ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2020 – # – The New Mutants (2020) Movie Review

The New Mutants – Nice Dark Addition to the Franchise

Director: Josh Boone

Writer: Josh Boone, Knate Lee (Screenplay)

Starring: Maisie Williams, Anya Taylor-Joy, Charlie Heaton, Alice Brage, Blue Hunt, Henry Zaga

Plot: Five young mutants, just discovering their abilities while held in a secret facility against their will, fight to escape their past sins and save themselves.

Tagline – There is something new to fear.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The New Mutants starts when Dani Moonstar (Hunt) escapes from a disaster, which will see her awaken in a hospital run by Dr Reyes (Braga), Dani joins the rest of the patients, religious Rahne Sinclair (Williams), bad girl Illyana Rasputin (Taylor-Joy), small town boy Sam Guthrie (Heaton) and playboy Roberto da Costa (Zaga), in a hospital, where the five are learning to control their powers before returning to the world.

As Dani spends more time in the hospital, she finds herself and the other patients needing to face the demons which have caused their power to come out, forcing them into a deadly situation.

Thoughts on The New Mutants

Characters & Performances – Dani Moonstar has seen her whole family killed in an incident, seeing her admitted to a small hospital with four other young people, here she must first look to fit in with the other young people, before learning to control her powers, which will see her becoming the main target, as she learns about her own powers. Blu Hunt in this role, does give us the role which is the introduction to this world. Rahna Sinclair is the shy religious patient, she helps Dani fit in around the hospital, being the friend, she needs, while dealing with her own past, which is why she is there in the first place. Maisie Williams does give this character the calmness and difference to the Anya Taylor-Joy flirty figure. Illyana Rasputin is the bad girl of the group, she isn’t as welcoming of Dani and wants to keep her secrets away from the rest, her powers are the most interesting and the one you want to see more off in the future. Anya Taylor-Joy does the acting part of the film well, adding all the mystery to her character, only her accent slips in and out through the film. Sam and Roberto complete the patients line up, both seem to be very similar in how they both want to stay away from anyone, brooding more than anything else. Both Charlie Heaton and Henry Zaga do well in this role without getting the big moment the women seem to. Dr Reyes is running the hospital, seemingly on her own, she tries to friend the patients, while trying to guide them to unleash their powers. Alice Braga does bring the friendly persona to this role well, but struggles with her characters true side.

StoryThe story here follows a teenager that survivors an incident that will see her heading to a hospital with other young people, each with their own traumas, a place where they are prepared to see what their powers can do to the world, until they start suffering horrific nightmares. While this story might well have gone through development nightmares, it does bring a fresh approach to an X-Men movie, showing us just how dark the world could be for young mutants, who are only just learning about their powers, under the wrong people and need to learn to harness their powers. We do get to dive into the history of what has driven the youngster to this location, showing just how they never knew what to do with what happened. The format of the story is everything you would expect from a horror, where things slowly start getting worse for the characters too.

ThemesThe New Mutants takes us to the singular location of the hospital, looking to use this to show the containment the characters find themselves in, we get a lot of horror elements here with the character’s greatest fears coming to life, which each one looking more terrifying as the levels intensify. When it comes to the main big fight, we get a clever creation for Illyana’s skills, which is easily the most interesting part of the film.


The New Mutants is an entertaining spin on the X-Men franchise, bringing us the horror we needed away from the glamour action. 

Rams (2020) Movie Review

Rams – Nice Life Comedy

Director: Jeremy Sims

Writer: Jules Duncan (Screenplay) Grimur Hakonarson (Original Film)

Starring: Sam Neill, Miranda Richardson, Asher Keddie, Michael Caton, Hayley McElhinney, Wayne Blair

Plot: A decades-long feud between two sheep farming brothers comes to a head when disaster strikes their flocks.

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Rams starts as we meet the two brothers and rival sheep farmers Colin (Neill) and Les (Caton) who live next door to each other, but haven’t spoken to each over in nearly 40 years, they both compete with the other farmers in the area, with the two always being the final two in any competitions.

After Les wins the latest competition, Colin discovers the flock could all be contaminated and both flocks will need to be destroyed and the pair will need to follow the government guidelines if they are either going to get back to their passion.

Thoughts on Rams

Characters & Performances – Colin is one of the two rivalling brothers, he will become more open to talking to the rest of the community, he is the one that discovers the disease in the area and makes the hard decision with his flock as he looks to work with the government to clean the area, he approaches the change in a different way to his brother. Sam Neill is great in tis role, he has the comedy skills to make this character seem straight-faced, while not being a parody of the situation. Les is the rival brother that usually wins the awards, he is a recluse that doesn’t want anything to do with anyone in the town, including his brother, he struggles a lot more with the changes the area must make, seeing him turn to alcohol for help. Michael Caton works very well opposite Neill in this role, showing the character that feels like they have nothing and hating the world. Kat is the local vet that must deal with the biggest problems in the area, while trying to learn what caused the problems between the brothers. Miranda Richardson does well with her role, she will bring the more serious side to the story with most of her scenes. When we look into the rest of the cast and characters, we get the most comical moments from the other resident, only we could easily have spent more time with them for more laughs.

StoryThe story here follows tow rivalling brothers who must deal with the loss of their flock of sheep and the effects that will cause, which might finally see them put aside their differences for the better. This is based on an Icelandic movie, with most of the Australian culture sprinkled into how everything unfolds, it does show how overly committed to being the best two farmers are, how losing everything could turn people into doing something desperate and needing to put aside differences could bring about a better life for everyone around you. The core story does unfold well, it is the side characters that seem to get small threads of story, which just seem to get forgotten too quickly through the film, which could have added even more light heartedness to the story.

ThemesRams is a comedy drama that does get the mix of the two down very well, it does use the gorgeous backdrops to show us the beauty of the area the film is set in, while giving us a reality check on how diseases would need to be eliminated quickly to save more around them.

Signature Entertainment Presents Rams on Digital Platforms 5th February

Rams is a nice comedy drama, which will see Sam Neill shines throughout.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2020 – Y – Monster Hunters (2020) Movie Review

We are going under Y because of actress Yaz Canli appearing in the film.

Director: Brendan Petrizzo

Writer: Jeremy M Inman (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Sizemore, Anthony Jensen, Connie Jo Sechrist, Mark Valeriano, Jarrid Masse, Cherish Holland

Plot: When an alien prison ship crash lands and unleashes creature after creature in the California desert, they make quick work of the army that tries to stop them. Now, the only hope of stopping the aliens rests with a secret branch of the government specializing in alien weaponry. But with the team untested in actual combat, the battle for Earth will be brutal.

Tagline – The Deadilest Creatures In The Galaxy Just Crashed…On Earth

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Monster Hunters starts as we enter a world where aliens visit Earth all the time, some friendly others not so. The Alien Defence Unit monitors the visits looking to cover any threats the public would hear about. Colonel Mayweather (Sizemore) keeps everything in line, with LT Shepherd (Jensen) runs the unit that is getting a replacement in Specialist Stella Fairchild (Sechrist) who needs to learn the ropes, but a new alien has appeared, one that is going on rampage, which the unit the will need to stop before it is too late.

Thoughts on Monster Hunters

Characters – Colonel Mayweather runs the Alien Defence Unit from his office, he would be like to lead a battalion against the enemies, and knows his time is starting to come to an end, he has assigned the latest leader keeping the replacements to his approval. LT Shepherd is one of the men on the ground, he leads a small unit that will learn he is being replaced, he has years of experience against alien threats and isn’t going down without a fight. Specialist Stella Fairchild is the new replacement to Shepherd, she wants to bring her own ideas to the unit, showing she hasn’t ever dealt with an alien threat before. Bob is the tech genius that has been working with the technology for years, he holds the keys to stop the threat, as he gets to unleash the new weapons.

PerformancesTom Sizemore is one of the draws for the movie, the biggest name here and he does most of his work from one room without looking overly convincing. This is going to go for the whole cast, nobody is truly standout, but they are above what most people would expect from a Syfy channel movie.

StoryThe story here follows an Alien Defence Unit as they look to defend Earth from a new predatory alien species that is killing anything that comes in its path, while dealing with diplomatic decisions to bring in a younger leader. This is an easy to watch story, it is as simple as a group of military people needing to do battle with an unknown alien monster. This isn’t the deepest story, but it will pass the time and will not offend along the way, one of the more harmless entertaining storylines.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is plenty of fights between alien monsters and blood splatter which isn’t original, but works for the entertainment factory, with the sci-fi elements coming from the different monsters the unit must face.

SettingsThe film is set in a mountain range, which will show how easily the alien covered could happen with nobody around to see it.

Special EffectsThe effects are low budget and everything you would expect to see from a Syfy movie, most works for the film, not always looking the most believable.

Scene of the Movie – Come in Peace or Leave in Pieces.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – I was never saw if the aliens were meant to be a secret of not.

Final Thoughts Monster Hunters is a fun low budget action splatter fest which is easy to watch and enjoy.

The Furnace (2020) Movie Review

Director: Roderick MacKay

Writer: Roderick MacKay (Screenplay)

Starring: David Wenham, Jay Ryan, Mahesh Jadu, Erik Thomson, Goran D Kleut

Plot: To escape the outback, a young Afghan cameleer falls in with a mysterious bushman on the run with stolen Crown gold.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Furnace starts when an Afghan cameleer Hanif (Malek) crosses paths with a bushman Arthur (Wenham) who is on the run with Crown gold, stolen from the British, with Sergeant Shaw (Ryan) on his trail.

The two find themselves going through the different cultural groups in the outback as they look to melt down the gold in a furnace, in an adventure that will bring the unlikely partnership being important.

Thoughts on The Furnace

Characters & Performances – Arthur is the bushman who has stolen from the Crown, he has taken the gold hoping to convert it for his own profit. He reluctantly works with Hanif, knowing his knowledge of the outback will help him survive longer, showing he could get more out of his time on the journey without being caught. David Wenham takes this leading role well, being the desperate character, but one smart enough to know how to survive. Hanif is the cameleer that has been around the open outback, mixing with other groups, making connections, knowing the secrets of water to survive, he will help Arthur travel across the outback in a chance to get his share of the gold. Ahmed Malek shows us this character that has seen a lot and isn’t prepared for the world of conflict the pair find themselves in. we do get to meet the different people after the pair, each if their own reason for searching, some will help others will try to take the gold from them.

StoryThe story here follows an Afghan and a bushman travelling across the outback with gold as they are trying to find a furnace to remove the Crown stamp, as they are being tracked by a host of different people who want the gold, including the British. This is a story that will highlight the different cultures that are left in the outback, all trying to survive despite the strict rules imposed by the selfish British militaries. The journey is similar to what we would have seen for years, the odd couple needing to work together to overcome the odds against them, tracking them down. It all plays out like you would imagine with the discussion of greed taking full control of the story.

ThemesThe Furnace uses the adventure of travelling across the outback as a way to show us just where the western theme comes into the idea of never knowing who you will meet on your journey. The locations are beautiful, showing the scale, beauty and danger of the outback.

Final Thoughts The Furnace is a western that keeps things simple, while highlight the cultural changes Australia went through.

Signature Entertainment present The Furnace on Digital Platforms 25th January

23 Walks (2020) Movie Review

23 Walks – Sweet & Charming

Director: Paul Morrison

Writer: Paul Morrison (Screenplay)

Starring: Dave Johns, Alison Steadman, Oliver Powell, Natalie Simpson, Vivienne Soan

Plot: A gentle, sweet, funny, romantic story of love in later life following a couple in their sixties, Dave and Fern, who get to know one another over the course of 23 dog walks.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: 23 Walks starts when Dave (Johns) and his German Shepard Tilly, meet Fern (Steadman) and her little Yorkshire Terrier Henry on their daily walk, the two start to learn they have more in common, with Dave being widowed and Fern dealing with her marriage ending.

As the two start to get closer, they start to reveal the secrets in their lives, some secrets which could ruin the friendship the two have created to help them through their own difficult times.

Thoughts on 23 Walks

Characters & Performances – Dave is a former nurse that takes his German Shepard on daily walks in the local park, he is facing a difficult future with the council wanting to take him home back and when he meets Fern, the two becomes friends, sharing life stories, giving him some company for the first time in years. He is a very friendly person who you can see is only interested in having people in his life, with her daughter having her own family, he does get time with the grandkids. Dave Johns brings this everyday man to life with ease, we see the struggles he is going through and despite his purely positive nature, we see how lonely he is feeling. Fern is the woman that walks her Yorkshire Terrier, she is going through a divorce after years of marriage, she does clearly have a secret she is keeping from Dave and fast becoming the friend Dave needs, with him becoming the friend she needs. Alison Steadman does an excellent job keep her characters struggles deep down, showing how to bring her character needing to be free of the grief she has been through.

StoryThe story follows two people in their sixties that meet walking their dogs, become friends and start to help each other out of the struggles they are facing, finally finding the person that will help them move on with life. This story gets to put the highlights on people in their sixties that could be going through a hard time, which will give them the chance to meet people who could help turn their lives in friendship in the later stages of life. We get to see how certain people will have secrets, they aren’t always going to be giving away their biggest secrets in life. The pace of the story does start well, but we do get a slower stage in the middle, but we finish strong giving us the outcome the characters deserve.

Themes23 Walks is a romantic comedy which focuses more on the dramas of life, seeing how people have been through in life, we get to see the beauty in the big city from the walks, with the dogs having their own characters with the importance to the owners.

23 Walks is a sweet, charming and caring movie that brings to life the importance of friendship in life.