Exploring the Past – Alone in Space (Ensamma i Rymden)

TL;DR – A charming little Science Fiction film even though it does have a few rough edges   

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Alone in Space (Ensamma i Rymden). Image Credit: Nice Drama.

Review

If you have read our site before, you’ll know that we are all about new Science Fiction films and ways they explore the genre. This year I have wanted to branch out and see how other countries are approaching Science Fiction to broaden my cinematic experience and today we get to do that with Alone in Space a film about being trapped alone in space from Sweden.

So to set the scene, we open in on the Svea XVI an escape ship form a dying Earth, but instead of being filled with colonists/refugees the only ones on board are Gladys (Ella Rae Rappaport) and her younger brother Keaton (Dante Fleischanderl). They try and get through the day, fixing what they can of the ship, scavenging food and stuff in their journeys and talking to the ship’s Japanese AI Otosan. Well one day there is a crash, sending everything on the ship flying. Thinking it was some debris they ignore it and go about fixing the ship only to discover they are no longer alone.  

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Movie Review – Drive (2019)

TL;DR – Today I have what might be the easiest pitch I have ever heard, its Fast and the Furious but Bollywood. Well, that is if you can get through the very uneven first hour that is and some super clunky CGI.    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

Drive (2019). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

I like me a good heist film, where you have shifting loyalties, betrayals, convoluted plans, misdirection, and of course a quick exit. So when I heard that there was a Bollywood heist film with a dash of the Fast and Furious and a sprinkle of well-choreographed dance sequences, I knew I had to give it a watch. Well, let’s dive into a world where you need to screech those tyres and aggressively change gears every half a second.

So to set the scene, the Director of Monetary Restrictions Authority Vibha Singh (Vibha Chibber) and her chief of staff Hamid (Pankaj Tripathi) are going about their days, using less than conventional technics to get businessmen to pay all their taxes when they get an urgent message from President’s office. As his aid Ifran (Boman Irani) explains there is a new thief on the scene called King because they leave a playing card with the location of their next heist at the place they have robed. Well the next place they are going to rob is right there at Rashtrapati Bhavan, India’s Presidential Palace. Their only lead is Tara (Jacqueline Fernandez) who runs an illicit courier business so they sent in a double agent Samar (Sushant Singh Rajput) to see what they can find out.

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Movie Review – The Man Without Gravity (L’uomo Senza Gravità)

TL;DR – A film that explores the joyous and sad moments if our lives through the prism of someone who falls out of societies prism of normality.    

Score – 3.5 out of 5 stars

Post-Credit Scene – There is no post-credit scene but there is a kickass song about Batman so that’s something.

The Man Without Gravity (L'uomo Senza Gravità). Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

Having a baby is one of the most joyous moments in your life, however, it can also be full of dread. Will the baby be okay, will I, what will our future be, have we baby-proofed the house? However, I don’t think anyone has had to deal with “what are our strategies for getting the baby off the ceiling.”

So to set the scene, in a small town in Italy a car races the nearest medical centre as that time has come. Natalia (Michela Cescon) is rushed into that hospital with only her mother Alina (Elena Cotta) at her side. But this is not a normal pregnancy because as the baby comes out it begins to rise into the ceiling with only the umbilical cord keeping it attached. Natalia races out of the centre without leaving her name but when they get home they call the boy Oscar as he is like an American superhero. All it well for a moment until that is the local gossips come around to see the baby.

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Movie Review – Pain and Glory (Dolor y Gloria)

TL;DR – A beautiful look at how the pain of the past can define us even when we don’t know that it is happening.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Pain and Glory (Dolor y Gloria). Image Credit: Universal.

Review

Walking into this film I didn’t know what to expect, I knew it stared Antonio Banderas, but not a whole lot else. Indeed, I think that was the same for a lot of the people sitting around me, with one person mentioning that they “hoped it was more glory than pain.” However, as the film went on it became clear that this was a film about how pain and glory can find themselves intertwined.

So to set the scene, Salvador Mallo (Antonio Banderas) was once a famous film writer/director in Madrid, but these days he spends most of his time in his house alone with his painting and his thoughts. Over the years his body has slowly been causing him more and more pain culminating in major back surgery that he has never really gotten over. Being a filmmaker was everything to him and now when he can’t physically do it anymore he has lost his purpose for life. One day he is contacted by a local cinema who has remastered Sabor one of his earlier films and they have asked him and the lead actor Alberto Crespo (Asier Etxeandia) to come to host a Q&A. The only problem is that Salvador has not spoken to Alberto in 30 years. But more than that, this event starts dredging up the past in all its beauty and dysfunction.

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Movie Review – Official Secrets

TL;DR – A powerful exploration of what happens when all the institutions that are meant to protect us from abuse of power fail   

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

Official Secrets. Image Credit: Universal.

Review

There are films that are perfectly timed in their release, sometimes it is the world shifting around you, sometimes you get lucky and just so happen to be shining a light on something that is about to come to the foreground, and sometimes it is always good to be reminded of speaking truth to power. Well, today we get a film that does all three of those as it explores the absolute mess that was the justifications for the Iraq War. A mess that America, UK, Australia, and others found themselves in through no one’s fault but their own.

So to set the scene, in 2003 the world was on the cusp of war as America in the wake of September 11 has set its sights on a new foe Iraq. Not happy to just sit and wait for the weapon inspectors to do their jobs, they were placing enormous pressure on the United Nations Security Council to pass a resolution allowing the war. As this is happening, Katharine Gun (Keira Knightley) was working in the UK’s signal intelligence agency GCHQ as a translator, when she receives a memo from her superiors asking them to support NSA efforts to pressure UNSC diplomates to vote for the war. As this goes against her job and is quite possibly illegal, she takes a copy of the memo and gives it to a trusted friend to see if it is as bad as she thought it was, and well it was.

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Movie Review – The Laundromat

TL;DR – A film with good intentions that nevertheless ends up talking down to its audience rather than empowering them as it is trying to do.    

Score – 3 out of 5 stars

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

The Laundromat. Image Credit: Netflix.

Review

I think it is a good description of the world at the moment that a couple of years ago one of the biggest leaks of information that changed how we look at the entire banking sector and we have kind of forgotten about it. The Panama Papers was this huge revelation but it is almost surprising that we have not seen anyone try to encapsulate it in media form before now. Well, today we look at a film that does just that, in a weird, slightly absurdist way.

So to set the scene, we open in on Ellen Martin (Meryl Streep) who along with her husband Joe (James Cromwell) is starting the celebrations of their wedding anniversary by taking a boat tour of a local lake. Tragedy strikes when Captain Richard Paris (Robert Patrick) misses a rogue wave and is not able to turn the boat in time causing it to capsize killing Joe and many others. Ellen’s grief is amplified when they find out while the boat tour company thought they were insured, it was all fraud, a fake company, based out of a shell corporation, hidden behind a trust. Leading her down the well of how the wealthy hide their money.

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Movie Review – The Awakening of Motti Wolkenbruch (Wolkenbruchs wunderliche Reise in die Arme einer Schickse)

TL;DR – It is like this film bottled charm because it was gloriously charming from start to finish.    

Score – 4 out of 5 stars

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

The Awakening of Motti Wolkenbruch. Image Credit: DMC.

Review

Tradition v change. It is one of the great struggles of the world and it is something that many of us have had to live through, consequences and all. There are a lot of films that explore this divide, do I follow the traditions of my family, or do I find my own path. Well, today we explore a film that dives right into this debate with gusto. 

So to set the scene, Mordechai Wolkenbruch (Joel Basman) who everyone calls Motti is an orthodox Jew livening in Switzerland. He works in his Dad’s (Udo Samel) insurance company, helps out in his Mum’s (Inge Maux) op-shop, and studies economics at university. He is looking for the right person but his mum keeps setting him up on shidduchs (pre-arranged meetings to facilitate marriage). The only problem is that he might have fallen for a shiksa, a non-Jewish woman called Laura (Noémie Schmidt) at university. Now I am going to preface this review with a little proviso that I am not Jewish, so I am not the best guide to know if this is a true depiction of these crashing worlds. So I do apologise if I have missed anything if it gets it wrong.

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