Richard Gere Weekend – Norman (2016)

Director: Joseph Cedar

Writer: Joseph Cedar (Screenplay)

Starring: Richard Gere, Lior Ashkenazi, Michael Sheen, Steve Buscemi, Yahuda Almagor, Neta Riskin, Josh Charles, Dan Stevens

 

Plot: Norman Oppenheimer is a small time operator who befriends a young politician at a low point in his life. Three years later, when the politician becomes an influential world leader, Norman’s life dramatically changes for better and worse.


Tagline – The Moderate Rise and Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Political Borefest

 

Story: Norman starts as we learn about Norman Oppenheimer (Gere) who is trying to make political connections, his latest target is Israeli deputy minister Micha Eshel (Ashkenazi) who is grateful for the support.

Three years later Micha is now the Israeli prime minister and remembers Norman, but now Norman must use his skills as a fixer to solve a problem as everything changes for him

 

Thoughts on Norman

 

Characters – Norman is a political connections man, he makes the connections for different Politicians while finding a way to talk his way out of any situations. We see his rise and fall in the world where he ends up biting off more than he can chew. When it comes to the fellow characters we meet a host of different political figures that want to make connections with each other.

PerformancesRichard Gere is in the leading role here and he is fine in this role without reaching the levels we know he could, we do have a big cast of talented actors who do the basics well without any of them taking centre stage.

StoryThe story isn’t the most interesting, mostly because we are follow Norman as he makes connections in the political world and over the next couple of years things start getting out of hand and he must keep all his connection happy. The story never draws you in and easily becomes one of the more boring movies of the recent years.

ThrillerThe film here tries to keep us invested only for it to become too slow and disinteresting.

SettingsMost of the film is set in and around New York city as we see how the connections are made and maintained.


Scene of the Movie –
Hard to find one, the shoes scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Its just not interesting.

Final ThoughtsThis is a dull all-star movie which doesn’t hit any of the marks it is aiming for and just ends up being boring.

 

Overall: Boring is being nice.

Rating

 

 

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Queen & Country (2014)

Director: John Boorman

Writer: John Boorman (Screenplay)

Starring: Callum Turner, Caleb Landry Jones, Pat Shortt, David Thewlis, Richard F Grant, Tamsin Egerton, Vanessa Kirby

 

Plot: In this sequel to Hope and Glory (1987), Bill Rohan has grown up and is drafted into the army, where he and his eccentric best mate, Percy, battle their snooty superiors on the base and look for love in town.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow, Dull and Boring

 

Story: Queen & Country starts as we follow Bill Rohan (Turner) drafted to the army to deal with the conflict in Korea, joined by Percy (Jones) who soon becomes his best friend. The two must deal with a by the book Sargeant Major Bradley (Thewlis) which only drives Major Cross (Grant) crazy.

We see how Percy keeps bring up plans while Bill starts to date a mysterious woman Opheila (Egerton), a woman with a past that only adds to her mystery.

 

Thoughts on Queen & Country

 

Characters – Bill lives on an island in the middle of the Thames, he is drafted the army which gets him to see more of the world, meet a mysterious woman and learn to stand up for himself. Percy is the loud best friend of Bill, who has done everything, he is the one that wants to get ahead of Bradley. Ophelia is the mysterious woman that comes into Bill’s life, she draws him but is keeping her secrets safe.

PerformancesCallum Turner is fine in this leading role but just doesn’t capture the levels to make us want to see his character too often. Caleb Landry Jones is the one we want to see the most, he is fun to watch but not the most interesting. The cast are fine but they just come off like posh Brits in roles.

StoryThe story is a sequel to a movie, I have never heard off, which is guess doesn’t help too much. We get to see a young man that goes into the armed forces that challenges his superiors while dealing with his own personal problems when it comes to tracking down a mysterious woman that can’t be with him. Nothing that interesting happens in this movie in the way you care enough to see where things go.

SettingsThe film takes us from the basic location which show the training camp, but it has our characters coming from the posh backgrounds.


Scene of the Movie –
Hard to find one.

That Moment That Annoyed Me That clock storyline.

Final ThoughtsThis is a boring movie that the more I think about things, the more I get bored about what I am thinking about it.

 

Overall: Nothing interesting happening here.

Rating

 

 

The Little Stranger (2018)

Director: Lenny Abrahamson

Writer: Lucinda Coxon (Screenplay) Sarah Waters (Novel)

Starring: Domhnall Gleeson, Will Poulter, Ruth Wilson, Liv Hill, Charlotte Rampling, Oliver Zetterstrom, Kathryn O’Reilly

 

Plot: After a doctor is called to visit a crumbling manor, strange things begin to occur.


Tagline – These Delusions Are Contagious

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: More Like a Little Dull

 

Story: The Little Stranger starts when small village Doctor Faraday (Gleeson) treats a maid at a mansion that is often seen as the outsiders of the village, the Ayres, with the mother of the house (Rampling) and her children Caroline (Wilson) and the injured war hero Roderick (Poulter) filling the mansion.

Faraday decides to help Roderick with his injuries, while becoming closer to Caroline, Faraday starts getting memories of his time in the mansion as a child, before strange events start happening around the mansion, ones that a medical person couldn’t answer with ease.

 

Thoughts on The Little Stranger

 

Characters – Dr Faraday is a young doctor who takes a fondness of an outcasted family, he wants to help the injured brother, wants to save Caroline, while being left in the middle being able to help them or a potential supernatural presence in the house. Roderick is the injured war hero, he was left with a limp and burns to his face, which make him feel outcasted from the rest of the village and useless to his family, he is struggling with the mental side of everything too, leaving him to make rash decisions. Caroline is the daughter of the household, she is the one that they family has hope of seeing escape their impending poverty and becomes the ones that Faraday takes an interest in. she comes off unsure of what to make of her own future. Mrs Ayres is the mother of the house, she wants the best for her children and is still haunted by the one that she lost.

PerformancesI don’t think any of the performances in this film are bad, Domhnall Gleeson does everything he can in the leading role, as does Will Poulter in his supporting role, Ruth Wilson and Charlotte Rampling don’t disappoint with what they try to bring to the film, the problem with most of this film, comes from the characters be so bland and the story not going anywhere.

StoryThe story here follows a doctor getting close to a family that are seen as outcasts only to start to fall in love with one member of the family just as the strange events start to happen within the mansion. This is where the story just doesn’t get going, we are promised a horror element to this film which just never comes to life, which makes the story feel like more of a class position story. if that sounds confusing, well that doesn’t change from the story in full, because we have very little happening here and end up just shrugging our shoulders at the end, wondering if anything was actually meant to happen.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film does seem to be non-existent, where anything supernatural does seem to only be part of the mystery over anything else going on in the film.

SettingsThe film is set mostly in the mansion in a village in the English countryside, it shows how the family can be seen as outcasts and how people can look out at these types of buildings hoping to be part of this society.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are down the practical additions to Will Poulter, they look great, everything else just seems basic.


Scene of the Movie –
The dog attack.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The aftermath of the dog attack.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that seems to hint at something big, only to end up feeling dull and uninspiring.

 

Overall: Just fails to deliver.

Rating

 

 

The Reptile (1966)

Director: John Gilling

Writer: Anthony Hinds (Screenplay)

Starring: Noel Willman, Jennifer Daniel, Ray Barrett, Jacqueline Pearce, Michael Fipper, John Laurie

 

Plot: In a Cornish village, various locals die from mysterious snake bites, but the coroner rules the deaths as heart attacks, until a family of newcomers starts an investigation.


Tagline – What strange power made her half woman – half snake?

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tamer Hammer Horror

 

Story: The Reptile starts when Harry (Barrett) and Valerie (Daniel) inherit Harry’s cottage after his mysterious death in a small Cornish Village. The couple move down hoping to live down there, only to learn that the location has a collection of deaths which just don’t make sense for the victims.

After another mysterious death, Harry starts investigating just what is happening, which sees him looking at the neighbour Dr Franklyn (Willman) who has a daughter that he is very controlling over.

 

Thoughts on The Reptile

 

Characters – Harry Spalding is looking to move into his late brother’s cottage in Cornwell, he sees it as a chance to get away from the city with his wife, but he isn’t convinced his brother died from heart failure, he isn’t welcomed into the village by the locals and once he starts looking into what happened, he starts to learn the disturbing truth about what is going on. Valerie is the wife of Harry, she meets Dr Franklyn first and is the one that get concerned about the well being of his daughter, wanting to help. Dr Franklyn is the neighbour that the town is fearful off, he is controlling of his daughter, with his action being the truth about what is happening in the village. Anna is the daughter of the Doctor, she acts like she is being held hostage by her father, wanting to get free, only she has a secret too.

PerformancesWe have Noel Willman that brings us a creepy character that does seem away from the world that he is part of, holding a secret. Jennifer Daniel, Ray Barrett work well as a couple well being the ones entering into the world like the audience. We get the typical cast you would see in this type of film.

StoryThe story follows a couple that move to a Cornish cottage after one of the relatives dies suddenly only to discovery a mystery about the local area. Like most of the Hammer horror this is how we bring a new character into a horror going on, when it comes to being new to the area, we also generally get the unwelcoming locals with just one filling in the information. Watching the story unfold it does go in the direction you would expect without being anything that we haven’t seen from the genre before. The story does a good job hiding what the big reveal which is a pleasure to see the truth.

HorrorWhen it comes to horror we wait to see just what is going on, we get the creepy build and most happening in the dark, this could work for horror, though we don’t get enough shock early on.

SettingsThe film is set in the location of a small Cornish village which has a tight community that doesn’t want to let new people in, where people can have secrets.

Special EffectsThe effects here are practical and they do add to the horror once you get to see what the creature is.


Scene of the Movie –
The creature is seen.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is slightly too slow for the horror moments to make an impact.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the typical styled Hammer Horrors, it doesn’t offer much new and follows the formula without slipping into the bad selection.

 

Overall: Simple Hammer Horror.

Rating