Tag Archives: Alexandra Daddario

Texas Chainsaw 3D (2013) Review

Time: 92 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1]
Cast:
Alexandra Daddario as Heather Miller
Dan Yeager as Leatherface
Trey Songz as Ryan
Tania Raymonde as Nikki
Scott Eastwood as Deputy Carl Hartman
Shaun Sipos as Darryl
Keram Malicki-Sánchez as Kenny
Thom Barry as Sheriff Hooper
Paul Rae as Mayor Burt Hartman
Richard Riehle as Farnsworth
Bill Moseley as Drayton Sawyer
Marilyn Burns as Verna Carson
John Dugan as Grandfather Sawyer
Gunnar Hansen as Boss Sawyer
Director: John Luessenhop

Decades ago, residents of Newt, Texas, long suspected that the Sawyer family was responsible for the disappearances of many people. When their suspicions finally were confirmed, vigilantes torched the Sawyer compound and killed every member of the family — or so they thought. Much later, a young woman named Heather (Alexandra Daddario) learns that she has inherited Texas property from an unknown relative, and she is unaware of horrors that await in the mansion’s dank cellar.

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The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was a really effective horror movie, it’s one of the only horror movies that got close to actually making me feel unsettled, and was the scariest slasher movie that I’ve seen. As for the sequels and reboots, I haven’t seen them but I heard that they are pretty bad. Still, years ago I still decided to see Texas Chainsaw 3D and was less than impressed to say the least.

Even though it initially seems like a reboot or remake, Texas Chainsaw 3D is actually a sequel to the original. It even opens right after the events of the first movie. If there’s something I can give credit to this movie for at least trying, it’s that it attempts to be a continuation of the original story instead of just rebooting… though that would still prove to be a problem for the movie. One of the biggest mysteries and confusions surrounding Texas Chainsaw 3D is the time period. It certainly feels like a modern movie, but certain things revealed just don’t add up. The first movie was made in 1973 and that’s where the movie was set, Texas Chainsaw 3D is like 20 years later so really it should be in the 90s. But it doesn’t seem that way, it’s in the 90s yet characters have smart phones. I almost feel like the people making this movie didn’t know entirely themselves, there’s a bit when the main character reads a newspaper and it shows the date but deliberately hides the year. Its not just the time period that’s wrong with the movie unfortunately, for the most part Texas Chainsaw 3D is a rather generic slasher movie, with boring characters who make stupid decisions, the type that a lot of bad horror movies have. Early in the movie, the main character is given a letter and is told that its absolutely important for her to open it before going into this faraway house that she apparently inherited from some mysterious relative. Yet she doesn’t until much later, revealing so much incredibly major things that would’ve made the events play out much differently. They basically made her conveniently not think about checking out that letter even when some weird stuff starts happening. Weird decisions at the end aside, for the most part the movie is very predictable. It’s also got some moments which come across as silly, like at a point there are two people chainsaw fighting, and I’m pretty sure the filmmakers wanted us to take this movie seriously. The strangest parts however come towards the last act as the plot takes a weird turn, and not necessarily for the better (potential spoilers for the rest of the paragraph). The film actually tries to make Leatherface likable and sort of an anti-hero of sorts, and it’s just bizarre, it’s so sudden and jarring. I guess credit for them for trying but they weren’t anywhere close to succeeding. By the time it got to the point where it was clear what direction the story was going in, I just gave up on the movie at that point, I couldn’t take it seriously.

I don’t know if most of the cast have talent, but the characters are so underdeveloped that they really didn’t have a chance. There’s only two actors in here that I recognise. Alexandra Daddario I guess was the best of the cast as the lead character. She’s passable enough and I’m not really sure if I’d go so far as to call her performance bad, but she really didn’t have anything to work with in this movie, more so to the rest of the cast.

The direction of the movie is competent at best. For the horror, the movie relies heavily on jumpscares, with none of them effective at all. I always found the scariest part of the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre to be not the chainsaw wielding murderer, but just the absolute insane people in the family. Texas Chainsaw 3D mainly relies on Leatherface however, and in this movie he really isn’t intimidating, just another silent killer who happens to have a chainsaw. Again, there isn’t a consistent time period, if it’s really the 90s, the modern music has no place here. Yes, there’s a lot of gore here but it looks incredibly fake. There’s one bit where someone is being sliced at the waist with a chainsaw, but only the top half is moving, the bottom half of the body isn’t moving at all. Now this movie is called Texas Chainsaw 3D, and indeed you can tell that this movie was filmed to be 3D at points with the way that its filmed, with Leatherface thrusting his giant chainsaw in front of the camera just for audiences to see in its 3D glory (even though pretty much no one is watching this in 3D). There was even a moment later on where Leatherface throws his chainsaw at the camera, which was straight out of a bad 3D movie from the 90s where they tries to have random things popping out at the camera (and no, I’m pretty sure they aren’t attempting to tribute those movies at all).

Texas Chainsaw 3D is really not good at all. The acting isn’t good, the direction is lacklustre, it’s not scary in the slightest, it’s a rather standard and average slasher movie that you’ve seen done so much better, and although it does try to connect to the original movie, its ties just end up making the story stumble even more. Even if you liked the original movie, I don’t think you’ll get anything out of Texas Chainsaw 3D.

Night Hunter (2019) Review

Time: 99 Minutes
Cast:
Henry Cavill as Lieutenant Aaron Marshall
Ben Kingsley as Michael Cooper
Alexandra Daddario as Rachel
Stanley Tucci as Commissioner Harper
Brendan Fletcher as Simon Stulls
Minka Kelly as Angie
Nathan Fillion as Matthew Quinn
Director: David Raymond

A police lieutenant (Henry Cavill), his entire force, and a vigilante (Ben Kingsley) become caught up in a dangerous scheme involving a recently arrested, troubled man (Brendan Fletcher) who’s linked to years of female abductions.

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I knew about this movie for a little while, even back when it was originally called Nomis (before it was changed to the more generic title of Night Hunter). It looked like a standard thriller, but it was the cast that had me interested, with the likes of Henry Cavill, Ben Kingsley, Brendan Fletcher and more involved. Even though I heard some mixed/negative things about this movie, I wanted to check it out for myself. It indeed is a rather generic and average serial killer thriller, with some decent performances making it relatively watchable.

Night Hunter is aiming to be one of those serial killer thrillers like Se7en and Silence of the Lambs, but instead just end up having the standard clichés and tropes that a lot of other imitators have in their movies. That includes the roles from Cavill’s super serious cop to Kingsley’s vigilante. So much happens early in the movie (mainly the first 15 minutes) and it really feels too much and rushed. Then it suddenly slows down to a crawling pace after the first encounter with the serial killer character. The movie is an hour and 40 minutes and doesn’t necessarily feel too long, but it definitely stretches out some sections of the plot for too long. The most ridiculous side of the movie is the use of futuristic technologies, from high level tracking devices to hackers who quickly type on a keyboard and say “I’m in”. If you read a summary of the plot it doesn’t sound so bad, but in the movie itself they really fail to make it interesting. At some point there’s an attempt to find what makes this killer tick, but it doesn’t last very long. Night Hunter is quite procedural and you don’t really feel anything throughout, despite a couple of okay twists. It oddly enough manages to be a little too complicated and convoluted, and it really didn’t need to be. The third act isn’t even really that satisfying, it just sort of ends and that’s it.

As I said earlier, they’ve got a good cast here, but they don’t deliver their finest work. Henry Cavill is the lead as the police lieutenant, and he is good, probably the strongest of the cast. His character is a pretty familiar cop character, but Cavill manages to elevate the role just a little bit. The rest of the cast is mainly a mixed bag. I’ve not seen much of Alexandra Daddario in other movies for me to say that she’s a great actor, but she’s been better in other movies, it’s hard to buy her in this role. Though to be fair to her, despite her character featuring quite prominently in the plot, she’s given practically nothing to do for the most part. Ben Kingsley has his own plotline, with him and Eliana Jones (as his adopted daughter) as vigilantes hunting down sexual predators, and although that aspect makes the early section of the movie feel overstuffed, it at least provided a somewhat interesting angle for the story instead of just feeling like a standard cop finding serial killer movie. With that said, you’d think with the way they are set up in the first half that they will play a major role in the movie. In a sense they do play a part in the second half but not has much as you’d think, and by the end they mostly just feel like setup for the serial killer to be encountered by the rest of the characters. There are other actors like Stanley Tucci who are also decent enough, but some cast members like Minka Kelly and Nathan Fillion are more background characters, and honestly could’ve been played by anyone. Brendan Fletcher as the serial killer had me interested, his performance in the Uwe Boll directed Rampage trilogy was the saving grace of them, and he was legitimately great in them. Here his performance here is a bit odd to say the least. I know that people who have seen this movie are a little split about how they feel about him. He is very over the top but he does convey the craziness of the character quite well. With that said the character has DID, let’s just say that it’s not a good or respectful portrayal of people with that condition. It certainly wasn’t the best choice for the character or the movie. When Fletcher does get more serious and less goofy with his performance, he’s a lot more effective, so removing the whole mental condition aspect would’ve made the movie and character much better.

I believe this is David Raymond’s first movie, and for a directorial debut it’s not bad. With that said, it does seem like at many points he’s trying to imitate some classic thrillers with his direction, much like with the story. The music is trying really hard as well, being overly intense when the movie really wants you to be tense, but it’s so heavy-handed that it’s more distracting than anything. The direction isn’t bad, just pretty standard.

Night Hunter may have a great cast mostly giving okay performances, but it’s not really worth watching it for them. The story is pretty familiar and nothing special, the direction is just okay, and overall it’s a standard thriller that isn’t particularly engaging. If you have an hour and 40 minutes to spare and are genuinely curious about it, then I guess it might be worth checking out. It’s not as bad as what I’ve heard from other people, but it’s really just okay at best.

San Andreas (2015) Review

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San Andreas

Time: 114 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Offensive Language
Cast:
Dwayne Johnson as Chief Raymond “Ray” Gaines
Carla Gugino as Emma Gaines
Alexandra Daddario as Blake Gaines
Hugo Johnstone-Burt as Ben Taylor
Art Parkinson as Ollie Taylor
Ioan Gruffudd as Daniel Riddick
Archie Panjabi as Serena Johnson
Paul Giamatti as Dr. Lawrence Hayes
Director: Brad Peyton

In San Andreas, California is experiencing a statewide earthquake that goes on record as easily the biggest earthquake in history. Dwayne Johnson plays Ray Gaines, a helicopter rescue pilot for the Los Angeles Fire Department, who is trying to find his daughter, Blake (Alexandra Daddario), who is in San Francisco amidst the chaos. Ray’s estranged wife, Emma (Carla Gugino), is forced to turn to Ray for help, as he is her last resort. Together they journey to save their daughter.

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Disaster movies have practically become a genre in itself. Some of them are entertaining, others are painfully bad. As disaster movies go, San Andreas is one of the better ones but it’s still pretty dumb. The characters are one dimensional, the story is cliché and predictable and the action while good, at a point gets a little tiresome. Still, you know what you are going into, and you’ll probably get all the destruction and action that you want.

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You should know that the plot really doesn’t matter. If you have a hard time following what’s going on, it’s because not much of this movie makes sense. There isn’t any character development here either, all the characters are one dimensional and cliché. You don’t really care about the characters, you only care about Dwayne Johnson’s character because he’s The Rock. The plot is also predictable, from the get go you know exactly how the plot is going to go, you know what characters are going to live and what characters are going to die. There are also some really cheesy lines, there’s a scene where Paul Giamatti figures out what’s going on and someone asks him “Who should we call?” and he says “Everybody”. Moments like this make me wonder whether they are intentional cheesy or not. However if you’re watching this movie, you probably aren’t expecting a good plot.

Dwayne Johnson once again is a likable lead, he can add credibility to anything and elevate the films that he’s in. The supporting cast is pretty good with what they have, consisting of actors like Alexandra Daddario and Carlo Gugino. Paul Giamatti was good in the movie but his entire purpose in the film is to deliver exposition, I felt like he actually didn’t do that much in the movie. As I said before though, all the characters are one dimensional and you don’t particularly care about them. The only reason you care about The Rock’s character is because he’s played by The Rock.

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If you are going into San Andreas, you are going for the action and destruction. The effects for the most part work but at times it can look really fake. For example in the first scene of the movie a car flips down a mountain many times and it looked like a scene from the SyFj channel. The special effects most of the time do work but after a while, it gets kind of boring. Maybe it’s because there’s so much of it at once and after a while it doesn’t feel as impactful. Also the characters survive unbelievable destruction that there is no tension, like in the case of the aforementioned flipping car, when the car stopped flipping, the driver was still alive. It was like the film is running on Die Hard 5 logic.

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San Andreas is not that good of a movie but if you want to see destruction, you’ll definitely get that, if you want to see The Rock being awesome, you’ll get that. The story is predictable, the characters are one dimensional and cliché and the plot is really dumb. However I do think that if you want to see a mostly entertaining movie, you’ll get that with this movie, but I think there are better movies out there.