Coyote Lake (2019) Movie Review

Director: Sara Seligman

Writer: Sara Seligman, Thomas James Bond (Screenplay)

Starring: Camila Mendes, Adriana Barraza, Charlie Weber, Neil Sandilands

Plot: Ester and her overbearing mother run a small bed-and-breakfast near the US/Mexico border. Two unwanted guests arrive, threatening everyone’s safety. But the two women hide a secret that may prove the most dangerous of all.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Coyote Lake starts as we see how Ester (Mendes) and her mother Teresa (Barraza) run a small bed-and-breakfast by the US/Mexico border, they have a routine, which will see them drug the guest, and when their latest operation is going on, they get unwanted guests, Paco (Velez) and the injured Ignacio (Perez).

Both sides are looking at the next step of their lives, with both having their own plans with what to do with each other, making the blossoming romance between Ester and Paco, even more dangerous.

Thoughts on Coyote Lake

Characters – Ester is the daughter that has been working with her mother for years on trying to raise money by killing guests at the bed-and-breakfast, she hasn’t seen the outside world before, with her only trip being to collect the drugs to knock the victims out, when Paco shows her more of what could be, she finds herself wanting to stop and escape this world. Teresa is the mother of Ester, her husband was killed by the Cartel and now she has raised Ester to follow her work to kill the guests, she claims it is to escape the world, but she never seems to get to far away. Paco is the young dealer that wants to help Ester escape this world, he sees that she wants more from her life and he would like to offer it to her.

PerformancesCamila Mendes brings all the innocence to her role, showing how she has been pushed into this life without knowing more, starting to question what is right. Adriana Barraza brings the cold-hearted mother role to life, where she can come off like the sweet old lady, but is hiding the darker side. Andrew Velez shows us that both sides of the criminal lines are filled with people pushed into them with his desperate to escape role.

StoryThe story here follows a mother and daughter living away form the world that have their own scheme, where they are killing the guests at their bed-and-breakfast, a plan which they have been running for a while, which gets interrupted when two dealers stumble upon them, looking to take control of the property. This is a story which shows us two young people that have been dragged into a criminal world, one they didn’t want to be part of by their elders, never getting to live the life of a free honest person. Add in the cat-n-mouse style battle between the two sides, who both have a plan for each other, while it could mean risking more. We get a feeling of watching ‘Dexter’ too through this film, with the operation seemingly to be going so smoothly. This does show us how people can be led astray and how they need to earn their freedom, with a tension that can be sliced with a knife, you will be left wondering who will make it out alive.

CrimeThe crime side of this film shows us two operations going on, first the murderous mother and daughter, then the dealing men that come together in a battle to stay ahead of each other’s secrets or plans.

SettingsMost of the film is set in the remote isolated bed-and-breakfast, which does play into the ideas that Ester and Teresa are doing, no one will see what they are doing or miss the people staying there.


Scene of the Movie – Ester’s boat trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It isn’t completely clear how long Ester and Teresa have been doing this.

Final Thoughts Coyote Lake is a tense affair that will see two different styles of criminals trying to stay ahead of each other in a cat-n-mouse game.



ABC Film Challenge – Favourites – F – The Final Girls (2015) Movie Thoughts

The Final Girls (2015)

The Final Girls follows Max Cartwright (Taissa Farmiga) the daughter of a 80s slasher icon Amanda Cartwright (Malin Akerman) who died in a car crash. 3 years after the incident Duncan (Thomas Middleditch) has convinces Max to attend a celebration of the Camp Bloodbath Movies with her friends, Gertie (Alia Shawkat), Chris (Alexander Ludwig) and Vicki (Nina Dobrev). At the screening of the movie, a fire breaks out and the friends look to cut through the screen only to find themselves transported into the movie.

Inside the movie Max gets to meet her mother in character Nancy, along with the rest of the characters Kurt (Adam Devine), Tina (Angela Trimbur), Paula (Chloe Bridges) and Blake (Tory N Thompson) who have been placed to be the victims for the slasher Billy Murphy. The real people must work with the movie characters to fight Billy in an attempt to escape, while Max gets more time with her mother.

The Final girls does to horror movies what The Last Hero did to action movies, turning the characters and real-life people. This becomes a full blown meta comedy on the slasher genre. We get all the classic stereotypes from the slasher genre through two generations, who will be focusing on the different eras. If you are a fan of the slasher genre, you will get where each of the deaths has been taken from to work for the extra comedic value, knowing they are over the top and ridiculous. Angela Trimbur is by far the star of the comedic side of the film, playing the dumb girl perfectly through the film. The whole cast are fantastic to watch with Taissa Farmiga continuing her rampage in the horror world.

There is a much deeper message about trying to understand how a horror icon could struggle for work after certain movies build reputations, even if the star will end up with a cult following. Away from that, we get the idea of being able to spend time with a loved one, one more time after death, even if it is in a world of make believe.

Rating 4/5

Coming 2 America (2021) Movie Review

Coming 2 America – Laughless Comedy

Director: Craig Brewer

Writer: Barry W Blaustein, David Sheffield, Kenya Barris (Screenplay)

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Wesley Snipes, Shari Headley, Garcelle Beauvais, James Earl Jones, John Amos, Arsenio Hall, Jermaine Fowler

Plot: The African monarch Akeem learns he has a long-lost son in the United States and must return to America to meet this unexpected heir and build a relationship with his son.


Tagline – A sequel is in the heir.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Coming 2 America starts as we how Prince Akeem (Murphy) and his wife Lisa (Headley) have continued to live the royal life with their daughters. When King Jaffe Joffer (Jones) calls for him, seeing him looking worse for wear, he wants Prince Akeem to have his own heir to the throne, a male heir.

When Semmi (Hall) announces that Prince Akeem has his own son back in America, the pair must travel there to meet Lavelle Junson (Fowler) and see the changes in America and bring him back to his own kingdom.

Thoughts on Coming 2 America

Characters & Performances – Prince Akeem has remained in his kingdom after his adventure, he has raised his daughters with his wife and is preparing to take over as king, only he is left with the shame of not having a son to be his heir. He must take on the even deeper side of the responsible side of the kingdom, while preparing his new son to take over one day. Eddie Murphy does the basic side of his comedy without needing to do too much or ever reaching he strongest level. Semmi is the man that guided Akeem through his adventure and still keeps him safe as an advisor, he has the secrets and will do what he can to put the man on the right path. Arsenio Hall does take up a couple of roles in the film, which are usually the weaker written roles in the film. Lavelle is the illegitimate son back in Queens that Akeem learns of, he is streetwise and is start struck with the idea of being living in fame. He must learn about the new culture while still having his own desires. Jermaine Fowler does try his best in this role, but with the weak comedy, he doesn’t get to make an impact with his own brand. The supporting cast do rely on the comedy a lot more than we need and most miss or are just loud.

StoryThe story here follows Prince Akeem who must look to take the throne and find his own heir to the throne once he dies, he never had a son until he learns of one night when he was in America and now he must prepare him for a new role. This is a story that could have worked very well a few years ago, with some of the serious cultural changes it wants to bring forward to the conversation, but this conversation has happened and we don’t need it anymore, life has changed already. With this interesting idea, we end up focusing too much on the new love story, which doesn’t seem as interesting as it could be, leading us down the path of watching the least interesting part of the story.

ThemesComing 2 America is a comedy that isn’t as strong as it should be, it is however, better than most of the recent Eddie Murphy films that just end up falling flat. The locations are used well to show the change in culture both Akeem sees returning to Queens and how Lavelle learns about his new kingdom. It is very rare that I even mention product placement, this could even be the first time, but the product placement is awful in this film.

 

Coming 2 America is a comedy that feels dated already and never gets going.