Tag Archives: Billy Burke

Drive Angry (2011) Review

Time: 105 Minutes
Age Rating: 79a0443c-3460-4500-922d-308b655c1350[1] Violence, offensive language, drug use and sex scenes.
Cast:
Nicolas Cage as Milton
Amber Heard as Piper
William Fichtner as The Accountant
Billy Burke as Jonah King
David Morse as Webster
Katy Mixon as Norma Jean
Director: Patrick Lussier

Thrown into hell for his crimes, brutal felon John Milton (Nicolas Cage) escapes from the fiery pit after cultists murder his daughter and take her baby. Intent on rescuing the child, Milton joins forces with a waitress, who gives him her ex-lover’s fire-red muscle car. In it, the two pursue the cult leader, who plans to sacrifice the infant and unleash hell on Earth. However, the hunters become the hunted when Satan sends his merciless henchman (William Fichtner) to drag Milton back).

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I wasn’t really expecting much from Drive Angry, apparently it wasn’t very good but it’s an over the top action movie and it had Nicolas Cage, so naturally I had to check it out for myself. Drive Angry as to be expected wasn’t very good but also unfortunately it really wasn’t as crazy as it should be. Nonetheless I still had a fun time with it.

The plot of Drive Angry is straightforward enough. Nicolas Cage comes back from hell to get revenge on a cult who killed his daughter and kidnapped his granddaughter. The movie doesn’t try to be more than it is thankfully. The dialogue really isn’t well written, which is to be expected. Drive Angry is a sort of grindhouse/exploitation movie with an overblown plot, extreme content and trashy writing. This movie does have some over the top things, I mean it includes Nicolas Cage having sex with clothes on with sunglasses while smoking a cigar while in a gunfight in slow, so by that point you’ll have an idea what kind of movie you’re in for. At the same time, in terms of the tone it feels like it wasn’t going crazy enough. The plot itself feels a little dull and really not as exciting as it should’ve been, at times feeling like a standard R rated action flick. It does have its moments but a lot of the time it does feel like it was a wasted opportunity.

The acting on the whole isn’t that great but it’s not one of the things I was really expecting. Nicolas Cage has built up a reputation of having some incredibly over the top performances, unfortunately he isn’t all crazy like he was in movies like Ghost Rider 2, Face/Off or Deadfall. It feels like a wasted opportunity unfortunately. Despite this, he is still entertaining enough and doesn’t end up being worst Nicolas Cage (which is dull Nicolas Cage). I haven’t seen Amber Heard in much, but if she has some acting talent it’s not on display here. She’s really not given anything to work with, so I don’t put it fully on her, but she isn’t really that good here. Billy Burke is the villain as the leader of the cult, who is quite silly and over the top but he works fine enough. By far the best thing about Drive Angry is William Fichtner. He plays a character named The Accountant, who’s pretty much Satan’s assistant and he is just having a total ball playing this character, stealing every single scene that he’s on screen. Just the scene involving him, a truck and the song “That’s the way I like it” is worth the price of viewing alone.

The direction Patrick Lussier makes the movie seem like a somewhat modern grindhouse movie. The CGI wasn’t the best. Whether it be the bullets, fire, blood, a lot of it looks quite fake. However, it is fake in a good sort of way, in a trashy movie sort of way. It is absolutely bloody, violent and obscene at times. Unfortunately, as overblown as it is, it’s not very creative, it’s like basic over the top, if such a thing exists. It’s not bad but it’s not very memorable.

As an actual movie, Drive Angry clearly isn’t good at all, but as a guilty pleasure action flick, it is actually somewhat okay. It is a crazy mindless film, oddly enough though, the main issue is that it’s not as crazy as it should be. However it is entertaining enough that it might be worth watching (for those who like over the top action grindhouse movie).

Lights Out (2016) Review

Time: 81 Minutes
Age Rating: 860940[1] Supernatural themes & violence
Cast
Teresa Palmer as Rebecca
Gabriel Bateman as Martin
Alexander DiPersia as Bret
Billy Burke as Paul
Maria Bello as Sophie
Director: David F. Sandberg

When Rebecca (Teresa Palmer) left home, she thought that her childhood fears were behind her. As a young girl growing up, she was never really sure of what was real when the lights went out at night. Now, her little brother Martin (Gabriel Bateman) is experiencing the same unexplained and terrifying events that jeopardized her safety and sanity. Holding a mysterious attachment to their mother (Maria Bello), a supernatural entity has returned with a vengeance to torment the entire family.

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The thing that originally interested me about this movie was that James Wan produced it, and as we all know, James Wan is quite possibly the best horror director working today at the moment. Now I saw this movie a long time ago, so I won’t have the best memory of the movie. But what I do remember about this movie is that I liked it. It’s quite a simple and straightforward movie, the story was decent, the acting was good, this is mostly a ‘fine’ movie. What makes it worth seeing however is the direction by David F. Sandberg. All things considering, Lights Out is a lot better than most horror films nowadays.

Lights Out isn’t a hugely deep or special horror movie, it’s quite simple in its premise but I’m okay with that. There’s only so much you can put in a 90 minute movie. It flowed pretty well and I wasn’t really bored at any points. The dialogue is okay, nothing spectacular but a little cliché at times. There’s honestly not much to talk about the story but I did like the direction that it went in. The story overall was decent, nothing bad, but nothing particularly great either. It is mostly the execution of the story which makes the movie work so well.

The acting was generally okay from everyone. It’s nothing great but it is good enough, I’m particularly referring to Teresa Palmer and Alexander DiPersia. They are fine but nothing special. There are two great performances in this movie though. One of them is Gabriel Bateman, a child actor who was actually good, also very convincing in his role. The other great performance was Maria Bello as Teresa Palmer’s and Gabriel Bateman’s mother, who was also very impressive and convincing.

The main reason to see this movie is the direction by David F. Sandberg, who seemed to be quite good at horror flicks with the recently realeased Annabelle Creation being surprisingly good as well. The use of shadows was very creative. The scares were quite effective, even if there were some scares (particularly jump scares) which weren’t really effective. Also some scares were more hilarious than actually scary, I’m not sure myself if these scares were intentional or not. But for the most part it works quite well for the movie. It is generally difficult for me to judge scares as I’m barely scared by horror movies.

Lights Out is a solid horror movie which is quite effective in its scares. The acting was decent (at times really good), and the okayish story worked for the movie but it’s the direction by David F. Sandberg that really ties the whole movie together. If you love horror movies, you should check this out sometimes. It’s not one of the best horror films of all time, I’m not even sure I’d call it great but it is probably one of the better horror movies in recent years, but I guess that’s not really saying a lot.