Thursday, December 3, 2015

Jinn (2014)

Number Rolled: 49
Movie Name/Year: Jinn (2014)
Tagline: None
Genre: Thriller
Length: 97 minutes
Rating: PG-13
Production Companies: Exxodus Pictures
Executive Producer: Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad, Richard Mandell, Najam Syed, Shahid Syed
Director: Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad
Writer: Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad
Actors: Dominic Rains, Ray Park, William Atherton, Faran Tahir, Serinda Swan, Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad, Arman Pirzada, Imtiaz Ahmad, Dennis North, Milica Govich

Shawn gets a mysterious package one day and it leads him to a couple of strange people insisting that the world is different than he believes.

Selina’s Point of View:
I didn’t think I’d enjoy this film. I was expecting something much different than I got.

Sure, some of the graphics weren’t exactly top of the line, but I have seen MUCH worse. The acting was well above what I was expecting and the script was too.

I should have expected something decent out of Ray Park (Heroes, The King of Fighters, X-Men), but he wasn’t the star. The star was Dominic Rains (How to be a Gangster in America, Captain America: The Winter Soldier, General Hospital). There were some scenes where Rains really blew me away. None of the other actors really left an impression on me, for better or worse.

Although I mostly enjoyed the film, there were some issues.

At times, the story was disjointed. In fact, there was one scene that was set to the sound of a heart beating that was cut so strangely that it seemed like a movie trailer right smack in the middle of the film. There were some scenes at the end that were also really difficult to follow, but at that point in the story that might have been on purpose. I didn’t think those scenes were necessary or enjoyable.

There were also a few issues with the script. A redundancy that was only visible in a few spots.

Despite the flaws, I liked Jinn and would watch it again.

Cat’s Point of View:
The trailer for this movie was exciting and intriguing, and reeled me in. I wanted to like this film so very much. It definitely didn’t blow me away in the way that I hoped – but it wasn’t bad, either. I was a bit disappointed.

Parts of the movie left something to be desired. They could have done better with their transitions between scenes. At some points I had to jiggle my mouse to make sure my monitor hadn’t gone to sleep because the screen had just gone black. Don’t adjust your tech, everyone – the movie does that. It’s not you.

I think the film got a lot of bang for its small amount of ‘buck’ with the special effects. Sometimes you can really tell when a movie is having to cut corners for the bottom line – that wasn’t necessarily the case here.

The writing was a little on the weak side and the movie seemed a little choppy. It felt like there needed to be more room for character development. There are big question marks in my mind, even after the final credits had rolled. I think they could have put that ‘black-screen’ time to better use, really.

It’s possible that some of those answers might be planned for revelations in a sequel. I’m not sure that’s going to happen, given the abysmal box office.

All that being said, there are some positive things I enjoyed about this film.

I’m not all that familiar with Dominic Rains (Mind of the Warrior, Broken, Camino), but he did a decent job with what he had to work with here.  There was too little screen time for Serinda Swan (Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief, Creature, Sister) in this film, plain and simple.

I had a good giggle over William Atherton (Kush, The Girl Next Door, The Citizen) as the helpful priest. In my mind, he will forever be Walter Peck from Ghostbusters (1984).

While I didn’t recognize him at first with the facial hair going on, I was pleasantly surprised that the role of Gabriel was played by Ray Park (Hellbinders, The Legend of Bruce Lee, Black Box). I think they seriously under-utilized him in this movie.  Most of his big “action” sequence was in slow motion. What?!?!

I mean come on! We’re talking about Darth Maul from The Phantom Menace (1999) and Snake Eyes from G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra (2009) here. They could have done so much more with his martial arts ability. Though, maybe they just didn’t want him to out-shine the main character. The special effects around his big scene were really cool, though.

We now come to the biggest reason I wanted to watch this movie. I’ll admit it – I was geeking out, the whole time. FireBreather. It practically had a role of its very own in the film – and for $60,000, 50 lucky people among the ‘general public’ had the opportunity to purchase one for themselves.

Yes, I’m talking about the car.

Writer, Director, and Executive Producer of the film, Ajmal Zaheer Ahmad (The Citizen, Alliance, It's a Mismatch) designed the vehicle to enhance the fire theme of the supernatural element of the movie. As a Michigan man, he wanted to blend the state’s automotive history with his film-making.

Classic Design Concepts in Novi, Michigan accomplished this by taking a fifth generation 2010 Chevrolet Camaro and stripping it down completely to rebuild it in the spirit of what a brand new Firebird might look like today, had GM not canned its Pontiac line. It was a beast, and took on a life of its own in the film. 

Can you tell what my favorite car is? Just a little?

I liked the film – the car is making it onto my list of favorites; but, sadly, not the movie.

Rotten Tomatoes Critic Score – 10%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience Score – 33%

Netflix’s Prediction for Selina – 2.5/5
Selina’s Trust-the-Dice Score3.5/5

Netflix’s Prediction for Cat – 2.2/5
Cat’s Trust-the-Dice Score3/5

P.S. There’s a mid-credits scene and another scene after the rest of the credits.

Movie Trailer:

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