ABC Film Challenge – 80s Movies – I – Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984) Movie Review

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Willard Huyck, Gloria Katz (Screenplay)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Kate Capshaw, Ke Huy Quan, Amrish Puri, Roshan Seth, Philip Stone

Plot: In 1935, Indiana Jones arrives in India, still part of the British Empire, and is asked to find a mystical stone. He then stumbles upon a secret cult committing enslavement and human sacrifices in the catacombs of an ancient palace.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom starts as Indiana Jones (Ford) looks to escape from Shanghai, which sees him joined by singer Willie Scott (Capshaw) and kid Short Round (Quan), only for them to end up crash landing in India.

Once in India Indiana finds himself trying to help a small village locate a stolen stone, only to find himself in the middle of a secret cult mixed up with enslavement and human sacrifice.

Thoughts on Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom

Characters – Indiana Jones is back, taking part in shady deals with criminals, making narrow escapes, before showing his true nature helping a small village respect their history. He knows how to handle himself in a fight and will always be ready for his next daring escape. Willie Scott is a famous singer in Shanghai, one that is a complete diva, not wanting to be away from the glitz and glamour, she ends up being part of the team, spending more time screaming than doing anything else. Short Round is the quick talk, quick handed young boy that helps Indiana, he seems him as a father figure that could help him have a better life after his own parents death. Mola Ram leads the cult, believing they will get the power if they control the stones.

PerformancesHarrison Ford is always going to be remembered for the role of Indiana Jones, he bought the character to life with ease being one of the most iconic characters in film. Kate Capshaw does get annoying in her role, with the pure amount of screaming she puts us through, this is more about the script than her though. Ke Huy Quan does bring us the loveable sidekick for Indiana, getting laughs through the film. The villainous side of performances do well, giving us very dark characters that are prepared to do anything for their own cause.

StoryThe story here brings us another adventure of Indiana Jones as he finds himself in India trying to stop an evil cult from gaining power, after they start using the local children as slaves. This might well be a much darker tale than the first Indiana, which does make it even more enjoyable, it shows us how Indiana will do the right thing without a monetary incentive being involved, it shows him in a light that history is the most important thing to him. The idea of the secret cult of evil is very dark, it is important to reflect the darkness they are trying to create, which we see through the film. The story does leave us wanting more adventures from the Doctor.

Action/AdventureThe action involved in the film is fights, chases, daring escapes, everything you would expect to see in an adventure, with the bridge sequence being the true highlight of the adventure.

SettingsThe film uses the settings excellently, to show us the hidden world of the cult, the trap tunnels an adventure would find himself in and each location is added to the environment of the adventure sequences we follow.


Scene of the Movie – The bridge sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The crocodiles look so out of place.

Final Thoughts This is an excellent sequel that often gets overlooked compared to the other two in the trilogy.

I Used to Go Here (2020) Movie Review

Director: Kris Rey

Writer: Kris Rey (Screenplay)

Starring: Gillian Jacobs, Jermaine Clement, Josh Wiggins, Forrest Goodluck, Hannah Marks, Kate Micucci

Plot: Following the launch of her new novel, 35-year-old writer Kate is invited to speak at her alma matter by her former professor. After accepting the invitation, Kate finds herself deeply enmeshed in the lives of a group of college students.

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: I Used to Go Here starts as we meet Kate Conklin (Jacobs) who has just released her first novel with her press tour being pulled and her wedding plans falling through, until she gets invited back to her college by her former professor David (Clement) for reading, with a plan for another reason, to offer her a job teaching.

Once in her college town, she starts to enjoy the trip down memory lane wondering where her life went wrong, looking to get things back on track after spending time with a group of college students who want to follow in her footsteps as an author.

Thoughts on I Used to Go Here

Characters – Kate is an author with her first book just getting released, her book tour gets cancelled after her marriage gets called off leaving her alone with her friends married with children on the way. She returns to her college hometown for a reading and spends her time bonding with the students in her old college home, remembering what she was like during her time in college. David is the professor that taught Kate and invited her back, he is delighted to see her succeed and still has his ways with the students. Hugo is one of the students living in the old college house that Kate lived in, he along with the other students offer her company in time in the old town.

PerformancesGillian Jacobs in the leading role is great to watch in the leading role, she makes us understand all the struggles she is going through during the film. The supporting cast fill their roles well through the film, without getting in the way of Jacobs performance.

StoryThe story here follows an author that is struggling with the release of her first novel when she ends up return to her college town to walk down memory lane learning and giving life lessons to people there. This does show us how important not having the biggest expectations in life can take time to learn, once you finish education, you could blink and realize you have missed large parts of life, but you can always snap out of routine to make something more, because people will be there for you. The story does well to help Kate learn about herself, while she can also help the students learn about what will come next in their lives, with a big heart about making the most of life.

Comedy/Romance The comedy in the film does work, it comes with more heart than pure laughs, with the difficult stage of Kate’s life getting more laughs at the way she feels older when looking at the student she remembers fondly, with the romance being more about what was once lost, more than looking for more sparks to fly.

SettingsThe film uses the small town college setting to show how the places we grow up, will be the places we won’t forget in life, each place brings back a memory for Kate.


Scene of the Movie – Tall Brandon special night.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough of the professor, which did include his offer to start the film rolling.

Final Thoughts This is a film filled with a way to look at life in a reflective mood and see what could have been, but most importantly, what could be.

Signature Entertainment presents I Used To Go Here on Digital HD 14th September

Immortal (2019) Movie Review

Directors: Tom Colley, Jon Dabach, Danny Isaacs, Rob Margolies

Writer: Jon Dabach (Screenplay)

Starring: Tony Todd, Dylan Baker, Samm Levine, Robin Bartlett, Agnes Bruckner, Lindsay Mushett

Plot: Thrown into the face of death only to emerge unharmed, the characters of Immortal are left staring at eternity in the face with uncertainty and fear like they’ve never imagined. The film follows Chelsea, a high school track star who comes clean about sexual misconduct with her coach only to find out her confession might be too late, Gary and Vanessa, a young, expecting married couple who scheme a morbid solution to their financial issues, Ted, a man filled with sorrow who agrees to euthanize his cancer-ridden wife Mary, and Warren, a young man with little direction in life who is forced to discover his new gifts after a tragic accident.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Immortal starts when high school athlete Chelsea (Mushett) finds herself being targeted by a predatory coach, which sees her being abducted by another teacher Mr Shagis (Baker) who uses his weekends to hunt people, claiming he is immortal and nothing she can do, will stop him entertaining himself, giving her a chance to run for help.

We jump to a new story with couple Vanessa (Bruckner) and Gary (Edwards) who are expecting their first child, when Gary is looking to make money fast and stop struggling through each day.

Mary (Bartlett) and Ted (Todd) are a couple that are being interviewed, looking at the biggest parts of life, when they come face to face with one of the most difficult decisions in life to help a loved one.

Finally we meet Warren (Levine) a man who doesn’t have much direction in his life that is involved in an accident, learning that he seems to heal himself, he starts to look into what could have caused this.

Thoughts on Immortal

Final Thoughts Immortal is four short stories that are looking at immortality, seeing how people will discover or use their known powers to enjoy the world in their own way. If we are to break down each story, the first one titled Chelsea is easily the most interesting, in fact it is left to feel disappointing because we know we have had so much more from the story, because it shocks us. Vanessa and Gary does feel like the weakest one, with most of it showing desperation over hitting hard with the concept. Mary and Ted brings, us the most serious one, tackling a serious question in life, which does take everything in a new direction for somebody who could be immortal. When it comes to Warren’s chapter we get the darkest side coming back into the story which would make it the most intense. These stories bring a lot to the table and could easily be extended to new heights, which is always an important factor with shorts, whether they could become full features or not.



ABC Film Challenge – Animation – I – Isle of Dogs (2018)

Director: Wes Anderson

Writer: Wes Anderson (Screenplay) Wes Anderson, Roman Coppola, Jason Schwartzman, Kunichi Nomura (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talent) Bryan Cranston, Koyu Rankin, Edward Norton, Bob Balaban, Jeff Goldblum, Bill Murray, Kunichi Nomura

 

Plot: Set in Japan, Isle of Dogs follows a boy’s odyssey in search of his lost dog.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightfully Entertaining

 

Story: Isle of Dogs starts when Mayor Kobayashi declares dogs to be banned from the city because of the outbreak of dog flu, it means all the dogs must be sent to trash island. 6-months later five alpha dogs Chief, Rex, King, Duke and Boss have created their own pack and when the Mayor’s nephew Atari goes in search for his dog, crash landing on the island.

With four of the dogs being house pets, Chief doesn’t follow the same beliefs the rest, he reluctantly accepts to help Atari in the search for the dog and the cure could be heading their way at last.

 

Thoughts on Isle of Dogs

 

Characters – Chief is the stray out of the pack, he isn’t as willing to help as the others to help Atari because he has never felt the attention from a human, reluctantly he helps and learns how important a human can be. Atari is the young boy that has had his dog taken from him and goes in search for him working with the fellow dogs on the island, while alluding his evil uncle. Rex is the guide for the island, he challenges Chief most to be equal in the decision-making process. King is another part of the pack the least standout of the five, while Duke knows all the rumours about different parts of the island, which gets the laughs through the film, with Boss being the calm presence through the pack.

StoryThe story here follows a city that has excluded dogs dumping them on a trash island to fend for themselves. One boy travels there to find his dog as we see how the dogs have settled on the island while others plan an escape, with the humans on the main land fighting for the dogs rights with the evil mayor planning on destroying them. This film does have a lot more going on than you would expect which is a surprise, but it does show us just how loyal people will be towards their dogs. This does fly by for time and gives us enough of the Anderson quirks that he seems to be the only one to bring us, with the most important message being, not to rush into rash decisions.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure takes the dogs and Atari on an adventure across the trash island to stop the destruction of the dogs, we get comedy from the different dogs and how they react to the events of the film.

SettingsThe film uses two main wonderful settings, first the city which looks fantastic, while the trash island is just as beautifully created through the film.

AnimationThe animation used in the film is stop-motion which looks amazing as always to watch.


Scene of the Movie –
The crash landing because of the reactions.

That Moment That Annoyed Me How did no one else try to get their dogs back.

Final ThoughtsThis is a delightful movie that will only make you smile, the stop-motion is used perfectly and the scale of the world created is mind blowing.

 

Overall: Must watch animation.

Rating

 

 

Impetigore (2019) Shudder Movie Review

Director: Joko Anwar

Writer: Joko Anwar (Screenplay)

Starring: Tara Basro, Ario Bayu, Marissa Anita, Christine Hakim, Asmara Abigail

Plot: Maya with her best friend, Dini, tries to survive in a city without a family. She realized that she might inherit a property from her rich family. Maya returns to the village with Dini and unaware of the danger was waiting for her.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Twisted Horror

Story: Impetigore starts when two best friends Maya (Basro) and Dini (Anita) are working in their tollbooths during the night, when Maya gets an unwelcomed guest who begs her to take back something which was given to his family that has caused him such pain.

After the incident, Maya and Dini look to investigate Maya’s past in the Harjosari village being the location where Maya’s parents are from, they need to find the village elder Ki Saptadi (Bayu) to learn why somebody has finally come in search of Maya.

Thoughts on Impetigore

Characters – Maya is a bubbly young woman living in the big city, strolling to make ends meet with her best friend, when her routine job takes a turn for the worse one night, when an unknown man tries to kill her claiming her family is behind something in his village. Maya learns that her family might be rich and she might be in line for a big inheritance, which sees her making a trip to the small village, unaware of what her family has done, with her true identity being the person the villagers have been searching for, for years. Ki Saptadi is the village elder, he welcomes visitors, performances rituals and shows the leadership the village requires, he has been leading the search for Maya and now he might finally be able to achieve what he has been aiming for. Dini is the best friend of Maya who joins her for the journey, she brings humour to the film with her reactions being the most natural, knowing this isn’t a good place, wanting out, showing that her raising was against the traditional ideas the village is offering.

PerformancesTara Basro in the leading role show great chemistry in the friendship with Marissa Anita, this is important for the film, while she also handles the horror well being a strong final girl figure we all know from horror. Ario Bayu does bring the confidence his character requires to make us see the respect he demands in the village and power he has over the people to fix the problems.

StoryThe story follows two broke friends who go in search for the history behind one of their past, a past which will take them to a remote village that has been attacked by a curse the villagers are desperately trying to break and now they might have found a way. When it comes to the story we must fist dive into the culture of the people, they have a belief which will see them follow certain rituals in which they believe in a good and an evil in their lives. Where this story does seem to have the influence from other cultures is in how the haunting moments play out like the best sub-genre, an investigation with ghosts guiding the way. We get the story that could easily parallel The Ring and The Grudge with how it deals with uncovering the truth. We do get more flashbacks than we need, with one sequence that cuts between way too often instead of just showing a singular flashback. Other wise this is a horror story that does everything it needs to without becoming anything more than it can be.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in the film comes from the creepy environment, the mentality of the villagers dealing with the curse and the truth being given through the hauntings, which only adds to the mystery we are given through the film, as to why the curse in on the village.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to add creepiness in the village, with the dark environment, lighting adds to the tension which will see how everything is being held back to add to the bigger moments, add in the remote isolation making things feel even more alone for the friends.


Scene of the Movie – The complete truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – One flashback cuts back and forth too much, while trying to get to the big moment in the reveal.

Final Thoughts This is a twisted horror that does play into the culture of the village, bringing the curse idea to life and doesn’t hold back on the reality of the horror.

Overall: Great Horror That Brings the Atmosphere to Life.