Elizabeth Harvest (2018)

Elizabeth Harvest is available on Digital Download on the 1st of April 2019 here

Director: Sebastian Gutierrez

Writer: Sebastian Gutierrez (Screenplay)

Starring: Abbey Lee, Ciaran Hinds, Carla Gugino, Matthew Beard, Dylan Baker

 

Plot: A brilliant man marries a beautiful woman and shows her his home, stating that it’s all hers – except a room she can’t enter. First chance she enters and discovers what might be human cloning. When the husband returns she pays the price.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sci-Fi Mystery Consequences

 

Story: Elizabeth Harvest starts when newlyweds Elizabeth (Lee) and Henry (Hinds) return to his mansion to start their lives together, he has workers in his home with Claire (Gugino) and Oliver (Beard) doing the household jobs, while Elizabeth is banned from one room.

Left alone in the house, Elizabeth starts exploring more which does take her into the forbidden room, which only angers Henry to new levels, where he must start his plans again.

 

Thoughts on Elizabeth Harvest

 

Characters – Elizabeth is the new wife ready for her life of luxury, she is delighted with the number of clothes she has, the size of the house, but she isn’t prepared for what she finds in the forbidden room, a clone of herself, she spends the film learning who she is and why she is being cloned. Henry is the husband that has been bring his new wife home for the household, he has been planning this for years, with his clones being used to complete his perfect world, the deeper the story goes, the more we learn about his decisions. Claire is the scientist hired to help Henry with his clones, she doesn’t agree at first before learning just what this could mean for science. Oliver works around the house, he is blind and has been waiting for his chance to learn about the work within the house.

PerformancesAbbey Lee takes on the leading roles of Elizabeth, each one is slightly different which shows how the science has continued to improve through the versions, this comes out in her performances as somebody who becomes riser as the film unfolds. Ciaran Hinds is always going to be strong in the scientist role, with Carla Gugino in the mentor figure and assistant that works well with Matthew Beard doing everything needed for his shining moments in the later part of the film.

StoryThe story follows a young woman marrying a scientist and learning that he has been working on a bigger project which involves clones. This is an interesting story because it plays into the ideas of whether clones should be used in the real world, which is always going to be an interesting conversation. The story does however jump around the timeline with the flashbacks filling in the blanks for Elizabeth. It could get moments that are confusing because keeping up with certain characters can be hard to figure out which is which, but otherwise this does everything needing to make you think you are watching an episode of Black Mirror.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi side of the film uses the idea of clones being welcomed into the world or how they are secretive for the first designers.

SettingsThe settings keep the film in one location which does show the world that Elizabeth must get used too.

Special EffectsWe keep the effects simple and effective to show the wounds inflicted to the characters.


Scene of the Movie –
The meeting of the clones.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many time jumps.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sci-fi film that does ask a question about cloning, and whether they should be included in the world or not.

 

Overall: Black Mirror in film form.

Rating

 

 

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Oscar Isaac Weekend – Sucker Punch (2011)

Director: Zack Snyder

Writer: Zack Snyder, Steve Shibuya (Screenplay)

Starring: Emily Browning, Abbie Cornish, Jena Malone, Vanessa Hudgens, Jamie Chung, Carla Gugino, Oscar Isaac, Jon Hamm, Scott Glenn

 

Plot: A young girl is institutionalized by her abusive stepfather, retreating to an alternative reality as a coping strategy, envisioning a plan to help her escape.


Tagline – You Will Be Unprepared.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sexy & Stylish

 

Story: Sucker Punch Starts when Babydoll (Browning) is se to a mental institute by her evil step-father, looking to cope with this new world, she creates an alternative reality where the other patients Sweet Pea (Cornish), Rocket (Malone), Blondie (Hudgens) and Amber (Chung) entertain clients for Blue Jones (Isaac) the orderly who in this world is a gangster.

Babydoll has a plan to escape which involved winning over the girls, most support him, while Sweet Pea isn’t so happy to go along with the plan, with each performance putting the girls in a life or death situation outside of the current reality.

 

Thoughts on Sucker Punch

 

Characters – Babydoll is thrown into a mental home after trying to defend her younger sister from their abusive stepfather, here she knows she has five days before it is lights out, which means she must plan her escape, which sees her create alternative reality where she can escape the hands of the people who will end her life. Sweet Pea is the eldest the girls in the home, she is most opposed to going through with the escape plan, believe it will get the rest of the girls in trouble. Rocket is the first of the girls to let Babydoll in after being rescued by her, she guides her around the home teaching her just what they need to know to survive. Blondie and Amber some off as the two naïve of the girls as they will go along with any idea which would make their lives easier. Dr Gorski looks after the girls preparing them for their performances. Blue Jones is the one that runs the club, an orderly in the home that holds the key to the only exit.

PerformancesEmily Browning in the leading role fits the part perfectly, we needed her character to look the youngest of the group. Abbie Cornish fits the oldest of the girl’s role well too because she see her vulnerable side through the film, while trying to be the strongest. Jena Malone plays the middle ground between the girls well as we see just how conflicted her character becomes through the film. When we get into the supporting cast, we do know that we performances that fit the film without looking out of place in any point in the film.

StoryThe story can be cut down to a simple escape plan movie, that would be the simplest way to describe the story, only this isn’t a simple movie. It creates worlds, within worlds to cope with an impending outcome for Babygirl. The idea that we jump into other realities does help the film feel a lot more enjoyable because the wildly imaginative ideas only improve the story, even if it could have borrowed from many subgenres. While this does have a comic book feel and you could easily see more chapters being added to make more adventures, it does have to go down as original in the story front, something that shouldn’t ever be criticised.

Action/FantasyThe action is massive set pieces each one from a different eras from a samurai to war, they all work and feel unique to this film, which is filled with fantasy ideas of just what the characters use to create the world they can fight through.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us just where the girl’s minds will go through the performances, each one makes the mission to escape feel like we are fighting for something.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are fantastic, they show us just how you can create something this visually stunning no matter how big it could be.


Scene of the Movie –
Dragon fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Blondie and Amber are too similar.

Final ThoughtsThis is a truly ambitious movie, it shows us just how you can make an original movie which will completely go against anything you believed you would be seeing.

 

Overall: Brave, ambitious, wildly over the top, what more could you want?

Rating

 

 

Gerald’s Game (2017)

Director: Mike Flanagan

Writer: Jeff Howard, Mike Flanagan (Screenplay) Stephen King (Novel)

Starring: Carla Gugino, Henry Thomas, Bruce Greenwood, Carel Struycken, Kate Siegel

 

Plot: While trying to spice up their marriage in their remote lake house, Jessie must fight to survive when her husband dies unexpectedly, leaving her handcuffed to their bed frame.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Solo Thriller

 

Story: Gerald’s Game starts as married couple Jessie (Gugino) and Gerald (Greenwood) head off to a remote cabin for a weekend away from the world to rekindle their marriage, but when Gerald’s fantasy involves a sex game he handcuffs Jessie to the bed but suffers a heart attack, leaving Jessie handcuffed and alone.

What follows is Jessie needing to find a way out of the situation where she starts seeing her husband and other creations from her mind and even looking into her past with her relationship with Tom (Thomas) as she looks to survive until there is rescue for her.

 

Thoughts on Gerald’s Game

 

Characters – Jessie is the wife that gets handcuffed to the bed to try and spice her marriage up but when her husband dies she must figure out a way to escape before she dies, be it from natural causes, dog or unknown presence. She must deal with her past, present and future to escape alive. Gerald is the husband that wants to kink things up in the bedroom but he dies but stays around in the imagination of Jessie. Tom is her father that has a relationship with the younger Jessie that leads to the back story of what causes her life decisions.

PerformancesCarla Gugino does a great job carry the movie throughout the film and at times playing a double role at times. Bruce Greenwood and Henry Thomas are good through the film too but never taken the shine of Carla’s performance.

StoryThe story follows how a sex game marriage goes wrong leaving one woman handcuffed to the bed needing to survive, having her face her demons while trying to look for an escape which makes sense in what is a Stephen King story. we do get the plenty of false ideas of what is going on but by the end it makes sense, you just need to focus on every detail.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror elements of this film are from what Jessie is experiencing while tied up while the thriller side of the film keeps us guess to just where it will go.

SettingsNearly the whole fil is set within the bedroom as, well Jessie can’t go anywhere and it is here she must face her problem head on using life experiences to help her and these do take us away from this solo setting.

Special EffectsThe practical effects in this fil are amazing there is one scene that you will need to turn away just because of how real it looks.


Scene of the Movie –
Handcuff escaping.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I feel she would be in a lot more pain than we see near the end.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great solo thriller that is a must watch for the Stephen King fans out there, great leading performance and one scene that will stay in your memory for years.

 

Overall: Must watch for Thriller fans

Rating

 

 

The Space Between Us (2017)

Director: Peter Chelsom

Writer: Allan Loeb (Screenplay) Stewart Schill, Richard Barton Lewis, Allan Loeb (Story)

Starring: Gary Oldman, Asa Butterfield, Britt Robertson, Carla Gugino, BD Wong

 

Plot: The first human born on Mars travels to Earth for the first time, experiencing the wonders of the planet through fresh eyes. He embarks on an adventure with a street smart girl to discover how he came to be.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Romance Film

 

Story: The Space Between Us starts with the first maned crew living on Mars, the Genesis operation lead by Nathaniel Shepherd (Oldman) is sending the 6 astronauts to Mars to live with mission commander Sarah Elliot (Montgomery) leading the mission. The mission goes wrong early on when Sarah turns out to be pregnant and dying in child birth on Mars. Back home Nathaniel must figure out a way to keep the story covered up raising the child on Mars even though his desire is to head to Mars himself to help raise the child Gardner.

16 years later Gardner (Butterfield) has grown up still a secret to the outside world on Mars, with the colony growing with Kendra Wyndham (Gugino) being the latest mother like figure in his life. Gardner has been sneaking around making friends with Tulsa (Robertson) back on Earth, but keeping his secret safe.

When the plan is to bring Gardner back to Earth his secret friendship is the desire he most wants to see but the business side of mission wants to us him as a PR device. Once back Gardner gets tired of the quarantine and escapes to learn about the world, find Tulsa and his father, but the longer Gardner spends on Earth the greater danger he is putting himself in.

 

Thoughts on The Space Between Us

 

Characters/PerformanceGardner is a Martian the lack of a better word, he was born and raised on Mars gaining all the intelligence from the astronauts he meets, but what he desires most is a human connection which is what he can get by going to Earth. He gets to see Earth in a new light for the first time which isn’t something original but always interesting to see unfold. Tulsa is a high school girl who is surrounded by students but completely alone because of being in the foster system. She speaks to Gardner being the only connection she has with the world, once they meet she shows her street smarts to help Gardner. Nathaniel is the lead scientist running the program, he wants to do the right thing but gets pushed out and left to regret his decision, but it is his choice to do everything to make Gardner safe on his return to Earth. Kendra also plays a similar role to Nathaniel only she is the closest person to a friend Gardner has on Mars.

Performance Wise, Asa shows again that he is a very capable young actor who I think we could see many more great performances from in the future, Robertson is continuing to play characters she is a lot older than but she does have the look for them. Oldman brings the heavyweight name to the film doing good throughout with Gugino also doing a good job through the film.

Adventure/Romance/Sci-FiThe adventure comes from Gardner seeing Earth for the first time with the sci-fi comes from the idea of life on Mars. The romance side of the film works because it is the driving force between Gardner and Tulsa.

StoryThe story shows us what it would be like is there was a baby born on a Mars colony, it also shows how two people worlds apart can become the closest of friends. The story is young adult material but at least this seems to be a one-off idea for the story, I think it fits the genre nicely and will have the whole audience enjoying how the story unfolds.

SettingsStarting on Mars we get to see what life up there could be, moving to Earth it is a standard road trip across America idea for settings not offering too many new ideas on where to go.

Special EffectsThe special effects are all good when they are needed without being jaw-dropping.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good young adult movie that can be enjoyable by the romantic fans.

 

Overall: This is good for the market intended.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Night at the Museum (2006)

casing card

 

Plot: A newly recruited night security guard at the Museum of Natural History discovers that an ancient curse causes the animals and exhibits on display to come to life and wreak havoc.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Twist on History

 

Story: Night at the Museum starts as down on his luck father Larry Daley (Stiller) who dreams of striking it rich decides it is finally time to get a job for now and his latest job is as a night guard at National History Museum replacing the three outgoing guards Cecil (Van Dyke), Gus (Rooney) and Reginald (Cobbs). After being given a quick tour Larry is left with one warning not to let anyone in or out.

When Larry learns the truth about what happens at the museum at night he learns to bring the different parts of history together to have a party before learning the danger that is within the museum.

Night at the Museum brings us into a world of dying interest because we do have an increasing number of history on the internet with a lot easier access. The story brings us into the idea that the history comes to life so we can all learn it but at a museum. I do think certain moment over play the childish at times but this is a family film. This is filled with fun from start to finish with a few elements that are on the serious side.

 

Actor Review

 

Ben Stiller: Larry Daley is a down on his luck father that to continue seeing his son needs to find a job when the role of night guard comes up at the natural history museum. Larry must learn to deal with all of the historical characters while a bigger problem is going on within the museum. Ben is good in this but I would say his has a few moments that come of annoying.

Carla Gugino: Rebecca is one of the employees that Larry sees as a potential love interest while the two come off as total opposites. She is studying history through her work there. Carla is solid in the supporting role without doing anything special.

Dick Van Dyke: Cecil is the man that hires Larry as he knows he and his partners are being replaced. They all plan to get rich off the museum before they go though. Dick is a solid villainous character without being too big for what is needed.

Mickey Rooney: Gus is another one of the departing guards that wants to continue to have the power the museum gives them at night. Mickey is also just a basic villain without being a threat.

Support Cast: Night at the Museum has a massive supporting cast who have their own take on characters inside in the museum with Robin Williams giving us one of his great supporting roles.

Director Review: Shawn LevyShawn gives us a film you would expect with being just fun throughout.

 

Adventure: Night at the Museum brings us into an adventure in the middle of a museum which really makes us enjoy what is going on.

Comedy: Night at the Museum has good moments of comedy that works for all levels.

Family: Night at the Museum is one for the whole family could enjoy with moments for all to enjoy.

Fantasy: Night at the Museum has good fantasy elements with the creations from history to coming to life.

Settings: Night at the Museum keeps most of the setting inside the museum which helps the elements of the story easy to follow.
Special Effects
: Night at the Museum has great effects to bring all the historical characters and creatures to life.

Suggestion: Night at the Museum is one you can watch with the whole family for everyone to enjoy. (Family Watch)

 

Best Part: Final chase.

Worst Part: Slapping scene.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Has 2 sequels

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $110 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Million

Tagline: When the lights go off, it’s on.

 

Overall: Fun filled family adventure film

Ratingcard