Movie Review – Waves

TL;DR – A challenging film to watch at times, but always beautifully shot and acted.     

Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars

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

Warning – Several scenes may cause distress and a scene that features extensive flashing lights.

Waves. Image Credit: Universal.

Review

When you go in to see a film, many factors engage you. There is the sound, the visuals, or the story. However, there is one factor that can have in an impact that you might not expect is that feeling of being in a room with a bunch of people that you don’t know who are having the same emotional experience. Today I look at a film where I felt the oxygen get sucked out of the room, felt the shock, and heard the gasps of exclamation.

So to set the scene, we open in on the Williams family as we get to see snippets of their lives. Ronald (Sterling K. Brown) is the firm farther pushing everyone to be the greatest they can be, Catherine (Renée Elise Goldsberry) might be a step-mother to the children. Still, she cares for them as if they were her own, (Kelvin Harrison Jr.) the local wrestling champion and eldest of the family Emily, and then (Taylor Russell) their caring daughter and Tyler’s sister. Tyler has everything going for him, he works for his dad, he is a star on the team with college scouts coming to the games, and an amazing girlfriend in Alexis (Alexa Demie). However, this façade starts to crumble when a shoulder injury doesn’t go away.

I am going to start the central part of this review by saying that it might be best to go into this film with as little knowledge as possible, so when those moments hit, they hit hard. Indeed it is going to be hard to talk about the movie in any meaningful way without running into spoilers right away. So with this in mind, I will try to be as vague as possible about the story beats throughout the review, but I will talk a little of the structure in the penultimate chapters where there will be full spoilers.  

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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 – The Wrong Missy

TL;DR – An interesting premise, but I don’t think the film ever lives up to it.    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

The Wrong Missy. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

We have all sent a text message to the wrong person before and had that mortified realisation, well what would happen if you had made that wrong text and didn’t know about it. This is a really interesting set up for a film that gives you a lot of avenues to explore. Well, one of those avenues is hard MA15 comedy, which might not be my first choice but here we are today.

So, we open in on Tim (David Spade) as he is meeting someone on a first date only to find that the women he has been set up on a blind date with is married to Roman Reigns. Of course just before he gets his head beat in his real blind date Missy (Lauren Lapkus) pops in to tell him she set it all up. Well, the first date deteriorates from there and includes a short sword, an escape out of a bathroom window, and a broken ankle. Well three months after that disaster he is running through an airport when he collides into a woman called Missy (Molly Sims) in an airport and they immediately clicked together, the first person since his marriage fell apart. Well the company retreat is coming up and his ex-fiancé Julia (Sarah Chalke) is bringing her new beau Rich (Chris Witaske), so Tim takes a chance and invites Missy to Hawaii … and I think you can tell from the title what happens.

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Movie Review – Rising High (Betonrausch)

TL;DR – An interesting concept and set up, that does not quite have the strength to get all the way to the end credits.     

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Rising High (Betonrausch). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

There is something about a good con film that can really engage you. It can be the way they upend the system, the suave chaos of its, and the way they pull of the graft. There is that feeling that they could be caught out at any moment, making every moment feel tense, especially as it starts to spiral.

So to set the scene, we open in on a party in full swing, boobs, drugs, and dancing everywhere, it is a chaos of ecstasy and excess. In the morning, there is carnage across the house and only Viktor (David Kross) is awake looking at all he has made when police storm the property. Arrested and in custody, we hear all the charges laid against him, which is many, so what is there to do, well you can tell your whole story to the police which is what Viktor does.

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Movie Review – The Hunt

TL;DR – A film that is brilliantly bookended but a bit of a slog to get from start to finish.    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

The Hunt. Image Credit: Universal Pictures.

Review

Many films have a rocky road from start to release, however, the problems usually lie either during or in the post-production process. Rarely do films have problems once they are ready to go, well sometimes it is threats from North Korea, and sometimes it is issues well outside anyone’s controls. Today we look at such a film that whose second attempt at a release got messy thanks to the world at the moment, but it is here now so let’s take a look.

So to set the scene, we open in on a forest as eleven strangers wake up, with no idea where they are or what happened to them, nor why they are wearing gags. One of the group, a young woman (Emma Roberts) notices one of the group run off into the woods, but everyone else is fixated on the box in the middle of the field. Inside is the keys to their escape, but also the start of the carnage as guns start going off everywhere. Now unlike a lot of films, it is a bit difficult to talk about this film without hitting [SPOILERS] real quick, so there will be some plot points that are spoilers that we will be discussing in the review.

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Movie Review – Tigertail (Hǔwěi, 虎尾)

TL;DR – A methodical and sad film at times while still holding onto that one bit of hope    

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

Tigertail (Hǔwěi, 虎尾). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Of the many types of films I watch, it has been quite a while since I sat down and watched a small contemplative film that slowly unfolds over its run time. Well, that changed today with our film Tigertail, a film that feels autobiographical even though I have no idea if it is or not because its focus of characters is that good.

So to set the scene, we open in on a young child running through the rice fields of central Taiwan, he mostly alone but he finds a moment of happiness when he runs into a local girl. However, as we jump to the present we discover that the years have not been entirely kind to Grover (Tzi Ma) as he is driving home from the airport by his daughter Angela (Christine Ko) after attending his mother’s funeral back in Taiwan. There is an instant distance between the two, with each side wanting to help but not knowing how to proceed.

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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 – Alive

TL;DR – A short film that explores the important bond between people    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

Alive. Image Credit: Distribution with Glasses.

Review

When it comes to films, if it can get to that core emotional note and thus resonate on that deep level, well that will always hit that much harder for me as a viewer. This is because if the emotions work, then so much more of the film will flow from there. Today we explore a short film that knows this and focuses in on it as the core of the film.  

So to set the scene, Viktoria (Eva Johansson) lives her life in a wheelchair and needs around the clock support to live her life. During the day, her assistant Ida (Madeleine Martin) was walking through the park when they run into Ida’s boyfriend Björn (Joel Ödmann). Later that day, Viktoria admits that she feels alone. So Ida sets her up with a Tinder profile to find someone.

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