Blue Iguana (2018)

Director: Hadi Hajaig

Writer: Hadi Hajaig (Screenplay)

Starring: Sam Rockwell, Phoebe Fox, Ben Schwartz, Peter Ferdinando, Peter Polycarpou, Al Weaver, Robin Hellier

 

Plot: Ex-jailbirds Eddie and Paul are on parole and working in a New York diner. Their lives are a dead end. That is, until English lawyer Katherine Rookwood walks into the diner with an offer they can’t refuse.


Tagline – Mullets. Bullets. And One Gem of a Heist.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Quirky Crime Comedy

 

Story: Blue Iguana starts when to ex-cons in New York Eddie (Rockwell) and Paul (Schwartz) are hired by a timid English lawyer Katherine (Fox) to do a job in England, it should be simple in their strength, only things don’t go to plan when local criminal Deacon (Ferdinando) gets involved throwing everything out the window.

To get revenge Katherine brings Eddie a new plan which will be a larger pay day and could set both sides up for life, can they pull off this job with their different mindsets.

 

Thoughts on Blue Iguana

 

Characters – Eddie is a thief out on parole working in a diner in New York, he is trying to go straight only for his latest job offer to take him across the sea to England. When it comes to making the deal, he is the smartest one of the pairing, he handles the combat better than anyone else on his team and is willing to say no if the deal doesn’t suit. Katherine is a timid lawyer that hires the two men to get a job done, she is strict with her rules and wants to get her own back on the people she is planning on stealing from, for some reason we have her eating in nearly every scene. Paul is the partner of Eddie, he is quicker to say yes, not knowing the art of the deal, he talks a lot more which can get them in trouble. Deacon is a local pub owner with plenty of criminal activities going on, he sports a proud mullet which sees him be aggressive towards anyone that fails him, even if he must answer to his own boss.

PerformancesSam Rockwell is front and centre of in this film, he is clearly the best part of the movie. Phoebe Fox is entertaining because she makes her character feel uncomfortable in the world she is entering, which adds the layers to her character. Ben Schwartz is meant to play a lot of comic relief, sometimes it works other times it just gets annoying. Peter Ferdinando makes the for villainous criminal with ease.

StoryThe story follows two Americans that get hired to complete a job in England which sees them put a team together to rob a diamond to help a timid lawyer getting her own back the mod boss that has put her through hell. This is a heist crime movie that does follow the traditions well, we try to give each character their own unique quirk which in certain moments does add to the comedy, in other times it just makes the story feel like it is dragging along. The world created is filled with the criminal world characters that does play into the story well, while seeing how each side operates gives us an insight into just how much it means to the characters involved.

Action/Comedy/CrimeThe action in the film follows how the crime gets completed which is mostly fights when needed, they do work and make sense, the criminal world we enter does show us how everybody operates. The comedy is the biggest hit or miss which is disappointing in most places.

SettingsThe film is set in London which gets a chance to bring us British gangster humour for the most part, it shows the shady locations criminals would act in.


Scene of the Movie –
The Tottenham references.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The relentless eating scenes.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun easy to watch crime comedy that gets plenty of British humour going on throughout, it is simple enough when it comes to story which isn’t going the bring anything new to the heist genre.

 

Overall: Simple and enjoyable.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

The Bromley Boys (2018)

Director: Steve Kelly

Writer: Warren Dudley (Screenplay)

Starring: Brenock O’Connor, Jamie Foreman, Alan Davies, Martine McCutcheon, Savannah Baker, TJ Herbert, Mark Dymond

Plot: A boy, a girl, and the worst football team in Britain. You can’t choose who you’re going to fall in love with.


Tagline – It only takes 90 minutes to fall in love

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Warm Fuzzy Feeling Film

Story: The Bromley Boys starts in 1969 three years after England won the World Cup, David Roberts (O’Connor) had wanted to support the popular teams of either West Ham or Tottenham, but his father Donald (Davies) has banned football in the house, leading to his mother Gertrude (McCutcheon) sneaking him a scarf of his local team Bromley.

This season is going to be David’s biggest as he learns about the corruption from the chairman Charlie McQueen (Foreman) and the potential sale of the club’s best player. David also meets Ruby (Baker) the daughter of the chairman that is the only girl that talks to him as he experiences love for the first time.

Thoughts on The Bromley Boys

Characters – David Roberts is a teenage boy that got dreams of being a footballer after seeing England win the World Cup in 1966, he is forced to support his local team, a small team with a tiny fanbase, he becomes a loyal fan and during the 1969 season he must figure out prove the chairman is out to ruin the club as they constantly struggle on the pitch. Ruby McQueen is the daughter of the chairman that starts dating David, she wants a normal relationship but often has to play second fiddle to his love of football. Charlie McQueen is the greedy chairman of Bromley, the fans and manager believe he is trying to put them out of business, which reflects on how David tries to expose his truth. Gertrude and Donald are David’s parents that are trying to give him the best future even if they don’t like him enjoy football.

PerformancesBrenock O’Connor is delightful in the leading role showing us just how obsessed teenager can become when it comes to sports. Savannah Baker is great as the love interest who is looking for a future. Jamie Foreman looks all the part of a corrupt chairman through the film, with Alan Davies and Martine McCutcheon showing they have the star power from the English side.

StoryThe story here follows a teenage football fan of his local team that starts to see things putting his beloved club in trouble after overhearing a conversation, he tries to fix things during the season just to make sure his team will be their next season. As a football fan this is one of the easiest films to relate to, seeing the ups, well downs more than often in this film, we can see how footballs can see their lives taken over by the season, it is even worse in modern day too, we do also have the important message about trying to support your local team instead of one of the more established teams that friends support. This is based on a trouble story which apart from the romantic angle does feel like it could have been real, but also the tales told from the tiny crowds to get buzz around their club. This is a story that is going to be one that the English market will enjoy the most.

ComedyYou will get plenty of laughs in this film, a lot comes from the love of football and seeing just how much it can change a life.

SettingsThe film is set in and around the small town of Bromley, we spend plenty of time at the club, which helps us understand what this meant to David.


Scene of the Movie – The last game of the season.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The teachers seem very harsh.

Final Thoughts This is an enjoyable British comedy, one that the English will enjoy most and one we can understand the passion behind supporting the team.

Overall: Truly fun and feel good film.

Rating

Badass Beauty Queen: The Story of Anastasia Lin (2019)

Director: Theresa Kowall-Shipp

Writer: Theresa Kowall-Shipp (Screenplay)

Plot: BADASS BEAUTY QUEEN is the story behind Miss World contestant Anastasia Lin using her most powerful weapon, her beauty to stand up to an oppressive regime.

Runtime: 1 Hour 5 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Eye Opening Documentary

Story: Badass Beauty Queen: The Story of Anastasia Lin starts as we learn Anastasia Lin’s story from being born in China under the strict rules, before moving to Canada as a teenager where she learn more about the oppressive regime being used in the country. When Anastasia learns more she wants to make a stand, which sees her enter the Miss World competition eventually becoming Canada’s pick for the 2015 competition, with her message being about letting Chinese express their own culture and beliefs.

When Anastasia starts trying to speak out, her family in China starts suffering and when the pageant gets moved to China, she isn’t welcome into the country giving up her place in the competition. One year later she enter again and finds herself being muzzled by the pageant from speaking out about her beliefs which go against what China believe in even when the 2016 competition was set in America this time around.

Thoughts on Badass Beauty Queen: The Story of Anastasia Lin

Final Thoughts This documentary show the power that a beauty competition tries to hold over the entries if they want to enter with political beliefs which will upset certain countries, but they are pushing for human rights. We get to see how being pushed out of the competition only drew people towards her and her causes, this also shows how much corruption can seen when it comes to handling keeping sponsors happy no matter what they believe. Anastasia used her power to help guide young people who have been held back by strict human rights violations to learn to stand up no matter how many people want to stand in their way.

Overall: Inspirational young lady.

Rating

Black Water (2007)

Director: David Nerlich, Andrew Traucki

Writer: David Nerlich, Andrew Traucki (Screenplay)

Starring: Diana Glenn, Maeve Dermody, Andy Rodoreda, Ben Oxenbould, Fiona Press

 

Plot: A terrifying tale of survival in the mangrove swamps of Northern Australia


Tagline – What You Can’t See Can Hurt You.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacking Suspense Animal Attack

 

Story: Black Water starts when Grace (Glenn) her husband Adam (Rodoreda) and her younger sister Lee (Dermody) are off on an adventure across Northern Australia, visiting a crocodile farm before heading out into the black water for a fishing day with guide Jim (Oxenbould).

When their small boat is capsized by a crocodile the family find themselves hiding in the trees waiting to see if the crocodile has gone before making their decision on how to escape.

 

Thoughts on Black Water

 

Characters – Grace is the married pregnant old sister, she is using the trip to make the announcement to her husband, once the attack happens she wants to protect her younger sister, while trying to think of a logical way out of the situation. Lee is the younger sister that is on the trip for her first adventure, she doesn’t have anything about her to make her feel unique other than that she seems to sleep a lot. Adam is the husband that suggest the trip, once trapped he wants to use the quick option to safety which might be the more dangerous one.

PerformancesWhen we look at the performances we must start with the negatives, it doesn’t help that the characters are written very weakly, which gives the three main stars very little to work with, must of what they need to do is sit in a tree have the same conversation.

StoryThe story here is simple, we follow three people that get trapped by a crocodile in the middle is the North Australian waters, they must figure out how to survive and this is sold on based on a true story. there are plenty of things which don’t help the story here, first we don’t get a chance to get to know the characters well enough, they are mostly just generic because we don’t know enough to care about them. We get the same conversation about what is the best idea for seemingly ages without any action being followed. We do get to follow the normal animal attack story which mostly revolves around screaming over anything else.

Action/HorrorThe action isn’t shot with the best style, we know what is happening, its just most of the action is off camera which makes it hard to believe the crocodile attacks.

SettingsThe film puts us in the middle of the black water in North Australia which is does put our characters in a place where rescue isn’t an option and escaping isn’t one either.

Special EffectsThe effects for the after attacks look like good strong practical effects, when we start seeing the attack in progress we lose something about what we are seeing.


Scene of the Movie –
The feeding night.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We see to have the same conversation 4 or 5 times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple animal attack movie that lacks that extra quality to make us truly disturbed by what we are seeing, we have dull characters and poorly shot action.

 

Overall: Simple animal attack film.

Rating

 

 

The Book of Love (2016)

Director: Bill Purple

Writer: Robbie Pickering, Bill Purple (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Sudeikis, Maisie Williams, Jessica Biel, Mary Steenburgen, Orlando Jones

 

Plot: Henry is an introverted architect. After the death of his wife in a car accident, he sets out to help Millie, a homeless teen, to build a raft to sail across the Atlantic.


Tagline – How far would you go for a lost love?

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Grief Battle Drama

 

Story: The Book of Love starts when architect Henry Herschel (Sudeikis) loses his pregnant wife Penny (Biel) in a car accident, broken he needs to take time away from work, he notices homeless teenager Millie (Williams) searching for scraps.

When Henry learns what Millie is planning, he decides to jump in and help her with the project to build a raft to sail across the Atlantic, this gives him a new lease for life, to help someone follow their dream.

 

Thoughts on The Book of Love

 

Characters – Henry Herschel is an architect on the verge of a big promotion to partner in the company, and a baby, his life however is turned upside down when his wife is killed in an accident. Filled with grief he meets teenager Millie who he helps with her project, taking his mind off his loss. Millie is a homeless teenager, well she is forced to live with her estranged Uncle and she wants to build a raft like in the journal she finds. She believes she is doing the right thing as she is dealing with own problems. Penny is Henry’s wife who even after her death gives him guiding light to help Millie. Julia is the mother-in-law wanting the best for Henry as her own way of dealing with the loss of her daughter.

PerformancesJason Sudeikis continues to show that he is delightful to watch in these drama-comedy roles, he shows enough grief and hope to make you believe that he has been the one to lose his wife. Maisie Williams is good for the most part, but she does struggle to maintain the accent through the film.  Jessica Biel and Mary Steenburgen both give us good performances in the supporting roles.

StoryThe story follows a grief ridden man that decides to help a teenager with her own problems in an attempt to cure his own problems only to there to help cure her problems. This does have sweet moments as we see how the lives have been turned upside down by their own tragic losses and the moments where they can help support each other, we do however deal with grief in a realistic way, being left empty in need of something to keep us going. The glaring problem is the repeating of the facts about people dying, we just don’t need this on repeat to get the point, as we know the focus on the story is, enjoy life however difficult moments have been.

SettingsThe film is set-in small-town America, well the suburbs, which shows us how life can change in an instant in this world no matter who or where you are.


Scene of the Movie –
Closing shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Maisie Williams accent.

Final ThoughtsThis is a charming movie that gets the message across well, we get to see just how grief can be processed by the people suffering from it.

 

Overall: One of the dreamers to see where people can make it.

Rating