The Cannibal Club (2018)

Director: Guto Parente

Writer: Guto Parente (Screenplay)

Starring: Tavinho Teixeira, Ana Luiza Rios, Pedro Domingues, Ze Maria, Breno Baptista

 

Plot: Otavio and Gilda are a very wealthy couple of the Brazilian elite who have the habit of eating their employees. Otavio owns a private security company and is a notable member of The Cannibal Club. When Gilda accidentally discovers a secret from Borges, a powerful congressman and the Club’s leader, her and her husband’s lives are in danger.

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: High Tension and Quirky

 

Story: The Cannibal Club starts as we meet rich couple Otavio (Teixeira) and Gilda (Rios) who live the life of luxury, having people work for them, with their own security around their home. When the couple get tired of their employees, they kill and eat them to fulfill their fantasies.

When Otavio’s powerful congressman friend and leader of their club Borges (Domingues) believes somebody is letting their secrets out, he assigns Otavio to learn the truth, things only take a turn for a worse when Gilda catches Borges in an uncompromising position, the couple find their own lives in danger.

 

Thoughts on The Cannibal Club

 

Characters – Otavio runs a private security company, at home his wife Gilda and himself have very dark fantasies, which sees them being cannibals, getting sexual pleasure from the murder of their own workers, he is good friends with a congressman, well within the elite of the secret club of cannibals. Gilda is the wife of Otavio, she selects the newest employees that the couple can have, she gets the pleasure she requires, but it is her curiosity which puts both their lives in danger. Borges is the leader of the secret club that Otavio is part of, he has a secret with Gilda witnesses, he is afraid it will come out and looks to clean it up before it does.

PerformancesTavinho Teixeira gives us a performance that shows us how a man can balance his high-powered life, with a secret that is against the law, which also sees him controlled by his wife. Ana Luiza Rios brings us a seductive figure to life, she makes the men want to do anything for her. Pedro Domingues fills the mysterious leader role well, not giving too much away about his real life.

StoryThe story follows an elite couple in Brazil that get their pleasure out of killing their employees and eating them. The story does take us into a world where the elite can get away with this kind of activities is clearly built and showed how the couple have the routine down to perfection in their eyes. It does, however, show us how a secret club can look to clean up if they believe somebody is getting out of control. The story is short, which is just what we want in places, though we could have been given more when it comes to the enjoyment the couple have from this world.

Horror/ComedyThe horror in the film comes from the world created with cannibals, the comedy comes from the idea of the world being used to create this world, which will give the film dark humour.

SettingsThe film is set in Brazil which will see the high class position which will work for the club to happen, the rich could get away with anything in the eyes of the law.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are clever, they use the ideas of showing us the aftermath of the attacks, rather than the impact of them.


Scene of the Movie –
The first kill.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t get to see the couple go through a lot of kills, which feels like we could have done.

Final ThoughtsThis is a cannibal film that creates a wonderfully imaginative world for them to live in, only to not give us the blood or body count we desired.

 

Overall: Interesting Cannibal film.

Rating

 

 

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As Good as It Gets (1997)

Director: James L Brooks

Writer: Mark Andrus, James L Brooks (Screenplay)

Starring: Jack Nicholson, Helen Hunt, Greg Kinnear, Cuba Gooding Jr, Skeet Ulrich,, Shirley Knight, Yeardley Smith

 

Plot: A single mother and waitress, a misanthropic author, and a gay artist form an unlikely friendship after the artist is assaulted in a robbery.


Tagline – Brace yourself for Melvin.

Runtime: 2 Hours 19 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderfully Charming Drama

 

Story: As Good as It Gets starts as we meet arrogant obsessive disordered ridden author Melvin Udall (Nicholson) who hates his gay neighbour artist Simon (Kinnear) and his dog Verdell, he goes to the same diner needing to keep the same seat with the same waitress Carol Connelly (Hunt) who has her own problems with money and her sick son.

After Simon gets brutally attacked by burglars Melvin is forced into looking after Verdell which opens up his life to being nice to other people including Simon and Carol.

 

Thoughts on As Good as It Gets

 

Characters – Melvin Udall is an author that has a perfect routine to keep him happy, he OCD is clear with how he enters rooms, lock doors, he doesn’t get on with his neighbours and drives the people in his life crazy. Once he is forced to look after his neighbour’s dog he starts being nice to those important in his life, learning that there is more to life. Carol Connelly is a waitress in a Manhattan diner she has waited on Melvin for years even with his difficult behaviour, she has a sick son at home that she has never been able to get proper medical care for him, leaving her constantly worrying about him instead of focusing on her own life. Simon Bishop is the gay artist neighbour that clashes with Melvin on a daily basis, he gets brutally attacked in his own apartment leading to him facing financial ruin and needs to try and make up with his parents.

PerformancesJack Nicholson won an Oscar for his performance here and clearly show why he is such a talented actor, he takes on a performance unlike most of his normal performance we know him for. Helen Hunt shines and with her Oscar winning performance that showed her at the very top of her game. Greg Kinnear is also fantastic in the supporting role, he might have missed out on the Oscar he shows us just the talent he has.

StoryThe story here shows us how three people from different lives can meet and help each other with their problems. We mostly focus on Melvin and how he hates everybody not in his normal routine, we get to see the arc for him to become more open while still dealing and learning to overcome his own problems. We get a woman that has never been give help offered a lifeline which could help save her son and a staving artist learn about the risks he must take to become the artist the world will remember. This is a story that shows you can change people’s life by just listening to their stories, it has charm about how things unfold and just leaves you with a smile on your face by the end.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in this film works with you getting plenty of laughs through the film and it does give us a good romantic angle about needing to learn to take a chance with love.

SettingsNew York city, well how often do I say this is a wonderful setting for anything to do with inter-connecting lives, this delights with seeing people in different backgrounds coming together.


Scene of the Movie –
The dog walk.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not taking the dog on the trip for extra laughs.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful movie that can be enjoyed by everyone, it has brilliant performances from the three leads and hits the comedy romance throughout.

 

Overall: Brilliant film.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – # – 8 Mile (2002)

Director: Curtis Hanson

Writer: Scott Silver (Screenplay)

Starring: Eminem, Kim Basinger, Mekhi Phifer, Brittany Murphy, Evan Jones, Omar Benson Miller, Michael Shannon

 

Plot: A young rapper, struggling with every aspect of his life, wants to make it big but his friends and foes make this odyssey of rap harder than it may seem.


Tagline –  If the streets had a voice, this would be the story they’d tell.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Rap Based Drama

 

Story: 8 Mile starts as we head to Detroit to follow Jimmy B-Rabbit Smith (Eminem) as along with his friends David ‘Future’ Porter (Phifer) Cheddar Bob (Jones), Sol George (Miller) are trying to make an impact in the raping world, this world is dominated by the black community though he does have the skills.

The world is filled with gangs that are out for control, Jimmy must deal with his mother Stephanie (Basinger) and her problems as well as meeting a new love in Alex (Murphy), we follow as he is desperate to get out of the town which has held back man before.

 

Thoughts on 8 Mile

 

Characters – Jimmy B-Rabbit Smith is a young man who aspires to be a rapper, he is from the wrong side of town in Detroit, where he is given a chance to prove himself in the underground rap battle world, where any wrong move could be his last move with the gangs around him. He has the close friends that will watch his back, while working a dead-end job for any money he can get. Stephanie Smith is the mother of Rabbit, she is dating an aggressive man around he sons age and struggling to pay the rent to keep the roof over her daughter’s head. She does try to do the best things but has her own personal demons holding her back. David is the closest friend to Jimmy, he offers him the chance he wants to reach the next level but also needs to be the one to stop him making the mistakes in his life. Alex is the new romance in Jimmy’s life, she dreams of leaving too, to become a model which helps the to connect on a level unlike what Jimmy is used to.

PerformancesEminem is strong in this leading role, there are a few moments where he does look lost, one second too long for fight sequences, but the emotional levels he shows good. Kim Basinger is good in her role which shows that we have the most experience from her. Mekhi Phifer continued his rise in the early 2000s with this performance where he shows his ability to blend into any film. the whole cast performers well through the film with talent that went onto bigger things.  

StoryThe story shows the struggles of a young man trying to break into the world of rapping in the mean streets of Detroit, he is from the wrong side of the town and the gangs are always dangerous. Seeing the struggles for everyday life is very interesting to see unfold, however I was expecting something different with more rap battles. If you are a fan of the underground rap scene this will be a story that you want to watch.

MusicThe music in the film starts with a battle rap and I was expecting more as the song Lose yourself did win Best Oscar Song.

SettingsThe film shows us just how difficult growing up in Detroit can be, we feel the tension and feeling of abandonment the city is feeling.


Scene of the Movie –
Battle rap.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not enough rapping.

Final ThoughtsThis is a look at the mean streets of Detroit in the battle rap world where every corner could be dangerous.

 

Overall: The rap world unfolded.

Rating

 

 

The Lady in the Van (2015)

Director: Nicholas Hytner

Writer: Alan Bennett (Screenplay)

Starring: Maggie Smith, Alex Jennings, Jim Broadbent, Francis De La Tour, Rufus Allam, Dominic Cooper

 

Plot: A man forms an unexpected bond with a transient woman living in her van that’s parked in his driveway.


Tagline – A mostly true story

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Comedy Drama

 

Story: The Lady in the Van starts as we meet Miss Shepherd (Smith) who lives in her van on a residential street in Camden, London. When Alan Bennett (Jennings) moves in to one of the houses, she sees how the residents accept her in places but he tries to be kind and friendly towards her.

When Miss Shepherd is about to need to find a new place to stay, Alan offers her a place in his drive way where he continues to learn more about her and her past where the mysterious Underwood (Broadbent) turns up as the two go through the ups and downs of a relationship.

 

Thoughts on The Lady in the Van

 

Characters – Miss Shepherd is the elderly woman who lives in her van, she is welcome in some places but in others she doesn’t get on with. She believes she knows the world which we are led to believe is being true. Alan Bennett is the playwriter that offers her a chance to live on his drive way and over time they build a strange relationship as he reflects his relationship with her to his own mother.

PerformancesMaggie Smith is fantastic in the role showing the vulnerable side the character has even though she is stronger than believed. Alex Jennings is great too, as he is telling us the story through his character.

StoryThe story shows how Alan opened his door to Miss Shepherd willing to listen to her stories that could easily be considered fake but as the time unfolds he learns the truth behind them. The story gives us a chance to see how we would react to a homeless person that has been left forgotten by the world. I do wish the timeline had been made clearer through the film and we would have seen more interaction between the two leads though.

Biopic/ComedySeeing these two almost random people does feel strange for a biopic, the comedy works in places but in mostly light-hearted material.

SettingsThe settings show us how residential streets could be used to show how people can come together to work together to help someone in need.


Scene of the Movie –
Lift.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The timeline seems strange and jumps too much.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good comedy drama about listening to people’s stories, but it doesn’t pull on the levels it could have,

 

Overall: Good solid comedy drama.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – Z – Zorba the Greek (1964)

Director: Michael Cacoyannis

Writer: Michael Cacoyannis (Screenplay) Nikos Kazantzakis (Novel)

Starring: Anthony Quinn, Alan Bates, Irene Papas, Lila Kedrova, Giorgos Foundas, Sotiris Moustakas

 

Plot: An uptight English writer traveling to Crete on a matter of business finds his life changed forever when he meets the gregarious Alexis Zorba.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 22 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic That Hasn’t Dated Well

 

Story: Zorba the Greek starts when uptight English writer Basel (Bates) heads to Crete, on his journey he meets Alexis Zorba (Quinn) who shows him the sites around the island using his social skills which makes him on of the most welcoming people Basil will ever meet.

As the two become friends we learn how Zorba has his lady Madame Hortense (Kedrova) waiting for him and he pushes Basil to follow the sparks he has with the Widow (Papas of the town, life lesson will be taught here for both of the men.

 

Thoughts on Zorba the Greek

 

Characters – Alexis Zorba is the Greek that knows everyone, gets on with everyone and is a pleasant guy with a haunted past. He takes Basil under his wing in Crete showing him how to come out of his shell. Basil is the English writer that travels to Crete to focus on his next book, he is uptight until Zorba starts showing him where the real stories in life can come from. We have two different lonely women, one a widow and one that has had her heart broken too often they become the objects of their affections.

PerformancesThe performances from the main cast are good throughout with the heavyweights of Anthony Quinn and Alan Bates showing their talents in the leading roles.

StoryThe story shows us how an Englishman visits a new country and starts living his life to the fullest after meeting a stranger with a lust for life, this does the traditional new world, new way of life ideas which Basil must go through, but otherwise this story is way too long without much happening or make too much sense. I found myself stopping this movie a lot because nothing was happening and it just became a dated classic for storytelling.

ComedyThis is meant to be some sort of comedy, I guess I missed the funniest moments?

SettingsThe film is set in Crete which does help Basil see a new style of life and it does look lovely.


Scene of the Movie –
First meeting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not understand the gang mentality here.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the film that won big at the Oscars, but the truth is that it just doesn’t pull you in as much as it once did near its release.

 

Overall: Not one I enjoyed.

Rating