HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: MAGGIE

CAST

Arnold Schwarzenegger (Conan The Barbarian)
Abigail Breslin (Scream Queens)
Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck)
Douglas M. Griffin (Mr. Right)
J.D. Evermore (Django Unchained)
Rachel Whitman Groves (Claws)
Wayne Pére (Cloak & Dagger)

In the present-day Midwestern United States, society struggles to function in the aftermath of a zombie pandemic barely under control (Necroambulism). Maggie Vogel (Abigail Breslin) calls her father from a broken city under curfew; her voicemail urges that he not seek her and that she loves him. Her arm was bitten. Knowing she has only weeks before the “Necroambulist virus” turns her cannibalistic, she left home to protect her family. Maggie’s father Wade (Arnold Schwarzenegger) has searched two weeks, despite her warning. Finding her in a hospital for the infected, he brings Maggie home to care for her until she must eventually be quarantined. During their return, a zombie attacks Wade at an abandoned gasoline station and he breaks its neck.At home, Maggie’s younger half-siblings Bobby and Molly (Aidan and Carsen Flowers) are leaving to stay with their aunt. Maggie talks to Bobby, who mostly understands what she is undergoing. She withdraws from her family, struggling to cope with her hopeless situation and torn about contacting her friends. Falling from a swing, she breaks a finger on her infected arm, from which black fluid oozes. Terrified, even though she feels little or no pain, and despairing over her deteriorating body, Maggie cuts off the finger. She flees outside and encounters a neighbor, Nathan, and his young daughter, both senseless with infection. Wade kills both zombies but feels extreme remorse. The responding sheriffs consider Wade blameless, instead blaming Nathan’s wife Bonnie, who hid her infected family from the authorities. Bonnie visits Wade that night, decrying the dehumanizing treatment of the infected and revealing that Nathan had locked himself in with his sick daughter, becoming infected himself, rather than abandon her to death among strangers in quarantine.A doctor warns Wade that Maggie’s condition is worsening quickly, leaving him three eventual options: she can be quarantined, which Wade refuses; Wade can administer at home the same euthanasia injection offered in quarantine, which he’s warned is painful; or Wade can “make it quick” himself. Wade and Maggie make the most of their remaining days, reminiscing about Maggie’s deceased mother. Despite Maggie’s physical deterioration (she’s woken by maggots wriggling in her dying arm) she struggles to maintain normality. She attends a bonfire with high school friends Allie and an infected boy, Trent (Bryce Romero), whom Maggie previously dated, and whom she kisses. He tells rumors of horrible conditions at the quarantine facilities, saying he would die before going there.One day, Maggie smells food near her stepmother Caroline (Joely Richardson), though Caroline smells nothing and muses that Wade must be cooking downstairs. Finding the kitchen empty, Caroline realizes in horror that Maggie has begun to smell living flesh, in this case Caroline’s, as food. Maggie receives a desperate call from Trent. At his home, Trent has locked himself inside his bedroom after he too felt hunger smelling another human. Maggie tries to comfort him but watches helplessly as the police forcibly remove Trent to quarantine.Back home, Maggie encounters a trapped fox in the woods. Later she runs into her home, hysterical and coated in blood, admitting through tears to her frightened parents that she freed the fox but then couldn’t stop herself from attacking it. Wade shoots the half-eaten fox. Caroline departs and urges Wade it’s time Maggie is taken away. Two officers arrive and Wade fights one of them before Maggie appears, assuring them she has not yet turned. The sympathetic sheriff leaves Wade with a warning that he’d better decide what to do with her before they next come to check on Maggie.Wade shows Maggie white daisies he’s grown in her mother’s old garden, “Daisy” being a nickname he sometimes uses for Maggie. She thanks him for the garden’s beauty, but also begs him to promise that he will “make it stop” before she grows worse. Later, Wade sits alone with his shotgun, still unable to use it. He pretends to sleep when Maggie approaches, her skin now gray and her eyes blackened. She lingers over him, smelling him, seemingly on the edge of self-control, before kissing his forehead. She then climbs to the roof and jumps off, her last memories being of herself as a child frolicking outdoors with her mother, picking a daisy.This is in many ways a good, strange and different film, it is a zombie film, but not in the way you would expect, this is a drama about a dad finding and taking care of his daughter in her last days of an illness. The illness being she is turning into a zombie. I was entertained throughout, it’s a good Zombie Drama movie.

REVIEW: THE HATTON GARDEN JOB

Starring

Matthew Goode (Allied)
Larry Lamb (Superman)
Joely Richardson (The Girl In The Dragon Tattoo)
Stephen Moyer (The Gifted)
Warren Brown (Strike Back)
Clive Russell (Game of Thrones)
Phil Daniels (Still Crazy)
David Calder (The Lady In The Van)
Jack Doolan (Green Street 3)
Sarah-Jane Crawford (It’s A Lot)
Tony Fadil (I Am Hooligan)
Craig Russell (Hollyoaks)

Matthew Goode and Larry Lamb in The Hatton Garden Job (2017)Larry Lamb plays the 76-year-old Brian Reader, taking the lead among the four “codgers” who carry out the operation, with the title of Guvnor, while the other three at the sharp end of the raid are Danny Jones (Phil Daniels), Terry Perkins (David Calder), and Kenny Collins (Clive Russell). Apart from more routine thievery going back at least to his first conviction in 1975, Reader had previously laundered the proceeds of the Brink’s-Mat robbery of 1983. The burglars enter the underground premises over an Easter bank holiday weekend through a lift shaft, then drill through the thick walls of the vault with an industrial power drill, proceeding over the following two days to rifle through dozens of deposit boxes. The burglar alarm goes off, but the police decide not to attend. The robbery remains undetected until staff return to work the following week, and newspapers are soon calling it the biggest theft in English history, as the total stolen has a reported value of up to £200 million — although the gang of seven (who have a combined age of 448) don’t believe it.Matthew Goode and Larry Lamb in The Hatton Garden Job (2017)Matthew Goode plays the organizer of the robbery, known only as XXX, while Joely Richardson is Erzebet Zslondos, a glamorous Hungarian mobster who is pulling the strings, complete with an exotic accent and remarkable set of costumes.[3] A sub-plot centres on Zslondos and a corrupt policeman, DCI Frank Baskin (Mark Harris).The Hatton Garden Job (2017)After an efficiently carried-out operation, the haul is divvied up, the Flying Squad of the Metropolitan Police (“the Sweeney”) is called in, led by DCI Emma Carter (Sarah-Jane Crawford), and the insurers offer rewards for leads to crack the crime. Six weeks later, acting on information received, nine men are arrested, including Reader. Later, four other men are pulled in and charged with conspiracy to commit burglary. They then face the challenge of what (if anything) to say under questioning, and the dilemma of whether to reveal the hiding places of the missing loot. Almost a year after they hit Hatton Garden, all but one of the men are found guilty and go to prison, Reader getting six years. Most do not take up the offer of shorter sentences for returning millions still unrecovered.Matthew Goode in The Hatton Garden Job (2017)“The Hatton Garden Job” could have been a thrilling heist film, but I think it is pretty flat. Most of the film shows them in an enclosed space drilling holes with Hilti equipment. It is not that interesting, to be honest. Even though there are several occasions where they are close to getting caught, or something big happens, none of these instances offer any thrill or highs. The film comes across as too descriptive and plain to be exciting.

REVIEW: THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (2011)

CAST

Daniel Craig (Cowboys & Aliens)
Rooney Mara (The Scoial Network)
Christopher Plummer (Star Trek 6)
Stellan Skarsgård (Thor)
Steven Berkoff (A Clockwork Orange)
Robin Wright (Nine Lives)
Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck)
Goran Višnjić (Elektra)
Geraldine James (Arthur)
Embeth Davidtz (Army of Darkness)
Alan Dale (Lost)
Julian Sands (Gotham)
Joel Kinnaman (Robocop 2014)
Donald Sumpter (Game of Thrones)
Tony Way (Edge of Tomorrow)
Martin Jarvis (Titanic)
Christine Adams (Black Lightning)
Élodie Yung (Daredevil)

In Stockholm, Sweden, journalist Mikael Blomkvist (Daniel Craig), co-owner of Millennium magazine, has lost a libel case brought against him by businessman Hans-Erik Wennerström (Ulf Friberg). Lisbeth Salander (Rooney Mara), a brilliant but troubled investigator and hacker, compiles an extensive background check on Blomkvist for business magnate Henrik Vanger (Christopher Plummer), who has a special task for him. In exchange for the promise of damning information about Wennerström, Blomkvist agrees to investigate the disappearance and assumed murder of Henrik’s grandniece, Harriet, 40 years ago. After moving to the Vanger family’s compound, Blomkvist uncovers a notebook containing a list of names and numbers that no one has been able to decipher.

Salander, who is under state legal guardianship due to diagnosed mental incompetency, is appointed a new guardian, lawyer Nils Bjurman (Yorick van Wageningen), after her previous guardian Holger Palmgren suffers a stroke. Bjurman abuses his authority to extort sexual favors from Salander and violently rapes her, not realizing she has a hidden video camera on her bag. At their next meeting she stuns him with a stun gun, rapes him with a dildo, and marks him as a rapist with a tattoo on his chest and stomach. Threatening to disclose the video recording, she blackmails him into writing a glowing progress report and granting her full control of her money.

Blomkvist’s daughter Pernilla (Josefin Asplund) visits him and notes that the numbers from the notebook are Bible references. Blomkvist tells Vanger’s lawyer, Dirch Frode (Steven Berkoff), that he needs help with his research, and Frode recommends Salander based on the work she did researching Blomkvist himself. Blomkvist hires Salander to investigate the notebook’s content. She uncovers a connection to a series of murders of young women from 1947 through 1967, with the women either being Jewish or having Biblical names; many of the Vangers are known antisemites. During the investigation, Salander and Blomkvist become lovers. Henrik’s openly national socialist brother Harald identifies Martin (Stellan Skarsgård), Harriet’s brother and operational head of the Vanger empire, and Blomkvist marks Martin as a possible suspect. Salander’s research uncovers evidence that Martin and his deceased father, Gottfried, committed the murders.

Blomkvist breaks into Martin’s house to look for more clues, but Martin catches him and prepares to kill him. While torturing Blomkvist, Martin brags of having killed women for decades but denies killing Harriet. Salander arrives, subdues Martin and saves Blomkvist. While Salander tends to Blomkvist, Martin flees. Salander, on her motorcycle, pursues Martin in his SUV. He loses control of his vehicle on an icy road and dies when it catches fire. Salander nurses Blomkvist back to health and tells him that she tried to kill her father when she was 12. Blomkvist deduces that Harriet is still alive and her cousin Anita (Joely Richardson) likely knows where she is. He and Salander monitor Anita, waiting for her to contact Harriet. When nothing happens, Blomkvist confronts her, deducing that the woman posing as Anita is Harriet herself. She explains that her father and brother had sexually abused her for years, and that Martin saw her kill their father in self-defense. Her cousin Anita smuggled her out of the island and let her live under her identity. Finally free of her brother, she returns to Sweden and tearfully reunites with Henrik.

As promised, Henrik gives Blomkvist the information on Wennerström, but it proves worthless. Salander hacks into Wennerström’s computer and presents Blomkvist with evidence of Wennerström’s crimes. Blomkvist publishes an article that ruins Wennerström, who flees the country. Salander hacks into Wennerström’s bank accounts and, travelling to Switzerland in disguise, transfers two billion euros to various accounts. Wennerström is found murdered. Salander reveals to her former guardian Holger Palmgren that she is in love with Blomkvist. On her way to give Blomkvist a Christmas present, Salander sees him with his longtime lover and business partner Erika Berger (Robin Wright). Heartbroken, she discards the gift and rides away.I recommend it whether or not you have seen the original series. I also recommend you do check out the original series. If they do complete the rest of the trilogy, there will be opportunities in those movies to vastly outshine the originals, certainly if they include more detail from the books as they do here.

REVIEW: MAYBE BABY

 

CAST
Hugh Laurie (House)
Joely Richardson (Nip/Tuck)
Matthew MacFadyen (Anna Karenina)
Adrien Lester (The Day After Tomorrow)
Yasmin Bannerman (Killing Me Softly)
Joanna Lumley (The Cat’s Meow)
Emma Thompson (Men in Black 3)
James Purefoy (Solomon Kane)
Judith Shekoni (Heroes Reborn)
Rowan Atkinson (Johnny English)
Dawn French (Harry Potter)

Most people seem to hate this movie as a comedy and see it as a bas satire on the world of television. The movie is however so much more. The main essence of the movie is on its romance and a sweet little romantic movie this is. It’s a well made movie, with realistic main characters in a realistic situation. Of course everything is done over-the-top, to still give the movie a light and fun overall feeling, rather than a heavy dramatic one, which it easily could had turned into. I like this approach and it worked out well for the film. It’s fun but at the same time also serious at the right moments. It makes “Maybe Baby” a well balanced movie, that perhaps goes a bit too over-the-top at times, in terms of its credibility.

The strongest point of this movie are the two main characters. There are realistic and their relationship is portrayed in a sensible and good way. Those two character make and form this movie. It’s a movie about real people with real problems. The are nicely portrayed by Joely Richardson and Hugh Laurie. But of course a lighthearted little movie as this also needs over-the-top comical characters. This one is portrayed by Tom Hollander. He for most part is the comic relief of the movie, as a movie director. Unfortunately the movie also thought it was necessary to give some famous British comedians a cameo in this movie. It’s distracting and not always good for the credibility of the movie, though Rowan Atkinson’s role is certainly an entertaining one.

The story is told nicely and has several story lines in it, which never distracts from each other. The entire movie is told with some subtle British humor which help to make this movie a light one to watch.

If you take the movie for what it is (a light romantic movie with humor in it), you’ll certainly enjoy watching this little British movie.