What Still Remains (2018)

Director: Josh Mendoza

Writer: Josh Mendoza (Screenplay)

Starring: Lulu Antariksa, Colin O’Donoghue, Mimi Rogers, Dohn Norwood, Jeff Kober, Peter O’Brien, Roshon Fegan

 

Plot: After the loss of her family, a young woman struggles to survive in a world long-since destroyed by disease; but when a lonely traveler offers her a place in his community, she must decide if the promise of a better life is worth the risk of trusting him.


Tagline – People become their own kind of monster.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The End of The World as We Know It

 

Story: What Still Remains starts in the world destroyed by a disease, Anna (Antariksa) lives with her brother and mother in a remote location just looking to survive, when she loses both of them in one day, she continues on alone, until one day a mysterious stranger Peter (O’Donoghue) arrives, offering a community and safety.

Joining Peter, Anna returns to the community seeing the good and bad parts of world on the way before joining the community.

 

Thoughts on What Still Remains

 

Characters – Anna is a young woman living in a disease riddled world, she has survived with her family in the middle of nowhere, until one day she loses them both. With training on how to survive she will continue to work alone to survive, until she meets a stranger that offers her hope of a better life, she wants to remain independent in this world which she might not get anymore. Peter is the mysterious stranger that offers Anna hope of a new life in a religious like community, he comes of like a good guy that only wants to help, but we soon learn his motives. Judith is one of the leaders in the community, she has helped raise the numbers with her religious beliefs which bring people together. We do get other community members, enemies and danger filled characters along the way.

PerformancesLulu Antariksa is the clear star of the film, her character like the audience learns everything as it happens, and we like to see just how she reacts to everything in a natural calm manner. Colin O’Donoghue is good in the supporting role keeping us wondering around his character. The rest of the cast do well with how they interact with Lulu.

StoryThe story follows the world destroyed by disease with the survivors living off the map, we follow Anna a young woman that has been in such situation. We follow the solo Anna that needs to make a decision about surviving alone or with others, learning about how dangerous people can be. We have seen this style of film before and we know that Anna is the type of character that will need to make the big decisions. The tried and tested formula keeps things simple and by the end of the story you will be wanting to see what will happen next.

ThrillerThe film does have an air of tension throughout, mostly around Anna being unsure about everything that is going on, we know she knows how to survive in her comfort zone, now the tension is around how she can cope away from it.

SettingsThe film takes place in the woodland area around any city, we don’t touch any of the cities and any communities are just located within created walls, which does make sense.

Special EffectsThe effects are only used when needed, they are for the battles with none of them looking out of place.


Scene of the Movie –
Anna’s next step.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t get enough information about the reasons for the battle between the two communities.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good survival thriller, it has a wonderful lead performance and puts us in a world you can believe to have be destroyed by a disease.

 

Overall: Survival thriller we know.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – W – We Are What We Are (2010)

Director: Jorge Michel Grau

Writer: Jorge Michel Grau (Screenplay)

Starring: Carmen Beato, Alan Chavez, Francisco Barreiro, Paulina Gaitan, Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Humberto Yanez

 

Plot: When the patriarch of the family passes away, the teenage children must take responsibility for the family chores: the preparation of the rituals, the hunting and putting the all-important meat on the table. These newfound responsibilities are even more daunting, however, when you live in the city and happen to be a family of cannibals.


Tagline – Young. Wild. Hungry.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Darkly Disturbing Cannibal Movie

 

Story: We Are What We Are starts when the father of the family dies, Patricia (Beato) the mother of the family must get her sons Alfredo (Barreiro) and Julian (Chavez) to take over the business while daughter Sabina (Gaitan) steps up with the household responsibilities.

The family are cannibals and now one of the brothers will need to step up Alfredo is the eldest while Julian is the one that will take the chances when they are looking for their next meal, hunting the city for the easiest target to follow their ritual.

 

Thoughts on We Are What We Are

 

Characters – Patricia is the mother of the family she has seen her husband uses whores for the food, once he has died she wants her sons to take over and not use whores for their rituals. Alfredo is the eldest son, he is quiet compared to the others calculated and isn’t fully behind taking over in the same way Julian is. Julian is the younger brother, he has a short temper which has seen him get in trouble before, Sabina is the daughter of the family, she pushes Alfredo to take over knowing they need him to keep the family ticking.

PerformancesThe whole cast in this film are wonderful, we see the confliction, the determination and the belief in every action they go through, each cast member makes their character stand out in each scene too.

StoryThe story of cannibals is one we have see a few times, we usually watch how the innocent must learn to fight back against them (Texas Chainsaw Massacre) we have seen the high class elude the law (Hannibal trilogy) now we get to see how one family operates in a busy city full of potential victims and how they select the victims along with how they operate when the leader of the family dies. The story has a disturbing factor about it from start to finish and following the villainous figures of this family brings a fresh spin to the cannibal genre.

HorrorThe horror in this film comes from seeing how the cannibals operate, what they are planning and how they go about it, it feels disturbing in each scene.

SettingsThe film is set in Mexico in a busy city which shows us how easy to find victims can be to get away with it too.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well to not show us too much directly to the camera, this can both frustrate or keep things interesting as we don’t know the complete truth.


Scene of the Movie –
The final act.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It would have been nice to see how the father operated in preparation for the ritual.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disturbing horror that brings new life to the cannibal genre.

 

Overall: Cannibal delight.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – W – Watership Down (1978)

Director: Martin Rosen

Writer: Martin Rosen (Screenplay) Richard Adams (Novel)

Starring: (Voice Talents) John Hurt, Richard Briers, Michael Graham Cox, John Bennett, Ralph Richardson, Simon Cadell

 

Plot: A group of rabbits flee their doomed warren and face many dangers to find and protect their new home.


Tagline – All the world will be your enemy, Prince with a Thousand Enemies, and when they catch you, they will kill you… but first they must catch you.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disturbing Animation

 

Story: Watership Down starts when young rabbits Hazel and Fiver start to believe something is wrong with their warren a danger coming that will kill them all. Wanting to warm the warren, they see the chief rabbit, who dismisses their claims, forcing the rabbits to abandon the warren going against the traditions.

Hazel leads a group of rabbits across the English countryside in search for a new warren, where they must face enemies in nearly every turn in their journey.

 

Thoughts on Watership Down

 

Characters – Hazel is our brave leader rabbit, he knows how to handle the different rabbits in the warren and will always look after his little brother and follow his belief danger is coming to the warren. He is our reluctant hero of the story. Fiver is the rut of the litter, he sees danger coming to the warren wanting to leave and guide his fellow rabbits to safety. He is a nervous member of the group, with his belief guiding the rabbits to safety. Bigwig is the only authority in the rabbit council that will listen to Hazel, risking his own life to help them escape.

StoryThe story here has a couple of meanings, we can tackle the simple idea of a group of rabbits needing to find a new home because they are in fear of their current one, the journey side of everything it what you would expect and works wonderfully. The second side of this story looks and plays as a warning to humans that are taking wildlife’s homes away from them forcing them into the hostel nature towards each other.

Adventure/Family/ThrillerThe adventure does take our rabbits across the countryside, needing to take on and avoid new enemies waiting to make a meal out of them. The biggest weakness is seeing this as a family film, it is way to violent for the younger kids. It does however leave you on edge of your seats through the peril moments.

SettingsThe settings look at the English countryside which looks beautiful, we do go into the warrens too which shows the lives the rabbits live underground.

AnimationThe animation through the film adds to everything, it looks brilliant for the late 70s and while certain moment are slightly trippy, it is an achievement in film making.


Scene of the Movie –
Bright Eyes

That Moment That Annoyed Me The television version is edited way too much.

Final ThoughtsThis is a movie that gave me nightmares as a child, it does have an important message to mankind while also having an adventure story that is filled with perils around nearly every corner.

 

Overall: Dark animated movie.

Rating

 

 

Willow (1988)

Director: Ron Howard

Writer: Bob Dolman (Screenplay) George Lucas (Story)

Starring: Val Kilmer, Joanne Whalley, Warwick Davis, Jean Marsh, Patricia Hayes, Billy Barty, Pat Roach

 

Plot: A reluctant dwarf must play a critical role in protecting a special baby from an evil queen.


Tagline – A world where heroes come in all sizes and adventure is the greatest magic of all

Runtime: 2 Hours 6 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Fantasy Adventure

 

Story: Willow starts as Queen Bavmorda (Marsh) whose evil rule has been hunting for a baby that will one day kill her and end her reign. When the baby is snuck out of her kingdom she ends up floating down the river the dwarf village where Willow (Davis) reluctantly takes her in, but only ends up needing to leave his village to delivery her to a rightful owner.

Willow must team up with lone warrior Madmartigan (Kilmer) to get the baby to safety, with half the kingdom seemingly after them, the true power of the magic inside is about to be released.

 

Thoughts on Willow

 

Characters – Willow is a dwarf farmer that reluctantly agrees to help a baby get to safety, he must go on an adventure unlike anything he has been on before, he will finally get to see if his years of training will unlock his sorcerer ability. Madmartigan claims to be the greatest swordsman in the land, but has been trapped escaping enemies while reluctantly joining Willow on the mission to save the baby. Sorsha is the daughter of the Queen, leading the party to capture the baby, which soon changes when she meets Madmartigan. Queen Bavmorda is the evil ruler of the land and knows the only way to stay in control is to make sure her prophecy doesn’t come true.

PerformancesWarwick Davis is the star of the movie, he must keep his innocence while showing strength through the film. Val Kilmer gets plenty of laughs showing that he could handle both the action and comedy through this film, this showed us just what sort of career we could have seen from him. Joanne Whalley does a good job with what she has but doesn’t get too much time to show u her skills, the same goes for Jean Marsh because we don’t get enough screen time for the evil queen.

StoryThe story is an unlikely hero needing to go on a quest to save the kingdom he lives in from the reign of terror it could fall into under the Queen and her armies. The story does put our hero needing to overcome his own fears, become the strong figure he has been trying to become. It does have moment of fairy tale behaviour but doesn’t reach the levels of the previous years film, ‘The Princess Bride’. This is one that can be enjoyed by all the fantasy fans out there.

Action/Adventure/Fantasy The action is battle sequences which are fun and play out for the characters to get their moments to redeem themselves. The adventure takes Willow on the unlikely adventure for the good of the kingdom while also using his desired magic abilities in the fantasy world.

SettingsThe settings take us to a land of wizard, witches and creatures that could be a threat. It is basic, but it works for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Snow time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Would have liked more of the Sorsha character.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun adventure movie, it sums up the 80’s style with how it unfolds. This is one to enjoy the ride.

 

Overall: Enjoyable throughout.

Rating

 

 

Wheelman (2017)

Director: Jeremy Rush

Writer: Jeremy Rush (Screenplay)

Starring: Frank Grillo, Caitlin Carmichael, Garret Dillahunt, Wendy Moniz, Shea Whigman

 

Plot: A getaway driver for a bank robbery realizes he has been double crossed and races to find out who betrayed him.


Tagline – Think Fast. Drive Faster.

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Real-Time Action Film

 

Story: Wheelman starts when the latest job for the man only known as Wheelman (Grillo), he gets to and from the robberies and is one of the best in the business. When the job is being done, Wheelman gets a phone call warning him that the crew will kill him after the job, forcing him to make the decision on whether to leave the crew or not.

Leaving the crew Wheelman is stuck in the middle of trying to figure out who he should trust, who to give the money to and how to stay alive this night.

 

Thoughts on Wheelman

 

Characters – Wheelman is our central character, he is every scene, we know he is an ex-con trying to keep some custody for his daughter, he is on his latest job, which doesn’t go as planned, leaving him needing to figure out what he has gotten himself into. Most of the characters come through phone calls, one being his connection, another being his daughter and two being either side of the arguments.

PerformancesFrank Grillo in the leading role carries the film, if he gave us a bad performance we would be seeing a very different movie, he feels like he could be a lead in any action crime film. the rest of the cast are mostly on the phone with the odd scene, so it is hard to judge their work.

StoryThe story is simple, a driver finds himself in the middle of a mob war when he is involved in a bank robbery, he must use his driving skills to keep ahead of the game as he looks to figure out who is the side to trust. This does keep us guessing along the way which does keep us invested in where things will go.

Action/Crime/MysteryThe action is good car chases, we watch them unfold from the lead car which we stay in through the whole film, the shows us where the crime has taken place and the mystery surrounding who to trust.

SettingsThe film is set from with the car around the city, most views are car views of the city which is nice, we see what the driver sees.


Scene of the Movie –
Losing the tail.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It can feel like the same after seeing the first chase.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good action film to watch if you have the time, it won’t challenge you much, but will keep you entertained throughout.

 

Overall: Action film fans to enjoy.

Rating