Randy’s Canvas (2018)

Director: Sean Michael Beyer

Writer: Sean Michael Beyer, Matthew Luke Andrews (Screenplay) Matthew Luke Andrews, Kevin G Schmidt, Sean Michael Beyer, Zack Bennett (Story)

Starring: Adam Carbone, Scout Taylor-Compton, Marycarmen Lopez, Massi Furlan, Kevin G Schmidt, Richard Riehle, Michael Emery

 

Plot: A coming-of-age love story about an aspiring artist with autism.


Tagline – “Autism is what I have, it’s not who I am.”

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Coming-of-Age Delight

 

Story: Randy’s Canvas starts as we meet Randy (Carbone) an autistic young man with a talent and dream to become an artist, working at a gallery, one of his pieces gets displayed causing him to lose him job when Maurizio D’Oro (Furlan) singles his work out as the best in the gallery.

Maurizio takes Randy under his wing spotting his talent, trying to help him make his own name in the industry, giving him a chance to audit a famous art lecturer’s class. Starting the class opens him up to the world more learning about love and not being afraid that people will judge him.

 

Thoughts on Randy’s Canvas

 

Characters – Randy is the autistic young man who uses art to show his feelings, which he happens to be very talented. He likes a simple job and fails to follow instructions from lecturers, mentors and even family. His first love puts a shadow over the potential he has, he will need to learn fast to get the future he could have. Cassie is a classmate that offers Randy friendship because she has the same dream as Randy. Sienna becomes the first love for Randy, she does have her own boyfriend though, she likes hanging out with the brothers seeing them in a different light to her boyfriend. Maurizio is the gallery owner that sees the talent Randy has and wants to help him realize his potential. We also have Henry who is Randy’s brother that will always put his arm around him when he needs it and tries to guide him through everyday life.

PerformancesAdam Carbone in the leading role does an excellent job at balancing the autistic side to his character where he doesn’t make it feel unrealistic and makes us understand that Randy could well be a real person. Scout Taylor-Compton is good in her role which is supporting one, with Marycarmen Lopez doing a great job with her performance of a lady put in a difficult position. Massi Furlan is the most entertain performer to watch because we have that feeling about what we think art gallery owners are like.

StoryThe story here follows an autistic artist given a chance of a lifetime only that he struggles to follow instruction which could take away this chance after he falls in love with a girl on a night out with his brother. While the core of the story is something we know and enjoy watching, where the story shines in putting the spotlight on autistic people, they do have the talent and work just like any other people, we get to see the slight difference between the processing they must make, we see how even the biggest enemy can learn to understand they don’t understand how they feel. On the side story about this movie we did have autistic people working on the production of this movie to paint an accurate portray of autism which is something everyone should be seeing unfold.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in the film comes from Randy’s innocence behaviour about situations, Maurizio’s speeches and mostly feel good moments. The romance shows Randy that women might come into his life, while they won’t mistreat him, he needs to learn the difference between love and friendship.

SettingsThe film gives us a couple of settings, they do feel like everyday settings, the home, bar, school, gallery, each would be a place where Randy could find inspiration.


Scene of the Movie –
Randy’s show.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact Henry doesn’t inform Maurizio about the autism from the first meeting.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best coming of age movies you will see this year, it does have an important message about how equal and patient people should be with autistic people and shows us just how dreams will take time.

 

Overall: Must watch coming of age movie.

Rating

 

 

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Mile 22 (2018)

Director: Peter Berg

Writer: Lea Carpenter (Screenplay) Graham Roland, Lea Carpenter (Story)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, Iko Uwais, John Malkovich, Ronda Rousey, Carlo Alban, Natasha Goubskaya

 

Plot: An elite American intelligence officer, aided by a top-secret tactical command unit, tries to smuggle a mysterious police officer with sensitive information out of the country.


Tagline – Option 1: Diplomacy. Option 2: Military. Meet Option 3

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bloody but Lacking Substance

 

Story: Mile 22 starts as we meet our elite team led by James Silva (Wahlberg), we have Alice (Cohan), Sam (Rousey) and Douglas (Alban), they are Overwatch, with Bishop (Malkovich) providing the eyes from the skies from a distance. We see how skill and ruthless they are in the opening sequence.

Now 16 months later the team get their latest assignment, to get a mysterious police office Li Noor (Uwais) out of the country so he will give them the information on potential weapons of mass destruction, the problem is, everyone wants him dead.

 

Thoughts on Mile 88

 

Characters – James Silva is a vastly intelligent man, the needs puzzles to keep his mind in check or he will become violent, he sticks up for his team in any situation and will get the job done no matter what it takes. This character can get very annoying because we get too man speech moments from him which pause the action to take place. not liking the leading man isn’t always going to help the film. Alice is the member of the team with the connection to Li, she knows he is good for the information, but her personal like of going through a divorce and being away from her daughter is what tries to bring a human side to her character, while strong and resourceful, we still get the scene where the female needs a man to save her. Li Noor is the mysterious cop that has the information that the locals also want dead, he proves to be vital in escaping and proves to be the highlight of the action scenes. Bishop is the eyes in the sky, he leads the team from a distance which will help them find the best escape routes, he needs to be trusted to make the operation work.

PerformancesMark Wahlberg gives us a performance which is mostly annoying, sure, he can point and shoot a gun, but his speech moments and that damn wrist thing get so annoying through the film. Lauren Cohan breaking away from television here, she does give us a stronger performance showing what we could get from better writing on the Walking Dead. Iko Uwais is the main reason I went to see this movie and when he is let loose to fight, we get the best part of the movie. John Malkovich is good without needing to do that much in this role.

StoryThe story here follows an elite unit that must transport a man from point A to point B by a certain time, with an unknown number of enemies trying to hunt them down. Seems simple enough, well we do start slow, we get a lot of political red tape to get through before we get to the action, once we hit the action we end up getting a mix of 16 Blocks and The Raid, only not that good. The fact that the technology is that intelligent drains the life out of the story, we lose the suspense in the story when we get ‘drive down this road, take a left or a right’ we sometimes need to see the face the problems head on, which they end up doing anyway, just slapping this side part in. the story does have one impressive moment which you must wait to see, otherwise we do get into the over-complicated for no reason.

Action/CrimeThe action in this film is bloody gun battles, Iko Uwais showing his fight skills once again, which is always a pleasure to see, though the cutting between certain moments takes away from the excitement of the action. The crime world shows us how certain military roles can be above the law no matter what the case it.

SettingsThe film is set in an unnamed country in Southeast Asia, this does stop any political issues with how the story is told, we get tighter streets which is fine otherwise this is just the location we expect in a bigger city with embassies in.


Scene of the Movie –
Iko Uwais first gets unleashed.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Mark Wahlberg mainly.

Final ThoughtsThis is an over-complicated action movie that can be fun to watch in places, it doesn’t hold back on the blood and will soon be one that you mostly likely forget.

 

Overall: Over-complicated Action Thriller.

Rating

 

 

Hollow Body (2018)

Director: Alex Keledjian

Writer: Alex Keledjian (Screenplay)

Starring: David Arquette, Luke Wilson, Allie Gonino, Ryan Donowho, Perrey Reeves

 

Plot: Hollow Body is a struggling rock band led by Jimmy (David Arquette) who makes a deal with Rick (Luke Wilson) a shady record executive. Unfortunately, the band’s shy lead singer Rachel (Allie Gonino) suffers from severe stage fright and cannot play in front of a live audience. The band breaks up and as Rachel’s controlling stage mother Barb (Perrey Reeves) drives her home, they are struck by lightning and killed. Rachel comes back to life, now able to give electrifying performances, but at a terrible cost. Jimmy and bandmate Scott (Ryan Donowho) must decide if they are willing to pay the ultimate price for success.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Music Horror

 

Story: Hollow Body starts on aging Rockstar’s Jimmy (Arqutte) birthday, looking back at his career until he meets new younger musicians at his party with vocalist Rachel (Gonino) and writer Scott (Donowho) seeing this as a chance to come back to the top of the industry.

When the band gets their first gig disaster strikes with Rachel suffering stage fright and on the way home she is struck by lightening and killed. She doesn’t stay dead though and comes back full of confidence and the bands success takes off, only Rachel isn’t the same person she was when they started the band.

 

Thoughts on Hollow Body

 

Characters – Jimmy is our narrator, the aging Rockstar who has one big hit that keeps his name relevant in the industry, spotting new talent he wants to do a comeback, he uses his connections to give them the start and knows how to get the most out of their talents. He will however always be looked at as the aging star that hadn’t succeeded. Rick is the record label manager that Jimmy turns to when he needs the record for his new band, he is hard of Jimmy who had mostly worked with his father. Rachel is the new lead singer in the band, the problem is that she has stage fright, until she dies and comes back as a new improved performer that lights up the stage with her performance only to take on a much darker side. Scott is the writer for the new band, he is married and has an attraction to Rachel which puts his marriage in danger and is easily the heart and soul of the band.

PerformancesDavid Arquette in the leading role is great to see, he always gives a performance that fits this character, slightly outside the normal and being the rock star lets him enjoy performing. Luke Wilson is the biggest disappointment, not that he isn’t good, its more we don’t get to see enough of his character in the film. Allie Gonino is the breakout star from this movie, handling two different personalities through the film, showing off the singing skills and become her character in each scene we see her in. Ryan Donowho brings us a grounded performance which is needed with the wilder characters in the film.

StoryThe story here follows the upstart band that faces difficulties that start with performances problems and soon turn supernatural after the lead singer comes back from the dead. Now while the story goes in a different backstory to what is going on, you can’t help but get the same vibes that ‘All Cheerleaders Must Die’ had with he seductive return from the dead. We get to see how cutthroat the music industry is, with the stage performance issues, the rise and the vices that come from being in the industry. This is a story that can be enjoyed if you like your rock music even if we don’t get too many songs and just fits in the horror world nicely.

HorrorThe horror comes from just what Rachel comes back as and what she does, this is known by the band only to make sure that the success goes on even with what is going on.

SettingsThe film keeps the settings around the rock industry, we have the aging stars house, the stages and the parties which makes the settings work for every single scene we are watching.

Special EffectsThe effects are what we want to see, they are consistent with everything each time we see the lightening style used.


Scene of the Movie –
The first reborn performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I would have liked more music.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror thriller that takes us into the rock music world that does show just how far people will do to be part of the industry however much evil is guiding you.

 

Overall: Horror music fans dream

Rating

 

 

Apocalypse Rising (2018)

Director: Richard Lowry

Writer: Gregory P Wolk (Screenplay)

Starring: Hunter Alexes Parker, Shane Samples, Justin Lebrun, Johanna Rae, Victoria Steadman, James R Frey

 

Plot: They came from a doomed world to save us from the same fate.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderfully Self Aware

 

Story: Apocalypse Rising starts as we head to the planet Rathe on the brink of collapse through war. Mia (Parker), Magnum (Samples), Karl (Frey), Phoenix (Lebrun), Beset (Rae) and Thora (Steadman) escape the planet searching for a new home, Earth.

On Earth they must learn the new culture and teach the wars that war will be destructive, but a new threat for both appears, they must join forces to fight for freedom against the undead.

 

Thoughts on Apocalypse Rising

 

Characters – Mia is the one from the crew with the ability to see the future, once leaving Rathe, she is the only one that sees the future coming to Earth which will follow in the footsteps of their own. She does have an air of innocence about her which helps her stand out from the rest of the species. Magnum is the muscles that will help in any fight, be objectified by the women of Earth and show he has the brains to. Phoenix is the pilot of the crew, he fills the role of the one that gets the extra laughs while trying to keep the group together. The crew is rounded off nicely with each one knowing their place in the world, with the aliens not understand Earth, when it comes to the human characters we get the wonderfully named India Jones one of the scientists on the dig.

PerformancesHunter Parker in the leading role shows the innocent strength needed for this role. Shane Samples will be the one you remember most, he is built like a tank and his ability to hit the humour lines with complete deadpan reaction makes his character feel different to one with the same look. The rest of the cast do a good job and fully embrace the characters mentality.

StoryThe story here follows a group of aliens that flee their dying home planet and find themselves on Earth needing to prepare the planet for the same destruction their own planet faced. The story is completely self-aware of what it is saying which does help, we get to play on the idea that humans aren’t as smart as them, being in the same tone as an Army of Darkness from start to finish. We do dive into religious history while searching for how the impending destruction can be translated from biblical text. The story could have become laughable if we didn’t have the self-aware side behind everything.

Comedy/Fantasy/Horror/Sci-FiThe comedy in the film does come from how the alien interact with the humans, with certain reactions being over the top. The fantasy world puts us in the horror idea of zombies mixed with religion. With the sci-fi elements of the film coming from the world where aliens have come from their own planet to help Earth to not make the same mistakes.

SettingsThe film keeps the settings simple, we have Rathe which looks like our generic planet, with the Earth settings surrounding a dig, which helps with the religious side of things.

Special EffectsThe effects are low budget and we can tell, it doesn’t take away from the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The self-awareness this movie shows.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Would like to know more about the side characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most self-aware movies you will ever see, it gets the laughs when needing and never takes itself too seriously.

 

Overall: Fun self-aware film.

Rating

 

 

The Predator (2018)

Director: Shane Black

Writer: Fred Dekker, Shane Black (Screenplay) Jim Thomas, John Thomas (Characters)

Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K Brown, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen

 

Plot: When a young boy accidentally triggers the universe’s most lethal hunters’ return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.


Tagline – You’ll never see him coming.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Commits to Comical Tone

 

Story: The Predator starts as we meet elite sniper Quinn McKenna (Holbrook) whose latest job sees a spacecraft crash land with a Predator butchering his team, with a few goodies he finds, he sends home, knowing what is coming. With his son Rory (Tremblay) being an Asperger’s sufferer, he accidently unlocks the code trapped within the system.

Government agent Traeger (Brown) is trying to unlock the system and when the captured Predator escapes, Quinn must team up with other soldiers branded crazy, Nebraska (Rhodes), Coyle (Key), Baxley (Jane), Lynch (Allen) and Nettles (Aguilera) who help scientist Casey (Munn) find a solution for the new Predator problem.

 

Thoughts on The Predator

 

Characters – Quinn McKenna is a sniper who finds himself in the middle of the latest Predator ship crash landing, surviving his first encounter with the creature, he uses the technology to escape, he must use his training to protect his son and save the world from the impending attack. We do know he isn’t the best family man, but this night should bring him closer to his son. Nebraska is one of the ‘crazy’ soldiers, he will help Quinn becoming the connection between the rest pushing them to do the right thing. Rory is the Asperger’s sufferer that can solve puzzles others can barely unpack, he is your typical different student and school, the outsider if you like. Casey is the scientist bought in to help understand just what is happening with the Predator’s visiting Earth and certain questions about their DNA. Traeger is the government that is trying to keep the lid on everything, he will kill anyone that cross the government to keep secrets and has a dark sense of humour. The rest of the soldiers, Coyle, Baxley, Lynch and Nettles do have their own problems from serving in the military with this battle giving them a chance to redeem themselves.

PerformancesBoyd Holbrook in the leading role is good for the film, he doesn’t reach the levels of Arnie and will fit in well with the rest of the leads. Trevante Rhodes is the guy you most want to watch, he gets the best scenes for the military unit. Jacob Tremblay is getting a reputation for playing kids with troubled sides, he seems to be excellent at this type of role, this however would be his weakest outing so far. Olivia Munn is good even though she doesn’t get the best scenes to work with. Sterling K Brown makes for a great fun human villain and the rest of the unit show good chemistry.

StoryThe story here follows another group of soldiers that come face to face with a Predator and must fight back to survive, this time we have a bigger, badder Predator. Now is a fun story to watch, however if you are a fan of the original this will not give you everything you want to see. The biggest plus in this movie is explaining why the Predators visit Earth, watching this is the right move for the franchise. The story does show insensitive when it comes to dealing with the military unit that clearly have their own mental health problems which sadly gets overlooked and turned into a running joke. For a man of Shane Black’s calibre, we would expect better written scenes, instead of just lazy insults. The key element to take away from the story is that we are watching something fun that has moved away from the original tone.

Action/Adventure/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is big, we get the fights which are big and bloody which is all we want to see, the horror does take a back burner as even when the film tries to be suspenseful it falls short, but the blood does help us out here. The sci-fi side of the film comes from trying to build a bigger world for the Predators to visit from.

SettingsThe film doesn’t make use of the settings too, we get the woodland area which plays into Predators speciality.

Special EffectsThe effects here are very weak for the budget, the opening sequence alone is poor for what we would expect, when it comes to the camouflage ability doesn’t even look better than the 87 film.


Scene of the Movie –
Hello big boy.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Making a joke of the mental health problems soldiers face.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun sequel, the tone does stay the same from start to finish which other big blockbusters have failed to do, we get to see more about the history of Predators and most importantly we learn just how deadly they can be.

 

Overall: Fun and enjoyable.

Rating