Birds of Prey (2020) Movie Review

Director: Cathy Yan

Writer: Christina Hodson (Screenplay)

Starring: Margot Robbie, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Ewan McGregor, Jurnee Smollett-Bell, Rosie Perez, Bojana Novakovic, Chris Messina, Ella Jay Basco, Ali Wong

Plot: After splitting with the Joker, Harley Quinn joins superheroes Black Canary, Huntress and Renee Montoya to save a young girl from an evil crime lord.


Tagline – Prey for Gotham! 

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Wonderful Blast

Story: Birds of Prey starts as Harley Quinn (Robbie) finally leaving Mr J or Joker to most people, people don’t believe she will stay away for long because her relationship means she can get away with anything, only after she blows up his compound, her immunity is gone and everybody is after her, with Roman Sionis (McGregor) looking to cash in on the position left behind.

After teenage pickpocket Cassandra Cain (Basco) steals a diamond, she finds a bounty on her head, with the only person that will help her is Harley, who learns she has people willing to help from other people detective Renee Montoya (Perez), mysterious assassin Huntress (Winstead) and singer Dinah (Smollett-Bell), as they face the numbers in Gotham.

Thoughts on Birds of Prey

Characters – Harley Quinn is having a life crisis after her break up from the Joker, she wants to remain the wild character, only she needs to learn who to trust after learning everybody wants her dead, she gets a chance to save a teenager that Roman Sionis is hunting. Harley is pure enjoyment to watch, she makes everything fun in her life, always looking at the bright side no matter what comes her way. Renee Montoya is a detective that has never gotten the recognition she deserves, she is trying to track down Harley and has always been working with an inside source in Roman Sionis, she is always considered an 80’s cop. The Huntress is the mysterious assassin that has appeared and started killing gang members, this is the character that does feel like the weakest, mostly because she is fully mysterious, until she isn’t which makes her feel flatter than the rest of the characters. Dinah Lance is the singer in Roman’s club whose voice can shatter glasses, she has always kept to herself, but will look at for people in life. Roman Sionis is the club owner gangster who lets people take the faces off his victims and after seeing what happens to the Joker’s compound, he believes it will be his rise to power.

PerformancesMargot Robbie is truly incredible in the leading role, she well and truly takes the movie and is a true delight to watch. Rosie Perez, Mary Elizabeth Winstead and Jurnee Smollett-Bell are excellent too, working with Robbie perfectly. Ewan McGregor works well as the villain, showing the eccentric side to his character with ease.

StoryThe story here follows Harley Quinn as she finds herself alone, out of the Joker’s shadow, needing to fight for herself, where she must help a teenager that is facing the hunt from the new gangster looking to take over Gotham, finding she has unlikely allies waiting in the shadows. This story can be cut down to a simple, protection based story, which is always an nice concept, we get the extras from the flamboyant nature of Harley and how she tells the story, which is the saving grace for the entertainment value. The story is carried by the strength of Harley and just how purely entertaining to she is to watch and see stand up for herself.

Action/CrimeThe action gives us some unique and original fight scenes, with the funfair one being a true stand out and potentially being one of the best of the year already, all while being in the Gotham crime world.

SettingsThe film still uses Gotham as the backdrop, which is fine, it all works, where the settings stand out more though are with the fight scenes, taking us to the unique locations we haven’t seen before.


Scene of the Movie – Funfair fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The drunk opening sequence.

Final Thoughts This is Margot Robbie proving herself to be above and beyond with her talent, bringing to life Harley in a way that is filled with the entertainment we love to see in a comic book movie.

Overall: Entertaining Treat.

Exit 0 (2019) Movie Review

Director: E.B. Hughes

Writer: E.B. Hughes, Gregory Voigt (Screenplay)

Starring: Gabe Fazio, Augie Duke, Federico Castelluccio, Peter Greene, Kenneth McGregor, Daniel O’Shea

Plot: A young couple sets out on a weekend getaway in hopes of mending their failing relationship. However, a seemingly innocent weekend turns dark when the man discovers a videotape chronicling the events of a murder in his very own hotel room from years before.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Sizzles

Story: Exit 0 starts as a couple Billy (Fazio) and Lisa (Duke) are looking to have a getting away from their busy lives, staying in a quiet country hotel, which starts off well, but after Billy finds a video tape that shows a murder in the hotel room, he starts to question why nothing was reported about it.

As Billy tries to prove the tape is real, he starts to learn about the history of the area, which might have a much darker history than he was expecting.

Thoughts on Exit 0

Characters – Billy is travelling with his girlfriend to a hotel that was part of his youth only for him to discover a tape which shows a murder of a couple, a tape he can’t show to anyone else to prove this is real, which only starts to show him losing his mind, needing to see his girlfriend try to help him keep everything together. Lisa is the girlfriend that is happy to get away, she does have spend more time on her phone than paying attention to anything else in life. Detective Mueller does look into the story Billy says only to come up short, being the first one to challenge the mental state of Billy.

PerformancesGabe Fazio is the strongest of the performers that must go through the biggest emotional rollercoaster through the film, while everybody else is meant to look more like a normal everyday people in Billy’s life.

StoryThe story here follows a couple that are looking for a weekend away where one finds a video tape of a murder that drives him to want to learn the truth, only no one will believe him. This is a story that goes in a very interesting direction, not only does it deal with the idea of an unsolved murder, which shows how one person wants it to be solved, but no one will believe them, but it also shows how the uncertainty can drive somebody to test their own mental health with a friend around them. Most of the story is more about what could have happened, and how one person must try and process what they think happened.

ThrillerThe film does keep us on the edge of our seat, with how Billy might be losing his mind with something following him or not.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us how the couple are looking for a quiet weekend away, it shows the small town, with a big history.


Scene of the Movie – Driving away.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We could have seen more of the maybes through the film.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting thriller that does keep us guessing, while seeing how somebody would deal with finding evidence of a murder that nobody else believes them about.

Overall: Interesting Thriller.

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – G – Gandhi (1982)

Director: Richard Attenborough

Writer: John Briley (Screenplay)

Starring: Ben Kingsley, Rohini Hattangadi, Roshan Seth, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, John Gielgud, Trevor Howard

 

Plot: Gandhi’s character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed.


Tagline – A WORLD EVENT It took one remarkable man to defeat the British Empire and free a nation of 350 million people. His goal was freedom for India. His strategy was peace. His weapon was his humanity.

Runtime: 3 Hours 11 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Inspirational

 

Story: Gandhi starts in 1893 when Mohandas K Gandhi (Kingsley) an Indian lawyer travelling in South Africa is thrown off a train for sitting in first class, he is opposed to this laws which see Indians as second class citizens in a land which is under the British Empire and starts to lead a non-violent stand to make a change in the country.

After turning the laws in South Africa, Gandhi gets a hero’s welcome return to India, where he goes around the country to learn about the impending war against the British as India is looking for its own independence, and Gandhi’s teaching will become the key to non-violent protests against what is happening to the people of land at the hands of the British.

 

Thoughts on Gandhi

 

Characters – Mohandas K Gandhi was an Indian lawyer educated in England, he gets treated like a second class citizen in South Africa, which makes him want to change the laws, create freedom for people in the British Empire to be treated equal in any of the lands, he wants to fight without ever being violent, he sees war as a tactical idea that could be done without spilling blood. After winning in South Africa, he head home to India where he starts his latest mission to stop the British having control of India, once again preaching his non-violent ways once again, trying to change his own’s people mentality to take the country to a new future. Kasturba is the wife of Mohandas she stands by his side through ever campaign he leads, showing the women of Indian they can be as strong as their men. Pandit Nehru is one of the first followers of Gandhi, he will have differences along the way, but he does know that he is always trying to do the right thing. We do get a host of people that were part of Gandhi’s life and campaigns, we have the reporters that spread his stories, the Indians who learnt to support him and the British who were always trying to remain in control.

PerformancesBen Kingsley is truly breath-taking in this leading role, covering the inspirational man’s life for over 50 years, it shows how he really is one of the greatest actors of all time, in a role he was born to play. The rest of the cast are fantastic too, we have plenty of smaller roles with big name actors who all shine in their roles.

StoryThe story here follows the life of Mahatma Gandhi the man that wanted to use non-violent methods to create freedom for the Indians in two different countries, first South Africa, secondly in India itself trying to break free of the British Empire unfair rule. Seeing the life of Gandhi over the 50 odd years of his life shows us just how much he achieved even while being patient in the achieving his life changing goals for the people of the countries. The story is told in chronological order which shows us just how famous Gandhi become as the man that wanted change, how different people tried to stop him and others reluctantly put themselves in a position where they had to go against him, even though he agreed.

Biopic/HistoryWe do follow Gandhi’s life from the moment he first gets discriminated against until his death, we go through the history of the changes Gandhi fought for through the years as just how he ended up changing the history of India with his teachings.

SettingsThe film recreates the settings used for the events in history with ease, we will believe that we are part of this world and part of the world Gandhi choices to live in.


Scene of the Movie –
Courtroom acceptance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel too long at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brilliant biopic that shows us just how inspirational Gandhi was to the world let alone just the people of India.

 

Overall: Masterpiece of cinema.

Rating

 

 

Addicted to You (2019) Movie Review

Director: Mike Cochnar

Writer: Mike Cochnar, Choni Francis, SteevJBrown (Screenplay)

Starring: Shane Hartline, Melissa Paulo, Cat Alter, Choni Francis, Garrett Mendez, Warren Burke

Plot: Luke Peters is hell-bent on avoiding love, leading him to pose as a recovering sex addict to ditch a clingy girl.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Love, with Laughs and Hearts

Story: Addicted to You starts as Luke (Hartline) learns to grow up without ever falling in love, this has seen him always making excuses for any relationship that gets too serious, Aimee (Alter) starts working at the website Buzzstory, where she looks to find the single guys, taking a shine to Luke, while Jackson (Francis) and David (Mendez) are waiting for their opportunity with her.

When Luke discovers just how clingy Aimee is, he needs to find a way to let her down easily, with the only solution the friends come up with is that he is a sex addict. Here Luke meets Kara (Paulo) who has her own agenda studying the group, only the two start to fall in love.

Thoughts on Addicted to You

Characters – Luke has grown up believing that falling in love is bad and plans to never do it, to escape the latest woman in his life he pretends to be a sex addict, only he ends needing to go to session, he gets on with a woman studying sex addiction, which gives him his first look at understanding love. Kara is a journalist whose latest article is on sex addicts, where she joins the group, she starts to see the positives in Luke, where she isn’t sure whether to write the article or follow her heart. Aimee is the new girl at Luke’s office, she takes an instant shine to him, getting very clingy, very quickly, forcing Luke to lie about himself to get away from her, she is always stalking him around the office, waiting for him to come back to her. Jackson and David are the best friends, they always hang out together, they have their own adventures, even though they both just want one thing, love.

PerformancesShane Hartline in the leading role does play the character very straight down the middle, letting the other stars be the more flamboyant figures. Melissa Paulo is strong as the conflicted character, while Cat Alter, Choni Francis, Garrett Mendez and Warren Burke are excellent in the supporting roles, getting most of the laughs in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a man that never wants to fall in love that lies about being a sex addict to get away from a stalker, only to fall in love with a woman studying the group, where they both have secrets that could unlock love. Deep down we get the message about finding love in any location at any time in life, often at the worst time possible. We might get more colourful characters than in real life, which at times can take you out of story, with only Luke and Kara coming off like normal people. The strongest part of the story is showing us how people want love and how they just don’t know how to find it, which reflects life too often.

ComedyThe comedy comes from the over the top actions of the supporting characters, Aimee, Jackson, David and Mr Adams are the highlights.

SettingsThe film is set in LA though we don’t get any iconic locations, we have the local bar where the guys are known by name.


Scene of the Movie – Jackson tries two drinks.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The random drug scene.

Final Thoughts This is a fun comedy that does show the importance of love and how people just want to fall in love.

Overall: Funny Comedy.