High-Rise (2015)

Director: Ben Wheatley

Writer: Amy Jump (Screenplay) J.G. Ballard (Novel)

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elisabeth Moss, James Purefoy, Keeley Hawes

 

Plot: Life for the residents of a tower block begins to run out of control.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not My Thing

 

Story: High-Rise starts with Dr Laing (Hiddleston) moving into a new high-rise apartment, it doesn’t take long for him to meet the neighbours including Charlotte (Miller), Wilder (Evans), Helen (Moss) and the owner of the building and apparent recluse Royal (Irons).

The longer Laing spends in the building he learns all about the difference between people with in the building find some easier to get on with than others but can he cope with all the drama surrounding them.

 

Thoughts on High-Rise

 

Characters/PerformanceLaing is the stranger moving into the high-rise, he tries to stay on the outside of all social standards in the building but finds himself trapped seeing both sides of the battle within the building. Royal is the king of the castle, he wants to open the door to Laing as he is tired of the crowd he finds himself around. Charlotte is a resident in the building, a single mother that is always trying to go in within the building.

Performance wise, Hiddleston is good without being breath taking best, with Jeremy Iron strange king of the castle being the highlight of the film. Miller is solid without doing too much.

StoryThe story focuses on the different levels of social standard within one building from the view of the outsider trying to piece together what he has seen, this isn’t the most interesting story and turns to the quirkiness of the film to try and attract the audience.

SettingsMost of the film is set on the different levels of the High-Rise building that shows us the different social levels each level has as they slowly descend into obsession.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very weird film and I can clearly see an audience enjoy this movie, but for me I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy what was going on.

 

Overall: Awkward and weird to say the least.

Rating

 

 

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Beauty and the Beast (2017)

Director: Bill Condon

Writer: Stephen Chbosky, Evan Spiliotopoulos (Screenplay)

Starring: Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Josh Gad, Kevin Kline, Hattie Morahan, Hayden Gwynne, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, Stanley Tucci

 

Plot: An adaptation of the Disney fairy tale about a monstrous-looking prince and a young woman who fall in love.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beauty and the Beasty CGI

 

Story: Beauty and the Beast starts as we learn about the curse placed upon the selfish prince who becomes the Beast (Stevens). Years, an unknown number of which never gets explained either pass, as the castle, the Prince and his memories are forgotten.

Meanwhile in the small French village is Belle (Watson) a British young woman who reads and that is taboo in this town, she is considered different but her father Maurice (Kline) continues to encourage her to remain different. Enter the arrogant Captain Gaston (Evans) who wants Belle’s hand in marriage but she isn’t having that.

When Maurice gets captured after taking the wrong path by the Beast, Belle goes in search of him, taking his place as the prisoner of the Beast, learning about the curse and the household objects that are alive, candlestick Lumiere (McGregor), clock Cogsworth (McKellen), teapot Mrs Potts (Thomspon), tea cup Chip (Mack) and many others who are trying their hardest to break the curse on the Beast.

We know the story is all about love and that is the only way to break the curse, as time goes by, I say time I think it is more days Belle learns that the Beast isn’t all his appearance appears and he is also much like her struggling to fit in because of he is different and love blossoms in a battle for freedom.

 

Thoughts on Beauty and the Beast

 

Characters/PerformanceBelle is a character I think is good because it does encourage women to be different regardless of what people say, she is a dreamer who isn’t willing to marry just for status. Where I don’t think this character is good is the way she acts like she is better than other people because she is willing to be educated. The Beast is also a mixed feelings character, he was selfish and got what he deserved but he does learn his lesson about his ways going nervous when getting to know Belle. Gaston is by far my favourite character in the film as the typical arrogant captain who thinks he can get what he wants, he is willing to fight rather than hide but you are never meant to root for him. Maurice is fun but I feel plays into my own issues with the film as it plays into time between the village and castle. We also have a lot of fun with the Lumiere character who is trying to make love happen between the two with the other household items all being the highlights of the film.

Performance wise, I found myself wondering why Watson was cast in the lead because she doesn’t convince to the levels needed, while I do think Dan Stevens is a good actor but couldn’t buy him as the Beast. Luke Evans is great in his role pulling off the singing and actor wonderfully. The voice talents are all great too with well established stars in the roles.

StoryLooking at the story we get something that is fully Disney styled, we have the woman who is different in a good way, falling in the love with the outside to avoid the asshole captain/prince, the story encourages individualism and has plenty of fantasy elements about curses. It is all fine and kids could enjoy as well as nostalgic fans.

Family/Fantasy/MusicalThe family can all enjoy this movie, the fantasy elements are good the curse is all great and work for the film. the music is also good with solid singing throughout.

SettingsThe settings all work good, they are mostly CGI creation but are working for how the story is going.

Special EffectsHere is my biggest issue with the movie, the CGI special effects look weak throughout, you can see the green screen throughout which took me out of the film most of the time.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film for the fans out the 1991 version of the film, they will get enough out of this film, I found it too long in places being over an hour long and the CGI left me losing the fantasy side of the film.

 

Overall: Disney will make money but that is the only positive they want.

Rating

 

 

The Girl on the Train (2016)

girlDirector: Tate Taylor

Writer: Erin Cressida Wilson (Screenplay) Paula Hawkins (Novel)

Starring: Emily Blunt, Haley Bennett, Rebecca Ferguson, Justin Theroux, Luke Evans, Edgar Ramirez, Laura Prepon, Allison Janney

 

Plot: A divorcee becomes entangled in a missing persons investigation that promises to send shockwaves throughout her life.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Burner Thriller

 

Story: The Girl on the Train starts as Rachel (Blunt) travels by train to and from work watching the lives on the people the train bypasses with her favourite being Megan (Bennett) and Scott (Evans) who are living the life she had wished for from the failed marriage. We go onto meet Megan who is tired of her life and her job as the nanny for Anna (Ferguson) the new wife to Tom (Theroux) Rachel’s ex-husband.

When Megan goes missing Rachel becomes one of the suspects where she can’t remember her past with her drunken behaviour and it isn’t long before she finds herself getting personally involved with the lives. It is only time until we look to find the truth to what has really been happening.

 

Thoughts on The Girl on the Train

 

StoryWhen you look at the story you will find yourself wondering when Desperate Housewives got its own movie because the three women characters are filled with baggage you wouldn’t expect to see come together. The story jumps between these women with Rachel looking at what she wanted, Anna being paranoid about Rachel and Megan being slightly unstable when it comes to where she wants to be in her life. These characters are filled with way too much money to be taken seriously by the average person and the missing person case is just there and hard to follow.

Mystery/ThrillerThe mystery in this film comes from what happened to Megan with the thriller side of the story we are left to guess what will happen next.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters all feel like the cast of Desperate Housewives all have too much money to be considered everyday people, all liars and cheaters hugely flawed human beings. When we look at the performances they are all solid but due to the lack of interest in any of the characters it is hard for the stars to shine through to the levels they should.

SettingsThe settings show just how upper class the people involved seem to be in the story you sometimes just get taken away from the story being told.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very slow over complicated mystery thriller that just doesn’t reach the levels it could.

 

Overall: This was just hard work and incredibly boring.

Ratingcard

 

 

Milla Jovovich Weekend – The Three Musketeers (2011)

threeeDirector: Paul W S Anderson

Writer: Alex Litvak (Screenplay) Alexandra Dumas Pere (Novel)

Starring: Matthew Macfadyen, Milla Jovovich, Luke Evans, Ray Stevenson, Til Schweiger, Orlando Bloom, Logan Lerman, Mads Mikkelsen, Christoph Waltz

 

Plot: The hot-headed young D’Artagnan along with three former legendary but now down on their luck Musketeers must unite and defeat a beautiful double agent and her villainous employer from seizing the French throne and engulfing Europe in war.

 

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Forgettable

 

Story: The Three Musketeers starts by introducing us to the legendary Three Musketeer Athos (Macfadyen), Aramis (Evans) and Porthos (Stevenson) who work with Milady de Winter (Jovovich) to steal documents only to have her turn on them for the Duke of Buckingham (Bloom).

We go onto meet D’Artagnan (Lerman) a brass young swordsman who finds himself in trouble with the Three Musketeer, but with a common enemy in Rochefort (Mikkelsen) after they have lost their guidance. The Musketeers find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy to start the next great battle in Europe and have to use their skills to stop this from happening and save France.

The Three Musketeers is an overcomplicated take on what should just be a fun adventure, we have a big conspiracy going on with way too many characters to keep on top off where we just don’t get nearly enough time with the actual musketeers. Everyone seems to be going against each other in this one which just doesn’t reach any of the level of the 90s version.

As for the performances, the musketeers are nearly all forgettable, Waltz, Mikkelsen and Bloom are completely wasted in their roles and having nearly everything that happens revolve around Jovovich just adds to the confusion. The action is all what you would expect from Anderson that can be fun without being over the top.

 

Overall: This is just another poor rehash of the Musketeers story.

Ratingcard

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Dracula Untold (2014)

logoDirector: Gary Shore

Writer: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless (Screenplay) Bram Stoker (Characters)

Starring: Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper, Art Parkinson, Charles Dance, Diarmaid Murtagh, Paul Kaye, William Houston

Plot: As his kingdom is being threatened by the Turks, young prince Vlad Tepes must become a monster feared by his own people in order to obtain the power needed to protect his own family, and the families of his kingdom.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Different Take on an Iconic Character

Story: Dracula Untold starts with a history lesson about child slaves in a Turkish army in the 14th century where one child would be come the deadliest warrior Vlad (Evans) that armies would run from. Vlad brings his warriors into a cave in search for the Turks as he and his men search for vengeance leading them to come across an unknown creature. Second history lesson being told to Vlad about a vampire in Transylvania.

When the Turks bring there deal they demand 1000 children from Transylvania leaving Vlad to oppose this decision. Vlad confronts Mehmed (Cooper) about his deal to try and find a peaceful outcome even offering his own service but Mehmed won’t accept any deal demanding Vlad’s son Ingeras (Parkinson).

When Vlad starts his own war her returns to the cave to meet the creature the Master Vampire (Dance) where Vlad makes a deal to gain the power of the vampire but if he feeds in the first three days he will be cursed with immortality.

We have the gained new powers montage as Vlad learns to control these gifts in his new state as he prepares for his battle against the Turks.

Dracula Untold is a film that I kind of split on what I think about it, on one side I did like the origin story using the stories known through historical time, but on the other side I didn’t like how the battles played out because they were almost pointless because Vlad was too powerful. I will say I liked how the story escaped from the horror side even though I do feel Dracula should always be on the horror side of the story. I think this was a solid story but seems to get concepts incorrect and tries to do the Disney thing by make the villainous monster a hero. (6/10)

Actor Review

Luke Evans: Vlad is one of the most fearsome warriors the world ever saw and this time he has to lead his people to safety after angering a neighbouring army. He has to make a deal with a vampire to become one with its powers but if he drinks he will be cursed forever. I can’t really fault Luke he does well in the role. (7/10)vlsad

Sarah Gadon: Mirena is Vlad’s wife who he will protect until the very ends and will stand by his side even if it means death. Sarah fills the role nicely but doesn’t really add to much to this film. (5/10)mirena

Dominic Cooper: Mehmed is the rival army leader who is also like a brother to Vlad. He demands children for his army but once the offer is rejected he wages war against his Vlad. I don’t feel Dominic get enough screen time for a major villain in a story. (6/10)memed

Charles Dance: Master Vampire is the one who curses Vlad with his additional power but he is really using this as a chance to lift his own curse. Charles brings his class to the film with his small supporting role. (7/10)

Support Cast: Dracula Untold has generic warriors in supporting roles who will die for the side they fight for.

Director Review: Gary ShoreGary does a good job changing how we see a Dracula film for the better because what more can be done on the pure horror side? (7/10)

Action: Dracula Untold has massive battles scenes which all works well and having the different powers in Vlad makes them entertaining. (7/10)

Horror: Dracula Untold doesn’t use too many horror elements only the horror icon. (3/10)

War: Dracula Untold brings the story into the middle of a historical battle between the nations. (7/10)

Settings: Dracula Untold uses easy to understand settings which don’t seem to end up making too much of an impact on the story. (5/10)
Special Effects: Dracula Untold does deserve the praise for the special effects because the transformation between man bats man looks effortless, while the melting part of the vampires also looks very good. (9/10)

Suggestion: Dracula Untold is one to try, I did find certain parts feeling repetitive but certain parts were good and original for the character Dracula. (Try It)

Best Part: Vlad to bat to Vlad.

Worst Part: The battles seem slightly unfair.

Action Scene Of The Film: First Vlad versus army battle.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: I, Frankenstein

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $55 Million

Budget: $70 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: Every Bloodline Has a Beginning 

Overall: Dracula Untold brings us into the action world of the horror icon.

Rating 55