Look Away (2018)

Director: Assaf Bernstein

Writer: Assaf Bernstein (Screenplay)

Starring: India Eisley, Jason Isaacs, Mira Sorvino, Penelope Mitchel, John C MacDonald, Harrison Gilbertson, Kristen Harris

 

Plot: LOOK AWAY is a psychological thriller that tells the story of Maria, an alienated high-school student whose life is turned upside down when she switches places with her sinister mirror image.


Tagline – Love/Fear. Passion/Seduction. Free/Trapped.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sinister Horror

 

Story: Look Away starts as we meet outsider school girl Maria (Eisley) who keeps to herself, with her one friend the popular Lily (Mitchell), her doctor father Dan (Isaacs) tries to let her be her own self, while her mother Amy (Sorvino) is constantly worrying about her daughter. When Maria starts talking to her reflection which uses the name Airam, she starts to come out of her shell more.

When Maria suffers one final humiliation, she turns to Airam to takeover her life, this sinister side soon starts turning heads and getting revenge for Maria in life, but can Maria return once she has finished.

 

Thoughts on Look Away

 

Characters – Maria is the shy high school student, an outsider who only has one real friend, that being Lily, she gets bullied by some of the students and has started talking to her reflection in the mirror. She gets pushed to far and her reflection Airam wants to get into the rea world, tricking Maria into swapping places with her. Maria is left helpless as Airam starts taking over her life. Dan is the doctor father of Maria, he is having affairs with his clients, while trying to encourage his daughter to come out of her shell. Amy is the mentally unwell mother of Maria, she is mostly housebound, until Airam comes out pushing her to learn the truth. Lily is the best friend of Maria, she is the popular girl at school with her reputation keeping Maria off the bottom of the pile, she does like her around even if she has her own reason for doing this.

PerformancesIndia Eisley takes on two roles here which she her play very different versions of her character, one is the shy timid one, while the other is the rebellious sinister natured one. being able to pull off both the roles shows off her skills as an actress. Jason Isaacs and Mira Sorvino both bring the experience to the film, even if their characters fall into the background at times.

StoryThe story follows a troubled high school student who meets her alter ego in the mirror who helps her take control of her life, only for this to figure to bring of a sinister side to her life. This does give the reflects of just how life has become difficult for an outside, while we do have a twist that does seem easy to see coming. We do have the high school bullying theme running through the film which shows how difficult life has become for Maria and how a home life that doesn’t feel connected works too. We could have had more sinister nature from Airam which is hinted heavily at, we do get a mix of Jennifer’s Body and Carrie though.

HorrorThe horror in the film comes from the action of Airam, be it how she seduces Maria into working with her or how she acts in the real world once she is released.

SettingsThe film is set in an everyday environment for Maria, we have the school, home and parent work life, but it is anything ice skating related which is the highlight of the film.

Special EffectsThe dual performances come with strong camera work and use of effects to make happen, we don’t get as much as we could, but we don’t need much more than we get.


Scene of the Movie –
Ice Skating improvement.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Airam could have gotten up to a lot more.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sinister styled horror, it does feel like it has borrowed from other films from the similar genre. Is has a strong leading performance from India Eisley that shows her talent as both shy and twisted figures.

 

Overall: Horror with strong leading performance.

Rating

 

 

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Upgrade (2018)

Director: Leigh Whannell

Writer: Leigh Whannell (Screenplay)

Starring: Logan Marshall-Green, Betty Gabriel, Melanie Vallejo, Harrison Gilbertson

 

Plot: Set in the near-future, technology controls nearly all aspects of life. But when Grey, a self-identified technophobe, has his world turned upside down, his only hope for revenge is an experimental computer chip implant called Stem.


Tagline – Not Man. Not Machine. More.

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fantastic Action Horror

 

Story: Upgrade starts as we go to the near future, with improved technology that isn’t too far away from reality, Grey Trace (Marshall-Green) stills like getting his hands dirty for work, while his wife Asha (Vallejo) has accepted this new life. On a routing journey home their self-driving car takes them to the wrong neighbourhood, causing a crash to which the locals murder Asha and leaves Grey paralysed.

Left feeling suicidal Grey gets a visit from a former client and technological recluse wizard Eron (Gilbertson) that offers to give him a revolutionary operation that will bring his mobility back to him through a chip known as Stem, which leads him on his own personal revenge mission with the help of Stem.

 

Thoughts on Upgrade

 

Characters – Grey Trace is a mechanic who in a technology heavy world, he would rather get his hands dirty than rely on the technology, he sees his wife murdered and left paralysed from the incident, he becomes suicidal like you would imagine believing his life is not worth living, he get a chance at revenge though from advanced technology even though himself doesn’t like violence or blood. He is our main character he will have Stem the chip control him in fights movements making him a deadly weapon. Cortez is the technology avoiding cop that is investigating the original case as well as the bodies piling up that could be suspects in case. Eron is the technology wizard that offers Grey a chance to get revenge with a chip to recover his movement. Fisk is a man hunting down Grey, he has extra abilities too which makes his hunt different to Cortez.

PerformancesLogan Marshall-Green is brilliant in the leading role because he takes full control of each and every scene, be it the talking to the voice in his head or handling the fighting. The rest of the cast are good with their scenes without taking any spotlight of Logan.

StoryThe story here shows one man given a chance to go on a revenge mission after getting a technological upgrade that cures his paralyzed position. This does take us into a realistic future with technology that does seem like it could be used in the future. Away from just the technology side of story we get a revenge film which follows the paths we expect, starting with a small fight leading up to a bigger more challenging fight by the end. We get twists and turns along the way which does keep us guessing. If you want to have a story that is fast paced throughout keeping us wanting more throughout the film.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action in this film just keeps getting bigger as the film goes on, we get combat which feel unique in how Grey performs it because of his characters ability or lack there off. The horror blends in with certain graphicness of the kills and the idea behind the sci-fi in an ever-increasing technology heavy world.

SettingsThe film keeps us in a city that has accepted new technology with self-driving cars, drones covering the area and most importantly everything still looks like a normal city.

Special EffectsThe effects are used wonderfully well too, we have different abilities which make for different attacks that shows just how deadly the additional technology could be if we don’t control it.


Scene of the Movie –
Stem take over.

That Moment That Annoyed Me With all the technology in play surely the ‘Off’ switch would activate quicker.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fast paced sci-fi action film that will fly by, it has great choregraphed fight sequences, good use of special effects and a performance from Logan Marshall-Green which you will remember.

 

Overall: Must watch Action Sci-Fi Horror.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Haunt (2014)

Director: Mac Carter

Writer: Andrew Barrer (Screenplay)

Starring: Harrison Gilbertson, Liana Liberato, Jacki Weaver, Ione Skye, Brian Wimmer

 

Plot: An introvert teen befriends his new neighbor, and together the couple begin to explore the haunted house that his family has just purchased.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid but Forgettable Horror

 

Story: Haunt starts as the Asher’s Evan (Gilbertson), Emily (Skye), Alan (Wimmer), Sara (Chuchran) and Anita (Harris) move into a massive new home, known for the Morello Curse where the family were nearly all killed in strange unexplained suicides apart from Janet (Weaver) the mother of the family.

Evan is the teenage son of the family and finds himself in the room where one of the suicides happened and after meeting fellow teenager and outsider Sam (Liberato) the two become close friends. Evan and Sam discover the equipment to communicate with the dead and soon find themselves talking and being visited by the ghosts of the Morello’s.

 

Thoughts on Haunt

 

Characters/PerformanceEvan is the son of the family that finds himself living in the room that previously had a murder, now after his family moves him there, he has no friends but soon makes one in Sam as he starts to learn the haunting side of the home. Sam is the local girl that has been dealing with abuse at home and sees Evan as her escape from that world. Janet is the doctor and lone survivor of the Morello Curse that has haunted the home.

Performance wise, Harrison Gilbertson is good in the leading role as the curious teen as is Liana Liberato through the film. the performance are all fine through the film.

StoryThe story focuses around the idea of a haunted house that a new family moves into and becomes the latest targets of the spirits haunting the home, well we have seen this before and this tie we don’t get to learn too much new in this film either, it plays out like an ABC of haunted house movies and you could see plenty of better ones.

Horror/Mystery/Romance The horror in this film mostly comes from slow building scenes that then turn into jump scares that don’t click to their full amount while there is a mystery behind everything but it isn’t the most difficult thing to solve and the early romance is fine but nothing overly serious.

SettingsMost of the film is set in this one house and this is an easy setting choice for a film about a haunted house, we don’t need to leave it because the scary stuff only happens in the house.

Special EffectsThe effects are mixed mostly because some are good others look weak even though the film is trying to create its own look.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that is similar to better ones so the simple way of looking at it is to say look at The Conjuring for the better option.

 

Overall: Simple Horror

Rating

 

 

Need For Speed (2014)

logoDirector: Scott Waugh

Writer: George Gatins (Screenplay) George Gatins, John Gatins (Story)

Starring: Aaron Paul, Dominic Cooper, Imogen Poots, Scott Mescudi, Rami Malek, Ramon Rodriguez, Harrison Gilbertson, Dakota Johnson, Michael Keaton

 

Plot: Framed by an ex-partner for a murder he did not commit, Tobey Marshall, a financially struggling custom-car builder and street-racer, spends two years in jail thinking about one moment. Fresh out of prison he reacquires the fastest car his workshop ever built and sold, and seeks to enter a secretive and extremely high-stakes race known as The DeLeon. His purpose; redemption, recognition from the world of racing and to solve his problems. Yet all this fades in comparison to his driving reason. Revenge. Above all, revenge.

 

Verdict: Fast & Furious For Gamers

 

Story: When you look at the story on paper you can see it is very simple, revenge mixed with justice. It has plenty of action to gloss of the lack of real story and supporting characters to make everything seem lighter entertainment, while the main character and villain have an intense rivalry which you do get invested in. it is hard to really decide how I feel about this film as I am very invested in my only car fix being the Furious franchise and this tries to create something similar but I don’t see it reaching that level yet. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Aaron Paul: Tobey the small time mechanic who also happens to be a world class street race driver. When an old enemy turns up with a job offer, he can’t refuse due to financial difficulties. Once the job is complete he gets a chase to gamble for more money which leads to the death of a friend and himself being found guilty and landing in jail. Two years later he is out and ready to revenge by winning the DeLeon the race for the best of the best racers. Good performance after stepping away from Breaking Bad, but he doesn’t really get a chance to show off any acting skills here. (8/10)

 aaron

Dominic Cooper: Dino the old enemy who offers the job, before pushing Tobey into a race for all the money and killing another driver and hiding the evidence that he was there. He has gone onto win the DeLeon and with the fear that Tobey could beat him he puts a bounty on his head before he gets to the race. Good performance in the villain performance, who thinks he is better than the other people around him. (8/10)

dino

Imogen Poots: Julia the employee of a dealer who buys the car that Tobey does up off Dino. She goes on the road trip to the Deleon with Tobey to make sure the car stays safe. She isn’t an open book and is filled with plenty of secrets behind her British accent. Good performance, but I did find it a bit annoying and a nag after a while. (7/10)

 potts

Scott Mescudi: Benny a pilot who helps from the air during the race and pursuits, he always turns up in a different vehicle much to the team’s surprise. Good performance in the role that gets the most laughs. (7/10)

 benny

Rami Malek, Ramon Rodriguez: Finn, Joe the engineers who help keep the cars together and the streets clean during the races. It is only fair to treat them as one as they are always together and work perfectly together. (7/10)

 

Michael Keaton: Monarch the man the voice behind the DeLeon, he selects the drivers he thinks are worthiest to be in his secret race, and with the backstory between Tobey and Dino he has no choice to pick them. Good supporting character who offers plenty of good lines. (7/10)

 

Director Review: Scott Waugh – Puts together a very good action film with plenty of car chasing/racing scenes that really do put you at the edge of your seat. (8/10)

 

Action: The races are brilliant the chases are brilliant. (9/10)

Thriller: With the whole will he won’t he make it for the race out there this works well. (8/10)

Settings: Each setting makes the race/chase all that little bit more interesting. (8/10)

Suggestion: This is one for the action fans out there, they will enjoy most of the film. (Action Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Rivalry between Toney and Dino

Worst Part: Dino’s girlfriend, Pete’s brother who stays with Dino after the crash and never once believes Tobey till he is out of prison TWO YEARS LATER!

Action Scene Of The Film: Final Chase

Funniest Scene: Finn quits his job.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Could have one

Post Credits Scene: Scene in the credits.

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $203 Million

Budget: $66 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

Overall: Solid Video Game Adaptation

Rating 73