Malcolm & Marie (2021) Movie Review

Director: Sam Levinson

Writer: Sam Levinson (Screenplay)

Starring: John David Washington, Zendaya

Plot: A director and his girlfriend’s relationship is tested after they return home from his movie premiere and await critics’ responses.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Malcolm & Marie starts as film director Malcolm (Washington) and his girlfriend Marie (Zendaya) return from the premier of his new movie, one that is received better than anything he has done before.

As they return home, they find themselves getting involved in a series of arguments about what the film is about, showing they are madly in love, as they are dealing with a new pressure added to their lives.

Thoughts on Malcolm & Marie

ThoughtsMalcolm & Marie is a drama that follows only two people, the couple, one a soon-to-be big time director, the other his girlfriend, who is still searching for what she wants in life. We learn they have both lived very different lives before being together. We do get two powerhouse performances from John David Washington and Zendaya, who do have great chemistry. When we dive into the story, we find ourselves mostly just two people arguing and making up. We do get to jump between mood swings both characters go through, which takes things in a weird direction. One moment that will always be a pet hate, is watching someone loudly eat, it is uncomfortable to watch. We get to keep the singular location of the luxury home, which will see us travelling through the rooms. We get to have a message to people making, criticising or being involved in movies, offer the discussion about different views people could have in the movie world.

Final Thoughts Malcolm & Marie is a film which has brilliant performances, but feels like a series of speeches over being a true conversation.

Shook – Coming to Shudder


When Mia, a social media star, becomes the target of an online terror campaign, she has to solve a series of tests to prevent people she cares about from getting murdered. But is it real? Or is it just a game at her expense?

Written and directed by Jennifer Harrington and starring Daisye Tutor (Guest House), Emily Goss (Snapshots), Nicola Posener (The Bold and the Beautiful), Octavius J. Johnson (Sleepless), Stephanie Simbari (Here and Now), Grant Rosenmeyer (Crazy Ex-Girlfriend) and real-life make-up and social media influencer Genelle Seldon.

Broil (2020) Movie Review

Director: Edward Drake

Writer: Edward Drake (Screenplay)

Starring: Jonathan Lipnicki, Avery Konrad, Timothy V Murphy, Corey Large, Annette Reilly

Plot: Broil follows a dysfunctional family vying to control the future of their wealth.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Broil starts as teenage rebel Chance Sinclair (Konrad) is moved in with her grandfather August (Murphy) for more home school because she is a condition that is forcing her out of the sunlight. Her parents are looking to make a deal with him, leave his demands for sacrifices, which would be to give August Chance.

June (Reilly) has hired a specialist chef Sydney (Lipnicki) an autistic genius who is being hired to poison August. This will see Sydney learning he is working for vampires; in a fight he is prepared to fight against.

Thoughts on Broil

Characters & Performances – Sydney is a brilliant autistic chef that knows every possible outcome of poison, he can prepare anything and has been hired for a special night. He follows his strict routine of black coffee everyday from the same stand and is loyal to anyone who hires him. Jonathan Lipnicki does everything he can in this role, but does get caught up in the middle of not being able to make the most of this character. August Sinclair is the leader of the family, he controls his children, demanding they will give him a sacrifice each year. He never wants to let his family go and even with deals, he will find a way to remain in control of them. Timothy V Murphy is the most interesting character, he gives us the strict calm, demanding presence to life. Chance Sinclair is one of the youngest members of the family, she doesn’t know the truth about who she is yet, believing she has an illness. She is sent to live with August as he waits to prepare her for the truth. She is the typical teenager who has been waiting for something to happen in her life. Avery Konrad does all she can with this character, but she doesn’t get enough time to shine. We have a big family that work under August as family, this isn’t one of the easiest films to keep up with the size of the cast that we meet, as most need to be flushed out more to make the impact required.

StoryThe story here follows a specialist chef who is hired by a family of supernatural creatures to complete a task which will change who is in control of the family. This story does come off very clunky because we have a bigger world we are thrown into, one that is hard to digest in the short run time. This story does feel like it could have been expanded into being a miniseries with the amount that seems to have been rushed together to try and make an hour and a half film. This story just doesn’t add up to the levels you would like to expect.

ThemesBroil is a horror film that is trying to build a big world, which could have been massive. By having so much going on, we do lose the highest levels of horror we could have achieved in this film. This doesn’t just apply to the horror, it also takes away from the locations, which are glossed over, rather than given the full effect.

FrightFest Presents and Signature Entertainment present Broil on Digital Platforms 15th February.

Final Thoughts Broil is an ambitious movie that just doesn’t reach the potential of the bigger world.

The Winter Lake – Release News

Coming to Digital Download 15th March

The film boasts an incredible cast including leading performances from two of Screen International’s  ‘Stars of Tomorrow’, Netflix hit Emma Mackey (Sex Education, Death on the Nile), and Anson Boon (Pistol, 1917). Mackey and Boon showcase incredible performances alongside Game of Thrones’ Michael McElhatton & Peaky Blinders’ Charlie Murphy.

‘The Winter Lake’ follows withdrawn teenager Tom (Boon) who after making a grim discovery in a seasonal lake, discovers the truth about his neighbours, a father (McElhatton) and daughter (Mackey) who are harbouring sinister secrets.

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – E – Excalibur (1981) Movie Rob’s Pick

Head over to Movie Rob’s site for more reviews.

“STAND BACK! Be silent! Be still!… That’s it… and look upon this moment. Savor it! Rejoice with great gladness! Great gladness! Remember it always, for you are joined by it. You are One, under the stars. Remember it well, then… this night, this great victory. So that in the years ahead, you can say, ‘I was there that night, with Arthur, the King!’ For it is the doom of men that they forget.” – Merlin

Number of Times Seen – 1 (4 Feb 2021)

Brief Synopsis – The wizard Merlin helps find a way for a savior and king to come to Britain and unite the Kingdom.

My Take on it – This is a film that I’ve heard much about over the years, but never had the opportunity to see what it was all about.

When I saw that Darren’s choice this month was Oscar movies, I search through films that have been nominated for Best Cinematography and came across this one, so I decided to give it a shot.

This is a film that looks amazing from a production perspective but the story and plot are shown in such a messy way which unfortunately makes it harder to find things enjoyable to watch unfold.

They try far too hard for this film to seem like it’s an epic, but they forget that without well formed or interesting characters, it’s much more difficult to care about things more.

The added fact that this film has so many characters makes it even harder to keep track of everyone along the way.

John Boorman is a great director and this film is further proof of that because it is clear to see how much of a labor of love this story seems to be.

Unfortunately, that isn’t enough because thing come across as being far too choppy in the presentation of the story.

They have a great cast here especially when One is able to find so many undiscovered actors in small yet important parts like Patrick Stewart, Liam Neeson, Gabriel Byrne and Helen Mirren.

I can completely understand how this film could have gotten a nomination for Best Cinematography due to the lush landscapes and dense forests that are created for this film.

The set design, costumes and other technical aspects of the film makes it even easier to transport the viewer to a long forgotten place and time.

The battle scenes are choreographed well.

The problem is the plot and dialogue which leave far too much to be desired here.

Bottom Line – Really messy film that doesn’t manage to be more interesting. The film tries too hard to be epic and forgets to develop any of the characters which is problematic especially given the fact that there are so many characters to keep track of. It can be seen that this was a labor of love for John Boorman, but the story is a bit too choppy in the way that it is told.  The cast is superb with so many future familiar actors having integral, yet smallish parts. The film looks very epic in so many aspects including cinematography, set design, costumes and the way that things are shown, but the messy plot ruins things too much which is quite a shame.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Dame Helen Mirren and Nicol Williamson were initially reluctant to work with each other. They’d been in a disastrous production of “Macbeth”, and were not on speaking terms. Writer, producer, and director John Boorman cast them because their natural animosity would be perfect. According to Mirren, she and Williamson “wound up becoming very good friends” during filming. (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (4/10)