Cruel Intention (1999)

Director: Roger Kumble

Writer: Roger Kumble (Screenplay) Choderlos de Laclos (Novel)

Starring: Sarah Michelle Gellar, Ryan Phillippe, Reese Witherspoon, Selma Blair, Louise Fletcher, Joshua Jackson, Eric Mabius

 

Plot: Two vicious step-siblings of an elite Manhattan prep school make a wager: to deflower the new headmaster’s daughter before the start of term.


Tagline – What you can’t have, you can’t resist.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Darkly Delicious

 

Story: Cruel Intentions starts as the elite prep school step siblings Kathryn (Gellar) and Sebastian (Phillippe) are planning their next conquests in making the fellow students or authority figures pay for going against them. Kathryn wants to destroy new student Cecile (Blair) for dating her ex-girlfriend, while Sebastian wants to break the new headmaster’s daughter Annette’s (Witherspoon) belief about waiting for sex before marriage.

We watch how the two navigate their way through the elite to achieve their goals only for Sebastian to start to change from his seductive ways.

 

Thoughts on Cruel Intentions

 

Characters – Kathryn is the two faced elite society girl, two the parents she is the good polite guide for their daughters through the prep school, with her brother and friends she plays people however she wants to get things done, she holds grudges and has power over her step-brother, to help her enjoy seeing people fall. Sebastian has a reputation that has seen him go through the girls at the school, he gets what he wants but is bored of the easy girls that can be pushed around. He sets his sights on the new headmaster’s daughter which will give him a new look on life. Annette is the headmaster’s daughter that has sworn off sex before marriage, she is determined not to let Sebastian take advantage of her and break her code, knowing the truth about his past.

PerformancesSarah Michelle Gellar was known for her bad ass Buffy the Vampire Slayer when this movie came out, this performance broke her typecast and showed that she could do a much darker role. Ryan Phillippe is wonderful in this role, you can see how he plans to get ahead at every step of the way believing his confident character. Reese Witherspoon bought us the innocent character we now know her for, we need her to be strong, she is and that look makes her look the part perfectly. This is easily one of he best cast movies of recent years.

StoryThe story takes us into the elite prep school life where the kids are free enough to be planning their next sexual conquest because money is no longer an issue for them. Seeing how the story plans out is interesting from early on to the finish as the plans between the characters and how the step-siblings manipulate the people in their lives is twisted. The pace of the story is great too, it never feels like it lets up from start to finish. It does however show how stupid rich kids can be because they have never learnt morals.

RomanceThe romance in this film is a complete mix, we get to see how romance can be used just for sex and how it can change people to become better people.

SettingsThe New York setting is perfect for this movie, it shows how the elite school kids can get up to the most pointless behaviour because of boredom and belief they have the power over anyone.


Scene of the Movie –
The fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me These kids never go to school.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful dark romantic thriller, that uses the music perfectly, has brilliant performances and is easily one of the most watchable films out of the late 90s.

 

Overall: Special movie that hasn’t aged a day.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – O – OtherLife (2017)

Director: Ben C Lucas

Writer: Kelley Eskridge, Ben C Lucas, Gregory Widen (Screenplay)

Starring: Jessica De Gouw, Thomas Cocquerel, T.J. Power, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Sarah Anjuli, Liam Graham, Tiriel Mora, Clarence John Ryan

 

Plot: After inventing a drug that induces time-compressed virtual realities, young Ren grapples with partner Sam over how to use their powerful creation.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Sci-Fi Film

 

Story: OtherLife starts as Ren Amari (De Gouw) is trying to sale her brilliant invention, a virtual reality world creator that can let you experience breath taking moments within minutes of your life. With her partner Sam (Power) they could be about to change the world, though Ren has been working on a side project to help save her brother, who didn’t survive the virtual experience.

When Ren puts her boyfriend Danny (Cocquerel) on her latest project disaster strikes and she is left facing jail time, unless she complies with Sam and the correction department that want to use her creation to teach criminals a lesson in a matter of minutes, she becomes the first person to go through one year in one minute, can she survive this isolation, until she learns the truth about the last year of her life.

 

Thoughts on OtherLife

 

Characters – Rem Amari is a brilliant programmer who created OtherLife, a virtual reality program that lets people live life experiences in minutes, as her ambitious continues to grow, so does the risks she is willing to take, this is until something goes wrong. She is meant to be the first trialist of a long-term experience in correctional behaviour, but after her year in the system she learns the truth and must learn what has actually happened to her. Danny is the boyfriend of Ren’s that she believes she accidentally kills leading her to take the deal in the first place. Sam is the partner in the company, he is interested in profit over the science which causing friction between the two, he even talks Ren into making the deal in the first place.

PerformancesJessica De Gouw is wonderful in the leading role, we get to see how someone can be changed with a limited capacity that does make us believe everything she is going through, she is clearly the best performer in this film. when we look at the rest of the cast we do get good performances without them being at the same level as Jessica.

StoryThe story here takes us to a world where we are looking at the reality of virtual reality experiences in minutes as we follow one woman that wants her design to help bring her brother out of his coma, but the risks push things too far leading to her needing to take the next experience. This is a sci-fi film that will make you think from start to finish and does have twists along the way which is all I ever ask for in sci-fi films. The biggest aspect behind this film is playing into the idea of experiencing something yourself or tricking your brain into experiencing it for you.

Crime/Mystery/Sci-Fi The crime side of the film comes to us through the human experiments that were not legal for certain parts of them. The mystery comes from Ren’s experience in the correctional system as she needs to learn to unlock the truth about what is happening. The sci-fi side of the film comes from the technology and the usage it receives by playing the programs in the brain.

SettingsThe film takes us on the locational tour of the film, we have the office complex as well as the isolated location Ren finds herself in, while we also head to the locations which would be off the map.

Special EffectsThe effects are strong throughout as we see the different moments being used for different positions the characters are in.


Scene of the Movie –
The clocks countdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It would have been nice to see a couple more locations you could experience.

Final ThoughtsThis is a smart sci-fi film that does offer the questions I enjoy seeing in sci-fi films about increased usage of technology, it has a strong leading performance from Jessica De Gouw and does keep you guessing until the very end.

 

Overall: Sci-fi to enjoy testing the brain.

Rating

 

 

I Am Going to Kill Someone Friday (2018)

Director: Durden Godfrey

Writer: Durden Godfrey, Taurean Royal, Jared Rush (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Siedle, Joe W Nowland, Faneal Godbold, David E McMahon, Lisa Mcconnell, Glen Krotov, Traci L Newman, Scott Broughton

 

Plot: Robert Partridge lives a normal life with his normal family in a normal neighborhood, working a normal job. But Robert Partridge is not normal.


Tagline – Who is Robert Partridge and who is he going to kill?

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Unsettling Thriller

 

Story: I Am Going to Kill Someone This Friday starts as we meet Robert Partridge (Siedle), he has a normal life, with a family, job and everyday problems. He gets visited by two detectives as he recounts the previous week of his life.

Ass the week continues we get to see how Robert gets stressed out by everything in life which leads him to the dark feelings in his head as he starts judging everyone in life as he looks to select a victim for him to kill on Friday.

 

Thoughts on I Am Going to Kill Someone This Friday

 

Characters – Robert Partridge has a wife, son, successful job, nice house everything to make him seem like a normal guy, this week is different because the stress of life it finally getting to him bringing out a darker side to his personality. We follow Robert interact with his family, colleagues and everyday people each with a different manner. By having the other characters only interacting with him we don’t get much time to learn about them away from Robert.

PerformancesTom Siedle in this leading role is so unsettling to watch, we see how he can switch his characters behaviour in the click of the fingers which only makes us want to see where things go next. His performance makes us want to see just where he will go next and lets everyone else work off him.

StoryThe story follows the one week in this normal mans life, one where things push him to the limits where he wants to break out of his stress and do something terrible, like kill somebody. The unease this film gives us shows us from the opening sequences that he is being approached by police, which makes us spend the film figuring out just who he is going to target. We get plenty of potential suspects with only seemingly one guy he gets on with (the coffee dude) being off the table. Keeping the story going over one week shows us just how stress can affect people in the wrong way and makes us learn to take a deep breath at times, but it will leave you with a big surprise by the end.

ThrillerWatching how Robert selects his potential victims with the added unsettling music just adds to all the tension being felt through this movie.

SettingsThe film keeps us in one city, we see the quiet side, the busy and the in-between, the locations Robert would go to through his week.


Scene of the Movie –
The final shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me One big moment doesn’t get enough attention.

Final ThoughtsThis is a truly unsettling film, it makes you want to see what will happen next even if you don’t want to see it.

 

Overall: Edgy, uncomfortable, one you can’t look away from.

Rating

 

 

Inhumanity (2018)

Director: Joe McReynolds

Writer: Joe McReynolds (Screenplay)

Starring: Darcel Danielle, Diana Rose, Ford Austin, Leviticus Wolfe, Karl Anderson, Darrell N Mitchell

 

Plot: Narrowly escaping death at the hands of a notorious serial killer, Jessa Dixon awakens from a coma to learn her father committed suicide. Unconvinced, she investigates the suspicious suicide and uncovers a dark corporate conspiracy involving the police and the psychotic killer that almost took her life.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slightly Too Much Going On

 

Story: Inhumanity starts when serial killer Six Pack Sam (Wolfe) is about to kill his latest victim Jessa (Danielle) before getting stopped before he finishes, leaving Jessa in a coma, Dr Campbell (Rose) wants to use Six Pack Sam as an experiment.

3-months later Jessa awakens from her coma to learn her father committed suicide and she isn’t convinced, joining forces with a journalist she starts to investigate what happened, with Sergio (Austin) a former friend of her father’s, only to uncover a bigger conspiracy involving the experiment of Six Pack Sam.

 

Thoughts on Inhumanity

 

Characters – Jessa is the latest victim of serial killer Six Pack Sam, she survives in a coma, waking up to learn her father has committed suicide. She isn’t willing to accept this and sets of to investigate the truth. While she is a victim we don’t see enough about how she wants the truth and she never feels like she is doing the leg work. Dr Campbell is the one operating the experiments on Six Pack Sam, she goes against the people who want her search to make sure her idea could change the world. Sergio is a friend of Jessa’s father, the one who uses his connection to help her learn the truth, he has his addiction which could cause problems between the two. Six Pack Sam is the serial rapist and murderer, stronger than most men, he just doesn’t hold back when it comes to committing his crimes, now he is being experimented on as we learn about his motivation.

PerformancesDarcel Danielle is the leading role is good as the victim and woman that wants to know the truth, she isn’t just a woman on a mission which makes her performance need to be more withdrawn at times. Diana Rose is good as the idealistic woman believing she can change. Ford Austin is good as the investigator trying to get to the bottom of everything. Leviticus Wolfe is an imposing threat as the serial killer and rapist which makes him the standout performer in this film.

StoryThe story here follows one woman that awakes from a coma after a sexual assault to learn that her father has killed himself and must try to figure out just what really happened to her father. This would have been enough for a conspiracy riddle thriller, though we get more with a doctor trying to cure a serial killer of his ways which with balance could have work too. The problems with the story come from the overcomplication of characters involved in the conspiracy which only ends up giving us an extended run time with less time with the characters we need to be following. If you do like watching films that go around with large numbers, this will be one that could be enjoyed.

Action/HorrorThe action is a mix of different fights, with the assassin like guy chasing down Jessa as the highlight of them, the horror in the film comes from just where and how brutal the kills going on.

SettingsThe film takes place in a city, one we don’t know which has the serial killer in it and shows us just how everything can end up being in this one city.


Scene of the Movie –
Chainsaw time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me One or two too many characters introduced.

Final ThoughtsThis is an action thriller with a pinch of horror that is ambitious with the pure number of characters we are introduced too. We get a slow build up to the big conclusion which will be remembered.

 

Overall: Action thriller that is slightly too long.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – K – Kill Command (2016)

Director: Steven Gomez

Writer: Steve Gomez (Screenplay)

Starring: Vanessa Kirby, David Ajala, Mike Noble, Bentley Kalu, Tom McKay, Kelly Gough, Thure Lindhardt

 

Plot: Set in a near future, technology-reliant society that pits man against killing machines.


Tagline – You can’t fight the future.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sci-Fi That Doesn’t Shine

 

Story: Kill Command starts when a robot training facility has started to malfunction, Mills (Kirby) an engineer is set there with a military squad to bring things under control, Captain Bukes (Lindhardt) leads the team as they go face to face with the killer robots.

When the operations goes well it looks like it will be an easy trip home, only now the robots are copying the techniques shown by the soldiers, making them deadlier killers and the race to survive is on.

 

Thoughts on Kill Command

 

Characters – Miles is a robotic engineer that looks like a human but has the ability to talk to the robots and understand their movements. She does show human emotion which will be her weakness when confronting the robots. Captain Bukes leads his team into the combat zone, he isn’t happy about having Miles joining the team and over the course of the events must learn to trust her. Robinson is the older soldier that knows how to keep the soldier’s calmer during the mission, when others panic he can step up.

PerformancesWhen we study the performances the first name that jumps out is Vanessa Kirby who has been the supporting star of The Crown, she is good as she isn’t meant to be showing emotion in her characters decisions. When you look at the guys playing the soldiers, they could easily be interchangeable as none make that much of an impact in the story.

StoryThe story follows thee idea of a military group needing to deal with a robotic problem in a training camp after the robots start going rogue. This brings us the normal military characters who are looking to get the job done and a subplot about humanised robot that can work with both sides to solve the problem. Most of the story plays out as a warning against the ideas of turning to technology for solutions.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action we get to see is military based as we have military operations and learning how to adapt to these changes. The horror comes from knowing the computers are taking over and they are learning at an alarming rate, which plays into the sci-fi elements to the story.

SettingsThe film takes place on a training island, which saves on the budget as this could be any island anywhere in the world.

Special EffectsThe effects are good as the machines feel like they are part of the real world from start to finish.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It didn’t feel the most original.

Final ThoughtsThis is a standard sci-fi movie which never becomes its own.

 

Overall: Sci-fi Forgettable

Rating