Dragonflies Only Live for 24 Hours (2018)

Director: Richard Anthony Dunford

Writer: Richard Anthony Dunford (Screenplay)

Starring: Karl Kennedy-Williams, Judson Vaughan, Julie Rose Smith, Paul Coster, Faith Elizabeth, Cathy Conneff, Bhasker Patel

 

Plot: Two ambitious detectives stakeout a potential drug deal.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gritty Police Drama

 

Story: Dragonflies Only Live for 24 Hours starts as we meet everyday police officers Frankie Mills (Kennedy-Williams) and Parker Lyle (Vaughan) who have their own personal problems and are stuck dealing with petty crimes.

After the two miss out on a detective promotion, which they both needed for financial reasons, they decide to team up to create their own business, using their connections from the force to make the money they believe they deserve.

 

Thoughts on Dragonflies Only Live for 24 Minutes

 

Characters – Frankie Mills is the rougher of the two police officers, he keeps himself to himself in his personal life, he has a shady past which would see him struggle to get on the force, but he always turns up for work, helps the victims. Once they miss out, he will turn to the more violent side of the crimes they are committing. Parker is the married father with a drinking problem, he has a clean past, he will do the sneakier of the job for the two officers, even if his drinking problem could become the downfall of their plan. Brooke is the wife of Parker that has seen the problems in his life, but someone he can’t talk to about them. Hyde is the captain that has overlooked the two officers in the first place, before needing to turn to them.

PerformancesKarl Kennedy-Williams and Judson Vaughan both give strong performances of police officers that are pushed over the limit of the run of the mill system, they show us how they must reluctantly deal with crimes on the small scale, while showing their ambition to become more. The supporting cast do a strong job through the film.

StoryThe story follows two run of the mill police officers that get tired of being over looked and turn to the life of crime to get what they believe they deserve. This does show the simple routine careers the police officers must follow dealing with petty crimes, trying to fill out the paperwork trying to get the promotion they believe they deserve and worked hard enough to receive, it shows the limits they have reached in this career. We get to see how they start using the laws to get what they want and need along with the path this will send them down, one they shouldn’t be able to recover from. We get to see how the friendship between the two is used to make this happen and how much it will be pushed to the limits. We could have seen more from their criminal activities, but otherwise this can show how turning to crime isn’t going to be a smart idea.

CrimeThe crime side of the film comes from how the two police officers turn to the life of crime to get what they want, it sees how they will go through steps that become more serious as they get deeper.

SettingsThe settings show us how the everyday life can have small crimes in and how the police can deal with small crimes in the right way.


Scene of the Movie –
Kidnapping gnomes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We could have seen more from the criminal side of their activities.

Final ThoughtsThis is a strong crime drama that shows just how far police officers might get pushed to get what they deserve.

 

Overall: Crime drama worth experiencing.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Look Away (2018)

Director: Assaf Bernstein

Writer: Assaf Bernstein (Screenplay)

Starring: India Eisley, Jason Isaacs, Mira Sorvino, Penelope Mitchel, John C MacDonald, Harrison Gilbertson, Kristen Harris

 

Plot: LOOK AWAY is a psychological thriller that tells the story of Maria, an alienated high-school student whose life is turned upside down when she switches places with her sinister mirror image.


Tagline – Love/Fear. Passion/Seduction. Free/Trapped.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sinister Horror

 

Story: Look Away starts as we meet outsider school girl Maria (Eisley) who keeps to herself, with her one friend the popular Lily (Mitchell), her doctor father Dan (Isaacs) tries to let her be her own self, while her mother Amy (Sorvino) is constantly worrying about her daughter. When Maria starts talking to her reflection which uses the name Airam, she starts to come out of her shell more.

When Maria suffers one final humiliation, she turns to Airam to takeover her life, this sinister side soon starts turning heads and getting revenge for Maria in life, but can Maria return once she has finished.

 

Thoughts on Look Away

 

Characters – Maria is the shy high school student, an outsider who only has one real friend, that being Lily, she gets bullied by some of the students and has started talking to her reflection in the mirror. She gets pushed to far and her reflection Airam wants to get into the rea world, tricking Maria into swapping places with her. Maria is left helpless as Airam starts taking over her life. Dan is the doctor father of Maria, he is having affairs with his clients, while trying to encourage his daughter to come out of her shell. Amy is the mentally unwell mother of Maria, she is mostly housebound, until Airam comes out pushing her to learn the truth. Lily is the best friend of Maria, she is the popular girl at school with her reputation keeping Maria off the bottom of the pile, she does like her around even if she has her own reason for doing this.

PerformancesIndia Eisley takes on two roles here which she her play very different versions of her character, one is the shy timid one, while the other is the rebellious sinister natured one. being able to pull off both the roles shows off her skills as an actress. Jason Isaacs and Mira Sorvino both bring the experience to the film, even if their characters fall into the background at times.

StoryThe story follows a troubled high school student who meets her alter ego in the mirror who helps her take control of her life, only for this to figure to bring of a sinister side to her life. This does give the reflects of just how life has become difficult for an outside, while we do have a twist that does seem easy to see coming. We do have the high school bullying theme running through the film which shows how difficult life has become for Maria and how a home life that doesn’t feel connected works too. We could have had more sinister nature from Airam which is hinted heavily at, we do get a mix of Jennifer’s Body and Carrie though.

HorrorThe horror in the film comes from the action of Airam, be it how she seduces Maria into working with her or how she acts in the real world once she is released.

SettingsThe film is set in an everyday environment for Maria, we have the school, home and parent work life, but it is anything ice skating related which is the highlight of the film.

Special EffectsThe dual performances come with strong camera work and use of effects to make happen, we don’t get as much as we could, but we don’t need much more than we get.


Scene of the Movie –
Ice Skating improvement.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Airam could have gotten up to a lot more.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sinister styled horror, it does feel like it has borrowed from other films from the similar genre. Is has a strong leading performance from India Eisley that shows her talent as both shy and twisted figures.

 

Overall: Horror with strong leading performance.

Rating

 

 

Elizabeth Harvest (2018)

Elizabeth Harvest is available on Digital Download on the 1st of April 2019 here

Director: Sebastian Gutierrez

Writer: Sebastian Gutierrez (Screenplay)

Starring: Abbey Lee, Ciaran Hinds, Carla Gugino, Matthew Beard, Dylan Baker

 

Plot: A brilliant man marries a beautiful woman and shows her his home, stating that it’s all hers – except a room she can’t enter. First chance she enters and discovers what might be human cloning. When the husband returns she pays the price.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sci-Fi Mystery Consequences

 

Story: Elizabeth Harvest starts when newlyweds Elizabeth (Lee) and Henry (Hinds) return to his mansion to start their lives together, he has workers in his home with Claire (Gugino) and Oliver (Beard) doing the household jobs, while Elizabeth is banned from one room.

Left alone in the house, Elizabeth starts exploring more which does take her into the forbidden room, which only angers Henry to new levels, where he must start his plans again.

 

Thoughts on Elizabeth Harvest

 

Characters – Elizabeth is the new wife ready for her life of luxury, she is delighted with the number of clothes she has, the size of the house, but she isn’t prepared for what she finds in the forbidden room, a clone of herself, she spends the film learning who she is and why she is being cloned. Henry is the husband that has been bring his new wife home for the household, he has been planning this for years, with his clones being used to complete his perfect world, the deeper the story goes, the more we learn about his decisions. Claire is the scientist hired to help Henry with his clones, she doesn’t agree at first before learning just what this could mean for science. Oliver works around the house, he is blind and has been waiting for his chance to learn about the work within the house.

PerformancesAbbey Lee takes on the leading roles of Elizabeth, each one is slightly different which shows how the science has continued to improve through the versions, this comes out in her performances as somebody who becomes riser as the film unfolds. Ciaran Hinds is always going to be strong in the scientist role, with Carla Gugino in the mentor figure and assistant that works well with Matthew Beard doing everything needed for his shining moments in the later part of the film.

StoryThe story follows a young woman marrying a scientist and learning that he has been working on a bigger project which involves clones. This is an interesting story because it plays into the ideas of whether clones should be used in the real world, which is always going to be an interesting conversation. The story does however jump around the timeline with the flashbacks filling in the blanks for Elizabeth. It could get moments that are confusing because keeping up with certain characters can be hard to figure out which is which, but otherwise this does everything needing to make you think you are watching an episode of Black Mirror.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi side of the film uses the idea of clones being welcomed into the world or how they are secretive for the first designers.

SettingsThe settings keep the film in one location which does show the world that Elizabeth must get used too.

Special EffectsWe keep the effects simple and effective to show the wounds inflicted to the characters.


Scene of the Movie –
The meeting of the clones.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many time jumps.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sci-fi film that does ask a question about cloning, and whether they should be included in the world or not.

 

Overall: Black Mirror in film form.

Rating

 

 

The Tattooist (2018) Short Movie Review

Director: Michael Wong

Writer: Michael Wong (Screenplay)

Starring: Yanhu Wang, Li Lu, Myra Mala, Chase Lictenberg, Simon Shiyamba, Mayela Magrou, Dan Litza

 

Plot: Behind the acclaimed work of a renowned tattoo studio lurks an unimaginable evil.


Tagline – Behind his Obsession is a Sinister Secret.

Runtime: 1 Minute 20 Seconds

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Darkly Teasing

 

Story: The Tattooist starts as we enter the tattoo parlour to see the latest work that the Tattooist (Wang) is working on, before we flash into his dark mind to see what he does to his victims in a world of unimaginable evil.

 

Thoughts on The Tattooist

 

StoryThe story shows us who the Tattooist is and how he lives two different lives, one as the tattooist, the other filling in the dark side of his mind, we do get to see how many victims he has had, the hints of the different tortures he has put them through too. Considering the length of this short film, we do learn and get encouraged to want to see more from this character.

HorrorWe get the hints of the horrors the Tattooist gets up too, his actions and what his victims have been through.

SettingsThe film uses two main locations, we one being the tattoo parlour, the other being the dungeon of hell.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to show the horrors the victims have been through, with most coming from the aftermath.


Scene of the Movie –
The dungeon entry.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I want to see more.

Final ThoughtsThis is already better than the feature film with the same name, we will be left in a nightmare situation of not wanting to watch and not seeing enough.

 

Overall: Inked onto the mind, Darkly teasing to the audience.

Rating

 

 

Oscar Isaac Weekend – Life Itself (2018)

Director: Dan Fogelman

Writer: Dan Fogelman (Screenplay)

Starring: Oscar Isaac, Olivia Wilde, Annette Bening, Mandy Patinkin, Jean Smart, Olivia Cooke, Antonio Banderas

 

Plot: As a young New York City couple goes from college romance to marriage and the birth of their first child, the unexpected twists of their journey create reverberations that echo over continents and through lifetimes.


Tagline – We’re all part of a greater story

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Storytelling Done Wrong

 

Story: Life Itself starts as we meet Will (Isaac) a depressed man whose wife Abby (Wilde) has left him, he is going through therapy with Dr Cait Morris (Bening) who he is telling the story of how they met, got engaged and were expecting their first child, only for tragedy to strike.

Will’s father Irwin (Painkin) raises their daughter Dylan as she must live in the world like her mother did. Dylan (Cooke) now 21 and ready to experience the world herself, live her own life.

 

Thoughts on Life Itself

 

Characters – Will is the depressed writer, he is telling the story of how he met Abby, fell in love and planned to start a family, we see the positives from the relationship they had and see how he is now struggling with life without his wife. Abby is the woman Will meets and falls in love with, she has had a tragic life with Will be the highlight of it. Dr Cait Morris is trying to help Will through the problems he is facing, being left by his wife, she knows the truth and is planning to make his face it one day. Irwin is the father of Will that raises Dylan, he does everything he can to make sure she has a wonderful life. Dylan is the daughter that has lived a life of tragedy, now 21 she is ready for the next stage of her life. Mr Saccione runs a vineyard which has a connection the tragic events of the film.

PerformancesThe performances in this film are on the average level, mostly because none of the talent gets enough time to shine, we seem to waste the talents of Oscar Isaac who does start interesting only for his part of the story to end, while Olivia Wilde, Mandy Patinkin, Olivia Cooke and Antonio Banderas just get time to do anything else.

StoryThe story is easily the most confusing and overly trying one you will see, we try to connect many lives together over many different time periods to show how life can happen and you never know the connection you could have with people. It is the way this story is told which leads to most of the problems, it could have work in drawn together better, but it just feels like we had a weak story ad went, lets stick an extension on this one and we get this a couple of times which just makes us feel uninvested in any of the characters we are meeting. This just leave us feeling empty and mostly bored through the story telling process.

RomanceThe idea behind this film is about romance being found in the most unusual place, which is fine, though this is too on the face with it.

SettingsThe film uses New York as the central location for this film, it works for the most part only it can come up short in places.


Scene of the Movie –
Ummm pass.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story telling process.

Final ThoughtsThis is a weak, boring and unconnectable story that tries too hard to give us something bigger, while the ambition could be praised, the craft fails.

 

Overall: Weak and dull.

Rating