Suspiria (2018)

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Writer: David Kajganich (Screenplay) Dario Argento, Daria Nicolodi (Characters)

Starring: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Sylvie Testud, Jessica Harper, Chloe Grace Moretz, Lutz Ebersdorf

 

Plot: A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.


Tagline – Pain cleanses all.

Runtime: 2 Hours 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disturbing & Chilling

 

Story: Suspiria starts with Patricia (Moretz) going into hiding from her dancing company, turning to Dr Josef Klemperer (Swinton), this leaves a space in the program which American Susie Bannion (Johnson) gets given the chance to take in Berlin. Susie impresses the artistic director Madame Blanc (Swinton) and it isn’t long before she gets to learn about the most popular dance.

Susie soon gets given the lead in the dance, the one Madame Blanc has spent years perfecting, only she gets to see the darker side of the company which has the ability to consumer the dancers.

 

Thoughts on Suspiria

 

Characters – Susie is the American given the chance to perform in the biggest dance company in Berlin, one with a huge reputation for being one of the best and strongest in the business, it doesn’t take her long to impress as she becomes the lead in the performance, she is left to wonder at what cost though. Madame Blanc is the director of the show, she knows talent and knows how to get the bet out of the talent, while disposing of the unwanted talent. She is a strict perfectionist, that will get the moment she needs for the show. Sara is the member of the dance academy that is friends with the one that vanishes, while being the friend that guides Susie through the welcoming, she learns more about the truth behind the plans. Dr Josef Klemperer is one Patricia turns to for help, he stats to learn more about the dance company while dealing with her own loss from the world. Patricia is the one that goes missing and opens up the space for Susie to take, she has become paranoid about what is going on, which will force Sara into investigating in more detail.

PerformancesDakota Johnson steps away from the ‘Fifty Shades’ franchise with ease here, bringing new life to her career, which is much needed, she shows us here that she is going to be one of the top stars for years to come. Mia Goth continues to show us why she is picked for the roles that never seem normal, while Chloe Grace Moretz steps away from her younger roles with a much more mature role. It is Tilda Swinton that shows her true talent with her roles in the film, the dance director is an easy one for her, while the male doctor shows us just how talented she truly is.

StoryThe story follows a young American that joins a famous dance company only for the company to have a much darker side which the dancers are becoming consumed by. This is a remake and as I have never seen the original, I don’t know how similar the story is, which is fine, because it may have a couple of nods to the original and casting choice including original cast members, the story focuses on just what could be going on within the dance company and how it operates. We learn early on what they are up to and just how shocking it is and for the most part we are left wondering just what is going on with the main performer.

Fantasy/Horror/MysteryThe fantasy side of the film goes hand in hand with the horror of just what is going on, it is a very dark world and the mystery of just how we get there is what will drive the audience to enjoy.

SettingsThe film is set in Berlin, this shows us that the world is still affecting the people around the city and how strong this dance company had become.

Special EffectsThe effects in this movie are shocking in their realism which will disturb and shock through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel like a long film for no reason.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the craziest horror films from a year which was filled with the horrors that fit that quota. It does feel very long which will turn away audiences, but the committed horrors fans will enjoy what they see.

 

Overall: Crazy, disturbing and one you won’t forget.

Rating

 

 

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Sabrina (1954)

Director: Billy Wilder

Writer: Billy Wilder, Samuel A Taylor, Ernest Lehman (Screenplay) Samuel A Taylor (Play)

Starring: Humphrey Bogart, Audrey Hepburn, William Holden, Walter Hampden, John Williams, Martha Hyer

 

Plot: A playboy becomes interested in the daughter of his family’s chauffeur, but it’s his more serious brother who would be the better man for her.


Tagline –  the chauffeur’s daughter who learned her stuff in Paris!

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One for the Classic Film Fans

 

Story: Sabrina starts as we meet the daughter of the playboy family’s chauffer Sabrina (Hepburn) who has been in love with one of the son’s of the house David (Holden), after Sabrina spends time in Paris, she returns with a better knowledge of fitting in to higher society. David on the other hand has been match made by his brother Linus (Bogart) to continue to grow the family business.

When David needs to recover from an injury, Sabrina ends up spending time with Linus as the two brothers end up battling over the beautiful woman.

 

Thoughts on Sabrina

 

Characters – Sabrina is the beautiful daughter of the chauffeur, that gets herself educated before returning to the family that looked down on her, hoping to impress the son she is attracted too, she seems to be a character drawn to a better life and looks to marry her way to it. Linus is the straight talking serious brother that conducts the business and wants to stop David from marrying Sabrina. David is the man that has fallen for Sabrina, he is known as a playboy having a routine for seducing women. We have the rich family and the help family that believe they shouldn’t be together.

PerformancesThe performances in this film are good, we have three of the most famous stars in Hollywood history. Audrey Hepburn is the star of the film that showed the grace she had in any film she was part off.

StoryThe story here follows one woman that dreams of being in the higher society and her way there is through her love of one of the sons of the family her father works for. This isn’t the most overly entertaining story as it seems to show just how Sabrina just wants to plan her own way to get to the top, I am not sure if I am misreading the film, but it does show how the two different classes act towards each other.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy works for the time, but most of the laughs are based on how the reactions of the higher society act. The romance does seem to show the wrong idea of what love is for the people involved.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the different living standards the characters are used to, what they can buy and how they can get there.


Scene of the Movie –
Paris cooking class.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Hasn’t dated very well.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those classic films that has struggled to date the way others have, it tells a story for the time, but not our time which can make it harder to connect too.

 

Overall: The dated classic.

Rating

 

 

The Sugarland Express (1974)

Director: Steven Spielberg

Writer: Har Barwood, Matthew Robbins (Screenplay) Steven Spielberg, Hal Banwood, Matthew Robbins (Story)

Starring: Goldie Hawn, Ben Johnson, Michael Sacks, Williams Atherton, Gregory Walcott, Steve Kanaly, Louise Latham

 

Plot: A woman attempts to reunite her family by helping her husband escape prison and together kidnapping their son. But things don’t go as planned when they are forced to take a police hostage on the road.


Tagline – Every cop in the state was after her. Everybody else was behind her.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smartly Drive Crime Thriller

 

Story: The Sugarland Express starts when Lou Jean (Hawn) breaks her husband Clovis (Atherton) out of early release prison, they want to travel to Sugarland to get their son back after losing custody. The plan seems simple until a police officer Slide (Sacks) pulls over their car leading to the couple taking him hostage.

It isn’t long before this turns into a state wide pursuit led by Captain Tanner (Johnson) that seems to have ever police car in the state leading to a chain of cars heading to Sugarland.

 

Thoughts on The Sugarland Express

 

Characters – Lou Jean has lost custody of her child, now she will break her husband out of prison to get him back, she is the desperate mother who even though she doesn’t have the complete resources for parenting she will give the child all the love in the world. Clovis is the husband that goes on the journey believing this will be the last resort, he will support her even if she doesn’t give him the complete story. Slide is the police officer that is taken hostage, he is helpless to follow instructions putting his fate in the hands of his Captain and captors. Captain Tanner is the man that must figure out how to bring an end to the events, he doesn’t want a shootout, he must control all the officers in search of a peaceful ending.

PerformancesGoldie Hawn in the leading role as the desperate mother doing anything she can to get her child back, we see how she plays the naïve nature of her behaviour for the characters age involved which helps us support her decision. William Atherton as the boyfriend is good in his role showing moments of confusion like his character would be going through. Michael Sacks as the hostage cop he keeps calm through all the scenes which is needed for his character. Ben Johnson as the captain is a good watch because we almost see him planning each move in his head.

StoryThe story here is based on a real event about a couple that take a highway patrol officer hostage as they plan to get their child back. We follow this story closes and how the police didn’t want to get involved in anything crazy as the couple are going about the situation in a peaceful manner. What we see in the story is just how far people would go to get their child back after and just how the story would take the country by storm, with the supporters coming from each town they travel through and for some reason the endless numbers of cops that will follow them. When we start looking at how this plays out, we would have a different outcome now, first it would have been a lot harder to break the husband out of prison and secondly you feel the police would be a lot more aggressive when we go across state borders. If you want a story that could easily be one that captures a nations attention this will be one.

CrimeThe crime side of the film shows us how the two petty criminals will go to extraordinary lengths to get their child back even if it means breaking the law in ways that will only get them in trouble for longer.

SettingsThe film takes us across the country in pursuit of a car which has taken a highway patrol officer hostage in an attempt to get their child, this is a questionable use of setting because we never really learn the scale of the distance travelled.


Scene of the Movie –
Going through the town with gifts.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not knowing how far they travel.

Final ThoughtsThis is an early look at just how talented Steven Spielberg was going to be, it is a crime film that keeps you on edge and one that make you have sympathy for the criminals.

 

Overall: Early masterclass from Spielberg.

Rating

 

 

#Screamers (2016)

Director: Dean Matthew Ronalds

Writer: Dean Matthew Ronalds, Tom Malloy (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Malloy, Chris Bannow, Griffin Matthews, Emaunela Galliussi, Abbi Snee

 

Plot: When an internet company decides to investigate a series of ‘Screamer’ videos, they are confronted with havoc and hell they could never expect.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Reason People Don’t Like Found Footage

 

Story: #Screamers starts as we see the film crew meet the team at ‘Giga!lar’ a specialist company working on improve search engines to show the user what they want just by looking at their history. The main team involves Tom (Malloy) and Chris (Bannow) who created the company, while Griffin (Matthews) who films everyday actions, with software engineer Abbi (Snee).

When the company discovers a brand-new video, they get the most hits they have ever received, they continue to use the same resource for videos, until they learn the girl in the videos are involving a missing girl, are they real or not, they must investigate the truth before going forward anymore.

 

Thoughts on #Screamers

 

Characters – Tom and Chris created the website which they believe will take them to financial benefits, they have ambition to get to the next level, they both worked in Silicon Valley and while they can have differences at times they work well as a team. Griffin records most of the activities in the office while being part of the research team, he is one of the few that believes certain decisions being made are questionable. Abbi builds the software and would rather be off camera though she does end up going along with the investigation without worrying about being on camera.

PerformancesWhile it is hard to truly judge the performances because of the lack of activity in this film, the conversations between the characters feel smooth and the stuttering makes sense for businessmen trying to make a name for themselves, saying this we just don’t get anything for them to do.

StoryThe story follows an upstart website that has just found a video which has gotten them strikingly high figures, they soon learn the girl in the video is really missing and decide to investigate. This is a found footage story which is fine before we start, the problem occurs with the fact we spend over an hour just watching these guys talk and watching videos that offer no scares or even try to, when it comes to the end of the film it is another one of these flash, bang blink and you miss what just happened, that gives us no true conclusion to the story. This is why found footage films get the slack they receive, literally nothing happens in this film and you will be completely let down by the end.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in the film comes from the final act of the film, it is the frustrating moments of horror, which involves just throwing something at the screen, the mystery however should be a lot more interesting, there is an interesting idea behind what is going on and makes us want to learn more, the problem is the failing of this.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in the office before we go and see the locations from the videos which is interesting, though not effective enough.

Special EffectsThe effects are simple when shown, we don’t need them that often, but you can see they are from low budget YouTube like videos.


Scene of the Movie –
The first look at the investigation.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The end.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that has a lot of potential, the problem is, it fails to capture that potential leaving us feeling flat by the end.

 

Overall: Bad horror and not the enjoyable bad.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Best of 2018 – S – Sorry to Bother You (2018)

Director: Boots Riley

Writer: Boots Riley (Screenplay)

Starring: Lakeith Stanfield, Tessa Thompson, Jermain Fowler, Omaria hardwick, Terry Crew, Patton Oswalt, David Cross, Danny Glover, Steven Yeun, Armie Hammer

 

Plot: In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a universe of greed.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Weird and Wonderful

 

Story: Sorry to Bother You starts when Cassius Green (Stanfield) gets a brand-new job as a cold caller, his good friend Salvador (Fowler) also works there and his girlfriend Detroit (Thompson) are trying to plan some sort of future together, joined by new co-worker Squeeze (Yeun) and Langston (Glover) they start searching for the improvement in the job.

When Cassius gets a promotion his life will change forever as he now knows what it is to be away from the financial struggle he has been living through.

 

Thoughts on Sorry to Bother You

 

Characters – Cassius Green is a telemarketer living in his Uncle’s garage with his girlfriend, he wants to make more of his life while remaining loyal to his friends, when he gets the chance to make the money, but it will come at a cost, leaving him torn between both worlds needing to make the right decision. Detroit is the girlfriend of Cassius, she is an artist at heart enjoying being close to the streets with her work, she wants to stay loyal to the people that support her. Salvador is the best friend that works with Cassius, he is the one that could see his friend turning his back on him. Mr well they bleep out his name, he welcomes Cassius to upper level seeing him as the star employee. Sergio is the uncle that is tight for money but will support Cassius however difficult it happens to be. Langston shows Cassius how to make an impact in the job, while Squeeze becomes the friend at work trying to make a difference with everything for the employees. Steve Lift runs a company which in the eyes of some is slave labour, he plays it off an opportunity and is happy to see the money roll in.

PerformancesLakeith Stanfield in the leading role is the true star of the film, each scene he is in we are wanting to see more from him, he hits every emotion needed for his characters reactions. Armie Hammer continues to show us just how talented he is with his role in this film. we do get strong performance from the supporting cast with Tessa Thompson, Steven Yeun and Jermaine Fowler getting the best moments.

StoryThe story shows us how one man’s life can change once he shows that he has a new skill he didn’t know he had, it plays along the lines of getting rich and need to stay loyal to his friends. This is the core of the story, but it soon goes in a different direction, one that will surprise you with what is being built up to. This is a story that is trying to send a message about employment problems a racial vision of people. It does have ideas that things could be changed in the future even if they are focusing what could only cause a bigger problem over solving them. This is going to be a story which you can see people turn away because of just how weird it gets, but it will be a unique vision too.

Comedy/Fantasy/Sci-FiThe film does have comedic elements once we get to see what is going on too, it is unique in its style, the fantasy side of the film comes from what is meant to be happening behind closed doors in the film.

SettingsThe film is set in Oakland, without doing any research this is just a normal American city that doesn’t always give opportunity to the people from the city, it works because it shows how things can get out of hand here.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are good when we see what is happening with the master plan in the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The calls are filmed in a unique way which will be remembered.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The forced rap.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the most unique films you will see this year, it has one of the weirdest twists that any story will offer with great performances throughout.

 

Overall: Something you will never forget.

Rating