This Week’s Films (10/03/14)

Identity

A Cry in the Dark (1988)A Cry in the Dark

The true story of Lindy Chamberlain (played by Meryl Streep) whose baby Azaria disappeared on a family camping holiday in the Australian outback in 1980. She insisted the child was snatched from their tent by a dingo but was convicted of murder and imprisoned. On appeal, the decision was reversed and the conviction quashed. A body has never been found.

Verdict: 7/10

Mimic 3Mimic 3: Sentinel (2003)

The studio that thrilled you with the SCREAM, HELLRAISER, and CHILDREN OF THE CORN movies now delivers MIMIC 3: SENTINEL, the third and scariest entry in the unstoppably suspenseful and terrifying MIMIC legacy! When residents of his apartment building begin to disappear, Marvin comes to believe the unthinkable: the mutant breed of giant carnivorous insects that once plagued society are back and beginning to revisit their devastation! Though he’s confined to his room due to a severe illness, Marvin must rally whatever support he can in order to exterminate these horrifying creatures before he ends up their next victim! Filled with all-new action and incredibly eye-popping special effects, this terror-filled thriller is a must-see for all fans of intense big-screen excitement!

Verdict: 4/10

The Prophecy II (1998)Prophecy II

In one chilling suspenseful thriller, Christopher Walken (Sleepy Hollow, Pulp Fiction) delivers a tour-de-force performance in his continuing role as the menacing angel Gabriel. When the powers of good and evil descend to Earth in a battle over mankind, the only hope for survival is the unborn child of an innocent woman (Jennifer Beals – Devil in a Blue Dress). With the help of a mysterious stranger, she races to protect her child and save all humanity…unless Gabriel catches her first.

Verdict: 5/10

Amityville HorrorThe Amityville Horror (2005)

From Michael Bay, the producer of “The Texas Chainsaw Massacre,” comes the true story of Amityville. In November 1974, a family of six was brutally murdered. Now, a year later, an unsuspecting young couple, George (Ryan Reynolds, “Blade: Trinity,” “The In-Laws”) and Kathy Lutz (Melissa George, TV’s “Alias”), and their children move into the house that was the site of the horrific event and is now haunted by a murderous presence. What follows is 28 days of unimaginable terror. With demonic visions of the dead and relentless screams of terror, this is the haunted house story that isn’t just a movie – it’s real.

Verdict: 4/10

Seraphim Falls (2006)Seraphim Falls

Liam Neeson (Batman Begins, Star Wars: Episode 1 “The Phantom Menace” ) and Pierce Brosnan (Bond movies, The Thomas Crown Affair) star in this epic chase and primal battle set in the breathtaking landscape of the West. The civil war has ended but Colonel Morsman Carver (Neeson) is on one final mission: to kill Gideon (Brosnan) no matter what it takes. Launched by a gunshot and propelled by rage, the relentless pursuit takes them both far from the comforts and codes of civilization, into the bloodiest recesses of their own souls. Also starring Academy Award® winner Anjelica Huston and Angie Harmon. It’s been five years since the end of the American Civil War. Somewhere deep within the snowy mountains of the American West a lone figure – Gideon (Brosnan) sits in front of a fire, lost in thought. Abruptly, he is pulled out of his reverie by the echo of a Henry rifle and a bullet puffing into the snow inches from his head. Instantly Gideon calculates his one chance of survival. To leave everything he owns and run for the cover. And so begins the thrilling account of Colonel Morsman Carver’s (Neeson) terrible revenge – to hunt down and kill Gideon, no matter what it takes. There will be many men dead before these two meet face to face, and only then will Carver fully comprehend the full cost of his undertaking. Launched by a gunshot and propelled by rage, the relentless pursuit will take them both far from the comforts and codes of civilization and into the unforgiving wilderness.

Verdict: 6/10

The StrangersThe Strangers (2008)

Explore your worst fears imaginable with this shocking suspense thriller inspired by disturbing true events. After a 4 a.m. knock at the door and a haunting voice, Kristen McKay (Liv Tyler) and James Hoyt’s (Scott Speedman) remote getaway becomes a psychological night of terror as three masked strangers invade. Now they must go far beyond what they thought themselves capable of if they hope to survive.

Verdict: 4/10

The Desert Fox (1951)Desert Fox

James Mason delivers a strong performance in this fascinating portrait of Field Marshal Erwin Rommel. In the early 1940’s, Rommel’s juggernaut Afrika Korps dominated North Africa. But as the tide turned and he came to the painful realization that his Fuhrer, to whom he hd sworn allegiance, was destroying Germany, his ingrained sense of duty pushed him into a conspiracy against Hitler. Co-starring Jessica Tandy as Rommel’s wife and Cedric Hardwicke as another anti-Hitler conspirator, The Desert Fox is an intimate look at one of the most respected military tacticians of modern times.

Verdict: 6/10

SquadThe Squad (2011)

Nine soldiers head deep into the mountainous plains of Colombia to investigate a remote military base that is believed to have been attacked. As the squad looks into the mysterious circumstances, the desolation takes a toll on their sanity.

Verdict: 6/10

Hunter Prey (2010)Hunter Prey

Sandy Collora is perhaps best known as the man who directed the cult short film Batman: Dead End, praised by Kevin Smith as possibly the truest, best Batman movie ever made , albeit before the Nolan era. Now, seven years later, Collora has thrown off the shackles of his short film career with the release of his debut feature film Hunter Prey, a science fiction spectacular with the same heart and soul as the glorious Sci-fi of the mid 1980s.

Verdict: 6/10

Don't Mess with the ZohanYou Don’t Mess With the Zohan (2008)

Comedy superstar Adam Sandler is back – and funnier than ever – as The Zohan, the finest counterterrorist agent the Israeli army has. That is, until he fakes his death and travels to Manhattan to live his dream…as a hairdresser. Now this skilled fighting machine who used to clip bad guys is out to prove he can make the cut as a top stylist. All goes silky smooth until his cover is blown when he’s recognized by a Palestinian cab driver (Rob Schneider). Now, The Zohan must fight to live a peaceful new life in New York in this razor-sharp action-packed comedy from Adam Sandler, Robert Smigel, Judd Apatow and Dennis Dugan.

Verdict: 3/10

Identity (2003)Identity

A whodunit revolving around a group of 10 strangers who find themselves running from a desert storm. They hole up in a roadside motel that proves as hospitable as the Bates Motel. The patrons are killed, one by one, and the survivors must try to figure out who the killer is before they, too, check out… permanently! Stars John Cusack (upcoming The Runaway Jury, America’s Sweethearts), Ray Liotta (Narc, Hannibal, Unlawful Entry), Rebecca DeMornay (The Hand that Rocks the Cradle, Never Talk to Strangers), Jake Busey (Tomcats, Starship Troopers), Amanda Peet (upcoming The Whole Ten Yards, High Crimes), Alfred Molina (Frida, Chocolat), John C. McGinley (Stealing Harvard, The Animal, TV’s Scrubs), Directed by James Mangold (Kate & Leopold, Girl, Interrupted, Cop Land).

Verdict: 9/10

Blue Collar HooliganThe Rise & Fall of a White Collar Hooligan (2012)

Football hooligan Mike Jacobs is going nowhere in life when he meets old friend Eddie Hill at a riot. Under Eddie’s tutelage he soon finds himself inducted into the world of credit card fraud, where organised gangs withdraw hundreds of thousands of pounds from cash machines every night. As Mike becomes seduced by the money and women that come with his new lifestyle, the dangers increase and he soon finds events spiralling beyond his control.

Verdict: 4/10

The Prophecy 3: The Ascent (2000)Prophecy 3

Christopher Walken (SUICIDE KINGS, THE PROPHECY) and Vincent Spano (THE TIE THAT BINDS) star in THE ASCENT, the third thrilling installment of the action-packed PROPHECY trilogy! As fearsome armies of rebel angels continue to wage war in heaven and on earth, Pyriel, the brutal Angel of Genocide, rises to power with the evil intent to destroy all of humankind! The only one on earth with the ability to stop the bloodshed is Danyael, who was born of an angel and a woman. But he is unaware of his true purpose … until, during a harrowing journey of discovery, Danyael meets Gabriel (Walken), the fallen angel who has acted as his secret guardian! Brace yourself for an epic battle of the ages as Danyael sets out to confront Pyriel in a bid to save the world and fulfill his ultimate destiny!

Verdict: 5/10

GarbageGarbage (2013)

Two garbage truck drivers in Hollywood become celebrities overnight after they find Cuba Gooding Jr.’s Best Supporting Actor Oscar for “Jerry Maguire” and suddenly their lives go topsy-turvy.

Verdict: 5/10

The Messengers (2007)The Messengers

Desperate for a fresh start after a tough two years in Chicago, the Solomon family retreats to a desolate sunflower farm in North Dakota. But the calm of farm life is shattered when 16-year-old Jess (Kristen Stewart) and her 3-year-old brother Ben begin to see nightmarish apparitions throughout their new home – visions that nobody else can see. As the visions grow darker, they become fear-inspiring experiences and Jess’ parents (Dylan McDermott and Penelope Ann Miller) start to question their daughter’s sanity.

Verdict: 4/10

Darkness FallsDarkness Falls (2003)

As a young boy, Kyle (Chaney Kley) claimed to have seen the tooth fairy. He also claimed she tried to kill him. When evil emerges again, Kyle must return home to confront his troubled past and save his childhood sweetheart Caitlin (Emma Caulfield) and her younger brother, Michael. Kyle must do battle with the winged creature of doom he saw that night so many years ago, which has plagued the town of Darkness Falls for over one hundred and fifty years. Evil is back with a vengeance. And it’s not leaving without Caitlin’s brother.

Verdict: 2/10

Maniac (2012)Maniac

Elijah Wood stars in this remake of director William Lustig’s 1980 horror classic of the same name. To say that Frank (Wood) is a troubled young man would be an understatement – as the ever-growing number of young women he has murdered since the death of his mother (America Olivo), with whom he enjoyed an unhealthily close relationship, demonstrates only too well. Frank runs a mannequin store and likes to apply the scalps of his victims to the models in his spare time. However, when beautiful young artist Anna (Nora Arnezeder) wanders into the store and talks about making use of its resources for an exhibition she is planning, she presents Frank with a troubling quandary. Anna appears to offer the possibility of a human relationship that will fill the void created by his mother’s death, but she also excites his desire to kill and possess. Will Frank be able to overcome his homicidal urges?

Verdict: 6/10

I, AnnaI, Anna (2012)

DCI Bernie Reid’s latest case is the mystery of a man brutally murdered in a London apartment building. As an insomniac going through a divorce, Reid’s concentration on the case is further complicated after an encounter with Anna, an enigmatic figure. He tracks her down to a party where Anna denies any knowledge of having already met him. Despite her protestations, there is a mutual attraction between them. Bernie’s professional ethics come into question as he grows more attached to Anna, who is about to unveil a dark mystery.

Verdict: 5/10

Honeymoon in Vegas (1992)Honeymoon in Vegas

James Caan (The Godfather), Nicolas Cage (Face/Off) and Sarah Jessica Parker (“Sex and the City”) are three sides of a deliriously funny triangle in this “refreshing blast of comic lunacy” (WCBS-TV) that gambles with an offbeat premise and hits the jackpot with big laughs! Jack Singer (Cage) is terrified of commitment but even more terrified of losing his beautiful schoolteacher fiance Betsy (Parker). So as an act of faith, he takes the plunge and agrees to tie the knot in a quickie Vegas ceremony. But when he makes a bad $60,000 bet with mobster Tommy Korman (Caan), the marriage “knot”and all of Jack’s dreams starts unraveling fast. The only way that Korman willforgive the debt, he says, is if Jack will loan him Betsy for the rest of the weekend! It’s yet another sucker bet for Jack though because Korman plans to win Betsy away for good!

Verdict: 6/10

PrimePrime (2005)

A career driven professional from Manhattan is wooed by a young painter, who also happens to be the son of her psychoanalyst.

Verdict: 5/10

Apartment 143 (2011)Apartment 143

A team of parapsychologists sets out to investigate a series of anomalous phenomena taking place in a newly occupied apartment. Telephone calls with no caller, mysterious shadows, extraordinary light emissions, flying objects, and exploding light bulbs are some of the events they will face while recording their every step with state-of-the-art technology. Using infrared filming, digital photography, psychophonic recordings, movement detectors, and magnetic field alteration meters, the group’s attempts to contact the “other side” will grow increasingly dangerous as they near a point of no return…

Verdict: 1/10

UnrestUnrest (2006)

Unsettling horror starring Corri English. Alison Blanchard (English) is a first-year medical student who discovers that death may not be as final as she once believed when the spirit of the cadaver assigned to her in Gross Anatomy class attempts to resolve some unfinished business in the mortal realm. When the sheet is pulled back and Alison’s cadaver is revealed, the nervous student suddenly senses a powerful energy and passes out. When she comes to she finds herself in Dr Blackwell’s (Derrick O’Connor) office, where she confides that she felt a strange presence in the lab. But Alison finds her strange malaise immediately written off as ‘first year jitters’. When her friend is discovered dead in a basement corridor and the rising body count appears to be connected with her investigation into the cadaver’s fate, the frightened medical student does her best to put the mystery, and the murderous spirit, to rest.

Verdict: 4/10

A Late Quartet (2012)A Late Quartet

Academy Award Winners Christopher Walken and Philip Seymour Hoffman strike all the right chords with Academy Award Nominee Catherine Keener and Mark Ivanir in this powerful story that blends raw emotion with fiery passion to form an unforgettable cinematic masterpiece. After 25 years together, the members of a world-renowned string quartet learn that their beloved cellist (Walken) may soon be forced to retire. But the news stirs up equally painful challenges when competing egos, harbored resentment, and irrepressible lust threaten to derail the group as they struggle to maintain harmony in their music – and their lives.

Verdict: 8/10

Land of the DeadLand of the Dead (2005)

Packed with more heart-pounding and blood-curdling thrills than any theater could show, this special Unrated Director’s Cut unleashes the ultimate vision of George A. Romero’s latest living-dead shock-fest! Starring Simon Baker, Dennis Hopper and John Leguizamo, Land of the Dead finds humanity’s last remnants battling to survive the unspeakable truth: The ravenous zombie hordes besieging their fortified city…are evolving!

Verdict: 6/10

Just Like Heaven (2005)Just Like Heaven

 A young doctor gets into a car accident rendering her a spirit stuck between heaven and earth. Not realizing she’s dead, she goes to her apartment only to find that it has been sublet by a lonely architect.

Verdict: 7/10

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Dave Brown

I was born in Barnsley, South Yorkshire, England and have always been a bookworm and enjoyed creative writing at school. In 1999 I created the Elencheran Chronicles and have been writing ever since. My first novel, Fezariu's Epiphany, was published in May 2011. When not writing I'm a lover of films, games, books and blogging. I live in Barnsley, with my wife, Donna, and our six cats - Kain, Razz, Buggles, Charlie, Bilbo and Frodo.
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