Blood and Money (2020) Movie Review

Director: John Barr

Writer: John Barr (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Berenger, Kristen Hager, Paul Ben-Victor, Jimmy LeBlanc, Mark Sivertsen

Plot: A retired veteran hunting in Northern Maine stumbles across a dead woman and a large sum of money.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Blood and Money starts when hunter Jim Reed (Berenger) finds himself accidentally shooting two people in the snow covered forest, looking to get out of the area quick, he learns that the two are bank robbers and looks to return to collect the money they have left behind, only to learn that their friends have come looking for the money, leading to Jim needing to show his hunting knowledge to stay ahead of the criminals.

Thoughts on Blood and Money

Characters – Jim Reed has been hunting in the forests for years, he knows the rules and what to do if he does break on of the rules, he tends to keep to himself for the most part and if he was to break one of the rules put in place, he will report before leaving. He ends up killing two people while hunting and learning they were bank robbers, he wants to take the money and leave, but ends up needing to use his survival skills to escape the friends who want the money. Bill is the leader of the people who want the money, he uses his men to try and track down Jim before he escapes with what he thinks is his. Debbie the local waitress that knows Jim from his visits, she is going through her own problems, which Jim wants to help her with.

PerformancesTom Berenger does give us the strongest performance in the film, being head and shoulders above the rest of the cast, who don’t get that much time to make an impact in the bigger picture.

StoryThe story here follows an elderly hunter that on his latest trip, accidentally killing a couple, only to learn they were bank robbers and while trying to retrieve the money, he becomes the hunted. This story is a survival story, this will follow the idea that the experienced one will need to use this to get the advantage over the numbers coming after them. While this doesn’t bring too much new to the table, it will keep everything simple, being similar to Cliffhanger, without the mad action moments. The story does have a slow build, which could have a little bit more about it, but it will do all it needs to do.

ThrillerThe film does try to keep us on the edge of our seats, with how the Jim will deal with the people coming after him.

SettingsThe snow-covered forest will add to the difficult situation that Jim can use to his advantage, against how the criminals aren’t used to dealing with the conditions.


Scene of the Movie – Water scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is too slow for its own good.

Final Thoughts This is a slow building thriller that might well get carried by Tom Berenger performance, but lacks the threat from the villains in the film.

Signature Entertainment presents Blood Money in Cinemas & Digital HD 16th October and DVD 19th October

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – B – Bait (2012)

Director: Kimble Rendall

Writer: Shayne Armstrong, Duncan Kennedy, John Kim, S.P. Krause, Justin Monjo, Russell Mulcahy (Screenplay)

Starring: Richard Brancatisano, Xavier Samuel, Chris Betts, Sharni Vinson, Jullian McMahon, Dan Wyllie, Alice Parkinson, Phoebe Tonkin

 

Plot: A freak tsunami traps shoppers at a coastal Australian supermarket inside the building – along with 12-foot Great White Sharks.


Tagline – A tsunami just flipped the food chain. 

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: CGI Shark Attack Movie

 

Story: Bait starts when Josh (Samuel) and his fiancée Tina (Vinson) witness their best friend and brother killed in a shark attack, one year later, they live very different lives, with Josh stacking shelves and Tina moved on with her life. On this day Doyle (McMahon) has planned his robbery of the supermarket, on a tsunami hits the coast, flooding the store.

The survives find themselves trapped on the shelfs with Josh taking charge of the survival efforts, using his knowledge of water survival, with Tina needing to face her own fears of the water, with the water rising, things only get worse when they learn that a great white shark has become trapped in the store too, the race to survive is on.

 

Thoughts on Bait

 

Characters – Josh is the former lifeguard that sees his best friend killed by a shark, his life has been ruined with the guilty eating him up inside, when the disaster happens, he gets to help the survivors and reconnect with the love of his life Tina. Tina is the former fiancée whose brother it was killed in the opening attack, she has moved away which broke them up, her character is a strange one because it starts with her fear of the water, only to seemingly forget this once the shark arrive. Doyle is the thief who wants to rob the supermarket, he has lost control of his team which causes the robbery to go wrong, though he shows he never wanted to hurt anyone. We get lots of supporting characters that don’t really bring too much to the film if we are being honest, we have too many which only gives us too much shark bait or too many small side stories we don’t care about.

PerformancesXavier Samuel is the highlight of the performances here, he does have to do the action and emotional material as he is the one dealing with the loss of his best friend and life falling apart, he handles the action well too. When we look elsewhere Sharni Vinson, Julian McMahon and Phoebe Tonkin are fine with their roles and could have been interchangeable with a blink of an eye.

StoryThe story does bring us elements of original material, a tsunami hits the coast trapping people in a supermarket which just so happens to get a great white shark trapped in too. Watching the survivors trying to figure out how to get out of the building is interesting to see, for a survival movie you can enjoy this, the problem comes from too many characters that are harder to keep up with because you don’t know who to invest in because some are not interesting, the couple in the car are just annoying and you start to feel like some characters don’t even have an idea between their ears. For a shark movie, this is an acceptable story to watch, it does work well without breaking any barriers.

Action/HorrorThe action is the strangest part of the film, we get the shark moments sure, but the final attempt to escape is the highlight of the film. when you get to the horror side of the film, we get to leave it with how you feel about shark films.

SettingsThe film keep us in two main locations, one is the supermarket and the other is the parking lot, they both have sharks in with little chance of escape until the shark is dealt with and the water levels rising.

Special EffectsThe effects are the weakest part of the film, the opening shark attack is laughable and it doesn’t get much better from there.


Scene of the Movie –
Final escape plan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The CGI is terrible.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good late-night shark attack movie, you can enjoy this with a couple of drinks to get extra kicks.

 

Overall: Simple shark attack movie.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – 80s Movies – Y – Black Rain (1989) Movie Review

This is going under Y because of the involvement of the Yakuza.

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: Craig Bolotin, Warren Lewis (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Ken Takakura, Kate Capshaw, Yusaku Matsuda, Shigeru Koyama

Plot: Two NYC cops arrest a Yakuza member and must escort him when he’s extradited to Japan.


Tagline – An American Cop in Japan. Their country. Their laws. Their game. His rules.

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Gritty Drama

Story: Black Rain starts when bad boy cop Nick Conklin (Douglas) and his partner Charlie Vincent (Garcia) look to clean up their own problem, they stumble into a Yakuza gangster killing the godfather of the Japanese mafia.

Nick and Charlie find themselves needing to escort the killer, only for them to hand him over to an imposter, the pair need to work with the locals to try and recapture the killer in a country that has a battle between two deadly gangs.

Thoughts on Black Rain

Characters – Nick is the bad boy detective that doesn’t always play by the rules with how he gets the job done, this has landed him in trouble on countless times, his latest hearing ends up with his catching an international killer and needing to escort him back to Japan, only to find himself needing to investigate the gang war raging on in the country. Charlie is the by the book cop that knows how to keep Nick in line when he starts going too far, he is willing to be more open about the difference in culture, even if he doesn’t agree with everything, being the good cop to the bad cop attitude to Nick. Masahiro is the local Japanese cop that is assigned to show the detectives around, he ends up working with them to try and get deeper into the bigger case going on within the city. Joyce is an American living in Japan, she does fill in certain parts the locals don’t want to give up.

PerformancesMichael Douglas does do his best at trying to be more of a bad boy figure within the film, he has the attitude required for the role, Andy Garcia does bring a more relaxed approach which works well for the film, with the rest of the cast working well with what they need to bring to their roles.

StoryThe story here follows two New York detectives who travel across the world to escort a prisoner only to lose them and need to find themselves in the middle of a war for power in Japan, trying to understand the bigger picture. We are given a story here that shows how the change in culture will change how an investigation might well be addressed, it does seem to focus more on how Nick is more aggressive at times than he needs to, he is a shady cop. The investigation doesn’t seem to get into the intense level it should because we don’t focus on any of the criminal activities through the film though.

Action/CrimeThe action is simple enough, with most circulating around the motorbike usage of Nick and how controlled he is behind the world, with the criminal side of the film focusing on how everything will be different for the American cops in a new land.

SettingsThe film uses the Japan setting to show the cops with a new setting, which will operate in a different manner to what they are used to dealing with. It does show us how the world will feel darker to the criminal world they have come from.


Scene of the Movie – The motorbike riding sequences.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough focus on the criminal’s actions.

Final ThoughtsThis is a by the book crime drama, it has a cop that isn’t a smooth around the edges forced into a world he knows nothing about.

Overall: By the Book.

The Bay of Silence (2020) Movie Review

Director: Paula van der Oest

Writer: Caroline Goodall (Screenplay) Lisa St Aubin de Teran (Novel)

Starring: Claes Bang, Olga Kurylenko, Brian Cox, Assaad Bouab, Alive Krige

Plot: Will believes his wife Rosalind is innocent of their son’s suspected murder, only to discover the devastating truth behind her past links her to another unsolved crime.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Bay of Silence starts when Will (Bang) believes he is going to start the perfect life with his wife Rosalind, he twins and a new baby on the way, a new big house and a career moment which could secure his place in the company for years.

After an accident during the late pregnancy Rosalind believes she lost part of a twin, taking her down a dark path, which ends up seeing their baby die, Will must investigate, what really happened to their son and whether Rosalind was behind it.

Thoughts on The Bay of Silence

Characters – Will believes he is about to start the perfect life, his career is thriving, he has married his wife, with a child on the way and a dream home. Things take a turn, when he learns about his wife’s past and when their baby dies, he is left wondering just what to expect to be the truth about what happened to their son. Rosalind is the wife that believes she has lost a baby, she starts to lose control, only for her past to show the effects to what happened to her in the past. Milton is the fixer that has always solved the problems in Rosalind’s life.

PerformancesClaes Bang does show us how a husband would do anything to protect a wife from even the worst crimes, showing us how he is slowly losing his mind about what might have happened or not. Olga Kurylenko shows the changes her character is going through well, with Brian Cox being the highlight of every scene.

StoryThe story here follows a husband that is trying to figure out what caused his wife sudden change, which will see him dive into her past, which brings him a shocking truth, which will explain what happened to their daughter. This story is very busy, with most of the film circling around Will needing to discover what happened, which will give us more details by the end of the film, which does make much more sense to everything we see. We get to deal with very dark subjects, which could cause the changes, while not everything does seem to get to come out from what we are seeing.

ThrillerThe thriller side of this film comes from seeing what is happening, what could have happened and what did happen, we are left guessing to the truth.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us why the dream home is only the beginning of a new nightmare for the family, where most of the locations are here to show us what happened in the past.


Scene of the Movie – The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We do have too much going on with Will that seems to lead him down different routes.

Final Thoughts This is a thriller that will keep you guessing along with leading us to a shocking conclusion.

Signature Entertainment presents The Bay of Silence on DVD & Digital HD 28th September

The Babysitter: Killer Queen (2020) Netflix Movie Review

Director: McG

Writer: Dan Lagana, Brad Morris, Jimmy Warden, McG (Screenplay)

Starring: Judah Lewis, Samara Weaving, Jenny Ortega, Emily Alyn Ling, Andrew Bachelor, Robbie Amell

Plot: Two years after Cole survived a satanic blood cult, he’s living another nightmare: high school. And the demons from his past? Still making his life hell.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Babysitter: Killer Queen starts two years after the events of the first film, Cole (Lewis) seems to be the only person to remember what happened that night, still haunted by the events of that night, which see him needing therapy, while struggling through high school, becoming distant from his closest friend Melanie (Lind).

When Melanie encourages Cole to ditch school for a lake party, he sees everyone having fun, while he is still trying to understand how to find himself in the way others do. Until he learns that the cult behind the babysitter’s have been planning for him to finish him off for good.

Thoughts on The Babysitter: Killer Queen

Characters – Cole is still haunted by the events of that night with Bee, he doesn’t fit in school, always worrying, not being to just enjoy his youth like the rest of the students. He finds himself facing a special school or just going on a big night out with friends, which sees him needing to fight against the demons again. Phoebe is the new girl in school, she comes off in the way of not wanting to make friends, but on her big night out, she finds herself needing to work with Cole to survive. Melanie was Cole’s best friend, the one person who still talks to him and encourages him to come on the night out, only to show her true colours of wanting to become immortal. We do get the returning faces that have come to collect the soul they never captured last time out, we also see how they get recruited by Bee in the first place.

PerformancesJudah Lewis might not be as strong as he should be in the horror side of the leading role, but does handle the more serious side of awkwardness through the film. Jenna Ortega as the bad girl works well, with Emily Alyn Lind continuing her darker turn in horror well here. Most of the supporting cast get the laughs through the film, which will show them playing into the stereotypes.

StoryThe story here picks up two years after the first film, Cole is still traumatised by what happened, but not he is trying to get through the high school scene, only to find himself facing the same problems, from a new threat, one closer to home. This does build well in places, with the characters being full blown parodies of the stereotypes, while not holding back on the ritual talk, with a twist involved that does seem to bring a fresh light on the high school desire to be popular. Everything does play out in a similar tone, only with the demons wanting to prepare for what might come their way, along with the continuing one on one battles with them.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy in the film is the strongest part of the film, it is very self-aware laughs through the film, with more of the horror coming from the blood splatter more than anything else.

SettingsThe film moves away from the home settings, moving into a desert lake area, which adds to the chase idea, as well as showing us a location, teenagers could hang around.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are what happens to the demons, most look great with the splatter looking part comical through the film.


Scene of the Movie – Reindeer games.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – One twist confuses another part of the film.

Final Thoughts This is a fun comedy horror sequel, it has the laughs, while being filled with plenty of splatter over anything else.