Emily Blunt Weekend – Wind Chill (2007)

Director: Gregory Jacobs

Writer: Joe Gangemi, Steven Katz (Screenplay)

Starring: Emily Blunt, Ashton Holmes, Martin Donovan, Ned Bellamy

 

Plot: Two college students share a ride home for the holidays, but when they break down on a deserted stretch of road, they are preyed upon by the ghosts of people who have died there.


Tagline – Catch Your Death

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Little Horror

 

Story: Wind Chill starts as a college student only known as Girl (Blunt) is looking to head to Delaware for Christmas, suggested the ride share, she gets a lift with Guy (Holmes) as the difficulties in the journey beginning with their lack of conversation.

When the journey starts to take an unexpected turn with the nature of the lift being offered, the two get caught up in an accident on a snowy highway, needing to survive the cold they wait for rescue until they start seeing people walking past only to not get any reply from them with the visits getting more haunting as the night rolls on.

 

Thoughts on Wind Chill

 

Characters – This is a strange film for trying to describe the characters, no one is named, so we have, Girl who is trying to get home for Christmas, she seems stuck up about everything and feels selfish for the most part. She does start to take the ride share guy for granted without wanting to give him the conversation desired. She does feel more streetwise through certain situations though. The Guy who offers the lift, seems simple enough to start with, only for his true motivation to come to light, as he has planned to use the lift to get to know the girl. The highway Patrolman is one of the more aggressive spirits haunting the highway, we learn more about his presence as the students learn about him.

PerformancesEmily Blunt is now one of the biggest names in the industry and like many young stars they start in a small horror movie, she is good in the leading role, showing all her potential for the world to see. Ashton Holmes is good in the supporting role and Martin Donovan makes for the creepy patrolman.

StoryThe story follows a couple of students that are travelling across country for Christmas, only to find themselves in a crash which leaves them stranded in the freezing condition which only becomes worse then the ghosts of the road start haunting them. This is a mix of survival story which shows how the girl must survive the conditions, while also doing the ghosts haunting to send a warning of what is coming. We do get a lot of sequences which you need to pay attention to certain elements and we do get foreshadowing being used that you will pick up on too. The story doesn’t need to be that complicated which is isn’t and you can follow along even with a twist along the way.

HorrorThe horror comes from first the location of being isolated after the accident, then the ghosts only make it worse because they learn what one of them will do if it gets its hands on them.

SettingsThe film puts our characters on the side of the snow-covered road over the night which is filled with freezing conditions which will only make rescue difficult for the characters.

Special EffectsThe effects are held off for when they are needed to make us understand the paranormal to reality moments.


Scene of the Movie –
The end of it?

That Moment That Annoyed Me One too many false moments.

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice little horror that will get the jumps when needed and clever story telling on what could be going on.

 

Overall: Horror fans check this one out.

Rating

 

 

Rememory (2017)

Director: Mark Palansky

Writer: Mark Palansky, Mike Vukadinovich (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Dinklage, Matt Ellis, Jordana Largy, Martin Donovan, Evelyne Brochu, Henry Ian Cusick, Anton Yelchin, Julia Ormond

 

Plot: The widow of a wise professor stumbles upon one of his inventions that’s able to record and play a person’s memory.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Emotional Sci-Fi Mystery

 

Story: Rememory starts as we meet Sam Bloom (Dinklage) a model maker that is haunted by his memories after the accident that took his brother. Years later Sam has been studying Gordon Dunn (Donovan) the mastermind behind the Rememory device, which is designed to keep memories.

When Gordon dies or is killed we are unsure, Sam steals the Rememory machine to visit the test subjects as he uses the devices to see if he can remember his brother’s dying words to him. Soon Sam finds himself investigating the death of Gordon with a large list of subjects including co-workers, test subjects or even family.

 

Thoughts on Rememory

 

Characters – Sam Bloom is a man with a haunted past, he suffers nightmares about what happened to his brother, but once Gordon Dunn dies he uses the Rememory machine to figure out who the killer is and to find peace in his own nightmare. Gordon Dunn is the mastermind that created the Rememory machine to grieve his own daughter’s death but his choices in subjects cause a list of suspects that could want him dead. Carolyn Dunn is the wife of Gordon that closed after her daughter died and became distant from Gordon, she does help Sam uncover the truth.

PerformanceThe performance put out by Peter Dinklage is fantastic and shows just how talented he truly is, the supporting cast is also great with Martin Donovan, Julia Ormond and the late Anton Yelchin giving us the character we need from their performances.

StoryThe story gives us an insight into dealing with memories, the good, the bad and the ones you want to forget. We follow one man who wants to solve a mysterious death and we do have a nice list of suspects giving us a mystery we can get invested in. the idea our main character Sam is also dealing with a moment of regret helps too, we are taken on a rollercoaster of emotions as we learn the truth.

Mystery/Sci-FiA mystery needs a list of suspects and this does give us this as we look to see the mystery get solved through the film, the sci-fi side of the film looks at the idea that we can record our memories to relive them at times.

SettingsThe film doesn’t make too much of the settings with most just showing the different worlds our characters come from.

Special EffectsThe effects are everything you need them to be, we have simple uses to show the memories that have small fracture feelings through them but just show us which are real and which are memories.

Scene of the Movie – Sam’s recorded memory.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I feel the one moment of the film does seem clear early on.

Final ThoughtsThis is a mystery sci-fi that does keep you guessing and you get rewarded with the powerful conclusion and brilliant performance from Dinklage.

 

Overall: Sci-fi mystery that plays on the emotions.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – The Haunting in Connecticut (2009)

casting card

 

Plot: After a family is forced to relocate for their son’s health, they begin experiencing supernatural behavior in their new home, and uncover a sinister history.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Horror

 

Story: The Haunting in Connecticut starts as we meet the Campbell family mother Sara (Madsen), Father Peter (Donavon) and the tragic story of their cancer stricken son Matt (Gallner) they have also adopted Mary (Knight) with babysitter Wendy (Crew). To make the trips to the hospital becoming difficult the family decides to move closer to Connecticut.

Moving into the new house Matt starts seeing things around the house but he also knows if he admits seeing things he will be taken off the trial. With the visions becoming more frequent Matt turns to fellow sufferer Reverend Popescu (Koteas) to understand what these spirits want from him as he starts becoming distant to his whole family.

The Haunting in Connecticut is a horror film that parallels the realism of cancer with haunting, the idea that Matt knows he is seeing things but knows the effects if he admits it, this helps the story as we are led down a path of what is real or in his head. The problem with this comes to the fact it has to all be real for it to be an actual horror. The scares are well built up but do feel separate from the story. this is an enjoyable horror and has plenty of scares too.

 

Actor Review

 

Virginia Madsen: Sara is the mother of the family that has to take her son on long distance trip to the hospital to treat his cancer. Tired of the trips she decides to move the family closer but this will test the family more as we see them starting to get haunted by the new house. She has to remain strong through the testing time. Virginia is good in this leading role where we do know she is good in most horrors.

Kyle Gallner: Matt is our cancer victim that upon moving and starting new treatment starts having visions of something horrific in the house. As this become more frequent he tries to communicate to see what these spirits want but can he handle their answer? Kyle is good in this role as we see him going through everything.

Elias Koteas: Reverend Popescu is a fellow cancer victim but does understand what Matt is going through and offers to help deal with the demons inside the house. Elias is good in this role but I feel we need to see more from his character.

Amanda Crew: Wendy is the live in babysitter and niece to Sara, we never truly understand why she has moved in with them but she helps Matt try to get to the bottom of the mystery inside the house. Amanda is solid in this role and is the only one that tries to uncover the truth.

Support Cast: The Haunting in Connecticut has a supporting cast that includes the rest of the family and spirits keeping everything feeling like a family problem rather than overall haunting.

Director Review: Peter CornwellPeter does give us a good horror that has plenty of scares and a story that keeps us engaged.

 

Horror: The Haunting in Connecticut has well built up horror moments which contains shock moments.

Mystery: The Haunting in Connecticut does give us a ghost investigation style mystery as we learn what happened in the house.

Thriller: The Haunting in Connecticut does keep us on the edge wondering where the next horror moment will come.

Settings: The Haunting in Connecticut keeps most of the film inside the house which helps for the horror.
Special Effects
: The Haunting in Connecticut has great effects that are used for the horror side of the film.

Suggestion: The Haunting in Connecticut is one for the horror fans to enjoy. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The research actually makes sense and is achieved in a library only.

Worst Part:  Certain horror moments seem random.

 

Believability: Based on a true story.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Has one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: Some things cannot be explained.

Trivia: Ed Warren and Lorraine Warren, who are known for involvement in The Amityville Horror case, were investigators for this case.

 

Overall: Enjoyable horror that has good moments throughout.

Ratingcard

 

 

 

The United States of Leland (2003)

logoDirector: Matthew Ryan Hoge

Writer: Matthew Ryan Hoge (Screenplay)

Starring: Don Cheadle, Ryan Gosling, Chris Klein, Jena Malone, Lena Olin, Kevin Spacey, Michelle Williams, Martin Donovan

 

Plot: After stabbing an autistic boy, the sixteen year old troubled and pessimist Leland P. Fitzgerald is sent to a juvenile detention. His teacher and aspirant writer Pearl Madison gets close and tries to understand him, first with intention of writing a book, and later becoming his friend. Leland slowly discloses his sad vision of world.

 

Verdict: Beautifully Troubled Drama

 

Story: Looking in a mixture of flashbacks of what leads up to the crime as well as seeing the effects it has had on the people’s lives involved. We follow how a seemingly awkward teenager’s look on life changes leading to the fatal consequences. We also see how the both families deal with the aftermath. We also see how one man tries to help only to end up looking like he is trying to make something for himself, but also learns to look at things a different way because of his time with Leland. Mixing it all together we get to look at how one person view of the world can change it for everyone involved. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Don Cheadle: Pearl a teacher at the detention centre who takes an interest in Leland, mostly to start a book about him because he seems different to the rest of the teenagers in the centre. He tries his best to do the right thing but in the end is left helpless with what happens in the end. Good performance showing he can walk into lead roles with ease. (8/10)

 chedle

Ryan Gosling: Leland the troubled teenager who has killed an autistic kid, but his reasons are unknown and it is not until he speaks with Pearl he shows his reasoning which shows the world in a very different view. Good performance showing that Ryan was always going to be a big name in the world of Hollywood. (9/10)

leland

Chris Klein: Allen friend of the family who has been involved with one of the daughters of the victim’s family, but when he starts to feel distant from the relationship he tries his hardest to make amends for the murdered child. Good performance from Chris showing he could have been a star, but he has yet to shine. (7/10)

 klien

Jena Malone: Becky love interest of Leland as well as sister to the murdered child, whose own problems have pushed Leland away and led him to see the world very differently. Solid performance from Jena who starred in plenty of these type of dramas in the early noughties. (7/10)

 

Kevin Spacey: Albert father of Leland who has been very distant in fact he hasn’t seen him since he was six as he pays for Leland to spend time away around the world. Good performance in the few scenes he is in. (7/10)

 spacey

Supporting Cast: With an exceptional supporting cast including Michelle Williams, Lena Olin and Kerry Washington, we get solid performances from all of them. (7/10)

 

Director Review: Matthew Ryan Hoge – Good direction throughout to make a compelling drama. (8/10)

 

Drama: Brilliant drama looking at how one crime can change so many people’s lives. (9/10)

Settings: Each setting seems to be leading to the final outcome for our leading boy Leland. (7/10)

Suggestion: This is one to try, I really don’t think it will be popular for many people as the subject matter is bleak and sometimes tries to balance too many stories. (Try It)

 

Best Part: The relationship between Pearl and Leland.

Worst Part: Not enough time spent with Leland and Pearl.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $350,000

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

Tagline: Crime. Confusion. Compassion. They’re all just states of mind.

 

Overall: Compelling drama

Rating 73

Sabotage (2014)

logoDirector: David Ayer

Writer: Skip Woods, David Ayer (Screenplay)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Sam Worthington, Joe Manganiello, Josh Holloway, Terrance Howard, Max Martini, Kevin Vance, Mark Schlegel, Mireille Enos, Maurice Compte, Martin Donovan

 

Plot: Members of an elite DEA task force find themselves being taken down one by one after they rob a drug cartel safe house.

 

Verdict: Disappointing Action Thriller

 

Story: We see how an elite DEA team find themselves disgraced by the government after $10 million dollars goes missing during a bust. The team gets put back together but the members start getting picked off. With the money still missing we have a FBI agent trying to figure out who is the person targeting them. We see the team not supporting her help and Breacher trying to keep them in line. We see how the team tries to uncover the truth and battles to stay alive, the truth could end up being closer than anyone imagined. This tries to be too smart in the end throwing in twist after twist that makes the last one come over as pointless. It really changes film type with the last twenty minutes and it’s the only twist you didn’t really see coming. It is not the best and the over the top macho performances from the supporting team don’t help in the end the film disappoints. (5/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Arnold Schwarzenegger: Breacher leader of the unit and the one who gets focused on the most. He keeps the team in order when they just want to cause chaos. He works with Caroline to uncover the truth but he is also keeping a few secrets about himself. This is not his best performance by any stretch but it is darker than normal, no funny one liner to ease the action. (6/10)

 arnie

Sam Worthington: Monster seemingly the loose cannon of the unit who will go over the line when dealing with the bad guys. Sam became unrecognizable for this role but I am not sure why, he didn’t need too. (5/10)

sam

Joe Manganiello: Grinder the hyper macho member of the unit who uses his imposing presences to try and make himself the most important person in the room. I think he is meant to be the actually big softy of the group but due to lack of development in the supporting characters we don’t see this. Does ok with what he is meant to be doing. (6/10)

 joe

Terrance Howard: Sugar member of the unit but I am not sure what he was meant to be doing most of the time. Not his fault they wasted his talent. (3/10)

 

howard

Mireille Enos: Lizzy undercover member of the unit who now has a drug problem make her a very loose cannon. Yet again it was a talented actress in a role that needed more development. (4/10)

 enos

Olivia Williams: Caroline teaming up with Breacher to uncover what is going on, trusts him but not a single member of the unit. Somehow she becomes a better cop in combat than the rest of the unit. Does a good job with what she has to work with. (6/10)

 

Director Review: David Ayer – I read that the production company wanted more action so I will not criticise the director as much because his bigger picture might have been better. (6/10)

 

Action: Plenty of graphic action violence throughout. (9/10)

Thriller: You do want to know who is behind it all but they never give you enough reason to suspect anyone. (7/10)

Settings: The settings are barely used to create anything extra. (2/10)
Special Effects
: To make the gun shots look so real I will give this the credit it is due. (8/10)

Suggestion: I think only action fans will like this at all but I don’t think all of them will enjoy as much as they could have. (Action Fans Try)

 

Best Part: I only liked the final twist.

Worst Part: The early attempts at twists.

Action Scene Of The Film: Street chase.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $18 Million

Budget: $35 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

Tagline: Leave no loose ends.

 

Overall: Lack of character development ruins what could have been a good thriller.

Rating55