Tuesday, 7 January 2014

Paranormal Activity: The Marked Ones Review


First touted as a spin off for Hispanic audiences this project was first teased in American cinemas after the credit sequence of Paranormal Activity 4. Originally called Paranormal Activity: The Oxnard Diaries the film was renamed The Marked Ones and released on January 1st in the UK and the 3rd everywhere else. There was little to no press or TV advertising for the film, I myself only came upon the first mention of the film on the 23rd of December.
Written and directed by Christopher Landon (Paranormal Acitivity 2,3,4 & Disturbia) this film sees a whole new group of characters led by Jesse; who is seen graduating high school in the early part of the movie. The death of a mysterious neighbour, Anna, prompts the group to investigate the house. Jesse begins to exhibit supernatural powers such as telekinetic abilities and discovers what looks like a bite mark on his arm. A change in personality and mysterious signs point to Jesse being part of something bigger, something darker.
There are nods and hints towards the previous films with the inclusion of Kate and Micah from the first two parts as well as Ali from the 3rd part. Without giving away too much there is a, in my opinion, big plot point finally explained towards the end of the film that would explain some of the events leading to Katies transformation into the demon.
Whilst I have felt that the Paranormal Activity series is beginning to lose a little steam now that 5 films have been produced, The Marked Ones, has brought a little bit of life back to the series. The inclusion of additional players and key characters to the series has brought a slightly different dynamic to the found footage/possesion genre. the film itself is not the prototypical found footage horror that audiences have been used to seeing in the previous installments. The gore and violence has been turned down slightly in favour of a more supernatural spin on the series which I enjoyed. However I do feel that there cannot be many more avenues for this series to travel down without beginning a completely new story with mostly new characters, as was teased with the Insidious story at the end of the 2nd film. Overall a good, not great, film that adds a little bit of intrigue and new life to a series that had seemingly stumbled a little. Check out the trailer below and go and see The Marked Ones in cinemas:

Monday, 6 January 2014

New Year, Let's get back at it...

Well 2013 has been and gone and I started 2014 like every other sad sack person with a list of resolutions as long as my arm. Whilst none included the phrase "never again" one was to post more regularly. There are 2 Kickstarter themed items I want to mention in my first post of 2014. The first being the impending Veronica Mars film.
The aforementioned project had been teased and mentioned since the last episode left fans with a cliff hanger. I was a huge fan of the series and when the film was successfully funded through Kickstarter I became excited beyond words. Below is the first trailer of the Veronica Mars movie:

The second Kickstarter project I want to mention is a relatively new project. I was sad to learn that one of my favourite bands, Children 18:3, were calling it quits. The news that there would be one last album made up for it slightly. the project will be entirely funded through Kickstarter. Go and check them out on Facebook and if you feel compelled to help them out donate some money. Here is the link to the Kickstarter page:

Until next time. Keep your eyes open for new posts

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

X-Men Days Of Future Past Trailer Arrives

When the upcoming X-Men: Days Of Future Past movie was announced I was beyond excited to see if not only it could be done, but who could make the film the best it could possibly be. Bryan Singer (X-Men, The Ususal Suspects) was annouced to direct the movie that will bring together X-Men past and present together for the first time. I am excited to see James Macavoy and Patrick Stewart come face to face as the same character as well as the introduction of new characters along side returning characters such as Rogue (Anna Paquin) and Storm (Halle Berry) Watch the trailer below and bask in the awesomeness:

Wednesday, 18 September 2013

Insidious Chapter 2 Review

Warning: This Review Will NOT Contain Spoilers

Ohh look another horror sequel is released, however unlike many sequels Insidious Chapter 2 expands and intertwines with the original movie with such fluidity that it's hard not to enjoy it. The other draw for the sequel is that all of the original cast from Insidious came back to do the second chapter, a rarity in horror cinema.
The film follows the haunted Lambert family as they come to terms with the events of Chapter one, including the death of Elise Rainer as she attempted to help Josh Lambert save son Dalton from the terrifying creature that lurked in the further. The second chapter opens with a flashback to 1986, where a young Josh and mother Lorraine meet Elise and friend, Carl, for the very first time. We then cut to now where the Lambert family have moved in with Lorraine as the police investigate the murder of Elise. What follows is a terrifying journey into the origins for the character that comes to be known as the bride in black, which is the character that has followed Josh from his youth until now. I will say anyone that is expecting a definative ending to the story will be sorely dissapointed, as most who follow news reports will have seen that Insidious Chapter 3 has already been announced, sort of.
I will say that as much as I loved the original film I felt that there were a lot of questions that still needed to be asked, for example how did Josh first encounter the bride in black ? why is he being followed by her ? thankfully these questions are answered and the story of how she came into his life are answered in terrifying fashion. The sequel also adds a new character in Carl, a friend and fellow medium of Elise, who helps Lorraine and the returning Specs and Tucker navigate through the clues left by Elise to discover the true story of who is haunting her family. I really enjoyed the character and hopefully he will be included in Chapter 3, which is teased towards the end of the film with the hint of an old threat reappearing to cause more damage.
I also really enjoyed the way that aspects of the first chapter that are common place for a horror genre film, for example doors opening and knocking seemingly on their own, are explained and shown why that it happened. I also enjoy that a lot of the dark comedy tone from the first one, such as the comic characters of Specs and Tucker and their constant need to one up each other, has been retained without becoming too over done.
Overall I felt that unlike a lot of sequels, Insidious Chapter 2 was indeed a positive addition to the story, explaining and expanding on the original without adding too much and complicating the story, which is a common problem with horror sequels. Whilst I am dissapointed that Insidious looks like it will become another victim of constant sequels I do look forward to seeing what Leigh Whannell will come up with next:

Saturday, 31 August 2013

You're Next Review

Warning This Review Will NOT Contain Spoilers

Sorry for the infrequent amount of posts. Starting as I mean to go on here is my review of You're Next.
Starting with a viral campaign which saw mysterious animal masks claiming, You're Next, this film is a love letter to the 1990's and early millennium horror movies such as Scream. The film was directed by Adam Wingard, written by Simon Barrett and released through Lionsgate/Icon Pictures. The film follows the dysfunctional Davison family gathering together for their parents 35th wedding anniversary when they are the victims of a home invasion by animal masked attackers. It comes down to Crispan Davisons girlfriend, Erin to help the family as they are picked off one by one. What comes next is a creatively violent thrill ride which merges the usual blood and guts of modern horror cinema with dark comedy.
The visual effect work in You're Next was fantastic. There were some memorable scenes that need to be believed and by going into detail I would ruin the film all I'm going to say is that there is a great scene with a blender. The dialogue seems a little bit forced at times, thankfully there aren't too many one liners that can sometimes clog up films such as this.
There is some good acting from horror mainstays such as Joe Swanberg as Drake Davinson and his wife Kelly (Margaret Laney) who are really insufferable and are the quintessential douche bags with money. The real stand outs for me were Nicholas Tucci as Felix Davinson who really excels in the second and third act. The other stand out was Sharni Vinson as Erin. From the second she appears on the screen she holds the film together.
The only downside to the film is that it is slightly predictable in parts, the climax in particular. This isn't necessarily a criticism because lets face it, the film isn't exactly a brand new idea, but there were some events that could be seen a mile off.
Overall I would advise any fan off similar horror movies such as Scream and A Horrible Way To Die to go and see this. Even if you're not a horror fan this may be a good introduction in modern horror cinema and the work of Adam Wingard. Check out the trailer below:

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Monday, 22 July 2013

NEW FEATURE: Movie Weekender 1

This is a new feature that will appear regularly (or as regularly as possible) on this blog. This will sort of replace the Lazy Sunday movie feature that I used to do. A month ago my fiancee and I were talking about how difficult it was to pick a film to watch as we have such a big library. We had the idea to make themed movie weekends around a specific theme, film maker, studio and other such ideas.
So far we have had "Decades Of Horror" in which we picked a horror film for each decade from 1970's onwards. The second was 1980's where we picked our favourite films from the 1980's. The third was Disney classics in which we chose films from the animated classic and early pixar era.
If you don't know who Alan Moore is he is the writer that created such wonderful comics as Watchmen, V For Vendetta, The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Batman Killing Joke. Whilst Moore has been fiercely opposed to the film adaptations of his works I must say I am a fan.
 The first film my fiancee and I watched was "V for Vendetta" adapted from the graphic novel of the same name. The story is set in a dystopian London in which a masked vigilante, V (Hugo Weaving) , is systematically taking down the British dictatorship with the help of Evey Hammond (Natalie Portman); the daughter of political activists. The British Dictatorship is led by Adam Sutler (John Hurt) where history is constantly fabricated and rewritten. When figureheads of this dictatorship begin to be killed by V a guy fawkes masked clad anti hero a tragic and horrifying story begins This film was released in 2005 was written by The Wachowskis and directed by James Mcteigue. Whilst seen as a success, the film was criticised by many for straying from the source material as well as the what Jonathan Ross described as "dismal script and particularly poor dialogue" I feel, being a Moore fan, that the film is a stand alone feature. It has links to the book such as the obvious characters and some of the plot however it feels confusing in times with reference to certain plot holes such as Eric Finch (Stephen Rea) going from being hard headed crime buster to accepting such a high level of civil disobedience and the rushed downfall of Adam Sutler. Apart from that the film is beautifully shot and the action and fight scenes are brilliantly choreographed. Here is my favourite scene:

The second film we watched was The League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Released in 2003 and written by James Dale Robinson, directed by Stephen Norrington. This film follows a group of literary characters including Allan Quatermain, Mina Harker, Dr Jekyll, Captain Nemo, The Invisible Man (named Rodney Skinner due to copyright issues) and Dorian Gray. This group, assembled by M, are on the trail of a mysterious villain named "The Phantom" as he plots to start a world war. The group is joined by Tom Sawyer (Yes that Tom Sawyer) who is working for the American Government now. Without ruining the rest of the plot there are explosions and confusing, plot hole filled action. I am not the biggest film of this fan as it is clear the a producer (cough... Sean Connery) had a lot of disputes due to screen time and importance of his character. This film is loosely based on the graphic novel series of the same name. I would advise anyone watching this on the strength of the books to leave those thoughts at home and just view as it is, a film that just so happens to feature some characters with familiar names. Check out the trailer below:

The third and final movie of this weekender is Watchmen. Released in 2009 and directed by Zack Snyder. This film was often referred to as the unmake able film. The story is set in an alternate 1980's follows the personal struggles of a former group of superheroes called the "Watchmen" as the live in their forced retirement after President Nixon establishes the Keen Act which bans masked avengers. The events unfold into a whodunit ? storyline as fixtures from the groups past being to die. I want to encourage people to watch this film so I won't reveal any other part of the story.This film has an outstanding cast and I feel is one of the best adaptations of a graphic novel that has ever been produced. Jackie Earl Hailey is outstanding as the sociopath Rorschach and Patrick Wilson is almost identical to the Nite Owl character from the graphic novel. The cut that we watched was the Ultimate Cut. This is edited with the directors cut and also the animated feature "Tales From The Black Freighter" worked into the feature itself. Whilst this causes problems with the pacing of the film I feel that this is almost as if the viewer is watching the graphic novel itself. Here is the trailer:

Overall I feel this weekend had some high points which were most definatley the ultimate cut of Watchmen and the final act of V For Vendetta and some low points which were Connery in League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Keep your eyes peeled for the next installment of Movie Weekender.

Comic Con 2013 News Round Up

So San Diego Comic Con has come and gone and there was a lot of exciting news on the movie front.
the first announcement was a huge one. Zack Snyder officially announced that the next Superman film will be a joint movie with Batman. This has been teased and spoken about for a very long time, however I do feel if there is anyone that could do this film it is Snyder. Follow the link to see the picture from the official announcement:


The Second announcement was the first official cast picture and gathering of the cast of the Marvel film "Guardians Of The Galaxy". This is an important cornerstone of the second phase of the Marvel universe. Follow the link to Empire Magazines coverage:


Further announcements saw the first gathering of the X Men Days Of Future Past and official footage as well as Thor and Captain American sequel footage being aired.

Overall an exciting time for comic book fans