The Dig (2021) Movie Review

Director: Simon Stone

Writer: Moira Buffini (Screenplay) John Preston (Novel)

Starring: Carey Mulligan, Ralph Fiennes, Lily James, Johnny Flynn

Plot: An archaeologist embarks on the historically important excavation of Sutton Hoo in 1938.

Tagline – Nothing stays lost forever.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Dig starts as Edith Pretty (Mulligan) hires Basil Brown (Fiennes) to excavate the mounds in Sutton Hoo. Basil isn’t qualified as an archaeologist, but his has the experience in excavating, his skills have drawn Edith to want him to work on the dig.

When the team finds the beginnings of a boat, it draws everyone into the search, seeing Basil needing to decide if he just wants to be part of the discovery or not. Before the team discover one of the most famous discoveries of the century.

Thoughts on The Dig

Characters & Performances – Edith Pretty is the land owner that has been looking for someone to complete the work her and her husband looked to do, excavate the mounds on her land. She is sick, which is starting to catch up with her, looking to get the right person involved in the dig. She watches over what is being discovered, using the law to make sure the right thing is done. Carey Mulligan is having a great year, with another brilliant performance after Promising Young Woman. Basil Brown is the excavator hired by Edith to help her with the dig, he has worked around the world bringing a calming presence to the dig. He becomes a positive role model on Edith son, Robert and is looking for a chance to have credit for his work. Ralph Fiennes is wonderful to watch here, he brings us a man that will always be searching to find something more from his life. We do get a host of people are end up getting involved in the dig, each with a different level of ability which will guide them and teach them about what they can discover by working together.

StoryThe story here follows a widowed mother that hires an excavator to help her with a dig involving a series of mounds on her land, which will lead to one of the biggest discoveries of the century. This is a story that is here to show how important certain discoveries are in the world, there is no doubt this was a huge moment in history. The problem with this story is that is gets side tracked with a romantic angle involved two people we barely to get know, leaving the main characters to either spend time digging or watching digging, nothing else. When we have a more serious side happen, we get the big conversations, which are the best part of the film, but this gets bogged down by a side of the story we don’t need.

ThemesThe Dig is a drama that showed two people Edith Pretty and Basil Brown who were the first two people to discover a part of history, it will show how they would go down in history with what they found, but does seem to skip over the side of the story, which revolved around getting one of the names seen. The settings take us to a place where we can fully believe what would be going on in the background of the impending war, showing the new dangers that might come this way.

The Dig is a slow moving drama about one of the biggest discoveries of all time, which gets caught up in a romantic subplot, which goes nowhere.

Come and Find Me (2016) Movie Review

Director: Zack Whedon

Writer: Zack Whedon (Screenplay)

Starring: Annabelle Wallis, Chris Chalk, Aaron Paul, Enver Gjokaj, Garret Dillahunt, Terry Chen, Zachary Knighton

Plot: When his girlfriend goes missing, David must track down her whereabouts after he realizes she’s not who she was pretending to be.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Come and Find starts as we meet couple Claire (Wallis) and David (Paul) who had a weird meet and greet, which plays into how they interact, with hem both going in the same direction, believing they are following each other.

One morning Claire is nowhere to be found, which sees David going in search of her, finding himself involved in a bigger mystery about who she really is and what might have happened to her.

Thoughts on Come and Find Me

Characters – David believes he is in the perfect relationship, one which will see him thinking life has fallen into place, until one day he wakes up and his girlfriend has vanished, he spends the next year searching for answers, which will see him look into her past, opening more doors than he should. Claire is the girlfriend that has gone missing, she always seemed bubbly to David, with her vanishing being unlike anything he could imagine about her. Most of the film is learning more about her, with different direction to what David is expecting. We don’t really meet too many more people, with the ones we do meet, only giving glimpse to the truth for David.

PerformancesAaron Paul does struggle in the leading role here, he never makes us feel the desperation his character is feeling through the film, while we don’t get to see enough of Annabelle Wallis, due to her character vanishing for most of the film. Garret Dillahunt does bring us one of the highlights in the acting side of things, only it just isn’t enough to make the performances strong enough in the film.

StoryThe story here follows one man who goes in search for his girlfriend after she vanishes suddenly, which will see him unlock the truth about her, showing the secrets being kept could be bigger than he thought. This is a story that does have a slow pace about it, it doesn’t help with the constant jumping between before she went missing, midway through their relationship and when they first meet, with the deeper picture being more about her life, even though we never see her in her life, it is more about David slowly learning more about his own life. It does try to bring things out to be bigger and bigger, without giving us enough to understand how someone with no experience in this world could get so deep into it.

ThrillerWe do have a couple of tense scenes, only they usually lose the tension when we jump back into the normal life David thought he had.

SettingsThe film does take us around America as we get to learn different things about Claire’s life, we see how different locations will unlock different answers.

Scene of the Movie – The night meeting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The jump between the times is frustrating, taking away from the bigger picture.

Final Thoughts This is a disappointing thriller that jumps around all over the place and doesn’t get the best of the cast.

Strider (2020) Movie Review

Director: Mark Lewis

Writer: Mark Lewis (Screenplay)

Starring: Yelena Friedman, Maggie Alexander, Scott Lewis, Amanda Kristin Nichols, Josiah Schneider

Plot: Jody, a lonely teenage girl, joins forces with Hannah, a disgraced track coach. Together, they spend a summer training for The Pinnacle Games, the biggest track and field competition on the East Coast.

Tagline – Two Women. One Competition. One Summer to make it all happen.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Strider starts by following isolated teenager Jody (Friedman) who is living with her father Bill (Lewis) and twin nightmare little brothers Donny and Davey. Jody uses running as an escape from her life, clearing her head. On her latest run, track coach Hannah Dalton (Alexander) sees stamina, offering to teach Jody to improve.

Hannah believes she can get Jody ready to enter The Pinnacle Games the biggest track and field competition on the East Coast. Teaching her discipline and focus on something for the first time in a long time for Jody, leaving us to see if she can follow through with this training.

Thoughts on Strider

Characters & Performances – Jody is a lonely teenager, she keeps to herself in high school and facing an unsure future, not knowing what she wants from her life. She struggles to fit in at home with her father and two younger brothers, finding her only happy place in running. Jody has never had anyone believe in her before, until Hannah sees a future for her in running, giving Jody a focus, she hasn’t had in years, a potential escape from the world she feels is consuming her. Yelena Friedman must give us two types of performances here, first is the character who is feeling hopeless, with the second being the physical one, performing the constant amount of running. She delivers on both of them, bringing us a character whose decisions will make us understand her struggles. Hannah Dalton is a former track coach that is struggling for money or finding herself a new job. She notices Jody running, seeing it as a chance to get her reputation back, taking Jody under her wing. She is strict with what she expects from Jody, promising to teach her to become her best. Maggie Alexander is great in her role, being us a character that is showing the determination and desperation to achieve again. Bill is the father of Jody who is trying to encourage her to find a passion, but he is prepared for her to give up on her ideas. Tim is the new boyfriend for Jody, somebody that will make her feel happy outside of the world she finds herself in. these two are mostly supporting characters who are meant to for support for Jody.

StoryThe story here follows a lonely teenager that finds herself being trained by a fallen track coach giving her a new lease and target in her young life. This is a story that is about a young person getting the guidance they need in life, showing them that somebody is willing to help them, guide them and showing them more in life. We do get to keep the story side simple enough by showing the training montages, showing struggles at home Jody has. We could see the inspiration in finding the new direction in life, for both Jody and Hannah.

ThemesStrider is a sports drama that will show us commitment needed for Jody to make it, we get plenty of different running environments, which will offer from different types of training to help her find the skills she needs to achieve something she never imagined. 

Final Thoughts Strider is an inspiration sports drama, proving anyone that could find a goal in life.