Director: Michael Matthews
Writer: Brian Duffield, Matthew Robinson (Screenplay)
Starring: Dylan O’Brien, Jessica Henwick, Michael Rooker, Dan Ewing, Ariana Greenblatt, Ellen Hollman
Plot: Seven years after he survived the monster apocalypse, lovably hapless Joel leaves his cozy underground bunker behind on a quest to reunite with his ex.
Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Love and Monsters starts seven years after a plan to destroy an asteroid left the nuclear wastage hitting Earth creating monsters on Earth, the humans need to move into colonies underground with Joel (O’Brien) living in one of them. He is the chef and not used to fight against any of the monsters, with the rest of colony being the ones that look out for him.
One day Joel decides he wants to go in search for his girlfriend Aimee (Henwick) who is in another colony, which will see him going into the world alone for the first time, meeting a lonely dog named Boy, Clyde (Rooker) and Minnow (Greenblatt) who have been surviving together in the dangerous world.
Thoughts on Love and Monsters
Characters & Performances – Joel has been living in an underground colony after the world got infected by nuclear fallout turning the animals into giant monsters roaming the Earth. He is seen as the wimpy one of the colony that isn’t prepared for the dangers outside, though he is the only single one. He wants to go in search of his girlfriend, which will see him leave the colony and travel in the world of danger alone for the first time, learning to fight, while also seeing the pain others have been through. Dylan O’Brien is wonderful in the leading role of this film, bringing all the charisma needed for the film to shine. Aimee is the woman that Joel makes the journey for, a former girlfriend before the events happened, she is in a different colony with only radio communication. Clyde and Minnow help Joel in the open world, teach him about the dangers and how to survive, they both have their own story for being together and tough to this world. Michael Rooker brings the experienced head to the cast, where he is always good in a mentor like role. The whole cast does a great job through this film, playing their characters perfectly.
Story – The story here takes us to a world where everyday animals have been turned into giant monsters, with humans needing to live in colonies under the surface, where one young man decides to go in search of an ex-girlfriend from a different colony, learning about the changed world above for the first time. This is a story that feels like a soft version of a Fallout game, where it doesn’t have the pure violence, but the creatures are enlarged ones we could see in everyday life. The story is told in a way that feels like it is Zombieland, trying to turn the dark world into something cheery, which is also a highlight in the film. The story uses the adventure side of a story is a joy to watch because we get given the real side effects of the world, be it through the dog, Clyde or Minnow.
Themes – Love and Monsters is an action adventure sci-fi film that takes our leading character on a journey against the monsters now crawling the Earth, big creatures that we would see in everyday life, the world created is brilliant and when it comes to the special effects with the creature creations, it is stunning to watch.
Director: Matt Chambers
Writer: Matt Chambers (Screenplay))
Starring: Alec Secareanu, Anamaria Marinca, Lucian Msamati, Anna Wilson-Jones, Amir Boutrous, June Watson, Alexia Maria Proca
Plot: After a delivery driver’s moped is stolen, he must find it before he loses everything else.
Runtime: 1 Hour 19 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: The Bike Thief starts as we meet The Rider (Secareanu) who is living in a London estate with his wife Elena (Marinca), his teenage daughter Miri (Proca) and new-born baby, he works as a delivery man through the night, but when he has his moped stolen, his life becomes difficult.
As The Rider looks to find his moped he finds the avenues difficult to turn down with his boss not showing any sympathy, he becomes desperate to fix the problem in his life and give his family what they needs.
Thoughts on The Bike Thief
Characters & Performances – The Rider is doing everything he can to provide for his family, he works long late nights as a delivery man around London, with the plan of keeping the roof over his family’s head. He keeps to himself when on the job and off the job, but his life is turned upside down when he has his moped stolen, needing to find a way to replace his income before the man that offered him the role takes it all away from him. Alec Secareanu is brilliant in the leading role here, showing us just how people will do anything for their family to have a positive life. Elena is his wife that is caring for their baby while trying to make it as a cleaner, not always finding the best outcome for this life, being left isolated from anyone else. Victor is seems to be the only friend and more of a co-worker that will give The Rider advice when things go wrong in his life, being the person he turns to the most throughout the film. The supporting performances are strong through the film, with Alec always looking like he is on another level.
Story – The story here follows a man that is working as a delivery man in London in hopes of just being able to support his family until he moped is stolen, leaving him with no way of making an income he needs, leaving him with difficult decisions. This is a story that will show us just how many people are living on their next paycheck and how certain people will have to take the more discreet jobs to remain away from the attention of people, while the job is a delivery job, it will show the hours willing to work to keep a family safe. This highlights just how devastating stealing from someone could be, taking away their chance of a livelihood could ruin lives or force them to make rash decisions.
Themes – The Bike Thief is a drama thriller that will use the London streets to show how together and dangerous the communities can be for a stranger, showing the race against time that the Rider is forced to go on to fix the problem in his life that wasn’t even his fault. Here, we do get one of the few weaknesses, that being the shaky camera involved in a chase, which doesn’t seem to work for the rest of the film being calm approach with the camerawork.
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