ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – U – Unforgettable (2017)

Director: Denis Di Novi

Writer: Christina Hodson (Screenplay)

Starring: Rosario Dawson, Katherine Heigl, Geoff Stults, Isabella Kai Rice, Alex Quijano, Sarah Burns, Whitney Cummings

 

Plot: A woman sets out to make life a living hell for her ex-husband’s new fiancée.


Tagline – For worse

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Another Fatal Attraction Failure

 

Story: Unforgettable starts as Julia Banks (Dawson) is getting questioned by the police, we learn about her past before jumping back 6-months to see her new promotion and moving in with her new boyfriend David (Stults), life seems perfect for the two.

With David having a child Lily (Rice) from his previous marriage Julia must get used to a new addition to the household at times, but the former wife Tessa (Heigl) isn’t letting David go without a fight as she starts to invade the personal life of Julia with devastating consequences.

 

Thoughts on Unforgettable

 

Characters – Julia Banks is hitting the high point of her, promotion and engagement to the man of her dream. She does have a past which is very secretive that even David doesn’t know about it. She does have a habit about losing stuff, well she starts too, her past can play into her downfall against Tessa. Tessa is the ex-wife of David, she is very controlling and hasn’t taken the idea of David moving on well, she wants him back and with her own demanding mother in her life she is acting the same towards her own daughter. She always feels distant from any human interaction as she is planning to make Julia’s life a nightmare. David is the man stuck in the middle of everything, he is trying to keep both women happy one for the new love in his life the other to keep his daughter part of his life.

PerformancesRosario Dawson is good in her role we needed to see more of the life falling apart around her though. Katherine Heigl has had a mixed reaction from the audience and business over the last few years, she does work in this role as you do get an uneasy feeling whenever she is on screen. Geoff Stults is fine, he never really gets too much to do through the movie.

StoryThe story follows an ex-wife that wants to make the new girlfriends life a living nightmare in an attempt to get her husband back. This does play out like all over the stalker films we have seen before and yes, we have moved along technologically making the moves against the victim more personally. This is an easy enough watch and playing into the idea that the victim has a past which could make her easier to frame does help even if the whole thing plays out just like you would imagine.

ThrillerThe film tries to give us the tension bound levels needed, only for the most part to feel like it was just being slowly building and any scenes involving Julia and Tessa feel empty for the first half of the film.

SettingsThe film puts us in high-life houses which shows how the family can cope with divorce easily, while this works, a lower class of victim would make this more intense and interesting.


Scene of the Movie –
The final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There isn’t enough tension in the early part of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is the trademark yearly stalker ex movie, it checks the boxes well without needing to be anything special or dreadful.

 

Overall: Simple Thriller.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – K – Knocked Up (2007)

Director: Judd Apatow

Writer: Judd Apatow (Screenplay)

Starring: Seth Rogen, Katherine Heigl, Paul Rudd, Leslie Mann, Jason Segel, Jay Baruchel, Jonah Hill

 

Plot: For fun-loving party animal Ben Stone, the last thing he ever expected was for his one-night stand to show up on his doorstep eight weeks later to tell him she’s pregnant with his child.


Tagline – A one night stand that turned into something more.

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hilarious

 

Story: Knocked Up starts as we meet Ben Stone (Rogen) a stoner who along with his friends are looking to create a ‘Flesh of the Stars’ website when he isn’t getting high. We also meet Alison Scott (Heigl) who has just been given a promotion to become an on-air talent for E entertainment.

When the two hook up on a drunken night having a wild night of sex they go their separate ways. When Alison learns she is pregnant the twos lives change, Alison needs to keep it secret from work and the two must get to know each other if they are to raise their child, even though they are very different.

 

Thoughts on Knocked Up

 

Characters – Ben Stone is a slacker, stoner that wants to get rich quick. He gets Alison pregnant and tries to do everything to support her, but he doesn’t find a way to get an income to support the baby. He tries to make light of the situation which is his way of dealing with everything. Alison Scott is about to become an on-air talent for an entertainment network her career is what has driven her for years, but when she becomes pregnant she needs to accept her new incoming baby and tries to have Ben on her side through everything. Pete and Debbie give the couple a view on what could become of married life with children.

PerformancesSeth Rogen broke into the leading man roles with his performance here, he is great through the film even if he style of comedy isn’t for everyone. Katherine Heigl is good in this role, her reaction to thing happening are believable and it is a shame that her career hasn’t gone onto bigger things. We get a lot of the regular cast members of the gangs which help the supporting characters have natural chemistry.

StoryThe story follows two different people from different worlds that end up getting pregnant together, we see how the difference must be put aside for the new life they are bringing into the world. It was disappointing that we didn’t get to see Ben grow up in more detail because it does seem like a major part of the film that only becomes a minor montage. Saying that we do get a good look at how the relationship between the two gets compared to the married couple which adds extra laughs and a mirror for the twos potential future. The story does feel like a real reaction to an unexpected pregnancy too which is important for this movie.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy might not be for everyone because a lot of it can be considered the stoner humour, but luckily Paul Rudd’s character offers something different. The romance in the movie shows how a relationship happens instead of being over the top gestures.

SettingsThe film is set in LA which shows the different people living there following their dreams and attempting dreams, but this could have been any city.


Scene of the Movie –
Growing up moment for Ben.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story takes way to long for Ben to grow up.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great comedy that will get you laughing and give you moment of real behaviour from the characters, you should be enjoying this one throughout.

 

Overall: Hilarious comedy that will make you laugh.

Rating

 

 

The Nut Job (2014)

nutDirector: Peter Lepeniotis

Writer: Peter Lepeniotis, Lorne Cameron, (Screenplay) Daniel Woo (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl, Stephen Lang, Maya Rudolph, Jeff Dunham, Gabrial Iglesias, Sarah Gadon

 

Plot: An incorrigibly self-serving exiled squirrel finds himself helping his former park brethren raid a nut store to survive, that is also the front for a human gang’s bank robbery.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bland Animated Film

 

Story: The Nut Job starts as we meet selfish squirrel Surly who lives in the park only ever looking after himself against the rest of the park run by Racoon. When the park animals work on trying to get food together for winter clash with Surly he finds himself exiled from the park while the rest of the animals have to find food for the winter. This is basically going to be A Bug’s Life I am guessing.

When Surly locates a nut shop he is ready for the winter but plucky squirrel Andie is assigned to help feed the park having to team up with ‘heroic’ squirrel Grayson. When the two different side meet they arrange to work together to save the park and see Surly redeem himself and move back into the park.

The Nut Job is a heist movie mixed together to feel like a poor attempt of copying A Bug’s Life where one disgraced member of a group that gets a chance to prove his worth to the rest by helping them get enough food for winter. This is really just lazy story telling that doesn’t have anything original and just has poor slapstick attempts at humour throughout. The voice talents are wasted and in the end this is something I don’t think even children should watch.

 

Overall: Just plain bad reaching the levels of awful.

Rating10

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Bride of Chucky (1998)

brideDirector: Ronny Yu

Writer: Don Mancini (Screenplay)

Starring: Jennifer Tilly, Brad Dourif, Katherine Heigl, Nick Stabile, Alexis Arquette, Gordon Michael Woolvett, John Ritter

 

Plot: Chucky, the doll possessed by a serial killer, discovers the perfect mate to kill and revive into the body of another doll.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Funniest of the Franchise

 

Story: Bride of Chucky starts as Tiffany (Tilly) bribes a police officer to bring her the body of her former lover Chucky who is still stuck inside the good guy doll. We move onto meet our teenagers Jade (Heigl) her boyfriend Jesse (Stabile) and their good friend David (Woolvett) who are sneaking off to prom with, her Uncle Chief Warren (Ritter) wanting to stop Jade being with the wrong guy.

With Tiffany using her voodoo to bring Chucky back to life it isn’t long until he gets his first victim, but things are not as smooth as Tiffany remembers as the two fall out and soon she becomes a doll too. Wanting to come back to life in a human bodies Tiffany recruits Jesse into driving them to Chucky’s body, this gives Jesse a chance to run away with Jade and start a new life.

This becomes the road trip from hell for the young couple but a bonding experience for Tiffany and Chucky as they set out to one up each other on the killing side.

 

Thoughts on Bride of Chucky

 

StoryThis is the return of the Chucky doll after nearly 10 years away from us and this time we build on the Chucky pre-doll character as we learn about the relationship he had before he was killed. I like how this show added another dimension to the horror comedy where we have the dolls almost commentating on what is going on through the film as they see the younger versions of themselves in the young couple. The story does feel fresh to the slasher genre of horror and works on all the right levels.

Horror/ComedyWhen it comes to the horror side of this story I feel this one does fall slightly short of anything scary but on the comedy side of the story this could easily be the funniest of the franchise to date.

Characters/PerformanceChucky is easily one of the most entertaining serial killers in film franchise history and teaming him up with Tiffany only works to improve him to the next level, both the voice work from Dourif and Tilly is excellent throughout. When it comes to the human characters they all feel very basic and don’t get the full development Chucky and Tiffany receive.

SettingsTaking Chucky on a road trip for the kills gives us plenty of comedy to go with the body count but in the end this just makes us want to see what happens on the road next.

Special EffectsThe special effects all work perfectly for the style of film going on through the film adding comedy to the kills throughout.

Final ThoughtsThis takes the films into a different direction as we get to see Chucky in a new light building on the family of doll serial killers which helps enjoy the franchise which could have gotten drowned in the sequels like others have in the past.

 

Overall: Enjoyable sequel that can live long in the memory.

Rating

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Under Siege 2: Dark Territory (1995)

underDirector: Geoff Murphy

Writer: Richard Hatem, Matt Reeves (Screenplay) J.F. Lawton (Characters)

Starring: Steven Seagal, Eric Bogosian, Everett McGill, Katherine Heigl, Morris Chestnut, Peter Greene, Patrick Kilpatrick

 

Plot: Casey Ryback hops on a Colorado to LA train to start a vacation with his niece. Early into the trip, terrorists board the train and use it as a mobile HQ to hijack a top secret destructive US satellite.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Die Hard on a Train?

 

Story: Under Siege 2 Dark Territory starts by showing a new government satellite that can pinpoint anything on Earth, one of the men involved in building the satellite Travis Dane (Bogosian) isn’t part of the first test due to his death. We move to meet Casey Ryback (Seagal) who has to take care of his niece Sarah (Heigl) as they travel across country by train.

When a group of mercenaries take over the train lead by Travis Dane a ghost from the past has come back to get revenge on the government by stealing and trying to sell his creation to the highest bidder.  This leaves Casey having to once again come up to face a group of terrorists putting American lives in danger.

Under Siege 2 Dark Territory is pretty much just Die Hard on a train, yes the acting isn’t as high standard and the suspense isn’t built to the level expected. Nothing really pushes the boundaries of the genre but is an easy watch. The villains are very generic with one being the brains the other being the muscles and as you would expect there are bad one liners.

 

Actor Review

 

Steven Seagal: Casey Ryback is the elite trained soldier who is also a chef, he is travelling with his niece when the train he is on gets hijacked by terrorists leading him to use his skills to save the lives of the people on the train and the people they are targeting. Steven gives us the performance you would expect to see from him in this film.

 

Eric Bogosian: Travis Dane is the former employee that decides he wants his invention back while looking to sell it to the highest bidder, he is very calculated and willing to kill anyone who gets in his way. Eric makes for a good intelligent villain but could have had done with him is left to the indignation.

 

Everett McGill: Marcus Penn is the head mercenary hired to make sure Dane has all the protection he requires, he will kill anyone who gets in his way even though he sees his mercenaries as disposable. Everett does a good ruthless villain role.

 

Katherine Heigl: Sarah Ryback is the niece of Casey who hasn’t forgiven him for the death of her father but deep down she knows he is the only family she has. She becomes the traditional feisty pawn used by the terrorists to get Casey attention. Katherine is good for the basic damsel in distress with attitude.

 

Support Cast: Under Siege 2 Dark Territory has a supporting cast that includes standard mercenaries, military men along with the token comic relief character.

 

Director Review: Geoff MurphyGeoff gives us an action film you know where it will go but is still worth the ride.

 

Action: Under Siege 2 Dark Territory has good even if it is all basic action being used throughout.

Thriller: Under Siege 2 Dark Territory does keep you on the edge of your seat with the action from start to finish.

Settings: Under Siege 2 Dark Territory has a good setting which is needed for the idea behind the film.
Special Effects
: Under Siege 2 Dark Territory has good special effects when needed but you can see them being computer generated in moments.

Suggestion: Under Siege 2 Dark Territory is one for the action fans to enjoy only. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Bobby

Worst Part: Nothing truly original

Favourite Quote: Penn ‘You ruined my coat’

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Talks for one.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Die Hard

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $104 Million

Budget: $60 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: Five million tons of hijacked metal. One billion dollars of satellite weaponry. One American city is targeted for nuclear destruction and only one hero stands in the way.

 

Overall: Action film 101

Ratingcard