Da 5 Bloods (2020) Movie Review

Director: Spike Lee

Writer: Danny Bilson, Paul De Meo, Kevin Willmott, Spike Lee (Screenplay)

Starring: Delroy Lindo, Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis, Isiah Whitlock Jr, Melanie Thierry, Paul Walter Hauser

Plot: Four African-American vets battle the forces of man and nature when they return to Vietnam seeking the remains of their fallen Squad Leader and the gold fortune he helped them hide.

Runtime: 2 Hours 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Excellent

Story: Da 5 Bloods starts as four veterans Paul (Lindo), Otis (Peters), Eddie (Lewis) and Melvin (Whitlock Jr) return to Vietnam to locate the remains of one of their former squad leader Norman (Boseman) who died during the war and the gold fortune they wanted to claim for themselves.

With the four setting out their plan, they must first negotiate with Desroche (Reno) to sell the gold, before David’s estranged son David (Majors) turns up and needs to be put back in his place before the journey.

Thoughts on Da 5 Bloods

Characters – Paul is the leader of the group of friends, he has suffered the most after the war, with him being the closest to the fallen brother, he wants to complete the mission and honour his old friend, even if his estranged son tries to get in the way. David is the estranged son that ends up joining the men in Vietnam, he wants to make sure his dad is ok on the journey, while it also gives him a chance to get closer and have his own adventure in life. Otis has memories off the battlefield in Vietnam, a lost love, a secret he never knew about, the one who adds the connections for the cashing in process for the men. Eddie and Melvin complete the group on the mission, they complete the banter between the men, showing how important their friendship truly is between them all.

PerformancesDelroy Lindo is outstanding in the leading role, coming back to his best like we haven’t seen before. Jonathan Majors, Clarke Peters, Norm Lewis and Isiah Whitlock Jr complete the main cast, each shining the in the supporting roles in the film, creating a brotherhood between the men.

StoryThe story here follows four former Vietnam war soldiers that head back years later to honour a fallen soldier and find the treasure they left behind. The story is filled with the flashbacks between the time in the war and modern day, showing how the unity between the men is still strong all these years later. We do get news clips to fill in the information that you might not understand from only learning basic history towards the Vietnam war. The tone of the story is very interesting too, because we start with the first 30 odd minutes, with the idea this could be a reunion with a serious side, that might have laughs along the way. This does drastically change when we see the affects the war had on Paul and the journey side of things, with the story continue to shift in tone through the film, which is a delight to see, with the moments of joy and intense moments both shining through.

WarThe film uses the war film to show how soldiers would have constantly been affected by the horrors they experienced long after leaving and how both sides will still be living in the haunted memories of people they lost in the war.

SettingsThe film does use the setting exceptional well too, with the opening in the big city where everything has moved on since the war, before returning to the jungle to see how this environment will continue to change Paul, after his previous experiences in the war.


Scene of the Movie – Reflection.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is longer than it needs to be.

Final Thoughts This is a performance heavy movie, that does show us the unity of brotherhood from war in a way that only Spike Lee can, showing a new light on the soldiers that would have been forgotten in time.

Overall: Best Performances of the year.

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – R – Realive (2016) Movie Review

Director: Mateo Gil

Writer: Mateo Gil (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Hughes, Charlotte Le Bon, Oona Chaplin, Barry Ward, Julio Perillan, Rafael Cebrian

Plot: Marc will die of cancer and chooses cryogenic freeze and hopes to be thawed, when there’s a solution to his condition. He’s the first human brought back 68 years later. Can he adapt mentally and physically?


Tagline – Immortality is only a matter of time.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Compelling

Story: Realive starts as we meet Marc Jarvis (Hughes) a business man who has built his company up who gets the devastating news that he has cancer, with about 1-year to live, he questions what to do next, with his lover Naomi (Chaplin) before deciding to be cryogenic frozen until they can cure his illness.

In the future, Marc gets bought back to life by Dr West (Ward) with Elizabeth (Le Bon) being his nurse and carer through the rehabilitation stage of the process, a long process for Marc, one where he starts to question whether he made the right decision, not having the life he thought he would in the future, craving the past and Naomi.

Thoughts on Realive

Characters – Marc Jarvis is an everyday businessman that sees his life turned upside down with cancer diagnosis, he has one year to live, which he must decide what he wants to do with his friends and family, a decision which is always going to be difficult, only to come up with the decision to freeze himself until a cure comes his way. In the future, he will be the first resurrected human, needing to learn the basics of life, battling the memories he left behind, as he is left to question whether he made the right decision. Elizabeth is the nurse that is assigned to be the carer for Marc, teach him about the future to prepare him for the world, she comes from a different time and surprised Marc with certain cultural differences the two generations have. Naomi is the lover of Marc’s from the past, they have had an on again off again relationship which has seen them be their own worst enemies and she was willing to give up a year of her life to spend with Marc. Dr West is the man running the procedure, only he is very secretive about how he does this, he is always waiting for the next stage of success to come from Marc.

PerformancesTom Hughes does play the two roles, through different time periods, with each offering different challenges that manages to control well through the film. Charlotte Le Bon and Oona Chaplin are the main female characters in the life, with both do strong jobs as does Barry Ward as the doctor leading the procedure.

StoryThe story here follows a man that decides to be frozen to give him more life in the future, where he could see the illness cured, we follow him as he looks to say goodbye to his friends and family, along with how he processes the new environment once resurrected. This is a story that does offer up the ultimate question, would you give up time now, to have more time in the future. This question is clearly asked through the film and instead of focusing on the physical recovery, it is focused on the mental burden of going through with it, not being able to add to the memories that defined you. It makes it clear that the resurrection phase isn’t going to be easy or pretty and might not be what you expected either. This is a truly compelling story that is a thinking sci-fi story over anything flashy.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi side of this film focuses on the idea that you could get bought back to life after being frozen, the world will be different and the procedure could be longer than you imagined.

SettingsThe film uses the two eras to create settings, one feels like locations we would see in everyday life now, while the other is kept within a lab to see how the procedure is achieved.


Scene of the Movie – The letter.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Some of the romance is too heavy.

Final Thoughts This is a thought-provoking movie that will leave you asking plenty of real-life questions by the end.

Overall: Thought-Provoking.