Forsaken (2015)

Director: Jon Cassar

Writer: Brad Mirman, Tari (Screenplay)

Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Donald Sutherland, Michael Wincott, Brian Cox, Chris Ippolito

 

Plot: In 1872, an embittered gunslinger named John Henry Clayton attempts to make amends with his estranged father Reverend Samuel Clayton while their community is besieged by ruthless land-grabbers.


Tagline – Haunted by his past, searching for peace.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Westerner

 

Story: Forsaken starts when John Henry (Kiefer Sutherland) returns to his family town where his father Reverend Samuel (Donald Sutherland) has a strained relationship due to him not returning to help his mother on her deathbed.

With the Clayton’s discussion their own beliefs in God, James McCurdy (Cox) has taken over the town and starting to expand his empire with Dave Turner (Wincott) doing his dirty work, John refuses to go down without a fight and decides to challenge the rule of the town.

 

Thoughts on Forsaken

 

Characters – John Henry Clayton left his town for war, he never returned until his mother died, he has become distant from his father not believing in God, the town does fear his actions in the past, which has made him the threat to the gang controlling the town and when things become personal, he becomes the man people need to fear. Reverend Samuel Clayton is respected in the town which he has made a place believing in God, he doesn’t like his son returning, but learns that he hasn’t for a good reason. James McCurdy is the man running the town, he lets his men kill to get the property he wants. Dave Turner is one of the men that works for James, one that does play by honour over many of the shot first men in the gang.

PerformancesKiefer Sutherland in the leading role is fine, though his mumbling doesn’t help us care enough his character, opposite his father Donald who isn’t the most entertaining either. Michael Wincott was the most interesting character because he seems to get some development and want to see more from him. Brian Cox feels completely wasted in his role that gives him nothing.

StoryThe story follows a man returning home with a reputation while he needs to learn how to make a stand to protect his town which has become a problem overrun by a gang of outlaws. This does follow the generic idea of a returning man helping clean up his town without offer anything new, it keeps us seeing how the action are building up to the problems that will be facing before the final showdown. The pacing does become slow which does make things unfold at a snail’s pace which just doesn’t keep our attention for long enough.

Action/WesternThe action does feel flat, we just don’t get enough of it to make us believe it is action heavy movie, though the mood makes us feel like the western we are entering.

SettingsThe film does make us feel like we are the small town which has a community feeling about it.


Scene of the Movie –
Dave doesn’t like his men not following orders.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The mumbling from Kiefer.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow paced action western movie that just never gets going and ends up feeling the pace taking age to get through.

 

Overall: Slow and bland.

Rating

 

 

Alien: Resurrection (1997)

Director: Jean-Pierre Jeunet

Writer: Joss Whedon (Screenplay) Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett (Characters)

Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Winona Ryder, Dominique Pinon, Ron Perlman, Gary Dourdan, Michael Wincott, Kim Flowers, Dan Hedaya

 

Plot: Two centuries after her death, Ellen Ripley is revived as a powerful human/alien hybrid clone who must continue her war against the aliens.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mindless Action Aliens

 

Story: Alien: Resurrection starts as we arrive on a US space research facility where General Perez (Hedaya) is working on bringing back the aliens with clones of Ripley (Weaver), the latest number 8 shows incredible strength and development. Waiting for a delivery from Captain Elgyn (Wincott) and his crew Call (Ryder), Vriess (Pinon), Johner (Perlman) Hillard (Flowers) and Christie (Dourdan) a deal is agreed they can spend a couple of days’ rest on the research ship.

After Elgyn’s crew get involved in an altercation with the scientists they must escape but the xenomorphs have escaped onto the ship, joining up with Ripley the crew look for a way off the ship while staying alive.

 

Thoughts on Alien: Resurrection

 

Characters/PerformanceRipley is now a clone and the mother of the xenomorphs being created on the ship, she is stronger than before but becomes the best weapon against the xenomorphs. Call is the newest crew member of the pirates but she is harbouring a secret from the rest of the crew. The rest of the characters are your generic group of fighters, the tough one, the gunslinger, the smart one and the captain nothing original comes from these characters.

Performance wise, this isn’t the best Weaver alien performance but she is also brave enough to take it on with a different approach. Ryder is solid enough through the film. the rest of the cast are also solid with Ron Perlman giving his aggressive dick like performance on the good guys team.

StoryThe story might not be the greatest, but it does capture what is needed for an alien movie, we have the military wanting to study the aliens for their own good, this happens every single film, we also have the group of soldiers needing to fight them off, but this film does offer a chance to build the relationship between the xenomorphs and Ripley. The problem for a lot of this story telling it that it isn’t original and isn’t on the same levels as the earlier films.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is all mindless like you would expect from big budget style sequel too far down the line, the horror is now nearly all gone from the franchise but the sci-fi angle continues on strongly as we see how the aliens are now finding new ways to breed.

SettingsThe whole film is set upon the space facility craft which is good because it keeps everything within the one location which is all we want in these films.

Special EffectsThe special effects are good in this film and are one of the extra highlights within the film.

Final ThoughtsThe weakest part of the Weaver alien films but still a good enjoyable enough watch.

 

Overall: Enjoyable enough.

Rating

 

 

The Crow Week – The Crow (1994)

lgoDirector: Alex Proyas

Writer: David J Schow, John Shirley (Screenplay) James O’Barr (Comic Book Characters)

Starring: Brandon Lee, Rochelle Davis, Ernie Hudson, Michael Wincott, Bai Ling, Sofia Shinas, Anna Levine, David Patrick Kelly, Tony Todd

Plot: A man brutally murdered comes back to life as an undead avenger of his and his fiancée’s murder.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Spiritual Revenge film

Story: The Crow starts on the Devil’s Night 30th October where we learn the legend of the Crow returning to avenge their death, where a young couple Eric Draven (Lee) and Shelly (Shinas) get attacked and murdered on the verge of their wedding day. Shelly’s last wish is to protect Sarah (Davis) which Sergeant Albrecht (Hudson) does his best too.

One year later Eric returns from his grave summoned by The Crow where he has t re-live the death he suffered the year before. Guided by The Crow Eric tracks down the hooligans lead by Top Dollar (Wincott) that like to go around causing damage and death without a care in the world.

The Crow brings the old school revenge film from the comic book genre and makes it slick stylish and cool. We have seen plenty of revenge films from people who have just survived an attack or lost people in an attack etc etc, but this brings our hero back from the dead. I will say the style of picking the villains off one by one is easy style to achieve without really challenging us but I also feel we didn’t need much else from the story on that front. I will always praise this film because it has that style that can’t be replicated and will always go down as a classic. (8/10)

Actor Review

Brandon Lee: Eric Draven is the man who gets murdered on the eve of his wedding, one year later he returns to avenge the death of him and his lover. He is now un-killable despite taking countless bullets from the enemy. Brandon gave us a great final performance before the tragic accident on the set of this very film. (8/10)eric

Rochelle Davis: Sarah is the young lady Eric has returned to protected, she lives on the street and was good friends with Eric and Shelly. She gets a chance to say goodbye to her old friend when he comes to her rescue putting her life back on the right path. Rochelle does a solid job in the role but doesn’t fully convince in the role. (5/10)

Ernie Hudson: Sergeant Albrecht is the cop who gets the call to the murder and once Eric returns from the dead he goes against orders to Eric complete his revenge mission while cleaning up the streets in his own way. Ernie gives a good supporting performance throughout the film. (7/10)

Michael Wincott: Top Dollar is the leader of the gang who put the hit on anyone inside the apartment, he is very spiritual and doesn’t care who he kills to get everything he believes in his to take. Michael makes for a good villain of the piece that is over the top at times but the character required it. (7/10)

Support Cast: The Crow has a supporting cast the includes the villains the Eric starts to take out one by one, they are all created to be unlikeable.

Director Review: Alex ProyasAlex gives us a great film that will live long in the memory. (8/10)

Action: The Crow is filled with action sequences that used to kill off one of the bad guys. (8/10)

Fantasy: The Crow brings us into a world of reincarnation with Eric coming back from beyond the grave to kill his killers. (9/10)

Settings: The Crow creates a very dark setting for all the action happening showing us just how dangerous the city really is. (9/10)
Special Effects: The Crow has great special effects even if the most part is just the explosions. (7/10)

Suggestion: The Crow is one I feel everyone should have watched at least once, it really is a classic revenge film. (Watch)

Best Part: Crow in flames.

Worst Part: Slightly generic supporting villains.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final fight.

Kill Of The Film: T-Bird

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Part one of 4

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $50 Million

Budget: $15 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

Tagline: Real love is forever.

Overall: Classic Revenge Film that will live long in the memory.

Rating 80

Strange Days (1995)

logoDirector: Kathryn Bigelow

Writer: James Cameron, Jay Cocks (Screenplay) James Cameron (Story)

Starring: Ralph Fiennes, Angela Bassett, Juliette Lewis, Tom Sizemore, Michael Wincott, Vincent D’Onofrio, Glenn Plummer, William Fichtner

 

Plot: A former cop turned street-hustler accidentally uncovers a police conspiracy in 1999 Los Angeles.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Story In Future World

 

Story: Strange Days starts by giving us a form on found footage robbery. This only is an introduction to our protagonist Lenny (Fiennes) who deals in these memories that people can buy to experience moments they wouldn’t be able too. We are introduced to the world of 1999 where the world is starting to go downhill with armed police on the streets. We follow Lenny around while he works seeing the different types of recordings he sells. We watch as police officers Burton Steckler (D’Onofrio) and Dwayne Engelman (Fichtner) chase down one of Lenny recorders, before we see how Lenny looks back on his own memories with Faith (Lewis). With the millennium approaching the world is getting slightly paranoid by the idea of 2k and movement leader Jeriko One (Plummer) warns people before getting assassinated.

Lenny’s final night of the millennium gets intense when he receives a mystery recording which turns into the rape and murder of one of his very own clients. He now has to team up with Mace (Bassett) and former police partner Max (Sizemore) to try and figure out who was responsible. Lenny can’t go to the police and tries to protect his old flame Faith whose new lover Philo Gant (Wincott) could have involvement. With the police after them they are stuck trying to figure out what is going on with new clues within each recording Lenny picks up.

Strange Days has a very basic story looking at the idea of police corruption with a base look America on the edge of riots. We do get a nice look at adding future elements with the technology to pass around memories to let people feel what others feel. I do feel it goes on a little bit too long and takes too long to get into the main story but thanks to Ralph Fiennes it just about gets away with it. The idea of the future where police cause riots because of their over the top policing is actually a reality which could happen and we have seen in real time. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Ralph Fiennes: Lenny Nero the lead salesman on the black market of the memories of other people, he is the best in the business and goes out to always find the next level without looking into snuff ones. Ralph gives a great performance with his constant attempts to try and talk his way out of things keeping your attention together throughout. (8/10)

 ralph

Angela Bassett: Lornette ‘Mace’ Mason loyal friend of Lenny’s who met during his time working for the LAPD who ends up working with Lenny to bring out the truth. Angela gives a good performance as nonsense lady. (8/10)

angela

Juliette Lewis: Faith Justin old flame of Lenny’s who is now with one of the men who is trying to cover up everything. Juliette gives a solid performance but is out of the picture too much as we only learn of her involvement. (6/10)

 

Tom Sizemore: Max Peltier a friend of Lenny who used to work with him on the police force but goes undercover close to Gant. Tom showed that he was always a top supporting star before his legal troubles. (7/10)

 

Support Cast: Strange Days has a support cast that keeps us guessing with one group after our heroes and another who is out to help them uncover the truth. They all help the story flow having impact on the story’s final outcome.

 

Director Review: Kathryn Bigelow – Kathryn does a good job turning what could be a very simple idea and making it very complex. (8/10)

 

Action: Strange Days has a couple of action moments which move the story forward but doesn’t rely on its action. (7/10)

Sci-Fi: Strange Days uses the technology as its sci-fi element which is very interesting concept. (8/10)

Thriller: Strange Days keeps you guessing on what will happen throughout the film not giving too much away and only letting us learn as much as our protagonist. (8/10)

Settings: Strange Days creates a slightly dark world we live in now, but it all comes off very nicely. (7/10)

Suggestion: Strange Days is one to be trying, even though the story seems simple it doesn’t come off as simple as it should for the most causal viewer. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Technology idea is how found footage should be done without being a found footage film.

Worst Part: Slightly too long.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Won Best Actress and Best Director at the Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror.

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $8 Million

Budget: $42 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 19 Minutes

Tagline: Strange days are coming

 

Overall: Good Sci-Fi Thriller

Rating 76

Hitchcock (2012)

ogoDirector: Sacha Gervasi

Writer: John J. McLaughlin (Screenplay) Stephen Rebello (Book)

Starring: Anthony Hopkins, Helen Mirren, Scarlett Johansson, Danny Huston, Toni Collette, Michael Stuhlbarg, Michael Wincott, Jessica Biel, James D’Arcy

 

Plot: In 1959, Alfred Hitchcock and his wife, Alma, are at the top of their creative game as filmmakers amid disquieting insinuations about it being time to retire. To recapture his youth’s artistic daring, Alfred decides his next film will adapt the lurid horror novel, Psycho, over everyone’s misgivings. Unfortunately, as Alfred self-finances and labours on this film, Alma finally loses patience with his roving eye and controlling habits with his actresses. When an ambitious friend lures her to collaborate on a work of their own, the resulting marital tension colours Alfred’s work even as the novel’s inspiration haunts his dreams.

 

Verdict: Great Mind

 

Story: With Hitchcock arguable the greatest director Hollywood has seen with all his classic films we get to see how he broke all traditions to make the now classic ‘Psycho’. His choose went against every studio and no one wanted to touch the project. We see how he risked a large amount of money he had earned to make this picture and see how he got his inspiration for the picture.

The film only follows the difficulties Hitchcock struggled with the picture and his personally life which is very good to see instead of watching something that followed his whole career. Psycho could easily be considered his most well-known film which also helps showing how much of a fight it was to make such an iconic film. (8/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Anthony Hopkins: Alfred Hitchcock the great director who is fresh off the back of ‘North by Northwest’ he has no inspiration for his next picture. He has offers coming in all over the place but little to no interest in making these pictures. He finds out no one is interested in a book known as Psycho so he makes this his next project. We see how he gives up his usual style to make the film as an independent picture, he has to keep up his usual high standards while battling his own personal problems. Great performance from Anthony give a performance the great man would be proud off. (10/10)

 hitchcock

Helen Mirren: Alma Reville Hitchcock’s wife who has been working with him and supporting him for decades. She starts becoming over friendly with a writer Whitfield but discovers that he has alternative plans. Great performance from Mirren but when doesn’t she give excellent performances? (9/10)

mirren

Scarlett Johansson: Janet Leigh actress of choice for the leading role in the picture, she has never worked with Hitchcock but finds out he is a true gentlemen who can get the very best out of the actress. Good supporting performance that fits in perfectly with the bigger names. (8/10)

 

Danny Huston: Whitfield Cook writer who wants to have his work turned into a Hitchcock film and tries to charm Alma into working with him. Good performance as the seedy character trying to get what he wants at any means. (8/10)

 

Director Review: Sacha Gervasi – Great direction to show how a great director got his masterpiece completed. (9/10)

 

Biography: Brilliant look at how one of the greatest horror films ever was made. (10/10)

Drama: Great use of the drama storyline showing how simple things in life can be overreacted with consequences that never need to happy. (9/10)

Settings: Brilliantly recreated settings to stay with the time period in question. (10/10)

Suggestion: This is a film to be watching, it has a couple of laughs but most importantly it tells how one of the greatest films ever made was made. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Hopkins as Hitchcock is brilliant

Worst Part: I personally didn’t like the final scene with him looking for inspiration for his next film.

Funniest Scene: Trying to get a certificate for the film.

Favourite Quote: Hitchcock ‘She won’t be nude, she’ll be wearing a shower cap’

Believability: It is how Psycho was made. (10/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nominated for one Oscar for Best Achievement in Makeup and Hair

Box Office: $23 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

Tagline: Behind every Psycho is a great woman

 

Overall: Brilliant Story About Brilliance

Rating 90