The Miseducation of Cameron Post (2018)

Director: Desiree Akhavan

Writer: Desiree Akhavan, Cecilia Frugiuele (Screenplay) Emily M Danforth (Novel)

Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Steven Hauck, Quinn Shephard, Kerry Butler, Dalton Harrod, McCabe Slye, Sasha Lane, John Gallagher Jr, Forrest Goodluck, Jennifer Ehle

 

Plot: In 1993, a teenage girl is forced into a gay conversion therapy center by her conservative guardians.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Eye Opening Drama

 

Story: The Miseducation of Cameron Post starts in 1993 as high school student Cameron (Moretz) knows that she is a lesbian, only she doesn’t know how to come out, keeping her relationship with Coley (Shephard) a secret, until it gets discovered.

Cameron is sent to a gay conversion centre run by Reverend Rick (Gallagher Jr) and his partner Dr Lydia Marsh (Ehle) who are trying to teach the young people that they are confused. Cameron is in the centre with fellow homosexuals Jane (Lane) and Adam (Goodluck) who find their own way to get through the centre.

 

Thoughts on The Miseducation of Cameron Post

 

Characters – Cameron is a high school student in the 90’s, she ha been raised through a religious community which causes problems with her family after they catch her making love to another girl. Cameron is forced into a conversion centre where she must learn to survive the ideas of the camp, while trying to keep her own identity. Jane is another young woman in the centre, she knows how to get by there and is there for the same reasons Cameron is, she doesn’t want to change, but knows it will be the only way out. Reverend Rick is running the centre, he has been converted in the past, using his story to guide the new students of the centre. Dr Lydia Marsh runs the psychological side of the conversion, trying to teach them it is in their heads.

PerformancesChloe Grace Moretz in the leading role shows we have a wonderful cast here that includes Sasha Lane and Forrest Goodluck in the young people performances, with John Gallagher Jr and Jennifer Ehle in the adult roles work well too.

StoryThe story follows a high school girl that gets sent of a gay conversation centre to fix her mind in the view of her guardians, here she learns that she isn’t the only one being treated like this and must decide what she wants from her future. This is a shocking look at how homosexuals were treated by the religious minds because it is confusing enough without somebody telling you that you will go to hell for being involved. Seeing how the curing is done, doesn’t seem as extreme as it could have been though, it is treated like a therapy session over any sort of torture. The friendship grown in the centre is important for Cameron because her point of view isn’t as strict as other lives involved. We do get to see just how damaging this idea could be on the patients too. This story isn’t going to be relaxing watching because of just how seriously everything is handled.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in the centre, it is a remote camp like location where the people there can do what they want in the free time, which does show us how certain parts of the world would want homosexuals isolated away from the rest of the world.


Scene of the Movie –
The trip.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The idea is frustrating to see.

Final ThoughtsThis is a shocking look at how certain parts of the world want to isolate homosexuals just because they see them as different, the performances are wonderful throughout, portraying the way the characters feel about being abandoned by their families.

 

Overall: Important watch.

Rating

 

 

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Suspiria (2018)

Director: Luca Guadagnino

Writer: David Kajganich (Screenplay) Dario Argento, Daria Nicolodi (Characters)

Starring: Dakota Johnson, Tilda Swinton, Mia Goth, Sylvie Testud, Jessica Harper, Chloe Grace Moretz, Lutz Ebersdorf

 

Plot: A darkness swirls at the center of a world-renowned dance company, one that will engulf the artistic director, an ambitious young dancer, and a grieving psychotherapist. Some will succumb to the nightmare. Others will finally wake up.


Tagline – Pain cleanses all.

Runtime: 2 Hours 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Disturbing & Chilling

 

Story: Suspiria starts with Patricia (Moretz) going into hiding from her dancing company, turning to Dr Josef Klemperer (Swinton), this leaves a space in the program which American Susie Bannion (Johnson) gets given the chance to take in Berlin. Susie impresses the artistic director Madame Blanc (Swinton) and it isn’t long before she gets to learn about the most popular dance.

Susie soon gets given the lead in the dance, the one Madame Blanc has spent years perfecting, only she gets to see the darker side of the company which has the ability to consumer the dancers.

 

Thoughts on Suspiria

 

Characters – Susie is the American given the chance to perform in the biggest dance company in Berlin, one with a huge reputation for being one of the best and strongest in the business, it doesn’t take her long to impress as she becomes the lead in the performance, she is left to wonder at what cost though. Madame Blanc is the director of the show, she knows talent and knows how to get the bet out of the talent, while disposing of the unwanted talent. She is a strict perfectionist, that will get the moment she needs for the show. Sara is the member of the dance academy that is friends with the one that vanishes, while being the friend that guides Susie through the welcoming, she learns more about the truth behind the plans. Dr Josef Klemperer is one Patricia turns to for help, he stats to learn more about the dance company while dealing with her own loss from the world. Patricia is the one that goes missing and opens up the space for Susie to take, she has become paranoid about what is going on, which will force Sara into investigating in more detail.

PerformancesDakota Johnson steps away from the ‘Fifty Shades’ franchise with ease here, bringing new life to her career, which is much needed, she shows us here that she is going to be one of the top stars for years to come. Mia Goth continues to show us why she is picked for the roles that never seem normal, while Chloe Grace Moretz steps away from her younger roles with a much more mature role. It is Tilda Swinton that shows her true talent with her roles in the film, the dance director is an easy one for her, while the male doctor shows us just how talented she truly is.

StoryThe story follows a young American that joins a famous dance company only for the company to have a much darker side which the dancers are becoming consumed by. This is a remake and as I have never seen the original, I don’t know how similar the story is, which is fine, because it may have a couple of nods to the original and casting choice including original cast members, the story focuses on just what could be going on within the dance company and how it operates. We learn early on what they are up to and just how shocking it is and for the most part we are left wondering just what is going on with the main performer.

Fantasy/Horror/MysteryThe fantasy side of the film goes hand in hand with the horror of just what is going on, it is a very dark world and the mystery of just how we get there is what will drive the audience to enjoy.

SettingsThe film is set in Berlin, this shows us that the world is still affecting the people around the city and how strong this dance company had become.

Special EffectsThe effects in this movie are shocking in their realism which will disturb and shock through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel like a long film for no reason.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the craziest horror films from a year which was filled with the horrors that fit that quota. It does feel very long which will turn away audiences, but the committed horrors fans will enjoy what they see.

 

Overall: Crazy, disturbing and one you won’t forget.

Rating

 

 

Brain on Fire (2016)

Director: Gerard Barrett

Writer: Gerard Barrett (Screenplay) Susannah Cahalan (Memoir)

Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Thomas Mann, Richard Armitage, Carrie-Anne Moss, Jenny Slate, Tyler Perry

 

Plot: A young, capable professional cannot explain her newly erratic behavior.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Standard Drama

 

Story: Brain on Fire starts as we meet 21-year-old Susannah Cahalan (Moretz) she has her dream job working for the New York Times and has a steady relationship with musician Stephen (Mann), but her life starts to turn upside when her mind starts getting out of control, filled with blanks spells and erratic behaviour.

When Susannah starts suffering seizures the doctors don’t seem to be able to find anything wrong with her and as the decline increases so does her behaviour. Her parents Tom (Armitage) and Rhona (Moss) do their best to get her the best help and the doctors can clearly see there is something wrong, but the answers remain even more difficult to find.

 

Thoughts on Brain on Fire

 

Characters – Susannah Cahalan is a 21-year-old with her whole life ahead of her with her dream career at such a young age. Her life however takes a dramatic turn when she starts suffering from paranoia episodes which puts the strain on her personal and professional life with the doctors running out of options, this is her true story. Stephen is her boyfriend that uses his music to try and help ease her pain. Tom and Rhona fill the parental roles that both have different ways of handling their helplessness through the illness, as well as the friends that support her.

PerformancesChloe Grace Moretz is a great and talent young actress, but for this role you can see she is too young to truly understand the subject in question, remember this was film when she was 18/19 and the story is being told from perspective of someone in their early 20s, so you did need someone who would understand that age. The rest of the cast are fine without getting anything overly different to deal with.

StoryThe story is an important message about understand an illness which can be difficult to diagnose, and one people have been suffering with, this is her story about how she survived. One of the big problems is that we have scenes without her, so this can’t be from her memory, but second-hand account. For the subject involved we kind of understand how these stories will go and this doesn’t offer too much new to the genre. If this is something you enjoy watching you won’t be complaining, but it won’t make any of the top lists.

BiopicThis is Susannah’s story, you really can’t say a bad thing about her story, it just doesn’t truly feel film worthy.

SettingsThe film is set in New York and in hospitals, it shows the everyday life Susannah would have been living in at the time.


Scene of the Movie –
Margo visits Susannah.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It felt like an episode of House.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid enough biopic that doesn’t offer too much new, it is watchable but not one that will be talked about for years to come.

 

Overall: Standard biopic without the impact.

Rating

 

 

Jessica Alba Weekend – The Eye (2008)

Director: David Moreau, Xavier Palud

Writer: Sebastian Gutierrez (Screenplay) Yuet-Jan Hui, Oxide Chun Pang, Danny Pang (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Jessica Alba, Alessandro Nivola, Parker Posey, Rade Serbedzija, Fernanda Romero, Rachel Ticotin, Chloe Grace Moretz

 

Plot: A woman receives an eye transplant that allows her to see into the supernatural world.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not as Bad as I Remember

 

Story: The Eye starts as we meet blind violinist Sydney Wells (Alba) who is about to get a cornea transplant giving her sight back for the first time since she was five. With the operation being a success, Sydney along with her sister Helen (Posey) must work together as the change takes effect with the vision taking time to return.

Sydney now must learn to see once again but with horrific visions make her start to question herself, she has a DR Paul Faulkner (Nivola) who comes along to help her with these new experiences but he can only help with the reality of seeing again, not the supernatural side of things.

As the nightmares and visions become more realistic Sydney finds herself walking the thin line between paranoia and reality as she finds herself investigating these visions to learn the truth about the eyes she has been inherited.

 

Thoughts on The Eye

 

Characters/PerformanceSydney is given the chance to see once again but dealing with the new eyes makes her question everything in her day as she is given the chance to witness the living being taken by the reaper. I have a lot of questions about this character because we never learn her job which must have been limited because of her blindness, there is an origin to why she is blind to which we don’t get to see either and I feel most of the development of this character is very poor. Dr Faulkner is an average forgettable doctor who doesn’t even fill the romantic love interest and the sister well why is she even in this movie?

The performances are fine Jessica Alba does well without shining but the rest of the cast just doesn’t seem to fit in the film enough.

StoryThe idea that when you get a transplant your body could change has been proven so why not mix this up into a horror film, well the Chinese thought this would be a good story too. This is the remake of that story, so we know the story is very similar and interesting to see unfold because this film isn’t about a big body count like other horrors, it is the ghost mystery which is something I do always have a soft spot for and does keep you guessing along the way.

Horror/MysteryThe horror side of this movie is nearly all jump scares as the film doesn’t reach the true levels of the original, the mystery side of things is what keeps us going through to see where it all ends up going.

SettingsThe settings just don’t work for this film, you can’t understand how Sydney is in the location she lives in without learning about her job.

Special EffectsHere is an iffy part of the film, the special effects which you can see being added with the CGI.

Final ThoughtsWhile I do think the original is scarier, this is a simple to follow and easy horror to watch for all that would be watching.

 

Overall: Remake which works but doesn’t reach the same levels.

Rating

 

 

The 5th Wave (2016)

5thDirector: J Blakeson

Writer: Susannah Grant, Akiva Goldsman, Jeff Pinkner (Screenplay) Ricky Yancey (Novel)

Starring: Chloe Grace Moretz, Zackary Arthur, Nick Robinson, Ron Livingston, Maika Monroe, Liev Schreiber, Maria Bello

 

Plot: Four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks have left most of Earth decimated. Cassie is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Another Young Adult Franchise

 

Story: The 5th Wave starts as Cassie (Moretz) shows just how deadly she has become before flashing back before everything has changed when alien ships turned up above towns. The first wave of the attack was taking out all the electricity in the world. The second wave was flooding the Earth. The third wave was a deadlier version of the bird flu crippling the surviving number. The 4th wave is the ‘Others’ becoming humans taking out any other survivors and this is where Cassie gets separated from everyone.

With Cassie along we see how Sergeant Reznik (Bello) building a new defence against the Others which is most child soldiers from the remaining survivors. This brings us to the 5th Wave and that is saved for a twist in the film but it this the beginning of the next franchise of young adult stories.

The 5th Wave is the latest in what feels like an endless run of them which luckily is dying out now. This one stands out slightly more because it jumps straight into the battle between the humans and alien invaders instead of wasting too much time building up to this in a later film. I do think this would be a good addition to the genre if we hadn’t had too much rubbish before it.

Chloe is good in the leading role but the character isn’t written as strong as she could have been, while the known adult actors are clearly having the story arc to make them the villainous roles. the rest of the teens are or children are very basic never really getting time to make the impact with the Robinson struggling to make the true impact in his role. This would be an interesting addition to the world of teen young adult films but came too late into the flood of them.

 

Overall: I do feel this would have been a good addition to the young adult genre but I feel we won’t see the whole story now.

Ratingcard