I Kill Giants (2018)

Director: Anders Walter

Writer: Joe Kelly (Screenplay) Joe Kelly, J.M. Ken Niimura (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Madison Wolfe, Zoe Saldana, Imogen Poots, Sydney Wade, Rory Jackson

 

Plot: Barbara Thorson struggles through life by escaping into a fantasy life of magic and monsters.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Emotional Fascinating

 

Story: I Kill Giants starts as we see Barbara (Wolfe) doing experiments to see which giants will get attracted to which scents, she lives with her sister Karen (Poots) and brother Dave (Parkinson) and she doesn’t have any friends. Barbara spends her days preparing for battle with giants, who she believes walks around the world, with a new friend Sophia (Wade) she reveals her secrets.

As the new school psychologist Mrs Molle (Saldana) tries to figure out Barbara, Barbara starts becoming more distant from the real world in her fight against the giants with Sophia supporting her, just how much is an escape from reality?

 

Thoughts on I Kill Giants

 

Characters – Barbara is the school girl that lives in a fantasy world where she prepares to fight giants, she is a loner at school, distant from her siblings, she doesn’t let people in her life no matter how hard some try, it is clear she is dealing with some sort of personal grief or trauma, but what has caused it, is what we want to know about her character. Mrs Molle is the new school psychologist that wants to help Barbara, she knows there is a bigger problem and will dedicate more tie to learn the truth about her problems. Karen is the older sister of Barbara, she is trying hold the family together looking after her siblings, she is suffering as well, but must stay strong. Sophia is the new girl in town, she wants to befriend Barbara and shows the patience a true friend would when they are suffering.

PerformancesMadison Wolfe is fantastic in this leading role, we see just how she shows how hiding the grief can make you seem enthusiastic and determined when deep down all you want to do is cry. Zoe Saldana is great in this role where we see her being a calming influence instead of the action heavier role she has been known for. Imogen Poots and Sydney Wade are both good in the supporting roles in this film too.

StoryThe story follows a school girl that is battling giants being very distant from the world. this story goes in a direction I personally wasn’t expecting and this only make this better on every level. We can learn and work early on that something isn’t right with Barbara’s life, we get hints and you can see she is dealing with something a child that age shouldn’t have to experience. By the end of this story you may find yourself emotional exhausted and believing me when I say, this will be one that will stick with you for long after it finishes.

FantasyThe fantasy side of the film shows us just how the world Barbara is creating works, with giants, traps and preparation for battle against them.

SettingsThe film keeps us in a small coastal town in America, it shows how people can know each other, but not know the truth about what is going on in life.

Special EffectsThe effects are save for anytime Barbara is battle the giants, we don’t get to see them completely as this does only let her see them.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It seems strange the school didn’t know the truth.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the biggest and best surprises I have seen this year, I feel it is a must watch and one you will need to prepare yourself for.

 

Overall: Must watch emotional rollercoaster.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – F – Fire in the Sky (1993)

Director: Robert Lieberman

Writer: Tracy Torme (Screenplay) Travis Walton (Book)

Starring: D.B. Sweeney, Robert Patrick, Craig Sheffer, Peter Berg, Henry Thomas, Bradley Gregg, James Garner

 

Plot: An Arizona logger mysteriously disappears for five days in an alleged encounter with a flying saucer in 1975.


Tagline – For five days, a man was borrowed. The story that Travis Walton and five other witnesses told is so unbelievable, so unimaginable, that it has become the most famous case of UFO abduction ever recorded.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: That One Scene Shines

 

Story: Fire in the Sky starts as five loggers Mike (Patrick), Allan (Sheffer), David (Berg), Greg (Thomas) and Bobby (Gregg) return to town in a panic with a story to tell the authorities, which brings in Sheriff Frank Watters (Garner). The story the guys tell is the they investigated a mysterious light in the woods which took Travis (Sweeney).

With the search going on for Travis, Mike and the crew find themselves prime suspects in a cover up, until Travis returns with his own account of the story.

 

Thoughts on Fire in the Sky

 

Characters – Travis Walton was a logger that went missing for five days, he doesn’t remember at first what happened, but the truth ill haunt him for the rest of his life as he remembers being taken by aliens. Mike Rogers is the best friend of Travis’ that doesn’t know how to handle his disappearance and his reappearance, but knows that nothing was done by the men in his crew. Frank Watters is the sheriff trying to prove this is a hoax or a cover up depending which side of the events are. The characters are based on the real people which does help make this feel like a good real story to follow.

PerformancesThe performances across the board are good, with D.B. Sweeney showing the pure terror needed during the abduction scene. Robert Patrick works well in his role where he could easily be the lead of the film. James Garner brings an extra bit of class to the performances too.

StoryThe story follows one of the most famous and detailed encounters from alien abduction in history. The story first treats the events like a murder cover up which is wonderful to watch on the screen because we don’t need to watch a full abduction routine which we do see later in the film. the story balances the ideas of what could be truth and what people would want the truth to be too.

Fantasy/Mystery/Sci-Fi The fantasy part of this film comes from what you want to believe about the events, because there is no proof it is real, this adds the mystery too which does also circle around the truth too. The sci-fi side of the film comes from the moment in space which shows what the aliens did to Travis.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the small town location where the events happened which does keep us understand how the town would react to the situation.

Special EffectsThe effects are spared for the final moments of the film where we see what happened to Travis, they all look great too.


Scene of the Movie –
Memories nightmare

That Moment That Annoyed Me I was expecting more from the alien abduction side of things.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good sci-fi film, it does balance the event between what could have happened, what is believed to have happened and leaves you to make up your own mind, with a sequence in the ship which will be haunting.

 

Overall: A sci-fi film that hasn’t dated like others

Rating

 

 

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)

Director: Fran Rubel Kuzui

Writer: Joss Whedon (Screenplay)

Starring: Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland, Paul Reubens, Rutger Hauer, Luke Perry, Michele Abrams, Hilary Swank

 

Plot: A flighty teenage girl learns that she is her generation’s destined battler of vampires.


Tagline – Sometimes it takes more than just good looks to kill.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun, But Not as Good as the TV Show

 

Story: Buffy the Vampire Slayer starts as we meet high school cheerleader Buffy (Swanson), one of the popular girls in school preparing for the latest dance. Buffy’s life is going to take a turn when the mysterious Merrick (Sutherland) enters her life, with the tales of vampires and her being the chosen one to fight them and protect her town.

Buffy now goes through the training process, so she can defeat her first deadlier enemy, Lothos (Hauer) a vampire that is haunting her dreams with the history of the previous slayers and make it to the dance on time.

 

Thoughts on Buffy the Vampire Slayer

 

Characters – Buffy is the high school cheerleader who is more worried the latest school dance to notice her own destiny. She learns she is the slayer that is meant to fight vampires and her town is now in danger. Merrick is the watcher, the man that must teach Buffy how to defeat the vampires and becoming the slayer warrior she is destiny to be. Lothos is the big bad vampire that is waiting to take control of the town that Buffy is part of, we see how he has been planning this attack for a while with his vampires in the shadows.

PerformancesKristy Swanson is good in this leading role, we might not the role of Buffy as Sarah Michelle Gellar, but Kristy was here first and built the unlikely hero very well. Sutherland is good pick for the watcher because it is the answers for wise old man. Going into the supporting cast, none of these performers make an impact on the way they could which only disappoints when we know how these characters are going to be known in the TV series.

StoryThe story is difficult to talk about, because I grew up watching the show and for me, I was used to a different Buffy, an outsider, seeing the popular girl become the slayer just seems strange, but for a teenage action fantasy comedy works as we see one girl find her place in the world. This is an enjoyable watch and plays out just how you would imagine without being as interesting as it should be, because we want the world to be so much bigger.

Action/Fantasy/HorrorWe have action sequences which see Buffy face increasing numbers or difficulties in her battles, in a world that is filled with vampires which plays for the fantasy and the horror side of the film.

SettingsThe film takes place in the small town with a high school, this works for the movie because it shows us what Buffy will need to protect.

Special EffectsThe effects were good for the time of release, while moments have dated, we don’t get the need for the effects for the most part.


Scene of the Movie –
The Dance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Its not the Buffy I am used to seeing.

Final ThoughtsThis does feel like the 90’s movie it is, it gave us the film that went onto become a wonderful TV series, which is something that people will forever be grateful for.

 

Overall: Simple action fantasy.

Rating

 

 

The Endless (2018)

Director: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead

Writer: Justin Benson (Screenplay)

Starring: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead, Callie Hernandez, Emily Montague, Lew Temple, James Jordan, Tate Ellington

 

Plot: Two brothers return to the cult they fled from years ago to discover that the group’s beliefs may be more sane than they once thought.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Will Keep You Guessing

 

Story: The Endless starts when two brothers Justin (Benson) and Aaron (Moorhead) receive a video tape from the former cult the pair left years ago, Aaron interested in return to see if the group got their ascension and reluctantly Justin agrees to go along, first for a day, but soon it becomes longer as the two start experience strange events.

With the brother’s relationship being tested Justin finds himself being pushed our while Aaron wants to stay but are they really a cult or just a community living off the map, that is the big question.  

 

Thoughts on The Endless

 

Characters – Justin is the older brother, he has always kept an eye over his younger brother and was the one that helped him escape the cult, he wants an honest living but reluctantly agrees to return with his brother. He doesn’t believe the peace and harmony in the cult and he is the one that watches over anything that could happen. Aaron is the younger brother who receives the tape about returning, he wants to learn more about his past in the cult, which he believes is a death cult. He is drawn back by Anna a woman that seems to not aged since they were last together. Anna is one of the cult members, the one leading the video messages, she helps draw the brothers back and clearly knows more than she is letting on. The rest of the members are different in their own ways as are the other people they meet along the way.

PerformancesJustin Benson and Aaron Moorhead take the leading roles as well as the work behind the camera, they have great chemistry together and you will believe their uncertainty from their characters. the rest of the cast make their characters known through the film without taking the spotlight away from the leads.

StoryWhere do you start with this story without giving anything away? Well let’s try this, we follow two brothers with a stretch relationship that return to a cult which escaping from has helped define their lives, they are drawn back in where they must learn whether they were right to leave, but once they discover the truth things take a drastic turn, one that you will never seen coming. This is a fantasy horror that will keep you guessing and you will not figure this one out like many others in the genre. The only negative in the story is returning to one of their previous films that I for one hadn’t seen, so didn’t understand the references or reasoning of including it.

Fantasy/Horror/Sci-FiThe fantasy elements of this film are held back for the most part, but once we see them we learn the big picture which can leave you jaw dropped. The horror in the film has moments of tension and unease as we wait to see where everything will go, which dives us into the sci-fi element which again come later into the film and are used excellently.

SettingsThe film is set in and around the community, we see how they live, operate and accept people, even people who left, they are away from society which keeps them secret and the surrounding area is filled with mystery too.

Special EffectsTh effects in this film show what you can achieve with small budgets, we see how well each moment in the final third of the film becomes bigger and bigger leading to the shocking ending through the use of the effects.


Scene of the Movie –
The final ten minutes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The references to Resolution, wasn’t sure if it was an extension of that story or just in the same universe.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the horror, sci-fi films of the year, it will keep you guessing, has beautiful pacing that builds to the ending that will leave you shocked, great low budget work achieved from the directing pair and one you should all be watching.

 

Overall: Must watch fantasy horror.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Mulan (1998)

Director: Tony Bancroft, Barry Cook

Writer: Rite Hsiao, Chris Sanders, Philip LaZbnik, Raymond Singer, Eugenia Bostwick-Singer (Screenplay) Robert D San Souci (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Ming-Na Wen, Eddie Murphy, Pat Morita, Miguel Ferrer, BD Wong

 

Plot: To save her father from death in the army, a young maiden secretly goes in his place and becomes one of China’s greatest heroines in the process.


Tagline – This time, the princess saves the prince.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun, But Dark Adventure Film

 

Story: Mulan starts in ancient China with Shan-Yu and the invading Hun attack. Mulan is a young woman that hasn’t been following the traditions on the family, she isn’t ready to just be a bride, when her father is summoned to serve in the impending war, she wants to help, running away to fight in her father’s place. Spirit dragon Mushu is sent to be her guardian on this adventure, to return her safely, but Mulan has other plans.

Mulan sets out to join the army in her father’s place under the leadership on Captain Shang, in a hope to rebuild her family honour that she has disrespected.

 

Thoughts on Mulan

 

Characters – Mulan is a young woman, she has been raised to follow tradition, something she wants to break and taking her father’s place in the army shows the independence she wants to achieve. This is a strong anti-princess role which is something Disney broke the mould with. Mushu is the guardian dragon that needs to rescue and watch over Mulan, though he mostly just causes trouble for her. This character is here for all the laughs in the movie. Shan-Yu is the leader of the Hun that are attacking China, his armies are ruthless when it comes to battle, with him being a great and powerful warrior.

StoryThe story follows one young woman that wants to make a difference in a world where only men can become the leaders of the armies, she breaks tradition to make a difference and become great. This brings us the idea of breaking away from the tradition just because the people tell you follow that path. For Disney this movie broke their own traditions of have a princess in distress needing rescuing and now feels like the trailblazer it wanted to be.

Adventure/FamilyThe adventure side of the film does give us real peril because it takes Mulan into a war battle which has taken lives of many, this could be slightly too dark for the whole family to enjoy too.

SettingsThe film brings us to Ancient China which brings us a new animated setting for an American movie, we have the mountain range which looks beautiful and the towers that show the empires built.

AnimationThe animation is the usual top notch from Disney never looking out of place for their level of excellency


Scene of the Movie –
Mountain range attack.

That Moment That Annoyed Me For me Mushu got annoying after a while.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful animated movie that does show us the courage one woman showed to save her country against tradition.

 

Overall: Disney’s last good movie of the late 90s.

Rating