Perfect (2016)

Director: Jeremie Battaglia

 

Plot: Perfect follows the Canadian synchronised swimming team beyond the beauty, to the brawn it takes to qualify for Rio 2016.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 17 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Sports Drama

 

Story: Perfect starts as we watch the first training camp for the Canadian synchronised swimming team, the coach is firm and doesn’t care what your status in previous years have been, she will only select the best performers. With the team selected we watch their preparation with the world championships, specialised training camps, the injuries they have suffered through all in the hope to quality for Rio 2016. We see the highs and lows this team goes through and the unity they show through this ruthless athletic demand.

 

Thoughts on Perfect

 

ThoughtsWhen it comes to sports documentaries I find myself drawn to them on a regular basis even if it is a sport I know nothing about. I will always have respect for any athlete that is trying to master their sport of choice, this documentary shows how important this moment is for the coaches and the athletes preparing. Seeing how the Canadian team has a team of unique looking women have to overcome this because other countries seem to get bonus points for having the similar look. This shows the reality of the sport to the athletes. Seeing the sacrifices that are needed to be made for the Olympic dream with the idea of failure leaving them almost broken as to where their future will be is important too. The idea to follow the team is interesting because it gives us an intimate look at the preparation, rather than just looking back. This is a very well-directed movie that should get the praise it deserves.

 

Overall: Sports documentary that needs to be watch.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

The Unwilling (2016)

Director: Jonathan Heap

Writer: Jonathan Heap, David Lipper (Screenplay)

Starring: David Lipper, Dina Meyer, Lance Henriksen, Bree Williamson, Austin Highsmith, Levy Tran

 

Plot: After the death of a much despised patriarch, a mysterious box shows up during the reading of the will, forcing the family to reckon with each of their own deadly sins.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Clever Idea

 

Story: The Unwilling starts when Father Harris (Henriksen) dies bringing his family together for the will reading, they must go to David’s (Lipper) house because of his OCD, the rest of the family and new connection include Michelle (Meyer), Cheryl (Williamson), Kelly (Highsmith) Darren (Thomas), Rich (Rusier).

The reading doesn’t go as expected when a mysterious box arrives and the family must put their differences aside to learn the reason why they have been summoned for this event.

 

Thoughts on The Unwilling

 

Characters – David is the owner of the house the event takes place, he suffers from agoraphobia and OCD, he is the first to suspect that his father might be haunting them from beyond the grave, we get to see about his troubles through the film. Michelle is the sister of David, divorced from Rich and escaped from the home at childhood. Father Harris is the man that has died and bought his family together for his will reading. The rest of the characters are what w know from this style of movie, though Cheryl seems different to what we know when it comes to the young woman with older rich guy as she does have intelligence and medical training instead of just being a bimbo.

PerformancesThe performances in this movie are the weakest part of the film, mostly because we have a lot of over reacting screaming, a stoner that is beyond annoying and the playing into the OCD too much while not being consistent.

StoryThe story shows a family coming back together to read a will only for things to take a turn when a mysterious box arrives, it soon becomes a battle to survive. Where this story becomes fascinating is when everything gets rolling and the story goes into direction you wouldn’t imagine it going in and with a final third that is wonderful to see unfold.

ThrillerThe film uses the thriller genre well because it builds the tension between the characters and keeps us guessing just where the film could go in the later part.

SettingsThe film takes in the home of David, it keeps the story in one location and shows it isn’t within walking distance to anywhere else.

Special EffectsThe effects in the movie are used well enough, one moment stands out more than the rest with a mirror.


Scene of the Movie –
Mirror sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The Darren character got very annoying quickly as a stoner.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thriller that that does start slow and doesn’t have most interesting characters, but once we get into the story it becomes one of the most interesting ones in a long time.

 

Overall: Great story unfolding.

Rating

 

 

Of Minor Prophets (2016)

Director: Joe Hubers

Writer: Jeff Barker (Screenplay) Joe Hubers (Story)

Starring: Kristopher Kling, Cora Vander Broek, Kimberlee Soo, Oliver McKinney, Rebecca Hanson, Matthew Brumlow

 

Plot: A lonely bachelor farmer befriends a prostitute and has to contend with her true intentions.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Florida Project’s Little Brother

 

Story: Of Minor Prophets starts as we enter the small dusty town bachelor farmer Doug (Kling) lives an isolated life away from any personal connection. Ami (Vander Broek) is a prostitute that works the outskirts of the businesses looking for clients, so she can keep a roof over her young son Josh’s (McKinney) head.

When the two meet they strike up a friendship as they both show the problems they have in their lives, they start to bond as Ami sees a way out of her life of fear.

 

Thoughts on Of Minor Prophets

 

Characters – Doug is a lonely farmer, he lives in isolation, getting his job done before returning home, never searching for a wife, even though he is a bachelor for the single women in town. He does try to do the right for Ami, someone he would never changes this. Ami is a prostitute that owes the wrong people money, she has a young son to care for as she looks for a quick way out of this world, Doug gives her hope of a different world.

PerformancesKristopher Kling as the farmer is great in this role, he helps his character feel withdrawn from most of the conversation which helps show us the isolation he has been living with comfortably. Cora Vander Broek is the other leading star of the movie, she brings us a strong character that shows the determination needed to keep her child safe, while trying to get out of the life. The rest of the cast are good through the film.

StoryThe story here will easily get comparisons to The Florida Project, he shows us the struggles of people in America, the setting is different as we have a small farmer town where we follow the mother turn prostitute that wants out of this life, while a new guardian angel figure watches over them. This story is one that will make you think of the struggles, see the positions people might put themselves in and how difficult it could be to escape.

Crime/RomanceThe life of crime is where Ami finds herself in to keep her child safe, while the romance comes from the idea the mysterious stranger could offer her a chance out of this life.

SettingsThe dusty small town setting adds plenty to this film, we see how empty the life of Doug is alone away from the main part of town, we see how the community is there supporting the select groups and how easily crime can trap people.


Scene of the Movie –
Don’t need your help!

That Moment That Annoyed Me Hard to find one.

Final ThoughtsThis is a look at the bleaker side of life in America, it will be easily compared to The Florida Project and that will prepare you for what you are going to be seeing.

 

Overall: Bleak and delightful drama.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Stake Land 2 (2016)

Director: Dan Berk, Robert Olsen

Writer: Nick Damici (Screenplay)

Starring: Connor Paolo, Nick Damici, Laura Aramsen, A.C. Peterson, Steven Williams, Bonnie Dennison

 

Plot: When his home of New Eden is destroyed by a revitalized Brotherhood and its new Vamp leader, Martin finds himself alone in the badlands of America with only the distant memory of his mentor and legendary vampire hunter, Mister, to guide him.

 

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Sequel to Underrated Vampire Film

 

Story: Stake Land 2 starts as we see Martin (Paolo) trained through the first film now a leader of a community that survives vampire attacks but his new life is shattered when he loses everything including his wife and daughter, left with only visions of his former mentor Mister (Damici) he roams the world alone searching for Mister.

Martin wants to take down the new leader of the brotherhood of the vampires, known only as The Mother (Hughes) he knows that only Mister has the skills to get the job done. Once Martin reunites with Mister the two must continue their battle with the vampires but also face the human enemies in the world.

 

Thoughts on Stake Land 2

 

Characters – Martin has lost his family to a vampire attack, now he seeks his mentor to get revenge and put an end to the vampire problem in the world, he is now capable to fight and this time he has more to fight for than ever. Mister is the mentor that taught Martin everything he knows and he has continued fighting his own way and now he is ready to join arms with Martin. Lady is a feral woman the guys find and take her under their wing to protect her against the common enemy. The Mother does make for a good villain, we know she is heartless and will kill anyone who didn’t obey here.

PerformanceConnor Paolo is good as the kid of the partnership, he shows the emotionless stage you would expect his character to be in. Nick Damici is good as the Mister character, he did also get the writing credit here so you would expect his character to get the best lines, which he does but otherwise this is a good aging hero performance. The rest of the performance are also good through the film even if we don’t get much development from the villains side of things.

StoryThe story follows the reunion between mentor and student as they look to kill a new deadly vampire leader that can control other vampires making them deadlier than ever. This is fine as a story, the problem I found was main about just how easy Mister was to find, it felt like just a couple of days but it is designed to feel like it should be longer. The battles themselves also come off too easy, find a place, get invaded, find a new place get invaded, there never seems to be a settled moment in the locations that feel like they are settled. When you do look into the deeper plot things feel rushed but otherwise it is a fun to watch.

Action/HorrorThe action used through the film is fighting the vampires, most you can’t see too much but otherwise nothing overly fresh. The horror is the attacks happening at night which should add terror.

SettingsThe settings are just designed to feel like safe holds in the battle but seem to always have one big weakness.

Special EffectsThe effects are only used when needed which is nice because we don’t need too much from this side of everything.

Scene of the Movie – The opening walk Martin goes on because it shows just how alone he feels now.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Night fights are nearly impossible to see what is happening.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun action horror but in the end it just feels like it is hard to watch because of the lighting through the most part.

 

Overall: Solid sequel for the fan base of the original.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Downhill (2016)

Director: Patricio Valladares

Writer: Barry Keating (Screenplay)

Starring: Natalie Burn, Ignacia Allamand, Bryce Draper, Ariel Levy, Luke Massy, Matias Lopez

 

Plot: After his best friend dies in a racing accident, biking star Joe agrees to go back on the wheels for an exhibition in Chile. On a test run with his girlfriend Stephanie, they stumble upon a badly injured man dying from a mysterious virus. That’s the start of a very bad day for them as they become the target of relentless killers ready to do anything to keep their secret to go out of the mountains.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Horror

 

Story: Downhill starts when downhill biker Joe (Draper) watches his best friend die in a competitive race, he closes off but when another professional and friend Pablo (Levy) talks him into going to Chile with his girlfriend Stephanie (Burn) for an exhibition race.

When Joe and Stephanie are on a practise run they find themselves saving a stranger only to find they are going to become the latest targets in a twisted hunting trip by the locals.

 

Thoughts on Downhill

 

Characters/PerformanceJoe is the former downhill cyclists who is talked out of his retirement for an exhibition, we find he is grieving for his best friend but we also learn that he isn’t as clean cut as he comes across. Stephanie is the girlfriend of Joe that pushes him out of retirement and general helps with the social media side of things. Magdalena is the girlfriend of Pablo the guy who gets Joe out of retirement, that is pretty much her character.

Performance wise, I think the two leads do suffer with a lack of chemistry which doesn’t help with their performances. I do feel we could have better through the film.

StoryThe story does start of routine, out of towners get trapped by locals who hunt down the tourists. We know the survival horror angle works and we get good shots with the cyclists but I feel the film saves the better angle until too late in the film with what is going on with the hunters. This could have and does become the best part of the movie.

Action/Horror/SportsThe action side of the movie does come from the race to survive which does also include the sports side of things. The horror comes with being hunted down and just the bigger picture.

SettingsThe settings put us in the Chilean countryside where the hunting can happen if there was nowhere to run for the characters, we don’t get any stunning views though.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well for the different horrors we are left to experience through the film, be it kills, torture or crash sequences.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror that does get dragged down by weaker performances.

 

Overall: Good horror, weak performances.

Rating