Michael Caine Weekend – Is Anybody There? (2008)

Director: John Crowley

Writer: Peter Harness (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Caine, Bill Milner, Anne-Marie Duff, David Morrissey


Plot: Set in 1980s seaside England, this is the story of Edward, an unusual ten year old boy growing up in an old people’s home run by his parents. Whilst his mother struggles to keep the family business afloat, and his father copes with the onset of mid-life crisis, Edward is busy tape-recording the elderly residents to try and discover what happens when they die. Increasingly obsessed with ghosts and the afterlife, Edward’s is a rather lonely existence until he meets Clarence, the latest recruit to the home, a retired magician with a liberating streak of anarchy. Is Anybody There? tells the story of this odd couple – a boy and an old man – facing life together, with Edward learning to live in the moment and Clarence coming to terms with the past.


Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Touching Drama


Story: Is Anybody There? Starts as we meet young Edward (Milner) a by that lives in a nursing home run by his mum (Duff), he likes to investigate the existence of ghosts which he gets to witness death in the home. When recently widowed Clarence (Caine) moves into the home, Edward doesn’t like him to start with.

When Edward learns that Clarence is a magician, he strikes up an unlikely friendship, as Clarence tries to teach Edward that he needs to make contact with the living not the dead.


Thoughts on Is Anybody There


Characters – Edward is being raised in an old people’s home, he doesn’t have any friends away from this world which has seen him turn to investigate the afterlife, he is determined to prove ghosts are real, he sees his parents struggle to hold everything together and Clarence gives him a new reason to focus on life. Clarence is the recently widowed former magician who doesn’t want anything to do with being in the home, with the only person that will give him attention being Edward, he doesn’t want Edward to follow in his footsteps and wants him to learn to make friends with the living. Edward’s mother is trying to run the home, she is dealing with the pressure of just what is going on with work and with her husband, while his father is on the verge of an affair.

PerformancesMichael Caine is the biggest name in the film, he does an excellent job in his role and work very well with young Ben Milner who is strong as the young boy struggle to find his place in the world. Anne-Marie Duff also deserves praise because of the strong scenes she must go through.

StoryThe story focuses on a young boy that has been raised in a nursing home, where he is starting to learn about life after meeting on of the new guests. We see how people need to be shown how to fit in life and just how hard they work to make sure they can go and enjoy life. The idea of them being in a nursing home does make it harder for Edward to make friends which is understandable and seeing the money problems almost taking its toll on the family comes through strong. The story gets to teach the lesson about making sure you enjoy your life and teaching others to not make the same mistakes one did.

SettingsThe film uses the nursing home as the main settings which shows how uncomfortable both Edward and Clarence are being in this position.

Scene of the Movie –
The end of the magic show.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The beginning of the magic show.

Final ThoughtsThis is a charming little drama that teaches the lessons about enjoying life rather than chasing the afterlife.


Overall: Sweet and Charming.




ABC Film Challenge – Favourite Films – N – Nightcrawler

ABC Film Challenge

Favourite Films



Why I’ve Picked this choice – Nightcrawler follows a lowlife thief Louis Bloom who discovers the world of capturing crime scenes to sell to the media and after getting his first video aired, he starts to battle the other cameraman who are trying to capture their own footage. This is an intense movie that is only elevated by Jake Gyllenhaal’s performance which is one of the most disturbing, with his obsession to become the best becoming even more disturbing, where he could and arguable should have at least been nominated for an Oscar. This is a film that will grab you with ease and make you want to see where each chapter goes and you will be mesmerised by Gyllenhaal.

Bloodshot (2020) Movie Review

Director: Dave Wilson

Writer: Jeff Wadlow, Eric Heisserer (Screenplay) Kevin VanHook, Bob Layton, Don Perlin (Comic Book)

Starring: Vin Diesel, Guy Pearce, Eiza Gonzalez, Toby Kebbell, Sam Heughan, Talulah Riley

Plot: Ray Garrison, a slain soldier, is re-animated with superpowers.

Tagline – Being a hero is in his blood.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Ambitious Action Film

Story: Bloodshot starts when soldier Ray Garrison (Diesel) sees his wife murdered, before taking a bullet to his head, waking up under the experiment of Dr Emil Harting (Pearce) who has bought him back to life swapping his blood for nano technology that re-animates his cells, giving him superpowers.

With Ray become a soldier that will kill for vengeance, he is unstoppable, until he learns the truth behind why he was created and decides to fight back.

Thoughts on Bloodshot

Characters – Ray Garrison is the soldier that gets killed by a psychotic killer, he doesn’t stay dead, he ends up being taken and turned into a super soldier with nano technology replacing his blood, making him stronger, faster and almost unkillable. He will get a target in his head and go all out to kill his target no matter what the odds. KT is another one of the creations, using her breathing technology to stay alive, used to help Ray get on target, though always being conflicted about her part in the missions. Jimmy Dalton is the heartless member of the team, who enjoys hurting people. Dr Emil Harting has made the soldiers, he has used technology to improve them and give them a second chance, only he has become obsessed with power he has created.

PerformancesVin Diesel is everything you expect him to be in the leading role, he doesn’t push himself to the next level, but handles the action fine. Gut Pearce is fine as the villain, while Eiza Gonzalez does make for the conflicted figure well, with one excellent action spree.

StoryThe story here follows a re-animated soldier that is driven by revenge, until he learns the truth about his memories, where he can turn his new abilities against his creator. This is a comic book story, so we can see how this is going to be over the top and this is going to change how certain moments in film are read, though it is one of the most predictable stories you will ever see, once the first repeat happens, it does become clear what is happening and we are just waiting for Ray to learn the truth. The story is easy enough to watch, though it will never test the audience, because of the confuses around character introduction being false for the most part.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is everything we have seen before, with a couple of flashy nano shots, this does mix into the sci-fi side of the film, which shows what is going on within the body of Ray, the two can create moments for the action, without being anything more than we have seen before.

SettingsThe film uses the high-tech research facility for the creation, while sending us to the usual ambush locations for the big fight moments.

Special EffectsThe effects work well enough, though with the nano technology almost hiding what is on screen at times.

Scene of the Movie – The KT fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Very predictable.

Final Thoughts This is a simple easy to watch action sci-fi film, it doesn’t get as dark, bloody or edgy as it could be.

Overall: Easy to Watch.