ABC Film Challenge – Horror – I – I Am Not a Serial Killer (2016)

Director: Billy O’Brien

Writer: Billy O’Brien, Christopher Hyde (Screenplay) Dan Wells (Novel)

Starring: Max Records, Christopher Lloyd, Laura Fraser, Christina Baldwin, Karl Geary, Dee Noah

 

Plot: In a small Midwestern town, a troubled teen with homicidal tendencies must hunt down and destroy a supernatural killer whilst keeping his own inner demons at bay.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Chilling Horror Drama

 

Story: I Am Not a Serial Killer starts as we meet high school student and son of a coroner John Cleaver (Records) who does help with mother April’s (Fraser) work, but John is a troubled young man having being diagnosed as a psychopath by his doctor Neblin (Geary).

When his small town starts having a serial killer active and the bodies start adding up. When Max discovers who the killer is Mr Crowley (Lloyd) he starts to learn that not everything is as simple as him being a serial killer and the two end up getting involved in a game of cat and mouse.

 

Thoughts on I Am Not a Serial Killer

 

Characters – John Wayne Cleave is the young man with a troubled mind, he has been diagnosed as a psychopath but he isn’t going to give into his homicidal thoughts but when he learns about a serial killer he sets out to try and stop him. Mr Crowley is the serial killer in question, an old man from the neighbourhood who doesn’t look like he could overpower anyone but there is something different about him. April is John’s mother that also is the town’s coroner which gives John an understand of human anatomy.

PerformanceMax Records gives us a wonderful performance in the leading role for an actor so young and who has been away from the business for about five years. Christopher Lloyd gives us a chilling performance and one you wouldn’t have put him down for after his comedic turns through the years. Laura Fraser is good but doesn’t get too much time to do too much.

StoryThe story of a young man discovering a serial killer and trying to stay ahead of them has been seen before but this film takes things in a new direction as the young man is battling to stop his homicidal ways. The idea is smart and doesn’t go at a fast pace instead keeps us wanting to see where it will all unfold and just what is the killers secret.

Horror/ThrillerWe have a serial killer but not like one you would expect here, we have one that will kill in ways you wouldn’t expect their body to be able to, which does keep us on edge as we wait to see what will happen next.

SettingsThe small-town setting helps this film because it shows that not everyone you think you will know is just who they thought they would be.

Special EffectsThe effects are great, with most being from a distant until the final parts which look fantastic up close and personal.

Scene of the Movie – Discovering the truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Can be slow in places.

Final ThoughtsThis is a smart take on a serial killer/creature movie that does keep us guessing along the way and does have a dark and rewarding conclusion.

 

Overall: One for the horror fans

Rating

 

 

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Tommy Lee Jones Weekend – In the Valley of Elah (2007)

Director: Paul Haggis

Writer: Paul Haggis (Screenplay) Mark Boal, Paul Haggis (Story)

Starring: Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, Jason Patric, Susan Sarandon, James Franco, Barry Corbin, Josh Brolin

 

Plot: A retired military investigator works with a police detective to uncover the truth behind his son’s disappearance following his return from a tour of duty in Iraq.


Tagline – Sometimes The Truth Is Best Left Buried

Runtime: 2 Hour 1 Minute

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Slowly Driven Thriller

 

Story: In the Valley of Elah starts when retired military investigator Hank Deerfield (Jones) receives a phone call informing him his son Mike (Tucker) has gone AWOL which leads him to head to the base to investigate the motives and hopefully find his son before it turns into a criminal case. Hank turns to the local police and detective Emily Sanders (Theron) for help, but derestriction causes the problems.

When Mike’s body is discovered the military want to keep things quiet, but Hank isn’t accepting the answers given to him, working with Emily the two investigate what really happened to Mike and the truth will leave us shocked.

 

Thoughts on In the Valley of Elah

 

Characters – Hank is a retired military investigator, he has lost one son in war and no his second has gone missing, he goes to solve the case using his years of experience to get to the bottom of the case. He is from an older school of military with a determination unlike what people are prepared for. Detective Emily Sanders is used to getting dead end cases, but she does care about the people who are in need of help, she listens to Hank’s ideas and takes lead on the case having to face the truths of not being able to help everybody. Joan is the wife of Hank and mother of Mike, she stays home while Hank tries to solve the case where we learn about the struggles she has faced with dealing with the boys she let go into war.

PerformancesTommy Lee Jones shines in this role, he carries the film with a performance that is up there with his very best. Charlize Theron is also strong in the supporting role showing she can step away from glamourous roles with ease. Susan Sarandon is good as the supporting role which we are used to seeing from her. The whole cast is great throughout the film never giving too much away.

StoryThe story starts off as if it was a simple missing persons case, but it soon turns into a murder with conspiracies about what could have happened on that night of his death. we are never driven down one path and the crime takes time to unfold which makes this a fascinating watch as we see things unfold like Hank. The other side of the story remains how parents must deal with losing children who are in the military.

Crime/MysteryThe crime starts as a missing person and soon turns into a murder that needs to be solved with the conspiracies about who could have committed the murder.

SettingsThe settings show us the town next to a military base and how it operates, it keeps everything simple which is what the story calls for.


Scene of the Movie –
Final piece of the puzzle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I didn’t get annoyed by a single moment of this film.

Final ThoughtsThis is an amazing crime mystery thriller, it keeps the pace perfect to not give too much away and tackles the idea of the modern horrors of war.

 

Overall: Must watch for crime mystery thriller.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – I – In My Dreams (2014)

Director: Kenny Leon

Writer: Teena Booth, Suzette Couture (Screenplay)

Starring: Katharine McPhee, Mike Vogel, JoBeth Williams, Joe Massingill, Rachel Skarsten, Antonio Cupo, Jessalyn Wanlim

 

Plot: Natalie and Nick are frustrated with their luck in romance. After tossing coins into a fountain, the two then begin dreaming about each other. But, according to fountain mythology, they only have a week to turn those dreams into reality.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming Romance

 

Story: In My Dreams starts as we meet struggling restaurant owner Natalie (McPhee) and ambitious architect Nick Smith (Vogel), both have people interfering in their love lives, Natalie has Sharla (Wanlim) and Nick with his mother Charlotte (Williams). After the pair both make a wish in the local fountain they both start dreaming of each other.

Each night the two meet in their dreams learning more about each other as they soon start to fall in love with each other and must learn how they can meet in real life.

 

Thoughts on In My Dreams

 

Characters – Natalie is a struggling restaurant owner that has taken over the family business after her mother’s death, with business down she is encouraged to make a wish in the local fountain. With no luck in love she suddenly starts seeing a mysterious man in her dreams who helps re-create her restaurant. Nick is an architect in a role he doesn’t enjoy his work, goes through women after just one date never calling them because they don’t give him what he needs. He makes the wish too and after meeting Natalie in his dream who helps him see his own potential in life. In the supporting characters we have the interfering mother, work best friends and the cliched mean boss.

PerformancesKatharine McPhee as our leading lady is great, we get to see the mix of business realism and dream like beliefs she is going through, like Katharine, Mike Vogel shows his full range through the film and the two work well to make us care about their characters. the supporting cast a good for an extra laugh at times and never take the spotlight off the main two characters.

StoryThe story here follows two people down on life, both career and love who make a wish and start falling for each other in their dreams. This does give us a look how life can always be turned around no matter how down you might get, it tells us love can give you motivation for change. This may feel like something we have seen before, it does feel overly relying on a fantasy most people will never get close to experiencing and for a romantic movie fan we could see the fans of the genre enjoying this one.

RomanceThe romantic side of the film show us how important waiting for the right person that will make you feel like out are the most important person in the world. it could be considered overly cheesy but sometimes that works.

SettingsThe film keeps us in one city showing us how easily you could miss someone who is perfect for you in life without even noticing.


Scene of the Movie –
Those missed meetings.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain supporting characters don’t have much going on in their lives other than being the leads friends.

Final ThoughtsThis is a movie that anyone that enjoys a romantic movie will enjoy, it might have cliched moments, but it is just nice sweet romantic film.

 

Overall: Enjoyable and charming from start to finish.

Rating

 

 

Inventing Tomorrow (2018)

Director: Laura Nix

 

Plot: Meet passionate teenage innovators from around the globe who are creating cutting-edge solutions to confront the world’s environmental threats – found right in their own backyards – while navigating the doubts and insecurities that mark adolescence. Take a journey with these inspiring teens as they prepare their projects for the largest convening of high school scientists in the world, the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), a program of the Society for Science and the Public.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Makes the Future Feel Bright

 

Thoughts on Inventing Tomorrow

 

ThoughtsWe get to see teenagers from around the globe, two from Indonesia who are planning against the illegal dredging of the coast of their island, one from Hawaii who has been studying the arsenic levels after tsunamis have moved the original areas. We have one from Indian who is from a city which has grown beyond its capabilities and now the once great clear lake is a sewage wasteland. We got three from Monterrey Mexico who has worried about the air pollution. These teenagers are all preparing to head to the Intel International Science and Engineering Fair to see if the younger generation could offer the answers to the big problems to their corners of the world.

We do follow just the four different locations and it could easily have followed 100s to 1000s of different projects, which shows us the promise that we are getting to see from the next generation of scientists and problem solvers, these young people are giving up large parts of their childhood just for this moment to try and make a change to first, their cities and soon the world.

The biggest plus side of this comes from seeing both male and female teenagers given this chance, we know in the past in some of the countries we are visiting we won’t have seen these opportunities for the young women to share their ideas. We do get to focus more on the idea of the next generation of minds over a true study of the ideas they are planning which is good, because certain elements of the science could easily go over people’s heads.

For a documentary this is one of the most educational any adult could have, because it shows ideas can come from different locations around the world, for children this could motivate them to be the ones to make the difference in the future. This is one of the inspirational passionate driven documentary, it doesn’t tell us a story of what happened, it tells us how we could find the solutions to the world’s biggest problems.

 

Overall: Must watch documentary that will bring hope for the future of our planet.

Rating

 

 

I Am Going to Kill Someone Friday (2018)

Director: Durden Godfrey

Writer: Durden Godfrey, Taurean Royal, Jared Rush (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Siedle, Joe W Nowland, Faneal Godbold, David E McMahon, Lisa Mcconnell, Glen Krotov, Traci L Newman, Scott Broughton

 

Plot: Robert Partridge lives a normal life with his normal family in a normal neighborhood, working a normal job. But Robert Partridge is not normal.


Tagline – Who is Robert Partridge and who is he going to kill?

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Unsettling Thriller

 

Story: I Am Going to Kill Someone This Friday starts as we meet Robert Partridge (Siedle), he has a normal life, with a family, job and everyday problems. He gets visited by two detectives as he recounts the previous week of his life.

Ass the week continues we get to see how Robert gets stressed out by everything in life which leads him to the dark feelings in his head as he starts judging everyone in life as he looks to select a victim for him to kill on Friday.

 

Thoughts on I Am Going to Kill Someone This Friday

 

Characters – Robert Partridge has a wife, son, successful job, nice house everything to make him seem like a normal guy, this week is different because the stress of life it finally getting to him bringing out a darker side to his personality. We follow Robert interact with his family, colleagues and everyday people each with a different manner. By having the other characters only interacting with him we don’t get much time to learn about them away from Robert.

PerformancesTom Siedle in this leading role is so unsettling to watch, we see how he can switch his characters behaviour in the click of the fingers which only makes us want to see where things go next. His performance makes us want to see just where he will go next and lets everyone else work off him.

StoryThe story follows the one week in this normal mans life, one where things push him to the limits where he wants to break out of his stress and do something terrible, like kill somebody. The unease this film gives us shows us from the opening sequences that he is being approached by police, which makes us spend the film figuring out just who he is going to target. We get plenty of potential suspects with only seemingly one guy he gets on with (the coffee dude) being off the table. Keeping the story going over one week shows us just how stress can affect people in the wrong way and makes us learn to take a deep breath at times, but it will leave you with a big surprise by the end.

ThrillerWatching how Robert selects his potential victims with the added unsettling music just adds to all the tension being felt through this movie.

SettingsThe film keeps us in one city, we see the quiet side, the busy and the in-between, the locations Robert would go to through his week.


Scene of the Movie –
The final shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me One big moment doesn’t get enough attention.

Final ThoughtsThis is a truly unsettling film, it makes you want to see what will happen next even if you don’t want to see it.

 

Overall: Edgy, uncomfortable, one you can’t look away from.

Rating