HALLOWEEN OF HORROR REVIEW: THE APPARITION

CAST

Ashley Greene (Twilight)
Sebastian Stan (I’Tonya)
Tom Felton (The Flash)
Julianna Guill (Friday The 13th)
Rick Gomez (Band of Brothers)
Luke Pasqualino (Love Bite)
Anna Clark (The Event)
Suzanne Ford (Grace and Frankie)

Ashley Greene in The Apparition (2012)On May 21, 1973, six people conduct The Charles Experiment, a parapsychological experiment, in which they stare at a drawing of a deceased man, Charles Reamer, hoping to summon his spirit. Years later, four college students, Patrick (Tom Felton), Lydia (Julianna Guill), Ben (Sebastian Stan) and Greg (Luke Pasqualino) attempt to recreate the Charles Experiment on a larger scale by using modern technology. During the experiment, something attacks the students and pulls Lydia into the wall.Ashley Greene in The Apparition (2012)Some time later, Ben and his girlfriend Kelly (Ashley Greene) are living together. One evening, they discover strange burn marks on their counters. Kelly finds both doors wide open, even though they had locked them. They decide to change the locks and install surveillance cameras. Later, Kelly finds a large amount of mold and spores on the laundry room floor while Ben finds even more in a crawlspace. Ben gets 36 “urgent” emails from Patrick that first inform him of a new attempt at the Charles Experiment, followed by a warning that “containment failed” and finally “you are in danger”.Tom Felton, Sebastian Stan, and Ashley Greene in The Apparition (2012)After witnessing an apparition, the couple go to a hotel, but they are attacked there as well. As they flee, they receive a call from Patrick and meet him. Patrick explains that the initial experiment enabled a malevolent entity to enter their world, but that he has built a room surrounded by a negative current that he believes protects him from it. They return to Kelly and Ben’s house to try a new experiment to contain the entity. During the experiment, the house begins to shake and break apart, then abruptly stops. While Kelly and Ben are outside, Patrick is pulled into the darkness and vanishes. Unable to find Patrick, they flee to the safety chamber in his house.Inside the house, they hear Patrick’s personal log being played back, including information about the members of the original experiment. Of the original six, two died, one committed suicide and the other three disappeared. After entering the safety chamber, Ben disappears. Kelly exits the chamber and finds Ben’s contorted corpse. Patrick’s narration explains that the entity gets stronger with each person it claims, and that it will wear its victims down until they are too weak to resist. With no escape, Kelly wanders around, and enters an empty Costco. She walks to the camping section, enters a tent and waits to be killed by the entity, having fully given up resisting. A number of hands appear from behind and the entity slowly grabs hold of her as the movie cuts to black.Most thrillers or horror movies offer the same premise and that is almost to be expected these days, that is until those rare offerings are delivered like The Apparition. I appreciate that it wasn’t riddled with special effects which are often crammed in to confuse or misdirect viewers. In fact it depends on the viewer to watch the story unveil itself. The acting was very natural and I found the shots visually interesting especially during the closing credits. The score reminded me a little of Cliff Martinez(Contagion, Traffic) which I like and feel added something special to the mood of the film. I genuinely enjoyed it and encourage Thriller/Mystery goers to check out The Apparition. Enjoy!

 

REVIEW: RISE OF THE PLANET OF THE APES

CAST
James Franco (Spring Breakers)
Freida Pinto (The Immortals)
Andy Serkis (The Hobbit)
John Lithgow (3rd Rock From The Sun)
Brian Cox (X-Men 2)
Tom Felton (Harry Potter)
David Oyelowo (Interstellar)
Tyler Labine (Deadbeat)
Jamie Harris (Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D)
David Hewlett (Splice)
Ty Olsson (Battlestar Galactica)
Tracy Spiridakos (Bates Motel)
Chelah Horsdal (Hell on Wheels)
Adrian Hough (The Fog)
David Richmond-Peck (V)
Michael Kopsa (Fantastic Four)
Mike Dopud (Arrow)
Sonja Bennett (Fido)
Panou (Flash Gordon)
Will Rodman, a scientist at the San Francisco biotech company Gen-Sys, is testing the viral-based drug ALZ-112 on chimpanzees to find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease. ALZ-112 is given to a chimp named Bright Eyes, greatly increasing her intelligence. However, during Will’s presentation for the drug, Bright Eyes is forced from her cage, goes on a rampage, and is killed. Will’s boss Steven Jacobs terminates the project and orders the chimps euthanized. However, Will’s assistant Robert Franklin discovers that Bright Eyes had recently given birth to an infant chimp. Will agrees to take in the chimp, who is named Caesar. Will learns that Caesar has inherited his mother’s intelligence and decides to raise him. Three years later, Will introduces Caesar to the redwood forest at Muir Woods National Monument. Meanwhile, Will treats his dementia-suffering father Charles with ALZ-112, which seems to restore his cognitive ability.
When Caesar reaches adolescence and sees a dog on a leash like his own, he questions his identity and learns of his origins from Will. Meanwhile, Charles’s condition returns as his Alzheimer’s becomes resistant to ALZ-112. Caesar injures a neighbor, Douglas Hunsiker, while defending a confused Charles. As a result, he is placed in a primate shelter where he is treated cruelly by the other chimps and the chief guard, Dodge Landon. Caesar learns how to unlock his cage, gaining free access to the common area. With the assistance of a gorilla named Buck, he confronts the sanctuary’s alpha chimp and claims that position. Meanwhile, Jacobs clears development of a more powerful, gaseous version of the drug – ALZ-113 – when Will tells him it can not only heal brain diseases but also improve intelligence. Will takes the drug home to try to save his father, but Charles declines further treatment and dies overnight.
 
After attempting to test the drug on a scarred bonobo test subject named Koba, Franklin becomes exposed to ALZ-113 and becomes ill. Attempting to warn Will at his home, he sneezes blood onto Hunsiker and is later discovered dead. Will attempts to reclaim Caesar, but the chimp refuses to go home with him. Instead, he escapes from the facility and returns to Will’s house, where he takes canisters of the ALZ-113. Upon returning, Caesar releases the gas and allows it to enhance the intelligence of the other apes. When Dodge attempts to get him back into his cage, Caesar shocks him by speaking for the first time, yelling “No!” Caesar then electrocutes the cattle prod-wielding Dodge by spraying him with water, unintentionally killing him. The apes flee the facility, release the remaining chimps from Gen-Sys, and free more apes from the San Francisco Zoo.
A battle ensues as the ape army fights their way past a police blockade on the Golden Gate Bridge to escape into the redwood forest. Buck sacrifices himself to save Caesar by jumping onto the helicopter in which Jacobs is riding. The helicopter crashes onto the bridge, trapping Jacobs in the wreckage. Jacobs is then killed by Koba. As the apes find their way into the forest, Will arrives and warns Caesar that the humans will hunt them down, and begs him to return home. In response, Caesar hugs him and says that, “Caesar is home.” Will, realizing that this is indeed their last goodbye, respects Caesar’s wishes. In a mid-credits scene, an infected Hunsiker leaves his house for work as an airline pilot, arriving at San Francisco International Airport for his flight to Paris. His nose begins to drip blood onto the floor. A graphic traces the spread of the humanity-ravaging virus around the globe via international flight routes.
A  very clever attempt at a prequel, explaining how the rise of the apes began. Given the current news surrounding Ebola and its daily inexorable spread, the ending credits of this film are rather chilling to watch.

REVIEW: HARRY POTTER AND THE GOBLET OF FIRE

 

CAST

Daniel Radcliffe (Horns)
Rupert Grint (Cherrybomb)
Emma Watson (This Is The End)
Robbie Coltrane (Flash Gordon)
Michael Gambon (Sleepy Hollow)
Ralph Fiennes (In Burges)
Brendan Gleeson (The Smurfs 2)
Jason Isaacs (Peter Pan)
Gary Oldman (Red Riding Hood)
Miranda Richardson (Sleepy Hollow)
Alan Rickman (Alice Through The Looking Glass)
Maggie Smith (Clash of The Titans)
Timothy Spall (Vanilla Sky)
Frances de la Tour (Into The Woods)
David Tennant (Jessica Jones)
Bonnie Wright (Before I Sleep)
Mark Williams (Agent Cody Banks 2)
Robert Pattinson (Twilight)
Tom Felton (The Flash)
Katie Leung (One Child)
Matthew Lewis (Happy Valley)
David Bradley (Game of Thrones)
Warwick Davis (Leprechaun)
Ian Whyte (Game of Thrones)

Harry Potter dreams of Frank Bryce, who is killed after overhearing Lord Voldemort discussing plans with Peter Pettigrew and another man. Harry attends the Quidditch World Cup with the Weasleys, but after the game, Death Eaters terrorise the spectators, and the man who appeared in Harry’s dream summons the Dark Mark.

At Hogwarts, Albus Dumbledore introduces ex-Auror Alastor “Mad-Eye” Moody as the new Defence Against the Dark Arts teacher. He also announces that the school will host the legendary event known as Triwizard Tournament where three magical schools are going to compete against each other in a very deadly competition by facing three dangerous challenges. The champions are selected by the Goblet of Fire: Cedric Diggory of Hufflepuff is chosen to represent Hogwarts, Viktor Krum will represent Durmstrang Institute, and Fleur Delacour will represent Beauxbatons Academy of Magic. The Goblet unexpectedly chooses a fourth champion: Harry Potter. Dumbfounded, Dumbledore is unable to pull the underage Harry out of the tournament, as the Ministry official Barty Crouch Sr. insists that the champions are bound by a contract, and therefore, Harry is invited to compete. This makes Harry’s best friend Ron Weasley jealous of him.

For the tournament’s first task, the champions must each retrieve a golden egg guarded by a dragon. Harry succeeds after he summons his broomstick to retrieve the egg, which contains information about the second challenge. Shortly after, another event known as the Yule Ball dance takes place, during which Harry’s crush Cho Chang attends with Cedric, and Hermione Granger attends with Viktor, which makes Ron jealous of Viktor. During the second task, the champions are instructed to dive underwater to rescue their mates. Harry comes out in 3rd place but is placed second behind Cedric due to his “moral fiber”. Afterwards, Barty Crouch Sr. is found dead by Harry. Harry visits Dumbledore at his office, and while waiting for him, he discovers a Pensieve, which holds Dumbledore’s memories. Inside it, Harry witnesses a trial in which Igor Karkaroff (Durmstrang Institute’s Headmaster) confessed to the Ministry of Magic names of other Death Eaters, after Voldemort’s defeat. He named Severus Snape as one, but Dumbledore defended him; he then named Barty Crouch Jr. Barty Crouch Sr. was left devastated, and his son was taken to Azkaban. After exiting the Pensieve, Harry deduces that the man he has seen in his dreams with Voldemort is Barty Crouch Jr.

In the third and final task, the competitors are placed inside a hedge maze and must reach the Triwizard Cup. Viktor, under the influence of the Imperius Curse, incapacitates Fleur. After Harry saves Cedric when the maze attacks him, the two claim a draw and grab the cup together, which turns out to be a Portkey and transports the two to a graveyard, where Pettigrew and Voldemort are waiting. Pettigrew kills Cedric with the Killing Curse and performs a ritual using a bone of Voldemort’s father, Pettigrew’s flesh and Harry’s blood, which rejuvenates Voldemort, who then summons the Death Eaters. Voldemort releases Harry in order to beat him in a duel to prove he is the better wizard. Harry is unable to defend himself, but tries the Expelliarmus charm at the same moment Voldemort attempts the Killing Curse. Their wands do not work against each other, and Voldemort’s wand is forced to disgorge the last spells it performed. This results in shadow impressions of the people he murdered appearing in the graveyard, including Harry’s parents and Cedric. This provides an ample distraction to Voldemort and his Death Eaters, allowing Harry to escape with Cedric’s body by grabbing the Portkey.

Upon his return, Harry tells Dumbledore that Voldemort has returned and is responsible for Cedric’s death. Moody takes a devastated Harry back to his room to interrogate him about Lord Voldemort, where he inadvertently blows his cover when he asks Harry whether there were “others” in the graveyard, despite Harry never saying that he was transported there. Exposed, Moody reveals that he was the one who put Harry’s name in the Goblet of Fire, and that he had been guiding and manipulating Harry throughout the tournament to ensure that he would win, so Voldemort would take Harry’s blood to return. Moody then tries to kill Harry, only for Harry to be saved by Dumbledore, Severus Snape, and Minerva McGonagall. The teachers force Moody to drink Veritaserum, a truth telling potion where it is revealed that he isn’t Moody, and that the real Moody is imprisoned in a magical trunk. The false Moody’s Polyjuice Potion wears off and he is revealed as Barty Crouch Jr., working for Voldemort. Crouch Jr. is sent back to Azkaban, from which he had escaped.

In the morning, Dumbledore reveals to the students that Voldemort killed Cedric, although the Ministry of Magic is against this. Later, Dumbledore visits Harry in his dormitory, and apologizes to him for the dangers he had to go through. Harry reveals that he saw his parents in the graveyard; Dumbledore names this effect as “Priori Incantatem”. Dumbledore acknowledges that even though Harry’s parents appeared through Voldemort’s wand, no spell can awaken the dead. Dumbledore reminds Harry that he is not alone. Soon after, Hogwarts, Durmstrang and Beauxbatons bid farewell to each other.For fans of the books, you should find this adaptation a commendable reflection of Rowling’s tale. Naturally, some parts had to be modified or cut entirely – there’s no way to avoid that without making it a 10 hour movie – but the parts that were cut were either not critical to the story line, or will be easy to account for in the films to come. Unless you’re an obsessive nitpicker about every last detail, you should find this a satisfactory film version of Goblet of Fire.

REVIEW: GET HIM TO THE GREEK

CAST

Russell Brand (Hop)
Jonah Hill (Cyrus)
Rose Byrne (Spy)
Elisabeth Moss (Mad Men)
Sean Combs (Made)
Colm Meaney (intermission)
Kali Hawk (Bridesmaids)
Aziz Ansari (30 Minutes or Less)
Nick Kroll (Date Night)
Ellie Kemper (21 Jump Street)
Jake Johnson (New Girl)
Karl Theobald (Mortdecai)
Carla Gallo (Bones)
T.J. Miller (Deadpool)
Kristen Schaal (Norbit)
Kristen Bell (The Boss)
Tom Felton (The Flash)
Rachel Roberts (Flashforward
Jim Piddock (Mascots)
Carlos Jacott (She Spies)
Rino Romano (The Batman)
Meghan Markle (Suits)

In 2008, British cheeky chappy rock star Aldous Snow (Russell Brand) releases an album and a titular single — “African Child”, which is a commercial and critical failure. In an interview, despite having been teetotal and free of drugs, along with his pop-star girlfriend Jackie Q (Rose Byrne), she drunkenly declares they have a boring life in an interview. He relapses — which effectively ends his relationship with her, makes him lose custody of their son, Naples, sabotages his career and makes him become a slacker. Meanwhile, in Los Angeles, Aaron Green (Jonah Hill) works as a talent scout at Pinnacle Records, a successful record company. He lives with his girlfriend, Daphne (Elisabeth Moss), a doctor. Pinnacle Records is performing badly as a result of poor record sales, and the head of the company, Sergio Roma (Sean Combs), asks for ideas. Green proposes that Aldous Snow play at the Greek Theatre in Los Angeles on the tenth anniversary of his legendary performance there in 1999.
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Sergio sends Aaron to London to escort Aldous to the performance. Before he leaves, Daphne informs Aaron that she has received a job offer in Seattle and that they are moving there, which leads to an argument resulting in an apparent break-up. After retrieving Aldous from his apartment, Aaron learns that Aldous had not been expecting him and that he had thought the concert was not for another two months. They then bar-hop across the city and Aaron futilely tries to get Aldous to catch one of many missed flights. Daphne calls Aaron to apologize for the fight, only to learn that Aaron believes that they are broken up. Throughout his partying, Aaron’s cellphone accidentally calls Daphne periodically, informing her of Aaron’s activities. Aaron and Aldous travel to New York City for Aldous’s appearance on Today. To keep Aldous sober for his performance, Aaron imbibes all of Aldous’s whiskey and marijuana. Minutes before the performance, Aldous realizes he is unable to remember the lyrics to his most recent and unpopular song, “African Child”, and replaces it with an older hit, “The Clap”, to cheers and excitement from the audience.
About to embark on a flight to Los Angeles, Aldous forces Aaron to smuggle heroin in his rectum. During their travels, Aaron learns that Aldous has become depressed and troubled, as he misses his son and has been alienated from his own father Jonathan (Colm Meaney) for years. Aaron suggests he visit him after the show; instead Aldous insists they go to Las Vegas to see Jonathan. Sergio soon arrives, with plans to “mindfuck” Aldous to Los Angeles. Sergio hooks up Aaron with a sexually violent girl named Destiny (Carla Gallo), who takes him to a hotel room and rapes him. After Aaron tells Aldous that he has been raped, Aldous gives him a “Jeffrey”, a joint described as “a Neapolitan of drugs”. Aaron panics and starts to have a bad trip, believing he is having a heart attack. Jonathan makes the trip worse by agreeing that Aaron is having a heart attack while Aldous attempts to calm Aaron down, primarily by the comforting sensation of stroking the furry walls of the hotel suite. Aldous fights with his father; Sergio (who is also high) jumps in the fight, and inadvertently sets the lounge on fire.
Aldous attempts to help Aaron by giving him an adrenaline shot and they run out of the hotel, chased by Sergio, who is hit by a car but comes out unharmed. Aldous and Aaron flee to Los Angeles, where Aaron convinces Aldous to visit Jackie Q. She has been sleeping with Metallica’s drummer, Lars Ulrich (playing himself) and confesses that Naples is not actually his biological son, but instead is a photographer’s son. This makes him even more miserable. Meanwhile, Aaron goes to his home to apologize to Daphne. They are interrupted when Aldous arrives at their house and proposes that he, Aaron, and Daphne engage in a threesome; Daphne (who is mad at Aaron) agrees and Aaron hesitantly goes along. During the threesome, Aaron angrily decides to kiss Aldous, breaking it up. Daphne and Aaron both immediately regret the threesome, and Aaron angrily tells Aldous to go, criticizing Aldous’s overall mental state. Instead of preparing for his show, Aldous goes to the rooftop of the Standard Hotel in downtown Los Angeles, and calls Aaron, threatening to jump. Aaron rushes to the hotel, and attempts to coax Aldous down from the roof.
Instead, Aldous jumps into a rooftop pool several floors down, accidentally breaking his arm. Aldous tells Aaron that he is lonely, sad and embarrassed, but Aaron reminds Aldous that thousands of fans love him and are waiting just to see him. Aldous decides to perform at the Greek Theatre despite his injury, even though Aaron pleads for him to go to the hospital. Upon their arrival, Sergio offers Aaron drugs to give to Aldous so he will not cancel the concert. Aaron, tired of the abuse Sergio has given him, refuses and quits his job on the spot, much to Sergio’s dismay. Aaron walks stage-side with Aldous, trying to convince him to go to the hospital instead. However, Aaron sees how happy Aldous is while performing and heads home to reconcile with Daphne. Months later in Seattle (where Aaron and Daphne have moved), Aldous, sober once again, has returned to fame with a single “Furry Walls” produced by Aaron (now his official producer) based on events from their night in Las Vegas, performing on the VH1 Storytellers program.

Probably one of the most insanely hilarious movies I have ever seen. Who knew that Rose Byrne was actually a comedian all along. Also, I think that Aldus Snow is more a not so alter, alter ego for Russell Brand because it just looks, sounds and feels so genuine. This is not a movie than anyone could ever regret watching .