Goalie (2019) Movie Review

Director: Adriana Maggs

Writer: Adriana Maggs, Jane Maggs (Screenplay)

Starring: Mark O’Brien, Kevin Pollak, Georgina Reilly, Eric Bruneau, Steve Byers, Ted Atherton, Janine Theriault

Plot: Biopic of the life of legendary NHL goaltender Terry Sawchuk.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Surprising Look at Sports Conditioning

Story: Goalie starts as we see how Terry Sawchuk grew up under the shadow of his older brother who was waiting for scouts to give him a chance in the big time, only his father Louis (Atherton) needed him to work to keep a roof over the family. After his brother sudden death, Terry builds up his own reputation as an ice hockey goalie.

Terry gets signed by Detroit under coach Jack Adams (Pollak) while remaining humble in his new found fame, where his reputation continues to grow, as he continues to play through injuries to make history as one of the most legendary goaltenders in the game.

Thoughts on Goalie

Characters – Terry Sawchuk came from a struggling family, where he idolised his brother a young ice hockey goaltender who is meant to have a big future, after his brother’s death, Terry takes the role and builds himself a reputation which sees him signed to the big time after an injury to the current goaltender. Terry becomes the best tender in the league, though not a price, he plays through injuries that should be rested, which sees him going through addictions to cover up his own pain. Jack Adams is the Detroit coach that gives Terry the big break, he sees him as the star of his team, but also knows that he needs a goaltender fit and ready, whenever one gets injured, he searches for a replacement instead of a temp, which does create tension between the two when the injuries start catching up. Pat Morey is the woman Terry marries and starts a family with, she does deal with his problems that he is facing standing by him while keeping their children safe. We do see the players that all admire the goaltenders and have more fun during the season, because of the lower number of injuries they suffer from.

PerformancesMark O’Brien is wonderful in this leading role, he shows us every emotional problems Terry went through, the pain he feels through the season, in his head and the delight when things go his way. Kevin Pollak does bring some star power to the film, making a big impact in his scenes, while Georgina Reilly shows us how to do the supporting spouse who might not take everything that comes her way.

StoryThe story here follows the career of legendary ice hockey player Terry Sawchuk who was considered one of the greatest goaltenders the sport ever saw. The story does show more of the personal life, which showed how difficult being a goaltender was, with clubs only have one and an injury meant you were axed, this increased the pressure on the player who would have to work through injuries just to keep his job, way before the union was involved in the sport. We don’t seem to learn too much of the pure joy of success or how much he wins, which could have been made clearer, while it also doesn’t paint enough of the importance of the union being included, just how much it changed the later stages of Terry’s career. The focus is solely on his personal battle to stay in a team and giving up his own health, family and future to keep his role in the team, no matter how good he was considered in the sport.

BiopicThe biopic side of this film only shows the personal struggles that Terry went through, but not enough of the joy of success on the ice.

SettingsThe film keeps us in the era that we are going through, with the locker room being key to how Terry’s mind was going forward.


Scene of the Movie – Terry gets involved with banter.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not seeing or feeling the success felt by the players.

Final Thoughts This is a good look at how sport evolved after seeing a player suffer for so long with the effects it took on his body and his mind.

Overall: Biopic 101.

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – G – Gandhi (1982)

Director: Richard Attenborough

Writer: John Briley (Screenplay)

Starring: Ben Kingsley, Rohini Hattangadi, Roshan Seth, Candice Bergen, Edward Fox, John Gielgud, Trevor Howard

 

Plot: Gandhi’s character is fully explained as a man of nonviolence. Through his patience, he is able to drive the British out of the subcontinent. And the stubborn nature of Jinnah and his commitment towards Pakistan is portrayed.


Tagline – A WORLD EVENT It took one remarkable man to defeat the British Empire and free a nation of 350 million people. His goal was freedom for India. His strategy was peace. His weapon was his humanity.

Runtime: 3 Hours 11 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Inspirational

 

Story: Gandhi starts in 1893 when Mohandas K Gandhi (Kingsley) an Indian lawyer travelling in South Africa is thrown off a train for sitting in first class, he is opposed to this laws which see Indians as second class citizens in a land which is under the British Empire and starts to lead a non-violent stand to make a change in the country.

After turning the laws in South Africa, Gandhi gets a hero’s welcome return to India, where he goes around the country to learn about the impending war against the British as India is looking for its own independence, and Gandhi’s teaching will become the key to non-violent protests against what is happening to the people of land at the hands of the British.

 

Thoughts on Gandhi

 

Characters – Mohandas K Gandhi was an Indian lawyer educated in England, he gets treated like a second class citizen in South Africa, which makes him want to change the laws, create freedom for people in the British Empire to be treated equal in any of the lands, he wants to fight without ever being violent, he sees war as a tactical idea that could be done without spilling blood. After winning in South Africa, he head home to India where he starts his latest mission to stop the British having control of India, once again preaching his non-violent ways once again, trying to change his own’s people mentality to take the country to a new future. Kasturba is the wife of Mohandas she stands by his side through ever campaign he leads, showing the women of Indian they can be as strong as their men. Pandit Nehru is one of the first followers of Gandhi, he will have differences along the way, but he does know that he is always trying to do the right thing. We do get a host of people that were part of Gandhi’s life and campaigns, we have the reporters that spread his stories, the Indians who learnt to support him and the British who were always trying to remain in control.

PerformancesBen Kingsley is truly breath-taking in this leading role, covering the inspirational man’s life for over 50 years, it shows how he really is one of the greatest actors of all time, in a role he was born to play. The rest of the cast are fantastic too, we have plenty of smaller roles with big name actors who all shine in their roles.

StoryThe story here follows the life of Mahatma Gandhi the man that wanted to use non-violent methods to create freedom for the Indians in two different countries, first South Africa, secondly in India itself trying to break free of the British Empire unfair rule. Seeing the life of Gandhi over the 50 odd years of his life shows us just how much he achieved even while being patient in the achieving his life changing goals for the people of the countries. The story is told in chronological order which shows us just how famous Gandhi become as the man that wanted change, how different people tried to stop him and others reluctantly put themselves in a position where they had to go against him, even though he agreed.

Biopic/HistoryWe do follow Gandhi’s life from the moment he first gets discriminated against until his death, we go through the history of the changes Gandhi fought for through the years as just how he ended up changing the history of India with his teachings.

SettingsThe film recreates the settings used for the events in history with ease, we will believe that we are part of this world and part of the world Gandhi choices to live in.


Scene of the Movie –
Courtroom acceptance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel too long at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brilliant biopic that shows us just how inspirational Gandhi was to the world let alone just the people of India.

 

Overall: Masterpiece of cinema.

Rating

 

 

The Grudge (2020) Movie Review

Director: Nicolas Pesce

Writer: Nicolas Pesce (Screenplay) Takashi Shimizu (Original Screenplay)

Starring: John Cho, Andrea Riseborough, Zoe Fish, Lin Shaye, Tara Westwood, Demian Bichir

Plot: A house is cursed by a vengeful ghost that dooms those who enter it with a violent death.


Tagline – It’ll never let you go

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Typical Jump Scare Horror

Story: The Grudge starts as a nurse Fiona Landers (Westwood) returns home from Tokyo after spending time in the haunted house to her family in America, only for something to have happened in that house, two years later recently widowed Detective Muldoon (Riseborough) starts a new role with partner Goodman (Bichir) which starts by investigating a dead body.

Muldoon starts to invest, learning Goodman won’t touch the case, which sees the story split into seeing how four different people interact with the cursed ghost which has been continues it hunt for more souls.

Thoughts on The Grudge

Characters – Detective Muldoon is putting her life back together when she stumbles into a dead body case, which does have a connection to a murder in one house a couple of years ago, once she starts seeing things in her life, she needs to start get to the bottom by mostly reading, leading to the film cutting to what happened, or being haunted. Goodman is the partner Muldoon who has been reluctant to visit the house even when investigating the murders, he can sense bad omens, though he isn’t much help when it comes to Muldoon’s investigation. Peter Spencer is a real-estate agent with his wife, while planning for their first child, he is trying to sell the house, when he gets caught up in the curse, he isn’t more than just a side character that doesn’t seem to go anywhere or interact with any of the other characters in the film. Faith Matheson is along with her husband moved into the house to be closer to her treatment, one of the people that Muldoon finds still in the house.

PerformancesAndrea Riseborough is the closest to a good performance you will get in this film, her character is left with bad decisions, which leaves you scratching your head at what happens in the film. Lin Shaye being a horror icon does get strong moments in the film, while the rest always just look out of place for the most part, because of the weak storytelling style.

StoryThe story here follows the curse from the ghost house coming to America and seeing how it spreads like a virus, curse multiple people through years and how one detective is going to try and get to the bottom of the cases, which all seem to be connected. Where this story does lose a lot of steam is by having four stories going on at once, we see how the curse first gets bought over, the real estate agent who is trying to sell the house, the couple looking for assistant suicide for a sick member of the house and the detective trying to put everything together, each time we learn more about one, we seem to get another branch, which adds more characters, with the whole point of the original curse to be focused on a horrific crime committed in the house, while this is more just, they turned evil and did something horrific, losing all the mystic behind the story. The time jumps don’t give us enough time to digest what we are seeing, with each story waiting for the big moment in the final act to show us what happens to the characters, as most of the stories get revealed when the detective learns more about the case. This just ends up feeling messy for the most part, even if it does the formulaic jump scares.

Horror/MysteryThe horror is a lot of just typical jump scare material, usually sucking the sound out of the scene, before hitting us with a loud noise and image of somebody doing the creepy Grudge sound, sadly no signs of the original creepy figure, which has all the fear about it. The mystery is more about the detective reading about previous cases, never looking to solve like we are used to seeing.

SettingsThe film tries to create the horrors in a new American, house it doesn’t work to the same levels as the original house, not using the environment to create enough of the horror.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are weak too because we are left to see just a heavy make up effects, which might look good, but they don’t have the same effect the original once did.


Scene of the Movie – The opening leaving.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too many stories going on a t once, which don’t get enough time to be strong enough to stand alone.

Final Thoughts This is a weak addition to the Grudge franchise and as somebody has seen a lot of the side and extended films, it needs the money shot to get a reprieve, which is what the original remakes had.

Overall: Disappointing Horror.

Greta (2018) Movie Review

Director: Neil Jordan

Writer: Ray Wright, Neil Jordan (Screenplay)

Starring: Isabelle Huppert, Chloe Grace Moretz, Maika Monroe, Jane Perry, Colm Feore, Zawa Ashton, Thaddeus Daniels, Stephen Rea

Plot: A young woman befriends a lonely widow who’s harboring a dark and deadly agenda toward her.


Tagline – She’s been waiting for you.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Never Lights Up

Story: Greta starts when a kind New York resident Frances McCullen (Moretz) who finds a handbag on the subway home, and being a nice person she returns it to a nice lonely French woman Greta (Huppert), who does start to offer her friendship, filling the void left after her own mother’s death.

As the two do become friends, Frances learns the terrible truth about Greta, that she has become over obsessive and will not leave her alone, leading to stalker behaviour which doesn’t get close to home for Frances.

Thoughts on Greta

Characters – Frances is a kind young woman living in New York city, trying to get started in life, she does a good deed, which sees her make a new friend in Greta, only to find herself being stalked by her, wanting to be a replacement mother in her life, she does everything she can to avoid the contact, seeing her life put on hold because of her new stalker. It is also clear that she is struggling with the loss of her mother, which has damaged her relationship with her father. Greta is the widowed lonely French woman who has been leaving her bag on public transport to get unsuspecting victims to come into her life, she does have problems, which haven’t been treated, which leads her to make the aggressive behaviour. Erica is the roommate and best friend of Frances, she does think she need to move away from Greta and will do anything to help her friend. Chris is the father of Frances who has started to move on with his life after the death of his wife.

PerformancesIsabelle Huppert in the leading role does have a menacing presence about her, only she doesn’t get to let everything out, the way it feels like the character is ready to. Chloe Grace Moretz is strong as a young woman just trying to hold her life together, while Maika Monroe gets the most laughs at times in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a young lady that helps return a bag, only to see her life turned upside down by the owner who has been searching for her latest victim. This story does focus on a good deed leading to something terrible happening, highlighting how the law will favour a stalker over the victim and how people can just vanish in New York City overnight. Sadly, the pace of the film does leave little to the imagination as we seem to just jump between levels of threat, showing only friendly to never leaving the side, to the final act. This just seems to put moments together, leaving plenty of plot holes in how everything unfolds.

MysteryThe mystery side of this film comes from how far and why Greta is acting her way, it does get slowly revealed, only it just doesn’t get into a deeper idea.

SettingsThe film is set in New York which does show us how somebody could go missing in such an open city, with little people noticing anything that is going on.


Scene of the Movie – The next victim.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Following Erica is shot so badly.

Final Thoughts This is a simple mystery thriller which brings the stalker idea to the big city over the remote locations we know, only falling short in how everything unfolds.

Overall: Simple Mystery.

Ground Control (1998)

Director: Richard Howard

Writer: Mark Shepherd, Robert Moreland (Screenplay) Talaat Captan, Robert Moreland (Story)

Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Bruce McGill, Kristy Swanson, Robert Sean Leonard, Kelly McGillis, Margaret Cho, Ruben Paul

Plot: A disgraced former air traffic controller is called back into service when the airport’s traffic control system malfunctions.


Tagline – No Radar. No Contact. No Control.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Nice Smart Thriller

Story: Ground Control starts as air traffic controller Jack Harris (Sutherland) loses one of his planes in an accident, with nothing being his own fault. Jack is out the game working on developing a video game in air traffic controlling when his friend T.C. Bryant (McGill) comes to him in need of help because of the workload thrown upon his team.

When Jack reluctant agrees to work for one night, he must face his past, even with hot shot new trafficker Cruise (Leonard) not wanting to work with him and rookie Julie (Swanson) willing to learn off Jack.

Thoughts on Ground Control

Characters – Jack Harris was once one of the best air traffic controllers in the business, he does suffer the nightmare of all the air traffic controllers have, losing a plane, turning to the drink to blame himself for what happened. He has turned to designing video games, but it talked into return on a business night, where he must finally face his own past and deal with the pressure once again. T.C Bryant is the friend of Jack’s who has turned to him for help deal with the added pressure piled onto him, he controls the team with his work, which sees him showing off his micromanagement skills. Julie is the rookie on her first night in the team, nervous at the start, Jack offers to help her, while Cruise is willing to put her under pressure. Cruise is the hot shot that gets through the day with his abilities that could make him the best in the business, his attitude has been the one thing that has always held him back, where he is the closest to a villain we have in this film.

PerformancesKiefer Sutherland was a strange choice for this role, when it comes to being in the controller persons, he is great to watch, but when it comes to the unsure nervous filled with regret side of the character he does seem slightly miscast. Bruce McGill, Kristy Swanson and Robert Sean Leonard are all great to watch in their roles in the film.

StoryThe story here follows one night in an air traffic control station which has had increased number of flights thrown onto them and the pressure forces the boss to turn to his old colleague to help even though he has been battling his own problems. This is a story that does come from a strange angle because instead of doing anything glorified or over the top, it simply just looks to focus on the pressure these teams will be facing while working on daily basis. We do have the incidents that will show how calm they need to be and how easily they can work to solve the problems they face and by the end you will find yourself gripped to what is happening.

Action/AdventureThe action involved in the film is mostly off camera, it follows what could happen with the planes during difficult decisions, while it does have an adventure tone through how Jack wants to overcome his problems.

SettingsThe film is set within the air traffic control station which shows us how close the team must work together for when the pressure grows.


Scene of the Movie – The last plane to land, it is an intense scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Sutherland doesn’t seem to fit the nervous unsure figure.

Final Thoughts This is a tidy thriller that does keep us guessing just to what will happen next with the pressure being piled upon the team, it does keep everything feeling realistic too by only showing the team at work.

Overall: Air Traffic Thriller.