Archive for Mystery & Suspense

EMI Film Distributors, G.W. Films Limited,

Kenneth Branagh, Penélope Cruz, Willem Dafoe, Judi Dench, Johnny Depp, Josh Gad, Leslie Odom Jr., Michelle Pfeiffer, Daisy Ridley, Derek Jacobi, Tom Bateman, Marwan Kenzari, Olivia Colman, Lucy Boynton, Manuel Garcia-Rulfo, Sergei Polunin, Miranda Raison

This remake of the 1974 classic film is based upon the Agatha Christie novel of the same name, a well known series of books about the notable investigator Hercule Poirot (Kenneth Barnagh). A number of passengers aboard the glorious Orient Express a train that crosses eastern Europe are stranded when an avalanche knocks the engine off the track and forces a team from the next station to send workers back to dig the train out. But during the night a passenger named Edward Ratchett (Johnny Depp) is murdered in his cabin, and Inspector Poirot is put to work to solve the case before the train is freed to move along it’s way. Set in the 1930’s this is a classic mystery tale of murder and suspense.

This is a really well done film, and the style and feeling of the movie really takes us back to the great mystery films of old, but with the newer technology making it look old, but sharp and spotlessly clear. The scenery and the train itself are dazzling, and the list of stars is mind boggling, just as the 1974 version was. The only problem I have with this remake is that I already knew the ending, so the who-done-it that makes the story so exciting is gone for me. But since it’s been since 1974, there are new generations that probably have never heard of this story or who Agatha Christie even was. For those folks this is perfect film with an opportunity to see a classic mystery story of old from a whole new perspective. However, the problem is that these kinds of stories are not big on action and adventure, but a close look at how the mind of Hercule actually works and a strong tendency to try to solve the murder as he does. But as someone who has seen the 1974 version and remembers the story, it was a different experience to watch the formulation of the movie and to see the baby steps along the way to presenting the mystery and rolling out the clues. And of course the final solution of the murder and the collection of suspects where Poirot unveils the killer is really classic cinema. This is an excellent film, and whether or not you’re familiar with the story or not, you should give this film a try to enjoy the entire experience.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Herrick Entertainment,

Shelby Young, Chloe Bridges, Mitch Hewer, Taylor Ashley Murphy, Carter Jenkins, Kyle Fain

Covington Forest is a spooky place. The place is known for teen suicides and, of course, it’s the talk of all the younger folk nearby. Five teen friends decide to play flashlight games daring each other for dangerous games in the forest. But one of the people has a secret of her own which makes the night even more deadly and perhaps no one will survive the night.

This is an unusual horror film, and a nice surprise, especially for a horror buff like me. This film is a new take on the usual found footage films with nausea inducing shaky camera movements. This one, however, is told from the point of view of the flashlight, It’s an interesting take, and this, in my opinion, added a new twist to the story. There are times when the flashlight is shining in the wrong place, or not doing anything at all, which is a weird situation when you wish the camera was looking somewhere else. Like many films of the horror genre, it doesn’t give you all the answers, and is not going to wrap it up with a red bow. It will give you a lot to think about and will make you wonder, but that’s what makes it good. But the thing that impressed me the most was how terribly suspenseful it was. I was really riveted to the screen and found this little low budget horror flick very entertaining. If you’d like to see something way out of the ordinary, this is an excellent choice. Watch it in the dark, with the sound up, but it might be a good idea to bring a friend.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Just One More Productions, Exit Strategy Productions,

Joel Hogan, Megan Peta Hill, Josh Potthoff, Pete Valley

Three friends have a dream to be accepted for a survivor-like reality show, but they have to submit a video showing how well they work together, and that they are up for adventure. They decide to travel to Australia to visit a friend they haven’t seen since they were children, and to film themselves doing a dive in a shark tank surrounded by hungry sharks. But when a disaster happens to their ship, the three find themselves floating alone in shark filled waters waiting for some good luck in the way of a rescue from their dark situation.

This is the third, obviously, in the serious of Open Water movies. I have seen all three of these, although the only review I have written is for Open Water 2 [Click Here for Ed’s Review]. It’s hard to believe that the first one was in 2004, 13 years ago before Ed’s Review was even a thought. The first one was a very startling and interesting film, but actually Open Water 2 was even better. This third installment was one too many, perhaps, and I found a bit disappointing. After the successful suspense of Open Water 2, this one took to the “found footage” gimmick which doesn’t really work. That’s because they can’t possibly show everything from the point of view of one single camera, so they constantly cheat by throwing in other shots and we’re supposed to try to figure out who filmed it, and where the film came from. The whole back story of kids wanting to be on reality tv, and then ending up in a found footage flick is hard to swallow. The acting is not very solid, and the chemistry between these three is very ho-hum. Over in 80 minutes flat, it’s still plenty long for you to get bored with it and wish it to be over. IT does follow the format, somewhat, of the trilogy, but does come up a little short. Personally, I wish I had passed on this one as it wasn’t worth the time invested, and is especially a letdown after the last one. Choose “47 Meters Down” instead of this one, and you’ll enjoy it a lot more, in my opinion.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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The Film Community, Electric Entertainment,

Josh Charles, Julia Stiles, Avan Jogia, Tracie Thoms, Leo Fitzpatrick, Mike Houston, Jasper Newell

Tom Seymour (Josh Charles) is a psychologist, married to his wife Lauren (Julia Stiles), and the two are down by the sea when they notice a young man jumping off the pier. Despite his wife’s warnings, Tom climbs the fence and jumps in to save this young man from drowning himself. When he meets his new patient, Danny Miller (Avan Jogia) he learns that he is the same man that he saved from drowning, but also the man was the boy of 11 that his testimony sent away to prison decades before. How odd that the two are once again together, but Tom soon finds Danny inserting himself into his life in very strange ways. Was it all a coincidence, or is Danny really dangerous? This is an eerie mystery and a creeping insight into Tom’s secrets.

This seems like a movie based on a book that might be very, very good. But the movie lacks a lot. The characters are relatively well developed which is more than I can say about the story itself. The script never gets off the ground, and is a bit of an abortion. I’m not sure what the makers of this film were aiming for, but I’m disappointed that they seemed to miss the mark entirely. The film is very slow and dragging, and each moment you think that something is going to make sense, it doesn’t. All in all, the air above my head was filled with question marks throughout the whole film, and I never figured out what it could possibly mean. Who is Julia Stiles supposed to be, and what use is she to the film. Sadly, she has a mysterious role that we never get a clue of. I don’t know who this kid/man is/was, and by the end I really didn’t care. Is the doctor an evil bastard, an abused wimp, or a hero of some sort? Hell if I know. It ended, and the big surprise ending didn’t do anything to bring anything to a close either. After it was all over, I’m just completely confused as to what it was all about. This movie really looked like it had a superior idea for a story that just fizzled out after the initial rescue and never recovered. Now I’m left wondering if this actually based on a decent book that could give me some peace at understanding this tale, or if it’s just something I need to forget and move on to the next movie and forget this ever happened.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 

 

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Orange Pictures, Shotgun Pictures, Universum Film (UFA),

Susan May Pratt, Richard Speight Jr., Niklaus Lange, Ali Hillis, Cameron Richardson, Eric Dane

Six friends and a baby are in Mexico on a holiday aboard a luxury yacht looking forward to a wonderful time. Amy (Susan May Pratt) and her husband James (Richard Speight Jr.) and their baby Sara have joined Dan (Eric Dane), the reckless one of the group and his new girlfriend Michelle (Cameron Richardson) and their froends Zach (Niklaus Lange) and Lauren (Ali HIlls). They were college friends and are looking to a swell reunion and to celebrate Zach’s 30th birthday. They stop for a dip in the ocean but are soon horrified to learn that through their fooling around, they forgot to lower the ladder and now are trapped on the side of the ship with no way to get back into the boat. Stranded at sea, able to touch the boat, but they may as well be miles away, as with horror, they realize the baby is still on the boat.

There is a series of three Open Water films. The first one was about a couple of people who were part of a scuba diving group that got left behind out in the ocean without any way back in the heavy shark infested waters. Open Water 3 will be released in a few weeks on DVD and is the third installment. I’m looking forward to that one as well, but this 2006 one came and went and I didn’t even realize it, until I saw the 3 on the new one. So I dropped this into my queue on a lark, figuring to catch up on this 2006 film before the new one is released. I was glad I did. This is an independent film, and the only connection to the first film is the ocean. Otherwise, this is a completely different story, and it was rather interesting. Now I suppose that true sailors will find that it’s really silly and that there is a very simple solution to being stranded on the side of your yacht, but I’m not of a nautical nature, so I will just accept that they’re stranded out there. Then comes the questioning of whose fault it is, and what in the world they could do to solve the problem. This is really point of view camera work, and it’s bound to make you think about what you would do if you were in that situation. This is a small film with a basically unknown cast, made by folks who love to make movies, and it shows. The suspense if very good and the movie’s not that long, so it evolves quickly and is a pretty good escape film that allows you to relax and enjoy the ride. This is another hidden gem of a movie that I didn’t even know existed, but the suspense and pure terror of the plight of these folks made it really fun to watch. Give it a try, it’s a good one.

EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog

 


 

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