Journeyman (2017)

Director: Paddy Considine

Writer: Paddy Considine (Screenplay)

Starring: Paddy Considine, Jodie Whittaker, Paul Popplewell, Brendan Ingle, Tony Pitts, Matt Insley, Anthony Welsh

Plot: Boxer Matty Burton suffers a serious head injury during a fight. This is the story about the impact on his marriage, his life, and his family.

Tagline – A snapshot into the life of a struggling boxer

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Sensational and Eye Opening

Story: Journeyman starts as Matty Burton (Considine) has finally won middleweight boxing championship, he now has everything with his wife Emma (Whittaker) and new born baby Mia, he is preparing for his first defence of his title against the undefeated Andre Bryte (Welsh) who believes Matty is just a lucky champion.

After Matty wins the fight he returns home to celebrate with Emma, only to collapse from a head injury that he suffered during the fight, he has suffered a serious brain injury. After the operations, Matty isn’t the man he once was, needing Emma to help him around the house with everyday activities

Thoughts on Journeyman

Characters – Matty Burton is a champion boxer, he has spent his career working up to the title and now he has it, he must prepare to defend it and defend it he does. This fight leaves him with a brain injury, which sees everyday function gone, he can’t remember how to do the basics of everyday life and is left feeling helpless, acting out against his wife who is trying to help him. Emma is Matty’s wife, she has always supported his career and with this new injury, she must adapt to life with his brain injury, she is also trying to raise their daughter, with Matty unable to help the way he once did, leaving her in the difficult situation of who she can give more time and care too. Jackie and Richie are the friends from the ring, they start by staying away, but they turn into the only one that can help Matty rediscover himself.

PerformancesPaddy Considine gives us a career best performance, where you see him as a nice guy that must deal with such a sudden change and the pain it causes him is shown on every expressions, he gives us. Jodie Whittaker is wonderful in the supporting role which sees her needing to remain strong through the film. Paul Popplewell and Tony Pitts complete the main cast where they are all both great supporting performers.

StoryThe story here follows a boxer that wins his title defence only to suffer a serious brain injury that makes everyday of his life difficult as he must relearn how to do the basics and must prove he is safe enough to raise a baby around. This is one of the most eye-opening stories you will see, it does show the danger in boxing and how suddenly a punch could change a career and life forever, even in a competitive situation. We don’t focus too much on the boxing, only the aftereffects which shows the difficult early days, weeks or months on the road to recover and how that person might never be fixed, only able to learn to live with their injuries. This is one for the boxing fans to watch or any sports or even anyone that wants to see how difficult brain injuries can be on a family.

SportsThe sports side of the film shows us how the boxing can effect the lives of the competitors when it comes to brain injuries, we do only see one fight, but it is the routine of boxing which helps recovery process.

SettingsThe film is set in the midlands, it does put us in a realistic boxing community, instead of a flashy rich home like we often see in boxing movies.

Scene of the Movie – The return to the boxing club.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing.

Final Thoughts This is a wonderful look at how boxing can change a life through injury and how people need to learn to adapt to the change in life.

Overall: Paddy Considine gives a career best.


The Mouse and The Bread (2018) Movie Review

Director: Sharisse Zeroonian

Writer: Sharisse Zeroonian (Screenplay)

Starring: Eric Cober, Rachel Gordon, Alexander Hauck, Louise Mara, Michele Mortensen, Emily Pattison, Patil Roupelian, Bob Tourangeau, Miguel Velazquez, Sharisse Zeroonian

Plot: An experimental film that touches upon the changes in dynamics between members of a family when one of them commits a crime.

Runtime: 1 Hour 6 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Promising

Story: The Mouse in the Bread starts as young woman Lili (Zeroonian) is starting to try and figure out her own future, her parents John (Hauck) and Miriam (Mara) always support her, while the family starts to focus on a bigger problem, one they want to keep quiet from Lili.

Lili does see the dynamic between her parents slowly start to fall apart, while she still needs both of them in life, she is left in the dark to the problems they are facing.

Thoughts on The Mouse in the Bread

Final ThoughtsWe need to start by pointing out that this is a micro budget project from filmmaker Sharisse Zeroonian, who writes, directs and stars in this film. We do see the family dynamic that is always changing away from the children, whatever the age, as they both want to protect their children and have their own happiness, which see the strain coming. We have a cast which isn’t the most experienced that don’t do anything wrong and we are left to see just how much potential everyone in this film has, both behind and on front of the camera. Most of the film is kept in one central location within the house that helps show us just how close the family is despite the troubles they are facing.

Overall: Nice Family Drama

The Aftermath (2019) Movie Review

Director: James Kent

Writer: Joe Shrapnel, Anna Waterhouse, Rhidian Brook (Screenplay) Rhidian Brook (Novel)

Starring: Keira Knightley, Jason Clarke, Alexander Skarsgard, Flora Thiemann

Plot: Post World War II, a British colonel and his wife are assigned to live in Hamburg during the post-war reconstruction, but tensions arise with the German who previously owned the house.

Tagline – In The Aftermath Of War, The Last Thing She Expected To Find Was Love.

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Entertaining Romance

Story: The Aftermath starts five months after World War II, Rachael Morgan (Knightley) is joining her husband Lewis (Clarke) in Hamburg in the post-war reconstruction, taking the house of architect Stephen Lubert (Skarsgard). After struggling to adjust, Lewis suggests letting Stephen and his daughter Freda (Thiemann) remain in the house on the top floor.

Lewis knows the troubles between the two sides will still be there, but is understanding and wants to bring the people together, while Rachael isn’t sure who to trust with reputation of the past, which only leads to her question Stephen more about his past, while the two slowly start an affair that could risk everything for the two.

Thoughts on The Aftermath

Characters – Rachael Morgan is joining her husband in Hamburg, she has suffered the loss of their son during the war and isn’t the most convinced about moving to Germany post-war, she doesn’t like living with Germans, only to learn they have suffered the same as she has because of the war. She does start an affair with the owner of the house, one that will see her want to leave the pain of her marriage. Lewis is the soldier assigned to help out in Hamburg, meaning his family would join him, he does have more patience than many of the British soldiers, knowing that the war being over is more important than who killed who in the conflict. He does come off like a genuine person that wants things to change for the good. Stephen Lubert is the man whose house the couple must live in, a once famous architect who lost his wife in the war, he is thankful for being let remain in the house and must convince the British he had nothing to do with the Nazi party, while falling in love with Rachael. Freda is the daughter of Stephen who has grown a resentment towards the British, she is easily led by the younger fighters who still believe the war to be on, getting caught in a position she should never have been put through.

PerformancesKeira Knightley in the leading role is great to watch showing us just how great she is in these roles, she is surrounded by two strong supporting roles from Jason Clarke and Alexander Skarsgard too.

StoryThe story follows a wife that must move to Hamburg to be with her husband as he starts to try and lead the rebuilding of Germany after the war, only to fall in love with a local whose house they are living in. The most important factor to shown in this story is the loss the four main characters have suffered because of the war, the British couple lost a child, while the Germany’s lost a mother and wife, they never got a true chance to grieve because of the conflict, which has caused even more tension between the two sides. When it comes to the affair, it does show that people who have been through the worst can be there for each other. Outside of this, we do get to see how people were truly affected by the war and would do extreme things to get their own revenge for the loss in war too. Only we don’t focus enough on this side of the story, instead it is all about the romance, which is everything you would have seen before.

RomanceThe romance in the film does take centre stage, sadly, because this isn’t anything we haven’t seen before and we did have a lot more interesting side arcs we could have invested in.

SettingsThe film is set in Hamburg and does show the devastation of the war, with the destroyed buildings showing us just how helpless the innocent would be even after the war.

Scene of the Movie – The Ice River.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The romance isn’t as interesting as the story that revolves around Freda.

Final Thoughts This is a nice simple post-war romance movie, it has great performances, even if it does focus on the weaker aspect of the story instead of a more interesting one.

Overall: Nice Post-War Drama.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – W – All is True (2018) Movie Review

This is under W because we are looking at William Shakespeare

Director: Kenneth Branagh

Writer: Ben Elton (Screenplay)

Starring: Kenneth Branagh, Judi Dench, Ian McKellen, Nonso Anozie, Lolita Chakrabarti, Darryl Clark, Kathryn Wilder, Lydia Wilson

Plot: A look at the final days in the life of renowned playwright William Shakespeare

Tagline – In 1613 William Shakespeare Retired. He Still Had One Last Story To Tell – His Own.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Not as Entertaining as it Should be

Story: All is True starts after William Shakespeare (Branagh) has retired from writing plays to spend time with his wife Anne (Dench) and his adult daughters the married Susanna (Wilson) and the spinster Judith (Wilder), while dealing with his own grief of his son’s early death decades earlier.

As William is dealing with his own problems, he must address the problems his daughters might be going through and after a visit from an old friend the Earl of Southampton (McKellen), he starts to realize his own life mistakes.

Thoughts on All is True

Characters – William Shakespeare has retired from the playwriting industry, he moves back home to deal with his own personal problems, the long-time repressed grief of losing his son and the reality his daughters are not living the lives he had wished for them. Anne is the wife of William, she has accepted his life away on the big stage, raising their children, preparing for his return, she is happy to have him around and will always stick up for their daughters. Earl the Southampton is an old friend of William’s whose reputation could slander the name of William’s however much he disrespects the people around him. Judith is the oldest daughter who has never got close to marrying, she doesn’t want to and has lived with the reality that she might not be as loved as her deceased twin brother.

PerformancesKenneth Branagh in the leading role does everything right without hitting the levels we know he could see from him, while Judi Dench is flawless without needing to do much. Ian McKellen likewise is wonderful in his small role, it is Kathryn Wilder and Lydia Wilson that do the most to make names for themselves in this film as the daughters.

StoryThe story here follows the retirement era of William Shakespeare as he tries to put his personal life back together, deal with the problems that he has seen them face to make sure his daughters have the life they deserve, using his words to make any situation seem more important than the last. This is meant to show how William Shakespeare gave up most of his personal life to stay in the limelight of the theatre and that he never knew the truth about what happened to his son’s young death. We do see plenty of the references to how men only saw women as property to pass between them instead of looking for happiness, which William did want to see changed only for not much to have changed in his lifetime. In the end this isn’t the most interesting look at somebody who was a major part of history and you will end up not being as engrossed as this story as most of his work.

BiopicShowing the later years of the great writers life is something new, it is interesting to see just how much could have changed if he wasn’t the famous writer like we know him as.

SettingsThe film is set in William’s hometown of Strafford Upon Avon, where it shows us that behind his success, he wasn’t afraid to stay within a small town.

Scene of the Movie – The truth about Hamlet.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It just seems slower than it should be.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting, only not engrossing story about the greatest play write of all time, we focus on his life away from the stage, which is the least interesting side of his successful life.

Overall: The Wrong Focus.

Greta (2018) Movie Review

Director: Neil Jordan

Writer: Ray Wright, Neil Jordan (Screenplay)

Starring: Isabelle Huppert, Chloe Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe, Jane Perry, Colm Feore, Zawa Ashton, Thaddeus Daniels, Stephen Rea

Plot: A young woman befriends a lonely widow who’s harboring a dark and deadly agenda toward her.

Tagline – She’s been waiting for you.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Never Lights Up

Story: Greta starts when a kind New York resident Frances McCullen (Moretz) who finds a handbag on the subway home, and being a nice person she returns it to a nice lonely French woman Greta (Huppert), who does start to offer her friendship, filling the void left after her own mother’s death.

As the two do become friends, Frances learns the terrible truth about Greta, that she has become over obsessive and will not leave her alone, leading to stalker behaviour which doesn’t get close to home for Frances.

Thoughts on Greta

Characters – Frances is a kind young woman living in New York city, trying to get started in life, she does a good deed, which sees her make a new friend in Greta, only to find herself being stalked by her, wanting to be a replacement mother in her life, she does everything she can to avoid the contact, seeing her life put on hold because of her new stalker. It is also clear that she is struggling with the loss of her mother, which has damaged her relationship with her father. Greta is the widowed lonely French woman who has been leaving her bag on public transport to get unsuspecting victims to come into her life, she does have problems, which haven’t been treated, which leads her to make the aggressive behaviour. Erica is the roommate and best friend of Frances, she does think she need to move away from Greta and will do anything to help her friend. Chris is the father of Frances who has started to move on with his life after the death of his wife.

PerformancesIsabelle Huppert in the leading role does have a menacing presence about her, only she doesn’t get to let everything out, the way it feels like the character is ready to. Chloe Grace Moretz is strong as a young woman just trying to hold her life together, while Maika Monroe gets the most laughs at times in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a young lady that helps return a bag, only to see her life turned upside down by the owner who has been searching for her latest victim. This story does focus on a good deed leading to something terrible happening, highlighting how the law will favour a stalker over the victim and how people can just vanish in New York City overnight. Sadly, the pace of the film does leave little to the imagination as we seem to just jump between levels of threat, showing only friendly to never leaving the side, to the final act. This just seems to put moments together, leaving plenty of plot holes in how everything unfolds.

MysteryThe mystery side of this film comes from how far and why Greta is acting her way, it does get slowly revealed, only it just doesn’t get into a deeper idea.

SettingsThe film is set in New York which does show us how somebody could go missing in such an open city, with little people noticing anything that is going on.

Scene of the Movie – The next victim.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Following Erica is shot so badly.

Final Thoughts This is a simple mystery thriller which brings the stalker idea to the big city over the remote locations we know, only falling short in how everything unfolds.

Overall: Simple Mystery.