Your One Place For Movie Reviews

Posts tagged ‘good’

REVIEW – THE PURGE

The Purge

3.75 out of 5.0

Unemployment is at a 1% low, crime is non-existent.  Life is good, well at least that is what we think.  The United States of America has given the people the right to commit crimes no matter how heinous for 12 hours one day a year.  This is known as The Purge.

This is allowed so people who have hatred, or anger towards people can lash out  and take out their frustrations any way they see fit.  Though weapons above a Class 4 ratings are not allowed and high ranking officials have immunity and can not be touched.  Everyone else is fair game.

This story is about one family’s ordeal through this torrid 12 hours and pushes them to their limits of morality and puts them in the situation we have seen before, the situation of how far would one go for their family.

Director James DeMonaco puts us into a night filled will extreme tension and brutal violence.  This is an idea that may seem good to some but definitely shouldn’t see the light of day.  His movie is lean, clocking in under an hour and 30 minutes and James DeMonaco uses every minute of it to weave a tale of brutality and makes you question yourself, ‘what would I do in this type of situation’.

The situation the family gets in starts when the son lets in a man searching for help during The Purge.  No one knows who he is or what he is doing in their neighborhood.  This brings on the group that are out to purge this man and go about their lives and pits the family in the struggle of do they keep the guy safe or let him loose to the purgers.  DeMonaco takes time getting here and really slowly lets the tension build.  This works very nicely because throughout the movie you can feel it building, like a pop that is slowly coming to boil.  When it hits it’s breaking point bad things happen.

DeMonaco doesn’t shy away from the violence either, especially in the opening title sequence that is littered with security cam footage from the years before purging.  The opening is brutal and very unsettling which sets the tone for the movie quickly.

The only really light hearted feel you get is after the credit sequence as the day is getting setup.  When it’s time for The Purge to start, the tone shifts into darkness.  The movie has many dark points and for the most part DeMonaco does a great job with pulling no punches, until the very end.

This is where the movie fell flat for me.  Everything was hitting the right notes and the viciousness of the evening is felt throughout the film until the ending scene.  I felt that DeMonaco pushed you to the mouth of madness and right at the last minute before falling in he pulls you back.  It wouldn’t have been the ending I would have chosen, though getting there, there were a few twists that I didn’t see coming.  I was pleasantly surprised when those twists came and thought the ending was going to go full tilt.

The acting throughout the movie was great.  Ethan Hawke as the father James Sandin, plays the part well and you feel that what he is doing is the right thing for his family.  Hawke usually always does a good job and this movie is no exception.

The mother Mary Sandin, played by the wonderful Lena Headey, is portrayed nicely on screen and Headey gives a good performance as mother who is conflicted about the whole purge night, and this comes across wonderfully in later scenes.  A very strong performance from a strong actress.

Max Burkholder and Adelaide Kane play the children Charlie and Zoey.  Beautiful performances from both, especially from Adelaide who has the most emotional part between them.  The director did a good job getting strong performances from  the younger performers.

Rhys Wakefield takes on the role of the Polite Stranger who comes knocking on the door to claim the injured man the family has hiding in their home.  He is down right creepy in this role and really rises to the occasion as the main villain in the movie.  Though at moments he felt a little over the top, overall he played the part well.  The rest of the crew that made up his gang were equally as scary and creepy and added to the overall rising tension as the movie went on.

Edwin Hodge who has a wonderful TV career was cast in the role of the strange, the man who was injured and looking for a place to hide out the night.  He’s not in a lot of the scenes but the ones he was in were well done.

Is this a movie for you to see?  If you like dark, heavy, brutally violent movies then you should enjoy this movie.  If you are very squeamish then it might not be your cup of tea.  Overall it is a good movie and I can recommend it, with the caveat being the ending though you may even end up liking the ending.

Overall I give this movie 3.75 out of 5.  It would have scored higher from me but the ending kind of ruined it a little for me.  It is a good movie and gives good scares and it is a pretty intense night out to the movies.  ‘Till next time my friends.

REVIEW – OZ GREAT AND POWERFUL

Oz Great and Powerful Poster

3.8 Out of 5

Now I have been a Wizard of Oz fans since I was little and read the Oz books.  The world really fascinated me and kept me interested all these years, as well as the 1939 version The Wizard of Oz starring Judy Garland.

These books and the movie really stand the test of time and give us all a world that we can get lost in.  A place of wonderment and the fantastical.

Jump 74 years later and we have Oz The Great and Powerful.  This time we learn the background of the man who would go to the land of Oz and become the great and powerful wizard that we all know.  His road is not one of kindness and caring but one of greed and self indulgence.  The man behind the curtain isn’t a nice man at all but one who only cares about one person in the world…himself.

Throughout this journey though he learns things about himself and the trip to Oz becomes a self discovery of sorts of Oscar as he is bestowed with the task of killing the Wicked Witch of the West and restoring faith and cheer to the merry ol’ land of Oz.

Is this the Oz movie we have been waiting for?  Is this movie great and powerful?  Well I thought it was a good start to refresh the franchise and Disney definitely is taking it in the right direction but I feel that it fell short of being a great Oz movie.

Such as prequels go it’s a starting point and for the most part, things work well enough through out the story.  Even though it runs just over 2 hours I actually felt the movie may have done better if it was actually a little longer and expanded on some of the backgrounds of the characters.  Instead we are thrown into their lives knowing very little about them and not getting enough time with them to know them as we should.

Directed by Sam Raimi, who gave us the ever popular Evil Dead series and the Spiderman trilogy, as well as others, takes us back to the world of Oz and really tries to engross us in the lives of the people from this far off land.  It is striking and everything looks absolutely stunning, especially the 3D, Raimi really used 3D well and it really shows in some scenes.  I feel though where he stumbles is slowing things down a bit.  The pacing I felt was a rushed, especially at the beginning.  It’s great that he did that section in B&W and in 4:3 ratio like the original but rushed it to get to Oz quicker.  Once in Oz we were zipped along from location to location with hardly a minute to catch our breath.   If Sam does the already greenlit sequel, which looks like he may not, I hope he takes time to let things unfold.

The score by Danny Elfman was well thought out and gave a whisper of the themes of yesteryear, but I wished they used less score during the opening moments. I  think that would have given more of a feel of a classic B&W movie than with the score always being booming in the back.

The acting was good, not great, a little over the top but got the job done.  James Franco plays Oscar Diggs, the man who will become Oz, and plays him with an over the top at times, charm that has evil undertones.  You know by the way he carries himself that he’s only there for one person and no one else.  Franco does look like he was having fun in the role and he grows on you throughout the movie.

Mila Kunis plays Theodora, a witch who isn’t on anyone’s side.  She just wants peace in Oz and everyone to live and be happy.  Her sister Evanora, played by the wonderful Rachel Weisz is a little more darker than Theodora and has a hard time believing that this man who showed up is the great wizard that has been prophesied about.  Michelle Williams takes on the role of Glinda the good witch and she’s the one that starts Oscar on the road of self discovery and makes him believe that even though he isn’t a wizard that with some help can over take the Wicked Witch and bring peace to Oz once more.

Two characters to take note of.  Finley, the flying monkey in the bellhop outfit and the china doll character really help carry the movie and will leave a lasting impression on you.  I felt that they were really well fleshed out and the most developed.

The visual effects were top notch and everything felt real and fantastical when you entered Oz.  They really did a great job making you believe you were actually in this magical place and nothing really looked out of place.  The 3D as I stated earlier was well used giving great depth to scenes and this was one of the first 3D movies I have seen that when something flew at your out of the screen it felt as if you needed to move out of the way.  I’m not one for 3D movies but the 3D in Oz worked extremely well.

Overall this movie I think is worth at least matinee prices.  If you are planning to pay full price then I would go for the regular version of the film than the 3D one.  The matinee pricing will help bring down the bill of the 3D movie.  It’s definitely a movie that should be experienced on the big screen for the first showing of it.  It really is a marvel to see on the big screen.  At that note that I feel the movie didn’t quite live up to the hype and expectation, but then again what prequels really do.  The main reason we do go to the movies though is to be entertained and this movie does that part well and makes for a good day out.

I give Oz the Great and Powerful 3.8 out of 5.  It could have gotten a 4 if the pacing was slowed down a bit and the makers gave the movie time to breathe.  Definitely a movie I will be picking up once it’s out on DVD/Bluray.  So if you haven’t gone out to see it yet, definitely see it in the big screen first at matinee prices.  Till next time my friends.

REVIEW – LIVID

Livid Blu-ray

4.0 Out of 5

A young nurse in training is being showed the ropes dealing with the patients she will be looking after.  The last patient is an old lady who is in a coma hoped up to a respirator.  Legend has it that somewhere in this house is a treasure but no one knows where or what this treasure is.  Later back at the local pub her boyfriend and her brother decide they will break in and take some of the treasure.  Her boyfriend is a fisherman and doesn’t want to die at sea like his father did.  He wants a better life for them and he sees this treasure as a means to an end.  Once  at the manor, they break in and start to snoop around the creepy old house.  What they find should have stayed hidden.

LIVID is a French horror film and is brought to you by the company that made the film INSIDE.  This film covers a few genres during the course of the movie, straight horror, ghost story, and also has some fantasy elements in there as well.  Everything about this movie is well crafted and put together for a very chilling and scary romp through one of the creepiest houses I have seen in a long while.  This film is very atmospheric and relies a lot on sound and creepy visuals to send chills down your spine and make your skin crawl.  The ending to the film is one I didn’t see coming and getting there is like slowly going through madness.  Definitely a movie to watch with the lights out and the sound turned up.

The movie is subtitled but the subtitles were horrible.  They were too literally translated and there were at times the dialogue didn’t make sense, though it wasn’t hard to follow.  What did make sense helped with the understanding of the story, and also through the visuals it wasn’t hard to determine what was going on.

The movie is both written and directed by the team of Alexandre  Bustillo and Julien Maury.  They have brought to life a very beautiful looking horror film.  It is well shot and very well directed.  The pair take their time telling the story to help building the tension and the horror in the scenes that follow.  It is a wonder to behold on screen.  I wish I could say the same for their screenplay.  As much as I did love the movie, there were holes in the story, and I found that to be the weakest part of the movie.  The characters were well defined and the story well setup but part of the execution lacked a little.  I found there were some things that were brought into light but left without any explanation whatsoever.  They know how to shoot a beautiful piece of work, they just need to work on tightening up their writing.

The acting in the film by the cast was good.  It wasn’t cheesy or over the top which made me happy when watching the film because it isn’t an over the top style of movie.  Nothing stellar to point out in the acting department just that overall the acting was solid.

The effects in the movie, what little there were, were good.  They fit the scenes well and didn’t look fake. A good job should be noted to the make up department for the wonderful facial makeup work.  Very low key and very creepy.

I was generally thrilled with the movie overall.  There were plenty of genuine scares and the creepy tension building up really added to the horror of the film.  With a better written story I think this could have been a 5 star out of 5 movie.  Definitely one to get to watch around Halloween time.

I give this movie 4 stars out of 5.  This movie will chill you and I think the ending will surprise you.  If you have a chance to see this movie do it, I think you will be pleasantly surprised.  Till next time my friends.