Franchise Weekend – From Dusk Till Dawn (1996)

Director: Robert Rodriguez

Writer: Quentin Tarantino (Screenplay) Robert Kurtzman (Story)

Starring: George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin, Danny Trejo

 

Plot: Two criminals and their hostages unknowingly seek temporary refuge in a truck stop populated by vampires, with chaotic results.


Tagline – How far can Too Far go?

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Blood Splattered Blast

 

Story: From Dusk till Dawn starts after Seth Gecko (Clooney) is broken out of prison by his brother Richard (Tarantino) before they commit a daring daylight robbery as they race towards the Mexican border. They have a hostage which Richard soon kills, meaning they must find another one. The brothers pick a family the Fuller family, whose loss of faith priest father Jacob (Keitel) and his children Kate (Lewis) and Scott (Liu) are just travelling.

Once across the border the five head to a bar known as the Titty Twister for bikers and truckers alike, but soon they must put their differences aside when it turns out to be a vampire hideout, where they must fight to daylight.

 

Thoughts on From Dusk till Dawn

 

Characters – Seth Gecko has just been sprung from prison by his brother, he wants to get across the border to complete a deal which would see them both have freedom, he is the one that remains in control wanting to keep everything calm, which would mean not leaving a pile of bodies behind them. He does deliver the threats which would see them as a danger, though he does just want things to be simple. Richard or Ritchie is must more of a loose cannon, he is paranoid and this makes him more dangerous, as he will kill people putting their safety at risk. He is protected by his brother, as he doesn’t seem like he is capable of putting a plan together himself. Jacob was a priest that has lost his faith after his wife’s death, he I taking his family on a vacation and gets forced into helping the brothers, he wants to keep them safe, willing to risk his own life to make this happen. Kate and Scott are his children, they are dealing with their own loss the best way they know how to and being supportive to their father. Santanico is the beautiful dancer that will stop a bar with her dance, she is one of the leaders of the vampires who has been waiting for the food in human form.

PerformancesGeorge Clooney is great to see in this role, after this we only usually see him in smooth talking roles, rather than a rough criminal, showing he could become any role offered to him. Tarantino in this film is creepy and putting himself in the supporting role does hide any restrictions he might have as an actor. Harvey Keitel is great showing a character that is meant to be hating his life choice, but remaining strong for his children. Juliette Lewis and Ernest Liu are both solid enough in the supporting roles without getting too much more to work with, while Salma Hayek turns heads with her performance.

StoryThe story here follows two criminals trying to get to Mexico, the family they force to help them across the border and the bar they find, filled with vampires that they must fight to survive the night. Where this story stands up on its own, is by making it a criminal tory to start with, having no hints of horror or vampires involved, as we just watch the two loose cannons trying to get to safety, by pulling the rug out from under us to thrown us into the horror idea is genius switch of pace for the story. we do have themes going on especially with the Jacob character needing to find his lost faith which finding it will become the big part in fight the vampires. The story also exists in a world where vampire stories do exist, which gives them ideas on how to fight back, which was the main attraction to the 90’s horror stories.

Action/HorrorThe action in the film involves the fighting with the vampires, we get to take everything to a new level for this side of the genre, with the blood splatter in the action, which the horror gives us because we vampires which are a staple of horror, but we do focus on the action over the scares.

SettingsThe film uses the getting to the location setting of the camper van which does show us the road trip feel to the film, but it is the bar that will be one that is always going to be hard to forget, being a run down biker and trucker bar.

Special EffectsThe special effects are some of the best you will see in the vampire genre, it shows that you can get plenty done with practical effects, with the only weakness come from the human to vampire transformations, which look CGI and have dated.


Scene of the Movie –
The battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The transformations have dated badly.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most fun vampire movies you will ever see, it has plenty of blood flying around the screen and will keep you entertained from start to finish.

 

Overall: Purely entertaining vampire movie.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – E – Everly (2014)

Director: Joe Lynch

Writer: Yale Hannon (Screenplay) Joe Lynch, Yale Hannon (Story)

Starring: Salma Hayek, Hiroyuki Watanbe, Laura Cepeda, Togo Igawa, Akie Kotabe, Gabriella Wright

 

Plot: An action/thriller centered on a kidnapped woman who faces down hitmen sent by a mob boss/her captor while trying to protect her family from his wrath.


Tagline – Enter if you dare

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fast Paced Action Movie

 

Story: Everly starts as we see Everly (Hayek) trying to get prepared to escape armed enemies as we learn that she has ben planning to bring down crime boss Taiko (Watanabe), not able to leave the building because of his goons, Everly must find a way to bring her mother and daughter to safety before getting captured.

This is an all out action romp as Everly will face friends and foes who have been given a bounty on her head by her boss and her escape this life.

 

Thoughts on Everly

 

Characters – Everly has been working in undercover in a brothel to bring down crime boss Taiko, now the escape is putting everyone she loves at risk and we see how far one woman will go for their family. Taiko is the ruthless crime lord, he has the police in his pocket making him the ruler of the city, when Everly betrays him, he will not stop to kill her before his power is removed. Edith is Everly’s mother that has been worried about her daughter for years believing she was dead.

PerformancesSalma Hayek is good in this strong female leading role, we believe her in battle and her characters actions. Hiroyuki may well be the main villain, but we just don’t see enough of his character to rate him highly. Laura is the same, like most stars of this movie we only get glimpses and it is all about who can make the biggest impact in this time.

StoryThe story follows one woman trying to escape the life of crime, but their boss isn’t letting them leave this world. This story takes place over just the one night as Everly takes on enemies that become an increasing threat through the film and almost plays out like a reverse of The Raid. This is an easy to watch action story, as it plays out like acts with break periods between the action sequences.

ActionThe action does come thick and fast with different style of battles for Everly to need to go through.

SettingsThe film remains in the one building for the whole film, this helps because it the action in contained for the most part within one apartment, playing into the no escape that she is facing.

Special EffectsThe effects being used in the film are good throughout and look as brutal as they need to be.


Scene of the Movie –
The Sadist is twisted.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is just fight, calm, fight, calm too often.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good enjoyable by the book action film, it does everything it needs to without being anything overly original.

 

Overall: Action fans will enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Harvey Keitel Weekend – From Dusk till Dawn (1996)

fromDirector: Robert Rodriguez

Writer: Quentin Tarantino (Screenplay) Robert Kurtzman (Story)

Starring: George Clooney, Quentin Tarantino, Harvey Keitel, Juliette Lewis, Ernest Liu, Salma Hayek, Cheech Marin

 

Plot: Two criminals and their hostages unknowingly seek temporary refuge in an establishment populated by vampires, with chaotic results.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the Best Vampire Movies Ever

 

Story: From Dusk till Dawn starts as we meet the Gecko Brothers Set (Clooney) and Richard (Tarantino) who are on the run after a bank robbery on the run to Mexico and safe haven. Also on the road is a priest Jacob (Keitel) who has lost his faith travelling with his children Kate (Lewis) and Scott (Liu) who are on the road after their mother and wife’s death.

When the Gecko’s lose their latest hostage, they find themselves take Jacob and his family hostage as they make it over the border into Mexico to the biker bar known as the Titty Twister where the Gecko’s have arrange to have their meet but they group have to spend the night in this bar with seductive dances and dangerous bikers.

The night takes a twist for the worse when they learn the club is filled with bloodthirsty vampires and all the customers are just their latest victims.

 

Thoughts on From Dusk till Dawn

 

StoryWhen you go into a vampire movie the story doesn’t always need to be all gothic sometimes it can be wildly over the top. This story keeps everything simple by having thieves on the run and a religious man who has lost faith ending up in a shady bar having to spend one night fighting vampires. There isn’t much more to this and that is why it is all so enjoyable.

Action/HorrorWe have plenty of over the top action in the second half of this movie as the survivors take on the new image from horror in the vampires. We can enjoy the action horror throughout this film.

Characters/PerformanceThe Gecko Brothers are strong anti-hero characters and having Jacob as the faithless priest suits the vampire genre. We do get a scene stealing moment from a sexy dancer who becomes one of the vampires.

When you look at the performances Clooney does shine and is one of the most different he ever took on in his career. Keitel is also a good in this role but with the weak point as often is Tarantino’s acting which doesn’t reach the levels of the rest of the cast.

SettingsThe settings are used very well with the travelling sequences in the first half but the Titty Twister bar has become one of the most iconic bar in film history and having the characters trapped there also helps them must work together against the vampires.

Special EffectsThe special effects here are great as you believe each and every one of the kills, fights and attacks the vampires are involved in.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most fun you will have with any vampire movie because when it was released it took the vampire genre in a new direction.

 

Overall: Enjoy the bloody filled vampire classic.

Ratingcard

 

 

Seth Rogen Weekend – Sausage Party (2016)

sausageDirector: Greg Tiernan, Conrad Vernon

Writer: Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Kyle Hunter, Ariel Shaffir (Screenplay) Seth Rogen, Evan Goldberg, Jonah Hill (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Seth Rogen, Kristen Wiig, Jonah Hill, Bill Hader, Michael Cera, James Franco, Danny McBride, Craig Robinson, Paul Rudd, Nick Kroll, David Krumholtz, Edward Norton, Salma Hayek

 

Plot: A sausage strives to discover the truth about his existence.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Adult Animation

 

Story: Sausage Party starts as we meet all our food in the supermarket as they all wait to get to the great beyond outside the store. We meet the main sausages Frank, Carl and Barry as they are looking to impress the buns on the shelf next to them.

When their moment gets chance to leave Frank and Brenda get left behind in a shopping store accident the pair must work with the rest of the products to learn their existence in the world teaming up with a flat bread named Lavash and a bagel named Sammy.

Sausage Party is a perfectly placed adult animated film that is one of a few that simply should never be watched by children. Every single joke is only for adults which works but it also holds this film back with a series of repetitive sex jokes that get old very quickly. The overall story feels like the first nursey scene in Toy Story 3 as we see the horror of what something innocent will see how humans act. We do get a thin sub-plot about religion going on but doesn’t get enough time to come through.

 

Overall: Fun adult comedy that works if this is the style of humour you enjoy.

Rating70

 

 

Wild Wild West (1999)

logoDirector: Barry Sonnenfeld

Writer: S.S. Wilson, Brent Maddock, Jeffrey Price, Peter S. Seaman (Screenplay) Jim Thomas, John Thomas (Story)

Starring: Will Smith, Kevin Kline, Kenneth Branagh, Salma Hayek, M Emmt Walsh, Ted Levine

 

Plot: Jim West is a guns-a-blazing former Civil War hero. Artemus Gordon is an inventive U.S. Marshal who excels in disguise. When the United States is threatened by psychotic Confederate Arliss Loveless, President Ulysses Grant teams the duo up to bring him to justice. On a hazard-packed train journey from Washington D.C. to Utah, West and Gordon must combine their skills to best Loveless and his diabolical machines.

 

Verdict: Western Comedy, Minus the Laughs

 

Story: When it comes to odd couple comedies the story is usually easy to work with. This is that, we have a villain who wants power and they are the only hope. We get awkward comedy throughout though, with the cross dressing, a PG level short or racial jokes. We have very little support characters that offer much more than just something for the leads to use for comedy. You don’t get full convinced by the partnership but the overall works to make things fun on first watch. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Will Smith: James West the African American US army who is all about shooting first asking questions later. He will always run in first guns a blazing but this leads to more problems most of the time. Solid performance with Will using his charm and momentum at the time.  (7/10)

 smith

Kevin Kline: Artemus Gordon the master of disguise who also dresses up and plays the President. He tries to use his brain while solving problems and to good results, his inventions help the couple get through most of the predicaments. Good performance in the most convincing side of the double act. (7/10)

kline

Kenneth Branagh: Arliss Loveless the long thought dead Doctor who wants to take over the United States and rebuild it his own way. Good villain performance which is the strongest part of the film. (8/10)

 kenneth

Salma Hayek: Rita the young lady looking for her father who goes along the journey. Not really in the film as much as should have been, used in a couple of attempted comedy lines. Very under used supporting character. (4/10)

 

Ted Levine: General Bloodbath McGrath a ruthless general who has killed many people during the war while being on the losing side. He arranges for Loveless to get what he wants but gets betrayed when it comes to the full payment. Good supporting performance in what is a villain that is an easy target to be chasing. (7/10)

mcgrath

Director Review: Barry Sonnenfeld – Struggles to get all the laughs out and never really decides which genre it wants to be. (5/10)

 

Comedy: Has a couple of laughs but never really gets enough. (5/10)

Western: Never uses enough of the real western themes. (5/10)

Settings: The settings are also lost in the film which should be very strong. (5/10)
Special Effects
: Solid special effects with Loveless and his giant spider. (8/10)sp

Suggestion: I think this one is only worth trying you would have to be a fan on the stars to really enjoy. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Spider

Worst Part: Lack of comedy

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $222 Million

Budget: $170 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

Tagline: On July 2nd, it’s a whole new west

Trivia: Will Smith has openly said that doing this film instead of the role of Neo in The Matrix is “the biggest mistake of his career” and his life.

 

Overall: Forgettable Comedy Western

Rating 60