Parallax (2020) Movie Review

Director: Michael Bachochin

Writer: Michael Bachochin (Screenplay)

Starring: Naomi Prentice, Nelson Ritthaler, Hattie Smith, Ted Gianopulos, Bette Smith, Taylor Flowers

Plot: A young artist wakes up in a life that she doesn’t recognize, spending her time asleep haunted by nightmares of drowning in a black abysmal void. As she begins to uncover the truths of the life that she’s found herself in, the gravity of her failing reality weighs heavily on her psychological identity and the reliability of her sanity is called into question.

Runtime: 1 Hour 53 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Thinking Person’s Film

Story: Parallax starts as Naomi (Prentice) is feeling lost in her life, not remembering everything, including her fiancée Lucas (Ritthaler) who has been trying to support her, seeing Dr Hill (Gianopulos) for guidance, to help him express his frustrations of where his relationship is going.

As Naomi starts trying to explore her own mind, she finds herself being able to create worlds, one where she meets Mikayla (Smith) someone who she can communicate with more than anyone in her life, leading her to see the two worlds blur into reality.

Thoughts on Parallax

Characters – Naomi is a young woman that is questioning her own reality, she uses art to escape and find her own reality, one that will give her more answers to life, she doesn’t remember people she thought were big parts of her life, she doesn’t know who to trust in life. Lucas is the fiancée that has been trying to help Naomi with her troubles, he seeks outside help, which does give him a chance to understand whether he is right to continue to support the way he does. Mikayla comes to Naomi in the other reality, offering Naomi conversations she doesn’t always get in life, giving answer to the unknow questions.

PerformancesNaomi Prentice and Nelson Ritthaler are both good in the leading roles, showing the differences that they are going through during the story, with each scene needing them to bring something different to the table.

StoryThe story here follows a young woman that finds herself being trapped in a world where she doesn’t remember everything around her, her fiancée tries to support her in remembering things, only for her to find herself question each and everything about her life. This is a story that does go very deep into the reality of life, while we don’t get this until later, it will get you thinking, scratching your head at times and needing to take a step back to analyse everything you watch. It could be considered one film that does go too deep into the thinking side of things, which doesn’t help us get the full enjoyment, and is 100% a movie you can’t just relax and watch.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi side of the movie dives into difference in reality, seeing what could or couldn’t be real. Constantly keeping us guessing along the way.

SettingsThe film keeps the settings in a family home for the relationship, while also creating open beauty space for the quiet moments of peace.

Scene of the Movie – The deep dive.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It goes too deep.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting sci-fi that could be analysed for hours to truly understand everything, but it will not be a casual viewing for anyone.

Overall: Brains Firmly On.

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – Y – James vs. His Future Self (2019) Movie Review

We are truly clutching at straws with Y, as we are focusing on James being visited by someone from yesterday, showing he needs to learn about yourself.

Director: Jeremy LaLonde

Writer: Jonas Chernick, Jeremy LaLonde (Screenplay)

Starring: Jonas Chernick, Daniel Stern, Cleopatra Coleman, Frances Conroy, Tara Spencer-Nairn

Plot: A scientist meets a version of himself from the future who has traveled back in time to stop himself from inventing time travel.

Tagline – It’s man versus himself. Literally.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Interesting Idea

Story: James vs. His Future Self starts as scientist James (Chernick) is on the verge of his great breakthrough in time travel, only for him to get a visitor, Jimmy (Stern) an older version of himself, warning him to stop wasting his time on time travel.

James needs to listen to the warnings about his life, so he doesn’t follow the same mistakes his future self-made, including following his heart with best friend Courtney (Coleman) or just someone who wastes his time with time travel, being trapped in a cycle of isolation.

Thoughts on James vs. His Future Self

Characters – James is a young scientist who has been working on the possibilities of time travel for his whole life, he is giving up much of his personal life in this pursuit, which sees his relationship with his sister strained, the woman he loves is only a friend, only he gets visited by an older man, a man that claims to be him from the future. He needs to learn to stop and take a break in life to see what is in front of him before making the same mistakes again. Jimmy is the older version of James, he has been through time countless times, as part of the experiments, he doesn’t want to see James make the same mistakes again, he wants to fix everything in his life, teaching his younger self to enjoy life. Courtney is the co-worker, best friend and love of James life, she has a future beyond brilliance in her life and if James doesn’t learn about her importance to him, she will do it without him.

PerformancesJonas Chernick and Daniel Stern work well together in the film, we see how one has seen the mistakes and will look to learn from them, one shows the determination of a future, while the other shows the beaten down life of regret. Cleopatra Coleman works very well in the role, showing the person that is caught in the middle of a future with or without the person they love.

StoryThe story here follows a young scientist that is about to get a career making moment, only to get visited by his future self, to warn him about the decisions he will end up making in life, one that will have consequences he can’t imagine. This is a story about learning to make the most of the time you have in life and now missing the best moments of your life, the ones you can only make happen, by pausing in life more often. It warns about career being put before love and shows how extreme lengths an older version of yourself will always have regrets the younger ones make.

Comedy/Sci-FiThe comedy in the film comes from seeing what Jimmy does to try and stop James making the mistakes, while the sci-fi side of the film, does focus on time travel and what it could achieve for you in life.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the working environment, home environment, a location which is filled with tragedy and the secret location where Jimmy must spend his days, the locations do show how James hasn’t been able to make more of his own life, the way he would want to.

Scene of the Movie – The café meeting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Certain jokes don’t fit the tone of the film.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting idea for a film, it shows us how living with regret can haunt people, only this time we get to see the true meaning of this regret with time travel.

Overall: Interesting Idea.

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – W – Icetastrophe (2014) Movie Review

This is under W because of star, Victor Webster.

Director: Jonathan Winfrey

Writer: David Sanderson (Screenplay)

Starring: Victor Webster, Jennifer Spence, Richard Harmon, Tiera Skovbye, Mike Dopud

Plot: A meteorite brings ice and freezing temperatures, which threatens to harm the residents of a small town at Christmas.

Tagline – Mankind is on thin ice.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Typical SyFy Disaster Movie

Story: Icetastrophe starts when a small town is struck by a meteorite, Charlie Ratchet (Webster) must try to save the residents of his town, including his son Tim (Harmon), with research student Alex Novak (Spence) heading to the town to investigate, the side effects of the meteorite are shown, as a new flash ice wave covers the land, killing anyone caught in the path, it becomes a race against time to stop the whole area become an frozen wasteland before it is too late.

Thoughts on Icetastrophe

Characters – Charlie is the explosives expert in the town, he finds himself needing to save the town and his family after a freak meteorite strike hits the town covering it in a ice storm, he must save his family and work with a scientist to save the town from complete destruction. Alex Novak is the astrophysicist that had been following the meteorite and is now looking to study what has happened, bringing the expert opinions on how to stop the sudden change they have faced. Tim is the son of Charlie who risks his own life to save his girlfriend Marley, which show how the support cast are involved in small subplots while the bigger event is going on.

PerformancesThe film is led by Victor Webster who has the look of an action hero, with Jennifer Spence as the scientist who is helping, the two are the best part of the film, they don’t get challenged by any means, but for a disaster film we don’t have any truly bad acting, which is often the case for these movies.

StoryThe story here follows a small town that gets hit by a meteorite which brings a devasting ice storm, which is covering the land freezing people instantly, it become a race against time to save the land before it is too late. We know we get big ambitious ideas when it comes to the disasters, this does bring a wild idea to life, even if the peril related scenes are just a repeat scenario. We get the characters you would expect to see in the roles, the reluctant hero, the scientist out to prove themselves, the greed one who makes mistakes and of course the lost teenagers. It plays out like most of them, with the idea being the stand out from what we are seeing.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is more about trying to outrun the ice, the chase scenes don’t feel like they are filled with much peril, with the sci-fi side of the film being surrounding origin of the meteorite.

SettingsThe film does us the small mountain town as the setting, which shows us just how many different beauty spots this town could have.

Scene of the Movie – The warm woods.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The random flare showdown.

Final Thoughts This is everything you would expect from a SyFy disaster movie, it has fun, while not being original in character design, even if the concept is interesting.

Overall: Interesting Concept.

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – V – Riot Girls (2019) Movie Review

This is under V because of director Jovanka Vuckovic.

Director: Jovanka Vuckovic

Writer: Katherine Collins (Screenplay)

Starring: Madison Iseman, Paloma Kwiatkowski, Munro Chambers, Jenny Raven, Atticus Mitchell, Ajay Friese, Caron MacCormac, Alexandre Bourgeois, Darren Eisnor

Plot: In an alternate 1995, a mysterious disease has wiped out all of the adults. In this new age, two gangs are pitted against each other in a brutal war for territory, resources and survival.

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Flashy

Story: Riot Girls starts as we enter a world where the adults have all died and the kids run the world with the town split in too, we have Nat (Iseman) and Scratch (Kwiatkowski) in a group with Jack (Dourgeois) helping each other.

When Jack is captured by the Titans and their leader Jeremy (Chambers), Nat, Scratch and Sony (Friese) goes in search of rescuing him to hopeful help save their side of the town.

Thoughts on Riot Girls

Characters – Nat and Scratch are the two best friends in this world, Nat is the more everyday of the two, while Scratch is a rebel without a cause figure, the two do have a strong friendship and will fight for each other in this world. Jeremy is the leader of the Titans, he expects everyone to follow his orders or they will be punished. Jack is the leader of friendly group who gets captured and is the reason the girls go in search for rescuing.

PerformancesMadison Iseman is making an impact in this film in recent years, this continues to show her playing the similar role she is getting thrown into, Paloma Kwiatkowski is good as the rebellious figure in the film, with Munro Chambers returning to the same genre as Turbo Kid.

StoryThe story here follows two girls in a world divided by a disease which took the world’s adults and then ends up leaving two sides of town fighting over the resources. This end of the world story has been done with the teens trying to take over before, we have had eccentric groups before, sadly, this one doesn’t seem to come to life in the way others have, it does feel too short and with the random amounts of pure violence happening, before going calm, the tone get lost in the story quickly. This is a story you could have fun with though, it does try to have its own style, it doesn’t take itself too seriously.

Action/Sci-FiThe action in the film goes from small fight to death fights, they do seem to go through things very fast which don’t seem to be long played out fights. The sci-fi world does show us what has happened, only not showing the full effect of the world.

SettingsThe film hints we are in one town, only we need cars to get from each side, the world doesn’t seem to have fallen into much destruction either, it just feels like an everyday routine.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are used for the blood splatter, we don’t use them too often though.

Scene of the Movie – The check point.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – More, flash than substance.

Final Thoughts This is a flashy sci-fi film has its own style which doesn’t quite live up to the genre that it is similar too, you can have fun with it too.

Overall: Not Quite a Riot.

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – U – UFO (2018) Movie Review

Director: Ryan Eslinger

Writer: Ryan Eslinger (Screenplay)

Starring: Alex Sharp, Gillian Anderson, Ella Purnell, Benjamin Beatty, Cece Abbey, David Strathairn

Plot: A college student, who sees a UFO, uses his exceptional math skills to investigate the sighting with his friends while the FBI follows closely behind.

Tagline – Sightings are never a coincidence. The cover-up ends here.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Deep Mystery

Story: UFO starts when a UFO sighting happens over an airport, the FBI look to get control of the situation with Franklin Ahls (Strathairn) leads the covering up process, which is going well until student Derek (Sharp) starts looking into the maths behind the sighting, trying to understand what it might have been and the size of it.

The more Derek dives into the study, the more attention he gathers from the FBI, putting his own life on the line, his studies under the brilliant Professor Hendricks (Anderson) and his lab partner Natalie (Purnell), all to uncover the truth.

Thoughts on UFO

Characters – Derek is a brilliant math student, he can always put together problems, always looking for something outside of the logic, which sees him challenge his professor, he gets caught up in wanting to study a UFO sighting, which he believes does have a deeper meaning, only he will see himself being put under pressure by the FBI. Professor Hendricks is the strict teacher of Derek’s she doesn’t take any arguments from her students but does believe they are ready for greatness, with Derek being one of her very best. Natalie is the lab partner of Derek’s she starts to be left feeling distant and doesn’t want to ruin her own chances of success. Franklin Ahls is running the FBI task force to cover up the event, he doesn’t need it spreading but will listen to theories about the truth.

PerformancesAlex Sharp is great as the student who will push the limits of his greatness, he shows how obsession can take over somebody’s life. Gillian Anderson makes for a great choice for the professor role, with Ella Purnell struggling to make an impact with her character showing the distance Derek is creating between his friends. David Strathairn is always going to be somebody who could be a military or government professional with ease.

StoryThe story here follows the aftermath of a UFO sighting, which sees a brilliant maths student put his studies on hold to try and uncover the mystery behind the signal that has been left from the visit, while the FBI are trying to cover everything up. This is a UFO based story unlike anything you have seen before, it looks more into the science behind everything that has come from the message we set into space and how if we got a reply, what might happen. We do have a lot of mathematical talk, which will go over plenty of people’s heads along with the astrophysics behind it all. It is nice not to have the biggest creation of a villain, a story that people are working towards the same thing.

Mystery/Sci-FiThe mystery in this film comes from the message in a signal, which shows us how the sci-fi side of the film coming from the idea that we might have got a message back from the message we sent into space.

SettingsThe film does take place in Cincinnati, it shows the airport where the first incident happens and the university that Derek attends, it is all about creating an environment to study about the truth.

Scene of the Movie – The meeting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too much technical talk.

Final Thoughts This is a sci-fi film that is trying to be very deep, which is achieves, though it does get too complicated for its own good at times.

Overall: Deep Sci-Fi Film.