3 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

The Big Night Review

It’s time to look at a film that I’ve had on the backburner to review for quite a long while. I saw this film probably a month or two ago at this point. Unfortunately, this isn’t a big surprise reveal that I held back because it was so awesome. It’s actually a pretty lackluster film with a really annoying main character who you can’t take seriously and the characters don’t either. Trust me when I say that this is not a good sign for him and for the film in general.

The movie starts off with Georgie being mugged by a group of teens on his way back from the barber. He manages to get home though where his father bakes him a cake for his Birthday. Georgie is pretty excited because he feels like he is now an adult but isn’t able to blow the candles out which makes him feel bad. Then some thugs led by the infamous Judge show up and beat Georgie’s dad in front of him. None of the other guys in the restaurant do anything to help so Judge just keeps whacking on him til he gets tired and leaves. Georgie decides to take revenge on Joe so he steals a gun and heads out. It’s his big night to prove he is a man by murdering someone.

Throughout the movie a constant theme is that just grabbing a gun and trying to murder someone doesn’t make you any more of a man. If anything it highlights how insecure Georgie is. Part of what makes him a pretty bad character is how overly defensive he is the whole time when people point this out. He talks a good game but when the villains actually show up he quickly shrinks in the moment. That’s not exactly what you want to see from your lead like this. He also has a pretty bizarre scene where he gets drunk and then starts to complement the singer but immediately turns it racial. I thought this was supposed to be a hero we could root for. Well, that boat definitely sailed a while back.

His “romance” with Marion is also terribly rushed and doesn’t contribute to anything. As she points out, she’s way too old for him. Georgie doesn’t seem to care but it makes you wonder why introduce the plot in the first place. They knew each other for maybe 10 minutes at best. From Marion’s point of view this is some crazy drunk with a gun that Cooper met somewhere. There’s no reason to start a romance so suddenly and with someone that you absolutely don’t know. I think the only purpose of the scene was to once again highlight the fact that Georgie was trying to act a lot older than his actual age which backfired.

There’s not much of a supporting cast here with the only reasonable character being Cooper for the most part. He’s a pretty nice guy who helps Georgie find a lot of intel out. It’s all fun and games to him at that point so he enjoys the adventures. We see that this is where the buck stops with him though as when Georgie asks for asylum later on Cooper throws him out. Cooper’s the kind of guy who will have your back when it’s nothing serious but if you have a real problem then he will make himself scarce. There are a lot of people like that and that’s why it’s important to know the difference between your buddies and your friends. Your buddies will hang out with you and you’ll all have a good time but only your true friends will stick with you when you’re in a serious jam. He still brought most of the life to the film though so I’m glad he was around.

As for Judge, he makes for a reasonable main villain. At least he had a reason for the beatdown and it all comes back to revenge of course. He decided to take justice into his own hands and when you find out the backstory for it then you see why he did this. Of course, he only knew part of the story or he knew the rest and didn’t care. He makes for a pretty solid villain although he’s lucky that Georgie isn’t very smart. This is why you don’t let the gun out of your hands so easily when confronting an opponent.

The ending has quite a lot of twists in it. The story becomes a bit of a drama with how much is going on. Everything adds up and at the end of the day Georgie acted without knowing all of the facts. It still makes sense that he wouldn’t want to take the beating lying down, but he should have stepped in sooner then. Even in the ending he cracks and starts talking way too much. Threatening a cop also starts to make things pretty crazy. Georgie is just not a character I could get behind.

Peck made for a good secondary villain. I can’t forget to mention that guy. His money scam was pretty solid and he definitely intimidated Georgie pretty easily. Although, everyone seems to manhandle him in this film. He may have went down a little too easily at the end but I guess he wasn’t expecting the hit. Now, this does bring you to the city at large though. Is this place super corrupt? I don’t get how Judge has so much influence that he can beat people up in broad daylight and get away with it. Everyone seems to know what happened including the cops so it’s all a bit on the tricky side. I guess we can just assume the guy has blackmail on everyone since he’s a news reporter so nobody wants to act but it’s still a stretch.

Overall, The Big Night ended up coming out small in the end. The character cast isn’t great, but in particular the main character is pretty terrible which holds the film back. He whines a lot and keeps proving the other characters right that he isn’t ready for a mission like this yet. The romance is pretty terribly written and the film won’t keep your attention for long. Ultimately there’s not a whole lot of the film that will be very memorable and you can find way better noir films or revenge thrillers out there. This is one film that you’ll want to skip out on.

Overall 3/10

1 Star Movies, Live Action Movie Reviews, Live Action Movies, Reviews

Joyride Review

This review is of the edited TV-14 version of the film. All thoughts below should be addressed as such as a review of the unedited version would be more negative.

It’s been a while since I saw a classic slasher. This one plays it pretty straight with the villain being everywhere and knowing all the answers as he makes things miserable for the leads. The film also goes out of its way to make the leads as unlikable as possible so in the end everyone loses. It’s a pretty bad film for sure and one of those titles where you feel like the heroes had a lot of chances to get out until they didn’t.

Joyride starts off with Lewis getting a call from his old friend Venna. She doesn’t have a ride anymore after going through a breakup so Lewis quickly buys a car and offers to drive her. Along the way he finds out that his brother has been arrested yet again so he makes a stop to pick the guy up. Fuller figures that he’ll be a third wheel on the drive and since Lewis isn’t direct enough to say otherwise they head out. Fuller quickly gets bored though and wants to live on the edge so he installs a radio in the car and convinces Lewis to play a prank on a driver. The prank is to convince the driver that he is a girl and trick him into going to a hotel room. The prank works a little too well as the driver murders the guy and then decides to get payback on the brothers. He now intends to murder them and Venna but first he wants to humiliate them for a while.

That’s the main plot and there isn’t much to it beyond that. Rusty (The driver) continues to force them to do whatever he says as he terrorizes them with his truck. He also takes Venna’s best friend hostage so the heroes can’t go to the police. The guy has a lot of spare time on his hands as he puts graffiti on a bunch of signs and then finds a way to put a radio in the main character’s car without leaving any evidence of it being tampered with. He had time to track down Venna’s friend and also manages to spy on them the whole time. Don’t think about any of this too much because it doesn’t make a whole lot of sense.

The guy is just everywhere and he’s powerful enough to murder everyone who gets in his way. Even in the dark through a big field he is able to go in and swipe one of the characters without the other 2 being able to do much of anything. Even though he uses the prank as the excuse for going on this murder spree it’s obvious that the guy was crazy from the start. He just wanted an excuse and the main characters gave him a pretty easy one. Rusty’s a fairly shallow villain and not a likable one, but at least the truck is decent.

Lewis is unfortunately a terrible lead and a film always tends to suffer a bit when the main characters are really bad. Bailing Fuller from jail is a good thing to do, but he definitely should have told the guy to find his own way out of town. Driving with him all the way was a bad idea especially since Fuller immediately started breaking the law. While Lewis isn’t nearly as bad as Fuller you can’t give him much of a pass simply because he allows everything to go on. You can’t be wishy washy about this kind of thing. Lewis never makes a stand and that goes to the prank as well. Lewis is the one actually pranking Rusty and if he were a better person he never would have even entertained the idea of doing such a thing. He’s just got a ways to go.

Meanwhile Fuller is terrible. Pretty much all of his lines are antagonistic and he gets a kick out of picking fights and generally being a nuisance to everyone. He objectifies Venna almost immediately and then actually tries to have a serious romance later. No matter how much the film tries to make him seem useful or nice towards the end there’s just no way you can buy it. Also, in a life or death situation anyone can try to help someone else, it doesn’t mean that they’ve suddenly changed. This guy was just terrible.

Venna is okay, but also not that good. For starters, the fact that she subtly asked Lewis for such a long inconvenient ride makes it seem like she is manipulating him a bit. She probably knows that he has a crush on her and is cashing in on this. The scene where she hangs out with Fuller later on is also suspect and while no romance goes anywhere in this film, I’m just not sure about her end game here. Without a doubt she is way better than the other two characters though and probably regretted going on the drive with them by the end. It really did not pay off well at all. That’s also why the best friend gets the worst luck here as she had absolutely nothing to do with anything and got roped in anyway.

It almost goes without saying that this film is incredibly violent. Rusty makes sure that each death is as painful as possible and he racks up quite the rap sheet here. By the end of the film everyone is pretty banged up. Then you’ve got the writing which is pretty terrible. The TV version had to air out quite a lot since the characters had quite the potty mouth. The script definitely could have written them out to be jerks while showing a little more restraint here.

Overall, Joyride is one of those films where you have nobody to root for. In general slasher films will never rank all that highly for me because of the inevitable bad script and the over the top violence. The main characters not being even remotely good also isn’t surprising but I dare say that this was the worst main cast in a very long while. The fact of the matter is their prank wasn’t funny in any sense and was also quite dangerous. The driver could have easily walked into a home with a Rusty type character and been in major trouble. Pranks like that shouldn’t even qualify as a joke because they are so mean spirited. I’d advise you to stick away from Joyride. It’s not like it does anything to differentiate itself from the other slasher films anyway and you won’t be missing much of anything by skipping out on it. I have a feeling that the sequels are more of the same. The twist at the end you’ll definitely see coming a mile away, hopefully the characters are smart enough to tell the cops since at least two of them saw Rusty directly and should quickly be able to see through the ruse. Proving it is another matter entirely but the ice truck halves should still be around somewhere.

Overall 1/10