ABC Film Challenge – Horror – N – Nina Forever (2015)

Director: Ben Blaine, Chris Blaine

Writer: Ben Blaine, Chris Blaine (Screenplay)

Starring: Cian Barry, Abigail Hardingham, Fiona O’Shaughnessy Mandeep Dhillon, Katharine Bennett-Fox, Barry Castagnola

 

Plot: After his girlfriend Nina dies in a car crash, Rob unsuccessfully attempts suicide. As he begins to overcome his grief, he falls in love with a co-worker, Holly. Their relationship is complicated when Nina, unable to find rest in the afterlife, comes back to life to sarcastically torment them whenever they have sex.


Tagline – A fucked up fairy tale

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Return of the Dead Girlfriend Working Again

 

Story: Nina Forever starts as the employees of a store learn that Rob (Barry) tried to kill himself after the death of his girlfriend, where Holly (Hardingham) a student paramedic finds this to be a turn on wanting to get to know Rob unlike most of the other staff. The two do start hanging out together which does lead to a romantic story between the two.

When the two go to have their first night together things take a turn when Nina (O’Shaughnessy) appears from within the bed, but she is meant to be dead, why has she returned from the afterlife to stop Rob moving on?

 

Thoughts on Nina Forever

 

Characters – Rob is a grieving young man, working in a supermarket as he gets over his ex-girlfriend death, he has tried killing himself but didn’t get very far. He gets haunted by Nina once he tries to start dating again but must face the closure her spirit never got. Holly gets drawn to Rob and starts a relationship but it gets confusing for her once Nina arrive on the scene but it doesn’t scare her away. Nina is the deceased girlfriend of Rob’s who returns whenever he has sex with another woman, she doesn’t believe they are broken up believing they will be together forever.

PerformancesCian Barry is good in his role as the grieving young man trying to move on, he shows how difficult it could be for anyone in that situation. Abigail Hardingham is good in this role where she must show the support needed as well as the innocence for a young woman in her first relationship. Fiona O’Shaughnessy is also good throughout the film as the dead girlfriend that turns up during sex, being almost seductive at times.

StoryThe story enters into the idea of a loved one needing to deal with an undead version of their partner stopping them from starting a new relationship. It plays into a darker comical side rather than the light-hearted nature of other films such as Clinger, Life After Beth or Burying the Ex. This film does try to tackle the more serious effects of what could happen with dealing with the grief of losing a loved one.

Comedy/Horror/RomanceThe comedy comes from the darker side of the story because it takes things on a more serious side than it wants to. The romance side of everything comes from the idea of trying to move on with someone new you could love while still being haunted by the memories of the one that left you. The horror is there but mostly based on the undead being alive and lots of blood.

SettingsThe try to have everyday settings for the building of the relationship but it is the bedroom where the idea of Nina coming back comes from as we see her haunting the new couple.

Special EffectsWhen we look at the effects we will be diving into practical for the most part, we don’t get many either because we need to focus on the story over the effects.


Scene of the Movie –
Nina’s first appearance because it is a surprise for us to see how it comes about.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I would have liked an extra laugh or two.

Final ThoughtsThis is yet another good addition in this new little subgenre in horror, the dead partner haunting the old partners new love interest. It does work well because it is different enough from the others because this takes a darker tone for the most part.

 

Overall: Nice addition to the dead girlfriend haunting ex-partner.

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – Before Midnight (2013)

Director: Richard Linklater

Writer: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke (Screenplay) Richard Linklater, Kim Krizan (Story)

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

 

Plot: We meet Jesse and Celine nine years on in Greece. Almost two decades have passed since their first meeting on that train bound for Vienna.


Tagline – Everything’s better with maturity

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Conclusion

 

Story: Before Midnight starts in Greece now, Jesse (Hawke) must say goodbye to his son who lives back in America, Jesse and Celine (Delpy) are now married living the life they had dreamt with children of their own with a vacation.

While Jesse is having troubles dealing with the idea that his son will be hitting the important years of his life away from his father. Jesse is also working on his new book which is going to be more ambitious that he previous work, the books which told his time with Celine. The couple enter conversations how different generations have dealt with love, the first meetings and how they each kept their relationship happy.

 

Thoughts on Before Midnight

 

Characters – Jesse and Celine are now a married couple, they live in Paris with their own twins, they have grown older like they had imagined. They are the same characters that we have met, with the only thing that keeps them feeling different is that Jesse has a son from his previous marriage he wishes to be able to spend time with.

PerformancesEthan Hawke and Julie Delpy pick up where they left off 9 years previously, older, mature performance which has done well, even if the characters have started to become generic married couple.

StoryThe story picks up 9 years later, Jesse and Celine are now married, dealing with everyday life with their own problems, Celine with the job she has dreamed off and Jesse torn between whether he can spend more time with his son back in America. This shows us just where relationships can go, teaching us they do become harder over time, but love will always pull people through.

RomanceThe romance focuses more on what happens when you have been with someone for a longer period of time, it changes what we have been seeing even though it can remain true life.

SettingsWe are in Greece this time, showing us the beauty the backdrops this country has, this complete the special look each film offers.


Scene of the Movie –
The walk together.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This one is longer, it does start to lose its special uniqueness of the other two have.

Final ThoughtsFor a final chapter of a trilogy this is delightful, it has everything you need to see when it comes to the main idea of being in love with someone, needing to face difficult decisions.

 

Overall: The end we all deserved.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Before Sunset (2004)

Director: Richard Linklater

Writer: Richard Linklater, Julie Delpy, Ethan Hawke (Screenplay) Richard Linklater, Kim Krizan (Story)

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

 

Plot: Nine years after Jesse and Celine first met, they encounter each other again on the French leg of Jesse’s book tour.


Tagline – What if you had a second chance with the one that got away?

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Character Piece

 

Story: Before Sunset starts as Jesse (Hawke) is in Paris on his book tour, the one telling his story from 9 years ago, meeting Celine. When Celine turns up at the store, the twos spark is still there and today they have only hours to catch up and answer the big question, did they meet up in Vienna.

The two have seen their lives fly by as we learn how their careers have gone in directions that make them happy and the natural catch up just relights the fire they had, only now they have more responsibilities now they are in their 30s.

 

Thoughts on Before Sunset

 

Characters – Jesse is now a best-selling author, his book is about the time he spent with Celine, he has still has unanswered questions about what happened with Vienna. Married he has moved on with his life. Celine has followed her career choice, seen more of the world and has been left wondering if Jesse has ever made it to Vienna, after she hadn’t. the chemistry between the two is still strong, as we get to learn what happened in the last 9 years of their lives.

PerformancesEthan Hawke and Julie Delpy are back carrying this movie, they are involved in every scene and the chemistry between the two still shines and is something you can barely see in any movie, while this isn’t as strong as the first film because they feel even more comfortable than before when there should be moments of awkwardness.

StoryThe story sets up to answer the big question the fans of the first film had, did they meet up 6 months later. We do learn this answer and how the two didn’t meet, we learn how they have lived their own lives, forever changed by their time together. This story is told in real-time as the two only get a couple of hours together, to learn if the life had gone the way they had planned and whether they still think about that time they spent together, which is both brilliant and heart-breaking to watch. This story gives everyone that has ever thought they met the one a chance to see how things could have gone for them with a second meeting.

RomanceThe romance shows us how that one moment with someone magical can affect your life for many years to come.

SettingsThis time we are set in Paris, yet again we have a beautiful backdrop to discussing life for the two characters.


Scene of the Movie –
Boat trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Partly knowing what happening with Vienna 6 months later.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful sequel, it gives hope to people that have had that one meeting with someone and it can happen again, but life is someone out there can change things.

 

Overall: Beautiful sequel.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Before Sunrise (1995)

Director: Richard Linklater

Writer: Richard Linklater, Kim Krizan (Screenplay)

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

 

Plot: A young man and woman meet on a train in Europe, and wind up spending one evening together in Vienna. Unfortunately, both know that this will probably be their only night together.


Tagline – Jump on and live a Eurorail journey you will never forget!

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Stunning Look at Love

 

Story: Before Sunrise starts on the train heading through Europe, American man Jesse (Hawke) meets French woman Celine (Delpy) and get chatting, until they end up in Vienna, Jesse’s stop, he takes a chance to invite Celine to spend the evening and night with him wandering the streets to Vienna before his flight home.

As the two spend their time together, they visit the landmarks and learn how they both see life, being able to discuss the futures they are unsure about while falling in love knowing they can’t have more than this night together.

 

Thoughts on Before Sunrise

 

Characters – Jesse is an American traveling through Europe, he is on his last day after breaking up with his girlfriend a few weeks before. Heading to his flight home, he meets Celine, a woman he falls in love with and asks to join him around Vienna while waiting for his flight. Celine is the French woman heading home to Paris from Budapest, she joins Jesse knowing she can head home tomorrow. To truly talk about these characters, we need to simplify the idea that these two are strangers who meet on a train and fall in love, they are smart enough to know their lives will go in different directions, but don’t want to waste this one moment together.

PerformancesWe have a two person show here, Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy have brilliant chemistry which is what makes this movie stand out, to see an acting partnership feel so natural in everything they do makes you believe each feeling and emotion their characters are going through.

StoryThe story of love is one that is filled with happiness, sadness, missed moments and moments that change our lives. This story has all of these moments that two strangers meet on a train, fall in love with completely different lives that will see them thousands of miles apart after this night. It answers the what will happen, where can you go and tackles the realisation that this is a once in a lifetime meeting which will only break your heart being apart. These moments are so rare and to see one shown on film shows us just how magical they can be.

RomanceRomance has never been shown in such a natural story than this one, one evening, night with the one person that will take your heart in true love, the one person you can’t be with.

SettingsVienna is a beautiful setting for this movie, we have the historical buildings providing the backdrop for this movie which adds beauty to the story.


Scene of the Movie –
Goodbye and what next?

That Moment That Annoyed Me Nothing, just watch it.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the best romantic movies I have ever seen, it feels so natural and hits hard for the reality of what we will go through ourselves.

 

Overall: Beautiful, wonderful and amazing.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – # – 45 Years (2015)

Director: Andrew Haigh

Writer: Andrew Haigh (Screenplay) David Constantine (Short Story)

Starring: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, Geraldine James, Dolly Wells, David Sibley, Sam Alexander

 

Plot: A married couple preparing to celebrate their wedding anniversary receives shattering news that promises to forever change the course of their lives.


Tagline – Do we really know our loved ones?

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Drama

 

Story: 45 Years starts as we meet the Mercer’s, Kate (Rampling) Geoff (Courtenay) a married couple preparing for their 45th wedding anniversary, Kate does most of the planning and does extra caring for Geoff because of his memory starting to go. They are respected through the whole town with most of the people looking forward to the party.

When Geoff starts remembering the story of a woman he met before Kate, it puts Kate’s feelings in a frenzy and she wants to learn where she really stands in his life after all these years.

 

Thoughts on 45 Years

 

Characters – Kate is the former teacher (I think) who has been married for 45 years in what she believed was a perfect marriage, until she learns about a woman before they met, she goes through the questions of just where she stands in his life, even after all these years. Geoff is her husband, his memory isn’t what it used to be and it is his memory of his former love that puts the story on the rocks. Everyone else we meet are people from the town, friends who have known them for years.

PerformancesCharlotte Rampling got an Oscar nomination for this role, you can see why she is fantastic as we see how she must try to hold in her emotions through the struggle. Tom Courtenay is also fantastic as the elderly man that can’t keep everything together like he once did. The rest of the cast doesn’t get too much screen time which is fine because it is our couple story.

StoryThe story follows a couple of soon to be 45 years preparing for their anniversary, only for a moment to throw the years or marriage out the window through the eyes of one of the couple. We only follow the week leading up to the event which is great because we know how happy their marriage was before the events. It shows how one moment could change how everything seems which is reality many people would have in life and it also shows how important love can be for a couple even if at times things could be questioned.

RomanceThe romance in this film shows just what the two would have been through with the years of marriage, how they must learn to stay loyal to each other no matter what.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the singular town setting, it gives the film an authentic feeling of just where the couple have been for years and never look out of place here.


Scene of the Movie –
The party.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is never fully explained is Geoff is just getting old or ill with his memory issues.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those dramas you can see why it got the Oscars attention, but it won’t be something for the casual film fans to be going to watch and it does show how a real long-term relationship goes.

 

Overall: True to how love is.

Rating