Black Mirror – Smithereens (2019)

Director: James Hawes

Writer: Charlie Brooker (Screenplay)

Starring: Andrew Scott, Damson Idris, Topher Grace, Caitlin Innes Edwards, Ruibo Qian

 

Plot: A cab driver with an agenda becomes the centre of attention on a day that rapidly spirals out of control.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Truly Intense

 

Story: Smithereens starts as we meet Chris (Scott) a taxi driver that spends his time waiting outside one building waiting for clients, he does attend support groups for people who have experienced loss. Chris picks up his latest client Jayden (Idris) working for a company called Smithereen, Chris goes onto kidnap him in an attempt speak to the boss of the company Billy (Grace), the problem is that while the kidnapping gets the attention of the police and Chris finds himself surrounded by police in his race for this conversation.

 

Thoughts on Smithereens

 

Characters – Chris is a taxi driver that has been through a traumatic experience and has set out to get a message sent to the owner of a company known as Smithereen, he is on edge and kidnaps an employee of the company to get through to the man. We get to learn a lot about his life as the hostage situation unfolds. Jayden is the hostage who is just an intern within the company, he is scared for his life and will give any answers he can to help Chris get his answers. Billy is the owner of Smithereen that has a become the target of Chris’s actions.

PerformancesAndrew Scott is brilliant in the leading role, we can see just how on edge his character is through the film dealing with a range of emotions which makes his position in the story understandable. Damson Idris is great in his role which is as a hostage victim trying to stay composed. Topher Grace continues to prove himself as an actor breaking away from the sitcom figure.

StoryThe story here follows a depressed taxi driver that wants to speak to the owner of a social media network leading him to take a hostage while he waits for a conversation.  In this story we get to dive into the reality of loss, grief and depression, while showing how controlling social media has become to the world, add in the hostage situations we get one of the most intense stories you will ever see, as you just want to see what will unfold and just where the story will go next. We do have moments of humour too which does lighten the mood at times, while never taking away from the intensity the story is offering.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi involvement in this film comes from the social media aspects of the film, showing how a big firm has just as much ability to learn about a criminal situation at a faster pace than the police, showing that we are in a world where the world can be controlled by likes and comments.

SettingsThe film has an interesting mix of settings, firstly the hostage position is in the middle of a field in England, we deal with people in LA and in Utah all trying to resolve the situation, showing how quickly a global effort can work to search for answers.


Scene of the Movie –
The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me British snipers are terrible.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most intense episodes the series has ever put together, we have an outstanding leading performance and get to deal with the grief and suffering that people can experience.

 

Overall: One of the best episodes ever.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – P – Pride (2014)

Director: Matthew Warchus

Writer: Stephen Beresford (Screenplay)

Starring: Bill Nighy, Imelda Staunton, Dominic West, Paddy Considine, Ben Schnetzer, Andrew Scott, Freddie Fox, George MacKay

 

Plot: U.K. gay activists work to help miners during their lengthy strike of the National Union of Mineworkers in the summer of 1984.


Tagline – Based on the inspirational true story.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant

 

Story: Pride starts in the summer of 1984, the miner’s strikes are on and the Pride movement is taking over London, Mark (Schnetzer) one of the leading campaigners joined by shy college student Joe (MacKay) in a movement known as ‘Lesbians & Gays Support the Miners’ after Mark sees that they are struggling through the same problems from the authority figures.

Dai (Considine) is part of one of the mining communities in Wales, he is the only person that will even consider taking the money raised by the support group, with the group heading to Wales, they are welcomed by some including the head of the committee Cliff (Nighy), but not everyone is as welcoming as the rest.

 

Thoughts on Pride

 

Characters – Mark is the leader of the Lesbian & Gays Support the Miners group, he believes if the two work together they could one day stop the problems they are facing, he inspires his group, builds bridges between the communities become one of the most iconic members of the movement. Joe is a young gay that is still in the closest, he wants to support the group and joins in the activities only to need to keep things secret from the rest of his family. Dai is the man that is willing to listen to the group, he welcomes the group to the village. Jonathan is one of the oldest members of the group, he has lived with the taboo for his whole life and will help the group make the right connections. Cliff is one of the miners that welcomes the group with open arms not seeing them to be different in anyway. Hefina is one of the committee that will push for any rights to help her community that has suffered for so long.

PerformancesBen Schnetzer in the leading role is fantastic, showing the charisma required as well as giving us the feeling that he doesn’t know what will happen. George MacKay continued to show he is going to be a big name in the future with his withdrawn and important performance in this film. Dominic West is good in his role which shows us just how much range he has. Bill Nighy and Imelda Staunton both shine in the supporting roles.

StoryThe story here shows us how the Lesbian & Gay community came together even against their own battle to help the minders in their own strike against the government. We are shown how communities would have needed to come together to be given their chance to just have equality in the world, this both frustrates because of what was around and shows the support needed to make things happen and how easily minds can be changed. We get to see the people that made a difference in the world, the people that held them back and just how important each and every person that supports equality can be. This is one that could show us how the country changed, came together and most importantly showed us how difficult the steps can be for the people who are struggling.

Biopic/ComedyThe biopic side of the film shows us how the people who were truly involved showed the courage to stand up for what they believe in. the comedy comes from the actions from both sides of the fight and how they remained confident and broke barriers.

SettingsThe film uses two main settings, London where we follow the LGB community with their own fight and in Wales as we see the miner’s village which has been struggling with their problems with the strike.


Scene of the Movie –
The march

That Moment That Annoyed Me Knowing this was still a problem in 80s.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the powerful biopic that shows us just what people can achieve by working together to make a difference in the world.

 

Overall: Must watch.

Rating

 

 

Victor Frankenstein (2015)

victorDirector: Paul McGuigan

Writer: Max Landis (Screenplay) Mary Shelley (Novel)

Starring: Daniel Radcliffe, James McAvoy, Jessica Brown Findlay, Bronson Webb, Daniel Mays, Spencer Wilding, Andrew Scott, Freddie Fox

 

Plot: Told from Igor’s perspective, we see the troubled young assistant’s dark origins, his redemptive friendship with the young medical student Viktor Von Frankenstein, and become eyewitnesses to the emergence of how Frankenstein became the man – and the legend – we know today.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice but Pointless Story

 

Story: Victor Frankenstein starts with Igor (Radcliffe) giving us the known backstory on Victor Frankenstein and how everyone remembers his monster rather than the man. Igor works as a circus where his hunchback is just part of the act as he also plays the part of doctor for the circus. When an accident involving Lorelei (Findlay) the high-wire act leaves Igor a chance to show off his skills to Victor Frankenstein (McAvoy) and a new friendship is born.

When Victor cures Igor’s hunchback we see how Inspector Turpin (Scott) a man of God is trying to track them down. Victor and Igor uses the ideas of bringing the dead back to life working on all the scientific research already gather to make it all a reality, but could they be going too far, as we deal with the morale questions behind their ideas.

Victor Frankenstein is a film I did enjoy the story because too often we see the monster Frankenstein creates instead of focusing on the Victor Frankenstein character. My big question really is do we really want to see the creation and actions on Victor only this time it is told from a the view of Igor. I don’t really know how I feel after this because it really didn’t seem to be slow as I did like looking at how the story was being done but I felt the final act was just forced to remind us what Victor eventually does. In the end we feel we have seen this already without wanting to see it again.

 

Actor Review

 

Daniel Radcliffe: Igor is our narrator as he tells his story where he starts as a nameless circus hunchback with a knowledge of science, who on a chance encounter at the circus meets Victor. Victor gives Igor a chance to show all of his potential curing his hunchback as they both enter into the morale questions about how far to go with their science. Daniel does a good job and continues to break away from his Harry Potter character.igor

James McAvoy: Victor Frankenstein is the scientist and doctor we all know from the books, this time he is similar and just as ambitious to achieve his reality of bringing the dead back to life. He dismisses the new life he has given to Igor so he can break all the rules of science. James seems to be very familiar in this role without bringing anything original to the character.victor himsefl

Jessica Brown Findlay: Lorelei is the fellow circus performer whose life Igor and Victor save, she gets out of the circus like Igor where the two start a romance which only frustrates Victor. Jessica doesn’t get enough screen time to really shine in this story.

Andrew Scott: Inspector Turpin is the religious inspector trying to find the two suspects who are going against science. He is smart enough to put together the pieces which leads him to Victor and Igor. Andrew brings us a standard inspector performance.inspecor

Support Cast: Victor Frankenstein has a supporting cast that doesn’t really add too much except stopping or helping Victor.

Director Review: Paul McGuiganPaul gives us a good story being unfolded but doesn’t bring enough original content.

 

Horror: Victor Frankenstein doesn’t really get too many horror aspects in this which really disappoints.

Sci-Fi: Victor Frankenstein does give us the sci-fi side of breaking barriers in science throughout.

Settings: Victor Frankenstein recreates the settings well for the time being used.
Special Effects
: Victor Frankenstein doesn’t have the strongest effects as you can see the CGI throughout.

Suggestion: Victor Frankenstein is a solid retelling of the story but is slightly disappointing for where the story could go. (Try It)

 

Best Part: I like the science idea.

Worst Part: The monster seems forced.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

Tagline: Discover the origin of the monster and his creation.

 

Overall: Yet another retelling of the classic story that falls short

Ratingccard