Flint (2020) Movie Review

Director: Anthony Baxter

Plot: A documentary based on five years of research into a Michigan auto town where tens of thousands were drinking water into which poisonous lead had leached, and how officials failed to respond.

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Flint starts by seeing the everyday residents of Flint, Michigan, each one will have a different horror story about what has happened to their family’s over the time when they started drinking water from the Flint River, one that was affected by being used as a dumping ground for years, creating a toxic level that shouldn’t be consumed.

We see how the scientists looked to prove the damage that has been done and the battle to find someone guilty for allowing this and how the people in the city are struggling just to make a living and the people trying to help are leading to multiply stories which only end up complicate the situation.

Thoughts on Flint

ThoughtsFlint is a documentary that shows more of the horrific story of the water situation in Flint, Michigan. We have seen films like Dark Waters, that tackled one approach to everything, while others have gone down the documentary path before, the reality it, people have been suffering from the events of changing the water supply to a city for years now and this documentary will show the last 5 years of trying to find the truth and expose the cover ups. We don’t just hear the stories of the people suffering, which are always going to be the backbone of this documentary. Looking at the different scientists or experts that are looking into the events, seeing how they are almost going against each others information, leaving the residents even more confused about the truth, not knowing who to trust is important to see. This documentary will be eye-opening to the problem in the city and how important the change will need to be for everyone.

Final Thoughts Flint is an essential documentary that will put a new light on the troubles in one city and how the people have been left helpless in their battle for answers.

FLINT is available on BBC iPlayer from 1st December http://www.flintdocumentary.com

The Ringmaster (2018) Movie Review

Director: Soren Juul Petersen

Writer: Carsten Juul Bladt, Soren Juul Petersen (Screenplay) Steen Landstrup (Novel)

Starring: Anne Bergfeld, Karin Michelsen, Damon Younger, Kristoffer Fabricius, Mads Koudal, Kim Sonderholm

Plot: During the night of the biggest sports final of the year, two girls working in a gas station experience strange incidents. Is it just staged pranks or is it something of a more aggressive intent?

Tagline – Entertainment knows no boundaries

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Ringmaster starts as we follow Agnes Berger (Bergfeld) and Belinda Andersen (Michelsen) as they are working a night shift at a gas station, they don’t get many customers and the ones they do get seem strange until they find themselves dealing with a couple of creepy men.

The women find themselves captured and placed into a twisted game run by The Ringmaster (Younger) where he will torture them for his audiences pleasure, they need to figure out how to escape before he gets to finish them off.

Thoughts on The Ringmaster

Characters – Agnes is looking to better herself with her education, using the time in the quiet shop to study, she does deal with the more difficult customers, and have to go through the more brutal parts of the torturous games. Belinda is the worker that is dealing with personal problems and her boyfriend that wants to use her, she is forced into being part of the game against her will. The Ringmaster gets the pleasure from torturing the victims, he listens to his audience and what they want and decides to make each action as twisted as he would like it to be.

PerformancesAnne Bergfeld and Karin Michelsen are both strong in the leading role, doing better with the pre-horror side of the film, over the torture moments. Damon Younger brings the charisma through the film which is key for the torture scenes, otherwise they would be very hollow.

StoryThe story here follows two gas station shop workers that get weird experiences through the night before finding themselves part of a twisted torture game run by the ringmaster who listens to his audience on what to do to his victims. This story does have time jumps which are more annoying than anything, with each visitor to the gas station, we see the slow emerging from the trapped contain before the game, this seems to be designed to keep us guessing as to who is involved in capturing them. When the games start, it isn’t anything overly fresh with what we are put through, but does make us feel like we are watching a performance.

HorrorThe horror in the film is all about the torture and what the ringmaster is willing to do to his victims, while one victim does go through seems more extreme than what they make the two women go through.

SettingsThe film uses the two main settings, first the gas station, which feels remote and isolated, making the victims seem like easier targets, with the second location being the performance stage, where the sick games occur.

Scene of the Movie – The escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The jump between gas station and just moving around in a box.

Final Thoughts The Ringmaster is a torture fans entry movie, holding back on the brutality it could give us, never hitting the heights of a Hostel, but being twisted enough to show us how to get into the sub-genre.

The Ringmaster will be available on DVD & Digital Download from 30th November & In UK Cinemas from 2nd December

ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – X – Goon: Last of the Enforcers (2017)

This is under X because of the character Xavier.

Director: Jay Baruchel

Writer: Jay Baruchel, Jesse Chabot, Evan Goldberg (Screenplay) Adam Frattasio, Douglas Smith (Book)

Starring: Seann William Scott, Alison Pill, Marc-Andre Grondin, Liev Schreiber, Wyatt Russell, Kim Coates, Elisha Cuthbert

Plot: A hockey player plagued by injuries is confronted with the possibility of retirement when a tough new player challenges his status as the league’s top enforcer.

Tagline – Twice as hard as the first time.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Misses Most the Punchlines

Story: Goon: Last of the Enforcers starts when Doug (Scott) meets his match on the hockey rink in Anders Cain (Russell) leading to fresh injuries and him thinking about retiring when his wife Eva (Pill) is expecting their first child.

With Doug out of the game the team owner signs Anders, which starts turning the team including Doug’s best friend Xavier LaFlamme (Grondin) upset with the new style of management. Doug turns to his old enemy Ross Rhea (Schreiber) to help him rebuild his career before deciding the next step of his career.

Thoughts on Goon: Last of the Enforcers

Characters – Doug is the toughest ice hockey player in the game on the rink, off the rink he is one of the nicest guys of the sport, he looks after his team, he suffers an injury from a young upstart and is about to start his own family, he must consider his future in the sport and he finds it hard to walk away from the sport he loves. Eva is his ever-supporting wife of Doug that is expecting their first child and is happy to support him as long as he is there for her. Xavier LaFlamme is the goal scorer for the team, he knows he can trust Doug to get his back only for him to not enjoy playing under Anders. Ross Rhea is the old enemy for Doug, a man that he can see his life heading down the same path if he continues with his own injuries.

PerformancesSeann William Scott is the best part of the film, he can play this character with ease being the slightly dim-witted figure, while the friendly presence to the team. Alison Pill does give us a great supporting performance as the wife that does go through the fear of seeing her husband hurt. Marc-Andre Grondin, Liev Schreiber and Wyatt Russell complete the main cast of hockey players and they are all doing what is needed.

StoryThe story here follows Doug the most famous enforcer in ice hockey only after he gets knocked out by a young upstart, he must decide his professional future as he is reaching the end of his career, or return to get one over the man that took him down. The problem with this story comes from the fact we do have a smart idea about trying to decide whether somebody wants to stay in their sport or not, which is interesting, only for the story seemingly focusing too much on Anders daddy issues, which strangely does become the most important part of the film’s story. If you don’t understand the league system in hockey either, you will find a lot of this story confusing too.

Comedy/SportsThe comedy in this film does feel like very forced jokes that are not tonally matching everything that is going on, the sports side of the film only wants to focus on the violence inside the sport of ice hockey.

SettingsThe film is set in the locations you would see hockey players, their homes, their bars and their stadiums, this all works without being anywhere that takes the film away from the story it is telling.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are mostly around the fights which show the brutal hits, blood splatter and bruises covering the faces of the players.

Scene of the Movie – The last walk.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Focusing to much on the daddy issues that Anders has.

Final Thoughts This is a simple follow up to the great comedy, it tries to show the different lives that the players now have and how older players will need to face a new reality.

Overall: Simple but not funny sequel.


Adam Sandler: Funny Guy (2020) Movie Review

Director: Danielle Winter

Plot: Adam remains a consistent favorite among fans who are comforted that they will always have a good time. Get the inside story on this fascinating actor, comedian, screenwriter, producer, husband, father, and forever FUNNY GUY.

Runtime: 1 Hour

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Adam Sandler: Funny Guy starts as we learn about the early life where he got the support from his family and had a natural ability to get a laugh from his comedy. We learn about his early career, from first television role, to his early roles.

We continue to learn about his career and how Adam dealt with the criticism from the critics, while audiences seem to always get attracted to his films.

Thoughts on Adam Sandler: Funny Guy

Thoughts – Adam Sandler Funny Guy does takes use through the career of the much talked about actor, we go through clips of his film and snippets from his interviews through the years, this is all what you would expect to see in a documentary, what might disappoint more is the fact we don’t get into any stories about the man, everything is achieve footage that you would expect to see on press tours of movies, where the whole cast is going to say he is a nice guy, works hard etc. while I don’t want to just see people bash the man, more personal stories of good or bad would have given this documentary another level, to help the audience that might well be more appealing to see how down to Earth the man is, how he doesn’t care what the critics say, only going with what the fans say. This does mostly feel like a basic view into the life of Adam Sandler’s entertainment career.

Final Thoughts Adam Sandler: Funny Man is a by the books documentary giving us a look at the basics of his career.

Lost at Christmas (2020) Movie Review

Director: Ryan Hendrick

Writer: Ryan Hendrick, Clare Sheppard (Screenplay)

Starring: Natalie Clark, Kenny Boyle, Sylvester McCoy, Sanjeev Kohli, Clare Grogan, Frazer Hines

Plot: Two strangers stranded in the Scottish Highlands on Christmas Eve team up to try and get home in time for Christmas. 

Tagline – Home is closer than you think.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Lost at Christmas starts as Jen (Clark) heads to her lover’s home for Christmas, only to learn he is married with a kid, elsewhere Rob (Boyle) is about to propose to his girlfriend, with her leaving him. The pair meet at train station looking to get home for Christmas, only the trains have finished.

The pair from different backgrounds team up to try and return from the highlands of Scotland to Glasgow in time to celebrate Christmas.

Thoughts on Lost at Christmas

Characters – Jen is filled with the Christmas spirit, looking to spend the time with her boyfriend, only this gets shattered when she learns that he has a secret family, she wants to get home and teams up with Rob to get home, always trying to remain positive despite being broken inside. Rob proposes to his girlfriend only to see himself dump. He is left stranded and agrees to work with Jen to get home, but he just isn’t up for celebrating Christmas in the same way Jen is, not wanting to talk to anyone about what happened. The pair find themselves in a remote hotel in the highlands, this hotel is filled with other people that are looking to escape Christmas for different reasons, this will add laughs and heart to everything that goes on through the time spent there.

PerformancesNatalie Clark and Kenny Boyle are both great to watch, they both show the pain they have both suffered through, while trying to show some joy along the way. The supporting cast are good to watch to as they add everything to each little scene without taking the spotlight from the leads.

StoryThe story here follows two people that both have their hearts broken right on Christmas who decide to try and help each other get back home from the Highlands of Scotland to Glasgow, helping each other through their struggles trying to maintain a Christmas cheer. This is a story that shows that even with heartbreak you will need someone around you to help you through the painfully time. We do get the Christmas spirit needing to be found once again after it could have gone after something outside of someone else’s control.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in the film comes more from the supporting cast with the romance being more about what has gone, from two people who thought everything has been running smoothly in their lives.

SettingsThe film starts with the Highland village to a remote hotel which is the only place the two can find shelter, it shows how people would find help in a location they never imagined.

Scene of the Movie – Christmas Day.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Jen is too Christmassy.

Final Thoughts Lost at Christmas is an enjoyable Christmas movie, that will give us all the Christmas spirit even in the weakest moments of life.

Lost At Christmas will be in UK Cinemas from 4th December and on Digital Download from 7th December