Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Raw (2017)

Director: Julia Ducournau

Writer: Julia Ducournau (Screenplay)

Starring: Garance Marillier, Ella Rumpf, Rabah Nait Oufella, Laurence Lucas, Joana Preiss, Bouli Lanners

 

Plot: When a young vegetarian undergoes a carnivorous hazing ritual at vet school, an unbidden taste for meat begins to grow in her.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fails the Shock Treatment

 

Story: Raw starts as we follow Justine (Marillier) a young woman who heads off to university to study to become a vet where her sister Alexia (Rumpf) studies too. Justine befriends her roommate Adrien (Oufella) and now the hazing ritual starts for the ‘Rookies’ but Justine a vegetarian must go against hers and her family’s belief and eat meat or be forced to be disgraced by the ‘Elders’ students.

After eating a rabbit kidney Justine starts to be ill and she isn’t designed to be able to cope with hazing situations of a dress code, room getting raided but most worrying for her, is that she starts to gain a blood lust.

 

Thoughts on Raw

 

Characters/PerformanceJustine is a quiet young woman, she keeps to herself and finds herself in a world where she has been raised a vegetarian but to fit in she must go against everything she has known to become blood thirsty monster around compass. Alexia is elder sister of Justine, she understands the transformation she is going through but is distant in her guiding her through it. Adrien is the roommate that works with Justine in class too, he comes off as the complete opposite, open, friendly and not afraid of the world.

Performance wise, Garanace Marillier is good through this film as she goes through the transformation. I do feel the rest are good performance but as the film focuses more on Justine we don’t see too much away from her character.

StoryThe first thing I want to bring up when looking at the story is wondering just how messed up this school really is, these forced rituals on everyone shouldn’t happen, it should only be optional. As for the core of the story which is Justine slowly transforms from quiet vegetarian into a blood thirsty meat eater, hunting the pray, becoming something she never imagined. This is interesting to watch but does take a while to get to the shock parts that have created the reputation around this film.

HorrorThis is a horror film that relies on Shock Value, it goes to push even the strongest of fans of horror to the limits and will have anybody who is turned away by gore needing to look away.

SettingsMost of the film is set in and around the school which does work for the hazing rituals going on through the film.

Special EffectsThe effects used are all great making you understand just how twisted the imagination of the creators are.

Final ThoughtsThis does feel like a film designed solely for shock value, it lives of the reputation is has had created and just doesn’t live up to the pure disturbing nature you would be made to believe it has.

 

Overall: Designed for Shocks, doesn’t deliver on all those promises.

Rating

 

 

The Boss Baby (2017)

Director: Tom McGrath

Writer: Michael McCullers (Screenplay) Marla Frazee (Book)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Alec Baldwin, Steve Buscemi, Jimmy Kimmel, Lisa Kudrow, Tobey Maguire, Mike Bakshi

 

Plot: A suit-wearing briefcase-carrying baby pairs up with his seven-year old brother to stop the dastardly plot of the CEO of Puppy Co.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Family Film

 

Story: The Boss Baby starts as we meet seven-year old Tim, he has an overactive imagination living the perfect world growing up with his successful parents who work for Puppy Co. When they have another baby, The Boss Baby, Tim finds himself incredible jealous and questions everything about him.

After the two find themselves against each other, the two put their differences aside to go on the Boss’s mission to expose they puppies are stealing all love babies should be getting.

 

Thoughts on The Boss Baby

 

Characters Tim is the typical kid before technology era took over, he makes his own stories using his imagination. He becomes jealous of his little brother but overcomes that to become best friends. The Boss Baby is set to uncover the truth about a puppy company where puppies are become more popular than babies. He is super smart and has never had a normal childhood. Francis Francis owns Puppy Co and has an evil plan to get rid of all the babies in the world. Looking at the character’s you can see some greatly created truths that have been pushed to the next level when it comes to the brother’s bonding.

StoryThe story does play out like how a solo child must deal with a new baby, sure there is a farfetched idea that babies can work in undercover to solve issues. The difference between the two are clear and you can see how siblings can be effected by changes like this happening.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy works very well with Alec Baldwin seemingly having the best voice possible for this role which helps add to the comedy. The whole family could enjoy this film with jokes hitting for all to enjoy.

SettingsThe settings we find the characters in are all enjoyable and add to the comedy the characters find themselves in.

AnimationThe animation all looks fantastic like you would expect from a big budget animated movie.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that does impress more than I was thinking and I feel the comedy does hit on the levels required.

 

Overall: One of the highlights of the animated films this year.

Rating

 

 

I Am Heath Ledger (2017)

Director: Adrian Buitenhuis, Derik Murray

Writer: Hart Snider (Screenplay)

 

Plot: Friends and family of the late actor Heath Ledger remember his life and career.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fascinating Documentary

 

Story: I am Heath Ledger starts as we hear from friends and family about the drive from a very young age that Heath had, we learn how he would record his life and we see these previously unseen recordings of his own adventures, as he continued to learn his craft.

We learn how the fellow stars from Australia would come together to support each other through their time in Hollywood.

Seeing how many people both in personal and in the Hollywood world were touched by Heath is fascinating and showed us what a great man Heath was and how he should always be remembered.

 

Thoughts on I Am Heath Ledger

 

Final ThoughtsHeath Ledger is easily one of the biggest losses in modern Hollywood time, he potential was just coming through after The Dark Knight but he was taken from us too soon. Seeing how his life goals were achieved, how he went out with little to no experience to become a lead in a Hollywood. Seeing how he helped people, always wanted to learn and improve his craft is fascinating to see. This is a must watch for any of the fans of his, actors and Hollywood.

 

Overall: One for everyone to watch.

Rating

 

 

King Arthur: Legend of the Sword (2017)

Director: Guy Ritchie

Writer: Joby Harold, Guy Ritchie, Lionel Wigram (Screenplay) David Dobkin, Joby Harold (Story)

Starring: Charlie Hunnam, Astrid Berges-Frisbey, Jude Law, Djimon Hounsou, Eric Bana, Aidan Gillen, Freddie Fox

 

Plot: Robbed of his birthright, Arthur comes up the hard way in the back alleys of the city. But once he pulls the sword from the stone, he is forced to acknowledge his true legacy – whether he likes it or not.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gangster Fantasy Film

 

Story: King Arthur: Legend of the Sword starts with backstory, yay, in this we get to see how King Uther (Bana) has waged war against Mages showing he is keeping him people safe at Camelot. After the latest victory, Uther finds his kingdom under attack from within racing to save his son Arthur from his corrupted brother Vortigern (Law). With Arthur safe we get a flash into how Arthur and Vortigern spend the next years before we start our main story.

Arthur (Hunnam) now a gangster like figure in Londium crosses paths with King Vortigern and learns his own destiny within the world as he is the only man to be able to remove the sword from the stone. With King Vortigern needing to hunt down and kill Arthur who begins his own resistance movement against the new evil ruler with a mix of loyal men to his father and his own friends.

 

Thoughts on King Arthur: Legend of the Sword

 

Characters/PerformanceArthur is the boy raised in the gutter that was destine to become king, we follow his journey from small time street hustler to warrior and then king, this isn’t too much in the field of original in the character design. The Mage is the guide into the fantasy world for Arthur mostly in riddles. Vortigern is the evil king looking to gain the power of magic through the sacrifices he is willing to make, he hasn’t plenty of chances to kill Arthur but wants to do it in display style. The rest of the characters all help with the characters through the film without being that memorable.

Performance wise, Charlie Hunnam does struggle in the leading role which does leave you wondering how he keeps getting potential franchise lead roles, Jude Law does give us a very mixed performance, one minute you feel like it is good then it comes off cheesy. Astrid Berges-Frisbey does seem to struggle throughout, it seems part is the language barrier because it feels like she is just reading the script with no idea how to add any impact to her lines. The rest of the stars are better and handle their supporting role well.

StoryKing Arthur is a story that has been told plenty of times and building the idea of a fantasy world should work, but you do have plenty of things going wrong here, first it uses the explaining the action scene while it is unfolding way too often, I think it was about 5 times through the film. we also have dialogue which feels like we are watching a gangster film. the story does end feeling very long and misses the chances for the best action sequences for extra talking scenes.

Action/Adventure/FantasyAction sequences are all cut chopped and edited down losing the scale we would like to have seen, the adventure side of the story is forgettable but it is difficult to make this original. The fantasy world is what is interesting but we do get large scale scenes which just feel like a film trying to be bigger than it is.

SettingsThe settings are all fine but none of them can become iconic enough.

Special EffectsThe special effects look good throughout but in the end, are used in places just to be big.

Final ThoughtsThis is an awkward mix of gangster and fantasy film that doesn’t quite click with the film missing too many chances to give us a truly memorable action sequence.

 

Overall: This is a forgettable fantasy gangster film.

Rating

 

 

Table 19 (2017)

Director: Jeffrey Blitz

Writer: Jay Duplass, Mark Duplass (Screenplay)

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rya Meyers, Charles Green, Lisa Kudrow, Craig Robinson, Tony Revolori, Margo Martindale, Stephen Merchant, June Squibb, Wyatt Russell

 

Plot: Eloise, having been relieved of maid of honor duties after being unceremoniously dumped by the best man via text, decides to attend the wedding anyway, only to find herself seated with five fellow unwanted guests at the dreaded Table 19.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Delightful Comedy

 

Story: Table 19 starts as we meet our six random as the table layout describes them guests to a wedding, we have former friend and partner of the bride’s brother Teddy (Russell) and now pushed out of the circle Eloise (Kendrick), couple who barley knows anyone Bina (Kudrow) and Jerry (Robinson), anti-social loner Rezno (Revolori), recently released cousin Walter (Merchant) and former Nanny Jo (Squibb).

The six find themselves on Table 19 in the corner and decide to make the most of the evening together after they learn they are the guests that were expected to decline their invitation, but the truth about their own lives will become clear to improve their futures.

 

Thoughts on Table 19

 

Characters/PerformanceEloise is the perfect example of what will happen if you become disliked by a bride just before the wedding you helped prepare, she has a bigger reason to be there and will learn more about why her life in this evening. Bina and Jerry are a long-married couple going through the slow times bickering through the wedding. Rezno is a teenager with a few friends, whose mum has controlled most of his life, he gets pushed into going to the wedding in hope of meeting someone. Walter is a former criminal that is invited to the keep the family open but not enough to be accepted.  Jo is the former nanny that is delighted to be invited but disappointed to be left out of the main family circle. The 6 all have their reasons to be at the wedding and help themselves improve the bad situation.

Performance wise, we all know I will watch anything with Anna Kendrick is and once again she doesn’t let us down, it is also great to see Lisa Kudrow in comedy once again, Craig Robinson is one of the comic actors you can see pull anything off. Tony Revolori continues to show he is someone we should be noticing in film having a comic ability unlike others and June Squibb is fast becoming an actress I want to see all of her films. Stephen Merchant steals the show here but to be fair I think everyone did a great job in this film with Wyatt Russell offering another genre piece for us to see if he can follow in his father’s footsteps.

StoryWe will all get invited to weddings, we will all have different seats and different connections to the couple. This film shows how different people can come together and learn the truth about situations to improve themselves in the most unlikely place, learning from unlikely people. The story is charming throughout which can be enjoyed by all.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy through the film works without becoming anything all laughs, we do get a romantic angle which comes off nicely too.

SettingsThe whole film is set in the wedding party which is great because it all happens in one night which shows us what can happen in one night.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that truly can be enjoyed, it has the laughs, the heart and the real effects of what you would expect from a wedding if you are an outsider.

 

Overall: One of the comedies of the year.

Rating