Tag: ali larter

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter

by on Feb.05, 2017, under Movie Reviews

resident evil the final chapterResident Evil: The Final Chapter (kinda sorta, but not entirely) picks up where the last film left off with Alice as one of the last survivors of humanity left behind to face the legions of undead that have engulfed the planet thanks to the t-virus courtesy of Umbrella. This installment is supposed to be the one that finishes the Alice series with Milla Jovovich as the lead.

The story is ok but more just an excuse to break up the action as there is tons of action. There were some interesting surprises within the final arcs of the characters while filling in more backstory on Alice, Hive and the Red Queen. Wesker surfaces too but he doesn’t play too big of a part in this one. Everything wraps in an average way, which was disappointing, I was hoping they would really go for it but they played it safe.

The action saturates the film to the point where it starts to get routine and predictable even while each scene is trying to one-up itself from one sequence to the next. Another issue is the constant shaky-cam, which is a vehicle used to save money so they don’t have to spend as much of the budget on wider action shots. Unfortunately, it becomes detrimental in many of the scenes it’s supposed to intensify. The use of this kind of camera work is way overused here and becomes a crutch and a distraction throughout the film.

In terms of effects, they’re mostly done well but do look CG at times, especially the larger scale scenes. The series is running out of steam and hopefully this marks the end of the productions just trying to get bigger and bigger. If there’s ever been a series that is in need of a re-boot or re-envisioning, it’s this one. Personally, I’d take it back to its horror roots and strip it down with a strong story and passionate actors.

Speaking of actors, there’s some phoning it in taking place and conventional deliveries with noone offering any surprises or that much heart in what they’re doing. Sadly even Milla looks like she’s posing more than she is coming from any place of emotional authenticity. The lineup includes Iain Glen, Ali Larter, Shawn Roberts, Eoin Macken and Ruby Rose.

Overall, I’m glad that this might be the last one…

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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House on Haunted Hill

by on Oct.25, 2012, under Movie Reviews

Produced in 1999, House on Haunted Hill is actually a remake from the first iteration produced in 1959 starring Vincent Price. The premise goes like this – eccentric amusement park owner offers a group of hand picked guests $1million to spend a night in a haunted house. A house that was formerly a mental asylum with a demented doctor who used to perform some pretty terrible experiments on his patients.

The house turns out to have its own agenda then the host had intended and through a series of nightmarish encounters, the house consumes the guests one by one. The history of the house and its former inhabitants plays a large role in the presentation of the film with many of the former atrocities (such as electro-shock therapy) playing out in the experiences of the house’s current guests.

Directing and design-wise, the film is produced well (with the exception of some of the CG towards the end) with lots of twitchy-head scary types cutting in and out along with a copious amount of quick cuts to keep the tense moments tense.

The writing is decent although some of the dialog gets a bit cartoonish at times (see Geoffrey Rush’s and Chris Kattan’s dialog for examples). Overall, the script is solid and has the necessary ingredients for a film like this.

With regard to acting, the movie has a strong lineup that includes Famke Janssen, Taye Diggs, Peter Gallagher, Ali Larter alongside the aforementioned Geoffrey Rush and Chris Kattan. The actors are all pretty average with everyone putting in a decent performance. My only complaints is that both Rush and Kattan’s characters were a bit too over-the-top in terms of how they were written and played. I don’t mind big characters but there is such a thing as too big.

If you’ve never seen House on Haunted Hill and are into horror, catch up with this one to decide if its worthy to be considered one of the new classics…

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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Resident Evil: Afterlife

by on Oct.07, 2011, under Movie Reviews

Hollywood makes some bad decisions when it comes to franchises. They either reboot too soon (Spiderman) or they let a franchise continue to limp along after it’s been in need of a serious overall for quite some time as with this latest installment of the Resident Evil series.

The focus of the franchise since the second one has been about making Milla Jovovich action movies with the story drifting further and further away from the original heart of the storyline. The same tired Project Alice character jumped the shark a couple movies ago.

This is a good example of what happens when an intellectual property falls into the hands of marketers and executives, in other words, the wrong hands. It’s a drag when it should be in the hands of the artists and fans, but alas, no dice here.

Apparently cosmetic companies still exist after the zombie apocalypse if Milla Jovovich’s and Ali Larter’s characters are any indication. They look remarkably clean and glamourous while the rest of the world burns and is consumed by flame and the undead.

The same visual gimics continue as do the same pretentious exchanges between Alice and Wesker who’s transformed her into a human with a single injection to the neck when she “attempts” to kill him. Why they don’t just kill each other and end this painful dance is beyond me. We desperately need some new characters, new heart, new hunger. Ironicially, I think a return to the roots of this is what is sorely needed, same with the game as the last installment was not a hit for a good reason, it was boring, not scary. Same thing here. Boring, not scary.

Performance-wise Milla in particular comes off numb. I don’t know if that’s the point, but it also happens to describe what it’s like to watch. Please, go back to Chris Redfield as the main focus and let’s start this over with a new director, a new writer, a new producer, a new, well…everything. I’m a big fan of the games as well as the first movie. Sorry, with the whole double-flip-backwards-with-a-motorcycle-crashing-into-a church-while-shooting-lickers thing, it became apparent the direction things were going in the second film and ya lost me. And Milla? Please don’t do anymore of these, you just don’t seem to care anymore. To whoever has the rights to the IP – can I please direct and produce the next one? Pleeeassseeeee?? I swear you’ll make money! I normally like much of Paul W.S. Anderson’s work (Alien vs. Predator is among my favorites, except for the ending with that stupid paring up thing that was done), but he just seems to be phoning it in on this one too and needs to step away before this just becomes pathetic. It’s not quite there, but almost.

Holy shit, they brought back the character K-Mart from the last one. This has to be some product-placement thing. They can’t even be classy enough to be subtle about it. Why doesn’t she just wear a Martha Stewart shirt with a K-Mart logo on it and get it over with? If you’re going to be so blatant, you might as well try to make it funny. Trying to take the character seriously after a name like that is asking for a bit much.

Geez, they even have the same cheesy slow-mo action scenes with lame pseudo-techno music. Side note – why can Alice still do the crazy acrobatic stuff now since she’s human again, and why does Ali Larter have to pose sexily when she’s fighting the nemesis-like hooded behemoth (also in slow-mo)? This is just sad. It’s not even a good action movie. It’s contrived and uninspiring of any emotion.

Shawn Roberts playing Wesker seems more like an ad model out of GQ than he does scary, corporate villain guy. He’s trying waaaayy too hard coming off flat and unconvincing. Watching him and Milla go at it is like watching supermodels fight, try to imagine pretty people doing action poses in slow-mo (yes, more slow-mo) and you’ll get the picture. It’s as if Zoolander was turned into a serious action flick. Oh, and add zombies (be sure to include the zombie dogs too, but maybe instead of dachtsunds, they use zombie chihuahuas creeping out of purses).

The door is wide open in the war with Umbrella as revealed by the not fake, fake ending.

Let the zombies take me and end my pain from any more sequels.

reviewed by Sean McKnight

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