Endangered Species (2021) Movie Review

Endangered Species – Tension Fuelled Experience

Director: M.J. Bassett

Writer: Isabel Bassett, M.J. Bassett (Screenplay) Paul Chronnell (Story)

Starring: Rebecca Romijn, Philip Winchester, Isabel Bassett, Michael Johnston, Chris Fisher, Jerry O’Connell

Plot: a wealthy American family who travel to the vast African wilderness of Kenya hoping for a dream vacation filled with excitement, bonding and a chance to fix the growing rifts within their family. But when their safari vehicle is attacked by a rhino protecting her calf, the family is left stranded miles from help and their dream vacation turns into a nightmarish struggle for survival in a world where they are the bottom of the food chain.


Tagline – Far from home. Far from safety. Far from over.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Endangered Species starts when a family Lauren (Romijn), Jack (Winchester), Zoe (Bassett), Noah (Johnston) and Zoe’s boyfriend Billy (Fisher) arrive in Africa for a safari holiday, they get into the beauty of the location, while getting prepared for an adventure of a lifetime.

As the family look to explore the safari themselves, they stumble upon a rhino family which will flip their vehicle, leaving them stranded in the middle of the safari, injured, helpless and prime for the picking for the wildlife.

Thoughts on Endangered Species

Characters & Performances – Jack is the father of the household, he has used his money from his luxury job to pay for his holiday as a treat, he is struggling to connect with his son, he wants to make sure this holiday is better than they expect, only his head strong attitude will find them in more trouble. Philip Winchester does give us the character that is conflicted with love and unable to change. Lauren is the wife and mother who is diabetic, which will cause another problem in the battle to survive the situation they find themselves in. Rebecca Romijn might well be the biggest name in this film and she does everything well, it is more that she doesn’t have much to do. Zoe and Noah are the children that are both finding themselves feeling distant from Jack, with them both getting a chance to win his approval on the trip, despite knowing he doesn’t believe everything they want from life. Both Isabel Bassett and Michael Johnston give us performances that will make us believe the insecurities in their characters.

StoryThe story here follows a wealthy American family that are on a safari in Africa, only for the trip to turn into a nightmare when they become stranded with the wildlife waiting for a chance to hunt them down, needing to find a way to survive. This story is one that we have seen before with a different environment, a family in need of help, stranded, needing to weight up their options for survival. The obstacles they come across will see them tested and will let them deal with the problems between them too. The story does have a deeper message about poaching, as well as showing us the African animals in their natural environment.

ThemesEndangered Species is an action thriller that will see man versus the wild, seeing how the group must figure out how to survive different encounters. The African backdrop is stunningly beautiful to see, even if the CGI on the animals doesn’t feel as smooth as it could do.

Endangered Species which is on digital 28 June and DVD 5 July

Endangered Species is a tense safari from hell.

ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – U – Uncle John (2015)

Director: Steven Piet

Writer: Erik Crary, Steven Piet (Screenplay)

Starring: John Ashton, Alex Moffat, Jenna Lyng Adams, Ronnie Gene Blevins, Adria Dawn, Tim Decker

 

Plot: In this tale of small town intrigue, an urbanite returns to his quiet hometown on an impromptu trip as his Uncle, widely respected in town, struggles to evade suspicion of a murder.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Plods Along at a Snail’s Pace

 

Story: Uncle John starts when we see John (Ashton) trying to cover up a murder he committed, the locals are all in a buzz for the missing person in their community, in the big city Ben (Moffat) a graphic designer who gets a new supervisor in Kate (Adams) who gives him a new friend in the town as she is from out of town.

When Ben visits his Uncle John the two lives come together, with John’s secret becoming more apparent to the local community.

 

Thoughts on Uncle John

 

Characters – John is an older man that has been living the quiet country life, he has just killed a member of the community though, he has covered up his actions, which sees him trying to get on with his life, hanging out with the normal group of friends, following his own routine. Ben lives in the big city working in graphic design, he has placed himself in a company well and when he gets a new boss he can finally start to get over his last relationship. Kate is the new boss in Ben’s firm, she is new in town getting over her latest relationship too, which sees her connect with Ben after spending time with him drinking. Danny is the brother of the missing man, he does start trying to solve the case which sees him getting closer to John’s secret.

PerformancesWhen it comes to the performances, it is hard to say anything overly bad about the performances, the problems come from elsewhere, John Ashton does show us a character trying to hide a secret. Alex Moffat brings us the character just coasting through life. Jenna Lyng Adams is the love interest that is trying to have a professional career, only she like the rest are basic with their performances.

StoryThe story here follows two lives, one of an Uncle, one of the nephew as they both are getting prepared for the next stage of their lives, one has committed a murder, the other just starting out his career, but the murder will come back to haunt their relationship. The story does have one major problem, that is the disconnect between the two stories, it takes well over an hour before we even get to know their relationship to each other and just how close the two lives are meant to be. The pacing of the storytelling is horribly slow and you just feel like you are taking too much a step away from anything major that is happening in the story.

Crime/MysteryThe crime side of this film does show how one man is trying to hide a murder he committed from the rest of the community, we see how he has created his own alibi with the people in town believe what he says. The mystery does circle around just why the murder was committed in the first place.

SettingsThe film uses two main settings, the first is the farm life one, while the second is the big city, one shows what people can get away with, while the other shows how people can make it better.


Scene of the Movie –
From behind.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The disconnect between the two stories we are following.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappointing and slow drama which just plods along as such a slow pace you will lose interest quicker than expected.

 

Overall: Dull & Boring.

Rating

 

The Man Standing Next (2020) Movie Review

The Man Standing Next – Nice Political Thriller

 

Director: Min-ho Woo

Writer: Ji-min Lee, Min-ho Woo (Screenplay)

Starring: Lee Byung-hun, Sung-min Lee, Do-won Kwak, Lee Hee-joon, So-jin Kim, Eric Bernard, Jerry Rector

Plot: In the 1970s Korea is under the absolute control of the president Park who controls the KCIA the organization with the edge over any branch of government.

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Man Standing Next starts as we learn about President Park (Lee) reign in power over Korea with the KCIA organization keeping him in power, but the former director Park Yong-Gak (Kwak) is looking to expose the meaning behind his power, while current director Kim Kyu-Pyeong (Byung-hun) is torn between the truth and an old friend, needing to let the evidence prove which side he should be fighting for.

Thoughts on The Man Standing Next

ThoughtsThe Man Standing Next follows the political coup that took place in Korea during the 1970s, which will see how the President found himself being exposed for the covering up he has been through over his reign of terror, showing just how much he was covering up to make sure he remained in power. The story is told with one man finding himself in the middle of truth, knowing what would happen if he exposed the truth, but knowing he needs to know what needs to change. This will keep you guessing to what will happen next, with the strong performances throughout elevating the film to the next level. This is a nice example of what has come out through the world of history and is one that could be used to show how the world can start to spiral out of control unless the right people step up.

Blue Finch Film Releasing presents The Man Standing Next in Virtual Cinemas including Curzon Home Cinema 25 June and on Digital Download 5 July

Final Thoughts The Man Standing Next is a good history lesson on Korean politics and the people that tried to do the right thing.