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.





Blindspotting (2018)

Director: Carlos Lopez Estrada

Writer: Rafael Casal, Daveed Diggs (Screenplay)

Starring: Daveed Diggs, Rafael Casal, Janina Gavankar, Jasmine Cephas Jones, Ethan Embry, Tish Campbell-Martin


Plot: While on probation, a man begins to re-evaluate his relationship with his volatile best friend.

Tagline – Change The Way You See.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Fantastic


Story: Blindspotting starts ass Collin (Diggs) is released from prison, going on his one-year probation, everything has gone smoothly and with 3 days to go, he has big plans, with his best friend Miles (Casal), on his trip home to make curfew, Collin witnesses Officer Molina (Embry) gun down an unarmed black man.

Collin is torn with what to do about the shooting knowing his background isn’t going to help his case, while Miles keeps getting himself into trouble with his wheeling and dealing ways, his future I put at risk with the final two days of his probation.


Thoughts on Blindspotting


Characters – Collin has just served a 2-month sentence now on a one-year probation, which has gone well for 362 days, he has a job and has kept his head down avoiding any criminal activity or clashes with the law. He has a plan for his time once his probation is over, which get put up in the air when he sees a police shooting in his neighbourhood, knowing that could bring down a dirty cop, he is torn between coming forward or keeping his head down. Collin represents the black man that has committed a small crime, doing his time and being written off by society even if he wants to turn his life around after learning from his mistake. Miles is the best friend of Collin’s that could easily still get him in trouble for everything he does, he represents the life that a white man doesn’t get treated the same as a black man for the same crimes, in the same neighbourhood. Val is the ex-girlfriend of Collin’s that is his boss, she didn’t support him when he was in prison even though she still sees good in hi, she is waiting for him to make the change. Ashely is Miles’s girlfriend that has put raising their child first, until he does do something wrong putting their child before their relationship.

PerformancesDaveed Diggs is truly brilliant in the leading role, we see how he is making his character be so conflicted with what he witnesses, he has the fear of being put into a bracket of a criminal, with the sequence in the basement being one of the stand out scenes and performances of the year. Rafael Casal is equally as top level here, where he shows and reflects the life that Collin could have still been living after never taking punishment for action. When it comes to the supporting cast everybody is great letting the two leads shine on the levels required.

StoryThe story here follows an ex-con needing to survive his probation, which becomes more difficult after he witnesses a police shooting and his best friend keeps getting him into trouble. The idea of following somebody going clean after prison is one that we have seen many times, around the troublesome neighbourhood or the one thought to be troublesome. Watching how he negotiates himself through his final couple of days shows just how difficult this can be in the wrong neighbourhood being black, because people will automatically see you as a generic criminal. We get plenty of social commentary on how image can place people into brackets, no matter what they are like, with the idea that both the black and white man were involved in the crime and only the black man gets punished. The reflection of the two lives, one which has done crime, one that has gotten away with one shows, how prison can help people learn to live better lives. We get to see how difficult it would be to be a witness to a crime by the law, how somebody can live in fear for just being black. This shows use just how big the problem between races is and just how people can’t learn to get on without judging people on their skin colour.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy in this film comes for looking at the new crazes in health that are outside the normal persons finances and Collin trying to keep his head down. The crime side of the film come from the world that Collin and Miles are living in, which is filled with wheelers and dealers who could put Collin on the wrong side of the law while trying to go straight.

SettingsThe film is set in Oakland which shows us just how the neighbourhood operates, we see most of the people there are poorer, we have racial groups that are together, while the police judge on skin colour, we also see how the richer people see it as being cool to move into the neighbourhood too.

Scene of the Movie –
Basement confrontation.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Hard to find anything here.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily on of the best movies of 2018, the commentary on life in the poorer neighbourhoods and the racial divide comes through strong here showing just how the world is difficult if you are from the wrong neighbourhood.


Overall: Essential viewing of 2018.




Carga (2018)

Director: Bruno Gascon

Writer: Bruno Gascon (Screenplay)

Starring: Michalina Olszanska, Vitor Norte, Rita Blanco, Sara Sampaio, Miguel Borges, Dmitry Bogomolov


Plot: A lorry, a road and an unpredictable destiny, all intersecting in a human trafficking network. Caught up in this web, Viktoriya has only one chance: fight to survive.


Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Unsettling & Disturbing


Story: Carga starts as Viktoriya (Olszanska) trying to leave the Soviet Union, sees herself taken across the borders, only to be handed off to human traffickers, they execute the men, keeping the women. Antonio (Norte) getting tired of his part in the operation, faces a difficult decision with Viktor (Bogomolov) blackmailing him into staying in, following his every wish.

As Viktoriya sees the reality of the world she is living in now, she knows she must fight to survive, as Viktor will kill anybody who tries to escape or lets him down, can she make it out?


Thoughts on Carga


Characters – Viktoriya is the latest victim of the human trafficking group, she is taken, forced into the sex trade, facing little hope of getting out before it is too late. She never gives up hope of getting out of this world, even if it takes her time to wait for her chance of rescue. Viktor is the ruthless leader of the operation, he will kill anybody who lets him down, tries to escape or isn’t required from the selection of people he is given. Antonio is the man that transports the people across the borders, he is filled with regret for what he is doing, which only makes him feel the guilt for the fate the victims are facing.

PerformancesMichalina Olszanska is brilliant in this film, strangely playing two roles, with the lead be the victim, while the second role being one of the traffickers. Both roles are very different which does show the range she has to offer. Dmitry Bogomolov is disturbing, like we need him to be, his role is the one that will grab your attention the most. Vitor Norte does show just how difficult his characters decision is, just how much guilt he is feeling.

StoryThe story here takes us into the world of human trafficking, following one of the latest victims as she looks to escape, the transporter filled with guilt being forced to remain in the game and the boss running the operation that doesn’t always go to plan for him. The story plays on the reality that this is happening, shows the bleak future the girls will face if taken into this world and just how deadly it can be for the people working in it. It has moments that are clearly unsettling which will disturb even the strongest minds, while also showing us just how easy it could be to be placed into this world. the story doesn’t hold back, but doesn’t dwell on any of the sexual side of the film, we don’t need to see this and the film doesn’t force us through it.

SettingsThe film takes us to the realistic settings that show how the girls will be taken to isolated locations to be put into practise before being sent to the open world to make the money the boss wants.

Scene of the Movie –
The car boot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We tend to not spend enough time with Viktoriya in the early part of the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a shocking and disturbing movie that shows us just how the human trafficking world operates.


Overall: Shocking, eye opening film.




The Cannibal Club (2018)

Director: Guto Parente

Writer: Guto Parente (Screenplay)

Starring: Tavinho Teixeira, Ana Luiza Rios, Pedro Domingues, Ze Maria, Breno Baptista


Plot: Otavio and Gilda are a very wealthy couple of the Brazilian elite who have the habit of eating their employees. Otavio owns a private security company and is a notable member of The Cannibal Club. When Gilda accidentally discovers a secret from Borges, a powerful congressman and the Club’s leader, her and her husband’s lives are in danger.

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: High Tension and Quirky


Story: The Cannibal Club starts as we meet rich couple Otavio (Teixeira) and Gilda (Rios) who live the life of luxury, having people work for them, with their own security around their home. When the couple get tired of their employees, they kill and eat them to fulfill their fantasies.

When Otavio’s powerful congressman friend and leader of their club Borges (Domingues) believes somebody is letting their secrets out, he assigns Otavio to learn the truth, things only take a turn for a worse when Gilda catches Borges in an uncompromising position, the couple find their own lives in danger.


Thoughts on The Cannibal Club


Characters – Otavio runs a private security company, at home his wife Gilda and himself have very dark fantasies, which sees them being cannibals, getting sexual pleasure from the murder of their own workers, he is good friends with a congressman, well within the elite of the secret club of cannibals. Gilda is the wife of Otavio, she selects the newest employees that the couple can have, she gets the pleasure she requires, but it is her curiosity which puts both their lives in danger. Borges is the leader of the secret club that Otavio is part of, he has a secret with Gilda witnesses, he is afraid it will come out and looks to clean it up before it does.

PerformancesTavinho Teixeira gives us a performance that shows us how a man can balance his high-powered life, with a secret that is against the law, which also sees him controlled by his wife. Ana Luiza Rios brings us a seductive figure to life, she makes the men want to do anything for her. Pedro Domingues fills the mysterious leader role well, not giving too much away about his real life.

StoryThe story follows an elite couple in Brazil that get their pleasure out of killing their employees and eating them. The story does take us into a world where the elite can get away with this kind of activities is clearly built and showed how the couple have the routine down to perfection in their eyes. It does, however, show us how a secret club can look to clean up if they believe somebody is getting out of control. The story is short, which is just what we want in places, though we could have been given more when it comes to the enjoyment the couple have from this world.

Horror/ComedyThe horror in the film comes from the world created with cannibals, the comedy comes from the idea of the world being used to create this world, which will give the film dark humour.

SettingsThe film is set in Brazil which will see the high class position which will work for the club to happen, the rich could get away with anything in the eyes of the law.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are clever, they use the ideas of showing us the aftermath of the attacks, rather than the impact of them.

Scene of the Movie –
The first kill.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t get to see the couple go through a lot of kills, which feels like we could have done.

Final ThoughtsThis is a cannibal film that creates a wonderfully imaginative world for them to live in, only to not give us the blood or body count we desired.


Overall: Interesting Cannibal film.




ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – Y – Yorgos Lantimos – The Favourite (2018)

Director: Yorgos Lantimos

Writer: Deborah Davis, Tony McNamara (Screenplay)

Starring: Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone, Nicholas Hoult


Plot: In early 18th century England, a frail Queen Anne occupies the throne and her close friend, Lady Sarah, governs the country in her stead. When a new servant, Abigail, arrives, her charm endears her to Sarah.


Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: For the Costume Lovers


Story: The Favourite starts as England is winning the war against the French in the early 18th century, Queen Anne (Colman) is happy to continue the war, while Lady Sarah (Weisz) her most trusted friend governs the country. When a cousin of Sarah’s Abigail (Stone) arrives searching for a job, she must first earn her spot.

When Abigail starts becoming a favourite of Lady Sarah, she is used to help care for Queen Anne, while dealing with the advances of Harley (Hoult), is she up to something or just a pawn in the game of the ladies.


Thoughts on The Favourite


Characters – Queen Anne is getting older and sicker, she has always turned to Lady Sarah for advice and help, even if she is tired of her stricter ways, she keeps rabbits which keep her occupied, while learns that Abigail is becoming a younger version who will keep her entertained. Lady Sarah has always been by the Queen’s side, she deals with the responsibilities the Queen doesn’t want to get through, she offers her cousin a chance to work in the mansion, only to become jealous of the relationship the two have. Abigail is the maid hired because of family connection, she shows her intelligence which makes her dangerous to anybody who crosses her. Harley is the son of one of the famous people working under the Queen, he will befriend Abigail to get closer to the Queen to learn about her decision-making process.

PerformancesFor the performances all I have seen is how wonderful the performances are from the three ladies, the performances from Colman, Weisz and Stone a great though we have seen better through the year.

StoryThe story follows a young maid as she tries to rise up through a royal household to reclaim her family name, she will do anything to push the rise through which sees her clashing with the Queen’s most loyal friend. This does feel like a game to stay ahead of the other which is fine for story, though it just tries to be too upper class with how everything unfolds and you can’t help but feel none of this remotely happened.

Biopic/ComedyThe biopic side of this story does leave plenty of questions to be asked as you just don’t see any of these actually be possible. The comedy involved in the film is quirky and will only appeal to certain people.

SettingsThe settings in the film are easily the highlight of the film because everything looks completely authentic for the time.

Scene of the Movie –
Stop playing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me To stuck up for the most part.

Final ThoughtsThis is a quirky film from a director who is easily one that can split the audience, it is another film that will get wild praise and another one I just don’t get along with.


Overall: Quirky just not fantastic.