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

 

 

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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

 

 

2: Hrs (2018)

Director: D James Netwon

Writer: Roland Moore (Screenplay)

Starring: Harry Jarvis, Ella-Rae Smith, Alhaji Fofana, Keith Allen, Siobhan Redmond, Marek Larwood

 

Plot: Slacker Schoolboy Tim is an expert in wasting time. So what happens when he discovers he has two hours left to live?

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Family Film

 

Story: 2: Hrs starts as we meet teenage slacker Tim (Jarvis) who spends his time painting London with graffiti with his best friends Vic (Smith) and Alf (Fofana). While on the school trip to a museum, the three sneak off and interrupt a science conference being hosted by conman Groad (Allen) who has created a machine that can tell when the living object inside will die.

Tim goes in the machine only to learn that he only has 2 hours left to live, left shocked, Tim sets out a small bucket list of achievable targets and while the friends target these goals, they are being chased down by the people behind the experiment who want to research and make sure Tim dies on time.

 

Thoughts on 2: Hrs

 

Characters – Tim is a school slacker with a talent for graffiti, he has been acting out because of the death of his father, which has changed him, his friends see this and his rebellious ways puts his life in danger when he learns he only has 2 hours to leave from spending time in a machine which can perform a prediction of when someone will die. He must go through a life lesson as this film unfolds. Vic and Alf are the two supportive friends, that join him on the adventure, we don’t learn too much about them without giving away spoilers. Groad is the businessman/conman that is running the operation, he hides in his apartment with fake backdrops as he conducts meetings. He is always looking to create a good face story for any PR situation. We also have the younger sister Shona to Tim that wants to look up to him only to be left disappointed most of the time and the two bumbling idiots trying to catch the teenagers.

PerformancesHarry Jarvis in the leading role does a very good job, we see how his character must change over the course of the film ad he shows us this in his performance. Ella-Rae Smith and Alhaji Fofana are both good in their supporting roles while Keith Allen gives us a good performance as the shady character we see behind the curtain about.

StoryThe story follows three friends that decide to ditch a school trip and end up on there on adventure after being caught in the middle of an adventure when one of them learns they only have two hours to live. This does sound like a simple fun adventure family film, which it is, though it does have deeper meaning for Tim who must learn to life lessons in this time while dealing with his own personal tragedy after not doing so when it happened.

FamilyThis film keeps the films moments all around the family problems Tim is facing, it keeps everything PG even with jokes adults will understand.

SettingsThe film is set around London, which is good because it shows how difficult losing a parent can be in the busy city and how easy it is to rebel.


Scene of the Movie –
Poetry competition.

That Moment That Annoyed Me That pet, what was that?

Final ThoughtsThis is a family film that can be enjoyed by everyone, it has good laughs, a smart character development story and a nice adventure.

 

Overall: Family film for all to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – # – 009 Re: Cyborg (2012)

Director: Kenji Kamiyama

Writer: Kenji Kamiyama (Screenplay) Shotaro Ishinomori (Manga)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Chiwa Saito, Daisuke Ono, Hiroyuki Yoshino, Mamoru Miyano, Noriaki Sugiyama

 

Plot: Anime adventure from ‘Ghost in the Shell – Stand Alone Complex’ (2002) director Kenji Kamiyama. Nine cyborgs created for destructive purposes disappeared for over 27 years after they were forced to turn on their creators in the name of justice. Now, as a number of seemingly unrelated terrorist attacks happen in locations throughout the world, the group reunites to battle against the devastating force and restore order to the globe once more.


Tagline – A classic sci-fi tale, reimagined!

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting, but Slow Story

 

Story: 009 Re: Cyborg starts as the see how the world has come under attack from an unknown threat destroying skyscrapers across the globe, Dr Isaac Gilmore recalls his 9 cyborgs from hiding to help their creator stop this impending apocalypse. The cyborgs from all over the world arrive with Joe battle in China, while Great Britain is investigating the streets in search of the answer.

As the terrorist attacks increase the rest of the cyborgs much come together to learn he truth behind the mysterious attacks which leave the line ‘his voice’ surrounding any attack.

 

Thoughts on 009 Re: Cyborg

 

Characters – The characters we meet are the main 9 cyborgs, each from different countries in the world, each trying to protect it from destruction, our main cyborg is 009 Joe who both gets framed and goes face to face with the attacker. Each one of the cyborgs does offer something different about them which does help the story unfold.

StoryThe story follows a string of mysterious terrorist attacks hitting the population of the world and nine cyborgs must come together to stop the world be destroyed only to learn more of the origin which plays into religious beliefs. This does make things very interesting to see unfolding even if we do spend way too much time getting through the details.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is big and plays into the animation style which is what we know we will be getting with the sci-fi world mixing with the religious beliefs.

SettingsThe film does take us to known location around the world for the destruction sequences throughout the film.

AnimationThe animation throughout the film looks great and helps improve the look of the action.


Scene of the Movie –
Final sequences.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too much explanation about the origin.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good animated movie that tells an interesting story even if it can be slow in places.

 

Overall: Animation well worth watching.

Rating