Crone Wood (2016) Movie Review

Director: Mark Sheridan

Writer: Mark Sheridan (Screenplay)

Starring: Elva Trill, Ed Murphy, Sarah Jane Seymour, Karen McCartney

Plot: A young couple who just met decides to go camping after a wonderful first encounter, a decision they will soon regret.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Crone Wood starts as we follow Hailey (Trill) and Danny (Murphy) who go on their first date camping trip away in the countryside, which will see them filming the occasion. As the night continues the couple find themselves being watch and after investigating noises, they can’t find their belongings, learning they are being followed by a much more sinister presence within the woods, one they must look to escape from or becomes the latest victims for.

Thoughts on Crone Wood

ThoughtsCrone Wood is a horror film that relies on the found footage idea for the added scares in the film, watching a couple’s planned weekend away turning into a nightmare. The found footage side of this film does have the usual problems, with the shaky cam, which can work well for the horror side of things, but ends up feeling out of place for certain conversation moments. The movie does have some truly genuinely scary moments, which will heighten the tension in certain scenes, but it does get held back by the filler about an awkward first date. We have seen a lot of films head down this similar direction, which will leave us being left wanting that little bit more for pure shock value.

Release Date: Feb 1st (DVD & VOD)

Final Thoughts Crone Wood is a found footage film with some genuine scares but not enough substance.

Mindhorn (2016) Movie Thoughts

Director: Sean Foley

Writer: Julian Barratt, Simon Farnaby (Screenplay)

Starring: Julian Barratt, Simon Farnaby, Essie Davis, Steve Coogan, Richard McCabe, Andrea Riseborough

Plot: A has-been actor best known for playing the title character in the 1980s detective series “Mindhorn” must work with the police when a serial killer says that he will only speak with Detective Mindhorn, whom he believes to be a real person.

Tagline – It’s truth time!

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Mindless

Story: Mindhorn starts as washed up actor Richard Thorncroft (Barrett) is struggling to find work after his iconic cult character Mindhorn. When a criminal on the Isle of Man known as the Kestrel demands to talk to Mindhorn all he will continue to kill the residents of the Isle of Man, Richard must come out of retirement to solve the crime.

When the criminal remains at large, Richard must confront his own failures in his career and escape from the character he has trapped himself in and make amends for his own mistakes.

Thoughts on Mindhorn

Final Thoughts This is a comedy that looks at how actors could find themselves trapped in a role for their life, trying to recapture the magic they believed they had in their career, while not taking life seriously enough. This could be seen for many great characters, only Richard Thorncroft is insufferable, which I do understand is part of the point. The whole story does feel like a weak episode of one of the late night detective shows, where the comedy in the film misses so often it becomes cringeworthy for the most part. This is one of the worst comedies you will see and will leave you wondering just what you have seen.

Overall: Poor Comedy.

Kids in Love (2016) Movie Review

Director: Chris Foggin

Writer: Sebastian De Souza, Preston Thompson (Screenplay)

Starring: Will Poulter, Jamie Blackley, Geraldine Somerville, Pip Torrens, Robert Portal, Sarah Woodruff

Plot: Set against the backdrop of an underground, bohemian London, Kids In Love offers a new take on the traditional coming of age story. Drifting through his gap year with internships and travel plans, Jack (Will Poulter) has always suspected there was more to life than this. A chance encounter with the beautiful and ethereal Evelyn (Alma Jodorowsky) and her friends, including free spirited Viola (Cara Delevingne), swerves his life radically off course. She is like no one he’s ever met before, and he quickly becomes caught up in a whirlwind of all-day parties and wild nights in London’s hidden dives with her charismatic friends. Giving up everything to follow Evelyn and her hedonistic lifestyle, it takes Jack a while to realise what he’s leaving behind, that love isn’t a game you want to lose and that these people might not be the kindred spirits he first thought.

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Solid Coming of Age Film

Story: Kids in Love starts as we meet Jack (Poulter) who is planning his gap year with his best friend Tom (Blackley) before heading to university, with Jack’s career lined up by his father, this changes when Jack meets Evelyn (Jodorowsky) who lives a free spirit life with Viola (Delevingne) and other friends, that treat life as a party.

As Jack spends more time with Evelyn and her friends, he starts to think about his future and whether he should continue to follow the plans his father planted in him or whether he should start doing something for himself.

Thoughts on Kids in Love

Characters – Jack is a teenager facing the most difficult decision of his life, whether to continue on his plan of a gap year and university or jump at the opportunity of love that has come from nowhere, he doesn’t know which one is the right choice and won’t get a chance to change his decision once he goes through with it, this character shows how difficult life can be when things change suddenly in it. Evelyn is the French woman that Jack meets, she is a free spirit with how she acts, living a life of luxury with friends, she teaches Jack about new ways to enjoy life. Tom is the best friend that has been saving for the gap year with Jack, he does get upset when he starts thinking about changing his mind. We have a couple of other characters which include ones the same age trying to encourage people to join the fun and parents not wanting them to have it.

PerformancesWill Poulter is the star of the show here, he shows the confliction that is felt by a lot of people this age at this time of life, Alma Jodorowsky does make for a good love interest, being confusing with how her character acts through the film. The rest of the cast are solid without getting the biggest moments to shine.

StoryThe story here follows a teenager about to start the next chapter of his life, only to meet a stranger who offers him a new look at life, one that could make him want to reconsider his life plan. This is a coming of age story that puts the highlight on just how difficult being this age will be, you think you might have it planned out, until something completely different comes your way. The idea behind the story is great to see, though some of the execution isn’t as strong as the idea with too much not coming from what has been created with how Jack is thinking, as Evelyn doesn’t ever get put in a good light with her actions through the film.

RomanceThe romance shows how Jack might have fallen in love, only for this person to be one of the ones that will only make his life more complicated.

SettingsThe film uses the London setting to show us just how connected people’s lives might well be.

Scene of the Movie – The first party.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Most of Evelyn’s actions.

Final Thoughts This is a solid coming of age story that shows us all just how hard life can be at this age for everyone.

Overall: Coming of Age 101.

The Cleanse (2016) Movie Review

Director: Bobby Miller

Writer: Bobby Miller (Screenplay)

Starring: Johnny Galecki, Anna Friel, Kyle Gallner, Anjelica Huston, Diana Bang, Kevin J O’Connor, Oliver Platt

Plot: A heartbroken man attends a spiritual retreat to cleanse himself and fix his broken life. There he meets a fellow lost soul, and together they discover that “the cleanse” releases more than everyday toxins…a lot more.

Tagline – We all have our demons.

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Strange

Story: The Cleanse starts when a depressed man Paul (Galecki) signs up for a treatment, which see him getting cleansed under Ken Roberts (Platt) program, this sees Paul head off on a retreat with other damaged people Maggie (Friel), Eric (Gallner) and Laurie (Bang).

As the treatment continues, Paul learns about a small creature that has come from inside him, learning that the others in the camp have one too, as they grow, they seem to show the difficulty of carrying unwanted feelings inside them.

Thoughts on The Cleanse

Characters – Paul is a heartbroken man that is looking everywhere for a way to shake the feeling of pain he has, he is a nervous person, turning to this new idea, where he doesn’t agree with everything to start with before understanding just what it means to let go. Maggie is another person that has joined the retreat, she has her own problems, not willing to discuss her own problems with anyone else there. Lily and Ken are the two that run the retreat, they have a method which will only surprise the members of the camp.

PerformancesJohnny Galecki in the leading role doesn’t do enough to shake off his sitcom figure we have stayed with him, Anna Friel does bring an interesting character, when we do get to learn about her, with Oliver Platt and Anjelica Huston bring the quirky side required for her role.

StoryThe story here follows four people that have been suffering with their own pains in life, they turn to an original therapy, only it has a side effect they had never planned for. The story here focuses on just how difficult dealing with unneeded built up emotions can cause a halt in life and needing to learn to deal with it, will be the only way to move on with life, this uses the representation of the small creature to show how it will continue to build it up, until you learn to cleanse it.

Comedy/Fantasy/HorrorThe comedy in the film comes from the little creatures, that just give us laughs when little moments of interactions occur, the horror does come just how far the creature might start getting their own minds if let to grow too much.

SettingsThe film takes us to a camp in the middle of the woods, this does show us just how the people will need to escape the problems in life, with the location needing to help them clear out their mind.

Scene of the Movie – The first appearance of the creature.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It doesn’t seem to get the full message across.

Final Thoughts This is a quirky little film that doesn’t quite reach the message it is trying to get across well enough.

Overall: Quirky and Strange.

The Red Turtle (2016) Movie Review

Director: Michael Dudok de Wit

Writer: Michael Dudok de Wit, Pascale Ferran (Screenplay) Michael Dudok de Wit (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Emmanuel Garijo, Tom Hudson, Baptiste Goy, Axel Devillers, Barbara Beretta

Plot: A man is shipwrecked on a deserted island and encounters a red turtle, which changes his life.

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Beautiful

Story: The Red Turtle starts when a man gets washed up on a desert island, alone he looks for the essentials, water and food, before trying to figure out how he can get off the island. First, he builds a raft, which only fails his escape plans.

Once the man learns that he is being followed by a mysterious red turtle his whole life on the island changes in a way her would never have imagined.

Thoughts on The Red Turtle

Characters – This is a film where the characters have no names, only roles, the man is the one that gets trapped on the island, looking for a way to find rescue, shelter and survival, something he can manages, before setting off on his own voyage of self-discovery on the island. The Red Turtle seems to be holding the man on the island before giving him a gift which will change his life.

StoryThe story here follows a man that becomes stranded on a desert island where he searches for a way off, looks to survive, only to clash with a mysterious creature that seems to be holding him to the island. This is a story that is all about the visuals we see, it could easily be reflected into the garden of Eden that the man has been given with different aspects of survival involved, be it from needing food, drink or shelter or one’s own mental ability of being alone. This is a story that could also be look at in different ways by different people, which only enhances this to new levels.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure side of this film shows just how one man makes a life out of his time on the island, this does get mixed with the fantasy elements of the film too.

SettingsThe film is set on one desert island which does have a lot to survive with, only it has no escape from. It looks beautiful while feeling empty.

AnimationThe animation is amazing too, with the different lighting to show different times of day, weather conditions and environment changes.

Scene of the Movie – The Full Life.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing.

Final Thoughts This is a beautiful animation that shows the importance of life, happiness and survival.

Overall: One of the most beautiful animations ever.