Trailer Alert – November

NOVEMBER

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Opens New York City February 23rd
Opens Los Angeles March 2nd

Winner – Best Cinematography
2017 Tribeca Film Festival

In this tale of love and survival in 19th century Estonia, peasant girl Liina longs for village boy Hans, but Hans is inexplicably infatuated by the visiting German baroness that possesses all that he longs for. For Liina, winning Hans’ requited love proves incredibly complicated in this dark, harsh landscape where spirits, werewolves, plagues, and the devil himself converge, where thievery is rampant, and where souls are highly regarded, but come quite cheap.
 
With alluring black and white cinematography, director Rainer Sarnet vividly captures these motley lives as they toil to exist – but is existence worth anything if it lacks a soul?


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Black Creek (2018)

Director: James Crow

Writer: James Crow (Screenplay)

Starring: Chris O’Flyng, Leah Patrick, Michael Hill, Robert Lowe, Brianna Shae, Pierse Stevens, Rachel Vedder, Michael Copon

 

Plot: Returning to their family’s cabin in the dark, Wisconsin woods to scatter the ashes of their father, a troubled young man and his brash sister are terrorized by signs that an ancient, Native-American spirit, awakened by a ritual murder, has marked them for death.


Tagline – The Hunting Season in Black Creek is About To Begin

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Cabin in the Woods Horror

 

Story: Black Creek starts as we meet the two siblings Mike (O’Flyng) and Heather (Shae) who along with fellow high school friends Harry (Hill), Lloyd (Lowe), Jenna (Patrick) and Rachel (Vedder) head out to their family cabin, firstly to say their final goodbye to their father and secondly to have a good time.

The forest has its own secrets though as the friends find themselves needing to fight for their lives against an unknown enemy which strikes when they least expect it.

 

Thoughts on Black Creek

 

Characters – Mike has recently lost his father, he is seen as an outsider away from his friends, with a creative ability to tell a story. he must use his knowledge of ancient Native-American history to stay ahead of the evil tracking him down. Heather is his sister that goes on the trip too, she clearly doesn’t fit in with this group, but her choice is here to say goodbye to their father. Jenna is the love interest for Mike and one of the friends that goes into the forest with them. We do get the characters we expect to see here with the friends and a determined sheriff trying to stop the crime wave spreading.

PerformancesChris O’Flyng is good in this leading role, you do feel sympathy for his character when needed and root for him when needed too. When you dive into the rest of the cast they are fine, they work well through the movie, without being as stand out as Chris.

StoryThe story puts our high school kids in a cabin in the woods when a new evil comes and ruins their weekend. This does work well for the most part as we get to know the kids as the evil heads towards them and it does give us an enemy that is not what the kids are ready to face. We have go through Native-American understanding, which is one that can struggle to translate to an international audience as we never truly get the real belief behind it all.

HorrorThe horror in this movie does work, mostly because you don’t know who the villain will be and the darkness scenes are creepy.

SettingsGoing into the woods gives us isolation and no easy escape, which is first an easy idea for horror and all we need.

Special EffectsThe effects in the movie work well for the what we are seeing, we get the visual of the kills and how the evil moves.


Scene of the Movie –
Talking too much in a bar.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Frustrating moment in the final scene.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror that shows that we have a director that knows how he wants to take his movies, we have a story which goes in the direction you expect and keeps you guessing.

 

Overall: Horror is waiting in the woods for you to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Lady Bird (2017)

Director: Greta Gerwig

Writer: Greta Gerwig (Screenplay)

Starring: Saoirse Ronan, Laurie Metcalf, Tracy Letts, Lucas Hedges, Timothee Chalamet, Beanie Feldstein

 

Plot: In the early 2000s, an artistically-inclined seventeen year-old comes of age in Sacramento, California.


Tagline – Time to fly

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming & Sweet

 

Story: Lady Bird starts in 2002 as Christine ‘Lady Bird’ McPherson (Ronan) is in the middle of her college tour with her mother Marion (Metcalf), Lady Bird is in the position where her family can’t afford a big move, but dreams of leaving the West Coast and heading to the East Coast.

With her financial situation getting worse, Lady Bird tries to go out of her way to secretly get into a college with a scholarship, but needs to improve her studies, while starting a relationship with fellow student Danny (Hedges). We follow Lady Bird’s final year at high school before needing to make her choice on college.

 

Thoughts on Lady Bird

 

Characters – Lady Bird is our leading lady, as we follow her final year of high school before college, she wants to break away to a big East Coast college, but her family can’t afford to give her this chance. she isn’t the most gifted student either. As the year goes past we see how Lady Bird changes her colours to fit in with different crowds, but she only pushes friends away, while hiding from the stress that trying to get into a college can cause a teenager. Marion is the mother of Lady Bird, she is trying to keep the family together including being considered the bad guy in the eyes of Lady Bird. Larry is her father, he tries to make sure everything seems smooth for Lady Bird, while deep down he is struggling with depression. Danny is the guy Lady Bird starts dating when she is part of the drama class, but his secret will end that love, as he must deal with his own problems. Kyle is the next guy that Lady Bird starts seeing, showing us that she will make mistakes when it comes to her choices.

PerformancesSaoirse Ronan is on top form her as she shows why she is one of the hottest young actresses in the business again. She handles each emotion, decision the character makes with ease. Laurie Metcalf is great in the over caring mother role, it was hard to look past her Big Bang Theory role which shares certain similarities.  When you look into the next level of the cast we get great performances from everyone in the film.

StoryThe story follows one girl who is about to go in her final year of high school before going into college, she needs to find a way to make things work out for herself, facing the idea that her dreams might not come true, well not the path that had dreamed off. She needs to learn that the people in her life are equally as important as herself and she can’t be expecting to have everything revolve around her life. We do get to see the struggle Lady Bird goes through, including being led down paths she wouldn’t for popularity over friendship.

ComedyThe comedy drama being mixed together in this film helps get the emotions our characters are going through during this year, it isn’t a laugh out loud comedy, just one that manages to make people smile, when need be.

SettingsThe settings show the small town feeling shows the issues teenagers will be facing when not everything is affordable for the parents and the grades don’t give them the chance to experience everything their potential has to offer them.


Scene of the Movie –
Coach picking the play team.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This is a strange one, but knowing Saoirse Ronan has surpassed teen roles know, because we want to see her take more adult roles.

Final ThoughtsI can see why people are raving over this film, but it does focus too heavily on the America college system and how people’s lives could be affected by this, something not everyone will go through. This is acted well from start to finish, it does show how the system is flawed and how difficult high school can be in this year.

 

Overall: Deserving of the praise, but strangely not for everyone.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – O – Out of Sight (1998)

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: Scott Frank (Screenplay) Elmore Leonard (Novel)

Starring: George Clooney, Jennifer Lopez, Ving Rhames, Don Cheadle, Catherine Keener, Steve Zahn

 

Plot: A career bank robber breaks out of jail, and shares a moment of mutual attraction with a U.S. Marshal he has kidnapped.


Tagline – Opposites attract.

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Stylish Crime Film

 

Story: Out of Sight starts as we see how Jack Foley (Clooney) a thief that finally gets caught and sent to jail, after working on his own escape Jack gets help from his best friend Buddy (Rhames) to escape, but get mixed up with beautiful US Marshall Karen Sisco (Lopez).

As the escape doesn’t go as planned Jack falls for Karen and the two from opposite sides or the law must put faith in which ever side of the law they want to fight for, before Jack heads off for his latest score.

 

Thoughts on Out of Sight

 

Characters – Jack Foley is a charismatic bank robber that gets his job done without anyone getting hurt, but this latest job ends up getting him caught and in jail. When he escapes he falls for the US Marshall that wants to trail him, while also wanting to get one big score done. Karen Sisco is an US Marshall trying to climb the ranks, when she witnesses the escape she becomes a hostage for Jack as the two fall in love, she must decide whether to give up her career or not to be with Jack. Buddy is the best friend of Jack that helps him escape, while being loyal to her religious sister.

PerformancesGeorge Clooney shows us in his leading role that he was all charisma whichever side of the law he is on. Jennifer Lopez fills her role very well, playing the US Marshall convincingly from start to finish. Ving Rhames completes the leading three stars and just like the rest he hits his role well.

StoryThe story here focuses on a thief who has spent time in jail that puts together a heist which could get him away from the life of crime, but when he falls in love with a US Marshall it puts everything in perspective. This follows the slick style of the heist movies where we see how things are unfolding before we see how our main character has planned things to unfold, this works nicely throughout the film and makes the story an easy to watch enjoyed movie.

Crime/RomanceThe crime side of the film works as a heist like movie, with the romance being between the two that are either side of the law.

SettingsThe settings show us the hot of Miami and the cold of Detroit as the two different worlds of crime meet for the heists to go down in.


Scene of the Movie –
Jack wanting to take a last stand.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too long for its own good.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun stylish crime movie with a twist of the romance angle that work feeling fresh and enjoyable.

 

Overall: Enjoyable crime adventure.

Rating