Summer of ’72 (2019) Movie Review

Director: Philip Harder

Writer: Philip Harder (Screenplay) Glasgow Phillips (Novel)

Starring: Natalia Dyer, Devon Bostick, Tate Donovan, Ella Rae Peck, Nathan Phillips, Bruce Bohne

Plot: Twenty-two and on the verge of entering high society, college graduate Billy Mitchell finds his plans changing when he falls in love with an inmate with multiple personalities at his father’s mental institution.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Summer of ’72 starts as young man Billy Mitchell (Bostick) has finished his education looking to start entering the next stage of his life until he meets the beautiful Virginia (Dyer) a patient at his father (Donovan) mental institution, being warned about how dangerous she could be to him.

As the two find themselves in a relationship, they start finding themselves in the middle of a race war in the area, leaving Billy in the position of needing to decide which side of the war he wants to be involved in.

Thoughts on Summer of ‘72

Characters & Performances – Billy is a young man that has been preparing for the next stage of his life, he doesn’t know what he wants from his life in a world living in the aftermath of war, looking to do the right thing for a local mental institute patient, he falls in love, leaving himself witnessing the horrors of the race war that he friends and father are opposite sides of. Devon Bostick does try to give us a much more mature performance than we have seen before, but the character doesn’t seem like it is fully flushed out enough. Virginia is the mental institute patient that has been looking for a way to escape, she befriends Billy, which will give her a chance to escape as the couple fall in love, we are told she is a dangerous woman, but we never see enough of what she might be capable off. Natalia Dyer does do a great job here, being the strongest part of the performances in the film, even if we wanted to see even more from her. We do get to meet Billy’s father who is also the doctor of Virginia and Nigel who has been fighting the race war against the white supremacist in the area. The performances are all fine, only we just don’t get enough from the characters.

StoryThe story here follows a young man and a young woman that look to escape their lives and get through a race war that has held down their family and friends in the year 1972. This is a story that doesn’t give us enough in depth look at the relationship, with everything looking and feeling out of place, never seeming real, the race war does seem like it takes the back burner to everything, even though it is meant to be a more serious side to everything. We could have seen a lot more happening, with an ending that just feels empty.

ThemesSummer of ’72 is a drama that will look to bring about important cultural events of the time in the background involved the friends and family of the couple, with a lot of the scenery being focused on the open area.

Final Thoughts Summer of ’72 is a slow moving drama that has a romantic side even though it is trying to put a spotlight on a bigger culture event going on.

Signature Entertainment presents Summer of ‘72 on Digital Platforms 1st February

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2020 – X – Last Christmas (2019) Movie Review

This is under X because of Xmas, come on this is always the hardest letter of the alphabet.

Director: Paul Feig

Writer: Emma Thompson, Greg Wise, Bryong Kimmings (Screenplay)

Starring: Emilia Clarke, Emma Thompson, Henry Golding, Michelle Yeoh, Peter Mygind, Rob Delaney

Plot: Kate is a young woman subscribed to bad decisions. Working as an elf in a year round Christmas store is not good for the wannabe singer. However, she meets Tom there. Her life takes a new turn. For Kate, it seems too good to be true.

Tagline – It’s a wonderful life

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Last Christmas starts as we meet young woman Kate (Clarke) who is bouncing around her friend’s home, working in a Christmas shop for Santa (Yeoh) avoiding her mother Petra’s (Thompson) phone calls, avoiding all responsibilities in her life.

Kate ends up meeting the mysterious stranger Tom (Golding) who offers her a new way of seeing life, one where she will start to face the reality of how difficult her life is and needing to solve things before losing everyone close to her.

Thoughts on Last Christmas

Characters – Kate is the young woman who constantly finds herself between a rock and hard place, struggling to find a place to live that will keep her, causing problems whether she is, she works in a Christmas gift shop, while trying to fix her problems, which has seen her relationship with her parents strained, while overcoming her own illness. Tom is the mysterious man that walks into Kate’s life, trying to fill her with positive attitude and spirit to get her through the difficult time. Santa is the boss at the Christmas shop for Kate, she will always give her a chance more than many others, but even she will be pushed too far at times, but her new mysterious admirer will give her added joy. Petra is Kate’s mother that has always wanted her to be safe after what happened the previous year.

PerformancesEmilia Clark is a delight to watch as always, bringing all the joy to the role she is playing. Henry Golding is entertaining to watch through the film too, being positive in every scene. Emma Thompson gives us a very strange performance though, with a character does seem out of place at times. Michelle Yeoh does bring us a fun support role through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a young woman who is struggling to find her place in life, being reckless with her behaviour until she meets a new man that offers her a new lease of life, but has a big mystery about himself. This story does mix in some of George Michael’s songs around the Last Christmas theme, which is all enjoyable to watch, while having a big meaning to everything going on, going in a direction you wouldn’t have expect to see the story go in. certain parts might well seem out of place, but deep down the bigger message being told in the film is great to see.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in the film is a mixed bag, with most of the Kate parts being funny to watch, but certain types of comedy from Petra feel out of place, with the romance being all about meeting someone new that could bring a new level of happiness in life.

SettingsThe film is set in London, which will show us just how connected the world is for everyone involved.

Scene of the Movie – First Date.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The random Eastern European parents.

Final Thoughts Last Christmas is a feel good movie that will bring out the very best parts of Christmas.

The Furnace (2020) Movie Review

Director: Roderick MacKay

Writer: Roderick MacKay (Screenplay)

Starring: David Wenham, Jay Ryan, Mahesh Jadu, Erik Thomson, Goran D Kleut

Plot: To escape the outback, a young Afghan cameleer falls in with a mysterious bushman on the run with stolen Crown gold.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Furnace starts when an Afghan cameleer Hanif (Malek) crosses paths with a bushman Arthur (Wenham) who is on the run with Crown gold, stolen from the British, with Sergeant Shaw (Ryan) on his trail.

The two find themselves going through the different cultural groups in the outback as they look to melt down the gold in a furnace, in an adventure that will bring the unlikely partnership being important.

Thoughts on The Furnace

Characters & Performances – Arthur is the bushman who has stolen from the Crown, he has taken the gold hoping to convert it for his own profit. He reluctantly works with Hanif, knowing his knowledge of the outback will help him survive longer, showing he could get more out of his time on the journey without being caught. David Wenham takes this leading role well, being the desperate character, but one smart enough to know how to survive. Hanif is the cameleer that has been around the open outback, mixing with other groups, making connections, knowing the secrets of water to survive, he will help Arthur travel across the outback in a chance to get his share of the gold. Ahmed Malek shows us this character that has seen a lot and isn’t prepared for the world of conflict the pair find themselves in. we do get to meet the different people after the pair, each if their own reason for searching, some will help others will try to take the gold from them.

StoryThe story here follows an Afghan and a bushman travelling across the outback with gold as they are trying to find a furnace to remove the Crown stamp, as they are being tracked by a host of different people who want the gold, including the British. This is a story that will highlight the different cultures that are left in the outback, all trying to survive despite the strict rules imposed by the selfish British militaries. The journey is similar to what we would have seen for years, the odd couple needing to work together to overcome the odds against them, tracking them down. It all plays out like you would imagine with the discussion of greed taking full control of the story.

ThemesThe Furnace uses the adventure of travelling across the outback as a way to show us just where the western theme comes into the idea of never knowing who you will meet on your journey. The locations are beautiful, showing the scale, beauty and danger of the outback.

Final Thoughts The Furnace is a western that keeps things simple, while highlight the cultural changes Australia went through.

Signature Entertainment present The Furnace on Digital Platforms 25th January