Franchise Weekend – Urban Legends: Final Cut (2000)

Director: John Ottman

Writer: Paul Harris Boardman, Scott Derrickson (Screenplay) Silvio Horta (Characters)

Starring: Jennifer Morrison, Matthew Davis, Hart Bochner, Loretta Devine, Joey Lawrence, Anson Mount, Eva Mendes

 

Plot: A film school is the center of a fresh spate of killings based on urban legends.


Tagline – It was an urban legend that started it all. Now it continues on the Alpine University campus… 

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Late Night Movie

 

Story: Urban Legends: Final Cut starts as we head to a new university where the students are film students making a horror movie, Amy Mayfield (Morrison) comes from a line of famous film makers adding the pressure to excel, meeting Reese (Devine) the returning security guard that wouldn’t accept the silence after the events of the first movie, she give Amy the idea for her project, a serial killer using Urban Legends.

With Amy’s movie started it doesn’t take long before the cast start getting picked off, Amy must work with twin brother of highly regarded student Trevor Stark (Davis) and feisty security guard Reese to solve the murders and get her film done on time.

 

Thoughts on Urban Legends: Final Cut

 

Characters – Amy is the young filmmaker studying at university looking to find an idea for her project, she gets that idea from Reese, a horror film where the killer uses Urban Legends to kill the victims, she must deal with jealous students who feel she is stepping on their genre, young artists who want to make a name for themselves and soon a serial killer that wants to use the Urban Legends for their own killing spree. Sadly, she is the only character we truly get to know much about, we have the Stark twins, with the student one killing himself which draws his brother to learn why, the returning Reese who is the connection between the two movies, still the most entertaining character and many other students and professor who either work on or help plan the film Amy is making. This biggest problem with most of the supporting characters is that they don’t seem to understand horror movies, even though they are making one.

PerformancesJennifer Morrison takes her first leading role here, she is good for horror, as this role is the only one that seems to understand horror films. Matthew Davis in twin roles is solid enough as they are both in different mood settings through the film. Lorette Devine is the best character to watch once again. We have an early role from Eva Mendes here to which is a highlight.

StoryThe story here follows the events of the first film which have been swept under the carpet, now a film student learns of the idea and decides to make a movie based on an Urban Legend killer. This is understandable and should work because we like the idea of meta in movies, the problems arise when this film students that are making a horror movie don’t seem to understand the rules of horror movies, add in the fact that we only have certain kills in the film being based on urban legends while others are crimes of opportunity. When it comes to the slasher side of the film we don’t get as many suspects this time which does disappoints, but everything works well enough for the film if you want a late-night movie.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film does follow most of the same trends, we have the urban legends being the designs for most of the deaths, though the mystery in this film falls short because we don’t believe that any of the suspects could be guilty.

SettingsWe keep the university setting, with a lot of the sequences taking place in the created sets and giving us behind the look locations for horror movie production.

Special EffectsThe effects are mixed because we do get to see a lot of cheats behind how effects can be made with a couple of characters, when it comes to the real kills things are good without being anything special.


Scene of the Movie –
Reese is excellent to watch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Most of the characters don’t understand how horror movies work.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid enough sequel, it gives us plenty to enjoy when it comes to late night horror which can always be enjoyed by the right audience.

 

Overall: Solid sequel.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Urban Legend (1998)

Director: Jamie Blanks

Writer: Silvio Horta (Screenplay)

Starring: Jared Leto, Alicia Witt, Rebecca Gayheart, Michael Rosenbaum, Loretta Devine, Joshua Jackson, Tara Reid, Robert Englund

 

Plot: A college student suspects a series of bizarre deaths are connected to certain urban legends.


Tagline – Never Talk To Strangers, Never Answer The Phone, Never Flash Your Lights, Never Leave The Car, And Always Believe, What You’re Told

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Fun Slasher

 

Story: Urban Legend starts as we meet our college students Natalie (Witt) Paul (Leto), Brenda (Gayheart), Parker (Rosenbaum), Damon (Jackson) and Sasha (Reid) who are all studying in a class where Professor William Wexler (Englund) teaches them about the origins of urban legends.

When Natalie sees Damon killed in the myth of an urban legend she starts to believe there is a serial killer on campus and it is up to campus security officer Reese Wilson (Devine) to keep everyone safe, while Natalie tries to get to the bottom of everything.

 

Thoughts on Urban Legend

 

Characters – Natalie is our leading student, it is her old friend that is the first victim with the next couple of killings are people close to her, she is determined to learn the truth believing there is an Urban Legend serial killer taking advantage of the anniversary of a tragedy on campus. Paul works for the campus newspaper and with the murders starting on campus he gets big stories even if the Dean is trying to spin them into nothing, he helps Natalie investigate the truth even though he knows each murder could have an answer. Brenda is the best friend of Natalie’s who helps her through her time of need being the most frightened about the Urban Legends. Reese is the head of security that idolises Pam Grier and wants to keep the student safe no matter what.

PerformancesThis cast is filled with young actors that only went onto bigger projects, Alicia Witt in the leading role is good throughout, the innocent slasher style final girl figure. Jared Leto shows us that he is mostly likely the best performer of the students, Rebecca Gayheart is good at the typical best friend figure which again helps fill the generic roles the film painfully uses. Loretta Devine is the potential show stealer here with her character getting the best lines while trying to solve the crime. As I was saying most of the characters are generic with each performer getting their parts done very well.

StoryThe story here brings us to a slasher horror movie which makes the killer select different Urban Legends to kill their victims. This does bring an original twist to how the kills are being completed, until things just turn into a slasher generic movie for the later kills, lets all be honest, we know slasher movies don’t need the most intense stories and you generally will follow the traits of the genre. One big plus point for this movie is that we get plenty of suspects, just when you think it is one person, things take a twist a throw another suspect in the prime position, this happens plenty of times which is a huge plus for any movie.

Horror/MysteryFor a horror movie this gives us the generic characters, mistakes that we know too, the kills start being unique with the urban legend style behind them and the mystery comes from just who is behind the murders with plenty of different characters with motivations.

SettingsThe film takes place on a college campus, this give our characters reason to not be able to just run with the Dead believing things are pranks and good reasons behind other deaths. The one negative about this location is that these kids are all stupid enough to believe urban legends are real in the first place.

Special EffectsThe effects are used for the kills which are simple and never needing to be over the top either.


Scene of the Movie –
Urban Legends kills.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Understanding American laws, partial spoiler, but how did the girls not get prison time?

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most enjoyable and original slasher movies, it has a unique idea that makes it standout with a wonderfully talent young cast.

 

Overall: Slasher that stands out.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – N – Norm of the North (2016)

Director: Trevor Wall

Writer: Daniel Altiere, Steven Altiere, Malcolm T Goldman (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Rob Schneider, Heather Graham, Ken Jeong, Bill Nighy, Colm Meaney, Loretta Devine

 

Plot: When a real estate development invades his Arctic home, Norm and his three lemming friends head to New York City, where Norm becomes the mascot of the corporation in an attempt to bring it down from the inside and protect his homeland.


Tagline – Bear to be different

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Pathetic Comedy

 

Story: Norm of the North starts as we head to the North Pole and the arctic home of Norm an underachieving polar bear. He wants to become the king of the arctic like his Grandfather as he lives in peace around seals, whales, birds and for some reason lemmings.

When the real estate mogul wants to build condos in the Arctic, Norm must travel to New York City to stop Mr Greene from going through with his idea and save the Arctic.

 

Thoughts on Norm of the North

 

Characters – Norm is a polar bear that needs to help save his land in the Arctic, he seems to get himself into trouble with his clumsy action, he is mostly an insult character. Vera is the struggling single mother that is trying to help her daughter even if she doesn’t believe in what she is going. Mr Greene is an evil businessman looking to build the houses in the Arctic which would ruin the life of the wildlife.

StoryThe story should be about how the humans are destroying the wildlife, but ends up just being hapless look at how one polar bear will try to stop it happening, it is mostly insulting to the audience as a story as it never gets to show the message it should be.

Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe adventure just seems like click the fingers and we are there, the comedy misses on nearly every level and I wouldn’t want anyone to put their family through this one.

SettingsThe settings are the Arctic, fine works and the New York because wild animal in New York City is meant to be funny I guess?

AnimationThe animation at least looks good being the only positive side of the whole movie.


Scene of the Movie –
They use the ‘Shut Up and Dance With Me Song’ didn’t like the scene but love the song.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just feels insulting.

Final ThoughtsThis is just a terrible animation that is more insulting that funny, it has an important message and fails to deliver it.

 

Overall: Avoid please.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Random – W – Welcome to Me (2014)

Director: Shira Piven

Writer: Eliot Laurence (Screenplay)

Starring: Kristen Wiig, Wes Bentley, Linda Cardellini, Joan Cusack, Loretta Devine, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Tim Robbins, James Marsden

 

Plot: When Alice Klieg wins the Mega-Millions lottery, she immediately quits her psychiatric meds and buys her own talk show.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Good Drama

 

Story: Welcome to Me starts as we meet Alice Klieg (Wiig) who idolises Oprah studying all the tapes of her shows, she lives an isolated life but that is going to change when she wins the $86 million on the lottery. Believing the money has changed herself she drops her Dr Moffet (Robbins) who has been treating her for multiply personality disorder and heads off to Vegas with her best friend Gina (Cardellini).

When Alice meets studio team Rich Ruskin (Marsden), Gabe Ruskin (Bentley), Dawn Hurley (Cusack) and Deb Moseley (Leigh) wanting to create her own talk show which Rich sees this as a chance to save their studio. As the money being spend increases the show reaches new levels of popularity but can the studio continue to extort Alice’s mental issues to make money.

 

Thoughts on Welcome to Me

 

Characters/PerformanceAlice is a very unstable woman that has struggled through all her mental health problems for years, but after winning the lottery she gets her own show on television show where she can deal with all her problems, but can she deal with this new fame. Gabe is one of the studio producers that is willing to help Alice, but is one of the only ones that does want to help rather than use her. Gina is the best friend that gets left behind as Alice becomes obsessed with her own show. We also have the rest of the studio team that see this as a big payday.

Performance wise, Kristen Wiig is fantastic in this leading role showing she is capable of the serious performance away from the full comedy she is known for. Wes Bentley continues to turn his career around with another good performance. Linda Cardellini is also good throughout the film and the other highly respected stars also good great jobs with James Marsden being hugely memorable.

StoryThe story shows how people with mental health issues will find life difficult, but if you add money they can’t explain to themselves to the mix they will get taken advantage off by greedy people, but it also shows how money shouldn’t change friendships but it will. This is a film that has a story which is very important to show how difficult living with mental health issues can be.

Comedy/DramaThe comedy works in the limited moments because the story isn’t a full laughing matter. The drama shows the issues Alice must live with along with her new money.

SettingsThe settings are important because they show the world that Alice comes from to where she finds herself with all her money.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good movie that tells a very important message for the people who struggle with the mental health issues.

 

Overall: Very impressive film I feel people might not have heard off.

Rating