Ron Perlman Weekend – Blade II (2002)

Director: Guillermo del Torro

Writer: David S Goyer (Screenplay) Marv Wolfman, Gene Colan (Characters)

Starring: Wesley Snipes, Kris Kirstofferson, Ron Perlman, Leonor Varela, Norman Reedus, Thomas Kretschmann, Luke Goss, Donnie Yen

 

Plot: Blade forms an uneasy alliance with the vampire council in order to combat the Reapers, who are feeding on vampires.


Tagline – One Man Still Has The Edge

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Blood-Soaked Sequel

 

Story: Blade II starts as a new breed of vampire Nomak (Goss) hunts down vampires for feed, meanwhile Blade (Snipes) has unfinished business with the vampires, he wants Whistler (Krisofferson) back after he was turned and taken from him. Once Whistler is saved, Blade returns him to the human form with his new assistant Scud (Reedus).

When the Vampire council approach Blade to help them stop the Reaper strain Nomak is carrying, Blade must team up with the Blood Pack led by Nyssa (Varela) and including Reinhardt (Perlman), Snowman (Yen) and Chupa (Schulze) to put aside their difference to defeat the newest enemy to them both.

 

Thoughts on Blade II

 

Characters – Blade, daywalker, the half human, half vampire is continuing his battle against vampires, but this time he learns of a new threat the Reapers, who are deadlier than any vampire he has face, so he must unite with the vampires to defeat them. Still as deadly as before, with sword or guns, no vampire can just defeat him. Whistler returns only this time Blade must help him to recover, which leaves us wondering which side of the battle he will be on through the movie. Reinhardt is a member of the Bloodpack, he is the one that hates working with Blade, his sworn enemy for years. He shows his discontent while be one of the best soldiers in the unit. Nyssa is the daughter of Damaskinos, a pure blood vampire and leader of the Bloodpack, she becomes a Love interest for Blade in a strange turn of events. Scud has filled the Whistler role for Blade in his hunt, he creates the weapons needed to defeat the enemies while mostly being a slob for the most part. Damaskinos is the leader of the vampire council, he brings the rivals together to try and end the war. Nomak is the reaper terrorising the streets, he is the first of his creation and now deadly to anyone who he infects.

PerformancesWesley Snipes will always be remembered for this role, it is his most iconic and the one the fans enjoy watching. Here he does everything needed to continue making it people’s favourite. Kristofferson on the other hand does feel like he is mailing it in for the most part. Ron Perlman does the best to try and steal the spotlight bring the few moments of humour to the film. Leonor Varela is good as the only major female character in the film and does have a good opening fight sequence with Blade. Luke Goss is good as the villain showing us the sympathetic side and the brutal side of his character. The rest of the cast are good through the film.

StoryThe story puts our hero Blade needing to team up with his enemy to take on a new enemy, this does work because we didn’t need to see Blade just take on more normal vampires, we needed to up the stakes and the new breed does this. We also get the tension between the two sides with the common enemy, needing to trade secrets to make things happen. We must remember this is a comic book movie, so we need things to be farfetched at time too. We have the traditional twists you would come to expect at times too.

Action/HorrorThe action is fun, we have great fighting sequences, but certain moments feel like a video game. The horror uses the vampires for the blood filled violence moments in the film.

SettingsThe settings show us the dark underworld you would imagine vampires would live in, the new breed in the sewers shows us how they are starting at the bottom looking to raise to the top too.

Special EffectsThe effects for the kills are good throughout, the effects for the fight scenes are at times seems poor CGI.


Scene of the Movie –
Sewer invasion.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Donnie Yen’s characters death, wasted opportunity.

Final ThoughtsThis was a fun comic book action horror, we get plenty of blood flying around with plenty of kills going on which will keep the fans happy.

 

Overall: Great sequel for an iconic character.

Rating

 

 

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Air (2015)

Director: Christian Cantamessa

Writer: Christian Cantamessa, Chris Pasetto (Screenplay)

Starring: Norman Reedus, Djimon Hounsou, Sandrine Holt, Michael Hogan, Steve Burgess

 

Plot: In the near future, breathable air is nonexistent and two engineers tasked with guarding the last hope for mankind struggle to preserve their own lives while administering to their vital task at hand.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Thriller

 

Story: Air starts in the future when the world has gone through a war, the remaining people live in a bunker in sleep chambers, engineers Bauer (Reedus) and Cartwright (Hounsou) both awaken on a routine cycle to check the equipment before returning to their chambers, but when a fire causes them to lose one of their chambers, they must work together with the resources they have because in 2 hours their air supply runs out.

As the clock ticks down the two must face moral decisions which involve risks to the fellow the sleepers in their bunker but finding a way for them both to get back to sleep is the most important part and any means necessary.

 

Thoughts on Air

 

Characters – Bauer seems to be the most resourceful of the two technicians in the chamber, he plays things safe and makes sure he knows the damage of any effect the men do. Cartwright seems to be the one who is about to lose his mind, he has visions of his wife who makes him make the decisions he does. While it could be argued these two men are meant to be considered the lower lives of the selected neither of them is made out to be the good guy while both find themselves making bad decisions through the film.

PerformanceBoth Norman Reedus and Djimon Hounsou are great actors but in this role the two just don’t give their best performances and end up not helping us care about either character.

StoryThe story should work, we have the world ending with the only survivors in sleeping pods with two technicians watching over them every so many months or years. The problems here are clear, we have two unlikable characters who while they do take a step back to solve the problem it does just turn into a mindless battle of who will get the upper hand.

Sci-Fi/ThrillerThe sci-fi side of the film comes from idea the world has ended and now the few survivors are underground, we are left wondering how the two men could survive with the only one chamber.

SettingsThe film is set within the chamber, it shows the unclear feeling of what is outside and the fear of what is happening with no safety in the chamber.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well with most being practical until we see the outside world which is as bleak as we are expecting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I just didn’t care about the two characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sci-fi film that we have seen before, we have seen better before but we have seen worse too and lacks the pace we need in the film.

 

Overall: Disappointing thriller.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Messengers 2: The Scarecrow (2009)

Director: Martin Barnewitz

Writer: Todd Farmer (Screenplay)

Starring: Norman Reedus, Heather Stephens, Claire Holt, Richard Riehle, Darcy Fowers

 

Plot: Doing what he believes must be done in order to save his family and livelihood, farmer John Rollins places an odd scarecrow among his crops and promptly reaps the benefits. The thing is, his luck probably won’t last for long.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Better Built In Story

 

Story: The Messengers 2: The Scarecrow starts by following the family that previously lived in the house, the Rollins, John (Reedus), Mary (Stephens) along with their children Lindsey (Holt) and Michael. We the family is struggling to make ends meet and to get the crop to flourish.

Searching for a way to rib the land of the crows, John finds an old scarecrow with a strange look and decides to use it on his field. When the scarecrow works killing all of the crows, John starts to change and his family notices these changes becoming scared of him.

 

Thoughts on The Messengers 2: The Scarecrow

 

Characters/PerformanceJohn finds his life crashing around him, his farm failing, his marriage falling apart and his money almost gone, but when he puts up a scarecrow his luck changes for the better, at first. Mary is the wife ready to walk away from John with the children. Lindsey is the daughter that clearly wants out of the town, that is about her character.

Performance wise, Normal Reedus does a solid job in the leading role without reaching the levels we know of him now in the Walking Dead, but it would be fair to say the women are written poorly which then shows in their bang average performances.

StoryThe story is a prequel to the first film but it also doesn’t have any real connection other than being set on the farm and the character names. Looking away from that problem, you will find this film having a much better story because it followers the struggling farmer that finds himself having his life controlled by a scarecrow. Sure, there is a human factor to this too as we see him deal with his own problems at home too. The story does feel a lot better and more engaging than the first film.

HorrorThe horror side of the film is slightly improved but we never find ourselves feeling terrified by any of the events in the film.

SettingsThe horror all happens on the farm which is good and all we need from the direction the story goes.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all simple and used to the effects required for the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good follow up but we kind of know how the film will end thanks to the original but the mythology behind it all comes off nicer.

 

Overall: Solid sequel but average film.

Rating

 

 

Triple 9 (2016)

triple 9

 

Plot: A gang of criminals and corrupt cops plan the murder of a police officer in order to pull off their biggest heist yet across town.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Too Much Going On

 

Story: Triple 9 starts as we watch our criminal team of Michael (Ejiofor), Marcus (Mackie) Russell (Reedus), Gabe (Paul) and Franco (Collins Jr) who are working for a new Russian force run by Irina Vlaslov (Winslett). The job doesn’t go as smoothly as planned but we learn that these men are actually all cops. Jeffrey Allen (Harrelson) is the man trying to solve the robbery as his nephew Chris (Affleck) starts on the force partnering with Marcus.

When Michael thinks they are out he gets given one last job and to show how serious they are by killing one of the crew. The plan to complete the job is to kill a cop taking all of the police to the wrong side of town while they complete job, but not everything is as it seems.

Triple 9 is a crime thriller that does take away the twists we see too often in these films by instantly telling us we are dealing with corrupt cops. This is something I did like and mostly the only thing I really did like. The film has too many characters in that we are meant to want to follow, mostly all bad people too which doesn’t help us route for anyone to win. I think having too many big names doesn’t help either because we are expecting more scenes for them all. This really does come off as over complicated throughout.

 

Actor Review

 

Chiwetel Ejiofor: Michael is the corrupt cop leading the group of thieves, he has all the communication with Irina due to his relationship with her sister and the child they have together. He has to lead his crew on one final job that has the biggest score of their careers but if they don’t complete the job they will be killed. Chiwetel is good in this leading role showing that he could handle leading such a big cast.

Casey Affleck: Chris is fresh to the department a clean by the book officers with a family, he gets assigned to work under Marcus where the styles quickly clash. Chris finds himself trying to learn the new department only to discover the truth. Casey is good but suffers with lack on screen time for what should be one of the main characters.

Anthony Mackie: Marcus is the second in command still working on the force to keep face and connections in the crime world. He has to become the partner of Chris where he does want to make the unthinkable happen. Anthony is solid going against the Captain America character he has been playing recently.

Woody Harrelson: Jeffrey is the detective from the Major Crimes division that is trying to find the men in the crime team, his nephew is Chris which when he learns the truth proves just how desperate he is to solve the crime. Woody is his ever reliable self in this role without reaching his top levels.

Kate Winslet: Irina is running the crime family while her husband is in jail and this involved getting people to do her dirty work including Michael and his team. Kate is solid in this role but you just never believe her in this villainous role.

Support Cast: Triple 9 has a big supporting cast to go along with the main five, not everyone shines enough to make an impact but also nobody is bad. It was good to see Norman Reedus and Aaron Paul stepping up from the television screens.

Director Review: John HillcoatJohn tries to bring a fresh approach to the crime heist world but then gets everything just too over complicated.

 

Action: Triple 9 has a couple of good action sequences with the raid in the flats and the bank robbery coming off nice.

Crime: Triple 9 puts us in the middle of a crime boss, corrupt cop and honest cops trying to stay ahead of each other.

Thriller: Triple 9 tries to keep us on edge from start to finish but doesn’t keep us truly interested with all of the characters involved.

Settings: Triple 9 doesn’t have any iconic settings used in the film which doesn’t help to make anything memorable.
Special Effects
: Triple 9 has basic effects when it comes to the scenes that need them but again nothing special.

Suggestion: Triple 9 is one to wait till it appears on TV to watch. (TV Viewing)

 

Best Part: Bank robbery.

Worst Part: Too many characters.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $28 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

Tagline: Never forget what side you’re on

 

Overall: Overly complicated crime thriller

Ratingcard

 

Star Focus – Norman Reedus

Norman Reedusnorman

Trademarks: Sunglasses

Age: 45

Number of Roles: 60

Biggest Role: The Walking Dead

Awards: He won New England Film & Video Festival award for best acting performance for ‘Floating’.

Debut Role: Floating (1997)floating

The Boondock Saints

The Boondock Saints

Early Career: In 1997 Norman got his first acting roles, with drama ‘Floating’, horror film ‘Mimic and comedy ‘Six Ways to Sunday’. With these three films Norman showed he had range and it opened the door to plenty of roles. While he continued to get leading roles in many different roles it wasn’t until 1999 and ‘The Boondock Saints’ where he plays on of the MacManus brothers people started taking notice of him as that film went on to become a cult classic.

master of horror

Masters of Horror

Television Roles:

  • Charmed (2003) 2 Episodes
  • Masters of Horror (2005)
  • Law & Order: Special Victims Unit (2006)
  • Hawaii Five-0 (2010)
  • The Walking Dead (2010-2015) 65 Episodes

Break Out Role: The Boondock Saints (1999)

Blade 2

Blade 2

Pandorum

Pandorum

2000-2009: Norman continued to have a steady run a films in the start of the noughties with one of the biggest ones being ‘Blade II’. Unlikley many actors Norman only had a couple of television appearances and the chance to work with John Carpenter on his episode of ‘Masters of Horror’ we get to see him enter horror yet again. Norman finished the decade with a continuation of his constant film roles which did include a sequel to ‘Boondock Saints’ and one of my personal avourite films ‘Pandorum’ which has one of the scenes that scares every single Walking Dead fan.

2010 Onwards: in 2010 Norman started to become one of the most liked actors in television when he appeared in ‘The Walking Dead’ as Daryl Dixon who is easily the most popular character in the show. Even with this role he continued to make films and while his popularity continues to grow he has got a couple of bigger films on the way and has become the new face for the ‘Silent Hill’ video games.

Silent Hill Game

Silent Hill Game

Next Big Role: Air

My Favourite Role: Daryl Dixon – The Walking Dead, he starts off as his brothers quiet learner, but after his brother is left and disappeared he starts the quest to find him but also to stay loyal to the people who have helped him. He ends up becoming part of the group and a crucial member at that. He helps them track and along with his crossbow he can take out walkers in silence. As the show has continued he has gained popularity that if his character was killed off people would actually quit the show, something that not many supporting characters have ever achieved.

Daryl Dixon

Daryl Dixon

My Least Favourite Role: Pandorum because it is too short.

Films I Want to See That I Haven’t Seen: Air

Stars They Work With Often: Guillermo Del Torro