Mermaid’s Song (2018)

Director: Nicholas Humphries

Writer: Bob Woolsey, Meagan Hotz (Screenplay) Jessica Leigh Clark-Bojin, Bob Woolsey, Lindsey Mann (Story)

Starring: Iwan Rheon, Katelyn Mager, Brandan Taylor, Jessie Fraser, Steve Bradley, Barbara Wallace, Trevor Gemma

 

Plot: The film is set during the 1930s depression and tells of young Charlotte, who is struggling to keep the family business afloat. When gangster Randall offers to pay off the family debt – he demands some illegal changes to the business. But Charlotte, like her mother before her, is a mermaid capable of controlling humans with nothing but her voice, which creates a battle between all of those who want Charlotte’s magical powers for themselves.


Tagline – Her story begins when the fairy tale ends.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mermaid’s Haven’t Been This Scary Since Cabin in the Woods

 

Story: Mermaid’s Song starts in 30s depression era America, Charlotte’s (Mager) father George (Taylor) takes over the family business after her mother’s death, he is strict with how he controls the business and must turn to gangster Randall (Rheon) to help keep the business afloat.

Charlotte wanting to become part of the show with her fellow sisters is forced to watch from a side until she learns just what she is capable off being a mermaid and having the ability to control men.

 

Thoughts on Mermaid’s Song

 

Characters – Randall is the local gangster, he helps clubs out for his own profit forcing businesses to run the way he wants them to be run, he uses this technique to take control of this family business and if he doesn’t get his money, he will find ways to take it. Charlotte is the youngster of the sisters in the business, she wants to be part of the show, however she keeps getting held back by her father and sisters. She does have a secret that she must come to terms with as she can become a mermaid, giving her power over the men in the business. George is the struggling businessman trying to keep his business a float, he makes a deal with Randal putting his daughter’s through the experiences they shouldn’t need to go through. We also get the remaining sisters who perform the show nightly and Randall’s goons that make sure he gets the money he wants.

PerformancesIwan Rheon is good in the gangster role, we are now used to seeing him play the twisted characters and while softer than normal. Katelyn Mager gives us an innocent performance which is needed for this film ad she handles it wonderfully throughout. When we look at the rest of the cast, they are good with Brendan Taylor making for desperate businessman work well.

StoryThe story follows a struggling businessman that falls into working for a gangster to make ends meet only to learn this isn’t a smart idea when his youngster daughter becomes the one the gangster is most interested in. This does show us how difficult the depression was on America and how people will turn to any means to survive. We do get to look at a fantasy tale of a mermaid and the sailor that found her which plays as part fairy tale for Charlotte to be taught growing up. The two ideas do mix well together and brings the fantasy element to the struggles of the depression era.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy comes from the tale about mermaids and where they could have come from. The horror is saved for the later stages of the film and it is worth the wait.

SettingsThe film shows us one business for the settings, we remain in this location for the whole film as we see how the family operates in this location.

Special EffectsThe effects are saved for the big reveal to what the mermaid will look like, this is good for the film as it is worth the wait.


Scene of the Movie –
The mermaid reveal.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The song does get repetitive.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting fantasy horror movie, we get to see mermaid in the darker light than the Disney version most people know.

 

Overall: Dark and delicious mermaid horror.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Romance – # – 45 Years (2015)

Director: Andrew Haigh

Writer: Andrew Haigh (Screenplay) David Constantine (Short Story)

Starring: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, Geraldine James, Dolly Wells, David Sibley, Sam Alexander

 

Plot: A married couple preparing to celebrate their wedding anniversary receives shattering news that promises to forever change the course of their lives.


Tagline – Do we really know our loved ones?

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Drama

 

Story: 45 Years starts as we meet the Mercer’s, Kate (Rampling) Geoff (Courtenay) a married couple preparing for their 45th wedding anniversary, Kate does most of the planning and does extra caring for Geoff because of his memory starting to go. They are respected through the whole town with most of the people looking forward to the party.

When Geoff starts remembering the story of a woman he met before Kate, it puts Kate’s feelings in a frenzy and she wants to learn where she really stands in his life after all these years.

 

Thoughts on 45 Years

 

Characters – Kate is the former teacher (I think) who has been married for 45 years in what she believed was a perfect marriage, until she learns about a woman before they met, she goes through the questions of just where she stands in his life, even after all these years. Geoff is her husband, his memory isn’t what it used to be and it is his memory of his former love that puts the story on the rocks. Everyone else we meet are people from the town, friends who have known them for years.

PerformancesCharlotte Rampling got an Oscar nomination for this role, you can see why she is fantastic as we see how she must try to hold in her emotions through the struggle. Tom Courtenay is also fantastic as the elderly man that can’t keep everything together like he once did. The rest of the cast doesn’t get too much screen time which is fine because it is our couple story.

StoryThe story follows a couple of soon to be 45 years preparing for their anniversary, only for a moment to throw the years or marriage out the window through the eyes of one of the couple. We only follow the week leading up to the event which is great because we know how happy their marriage was before the events. It shows how one moment could change how everything seems which is reality many people would have in life and it also shows how important love can be for a couple even if at times things could be questioned.

RomanceThe romance in this film shows just what the two would have been through with the years of marriage, how they must learn to stay loyal to each other no matter what.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the singular town setting, it gives the film an authentic feeling of just where the couple have been for years and never look out of place here.


Scene of the Movie –
The party.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is never fully explained is Geoff is just getting old or ill with his memory issues.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those dramas you can see why it got the Oscars attention, but it won’t be something for the casual film fans to be going to watch and it does show how a real long-term relationship goes.

 

Overall: True to how love is.

Rating

 

 

Outlawed (2018)

Director: Adam Collins, Luke Redford

Writer: Adam Collins, Luke Redford (Screenplay)

Starring: Adam Collins, Emmeline Kellie, Andy Calderwood, Andre Squire, Ollie Christie, Jessica Norris, Anthony Burrows, Ian Hichens, Steven Blades

 

Plot: An action packed story of corruption and murder. Outnumbered, outgunned and against all odds, a Commando fights his way through a siege to save his girl.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Late Night Action 101

 

Story: Outlawed starts as we learn just how decorated Sergeant Jake O’Neill (Collins) is, completing mission that are off the grid being one of Britain’s must successful soldiers. Back home at his latest award ceremony corrupt businessman Harold Archibald (Hichens) tries to by him off to work for him.

When Jake’s latest mission a hostage situation goes tragically wrong, he quits the force, learns his girlfriend is cheating on him and drinks the remaining money away. 6-months-later Jake is homeless with the only person left in his life Jade (Norris) comes to him to help avenge the murder of her father.

 

Thoughts on Outlawed

 

Characters – Jake O’Neill is one of the most decorated modern day soldiers, trained in multiple types of combats, he is the one military turn to with the most difficult mission, until one goes wrong forcing him out of the force and down a dangerous path. He gets one last chance to redeem himself by targeting ruthless businessman who murdered his best friends’ father. Jade is the oldest friend of Jake, they have always had each other’s back, she is the last one there for Jake, but when her father is murdered, she turns to him for help to get back and bring down the man that did it. Harold Archibald is ruthless businessman in Nottingham, he has been paying off anyone that gets in his way and if they don’t take money, well he kills him. His rise to power is put into question when evidence that could bring him down comes to light, he is now going to kill anyone who could bring him down.

PerformancesAdam Collins in the leading role also takes up co-writing and co-directing duties in this film, he steps away from the stunt work to take the leading role in an action film where he gets to show his military training on centre stage, a lot like the big names in action with combat training backgrounds we do like seeing the fight scenes over the talking scenes and this is no different. Outside Adam’s performances we have Jessica Norris who is solid enough but only ever seems to be the damsel in distress. It is Ian Hichens which becomes the most interesting when he threatens anyway the calm delivery of the words can come of haunting in places. When you get to some of the supporting performances certain ones are very poor.

StoryThe story here follows one soldier that is pushed to the limits and forced into one final revenge mission against a businessman that is controlling the local area, so this is everything we would expect, there is nothing new or nothing original about this side of the story, it works and entertains. There is one side of the story I feel we should get a lot more focus on and that would be Jake’s troubles after his mission goes wrong, this is a very real problem being felt with our soldiers in the world let alone the country, we just seem to gloss over it like it wasn’t that important which disappoints because we do spend a good ten minutes of this film just going for pointless nudity scene. As we said the simple side of this story is what will make you remember it most.

ActionThe action is shoot outs, fights and military missions, though we get certain moments of falling bodies jumping perfectly into crashmats.

SettingsThe film is set in Nottingham which tries to show us how crimes can take place in any city.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not focusing on the very real problem Jake would be going through.

Final ThoughtsThis is an action film that is routine as they come, it will keep the action film fans happy even if it fails to address a major side story.

 

Overall: Simple and effective.

Rating