Tag Archives: Elijah Wood

Cooties (2014) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier

Cooties

Directors: Jonathan Milott, Cary Murnion
Writers: Leigh Whannell, Ian Brennan
Stars: Elijah Wood, Rainn Wilson, Alison Pill

Plot:  A mysterious virus hits an isolated elementary school, transforming the kids into a feral swarm of mass savages. An unlikely hero must lead a motley band of teachers in the fight of their lives.
Running Time: 88 Minutes
IMDB Score: 5.7

Why I Watched it: I’ll be honest here itunes at it on for .99 cents, so I gave it a try.

Random Thoughts: This is kind of an odd movie, when it was first coming out I heard a buzz in the horror world and the fact that Leigh Whannell had co-wrote it there was hope this would be one of those rare horror/comedies that would work then it kind of came out and just went and most reviews were negative.  It’s got a good cast but I’ve said it before and I’ll say it gain the horror black comedy is the hardest sub-genre to pull off, you’re almost better to go hard in one direction, just make it a horror that has some humor or do a comedy that has splashes of horror.

What I Liked: I’ll be real honest here for the first third I really didn’t like this film, the jokes didn’t land and it was just bad but to it’s credit it did pick up and things did begin to roll close to the second act and then the third act was fine, once they embraced the horror element(zombie kids) the film found it’s feet.
The cast is good but mostly miscast, the standout is Wood, he’s a genre vet and he makes his very thin character work and once the action starts he’s very good.
The script is a mixed bag, it doesn’t work as a comedy but the action and zombie stuff was pretty well done for of course kind of being a PG-13 horror film, they didn’t have the balls to go all out. The best thing I can say about the film is that it got better and you can’t say that for many genre films, it did improve and everyone was at least trying.

What I Didn’t Like: The script is the weak link here, the characters just don’t work, outside the three main characters no one has more than one character trait, he’s the weird one, poor Jack McBrayer only has that his character is in the closet to play with, I didn’t even know what he taught.  That is why the first half of the film was bad, we didn’t know these characters and really no one was that likable.  The Rainn Wilson was cliched but man he was miscast, didn’t buy him as a former jock at all.  Alison Pill was just bland and really the love triangle thing was the only thing she had going as a character.

The film failed on all levels to be funny and the first 3rd was really not funny, the jokes just did not land.  So has a comedy it was bad, as a horror film it hurt itself trying to be funny.  The directors just didn’t have a handle on the script or what they wanted to do unless they wanted to make an unfunny horror comedy.
Some people might thing it was because it was kids being used as the zombies but I don’t buy it, anything can work this didn’t not because of the source material, zombie can be funny these just weren’t.

Final Thoughts: I made it through it which at points I didn’t think would happen and by the end I kind of not hated it, it was just short of fine.

Rating: 4/10

The Last Witch Hunter (2015) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier ‬

THE LAST WITCH HUNTER

Director: Breck Eisner
Writers: Cory Goodman, Matt Sazama
Stars: Vin Diesel, Rose Leslie, Elijah Wood

‪Plot: The last witch hunter is all that stands between humanity and the combined forces of the most horrifying witches in history.‬
‪Running Time: 1 hour 46 minutes ‬
‪Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics  17%    Audience 43%‬

‪Why I watched it: I’ll be honest I dragged my feet on it, I started it awhile ago got like 20 minutes in then something came up might to get back to it but didn’t then finally I was looking at my Netflix list and said I have to finish it and I did.  So the why it’s genre and I don’t mind the director. ‬

‪Thoughts: This is meant as a franchise, and it’s a mix of action, kind of horror but more fantasy, Diesel still looking for something other than just the Fast And Furious films.‬

‪What I liked: I like the world building here, it isn’t new but I like the use of magic and witches that they exist and Diesel is like the police he keeps them scared and for the most part behaving, in that the film did remind me of Men In Black. Diesel is fine here, he kind of just does the same thing now, he’s cool, he’s a badass that’s it but here he does seem to be having fun and he goes with it, not a great performance but he’s trying at least a bit here. I really liked Rose Leslie here, I’m not A Game of Thrones watcher so I haven’t see her in much but I liked her energy and she had chemistry with Diesel and she didn’t sleep walk she tried to flesh out a stock character and she did a good job.‬

‪What I Didn’t Like: The CGI was pretty bad across the board, if there going to be that crappy then go practical cause it did hurt the film. The whole technical side was just so so nothing stood out. I think the thing that it hurt it the most was the lack of a solid threat as a bad guy, they had two here and both were boring, stock villains with no real character, they want to destroy the world, really?  The threat was boring and it’s too bad cause I did like the world building but when it came to the villains motivations and the couple of twist they threw in, well to be put it bluntly it was boring and very lazy.  They could have done more with the idea.  That’s the thing here they had an idea and a main character and never worked it out made it interesting.‬

‪Also they wasted Michael Caine, I have on idea why he was in this movie, maybe he had a free couple of days, the part certainly didn’t need an actor like Caine.  Same with Elijah Wood, he seemed off like he wasn’t sure what movie he was in and he gives a very bland and blah performance, he’s a genre guy he could do this in his sleep but he came up empty here.‬

‪Final Thoughts: I didn’t think it was as bad as the buzz, it was a misfire but it was breezy enough to make it watchable.‬

‪Rating: 4/10‬

I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017) Movie Review by Stephen McLaughlin

I Dont Feel at Home in This World Anymore

Director: Macon Blair
Writers: Macon Blair
Stars: Melanie Lynskey,  Elijah Wood,  David Yow

When Ruth Kimke is burglarized, she discovers a new sense of purpose by tracking down the thieves alongside her odd neighbour Tony. But they soon find themselves dangerously out of their depth against these underworld criminals.

I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore is worth seeing for its interest in realistic characters, in particular Ruth, who’s played brilliantly by Melanie Lynskey. Ruth views the world as a messed up place and cannot understand human behaviour towards her burglary from neighbours to the police department to the father of burglar.

Elijah Wood portrays Tony who we first meet when Ruth confronts him about his dog leaving “messages” on her front lawn. Tony is similar to Ruth in they see what is wrong with people in this world but don’t have any clue in how to deal with their problems and it’s Tony’s calm incompetence that really makes the character likeable and who doesn’t like a character equipped with morning stars and nunchucks?

The movies villains David Yow as Marshall and burglar Christian played by Devon Graye are standouts in their supporting roles and even in the darker scenes deliver some real funny moments that they execute so well as is Gary Anthony Williams as Detective William Bendix who delivers a hard nosed but dark comedic performance who appears to show little interest in Ruth’s burglary and is frustrated with her taking matters into her own hands. Watch out for the scene halfway through the movie between Ruth and the Detective in the Police Station that had me in stitches when Bendix loses the plot.

Macon Blair Directs and Wrote “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” (also plays funny “Bar Dude” who Ruth initially mistakes for a decent guy who spoils a reveal in the book Ruth is reading is hilarious) Blair’s human behavioural observations are very real and sometimes funny and is brilliantly expressed by Melanie Lynskey (mostly in those humdrum everyday life scenes) in how normal people like Ruth put up with outright ignorance on an everyday level until they finally snap. It should also be noted that this is Blair’s directorial debut and I hope and look forward to him sitting in the chair going forward as his execution in dark humour is solid.

The cinematography by Larkin Seiple who also worked on Bleed for This as Director of Photography and Swiss Army Man is invaluable once again with how this movie looks and feels. Seiple has a knack for capturing the overexposure of the daytime scenes and putting the blandness into the everyday life scenes (deliberate I’m sure)

The music in the movie is very varied by Brooke Blair and Will Blair (Green Room) whose choice of genres from Motown to Funk really give the movie a real snap particularly in the scenes with Ruth and Tony. At its darkest the Blair’s deliver real somber tunes to remind the audience that although the theme to the movie is dark humour the subject is still serious and I have to credit them for capturing this.

To summarise “I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore” which came out today on Netflix (24th February) in the U.S. and I think this movie is going to really draw in a cult following down the line. The cast and crew are brilliant and you sense the chemistry in the movie between the actors and you will enjoy this 96 minute film from beginning to end.