Three Identical Strangers (2018) Movie Review

Director: Tim Wardle

Plot: In 1980 New York, three young men who were all adopted meet each other and find out they’re triplets who were separated at birth. But their quest to find out why turns into a bizarre and sinister mystery.

Tagline – The Most Amazing, Incredible, Remarkable True Story Ever Told

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Must Watch

Story: Three Identical Strangers starts when Robert Shafran starts college with everybody acting like they knew him, until he learns that they believe he is another man Eddy, who looks exactly the same, only to learn they were twins separated at birth, with their story making the headlines in the papers. If that wasn’t an incredible enough, it turns out another man David is the same making them triplets, who have everything the same in interests and tastes.

With the three men reunited, they reach celebrity status, partying before they all settle down, only this is only the beginning of a much darker reason for the three to be separated at birth.

Thoughts on Three Identical Strangers

Final Thoughts This is an incredible documentary that shows us how the three brothers learned about each other, became friends, celebrities and felt like they had never been apart. This is the positive side of the story, we get to see the darker reason for their separation and just how much it affected them deep down, causing problems in their lives. This is a film that you could barely imagine some writing, let alone living through, with the twists about the truth being shocking beyond belief, we have the true affects of why this was done, which shows the pain that the brothers went through. This is one of the most essential watches in documentaries in recent years.

Overall: Essential Viewing.

Trick (2019) Movie Review

Director: Patrick Lussier

Writer: Patrick Lussier, Todd Farmer (Screenplay)

Starring: Omar Epps, Ellen Adair, Jamie Kennedy, Tom Atkins, Alex Breaux, Vanessa Aspillaga, Kristina Reyes

Plot: A no-nonsense detective tries to track down a mass murderer named Trick, who is terrorizing a small town.

Tagline – Always Choose Treat
Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Splattering Good Time

Story: Trick starts at a Halloween party, where one of the students Trick (Niemann) butchers many of the students, before getting left in hospital, waiting for questions from Det Mike Denver (Epps) and Sheriff Lisa Jayne (Adair), only to get shot and disappearing.

On the anniversary of the attack, Trick returns to massacre another party, returning the year with no capture, here he gets to toy with Denver who is left to prove the killer is still out there and spend his time trying to capture the killer.

Thoughts on Trick

Characters – Detective Mike Denver was investigating the original attack and has never been convince the killer was killed after a body was never found, when the attacks continue, he continues his investigation causing him to lose his job and being the person the killer wants to play games with. Trick is the masked killer that snapped and butchered a party before continuing his massacre over the years, despite being shot multiple times, the killer is meant to be a student, only everyone thinks he died, now the games have ramped up becoming more deadly, where it taunts the victims. Sheriff Lisa Jayne also is working on the hunt for the killer, knowing it would be difficult to see the killer still standing, but must listen to Denver’s case. Cheryl was one of the survivors of the original attack, she has tried to move on with her life, until this year, she becomes the target of his rampage.

PerformancesOmar Epps in the leading role is strong, despite being like nearly every cop we have seen in horror films, if we are honest it is the actions of the killer that makes this film more interesting, while none of the acting sets the world a light in the genre of horror.

StoryThe story follows a serial killer that strikes on Halloween, has been creating yearly massacres and mocking the police that constantly fail to capture him. This is a horror story that isn’t afraid to show us all the gore, with how the killer is happily mocking the killers with daylight attacks, it might follow the formula of trying to suggest who the killer might be, keeping us guessing along the way. It might well go for too much by the end, but getting there is the most important part and by not holding back we get plenty to deal with, only question is, why after two massacres didn’t the town ban any form of Halloween celebrations.

HorrorThe horror comes from the killer’s actions and just how they don’t hold back with anything they do, with blood flying everywhere.

SettingsThe film does use the settings to show how a town has become tormented by the killer, though everything seems to be carrying on like normal here, with the creation of how the kills happen relying on location for added effect.

Scene of the Movie – The dock sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Saying The Night of the Living Dead is boring, after watching 2 minutes of the film.

Final Thoughts This is a blood-filled horror that doesn’t hold back, even if it does end up getting caught up in trying to shock us with the story too much.

Overall: Splatter Packed.

Trick will be available on Digital Download from 30th March

Transference (2020) Movie Review

Director: Matthew Ninaber

Writer: Jennifer Lloyd, Matthew Ninaber, Aaron Tomlin (Screenplay)

Starring: Jeremy Ninaber, Jehan Hashim, Melissa Joy Boerger, Eamon Hanson, Justin Moses, Ethan Mitchell, Aaron Tomlin

Plot: A financially struggling Josh pays to keep his disturbed sister hidden in a mental facility, as he tries to find a solution to their supernatural episodes, but someone has followed their destruction and hiding is no longer an option.

Tagline – It’s darkest within.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Simmers

Story: Transference starts as Josh (Ninaber) is looking for the latest solution for the help his sister Emma (Boerger) needs, currently local up under the care of Doug (Mitchell) mostly to hide her from the world, rather than solve the problems she is showing.

As Josh is pushed to new lengths to keep Emma safe, a mysterious biker tracks him, a doctor, Malcolm (Tomlin) offers to help and Josh’s own love interest Amanda (Hashim) must let him have enough space to do the right thing for his sister.

Thoughts on Transference

Characters – Josh has always wanted to keep his sister safe, he keeps her away from the world, with only one person stopping her unleashing what could cause her problems. He keeps himself to himself not wanting to become exposed for what he is doing, until he is forced into letting someone help. Emma is the sister that has been locked away from the world, she has an ability which could cause people harm and knows that she is dangerous to the world. Doug is the doctor that reluctantly helps Josh, even though he knows it isn’t doing any good for Emma, he suggests Malcolm to come in and help. Malcolm is a doctor that is asked to come and help with treating Emma, only he starts pushing in ways that doesn’t make Josh comfortable.

PerformancesJeremy Ninaber and Melissa Joy Boerger are both the highlights of the performances, as we see how the two work together and alone to show why they are doing each action through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a brother who is keeping his sister away from the world because of the danger she could posses to the world if the wrong people get their hands on her and what happens when somebody gets too close. The story does have plenty of interesting ideas here, the problem comes with trying to hold too much back at times, we know there is an ability in question and we can see the aftermath, only we deal with more along the lines of ‘Midnight Special’ where it is the keeping everything safe, rather than getting into the personal issues early enough. The idea that we do get different people coming into Josh’s life does offer up plenty of different potential threats or friends.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi side of this film does look at the ideas of power or abilities that people might have and the danger that could come to the world.

SettingsThe film does use settings to show how Emma is kept away from the world, without needing to give us anything iconic for the film to use.

Scene of the Movie – Is it a dream?

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not unleashing the full power.

Final Thoughts This is a sci-fi film with plenty of ideas that doesn’t get enough of the ideas getting unleashed, while having strong performances throughout.

Overall: Holds Too Much Back.

Trauma Center (2019) Movie Review

Director: Matt Eskandari

Writer: Paul Da Silva (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Steve Guttenberg, Nicky Whelan, Lala Kent, Heather Johansen, Texas Battle, Tito Ortiz

Plot: Alone and trapped in a locked-down hospital, an injured young woman must escape a pair of vicious killers who are after the only piece of evidence that can implicate them in a grisly murder, the bullet in her leg.

Tagline – The enemy is closer than you think

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Late Night Action

Story: Trauma Center starts as waitress Madison (Whelan) gets caught in a crossfire between Tull (Battle) and Pierce (Ortiz) looking to clean up the loose ends. With Madison injured, with the bullet in her leg, the piece of evidence that could find the men guilty and Detective Wakes (Willis) waiting for the evidence to capture the people who killed his partner.

Tull and Pierce look to end the loose end, as Madison is left in an isolated part of the hospital in hopes of it being a safer location for her, which sees her needing to fight for her life against the killers.

Thoughts on Trauma Center

Characters – Detective Wakes is leading the investigation into the shooting which saw his partner killed, he offers to help with a phone call away, only he is spending most of the film moving around crime scenes. Madison is the waitress who has scared of hospitals after her mother’s death, she is raising her teenage sister, when she gets shot in crossfire, being the only witness and evidence into a group of dirty cops, she must fight to survive while she is being hunted down alone in the hospital unit. Tull and Pierce are the dirty cops that are trying to tie up loose ends, only finding themselves leaving bigger problems along the way, they can come off humorous at times, with how one thinks something is a good idea, while its not.

PerformancesBruce Willis is the main selling point for this movie, he doesn’t give us the level of performance we know he can in action, which only leaves us disappointed and turning to Nicky Whelan needing to do the most work here, working well with Texas Battle and Tito Ortiz.

StoryThe story here follows a waitress who gets shot and is the only proof of the shooters that killed a police officer and now they want to get the evidence back. This story is pretty simple, it is one person needing to battle to survive against two season criminal killers in an abandoned part of a hospital that has been put in locked down, while her protective officer is investigating the crime. It is a cat-n-mouse style, which works, though the story never manages to get intense enough, anything away from the hospital is largely forgettable and the twist you think will happen, never does. This story is easy to watch without getting to any level that makes it feel like it is true peril.

ActionThe action in the film is very simple, it is the cat-n-mouse style that works well enough for the film.

SettingsThe film is set in Puerta Rico, though you wouldn’t have known this with any of the characters we meet in the film.

Scene of the Movie – The defibrillator.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The random investigation scenes.

Final Thoughts This is a simple to watch action film that never reaches the level of intensity it should.

Overall: By the Book Action.

TRAUMA CENTRE is available on Digital Download 17th February and DVD 24th February!

Pre-order on Amazon now

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – T – The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) Movie Review

Director: Norman Jewison

Writer: Alan Trustman (Screenplay)

Starring: Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway, Paul Burke, Jack Weston, Biff McGuire, Addison Powell, Astrid Heeren

Plot: A debonair, adventuresome bank executive believes he has pulled off the perfect multi-million dollar heist, only to match wits with a sexy insurance investigator who will do anything to get her man.

Tagline – McQueen, together with this “Bonnie and Clyde” Gal…and the slickest gang that ever robbed a bank! 

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Classic Heist

Story: The Thomas Crown Affair starts as Thomas Crown (McQueen) pulls off a daring robbery with his selected team which sees him team walk away with millions of dollars, which he will hand out slowly to cover up any unusual additions to bank accounts. The banks turn to insurance investigator Vicki Anderson (Dunaway) to search for answers and it isn’t long before her attention turns to Thomas himself.

Vicki will push the limits of the legal side of her job to get to the truth even if that means she clashes with her employer Eddy Malone (Burke) and the deeper she dives into the case, the more she learns about Thomas and his desires in the criminal world.

Thoughts on The Thomas Crown Affair

Characters – Thomas Crown in the businessman that always knows how to get the best deal, isn’t afraid to splash his cash and he also enjoys a good heist, with his latest one giving him even more money to spend, he knows how the build a team that will get the job done without needing to let them know who he is, only this time he might have met his match. Vicki Anderson is a sexy insurance investigator who is assigned to help get to the bottom of this latest robbery, she starts to investigate Thomas and learns more about him, but never enough to prove he was the mastermind behind the robbery. The two do clash on what they feel is right and will go to any lengths to try and stay ahead of each other. Eddy Malone is the man that hires Vicki to help get the money his company had to pay out to the bank for insurance, he wants things done clean.

PerformancesSteve McQueen does have all the swagger to make this rick criminal come to life effortlessly through the film, while Faye Dunaway brings her character to life, playing into her strengths to get the truth. The rest of the cast are great through the film, letting the leads take full control.

StoryThe story here follows a slick businessman that enjoys committing robberies on the side, he has been doing it for years and now he will meet his match trying to catch him. This is a new spin on the heist genre because instead of being just a criminal wanting to complete his latest job, this turns somebody who never needs to commit the robbery into a man that believes he can get it done. There are elements of the cat-n-mouse between the two which is entertaining to watch, while we do focus more on the aftermath of the crime, rather than the actual crime itself, which is also different because we spend too much time watching the preparation of a crime.

Crime/Romance The crime side of the film does show how one man believes he can get away with the perfect robbery and does fall in love with the woman that is sent to try and capture him.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the high rolling life Thomas has been living both before and after the robbery, making it hard to pinpoint him as the mastermind.

Scene of the Movie – The robbery.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does seem to easy for them to fall in love.

Final Thoughts This is a fun heist film that does take us into a new direction that we don’t normally see, with some wonderful leading performances.

Overall: Heist film with a twist.