Dracula Untold – Review

So when relatively unknown Irish director, Gary Shore, released the first trailer for his mind-blowing directional debut, Dracula Untold, I started to wonder whether he’d stumbled upon an untapped franchise goldmine. Having now seen the film, there’s no doubt he has.

As the title hints, Dracula Untold charts the birth of one of mythology’s most fearsome and notorious creatures of the night, and how Vlad the Impaler came to be known as Dracula.

Lord Vlad Tepes (Luke Evans), known to his enemies as Vlad the Impaler, due to his signature trademark of impaling his victims, has stepped away from his once murderous ways, and now rules his kingdom in peace, alongside his wife and young son.

But when the oppressive ruler Sultan Mehmed II (Dominic Cooper), demands one thousand boys from Lord Vlad’s kingdom, including his own son, to join his army, Vlad finds no other alternative then to make a pact with an ancient vampire (Charles Dance). In return for almost unlimited power and strength to defeat the Sultan and his vast army, Vlad will become a creature of the night, doomed to walk the earth forever and serve his new master.

With a world of eternal darkness waiting for him, there is hope for Vlad and his mortality; if he can keep the unrelenting urge to feed on human blood at bay for three days, his mortality will be restored and the pact void…but is it possible to withstand the thirst?

Dracula Untold is a refreshing take on the legend of mythology’s most famous vampire. Dark, chilling, and epic fight scenes worthy of any big budget Hollywood blockbuster, Dracula Untold is captivating from start to finish, with a stellar performance from Luke Evans who brings the character of Dracula to life like never before.

New hit franchise in the making?…I think so.

The Guest – Review

Relatively unknown director, Adam Wingard, makes an explosive entrance into the Hollywood big leagues with The Guest (2014), a nervy drama that follows David (Dan Stevens), a recently discharged US Army solider who visits the family of his fallen friend and soldier.

It quickly becomes apparent that David may be exactly what this grieving family need and quickly becomes the guest we all wish we could have stay.

But beneath the charm, manners, and emotional support, lies something not quite right, and soon this family find their lives taking an unexpected, sinister turn as the man staying with them shows his true intentions.

The Guest was a unique infusion of drama, suspense, and unexpected horror that surprised me all the way through, with some fantastically subtitle comedic moments from all of its characters that drew you in to their stories instantly.

Without doubt one of the highlights of the film was watching Downton Abbey‘s, Dan Stevens take on a role so completely unexpected, and yet deliver a performance so bad-ass and unforgettably creepy that it’s sure to make him Hollywood‘s next big action star.

For an all-out action-thriller that will have you engrossed from start to finish, The Guest is the perfect film to see this summer and an absolute must see.

Let’s Be Cops – Review

The power, the authority, the ability to make someone dance in the middle of the street for absolutely no reason apart from your own amusement – well perhaps not the later, but still a great many perks.

Ryan (Jake Johnson) and Justin (Damon Wayans, Jr) pondered these exact possibilities when deciding to rock up to a college reunion in cop uniforms, only to come face to face the reality that their lives are an overwhelming disappointment.

Damon Wayans, Jr and Jake Johnson star in Let’s Be Cops (2014). | Image © 20th Century Fox.

That all changes however when they take to the streets dressed as cops and discover an exiting world of possibilities that are presented to them, especially when everyone thinks your $1 LAPD badge is real.

Nina Dobrev stars in Let’s Be Cops (2014) | Image © 20th Century Fox.

However, when you decide to wear the badge, you can almost guarantee that danger is not far behind, and unfortunately for Ryan and Justin, it’s about to get REAL. Bullets, criminals, conspiracies, and everything in between – these two fake cops may just have to become real cops if they’re going to make it out alive.

Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans, Jr star in Let’s Be Cops (2014). | Image © 20th Century Fox.

Let’s Be Cops is one of the best cop comedies since The Other Guys and Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr are a breath of fresh air and a comedic match made in heaven that have you laughing from start to finish, and with a great supporting cast including Andy GarciaJames D’ArcyNina Dobrev, and Rob RiggleLet’s Be Copsis a definite must see this summer!

For more news and trivia on Let’s Be Copsvisit IMDb‘s official page here. You can also check out the official trailer below.

BLACK SEA (2014)

Black Sea (2014) is the powerful thriller starring Jude Law as a washed up and recently dismissed salvage expert and ex-navy officer who goes in search of missing Nazi gold worth £140 million, currently resting undisturbed on the ocean floor in a destroyed German U-Boat.

With the financial backing of an illusive and powerful partner, Captain Robinson (Jude Law) assembles a bottom of the barrel salvage team, consisting of British and Russian submarine experts, and heads into the hostile waters of the Black Sea to salvage the forgotten gold bullion.

Though with the old Russian submarine as their only protection against an ocean of death all around them, as well as the threat of discovery by the Russian submarine fleet, the mission is going to be anything but easy.

However it soon becomes apparent that their biggest threat to survival and fortune, may in fact be one another, as greed for a bigger share each starts to wash through the submarine like a plague.

Director Kevin MacDonald, the Oscar-winning visionary behind The Last King of Scotland (2006), teams up with Utopia (TV, 2013) writer and producer Dennis Kelly, to breath new life into the submariner genre with this gripping and claustrophobic thriller, teaming with nerve-wrangling twists and turns.

Black Sea is a refreshing, character-driven, British thriller, chocked full of edge-of-your-seat suspense, strong performances, and unexpected twists that keep you engrossed until the very end.

The Pyramid (2014)

Review of the horror, The Pyramid (2014), starring The Inbetweeners’ James Buckley.

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From The Awakening (1980) starring Charlton Heston to the box-office hits The Mummy (1999) and The Mummy Returns (2001) starring Brendan Fraser and Rachel Weisz, Ancient Egypt has proven to be a fan-favorite in the ever-popular horror genre.

Mix that with the ‘found-footage’ style of film-making that we’ve seen explode in Hollywood since it’s introduction in horror classics such The Blair Witch Project (1999) and Paranormal Activity (2007), and The Pyramid (2014) looked set to hit all the right notes in horror suspense.

Directed by Grégory Levasseur, the talented horror writer behind The Hills Have Eyes (2006) and Mirrors (2008), The Pyramid follows a team of archaeologists and documentary film-makers as they explore a recently unearthed, three-sided pyramid outside Cairo, Egypt.

However, things quickly take a sinister turn when the unsuspecting team find themselves trapped with an ancient, unknown evil lurking deep within the pyramid.

The Pyramid is a film that oozes promise but falls apart from the very beginning, failing to connect us with the characters and struggling to deliver the suspense and scare factor we expect. The horrifically bad storyline is made worse by the bottom of barrel, made-for-TV acting that comes as a surprise considering some of the names that make up the cast, including James Buckley, who we all know as one-quarter of the iconic Inbetweeners. To say I was disappointed with his cringe-worthy performance would be a severe understatement.

Though this film marks Grégory Levasseur‘s directional debut, there’s no excuse for adopting the ‘found-footage’ style of film-making, one of the most exciting aspects of this film, and then randomly abandoning it halfway through the movie – something especially concerning for a man who has already made a name for himself when it comes to consistent horror writing.

All-in-all, The Pyramid is an overwhelming disappointment that has cemented itself as this years worst horror release. I just hope that the next time Grégory takes the directional chair of a horror film, he pens the script himself.