Fullmetal Alchemist (2018)

Director: Fumihiko Sori

Writer: Hiromu Arakawa (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryosuke Yamada, Tsubasa Honda, Dean Fujioka, Ryuta Sato, Misako Renbutsu

 

Plot: Two alchemist brothers go on a quest for the Philosopher’s Stone after an attempt to revive their dead mother goes horribly wrong.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 15 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Fantasy Sci-fi

 

Story: Fullmetal Alchemist starts as two young brothers Ed and Al lose their mother, they are both alchemists in training, desperate to bring her back the perform an experiment which goes horribly wrong. Now Ed (Yamada) is trying to fix their mistake as Al is now a hollow robot, they are in search for the Philosopher’s stone, the one item which could reverse the mistake.

On the latest quest for the stone Ed is joined by Winry (Honda) one of the twos longest friends, a woman that has helped Ed become whole again after the incident. Ultimately Ed must make a decision for himself, work with the state of alchemists to follow the laws or go against them to fix the mistake with officer Roy (Fujioka) being the one showing the thin line between right and wrong in his ways.

 

Thoughts on Fullmetal Alchemist

 

Characters – Ed is the fullmetal alchemist, he lost limbs when he worked with his brother to bring their mother back, with his limbs now being robotic, he is still trying to find a way to fix the mistake to fix himself and most of all his brother, who is now a robot shell. He rides a thin line between the law while trying to follow laws in search of the one item he believes can solve the mistake. Al is his brother stuck in a robotic body after the accident, he is the back up and the motivation for Ed’s actions. Winry is the oldest friend of the brothers, she helps maintain the robotic parts for the two, to make them stronger and keep them united. Roy is the officer that follows the rules, he keeps Ed on the right tracks for the most part, while supporting from afar, he will not let people break the laws but will stand up for his team. We have plenty of supporting characters will different agendas through the film to help us keep guessing what will happen next.

PerformancesRyosuke Yamada is the leading role is great, he makes you root for his character and understand each emotion his character is feeling. Tsubasa Honda brings us the light-hearted moments in the film, she always smiles which makes her a cheering performer in this movie. Dean Fujioka is good as the neutral officers always trying to do the right thing through the film.

StoryThe story here follows two brothers that make a mistake while using their alchemist knowledge, it has torn them apart both physically and mentally with them now needing to fix their mistake against fellow alchemists, some following the laws other bending them. The story has plenty of twists along the way as the brothers must learn who they can trust and the truth about the world they are taking on. This is clearly just the first chapter of what could be a fabulous series of movies, we now know out characters, just where will they go next.

Action/Fantasy/Sci-FiThe action sequences are wonderful to see unfold, they are big and filled with fantasy elements. This has a fantasy element to everything going on, trying to move away from magic with science. Sci-fi moments are used to for the ideas behind everything going on, they make us see just where things could go in the battles and with the alchemist ideas.

SettingsEach settings offers us the next chapter of the story which shows how things can be going on within the places we can consider normal buildings.

Special EffectsThe effects do work well for this movie, certain moments might look like CGI, but for the tone of the movie it seems to make it feel more enjoyable.


Scene of the Movie –
I want to say the whole final third of the film.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is a little bit long at over 2 hours.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable action fantasy that does follow the trends of the Harry Potter films, gives us a good group of goods guys to root for against villains who want to use their skills for evil, it works and you will enjoy this movie.

 

Overall: This is a Netflix success movie that will be enjoyed.

Rating

 

 

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Downsizing (2017)

Director: Alexander Payne

Writer: Alexander Payne, Jim Taylor (Screenplay)

Starring: Matt Damon, Christoph Waltz, Hong Chau, Kristen Wiig, Rolf Lassgard, Ingjerd Edeberg

 

Plot: A social satire in which a man realizes he would have a better life if he were to shrink himself to five inches tall, allowing him to live in wealth and splendor.

 


Tagline – We are meant for something bigger.

Runtime: 2 Hours 15 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Quirky Comedy

 

Story: Downsizing starts as we enter a world where scientists have perfected the idea of shrinking people to help decrease the overpopulation problem the world will be facing, the experiment was a success and is now an option for people around the world.

10 years later the world has accepted downsizing with communities appear all over America, here we meet Paul (Damon) and his wife Audrey (Wiig) who have been struggling in the economic changes and after advice decide to go through with the procedure. Things don’t go as planned as Audrey backs out leaving Paul alone in this new environment Leisure Land.

After spending the first year alone in Leisure Land, Paul meets his carefree party animal upstairs neighbour Dusan (Waltz) who shows him a different side to life and how to enjoy his life once more which happens sooner than he thinks when he meets Nogc Lan Tran (Chau).

 

Thoughts on Downsizing

 

Characters – Paul is an average man with an average job, but a real problem with money in the real world, he turns to downsizing program where he can live a better life. There he finds himself alone until he learns about a bigger problem, which he sets out to try and help with. Dusan is the neighbour living in Leisure Land, he is carefree and shows Paul how to enjoy his time in this new environment. Ngoc Lan Tran is a refugee that gets handicapped in her escape becoming a cleaner in Leisure Land showing that not everyone in this land is rich, she helps Paul see a new meaning from life.

PerformancesMatt Damon is great in the leading role, he gives performance that is filled with confliction, confusion and in need of finding a purpose in life, it shows in each emotion that he shows us. Christoph Waltz is a lot of fun in his role where he sees him enjoying playing the carefree character. Hong Chau in wonderful in her role, she brings everything we need to see as Paul makes his decisions.

StoryThe story has plenty of social commentary going on, as we see how the real-world problems trying to be addressed in an alternative solution, in this case shrinking the population. We do see the classes being addressed in the same way regardless of size and how one big decision you can never go back from can leave you right where you were supposed to be. This story doesn’t go in the direction you would imagine but does play out well becoming a subject you don’t mind seeing the people watching.

Comedy/Sci-FiThe comedy hits the quirky level with ease and puts us into a world where this procedure is a possibility which checks of the sci-fi side of the story too.

SettingsThe settings show us just where the characters live have been, will go and how not everything is as it first appears.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well to make sure everything is scaled to the right size for the difference in the people involved.


Scene of the Movie –
Norway.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It goes on too long and the direction you wouldn’t expect.

Final ThoughtsThis is a quirky comedy that plans into the social commentary that will be looked at as we do tackle bigger issues in the world including over population.

 

Overall: Quirky and enjoyable throughout.

Rating

 

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – S – Scent of a Woman (1992)

Director: Martin Brest

Writer: Bo Goldman (Screenplay) Giovanni Arpino (Novel)

Starring: Al Pacino, Chris O’Donnell, James Rebhorn, Gabriele Anwar, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Richard Benture, Bradley Whitford

 

Plot: A prep school student needing money agrees to “babysit” a blind man, but the job is not at all what he anticipated.


Tagline – Col. Frank Slade has a very special plan for the weekend. It involves travel, women, good food, fine wine, the tango, chauffeured limousines and a loaded forty-five. And he’s bringing Charlie along for the ride.

Runtime: 2 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Special Drama

 

Story: Scent of a Woman starts as prep school student Charlie Simms (O’Donnell) takes a weekend job caring for blind veteran Lt Col Frank Slade (Pacino), with Charlie’s future on the line at school after a prank by the rich kids on the headmaster, he wants the weekend to help him focus.

Frank has other ideas, he wants to go to New York for one last weekend of living the highlife before killing himself, he needs Charlie to be his guide on this journey. This weekend will change Charlie’s life as he gets the guidance he needs to help him through his difficult time.

 

Thoughts on Scent of a Woman

 

Characters – Lt, Col, Frank Slade is a short tempered blind veteran, he loves a drink and can identify a woman’s fragrance with the slightest smell in the air. He knows the people in his life don’t care about him much anymore, but Charlie gives him the guide he needs for this one last adventure. Charlie Simms comes from a poor family of hard workers, he earnt his place in the school with a scholarship, this is now at risk if he covers for the rich kids, but his Thanksgiving job of looking after Frank gives him a life lesson he could never learn in a classroom. The rest of the characters we meet are people that Frank wants to see once more, Charlie’s classmates and the women that Frank believes he can impress.

PerformancesAl Pacino won his Oscar with this performance, he commits and convinces throughout this film, showing he can break out from the cop or gangster roles you could see him being known for. Chris O’Donnell is great here too showing he was one of the main young actors waiting to come in the early 90s. the rest of the performances are great through the film showing us that the host of talent knew how to make an impact in a small amount of screen time.

StoryThe story follows a school student that must look after a blind veteran who wants to commit suicide after one last weekend. This story gives Charlie life lessons that he needs as he approaches a dog eat dog world, but also shows Frank that not everyone has given up hope on him and the service he gave to his country. This shows us how one weekend can change lives, an adventure that is unlike anything Charlie could have imagined.

SettingsThe film takes our characters from a smaller town to the big apple, this as I say a lot if always a wonderful location for learning about life in a way you could never imagine.


Scene of the Movie –
Ferrari

That Moment That Annoyed Me Charlie doesn’t seem to have any real friends at school and you feel this should have been addressed.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful drama that deserved the praise it got, it has brilliant chemistry between the two leads as you understand both their problems in life. This is one of Pacino’s best performances and a must watch for any of his fans.

 

Overall: Must watch drama.

Rating