Life (2017)

Director: Daniel Espinosa

Writer: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Rebecca Ferguson, Jake Gyllenhaal, Hiroyuki Sanada, Olga Dihovichnaya, Ariyon Bakare

 

Plot: A team of scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form, that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Scientific Alien

 

Story: Life starts as a team of astronauts Commander Ekaterina (Dihovichnaya), engineer Rory (Reynolds), Doctor David (Gyllenhaal), Pilot Sho (Sanada), Research Leader Hugh (Bakare) and Quarantine enforcer Miranda (Ferguson) are working on collecting samples from Mars.

Collecting a hibernating life form named Calvin that Hugh helps bring back to life, Calvin comes off friendly as it starts to grow but after a mistake in the lab it looks like Calvin has returned to it’s dormant state.

When Hugh finds a way to bring Calvin back once again it takes a turn for the worse as Calvin is deadlier than they could imagine. The crew must fight for survivor once Calvin breaks Quarantine but they must also consider Calvin’s threat to Earth if it ever makes it back.

 

Thoughts on Life

 

Characters/PerformanceDavid is the man who is about break the record spent in space, he is the doctor of the crew and slowly becoming addicted to being in the peace of space. Miranda is the emotionless scientists who must put away feelings to make the correct decision for mankind. Rory is the confident engineer who keeps everything light hearted when he is under pressure and the rest of the crew. The remaining members of the crew are all what you expect to see in this style of film.

Performance wise, Jake is the lead and is good throughout without reaching the levels we know he can even though we do get glimpses, Ferguson is also good continue to grow her reputation. Reynolds is fun throughout his time in the film with the remaining cast all good well.

StoryThe story is interesting because it focuses on the real idea that humans are searching for life from another planet or space in general. The idea of doing any research in space works because it would appear safer. These are the good elements of story the rest is just another way of telling us the Alien story, unknown lifeforce wants to kill everything to survive and the tea must fight to survive. This starts well but turns into everything we have seen before.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror involved in this film isn’t the most original because we have seen most of it before, but the sci-fi side does start very interesting.

SettingsThe film is set completely in space inside the space station which I do think works well because it shows the quarantine levels the characters must protect Earth.

Special EffectsThe special effects are fine with the creature looking good in moments but other times you can see the CGI.

Final ThoughtsWhile I do think this will be better than Alien: Covenant and I liked the scientific side of the film but in the end we have seen it all before.

 

Overall: Solid but nothing special in the sci-fi genre.

Rating

 

 

Liar Liar (1997)

liarDirector: Tom Shadyac

Writer: Paul Guay, Stephen Mazur (Screenplay)

Starring: Jim Carrey, Maura Tierney, Justin Cooper, Cary Elwes, Anne Haney, Jennifer Tilly, Amanda Donohoe

 

Plot: A fast-track lawyer can’t lie for 24 hours due to his son’s birthday wish after he turns his son down for the last time.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Laugh a Minute Comedy

 

Story: Liar, Liar starts as we meet Fletcher Reede (Carrey) a high-flying lawyer who has gone through a smooth divorce with Audrey (Tierney) to keep life happy for their son Max (Cooper). With Audrey moving on with her life with new boyfriend Jerry (Elwes), Fletcher is focusing on his career where he has an ever-growing reputation of being able to lie his way through any case.

When Fletcher’s lying effects his relationship with his son and Fletcher misses Max’s birthday, Max makes the wish that his dad can’t lie for one whole day. We follow how Fletcher must get through the day without being able to tell a lie in what could be the biggest case of his career.

 

Thoughts on Liar, Liar

 

StoryThe story here shows us many different problems when it comes to overworking parents, lawyers lying and being a good parent. We get to see how the fantasy element of this film comes through to show how the new vision to life Fletcher must go through, I will say the film has a similar message to Mrs Doubtfire about a father finally need to become responsible about the parenting. I think this is a very good story that allows Carrey to perform his comedy to the strongest levels he can.

Comedy/FantasyJim Carrey single handily carries all the comedy within this film, with his joke a minute routine going on that will find a joke that works for anyone at some point in the film. The fantasy side of the story comes from the change that Fletcher must go through when the wish comes true.

Characters/PerformancesFletcher away from the comedy is your typical overworking lying father and lawyer who has put his career before his personal life. The rest of the characters are the always struggling wife which can make her look like the bad guy, the son that is always getting disappointed, the new love that wants to impress the son and the lawyer community. When you look at the performance Jim Carrey carries this film on every single level not giving enough time for the rest of the characters to truly develop in the end.

SettingsThe settings are never designed to be the most important for the story but are important for the lawyer side of the office which shows that the true opinion of the characters can be seen through the eyes of the truth.

Final ThoughtsCarrey shines, the story shines the rest will soon become something people would forget.

 

Overall: This is a hugely enjoyable comedy that shows Carrey at the top of his game.

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Logan (2017)

Director: James Mangold

Writer: Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green (Screenplay) John Romita Sr, Roy Thomas, Len Wein, Herb Trimpe, Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost (Characters)

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Richard E Grant

 

Plot: In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Rawest, Grittiest Superhero Movie Ever

 

Story: Logan starts in the near future, 2029 to be exact where mutants are nearly all but extinct. Logan, Wolverine or this time James Howlett (Jackman) is an aging man drive a limo for hire, he is saving enough money to get a sunseeker so himself and an also age weary Professor Charles Xavier (Stewart) can sail off into the sunset.

With Charles suffering from strokes which cause his power to become out of control, Logan knows the time is short but for the moment the money is shorter. When Logan is forced into defending himself we can see the effects or any battle on his body, no longer instantly healing, but this attack draws the attention of Pierce (Holbrook) and his soldiers but also nurse Gabriela (Rodriguez) who needs Logan’s help. When Logan finds, himself helping he learns of a new experiment on mutants and with his genetics creating Laura (Keen). Laura along with other children have all been enhanced but when the experiment is closed they must fend for themselves.

Logan finds himself in the middle of a battle he will struggle to fight this time as himself and Charles travel cross country to a new location that could be the new safe haven for mutants.

 

Thoughts on Logan

 

Characters/PerformanceLogan is a character we have known and loved for nearly 17, we have seen him through origins, beginning and cameos but now we get to see him near the end of his life. This version of Logan is battered, beaten and not long for this world, making him a version of a comic book character that we have never yet seen. Profession Charles Xavier is also very old in fact sick in this outing, he can’t control his powers like he once used to, making him a risk for everybody he meets. He still dreams of finding and protecting more mutants which is what draws him to saving Laura, but he is also filled with a guilt he just doesn’t understand. Laura is a great look at the new breed of mutants who is deadly in a fight without understanding how the world works, I would like to see the next chapter of this characters development. Pierce who is the primary villain of the piece is interesting to start with but through the film does slowly turn into a generic mercenary character. Dr Rice is filling the William Striker role well, being the one that wants control over the mutants with Caliban at times I feel we could have learnt more about this character.

When you look at the performances Hugh Jackman gives one of his, if not his best performance as Logan here, with Patrick Stewart easily being able to be considered an outside bet for an Oscar nomination. Dafne Keen is great for what is the first role I have ever seen her in. even though I feel the character does fall into the background of the final story I did also think Boyd Holbrook does an excellent job too.

StoryWhen you look at superhero movies we often find ourselves stuck in the middle of too many characters, too many subplots and too many over the top storyline action sequences, but much like Deadpool last year we get a simplified story here. The idea that two aging mutants in a world without any known mutants must travel cross country to save this young mutant’s life while being chased down by ruthless henchman works for this movie. The story is easy to follow, you don’t have to know the previous films and you will get the emotional impact of each moment of this film.

Action/Drama/Sci-FiThe action sequences are all raw based fights which are saved for few and far between but this helps the impact of these moments. Going into the future once more gets to see how the final chapters of these character’s lives could unfold but still leaving the door open for the time between.

SettingsThe settings all feel like they could be a western and you can tell this movie borrows heavily from the classic western ‘Shane’. I liked how this wasn’t about a big destruction sequence followed by another like many other films in this genre.

Special EffectsThe special effects are brilliant to show the brutality of the fight sequences with how the Wolverine movie could be bloody throughout.

Final ThoughtsI think this could easily be one of the best superhero movies of all time, but the one moment I didn’t enjoy was the fact the film did get the keys of the kingdom and felt like they did just swear for the reason to be able too.

 

Overall: This is a must watch for the superhero movie fans out there.

Rating

 

 

The LEGO Batman Movie (2017)

legoDirector: Chris McKay

Writer: Seth Grahame-Smith, Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers, Jared Stern, John Whittington (Screenplay) Seth Grahame-Smith, Bob Kane, Bill Finger, Jerry Siegel, Joe Shuster (Story/Creators)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Will Arnett, Michael Cera, Rosario Dawson, Ralph Fiennes, Zach Galifianakis, Jenny Slate

 

Plot: Bruce Wayne must not only deal with the criminals of Gotham City, but also the responsibility of raising a boy he adopted.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: PG Suicide Squad?

 

Story: The LEGO Batman Movie starts when Joker brings together every villain Batman has face to try and take down Gotham City once again only for Batman to save the day with the Joker escaping. We follow Batman in his lonely life in his Bat Cave and Wayne Manor with Alfred his loyal butler.

When Gotham gets a new commissioner in Barbara Gordon she wants to work with Batman to actual catch Joker and the rest of the villains locking them away once and for all. Batman must learn to work in a team and learn that he needs the Joker in his life while he adopts Dick Grayson.

 

Thoughts on The LEGO Batman Movie

 

StoryThe story focuses on how Batman lives a lonely life hiding from commitments while still having to take on the villains in the city. This does end up being slightly too serious in places which doesn’t work for me because we must deal with elements most Batman movies never have. Through the film, we do get plenty of references from every Batman through the years which we do get to understand for all generations.

Action/Adventure/ComedyWe do have plenty of action going on through the film with the adventure that Batman must go on. The comedy is very much hit or miss for me with plenty of laughs coming from references previous outings that not everyone would understand.

CharactersBatman is always a popular choice for the leading character but this version does feel almost too serious when he is alone, he does have laughs but he is very hit or miss, The Joker works in places and has good chemistry with Batman while Robin, Barbara and Alfred all become the family Batman never had. I feel most of the cameo like characters get extras laughs which all come off well if you understand their references.chracers

SettingsThe settings are nearly all in Gotham city with the references to location the character would find themselves in.

AnimationWe always have flawless animation throughout the film which you would expect to see from the studios now.genre

Final ThoughtsThis is fun and can be enjoyed but I do feel if you miss the certain references you might not understand.

 

Overall: Fun, but too many misses in the jokes.

Ratingrating

 

 

Lion (2016)

lionDirector: Garth Davis

Writer: Luke Davies (Screenplay) Saroo Brierley (Book)

Starring: Dev Patel, Nicole Kidman, Rooney Mara, Sunny Pawar, Divian Ladwa, Priyanka Bose, David Wenham, Abhishek Bharate

 

Plot: A five-year-old Indian boy gets lost on the streets of Calcutta, thousands of kilometers from home. He survives many challenges before being adopted by a couple in Australia; 25 years later, he sets out to find his lost family.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bring Your Tissues

 

Story: Lion starts in 1986 India when Saroo (Pawer) and his older brother Guddu (Bharate) both part of a poor Indian family, when the two travel for work the five-year-old Saroo can’t keep his eyes up and being left at the train station to wait for Guddu, Saroo finds himself on a train with the destination unknown he finds himself on the busy streets of Calcutta 1600km away from his home.

Lost, alone and terrified on the streets Saroo fends for himself before he gets taken into an orphanage who do search but can’t find his mum. Saroo finds himself getting adopted by Australian couple John (Wenham) and Sue (Kidman) where he must start a brand-new life in Australia.

20 years later Saroo (Patel) embraced this new life he was given but his fellow adopted bother Mantosh (Ladwa) never managed to take this chance given to him. Saroo heads to Melbourne to study where he meets Lucy (Mara) who along with fellow classmates push him to looking into his past using Google Earth to try and figure out where his mother is. This is the beginning of the incredible journey to find the truth about what happened to his family.

 

Thoughts on Lion

 

StoryThis story is one of the most amazing human stories in recent history, it has aspect of heart, courage, hope and unknown. I will warn the pacing of the first hour of this film does only focus on the young Saroo and his lost journey and while we do have other films that are all travel looking for the answers this is just a click and play on Google Maps. The story is going to have an ending you are expecting and needless to say bring your tissues.

BiographyLooking at this incredible story Saroo goes through from the streets of India to Australia before searching for the answers he could never know about what his family did without him around after he went missing. While the other real people involved are all great it is Sue the adopted mother who is also another stand out character with the heart she shows to give these orphaned Indians a home.

The performances here are fantastic from Patel, Kidman and new comer Pawer who gives truly heavyweight performances throughout.

Characters/PerformanceSaroo is the character that is based on the real boy to man whose life was turned upside down, he represents all of the people out there who got separated from their family and never knew but always wanted to know what their family did without them.

SettingsEach setting is designed to show us the different time periods and life Saroo has found himself living, we see the streets of India to the comfortable life in Australia,

Final ThoughtsThis is an incredible story that does pull on the heart strings, but it does also take a little while to get going.

 

Overall: Easily the most emotional film of all the Oscar nominations.

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