The Shape of Water (2017)

Director: Guillermo del Toro

Writer: Guillermo del Toro, Vanessa Taylor (Screenplay) Guillermo del Toro (Story)

Starring: Sally Hawkins, Michael Shannon, Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer, Michael Stuhlbarg, Doug Jones

 

Plot: At a top secret research facility in the 1960s, a lonely janitor forms a unique relationship with an amphibious creature that is being held in captivity.


Tagline – Based on an idea by Daniel Kraus And Guillermo del Toro

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Spectacularly Beautiful

 

Story: The Shape of Water starts as we follow lonely mute woman Elisa (Hawkins) who works as a janitor in a secret government facility with her trusted friend Zelda Fuller (Spencer), Elisa’s silence helps the government know the secrets won’t get released with only her neighbour Giles (Jenkins) being anyone outside of work for her.

When a new creature Amphibian Man (Jones) is bought in with strict security officer Richard Strickland (Shannon) as the facility looks to experiment on the creature. When Elisa strikes up a friendship with the creature, she will do anything to make sure he stays alive and safe once the facility decides they want to examine his organs.

 

Thoughts on The Shape of Water

 

Characters – Elisa is a mute lonely woman that works as a janitor and only has one friend in her personal life. When a creature gets bought into her facility she sees the loneliness he is feeling and wants to save him, believing it to be her purpose. Amphibian Man is a creature taken from his home to be experimented on by the Americans, he is lonely and finds communication from Elisa comforting in his captivity, even though he is highly dangerous to anyone who gets too close. Richard Strickland is the man in charge of the operation with the creature, he wants to do harm and tries to intimidate the people who don’t want to follow his orders. Giles is the trusted neighbour that Elisa turns to for help, he is similar to him with his loneliness in the world too, while Zelda is the one co-worker that Elisa has to turn to and the one that translates her sign language. Dr Hoffstetler is the man that doesn’t want to see the creature hurt, for science and his true alliance in the world.

PerformancesSally Hawkins is fantastic in this role, her emotions are shown in every movement and expression on her face in a role with no words. Doug Jones has spent his career performing the odd roles being able to transform himself, this is his biggest and easily his best role to date. Michael Shannon in the villainous role shines just like we know he can every time. Richard Jenkins, Octavia Spencer and Michael Stuhlbarg complete the casting wonderfully playing the supporting roles just how they need to be.

StoryThe story follows unusual attraction, finding someone that accepts you to make you feel safe and how government will do anything to learn from an unknown creature. This is both magical, tragic and special from start to finish. Each side of the story shows how different people didn’t fit in during the early 60s and just how love truly works. This is an original story that plays on as many different emotions as it possible can.

Adventure/Fantasy/RomanceThis is an adventure like never before, it shows the risk taken to do the right thing for love, which helps play into this unlikely love story that captures you from the first moment, showing just how love can change you in a second. The fantasy elements are full blown what you would have come to expect from a del Toro movie now, both magical and fantastical.

SettingsThe settings keep everything safe, we have a faceless city with a secret facility which works because we wouldn’t have this facility in a big city.

Special EffectsThe effects used through the film keep everything looking fantastic through the film, nothing seems to look out of place.


Scene of the Movie –
Bathroom flood.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I actually think this is flawless.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most perfect movies I have ever seen, if has heart in every scene and just makes you feel on edge to just where it will go.

 

Overall: Brilliant, stunning and fantastic.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

God’s Pocket (2014)

Director: John Slattery

Writer: Alex Metcalf, John Slattery (Screenplay) Peter Dexter (Novel)

Starring: Christina Hendricks, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Eddie Marsan, Caleb Landry Jones, Jack O’Connell, John Turturro, Richard Jenkins

 

Plot: A blue collar worker tries to cover things up when his stepson is killed in a suspicious accident, but a local reporter senses that something’s amiss.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Drama

 

Story: God’s Pocket starts as we meet the different characters from this small town of God’s Pocket. We have Mickey (Hoffman) a meat salesman who works with Arthur (Turturro) stealing product before selling it as his own, his wife Jeanie (Hendricks) and her son Leon (Jones) along with reporter Richard Shellburn (Jenkins) who has been reporting on the town for 20 years.

When Leon is killed in a work accident the town surround the family with their sympathy. When Jeanie questions what happened it brings Richard to look deeper into the story as well as Mickey using his mob connection to try and learn the truth, but in this small town can secrets be kept?

 

Thoughts on God’s Pocket

 

Characters/PerformanceMickey is a man that finds a way to make ends meet either side of the law, when his step-son is killed he works on finding out the truth but must deal with his own problems with money. Jeanie is the grieving mother that demands the truth about her son’s death, she is also becoming distant from her husband Mickey. Richard is a journalist know all around the town, he has reported on the events of the town for years now and gets called into learn the truth of the events around the death. Arthur is Mickey’s connection to the underworld where the two work on robberies.

Performance wise, Hoffman is great in what was his final complete film, Hendricks is also good throughout the film with Jenkins giving us his best reporter like role. Turturro was also good throughout the film.

StoryThe story shows the three day events leading up to a funeral, we see everyday people dealing with a sudden death as they search for the truth, make their own mistakes and try to cover up their mistakes. This is a slow-moving film that tries to give us a real life series of events that follow the people involved but isn’t a casual watch.

CrimeThe crime side of the story comes from Mickey’s side along with the crime surround the accident. We have the crime world but otherwise this is more focused on the dramatic stories that characters live through.

SettingsWe like the small town setting which helps us see just how well the people of the town know each other.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good drama even if it is slightly slow in place, it is filled with good acting and a story that almost feels like it could come off as a comedy slightly better.

 

Overall: Good drama, good acting but nothing memorable.

Rating

 

 

Original v Remake Weekend – Let Me In (2010)

Director: Matt Reeves

Writer: Matt Reeves (Screenplay) John Ajvide Lindqvist (Novel)

Starring: Kodi Smit-McPhee, Chloe Grace Moretz, Richard Jenkins, Cara Buono, Elias Koteas, Sasha Barrese

 

Plot: A bullied young boy befriends a young female vampire who lives in secrecy with her guardian.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Remake

 

Story: Let Me In Starts with a man being rushed to hospital with a police escort, before we learn that his daughter was asking about him, before he commits suicide. We move back two weeks to meet the lonely Owen (Smit-McPhee) who has become the latest victim of the school bully, but with no one to turn to he looks to find his own way to defend himself.

Moving in next door to Owen is the mysterious family with Abby (Moretz) being the same age as Owen, but it is her father (Jenkins) which comes off very strange. It isn’t long before Owen and Abby become friends being drawn to each other by their loneliness, but can this friendship last with the two from very different worlds.

After Abby’s father dies, she turns to the only friend she knows of, Owen to help her with her feeding, living situation while she helps Owen out with his own problems with the bullies at school.

 

Thoughts on Let Me In

 

Characters/PerformanceOwen is portrayed as the loner bully victim who doesn’t have any friends, no support from his mother or teachers. He is looking for a way to fight back, be it through his PE coach or with his own choice of weapon, his knife. Abby is the estranged neighbour that offers him friendship but also has her own dark secret which will make friendship all the more difficult. I do feel these characters don’t quite reach the levels that the original manages to achieve.

Performance wise I also think both Kodi and Chloe do a great job but I also feel the original has a more realistic feel to the performances. I don’t feel the rest of the cast get enough time to make the impact as this story is about the two children.

StoryThe story does follow the same path as the original only going for the impact moment to start the film, the story also pays a lot more references to Romeo and Juliet because you can see the same ideas for the story of two young lovers coming from different worlds.

Horror/MysteryThe horror side of the story comes from the graphic attacks but they do feel at times forced for extra impact. The mystery side of the story comes in as we wonder just where things will go if you have never seen the original.

SettingsIn this version we are in small town America which again shows it being a good location for a vampire to hide out and for a young boy to feel lonely in.

Special EffectsWe have limited special effects with them being used well when needed.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good remake that does enough to keep the story similar but bringing enough of an America twist to the story.

 

Overall: This is a remake that works showing if it is done correctly.

Rating

 

 

Bone Tomahawk (2015)

boneDirector: S. Craig Zahler

Writer: S. Craig Zahler (Screenplay)

Starring: Kurt Russell, Patrick Wilson, Matthew Fox, Richard Jenkins, Lili Simmons, Evan Jonigkeit, David Arquette, Fred Melamed, Sid Haig

 

Plot: Four men set out in the Wild West to rescue a group of captives from cannibalistic cave dwellers.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Throwback Horror

 

Story: Bone Tomahawk starts with two scavengers Buddy (Haig) and Purvis (Arquette) dealing with their kills before trying to escape through an ancient burial ground before coming under attack. 11 days later we meet Sheriff Hunt (Russell) where Purvis has turned up in his town.

After Purvis gets shot Samantha (Simmons) has to treat him but during the night Indians attack and kidnap everyone from the Sheriff’s office. The morning after Sheriff Hunt, Samantha’s husband Arthur (Wilson), Brooder (Fox) and Chicory (Jenkins) set out to get their people back against a group of Troglodyte an inbred group of cannibals.

Bone Tomahawk gives us a horror western that gives each genre the right amount of time with the first half being mostly a western adventure and the final act being all about the cannibal horror. Giving each part of the story works well because it makes us care about the characters involved. It could be fair to say it could give us a few ideas from previous ideas The Hills Have Eyes is one, but a cannibal western really does come off original.

 

Actor Review

 

Kurt Russell: Sheriff Hunt is leading the mission to get the people back, he is strict but fair to anyone who crosses his path. He uses all his knowledge even if he clashes with Arthur and Brooder on different matters along their journey. Kurt is good in this role showing he still has the leading man mentality.the law

Patrick Wilson: Arthur is the injured cowboy who goes to get his wife back from the Indians that have taken her. He shouldn’t be on the mission and will not stop even with his healing broken leg to save her. Patrick is good but sometimes comes off very annoying out of the four leads.cowboy

Matthew Fox: Brooder is a well-dressed gunslinger who knows how to get the job done, he boasts about the number of Indians he has killed and uses his skills to deal with any threats that could come towards the men. Matthew is great in this role showing that he likes to become different characters with ease.armed gentlemen

Richard Jenkins: Chicory is the old deputy that has nothing left in the town forcing the Sheriff to let him go on the mission, he has medical training which comes in handy while dealing with Arthur’s injuries. Richard is good in this supporting role.bac p

Support Cast: Bone Tomahawk doesn’t have too much of a supporting cast with the villains not being seen until late on and the rest of the town only in the opening scenes.

Director Review: S. Craig ZahlerS. Craig gives us a good horror western that is rare in the world in the horror.

 

Adventure: Bone Tomahawk gives our four men an adventure across the open world looking for the cannibals.

Horror: Bone Tomahawk saves the horror until late in the film where it all gets let out.

Thriller: Bone Tomahawk keeps us wondering what will happen and what the enemy is really capable off.

Western: Bone Tomahawk gives us a feel of an old school western for our four unlikely men travelling in search for an unknown enemy.

Settings: Bone Tomahawk uses the settings to make you feel like you are part of the classic western.
Special Effects
: Bone Tomahawk has great effects when it comes to the death scenes not wanting to ever hold back on brutality.

Suggestion: Bone Tomahawk is one for all the horror fans to enjoy. (Horror Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: Horse stolen but one and not knowing what has happened to it.

Worst Part: Being picky I would say I would have like to have seen kidnapping happen to show what the cannibals are really capable off.

Action Scene Of The Film: Final fight.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Could have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $1.8 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

Tagline: John Brooder: An armed gentleman
Franklin Hunt: The law
Samantha O’Dwyer: The town doctor
Chicory: The back-up deputy
Arthur O’Dwyer: The cowboy (injured)

Overall: Horror for the fans to enjoy filled with blood, gore and suspense

Ratingcard

 

Jack Reacher (2012)

logoDirector: Christopher McQuarrie

Writer: Christopher McQuarrie (Screenplay) Lee Child (Book ‘One Shot’)

Starring: Tom Cruise, Rosamund Pike, Richard Jenkins, David Oyelowo, Werner Herzog, Jai Courtney, Vladimir Sizov, Joseph Sikora, Robert Duvall

 

Plot: In an innocent heartland city, five are shot dead by an expert sniper. The police quickly identify and arrest the culprit, and build a slam-dunk case. But instead of confessing, the accused man writes the words, ‘Get Jack Reacher’. Reacher (Cruise) himself sees the news report and turns up in the city. The defence is immensely relieved, but Reacher has come to bury the guy. Shocked at the accused’s request, Reacher sets out to confirm for himself the absolute certainty of the man’s guilt, but comes up with more than he bargained for.

 

Verdict: Good Action Thriller

 

Story: While trying to create itself an anti-hero in Jack Reacher, the story though solid is not the most original. It comes from a series of books and they have a good following, I am unaware of whether they did cover everything from the books and whether any key parts are missing. We get almost like a lawyer like case being solved to completely disprove everything that has been left to use as evidence and the deeper into the case we get the more we find out about the truth. Very entertaining the story is but in the end the perfect score fails to be achieved due to the unoriginal storyline, but why change something that works well? (8/10)

 

Actor Reviews

 

Tom Cruise: Reacher, the man who settles debts his own way, he will find out the truth and will not take any prisoners. He is your typical anti-hero who makes doing the right thing look bad but he gets results. Good performance from Tom with a strong lead performance that he is known for. (8/10)

 reacher

Rosamund Pike: Helen the defence lawyer as well as the DA daughter, she reluctantly recruits Jack to help, but after she puts her own life in danger she ends up having to put all her faith in Jack. Good supporting performance showing to be a strong independent woman. (8/10)

rosamund

Richard Jenkins: Rodin the DA who only picks cases he will never lose, but once Jack turns up his record could change. Good supporting performance but not enough screen time. (7/10)

 rodin

David Oyelowo: Emerson the detective who puts the case together and wants an easy win, but Jack changes that for him. Good supporting role but like Rodin not enough screen time. (7/10)

 emerson

Werner Herzog: The Zec the mysterious ring leader of the organisation involved in the crime, full of horrific ideas to test people desire to live. Good villain but it needed more screen time to show his absolute true nature.(7/10)

 zec

Jai Courtney: Charlie the sniper who commits the crime, don’t worry not a spoiler as it is the opening scenes, he is a cold calculated killer. Good performance showing that you need a cold killer against a good guy. (8/10)

 jai

Director Review: Christopher McQuarrie – Good direction to create a tense thriller throughout.(9/10)

 

Action: Be in fist fights or fire fights the film really has some solid action scenes when it happens. (9/10)

Crime: Good crime to solve throughout trying to figure out the real truth. (9/10)

Thriller: Keeps you on the edge of your seat throughout. (9/10)

Settings: Good settings but only the quarry for the final scene really makes an impact for the story. (7/10)

Suggestion: If you are a fan of the genre this is really one to watch, but if you don’t like the idea involved this isn’t for you. (Action Thriller Fans Watch)

 

Best Part: The car escape.

Worst Part: I would say the lack of potential twists.

Action Scene Of The Film: The final showdown.

Believability: The crime has happened but the framing and solving seems too much. (3/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: There is talk and with the series of books we can have one.

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Box Office: $218,340,595

Budget: $60 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

Tagline: The law has limits. He does not

 

Overall: Tough Action Thriller

Rating 80