Two Heads Creek (2019) Movie Review

Director: Jesse O’Brien

Writer: Jordan Waller (Screenplay)

Starring: Kerry Armstrong, Gary Sweet, Kathryn Wilder, Stephen Hunter, Jordan Waller, Helen Dallimore

Plot: A timid butcher and his drama queen twin sister quit the hostile confines of post- Brexit Britain and adventure to Australia in search of their birth mother, but the seemingly tolerant townsfolk are hiding a dark, meaty secret.


Tagline – In the outback family can be deadly

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Cannibal 101

Story: Two Heads Creek starts when Polish butcher Norman (Waller) and his drama queen twin sister Annabelle (Wilder) get tired of the abuse they are receiving in England, they look to leave, when they discover they were adopted, with their real mother Mary (Armstrong) living in a town Two Heads Creek in Australia.

Once they arrive in the town, they learn that Mary has died and they are here for the funeral, only the town has a secret, one that they don’t want people to know about, one where the visitors don’t get to leave.

Thoughts on Two Heads Creek

Characters – Norman is a timid butcher that deals with constant abuse in England, he is popular with the non-English, only for his trip away, he starts to want to take more chance and fight for the right thing. Annabelle is the actress twin sister of Norman, she is looking for a fresh start, she is colder towards people, but she is filled with confidence in everyday life. Apple runs the town with her friend demeaner that welcomes the guest, while having her own plan for the guests. We get a host of locals that all have their own quirks to make them stand out.

PerformancesJordan Waller and Kathryn Wilder are fun as the twins that don’t always act the same, but will show how they will fight together. When it comes to the residents, they do show the quirky side throughout.

StoryThe story follows twins who learn about their real mother in Australia and decide to visit, only to find out they are not prepared for what they will be learning in the small town of Two Heads Creek. This is a story that shows us just how difficult to learn the truth if you learn you were adopted, while escaping from a life that could well be holding you back that is miserable. When we deal with the strange town, it does create the uncomfortable atmosphere, but it does end up getting out of hand way too quickly, trying to grab jokes, over telling the sinister side of the story.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy in the film does seem to miss more often that not, with the movie references being the main focus, which feel forced more than anything else. The horror doesn’t feel as frightening as it would like either.

SettingsThe film does change the way we see the twins lives, with the down depressed looking England, before the brighter and more open look to Australia.


Scene of the Movie – Final fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too many references.

Final Thoughts This is a horror comedy that misses the jokes, lacks the horror, but feels like it does have the heart of family, keep the adventure safe without shocking us the way it could do.

Overall: Safe Cannibal Film.

FrightFest Presents and Signature Entertainment present Two Heads Creek on Digital HD September 7th 

Will Smith Weekend – Collateral Beauty (2016)

Director: David Frankel

Writer: Allan Loeb (Screenplay)

Starring: Will Smith, Edward Norton, Kate Winslet, Michael Pena, Helen Mirren, Naomie Harris, Keira Knightley, Jacob Latimore

 

Plot: Retreating from life after a tragedy, a man questions the universe by writing to Love, Time and Death. Receiving unexpected answers, he begins to see how these things interlock and how even loss can reveal moments of meaning and beauty.


Tagline – Connect to the beauty of life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Dramatic Study of Grief

 

Story: Collateral Beauty starts as Howard’ (Smith) business is flying, but tragedy hits his life, when his daughter dies. 2 years later, Whit (Norton), Claire (Winslet) and Simon (Pena) the partners in the business are facing difficult decision as Howard still can’t make decisions and won’t make decisions and his business is suffering.

To try to help Howard, the three partners hiring three actors Brigitte (Mirren), Amy (Knightley) and Raffi (Latimore) to visit Howard to answer the letters her has written to ‘Love’ ‘Death’ and ‘Time’ each while dealing with their own problems. Can this idea fix the problems in Howard’s life to help him move on and accept the truth.

 

Thoughts on Collateral Beauty

 

Characters – Howard is a successful businessman, he is on top of the world, until his daughter dies. Now he spends his time at work building domino structures avoiding human contact and writing letters to Love, Death and Time, hoping for answers to help him deal with his grief. Whit is one of the business partners with Will, though he gave up part of his share in the couple because of his own mistakes in love, as he must pay off his ex-wife. Claire is another member of the business that int fully behind the idea, though we rarely learn anything else about her. Simon is the final member of the three that hire the actors, he does have his own questions to ask about life. Brigitte, Amy and Raffi are the actors that take the job of playing Love, Death and Time, each shows the character that Howard must talk to, to understand the grief he is going through. Madeline runs a support group for parents that have lost children, much like herself, she does try to get through to Howard in a simpler way compared to the friends.

PerformancesThis is a film that is hard to criticise the performances from any of the actors, the questions come from the amount of screen time certain actors are given. Will Smith gives up his normal charismatic performance to make us believe us that a man that would be filled with confidence could feel after losing everything. Edward Norton, Kate Winslet and Michael Pena show the sacrifices people would have made in business. Helen Mirren does look like she is enjoying her role the most, while Keira Knightley and Jacob Latimore show they are great at rounding off this cast. Naomie Harris’ performance can’t be overlook either with the impact in the final scene.

StoryThe story here shows us how one man has struggled with the grief of losing his daughter with his business partners needing to find a way to push him out of the hole he has created. This does pose the question of just what is time, love and death mean when you lose a loved one, it may well have too many side arcs because each of the partners has a story that need to be addressed which don’t get enough time to make the impact needed, compared to the story that Howard is going through. The way grief is shown in this film is strong because people would create barriers in life which would only push people away in the time you most need someone around you.

RomanceWhile romance might be the wrong genre for most of the film, it does show us how love can be ruined when a tragedy strikes.

SettingsThe film is set in New York which is used very well because it shows us just how many different people you could run into along your day.


Scene of the Movie –
Christmas Eve.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Each of the partners has a problem in their life, which only gets skipped over.

Final ThoughtsThis is an overly dramatic story of grief which wants to take focus on the idea that people have closed off from life.

 

Overall: Grief shown strongly.

Rating

 

 

Will Smith Weekend – Hitch (2005) Movie Review

Director: Andy Tennant

Writer: Kevin Bisch (Screenplay)

Starring: Will Smith, Eva Mendes, Kevin James, Amber Valletta, Julie Ann Emery, Adam Arkin, Robinne Lee

Plot: While helping his latest client woo the woman of his dreams, a professional “date doctor” finds that his game doesn’t quite work on the gossip columnist with whom he’s smitten.


Tagline – The cure for the common man.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Will Smith at His Best

Story: Hitch starts as we meet Alex ‘Hitch’ Hitchens (Smith) who has a private business of helping men get the women they want, he coaches from into making the right moves to get through the first three dates, his job is word of mouth though outside of the business, he is a womanizer that was a late bloomer.

Hitch’s latest client is Albert (James) a clumsy accountant who wants to date heiress Allegra (Valletta) who barely knows he exists, he sees this as his biggest challenge. Hitch does find himself meeting a gossip columnist Sara (Mendes) who hasn’t been look for a relationship because of her career and suddenly Hitch can’t talk the smooth way he has always done before.

Thoughts on Hitch

Characters – Alex ‘Hitch’ Hitchens is a date doctor, he helps men around Chicago become themselves around the women they want to date, he only helps the ones that want to find love, anything else, he walks away from anyone looking for a quick night of sex. He has an amazing success rate, where he just brings out the confidence in people helps, until he meets Sara, a woman that he can’t show the confidence around. Sara is a gossip columnist that has always put her career before love, she meets Hitch and falls for his charms, while trying to crack a new story that just so happens to include one of Hitch’s clients. She has always wanted to find the date doctor never knowing nothing about the process. Albert is the latest client that has set his sights high and has only pure love, he is clumsy, nervous and doesn’t have a clue how to talk to women, something Hitch teaches him. Allegra Cole is the heiress that has recently broken up with her latest boyfriend, she is the person Albert wants to fall in love with and with her life always being guarding, she doesn’t always get to meet people outside the players, which is why she sees the good in Albert.

PerformancesWill Smith is at his confident best here, this plays into everything we know Will Smith as, nobody else could have pulled this role off. Eva Mendes is great in her role too, showing the confident career driven woman who is finally getting broken down with love. Kevin James might have a couple a silly moments, though it works in the small amounts this film gives him to do, while Amber Valletta plays the role of heiress with ease.

StoryThe story here follows a date doctor who has help many men fall in love, who finds love himself and can’t be the confident man he has made his clients. This story does show how one man has made a career out of helping men find confidence, not offering a one night stand business, offering a love business, he gives all the tips to put them in the right direction, only he can’t follow his own instructions and learns about how love really works. We do get the message about how some people can’t always be themselves without a little bit of confidence put in their own mind and how there will always be the bad eggs in the love circle. We get the strongest message about love, with laughs along the way, showing how love can make you do the strangest things in life.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy works very well, we get a mix of situational and slapstick, which isn’t too heavy handed, while the romance is front and centre, showing us just how love can change anybody.

SettingsThe film is set in Chicago, which shows how many people are around who might never notice each other, while love could be staring them straight in the face.


Scene of the Movie – Speed Dating.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Vance, though he is meant to.

Final Thoughts This is a delightful romantic comedy that does show how difficult love can be, how magical it can be and just what people will do just for a chance.

Overall: Delightful.

Red Joan (2018) Movie Review

Director: Trevor Nunn

Writer: Lindsay Shapero (Screenplay) Jennie Rooney (Novel)

Starring: Judi Dench, Sophie Cookson, Nina Sosanya, Laurence Spellman, Nicola Sloane, Tereza Srbova, Freddie Gaminara, Tom Hughes, Stephen Campbell Moore

Plot: The story of Joan Stanley (Dame Judi Dench), who was exposed as the K.G.B.’s longest-serving British spy.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: So Dull

Story: Red Joan starts when elderly lady Joan (Dench) gets arrested with the suspicion of treason for release secrets over years, since 1939, to 2000. This takes Joan back to her younger self (Cookson) who met people in her time at Oxford, including Sonya (Srbova) and Leo (Hughes) who put her in connection with a KGB connection.

After university Joan starts working for Max (Campbell Moore) who has been development nuclear weapons, a role she must keep secret, despite the number of people that came looking to get secrets out of her including her love Leo and former student William.

Thoughts on Red Joan

Characters – Joan is an elderly lady arrested and charged with treason, she must remember her life which saw her working on England’s own nuclear defence, while being friends with Russians, making it appear like she might have been playing both side, she must tell her story to see if she is guilty or not. Leo is the Russian that Joan has fallen in love with, he only turns up when she needs something, making it clear that he is trying to learn more about her role, using his charm to get information. Max is the person that hires Joan, gives her a chance in a male world of science to show her own brilliance, he will push for her greatest to be seen by the world.

PerformancesJudi Dench does seem wasted in this role, she does her best with what little she has to work with, it just would have been nice to see more. When it comes to the rest of the cast, they all struggle to make any impact in the story.

StoryThe story here follows an elderly lady accused of treason and dive into her past to learn the truth. This sounds like it should be a very interesting thriller, but soon turns into a romantic based movie, which seems to imply that Joan only helped the people who she seems to love, it has so much potential to be a much more interesting story, only for it to come up very short and just being bland and forgettable.

BiopicThe biopic side of the film is meant to show what happened in Joan’s early life only for it to be more about her love life than anything else.

SettingsThe film does re-create the locations that you would have imagined seeing for the 40s and 50s timeline.


Scene of the Movie – Press Conference.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too much pointless love.

Final Thoughts This is a really disappointing biopic thriller that just doesn’t get close to the levels it could do, leaving us feeling like we should be getting a lot more out of the material.

Overall: Disappointing.

Signature Entertainment presents Miss Virginia on Digital HD 2 October 2020

Based on the inspiring true story of Virginia Walden Ford’s fight to create positive educational opportunities for African-American students in Washington D.C., Miss Virginia is a gripping drama about community empowerment with a powerhouse central performance from Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black).
 
Virgina Walden (Uzo Aduba) an impoverished single mother who is losing her fifteen-year-old son to the rough streets of Washington D.C. Unwilling to see him drop out and deal drugs, she places him in a private school. But when she can’t afford tuition, she launches a movement to change the system that is destroying him and thousands like him. Attacked and threatened by those who don’t want change – from a corrupt politician to the local drug lord, Virginia must discover depths of strength she never knew she had.
 
Because of Virginia Walden Ford’s tireless campaigning, in 2002 the United States’ government enacted the first-ever Opportunity Scholarship Program for low-income children, leading to a complete overhaul of Washington D.C.’s education system. 
 
Miss Virginia stars Uzo Aduba (Orange is the New Black) in the titular role, Niles Fitch (Roman J. Israel, Esq., This is Us) as her son James, as well as Matthew Modine (Stranger Things), Vanessa Williams (Shaft), Adina Porter (American Horror Story) and directed by R.J. Daniel Hanna.