The Texture of Falling (2018)

Director: Maria Allred

Writer: Maria Allred (Screenplay)

Starring: Maria Allred, Benjamin Farmer, Patrick D Green, Donny Persons, Julie Webb

 

Plot: Louisa (Julie Webb) is a filmmaker reeling from a recent professional dejection, who meets Luke (Patrick Green), a pianist experiencing his own artistic crisis. Despite a long-term relationship with Ati, (Donny Persons), Louisa is intrigued by Luke. As Louisa falls for him, her skepticism of romantic love begins to unravel as she surrenders to her passions. But as Louisa and Luke’s romance blooms, a simultaneous story arises as Michael (Benjamin Farmer), a wayward architect estranged from his wife, meets Sylvia, an enigmatic painter. But are these parallels merely a coincidence?


Tagline – An intricate tapestry of love, power dynamics, and artistic drive weaves through Portland, Oregon’s picturesque cityscape and begs the question, what is real?

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Thriller

 

Story: The Texture of Falling starts as we meet filmmaker Louisa (Webb) that is struggling with her work, who bumps into Luke (Green) a man she had previously met at a film gathering even though Louisa is in a dwindling relationship. We also follow Michael (Farmer) an architect who isn’t enjoying the company of his wife who meets artist Sylvia (Allred) that opens new doors for experiences for him.

Just when things start to look promising for the four, things start to go badly as the previous current relationships show the importance of where they want to be going.

 

Thoughts on The Texture of Falling

 

Characters – Louisa is a filmmaker that is struggling with her latest project, she has put added pressure on herself to succeed with this project, but a spark with musician Luke distracts her from this only to leave her right where she started. Luke is a musician that previously worked with Louisa on projects, but now he is also lost with his carer which drives him to the arms of Louisa even if it does mean losing he kids or not. Sylvia is an artist that gets involved with Michael the architect, she pushes him to new limits, while having an air of mystery about her. Michael is an architect that has never come out of his comfort zone until he meets Sylvia a woman that shows him something new away from his wife.

PerformancesThe performances across the film are good with Julie Webb giving the strongest as down on her luck and inspiration filmmaker, I feel we do spend slightly more time with her and Patrick Green and they work well together. Maria Allred pulls double duty, both behind the camera and on front and you can see her talent through as a director with her use of visuals in the movie.

StoryThe story follows two different relationships play out with four people who have their own problems which could stop them finding their way to make everything work out. Everything plays out to give us a real relationship feeling and by the end of the film everything will be turned on its head for you.

ThrillerThis does a thriller side to things as we see how things could be going wrong.

SettingsThe settings keep us in Portland which is a big city showing the people from different worlds can collide.


Scene of the Movie –
The final 10 minutes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Michael really can’t pour champagne

Final ThoughtsThis an enjoyable relationship based drama thriller that shows how difficult it can be when meeting people in the life which could change it, with a twist that will surprise you.

 

Overall: Smart drama thriller that reflects moments of real life.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (2017)

Director: Martin McDonagh

Writer: Martin McDonagh (Screenplay)

Starring: Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Lucas hedges, John Hawkes, Peter Dinklage, Caleb Landry Jones

 

Plot: A mother personally challenges the local authorities to solve her daughter’s murder when they fail to catch the culprit.


Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Darkly Humorous

 

Story: Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri starts as Mildred Hayes (McDormand) puts up three billboards in a quiet road questioning how Willoughby (Harrelson) hasn’t solved the case of her daughter’s rape and murder. Fellow officer Dixon (Rockwell) who has a chequered past is enraged by the signs, while officer Willoughby tries to clean up the situation and prove there isn’t enough to solve the case, but with his dying he does want to solve the case before he goes.

As the billboards stay up longer, the town starts to become divided on the support in catching the killer and Mildred does to extremes in her battle with Dixon to get the case solved.

 

Thoughts on Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

 

Characters – Mildred Hayes is a mother that has run out of patience when it comes to the police finding the killer off her daughter, she did have the full support of the town, but this stunt pushes the people away even if it could get her the killer to identify themselves. Willoughby is the lead investigator in the case, he has done everything he could to solve the case, but he is now facing his own battle with cancer, while keeping the peace in the town. Dixon is the hot-headed police officer that clashes with Mildred and anyone who supports her in finding out the truth.

PerformancesFrances McDormand shows us that she can reach the Fargo levels whenever the material is given to her, as she shines through as the best part of this movie. Woody Harrelson is great again this year, showing us he can step into any role and be great. Sam Rockwell is wonderful too as we see that this cast is filled with talent character performers.

StoryThe story shows the extremes of losing a child, the stress of noting being able to solve one of the worst cases in the town. This does turn into a character studio on the people involved and how their lives need to move on without a chance of every being able to. It is hard to describe this story in much more depth because it is interesting, it does have a lot going on that keeps us wanting to see where the film will go.

Comedy/CrimeThis does use dark humour throughout as we are seeing the effects of the crime on people’s lives, don’t expect to see an investigation though, we are focusing on the relationship between the mother of the victim and the police.

SettingsThe film takes place in this small town where everyone seems to know everyone, so they have all felt the effects of the crime, this helps when things start to get exposed.


Scene of the Movie –
Window smashing, it is a well shot single looking take.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The answer is frustrating.

Final ThoughtsThis is a dark humour that can be enjoyed by the fans of that genre, it does have a good subject matter but doesn’t get to a level in the story that I enjoyed watching.

 

Overall: Dark comedy through a serious subject matter.

Rating

 

 

Tulip Fever (2017)

Director: Justin Chadwick

Writer: Deborah Moggach, Tom Stoppard (Screenplay) Deborah Moggach (Novel)

Starring: Alicia Vikander, Dane DeHaan, Jack O’Connell, Holliday Grainger, Tom Hollander, Matthew Morrison, Christoph Waltz

 

Plot: An artist falls for a young married woman while he’s commissioned to paint her portrait during the Tulip mania of 17th century Amsterdam.


Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fails to Blossom

 

Story: Tulip Fever starts in 1631 where Amsterdam is obsessed with tulips, we follow Sophia (Vikander) raised in an orphanage to womanhood where the rich Cornelis Sandvoort (Waltz) marries her to make sure he has an heir of his own. The story is told through the memories of Maria (Grainger) the maid of the household.

Cornelis wants to be remember and having trouble with having children he wants to have a painting of the two, he commissions upcoming artist Jan van Loos (DeHaan) for the work. When Sophia and Jan engage in a steamy affair their love blossoms and with the rest of Amsterdam becoming using their tulip obsession we see how the rich just get carried away with their outrageous bidding for the prized bulbs.

 

Thoughts on Tulip Fever

 

Characters – Sophie was raised in an orphanage to womanhood where she gets the chance to leave and marry one of the rich men of Amsterdam. She tries to give him a child, but they are struggling and it isn’t long before her heart belongs to another, an artist. Jan van Loos is the talented young artist commissioned to paint the Sandvoort’s, he soon strikes up a romance with Sophia as they both look to escape this world. Cornelis is the man Sophia marries, he is a kind man, brilliant businessman in the middle of the tulip obsessed Amsterdam. The characters show us just how obsessed the tulips can become desperate to make money from a bulb.

PerformancesThe film has wonderful performances from the whole cast, Alicia Vikander once again shows she is one if not the most talented actresses in the business. Dane DeHaan showed us just why he works better in these roles over a Valerian styled movie. Christoph Waltz continues he entry into a world of artists, where he can play the roles in period dramas. Even diving into the supporting cast, we have talent a plenty, with Jack O’Connell, Holliday Grainger and Judi Dench showing just why people always consider them people to watch.

StoryThe story follows us into the world of Amsterdam where the people are obsessed with the tulips, the different colours, styles and patterns which could make a fortune. We have a secret romance which uses the tulip obsession to try and keep everything a secret, sadly by the end you will fee like we are watching two films which don’t quite add up to the levels you would like. The story about the tulips did grab my attention and I would have loved to have seen more focus on this, while the affair is something we have seen before and done better before.

RomanceThe romantic side of the film comes from the secret affair Sophie is having, while also showing us the love Maria and Willem have through the good and bad moments.

SettingsThe setting created takes us back to the 1600s Amsterdam, nothing feels out of place as we see the hustle and bustle of the busy drink filled streets.


Scene of the Movie –
Tulip discovery.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The romance side is something we have seen before.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that does struggle to balance the two stories and strangely enough, it is Maria’s story which seems like it should be the main story over the Sophia one. It does have powerful performance, but it doesn’t use their talents well enough.

 

Overall: Solid period drama, showing the tulip obsession.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Temple (2017)

Director: Michael Barrett

Writer: Simon Barrett (Screenplay)

Starring: Logan Huffman, Brandon Sklenar, Natalia Warner, Naoto Takenaka, Asahi Uchida

 

Plot: Three American tourists follow a mysterious map deep into the jungles of Japan searching for an ancient temple. When spirits entrap them, their adventure quickly becomes a horrific nightmare.


Runtime: 1 Hour 18 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Stuff of Nightmares

 

Story: Temple starts as we see the Japanese having one of our America tourist in a quarantine like state, they need to learn what happened between Christopher (Huffman), James (Sklenar) and Kate (Warner) in their time in Japan. We learn how Chris got his hands on a book of folk ales which puts the frights on the locals, but this is a movie, so we get the book and head to the temple it is depicting.

Even after warnings and knowing nothing about the temple, the three Americas head off to find the temple in the remote Japanese countryside, the temple is the home of nightmares and the friends will learn the truth about this now.

 

Thoughts on Temple

 

Characters – Christopher has learnt Japanese for this trip, he is joined by his oldest friend Kate, he clashes with her boyfriend James, he does seem to come off like a young man who knows about what he is stepping into and someone who would be happy to go it alone, he also is the translator for the group. Kate is the lone girl on the trip getting to spend time with her oldest friend and boyfriend, she loves both of them who can offer them what they want in this adventure. James is the boyfriend of Kate’s that doesn’t seem overly interested in the countryside part of the adventure, he isn’t convinced on the type of friendship Kate and Chris have either, we also learn that he might not be the honest guy.

PerformancesWhen it comes to the performances, well this isn’t going to come off pretty, the three main actors are fine, they offer very little when it comes to exploring side of things and struggle once we got into the darkness that makes it nearly impossible to see anything.

StoryThe story follows three Americans who go into the woods of Japan in search for a temple only to learn the nightmare filled truth about it. Told in a flashback formula where one of the group recounts what they believe to have happened only confuses more, because if one person is telling the story how do they know what the other two are doing when they are not around? Yeah, this is very weak storytelling, a story that has been done plenty of times and a lot better.

Horror/History This is horror in the most frustrating sense, I say this because there could be a lot going on, but it is too dark to see too often, the moments we do see are good effects, but the mix of shaky cam, darkness and just screaming don’t bring us into this film.

SettingsThe Japanese setting should be perfect for this film, but this falls flat because we don’t dive into the true tradition that could bring us into the culture we are meeting in the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Ummmmmm, finding the book?

That Moment That Annoyed Me The darkness makes it nearly impossible to watch.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror movie that gets confused on many levels, it tries to do a certain idea of looking back on what happened, but in this shows us what happened without this character present, it is shot way to dark and ends up feeling like a complete waste of time.

 

Overall: Poor horror that misses every shot.

Rating

 

 

Trainspotting 2 (2017)

Director: Danny Boyle

Writer: John Hodge (Screenplay) Irvine Welsh (Novel)

Starring: Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremner, Johnny Lee Miller, Shirley Henderson, Kelly Macdonald Anjela Nedyalkova

 

Plot: After 20 years abroad, Mark Renton returns to Scotland and reunites with his old friends Sick Boy, Spud, and Begbie.


Tagline – Face your past. Choose your future.
Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One for the Fans

 

Story: Trainspotting 2 starts as we meet the old gang, Renton (McGregor) who returns home, Begbie (Carlyle) who is still in jail after his actions in the first film, Spud (Bremner) who has continued to let heroin control his life even after trying to go straight and Simon (Miller) who has been working a con with Veronika (Nedyalkova) where they blackmail men with fetishes.

Renton isn’t welcomed as he had hoped with him having to save Spud’s life and Simon still holding a grudge after not getting the money and Begbie escapes from prison looking to get back at the three that left him in prison. With all four reaching mid-ages they are all facing crisis and search for purpose which brings them back together once again.

 

Thoughts on Trainspotting 2

 

Characters – Renton returns to Scotland after 20-years, his life has started to go wrong with his marriage and career, now he returns to rebuild the friendships he lost with Spud and Simon as they plan something new. Renton shows us what it is like to think things are going well but inside you had wished for a different outcome to life. Simon has continued to hold a grudge against Renton after not getting any money, he is still hooked on cocaine and uses Renton to make things go in his own direction. Spud has reached the end of his reason to continue on, his heroin addiction has become too much for himself to deal with but after Renton tries to save him, he opens up a new life with his friends, even though he is still seemingly in his own film. Begbie escapes from prison looking to get back into his criminal ways but first he wants to get revenge on Renton for leaving him in prison.

PerformancesThe gang is back together, the original four are back and all four have had a good career since the original. Ewan McGregor does look like he has enjoyed returning to this role, while the extremes he goes through are not as difficult than before. Jonny Lee Miller does give us one of his best performances in recent years here, with Ewen Bremner also gives us a great performance as he is involved in the best scenes of the film. Robert Carlyle relishes returning to this role where he is great throughout the film.

StoryThe story reunites the original characters who must face their action 20-years ago, this is a story that had been spoken about for years and now the fans of the original will enjoy seeing where these characters are now and what has happened in their lives too. We have seen how they have grown over the years but also have never reaches the levels they dreamed off, I feel this looks at real life and where people are now and where they wanted to be, even if this film has a previous criminal life.

SettingsFor the setting we head back to Scotland and get to see the changes over the time which gives us a good nostalgia feeling.


Scene of the Movie –
Chose Life

That Moment That Annoyed Me If you haven’t seen the original certain moments will seem confusing.

Final ThoughtsThis is great fans service, you will only be enjoying this one if you enjoyed the first one as you will find too many references coming off short.

 

Overall: Great Fans Service

Rating