ABC Film Challenge – Romance – M – Made of Honour (2008)

Director: Paul Weiland

Writer: Adam Sztykiel, Deborah Kaplan, Harry Elfont (Screenplay) Adam Sztykiel (Story)

Starring: Patrick Dempsey, Michelle Monaghan, Kevin McKidd, Kadeem Hardison, Chris Messina, Richmond Arquette, Busy Philipps

 

Plot: A guy in love with an engaged woman tries to win her over after she asks him to be her maid of honor.


Tagline – He’ll do anything to get the groom out of the picture.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Romantic Comedy

 

Story: Made of Honour starts as we learn how Tom (Dempsey) and Hannah (Monaghan) met in college, the two become best friends over the next 10 years, sharing their stories of their weeks, both professional and personal moments.

When Hannah travels for work, Tom realizes that he does have feelings for her determined to tell her once she returns, when she does return she breaks the news that she met someone Colin (McKidd) and they are getting married, wanting Tom to be her maid of honour.  Tom now knows the limit to tell Hannah how he feels about her and get rid of Colin.

 

Thoughts on Made of Honour

 

Characters – Tom is a serial womaniser whose best friend is a woman he never hooked up, he has a friendship with her that transcends any form of physical, but when he learns she is getting married he starts to realize he needs to be with her and will go out of his way to show her how he feels. Hannah is the best friend of Tom, she doesn’t care about his behaviour with how he treats women, an art specialist that falls in love while on a trip to Scotland. She asked Tom to be her maid of honour as she plans for her dream. Colin is the Scotsman that Hannah falls in love with, part of the high society in Scotland that seems like the perfect man at first.  

PerformancesPatrick Dempsey was a great choice for the leading role, he has the charm needed for this role. Michelle Monaghan is a good choice for a romantic lead because she always gives us a genuine performance of a real woman. Kevin McKidd makes for a good supporting man that gets the laughs when needed through the film.

StoryThe story here follows two best friends that have never been more than friends getting to a stage of their lives when things take a turn, so When Harry Met Sally. While this does do for the film it can take away moments of needed for the film, we have strange character decisions being made and an overly drastic decision to get married. If you do like your rom coms you will enjoy this one, it follows the rules well, but I didn’t get the sudden change in Tom’s character though.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in this film hits for the most part, we get good laughs even if we don’t get a laugh a minute, the romance side of the film shows us just how you could be missing something that is right under your nose.

SettingsThe film gives us the New York setting which is an old favourite for the romantic movies while also have parts of the film in Scotland which show us the different culture the two are in.


Scene of the Movie –
The Highland Games.

That Moment That Annoyed Me How America portrays Scotland.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that will be enjoyed by the rom com fans out there, they will enjoy what they see through this film.

 

Overall: Rom com fans to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Dog Soldiers (2002)

Director: Neil Marshall

Writer: Neil Marshall (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Pertwee, Kevin McKidd, Emma Cleasby, Liam Cunningham, Thomas Lockyer, Darren Morfitt, Chris Robson

 

Plot: A routine military exercise turns into a nightmare in the Scotland wilderness.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the Best Werewolf Films

 

Story: Dog Soldiers starts as we follow military unit led by Sgt Harry Wells (Pertwee) on a training mission in the Scotish wilderness, in his team is Private Cooper (McKidd) who has been rejected by the special forces Captain Ryan (Cunningham) but this does make him the strongest member of the unit.

When the men get attacked they learn Captain Ryan has been on a mission within in same location hunting something down and they soon meet these creates, werewolves hunting at night in the wilderness of Scotland, this is no longer a training mission and the men must show their skills to survive the night.

 

Thoughts on Dog Soldiers

 

Characters – Sgt Wells is running his military unit through a routine training exercise, he shows his strength in leadership even if Cooper is the best soldier in the unit. Private Cooper is soldier who missed out on special forces even though he has all the skills to be one of their best, returned to the small unit he must take control of the situation when the werewolves attack. Megan is seemingly a random woman in the woods but she has a connection to the bigger picture studying the werewolves. Captain Ryan is the leader of the special forces unit and has been involved in hunting the werewolves down, he is fully behind the cause over the right thing.

PerformanceSean Pertwee in the lead soldier role is something he becae famous for because he talks the shit needed as well as getting the respect from his unit and in the early 2000s no one did it better. Kevin McKidd is great is the super soldier that knows how to battle against anything thing that gets in his way. Emma Cleasby is an actress that seemed to fall of the face of the Earth after this performance which she did a good job in. Liam Cunningham as the villainous soldier is something we know he can do and we all like to just sit and listen to him talk.

StoryGroup of soldiers must fight against werewolves over a one-night period, well that is the core of this story and it works perfectly, keeping things simple. We do have a couple of twists along the way which work and are fine for the story but overall we didn’t need to see anything overly complicated for this movie.

Action/HorrorThe action is all bullets flying and blood spattering off the walls, this is a good use of the action horror genre because we might not get jump scares but we have the threat to the soldiers in werewolf form.

SettingsMost of the film is set in one location, a house in the middle of the woods, we make sure the communications are lost and the nearly location is too far away to make this a fully enjoyable isolated location for our characters.

Special EffectsFilled with most practical effects we see our soldiers and werewolves in battle in what is one of the best uses of the mix since American Werewolf in London.

Scene of the Movie – House goes Boom.

I always get annoyed by one thing in a movie, this is that moment In the opening sequence we have campers killed, then we move back 2 hours earlier in a different location before going forward 4 weeks. This just seems like overkill.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the best modern-day werewolf films if not the best.

 

Overall: Enjoyable horror rush.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Hannibal Rising (2007)

Director: Peter Webber

Writer: Thomas Harris (Screenplay) Thomas Harris (Novel)

Starring: Gaspard Ulliel, Rhys Ifans, Li Gong, Dominic West, Kevin McKidd

 

Plot: After the death of his parents during World War II, young Hannibal Lecter moves in with his beautiful aunt and begins plotting revenge on the barbarians responsible for his sister’s death.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Prequel That Doesn’t Click

 

Story: Hannibal Rising starts when we meet a young Hannibal, his family live in a castle in Lithuania during World War II. When the war comes to their home they try to ride it out in the cabin in the woods but tragedy strikes and his parents are killed. Left to look after his younger sister Mischa, Hannibal finds himself trapped with evil soldier Vladis Grutas (Ifans) occupying their home and things will only get worse for him.

8 years later we see Hannibal (Ulliel) now a mute living in his castle but it is now an orphanage for the victims of war, tried of how he is being treated he escapes to find his Aunt Lady Murasaki (Gong) who takes him in, giving him a future. Hannibal studies to become a doctor and shines in that field but what he is really up to, is searching for the soldiers that are responsible for his sister’s death, so he can make them pay, which does grab the attention of war criminal inspector Popil (West) who is also wanting to make the evil pay.

 

Thoughts on Hannibal Rising

 

Characters/PerformanceHannibal is a character we all know from the Silence of the Lambs, one of the most iconic figures of film history. Now we get to learn why he was like this as we see the horrors of war leave him the lone survivor of his immediate family thanks to war horrors, he goes out to get revenge on the people responsible proving he was emotionless all along. Lady Murasaki is the Aunt that takes Hannibal in, she has lost her family through the war too and the two work together to get the revenge. Vladis Grutas is the evil soldier who used war for his own profit killing anyone who got in his way. Inspector Popil is tracking war criminals across Europe, slightly more legally than Hannibal.

Performance wise, Gaspard Ulliel is good as the emotionless killer, he shows a man with nothing left to live for. Li Gong is good but only in the smaller supporting role. Rhys Ifans always makes for a good villain and this time we get to see him in the lead villain role.

StoryThe story behind one of the great screen characters of all time will always be a test because we will be left wondering do we need to know his origin story? The answer here turns Hannibal into a full blown vigilante which could work for a fresh approach for a film but giving this to Hannibal come off feeling slightly short.

Crime/ThrillerThe crime side of the story is all in the revenge side of film as we see how Hannibal sets out to avenge his sister’s murder. The thriller tries to keep us on edge but fails to achieve this on all levels.

SettingsEach setting shows us the different places war criminals could hide out in, we get to see just how main different places Hannibal must look to find those responsible.

Special EffectsAll the effects come off very well making us truly understand what just happened with the moment of horror.

Final ThoughtsThis is a prequel that just doesn’t seem to click the way you would like it all to, we didn’t need to learn more about Hannibal’s early days, but this could be a fantastic thriller for an original character.

 

Overall: A film we didn’t need but one that could have worked.

Rating

 

 

Trainspotting (1996)

trainDirector: Danny Boyle

Writer: John Hodge (Screenplay) Irvine Welsh (Novel)

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Ewen Bremner, Jonny Lee Miller, Kevin McKidd, Robert Carlyle, Kelly Macdonald, Peter Mullan

 

Plot: Renton, deeply immersed in the Edinburgh drug scene, tries to clean up and get out, despite the allure of the drugs and influence of friends.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Drugs Mess Up Lives

 

Story: Trainspotting starts as meet Renton (McGregor) a heroin addict living in Scotland that enjoys the fact that whenever he is high nothing in the world matters. Renton has Spud (Bremner) and Sick Boy (Miller) who join him in the drugs but Tommy (McKidd) and Begbie (Carlyle) along with family telling him he is wasting his life.

Deciding he wants to pack in the drugs Renton goes on his own mission to kick the habit joined by the Sick Boy who can kick it whenever he wants. We see how Renton goes back and forth with his decision to quit as we see how his friend’s fall deeper or even look at new options.

 

Thoughts on Trainspotting

 

StoryThe story of one man’s look for the answers to whether he should quit heroin or not is fascinating because it is how he see what happens in his friend’s lives which can help him make the decision which can save his life. We get some truly shocking glimpses into just how far an addict will go for their next score. We do get the full look at how far the journey is for Renton which will always get compared to Requiem for a Dream for subject matter even though this did come first.

Characters/PerformancesThe characters are all played to what could be called the extremes, we have Renton who is the addict trying to get over his own problems struggling along the way, but it is the fellow characters have their own vices be it the drugs, drink or violence which all gets show through the film. When you look at the performances this is a full cast of impressive performance from start to finish.

SettingsWe have most of the film set in Scotland where we get to see the what can only be described as the poor side of the country and just how they would search for an out of their life.

Final ThoughtsAs I am not the biggest fan of drug related movies I have been avoiding this one for years but with the sequel out this year I went with it. I found it to be everything I thought so I did enjoy the storytelling process and the performances but my personal preference will always lay with Requiem for a Dream.

 

Overall: Brilliant look at how drugs can affect life of one person and the people in it.

Ratingcard