Brightburn (2019)

Director: David Yarovesky

Writer: Brian Gunn, Mark Gunn (Screenplay)

Starring: Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A Dunn, Abraham Clinkscales, Christian Finlayson, Jennifer Holland

 

Plot: What if a child from another world crash-landed on Earth, but instead of becoming a hero to mankind, he proved to be something far more sinister?


Tagline – Evil Has Found Its Superhero.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Darkness Superhero Style

 

Story: Brightburn starts when a farming couple Tori (Banks) and Kyle (Denman) have been struggling to have children, one night something from out of space crash lands on their land, inside they find a small child and adopt him as their own, Brandon (Dunn). Everything seems normal for the most part, he is a genius which does make him social awkward though.

On Brandon’s 12th birthday, he starts to hear voices calling him to his spaceship which has been hidden, he learns that he does have super strength and other abilities. It isn’t long before Brandon starts using these abilities for his own sinister intentions, which makes him a threat to everybody, even his own parents, with Tori trying her hardest to remain loyal to him, can she stop him from the evil inside?

 

Thoughts on Brightburn

 

Characters – Tori is adopted mother of Brandon, she sees him as a blessing and will defending him through any troubles he finds himself in. she does enjoy painting which does seem to be her way to unwind and through the 12th year of Brandon, she is left wondering if he is like her or it is something else controlling him. Kyle is the husband a farmer, he does have to give his son ‘the talk’ which is one of the funniest scenes of the film, he has taught Brandon responsibility and does become the overreacting parent through the situations, a nice spin on the normal. Brandon is the young boy/alien that has bee raised like a normal child, he is social awkward, a loner at school, even his 12th birthday party is in a diner with his family, no friends. Once he starts hearing noises he gets drawn to his craft, which will be the beginning of his newly discovered powers. The powers his has will make him a danger not just to his town, but to the world because they are limitless. We do have other characters including the Aunt and her husband, the fellow students that see Brandon as an outsider and the sheriff trying to figure out the crimes that have been happening around the town.

PerformancesElizabeth Banks does bring us a great performance, we see the undying love of a mother against the shadows of what her child’s true nature is, constantly conflicted through the film. David Denman brings us the father figure, he plays this opposite to the normal because usually we don’t see the weakness or fear in a father and David brings this requirement to the role. Jackson A Dunn is the true star of the show here, he makes young Brandon feel both terrifying and welcoming, as in needing help or a friend, he has moments of being creepy, while moments of pure calmness.

StoryThe story here follows a couple that adopt a young boy who feel from space, it seems like everything is going well, until he reaches 12 and his true powers start to come out, leaving the parents in the difficult position of loving their son or turning over a monster that could destroy the world. This story does take the superhero genre in a new direction, we can clearly see how the origin or Brandon place the same as Superman, coming from space adopted and learning about powers, while this time we take a dramatic turn towards the darker side of powers. We do go through the learning process like new superheroes would go through, this is important. The only downside with the story, comes from the ideas that Brandon could be in the pivotal position on which side of good or evil he falls on, only we don’t get to see any hint that he could ever be good. Away from this minor negative, we do see a horror story unfold that becomes bigger and more devastating as the powers become clearer.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror in this film comes from the power that Brandon is having, we see what he does to people, with each injury becomes more graphic and shocking as the rampage goes on. The sci-fi elements of the film focus on the idea that Brandon has come from space, we simply don’t know what he could be capable off.

SettingsTh film is set in a small town of Brightburn, it is a close community which is left in shock after the first incident, Brandon however is raised on a small farm which shows that his isolation isn’t just school, but home too.

Special EffectsWhen we look at the effects, we have some brilliant injury effects, that are front and centre and will make you want to look away, a few of the flying moments are not the best, but they are not what the scenes are focused on at the time.


Scene of the Movie –
Uncle Noah’s car trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It would have been nice to see him have a chance to be good.

Final ThoughtsThis is a dark superhero movie, unlike anything we have seen before, it feels original, while playing opposite to what we know and isn’t afraid to spill a little blood.

 

Overall: The Dark Universe has Started.

Rating

 

The Pelican Brief (1993)

Director: Alan J Pakula

Writer: Alan J Pakula (Screenplay) John Grisham (Book)

Starring: Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Sam Shepard, John Heard, Tony Goldwyn, James Sikking, William Atherton, Robert Culp, John Lithgow

 

Plot: A law student uncovers a conspiracy, putting herself and others in danger.


Tagline – Two Supreme Court Justices have been assassinated. One lone law student has stumbled upon the truth. An investigative journalist wants her story. Everybody else wants her dead.

Runtime: 2 Hours 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Political Thriller

 

Story: The Pelican Brief starts when two Supreme Court Justices are assassinated, bring the country to a stand still in shock. Law student Darby Shaw (Roberts) puts together a theory of who was behind the assassinations, which she presents to her boyfriend and professor Thomas (Shepard), one theory that has turned his head.

After the theory is presented to the people investigating, Darby and Tom start getting targeted, when journalist friend of one of the victims Gray Grantham (Washington) start investigating a bigger conspiracy going on within the government, one that will put both their lives in danger.

 

Thoughts on The Pelican Brief

 

Characters – Darby is a law student having an affair with her professor, after the assassinations, she comes up with a theory about who was behind them, which sees her become a target for the people behind it, she doesn’t know who to trust seeing anybody she does get killed, her last resort is Gray. Gray is a journalist that has worked with the victims in the past, he is willing to dig for the truth, he does become Darby’s last resort and works with her to expose the truth which will become the biggest story of his career. Thomas Callahan is the connection between Darby and the people involved, he is a professor, with her theory interesting him at his own risk. We do go through many different political figures in search for the truth here, each one has their own agenda and could be involved.

PerformancesJulia Roberts in the leading role is strong as she gives us a strong independent figure that has been running for her life trying to expose the truth. Denzel Washington was a growing star at the time of release, here he makes us believe that he is a star in the role which is filled with the determination and skill to start ahead of the game. The rest of the cast are all strong with them each getting the moments to shine with them all having the importance to the story.

StoryThe story follows a law student and journalist that must team up to investigate the assassinations of the two members of the supreme court that puts both their lives in danger as it could bring the political system down. This story does give us plenty of swerves along the way as it does keep us guessing just to where everything will be going, it does show us how a political system will be used to gain an advantage and can be used to cover up anything that will incriminate them. The idea of the cover up shows just how corruption can effect so many lives and is ready to be exposed.

Crime/MysteryThe crime side of the film shows just how the laws can be bent to help the people who want to make the most money, how much they will do to cover up their secrets and how corrupt they will become. The mystery side of the film show just how the corruption needs to be investigated, how far up the chain it could go too.

SettingsThe film is set in a couple of major cities in America Washington and New York mostly, which show just how the big companies will use the political power to make the most money.


Scene of the Movie –
The video.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too long, with too many characters at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a political thriller that does keep you guessing, it shows how far up the chain corruption can go and how covering it up can be the only option.

 

Overall: Political thriller 101

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – S – Seoul Station (2016)

Director: Sang-ho Yeon

Writer: Sang-ho Yeon (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Seung-Ryong Ryu, Fanciska Friede, Joon Lee, Sand-hee Lee

 

Plot: Several groups of people try to survive a zombie pandemic that unleashes itself in downtown Seoul.


Tagline – The animated prequel to TRAIN TO BUSAN

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Prequel

 

Story: Seoul Station starts as we see a homeless man injured and ignored around the station, we move off to see Hye-Sun who along with her boyfriend Ki-woong have been struggling for rent, forcing him into attempting to pimp her out, when her father Suk-gyu discovers this, he heads to Seoul to save his daughter.

Soon the homeless dies, but he doesn’t stay dead, turning into a zombie, it isn’t long before the zombie plague hits Seoul and Suk-gyu must work with Ki-woong to locate his missing daughter and escape the city before it is too late.

 

Thoughts on Seoul Station

 

Characters – Suk-gyu is the father searching for his lost daughter, he knew she ran away and now he gets the chance to come and save her from the seedy underworld her boyfriend wants to put her in, only to become the real saviour against the zombies. Hye-Sun is the runaway daughter, she struggles to keep the rent coming and after her argument with her boyfriend wanders the streets alone just as the zombie outbreak starts. Ki-woong is the boyfriend who seems to be a slacker spending more time in the internet cafes over supporting his girlfriend, he is forced to work with Suk-gyu to find Hye-Sun.

StoryThe story here follows three main characters who are trying to survive a zombie outbreak in the big city of Seoul, this is a prequel to Train to Busan and shows us how the outbreak started to spread. The story keeps the attempts of a father trying to save his daughter the focal point in this film, this gives us two main characters to support and hope see get reconnected after she had run away from home at a young age. We also get to see a father and new boyfriend interact with the tension you would expect from this. This isn’t anything ground breaking for the zombie genre and by being animated we get to increase the scale of everything which does help show how a big city would cope with the panic of a sudden outbreak.

HorrorThe horror in the film comes from the zombie outbreak, the zombie behaviour will always work for horror and the idea that nowhere is as safe as it should be only adds to the horror in the film.

SettingsThe film is set in Seoul which is one of the locations the train goes through in Train to Busan, the scale of the city shows us just how a big population would react to an outbreak.

AnimationThe animation used in the film is great to see, we get to see each bloody wound suffered through the outbreak.


Scene of the Movie –
Third act twist is shocking.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Shut the bloody doors.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great prequel to put us in the world of Train to Busan, we get to see just how conflicted people can become and just follow one small story in the bigger picture makes us interested to learn more.

 

Overall: Great fun animation.

Rating

 

 

A Murder of Innocence (2019)

Director: Shawn Justice

Writer: Shawn Justice, Aimee Anderson (Screenplay)

Starring: Rachel MacMillan, Frank Chiesurin, Xander Steel, Katie O’Grady, Marc Steele, Scott Galbraith, Jeremy McLaughlin, Lily Haug

 

Plot: Based on a true story, a community is rocked by the double-homicide of a prominent couple and the local police struggle to find the killer. As a darkness settles over the town, Albert, the new resident pastor must help his church and family overcome the aftershocks by providing stability, healing and hope while his wife Aimee must come to grips with her own fear through her faith.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Real-Life Crime Drama

 

Story: A Murder of Innocence starts when new pastor Albert Anderson (Chiesurin), his wife Aimee (MacMillan) and six kids move to a new town to take over the local church, the community is very tight and the people are welcoming to new residents.

When a couple of the most-respected members of the neighbourhood are murdered, this puts panic in the community, with Aimee becoming paranoid for her own family’s safety, with Sheriff Kirk Tomlin (Steel) trying to solve the murders before everyone getting out of control pointing fingers at each other, Albert will face his toughest task, to bring the community back together in their time of need.

 

Thoughts on A Murder of Innocence

 

Characters – Albert is the new pastor in town, he does everything to make his town see he has come to do good for the religious neighbourhood, he will face a difficult couple of weeks after the murder of two members of his community, which will see the locals getting upset, scared and even with his wife dealing with these problems too. Aimee is the pastor’s wife, she is just as welcoming as he is, trying to make everybody feel comfortable with the new Pastor, after the murders, she does become paranoid, needing reassurance that they are safe. Sheriff Kirk Tomlin is left to try and solve the crime, he doesn’t have much to go on and doesn’t know if anyone in his neighbourhood could have done this. We do meet plenty of members of the community, each one that will have their own reason for suspecting somebody for the crime.

PerformancesRachel MacMillan and Frank Chiesurin both give us the strongest lead performances in the film, they bring real emotions that the real people would have gone through during the events of the film. the rest of the cast don’t hit the levels of the lead two, though Xander Steel does make big improvement through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a religious community that are welcoming a new pastor, only to be left in shock after the murders of the respected member of the community. This causes panic with in the community until the murderer is captured, with on the Pastor to try and keep the people calm. This story does feel like it could be a made for television drama, because it does keep the themes on the softer side, without hitting the level of violence involved in the crime. We do have a religious undertone which will see a lot of praying going on, which is fine for the neighbourhood, but we don’t need to see this happening this often. The crime investigation never feels as intense as it should be though.

CrimeThe crime is a horrible double homicide, seeing how people react to this is the important part of the story.

SettingsThe small community created here shows us how close everybody is and will be when it comes to getting to make sure they are safe within their own homes.


Scene of the Movie –
Welcoming the Pastor to the church.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Sheriff Kirk reading a statement, which comes off like a draft reading, over any acting.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting real-crime drama, based on a real events and the effect it had on the neighbourhood. It doesn’t ever hit any levels of intensity, but is more about showing the people coming together.

 

Overall: Real-Life Crime Drama.

Rating