Portal (2021) Movie Review

Portal – Great World Building

Director: Jeff Desom, Saman Kesh, Dugan O’Neal

Writer: Jeff Desom, Saman Kesh, Dugan O’Neal, Ed Hobbs, Chris White (Screenplay)

Starring: Lina Esco, Josh Peck, Wilson Bethal, Rory Anne Dahl, Julianna Collins, Jordan Rock

Plot: Without warning, millions of mysterious alien “doors” suddenly appear around the globe. In a rush to determine the reason for their arrival, mankind must work together to understand the purpose of these cosmic anomalies. Bizarre incidences occurring around the sentient doors leads humanity to question their own existence and an altered reality as they attempt to enter them.

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Portal starts when the world has been overcome by over a million of his objects known as doors, with the world looking to learn about them after loved ones start going missing. Becky (Esco) and Vince (Peck) are leading the investigation into one of these doors.

Once inside the door they discover a world that can’t be explained, one that transforms through each doorway, that is looking to consume them as they search for an answer.

Thoughts on Portal

ThoughtsPortal is a film broken up into three chapters, with three different sets of characters, at different stages of the appearances of the doors. First, we get the first appearance, without knowing much the students try to figure out what is happening, while this is a nice introduction to what could happen if this appears suddenly. Second, we follow the government trying to learn more about what could be inside the doors, seeing a couple of scientists enter a world they can’t explain. Third, we find a researcher that kept the door a secret, so he could study it. All three stories give us a unique way of approaching it, but it would be fair to say, we would have liked to see more about what is happening in each of the chapters, they could have all been expanded to develop more about the characters involved, as well as the work they are looking to explore. We could have plenty more to work with, as this world is only just touch upon, which could see plenty more going on, with more mysteries we don’t learn more about.

 

Signature Entertainment presents Portal on Digital Platforms and DVD 19th April

Portal is an interesting idea that feels like we could have had even more from the world created.

The Tangle (2019) Movie Review

The Tangle – Complex

Director: Christopher Soren Kelly

Writer: Christopher Soren Kelly (Screenplay)

Starring: Christopher Soren Kelly, Joshua Bitton, Jessica Graham, Nicole da Silva, Anil Kumar, Mary Jane Wells, Bel Delia

Plot: A secret government agency watches over the Tangle from within technology safe rooms, locations impermeable to the nanobots that make up the Tangle. Swarms of microdrones fill the air, the water, our very blood. In this world, it is impossible to keep a secret anywhere but in your S.O.L. (Secure OnTangle Line), a quantum encrypted hard drive implanted in your brain.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Tangle starts as Carter (Bitton) is being questioned by Edward (Kelly) and Laurel (Graham) about an incident which took place in a location known as the Tangle, a safe place or so people thought.

As the questioning intensifies, Carter must try to convince the agents that he isn’t involved in the murder and even after Francesca (Silva) arrives to make the investigation even more intense, the clues point towards something else, an outcome which would show Carter as innocent.

Thoughts on The Tangle

Characters & Performances – When it comes to the characters, we are mostly dealing with the conversations, describing their actions, with Carter being questioned about an incident, he truly believes he has nothing to do with it and must prove he is innocent of any wrongdoing. Edward and Laurel are playing good cop, bad cop on Carter, looking to learn the truth, they will go to the extremes to make it happen. They have plenty to go through, with their own secrets that will only offer up more questions. Francesca is the higher up that has come to take control of the situation, pushing Carter to new levels for answers, desperate to solve the murder. The four main actors do a great job to keep us engaged through the film, with nearly all the film being dialogue based, which will drive the film even further along.

StoryThe story here follows a mystery murder in a new technology based world known as the Tangle, a place where there shouldn’t have been one, with us getting give the many different potential outcomes to the truth. This is a story that is dialogue heavy, which will keep us engaged as we look to learn about the truth. The story commits to taking us into a new world, one that could give us an endless look at possibilities as to what we could have gone through. This story might well come off like we have too much waiting to happen, but much like Memento we are left to keep guessing.

ThemesThe Tangle is a sci-fi film that creates us world where we end up learning about a new technology that could move communication to a new level. We get to stay in one main location, which is used for the interrogation going on.

 

The Tangle is a complex sci-fi movie that will leave you with plenty of questions, even after a solid murder mystery through the film.

Anti-Life (2020) Movie Review

Anti-Life – Tight Sci-Fi Thriller

Director: John Suits

Writer: Edward Drake, Corey Large (Screenplay)

Starring: Cody Kearsley, Bruce Willis, Rachel Nichols, Kassandra Clementi, Johnny Messner, Thomas Jane, Corey Large

Plot: On the cusp of fatherhood, a junior mechanic aboard an interstellar ark to New Earth must outwit a malevolent cosmic terror intent on using the spaceship as a weapon.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Anti-Life starts in the year 2246 with the Earth about to die, Noah (Kearsley) and Hayley (Clementi) are trying to board the last spacecraft to travel to New Earth, with Admiral Adams-King (Jane) running this ship, as Hayley his daughter is looking to have her first child on New Earth.

Noah is working on the ship as a janitor, under Clay (Willis) who has done plenty of missions before, this crew will have to work together for the 6 month journey, only not everything is going to plan, when a malevolent cosmic terror is picking off the crew, leaving them to fight back to save everyone on board.

Thoughts on Anti-Life

Characters & Performances – Noah is a stowaway on the last spaceship leaving Earth, he is doing everything to save his pregnant girlfriend, which will see him taking a role as a janitor on the ship, staying awake for the journey, trying to keep his identity a secret, until the mysterious creature starts picking off the crew, with his presence making him the prime suspect, where he must prove his worth in trying to fight back and save his girlfriend. Cody Kearsley does well in this role, being the entry to the world as well as the desperate father to be. Clay is the senior janitor who was once a captain, he must show Noah the ropes, becoming the one that will help fight back against the evil on the ship, showing his leadership from a previous life. Bruce Willis might well be making a lot of films where he doesn’t perform, here he does everything you would expect, not Die Hard levels, but not terrible in the film. Admiral Adams-King is sleeping through the mission, which will see him needing to be bought out of hyper sleep to make the difficult decisions, he is clearly an over the top leader that gets extra entertainment value in the film. Thomas Jane does go big with his role, at times it looks like it might be in the wrong film, but you will remember it. We do get to meet different members of the crew, each with a different role in keeping the spaceship clean during the mission.

StoryThe story here follows a stowaway that pretends to be a janitor on the last ship leaving Earth which will see him needing to fight against an unknown evil creature on the ship. This story does seem to borrow from plenty of other sci-fi movies, we get the ideas of needing to move humanity to a new planet, which is a very real reality that does work well for the film, an evil that consumes, which is one that always works for the sci-fi horror. We could look at certain parts of the story not playing the smartest answer for humanity with the threat happening. We are also left with an ending that will frustrate more than anything else, as we would have liked a more conclusive ending.

ThemesAnti-Life is a sci-fi film that takes place on a spaceship turned ark which is taking the last group of humans to a new planet, the alien creature does everything it needs to, adding fear to everything, even if most of the attacks happen off camera, with the biggest moments being flashed over too much. The special effects are mixed, with the moments that do struggle are usually kept off camera.

Signature Entertainment presents Anti-Life on Digital Platforms 12th February and DVD 15th February.

Anti-Life is a by the book sci-fi that does keep the story simple, survival at all costs but never getting dark enough for the world we are in.

Space Sweepers (2021) Movie Review

Space Sweepers – Emotional Space Adventure

Director: Sung-hee Jo

Starring: Song Joong-Ki, Kim Tae-ri, Seon-Kyu Jin, Hae-jin Yoo, Richard Armitage

Plot: Set in the year 2092 and follows the crew of a space junk collector ship called The Victory. When they discover a humanoid robot named Dorothy that’s known to be a weapon of mass destruction, they get involved in a risky business deal.

Runtime: 2 Hours 16 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Space Sweepers starts as we enter the world of 2092, humanity is left living in poverty, with the wealthy moving to space cities around Earth, created by Sullivan (Armitage). Tae-ho (Joong-Ki) works as the pilot of space junk collecting ship The Victory, under Captain Jang (Tae-ri), Tiger (Jin) and robot Buds, one of the most feared group in space.

When the group are on their latest salvage, they find an android that looks like a little girl, Dorothy (Yoo), one that is used as a deadly explosive by the terrorist groups in the world. The crew find themselves caught up in the middle of a get rich scheme with Dorothy, which is only expose the nature of the new world.

Thoughts on Space Sweepers

Characters & Performances – Tae-ho is a former soldier, a father searching for his lost daughter in space, struggling to pay the debts he owes. He is the pilot on a junk collecting spaceship and brings a human connection to Dorothy when they find her. He will do anything to protect Dorothy, even though he has lost he killer instinct from being a soldier. He is the heart and soul of the crew, the clue which keeps them together. Song Joong-Ki is great to watch in this role, with his character having the biggest story involved in the film. Captain Jang is the ultra cool leader of the group, she knows how to handle any difficult situation and has a back story, which only enforces her kick ass attitude. Kim Tae-ri is the strong leader the crew need with her performance. Tiger Park is the engineer on the spacecraft, his past will have him seen as a loose cannon, he shows a carrying side for Dorothy too, he is tough as nails character. Seon-kyu Jin is great to watch as the hard man with a heart of gold. Dorothy is the android girl the crew find, she was built for one reason making her one of the most dangerous pieces of equipment in the universe. Buds is the robot that loves using the harpoon on the missions, this character will get the most laughs, without being fully comic relief, a great addition to the crew. Sullivan is the mastermind who built the cities in the sky, looking to help humanity regrow, only he has a bigger motivation for his actions. We could have seen a lot more of this character, as he falls into the background of the bigger picture we are seeing.

StoryThe story here follows a crew of space pirates who are travelling around collecting space junk discover an android girl that turns out to be a weapon of mass destruction that needs protecting. This is a film with a story that gets a lot bigger than you would imagine from the outside looking in. we get to see a crew of misfits that compliment each other to be known as the best in their field, going up against everyone who wants the android girl. The story is big and dives into a lot of different themes of pollution, population and resources, looking at how people might look to deal with the problems. The story does end up giving us a great sense of adventure and doesn’t take anytime at all to throw us into the world.

ThemesSpace Sweepers is a sci-fi adventure film set in the not to distant future, taking us into a world devastated by pollution and population, adapted to live around the space above the Earth. The Earth looks depressive, dark, dingy and ravished by the environmental changes, while the space locations are filled with the beauty you would like to see on Earth. The moments in space look amazing with the harpoon sequences breath taking to watch.

Space Sweepers is truly an enjoyable adventure movie that doesn’t hold back on the bigger emotional impact in the film.

Synchronic (2019) Movie Review

Synchronic – Stunning Concept

Director: Justin Benson, Aaron Moorhead

Writer: Justin Benson (Screenplay)

Starring: Jamie Dornan, Anthony Mackie, Katie Aselton, Ally Ioannides, Bill Oberst Jr, Natasha Tina Liu

Plot: Two New Orleans paramedics’ lives are ripped apart after they encounter a series of horrific deaths linked to a designer drug with bizarre, otherworldly effects.

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Synchronic starts as we meet two paramedics, Dennis (Dornan) and Steve (Mackie) who deal with long shifts and injuries, illnesses and deaths on their routines. Steve does find himself getting some bad personal news, while the pair start to see an increased number of strange cases and injuries coming their way.

Steve starts to look into what happened to Dennis’s daughter Brianna (Ioannides) who vanishes suddenly, leading him to start taking a drug that others a different worldly experience, one that could see him try and find her.

Thoughts on Synchronic

Characters & Performances – Steve is one half of a paramedic team, the bachelor of the pair, he has a reputation for being a ladies man and doesn’t mind this, when the cases the pair are called to start becoming strange, he starts to investigate more and when it gets personal, he starts to dive into the drug world to learn about a new drug that will give him an experience unlike anything anyone could imagine. Anthony Mackie takes this leading role and runs with it, showing us the confusion and determination to learn his character goes through, trying to explain everything. Dennis is the married partner of Steve’s he has a rebellious teenage daughter and a new baby, he relationship is becoming more strained with his wife, he is trying to fix everything, feeling helpless when his daughter goes missing, pushing Steve away, until he becomes the only one who could answer the mystery. Jamie Dornan is strong in this role, with his role feeling smaller, while Mackie gets the bulk of the most interesting side of the film. Brianna is the rebellious daughter that has a strong friendship to Steve who she sees as an Uncle figure, along with her father Dennis, she does disappear, causing the two to try and figure out the truth. Tara is Dennis’s wife that knows why Steve isn’t always welcome around her friends, she does go through the same struggles as Dennis when their daughter vanishes. Katie Aselton and Ally Ioannides fill these two roles, where they might not get much screen time, but their importance drives the story.

StoryThe story here follows two paramedics that are dealing with a strange amounts of injuries, that don’t make logical sense and when one of their family members goes missing, it drives them down a hole with answer they never expected. This story does bring us an interesting concept that will become intriguing as, we could see everything going anywhere through the film. The journey Steve gets to go on could simply go anywhere, which will easily engage the audience that want to see just where the next step will go, it does lead us to not wanting to talk to much about how this happens, but the experiment side he conducts, keeps us enjoying how it would unfold.

ThemesSynchronic is a sci-fi film that is mind-bending taking us to a place we wouldn’t even imagine it could go, taking the settings all over the place, which will only keep us wanting to see more.

Signature Entertainment will release Synchronic on home premiere January 29.

Synchronic is one of the most mind-bending movies you will see, continuing to show the talents of the directing pair, who will constantly challenge the audience.