Detroit (2017)

Director: Kathryn Bigelow

Writer: Mark Boal (Screenplay)

Starring: John Boyega, Anthony Mackie, Will Poulter, Algee Smith, Jacob Latimore, Jason Mitchell, Jack Reynor

 

Plot: Fact-based drama set during the 1967 Detroit riots in which a group of rogue police officers respond to a complaint with retribution rather than justice on their minds.


Tagline –  It’s Time We Knew

Runtime: 2 Hours 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Intense Film

 

Story: Detroit starts in the 1960s Detroit, where African Americans are restricted to limited neighbourhoods that were enforced by strict and brutal white police force, the equality act is nowhere to be seen here, which has only risen the racial tension between the races. In 1967 the tension has reached new heights, the army has entered the city to try and cover the problems as the Detroit riots start, days of looting, we follow white police officer Krauss (Poulter) who use his power to control the streets with force leading to him finding himself in trouble with his superiors. We also follow black security officer Dismukes (Boyega) who is called to try and control the looting, to complete the main people we will be following is Larry (Smith) and Fred (Latimore) musicians whose big opportunity is taken from him when the riots require a curfew at night as the group must hide out in a hotel.

When Carl (Mitchel) sends shots into the night, he sparks the events of this night, as the military focus on the hotel in which Larry and Fred are staying, with Dismukes wanting to make things end peacefully but Krauss, well he sees it as a chance to continue his violent ways, how will the night turn out?

 

Thoughts on Detroit

 

Characters – Dismukes is a security officers trying to stop looting during the riots, he plays the man between the lines, the violent white officers don’t respect him, the fellow black prisoners in the siege don’t trust him. He is the only one that has the power to find a peaceful outcome. Krauss is the violent police officers, he is about to face murder charges after killing a looter by shooting him in the back, he takes charge of the siege on the hotel which gets him a chance to continue the violent behaviour to anyone who supports the black side of the riots. Larry and Fred are two musicians that get caught up in the middle of the siege on the hotel, they are nothing more than kids who are just wanting to make a living. Greene is a war veteran that gets caught in the middle of the siege that served his country and still gets treated the way he did, he remains strong during the incident. We also meet the two white young women who are believed to be involved in the shooting and the officers working for Krauss who are just as twisted as him.

PerformancesJohn Boyega continues to show he is one of the hottest properties in Hollywood right now, he is gives us an authentic accent, never seeming like he is riding the Star Wars fame. Will Poulter is hauntingly disturbing in this role, he shows us that he will be a main stay in Hollywood most likely in villainous roles until he wants to step away. The new kids on the block Algee Smith & Jacob Latimore are both great showing the fear they are going through. The rest of the cast are brilliant too showing what the characters are going through.

StoryThe story faces the reality of one of the most violent nights in the Detroit riots, the build up to why people were there and how the events went down, as well as the aftermath. We have snippets of real footage that showed us what was going on in the bigger picture to the events around this incident. This is an interesting way to tell the story, because the first 1 hour and a half is leading up to and showing the siege while the remaining time is focusing on the aftermath which at times can drag along because we know the events, we don’t need to see a court case recounting them for us again.

Crime/HistoryThis is an important moment of history in America, the crime was horrendous, the action are almost unbelievable the crimes we witness, if you know the events then you will know the outcome, which could become negative if you want to see where things will go.

SettingsThe settings keep us in Detroit which is where the film is set, well the title tells you that, we are transported back to the time with everything seeming authentic too.


Scene of the Movie –
The whole siege is edge of your seat.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The film seems to keep going when it should have ended a lot earlier.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most intense thrillers of recent years, but then the thrilling side ends and the film just keeps rolling through details we didn’t need to see after what we have seen.

 

Overall: Such a strong movie for the most part.

Rating

 

 

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The Blessed Ones (2016)

Director: Patrick O’Bell

Writer: Patrick O’Bell (Screenplay)

Starring: Dave Vescio, Andy Gates, Tamzin Brown, Jonathan Erickson Eisley, Michael O’Hare Wallace, Alex Essoe

 

Plot: The Blessed Ones shadows a tightly knit cult hiding in a remote desert enclave as they prepare for the impending apocalypse. Two dissenters try to escape through the vast desert wasteland as the cult embarks on a mass suicide pact.


Tagline – Death is only the beginning

Runtime: 1 Hour 19 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cult Filled Confusion

 

Story: The Blessed Ones starts as we learn from Spencer (Gates) about the cult run by Elyon (Vescio) who has arranged a mass suicide, that Spencer and Ursa (Brown) refused to take part in, they escape being chased down by the enforcer Draco (Eisley) who doesn’t want to see Elyon lose his followers.

While Spencer is recounting his time within the cult, we get a mix of flashback to other members on the cult who had been part of the suicide pact and wait to see if Ursa is still alive.

 

Thoughts on The Blessed Ones

 

Characters – Spencer is the one telling his side of the story, he escaped but refused to leave without the person that helped him get free of the compound. Elyon is the leader of the cult, he teaches his followers that they will find divine intervention if they follow his ways, while arranging the mass suicide. Ursa tries to escape with Spencer, but once they are separated she finds herself re-captured and held prisoner in the cult waiting for Elyon to finishes her off.

PerformancesThe performances here are no the best either with the guys who offer nothing new or the waste of the talented actresses from great movies, with Tamzin Brown from Tabloid Vivant or Alex Essoe from Starry Eyes.

StoryThe story is told in a way that is very difficult to keep up with, we jump around the timeline a lot, we follow characters shorter story which can go nowhere. The cult style movie has been done before and there is very little fresh you can bring to it by now which doesn’t help either. For m this is a disappointing step into the world, as you never believe the leader could have control over the followers and you end up with just a weak hard to follow film.

SettingsMost of the film is a mix of the desert or the compound, it leaves us wondering just which one has the biggest impact on the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Intruder.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Time jumping becomes too hard to follow.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that enters into the cult idea, but ends up coming off confusing from start to finish, it does try to have a brave finish, but by then you might have lost interesting in following this film.

 

Overall: Confusing is an understatement.

Rating

 

 

Europe at Sea (2017)

Director: Annalisa Piras

Writer: Annalisa Piras

 

Plot: Exclusive access to top of the EU as Europe faces a crumbling world order.


Runtime: 1 Hour 1 Minute

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Insightful Documentary

 

Story: Europe at Sea starts as we learn Federica Mogherini is leading the Foreign and security policy of the European Union which is 500 million citizens, during the latest year 2017 being one of the worlds most violent since World War II.

Federica is searching for answers to how to make Europe safe with the constant war and poverty surrounding Europe, be it from the East or from the South, the African countries.

We follow how human trafficking is being tackled, immigration is being approached putting lives above anything else and how climate change is being dealt with. We also learn how the Europe is trying to work with Africa in a partnership, how Britain going for the Brexit movement changing how policies would be pushed through and the election of Donald Trump who only wants to put America first, not the world like Federica’s planned policy includes.

 

Thoughts on Europe at Sea

 

ThoughtsWhen it comes to documentaries you need to want to take in the subject, this film takes in the struggles to push European Policy through for Federica Mogherini. 2017 just became even more challenging for reasons outside her control. As one of the people who didn’t see the motivation behind leaving the EU i can see how it can make things difficult going forward. This is essential viewing for anyone who doesn’t understand the EU policies, because it gives you an easy to understand approach to what they are trying to do. I do wish this would be shown on main stream television over the reality TV nonsense, to help educate people too. I have learnt a lot that I didn’t know about and now I feel more able to understand what the EU is planning for.

 

Overall: Must watch documentary for all to see.

Rating

 

 

Sweet Virginia – Out on DVD on 15th January 2018

Image titleSweet Virginia is a tense, violent neo-Western from the producers of The Raid 1 and 2 that will have you gripped from start to finish. As layered as it is tense this is a tight, brutal thriller with a meticulously crafted plot that starts with a gruesome murder scene and doesn’t let up from there. And it’s all carried along by a first-rate performance from The Punisher himself, John Bernthal. 

Key talent:

Director

Jamie M. Dagg (River)

Cast

John Bernthal (Netflix’s The Punisher and DaredevilBaby DriverSicario, The Walking Dead)
Imogen Poots (Filth28 Weeks LaterV for Vendetta, the upcoming I Kill Giants)

Rosemary Dewitt (La La Land)

Composers

Brooke and Will Blair (Green Room)

Synopsis:

Former rodeo star Sam (John Bernthal), now lives a quiet small town life running a motel, where he begins a seemingly innocent friendship with Elwood (Christopher Abbott). Unbeknownst to Sam, the young man is responsible for the spate of violence that has recently gripped his hometown.

As the community unravels, Sam’s loved ones, neighbours and business patrons become involved in the terror that unfolds, while Sam must face his past and present relationships to face off against this unpredictable predator.

Image title

We like it because

Thrillers don’t get much more thrilling than Sweet Virginia, as John Bernthal’s quiet motel owner, Sam, embarks on something of a bromance with Christopher Abbott’s Elwood, before discovering he is at the heart of the darkness taking over the town. Bernthal delivers a stunning performance, showing more of the unexpected deep feeling he brings to his role as Frank Castle in Netflix’s The Punisher and Daredevil. Abbott, meanwhile, plays a character so supremely sinister, you genuinely believe he’s capable of the most horrendous violence – yet even he has hidden depths.

The tension mounts as Sam and Elwood become close and Sam begins to realise something is more than a little off about his new friend. As events spirals out of control, we see director Jamie M. Dagg’s craft come to life as he balances the clever script, wonderful performances and visceral brutality to create something truly accomplished. It’s his sure hand that elevates Sweet Virginia above its genre, withholding information from the audience until the perfect moment and playing everything out with a subtlety not often seen.

Speaking of Dagg, Sweet Virginia has strong pedigree behind the camera as well as in front. Dagg also helmed the 2015 man-on-the-run thriller, River, while its team of producers were behind The RaidThe Raid 2 and Sinister to name but a few. The score, meanwhile is composed by Brooke and Will Blair, who were behind the amazing Green Room soundtrack – giving you a hint just how gripping Sweet Virginia is and showing you just what can be accomplished when all of this talent comes together.

Hot quotes

“Exceptional” – Variety
“Gripping… a visceral delight” **** – Seen Some
“Expertly tense and meticulously crafted” **** – Culture Fix
“An accomplished thriller… exquisite performances” Movie Review World
“Nerve-shredding” **** – IndieWire

The Simpsons Challenge Season 4 Episode 18 – So it’s Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show

The Simpsons Challenge

Season 4

Episode 18 – So it’s Come to This: A Simpsons Clip Show

Couch Gag – This time the heads are all on the wrong bodies which leads to them needing to swap.

Plot SynopsisHomer plays a series of (childish) practical jokes on Bart. To get even, Bart uses a paint mixer at a local hardware store to shake up a can of Homer’s beer. Homer opens the can, resulting in a huge explosion that seriously injures the Simpsons patriarch.

What is going on reallyWe start with Homer pulling a string of April Fool’s Day. When Bart gets his revenge he leads to a massive explosion at the Simpson home.

With the treating showing the damage Homer has received over the years through the clips from over the years. This episode just shows us the best adventure we have seen our character go on through the first four seasons of the show.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very cheap episode that shows the show didn’t know where it wanted to go which only disappoints.

Rating 1/5