Bloodshot (2020) Movie Review

Director: Dave Wilson

Writer: Jeff Wadlow, Eric Heisserer (Screenplay) Kevin VanHook, Bob Layton, Don Perlin (Comic Book)

Starring: Vin Diesel, Guy Pearce, Eiza Gonzalez, Toby Kebbell, Sam Heughan, Talulah Riley

Plot: Ray Garrison, a slain soldier, is re-animated with superpowers.

Tagline – Being a hero is in his blood.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Ambitious Action Film

Story: Bloodshot starts when soldier Ray Garrison (Diesel) sees his wife murdered, before taking a bullet to his head, waking up under the experiment of Dr Emil Harting (Pearce) who has bought him back to life swapping his blood for nano technology that re-animates his cells, giving him superpowers.

With Ray become a soldier that will kill for vengeance, he is unstoppable, until he learns the truth behind why he was created and decides to fight back.

Thoughts on Bloodshot

Characters – Ray Garrison is the soldier that gets killed by a psychotic killer, he doesn’t stay dead, he ends up being taken and turned into a super soldier with nano technology replacing his blood, making him stronger, faster and almost unkillable. He will get a target in his head and go all out to kill his target no matter what the odds. KT is another one of the creations, using her breathing technology to stay alive, used to help Ray get on target, though always being conflicted about her part in the missions. Jimmy Dalton is the heartless member of the team, who enjoys hurting people. Dr Emil Harting has made the soldiers, he has used technology to improve them and give them a second chance, only he has become obsessed with power he has created.

PerformancesVin Diesel is everything you expect him to be in the leading role, he doesn’t push himself to the next level, but handles the action fine. Gut Pearce is fine as the villain, while Eiza Gonzalez does make for the conflicted figure well, with one excellent action spree.

StoryThe story here follows a re-animated soldier that is driven by revenge, until he learns the truth about his memories, where he can turn his new abilities against his creator. This is a comic book story, so we can see how this is going to be over the top and this is going to change how certain moments in film are read, though it is one of the most predictable stories you will ever see, once the first repeat happens, it does become clear what is happening and we are just waiting for Ray to learn the truth. The story is easy enough to watch, though it will never test the audience, because of the confuses around character introduction being false for the most part.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is everything we have seen before, with a couple of flashy nano shots, this does mix into the sci-fi side of the film, which shows what is going on within the body of Ray, the two can create moments for the action, without being anything more than we have seen before.

SettingsThe film uses the high-tech research facility for the creation, while sending us to the usual ambush locations for the big fight moments.

Special EffectsThe effects work well enough, though with the nano technology almost hiding what is on screen at times.

Scene of the Movie – The KT fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Very predictable.

Final Thoughts This is a simple easy to watch action sci-fi film, it doesn’t get as dark, bloody or edgy as it could be.

Overall: Easy to Watch.

Beneath Us (2019) Movie Review

Director: Max Pachman

Writer: Mark Mavrothalisitis, Max Pachman (Screenplay)

Starring: Lynn Collins, Rigo Sanchez, Josue Aguirre, James Tupper, Roberto Sanchez, Thomas Chavira

Plot: The American Dream becomes a nightmare for a group of undocumented day laborers hired by a wealthy couple. What they expect to be their biggest payday turns into a terrifying fight for survival.

Tagline – They came for the american dream. They got a nightmare.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Get Out 2

Story: Beneath Us starts as we meet Alejandro (Sanchez) and Memo (Aguirre) who are trying to live the American dream looking for labouring jobs on the streets, with the first one together being for wealthy couple Liz Rhodes (Collins) and Ben (Tupper), which sees the two of them joining two others on the job.

After the job starts out simply enough, it soon becomes clear the four are trapped on the grounds, with Liz and Ben using the fact they are undocumented to their own advantage to make them do anything or face consequences.

Thoughts on Beneath Us

Characters – Liz Rhodes is the lady of the house, who comes off like a friendly person offering the job, but soon shows a more sadistic side as she uses the home to trap the men there to have her way with them and if they don’t follow her rules, she will kill them. Ben is her husband that helps keep the men in line, doing the dirty work for her. Alejandro has been trying to make a living in America for years now, he will open his house to Memo and teach him the way so they can bring the rest of their family to America. Memo is fresh to the states, he wants to learn about the American dream, only he must learn about hard work to stand a chance.

PerformancesLynn Collins does ooze the sexy on edge character that you literally don’t know what she will do next, she does stand out from the rest of the cast, with James Tupper, not doing much to make a name for himself here. Rigo Sanchez and Josue Aguirre are both fine as the labourers made to look like more average joes rather than coming off like anything over the top.

StoryThe story here follows four undocumented workers that get hired by a rich couple to help on construction on their property, they soon find themselves trapped and being forced into the twisted games of the owners who enjoy torturing immigrants, knowing they could get away with it. This does have a sense of Get Out, minus the overall plan, it shows how the couple will get enjoyment out of doing these twisted games and how they can’t run or they could face being deported. This does play into the idea of power the rich want over the poor, which shows how once caught they might not stand a chance to get out of the situation.

HorrorThe horror side of this film shows the torture the men are put through and just how the couple get enjoyment out of it, they start simple and become more twisted as the time goes on.

SettingsThe film is set in the one location, the house and grounds of the Rhodes, it shows how they could get away with what they want because nobody would get close to their land.

Special EffectsThe effects are used slowly without giving us too much to get through, with the torture moments being the ones that show good use of camerawork.

Scene of the Movie – Try it, its gin.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – One cut is too abrupt for the story.

Final Thoughts This is a tidy thriller that shows the clear divide between rich and poor, with the rich always wanting their own way with the poor, where Lynn Collins is psychotic throughout.

Overall: Psychotic Collins Shines.

Emma Stone Weekend – Battle of the Sexes (2017) Movie Review

Director: Jonathan Dayton, Valerie Faris

Writer: Simon Beaufoy (Screenplay)

Starring: Emma Stone, Steve Carell, Andrea Riseborough, Natalie Morales, Sarah Silverman, Bill Pullman, Alan Cumming

Plot: The true story of the 1973 tennis match between World number one Billie Jean King and ex-champ and serial hustler Bobby Riggs.

Tagline – He made a bet. She made history.

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Great Look at History Making

Story: Battle of the Sexes starts when women’s tennis champion Billie Jean King (Stone) decides to boycott the Lawn Association Tournaments run by Jack Kramer (Pullman) who isn’t offering equal pay to the women’s games to start her own tournament for the women. Bobby Riggs (Carell) a former grand-slam winner has been dealing with his gambling addiction which is costing him his marriage.

When Billie Jean’s tournaments start taking off, they are excluding from the Grand Slam events, Bobby Riggs comes up with the idea to challenge Billie Jean to an exhibition game which would get the press interested in both the players, putting the spotlight on the women players in the way they deserve.

Thoughts on Battle of the Sexes

Characters – The characters here are based on the real people, I have no idea how accurate they are. Billie Jean King is the number one tennis player in the world, she wants to earn the same prize money as the men and after not getting it she starts her own competition for the women in the game and beating Bobby would change everything for her, off the court she is dealing with her own feelings towards another woman despite being happily married. Bobby Riggs is a hustler and former grand-slam winner, he has a gambling problem which has cost him his marriage and has come up with an idea to challenge one of the top women’s players, defeating the current number one, Billie Jean steps up with the press turning the match into major deal. Bobby does play this like the exhibition that it was, knowing he is taking the bad guy role in this game, not truly caring about the outcome, more focused on the show around it. Marilyn is a hairdresser that does start an affair with Billie Jean, her role leaves Billie losing part of her game being involved in what was considered a forbidden romance. Rosie is one of the women players that joins Billie in her new league, one of many that just wants to be treated equal.

PerformancesEmma Stone and Steve Carell are both fantastic in the leading roles, we see just how much Emma makes Billie look like a player that wants to change the game, while Carell makes us love to hate his cocky arrogant player. Elsewhere in the cast we have strong performance throughout the film without taking the shine of the performances of the leading pair.

StoryThe story follows the real events leading up to one of the most watch games of tennis in history. We get to look at how Billie Jean lead the change in tennis for equality within the game which should be front and centre of the story. We do get to see how both Billie and Bobby have personal problems with relationships which were being explored at the time. The big and most entertaining part of the story comes from seeing the build up to the big game, where Bobby is playing into the press more than anything. The slightly confusing part of the whole story comes from wondering if Bobby knew what he was doing and whether he was actually supporting the women’s game, the film shows him making it a show for the cameras, which could see him trying to bring them to the forefront of the conversation rather than just being somebody trying to put them down.

Biopic/ComedyThe biopic side of this film does show us just how much of an impact Billie Jean had on tennis during the 70s how she made a difference for the prize money and views of tennis. The film is set with a comic tone with most of the laughs coming from just how outlandish Bobby is meant to have been.

SettingsThe film is set in the 1970s with each location, costume or outfit looking like we are part of that time.

Scene of the Movie – The match.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The scoring in the match, it isn’t clear enough.

Final Thoughts This is a great to watch biopic about one of the biggest games in tennis history, it has brilliant performance throughout and will leave you want to see what happened next.

Overall: Brilliant biopic.

Bloodline (2018) Movie Review

Director: Henry Jacobson

Writer: Avra Fox-Lerner, Will Honley, Henry Jacobson (Screenplay)

Starring: Seann William Scott, Mariela Garriga, Dale Dickey, Christie Herring, Raymond Alexander Cham Jr, Nick Noraine

Plot: Evan values family above all else, and anyone who gets between him, his wife, and newborn son learns that the hard way. But when it comes to violent tendencies, it seems the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Dexter Movie

Story: Bloodline starts as we see a woman killed in the shower then getting buried, Evan Cole (Scott) returns to his wife Lauren (Garriga), then off to help the students decide their future. As the couple have their first child, the sleep deprivation starts to come through, as the memories of an abuse from his childhood come back to him.

As Evan counsels the students, he starts to hear the stories of abuse they are going through and decides to channel his own aggressive into eliminating the threats in their lives, in an attempt to give them back the lives they are having taken from them.

Thoughts on Bloodline

Characters – Evan Cole is a guidance counsellor at a school, dealing with children that are suffering abuse, much like himself as a child, to vent this problem, he eliminates the threats to the children to filled his serial killer urges. He remains calm with everything going on in his life, including a new-born which is taking away his sleep, he still performs in a calculated manner. Lauren is the wife who has just given birth to their first child and starting to get stir crazy at home with the baby, she must decide what is right for the family. Marie is the mother of Evan, she has always looked after Evan in her life.

PerformancesSeann William Scott is chilling in the leading role, with how he can manage to seem calm and friendly, while also being disturbing at time. Mariela Garriga and Dale Dickey are both strong too, being the support in Evan’s life.

StoryThe story here follows a guidance counsellor who listens to the students problems, before using the night to solve the problems of the students moonlighting as a serial killer. The story does show us a lot of similarities to the Dexter the TV show with the anti-hero in Evan, he is only killing people who deserve it, rather than random people, which does work, where even in his conflicted head, he believes he is doing the right thing, the biggest change between the two would come with how the family dynamic unfolds. It is fun to start with, only it just seems to slow down when it comes to the investigation into the bodies being found.

Crime/HorrorThe crime side of the film follows the serial killer that is dealing with child abusers, while starting his own family, while also giving us the horror elements with how he gets the kills.

SettingsThe film gives us the residential setting, showing how a killer could be living next door to you.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to show the brutality of the kills we see through the film, that look as brutal as they need to.

Scene of the Movie – Lauren’s car trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The investigation side feels slow.

Final Thoughts This is a cold movie which only makes the killer more terrifying despite he remains calm through the film, even though it is a Dexter feeling movie.

Overall: Chilling Serial Killer Movie.

Blood on Her Name (2019) Movie Review

Director: Matthew Pope

Writer: Don M Thompson, Matthew Pope (Screenplay)

Starring: Bethany Anne Lind, Will Patton, Elisabeth Rohm, Jared Ivers, Jimmy Gonzales, Jack Andrews

Plot: A woman’s panicked decision to cover up an accidental killing spins out of control when her conscience demands she return the dead man’s body to his family.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Gritty Thriller

Story: Blood on Her Name starts after an incident at Leigh Tiller’s (Lind) garage, leaving a man dead and Leigh looking to cover up the dead body, her son Ryan (Ivers) is on parole, while her cop father Richard (Patton) is always watching over her.

After the cover-up starts to get exposed, Leigh is forced into turning to the people she can trust to keep it a secret, leading to more of the people who are coming looking for the truth, which will include people from Leigh’s ex’s life.

Thoughts on Blood on Her Name

Characters – Leigh has been running the family garage after her husband was put in jail, she is holding everything together to make sure her son gets back on the right path and after an incident in the garage, she looks to cover up an accidental death. She is tough, wants to be independent and will do anything to keep her son safe. Richard is Leigh’s father, a career cop that has always helped his daughter, who reluctantly helps her with her problem. Ryan is the son who has had a moment of violence defending himself, one that caused serious injuries, now with a parole officer, he is looked after by his mother, who wants to help him get back on the right path. Dani is one of the locals who related to the victim who might become the problem for Leigh.

PerformancesBethany Anne Lind in the leading role is the highlight of the film, showing the strength her character is showing throughout, while being on the verge of a break down. Will Patton is always going to be a strong character actor, who works well, while the rest of the cast don’t put a foot wrong through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a woman who tries to cover up an accident, which sees thing starting to spiral out of control when people start putting the clues together. This is an interesting a gritty crime story, we do see how the reaction is to try and fix things, rather than let the police look into the incident because of the family’s history with against the law. Everything does unfold slowly seeing how everything falls apart which keeps us feeling the same as Leigh who is constantly worried about forgetting something the is trying to keep quiet.

CrimeThe crime side of the film shows us how what could have been just an accident, soon becomes more once the cover-up starts happening.

SettingsThe film is set in a small town, where the locals all know the reputation families have created for themselves.

Scene of the Movie – The showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not seeing the incident and any point, only hearing about it.

Final Thoughts This is a gritty crime drama that boils along as a simmering pace.

Overall: Gritty and gloomy