Monthly Archives: May 2014
Movie Review – After (2012)
Stars: Steven Strait, Karolina Wydra
Directed By: Ryan Smith
IMDB Rating: 5.7
Plot: When two bus crash survivors awake to discover that they are the only people left in their town, they work together to unravel the truth behind the strange events.
Review: This film was somewhat started out unusual. The whole story revolves around the two main characters Ana (Karolina Wydra) and Freddy (Steven Strait).
The film begins with Freddy and Ana striking up an awkward conversation on the bus. Two strangers, separated by their own insecurities but as it turns out that, they are neighbors. Just when that awkwardness between them drops, the bus is in an accident. When Ana and Freddy wake up, they find themselves in their own homes, and soon discover that they are the only two people left in their town.
At first thought, one could be forgiven to think that everyone in town had been taken up in the rapture, but that thought left as fast as it came when flash scenes from their childhood start to come into play. Such as the scene in the coffee shop when Ana realizes that no-one can see or hear her, and as it turns out, the people they encounter along the way are nothing more than memories.
From here, things start to get weird as a strange dark fog encompasses the town, and a monster is in the darkness waiting for them. When you realize the fog surrounds the town, one would start to think about the similarities to “The Undead“, or “Under The Dome“, but, unlike the mentioned film and TV show, this darkness, this fog, is slowly moving towards town, engulfing everything in it’s path.
With not that many options for Freddy and Ana, will they discover what is really going on, or will they succumb to the fog and the monster that is hunting them down?
That, folks, is something you will have to find out for yourself and watch this indie thriller flick.
Some good performances from the actors, and a good script. Well worth watching.
My Rating: 8 out of 10.
Movie Review – Cahill U.S. Marshal (1973)
Cahill U.S. Marshal (1973)
Stars: John Wayne; George Kennedy; Gary Grimes
IMDB Rating: 6.4
Plot: J.D. Cahill is the toughest U.S. Marshal they’ve got, just the sound of his name makes bad guys stop in their tracks, so when his two young boy’s want to get his attention they decide to rob a bank. They end up getting more than they bargained for.
Review: It is not often that I will sit and watch a western. Just not my thing. However, in the case of J.W. I will always make an exception 🙂 John Wayne stars in this Western as J.D Cahill, a no nonsense Marshal who takes no bullshit from anyone who breaks the law.
Although this film was not one of JW’s better acclaimed films, this is still a good watch for anyone who enjoys watching JW in his element, with his quick one-liners (Mister, I ain’t got a bigoted bone in my body. You don’t drop that axe I’ll blast you to hell as quick as I would a white man), and taking out the bad guys in his own style.
If you’re a fan of the Duke, sit back and watch this one.
My Rating: 7 out of 10
Movie Review – Oculus (2013)
Stars: Karen Gillan; Brenton Thwaites; Katee Sackhoff
Directed By: Mike Flanagan
IMDB Rating: 6.8
Plot: A woman tries to exonerate her brother, who was convicted of murder, by proving that the crime was committed by a supernatural phenomenon.
Review: I love movies… Plan and simple. Good ones, bad ones and ones that are superb. “Oculus” comes in as a decent winner that I would watch again. I will admit that with the parallel storyline it did take me a little while to catch on to what was going on, but when I did I am glad I watched this to the very end.
I have been a fan of Karen Gillan since I saw her in Dr Who, and in this film she certainly shows how much of an up and coming bankable actor she is.
The story centers on the two main characters, Kaylie & Tim Russell (Karen Gillan & Brenton Thwaites), and the events that took place in the Russell household 11 years before. Tim has recently been released from a mental institution where he spent most of his younger years after being part of a family tragedy. Only hours after being removed from the hospital, Kaylie convinces Tim that a mirror procured and displayed at the Russell household was the cause of their violent childhood. As their night alone with the mirror draws along, Kaylie and Tim soon learn that the mirror is still a dominant force and their attempts at destroying it soon become a race for their own survival, as they try to distinguish between what is reality and what is an illusion.
Good horror films are few and far between, and this relatively low budget film (reportedly done for $5Million) certainly lived up to the hype I have heard.
If you have not watched in, then grab the popcorn, turn off the lights and watch it.. You wont look at mirrors the same way again 🙂
Rating: 8 out of 10
Game Review – Thief
Thief is a stealth video game developed by Eidos Montreal and published by Square Enix. It is a revival of the cult classic Thief series of stealth games, of which it is the fourth game. It was released for Microsoft Windows, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4, Xbox 360 and Xbox One platforms.
Summary: The story begins when Garrett is paired with his former apprentice, Erin, who both ended up accepting the same job from their contact Basso. On their way there, Garrett steals Erin’s claw without her noticing, because she usually uses it to kill guards when not necessary. They arrive at their job’s location, Baron Northcrest’s manor, and find a ritual taking place. Garrett gets a bad feeling and calls off the job, but Erin disagrees and she ends up falling into the center of the ritual, which was nearing its completion. Erin stops and floats in mid-air as she is surrounded by the ritual’s energy. Garrett, while looking down at the light, has part of the stone that was used for the ritual embedded in his eye which then begins to glow and collapses.
Review: The first time I got to try this game out was on one of my mates Xbox One. I will say that at first I was expecting a game that was predictable and a pain in the ass like Assassins Creed. Man was I in for a treat! You play as Garrett, a thief by trade, whose mission is to find out what happened to Erin after she fell through the glass ceiling into the ritual.
Stealth is your way, much like a ninja, as you explore the city in the dark of night and steal anything and everything that is not locked down. The only thing standing in your way of riches are guards, wannabe do-gooders, and local authority figures. The only thing that comes across one’s mind when you see a guard nearby is “Do I shoot this guy in the face with an arrow or wait til they leave”. (Take note that not all guards can be killed with one shot).
The gameplay is smooth enough from my perspective. The main mission was certainly challenging and captivating, although I will say that when you are exploring the Asylum, you will come across creatures that look like they were “borrowed” from silent hill (See screenshot below)
I will say that when you encounter these creatures (and you will), killing them is not so easily done (as I found out). Using stealth to sneak up and kill these creatures will not work, and you can bet you will use a lot of arrows to kill just one. You will come across these creatures in the Asylum and later on in the pit. Consider it lucky that these freaks are blind, but their hearing is exceptional, so avoid making much noise or you’ll be killed quickly. Best advice is save often in the game, or you’ll find yourself restarting from your last save-point.
Keep a lookout for hidden passages and secret rooms along the way, and, oh yes, not to forget the hidden passages behind the whorehouse where you will get to be a voyeur 🙂
If you have not played Thief, then I recommend that you do.
Gameplay: 9 out of 10
Storyline: 7 out of 10 (Had to deducted 2 points due to annoying Silent Hill freaks)
Movie Review – Alien Abduction (2014)
Alien Abduction (2014)
Stars: Katherine Sigismund; Corey Eid; Riley Polanski; Jillian Clare.
IMDB Rating: 5.1
Plot: A vacationing family encounters an alien threat in this thriller based on the real-life Brown Mountain Lights phenomenon in North Carolina.
Review: Another film of the “Found Footage” genre. I have said this in a previous post, that there is a wave of “found footage” films cropping up all over the place, and everyone seeming to want to jump on the bandwagon success of “Blair Witch”. Now, while some “Found Footage” films I have seen are quite good, there are also those that really do not make the grade.
This is one of them….
The film starts off with the ending… An alien carries a camera over to a garbage chute and jettisons the camera back to Earth, from near orbit. We see the camera plummet to Earth, and while any other camera would have smashed to pieces on impact, this camera had some remarkable properties as it seemed to have no damage other than a cracked lens.
That is where my attention span switched off for the most part.
The story of this film is about the Morris family who venture into the Brown Mountains for a camping trip, when they witness a strange light phenomena in the sky and then they find themselves running for their lives as eerie lights track their every movement, while being stalked by other worldly creatures, who seem to also like to ransack cars after they abduct people, (or so it seems).
While the film is based on the actual Brown Mountains Light Phenomenon, the only similarity here was that it was shot in the same region. That is where any resemblance to fact ends. The acting was okay, the alien “lets scare the hell out of everyone” scenes were predictable to the point where it wouldn’t scare me out of a daydream, and the after-footage scene (during credits) was tiresome.
(I wont post the dialogue here on that scene, but I will just say that the scene is set 12 months later, and as the police officer arrives to the scene in his cruiser, he knows straight away that the guy sitting on the roadside is the abducted father)
This film had promise, but it could have been better in my opinion. If low budget, alien abduction films are your thing, watch this, otherwise, watch “The Fourth Kind” or “Fire In The Sky” instead.
My Rating: 4 out of 10.
Movie Review – Survival Code (2013)
Survival Code (2013)
“Borealis” (Original Title)
Stars: Ty Olsson; Patrick Gallagher; Michelle Harrison; Christine Horne; Cristina Rosato
IMDB Rating: 6.5
Plot: “Borealis” is a peek into the future, set in a globally warmed north. The year is 2045 and the ice caps have melted, enabling the discovery of the last oil and gas reserve on the planet are in the Canadian North. It’s a future we have all seen coming for years. Borealis is the “gold rush” town that springs up to give ya anything you need. For a price.
Review: At first glance, one would be forgiven to think that this is a stand-alone movie. But, as you get into the storyline, it becomes obvious that “Survival Code” is made for a TV Pilot.
In the very foreseeable future, the artic ice-cap has melted, which has opened the doors to new trade routes, oil fields, mining operations, illegal drug trafficking, Russian bad-guys and poaching.
The focus of the Arctic operation is Vic Carboneau; Customs Officer; Bar Owner; Ex-Cage Fighter (Played by Ty Olsson, who has a long list of credits to his name including the role of Benny in Supernatural). Who struggles to keep the peace with all factions, while trying to maintain his “tough guy” image to everyone around him, including his sex interest, Alison Freemont (Michelle Harrison). The tension between Vic and Alison is wonderful. It is obvious he is interested in her, but she is more interested in saving what’s left of the environment and endangered species, rather than have a romp in the show with Vic 🙂 (Watch for the shoot down she gives him in her base camp when he goes there to pop in for “a drink”)
Enter the bad guys… With the current political tension that we see going on currently in Russia (with Vlad Putin trying to take over the world, one former Russian country at a time), it comes as no surprise that the bad guys in this are stereotyped Russians. In the rest of the line-up we have the American archaeologist (Greyson Holt), whose research is funded by the Russians, an activist (Michelle Harrison) who is determined to protect what remains of the ecosystem, and the international diplomat, Svetlana, (Christine Horne) who tries to come across that she is not taking sides, when it is evident that she is.
The local “law enforcement” detail lead by the ball-less Raminder (Karan Oberoi) and lastly, the local prostitute, Bettina (played by Christina Rosato). A minor role for each of these two actors, but worth mentioning nonetheless.
“Survival Code” may come across as a “Defiance” type movie, but it is still worth sitting down to watch for 90 minutes. I watched this movie a few days ago, and I may end up watching it again later today, which is a rarity for me.
It certainly does have the beginnings and potential to be a good TV series, and it would be a shame to see this not funded for a series. It is not often that good quality programming graces our screens, and this one I would like to see get picked up for at least a few seasons.
My Rating: 9.5 out of 10.
Movie Review – Dead Mine (2012)
Dead Mine (2012)
Stars: Miki Mizuno; Sam Hazeldine; Ario Bayu; Les Loveday; Joe Taslim; Mike Lewis
IMDB Rating: 4.6
Plot: The legend of Yamashita’s Gold lures a treasure hunter and his group deep into the Indonesian jungle. Once they are trapped in an abandoned World War II Japanese bunker, they face the terrifying reality that the only way out is to go further in.
Review: To say anything good about this movie would be an overstatement, and forced – much like the acting in this film. “Dead Mine” is one heck of a dreadful movie.
The story is simple as it comes, and has been so many times before: Treasure hunter playboy leads a ragtag band of mercs to search for an alleged gold mine. Only difference here is that it is set in a Japanese WWII bunker, and as soon as the gang gets trapped in the bunker, you may as well switch over to watch “The Descent” instead.
There is quite a strong influence in this movie to “The Descent”, with underground tunnels and caves, and of course the “pit” where decaying and rotting bodies lay waste.
If you like stereotyped characters reminiscent of cheesy 1980’s action flicks, invincible super samurai’s, and hardly any real storyline, then watch this film. At least you will know what will happen in the end. Although I don’t normally give the ending away, in this case I will make an exception. Everyone dies at the hands of the Mutant P.O.W. Super-soldiers (who look like “Bane” wanna-be groupies) and Super-Samurai’s.
My Rating: 0.5 out of 10.
Movie Review – Life Tracker (2013)
Life Tracker (2013)
Stars: Barry Finnegan; Rebecca Marshall; Matt Dallas
IMDB Rating: 5.0
Plot: Dillon stumbles on a little known news story about a company called Life Tracker Limited, which claims it has discovered a way to predict biological events in a human’s life by looking at their DNA. Everyone views the story as a modern day form of palm reading that will go nowhere, but Dillon keeps turning on his camera when he finds articles on the Internet or hears about it on the news. The story keeps getting bigger. People all over the world are paying tons of money to see if their DNA shows any trace of disease, or future children, or when they’ll die. With little to no resources, Dillon is left to guerrilla style street interviews and filming the reactions of his small group of friends. When Dillon, his best friend Scott, and Scott’s girlfriend Bell all get their futures predicted their lives start to change… along with the world itself. Nothing is physically changed in any single person’s day-to-day life, but the ideas that have been put in people’s heads convince them to flip the world upside-down. That’s when things start to get out of hand. From the intimate relationships in our every day lives, to the literal future of the human race, nothing will ever be the same after Life Tracker.
Review: “What if” you could know details of your future from your DNA print? An interesting concept to say the least.
The film starts out pretty slow, with Dillon (Barry Finnegan) being the eternal procrastinator who never finishes what he starts. That is until he stumbles upon a little known news story about DNA tracking, where a company “Life Tracker Ltd” has announced that they can track future events of a person’s life by tracking their DNA.
The two other main characters of this film (Bell & Scott) lend a hand to Dillon’s film project and join on on the ride to finish what he started.
Friendships are tested to breaking point in this doco-style film (turned time-capsule film), as each one of them get their “future read”. Such as Bell (Rebecca Marshall) finding out she would have kids to Dillon (and not Scott, as she had planned to), and the Belfast Clock and World Clock ticking down to Doomsday.
When DDay clock expires for Belfast, and no great apocalypse has happened, life goes on… Or so we think. Rather than say anything more about the storyline, and what unfolds, I will only say that you will need to see this film.
While there are no zombies, aliens, or ghosts lurking about in this “found footage” film (thank goodness for that), there is enough suspense to keep you watching until the very end, and I just wish that there were more films like this, but even though those are few and far between.
The acting is believable by the three main actors of this film. Dillon is the apartment manager, stuck in a job he really does not like, struggling with his own fate of being the forever “friend-zoned” lonely guy who never finishes what he starts. Bell is the girlfriend of Scott, who has big dreams for her life, most of which involve Scott. Scott is cruisy and almost BFF’s with Dillon.
“Life Tracker” gives you something to think about. I would highly recommend this film to anyone who is looking for a good “found footage” film.
My Rating: 9 out of 10