Writer: Staten Cousins Roe (Screenplay)
Starring: Katie Brayben, Poppy Roe, Ben Lloyd-Hughes, Sarah Ball, Tomiwa Edun, Sinead Matthews
Plot: A self-help addict unwittingly finds herself on a killing spree with her unhinged life coach.
Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Quirky Dark Fun
Story: A Serial Killer’s Guide to Life starts as we meet a self-help addict Lou Farnt (Brayben) who has always struggled with her confidence in life, jumping between differ gurus for years, being held back by her mother Maureen (Ball). Lou meets Val Stone (Roe) at one of the self-help promotions for the latest book she is reading, which soon gives them a chance to become friends.
Thoughts on A Serial Killer’s Guide to Life
Characters – Lou Farnt lives a quiet like with her working in a shop, caring for her mother that has always held her back and using self-help gurus to try and help her uncover her true self come out of her timid nature. She meets Val who pushes her to escape her life, where she gets to go on a road trip. Val Stone is a serial killer that has been going through self-help gurus, she meets Lou inviting her on a road trip to different self-help gurus, ones which she continues to kill, she is very cold, but confident in her kills. Chuck Knoah is one of the gurus that has been inspiring the women the most, the road trip is them looking to get to him, as he does inspire millions with his worlds. Maureen is Lou’s mother who has been controlling her life for years, not letting her get free to her own life.
Performances – Katie Brayden brings the timid character to life with ease, with us understand all her struggles in life, while Poppy Roe does bring the cold-hearted killer to life with levels of disturbance behind the performance. Elsewhere we do get performances that embrace the self-help people you would have imagined.
Story – The story here follows a timid self-help addicted who befriends a mysterious woman who happens to be a serial killer that is hunting for self-help gurus. This is an interesting story about learning who you are and what you can do with the right support, only becoming an adventure about murder. It has easily been compared to ‘Sightseers’ which does have the same tone in the film. The story does seem to be drive to each help group, try some new therapy which does seem to become random and completely out there almost poking fun at the wild therapies in the world.
Comedy/Crime/Horror – The comedy in this film is very dark, it focuses on the twisted actions of Val, which does playing into the crime side of the film, which shows the killing spree, without much of the killing itself. As for the horror it does show the shock of being part of a killing spree when Lou learns the truth of Val’s plan.
Settings – The film does use the settings to show different locations around Britain, as the couple travel around to different self-help groups, starting on the beauty of the coastal town.
Scene of the Movie – Caught in the act.
Final Thoughts – This is a dark quirky comedy on a par with Sightseers, while being the fullest Britishness of Prevenge, one you can have fun watching.
Overall: Delightfully Dark.
A SERIAL KILLER’S GUIDE TO LIFE is released on iTunes and Digital HD from 13th January 2020 http://www.aserialkillersguidetolife.com
Writer: Jeff Stockwell, David Paterson (Screenplay) Katherine Paterson (Book)
Starring: Josh Hutcherson, AnnaSophia Robb, Zooey Deschanel, Robert Patrick, Bailee Madison, Kate Butler
Plot: A preteen’s life turns upside down when he befriends the new girl in school and they imagine a whole new fantasy world to escape reality.
Tagline – The beloved novel comes to life.
Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Hard Hitting Family Adventure
Story: Bridge to Terabithia starts as we meet Jess (Hutcherson) one of the middle children in a big family living on a farm, he is bullied at school with the new year being no different for him, when new neighbour Leslie (Robb) joins him in school, he might finally get a friend in the hostile side of school.
The two become friends and use the local woods to create their own fantasy world to escape the realities they are living in. the two learn they can remain individual while navigating everyday life.
Thoughts on Bridge to Terabithia
Characters – Jess is one of five children, the only boy from a farm family that struggles to make ends meet. He is bullied at school, left isolated for the most part, this is until he meets the new neighbour who helps him come out of his shell, explore his imagination more, learning how to unlock the potential in his artistic nature. Leslie is the neighbour that moves in, she is an outsider too with a wild imagination which helps Jess come out of his shell, she wants to be different, she accepts people who are different always willing to offer an olive branch to everybody. Ms Edmunds is one o the teachers at the school, she is the music teacher and pushes Jess to follow his potential. Jack is the father of Jess’s family he is forced to work hard through everyday, struggling to keep it together for his family, being stricter towards Jess.
Performances – Josh Hutcherson and AnnaSophia Robb are two of the best child actors of their generations, their performances are both wonderful and bring the heart and soul to this movie. Zooey Deschanel and Robert Patrick both bring the role models needed to the child roles.
Story – The story follows a boy that is isolated from the world, facing a lonely future because of his family’s financial situation who makes a new school friend who helps him see the world in another light before tragedy comes his way. This is a story that felt like a coming of age movie which was wonderful only it came and throw a shocking twist in the story. we get to see how two people young teenagers learn to accept people in the world ignoring people that are trying to get to them. We do get to enter a fantasy world that only children could create to escape their worlds, which does see them deal their own problems.
Adventure/Family – The adventure comes from the world created by Jess and Leslie to escape their world, filled with creatures that could only come from the minds of the two. The family side of the film shows the two dealing with life issues in the simple ways.
Settings – The film shows that the two kids are in isolated locations, be it in the school or out of it and along with the fantasy location they create.
Special Effects – The effects are mixed because the creatures look fantastic, but there is a running screen that just looks difficult to watch.
Final Thoughts – This is a shocking family adventure film that fills the coming-of-age story, which shows us how important life can be.
Overall: Coming of age shocker.
This is under C because of star Constance Wu
Writer: Lorene Scafaria (Screenplay) Jessica Pressler (Article)
Starring: Constance Wu, Jennifer Lopez, Julia Stiles, Mette Towley, Wai Ching Ho, Emma Batiz, Vanessa Aspillaga, Jay Oakerson, Keke Palmer
Plot: Inspired by the viral New York Magazine article, Hustlers follows a crew of savvy former strip club employees who band together to turn the tables on their Wall Street clients.
Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Stylish Crime Story
Story: Hustlers starts as we follow a young stripper Destiny (Wu) who is working to make sure her Grandmother (Ho0 is supported, she sees the more successful dancers in the club as she is trying to find her own place in the club, looking up to the most popular dancer Ramona (Lopez).
Ramona takes Destiny under her wing to teacher her more techniques, which should give her a chance to get more money, let alone showing her about the extra tricks she has been working on for years, getting the credit cards and taking their money, showing the money flying in, taking advantage of the Wall Street clients.
Thoughts on Hustlers
Characters – Destiny is the young woman who just wants to make enough money in her life for her Grandmother who has always supported her. She has a job as a stripper which sees her start small before learning how to bring in the big money, while her life might not go to plan after she has a kid, she returns to the life as a dancer which sees her take advantage of the wall street bankers. Ramona is the experience dancer, she gets most of the attention in the club and takes Destiny under her wing in a mentor role, they have one brilliant year before things change. Once they are out the club, she leads a bigger scheme which takes thousands from the clients bringing the girls together. Elizabeth is a journalist hearing the story from Destiny about what happened with the women, she wants to hear everything to see whether they knew and thought what they did was right. We do meet plenty of the fellow girls that joined in the plan, each has different motivations and different skill levels to be part of it.
Performances – Constance Wu in the leading role is wonderful and such a big change from last years Crazy Rich Asians, proving herself as an actress that can play both sides of the acting range. Jennifer Lopez shines as the confident seductive dancer, she looks the part with ease and steals every scene she is in. Julia Stiles brings the calm reporter that is asking most of the questions that we would be asking. The rest of the cast including the dancers do a great job too.
Story – The story here follows two strippers that start their own business where they look to make massive amounts of money by drugging wall street banks and using their cards to fill their financial needs. The story here shows how the plan starts off small, but soon leads to them going for bigger scores which leads to them taking bigger risks which they didn’t need to be getting involved in. while this is based on a true story, it does show that there wasn’t much of a punishment for the women either. The mentor friendship between Destiny and Ramona is great to see as we can see how they both need each other to get through the problems they might the facing.
Comedy/Crime – The crime side of the film mixes with the comedy which shows how the women were getting away with the crime for so long without being caught in the middle of being a full-blown comedy.
Settings – The film is set in New York which shows where the targets will have too much money for their own good, which makes them an easy target.
Final Thoughts – This is a fun crime comedy that showed how a group of hustlers swindled money out of wall street bankers who would spend anything.
Overall: Fun throughout.