Tag Archive | Thriller

Firestarter 2022 Review

By Paul Anthony

I have to admit that I don’t know much about this franchise. I know there was a previous film and it’s based on a book that was written by Stephen King, so there is no judging this from the previous film. So, we know this film is a remake, this film was made from a budget of 12 million dollars and so far, has grossed 6.2 million but keep in mind it is also streaming on Peacock. The film stars Zac Efron as Andrew “Andy” McGee, Ryan Kiera Armstrong as Charlie McGee, Sydney Lemmon as Vicky McGee, Kurtwood Smith as Dr. Joseph Wanless, John Beasley as Irv Manders, Michael Greyeyes as Joh Rainbird and Gloria Reuban as Captain Jane Hollister. Production on the film started last May and ended in July and the score composed by John Carpenter.

Right off the bat the film starts with a baby Charlie in her crib and her parents’ saying goodnight to her but then once they left the room Charlie begins to catch her toys on fire which Andy runs back and saves her from the fire. We then roll to the opening credits which informs us that Andy and Vicky were a part of a trial in which they took an experimental drug called Lot-6 which unknown to them that it would give them supernatural powers. Andy gains telepathy and Vicky obtains Telekinesis though we learn after the credits that Vicky doesn’t use her powers where Andy uses very often, which we learn causes him nosebleeds and we learn later in the film that is a true side effect of the drug. We now move forwarded in time and Charlie is 11 and dealing with bullies at school which is making her having outburst with her powers. Her outbursts cause the agency that gave her parents their powers to take notice and track them down using another superhuman named John Rainbird. But when Rainbird arrives at their house, he only sees Vicky because Andy and Charlie are out because there was a previous argument in which Charlie by accident burned her mother. Vicky tries to overpower Rainbird using her powers that she hasn’t used in years but proved to be no match in the end for Rainbird. Just then Charlie gets home with Andy and Rainbird holds Charlie at Knifepoint which Andy uses his powers to trigger Charlie’s powers which burns Rainbird and allows them to escape. While on the run they encounter a Man named Irv who takes them in but the next Day Irv who called the cops on them after he watched the news, Rainbird shows up and Andy uses his powers to allow Charlie to run away as he battles Rainbird which works but Andy is captured. At this point we know the Agency wants to kill Charlie because she is a byproduct of their drug that they have no clue what she is capable of since she is born with her powers from their drug. Once at the agency Rainbird who is locked up as well tricks Charlie into believing that her father wants her to come to the building and save him and destroy the building. Which she does in full angry mode of sorts, and she leaves a path of destruction in her then she sees her dad who uses his last push which kills him to give Charlie the extra boost she needs to kill everyone in the building. Rainbird who is free now waits for her to kill him which she begins to, but she stops and after she learns that he is just like her and that she is alone in this world now, in the end he carries her off as the agency burns to the ground.

Now at face value this movie wasn’t bad, I did enjoy the sound to it and honestly enjoyed everyone performance in this film. I don’t think this was a weak link, yet I didn’t think anyone stood out of the pack either. I felt they didn’t do enough with the Rainbird story arc to make any child in a fit of rage to spare his life after all just days ago he killed her mom. Another miss for me was Captain Jane Hollister which when she was on camera, she would steal the scene but making her into a coward at the end ruin it for me. In the end I thought this movie was just average and because of that I am giving it a C wasn’t bad just wasn’t good.

A Quiet Place Review

By Paul Anthony

It is no secret that here at SmashWriting, we love to review movies and there are plenty of movies to review so there is always a backlog of movies and for me this A Quiet Place has been on my to watch list some time. I seen what the critics were saying and they all seem to be praising this film. The film starred real life married couple John Krasinski and wife Emily Blunt. The film wasn’t just a hit with the critics but fans alike. The film was made from a 22 million dollar budget but was able to make 350.3 million in its theater run making it a true hit. Now the concept of the film plus having a deaf character made it interesting because Krasinski didn’t want to cast a non-deaf actress to play his on screen daughter who was deaf, so they cast Millicent Dimmonds, which in my eyes was pretty cool to see. Now if you haven’t seen this film then please note that this review will contain spoilers!

The film starts with them showing that this film is taking place on day 89, here we meet the Abbott family, Wife Evelyn, Husband Lee, daughter Regan, oldest son Marcus and youngest son Beau. We learn that 89 days ago, aliens from outer space. These creatures who are blind but have hypersensitive hearing which forces the human race to live in silence, but add insult injury these creature’s skin is some type of armor that makes them immune to bullets and explosives leaving the human race defenseless. One day as the family is on the move the young son who was playing with his shuttle toy the sound is activated and before lee could save him the creature kills the young sound. We then skip ahead to a year later, the family is still struggling to survive but Evelyn is pregnant and almost to her due date, Regan who gave her brother that toy has been guilting herself over her brother’s death and feels that her father no longer loves her because of it. One day Lee takes Marcus’s on a hunting trip to learn how to take care of the family, Lee as it turns out is an engineer which he has been using his skills to learn how to fight these creatures and to restore his daughter’s hearing. Lee reveals the creatures travels in three’s and as long as there is background noise such as waterfall, and at that point Marcus tells Lee how Regan been feeling. Back at Home Evelyn goes into labor and on her way to the basement she steps on a nail and screams which alerts the creatures. at some point the family gets separated and it becomes Lee’s mission to save his kids which causes him life but not before he tells Regan that he loves her and always has. The kids return home to Evelyn and see their new baby brother. But fight is on and Regan realizes from before that her radio frequency from her hearing aid annoys the creatures and exposes a weak spot which they are able to kill it. Evelyn looks on the camera and see the other two on their way and now know their weakness the film ends with the mother-daughter team no longer afraid and prepared to fight as the film ends

Wow so where do I start? Let me say this , the film being nearly all silent was something new and refreshing and not seeing the creatures until the end really kept the suspense. The acting was on point, each death you felt it as well. You didn’t know too much about the family but you grew to love them. The one negative I had with this film was the way to defeat them made sense the whole but no one thought about it? Once the human race learned that these creatures could hear anything, making such a loud high pitch sound would have made sense once they knew. Besides that point the film was a good film in the end, I am giving this film an A for a rating and looking forward to watching the sequel.

The Ice Road Review

By Paul Anthony

As many of you guys know that me and Justin was once truck drivers and even though we aren’t truckers anymore but I can speak for myself when I say this my passion for trucks will never go away. So When I heard about The Ice Road, I just had to give it a look but then I saw the trailer and saw Liam Neeson in it, I knew I had to bump this up to the top of my list. The Ice Road is a action thriller that was written and directed by Jonathan Hensleigh who also directed such films as 2004’s The Punisher and Kill the Irishman. So We know Liam Neeson is in it but he wasn’t the only big time star in this film another big name was Laurence Fishburne. The film was released on Netflix for the United States and Amazon Prime for the United Kingdom. When the film debut on Netflix it became their highest streamed movie for its opening weekend. The film was 108 minutes long. Now most critics who review the film gave it mixed reviews, well let’s take a look for ourselves!

The film basically starts with a mining accident, that leaves 26 miners trapped but time is against them because if they don’t get out they will all run out of oxygen and the carbon will kill them. At first we seethe company rush to get the help they need which will require tractor-trailers to bring part up to the mine to free the miners. This where we meet Mike(Neeson) who keeps getting fired from one job to another because he defends his brother who has PTSD and Aphasia. Now Jim Goldenrod gets handed the job to find truckers to deliver the parts which includes himself, Mike and another driver who goes by the name of Tantoo, also joining the team is Mike’s brother and a guy name Varnay who is a insurance risk assessment. As the film goes on we begin to learn that the company that owns the mine cut safety guidelines to save money which caused the explosion and they hope that the miners do in fact die because if they live they will reveal the truth and as for Varnay, he begins to mess up the trucks to prevent the team from making it to the mine. Jim is the first to die while he is trying to hook up his rig as the ice road begins to crack and Tantoo basically gets kidnapped by Varnay who turns out to be a pretty bad ass in his own right because every time Mike tries to stop him, he just gets back up for more . Finally with just one truck they get up to the mine and saves day and exposes the truth!!

Now it’s time to talk about the movie and let’s start with the plot. There wasn’t really any turns that you didn’t see coming even with Varnay. Killing Fishburne off early in the film when it seems like he would have an bigger role was a mistake in my eyes. Neeson being himself was just fine. The graphics were on the cheaper end and I expected a little better but not this. Neeson isn’t who he once was so the action was very little. In the end I am giving this movie a C or 70 percent as a review!

The Little Things Review

By Paul Anthony

First review of the month for me and going with black history month, I decided to review this film because it starred Denzel Washington, who is one of my favorite actors, then you also had the film star Rami Malek, who is also a great talent as well. Last when it comes to stars you also had Jared Leto, who some might think he is a great actor as well, so this film had a lot going for it. Then you had the writer and director John lee Hancock and if you haven’t heard of this name before let me refresh your memory on who this guy is, he’s the director of such films as The Rookie (2002), The Blind Side (2009), Saving Mr. Banks (2013), The Founder (2016) and The Alamo (2004). Just with those four names alone this movie should be great right? Well that’s just it, this might be the case where just maybe all the stars didn’t line up. Though there is some good news and that is Leto did receive nominations for Best supporting Actor from the Golden Globes and the Screen Actors Guild awards. Now, the film was made with a 30 million dollar budget and so far grossed 7.6 million, which was good enough to make the number 1 spot in it’s opening weekend, of course we don’t know what HBO Max’s numbers are so can’t call these films that come out during the pandemic a flop but how did this film really do?

Well let’s look at the plot, the film starts in 1990 when we see a female traveling on an highway when another vehicle starts to taunt her, she pulls over at a gas station which is closed and the driver begins to chase her which she escapes when a trucker stops for her. When then pick a few years later which I am guessing because everything seems to still be in the early 90’s though they don’t make it clear, at this point you just have to assume. Here at this point we meet Kerns County deputy Sheriff Joe Deacon (Washington) who must head to L.A County to get evidence that pertains to a murder case in his county, at this point we meet a young L.A. County homicide detective Jimmy Baxter (Malek) whose working a murder case that reminds Deacon of a case he was once working on that he never got to solve. The two strike up a partnership to solve the case. Deacon is positive that the suspect is Albert Sparma (Leto). Though very little evidence proves this, they still try to prove this guy is the killer but have no such like, until Sparma leads them on a wild goose chase and finally admits he never killed anyone in his life and turns out, he is just obsessed with crime scenes and stories, this makes Baxter mad and kills him with a shovel and Deacon collects everything in Sharma apartments and burns it and to make it seem like they had the right guy afterwards Deacon buys a red barrette and sends it to Baxter, the red barrette was an item that was worn by a murder victim.

Most critics are comparing this film to the hit film seven but basically calling it a knock off. Now I wouldn’t go that far but they do try to make this film seem like its more twisted then it really is but shows us nothing to prove that this film had a lot of twist, basically it tried to be something it’s not. Now I did enjoy the performances of the main stars and I could see why Leto was nominated for best supporting Actor. In the end the film wasn’t horrible but it felt average so I am giving it a C for a rating.

The Devil All the Time Review

By Paul Anthony

I have to admit the main reason why this film got my attention was because the cast that was involved with this film. The film was a star studded one which was led by Tom Holland and Robert Pattinson but they were weren’t the only stars of the film. We had Bill Skarsgard, Sebastian Stan, Jason Clarke and that’s just to name a few. I was impressed that Netflix had managed to get a movie with this many stars in it, but like always the question was it good. Like many other psychological thrillers, this one was the one where you needed to pay attention because one detail that you would miss, would cause you a lot confusion and might even make you stop paying attention, but no worries I got you covered. Now understand that this movie which was based on the 2011 novel of the same name, has the main characters stories weaved together, which means basically the paths that our characters take were based on other characters that we are following and explains their interactions. The plot of the movie basically spans twenty years and goes from just about 1945 to 1965.

We first meet Willard Russel played by Bill Skarsgard during his time in World War 2, where he puts another soldier of his misery, this however will haunt him for the rest of his life, but after the war he starts to find his way home and that is where he meets a waitress and she becomes his wife and then they have son named Arvin. In 1950 we meet Helen Hatton who just married Roy Laferty who is one crazy preacher who has a daughter named Lenora, one day during a sermon he gets bitten by a spider which then makes him loses grip on reality and believes he can bring back the dead and to prove it he kills his wife to try to bring her back and at this point he realizes he cant, he basically runs away only to run into a pair of murders. That’s where we meet Carl Henderson and his wife Sandy who pick up hitch hikers convince them to have sex with Sandy while Carl watches and takes pictures but kills the men afterwards but Roy refuses so they kill them anyway. We jump to 1957 now Willard’s Wife now has cancer and it is killing her fast. In a last ditch effort Willard sacrifices the family dog to god to cure his wife of cancer but its no hope she dies and he in his grief commits suicide leaving Arvin as an orphan which he goes and lives with his grandmother Emma who also adopted Lenora.

During this timeframe we also learn that Sandy’s brother is also the Sheriff named Lee, who we learn is just as corrupt as his sister. He does find out what she does on the side and he begins to rid any evidence that suggests that his sister is a killer. Now in 1965 the local church gets a new young Preacher named Preston who seduces Lenora and she becomes pregnant. When she goes to Preston, basically denies any wrong doing and Lenora commits suicide so she doesn’t bring shame to her family. Arvin figures out that the father was Preston and confronts him and kills him. Now Arvin hits the road and gets picked up by Carl and Sandy but Arvin is armed and kills them after pleading with them to rethink this. Now Sheriff Lee sets out for revenge and to make sure Arvin doesn’t have any evidence that will pin him with his sister and in final moments of the film they meet and battle it out with Arvin getting the upper hand and killing Lee. Arvin once again hits the road and hitches a ride taking a nap and day dreaming about his future.

Now I seen some of the reviews on this film and its mostly been mixed to negative and even some calling it a miss. I did like the story but felt like some parts were rushed and we needed a little more character development with pretty much the entire cast. I believe that is what mostly killed this movie for a lot of people. In the end I want to give it an 70 percent or a C. I would still say please give this movie a shot, its not a bad movie by no means!

The Invisible Man Review

By Paul Anthony

Well guys I just got back from the theater and I have to say going in this movie Blumhouse seemed to be struggling to give us a good horror film. Black Christmas which was a reboot of a reboot that no wanted was a disaster and fantasy island got negative reviews however they made money because of the budget being so low. Now here we are with another film and that Film is The Invisible Man could they really redeem their selves? Well for starters they kept their plan going with producing a low budget horror film, the budget was only around 7 million and so far the film has already grossed nearly 10 million and mind you we won’t see Saturday numbers until tomorrow so already the movie made money but was it good?

First let this be know this is a spoiler so wait to read this blog. Okay now the plot follows a girl who wants to leave her abusive boyfriend and one night she does but not until he catches up with her and her sister and breaks her sister’s car window but they manage to drive away and she stays with a friend and his daughter. Emotional she is scared and following the next two weeks she hardly leaves to get the mail until she gets the news that her ex-boyfriend  had committed suicide. There she begins to get the mail and take baby steps until she gets a letter stating that she will get 5 million in payments from his death. However she begins to notice things happening that would indicate that he is very much alive however she can’t see him and no one believes her. Then it becomes clear to her that he is alive when a full out attack happens and yet no one believes her and she even gets put away because she is accused of murdering her sister, well she is locked up she learns that she is pregnant. When Tom who is her boyfriend’s brother and a attorney informs her that she won’t be getting money because of her crimes however he does inform her there is a way out and makes it clear that he is in own the plan to basically screw her over. She plots her way out to prove she isn’t crazy well being under attack and she goes to his house and finds another suit that makes you become invisible and there she comes up with a plan however she has to rush to her friend’s house to save them and kill her boyfriend for good only to learn it was Tom however she knows her boyfriend set it up this way and when she kills him after it is revealed he was so called kidnapped but she was invisible to the camera and so it looked like he committed suicide and freeing her for good.

Now the cast was small and honestly well used and I do think they redeemed their selves with this film. I give them credit with using a real situation that a lot of women go through well using technology to make him appear invisible. There was no over the top drug and what not. The story was simple and they used some jump scares to make their point but nothing felt over the top. I am giving this film a good A for a grade. though its a horror film, it truly felt more like a thriller. Nevertheless it was good film!

Why Cancel The Hunt?

By Paul Anthony

When did we grow into a society that will blame stories for other people’s action? We recently found out the movie which is called The Hunt was not going to be released at least at the moment because of the recent mass shootings we had. Now I get it people can be sick and get ideas from movies. Now Some may never had heard of the movie before so the best description of the movie is this. Following a group of Elites who hunt the deplorable. Now I get we can have people so called hunting people without guns.

We are also stuck in the great gun debate and I am not here to get into that type of stuff. But why should a movie be canceled because of the shootings? There have been shootings before and there will be shootings after as well. There has also been debates about video games as well. Stop pointing the finger at fictional work because the people who commit these horrible acts are just that horrible people who just want to cause problems in the word. Seriously what is canceling the movie going to do? Okay you want to say it causes the victims trauma and what not, okay that is fine but guess what those people don’t have to go see it and it’s that simple.

If we cancel one movie then I guess we have to cancel every movie out there. Oh no here comes a romantic movie so now all the depress women out there who don’t get that fairly tale love story and will throw a fit? Or how about this a comedy comes out and the jokes offend someone let’s cancel the comedies as well. Look I am not making a joke about this situation but movies are apart of our normal lives and canceling them is just a sign of weakness. I could be going on and on about canceling a movie that may not be even good  but that’s not the point.

Now if this movie truly stays canceled then so be it because to make this movie the budget was very small which was only around 15 million. Universal won’t take a big lost.

In the end what do we do from this point? I may not have an answer to that question well it’s an answer that I am sure people won’t like it. The mass shootings are and will always be horrible and it’s something we never forget but canceling stuff that has nothing to do with the shootings are just not the answer in my eyes, I am sure people will disagree and that’s their right to do so. There are rumors this film could still be released but in a limited factor rather then a wide one, so maybe one day we can see what all the commotion was.

Movie review: Extremely Wicked,Shockingly Evil and Vile

By Paul Anthony

I catch myself watching Netflix’s films more and more and it seems like they keep getting better and better and not too mention they keep getting some big names as well, as before I did a review on the Bird Box film simply because I started to hear about the challenges that were going on which basically forced me to watch the film. I recently heard about Netflix doing an Ted Bundy film. Now if you never heard of him, he was serial killer who stocked and raped and murdered young woman in 70s, he was later caught and escaped from prison a couple times and finally in Florida he was caught for good and sentenced to death which did happen in January of 1989.

It is important to note that this film was not from Ted’s point of view but his Girlfriend Liz, who for the longest time believed he was innocent until the evidence was clear and he finally confessed to her and others that he did in fact kill over 30 women. The title of the movie was creative which the film was called Extremely Wicked, Shockingly Evil and Vile, which was the words of judge Edward Cowart who was the judge who sentence Bundy to death. The film had Zac Efron as Bundy and Jim Parsons as Larry Simpson, John Malkovich as Judge Edward Cowart. Not to mention the film also had Dyan Baker and Jeffery Donovan and Haley Joel Osment. So a Pretty good cast.

The film’s story starts with Liz and Ted meeting at a bar in 1969 and shortly after that they began to date. Then out of no where Newscasts starts to pop up and talking about women missing and then Bundy being accused of theses crimes after he is pulled over. It wasn’t until the end we find out that Liz gave his name to police when she saw a sketch of the possible suspect. Through the film, which because of Liz, it seems like Bundy is a innocent man. The problem I had through this point is that we have yet to see anything Ted did that made you believe he was guilty. Though It’s from Liz’s view certain scenes did happen that Liz wouldn’t have known so why not show us something if it was tease. We get that little tease at the end the end but for me it was just a little too late.

I wasn’t much a Zac Efron fan when he was a young kid and it seemed like he was going to fall flat on his face but he has been improving and taking on different roles and he continues to shine. The best part of this film was hands down his performance. Looking over the footage of Bundy that I saw, it seems like Efron did his homework on Bundy.

With that being said I am giving this film a good three stars out of five, they didn’t blow it out of the water but they did do enough for the film to be watchable.

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