IO (2019)

Director: Jonathan Helpert

Writer: Clay Jeter, Charles Spano, Will Basanta (Screenplay)

Starring: Margaret Qualley, Anthony Mackie, Danny Huston, Tom Payne

 

Plot: As a young scientist searches for a way to save a dying Earth, she finds a connection with a man who’s racing to catch the last shuttle off the planet.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Sci-Fi Movie

 

Story: IO starts as the Earth has become on the verge of uninhabitable, ships have gone into space to produce a colony in space by Jupiter’s moon Io, while back on Earth Sam (Qualley) is doing final research to see if the Earth is returning to better days. When a new safety zone planet is discovered the mission in space changes and Sam must rush to the final mission into space before she is left on Earth forever. Joined by stranger Micah (Mackie) who is in search for her father Harry (Huston) the pair work together to decide their own futures.

 

Thoughts on IO

 

Characters – Sam is one of the few remaining humans on Earth, she has been working on research which could prove there is still hope on Earth, even though her research gets destroyed, she must make the decision to find her love in space, when the last mission off the planet get announced. Micah is the stranger that came to the research site, searching for Harry, he reluctantly decides to help Sam out, while harbouring his own secret for his journey. Harry is the father of Sam, one of the few scientists that told people to remain on Earth, we only see him through flashbacks and video clips though.

PerformancesThis is a two-person performance, with Anthony Mackie in the supporting of the two, we know his talent which he gets to show off here. Margaret Qualley is the new name for me and she does everything needed to make us care about her characters isolation on Earth.

StoryThe story here follows two of the remaining survivors on Earth after an evacuation has seen mass number move deeper into space in search of a new home, one that hasn’t been destroyed. Now we don’t focus on any of the space side of this film which is something you need to prepare for. We focus on the idea of the last few survivors must make the decision on what to do next, leave or stay, this is shown through a series of conversations about what is left, what could change if they left and could Earth be ready to change back to a habitable environment. This is nice to watch because these types of questions are what can drive plenty of real-world questions too. Certain character decisions are however questionable and by the end it just feels like we had something of nothing by the end.

Adventure/Sci-FiThe film uses the adventure side of the film to show just how far the survivors would have to go if they want to leave Earth, the sci-fi side of the film poses the questions about what would happen if Earth became uninhabitable, think part of what Interstellar offered us without showing us the space missions.

SettingsThe film is set in a lone research location, it is in a known safety zone, with the danger zones needing masks to survive in, this is a very much dust covered world which helps us feel like part of this world.


Scene of the Movie –
The landing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Character decisions.

Final ThoughtsThis is a thinking sci-fi film which does help us understand what is going on, there isn’t much action going on here, but will ask the audience questions.

 

Overall: Thinking sci-fi film.

Rating

 

 

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Death Note (2017)

Director: Adam Wingard

Writer: Charley Parlapanides, Vlas Parlapanides, Jeremy Slater (Screenplay) Tgugumi Oba, Takeshi Obata (Original Material)

Starring: Nat Wolff, Lakeith Stanfield, Willem Dafoe, Margaret Qualley, Shea Whigham, Masi Oka, Jason Liles

 

Plot: Light Turner, a bright student, stumbles across a mystical notebook that has the power to kill any person whose name he writes in it. Light decides to launch a secret crusade to rid the streets of criminals. Soon, the student-turned-vigilante finds himself pursued by a famous detective known only by the alias L.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Deliciously Dark Fantasy

 

Story: Death Note starts as genius student Light Turner (Wolff) has a mysterious book title Death Note fall from the sky before getting busted for doing fellow students homework landing him in detention, here Light gets a visit from Ryuk (Liles, but voiced by Dafoe) who teaches him about the book, which offers him a chance to simply write the name of a person and a way to die with the rest being history.

Teaming up with Mia (Qualley) a student from school, Light decides to use this power for the good by killing terrorists and getting criminals to hand themselves in, but with this new world starting Light’s father James (Whigham) must investigate the mysterious ‘Kira’ figure influencing the decisions and the mysterious detective L (Stanfield) who believes he knows how to track the killer.

 

Thoughts on Death Note

 

Characters – Light Turner is a high school student that stays in the shadows at school, making deals for money in exchange for doing homework, but when he gets the Death Note, he gets the chance to become somebody, he uses the book to try and make a difference but soon learns the effects that this could have on his life and the world. L is the detective that has been hunting the Kira killer, he has an ability to solve crimes and has been trained to be one of the greatest detectives of all time, he knows who is behind it all but needs to find a way to prove it. Ryuk is the God of death that is attached to the book, he does the bidding for the owner of the book, while also trying to get him to put more names in the book. Mia is the love interest of Light that has the relationship because of the interest in the power of the book.

PerformanceNat Wolff does do a good job in the leading role being the teenager that looks out of place in the lonely keep to himself idea. Lakeith Stanfield is the highlight of the film because he does always come off with something different about his character. Margaret Qualley is the good supporting girlfriend character that does well through the film. Willem Dafoe lends his voice to the God which sounds perfectly menacing about him.

StoryThe story focuses on the idea of one kid getting a book that could simply write a name in and the person will die. Now I do understand this has come from a manga of the same name which does put elements to discuss into a fantasy element, which is good for the idea, the story flows nicely with the moral question being asked, what would you do if you had the book? Saying this the film does try to ask that question between the characters but in the end glosses over it at times and does miss out a chance to learn a lot more about L who by far is the most interesting character in the film. This is a story that could be enjoyed by the fantasy horror fans out there and is one I do think could be recommended to the known horror fans too.

Fantasy/HorrorThe fantasy behind this film comes from the demon Ryuk using his powers to complete the deaths, the horror is working with the fantasy and is used with the idea of the blood splattered deaths.

SettingsThe settings are used for iconic moments in the film without being all about the settings rather than the characters finding themselves in.

Special EffectsThe effects are all fantastic with the most impressive coming from the blood splattering deaths.

Scene of the Movie – The first note, because it shows us what we are going to be getting through the film.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I would have liked more focus on the L backstory which does seem interesting.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable fantasy horror that comes from a manga which I can see could turn people off but as I have never seen it, I can say this is enjoyable throughout.

 

Overall: Enjoyable fantasy horror.

Rating

 

 

The Nice Guys (2016)

niceDirector: Shane Black

Writer: Shane Black, Anthony Bagarozzi (Screenplay)

Starring: Russell Crowe, Ryan Gosling, Angourie Rice, Matt Bomer, Margaret Qualley, Yaya DaCosta, Keith David, Beau Knapp

 

Plot: A mismatched pair of private eyes investigate the apparent suicide of a porn star in 1970s Los Angeles.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable

 

Story: The Nice Guys starts as we meet Jackson Healy (Crowe) who does the dirty jobs for people, we also meet PI Holland March (Gosling) who is a single father to Holly (Rice). The two end up crossing paths when Holland’s latest case sets him in search Amelia Kuttner (Qualley) who has a connection with pornstar Misty Mountains (Telio) who has famously died.

The unlikely duo must use both their skills to find Amelia as they learn of a bigger case going on as they find themselves being hunted down by John Boy (Bomer).

The Nice Guys is an action comedy crime mystery that we get an odd couple having to work together to solve the case. We get great moments between the Jackson and Holland as they both approach solving the crimes. The story is one you will have scene before with the conspiracy style without being something overly original but it does help make the characters feel like they fit into the world created. The story balances the comedy and action well without going too heavy on either and none of the jokes are forced.

 

Actor Review

 

Russell Crowe: Jackson gets hired to beat people up, he doesn’t ask questions he just does the job and gets paid. When his latest job finds him having to send a warning to Holland only to find himself getting stuck in the middle of the case and having to work with Holland. Russell nails the comedy perfectly while going against certain character traits people see in Russell.

Ryan Gosling: Holland is a PI and single father who has been searching for Amelia, he has his own problems with alcohol and has to work with Jackson to solve this latest case. Ryan shows another side to his skills in this role where he shines.

Angourie Rice: Holly is the teenage daughter of Holland’s who joins the odd couple on their adventure to solve the crime. She is wise beyond her years becoming key to the outcome of the story. Angourie stands toe to toe with the big names in this movie.

Matt Bomer: John Boy is called for to deal with the problem of Amelia, he is a deadly hit man that has to come to finish off the job. Matt is good in this supporting role as we don’t see him until late into the movie.

Support Cast: The Nice Guys has a supporting cast that all come into the story working very well with the main story.

Director Review: Shane BlackShane does give us one of the smash comedies of the year that will be making many people’s favourite for the year.

 

Action: The Nice Guys has good action moments with the over the top style the film gives us.

Comedy: The Nice Guys has great moments of comedy without trying to be laugh a minute.

Crime: The Nice Guys puts us into the crime story where we join the odd couple solving the crime.

Mystery: The Nice Guys puts us into the mystery of why Amelia is being hunted down by everyone.

Settings: The Nice Guys is set in the 70s where we follow the story and everything work very well.

Suggestion: The Nice Guys is one of the films I do think everyone should be watching. (Watch)

 

Best Part: Chemistry between Gosling and Crowe.

Worst Part: Couldn’t see one.

Funniest Scene: Party scene.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Could easily have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Unlikely but could easily be an outside shot for screenplay.

Budget: $50 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

Tagline: They’re not that nice 

 

Overall: One of the most enjoyable comedies of the year.

Ratingcard