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

 

 

Wounds (2019) Movie Review

Director: Babak Anvari

Writer: Babak Anvari (Screenplay)

Starring: Armie Hammer, Dakota Johnson, Zazie Beetz, Karl Glusman, Christin Rankins, Brad William Henke

Plot: Disturbing and mysterious things begin to happen to a bartender in New Orleans after he picks up a phone left behind at his bar.


Tagline – Don’t call it in.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Wait What?

Story: Wounds starts like most nights in Rosie’s bar, bartender Will (Hammer) has the locals including Alicia (Beetz) her boyfriend Jeffrey (Glusman) and rig worker Eric (Henke) who isn’t afraid to get a little bit rough at times, when a fight gets out of hand, the college students there, left leaving a phone behind, which Will tries to let them know about, only to get a strange string of messages.

What Will discovers on the phone will leave him shocked and needing to find the truth about what he finds on the phone, with his partner Carrie (Johnson) not trusting a single thing he is doing.

Thoughts on Wounds

Characters – Will is a bartender who is generally quite relaxed about what happens in the bar, he knows tricks which will keep people happy, he tries to give himself the cool persona in the bar, outside the bar he is cheating on his girlfriend, which has made his relationship toxic. Will discovers a phone left behind at the bar, which sees him dive into the rabbit hole trying to learn about what the message being sent is really about, which soon sees him start to lose his mind with what he is seeing. Carrie is the girlfriend of Will’s, she is studying at the moment and doesn’t trust Will’s behaviour even before the phone appears. Alicia is one of the locals in the bar, she does have a thing with Will on the side, which does make it difficult when she is around with her boyfriend. Jeffrey is the new boyfriend of Alicia’s that does have a similar path as Will, when it comes to the education side of things, trying to be a tougher man than he is.

PerformancesArmie Hammer is the strongest of the performers in this film, he does handle the calmer sides with ease, only when it comes to losing his mind, it seems safe over stronger, Dakota Johnson and Zazie Beetz both feel mostly wasted in their roles where they do the best they can without getting much out of their characters. Most of the rest of the cast struggle to get much more out of their characters.

StoryThe story here follows a bartender that finds a phone left behind at the bar which sees him starting to get strange message and experiencing unusually events, which sees his life spiralling out of control. This does start strongly because seeing the cool bartender that finds a horror video on the phone adds plenty of mystery to what is going on. The problems with the story comes from how it ends, because I don’t think it really ended in anyway, we do get to see a couple of looks at serious issues in life, but we don’t follow through with them on a strong enough level. This story will end up leaving you feel flat without anything seeming to finish.

Horror/MysteryThe horror does have a lot of dread through the film, but it just doesn’t get to the levels where it follows through, with the mystery being interesting to see, only never feeling like it got solved.

SettingsThe film uses the New Orleans backdrop which is one of best horror locations, only it doesn’t seems to use this to the full levels.

Special EffectsThe effects used are mostly to bring the number of bugs to the scenes, which don’t always look that good to see in the film.


Scene of the Movie – The video clip does give us a shock.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is really hard to read the text messages.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that seems to miss the vital part of the film, the conclusion which just seems to just end without wrapping anything up, despite giving us an interesting mystery to start with.

Overall: Falls Flat.

Wildling (2018)

Director: Fritz Bohm

Writer: Fritz Bohm, Florian Eder (Screenplay)

Starring: Bel Powley, Brad Dourif, Liv Tyler, Collin Kelly-Sordelet, James Le Gros, Troy Ruptash

Plot: A blossoming teenager uncovers the dark secret behind her traumatic childhood.


Tagline – Discover your true nature.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fantasy Filled Horror

Story: Wildling starts as we meet young Anna who is living with her father, only known as Daddy (Dourif) in a remote cabin in the woods, she isn’t allowed out and has been raised to believe a creature will get her if she leaves the house, when she starts getting older, Daddy starts drugging Anna to prevent the aging process, when Daddy shoots himself, Anna is rescued.

Anna (Powley) is taken in by Ellen Cooper (Tyler) and her brother Ray (Kelly-Sordelet) who help her adjust to the world, despite the fact she is still in fear of the wildling out to get her.

Thoughts on Wildling

Characters – Anna was raised by a man in the middle of the woods, she has been drugged to stop her going through her womanhood until she is rescued. Taken in by the local sheriff, she learns about the world for the first time, only she isn’t prepared for everything, finding it hard to adjust to everything. Daddy is the man that has raised Anna, he did educate her, while warning her about the outdoors, while he does drug her, the mystery is around why he kept her isolated. Ellen is the local sheriff that takes Anna in, she does her best to teach her about being a woman, while others just want to lock her away. Ray is the sister of Ellen that is still in high school, he tries to help her on a social standpoint, while being one of the only people left for her to trust.

PerformancesBel Powley is great in this leading role, she must go through a transformation and play the fish out of water figure too. Brad Dourif is just as creepy and you need him to be, always going to work in this type of role, with Liv Tyler being the cop that believes they know what will be right for victim, trying to be the role model figure.

StoryThe story here follows a young girl that is raised in the woods, only to be released to discover who she really is and what she is capable off. This story does follow the traditions of seeing a young girl taken and raised in secret, before something happens to bring her into the real world, this side of things has been done before, it works and is an effective way to bring a stranger into a modern world. Where this story takes an interesting turn comes from the reason behind why she was being kept, we do get to see what she really is, but we don’t get to see if she is a threat to everybody else, we do get a couple of message in this film too that want to point out certain motives in hunting, but overall the story keeps us guessing and surprised by the truth.

Fantasy/HorrorThis film does dive into fantasy when it comes to learn what Anna really is, we have ideas early on, but we are never truly sure what she will become, this does help with the horror side of the film because it keeps us waiting to see if there will be more bloodshed.

SettingsThe film is set in a town surrounded by woodlands, this shows first where she was raised and where the people will welcome her, right back to where she feels more comfortable.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to show the wounds and the look of the Wildling figure, there give us a creepy but natural looking creature and the blood isn’t afraid to be splashed about here.


Scene of the Movie – Home from the party.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We could spend more time learn the normal human life.

Final Thoughts This is a fun fantasy horror, it doesn’t hide the blood and is happy to give us a twist on the traditional storytelling.

Overall: Fantasy Horror 101