Climax (2018)

Director: Gaspar Noe

Writer: Gaspar Noe (Screenplay)

Starring: Sofia Boutella, Romain Guillermic, Souheila Yacoub, Kiddy Smile, Claude-Emmanuelle Gajan-Maull, Giselle Palmer

 

Plot: French dancers gather in a remote, empty school building to rehearse on a wintry night. The all-night celebration morphs into a hallucinatory nightmare when they learn their sangria is laced with LSD.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: What The?

 

Story: Climax starts as we meet all the dancers in this gathering, Selva (Boutella) seems to be the one that is planning the big dance number that will give all of them a chance to show of their different styles and techniques, we see an early look at the project before seeing the dancers relaxing at a party, going through the social numbers.

The night takes a dramatic turn when somebody spikes the drink with LSD putting everybody into a hallucinatory nightmare bringing out the worst in them all.

 

Thoughts on Climax

 

Characters – We have so many characters that we meet in this film, nobody seems to be the main character, with most getting equal screen time, this doesn’t help the movie because it is hard to keep up with every single character, you get to see the names in the opening introduction only to forget them when you meet the next one, not many of them are that interesting either, they do all have one thing in common though, they want to be dancers.

PerformancesIt is hard to judge any of the performances in this film, the dancing side of everything is faultless, it is meant to look different, but because we don’t give enough time to the actors it is hard to give them time to shine in anyway through this film.

StoryThe story follows a group of dancers that are working on a project who look to celebrate only for the occasion to turn into a nightmare when the drink is spike. I am going to be honest, there really isn’t a story here, it is mostly just characters talking about who they want to have sex with, then getting high and running around like maniacs, that is all that happens.

Horror The horror in this film comes from just what these people end up doing to each other once the drugs have kicked in, it’s a lot of screaming and it does try to push the boundaries, the problem comes from us not getting to know these characters enough to care what they do.

SettingsThe film is set in one location, it has plenty of corridors along with a big party hall, which does make senses for everything happening in once location over one night.


Scene of the Movie –
The interview introductions do make sense for the number of characters we have to meet.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The first about 50 minutes is just boring.

Final ThoughtsThis is a movie that will have its fans, though it is just a complete art piece that is trying to push the boundaries more than give us a proper story with too many characters to keep up with.

 

Overall: Overly Arty Movie.

Rating

 

 

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An Acceptable Loss (2018)

Director: Joe Chappelle

Writer: Joe Chappelle (Screenplay)

Starring: Tika Sumpter, Jamie Lee Curtis, Ben Tavassoli, Jeff Hephner, Deanne Dunagan, Alex Weisman

 

Plot: Libby teaches at a university but 4 years ago she was top aide to VP Rachel and was part of a total victory action. Rachel is now US president and worried about Libby keeping quiet. Libby also has a student spying on her.


Tagline – The Truth is a Moving Target

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: An Acceptable Thriller

 

Story: An Acceptable Loss starts as Libby (Sumpter) takes a new job in education, her former career saw her working under the Vice President Rachel (Curtis) being part of a campaign known as ‘Total Victory’ which saw her career change. Libby’s new job shows how she doesn’t have any forms of communication and one of the students Martin (Tavassoli) has taken an extra interest in her life, following her around, spying her on her.

Rachel now being President sends her Chief of Staff Adrian (Hephner) and former lover of Libby to make sure she isn’t going to spill the beans on what happened in this case, all while Libby is trying to make sure she can just get on with her life.

 

Thoughts on An Acceptable Loss

 

Characters – Libby once worked for the Vice President on one of the most controversial projects in defence and dealing with potential terrorist against America, she has left this job because of what happened trying to find a new career in education, she wants to stay off the radar with how she lives, which sees her avoid her former colleagues and fellow members of the faculty. Rachel is the former Vice-President, now President who is trying to tie up the loose ends of operation Total Victory, this will see her challenge Libby on whether she will expose the truth of her actions. Martin is a student that has taken an interest in Libby following her around spying on her looking for some kind of answer. Adrian is the Chief of Staff and former lover of Libby’s, he has been assigned to keep Libby quiet.

PerformancesTika Sumpter does give us a strong performance, we do see how her guilt is controlling her life, while showing how she will do what she can to fix her mistake. Jamie Lee Curtis is the star of the film because every time she is on camera we seeing everything upped to the next level. Ben Tavassoli and Jeff Hepnher both complete the main cast and both do a solid enough role.

StoryThe story follows a former staff worker for the Vice President and one of the major parts of a project which saw many people killed, she has moved on with her life away from politics, hoping to one day tell the truth against the now current President. This story is a heavy political set up which shows us just how they will do anything to cover up any secrets, the story does jump around between the two times and careers that Libby has which does just come and go way to often. The problem with this story comes from the fact this could have been a lot more intense because of the subject matter we are going into.

ThrillerThe could be a thriller that is truly one of the most intense movies of the year, because the subject could have been showing bigger consequences instead of a couple of friendly conversations.

SettingsThe film is set in the everyday location, it shows how easy it could be to get people coming after somebody who might hold a secret.


Scene of the Movie –
Jamie Lee Curtis scenes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does become very predictable.

Final ThoughtsThis is a predictable thriller that does tackle a bigger subject matter that goes through cover ups, we are saved by Jamie Lee Curtis scene stealing performance.

 

Overall: Predictable, through entertaining.

Rating

 

 

The Front Runner (2018)

Director: Jason Reitman

Writer: Matt Bai, Jay Carson, Jason Reitman (Screenplay) Matt Bai (Book)

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Vera Farmiga, J.K. Simmons, Mark O’Brien, Molly Ephraim, Chris Coy, Alex Karpovsky,

 

Plot: In 1987, U.S. Senator Gary Hart‘s presidential campaign is derailed when he’s caught in a scandalous love affair.


Tagline – Gary Hart was going to be President. Instead he changed American Politics forever.

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Over-Populated Political Thriller

 

Story: The Front Runner starts after Gary Hart (Jackman) has missed out on the Vice-President position, four-years later in 1987, Gary is running for the Presidency, he is the clear favourite too, his team which includes Bill Dixon (Simmons) knows it is only a matter of time before he wins, while the opposition team is looking for weakness in his reputation.

Gary’s lead starts taking a hit when an early report of a potential affair emerges and before long every single newspaper in the country is trying to cover the story on different levels, some using it as a gossip column while others just want to question his own integrity. This will see Gary’s hope of becoming President come crashing down around him.

 

Thoughts on The Front Runner

 

Characters – These characters are based on real people, which will show certain ones in good and bad lights. Senator Gary Hart is running for Presidency, is has the whole campaign under complete control, which has all but guaranteed he would become the next President of the United States. Gary has the ability to spin any story that is placed on front of him, to show that he could bring America a brighter future. Gary however does have a secret with an affair which the press turn into a big story which sees him needing to try and recover from the spiralling situation he has created with his own wrong doing. Lee Hart is the wife of Gary, she has been part of a previous separation which made her suffer enough, she has however always stood by her man with strict rules for the future. Bill Dixon is the campaign manager for Gary, that wants to keep everything simple only this becomes difficult when the truth starts to come out. The Front Runner struggles with one big problem, we have such a large cast of characters it does make it hard to keep up with the almost nameless characters, we have three or four papers and their staff, the campaign team, the people involved in the potential affair, it just becomes completely keeping up with who is who.

PerformancesHugh Jackman is great to watch in the leading role, if he was given that one scene to try and make his character truly memorable it would have put him into a stronger respected performance for the year. Vera Farmiga does everything asked of her character which she doesn’t do anything wrong with. J.K. Simmons almost feels wasted in his role which should have been larger for what is going on. Most of the performances do seem to struggle for this reason.

StoryThe story here follows a presidential candidate whose life becomes filed with speculation after an alleged affair that both sides denied saw him going from a guarantee winner to needing to withdraw, changing the way politics are portrayed in the papers forever. This story does put the spotlight on the moment that saw a change in how politics and journalist operated, the film even points out in the fact that previous Presidents asked for heads to be turned about affairs, but this alleged one saw the country turn on any person that was willing to cheat. The story does show how the three weeks changed the whole race, only it does try to put way too many characters into the film which does make it hard to keep up with who each person is and what side of the story they really are on.

Biopic/HistoryWe follow a 3 week period in Gary Hart’s life, the three weeks that took him from being the next President to the moment he withdrew wanting to keep the false accusations about him out of the papers, this shows how quickly the public can turn on people and the media can make it happen, this plays into the history side of electing a President because we see how minds suddenly changed after how previous ones had acted.

SettingsThe film does use the authentic settings, show how the press would hide for a story, while Gary would use the public to put an end to the stories being made up.


Scene of the Movie –
Twisting the medias words.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a story which does feel like it should be told to more people, only this version of the story is completely over-saturated be characters making it hard to keep up with.

 

Overall: Political Thriller that just doesn’t pack the punch.

Rating

 

 

Bad Samaritan (2018)

Director: Dean Devlin

Writer: Brandon Boyce (Screenplay)

Starring: David Tennant, Robert Sheehan, Kerry Condon, Carlito Olivero, Jacqueline Byers, Tracey Heggins, Rob Nagle

 

Plot: A pair of burglars stumble upon a woman being held captive in a home they intended to rob.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tennant is a Creepy Psychopath

 

Story: Bad Samaritan starts when two burglars Sean (Sheehan) and Derek (Olivero) are running an operation as valets who break into houses while people are eating their dinners. When they pick their latest victim Cale Erendreich (Tennant) with his flashy car, Sean leads the look through his house, finding all the goodies the pair want, before making a shocking discovery, Katie (Condon) chained up in an office.

Sean get caught between doing the right thing and helping the woman, only to find Cale is able to talk the police away and breaking back into the house, the woman is gone and now his has become a target for Cale.

 

Thoughts on Bad Samaritan

 

Characters – Cale Erendreich is rich man that isn’t afraid to show his flashy cars around town, he is rude to people that he sees beneath him and he has a woman locked up in an office at his house. He likes to correct people and after Sean breaks into his house, he becomes the latest target, showing us that Cale is doing what he thinks is the right thing. Sean Falco is the thief that gets more than he bargained for on his latest job, he end up getting caught in the middle of a game which will see him become the target for the killer, seeing his life start to fall apart around him, Sean shows us what it is like when somebody wants to make it and just how far they will go to clean up the mess left behind. Katie is the woman that is held captive that knows that she will be put in more danger if Sean does rescue her at the wrong time. Derek is Sean’s best friend who works with him to select who to rob only he could get in more trouble if he is ever caught.

PerformancesDavid Tennant is fantastic in this leading role, he brings us a creepy psychopath figure that is completely calm, while being calculated in each scene. Robert Sheehan is strong as his character is put through a moral dilemma and he shows us the desperation he is going through. Kerry Condon does what she can in her role, it is harder for her to do as much because most of role is tied up. Carlito Olivera does everything asked of him without standing out in anyway.

StoryThe story here follows a small-time thief that sees his latest job go crazy after the person he is robbing from turns out to have dark secret which sees his life get turned upside down. This story is an easy watch and does go against everything you would imagine it going, watching the cat-n-mouse style unfold is interesting to follow as see how each side tries to get the upper hand and slowly starts to learn what the other might know about. It does soon pan out and just become a bigger case which is fine if you would like to get to learn more about the opening sequence. We do get to see just how dangerous technology will be in the wrong hands.

Crime/HorrorThe crime side of the film does show us Cale operates in this world, with the horror side of this coming from just how he can get away with anything if he knows how to.

SettingsThe film is set in Portland which shows how difficult the life can be for people that are struggling to make ends meet.


Scene of the Movie –
You talk too much.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It has a problem when it comes to learning about Cale’s back story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a crime horror that goes full-blown cat-n-mouse which does keep us guessing to just who will end up on top in this battle.

 

Overall: Interesting Cat-n-mouse chase.

Rating

 

 

Breaking In (2018)

Director: James McTeigue

Writer: Ryan Engle (Screenplay) Jaime Primak Sullivan (Story)

Starring: Gabrielle Union, Billy Burke, Richard Cabral, Ajiona Alexus, Levi Meaden, Seth Carr, Mark Furze

 

Plot: A woman fights to protect her family during a home invasion


Tagline – Payback is a Mother

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Entertaining Home Invasion Film

 

Story: Breaking In starts when Shaun Russell (Union) takes her children Jasmine (Alexus) and Glover (Carr) to her father’s estate after his death, the weekend is meant to be to prepare the house for sale. The weekend takes a dark twist when four thieves Eddie (Burke), Duncan (Cabral), Sam (Meaden) and Peter (Furze) have broken in, searching for a secret safe.

With Shaun locked out and her children being held captive by the thieves, she will do anything to save her children, not caring what the men want, this does become a battle of a mother that will do anything versus thieves that won’t stop for anything.

 

Thoughts on Breaking In

 

Characters – Shaun is a mother of two children that is tidying up the affairs of her late father, she thinks her weekend will just be tidying up his house, but she soon shows that she has a few skills picked up from her father, she will play a cat-n-mouse game with a group of thieves that are holding her children hostage, Shaun will prove herself as somebody smarter than the thieves, showing a mother’s love will overcome any plan. Eddie is the leader of the thieves, he remains calm and in control, even if his men can get out of hand, he only wants the money, getting pushed into difficult decisions. Duncan is the loose cannon of the thieves, he doesn’t want to leave any witnesses to the crime they are committing. Jasmine is the eldest daughter that needs to protect her little brother from the situation, even if the two have a bickering relationship.

PerformancesGabrielle Union in the leading role is great, she brings us a strong powerful mother that isn’t going to let any man take advantage of her family. Billy Burke does bring the required calmness to his character which is everything needed, with Richard Cabral bring his own unhinged character to life to just about step away from the generic normal one. Ajiona Alexus and Seth Carr fill the children roles which in the works very well as they feel like they could easily be brother and sister.

StoryThe story here follows a mother that will do anything to get her children to safety after their home gets invaded by a group of criminals searching for money. This is a home invasion film, it doesn’t need to break away from the normal in anyway, we know the formula, with this one putting the spin on the mother being separated from her children, we have the discussion of power between the criminals and mother, which is an important scene. We see how the mother might have a few more tricks up her sleeves that first thought. This is everything you expect without needing to make anything complicated, making it an easy watch.

Action/Crime The action is restricted because of the separation between the characters, but when we need it, we get action we need, the crime story does follow how the thieves operate, though we don’t learn everything about the father’s situation in the criminal world.

SettingsThe film is set in one location which is the house that has the ability to hold people out or keep people in, this helps build the battle between mother and thieves.


Scene of the Movie –
Losing control.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not truly learning about the Shaun’s father previous life as a criminal.

Final ThoughtsThis is a by the book home invasion film, it does give us plenty of entertainment and is above the average in the sub-genre.

 

Overall: Home invasion above the rest.

Rating