Stir of Echoes (1999)

logoDirector: David Koepp

Writer: David Koepp (Screenplay) Richard Matheson (Novel)

Starring: Kevin Bacon, Zachary David Cope, Kathryn Erbe, Illeana Douglas, Kevin Dunn, Conor O’Farrell, Jennifer Morrison

Plot: After being hypnotized by his sister in law, a man begins seeing haunting visions of a girl’s ghost and a mystery begins to unfold around her.

 

 

 

Verdict: Ghost Hunter

 

Story: We start by seeing a struggling family whose son is talking to a ghostly figure. After the husband gets hypnotised by his sister in law he starts getting visions. When it becomes apparent that the two have been seeing the same ghost of a missing girl they try to figure out what is going on. As the story continues both father and son start to become less responsive and it is up to the mother to try and stop what has control of them, while the father finds to uncover the truth.

As the story goes this is very thin we see the family who are close but struggling become distant while the ghost haunts them. It never touches the mother but tries to take over the husband. We don’t get enough to give us anything to work with while he try to figure out what happened as we meet very little suspect list. We also fail to use the ability or solving of having it. It turns into a very plain ghost haunting mystery with little to no scares. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Kevin Bacon: Tom Witzky father of the family who after being hypnotised starts to see a ghost. He starts to become obsessed with finding out the answer to why he is being haunted. Kevin gives a solid performance and shines through the confrontation scenes. (7/10)

 bacon

Zachary David Cope: Jake Witzky son who has been talking to the ghost for a while and has a connection with it. Zachary gives a solid performance and does well for a young actor. (6/10)

 

Kathryn Erbe: Maggie Witzky wife and mother who is watching her husband fall into madness trying to figure out what is going on. She challenges both of them but only gets shot down because she doesn’t see the ghost haunting them. Kathryn gives a solid performance. (6/10)

 maggie

Support Cast: Be it the suspects, victims or family members they all help the main characters get to the final outcome.

 

Director Review: David Koepp – David does a solid job to create a ghost mystery film but it fails to collect enough scares or twists for horror. (5/10)

 

Horror: Has very little scares and the ones we do get have a weak build up. (4/10)

Mystery: Even though it turns into a mystery it doesn’t pull us in as we meet no false suspects. (5/10)

Settings: The home makes a good setting to show the lead losing his mind. (7/10)

Suggestion: This will be a good film for the basic fans of the haunting mystery film. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The Final twist.

Worst Part: Lack of scares

What Could Have Been Better?

  • More suspects
  • More scares

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: There is a sequel.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $

Budget: $12 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: In every mind there is a door that has never been opened.

 

Overall: Basic Horror Mystery

Rating60

Dave (1993)

logoDirector: Ivan Reitman

Writer: Gary Ross (Screenplay)

Starring: Kevin Kline, Sigourney Weaver, Frank Langella, Kevin Dunn, Ving Rhames, Ben Kingsley, Charlie Grodin, Laura Linney, Bonnie Hunt

 

Plot: Bill Mitchell is the philandering and distant President of the United States. Dave Kovic is a sweet-natured and caring Temp Agency operator, who by a staggering coincidence looks exactly like the President. As such, when Mitchell wants to escape an official luncheon, the Secret Service hires Dave to stand in for him. Unfortunately, Mitchell suffers a severe stroke whilst having sex with one of his aides, and Dave finds himself stuck in the role indefinitely. The corrupt and manipulative Chief of Staff, Bob Alexander, plans to use Dave to elevate himself to the White House – but unfortunately, he doesn’t count on Dave enjoying himself in office, using his luck to make the country a better place, and falling in love with the beautiful First Lady

 

Verdict: Charming Comedy

 

Story: The question to ask yourself would be, what would you do if you became President? Dave gets to see what happens when he learns the real inside stories of the White House. He chooses to try and make things better, making important changes to the country instead of just being a puppet. It all works into a very good comedy that granted won’t make you laugh out loud but will give you enjoyment. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Kevin Kline: Dave Kovic/Bill Mitchell most part of the film is Dave playing President Bill Mitchell. Dave is just a regular guy who spends his time trying to make sure people have jobs. When he gets a chance to pretend to be the President he ends up getting talked into becoming a temporary replacement but when he starts doing things his way he could end up getting exposed all while changing the country for the better. Good performance from Kline who gets to use all his comedy while keeping everything serious. (9/10)

 dave

Sigourney Weaver: Ellen Mitchell the wife of the President who has grown distant from him over the years, but with Dave in charge she starts to see some change in the man see once loved. She is also smart enough to know he is not the man she married and starts to fall in love with Dave himself. Good supporting performance. (7/10)

sigourney

Frank Langella: Bob Alexander the chief of staff who puts Dave in the position hoping that he can improve his position in the cabinet only he didn’t count on Dave doing such a good job. Good performance in the villainous role. (8/10)

 langella

Director Review: Ivan Reitman – Good direction to make a charming comedy that takes a serious matter lightly instead of just making it an over the top comedy. (8/10)

 

Comedy: Solid use of comedy that makes you laugh when it needs to but shows you the serious when it needs to. (7/10)

Settings: Most is set in the White House but each other setting it designed to work for President Position. (9/10)

Suggestion: This is a comedy that I think everyone will enjoy it offers plenty of laughs and an opportunity to see what a normal person would change in power. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Budget scene

Worst Part: Others a few conspiracy theories.

Funniest Scene: First walk into the Oval office.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for One Oscar

Box Office: $63 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

Tagline: Dave Kovic was an ordinary guy who was asked to impersonate the President. When they gave him a chance to make the country better…he did.

 

Overall: Solid Comedy

Rating 85

The Frozen Ground (2013)

logoDirector: Scott Walker

Writer: Scott Walker (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Vanessa Hudgens, John Cusack, Dean Norris, Gia Mantegna, Robert Forgit, Brad William Henke, Michael McGrady, Katherine LaNasa, Kevin Dunn, Radha Mitchell, Matt Gerald, Jodi Lyn O’Keefe, Curtis Jackson

 

Plot: Alaska Trooper Jack Holcombe (Cage) believes Robert Hansen (Cusack) is a serial killer who abducts young girls, tortures and sexually assaults them, then kills them. But Holcombe doesn’t have enough evidence to get a search warrant for Hansen’s premises. Holcombe knows that one victim, Cindy Paulsen (Hudgens), somehow survived, so he decides to seek her help, but he finds that she’s now a junkie with trust issues. Holcombe has to earn her trust; meanwhile, Hansen is still hunting and killing girls.

 

Verdict: Tense Thriller

 

Story: Telling the story of serial killer Robert Hansen but focusing more on catching him rather than his crimes, if fact we only see one kill that is very much off camera not glorifying it. That is a good point, we follow how one state trooper finally starts to believe something is worth investigating because Hansen was smart while disposing of the bodies. This story of Cindy and Jack trying to befriend her to find the truth could be made up by the best writers and knowing it is true makes the story even more incredible. The story focuses on Cindy not being able to trust after being shot down by officers, being forced into things by her pimp and tricked by other prostitutes. If it wasn’t based on a true story I would have like to seen more about the killer, but I agree they minimise seeing his good side that everyone thinks he was, was for the better. In the end it is a very well told story that respects the victims instead of glorifying the killer. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Nicolas Cage: Jack who is leaving the force in two weeks before this last body turns up, he starts investigating and befriends the only known survivor, while trying to finally get enough evidence to investigate the prime suspect, but this tests his family commitments too. Good performance from Cage who shows he can do serious without adding some over the top action. (8/10)

 cage

Vanessa Hudgens: Cindy the prostitute victim who escaped, but no one wants to believe her story until Jack comes along, she has slipped back into her underworld and entering the world of drugs hasn’t help her trust issues which kept getting her in trouble. Good performance from Vanessa showing she really is dumping the child star tag with mature roles. (7/10)

vanessa

John Cusack: Robert the everyday family man with a darker side, he stalks then kills woman and has been getting away with it for years. Good performance from Cusack showing his much darker side and not using the charm he is known for, (8/10)

 cusac

Director Review: Scott Walker – Well directing thriller that shows the work the State Troopers put into stopping a serial killer. (8/10)

 

Biography: Showing more of the victim’s and lead officer’s side to the story we learn how one serial killer was finally stopped. (9/10)

Crime: Looks into the fine technicalities that can stop someone being stopped and how hard people need to search for the final truth. (8/10)

History: Well told story of how the killer was stopped. (9/10)

Thriller: Well built up thriller that keeps you wanting to know what happens next. (8/10)

Settings: Each setting works well for the story. (7/10)

Suggestion: If you are a fan of the genre you will enjoy this, but the more casual fan may find this slow because it is more about the people involved. (Thriller Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The final Conviction.

Worst Part: Cindy’s choices get annoying as she makes bad decisions.

Believability: Based on the real victim, officer and killer. (9/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: Information about the real killer.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $27 Million

Runtime: 105 Minutes

Tagline: The hunter becomes the hunted.

 

Overall: Great Thriller That Shows How Hard The Truth Can Be To Find

Rating 80

Godzilla (1998)

logoDirector: Roland Emmerich

Writer: Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich (Screenplay) Dean Devlin, Roland Emmerich, Ted Elliott, Terry Rossio (Story)

Starring: Matthew Broderick, Jean Reno, Maria Pitillo, Hank Azaria, Kevin Dunn, Michael Lerner, Harry Shearer, Arabella Field

 

Plot: When an enormous radioactive monster Godzilla comes to Manhattan it wreaks havoc on the island city. Doctor Niko Tatopoulos (Broderick) to help identify the creature and its weaknesses the military try to neutralize the situation but lose the creature in the city. Add in a hungry want to be news reporter Audrey (Pitillo) and fearless cameraman Victor ‘Animal’ Palotti (Azaria) trying to expose the truth as well as French secret service Phillippe Roache (Reno) who has to try and cover up all the details of what is going on.

 godzilla

Verdict: A fun creature feature with mega destruction

Story: The idea in the story is made plenty of times with Godzilla being in many films over decades sometimes on its own other time with another monster. This time Godzilla is on its own just trying to hide and make a nest. We have unlikely heroes alongside idiot soldiers who shoot first and ask questions later. They have a feebly attempt at a love story which takes away some of the fear in the creature side of it. Most of the other characters have been made into stereotypes which take away individuality in the characters. (7/10)

 

Actor Review: Matthew Broderick – Doctor Niko who investigates worms and gets hired to help identify a giant monster. His character feels like it should be a smaller part rather than the hero of the story. Matthew does an ok job but doesn’t shine too much in the role. (6/10)

 niko

Actor Review: Jean Reno – Phillippe French secret service who has to cover up the creature invasion of Manhattan. Jean is the funniest character in the film be it his hate of American coffee and missing French food as well as his Elvis impression. Best performance in the film. (8/10)

ruso

Actor Review: Maria Pitillo – Hungry reporter looking for her big break who takes advantage of her old boyfriend Niko. Doesn’t give the best performance very annoying character who makes the film more of rom com than action feature. (4/10)

 repotre

Actor Review: Hank Azaria – Daredevil cameraman who has one of the most memorable scenes in the film. Good performance as always seems to come off lucky to escape the situation left in. (7/10)

 hank

Director Review: Roland Emmerich – King of the mega destruction films and this is no different delivers a good action film with light comedy to break the serious side of the story. (8/10)

 

Action: Some excellent action scenes. (9/10)

Thriller: Some good build but not to a level we would be expecting to get in this sort of film. (5/10)

Special Effects: Some great special effects creating the creature which have dated a bit now. (7/10)

Believability: Radioactive test could have caused anything but this is a bit farfetched but you never know. (1/10)

Chances of Tears: Potential very few people may get a tear. (1/10)

Settings: Manhattan has many iconic locations that we get to see and most get destroyed but create a good setting for the film. (8/10)

 

Suggestion: I would suggest this as it is a good action film that will be in the category of switch off your brain and enjoy the film. (Try It)

 

Best Part: First invasion of the creature.

Worst Part: Love story is poor.

Action Scene of the Film: Final chase scene with creature.

Funniest Scene: Niko in the elevator.

Oscar Chances: No

Chances of Sequel: No sequel but reboot

Similar Too: Independence Day, Cloverfield

 

Overall: Fun Monster feature

 

Rating 70

Warrior (2011)

Director: Gavin O’Connor

Writer: Gavin O’Connor, Cliff Dorfman, Anthony Tambakis (Screenplay) Gavin O’Connor, Cliff Dorfman  (Story)

Starring: Jeff Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison, Frank Grillo, Kevin Dunn

Story: When two brothers with very different lives clash in a battle for a mixed martial arts championship the past is exposed. The younger brother Tommy (Hardy) returns to his alcoholic father Paddy (Nolte) for training after his time in the military. The older brother Brendan (Edgerton) a high school teacher and married family man.

Both have different reasons to win the tournaments prize one to support a fallen comrade the other the money will save his families future. Who will win the battle?

Verdict

Story: Sports drama yes please this is a very good, instead of following one man who over comes the odd it gives us two both worth routing for both very mysterious in the world they are entering. As for inspirational this is full of that too showing how much you want or need something you can hold on and over come everything to achieve it (10/10)

Cast: Joel Edgerton as Brendan the high school teacher turned MMA fighter, goes against his wife’s wishes to pursue a all or nothing fight to save his families home. Joel does an excellent job showing enough emotional level between the fighting scenes to show how much he wants to win; full-blown underdog that no one thought would make it past round one. (9/10)

Tom Hardy as Tommy turns up at his father doorstep out of nowhere; full of mystery about what happened in his previous few years he does become the most interesting character because you just want to know who is he now. Tom follows on from a very successful year with this brilliant performance.  Favourite Character (9/10)

 

Nick Nolte as Paddy the alcoholic father of Tommy and Brendan who has spent years sobering up trying to regain a chance to be part of Brendan’s life while trying to find out what happened to Tommy. Nominated for an Oscar for his role in this film shows how good a job Nick does.  Star Performance  (10/10)

 

Jennifer Morrison as Tess the wife of Brendan who doesn’t want to see her husband go back into the fighting scene after bad experiences years before. Doesn’t get as much scene time as other supporting characters but does a very good job when appear reluctantly supporting her man. (8/10)

 

Frank Grillo as Frank family friend and trainer of Brendan with alternative methods to improve his fighters who don’t seem to look like the favourites to win. A top supporting performance all good fighting films need a good trainer Frank gives this one its. (9/10)

 

Director: Gavin O’Connor inspirational sports dramas are this guys thing with Miracle before and now this brilliant pieces of direction in a typical story that you don’t have to be the most liked, biggest or most popular to win a fight. (9/10)

Action: The action in the fight scenes is well put together with out being to violent by adding clips of the supports watching the fights. (9/10)

Thriller: I think some of the fight scenes could have been a bit more thrilling all of Tommy’s are quick, while Brendan’s start building tension only for it to be broken. The best and most thrilling part is when Tommy and Brendan meet in the tournament. (8/10)

Make up: Mostly from the fights all the bumps and bruises look very realistic (9/10)

Sound: The fight scenes are brutal for sound hearing all the punches kicks and snaps. (9/10)

Suggestion: I think even if your not a fighting fan this one really has an appeal with the underdog story. I would recommend this to most people and I would like to believe most people would enjoy it. (9/10)

Best Part: Tommy’s first fight in the tournament.

Worst Part: being picky the ending is a bit predictable.

Similar Too: Rocky

Overall: Even though I am not a fight film fan this one had an appeal to me and it was a good one this really Is a very good film that is hugely enjoyable.

Rating 92%