The Predator (2018)

Director: Shane Black

Writer: Fred Dekker, Shane Black (Screenplay) Jim Thomas, John Thomas (Characters)

Starring: Boyd Holbrook, Trevante Rhodes, Jacob Tremblay, Keegan-Michael Key, Olivia Munn, Sterling K Brown, Thomas Jane, Alfie Allen

 

Plot: When a young boy accidentally triggers the universe’s most lethal hunters’ return to Earth, only a ragtag crew of ex-soldiers and a disgruntled science teacher can prevent the end of the human race.


Tagline – You’ll never see him coming.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Commits to Comical Tone

 

Story: The Predator starts as we meet elite sniper Quinn McKenna (Holbrook) whose latest job sees a spacecraft crash land with a Predator butchering his team, with a few goodies he finds, he sends home, knowing what is coming. With his son Rory (Tremblay) being an Asperger’s sufferer, he accidently unlocks the code trapped within the system.

Government agent Traeger (Brown) is trying to unlock the system and when the captured Predator escapes, Quinn must team up with other soldiers branded crazy, Nebraska (Rhodes), Coyle (Key), Baxley (Jane), Lynch (Allen) and Nettles (Aguilera) who help scientist Casey (Munn) find a solution for the new Predator problem.

 

Thoughts on The Predator

 

Characters – Quinn McKenna is a sniper who finds himself in the middle of the latest Predator ship crash landing, surviving his first encounter with the creature, he uses the technology to escape, he must use his training to protect his son and save the world from the impending attack. We do know he isn’t the best family man, but this night should bring him closer to his son. Nebraska is one of the ‘crazy’ soldiers, he will help Quinn becoming the connection between the rest pushing them to do the right thing. Rory is the Asperger’s sufferer that can solve puzzles others can barely unpack, he is your typical different student and school, the outsider if you like. Casey is the scientist bought in to help understand just what is happening with the Predator’s visiting Earth and certain questions about their DNA. Traeger is the government that is trying to keep the lid on everything, he will kill anyone that cross the government to keep secrets and has a dark sense of humour. The rest of the soldiers, Coyle, Baxley, Lynch and Nettles do have their own problems from serving in the military with this battle giving them a chance to redeem themselves.

PerformancesBoyd Holbrook in the leading role is good for the film, he doesn’t reach the levels of Arnie and will fit in well with the rest of the leads. Trevante Rhodes is the guy you most want to watch, he gets the best scenes for the military unit. Jacob Tremblay is getting a reputation for playing kids with troubled sides, he seems to be excellent at this type of role, this however would be his weakest outing so far. Olivia Munn is good even though she doesn’t get the best scenes to work with. Sterling K Brown makes for a great fun human villain and the rest of the unit show good chemistry.

StoryThe story here follows another group of soldiers that come face to face with a Predator and must fight back to survive, this time we have a bigger, badder Predator. Now is a fun story to watch, however if you are a fan of the original this will not give you everything you want to see. The biggest plus in this movie is explaining why the Predators visit Earth, watching this is the right move for the franchise. The story does show insensitive when it comes to dealing with the military unit that clearly have their own mental health problems which sadly gets overlooked and turned into a running joke. For a man of Shane Black’s calibre, we would expect better written scenes, instead of just lazy insults. The key element to take away from the story is that we are watching something fun that has moved away from the original tone.

Action/Adventure/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is big, we get the fights which are big and bloody which is all we want to see, the horror does take a back burner as even when the film tries to be suspenseful it falls short, but the blood does help us out here. The sci-fi side of the film comes from trying to build a bigger world for the Predators to visit from.

SettingsThe film doesn’t make use of the settings too, we get the woodland area which plays into Predators speciality.

Special EffectsThe effects here are very weak for the budget, the opening sequence alone is poor for what we would expect, when it comes to the camouflage ability doesn’t even look better than the 87 film.


Scene of the Movie –
Hello big boy.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Making a joke of the mental health problems soldiers face.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun sequel, the tone does stay the same from start to finish which other big blockbusters have failed to do, we get to see more about the history of Predators and most importantly we learn just how deadly they can be.

 

Overall: Fun and enjoyable.

Rating

 

 

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Wonder (2017)

Director: Stephen Chbosky

Writer: Stephen Chbosky, Steve Conrad, Jack Thorne (Screenplay) R.J. Palacio (Novel)

Starring: Jacob Tremblay, Owen Wilson, Julia Roberts, Izabela Vidovic, Noah Jupe, Mancy Patinkin, Danielle Rose Russell

 

Plot: Based on the New York Times bestseller, WONDER tells the incredibly inspiring and heartwarming story of August Pullman, a boy with facial differences who enters fifth grade, attending a mainstream elementary school for the first time.


Tagline – Auggie Pullman will change your world

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Emotionally Moving

 

Story: Wonder starts as we meet the 10-year-old Auggie (Tremblay), he has had 21 surgeries to both save his life and rebuild his face after being born with a birth defect, he has been home schooled by his mother Isabel (Roberts) his whole life, with his father Nate (Wilson) and older sister Via (Vidovic) always there to support him, at home he is like no other 10-year-old.

Auggie is going to be starting middle school for the first time, this is a huge step for the young boy who is used to people staring at him, but now he enters school, where it is kids, who are less likely to accept him at first. Auggie hates school, he gets picked on because of his looks, but over time he learns to accept this and tries to let people in. This is where the story gets smart, we move away from seeing everything from Auggie’s perspective and follow of Via’s life has been affected by Auggie need the attention more, she is starting High School and is feeling just as alone in need of a friend. We follow fellow middle school student Jack Will (Jupe) one of the kids selected to try and help Auggie through school and how he feels about being pushed into being the friend. We finally follow Miranda (Russell) who was Via’s best friend and almost like a sister to Auggie too, she has become distant from Via and we learn her growth through the year.

We follow a school year for these people, the highs, the lows and the moments that will shape their futures.

 

Thoughts on Wonder

 

Characters – Auggie the 10-year-old born with a birth defect, that still has the scares from the surgeries to save his life, he learns about starting school, meeting new people who instantly question his looks, he learns a lot in this year, but most of all people learn a lot from his bravery. He dreams of space and loves Star Wars and uses it to help him through the difficult moments of his days. Nate is the father of the household, he loves his children and wants them to have the best future they can, he puts everything into a positive spin for Auggie. Isabel has home schooled Auggie for his whole life, she gave up her Masters to do this, with him starting school she can continue the work always worried about his well-being. Via the big sister, she does love her brother deeply, but we learn that she needs some attention too, she struggles inside with her problem, ones that aren’t shown, alone in her new high school, she does try to fit in and learns to break free. We do meet the fellow middle school students, we have the main bully who is a by the books character and we get the ones that want to accept Auggie, the ones that are brave enough to do this first, showing they accept the person other the look. Miranda was Via’s best friend, but this year she is different, we learn the reason for her actions through the film, but I do wish we spent more time with this character because of the moments we learn about.

PerformancesJacob Tremblay, you know the kid from Room, he is fantastic in this leading role again, showing us that was not a one off, this kid has talent. Julia Roberts is strong through the film, while I wouldn’t say the character is overly challenging to play I do think Roberts brings it to life in ways only she could. Owen Wilson, where has he been for the last couple of years? This shows that we missed him, he is a great father figure, he has a smile on his face hiding his own fears in every scene and the one scene he is broken, you join him in his tears. Izabela Vidovic mostly likely what get as many people talking about her performances, but don’t take anything away from her, she is great and at times you want to spend more time with her characters story. The rest of the cast do a wonderful job too as we understand every decision the characters are making.

StoryThe story does focus mostly on Auggie and his first day at school, leading into his first year at school, which on its own, is something we have seen before. It is a good go to story because it will teach about understanding people’s differences both physical and mental, this check all those boxes. Where this story is stronger than just that is following the lives of the people around Auggie, be it his sister who doesn’t get an equal amount of attention while having her own problems. A best friend that’s world has come crashing down and has pushed people away or the young boy that already has the pressure thrown on him, now needing to learn to accept an outsider, while he was once that outsider. I think showing how the lives of others have change is just as important for this story to show, the year these characters must go through.

FamilyI do think the family could enjoy this, I think it has enough to make you smile and laugh together and the moments that will make you cry too.

SettingsNew York is the setting, one of the busiest cities in the world and it shows how Auggie will need to get used to the crowds that are out of his control, where people will judge him unfairly, the school is the first steps for him.


Scene of the Movie –
Graduation.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While diving into Miranda’s year, we miss that one scene where the two make-ups.

Final ThoughtsThis film will make laugh, smile and cry all the way through, it has so much about accepting people for being different both for their flaws and strengths.

 

Overall: Fantastic, moving, emotional and beautiful movie.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Shut In (2016)

shutDirector: Farren Blackburn

Writer: Christina Hodson (Screenplay)

Starring: Naomi Watts, Oliver Platt, Charlie Heaton, Jacob Tremblay, Crystal Balint, Alex Braunstein, David Cubitt

 

Plot: A heart-pounding thriller about a widowed child psychologist who lives in an isolated existence in rural New England. Caught in a deadly winter storm, she must find a way to rescue a young boy before he disappears forever.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Thriller

 

Story: Shut In starts as we see Mary (Watts) split from her husband having to send her son Stephen (Heaton) away for school after he got expelled from their local one. During the trip son and father end up in an argument leading to a tragic car accident killing the husband and leaving Stephen paralyzed.

Mary works as a child psychologist and her main patient is Tom (Tremblay) and he is going to getting transferred to another city. Mary struggling with her grief of losing her husband and having to take care of the shell that was once her son is stuck trying to make the difficult decision about his future.

Her quite time is ruined when Tom returns during a storm only to go on the run with the whole town searching for him. Mary must turn to a fellow professional Dr Wilson (Platt) for advice with the strange goings on within the house, but the reality will be the twist she will never see coming.

Shut In is a horror thriller that starts off being pretty routine before taking a twist about what is really going on, this twist saves the film because it wasn’t going in a very interesting direction until this revealed.  Everything plays on the mind about what could be done in the same situation but in the end, doesn’t give you too many options on where the film could go.

Watts is solid but you are questioning her choice to be in this role as such an established actress, while Jacob Tremblay is horrible underused in the film for such a young talent. Oliver Platt is also wasted in his role but Charlie Heaton is the star of the film once we get to the final act. In the end this is a standard horror thriller that never reaches the real heights of it’s potential.

 

Overall: This thriller tries to deliver a knock out but in the end finishes with a whimper.

Ratingcard

 

 

Room (2015)

roomDirector: Lenny Abrahamson

Writer: Emma Donoghue (Screenplay) Emma Donoghue (Novel)

Starring: Brie Larson, Jacob Tremblay, Sean Bridges, Wendy Crewson, Joan Allen, William H Macy

 

Plot: After five-year-old Jack and his mother escape from the enclosed surroundings that Jack has known his entire life, the boy makes a thrilling discovery: the outside world.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Incredible, Wow, a Masterpiece

 

Story: Room starts on Jack’s (Tremblay) 5th birthday, Jack lives in a room with his mother Ma (Larson), they have lived there for at least all of Jack’s life getting what they need from Old Nick (Bridges) who visits while Jack sleeps. The two are imprisoned in the Room where Ma has to lie to her own son about the world to protect him from Old Nick. The truth is easy even if shocking to deal with but once they escape Jack learns about the world for the first time, while Ma has to deal with the changes the world has gone through since she was last outside the Room.ma jack

Room does something not a single before it has ever done, it shows the real effects of what would happen to a mother who had experienced the outside world before being imprisoned as well as showing how leaving a Room for the first time can open up the eyes to the innocent. The film could have only covered the action, thriller mystery side of the story along with a criminal case but this only shows the human effects to our two victims. When it comes to story we get to see something almost perfect that will stick with you for years to come, because this could happen to someone in real life.

 

Actor Review

 

Brie Larson: Ma is the mother of Jack, she has taught him that everything in the room is all that there is until one day she decides to tell him the truth as they look to escape the room and discover the world for themselves. Brie gives one of the best performance of the year throughout here.

Jacob Tremblay: Jack is the young boy just turning five living in the room with his mother. He gives us his version of the world showing how innocent he is even through the situation which he is in happens to be much more serious. Jacob is brilliant in this role for such a young actor.

Support Cast: Room has a supporting cast that all gives great performance helping with the changes that Ma and Jack have to go through.

Director Review: Lenny AbrahamsonLenny gives us a film that will end up being one that sticks with you for years and will be one of the best seen this year.

 

Drama: Room shows the effects that the situation would have on the victims showing just how difficult it would be continuing.

Settings: Room uses the settings brilliantly with the room being the prison and seeing how Jack sees the world for the first time feels innocent throughout.
Suggestion
: Room is a film you simply have to go and watch. (Must Watch)

 

Best Part: I am only going to mention the time it happens as not to give away what it is, just before the Hour mark.

Worst Part: Nothing.

 

Believability: While the story is fictional, the reality this could have happened or be happening.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for 3 Golden Globes including Best Picture, Actress and Screenplay, along with a string of awards.

Oscar Chances: This is be nominated and should win a few.

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

Tagline: Love knows no boundaries

 

Overall: Brilliant, stunning, get my thesaurus to fill in the rest of the superlatives for this film.

Ratingcard