The Homesman (2014)

Director: Tommy Lee Jones

Writer: Tommy Lee Jones, Kieran Fitzgerald, Wesley A Oliver (Screenplay) Glendon Swartout (Novel)

Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Hilary Swank, Grace Gummer, Miranda Otto, Sonja Richter, Jo Harvey Allen

 

Plot: Three women who have been driven mad by pioneer life are to be transported across the country by covered wagon by the pious, independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy, who in turn employs low-life drifter George Briggs to assist her.


Tagline – The untold story of The West.

Runtime: 2 Hours 2 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nicely Paced Drama

 

Story: The Homesman starts as independent-minded Mary Bee Cuddy (Swank) steps up where the men of her town wouldn’t and accepts taking three women Arabella (Gummer), Theoline (Otto) and Gro (Richter) across the west back to their homes after their husbands claim them to be crazy.

Mary is join by a lowlife drifter George Briggs (Jones) whose life she saves, with this being payment for saving the life. The journey is going to be filled with perils as we slowly learn what caused these women to act the way they did.

 

Thoughts on The Homesman

 

Characters – Mary Bee Cuddy lives a single life due to her independence she has created, she is branded bossy and is willing to step up, where the men wouldn’t. She agrees to take the three women across the river to return them home where they could get the help they need. This is a journey she is proud to take but isn’t the fully prepared for what she will face, relying on God to guide her. George Briggs is a lowlife drifter who has been left to hang for his crimes, Mary saves him and he becomes the guide through the troubles on the journey. The three women that are being transported have their own reasons for being branded crazy, mostly due to the abuse they have suffered.

PerformancesThe performances in this movie are carried by two powerhouses, Hilary Swank shines in the leading role, something we have seen from her for years now. Tommy Lee Jones takes double duty here, the acting he gives us is just what you expect while his work behind the camera shows that he can do both the roles. The three actresses playing the ill women are good showing their own strain from what has happened to their characters.

StoryThe story follows the journey across America to return three women that have struggled to adapt to new life in the growing America, one woman will risk it all to guide the women home with an unlikely partner on the journey sees him needing overcome the conditions and enemies to make it. We do have a faith-based character driving forward and we look at mental illness before it was considered a known issue in the western land. This does feel like a safe story to be telling, while being just an important.

WesternThe western land has always look beautiful, it has always had character that must look out for themselves, this is no different with how everything unfolds without needing to resort to gun fire.

SettingsTh settings look beautiful, the open plains, the different weather conditions will make this one of the best looking movies of the year.


Scene of the Movie –
Hotel problems.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is slower than you will be expecting.

Final ThoughtsThis is a beautiful drama that has a wonderful story to watch unfold, powerful performances throughout and stunning scenery.

 

Overall: Western fans to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Unearthed: The Curse of Nephthys (2018)

Director: Beau Yotty

Writer: Beau Yotty (Screenplay)

Starring: Beau Yotty, Cat Roberts, Tessa Gardenier, Amanda Michalek, Wayne Lundy, Dan Weisgerber

 

Plot: Don Slayer is tested to the extreme when he’s forced into battle with a powerful supernatural force, an ancient Goddess of Egypt.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 16 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disappointing

 

Story: Unearthed: The Curse of Nephthys starts when archaeology student Jennifer Hicks (Michalek) is called to a ranch after the owner discovers a mysterious statue on his land, it does possess a power. Don Slayer (Yotty) on the other hand seems to have the ability to sense death before it happens, as he fights of evil beings.

When the statue is stolen, Jennifer tries to make out what she can from the photos, while the Goddess Nephthys (Roberts) watching and waiting to use the power to escape the statue, with only Don and Jennifer being able to stop it.

 

Thoughts on Unearthed: The Curse of Nephthys

 

Characters – Don Slayer can see evil before it acts, he saves lives with this ability, his latest vision brings him to Jennifer, as his gift is connected to the curse that is wanted to be lifted by the evil Goddess Nephthys. Jennifer is the granddaughter of a famous archaeologist who discovered an unusual burial that included the statue, she is studying to follow in his footsteps with this being one of her first solo investigations, as she might be the only way the Goddess can be released. Nephthys is the evil Goddess trying to get out of her prison to re-enter the world to continue her reign of terror, even trapped she has the ability to push people int her instructions.

PerformancesThis is a low budget movie and you can this in the performances, Beau Yotty writes, directs and stars in the movie, he doesn’t give his character enough of an edge which could have made him standout more in the film. Amanda Michalek suffers in her role because she is involved in the video calls which felt like the most uncomfortable conversation the two had ever had. The actors struggle to be given the time to make the impact in any of their scenes.

StoryThe story here follows a new discovery of a statue which contains an evil Goddess that wants to become free which sees her using her ability to control humans to locate the person who can get her out. When it comes to anything to do with Egyptian history, I have a soft spot because it does fascinate me, this story tries to build on the mystery behind certain unanswered questions only to not follow through with any threat because we are focusing more on stopping the threat even happening over trying to stop something big that has happened.

Action/Horror The action does bring us into the idea that we are in a race against time and evil, without being overly committed to show any full-blown action. The horror tries to focus on just what could happen with nothing ending up coming off scary.

SettingsThe film is set in Arizona which is nowhere near where you would imagine seeing an Egyptian artifact, but it does work for the film.

Special EffectsThe film knows is doesn’t have the budget to cope with big special effects and instead pulls away from doing which is good because we don’t need them for the most part either.


Scene of the Movie –
The history of the statue.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The video calls are painful to watch, the people don’t see to have any conversation skills.

Final ThoughtsThis is a low budget film that does show the ambition to do something different, the budget however does hold everything back too much and it feels like we are missing a big chapter of this movie.

 

Overall: Ambitious and Potential, only misses the marks.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Anticipated for 2019 – #

ABC Film Challenge

Anticipated for 2019

#

The year 2018 is coming to a close and it is time to look ahead to the new year, through December the subject is the films I am looking forward to seeing, hopefully I will be able to select one film for each letter even if we dive into actors, directors or themes. Join in if you want and let’s get this conversation going about the next hopefully wonderful year in film.

6 Underground

StarsRyan Reynolds, Ben Hardy, Melanie Laurent  

SynopsisUnknown

The Main Reason I Want to See ItSometimes you just want to watch switch off and enjoy a film, Michael Bay might well be a director with an interesting reputation, but his recent solo movies 13 Hours and Pain & Gain have been able to show he does have talent.

Release Date (UK) – TBA

 

Brassed Off (1996)

Director: Mark Herman

Writer: Mark Herman (Screenplay)

Starring: Pete Postlethwaite, Tara Fitzgerald, Ewan McGregor, Stephen Tompkinson, Jim Carter, Philip Jackson, Peter Martin

 

Plot: The coal mine in a northern English village may be closing, which would also mean the end of the miners’ brass band.


Tagline – Fed up with the system. Ticked off at the establishment. And mad about… each other.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful Comedy Drama

 

Story: Brassed Off starts as we head to the small Yorkshire coal mining village, Danny (Postlethwaite) conducts a brass band for the locals which is designed to keep spirits high even with the economic changes in the village. Danny is leading his band into the semi-final, with his son Phil (Tompkinson) and granddaughter of band hero Gloria (Fitzgerald) back in town, the bad is given new life.

With the threat that the mining pit might be closing, the town is filled with tension and the band is pushed to their limits, Danny does everything he can to keep the band together even while battling his own illness, to show that coming together can bring hope to a struggling town.

 

Thoughts on Brassed Off

 

Characters – Danny is the conductor of the band, he has kept the band going for years now and has always used it to keep the community together. He wants to one day play at the Royal Albert Hall, with this potentially being his last chance because of an illness he is battling. Gloria returns to her hometown working for the management that is looking at the closure of the mine, she joins the band because of her grandfather’s legacy and soon finds herself being shafted because of her role in the potential closure of the mine. Andy is the youngest member of the mining team and band, he grow up with Gloria and gets caught in the middle of the two sides. Phil is the son of Danny, he suffered the most during the last strike and now he must do everything he can to keep his family together when his past starts to catch up with him.

PerformancesPete Postlethwaite is fantastic in this leading role, he was always great in these type of roles, where he can be calm while hiding something from everyone. Tara Fitzgerald and Ewan McGregor are both good in their roles, while it is Stephen Tompkinson is the real surprise package with his well-rounded character.

StoryThe story shows us the struggles a mining community in England became the latest victim of the economy change that swept the land, they are held together by a brass band as we see the financial struggles on the outside. This is a good glimpse as the change in culture that went through England and showed that communities can come together for the people suffering most. The environment does however feel similar to the Billy Elliott environment, which I know was later, but is easily more well known. We get the good moments even if a love story does feel thrown in for the sake of it.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy through this film does work and does feel like everyday situational comedy. The romance in the film is the weakest pat of the film as it mostly feels thrown in.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the small mining town in Yorkshire, the heart of mining land that relies on one source of income to keep the community together.


Scene of the Movie –
Hospital performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The romantic story mostly gets boring.

Final ThoughtsThis is a British film that may have been forgotten through the years, it has great performances and a story which would have affected thousands with the economic side of things.

 

Overall: British brilliance.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Anticipated for 2019 – Z

ABC Film Challenge

Anticipated for 2019

Z

The year 2018 is coming to a close and it is time to look ahead to the new year, through December the subject is the films I am looking forward to seeing, hopefully I will be able to select one film for each letter even if we dive into actors, directors or themes. Join in if you want and let’s get this conversation going about the next hopefully wonderful year in film.

Zombieland 2

StarsEmma Stone, Woody Harrelson, Abigail Breslin

SynopsisColumbus, Tallahasse, Wichita, and Little Rock move to the American heartland as they face off against evolved zombies, fellow survivors, and the growing pains of the snarky makeshift family.

The Main Reason I Want to See ItZombieland is easily one of my favourite zombie comedies, it felt like Dead Rising the video game which is one that can have plenty of fun killing zombies, the film however does have heart to it too which is great to see.

Release Date (UK)11th October 2019