Original v Remake – Let the Right One In (2008)

Director: Tomas Alfredson

Writer: John Ajvide Lindqvist (Screenplay) John Ajvide Lindqvist (Novel)

Starring: Kare Hedebrant, Lina Leandersson, Per Ragnar, Henrik Dahl, Karin Bergquist

 

Plot: Oskar, an overlooked and bullied boy, finds love and revenge through Eli, a beautiful but peculiar girl.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Modern Day Classic

 

Story: Let the Right One In starts as we meet bullied school boy Oskar (Hedebrant) who in secret is looking for a way to fight back against these bullies, he attention is caught when a new family with a young girl Eli (Leandersson) moves in to the same apartment building in the dead of night.

Around this same time Hakan (Ragnar) Eli’s father is seen performing a certain style of murder, draining the blood from his victim. This becomes clear when we see him interrupted leaving Eli having to show her own true colours as she hunts in the dark.

The two meet and become friends, but only at night, when it is safe for Eli to come out but Oskar doesn’t know the truth about Eli yet, so does he know what he is getting himself into with this young vampire? When Eli’s father is taken, she finds herself alone with the only friend in the world Oskar, this brings out the truth and a chance for Oskar to get revenge on all of his bullies.

 

Thoughts on Let the Right One In

 

Characters/PerformanceOskar is the typical lonely school boy who never fits in with the people around him finding himself being bullied by class mates looking for an escape from this world. Eli is also lonely because of the vampire side of her, she desires friendship but the vampire in her prevents that happening. We don’t get too much from the rest of the characters, we have the loyal guardian, the bullies and the neglectful parents.

Kare and Lina are both brilliant in the lead roles making you fully understand the motives they both face, the struggles they are going through and just carry this film effortlessly.

StoryThe story focuses on two different loners that are drawn together to help each other solve their own problems. While there is a deeper look at how a vampire could well struggle in the modern world alone which is a huge draw to this movie, we also get to see how one boy handles being bullied with the extreme measurements. This is a slow-moving story that packs a real punch in the second half and is a much watch for the fans of vampire movies and high school movies.

Horror/RomanceHorror side of this film is in the pure violence involved when it comes to the kills or attacks in the movie. The romance side comes from the two young children falling in love with each other.

SettingsWe are kept in this small Swedish town for this movie which shows it to be a perfect location for a vampire to hide out as well as being a place where someone could feel all alone.

Special EffectsWe only have a few special effects in this movie, which I do feel works to all the levels it needs to in this film to make the terror filled moments work to their full effects.

Final ThoughtsThis will go down as a modern classic in the vampire genre, with the final swimming pool scene easily the iconic scene of the movie.

 

Overall: This is a must watch film for the vampire fans.

Rating

 

 

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Marion Cotillard Weekend – Rust and Bone (2012)

Director: Jacques Audiard

Writer: Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain (Screenplay) Craig Davidson (Story)

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Armand Verdure, Celine Sallette, Corinne Masiero, Bouli Lanners

 

Plot: Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain’s bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Drama

 

Story: Rust and Bone starts Alain (Schoenaraerts) moves to start a new life with his son Sam (Verdure), he moves in with his sister Anna (Masiero) until he can put enough money together. Working as a bouncer he meets Stephanie (Cotillard) after a brawl at his club. The two become friends after Stephanie a worker with killer whales suffers a tragic accident losing both her legs leaving her in deep depression. As Alain finds a way to bring the life back into Stephanie he looks to improve his financial situation by entering a kick boxing tournament which could help himself and Sam find their own place. The closer the two get the happier Stephanie finds herself with her new chance at life showing you can get anything out of a tragic event.

 

Thoughts on Rust and Bone

 

Characters/PerformanceStephanie works in an ocean tour park with killer whales but when she is involved in an accident she finds herself needing to start her life again. She dives into depression but a new friendship offers her a new look on life. Alain is a single parent not having much luck on the job front and ends up getting involved in underground fighter for quick money. He befriends Stephanie as he gets to see another way of life where he could settle down giving his son a stable future.

Marion continues to show her ability as an actress with this brilliant performance showing all the emotional levels need for her character. Matthias also goes a fantastic job here showing he is just as capable as Marion.

StoryThe story shows how two people can overcome problems in their lives, be it Stephanie’s life changing injuries or Alain needing to make a life for his young son. With this we get to see how a relationship between these two can motivate the two to make more of their lives and still enjoy the rest of their lives. It shows how you can’t let anything stop you doing what you want in your life.

Romance The romantic side of the film comes from the potential relationship the two could find themselves in, Stephanie wants something serious while Alain is happy sleeping around but can they put this aside and fall in love.

SettingsWhen you look at the settings most of this film is considered normal for the most part, they all have simple and do what they need without being anything special.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderfully shot drama that gives us two heavyweight performances and a story that shows you can overcome any injury suffered.

 

Overall: Wonderful film for all the drama fans out there to go and watch.

Rating

 

 

A Ghost Story (2017)

Director: David Lowery

Writer: David Lowery (Screenplay)

Starring: Casey Affleck, Rooney Mara, McColm Cephas Jr, Kenneista Thompson, Grover Coulson, Liz Franke

 

Plot: In this singular exploration of legacy, love, loss, and the enormity of existence, a recently deceased, white-sheeted ghost returns to his suburban home to try to reconnect with his bereft wife.


Tagline – It’s all about time.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Film

 

Story: A Ghost Story starts as we follow couple C (Affleck) and M (Mara), they live a happy life in their home even though they are planning to move, but when C dies the perfect world becomes shattered. M dealing with the loss of her husband but C not going into the light and returning home to watch over his wife with a bed sheet covering him.

When M leaves the home, C is seemingly stuck bound to the house for all time as he goes through different households and his only communication comes from a fellow ghost trapped in the neighbouring house, but C is determined to stay for the one he loves even through all the changes the environment around him goes through.

 

Thoughts on A Ghost Story

 

Characters – C is the husband of M that dies, he finds himself coming back as a ghost to watch over his wife but soon finds himself alone once she leaves their home, he sees different lives enter his as he waits for her to return. M is the wife that can’t cope with her husband’s death, she tries to move on but without any hope, so to get away completely she leaves the home. The two do make for a good screen couple.

PerformancesRooney Mara is good in her role even if she is only in part of the film, it is Casey Affleck who must wear a sheet for the most part of this movie that doesn’t say anything but lives a lonely life watching other lives.

StoryThe story here is difficult to describe as for the most part we just follow C the ghost with the bed sheet over his head watching every moment of this one location, wait for a chance to be with his love again. This isn’t a horror though it plays into deeper meanings that when you watch the full film you will get rewarded by, but it can be slow getting there. This is a story that will make you think about life and death which is one you need to watch to enjoy.

Fantasy/RomanceThe fantasy elements of this film come on strong for the second half as we see the journey the sheeted C goes on, the romance side of the film looks at the idea of eternal love that people could have.

SettingsThe whole film is set in once location, the background may well change but our character can’t leave the area he finds himself bound too.

Special EffectsNot many effects are used but the ones that are do help the films journey.


Scene of the Movie –
The Beginning?

That Moment That Annoyed Me There is a really long scene of Rooney Mara eating, I think it could have been near 10 minutes long.

Budget: $100,000

Final ThoughtsThis is a very different movie, it shows the idea of eternal love from the side of a deceased character. It will make you think and by the end you will feel like you experienced something different.

 

Overall: Interesting movie that makes you think.

Rating

 

 

The Big Sick (2017)

Director: Michael Showalter

Writer: Emily V Gordon, Kumail Nanjiani (Screenplay)

Starring: Kumail Nanjiani, Zoe Kazan, Holly Hunter, Ray Romano, Anupam Kher, Zenobia Shroff, Adeel Akhtar

 

Plot: Pakistan-born comedian Kumail Nanjiani and grad student Emily Gardner fall in love but struggle as their cultures clash. When Emily contracts a mysterious illness, Kumail finds himself forced to face her feisty parents, his family’s expectations, and his true feelings.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Romantic Comedy of the Year

 

Story: The Big Sick starts as Pakistan stand-up comedian Kumail (Nanjiani) meets Emily (Kazan) and the two hit it off, but Kumail must battle his own feelings towards Emily and his family that only want him to marry a Pakistan woman. After the two have a big argument the two go their separate ways.

Kumail finally gets his chance to go to Montreal but gets an emergency call to be at Emily’s side, this gives him a chance to meet her parents Beth (Hunter) and Terry (Romano) for the first time as the three must deal with her potentially life-threatening illness giving the three a chance to bond as Kumail discovers he can’t live without Emily.

 

Thoughts on The Big Sick

 

Characters – The characters are based on the true people so it is hard to go into details on them being good or bad, so I will just let you know about them in general. Kumail is the Pakistan stand-up comedian dealing with his parents trying to find him a bride but he doesn’t follow the same faith they do. He meets Emily which only makes his decisions harder on whether to follow his heart or not and spending time with her parents offers him the answer he needs. Emily is the student that walks into Kumail’s life, she becomes his light but when she becomes sick she brings him closer than ever to him even if she is in a coma for half the film. Terry and Beth are the parents of Emily, they are in full panic mode while she is sick but they get to bond with Kumail through the struggle.

PerformanceKumail Nanjiani plays himself in the movie, which is good to see him play a different character as we usually just seem him do a small moment in comedy movies but here he stars as a real person that could be one of the best performances in a comedy in years. Zoe Kazan is one of the actress that you can say, we need you in a romantic comedy drama, she will be on the top of every one’s list. Holly Hunter and Ray Romano are both great in the supporting roles showing they can be great in parent roles.

StoryThe story is based on Kumail and Emily falling in love, it shows the religious sides holding up the Kumail being able to make a decision, while given the moment in his life where he must make the decision that he wants more than anything. This is a love story, not an easy one but a real one which is the most important one to see.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in this film is mostly stand-up and a defensive side to hide from the truth, the romance comes from how the two fall in love through difficult situation.

SettingsThe settings don’t go into too much details, we have the hospital to show the desperate mindset they are in, the comedy club shows a future Kumail could have and the apartments to show the normal lives they are both living.

Scene of the Movie – Parent’s watching the stand up.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain moments at the stand-up show try to put too many jokes in.

Tagline – An Awkward True Story

Final ThoughtsThis is a romantic comedy with a heart that is based on a true story that shows us love can come from any direction even when you weren’t expecting it.

 

Overall: One of the Must watch movies of the year.

Rating

 

 

Safe Haven (2013)

Director: Lasse Hallstrom

Writer: Dana Stevens, Gage Lansky (Screenplay) Nicholas Sparks (Novel)

Starring: Julianne Hough, Josh Duhamel, Cobie Smulders, Mimi Kirkland, David Lyons

 

Plot: A young woman with a mysterious past lands in Southport, North Carolina where her bond with a widower forces her to confront the dark secret that haunts her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacks That Spark Needed

 

Story: Safe Haven starts as we see Katie (Hough) running from her past with Tierney (Lyons) fast on her tail, but for now Katie finds herself in Southport North Carolina. Katie looks to make her own life away from her past with a new job in a diner and a place of the radar.

In this new town, Katie makes a friend in Jo (Smulders) as well as striking up a new potential relationship with widowed father of two Alex (Duhamel) who has been raising his two kids Josh (Lomax) and Lexie (Kirkland). As the romance blossoms Alex’s kids have a different reaction to their father meeting a new woman but does Katie want to get involved in a relationship when she might have to run if anybody from her past finds her?

 

Thoughts on Safe Haven

 

Characters/PerformanceKatie is a character that is all too familiar in modern relationships, a victim of domestic abuse who is trying to make a fresh start away from her abusive husband. She tries to keep to herself but is drawn to the kindness in a stranger. Alex is the loving father and widow who is trying to do the right thing for his kids as well as grieving for his own wife’s death. He is a good man full of acts of kindness to the community. The Tierney character is the one hunting down Katie, he is a drunk and a police officers that is filled with twists to the outcome. Jo is the friend Katie makes in the town that helps her with the hard decisions.

Performance wise Julianna Hough and Josh Duhamel struggle to carry this film as well of not having the best chemistry in this film. David Lyons does well with his limited time and does Cobie Smulders who shows she could easily be the star of this movie.

StoryThe story is 101 of Nicholas Sparks story, we have a damaged person going to a new location and falling in love with a broken person as we wait for the past to catch up with them. Nothing feels too fresh in the movie but it will work for the fans of the style of the movie.

Romantic/ThrillerWe have all the romantic story that will work for the fans but doesn’t have much that comes of realistic throughout. There is a thriller side of works in places but you never feel on edge until the final act.

SettingsThe small town is a good setting for the runaway to start new life but it could easily be just any town which should make her hard to find.

Final ThoughtsWhen you look at this film the leads lack that chemistry need for the lead roles, it also has a selection of terrible decisions which would only make things worst with a twist that will only work for certain people.

 

Overall: The fans of Sparks will enjoy but others will find this too much.

Rating