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 – 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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Movie Review – Coffee & Kareem

TL;DR – When you can make a running tally of bad paedophile jokes and that is not the biggest problem with your film then you have some real problems.    

Score – 1.5 out of 5 stars

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

Coffee & Kareem. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Have you ever watched a film that is filled with talented people with an interesting concept, but it fails on almost every level. Well if you haven’t, I have the film for you, which shows you that you need to pick a tone when you start rather than trying to find one in production.  

So to set the scene, Officer James Coffee (Ed Helms) is going through life, and not succeeding bar the fact that he is dating Vanessa Manning (Taraji P. Henson). Well in one day Vanessa’s son Kareem (Terrence Little Gardenhigh) found out they were sleeping together and he became the laughing stock of the police force when Orlando Johnson (RonReaco Lee) escapes from the back of his police cruiser. To get back at Coffee, Kareem sets it up so Coffee would take him to a friend’s place but instead it was to a place so he could get a beat down. Well, it all fell apart and now Kareem and Coffee are on the run.

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Movie Review – Maska

TL;DR – A nice story that does tread some well-worn ground    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Maska. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

So to set the scene, we open in on Rumi Irani (Prit Kamani) who is living in his late father’s shadow. Like all things, he is fated to take over the family business which in this case is the Café Rustom an Irani café in Mumbai. His mother Diana (Manisha Koirala) cannot wait till he can take over the café and breathe new life into it. However, one night Rumi won the Mr Firozsha Baag and in it, he discovered his dream, he wants to become an actor. Of course, it does not hurt when he discovers that at his acting lessons not only is this his passion but one of his classmates Mallika Chopra (Nikita Dutta) might be his soul mate.

One of the things I like about Maska is how is it is about breaking out of the bubbles of our life. I once heard that tradition is just peer pressure from dead people and in this film that is both a metaphorical point and also a literal one as he sees an apparition of his father Rustom (Javed Jaffrey). It is about balancing the expectations of your past with the realities of the future.

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Movie Review – I am Jonas (Jonas/Boys)

TL;DR – There is an interesting film here, but it just does not quite come together   

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

I am Jonas (Jonas/Boys). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

In a film, time can be just as much part of the narrative landscape as the words the actors say. It can shape a film, it can direct a film, it can hide and it can reveal. Today, we look at a film that plays with time in its narrative, and while it never quite works it is interesting.

So to set the scene, we open in on a young Jonas (Nicolas Bauwens) playing Tetris on the Gameboy, while his dad fills up the car. Rage quitting he sees something out in the darkness and is attacked by a memory one he can’t shake. Many years later, Jonas (Félix Maritaud) is a very different person, but he is still haunted by the past.   

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Exploring the Past – Consequences (Posledice) (2018)

TL;DR – An exploration of the effects of toxic masculinity and all its consequences.   

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Consequences (Posledice). Image Credit: Temporama.

Review

There are films out there that sometimes you can see the trajectory coming a mile away, you see the pain incoming and like a crash in slow motion you can’t look away. Today we look at just such a film, one of pain and sadness and inevitability.

So to set the scene, we open in on Andrej (Matej Zemljic) who spends his days not being at school and his nights parting away. One night ends with him punching a woman and that rightly is that. He is sent to a juvenile correction facility as a last chance before jail time. Here he meets Žele (Timon Sturbej) the local ringleader and it is here when we see that this story is not going to end well.

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Movie Review – Guns Akimbo

TL;DR – There is a kernel of a good idea here, and there are parts of it where you can see how it could have made a really good film, just maybe not the one we got    

Score – 2.5 out of 5 stars

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

Guns Akimbo. Image Credit: Madman

Review

When you here that the premise of a film is that someone has bolted guns to Daniel Radcliffe’s hands and let him loose in the world. Well, that congers up a lot of images and expectations, indeed Daniel has been bouncing from one delightfully odd film to the next since his time in/as Harry Potter. At the very least, it is the kind of set up when you know before walking in that it is either going to be amazing or a dumpster fire but not in-between. Well trust me, I am just as surprised as you that I got it very wrong.   

So to set the scene, Miles (Daniel Radcliffe) is your usual loner who lives a less than great life as a code monkey for a soul-sucking corporation. But at night, he finally comes alive as he trolls, well other trolls. One night, however, things take a turn as he discovers ‘Skizm’, which is kind of like Twitch but with murder, indeed we are introduced to the program with Nix (Samara Weaving) annihilating another contestant because two people start and only one comes out alive. Well, Miles starts trolling the chat and eventually gets noticed by the admin Riktor (Ned Dennehy) who smashes down his door, knocks him out, and performs a little surgery. Miles wakes up with a splitting headache … oh and two guns bolted to his hands.

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