The Blackout: Invasion Earth (2019) Movie Review

Director: Egor Baranov, Nathalia Hencker

Writer: Ilya Kulikov (Screenplay)

Starring: Aleksey Chadov, Pyotr Fyodorov, Svetlana Ivanova, Lukerya Ilyashenko, Kseniya Kutepova

Plot: Life on Earth is rapidly destroyed except for a small area in Eastern Europe.

Runtime: 2 Hours 7 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Blackout: Invasion Earth starts in the near future when a sudden blackout over the major cities occurs, the people die and the communication between the countries is gone. The Russian military is looking to investigate what is happening to their country within the blackout sites, Oleg (Chadov) leads his unit with Yuriy (Fyodorov) and a camera crew Olga (Ivanova) to learn what is happening in the blackout spots, after previous crews when missing, with one soldier having a deeper connection to what happened, with a warning from an unknown figure.

Thoughts on The Blackout: Invasion Earth

Characters – Oleg is one of the soldiers that gets bought in to fight against the unknown enemy, he gets injured but it always going to be fighting for his men and stop the enemy coming to cause a major threat on everyone in the world. Olga is the press member who is recording the footage of the missions, she will get up close and personal looking for the truth, bringing a more human approach to everything going on. Alyona is the medical soldier that Oleg met before the incident and now needs help from during the attack. We do meet the military officers having to make the big decisions along with the visitors as we learn what they want from Earth.

PerformancesThe performances in the film are strong through the film, we get the military characters, the human factors and the mysterious visitors that will each offer up a different position for the actors to bring to life.

StoryThe story here follows a group of soldiers that need to learn the effects of a mysterious alien attack, which will see them facing a new enemy, with a bigger reason for their visit. This story is very big, it will take focus on the unknown, while borrowing from other massive sci-fi movies with the use a visitor that has been bought to bring a bigger reality to the world. The unknown is what makes the story stand out, where the military is doing all they can to survive knowing they are looking to save their loved ones from something that they can’t defend against. We will be get left with a bigger issue by the end of the film, dealing with moral questions about what to do next.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is massive with the military fights along with the massive horde like attacks, which will have the sci-fi invasion elements about them.

SettingsThe film uses a lot of the aftermath of attacks to show the destroyed cities for the action sequences.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are strong, showing us just how the alien figure will stand out and look different in the world, even giving a shocking reveal.


Scene of the Movie – The rooftop encounter.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Some of the military unit side of things does seem like filled compared to the bigger picture going on.

Final Thoughts The Blackout: Invasion Earth is an ambitiously big sci-fi that has big action and big moral questions going on throughout.

THE BLACKOUT: INVASION EARTH WILL BE RELEASED ON 28th DECEMBER ON BLU-RAY, DVD AND DIGITAL PLATFORMS



The Facility (2019) Movie Review

Director: Matt Mitchell

Writer: Matt Mitchell (Screenplay)

Starring: Sarine Sofair, Harriet Madeley, Adrian Edmondson, Sally Phillips, Omar Rose, Kevin Leslie, Michael Fatogun, Sophie Miller

Plot: A group of young urban explorers and a private military unit could become the final pieces in a 60-year plan to reopen a door that should have stayed closed. But what they unleashed could almost tear our world apart.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Facility starts as five urban explorers Grace (Madeley), Becca (Burton), Steve (Leslie), Adam (Bronzy) and Maddie (Miller) break into an abandoned military facility, where they start to find unusual objects and goings on within the walls. Sgt Davies (Fatogun) is assigned to put his team together to get the explorers out at any cost by the mysterious Suited Woman (Philips).

With two teams in the facility, the evil inside is now ready to feed, but it will need to be stopped before it is unleashed on the Earth.

Thoughts on The Facility

Characters – Grace leads the urban explorers, the group does fall into the generic figures, but to bring us urban explorers, you would feel like there would be more professionalism or back stories to the previous explorations they would have been on, which would have made them more understand or used to the conditions before the haunting side of the journey. Davies leads the military unit that just wants the job done, his unit safe and answers before going into a place filled with danger.

PerformancesThe performances are not the strongest, but they are far from bad, certain lines might not be delivered in the most convincing method, but then this does end up playing more into the bigger picture going on.

StoryThe story here follows a group of urban explorers and a military unit that both find themselves trapped in a mysterious military facility which is filled with unexplainable events. The Facility it a sequel to The Rizen and makes a big jump in time to the modern time, which shows us how the spirits are still haunting the facility trying to possess a new generation a soldiers that could be used to feed the evil. We could have seen or at least learnt more about the urban explorers before entering, is this there first one, have they been doing this for years etc, something Grave Encounters made clear for extra horror effect. If you haven’t seen the original, a lot of this will seem strange and not add up on the same level, but the memories of the original, make things add up more. There is a lot going on through this story, which might see little moments missed, but the ambition behind the world creating is something that needs to be praised.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action isn’t as big as it would like to be, with a lot being just shooting into blank spaces, with the horror coming from the darkness and the visions seen around the facility, with the sci-fi side of the film playing into the bigger picture being presented.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in the facility, filled with darkness and mystery around every single corner.

Special EffectsThe effects are mixed, with the practical looking good, while the CGI moments do stand out more than they should.


Scene of the Movie – Closing the door.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not learning enough about the urban explorers past experiences.

Final Thoughts The Facility continues to build the world within the walls, giving us a chance to see how big this world could get.



Fall of a Kingdom (2019) Movie Review

Director: John Wynn, Akhtem Seitablaev

Writer: Rich Ronat, Yaroslav Voytseshek (Screenplay)

Starring: Tommy Flanagan, Robert Patrick, Poppy Drayton, Alison Doody, Alex MacNicoll

Plot: The Mongol Empire had grown to the largest the world had ever known. It’s armies now laid siege to much of Eastern Europe. A small village fights for freedom in the frontier landscape of the Carpathian Mountains.


Tagline – Family. Freedom. Legacy.

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Fall of a Kingdom starts as we meet the small village chef Zakhar (Patrick) who wants his sons Maksim (MacNicoll) and Ivan (Myers) to invite the leader of neighbouring village Tugar (Flanagan) for a town meeting, which will see Maksim fall for the daughter Myroslava (Drayton) after rescuing her.

When the small villages find themselves coming under attack by the Mongol Empire, Maksim, Ivan and Petro look to free the people who are being put through the sadistic games.

Thoughts on Fall of a Kingdom

Thoughts – Fall of a Kingdom aims to give us a battle against the odds as a small village looks to try and unite with others to defeat an empire of warriors the Mongols who are sweeping across the lands, killing anyone who stands in their way. We get left in a conflict between the villages who don’t want to work together despite it being best for the people and the empire that will not stop for anyone, seeing people’s true colours. We have solid enough performances, but nobody manages to stand out in anyway through this film, the fights don’t feel fresh, with the battles going into the land of everything we have seen before. The most redeeming part of the film comes from a dramatic water based sequence, which does look super cool.

Final ThoughtsFall of a Kingdom fills in the basics of a battle between small villages and an empire that will stop at nothing, bring little fresh to the table.

Signature Entertainment presents Fall of a Kingdom on DVD and Digital HD from November 30th



Mosul (2019) Netflix Movie Review

Director: Matthew Michael Carnahan

Writer: Matthew Michael Carnahan (Screenplay)

Starring: Waleed Elgadi, Hayat Kamille, Thaer Al-Shayei, Suhail Dabbach, Adam Bessa

Plot: A police unit from Mosul fight to liberate the Iraqi city from thousands of ISIS militants.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Mosul starts as we meet a rookie police officer Kawa (Bessa) who along with his partner is cornered by the ISIS militant before getting rescued by Jasem (Dabbach) SWAT unit, Kawa gets recruited on the spot and gets to learn how this elite team operates within the city, looking to fight for the freedom they want their family to have.

We follow this unit as they work their way through the city in an attempt to eliminate the ISIS militant threat from the streets, leaving bodies behind, both the enemies and their own.

Thoughts on Mosul

Characters – Jasem leads the elite SWAT unit, he trusts his men to stand by him and fight, recruiting Kawa, knowing he will want to fight back against the people controlling the city, he is blunt, calm and isn’t afraid to challenge his men to be their best, creating the leadership skills in them all. Kawa is the young police officers thrown into this world after being recruited, he must learn on his feet if he is going to survive his time with the unit, learn the heart break of losing a fellow soldier and how to fight to the death to beat the relentless enemies. We do meet the other soldiers who are all fighting for something, they all follow the orders and know they can’t lose.

PerformancesSuhail Dabbach in the leading role is brilliant, showing his dominance on the unit, while keeping his character in control of every situation. Adam Bessa is the audience entry performance, which must go through the biggest evolution as the film unfold, going from rookie police officer, to relentless soldier. The rest of the supporting cast are strong too, without anyone looking out of place and the men looking like a unit.

StoryThe story here follows a group of Iraqi SWAT soldiers that are fighting the ISIS Militant who are controlling the city, we follow a rookie officer that gets to learn what the fight is for. This is a raw story that will show us just how much is at stake for the soldiers on the ground fighting an enemy that isn’t taking an prisoners, that will give up their own lives to take the innocence of others. The story does give us a character to help us understand how much this means to the men in Kawa, which will give us the questions needed to get us into the unit mindsets.

Action/WarThe action in the film is non-stop, with plenty of military fighting showing us the different position the men find themselves in during the ongoing war.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to create the war torn city that is realistic and shows us the destruction that has been happening for years, not just what has been happening during the recent conflict.


Scene of the Movie – The reveal of the mission.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing.

Final Thoughts Mosul is a truly relentless movie that will show us the truly costs of the conflict in Iraq for the soldiers looking to keep their family safe.



Safe Spaces (2019) Movie Review

Director: Daniel Schechter

Writer: Daniel Schechter (Screenplay)

Starring: Justin Long, Kate Berlant, Lynn Cohen, Michael Godere, Fran Drescher, Richard Schiff

Plot: An NYC professor spends a week re-connecting with his family while defending his reputation over controversial behavior at his college.


Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Safe Spaces starts as we meet the New York City creative writer professor Josh Cohn (Long) sees what looks like a positive class turn against him with the creative writing pushed one of the students the wrong way, outside of his work Josh is seeing his grandmother Agatha (Cohen) dying in a hospital, with his sister Jackie (Berlant) and brother David (Godere) visiting her daily.

Josh finds himself needing to face the reality of losing his closest family member and potentially losing his job that he has worked so hard for in an evolving world or political correctness.

Thoughts on Safe Spaces

Characters – Josh is a man in his mid-30s that has just got his dream entry level teaching job in creative writing, which looks like it is going well, until one lesson sees him offend a student causing him to try and understand what happened. His personal life isn’t going well either, with his sister needing his help, his older brother looking down on him, piling on the pressure to find something more on his life. Jackie is the sister that has turned to Josh for help after a break up with her boyfriend, she always turns to Josh for help, while still having her own problems with their father. Agatha is the grandmother that has been dying slowly in the hospital, she is still filled with plenty of positive attitude, but she knows deep down she doesn’t have much time left. David is the older brother, he has settled down starting his own family and usually takes on the more serious details of dealing with their grandmother. We do meet other family members that Josh needs to fix his relationships with or being the connection for other members that are feeling out of place. The students are the hardest part to get behind, because they are so opinionated nothing anyone does seems to be right anymore for the professor.

PerformancesJustin Long is great in the leading role, showing his nice guy persona, which will have a defensive side that will show how he doesn’t always understand how he could be wrong. Kate Berlant is strong in the supporting role, along with the whole cast that is easy to watch through the film.

StoryThe story here shows how a creative writer professor sees his career start to spiral out of control when is involved in a comment in class, while outside the college, he is having his own personal life problems, with his grandmother dying in hospital and the family not being as connected as he would hope. This is story that does show us how somebody might not know everything about someone else’s personal life, which will cause them problems that might offend, with it being reflected on how Josh is having his own problems. We do go to the extremes of what might be seen as the problems, which apart from the first person who is against the comment, the students seem like they are to opinionated about the world they know nothing about.

ComedyThe comedy in the film focuses on the life of Josh, which will have you laughing more at how extra the conversations end up being.

SettingsThe film is set in New York which shows us just how many different stories you might not know about people.


Scene of the Movie – The family together in the hospital.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Some of the students are unbearable.

Final Thoughts Safe Spaces shows how people will never know the problems in people’s lives, with Justin Long shining through the film.


Safe Spaces will be available on Digital Download from 7th December