ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – O – OtherLife (2017)

Director: Ben C Lucas

Writer: Kelley Eskridge, Ben C Lucas, Gregory Widen (Screenplay)

Starring: Jessica De Gouw, Thomas Cocquerel, T.J. Power, Shalom Brune-Franklin, Sarah Anjuli, Liam Graham, Tiriel Mora, Clarence John Ryan

 

Plot: After inventing a drug that induces time-compressed virtual realities, young Ren grapples with partner Sam over how to use their powerful creation.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Sci-Fi Film

 

Story: OtherLife starts as Ren Amari (De Gouw) is trying to sale her brilliant invention, a virtual reality world creator that can let you experience breath taking moments within minutes of your life. With her partner Sam (Power) they could be about to change the world, though Ren has been working on a side project to help save her brother, who didn’t survive the virtual experience.

When Ren puts her boyfriend Danny (Cocquerel) on her latest project disaster strikes and she is left facing jail time, unless she complies with Sam and the correction department that want to use her creation to teach criminals a lesson in a matter of minutes, she becomes the first person to go through one year in one minute, can she survive this isolation, until she learns the truth about the last year of her life.

 

Thoughts on OtherLife

 

Characters – Rem Amari is a brilliant programmer who created OtherLife, a virtual reality program that lets people live life experiences in minutes, as her ambitious continues to grow, so does the risks she is willing to take, this is until something goes wrong. She is meant to be the first trialist of a long-term experience in correctional behaviour, but after her year in the system she learns the truth and must learn what has actually happened to her. Danny is the boyfriend of Ren’s that she believes she accidentally kills leading her to take the deal in the first place. Sam is the partner in the company, he is interested in profit over the science which causing friction between the two, he even talks Ren into making the deal in the first place.

PerformancesJessica De Gouw is wonderful in the leading role, we get to see how someone can be changed with a limited capacity that does make us believe everything she is going through, she is clearly the best performer in this film. when we look at the rest of the cast we do get good performances without them being at the same level as Jessica.

StoryThe story here takes us to a world where we are looking at the reality of virtual reality experiences in minutes as we follow one woman that wants her design to help bring her brother out of his coma, but the risks push things too far leading to her needing to take the next experience. This is a sci-fi film that will make you think from start to finish and does have twists along the way which is all I ever ask for in sci-fi films. The biggest aspect behind this film is playing into the idea of experiencing something yourself or tricking your brain into experiencing it for you.

Crime/Mystery/Sci-Fi The crime side of the film comes to us through the human experiments that were not legal for certain parts of them. The mystery comes from Ren’s experience in the correctional system as she needs to learn to unlock the truth about what is happening. The sci-fi side of the film comes from the technology and the usage it receives by playing the programs in the brain.

SettingsThe film takes us on the locational tour of the film, we have the office complex as well as the isolated location Ren finds herself in, while we also head to the locations which would be off the map.

Special EffectsThe effects are strong throughout as we see the different moments being used for different positions the characters are in.


Scene of the Movie –
The clocks countdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It would have been nice to see a couple more locations you could experience.

Final ThoughtsThis is a smart sci-fi film that does offer the questions I enjoy seeing in sci-fi films about increased usage of technology, it has a strong leading performance from Jessica De Gouw and does keep you guessing until the very end.

 

Overall: Sci-fi to enjoy testing the brain.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – O – Operation Chromite (2016)

Director: John H Lee

Writer: Man-Hee Lee (Screenplay) John H Lee, Sean Dulake (English Dialogue)

Starring: Jung-jae Lee, Liam Neeson, Beom-su Lee, Matthre Darcy, Sean Dulake, Jun-ho Jeong, Se-Yeon Jin, Justin Rupple

 

Plot: A squad of soldiers fight in the Korean War’s crucial Battle of Incheon.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Little History Lesson

 

Story: Operation Chromite starts as UN Commander a Chief Douglas MacArthur (Neeson) putting South Korean soldiers led by Jang Hak-soo (Jung-jae Lee) undercover to work with the North Korean General Lim Gye-jin (Beom-su Lee) to learn the best way to attack Incheon one of the most difficult location to provide an invasion on, against the wishes of the other military beliefs.

We follow how the mission to get the plans out unfolds as MacArthur does everything to keep power in the UN to make this operation one of his most memorable and iconic success of his career.

 

Thoughts on Operation Chromite

 

Characters – Jang Hak-soo is the South Korean spy that after the war agrees to help the Americans destroy the North Korean reign of terror. He leads his men well with honour and won’t leave them behind. Lim Gye-jin is the man trying to protect Incheon from the invasion, he will kill any traitors that get to close as he is ready for the battle that is heading his way. Douglas MacArthur is the man holding the mission Chromite, one of the most iconic Generals in American history and now he looks to defeat the Koreans in a way no one would expect.

PerformanceThe performances from the whole cast are good through the film, be it from the Korean side of the battle or the American.

StoryThe story shows us how Operation Chromite was completed, while you do feel moments of this are fictionalised the main story does seem to feel true. We get to see how the men risk their own lives to make this happen in one of the most ambitious military moves of all time. This does have the emotion when it comes to see the sacrifices made but does also fall into the problem of if it was based on the real events how do we know what these people were doing at that time.

Action/History/WarThe action is very entertaining, being big in most places with close gun fire or war scale battles, the history lesson learnt does feel like building on the facts which is of one of the biggest war operations of all time

SettingsThe settings all come off looking genuine through the film as we see the different battle fronts that the men come up against.

Scene of the Movie – Take the hostage.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It doesn’t feel completely accurate.

Final ThoughtsThis is a watchable war movie that tackles the serious side of the events even if things do come off slightly fictionalised.

 

Overall: Good war film.

Rating

 

 

Ouija Séance: The Final Game (2018)

Director: Andrea Mugnaini

Writer: Alan Cappelli Goetz, Andrea Fachinetti (Screenplay)

Starring: Alan Cappelli Goetz, Andrea Fachinetti, Holly Mumford, Gianfranco Quero, Katharina Sporrer

 

Plot: Sarah and her friends decide to spend the weekend at an old villa Sarah mysteriously inherited. After finding a Ouija Board in the attic, Sarah and her friends unknowingly awaken an evil force connected to the villa’s hidden secrets. To fight the unimaginable horror they will have to face their darkest fears and worst nightmares.


Tagline – Let’s Play One More Time

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Horror

 

Story: Ouija Séance: The Final Game starts when American student Sarah (Sporrer) just before returning home after cleaning up the sale of a mysterious villa owned by a distant grandmother she never knew she had. Joined by her friends Barbara (Mumford), Guilla (Goetz) and Rico (Fachinetti) who decide to spend the weekend at her villa for one final party.

Now in a villa in the middle of the woods leaves us the set up we need, a secret room completes this as the friend find a Ouija board and start to have strange occurrences around the villa as Sarah is filled with childhood memories.

 

Thoughts on Ouija Séance: The Final Game

 

Characters – When you create characters for horror films you generally get similar ones. Sarah is the student returning home after selling her inherited home, she is saying goodbye to her friends in Italy and doesn’t have many memories about her mother who died when she was very young. She gets questions in her life answered while dealing with the everyday problems. Barbara is the best friend, English student that loves to party, flirt and fills the box for the good looking insecure best friend that uses her body to cover her own personal problems. Guilla is the playboy friend and boyfriend of Barbara, he is your hot-headed character leaving us Rico who is the attempted nice guy though he is shady as well.

PerformancesThe performances across the board are basic, nobody is terrible, but the overreaction just seems to come off as laughable at times. Katharina Sporrer does the well with the serious moments in the film over the horror related ones.

StoryThe story here follows the horror clichés of going to a cabin in the woods, well this time it is a villa, we follow friends who go into a forbidden room unleashing some sort of evil, that does have a connection to a long-lost family member. Yes, this is by the book and no it doesn’t give us anything overly original. The use of the Ouija board itself doesn’t get used long enough to strike fear into the story and by the end we spend more time focusing on Sarah’s past than any sort of horror in the villa.

HorrorThe horror here is very basic, you could almost say it just doesn’t come off on the level you would expect because the jump scares are non-existent as are any moments of terror.

SettingsThe film does place us in a villa in the woods, which for horror is all we need, the phone signal is bad which causes the problems with trying to be rescued if things go wrong too.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are not the strongest either, though we don’t get thrown into the middle of CGI madness like low budget films can turn to.


Scene of the Movie –
The reading of the notes, clever background moment.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The title of the film implies this was planned rather than a stumble upon moment.

Final ThoughtsThis is a standard horror that doesn’t give us enough scares, misleads this the Ouija idea and just seems to end without that true climax.

 

Overall: Disappointing horror.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – O – Only Yesterday (1991)

Director: Isao Takahata

Writer: David Freedman, Isao Takahata (Screenplay) Hotaru Okamoto, Yuuke Tone (Manga)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Miki Imai, Toshiro Yanagiba, Yoko Honna, Mayumi Izuka, Mei Oshitani

 

Plot: A twenty-seven-year-old office worker travels to the countryside while reminiscing about her childhood in Tokyo.


Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not Ghibli’s Strongest

 

Story: Only Yesterday starts as Taeko an office worker looks to return to the countryside for her vacation, this brings back her memories of when she was younger growing up with school and her love for the countryside.

As Taeko’s memories continue to flood back she remembers her first embarrassing moments at school, when she gets her first period and learns from fellow student it is natural, while the boys are making fun of her. We jump back to the adult Taeko who is back for the farming and she meets Toshio a young farmer that see the world the same as her, which offers her a romantic interest in her life.

 

Thoughts on Only Yesterday

 

Characters – Taeko is our leading character we look at two moments of her life, we have her childhood struggles and her returning adult self to the peace of the countryside. This character shows us the difficulties that growing up offers and adult life can be when you look back on where you could have gone. Toshio is a local farmer that shows Taeko around, keeping her company while offering a potential love and path back to the life she once loved.

StoryThe story tackles growing up and returning home after time away, following the life you love compared to the one you need to live. The ideas in the story focus on real events and don’t bring any fantasy elements into the story telling which can either interest you or put you off because when you watch a Ghibli movie you are expecting moments of fantasy at times. The real feel both takes away from the story and adds to the personal touch needed to be told.

RomanceThe romance starts off soft because it mostly focuses on the idea that home could bring a love you want over the city the love you can have.

SettingsThe settings show the two different lives that Taeko has lived, the one in the small farming village, the other from the big city, this shows which one he wants to be part of more.

AnimationThe animation works for the time because Ghibli has a different style to Disney to make it stand out.


Scene of the Movie –
Dreams.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story, while good lacks that moment to make it stand out.

Final ThoughtsThis was a good watch, but isn’t going to making it to the top of many of the re-watching of Ghibli movies for me.

 

Overall: Solid addition to the Ghibli world.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – O – Outlaw (2007)

Director: Nick Love

Writer: Nick Love (Screenplay)

Starring: Sean Bean, Danny Dyer, Bob Hoskins, Rupert Friend, Sean Harris, Lennie James, Sally Bretton

 

Plot: A group of people who feel betrayed by their government and let down by their police force form a modern-day outlaw posse in order to right what they see as the wrongs of society.


Tagline – There will be no excuses. The guilty will be punished. No one is above OUTLAW

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brutal British Action Film

 

Story: Outlaw starts as we meet five everyday working guys, returning soldier Danny Bryant (Bean), office worker Gene Dekker (Dyer), broken victim Sandy Mardell (Friend), security guard Simon Hillier (Harris), lawyer Cedric Munroe (James) and former police officer Walter Lewis (Hoskins) who have seen the effects of the violence behaviour going on in London.

Simon recruits Danny to build a group they get Gene, Sandy and Cedric to prepare to be fight back against the thugs and criminals in the world. Walter helps feed the information needed to get the job done cleanly, will there be a price for what they are doing.

 

Thoughts on Outlaw

 

Characters – Danny Bryant is a soldier returned from his tour in Iraq, he finds his life gone with his wife moved on, he sees the abusive behaviour of the people and builds a team to fight back. He does control how far the men go. Gene Dekker is an office worker that suffers a beating after an accident which drives him join to fight back. Simon Hillier is a security guard, he is the loose cannon of the group, he wants to push things too far, but he also brings the guys together. Cedric is a lawyer who has his wife and unborn child killed by his latest case, he does offer the biggest moral compass about whether to go through with the murders. Walter Lewis is a former police officer, he has been reduced to pick ups and offers inside help to help clean up the streets.

PerformancesWe have a great British cast here, Sean Bean in the leading role gives us a demanding performance where we always want to see what his character does next. Danny Dyer is giving his best Danny Dyer performance, do well but not offering anything new. Bob Hoskins is good too he shows how people will have been affected by what happened in the past well. Lennie James and Sean Harris show us both sides of the scale as they could take their characters to either side of the fence.

StoryThe story shows us how crime rates are going up with the criminals not facing the consequences, we see the men that got pushed too far and decide to fight back. We have everything you would imagine with an outlaw move would take place, yes we are in London during modern day which adds something new, to the tried and tested formula.

Action/CrimeThe action is thug related behaviour which comes off a brutal as it needs to for the movie, sometimes it will be harder to watch. The crimes are brutal to watch as the behaviour is shown to be out of control.

SettingsMost of the film is set in and around London, this shows the high crime rates, which helps the countryside showing the hiding places for everyone to hide.


Scene of the Movie –
The preparations.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It seems like Gene isn’t quite like the rest.

Final ThoughtsThis is one for the British fans of action films, it keeps us feeling like we are seeing real crimes committed and the idea of an outlaws helps make us understand their motives.

 

Overall: One for the British action fans.

Rating