Anti Matter (2017)

Director: Keir Burrows

Writer: Keir Burrows (Screenplay)

Starring: Yaiza Figueroa, Philippa Carson, Tom Barber-Duffy, Noah Maxwell Clarke, James Farrar

 

Plot: Anti Matter (AKA Worm) is a sci-fi noir take on the Alice in Wonderland tale. Ana, an Oxford PhD student, finds herself unable to build new memories following an experiment to generate and travel through a wormhole. The story follows her increasingly desperate efforts to understand what happened, and to find out who – or what – is behind the rising horror in her life.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Minding

 

Story: Anti Matter starts as we meet our three Oxford PhD students Ana (Figueroa), Liv (Carson) and Nate (Barber-Duffy) who have been working on wormhole to transfer matter, this is a complete success even with living subjects, but when their experiment is about to get closed down they jump to human trials with Ana going through the wormhole.

When Ana awakens the next day, it is clear something has changed, Ana no longer capable of making new memories, leaving us to figure out as she is just how long has passed since the experiment, what happed during the experiment and who seems to be after her.

 

Thoughts on Anti Matter

 

Characters – Ana is a PhD student at Oxford, her work has her working on transporting matter which she eventually uses to transport herself through a wormhole for her team. When something goes wrong Ana must put her life back together. Liv is one of the team working with Ana, she is the rebellious kind of student and easily ready to push Ana’s buttons. Nate is the third member of the team, he has worked with Ana for years and even offers us a potential love interest for Ana.

PerformanceYaiza Figueroa in the leading role where you believe her breakdown and desire to learn the truth through each scene and if I am not mistaken she is in every single scene. Philippa Carson and Tom Barber-Duffy both give us great supporting performances help Yaiza shine through the film.

StoryIf you want to see a sci-fi story that makes you think, look no further than this. To say this is difficult to explain would be an understatement, the story does ask the questions about what would happen if a wormhole was created and what happens when the person behind the experiment can’t remember what has been happening. When it comes of stories that make think and at times can feel confusing it is how they end which is important and this film does answer the questions it offers up.

Mystery/Sci-FiThe mystery being offered up in this film does keep you guessing from the moment it starts to the final answer and the sci-fi side of the story comes from the experiment and consequences of the experiment.

SettingsThe settings show us in an underground lab which explains why we have this secret experiment going on through the film, but otherwise it is just mostly in and around the location of Oxford.

Special EffectsThe effects are only used when needed and the few times they are used they are great.

Scene of the Movie – The final reveal.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It feels at times like the animal activists are just distractions.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the biggest brain teasing movies of the year, it makes you think and question the wormhole theory.

 

Overall: Brain testing, mind bending sci-fi gem.

Rating

 

 

Metropolis (1927)

Director: Fritz Lang

Writer: Thea von Harbou (Screenplay)

Starring: Brigitte Helm, Alfred Abel, Gustav Frohlich, Rudolf Klein-Rogge, Fritz Rasp, Theordo Loos, Erwin Biswanger, Heinrich George

 

Plot: In a futuristic city sharply divided between the working class and the city planners, the son of the city’s mastermind falls in love with a working class prophet who predicts the coming of a savior to mediate their differences.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Influential Classic

 

Story: Metropolis starts in a utopian world of future where Joh Fredersen (Abel) lives in the world created by his father (Frohlich). When Joh meets the beautiful Maria (Helm) he learns more about what makes this perfect world work, the machine that keeps everything operational, below the city operated by slaves.

Desperate to find Maria, Joh goes into the underworld to discover the working conditions of the slaves. Learning of life behind the curtain, Joh wants to bring down the operation, creating an equal world for all but his father does everything to stop this happening. The revolution has begun will this ideal get through to the rich.

 

Thoughts on Metropolis

 

Characters/PerformanceJoh is the perfect example of a rich child who has had their world clouded over to protect them from the horrifying truth of the world they live in, he is good at heart and nothing like his father. The father figure is the creator and operator of this cruel world, he doesn’t want his son to know the truth but can’t control his curiosity. Maria is the one that could change everything for Joh and helps leads the revolution showing us that we could easily have a female lead even back in 1927.

Performances are all brilliant throughout from everybody involved in the film.

StoryThe story plays into the idea of a future where society is separated, I liked how this was portrayed in the story and I liked how the revolution worked on making a change which would have reflected the human problems the world was facing at the time of this movie being made.

Sci-FiThe vision of the future is amazing for the time showing how they imagined the future to look like.

SettingsThe settings are also amazing truly showing us the different in class the people would be stuck in.

Special EffectsSpecial effects side of this is also a wow, what this film achieved for the time is breath taking.

Final ThoughtsThis is a truly amazing achievement in film making, it has brilliant special effects, settings and visual effects. This has clearly helped guide film making process.

 

Overall: This will be a classic in film making forever but it isn’t an easy watch for the casual film fan.

Rating

 

 

Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets (2017)

Director: Luc Besson

Writer: Luc Besson (Screenplay) Pierre Christin, Jean-Claude Mezleres (Comic Book)

Starring: Dane DeHaan, Cara Delevingne, Clive Owen, Rihanna, Ethan Hawke, Herbie Hancock, Kris Wu

 

Plot: A dark force threatens Alpha, a vast metropolis and home to species from a thousand planets. Special operatives Valerian and Laureline must race to identify the marauding menace and safeguard not just Alpha, but the future of the universe.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Visually Brilliant, Lacking Chemistry

 

Story: Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets starts as we see peaceful world of Mul destroyed setting out a flash out light across the universe. Move forward in time and we meet Major Valerian (DeHaan) and Sergeant Laureline (Delevingne) to elite soldiers that complete the difficult missions.

On their latest mission for Commander Filitt (Owen) the two learn the Alpha station where all races come to communicate in peace live, they learn a secret to what caused the end of Mul and they will need to potential bring down a problem from within.

 

Thoughts on Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets

 

Characters – Major Valerian feels like he is meant to be like a Han Solo like space pilot who is trying his hardest to bed his new partner but he is also slick at getting the job done, the ones others wouldn’t. Sergeant Laureline is the partner of Valerian that shows great working relationship but it does feel like she has only just been placed with him, but we don’t know why. Commander Filitt is trying to keep Alpha together from a threat coming from within, this is a typical strict military leader. Bubble is an alien species who can transformer effortless into whatever you desire.

PerformanceThe performances, well this will get interesting. Dane DeHaan does feel slightly miss-cast as he can always give us strange or strong character performances but as a strapping captain is just doesn’t seem to click. Cara Delevingne shows once again she isn’t ready for these leading roles, sure she looks stunning but otherwise not much coming from the delivery. Clive Owen can at least go off and do a string of indie films after this pay day. Rihanna works as the dancer but as soon as emotion is needed she starts to look lost.

StoryThe story is something that does feel like it borrows from a lot of other films, but also has all the potential to be something amazing. Unfortunately, it doesn’t reach the top levels, it does feel like it gets dulled down and wants to be fun but just isn’t, the idea that the International Space Centre has become a beacon of peace across the universe is the highlight of the film showing how it continued to grow with new visitors. The story is easy to follow and you won’t get challenged enough though.

Action/Adventure/Fantasy/Sci-FiThe action is big and huge sci-fi spectacles which is fine to watch but the adventure does feel slightly miss-leading because you feel like it will be across the universe when in truth it is across the mega station. The fantasy world of different alien species is enjoyable to see all the wonderful creations.

SettingsThe settings do look fantastic in places with the different worlds visited but certain other parts all feel like places we have seen before.

Special EffectsThe world created is mostly CGI effects which make the world we visit a great piece of fun.

Scene of the Movie – Quickest Route

That Moment That Annoyed Me –  We lacked subtitles for certain alien conversations.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable movie, it isn’t ground breaking though, you can sit back and enjoy this film unfold but it isn’t Luc Besson’s best sci-fi film.

 

Overall: Sit back and enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Sharknado 5: Global Swarming (2017)

Director: Anthony C Ferrante

Writer: Scotty Mullen (Screenplay) Thunder Levin (Characters)

Starring: Ian Ziering, Tara Reid, Cassandra Scerbo, Billy Barratt, Yanet Garcia, Porcha Williams

 

Plot: With much of America lying in ruins, the rest of the world braces for a global sharknado, Fin and his family must travel around the world to stop them.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Like it Should Be

 

Story: Sharknado 5: Global Swarming starts as Nova (Scerbo) has gone full adventurer, searching for answer to why the Sharknados appear, her latest adventure finds her in England where she needs Fin (Ziering) to go full Raiders of the Lost Ark parody. This only releases the deadliest of all Sharknados which is now attacking London.

Defeating the storm in London, Fin’s son Gil (Barratt) gets sucked into the storm and Fin joins NATO in the latest defence efforts against the storm that has become a global killer.

 

Thoughts on Sharknado 5: Global Swarming

 

Characters – Fin is still the hero, NATO turn to him for help when the Sharknados appear again, but this time Fin is involved to save family using all his skills. April is still now advanced android skilled but now she has upgrades when it comes to fighting the sharknadoes. Nova has returned now and has created her own defence league against Sharknados, studying them to uncover the truth about how to stop them. We have a host of characters appearing in the film to help along the way.

PerformanceBy now we have come to love the Sharknado films for the performance that are not the best, we see everything we expect in the performance which fit the style of the film, this gives us a chance to play cameo bingo with the rest of the cast.

StoryThe story here has jumped the shark but I felt the last on went slightly too far, this one works on the levels you need it too. We have a world tour of shark hunting to stop the sharknados which gets extra moments of laughter. This story will never make sense but is one you can switch your brain off and enjoy.

Horror/Sci-FiThe genres involved here work for the film as they use the horror of sharks in tornadoes and a sci-fi story show how over the top the idea is.

SettingsThis time we have a world tour which does add to the comedy involved in the film as we get to see how culture iconic locations can be used as defensive weapons.

Special EffectsThis is a sci-fi film, you already know the special effects you are getting so just enjoy the fact they add to the comedy.

Scene of the Movie – Sharkzilla

That Moment That Annoyed Me In England they edit a lot of the kills out which leaves gaps in parts of the story.

Final ThoughtsIf you are watching the 5th one of these you know what you are getting yourself into and this is one of the better sequels as we get to have plenty of fun this time around.

 

Overall: Great addition to the franchise.

Rating

 

 

Sleight (2016)

Director: J.D. Dillard

Writer: J.D. Dillard, Alex Theurer (Screenplay)

Starring: Jacob Latimore, Seychelle Gabriel, Dule Hill, Storm Reid, Sasheer Zamata, Michael Villar, Brandon Johnson, Cameron Esposito

 

Plot: A young street magician (Jacob Latimore) is left to care for his little sister after their parents passing, and turns to illegal activities to keep a roof over their heads. When he gets in too deep, his sister is kidnapped, and he is forced to use his magic and brilliant mind to save her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Throughout

 

Story: Sleight starts as we follow young street magician Bo (Latimore), Bo looks after his little sister Tina (Reid) after their mother has died. At night to make money he is a drug dealer for Angelo (Hill) and he uses all his tricks to stay one step ahead of people.

When Bo gets to see the darker side of the drug dealing game as he learns just how territorial Angelo is, forcing him into actions he would never imagine even though this is the only option for him to make enough money to give his sister the future he wants for her. We are left to see is Bo can get himself out of this world before it is too late.

 

Thoughts on Sleight

 

Characters – Bo is a young street magician, he takes care of his little sister the best he can which means he has become a drug dealer on the side, but when he starts to look for a way out he only finds himself needing to use all his skills to leave the world. Holly is the new girlfriend that walks into Bo’s life, she offers him support through the difficult decision he finds himself in. Angelo is the drug kingpin in the city that Bo works for, he starts off being a friend or father figure for Bo but he soon shows he darker side when it comes to people crossing him.

PerformanceJacob Latimore is great in this leading role, we manage to understand every emotion he finds himself needing to go through during the movie, Seychelle Gabriel is a good in the supporting role but you do feel in places we could have more from the character, Dule Hill is an actor I only know from comedy most Psych, but he shows he can pull off serious in this film being a threat you didn’t see coming.

StoryWe have seen the story of an innocent kid/young man falling into the drug dealing world before, but not many films have shown us a character in Bo that had little choice, while the consequences he faces are only he own doing. Part of myself wonders why he went on with his decision because he seems like he is making the money to make ends meet and follow his magician dreams too. While I do enjoy where this film went I did kind of wish we would see more from the magician side of everything.

Action/Sci-FiThe action side of the film does come from anything on the drug dealing side of the story, while the sci-fi comes from the magic and how it is all achieved.

SettingsLA makes for a wonderful setting to show us just how easy it could be to get caught up in a drug circle, he may not be using but he is selling and dealing with the consequences involved.

Scene of the Movie – Getting Tina back.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It feels like he didn’t need to do what he did to cause everything.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good look at the drug world people can be dragged into, it shows us responsibility that Bo needed to face and most importantly how far people will go for an art form.

 

Overall: Enjoyable movie well worth watching.

Rating