Upstate Story (2018)

Director: Shaun Rose

Writer: Shaun Rose, Bruce Rose Sr, Andrea Stangle (Screenplay)

Starring: Shaun Rose, Kendra Moshere, Adrianna Rose, Keenan Rose, Bruce Rose Sr

 

Plot: Ellis Martin works for a cleaning service and continues to seek new employment, but to no avail. He yearns for the innocence and ease of his past, while also anticipating his weekends. However, getting to this point is no easy task.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 5 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Realistic Look at the Dead-End Jobbers

 

Story: Upstate Story starts as we meet Elis Martin (Rose) who spends his alone time trying new drinks, waiting for Monday to arrive to go to the job he hates as a cleaner, he has hopes of a new job opportunity in the future, he is left wondering where his future once went because growing up he had creative abilities, now he barely has an original thought.

We continue to follow Ellis’s week unfold as he shows us just how difficult life can be when you need to work a dead end job and the only positive things from your life have gone.

 

Thoughts on Upstate Story

 

Characters – Ellis Martin lives a mundane ordinary life where he works a dead-end job Monday to Friday, hoping to get out of the circle, he has just broken up with his girlfriend and targets the weekend which are his highlights of the week. Ellis is narrating his thoughts and just where he wants to go. Any other characters we meet are only parts of the week, be it co-workers, friends and family, nobody get s a chance to say too much in the story.

PerformancesShaun Rose stars, directs, writes, produces this film, we see how he makes his character is filled with his loneliness, depression, desperation of better and excitement for his characters time of happiness.

StoryThe story follows the normal life of Ellis Martin, a man that lives a life that he isn’t enjoying the circle apart from one moment a week which will give him hope even through the depressing moments of nothingness in his life. This story shows how people that are working the dead-end jobs just to make ends meet process their week for their own moment of joy from it. We can relate to this story because of how we have nearly all been through, questioning where our next big boost will come.

SettingsThe film keeps the settings simple by making us feel like we are living the life with Ellis.


Scene of the Movie –
Friday night.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain parts of the Saturday feel rushed, even if they are met to show just fast the best moments can go.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful look at everyday life and how difficult it could be.

 

Overall: Wonderful drama

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – U – The Untouchables (1987)

Director: Brian De Palma

Writer: David Mamet (Screenplay) Oscar Fraley, Eliot Ness (Book)

Starring: Kevin Costner, Sean Connery, Charles Martin Smith, Andy Garcia, Robert De Niro, Richard Bradford, Jack Kehoe

 

Plot: During the era of Prohibition in the United States, federal agent Eliot Ness sets out to stop ruthless Chicago gangster Al Capone, and because of rampant corruption, assembles a small, hand-picked team to help him.


Tagline – The Chicago Dream is that big 

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Crime Classic

 

Story: The Untouchables starts in the prohibition era America, Al Capone (De Niro) has risen to the top of Chicago controlling everything, even with a war between the gangs going on. Eliot Ness (Costner) a federal officer bought into try and tackle the problems.

Learning quickly, he can’t trust anyone on the force, he must make his own team with experienced beat cop Jim Malone (Connery), accountant Oscar Wallace (Smith) and straight out of the academy George Stone (Garcia) fill this roles, as the team look like they have started to put the pressure on Al Capone.

 

Thoughts on The Untouchables

 

Characters – Eliot Ness is from the Federal treasury office to try and tackle the illegal affairs involving alcohol being bought into Chicago. He puts together his own team knowing who he can trust, but he also puts his own family’s lives at risk. Jim Malone is the seasoned veteran that is still just an honest beat cop, he gets recruited to the team because Eliot sees him as one of the few he could trust on the force. He knows the ins and outs of what is going on, using his information to help with the investigation. Oscar is an accountant that joins the team, he knows the best way to get Capone would be to investigate his finances. George Stone comes straight out of the academy to join the team, they know they can trust him because he hasn’t been put in a position to become corrupted yet. Al Capone is the legendry gangster ruling over Chicago with his alcohol trafficking, he will do anything to stay on top in this business, killing anyone that gets in his way.

PerformancesWe have an amazing cast here, with Kevin Costner in the leading role shining through the film, Sean Connery taking the supporting role comes up with one of his career best performances. Andy Garcia showed everything the talent he had with his role in the film and Robert De Niro was still in the prime of his career as one of the best, if not the best gangster character actors in the industry.

StoryThe story follows the events of the prohibition era America when agent Eliot Ness attempts to take down Al Capone and his organisation. We see how the police force must overcome their own corruption to try and stay ahead of the bootleggers and how Capone will just pull the trigger on eliminating anybody that tries to stop his business. We do learn from how the four man team have all come from different backgrounds and will be risking their lives to take down Capone. This does fit into learning about the history of the events and how people will always be looking to profit from somebody else.

CrimeThe crime world we enter sees how the prohibition era America became one of the most dangerous with gangs at war trying to gain control of the situation, how the cops tried to take them down and just how far they would go to keep business booming.

SettingsThe film is set in Chicago with the recreation of the 1930s looking wonderful and like we are part of each and every scene.


Scene of the Movie –
The lobby scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Crash landing is a cheesy scene.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brilliant crime classic that will still be the one getting talked about in the modern era of cinema as one of the best.

 

Overall: Must watch crime classic.

Rating

 

 

Unsane (2018)

Director: Steven Soderbergh

Writer: Jonathan Bernstein, James Greer (Screenplay)

Starring: Claire Foy, Joshua Leonard, Jay Pharoah, Juno Temple, Amy Irving, Aimee Mullins, Polly McKie

 

Plot: A young woman is involuntarily committed to a mental institution, where she is confronted by her greatest fear–but is it real or a product of her delusion?


Tagline – Is she or isn’t she?

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense an Disturbing

 

Story: Unsane starts as banker Sawyer Valentini (Foy) dealing with the consequences of being a victim of a stalker decides to go and see a doctor to talk through the problems, Sawyer signs the paperwork and finds herself being committed to the mental institution, trying to figure out how to get out of the institute.

As Sawyer tries to play by the rules to get out quickly, she starts to believe her stalker David (Leonard) works at the institute which doesn’t help her case about whether she is crazy or not.

 

Thoughts on Unsane

 

Characters – Sawyer is a banker that has recently moved to a new city to start a fresh life after keeping her stalker problems a secret from her mother. Just looking for help to talk to about the problem and the recovery process, she soon finds herself locked up in a mental institute where she must try and prove that she isn’t insane and to make matters worse, she believes one of the nurses is the stalker, with nobody believing her. David is going by the name George and works as a nurse in the institute, he has been following Sawyer for years now, willing to do anything to Sawyer, the biggest question mark about this character comes from the fact we don’t tease about what he is playing more into the maybe Sawyer jut being crazy. Nate and Violet are patients that are both supporting and against Sawyer and her action within the institute.

PerformancesClaire Foy is fantastic in the leading role, we believe how she is being treated needing to search for answers, while felling helpless to everything going on. Joshua Leonard is disturbing in his role too, he makes us feel uneasy whenever he is on the screen. As for the rest of the cast, they are given less to do and even feel natural in all their actions through the film.

StoryThe story shows how one woman’s life is turned upside down after dealing with a stalker situation, she has tried to move on with her life and looks for support from professionals only to find herself trapped in a mental institute with a man she believes to be her stalker. Now there are two ways to judge this film, first is the excellent way it portrays the victim stalker relationship, the effects it has on the victim and how silence has only made it difficult for anybody to believe the story. the weaker side of the story comes from telling us upfront that David is the stalker and watching his actions, the idea that the woman in the institute could be crazy would have only added an edge for the story which would have been nicer to see, though it could also be praised for showing us both sides of the victim/stalker relationship with the people around them not knowing the truth only dealing with what is appears to be on the outside.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film comes from an angle we don’t see often, we follow a victim of stalking that doesn’t have anybody in their life supporting them anymore, just as the stalker catches up with them, with the cause and effect putting her own life in danger. The mystery is a side story that would be easy to forget was being part of the film, it focuses on the idea of how the hospital is being run.

SettingsMost of the film is set within the mental institute, which shows how difficult it would be to get anybody to believe what is going on within the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Giving away that he is a stalker rather than playing of the ideas Sawyer could be crazy.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disturbing horror, that will make you think twice when somebody claims to have been a victim of a stalker, because unless you lived through it, you will never know the trauma it will cause the victim, and this shows what happens when nobody will listen.

 

Overall: Truly disturbing movie.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Best of 2018 – U – Unfriended: Dark Web (2018)

Director: Stephen Susco

Writer: Stephen Susco (Screenplay)

Starring: Colin Woodell, Stephanie Nogueras, Betty Gabriel, Rebecca Rittenhouse, Andrew Lees, Connor Del Rio

 

Plot: A teen comes into possession of a new laptop and soon discovers that the previous owner is not only watching him, but will also do anything to get it back.


Tagline – Some secrets are killer!

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Huge Improvement on the Original

 

Story: Unfriended: Dark Web starts when Matias (Woodell) comes into possession of a new laptop, he has been producing an app which help him communicate with his deaf girlfriend Amaya (Nogueras) through Skype. Having a normal night on Skype with his friends Nari (Gabriel), Serena (Rittenhouse), Damon (Lees), AJ (Del Rio) and Lexx (Windyani).

Over the night Matias learns the owner of the computer wants it back and they are involved in the dark web of snuff films, Matias gets caught up in the middle of a blackmailing ring as the people involved want their secret kept.

 

Thoughts on Unfriended: Dark Web

 

Characters – Matias is the computer programming that has been developing an app to help communicate with his girlfriend who is deaf. He has a new laptop one he picked up in a coffee shop, this holds a secret which has put his and his friends lives at risk. Amaya is the deaf girlfriend who is mostly just a pawn in the killer’s game, she is important to what is going on, though she doesn’t need to do much. Nari and Serena are a couple that are part of the conversation, Nari is the one that doesn’t believe anything going on. We have the normal supporting characters, the cocky one the smart etc. we also see the characters that are trying to get the laptop back and keep their secrets.

PerformancesThe performances in the film are fine through the film, nobody stands out and most of the performances work well interacting with each other, we believe they are friends which is all we need them to do.

StoryThe story here heads in a different direction after the first film being a ghost seeking revenge on the bullies that caused her death, which is based on creating horrific death scenes and not much else about it. This story dives into an innocent group of young adults that have accidently got themselves mixed up with a criminal snuff group who operate on the dark web. This adds more dimensions to the story because we get to see how this operates and can see how big the organisation will be. It would be fair this could be a stand-alone movie because it doesn’t have any connection to the original and doesn’t involve unfriending anyone of facebook, meaning it could have just been called ‘Dark Web’. The world building involved in the film is a highlight for me as we can continue with more films in the future.

HorrorFor the horror side of the film, it would be fair to say things have changed and nothing feels quite as scary anymore. We focus mainly on what we see within the Dark Web with snuff videos.

SettingsThe film keeps our characters in their apartments which is fine because our characters feel safe until they get to learn who they are dealing with.

Special EffectsThe effects are good because whenever the figures appear it becomes distorted as they know how to hide their identities.


Scene of the Movie –
The River.

That Moment That Annoyed Me If you were a fan of the original this is very different and could annoy you.

Final ThoughtsThis is a big improvement from the original and builds a world I want to see the next chapter off, the Dark Web is the perfect place for horror.

 

Overall: Big Steps in the right direction.

Rating

 

 

Unbreakable (2000)

Director: M Night Shyamalan

Writer: M Night Shyamalan (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson, Robin Wright, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlayne Woodard, Eamonn Walker, Leslie Stefanson

 

Plot: A man learns something extraordinary about himself after a devastating accident.


Tagline – Some things are only revealed by accident

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Modern Masterpiece

 

Story: Unbreakable starts when David Dunn (Willis) is involved in a train crash, everybody else on board is killed, David isn’t even hurt, not even a scratch. This leads the mild-mannered man to question if he has ever even been sick in his life, his wife Audrey (Wright) can’t remember any time either.

Becoming headline news David attract the attention of comic book collector, Elijah Price (Jackson) who believes the two men are on the opposite scale of a gene defect. David discovers that he is stronger than he could ever imagine and decides to start risking his life fighting crime.

 

Thoughts on Unbreakable

 

Characters – David Dunn is a security guard, his marriage isn’t working out and then he becomes the sole survivor of a train crash. Making himself front page news he tries to get back to his normal life, only to have attracted the attention of Elijah, he discovers just what he is capable of, being stronger than he could imagine, though he does have a weakness, water. Elijah Price has lived his whole life knowing that if he was to get hurt, he would most likely break a bone, he was branded ‘Mr Glass’ at school, he has grown up to study comic books which led him to the conclusion that if he can get hurt easily, someone else wouldn’t get hurt. Audrey is he wife of David, she is going through rough times between the two, she is willing to start again as neither had done anything that could ruin a relationship. Joseph is the son of David, he wants to see just how unbreakable his father is after seeing just how strong he can be.

PerformancesBruce Willis showed us here in a role with little dialogue that he can give us a character that is meant to everyday man, who would be someone you wouldn’t notice, become the most interesting person on camera. Samuel L Jackson gives us an amazing role here where delivers his line in such a cold calculated manner it is disturbing on the second viewing. Robin Wright gives us a wonderful supporting performance that is just as withdrawn as Bruce’s, while Spencer Treat Clark complete the cast bring the youthful enthusiasm required.

StoryThe story here plays into the human elements of the superhero concept, we have the idea that we have an unbreakable man and one that breaks easily meeting and learning their place in a human superhero story. The story does show us just how people will not know what they are capable of until they get pushed to the limits which is clearly how David’s story unfolds in this film. We are waiting through the film for the M Night twist which wasn’t such a big thing when this was released, but his reputation means you are waiting for one, which will leave you in shock.

Mystery/Sci-FiThe mystery in this film comes from us learning just what David is capable of, how has he gone this long in life without knowing more about his own abilities, the sci-fi elements are a lot subtler as they look into real life abilities people could have that would show evolution.

SettingsThe film is set in Philadelphia even if it does have a bigger concept to what is going on, the idea it could have been set in any city is the big thing about this film.


Scene of the Movie –
A handshake.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Comic Book store and the camera angle looks like a set rather than a shop.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of best modern movies that involves the ideas of superheroes without being a comic book superhero film. it will keep you on edge from start to finish just grabbing your attention through the film.

 

Overall: Must watch mystery.

Rating