Inheritance (2020) Movie Review

Director: Vaughn Stein

Writer: Matthew Kennedy (Screenplay)

Starring: Lily Collins, Simon Pegg, Connie Nielsen, Chance Crawford, Patrick Warburton, Marque Richardson

Plot: A patriarch of a wealthy and powerful family suddenly passes away, leaving his daughter with a shocking secret inheritance that threatens to unravel and destroy the family.


Tagline – Some Secrets Should Stay Buried.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Steady Thriller

Story: Inheritance starts with the tragic news of Archer Monroe’s (Warburton) death, seeing his children district attorney Lauren (Collins) and favourite child William (Crawford) being left large sums of money, with Lauren receive an extra gift Morgan Warner (Pegg) locked away on the grounds.

Lauren decides to investigate the truth about Morgan, learning the deeper darker secrets of her father, the ones that could destroy the family and her father’s legacy.

Thoughts on Inheritance

Characters – Lauren Monroe is the district attorney, she took this role against her father’s wishes, she is married with her own family given her share of an inheritance, $1million and a key to a room, a room that will turn her life upside down, she must deal with the reality of her father’s secret life and the decision on whether to let the stranger locked up free. Morgan Warner is the man that is locked up, held captive for years by Archer, left to Lauren, he has secrets that will shatter everything about Lauren’s life and her ideas of her father, he wants his freedom and needs to convince Lauren that he has never done anything wrong. Catherine is the wife of Archer, unaware of what he has been up to in life, while William is Lauren’s brother who did get a larger portion of the inheritance.

PerformancesLily Collins in the leading role is strong, she brings us an attorney we could believe, who shows the conflict of what to do. Simon Pegg is the highlight of the film, bringing to life the mysterious figure who is filled with stories. The rest of the cast don’t get as much time to make an impact in the story.

StoryThe story here follows a district attorney that inherits something very strange, a man locked in the family bunker, a man that has secrets about the family, ones her father has kept secrets for years, left in a position on whether to let the man go or not. This is a story that is about deciding whether to do the right thing or not, it shows how somebody could bring destruction to a life, with truths and secrets can always ruining a reputation. We might well have a slower pace in the opening half of the film, but things do boil up over time with an intense conclusion.

MysteryThe mystery in this film is all around what could be happening, who Morgan really is and why has he been held for so long, it does keep us wanting to know more about him.

SettingsThe film uses the captive bunker as a major setting, the most important conversations happen here, with everything outside this location, not giving us enough to get behind.


Scene of the Movie – The final act.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The case Lauren is working on it implied it will be important, but it seems to get forgotten through the film.

Final Thoughts This is a nice mystery that does keep you guessing, carried by Simon Pegg’s turn in a role you wouldn’t normally see him in.

Overall: Mystery 101

Signature Entertainment presents Inheritance on Digital HD July 6th & DVD 13th July

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – U – UFO (2018) Movie Review

Director: Ryan Eslinger

Writer: Ryan Eslinger (Screenplay)

Starring: Alex Sharp, Gillian Anderson, Ella Purnell, Benjamin Beatty, Cece Abbey, David Strathairn

Plot: A college student, who sees a UFO, uses his exceptional math skills to investigate the sighting with his friends while the FBI follows closely behind.


Tagline – Sightings are never a coincidence. The cover-up ends here.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Deep Mystery

Story: UFO starts when a UFO sighting happens over an airport, the FBI look to get control of the situation with Franklin Ahls (Strathairn) leads the covering up process, which is going well until student Derek (Sharp) starts looking into the maths behind the sighting, trying to understand what it might have been and the size of it.

The more Derek dives into the study, the more attention he gathers from the FBI, putting his own life on the line, his studies under the brilliant Professor Hendricks (Anderson) and his lab partner Natalie (Purnell), all to uncover the truth.

Thoughts on UFO

Characters – Derek is a brilliant math student, he can always put together problems, always looking for something outside of the logic, which sees him challenge his professor, he gets caught up in wanting to study a UFO sighting, which he believes does have a deeper meaning, only he will see himself being put under pressure by the FBI. Professor Hendricks is the strict teacher of Derek’s she doesn’t take any arguments from her students but does believe they are ready for greatness, with Derek being one of her very best. Natalie is the lab partner of Derek’s she starts to be left feeling distant and doesn’t want to ruin her own chances of success. Franklin Ahls is running the FBI task force to cover up the event, he doesn’t need it spreading but will listen to theories about the truth.

PerformancesAlex Sharp is great as the student who will push the limits of his greatness, he shows how obsession can take over somebody’s life. Gillian Anderson makes for a great choice for the professor role, with Ella Purnell struggling to make an impact with her character showing the distance Derek is creating between his friends. David Strathairn is always going to be somebody who could be a military or government professional with ease.

StoryThe story here follows the aftermath of a UFO sighting, which sees a brilliant maths student put his studies on hold to try and uncover the mystery behind the signal that has been left from the visit, while the FBI are trying to cover everything up. This is a UFO based story unlike anything you have seen before, it looks more into the science behind everything that has come from the message we set into space and how if we got a reply, what might happen. We do have a lot of mathematical talk, which will go over plenty of people’s heads along with the astrophysics behind it all. It is nice not to have the biggest creation of a villain, a story that people are working towards the same thing.

Mystery/Sci-FiThe mystery in this film comes from the message in a signal, which shows us how the sci-fi side of the film coming from the idea that we might have got a message back from the message we sent into space.

SettingsThe film does take place in Cincinnati, it shows the airport where the first incident happens and the university that Derek attends, it is all about creating an environment to study about the truth.


Scene of the Movie – The meeting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too much technical talk.

Final Thoughts This is a sci-fi film that is trying to be very deep, which is achieves, though it does get too complicated for its own good at times.

Overall: Deep Sci-Fi Film.

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – S – Solaris (2002)

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: Steven Soderbergh (Screenplay) Stanislaw Lem (Novel)

Starring: George Clooney, Natascha McElhone, Viola Davis, Jeremy Davies, Ulrich Tukur, John Cho, Morgan Rusler

 

Plot: A troubled psychologist is sent to investigate the crew of an isolated research station orbiting a bizarre planet.


Tagline – There are no answers. Only Choices.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Over-Complicated Sci-Fi

 

Story: Solaris starts when psychologist Chris Kelvin (Clooney) is sent to an isolated research station orbiting a planet after a distress call was sent asking for him. On board the station, Chris meets Gordon (Davis) and Snow (Davies) who have been suffering their own visions, it isn’t long before Chris has his own vision, his wife Rheya (McElhone).

Chris starts to relive the relationship he had with his wife, who shouldn’t be there, he turns to the other researchers that could help explain what is going on, where he is left with the decision on whether to try and bring her back.

 

Thoughts on Solaris

 

Characters – Chris Kelvin is a psychologist with his own personal problems, he is assigned to help on a research station in space to figure out what has happened to the crew. Chris experiences his own vision, which makes him face the reality of what happened with his own marriage, making him question every decision what happened between him and his wife. Rheya is the wife of Chris, she has appeared on the station giving Chris his chance to be with her again. We see her in the memories of Chris, while on the station she isn’t everything Chris remembers. Gordon is one of the researchers that has been dealing with the unexplained visions, she has figured out how to beat them, only she must now convince Chris what is real or not. Snow completes the research team with his cryptic messages to helps Chris understand everything involved.

PerformancesGeorge Clooney is the standout of the cast here, he must deal with his character’s grief, while trying to use the scientific explanation for everything that is going on, he brings both sides of his emotional factor. Natascha McElhone does have the chemistry with Clooney for the character, she must also deal with two roles for her character. Viola Davis and Jeremy Davies both complete the supporting roles well without being tested to their full abilities.

StoryThe story here follows a psychologist that must travel to a remote space station to help the researchers, only for himself to become trapped with the similar visions they have suffered, with his being off his late wife. This does get to show how one man must deal with he grief of a lost love, facing his reality in a new way other than just talking it out, we see him come face to face with what is hurting him to learn just how to move on. We do get into a big scientific discussion about what could happen if you could get a second chance with somebody, to make up for a mistake. This does tend to get over complicated and fails to give us the support characters own visions as a major part of the story, which could show other experiences being suffered through. This does try to be interesting and does work very well, only it does try to become more than it offers.

Mystery/Romance/Sci-FiThe mystery involved in the film comes from how this planet is connecting to the station creating these visions, this plays into the sci-fi side of the film, as we can’t explain everything going on. The romance side of the film shows us just how one man can face his own romantic past in one moment.

SettingsThe film is mostly set on the station, this shows how Chris is looking back at his romance from a remote location, we do get to see where his life was once set.


Scene of the Movie –
The liquid oxygen moment.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t use the supporting character visions.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sci-fi romance mystery that does get over complicated when it doesn’t need to, it has strong performances, but fails to use the supporting characters well enough.

 

Overall: Sci-fi that makes you scratch your head.

Rating

 

 

We Are the Missing (2020) Movie Review

Director: Andrew J.D. Robinson

Writer: Andrew J.D. Robinson (Screenplay)

Starring: Maissa Houri, Mark Templin, Willow Mcgregor, Eleonore Poutilova, Chantel Little

Plot: The scariest nightmares are the ones you can wake up to in “We Are The Missing”; a drama/horror mockumentary following The Madisons’ desperate search for their missing daughter.


Tagline – If it can happen here, it can happen anywhere.
Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Creepy

Story: We Are the Missing starts as we start hearing the interviews from Angie (Houri) and John (Templin) the parents of missing Riley, along with her best friend Mackenzie (Mcgregor), as they look back on their final few days with Riley, showing off a few strange moments, before her disappearances.

As the documentary continues to be produced, more people start disappearing, leading to new people trying to fill in the blanks of other people’s lives, leading to a much bigger mystery for everyone in the area.

Thoughts on We Are the Missing

StoryThis is a mockumentary that is looking into a disappearance, which soon turns into a case of studying a string of disappearances, keeping us guessing along the way. Being set up like this, we really don’t get a main character, we get to learn different stories and while the opening of the movie, does feel like a routine documentary dealing with disappearance, things soon get creepy, truly creepy, one that is disturbing to watch. It builds on what Lake Mungo once bought us, with style of filming and just doesn’t let us take a breath to digest everything we are seeing. This is a story that just keeps giving, ones that will continue to reveal more of the bigger picture going on, leaving us wanting more on each scene.

Mystery/HorrorThe mystery starts by seeing just how the first disappearance happened, before people start following suit leading to a much more horrific motivation for the disappearances.

SettingsThe film is set in the small town, which is has been keeping more secrets than the filmmaker is let on before going into the bigger mystery of what is happening here.


Scene of the Movie – Hide.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We do get feed parts of the ending, despite it being an interesting one.

Final Thoughts This is a creepy mockumentary that starts off feeling routine, before diving into a mystery that has horrific side effects.

Overall: Constantly Creepy.

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – M – Magellan (2017)

Director: Rob York

Writer: Scott Baird, Rob York (Screenplay)

Starring: Brandon Ray Olive, K. Danor Gerald, Whitney Palmer, Matthew Mercer, Nicola Posener, D.L. Walker

 

Plot: After NASA picks up a trio of mysterious signals from within our own solar system, astronaut Roger Nelson is dispatched on a multi-year solo mission aboard the Magellan spacecraft to investigate the sources.


Tagline – The universe knew we were coming.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Sci-Fi Film

 

Story: Magellan starts when NASA picks up a trio of signals coming from with our own Solar System, they want to investigate them and turn to astronaut Commander Roger Nelson (Olive) to go on this mission, one which will see him go on a solo mission for ten plus years, leaving his wife Abigail (Palmer) behind with his connection being Becker (Gerald) at mission control.

Once Roger reaches Titan one of the moons of Saturn he locates the first signal, a mysterious orb which gives Roger a strange draw, to make matters worse his wife is suffering back home and we are left to wonder if the sacrifice will be worth it and just what will he discover?

 

Thoughts on Magellan

 

Characters – Commander Roger Nelson is the astronaut that is selected for the solo mission one that could easily redefine human history, he simply can’t say no to it even if it means leaving his wife for ten plus years. Roger gets to investigate the location solo while keeping his sanity on the isolated mission with his only communication through the transmission he receives. Becker is the communication with Mission Control, he relays the information from NASA which is one of the two people Roger talks too. Abigail is the wife of Roger that is dealing with her own problems back home struggling with the time away from her husband even if he is doing something wonderful for mankind.

PerformancesBrandon Ray Olive does a good job in the leading role, he must do most of the work with most of the film follows him on the solo mission, he keeps our attention which with the wrong actor could easily lose us without a strong performance. In the support roles we follow the actors on camera which is good without needing to do too much.

StoryThe story asks the big question, ‘are we alone in the universe’ without going down the line of full alien hunter, invasion or communication. We go down the path of searching for life of other planets or moons which is a path we have been doing in real life, as somebody that would be interested in seeing where science could take us, the slow discovery of anything in space is something that fascinates me and this film keeps us wondering just what could be discovered, without going completely outside the realms of possibilities. The story may have a couple of safe ideas going on with minor moment of peril Roger finds himself which would never be a problem for him on a solo mission and the relationship to the people back home feels like there should have been a lot more communication with NASA.

Mystery/Sci-FiThe mystery in the film comes from the signals being set to Earth, what do they mean? What are they? Is this sign of life in the universe? These play into the sci-fi side of the film which focuses on finding the answers to spaces biggest questions.

SettingsMost of the film is set on the Magellan the space craft taking Roger across the Solar System, it is a simple craft which does the work needed for the mission without becoming completely tech heavy like we have seen in other film. when we get to planets or moons we can clearly see that this is the films weakness when it comes to the effects used to create the worlds.

Special EffectsThee effects here are the weak point of the film, we can let the film away with these flaws though because the story is interesting.


Scene of the Movie –
The next step.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The effects when docking.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those sci-fi films which does ask the big questions and becomes fascinating to watch, sure it does have a few issues with special effects, but the story keeps us wanting more and more.

 

Overall: Fascinating story.

Rating