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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Awards – Tension That Kept You On the Edge Of Your Seat!

Tension is one of the most difficult facets of filmmaking to pull off because it requires the script, direction, acting, and editing to all work in tandem to evoke the perfect pace. If just one part of that group misses then the most important part of the film falls apart.

In 2019 we continued to see some excellent use of tension used to build mystery or to be the harbinger of the coming dread, or even the ticking clock of inevitability.   

So without further ado, these are the moments of tension that kept us on the edge of our seats in 2019. Be warned that there may be some slight spoilers ahead for the films in question and you can click on the banners to be taken to the full reviews.

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Movie Review – The Way Back (2020 film)

TL;DR – A film that feels more personal than I have seen in a while and at the very least a loot messier     

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

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

The Way Back. Image Credit: Warner Brothers.

Review

There are many things that make reviewing The Way Back a difficult prospect. Part of that comes from intentional narrative devices that help the film in some ways and hinder it in others. Also, this is just a really raw film at times looking at a subject material that is both important but also deeply relevant to the lead actor. Which gets us into the realm of how much of this is performance and how much of this is reality thrown up on the screen. All of these are difficult things, but they were because in many respects this is a difficult film.

So to set the scene, Jack Cunningham (Ben Affleck) spends his days alone, even when he is surrounded by people. He wakes up with a beer, he showers with a beer, he drinks on the way to work, he hides booze while he is working, and he drinks himself silly when he gets home. After Thanksgiving dinner with his sister Beth (Michaela Watkins) who is clearly concerned that he is not seeing anyone after his marriage with Angela (Janina Gavankar) fell apart he arrives home to find an odd message on his phone. His old school wants him to come back and be the new basketball coach.

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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 – Dark Waters

TL;DR – A film that comes at you like the rising tide, slow at first and then before you know it you have become overwhelmed     

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Dark Waters. Image Credit: Universal Studios.

Review


Having grown up in the era of Erin Brockovich, I am hard-wired to like a good biopic, especially one where someone takes down a major corporation that should have known better. Well, today we get to see a film that does pretty much all of that and does it very well indeed.

So to set the scene, we open back in the 1970s as a bunch of kids go skinny dipping in a lake in Parkersburg, West Virginia only to get shoed away from the site by men from the DuPont Corporation in a boat firing foam at a residue building up on the surface. Sometime later, in Cincinnati, Ohio, Robert Bilott (Mark Ruffalo) has just been made a partner in the Taft Stettinius & Hollister law firm when he is interrupted in a meeting by Wilbur Tennant (Bill Camp) an old friend of Robert’s grandmother. He has a problem with his farm, ever since DuPont built a rubbish tip next door to his property all of his cattle have been dying of odd diseases. Robert is reluctant to intercede but he makes a trip out to Parkersburg and finds things are not what they seem.

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Movie Review – The Lighthouse

TL;DR – One of the weirdest films I have ever watched and I don’t know if that is a good or bad thing, maybe both?

Score – I honestly don’t know out of 5 stars

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

The Lighthouse. Image Credit: Universal.

Review

Quite often a film will come across your desk that has elements of oddness to it, sometimes that oddness is a sprinkling of seasoning over the finished production, sometimes that oddness is a core component of the meal. However, I have never seen a film that had its oddness so baked into the film that it permeated every aspect of the filmmaking from start to finish. Well, that changes today with The Lighthouse.

So to set the scene, Ephraim Winslow (Robert Pattinson) has arrived by small boat onto a desolate island in the middle of the Atlantic. He is to be an assistant wickie or lighthouse keeper under Thomas Wake (Willem Dafoe). They have to work four hard long weeks isolated on the small island, but then they get to go home with decent pay. The work is hard and the close quarters start to come to bare on the two men, made worse when the winds turn and the waves crash and the island becomes isolated from everything and everyone. Now because of the nature of this film it hard to really discus it on any level without spoiling the film a little bit, so be cautious of that as you read on.

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Why I Love Tron: Legacy

TL;DR – An exploration of a film that effortless blends music, visuals, story, and passion into something that is greater in almost every way.

Tron: Legacy. Image Credit: Disney.

Review


There are some movies that just touch you in your heart, you can’t really explain why? They just fill you with joy and no matter how many times you have watched it, you are always ready to crack open that DVD/BluRay/digital copy/whatever and give it another watch. For me, one such film is Tron: Legacy, it is the hill I am ready to die on and I love it with all my heart.

So to set the scene, in the years since the first Tron, there has been joy and tragedy. Kevin Flynn (Jeff Bridges) has become CEO of ENCOM International and had a son Sam (Owen Best). However, tragedy struck and took his wife away. Flynn refocused his work and made a huge discovery, something that would change everything but days after finding it out he disappears leaving Sam an orphan. Years later Sam (Garrett Hedlund) has grown up but while he is the main shareholder of the company he basically leaves ENCOM alone, bar the yearly prank, which this year involves sneaking into the company releasing their new software for free and then base jumping off the top of the tower. This might be a big joke for Sam but is not for Kevin’s old friend and Sam’s mentor Alan Bradley (Bruce Boxleitner). He lets Sam know that he got a page from his father, the first communication since he disappeared. It came from the old arcade, so Sam goes to investigate and finds more than he bargains when he gets transported into the world of the computer and discovers all is not well on the Grid.        

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