Inheritance (2020) Movie Review

Director: Vaughn Stein

Writer: Matthew Kennedy (Screenplay)

Starring: Lily Collins, Simon Pegg, Connie Nielsen, Chance Crawford, Patrick Warburton, Marque Richardson

Plot: A patriarch of a wealthy and powerful family suddenly passes away, leaving his daughter with a shocking secret inheritance that threatens to unravel and destroy the family.

Tagline – Some Secrets Should Stay Buried.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Steady Thriller

Story: Inheritance starts with the tragic news of Archer Monroe’s (Warburton) death, seeing his children district attorney Lauren (Collins) and favourite child William (Crawford) being left large sums of money, with Lauren receive an extra gift Morgan Warner (Pegg) locked away on the grounds.

Lauren decides to investigate the truth about Morgan, learning the deeper darker secrets of her father, the ones that could destroy the family and her father’s legacy.

Thoughts on Inheritance

Characters – Lauren Monroe is the district attorney, she took this role against her father’s wishes, she is married with her own family given her share of an inheritance, $1million and a key to a room, a room that will turn her life upside down, she must deal with the reality of her father’s secret life and the decision on whether to let the stranger locked up free. Morgan Warner is the man that is locked up, held captive for years by Archer, left to Lauren, he has secrets that will shatter everything about Lauren’s life and her ideas of her father, he wants his freedom and needs to convince Lauren that he has never done anything wrong. Catherine is the wife of Archer, unaware of what he has been up to in life, while William is Lauren’s brother who did get a larger portion of the inheritance.

PerformancesLily Collins in the leading role is strong, she brings us an attorney we could believe, who shows the conflict of what to do. Simon Pegg is the highlight of the film, bringing to life the mysterious figure who is filled with stories. The rest of the cast don’t get as much time to make an impact in the story.

StoryThe story here follows a district attorney that inherits something very strange, a man locked in the family bunker, a man that has secrets about the family, ones her father has kept secrets for years, left in a position on whether to let the man go or not. This is a story that is about deciding whether to do the right thing or not, it shows how somebody could bring destruction to a life, with truths and secrets can always ruining a reputation. We might well have a slower pace in the opening half of the film, but things do boil up over time with an intense conclusion.

MysteryThe mystery in this film is all around what could be happening, who Morgan really is and why has he been held for so long, it does keep us wanting to know more about him.

SettingsThe film uses the captive bunker as a major setting, the most important conversations happen here, with everything outside this location, not giving us enough to get behind.

Scene of the Movie – The final act.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The case Lauren is working on it implied it will be important, but it seems to get forgotten through the film.

Final Thoughts This is a nice mystery that does keep you guessing, carried by Simon Pegg’s turn in a role you wouldn’t normally see him in.

Overall: Mystery 101

Signature Entertainment presents Inheritance on Digital HD July 6th & DVD 13th July

Chatroom (2010) Movie Review – Coming to Amazon Prime 3rd July

Director: Hideo Nakata

Writer: Edna Walsh (Screenplay) Enda Walsh (Play)

Starring: Aaron Taylor Johnson, Imogen Poots, Matthew Beard, Hannah Murray, Daniel Kaluuya

Plot: 5 teenagers are introduced to each other in a chatroom called “Chelsea Teens!”, all with different personalities. But when one shows its darker side, it threatens the life of the others.

Tagline – Control. Alter. Delete.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Eye Opening

Story: Chatroom starts as William (Taylor-Johnson) opens up a new chatroom called ‘Chelsea Teens’ which sees four fellow teens Mo (Kaluuya), Jim (Beard), Emily (Murray) and Eva (Poots) join, while they are still on their laptops, we are show how a giant hotel has different chatrooms, for people to join for an open conversation.

Outside the chatroom, the five teens have their own problems, using their time in the chatroom to focus on dealing with the problems, escaping the pain of their everyday life, only are they being truthfully in the chatroom.

Thoughts on Chatroom

Characters – William sets up the chatroom, he does this to escape his overbearing parents that are trying to control his life, he does show a confidence in the chatroom, which will let people follow his instructions, suggestions to improve themselves, he does have hacking skills, which could make him a threat, but outside of the chatroom, he is on suicide levels of depression. Jim is a lonely teenager, he can’t communicate with people very well, which sees him finding any social interaction uncomfortable. Mo is nervous about being in the room, he is having a difficult mindset about a crush on an underage girl, where he knows it is wrong, only he is tempted to look into the ideas. Emily is from a posh family, she is being prepared for life in a proper manner, only she is becoming angry about the location she is in, turning to the room for a chance to find someone to talk to, becoming more rebellious along the way. Eva is a model that is tired of being looked down upon by the fellow models, she wants a change, which William starts to offer, while helping Emily out of her own slump, preparing her to open up more in the world.

PerformancesWe have an excellent cast here, most of these actors have gone onto bigger projects and you can see why, being showing us how talent the likes of Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Daniel Kaluuya, Imogen Poots and Hannah Murray are, add in Matthew Beard, we have a cast that shows just how difficult growing up can be.

StoryThe story here follows five teenagers that turn to chatrooms to help them deal with the problems in their lives, until they see it become more of a personal issue. When looking at this story we must remember it was made in 2010, when chatrooms were still a bigger thing, the dangers of them had become clearer and here we see how certain rooms can be used in other methods, to create the events through the film. The real life issues of depression and using the chatroom for escape, we see how isolation happens, with technology becoming the place you turn, which can cause even more pain. Showing us just how depression can consume people without the right people around them.

ThrillerThe film does create a thrilling side, by seeing how William is becoming consumed with wanting to use the power he seems to have gained through his action.

SettingsThe film uses the setting of everyday to show the difficult lives the characters are living through, this is everything you would expect to see, what is the stand out of location, would be the hotel like structure that the chatrooms are designed to look like, the halls, the doors, each room fits the theme created.

Scene of the Movie – The meetings.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The Mo side of the story doesn’t get enough exploration.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting thriller that hits hard on the dangers of the modern world obsession with social media, showing how people could spiral out of control as they look for help in the wrong places.

Overall: Great Thriller.

Signature Entertainment presents Chatroom on Amazon Prime July 3rd

Tobey Maguire Weekend – Pawn Sacrifice (2014) Movie Review

Director: Edward Zwick

Writer: Steven Knight (Screenplay) Stephen J Rivele, Christopher Wilkinson, Steven Knight (Story)

Starring: Tobey Maguire, Liev Schreiber, Michael Stuhlbarg, Peter Sarsgaard, Lily Rabe, Edward Zinoviev, Alexandre Gorchkov

Plot: Set during the Cold War, American chess prodigy Bobby Fischer finds himself caught between two superpowers and his own struggles as he challenges the Soviet Empire.

Tagline – In 1972, Bobby Fischer faced the Soviet Union in the greatest chess match ever played. On the board he fought the Cold War. In his mind he fought his madness.

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Chess Made Interesting

Story: Pawn Sacrifice starts as a young Bobby Fischer grows up learning chess, his reputation grows and before long he becomes the champion of America. Not happy with just winning in America Bobby (Maguire) wants to become the youngest world champion and take on the Russian players with the world champion Boris Spassky (Schreiber).

After learning how the Russians play, Bobby storms out of the game, knowing he wouldn’t get a chance to win, Paul Marshall (Stuhlbarg) and priest Father Bill Lombardy (Sarsgaard) agree to work with Bobby to put his name back on the map, to one get the showdown with the champion Boris.

Thoughts on Pawn Sacrifice

Characters – Bobby Fischer is an American chess prodigy, he has proven himself in America and wants to conquer the world, it doesn’t take long before he starts learning about the corruption within the game, which will hold him back, he does make himself difficult to work with, always believing he is being bugged by the Russians, storming out at certain moments, his determination to have thing done a certain done the right way, does make things more complicated for his future in the sport. It is clear that Bobby is dealing with a lot of mental issues, which don’t get dealt with properly. Boris Spassky is the Russian Grand Master, current World Champion, that like Bobby is being controlled by his handlers, he just wants to prove himself against the best, which means facing Bobby in whichever style of game possible. Paul Marshall is the man that brings Bobby back to the game, he becomes his manager, making thing happen for the player, however difficult Bobby is to work with.

PerformancesTobey Maguire is wonderful in the leading role, this is one of the movies which does seem to be one of the finally screen appearances in years, which is a shame because of how talented he is. Liev Schreiber is great to watch as the rival chess player, with the fellow supporting cast, Michael Stuhlbarg and Peter Sarsgaard both giving strong performances.

StoryThe story here follows the rise of chess genius Bobby Fischer as he deals with his own mental health when trying to break down the Russian dominance in the world of chess to become the new world champion. This is an interesting story because it does show how conflicted Bobby was when it came to the game of chess, he did want to become champion, but being in the middle of the cold war, only built up the tension between the nations playing the game too. If we were going to look to learn the full Bobby Fischer story, we will be left disappointed because his life because even more fascinating after the big championship match.

BiopicThe biopic side of this film only shows the build up to the big championship match, where the two heavyweights will come to face each other, instead of the more interesting later steps of his life.

SettingsThe film does show us just how many different locations that could be bugged that would cause the problems for Bobby.

Scene of the Movie – The chess matches.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We could learn so much more about Bobby’s life after this big match.

Final Thoughts This is an enjoyable thriller about chess, who would have thought of this beforehand. Tobey Maguire is great to watch through the film.

Overall: Interesting Chess Thriller.

The Ipcress File (1965) Movie Review

Director: Sidney J Furie

Writer: W.H. Canaway, James Doran (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Caine, Nigel Green, Guy Doleman, Sue Lloyd, Gordon Jackson, Aubrey Richards, Frank Gatliff

Plot: In London, a counter espionage Agent deals with his own bureaucracy while investigating the kidnapping and brainwashing of British scientists.

Tagline – Spy man, spy man, what do you see? “One murder! Two murders! And mine makes three!”

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Nice Spy Movie

Story: The Ipcress File starts when one of the top British scientists vanishes, former solider Harry Palmer (Caine) is transferred to Major Dolby (Green) who is leading the hunt for the scientist, which sees them tracking down an arms dealer, while stumbling into a bigger case involving a recording known as the Ipcress.

The deeper into the case Palmer gets, the more mysteries if leaves, as a bigger threat to the UK seems to be in play and Palmer is the only one that is willing to accept the problems.

Thoughts on The Ipcress File

Characters – Harry Palmer is a former soldier that has been placed on surveillance job by his government, until he gets a promotion to track down a missing scientist, he is a womaniser in his free time and has a taste for a good meal, he does think on his feet when it comes to tracking down the suspects and gets more results than any other agents. Major Dolby assigns the jobs for Palmer, being strict, but fair, he understands most ideas are done for the good of the cause, though he will not accept being going against orders. Colonel Ross is the man that Palmer used to work for, where he must send Palmer into his latest mission. Jean is the love interest, who has come from the offices they work at, also an agent that becomes charmed by Palmer.

PerformancesMichael Caine in the leading role is head and shoulders above the rest of the cast, he is the one you want to watch the most through the film, while the rest of the cast aren’t bad, they just don’t reach his levels.

StoryThe story here follows a British Intelligence Agent who is trying to search of a scientist, only to find himself investigating a much bigger threat to the country and must solve this before it becomes too late. We have a story here where the lead character Palmer, is left to question who he can trust, never knowing who is on his side, so both him and the audience will continue to try and put the piece together. In the grander scale of the story it is nice to have something on this scale, which could easily have been real for the time of making this movie, but now we are in a situation where this wouldn’t be much of a threat.

ThrillerThe thriller side of the film is all about how it tries to keep us guessing to what will happen next, this is interesting as we see the tensions slowly build on all sides about the truth.

SettingsThe film keeps the film set in and around London, it shows us just how massive operations could be happening right under our noses.

Scene of the Movie – The showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The other use of the womaniser trait for Harry.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting spy thriller that for the time would have been highly intense, but with new technology comes new weaknesses.

Overall: Easy to Watch Spy Thriller.

The Luring (2019) Movie Review

Director: Christopher Wells

Writer: Christopher Wells (Screenplay)

Starring: Molly Fahey, Michaela Sprague, Jake Katzman, Rick Irwin, Alex Emanuel, Daniel Martin Berkley

Plot: A man tries to recover a lost memory by returning to his family’s Vermont vacation home where an unspeakable act took place leaving him institutionalized as a child.

Tagline – Sometimes We Are Called To The Darkness

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow Thriller

Story: The Luring starts when Garrett (Irwin) heads back to a Vermont vacation home with his girlfriend Claire (Sprague) to look into the memories that he can’t remember as a child, waiting to meet a mysterious woman Jennifer (Fahey) from the internet, that might fill in the gaps for him.

As the time away sees Garrett acting strangely with the visits from Jennifer, while seeing himself start to become distant from Claire, as his past starts to come back to him.

Thoughts on The Luring

Characters – Garrett grew up with a blank in his memory, he wants to try and fill in this gap, which sees him returning to a family vacation home with his girlfriend, he is getting tired of his girlfriend and as the memories return, we see the darker side of his character, the side which may have caused the memory blank. Claire is the girlfriend that is desperate to have a good weekend away, she loves Garrett and is willing to spend her life with him, even if she is already sensing the problems between the two. Jennifer is the mysterious woman that has been willing to help fill in the holes in Garrett’s memories, only for her to have a real reason for drawing him back to the town.

PerformancesThe performances in this film are not the strongest, as some characters do feel overplayed, while others don’t seem to break out, to make their character standout in anyway.

StoryThe story here follows a man that is looking to fix the memories he has lost from his childhood, only for the truth to come out and haunt him more. This is a story that does do the memory needing refilled well enough, only we do seem to get two moments of story that feel completely out of place for the rest of the film. As the story unfolds, we do get to growing distain towards Garrett. We don’t seem to get into the full extend of what is causing everything to happen though, leaving a lot left to the imagination.

HorrorThe horror side of the film comes from seeing how the noises can’t be explained, before we do see one terrifying figure.

SettingsThe film uses the one main location, the vacation home, which has tragedy about it, it will create isolation for our characters through the film.

Scene of the Movie – The stilts.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The two scenes which seem disconnected to the main story.

Final Thoughts This is a horror thriller that doesn’t seem to use the ideas of memories being lost, to create everything, only for most things to end up missing, with exception of the stilts character being truly terrifying.

Overall: Thriller that doesn’t hit all the marks.