They Reach (2020) Movie Review

Director: Sylas Dall

Writer: Sylas Dall, Bry Troyer (Screenplay)

Starring: Mary Madaline Roe, Morgan Chandler, Eden Campbell, Kyan Zielinski, Elizabeth Rhoades

Plot: In 1979, a young girl stumbles upon a possessed tape player. She unknowingly unleashes a demonic entity that haunts her family while slowly dragging the small town of Clarkston to Hell.


Tagline – First you hear them. Then you see them. Then they reach…

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Reach starts as Jessica Daniels (Roe) is struggling to overcome the death of her older brother, she is taking after her father John (Calder) with her tendency to collect items around the house, with her latest items leading to supernatural item release an evil in her home.

Jessica must team up with her best friends Sam (Chandler) and Cheddar (Campbell) as they look to unlock the truth before her family is taken by the evil she accidently released.

Thoughts on They Reach

Characters – Jessica is the grief filled young teenager that has seen her brother die, she is collecting items which sees her end up releasing an evil into the home, which she must work with her friends to stop, she will face her own demons to make this happen. Sam and Cheddar are the best friends that are looking to support Jessica through the difficult times, with Cheddar getting laughs through the film. The three do have great chemistry together, which drives the story forward.

PerformancesMary Madaline Roe, Morgan Chandler and Eden Campbell are great to watch together, they give us the feeling of true friendship through the whole film, while Mary gets to tackle the solo side of the film required she is just as good.

StoryThe story follows a young teenage girl that accidently release an evil into her home and must work with her friends to try and stop it from getting unleashed upon the whole town. The story here does show us a world where someone is grieving in their own way, which is always used to attract the evil into their life, it does have a feeling of a Stranger Things with how the three are trying to solve things, with the parents having their own side story dealing with the events. The story is told in a fun way that can be enjoyed.

Adventure/HorrorThe adventure side of this film shows us how the characters will be doing everything to stop the horror they find haunting them throughout the film.

SettingsThe film uses the small town setting to show us how the character would be able to work together and shows us how the town knows Jessica and her family’s loss.


Scene of the Movie – The first appearance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not keen on certain moments, which will include spoilers.

Final Thoughts They Reach is a fun adventure horror that will show the characters at their best, working together to fight evil.



ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – A – A Walk in the Woods (2015)

Director: Ken Kwapis

Writer: Michael Arndt, Bill Holderman (Screenplay) Bill Bryson (Book)

Starring: Robert Redford, Nick Nolte, Emma Thompson, Mary Steenburgen, Nick Offerman, Kristen Schaal, R. Keith Harris

 

Plot: After spending two decades in England, Bill Bryson returns to the U.S., where he decides the best way to connect with his homeland is to hike the Appalachian Trail with one of his oldest friends.


Tagline – When you push yourself to the edge, the real fun begins.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Never Captures the Sense of Adventure

 

Story: A Walk in the Woods starts when author Bill Bryson (Redford) returns to America after years of travel books, where he has never written about his homeland. Bill wants to walk the Appalachian Trail, over 2000miles, his wife Catherine (Thompson) isn’t happy with this decision forcing him to go with somebody, which sees him reconnect with an old friend Stephen Katz (Nolte).

Even though Stephen isn’t in the best shape for this hike, he is the only person that accepts the offer and the two set out on the 6-month long hike, hoping to create his next best seller, while reconnecting with an old friend.

 

Thoughts on A Walk in the Woods

 

Characters – Bill Bryson is a travel author that has been  writing about hiking trails all over the world, only he has never written about America, he wants to change this, hoping to give himself a chance to experience the American walking trail of the Appalachian Trail, one of the most challenging hikes in the country. Stephen Katz is the only person that is willing to join Bill on his adventure, the two have had their differences in the past, he isn’t in the best shape for this adventure and sees it as a chance to reconnect with an old friend. Catherine is the wife of Bill that doesn’t want Bill to go on this hike, she is worried about everything that could happen, forcing him to go with somebody on the trip. Jeannie is one of the ladies that they guys meet on the journey, she is one of the many people they meet along the way.

PerformancesRobert Redford and Nick Nolte are wonderful together in the leading role, you get to believe their friendship has been through the ups and downs life has to offer, only to let them get their solo moments when needed for the film. when we get to the supporting cast Emma Thompson does get her chance to shine without getting too much screen time.

StoryThe story here follows an author who sets out on a new adventure travelling the Appalachian Trail, first for himself and secondly for his latest book, he reconnects with an old friend to join him on this adventure. This story does have a big difference from the book which sees a big age change, which does change the story, which is more focused on the older generation that are seeing their friends die and wanting to do another adventure before it is too late. The trip itself never gets shown in distance scale either, we know how far it is, but we don’t seem to learn where it starts and finishes or what locations we go through.

Adventure/Biopic/ComedyThe adventure side of the film does take the men on with a location that will be one of the highlights of the film, the biopic side of the film does use the real names, but not the real ages which does change the dynamic of the story completely. The comedy will give you a couple of laughs along the way, without it being a full-blown comedy.

SettingsThe settings in the film do give us a couple of beautiful shots, though we don’t get to feel the distance being travelled.


Scene of the Movie –
Mary Ellen.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We never feel the distance they are traveling through the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is an adventure film that doesn’t give us the sense of adventure that it could have, we do get great performances, but the story never draws us in the way it could.

 

Overall: Disappointing adventure.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – X – 47 Meters Down: Uncaged (2019) Movie Review

We need to find a difficult letting of X, so with Corinne Foxx, we are clutching at straws here.

Director: Johannes Roberts

Writer: Ernest Riera, Johannes Roberts (Screenplay)

Starring: Sophie Nelisse, Corinne Foxx, Brianne Tju, Sistine Rose Stallone, John Corbett, Nia Long

Plot: Four teen girls diving in a ruined underwater city quickly learn they’ve entered the territory of the deadliest shark species in the claustrophobic labyrinth of submerged caves.


Tagline – The Next Chapter

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Improvement

Story: 47 Meters Down Uncaged starts as we meet stepsisters Mia (Nelisse) and Sasha (Foxx) who have different status in their school, Mia being the outsider, while Sasha doesn’t want to put her group of friends are risk.

Mia and Sasha are joined by Alexa (Tju) and Nicole (Stallone) as they look to go diving in the underwater city beneath their city, which does seem like an adventure, until they discovery themselves trapped in the city, with a blind great white shark hunting them down.

Thoughts on 47 Meters Down Uncaged

Characters – Mia is the bullied teenager, she has a close relationship with her father and stepmother, while still looking to build one with her stepsister, she agrees to join Sasha on a trip away from the planned one, with her friends, which sees her join the cave diving, needing to use her diving experience to help survive once they become trapped. Sasha is the more popular stepsister, she has her group of friends that doesn’t include Mia, she does encourage Mia to stay away from the bullies though, getting her to join her on the cave dive adventure. Alexa and Nicole are clearly going to be the disposable friends in this, with one Nicole being the most naïve through everything, while Alexa claims to know what to do to survive.

PerformancesWe have a young cast, who spend most of the film underwater, some of it screaming or panicking, which does make it hard to believe the performances, it doesn’t help that certain characters change through the film too.

StoryThe story here follows 4 teenagers that decide to go cave diving in an underwater system only to find themselves trapped down there with a great white shark hunting them down. While we do have improvements on the first film, by having the idea of a secret underground structure, along with the idea that we are going to be dealing with sharks evolving to the underwater world, this is all good, but by the end it is mostly just the panicking, with Mia needing to prove how brave she is, almost giving us the point of the film to impress the most popular girl in school.

HorrorThe horror in the film comes from seeing how the shark is hunting down in the claustrophobic environment, it does show the situation to be difficult.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to keep the action tight, confined and with plenty of peril throughout, making this different to most shark movies.

Special EffectsThe effects are a mixed bag because the environment looks great, but not all the shark moments seem as real as they should be.


Scene of the Movie – The open water.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Characters seem to change with their actions in the film.

Final Thoughts This is an improvement on the first film, that does seem to have a confusing title though, if we are looking for just a tight shark horror film, this is everything you would like to see, even if the characters are not very strong.

Overall: Shark Fun.

S.O.S. Survive or Sacrifice (2019) Movie Review

Director: Roman Doronin

Writer: Roman Doronin, Marcus Jerrome (Screenplay)

Starring: William Baldwin, Jeannine Kaspar, Zach Rose, Diljohn Singh, Loris Curci, Marianna Rosset

Plot: Two sisters living separate lives on different continents are reunited on a Mediterranean Island. The two barely have time to bond and revive family ties as Kate, the elder, meets a group of locals and agrees to an exciting ride on a hot air balloon. But disaster strikes and as the result of a freak accident, the balloon is carried far out to sea. Their cell phones out of range, and the balloon running out of gas, Kate and her friends are battling for their lives. While, back on land, the younger sister, Liz, has become an unwanted “material witness” to a crime. Matters then take a dramatic twist, one that will mark their lives forever.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: S.O.S. Survive or Sacrifice starts when Kate (Kaspar) and her younger sister Liz (Pinch) are travelling for the first time together in their lives, they have comes from different worlds, with this being a chance to try and get to know each other. With Liz asleep, Kate looks to go for a party where she meets local Myrianthy (Rosset) who encourages Kate to continue the party into the morning with a balloon ride.

Only for balloon trip takes a turn for the worse as the balloon floats of to the open ocean, while Liz wakes up alone with a strange man Jack (Baldwin) lurking around hotel room, Kate and Myrianthy must work together to survive, even if the original plan was to lure her away for Jack to commit the robbery.

Thoughts on S.O.S. Survive or Sacrifice

Characters – Kate is taking her estranged sister on holiday, she hasn’t been raised around her, with this being the big moment in their lives, she must take the parental figure out of the relationship, but still has a wild child side, which sees her going out partying, agreeing to go on a balloon ride, when things get out of hand, she proves to be the most resourceful of the people on the balloon in her desperate attempts to return to her sister. Liz is the younger sister that doesn’t want to be on this trip and wakes up to find herself alone with a stranger trying to break into their room, she goes on a mission with a social worker to locate her sister and prove she is a neglected child. Myrianthy is the woman Kate meets on a night out, who offers Kate a chance for a party time, only she is bait to lure people away from their rooms for the robbery for Jack to commit, Jack is the criminal who knows the plan is bust after getting caught, he is always doing something, but doesn’t feel like he needs to be part of the main survival story.

PerformancesWhen it comes to the performances, Jeannine Kaspar and Marianna Rosset are both giving a more physically demanding roles in the film, William Baldwin does have a strange role, which doesn’t always feel connected to the main story.

StoryThe story here follows two estranged sisters that are spending a holiday together, only to become separated when the older Kate gets involved with some locals and becomes standard on a balloon over the open ocean. This is a survival story which will see how people will need to figure out how to survive being trapped in a balloon that is going out to open water, without having anyone who knows how to pilot it. It does fit into the idea of a survival story and will get the praise it deserves for how everything is portrayed through the film. There is a side story about the robberies happening, which never feel as interesting as they want to.

AdventureThe adventure side of this film shows us what will happen if a good time adventure goes terribly wrong.

SettingsThe film uses the balloon stranded as the intense side of the story, while Liz trying to locate Kate does offer a few interesting locations, including the open water.


Scene of the Movie – The wind farm.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Worst Social Worker Ever.

Final Thoughts This is a film that does have an intense idea for survival, showing just how impossible the position might well be, with a series of excellently worked stunts.

The Vision Films action-thriller will release On-Demand and On-Digital on October 27th, 2020.

Wolfwalkers (2020) London Film Festival Movie Review

Director: Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart

Writer: Jericca Cleland, Will Collins (Screenplay) Tomm Moore, Ross Stewart (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Sean Bean, Honor Kneafsey, Eva Whittaker, Simon McBurney

Plot: A young apprentice hunter and her father journey to Ireland to help wipe out the last wolf pack. But everything changes when she befriends a free-spirited girl from a mysterious tribe rumored to transform into wolves by night.


Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Wolfwalkers starts as a hunter Bill and his daughter Robyn have moved from England to an Irish town that is surrounded by wolves, Bill is hired to help eradicate this problem, with Robyn desperate to help him in this work.

After Robyn gets caught outside the wall, she finds herself coming face to face with a pack of wolves, with the leader being a Wolfwalkers Mebh a young girl that transform into a wolf, looking to protect the forest from destruction.

Thoughts on Wolfwalkers

Characters – Bill is Robyn’s father, he has moved her to help a city with a wolf problem outside the walls, his hunters skills are considered the best in the land, only he wants to work alone and the wolves seem to be staying ahead of him, as he never wants to believe any of Robyn’s stories. Robyn is the daughter of Bill’s who along with her bird Merlin hasn’t settled in the new city, she wants to help her father hunt, which sees her meeting a young girl roaming the forest, here she learns more about the world outside of the walls and that nature can live next to the civilization. Mebh is a young girl living in the forest, she has the ability of a Wolfwalker, being about to transform into a wolf while sleeping, she leads the wolves in defending the forest, while waiting for her mother to return, she shows Robyn the way, when she becomes one and will do anything to bring her mother back, while deep down being so alone in the world. Lord Protector runs the city, he expects everyone to follow his orders and will kill any wolf that gets in his way, a truly cold-hearted figure.

StoryThe story here follows a city believing they have a problem with wolves outside of the walls, when a young girl that wants to explore the world finds herself in the middle of the battle between the two sides, one which could be kept in peace, showing that nature is innocent in what it wants in the world. The story here has clear messages about living together with nature, while not blindly destroying it around you, while having the heart of a family trying to rediscover themselves after losing a loved one, add in the need for friendship and it coming from a place you wouldn’t expect, we have a nearly perfect movie her with a story that can be enjoyed by all and is the closest you will find to anything that could ever compare to the heart of a Pixar film and the beauty of a Studio Ghibli Film.

AdventureThe adventure side of the film takes Robyn out of her trapped life in the city, to the open world which could offer her so much more than she ever expected, once she opens her eyes to it, filled with peril along the way.

SettingsThe film uses the two main settings, the dark city, which is filled with the depressing colours, playing perfectly off the pure beauty of the outside nature world.

AnimationThe animation style is absolutely beautiful to see, with the different style used for the human form or the wolf form, each colour plays into the nature theme throughout the film.


Scene of the Movie – Running with the wolves.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is flawless.

Final Thoughts Wolfwalkers is easily going to walk away with the best animated movie this year, the pure beauty of every scene brings animation to a new level, we haven’t seen before, simply stunning.