Submergence (2018)

Director: Wim Wenders

Writer: Erin Dignam (Screenplay) J.M Ledgard (Novel)

Starring: Alicia Vikander, James McAvoy, Alexander Siddig, Jannik Schumann, Reda KAteb, Celyn Jones, Jess Liaudin, Mohamed Hakeemshady

 

Plot: In a room with no windows on the eastern coast of Africa, a Scotsman, James More, is held captive by jihadist fighters. Thousands of miles away in the Greenland Sea, Danielle Flinders prepares to dive in a submersible to the ocean floor. In their confines they are drawn back to the Christmas of the previous year, where a chance encounter on a beach in France led to an intense and enduring romance.


Tagline – Love Has No Limits

Runtime: 1 Hour 52 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful Love Story

 

Story: Submergence starts as Danielle Flinders (Vikander) is preparing for her submersible dive of the coast of Greenland, she has lost contact to the man she fell in love with James More (McAvoy) who unbeknown to her has been captured in Africa by Jihadist fighters.

James is using the memory of the Christmas the two met in France to keep him going in hope of freedom, while Danielle faces her fears of what could go wrong in her dive. We are left to see how their love keeps them both strong and broken in the world where they are 1000s of miles apart.

 

 

Thoughts on Submergence

 

Characters – Danielle Flinders has been using her mathematic formulas to understand the deepest part of the oceans believing one day the world will run out of oxygen and that the deepest part of the ocean could hold the answers. She doesn’t connect with people on a personal level until James comes along breaking down those walls. James More is a Scottish man working in Africa for a water company, trying to bring clean water to the remote parts of the country, he is captured by the Jihadist fighters, he keeps his relationship with Danielle as his only motivation for survival. We do meet other characters that the two interact with who helps show the predicament the two are facing.

PerformancesAlicia Vikander is always great in a drama, she has the ability to morph into many characters from different fields and times, this is no different as you truly understand her struggle. James McAvoy is great to as we see him almost play two different characters, the one that is confident and in love and the one being broken.

StoryThe story here shows us how two people on very different career paths from different sides of the world can meet and fall in love for a split second and use this to motivate them to survive and complete their goals. The meeting side of everything is nice enough we have seen it before and it works for the film fine, it is the part of the story where they are apart which interests most. Seeing Danielle facing the biggest moment of her career, the moment she has waited for, for years, but feeling broken because she can’t contact James shows her conflict, while James is facing potential death with no one to call for help using his inspiration of love for Danielle to keep him going, these two elements of the film keep us going.

Romance/ThrillerThe love the two characters feel for each other feels real, the separation they are feeling with no clue how the other one is feeling is how love can be at times and to keep us guessing to what will happen at the end is what keeps us enjoying till the end.

SettingsThe film uses the settings very well, the have the beauty of the French coastline for the meeting between the two and using the contrast of the open spaces both enjoy in their different location with the tight prisons they are both facing is very interesting to see and used perfectly.


Scene of the Movie –
The island trip Danielle takes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The final act with James.

Final ThoughtsThis is a powerful look at how love can affect a person from the first time you meet someone, to how it will give you hope, motivation and fear when it comes to where you could find yourself in the world.

 

Overall: Wonderful study on love and careers

Rating

 

 

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Cargo (2018)

Director: Ben Howling, Yolanda Ramke

Writer: Yolanda Ramka (Screenplay)

Starring: Martin Freeman, Anthony Hayes, Susie Porter, Caren Pistorius, Kris McQuade, Natasha Wanganeen

 

Plot: CARGO is a post apocalyptic thriller and an emotional story of a father trying to save his child at all costs.


Tagline – The future is fragile

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Compelling Zombie Film

 

Story: Cargo starts as we meet Andy (Freeman), his wife Kay (Porter) and baby daughter Josie who are travelling across Australia to a military base after a zombie outbreak has swept across the country. Using the river their guide, things take a turn for the worse, when Kay gets bitten leaving her just 48 hours to live. When she turns she bites Andy, leaving him with 48 hours to find someone to care for his daughter.

Along the way he meets Vic (Hayes) a man that is using bait to keep his land safe, with not everything being as it seems and it ends up with Andy having to join a fellow survivor Thoomi (Landers) for the right person to look after his daughter.

 

Thoughts on Cargo

 

Characters – Andy is the husband and father trying to find safety for his family, he fails in this attempt with his wife now dead and him infected. He must rush to find somebody in the outback to care for his baby before he turns too, he is a man pushed to limits never imaginable. Vic is a man that Andy meets, he seems like the best possible pick until Andy sees the darker side of his survival. Thoomi is a young girl from the outback that joins with Andy to find a new home for baby Josie.

PerformancesMartin Freeman is brilliant in this leading role, he carries the story with his characters pure desperation to save his daughter. New comer Simone Landers is great too showing as one from the natives in the tribal lands. If we are honest we don’t meet enough of the supporting characters to give a true rating on their performances.

StoryThe story is adapted from a short film of the same name, with the same idea. The simple idea is one man in a zombie outbreak must find someone to care for his baby daughter after he becomes infected, 48 hours is his time limit. When it first got announced this sounded like a breath of fresh area, it does deliver on this because we are happy to follow along on this journey. The only draw back is that we do get to see him have options which might not be the best pick for such a short time limit in search for help. In fairness this is a simple and easy to watch story, it will test the moral discussion about what to do, but isn’t filled with any scenes that feel out of place.

Horror/ThrillerAny film that is set in a zombie apocalypse is going to get the marks for the horror, the undead do have traits we know as well as a few original ideas behind them which adds to certain moments of horror.

SettingsThe film is set in the Australian outback which is something that makes this stand out for the zombie genre, we don’t have big cities, we have large open spaces, which low numbers of the infected.

Special EffectsWhen we look at effects we must be praising them because the practical ones used for the zombie effects and injury effects look spot on.


Scene of the Movie –
The final walk.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I would question how he ended up in Australia in the first place.

Final ThoughtsThis is another good spin on the zombie genre, we often have the desperate attempts to save babies or loved ones, but this time we know his fate and we are gripped waiting to see where it will end up going.

 

Overall: Gripping and Intense zombie film.

Rating

 

 

Proud Mary (2018)

Director: Babak Najafi

Writer: John Stuart Newman, Christina Swegal, Steve Antin (Screenplay)

Starring: Taraji P Henson, Billy Brown, Jahl Di’Allo Winston, Neal McDonough, Margaret Avery, Xander Berkeley, Rade Serbedzija, Danny Glover

 

Plot: Mary (Taraji P. Henson) is a hit woman working for an organized crime family in Boston, whose life is completely turned around when she meets a young boy whose path she crosses when a professional hit goes bad.


Tagline – Execute with style.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Action

 

Story: Proud Mary starts when Mary (Henson) performs a hit, leaving the son of the victim alive, one year later, Danny (Winston) the same boy has fallen into the life of crime, with Mary watching over him until she needs to rescue him.

When Mary takes out the man behind the abusing Danny, she starts a war between her own gang led by Benny (Glover) and Luka’s (Serbedzija) one she must hide the truth from before needing to fight back against the people she once trusted.

 

Thoughts on Proud Mary

 

Characters – Mary is a hitwoman, she lives the high life between jobs, but she won’t take out kids, this has led to her needing to watch over one kid she refused to kill, she sees the same in Danny as she had, being left to fend for themselves. She wants to give Danny the life he deserves after knowing what could happen to him in the life of crime. Tom is the former boyfriend of Mary’s co-worker and raised with Mary, he is loyal to his father Benny, while trying to keep the business together, we don’t get much else out of this character. Danny is the loose end for one of Mary’s hits, he is left to fall into the life of crime before Mary takes him in to show him a normal life, one he should have been having.

PerformancesTaraji P Henson looks the part here, she brings us the beauty assassin character well, but she is clearly too emotional at times for a cold-hearted killer. Billy Brown is the typical family matters in the killer’s circle, he doesn’t bring anything fresh to the performance. Jahi is good in the kid role, he does everything needed without looking out of place.

StoryThe story here is a hitwoman that wants out of the life of crime after facing the reality of what she has been doing to children caught in the crossfire and of course she isn’t allowed to leave that easily. This is everything we have become used in a story, we have seen these movies escalate in quality in recent years, see John Wick for this, but this one is one that just never gets going enough to make us care about the decision. If you do want to see the basic story this will check the boxes without being the stand out on of any years.

Action/CrimeThe trailers makes this feel like a full blown action movie, well this is wrong, we get moments of action sure, they are fun just not often enough for a movie that feels like it should be way over the top. We deal with the crime world throughout the film as we see how the people operate in this world.

SettingsNew York City, the setting of choice, it is one I always say looks amazing for a backdrop, this shows how the criminals will be fighting for control of it too.


Scene of the Movie –
Even though I hated the music, mostly because it is in an advert in England, the shoot-out is fun.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Shopping, in an action movie, no thank you.

Final ThoughtsThis is a standard action movie that doesn’t offer anything new to the genre, it has basic moments of action even if Taraji P Henson does bring us the highlight of the film.

 

Overall: Easy to watch basic action movie.

Rating

 

 

Deadpool 2 (2018)

Director: David Leitch

Writer: Rhett Reese, Paul Wernick, Ryan Reynolds (Screenplay) Rob Liefeld, Fabian Nicieza (Comics)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Josh Brolin, Morena Baccarin, Zazie Beetz, Brianna Hildebrand, Bill Skarsgard, T.J Miller, Terry Crews

 

Plot: Foul-mouthed mutant mercenary Wade Wilson (AKA. Deadpool), brings together a team of fellow mutant rogues to protect a young boy of supernatural abilities from the brutal, time-traveling mutant, Cable.


Tagline – Prepare for the second coming.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Laugh a Minute Comedy

 

Story: Deadpool 2 starts when Deadpool (Reynolds) gets forced into helping Colossus back at Xavier’s mansion, his first mission to calm Russell (Dennison) a tortured mutant about to cause chaos with his fire ability. When things go south Deadpool ends up needing to protect Russell from the time travelling warrior Cable (Brolin) that has come from the future to kill Russell, along the way Deadpool puts together a team, the X-force with Domino (Beetz) using her ability to help in ways Deadpool doesn’t understand.

 

Thoughts on Deadpool 2

 

Characters – Deadpool has gone international with his crime fighting ways now, but when he suffers a life changing moment he goes in search of a purpose, he spends most of the film trying to save Russell from Cable with one liners coming out his mouth in nearly every scene. Cable has come from the future in search of a mutant that has killed his family, he will use his technology advances to get to him and fight to stop the mutant before he could clash with his family in the future. He is the opposite to Deadpool, cold hearted killer, but broken too. Vanessa is back and gives Deadpool all the motivation he needs to complete his tasks. Domino is the new-comer most people will enjoy, her ability is luck, she is super laid back and everything just seems to fall her way. Russell is the teenager with fire ability, he has been abused at the home for mutants, which has made him the enemy when he wants to kill the people that abused him. When it comes to the rest of the characters we get good moments with them throughout the film, but none of them become the centre of attention.

PerformancesRyan Reynolds shines once again in the role he was destining to play. Josh Brolin makes for an excellent Cable, they even throw the short jokes about him not matching the comic book Cable’s size in too. Zazie Beetz is the breakout star of the movie, having never seen her in anything, she handles this laid-back role very well. Julian Dennison, you might remember him from the Hunt for the Wilderpeople, he brings that level of performance here which adds to the comedy in the film. The rest of the returning cast do a good job as the new faces, but none reach the level of the previous mentioned performers.

StoryThe story here does follow similar path to the original Deadpool, where Deadpool must take on a villain using the friends both old a new while adding comedy into the revenge premise. This keeps everything simple, gets to poke fun at the genre of superheroes and does bring a turning point for the Deadpool character and his actions. There are shocks in the storyline, but I felt like I was watching a superhero version of Looper for the most part.

Action/Adventure/Comedy/Sci-FiThe action gives us plenty of fights between the characters, we get to see how the director has used his past experience in the John Wick films to make the action scenes feel more intense, the inclusion of the Cable character gives us more sci-fi elements with the time travel and weaponry. It is the comedy that we have come here for though, it would be fair to say barely any jokes miss, and while some are reference heavy, the target audience should understand them all.

SettingsThe film gives us settings like a Fast and Furious movie, we have point A for one action sequence, point B for the next and part C for the final act, it is by the book and for the most part they check off action picks well.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film look brilliant too, even when they is a reference to a CGI battle, it works for the film and makes you laugh along the way.


Scene of the Movie –
Healing time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain characters don’t get as much screen time as you feel they should.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful sequel that brings us more laughs, more enjoyment and great new characters.

 

Overall: Funniest film of the year.

Rating

 

 

Island Zero (2018)

Director: Josh Gerritsen

Writer: Tess Gerritsen (Screenplay)

Starring: Laila Robins, Adam Wade McLaughlin, Teri Reeves, Matthew Wilkas, Stephen Atkinson, Anabel Graetz

 

Plot: A fishing community on a remote Maine island finds itself suddenly cut off from the rest of the world after the ferry stops coming. When people start to vanish, the terrified survivors realize that someone – or something – is hunting them.


Tagline – Every thing needs to eat.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Creature Feature

 

Story: Island Zero starts as we meet the residents of the small fishing community on the Maine Island, Doctor Maggie (Robins), biologist Sam (McLaughlin) novelist Titus (Wilkas) and many more, with Christmas around the corner the non-permanent resident are looking to return home, only for the ferry not to arrive and connection to the outside world gone.

As the days pass the tension starts to rise and the supplies dwindle, but the bigger threat comes from the sea as a new predator is looking to eat, can they make it offer the island before becoming the latest target.

 

Thoughts on Island Zero

 

Characters – Maggie is the temporary doctor on the island, she does her best with the residents, but can’t wait to leave to return to her home on the main land for an isolated Christmas. She provides help when the attacks happen, while remaining calm through any panic. Sam is a marine biologist that lives on the island who believes the problems in the water will happen with the fish population seemingly vanishing, he does have to face relationship issues with his wife not wanting to stay on the remote island. Lucy is the wife of Sam’s, she is a journalist, but isn’t happy on the island anymore looking to move back to the mainland either with him or without him, she always feels like a replacement mother to his daughter which has made her feel insecure at times.

PerformancesLaila Robins is good in one of the leading roles, she shows the calmness required in her character throughout the film. Adam Wade McLaughlin is good as the marine biologist while Teri Reeves is good as the one that wants a sensible solution to what is going on. The rest of the cast are good throughout the film without anyone being a stand out.

StoryThe story here shows the residents of a small remote fishing community that come under siege by an unknown predator that can’t be seen by the naked eye and will hunt to feed. This does fall into the creature feature style of survival film where the group must survive against a new predator. It is a tried and test formula and plays out how you would expect without being overly challenging to watch, the idea does leave our characters facing personal demons to survive too.

HorrorThe film is a creature feature which does play into the horror well, if you saw the movie Grabbers, this does have similarities without the comedy parts.

SettingsThe film is set on the remote island, with only one way to get off the island, this works wonderfully because it shows the isolation the characters will be facing with no way of communication to the mainland.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are used well, moments of practical for the gore and the infra-red to identify the predator and wildlife around the island.


Scene of the Movie –
Interrogation.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does take slightly too long to get going.

Final ThoughtsThis is a simple fun creature feature, it hits the marks it needs to and keeps everything entertaining for the audience.

 

Overall: Creature feature 101

Rating