ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – T – Tombstone (1993)

Director: George P Cosmatos, Kevin Jarre

Writer: Kevin Jarre (Screenplay)

Starring: Kurt Russell, Val Kilmer, Sam Elliott, Bill Paxton, Powers Boothe, Michael Biehn, Charlton Heston

 

Plot: A successful lawman’s plans to retire anonymously in Tombstone, Arizona, are disrupted by the kind of outlaws he was famous for eliminating.


Tagline – Justice Is Coming

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not as Good as Wyatt Earp

 

Story: Tombstone starts when the successful lawman Wyatt Earp (Russell) has hung up his gun moved with his brothers Virgil (Elliott) and Morgan (Paxton) to Tombstone to follow in the silver boom. Wyatt does get his hands in plenty of pots, helping the town turn to their successful ways.

When the Marshall is killed by the cowboys the mayor turns to the Earp’s with Virgil and Morgan try to bring order to the town Wyatt reluctantly agrees to join them, which will see them come face to face with the deadly cowboy gang who want control of the town.

 

Thoughts on Tombstone

 

Characters – Wyatt Earp’s reputation precedes him as he cleaned up the town of Boulder, now he wants to put his gun away and head to Tombstone to start a business life with his brothers, he knows how the get a deal done, which will see him need to get rid of the cowboy gang running through the town causing chaos. Doc Holliday is the gambler that will and has stood by Wyatt’s side in combat, he will drink a lot even if he does face health problem that will slowly make his life harder. Virgil and Morgan are the brothers that take the roles in the law enforcement which will see them put their own lives at risk.

PerformancesKurt Russell does do a solid job in the leading role, the action scenes are where he shines the best. Val Kilmer does well making his character feel like he is standing out more in the film at times. We do get plenty of actors in this film, most do what is needed without being on the top of their games.

StoryThe story follows Wyatt Earp in his time in Tombstone only which does show how he was trying to live a non-conflict life only to be drawn back into the old ways which saw him become the legendary lawman. The story is difficult to watch after recently seeing the ‘Wyatt Earp’ film, which does cover a larger amount of his life, including the Tombstone time, we just don’t seem to get enough focus on the life outside of the battle in the town, which fails to give the wives required screen time in the story or show us what led to Wyatt becoming the famous lawman. This will give us the simple look at the battle with the cowboys which is good to see, but we would always want to learn more about the character involved.

Action/BiopicThe action in the film does see bullets fly around like we are used to, for a western, the biopic side of the film only shows us the Tombstone stage of Wyatt’s life which does focus more, only it doesn’t explain why he is such a famous figure.

SettingsThe film does create the authentic setting for the western genre, which is does make us feel like we are watching the story unfold with the characters.


Scene of the Movie –
Stand off.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not learning enough about Wyatt’s life before Tombstone.

Final ThoughtsThis is the weaker of the two Wyatt Earp biopics that hit the cinema in the same year, it might have more entertaining action, but it just misses too much of his life out.

 

Overall: Disappointing biopic.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Horror – The Victim (2011)

Director: Michael Biehn

Writer: Michael Biehn (Screenplay) Reed Lackey (Story)

Starring: Michael Biehn, Jennifer Blanc, Ryan Honey, Danielle Harris, Denny Kirkwood

 

Plot: A man lives alone in a remote cabin and is surprised by his visitors.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Thriller That Lacks That Punch

 

Story: The Victim starts when police officers Jonathan Cooger (Kirkwood) and James Harrison (Honey) kill Mary (Harris) (Yes, they did kill Danielle Harris in the opening sequence), Annie (Blanc) escapes through the woods to the remote cabin owned by Kyle (Biehn).

Kyle agrees to help Annie as we are luckily saved from wasting Harris with flashbacks which explain why the two friends found themselves in the woods partying. The two look for proof which can save her life but Kyle’s quiet life soon turns into a nightmare.

 

Thoughts on The Victim

 

Characters/PerformanceKyle is the lonely man who enjoys being away from the world in his cabin in the middle of the woods. He uses his brains to get to the bottom of the situation with the strangers. Annie is the woman in need of help after her best friend is murdered. James Harrison is the cop who killed Mary but now he needs to cover it all up to save his future.

Performance wise, Michael Biehn does take dual roles as director and star but he never convinces in the leading role even if he is the best performer. The rest of the acting is weak throughout the film never being convincing in any of the emotions needed for the characters.

StoryThe story is easy to follow even though you feel there will be a twist because that is the only thing that could make this feel good. The flashbacks do all feel random because you find yourself wondering what the point actually is about them.

ThrillerThe film does try its best to keep us on the edge of our seats but in the end just feels like it fizzles away.

SettingsThe woods make for a good setting because we know the characters can’t just run from the situation but are going to make sure it all ends there.

Special EffectsThe effects are used lightly and do come off but are not important.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller that doesn’t click on the levels it needs to, we are left just watching not the best acting in not the best story.

 

Overall: Plain old thriller

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Scorpion King: Quest for Power (2015)

Director: Mike Elliott

Writer: Michael Weiss (Screenplay)

Starring: Victor Webster, Ellen Hollman, Will Kemp, Barry Bostwick, Rutger Hauer, Michael Biehn, M Emmet Walsh

 

Plot: When he is betrayed by a trusted friend, Mathayus must marshal all his strength and cunning to outwit a formidable opponent who will stop at nothing to unlock a supreme ancient power.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Flat-Out Comedy Now

 

Story: The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power starts with Mathayus (Webster) and his apprentice Drazen (Kemp) looking to steal an ancient artefact which will give whoever holds it great power but Skizurra (Ferrigno) proves to be formidable opponent for Mathayus, but he finds himself betrayed by Drazen.

Failing his mission Mathayus is sent by King Zakkour (Hauer) to offer a peace agreement with King Yannick (Biehn) the father Drazen. When the king is murdered with scorpions, Mathayus must go on the run with Valina (Hollman) to work with her father Sorrell (Bostwick) to stop Drazen from unlocking the secret ancient power that can bring down the kingdoms.

 

Thoughts on The Scorpion King 4: Quest for Power

 

Characters/PerformanceMathayus is now once again a warrior for hire, we learn no reason or story to how he lost the kingdom he earnt at the end of the last film. he gets betrayed again before going on the mission. Valina is the feisty woman this time trying to go against tradition and be a warrior leader with Drazen being the power-hungry villain. The fellow character all add laughs without doing too much for the story.

Performance wise, Victor Webster has made this role his own and hands the comical side of this film, Ellen Hollman is fine in the leading role but it would be say she is the weakest of the leading ladies of the franchise. Will Kemp does bring certain credibility back to the villainous role but how can anyone be worse than Billy Zane. The rest of the cast all do well throughout.

StoryThe story is good even if they do forget to explain why Mathayus is no longer king again, we get everything we need for an adventure but the biggest positive for me was the balancing of science version myth which I have found other films have attempted and failed, this film gets it about right.

Action/AdventureThe action is fine just lots of hand to hand combat which is fine without being anything impressive but the adventure does feel like a lot more fun.

SettingsThe settings confused at times because we seem to have got past the idea of sand and heading into the woods because filming in Romania is cheap.

Special EffectsThe special effects are weak through the film which does take certain moments away from the final film.

Final ThoughtsThis film was better than certain comedies I saw from this year and the adventure is fine but it just doesn’t feel like a Scorpion King movie anymore.

 

Overall: Comical sequel that should be fun to watch if watched as a comedy.

Rating

 

 

The Terminator (1984)

terminatorDirector: James Cameron

Writer: James Cameron, Gale Anne Hurd (Screenplay)

Starring: Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Paul Winfield, Lance Henriksen, Rick Rossovich, Bess Motta, Earl Boen, Dick Miller

 

Plot: A human-looking indestructible cyborg is sent from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a waitress, whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines, while a soldier from that war is sent to protect her at all costs.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic

 

Story: The Terminator starts first by the traditional introduction to our three main characters, first we have the cyborg Terminator (Schwarzenegger) who along with Kyle Reese (Biehn) have both been sent back from the future where robots control the Earth. Both are on a mission to find waitress Sarah Connor (Hamilton) who is key to the resistance against the robot battle.

When the Terminator starts tracking down all the local Sarah Connors he starts merciless killing them while Kyle is out to protect her from the cyborg. Sarah must work with Reese to survive and defeat this Terminator as she learns the truth about her own importance to the future of mankind.

The Terminator is one of the most iconic films from the 80s that has become one of the most talked about film franchises of all time. This role turned the fresh face powerhouse Arnold Schwarzenegger who has only been the good guy taking a cold-hearted killer role which was a huge risk but works to perfection. We get Linda Hamilton being the reluctant hero that evolves through the film to become the kick ass action lead we all know from the second film. We finally get a great action hero performance from Michael Biehn. We see this early film from James Cameron show all his potential to go on to make bigger projects with this still being one of his greatest achieves because of the budget this one had.

The action through this film is great because of how raw it all looks as it feels like it could easily be happening on the streets at any the present time while the special effects still stand the test of time. The concept behind the story comes off feeling so original for the time even if elements of this have been copied in recent years that this truly is one of the classics of the genre and film history.

 

Overall: Easily one of the most icon and brilliant films ever put to film.

Ratingresults

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Psych 9 (2010)

psychDirector: Andrew Shortell

Writer: Lawrence Robinson (Screenplay)

Starring: Sara Foster, Cary Elwes, Michael Biehn, Gabriel Mann, Colleen Camp, Winter Ave Zoli, Susie Amy

 

Plot: Working alone at night in a recently closed hospital, an unstable woman witnesses events that may be connected to a string of murders.

 

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Twist Filled Horror

 

Story: Psych 9 starts as we meet Roslyn (Foster) who takes a night job at a hospital set for closure, her job is to transfer the files to computer before the demolition takes place. Spending her nights alone inside the hospital Roslyn gets visited by Detective Marling (Biehn) just checking up on her because of a recent string of murders of women in the neighbourhood.

Believing she is hearing noises from within the hospital Roslyn seeks help from Doctor Irvin Clement (Elwes) from the psych department who is working nights too. Spending more time in the hospital Roslyn start to see things around the hospital and is left wondering if it is in fact her losing her mind or real when fingers start pointing at people closest to her to who the serial killer really is.

Psych 9 is a mystery horror film that is filled with twists, but I do feel it could be one too many twists though. The mystery idea is about looking at a serial killer killing woman around the hospital which does make us think we have a few suspects to who it will be. The problem with this is that we all know the obvious choice won’t be the killer and we also rule one other out leaving just two remaining suspects. The final third of the movie does come off slightly messy because we learn the truth but also makes us wonder just what the hell has been happening and the final twist doesn’t make the full sense to where the story should have gone.

 

Actor Review

 

Sara Foster: Roslyn is a lady with a troubled past who takes a night job at an abandoned hospital. Inside the hospital she starts seeing things she can’t explain and with a killer on the loose she starts suspecting her husband. Sara is very strong in this leading role where we see both sides of her character shine through.roslyn

Cary Elwes: Dr Irvin Clement is also working nights at the hospital in the psych ward, he is the man that Roslyn turns to when she starts questioning her sanity offering his skills to help her unlock the truth. Cary is good in this role where we get to see him in a wise role of a doctor.

Michael Biehn: Det Marling is trying to find the serial killer that is roaming the streets around the hospital. He turns up to question the people inside the hospital with his own idea of who the killer is. Michael is solid in this supporting role without getting the full screen time required for this role.

Gabriel Mann: Cole is the husband of Roslyn who also works nights as a taxi driver, the two are not as close as they once were as the fingers start pointing towards him being the serial killer. Gabriel is solid in this supporting role where he has to deal with his wife who is struggling with her own mental problem.

Support Cast: Psych 9 has a very small supporting cast with the only characters we really meet are staff members from the hospital who appear every now and then.

Director Review: Andrew ShortellAndrew does create the mystery well but when it comes to horror it just seems thrown in around the mystery not helping either side of the story come through strong enough.

 

Horror: Psych 9 has a couple of jump scares but the horror side doesn’t seem to fit around the mystery created.

Mystery: Psych 9 throws us into a mystery that really does try to keep us guessing from start to finish with 4 main suspects too.

Thriller: Psych 9 does keep us on edge throughout the film just wondering what is going on.

Settings: Psych 9 is set inside the hospital for the most part which adds to the horror side of the story but doesn’t help with the mystery.
Special Effects
: Psych 9 has good effects when it comes to the use of them which all works for the film.

Suggestion: Psych 9 is one for late night television but not one to go out of your way to see. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: Mystery created.

Worst Part: The final twist doesn’t work for me.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

Tagline: Fear is all in the mind…?

Trivia: The movie was shot in 2006, but released only in 2010.

 

Overall: A horror with one too many twists involved.

Ratingcard