Minor Premise (2020) Movie Review

Director: Eric Schultz

Writer: Eric Schultz, Justin Moretto, Thomas Torrey (Screenplay)

Starring: Sathya Sridharan, Paton Ashbrook, Dana Ashbrook, Purva Bedi, Alex Breaux

Plot: Attempting to surpass his father’s legacy, a reclusive neuroscientist becomes entangled in his own experiment, pitting ten fragments of his consciousness against each other.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Minor Premise starts as Ethan (Sridharan) has started to continue his father’s research into neurological behaviour, one which is looking to imprint memories for everyone to relive, with the person getting a chance to experience the memories again.

As the experiment continues, Ethan find himself questions his every movement in life, with Alli (Paton Ashbrook) being the one who is watching over the changes in his life, as he looks to get to the bottom of the truth on whether everything works or has he just made it all up.

Thoughts on Minor Premise

Characters – Ethan is the scientist that is trying to follow in his father’s footsteps with his work trying to build on what was once proposed, he does start to see results, but they come at a cost for him as he starts to get caught up in what is real and what is reality. Alli is the partner who is helping Ethan maintain control on reality, being the only one who truly knows what is going on with the experiment, rather than knowing how Ethan is feeling through the process.

PerformancesSathya Sridharan in the leading role does a great job, showing how he is always feeling uneasy with what is happening, never confident in who he really is. Paton Ashbrook brings the grounded character to life, as the two work well showing the different mindsets they are going through during the film.

StoryThe story here follows a scientist looking to experiment on himself, which will see him needing to go through a process that will test his own version of sanity, needing to be grounded to learn the truth. This is a clever idea for a story, which will leave us wondering what will happen next, with the way that Ethan is experiencing different moments during the procedure. This is a story that isn’t going to go down the simple path, instead getting into the deeper concepts behind everything that is happening within the process, though the pace could be seen as slow if you are looking for an all action assault on the area.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi side of the film comes to us through the mindset of what is going on with Ethan and how he needs to unlock the truth in a science we are not aware of.

SettingsMost of the film is set in the singular locations, the lab where the experiment is happening, it keeps everything contained for the best results.

Final Thoughts Minor Premise is a thinking sci-fi film that will keep us guessing to the truth behind the reality of what is going on.

Maudie (2016) Movie Review

Director: Aisling Walsh

Writer: Sherry White (Screenplay)

Starring: Sally Hawkins, Ethan Hawke, Kari Matchett, Gabrielle Rose, Zachary Bennett

Plot: An arthritic Nova Scotia woman works as a housekeeper while she hones her skills as an artist and eventually becomes a beloved figure in the community.

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Wonderfully Acted

Story: Maudie starts when a shy woman Maud (Hawkins) who finds her house sold and she is left feeling worthless, until she finds employment under outsider Everett (Hawke), who is demanding when it comes to his standards, until wealthy woman Sandra (Matchett) learns of her artistic talents.

Maud ends up involved in a relationship with Everett, as the two find happiness together, while Maud’s new artwork starts to attract attention from people around, with her positive use of colours through her designs.

Thoughts on Maudie

Characters – Maud has had a lonely life, one where she is left on her own through most days, where she paints to keep herself happy, she decides to become a housekeeper, which will see her movie in with outsider Everett, here she finds an unusual love, that her talent is loved by people and that she is important in life, no matter how many times she has been hurt through it. Everett is the outside in the town, he has chance most of his housekeepers away with his demands and behaviour, not wanting to be involved with many people’s lives, he holds everything inside, even though he has so much more going on than he is will to let people know. Sandra is the wealthy woman that first sees Maud’s work and wants to show the world, she offers her a friendship, unlike anything she has received before.

PerformancesWe do have two of the best actors of a generation here, with Sally Hawkins taking the leading role shining once again, Ethan Hawke working wonders in the supporting role too, where they help increase the talents of each other through the film.

StoryThe story here follows the life of Maud, from the time she meets Everett and started making art which mad her famous with the community, as she see the struggles the couple had being outsiders in their own right. This does look at the struggles that Maud when through in her life, though however talented she was, her life didn’t seem to be eventful enough to get a feature length story out off. This is because she did keep herself to herself along with her husband, not getting herself into any trouble, just letting herself live a quiet life.

Biopic/RomanceThe biopic side of this film does show us just how quiet Maud kept her life with a love life that was never flashy about their love.

SettingsThe film does show us just how away from the world the couple live, they are happy together and never look for more.

Scene of the Movie – The interview.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – However talented Maud was, her life doesn’t seem like enough for a feature film.

Final Thoughts This does show the quiet life the couple looked to live and how they found love with what kept them happy.

Overall: Biopic 101.

Safe Spaces (2019) Movie Review

Director: Daniel Schechter

Writer: Daniel Schechter (Screenplay)

Starring: Justin Long, Kate Berlant, Lynn Cohen, Michael Godere, Fran Drescher, Richard Schiff

Plot: An NYC professor spends a week re-connecting with his family while defending his reputation over controversial behavior at his college.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Safe Spaces starts as we meet the New York City creative writer professor Josh Cohn (Long) sees what looks like a positive class turn against him with the creative writing pushed one of the students the wrong way, outside of his work Josh is seeing his grandmother Agatha (Cohen) dying in a hospital, with his sister Jackie (Berlant) and brother David (Godere) visiting her daily.

Josh finds himself needing to face the reality of losing his closest family member and potentially losing his job that he has worked so hard for in an evolving world or political correctness.

Thoughts on Safe Spaces

Characters – Josh is a man in his mid-30s that has just got his dream entry level teaching job in creative writing, which looks like it is going well, until one lesson sees him offend a student causing him to try and understand what happened. His personal life isn’t going well either, with his sister needing his help, his older brother looking down on him, piling on the pressure to find something more on his life. Jackie is the sister that has turned to Josh for help after a break up with her boyfriend, she always turns to Josh for help, while still having her own problems with their father. Agatha is the grandmother that has been dying slowly in the hospital, she is still filled with plenty of positive attitude, but she knows deep down she doesn’t have much time left. David is the older brother, he has settled down starting his own family and usually takes on the more serious details of dealing with their grandmother. We do meet other family members that Josh needs to fix his relationships with or being the connection for other members that are feeling out of place. The students are the hardest part to get behind, because they are so opinionated nothing anyone does seems to be right anymore for the professor.

PerformancesJustin Long is great in the leading role, showing his nice guy persona, which will have a defensive side that will show how he doesn’t always understand how he could be wrong. Kate Berlant is strong in the supporting role, along with the whole cast that is easy to watch through the film.

StoryThe story here shows how a creative writer professor sees his career start to spiral out of control when is involved in a comment in class, while outside the college, he is having his own personal life problems, with his grandmother dying in hospital and the family not being as connected as he would hope. This is story that does show us how somebody might not know everything about someone else’s personal life, which will cause them problems that might offend, with it being reflected on how Josh is having his own problems. We do go to the extremes of what might be seen as the problems, which apart from the first person who is against the comment, the students seem like they are to opinionated about the world they know nothing about.

ComedyThe comedy in the film focuses on the life of Josh, which will have you laughing more at how extra the conversations end up being.

SettingsThe film is set in New York which shows us just how many different stories you might not know about people.

Scene of the Movie – The family together in the hospital.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Some of the students are unbearable.

Final Thoughts Safe Spaces shows how people will never know the problems in people’s lives, with Justin Long shining through the film.

Safe Spaces will be available on Digital Download from 7th December

Lucky (2017) Movie Review

Director: John Carroll Lynch

Writer: Logan Sparks, Drago Sumonja (Screenplay)

Starring: Harry Dean Stanton, David Lynch, Ron Livingston, Ed Begley Jr, Tom Skerritt, Barry Shabaka Henley

Plot: The spiritual journey of a ninety-year-old atheist.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Beautiful Tale

Story: Lucky starts as we meet Lucky (Stanton) who is an elderly man in a small town that knows everybody, has respect everyone in town and has remarkable strong health for a man his age. Lucky has started to see his friends Howard (Lynch) preparing for his future, while Dr Kneedler (Begley Jr) doesn’t know how he has remained healthy.

When Howard starts prepare for his future with his lawyer Bobby Lawrence (Livingston), Lucky starts to look through his own life, even starting to plan for his own next chapter, once he is gone.

Thoughts on Lucky

Characters – Lucky is an elderly man lonely man that has been going through a similar routine for years now, he knows everybody in his small town and when alone he spends time watching quiz shows, he hasn’t really planned for the next stage of his life, which he starts to see his friends do, he must decide to plan for his future before it is too late. Howard is Lucky’s best friends, he owes a tortoise that is named after presidents and is the one that is planning for more in his life once he is gone. Bobby Lawrence is the lawyer that has been helping the locals figure out their futures, he always tries to explain just how important it will be

PerformancesHarry Dean Stanton in the leading role is fantastic, he gives a performance that is filled with pain and sympathy, making him the true start of the show. We do have a nice supporting cast which includes big names from the acting world that are all good through the film.

StoryThe story here follows the days of an elderly man that live sin a small town that finally gets to realize that his own mortality isn’t going to be around much longer. This is a sweet little story that shows that elderly people could well be in denial about how much longer they will be around, it shows how the town will always be close to each other willing to help, banter and just check up on each other. This doesn’t have much more to the story, it is simple and friendly which is all we needed to see.

ComedyThe comedy in the film comes from the everyday life that the people are going through, laughing at certain little things happening in life.

SettingsThe film keeps us in a small little town, which just shows how close the people in the town are.

Scene of the Movie – The fiesta.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not much happens in the story.

Final Thoughts This is a nice little story that shows us real life, rather than giving us anything too deep with how an older man feels.

Overall: Nice and Sweet.

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – V – My Cousin Vinny (1992)

Director: Jonathan Lynn

Writer: Dale Launer (Screenplay)

Starring: Joe Pesci, Ralph Macchio, Marisa Tomei, Mitchell Whitfield, Fred Gwynne, Lane Smith, Austin Pendleton

Plot: Two New Yorkers are accused of murder in rural Alabama while on their way back to college, and one of their cousins–an inexperienced, loudmouth lawyer not accustomed to Southern rules and manners–comes in to defend them.

Tagline – Truth, Justice And The Gambini Way.

Runtime: 2 Hours

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Great Fun Comedy

Story: My Cousin Vinny starts when two college students Bill Gambini (Macchio) and Stan Rothenstein (Whitfield) are accused of murdering a local store clerk in Alabama, the two need to find a lawyer fast with the only family member they know in law Vinny Gambini (Pesci) a new lawyer in his first case ever.

As Vinny steps into court it becomes clear he doesn’t understand what is going on in a courtroom, getting on the bad side of the judge (Gwynne), he needs to learn quickly and to add more pressure onto him, his fiancée Mona Lisa (Tomei) wants to get married and she seems to be the best one when it comes to knowing the law.

Thoughts on My Cousin Vinny

Characters – Vinny Gambini is fresh out of law school called upon to help a family member on a murder trial, he isn’t used to being in a courtroom which is easy to see from the first visit, he gets on the judges bad side and his law experience isn’t like what the rest of the court is prepared for. He takes every hit coming his way, waiting for his chance to shine even after he just can’t get any sleep. Bill Gambini is one of the two students that gets accused of murder, he believes he has just being pulled over for forgetting to pay for some tuna and only finds himself needing his cousin to come and help him. Mona Lisa is Vinny’s fiancée, she is willing to support Vinny through the case believing he can win, while waiting for him to finally set a date for their wedding. Stan is the fellow suspect that isn’t so sure whether to trust Vinny or not.

PerformancesJoe Pesci is wonderful in this leading role, bringing his quick-talking style and show his ability to bring comedy to his character. Marisa Tomei makes her supporting performance wonderful making an impact when she gets her chance to shine. Ralph Macchio and Mitchell Whitfield are both strong enough in the supporting role without having to do much.

StoryThe story here follows a new fast-talking lawyer that must defend his cousin on a murder charge that he clearly didn’t do only to need to think fast when the case looks completely closed against them. This is a story that shows that family will come to help somebody in need and shows how certain laws could go quickly to answers instead of investigating the case. We see how law can be twisted to push people either way and end up just being a fun courtroom story to watch. Most of these types of movies we know the suspects are innocent and we just need to see how they can be saved which this one does keep us guessing to what happens.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy in this film comes solely from Joe Pesci for his troubles sleeping and his reaction to everything going on in this town. The crime side of the film shows just what the student have been accused of doing.

SettingsThe film is set in a small Alabama town who like to finish the case quickly without needing to look at potential options. It is clearly somewhere which Vinny would never live in.

Scene of the Movie – The courtroom car talk.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is slightly too focused on Vinny, with the opposite lawyer not being the evil that he could be.

Final Thoughts This is a fun courtroom comedy that focuses on the idea this lawyer isn’t ready for this size case and needs to prove himself.

Overall: Entertaining throughout.