We Still Steal the Old Way (2017)

Director: Sacha Bennett

Writer: Sacha Bennett, Simon Cluett (Screenplay)

Starring: Ian Ogilvy, Julian Glover, Chris Ellison, Deborah Moore, Billy Murray, Patrick Bergin, Vaz Blackwood, Tanya Franks, Sacha Bennett, Jonathan Sothcott

 

Plot: The Archer Gang are back and doing a daring heist in London. Remanded in prison, they will try to break out their old friend Briggs.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: British Gangster Prison Break Edition

 

Story: We Still Steal the Old Way starts with Richie Archer (Ogilvy) warning Sir Edward (Glover) that if he doesn’t return the money he stole from the innocent, he will be taking it. Putting his team together Richie engages in his crime only for getting caught to be part of the plan.

The plan is to help George Briggs (Pergin) get out of prison so he can spend time with his dying wife. The plan has a spanner thrown into the works when Vic Farrow (Murray) gets himself transferred to the same prison so he can kill and get revenge on Richie. Can the plan still come together the way Richie has planned.

 

Thoughts on We Still Steal the Old Way

 

Characters/PerformanceRichie is the confident London gangster who always has a plan, he has loyal friends as well as respected by the higher ups within the crime world. Richie is happy to have a respect filled conversation and doesn’t enjoy the new world youth that is full of disrespect. Vic comes from the same world as Richie but has become the great rival against him, he is serving time waiting for his revenge to come. The rest of the characters are a mix of different associates within the crime world.

Performance wise we have good performance from Ian Ogilvy as Richie with Billy Murray being the great villain of the piece. All the performances are good with most of the cast being the guys you would expect to see in the gangster style movies. Vaz Blackwood does give us a scene stealing performance in this film too.

StoryThe story is a sequel to ‘We Still Kill the Old Way’ and this time we continue to see how Richie can keep everything under control, the story revolves around breaking one man out of prison with the problems that could intel. We do get to have moments where we see the older character’s poke fun at how things have changed in the game they have made their own.

CrimeThe crime world has been created in the first film, this is the next chapter as we see old enemies and friends work together in this gritty crime thriller.

SettingsMost of the movie takes place inside the prison which shows how the two worlds are similar for the characters involved.

Final ThoughtsNot being the biggest fan of the British Gangster films, I did find myself enjoying this because of the colourful characters not being to extremely stereotyped and the heist side of the film.

 

Overall: Gritty British Gangster movie that can be enjoyed by the fans of the genre.

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Will Reading (2017)

will-readingDirector: Jamie Insalaco

Writer: Jamie Insalaco (Screenplay)

Starring: Jamie Insalaco, Dan Conrad, Greg Vorob, Katie Weigl, Marc Seidenstein

 

Plot: Friends reunite to join their buddy’s widow in searching the house for money he hid from the IRS.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Laughs Bordering Poking Fun at Twist Bait Thrillers

 

Story: Will Reading starts as Wendy (Weigl) prepares dinner for her widowed twin brother Wayne (Insalaco) and his close friends Dave (Conrad), Steve (Vorob) and Tom (Seidenstein) to read his final will. The dinner leads to the five re-living the moments they had with Will along with all the different feelings about his death.

Will’s will turns out to be a treasure hunt for the friends to work together to discover what is really in the will as he was covering any money he had from the IRS. As the search continues the truth about Will’s death comes out.

 

Thoughts on Will Reading

 

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are all filled with their unique characteristics, Wendy is the widow that has been struggling with the death of her husband, Dan is the one that doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut, Wayne is the laid-back brother, Tom is a doctor and easily fills the calming the storms situation with Steve being the one who spent his life wishing he could have been with Wendy. The five all mix together very well to add to the situation of dealing with the loss and family or friend.

Performance wise everybody is good with their roles reaching the levels of quirky they all need to have to make the characters work.tars

StoryWhat starts out as a look into friendship turns into a search and battle to find the money left in the will, this all makes for a good story that is easy to follow, taking a comic look at the twist bait thrillers. We do get a group of friends that are all easy to understand their motives which helps along the story.

ComedyWe all know by now comedy is very much a hit or miss for me, so any film that gives me a couple of laughs is a success, this film uses plenty of humour I enjoy watching, references to other forms of entertainment with Tom’s solo outside scenes making me laugh the most.

SettingsThe whole film is set inside the home which works for the low budget side of the film and also keeps the events of the movie being over the one night.genre

Final ThoughtsYou want to see a comedy that has moments of quirkiness, pop culture references and a story that brings friends together this one is for you.

 

Overall: Fun comedy that has laughs through the film.

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The Warriors (1979)

warriorsDirector: Walter Hill

Writer: David Shaber, Walter Hill (Screenplay) Sol Yurick (Novel)

Starring: Michael Beck, James Remar, Dorsey Wright, Brian Tyler, David Harris, Tom McKitterick, Marcelino Sanchez

 

Plot: In the near future, a charismatic leader summons the street gangs of New York City in a bid to take it over. When he is killed, The Warriors are falsely blamed and now must fight their way home while every other gang is hunting them down.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Cult Classic

 

Story: The Warriors starts in New York City where the Warriors a gang get called for a meeting with Cyrus who wants to unite the gangs, the meeting must go down unarmed and the Warriors are not the only gang called on for this meeting.

When Cyrus is assassinated the gangs split and the Warriors are framed forced to run from the police but in the what makes a more dangerous threat, the rest of the gangs in the city are targeting them. Each neighbourhood they enter becomes more dangerous with the gangs building to come after them can this small-time gang make it home and clear their name before it is too late.

The Warrior is an action thriller that follows a very simple idea which is one gang having to survive all the odds to get to safety from all the other gangs. The gangs are all filled with colourful characters that make each gang feel different with their own trademarks. The only bad side is that you don’t really know which ones are good gangs or bad gangs as the Warriors are made out to be the bad ones in the eyes of the rest.

The settings are all great with each location coming off as different gang territory which all again has its own look. The performances are all good from each member of the cast with the gang having a natural feel about their relationship throughout. The fight scenes are al designed well to make us see how united our lead gang really it. Overall this is the cult classic people see it as and one I think everyone can enjoy.

 

Overall: When you hear the term cult classic this is one of those films that will be the first on anybody’s list.

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Wild (2014)

wildDirector: Jean-Marc Vallee

Writer: Nick Hornby (Screenplay) Cheryl Strayed (Memoir)

Starring: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern, Thomas Sadoski, Keene McRae, Michiel Huisman, W Earl Brown, Gaby Hoffman

 

Plot: A chronicle of one woman’s 1,100-mile solo hike undertaken as a way to recover from a recent personal tragedy.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Drama

 

Story: Wild starts as we Cheryl (Witherspoon) getting prepared for her 3-month hike along the Pacific Crest Trail to help herself get over the recent death of her mother. We watch how Cheryl’s life had been fallen apart before this challenge including throwing away her own marriage.

Wild is a slow drama showing how one woman went on her own redemption story going on an almost impossible hike that even the most experience drop out off. We get to see what drove her to make this decision but in the end it feels like a glorified story that we have seen before. You do have to give Reese Witherspoon praise for her performance but in the end this is easily a forgettable film that got Oscar nods for no reason.

 

Overall: Disappointingly overrated drama that is fine but nothing special.

Rating

 51

 

The Wailing (2016)

wailingDirector: Hong-jin Na

Writer: Hong-jin Na (Screenplay)

Starring: Kwak Do Won, Hwang Jung Min, Kunimura Jun, Chun Woo Hee

 

Plot: A stranger arrives in a little village and soon after a mysterious sickness starts spreading. A policeman is drawn into the incident and is forced to solve the mystery in order to save his daughter.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Shocking Mystery Horror

 

Story: The Wailing starts when Detective Jong-gu (Do-won) arriving at the crime scene where our victim has been murdered after being stabbed multiply times, but this wasn’t the first crime like this in the town. When his partner tells Jong the story of a mysterious man who has come to the town the story goes that he has a connection to what has been happening.

When a mysterious woman (Woo-hee) tells Jong the story of what happened around the story of the Japanese Stranger (Kunimura) who is around the town, Jong finds himself needed suffering nightmares about the stories but also left wondering what is for real or not.

As the case intensifies and the body count increases the investigation deepens at Jong must figure out if his own daughter Hyo-jin has in fact become cursed by this mysterious stranger and figure out a way to save her life.

 

Thoughts on The Wailing

 

StoryWhenever you look to tell a story in the horror genre you need a good build up to the final events, this film keeps you fully guessing along the way but does spend the first hour building the story so it can go in the direction it needs to for the final hour and half pay off. This will simply leave you shocked by the final scene of the movie even after doing this multiply times through the film.

Horror/Mystery/ThrillerThe horror side of this fil comes in mostly through the second half when it comes and just doesn’t stop until the end, but around the horror we must face the mystery of just what the hell is going on and where this side shines through it by balancing the story between what could be real or what could be supernatural.

Characters/PerformanceJong-gu is a very impressive leading character, he isn’t the best police officer in fact he is very flawed, he is a good husband and father, these characteristics are what make him such a good leading man for this film because he reacts like a normal human being. The partner is good because it offers a human answer to the questions both being real or the unknown with the mysterious man only being used when need keeping his character the mystery he needs to be.

The performances here are also great throughout with Do-won Kwak stealing the show throughout as our leading man making us believe in every single scene he finds his character in. I do think the rest of the cast all give great performances as the horror is slowly unleashed.

SettingsThe whole film is set within this one small village which shows just how one community can be stricken with fear of the unknown when a crime that can’t be explains happens.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all used at just the right time to add shock to certain scenes and suspense to others.

Final ThoughtsNot many films can stretch over two hours and keep you on edge in the horror genre and this one has one of the most intense edge of your seat final halves of a movie you will see in the genre.

 

Overall: 2016 was a fantastic year for horror and this is right up there fighting for the best horror film from 2016.

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