ROSHAN’S ELEVEN : Sean Connery Films

Well, we lost one of the iconic actors of all time when Sean Connery passed away. I thought it’s time that I did a top 11 movies of his that I like. This is my list and it might be different from yours.

  • The Rock
  • Diamonds Are Forever
  • Outland
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  • The Untouchables
  • The First Great Train Robbery
  • The Man Who Would Be King
  • Goldfinger
  • Thunderball
  • The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen
  • The Hunt for Red October

Scream (Movie Review)

This is a horror franchise I didn’t get much into other than the first movie. I remember watching this film back in the late 90s maybe once or twice but that’s it. I haven’t watched it since then nor have I seen any of the sequels. It’s time to rectify that and I plan to watch all of them before the new one comes out or I can get to watch it.

Scream (1996)

Scream is a 1996 American slasher film[5] directed by Wes Craven and written by Kevin Williamson. The film stars David Arquette, Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, Matthew Lillard, Rose McGowan, Skeet Ulrich, and Drew Barrymore. Released on December 20, it follows the character of Sidney Prescott (Campbell), a high school student in the fictional town of Woodsboro, California, who becomes the target of a mysterious killer in a Halloween costume known as Ghostface. The film combines black comedy and “whodunit” mystery with the violence of the slasher genre to satirize the clich√©s of the horror movie genre popularized in films such as Halloween (1978 ), Friday the 13th (1980) and Craven’s own A Nightmare on Elm Street (1984). Scream was considered unique at the time of its release for featuring characters who were aware of real-world horror films and openly discussed the clich√©s that the film attempted to subvert.

High school student¬†Casey Becker¬†receives a flirty phone call from an¬†unknown person, during which they discuss horror movies. However, the caller turns sadistic and threatens her life. He reveals that her boyfriend¬†Steve Orth¬†is being held hostage and demands she answer questions about horror films. After Casey gets one wrong, Steve is murdered. When Casey refuses to answer more questions, she is murdered by a masked killer as her parents come home. Shortly after, they find her corpse hanging from a tree. The following day, the¬†news media¬†descend on the town and a police investigation begins. Meanwhile,¬†Sidney Prescott¬†struggles with the impending first anniversary of her mother,¬†Maureen’s, murder by her lover¬†Cotton Weary. While waiting at home for her friend¬†Tatum Riley, Sidney receives a threatening phone call. After she hangs up, she is attacked by the killer but evades them. Sidney’s boyfriend¬†Billy Loomis¬†arrives shortly after, but after he drops his cell phone, Sidney suspects him of making the call and flees. Billy is arrested and Sidney spends the night at Tatum’s house, where she receives another threatening call.

The next day, Billy is released and suspicion shifts to Sidney’s father¬†Neil Prescott, as the calls have been traced to his phone. School is suspended in the wake of the murders. After the students have left the school, the killer stabs¬†Principal Himbry¬†to death in his office. Tatum’s boyfriend¬†Stu Macher¬†throws a party to celebrate the school’s closure. The party is attended by Sidney, Tatum, their friend¬†Randy Meeks, and many other students. Reporter¬†Gale Weathers¬†attends uninvited to cover the situation, as she expects the killer to strike. Tatum’s brother¬†deputy sheriff¬†Dewey Riley¬†also looks out for the murderer at the party. The killer corners Tatum in the garage and murders her by crushing her neck with the garage door. Billy arrives to speak to Sidney privately and the two ultimately consummate their relationship, while Dewey and Gale investigate a nearby abandoned car. Many party attendees are drawn away after hearing news of Himbry’s death, leaving only Sidney, Billy, Randy, Stu, and Gale’s cameraman¬†Kenny. Gale and Dewey, having discovered that the car belongs to Neil Prescott, return to the house.

After having sex, Sidney and Billy are attacked by the killer, who ostensibly kills Billy. Sidney narrowly escapes from the house and seeks help from Kenny, but the killer slashes his throat; Sidney then flees again. Gale and Dewey believe Neil is the killer and has come to the party to continue his spree. Gale tries to escape in her van but drives off the road to avoid hitting Sidney and crashes. Meanwhile, Dewey is stabbed in the back while investigating in the house, and Sidney takes his gun. Stu and Randy appear and accuse each other of being the killer. Sidney retreats into the house, where she finds Billy wounded but still alive. She gives Billy the gun; he lets Randy into the house and shoots him. Billy reveals that he feigned his injuries and is actually the killer, with Stu as his accomplice.

Billy and Stu discuss their plan to kill Sidney and frame the murder spree on her father, whom they have taken hostage. The pair also reveal that they murdered her mother and framed Cotton for it, as she was having an affair with Billy’s father, which drove his mother away. Gale, who survived the crash, intervenes, and Sidney takes advantage of this to turn the tables on her attackers, knocking out Billy and dropping a television set on Stu’s head; Billy then awakens and attacks Sidney, but Gale shoots him. Randy is revealed to be wounded but alive, and remarks that the killer always resurfaces for one last scare. Sidney takes the gun and shoots Billy in the head, killing him for good. As the sun rises and police arrive, Dewey, badly injured, is taken away by ambulance and Gale makes an impromptu news report about the night’s events.

Made on a budget of around $15 million the movie made $173 million at the box office and has had a huge run at cable tv channels and dvd/bluray sales. It has also spawned 3 sequels and 4th one in production. It has also stood the test of time and I found it mostly enjoyable. I give it 7.5 outta 10!

RIP Sean Connery

Acting legend Sir Sean Connery has died at the age of 90, his family has said. The Scottish actor was best known for his portrayal of James Bond, being the first to bring the role to the big screen and appearing in seven of the spy thrillers. He was best known as the first actor to portray the character James Bond in film, starring in seven Bond films (every film from Dr. No to You Only Live Twice, plus Diamonds Are Forever and Never Say Never Again) between 1962 and 1983.

Connery was in smaller theatre and television productions until he got his break with the Bond films. He became a major actor with the success of his Bond role. His films also included Marnie (1964), Murder on the Orient Express (1974), The Man Who Would Be King (1975), A Bridge Too Far (1977), Highlander (1986), The Name of the Rose (1986), The Untouchables (1988 ), Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989), The Hunt for Red October (1990), Dragonheart (1996), The Rock (1996), and Finding Forrester (2000). Connery retired from acting in 2006. His achievements include one Academy Award, two BAFTA Awards (one being a BAFTA Academy Fellowship Award), and three Golden Globes, including the Cecil B. DeMille Award and a Henrietta Award. He received a lifetime achievement award in the US with a Kennedy Center Honor in 1999. Connery was knighted in the 2000 New Year Honours for services to film drama.

Connery’s later films included several box office and critical disappointments such as¬†First Knight¬†(1995),¬†Just Cause¬†(1995),¬†The Avengers¬†(1998 ), and¬†The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen¬†(2003); he received positive reviews for his performance in¬†Finding Forrester¬†(2000).¬†Thomas Sean Connery, named Thomas after his grandfather, was born in¬†Fountainbridge,¬†Edinburgh, Scotland, on 25 August 1930. In 1946, at the age of 16, Connery joined the¬†Royal Navy, during which time he acquired two tattoos. Connery began¬†bodybuilding¬†at the age of 18, and from 1951 trained heavily with Ellington, a former gym instructor in the¬†British Army. While his official website claims he was third in the 1950¬†Mr. Universe¬†contest, most sources place him in the 1953 competition, either third in the Junior class or failing to place in the Tall Man classification. When Connery received the¬†American Film Institute’s¬†Lifetime Achievement Award¬†on 8 June 2006, he confirmed his retirement from acting. On 7 June 2007, he denied rumours that he would appear in the¬†fourth¬†Indiana Jones¬†film, stating that “retirement is just too much damned fun”.

He leaves his wife Micheline and sons Jason and Stephane.

Alita: Battle Angel

Alita: Battle Angel is a 2019 American cyberpunk-action film based on Japanese manga artist Yukito Kishiro’s 1990s series Gunnm and its 1993 original video animation adaptation, Battle Angel. It was directed by Robert Rodriguez, produced by James Cameron and written by Cameron and Laeta Kalogridis. Rosa Salazar stars through performance-capture animation as Alita, a female cyborg who awakens in a new body with no memory of her past and sets out to uncover her destiny. Christoph Waltz, Jennifer Connelly, Mahershala Ali, Ed Skrein, Jackie Earle Haley and Keean Johnson star in supporting roles.

Alita: Battle Angel takes place in a world described as post-apocalyptic. In 2563, 300 years after Earth was devastated by a catastrophic war known as “The Fall”, scientist Dr. Dyson Ido discovers a disembodied female¬†cyborg¬†with an intact human brain while scavenging for parts in the massive¬†scrapyard¬†of Iron City. Ido attaches a new cyborg body to the brain and names her “Alita” after his deceased daughter. Alita awakens with no memory of her past and quickly befriends Hugo, a young man who dreams of moving to the wealthy sky city of Zalem. She also meets Dr. Chiren, Ido’s estranged ex-wife. Hugo later introduces Alita to Motorball, a¬†racing sport¬†played by cyborg gladiators. Secretly, Hugo robs cyborgs of their parts for Vector, owner of the Motorball tournament and the ‘de facto’ ruler of the Factory, Iron City’s governing authority.

One night, Alita follows Ido; they are ambushed by a gang of cyborg¬†serial killers¬†led by Grewishka. Ido is injured, and Alita instinctively fights using “Panzer-Kunst”, a lost combat art for machine bodies. She kills two of the cyborgs and damages Grewishka, who retreats. Ido reveals that he is a Hunter-Warrior, a¬†bounty-hunter¬†hired by the Factory. Grewishka goes to Dr. Chiren, who is working for Vector, for help. Despite Alita believing that fighting will help her rediscover her past, Ido discourages her from becoming a Hunter-Warrior. Alita finds a highly advanced cyborg body in a crashed spaceship outside the city. Recognizing that the body belonged to a Berserker ‚ÄĒdeadly¬†shock troops¬†of the enemy nation United Republics of Mars (URM) from the Fall, of which Alita was a member‚ÄĒ Ido refuses to install Alita in it.

Frustrated, Alita registers herself as a Hunter-Warrior. At the Kansas Bar, she and Hugo are unable to recruit other Hunter-Warriors to help her take down Grewishka. Zapan, a cyborg Hunter-Warrior¬†bully, provokes Alita, and she severely beats him in a fight, triggering a chaotic bar brawl until Ido arrives to intervene. Suddenly, an upgraded Grewishka appears and challenges Alita to a duel, revealing that he has been sent by Zalem’s¬†technocrat¬†overlord, Nova, to destroy her. Despite her combat skills, Alita’s body is damaged by Grewishka, before Ido, Hugo and Hunter-Warrior dogmaster McTeague arrive and force Grewishka to retreat. Ido apologizes and transplants Alita into the Berserker body.

Having fallen in love with Hugo, Alita enters a Motorball tryout race for the prize money to send Hugo to Zalem. Hugo’s relationship with Alita leads him to decide to quit his criminal job. He confronts his partner Tanji, but Zapan appears, kills Tanji and frames Hugo for the murder of another cyborg. Hugo narrowly escapes and calls Alita for help; she abandons the race and finds him just as Zapan does. Zapan mortally wounds Hugo. Dr. Chiren, having changed her mind about working for Vector, offers to help save Hugo by attaching his severed head to Alita’s life support system. When Zapan sees through the trick and attempts to stop Alita, she seizes his prized¬†Damascus¬†blade and injures him.

Ido transplants Hugo’s head onto a cyborg body and tells Alita that Vector’s offer to help Hugo reach Zalem was a lie; as an exiled citizen of Zalem, Ido is certain that citizens of Iron City cannot enter Zalem without becoming a motorball champion. Alita storms the Factory and confronts Vector, who reveals that Chiren has been harvested for her organs. Vector summons Grewishka, but Alita’s new¬†nanotech¬†body allows her to easily destroy him. She forces Nova to speak to her through Vector. When Nova threatens to harm her friends, Alita fatally stabs Vector.

Ido tells Alita that Hugo has fled to climb a cargo tube towards Zalem. Alita catches up to him and pleads with him to return with her. He eventually agrees, but a serrated defense ring dropped by Nova shreds his body and throws him off the tube. Alita catches him but cannot pull him up. Hugo thanks Alita for saving him before falling to his death. Months later, Alita is a rising superstar in the Motorball tournament. Cheered on by the crowd, she pledges vengeance by pointing her plasma-charged sword toward Zalem, where Nova watches from above, smirking.

Loved the sets and the special effects, cgi and the setting. Nothing really stands out in terms of acting but it was highly entertaining. 8 outta 10 and I would like to see more.

The Lodge

The Lodge is a 2019 psychological horror film directed by Veronika Franz and Severin Fiala, written by Franz, Fiala, and Sergio Casci, and starring Riley Keough, Jaeden Martell, Lia McHugh, Alicia Silverstone, and Richard Armitage. Its plot follows a soon-to-be stepmother who, alone with her fianc√©’s two children, becomes stranded at their rural lodge during Christmas. There, she and the children experience a number of unexplained events that seem to be connected to her past in a suicide cult.

Laura Hall, separated from her husband, Richard, dies by suicide after he informs her he plans to marry Grace Marshall, a woman he met while researching a book about an¬†extremist¬†Christian¬†cult. Raised in the cult, Grace was the sole survivor of their¬†mass suicide, led by her father. Laura’s death devastates her and Richard’s children, teenage Aidan and young Mia. Six months later, Richard announces that they will spend¬†Christmas¬†with Grace at the family’s remote¬†Massachusetts¬†lodge to get to know each other. Aidan and Mia uncover Grace’s past, including video footage of the cult, showing the deceased followers draped in purple silk with duct tape across their mouths reading “sin.” At the lodge, the children act hostile toward Grace and refuse efforts to bond with her, even after Richard departs back to the city for a work obligation. Grace’s unease is compounded by the abundance of¬†Catholic iconography¬†in the cabin, which causes her to have nightmares about her father. After being rebuked for watching her shower, Aidan prepares Grace a cup of cocoa.

In the morning, Grace awakens to discover that her belongings¬†‚Äď including her clothing, psychiatric medication, and pet dog¬†‚Äď are missing, as well as all the food and Christmas decorations. The generator has gone out, leaving all of their cell phones dead. Grace suspects the children have pranked her but finds their belongings missing as well. She notices the clocks have advanced to January 9. Aidan tells Grace he dreamed the gas heater malfunctioned and they all suffocated, and expresses fear that they may be in the¬†afterlife. Over the next several days, Grace¬†‚Äď succumbing to anxiety,¬†medication withdrawal, hunger, and cold¬†‚Äď begins sleepwalking, and is tormented by disturbing visions and dreams, including the recurrent voice of her father sermonizing. She attempts to walk to the nearest town, discovering a cross-shaped cabin where she sees her father beckoning to her. She eventually travels in a circle, taking her back to the lodge.

Buried in the snow, she discovers a photo of Aidan and Mia in a memorial frame, and inside, finds the children praying over a newspaper article detailing the deaths of all three from¬†carbon monoxide poisoning¬†on December 22. Aidan insists they are in¬†purgatory, and hangs himself in the attic as proof that they are dead, only to inexplicably survive. Grace suffers a¬†nervous breakdown, which intensifies when she finds her dog frozen to death outside. She enters a¬†catatonic¬†state on the porch. Worried she might die of exposure, the children finally admit that they have been¬†gaslighting¬†her the entire time, having drugged her, hidden their possessions in a crawlspace, faked the hanging, and played recordings of her father’s sermons via a wireless speaker. With their own phones dead at last, the children unsuccessfully attempt to start the generator and bring Grace her medication, but find her convinced that they are in purgatory and must do¬†penance¬†to ascend to heaven.

That night, the children witness Grace¬†self-flagellating¬†by burning herself on the hearth. They hide in the attic but Grace confronts them in the morning, insisting they must “sacrifice something for the Lord.” Richard returns to discover an inconsolable Grace brandishing his pistol. In an attempt to prove her belief that they are in purgatory, she fires the gun at him, killing him. Aidan and Mia attempt to flee in the car, but get stuck in the snow. Grace forces the children back into the lodge, where she seats them at the dinner table with their father’s corpse and sings “Nearer, My God, to Thee.” She affixes duct tape reading “sin” to each of their mouths before contemplating the gun.

It is a very slow burner and there are hardly any scares. The final scenes really intensifies the movie and I was surprised by the ending. Despite that I think I will probably never watch this film again. I will give it a 6.5 outta 10!

The Lovely Bones

The Lovely Bones¬†is a 2009¬†supernatural thriller¬†drama film¬†directed by¬†Peter Jackson, and starring¬†Mark Wahlberg,¬†Rachel Weisz,¬†Susan Sarandon,¬†Stanley Tucci,¬†Michael Imperioli, and¬†Saoirse Ronan. The screenplay by¬†Fran Walsh,¬†Philippa Boyens, and Jackson was based on¬†Alice Sebold‚Äôs award-winning and bestselling¬†2002 novel of the same name. It follows a girl who is murdered and watches over her family from “the in-between”, and is torn between seeking vengeance on her killer and allowing her family to heal.

In 1973, 14-year-old high school freshman Susie Salmon dreams of becoming a photographer. One day, Ray, a boy she has a crush on, asks her out. As Susie walks home through a cornfield, she runs into her neighbor, George Harvey, who coaxes her into an underground “kid’s hideout” he has built. Inside, Susie grows uncomfortable and attempts to leave; Harvey grabs her and the scene fades until she is seen rushing past her alarmed classmate Ruth Connors, seemingly fleeing Harvey’s den.

The Salmons become worried when Susie fails to return home from school. Her father, Jack, searches for her, while her mother, Abigail, waits for the police. In town, Susie sees Jack, who does not respond to her when she calls. Susie runs home to find Harvey soaking in a bathtub. After seeing the bloody bathroom and her bracelet hanging on the sink faucet, Susie realizes she never escaped the underground den and Harvey murdered her. Screaming, she is pulled into the “In-Between”, that is neither Heaven nor Earth. From there, Susie watches over her loved ones, and resists her new afterlife friend Holly’s urging her to let go.

Investigating Susie’s disappearance with Detective Fenerman, Jack believes Susie was murdered by someone she knew. He researches neighbors and eventually suspects Harvey is the killer. Fenerman is unable to find proof, as Harvey has carefully concealed the evidence. Susie’s sister, Lindsey, agrees with Jack’s suspicions, but their casework takes a toll on Abigail. Abigail’s alcoholic mother, Lynn, moves into the house. Feeling alienated from her husband, Abigail goes to California. Susie, in her afterlife, learns that Harvey, who has targeted Lindsey as his next victim, has murdered six other girls, including Holly, and that he stuffed Susie’s body into a large safe in his basement.

One night, Jack, carrying a baseball bat, trails Harvey into the cornfield. However, Jack accidentally stumbles across a teen couple. The boy, thinking they will be assaulted, nearly bludgeons Jack to death as Harvey watches nearby. As Jack recuperates, Lindsey breaks into Harvey’s house looking for evidence that he killed Susie. Upstairs, she finds a notebook containing a sketch of the underground den, a lock of Susie’s hair, and news articles about Susie’s disappearance. Harvey returns and almost catches Lindsey, but she escapes and rushes home to discover that her mother has returned. She gives the notebook to her grandmother, who contacts the police. Harvey has already fled his home ‚Äď taking the safe containing Susie’s body with him.

Susie’s afterlife begins expanding into a larger heaven, and she is greeted by Harvey’s other victims‚ÄĒnow showing ten, including Susie. She resists Holly urging her to enter Heaven along with the others, claiming she has one final thing to do. Meanwhile, Susie’s classmates Ruth and Ray are present when Harvey drives up to dispose of the safe at a sinkhole dump site on the Conners’ property. Susie returns to Earth and¬†enters Ruth’s body, causing Ruth to faint. Ray rushes to Ruth’s aid only to realize she has become Susie. They kiss, completing Susie’s last wish, and she returns to Heaven. Meanwhile, Harvey dumps the safe in the sinkhole, leaving it to disappear in the muddy water as he drives away.

Sometime later, Harvey meets a young woman outside a diner and offers her a ride, but she rebuffs him and leaves. A large icicle falls from an overhead branch, hitting Harvey’s shoulder, causing him to fall backward over a steep cliff to his death. Time passes, and Susie sees that her family is healing, which Susie refers to as “the lovely bones” that grew around her absence. Susie finally enters Heaven, telling the audience: “My name is Salmon, like the fish; first name Susie. I was 14 years old when I was murdered on December 6, 1973. I was here for a moment and then I was gone. I wish you all a long and happy life.”

Despite what I think was really good acting by the cast, the way the movie has so much cheesy stuff in it and the storylines were a bit boring. The way the movie was shot and the stuff about the in-between let me down. 7 outta 10!

Compliance (2012) Review

Compliance (2012) – Compliance is a 2012 American thriller film written and directed by Craig Zobel, based upon a strip search phone call scam that took place in Mount Washington, Kentucky, in which the caller, posing as a police officer, convinced a restaurant manager to carry out unlawful and intrusive procedures on an employee.

Compliance (2012)

Compliance is a 2012 American thriller film written and directed by Craig Zobel, based upon a strip search phone call scam that took place in Mount Washington, Kentucky, in which the caller, posing as a police officer, convinced a restaurant manager to carry out unlawful and intrusive procedures on an employee. It stars Ann Dowd, Dreama Walker, Pat Healy, and Bill Camp.It had its world premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 21, 2012.

It was released on August 17, 2012, by Magnolia Pictures. Dowd’s performance as Sandra, the manager, won the National Board of Review Award for Best Supporting Actress.

Sandra, manager of a ChickWich fast food restaurant, receives a call from someone identifying himself as Officer Daniels. He claims to be in contact with the regional manager about a customer who had money allegedly stolen by an employee that day. Daniels claims that he is searching the suspect’s residence, but will remain on the phone while Sandra detains the employee until the police arrive. Sandra identifies Becky as the suspect based on the description; Daniels confirms the name.

Sandra brings Becky to the restaurant office with another employee, Marti. She denies the theft. At Daniels’ behest, Sandra searches Becky’s pockets and purse and finds nothing. Telling her that the alternative is to have Becky go to jail, Daniels has her strip-search Becky. Daniels tells Sandra that he and other officers are searching Becky’s home on suspicion that her brother is involved in drugs, and that Becky may be involved. He has Sandra put Becky’s clothes into a bag and take it to her car for inspection by the police.

Sandra insists she resume managing the restaurant as it is busy. After Daniels stipulates that a male employee watch Becky for “security reasons”, another employee, Kevin, is brought in, but questions Daniels’ instructions and leaves. Sandra’s fianc√© Van takes over; under pressure from Daniels over the beers he drank before driving to the restaurant, he has Becky perform nude jumping jacks to “shake loose” any contraband concealed in her body. After Becky protests, Daniels has Van spank her. Eventually, Becky is coerced into performing oral sex on Van. Van leaves with guilt and is replaced by the custodian, Harold, who is outraged by Daniels’ instructions. Harold tells Sandra about Daniels’ orders; she calls the regional manager, who tells her he has no idea about any investigation.

The police discover that a similar incident happened elsewhere. Daniels is identified by closed circuit recordings and arrested; he is a family man working as a telemarketer. Becky meets an attorney to discuss options for suing Sandra. Sandra, now unemployed and no longer seeing Van, tells a journalist she is a blameless victim.

This is a really good movie and it made me feel sorry for both Becky and Sandra. The empathy factor is amped up as I really felt bad for them. Acting wise I think the main cast did an awesome job. I will give this movie an 8.5!