Ingrid Goes West (2017)

 

Director: Matt Spicer

Writer: David Branson Smith, Matt Spicer (Screenplay)

Starring: Aubrey Plaza, Elizabeth Olsen, O’Shea Jackson Jr, Wyatt Russell, Bill Magnussen, Pom Klementieff

 

Plot: An unhinged social media stalker moves to LA and insinuates herself into the life of an Instagram star.


Tagline – She’ll Follow You

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderfully Disturbing

 

Story: Ingrid Goes West starts as we meet Ingrid (Plaza) a social media fanatic who shows the extremes she goes to become part of the celebrity’s life, but freshly out of the mental home, she now targets her newest celebrity obsession Taylor Sloane (Olsen).

Ingrid moves west to LA to be closer to Taylor after getting a reply from Taylor on social media, renting a place of Dan Pinto (Jackson Jr) she gets to grips with the LA life style. We see how Ingrid learns where Taylor lives and decides to dognap her dog, so she can become the hero in Taylor’s eyes. The two become friends where the two share secrets and now Ingrid has everything she wanted in her social media obsession, but when things go in the direction against Ingrid’s wishes, we see the unstable side of things.

 

Thoughts on Ingrid Goes West

 

Characters – Ingrid is an unstable young woman that is obsessed with celebrities on social media, her latest one left her in a mental home but fresh out she dives right back into social media locating her new obsession. Using the money she received from her mother’s death she heads to LA to get close to her latest obsession, when she soon becomes friends with her but are we prepared to see how far she will go. Taylor is the social media icon, she shots every moment of her life for her followers who feed her desire to be popular giving her the attention she requires, we learn that not everything she speaks is the truth making her just as fake as the followers that she has. Dan is the local screenwriter that gives Ingrid a room to rent, his is obsessed with Batman becoming one of the only natural friends Ingrid meets.

PerformancesAubrey Plaza is fantastic in this leading role, she plays the fine line between normal and unstable while being the social awkward stalker she needs to show us. Elizabeth Olsen is great as the social media diva that craves the attention. She gives us a truly believable performance as a woman that relies on social media for her attention. O’Shea Jackson Jr is good in the supporting role playing a down to Earth character throughout the film. Wyatt Russell and Billy Magnussen are both great in the supporting roles too.

StoryThis is the story of the darker side of social media, it shows both how the people on it can be fake, but it can also create the stalker mentality behind the people who follow people on social media. We get to see how this has become a new problem in the world and how the mental unstable will struggle to cope with the rejection with the popularity they crave. This story is a great watch, it is powerful throughout the film, it tells a powerful message about the dangers of social media both for the people sharing and following.

ComedyThe comedy in this movie fits what the movie drama tone without making is completely dark, we do have dark moments of comedy and not full-blown laugh out loud moments.

SettingsThe LA setting works for the film because it shows how people in the area can be drawn into obsession.


Scene of the Movie –
Punch Me.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is hard to find anything that I didn’t like here but the one moment would be, Ezra, I believe we could have had one more moment with him.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the films of the year, it tackles a serious matter and entertains throughout with powerhouse performances.

 

Overall: Contender for the film of the year.

Rating

 

 

 

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The Iron lady (2011)

Director: Phyllida Lloyd

Writer: Abi Morgan (Screenplay)

Starring: Meryl Streep, Jim Broadbent, Richard E Grant, Olivia Coleman, Alexandra Roach, Iain Glen

 

Plot: An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Biopic

 

Story: The Iron Lady starts as we meet an elderly former Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (Streep) who has been having conversations with her husband Denis (Broadbent) while finding herself trying to escape the guards guarding her.

Margaret (Roach, younger Margaret) has flashbacks to the war time the lessons her father Alfred (Glen) gave her in life as she gets into Oxford. Getting through Oxford she meets Denis who loves her determined mindset on making change, we continue to watch in flashbacks as the elderly Margaret remembers her rise through political career to become one of the most famous Prime Ministers England has every had.

 

Thoughts on The Iron Lady

 

Characters/PerformanceMargaret Thatcher is easily one of the most iconic Prime Ministers England has ever had, seeing how her life from humble grocery’s daughter to leader of a country comes about, she was one of the strongest women in history taking on the world centred around men, but in her elderly age she looks back at her role in defying the country. Denis is her husband, we see how he keeps her grounded even after he passes on he plays a big part in what she sees when looking back. The rest of the characters are people from her life, her whole life which all have an impact on the decision-making process.

Performance wise, Meryl Streep is fantastic and you can see why she went on to win the Oscar. Jim Broadbent is fun in this role as the husband both alive and dead talking to Margaret. The rest of the cast all go great even if this is the Meryl Streep Show.

StoryWe all know that Margaret Thatcher is one of the most famous prime minsters the UK ever had. This film focuses on how Margaret was looking back on the key incident leading to her run to Prime Minister, through it and what led to the end of it. I really liked how we looked back without getting bogged down with the politics of her reign. The story is told as if a once great leader looked at what she sees as success and failure.

BiographyThis is a great look at Margaret Thatcher, a woman who came from a family of groceries to become leader of the Prime Minister, we see the good and bad moments of her life as well as paving the way for women in politics.

SettingsEach setting used fits the time we are seeing, nothing looks out of place for this great moment she lives through.

Final ThoughtsHaving a history lesson can sometimes get boring when looking at one person’s life, but this doesn’t focus on this too much instead looks at the idea of how she remembers everything.

 

Overall: This is a biopic with a difference and well worth a watch.

Rating

 

 

IT (2017)

Director: Andy Muschietti

Writer: Chase Palmer, Cary Fukunaga, Gary Dauberman (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Jaeden Leiberher, Jeremy Ray Taylor, Sophia Lillis, Finn Wolfhard, Chosen Jacobs, Jack Dylan Grazer, Wyatt Oleff, Bill Skarsgard

 

Plot: A group of bullied kids band together when a monster, taking the appearance of a clown, begins hunting children.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Non-Stop Scares

 

Story: It starts in the small town of Derry where children go missing on a frightening high amount of times, with Georgie being the latest victim in the town. When the next summer comes around Georgie’s brother Bill (Lieberher) is still hoping to find answer to what happened to his brother. With the summer vacation starting Bill is joined by the rest of the Loser’s Club Richie (Wolfhard), Eddie (Grazer) and Stanley (Oleff) to investigate.

As the investigate deepens the friends all start getting haunted by Pennywise (Skarsgard) and are joined by the new kid Ben (Taylor), the home schooled Mike (Jacobs) and outsider Beverly (Lillis) as the battle against Pennywise last the summer and the friends learn the value of friendship when trying to overcome their fears.

 

Thoughts on IT

 

Characters – Bill is the leader of the Loser’s Club who has lost his brother to the strange occurrences in the town. He has been trying to figure out the what happened to Georgie for a year and has the support from his friends. Ben is the new kid in town who has been left on the outside with no friends going into the summer but is welcomed into the Loser’s club with their mutual hatred to the school bully. Beverly has been branded a slut at school as rumours spiralled out of control, she has a terrifying home life when the Loser’s club offer her friendship she needed. Mike is home school living on a slaughter needing to learn the trade. I will say Mike is the character we learn the least about of the 7. Richie is the fast talking of the group who can’t help but spit the first words that come to mind out, often used for the comedy in the film. Eddie is member of the group who is paranoid about becoming ill and getting dirty, he is also used a lot for the comedy side of the film. Stanley is the Jewish member of the club that is preparing for his Bar Mitzvah which is going to be the most important part of his summer.

Pennywise is the clown haunting the children of Derry searching for fear in the children so he can feed on it, he knows the children’s biggest fears and becomes them in the most frightening way possible.

PerformanceAll seven of the children give us great performances and you fully believe the chemistry created between them as it could easily be on a par with the Goonies or Stand by Me. Bill Skarsgard has one of the hardest jobs in Hollywood this year and he does deliver as Pennywise bring fear from his character while not destroying the legacy of what Tim Curry brought to this role.

StoryThe story of a small town that seems to have a large number of children going missing and nobody is doing anything about it does seem strange. The kids joining together to solve this mystery is the core of the story though, this brings back the idea of the children needing to entertain themselves during the summer but this time it is a deadly adventure against an enemy that is waiting to kill them. The story bottles down to friendship being the answer to overcoming fears, learning to grow up and understanding the history of their town.

HorrorThis is easily one of the best horror movies of the year, it does feel like we have a scare nearly every 5 minutes and each one plays into a different fear for our characters. If you don’t enjoy a certain moment of fear the next will get you.

SettingsThe small town is a fantastic setting as it helps play into a legend of what happened in the town before to make the strange moments happen now.

Special EffectsThe effects add to the horror immensely here, each horrifying creation comes off legit because of the effects used.

Scene of the Movie – Slide show viewing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Just why are the cops not doing more to investigate the missing children?

Tagline – You’ll Float Too.

Final ThoughtsWhen we look at horror remakes this could easily be up there as one of the best of all time, it brings new life to an already excellent horror that isn’t afraid to scare as often as possible.

 

Overall: Massively enjoyable horror that is a must watch.

Rating

 

 

I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore (2017)

Director: Macon Blair

Writer: Macon Blair (Screenplay)

Starring: Melanie Lynskey, Elijah Wood, Michelle Moreno, Devon Graye, Jane Levy, Christine Woods,

 

Plot: When a depressed woman is burglarized, she finds a new sense of purpose by tracking down the thieves alongside her obnoxious neighbor. But they soon find themselves dangerously out of their depth against a pack of degenerate criminals.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Quirky Fun Comedy

 

Story: I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore starts as we follow our lonely woman Ruth (Lynskey) who lives her normal routine and finds herself getting stepped on by people but not standing up for herself. When Ruth’s house gets burglarized she struggles to get help from the police.

Ruth recruits her neighbour Tony (Wood) to help her get her belongs back as the two enter underground crime world as Tony meets the man that stole from her Christian (Graye) and the gang he is part off with Dez (Levy) and Marshall (Yow).

 

Thoughts on I Don’t Feel at Home in This World Anymore

 

Characters – Ruth is a lonely depressed woman who does let people walk over her, keeps to herself until her comfy life is shattered when her home is broken into. We see her learn to stand up for herself to collect her belongings and accept people into her life. Tony is the obnoxious neighbour that likes loud music, keeping to himself and his dog Kevin, but learning about what happened to Ruth he steps up into the world showing he just wants to be part of someone else’s life. Christian is the waster who steals to get by with a gang of thieves, not caring who he steps on to get stuff to feed his habits.

PerformanceMelanie Lynskey and Elijah Wood are both fantastic in the leading roles showing both these stars are great and can continue to find success in smaller films. When you look the three main criminal roles we have good performances but none of them seem to offer much to the characters that we have seen before.

StoryThe story of feeling out of place in the world after a crime happen against you is one I feel people will understand, this does talk about how far people could go to get out of the rut by taking a chance on things but mostly it shows how the good people working together could stop the bad people in the world.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy comes from nearly all the scenes with Ruth and Tony together trying to enter the crime world, the crime world shows us the world the innocent side of the story enter.

SettingsWe get a small town setting showing how people’s lives would cross at some point.

Scene of the Movie – The first team outing looking for laptop.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does get dark in final third of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is the gem people have talked about, it has all the quirkiness you would expect from the odd crime comedy that works.

 

Overall: Enjoyable and quirky crime comedy.

Rating

 

 

John Leguizamo Weekend – The Infiltrator (2016)

infiDirector: Brad Furman

Writer: Ellen Sue Brown (Screenplay) Robert Mazur (Book)

Starring: Bryan Cranston, John Leguizamo, Diane Kruger, Daniel Mays, Amy Ryan, Jason Isaacs, Michael Pare,

 

Plot: A U.S. Customs official uncovers a money laundering scheme involving Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Crime Drama

 

Story: The Infiltrator starts as we meet Robert Mazur (Cranston) who has been working as an undercover US Custom officer who has just taken down a drug ring which for the time offers him a chance to walk away from field work. When one of Robert’s co-workers Emir Abreu (Leguizamo) comes to him with information of a Colombian drug lord Robert must decide whether to follow the lead.

Robert takes the job where he must go undercover as a banker for the Colombian drug lord where he must work with Abreu who he sees as a loose cannon to take down Pablo Escobar. The further Robert goes undercover the deeper he finds himself wondering just how far he will get pushed by the drug lords.

The Infiltrator gives us what seems to be just another look at a brave man who goes undercover to bring down a crime lord. We do have heavyweight performance from Cranston yet again that could easily get Oscar attention. I also think we get a great supporting performance from Leguizamo. The film gives us plenty of focus on the effects of going undercover on the personal life as well as the professional side of everything but it does sadly feel like just another story we have seen similar before.

 

Overall: Great performances to a crime story it feels we have seen before.

Rating70