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jboothmillard

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The Cool World, 19 March 2017
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

This is one of those films featured in the book 1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die that is rated well by critics, and preserved by the the United States National Film Registry, but it is not in the public domain, and it is extremely hard to find, I almost gave up, but I got lucky and found it. Basically this film is about the lives of street gangs in the black ghetto of Harlem, filled with drugs, violence, human misery and a sense of despair, due to racial prejudice in American society. The story sees fifteen-year-old Duke (Hampton Clanton) who is ambitious to buy a "piece (a gun) from adult racketeer Priest (Carl Lee), to become president of the gang he belongs, and to bring back the declining "bopping" (gang fighting) to Harlem. It is obvious that Duke is attempting to find his identity, and accomplish power, in the only way he knows how, being antisocial, whilst battling with racism and heroin addiction. Also starring Yolanda Rodríguez as Luanne, Clarence Williams III as Blood, Marilyn Cox as Miss Dewpoint, Georgia Burke as Grandma, Gloria Foster as Mrs. Custis and Bostic Felton as Rod. This semi- underground independent movie has a documentary style, amateur non- professional actors and obviously a low budget, the director Shirley Clarke started out as a choreographer, but does not condescend the serious subjects, it is very shaky and not the sort of thing I personally would watch more than once, but it is an interesting enough raw drama. Worth watching, at least once, in my opinion!

1 out of 3 people found the following review useful:
Kong: Skull Island, 19 March 2017
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The original 1933 Fay Wray version is great, the 1976 Jeff Bridges / Jessica Lange version is awful, and the 2005 Peter Jackson version is long, but good, this was the latest film to bring us one of the most famous movie monsters. Basically in 1973, U.S. government agent Bill Randa (John Goodman) hires former British Special Air Service Captain and skilled tracker James Conrad (Tom Hiddleston) to guide him on an expedition to the charted but unexplored place known as "Skull Island". Also recruited are Lieutenant Colonel Preston Packard (Samuel L. Jackson), his right Major Jack Chapman (Toby Kebbell) and Captain Earl Cole (Shea Whigham), and the Vietnam War veteran helicopter squadron, the Sky Devils, to escort them to the island, they are also joined by pacifist photojournalist Mason Weaver (Brie Larson). Arriving on Skull Island, besides Conrad's objections, the men drop explosives developed by seismologist Houston Brooks (Corey Hawkins), to determine if the ground is hollow. Suddenly the helicopters are attacked by a 100 foot-tall bipedal ape, most are destroyed, the survivors escape those that crash, they know their only hope is that a resupply team will meet them at the island's northern end in three days time. They split into two groups, Packard confronts Randa, holding him at gunpoint for an explanation, Randa reveals he is part of a secret government organisation called Monarch, and the real purpose of the expedition is to acquire proof of the existence of forgotten monsters, Randa also mentions seeing a monster attack a Navy ship himself. The dead comrades are buried by Packard and his men, they begin searching for the missing members of the expedition, including Chapman, they encounter a giant spider-like creature that attacks them. While Conrad, Weaver, Brooks, biologist San Lin (Tian Jing), soldier Reg Slivko (Thomas Mann), Landsat employee Victor Nieves (John Ortiz) and others encounter the local Iwi natives, and they meet American pilot Hank Marlow (John C. Reilly), who crashed on the island in 1944, during World War II. Marlow reveals that the giant ape, known as Kong, is worshipped as a god by the natives, he is the last of his kind, and he is the island's guardian, protecting the people from reptilian underground monsters, called Skullcrawlers, the creatures killed Japanese pilot Gunpei Ikari (Miyavi), who also landed on the island with Marlow. Marlow explains that Kong only attacked the helicopters to stop the bombs waking the "Big One", meanwhile, miles away, Chapman is alive, he witnesses Kong wrestling and defeating a giant octopus, Chapman flees to the woods, he encounters a giant stick insect, before being eaten by a Skullcrawler. Weaver is awed by the compassion of Kong after the ape saves her from an encounter with a giant sker buffalo, following this Conrad's group set off in a boat down, built by Marlow and the now-deceased Ikari, built from parts of their crashed planes. Following an attack by pterosaur-like creatures called Leafwings, and Nieves being killed, the survivors connect with Packard, he insists on continuing the search for Chapman, Marlow reluctantly leads the team to the Forbidden Zone, a forgotten battleground between Kong's ancestors and the Skullcrawlers. The same Skullcrawler that killed Chapman devours Randa and massacres many soldier, it is killed by Weaver triggering an explosion, a vengeful Packard blames Kong for the deaths of his men, he plans to trap and kill Kong, while Conrad will lead the non-military personnel back to northern end to rendezvous with the resupply team. While scouting the path ahead, Conrad and Weaver encounter Kong up-close and personal, they and Marlow resolve to save him, Packard's trap incapacitates Kong and he wants the men to set explosives around the ape. Before Packard can kill Kong, Conrad's group intervenes, Conrad and Weaver convince the other soldiers to spare Kong, but Packard is consumed with lust for revenge and refuses to back down, then suddenly "the big one" appears, an enormous alpha Skullcrawler, all but Packard flee when it attacks. An injured Kong recovers and crushes Packard to death, Kong is overpowered by the Skullcrawler, the survivors are chased towards the shore, Cole fails to kill the Skullcrawler in a suicidal strike, the humans are cornered, but Kong returns and successfully kills the creature, ripping its guts out through its mouth. In the end, Kong allows the surviving humans to leave, but more helicopters are approaching the island, Kong awaits their arrival, it is unclear what will happen next, also sometime later Marlow returns home to his family, his wife and now grown up son, who have not seen him since the war. In the post-credits sequence, there is a reference to the existence of other monsters, including Godzilla, Rodan, Mothra, and King Ghidorah, the roar of Godzilla hints that maybe there will be a follow-up where Kong and Godzilla will meet. Also starring Jason Mitchell as Mills, Marc Evan Jackson as Landsat Steve, Richard Jenkins as Senator Willis and Robert Taylor as Athena Captain. The cast all do their parts well, the story is nice and simple, obviously this reboot is different as Kong never goes to New York or to the top of the Empire State Building, but it doesn't matter, there are plenty of exciting sequences, and the brilliant special effects bring to life the gigantic gorilla and many nasty creatures in the one location, a worthwhile return to the franchise, a terrific fantasy action adventure, Very good!

Frankenstein and the Monster from Hell, 12 March 2017
4/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The first film in the British Hammer (Horror) Studios series of Frankenstein movies is the best, the second was worth watching, the third was terrible, the fourth was alright, the fifth was good, the sixth entry (more a remake) was rubbish, this seventh and last entry I hoped would be a fitting end, directed by Terence Fisher (Dracula, The Hound of the Baskervilles, The Mummy). Basically a Bodysnatcher (Patrick Troughton) is caught trying to rob a grave and is arrested, he snitches, giving the name and address of his client, Dr. Simon Helder (Shane Briant), the doctor is arrested and sentenced to five years in a psychiatric institution. The mental asylum is run by corrupt and perverted director Adolf Klauss (John Stratton), there Helder is tortured by the orderlies, Helder also discovers the asylum surgeon, under the alias of Dr. Carl Victor, is in fact Baron Victor Frankenstein (Peter Cushing). Helder is an admirer of the Baron's work, and Frankenstein is impressed by Helder's talents, he takes Helder under his wing to become his apprentice in his continued experiments in the creation of man. Together Frankenstein and Helder work on designing a new creature, unknown to Helder, the Baron is using the body parts of his murdered patients, he does discover this and is uneasy. Frankenstein's hands are badly burned, so the shabby stitch-work is done by beautiful young assistant Sarah (Live and Let Die's Madeline Smith), nicknamed the "Angel", she is mute, because Frankenstein attempted to rape her. The hulking ape- like creature Monster (Dave Prowse), formerly homicidal inmate Herr Schneider, is completed, with the hands of recently deceased sculptor (Bernard Lee), it is given new eyes and a brain, but it is lumbering, hairy and dumb. Frankenstein is convinced that they have created something magnificent, Helder foolishly agrees with him, soon enough however the experiment goes wrong when the monster is angered and gets aggressively vicious, until eventually it is overpowered and destroyed by a mob of inmates. In the end, Sarah regains her ability to speak, Helder is disappointed by the failure of the experiment, but Frankenstein it was the best thing to happen for the creature, he already has plans for a new creature, using involuntary donors, the three of them seemingly prepare themselves. Also starring Norman Mitchell as Police Sergeant, Charles Lloyd Pack (Roger's father) as Professor Durendel, Sydney Bromley as Muller, Philip Voss as Ernst, Clifford Mollison as Judge and Janet Hargreaves as Chatter. Cushing just about remains sinister, despite his ridiculous wig, the monster played by Prowse to too absurd looking, I don't know fully why critics consider this a fitting final film for either the series of the career of director Fisher, it is predictable, there is no creepy atmosphere throughout compared to the previous films (the good ones), and I was not that happy with the unresolved ending, they could have just left it at the last one where the mad scientist was meant to have been burned alive, there are moments I liked, overall I found it an average horror. Okay!

Hawking (2013)
Hawking: Brief History of Mine, 12 March 2017
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I had seen the documentary film A Brief History of Time, and the Oscar winning Eddie Redmayne movie The Theory of Everything, so I was most interested to see a new documentary with much more detail about the life and career of a great man and mind. English theoretical physicist and cosmologist Professor Stephen Hawking is one of the most famous scientists in history, and this documentary focused on all aspects of his life and career, from his youth to the present day, told by himself and those closest to him. Starting from his study of astrophysics in Cambridge University, his slow progression and deterioration from motor neurone disease, or ALS, his graduation and PhD degree, and his marriage to first wife Jane. Then it continues to his rise to fame, discovering new theories of black holes, the beginning of the universe, space and time and many more, and the writing of his book A Brief History of Time, which became a worldwide best seller. It also explains his life-threatening pneumonia and the tracheotomy that ended his ability to speak, the details of his speech synthesiser, and how despite these setbacks he continued his work, including at Cambridge University, and became the famous genius he is. It also includes footage of his appearances in episodes of Star Trek: The Next Generation, The Simpsons, his appearance at the London 2012 Paralympics Opening Ceremony, his experience of a zero gravity flight, and the information that he has been invited to be a guest on the first flight into outer space. With narration by Hawking, using his copyrighted Equalizer computerised voice, featuring actors playing him and his friends and family for reconstructions, with contributions from Buzz Aldrin, Sir Richard Branson, Jim Carrey, Benedict Cumberbatch (who played Stephen in the 2004 TV movie Hawking), Jane Hawking, Mary Hawking, and many of Hawking's friends, colleagues, students and care workers who love and admire him. Hawking is a great man who has struggled through many challenges, not just his disability, but in his personal life and career as well, this film, co-written by Hawking himself, really gives you an incite into his world, you are in awe of his dedication to his work, his continued sense of humour and his human endeavour, an extraordinary story and most watchable documentary film. Very good!

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof, 12 March 2017
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I had heard about this film many times in the past, mainly because of the leading actress, I know it was one of the big hits of the decade, so I looked forward to watching it, based on the play by Tennessee Williams. Basically the patriarch of the Pollitt family, known affectionately as Big Daddy (Burl Ives) is gathering his family at the vast 28,000 acre East Mississippi plantation estate to celebrate his 65th birthday. Big Daddy's son Brick (Oscar BAFTA nominated Paul Newman) is alcoholic ex-football player, he has recently left his job as a sportscaster, he has spent the last few years drinking, and he ends up in crutches after trying to jump hurdles and breaking his leg. In his drunken state, Brick has also been resisting the affections of his wife, Maggie (Oscar BAFTA nominated Dame Elizabeth Taylor), he only agreed to remain married to her on the condition she does not pressure him for sex, their relationship has become turbulent. Big Daddy and Big Mama (Rebecca's Judith Anderson) arrive home from the hospital via their private plane, this is following a medical checkup for Big Daddy, they then gather the family at the house, including Brick and Maggie, Brick's brother Gooper (Jack Carson) and his plump wife Mae (Madeleine Sherwood). Following dinner and conversations, Dr. Baugh (Larry Gates) meets privately with Brick and Gooper to tell the truth about their father's condition, in reality Big Daddy is dying of terminal colon cancer, and will likely be dead in a year. Brick tells Maggie of his father's inoperable disease, she is heartbroken, Maggie wants Brick to take an interest in his father, both for the chance to get his inheritance, and as his son, but Brick stubbornly refuses. As the evening winds down, Big Daddy talks with Brick in his room to explain his disdain of his alcoholic son's behaviour and demands t know why he is so stubborn, Maggie joins them and reveals an incident one night, that happened years ago, where Brick's best friend and football teammate Skipper committed suicide, she was jealous with Brick spending too much time with Skipper, she intended to seduce him, Brick blamed her for Skipper's death, but actually blames himself for not helping Skipper when he repeatedly called him. During an argument, Brick lets slip that Big Daddy is dying of cancer, the group are devastated, Big Daddy is shaken and retreats to the basement, while lawyer Gooper and his wife Mae argue with Big Mama about the family cotton business and Big Daddy's will. Brick joins his father in the basement, they confront each other, while surrounded by hundreds of hidden antiques and family possessions, Brick lashes out into a rage when the subject of his sporting career crops up, he starts smashing things, he eventually stops and breaks down sobbing, he and Big Daddy ultimately reconciliate. The rest of the family start to crumble under the pressure of the revelations, Big Mama steps up to be strong, Maggie gives her present to Big Daddy, which is the announcement that she is pregnant, Mae calls her a liar, although Brick and Big Daddy knows she is lying they defend her, Maggie and Brick reconcile and kiss, and it is implied they will have sex, so the baby lie will become true. Also starring Vaughn Taylor as Deacon Davis, Patty Ann Gerrity as Dixie Pollitt, Brian Corcoran as Boy Pollitt, Robert 'Rusty' Stevens as Sonny Pollitt, Hugh Corcoran as Buster Pollitt and Deborah Miller as Trixie Pollitt. Taylor and Newman were at the peak of their stardom, Taylor is beautiful and despite a slightly dodgy accent is fantastically outspoken, Newman is splendid as the irritated but righteous family member, and Ives, who I know best as the singer of "Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer", is surprisingly good as the dying head of the family. You can tell it is based on a play, as the majority of the action takes place in one location, and all the atmosphere is brought about by the overheated dialogue and actions of the characters, the references to sex and homosexuality is watered down for the time, but the revelations and personal demons coming out get your attention, all in all it's a worthwhile drama. It was nominated the Oscar for Best Picture, Best Director for Richard Brooks, Best Writing, Screenplay Based on Material from Another Medium and Best Cinematography, it was nominated the BAFTA for Best Film from any Source, and it was nominated the Golden Globes for Best Motion Picture - Drama and Best Director. Very good!

Star Trek into Darkness, 9 March 2017
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The first in reboot movie, the prequel to the original TV series, was a big success for fans and "Trekkies" alike, so there was big excitement for the sequel, from Lost creator and director J.J. Abrams (Mission: Impossible III, Super 8, Star Wars: The Force Awakens). Basically in the 23rd century, Captain James T. Kirk (Chris Pine) is removed from command of the USS Enterprise for violation, after saving the ship and Commander Spock (Heroes' Zachary Quinto) from a volcanic eruption on the planet Nibiru, exposing the ship to the primitive inhabitants. Admiral Christopher Pike (Bruce Greenwood) is reinstated as commanding officer, while Kirk is demoted and Spock is transferred to another ship. Shortly after, the Section 31 installation in London is bombed, the perpetrator is renegade Starfleet operative John Harrison (Benedict Cumberbatch), he then attacks Starfleet Headquarters, Pike and other senior officers are killed, Kirk tries to stop him, but Harrison escapes transporting to Kronos, the home world of the hostile Klingons. Kirk and Spock are reinstated to the Enterprise by Admiral Alexander Marcus (Peter Weller), they are ordered to kill Harrison, Chief Engineer Montgomery "Scotty" Scott (Simon Pegg) resigns in protesting after objecting to untested torpedoes on board the ship, he is replaced by Pavel Chekov (Anton Yelchin). En route to Kronos, the Enterprise's warp capabilities have been disabled, Kirk leads Spock, Lieutenant Nyota Uhura (Zoe Saldana) and a team onto the planet, there they are ambushed by Klingons, dispatched by Harrison, but he surrenders after learning the number of torpedoes aboard the Enterprise. These torpedoes in fact contain humans in stasis, this is discovered after one is opened by Dr. Leonard "Bones" McCoy (Karl Urban) and Dr. Carol Marcus (Alice Eve), Marcus's daughter, Harrison reveals his true identity as a genetically engineered superhuman named Khan, he awakened after centuries of suspended animation by Admiral Marcus. Khan also reveals it was Marcus that sabotaged the Enterprise's warp drive, in order for the Klingons to destroy the ship, and to trigger a war, Kirk is given a set of coordinates by Khan, he contacts Scotty to investigate, in his search he finds a covert Starfleet facility near Jupiter. A much larger Federation warship commanded by Admiral Marcus, USS Vengeance, intercepts the Enterprise, Kirk ignores Marcus's demands to deliver Khan, the warp drive is hastily repaired, but Marcus disables the Enterprise near the Moon, Marcus stops attacking when realising Carol is on the ship. But Carol is transported to the Vengeance and Marcus orders the Enterprise be destroyed, he rejects Kirk's offer of himself and Khan to spare his crew, suddenly though the Vengeance loses power, after Scotty sabotages it. Kirk and Khan are forced to work together, with the transporters down they space-jump to the Vengeance, Spock meanwhile contacts his older self (Leonard Nimoy), he warns that Khan is ruthless and untrustworthy, he was only defeated at a terrible cost. Khan manages to overpower Kirk, Scotty and Carol, seizing control of the Vengeance, he eventually transports the three of them back to the Enterprise, but then betrays their agreement by critically damaging the ship, both starships are caught in Earth's gravity and plummet towards the surface. Kirk sacrifices himself, entering the radioactive reactor chamber to repair the warp core, he loses his life in the process, the Enterprise is saved, while the Vengeance crashes into San Francisco, with Khan attempting to destroy Starfleet headquarters, Spock transports down in pursuit. Khan is captured, Bones discovers his blood has regenerative properties, that may save Kirk, in the end Kirk is revived and reinstated as the Enterprise's captain, Khan is arrested and re-frozen, sealed in his cryogenic pod, and the Enterprise crew embarks on a five-year exploratory mission. Also starring John Cho as Lieutenant Hikaru Sulu, Noel Clarke as Thomas Harewood and Heather Langenkamp as Moto. The cast of younger actors playing the well- known characters remain suited to their roles, Cumberbatch is just about as sinister as Ricardo Montalban was, the story has good moments, the special effects are of course fantastic, to create the alien creatures and big explosive action sequences, a terrific sequel to continuing franchise, a worthwhile science- fiction adventure. It was nominated the Oscar for Best Visual Effects, it was nominated the BAFTA for Best Special Visual Effects, and it was nominated the BAFTA Children's Award for Kids Vote - Feature Film. Very good!

Letters to Juliet, 9 March 2017
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I mainly knew about this film because of the leading actress, I didn't know anything else apart from that, but critics gave it good reviews, so I hoped I would like it, directed by Gary Winick (13 Going on 30, Charlotte's Web, Bride Wars). Basically aspiring American writer Sophie Hall (Amanda Seyfried) works for magazine The New Yorker as a fact checker, she goes on a vacation to Verona, Italy with her chef fiancé Victor (Amores Perros's Gael García Bernal). While there Victor is unmoved by the romance of Italy, he is preoccupied to research for his soon to be opening restaurant, he often neglects Sophie, she meanwhile is looking around for something to write about for a magazine article. Sophie explores the courtyard of Verona, most famous for being the setting of William Shakespeare's Romeon and Julet, there thousands of people write letters to the fictional lover, Sophie finds a group of women called the "Secretaries of Juliet", who respond to these letters, using the return addresses. While assisting the women collecting these letters, Sophie knocks a brick out of a wall, and finds an unanswered letter to Juliet, written in 1957, so she decides to respond to the letter, hoping that she will be able to find the woman who wrote it. Soon enough, the now elderly woman, Claire Smith (Vanessa Redgrave), along with her handsome barrister grandson Charlie Wyman (Christopher Egan), arrive in Verona, Sophie and Claire form a friendship, but Charlie and Sophie do not get on with each other. Following Sophie's reply, Claire wishes to find the man the letter was intended for, Sophie thinks that this story could help her writing career, so decides to help her find her long-lost love, Lorenzo Bartolini. The only problem is that Lorenzo Bartolini is a very common name, many live in the area, they spend days searching for the man Claire recognises, with no success, including one Lorenzo being dead. Charlie blames Sophie for Claire's sadness, he says she knows nothing about loss, but Claire tells him that Sophie's mother walked from her when she was little, she wants Charlie to apologise to Sophie, they resolve this argument, and get much closer, to the point when they kiss. The three spend one last day searching for Lorenzo, on a whim they find and stop at a vineyard for a drink, while there Claire spots a young man who is a spitting image of young Lorenzo, they discover he is the grandson of the Lorenzo Bartolini (Franco Nero) they have been looking for, Lorenzo and Claire happily reunite. Sophie returns to New York, Bobby the New Yorker Magazine Editor (Oliver Platt) agrees that the story will appeal to many readers and is pleased to publish it, even asking if she has other stories in the pipeline, Sophie is pleased to say she will look into it. Sophie decides to break off her engagement with Victor, before heading back to Verona to witness Claire and Lorenzo getting married, she sees Charlie with another woman, Patricia (Ashley Lilley), she wrongly assumes he is in love with her, admitting she loves him, he explains that Patricia is his cousin, Charlie also admits his love for Sophie, after a Romeo and Juliet style balcony moment, he falls, and they kiss as he lies on the ground. Also starring Luisa Ranieri as Isabella, Marina Massironi as Francesca and Lidia Biondi as Donatella. Seyfried is beautiful and sweet as the young woman trying to find the perfect story, and Redgrave gives a subtle but great performance as the old woman trying find her past lover, I first thought the story was a bit random, but I went along with it, then I found out it was based on a non-fiction book, it a charming tale of long-lost love, and newfound love along the way, a pleasant romantic drama. Good!

You're Next, 8 March 2017
6/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I remember seeing images of this scary movie a few times, specifically characters wearing animals masks, and obviously the title was intriguing, so I hoped it would be worthwhile, directed by Adam Wingard (Blair Witch). Basically the Davison family are having a reunion at their rural Missouri vacation home, Crispian Davison (AJ Bowen) is bringing his girlfriend Erin (Sharni Vinson) to meet his parents Aubrey (Barbara Crampton) and Paul (Rob Moran), his older brother Drake (Joe Swanberg), Drake's wife Kelly (Margaret Laney, or Sarah Myers), Drake's younger siblings Felix (Nicholas Tucci) and Aimee (Amy Seimetz), Felix's girlfriend Zee (Wendy Glenn), and Aimee's boyfriend Tariq (Ti West). During dinner, crossbows are shot through the window, Drake is wounded and Tariq is killed, the unknown attackers have jammed the cell phone signals. Aimee runs out the front door to get help, but has her throat slashed running into a garrote wire, she quickly dies of blood loss, Crispian leaves the house to find help. Paul takes Aubrey upstairs to the bedroom and leaves her, Fox Mask appears from under the bed and kills her, when the others find her dead, the words "You're Next" have scrawled with Aubrey's blood on the wall. Erin texts 911 and starts finding objects to be used as weapons, Tiger Mask is wounded attempting an attack on her, Kelly evades an attack from Fox Mask, still hiding under the bed, she panics and goes to the neighbour's house, but is shocked to find the couple next door have been murdered, then Kelly is killed by Lamb Mask. Tiger Mask fails to kill Erin, she kills him with a meat tenderiser, she then finds Lamb Mask trying to attack Drake, she stabs him with a screwdriver and he retreats. Paul finds, when exploring, evidence that the attackers have been staying in the house for some time, before he can tell Zee and Felix, Fox Mask kills him, but it is revealed Zee and Felix have hired the assassins to murder the family to get the inheritance. Drake is lured into the basement by Felix, who fatally stabs him, Erin is unaware of Felix and Zee's scheme, with Zee helping her set up traps, Erin explains she learned her combat and survival skills growing on a survivalist compound. Zee is interrupted before she can attempt to kill Erin, an argument is overheard between Felix, Zee, Fox Mask and Lamb Mask, Erin now realises their plans and escapes the house. Lamb Mask pursues her, but she kills him, but she realises she won't get far with her wounded leg, so she returns to the house and sets up a trap outside the front door, however Fox Mask enters through the window, so she ambushes and kills him in the basement. With all hired assassins dead, Felix and Zee try to kill Erin themselves, but she brutally kills them both, but it is not over, as Crispian inadvertently reveals his involvement in the scheme calling Zee's cellphone. When Crispian returns to the house, she ignores his attempts to bribe her with the money, she fatally stabs him, a policeman arrives at this moment and shoots Erin in the shoulder, after calling for backup he is accidentally killed by the trap Erin set up outside the front door, it is implied Erin is being questioned by the police to determine the events. This could have been just a run-of-the-mill deadly house siege movie, where one by one the victims are killed until one remains, but this one is different, because the masked maniacs hadn't counted on the house guest being intelligent in the ways of defence, Vinson is the perfect choice to the play the smarter than average girlfriend. It is a little droll at times, but the pace is fine, the gory moments certainly get your attention, the animal masks are creepy, giving the film a little slasher style, and the suspense works at the right moments, all in all it is an entertaining horror. Good!

1 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Beautiful Creatures, 8 March 2017
5/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

The Twilight saga had ended a year before the release of this film, not to be confused for the 2000 film of the same name with Rachel Weisz, it was obvious the makers were trying to aim for the same audience, directed by Richard LaGravenese (P.S. I Love You). Basically in Gatlin, South Carolina, teenager Ethan Lawson Wate (Hail, Caesar's Alden Ehrenreich) wants to finish high school and go to college to leave his small-town existence behind, that is until he meets a mysterious girl named Lena Duchannes (Alice Englert). Ethan has been experiencing strange dreams recently, all of which have a girl appear, Lena is a newcomer who has just enrolled at the school, he recognises her as the girl of his dreams. Lena is rejected by the rest of her classmates, because she is the niece of Macon Ravenwood (Jeremy Irons), superstitious residents of the small Southern town consider him to be a devil-worshipper, he disapproves of the relationship forming between Ethan and her. Ethan ignores the spread gossip regarding Lena's reclusive uncle, they fall in love as they spend more time together, Lena eventually confesses that her family are "casters", capable of performing magical spells. Lena also tells that when it comes to her sixteenth birthday, she will become a true witch, but it is unclear whether she will be claimed by either the forces of light or of darkness, she will only remain in the light if she does not remain in love with Ethan. To make things worse, Lena's mother Sarafine (Emma Thompson) is casting spells to encourage Lena to surrender and push her to the dark side, Ethan joins her as they search for a magical spell to save their doomed love and break the curse. Also starring Viola Davis as Amarie "Amma" Treadeau, The Day After Tomorrow's Emmy Rossum as Ridley Duchannes, Thomas Mann as Wesley Jefferson "Link" Lincoln, Doc Martin's Eileen Atkins as Emmaline "Gramma" Duchannes, Margo Martindale as Delphine "Aunt Del" Duchannes, Zoey Deutch as Emily Asher and Kyle Gallner as Larkin Ravenwood. Ehrenreich as the bored teenager who finds love and Englert as the beautiful and weird new girl on the block are both terrific, and Irons and Thompson give good supporting performance as the elders trying to break them apart. I will be honest and say that I drifted a few times, probably because I found it fairly predictable, there were some eye-catching scenes where the special effects were used well, I agree with critics that the first half is better than the second, it is based on a series of books, it is unknown if a franchise will continue the story, overall it is a reasonable romantic Gothic fantasy. Worth watching!

Logan (2017)
0 out of 1 people found the following review useful:
Logan, 8 March 2017
7/10

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

It was massive news when it was announced that the leading actor was stepping down from the role of Wolverine, after seventeen years, this was his final outing, it was just a question of what would happen to the character, directed by James Mangold (Walk the Line, 3:10 to Yuma, The Wolverine). Basically it is the year 2029, mutants are on the brink of extinction, James "Logan" Howlett, formerly Wolverine (Hugh Jackman), is ageing and weakened, the adamantium fused to his body is poisoning him, meaning his healing capabilities are dwindling, he has turned to alcohol, and he works as a chauffeur. Logan is living in an abandoned smelting plant across the border in Mexico, along with albino mutant Caliban (Stephen Merchant), there they are caring for Professor Charles Xavier (Patrick Stewart) who is suffering from a neurodegenerative disease, causing devastating effects to his telepathic abilities. Logan is approached by Gabriela (Elizabeth Rodriguez), a nurse for biotechnology corporation Transigen, she wants him to escort her and an eleven-year-old girl, Laura (Dafne Keen), to a place called "Eden", in North Dakota. Logan is also approached by Transigen's cybernetically-enhanced chief of security, Donald Pierce (Boyd Holbrook), he turns down his offer of a job to find Gabriela and Laura for him. Logan reluctantly accepts the job for Gabriela, but he discovers she has been murdered, Pierce and his cybernetically- enhanced enforcers, the Reavers, try to kill Logan and Laura, they and Charles narrowly escape the killers, but Caliban is captured and tortured into using his capabilities to track them. Logan and Charles watch a video on Gabriela's phone, they learn that Transigen was breeding mutant children with DNA samples from several mutants for the "X-23" project, but as they grew up they became difficult to control, upon completion the children were deemed unnecessary and were to be killed, Gabriela helped several children escape and smuggled Laura across the border, furthermore, Laura is Logan's daughter, bred from his DNA. Laura has brought a X-Men comic, Logan finds this while they stay in Oklahoma City, in it Eden is referenced, he comes to believe Eden does not exist, the Reavers locate them, but Charles has another seizure and freezes everyone in the hotel with a psychic blast, this allows Logan to kill the enemy, but hundreds have been left injured and dozens dead, Logan injects Charles with a suppressant before they leave. A local family, the Munsons, give the trio shelter, after they help round up their horses on the highway, during the evening Charles expresses his guilt about the past, where he has a seizure that injured and kills an unknown number of people, including some X-Men. Charles thinks he is talking to Logan, it is in fact a feral Wolverine clone, X-24, that has no healing abilities and a weaker adamantium skeleton, the clone stabs Charles and slaughters the Munson family wife Kathryn (Scream 2's Elise Neal) and son Nate (Quincy Fouse), then captures Laura, Logan returns after the devastation, the injured Charles dies shortly after. Caliban sacrifices himself, destroying the van he is in with two grenades, allowing Logan and Laura to escape, Logan and X-24 clash, until the clone is impaled and shot in the head by Munson father Will (One Hour Photo's Eriq La Salle), before he dies, allowing Logan and Laura to escape. After burying Charles, Logan is rescued from a clinic by Laura, after a doctor attempts to convince him he can help his condition, Laura convinces him to let her drive them Eden, meanwhile X-24 is given a serum to regenerate by his creator Dr. Zander Rice (Richard E. Grant), the head of Transigen. Logan and Laura find Eden, a safe haven for the escaped Transigen test subjects, run by mutant Rictor (Jason Genao), the children are planning to journey across the forest to the Canadian border, where there people who can help them, Logan wants to leave Laura with them, he worries his presence will endanger them. However the Reavers ambush the children in the forest, Logan uses a serum Rictor gave him to restore his healing factor, he slaughters many Reavers before the serum effects wear off. Rice confronts Logan, he reveals the destruction of mutantkind was is due to a virus created by Transigen, made to control the mutant population and weaponise them, he also mentions that Logan killed his father, Logan shoots Rice dead, and Pierce release X-24 on him. The children wipe out the remaining Reavers and kill Pierce, Logan and Laura fight X-24, Rictor uses his seismic powers in attempt to aid Logan, but caught off-guard he is impaled on a tree stump, Laura is able to kill X-24 with an adamantium bullet to the head. Fatally wounded, Logan acknowledges Laura as his daughter, he tells her not to be the weapon she was made to be, before he dies in her arms, the children mourn his death, and bury him in the woods, Laura tearfully adjusts the cross on his grave, to create an "X", she and the children continue their journey to cross the border and find a new beginning. Jackman has played Wolverine since the first X-Men in 2000, in a total of nine movies, including cameos and three solo movies, so speculation was obviously rife as to whether he was being killed off or replaced, the now dishevelled and more vulnerable Jackman really creates pathos, Stewart as the weakened Professor X also does fantastic in what is his final X-Men movie as well. This is a most interesting entry in the series, for its raw quality, stripping away massive set piece sequences and going down a slow-burner road movie style, and it is much more adult, more swearing and much more gory violence, you question why it is not an 18 certificate at times, it has a good script and gets you excited when it needs to, it is definitely a suitable end for the clawed superhero we loved, a great superhero action thriller. Very good!


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