Jim_Screechy

IMDb member since July 2020
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    IMDb Member
    1 year, 2 months

Reviews

Star-Crossed: The Film
(2021)

Great... if you like to watch pretty women in weird clothes
What can I say? Kacey is a fairly typical contemporary artist making mainstream music I have no idea how to categorise. I don't necessarily like it, but that doesn't make it bad, a loft of people do.

Well, the film is her singing in weird settings with other rather attractive, suggestively clad women wearing odd clothes. I liked the women. Cant say fairer than someone with good taste chose them.

Good for background visuals, or playing on big screens at a party before things get going.

Downton Abbey
(2010)

Began well, then descended into mediocrity
I liked this from the onset and quickly started to binge watch series one. It's glossy, well produced, picturesque and visually quite stunning. I can't speak to the accuracy of the portrayal but there is no denying the aura authenticity it projects, and some considerable effort seems to have been extended into obtaining and maintaining this experience.

Its half soap opera half period drama, and there is an extensive list of characters who all seem to have peculiarities and intricacies that fill the show out quite well. However, without question the characters are fairly one dimensional, and this creates problems with the show in general as it progresses through the series. For example, the good guys are good, the bad guys bad, and there isn't much movement from the median of where their central premise is anchored. This isn't to say the characters aren't well fleshed out, for the most part they are, but they don't have the true spectrum of traits present in real people, and are more like caricatures of the people they represent.

As with most good tales, the characters really make this show. The situations, experiences and encounters they have are the real flesh of the enjoyment, with the location the period and everything else adding to the foray. Unfortunately the lack of depth some of the characters have is problematic. The Earl of Grantham - the head of the household, apart from being a financial imbecile, makes idiotic decisions and poor judgement as a matter of course, and it is hard to overlook that this is done solely to advance the plot in its various guises. Evil characters like Mrs O'brien and Mr Barrow persist way beyond their 'sell by date' solely because of the conflict value they bring to the story. The incredulity that must be exercised to explain their ability to withstand the consequences of their underhand behaviour extend beyond anything since Dick Dastardly and Mutley.

The series is unwilling (or unable) to relinquish bad characters in particular, often reintroducing them in the most awkward and preposterous manner. By mid Season-3 it's fairly clear the production is in trouble, lazy writing, poor development and a somewhat muddled plot start to emerge and by Series 4 the show is firmly in the rhealms of - creating situations for progression by numbers.

By series 4 it becomes very much a typical soap and loses much of the essence that made it special to begin with. Story lines become predictable, nothing is introduced by chance and even obvious opportunity is used to create a drama situation, escalation point, or thread of development that can be seen coming a mile off.

It isn't necessarily that the show is unwatchable or unentertaining, more just predictable and somewhat stilted.

Dame Maggie Smith is the stand out actor and but for her, I'd probably not bothered watching to the end.

I think 7/10 is a good overall score though this is not linear throughout the progression of the series and the unfortunate dip in production quality is a far cry from the show when it first began.

Beckett
(2021)

The sort of thing I'd expect from independent production Noobs
Took me all 2 minutes to realise this would suck.

The forced intimacy, the lack of chemistry between the couple, the terrible script (who talks like that? Its a movie not a play at your local barnyard theater), the wooden performances, particularly by the male lead... Christ why did I endure? Like Pandora's box, the only thing there was never any sign of throughout the screenplay was hope.

I'll not go on.. Give it a miss and spare the self flagellation.

CODA
(2021)

Not my kind of movie at all! but I loved it
Yep, rolled my eyes and all that after the first five minutes till I realised ten minutes in I was really enjoying it... which I did thoroughly till the end.

Much of what the movie has to offer has already been said, so I won't bore you with repetition. However I'll point out that this one took me pleasantly by surprise with how engaging, easy and enjoyable it was to watch. The story is a pretty good one; a feel good, in-depth tale of family and becoming, without the cheesiness or exaggeration that often comes with movies of this nature.

Great acting, directing script, production. Emelia Jones does a fantastic job with the lead, but in truth, the whole main cast does excellent job... I can't really fault it without being pedantically picky. Now you'll probably shed a tear here and there, so have the tissues ready.

Aside from being just a thoroughly enjoyable movie, its also a great "get you out the doghouse movie" so if you have to make amends with your wife/girlfriend for some transgression, you could do no better than to take them to see it, just trust me on this.

Anyway it was a great change from the films I normally seek out to see. Every now and then you hit the high score and I did with this one.

Hope this helps.

Naked Singularity
(2021)

Just couldn't make it to the end
At no time was I comfortable watching this movie and experienced only fleeting moments of entertainment while watching it. I stuck with it for just over an hour hoping that it would gain momentum, but upon the sudden realization that I wasn't actually enjoying it, I gave up.

The acting is pretty good though the film gives the sensation of being fast paced, I noticed after a while it was the dialogue which gave this false impression; so much so that I was thrown from the tracks of conversation in several places due to the rapid fire exchanges that were taking place.

The story is a bit of a 'Mashup' of ideas and situations that haven't been blended together well enough, and the incongruity it produces does not lend well to the screenplay. It is good in places but lacks the harmony to bring it together as an enjoyable piece.

I was a little at odds after throwing in the towel, since I did want to like it and feel if it had been done slightly differently, it would have been a good movie. I feel a little guilty for giving it 3/10 but not being able to make it to the end means it can't get 5, and the other issues with it made it essentially unpalatable.

I don't think I'm being overly critical and in fairness, not everyone will find this as awkward to view as I did, so I can see it getting as much as 6 from individuals tolerant of a little chaos. I would suggest the higher ratings (and I've seen a few here) are less than genuine. Sorry just can't recommend it.

Hope this helps.

Out of Death
(2021)

How to 'Pout' in an action movie
Christ, I don't know what this film was about but as a comedy it did quite well. There are some serious laugh out loud moments and by the end I was in quite good spirits, not to mention in an upbeat, jovial state for the rest of the day.

There are two women in it who are quite remarkable, the first is the Sheriff's deputy called Billie and the second is... who knows. All I know is she was pouting so much at Bruce Willis I thought was his wife giving him the 'come on'. Then she called him 'Uncle Jack' and I thought 'what the hell!' Anyway they are both so spectacularly good at pouting (regardless of the situation in the film) my girlfriend thought they were strippers (seriously).

Anyway, the film is just atrocious low brow trash, and if you didn't gather that from the pouting then trust me, the rest of the movie will have you in no doubt whatsoever. The movie is simply ridiculous rubbish. If Willis had done this at the beginning of his career he'd never have been anything but a 3rd rate actor doing TV drama for the Hallmark channel... if he was lucky.

I've seen some truly awful stuff since the Covid pandemic but this really has to be a contender for best-worst picture of lockdown. Willis has dropped a few clangers recently, but its not like his performances are great and overshadowing the roles he's getting. No, he's totally on par with the bargain basement parts he's starring in.

There is no point in giving this a serious review or critique and I think 3/10 is more than generous, but if don't believe the reviews and/or just you really want to know how bad it is (in addition to seeing the two pouting grandmasters in action) give it a go.

The God Committee
(2021)

Unengaging and lacking excitement.... a very dry experience.
I watched this primarily because of the cast, and though the film was ultimately a let down, I only have myself to blame. The days of being able to use actors or a cast, even high profile ones, as criteria to asses a movie are officially over. Although there have always been some occasional incidences of this occurring, 2020 saw this become a widespread and more or less standard phenomenon which is now commonplace.

I have seen some reviews with very high scores here, and I would simply suggest that some may be less than genuine. If you are looking at this from an informational perspective... more as a documentary rather than an entertainment piece then I could understand why you may find this somewhat more interesting, but as a movie for entertainment, I think a five out of ten would be a generous score.

The performances from the cast are pretty solid and the story the movie is trying to portray is a good one. Unfortunately it isn't depicted interestingly and the result is, for the most part, a boring representation of what should have been a very interesting and highly charged topic.

There are problems with the script from the get go, a lot of rambling monologues and wordy exchanges with heavy undertones, innuendo, an implication throughout. The screen play never really highlights the real (and quite powerful) issues properly and the brooding way the story evolves really stalls the screenplay.

By far the biggest problem is the way the story flits back and forth between the past and present events with only Kelsey Grammers hairline as a clear indication of what period of the timeline the story is addressing. This is a difficult manner of portraying a story, and you had better have good reason for doing it. Sadly this is really at odds with how the story unfolds here and it does a serious disservice to the experience.

Ultimately I didn't enjoy the movie or find it particularly interesting even though I actually find the issues and ethics surrounding Transplantation quite an intriguing one. I was bored half way though and only through sheer will power and long held crush on Julia Styles did I make it to the end.

Master of None
(2015)

A Spin-Off Would Have Been Better
Seasons 1&2 have a pretty well established appeal, and the shows in general are quite well regarded. Season three focuses on Denise, the changes in her life & living arrangements and more so, the details surrounding her love life.

The fact that she is gay is largely irrelevant since it never mattered in the first two series, but what is relevant is that the shift in the direction the series has taken is so significant, it will probably appeal to a completely different group of people.

There are certain comedies I don't watch because I don't find them interesting or entertaining, programs like 'How I Met Your Mother' 'The Big Bang Theory', or 'Modern Family'. There's a whole host of them that have no comedic appeal for me. However I do watch 'Brooklyn Nine Nine' and 'Rick and Morty', and if one of them was to morph in to a version of 'The Big Bang Theory' I'd stop watching them too.

I think what the producers should have done here is to create a new show called "Denise" (call it what you will) rather than leech of the popularity of 'Master of none' in releasing the new series which lets face it, is a totally different incarnation.

Ok fair dues to openness, Ansari did say this season would be different, but with a new direction, but what we have here is something more that a slight, or even moderate change, this is a severe shift in genre.

The last thing I'd say is unfortunately if the show was decent, I'd probably watch it. Sadly it isn't. Denise has lost much of the frivolity of her earlier appearances. Yes she was always deep, but now she's deep without the joviality that made us laugh. It's as though she's grown up, and now dealing with the important issues of adulthood has lost inner child that lit the screen. This may have been deliberate, possibly to give more depth an insight into the rigors of her life, I don't know, but the show is consequently quite heavy, and as if this wasn't bad enough, it is also pretty boring, which makes it largely unwatchable.

Anyway, I don't necessarily want to rag on the show, but the simplest phrase that comes to mind for Series 3 is... "This is not what we signed up for"

I think this is a fair appraisal of the show. I hope it helps.

I Am All Girls
(2021)

South African Human trafficking - kinda says it all.
I'd not had any prior knowledge of this movie, so when I saw the title (and the poster) I thought, Ill avoid this one since its going too be a film about lesbians, woman power or similar such issues for which i 'generally' have little interest and I suspect will be... well rubbish.

I was partly correct but wholly wrong about the premise of it not being interesting and well made. I enjoyed it, and though it was quite a 'heavy' subject the film for the most part did an commendable job at dealing with a difficult topic in an effective way for screen and movie appeal.

I was unfamiliar with any of the cast, but generally it was an capable group of people who did a great job with the material. The long string of individuals who play the bad guys/girls from cabinet kingpin to whorehouse madam all do an very well with the roes, as do the score of children used in the movie.

Erica Wessels does a great job with the lead and really does well portraying a woman immersed in her work but tortured by the baggage that goes with the position. I'm thankful the the director didn't go for the stereotypical hardcore Hollywood interpretation of a female lead police investigator here, since I think it would have lost this element of the screenplay that is quite powerfully portrayed by the movie. Hlubi Mboya also does a good job with her role and the two have great on screen chemistry which unravels my prior conclusions around a perceived lack of interest.

What the film is about has been done to death by other reviewers so I won''t go into it. Some aspects of the film could do with some work. For example, there are some basic oversights/errors in police practice, that are difficult to ignore, and our maverick heroin seems to ignore procedure as a matter of course in a manner that that can only be matched in roles played by Mel Gibson or perhaps Bruce Willis. Additionally, her propensity to act on emotion, ignoring both common sense and logic (I suspect for the advancement of the plot) is a little ridiculous to say the least.

The script in places is a little forced and some characters (the police chief/ lieutenant in particular) has a character straight out of a bond movie. That would not have been so bad if he's role had been played well.

I've probably already written too much, but I will reiterate that the story is an interesting and intriguing adaptation of the underside of human trafficking. It's well thought out, well directed, well shot, and acted. Its not a masterpiece but it is a good film worth seeing.

I think 7/10 is fair score.

Jupiter's Legacy
(2021)

The Boys... It's Not
'The Boys' was a fantastic rendition of gritty modern day super hero's and the intricacies of their lives intertwined in a pretty contemporary world. Jupiter's Legacy falls considerably short of what that series was able to achieve.

One of the problems is this show is laboured with issues the characters have in dealing with personal aspects of their lives, and some of super herodom that aren't particularly interesting. For the most part they don't enhance the characters, advance the plot, or even add much in the way of dimension to the story, other than to make it hackneyed. There is simply too much involvement in the mundane aspects of their existence which really goes nowhere.

There is (IMO) a need for some heavy editing and better screenplay. The acting actually quite good, but it is easy to mistake the poor and lacking script for poor performance, and to be fair, the cast does a good job with the 'mashup' they are given called 'lines'. The screenplay the script really needs some attention to bring it up to par.

The Special effects are pretty good and the super-scenes are well done. For the most part they are interspersed with the plot fairly frequently, but it doesn't prevent the overall production from becoming a yawn fest.

The parallel story that runs with the present day time line is a plus. It's done well and I actually found this sub-stream somewhat more engaging that the main, and its a little odd they managed to get this aspect done so well, whilst leaving the main plot languishing.

I laboured through much of the show unable to stir my interest even when super powers came into action, and even though on the whole it isn't bad, there just isn't enough to keep me interested.

For the most part I like all things superhero, I like zombie stuff and Sci-fi, but I've found with most of these creative works that are well done, the super stuff is just a supplement to the stories and interactions that are happening between the people. If you take out the extraordinary, the ordinary that's left behind needs to be robust, or you just won't have anything good enough to satisfy. If you take the zombies out of the walking dead, you have interesting reactions and developments between people in trying times and difficult circumstances. Pull the super powers from the characters in any of the Marvel films, or for that matter any good movie involving extraordinary circumstances, people or situations.

You take the superpowers away from the cast members here, and you simply have a boring soap opera no one would watch past 5 minutes.

Just not good enough.

Safe Inside
(2019)

90% rubbish
I came across this film and wondered if I should bother watching it. I tried to find reviews and information but there is very little available. A handful here, little much else.

To be fair, it makes a lot more sense having watched the movie. I'll save you the bother of having to go through the experience given its not a particularly rewarding one.

All the experiences of love, trauma and confusion happen within the mind of the girl who is in a coma as a result of the bus ride accident she has at the beginning of the movie, and to be honest all these events she experiences are a little ridiculous and underwhelming.

I found my attention continually wandering and interest spent as what little of the plot unfolded. There are so many films where I've seen opinion expressed that the film didn't full fill potential, but I don't think this is one of them. The concept is an interesting one, but the film really doesn't have much to offer aside from beautiful scenery and overplayed notions of love, romance and loneliness.

It's well shot, with beautiful imagery but that s about it.

Definitely not worth the investment in time to watch.

Little
(2019)

Marsai Martin is a star in the making
Some Two years late with this review I came across this movie on Netflix and well... thought it would be a disservice not to write a review.

The movie is ok generally, a VERY colourful montage of both characters and hues (literally there are bright vivid colours everywhere and I can think of no better film you could use as a test to put your new TV through its paces) for light viewing and comedic entertainment.

Its true, there are probably some questionable scenes regarding appropriateness where children are concerned, so a warning beforehand is probably appropriate. I'm not sure what the official rating is, but I'm not entirely sure I'd be happy having anyone under 14 watching this.

The film definitely has its moments and some great hilarious scenes but overall as a comedy there are just too few of these good moments and too many unfunny or cringeworthy sections that counter the good work. It's pretty cheesy for the most part, but this is down to the script rather than the actors who overall do a pretty good job with the material.

I think this is the best I have ever seen Regina Hall, she really is on point with the character and for the well written funny scenes she delivers them to perfection. Its a bit of a shame more time wasn't spent on the script because I think with a little more care and attention (and some harsh editing of the ridiculous screenplay) this could have been a side splittingly funny film. Nevertheless, the real star here was Marsai Martin who gave a storming performance. As the young Jordan she was good but as the older incarnation in the young girl she was astounding. A really exceptional performance here and its a shame the movie didn't make more of what these actors could do with a better script.

I was reasonably entertained overall, and though the formulaic plot passed the time, I can't say it was worth watching for entertainment value. The producers of these Movies really need to start 'Engaging Brain' instead of using these paint by number screen plays for another pay check.

Well that's about it, hope this helps.

Concrete Cowboy
(2020)

I Didn't Make It To The End
Sadly this film just misses the mark in my opinion. It starts off well - a single mother trying to raise a difficult teenage son who continually gets in fights at school. She can't manage decides to leave him with his estranged father, a strange hedonistic type urban cowboy who lives in what can only be described as a pigsty with a horse that shares his living room for company... (seriously)

He's a horse trainer by day, though we see little of this; much more focus is given to his off hours where he seems intent on whiling away his time reminiscing with old friends who share his interest, around a camp fire at night drinking smoking (mostly dope) and doing little if any parenting.

The involvement of horses in the plot is a little at odds with the story, almost as though there were two separate stories here mashed together to make a single film, and I can't shake the feeling that each seems almost inconsequential without the other. I think this is where the film ultimately fails because one can never really experience the feeling of continuity as the film progresses. Neither story is strong enough to carry the tale and together they fit awkwardly, like incorrect jigsaw pieces stubbornly mashed together.

The acting as actually pretty good. I really can't fault the performances from the cast here, its the material they have to work with that does them a disservice. For the most part the story is predictable, and since I was never really invested in the screenplay, I was mostly bored by the events that unfolded and ultimately unable to make it past 2/3 of the film.

I'm still scratching my head a little about this film. I think the story needed to be thrashed out some more before going to filming, and I get the impression it was a rushed project without the necessary planning and patience it really needed.

4/10 is the best I can give a film I couldn't finish. Can't recommend it.

Sleepers
(1996)

Didn't Make it To The End
This film popped up as a suggestion on my Netfix home page, and I took one look at the cast and started watching immediately. I had no idea what it was about, nor had I ever heard of it, so it was a pleasant surprise.

As so many have said it has an epic first half. I was totally invested and quite pleased with myself for discovering (albeit though a Netflix algorithm) this little gem.

However! I was wrenched from my bed of enjoyment by a drastic turn of events that began with the introduction of Brad Pitt. Not only did the story shift from a the well established plot I had been revelling in, but I actually couldn't follow this new direction... with the voice over quickly going through sequences and procedures that hadn't been displayed on screen. After 15 mins of this I'd had enough and switched off.

Bit shame as the first half was fantastic. Just completely lost me during the second and I wasn't enjoying it. I have a very basic notion about scoring, if you can't even make it though the film, regardless of how good some aspects of it my be, it can't get a 5 or higher rating. The best I could give this one is 4/10.

Chaos Walking
(2021)

Only Half a Movie Really
By the time I made it to the end of this movie I felt like you do when you go to the rest room half way through a meal only to return and find the waitress has cleared away your food.

It has an interesting plot - colonist ships leave earth to find a new home and a better life, but things go sideways when the new planet they find and land on has unexpected psionic forces that affect men.

Unfortunately very little is revealed throughout the majority of the movie, so although you get a quite detailed account of the effects this strange phenomenon has, you get little else about the planet, the particulars of their ordeal, or even the indigenous intelligent humanoid life that exist there. Your really just plonked into the setting with a "these people are here, deal with it" sort of experience.

The effect is you can't really invest in the movie because your not given any information to do so. I was anxiously awaiting things to unfold to give me some thing to cling on, but it didn't really come, not even at a intravenous drip pace...that is till the 3rd quarter where I was a little detached from the proceedings.

Its a real Firefly-esque type world setting, where there is limited real technology to speak of and everyone is riding around on horseback acting (and speaking) like Wyatt Earp. The main focus is Tom Holland's character, saddled with Daisy Ridley as they try to escape the rag-tag posse on horseback that is chasing them... seriously! For the most part this consists of Tom and Daisy shambling through lush green forests guarding any talk of their young experience like its granny's best china.

Tom Holland carries this one almost singlehandedly. There isn't a lot for Daisy Ridley to do other than reveal nothing and remain as distant as possible as she reluctantly follows Holland while they try to reach their destination, all whilst evading the pursuing posse. Unfortunately as an actress she doesn't really have the range to pull this off, and what you really get is a very wooden performance which doesn't compliment Hollands efforts particularly well.

There is certainly a lot of suspense and build up. This aspect of the movie is done well, so there is a lot that keep you interested, but I'd never go so far as to say I enjoyed it. The swiss cheese story structure simply leaves too many unaddressed issues of significance to ignore.

For the most part its watchable, but not enjoyable or even entertaining.

If I had the opportunity to watch it again I wouldn't, and more pertinently if I knew that this was the experience I'd be presented with beforehand, I wouldn't have watched it the first time.

As such 5/10 is the most I could give this one, and can't recommend it.

The Father
(2020)

Just Wasn't Enough.
I really wanted to see this film and deliberately didn't read any reviews or watch the trailers because of this. I think the plot is fairly simple and nothing is being given away with the synopsis of how it describes the characters demise into dementia.

As an explanation of the condition its great, but as a film it doesn't really work. It does a very good job of describing the descent of the main character, and gives a fairly vivid description of his confusion, despair and random behaviour, but this becomes quite tiresome and repetitive as the film progresses.

There just isn't enough of a story here, nothing of significance happens, and even when changes occur to the character or his circumstances, they happen within the disconnected framework of his condition which is a very low key, subtle affair.

There are no developments that take place to draw you into the story, the characters plight, or that of his family. The screenplay in general is very one dimensional and offers no real emotional investment in the film, other than pity of his condition to progress past this fairly slight and unrewarding concept.

Don't get me wrong, I'm sure many people can identify with the film and even realise with so much more understanding how dementia affects people (especially loved ones) because of this film. It highlights the effects of the condition exceptionally well. I'm also sure older people watching this will probably have an unpleasant experience on what's possibly awaiting them in the short to medium term, but as a movie it still doesn't work, it isn't enough. It is more of a documentary, as a movie it simply doesn't deliver.

I'm struggling to give it a fair score for movie value whilst recognising the intent of the film makers may not have been specifically entertain per se, and I'm finding it quite difficult. What the film does, it does very well, but outside that it has little to offer, and I think as a result 5/10 is a fair score.

Happily
(2021)

Anticlimactic
The film begins with an interesting concept that totally held me for about the first hour, then it got a little weird and veered violently into a totally different direction which left me more than a little surprised.

Unfortunately the new course was one I neither understood nor related to in reference to what came prior, so it threw me into left field with a unsatisfied and confused aftertaste.

For once, I can say with all sincerity it was a movie i just didn't get. Even though it was well acted directed, and (for the most part) produced, I think the incongruity of the plot will be problematic for most viewers.

It didn't help that in order for the story to assume the new course of direction, several rather ridiculous plot developments had to take place which again, were not in keeping with the stage previously set or the character frameworks as previously defined. Even with the oddities of the plot aside, this was enough to jar me from the experience that until that point, I was quite immersed in.

Anyway, I don't want to rag on this film too much as i don't think it's necessarily a bad movie per se, just that the creative license employed here may have had a few too many sherbets and not been in the right frame of mind for making the best decisions for the movie progression.

I can't recommend this one as it is ultimately disappointing, but for budding film makers it is a good lesson in not what to do with a pretty solid plot, or possibly how to wrest success from a movie, with questionable choices in screenplay.

Cosmic Sin
(2021)

Way worse than you think
Seriously! Terrible screenplay, unrealistic, stilted script, terrible direction... I could go on but its trust me, the whole thing is just appalling.

The good. Well, the actual performances from Willis, Grillo are pretty good. They've not phoned in their exploits here, but put some effort into good performances. However, in the grand scheme of things it makes little difference. Aside from the aforementioned, Lee, and maybe a couple others, the rest of the cast is really below par and suitably in line with the rest of the already poor production.

The only thing this film needs is Nick Cage in his current professional guise to finish it off.

I assure you, 2/10 is a very fair score.

The Violent Heart
(2020)

Definitely Worth Seeing.
I more ore less came upon this film by accident, but was pleasantly surprised how much I enjoyed it. I think the title is a little misleading and certainly misplaced, but fortunately I somehow managed to get past it and I'm glad I did.

It has a pretty decent script, plot, and is well directed. For the most part it's a fairly simple tale well told of the meeting of two young people and how that develops with the complicated pasts that lies beneath their family history. Its an intriguing and well paced plot with a soft curve that ramps up evenly as the movie progresses.

A solid cast does a good job bedding you into the tale as it unfolds with subtle infusions of drama that add to its complexity. Jordan Carter does a great job with the portrayal of younger Daniel, however I think that Jovan Adepo who plays the older version of Daniel is miscast here. Throughout the film he seems somewhat distant and subdued and even when violence erupts from him, his manner always seems a little understated. His counterpoint in the film Cassie, played by Grace Van Patten, falls for him for really no reason that I can fathom, and the affection she has towards him seems misplaced given there is such little depth to his personality. I'm never convinced of the supposed bond that exists between them, or at least of the reasons for the affection she has for him.

The plot unfolds with some very interesting developments and with normal teens some rebellious behaviour ensues, bur fortunately here its not used to sour the character played by Van Patten. The film uses black and white actors in realistically separated lifestyles, and not in some idealistic homogenous social cocktail that is all too often employed to depict diversity. However its done without some of the more unpalatable racial overtones that so many films use to add tension and spice to the screenplay. Its been done well and gives the film an air of a unique viewpoint of events as things unfold and the lives become entwined.

I liked it. The story stuck with me for some time after I watched it, and that's always a good sign that it had positive impact. I think 7/10 is a pretty fair rating, possibly a little high given the reservations I had with the lead, but I'll let that slide.

Its a good film definitely worth watching.

Zombacter: Center City Contagion
(2020)

Terrifying.. to see something this bad made it to completion.
How the hell did this film get made? It's just a poor amateur effort at best. Its the sort of thing you'd expect from the early endeavors of an aspiring film maker figuring out which end of the camera to look down.

Its so bad its a fight to decide which aspects of it are worst, the script, the direction the production... I don't know, they're all so terrible its a close call to make.

Really, seriously, just pass this one by.

I Care a Lot
(2020)

Totally Unbelievable
Unlike the Superhero universe where you can expect the absurd, the fantastic, even the outrageous within the scope of the film, normally without batting an eyelid, the framework of this film supposes no such spectacular allowances. However, it still employs the most absurd developments and extraordinary events to occur, and in fact these are essential for the advancement of the plot, with no regard for reality... or even a semblance of acceptability.

This is coupled with a protagonist who is impossible to like and only alienates the audience and further, only progresses in stature throughout the screenplay with no consequences or retribution. This is never going to go down well. Even Thanos is more likeable than this lead. Her lack of redeeming characteristics the poor way the screenplay is structured to aid her advancement only sours the experience. I can't imagine many people (other than the odd psychopath finding this movie palatable, and I can't in all honesty see this being a successful movie.

If there is one redeeming factor about this film, it is that I will never forget the name J. Blakeson, and if I ever come across a film he has written, directed or God Forbid both, I will know to avoid it at all costs and thus save myself two hours of pain and torture... which is essentially what I endured watching this film.

aTypical Wednesday
(2020)

Very Entertaining and enjoyable watch.
I really enjoyed this movie. it really is a reflection of the intricacies and trails of normal relationships, life and problems... with a little drama thrown in for good measure.

It's a well written story for the most part, and the lead -Jlee really does a good job portraying the character of a worried, insecure but morally principled guy trying to manage a series of unfortunate events. I know him from 'The Orville' an exceptional Star Trek adaptation in which he plays helmsman/ chief engineer. He's ok in it, but here he does a far better job, albeit in his somewhat low key manner. The whole cast is pretty competent and does good job with the meterial, though Emmy Raver-Lampman who plays the 'Crazy' ex-lover does a spectacular job with the role.

The movie has some good laugh out load moments, but I wouldn't say its a funny movie, certainly not a comedy. I'm not even sure that is what was being aimed at. If I had to guess I would say 'humorous' which has been well achieved.

I think 7/10 is a fair and accurate rating, and it was a nice surprise to come across something so refreshing unexpectedly.

Willy's Wonderland
(2021)

Utter Foolishness
Nicolas cage is a great actor, but for the last few years he had done some real stinkers. Maybe someone in Hollywood has it in for him, but he's just not getting the good parts any more and the slide into trashy, low budget poorly written parts reaches a new low with this one.

This is the sort of film you would expect from a film student or a bunch of wannabe film makers who fancy themselves the next Michael Bay. Its poorly written, very poorly directed, poorly scripted, poorly choreographed, and poorly shot.

There is really not point going into details, but if you want to know how not to make a film, or if your a lecturer highlighting the poor use of resources for film making to your students, you could well use this as a great example.

Cage has no lines in this film, and I mean NONE, and if you are going to make a film where the lead character has no lines, it had better be a fantastic screenplay, This most certainly isn't and the attempt at a quirky implementation falls completely flat.

I'd say see it just for the experience, but even that would be a waste of time.

The Man from Outer Space
(2017)

Needs work, can do better
The biggest shock I had with this film is how many people were listed in the credits. For a cast that had all of eight people, several of whom played double roles, I was amazed to see the credits rolling for minutes with a football field of names.

I watched it based on the trailer and the opening scene with the astronaut wearing a space suit made from what looked like pipe cleaners. This should be funny I thought, and yes, it had a couple of funny moments and was semi interesting at times, but generally it was pretty boring, pretty basic and seriously underdeveloped... hence the title of this review.

I'm conscious of the fact that people, including myself, can be overly critical with reviews and similarly excessive with expectations, so I'm not going to flog this one to death. I think the concept is a good one, but it needs several layers of rework before it's anywhere near ready for production, and a director who knows how to get a competent performance from the cast. The plot is simple and the focus of the majority of the film hinges on personal interaction and strong competent delivery, sadly little of this is present and the script is far too weak to carry it off even if the parts were played by the most renowned Hollywood A-listers.

Erica Auerbach who plays Alyssa is probably he stand out performer and seriously puts effort into delivering a competent performance whilst everyone else renders up roles like they're reluctant extras for the school play they've been forced into to make up grades.

Christopher Mychael Watson is wooden and unnatural except when he's delivering monologues and adlibbing playing an agitated scene. Given he's the lead its unsurprising this film has all of two reviews here (mine being the third) but perhaps he was a late stand-in and only had a day to memorise his lines... who knows.

I've already written too much about this film and given its already four years old, I'm not even sure why I'm bothering. Anyway. It gets a 3/10 for effort, but like so many of the report cards I received in school, it's needs a lot of work to make anywhere near a decent grade.

The Secrets We Keep
(2020)

Good film, Rapace is on fire
Lots of twits on here recommending Death of the Maiden, as an alternative to this, which is quite frankly ridiculous. Since when does an idea have to be completely original or uncharted to be given a screen rendition.

This film is pretty damn good, its an intriguing thriller filled with suspense good acting, direction, a great cast and a lead who is totally immersed in the role. I mean the story is good if a little slow and lacking in those high tension events that really bring suspense to the fore, but Rapace really carries this one with an outstanding performance.

I loved it, and even though I only gave it a 7/10 I still think its one I could watch a couple more times.

I do think there were some lost opportunities for events to escalate or for incidents to really take on a little more action, but I'm probably nit picking.

Really enjoyed it. Watch it

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