High-Rise (2015)

Director: Ben Wheatley

Writer: Amy Jump (Screenplay) J.G. Ballard (Novel)

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Jeremy Irons, Sienna Miller, Luke Evans, Elisabeth Moss, James Purefoy, Keeley Hawes


Plot: Life for the residents of a tower block begins to run out of control.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Not My Thing


Story: High-Rise starts with Dr Laing (Hiddleston) moving into a new high-rise apartment, it doesn’t take long for him to meet the neighbours including Charlotte (Miller), Wilder (Evans), Helen (Moss) and the owner of the building and apparent recluse Royal (Irons).

The longer Laing spends in the building he learns all about the difference between people with in the building find some easier to get on with than others but can he cope with all the drama surrounding them.


Thoughts on High-Rise


Characters/PerformanceLaing is the stranger moving into the high-rise, he tries to stay on the outside of all social standards in the building but finds himself trapped seeing both sides of the battle within the building. Royal is the king of the castle, he wants to open the door to Laing as he is tired of the crowd he finds himself around. Charlotte is a resident in the building, a single mother that is always trying to go in within the building.

Performance wise, Hiddleston is good without being breath taking best, with Jeremy Iron strange king of the castle being the highlight of the film. Miller is solid without doing too much.

StoryThe story focuses on the different levels of social standard within one building from the view of the outsider trying to piece together what he has seen, this isn’t the most interesting story and turns to the quirkiness of the film to try and attract the audience.

SettingsMost of the film is set on the different levels of the High-Rise building that shows us the different social levels each level has as they slowly descend into obsession.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very weird film and I can clearly see an audience enjoy this movie, but for me I couldn’t bring myself to enjoy what was going on.


Overall: Awkward and weird to say the least.





World Cinema Weekend – Deep in the Woods (2015)

Director: Stefano Lodovichi

Writer: Stefano Lodovichi, Isabella Aguilar, Davide Orsini (Screenplay)

Starring: Filippo Nigro, Camilla Filippi, Giovanni Vettorazzo, Teo Achille Caprio, Stefano Pietro Detassis


Plot: Winter 2010. Dolomites. Tommaso Conci, a 4-year-old child, disappears during a festival where people disguised as devils, the Krampus, terrorize the village with whips and chains. Five years later, a child was found nameless and without documents. DNA matches: he is Tommi. Manuel, the father, can finally embrace his son. The mother, Linda, however, cannot adapt to the new situation. A suspect digs inside her: what if that child is not really her son?


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Great Mystery Thriller


Story: Deep in the Woods starts on the day celebrating Krampus when a 4-year-old Tommi becomes the latest victim of the festival which has claimed children in the past who have gone missing without a trace. Manuel (Nigro) is the prime suspect but his wife Linda (Filippi) refused to blame him as the case goes cold.

5 years later, Tommi (Caprio) is found alive but with no memory of any events. Manuel opens him back with open arms while Linda becomes confused about the truth, questioning whether it is really her son. We are left to see what the truth is and whether the town’s belief in the devil could have in fact created their own vision of him in Tommi.


Thoughts on Deep in the Woods


Characters/PerformanceManuel is the father of the boy, blamed for his disappearance and the last to see past what is real or not when Tommi returns. Linda is the mother of the missing boy that doesn’t believe she is seeing her son in this young boy questioning everything about what she has found.

The performances here are all good and truly help us keep guessing to learn the truth about what happened on the night of the disappearance.

StoryThe story fast becomes a big mystery that we must learn the truth of the events with Manuel, the story also plays into the idea that urban legend could be true and how believing in them can lead you astray. I did find myself enjoying how this dark thriller unfolded seeing just where it will go next.

ThrillerThe film keeps you on edge from start to finish as we wait to see where everything will go next.

SettingsThe film is set in a small Italian town that is close enough to know everyone who get happy to point the fingers when a crime happens.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film I didn’t know too much about going into but found myself on edge wondering just where it will go next.


Overall: This is a great thriller that does keep us guessing from start to finish.




Julia Roberts Weekend – Secret in Their Eyes (2015)

secretDirector: Billy Ray

Writer: Billy Ray (Screenplay) Juan Jose Campanella, Eduardo Sacheri (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Dean Norris, Alfred Molina, Joe Cole, Michael Kelly


Plot: A tight-knit team of rising investigators, along with their supervisor, is suddenly torn apart when they discover that one of their own teenage daughters has been brutally murdered.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Lacklustre Thriller


Story: Secret in Their Eyes starts as we see Ray Kasten (Ejiofor) meeting his old team and now DA Claire Sloane (Kidman) Chief Investigator Jessica Cobb (Roberts) and fellow political roles Reg Seifert (Kelly). We flash back to when they were a team of investigators with Bumpy Willis (Norris) when they are tracking terrorists only for one of their own daughters Carolyn Cobb (Graham) being murdered next to their investigation.

Ray has spent the last 13 years of his life searching for the killer and now he believes he has figured out the person responsible and wants the case re-opened between the old team.


Thoughts on Secret in Their Eyes


StoryThis is an American remake of the Oscar winning movie that has a very bland story which should be a very intense story, the scenes all flow so slowly you just don’t believe this is a case unfolding and the jumps in time are too often leaving us all over the place in the end.

Crime/MysteryThe crime story should be one of the most intense ones we have seen, but it doesn’t work out that way because the film spends way too much time balancing the murder case with a potential terrorist investigation without even giving us the mystery to try and solve ourselves.

Characters/PerformanceThe team are all believable as a unit but as solo characters you just don’t feel the desperation in Ray, the power in what should be a power-hungry role in Claire but you do like get to feel the grief through Jess’s character.

Ejiofor, Kidman and Roberts are all solid but just don’t reach the ability we know all three are capable off. The rest of the performances are all solid without stealing the scene.

SettingsWe have the setting in and around LA without managing to use any settings which are easy to help us identify where the film is set.

Final ThoughtsFor the talent involved this is a very slow, poorly acted thriller that lacks any suspense to the levels it could have got too.


Overall: This will always be forgettable in the arena of remakes.




Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – Stung (2015)

Director: Benni Diez

Writer: Adam Aresty (Screenplay)

Starring: Matt O’Leary, Jessica Cook, Lance Henriksen, Clifton Collins Jr, Cecilia Pillado


Plot: A fancy garden party turns into upper class prey when a colony of killer wasps mutates into seven foot tall predators.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Fun Little Creature Feature


Story: Stung starts as Julia (Cook) taking over the family business takes her employee Paul (O’Leary) to a fancy garden party for the Perch family. Paul notices there are extremely large wasps around this garden party. This gives us a chance to meet the colourful characters at this party including Mayor Caruthers (Henriksen) and the son of the house Sydney (Collins Jr).

When the wasps invade the party they start stinging the guest who then turn into giant mutant wasps, the few remaining survivors must hide, sneak and fight to survive against this deadly enemy in creature feature 101.


Thoughts on Stung


Characters/PerformanceJulia is the owner of the catering company having taken over from her father, she is desperate to make sure it is a success which shows us just how determined she is. Paul is the laid-back employee that just wants a pay day but he will soon become the strongest opponent against the wasps. Caruthers is the mayor of the town, he isn’t that interested in being at the party but willing to fight to save the people. The rest of the characters are all colourful in their own way.

Performance wise, Matt O’Leary is good in the leading role show he has come from the child actor well, Jessica Book is good in her role too and we know Lance Henriksen will be a draw to this film whatever happens to him.

StoryDiving into the story we don’t have anything overly difficult to go through here, we have survivors facing off against giant wasps as we follow our plucky survivor’s truths come out about what caused the mutated wasps. It isn’t anything complicated and is as simple as you need it to be.

Comedy/HorrorThe level of horror works for the comedy without the film being a laugh a minute style of comedy, the film completely understands the mix between the two.

SettingsFancy dinner party away from the world makes for good setting, we also have the standard ideas of having no communication to the outside world giving us the isolation we need.

Special EffectsAll the effects are mixed, the CGI does come off clear but the practical effects all look great.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun creature feature that can be enjoyed by all, it is big, crazy and original in places.


Overall: Creature Feature Fans Watch




Evolution (2015)

Director: Lucile Hadzihalilovic

Writer: Lucile Hadzihalilovic, Alante Kavaite (Screenplay)

Starring: Max Brebant, Roxane Duran, Julie-Marie Parmentier, Mathieu Goldfeld, Nissim Renard


Plot: The only residents of young Nicholas’ sea-side town are women and boys. When he sees a corpse in the ocean one day, he begins to question his existence and surroundings. Why must he, and all the other boys, be hospitalised?


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Shockingly Strange


Story: Evolution starts in a small community filled with women and boys, Nicolas (Brebant) discovers what he believes to be a dead body with his mother (Parmentier) showing him the truth before he is taken away by Stella (Duran) for a night in the hospital with other boys.

With his curiosity rising Nicolas finds himself going through medical procedures but at night he learns of what is going on, well he tries to understand what he sees with only Stella befriending him in the hospital.


Thoughts on Evolution


Characters/PerformanceNicolas is the curious young boy who in a world with little in it, finds himself questioning each part of it, he is the curious type. Stella is one of the nurses that takes care of Nicolas but finds herself becoming friends with him. La mere is his mother that follows the community’s rules.

Performance wise, Max Brebant is great as the young Nicolas keeping everything simple in this performance with Roxane giving a strong supporting performance. Most of all the performances in this film are done by expressions.

StoryThe story focuses on the mystery the most, and boy is it hard to describe just what is happening. This story is shocking, it does have twists and will leave you thinking about what you have just seen.

Horror/MysteryThe horror comes from just how shocking everything we see is but the truth is this film focuses most on the mystery involved as we are left to wonder just what is going on.

SettingsThe small village does make for a great setting because we don’t know how big the complete world this film takes place in is which again adds more to the mystery as it seems like the characters don’t know of anything else.

Special EffectsThe special effects here are all great when they are needed because they help improve the shock value of the mystery and story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very strange film that relies on the visuals to tell the story, it will shock you with what you see and only leave you with even more questions.


Overall: Well if you want something different this a must watch