North Hollywood (2021) Movie Review ‘Entertaining Coming-of-Age Film’

North Hollywood – Entertaining Coming-of-Age story

 

Director: Mikey Alfred

Writer: Mikey Alfred (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryder McLaughlin, Miranda Cosgrove, Vince Vaughn, Mikey Alfred, Aramis Hudson,

Plot: A kid must decide between choosing the future his father wants and following his dream of becoming a pro skater.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: North Hollywood starts as we meet high school student Michael (McLaughlin) who is reaching the crucial part of his life, where he must decide between college, working with his father Oliver (Vaughn) in construction or following his dreams of being a professional skater.

As Michael starts finally talking to his high school crush Rachel (Cosgrove), he starts to see his potential skating career take off, hanging out with a new group of people, while his father continues to push for him to make sure he plans for his future.

Thoughts on North Hollywood

Characters & Performances – Michael is the high school student, planning on moving to college, while harbouring dreams of becoming a professional skater. He has often lived in the shadow of his father’s shadow, always trying to keep him on the right path in life, with Michael wanting to take more chances in life, which will see him in that position where he doesn’t know what will happen next in his life. Ryder McLaughlin does give us a performance where we get to see the struggles in life, wanting something more, while not knowing what is best, the confliction his character is going through is in every scene. Rachel is the high school crush that Michael has waiting to get closer to for years, it is one of the things that will see him risk something more in life. Miranda Cosgrove does the basic side of this role well, she doesn’t get a chance to do much more than being potential love interest with her feet on the ground. Oliver is the father of Michael’s, he is strict because he knows how hard life will be on Michael, he is fair though, offering college or a chance to work with him, he is always willing to advice in life, struggling with the idea that he might not making something for himself. Vince Vaughn is the best part of the acting in this film, bringing a honest figure to life, a man that has seen the world and always wants the best for a loved one.

StoryThe story here follows a high school student that is facing the difficult decision on what to do next in his life, with his dreams of being a skater not being seen as a smart choice, with college or employment being what his father is pushing for. This is a coming-of-age story where a teenager who is about to enter adulthood must make the decision which is best for him, he knows whatever he picks, his life will change, his friendships will fade away, his father will be there for him though, but the importance of this decision will define him. This story might not offer much more than we have seen before but does everything it needs to for the film to become enjoyable.

ThemesNorth Hollywood is a comedy drama looking at the desire of a high school teenager wanting to become a pro skater, which will only pay if he is a success, leaving him in the middle of the position of whether he will be able to make it in this world. The North Hollywood setting shows people who are living in a dream world, but not a celebrity world.

North Hollywood will be available on Digital Download from 11th October.

Final Thoughts North Hollywood is an entertaining comedy drama.

Séance (2021) Movie Review ‘Scares Up a Treat’

Séance – Scares Up a Treat

 

Director: Simon Barrett

Writer: Simon Barrett (Screenplay)

Starring: Suki Waterhouse, Madisen Beaty, Inanna Sarkis, Ella-Rae Smith, Stephanie Sy, Djouliet Amara

Plot: Camille, a young woman who arrives at the Fairfield Academy following one of the student’s untimely and violent death.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Séance starts in the aftermath of an accident, Camille Meadows (Waterhouse) arrives at Fairfield Academy to replace the deceased student, where Camille must learn of the politics between the girls with Alice (Sarkis) leading the bully parade to welcome he.

When the girls perform a séance, they find themselves getting haunted by an unknown presence, Camille and Alice must learn to put their differences aside to figure out what it behind the haunting.

Thoughts on Séance

Characters & Performances – Camille Meadows is the new student to the school, she takes the recently deceased girls room and it doesn’t take long before she finds herself clashing with the school bullies. She won’t take it lying down, when she finds herself caught in the middle of a previous séance the girls summoned. She knows how to deal with the pranks the bullies are looking to pull on her and leads the investigation when one of the girls goes missing. Suki Waterhouse does bring this smarter figure to this world, one which will show us that have been in the world more than the boarding school. Alice is the lead of the bullies, along with the rest of the group they do what they want in the school, controlling the pranks they do on the students. She is the typical mean girl, quick to react to anything that goes against her. This is where the supporting cast does struggle to make an impact, all the bully group struggling to stand out from the crowd. When it comes to the film being set in a school, it does feel like we have only one teacher and the group involved, it never feels like there is anyone else there.

StoryThe story follows a new girl starting an exclusive boarding school after the death of one of the students, she must deal with the typical new girl treatments before finding herself in the middle of a series of hauntings, with the student vanishing. This does tend to follow the slasher style of horror, despite trying to play itself as a supernatural one. We know how the picking off selection tends to happen and despite certain things happening, the girls still play the idea that horror films don’t exist, making silly decisions when a friend has either gone missing or been killed. Once you step away from this, we get an entertaining story along the way, which will you leave trying to figure out the truth.

ThemesSéance is a horror mystery that will use the boarding school as the main location, showing us the girls will have to learn to trust each other through the events of the horror, which will fall into the slasher side of horror, despite wanting to make more of a use of an actual séance to create what is happening. The scares are slowly built up, coming more from the alone sequences, relying on the darkness for more effect.

Final Thoughts Séance is a creepy slasher, that doesn’t hold on some of the brutal scenes, only to struggle to build the world the vents take place in.

Amazon Queen (2021) Movie Review ‘East Watch Action Film’

Amazon Queen – Easy Watch Action Film

 

Director: Marlin Darrah

Writer: Rick Cullis, Marlin Darrah, Richard Lasser (Screenplay)

Starring: Carly Diamond Stone, Carson Grant, Nick Dreselly Thomas, Massi Furlan, Alfonso DiLuca, Vicky Dawson, Clayton Meek

Plot: A group of tourists joins the Amazon Forest riverboat “Queen” as it ventures upriver, to visit indigenous villages and explore jungle habitats. But a dark cloud of thievery and menace thunders aboard, threatening all with death.

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Amazon Queen starts when captains, Jackie Santos (Stone) and Flynn McIntyre (Thomas) looks to take their Amazon Queen with tourist out on the river. They are joined by mother Maggie (Dawson) daughter Leilah (Encarnacion), documentarian Sam Romero (DiLuca) and two bank robbers Machado (Furlan) and Silva (Meek) who are looking for their stolen loot, which crashed on the river.

When the journey isn’t going fast enough, Machado decides to take the boat hostage to rush to the location of their treasure, wanting to learn the truth about his brother.

Thoughts on Amazon Queen

Characters & Performances – Jackie Santos is one of the captains on of the boat, she knows the couple need money to keep the boat afloat, which does have a lot of history in her family. She gets a surprise on the latest trip, where she will look to do the right thing for the tourists when things go wrong. Machado is the criminal who wants to find the money and his brother after a heist gone wrong, he wants to do it quietly, but must take things into his own hands, taking the boat hostage, he is determined to make sure he gets what he wants, willing to do anything to make it happen. When we look deeper at the characters, we do seem to lack anyone that does have the charisma to standout, with most feeling like everyday people, no big hero stepping up, no completely twisted villains, it just feels flatter than anything else. The performances don’t make the characters standout in the way they should for the action film this wants to be.

StoryThe story here follows a river cruise that gets taken over by robbers who want to use the boat to find a missing loot that was stolen from them, which crash landed in the middle of the Amazon River. This is a story that could have gone in a different direction, with the film wanting to make sure we meet everyone, instead of letting the action unfold in the story. The idea of travelling to a dangerous location to find a missing treasure does work well for the film, it makes sense they try to do it in a calm way, instead of all guns blazing, but as soon as they take the boat hostage, the tone doesn’t seem to match up, because it is never intense enough with the threat they could be facing.

ThemesAmazon Queen is an action movie that uses the beautiful Amazon River as the backdrop for the adventure to happen, showing us just how much danger, the tourists could be in, once the criminals want to take over. We don’t however get much action, with most being tame for what it could have been, leaving the film feeling a lot flatter than it should have.

Final Thoughts Amazon Queen is a by the book late night action film, that just lacks the intensity to shine.

Midnight Mass – Episode Seven, Book VII: Revelation – Review ‘Glorious Conclusion’

Midnight Mass – Episode Seven, Book VII: Revelation – Glorious Conclusion

 

Director: Mike Flanagan

Starring: Zach Gilford, Henry Thomas, Annabeth Gish, Kate Siegel, Hamish Linktater, Michael Trucco, Rahul Kohli, Kristin Lehman

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Midnight Mass, Episode Seven, Book VII: Revelation starts with the survivors of the incident in the church on the run, Erin, Sarah, Annie, Sheriff Hassan, Warren and Leeza going on the run from a now blood hungry island of residents looking to eliminate anyone who doesn’t agree with Father Paul and Bev’s beliefs.

This will become a battle for survival, as the numbers against the main group continue to grow, as Bev continues to believe the religious motivation behind everything is continuing to grow, seeing this as God’s cause, while the creature continues to be the deadliest threat on the island.

Thoughts on Midnight Mass, Episode Seven, Book VII: Revelation

ThoughtsMidnight Mass, Episode Seven, Book VII: Revelation is the final episode in the series that will see the survivors needing to find a way off the island before becoming the latest victims, make it to sunlight and they should be safe. This does have the thrills, scares everything needed for the best part of the horror in this show. The strangest part of the show is suddenly putting more of a spotlight upon Warren and Leeza, who have barely been involved in the rest of the show, Warren especially, Leeza did have one moment in an early episode. This might well have the shocking moments in the final sequences, it does however fall into some lazy choices against one of the characters, ones that leave little to the imagination.

Star of the EpisodeBev – Bev takes full centre stage in this final episode, becoming the pure evil her, religious obsessed figure has become with the events of the show unfolding. Demanding, evil and the best performance in the show.

Best Part of the EpisodeReality Hitting.

Final Thoughts Midnight Mass, Episode Seven, Book VII: Revelation does tie together everything together, with the chaos involved, leaving part of you feeling empty inside.

Even Mice Belong in Heaven (2021) Movie Review ‘Charmingly Delightful’

Even Mice Belong in Heaven – Charmingly Delightful

Director: Jan Bubenicek, Denisa Grimmova

Writer: Jeffrey Hylton, Richard Malatinsky, Alice Nellis (Screenplay)

Plot: A film about two mortal enemies – a little Mouse and a Fox, who after an unfortunate accident, meet in animal heaven. They lose their natural instincts and become best friends. Their wish to stay together after they return to earth comes true, but they are reborn into opposite roles. Thanks to the power of friendship they can even overcome what seems to be impossible.

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Even Mice Belong in Heaven starts as we meet the nervous little mouse Whizzy who wants to prove her friends wrong by showing she is fearless by approaching the deadly fox living in the nearby garden.

When something goes wrong with the plan, Whizzy finds herself in heaven, with other animals of every species, who can’t each other. Whizzy wants to go back to her family, but learns she can’t go back, so instead looks to find her father and is joined by an unlikely friend, White Belly, the fox she believes ate her, only to learn they both died in the same incident and look to travel heaven together in search of Whizzy’s father.

Thoughts on Even Mice Belong in Heaven

ThoughtsEven Mice Belong in Heaven is an animated adventure following a young mouse that must travel through her vision of heaven in search of a family, so she doesn’t have to spend eternity alone. She is joined by a fox, her mortal enemy in her life, as the two find themselves lost in the afterlife, learning they should have put their difference apart a long time ago. This is a story that will deal with death in a strange way, pushing for the idea of an afterlife that will give people or in this case, animals a chance to redeem themselves, creating a place where memories will keep them together. The animation style is wonderful to watching, showing the charm and creation of each different animal, getting the definite structure to make them stay unique in this world.

Signature Entertainment presents Even Mice Belong in Heaven at Cinemas Nationwide 1st October

Final Thoughts Even Mice Belong in Heaven is a delightful family film, filled with heart, soul and learning about life.