Clinton Road (2019)

Director: Richard Grieco, Steve Stanulis

Writer: Derek Ross Mackay (Screenplay) Steve Stanulis (Story)

Starring: Erin O’Brien, James DeBello, Ace Young, Katie Morrison, Bo Kietl, Cody Calafiore, Ice-T

 

Plot: A widowed firefighter seeks closure after his wife goes missing on an actual haunted road in rural New Jersey but must unlock the roads secret if he wants to get out alive.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Run Around the Woods Horror

 

Story: Clinton Road starts as we learn about a notorious stretch of road in the United States which within its 10miles stretch has an unusual number of murders and strange events going on along it. Michael (Young) has lost his wife along this stretch of road, without getting any closure, he has started to move on with his life with a new girlfriend Kayla (LaVera) when he gets called by his ex-wife’s sister Isabella (Morrison) who wants to investigate a new lead about what happened there.

After getting advice for a paranormal expert Begory (DeBello), Michael, Isabella, Kayla, Tyler (Calafiora) and Gianna (O’Brien) head out to the mysterious Clinton Road for answers, which takes them down a path they aren’t prepared to understand.

 

Thoughts on Clinton Road

 

Characters – Michael has experience the loss of his wife in unusual circumstances, he has moved on with his life, trying to finally put everything back together again, he does still want the final answers which Isabelle his sister-in-law could be about to give him, this sees him joined by his new girlfriend to look for the answers in the last place she was seen. Isabella is the sister of the missing woman, she has always wanted to get answers which leads her to turn to a paranormal expert to help solve the mysterious. Tyler is Michael best friend and the total opposite to him be louder, usually the one that gets them into trouble. Gianna is the connection with the paranormal expect, as we can tell here we don’t get the best development around the rest of the cast as we do with Michael and Isabella.

PerformancesAce Young in the leading role doesn’t do much wrong, but does struggle to bring his character to life, Katie Morrison struggles from this too because the characters aren’t written as strongly as they could be, they are difficult to bring to life, the whole cast struggles here and the big names are used more for the cameos to say they had a big name in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a group of friends that go in search for answers about one of their other friends that went missing a year ago on a mysterious well know haunted stretch of road only to find themselves the target of the strange goings on upon the road. The story here uses the inspired by true events line which does spike the interest and the research required to see how true this road is and after doing my research the road is real and the haunting events around it are real too, the story we watch happen here are not. The idea of investigating the haunted area without any experience in other worldly entities doesn’t help the character’s decision-making process which soon plays into all of the weak clichés in horror, being mostly running around in the dark.

HorrorWhen it comes to the horror elements in the film we get to see how the mystery about the road plays into the scares required for the film, the darkness and isolation add moments of tension, but we just never get the creep or scare factor we could achieve from this story.

SettingsThe film is set on a mysterious road and wooded area around it, is does create isolation by showing us just how much unexplained mystery is around the area.

Special EffectsThe effects are consistent through the film with how the ghostly characters are created, they have a glow about them, when the practical effects are used the wounds are strong throughout.


Scene of the Movie –
The leg injury reveal.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too much just running around the woods in the dark.

Final ThoughtsThis is a by the book run around the wood horror movie that tries to play into a real life mystery only to end up being largely forgettable.

 

Overall: Basic horror.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – F – Fighting Beat (2007)

Director: Piti Jaturaphat

Starring: David Bueno, Peerawat Herabat, Nattanun Jantarawetch, Andrew Koji, Nahatai Lekbumrung, Lex Luther, Than Thanakorn

 

Plot: A group of young Muay Thai experts led by David are forced to use their deadly training to protect themselves when the local extortionist threatens to kill their mentors daughter if he doesn’t give up his bar.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 18 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Muay Thai 101

 

Story: Fighting Beat starts as we meet Khem (Thanakorn) who lives in the area of Phi Phi Island, by day he with Aey (Herabat) work as guides for divers in the beautiful waters, by night the city comes to life as Khem entertains the fans in the local bar and fighting spots.

The happy little world is put to the test when David (Buneo) and his gang arrive in town wanting to uses their Muay Thai skills to intimidate the locals as they want to take over the bar, it is up o Khem to improve his skills to fight back and defend his own little part of paradise.

 

Thoughts on Fighting Beat

 

Characters – Khem was raised by a monk after his father was murdered, he has studied Muay Thai, living a life which sees him guide tourists to the best diving spots and entertain crowds in a local bar with his fighting skills, even if the results are fixed for the tourists to win. He will lead his friends in the fight back to stay in control of their local bar after a new gang tries to take over it, he must fight for everything he has in his life. David leads the attack on the bar which will see him turn to people who have a past that would be more of a threat in a fight. We have two sides in this fight, we have Khem’s friends that enjoy the life they live that will band together to fight back and David’s gang that will defend themselves with everything they have to put down the locals who are the only ones that fight back.

PerformancesThan Thanakorn is in the leading role which like most of the talent in this film sees to be trained in Muay Thai, everyone involved gets their moment to show their skills and the chemistry between the friends feels natural too.

StoryThe story is very simple it follows a group of locals that will fight to keep the local bar in the locals hands after a gang forces the owner into giving it up. We do get to see how one character, Khem does get to face the demons of his past in the defending the bar, only that is the biggest strain to take away from the two main gangs fighting. We are invested in the story by seeing how the locals do seem to be living in a paradise like world, where their friendship is what gives them added strength too.

ActionThe action is what we are here for, we get plenty of fighting sequences, which are entertaining, though you can see just how choreographed the sequences are.

SettingsThe film is set in the Phi Phil island which shows just how much of a paradise this location is.


Scene of the Movie –
Final fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain fights feel overly hesitant.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple and enjoyable Muay Thai fighting action movie, it has an easy to follow story and will keep the martial arts fans happy.

 

Overall: Simple and Enjoyable.

Rating

 

 

Bob Fosse: It’s Showtime! (2019)

Director: Lucia Helenka

Writer: Lucia Helenka, Stephen Arnell (Screenplay)

 

Plot: A story about the 8 time Tony Award-winning director, choreographer, and cinematographer Bob Fosse which focuses on some of the gray areas of his life and his self-destructive side. It highlights his ability to adapt for each new decade moving from stage, to film, to TV filling the space with artistic genius. Including a specially recorded dance sequence “in the style of Fosse.”

 

Runtime: 1 Hour

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fascinating Look Behind the Glitz and Glamour

 

Story: Bob Fosse: It’ Showtime starts as we see how Bob wanted to work in Hollywood, not making it there first, he ends up diving in choreography on Broadway, it isn’t long before he becomes the most popular pick in town winning Tony Awards for his work, we see how he went onto movies, with only his second movie being Cabaret, before his success went to his head, seeing him turn to his addiction controlling his life, even if he went onto become a legend on the industry.

 

Thoughts on Bob Fosse: It’s Showtime

 

Final ThoughtsWe know the name Bob Fosse, because of his legacy, with his reputation in choreography, Oscar Winning movies and Tony Awards, but learning more about the man behind his legacy is interesting to learn like always. We get to see how film critics, modern British music talent who have performed in his creations before and dance experts that all get to talk about the influences that Bob gave them. We do spend a lot of time looking at his lifetime achievements, but one side that becomes even more fascinating is seeing how his work is still being used today to influence the modern creators and even used in modern culture terms. We do get to learn about another man that ended up going through difficult times away from the spotlight where everything seems so bright for them.

 

Overall: Documentary on an icon.

Rating