Thank You for Your Service (2017) Movie Review

Director: Jason Hall

Writer: Jason Hall (Screenplay)

Starring: Miles Teller, Beulah Koale, Joe Cole, Scott Haze, Haley Bennett, Amy Schumer, Omar J Dorsey

Plot: A group of U.S. soldiers returning from Iraq struggle to integrate back into family and civilian life, while living with the memory of a war that threatens to destroy them long after they’ve left the battlefield.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Thank You for Your Service starts when three soldiers Adam Schumann (Teller), Tausolo Aieti (Koale) and Billy Waller (Cole) return home from their latest deployment. Adam returns to his wife and kids, while holding in guilt for the events of the last mission, Tausolo learns that he isn’t going to be welcomed back due to head injuries on duty, while Billy returns to learn his fiancée has left him with nothing.

As the three look to adapt to civilian life, they find themselves struggling and in need of help, the help that isn’t being given to them, leading down destructive paths needing to accept help from their loved ones.

Thoughts on Thank You for Your Service

ThoughtsThank You for Your Service is a drama showing what happens to three young veterans after their time on duty. Showing us three different reactions to the traumas they suffered through in the line of duty. This is a story that will highlight just how poorly treated soldiers are when they return, with the pure number being too high to cover the pain they have been through. The three lives do go in every different directions, showing us just how they can spiral out of control. The performances from Miles Teller and Beulah Koale are fantastic, showing us just how hard the lives of their characters have become. This is one of the films that is important to show just how difficult life will be for veterans who have been through horrific events they just can’t recover from.

Final Thoughts Thank You for Your Service is a brilliantly acted and important story about the struggles veterans face.

The East (2020) Movie Review ‘Hard Hitting War Drama’

The East – Hard Hitting War Drama

 

Director: Jim Taihuttu

Writer: Mustafa Duygulu, Jim Taihuttu (Screenplay)

Starring: Martijn Lakemeier, Marwan Kenzari, Jonas Smulders, Abel van Gijlswijk, Coen Bril, Reinout Scholten van Aschat

Plot: A young Dutch soldier deployed to suppress post-WWII independence efforts in the Netherlands’ colony of Indonesia finds himself torn between duty and conscience when he joins an increasingly ruthless commander’s elite squad.

Runtime: 2 Hours 17 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The East starts as we meet the young Dutch soldier Johan de Vries (Lakemeier) who has been deployed to Indonesia in an attempt to supress the post-WWII independence efforts in the Netherlands colony.

As Johan learns the Dutch military are just doing the basics to show control, he starts to turn to a man Raymond ‘The Turk’ Westerling (Kenzari) who lives outside of the military protection, a man that will lead a special group of soldiers in fighting back against the rebels.

Thoughts on The East

Characters & Performances – Johan de Vries is the young solider in the Dutch military, deployed to Indonesia to help protect the peace from the rebels fighting for independence, finding the routine wondering around the military base boring, until he meets a local begging for help. He learns that there is a darker side to the Dutch involvement, one that he finds himself getting involved in, see the true horrors of being part of a military invasion. Martijn Lakemeier does an excellent job showing the transformation that Johan goes through during the film, despite his character having a secret. Raymond Westerling is the outsider soldier that shows no fear in the land, he leads an elite group of soldiers who are looking to solve the problems before they become the threats they are scared they will become. Marwan Kenzari does bring us a ruthless performance, one that shows the leadership in the darker side of the war. When it comes to the supporting cast, everyone does a solid job, which is mostly filling the roles you would come to expect within this type of movie.

StoryThe story here follows a young Dutch soldier who finds himself in a post-World War II deployment in Indonesia in the fight to stop the battle for independence, only to find himself going down a path he isn’t prepared for. This is a story that bring the hard hitting reality of war, how somebody thinks they might be doing the right thing, only to learn how people have used the position for their own desires. This story doesn’t show us enough of the history lesson about what happened between the two countries, which is disappointing, as it does feel like it is important to learn about. When it comes to the raw look of the soldier experience, it does shine though.

ThemesThe East is a war drama that shows one soldier’s journey in the Dutch army in Indonesia in the battle to try and gain independence. The locations show us the horrors of the war, with each one putting Johan through a new traumatic experience.

Blue Finch Film Releasing presents The East on Digital Download 4 October

Final Thoughts The East is a drama that shows just how horrific the war was on anyone involved.

Language Arts (2020) Movie Review ‘Important Lesson on Life’

Language Arts – Important Lesson on Life

 

Director: Cornelia Duryee

Writer: Cornelia Duryee (Screenplay) Stephanie Kallos (Novel)

Starring: Ashley Zukerman, Sarah Shahi, Elliott Smith, Lincoln Lambert, Erin Cummings, Mariana Klaveno, Jane Ryan

Plot: Charles, a withdrawn high school English teacher, and his student Romy start documenting collaborations between autistic youth and senior dementia patients, causing Charles to tailspin into his past and confront the errors of his youth.

Runtime: 2 Hours 7 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Language Arts starts when one of Charles Marlow’s (Zukerman) students looks to do a project documenting collaboration between autistic youth and senior dementia, which will see Charles looking into his past, with his own son Cody.

Charles looks at how he handled raising his son with his partner Allison (Shahi) and the difficulties they went through before finding a solution that worked best, even though it stretched their own relationship in the process.

Thoughts on Language Arts

ThoughtsLanguage Arts is a drama that will span over three different times in Charles life, one as a schoolboy where he came into contact with his first autistic person in life, with a class mate. The second era of time is with his own marriage with an autistic son and the final one sees him as a teacher working with a student working on the idea there could be a connection between autism and dementia. This is a story that is looking to address the real-world situation that people are going to have learning disabilities, but ill learn, once you listen to their needs as a friend, while also highlight the extra difficulties parents overcome in everyday life. The journey Charles goes through is life changing, one that is filled with inspiration, heartbreak and redemption life can put you through. This does feel like certain time jumps can become difficult to keep on top of everything, with the father and teacher periods being too similar, while missing the big change that happened in the middle. The performances in the film are strong, with a large cast including lead Ashley Zukerman, Sarah Shahi and Pamela Reed, which will see everyone perform well throughout the film.

Final ThoughtsLanguage Arts is a drama that shows us the emotional rollercoaster of Charles life is.

Ride the Eagle (2021) Movie Review ‘Solid Drama’

Ride the Eagle – Solid Drama

 

Director: Trent O’Donnell

Writer: Jake Johnson, Trent O’Donnell (Screenplay)

Starring: Jake Johnson, Susan Sarandon, D’Arcy Carden, J.K. Simmons, Luis Fernandez-Gil, Cleo King

Plot: Leif is left with a conditional inheritance when his estranged mother Honey dies. Before he can move into her picturesque Yosemite cabin, he has to complete her elaborate, and sometimes dubious, to-do list.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Ride the Eagle starts when Leif (Johnson) gets the news that his estranged mother Honey (Sarandon) has passed away, leaving him her cabin under one condition, he must complete a to-do list.

Leif heads up to the cabin to start the list, which will see him get some late life advice from his mother that will see him challenge his past, as he is struggling to face his future.

Thoughts on Ride the Eagle

Characters & Performances – Leif is the man who lives with his dog Nora, he is part of a band, but doesn’t seem to be achieving much in his life, finding himself feeling lost at times. When his mother dies, he gets left her cabin, with a series of challenges to get through, that will give him a chance to face his past, in hope of finding out more about his future. Jake Johnson does a great job carrying this film, bring his charm to the role, while having the serious side of the film down perfectly. When we go into the supporting roles, we get the recording from Honey, Lief’s mother, which is her trying to get a message across to him, a message she never got through in the real life. Audrey who is on the other end of a phone call for Leif, with the two remembering their old life together and Carl the neighbour that Leif finds himself in a rivalry with for no reason. The supporting cast does everything right without needing to do that much in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a man that hasn’t seen his life go the way he had planned it, seemingly going nowhere, that will find his mother pass away needing to complete a series of challenge to inherit her cabin. This is a story that is filled with the idea that one person will get a final goodbye to an estranged family member, while finding his feet for the future. This has everything it needs to get the basic idea for this side of the story, but it does seem to only touch the surface of what drove them apart in the first place, while it does become clear, we don’t seem to get the major emotional impactful moment in the film that will leave us flawed with what has happened.

ThemesRide the Eagle is a coming of age comedy drama looking at a family relationships with a journey that will see the son will have to make, the location is stunningly beautiful, away from the world, bringing the peace from the busy world.

Ride The Eagle will be available on Digital Download from 4th October

Final Thoughts Ride the Eagle tries to draw on the heart strings of finding your place in the world.

The Delinquent Season (2018) Movie Review

Director: Mark O’Rowe

Writer: Mark O’Rowe (Screenplay)

Starring: Cillian Murphy, Catherine Walker, Eva Birthistle, Andrew Scott

Plot: Two married couples with kids start having problems with fidelity.


Tagline – Love is a dangerous game

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Delinquent Season starts as we see two couples Yvonne (Walker) & Chris (Scott) and Danielle (Birthistle) & Jim (Murphy) who are both in and around the 40s with children, only not everything is as smooth as it could be on the surface.

Yvonne has been feeling pushed away from by Chris who is keeping a secret from here, leading to her turning to Jim, who works from home, as they start an affair which will change both of the marriages forever.

Thoughts on The Delinquent Season

ThoughtsThe Delinquent Season is a drama that will show how two marriages that are both struggling could find themselves falling apart further when they look to make each other in an affair. It will show how the secrets of lives can be unusual, leading to mistakes that will hurt the innocent victims involved. Everything is played down to be a more natural set of events, instead of being focused on doing a big fancy affair. It is nice having a more grounded relationship over the unnatural dive into an affair. The performances from Cillian Murphy and Catherine Walker take centre stage, showing us their talent on screen. If we look just at the film, this isn’t going to appeal to everyone, it is a drama that will focus more on the maybes in life and what could happen after the mistakes.

Final Thoughts The Delinquent Season shows us just how many dominos fall after an affair.