Black Mirror – Season 3 Episode 5 – Men Against Fire

men-against-fireDirector: Jakob Verbruggen

Writer: Charlie Brooker (Screenplay)

Starring: Malachi Kirby, Madeline Brewer, Ariane Labed, Sarah Snook, Michael Kelly, Kola Bokinni

 

Plot: Future soldiers Stripe (Malachi Kirby) and Raiman (Madeline Brewer) must protect frightened villagers from an infestation of vicious feral mutants. Technologically, they have the edge – but will that help them survive?

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun But Slow

 

Story: Men Against Fire starts as we meet new soldier Stripe (Kirby) who gets assigned on his first mission to find out whether a village was attacked by creatures known only as ‘roaches’. We see his unit led by Medina (Snook) go on the hunt for this roaches.

As the hunt continues we learn that the roaches are feral mutants that have been terrorising the local villages, but the question comes to how the disease is transmitted. After his first encounter with the roaches Stripe starts to have different reactions to everyday tasks that the military can’t find any issues with. With his ability to see the truth we get to see how Stripe has to try and convince the rest of what is going on in the world.

Men Against Fire is one of the most original twists on what starts off as a zombie concept but it soon turns into a fresh look at how to train soldiers to be the most efficient they can possibly be. This offers plenty of morale questions about how soldier are trained and what they are capable on the battle field if certain parts can be removed from their decision-making process but otherwise this is one of the weaker stories in the series so far.

 

Overall: The slowest of the series so far.

Rating55

 

 

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Steve Jobs (2015)

jobsDirector: Danny Boyle

Writer: Aaron Sorkin (Screenplay) Walter Isaacson (Book)

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Kate Winslet, Seth Rogen, Jeff Daniels, Michael Stuhlbarg, Katherine Waterston, Sarah Snook, John Ortiz

 

Plot: Steve Jobs takes us behind the scenes of the digital revolution, to paint a portrait of the man at its epicentre. The story unfolds backstage at three iconic product launches, ending in 1998 with the unveiling of the iMac.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Drama

 

Story: Steve Jobs starts as Jobs (Fassbender) is about to release the Mac in 1984 and we follow as along with his assistant Joanna (Winslet) are struggling to make the computer just say ‘Hello’ we also follow how Jobs deal with his ex Chrisann (Waterston) who is trying to get Jobs to accept his responsibility to his daughter Lisa.

We move to 1988 for the release of the ‘Black Cube’ under the company name ‘Next’ as all the former friends and co-workers have come to witness this new release. We get to see how his relationship with Wozniak (Rogen) and John Sculley (Daniels) change between the releases.

The final act is set in 1998 where the IMac is being released and how Jobs can finally give the world his perfect design.

Steve Jobs is a very interesting look at one of the most important men in technology history. We get to see how his attitude was what made him difficult to work with. We see how even after he failed he came back stronger even though he made enemies. My big issue with this is that if you don’t know anything about Steve Jobs and the people involved this feels very distant for the audience to relate to. If you didn’t know anything about Jobs you won’t learn that much about him because this is just his reaction towards his releases with the people who would be the closest to him.

 

Actor Review

 

Michael Fassbender: Steve Jobs is the brain behind the Apple, we follow his life in three different times with three different releases that show his personal battles with people within the company and in his personal life with his estranged wife and daughter. Michael gives us a brilliant performance in this role through three different time periods.steve

Kate Winslet: Joanna Hoffman is the assistant to Jobs, she has been with him through all of the releases trying to keep him prepared for both success or failure but struggles to witness his behaviour towards his daughter. Kate gives us a great performance in this role working brilliantly with Fassbender.joanne

Seth Rogen: Steve Wozniak is the former partner of Jobs who started in a garage building the first computer, they have their differences through the years but Jobs does stay loyal to his old friend. Seth gives us a great supporting performance showing he can do the serious roles too.waz

Jeff Daniels: John Sculley is the marketing man who came into Apple from Pepsi who clashes with Jobs through the years, they both clash over how the world should work with Jobs wanting people to think and Sculley wanting to make money. Jeff gives us a great supporting role which is something you would always expect from him.daniels

Support Cast: Steve Jobs has a great supporting cast that all give us great performance with their interaction with Jobs.

Director Review: Danny BoyleDanny gives us a great film because of the subjects it was covering but unless you know the story it will fall short to the unknown person.

 

Biographical: Steve Jobs shows three big moments in the life of this brilliant minded man as we see how he real nature is portrayed.

Settings: Steve Jobs uses the settings which is mostly back stage areas before a big release.
Suggestion
: Steve Jobs is one to try, I do think it will be hard for some people to understand. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Fassbender is brilliant.

Worst Part: If you don’t know the Jobs story you will find yourself wondering what is happening.

 

Believability: Based on the real man and events leading up to the big releases.

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Awards: Nominated for 4 Golden Globes Including Best Actor, Actress, Screenplay and Original Score.

Oscar Chances: Will get a few nominations.

Budget: $30 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 2 Minutes

Tagline: Can a great man be a good man?

Overall: Great performances, great story but not understanding leaves us feeling empty.

Ratingcard

Movie Reviews 101 Halloween Midnight Horror – Jessabelle (2014)

logDirector: Kevin Greutert

Writer: Robert Ben Garant (Screenplay)

Starring: Sarah Snook, Joelle Carter, Mark Webber, David Andrews, Ana de la Reguera, Amber Stevens West, Chris Ellis

Plot: Returning to her childhood home in Louisiana to recuperate from a horrific car accident, Jessabelle comes face to face with a long-tormented spirit that has been seeking her return and has no intention of letting her escape.

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

Verdict: Voodoo You Think Is Haunting You

Story: Jessabelle starts with a real bang when Jessie (Snook) and her partner are moving homes and get hit by a truck, he dies while Jessie has to go through months of physiotherapy. Jessie has to call her estranged father Leon (Andrews) to pick her up and look after her while she completes her therapy all while still being confined to a wheel chair.

Jesse finds herself in the isolated house in the middle of swamp lands with nothing but a radio to keep her company. One the first night Jessie believes she sees and hears and woman while she is sleeping. Investigating around the house Jessie finds old belongings which includes a video message sent by her mother before she was born, due to be given to her on her 18th birthday. The message warns Jessie that she isn’t alone and a girl wants her out before we learn everything her father takes the tape throwing her wheel chair into the swamp.

Jessie starts getting visited by the ghostly figure as she learns more about her mother’s sickness as her father continues to try and protect her, he ends up becoming a victim of what is going on. This brings in Preston (Webber) an old friend who offers to help her. Jessie has to try and figure out what is going on and who is this ghostly figure after her?

Jessabelle plays out like my favourite sub-genre of horror, the ghost haunting to uncover the truth. There is a slightly twist with this one though, we get all the trademarks for what you expect to see but the final moments will surprise. You are left guessing for a long time about what is happening but you really don’t know where the film is taking you. We look into voodoo which we know can go in any direction really unless you have studied it, which frankly I haven’t. I like how the film decides to jump straight into the scares even if they are gentle at first before increasing with each one. I think this is a good horror story and the ending suits the film nicely. (7/10)

Actor Review

Sarah Snook: Jessie starts off as a happy young lady whose life is turned upside down with a horrific car accident that leaves her boyfriend dead and her stuck in a wheel chair. After moving back to her father’s house but it is here where he nightmares really start to happen. Sarah does a good job in the screaming leading lady making us convinced with what is happening throughout. (7/10)jessie

Joelle Carter: Kate is Jessie’s mother who died when she was young, but she left tapes where she believes she can predict the future that only show death in Jessie’s future. Joelle does give a solid supporting performance. (6/10)kate

Mark Webber: Preston Sanders is the old flame of Jessie’s who is now married but is helping through the troubles she seems to be facing with the mysterious visits. Mark fills the partner in the investigation easily enough giving us a solid portray of the old flame. (6/10)preston

David Andrews: Leon Laurent is Jessie’s estranged father who helps take care os Jessie while she recovers but he doesn’t like her looking around for anything in her past, but whatever he is hiding her from finds a way to take him out of the picture. David gives a solid supporting performance but does end up looking like a generic swamp like local. (7/10)

Support Cast: Jessabelle has a supporting cast that helps the film unfold giving us clues to what could really being going on.

Director Review: Kevin Greutert Kevin gives us a good horror film with plenty of scares from early on until the final scene. (8/10)

Horror: Jessabelle is filled with scares, we have two very good ones with the stairs and the bath scene. (8/10)

Thriller: Jessabelle does manage to keep us guessing from start to finish which is rare in a horror film, as they usually just make us sit at the edge of our seats waiting to see what happens next. (8/10)

Settings: Jessabelle puts the action in a house where a wheel chair bound person would struggle to get out, but the use of the Louisiana swamps adds the voodoo factor. (8/10)
Special Effects: Jessabelle uses good special effects to create the haunting moments. (8/10)

Suggestion: Jessabelle is one for all the horror fans to watch and enjoy, I think the horror fans will like the number of scares as well as the story that keeps you guessing. (Horror Fans Watch)

Best Part: I like the effect of the bath scene where the ghost is just as scared as Jessie.

Worst Part: We don’t get enough true clues which I know horror films like to give us.

Oh My God Moment: Final scene.

Scariest Scene: Stair scene, where Jessie hears footsteps running down the stairs brushing past her before she sees who is doing it.

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: Unlikely.

Post Credits Scene: No

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 hour 30 Minutes

Tagline:  The dead are back for life

Overall: Jessabelle is a horror film filled with shock, scares leaving your heart pulsing before the final scene leaves you breathless.

Rating 75

Predestination (2014)

logoDirector: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig

Writer: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig (Screenplay) Robert A Heinslein (Story)

Starring: Ethan Hawke, Sarah Snook, Noah Taylor, Elise Jansen, Cate Wolfe, Freye Stafford, Alicia Pavlis, Christopher Kirby

 

Plot: The life of a time-traveling Temporal Agent. On his final assignment, he must pursue the one criminal that has eluded him throughout time.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Circle of Life

 

Story: Predestination starts by introducing us to our protagonist (Hawke) who works as a form of time cop, while on his final case trying to stop a serial criminal known as the ‘Fizzle Bomber’ who keeps going back and changing the dates of his attacks. His latest meeting with the criminal leads him to get horribly burnt. One of his covers is as a bartender in 1970 where he tries to investigate the bomber, he meets a mysterious stranger (Snook) who is a writer for a magazine. One thing leads to another thing and the two end up placing a bet for a great story while discussing the Fizzle Bomber work.

We start by hearing the mysterious stranger’s Jane childhood how she knew she was different from a young age, stuck in an orphanage where she excelled in class and learned how to fight. Graduation gave her a chance to work with Mr Robertson (Taylor) on a space program. She excels through the training program scoring the highest possible scores, before getting kicked out of the program. Jane ends up pregnant before learning the truth that she has both male and female organs, this leads to her losing her female ones and having to become a man, to make matters worse her baby is taken from the hospital. After spending fifty minutes with this story we actually get to the point of bartender character who actually works with Robertson and offers to let Jane/John kill the man who put him in the position he is in now. All while our bartender figures out who the fizzle bomber is.

Predestination is one of those time travel films that really gets you thinking, even though it seems to give away the ending quite early on. It has plenty of twists and turns a few you don’t see coming and few that are clear. I know the bar story does go on too long but in the end it helps discover the points we have learnt from the conclusion. The thing that really confuses is that it is sold on the idea of hunting down a bomber and I know we learn the true identity by the end but we don’t get enough of the searching done early on. This will come off slow which is a big drawback but I think most of it gets wrapped up by the end. (7/10)

 

Actor Review

 

Ethan Hawke: The Bartender the time traveller who helps Jane learn about what could be possible all while trying to locate his last opposition who keeps escaping him. Ethan does a solid job but doesn’t get enough time with his main side of the story. (6/10)

 bartender

Sarah Snook: The Unmarried Mother Jane who is an orphan girl before finding out the truth that she is capable of being either, she gets turned into a man and gets a chance to go back in time to change how she was mistreated by a man. Sarah does a good job here. (7/10)

 mother

Support Cast: Predestination really doesn’t have much of a supporting cast at, we have the lead two stars taking up all the screen time.

 

Director Review: Michael Spierig, Peter Spierig – The pair do a good job creating a film that keeps you guessing but sometimes makes you think too much. (6/10)

 

Action: Predestination really doesn’t have much action in at all we have one scene replayed from different perspective but other than that it’s all talk. (4/10)

Sci-Fi: Predestination makes time travel interesting without throwing the science in our face, it just keeps things simple. (8/10)

Thriller: Predestination does keep you wanting to know what happens but doesn’t create any real edge of your seat moments. (5/10)

Settings: Predestination keeps its settings very average but keeps them authentic for the time periods. (8/10)
Special Effects
: Predestination has few special effects but the ones it does have work very well. (8/10)

Suggestion: Predestination is one to try it may come off very much complicated but ends up coming together nicely at the end. (Try It)

 

Best Part: Keeps you guessing.

Worst Part: The opening story is too long.

 

Believability: No (0/10)

Chances of Tears: No (0/10)

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

Similar Too: Triangle

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

Tagline: To save the future he must reshape the past.

 

Overall: What came first the Chicken or the Egg?

Rating 66