I Am Mother (2019) Movie Review

Director: Grant Sputore

Writer: Michael Lloyd Green (Screenplay) Grant Sputore (Story)

Starring: Luke Hawker, Rose Byrne, Tahlia Sturzaker, Clara Rugaard, Hilary Swank

Plot: A teenage girl is raised underground by a kindly robot “Mother” — designed to repopulate the earth following the extinction of mankind. But their unique bond is threatened when an inexplicable stranger arrives with alarming news.


Tagline – She’ll keep you safe
Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Starts Well, Finishes Weakly

Story: I Am Mother starts when a baby is bought to life raised by a robotic mother, known only as Mother, we see the girl known only as daughter raised to a teenager (Rugaard) where she starts to become more interested in what could be outside the bunker she is being raised in, the questions always get shot down by Mother and when a mysterious Woman (Swank) arrives the relationship between Mother and Daughter becomes tense.

After the woman is let in, she starts filling in daughter to what is outside the bunker and the mystery about the woman only continues to increase as Mother does what is expected, protect her young. Will Daughter risk her life to learn more or accept her role in the bunker.

Thoughts on I Am Mother

Characters – Daughter has been raised in a bunker by Mother, she has been taught the world outside was destroyed, with the training taught by the robot mother, would bring more humans to her life. Hitting the teenage years, Daughter continues to want to know what is outside the world she is living in and he willingness to help a stranger only makes her decisions more confusing. Mother is the robotic figure that has raised Daughter, she is learning on the job, with the idea being once prepared more will be raised, we see how everything she is preparing is for protection for the greatest good. Woman is the stranger who wants to get into the bunker, she shows that there is a bigger world outside and that has more humans in, her story only makes Daughter’s life more confusing all around.

PerformancesClara Rugaard is the star of the show here, the teenage daughter character who must deal with the confliction thrown her way and handles everything in a believable way through the film. Hilary Swank does bring the star power to the film, she does everything right without being on the level of the top sci-fi horror stars. Having such a small cast we don’t really see anybody else bring anything to the film.

StoryThe story here follows a teenage girl that has been raised in a bunker where she believes the world outside has been destroyed, all this changes, when a stranger arrives, giving her a decision to make about what she wants to believe anymore. This is a story that does start in a very interesting manor, by making us see the raising of daughter with the desire to know more about the outside world, this is routine and watching how the stranger and mother are both trying to convince her what is real, we see her needing to bounce between both sides. Once we go to the outside, this is where things start to fall apart for us and it just seems to fizzle out without answers any of the real questions posed.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror in the film comes from learning the truth and just what that might mean for Daughter in her world. The sci-fi side of the film is the highlight because it puts us in the middle of a world that has seen destruction and this puts us in the location that is meant to be safe.

SettingsThe film is set in one location for the most part, the bunker, this does show us just what situation the world is left in, with our character not having anywhere to go. Once we leave the bunker, we do see everything go downhill with the generic looking CGI world.

Special EffectsThe effects are mixed too, with the bunker location and Mother figure looking brilliant, but outside you can see the green screen effects in play.


Scene of the Movie – Searching for the truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The ending.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting sci-fi film that had so much interesting material going in, only for it to fall flat with the ending.

Overall: Falls flat by the end.

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The Returned (2013)

Director: Manuel Carballo

Writer: Hatem Khraiche (Screenplay)

Starring: Emily Hampshire, Kris Holden-Ried, Shawn Doyle, Claudia Bassols, Melina Matthews, Barry Flatman, Olunike Adeliyi

 

Plot: In a post-zombie world, where the infected live normal lives, their retroviral drug is running out.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Idea

 

Story: The Returned starts in a world which lost 100s of millions to a zombie outbreak, now however, there is a cure turning people into The Returned, who need to take a daily medication to remain human. Kate (Hampshire) work with the Returned searching for a longer term cure, but certain people in the world don’t want the zombies returned.

When the extremist groups start targeting The Returned, the race to find a cure intensifies and for Kate it becomes about saving her loved one Alex (Holden-Reid) one of the returned.

 

Thoughts on The Returned

 

Characters – Kate is one of the leading doctors in the field of searching for a complete cure for the Returned, her husband is one of them and she does believe that a cure is achievable if people work together, they problems comes when she gets targeted needing to go on the run. Alex is the husband to Kate, a guitar teacher that got infected trying to help somebody, he is one of the lucky ones that never turned, but he does need to stay on top of the medication to stop him from turning. He goes on the run with Kate while the storm passes over, though he is running low on his medication. We do have the couple that help Kate and Alex, the government figures that are trying to bring him down and the people who are just looking to survive.

PerformancesEmily Hampshire and Kris Holden-Reid do take the leading roles in this film, they are both solid enough in their roles with them both getting one or two scenes where they are great, but most is just seem basic scenes. The rest of the cast are basic too without anyone making any impact on the film.

StoryThe story here brings us into a new vision of a zombie world, one with a cure that has started to get back to normality, until the cure starts running out the world returns to chaos as the uninfected don’t want to be around people that could turn. Bringing this fresh look to a zombie story is interesting, it does borrow ideas from the Dead Rising video game, with the idea of a daily injection can keep the zombie virus at bay. The story does show the struggle between doing the right thing and doing the safe thing, because once the infected get out, there wouldn’t be a way to stop them. It does feel fresh, however it doesn’t play out as strongly as it should, the world seems to modern and undamaged from an outbreak which only disappoints.

Crime/Sci-FiThe crime side of the film shows us just how far people will go to survive in a world which is running out of resources of the cure to stop people turning into zombies. The sci-fi world shows us how people can be saved, though as mentioned it never feels lived in.

SettingsThe films biggest weakness is the settings, the city looks no different than our current one, but with 100s of millions of people dying from a zombie outbreak, the building wouldn’t look this clean and fresh.

Special EffectsTh effects are used to show the change, they are nothing new with most just being zombie turning make up which looks strong for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The zones created.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The city looks to untouched from a disaster.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good idea for a zombie movie, it changes weak elements others have shown to give us a smart look at how the problem could be addressed.

 

Overall: Smart even if it does fail in places.

Rating

 

 

The Unseen (2016)

Director: Geoff Redknap

Writer: Geoff Redknap (Screenplay)

Starring: Aden Young, Camille Sullivan, Julia Sarah Stone, Ben Cotton, Max Chadburn, Alison Araya, Maxwell Haynes

 

Plot: A man who abandoned his family now risks everything to find his missing daughter, including exposing the secret that he is becoming invisible.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Impressive

 

Story: The Unseen starts when Bob Langmore (young) Must return to his family that he abandoned after his daughter Eva (Stone) starts to show signs of wanting to run away, still friendly with his ex- Darlene (Sullivan) he returns home to help, while getting a job done for the shady Crisby (Cotton).

When Eva goes missing, Bob will stop at nothing to get her back as she may also have the same disease he has, one that has been turning him invisible. Can he find a cure before it is too late for his daughter, that is the most important task for him.

 

Thoughts on The Unseen

 

Characters – Bob is a one factory worker, he has left his family for unknow reason, he has kept his end of the financial side of raising a child though, he must return when she wants to go explore the world, before going missing, but his secret has more history in genetics than he could imagine as he starts to go invisible. Darlene was the ex to whom Bob had a child with, she has raised her and must turn to Bob when she has started to act out, putting her own life in danger. Eva is the 17-year-old that is wanting to explore, she takes risk which puts her in danger as she must start to lean about the generics she got from her father.

PerformancesThe performances in this film are wonderful, Aden Young shows us just how withdrawn his character is through the struggles with reality that he will be facing, we see and feel the pain he is suffering from. Camille Sullivan is good without needing to do as much as the others with Julia Sarah Stone getting to improve as the film continues on.

StoryThe story here shows us how an isolated man with a secret that he is slowly turning invisible that must return to his family to prepare his daughter for the change after she goes missing, while dealing with criminals who are forcing him into job. This story has so many layers it may take a while to talk through them all. First we will start with the job angle which is the weaker side of the film and by the books not being much of a challenge to keep up with. Where the story does shine comes from the slowly turning invisible side and needing to rebuild a relationship to prepare his daughter for a chance which will come her way. We could say there are elements of the Invisible Man here, but this is the slow change over an instant one. we get everything from this relationship and it only makes us want to see what the change will take from him next, this is a truly engaging storyline that must be watched all the way through.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action could be considered the safe side of the film we get the basics without seeing too much happen, the horror comes from seeing the change, we only see bits but each time we get to she the next level which will only shock. The sci-fi side of the film shows how the change is happening and puts this in the middle of an everyday lifestyle.

SettingsThe film gives us an everyday setting which only adds to the shocking events of what is going during the film

Special EffectsThe effects are only used when needed, to show the invisibility happening, this is easily the most shocking moments in the film because you are not sure what will start to change first.


Scene of the Movie –
Saving the daughter.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does start slowly than it needs to.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow burner that is well worth the wait, the shocking reveal will leave you shocked and only grab your attention to see what will happen next.

 

Overall: Must watch sci-fi horror

Rating

 

 

The VelociPastor (2018)

Director: Brendan Steere

Writer: Brendan Steere (Screenplay)

Starring: Alyssa Kempinski, Gregory James Cohan, Daniel Steere, Yang Jiechang, Jesse Turtis, Fernando Pacheco de Castro

Plot: After losing his parents, a priest travels to China, where he inherits a mysterious ability that allows him to turn into a dinosaur. At first horrified by this new power, a hooker convinces him to use it to fight crime. And ninjas.


Tagline – A Man of the Claw.

Runtime: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Completely Self-Aware

Story: The VelociPastor starts when Doug Jones (Cohan) whose parents are murdered leading to him to loses his faith, Father Stewart (Steere) sends him of a self-discovery holiday, which sees him head to China, when he returns he finds himself having horrendous nightmares and after he meets a hooker Carol (Kempinski), he tries to put everything together.

Once Doug learns that he can turn into a dinosaur, he works with Carol to fight crime to clean up his own town, including the man that murdered his parents.

Thoughts on The VelociPastor

Characters – Doug Jones is a priest that has followed God for years until his parents are murdered outside his church, he goes on a voyage of self-discovery in China, which sees him infected with an illness. Doug have the ability to turn into a dinosaur, where he decides to use this new power to fight crime in his town, getting revenge on the person who murdered his parents and bring down the drug lord. Carol is a local hooker that meets Doug and sees first-hand just what he is capable off, she pushes him into fighting crime, while she can handle herself in combat too. Father Stewart is the mentor of Doug, he has always helped him keep the faith and is willing to let him discover his faith once more. Wei Chan is the local drug lord that has been controlling the crime in the town, along with his ninjas he will be the fight Doug must take on.

PerformancesThis movie does have the over the top performances which does only help make things more entertaining, Greg Cohan in the leading role knowns when to hold things back before going over the top, which helps the character. Alyssa Kempinski is fun in her role, which brings the change in our lead character through the film. The whole cast know exactly the tone of this film and it shows in the their performances.

StoryThe story here follows a priest that gets infected with something that turns him into a dinosaur and decides to go on to fight crime with this new ability. The first thing you must be prepared for is knowing that this film doesn’t take anything serious and is well aware that everything is as ridiculous as it sounds. The idea behind the film is truly original, it is purely fun and wildly over the top. If you do go into this story thinking you are getting something serious, you will be disappointed because this film is completely self-aware of what it is trying to tell.

Action/Comedy/Horror/Sci-FiThe action in the film does play into the comedy, which is silly and over the top, which does include the dinosaur fighting ninja, which helps with the horror and sci-fi elements in the film.

SettingsThe film is set in a small town, this does help with the idea of how silly this film takes itself without needing to go into anything too serious once again.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are practical, this again plays into the self-aware side of the film, which does show with the dinosaur suit fighting ninja.


Scene of the Movie – Dinosaur v ninjas.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The random Father Stewart backstory.

Final Thoughts This is one if not the most self-aware movies you will see, it is so funny you can enjoy laughing through how ridiculous this film is.

Overall: Purely fun.

Rating

Prospect (2018)

Director: Christopher Caldwell, Zeek Earl

Writer: Christopher Caldwell, Zeek Earl (Screenplay)

Starring: Sophie Thatcher, Jay Duplass, Pedro Pascal, Luke Pitzrick, Arthur Deranleau, Andre Royo, Alex McCauley

 

Plot: A teenage girl and her father travel to a remote alien moon, aiming to strike it rich. They’ve secured a contract to harvest a large deposit of the elusive gems hidden in the depths of the moon’s toxic forest. But there are others roving the wilderness and the job quickly devolves into a fight to survive. Forced to contend not only with the forest’s other ruthless inhabitants, but with her own father’s greed-addled judgment, the girl finds she must carve her own path to escape.


Tagline – No One Survives Alone

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Paced

 

Story: Prospect starts when a father Damon (Duplass) and his daughter Cee (Thatcher) are travelling through space, looking to make a big discovery, thrown off path they land on an alien moon, setting out to explore the area.

When the pair run into Ezra (Pascal) another prospector on the moon, things turn to deals with the tension amped up to see who will leave the moon with the treasure on the moon, or whether leaving is a better option and soon they will learn of the other dangers on the moon.

 

Thoughts on Prospect

 

Characters – Cee is the teenager girl that has been travelling through space with her father, she does want to make a place her home, always wondering if she can get home, she must work with her father and a stranger to survive her time on this latest moon, proving she is ready to step up to do the more difficult tasks in life. Damon is Cee’s father, he has been searching space for valuable treasures so he can get out of this desperate lifestyle, his greed is his biggest weakness. Ezra is a stranger that the two run into, he is after the same thing and must earn their trust to survive and trust them to get survive the threats the moon has to offer.

PerformancesSophie Thatcher as the teenager does everything she can in her role, she doesn’t get to shine on the levels she could, but this falls back into the writing, Jay Duplass really doesn’t get the time to make an impact in this film, while Pedro Pascal is the highlight of the acting, because he must carry large parts of the dialogue in the film.

StoryThe story follows a father and daughter prospector pairing that land on a new moon in search for their own richest only to find themselves in a battle to survive against rivals and the moon itself. This story is easily borrowing the idea of the early days of prospectors around the world, people that travelled great distances in hope of becoming rich, we get to see what is more important, riches or family, all in a position which has threats around every corner. The weakness of this story comes from the idea that moon is dangerous, though we only get environmental issues, with all the other problems being human, it would also have been nice to understand just how big the travelling is in this universe, we just casually follow on ship, is this one of the absolute poorest, is Earth uninhabitable now, there are so many questions about the universe we are entering that feel unanswered.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi side of the film does just seem to be the characters wearing helmets, we barely get anything that makes this as ambitious as it could be.

SettingsThe settings are beautiful though, the opening spaces, the closed woodland, yes it could easily be anywhere on Earth, but the visuals make this look like an alien moon in every shot.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to add environment to the moon, but outside of this for a space based movie, we get very little to work with.


Scene of the Movie –
First exploring of the moon.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is very slow.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the films that could have been a lot more interesting that we get, the pacing of the film does hold everything up and the fact we don’t learn more about the universe doesn’t help us understand just what is going on.

 

Overall: Keep searching for the treasure.

Rating