Director: Dennis Gansel.
Starring. Jürgen Vogel, Frederick Lau, Max Riemelt, Jennifer Ulrich. Germany. 1h 47m.
Based on: The Wave, by Todd Strasser
Some of the most daring and provocative dramas in modern cinema have come from the diverse experiments led by questionable scientists. In this case a loose canon of a teacher, Ron Jones who back in the early 60’s experimented the notion that a group of children could easily be led into a fascist regime after applying a totalitarian state in his classroom. He was fired once his dark social experiment was discovered but this led to a detailed book by Todd Strasser and then it’s adaption of the same name, The Wave.
Gansel draws on a gritty documentary style to his movie, with a very fluid camera and fly on the wall experiences are quickly paced and incredibly gut wrenching to see these hopeful youths fall into the abyss after being led to it by their outcast tutor. Continue reading Die Welle / The Wave (2008)
Director: Shane Abbass
Starring: Daniel MacPherson, Grace Huang, Luke Hemsworth, Bren Foster, Harry Pavlidis. Australia. 1h 30m
Sometimes the ideas in sci-fi movies are so brilliant they are easily missed, but when dealing with advanced concepts about mimicking bodies, mutations and genetic diseases that are totally alien, there’s no real easy way to go about it. But I feel with some more attention to editing and with an actual drive to interact with an audience then this could have been more hard-hitting and some of its counterparts
I would never suggest that Shane Abbass, is actively copying any other films that I’m about to mention, but I’m willing to step up and say that I’m actually quite intrigued by what he could do with a small budget, this previous movies Gabriel (2007) managed to pull off a lot that was missed from the Prophecy film franchise, with all of his film mastery and magic however, just now and again he just can’t seem to get something quite right and I can’t quite put my finger on it. To my eye, there seems to be a really strong connection with Franck Vestiel’s, Eden Log (2007) and Pandorum (2009) and though Inifini doesn’t really step on any toes per say it appears that they are probably best watched together as a trio of great sci fi movies all connecting a similar theme. Continue reading Infini (2015)
Director: Peter Bergin.
Starring. Ronan Murphy, Bridget O’Connor, Corey Macri, Aaron Lee Reed Ireland. 1h 20m.
Found footage can be an easy genre to devise a film for, but a hard one to master. There are obvious struggles as this survival expert attempts to film an instructional video deep in the Lolo National Park and encounters a real threat.
The lonely survivalist is tracking through the forest in a national forest while filming himself demonstrating how to make the most of your camping trip, back at home he offers a class and this instructional video will allow himi to reach more people and finally he can turn his hobby into a lucrative business. The lush forest is the perfect setting for a found footage horror, less people and factors to interfere with the story, the only problem is that so many of them are set here and it’s hard not to mention.. Blair Witch.. There I went and did it. But there are no witches in this struggling horror movie, so it’s very evident despite the red herring what’s going to appear by the end of the film and this is only one of the problems. Continue reading Territorial Behaviour (2015)
Director: Stefan Ruzowitzky.
Starring. Eric Bana, Olivia Wilde, Charlie Hunnam, Kate Mara, Treat Williams, Kris Kristofferson, Sissy Spacek. USA/Canada. 1h 35m.
Children change everything, but asshole parents and terrible family relations are the driving force of this strange thriller. Everything about the opening suggests that this is going to be a cold heartless chase to the death, that can only get grittier and more dangerous but each step of the way but each step towards this badass edge is followed by some daddy issue drama until family relations eventually kills the fun completely.
Eric Bana plays Addison a wild eye psychopath on a mission to get across the border to Canada, his beloved sister is making a similar route but the choice to split up is a necessity and for her protection. Despite his quick trigger finger Addison does have a strange moral compass which does sometimes sway in favour of protecting women but this soft approach doesn’t reduce his kill count by much. Continue reading Deadfall (2012)
Director: Chris Sun.
Starring. Bill Moseley, Nathan Jones, John Jarratt, Simone Buchanan, Melissa Tkautz. Australia. 1h 35m.
With all of the cult success of Razorback you’d think that a future giant killer pig movie would try to work on that cult goodness and up the ante, but for so many reasons Boar kept trying to deliver but for me it stumbled and fell flat in the mud.
There are two intermingling storylines, one surrounds an Australian family, with a new American patriarch, Bruce (Moseley) who’s pretty iconic when it comes to the horror scene but sadly he’s really out of place and underused in terrible way, people really should be arrested and jailed for this kind of neglect. The family is on vacation and are aiming to camp out and meet family, kicking back and having a good time. Meanwhile an eagle eyed wisen old man of the land Ken (Jarratt) is looking to kick back with some beers and a friend when he notices something strange and head out in the night to investigate. After this laborious introduction the movie fails to pick up the pace but it does try to delight it’s audience with a few blood thirsty killings and they are pretty mediocre. Continue reading Boar (2017)
Starring: Vinessa Shaw, Ebon Moss-Bachrach .Mexico. 1h 40m
Based on: El juego de los niños by Juan José Plans
In a bold attempt to update and update the 1976 classic Who Can Kill a Child but Narciso Ibanes Serrador, Makinov has basically just remade it with little care to really expand the story and somehow it now seems slightly underpowered and drawl in all areas which could have been improved.
A young couple, Beth (Shaw) and Francis (Moss-Bachrach) are on holiday and travelling around remote islands before the birth of their child. On arriving at a new island they discover a lone boy fishing but make their way into town finding it pretty vacant. Settling down in an abandoned bar they make themselves drinks and food, assuming that everyone is sleeping off the after math of festival season. Continue reading Come out and play (2012)
Director: Simon Rumley.
Starring.Terry Stone, Leo Gregory, Jamie Foreman, Roland Manookian. UK. 1h 51m.
I have to admit that I was spellbound by the cover of this lovely movie, but within seconds of the opening scene I was soon knocked off my feet that this is basically a retro version of Rise of the Footsoldier! In all fairness I really enjoyed the footsoldier movies, they started out with a purpose and were watered down but they had their own unique, balls in your face charm and a recurring cast, although a few characters are a little bit different in this war time london escapade, the most notable is Roland Manookian usually he plays the role of a drugged up loser who basically a bit of a plonker but he’s resurrected as a psychotic killer who’s not afraid to bleed. It’s pretty interesting to see him take on such a grisly role, maybe the boy will go far.
The film is based on real people and events, mostly surrounding Billy Hill and Jack Corner, again much like Rise of the Footsoldier (2007), and possibly with as much dreamy fantasties. The film looks authentic but doesn’t feel genuine in any way, it certainly feels like a modern movie but with just a cosmetic change and some different clothes, which is a shame as it could have been a real opportunity to branch out and try something an off key. The film seems to be poorly researched but the delivery is bold, a bit too forceful at times, it seems the use of shouting and violence takes the place of intense drama. Continue reading Once Upon A Time In London (2019)
Director: José Padilha
Starring: Rosamund Pike, Daniel Brühl, Eddie Marsan, Ben Schnetzer, Lior Ashkenazi, Denis Ménochet . USA/UK. 1h 47m
I think this film was made with the idea that it would be considered as a critically acclaimed masterpiece but while it’s based on a tough hostage situation from 1976 It seems to be more determined to connect the horrific events with a dance routine than to give a clear and “entertaining” account, and while the dance is interesting it feels like a failed attempt to add some art house to an already downtrodden film that in hindsight is just a series of the depressing sight of actors struggling through dreadful material. Continue reading 7 Days in Entebbe (2018)
Director: Brian Smrz
Starring Ethan Hawke, Xu Qing, Paul Anderson, Rutger Hauer, Tyrone Keogh, Nathalie Boltt, Liam Cunningham, Jeremy Yong .USA. 1h 39m
The overall character is like a science fiction bourne movie, the strengths lie in the espionage action thriller but you can’t ignore the countdown timer in the leads arm. But the film has a huge anchor and this drags along in a sea of theology Travis is a man on a mission but it’s plagued with ghosts of the afterlife, as he stands looking into the abyss it’s looking back at him and he’s reminded that he needs to make amends.
Travis Conrad (Hawke) is introduced as a drunk, hanging out with his father-in-law they are fishing and drinking in preparation for spreading some ashes, afterwards the old man, played by the enigmatic Rutger Hauer passes out and Travis heads to the tittybar, grabs a hit and notices some men following him, in a shifty trick he immobilize them and sits down next to the man who sent them, his old friend who offers him a job worth $2 million. Accepting his new job of executing a unknown man he has to find him, and so he starts tracking the family of an operative who’s been hired to protect him. While learning the whereabouts he spares Lin (Qing) but she kills him after plugging him in the chest, but Travis awakens on a hospital bed where’s he’s quizzed about the location, after givin up the news he soon realizes his mistake and that he’s time is up (again) but he breaks free, the doctor explains that he’s got a timer which gives him 24 hours to live again he spares another woman and escapes to get back at his employer by protecting his previous target but to summarize the film in one phrase, Travis is having a particularly bad day. Continue reading 24 Hours to Live (2017)
Director: Umberto Lenzi
Starring: Tomas Milian, Henry Silva, Ray Lovelock and Anita Strindberg .Italy. 1h 40m
This movie could easily be called “Il criminale più stupido d’Italia” as it follows the misadventures of a total psychotic loser criminal who couldn’t con his way out of a paper bag successfully but his constant efforts do cause some sensational cinema.
Opening with a bunch of robbers/kidnappers, snatching a young boy, their (not so trusty) getaway driver is Giulio Sacchi (Milian) manages to kill an officer while waiting and soon the gang is being chased around the city, they manage to speed past a train which cuts them off from the cops in time for them to drop the child and ditch the cops, they find a secluded place to recoup and kick the crap out of Giulio for foiling their efforts, after threatening to castrate him he heads back into the city alone. The brute roughs up his girl for some money and kills another cop while robbing a cigarette machine, while other officers arrive to investigate he starts displaying disturbing behaviour by squaring up to Inspector Walter Grandi (Silva). Eventually the bad tempered loose cannon, devises a scheme of kidnapping the daughter a wealthy businessman, who his girlfriend works for, but with a crazed moral compass and no scruples his manages to mess up each step of the way, but just manages to stay one step ahead of Inspector Grandi but mostly by mistake. Continue reading Milano odia: la polizia non può sparare / Almost Human (1974)