Reviews - Midlands Movies Film Catch Up 2016
By midlandsmovies, Jul 5 2016 09:04AM
Reviews - Midlands Movies Film Catch Up 2016
Unfortunately, there’s never enough time to see everything you want to on its release, so here’s a quick round up of a few films I couldn't review at the time and saw after their cinema launch in the UK.
The Green Room (2016) Dir. Jeremy Saulnier
With the recent passing of star Anton Yelchin, it is even more sorrowful to know that the up and coming actor was putting in great performances right until the end. From Star Trek to Terminator: Salvation (yes, I like it) Yelchin was a future superstar-in-the-making and it’s heart-breaking to see a life cut so short. He’s left us with a fantastic movie in this tale of a punk band caught witnessing a murder in a neo-N*zi club located in the back of beyond. With the skinheads at their door post-gig, the band have to make decisions about whether to fight or run against their violent foes. Another Star Trek alumni, Patrick Stewart plays the boss who tries to clear up the mess as it spins out of control. Bloody, nasty and at times gruesome, this is a superb film where characters make suitably realistic decisions and its understated opening of a down-and-out band playing the sh*tty underground music circuit contrasts brilliantly with the subsequent carnage later on. Brutal and uncompromising, ferocious and savage, fans of physical and emotional heaviness will lap up this dark movie from the director of Blue Ruin.
Triple 9 (2016) Dir. John Hillcoat
Never has a great cast delivered so little in this dull thriller from the director of The Road and Lawless. Kate Winslet playing against type as the wife of the head of a crime family is a joy but even she cannot bring much to the proceedings. Leaden performances from the usually unmissable Chiwetel Ejiofor, Anthony Mackie and Casey Affleck aren’t helped by a pacing so tedious I could barely stay awake. Oh, how I wanted to love this movie. I love crime/heist movies and the addition of a corrupt cop was stereotypical but something that I thought may enliven proceedings but I cannot iterate enough how dismal this film was. Lacklustre dialogue, lifeless action scenes and dreary directing simply was not good enough from the filmmakers and actors – all who have much to bring, but delivered so little here. A huge disappointment and a gloomy and boring cop-drama experience all round.
Goodnight Mommy (2016) Dir. Veronika Franz
A foreign horror/thriller about a family in a remote home tells a peculiar story of a mother and her offspring before the two brothers begin to suspect their parent is no longer the same woman. After removing her cosmetic surgery bandages and only conversing with one of the sons, it leads them to think she is not their mother. Their initial suspicions soon take a more sinister turn as they take her hostage in their own home. The film has some brutal scenes of cruelty by the young boys and a suitably European vibe brings a sense of eerie dissonance but the pacing is a little slow. Yet Franz lets the tension build up effectively in most scenes. Efficient directing and good performances from the cast help lift the film but the whole thing is undercut by the most obvious “twist” that can be figured out in the first 5 minutes. Guessing where the film was going so soon meant the finale was unsatisfying and undid much of the good work of the film throughout. This is a shame as it has a lot to say about loss, family and child development – all around a horrific premise – but sadly also around a horrifically bad set up and payoff.
London Has Fallen (2016) Dir. Babak Najafi
Absolute b*llocks. A few half-decent action scenes squeezed in around a “plot” involving Gerard Butler again protecting the US President played by Aaron Eckhart. Any guilty pleasures gained from the first film falls flat here with non-dimensional characters and budget straight from the BBC series Spooks. Not even funny to laugh at, the film will barely bring any joy, even to those who like to watch B-movie brawn-a-thons. This yawn-a-thon is terrible throughout so you’ve been suitably warned of its impending hellishness.
13 Cameras (2016) Dir. Victor Zarcoff
Also known as Slumlord, this dark horror from the indie newcomer Zarcoff has a great premise where a vile and seedy landlord (an incredibly creepy Neville Archambault) installs hidden cameras around a house he is subletting to an innocent couple. The newlyweds are going through their own problems as husband Ryan is cheating on his partner Claire and his misdemeanours catch up with him as his lover becomes the quintessential “bunny boiler”. As the landlord gets his rocks off, he soon takes more chances – even staying in the home itself – to torment and play with his tenants. Fans of the similar stalker/obsessed film Creep (2013) will like the voyeuristic pleasures on show and the film was edited well with sinister security camera angles and a genuinely eerie vibe. With the horror taking a back seat to character development though, the set-up was a b-movie genre flick opportunity that was sadly missed. Personally I though it took itself too seriously which was its fatal flaw and only flashes of gore and action won’t be enough to get die-hard horror fans thrilled. For most, I’d recommend you wait for the home release and enjoy renting it.
Midlands Movies Mike