Hangman (2017)

Director: Johnny Martin

Writer: Michael Caissie, Charles Huttinger (Screenplay)

Starring: Al Pacino, Karl Urban, Brittany Snow, Joe Anderson, Sarah Shahi, Sloane Warren

 

Plot: A homicide detective teams up with a criminal profiler to catch a serial killer whose crimes are inspired by the children’s game Hangman.


Tagline – The killing game.

Runtime: 1 hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Mystery Thriller

 

Story: Hangman starts as FBI Profiler Will Ruiney (Urban) is given the short straw of having to guide a reporter Christi Davies (Snow) around his job just as the latest murder happens, joined by retired homicide detective Ray Archer (Pacino) as the bodies start piling up and now they must stop a serial killer.

When the three learn that the serial killer is playing a game from the childhood game of Hangman, they realize how long they have between murders as they look to figure out just what the motive behind the game is.

 

Thoughts on Hangman

 

Characters – Ray Archer is the retired homicide detective that spends his time doing crosswords while supporting his partner through the murder of his wife, he still has the tricks to go against the criminals trying to be the friend Will needs through the latest case. Det Will Ruiney is a profiler that is battling with the murder of his wife, he gets given a reporter to show around, but when this case becomes personal he will not stop until he gets his hands on the serial killer. Christi Davies is the reporter that gets assigned to shadow Will giving her an insight to how the job rolls, this does open the door to her being a help when it comes to different parts of the crime. The Hangman is the serial killer that is playing the games against the cops, he seems to be able to stay one step ahead of them and can predict their next moves.

PerformancesAl Pacino is one of the greatest actors of all time, so to see him in any film in the crime world is a pleasure, this role he is good, he doesn’t reach the levels we know he can, but does give us a good performance. Karl Urban is strong in his role we get to see his desperate side through the film. Brittany Snow does well with her role even if her character can feel out of place in certain scenes.

StoryThe story here follows two detectives that are tracking a serial killer that is forcing them into a game of Hangman. That is the core of the story which is fine, we establish the idea early and run with it, we have twists along the way to keep us guessing, but the putting the pieces together doesn’t get to happen for the audience, everything we learn is what the detectives learns and you won’t be able to get the outcome by guessing. This does add and take away from the film because it was good to see the killer stay ahead of them and us, but sometime the audience does like to put the pieces together themselves.

Crime/MysteryThe crime is like clockwork and does show what the killer is planning with his kills as the game is left there for them to guess, which adds into the mystery as who is this guy remains the biggest question.

SettingsThe film takes place in one city where the crime does start to make the locals panic about what is happening, it shows how a crimewave can bring a town to panic, even if we don’t see it unfold that way.


Scene of the Movie –
Trainline.

That Moment That Annoyed Me That final shot.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good crime mystery thriller that keeps us guessing to the motivation and identity of the serial killer, which is all we ask in these films.

 

Overall: Tense thriller that keeps us guessing.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Static (2012)

staticDirector: Todd Levin

Writer: Gabriel Cowan, Todd Levin, John Suits (Screenplay) Gabriel Cowan, Andrew Orci, John Suits (Story)

Starring: Milo Ventimiglia, Sarah Shahi, William Mapother, Sara Paxton, Dominic Bogart, Oz Kalvan, Luke Barnett, Oz Kalvan

 

Plot: A couple facing marital problems after losing their child finds their life together further complicated by a mysterious visitor.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Burning Final Twist Saving Film

 

Story: Static starts as we meet author Jonathan Dade (Ventimiglia) and his wife Addie (Shahi) who are grieving the loss of their son in their own way. Trying to work on their relationship they get interrupted by stranger Rachel (Paxton) who claims to be followed by some masked men.

Questioning her story only builds the tension between the couple until the lights go out and the intruders set their sights on getting into the house to take Jonathan and Addie too. Can they survive the night and what is the motives behind this invasion?

 

Thoughts on Static

 

StoryStatic goes down the home invasion angle for the story telling which is always going to be hard to top the big ones out there like The Strangers, The Purge or even Panic Room. This film clearly doesn’t reach these levels as it focuses on other trauma side to a couple’s relationship but I will say is saved by the final twist I didn’t see coming.

Horror/Mystery/ThrillerThe horror in this story comes from the idea behind everything the unknown home invasion which works in parts but when it comes to the horror rules they all get broken with bad decision making. The mystery comes from just not knowing what is going on and why first Rachel and then the couple have been targeted. The thrilling side of this story comes from the attempts to make us uneasy about what could happen next.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters put into this situation are generic ones as we see the grieving couple trying to make things work out which means this night could re-build their relationship while the intruders just come off very outsiderish which does help make us feel uneasy whenever they come onto the screen. The Rachel character does feel slightly out of place because why wouldn’t the couple know their neighbours. When it comes to the acting well this isn’t the highlight of the film and I am a fan of all the four leading actors (Mapother is barely even in the film) in this film but there just seems to be zero chemistry between the couple. Each character does make sense by the end of the film though.

SettingsThe film takes place in nearly the whole time in and around the house which makes it all feel isolated because the characters don’t have anywhere to run and adding in the darkness builds the atmosphere needed.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to special effects we don’t have or need many but the few we get all come off well enough for the final story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a home invasion film that has everything nicely put together for a good feel but due to poor acting and chemistry it just doesn’t come together to the level it should do. The twist on what the intruders want seem like it is waiting to happen from early on but ends up giving us a twist I didn’t see coming.

 

Overall: Saved by the final twist because getting there is very slow.

Ratingcard

 

 

Bullet to the Head (2012)

logoDirector: Walter Hill

Writer: Alessandro Camon (Screenplay) Alexis Nolent, Colin Wilson (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Sung Kang, Sarah Shahi, Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje, Jason Momoa, Christian Slater, Jon Seda, Holt McCallany

 

Plot: After watching their respective partners die, a New Orleans hitman and a Washington D.C. detective form an alliance in order to bring down their common enemy.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Typical Stallone Action Flick

 

Story: Bullet to the Head starts by showing James Bonomo (Stallone) saving a cop before explaining why and we flashback to how he got there. James is a hit man and along with is partner Louis (Seda) are good at their jobs. When they go to collect their money Louis is killed by Keegan (Momoa) and after he goes after James he gets more than he bargained for. Officer Taylor Kwon (Kang) comes into town from Washington to investigate the man that James and Louis killed but he wants to people who hired them and attempts to work with James to uncover the truth. Reluctantly they team up

Keegan who has been working for Robert Nkomo Morel (Akinnuoye-Agbaje) and Marcus Baptiste (Slater) is set on his next mission who shows us just how much of an efficient killer he is. James & Taylor start their investigation where we get the traditional conflict of styles between a killer and a cop. The odd couple build must try to get to the bottom of who killed their former partners.

Bullet to the Head is one of those films that you know what you are going to get, but saying that we do get a few surprises. On the good guys we don’t get any surprises but how the villains are handled is where the surprises are with shock kills turns and twists. The story itself is easy to follow and never offers anything new to the genre but it didn’t need to. This is easily in the ratings for a relaxaction film and you won’t need to worry about thinking about what will happen next. This is solid but not perfect. (6/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Sylvester Stallone: James Bonomo hit man whose partner is killed by the people who hired them to do the job. He must team up with a cop to get to the bottom of who is responsible. Sylvester made his name in action films where he isn’t the most convincing and this is no different we know what we will get and he delivers what we expect. (7/10)

 sly

Sung Kang: Taylor Kwon Washington cop whose former partner who is killed after dealing with the wrong people. He teams up with James to find the people who hired them for the job. Sung gives a good performance in his opposite mind-set of James. (7/10)

taylor

Sarah Shahi: Lisa James’ daughter who is his go to girl for medical work needed while she is a tattoo artist. Sarah ends up playing the typical damsel in distress. (5/10)

 lisa

Adewale Akinnuoye-Agbaje: Robert Nkomo Morel criminal mastermind who has everyone under his thumb with all his business deals. Adewale does a solid job as the criminal business man. (6/10)

 morel

Jason Momoa: Keegan hit man who kills Louis and goes after James but constantly gets foiled in his attempts. Jason is the real star of this film showing his remorseless side when it comes to his kills. (8/10)

 keegan

Christian Slater: Marcus Baptiste second in command who ends up spilling the beans on the plan which leads to James & Taylor having the knowledge on who to take down. Christian plays a solid supporting role. (6/10)

 slater

Support Cast: Bullet to the Head supporting cast is mainly extra people to be killed by both sides.

 

Director Review: Walter Hill – Walter does a good job directing an action film you expect to be watching but nothing special. (7/10)

 

Action: Bullet to the Head has plenty of fights to keep the action flowing nicely. (8/10)

Thriller: Bullet to the Head doesn’t keep you on the edge of your seat like it could but you do want to know the truth. (5/10)

Settings: Bullet to the Head New Orleans makes for a good setting but no scene is really standing out for location. (5/10)

Suggestion: Bullet to the Head is one for the action fans to enjoy, it is simple to follow and doesn’t require any think, just sit back and enjoy. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Axe fight.

Worst Part: Business villains are boring.

Action Scene Of The Film: The Axe Fight.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Unlikely, but is left open to one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Nope

Box Office: $9.5 Million

Budget: $55 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

Tagline: Revenge never gets old.

 

Overall: Simple Action Thriller

Rating 65