Wild Rose (2018) Movie Review

Director: Tom Harper

Writer: Nicole Taylor (Screenplay)

Starring: Jessie Buckley, Julie Walters, Sophie Okonedo, Jamie Sives, Craig Parkinson, James Harkness, Janey Godley, Daisy Littlefield

Plot: A troubled young Glaswegian woman dreams of becoming a Nashville country star.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Beautifully Charming Movie

Story: Wild Rose starts when Rose-Lynn (Buckley) is released from prison returning to her home with her mother Marion (Walters) and her kids Lyle (Mitchell) and Wynonna (Littlefield), Rose-Lynn wants to continues her dream of chasing to become a country singing star, even though her mother doesn’t want to see her not making the money to support her children.

With Rose-Lynn needing to get a job, she ends up being a cleaner for businesswoman Susannah (Okonedo) whose children hear her sing, Susannah pushes Rose-Lynn to record something, which will leave Rose-Lynn in the toughest decision of her life, chase her dreams, or raise her children.

Thoughts on Wild Rose

Characters – Rose-Lynn has just come out of prison after a year, she has always dreamed of being a country singer, she has the talent to perform, which is never going to be questioned, though she is to take life more seriously because of her two young children, she must find a job, which she does as a cleaner, which opens a massive opportunity for her dream. Rose-Lynn has a way of not giving everybody the truth about her life, which sees her using people to either help her career or look after her kids, that she isn’t prepared for. Marion is Rose-Lynn’s mother that had to raise the children while she was in jail, she has tried to support her daughter and would do anything for her grandchildren, though she just wants her daughter to do something responsible with her life. Susannah is the businesswoman that has Rose-Lynn as a cleaner, she pushes her to follow her dream, even using her connections to give her a big opportunity in her life, though she doesn’t learn everything about Rose-Lynn’s past. To complete the cast we have the children that Rose-Lynn doesn’t give the most amount of time too as well as certain people that don’t learn everything about the past.

PerformancesJessie Buckley is fantastic in this leading role, playing a role that isn’t always the most likeable, but once she gets free to sing, you will become mesmerized by her performance. Julie Walters is one of Britain’s best actresses, she shines in the supporting role throughout the film, showing every emotion required through her facial expressions. Sophie Okonedo in the supporting role is great to watch too, as are the whole cast in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a Scottish country singer fresh out of prison, where she wants to put her life back on track, only she needs to learn what is the most important part of her life, her music or her children. This is a story that is about being able to balance the chasing of dreams with the reality of life, learning to find a balance that can make you enjoy your passion, without giving up on your family, trying to get back on your feet after a stupid mistake. This does have the traditional feeling you will get when you see somebody needing to face this decision, you know there is always a chance for greatness, while it could be just waiting to happen, you must chase a dream. We do get to see how life can find a way for you whether you are from the bottom or starting at the top.

MusicThe music in the film is the country sound that Rose-Lynn enjoys listening to and performing.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in and around Glasgow, this does show us the tougher everyday life that Rose-Lynn was raised in and where she wants to be, the places which have given her a chance to perform.

Scene of the Movie – Glasgow song.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Rose-Lynn is selfish character at times.

Final Thoughts This is a delightful movie that shows us just how much dreams and reality need to be balanced to never give up on either, with a stunning performance from Jessie Buckley.

Overall: Wonderful movie.


ABC Film Challenge – Crime – W – We Still Kill the Old Way (2014)

Director: Sacha Bennett

Writer: Sacha Bennett, Dougie Brimson, Gary Lawrence, Colin Lomax, Rod Smith (Screenplay)

Starring: Ian Ogilvy, Alison Doody, Christopher Ellison, Danny-Boy Hatchard, Lysette Anthony, James Cosmo, Steven Berkoff


Plot: When retired East End villain Charlie Archer is murdered by a feral street gang, his brother Ritchie returns to London from Spain to investigate.


Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Typical British Gangster Film


Story: We Still Kill the Old Way starts as we see a new hooligan gang led by Aaron (Hatchered) causing havoc in the streets of London, they use their numbers to beat, harass or threaten their victims, which sees them clash with legendary Charlie Archer (Berkoff), killing him. Charlie’s brother Ritchie (Ogilvy) has been living away in Spain, with Susan Taylor (Doody) leading the investigation.

When Ritchie gets the news, he heads back to London in search for answers, which sees him bring back the old gang Roy (Ellison), Arthur (Cosmo) and Butch (Denham) to hunt down Aaron and his gang.


Thoughts on We Still Kill the Old Way


Characters – Ritchie is the respected former gangster of the streets of London, retired now, living in Spain, he returns after the murder of his brother, bring his old gang together to take on the younger gang that is running terror in the old neighbourhood. He remains in control of each situation knowing how to play each and everyone of the gang, police and neighbourhood to remain under the radar. Susan is the lead detective investigating the case, she wants a clean answer, though she does know what Ritchie is capable off. Roy is one of the gang, he enjoys helping Ritchie, missing the old ways the gang once had. Aaron is the leader of the gang of hooligans running chaos around London, his behaviour is complete disgrace, you will hate him from the opening scene, from the way he treats his girlfriend to the way he treats the elders.

PerformancesIan Ogilvy in the leading role gives us a proper cockney gangster figure we can believe in. Alison Doody makes for a solid local cop. Christopher Ellison will strike fear in anybody that crosses him, while Danny-Boy Hatchard makes his character truly disposable.

StoryThe story follows a retired gangster that returns to his old stamping ground after his brother is murdered by a young gang causing problems in his old neighbourhood. This is the basic revenge film in the way Ritchie conducts his business, while mixing the idea that the new generation isn’t respecting the old style of the people who ran the area before them, they have no rules or manners. It is good to see the whole gang being truly hated and how respected the old generation is around the area. There are certain side stories that are overly tagged in and with Lauren is one of the worst characters in the history of film.

Action/Crime/ComedyThe action is plenty of side ways pointed guns trying to be threatening, while having close up brutal punches being delivered. The crime side of the film uses the ideas of the two different generations of gangs in the underworld, this does give an element of comedy to how the older gang acts the town.

SettingsThe film is set in London’s east end which shows us how the gangs operate around the neighbourhood.

Scene of the Movie –
Hospital shoot out.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Lauren’s decision-making.

Final ThoughtsThis is a proper gangster film set in London which does work well with everything it is trying to do with the clash of gangs in London.


Overall: Fun gangster film.




Wicked Witches (2019)

Director: Martin J Pickering

Writer: Mark Pickering, Martin J Pickering (Screenplay)

Starring: Duncan Casey, Justin Marosa, Kitt Proudfoot, Samantha Schnitzler, Jasmin Clark, Laura Coleman


Plot: After being thrown out of his home by his wife for being promiscuous, Mark finds himself back at Dumpling Farm, a place of youthful memories and parties, but things aren’t quite right. His old buddy Ian, who has never left the place, is possessed by a group demonic, flesh eating Witches. Using Ian and his farm, these beautiful Witches honey trap Mark and his friends to consume their souls.

Tagline – A Harvest for the Devil

Runtime: 1 Hour 18 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Blood Splatter Fun


Story: Wicked Witches starts when Mark (Casey) gets thrown out by his wife, turning to his old friend Ian (Marosa) who lives on a farm where the men grew up on, partying and away from the world, it isn’t long before Mark sees the Ian isn’t acting the way he used to though.

Mark is joined by another friend Stevie (Proudfoot) for a party, but the strangeness around Ian continues to grow as the women in the local area seem to be putting spells on the men, with Mark becoming the latest target from the flesh hungry witches.


Thoughts on Wicked Witches


Characters – Mark has just been kicked out by his wife, he had been the one cheating on her and turns to an old friend to help him get back on his feet, he returns to a childhood party location, where he brings his friends down for a party only to learn that a coven of flesh eating witches are waiting for their next prey, he must fight to survive, Mark is like that friend you have that always talks up his cocky attitude and we don’t learn much about him other than this. Ian is the man living in the farm, he is happy to reunite with an old friend, only he has changed, he can snap at a click of the fingers and isn’t as friendly as Mark remembers, he is filled with surprises though. Stevie is the best friend who also arrives for the party, he helps to continue to bring out the worst in Mark with his attitude towards drink, drugs and women. The High Priestess is the one controlling the witches, she has the other witches help her collect the souls required.

PerformancesDuncan Casey does have the most to do through this film being the lead, he does bring us the cocky figure with ease, but like most performers, the scared reaction scenes are over the top. Justin Marosa does do the snap of a fingers switch well through this film. Kitt Proudfoot doesn’t get enough time to make him go to the full into the worst side of his character. Samantha Schnitzler leads the host of beautiful women being the witches in the film.

StoryThe story follows a recently kicked out man that turns to an old friend only to find himself being hunted down by flesh eating witches.  The story isn’t the deepest and doesn’t bring us the most likable characters in Mark, Ian or Stevie, we don’t get enough focus on the witches either which does disappoint because once they are unleashed, we get the blood splatter. The story does have a lot of almost filler which just follows the party or travel sequences and by the end we get everything in this story which is just blood splatter horror, letting the effects tell the story over anything else.

HorrorThe horror in the film comes from the witches, with a lot of unsettling moments early on before letting the blood flow later on.

SettingsThe film is set in a remote English farm, which does what we need in this film, create isolation for the witches.

Special EffectsThe effects in this film come from the witches getting their hands on their victims, we get the blood covered moments through the film.

Scene of the Movie –
The witches unleashed.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t learn enough about the characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun blood splatter horror, we get simple characters but plenty of blood.


Overall: Fun Horror.




ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – X – The Wound (2017)

This has been selected for X because of the main characters name Xolani.

Director: John Trengove

Writer: John Trengove, Thando Mgqolozana, Malusi Bengu (Screenplay) John Trengove, Batana Vundla (Story)

Starring: Nakhane Toure, Bongile Mantsai, Niza Jay, Thobant Mseleni, Gabriel Mini, Zwelakha Mtsaka


Plot: Xolani, a lonely factory worker, travels to the rural mountains with the men of his community to initiate a group of teenage boys into manhood.

Tagline – Some stories can’t be retold

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Shocking Look at Love


Story: The Wound starts when factory worker Xolani (Toure) returns to his community outside of Joburg to help with the initiation process of the teenage boys to manhood, he teenager Kwanda (Jay) is a family friend, which is meant to help the process for the teenager.

Xolani gets to see his own secret lover Vija (Mantsai) who is also performing an initiation, but the two men get to return to their forbidden ways. As the initiation continues Kwanda must learn just what this means to the other young men, as Xolani must keep his own secret from everybody else.


Thoughts on The Wound


Characters – Xolani is a factory worker who knows his roots through an initiation process for teenagers to become men, he has returned to be a ‘caregiver’ to his initiate, he gets to rekindle a forbidden love with a married man, which they must keep secret, even if this is the highlight of his life. Vija is a married man who is also a ‘caregiver’, he is much stricter than Xolani and is a lover of his, he knows just how forbidden their love is and will go after anyone who gets in their way. Kwanda is a rich kid that is going through this initiation, he does question the process which puts his position in danger.

PerformancesNakhane Toure is wonderful in the leading role, showing us the commitment to his character has for this love. Bongile Mantsai and Niza Jay in the supporting roles are both brilliant too, which is a completely well acted film throughout.

StoryThe story here shows an initiation being performed on teenager boys as they become young men, it takes them away from their family’s and leaves them in the care of a man known as a ‘caregiver’ who helps heal the wound, we have two caregivers that are involved in a gay relationship, which they can only have on these events who have very different lives away from the initiation. This does show us how a culture treats their young men, which shouldn’t be a practised in this modern world. we do get to deal with forbidden romance, in a culture that doesn’t accept homosexual relationships. By having two major world issues going on, it shows us how the country is just as happy to sweep them under the rug, rather than learn to accept them, which is interesting to see,

RomanceThe romance side of the story shows the love two men can have, only for a short time, only if nobody else knows, in a culture that isn’t ready to accept them.

SettingsThe film is set in a mountain range in South Africa, this location is where the people go every year for the initiation.

Scene of the Movie –
Mountain top.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Its not an easy subject matter when you look at the initiation process.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very interesting movie showing us how forbidden love between two men can be in a culture that still practises a form of gender mutilation.


Overall: Culture shock.




ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – W – Warsaw 44 (2014)

Director: Jan Komasa

Writer: Jan Komasa (Screenplay)

Starring: Jozef Pawlowski, Zofia Wichlacz, Anna Prochniak, Antoni Krolikowski, Maurycy Popiel


Plot: A story of love, friendship and the pursuit of adventure during the bloody and brutal reality of the 1944 Warsaw Uprising.


Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Strong War Reality


Story: Warsaw 44 starts as we meet Stefan (Pawlowski) a young man living in Warsaw in 1944 during the war, he lives with his mother and younger brother bring the money back to the home, this changes when he meets a group of people similar to his age, they offer him a chance to go into the Polish army as they plan to fight back against the Germans.

As the Uprising starts to attack the Nazi’s Stefan learns the harsh reality of war up close and personal, with the love of his life Biedronka (Wichlacz) being the only one that will help him through the destruction.


Thoughts on Warsaw 44


Characters – Stefan is the honest hard working young man, he supports his family, protects his brother from the horrors of war, he is however led to join the Uprising in Warsaw against the Nazi’s, a move which will change his life, he will learn love and heartache as the war comes closer than he would imagine. Biedronka is the woman that Stefan falls for in the uprising, she fights alongside the men and will do everything to save lives. Kama is another woman in the uprising that shows love towards Stefan, we get plenty of characters in this film that are mostly following the ones in the uprising that will do anything to get their freedom back.

PerformancesJozef Pawlowski is good in the leading role, the charm he shows saying goodbye to his little brother could melt a heart and seeing his reaction to the war side of the film shows us how any young man would have been going through during the time. The rest of the cast is good, getting their moments to shine with the desperation needed through the war.

StoryThe story follows the young people of Poland setting up an uprising to take on the Nazis during World War II, it starts as a small fight and soon throws them into the true harsh reality of war. While seeing the realities of war isn’t anything new, we do know how destruction, devasting and brutal war is on the people involved and World War II could well have been the worse in modern history, these people didn’t have any hope and only wanted freedom, they were willing to lay die their lives to do so. The characters however are fictional which could hold back being truly connected to the real people that would have suffered through the events. The story isn’t an easy watch and does have parts we don’t need to see, mostly the romance.

History/Romance/WarThe history behind this film is true, we knew how bad the war was on the people and just how fighting back was the only way, these two parts of the film are shown near perfectly for what it could have cost people. The romance however just feels tacked on and unneeded for most of the film.

SettingsThe film makes us feel like we are there, feeling each explosion, moment of destruction with hauntingly created settings.

Scene of the Movie –
The graveyard battle, because it shows us what they will truly be battling.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The romance side of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a hard hitting war drama, it shows us just what people were willing to do through the war through the eyes of the young adults.


Overall: Hard-hitting war drama