The Wave (2019) Movie Review

Director: Gille Klabin

Writer: Carl W Lucas (Screenplay)

Starring: Tommy Flanagan, Justin Long, Donald Faison, Katia Winter, Sheila Vand, Sarah Minnich, Bill Sage

Plot: A man on the verge of a promotion takes a mysterious hallucinogenic drug that begins to tear down his reality and expose his life for what it really is.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Mind-Bending

Story: The Wave starts when a safe lawyer Frank (Long) is about to get a promotion, he co-worker Jeff (Faison) is trying to push him into partying a little bit more, instead of following his routine with his wife Cheryl (Minnich). When Frank decides to go along with a night on the town, he finds him at a party meeting mysterious strange Aelous (Flanagan) who offers him a hallucinogenic drug that sees him lose track of time.

Waking up alone in a random house, he finds his life falling apart, the big meeting not going as planned and simple journeys just randomly getting skipped, he needs to put his life back together before it is too late.

Thoughts on The Wave

Characters – Frank is a safe worker, he lives his life through a strict routine that never sees him taking any chances, deciding he needs a change he heads to a party, takes a drug and sees his whole life change overnight, needing to figure out what he has gained with his decision to take a drug which sees him lose time. Aeolus is the mysterious man that supplies the drug for Frank, he pushes him into taking the drug which he promises will be different than anything he has had before. Jeff is the best friend of Frank, he pushes him into going on the night out, wanting him to loosen up, only to show concern with what happened. Natalie and Theresa are two women that friends meet that give answers to what might have happened that night.

PerformancesJustin Long is the star of this film, he can always make the routine based character shine and look out of water when they are pushed. The rest of the supporting cast are both strong without taking any of the spotlight of Justin.

StoryThe story here follows a man that has lived his life with a routine until one night he agrees to let loose and party, only for things to get out of control and he finds himself losing his own sense of reality. This story is one that you do need to watch carefully or you will end up missing one of the key ingredients to the outcome, we are left to try and piece together each incident Frank finds himself going through, it does all make sense by the end too. The clear question in this story does come from the idea of how Frank goes from not doing anything questionable, to willingly taking drugs off a stranger. Outside this we can enjoy this story and how everything unfolds.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi side of the film comes from seeing how Frank suddenly starts losing sense of reality and how everything in his life comes crashing down.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to keep us moving around the different incidents that Frank finds himself in, with great transitions between them too.


Scene of the Movie – Boom a car chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The sudden jump to unknown drugs seems to drastic.

Final Thoughts This is a wildly bonkers sci-fi film that could sit next to Donnie Darko or The Butterfly Effect for mind being storytelling.

Overall: Wildly out there.

Well Water (2017) Short Movie Review

Director: Sharisse Zeroonian

Writer: Sharisse Zeroonian (Screenplay)

Starring: Kathy-Ann Hart, Marcus McDermott, Kevin O Peterson, Maureen Vlaco, Katraya Wier

Plot: Ben and Cora, two teenagers in love, learn to slow down and embrace their youth instead of being in a hurry to grow up.

Runtime: 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Relationship Start Drama

Story: Well Water starts as we meet young couple Ben (McDermott) and Cora (Wier) who have just started dating, while having different ideas of life, we follow how the two look to a future they may never have, a future they could both enjoy together, having certain ideas of what could make them happy.

Thoughts on Well Water

Characters – Ben seems to be the more laid back about his future, while being very much planned and keeping everything calm for his own life choices for now, while Cora is a free spirit that wants to have fun, trying to get Ben to break out of his shell. The two are discovering more about each other, the more time they spend together, which does show them both opening up like any relationship.

PerformancesMarcus McDermott & Katraya Wier are both strong in the film, they show how comfortable, while sometimes unease that can come from just starting to get to know somebody.

StoryThe story here follows a young couple as they continue to get to know each other, plan their future together and just become even more comfortable around each other, we don’t get the drama of how friends feel, just two people that are falling in love, which does make this a much more interesting version of what falling in love can be. It is also nice not to learn more about the character’s lives away from this relationship because it is only about getting to know each other.

Final Thoughts This is a nice look at how love can start, the getting to know each other stage of it, which is the most enjoyable part of any relationship.

Overall: Sparks Can Fly.

The White Massai Warrior (2019) Movie Review

Director: Benjamin Eicher

Writer: Peter Eicher (Screenplay)

Plot: Southern Kenya and northern Tanzania are home to the Massai, one of the world’s last great warrior tribes. They are considered the most courageous and dangerous hunters in Africa and live isolated from any civilization. For the first time a man gets the chance to live with the Massai and join their infamous Massai Warrior School. Never before has a white man been invited to experience this experience.

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Basic Documentary

Story: The White Massai Warrior starts as Benjamin Eicher has been invited to join and document the Massai Warriors in South Kenya and North Tanzania, a tribe that is completely one with nature, they sleep in the wilderness, protect the wildlife and don’t have any modern luxuries.

Benjamin and his crew will slowly learn to be part of the tribe, which sees the playful side of the tribe, before getting into the more traditional ways, this is a month-long journey for Benjamin and his crew.

Thoughts on The White Massai Warrior

Final Thoughts This is a documentary that wants to put the spotlight on a once deadly tribe or warriors who have turned into protectors of nature instead of fierce hunters they were once known for. This does have the beautiful nature shots, which are always going to make any film in nature look wonderful. On the more negative or warning side of the film, the animal slaughter is far too much for the documentary and could easily be mentioned not shown. There are elements of this documentary that do feel more staged than a natural feel, which is meant to be implied with how everything has come from. This does give us the important look at how smaller tribes are still operating around the world, but never reaches the heights it could do.

Overall: By the Book Documentary.

James Bond Month – The World is Not Enough (1999)

Director: Michael Apted

Writer: Neal Purvis, Robert Wade, Bruce Feirstein (Screenplay)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Sophie Marceau, Robert Carlyle, Denise Richards, Robbie Coltrane, Judi Dench, Desmond Llewelyn

 

Plot: James Bond uncovers a nuclear plot when he protects an oil heiress from her former kidnapper, an international terrorist who can’t feel pain.


Tagline – Some men want to rule the world… Some women ask for the world… Some believe the world is theirs for the taking… But for one man, The World Is Not Enough!!

Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Average at Best

 

Story: The World is Not Enough starts when MI6 suffers a bomb from within, James Bond (Brosnan) must investigate terrorist Renard (Carlyle) a man that has survive a gun shot to the head, James works with daughter of the murdered man Elektra King (Marceau) who he does believe is the only connection to the terrorist, be it working with or the next target.

James starts working with Dr Christmas Jones (Richards) a brilliant scientist and Renard reveals his plan which involves transporting a bomb through an oil pipeline for his own destructive plan.

 

Thoughts on The World is Not Enough

 

Characters – James Bond is back once again, he continues to fight for his country, he is the only one who suspects Elektra being behind her own father’s murder, his methods involve him pretending he is dead this time around. Elektra King is the heiress of an Oil tycoon, she was once kidnapped by Renard, with MI6 helping with her rescue, she welcomes Bond into her world after her father is murdered, even if she has her own plans. Renard is a known terrorist, he survived a bullet to the head which means he can’t feel pain, making it hard to fight against, he doesn’t have limits to what he will do. Dr Christmas Jones is a nuclear scientist that works with James to stop the potential nuclear threat.

PerformancesPierce Brosnan is still a good choice for Bond, he has made this own figure which is all we want from a Bond film. Sophie Marceau takes on the role as a seductive Bond villain which does work very well for the film, with most of her scenes being the best in the film. Robert Carlyle feels almost wasted in his role because the character has so much more potential than we get here. Denise Richards on the other hand struggles to be believable in her role for most of the film.

StoryThe story here takes James Bond on his latest adventure to stop a terrorist and oil heiress that want to take over the world because money simple isn’t enough for them. The story does feel confusing because we never truly know what the aim of the villains is and if it does, it doesn’t feel complete explained. We have the traditional formula we all know, it works without being anything new to the franchise, Bond does his job gets the girl and saves the day. We do try to build up some of the supporting members of MI6 which just felt like filling rather than anything important. We do feel like we have some characters wasted, others missed cast, but in the end everything is watchable for the franchise itself.

Action/AdventureThe action gives away the best scene with the opening chase through London, it is easily the most memorable part of the film for the action because everything else always feels too busy.

SettingsThe film continues to take us around the world on James’s missions, this time we focus on the path between Asia and Europe, which works for the oil side of the story, but doesn’t give us many beauty spots like previous films.


Scene of the Movie –
Opening speed boat chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Wasting Carlyle character.

Final ThoughtsThis is an average Bond film, if you have followed the franchise you can enjoy this one enough, but it wouldn’t be the one to draw in the unknown audience.

 

Overall: Average Bond

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Horror – W – Within (2016)

Director: Phil Claydon

Writer: Gary Dauberman (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Vartan, Erin Moriarty, Nadine Velazquez, Ronnie Gene Blevins, JoBeth Williams, Dorian Kingi

 

Plot: A thriller centered around a widower who moves into a seemingly perfect new home with his daughter and new wife.


Tagline – You can’t keep out what’s already inside

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Standard Creep Person Living in House Movie

 

Story: Within starts with the Alexander family, John (Vartan), Hannah (Moriarty) and Melanie (Velazquez) moving into a new home after the previous situation becoming a problem. Melanie is the new wife that is trying to build her relationship with Hannah, while John and Hannah still trying to make amends for their disagreement which led to the move.

After learning they are living in the ‘creepy’ house in the neighbourhood, Hannah starts to believe not everything is right and soon we learn the truth as the battle to survive in their home is on.

 

Thoughts on Within

 

Characters – John is the father of the house, we know he has been on hard times and this house is all he can afford for his family. He does love both his wife and daughter and is trying to teach his daughter a lesson after her mistakes have led them to this location. Hannah is his daughter of John that has been getting herself in trouble which caused the move, she is grounded and is the first one to notice the strange events around the house. Melanie is the new wife and step-mother to Hannah, she doesn’t do much beyond the normal, which is mostly trying to be the best friend in her time of need. Ray is the creepy neighbour that offers to help change the locks, less we say about him the better.

PerformancesWhen we look at the performances in this film we must be praising Erin Moriarty as she is excellent in her role, the weaknesses come from the parental characters, Michael Vartan and Nadine Velazquez who both don’t seem to do much with their roles in the film.

StoryThe story here follows the family that move into a new home only to start seeing strange things happening and we fall in the, ‘creepy person living in the attic’ sub-genre, which is one that I feel is getting tiresome, there is only so much you can do while telling this story and if we are being honest we have seen it done on better levels before. The build up follows the checklist and by the end of the film the story just feels like it is trying to hard to be different, rather than good.

HorrorThe horror in the film comes from the idea that someone could be living in your house, it is an easy idea for because being haunted in your own home should be working, though this misses the tension required for the film.

SettingsThe film is set entirely inside the one house, which is all we need as this keeps the film contained for the maximum levels of horror, even if they don’t use it well.

Special EffectsThe effects for the most part are good with the kills looking extra brutal when they hit.


Scene of the Movie –
The first meeting of David.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We have seen this too much.

Final ThoughtsThis is a by the books horror that doesn’t test the audience enough, it has an easy out which doesn’t get used at all, though the killer does look creepy throughout.

 

Overall: Been here seen this.

Rating