Nicholas Hoult Weekend – Kill Your Friends (2015)

Director: Owen Harris

Writer: John Niven (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicholas Hoult, James Corden, Georgia King, Craig Roberts, Jim Piddock

 

Plot: An A&R man working at the height of the Britpop music craze goes to extremes in order to find his next hit.

Tagline – Lies. Betrayal. Murder. Just another day in the music industry.
Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not For Me

 

Story: Kill Your Friends starts in 1997 the heights of the Britpop movement, where we follow and A&R man Steven Stelfox (Hoult) who knows how to play the system to stay in power with the cocaine binges. He looks to stay on step ahead of his co-workers by pushing limits to what risks can be taken and even killing one that gets in his way.

When Steven hears the potential next hottest band, he goes to extreme lengths to make the deal happen racing against the fellow producers looking to get the next biggest catch in the industry.

 

Thoughts on Kill your Friends

 

Characters – Steven Stelfox is the music producer that tells us the story of how he was riding high in the industry during the Britpop era of music, how they spent more time on drugs than making music happen and how they will do anything to push another member of office under the bus to stay in their high life. The rest of the characters we meet are fellow producers, the bands and a cop trying to get to them bottom of a murder.

PerformancesNicholas Hoult takes the leading role in the film and is easily the most interesting part of this film, his breaking the fourth wall gets the laughs needed and by the end he is the only part of the film I enjoyed.

StoryThe story takes us into the world of the Britpop where we follow one man who is clearly out of his comfort zone with his job, where he has been blagging to job over knowing the role he should be performing. It isn’t the most interesting because you do feel like it is mostly fictional instead of trying to be a fact-based look at the world.

Comedy/CrimeThe comedy used in the film shows us just how far Steven will go to make things happen, while the crime side also show sus where he will go to keep his job.

SettingsThe films settings show us the party life the characters will be entering while trying to find the next hit band, it also shows how the characters are self-centred.


Scene of the Movie –
Steven goes too far.

That Moment That Annoyed Me it paints how bad the industry is.

Final ThoughtsThis isn’t the most interesting of films, it is a subject matter I personally don’t care for and it doesn’t paint anybody in the industry to be remotely nice.

 

Overall: Just one that doesn’t work for me.

Rating

 

 

Black Mirror – Striking Vipers

Director: Owen Harris

Writer: Charlie Brooker (Screenplay)

Starring: Anthony Mackie, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Nicole Beharie, Pom Klementieff, Monique Cynthia Brown

 

Plot: Two estranged college friends reunite in later life, triggering a series of events that could alter their lives forever.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Largely Forgettable

 

Story: Striking Vipers starts as two former college friends Danny (Mackie) and Karl (Abdul-Mateen II) reunite at Danny’s birthday, even though they have gone in different directions, Danny is married with a family, while Karl is a womaniser. Karl buys Danny a birthday present called Striking Vipers which is a virtual reality game.

The game takes Danny and Karl into avatars of their favourite characters, where they can actually fight and experience other feelings that can be replicated from real life.

 

Thoughts on Striking Vipers

 

Characters – Danny is a happily married man who is looking to have his second child with his wife, he has grown up a lot since his wild college years which saw him party a lot, with this new game, he starts to see life differently starting to question his own views on life, which could start to put a strain on his marriage. Karl is the old best friend of Danny from college, he has become distant from Danny, only to return with a new game which could change their lives, he is still acting like he is in college despite the fact they are reaching 40, he is often seen as the bad influence on Danny. Theo is the wife of Danny, she starts to notice the change in him, which sees her wanting to connect with her husband once again before losing the marriage.

PerformancesAnthony Mackie is great in the leading role without struggle to balance his characters emotional dilemma through the film. Yahya Abdul-Mateen II continues to show he has continued to impress in the last year as an actor fast becoming a name to watch for years to come. Nicole Beharie shows us how to make a supporting character make an impact as we see how she bring us the wife that is losing it.

StoryThe story here follows two former college friends whose lives change when they start using a virtual reality video game, it reaches dangerous levels of obsession and offers up the questions of sexually desires. For the calibre of storytelling we are used to seeing from a Black Mirror story, we look at the reluctant behaviour in relationships and how people can become overly reliant on certain ways of finding love. The way this story flows does feel off for the most part leaving us like a moment of impact in missing.

Sci-FiFor the sci-fi elements used within this film, we get to see just how the world of virtual reality can be used to achieve things you can’t do in real life and shows us that not everybody will turn to needing to find help from this source.

SettingsThe settings in the film come from the idea that everyday life can need refreshing at times.

Special EffectsThe effects come from being inside the virtual reality world, which does show how they movements could be real, which is beautiful to see.


Scene of the Movie –
The first entry to the virtual world.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does go way to slowly.

Final ThoughtsThis does just about become a forgettable story, it does want to examine real issues only to just pull out from them follow through.

 

Overall: Disappointing addition to the black mirror.

Rating

 

 

Black Mirror – Season 3 Episode 4 – San Junipero

san-junDirector: Owen Harris

Writer: Charlie Brooker (Screenplay)

Starring: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Mackenzie Davis, Denise Burse, Raymond McAnally, Gavin Stenhouse

 

Plot: In a seaside town in 1987, a shy young woman and an outgoing party girl strike up a powerful bond that seems to defy the laws of space and time.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Burning Brilliance

 

Story: San Junipero starts as we follow quiet girl Yorkie (Davis) who is having a night out at the arcade where everyone hangs out in 1987. When party girl Kelly (Mbatha-Raw) stumbles into her they start a conversation as they are from worlds apart.

One week later the two meet again and it becomes apparent that Kelly is different to the rest of the woman in the town of San Junipero. We see how the two get involved in a wild night as Yorkie returns searching for Kelly week after week, year after year without any success. The story takes a dramatic twist when we learn that this San Junipero is a place where sick and elderly can re-live their youths for a limited time.

San Junipero is one that I struggled to enjoy the first part of the film as I really didn’t know where the story was going but once you look back at everything in the story this is right up there with the best in the series. The final outcome of this story is both amazing and heart-breaking because of the story of endless love and potential but we never know where people really have come from before we meet them.


Overall: While I found it very slow I loved how the final outcome really came around.

Rating90