The Trial of the Chicago 7 (2020) Netflix Movie Review

Director: Aaron Sorkin

Writer: Aaron Sorkin (Screenplay)

Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Alex Sharp, Sacha Baron Cohen, Jeremy Strong, John Carroll Lynch, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Mark Rylance, Joseph Gordon-Levitt

Plot: The story of 7 people on trial stemming from various charges surrounding the uprising at the 1968 Democratic National Convention in Chicago, Illinois.

Runtime: 2 Hours 7 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Trial of the Chicago 7 starts as we meet the defendants, Tom Hayden (Redmayne), Rennie Davis (Sharp), Abbie Hoffman (Cohen), Jerry Rubin (Strong), David Dellinger (Lynch), John Froines (Flaherty), Lee Weiner (Robbins) and Bobby Seal (Abdul-Mateen II) who are from different peaceful political protest, which has turned into an uprising.

Now FBI prosecutor Richard Schultz (Gordon-Levitt) is assigned to convict the eight with their lawyers William Kunstler (Rylance) and Leonard Weinglass (Skenkman), with Julius Hoffman (Langella) running the case, which slowly starts to spiral out of control.

Thoughts on The Trial of the Chicago 7

Characters – Tom Hayden and Rennie Davis are the leaders of the Students for a Democratic Society, who want to lead a peaceful, by the book protest, not for show, but to make a statement. Abbie Hoffman and Jerry Rubin are the leaders of the militant Yippies who have the same motivations, but are willing to turn to drugs to get their message across, they are more outspoken than the rest of the group, looking to turn the trial into the circus the press would eat up, continuing press conferences through the trial. Bobby Seale is a member of the Black Panthers, who went to Chicago for speecher, he isn’t given a lawyer or even give a chance to defend himself through the trial. David Dellinger is a family man that is willing to follow these men, along with John Froines and Lee Weiner. Richard Schultz is the FBI prosecutor that hired to make conviction against the seven, it is his first major trial, he might not personally believe the men are guilty, but he is forced into trying the same case. William Kunstler and Leonard Weinglass are the two lawyers defending the seven, not Bobby Seale, they finding themselves looking to fight against judge who has already made his own mind up.

PerformancesThis is one of the most stacked casts you will ever see in film history, each member of the cast is flawless through the movie, we could easily see this film win the best Ensembled cast award.

StoryThe story here follows the trial of the Chicago 7 who have been accused of causing the Chicago riot during the Democratic National Convention, as we slowly see the events unfold through the trial, which is filled with twists and turns along the way. This is a story that plays into the courtroom drama that is brilliant to watch, filled with the serious matters, as well as having a lighter side through the case. This is a big moment in history and while we might not know the complete truth of the events, but how everything unfolds, highlights the horrors of the events. Having a large cast, we do have to see a large number of people get their side of the events, each leading to the biggest one, seeing how the seven were looking for the same outcome, with the different style of approach.

ThrillerLike most courtroom dramas, we are left on the edge of our seats watching this unfold through the film.

SettingsMost of the film is set in the courtroom, while we do see the building the case rooms and where the accused event was meant to have happened.

Scene of the Movie – Abbie takes the stand.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We miss large parts of the trial.

Final Thoughts The Trial of the Chicago 7 is one the most brilliant movies of the year, with an all-star cast that truly shine from the opening introduction to the final conclusion.

Blood and Money (2020) Movie Review

Director: John Barr

Writer: John Barr (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Berenger, Kristen Hager, Paul Ben-Victor, Jimmy LeBlanc, Mark Sivertsen

Plot: A retired veteran hunting in Northern Maine stumbles across a dead woman and a large sum of money.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Blood and Money starts when hunter Jim Reed (Berenger) finds himself accidentally shooting two people in the snow covered forest, looking to get out of the area quick, he learns that the two are bank robbers and looks to return to collect the money they have left behind, only to learn that their friends have come looking for the money, leading to Jim needing to show his hunting knowledge to stay ahead of the criminals.

Thoughts on Blood and Money

Characters – Jim Reed has been hunting in the forests for years, he knows the rules and what to do if he does break on of the rules, he tends to keep to himself for the most part and if he was to break one of the rules put in place, he will report before leaving. He ends up killing two people while hunting and learning they were bank robbers, he wants to take the money and leave, but ends up needing to use his survival skills to escape the friends who want the money. Bill is the leader of the people who want the money, he uses his men to try and track down Jim before he escapes with what he thinks is his. Debbie the local waitress that knows Jim from his visits, she is going through her own problems, which Jim wants to help her with.

PerformancesTom Berenger does give us the strongest performance in the film, being head and shoulders above the rest of the cast, who don’t get that much time to make an impact in the bigger picture.

StoryThe story here follows an elderly hunter that on his latest trip, accidentally killing a couple, only to learn they were bank robbers and while trying to retrieve the money, he becomes the hunted. This story is a survival story, this will follow the idea that the experienced one will need to use this to get the advantage over the numbers coming after them. While this doesn’t bring too much new to the table, it will keep everything simple, being similar to Cliffhanger, without the mad action moments. The story does have a slow build, which could have a little bit more about it, but it will do all it needs to do.

ThrillerThe film does try to keep us on the edge of our seats, with how the Jim will deal with the people coming after him.

SettingsThe snow-covered forest will add to the difficult situation that Jim can use to his advantage, against how the criminals aren’t used to dealing with the conditions.

Scene of the Movie – Water scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is too slow for its own good.

Final Thoughts This is a slow building thriller that might well get carried by Tom Berenger performance, but lacks the threat from the villains in the film.

Signature Entertainment presents Blood Money in Cinemas & Digital HD 16th October and DVD 19th October

Every Time I Die (2019) Movie Review

Director: Robi Michael

Writer: Gal Katzir, Robi Michael (Screenplay)

Starring: Drew Fonteiro, Marc Menchaca, Melissa Macedo, Tyler Fleming, Michelle Macedo

Plot: When Sam is murdered in a remote lake, his consciousness begins to travel through the bodies of his friends in an effort to protect them from his killer. This dark passage leads him on a greater journey – discovering his own true identity.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Every Time I Die starts when Sam (Fonterio) gets to go on a weekend retreat with his ex-girlfriend Mia (Melissa Macedo), her new boyfriend Tyler (Fleming) and Sam’s best friends Jay (Menchaca) and Poppy (Michelle Macedo), only he is haunted by the death of his little sister, until Tyler confronts him and murders him.

Sam’s mind wakes up in the body of Jay’s as he looks to stop the killer from hurting the rest of his friends.

Thoughts on Every Time I Die

Characters – Sam is the man that sees the love of his life moving on with her own, while living with the regret that he never managed to save his little sister, when he gets into a fight, he is murdered, leading him to transport into the body of one of his friends to try and capture his murderer. Jay is the friend that Sam returns inside, where he is the best friend that welcomes Sam to the time away. Mia is the ex-girlfriend that Sam is still in love with, she has her own new boyfriend while still have feelings for Sam. Tyler is new boyfriend that doesn’t take too kindly to Sam being around, or the returns.

PerformancesThe performances in the film are strong with each actor bringing the change required when it comes to having Sam take over their body.

StoryThe story here follows a young man that finds himself murdered, only to wake up in a friends body, needing to prove who killed him before they go after his friends. This is an interesting idea for a story, because it dives deep into the ideas of reincarnation and protection of friends, while showing difficult it could be to convince someone of a bigger problem of a murderer going around. It keeps us guessing into who Sam will return into and why there is such a big plot point around what happened to his younger sister. You will be kept guessing and it will ask bigger questions about life too.

ThrillerThe thrilling side of the film does keep us guessing to what will happen and how the truth could come out.

SettingsMost of the film does remain inside the retreat location, which will offer different perspectives of the characters.

Scene of the Movie – Sam’s true identity.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does bring us a slower start, with everything taking longer to get into the mystery.

Final ThoughtsEvery Time I Die is an interesting thriller that will keep us guessing, with strong performances throughout, only it does take a while to get going.

Every Time I Die will be available across all major streaming and Digital Platforms from 26th October

Ravage (2019) Movie Review

Director: Teddy Grennan

Writer: Teddy Grennan (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruce Dern, Annabelle Dexter-Jones, Eric Nelsen, Robert Longstreet, Joshua Brady

Plot: When a nature photographer explains to the Police how she fought her way out of the Watchatoomy Valley, they dismiss her crazed and violent story as a meth-induced nightmare. But when they discover that she’s telling the truth, it’s too late.

Runtime: 1 Hour 17 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Ravage starts as nature photographer Harper Sykes (Dexter-Jones) is recounting the events which left her in her condition, which sees her stumbling upon a group of rednecks torturing someone.

Harper finds herself captured by the group, with Ravener (Longstreet) looking to put her in part of their twisted games, only it turns out Harper knows how the handle herself, with a mix of her escaping and preparing to get out of the valley she is trapped in.

Thoughts on Ravage

Characters – Harper Sykes is a nature photographer, her work is respected around the world, with her latest search for a long thought extinct species finding her in the Watchatoomy Valley, where she witnesses a crime, trying to expose the truth finds her needing to use her own survival skills to try and survive from the killer lurking in the valley, always showing her abilities to stay ahead of the game. When it comes to the other characters, we have Ravener, who is leading the hunt for Harper, most other characters don’t get much time, usually setting up an incident for Harper to find herself in.

PerformancesAnnabelle Dexter-Jones is brilliant to watch, be it her cold deliver in the story of the events, the action her character goes through and the way we see her constantly showing the calculated mind rolling. We do get a small appearance from Bruce Dern, which doesn’t steal the spotlight, while Robert Longstreet, brings all the seedy evil character to life.

StoryThe story here follows a photographer that stumbles upon a meth murder, finding herself needing to show her survival skills to fight back against an evil. This story does give us a revenge style that we have seen before, one where the female character shows strength the criminals didn’t believe they could have, the revenge style is similar to the ‘I Spit on Your Grave’ without the same awful start, it does feel very formulaic, until we get the shock of what happened to Harper, as we know from the opening she is left in a hospital because of the events of her ordeal.

ThrillerThe thriller side of the film comes from seeing how Harper is fighting back, each scene is slow build in tension, though we know we are waiting for the mega explosive moment.

SettingsThe film leaves us in the remote valley, where Harper must learn to adapt to this area.

Scene of the Movie – The shock reveal.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does seem slightly too formulaic.

Final Thoughts This is a by the book thriller that does everything right and is saved by the shocking reveal in the final moment of the film.

Signature Entertainment presents Ravage on Digital HD 5th October

The Tunnel (2019) Movie Review

Director: Pal Oie

Writer: Kjersti Helen Rasmussen (Screenplay)

Starring: Thorbjorn Harr, Ylva Fuglerud, Lisa Carlehed, Mikkel Bratt Silset, Peter Forde

Plot: When a truck crashes inside a tunnel, people on their way home for Christmas are brutally trapped in a deadly fire. With a blizzard raging outside, and the first responders struggling to get to the accident, it’s every man for himself.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Tunnel starts on Christmas Eve with a blizzard outside and the Norwegian tunnel system under control, families are looking to get home for Christmas, when a lorry gets involved in an accident inside one of the large tunnel systems, with people trapped inside the smoke fills the tunnels as Stein (Harr) leads the rescue crew, which includes trying to save his own daughter Elise (Fuglerud).

Thoughts on The Tunnel

Characters – Stein is a fire and rescue operator, one that has become distant from his daughter, which is always a strain on their relationship over Christmas, he leads the rescue which starts out like normal, until he learns his daughter is inside the tunnel, where he will risk everything to rescue her. Elise is the distant daughter that is trapped in the tunnel, she uses her own survival skills to try and keep the passengers of the bus alive, this will give her a chance to follow in her father footsteps when it comes to becoming a heroic figure to some. We do meet the rest of the rescue team that are put in the impossible position of not knowing what to do next, other victims that are trapped that need rescuing, which are here to add even more drama to the events of the film.

PerformancesThorbjorn Harr in the leading role shows us the determination to first make up his relationship with his daughter and secondly his strength to fight to save people. Ylva Fuglerud leads the supporting with ease, as the whole cast looks great through the film.

StoryThe story here follows the events of a disaster in a tunnel in Norway, which sees people trapped in the smoke-filled tunnel with a race against time to survive. When it comes to disaster movies, we are used to seeing a big over the top moment, while this one brings us a more realistic idea of what could happen, if an accident happened, it is a slow build that occurs, with the threat being smoke over explosions. This is based on a real event, which does make us wonder just how much was real, or was it just the idea a tunnel got filled with smoke.

ThrillerWe are kept on the edge of our seats through this film, left waiting to see what will happen next.

SettingsThe film keeps the action inside the tunnel, which improves the intensity going on through the film.

Scene of the Movie – The last call.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Certain things characters don’t seem to use common sense.

Final Thoughts This is a great realistic looking disaster film that brings the importance of needing to save a loved one, no matter what it takes.

Signature Entertainment presents The Tunnel on Digital HD 21st September