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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ABC Film Challenge – Crime – O – One Last Score (2015)

Director: Hank Bedford

Writer: Hank Bedford (Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Zylka, Riley Keough, Faith Hill, RJ Mitte, Brad Carter, Steve Earle, Mick Foley

 

Plot: A young, recently-released and unpredictable ex-con with bad luck, and a sexy, listless girl-next-door with a troubled family, become trapped in a downward spiral of crime and obsessive love, as they try to ditch their dead-end town for a better life.


Tagline – Get out while you can.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Burner

 

Story: One Last Score starts as young man Kermit (Zylka) is release from prison and returning to the preverbal wrong side of the tracks where the families struggle to make ends meet. He returns home to his mother Arletta (Hill) who wants him to stay out of trouble, his neighbour Rachel (Keough) who is working to help care for her sick mother, with her latest job being as a stripper.

Kermit and Rachel strike up a friendship for the bonding of their own struggles, supporting each other through this tough time. This brings Kermit back to the life of crime, the one he promised to star away from in an attempt to escape the dead-end town with Rachel.

 

Thoughts on One Last Score

 

Characters – Kermit is the former criminal that returns to his trailer park home to try and rebuild his life, he wants to be a barber, but is drawn back into his life of crime as he falls in love with Rachel and the two want to escape their dead-end town. Rachel is trying to help her mother paying for medical bills which leads her to a life of stripping, the two bond and plan to escape this life and start over.

PerformancesChris Zylka is good in the leading role, he works well with Riley as we see just how desperate his makes his character feel in what seems like a hopeless situation. Riley Keough shows her talent in this role as the woman that is left with her back against the wall.

StoryThe story here shows the tough lives people can be living in America with little money, we see how two people that have turned to a life they didn’t want try to make ends meet in an attempt to escape this style of living. This shows us how another side of America lives which isn’t the side that gets shown enough, the side that are forced into lives they can’t handle, that are dangerous and at times illegal. The pace of the story is slow, but that does help the final pay off in the story which makes you think at times.

CrimeThe crime world that Kermit is going into is only scratched on the surface, while we know he doesn’t want to be deeper in, this shows us how on the lines he wants to be to survive.

SettingsThe film shows us with the settings the poorer parts of America, the ones living in the trailer parks trying just to get by each day, this helps us understand the characters struggles.


Scene of the Movie –
The Lake.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The strange interviews through the movie, while I understand it reflects real life people, we lose something about the characters we are following.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow burning story that shows the tough times in America, it shows the desperation for two people to escape in a job they would never want to do, but must do.

 

Overall: Bleak view on America

Rating

 

 

Harrison Ford Weekend – Regarding Henry (1991)

Director: Mike Nichols

Writer: J.J. Abrams (Screenplay)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Annette Bening, Bill Nunn, Mikki Allen, Donald Moffat

 

Plot: After being shot, a man loses his memory and must relearn speech and mobility, but he has a loving family to support him.


Tagline – His life was based on power, success, and ruthlessness. Until a bullet made him think again.

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Drama

 

Story: Regarding Henry starts as we meet hotshot lawyer Henry Turner (Ford) he closes cases with ease and has the full trust of the partners in the firm, his strict behaviour does return home too with the way he controls his daughter Rachel (Allen), with his wife Sarah (Bening) dealing with reminding him of names at parties.

Henry’s life is turned upside down when he is shot in a head, leaving him with no memory, speech or mobility. Bradley (Nunn) his physical Therapist comes into this life to help teach him again as Sarah must adapt without the income that Henry once bought in. with Henry’s recovery going well, can a return home make him better, both in health and in his own personal standards of treating people.

 

Thoughts on Regarding Henry

 

Characters – Henry is a lawyer, he closes cases with ease, but doesn’t seem to be close to his family or friends, busy working for the most part of his life. When he gets shot in the head, he must learn to recover and learn everything again, this shows Henry a new way to look at life which will make him a better person. Sarah is the wife of Henry, she supports him through the tough time knowing he will remember his life in time. Bradley is the physical therapist that helps Henry break the first hurdles in his recovery.

PerformancesHarrison Ford gives a performance we wouldn’t know him for, he does well for the most part, but there are moments he doesn’t hit the performance like he should. Annette Bening is good in her role through the film with Bill Nunn adding the extra moments needed in this film.

StoryThe story here plays out like a fantasy film in places, we have one man that has a lift changing injury that makes him see life in a different point of view.  We see his recovery process which shows us how the people in his life can change their opinions on one person after an injury impairs their abilities. This does tell the recovery process and clearly shows the changes Henry goes though which are good to see through the film.

RomanceThe romance of the film is standard it shows the life both Henry and Sarah have had before and after the injury.

SettingsThe film is set mostly in New York city, which is great as I always say, which helps show how the busy life of Henry affected his life.


Scene of the Movie –
The rehab.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Moments Ford doesn’t hit the injury the way you believe.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good drama that shows how injuries can affect lives, not just the person that is injured but the people close to them too.

 

Overall: Good Film which shows Ford in different light.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Crime – N – Notorious (2009)

Director: George Tillman Jr

Writer: Reggie Rock Bythewood, Cheo Hodari Coker (Screenplay)

Starring: Jamal Woolard, Anthony Mackie, Derek Luke, Angela Bassett, Antonique Smith, Charles Malik Whitfield

 

Plot: The life and death story of Notorious B.I.G. (a.k.a. Christopher Wallace), who came straight out of Brooklyn to take the world of rap music by storm.


Tagline – The story of the man behind the legend.

Runtime: 2 Hours 2 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fans of the Icon will Enjoy

 

Story: Notorious starts with the final moments of Christopher ‘Biggie’ Wallace (Woolard) life, before he flashes back to his childhood, raised by his single mother Voletta (Bassett), getting given a chance to start making money from drug dealing where he becomes addicted to make money, until he gets busted.

At 19 he gets a chance to enter the music industry when Puffy Daddy (Luke) gives him a way to escape the life of drug dealing, however difficult it seems. When Biggie finally get the record deal, he soon becomes an international sensation grabbing the attention from another rapper Tupac Shakur (Mackie) who soon becomes a rival with deadly consequences.

 

Thoughts on Notorious

 

Characters – Christopher ‘Biggie’ Wallace was a rapper from Brooklyn, he started on the streets as a drug dealer, before showing his rapping skills that saw him become one of the biggest rap stars in the world in the 90’s, we get to see how he has to deal with his vices with women chasing his desire to have too much money. The film doesn’t show him to be a nice man, he cheats on his partners, commits crimes and gets violent when he gets upset, it is a shame for somebody with talent to be such a horrible person. Sean Puffy Combs is the man that takes a chance on Biggie even after losing his position in a record company, he had an eye for talent and knew how to make the most out of it. Tupac is a rival rapper that starts with respect, but because of his continuing side business in drugs, the tension grows and Tupac soon starts a war against Biggie which became a bigger story than any of their music. Faith is Biggie’s wife that has the talent he has though she does become the one that stays with him even if they have an abusive relationship toward each other, well that is what the film shows us.

PerformancesJamal Woolard is brilliant in this leading role, he shows the laidback style Biggie presented himself as, while showing just how easily he can snap. Derek Luke and Anthony Mackie are both strong in the supporting roles, while the rest of the cast give us strong performances too.

StoryThe story here follows the life of Biggie one of the biggest rappers of the 90s that wanted to prove music could inspire change only to get drawn into a gang war with another rapper Tupac, one that made the two even more famous. We follow Biggie in and out of the music world, seeing how he was trying to escape a life of crime, but is drawn into relationship problems. The story doesn’t always paint him as a nice guy though, the way he handles the women in his life is getting into the abusive area. Otherwise this shows us how Biggie wasn’t interested in getting involved in the gang war, he just want to make honest money.

Biopic/Crime/MusicThe biopic side of the film shows how Biggie was being drawn towards a life of crime or leaving it behind to become a big music sensation and how his life changed with the new, making him part of one of the biggest rap battles in history. The crime world is showing how Biggie was always trying to get out of this world and give you hope to others that are facing it. While I personally wasn’t a fan of the music involved, it will please the fans of his music.

SettingsThe film is set in the backdrop Brooklyn shows where he has come from and how he wants to stay loyal to the people who supported him.


Scene of the Movie –
Making the choice.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The film doesn’t show him able to treat his women with respect.

Final ThoughtsThis is a biopic that showed how easily a rivalry can start within the business that could end up becoming deadly between two biggest names in the music industry.

 

Overall: Music biopic that defined a decade.

Rating

 

 

Harrison Ford Weekend – Morning Glory (2010)

Director: Roger Michell

Writer: Aline Brosh McKenna (Screenplay)

Starring: Rachel McAdams, Harrison Ford, Diane Keaton, Jeff Goldblum, Patrick Wilson

 

Plot: An upstart television producer accepts the challenge of reviving a struggling morning show program with warring co-hosts.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Truly Enjoyable Comedy

 

Story: Morning Glory starts as we follow Becky (McAdams) a new producer dreaming of one day going to the next level, when she believes she is about to get the senior producer role she finds herself losing her job instead. Not one to give up on her dreams to searches endlessly for a new job in the business and it is Jerry Barnes (Goldblum) that gives her a chance to work on saving the fourth best morning news station Daybreak.

Wanting to make an impact Becky fires the demoralising anchor, Becky must find a new anchor and her choice is going after News Icon Mike Pomperoy (Ford) who is under contract but doesn’t want to work. Becky must find a way for Mike to work with her current anchor Colleen Peck (Keaton) while making new friends with fellow producer Adam Bennett (Wilson) offering up a potential love interest.

 

Thoughts on Morning Glory

 

Characters/PerformanceBecky is an ambitious young woman desperate to make a career in producing the news. She gets her chance working on the lowest rated show and must use all of her good spirit and ideas to make the show climb the ratings, all while dealing with her own personal life that she has given up making her career important. This is a brilliant character because it shows how people can put their career before their own lives which is why this is something we have seen before but always good to go back too.

Mike is the difficult anchor to work with, he used to be a draw in the news reporting world but isn’t interested in working on anything he doesn’t think is news worth, he makes the job as difficult as possible for Becky by doing the bare minimum. Colleen is the seasoned anchor that is happy to take a chance on the wild stories that can bring in the ratings. Adam is the love interest for Becky as well as being involved with Mike before so he can give Becky advice when it comes to handling him.

Performance wise, McAdams is great in the leading role, not playing it overly funny which is how you can judge the whole cast, Ford does enjoy this role because it is different to the rest of his normal action material.

StoryThe story following a career driven woman following her dream putting everything she has into making it happen against all the odds if something that is fantastic to watch because we all like to enjoy watching someone reach that goal. Sure, most of this film does go around in the cycle you would expect but if it isn’t broken don’t fix it.

Romantic/ComedyThe romantic side is on the main story which I think works because it isn’t the most important part of the film, the comedy comes when needed without being a constant attempt at laughter.

SettingsThe settings for this film are mostly inside the news studio which shows how close everyone must be to work together. This helps us see how the tension looks between the characters.

Final ThoughtsI wasn’t expecting too much from this film going in, mostly because of the genres but in the end, I found myself enjoying everything as it was unfolding.

 

Overall: This is a good comedy drama that is worth watching.

Rating