Us (2019)

Director: Jordan Peele

Writer: Jordan Peele (Screenplay)

Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Elisabeth Moss, Anna Diop, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

 

Plot: A family’s serenity turns to chaos when a group of doppelgängers begin to terrorize them.


Tagline – We are our own worst enemy.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Horror That Will Stick with You for Days

 

Story: Us starts as the Wilson family, Adelaide (Nyong’o), Gabe (Duke), Zora (Joseph) and Jason (Alex) are on a vacation at a seaside resort, what starts as a routine vacation takes a turn when Adelaide’s past starts to see her acting differently.

That night the Wilson’s are visited by a mysterious family, who look and act just like them, they are in fact doppelgangers, the battle to survive is on, just as the world starts to turn to chaos.

 

Thoughts on Us

 

Characters – Adelaide is the mother and wife of the family, she has a past which sees her feeling uneasy about returning to the beach area, once that attack happens, she is determined to keep her family safe. Red the other version of Adelaide is the leader of the family that has come to terrorize has a story, fills in the blanks to just what is going on. Gabe is the father of the family, he is laidback which helps him be the good guy in the parental situation, he is the physical threat when it comes to the other version of the family, he also gets the laughs at times. Zora is the oldest child of the family, her athletic ability has always been encouraged, while she is meant to be like a moody teenager, only not the disconnected version of one. Jason is the youngster member of the family, he enjoys magic tricks, which will be his best for of defence against his doppelganger.

PerformancesLupita Nyong’o in the leading role is fantastic where like most of the cast takes on two roles, she brings both to life showing the determination to survive in one and the determination to live in the other. Winston Duke leads the supporting cast, he handles the comical moments in the film well too. The young stars Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex brings tow characters each to life too, the whole family does feel like they are together, with the chemistry shining through.

StoryThe story here follows a family that get terrorised by their own doppelgangers and must fight to survive their sinister motives. This is a story that is a lot deeper and one you really need to experience without knowing too much more. The concept behind the doppelgangers is dark, very dark one aspect of the film which will make you stop and think more after the film, than during. The pace of the story is great because unlike many home invasions, because it gets underway quickly, instead of just holding back the tension to why they are doing this. This is one story that will stick with you long after the experience, because you will come to realize just what we have been through.

Horror The horror in this film blends home invasion with bigger side of horror that is one that is only disturbing to think about.

SettingsThe film is set in and around a lake house holiday home which puts the character in an isolated location, the second location is around the beach with the funfair which should be a place of happiness.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects, we have the basic wounds which do look realistic, but the other side of the praise must come with how the actors can appear to be in the same location without looking out of place.


Scene of the Movie –
The showdown between Adelaide and Red.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Gabe’s injury comes and goes too often.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the best horrors in recent years, it won’t make you jump, but it will leave you feeling disturbed and thinking about everything you have just witnessed.

 

Overall: Disturbing horror.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – Q – Queen of Katwe (2016)

Director: Mira Nair

Writer: William Wheeler (Screenplay) Tim Crothers (Article)

Starring: Madina Nalwanga, David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o, Martin Kabanza, Taryn Kyaze, Ivan Jacobo

 

Plot: A Ugandan girl sees her world rapidly change after being introduced to the game of chess.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Sports Drama

 

Story: Queen of Katwe starts as we meet Phiona (Nalwanga) a Ugandan girl from a family that struggles to put food on the table each day as she comes from a big family. On the other side of the town Robert Katende (Oyelowo) has been working on introducing sports to the kids and with his latest choice chess, he finds himself getting Phiona joining his class.

When Robert sees the potential in his students he must overcome discrimination in class to give them a chance against the students who can afford an education in a tournament for the school district, as well as overcoming problems that come from living in the slums.

 

Thoughts on Queen of Katwe

 

Characters – Phiona is from the slums of Uganda where she sells corn just to help support her family but when she learns she is chess prodigy she must learn how to balance the slum life and the success she might achieve from chess. Robert Katende is placed in the position of helping sports minister help the children of the slums learn a sport to give them a positive moment in life. He fights for the children to have a chance at competition. Nakku is the mother of Phiona that has struggled through keeping a roof over the head of the children and food on their table but it upsets her seeing how her children that could have a future they can’t afford.

PerformanceMadina Nalwanga comes from nowhere to give a powerful performance of the young woman that must learn to overcome her problems to achieve greatness, David Oyelowo is fast becoming one actor you know can always give us fantastic performances and this is no different, Lupita Nyong’o is once again great in her performance showing how she is one of the must underused actresses in Hollywood.

StoryThe story of one girl from a place no one would consider being one of the biggest prospects in chess is a success story we all like to hear about. We get to experience the ups and downs Phiona must face to become respected in field and the people that support her along her way. This might well be a film about chess

Biography/SportsThis might only be looking at a small part of Phiona’s life but it is the most important part, the part where we get to follow her learning curve of the sport that she loves.

SettingsSeeing the different backgrounds the children involved comes from is great to see, it shows that sport can bring people together regardless of their backgrounds.

Scene of the Movie – The first tournament.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There wasn’t anything.

Final ThoughtsSport that brings people together that is the point of this film which is what is great to enjoy, coming from a country you wouldn’t see as a chess champion also helps us enjoy the ride.

 

Overall: Hugely entertaining sports drama.

Rating

 

 

Black Panther (2018)

Director: Ryan Coogler

Writer: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Jack Kirby (Comics)

Starring: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B Jordan, Lupita Nyong’o, Danai Gurira, Martin Freeman, Daniel Kaluuya, Andy Serkis, Angela Bassett, Forest Whitaker, Letita Wright, Sterling K Brown

 

Plot: T’Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.


Tagline – The Avengers have a new king.

Runtime: 2 Hours 14 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Specular Visual Superhero Movie

 

Story: Black Panther starts after the events of Civil War, T’Challa (Boseman) returns Wakanda to claim his throne as the king of Wakanda after his father’s death. going through the ceremony with the rest of the people including his ex-love Nakia (Nyong’o), most trusted general Okoye (Gurira), little sister Shuri (Wright) and leaders Ramonda (Bassett), Zuri (Whitaker) and W’Kabi (Kaluuya).

Being the new king of Wakanda his first mission is to track down former enemy Ulysses Klaue (Serkis) who is planning to sale a Wakanda weapon which brings back an old friend Everett Ross (Freeman) and a strange who believes he has the right for the throne in Erik Killmonger (Jordan), can this battle be the one that shows T’Challa his rightful place as the king and the Black Panther.

 

Thoughts on Black Panther

 

Characters – T’Challa is the new king of Wakanda, he wants to continue the calm peaceful reign like his father, but will need to face his father’s past to bring the new future for the technological advanced society. He has the expert combat skills, the calmness to be a leader and following rituals like the leaders of his past have. Erik Killmonger is a mercenary that knows he has a right to the throne and will go to any lengths to take the throne. He has an impresses kill count in battle which makes him a deadly enemy. Nakia is the former partner of T’Challa, she returns to support him and wants to see him open the technology of Wakanda to the world after her work as a spy around the world. Okoye is the greatest warrior in Wakanda, she must stay loyal to the throne regardless of if she believes in the leader of not. Shuri is the younger sister of T’Challa, she works on the weapons being the bubbly gadget lady that makes the most jokes and easily steals the scenes she is in. we have plenty of other characters with some being inside Wakanda, others being enemies and others being friends in waiting.

PerformancesChadwick Boseman is wonderful in this leading role, he bought us everything we got from Civil War and made us only want more from his character. Michael B Jordan gives us a great villainous performance that is as complex and he is deadly. Lupita is good in her role as she offers Chadwick a difficult set of decisions. Dania gives us the kick ass character and one we know she can play well. For me Letita Wright is the breakout star from this movie, being able to steal nearly every scene is something that will get people talking. In fairness the whole cast is great throughout the film.

StoryThe story here follows T’Challa and his rise to be the king and the next Black Panther, he must come to face the new challenges of being a leader, be it the conflict within or the conflict from the outside world. He must make the difficult decisions which could bring his people to a new stage to the world. This is a good introduction to this character and his world, which does have moments which you will have seen in other movies, but works enough to make this stand out on its own.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action sequences are wonderful to witness, we have brilliant camera work which will make one certain moment truly seem original and stand out. The adventure takes us to this new world, technology advanced from the rest of the world. The sci-fi world we enter isn’t like anything we could imagine seeing in the middle of the rain forest.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to make every location feel different from the last, this helps us enjoy the environments we are entering.

Special EffectsThe effects can’t be faulted once, they all look spectacular making this one of the best visual experience of the year so far.


Scene of the Movie –
South Korea fight sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I felt moments of comedy missed.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful addition to the MCU, we get to learn more about The Black Panther character and the world he is from, which only makes us want to see more of this in the future.

 

Overall: Brilliant addition that still stands out as one.

Rating

 

 

The Jungle Book (2016)

casting card

Plot: An orphan boy is raised in the jungle with the help of a pack of wolves, a bear, and a black panther.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Stunning Version of Classic Tale

 

Story: The Jungle Book starts as we meet Mowgli (Sethi) the boy raised by wolves with mother wolf Raksha (Nyong’O) always watched over by panther Bagheera (Kingsley). When the animals in the jungle make it through a draught they all come together for a water truce is created meaning all animals come to drink and are not allowed to harm one another. This is where we meet the tiger Shere Khan (Elba) who knows the danger of man and what Mowgli could become.

The wolves become worried by the threat must let Mowgli go with Bagheera deciding to try and guide him to the man village. When Shere Khan called for all the animals to hunt down Mowgli we have to watch the adventure of the man cub as he befriends a range of animals including a bear Baloo (Murray) and clashes with Kaa (Johansson) and King Louie (Walken) along the way.

The Jungle Book is a story we all should know already but this time we get a fresh look about it. The adventure Mowgli goes on is one that makes us want to sit and watch all the way through. The characters we meet are all different with their own agenda which you would imagine the animals would act like. If you did want a new story you won’t get much new though.

 

Actor Review

 

Neel Sethi: Mowgli is the man cub raised by wolves but always wondering why he doesn’t grow as fast as they do. During a water truce Mowgli finds himself a targeted by the tiger of the jungle Shere Khan who has always had a hatred toward man. Mowgli must travel through the jungle with his friend’s panther Bagheera and bear Baloo to find the man village and safety. Neel gives a brilliant performance for such a young performer.

Bill Murray (Voice): Baloo is the bear that finds Mowgli befriending him on his adventure across the jungle. He teaches him new lesson he really shouldn’t be teaching him before having to do the right thing. Bill was the perfect voice over for this character nailing all of the comedy lines as serious one Baloo offers the story.

Ben Kingsley (Voice): Bagheera is the panther that has been watching over Mowgli his whole life as he sees the wolves raise him. When Mowgli’s life is in danger he must guide him to safety and the man village which means getting past all the enemies in the jungle. Ben is a great choice for this role with his wise tone throughout.

Idris Elba (Voice): Shere Khan is the tiger that sees Mowgli as a threat because of his hatred towards man. He hunts down Mowgli while calling on all other predators to join him in the hunt. Idris has such a perfect menacing threatening voice being used for this character that makes his sound just as scary as his look.

Support Cast: The Jungle Book has a supporting cast that is cast to near perfection with Christopher Walken as King Louie, Scarlett Johansson as the seductive Kaa as well as Lupita Nyong’O and Giancarlo Esposito as the caring parent wolves.

Director Review: Jon FavreauJon gives us one if not the best Disney animated to live action adaptation of all time.

 

Adventure: The Jungle Book has one of the first adventures we saw just reimagined to look even more stunning.

Family: The Jungle Book is one for the whole family to enjoy even if a couple of moments are slightly dark.

Fantasy: The Jungle Book puts us into the world where animals interact with each other.

Settings: The Jungle Book puts the whole film in the jungle and makes everything look amazing throughout.
Special Effects
: The Jungle Book has breath taking special effects to make all the animals look realistic.

Suggestion: The Jungle Book is one I think everyone should go and watch. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Louie escape.

Worst Part: Isn’t one.

Favourite Quote: Baloo ‘Not full hibernation, but I nap a lot.’

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: This could be an outside shot for nominations.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Tagline: The legend will never be the same.

Overall: Brilliant visual treat of a movie.

Ratingcard

 

 

 

Star Wars: The Force Awakens (2015)

star warsDirector: J.J. Abrams

Writer: J.J. Abrams, Lawrence Kasdan, Michael Arndt (Screenplay) George Lucas (Characters)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Mark Hamill, Carrie Fisher, Adam Driver, Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, Oscar Isaac, Lupita Nyong’o, Andy Serkis, Domhnall Gleeson, Anthony Daniels, Max Von Sydow, Peter Mayhew

 

Plot: Three decades after the defeat of the Galactic Empire, a new threat arises. The First Order attempts to rule the galaxy and only a rag-tag group of heroes can stop them, along with the help of the Resistance.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: This is the Droid we were Looking For

 

Story: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens starts by giving us the information about the time between Return of the Jedi and now, 30 years have passed and Luke Skywalker (Hamill) has vanished while Princess Leia (Fisher) is trying to locate him to stop a new threat to the galaxy The First Order.

We meet brilliant fighter pilot Poe Dameron (Isaac) who is locating a map to Luke’s location which he entrusts to droid BB-8 before he gets captured. He gets rescued by Stormtrooper Finn (Boyega) who decides to go against the training he has received only to lose him after they crash land. Meanwhile we meet scavenger Rey (Ridley) who finds the BB-8 but also grabs the attention of the First Order lead by Kylo Ren (Driver).

Rey has to team up with Finn and the familiar faces of Han Solo (Ford) and Chewbacca (Mayhew) to take down the First Order and find Luke Skywalker before the galaxy is placed back into a dark era.

Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens brings us the story we were waiting for since the end of Return of the Jedi. We get to meet three leading characters that are fresh throughout but sadly I did feel the villain came off overly moany, not reaching the levels we had with Darth Vader. This has a great feel about it with the returning characters not taking over the story. My only disappointment with this is the slight loose ends about how everything came about being where it is when you thought everything was going to be peaceful after the end of Return of the Jedi.

 

 

Actor Review

 

Daisy Ridley: Rey is a scavenger that lives on the remote planet that BB-8 is from, she is waiting for her family to return and can handle herself in a fight. She is also able to fix anything with minimal tools at her disposal.  She has a connection to the force which gives her the reason to finally leave and stay away from her home planet where she even catches the eye of Han Solo as a potential successor to his Millennium Falcon. Daisy gives us a brilliant performance that could be the best leading character from an original Star Wars story.rey

John Boyega: Finn is the former Stormtrooper who was plunked from his family before being turned into a mindless Stormtrooper. He seems to relapse from his training where he wants to do the right thing which includes helping Rey and Poe against the First Order. John is great in this role as a character we wouldn’t have ever thought about seeing before.finn

Adam Driver: Kylo Ren is the leader of the First Order, he has the power of the force but not the presences of Vadar. He throws tantrums whenever things don’t go his way as he is still battling his good side with his dark side. Adam does a good job in this role even if I wasn’t the biggest fan of the character’s action.kylo

Oscar Isaac: Poe Dameron is the brilliant pilot tasked with finding Luke Skywalker, he is loyal to Leia and the leader in the battle. Oscar gives a good supporting performance as a character we would like to learn more about.poe

Harrison Ford: Han Solo returns to reclaim his ship but once on board he gets to finish his own personal battle that he has found himself running from for years. Harrison gives us a good performance returning to the levels we would expect.han

Support Cast: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens has a good supporting cast that include returning faces and fresh that all feel like they are part of the Star Wars world.

Director Review: J.J. AbramsJ.J. brings us the sequel needed to bring us back to the Star Wars world we love.

 

Action: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens gives us good action from start to finish be it chases, combat or light saber battles.

Adventure: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens gives us a great space adventure from start to finish.

Sci-Fi: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens brings us back to the galaxy far, far away a place that people call home.

Settings: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens each settings makes us feel like we are just back to where we were when Return of the Jedi finishes.
Special Effects
: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens has brilliant special effects from start to finish that never look out of place in the universe.

Suggestion: Star Wars Episode 7 The Force Awakens is one for the fans of the original saga to all enjoy. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Having the guts to do what Avengers doesn’t.

Worst Part: Villain sometimes comes off moany.

Action Scene Of The Film: Attacking the First Order.

Funniest Scene: BB-8 and Finn arguing while Rey fixes the Falcon.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Has plenty lined up for the future.

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Star Wars A New Hope

 

Oscar Chances: Could get a few technical awards.

Budget: $200 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 7 Minutes

Tagline: Coming to your galaxy this winter.

Trivia: This film takes place 30 years after the Return of the Jedi. The film itself is released 32 years and 7 months after the previous film.

 

Overall: The sequel we all wanted that will make all the fans happy

Ratingcard