Black Mirror – Hang the DJ

Director: Timothy Van Patten

Writer: Charlie Brooker (Screenplay)

Starring: Georgina Campbell, Joe Cole, George Blagden

 

Plot: A new dating app hits the scene, but insists that singles need to meet before 12 hours.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Perfect Story on Love

 

Story: Hang the DJ starts as we meet Amy (Campbell) and Frank (Cole) two young singletons going into the world of dating with this new app that decides how long you are meant to be with the person they have a date with, the two have a wonderful date but are only assigned 12 hours together. They both feel the spark, but must follow the system and find themselves in longer relationship with their next matches.

 

Thoughts on Hang the DJ

 

StoryThe story here tackles modern dating and the use of apps to help find the so called perfect match. We know the systems are flawed when it comes to knowing being matched up, but this one takes us into a world where we are meant to go through with the full length of a relationship with our matches. As someone who is going or trying to go through dating this is a wonderful look at how the world of dating could go if technology takes over.


Scene of the Episode –
Looking at the clock.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The world could have been explained more, like do they have jobs or not, what is this world all about.

Final ThoughtsThis could easily be the best episodes of Black Mirror, it is one that takes a look at the real-world ideas of how internet dating can never compare to just meeting someone out of the blue, however hard that may well be. This is a story people can relate to moments, from different relationships and does this in a way like nothing we have ever seen before.

 

Overall: This will bring the biggest smile to your face in the series.

Rating

 

 

Julia Roberts Weekend – Secret in Their Eyes (2015)

secretDirector: Billy Ray

Writer: Billy Ray (Screenplay) Juan Jose Campanella, Eduardo Sacheri (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Chiwetel Ejiofor, Nicole Kidman, Julia Roberts, Dean Norris, Alfred Molina, Joe Cole, Michael Kelly

 

Plot: A tight-knit team of rising investigators, along with their supervisor, is suddenly torn apart when they discover that one of their own teenage daughters has been brutally murdered.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacklustre Thriller

 

Story: Secret in Their Eyes starts as we see Ray Kasten (Ejiofor) meeting his old team and now DA Claire Sloane (Kidman) Chief Investigator Jessica Cobb (Roberts) and fellow political roles Reg Seifert (Kelly). We flash back to when they were a team of investigators with Bumpy Willis (Norris) when they are tracking terrorists only for one of their own daughters Carolyn Cobb (Graham) being murdered next to their investigation.

Ray has spent the last 13 years of his life searching for the killer and now he believes he has figured out the person responsible and wants the case re-opened between the old team.

 

Thoughts on Secret in Their Eyes

 

StoryThis is an American remake of the Oscar winning movie that has a very bland story which should be a very intense story, the scenes all flow so slowly you just don’t believe this is a case unfolding and the jumps in time are too often leaving us all over the place in the end.

Crime/MysteryThe crime story should be one of the most intense ones we have seen, but it doesn’t work out that way because the film spends way too much time balancing the murder case with a potential terrorist investigation without even giving us the mystery to try and solve ourselves.

Characters/PerformanceThe team are all believable as a unit but as solo characters you just don’t feel the desperation in Ray, the power in what should be a power-hungry role in Claire but you do like get to feel the grief through Jess’s character.

Ejiofor, Kidman and Roberts are all solid but just don’t reach the ability we know all three are capable off. The rest of the performances are all solid without stealing the scene.

SettingsWe have the setting in and around LA without managing to use any settings which are easy to help us identify where the film is set.

Final ThoughtsFor the talent involved this is a very slow, poorly acted thriller that lacks any suspense to the levels it could have got too.

 

Overall: This will always be forgettable in the arena of remakes.

Ratingcard

 

 

A Long Way Down (2014)

Director: Pascal Chaumeil

Writer: Jack Thorne (Screenplay) Nick Hornby (Novel)

Starring: Pierce Brosnan, Toni Collette, Imogen Poots, Aaron Paul, Zara White, Joe Cole, Sam Neill

 

Plot: Four people meet on New Year’s Eve and form a surrogate family to help one another with the difficulties of their lives.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Underrated Gem

 

Story: A Long Way Down starts on New Year’s Eve as disgraced TV celebrity Martin (Brosnan) is planning to kill himself only to get interrupted by the lonely Maureen (Collette), heartbroken Jess (Poots) and cancer stricken JJ (Paul) who are also using the same rooftop to plan their suicide.

All going against the suicide the four make a pact to not kill themselves until at least Valentine’s day and support each other through the six weeks once the tabloids want to make a story of why they were together. The four become good friends exposing their own secrets to why they want to escape their lives.

 

Thoughts on A Long Way Down

 

Characters/PerformanceMartin is the disgraced TV talk show host, his small mistake has ruined his career, his family and even finding himself in jail. Now out of jail he wants to kill himself to get away from the headlines. Maureen is a single mother spending everyday looking after her disabled son, not getting any real free time. Jess is the daughter of politician whose sister vanished a few years before, she is a lost soul in the world turning to the drinks and drugs. JJ is an American musician who can’t find his place in the world.

Performance wise, I feel all four of the main actors give brilliant performances, Paul and Poots both show that this could be one of their best of their careers in film, while Brosnan and Collette must have theirs put on their underrated performances of their careers.

StoryThe story shows the struggles everyday people can have with depression, it shows that you can get support from people you didn’t even know. I think this film tackles the issues of depression on a brilliant level, and shows just how you can find light in the strangest places.

SettingsThe settings are used to show just how different the location these four have come from, it shows just how important finding help outside your comfort zone can be.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film I didn’t expect too much from and I can say I truly enjoyed the film, the characters all feel real, their problems feel real and most importantly the answers to the problems didn’t cure everything they helped them realizes how important they are.

 

Overall: This is a very underrated film I feel people should be seeing.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Green Room (2016)

grrrenDirector: Jeremy Saulnier

Writer: Jeremy Saulnier (Screenplay)

Starring: Anton Yelchin, Joe Cole, Alia Shawkat, Callum Turner, Imogen Potts, Patrick Stewart

 

Plot: After witnessing a murder, a punk rock band is forced into a vicious fight for survival against a group of maniacal skinheads.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the Best

 

Story: Green Room starts as we follow a punk rock band with Pat (Yelchin), Reece (Cole), Sam (Shawkat) and Tiger (Turner) as their members travelling to their next gig. When this gig goes bad their connection sends them to perform for a skinhead group with good pay.

With the show going well and the door open for them to leave the band walks into a crime scene when one of the guests has been killed. The band joined by Amber (Potts) must wait their time out within the Green Room while Darcy (Stewart) is getting his men ready to kill them all to cover up the murder and continue their business.

Green Room gives us a story that is easy to follow as we find our characters trapped surrounded by skinhead madmen who want to cover up their own crimes. This shows us how the unlikely fighters have to work together against men who don’t have an issue with killing anyone but we also see how this needs to be done without making too much of a mess. This is a tension filled horror thriller that is one that can be enjoyed throughout.

 

Actor Review

 

Anton Yelchin: Pat is one of the supporting member of the band who is the one that witnesses the murder leaving his friends trapped within the club. He tries to be the voice of reason throughout the situation. Anton gets to play a character that goes through full development through the film as we seen quiet band member turned into fighter by the end of the film.

Imogen Potts: Amber is one of the crew but it is her friend that is murdered leaving her life in just as much risk as the band, she has to unit with band to make it out of the situation alive. Imogen is good in this role.

Patrick Stewart: Darcy is the leader of the skinheads, he keeps calm while witnessing what is happening knowing that any exposure will be the end of the club. He has every single member under his thumb and doesn’t blink when it comes to showing his violent side. Patrick is brilliant in this role completely against anything you have ever seen him do before.

Alia Shawkat: Sam is the female member of the band who finds herself just as trapped as the rest, she does panic slightly more than the rest of band too. Alia does a good job in this supporting role.

Support Cast: Green Room has a supporting cast which includes the rest of the band as the skinheads with all their own motivations and desire to be violent.

Director Review: Jeremy SaulnierJeremy gives us a horror that is filled with tension and most importantly isn’t afraid to shy away from violence but also doesn’t use it for the sake of it.

 

Crime: Green Room starts with a murder before we get the cover up of the murder with more murder to cover up the crimes going on within the grounds.

Horror: Green Room puts our characters in a position where violence is the only way to survive against the violent men outside the room.

Thriller: Green Room keeps us on edge from the moment the band walks into the gig till the final moments of the film.

Settings: Green Room does everything you want a horror film to do, create the isolation our characters find themselves in.
Special Effects
: Green Room has brilliant effects to show you can do a lot with practical effects over CGI.

Suggestion: Green Room is one for the horror fans to go out and watch. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Patrick Stewart out of character.

Worst Part: I can see certain horror fans not enjoying this.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $5 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

Tagline: Now. Whatever you saw or did. Is no longer my concern. But let’s be clear. It won’t end well.

Trivia: Patrick Stewart said in an interview that when he received the script at his country home in England, it was so terrifying that he locked up his house, turned on the security system and poured himself a Scotch. He then knew that he wanted to play the Darcy Banker role because a character that horrifying would be an incredible challenge and make for a compelling film.

 

Overall: One of the best horrors of 2016.

Ratingcard

 

 

Pressure (2015)

pressureDirector: Ron Scalpello

Writer: Alan McKenna, Paul Staheli (Screenplay) Louis Baxter (Story)

Starring: Danny Huston, Matthew Goode, Joe Cole, Alan McKenna, Ian Pirie, Daisy Lowe, Gemita Samarra

 

Plot: A group of men are trapped in a small pod on the sea bed, after diving down to fix an oil pipeline and becoming separated from their ship.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Claustrophobic Thriller

 

Story: Pressure starts when maintenance is need to be done on an oil pipe and the only remaining divers Engel (Huston), Mitchell (Goode), Jones (Cole) and Hurst (McKenna) have to dive down fix the problem while an impending storm is approaching.

When the storm hits the four men find themselves stuck in the bell at the bottom of the ocean after their ship is sank during the storm. The men have to figure out a way to survive and escape their situation or be lost at the bottom of the ocean forever.

Pressure is a good thriller that puts us at the bottom of the ocean trying to find a way to survive against all the odds. We do get a lot of technical diving terms that isn’t easy to pick up for the none diving fans. It is hard to create an easy exit from the confined space which does help the story unfold but also leaves you wondering why they didn’t do any of the easier options which they try nearer the end. You never really believe these guys have a good enough plan to make it out though.

 

Actor Review

 

Danny Huston: Engel is the experienced diver who reluctantly has to go on this dive, he knows how to get the job done efficiently. When they become stranded he uses all his skills to stay calm as he knows what he needs to do to survive, even if it has ruthless methods behind it. Danny gives us a solid performance with his character filled with regret for a previous incident in his life.eksel

Matthew Goode: Mitchell is the man selected to lead the mission, he believes the company will come when they need help but when he faces the reality he must use his skills to try and survive. Matthew give us a solid performance but really doesn’t seem to get involved enough.

Joe Cole: Jones is the youngest member of the team with no real dive experience, he is on the job just to get used to being in the water while staying in the bell, but when things go wrong he must listen to the experts to survive. Joe gives us a good performance keeping up with the bigger names in the cast.

Alan McKenna: Hurst is the oldest member of the team, his diving time has taken its toll on his body and his alcohol problem doesn’t help his odds against. He is in no shape to be on this dive making him a risk to the whole team. Alan is solid in this role without being involved too long.

Support Cast: Pressure doesn’t have the biggest supporting cast with most others only appearing in the one or two scenes.

Director Review: Ron ScalpelloRon gives us a thriller that keeps our attention without being full tension filled.

 

Thriller: Pressure keeps the thriller on edge without being the full tension driven film.

Settings: Pressure uses the settings really well because there is nowhere to go.
Special Effects
: Pressure uses good effects to show the effects of deep sea diving.

Suggestion: Pressure is one to try especially as it is short it is an easy watch. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Final escape.

Worst Part: Too many technical terms.

 

Believability: It tries to focus on the real effects while the story is fictional.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

Overall: Thriller that doesn’t pull us in enough to the seriousness side of the story.

Ratingcard