David Lynch Weekend – Mulholland Drive (2001)

Director: David Lynch

Writer: David Lynch (Screenplay)

Starring: Naomi Watts, Laura Harring, Justin Theroux, Robert Forster, Ann Miller, Dan Hedaya

 

Plot: After a car wreck on the winding Mulholland Drive renders a woman amnesiac, she and a perky Hollywood-hopeful search for clues and answers across Los Angeles in a twisting venture beyond dreams and reality.


Tagline – A woman in search of stardom. A woman in search of herself – in the city of dreams. A key to a mystery – lies somewhere on Mulholland Drive.

Runtime: 2 Hours 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One Day I Will Understand This Gem

 

Story: Mulholland Drive starts as actress Rita (Harring) is involved in an accident but escaping the people trying to kill her. The apartment she takes shelter in is about to be taken up by aspiring actress Betty (Watts) who is staying in her Aunt’s apartment while trying to get on her feet. Director Adam (Theroux) is trying to get his next movie made but is being forced into casting Camilla Rhodes who no one can find.

Rita and Betty work together to find out the truth about who Rita is which brings them closer in an adventure across LA, while Adam is following a path to get his latest movie made and dealing with gangsters.

 

Thoughts on Mulholland Drive

 

Characters – Betty is the innocent young woman who arrives in LA hoping to making it in the acting world, but upon arriving she has an unexpected guest, she is kind natured and willing to help this stranger who ends up taking her to places she never thought she would go. Rita is the lady who has lost her memory, she is hiding out in the apartment that Betty is staying in and is helped along the way to regain her memory. Adam is a cocky director that believes he knows it all when it comes to making a film but he is pushed into making certain decisions which leaves him against what he wishes.

PerformancesNaomi Watts is great in the leading role working perfectly with Laura Harring as the two have great chemistry through the film. we get to see two different sides of the performance seeing how the two different sides of everything unfolds.

StoryWhat starts out as a simple idea of a mystery behind one woman’s amnesia takes a very different turn in the final act of the film which ends up throwing everything we thought we knew up in the air. Like a lot of David Lynch films you will need to watch the story a few times to understand everything putting the pieces together to make a film you can understand but that is why this is one for the brain to enjoy.

MysteryWe are left to figure out what happened, it does take time and I am sure on multiple viewings you will understand what happened.

SettingsThe film is set in LA which helps us understand the dreams and desires of the characters to succeed.

Special EffectsThe effects are only used a couple of times but the truth is they work very well through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Hitman’s mistake adds comic moment to a serious film.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain moments leave you wondering what was that.

Final ThoughtsThis is a mystery movie that I enjoyed so much because it just keeps you needing to rethink nearly every scene in the movie to understand what you just saw.

 

Overall: True mystery brain tester.

Rating

 

 

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The Open House (2018)

Director: Matt Angel, Suzanne Coote

Writer: Matt Angel, Suzanne Coote (Screenplay)

Starring: Dylan Minnette, Piercey Dalton, Sharif Atkins, Patricia Bethune, Matt Angel, Suzanne Coote

 

Plot: A teenager (Dylan Minnette) and his mother (Piercey Dalton) find themselves besieged by threatening forces when they move into a new house.


Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bad Decisions 101

 

Story: Open House starts as Logan’s (Minnette) father is killed in a traffic accident, leaving him and his mother Naomi (Dalton) in debt needing to live in a family open house to help clear debts they have. The house in question is in the middle of the woods, large and genuinely creepy.

When strange things start happening around the house, they believe it might just be people from the open house, but soon things take a sinister turn and the two must fight to survive against an unknown enemy.

 

Thoughts on The Open House

 

Characters – Logan is a star athlete high school student, setting paces that will walk him into any college and even one an Olympic hopeful, but his life is shattered when his coach and father is killed in a traffic incident, this seems Logan moving away with his mother as they try to rebuild their lives and Logan needing to learn the strain that both will be feeling with this loss. Naomi is the mother that loses a husband, trying to remain strong for her son she does the best she can to keep a roof over their heads, even if that means holding up his potential. We do only get small supporting characters through the film, which do play out like suspects in a way, but none get enough time to make you believe it will or won’t be them.

PerformancesThis movie on Netflix is heavily being sold on Dylan Minnette one of the stars of 13 Reasons Why, but his performance in only standard for the genre, never bring too much to his character, which could easily have been more interesting or supportive, Piercey Dalton is good without reaching the strongest mother figure role and for some reasons we watch her have three showers just to make the point that someone is messing with the water.

StoryThe story follows a family that suffer a sudden tragedy who must relocate to make ends meet, which involves living in an open house, only to find themselves being a stalked around their own house by a mysterious man and needing to find a way to survive. This is a basic story that never reaches any suspenseful moments that we needed, we have lazy character development and by the end it feels like this movie was designed to create a bigger project in the future.

HorrorThe horror is fine, but mostly fake jump scares which gets hugely frustrating as by the end you will be left going, well that’s it.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in a home in middle of the woods, we get moments that create isolation, including lose of phone, but even with an easy location it doesn’t get used well enough.


Scene of the Movie –
Couldn’t find one.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Would you really drivee while on the phone after losing a family member in an accident.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappointing horror, it doesn’t use the suspense it had and by the end you are just left thinking ‘meh’

 

Overall: Forgettable horror movie

Rating

 

 

Butterfly on a Wheel (2007)

Director: Mike Barker

Writer: William Morrissey (Screenplay)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Maria Bello, Gerard Butler, Emma Karwandy, Claudette Mink

 

Plot: A perfect family’s dynamic is ruined by a kidnapper’s brutally efficient plot.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Thriller

 

Story: Butterfly on a Wheel starts as we meet successful business man Neil Randall (Butler) and his wife Abby (Bello) live their perfect little life where everything is comfortable for them, with Neil on the verge of a promotion to partner, the two head off the weekend.

The weekend takes a turn for the worse when Tom Ryan (Brosnan) holds the couple hostage with one of his partners keeping their daughter as a bargaining tool. Tom makes the two follow tasks around the city as we learn the motives of Tom’s ideas.

 

Thoughts on Butterfly on a Wheel

 

Characters/PerformanceNeil is an advertising man, family man but distant husband, he is about to get a promotion for all his hard work but once he is forced into playing the games we see his true nature unfold. Abby is the wife of Neil who has given up her career but with a new chance to start she finds herself being forced into playing the games. Tom is the man behind the games, he is forcing the couple to do everything he wants but the question remains why? This air of mystery makes him a very interesting character.

Performance wise, Brosnan is great as the cold-hearted man behind what is going on, Maria Bello is good too through the film showing she can be part of the leading lady in the film and Butler is strong throughout.

StoryThis story does follow the trends of the how far would you go to save your daughter routine, this does leave us with a good mystery about what we are expecting and happy to throw a twist or two our way. I feel the final twist is the saving grace of the film because we must rethink everything we have seen which is always a nice feeling with a film.

Crime/ThrillerThe crime side of this is kidnapping and abducting which work perfectly for the story and we are kept on edge through the film wondering just what are the motives.

SettingsEach setting unfolds to tell us the truth about what has been happening which works as we learn pieces of the puzzle.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller that went under the radar, it is a good watch and one well worth watching if you are a thriller fan.

 

Overall: Enjoyable thriller with plenty of twists.

Rating

 

 

The Texture of Falling (2018)

Director: Maria Allred

Writer: Maria Allred (Screenplay)

Starring: Maria Allred, Benjamin Farmer, Patrick D Green, Donny Persons, Julie Webb

 

Plot: Louisa (Julie Webb) is a filmmaker reeling from a recent professional dejection, who meets Luke (Patrick Green), a pianist experiencing his own artistic crisis. Despite a long-term relationship with Ati, (Donny Persons), Louisa is intrigued by Luke. As Louisa falls for him, her skepticism of romantic love begins to unravel as she surrenders to her passions. But as Louisa and Luke’s romance blooms, a simultaneous story arises as Michael (Benjamin Farmer), a wayward architect estranged from his wife, meets Sylvia, an enigmatic painter. But are these parallels merely a coincidence?


Tagline – An intricate tapestry of love, power dynamics, and artistic drive weaves through Portland, Oregon’s picturesque cityscape and begs the question, what is real?

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Thriller

 

Story: The Texture of Falling starts as we meet filmmaker Louisa (Webb) that is struggling with her work, who bumps into Luke (Green) a man she had previously met at a film gathering even though Louisa is in a dwindling relationship. We also follow Michael (Farmer) an architect who isn’t enjoying the company of his wife who meets artist Sylvia (Allred) that opens new doors for experiences for him.

Just when things start to look promising for the four, things start to go badly as the previous current relationships show the importance of where they want to be going.

 

Thoughts on The Texture of Falling

 

Characters – Louisa is a filmmaker that is struggling with her latest project, she has put added pressure on herself to succeed with this project, but a spark with musician Luke distracts her from this only to leave her right where she started. Luke is a musician that previously worked with Louisa on projects, but now he is also lost with his carer which drives him to the arms of Louisa even if it does mean losing he kids or not. Sylvia is an artist that gets involved with Michael the architect, she pushes him to new limits, while having an air of mystery about her. Michael is an architect that has never come out of his comfort zone until he meets Sylvia a woman that shows him something new away from his wife.

PerformancesThe performances across the film are good with Julie Webb giving the strongest as down on her luck and inspiration filmmaker, I feel we do spend slightly more time with her and Patrick Green and they work well together. Maria Allred pulls double duty, both behind the camera and on front and you can see her talent through as a director with her use of visuals in the movie.

StoryThe story follows two different relationships play out with four people who have their own problems which could stop them finding their way to make everything work out. Everything plays out to give us a real relationship feeling and by the end of the film everything will be turned on its head for you.

ThrillerThis does a thriller side to things as we see how things could be going wrong.

SettingsThe settings keep us in Portland which is a big city showing the people from different worlds can collide.


Scene of the Movie –
The final 10 minutes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Michael really can’t pour champagne

Final ThoughtsThis an enjoyable relationship based drama thriller that shows how difficult it can be when meeting people in the life which could change it, with a twist that will surprise you.

 

Overall: Smart drama thriller that reflects moments of real life.

Rating

 

 

Jungle (2017)

Director: Greg McLean

Writer: Justin Monjo (Screenplay) Yossi Ghinsberg (Book)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, Thomas Kretschmann, Alex Russell, Joel Jackson, Lily Sullivan, Joel Jackson

 

Plot: A group of friends join a guide for a trek into the Bolivian jungle, searching for an Indian village. The men soon realize that the jungle is a difficult place to be.


Tagline – Nature Has Only One Law – Survival

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brutal Adventure Story

 

Story: Jungle starts as we follow Israeli young men Yossi Ghinsberg (Radcliffe) as he spends a planned year travelling, finding himself in Bolivia meeting Marcus (Jackson) and Kevin (Russell) two fellow travellers. When they meet guide Karl (Kretschmann) he offers to guide them through the jungle, which the three accept as an experience they couldn’t refuse.

When Marcus becomes injured and unable to walk, the group must find another way out of the jungle, which involve heading down the river on a raft. This causes the group to split up with Karl taking Marcus back by foot, while Yossi and Kevin head off further into the jungle. Once the friends hit some strong rapids, the two becomes separate and now Yossi is alone in the jungle.

 

Thoughts on Jungle

 

Characters – Yossi is the Israeli backpacker that in Bolivia heads off into the jungle with newly found friends, when he gets separated we follow his epic battle to survive the wilderness in the harsh environment where he must learn to survive. Kevin is the American photographer that joins on the adventure through the jungle hoping to get some breath-taking shots, he does get them but does find himself alone once he gets split up from the rest of the group. Karl is the guide that knows he way through the jungle, he takes the injured Marcus back to safety leaving the other two to fend for themselves.

PerformancesDaniel Radcliffe is fantastic in this leading role, he continues to push himself away from the Harry Potter films with another challenging role which pushed to the limits. We have a good supporting cast who all perform well, but they don’t get much time to be anything but good.

StoryThe story follows Yossi incredible story of survival when he got lost in the Bolivian jungle. It starts out as an innocent trip in the jungle, but soon turns into a nightmare, this is based on the book by Yossi, so, well you know how it is going to end, but seeing what he goes through is hellacious to say the least. If you want to see a story of one man’s desperate battle to survive then this one will be for you to enjoy.

Action/AdventureThe action adventure side of the film shows just how much Yossi must do to survive the situation he finds himself in and just what he must do to survive.

SettingsThe film is set in the jungle, which makes perfect sense, we get to see just how real the experience would have been for Yossi, we even get the moments of beauty he was searching for.

Special EffectsWe have a mix of effects here, the practical ones that Radcliffe goes through, but the strange vision sequences don’t seem to click well enough.


Scene of the Movie –
Head Bug.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It needed more in the endurance.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that has a brilliant performance from Radcliffe who goes through a hell of a lot. It does feel slightly long in places though.

 

Overall: Radcliffe Shines.

Rating