Writer: Ari Aster (Screenplay)
Starring: Florence Pugh, Will Poulter, Jack Reynor, William Jackson Harper, Liv Mjones, Anna Astrom, Julia Ragnarsson
Plot: A couple travels to Sweden to visit a rural hometown’s fabled mid-summer festival. What begins as an idyllic retreat quickly devolves into an increasingly violent and bizarre competition at the hands of a pagan cult.
Runtime: 2 Hours 20 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: The Wicker Man on Acid
Story: Midsommar starts when young lady Dani (Pugh) has her family die suddenly, turning to the only person left in her life, her boyfriend Christian (Reynor) who has started to move away from their relationship. Christian and his friends Josh (Harper), Mark (Poulter) and Pelle (Blomgren) are planning a trip to Pelle’s home in Sweden for a special mid-summer festival.
Christian trying to do the right thing for Dani, invites her along, but it isn’t long before the festival turns into a cultural nightmare for the outsiders who have never seen the customs before.
Thoughts on Midsommar
Characters – Dani is a young lady that has suffered a heart-breaking tragedy in her life, leaving her along in the world, struggle to get over the loss of her family, she is unsure about her relationship with her boyfriend and agrees to go with him on the trip to Sweden. Dani is trying her best to get on with her life, which is seeing her have the good and bad days, while on the commune she starts to relax more in life. Christian is the student boyfriend of Dani, he is starting to question the relationship about to end it before the tragedy strikes, he invites her believing she won’t go, while also hoping to find out whether they should stay together. Josh is a student friend of Christian, who has been working on his paper on different cultures, he sees this event a major part of his studies, only he doesn’t seem to respect enough cultures. Mark is the comic relief, he wants to go to Sweden to meet women, he is quick to turn to drink or drugs, while always putting his foot in it.
Performances – Florence Pugh is the star of the show, she does show the grief required in her role, which shows us how hard to is finding life. Jack Reynor has finished turning his career around after Transformers, with one that must make people take him seriously now. Will Poulter will make you laugh with nearly everything he says, while William Jackson Harper will make you dislike his characters arrogance quickly.
Story – The story here follows a young woman dealing with grief of losing her family, trying to get away from her past by getting away from the world with the festival which soon sees her trapped with her friends with a cult that has strict rules. Much like Hereditary, we are tackling grief on a personal level, unlike Hereditary we find ourselves not seeing a timeline to make us understand the recover process that Dani is trying to go through. The story does have a huge problem for me though, is that this is a story which the people should just walk or run away after seeing the first major incident, not just calmly say ‘sure this is a different culture we should see what happens next’ this is easily one of the biggest let down in any horror. We also do spend way too much time just turning to drugs as an excuse rather than trying to solve the real problems and the students just being arrogant not seemingly wanting to do anything with their lives.
Horror/Mystery – The horror in this film comes from graphic imaginary that we see from the injuries, we do have tension growing and the make up team should be praised for just how real everything looks. The mystery comes from just what is happening with this cult and what they will do next.
Settings – The film is set in the Swedish countryside away from the world, the only type of place a cult could operate in around the modern day. The sets are the best thing about this film because they are crafted which such love and you can’t help but think everything you see is a clue to what is happening.
Special Effects – The effects in the film do bring us the graphic images of the injuries that people are going through. The make up team work wonders on this film.
Final Thoughts – This is a horror that is set and created wonderfully on the outside, only to fall short on the story which only drags along without reaching any levels of scares.
Overall: Not reaching the potential.
Writer: Brandon Boyce (Screenplay)
Starring: David Tennant, Robert Sheehan, Kerry Condon, Carlito Olivero, Jacqueline Byers, Tracey Heggins, Rob Nagle
Plot: A pair of burglars stumble upon a woman being held captive in a home they intended to rob.
Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Tennant is a Creepy Psychopath
Story: Bad Samaritan starts when two burglars Sean (Sheehan) and Derek (Olivero) are running an operation as valets who break into houses while people are eating their dinners. When they pick their latest victim Cale Erendreich (Tennant) with his flashy car, Sean leads the look through his house, finding all the goodies the pair want, before making a shocking discovery, Katie (Condon) chained up in an office.
Sean get caught between doing the right thing and helping the woman, only to find Cale is able to talk the police away and breaking back into the house, the woman is gone and now his has become a target for Cale.
Thoughts on Bad Samaritan
Characters – Cale Erendreich is rich man that isn’t afraid to show his flashy cars around town, he is rude to people that he sees beneath him and he has a woman locked up in an office at his house. He likes to correct people and after Sean breaks into his house, he becomes the latest target, showing us that Cale is doing what he thinks is the right thing. Sean Falco is the thief that gets more than he bargained for on his latest job, he end up getting caught in the middle of a game which will see him become the target for the killer, seeing his life start to fall apart around him, Sean shows us what it is like when somebody wants to make it and just how far they will go to clean up the mess left behind. Katie is the woman that is held captive that knows that she will be put in more danger if Sean does rescue her at the wrong time. Derek is Sean’s best friend who works with him to select who to rob only he could get in more trouble if he is ever caught.
Performances – David Tennant is fantastic in this leading role, he brings us a creepy psychopath figure that is completely calm, while being calculated in each scene. Robert Sheehan is strong as his character is put through a moral dilemma and he shows us the desperation he is going through. Kerry Condon does what she can in her role, it is harder for her to do as much because most of role is tied up. Carlito Olivera does everything asked of him without standing out in anyway.
Story – The story here follows a small-time thief that sees his latest job go crazy after the person he is robbing from turns out to have dark secret which sees his life get turned upside down. This story is an easy watch and does go against everything you would imagine it going, watching the cat-n-mouse style unfold is interesting to follow as see how each side tries to get the upper hand and slowly starts to learn what the other might know about. It does soon pan out and just become a bigger case which is fine if you would like to get to learn more about the opening sequence. We do get to see just how dangerous technology will be in the wrong hands.
Crime/Horror – The crime side of the film does show us Cale operates in this world, with the horror side of this coming from just how he can get away with anything if he knows how to.
Settings – The film is set in Portland which shows how difficult the life can be for people that are struggling to make ends meet.
Final Thoughts – This is a crime horror that goes full-blown cat-n-mouse which does keep us guessing to just who will end up on top in this battle.
Overall: Interesting Cat-n-mouse chase.
“Do not prioritize money over having a heartbeat.” – Mr. Edmington
Number of Times Seen – 1 (3 Jul 2019)
Brief Synopsis – After being suspended for excessive force, two police detectives decide to steal of fortune of gold bullion from a group of very dangerous and violent criminals.
My Take on it – This is a film that I have been interested in seeing for the past few months solely due to the fact that it stars Mel Gibson and Vince Vaughn, but its run time of over 2 and a half hours has deterred me time and again.
Unfortunately, the film is terrible and takes too much time to even get to its point and then dragged things along (across concrete???) to torture us even more.
The story is overly long and has too many plot holes that it looks like a sieve.
It moves along painfully at a really slow pace and is a real chore to get through.
Both Vaughn and Gibson gives less than spectacular performances here which is a shame since they both have it in them to give us great performances.
The story is filled with lots of holes that make it all seem very chaotic and unorganized because it moves from extreme to extreme without real continuity along the way.
The dialogue is atrocious and makes the viewer laugh because it makes so little sense and is quite often extremely silly.
Bottom Line – Terrible film that drags on for much too long and actually makes the viewer feel as if they are truly being dragged across concrete the entire time. Vaughn and Gibson both give very lackluster performances here and this feels more like a grab for a quick salary than a way to tell an engaging and interesting story. The story is filled with far too many plot holes that make this thing feel like it is riddled with holes just like Swiss cheese. The dialogue is quite humorous because it comes across as being too silly the whole time and makes so little sense along the way.
MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Vince Vaughn, while working with Mel Gibson on Hacksaw Ridge, showed Gibson the screenplay for this film, and talked-up writer/director S. Craig Zahler and his vision. Gibson was responsive to the material and agreed to star immediately. (From IMDB)
Rating – Razzie Worthy (3/10)
Writer: Jeremy Brock (Screenplay) David Grann (Article)
Starring: Jim Carrey, Marton Csokas, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Kati Outinen, Vlad Ivanov, Robert Wieckiewicz
Plot: A murder investigation of a slain businessman turns to clues found in an author’s book about an eerily similar crime.
Tagline – It takes a dark mind to solve a twisted crime.
Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Terribly Boring
Story: Dark Crimes starts when Tadek (Carrey) still investigating the murder of a police officer, gets a new lead when Kozlov (Csokas) writes a new book which has an eerily similarity to the murder, leading him to take a dangerous road investigating the murder, which includes challenge the former girlfriend Kasia (Gainsbourg).
The investigation has plenty of ties to the secret sex club known as the cage, where the men get to do whatever they want to the women, Tadek must put his professional and person life on the line to get to the bottom of this investigations.
Thoughts on Dark Crimes
Characters – Tadek is a police officer, he is preparing for retirement (I think) only he wants to solve one final case, which involves the murder of a fellow officer, he goes down dangerous paths which put his career on the line, his marriage on the line, hoping to find the answers. Kozlov is an author that has written a book that sounds too similar to the unsolved case, he becomes the target of the investigation because of his history with the known sex club. Kasia is a former worker in the club, she does have a connection to Kozlov and the victim.
Performances – Jim Carrey is an actor that I like seeing him doing serious roles, sadly, this is one of his worst performances in a long time, he can keep the accent up jumping around all over the place. Marton Csokas usually does well in film, but because the character isn’t very interesting, he struggles to keep our attention. Charlotte Gainsbourg disappoints too, she does everything we expect her to without making the impact.
Story – The story follows a detective that is investigating the murder of a fellow officer that could have found the confession inside a novel, which leads him to target the author in search for the truth. The problem here is we get slow moving conversations which don’t go anywhere, we don’t get into the evidence of the case, it just seems to be watching one man starting to go too far in his search. The case doesn’t seem long enough to make feature film story either.
Crime – The crime side of the film follows the investigation into the murder of a police officer which might be opened up again, it never feels urgent either.
Settings – The film uses the settings to show how the club could be easily accessed without needing to be too far away.
Final Thoughts – This is one of the worst crime stories because it just never feels like the case is that important.
Overall: Just a drag.