Dominion: The Last Star Warrior (2015)

Director: Richard Lowry

Writer: Richard Lowry (Screenplay) Erick Hansen (Story)

Starring: Barry Lynch, Travis Hammer, Christine Joelle, Booboo Stewart, Lisa Marie, Sasha Jackson

 

Plot: In just FIVE days the world we know will change forever with devastating results. Jaelen an observer from another planet searches to find and rescue the human woman he fell in love with before it all happens. Robert Casey a retired US Intelligence agent turned UFO investigator races to discover what the yet to be known DOMINION has in store for the Human race.


Tagline – In just five days human existence as we know it will change forever.

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Thinking Persons Invasion Movie

 

Story: Dominion: The Last Star Warrior starts with retired US Intelligence agent Robert Casey (Lynch) who is interviewing a stranger Jaelen (Hammer) in his UFO investigation about an impending attack on Earth that will end life as we know it. Jaelen is from a different world and normally his people would defend against the attack, but they are battling their own war, other peaceful aliens including Tonjura (Marie) offer advice on how to prepare before evacuating themselves.

Jaelan unwilling to leave before his human love Alyssa (Joelle) is safe and freed from the torture of the government that has been warned about the ending coming, Robert races against time to help Jaelen before it is too late.

 

Thoughts on Dominion: The Last Star Warrior

 

Characters – Robert Casey is a former intelligence officer turn UFO hunter, he has a reputation for be honest in his hunt which has him welcomed into the community but hunted by his former employers. He helps Jaelen find his love while keeping the secret and accepting his fate. He has the smarts to stay ahead of the people in his field and understands that he can’t be the one to save anybody. Jaelen is the alien living among the humans, he has broken his own traditions by falling in love with a human and even though he knows the end is coming he won’t leave without her. Alyssa is the woman that Jaelen has fallen in love with, she is captured and being tortured in hope of locating Jaelen before he gives away the secret, she is the driving force for Jaelen and Robert to do the right thing.

PerformancesThe performances from the cast are good through the film, Barry Lynch gives us a truly believable character that is in search of the truth, both smart and ready to ask the difficult questions. Travis Hammer makes us believe his is from another planet through the film, Christine Joelle does well enough, she doesn’t have that much to do other than to have been in pain.

StoryThe story here follows the final days of Earth as we know it, we follow an UFO investigation and an alien as they race against time to locate a love and save as many humans as possible before the end date. The story does tell us from the opening that Earth did end and we follow the events leading up to this which is helpful because it changes the tone of the film, to be looking at where things could be going from an unknown invader. It shows love can cross any race and across the universe too. This isn’t all action, it plays into the idea of conspiracy which often get laughed off, while it turns out to be real, it does make this very interesting to see unfold.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is used few and far between, we have a couple of weak and basic car chases that seem very easy and have no peril. The sci-fi side of this is the highlight as we are left to see the idea of different species and races in the universe that have different ideas for Earth.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to place us where you would expect to see UFO investigators would be operating in.

Special EffectsThe effects are not used often, they are not the best but they work because we only have the inclusion of UFOs over fighting versions of them.


Scene of the Movie –
Final act.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The UFOs do like generic.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thinking sci-fi film, it isn’t about the battle for survival, it is look at how it will end, which is a nice twist and does play into the ideas of both good and bad in the universe.

 

Overall: Sci-fi fans to try this one out.

Rating

 

 

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At Granny’s House (2015)

Director: Les Mahoney

Writer: Les Mahoney (Screenplay)

Starring: Bill Oberst Jr, Rachel Alig, Laura Lee, Les Mahoney, Glenda Morgan Brown, Charles A Baird

 

Plot: Marion Rogers (Granny), an elderly lady in the small town of Haley, reluctantly accepts the mysterious Rebecca Torrance as her live-in caregiver, but eventually the two form a strong friendship. Rebecca soon sells Granny on the idea of turning the house into a guest house for travelers looking for free accommodations., which, in turn, leads to revealing Rebecca’s dark and fatal secret. A strange love triangle forms when Rebecca and Ted, a guest at the house, fall in love. This leads to a violent confrontation that will forever change the lives of all the residents AT GRANNY’S HOUSE. A typical Midwest house. A sweet little old lady. When a caretaker moves in to help out, Granny’s House becomes a macabre place of death – and love.


Tagline – Love hurts.

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Creepy Thriller

 

Story: At Granny’s House starts when Marion Rogers (Brown) is forced into having live in carer Rebecca (Alig), the house is big and Rebecca comes up with the idea of advertising on ‘My Free Bed’ a website which offers strangers a room for the night.

With the idea in motion, the ladies invite strangers into their homes, only for Rebecca to show her darker side. When the Steiner’s Linda (Lee) and Ted (Mahoney) stay things go up a notch as Rebecca gets involved in a romantic angle with Ted, giving her a partner in her crimes.

 

Thoughts on At Granny’s House

 

Characters – Marion Rogers is the older woman that gets forced into getting a carer to keep her company, while I feel she isn’t old enough to need a carer or sick enough, that is a different discussion. She is happy to have extra guests staying to add to her extra company. Rebecca is the new live-in carer for Marion, she comes off nice on the outside, but she does keep a secret inside when she doesn’t like the guests. Ted is the married man that falls in love with Rebecca and they start following her dark side together. Boarstag is an investigator searching for a missing person that’s last known location is in the house.

PerformancesGlenda Morgan Brown as the titular granny is great, while I do think she is too young to be playing a woman who needs a carer, she makes her characters seem sweet and innocent one moment before showing how twisted she could be the next. Rachel Alig is great in her role, she shows how her character can get what she wants and how she will do anything to keep it. Bill Oberst Jr is good in his role even if we would like to see more of his character. Les Mahoney takes up a couple of roles here, starring he is good and behind the camera he is even better, creating the atmosphere involved.

StoryThe story follows one woman that becomes a carer only to use this to fulfil her darker fantasies. Things soon get complicated when she falls in love and we are left to see how things unfold when everything get complicated. This is told well and does feel like it is something that could happen in small town America. I will say the love angle does come off strange because it seems to happen in a blink of an eye. Watching Rebecca plan everything is great to watch.

ThrillerThis does have great tension throughout the film as you wait to see where things will go next.

SettingsThe film takes place in one home which shows us just what could happen behind the walls of this house in small town America.


Scene of the Movie –
Final scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The falling in love seems hard to believe.

Final ThoughtsThis is a creepy thriller that laves us wondering just what will happen next, you won’t be prepared for where things go either.

 

Overall: Tension filled thriller.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Random – # – The 33 (2015)

Director: Patricia Riggen

Writer: Mikko Alanne, Craig Borten, Michael Thomas, Jose Rivera (Screenplay) Hector Tobar (Book)

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, James Brolin, Lou Diamond Phillips, Mario Casas

 

Plot: Based on the real-life event, when a gold and copper mine collapses, it traps 33 miners underground for 69 days.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Incredible True Story, Slow Film

 

Story: The 33 starts as we follow our Chilean miners including family man Mario Sepulveda (Banderas) and safety inspector Don Lucho (Phillips) who is reluctantly backs down from their boss about the conditions inside the mine, believing the mountain will start to collapse in on itself.

When the mine does collapse, it leaves all 33 miners trapped hoping they might get rescued, well that is inside the mine. Outside the mine the miner’s families led by Maria Segovia (Binoche) demanded answers and help from the government with Laurence Golborne (Santoro) calling the shots, doing the best he can to find a way to rescue the miners. This is the incredible story of how the Chilean miners survived and were rescued.

 

Thoughts on The 33

 

Characters/PerformanceThe film is based on the real people involved, Mario is the one that takes control inside the mine, the reluctant hero even against the odds. Laurence is the government man that must do the right thing while working with the experts as well as keep the families happy. Maria is the sister of one of the miners and leads the protest to find answers about her brother and other miners.

Performance wise, Banderas shows himself to be the biggest star within the mine, we do get strange casting choices up next because we have a French actress playing a Chilean lady, and Irish man as a Chilean. But away from this we have good performances all around from the whole cast.

StoryThe story is one that we all followed on the news, it was one of the most must watch news stories of the 21st Century. Seeing the amazing story of how the men survived, the way a small town can together to bring a nation, then the world to see, beg and pray for these men is an incredible story of courage, strength and belief in the human race.

Biography/HistoryWhile we don’t truly get to know the men personally, we do see the 69 days that changed their lives. This will go down in history as one of our moments of greatness as a human race.

SettingsThe film is set between the mine which shows us just how trapped the character will be but we also see how the family members are working towards rescue.

Final ThoughtsThis is an incredible story that was one we followed and seeing this brings back the memories but in places this is slightly slow.

 

Overall: Great glimpse into history.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Random – Y – Youth (2015)

Director: Paolo Sorrentino

Writer: Paolo Sorrentino (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Caine, Harvey Keitel, Rachel Weisz, Paul Dano

 

Plot: A retired orchestra conductor is on holiday with his daughter and his film director best friend in the Alps when he receives an invitation from Queen Elizabeth II to perform for Prince Philip’s birthday.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Drama

 

Story: Youth starts as we arrive in this Swiss Alps luxury resort where retired orchestra conductor Fred Ballinger (Caine) and his best friend film director Mike Boyle (Keitel). Fred uses the annual trip as a chase relax and get treated, Mike is working on the next screenplay with a group of students.

Fred’s relaxing holiday gets changed when Mike’s son divorces his daughter Lena (Weisz) meaning she is spending her holiday with him, he does enjoy this company though otherwise he would be alone. Fred does get requested to perform at Prince Philip’s birthday by Queen Elizabeth II but refuses at first, but the Queen won’t take no for an answer but his reasons will help Lena through her own problems. Fred also ends up having a holiday relationship with young actor Jimmy Tree (Dano) who understands Fred’s frustration because he is feeling them too as an actor.

The holiday will give new feelings, directions and moments for these four, ones that you can only get from relaxing and enjoying yourself once in a while.

 

Thoughts on Youth

 

Characters/PerformanceFred Ballinger is a world famous musical conductor that is requested by the Queen to perform, but he has retired now and all he wants is peace and quiet in this relaxing holiday in the Swiss Alps, he hasn’t been the same since he lost his wife and wants to continue he love of music with the next generation. Mick Boyle is a screenwriter and director who is also Fred’s good friend, he is on this holiday to teach a group of students. Lena was spending time with her father before going on her own holiday but those plans fall through as her life is turned upside down and now she needs her father more than ever. Jimmy is an actor who is also dealing with the problem of being remember for only one thing but he is young and wants to be remembered for more.

Performance wise, this is fantastic performance from Michael Caine showing just how talented he is even in his older years, Keitel is also great in the supporting role where we get to see how can be a supporting actor and not take away from the lead. Weisz and Dano are both great too where we can see just how wonderful they are.

StoryThis is a story showing how people of all ages can achieve new things, they have made bad mistakes but most of, you can learn from it all. This is a strange paced movie that does tell a nice story of the four characters down on their luck finding more from their lives.

Comedy/Music/RomanceThe comedy works in places, mostly because of the strangeness going on through the film, the music is all about how Fred finds it anything with the romance coming from the experiences the four have had.

SettingsThe Swiss Alps make for a beautiful setting, with the hotel and spa making it all look complete for the escaping from the reality of their lives.

Final ThoughtsThis is a beautiful looking, wonderful acted movie that is well worth watching to learn about moments of life.

 

Overall: Lovely drama.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Random – O – The Overnight (2015)

Director: Patrick Brice

Writer: Patrick Brice (Screenplay)

Starring: Adam Scott, Jason Schwartzman, Taylor Schilling, Judith Godreche

 

Plot: Alex, Emily, and their son, RJ, are new to Los Angeles. A chance meeting at the park introduces them to the mysterious Kurt, Charlotte, and Max. A family “playdate” becomes increasingly interesting as the night goes on.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slightly Awkward Comedy

 

Story: The Overnight starts as married couple Alex (Scott) and Emily (Schilling) move to LA with their son RJ, not knowing anybody Alex takes RJ to the park hoping to make friends for the both and it is the strange Kurt (Schwartzman) that they meet.

Getting invited by Kurt to meet the family with his wife Charlotte (Godreche) as Alex and Emily make new friends, but Kurt and Charlotte offer them a night unlike anything they could have imagined once the drinks and drugs take over.

 

Thoughts on The Overnight

 

Characters/PerformanceAlex and Emily are going through a move to a new city where they want to meet new friends. They have normal married life issues which can get exposed on this crazy night. Kurt and Charlotte are different to the people Alex and Emily know, they like to party and embrace people in their own way.

Performance wise, The four stars all do well but we all know they are capable better but this is slightly awkward to watch in places.

StoryThe story is short and simple two couples spend the night partying together as they learn to discover themselves as they make friends. This doesn’t have too much going on within the story though when you look into bigger picture.

Comedy/MysteryThe comedy is fine but doesn’t hit very often with the mystery only being about what Kurt and Charlotte want from the night.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in one house over the night which keeps the story easy to follow.

Final ThoughtsThis is an awkward to watch film is places, it isn’t one you could sit down and watch with other people.

 

Overall: Awkward is an understatement when you discuss this film.

Rating