In the not too distant future, Todd Hewitt (Tom Holland) discovers Viola (Daisy Ridley), a mysterious girl who crash lands on his planet, where all the women have disappeared and the men are afflicted by “the Noise” – a force that puts all their thoughts on display. In this dangerous landscape, Viola’s life is threatened – and as Todd vows to protect her, he will have to discover his own inner power and unlock the planet’s dark secrets.
From the director of The Bourne Identity and Edge of Tomorrow and based on the best-selling novel The Knife of Never Letting Go, Tom Holland and Daisy Ridley star with Mads Mikkelsen, Demián Bichir, Cynthia Erivo, Nick Jonas, Kurt Sutter, and David Oyelowo in Chaos Walking.
Director: Staci Layne Wilson
Plot: Documentary film on the #1 instrumental rock group in the world, The Ventures. The story of their rise to fame in the 1960s right up to now, as they celebrate their 60th anniversary of playing the best guitar-rock of all time.
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Ventures: Stars on Guitars starts as we get to see how the members of the band Don Wilson and Bob Bogle met and started to bring their own band of music, one which will see them getting a female producer Josie Cotton, which broke the barriers, and see how the band started to gain attention within the music industry.
When the band found their sound joined by Nokie Edwards on guitar, they band became one of the biggest instrumental bands in the industry, challenging The Beatles for popularity, with a style of music transcending language.
Thoughts on The Ventures: Stars on Guitars
Thoughts – Going into this documentary, I can honestly say, I had never heard of The Ventures, seeing the news they outsold The Beatles grabbed my attention and stepping into this movie with the plans to learn about the band. We are not disappointed because we get the full history of how The Ventures managed to recreate songs to appeal to a bigger audience, using the music over the lyrics to appeal to wider audiences. We see how they competed with the biggest names in music through the 1960s, The Beatles, Elvis and still having admirers in the modern era of music that has given musicians the idea to try and recreate the songs of previous artists. We do get into a true technical talk on how the band created different sounds, which will appeal to the true musician out there, but it could go into too much details for people who are more into listening, over playing.
Final Thoughts – The Ventures: Stars on Guitars is a documentary that will highlight one of the most influential bands in music history.
DVD/VOD Release Date: 12/8/20
Writer: Anna Boden, Ryan Fleck (Screenplay)
Starring: Ben Mendelsohn, Ryan Reynolds, Sienna Miller, Alfre Woodward, Yvonne Landry, Analeigh Tipton
Plot: Down on his luck and facing financial hardship, Gerry teams up with younger charismatic poker player, Curtis, in an attempt to change his luck. The two set off on a road trip through the South with visions of winning back what’s been lost.
Tagline – We can’t lose.
Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Shocking Look at Gambling Addiction.
Story: Mississippi Grind starts as down on his luck gambler Gerry (Mendelsohn) returns to his latest grind on the tables, this night he meets charismatic poker player Curtis (Reynolds) and the two become friends through the shared love of gambling.
Curtis enjoys the fun in gambling and knows when to walk away, he wants to work with Gerry, who just doesn’t know when to quit, which sees his addiction consume him as he leaves himself isolated from friends and family, even the only person that will give him a chance Curtis.
Thoughts on Mississippi Grind
Characters – Gerry is a gambling addict, it has cost him his wife, daughter and friendships. He keeps returning to the tables, where he can play, but he keeps blowing it on the first attempt he can on a longshot in a dog or horse race. Curtis sees his skills and wants to work with him to make some money, only for this to bring out an even worse side to him character. Curtis is a poker player and gambler who just enjoys the games, he knows when to walk away even if he is giving up his love to continue to move around to follow his own dream. When it comes to the rest of the characters we meet the people on the journey whose lives have been effected by their gambling actions.
Performances – Ben Mendelsohn gives us a wonderful look at a character that has become consumed by gambling addiction, he shows how he can come off helpless, but will do anything to get his latest fix. Ryan Reynolds brings the charming gambler to life here, which isn’t going to be difficult because this is the type of character he can play in his sleep. The supporting cast are strong when needed without getting too much screen time.
Story – The story follows two gamblers at different stages of their addictions who go on a road trip in an attempt to complete one big score only to see just how they are going to get their latest fix. This shows us how easily the addiction can consume the victim and however hard they try, they will always be drawn back causing pain to their loved ones. We do have a couple of loose ends which don’t get added up together because certain elements in Curtis’s life just don’t feel complete. This does feel like it could have had a much darker because of the subject matter and by the end it does feel like the story falls slightly short.
Comedy – The comedy comes from just how Curtis handles everything, it isn’t a laugh out loud comedy, but one that you can see the positive vibes.
Settings – The film takes us on a list of gambling locations on the road which shows how they know where to go for them.
Final Thoughts – This is a very strong look at gambling addiction and is one that should show how the addicts can ruin their lives with their actions.
Overall: Gambling the not so dark side.