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Hubie Halloween (2020)
Hubie Halloween (2020)
2020 | Comedy, Mystery
I would class Happy Gilmore as a good Adam Sandler comedy. I would class Jack & Jill as a straight up abomination of cinema. Hubie Halloween sits somewhere comfortably in the middle.

It's pretty much follows the formula of what's come before - Adam Sandler portrays a loser that falls over a lot and talks in a silly voice, there's some sort of heart-warming redemption plot that results in him not being a loser and getting the girl. It's ball achingly predictable, but is wrapped up in a very Halloween-y package, so that's nice I guess.

The main issue is that I just didn't laugh. There are a few amusing lines here and there (June Squibb wearing vulgar novelty t-shirts is always a good shour) but most of the humour falls flat. Adam Sandler talking in a silly voice has never been funny, and you can't change my mind.

The supporting cast is a fairly impressive collection of names - Steve Buschemi, Julie Bowen, Ray Liotta, Maya Rudolph, Noah Schnapp from Stranger Things, Tim Meadows, Michael Chiklis, Ben Stiller, goddam Shaquille O'Neal (legit probably the best part of the whole movie) - even Kenan Thompson of Kenan & Kel fame. And of course Kevin James, this being a Sandler film and all....

There's not much really to say. The mystery aspect of the plot doesn't really feel intriguing at any part, and it's honestly just another run of the mill Adam Sandler comedy. Relatively entertaing as a seasonal watch, and I'm sure kids will love it, but ultimately, pretty damn average.
  
Fantastic Four (2005)
Fantastic Four (2005)
2005 | Action, Adventure
In 1994, a low budget film was created in order to preserve the film rights to one of Marvel Comics popular series The Fantastic 4. Created by comic legend Stan Lee, the comic tells the ongoing tales of four people who were endowed with amazing powers after accidental exposure to an element in space.

The film was never released and has gone on to become a popular bootleg amongst comic fans. The ensuing rights for the film were also sold, and for almost a decade Fox has worked in bringing the comic to the big screen.

After years of languishing, the film finally got on the fast track and under the helm of Director Tim Story and features a dynamic cast headed by some of the biggest emerging superstars in Hollywood.

Ioan Gruffudd stars as Reed Richards, a brilliant yet recently bankrupt scientist who, along with his friend Ben Grimm (Michael Chiklis), is visiting famed scientist Victor Von Doom (Julian Mc Mahon), in an effort to get his latest venture funded.

Reed is convinced that an approaching storm in space is the key to unlocking vast amounts of genetic secrets and that the shielding on Doom’s space station allows for safe study of the very rare phenomenon.

Doom agrees to the venture in exchange for 75% of all revenue generated from the findings and that he gets to assign certain people to the mission. Among them are Sue Storm (Jessica Alba), and her pilot brother Johnny (Chris Evans). The fact that Sue is Reed’s ex is a source of tension within the group, as she is obviously still hurt and bitter over Reed’s inability to look at her and life in ways that are not based upon analytical science.

Despite the issues, the crew arrives at the station and the test is going according to plan. That is until an unexpected situation arises, which causes the team to get caught in the storm with the shields lowered, exposing them all to the storm’s radiation.

Back on earth, the crew awakens to find themselves in quarantine and suffering no ill effects from the accident. The failure of the mission is of great concern for Doom. His investors are using this as a reason to pull their support, which in turn is causing his stock to drop rapidly.

In time, Reed, Sue, Johnny, and Ben start to show amazing abilities resulting from their exposure to the storm. Johnny can become a human fireball, Reed can stretch his body to amazing lengths, Sue can become invisible and project force fields, and Ben has become a living wall of rock, capable of great feats of strength.

Since Ben is no longer able to pass as a human, he feels like a freak and is shunned by his wife, causing him much anger and depression. It is due to this that the team becomes noticed by the media who dub them the Fantastic 4 after watching them in action.

The resulting fame causes the team to withdraw, save for Johnny who basks in the glory and attention heaped upon him. It is against this changing dynamic that the team must find a way to restore themselves to their normal state and to discover what is causing their new found abilities.

The Fantastic 4 are not the only ones who changed. Doom is becoming more and more angry and violent as he blames Reed for the failure of his company. Victor also has the ability to hurl deadly bolts of energy from his body which is quickly becoming metallic.

As fans of the comic know, it will not take long for Doom and the Fantastic 4 to face off, paving the way for a final confrontation. While I went in not expecting much from the film, I must say I was surprised. Yes, the film has a thin plot, and fairly basic characters and action, but it is also above all fun.

The dynamic between the characters is enjoyable, as is the humor which accurately captures the tone and feel of the comic. Some purists will take exception with some of the liberties taken, such as Doom being on the trip to space and other variations on his character which are not part of the original comic.

Alba and Evans tend to come off at times as airheads but they stay true to their characters throughout. Gruffudd plays Reed with modesty and charm that works well in the film and shows that he is a star on the rise. Praise should be heaped upon Chiklis and McMahon who could easily have become lost behind their costumes. Theygive very human and compelling performances. Chiklis captures the duality of Grimm as he battles his despair over his physical appearance with his desire to do what is right. McMahon does riveting work as the man pushed over the edge and becomes fueled by a desire for revenge and power. The fury and evil upon his face and in his walk shows him as a man of menace and danger.

I for one would have liked to have seen a bit more action in the film but as it stands, it is not as bad as some of the trailers hinted that it might be. If you do not mind thin plots and characters, you may be able to sit back and enjoy this film for what it is, a simple summer escape. Here is hoping that we will see the “Fantastic 4” up on the big screen as the next franchise series from Marvel.
  
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LeftSideCut (3770 KP) rated American Horror Story - Season 4 in TV

Nov 18, 2019 (Updated Nov 18, 2019)  
American Horror Story  - Season 4
American Horror Story - Season 4
2014 | Horror
Season 4 of AHS, subtitled 'Freak Show' gets a bad wrap in my opinion.
It doesn't reach the lofty heights of the first two seasons, but there's plenty to love and it tries something new.

The bulk of the series revolves around Elsa Mars (Jessica Lange) and her group of travelling sideshow performers, all who have some sort of abnormality. As they arrive in 1951 Florida to set up shop and make a living amongst a world that fears and targets them, they are also being eyed up by Richard Spencer (Denis O'Hare), a shady businessman attempting to profit from their misfortune, and Dandy Mott (Finn Wittrock), who harbours an unhealthy obsession with the Freak Show, and in particular, conjoined twins Bette and Dot Tattler (Sarah Paulson).
All the while, a murderous and sinister clown called Twisty (John Carroll Lynch) is on the loose, causing the finger to be pointed at another Freak Show member, Jimmy Darling (Evan Peters).

All of these plot lines running at once actually run side by side pretty smoothly, making for an engaging narrative, with plenty of plot twists along the way.
The Twisty plot line is proper classic slasher horror, and is unfortunately tied up pretty quickly, but it makes way for a surprisingly touching story about family, and what it means to be different.
I found myself caring about almost everybody during Freak Show. It's very well written.
The cast are as usual, pretty great. As well as the cast members mentioned above, we have returning AHS in the likes of Kathy Bates, Francis Conroy, Emma Roberts, Angela Bassett, and Naomi Grossman, as well as some new blood in the form of Michael Chiklis, Erika Ervin, Mat Fraser, Wes Bentley, and Neil Patrick-Harris.
Sarah Paulson is the undisputed highlight during this season, playing two characters at once, with some fantastic effects work going on.
The only character I really struggled to get on board with here was Elsa, which is a shame as she's front and centre. No fault of the great Jessica Lange of course.
The season drags for a while in the mid section, but with so many likable characters, it's not a huge issue.
Freak Show is also the first season that has a concrete connection to other seasons in the AHS story, confirming finally that all the seasons take place in the same universe, which is incredibly exciting, and opens the door for a lot of possibilities.

The gore effects and horror elements continue to be a big plus for AHS, and as always, the anthology format keeps it feeling fresh. Another win for Ryan Murphy and co.
  
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer (2007)
2007 | Action, Mystery, Sci-Fi
7
5.2 (20 Ratings)
Movie Rating
Since audiences last visited the crime busting quartet, the group has become media darlings, and the impending wedding of two of the team members, Mr. Fantastic (Ioan Gruffudd), and Sue Storm (Jessica Alba), has become media frenzy.

As plans for the wedding move forward, and Sue is confident that the wedding will not be postponed by another crisis, unaware that the greatest threat the earth has ever known is about to put very existence of the world in their hands.

When a mysterious Silver Surfer arrives on Earth leaving a path of chaos in his wake, it falls to the Fantastic Four, to get to the bottom of the threat and stop it as only they can. A chance encounter with the Surfer leads Johnny Storm (Chris Evans), on a high-speed race across the land which ultimately leads to a startling and at times comedic discovery. The surfer has the ability to disrupt what it touches and in the chase of Johnny, causes him to swap powers with any team member he touches.

While this is a potential disaster for Johnny, it does lead to some hilarious moments between him, Sue, and the Rock Laden The Thing, (Michael Chiklis), and ultimately leads Mr. Fantastic to devise a new way to track when and where the Surfer will appear.

The Silver Surfer is not the only danger facing the team, as the arrival of the Surfer has somehow revived the teams arch nemesis Dr. Doom (Julian Mc Mahon), who becomes obsesses with the Surfer and his secrets and forms a tenuous alliance with the Fantastic Four, despite their serious misgivings about trusting Doom.

Eventually it is learned that the Surfer is simply a harbinger for a much greater threat, Galactus, a being who eats planets to survive and who has determined the earth to be his next feats.

With the clock ticking, the team must battle, Dr. Doom, The Surfer, and each other as they try to unlock the mystery behind the surfer and save the world before it is too late.

The film though light on plot and character development, is a lot of fun and is a surprisingly enjoyable summer popcorn film. It does not try to be as haughty and pretentious as some past comic book film, and makes the most of its 89 minute run time without dragging itself out unnecessarily.

The cast works well with one another, and there are some good moments of humor to go with some well done action sequences that stay within themselves and the story rather than being the only point of the film.

If I had to find fault with the film, it would be that Dr. Doom is not really used much in the film and seems almost an afterthought to the story. He is supposed to be the ultimate villan but his real motives are only explained on a very superficial level which really detract from his effective use in the story. Another issue that the action was a bit less than I had expected it to be, especially the fact that the team is rarely seen in combat, and instead use the bulk of their powers in comedic or rescue efforts. I really would have liked to have seen the full power of the team used against a bad guy in an ongoing battle, instead of a few moments here or there.

In a summer where most of the offerings have failed to live up to expectations, this is a film that knows what it is, and does not try to be anything more than that. In doing so, the audience is treated to a briskly paced action adventure that delivers the goods, and does not promise more than it can deliver.