Queen of Earth (2015)

Director: Alex Ross Perry

Writer: Alex Ross Perry (Screenplay)

Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Katherine Waterston, Patrick Fugit, Kentucker Audley, Keith Poulson

 

Plot: Two women who grew up together discover they have drifted apart when they retreat to a lake house together.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dull

 

Story: Queen of Earth starts as two friends Catherine (Moss) and Virginia (Waterston) spend time catching up in a lake house where they face their past, present and future, question their relationships and look to move onto with their lives.

 

Thoughts on Queen of Earth

 

Characters/PerformanceCatherine is a talent artist who is struggling with coping after the death of his inspiration and father. Virginia is more of a free spirit always wanting to relax through any troubles that come her way sing the trips as the escape required.

Performance wise, both Moss and Waterston are good through the film without being at their very best.

StoryThe story shows how friends can drift apart but will always come together when they need help, otherwise the story is mostly kind of boring with very little happening.

SettingsThe film is set entirely at the lake house which shows us how the friends want to get away from the world.

Final ThoughtsThis is a dull drama being sold as some form of thriller, nothing much happens, there seems to be no resolution to the reason why the characters are there in the first place.

 

Overall: Very uninteresting movie that does nothing for an hour and a half.

Rating

 

 

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Horsemen (2009)

Director: Jonas Akerund

Writer: Dave Callaham (Screenplay)

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Ziyi Zhang, Lo Taylor Pucci, Clifton Collins Jr, Barry Shabaka Henley, Patrick Fugit

 

Plot: A recently widowed detective still grieving over his wife’s death discovers a shocking connection between a serial killing spree and the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dark Mystery Thriller

 

Story: Horsemen starts as Detective Aidan Breslin (Quaid) a widower raising his two children Alex (Pucci) and Sean (James), but his quiet life gets thrown wide open when a dish of teeth is found on an ice-covered pond and a woman tortured to death left hanging.

When the bodies continue to be discovered Aidan learns that there is a connection to the four horsemen of the apocalypse, making this or these serial killers a major threat to the city. When one of the killers makes, themselves know Aidan must find the rest of the killers before too many people become their victims.

 

Thoughts on Horsemen

 

Characters/PerformanceDetective Aidan Breslin is your 101 detective, he is grieve his lost loved one and not being there as a father, but he is a brilliant detective. Kristen starts off being one of the victim’s family but soon we learn her true part in everything. Alex is the eldest son of Aidan who has taken the responsibility within the house while still dealing with his own grief of losing his mother.

Performance wise, Dennis Quaid is always a solid lead actor and in this film he goes well throughout the story. Ziyi Zhang does well in one of her first English movies with Lou Taylor Pucci also doing well with his final third of the film being the highlight.

StoryThe story is a dark crime thriller which involved tracking down a serial killer that full believes in their cause. We have seen this style of film before and playing into the religious side of thing isn’t the most original either, but it is all a good watch and has plenty of twists along the way.

Mystery/ThrillerThis film does keep you guessing to just what will happen next and this gets a brilliant payoff in the final act, this does also keep us on edge with some horrific looking kills.

SettingsThe town is fine but doesn’t get used to the full level other than the shock of it happening in the town.

Special EffectsMostly all practical effects we get great effects to show just how methodical the killers are.

Final ThoughtsI do like a good crime serial killer hunting film and this does everything I want without being on the very best level, it kept me guessing until the final moments.

 

Overall: Good little thriller most people missed.

Rating

 

 

Gone Girl (2014)

logoDirector: David Fincher

Writer: Gillian Flynn (Screenplay) Gillian Flynn (Novel)

Starring: Ben Affleck, Rosamund Pike, Neil Patrick Harris, Tyler Perry, Carrie Coon, Kim Dickens, Patrick Fugit, David Clennon,, Lisa Banes, Missi Plye

 

Plot: With his wife’s disappearance having become the focus of an intense media circus, a man sees the spotlight turned on him when it’s suspected that he may not be innocent.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hauntingly Thrilling

 

Story: Gone Girl starts by Nick (Affleck) talking about his wife Amy (Pike) talking about marriage. Reaching their fifth wedding anniversary Nick is confiding in his sister Margo (Coon), before flashing back to the first meeting between Nick and Amy. When Nick returns home the interior damaged but couldn’t find Amy anywhere. Detective Rhonda Boney (Dickens) and Officer James Gilpin (Fugit) investigate the early stages of what could have happened. We continue to get flash backs learning about how they had a perfect looking relationship and marriage.

As the investigation continues the clues that Amy has left for the anniversary treasure hunt could help find the answers to her whereabouts. As the search for Amy continues suspects start appearing but the clues start pointing towards Nick himself. We continue to see how their relationship was breaking down and not looking as rosy as it once was and Nick he becomes public suspect number one. We are left for the biggest surprise half way through when everything goes in a different direction.

Gone Girl is a film I never got around to seeing first time around but I have caught up now and I also managed not to hear anything about what happens during the film. By doing this I was going into this film expecting a court case style film where we have to watch an investigation unfold before we decide whether Nick was guilty or not. What we got was something so very different so much so we end up following one genre before everything getting thrown wide open and concluding with something even more disturbing. We have elements of mystery to start, before it turns into a revenge style film before fading into something we could never imagine half way through. This turns into one of the thrillers of the year and it will keep you guessing up until the final moments. (10/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Ben Affleck: Nick Dunne the husband whose wife has gone missing, but as the story unfolds, we see how he isn’t as innocent as he may well look especially as we see how their marriage is falling apart. Ben gives a good performance and is proving he is getting back to the big name actor he once was. (9/10)

 nick

Rosamund Pike: Amy Dunne the gone girl herself who tells the story of how the marriage ran, from the happy start to the cracks appearing over the years. Amy just happens to be holding a secret that we learn of half way through that could change our opinion on her. Rosamund gives a great performance showing she is ready to be a leading lady in anything now. (9/10)

amy

Tyler Perry: Tanner Bolt lawyer who takes the case to prove that nick is innocent but when he hears the story he finds out he might be in deeper than he could imagine and turns into a PR man. Tyler gives a solid performance with the few scenes he has. (7/10)

 

Carrie Coon: Margo Dunne sister to Nick who stands by him through all the issue that come up but always knew he was innocent. Carrie gives a good performance and provides a perfect supporting character for Nick. (9/10)

 margo

Kim Dickens: Detective Rhonda Boney on the case looking for the truth about who is responsible for the missing girl or where she could have gone. Kim does a good job in the role showing how neutral she would need to be in the situation. (8/10)

 

Support Cast: Gone Girl has a large supporting cast of people judging Nick as well as a few that supporting Amy in her time of need. We see how both characters have used others to get to where they are and in the situation they are in.

 

Director Review: David Fincher – David always gives you good direction when you see his name on a film and this is no different, taking what could be a very simple film and having twists and turns all over the place. (9/10)

 

Drama: Gone Girl shows you how easily we can be led down a path to believe what a certain character thinks or wants you to believe. (9/10)

Mystery: Gone Girl keeps us wondering what happened and who will end up getting the blame. (9/10)

Thriller: Gone Girl keeps us guessing while at the edge of our seats seeing what will happen next. (9/10)

Settings: Gone Girl uses the settings to keep the story have a very real feeling to it throughout. (9/10)

Suggestion: Gone Girl is a must watch this year, it could easily be one of the best thrillers this year too. (Must Watch)

 

Best Part: An hour in when things take a huge turn.

Worst Part: Hard to find one.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for four Golden Globes including Best Director, Best Actress, Best Screenplay and Best Original Score.

Oscar Chances: Could easily get nomination.

Box Office: $362 Million

Budget: $61 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 29 Minutes

Tagline: Was Nick Dunne lying?

Trivia: When it comes to casting roles, David Fincher typically goes on the internet to look through pictures of actors to help him find the right type of actor for a role. When casting the role of Nick Dunne, Fincher spotted photos of Ben Affleck and noticed a particular smile Affleck had on dozens of pictures. According to Fincher, it captured a particular emotion in a scene of Nick Dunne smiling that showed the essence of the character. Soon after, Fincher cast Ben Affleck in the role.

 

Overall: Game Changer in the Thriller Genre

Rating 90

We Bought A Zoo (2011)

Director: Cameron Crowe

Writer: Aline Brosh Mckenna, Cameron Crowe

Starring: Matt Damon, Scarlett Johansson, Thomas Haden Church, Colin Ford, Maggie Elizabeth Jones, Angus Macfadyen, Elle Fanning, Patrick Fugit

 

Story Benjamin Mee (Damon) a widower and father of two Dylan (Ford) and Rosie (Elizabeth Jones), decides to move his family out of the city and into the countryside. Benjamin finds the dream place, but it has a small catch, it comes with a zoo. Benjamin goes against his brother Duncan’s (Haden Church) advice and buys the zoo.

 

The zoo has its own zookeeper Kelly (Johansson) and staff in MacCready (Macfadyen), Robin (Fugit) and young Lily (Fanning). Benjamin must team up with the expects to bring the zoo back up to scratch for a summer opening. What follows in a family growing back together and an all round family film.

 

Verdict Being based on a true story of a family’s success story you know ending is going to be a happy one. Every single member of the cast puts in a strong performance.  As for family films this is one of the best of the year having something for everyone to enjoy. I would suggest to anybody who is into over coming hard situation and zoo themed films would enjoy this.

 

Story Mark 9/10 Great story

 

Character Development Mark 9/10 Watching the Mee family get closer as the story unfolds.

 

Friendship Chemistry Mark 9/10 The friends together at the start are very close and their bound comes through to make the success happen.

 

Star Performances The whole cast gives great performances all the way through.

 

Favourite Character Duncan Mee the brother who tries to advice against everything Benjamin does in a very amusing way.

 

Best Part When Benjamin finds the escaped bear.

 

Worst Part When Benjamin has to make his mind up about one of the tigers.

 

Best Quote Benjamin ‘ You know, sometimes all you need is twenty seconds of insane courage. Just literally twenty seconds of just embarrassing bravery. And I promise you, something great will come of it.’

 

My Rating 83%