Gold – Movie Review

TL;DR – Brutal, uncomfortable, and completely compelling.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Disclosure – I paid for the Stan subscription that viewed this film

Gold. Image Credit: Stan.

Gold Review

When you are creating a film that wonders into the Survival genre, there are two very different ways you can engage your audience. The first is through shock, a sudden event or trauma like a bear attack. Or you can slowly pull everything away from people like a tide coming in or an approaching winter you are not ready for. Today we look at a film that explores the latter, but instead of the chill of winter, we get the brutal, unrelenting heat of the desert Sun.   

So to set the scene, some time, someplace, not far from now, a man is sitting in a train carriage boosting a ride in cargo. Man One (Zac Efron) has the clothes on his back and not much else as he walks out into the desert heat at Greenview Outpost. He is heading to the compound in the restricted Eastern Territories and gets a lift with Man Two (Anthony Hayes) through the inhospitable landscape. Man One goes off to take a leak after the car blows its radiator, which is when he spots something shiny in the desert, a gold nugget.

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Finch – Movie Review

TL;DR – An emotional journal to find safety in a world that has fallen into disaster.     

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Disclosure – I paid for the Apple TV+ service that viewed this film.

Finch. Image Credit: AppleTV+.

Finch Review

One genre I have always found interesting is that of the lone survivor. Why they were left alone could be from them being forgotten, marooned, left behind, well, anything. Fighting against the elements and even time to survive. Indeed, Tom Hanks is famous for playing a similar situation in Cast Away, so you knew it had to be an exciting premise to get him back into this realm.

So to set the scene, in the not-so-distant future, a solar flare wiped away Earth’s ozone layer exposing the globe to a massive surge of radiation and also setting off a global EMP. This baked the planet, killing nearly all the plants, animals, and of course, humans. One of the last people alive is Finch (Tom Hanks), who has survived in St Louis in the basement of the robotics company he worked at. He has one mission, to finish building Jeff (Caleb Landry Jones) an android, so there would be someone to look after Goodyear/Dog (Seamus) after he was gone. Things were going well until a supercell arrived. It will last for over 40 days, 40 days too long. So they all have to make a trip across the country to safety.  

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Gunpowder Milkshake – Movie Review

TL;DR – Stylistically fascinating, tonally inconsistent, and yet still engaging      

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Disclosure – I paid to see this film

Gunpowder Milkshake. Image Credit: StudioCanal.

Gunpowder Milkshake Review

There has been a real struggle for independent stories to break through in a world of franchises and sequels. So when you see a new film emerge, you want to see it thrive. However, there are still as many hits and misses when you have new ideas as what happens when you are working with a solid franchise base. Today, we look at a film which has aspects of both sides, both the good and the bad.

So to set the scene, we open with a phone beeping off the hook as blood and bullets scatter the room. It is here where we are introduced to Sam (Karen Gillan), who is a cleaner for a secret organisation called The Firm. 15 years ago, a young Sam (Freya Allan) was abandoned at a diner by her mother Scarlet (Lena Headey) after a shootout with the Russian Mob. Now, Sam is here with her handler Nathan (Paul Giamatti), and she is on the last legs with the organisation. All she has to do is hunt down some missing money. What could go wrong?     

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The Map of Tiny Perfect Things – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film full of charm and heart that explores time in an authentic way   

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Disclosure – I paid for the Amazon Prime subscription that viewed this film.

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things. Image Credit: Amazon Studios.

The Map of Tiny Perfect Things Review

There seems to be a renaissance in the Time Loop genre in recent times, one of those perfect intersections of art and reality. You don’t have to sell someone on the concept of the same day over and over again because that is life at the moment. While it might be the case that there are not that many stories that you can tell within this genre, today we look at a film that shows that there is still more to see in this world.

So to set the scene, were open in the morning as Mark (Kyle Allen) wakes up and begins his day. But unlike reality, every movement is perfectly timed as if he knows everything that is about to happen. Of course, this means that he does know what is about to happen because Mark is stuck in a time loop. Mark is spending his days copying Groundhog Day trying court Phoebe (Anna Mikami) when one loop something changes as Margaret (Kathryn Newton) appears, and he discovers that he is not alone.  

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Marital Problems – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film full of awful people being awful to each other   

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Marital Problems. Image Credit: Reel Merit Films.

Marital Problems Review

Some films have a very grand scope darting from place to place, or even planet to planet. Then there is those film that are more intimate, sometimes staying in the same location for the entire runtime. Both of these approaches can work for your narrative if you structure them well. Today we look at a film that follows the later, in a world that may not be what it first seems.

So to set the scene, we open in on Ian (Callum Gault) as he lies in bed nursing one hell of a hangover when a bang on the front door wakes him from his stupor. At the front door, is McManus (Neil Goldsmith) a handyman who is here to fix the place up for the landlord Devon (Jonathan Hearns). Why is the home being fixed up, well, Ian has not been playing the rent, and he is about to get kicked out. It is at this moment of despair when an agent of chaos appears in the form of Clarke (Nick Capper).

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Lowdown Dirty Criminals – Movie Review

TL;DR – A film of two halves, some interesting characters in a story that fails to deliver

Rating: 2.5 out of 5.

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Lowdown Dirty Criminals. Image Credit: Monster Films.

Review

Today we are looking at a film of two halves, which makes it a difficult movie to review. This is because there are aspects where the film shines, and then there are moments where it all falls apart. These two halves create a disconnect that you can’t help but see throughout the entire runtime.

So to set the scene, we open in on Freddy (James Rolleston) and Marvin (Samuel Austin) in a room that is about to explode in gunfire. We then jump back a night where we see Freddy and Marvin in a car as they completely botch up robbing an ATM, severely damaging their boss’ car. From here they are up a certain creek without a paddle. Their boss Spiggs (Scott Wills) gives them one opportunity, they have to kill the guy sleeping with his wife, and it all goes wrong from here.

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Movie Review – Hidden Orchard Mysteries: The Case of the Air B & B Robbery

TL;DR – This is a film with a great set up and leading pair, but is held back by the format not fitting the story    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Hidden Orchard Mysteries The Case of the Air B & B Robbery. Image Credit: Vision Films

Review

Growing up one of the staples of literature was the children detective novel; for some, it was Nancy Drew, for me, it was the Raven Hill Mysteries/Teen Power Inc. So it has always a bit of nostalgia for me when I get to see a new version of this genre put to screen. Well, today we have just that opportunity with Hidden Orchard Mysteries.  

So to set the scene, we open as the house gets ransacked, with laptops, pearls and more taken in the theft. The next day the homeowners Mr Parker (Donovan Williams) and Mrs Parker (Kim Akia) are in the middle of a community meeting when the theft is discovered by the local groundskeeper Mr Sanchez (Orlando Cortez), and they return home to count the damage. Mystery and intrigue are afoot, so the two local sleuths Gabby (Gabriella Pastore) and Lulu (Ja’ness Tate) to get on the case to work out who robbed the Air B & B.

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Movie Review – The Prince (El Príncipe)

TL;DR – A film that spends a long time trying to find its voice but never quite gets there due to issues with the story.     

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene

Warning – Depicts scenes of sexual abuse

The Prince (El Príncipe). Image Creidt: Artsploitation.

Review

I watched a lot of films that have had difficult moments to watch, today I look at a film that is filled with them. This makes it a film that is hard to unpack because it has a big barrier of entry. Today we will try to examine that difficulty as we explore The Prince.  

So to set the scene, we open in on a scene carnage as a throat is cut and someone bleeds out on the floor. We then find ourselves walking through the dimly lit halls of a local jail. Jaime (Juan Carlos Maldonado) shuffles from one cell to the next before finding himself in the cell of Potro (Alfredo Castro) one of the jail’s patriarchs a place where safety and danger can be one and the same.    

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Movie Review – Mutiny of the Worker Bees (Rebelión de los Godínez)

TL;DR – This is a film of two halves, one that really works, and one that really doesn’t 

 Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid-credit scene

Review – Today we get to review a film out of Mexico that delves into the world of office workplaces. A place of conflict, love, war, and comedy. It is here where we see the best and the worst of ourselves and others and it can be both a metaphorical and literal riot at times, and a bit frustrating at others.

So to set the scene, we open in on a city street in Mexico as someone in a mascot outfit walks down the street to the sounds of Staying Alive. He is very popular with everyone as they line up to take selfies with him right up until an elderly man shots him in the head with a t-shirt gun. It is here where we meet Omar Buendía (Gustavo Egelhaaf) the man behind the mascot outfit and his Abuelo (Alejandro Suárez) the man behind the gun. Well, Omar’s Abuelo has a minor heart attack, so has to step away from his job forcing Omar to find a steady white-collar job. Well, welcome to Relo Tech, a world of extremes … also a really toxic work environment.

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Movie Review – Ali & Alia (علي وعليا)

TL;DR – A difficult film to watch at times but an interesting look at power, addiction, family, and abuse.    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is a mid and post-credit scene

Warning – Depicts scenes of abuse

Ali & Alia. Image Credit: Number One Films.

Review

I had realised that my drive to experience more of world cinema has taken a back seat for a while, so today I decided to change that. More than just change that, I thought it would be best to dive into a cinema I haven’t really explored before. As if on cue, Ali & Alia appeared and well one does not look providence in the face and then blink.   

So to set the scene, we open flying through a town until we land in a football field where two sides are drawn together in opposition. On one side is Ali (Khalifa Albahri) and on the other is Aboud (Mayed al Ali). What is the fight about, well we jump back a little time and we see the start of it all. One day as Ali is escorting Alia (Neven Madi) to the local clothes shop when he is accosted by a bunch of layabouts. Instead of standing up for himself, he says nothing. This upsets Alia because he is not acting like a man. This rebuke starts a spiral in Ali’s life that affects everyone around him.

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