Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – The Moth Diaries (2011)

mothDirector: Mary Harron

Writer: Mary Harron (Screenplay) Rachel Klein (Novel)

Starring: Sarah Bolger, Sarah Gadon, Lily Cole, Scott Speedman

 

Plot: Rebecca is suspicious of Ernessa, the new arrival at her boarding school. But is Rebecca just jealous of Ernessa’s bond with Lucie, or does the new girl truly possess a dark secret?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dull

 

Story: The Moth Diaries starts as we see best friends Rebecca (Bolger) and Lucy (Gadon) returning to boarding school catching up with all their friends after a summer back together. When Ernessa (Cole) arrives at the school she instantly strikes up a friendship with Lucy as we see early on the tension rising between the Ernessa and Rebecca.

When Rebecca starts to think Ernessa is up to something she finds herself becoming distant from her friends but soon she starts to learn they may have more in common. Rebecca becomes obsessed with proving that Ernessa is evil when strange things start happening to her class mates but how does she go about this when she believes she is a ghost.

The Moth Diaries gives us what comes off as the ghost investigation mixed with St Trinian’s. we follow how friendships get pushed and girls get up to things they shouldn’t including drugs and sneaking off for sex. The girls are all unlikable and the serious side of the tory seems to get forgotten. The whole story does come off very average and boring as you never believe any of the fear Rebecca is meant to be feeling.

 

Actor Review

 

Sarah Bolger: Rebecca has been best friends with Lucy for years at boarding school but when Ernessa arrives she starts to find tension between her friends and dealing with the suicide of her father she finds herself wondering if she will act the same in the future. Sarah is solid but doesn’t really pull you into the story enough.

Sarah Gadon: Lucy is the best friend of Rebecca who starts to become distant from Rebecca as soon Ernessa starts school. Sarah does seem to get forgotten through the film sadly and never comes off strong enough.

Lily Cole: Ernessa is the mysterious new girl in the school who seems to have the ability to control other people decisions. She seems to be targeting Rebecca and her friends making Rebecca come off as a loner but does she have an alternative motive. Lily is solid but you can see her struggle with the serious scenes.

Scott Speedman: Mr Davies is the first male teacher the school has had, he is also a big admirer of Rebecca’s father. Scott really is just a small supporting part in this film.

Support Cast: The Moth Diaries has very generic supporting cast which are all very forgettable.

Director Review: Mary HarronMary gives us what comes off like a slightly dull ghost story.

 

Horror: The Moth Diaries doesn’t have any moments of real horror happening at all.

Mystery: The Moth Diaries has a thin mystery about who Ernessa really is but otherwise you don’t really care about what is happening.

Settings: The Moth Diaries keeps nearly the whole film in and around the boarding school which works for the film.
Special Effects
: The Moth Diaries has a few but easily forgettable effects.

Suggestion: The Moth Diaries is easily one you could miss really. (Skip It)

 

Best Part: UMMM.

Worst Part: Story is very thin.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

Tagline: Every girl has her secrets.

 

Overall: Basic and boring ghost mystery film.

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Robert Pattinson Weekend – Cosmopolis (2012)

cosDirector: David Cronenberg

Writer: David Cronenberg (Screenplay) Don DeLillo (Novel)

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Sarah Gadon, Paul Giamatti, Kevin Durand, Abdul Ayoola, Juliette Binoche, Emily Hampshire

 

Plot: Riding across Manhattan in a stretch limo in order to get a haircut, a 28-year-old billionaire asset manager’s day devolves into an odyssey with a cast of characters that start to tear his world apart.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: What the Hell

 

Story: Cosmopolis starts as Eric Packer (Pattinson) a billionaire travels across Manhattan to get a haircut, his bodyguard Torval (Durand) questions his decision as we see Eric conduct the business in the car becoming paranoid that his company isn’t as safe as it once thought it is.

As Eric travels across town as his company is about to crumble as the threat to the President life has been put in danger making the trip take longer than it should, Eric continues to meet different daily members of his life as we learn how he ticks.

Cosmopolis is a film I thought would be very interesting because watching one moment in this man’s life crumbling should be interesting but sadly this is just a confusing mess. I really had no idea what was going on or what the point of the film I really just don’t want to talk about it anymore.

 

Actor Review

 

Robert Pattinson: Eric Packer is a billionaire that decides he wants to go across Manhattan for a haircut along his journey he conducts business while follow his daily routine. The further he gets down the path the more we find his life turning upside down but will he get his haircut? Robert is good in this it is not his fault the story is messy and taking a chance on a role like this should be praised.eric

Sarah Gadon: Elise Shitrin is the estranged wife of Eric who seems to enjoy her moments alone, the two seem to be together for financial gain. She isn’t interested in a physical relationship and is very much an upper class woman looking down on the everyday person. Sarah solid supporting performance.

Paul Giamatti: Benno Levin is a man that Eric meets near the end of the day, he pushes him for answers as he tries to make Eric confess what has been happening on this day. Paul is involved in the more interesting final scene.

Kevin Durand: Torval is the chief bodyguard and head of security to Eric, he questions all the decisions that Eric makes as he finds certain ones potentially putting his life as risk. Kevin is solid without shining through.

Support Cast: Cosmopolis has a large group of well-known actors that all have the odd scene.

Director Review: David CronenbergDavid has given us some of the most unforgettable films and this time it is one you preyed you did forget.

 

Drama: Cosmopolis nope

Settings: Cosmopolis could have the whole film in the limo which would have made it more interesting.
Suggestion
: Cosmopolis is one to avoid at all costs. (Avoid)

 

Best Part: Pattinson shows he is willing to take a chance.

Worst Part: Story.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $20.5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

Tagline:  How far can he go before he goes too far?

Trivia: David Cronenberg shot the scenes in chronological order. In the making-of documentary accompanying the film on DVD, the actors all appear in the same order as they appear in the movie.

 

Overall: Just terrible, flat out awful

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Michael Fassbender Weekend – A Dangerous Method (2011)

dangerousDirector: David Cronenberg

Writer: Christopher Hampton (Screenplay) John Kerr (Book)

Starring: Keira Knightley, Viggo Mortensen, Michael Fassbender, Vincent Cassel, Sarah Gadon

 

Plot: A look at how the intense relationship between Carl Jung and Sigmund Freud gives birth to psychoanalysis.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow and Confusing Biographical

 

Story: A Dangerous Method starts as Sabine Spielrein (Knightley) is to an asylum where she is treated by Carl Jung (Fassbender) for her irrational reaction to any stimulation. In the search for answers Carl turns to Sigmund Freud (Mortensen) who has been an expert in the sexual disorders people are meant to have.

Once Carl gets to the bottom of Sabine’s case he finds himself learn from one of his patients Otto Gross (Cassel) who teaches him to he should be more sexually adventurous and his former patient Sabine is also now ready to embrace her issues. With all this going on Carl learns more from Freud about expressing his sexual side.

A Dangerous Method tries to tell the story of three famous scientific minds, sadly this only seems to show the difference they had through a difficult time in history. I found myself wondering what we were learning about as a lot of the dialogue feels very cloggy throughout. This really disappoints as a film which should be a lot more interesting.

 

Actor Review

 

Keira Knightley: Sabina is considered an ill young woman who is struggling with a fantasist that Carl Jung is treating, when he discovers the problem she becomes his mistress and moving towards living a normal life. She uses her newly discovered knowledge to get her way. Keira is solid in this role but never convinces.sabina

Viggo Mortensen: Sigmund Freud is the famous doctor that Carl Jung turns to for advice with dealing with his latest patient Sabina. He gives father like advice to Carl which becomes the opposite to what Carl thinks. Viggo makes for a good Freud but I do feel something was missing in his performance.frued

Michael Fassbender: Carl Jung is the doctor who is treating Sabina, he ends up going through Sigmund Freud to learn about what the problems are where to two become friends but also against each other’s opinions. He also gets involved with Sabina as he has his eyes opened sexually. Michael is good in the leading role but like the rest I feel is missing something.car

Vincent Cassel: Otto Gross is a patient that opens the eyes of Carl, he is seductive with how he speaks, after talking to Carl we see a different side of him. Vincent gives us a solid supporting performance I wish we could have seen more from.

Support Cast: A Dangerous Method doesn’t really have the biggest supporting cast and the ones we do meet sometimes feel almost pointless.

Director Review: David CronenbergDavid is a director we all have high expectations of but this really was a let-down.

 

Biographical: A Dangerous Method only teaches us the very basic about three very famous scientific minds.

Settings: A Dangerous Method re-creates the settings for this time period all looking very good.

Suggestion: A Dangerous Method is one to miss really, it doesn’t come off with the highest interest levels. (Miss It)

 

Best Part: Settings look great.

Worst Part: We don’t learn enough about the characters.

 

Believability: Based on the real people.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: Based on the true story of Jung, Freud and the patient who came between them.

 

Overall: Dull biopic really.

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Jake Gyllenhaal Weekend – Enemy (2013)

enemyDirector: Denis Villeneuve

Writer: Javier Gullon (Screenplay) Jose Saramago (Novel)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Melanie Laurent, Sarah Gadon, Isabella Rossellini, Joshua Peace, Tim Post

 

Plot: A man seeks out his exact look-alike after spotting him in a movie.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Confusingly Disturbing

 

Story: Enemy starts by taking us into an underground club where we witness an unusually ceremony involving a spider which Anthony (Gyllenhaal) is a part of. We move to meet Adam (Gyllenhaal again) a history teacher who is involved in a relationship with Mary (Laurent). Adam comes off as a lonely person and after being suggested a movie he notices is doppelganger in the film leading him to try and investigate who this man is.

After making contact with Anthony, Adam gets Anthony interested in who Adam is as well as Anthony’s pregnant wife Helen (Gadon). When Anthony and Adam meet things take a turn when they both want to learn more about each other behind each other’s back and Anthony starts acting very strange.

Enemy really comes off confusing as we watching what seems to two different people trying to figure out who they are and what they mean. In fairness we get to see plenty of confusing moments and you will have to sit and watch, read into everything to try and piece together what it all means. If you want to just sit and enjoy a film with no thinking this is one to stay away from but this will test your mind.

 

Actor Review

 

Jake Gyllenhaal: Adam + Anthony, Adam is a routine driven history teacher who gets wind of his doppelganger Anthony and starts’ investigating him, Anthony is a model/actor who becomes intrigued once Adam starts contacting him. We watch how both try to figure out what is going on with both having different motives for the truth. Jake gives a brilliant performance in both roles showing two different characters questioning his mind.

Adam

Adam

Anthony

Anthony

Melanie Laurent: Mary is Adam’s girlfriend, she doesn’t say much and seems very cold towards Adam, and she doesn’t get too involved in the searching but becomes a pawn in the game being played by Anthony. Melanie only gets a small supporting role but is important between the two characters.

mary

Sarah Gadon: Helen is the wife of Anthony who is convinced he is cheating on her and can’t believe how similar Adam and Anthony look but how different they both act. Sarah also only gets a supporting role but like Melanie is important to the final outcome.

 

Support Cast: Enemy doesn’t have too many supporting characters as we focus on the two characters all the way through.

 

Director Review: Denis VilleneuveDenis gives us a mind bending film that is very confusing but has a brilliant story once you figure it all out.

 

Mystery: Enemy really does keep us wondering what is happening with Adam and Anthony.  

Thriller: Enemy keeps your attention from start to finish.

Settings: Enemy uses the settings to show the different version of Adam and Anthony throughout the film.
Special Effects
: Enemy has good effects when needed mostly with the spider creations.

Suggestion: Enemy is one for film fans that enjoy thinking about what they are watching. (Give Full Attention)

 

Best Part: Figuring it all out.

Worst Part: It is very confusing.

Oh My God Moment: The End

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Won 10 awards and nominated for another 7.

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $3.3 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

Tagline: You can’t escape Yourself!

Trivia: The cast signed a confidentiality agreement that doesn’t allow them to speak and/or explain to the press the meaning of spiders in the movie.

 

Overall: Can you figure it all out?

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Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Dracula Untold (2014)

logoDirector: Gary Shore

Writer: Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless (Screenplay) Bram Stoker (Characters)

Starring: Luke Evans, Sarah Gadon, Dominic Cooper, Art Parkinson, Charles Dance, Diarmaid Murtagh, Paul Kaye, William Houston

Plot: As his kingdom is being threatened by the Turks, young prince Vlad Tepes must become a monster feared by his own people in order to obtain the power needed to protect his own family, and the families of his kingdom.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Different Take on an Iconic Character

Story: Dracula Untold starts with a history lesson about child slaves in a Turkish army in the 14th century where one child would be come the deadliest warrior Vlad (Evans) that armies would run from. Vlad brings his warriors into a cave in search for the Turks as he and his men search for vengeance leading them to come across an unknown creature. Second history lesson being told to Vlad about a vampire in Transylvania.

When the Turks bring there deal they demand 1000 children from Transylvania leaving Vlad to oppose this decision. Vlad confronts Mehmed (Cooper) about his deal to try and find a peaceful outcome even offering his own service but Mehmed won’t accept any deal demanding Vlad’s son Ingeras (Parkinson).

When Vlad starts his own war her returns to the cave to meet the creature the Master Vampire (Dance) where Vlad makes a deal to gain the power of the vampire but if he feeds in the first three days he will be cursed with immortality.

We have the gained new powers montage as Vlad learns to control these gifts in his new state as he prepares for his battle against the Turks.

Dracula Untold is a film that I kind of split on what I think about it, on one side I did like the origin story using the stories known through historical time, but on the other side I didn’t like how the battles played out because they were almost pointless because Vlad was too powerful. I will say I liked how the story escaped from the horror side even though I do feel Dracula should always be on the horror side of the story. I think this was a solid story but seems to get concepts incorrect and tries to do the Disney thing by make the villainous monster a hero. (6/10)

Actor Review

Luke Evans: Vlad is one of the most fearsome warriors the world ever saw and this time he has to lead his people to safety after angering a neighbouring army. He has to make a deal with a vampire to become one with its powers but if he drinks he will be cursed forever. I can’t really fault Luke he does well in the role. (7/10)vlsad

Sarah Gadon: Mirena is Vlad’s wife who he will protect until the very ends and will stand by his side even if it means death. Sarah fills the role nicely but doesn’t really add to much to this film. (5/10)mirena

Dominic Cooper: Mehmed is the rival army leader who is also like a brother to Vlad. He demands children for his army but once the offer is rejected he wages war against his Vlad. I don’t feel Dominic get enough screen time for a major villain in a story. (6/10)memed

Charles Dance: Master Vampire is the one who curses Vlad with his additional power but he is really using this as a chance to lift his own curse. Charles brings his class to the film with his small supporting role. (7/10)

Support Cast: Dracula Untold has generic warriors in supporting roles who will die for the side they fight for.

Director Review: Gary ShoreGary does a good job changing how we see a Dracula film for the better because what more can be done on the pure horror side? (7/10)

Action: Dracula Untold has massive battles scenes which all works well and having the different powers in Vlad makes them entertaining. (7/10)

Horror: Dracula Untold doesn’t use too many horror elements only the horror icon. (3/10)

War: Dracula Untold brings the story into the middle of a historical battle between the nations. (7/10)

Settings: Dracula Untold uses easy to understand settings which don’t seem to end up making too much of an impact on the story. (5/10)
Special Effects: Dracula Untold does deserve the praise for the special effects because the transformation between man bats man looks effortless, while the melting part of the vampires also looks very good. (9/10)

Suggestion: Dracula Untold is one to try, I did find certain parts feeling repetitive but certain parts were good and original for the character Dracula. (Try It)

Best Part: Vlad to bat to Vlad.

Worst Part: The battles seem slightly unfair.

Action Scene Of The Film: First Vlad versus army battle.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: I, Frankenstein

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $55 Million

Budget: $70 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: Every Bloodline Has a Beginning 

Overall: Dracula Untold brings us into the action world of the horror icon.

Rating 55