Dragged Across Concrete (2018)

Director: S. Craig Zahler

Writer: S. Craig Zahler (Screenplay)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Vince Vaughn, Tory Kittles, Jennifer Carpenter, Michael Jai White, Don Johnson, Laurie Holden

 

Plot: Once two overzealous cops get suspended from the force, they must delve into the criminal underworld to get their proper compensation.


Tagline – Those Who Can’t Earn A Living Must Find Another Way To Provide.

Runtime: 2 Hours 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: More like Drags Long Concrete

 

Story: Dragged Across Concrete starts with Henry Jones (Kittles) released from prison, returning to the world he knows to sort out his life. We move onto Brett (Gibson) and Anthony (Vaughn) a couple of police detectives completing their latest bust, who can go over the top when it comes to completing the job which ha gained the attention of their captain LT Calvert (Johnson).

With the pair suspended, Brett starts to think about the future and the fact he wants to move his family out of a rough neighbourhood, because his wife Melanie (Holden) in ex-officer who is sick and teenage daughter are attracting the wrong attention. The pair decide to turn to a life of crime by taking on drug dealers to make the money they deserve.

 

Thoughts on Dragged Across Concrete

 

Characters – Brett is an older police officer, he hasn’t gotten the promotions his former partners have in the past, his wife is an sick ex-cop, he has a teenage daughter and gets rough on his cases. He needs to find enough money to move his family out of the neighbourhood, which sees him take on a potential drug dealer for money. Anthony is the younger partner, preparing to propose of his girlfriend, he is loyal to Brett, which seems him wanting to help Brett during their suspension. Henry is the ex-con that has returned to the life of crime with no option, but to. Biscuit is the connection for Henry, he gets the jobs they can go on together. Kelly is the new mother facing her first day back at work, she is struggling with separation she is facing. LT Calvert is the man forced to suspend the to officers, he was once the partner of Brett and challenges him on why he has never gotten higher up the system.

PerformancesMel Gibson is perfectly cast in this role, he is an older cop that is left with no option, he gets to preach about problems that have affected his own career too. Vince Vaughn doesn’t do anything wrong in his role, showing a much more serious side to his abilities.  We do have a big cast here, each actors do what is needed for their roles.

StoryThe story here follows two suspended cops that turn to a life of crime, an ex-con looking for one big score and the big score that is done by the psychotic gang. The idea of a cop turned to a life of crime is one we have seen before and works, the idea an ex-con will do one more job to escape the life has been done before, in fact the whole basic concept of this film has been done before. The problems with the story here comes from the pacing, we might have some clever dialogue, but we get a lot of seemingly pointless scenes too, which just drag for way too long. The story being as simple as it is, doesn’t need to be two and half hours long, there is one character who get introduced for no apparent reason that waste a good 10-15 minutes of the story too.

Action/CrimeThe action in the film comes from just how this director tends to us the style of explosive body parts, the crime side follows the one incident which takes out character on their mission in search for what they want most in the world.

SettingsThe film puts us in the big city which shows the divide in the neighbourhoods, it shows how each side of the city the people have come from.

Special EffectsThe effects used are what we have seen from the director before, they look for explosive weapon injuries.


Scene of the Movie –
Showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This movie is about 50 Minutes too long.

Final ThoughtsThis is an overly long action crime film, that just goes on way too long for what is a simple story.

 

Overall: Just too long.

Rating

 

 

Pyewacket (2017)

Director: Adam MacDonald

Writer: Adam MacDonald (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicole Munoz, Laurie Holden, Chloe Rose, Eric Osborne, Romeo Carere

 

Plot: A frustrated, angst-ridden teenage girl awakens something in the woods when she naively performs an occult ritual to evoke a witch to kill her mother.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Thriller Lacking the Bite

 

Story: Pyewacket starts as we meet the mother Mrs Reyes (Holden) and her daughter Leah (Munoz) who are both struggling with the loss of their husband and father, Leah has turned to the occult for answers while Mrs Reyes has become distant from her daughter, she decides to leave their home because of the memories, forcing Leah to need to travel to and from school for the remain part of the year.

Deciding she wants to get back at her mother, Leah performs a ritual to summon a witch to kill her mother, one that she instantly regrets when she gets haunted by a mysterious figure in the dark.

 

Thoughts on Pyewacket

 

Characters – Leah is a teenage girl struggling with the death of her father, becoming distant from her mother and wanting to look at the occult. After she is moved away from her friends, she continues to hate her mother which leads her down a dark path against her mother turning to the occult once again for answer, this only fills her with paranoia and fear of just what she has unleashed. Mrs Reyes is the mother of Leah, she is struggling too which is shown with her relationship with Leah, she is trying to keep everything together though. Janice, Aaron and Rob are the friends Leah hangs around though we never see enough of them.

PerformancesNicole Munoz is in the leading role, she is in every scene and is the one we need to see perform, she is great through the film, each decision her character makes we believe her performance throughout. Laurie Holden is the only other star that gets any major screen time and does a good job.

StoryThe story here follows a troubled teenager that turns to the occult to help her with her problems only to regret the decision she makes once she gets visited by the unknown. This story tries to address the grieving process that people will go through after losing a family member, we see the extremes someone will turn to and just how difficult the communication can be. When we see the horror side of the story we get to look at how dangerous the occult is and just what it can do to your mind through the increased isolation from friends. This isn’t the most engaging story and does go in the directions you would expect without having that shock moment before the end.

HorrorThe horror elements of the film focus on the occult and what you could unleashes when you mess with something you just don’t understand.

SettingsThe film starts in a family home location which holds memories, moving to the woods we create the isolation which only adds to the horror in the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are not needed too often, the times we need them, they are mixed in quality too.


Scene of the Movie –
The final moments.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not enough focus on anyone else supporting the grieving family.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that tries to channel real emotions with everything it goes through, it uses the occult to try and balance the grieving process only to miss the point of both sides of this idea.

 

Overall: Simple occult horror.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Dumb and Dumber To (2014)

Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly

Writer: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Sean Anders, John Morris, Bennett Yellin, Mike Cerrone (Screenplay)

Starring: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Rob Riggle, Laurie Holden, Rachel Melvin, Steve Tom, Don Lake

 

Plot: Twenty years since their first adventure, Lloyd and Harry go on a road trip to find Harry’s newly discovered daughter, who was given up for adoption.


Tagline – The average person uses 10% of their brain capacity. Imagine what he could do with 1%.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Embarrassing Sequel

 

Story: Dumb and Dumber To starts after the twenty years has passed, Lloyd (Carrey) has been playing a coma out for this time with Harry (Daniels) seeing him every week, when Lloyd ends the joke, we learn Harry needs a new kidney and discovers he has a long lost daughter, leading to the two going on another cross-country trip to locate her.

 

Thoughts on Dumb and Dumber To

 

Characters – Lloyd and Harry are both back, only twenty years older and still not on the intelligence level of the average person, strangely they do seem to be dumber than last time out. The mis-adventures continue for them and they cross the line in ways they never did before. We have the criminal characters who are not the most notorious of all them either.

PerformancesJim Carrey has gone off the radar now, he has lost his comic timing and this is showing how bad it has got, Jeff Daniels had built up a good reputation over the recent years, now he throws it out the window for this. The rest of the cast do the best they can with this terrible script.

StoryThis story follows similar paths to the previous film, the two must travel across the country to do deliver a package, we have a more serious idea behind the trip, but this gets swept under the rug as the forced terrible comedy tries to take over. This does try to keep the focus on the comedy duo which only drags everything down.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure side of the film is the glimpse of the highlight in the film as the comedy is the biggest miss in years.

SettingsThe settings are not important, we do get references to previous films which is fine, but otherwise nothing special.


Scene of the Movie –
End credits, because it is over.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The jokes are insulting this time around.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the worst movies I have seen in years, this forgets the heart of the first film and ends up being terrible experience.

 

Overall: Terrible is being nice.

Rating

 

 

The Majestic (2001)

logoDirector: Frank Darabont

Writer: Michael Sloane (Screenplay)

Starring: Jim Carrey, Bob Balaban, Jeffrey DeMunn, Hal Holbrook, Laurie Holden, Martin Landau, Brent Briscoe, Ron Rifkin, Amanda Detmer, James Whitmore

 

Plot: Set in 1951, a blacklisted Hollywood writer gets into a car accident, loses his memory and settles down in a small town where he is mistaken for a long-lost son.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Entertaining Drama

Story: The Majestic starts by showing us a movie plot discussion meeting with our protagonist Peter (Carrey). We learn how he is about to break out as a screenwriter with his first film being shown. This goes next to the communist hunt that flew through America in the 1950s. Peter becomes the next victim in the hunt leading him to get blacklisted in Hollywood, after losing it he gets drunk and tries to drive off into the sunset, but things don’t go well for him when he crashes his car on a bridge going over and bumping his head. Peter awakens with no memory of who he is or why he is where he is. Peter is taken into a small town that have lost most of their young generation of men in the war. The town’s people all seem to recognize Peter and one man in particular Harry (Landau) thinks he is his lost son. His appearance in the town makes Harry want to reopen the Majestic cinema to give the people of the town some hope.

It is not long before the whole town is welcoming him home and he gives the whole town inspiration to move on with their lives and the man’s lost love Adele (Holden) tries to rekindle what she once had by taking him around town to the memories they once had together. While his attachment for the town grows we are left to wonder what will come back first, his memory or his past.

The Majestic is a very powerful story about a town struggling to move on while one man who could be one of their own lost ones inspires them to move on with their lives. Where the story shines is by showing how small towns would be suffering to cope after the war and how America panicked through the communist investigation just pointing figures and never getting real answers. On its negative side I find it hard to believe that the amnesia got almost shrugged off by the town’s people and how easily they just assumed a man who couldn’t remember anything would just turn up home. The Majestic does come off giving a very warm feeling after viewing and is easily enjoyable. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

Jim Carrey: Peter Appleton a screenwriter who gets blacklisted when people believe his is a communist. While trying to escape the problems he ends up in a small town where he has a striking resemblance to a man thought to have died in the war. He gives them all inspiration but once he figures out who he really is he has to learn to stand up for a new cause. Jim gives one of his best performances here showing he can give serious performance. (9/10)

 jim

Martin Landau: Harry Timble the man who believes Peter is his son returning after the war and once he sees him wants to reopen the family business. He gets to see his cinema reopened and spend time with what he thinks is his son before passing on before the truth gets out. Martin gives a good performance of a man wanting one more day with his lost son. (7/10)

 martin

Laurie Holden: Adele Stanton the romantic interest of the lost man, she is not sure about Peter but does fall for his charms all over again before finding out the truth. Laurie gives a good performance. (7/10)

 laurie

Support Cast: The Majestic has two main groups of supporting characters; we have the studio people and the men investigating the communist in Hollywood. While the second group are the members of the town who believe Peter is a lost member of the town. Both sets make the story flow well giving us the solid idea between the loss of loved ones in the war and the witch hunt for communists.

Director Review: Frank Darabont – Frank does a good job directing this film even though it doesn’t reach the levels of some of his previous work. (7/10)

 

Drama: The Majestic uses the sense of drama to tell the heart breaking story of loss of the young men during the war in the small town and how it has changed the people’s lives. (9/10)

Settings: The Majestic uses the settings really well to give an authentic feel for the time period the film is set in. (9/10)

Suggestion: The Majestic is a film that could be enjoyed by everyone but may not appeal to everyone due to its character driven story. (Try It)

 

Best Part of The Majestic: The Commission Speech.

Worst Part of The Majestic: Slightly too long for the story it tells.

 

Believability: Forgetting the chance of the character happening to look like another person the two storylines focus on very real effects the war had on two different areas of society. (8/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Jim Carrey could have got a nomination but the film didn’t get any.

Box Office: $37 Million

Budget: $72 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 32 Minutes

Tagline: Sometimes your life comes into focus one frame at a time

 

Overall: Carrey’s Best Was Not A Success But is Must Be Seen By His Fans

Rating 

79

Star Focus – Laurie Holden

Laurie Holdenlaurie

Age: 45

Number of Roles: 38

Biggest Roles: The Mist, The Majestic, The Walking Dead

Debut Role: TV – The Martian Chronicles (1980)

Film – Separate Vacations (1986)

1980s Career: While Laurie was only making her first steps into the acting world in the 80s we only got a couple of roles. We have a couple of television roles ‘The Martian Chronicles’ and ‘Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future’. We also had two films Separate Vacations and Physical Evidence.

Television Roles:

  • The Martian Chronicles (1980) 2 Episodes
  • Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future (1988)
  • Father Dowling Investigates (1991)
  • Secret Service (1993)
  • Family Passions (1993
  • Destiny Ridge (1993)
  • Due South (1995)
  • Highlander (1995)
  • Murder, She Wrote (1996)
  • Poltergeist: The legacy (1996)
  • Two (1996)
  • The Outer Limits (2000)
  • The Magnificent Seven (1998-2000) 18 Episodes
  • Big Sound (2001)
  • The X-Files (1996-2002) 10 Episodes
  • The Shield (2008) 13 Episodes
  • The Walking Dead (2010-2013) 35 Episodes
  • Major Crimes (2014) 2 Episodes

The 90s: While Laurie appeared in a ton of television shows in the 90s it was this decade where she started to make her make in film. We had ‘Expect No Mercy’ and ‘Past Perfect’. She remained on the edge of breaking out though with those films not being the most successful.past perfect

Break Out Role: The Majestic (2001)

laurie

The Majestic

2000-2009: Laurie continued her work in television and did get long appearance in shows during this decade but it was her films that really stuck out. We had the brilliant ‘The Majestic’ opposite Jim Carrey. A supporting role in ‘Fantastic Four’ but her performance in ‘Silent Hill’ the best of the video game adaptation really stands out as her character went through a horrific death. We also have her performance reteaming with Frank Darabont for ‘The Mist’ where she is involved in the shocking final moment of this film.

2010 Onwards: So far this part of her career was dominated by her appearance in ‘The Walking Dead’ as Andrea one of the most popular characters from the source material but in the show she became one of the least popular because they changed her too much. Also in this time she appeared in the Dumb and Dumber sequel.

Andrea

Andrea

My Favourite Role: Silent Hill – the cop who is trying to help our heroine find her missing daughter, but ends up getting caught up in the middle of the battle in the mysterious town.

Silent Hill

Silent Hill

Stars They Work With Often: Frank Darabont