Wildling (2018)

Director: Fritz Bohm

Writer: Fritz Bohm, Florian Eder (Screenplay)

Starring: Bel Powley, Brad Dourif, Liv Tyler, Collin Kelly-Sordelet, James Le Gros, Troy Ruptash

Plot: A blossoming teenager uncovers the dark secret behind her traumatic childhood.


Tagline – Discover your true nature.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fantasy Filled Horror

Story: Wildling starts as we meet young Anna who is living with her father, only known as Daddy (Dourif) in a remote cabin in the woods, she isn’t allowed out and has been raised to believe a creature will get her if she leaves the house, when she starts getting older, Daddy starts drugging Anna to prevent the aging process, when Daddy shoots himself, Anna is rescued.

Anna (Powley) is taken in by Ellen Cooper (Tyler) and her brother Ray (Kelly-Sordelet) who help her adjust to the world, despite the fact she is still in fear of the wildling out to get her.

Thoughts on Wildling

Characters – Anna was raised by a man in the middle of the woods, she has been drugged to stop her going through her womanhood until she is rescued. Taken in by the local sheriff, she learns about the world for the first time, only she isn’t prepared for everything, finding it hard to adjust to everything. Daddy is the man that has raised Anna, he did educate her, while warning her about the outdoors, while he does drug her, the mystery is around why he kept her isolated. Ellen is the local sheriff that takes Anna in, she does her best to teach her about being a woman, while others just want to lock her away. Ray is the sister of Ellen that is still in high school, he tries to help her on a social standpoint, while being one of the only people left for her to trust.

PerformancesBel Powley is great in this leading role, she must go through a transformation and play the fish out of water figure too. Brad Dourif is just as creepy and you need him to be, always going to work in this type of role, with Liv Tyler being the cop that believes they know what will be right for victim, trying to be the role model figure.

StoryThe story here follows a young girl that is raised in the woods, only to be released to discover who she really is and what she is capable off. This story does follow the traditions of seeing a young girl taken and raised in secret, before something happens to bring her into the real world, this side of things has been done before, it works and is an effective way to bring a stranger into a modern world. Where this story takes an interesting turn comes from the reason behind why she was being kept, we do get to see what she really is, but we don’t get to see if she is a threat to everybody else, we do get a couple of message in this film too that want to point out certain motives in hunting, but overall the story keeps us guessing and surprised by the truth.

Fantasy/HorrorThis film does dive into fantasy when it comes to learn what Anna really is, we have ideas early on, but we are never truly sure what she will become, this does help with the horror side of the film because it keeps us waiting to see if there will be more bloodshed.

SettingsThe film is set in a town surrounded by woodlands, this shows first where she was raised and where the people will welcome her, right back to where she feels more comfortable.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to show the wounds and the look of the Wildling figure, there give us a creepy but natural looking creature and the blood isn’t afraid to be splashed about here.


Scene of the Movie – Home from the party.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We could spend more time learn the normal human life.

Final Thoughts This is a fun fantasy horror, it doesn’t hide the blood and is happy to give us a twist on the traditional storytelling.

Overall: Fantasy Horror 101

That Thing You Do! (1996)

Director: Tom Hanks

Writer: Tom Hanks (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Tom Everett Scott, Liv Tyler, Steve Zahn, Johnathon Schaech, Ethan Embry, Charlize Theron

 

Plot: A local Pennsylvania band scores a one hit wonder in 1964 and rides the star-making machinery as long as they can, with lots of help from its manager.


Tagline – In every life there comes a time when that dream you dream becomes that thing you do.

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict:

 

Story: That Thing You Do! Starts in a small town in Pennsylvania in 1964, where four young men Jimmy (Schaech), Guy (Scott), Lenny (Zahn) and the Bass Player (Embry) are trying to make a nae for themselves and when they win a talent contest, the band known as ‘The One-Ders’ grab the attention of the state.

When Mr White (Hanks) discovers the band, he rebrands them ‘The Wonders’ and soon their hit ‘That Thing You Do!’ rises up the charts becoming an overnight sensation.

 

Thoughts on That Thing You Do!

 

Characters – Mr White is the music manager who takes over control of ‘The Wonders’ he knows how to make them bigger than they are and shows them how to go from small crowds to the main attraction to national success, however he makes sure he keeps them doing the song that made them popular over trying to make them do anything new. Jimmy is the lead singer of the band and along with his girlfriend has always tried to make the band their own style, always trying to find a clever snappy name for them. Guy is bought in last minute to become the drummer and soon becomes the man of mystery in the band, the one that pushes them to up the tempo of the band sound. Faye is Jimmy’s girlfriend that has supported the band from day one, she will follow them on tour.

PerformancesTom Hanks is a busy man on this film taking writing and directing too, he is great as the manager trying to make the band the next big thing, he shows he knows this side of the business with the character too. Johnathon Schaech, Tom Everett Scott, Steve Zahn and Ethan Embry as the band are good they have great chemistry together. Liv Tyler is good with her role slowly turning into the background roll in the film.

StoryThe story follows a young band that rise from small-town band to national success with their one hit wonder song that is filled with good feeling. We see how the band can be led down one the path that is best for their quick success over being shown about lasting success in a cut throat 60s music industry, where everyone wanted to become the next Beetles. The story is shown in a pace which shows the band just loving the success that is coming their direction while they have their own issues which must be put aside to keep the band together and we see how they must learn to handle success.

Comedy/MusicThe comedy in the film comes from the supporting cast where Lenny get the laughs with his enthusiasm about the band. The music is mostly the same song being played, but it isn’t one that gets annoying though.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the small humble beginnings the band has to just how big they becomes with each location becoming bigger to mirror their success.


Scene of the Movie –
That Thing You Do! The song.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The Bass Player not actually having a name.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good example of how bands can have one song which makes them massive only to see them struggle when it comes to trying to make a name for themselves in a new booming industry.

 

Overall: Hanks is just as great behind the camera as he is on front of it.

Rating

 

 

The Strangers (2008)

Director: Bryan Bertino

Writer: Bryan Bertino (Screenplay)

Starring: Scott Speedman, Liv Tyler, Gemma Ward, Kip Weeks, Laura Margolis

 

Plot: A young couple staying in an isolated vacation home are terrorized by three unknown assailants.


Tagline – Because you were home.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Suspense Filled Horror

 

Story: The Strangers starts when struggling couple James (Speedman) and Kristen (Tyler) head off for a romantic weekend away things don’t go as planned as the two don’t let things go as they want to leave. When Kristen gets a return guest she believes she isn’t alone and soon they learn how many guests they have.

The strangers Dollface (Ward) Pin-Up Girl (Margolis) and the leader a man with a mask (Weeks) refuse to let the leave, terrorising them in their own holiday location. This becomes a battle to survive against a calculated enemy.

 

Thoughts on The Strangers

 

Characters – Kristen is our leading lady in this, she goes on the trip to look to save her relationship but you feel she is too far gone after whatever pulled them apart. She must stay one step ahead of the strangers too. James is the partner of Kristen, he is willing to give her the space she wants to help save their relationship too, he offers himself to save her too. The strangers characters spend most of the film stalking their victims, they seem to be playing it safe letting them make the mistakes but also teasing exits too.

PerformancesLiv Tyler is the highlight of the film with a strong performance of terror with Scott Speedman being good, the three strangers performers are good throughout looking menacing through the film.

StoryThe story is very simple, a couple get terrorised in their own home by strangers, we don’t learn their motives, we only seem to follow the basics of building up but it works on many levels to keep us on edge through the film. if you want a full effects of everything you will be left disappointed but it was good for not giving us something you would expect.

Horror/MysteryThe horror is based on the idea of being invaded by an unknown group of people that seemingly just want chaos. The mystery never gets solved which is important for us to see too.

SettingsThe film is set in one home in the middle of nowhere which is easily the highlight of the film, it shows us not being able to find a way to escape.

Special EffectsThe effects are used when needed which are good to show where things could go.


Scene of the Movie –
The aftermath.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t see enough of what Strangers do.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that is filled with suspense which is great, but if you want to see the horror things will not being what you are expecting.

 

Overall: Horror for all the fans.

Rating

 

 

Jamie Marks is Dead (2014)

Director: Carter Smith

Writer: Carter Smith (Screenplay) Christopher Barzak (Novel)

Starring: Morgan Saylor, Noah Silver, Cameron Monaghan, Brett DelBuono, Fred Tolliver Jr, Ronen Rubinstein, Liv Tyler, Judy Greer

 

Plot: In a wintry small town, the body of a teenager named Jamie Marks is found by the river. Adam, the star of his cross-country team, becomes fascinated with Jamie-a boy nobody really knew or interacted with, except occasionally to bully him. When Jamie’s ghost begins to appear both to Adam and Gracie, the classmate who discovered the body, Adam is caught between two worlds. He has a budding romance with Gracie, but he also feels a deep connection to Jamie, who brings him closer to the world of the undead.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Drama

 

Story: Jamie Marks is Dead starts with the discovery of Jamie Marks (Silver) body in a riverine in the small town he is from, bullied by most, it is Adam (Monaghan) who looks back at his brief memories of his time with Jamie wanting to pay respect to where he was discovered, where he meets Gracie (Saylor) the girl who found the body.

When Adam becomes friends with Gracie the pair start to get visits from the ghost of Jamie which drives Adam’s interest into what happened to him leading him down the narrow road between life and death as he is left to question his own sexuality and uncover the mystery surrounding Jamie’s death.

 

Thoughts on Jamie Marks is Dead

 

Characters/PerformanceAdam is the star runner at his high school, he keeps to himself without getting involved in being or conducting any bullying. He gets drawn to what happened to one of the victims of the bullying as he hits the awkward age where he must discover his own sexuality. Gracie is the one friend Adam finds himself having, she is also a lonely character that is seeing the ghost of Jamie too but not on the same level as Adam. She does also give the warnings about getting to know the ghost can be. Jamie is the bullied school boy who ends up dead, he returns as a ghost to show Adam a way through life getting him to help solve his murder or the mystery surround his death.

The performance are all good from the main actors, they help unfold the story for us in a way that keeps us interested in seeing where it will go.

StoryThe story does follow on high school student that is trying to figure out who he is, be it in life, he sexuality and his draw towards a recent death in the town. Looking at how it all unfolds we get elements of the ghosts of our past guiding us to the answers that seem easiest rather than the ones we need to see. This is slow moving at time but does keep you full attention to just what will happen.

SettingsThe small town settings is always good for the dramas as it shows how the town can show us just how cruel people can be and how easily the stories can spread.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that is good for what it is telling us, we have a good story, good acting and a meaningful message.

 

Overall: Drama that keeps your attention without being edge of your seat.

Rating

 

 

Space Station 76 (2014)

Director: Jack Plotnick

Writer: Jennifer Elise Cox, Sam Pancake, Jack Plotnick, Kali Rocha, Michael Stoyanov (Screenplay)

Starring: Patrick Wilson, Liv Tyler, Marisa Coughlan, Matt Bomer, Jerry O’Connell, Kylie Rogers

 

Plot: A 1970s version of the future, where personalities and asteroids collide.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: So Much Potential

 

Story: Space Station 76 starts on board the Omega 76 as Captain Glenn (Wilson) is welcoming a new crew mate LT Commander Jessica (Tyler), the ship is filled with colourful characters with Misty (Coughlan), Ted (Bomer), Steve (O’Connell) and Sunshine (Rogers).

Upon her time on the ship Jessica learns about the people on the ship as we witness all their different personal issues on this lonely voyage.

 

Thoughts on Space Station 76

 

Characters/PerformanceCaptain Glenn is a depressed, social awkward frustrated by the lack of promotions man who pushes everyone away on the ship. Jessica is the new crew member trying to make friends only finding herself dealing with jealousy and other issues from the current crew. The rest of the characters included a bored wife, hardworking engineer and a young lonely girl.

Performance wise, everyone is fine with Patrick Wilson getting to have the most fun through the film bring his own quirky style to his character.

StoryThe story follow social situation on a space craft set in the 70s, it is just an oddball drama. We have plenty of generic storylines to follow but nothing overly fancy for us to follow or get interested in, this would have worked as more of a full-blown comedy.

Comedy/Sci-FiThe comedy is mostly quirky through the film not making you laugh at any jokes just odd things that happen, the sci-fi idea is interesting seeing this idea of space travel from what is meant to be the 70s is fun to watch.

SettingsThe setting is good for this film because it is a time and a solo spaceship which works for what it is trying to do.

Special Effects –  We have solid but nothing special from the effects that all look low budget.

Final ThoughtsThis is slightly misleading film, it is a lot of just social situations on a spaceship where people now live, we don’t get an idea of the mission the plan or the point.

 

Overall: Boring film in all honesty.

Rating