Double Feature: Deadline (2009) & Gallants (2010)

While I use this week to rest up my mind, I’m going to review those backlogged movies (or at least some of them). Hopefully. I just feel like I need to recuperate my energy a little so it might be a bit sporadic.

Either way, Deadline expired on Netflix on December 1st whereas, Gallants still has a few days left.

Lets check it out 🙂

DEADLINE (2009)

deadline

Director: Sean McConville

Cast: Brittany Murphy, Thora Birch, Tammy Blanchard, Marc Blucas, Claudia Troll

Alice (Brittany Murphy) decides to go to a secluded and abandoned house to finish up a script before the deadline. Its not long before she experiences some abnormal events in the house.   As she follows the trail, it leads her to some video camera tapes from the previous owners.  As she uses these as her muse, she realizes that there is more than she expected.

deadline

Deadline was nothing to call home about.  Honestly, I can’t really remember the majority of the movie and I just saw it last Saturday.  Could have to do with the fact I was sipping on some wine, but I don’t know.  Either way, it started off alright.  Push a few logical issues out of the way, like why the f would you trap yourself to the point where you let some other person take your car.  And, if there’s some crazy thing that happens to my computer like “He won’t let me go” or something along those lines goes off for no reason, I’d leave. Like, I’d grab my shoes and my wallet (side bag/purse, whatever you fancy) and leave, even if it means walking out for miles. BUT, thats just me.

deadline

I’m not exactly sure why I chose to watch Deadline.  I guess I never saw anything else from Brittany Murphy and felt like I should (for whatever reason) and well, Thora Birch did really well in this movie I saw last year from a DVD I grabbed from the bargain bin with like 10 flicks on it called The Hole with Keira Knightley.  I had my hesitations since I just did a month of horror and was frankly not really into any  more of it but still, this was going to expire.  Either way, its nothing that I’m going to recommend.  It tries really hard to get that twist right and I guess it does because thats about the only part I remember of the ending.  And then, there was one part that was a tad creepy but its really predictable (but I’m easily scared so I still turned away).

I’m not hating on Deadline.  I’m just not a fan.  I’m not sure it even had the potential to be better so I’m indifferent to it. Thats really where I’m at.  If I say anymore, it’ll just sound like I really hated it.

GALLANTS(2010)

gallants

Director: Clement Sze-Kit Cheng, Chi-kin Kwok

Cast: Siu-Lung Leung, Kuan Tai Chen, Teddy Robin Kwan, You-nam Wong, J.J. Jia, MC Jin

Highly respected Master Ben Law has been in a coma for the last 30 years. His two disciples have been taking care of him ever since.  When a young and weak low rank office worker Cheung is sent to the village to claim back some property rights for a real estate project along with collaboration with the village’s real estate company, he meets the two disciples who now own a teahouse and this event awakens Master Ben Law.  Having a blur in his memory, he confuses Cheung for his two disciples and starts training him for the martial arts competition.

Gallants

Gallants is a peculiar martial arts movie.  It seems to try to mock the style of Stephen Chow’s absurd comedy in the form of Kung Fu Hustle.  However, the story isn’t quite as good, especially when it doesn’t seem to know whether its a comedy or a drama.  However, it does feature some older stars from back in the Shaw Brothers days, stirring up some nostalgia.  I’ve only seen a little of Shaw Brothers and that was when I was really young.  I haven’t had the chance to see more.

gallants

Some of the characters did draw me in.  The guy who plays Ben Law is absolutely hilarious in a really awkward way.  It reflects well that he’s well behind his time because he’s stuck 30 years ago and has everything mixed up.  Whereas, in the bad guys group, I really love MC Jin (the guy in the red track suit above).  He’s really fun to watch all the time.

I’m pretty sure Gallants won’t appeal to everyone.  The start of it took me a little while to get into, just the characters and the story itself.  But if it does successfully grow on you along the way, then you will have a decent amount of enjoyment and entertainment with this one.  It worked for me to a certain extent.

I really should get more Hong Kong movies in.  I’ve always wanted to add a focus on those, just never got around to it.  So many things to watch!

OVERALL…

Deadline wasn’t too good.  But Gallants has a strange humor that worked for me but not so sure it’ll appeal to everyone.

Have you seen Deadline? How about Gallants? Do you like martial arts flicks or Hong Kong movies in general?

The Hole (2001)

Another movie from my 8 movie pack that had Ritual in it! This one didn’t make the Shitfest either.  Consider me slightly disappointed although I never figured I would put a movie with Keira Knightley in there.  Let me say, this movie pack has a lot of misleading covers…

the hole posterDirector: Nick Hamm

Cast: Thora Birch, Desmond Harrington, Keira Knightley, Laurence Fox, Daniel Brocklebank, Embeth Davidtz

Four teenagers attending a British school are approaching the end of the school year.  They do not want to join the other students in going to the school field trip.  Through certain connections, they end up hanging out in The Hole, which is a previous underground war bunker for 3 days, until they go back to reunite and head home for good.  However, things go wrong and they end up getting locked underground for unknown reasons longer than expected.  Liz (Thora Birch) is the only one that escapes and makes it out alive. She has a psychologist Dr. Philippa Horwood (Embeth Davidtz) sent to try to get her to recount what happens to her and the others: popular girl Frankie (Keira Knightley), popular athletic Mike (Desmond Harrington) and his best friend Geoff (Laurence Fox), in the hole.

the hole beginning

I still don’t really get why this is part of the horror collection because its a psychological thriller for the most part.  Its not scary and after a certain point, I guessed what was the highest probable outcome.  However, the story concept itself was pretty good.  The opening sequence where we see a stumbling Liz, played by Thora Birch walking down the street then screaming into the phone at the school really builds the mood.  The setup of the story was pretty good.

the hole group

Thora Birch playing the sole survivor of The Hole among her friends is the main actress in this.  She has to retell the story and for the most part, we need to figure out who caused them to be locked in the hole in the first place, how did they get there, and who arranged it all for them.  What is the real story? She plays her part really well as the scared and healing teenager who is shocked from her friends dying in front of her one by one until she finds the way out.  However, some parts weren’t thought through enough to make it flawed and predictable.  We are able to the slip-up on her character portrayal which changes the feeling of the movie for the most part. In the second half, because the story is built better, Thora Birch’s character is able to shine through and make up for what the movie lacked.

the hole keira knightley

Playing opposite her are the other 3 friends. Other than Keira Knightley, I don’t know the guys that well but everyone did their parts really well. For the most part, the recount of the underground hole scenes were quite fun to watch.  Keira Knightley even flashes her breatsts (maybe that will interest you, maybe it won’t, just a random fact). Thats the extent of nudity that happens here! OH WAIT, there is also a completely naked Laurence Fox in the shower, but then I don’t know who he is so I didn’t really think that scene was necessary anyways.  However, as I was saying, they did do a good job in the respective parts.  Embeth Davidtz is also a bit more known as well.  I recognized her but couldn’t pinpoint where I saw her.  As the police psychologist, I did find her a tad stupid but I believe its a character design flaw.

the hole guys

The reason this took me so many days to write was mostly because I couldn’t really decide if I liked it or not.  I enjoyed a good part of it even though it was predictable but there was a part in the middle where I found it a bit blah.  It was missing something in the story and there were some parts that seemed either unnecessary or just didn’t seem to make too much sense. Although, is it a bad movie concept? Maybe if the script was written better, it would reach its full potential.  It does have the right idea for the most part!

Don’t get me wrong. Its a decent thriller.  It all depends if you figure out the ending before the big finale hits or not.  It has a good concept and convincing acting.  This movie did cost me 50 cents so the expectations were also really low.  However, I did enjoy it.  There was a part in the middle which felt a bit long but it was effective.  Thora Birch is definitely a great actress.  There’s sex, nudity, party and games and some screaming, crying, blood and death.  Its not perfect but definitely won’t be a waste of your time  if you ever decide to see it 🙂