Bird Box (2018)

Director: Susanne Bier

Writer: Eric Heisserer (Screenplay) Josh Malerman (Novel)

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Trevante Rhodes, John Malkovich, Sarah Paulson, Jacki Weaver, Rose Salazar

 

Plot: A woman and a pair of children are blindfolded and make their way through a dystopian setting.


Tagline – Never Lose Sight of Survival

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Generic Survival Movie

 

Story: Bird Box starts with Malorie (Bullock) needing to make a difficult journey with two children, needing to remain blindfolded from whatever is in the air outside, the journey should offer them safety. Flashback five years to when an unknown even happens while Malorie is pregnant where people start acting psychotic and suicidal in their behaviour.

Malorie joins fellow survivors Tom (Rhodes), Douglas (Malkovich), Cheryl (Weaver) and Lucy (Salazar) to mention a few, where people need to remain inside or they will become infected. We go through the survival process as go through the essentials about needing food and supplies, let alone whether they can stand being around each other.

 

Thoughts on Bird Box

 

Characters – Malorie is the woman trying to get two children to safety, she is the mother of one of them as we see from her from the events where the disaster first breaks out, where she is dealing with the reality she might be raising her child alone or even giving it up, she loses a sister in the opening attack and is sudden the one voice of reason when it comes to the group of survivors. She doesn’t want to leave anyone behind which sees her clash with Douglas a lot. Tom is one of the fellow survivors, he does seem to be the most level headed of the group, he uses his military training to help prepare for the next stage of the survival. Douglas is the home owner that doesn’t want to help the survivors, he sees his wife die trying to help Malorie which sees him clash with her, he is the typical asshole needed for this type of movie. Jessica is the sister of Malorie who is preparing her for motherhood.

PerformancesSandra Bullock in the leading role is the highlight of the film, she easily the best performer in the film even if her character seems overly random. Trevante Rhodes does a solid enough job in the supporting role being the soldier figure, that doesn’t need to be over the top, while John Malkovich overacts his arse off chewing the scenery like only he could. Most of the rest of the performances are average at best mostly because we don’t get enough time to invest in the rest of the characters.

StoryThe story here follows a group of survivors mostly a woman and two children in a world where people can’t see because something will infect them if they see it in the open, what they will see anything they will become crazed and suicidal. Now this story should be interesting and for the way this is told it drags along, we follow the events in the house which just gives us a group of people that are going to be picked off at some point because we learn early on from the open sequence it is just Malorie and the children, this is the good part of the story, watching the journey down the river in an attempt to survive. The survival side of the story is easily the most engaging only it ends up losing all the tension because of the dragging scenes through the home. The random jumps between the time just seems random and makes no sense which doesn’t help the flow to the movie.

Horror/Sci-FiThe horror side of the film comes from the unknown as the ‘creatures’ are trying to infect the people, sadly we never see them which feels like something we should have seen by the end, the film hides them like it will be a shock by the end, only to not show us. The sci-fi side of the film shows us what would happen if something like this was to happen, how the world would come to an end as we know it.

SettingsThe film uses a couple of settings, the house is just there to kill time and meet a group of pointless characters, when we are on the river, we are left wondering just what will come next for the characters while the woods are also filled with the void of the unknown.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects, we are treated to the less is more concept where we see rustles, but never see anything, when it comes to the injuries, we see the basics without it being blood filled like it could have been.


Scene of the Movie –
The Rapids.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Most of the time in the house.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappointing movie because we did get a sense heavy horror movie earlier in the year with ‘A Quiet Place’ this film fails to use the full extent of this idea.

 

Overall: Disappointing horror.

Rating

 

 

Widows (2018)

Director: Steve McQueen

Writer: Gillian Flynn, Steve McQueen (Screenplay) Lynda La Plante (Based on Widows)

Starring: Viola Davis, Michelle Rodriguez, Elizabeth Debicki, Cynthia Erivo, Colin Farrell, Brian Tyree Henry, Daniel Kaluuya, Jacki Weaver, Carrie Coon, Robert Duvall, Liam Neeson

 

Plot: Set in contemporary Chicago, amidst a time of turmoil, four women with nothing in common except a debt left behind by their dead husbands’ criminal activities, take fate into their own hands, and conspire to forge a future on their own terms.


Tagline – Left with nothing. Capable of anything.

Runtime: 2 Hours 9 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Thriller of the Year

 

Story: Widows starts when Harry Rawlings (Neeson) and his crew are killed on their latest heist, their widows, Veronica (Davis), Linda (Rodriguez), Alice (Debicki) and Amanda (Coon) are left to grieve alone, seeing the consequences of their husband’s actions. Veronica is confronted by political campaigner Jamal Manning (Henry) who is trying to challenge the Mulligan reign in their neighbourhood, with Jack (Farrell) following in his father’s Tom (Duvall) footsteps.

Jamal wants his money back which is forcing Veronica to bring the fellow widows together to complete a job which will solve all their financial problems. Can they complete this heist which will give them a life after their husbands?

 

Thoughts on Widows

 

Characters – Veronica is the wife of Harry, she has been in the teaching union for her life even though she knew of Harry activities. After his dies in the latest job she is broken trying to keep herself together until she is forced into the world her husband was on top of. She is tough and lacks the humour the fellow widows show to deal with her grief. She does have to keep the group together and does love her little Westie. Linda has been running her own company which after her husband’s death she loses because of his problems leaving her and her kids with money problems. She is welcomed to Veronica’s team even if she doesn’t bring as much as the rest. Alice has been living off her husband’s heist money even after dealing with abuse from him, she must learn to make her own money which she can be pushed in the wrong direction for, she does join Veronica’s team which will bring her out of her shell and she fast becomes the one on the biggest learning curve. Belle completes the team and though she isn’t a widow, she knows how hard you need to work for money and she will take her chance with the team. Jack Mulligan is the new political candidate following in his father’s footsteps, he knows how to get a deal done and doesn’t mind getting his hands dirty along the way. Tom is the politician stepping down because of his health, his old way thinking has been holding back the district from remaining in his family name. Jamal Manning is the crime lord who has decide to run for office which would be is way to stay on the right side of the law, he still will get his hands dirty when he needs to and lets his brother do most of the dirty work. Jatemme is the brother of Jamal, he is a loose cannon, he will push whatever limits available to get what he wants full crazy mode for the most part. This is the eight main characters that you will understand each decision they will make.

PerformancesWhen he dive into the performances Viola Davis shines in the leading role, she must deals with emotional moments that others simply will never understand why. Michelle Rodriquez gives her best performance of her career here that is simply brilliant and Elizabeth Debicki gives one of the best supporting performances of the year. Colin Farrell continues to show he is one of the best actors out there and demands the screen either against Robert Duvall. Daniel Kaluuya does a fantastic job because each scene he is almost uncomfortable to watch because of his actions. Brian Tyree Henry is wonderful too, it is easily one of the best acted movies you will ever see.

StoryThe story follows an unlikely crew of robbers who are following in their husband’s footsteps in the crime world to give themselves finical security from the other people in the world their husband’s worked in. Each of the widows must face the reality of being alone and learn how to adapt which is important to see and with a shocking reveal you simply won’t see coming makes this enjoyable to watch. This is a story that doesn’t have a wasted frame, it will keep you on edge from start to finish while addressing how political can play the people to get what they want. This is a story that will keep you wanting more and deals with the real problems people will be facing in the world.

CrimeThe crime world we enter shows us just how out of place the widows are to start with and we see how they must learn quickly.

SettingsThe film is set in Chicago which shows us just how easily crime can take place with so much going on in the city, we see the divide between the higher class and lower class.


Scene of the Movie –
Performances fantastic.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Viola Davis doesn’t know how to walk a dog.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the best movies of the year, it will keep you on edge throughout the whole film. It is easily a must watch and the performances are simply fantastic.

 

Overall: Must watch movie.

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

 

 

Irreplaceable You (2018)

Director: Stephanie Laing

Writer: Bess Wohl (Screenplay)

Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michiel Huisman, Christopher Walken, Kate McKinnon, Claire Holt, Jacki Weaver, Steve Coogan

 

Plot: A couple who have known each other since 8 are destined to be together until death do them apart.


Tagline – Don’t focus on what if. Focus on what is.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tissues Ready

 

Story: Irreplaceable You starts as we meet the perfect couple Abbie (Mbatha-Raw) and Sam (Huisman), who met as young kids and now getting prepared to marry and starting a family, but when tragedy hits Abbie as she learns she has cancer.

Facing her own mortality Abbie starts to prepare for the worst and how she is going to see Sam continue his life without her around. She has the support of fellow cancer sufferer Myron (Walken) who teaches her how to deal with the situation she is facing, being one of the only people that truly knows what she is going through.

 

Thoughts on Irreplaceable You

 

Characters – Abbie is one half of the couple, narrating the story to us after her death (this is the opening sequence, no spoiler here), she is diagnosed with cancer and now must face the reality that the love of her life will live most of his life without her and tries to help guide him before she goes. Sam is the fiancée of Abbie that wants to support her through any ideas she must help her come to terms with her situation, this character is a good look at the person that will be left behind in an adult relationship. Myron is a fellow sufferer that supports Abbie through the treatment, trying to help her understand the importance of time.

PerformancesGugu Mbatha-Raw has been making waves for years now, this is the highlight of her career to date, one of the best performances of the year, real, honest and one you fully understand her characters feelings. Michiel Huisman is great too, he shows us just how difficult his characters position would be. Christopher Walken gives us the wonderful supporting performance too.

StoryThe story here follows the lives of a couple in the final months of Abbie’s life, showing us how she is dealing with the news and how she plans to make her one true love life without her. The story does deal with cancer and the effects it will have on the loved ones and takes it on to the same level as 50/50, which doesn’t play too heavy on the downs, while trying to show us how moments of normality including humour can help the victim. We know the end of the film from the opening sequence, so this is preparing us to for the end.

Comedy/RomanceThe romance in this movie shows us just how cancer can ruin love, but it also shows just how people will be there to support you, even if they know the next chapter. We have sprinkles of comedy, which mostly comes from Abbie as she is dealing with everything.

SettingsThe film is set in New York, the city with many stories, we get to see certain locations which are important to the characters involved.


Scene of the Movie –
The party.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Final narration, pick one person to read not both.

Final ThoughtsThis is a movie that will play with your emotions testing you on every level while telling an important story about how people will be facing the reality of cancer.

 

Overall: Wonderful movie that tells such an emotional story.

Rating

 

 

Mia Wasikowska Weekend – Stoker (2013)

stokerDirector: Chan-wook Park

Writer: Wentworth Miller (Screenplay)

Starring: Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, Matthew Goode, Lucas Till, Alden Ehrenreich, Jacki Weaver, Dermot Mulroney

 

Plot: After India’s father dies, her Uncle Charlie, who she never knew existed, comes to live with her and her unstable mother. She comes to suspect this mysterious, charming man has ulterior motives and becomes increasingly infatuated with him.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Thriller

 

Story: Stoker starts as we meet the teenager India (Wasikowska) who has the ability to hear at an enhanced level who has just lost her father Richard in a car crash. India lives with her mother Evelyn (Kidman) who has been struggling with the loss of her husband but when the unknown Uncle Charlie (Goode) arrives on the scene India starts to learn more about her past.

When other members of the family turn up in India’s life we get to learn that Charles might not be all he appears to be but why has he taken such an interest in India is the question remaining.

Stoker is a solid thriller that does in a direction you can ready quite easily. Saying that the mood to create this works and with the final twist you will find yourself surprised with the outcome. The story does tackle family relationships but is trying way too hard to keep up with most of Hitchcock’s work. I do feel most of this is forced and doesn’t feel like a natural story unfolding either.

 

Actor Review

 

Mia Wasikowska: India in the teenage student who is considered so what of a loner, she had a very close relationship with father but when he is killed she finds herself struggling to fit in. when her Uncle turns up in her life she starts to notice a few more things in her life. Is India ready to become her father’s daughter. Mia gives us a good creepy performance throughout.

Nicole Kidman: Evelyn is the grieving mother of India’s who has turned to the bottle to get over the loss of her husband as well as trying to find her own relationship with the estranged brother in law. Nicole is solid but only this supporting role.

Matthew Goode: Charles is the mysterious Uncle that turns up in India’s life, he can sense the two being very similar and as we wait to see what he true motives are. Matthew is good in this role where he can always have the slightly quirky roles.

Support Cast: Stoker has a supporting cast which includes fellow members of the family who know the truth but also include the high schoolers that India has to deal with each day.

Director Review: Chan-wook ParkChan-wook gives us a slow moving thriller that doesn’t reach all the potential it has.

 

Thriller: Stoker tries to keep us wondering but really doesn’t give us enough for the whole idea behind the film.

Settings: Stoker keeps the settings looking like we are in a high class of people and their dramas.
Special Effects
: Stoker has good effective special effects when needed.

Suggestion: Stoker is only really one to try because it is slow moving and doesn’t go too far. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Good performances.

Worst Part: Slow story.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $12 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

Tagline: Innocence Ends.

 

Overall: Slow moving thriller that does tackle growing up.

Ratingcard