Root of the Problem (2019) Movie Review

Director: Scott Corban Sikma

Writer: Francis Damberger, Joanne Sikma (Screenplay)

Starring: Claire Rankin, Sergio Di Zio, Chantal Perron, Jayson Therrien, Leslie Benn, Dwight Layne

Plot: Root of the Problem is an inspirational family drama. Sometimes it takes life’s darkest moment to bring you to the brightest light.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Charming & Enjoyable

Story: Root of the Problem starts when real-estate agent Paul (Di Zio) and his wife Grace (Rankin) learn that her uncle has passed away, leaving them with two things, a plant and to spread his ashes at the children’s camp.

Paul does feel like his family got shafted, that is until he makes a discovery about the plant, it is a money tree, he does keep this a secret from the rest of the family, wanting to use the money to improve his own image, even giving for the first time in his life, but how long will this last?

Thoughts on Root of the Problem

Characters – Paul Campbell is a money tight real-estate agent, he does make the most sales, only he keeps the finances tight for the family, believing his wife will get a big inheritance, he is left disappointed by only receiving a plant. When Paul discovers the plant is a money plant, he keeps the money for himself, showing his selfish side, investing in whatever he wants, giving people around him gifts he would never normally give them. He needs to learn a lesson or face being left with nothing. Grace is Paul’s wife, she cared for her late Uncle and was never bothered with the inheritance, she does like some of the changes Paul is making only when things get out of hand, she doesn’t like his crazy spending. Jack Mitchel is one of the co-workers of Paul’s, Paul takes him under his wing to try and help him make more sales, only for a price. Detective Miller gets a heads up from his recent spending, she starts to see where the money might have come from, not believing he could have spent this much so suddenly.

PerformancesSergio Di Zio in the leading role is great, he does show us what sudden greed can bring to someone, he shows the over confidence and insecurity his character is going through with the newfound money. Claire Rankin as the wife that is getting tired of the behaviour of her husband, showing the reaction of someone getting out of control. Chantal Perron and Jayson Therrien complete the main cast giving us the characters that will reflect Paul’s new life.

StoryThe story here follows a selfish real-estate agent that discovers an inheritance he receives grants him money, an endless source of money that he must learn about the consequences of being reckless with his behaviour when it comes to spending. This is a story that does show us the cost of secrets and greed, showing us that just because you get money, you shouldn’t ignore the people you love around you for your own benefit. This is a story the is about learning to be more giving to the world, look out for other people not just yourself. We have a nice redemption look at life, showing people can always improve themselves no matter what mistakes they have made in the past.

SettingsThe film brings the home setting for Paul, showing he does have everything he needs here before receiving the tree, we get the message from the settings that home is what you build together, not what you put in the location.


Scene of the Movie – Car deal.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – I am no medical expert, but should they have moved the person?

Final Thoughts This is a nice drama about learning about giving in life, rather than just becoming obsessed with greed in life.

Overall: Enjoyable Drama

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – V – Riot Girls (2019) Movie Review

This is under V because of director Jovanka Vuckovic.

Director: Jovanka Vuckovic

Writer: Katherine Collins (Screenplay)

Starring: Madison Iseman, Paloma Kwiatkowski, Munro Chambers, Jenny Raven, Atticus Mitchell, Ajay Friese, Caron MacCormac, Alexandre Bourgeois, Darren Eisnor

Plot: In an alternate 1995, a mysterious disease has wiped out all of the adults. In this new age, two gangs are pitted against each other in a brutal war for territory, resources and survival.

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Flashy

Story: Riot Girls starts as we enter a world where the adults have all died and the kids run the world with the town split in too, we have Nat (Iseman) and Scratch (Kwiatkowski) in a group with Jack (Dourgeois) helping each other.

When Jack is captured by the Titans and their leader Jeremy (Chambers), Nat, Scratch and Sony (Friese) goes in search of rescuing him to hopeful help save their side of the town.

Thoughts on Riot Girls

Characters – Nat and Scratch are the two best friends in this world, Nat is the more everyday of the two, while Scratch is a rebel without a cause figure, the two do have a strong friendship and will fight for each other in this world. Jeremy is the leader of the Titans, he expects everyone to follow his orders or they will be punished. Jack is the leader of friendly group who gets captured and is the reason the girls go in search for rescuing.

PerformancesMadison Iseman is making an impact in this film in recent years, this continues to show her playing the similar role she is getting thrown into, Paloma Kwiatkowski is good as the rebellious figure in the film, with Munro Chambers returning to the same genre as Turbo Kid.

StoryThe story here follows two girls in a world divided by a disease which took the world’s adults and then ends up leaving two sides of town fighting over the resources. This end of the world story has been done with the teens trying to take over before, we have had eccentric groups before, sadly, this one doesn’t seem to come to life in the way others have, it does feel too short and with the random amounts of pure violence happening, before going calm, the tone get lost in the story quickly. This is a story you could have fun with though, it does try to have its own style, it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Action/Sci-FiThe action in the film goes from small fight to death fights, they do seem to go through things very fast which don’t seem to be long played out fights. The sci-fi world does show us what has happened, only not showing the full effect of the world.

SettingsThe film hints we are in one town, only we need cars to get from each side, the world doesn’t seem to have fallen into much destruction either, it just feels like an everyday routine.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are used for the blood splatter, we don’t use them too often though.


Scene of the Movie – The check point.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – More, flash than substance.

Final Thoughts This is a flashy sci-fi film has its own style which doesn’t quite live up to the genre that it is similar too, you can have fun with it too.

Overall: Not Quite a Riot.

Nicole Kidman Weekend – The Railway Man (2013)

Director: Jonathan Teplitzky

Writer: Frank Cottrell Boyce, Andy Paterson (Screenplay) Eric Lomax (Book)

Starring: Colin Firth, Nicole Kidman, Stellan Skarsgard, Jeremy Irvine

 

Plot: A former British Army officer, who was tortured as a prisoner of war at a Japanese labor camp during World War II, discovers that the man responsible for much of his treatment is still alive and sets out to confront him.


Tagline – Revenge is never a straight line.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful True Story

 

Story: The Railway Man starts in 1980 where Eric (Firth) a train enthusiast meets a stranger on the train, Patti (Kidman), the two fall in love getting married. It isn’t long before Eric starts having terrifying flashbacks to his time in World War II, where he is held prisoner by the Japanese, here he is tortured by Takeshi Nagase.

With Eric’s behaviour only getting worse, Patti turns to Finlay (Skarsgard) one of the fellow prisoner of wars, that is still a close friend of his, he fills in the experiences the men went through under the hands of Takeshi, which will leads the older version of Eric to want to confront Takeshi or his time in the P.O.W Camp.

 

Thoughts on The Railway Man

 

Characters – We meet Eric at two stages of his life, we have the one that was tortured during the war and tried to do something to give the fellow soldiers hop in their prisoner of war camp, we also meet an older version that has been left traumatised with his experiences of the war, it has closed him off from the world, including his wife, he gets a chance to confront the soldier that tortured him, in a hope it could bring him closure. Patti is the wife of Eric, they meet on a random train journey and it is her love for Eric that first starts to seek help for him. Finlay is the closest friend to Eric, he has remained in his life after the years they have suffered through together, he fills in the blanks for Patti, after Eric closes up to her. Takeshi Nagase was the solider that tortured Eric during the war, he has since gone onto be the tour guide for the railway that was forced to be built by the English, he is surprised to get the visit from him former captive.

PerformancesColin Firth is brilliant here because he shows us just how closed off a man can be when they are dealing with the consequences of war. Nicole Kidman fits her role with ease, she plays the sympathetic figure that will help open Eric up again, showing us just how hard to is working to make happen. Jeremy Irvine as the younger version of Eric shows us the horrors of war with the pain his character must go through. Stellan Skarsgard does fill in the story telling side of the story, he will join in helping make the most of the traumatised man returning from war. Hiroyuki Sanada completes the main cast and he gives us a character that is filled with the regret of his actions in his life.

StoryThe story here follows a former prisoner of war that is still haunted by what he went through during the war and after he learns that the man who tortured him is still alive, sets out to confront him. This is an incredible true story that shows how prisoners can still be getting nightmares about what happened during the war, it shows they could close themselves off from the world. this does show us how the two men met years after the events, both are filled with memories they would rather forget and this has taken its toll on their lives for decades. It does pose the question about what you would do if you could meet the person that tortured you and what you would do, especially if it had come from during the war. Knowing this is a true story does help make it more amazing to think what Eric went through and how he would react if he could find the person that did it to him.

Romance/WarThe romance side of this film shows how Eric’s wife was able to try and pushing him to talk about what happened to him, showing her love would be what finally gets him to open up about the horrors of his war experience, the war side focuses on what it was like to be a prisoner of war, how they were forced into labour and tortured if they didn’t comply.

SettingsThe film has a couple of main settings, first we get the English home of Eric which shows him in his comfort area, we do see the prisoner or war camps which does show us just how horrific the locations were for the soldiers of war.


Scene of the Movie –
The embrace.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The do gloss over the older versions trauma too much.

Final Thoughts – This is an incredible true story that does show us just how difficult Eric’s life became after his time at war, it shows just how he had become effected and a meeting with the man that did this to him could change everything.

 

Overall: Brilliant true story.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – R – Realive (2016) Movie Review

Director: Mateo Gil

Writer: Mateo Gil (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Hughes, Charlotte Le Bon, Oona Chaplin, Barry Ward, Julio Perillan, Rafael Cebrian

Plot: Marc will die of cancer and chooses cryogenic freeze and hopes to be thawed, when there’s a solution to his condition. He’s the first human brought back 68 years later. Can he adapt mentally and physically?


Tagline – Immortality is only a matter of time.

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Compelling

Story: Realive starts as we meet Marc Jarvis (Hughes) a business man who has built his company up who gets the devastating news that he has cancer, with about 1-year to live, he questions what to do next, with his lover Naomi (Chaplin) before deciding to be cryogenic frozen until they can cure his illness.

In the future, Marc gets bought back to life by Dr West (Ward) with Elizabeth (Le Bon) being his nurse and carer through the rehabilitation stage of the process, a long process for Marc, one where he starts to question whether he made the right decision, not having the life he thought he would in the future, craving the past and Naomi.

Thoughts on Realive

Characters – Marc Jarvis is an everyday businessman that sees his life turned upside down with cancer diagnosis, he has one year to live, which he must decide what he wants to do with his friends and family, a decision which is always going to be difficult, only to come up with the decision to freeze himself until a cure comes his way. In the future, he will be the first resurrected human, needing to learn the basics of life, battling the memories he left behind, as he is left to question whether he made the right decision. Elizabeth is the nurse that is assigned to be the carer for Marc, teach him about the future to prepare him for the world, she comes from a different time and surprised Marc with certain cultural differences the two generations have. Naomi is the lover of Marc’s from the past, they have had an on again off again relationship which has seen them be their own worst enemies and she was willing to give up a year of her life to spend with Marc. Dr West is the man running the procedure, only he is very secretive about how he does this, he is always waiting for the next stage of success to come from Marc.

PerformancesTom Hughes does play the two roles, through different time periods, with each offering different challenges that manages to control well through the film. Charlotte Le Bon and Oona Chaplin are the main female characters in the life, with both do strong jobs as does Barry Ward as the doctor leading the procedure.

StoryThe story here follows a man that decides to be frozen to give him more life in the future, where he could see the illness cured, we follow him as he looks to say goodbye to his friends and family, along with how he processes the new environment once resurrected. This is a story that does offer up the ultimate question, would you give up time now, to have more time in the future. This question is clearly asked through the film and instead of focusing on the physical recovery, it is focused on the mental burden of going through with it, not being able to add to the memories that defined you. It makes it clear that the resurrection phase isn’t going to be easy or pretty and might not be what you expected either. This is a truly compelling story that is a thinking sci-fi story over anything flashy.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi side of this film focuses on the idea that you could get bought back to life after being frozen, the world will be different and the procedure could be longer than you imagined.

SettingsThe film uses the two eras to create settings, one feels like locations we would see in everyday life now, while the other is kept within a lab to see how the procedure is achieved.


Scene of the Movie – The letter.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Some of the romance is too heavy.

Final Thoughts This is a thought-provoking movie that will leave you asking plenty of real-life questions by the end.

Overall: Thought-Provoking.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – R – Rough Stuff (2017) Movie Review

Director: Jonathan Adams

Writer: Jonathan Adams (Screenplay)

Starring: Gareth Rickards, Vincent Andriano, Sam Glissan, Katie Garfield, Jamie Kristian, Hayley Sullivan, Adam Horner

Plot: An activist group makes a deal with treasure-seeking Rovers and their modified four-wheel-drives for an expedition through treacherous Australian terrain. Tensions rise and ulterior motives are revealed with exciting off-road chases, daring rescues and amazing discoveries to follow.


Tagline – No Roads. No Worries.

Runtime: 2 Hours

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Adventure 101

Story: Rough Stuff starts as three treasure seekers Buzz (Rickards), Abe (Andriano) and Scraps (Glissan) agree to help an activist group containing, Skye (Garfield), Eric (Kristian), Tom (Horner) and Tori (Sullivan) to travel across the Australian outback in search for the treasure, while the activists are searching for a place for their campaign.

As the group are on their journey they find themselves being hunted down by a bounty hunter, which adds the intensity to the adventure and chase across the outback.

Thoughts on Rough Stuff

Characters – Buzz, Abe and Scraps are rovers that travel around the outback searching for treasure, they get themselves in trouble more often than not, which sees them agreeing to work with the activists that are travelling around the outback, they know how the survive the conditions and know how the avoid capture from the ruthless Ranger. Tori, Tom, Skye and Eric are activists that are looking to go out to the outback to film a video which will spread their message, while not all of them are as trustworthy as the rovers are being told about.

PerformancesThe performances in the film aren’t the most convincing, with most of the being filled into the generic, with the rovers being typical outback figures, while the activists just feel like they are made to be hippies.

StoryThe story follows treasure hunters and activists that reluctantly team up to take down a corrupt plan to destroy the popular outback that has been part of the history for years, while trying to find the treasure that is only part of myth. This isn’t the most entertaining story, it tries to keep changing the character’s mindsets through the film which just doesn’t connect with the characters through the film. It does have moments which could have been a lot more fun then they come off, because that does seem to be the plan here too.

AdventureThe adventure side of the film is mostly following the race around the outback, which puts our characters on an adventure which will help them make it through the events of the film.

SettingsThe film is set in the outback, which is a great beautiful backdrop to everything we are seeing the film.


Scene of the Movie – The chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too many characters decision changes.

Final Thoughts This is an adventure film that tries to do a lot more than it needs to, which only takes away from the fun it wants to be having.

Overall: Simple adventure film.