ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – Q – The Intruder (2019) Movie Review

This is under Q because of Dennis Quaid.

Director: Deon Taylor

Writer: David Loughery (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Ealy, Meagan Good, Dennis Quaid, Erica Cerra, Joseph Sikora, Alvina August

Plot: A young married couple buys a beautiful house on several acres of land, only to find out that the man they bought it from refuses to let go of the property.


Tagline – Don’t Let Him In

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Thriller You Can Have Fun With

Story: The Intruder starts as successful businessman Scott (Ealy) decides to surprise his wife Annie (Good) with a new home, a dream home, buying the family home off Charlie Peck (Quaid), who has lived in the house for his whole life.

With the couple moved in, they look to make their own changes to the home, with Charlie turning up to help around the house, never seeming to want to leave, which starts to raise the tension between Scott and Charlie, even though Annie being more welcoming about having somebody else around, until his darker side comes out.

Thoughts on The Intruder

Characters – Scott is the company’s top salesman, he is married to Annie, with them both ready to start a family, he has made mistakes in the past, has strict rules he follows in his own house and gets tired with Charlie always arriving at his house. Annie is the wife that has been waiting to start a family with her dream home, she is welcoming to Charlie because she is spending days alone in the house, without any friends visiting, designing it how she wants to. Charlie is the former homeowner that lived in the house for his whole life, he lost his wife in the house and despite selling, he doesn’t want to leave, always arriving back at the house to visit, being overly friendly, despite getting plenty of warnings about leaving them alone.

PerformancesMichael Ealy does struggle to get into the leading man role, he doesn’t make us feel any sympathy for his character in the film. Meagan Good does give us a strong wife figure that shows how friendly her character is, while Dennis Quaid is creepy as they come through the film, stealing every scene.

StoryThe story here follows a couple who believe they have bought their dream home, only to find the owner isn’t willing to leave and won’t stop visiting. While this might well turn the home invasion story around in places, with the normal being a mix of complete strangers or former owner living in the walls without anyone knowing, this does change this to be an overly friendly becoming obsessed figure. When it comes to the character development around Scott and Annie, we have very little here, Scott is portrayed to be the cheating type, while Annie is pushed into the wife role that doesn’t have much else to say or do. One of the glaring problems with this story, is the fact the house is worth over $3 million and if you have the money to buy this house, if you think it is strange things are going on, you have the money to leave.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in this film doesn’t get involved until too late into the film, with most of the film balancing on thriller side with what might happen.

SettingsThe film does use the house as the main setting, which does have an isolated location while being filled with beauty around it.


Scene of the Movie – The creepy smile.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Just move, its simple, you are that rich.

Final Thoughts This is a fun to watch silly home invasion movie that is funnier that it should be.

Overall: Fun to watch drunk.

Edge of the World (2021) Movie Review

Edge of the World – Simple History Lesson

Director: Michael Haussman

Writer: Rob Allyn (Screenplay)

Starring: Jonathan Rhys Meyers, Dominic Monaghan, Ralph Ineson, Hannah New, Josie Ho, Bront Palarae

Plot: The adventures of Sir James Brooke, who defied the British Empire to rule a jungle kingdom in 1840s Borneo, embarked on a lifelong crusade to end piracy, slavery and head-hunting, and inspired LORD JIM and THE MAN WHO WOULD BE KING.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Edge of the World starts as Britain’s Empire had continued to span the globe, with Sir James Brooke (Meyers) leading the latest expedition to a new land of Borneo, with Arthur Crookshank (Monaghan) by his side they find the new land and the Pengiran Indera Mahkota (Palarae).

As James Brooke starts to adapt to the country, he starts to see himself being considered the King of the land, looking to make sure the slavery is stopped within the country, but it doesn’t go as smoothly as he would like, with enemies from every direction.

Thoughts on Edge of the World

Characters & Performances – Sir James Brooke is a traveller representing the British Empire in the 1800’s, he has arrived at a new land, wanting to know how the people of Borneo operate, to help continue to build the British Empire in new lands. He is trying to stop slavery, piracy, all to create an equal land, despite learning about the barbaric methods the country uses. Jonathan Rhys Meyers does bring this character to life, showing him not to be an evil conquer, but someone who wanted to learn. When it comes to the other characters we get Arthur and Charlie that have travelled with James, they both have different ideas of what is needed to be done, one wants change, one wants to learn. One of the problems you will find in the film, is the lack building of the supporting characters and what they truly want from the new land to them.

StoryThe story here follows Sir James Brooke as he leads the expedition of Borneo looking to learn their culture and finding himself in the middle of a war between people on the jungle island, where he must look to bring peace to the land, while trying to prevent the British Empire taking advantage of the land. This is a history lesson like story, that does show the first few days or weeks on the island, before a big moment to try and change things, which is fine. The problem will come from not really seeing the bigger work he is meant to have achieved, which is only shown through the written material at the end of the film, which could have been larger interesting aspects of what happens.

ThemesEdge of the World is a history drama adventure about Sir James Brooke and how he tried to stop slavery, piracy and head-hunting in Borneo, the locations look brilliant, being the biggest highlight of the while film.

Signature Entertainment presents Edge of the World on Digital Platforms 18th June and DVD 21st June

 

Edge of the World is a basic history lesson that does seem to skip over the bigger moments of the life.

ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – P – Painkillers (2018) Movie Review

Director: Roxy Shih

Writer: Giles Daoust (Screenplay)

Starring: Madeline Zima, Mischa Barton, Debra Wilson, Naomi Grossman, Grant Bowler, Maria Olsen, Adam Huss

Plot: Plagued by guilt following the death of his son in a car crash, John Clarke, a brilliant surgeon comes to realize that the only thing that can ease his pain is the taste of human blood.

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Painkillers starts when surgeon John Clarke (Huss) is involved in a car accident which will see his son die, John finds himself with an ultra-rare version of PTSD which will see him struggling to control the shakes, until he finds a way to stop it, human blood.

This brings Herb Morris (Bowler) into John’s life, giving him a chance to try and get back to his normal life, but his wife Chloe (Zima) and boss Gail (Wilson) start to worry about his behaviour.

Thoughts on Painkillers

Characters & Performances – John Clarke is a brilliant surgeon who is involved in a car accident which kills his son, he is left shaken by the events of what happened, in a rare form of PTSD which will see him unable to control his body, constantly shaky in pain. He needs to find a way to stop the pain and shakes, with the first solution being human blood, which will see him needing to balance the right thing or turning into a monster that can’t control his blood lust. Adam Huss does a solid enough job in what is a difficult role with the shakes taking centre stage. Chloe is the concerned wife, who is mostly there to only be concerned, not have a proper discussion about the loss they have been through. This is the same as John boss Gail, who is trying to find the best for John in the future. Herb Morris is the man that offers John a solution which does cure him for a time, only his methods will leave John questioning what to do next. We don’t have any strong performances mainly because the characters just don’t seem to get anything to work with.

StoryThe story here follows a man that is suffering from a rare form of PTSD after the death of his son, which will see him struggling with shakes of pain that learns the cure could be drinking human blood, leaving him in a position of not knowing what would bet her right thing to do. This is a story that could easily have a lot to work with, we have loss of a child, which should have been given a lot more time, a potentially new medical condition, which again, should have had more scientific side to everything. We seem to get caught up on trying to bring a fresh approach to the vampire idea, only telling the audience it is all a myth.

ThemesPainkillers is a thriller that doesn’t have enough suspense in the film and fails to capture the locations strong enough, leaving nearly everything flat.

Final Thoughts Painkillers is a flat thriller that doesn’t dive into the storyline themes in a strong enough way.

She’s In Portland (2020) Movie Review

Director: Marc Carlini

Writer: Patrick Alexander, Marc Carlini (Screenplay)

Starring: Tommy Dewey, Ricco Ross, Minka Kelly, Vishesh Chachra, Alexis Krause, Robin Gammell, Francois Arnaud

Plot: Hoping to reconnect with his college buddy, a 30-something businessman drags him along on a road trip.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: She’s in Portland starts Wes (Dewey) looks to help his college buddy Luke (Arnaud) out of his slump in life after he never appears to the reunion, Wes looks to travel across country with Luke to find Luke’s ex-girlfriend that they both are still hiding feelings about.

Along the way the pair get to meet women who are at different stages of their lives, showing Luke what life could happen, from the college days to the recently divorced woman who have seen the world and want more, all for a chance to help Luke find happiness.

Thoughts on She’s in Portland

ThoughtsShe’s in Portland is a road travel movie between two friends that are both in need of help, one has been hiding from the world, while the other is hiding something from the world and has turned to his friend to try and get some support without asking for it. The friendship we witness through the film is powerful, showing that you know there is always one person in life that can get you more than anybody else you could have imagined. The two leads do work very well together, showing us how they are both in need of their best friend in a most important part of life. The road trip feel does help us see just how far the pair go, showing us just how pair need to learn about different people’s life experiences to get through their conflict. This gets the biggest impact from the final half of the film, which turns the truth in a different direction, one that is a lot more serious than it seemed.

Final Thoughts She’s in Portland is a nice drama about finding out what you want most in life.

ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – O – Out of Blue (2018) Movie Review

Director: Carol Morley

Writer: Carol Morley (Screenplay) Martin Amis (Novel)

Starring: James Caan, Patricia Clarkson, Toby Jones, Aaron Tveit, Mamie Gummer, Jackie Weaver, Jonathan Majors

Plot: When Detective Mike Hoolihan is called to investigate the shooting of leading astrophysicist and black hole expert, Jennifer Rockwell, she is affected in ways she struggles to comprehend.


Tagline – Can you explain your place in the Universe?

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow Thriller

Story: Out of Blue starts with the death of astrophysicist Jennifer Rockwell (Gummer), this brings in detective Mike Hoolihan (Clarkson) who has the reputation of being able to solve any case placed on front of her.

As Mike starts looking into Jennifer’s life, she starts learning about her childhood in a famous family under Colonel Rom Rockwell (Caan) a war veteran and hero and potential suspects within the faculty, keeping Mike on her own toes.

Thoughts on out of Blue

Characters – Detective Mike Hoolihan is a brilliant detective that always gets the case closed, she does have her own person demons and isn’t afraid to push people to the new limits to get the truth, which doesn’t always help the case in her favour. She is the only one that will put more of the puzzle together to learn the truth. Colonel Tom Rockwell is the victim’s father, a war hero after spending years in a prisoner of war camp, he has gone onto make a fortune, wanting to know the truth about his daughter’s death. Prof Ian Strammi is one of the fellow lectures on the campus, one of the main suspects even though he has an alibi for the crime. We do get other suspects, be it partners or family, which are around to keep us guessing.

PerformancesPatricia Clarkson is great in the leading role, showing the determination and troubles in her life, while James Caan, Toby Jones and Jacki Weaver give us strong supporting performances through the film.

StoryThe story here follows the sudden death of a brilliant astrophysicist whose death has brings in the detective that can solve any case, which sees her needing to dig into the life of the victim, one that isn’t just a what if, but dives into the greater scientific meaning of life and why we are here. Where this mystery gets lost in the story comes from trying to explain everything like it is some sort of greater meaning to what happened, rather than getting to the great cause of what happened, it seems to bypass the death and focus on the cosmos reason for life and being around, which doesn’t make it the most interesting idea for a story.

Crime/MysteryThe crime in the film comes from the death, which leads us to the mystery about just what has happened, something that gets deeper into the ideas of the universe than studying the actual crime.

SettingsThe film does use the different locations to show us the world that Jennifer was living in, showing the different environments they grew up in and now work in.


Scene of the Movie – The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too much cosmos stuff going on.

Final Thoughts This is a mystery thriller that offers up something bigger, only to spend more time dealing with the greater impact in the universe.

Overall: Bogged down thriller.