The Snowman (2017)

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I saw the trailers for this movie when I went the cinema to see IT and it looked really interesting, kind of a like a horror/thriller.  Plus, I won’t lie I’m always up for a Michael Fassbender film…

So the plot is pretty straight forward, there is a serial killer on the loose that’s targeting women and he leaves a snowman at every crime scene. Detective Harry Hole (Michael Fassbender) is on the hunt for the killer with fellow agent Katrine Brett (Rebecca Ferguson). Now as with most thrillers, for some reason the lead detective is flawed due to alcohol addiction.  I mean will we ever have a detective in a movie or television series that isn’t like this? Who knows…

The acting in this film is good, Fassbender and Ferguson both do the best they can with the material they’re given.  There’s not any special effects worth mentioning with it being your standard thriller.

The trailer made the film look at lot better than it actually turns out to be.  I expected a more psychological thriller however, the killer was just a sad bloke with a bad childhood but the reveal was so anti-climax that it just didn’t work for me.

It was a movie I was really looking forward too, hoping it would be a thriller along the lines of Seven with a cast like this one but sadly it was no where near as gripping to watch and in some parts it was just plain boring and predictable.  Especially the fact that Harry’s ex wife is clearly still in love with him despite being with someone else.   I’m afraid we’ve just seen it all before but done better than this.

Overall, I suggest you wait til it comes on Netflix or Sky because it was a disappointing watch and not worth seeing at the cinema.  Fassbender is a great actor but he really isn’t picking great films at the moment with this and that terrible movie adaptation of Assassins Creed… I know this is a shorter review than you’re used to folks however, with it being a thriller I don’t want to give too much away and unfortunately there’s not really anything to rave about with this movie…

Perfect Popcorn Score – The Snowman get’s a five from me.  So predictable and not what you expected from the trailer… 5/10 

 

 

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Gerald’s Game (2017)

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Stephen King has always been a good source of material for a plot for a film and Netflix have taken his novel, ‘Gerald’s Game’ and given it the movie treatment.

Now this isn’t a remake which is refreshing so I hadn’t heard of the story before watching the movie.  It’s an interesting story but if you want a horror movie then look elsewhere…

This movie is all about psychological manifestation.  In other words, the way your mind can play tricks on you in horrible times.  Gerald (Bruce Greenwood) and his wife Jessie (Carla Gugino) decide to go to their second home (I assume…) to ‘spice up’ their marriage.  It’s got no neighbors and Gerald has kindly given their staff the weekend off so that the couple are left all alone for the whole weekend..

So Gerald and Jessie start to role play in the bedroom as the trailer for the film shows you, Gerald suffers a heart-attack just as poor Jessie is handcuffed to the bed.  She’s then left their to well, pretty much go insane.

The acting in the film is quite good, both Gugino and Greenwood are great, especially Gugino as she get’s more and more mental throughout and starts mixing fantasy with reality.  There’s not really many characters in this movie, it all centers around Jessie as she fights to survive.

There’s not CGI in this movie although the Makeup FX are brilliant in one scene in particular and when you watch the movie you’ll know exactly which scene I mean. I did have to look away for a moment actually…

So basically this story is all about how Jessie’s past, a certain incident in particular made her strong enough to survive this game she’s ended up in.  It touches on how your mind can play tricks on you when you’re terrified and how the night itself ties into that.

Now there is a twist in this movie towards the end and it’s not bad but I personally think this film could have been so much more.  It also annoyed me a bit how quickly Jessie began to loose it, I mean it felt like she gave up pretty quickly when she ‘had all her strength’ in the beginning.  Sure, she screamed for a long (long) time but surely you’d quit after twenty mins or so? Like I said she didn’t really try that much for my liking…

Overall, it’s an OK film, I’ll be honest with you (as always) it got dragged out a bit too much and when you learn what she’s trying to get from her flashbacks it makes them pretty pointless… I think it’s more about what could happen that may get into your head rather than what actually happens in this movie but that’s probably the whole point right?

Perfect Popcorn Score – Gerald’s Game get’s a six from me, I get where it’s trying to go but I just lost interest sadly… It has a lot of potential but doesn’t fulfill it…  6/10 

Split (2016)

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I saw it at the cinema a while ago when it first came out and then watched it again recently to do a decent review for you guys.  I wasn’t actually aware of it being a sequel to another M. Night Shyamalan film called Unbreakable which stars Samuel L Jackson and Bruce Willis and to be honest even after watching it a second time I’m not sure how to the two films are related… I’m sure all will be revealed in the up and coming third film ‘Glass’ in 2019.

So the film follows Kevin (McAvoy) and the three girls he kidnaps, Casey, Claire and MarciaClaire and Marcia are typical high-school girls, not really wanting to be friends with Casey but still invited her to their party… Casey from the off seems like an outcast, throughout the film you’ll learn more about why she is this way and her past via flashbacks.

Kevin himself is one of many personalities that take over his body.  We learn that there are actually 23 personalities all residing within Kevin’s body, some are even female.  He’s attending therapy and his doctor Karen Fletcher is trying to persuade others  that there is more to Kevin than pure insanity.  That there is something special about him and all the other personalities that live within him.

It’s a very interesting film and I was gripped straight away because it’s a subject that hasn’t really been used in a movie this way before.  We’ve heard of multiple personality disorders and some television shows have touched on them before, we’ve seen many movies use ‘possession’ so it’s a good concept to use in my opinion. Each personality you see is so different, some are good people and some are not so good…

The acting in this film is brilliant McAvoy is the only actor I recognized but his performance is Oscar worthy and if he isn’t at least nominated then I’ll be very surprised! He plays all 23 personalities amazingly different, I mean not many actors achieve what he did in this film to the standard he did as well.  The three girls are also really good, they don’t over act or annoy you they’re just perfect in their roles, especially Anna Taylor-Joy who plays Casey.

I can’t say much about the story or ending as such without ruining it for you but it’s something for you to guess yourselves.  Basically in short two of the personalities believe in something called ‘The Beast‘ and this links to why they have taken over Kevin and kidnapped these girls.  Is ‘The Beast‘ real? Watch to find out…

Perfect Popcorn Score – Split gets a nine from me, James McAvoys performance is brilliant and the story itself is very original.  Great overall movie… 9/10 

Little Evil (2017)

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I’m always on the look out for new ‘Netflix Originals‘ because sometimes you do get some gems in there.  The trailer for this film shows a dark comedy  take on ‘The Omen‘ and a few other horror classics so I gave it a go.

Basically the story is that Gary (Adam Scott) marries Samantha (Evangeline Lily) and in doing so becomes a stepdad to her ‘little boy’ Lucas (Owen Atlas).  Their wedding was actually ruined by a tornado so things didn’t exactly get off to the best start for the couple and then things get even weirder…

The acting is decent from Scott and Lily and Atlas defiantly has the ‘creepy kid’ vibe but unfortunately is a little weak in the general acting department. The supporting cast are great though and add plenty of humor to this movie.

The effects are pretty B-Movie but that’s what I expected on something low-budget, I’ve still seen a lot worse though.  There’s a couple of clever little quirks such as the little goat puppet Lucas loves.

The movie escalates pretty quickly, it starts off fooling around with the audience, is he actually supernatural or just a creepy kid? The more you watch the more you find out… It takes from so many other movies both new and old to create it’s own story.

It’s not the greatest Netflix original film as it’s not exactly original to begin with.  I personally only enjoyed it because I thought the ‘step-dad support group’ were really funny, especially Gary’s work pal Al.  If you want something easy to watch with a few laughs but in general is very predictable and not scary at all then give this a try but don’t expect it to blow you away (tornado pun?).

Perfect Popcorn Score – I’m giving this film a five by five, nothing new but still some good laughs and it’s still a watchable movie. 5/10

It (2017)

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Stephen King is one of the greatest writers going, I mean nearly every one of his books has been adapted on the big or small screen.  It has been adapted before, I’ve not seen the original film but I’m a fan of King’s other stories so I decided to give this a go…

So for those of you like myself that weren’t familiar with the story it’s basically in short, a film about an evil shape-shifting clown that eats children (and maybe adults).  I don’t really like clowns so I’ll be honest I did get a bit creeped out by this, despite it’s 15 age rating.

The acting in this film is brilliant, considering there’s no big hollywood in this movie I thought it was really well cast.  There’s only two actors I recognized, both star in two Netflix series but I’m sure they’ll go on to do other things after their performance in this movie.  BillSkarsgård is fantastic as Pennywise the clown, I first saw him in a Netflix series called, ‘Hemlock Grove‘ which is worth a watch itself.  Now I’ve seen my fair share of bad child actors in films but the cast are all brilliant in this. 

The effects in this movie are great, it wasn’t given the biggest of budgets compared to a lot of movies out there and because of this, made a killer profit at the box office!  The makeup FX for Pennywise was spot on, less is more sometimes and he looked so creepy so well done guys!

I really enjoyed this film, there’s some light humor in it and great sarcasm. It actually references Molly Ringwald at one point and I think in doing so makes you think of ‘The Breakfast Club‘ which is a film about a group of ‘misfits’ banding together (sound familiar?).

I think this film cause have been made so much darker if it was given the 18 age rating the original was but director Andy Muschietti has confirmed that a sequel is in the works and set to be released in September 2019.  The sequel will tell the story of the second half of the book where Pennywise returns 27 years later.  The cast have all said who they would like to play their characters in the second film and I’ve got to say there’s some pretty good choices… I will be doing a further blog post about my thoughts on these choices and who I think should play them also so please do look out for it soon.  

Perfect Popcorn Score –I’m giving the film a solid 8, the story was always going to be great as it’s written by King and acting, effects and everything else is all gooood! 8/10

 

 

Evil Dead (2013)

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Evil Dead is a film franchise that will never die, it’s going to be rebooted countless times and we now even have a series (Ash vs. Evil Dead).  I went the cinema to see this movie because although it’s been done before, I had high hopes as the trailers looked pretty decent.

So the story of this Evil Dead is very similar to the original with a couple of modern twists… Basically drug addict Mia (Jane Levy) agrees to go cold turkey and give up the drugs.  Does she choose to do this the normal way at home or in rehab? Of course not… Her and her friends and old brother David (Shiloh Fernandez) decide the best place for a detox is their familys remote cabin in the woods.  

Before they go you see that a girl was killed in this same cabin by her father and some weird redneck family… They seemed to be the good guys as the girl was possessed and apparently killed her mother, the ritual was out of a creepy looking book…

The acting in this film is basically american teen drama acting, no better or worse than you’re typical Pretty Little Liars crowd. It’s not the worst modern day remake but it’s also far from the best…

The effects are average, there’s plenty of blood and gore, as you would expect.  The tree scene was done very quickly, for something that caused so much outrage when the original came out they just kind of skipped right past it in this film.  It’s a shame really because there’s a lot worse and more gruesome scenes in films these days so it could have been done far better.

The advertising for this film created a lot of hype, quotes on the poster such as, ‘see this movie when it comes out and often‘.  This made me so disappointed when I actually when to see it because it wasn’t something I’ve rave about that much personally.  There’s nothing exactly wrong with it but I think some bigger players acting wise would have given it a better feel, or even just better actors.  Look at Cabin in the Woods for example, a couple of well known actors and a few not as well know but all worked so well where as this was just a group of twenty something actors that have been in a couple of teen movies.

Overall  it’s not terrible, it’s worth a watch if you like the genre of film as there’s some good gory scenes.  Basically don’t take it seriously at all and you might enjoy it but if you go by the advertising you’ll be disappointed.

Perfect Popcorn Score – I’m giving this film a six, decent effects and story but the acting does let it down in my opinion…  6/10

Rush (2013)

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I remember watching this film at the cinema back in 2013 and decided to watch it again last night, it was just as good as I remembered.

I’m only in my early twenties so I’ll be honest with you (as always) I hadn’t known who James Hunt and Niki Lauda were but, when I saw the trailer for this movie I did a little research… The pair were Formula 1 race car drivers and their rivalry captured the attention of the world back in the 70s.  This is the basis of this film, it shows their story over the years through both Hunt and Laudas eyes.

Lets talk about the cast for this film, Chris Hemsworth is best known for his role as Thor but he’s proven to be a big player in Hollywood and this film is one of his best performances as James Hunt.  Daniel Bruhl plays Niki Lauda perfectly, he even looks like Lauda himself, this is casting at it’s best.  Both actors play off each other so well and I would like to see them in something again together in the future.  The rest of the cast are great but your focus stays on these two throughout the film.

The effects in this film are brilliant, the car crashes look so authentic on screen.  Lauda’s accident was especially graphic and there’s some great FX makeup on him afterwards, well done guys (and girls).

The pair are the complete opposites of each other, Hunt is a hot headed, glamorous playboy and Lauda is a serious, disciplined and fairly anti-social guy.  Let’s be honest now, there’s a bit of Lauda in a lot of us, that work hard and try and push ourselves to see that other half of the population have things just come to them naturally. James never got into the background of cars he just drove them, where as Lauda made sure he knew exactly what he was doing both in the car and in garage.   I think this just made the rivalry more interesting between the two.

Overall this film is a must see in my opinion, it follows a great story and tells it brilliantly on screen.  I wasn’t into racing and still aren’t but this is in my top twenty overall favorite films because it gripped me from the start.

Perfect Popcorn Score – I’m giving this film a ten, the acting is great, the story is told perfectly and it’s one where you don’t have to know anything about F1 to appreciate it…  10/10