The Free World (2016) Movie Review

Director: Jason Lew

Writer: Jason Lew (Screenplay)

Starring: Elisabeth Moss, Boyd Holbrook, Octavia Spencer, Sung Kang, Frederick Weller, Austin Amelio

Plot: A recently released former convict becomes involved with a married woman with an abusive husband.

Tagline – Only love can truly set us free.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Free World starts as Mohamed Lundy (Holbrook) a convict released from prison, working in an animal shelter, always wanting to give them the best care he can. When Doris Lamb (Moss) and her husband bring an injured dog to the shelter, he tries everything he can to help it, only for it to pass away.

Mohamed discovers Doris in the shelter, looking to hide, learning she has killer her abusive husband, the police are still tracking Mohamed, believing he is trouble being back on the streets, with him needing to find a peace in this world.

Thoughts on The Free World

ThoughtsThe Free World follows the life of an ex-con who is trying to put his life back together without getting much help from the police on the outside, always looking to catch him out. He helps a woman in need, which only leads to him putting the spotlight on them, putting all his hard work on the line. This is a drama that does show us just how much people will looks to help others in need, no matter how difficult it might end up being for them, in a world that doesn’t want to give them hope. The performances in the film are great with Moss and Holbrook showing all their skills throughout the film, with a strong supporting cast to back them up.

Final Thoughts The Free World is a strong look at doing the right thing, even if you have to risk even more to do so.

Get a Job (2016) Movie Review

Director: Dylan Kidd

Writer: Kyle Pennekamp, Scott Turpel (Screenplay)

Starring: Miles Teller, Anna Kendrick, Bryan Cranston, Nicholas Braun, Brandon T Jackson, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Alison Brie, Marcia Gay Harden

Plot: After college, Will is having problems getting a good, lasting job, as are his roomies, his girlfriend and his just fired dad.

Tagline – Graduating was the easy part

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Get a Job starts as college graduate Will (Teller) believes the future is set after his years on YouTube, only to find himself not getting the job he believed he would after years of being an intern. His girlfriend Jillian (Kendrick) is looking to push him into finding a job, with Will struggling to find one in his own level of expectations.

Will learns his inspiration his father Roger (Cranston) has lost his job, with the two sides seeing just what the difference in how the generations are looking for a job.

Thoughts on Get a Job

ThoughtsGet a Job is a comedy that is shows us how the college graduates will struggle to find the careers they dreamed off after finishing studying, showing us how they can find themselves just wasting time, rather than searching for the career they desire. This is a story that does feel offensive because it shows people who only see themselves in one job, when they are desperate to find a job to pay the rent, proving that people will look down on certain jobs, as the group never seem like the truly hard working types, just a group of stoners. This is such a frustrating movie it will just leave you shaking your head at everything going on, despite the film trying to highlight the generational gap between the different eras trying to get jobs and showing how companies are trying to downsize all the time. The performances aren’t bad, as they will get what they need to out of what we see.

Final Thoughts Get a Job is a comedy that feels more offensive than anything else.

Siren (2016) Movie Review

Director: Gregg Bishop

Writer: Ben Collins, Luke Piotrowski (Screenplay) David Bruckner (Characters)

Starring: Chase Williamson, Hannah Fierman, Justin Welborn, Hayes Mercure, Michael Aaron Milligan, Brittany S Hall

Plot: A bachelor party becomes a savage fight for survival when the groomsmen unwittingly unleash a fabled predator upon the festivities.

Tagline – No Man Can Resist Her. All Men Should.

Runtime: 1 Hour 22 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Blood Filled Massacre

Story: Siren starts when four friends Jonah (Williams), Rand (Mercure), Mac (Milligan) and Elliot (McDowell) head to the Garden City for a bachelor party, which doesn’t go to complete plan, they end up in a secretive club run by Mr Nyx (Welborn), that feels as shady as it appears.

As the night starts to get exciting, Jonah gets taken to an exclusive dance, with a mysterious woman, which does see the guys needing to fight to survive from the people trying to control the siren Lily (Fierman).

Thoughts on Siren

Characters – Jonah is having his bachelor party, which he wants to keep simple, drinks and stripers, but things get out of hand, when Jonah looks to rescue an imprisoned dancer, only to find him running to survive from the owners of the club and the mysterious girl he releases hunting him down. Mac is the brother, who pushes the guys into a more eventful night, while Rand should be the best man and Elliot makes up the numbers. Lily is the siren, the mysterious creature whose voice can seduce any man, she is held captive in the club, able to kill whenever she wants, searching for Jonah, while wanting to escape her captivity.

PerformancesChase Williamson as the bachelor is strong in the leading role, with the whole bachelor party team doing their roles well through the film, Hannah Fierman commits to the siren role, showing the beauty and the horros she would need to bring to the role. With Justin Welborn bringing the over the top owner of the club to life with ease.

StoryThe story here follows a bachelor party that takes a turn when the group go to a secret club, one that is filled with new horrors they never imagined, after they release a girl that is a danger to everyone. This story is an extension of the V/H/S chapter ‘Amateur Night’, which does dive the story into a deeper message behind the siren creature that attacks the men. The story does bring us the idea that bachelor parties could get out of control, with where the characters end up going to private party where they have no idea what they are getting themselves into, while also hinting at a bigger world a creatures. It does play into the ideas of doing the right thing is important and learning to do the right thing will give you a better chance to surviving.

Horror/MysteryThe horror comes from what Lily will do to her victims, seducing them before butchering them, it doesn’t hold back on the blood or the savaged side of the attacks, with the mystery being hinted at more about what might be with the people involved with the clubs.

SettingsThe film uses the idea of a private club to show us just what could be held there, while the wider environments show us how the owner operates.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well through the films to show the savaged side of the attacks, along with the changes Lily shows, that are being covered up.

Scene of the Movie – Make a deal.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We don’t get to learn enough about the other creatures that could be in the world.

Final Thoughts This is a fun horror that will bring plenty of blood, build on the short from V/H/S to give the character more detail and show us how a bachelor party can get out of control.

Overall: Fun Blood Soaked Horror.

Detour (2016) Movie Review

Director: Christopher Smith

Writer: Christopher Smith (Screenplay)

Starring: Tye Sheridan, Bel Powley, Emory Cohen, John Lynch, Stephen Moyer, Gbenga Akinnagbe

Plot: A young law student blindly enters into a pact with a hoodlum who offers to kill his stepfather – a man he feels is responsible for the accident that sent his mother into a coma.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Overly Twisty

Story: Detour starts when law student Harper James (Sheridan) is seeing his mother slowly dying in the hospital after an accident he blames on his stepfather Vincent (Moyer), he decides to have a drink, which leads him to bump into connected criminal Johnny Ra (Cohen) and after getting chatting, they make a deal to kill Vincent.

The deal doesn’t go as planned for Harper though, as he wants out thinking it was just a drunk conversation, only to find himself on a road trip with Johnny and dancer Cherry (Powley) to get the job done.

Thoughts on Detour

Characters – Harper is a law student that has played his life pretty safely for the most part, he has seen his mother injured in a car accident with little chance of recovering and ends up meeting a season criminal with connections that could help him get rid of his stepfather and is forced to go along with this scheme. He does seem to be a lot smarter than he makes out to be to Johnny. Cherry is a dancer that follows Johnny on any of his plans, she does get closer with Harper. Johnny Ray is the aggressive criminal that likes how Harper talks, willing to accept his offer to kill his stepfather for a fee, by having no connections between the two.

PerformancesTye Sheridan does continue to show his acting abilities with his role here where he always looks insecure about what is happening despite always looking like he is in control too. Bel Powley does give her character some sympathy, though we don’t learn enough about her in the long run, while Emory Cohen is as hot headed as you would imagine him to be.

StoryThe story here follows a young man that wants to get revenge for his mother’s comatose, turning to a criminal to help him murder his step father, only to find himself in a position where he is losing control. This does seem like it is going to be one story, only to spin a lot on its head through the film. The way this story is told is interesting and at times difficult to follow because of the choice to not tell the story in a linear style doesn’t always help all the scenes unfold properly. It does mean you have to watch most scenes twice, to pick up on little clues, though most don’t seem to have enough hints going on through them.

ActionThe action in the film is pretty tame with more about almost happening, rather than something actually happening.

SettingsThe film is set on the road, which does show how calculated the plan is unfolding.

Scene of the Movie – The first change in the way we see the story.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too many repeated scenes.

Final Thoughts This is an action film that doesn’t have too much action and tries to bend the storytelling process too often for its own good.

Overall: Simple Action.

ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – J – Broken Vows (2016) Movie Review

This is under J because of lead actress Jaimie Alexander,

Director: Bram Coppens

Writer: Jim Agnew, Sean Keller (Screenplay)

Starring: Jaimie Alexander, Wes Bentley, Cam Gigandet, Astrid Coppens, Alexandra Breckenridge

Plot: A charming yet troubled man spirals into a rage after being rejected by the woman he initially seduced.

Tagline – ‘Til death do us part.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Broken Vows starts when Tara (Alexander) is on her bachelorette party with her best friends Justine (Coppens) and Debra (Breckenridge), where she meets a mysterious stranger Patrick (Bentley) with one thing leading to another, the pair have a one-night stand.

When it turns out Patrick believes the two are meant to be, he looks to get back into the life of Tara’s and when she asks him to leave her alone, her own wedding gets added problems.

Thoughts on Broken Vows

Characters & Performances – Tara is about to get married, with her bachelorette party weekend happening, she gets drunk and hooks up with a stranger as one last fling. She wants to get back to her normal life, well preparing for her wedding, but must deal with the man who starts stalking her, not letting her get on with her life. She doesn’t want to break the heart of her husband-to-be with her affair and needs to find a way to keep him quiet. Jaimie Alexander is the great in this role, showing a woman remaining in control after her own mistake. Patrick is the bartender that Tara meets, he comes off mysterious, before showing stalker tendencies, coming into Tara’s life looking to get her back. He is a mentally unstable man that has a history of his stalker action, leaving you wondering how he is still on the streets in the first place. Wes Bentley does give us a genuinely creepy performance for the most part of the film. We get to meet the husband-to-be who is just preparing things, along with the best friends of Tara, none of them get to make the impact in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a woman who has a one-night-stand on her bachelorette weekend only to find out the guy is a stalker that doesn’t want to let her forget about their night together, looking to ruin her life before her wedding. This is one of the by the book stalker movies, showing us how one person will see their life turned upside after one slip up, showing us how a stalker can put themselves into their life, looking to ruining, with the panic of holding everything together. The story does have a big question about whether Patrick should be free in society with his reputation, he does seem to be too dangerous to be casual around people. As for how it all unfolds, we kind of know how it will happen, leaving little to the imagination along the way.

ThemesBroken Vows is a thriller that will give us a chance to see how one person’s life can get turned upside by a stalker, leaving them with little chance of escaping, it is mostly in the background scheming, rather than getting involved till much later in the film.

Final Thoughts Broken Vows is a by the book thriller that does have a creepy performance from Bentley, but struggles to move away from what we have seen before.