By Day’s End (2020) Movie Review

Director: Michael Souder

Writer: Justin Calen-Chenn, Michael Souder (Screenplay)

Starring: Lyndsey Lantz, Andrea Nelson, Joshua keller Katz, Bill Oberst Jr, Maria Olsen, Devlin Wilder

Plot: Love is never an easy road. No one knows that better than Carly and Rina, whose relationship takes a turn for the worse after Carly decides to drop out of med school and Rina loses her job as an attorney. This forces them to move into a motel, a situation neither of them are happy with. To makes matters worse, Rina’s battles with depression have returned and Carly has decided to use what money she has left to buy a camera so she can pursue videography as a profession. Despite the cracks that are starting to show in their relationship, Carly and Rina pledge to repair what has been broken, no matter the circumstances, no matter the odds. But are they both as adamant as they say they are? Unfortunately, time is not on their side. When a pandemic disease ravaging the world appears in their city and starts turning people into crazed flesh eating machines, Carly and Rina decide to keep documenting the occurrence with their camera. Doing so, they are forced to band together like never before

Runtime: 1 Hour 12 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Plays Out Like An Opening Level of Video Game

Story: By Day’s End starts as Carly (Lantz) fresh after dropping out of medical school purchases her first camera to become a videographer while looking to get her feet back on the ground with her girlfriend Rina (Nelson) who has recently lost her job, leaving them living in the motel.

After Rina suffers another job rejection the day takes another turn for the worst when it turns out a pandemic has spread, one that brings the dead back to life, leaving the women trapped in their room, watching the world fall apart outside their door.

Thoughts on By Day’s End

Characters – Carly wants to become a videographer after spending years studying a med school, she is waiting for her chance to proposal to Rina, mostly hoping everything in life will work out, offering medical treatment where she sees fit, filming the day. Rina is trying to get back into job market after losing her job, she does wish Carly would get back to a more serious way of looking at life, while battling with her own demons. Wyatt is one of the residents that has a plan once the outbreak starts, he has been preparing for an incident for a while now, proving to be an excellent ally in surviving.

PerformancesLyndsey Lantz does have the most work to do, mostly because despite this being a found footage film and it is her character’s camera, she isn’t always behind it and more focused on the doing the right thing, showing us just how a dreamer can be living their life. Andrea Nelson does have one of the bleakest scenes early on, showing the best performance part of the film with it.

StoryThe story here follows a couple that have been going through hard times, that find themselves in the middle of a zombie outbreak, being trapped in the motel complex they are calling home. When it comes to zombie films it is hard to bring anything truly new to the genre, while this story on the zombie side of the film does feel like something we saw in both chapters of ‘The Walking Dead’ and ‘Left 4 Dead’ franchise of games, with a group of survivors needing to get out of a motel alive, while never being as intense as them, trying to show the slow outbreak. The relationship side of the film does show us how we just arrive in one day of their lives, instead of a big set up to place us there, which is nice to see, making this whole story feel like it could have happened within the day of the lives of the characters.

Horror/Romance The horror in this film comes from the idea that a zombie outbreak is happening, with the location being more secure than the open, only being shot in a mix of handheld found footage and security camera footage.

SettingsThe film is set in a motel area, be it the room, car park and corridors, it does offer up plenty of tight locations that facing a zombie would be difficult, which does keep the film even though set in the middle of a city, we don’t get a large number of zombies thrown into the mix.

Special EffectsThe effects are kept off camera with cuts to different angles to hide gore moments, relying on the blood splatter involved in the film.


Scene of the Movie – The plan to escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We have seen the basics of the surviving side before.

Final Thoughts This is a zombie outbreak movie that we have seen before, while keeping everything feeling more contained than normal.

Overall: Zombie Survival 101

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – J – Julie & Julia (2009)

Director: Nora Ephron

Writer: Nora Ephron (Screenplay) Julie Powell, Julia Child, Alex Prud’homme (Book)

Starring: Meryl Streep, Amy Adams, Stanley Tucci, Chris Messina, Linda Emond, Helen Carey, Mary Lynn Rajskub

 

Plot: Julia Child’s story of her start in the cooking profession is intertwined with blogger Julie Powell’s 2002 challenge to cook all the recipes in Child’s first book.


Tagline – Passion. Ambition. Butter. Do You Have What It Takes?

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Inspirational and Sweet

 

Story: Julie & Julia starts as we follow Julia Child (Streep) and her husband Paul (Tucci) starting to find her place in the world in France, where she finds a new passion for cooking, meanwhile in 2002 Julie Powell (Adams) moves to Queens with her husband Eric (Messina) who is getting tired of her everyday life, decides to start a blog, challenging herself to cook all the recipes in Julia’s cook book within a year.

The two stories run next to each other with Julia studying cooking before getting a chance to teach and write the book that Julie is working from, while Julie starts to see a spike in interest for her blog, with people wanting to see just how far she gets into her challenge.

 

Thoughts on Julie & Julia

 

Characters – Julia Child is one of the most famous chefs from the 1950 and beyond, here we get to see how being a bored housewife that turned to cooking to keep her entertained, first studying it before writing the book that saw her take years to write with her co-workers. We only follow her time getting to the position of getting the book published. Julie Powell believed she had a bright future, now turning 30 she is stuck in a cubical job feeling out of place in life. Deciding to set herself a challenge, she wants to prepare every recipes in Julia Child’s book within a year. Julie does see the success of her blog skyrocket with people wanting to see how she experiences the dishes through the year. Paul Child and Eric Powell are the supportive husbands of both the women, they both let them get on with their projects, stepping in only when they are feeling down about moments in life.

PerformancesMeryl Streep and Amy Adams are both truly fantastic in their roles, they bring both real people to life by making both their characters filled with life in different generations. Stanley Tucci and Chris Messina both manage the supporting roles with ease, helping the two leads hold the spotlight, but stepping in when they need their characters to make impacts in the lives.

StoryThe story here follows the early days in the cooking world for Julia Child as she starts to use her hobby to bring a new joy to her life, we also follow a small time blogger looking for a challenge, using the book to make a name for herself in the world as a cook that enjoys the challenge. The story manages to balance the two ladies challenges to make an impact, with Julia Child needing to go against traditions of male chef to get her book released, while Julie wants to prove she can complete something in her life. The tone of the story is told in a way that keep everything feeling calm and enjoyable and seeing what both the women achieve is a delight to see.

Biopic/RomanceThe biopic side of the film shows two different sides of the lady’s lives, seeing how they both had to overcome their own problems to achieve the challenge. The romance shows us just how the two women turned to their husbands to keep them strong.

SettingsThe film uses two main locations, one was Paris with Julia seeing how a new vision for cooking, while Julie is stuck in a small apartment, which does show us just the book could be achieved by anybody whatever size their kitchen.


Scene of the Movie –
The final chapter of the blog.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not a thing.

Final ThoughtsThis is a delightful story about two women that used their passion for cooking to tell and bring new their stories to the people of the world.

 

Overall: Delightful

Rating

 

 

Goalie (2019) Movie Review

Director: Adriana Maggs

Writer: Adriana Maggs, Jane Maggs (Screenplay)

Starring: Mark O’Brien, Kevin Pollak, Georgina Reilly, Eric Bruneau, Steve Byers, Ted Atherton, Janine Theriault

Plot: Biopic of the life of legendary NHL goaltender Terry Sawchuk.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Surprising Look at Sports Conditioning

Story: Goalie starts as we see how Terry Sawchuk grew up under the shadow of his older brother who was waiting for scouts to give him a chance in the big time, only his father Louis (Atherton) needed him to work to keep a roof over the family. After his brother sudden death, Terry builds up his own reputation as an ice hockey goalie.

Terry gets signed by Detroit under coach Jack Adams (Pollak) while remaining humble in his new found fame, where his reputation continues to grow, as he continues to play through injuries to make history as one of the most legendary goaltenders in the game.

Thoughts on Goalie

Characters – Terry Sawchuk came from a struggling family, where he idolised his brother a young ice hockey goaltender who is meant to have a big future, after his brother’s death, Terry takes the role and builds himself a reputation which sees him signed to the big time after an injury to the current goaltender. Terry becomes the best tender in the league, though not a price, he plays through injuries that should be rested, which sees him going through addictions to cover up his own pain. Jack Adams is the Detroit coach that gives Terry the big break, he sees him as the star of his team, but also knows that he needs a goaltender fit and ready, whenever one gets injured, he searches for a replacement instead of a temp, which does create tension between the two when the injuries start catching up. Pat Morey is the woman Terry marries and starts a family with, she does deal with his problems that he is facing standing by him while keeping their children safe. We do see the players that all admire the goaltenders and have more fun during the season, because of the lower number of injuries they suffer from.

PerformancesMark O’Brien is wonderful in this leading role, he shows us every emotional problems Terry went through, the pain he feels through the season, in his head and the delight when things go his way. Kevin Pollak does bring some star power to the film, making a big impact in his scenes, while Georgina Reilly shows us how to do the supporting spouse who might not take everything that comes her way.

StoryThe story here follows the career of legendary ice hockey player Terry Sawchuk who was considered one of the greatest goaltenders the sport ever saw. The story does show more of the personal life, which showed how difficult being a goaltender was, with clubs only have one and an injury meant you were axed, this increased the pressure on the player who would have to work through injuries just to keep his job, way before the union was involved in the sport. We don’t seem to learn too much of the pure joy of success or how much he wins, which could have been made clearer, while it also doesn’t paint enough of the importance of the union being included, just how much it changed the later stages of Terry’s career. The focus is solely on his personal battle to stay in a team and giving up his own health, family and future to keep his role in the team, no matter how good he was considered in the sport.

BiopicThe biopic side of this film only shows the personal struggles that Terry went through, but not enough of the joy of success on the ice.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the era that we are going through, with the locker room being key to how Terry’s mind was going forward.


Scene of the Movie – Terry gets involved with banter.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not seeing or feeling the success felt by the players.

Final Thoughts This is a good look at how sport evolved after seeing a player suffer for so long with the effects it took on his body and his mind.

Overall: Biopic 101.