Old (2021) Movie Review

Old – Intense Mystery


Director: M Night Shyamalan

Writer: M Night Shyamalan (Screenplay) Pierre-Oscar Levy, Frederick Peeters (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Gael Garcia Bernal, Vicky Krieps, Rufus Sewell, Alex Wolff, Thomasin McKenzie, Abbey Lee, Nikki Amuka-Bird, Ken Leung

Plot: A thriller about a family on a tropical holiday who discover that the secluded beach where they are relaxing for a few hours is somehow causing them to age rapidly reducing their entire lives into a single day.

Tagline – It’s only a matter of time.

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Old starts when a family Guy (Bernal), Prisca (Krieps) and child Maddox and Trent get invited to a private beach in the luxury holiday island, joined by two other families, when they discover a dead body floating in the ocean.

As the people try to put together what is going on, the shocking realisation that they are aging quickly comes to light as the children start growing up, leading to a desperate panic to figure out how to escape before their time runs out.

Thoughts on Old

Characters & Performances – Guy and Prisca are the parents that are having their own problems using this holiday as the last chance to deal with their problems or deciding to walk away, over the time on the beach, they do start to realize what was important to them before. Maddox and Trent start as 11 and 6 years old, when they start aging they will become key to how suddenly things are changing, maintaining their innocent child-like mentality no matter what age their bodies are. The performances from everyone involved are great, with Gael Garcia Bernal and Vicky Krieps as the parents, aging slowly, compared to the host of different stars are the children characters. In the supporting roles Rufus Sewell as the doctor who is slowly starting to lose his mind being the more terrifying side of the human characters.

StoryThe story here follows a group of families that find themselves stuck on a beach where they will see them age drastically faster, to the levels they may live a whole lifetime in a day, as they need to find a way to escape before it is too late. This is a genius idea for a story that will keep us wondering as to what is happening or how they can escape for the whole film, we get to see different reactions to what is happening, with certain ones being wilder than they need to be, but once you figure it out, which is something that becomes clear earlier on with why they are there, it only becomes a message of how to escape. This is a story that will leave you wanting more, which is always something you want to see.

ThemesOld is a horror thriller that uses the lure of the beautiful location to draw the characters in to the breath taking beach on the tropical island, to the mystery about why what is going on is happening. The camerawork is used to hide a lot of what is going on, be it the side effects of what is happening, or covering up certain age changes. The world being built is a place we could re-visit and continue to see more from, as we just know there is much bigger thing going on.

Final Thoughts Old is a fascinating thriller that will keep you guessing and wanting more all at once.

The Water Diviner (2014) Movie Review

Director: Russell Crowe

Writer: Andrew Knight, Andrew Anastasios (Screenplay)

Starring: Russell Crowe, Olga Kurylenko, Ylimaz Erdogan, Cem Yilmaz, Jai Courtney, Dylan Jett Georgiades, Steve Castoni, Isabel Lucas

Plot: An Australian man travels to Turkey after the Battle of Gallipoli to try and locate his three missing sons.

Tagline – To honour a promise. To find his sons. To make his peace.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Story: The Water Diviner starts with the end of the battle for Gallipoli where the Turkish soldier won, 4-years later Australian Connor (Crowe) has still not learned the fate of the three children who fought in the battle believed to have died, but his wife still waits for them, before killing herself in grief. Connor gives up his whole life to travel to Turkey in search of his children to fulfil the final wish of his wife.

Once in Turkey, Connor finds only paperwork holding him back from finding his boys, turning to a local Ayshe (Kurylenko) who has her own hatred to anybody who came from the British Empire, but the unlikely union helps him go on the moment he needs to get complete closure in his life with the help of two sides that fought there, Major Hasan (Erdogan) and LT Colonel Hughes (Courtney).

Thoughts on The Water Diviner

Characters – Connor is a father of three from Australia, he has spent his time in his homeland discovering water in the deserts and after his three children are believed to have died in the battle of Gallipoli, he has seen his wife grieve slowly and painfully. He decides to travel to Turkey in search of his son’s remains where he gets to see and discover the truth about what happened in the battle. Ayshe is a local women in Turkey, she has seen her husband die in the war, but hasn’t told her son, she doesn’t like anyone from the British side of the war, only to learn it might be her own culture holding her life back after her own tragedy. Major Hasan led the enemy into battle, he was involved in countless deaths and now is helping identify the dead, he sees Connor’s story and will help him learn about the truth.

PerformancesRussell Crowe is brilliant here both on front and behind the camera, making us see the pain the war bought to a man that never went to war, but saw his sons die there, as well as the relief of learning the truth. Olga Kurylenko is the best she has been before, showing she has the talent to achieve much more in her career. Yilmaz Erdogan might be the only unknown for the casual fan and he shines through the film too.

StoryThe story here follows one man that travels across the world to learn what happened to his sons in the battle of Gallipoli in an attempt to get closure in his life, what he discovers only brings him new hope in the world, despite being trapped in a war torn country. This is based on a true story and shows just how much damage the battle did to one man’s family and multiply countries that lost men in the war. What will make this incredible story standout is the determination that Connor showed to learn the truth and just what it meant to him after losing his wife to grief. We can always talk about the heroes of war, but we will also struggle to face the truth that not everybody came back and the ones who lost people will be forever changed. This story shows us that despite being on opposite sides, they are all humans and death will leave a scar on the people left behind no matter what.

WarThe film does focus more on the consequences of war, showing us just how the lives have been changed and just because it is over, doesn’t it is over for the people who lost loved ones.

SettingsThe film does create beautiful settings as well as showing us the battlefields years after the war, this shows us that memories will always be left on this field.

Scene of the Movie – Cricket.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The war scenes are safe scenes, not edgy for the truth about what happened.

Final Thoughts This is an incredible story of one man desire to learn about his children, showing that even when the war is over, the truth could be different to what you expect.

Overall: Brilliant from Crowe.

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – W – Without a Clue (1988) – Movie Rob’s Pick

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

“Half a tick, Mr. Holmes. Ye can’t go walkin’ into someone’s residence, pokin’ about their personal possessions, disruptin’ their privacy… That’s for Scotland Yard.” – Inspector Lestrade

Number of Times Seen – 1 (22 Jul 2021)

Brief Synopsis – Detective Dr. John Watson hires an actor to pretend to be the intelligent Sherlock Holmes in order to keep his true identity a secret.

My Take on it – This is a film that I never had seen before and after recently coming across it, felt it was perfectly suited for this series.

Hilarious concept that works so well largely due to the performances of Ben Kingsley and Michael Caine in the lead roles.

The film presents a very interesting scenario that slightly changes the entire premise of who really was the famed sleuth.

The find some really ingenious ways to keep this farce afloat and plausible as things move along.

Both Caine and Kingsley are superb in these roles and make things seem so realistic the whole way through.

The movie utilizes known Holmes lore in order to keep things even more powerful and engaging as the story unfolds.

The dialogue is done really well and helps make the viewer believe the fact that Holmes is a trained, yet undisciplined actor who is able to make everyone believe he is a sleuthing genius.

The supporting cast is also great with Jeffrey Jones, Paul Freeman (of Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981) fame) and Peter Cook all helping to keep this so enjoyable to watch unfold sometimes in very unexpected ways.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – The closing credits offer an apology that states: “With apologies to the late Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, creator of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson.” (From IMDB)

Rating – Globe Worthy (7/10)

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – W – The Way Way Back (2013) Movie Review

Director: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash

Writer: Nat Faxon, Jim Rash (Screenplay)

Starring: Steve Carell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, AnnaSophia Robb, Sam Rockwell, Maya Rudolph, Liam James

Plot: Shy 14-year-old Duncan goes on summer vacation with his mother, her overbearing boyfriend, and her boyfriend’s daughter. Having a rough time fitting in, Duncan finds an unexpected friend in Owen, manager of the Water Wizz water park.

Tagline – Everybody has a summer that changes their life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Delight

Story: The Way Way Back starts as Duncan (James) is joining his mother Pam (Collette), her new boyfriend Trent (Carell) and his daughter for a summer vacation along a popular location for family summer vacation. Trent doesn’t want to be here, he doesn’t fit in with the crowd looking for time on the beach and becomes friends with the girl in the house next door Susanna (Robb).

With Duncan continuing to struggle to fit in this summer vacation, he meets Owen (Rockwell) the manager of a water park called the Water Wizz. Duncan learns more about his own life when he is around Owen, giving him an escape, he has never experienced before.

Thoughts on The Way Way Back

Characters – Duncan is a child of divorce, he lives with his mother and getting used to her new boyfriend and his family, he doesn’t fit in the crowds they give him, he finds social interaction awkward at times too, when he meets Owen, he gets to come out of his shell for the first time in years as he gets caught in the confliction that his parental relationship causes him. Owen is the manager of the water park, he has a laid back attitude that has seen him create the image of a slacker, but he offers Duncan the life advice he so badly desires to help him through the difficult stage he will be facing, while learning to grow up himself. Pam is the mother of Duncan, she is trying to keep her life together for him and with Trent, she is hoping to start something new, Trent is the boyfriend of Pam’s who isn’t as friendly towards Duncan as he could be, always trying to put him down.

PerformancesLiam James does take the leading role in this star studded cast, he is great showing how awkward teenager through the film, Sam Rockwell is wonderful to watch as always, while the parental figures of Steve Carell, Toni Collette and Allison Janney are great through the film too.

StoryThe story here follows a teenager forced into a summer vacation where he never fits in, only to find somewhere he finally fits in and can look to move on with his life. This story is a brilliant coming-of-age tale, showing us all that you can find your place in the world, from a place you might never imagine. It does show how the children of divorce will always face the uncertainty around how they believe their parents are feeling about them, with the parents hiding certain truths they believe would destroy the child’s mindset. The weakness in the story comes from not truly knowing how long the events of the film take place, with one scene making it seem like it is a month, while others could show it being around a week.

ComedyThe comedy in the film comes from see how certain arguments get blown out of the water and seeing how they Owen reacts to a lot during the film.

SettingsThe film does use the settings to show us how the families require the time in the summer homes as a blow off, with the water park being Duncan’s safe place during this.

Scene of the Movie – Slide challenge.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Just Trent.

Final Thoughts This is a wonderful coming of age story that can hit hard with the emotions as well as the reality of life, balancing the two well, with brilliant performances throughout the film.

Overall: Brilliant Coming of Age Film.