ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – J – Jasper Jones (2017)

Director: Rachel Perkins

Writer: Shaun Grant (Screenplay) Craig Silvey (Story)

Starring: Levi Miller, Toni Collette, Hugo Weaving, Angourie Rice, Dan Wyllie, Matt Nable, Myles Pollard, Aaron L McGrath

 

Plot: JASPER JONES is a coming of age story about Charlie Bucktin, a bookish boy of 14. On the night that Jasper Jones, the town’s mixed race outcast shows him the dead body of young Laura Wishart, Charlie’s life is changed forever. Entrusted with this secret and believing Jasper to be innocent, Charlie embarks on a dangerous journey to find the true killer. Set over the scorching summer holidays of 1969, Charlie defeats the local racists, faces the breakup of his parents and falls head over heels in love as he discovers what it means to be truly courageous.


Tagline – The iconic Australian best seller now a major most picture

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful Mystery

 

Story: Jasper Jones starts when Charlie Bucktin (Miller) gets awoken by the town outcast Jasper Jones (McGrath) after he discovers a dead body of a local girl on his property. Asking Charlie to help him learn who was behind the crime, Charlie must keep his mouth shut when he knows the girl is the sister of his friend Eliza (Rice).

Setting out to solve the mystery Jasper must evade the curfew put on the kids of the town as he believes the town stranger Mad Jack Lionel (Weaving) is the man behind it all, but the mystery is harder to solve than this.

 

Thoughts on Jasper Jones

 

Characters – Charlie Bucktin is the teenager that is in the middle of the mystery about the death of the girl in the town. He befriends the one person everyone thinks it is as he must see the prejudice that the non-locals deal with being in the town. Ruth is Charlie’s mother that is always worrying about Charlie when he keeps breaking the curfew. Eliza is the sister of the dead girl, she becomes friends with Charlie as she needs someone to keep her feeling the right mind set during the wait. Jasper Jones is the outcast of the town who is easily the suspect the town will blame for the murder.

PerformancesLevi Miller is good in the leading role, we have seen him in other movies and he has been making a reputation with this type of role. Toni Collette shines as we know she always will, she is such an incredible actress. Angourie Rice after The Nice Guys is an actress we want to see where she went next, here she is good and shows her potential. The rest of the stars are good for what they need to do.

StoryThe story follows the mystery surrounding the death of a young woman and the mystery about who was the one responsible. We get secrets which help with the mystery as well as dealing with racial behaviour of the town’s people towards the ones that aren’t Australian. We do touch on other important subjects which come from the ending of the film, so won’t be spoiling them. This feels like a story that should have such a big impact though we don’t get enough time to process each moment to its full effect, this only disappoints because you do need to process large parts of this film.

MysteryThe mystery in this film comes from just wondering who was behind the death of the girl, even though this isn’t the only major talking point in the film as we end up seeing other subjects getting dealt with.

SettingsThe small town setting in one that works for the film, it shows you could never know everything about your neighbours and you will need to be friends when things go wrong.


Scene of the Movie –
The truth about the body.

That Moment That Annoyed Me So many serious subjects, not enough time to process.

Final ThoughtsThis does feel like a massively powerful movie that just doesn’t give us the time to process all the major talking points within the movie, this needed to be longer or a television show.

 

Overall: Too much to process at times.

Rating

 

 

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A Wrinkle in Time (2018)

Director: Ava DuVernay

Writer: Jennifer Lee, Jeff Stockwell (Screenplay) Madeleine L’Engle (Novel)

Starring: Storm Reid, Oprah Winfrey, Reese Witherspoon, Mindy Kaling, Levi Miller, Deric McCabe, Chris Pine, Guge Mbatha-Raw, Zach Galifianakis

 

Plot: After the disappearance of her scientist father, three peculiar beings send Meg, her brother, and her friend to space in order to find him.


Tagline – Be a warrior

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Dragging Adventure

 

Story: A Wrinkle in Time starts when a trouble high school student Meg (Reid) hasn’t given up hope on being reunited with her father Mr Murry (Pine) after his sudden disappearance. Meg has become closed off from the world with her adopted brother Charles Wallace (McCabe) noticing the change in her. Meg, Charles and Calvin (Miller) get visited by Mrs Whatsit (Witherspoon) that opens up the possibilities for answers.

Mrs Whatsit takes the three children on an adventure through the universe with Mrs Which (Winfrey) and Mrs Who (Kaling), who believe they can locate Mr Murry after his research has taken him across the universe unlike anyone in human history.

 

Thoughts on A Wrinkle in Time

 

Characters – Meg is an outsider teenage girl, daughter of two brilliant scientists, with her father disappeared for four years now. She went from the popular out going girl to the shy closed off one. she has never given up hope of finding her father, which does leave questions about her relationship with her mother, she gets a chance to find her father with the will she shows in her heart. Mrs Which leads the three light entities that can help Meg travel the universe to find her father, she isn’t just guiding Meg, but the newest member of the team Mrs Whatsit. Mrs Whatsit is the bubbly member of the light entities, she is on her first mission of guidance which does see her make mistakes along the way. Mrs Who is the third member of the team, she is always positive like the rest only she gets the least amount of time to do anything of the three. Mr Murry is the father that has gone missing, he is a brilliant scientist that has always believed in travel through the universe to be possible and has been searching for a way to achieve. Calvin is the high school friend of Meg that ends up on the journey, he wants to support her even when it shows his own weakness in the world.

PerformancesStorm Reid is the highlight of the film which sees her going on the adventure to find her father, this is a disappointing as we do have a talent cast, only they just don’t seem to shine on the levels you would expect them to reach.

StoryThe story here follows a teenage girl that gets to do on an adventure across the universe in search for her father through the powers of light entities. This is a story that has come from a popular novel and is meant to show the science behind potential travel through the universe and how the power is within us all. This is a story that just drags along, it doesn’t offer anything to the world we are entering. This story could have so much potential and ends up just glossing over too much, making it a hard watch.

Adventure/Fantasy/Sci-FiThe adventure side of the film shows the journey that takes the children across the universe to see just where one’s father has gone, this does show us the fantasy elements of the film in the sci-fi universe we end up going along.

SettingsThe film is set in a fictional land where the people can travel to unknown planets in the universe, each one has its own unique look.

Special EffectsThe visual effects used to create the different worlds look beautiful, only they don’t seem to make anything feel as important to the story.


Scene of the Movie –
Understand other people’s problems from behind closed doors.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This story just doesn’t become interesting.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that had so much potential only to fall so short, it has an amazing cast that just don’t get a chance to shine, the story just doesn’t get us going like it should do.

 

Overall: Disappointing.

Rating

 

 

Better Watch Out (2017)

Director: Chris Peckover

Writer: Chris Peckover, Zack Kahn (Screenplay) Zack Kahn (Story)

Starring: Virginia Madsen, Patrick Warburton, Olivia DeJonge, Dacre Montgomery, Levi Miller, Ed Oxenbould

 

Plot: On a quiet suburban street, a babysitter must defend a twelve-year-old boy from intruders, only to discover it’s far from a normal home invasion.


Tagline – You Might Be Home But Your’e Not Alone

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Throughout

 

Story: Better Watch Out starts as Ashley (DeJonge) a babysitter is about to leave town, she has agreed to take one more job for the Lerner family babysitting Luke (Miller). Luke happens to be madly in love with Ashley and plays to try and make a move tonight, but things take a turn into a sinister when the two get invaded by a stranger.

This night will change both their lives forever, as the night goes into a new direction as everything unfolds.

 

Thoughts on Better Watch Out

 

Characters – Ashley is the gorgeous babysitter that can get any guy she wants, she tries to treat Luke with respect as a young adult, but soon takes full control of the night in a battle to survive a game she never thought she would be involved in. Luke is the kid that has a crush on his babysitter, he wants to make his move tonight as it will be his last chance before she moves. Garrett is Luke’s best friend and has been giving him advice, bad advice how to win over Ashley, he isn’t prepared for the direction the night goes.

PerformancesOlivia DeJonge is great through this film, she takes charge when needed and must do a lot of acting through her expression for certain parts of the movie. Levi Miller is fantastic in this role, he takes it to a level you wouldn’t imagine once you learn the motive of his character for the night. The rest of the cast is good throughout the film, without taking the spotlight off the leading two characters.

StoryThe story follows a babysitter and the kid she is looking after as the night goes in a direction they didn’t see it going, there is a lot of foreshadowing used in this film, almost to a level where it is right on the nose. The twist is takes also gives us a new idea of where horror could go, it never takes itself too seriously and you can see how the natural character reactions play into the age of the characters involved. This is a lot of fun, doesn’t rely on twists or shocks, just follows the path to see how things could end up going wrong.

Horror/ComedyThe horror does work in the film, any gore moments are off camera, which can take away from one certain moment, but also lets you think about what could be happening. The comedy comes from the reactions to things not going right and the recovery to try and fix this, it works because the film doesn’t set out to be a comedy nor a full blown horror.

SettingsThe film takes place inside one house, this works for the film because it adds shock value to what is going on with everything, there isn’t a way to communicate outside and escaping could cause death, so we know there isn’t an easy way out.

Special EffectsThe effects are mostly off camera, which works and doesn’t, there is one moment that could have been one of the most shocking moments in horror this year, but it also lets you think how it could look.


Scene of the Movie –
Paint can.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It needed that one moment of pure horror violence.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun horror comedy, it has laughs and goes in a direction you wouldn’t expect.

 

Overall: Fun Horror Comedy

Rating