ABC Film Challenge – Romance – # – 45 Years (2015)

Director: Andrew Haigh

Writer: Andrew Haigh (Screenplay) David Constantine (Short Story)

Starring: Charlotte Rampling, Tom Courtenay, Geraldine James, Dolly Wells, David Sibley, Sam Alexander

 

Plot: A married couple preparing to celebrate their wedding anniversary receives shattering news that promises to forever change the course of their lives.


Tagline – Do we really know our loved ones?

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Drama

 

Story: 45 Years starts as we meet the Mercer’s, Kate (Rampling) Geoff (Courtenay) a married couple preparing for their 45th wedding anniversary, Kate does most of the planning and does extra caring for Geoff because of his memory starting to go. They are respected through the whole town with most of the people looking forward to the party.

When Geoff starts remembering the story of a woman he met before Kate, it puts Kate’s feelings in a frenzy and she wants to learn where she really stands in his life after all these years.

 

Thoughts on 45 Years

 

Characters – Kate is the former teacher (I think) who has been married for 45 years in what she believed was a perfect marriage, until she learns about a woman before they met, she goes through the questions of just where she stands in his life, even after all these years. Geoff is her husband, his memory isn’t what it used to be and it is his memory of his former love that puts the story on the rocks. Everyone else we meet are people from the town, friends who have known them for years.

PerformancesCharlotte Rampling got an Oscar nomination for this role, you can see why she is fantastic as we see how she must try to hold in her emotions through the struggle. Tom Courtenay is also fantastic as the elderly man that can’t keep everything together like he once did. The rest of the cast doesn’t get too much screen time which is fine because it is our couple story.

StoryThe story follows a couple of soon to be 45 years preparing for their anniversary, only for a moment to throw the years or marriage out the window through the eyes of one of the couple. We only follow the week leading up to the event which is great because we know how happy their marriage was before the events. It shows how one moment could change how everything seems which is reality many people would have in life and it also shows how important love can be for a couple even if at times things could be questioned.

RomanceThe romance in this film shows just what the two would have been through with the years of marriage, how they must learn to stay loyal to each other no matter what.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the singular town setting, it gives the film an authentic feeling of just where the couple have been for years and never look out of place here.


Scene of the Movie –
The party.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is never fully explained is Geoff is just getting old or ill with his memory issues.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those dramas you can see why it got the Oscars attention, but it won’t be something for the casual film fans to be going to watch and it does show how a real long-term relationship goes.

 

Overall: True to how love is.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – # – 28 Days Later (2002) Revisited

Director: Danny Boyle

Writer: Alex Garland (Screenplay)

Starring: Cillian Murphy, Naomie Harris, Christopher Eccleston, Brendan Gleeson, Megan Burns, Noah Huntley

 

Plot: Four weeks after a mysterious, incurable virus spreads throughout the UK, a handful of survivors try to find sanctuary.


Tagline – The Days Are Numbered

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Modern Horror

 

Story: 28 Days Later starts in the aftermath of a virus being unleashed, Jim (Murphy) wakes from a coma in a hospital unaware of what has occurred, searching the empty streets of London, it doesn’t take him long to run into an infected member of society, where Selena (Harris) and Mark (Huntley) who explain what has happened to the country.

After an attack by the infected Jim and Selena are left alone searching the streets of London they discover Frank (Gleeson) and his daughter Hannah (Burns) hidden in an apartment building. Together the four of them target a radio transmission by the military where Major Henry West (Eccleston) answers their calls, but not everything is as it seems from the military outpost.

 

Thoughts on 28 Days Later

 

Characters – Jim is the man waking to the destroyed, infected ruled world, he like us learns the full extent of the damage and as the film rolls on he becomes tougher, prepared to fight back in this world. there isn’t too much more to Jim as a character other than this. Selena is one of the two people that rescue Jim, she is tough as nails, doesn’t blink when it comes to killing the infected be it the long-term infected or the ones that are about to turn. For the first half of the film she is a fantastically strong character being the one of the group you would fear the most, the more she opens up to others in her life and a future other than surviving, the weaker she becomes. Frank is a caring father, he has done everything to protect his daughter during the outbreak, he knows he needs help to get to the rescue point because going along would be too risky with just his daughter. Major West leads the military outpost, he has promised his men salvation, but it isn’t what you would expect it to be, strict leader, his men will follow all his orders.

PerformancesCillian Murphy got his big break after this film, his performances and transformation in his character are brilliant. Naomie Harris comes in here strong from the moment she hits the screen you see just how strong she is going to make her performance. Brendan Gleeson is great in the supporting role, while the same can be said about Eccleston too.

StoryThe story follows a small group of survivors in an infection riddled world as they look for safety. This is generally the purpose of all infected or zombie movies, it keeps things simple and makes the tension rise as we do get a chance to meet and support the group of survivors on their adventure. This is easily one of the more intense stories once everything goes on with the music adding to the final sequence of the movie. The story does have two endings with both being just as strong as the other too depending on how you believe the story should become.

Horror/Sci-FiThe infected bring us the villainous monsters in the film, they are runners, which means they won’t stop till they get you, only hiding or killing them will stop them, the infected are not the only monsters in this film though as we focus on the human affects of the outbreak. The sci-fi side of the film shows us just how quickly the world could change with an outbreak of a virus which turns people into the undead searching for food, in humans.

SettingsThe film is set in London to start with, getting the empty streets is an achievement in itself, the haunting idea of London being abandoned will be one you will remember, the travelling side, well we have seen before with the empty sequences being what makes this film stand out.

Special EffectsThe effects come from the practical world which we like to see because it makes everything feel real to us the audience.


Scene of the Movie –
The mansion final.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I do feel Selena should have stayed stronger through the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best modern zombie movies, it is intense at times and the visually creation of the world is amazing.

 

Overall: Masterpiece of Modern horror.

Rating

 

 

99 Homes (2014)

Director: Ramin Bahrani

Writer: Ramin Bahrani, Amir Naderi (Screenplay) Ramin Bahrani, Bahareh Azimi (Story)

Starring: Michael Shannon, Andrew Garfield, Laura Dern

 

Plot: A recently unemployed single father struggles to get back his foreclosed home by working for the real estate broker who is the source of his frustration.


Tagline – Greed is the only game in town.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Powerful & Intense.

 

Story: 99 Homes starts with hard working young man Dennis Nash (Garfield) trying to keep his family home from being reclaimed by the bank, but he is unsuccessful as real estate broker Rick Carver (Shannon) evicts him from his home with his mother Lynn (Dern) and son Connor.

Desperate for money Dennis turns to Rick who offers him a job involving his construction skills, with this job Dennis starts to learn the trade rising the ranks to become the very person he despised in Rick when he was losing his home.

 

Thoughts on 99 Homes

 

Characters – Dennis Nash is the hard-working construction worker, he works to keep the roof over his family home but when he loses his home he goes to all ends to get a job to regain his home. This means Dennis works for the man who evicts him where he learns the trade to make sure he can his home back become the man he once hated. Rick Carver is a real estate broker, he has been evicting for the bank for years now, he doesn’t believe he is doing anything wrong, but he is following the law. He has made a lot of money in this world and takes Dennis under his wing to follow in his footsteps.

PerformancesAndrew Garfield is fantastic in this leading role, this guy is constantly giving us performances that we are left seeing just how talented this guy it. Michael Shannon is the always brilliant star of most movies, he is calm through every single scene which could have himself getting pushed to the limits. Laura Dern is good too in the supporting role as Dennis mother that questions his work.

StoryThe story here shows one man’s struggle to keep his family home but needing to turn to the enemy to make the money. We see how far he must go just to make a difference, but can he cope with becoming the man he hates. The story gives us hard to watch scenes as we see people losing their homes showing us a darker side to real estate in America. This is one story that is a good watch, he can be hard at times, but the story is rewarding.

SettingsThe settings show us the housing market and how people can be a community when supporting someone’s miss fortune.


Scene of the Movie –
Seeing Dennis question his decision.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We get a lot of law discussion, but a lot can go over your head.

Final ThoughtsThis is a powerful drama that shows how difficult life could be for the people who lose their homes to the people looking just to make the money by taking them.

 

Overall: Strong, powerful drama.

Rating

 

 

2036 Origin Unknown (2018)

Director: Hasraf Dulull

Writer: Hasraf Dulull, Gary Hall (Screenplay)

Starring: Katee Sackhoff, Julie Cox, Steven Cree, Ray Fearon, Noush Skaugen

 

Plot: After a failed mission to Mars, A.I./ARTI is now used for the 2036 mission with a few human supervisors. A monolith of unknown origin is found there. It will have a big effect on Earth.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Sci-Fi Thriller

 

Story: 2036 Origin Unknown starts in 2030 when an exploratory mission to Mars goes horribly wrong, six years later A.I. is being used for all missions with human supervisors. Mack (Sackhoff) is the current supervisor and when the next unmanned mission heads to the surface, Mack must work with the A.I. system ARTi.

When the mission discovers an unknown monolith, Mack tries to figure out what is inside, but it becomes clear she will need to work with ARTi to get to the bottom of it, which is could be the biggest discovery in space history.

 

Thoughts on 2036 Origin Unknown

 

Characters – Mack is one of the supervisors that is working with the A.I. she lost her father in the Mars mission and after making a discovery on Mars, she starts investigating the truth, where she must challenge the authority figures in her job. Lena is the boss and sister of Mack, she is keeping the secrets, knowing parts of the truth though never giving anything away. ARTi is the A.I. system that is always looking to learn, it is in control of the missions as it seems to be the smartest choice after the error lost lives.

PerformancesKatee Sackhoff is the star of this movie, she is in nearly every single scene keeping us engaged in the story as we believe she learn just as she does. The rest of the cast does get their moments, but they are clearly in the supporting roles only.

StoryThe story gets to ask us the big question when it comes to exploring space and using A.I. to assist us. First off watching any film that looks at the ideas of exploring for new life on other planets is going to be interesting, we see the risk of this from the opening sequence. Secondly looking at the idea of A.I. controlling human decisions is always going to be one that is an interesting watch, we have been using this as a plot device since 2001 a Space Odyssey, it has always played out two ways, either a warning or a blessing which is for us to decide through the film. we get a story which will make you think about whether you would make the same decisions as Mack or not.

Sci-FiTravelling through space to Mars, trying to discover new life, with new technology in the future, could we get any more sci-fi heavy than this? The best part of the sci-fi side of the film is that is does feel like it could happen in the not too distant future.

SettingsThe film keeps most of the film in the control room with Mack which is nice because of the isolated environment of her decision processes happening, when we get shots of Mars or space it does take us out of the main story at times.

Special EffectsThe effects are mostly used for the exterior shots, we know we can’t actually film on Mars, so we get a vision of what that would be like with the special effects playing a heavy part of this.


Scene of the Movie –
The final act.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The Mars shots.

Final ThoughtsThis is a smart sci-fi film that does make you think, it doesn’t hold back from how far it will go and Sackhoff in the lead role keeps the film engaging.

 

Overall: Smart Sci-fi film.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – # – 1920 London (2016)

Director: Dharmendra Suresh Deasi

Writer: Sukhmani Sadana (Screenplay) Vikram Bhatt (Story)

Starring: Sharman Joshi, Meera Chopra, Vishal Karwal, Surendra Pal, Charu Rohatgi, Sushumita Mkherjee

 

Plot: After her husband is possessed by an evil spirit, a woman turns to her former lover to perform an exorcism.


Tagline – Fear strikes again

Runtime: 2 Hours

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Horror

 

Story: 1920 London starts as we meet the Prince Veer (Karwel) and Princess Shivangi (Chopra) living in London, they soon become the latest victim of an evil spirit which takes over Veer’s body, Shivangi must go into her past to find her former lover Jai Singh Gujjar (Joshi) a man that was left banished because of their affair, who has an ability to tackle unwanted spirits.

With the past being placed in the past, Jai comes to figure out how to save Veer and giving Shivangi a peaceful life, only the evil spirit isn’t going to let that happen.

 

Thoughts on 1920 London

 

Characters – Shivangi the princess who has just gotten married, she sees her husband become possessed, which forces her to return to her family for help, with her ex-lover being the only one that could save her husband. Jai Singh is the exorcist that was once the lover of Shivangi, but not being from the royal family means he was once banished for their love. Now he must help her fight an evil spirit, he speciality. Veer is the husband that gets stricken down by the evil spirit that has taken over his body.

PerformancesWe focus mostly on just the two stars of the movie, Meera Chopra and Sharman Joshi who are both great through the film dealing with the horror, the personal status they are facing and love they both feel.

StoryThe story here follows a possession, this is a story I have seen many times, but the different is, I have only ever seen Christian or Jewish religions deal with the spirits, this time we get to see how Hindus treat unwanted spirits. The story does follow the traditional scares, but then here is a twist in the story which explains the possession, one about honour, love and revenge, which does make the story feel fresher, I learnt that this is part of a series of film, but I am confident there isn’t a connection between the previous ones. Most of this is by the books and that is al we want from a horror film.

Horror/MysteryThere are good scare moments in this film, nothing overly original, but they will give the jumps required, the mystery comes from just what the motivation of the evil spirit is to be doing the possessing.

SettingsThe film takes the action to London, which I guess is new to the franchise, this is fine even though we spend most of the time in the mansions with no landmarks in the background, with the landmark scenes including the bridges only.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well to create the horror moments, like most films the practical is good, but the CGI comes off weak.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While I understand this is a Bollywood film, the songs lose moments of tension in the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that works for the exorcism genre well, it shows how a different religion reads evil spirits and does battle against them, which is interesting to see and does give us good moments of horror.

 

Overall: Good horror.

Rating