal that three student years before went through, which unleashes a vengeful spirit. She must figure out what is going on before too many people start dying. David is the brother of Samantha, he always watches over his sister and will stand by her to stop anything happening to her. Grace Taylor was one of the survivors that was involved in the first kidnapping that took place, she doesn’t remember who was involved and has spent her life avoiding the truth. Bill is the step father of Sam and David, thy have never been fond of him and we learn early on that he was around during the first incident.

PerformancesKata Mara is the lead in this film, this is one of her first leading roles and you can see she does have the little bit extra about her that will make her standout in the future. The rest of the cast is solid enough, certain smaller supporting roles do have weak performances, but once they are killed off it isn’t a problem.

StoryThe story here follows high school students that unleashes an urban Legend on the world only for them to get picked off, they need to solve the mystery of the whereabouts of the murdered teenager to bring about the end of the curse. This does use connection to the first two films, mostly by pointing out who the killer in the second one was, showing that people will use Urban Legends to kill. By using the students names we learn who the killer is too early which is a shame because it could have been a good twist, when it comes to the kills the idea they are based on Urban Legends once again ends up mixed because some are just crimes which take advantage of the situation over being a legend. This will also fail by the fact that it decided to go supernatural on us for no reason what so ever.

Horror/MysteryThe kills continue to use the Urban Legends which is fine, we have learnt about these in previous films, but the supernatural side of everything only lets things down, the mystery behind the film is easier to solve once we look at the people in the opening sequence.

SettingsHaving a high school setting does make this feel too big, it also leaves us to wide spread for the kills mostly taking place in homes.

Special EffectsThe effects the biggest weakness of the film, anything practical works fine, but those CGI moments mostly the spider scene look terrible.


Scene of the Movie –
The fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Those spiders.

Final ThoughtsFor the third in a franchise this is fine, it works and will make for a good late night movie we can enjoy as horror fans.

 

Overall: Late night viewing.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Random – C – Captive (2015)

Director: Jerry Jameson

Writer: Brian Bird (Screenplay) Ashley Smith, Stacy Mattingly (Book)

Starring: Kate Mara, David Oyelowo, Elle Graham, Michael Kenneth Williams, Jessica Oyelowo, Mimi Rogers, Leonor Varela

 

Plot: A single mother struggling with drug addiction is taken hostage in her own apartment by a man on the run who has broken out of jail and murdered the judge assigned to his case.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Thriller

 

Story: Captive starts as we meet Ashely Smith (Mara) a drug addict who has lost her child due to her addiction and is desperately struggling to get clean. On the other side of the story we find Brian Nichols (Oyelowo) a criminal who breaks out of his trial hearing leaving bodies on the way.

Lt John Chestnut (Williams) and Sgt. Sandoval (Varela) lead the manhunt for Brian as we learn how this minor criminal has escalated to murder to get freedom. Brian breaks into Ashley apartment holding her hostage inside her own home. Ashley must spend the night trying to stay alive when this clearly mentally unstable man Brian pushes her to the limits.

 

Thoughts on Captive

 

Characters/PerformanceAshley is a recovering drug addict who is about to become clean and get her daughter back, she must stay one step ahead of Brian to make this happen. Brian is a criminal about to be judge on a rape case he believes he is innocent off. He escapes and kills the judge going on the run before taking Ashely hostage. He constantly believes he is innocent of all the crimes he is being accused off. The cops on the other hand are all the generic ones you would imagine they would be.

Performance Wise, Kate Mara is good in the leading role showing given the right material she can be a leading lady, David Oyelowo is as always great in yet another film he clearly is the best part off.

StoryThis is a story that is based on real events, this is just another hostage story though, we have the bonding between the criminal and victim which is nothing fresh, as well as watching the manhunt for him. This all works but doesn’t come off as original, because this is based on a real event it would have been more interesting to see more about the real case that Brian believes he is innocent off.

Crime/ThrillerThe crime side of this film happens early on as most of the film is hunting down the criminal who has gone to extreme lengths to get his freedom. The thriller ide doesn’t keep us on edge for long enough.

SettingsThe apartment shows how Ashely has become trapped with Brian but we also deal with the idea that we are watching a manhunt too.

Final ThoughtsThis was a slow-moving thriller that doesn’t reach the levels it needs to, mostly because this is based on a real event too.

 

Overall: Slow and disappointing thriller.

Rating

 

 

Morgan (2016)

morganDirector: Luke Scott

Writer: Seth W Owen (Screenplay)

Starring: Kate Mara, Anya Taylor-Joy, Rose Leslie, Michael Yare, Toby Jones, Chris Sullivan, Boyd Holbrook, Michelle Yeoh, Brian Cox, Paul Giamatti, Jennifer Jason Leigh

 

Plot: A corporate risk-management consultant must decide whether or not to terminate an artificially created humanoid being.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Start, Bad Finish

 

Story: Morgan starts as a secret project has a murderous side leading to Lee Weather (Mara) being set to investigate what happened on the project known as Morgan (Taylor-Joy), her investigation isn’t just into the subject but the staff involved to see if everything is still going on their plans.

The humanoid known as Morgan has been with the doctors her whole life with the doctors including Amy Menser (Leslie), Simon Ziegler (Jones), Darren Finch (Sullivan), Brenda Finch (Robinson) Lui Cheng (Yeoh) and Kathy Grieff (Leigh) each member of the team has worked on different parts of Morgan to make her understand each environment needed for training.

When Dr Alan Shapiro (Giamatti) arrives on the base the two must start their investigation and assessment into whether Morgan should be destroyed or to keep the project alive.

Morgan is a sci-fi horror thriller that builds on similar style films of creating life that could be smarter than the current humans, so think Splice but with higher intelligence. Well I say that because the first half of the film is very interesting because we start at the moment where the incident happens and the decision needs to be made, all this is fine and comes off fine. Where this film starts to fall apart is in final act of the film where it just becomes some form of lazy hack and slash story of an experiment gone wrong. This movie would have been a lot more interesting if it had stayed focusing on morale questions involved if the experiment had gone wrong.

Morgan has a very impressive cast with highly respected names including Giamatti, Yeoh, Cox, Leigh and Jones with years of great work under their belts and you can expect the performance from them on any film. We add in Mara trying to get to the levels of her sister Rooney giving one of her best performances as the cold hearted consultant and rising stars Boyd Holbrook, Rose Leslie both give good supporting performances. Anya Taylor-Joy has had a great year with her performance in The Witch and this shows her ability in the roles in question.

 

Overall: Such an interesting start before becoming a generic messy ending.

Ratingcard

 

 

The Martian (2015)

martianDirector: Ridley Scott

Writer: Drew Goddard (Screenplay) Andy Weir (Book)

Starring: Matt Damon, Kate Mara, Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Sebastian Stan, Sean Bean, Michael Pena, Donald Glover, Mackenzie, Jeff Daniels, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Naomi Scott

 

Plot: During a manned mission to Mars, Astronaut Mark Watney is presumed dead after a fierce storm and left behind by his crew. But Watney has survived and finds himself stranded and alone on the hostile planet. With only meagre supplies, he must draw upon his ingenuity, wit and spirit to subsist and find a way to signal to Earth that he is alive.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the Best in 2015

 

Story: The Martian starts with the first astronaut team on Mars Commander Melissa Lewis (Chastain), Mark Watney (Damon) Martinez (Pena), Johanssen (Mara), Beck (Stan) and Vogel (Hennie) as their exploration mission gets hit by devastating storm leading them to lead for an immediate evacuation. During the storm Watney gets hit and lost in the storm with the rest leaving the planet.

Director of NASA Teddy Sanders (Daniels) announces to the world what has happen and that Watney died on Mars. Meanwhile on Mars we follow Watney as he awakens from his injuries and returns to the command centre to record what he thinks will be his final days on Mars because he knows how long it would take for a rescue team to save him.

Watney refusing to give up so easily decides to fight to survive by using his expertise as a botanist to grow enough food to last the time period he has to wait for any sort of rescue mission.

When Mission Control discover that Watney is alive they have to figure out what to do, Vincent Kapoor (Ejiofor), Annie Montrose (Wiig) and Sanders need to make contact with Watney to make a rescue mission a reality while hiding the truth from his original crew. We have to witness Watney survive, NASA make the big decision and the crew deal with the consequences of leaving him behind, but will he make it home?

The Martian was a film I along with many others thought the trailer could have given away too much, but how we were wrong. Watching the rescue plans being built up is great along with watching how Mark plans his survival. We get to enjoy the non-serious attitude from Mark keeping the story feeling light hearted even though it is a serious situation. Looking back on the film it was hard to find a bad thing as we see the world unite to bring Mark home during the testing time.

 

Actor Review

 

Matt Damon: Mark Watney is the expert botanist who gets left on Mars during the first mission there, he has to figure out a way to survive on this planet where he knows he will not get any support for a long period of time. First he starts by growing food then finds a way to call home and against all the odds he must never give up in his quest for survival. Matt gives a brilliant performance in this leading role which could have been dull but his charm keeps your attention throughout.mark

Jessica Chastain: Melissa Lewis is the commander of the mission on Mars, she has to make the big decision to leave Mark once it becomes clear he gets lost during the storm. When she and her team learn about his survival they have to make their own decision. Jessica does a good job in the role where she handles everything going on.

Kristen Wiig: Annie Montrose is the public relations officer at NASA who has to help spin any decisions being made by the NASA team to make sure they look good through this situation. Kristen does a good job in this supporting role.

Jeff Daniels: Teddy Sanders is the director of NASA, he has to make all the final decisions when it comes to the rescue of Mark, he has moments where he is portrayed as the bad guy but he is making the correct logical decisions when it comes to each idea with the rescue. Jeff does a great job in this role showing that he isn’t just the authority in the situation but part of the world population wanting to bring Mark home.

Chiwetel Ejiofor: Venkat Kapoor is trying to answer the questions when it comes to rescuing Mark, he controls the satellites with his team. He does question enough of the ideas even though he wants full control of the satellites for his own work. Chiwetel does a good job in this role even though it feels very familiar to his 2012 role.vincen

Support CastThe Martian has a massive supporting cast including Michael Pena, Sean Bean, Kate Mara, Sebastian Stan, Aksel Hennie, Benedict Won, Mackenzie Davis and Donald Glover who all gives great performances with the role they are involved in.

Director Review: Ridley Scott Ridley brings us one of the best sci-fi films in recent years.

 

Action: The Martian has good use of action when required but doesn’t go over the top with the ideas.

Adventure: The Martian feels like an adventure from Mark’s side of the story as he must find a way to survive.

Sci-Fi: The Martian is on Mars and looking at NASA trying to rescue a stranded astronaut, could we get anymore sci-fi?

Settings: The Martian creates a brilliant setting location on Mars that all works make us feel like we are on Mars with Mark.
Special Effects
: The Martian has great effects to make everything seems logical throughout.

Suggestion: The Martian is one that really should be watched this year. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Damon shines in this role.

Worst Part: Slightly long.

Action Scene Of The Film: Rescue.

Funniest Scene: I blew myself up

Favourite Quote: Mark ‘I don’t want to come off as arrogant here, but I’m the greatest botanist on this planet.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: You get to see the what happens next for the characters.

 

Oscar Chances: This could easily get a few Oscar nods.

Runtime: 2 Hour 10 Minutes

Tagline:  Bring Him Home

 

Overall: One of the best films of 2015 with excellent sense of survival

Ratingcard

Fantastic Four (2015)

lgoDirector: Josh Trank

Writer: Simon Kinberg, Jeremy Slater, Josh Trank (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Jack Kirby (Characters)

Starring: Miles Teller, Michael B Jordan, Kate Mara, Jamie Bell, Toby Kebbell, Reg E Cathey, Tim Blake Nelson

Plot: Four young outsiders teleport to an alternate and dangerous universe which alters their physical form in shocking ways. The four must learn to harness their new abilities and work together to save Earth from a former friend turned enemy.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Dark Origin Story Stuck Behind the Established Heroes

Story: Fantastic Four starts with a young Reed Richards dreaming of being the first person to teleport people. We continue to meet the young Fantastic Four with Ben Grimm also inside in Reed’s class who is from a dysfunctional family whoo helps Reed with his teleporter. Move forward 7 years and Reed (Teller) and Ben (Bell) have been working on improving the teleporter looking to improve upon the design.

Reed and Ben impress enough to get a full scholarship to the Baxter academy under Dr Franklin Storm (Cathey) where they meet his daughter Sue (Mara). Franklin calls to his former mastermind who started the idea Victor Von Doom (Kebbell) who would need to work with Reed to make this teleporter work. Franklin also has a son Johnny (Jordan) who has been pushing away from the idea. We know have the Fantastic Five, wait that isn’t the name of the film.

When the invention works Reed, Ben, Johnny and Victor decide to use the device on themselves with only Sue running the controls, what the boys discover could be the biggest discovery in history but disaster strikes when Victor gets killed with the imploding planetary discovery.

The four surviving members of the team come back the learn they have new abilities, Reed gains stretching abilities, Sue can become invisible, Johnny becomes a human torch and Ben becomes the Thing. While Reed escapes the remaining members are used by the military as they look to learn more about the planet they visited.

When the team return to the planet they find Victor still alive but evolved into Dr Doom who decides to make the battle against the human race personal as they keep invading his own world and it is up to the Fantastic Four to save the say.

Fantastic Four is a film that all I have heard was bad things about but as I know nothing about the comic books and skip the first couple of outings the film tried I decided to give it a go. I was surprised that I actually enjoyed the most part of the film, I liked how the story was darker than the most of the Marvel Universe. With the start of the positive I will have to look at the negative too, I do feel like the ending was rushed and from what I understand Dr Doom is meant to be one of the big villains who got beaten way too easily. In the end this was an origin story to the next chapter of their story that has issues but isn’t as bad as it is being made out to be. (6/10)

Actor Review

Miles Teller: Reed Richards is the mastermind who gets the final details to teleportation down leading to him getting a chance to work for an institute. He stays loyal to his best friend but when he tests his own machine with his newly formed team he gains a new ability he can stretch. Miles gave a performance that could be talked about for years in Whiplash but this just feels very average from the young starlet. (5/10)reed

Michael B Jordan: Johnny Storm is the brash son of the man giving the men a chance to work on the teleportation devices, he ends up working with his engineering skills, but after going on the trip he turns into the human fireball. Michael gives a solid performance but he just doesn’t get the screen time he needed. (6/10)johnny

Kate Mara: Sue Storm is working on the teleportation idea but doesn’t go on the mission into the teleporter, but she still gets effected by the consequences when she gains the ability to become invisible. Kate gives an average performance but I feel they make her character very plain giving her little to work with. (5/10)sue

Jamie Bell: Ben Grimm/The Thing is the engineer best friend from childhood of Reed who helps working on the teleporter but after the experiment he ends up becoming the Thing when the rocks become part of his structure. Jamie does a solid job but we don’t learn enough about him even though he is in the story from the very start. (6/10)thing

Toby Kebbell: Victor Von Doom/Dr Doom as Victor he works with the rest on the teleporter, but when he gets killed on the mission it isn’t the end of his story as he returns only to have evolved to, but he is a killing machine hell bent on revenge against the human race. Toby is fast turning into the go to guy for villains in franchises and I liked his version of Dr Doom, but we don’t see enough of it. (6/10)

Support Cast: Fantastic Four has a very comic book central military supporting cast that is easily forgettable.

Director Review: Josh TrankJosh gives us a good build but too quick of a finish, but with all the talk about the troubles it is hard to give him a rating. (NA/10)

Action: Fantastic Four really doesn’t have much action until final fight which mostly feels rushed. (5/10)

Sci-Fi: Fantastic Four has a lot of technical talk which mostly goes over the head but it does work for the fields the characters are in. (7/10)

Settings: Fantastic Four has pretty much only a couple of settings, the lab and the random planet they end up going too, these actually work for how the film unfolds. (7/10)
Special Effects: Fantastic Four does improve on the special effects from the original, well the clips I have seen, the stand out here has to be The Thing creation looking very good. (7/10)

Suggestion: Fantastic Four is one for the comic book fans to try, as I am getting tired of the superhero genre it was nice seeing a dark film. (Comic Book Fans Try)

Best Part: It feels darker than most superhero films around.

Worst Part: Ends to quick.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Left open for one but people have been slamming the film.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline: Change is coming.

Overall: Solid Comic Book Film That is Darker than Marvel.

Rating 65