Jellyfish (2018) Movie Review

Director: James Gardner

Writer: James Gardner, Simon Lord (Screenplay)

Starring: Liv Hill, Sinead Matthews, Cyril Nri, Angus Barnett, Tomos Eames, Victoria Alcock, Helen Kennedy, Robbie White

Plot: A young carer discovers an unlikely talent for stand-up comedy.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Tragic & Heart Breaking

Story: Jellyfish starts as we meet school student Sarah Taylor (Hill) who is in struggling through her drama classes, taking care of her young siblings, while trying to work to give them any sort of extra money, her mother Karen (Matthews) is unemployed suffering from a mental illness.

When Sarah’s teacher Adam Hale (Nri) sees her talent for comedy, he pushes her into trying stand up comedy for a show, just when Sarah’s life starts to fall apart, with her losing her job and the family losing their benefits because of her mother not attending her meetings. Sarah is left needing to turn to darker sides of her life, to make sure her siblings stay with her and don’t get put into the foster system.

Thoughts on Jellyfish

Characters – Sarah is a 15-year-old girl that must look after her younger siblings, while her mother is struggling with her own mental illnesses, Sarah is trying to get through her GCSEs, working part time and being the only adult in her house, she is facing a future that isn’t going to happen unless things change quickly, everything is slowly piling up on her, with life situations she shouldn’t have put on her. Karen in the mother who has been suffering through depression making it difficult for her to even get out of the house to keep the benefits coming in. Adam Hale is the drama teacher that does see some potential in Sarah, he encourages her to find her talent for comedy, being supportive, where nobody else is. Vince is the boss that is trying to be strict, he gives Sarah chances unaware of her problems at home, even if he ends up being like any boss who hasn’t gotten more out of their own life.

PerformancesLiv Hill gives us one of the strongest performances you will ever see, from every expression of pain she is going through, to just holding in the explosion of emotion that wants to come out of her. Sinead Matthews does make her character look like she is struggling with life. The rest of the supporting cast are strong, they all let Liv take the centre stage.

StoryThe story here shows a 15-year-old that must take care of her younger siblings, manager school life and work life just to keep a roof over their heads. This is a story that will put a startling light on how some children will be living and just what they will need to do to get through each day, it shows the poverty line in England and how people will often not even give you the time of day to see what is wrong with somebody’s life, with only one person trying to offer support to Sarah. We see just how desperate she has become to make sure the family stays together even going against the law in her attempts. You will find yourself being incredibly moved by the struggles of Sarah and watching her slowly see her life unravel makes you want to help her.

SettingsThe film is set in Margate a small coast town that doesn’t have the luxury life many people living there would have, it shows that small towns don’t offer big futures for people.

Scene of the Movie – The routine.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Is drama the only class Sarah takes?

Final Thoughts This is one of the most emotionally charged movies you will see, we have a truly brilliant performance that will leave you feeling heart broken by what Sarah goes through, a must watch.

Overall: Brilliant.

Root of the Problem (2019) Movie Review

Director: Scott Corban Sikma

Writer: Francis Damberger, Joanne Sikma (Screenplay)

Starring: Claire Rankin, Sergio Di Zio, Chantal Perron, Jayson Therrien, Leslie Benn, Dwight Layne

Plot: Root of the Problem is an inspirational family drama. Sometimes it takes life’s darkest moment to bring you to the brightest light.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Charming & Enjoyable

Story: Root of the Problem starts when real-estate agent Paul (Di Zio) and his wife Grace (Rankin) learn that her uncle has passed away, leaving them with two things, a plant and to spread his ashes at the children’s camp.

Paul does feel like his family got shafted, that is until he makes a discovery about the plant, it is a money tree, he does keep this a secret from the rest of the family, wanting to use the money to improve his own image, even giving for the first time in his life, but how long will this last?

Thoughts on Root of the Problem

Characters – Paul Campbell is a money tight real-estate agent, he does make the most sales, only he keeps the finances tight for the family, believing his wife will get a big inheritance, he is left disappointed by only receiving a plant. When Paul discovers the plant is a money plant, he keeps the money for himself, showing his selfish side, investing in whatever he wants, giving people around him gifts he would never normally give them. He needs to learn a lesson or face being left with nothing. Grace is Paul’s wife, she cared for her late Uncle and was never bothered with the inheritance, she does like some of the changes Paul is making only when things get out of hand, she doesn’t like his crazy spending. Jack Mitchel is one of the co-workers of Paul’s, Paul takes him under his wing to try and help him make more sales, only for a price. Detective Miller gets a heads up from his recent spending, she starts to see where the money might have come from, not believing he could have spent this much so suddenly.

PerformancesSergio Di Zio in the leading role is great, he does show us what sudden greed can bring to someone, he shows the over confidence and insecurity his character is going through with the newfound money. Claire Rankin as the wife that is getting tired of the behaviour of her husband, showing the reaction of someone getting out of control. Chantal Perron and Jayson Therrien complete the main cast giving us the characters that will reflect Paul’s new life.

StoryThe story here follows a selfish real-estate agent that discovers an inheritance he receives grants him money, an endless source of money that he must learn about the consequences of being reckless with his behaviour when it comes to spending. This is a story that does show us the cost of secrets and greed, showing us that just because you get money, you shouldn’t ignore the people you love around you for your own benefit. This is a story the is about learning to be more giving to the world, look out for other people not just yourself. We have a nice redemption look at life, showing people can always improve themselves no matter what mistakes they have made in the past.

SettingsThe film brings the home setting for Paul, showing he does have everything he needs here before receiving the tree, we get the message from the settings that home is what you build together, not what you put in the location.

Scene of the Movie – Car deal.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – I am no medical expert, but should they have moved the person?

Final Thoughts This is a nice drama about learning about giving in life, rather than just becoming obsessed with greed in life.

Overall: Enjoyable Drama

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – Z – Ghost Storm (2011)

This is under Z because of the director Paul Ziller

Director: Paul Ziller

Writer: Paul Ziller (Screenplay)

Starring: Carlos Bernard, Crystal Allen, Cindy Busby, Kacey Rohl, Aaron Douglas, Brett Dier, Andrew Dunbar

Plot: An action packed chase led by Hal and Ashley to save the people on this small island from a strange electrical storm which is led by angry souls from a mass suicide looking for revenge.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Entertaining

Story: Ghost Storm starts when a group of teenagers witness a lightening strike in the remote island graveyard, this unleashes a spirit that kills one of the teenagers, Sheriff Hal Miller (Bernard) starts to investigate only to see more bodies disintegrated from a fog coming out of the grave. Hal’s ex-wife Ashley (Allen) sees the strange reading on her weather reporting system which is something a storm that can’t be explained overhead.

Hal and Ashley must put aside their differences to uncover the truth about a legend of the Island that involves the souls of a mass suicide, can they stop the spread of this before it is too late.

Thoughts on Ghost Storm

Characters – Sheriff Hal Miller likes his quiet town job, he has divorced his wife who still lives in the town too, where they take turns taking care of their teenage daughter, he starts to investigate the strange goings on and must race against time to keep his people safe, even after seeing many killed by this unknown force. Ashley is Hal’s ex-wife, she works on studying the weather in the area, she sees the first storm come and go, which is normal, but can’t get to the bottom of what is causing the unusual patterns on the island, she will work with Hal to save the town. Daisy is the daughter of the pair, she sees the first attack of the ghost storm, she does the most research into the truth of what happened and is the only one that does seem to have the intelligence to stay ahead of their ways. We completely the characters with the towns people, the one against Hal, the priest and the supernatural guy that understands more than the rest.

PerformancesWhen it comes to the performances, we don’t need the very best from anybody involved. Carlos Bernard does well in the leading role, as does Crystal Allen, though it could be anybody playing these roles. The supporting cast are all fine through the film, they all know what they are doing without needing to be centre of attention.

StoryThe story here follows a small island town that gets hit by a storm that unleashes evil spirits on the town that must be stopped before it spreads too far and has a source in their history. The story plays into the ideas of ‘The Fog’ which sees the spirits come back to haunt the village, it does come from through a storm which does bring a new twist on how the ghosts come after people literally turning people to dust. It is nice how we are trying to mix supernatural, science and religion into trying to battle the storm too. This isn’t going to be the story that you need to take seriously either and just up being fun enough to watch.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror comes from just seeing the number of people are getting taken out by the ghost storm, the sci-fi side of the film plays into the idea of the storm too, by seeing just how it was created.

SettingsThe film is set on a small island town, it shows how they have history which could bring around the supernatural side of the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are fun, they show how the ghosts look like the smoke monster in Lost which does turn people to dust with some looking great at times.

Scene of the Movie – The first ghost attack.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – There are too many side characters we basically just meet to be killed with no consequences.

Final Thoughts This is a fun sci-fi horror movie that will entertain from start to finish bringing a new look at a haunting storm.

Overall: Fun and entertaining.