Us (2019)

Director: Jordan Peele

Writer: Jordan Peele (Screenplay)

Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Elisabeth Moss, Anna Diop, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

 

Plot: A family’s serenity turns to chaos when a group of doppelgängers begin to terrorize them.


Tagline – We are our own worst enemy.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Horror That Will Stick with You for Days

 

Story: Us starts as the Wilson family, Adelaide (Nyong’o), Gabe (Duke), Zora (Joseph) and Jason (Alex) are on a vacation at a seaside resort, what starts as a routine vacation takes a turn when Adelaide’s past starts to see her acting differently.

That night the Wilson’s are visited by a mysterious family, who look and act just like them, they are in fact doppelgangers, the battle to survive is on, just as the world starts to turn to chaos.

 

Thoughts on Us

 

Characters – Adelaide is the mother and wife of the family, she has a past which sees her feeling uneasy about returning to the beach area, once that attack happens, she is determined to keep her family safe. Red the other version of Adelaide is the leader of the family that has come to terrorize has a story, fills in the blanks to just what is going on. Gabe is the father of the family, he is laidback which helps him be the good guy in the parental situation, he is the physical threat when it comes to the other version of the family, he also gets the laughs at times. Zora is the oldest child of the family, her athletic ability has always been encouraged, while she is meant to be like a moody teenager, only not the disconnected version of one. Jason is the youngster member of the family, he enjoys magic tricks, which will be his best for of defence against his doppelganger.

PerformancesLupita Nyong’o in the leading role is fantastic where like most of the cast takes on two roles, she brings both to life showing the determination to survive in one and the determination to live in the other. Winston Duke leads the supporting cast, he handles the comical moments in the film well too. The young stars Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex brings tow characters each to life too, the whole family does feel like they are together, with the chemistry shining through.

StoryThe story here follows a family that get terrorised by their own doppelgangers and must fight to survive their sinister motives. This is a story that is a lot deeper and one you really need to experience without knowing too much more. The concept behind the doppelgangers is dark, very dark one aspect of the film which will make you stop and think more after the film, than during. The pace of the story is great because unlike many home invasions, because it gets underway quickly, instead of just holding back the tension to why they are doing this. This is one story that will stick with you long after the experience, because you will come to realize just what we have been through.

Horror The horror in this film blends home invasion with bigger side of horror that is one that is only disturbing to think about.

SettingsThe film is set in and around a lake house holiday home which puts the character in an isolated location, the second location is around the beach with the funfair which should be a place of happiness.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects, we have the basic wounds which do look realistic, but the other side of the praise must come with how the actors can appear to be in the same location without looking out of place.


Scene of the Movie –
The showdown between Adelaide and Red.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Gabe’s injury comes and goes too often.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the best horrors in recent years, it won’t make you jump, but it will leave you feeling disturbed and thinking about everything you have just witnessed.

 

Overall: Disturbing horror.

Rating

 

 

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Dragonflies Only Live for 24 Hours (2018)

Director: Richard Anthony Dunford

Writer: Richard Anthony Dunford (Screenplay)

Starring: Karl Kennedy-Williams, Judson Vaughan, Julie Rose Smith, Paul Coster, Faith Elizabeth, Cathy Conneff, Bhasker Patel

 

Plot: Two ambitious detectives stakeout a potential drug deal.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gritty Police Drama

 

Story: Dragonflies Only Live for 24 Hours starts as we meet everyday police officers Frankie Mills (Kennedy-Williams) and Parker Lyle (Vaughan) who have their own personal problems and are stuck dealing with petty crimes.

After the two miss out on a detective promotion, which they both needed for financial reasons, they decide to team up to create their own business, using their connections from the force to make the money they believe they deserve.

 

Thoughts on Dragonflies Only Live for 24 Minutes

 

Characters – Frankie Mills is the rougher of the two police officers, he keeps himself to himself in his personal life, he has a shady past which would see him struggle to get on the force, but he always turns up for work, helps the victims. Once they miss out, he will turn to the more violent side of the crimes they are committing. Parker is the married father with a drinking problem, he has a clean past, he will do the sneakier of the job for the two officers, even if his drinking problem could become the downfall of their plan. Brooke is the wife of Parker that has seen the problems in his life, but someone he can’t talk to about them. Hyde is the captain that has overlooked the two officers in the first place, before needing to turn to them.

PerformancesKarl Kennedy-Williams and Judson Vaughan both give strong performances of police officers that are pushed over the limit of the run of the mill system, they show us how they must reluctantly deal with crimes on the small scale, while showing their ambition to become more. The supporting cast do a strong job through the film.

StoryThe story follows two run of the mill police officers that get tired of being over looked and turn to the life of crime to get what they believe they deserve. This does show the simple routine careers the police officers must follow dealing with petty crimes, trying to fill out the paperwork trying to get the promotion they believe they deserve and worked hard enough to receive, it shows the limits they have reached in this career. We get to see how they start using the laws to get what they want and need along with the path this will send them down, one they shouldn’t be able to recover from. We get to see how the friendship between the two is used to make this happen and how much it will be pushed to the limits. We could have seen more from their criminal activities, but otherwise this can show how turning to crime isn’t going to be a smart idea.

CrimeThe crime side of the film comes from how the two police officers turn to the life of crime to get what they want, it sees how they will go through steps that become more serious as they get deeper.

SettingsThe settings show us how the everyday life can have small crimes in and how the police can deal with small crimes in the right way.


Scene of the Movie –
Kidnapping gnomes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We could have seen more from the criminal side of their activities.

Final ThoughtsThis is a strong crime drama that shows just how far police officers might get pushed to get what they deserve.

 

Overall: Crime drama worth experiencing.

Rating

 

 

20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954)

Director: Richard Fleischer

Writer: Earl Felton (Screenplay)

Starring: Kirk Douglas, James Mason, Paul Lukas, Peter Lorre, Robert J Wilke, Ted de Corsia

 

Plot: A ship sent to investigate a wave of mysterious sinkings encounters the advanced submarine, the Nautilus, commanded by Captain Nemo.


Tagline – Walt Disney’s Mighty, Magnificent, Memorable 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea!

Runtime: 2 Hours 7 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Classic

 

Story: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea starts when scientist professor Pierre Aronnax (Lukas) gets assigned to investigate a large number of sinkings in the open ocean, joined by his trusted sidekick Conseil (Lorre). When the ship they are travelling on gets sunk by the creature, Peirre, Conseil and sailor Ned Land (Douglas) go in search of rescue finding the Nautilus seemingly abandoned on the ocean.

The Nautilus captained by Nemo (Mason) tests the men before letting them stay aboard learning the wonders from beneath the ocean and taking on the creatures that have been lurking in the deep.

 

Thoughts on 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea

 

Characters – Captain Nemo is the mysterious captain of the Nautilus, he doesn’t follow any over the rules of the ocean as he plans his own way to clean it up with his loyal men, he reluctantly lets the three survivors onboard knowing Professor Aronnax could help his work. He does get frustratingly tired of Ned’s behaviour which puts his crew in danger at times. Ned Land is a sailor that is one of the few survivors from the shipwreck, he doesn’t like Nemo and wants to focus on collecting treasure over learning from the ocean. Professor Pierre Aronnax is one of the most famous scientist in the world, he is welcomed on board the ship because of his reputation which impress Nemo, he jumps at the chance to make huge waves in science onboard the ship. Conseil is the assistant to the professor who quickly starts to side with ned when it comes to the methods being shown onboard the vessel.

PerformancesThis is a strange way to bill the cast, because James Mason is the main character and he is great to watch when it comes to his speeches and ideas for what his character wants. Kirk Douglas is mostly the comic relief which is fun to see for the most part. Paul Lukas fits the posh scientist role in the film which is the one that can simplify things for the audience. Peter Lorre makes for a good sidekick figure for whoever his character helps.

StoryThe story here follows the character of Captain Nemo that must educate three new crew members of the wonders of the ocean, showing them the answers are here instead of in how the world is acting. This is one that shows us science need exploring rather than questioning which takes out characters across the world to see things never imagined for the 1800s. While the story does give us entertainment, it would have been nice to see them ship take on a real creature for more than five minutes instead of going into the science versus sailing talk we most explore.

Adventure/Fantasy/Sci-Fi The adventure side of this film takes our crew around the world to places they would have never seen to see places only few would have, make new discoveries. The fantasy mixes into the sci-fi because of the films setting in the 1800s where the technology isn’t like anything imaginable.

SettingsThe film keep sus out at sea for most of the film, it is the interior of the Nautilus which is fantastic creation here show us just what was in the minds of the people.

Special EffectsThe effects for the time were great, they show us what could have been achieved with practical effects and clever camera work.


Scene of the Movie –
Squid battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not much creature action.

Final ThoughtsThis is a must watch classic of cinema, it reaches levels you might not have expected for the time only to become something you need to admire.

 

Overall: Must watch classic.

Rating