Marriage Story (2019) Movie Review

Director: Noah Baumbach

Writer: Noah Baumbach (Screenplay)

Starring: Scarlett Johansson, Adam Driver, Merritt Wever, Laura Dern, Ray Liotta, Julie Hagerty, Alan Alda

Plot: Noah Baumbach’s incisive and compassionate look at a marriage breaking up and a family staying together.

Runtime: 2 Hours 16 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Powerful

Story: Marriage Story starts as we meet theatre director Charlie (Driver) and his wife actress Nicole (Johansson) they are about to go through a separation, with Nicole starting a new life in LA where she is trying to return to the television or film, moving away from the New York theatre lifestyle.

With the lives going on completely different directions, Nicole is pushed into getting a lawyer in Nora Fanshaw (Dern) which sees the two looking at a divorce, something neither thought would come their way, where they end up seeing the darker side of a break up even if they want to remain friends for their son.

Thoughts on Marriage Story

Characters – Nicole is an actress, mother and wife, she is given a chance to leave the theatre and return to television, while the couple are going through a separation and her moving to LA. She has given up a lot of her dreams for her marriage in the past, which is one of the reasons why she wants to get a divorce. Charlie is the theatre director, father and husband in New York, he wants to stay in New York running his theatre company. He is more stubborn that he wants to admit. Nora Fanshaw and Jay are both the lawyers hired to represent the divorcing couple, they show their ruthless sides whenever the two are trying to get the upper hand.

PerformancesAdam Driver gives us one of the best performances of the year, where he shows one that suddenly sees his whole life come crashing around him, showing the signs of his anger of everything happening. Scarlett Johansson is fantastic too where we see how she is escaping from a trapped life showing her character start a new life. Laura Dern and Ray Liotta are both great in the supporting roles usually getting the bigger and louder scenes.

StoryThe story here follows a couple that are going through a separation that turns into a messy divorce as they expose the problems, they both had through the years. The best way to describe this story is brilliant, when we break it down, it shows how relationships can break down and how two people want to end things calmly and for the right reasons, remaining friends for their son. It shows us how things can get out of hand when lawyers get involved and how everybody seems to know best apart from the two who are going through the breakup. We see how lives can change, people can move on and how holding on can be heart breaking. It is watching how both Nicole and Charlie are reacting to how everything is spirally out of hand which is easy for the highlight of the storytelling.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in the film is brilliant, it does get a perfectly laugh when needed, while staying straight when it doesn’t, the romance does show us how love can go from the heights to the end.

SettingsThe film uses the two main settings of cities, New York and LA, the locations are used to show how the lives will need to be changed, not just for Nicole and Charlie, but their son too.


Scene of the Movie – Let’s try and talk this through without a lawyer.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The timeline isn’t the best.

Final Thoughts This is easily one of the best films of the year, it shows us how love can end and how a divorce can spirally out of control, the two lead performances are easily within the best of the year too.

Overall: Awards Guaranteed.

Mentally Apart (2019) Movie Review

Director: Joe Pomarico

Writer: Joe Pomarico (Screenplay) Joe Pomarico, Larry Bernardo, Christine James Walker (Story)

Starring: Christine James Walker, Larry Bernardo

Plot: A beatific couple are buried in a dream relationship, but when their love slowly descends into nightmares, strange things begin to happen in their apartment.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Thoughtful, Provoking Horror

Story: Mentally Apart starts when a young couple Luna (Walker) and Chuck (Bernardo) have their first date of a blossoming romance as we see how time continues to fly by in the relationship, leading up to wedding planning.

With Chuck busy writing his own book, he starts to notice strange things happening around the apartment, as it starts to put a strain on the couple relationship, leaving the mystery as to why everything is happening.

Thoughts on Mentally Apart

Characters – Luna is the woman with a past that can only be described as tragic, she sees hope in this new relationship. Chuck is the writer that is seen as a bad boy for Luna, he starts seeing the strange thing around the apartment. While we don’t learn much about the two outside their relationship, the two characters do show the highs and lows of the relationship.

PerformancesChristine James Walker and Larry Bernardo are our only two performers, they are both wonderful to watch, as they both show the chemistry a couple would have, they each get a solo moment or two to shine.

StoryThe story here follows a couple’s relationship as they first get to know each other along with the highs and lows, while not everything is what is seems for the couple. This is a story that will make you want to think about everything you are seeing, while certain parts might just be relationship conversations, be it long-term futures or who will take out trash, there is an uneasy feeling about how things are going, which will make you want to think about things more carefully.

HorrorThe horror in the film comes from certain visions that the characters are going through, they can come out of nowhere, which is a big plus, because at times the drama will make you forget we are in a horror film.

SettingsThe film is a singular location film, where everything takes place in the apartment the two decide to call home.


Scene of the Movie – Let’s dance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – A couple too many conversations about taking out the trash.

Final Thoughts This is a thought-provoking horror that shows how relationships can become a nightmare people aren’t willing to admit they are in, showing us how important each scene can be in a movie too.

Overall: Horror that Makes You Think.

Franchise Weekend – Mythica: The Godslayer (2016)

Director: John Lyde

Writer: Jason Faller, Kynan Griffin (Screenplay)

Starring: Melanie Stone, Adam Johnson, Matthew Mercer, Jake Stormoen, Nicola Posener, Christopher Robin Miller

 

Plot: As the Lich King’s zombie legions ravage the world, Marek, a cursed young sorceress, embarks on a quest to obtain a weapon from the gods, with her friend Dagen, a self-serving half-elf rogue. But when she joins her sworn enemy in a desperate attempt to save the world, she must recover the good in herself before her friends are all dead, and defeat the Lich King before the gods are destroyed and the world forever enslaved.


Tagline – When there’s nothing left, there’s nothing to lose.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fitting Conclusion

 

Story: Mythica: The Godslayer starts with Szorlok (Mercer) reign of terror sweeping through the land, bringing the dead back to life with his undead army, Teela (Posener) and Thane (Johnson) are trying to halt the bloodshed which is becoming too much of a challenge in time. Marek (Stone) is searching for a weapon of the gods with Dagen (Stormoen) where we get to see how she is questioning her decision to give Szorlok the last Darkspore, as they now face the undead army too.

Marek must learn about her past if she is going to defeat Szorlok once and for all, this will take her down a road of uncertainty about who is rather than her powers, with only Dagen to guide her, while Szorlok is trying to turn her to the dark side.

 

Thoughts on Mythica: The Godslayer

 

Characters – Marek after making the decision to give Szorlok the last Darkspore is left questioning whether it was the right thing, being drawn to the dark side and power he possesses, Marek will put together her own plan to fight the gods who want to stop the death coming to the world, she wants to do this alone. Dagen is with Marek fighting of the hordes of the undead, he helps fill in the blanks from his past, which paints him in a very different light, he keeps Marek’s motives going straight to the best of his ability. Thane is working with Teela to help fight off the undead, showing his pure strength and commitment to the cause. Szorlok has the power now, he has been bringing the dead back to life now causing terror over the world, he wants Marek to join him to gain complete control being able to defeat gods in this world.

PerformancesMelanie Stone continues to balance the emotional levels of her character in the film, she shows the uncertainty that could be her downfall or her strength. Jake Stormoen has constantly improved through the film series, with this being his best performance so far. Matthew Mercer continues to be powerful in his villainous role, while Adam Johnson gets to give his best performance to date here.

StoryThe story here brings the epic saga of Marek and her friends to a conclusion as they look to stop Szorlok from taking control of the world, learning their own destiny along the way. This is the type of story that has earnt this kind of ending, we have seen a lot of the work from the previous stories, which has shown the characters grow along the way, change and become better warriors. We need to have seen the previous films to understand what has been happening though, which can be an easy weakness of this film, but it is unlikely you will be watching this one without seeing the previous one. when it comes to finishing a franchise, this does draw back the comedy that made the last one fun, but it does become the serious levels required with the new peril involved in the film.

Action/FantasyThe action is bigger, more impressive and in new locations. The fantasy side of the film once again builds on the world we are in and just like we are used to seeing, we find ourselves in a new set of locations that fantasy can offer us.

SettingsThe film uses the new settings to help us see the world potential when it comes to people who are willing to risk their lives to save the world.

Special EffectsThe effects do continue to be the weakest part, but by now we are used to this style which hasn’t gotten better or worse through the series.


Scene of the Movie –
The hammer fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not enough undead fighting.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fitting conclusion to the franchise, it has the highest stakes and shows what everything has meant in the previous films.

 

Overall: Franchise finishing in style.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Mythica: The Iron Crown (2016)

Director: John Lyde

Writer: Jason Faller (Screenplay) Jason Faller, Kynan Griffin (Creator)

Starring: Melanie Stone, Adam Johnson, Jake Stormoen, Nicola Posener, Christopher Robin Miller, Paris Warner, James Gaisford, Ash Santos, Matthew Mercer

 

Plot: When a team of unlikely heroes hijacks a steam-powered battle wagon, a daring young wizard (Marek) steals the final piece of the all-powerful Darkspore and embarks on a desperate quest to deliver the cursed artifact to the gods for safe keeping; but when they are caught in a death race between a ruthless team of elite mercenaries and a trinity of demons, Marek must learn to believe in herself before her friends are killed and the Darkspore is lost, to stop the evil necromancer (Szorlok) from uniting the Darkspore and flooding the living world with his legions of undead.


Tagline – The War is coming.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Best One Yet

 

Story: Mythica: The Iron Crown starts with Marek (Stone), Thane (Johnson) and Dagen (Stormoen) on their latest quest to capture the last remain Darkspore before Szorlok (Mercer) collects them all, giving him the power to bring the undead back to life, the quest is filled with peril with more enemies coming after them, while Marek is trying to take the spore to the place of the gods.

 

Thoughts on Mythica: The Iron Crown

 

Characters – Marek has now learnt to control her powers, she leads her team to make up for the previous mistakes of losing the Darkspores, she is filled with guilt after losing a member of her team on the last quest, now she wants to be the one to end the hunt for the Darkspores once and for all. Thane is still the brute of the group, being the strongest in combat, while Dagen continues to show he has connection around this world, even ones that want him dead, he continues to go through the evolution from lowlife thief to valued hero. Szorlok is the evil necromancer that is trying to collect all the Darkspores, now he has three, he won’t stop till he gets the final one, giving him the power against the undead.

PerformancesIn the performances, this is the first film that you can clearly see the cast understanding their roles, they look like they are having fun with what is going on in world created. Melanie Stone continues to show she is the strong leader of the group, while Adam Johnson and Jake Stormoen both keep up the strong work in the supporting roles. Matthew Mercer continues to give us a menacing performance in the villainous role.

StoryThe story here continues the battle for control of the Darkspores, with Marek looking to get the last one out of the possession of Szorlok, which will see her leading the team against more enemies before deciding what path she wants to make herself. For this story, we get the most together story yet, it is a simple adventure from location A to location B with different people trying to stop them, the story is told in such a way that it feels like it isn’t taking everything too seriously at last, which give us the relaxing mood through the film, which was needed after the last one started getting slightly stale.

Action/Fantasy The action in the film is a lot bigger than we have been seeing, we large set pieces created, even if they do all feel like they have a slower pace than required. The fantasy world continues to grow which is great to see, leaving us ready for the next stage of the franchise too.

SettingsThe film continues to use the travelling settings, which uses the different weather conditions to help show the difficult of each setting for both heroes and villains.

Special EffectsThe effects are still the weakest part of the film, we have large set pieces which did turn to the effects which are weak in parts of the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Carriage fights.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The pace of some of the fights.

Final ThoughtsThis is the best in the franchise so far, it feels bigger, it feels funnier and enjoyable for the first time in the franchise.

 

Overall: The best in the franchise.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Mythica: The Necromancer (2015)

Director: A Todd Smith

Writer: Jason Faller, Liska Ostojic, Justin Partridge (Screenplay)

Starring: Melanie Stone, Adam Johnson, Jake Stormoen, Nicola Posener, Philip Brodie, Matthew Mercer, Robert Jayne

 

Plot: Mallister takes Thane prisoner and forces Marek and her team on a quest.


Tagline – Myth & legend come to life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Continues to Build Nicely

 

Story: Mythica: The Necromancer starts with Marek (Stone) continuing her training from Gojun Pye (Sorbo) as she final discovers a name for her team, Thane (Johnson), Dagen (Stormoen) and Teela (Posener) as they look to head off on their next quest.

Thane gets taken prisoner, which sees Marek needing to lead the rest of her team in search for a missing person for the man holding Thane, which will see Marek putting her life in danger, when she needs to stay out of the light to stop Szorlok (Mercer) knowing her whereabouts.

 

Thoughts on Mythica: The Necromancer

 

Characters – Marek continues to learn more about her powers, she is now a target for the evil in the world, which sees her needing to hide, until her friend gets taken prisoner, she must reluctantly go on the next adventure exposing herself to the very person that is after her. Thane is taken prisoner in this outing, he isn’t going to let himself look like a victim, willing to fight until the end. Dagen is starting to like the life of adventure, which sees him going on the quest proving he is changing from his selfish ways. Teela has accepted her lost faith now, forcing Marek to go on the quest to help Thane, hoping her actions will one day redeem her to the Gods.

PerformancesMelanie Stone does continue to impress in the leading role, showing larger scale emotions with the balance of power going on within her. Adam Johnson does have a small role not getting anything wrong with his limited time, Jake Stormoen and Nicola Posener both give strong support performance too.

StoryThe story continues the adventures of Marek an her friends as they must go on their latest adventure to rescue one of their own which could get Marek exposed to the evil that is hunting for her. We are not half way through the franchise, with the story being able to give us yet another adventure, while bringing us a bigger story going on in the world. we do keep everything simple once again which is all we need and you can see how the story is starting to borrow from the bigger fantasy films.

Action/FantasyThe action in the film does continue to get bigger even if it does feel very safe and easy to watch. It is the fantasy side of the film that continues to improve as everything gets bigger through the film.

SettingsThe film does keep taking us to new locations with different enemies within them, continuing to showing us just how big the world is getting.

Special EffectsThe effects are simple television level of effects, they don’t get used that often, with most coming from Marek’s power.


Scene of the Movie –
The beetle talks.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does start to get similar to what we have seen already.

Final ThoughtsNice continuing story that is prepared us for the next chapter, while having an own adventure.

 

Overall: Continue to prepare us for more.

Rating