Tag Archives: Dougray Scott

The Vatican Tapes (2015) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier

The Vatican Tapes Review

Director: Mark Neveldine
Writers: Christopher Borrelli (screenplay by), Michael C. Martin (screenplay by)
Stars: Olivia Taylor Dudley, Michael Peña, Dougray Scott

Plot:  A priest and two Vatican exorcists must do battle with an ancient satanic force to save the soul of a young woman.
Running Time: 91 Minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 17%   Audience 62%

Why I Watched it: It’s a horror film and it’s Netflix fault.

Random Thoughts: Possession movies are tricky, along with the Slasher movie it might be the most cliched horror sub-genre, they tend to be paint by numbers productions.  Now the one thing with this film it gives us a two for one, it’s a possession movie and an anti-christ movie, fun wow.

What I liked: Not much, there I said it.  Let me take and breath and try to come up with something positive.  I liked the supporting cast actors, all are wasted but Michael Pena does try real hard and he’s good here and his character does work for the most part.

What I didn’t like: This is a sloppy mess of a film even for a horror film this is just bad.  Nothing in this film holds together and the plot seems so rushed that we never get a bearings, the film seems like a huge cut and paste job.  The characters aren’t fleshed out at all, we never get a sense of anyone or their relationships.  I think the acting suffers here as the characters and motivations are so mucky the actors are having a hard time getting a handle of what they’re dealing with.
I like Dougray Scott and he’s a vet of genre work but here he’s lost, he plays the father and by the end I swear he’s just yelling all his dialogue.  Olivia Taylor Dudley gives a not great performance, I can’t blame here cause the story throws her character around and we never know if she is possessed or why she’s acting like she is.

The biggest flaw this film has is that it’s not only not scary but there is no suspense at all, the cliches have cliches.  They do nothing with the genre and it’s so badly directed we don’t care. Even the set up of the title so all this is on tape and the Vatican has it?  The film starts in one direction, a small story about one women and then by the third act we’re dealing with the end of the world as we know it the film changes from The Exorcist to The Omen very quickly.  The main problem is we don’t get to know these people there’s no stakes at play.  It doesn’t build, almost every scene feels disjointed.  I blame the script mostly but the film is also not edited well.  This is a mess from start to finish, it wastes some good actors but it doesn’t have a story worth telling.

Final Thoughts: Just a really badly made horror film.

Rating: 2/10

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The Rezort (2015) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

THE REZORT

Director: Steve Barker
Writer: Paul Gerstenberger
Stars: Dougray Scott, Jessica De Gouw, Martin McCann

Plot:  The ReZort, a safari park, offers paying guests the opportunity to kill as many zombies as they please following an outbreak.
Running Time: 1 hour 33 minutes
IMDB Score: 5.3

Why I watched it: It’s a horror movie, I know it’s lame but it’s the truth.

Random thoughts: I knew next to nothing about the film, the plot description on Netflix Canada and I knew Dougray Scott was in it. I will say I’m a wee bit tired of zombie movies but i gave it a go anyway.

What I liked: The set up is simple but I will say a bit different for a zombie movie, it’s a park where you can go and kill zombies, you can if the metaphor pretty easy but I liked that this film had something to say sure it was a little hammer over the head but so many horror films have nothing to say about anything so this was nice that it had subtext.

Pretty simple set up zombies meet Jurassic Park, it had some good tension and I have to say as someone who has watched a ton of horror films you can get a feel if something is decent, it’s almost a vibe and I liked the energy of this film and also I really like the Dougray Scott character cause they do two things that modern films almost never do 1-he’s quiet, and a bad ass, 2-They don’t give us a huge backstory he’s a mystery, he’s ex military but he’s smart and he seems like a good guy or at least an anti-hero.  I also liked Jessica De Gouw here, her role is more cliched but she fleshed out her character she made her a flawed final girl but again she was likeable and you cared what happened to her.

The zombie action was good and the last act is well done, it gets dark and there’s a couple of twists that take a shot at humanity or the lack thereof. I do like how they set up the park and the people who worked there.  Again this film had a few things to say and they got it across in the form of a zombie movie.

What I didn’t like: The rest of the characters are types and you also know since they’re types they won’t last long. the acting is fine but again I wished they took more time giving some of them personalities. It’s a zombie film so of course we get some zombie cliches not as bad as some movies but again it would be nice to have as few as possible.

Final Thoughts: I liked it, this was a huge surprise for me, it’s not great but a solid late night horror film with more depth than one would expect.

Rating: 6/10

Taken 3 (2014) Movie Retro Review by Stephen McLaughlin

TAKEN 3

Director: Olivier Megaton (as Olivier Mégaton)
Writers: Luc Besson,  Robert Mark Kamen
Stars: Liam Neeson,  Forest Whitaker,  Maggie Grace, Famke Janssen, Dougray Scott

Taken 3 is rumoured to be the final installment in the trilogy of the franchise and the concluding chapter somewhat abandons its original idea, intent and formula and instead makes a DIET “The Fugitive (1993)” The Taken series no longer aims the straightforward formula or the context of the original. Don’t get me wrong while it’s still pretty fun to watch Neeson doing his best as Brian Mills, as an action hero, the movie somehow losses the senses of his character.

Mills used to be a clever guy who was always four or five steps ahead of everyone who could get out of any situation with careful, calculating precision. In this instalment he appears to be going out his way basically to make everyone’s accusation of him as a criminal even worse. He just couldn’t do the simple things, his actions always have to unreasonably lead from one disaster to the next. At least in the previous movies we can understand why he strikes his enemies without any remorse. In Taken 3, he comes off looking like the villain who just does things without reason, out of character and clumsy, in spite of his good intentions.

The movie has to go through all of these reasons to make it a lot exciting. There are some action sequences that look great and are shot spectacularly those sequences, but the fast paced editing hurts every action scene, unable to focus in many of its angles, making It harder to follow and can even cause motion sickness in the same way some video games do this.

Taken 3 should have been the topping finale to an excellent franchise with the first class cast who signed up. With the original Neeson, Janssen and Grace carrying the story forward and the addition of the brilliant Forest Whitaker (playing his version of Tommy Lee Jones “Sam Gerard”) and Dougray Scott replacing Xander Berkeley as Stuart, husband to Lenore (Famke Janssen)

As an actor, Liam Neeson hasn’t lost his enthusiasm for the role of Brian Mills, at least, but his talent deserves better than what the movie has done to itself. Taken 3 is a rather difficult thing to experience, not because it has a excellent and complex story, but because of its lacking consistency. Taken and Taken 2 consist of the same actors and storylines link together well with the first sequel having a knock on effect with the events of the first and original. The action looks larger and stylish than before but it still doesn’t make for a good replacement.

Forest Whitaker is always a good addition to the movie and does make it a little better, but even he, the ever suspicious FBI detective, tend to just follow Brian Mills around and then proclaims he knew all along what happened because the bagels were still warm. Give me strength.

One of the biggest disappointments was how little screen time Famke Janssen is given and is promptly killed off at the beginning of the movie for the films basis. Now, hold up this isn’t a spoiler so don’t be having a go at me. On the movies original trailer release it was surprisingly revealed and shockingly exposed that Lenore was being killed off. Before I went to see the movie in the cinema the basis of this film left me a little depressed that after everything Brian went through in Taken 2 to ensure his family was safe in Istanbul was quickly removed in the third instalments opening 15 minutes….yes, 15 Minutes.

Maggie Grace as Kim begins to really show her age. In the original she barely passed for a teen, but in the sequels she shows more of her age. A convincing college girl now?  I have to say she was possibly the weakest actor in the movie. Maggie Grace  reprises her role here but since Famke Janssen’s character dies very early at the movie’s beginning, Grace has the added burden of carrying the movie opposite Neeson but falls under the weight of the expectation levels of a character who previously was the “Damsel in Distress”

Dougray Scott replacing Xander Berkeley as Stuart St. John. Here is the link and only link to the previous movies. It was mentioned in the 2008 original film that’s Stuart had some dealings with Russian businessmen and nothing more was said or implied in that conversation. Here Besson and Kamen’s use this as a vehicle for the movies badguys but with a twist at the end which I will not spoil. Dougray Scott, who like Neeson and Whitaker also is much better than the material he’s often given, he tries to make it as the grieving widowed husband with more to him than meets the eye.

Director Olivier Megaton uses a Jason Bourne style of hyper fast edits for the action scenes but they actually come across rather cheaply and messy. Megaton relies on multiple cameras to capture the action throughout the 109 minutes.The film lacks the  energy and action of the first two films. Too often the film halts for deep emotional scenes or plot exposition. To be honest Luc Besson and Robert Mark Kamen’s screen writing skills have not been severely tested in this instalment in the franchise.

The movie wasn’t the greatest but it wasn’t the worst either. It was just a run of the mill adventure movie with Neeson that has distanced itself not on purpose from the rest of the franchise. Unfortunately Taken 3 looks like the cash in to complete the trilogy with a quickly knocked off and poor script, which is a pity as it could have been a flawless trilogy we would all be talking about in years to come.