Category Archives: Movie Review

Stardust (2007) Movie Review

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ABC Film Challenge – 2000s Movies – Y – Stardust. Under Y because of the character Yvaine.

Director: Matthew Vaughn

Writer: Jane Goldman, Matthew Vaughn (Screenplay) Neil Gaiman (Novel)

Cast: Charlie Cox, Claire Danes, Sienna Miller, Robert De Niro, Henry Cavill, Michelle Pfeiffer

Plot: In a countryside town bordering on a magical land, a young man makes a promise to his beloved that he’ll retrieve a fallen star by venturing into the magical realm.

Runtime: 2 Hours 7 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Stardust starts when young man Tristan (Cox) desires leaving the small town known as Wall. Wanting to win the heart of his love Victoria (Miller). He looks to follow in his footsteps on his father, entering the magical land.

When the king (O’Toole) dies, he leaves his children to search for a fallen star. The one that would take his place on the throne. This draws out witches lead by Lamia (Pfeiffer) who wants the stardust for herself and sisters. Tristan finds himself in the middle of a daring adventure, where he finds Yvaine (Danes). The vessel the star created, as he learns who he really is.

Thoughts on Stardust

Stardust is a fantasy adventure movie taking us across a new version of the world. The story brings us plenty of fantasy elements, mixed with the chase for destiny. We see the sides come together for a showdown, bringing the characters from different world together.

It is a world that feels massive, one we could easily have spent more time within. The unique creations behind the abilities and deaths created are going to be remembered. This comes off like one of the more interesting, brave and unique fantasy movies.

Having an all-star cast helps make the movie stand out. Michelle Pfeiffer as the evil which like figure, uses her beauty to make her become a real threat in the movie. Robet De Niro in the supporting role that goes against everything we know from him works well for a few laughs along the way. Even the early role from Charlie Cox shows him to be the rising star.

Overall, this is a wonderfully fun adventure fantasy movie. One that can be put upon the best of all time.

Final Thoughts Stardust is wonderfully entertaining movie.

Save the Cinema (2022) Movie Review

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Save the Cinema is an enjoyable movie about community coming together.

Director: Sara Sugarman

Writer: Piers Ashworth (Screenplay) Lorraine King (Story)

Starring: Samantha Morton, Jonathan Pryce, Owain Yeoman, Maya Millard, Harry Luke, Tom Felton, Owen Teale, Adeel Akhtar, Susan Wokoma

Plot: The story of Liz Evans, who lives in Carmarthen South West Wales, who starts a campaign in the 90s to save the Lyric Cinema.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Save the Cinema starts when Liz Evans (Morton) finds out her beloved cinema and theatre has been marked for demolition. Corrupt mayor Tom Jenkins (Akhtar) plans on building a shopping centre. Through the small South West town in Wales Carmarthen.

Liz decides to make a stand against Tom, by moving her business into the theatre. Making in impossible for the building to be destroyed. Forcing Tom into trying to find alternative means to get the job done. Showing the power of the campaign and the heart in the village.

Thoughts on Save the Cinema

Save the Cinema is a charming comedy drama showing the real fight to save a theatre in the middle of a town. That is marked for demolition to build a shopping centre. It will show how communities will come together to achieve this. Working together to take a stand before turning to a mega star to achieve fame. Being one of the first places Jurassic Park would be shown in the world.

The film does well to paint the fighters as everyday people looking to keep the town together. With a future on the line, but never makes out the people trying to destroy it as greedy as they could. Certain aspects of their characters teasing more towards something bigger happening to them as a consequence of their action. Only for nothing to come of it.

The performances are great throughout the film as each star will make you want to see them more. With support characters getting plenty more laughs than the serious side the leads need to keep.

Breakthrough (2019) Movie Review

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Breakthrough is a wonderful drama about faith and miracles.

Director: Roxann Dawson

Writer: Grant Nieporte (Screenplay) Joyce Smith (Book)

Starring: Chrissy Metz, Josh Lucas, Topher Grace, Mike Colter, Marcel Ruiz, Dennis Haysbert

Plot: When her 14-year-old son drowns in a lake, a faithful mother prays for him to come back from the brink of death and be healed.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Breakthrough starts as we meet kind friendly mother Joyce Smith (Metz). Who has always been around to help the community with her husband Brian (Lucas) and their adopted son John (Ruiz).

When John is involved in an accident, he impossibly survives drowning in the lake. After Joyce begs for him to recover. Leaving him in a position where nothing medically says John should survive, but somehow the prays work to bring him back.

Thoughts on Breakthrough

Breakthrough is a faith based drama about the real life accident involving the family. How their devoted faith made a miracle happen for one family against every medical case. This will always be one that tugs upon the heartstrings. It looks to put the heavy focus on religion being the thing that could somehow save a life. While many people could question everything about how this movie unfolds. It is important to let the faith side of the story making sense.

The performances in the film are great. The characters needing to question their own faith to make the most of what is going on with in the film. This will see even the strongest characters break down about what happens.

Wanted (2008) Movie Review

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ABC Film Challenge – 2000s Movies – W – Wanted – Movie Review

Director: Timur Bekmambetov (Night Watch, Day Watch)

Writer: Michael Brandt, Derek Haas, Chris Morgan (Screenplay)

Writer: Mark Millar, J.G. Jones (Comic Book)

Cast

Plot: A frustrated office worker discovers that he is the son of a professional assassin and that he shares his father’s superhuman killing abilities.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Wanted starts when officer worker Wesley (McAvoy) believes his life is going nowhere, he finds himself targeted by an assassin Cross (Kretschmann). He is saved by Fox (Jolie) who introduces him to a secret fraternity of assassins run by Sloan (Freeman).

As Wesley starts his training, he learns physics aren’t what they seem, and he must train to defy them. Once he is trained, he will start working with the assassins before getting a chance to kill the man who killed his father.

Verdict on Wanted

Wanted is an action thriller that is based on a comic book movie. It will give us a typical origin story, as we follow Wesley as he enters into this world. the typical montage training and preparing all work well.

The story does keep everything personal for Wesley, which will intensify his motivation to improve. Even if there is a twist in the story, leading us in a different direction than we would have expected.

The action is slick, with the use of the slow-motion bullet speed for the bending shots, the unique appeal of this movie. The final shot out is intense bringing a relentless feel to what has changed.

The performances are great with McAvoy taking the nerdy figure and turning him into a badass. Angelina Jolie is the badass assassin that is as deadly as she is gorgeous and Morgan Freeman as the mentor leading is calmness through and through.

Where to Watch:  Wanted is available on Netflix and Sky now.

Final Thoughts Wanted is an all-out action romp, never backing down or caring about collateral damage.

Lou (2022) Movie Review

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Lou – Movie Review

Director: Anna Foerster

Writer: Maggie Cohn, Jack Stanley (Screenplay)

Cast

Plot: A storm rages. A young girl is kidnapped. Her mother teams up with the mysterious woman next door to pursue the kidnapper, a journey that tests their limits and exposes shocking secrets from their pasts.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Lou starts when a storm rages on the island community, Lou (Janney) is preparing to end her life. While her neighbour and tenant Hannah (Smollett) is trying to keep things together for her daughter Vee (Bateman).

When Vee’s father Philip (Marshall-Green) arrives in the area, he takes Vee. Hannah turns to Lou for help, as the pair head out into the storm, through the woodland area to rescue Vee. This sees Lou using her past skills to track the ruthless soldier through the woodland storm.

Verdict on Lou

Characters

Lou is a reclusive woman living off the grid with her dog. The locals know her but know to avoid her. She is an expert survivalist who uses her skills to help her tenant get her kidnapped daughter back. This is a broken character, one that has been through and done horrible things in the past.

Hannah has been in hiding with her daughter, and she rents off Lou, as the pair try to have a normal life. After Vee is kidnapped, she turns to Lou and joins her in tracking her missing daughter. She isn’t used to the typical fight in the open wilderness, learning as she goes along.

Philip is Vee’s father, he uses his skills to take his daughter back, kidnapping her during a storm. He has a skilled past that makes him a deadly weapon.

Vee is Hannah’s daughter, she becomes the pawn in the game between Philip and Hannah, with both wanting to give her a great life.

Performances

Allison Janney is brilliant in this role, continuing to show there is life in the older actors as action stars. Jurnee Smollett is great as the woman who is trying her hardest to give her daughter a fresh start, her character evolves along the way. Logan Marshall-Green is always great as the creepier villainous figure in any movie, this is no different.

Story

The story follows two women who must put their differences aside to track down one’s kidnapped daughter. It takes them through the woodland area during a storm, as secrets about them both slowly start to get revealed.

This is a good story, as it puts an unlikely pair together through difficult conditions to save a kidnapped child. There are plenty of twists and turns along the way, that keeps everything feeling fresh, even if certain ones feel like you could see them coming.

It ends up keeping everything simple without needing to make anything complicated. Being everything we needed in the story to keep us on edge.

Themes

Lou is an action thriller that uses the storm to create horrendous travelling conditions. The woodland to make the terrain difficult to navigate if you aren’t an expert. When it comes to the action, we get some good fight sequences, showing off the different character’s skills in combat.

Where to Watch: Lou is available on Netflix now.

Final Thoughts Lou is a tense action thriller, with plenty of twists along the way.

The Razing (2022) Movie Review

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The Razing – Movie Review

Director: J. Arcane, Paul Erskine

Writer: J. Arcane (Screenplay)

Cast

  • Logan Paul Price
  • Mia Heavner
  • Carson Marquette

Plot: A group of estranged friends gather for a night of tradition which takes a deadly turn after old secrets and wounds resurface.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Razing starts as friends Ray (Price), Clare (Heavner), Lincoln (Tene), Corey (Wooton), Ellen (Hemingway) and others come together. The friends start discussing the potential end of the world that might be happening around them.

This leads them to look back on their past as they look to remember what happened with their drug of choice in the past. And whether they want to use them again for the final few days.

Verdict on The Razing

The Razing is a mystery thriller that follows a group of friends that remember a previous night, on what might be their last. It will dive into how the friendships changed over time, leading to them going down dangerous paths.

When it comes to thrillers, this does seem to try too heavily on uncertainty. It will show how friendships can spiral out of control and secrets can tear them apart. The strongest part of the film is not knowing who is the most honest of the group. As we are constantly shown different points of character.

The performances are strong because the stars commit to the unexplained events they are going through.

Final Thoughts The Razing is an interesting thriller that keeps you guessing.

V for Vendetta (2005) Movie Review

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ABC Film Challenge – 2000s Movies – V – V for Vendetta

Director: James McTeigue

Writer: Lilly Wachowski, Lana Wachowski (Screenplay) David Lloyd (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Hugo Weaving, Natalie Portman, Rupert Graves, Stephen Rea, Stephen Fry, John Hurt

Plot: In a future British dystopian society, a shadowy freedom fighter, known only by the alias of “V”, plots to overthrow the tyrannical government – with the help of a young woman.

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: V for Vendetta starts in the dystopian society of England. V (Weaving) rescues Evey (Portman). Letting her have a front-row seat for his destruction of the Old Bailey. Councillor Sutler (Hurt) wants V captured while covering up the story to keep the public in line.

V rescues Evey from his attack on a news station. Offering her shelter until he finishes his plan. Detective Finch (Rea) and Dominic (Graves) are investigating the crimes. Doing this for the right reason, no matter what Sutler wants. They will act professionally in discovering the truth.

Thoughts on V for Vendetta

V for Vendetta is an action sci-fi movie. One that will take us through a dystopian society that has taken over England. Where the government control everything the media releases. A rebel is looking to bring the corruption down while exacting his own revenge.

The plan for revenge takes place, seeing him take out everyone he wants to. Evey goes down another path, where she accidentally gets caught up in the middle of everything. It shows how the world can fold in with the wrong control, with no freedoms being given to anyone involved. The good mystery about V’s motives works wonders for the story.

The movie has become iconic for its rebellious nature and iconic figure in V. It is one of the last dystopian movies that stand out from the rest, never letting anything stand in its way. The performances help with Hugo Weaving being mesmerising behind the mask. Natalie Portman shines in the supporting role too. John Hurt as the demanding leader shows him going full circle after 1984.

Final ThoughtsV for Vendetta is an iconic movie that stands the test of time.

The Haunting of the Murder House (2022) Movie Review

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The Haunting of the Murder House – Movie Review

Director: Brendan Rudnicki

Writer: Brendan Rudnicki, Kellan Rudnicki (Screenplay)

Cast

  • Dylan DeVane
  • Brent Downs
  • Tyler Miller
  • Kellan Rudnicki
  • Sarah Tyson

Plot: In October, four filmmakers disappeared in a haunted house while live streaming on social media. A year later, their footage was found.

Runtime: 1 Hour 18 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Haunting of the Murder House starts when The Otherside paranormal investigators Harper (Tyson), Kai (Miller), Dylan (DeVane) and Kel (Rudnicki). Start their latest stream. This stream takes place inside a haunted house, one where an estranged killer was killed but his actions were never explained.

As the night unfolds, the team put together the ‘challenges’ that the viewers vote for. This sends the team down a path of no return. As the hauntings turn out to be real, not just another set-up piece they usually put together.

Verdict on The Haunting of the Murder House

Characters

Harper is the host and creator of The Otherside, she has put together the team of Kai and Kel. She believes she has a connection to the unexplained and wants to use the show to put that into the spotlight. Harper believes this will give her a chance to reach stardom in the paranormal activity world.

Kai and Kel have been in the team for years, as they have a smooth operation, with Kai joining on the inside, while Kel operates the streaming side. They work well as a team, using their previous experiences to keep Dylan the intern calm through the unexplained moments.

Performances

Sarah Tyson is the host of the streaming show, she brings the charisma in hosting, the calmness in the hauntings and the panic when things get out of hand. Tyler Miller and Dylan DeVane inside the home bring the fair share of scare reactions, while Kellan Rudnicki adds the commentary to the streaming side well.

Story

The story follows a paranormal investigating team that looks to complete the latest stream in an infamous murder home. They have always planned to have their own spins on what can be seen in the show, with this being no different until the scares become real.

Enter the found footage story concept, diving heavily into the idea that streamers are trying to grab fame in the hunt for paranormal activity. Pulling together a story that will deliver great scares along the way, without the characters ever reaching their desired success. It has almost become a genre in horror itself, one that works, and gives us good stories that rely on the shocks in the scares to keep us invested.

Themes

The Haunting of the Murder House is a found footage horror movie that relies on the mystery of an unexplained murder to drive the story forward. There are good scares, the ones you would come to expect in found footage movies. The mask the killer wears adds plenty to the fears people have and by the end, we get everything we needed for a scare-filled horror movie.

Final ThoughtsThe Haunting of the Murder House is a great found-footage movie, with plenty of scares.

The Perfumier (2022) Movie Review

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The Perfumier – Movie Review

Director: Nils Willbrandt

Writer: Nils Willbrandt, Kim Zimmermann (Screenplay)

Cast

  • August Diehl
  • Robert Finster
  • Anne Muller
  • Email Schule
  • Ludwig Simon

Plot: A police detective tries to get back his girlfriend as well as his sense of smell, as he gets help from a perfume maker who uses deadly methods to find the perfect perfume.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Perfumier starts when police detective Sunny (Schule) moves to a new role in a new city to start a new life. Meanwhile Dorian (Simon) a serial killer has been lurking around searching for his latest victims. Sunny ends up clashing into this life after the latest victim is someone, she offered a ride to.

Now Sunny is tracking a lead in Rex (Muller) whom she believes is involved in murders. When Sunny gets Rex locked up, she learns about the perfume she had been creating, as she looks to learn to regain her own sense of smell. This involves using Dorian to help her understand what was missing.

Verdict on The Perfumier

The Perfumier is a crime thriller that explores the dangerous lines between obsession and murder. Following a detective that gets caught up wanting to fix her own flaw, she risks everything hunting down a killer who could fix her.

This is a story that does create an interesting hunt for a killer and an interesting connection created. One that doesn’t ever feel like it should work. It comes off as very fantasy-driven, rather than an intense thriller it looks to create within itself. Everything feels outside of the box, more than it needs to and fails to address the seriousness of the crimes.

Where to Watch: The Perfumier is available on Netflix

Final Thoughts The Perfumier is a very spacey thriller than fails to connect.