A Murder of Innocence (2019)

Director: Shawn Justice

Writer: Shawn Justice, Aimee Anderson (Screenplay)

Starring: Rachel MacMillan, Frank Chiesurin, Xander Steel, Katie O’Grady, Marc Steele, Scott Galbraith, Jeremy McLaughlin, Lily Haug

 

Plot: Based on a true story, a community is rocked by the double-homicide of a prominent couple and the local police struggle to find the killer. As a darkness settles over the town, Albert, the new resident pastor must help his church and family overcome the aftershocks by providing stability, healing and hope while his wife Aimee must come to grips with her own fear through her faith.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Real-Life Crime Drama

 

Story: A Murder of Innocence starts when new pastor Albert Anderson (Chiesurin), his wife Aimee (MacMillan) and six kids move to a new town to take over the local church, the community is very tight and the people are welcoming to new residents.

When a couple of the most-respected members of the neighbourhood are murdered, this puts panic in the community, with Aimee becoming paranoid for her own family’s safety, with Sheriff Kirk Tomlin (Steel) trying to solve the murders before everyone getting out of control pointing fingers at each other, Albert will face his toughest task, to bring the community back together in their time of need.

 

Thoughts on A Murder of Innocence

 

Characters – Albert is the new pastor in town, he does everything to make his town see he has come to do good for the religious neighbourhood, he will face a difficult couple of weeks after the murder of two members of his community, which will see the locals getting upset, scared and even with his wife dealing with these problems too. Aimee is the pastor’s wife, she is just as welcoming as he is, trying to make everybody feel comfortable with the new Pastor, after the murders, she does become paranoid, needing reassurance that they are safe. Sheriff Kirk Tomlin is left to try and solve the crime, he doesn’t have much to go on and doesn’t know if anyone in his neighbourhood could have done this. We do meet plenty of members of the community, each one that will have their own reason for suspecting somebody for the crime.

PerformancesRachel MacMillan and Frank Chiesurin both give us the strongest lead performances in the film, they bring real emotions that the real people would have gone through during the events of the film. the rest of the cast don’t hit the levels of the lead two, though Xander Steel does make big improvement through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a religious community that are welcoming a new pastor, only to be left in shock after the murders of the respected member of the community. This causes panic with in the community until the murderer is captured, with on the Pastor to try and keep the people calm. This story does feel like it could be a made for television drama, because it does keep the themes on the softer side, without hitting the level of violence involved in the crime. We do have a religious undertone which will see a lot of praying going on, which is fine for the neighbourhood, but we don’t need to see this happening this often. The crime investigation never feels as intense as it should be though.

CrimeThe crime is a horrible double homicide, seeing how people react to this is the important part of the story.

SettingsThe small community created here shows us how close everybody is and will be when it comes to getting to make sure they are safe within their own homes.


Scene of the Movie –
Welcoming the Pastor to the church.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Sheriff Kirk reading a statement, which comes off like a draft reading, over any acting.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting real-crime drama, based on a real events and the effect it had on the neighbourhood. It doesn’t ever hit any levels of intensity, but is more about showing the people coming together.

 

Overall: Real-Life Crime Drama.

Rating

 

 

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A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

Director: Ava DuVernay

Writer: Jennifer Lee, Jeff Stockwell (Screenplay) Madeleine L’Engle (Novel)

Starring: Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, Chris Pine, Guge Mbatha-Raw, Zach Galifianakis

 

Plot: After the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother, and her friend to space in order to find him.


Tagline – Be a warrior

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dragging Adventure

 

Story: A Wrinkle in Time starts when a trouble high school student Meg (Reid) hasn’t given up hope on being reunited with her father Mr Murry (Pine) after his sudden disappearance. Meg has become closed off from the world with her adopted brother Charles Wallace (McCabe) noticing the change in her. Meg, Charles and Calvin (Miller) get visited by Mrs Whatsit (Witherspoon) that opens up the possibilities for answers.

Mrs Whatsit takes the three children on an adventure through the universe with Mrs Which (Winfrey) and Mrs Who (Kaling), who believe they can locate Mr Murry after his research has taken him across the universe unlike anyone in human history.

 

Thoughts on A Wrinkle in Time

 

Characters – Meg is an outsider teenage girl, daughter of two brilliant scientists, with her father disappeared for four years now. She went from the popular out going girl to the shy closed off one. she has never given up hope of finding her father, which does leave questions about her relationship with her mother, she gets a chance to find her father with the will she shows in her heart. Mrs Which leads the three light entities that can help Meg travel the universe to find her father, she isn’t just guiding Meg, but the newest member of the team Mrs Whatsit. Mrs Whatsit is the bubbly member of the light entities, she is on her first mission of guidance which does see her make mistakes along the way. Mrs Who is the third member of the team, she is always positive like the rest only she gets the least amount of time to do anything of the three. Mr Murry is the father that has gone missing, he is a brilliant scientist that has always believed in travel through the universe to be possible and has been searching for a way to achieve. Calvin is the high school friend of Meg that ends up on the journey, he wants to support her even when it shows his own weakness in the world.

PerformancesStorm Reid is the highlight of the film which sees her going on the adventure to find her father, this is a disappointing as we do have a talent cast, only they just don’t seem to shine on the levels you would expect them to reach.

StoryThe story here follows a teenage girl that gets to do on an adventure across the universe in search for her father through the powers of light entities. This is a story that has come from a popular novel and is meant to show the science behind potential travel through the universe and how the power is within us all. This is a story that just drags along, it doesn’t offer anything to the world we are entering. This story could have so much potential and ends up just glossing over too much, making it a hard watch.

Adventure/Fantasy/Sci-FiThe adventure side of the film shows the journey that takes the children across the universe to see just where one’s father has gone, this does show us the fantasy elements of the film in the sci-fi universe we end up going along.

SettingsThe film is set in a fictional land where the people can travel to unknown planets in the universe, each one has its own unique look.

Special EffectsThe visual effects used to create the different worlds look beautiful, only they don’t seem to make anything feel as important to the story.


Scene of the Movie –
Understand other people’s problems from behind closed doors.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This story just doesn’t become interesting.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that had so much potential only to fall so short, it has an amazing cast that just don’t get a chance to shine, the story just doesn’t get us going like it should do.

 

Overall: Disappointing.

Rating

 

 

Accidental Hero (1992)

Director: Stephen Frears

Writer: David Webb Peoples (Screenplay) Laura Ziskin, Alvin Sargent, David Webb Peoples (Story)

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis, Andy Garcia, Joan Cusack, Kevin J O’Connor, Maury Chaykin, Stephen Tobolowsky

 

Plot: A not-so-nice man rescues passengers from a crashed airliner, only to see someone else take credit.


Tagline – We’re all heroes if you catch us at the right moment. Even Bernie LaPlante.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Idea, Not Funny Enough

 

Story: Accidental Hero starts as we meet Bernie LaPlante (Hoffman) who is facing jail time for his streetwise action, he is trying to talk himself out of jail time, without much success. We also meet reporter Gale (Davis) who has just received an award for her work even if her boss isn’t given her the chances she has earnt.

When the plane carrying Gale crash lands, Bernie happens to be next to accident, he ends up saving everybody on board, before vanishing into the night. When Gale wants to make the story out of the event, a fellow homeless man John Bubber (Garcia) takes credit, who wants to use his new-found fame to help the homeless, while Bernie is left in jail watching the events unfold.

 

Thoughts on Accidental Hero

 

Characters – Bernie LaPlante is a homeless man that has blown his successful life out the water, he lost his wife, most of his time with his son and is facing jail, he knows how to survive and push the limits to make sure he survives on the street, with his car being his home. He ends up doing an act of greatness, saving the passengers on a plane, but not wanting the praise for this, until a monetary reward comes up, he must figure out how to prove it was him. Gale is a reporter on the rise in the business, she is receiving an award, while still fighting her time on the big screen, she makes a story out of the plane crash, which sees her take a homeless man to celebrity status. John Bubber is a homeless man that decides to come forward and claim the reward for being the hero, he soon becomes the talk of the town that would inspire many into doing the right thing.

PerformancesDustin Hoffman is the right man for the job because he fits the unlikely hero that has been through the struggles in life. Geena Davis is fun in the role that sums up the struggle women would have in the professional field. Andy Garcia goes through the biggest change which sees him doing everything to live with the new fame.

StoryThe story follows a reporter who wants to make the hero of a plane crash rescue known to the people they saved, only for the real person behind it all, not getting the game after a fake takes the limelight. This does pain the picture of faster acting celebrities coming from such simple ideas of rescuing somebody, people struggling with new fame and how people are quick to just judge anybody that might be helping others out. Strangely enough this is one of the stories that could really become more appealing in the social media heavy world we now live in and would be an interesting one to see reach new level.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in this film doesn’t come off, it never feels like a film you could have a giggle about anything happening, the romance is strange because it just doesn’t give us a believable one either.

SettingsThe settings show us just how the big city can capture a story which would make an unknown a celebrity over night.


Scene of the Movie –
The balcony.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of comedy in the comedy film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a lacklustre romantic comedy that just doesn’t hit the marks it could and actually feels like it could be one film that makes a bigger impact now.

 

Overall: Stuck between too many genres.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – A – Animal World (2018)

Director: Yan Han

Writer: Yan Han (Screenplay) Nobuyuki Fukumoto (Comic)

Starring: Yi Feng Li, Dongyu Zhou, Michael Douglas, Bingkun Cao, Eric Heise, Alberto Lancellotti, Yijuan Li

 

Plot: A man finds himself deep in debt and is coerced to board a ship that hosts a risky gambling party.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Adventure Thriller

 

Story: Animal World starts with Zheng Kaisi (Li) who has been struggling for money working in a casino as a clown, his mother is sick and he can’t afford the medical bills anymore, he is close with the nurse Liu Qing (Zhou) who does what she can to support his sick mother.

Desperate for money Kaisi re-mortgages his family home, only to learn that the man he did the deal with Anderson (Douglas) wants a bigger price than he could ever afford. Luckily Kaisi is given a chance to go on the cruise ship which will give him a chance to make more money than he could ever imagine or face hardship just to survive. This is going to be one of the most extreme games of Rock, Paper, Scissors.

 

Thoughts on Animal World

 

Characters – Zheng Kaisi is a young man that works in the amusement arcade, while trying to support his mother in hospital, he is trying his best to support her, but money is tight and turning to his friend they take out a loan. The loan is more than he was prepared for, forcing him to pay it back to the loan with a high rick game of rock, paper, scissor. He must use his knowledge of maths to stay ahead of the game, while learning how to deal with the different players. Liu Qing is the nurse girlfriend of Zheng Kaisi who is being pressured into leaving him for the security of her future, she is one of the reason why he plays the game. Anderson is the man who arranges the game and the loans, he will put the players into the same game, which is largely for his own profit for the high stakes in play. Li Jun is the close friend of Zheng who ends up getting them into this situation.

PerformancesYi Feng Li in the leading role is great to watch, he shows the good-nature to his character as well as showing us that he can get into the poker face performance needed for the game. Dongyu Zhou does feel wasted in her role in this fil, she really doesn’t get to do anything. Michael Douglas fills the villainous leader of the game role wonderfully, without needing to do that much outside his comfort zone. The rest of the cast is mostly the players of the game who all show their characters true colours through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a poor young man who takes out a loan with a friend, only for the loan shark to force them into a deadly game of Rock, Paper, Scissors with strict rules, our hero must get out of this game which stars and must learn quickly how to become feared within the players. This is an interesting idea for a film, it places us into a underground card game with high stakes, it shows us how the game is played which might be a long scene, but does make everything clear. The concept does feel original and adding the nightmare figures our lead sees, only makes this even more interesting, the tactical side of the game is everything we want to be witnessing because it keeps us guessing to just what will happen next.

Adventurethe adventure side of the film mixes with the thriller side by taking our characters into a world unseen to them, the new world is the adventure for these characters.

SettingsThe settings are largely aboard the cruise liner where the game takes place, it fits the rich society look required, while having a dirty look which was required for the film.

Special EffectsThe effects are used for the visions that Kaisi experiences, they take him into a world of monsters which he wants to fight back against.


Scene of the Movie –
The card game rules.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The monster visions seem like they didn’t need to be here.

Final ThoughtsThe is a fun adventure thriller, it takes rock, paper, scissors and makes it one of the most intense games you can see played.

 

Overall: Fun and entertaining.

Rating

 

 

Cillian Murphy Weekend – Anthropoid (2016)

Director: Sean Ellis

Writer: Sean Ellis, Anthony Frewin (Screenplay)

Starring: Jamie Dornan, Cillian Murphy, Toby Jones, Anna Geislerova, Sara Arnsteinova, Hana Frejkova, Sean Mahon

 

Plot: Based on the extraordinary true story of Operation Anthropoid, the WWII mission to assassinate SS General Reinhard Heydrich, the main architect behind the Final Solution and the Reich’s third in command after Hitler and Himmler.


Tagline – The Only Thing More Terrifying Than the Leader of the SS Was the Operation to Take Him Out

Runtime: 2 Hours

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting History Lesson

 

Story: Anthropoid starts as two soldiers Jan Kubis (Dornan) and Josef Gabcik (Murphy) return to Czechoslovakia on the brink of World War II, to complete a mission known as Anthropoid, which will see them plan the assassination of SS General Reinhard Heydrich. Heydrich is one of the three main men behind the Final Solution, which was used to form the Nazi movement through Czechoslovakia, he is hated in the country.

With the location of Heydrich known, the men must work on a plan, which will see them place themselves in a situation which could change history as they know it.

 

Thoughts on Anthropoid

 

Characters – Jan Kubis and Josef Gabcik are both soldiers on a secret mission, they must sneak into the country to assassinate Heydrich third in line to the Nazi party. They must work around the town never looking out of place being strangers there, to prepare for a moment that could change history. They do try to blend into the background, not drawing attention to themselves to get their mission done. We do meet couple more characters including Uncle Hajsky who gives them shelter as they work on their mission. We do also meet love interests which will see the men put the mission in danger.

PerformancesJamie Dornan and Cillian Murphy take the leading roles, they both do a solid job as you can see them working well together on the mission, they can both hit higher levels though, which is a disappointment. Nobody makes the impact they could do through this film, with the subject being look at.

StoryThe story follows a secret mission of two soldiers who plan to assassinate one of the high ranking members of the Nazi party, we see how they plan comes together and just how much the people involved are willing to risk to end the executions of the innocent in their country. This is an interesting story, one that would be considered important because it is an important part of the pre-world war II events. It does show how the people were already starting to become scared of what might happen to them, what they would be willing to risk stopping it and just how much sacrifice was put into the events.

Biopic/WarThe biopic side of this film comes from seeing the risk the people involved took to try and stop one of the highest ranking men in the Nazi party, this also uses the war elements to show us just how people were being treated through World War II.

SettingsThe film keeps most of the action in Prague, where the events of the assassination attempt took place, the age for the scenery looks the most accurate for the time the film is set.


Scene of the Movie –
Church defence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It never feels as intense as it could or should be.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting history lesson, it shows the events of an attempted assassination of one of the Nazi’s most villainous men.

 

Overall: Interesting, but not intense enough.

Rating