Hanna

Hanna

Directed By: Joe Wright
Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, Eric Bana, John Macmillan, Jessica Barden, Olivia Williams, Jason Flemyng, Tom Hollander, et.al.
Rating: PG-13
Grade: A-

Sixteen year old Hanna Heller was raised in isolation by her father Erik, so he could train her to be the ultimate killing machine. When she feels she’s ready, she activates a beacon that brings the CIA to their doorstep, and begins her ultimate mission of taking down Marissa Wiegler, Erik’s former handler with the CIA, whom Hanna believes to be behind the death of her mother. As Hanna tracks Wiegler, she also makes her way back to Germany to make contact with a friend of her father’s, and in the process gets her first taste of the outside world. Despite making new friends, Hanna’s mission takes precedent, and her cat and mouse game with Wiegler comes to a deadly and explosive head.

As far as action thrillers go, this movie was incredibly well done. The basic plot isn’t too far outside the realm of believability, especially given that the program Hanna was meant to be in seems to have been developed in the wake of the Cold War. The acting is well done, and the characters seem to work well together. Cate Blanchett’s southern accent gets a bit annoying after a while. Saoirse Ronan does an excellent job of balancing near-psychopathic tendencies with a genuine curiosity in the world she’s experiencing for the first time.

There aren’t too many effects used, and what little there is isn’t really noticeable.

This is an excellent movie that I would highly recommend. The story and characters are well developed, and the violence isn’t overwhelming. Even people who don’t generally enjoy action movies should enjoy this one.

Hanna is currently not available to stream anywhere, but can be rented through Redbox or Netflix home delivery service, or purchased through a participating store or on-line retailer.

Advertisements

Demonic

Demonic

Directed By: Will Canon
Starring: Maria Bello, Frank Grillo, Cody Horn, Dustin Milligan, Scott Mechlowicz, Aaron Yoo, Megan Park, Alex Goode, et.al.
Rating: R
Grade: C+

When Detective Mark Lewis is called to a crime scene at an abandon house, he arrives to find three dead bodies and an unconscious man in one of the bedrooms. He calls in his girlfriend, police psychologist Dr. Elizabeth Klein, to interview the young man, who says his name is John, as Detective Lewis and the other officers called to the scene attempt to find evidence that will help them piece together what happened and tell them whether John is an innocent victim or the perpetrator of the brutal murders. John recounts what he can remember about the previous night, as well as the events that lead to John and his friends being in the house, eventually revealing that John’s girlfriend, Michelle, and her exboyfriend/the group’s leader, Paul, are missing. As the night progresses and evidence is pieced together, Detective Lewis and Dr. Klein slowly learn the troubling truth behind the events that occurred in the house.

This was a semi-decent horror/thriller that tended to drift between being actually good and just bad. While the storyline is a tried and true staple of the genre (young people investigate haunted house, get more than they bargained for), the constant switching between found footage and traditional camera styles gets a little grating after a while. They should have picked one and ran with it. I’m sure they could have figured out a way around some of the scenes that would have called for a different type of camera style. The story itself gets a few points for originality, even if it does occasionally dip into predictable.

Most of the special effects involve seeing ghosts on a camera screen and/or appear to be practically done. The background filler is what little CGI is used aren’t really noticeable.

I’d say that this is worth at least one watch, and might be something that people who don’t usually watch horror movies could watch without getting too freaked out. There are one or two jump scares, but the majority of the movie is fairly tame.

Demonic is currently available free to stream through Netflix, and can be rented through Redbox or Netflix home delivery service, or purchased through a participating store or on-line retailer.