The Oak Room (2020) Movie Review

The Oak Room – Too Many Stories

Director: Cody Calahan

Writer: Peter Genoway (Screenplay)

Starring: RJ Mitte, Peter Outerbridge, Ari Millen, Nicholas Campbell, Martin Roach, David Ferry, Amos Crawley

Plot: During a raging snowstorm, a drifter returns home to the blue-collar bar located in the remote Canadian town where he was born. When he offers to settle an old debt with a grizzled bartender by telling him a story, the night’s events quickly spin into a dark tale of mistaken identities, double-crosses and shocking violence.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Oak Room starts when Steve (Mitte) returns home during a snowstorm, returning to the local bar to repay a debt to Paul (Outerbridge), offering him a story as to why he has returned.

As Steve recounts his story, he tells a tale of the time he was the bartender, meeting a stranger in the bar late one night, with their own story.

Thoughts on The Oak Room

Characters & Performances – Steve is the drifter who has returned home to pay a debt, he has a story to what has kept him away and he wants to tell it, which will give us the reasons to why he took so long to return. He is filled with a grief of not being home for his father’s funeral, a grief he would like to shake. RJ Mitte does struggle to become the narrator we need, each scene leaves him struggling to make the impact required. Paul is the bartender being told the story, he wants the debt repaid and isn’t prepared to listen to the stories, he just wants the point made. Must like everyone else in this film, we do find ourselves being left in the middle of jumping between characters, where the actors just don’t get to make the impact they would like to in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a drifter that returns to a local bar where he looks to pay of a debt, only for him to tell a story that starts tame before turning much darker than you could imagine. This is a story that is looking to make an edgy tale, only it takes a long time to get going and by the time we get to the darker side of the tale. Once we get the shocking side of things, it does feel flat and doesn’t seem to hit the chords it wants to and ends up leaving us with more questions than answers.

ThemesThe Oak Room is a mystery wrapped in a thriller that doesn’t get into the intense questions until much later into the film, leaving the tension not being built up for the shocking reveal. The single locations of the two bars does help keep things contained, but never gets used well enough for the truth.

The Oak Room will available on Digital Download from 26th April

 

The Oak Room is a film that is desperate to give us a shocking story, only it takes too long to get there.

ABC Film Challenge – Action – L – Lone Survivor (2014) Movie Rob’s Pick

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

[while sighting in a Taliban fighter] You can die for your country, I’m gonna live for mine.” – Matt ‘Axe’ Axelson

Number of Times Seen – Twice (1 Jan 2014 and 11 Apr 2021)

Link to original review – Here

Brief Synopsis – After a team of elite soldiers are sent on a routine mission in Afghanistan, the encounter more hostiles than expected and must deal with the ever changing dangerous situation.

My Take on it – Great film that is able to transport us into a place where we can experience first hand what these soldiers went through.

The battle scenes are depicted in a very realistic fashion which helps make things even more impactful to watch unfold.

Peter Berg does a wonderful job directing this film in a way that is quite memorable because of the realism of it all.

The cast is superbly chosen and Mark Wahlberg, Eric Bana, Ben Foster, Taylor Kitsch and Emil Hirsch all portray their character is poignant ways.

The film manages to develop each of these characters in a succint and fast way so that we can care even more about everything that transpires as the story progresses.

The heroism of these characters along with the patriotic feel of the story enhances things so much because it allows the viewer to experience the camaraderie between the characters which helps make things even more powerful to take in.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Was made relatively cheaply by Writer and Director Peter Berg, who labored to make it happen over five years. Involved only a forty-two day shoot and forty million dollar budget. Taylor Kitsch and Mark Wahlberg worked at a discount, as did Berg, for the mandatory Directors Guild minimum salary of seventeen thousand dollars a week. (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (8/10) (no change from original review)

ABC Film Challenge – Action – L – Let’s Be Cops (2014) Movie Review

Director: Luke Greenfield

Writer: Luke Greenfield, Nicholas Thomas (Screenplay)

Starring: Jake Johnson, Damon Wayans Jr, Rob Riggle, Nina Dobrev, James D’Arcy, Keegan-Michael Key, Andy Garcia

Plot: Two struggling pals dress as police officers for a costume party and become neighborhood sensations. But when these newly-minted “heroes” get tangled in a real life web of mobsters and dirty detectives, they must put their fake badges on the line.


Tagline – Fake Cops. Real Trouble.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Let’s Be Cops starts as two struggling young men, Ryan (Johnson) and Justin (Wayans Jr) start looking at their decision to move to LA as a mistake, with Justin’s video game not selling and Ryan never recovered from his football injury, they have both reached the stage in their lives, where they might give up and return home.

One night the pair dress up as cops for the night and find themselves gaining power they never once had, deciding to pretend to be cops every day, getting caught up in a battle against a local mobster Mossi (D’Arcy).

Thoughts on Let’s Be Cops

Characters & Performances – Ryan is a former football prospect that always pushed Justin into doing things he doesn’t like, getting overly involved in becoming a cop, taking it seriously even if it would end up getting the pair into more trouble, hiding his insecurities of not knowing what he wants from life. Jake Johnson does bring the hyperactive comedy to this role that is much needed against the calmer approach from Wayans Jr. Justin is the video game designer that has been trying to sell his game, but isn’t getting very far and is about to give up on his dream to return home. He is reluctant to get involved in fake cop role, but when he starts getting respect from more people including the woman he fancies, he sticks around, getting pushed into places he wouldn’t normally go near. Damon Wayans Jr gives us a great performance showing off his comedic skills. Segars is the real cop that the pair meet that likes how the pair work believing they are more important than they are. Rob Riggle does well in this comedy role, playing into the by the book officers. Mossi is the criminal mobster that is looking to intimidate people into giving him what he wants, as well as being just as deadly in a fight, not caring who stands in his way. James D’Arcy does make for a threatening villain, one that could easily be as deadly as he seems. Josie is the waitress with aspirations to become a make up artist and love interest for Justin, she helps with the missions, only she doesn’t know he isn’t really a cop. Nina Dobrev is good in her role, we could have seen more from her character, but she makes the most of what she gets.

StoryThe story here follows two men that are starting to consider giving up their dreams as nothing has turned out the way they planned, the pair find themselves pretending to become cops in an attempt to have some fun, leading to them getting involved in an investigation against the biggest mobster in town. This is a fun action comedy that does get the meaning of friendship and chasing dreams together, while giving us an unlikely and criminal position a couple of friends find themselves in. it will prove that when the times comes, you will find your place and the fight is about waiting for that chance to come around to make you successful.

ThemesLet’s Be Cops is a funny action comedy, it will give you some genuine laughs with the chemistry between Johnson and Wayans Jr being perfect through the film, we might go down some weaker attempts at comedy, btu the film does try to cover as many different types throughout the whole film.

 

Let’s Be Cops is a laugh out loud comedy that shines because of the chemistry between Jake Johnson and Damon Wayans Jr.

Chance – Release News

Coming to streaming & cable platforms May 4 and DVD June 8

SYNOPSIS: A hopeful young Pitbull struggles to maintain his values and faith while attempting to survive the brutal world of underground dog fighting. Chance is an optimist, a dreamer, and doesn’t want to fight. He befriends 2 other dogs, Sugar and Hannibal, and they make a pact against all odds to survive and find freedom together.

The Banishing (2020) Movie Review

The Banishing – Slow Building Horror

Director: Christopher Smith

Writer: David Beton, Ray Bogdanovich, Dean Lines (Screenplay)

Starring: Jessica Brown Findlay, John Lynch, Sean Harris, John Heffernan, Adam Hugill, Jason Thorpe

Plot: The Banishing tells the story of the most haunted house in England. In the 1930s, a young reverend, his wife and daughter move into a manor with a horrifying secret.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Banishing starts when a family Marianne (Findlay), Linus (Heffernan) and daughter Adelaide (McKenna-Bruce) move into a manor house that comes with the new role as reverend in the local town. Linus does find himself getting a visit from Harry (Harris) warning him about the manor house, while his boss Malachi (Lynch) warns him about the local stories being told to him.

When Marianne starts seeing unexpected events around the house, she finds herself starting to question her own sanity, with her husband Linus not wanting to turn away from his faith to believe her, leaving her to try and learn the secrets of the manor.

Thoughts on The Banishing

Characters & Performances – Marianne is the reverend’s wife that is looking to rebuild her relationship with her daughter after being apart for a time, she doesn’t enjoy the size of their new manor home, believing the amount of people suffering could use the additional location. Jessica Brown Findlay does well in the leading role, reacting well to the horror scenes that a built up for the reaction moment. Linus is her husband and the new reverend that is looking to put his life back together with a quiet parish that could offer him peace, he doesn’t want to move away from his beliefs when searching for answers in the house. John Heffernan does bring this traumatised man to life with ease, showing the distant side of his character. Malachi is the man that gives Linus the job, he warns him that he will always hear stories around the town and not to worry about them. John Lynch brings the stricter figure into the film, showing how one person will do anything to hide the truth. Harry Price is known as the town crazy person, though he knows the truth about what has happened in the house, looking for a way to warn the family of what might be coming if they spend too much time in the house. Sean Harris plays this role with ease, he will keep things feeling uneasy like he might be making it up, while also showing the importance of his warning.

StoryThe story here follows a family that move into a manor house only for them to learn the manor house has a dark secret, one that starts haunting them to reveal their secrets. This is a story that we do get to see a lot nowadays, following the new family being haunted, with each haunting becoming more intense, while outside the family people are either warning or ensuring them there is nothing to worry about. The story does have a slow pace, which does show when we are not around the haunting moments, which are the more interesting ones to watch, add in the background of the incoming war, that could change everything for the characters. It does end up falling into the warning one, but doesn’t manage to capture the magic we have seen in so many horrors before it.

ThemesThe Banishing is a horror that will see a lot of creepiness happening in the darkness or shadows of a remote manor house, with secrets around every corner. Most are slowly built up scares, which are the strongest part of the film, with the scale of the house being added to the mystery about what is going on.

 

The Banishing is a slow moving horror that doesn’t get the scares to become as intense as it could have.