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Thriller

Passengers Review

Homestead is a company in the most lucrative industry ever, colonising new planets. They’ll give you a fresh start on a new world, a chance to build and grow a new society. Embark on the Avalon for a 120 year journey, during which time you’ll be held in suspended animation. They’ve never had any problems, until now. Careful for spoilers.

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The Call review

Despite what you might think when you see WWE stamped on a film, you may not want to dismiss The Call so fast.
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After making a mistake that ends up costing someone their life, Jordan Turner, played by Halle Berry, decides to take a break from dealing with emergency calls and instead begins teaching others how to handle them. Her career change doesn’t last and it isn’t long before she is thrown back into her old role. Now she must attempt to guide a young girl named Casey Welson, played by Abigail Breslin, in an escape from the boot of a car.

The movie wins some major points by avoiding the traditional police chasing after a kidnapper clichés. Setting the story in an emergency call centre gave an interesting insight into the people who do that for a living and how the job actually works. The actors playing Jordan’s co-workers help to create a family atmosphere and you can see that they support each other and are friends. On the other hand, her relationship with her boyfriend Paul, played by Morris Chestnut, seems out of place and at times unprofessional. It almost feels like the relationship was included just to tick a box because it didn’t really add anything to the story to include it.

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The movie starts off great, Jordan is powerless, she can’t physically do anything to effect the outcome of the situation which creates some very tense scenes. For the most part, the film is intense, gripping, exciting and thrilling, but it loses some of these qualities towards the end were it goes from being a very believable story to something a bit more far fetched. In fact the last third of the movie feels more like what everyone in that situation would want to do oppose to what they actually would do. Even so, Halle Berry managed to portray the character in a way that none of it really seemed out of character, except maybe the very end.

As far as villains go Michael Eklund plays a similar role to that of the weekly killer on an episode of Criminal Minds, he’s creepy enough that you’ll believe he’d murder someone but not so creepy that you don’t believe he could function in society. His motives are explained, but he doesn’t do a bad guy monologue going into every detail which was nice. The main problem with him was how easy he should have been to find, he pretty much left a trail to follow and the police couldn’t find him because ‘he wiped’ stuff with a cloth.

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If you’re looking for a movie that will keep you interested all the way through, then you’ll probably enjoy The Call because it is fast paced and has an good story, but if realism is extremely important to you then you might fall out of love with it towards the end.

What do you think? Are you going to see the movie? Does setting it in an emergency call centre interest you? Would you like to have that job? Let me know what you think by voting and leaving a comment down below and remember guy’s if you call 911 there is a chance you’ll get to speak to Halle Berry.


Taken 2 Trailer

Liam Neeson is about to show even more people why he shouldn’t be messed with in the upcoming sequel to the 2008 film Taken.

A trailer for the film has been released as well as some details about the plot.  This time around Neeson’s ex-wife will be the one who is taken and the culprit is the son of one of the men killed in the first film.  The story is set one year after the events of the previous film.

Not surprisingly the trailer shows that this instalment will be no less action packed than the first, but will it also live up to the success of its predecessor?  Though it paints an exciting picture the trailer shows no signs of any emotional or intellectual depth, one of the main criticisms of the first.  However, seeing as Taken was a huge success in spite of this, it may be a mistake to change something that clearly isn’t broken.

What do you think?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.


Resident Evil: Retribution Trailer Review

The trailer for Resident Evil: Retribution hit the web today and confused fans worldwide.

The trailer begins with a mock ad for Sony that many fans thought was a real advertisement, which does happen on YouTube videos these days, and began trying to skip it or reading the comments until it passed.  Some sites have start complaining that this was Sony’s way of advertising within the trailer.  Actress Mila Jovovich said on Twitter that this was not the case and that it was similar to teasers they’ve done in the past, either way it was pretty funny when Alice said ‘my name is Alice and this is my world’, which is what the people in the fake ad were saying but about zombies.  It was also a nice play on were the world is at now in real life and were it is in the films.

Now on to the actual movie footage, which was great.  It all goes by so fast and there’s so much to process, but I’ve watched it like 100 times now so I’ve managed to make some theories and that’s always fun.  Some parts look like they take place in a different time or at least in a place that is only newly getting touched by the zombie virus.  There is one part in particular that shows Alice with a little girl in a neighbourhood with a police car and burning cars, but Alice and the child look clean and are dressed in normal, pre-apocalypse, clothes.  I don’t think it’s a flashback, a child would have been referenced by now, I think it’s a clone.  Maybe the neighbourhood is an Umbrella experiment, it’s an interesting thought.

Also Alice is shown in the pedestrian crossing that was in the opening of Resident Evil: Afterlife.  The people all seem pretty shocked to see the fully kitted out Alice in the, supposedly, zombie free city.  This is partly what made me think that Umbrella might have areas that they use for experiments.  Or it could be a drug induced fantasy, it’s all guess work at the moment.

There are bits that look as though they continue directly from were the last film left off, which will make explaining Claire and K-Mart’s absence harder or maybe they filmed a brief cameo.  It doesn’t look good for the people on the boat though, as they are seriously outnumbered, but we already knew that from the last one.

It’s all very cool looking; the monsters, the zombies and the heroes.  I’m glad that characters from previous Resident Evil movies are coming back, but I still don’t know how.  I’ve been guessing clones and I think I’m going to stick with that.  Why train new people when you can just crank out and army of clones, it worked in Star Wars didn’t it.  The only character, who’s been brought back from the dead, to appear in the trailer was Rain, who is played by Michelle Rodriguez.  We last saw Rain being killed by Alice, after becoming a zombie, in the first movie.

Ada Wong, who will be played by Bingbing li, can also be seen in the trailer.  It’s amazing how good a job they’ve done with her, she looks so much like the game character.  It’s always nice to see how characters from the games fit into the movies, so that’s something I’m really excited about.

All things consider, I’m really happy with the trailer.  There are so many theories you could draw from it, most would probably be wrong, but it’s just saying so much and so little at the same time.

What do you think?  Do you like the trailer?  Did you think the Sony part was a real ad?  Are you excited about the movie?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to follow/subscribe and click the like button, if you like this post.  If you want to follow me on Twitter my page is https://twitter.com/#!/AdamODwyer1.


The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

Having only read about the Swedish film it’s hard to make any real comparisons, but David Fincher has adapted the late Stieg Larsson’s book, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, beautifully.  The film translates the dark masterpiece of the Swedish journalist perfectly into a wonder and intriguing film that, right from the start, grabs viewers, with an abstract, and kickass, title sequence, and holds their attention until, near, the end of the incredibly long film

Going into the film without seeing so much as a trailer, I really had no idea what to expect and, if I’m honest, I didn’t think I was going to like it.  The main thing putting me off was the length of the film, which is just under three hours.  I thought I’d get bored long before the end, but with characters this interesting and complex, it was hardly an issue.  The shear psychological understanding of the characters is amazing.  Things like why they do what they do and how they react to each other, have been so clearly mapped out that it’s easy to believe the characters are real people.  The film does take these characters to some dark places, especially Lisbeth (the girl with the dragon tattoo), and it’s hard to watch at times, but still very nice to see such great acting.

The film follows two different characters, who eventually meet up, Lisbeth (played by Rooney Mara), an antisocial girl with a photographic memory and incredible computer hacking skills, and Mikael (Daniel Craig), an investigative reporter.  When Mikael is sued for libel after making accusations about a rich businessman, he quits his job in an attempt to protect the magazine he co-owns.  He is then recruited by an old man named Henrik (Christopher Plummer) to solve the 36 year old mystery of Henrik’s niece’s murder.  Mikael agrees, but is unaware that Lisbeth had already been hired by Henrik to do a background check on him.  When he finds out he asks to see her report, noticing there are things she could not have found out without hacking into his computer, he then hires her to assist him in solving the case.

There isn’t a single actor in the film that didn’t do a great job, even the Swedish accents seemed flawless and I was legitimately surprised when I found out which ones were real and which were not.  However, I couldn’t help thinking, at least at the start, how pointless the accents were.  Why make all of the characters speak in English with Swedish accents?  If you want them Swedish get them speaking Swedish.  I’m not saying that Craig and Mara should have been forced to learn another language for the film, but giving them the accents made it seem like it was just an adaption for the people that were too lazy to read the subtitles on the Swedish version.  Though, I’m sure there are some stylistic differences too, that’s just what crossed my mind while watching the film.

I’ve already mentioned how great the acting was, but I feel more attention has to be given to Rooney Mara, who essentially transformed herself for this role.  She was brilliant, the best part of the film.  Her character is probably the most complicated of the lot, and that’s saying something.  It’s not hard to sympathise with her as she goes through her dark journey and the sense of isolation is just overpowering at times.  She has been hurt by nearly everyone she’s ever known so it’s hard for her to trust anyone.  Mara is able to bring so many levels into every scene, watching her body language you can see Lisbeth’s fear of real intimacy and getting emotionally involved with anybody.  There is desperation in her actions and Mara has the ability to convey this in a subtle way.

Clearly aimed at a more mature audience, some scenes were really hard to watch.  One scene in particular were the viewer must watch a rape, was genuinely disturbing.  It was necessary to the understanding of the character, but was still horrible to see.  The villain of the movie is so routed in psychology that it was a bit like watching a combination of the shows Dexter and Criminal Minds.  It’s rare to see a film were the bad guy has a motive that is just so purely sick and realistic, not at all like the ones given by the killers in franchises such as Scream and Urban Legends.

Though the end was somewhat unsatisfying, this film is still, to my surprise, a brilliant, intriguing and intelligent piece of work.  Despite having never read the book, I didn’t have trouble keeping track of the many suspects and was so engrossed in the story it almost didn’t matter.  At times it felt as though they could have gotten three films out of this one book, but that’s more to do with the level of detail than anything else.  This movie was so well done that I feel it’s only a matter of time before they adapt the sequel as well.  It is a true shame that the author, Stieg Larsson, died before the book was even released.

What do you think?  Have you read the book?  Did you see the Swedish version?  Are you a fan of David Fincher?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below, also don’t forget to subscribe and click the like button.  If you want to keep up to date with future posts and projects follow me on Twitter https://twitter.com/#!/AdamODwyer1.


Contagion

Remember those hand sanitizers you used to use?  Well prepare for a massive dose of paranoia on the 21st of October when Contagion comes to Irish cinemas.

Contagion is about the outbreak of a new airborne virus that is fast moving and can kill within days.  It’s told from the perspective of several people, ranging from scientists trying to cure and contain the virus, to everyday people just trying to survive in a society that is overthrown with panic.  The movie stars Matt Damon, Marion Cotillard, Kate Winslet, Gwyneth Paltrow and many more, all of which do a great job even Matt Damon.

One thing that really worked for the film was that they weren’t afraid to take risks; some big players die in this film, which doesn’t generally happen in modern cinema.  Here they had a story that they wanted to tell and they told it without sugar coating it.  To say it was predictable would be a lie because I honestly didn’t see a lot of it coming and most of the time my theories were completely wrong, which is a good thing in my eyes.  It’s refreshing to see a movie that is so different than what you normally see.  People say that slasher movies are scary because they could really happen, but I think what’s scary about this is that yes it could happen and if it did you’d have no way of defending yourself.

The film aims to be realistic and it shows as the process in which the scientists investigate the virus is very detailed and was interesting to learn.  Director Steven Soderbergh and screenwriter Scott Burns have been praised for their accurate depiction of science, which in films is generally more dramatic than its real life counterpart.  Another aspect done very well was the panic caused by the outbreak; people looting shops and pharmacies and even resorting to kidnapping to make sure that they get what they need to survive.

It’s scary to think of how quickly something like that could spread and watching the film will definitely have you thinking twice before you touch anything, but I would recommend seeing it.  It’s not often a film this honest comes along, so don’t miss the chance to see it in cinemas.

What do you think?  Are you paranoid about viruses?  Did you think the film looks realistic?  Will you go see it in the cinema?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe/follow and click the like button.


Final Destination 5 Review

Is it possible for a group of bad actors to escape death?  Well it didn’t work for the previous groups, but maybe this time they’ll get lucky.

The Final Destination series has become a joke, no I’m not being mean I’m talking literally, the franchise just won’t die and until I saw this movie I thought that was a bad thing.  As a fan of the series it’s hard to constantly see it ripped apart by critics, but let’s face it The Final Destination (aka Final Destination 4) was terrible.  The acting was bad the plot was bad and the whole thing just felt rushed, but the first three films were, in my opinion, pretty damn good, that includes the acting which I never had a problem with until the fourth one.

This time around the acting wasn’t great either, well at least not at the start.  As the movie went on the actors seemed to get it together, some more than others, and the plot was interesting enough to distract from the ones that didn’t.  People, me included, sometimes joke that all Final Destination movies have the same plot, but doesn’t nearly every movie franchise?  People get put in elaborate traps and are killed in all the Saw films; it’s the other stuff, the characters and the things that happen in between the deaths that make the movies different.  So with that in mind; screw you people that make fun of Final Destination, me included.

The film follows a group of co-workers who are going on a retreat when one of them, Sam (played by Nicholas D’Argosto), has a premonition that the bridge they are on is going to collapse and kill them.  He warns everyone and some make it to safety.  Unfortunately, they are then stalked by death and are getting killed in the order they would have died on the bridge.  William Bludworth, the coroner (played by Tony Todd), returns to the franchise after being absent from number four.  He tells the group, very openly and un-cryptic, that if they give death someone else in their place they will survive.  It would have been nice if he had been a little more cryptic, because it makes you wonder why he would have withheld his information from the other groups.  The whole murder aspect was a good, but they kind of did away with the intervening part which played such a fun part in previous instalments.  I wish they’d to the photos again like in number three, that was cool.

If Final Destination is known for anything it’s the death sequences and this film definitely delivers.  There were some moments were the suspense had me cringing in my seat, but other could have been better.  The use of red herrings was clever and I loved trying to figure out what was going to happen, one of the best things about Final Destination.  The movie has a great twist at the end and I mean great, like the end alone makes this movie worth going to see.  It was only when I thought about it that I realised that all the movies in the series have some form of twist ending; in the first one they learn that intervening doesn’t get you off deaths list, in the second one that kid blows up because he was saved by Nathan during the film, Wendy has a second premonition in the third and in the fourth they ponder if death sent them the premonitions to get them to where it wanted them thus it was all part of the plan and they never really escaped anything (though his theory doesn’t make sense when you consider that if it were true the events of the second movie would not happen).

The 3D was good, but wasn’t as overused and gimmicky as number 4.  I like when 3D is used to its full potential, don’t give me all this depth crap just start throwing stuff at my face and I’ll be happy (providing it doesn’t actually hit me).  3D isn’t essential, but if you have the option I’d advice going for the 3D, let’s face it you’ll have plenty of chances to see it in 2D when it leaves the cinema.  Plus at the end of the film there is a montage of some of the deaths from the previous films, which is cool in 3D (and 2D).  Couldn’t help but think that the opening tittles will be really boring in 2D, as they go on for a bit too long with very little but 3D to entertain you.

I think the movie is great and redeems the franchise.  I’d recommend seeing it and in 3D.  I wouldn’t be disappointed to hear they were making a sequel, in fact I hope they do, but what do you think?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe and click the like button.


A Lonely Place to Die

A Lonely Place to Die is an upcoming action/thriller movie starring Melissa George and Edward Speleers. The film first premiered on the 10th of April at Actionfest Film Festival in the USA and will hit cinemas in the UK on the 9th of September and in the US in November. 

The movie follows a group of five mountain climbers, who, while on a trip, hear a strange noise coming from somewhere in the forest. They manage to locate the source which turns out to be a kidnapped child. From there the movie transforms into a clever thrill ride with plenty of action, as the characters struggle to get the little girl, Anna, to safety.

Though it is without a doubt a thriller, it has elements of other genres. The start feels like a movie about mountain climbers, as it should. There is no looming darkness, it doesn’t make it obvious that they will be in any danger besides the obvious dangers of climbing a mountain. The characters benefit from this, they feel more three-dimensional. They aren’t perfect, their relationships aren’t perfect, they don’t always do the right thing and sometimes, when they do, they regret the act of bravery.

Speleers’ character is selfish, arrogant and rude. As the story goes on the viewer gets to see different sides of him, but he never completely transforms into the perfect guy and he shouldn’t, that’s not how life works. Melissa George did a great job as well. The relationship between the two characters felt relatable, the way they talk to each other was very realistic. One character that I felt was unappreciated was Jenny, played by Kate Magowan, who was the maternal figure and, in my opinion, a great asset to the story.

The film winds down to a satisfying conclusion and the audience will be glad that they stuck with the characters throughout the ordeal. The movie is completely character driven and it isn’t hard to care what happens to them. Though be warned the film deals with a serious topic, kidnapping, and at times it gets really dark. I recommend this movie to people who enjoy films with great story and well structured characters.

What do you think? Are you excited about the film? Have you seen it? Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below, also don’t forget to subscribe and click the like button.


My Soul to Take

Okay so I know it’s not a new movie, but it’s not really well known, at least not outside of America.  It came out last year, 2010, and it was written and directed by Wes Craven so you know it’s got to be (pause for effect) interesting.

Last night I watched My Soul to Take and I have to say I was expecting worse.  I hadn’t read any details about the film, but I had seen a clip that just looked, unintentionally, hilarious.  Also I’d read that it got really bad reviews from critics, I haven’t read what they said I just know that they hated the movie.

The movie really throws you in the deep end, it doesn’t spend a lot of time explaining what’s going on or who these characters are, which forces you to think about it and really try piece the details together yourself.  Personally, I like this, because I think it makes you engage with the film and you sort of get into the whole experience more, but I can see that, from a different point of view, it could be seen as really annoying and unnecessary. 

Though, I must say that putting together all the pieces would have been a lot easier if they were all included in the box.  There are parts of the plot that are left completely unexplained, which is down to bad editing.  Guess where I found the answers that were not in the movie (pause, this time to leave time to guess) the deleted scenes of course.  The movie has a running time of 1 hour and 42 minutes (including credits).  I get that leaving in every deleted scene would be impossible, there is quite a few of them, but would it have killed them to cut out some of the stuff that doesn’t make any sense, the aforementioned unintentionally hilarious scene for example, and put in the scenes that explain the plot?  I think not.

The movie opens by showing how the Riverton Ripper was caught and allegedly died.  Then it cuts to sixteen years later were, on the anniversary of this supposed death, the teenagers of the town, hold a party were one of the seven children that were born on the night the killer died must pretend to fight off a puppet of the killer (now this isn’t the kind of puppet you’ll be seeing on Sesame Street, I warn you).  Of course the mentally challenged kid gets pick and freaks out, but the party is broken up by the police.  Then the killer begins to kill again.  Is it the original killer or is it one of the seven who is carrying the soul of the killer inside them.

One of the things I really liked about the film is that it relies heavily on mental illness, but also teams it with the supernatural.  The story follows Adam ‘Bug’ Hellerman, a sixteen year old that suffers from mental illness.  Of course if you don’t watch the deleted scenes you might just think Bug is really weird.  Since you see everything as he sees it it’s not really clear whether anything supernatural is happening or if it could all be due to mental illness.  I would recommend the film, but not to everyone.  It’s kind of a movie for people that like to think and analyze movies.  If you’re the type of person who goes home and googles the movie you just saw, and you like horror movies, then I think you’ll really like this movie, but if for you the movie ends when the credits roll maybe you should give this one a miss.

What do you think?  Have you seen it?  Did you love it or hate it?  Let me know by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe.


Final Destination 5 trailer review

A trailer for the upcoming movie Final Destination 5 has been released and it looks as though producers have taking fan criticism onboard.

Many people have been complaining that the Final Destination series has gotten stale, seriously how many times can you make the same movie.  The first too were great, because they had a link to each other, the third one introduced the photos which was a fun way to get the audience guessing, but the fourth just ditched the cleverness and went for 3D instead.  The result was an overly bright example of how bad some actors are.

The trailer for Final Destination 5 shows that the franchise is going back to its roots.  It’s darker and the deaths are less comical and more cringe worthy.  The opening deaths are always one of my favourite parts.  However, the writers try to make each opening better than the last and number three’s rollercoaster was hard to beat, four failed, but I think five might have succeeded.

Number five’s premonition takes place on a wire bridge.  It doesn’t sound like much, but it looks great.  There’s so much going on and so many characters to choose from, I’m already wondering who survives.  Those that do survive will have a good chance of clinging on to their survivor status, because this movie will see the return of Bludworth (played by actor Tony Todd) who was last seen in Final Destination 2 and last heard in Final Destination 3.  I was worried that he would appear for a few seconds, but from the trailer I can see he gives a whole speech to the survivors.  I’m excited to see how they find him considering that all the survivors from the movies that featured him are dead.

Another good point about the trailer is that, and I could be wrong here, but it looks like the actors can act.  I know I’m as shocked as you are.  I never had a problem with the actors in the original trilogy, I hate to keep picking on it, but it was only four that I thought had really bad actors.  Other people think the bad acting goes back furthered, but I think we can all hope that it ended with number four.  We won’t really know until we see more though, but enjoy the trailer and let me know what you think by voting and leaving a comment below.  Also don’t forget to subscribe.