Masters of Love (2019) Movie Review

Director: Matt Roberts

Writer: Matt Roberts (Screenplay)

Starring: Ciaran Dowd, Bekka Bowling, Eleanor Fanyinka, Rose Johnson, Sarah Ovens, Camille Ucan, William Vasey

Plot: A group of friends are at different stages in their relationships, and none of them are convinced about what they’re doing: Emmy and Samantha are due to get married; Josh and Jenifer are breaking up; and Niall is sleeping around. Their entwining stories give a candid look at finding love in the age of internet dating.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: More Proof Love is Hard

Story: Masters of Love starts as we meet our couples, we have Emmy (Ovens) and Samantha (Fanyinka) who are preparing to get married, while Josh (Roberts) and Jenifer (Watts) are just breaking up, seeing Josh needing to start his life over, without the love of his life, with Niall (Dowd) sleeping around using his comedy routine to meet women.

As we continue through the lives of these people, we get to see how Emmy and Samantha are finding their relationship strained, while Josh is trying to find his place in the modern dating world.

Thoughts on Masters of Love

Characters – Emmy is about to marry her girlfriend, only the latest steps are starting to see the problems with the smaller details, she is also trying to help her brother get back on his feet, while facing the cold feet of commitment, Samantha is Emmy’s partner, she is more organised and has been planning more of the wedding, trying to put everything together, she does want happiness with Emmy, but doesn’t know if she can wait. Josh is the brother of Emmy’s he breaks up with his girlfriend, while being too carried away with his social media presence. Niall is a standout comedian that has always been just hooking up for one night stands, he has never shown an interesting in commitment. We see how each other these characters are dealing with the difficulties of relationships.

PerformancesThe performances in this film do feel authentic, with how everyone is dealing with the problems they are facing in love, showing the joys well and sadness that is filled with pain.

StoryThe story here follows a group of Londoners who are in different stages of their love lives, we see how they deal with the bigger problems that come their way and how they look to overcome. This does put the big spotlight on just how difficult love can be going forward, even if you are with the most important person in your life, we see how mistakes can be made, uncertainty can cause more problems, but if the love is strong, you will find a way to get through anything.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy does come from the awkward situations the characters put themselves in with Josh getting the most laughs, while the romance does show us just how difficult love can be.

SettingsThe film shows us with the settings how everyday couple could meet, interact and go about their routines.


Scene of the Movie – Josh’s recordings.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The stand-up doesn’t seem to be as funny as it should be.

Final Thoughts This is a nice look at how difficult love can be in the modern world, it shows us just how difficult finding and keeping it will be at times.

Overall: Modern Love 101.

Signature Entertainment presents Masters of Love on Digital HD from July 13th

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – X – My Super Ex-Girlfriend (2006) Movie Review

We are cheating once again with X, by picking this because of the X-girlfriend side of the story.

Director: Ivan Reitman

Writer: Don Payne (Screenplay)

Starring: Uma Thurman, Luke Wilson, Anna Faris, Rainn Wilson, Eddie Izzard, Stelio Savante, Mike Iorio, Mark Consuelos

Plot: When a regular guy dumps a superhero for her neediness, she uses her powers to make his life a living hell.


Tagline – Hell hath no fury like a superwoman scorned.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Enjoyable Laugh

Story: My Super Ex-Girlfriend starts when down on his luck regular guy Matt (Luke Wilson) meets a stranger on a train, Jenny Johnson (Thurman) who he helps get her bag back, thinking he could be about to start a new relationship. Jenny has a secret though, she is G-Girl a superhero that protects the city from crime.

Jenny normally keeps her secret identity away from partners, that is until her arch nemesis Barry Bedlam (Izzard) starts trying to us Matt to get to Jenny and things get even more complicated when Matt breaks up with Jenny, as she doesn’t take the break up well.

Thoughts on My Super Ex-Girlfriend

Characters – Jenny Johnson is a shy timid lady, she keeps to herself, is awkward when it comes to interaction, only she has a secret, she is the city’s superhero. She does want to date and after Matt helps her, she wants to let him into her life, opening up unlike anyone has before, though this does make her angry when he moves on. Matt is a regular guy, he is down on his luck, needing to turn things around, until he meets Jenny, he is happy to start a new romance, but isn’t comfortable with the idea of dating a superhero. Hannah is the work colleague of Matt’s, the two do have good chemistry in everyday life and Matt starts to see this the more is sees Jenny’s darker side. Barry Bedlam is the arch nemesis of G-Girl, he knows about her past and wants the powers that his old friend Jenny has.

PerformancesUma Thurman gets to play into her action figure with this awkward superhero that is looking for love. Luke Wilson as the regular guy caught up in the middle of superhero battle. Anna Faris as the potential new love interest and all-around nice women works well, with Eddie Izzard and Rainn Wilson getting plenty of laughs along the way.

StoryThe story here follows a regular guy that finds out his new girlfriend is a superhero that has a crazy side, which sees her trying to ruin his life once he breaks up with her. This does take the idea of a crazy ex to new levels, with us having one with superpowers that can ruin and torment somebody’s life to a new level. We also get the spin on the women being the superhero, which often leaves the men needing to wait for the rescue to happen. We might well end up going to the extremes when it comes to how relationships are seen though.

Comedy/Romance/Sci-FiThe comedy in the film does focus on how the superhero persona will get used to the idea of dating a normal person and vice versa, with the romance showing how no matter who you are, it can be difficult to find love.

SettingsThe film gives us a New York backdrop, which is a setting I will always praise for the use when it comes to life dramas in and out of love.


Scene of the Movie – The break-up.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does go over the top too often for its own good.

Final Thoughts This is a fun spin on the rom com, showing the women in the position of power, with the men left holding the fort, while she saves the world and shows just how crazy ex’s can be.

Overall: Fun Rom Com.

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – M – Magellan (2017)

Director: Rob York

Writer: Scott Baird, Rob York (Screenplay)

Starring: Brandon Ray Olive, K. Danor Gerald, Whitney Palmer, Matthew Mercer, Nicola Posener, D.L. Walker

 

Plot: After NASA picks up a trio of mysterious signals from within our own solar system, astronaut Roger Nelson is dispatched on a multi-year solo mission aboard the Magellan spacecraft to investigate the sources.


Tagline – The universe knew we were coming.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Sci-Fi Film

 

Story: Magellan starts when NASA picks up a trio of signals coming from with our own Solar System, they want to investigate them and turn to astronaut Commander Roger Nelson (Olive) to go on this mission, one which will see him go on a solo mission for ten plus years, leaving his wife Abigail (Palmer) behind with his connection being Becker (Gerald) at mission control.

Once Roger reaches Titan one of the moons of Saturn he locates the first signal, a mysterious orb which gives Roger a strange draw, to make matters worse his wife is suffering back home and we are left to wonder if the sacrifice will be worth it and just what will he discover?

 

Thoughts on Magellan

 

Characters – Commander Roger Nelson is the astronaut that is selected for the solo mission one that could easily redefine human history, he simply can’t say no to it even if it means leaving his wife for ten plus years. Roger gets to investigate the location solo while keeping his sanity on the isolated mission with his only communication through the transmission he receives. Becker is the communication with Mission Control, he relays the information from NASA which is one of the two people Roger talks too. Abigail is the wife of Roger that is dealing with her own problems back home struggling with the time away from her husband even if he is doing something wonderful for mankind.

PerformancesBrandon Ray Olive does a good job in the leading role, he must do most of the work with most of the film follows him on the solo mission, he keeps our attention which with the wrong actor could easily lose us without a strong performance. In the support roles we follow the actors on camera which is good without needing to do too much.

StoryThe story asks the big question, ‘are we alone in the universe’ without going down the line of full alien hunter, invasion or communication. We go down the path of searching for life of other planets or moons which is a path we have been doing in real life, as somebody that would be interested in seeing where science could take us, the slow discovery of anything in space is something that fascinates me and this film keeps us wondering just what could be discovered, without going completely outside the realms of possibilities. The story may have a couple of safe ideas going on with minor moment of peril Roger finds himself which would never be a problem for him on a solo mission and the relationship to the people back home feels like there should have been a lot more communication with NASA.

Mystery/Sci-FiThe mystery in the film comes from the signals being set to Earth, what do they mean? What are they? Is this sign of life in the universe? These play into the sci-fi side of the film which focuses on finding the answers to spaces biggest questions.

SettingsMost of the film is set on the Magellan the space craft taking Roger across the Solar System, it is a simple craft which does the work needed for the mission without becoming completely tech heavy like we have seen in other film. when we get to planets or moons we can clearly see that this is the films weakness when it comes to the effects used to create the worlds.

Special EffectsThee effects here are the weak point of the film, we can let the film away with these flaws though because the story is interesting.


Scene of the Movie –
The next step.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The effects when docking.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those sci-fi films which does ask the big questions and becomes fascinating to watch, sure it does have a few issues with special effects, but the story keeps us wanting more and more.

 

Overall: Fascinating story.

Rating

 

 

Murder on the Orient Express (1974) Movie Review

Director: Sidney Lumet

Writer: Paul Dehn (Screenplay)

Starring: Albert Finney, Lauren Bacall, Martin Balsam, Ingrid Bergman, Jacqueline Bisset, Jean-Pierre Cassell, Sean Connery, John Gielgud, Anthony Perkins, Vanessa Redgrave

Plot: In December 1935, when his train is stopped by deep snow, detective Hercule Poirot is called on to solve a murder that occurred in his car the night before.


Tagline – The greatest cast of suspicious characters ever involved in murder.

Runtime: 2 Hour 8 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow, but Well Acted

Story: Murder on the Orient Express starts as the great inspector Hercule Poirot (Finney) hitches a ride on the famous Orient Express from Turkey back to London, only on his journey a passenger is murdered one night.

Hercule is pushed into investigating the case, which sees him talk to everybody on board as each one has a secret including the victim that might well have been involved in a famous crime that the murdered is believed to have been captured.

Thoughts on Murder on the Orient Express

Characters – Hercule Poirot is the world famous inspector that is known for solving nearly every case that comes his way, he can pick up on clues like nobody else and after his train journey to London he is given his latest case. He goes through the whole train’s passengers to figure out who committed the murder taking in each and every detail before solving the case. When it comes to the rest of the characters, we have a string of different suspects, with their own stories, they come from different backgrounds, with each being questioned by Poirot.

PerformancesAlbert Finney in the leading role is strong, he is much more watchable than the 2018 version of the character, keeping the character a lot more realistic. When we dive into the supporting cast, we have a star cast, who all get a scene or two with Finney, where they get to bring the characters to life.

StoryThe story here follows a world famous inspector that gets thrown into his latest case after his train journey sees a murder, this case will become one of his most complicated ones of his career. This is based on a classic novel, one of the best, but it is one that always seems to struggle to be transferred to film, it does have plenty of twists and turns along the way, but sadly the ending is one of the weakest of all the mysteries you will see. The ending does seem to take away any of the mystery about what we are watching, leaving us feeling very flat with the outcome.

Crime/MysteryThe crime is a murder that leads to the mystery about who committed it and why, one that Poirot must solve.

SettingsThe film keeps everything on board the train, it leads to the murder happening and with nowhere for the murder to run to, when the investigation starts.


Scene of the Movie – Finney is a good watch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The ending always feels flat.

Final Thoughts This might well be a classic novel, it just doesn’t transfer to film very well at all, even with an amazing cast.

Overall: Just falls apart at the end.

Monsters and Men (2018) Movie Review

Director: Reinaldo Marcus Green

Writer: Reinaldo Marcus Green (Screenplay)

Starring: John David Washington, Anthony Ramos, Kelvin Harrison Jr, Chante Adams, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Nicole Beharie, Rob Morgan

Plot: The aftermath of a police killing of a black man, told through the eyes of the bystander who filmed the act, an African-American police officer and a high-school baseball phenom inspired to take a stand.


Tagline – One moment can change everything

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Has a Point, Fails to Capture It

Story: Monsters and Men starts when Manny (Ramos) witnesses and records a police shooting on one of his street corners, he has just put his life back in order with a job, preparing to have everything ready for his girlfriend and daughter, only he gets framed for a crime he never commits. Officer Dennis (Washington) has been on the force for a while now, he sees this happening, while having questions against the cop that was involved in the shooting he doesn’t want to step in until he knows the truth, we finally meets Zyrick (Harrison Jr) a young baseball star of the future that ends up finding himself the latest target of the cops, this time Dennis is going to take a stand.

Thoughts on Monsters and Men

Characters – Dennis is a African American cop that has always kept his head down on the job, he has experienced the problems off duty, when he starts to think everything is going too far, he starts to question where he stand on what is going on. Manny is a young man that has just turned his life around, he films a wrongful killing and after he released the footage, becomes targeted by the cops himself, without standing a chance to fight back. Zyrick is going to become a mega star in baseball, he is caught in between trying to take a stand or follow his own future away from the troubles.

PerformancesWe do have three strong performances in the film with John David Washington, Anthony Ramos and Kelvin Harrison Jr all giving us everything we need from their performances in the film.

StoryThe story here follows three different point of views which have experienced police brutality from different backgrounds and how they are left feeling helpless about what is happening. This does show us the important problems going on with police action towards minorities in America, we get to see how even the people on the force can’t do anything without being seen as an enemy. The problem with the story comes with how the three stories don’t seem to have any true connections, with each one playing out just after the previous one finishes, instead of standing up, they are almost just three occurrences that have happened.

CrimeThe crime side of this film focuses on the action that are taken towards the innocent people and how that will affect their lives.

SettingsThe film is set in a city where you can see the clear divide between race, authorities and money, which will see different levels of discrimination going on towards people.


Scene of the Movie – Dennis argues his case to a family friend.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The stories are not connected enough.

Final Thoughts This is a film that wants to bring the message about police brutality towards minorities, only for it to not connect the stories well enough.

Overall: Unconnected Hate Crimes.