Mother! (2017)

Director: Darren Aronofsky

Writer: Darren Aronofsky (Screenplay)

Starring: Jennifer Lawrence, Javier Bardem, Ed Harris, Michelle Pfeiffer, Brain Gleeson, Domhnall Gleeson

 

Plot: A couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence.


Tagline – seeing is believing

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Too Artsy

 

Story: Mother starts as our leading lady (Lawrence) known as Mother (No characters have names) awakens giving us a tour of her beautiful home with husband Him (Bardem) a writer. The couple peace is interrupted by Man (Harris) who visits the couple and the next day his wife Woman (Pfeiffer) arrives.

As Mother becomes irritated by the visitors as people continue to turn up and she questions the love her husband has for her before things escalate into something you don’t see coming.

 

Thoughts on Mother

 

Characters – Mother is the character we follow around for the whole film, we see how she sees things unfolding in the house as the guest continue to arrive while she tries to regain the attention of her husband, she does come off whiny at times though. Him is the husband and writer, he always seems very opening to guest and has an ore about him. Man is the first visitor that comes uninvited to the home, he gets welcomed in and we learn part of his life through the part along with his wife Woman who challenge Mother’s belief.

PerformancesJennifer Lawrence is fine in the leading role but this won’t go down as her best as I found her slightly annoying after a while. Javier Bardem does have a mystery about the character he is playing. We do have solid performance from all the characters through the film.

StoryThe story can easily be looked at as a biblical concept with what happens following our leading lady Mother dealing with the problem visitors. The problem is this is a story that you would need to understand elements of the bible, the other problems come where the certain things get hinted at but don’t seem to follow through with and you would need a lot of patience to get through this film.

Horror/Mystery/ThrillerThe horror elements of the film are poor because nothing seems to come from any hints, the mystery is the highlight of the film because you want to know just what the hell is happening. The film does try to keep you on edge from start to finish.

SettingsThe whole film does take place in the home of the couple as they get visitors which dives into chaos.

Special EffectsThe effects are good through the film without being ground breaking but do fall into the director’s trait.


Scene of the Movie –
The single take in the chaos.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Mother character gets annoying quickly.

Final ThoughtsIn the end I didn’t enjoy this film, it feels very long and difficult to describe, it has plenty of tension but things start going nowhere.

 

Overall: Too much going on through the film.

Rating

 

 

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Monster House (2006)

Director: Gil Kenan

Writer: Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab, Pamela Pettler (Screenplay) Dan Harmon, Rob Schrab (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talens) Steve Buscemi, Fred Willard, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jason Lee, Spencer Locke, Mitchel Musso, Catherine O’Hara

 

Plot: Three teens discover that their neighbor’s house is really a living, breathing, scary monster.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great but Dark Family Film

 

Story: Monster House starts as we meet DJ a boy who lives opposite the neighbourhood crazy old man Nebbercracker who terrorizes anyone who comes into his yard. When his parents go away for the weekend, DJ and his best friend Chowder find themselves trying to retrieve a lost ball only for Nebbercracker to have a heart attack.

With Nebbercracker away from the house DJ, Chowder and local girl Jenny start seeing the house coming to life but with no adult believing them, the three start to investigate. The three find themselves inside the house learning the truth about the house and the monster that is inside it.

 

Thoughts on Monster House

 

Characters DJ and Chowder are you typical best friends that are reaching the age where they need to look to grow up, DJ is ready to take that step while Chowder isn’t, the two work well as a team. Jenny plays into the idea that a girl can come between best friends and is the brains of the trio. Nebbercracker represents the neighbourhood crazy that once you get to know has a good reason for being like they are. The adults are always looking down on the children which is fine as for the story the children need to learn to grow up. The characters here, while not special all help tell the story well.

StoryThe story that plays into children’s imaginations to a new level, we all know children can create stories of the crazy person in their town and this takes that story and runs with it. It shows that the stories could be real but also have a reason for the stories that you should learn about a person’s past. There is also a story about children reaching the age to grow up which is greatly told for the kids.

Comedy/Family/FantasyWe have plenty of laughs from how the children see the adults, the family side works because we can see the whole family can enjoy with the fantasy side of the story coming from the idea that a house can come to life.

SettingsThe film is set all within a small town with it coming off as all in one day within one street as kids can come and play. This works for the house’s reputation within the neighbourhood.

Animation The animation is very impressive having it’s own style compared to other animated films around the same time.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good family film that can be enjoyed by all, it does have moments of darkness but comes off original which is very important.

 

Overall: Good film to be enjoyed by all.

Rating

 

 

The Monster Project (2017)

Director: Victor Mathieu

Writer: Victor Mathieu, Corbin Billings, Shariya Lynn (Screenplay)

Starring: Yvonne Zima, Justin Bruening, Toby Hemingway, PeiPei Alena Yuan, Murielle Zuker, Jim Storm, Shiori Ideta, Jamal Quezaire

 

Plot: A recovering drug addict takes a job with a documentary crew who plans to interview three subjects who claim to be real life monsters.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Reason People Hate Found Footage

 

Story: The Monster Project starts as monster pranksters Devon (Bruening) and Jamal (Quezaire) start seeing hits on their Youtube channel and decide to make their own show hunting for real monsters with new member of the team and recovering drug addict Bryan (Hemingway).

With the team together with the addition of director Murielle (Zuker) they set off to an abandoned house in the middle of the woods to conduct three interviews with people who claim to be monsters a vampire Shayla (Zima), a skinwalker Steven (Flores) and a demon Shiori (Ideta). The team learn the truth about monsters and demons by the end of the night.

 

Thoughts on Th Monster Project

 

Characters – Devon is the producer and host of the Monster Project who along with his team looks to take their show to the next level away from just prank like videos. He does have a selfish streak but also loyal to his crew. Bryan is the recovering addict given a role in the team where his weakness will become his strength once they fight to survive. Murielle is the former partner of Devon who gets bought into becoming the director of the project. Jamal is the cameraman that says what we have been thinking most of the film.

PerformanceThe performances are hard to judge because first you must look at the characters as naïve wannabe Youtube stars so the acting doesn’t have to be amazing but at points needs to be annoying, which is what you get, none of the stars comes off that well once the horror side of the takes off but before that we can believe they could be the Youtube names.

StoryThe story doesn’t leave much to see as original, we have the idea of hunting for monsters in the form of interviews only for everything to get out of hand, but for the most part we focus on just running around the house in panic which for the most part is almost unwatchable.

Action/HorrorThere is a lot of running around screaming being chased by the horror which is all in the dark and is mostly creatures jumping at the screen.

SettingsFor the most part of the story we are in the middle of nowhere where the crew can’t do anything to escape from the home once the horror starts.

Special EffectsThe effects are fine through the film, the camerawork helps hide the weaknesses being shown.

Scene of the Movie – I liked the interview scenes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The horrible use of found footage, which I can be a fan off.

Final ThoughtsThis is the reason people get put off found footage films, we have horrible shaky cam which makes the second half of the film almost unwatchable.

 

Overall: This could one of the missed chances of the year, with a disappointing film.

Rating

 

 

Moon Dogs (2017)

Director: Philip John

Writer: Derek Boyle, Raymond Friel (Screenplay)

Starring: Jack Parry-Jones, Christy O’Donnell, Tara Lee, Chris Donald, Tam Dean Burn, Tanya Franks, Shauna Macdonald

 

Plot: Two teenage step brothers fall for the same girl on a chaotic road trip from Shetland to Glasgow.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful Heart-warming Film

 

Story: Moon Dogs starts as we meet our two step brothers, Michael (Parry-Jones) who is about to take his last exam before university and Thor (O’Donnell) the musician who likes to experiment with his sound on the remote island of Shetland. When Michael fails his exams he doesn’t get a chance to head to Glasgow with his girlfriend, forcing him to get job.

When Michael believes his girlfriend is cheating on him, he grabs Thor and the two go off crossing the islands to mainland Scotland and along the way they meet the free spirit Caitlin (Lee) and the three head to Glasgow with Michael looking to find his girlfriend, Caitlin look to head to a music festival while Thor search for his long-lost mother. Along the way the two boys both fall for Caitlin as we see how the two’s lives get turned upside by the adventure.

 

Thoughts on Moon Dogs

 

Characters – Michael believes his life is going to get him out of his small Shetland Island town with his university in Glasgow but when that dreams get shattered he must face a year of work. He keeps hope alive of leaving but soon he decides to up and leave to find his girlfriend with his brother. Thor is the step brother of Michael that spends his time making music as he is hiding from the social side of the world, he agrees to go with Michael to Glasgow believe it will give him a chance to meet his mother. Caitlin is the free spirit the boys meet along the way, she is a lot more streetwise than they are but also has her own dreams of getting to Glasgow to perform in a music festival. The relationship between the brother’s does feel genuine throughout the film as they are loyal to each other while also not being good friends.

PerformanceThe performances from the three young actors are great with Jack Parry-Jones showing us the young man who believes he path is set for him. Christy O’Donnell could be considered the scene stealer with his emotionally driven performance while Tara Lee is great throughout the film.

StoryThe road trip story is a tried and tested formula, it has relationships pushed to the limits along the way which is the driving force of the completing it desire. Having all three having different motivation into going gives our characters the chance of self-discovery that they needed and you are happy to join them on the adventure.

ComedyThe comedy used through the film is placed perfectly hand in hand with the drama giving us a light-hearted take on a real-life experience that the boys would go on.

SettingsShowing the small-town settings the boys come from in Shetland heading towards one of the biggest cities in Scotland Glasgow shows the different world they are entering into.

Scene of the Movie – Laptop party.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The one addition I would like to have seen would have been learning how long the parents have been together.

Final ThoughtsThis is a charming comedy drama showing the difficulties young people can have seeing people leave their small town only to be left behind and this follows their desire to also leave even for just one day.

 

Overall: Enjoyable comedy drama with heart, laughs and a message.

Rating

 

 

Mine (2016)

Director: Fabio Guaglione, Fabio Resinaro

Writer: Fabio Guaglione, Fabio Resinaro (Screenplay)

Starring: Armie Hammer, Annabelle Wallis, Tom Cullen, Clint Dyer, Geoff Bell, Juliet Aubrey

 

Plot: After a failed assassination attempt, a soldier finds himself stranded in the desert. Exposed to the elements, he must survive the dangers of the desert and battle the psychological and physical tolls of the treacherous conditions.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Intense Thriller

 

Story: Mine starts as sniper Mike (Hammer) and his spotter Tommy (Cullen) on an assassination mission but when Mike isn’t 100% sure that is his target is the required one, this leads to the position being giving away and the two on the run through the desert looking for rescue.

When the two stumbles across a mine field warning sign floating around the desert, Mike becomes worried while Tommy believes it could have come from anywhere, continuing their mission Tommy detonates a mine while Mike finds himself stood on one not being able to move.

With no GPS available and limited resources Mike’s only hope of survival is 52 hours away, now he must look for the best way to survive with a sandstorms, enemies and exhausting being his main threat.

 

Thoughts on Mine

 

Characters – Mike is the sniper on the mission, he doesn’t complete the mission due to too many variables from the source information and along with his spotter must retreat for evocation, things don’t go as planned once he finds himself stepping on a land mine, not being able to move, we are left to see his survival skills. Tommy is the spotter for Mike, he has been at war longer and has family back home, he is killed once he steps on a mine which leads to certain questions about the character being so naïve in a war environment. Jenny is the girlfriend of Mike’s back home, she is the main motivation for Mike to keep strong through his deadly situation.

PerformanceArmie Hammer is a guy that has taken a lot of stick through the years and this year his performances have shown us just how capable he is, Mine gives us a solo performance which shows he can carry a movie, Annabelle Wallis does well with her supporting performance without needing to do anything difficult and Tom Cullen is solid in the supporting role, he doesn’t do anything wrong as a performer even if the character seems naïve.

StoryThe story follows one man trapped on a landmine in the middle of the desert, we watch how he faces his potential death as he looks back through moments of his life where he stepped into situation he regretted as well as the moments that made him who he is. This does fall into the bracket of one man trying to survive in a film which is always an intense story to watch but looking into his past regrets and memories reflect that we all step on landmines through life at times.

Thriller/WarWe are kept on the edge of our seats through the film wanting to know is Mike can survive the situation he finds himself in which does revolve around the idea of what is left because of the war in the mines rather than focusing on the conflict.

SettingsThe middle of the desert does make for the fantastic setting for this movie, Mike has nowhere to go, battling the elements and little chance of success for the most part.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well through the film, the film doesn’t turn to them often but when needed they are effective.

Scene of the Movie – The last visit of the stranger, shows us the effect of the war on the innocent people too.

That Moment that annoyed me It could easily get people turned off with the pure number random visit Mike must face because we just get left wondering how many are real or not.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good intense thriller along the line of Buried and well worth a watch throughout, it might become slightly confusing by the end but you do get rewarded by the end.

 

Overall: Good thriller well worth watching.

Rating