ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – J – Jasper Jones (2017)

Director: Rachel Perkins

Writer: Shaun Grant (Screenplay) Craig Silvey (Story)

Starring: Levi Miller, Toni Collette, Hugo Weaving, Angourie Rice, Dan Wyllie, Matt Nable, Myles Pollard, Aaron L McGrath

 

Plot: JASPER JONES is a coming of age story about Charlie Bucktin, a bookish boy of 14. On the night that Jasper Jones, the town’s mixed race outcast shows him the dead body of young Laura Wishart, Charlie’s life is changed forever. Entrusted with this secret and believing Jasper to be innocent, Charlie embarks on a dangerous journey to find the true killer. Set over the scorching summer holidays of 1969, Charlie defeats the local racists, faces the breakup of his parents and falls head over heels in love as he discovers what it means to be truly courageous.


Tagline – The iconic Australian best seller now a major most picture

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful Mystery

 

Story: Jasper Jones starts when Charlie Bucktin (Miller) gets awoken by the town outcast Jasper Jones (McGrath) after he discovers a dead body of a local girl on his property. Asking Charlie to help him learn who was behind the crime, Charlie must keep his mouth shut when he knows the girl is the sister of his friend Eliza (Rice).

Setting out to solve the mystery Jasper must evade the curfew put on the kids of the town as he believes the town stranger Mad Jack Lionel (Weaving) is the man behind it all, but the mystery is harder to solve than this.

 

Thoughts on Jasper Jones

 

Characters – Charlie Bucktin is the teenager that is in the middle of the mystery about the death of the girl in the town. He befriends the one person everyone thinks it is as he must see the prejudice that the non-locals deal with being in the town. Ruth is Charlie’s mother that is always worrying about Charlie when he keeps breaking the curfew. Eliza is the sister of the dead girl, she becomes friends with Charlie as she needs someone to keep her feeling the right mind set during the wait. Jasper Jones is the outcast of the town who is easily the suspect the town will blame for the murder.

PerformancesLevi Miller is good in the leading role, we have seen him in other movies and he has been making a reputation with this type of role. Toni Collette shines as we know she always will, she is such an incredible actress. Angourie Rice after The Nice Guys is an actress we want to see where she went next, here she is good and shows her potential. The rest of the stars are good for what they need to do.

StoryThe story follows the mystery surrounding the death of a young woman and the mystery about who was the one responsible. We get secrets which help with the mystery as well as dealing with racial behaviour of the town’s people towards the ones that aren’t Australian. We do touch on other important subjects which come from the ending of the film, so won’t be spoiling them. This feels like a story that should have such a big impact though we don’t get enough time to process each moment to its full effect, this only disappoints because you do need to process large parts of this film.

MysteryThe mystery in this film comes from just wondering who was behind the death of the girl, even though this isn’t the only major talking point in the film as we end up seeing other subjects getting dealt with.

SettingsThe small town setting in one that works for the film, it shows you could never know everything about your neighbours and you will need to be friends when things go wrong.


Scene of the Movie –
The truth about the body.

That Moment That Annoyed Me So many serious subjects, not enough time to process.

Final ThoughtsThis does feel like a massively powerful movie that just doesn’t give us the time to process all the major talking points within the movie, this needed to be longer or a television show.

 

Overall: Too much to process at times.

Rating

 

 

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Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

Director: Jon Watts

Writer: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers (Screenplay) Steve Ditko, Stan Lee (Comic Book)

Starring: Tom Holland, Jake Gyllenhaal, Zendaya, Samuel L Jackson, Jon Favreau, Angourie Rice, Jacob Batalon, Tony Revolori

 

Plot: Following the events of Avengers: Endgame, Spider-Man must step up to take on new threats in a world that has changed forever.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: An Entertaining Jumble

 

Story: Spider-Man Far from Home starts when Peter Parker (Holland) and his classmates MJ (Zendaya), Ned (Batalon), Flash (Revolori) and others head off to Europe for a scientific school trip, Peter’s plan is to finally tell MJ how he feels, but things don’t go to plan.

Peter finds himself recruited by Nick Fury (Jackson) to help new superhero Quentin Beck known as Mysterio (Gyllenhaal) fight a new threat that is attacking cities in Europe, trying to decide if he is ready to tackle the added responsibility of being a superhero.

 

Thoughts on Spider-Man Far from Home

 

Characters – Peter Parker has two main storylines going on in this film, one side of him is the high school student that wants to tell the girl he likes his feeling, nervous and social awkward. The second one sees him facing the reality that he was hand picked to step up and help save the world, a decision which sees him wanting to just take a break from. Watching Peter balance the two is interesting because the high school one was the weaker side, the superhero side is very interesting to follow. Nick Fury is also adapting to life after the snap, where he isn’t in the same level of control on everything going on in the world, he wants Peter to come and work for him and doesn’t like being told no. They did try to recapture certain elements of the chemistry he had with Captain Marvel too. Quentin Beck is the new superhero dubbed Mysterio because of his powers and ability to defeat the elementals that have started attacking the major cities, he offers Peter a chance to discuss his position with having powers like nobody else has since Tony’s death. MJ is the girl of Peter’s dreams, she is very different to both versions of MJ we have seen before, being very distant to the rest of the class, but always manages to capture Peter watching her.

PerformancesTom Holland does do a very good job in the leading role, if it was just the high school side of the film, he does struggle at times, but it is the human effect of being a superhero that completely makes you believe what he is going through. Samuel L Jackson does what we expect from him in a supporting role, as does Zendaya who does everything without standing out. Jake Gyllenhaal though, he was a joy to watch especially in the second half of the film, he just takes his role and runs with it.

StoryThe story here follows Peter Parker on his high school trip that gets interrupted to help try and save the world from a new threat, testing him to see if he is ready to replace Iron-Man. This like the character of Peter Parker can be broken down into two simple positives and negatives, the high school trip stuff, is there, most of it gets pretty boring quickly, it is here to help show a human life that he could have though. The superhero side of the story is the highlight because it does get to show how the once confident Peter is starting to question if he is ready to step up after seeing the consequences to what has happened to people in their lives. The villain is a surprise and while I won’t get into details, it is very entertaining to watch and could be one of the best they have bought to a stand alone film.

Action/Sci-FiThe action in this film is brilliant to watch, it blends with the special effects and doesn’t turn into anything as ridiculous as it could be when you see the fights. The sci-fi element of the film does address the dangers of technology being in the wrong hands once again, but it all works for the story being shown here.

SettingsThe film gives us the basic European settings, we have Venice, Prague, Berlin and London, you know well know locations that have large populations which could get destroyed.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film did seem flawless, we do have large scale, dust, water and fire monsters used for battles which all look like they could be real along with certain twists in the story which only add to the effects.


Scene of the Movie –
What is real?

That Moment That Annoyed Me Most of the high school stuff.

Final ThoughtsThis is a real mixed bag of a superhero movie, it could have been fantastic, only it gets too carried away dealing with the high school world which does drag things down.

 

Overall: Entertaining enough.

Rating

 

 

Black Mirror – Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too (2019)

Director: Anne Sewitsky

Writer: Charlie Brooker (Screenplay)

Starring: Miley Cyrus, Angourie Rice, Madison Davenport

Plot: A lonely teenager yearns to connect with her favorite pop star – whose charmed existence isn’t quite as rosy it appears…


Runtime: 1 Hour

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Funny & Dark

Story: Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too starts as lonely teenager Rachel (Rice) is struggling to cope with her new school and family life, with older sister Jack (Davenport) not searching for the attention that Rachel is struggling in her own way. Rachel does have her own favourite pop star in Ashley O (Cyrus) who has been released a new interactive doll that Rachel is desperate to have and receives on her birthday, making a friend.

With Rachel turning more and more to the Ashley Too doll, to a level which starts to see her struggling to cope without it, while the real Ashley O is having her own crisis in the not so rosy world of pop music.

Thoughts on Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too

Characters – Ashley O is one of the biggest popstars in the world, she gives the world the cheesy numbers that the younger audience will flock too, which includes Rachel, Ashley however is being controlled by her manager, which sees her trying to break out of this world to be her own talent. Rachel is a lonely teenager that idolizes Ashley O, she lacks confidence in her new school becoming friends with the new doll called Ashley Too, she has been dealing in her own way with her grief of losing her mother. Jack is the older sister to Rachel, that has been dealing with her grief in her own music, she does show the most attention to Rachel as she tries to help her through her problems.

PerformancesMiley Cyrus is wonderful in this role, getting to play into how people might see her and runs with it. Angourie Rice is brilliant to watch once again, proving to be one of the hottest prospects in the business today. Madison Davenport completes the main cast showing us just how capable she fits in with the two leading stars of episode.

StoryThe story follows a world famous popstar that is being controlled by her family, but on the outside she is having the time of her life, while a superfan is trying to put her life back together her mother’s death using Ashley as her inspiration. The story uses the themes that comes from fandom, where people can see the life of somebody being all sunny, only that it isn’t what they think, we also tackle the ideas of loss and grief which shows us how people will deal with it in their own way. Mixing the themes together does help keep us entertained and when the Ashley Too doll gets unleashed, it is one of the funniest things Black Mirror has ever done.

Sci-Fi The world uses the sci-fi ideas of how technology is being used to create music and control people, which shows the advances are not too far ahead.

SettingsThe film shows the different lives both Rachel and Ashley O are living, which does show us just how they can be thinking the same.


Scene of the Movie – Ashley Too Doll.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We don’t get enough focus on Jack.

Final Thoughts This is a very dark and very funny episode of Black Mirror, it does show how technology can be controlling and how grief can be difficult to deal with.

Overall: Funny throughout.

Rating

The Beguiled (2017)

Director: Sofia Coppola

Writer: Albert Maltz, Irene Kamp (Screenplay) Thomas Cullinan (Novel)

Starring: Colin Farrell, Nicole Kidman, Kirsten Dunst, Elle Fanning, Oona Laurence, Angourie Rice, Addison Riecke

 

Plot: At a girls’ school in Virginia during the Civil War, where the young women have been sheltered from the outside world, a wounded Union soldier is taken in. Soon, the house is taken over with sexual tension, rivalries, and an unexpected turn of events.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Thriller

 

Story: The Beguiled starts as the injured Union soldier Corporal McBurney (Farrell) is taken into a girl’s school run by Miss Martha (Kidman), teacher Edwina (Dunst) and their students Alicia (Fanning), Amy (Laurence), Jane (Rice), Marie (Riecke) and Emily (Howard) as they look to treat his wounds before turning him over the confederation soldiers.

Working together the women decide against turning him and keep him around the house to help out while he finishes he recovery, but when there is a sexual tension between McBurney and the girl’s things take a turn that no one could imagine.

 

Thoughts on The Beguiled

 

Characters – Corporal McBurney is a soldier hiding from the civil war after he is injured. He has a speedy recovery in the school but grabs the attention of the women but this will only make his life being put in danger. Miss Martha runs a strict school, with no men around, she reluctantly helps McBurney being the doctor of the house. Edwina is the teacher that takes a shine to McBurney which ends up being the straw that breaks everything down. The students are all different ages showing the levels of innocence we could see broken.

PerformancesColin Farrell gives one of his best performances of his career here being kind one moment and the broken man the next. Nicole Kidman is great in her role too as the head mistress of the school, she shows the mentoring figure of films just how it is done. Kirsten Dunst also continues to give us the mature performances we like seeing from here now. The young actresses who have been giving us good work in other projects all do great here too.

StoryThe story follows how the women of the school must keep themselves safe during the Civil War from the men who might come into their lives, we only focus on one who disrupts their calm life leaving nothing the same once they are finished protecting themselves. It is a slow-paced story but it flows past quickly making us want to see where things will go next.

SettingsThe film is set inside the girls school, this takes us away from the battlefield the war has been creating make us see how distant these women have become from the world too.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good thriller that shows the effects of the Civil War on the innocence people while people were fighting.  

 

Overall: Thriller that is edge of your seat from start to finish.

Rating

 

 

The Nice Guys (2016)

niceDirector: Shane Black

Writer: Shane Black, Anthony Bagarozzi (Screenplay)

Starring: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley, Yaya DaCosta, Keith David, Beau Knapp

 

Plot: A mismatched pair of private eyes investigate the apparent suicide of a porn star in 1970s Los Angeles.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable

 

Story: The Nice Guys starts as we meet Jackson Healy (Crowe) who does the dirty jobs for people, we also meet PI Holland March (Gosling) who is a single father to Holly (Rice). The two end up crossing paths when Holland’s latest case sets him in search Amelia Kuttner (Qualley) who has a connection with pornstar Misty Mountains (Telio) who has famously died.

The unlikely duo must use both their skills to find Amelia as they learn of a bigger case going on as they find themselves being hunted down by John Boy (Bomer).

The Nice Guys is an action comedy crime mystery that we get an odd couple having to work together to solve the case. We get great moments between the Jackson and Holland as they both approach solving the crimes. The story is one you will have scene before with the conspiracy style without being something overly original but it does help make the characters feel like they fit into the world created. The story balances the comedy and action well without going too heavy on either and none of the jokes are forced.

 

Actor Review

 

Russell Crowe: Jackson gets hired to beat people up, he doesn’t ask questions he just does the job and gets paid. When his latest job finds him having to send a warning to Holland only to find himself getting stuck in the middle of the case and having to work with Holland. Russell nails the comedy perfectly while going against certain character traits people see in Russell.

Ryan Gosling: Holland is a PI and single father who has been searching for Amelia, he has his own problems with alcohol and has to work with Jackson to solve this latest case. Ryan shows another side to his skills in this role where he shines.

Angourie Rice: Holly is the teenage daughter of Holland’s who joins the odd couple on their adventure to solve the crime. She is wise beyond her years becoming key to the outcome of the story. Angourie stands toe to toe with the big names in this movie.

Matt Bomer: John Boy is called for to deal with the problem of Amelia, he is a deadly hit man that has to come to finish off the job. Matt is good in this supporting role as we don’t see him until late into the movie.

Support Cast: The Nice Guys has a supporting cast that all come into the story working very well with the main story.

Director Review: Shane BlackShane does give us one of the smash comedies of the year that will be making many people’s favourite for the year.

 

Action: The Nice Guys has good action moments with the over the top style the film gives us.

Comedy: The Nice Guys has great moments of comedy without trying to be laugh a minute.

Crime: The Nice Guys puts us into the crime story where we join the odd couple solving the crime.

Mystery: The Nice Guys puts us into the mystery of why Amelia is being hunted down by everyone.

Settings: The Nice Guys is set in the 70s where we follow the story and everything work very well.

Suggestion: The Nice Guys is one of the films I do think everyone should be watching. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Chemistry between Gosling and Crowe.

Worst Part: Couldn’t see one.

Funniest Scene: Party scene.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Could easily have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Unlikely but could easily be an outside shot for screenplay.

Budget: $50 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

Tagline: They’re not that nice 

 

Overall: One of the most enjoyable comedies of the year.

Ratingcard