Storage 24: Then There Were Aliens

Storage 24 is a British science fiction horror film directed by Johannes Roberts. The plot sees recently single Charlie (Noel Clarke),as he goes to the storage unit he used to share with his ex-girlfriend Shelly (Antonia Campbell-Hughes) to collect his belonging. Whilst these not only is there an awkward reunion between the ex-lovers, but there is also an alien hunting them down.

When someone says cheap British horror this is the first film that comes into my head, and I don’t mean that in a good way. It looks awful and having one setting is not inherently a bad thing but when you do nothing with it and you make it become repetitive then it is.

The only pro I have for this film is the creature design looks good. It is not until late into the film that we get a good look at the creature, but when we do it is impressive to behold, it looks like a cross between the creature from the black lagoon and an elder god.

The acting is very average, the actors are good, (at least Noel Clarke and Laura Haddock are), but here they are given nothing to do, they are just going through the motions, none of them convincing, for about an hour and a half before a ridiculous ending.

Overall, this is so generic it is almost painful.

Pros.

The creature the design

The ending is so bad it is almost laughably good

Cons.

The performances aren’t good or convincing

The setting is repetitive and underused

The premise is dumb and ridiculous

It is predictable

1/5

Reviewed by Luke

The Call: Who Lived In Your House Before You

The Call is a South Korean thriller film directed by Lee Chung-hyun. The plot revolves around two girls who live in the same house decades apart and who communicate with each other through a phone line. Through these conversations they manage to change the past and the future, however it comes with a cost

This film has one of the strangest tones I have ever seen, I don’t know if this is a feature of South Korean cinema and if it is then this comes down to my own ignorance, but I think it is just poorly done. There are moments in this film that are clearly trying to be scary and menacing, however, moments later their will be a joke, or a quirky line and it will destroy any of the tension in the scene.

The performances are okay, again nothing to write home about. They are believable enough, yet they don’t have any standout moments, in the history of horror/thriller movie protagonists they are just yet another forgettable face.

The film as a whole seems a little overfamiliar as well. Clearly, this film has been inspired by Japanese horror hits of the last 20 years though it can’t hope to replicate their eeriness. The film is based on a British, Puerto Rican film called The Caller, and that film also seems derivative.

Overall, the tonal inconsistencies ruin this film and stop it from ever being scary.

Pros.

It has a few scary moments.

Cons.

These are ruined by an inconsistent tone

The leads are forgettable

It does not make any sense

It feels overly familiar

1/5

Reviewed by Luke

Green Book: Driving Don Shirley

Green Book is a comedy drama buddy film directed by Peter Farrelly based on the real-life friendship of jazz pianist Don Shirley (here played by Mahershala Ali), and bouncer Tony Lip (here played by Viggo Mortenson). The film covers their initial meeting, and how through a tour of the American South the two bonded and effected each other’s lives.

Best picture winner? No. Good film? Yes. So, I went into this film expecting it to be very, very good considering the awards it has won and it is good there is no doubt about it, but it is not Best Picture good.

My main issue with this film is that it is often a bit too overly sentimental. Emotion within film is a fine thing, there are times when this film gets its emotional tone just right and the scenes feel weighty and important without feeling overdone, but there are also times when the emotional beats are just a little too much, a little forced and in those instances they feel cringey.

The friendship between these two characters is the crux of the film, and in that regard I can say that this film is a smashing success. Both Done Shirly and Tony Lip feel like well rounded and fleshed out characters, and the friendship between the two feels explored and nuanced; it is nice and heart warming to see this friendship feel like it is organically growing over the course of the film rather than feel forced.

Mortenson and Ali are both terrific and both have many dramatic scenes were they shine, and also a few comedic ones too, though Ali steals the show in those.  

Overall, a nice heart-warming film that reminds you of the power of humanity and friendship, though it should not have won Best Picture.

Pros.

The friendship

The characters

The emotional journey

Good heart and a few laughs

Cons.

Sometimes feels a bit too overly sentimental

4/5

Reviewed by Luke     

The Girl In The Spiders Web: Can The Spider Hurry Up

The Girl In The Spiders Web is a thriller film directed by Fede Alvarez based on the Millennium book series written by David Lagercrantz. The plot sees Lisbeth Salander (Claire Foy), as she battles against a mysterious criminal organisation that has ties to her past.

I understand this property is well respected, the book this film is based on is held in high esteem: I have not read it myself so I can’t say, but what I will say is if the plot of this film is any indication for the  story and plot of the books they had been vastly over credited.

There was nothing here that I had not seen done better before elsewhere. Most of the twists and turns were painfully apparent from the get-go, and quite frankly I was bored watching it: there were big stretches within this film when I was desperately hoping for something interesting to happen, but it never did.

Foy is fine, is fine she has been a lot better elsewhere, but she is not out right terrible. The acting front much like everything else in this film is very meh, the one good performance and it is more a result of a styling and costume rather than actual acting is Claes Bang, as a villainous enforcer who has a great presences and a few interesting action moments.

Overall, deeply underwhelming.

Pros.

Claes Bang

Cons.

The performances are average

The script is boring and lazy

The plot is predictable

The action is fairly weak and run of the mill

1/5

Reviewed by Luke      

Are We There Yet: You Have To Be Super Human To Look After Kids, Literally

Are We There Yet is a comedy film directed by Brian Levant. The plot follows Nick Persons (Ice Cube), a man who has to drive the kids of the woman he wants to date across country: the twist is that these kids hate all the men their mum dates and actively try and sabotage him.

Ice Cube as an actor in my opinion is a mixed bag, sometimes he can be great other times he can be awful, see the Ride Along movies for proof of the latter. However, this may be my favourite performance from him yet. He plays Nick with all of this usual attitude and toughness but shows enough warmth and heart to make the kids and us the audience fall in love with him as well. I dare you to not tear up during the scene when he is saying goodbye to the kids.

The humour of the film was more hit than miss for me. Not every single one of the jokes made me laugh, but more than a few did. Ice Cube had some great moments such as the horse scene that are hilarious, and Tracy Morgan as the talking bobble head also had a number of funny moments.

Overall, I found this film to be far more charming than I thought it was going to be, it made me laugh, it made me cry and it impressed me by not having insufferable child performances.

Pros.

The heart

The humour

Ice Cube

Tracy Morgan

Cons.

A bit too reliant on slapstick comedy

4/5

Reviewed by Luke   

War: An Action Film Minus The Action

War is an action film directed by Phillip G. Atwell. The plot sees FBI agent Tom Lone (Jason Statham), track down the assassin (Jet Li), who killed his partner some time prior. A personal war ensues between the two men.

So usually one can enjoy Jason Statham action movies for the dumb spectacle they are, usually they are made better for not taking themselves seriously and for playing up the more campy elements. However, clearly this film did not get that memo, this film takes itself far, far too seriously to be any kind of fun, but more than that this film is boring.

Additionally, for an action film there is precious little action on display here, usually it is just a person walks into a room, shoots some people, then leaves, that is all there is too it. Even the final set piece at the end of the film is disappointing and surprisingly tame. This film seems to have a tell not show policy towards its action and it is all the worse for it.

On the performance side of things, Statham plays Statham as always but without any of the charm. Whereas Li has the presences but doesn’t actually do anything interesting for the entire film. Neither character has anything even barely resembling a personality and the whole film feels like a cliché wrapped in a stereotype.

Overall, this is one of the tamest most boring action films I have ever seen.

Pros.

None

Cons.

It is boring

It is tame

The characters aren’t fun to watch

The ending is disappointing

It is cliché and played out

0/5

Reviewed by Luke

Centurion: Neil Marshal Really Seems To Have A Thing About Scotland

Centurion is a historical action film directed by Neil Marshal. The film loses covers the disappearance of the Roman 9th Legion during its occupation of what would go on to be Britain. We follow Quintus Dias (Michael Fassbender), as he and a surviving group of Roman soldiers try to survive their retreat after the decimation of the 9th legion.

If there is one thing Neil Marshal is a master of it is visceral visuals, very much like his contemporaries Michael Bay and Zack Snyder, Marshal manages to create a very violent and very real sense of place and danger. This film is pure spectacle right from the off when we see the destruction and slaughter of most of the Legion at the hands of giant balls of fire, and it continues from there.

The film is very much dumb fun, the story is littered with plot holes, and if you are watching it for the narrative or for it to make sense then you are watching the wrong film. If you are watching it for brutal violence and over the top spectacle, such as a man who has a spear sticking through him impaling another man without immediately dying then this is the film for you.

I thought the performances were all good, not great but serviceable and watchable. We see quite a lot of British talent on display in this film, David Morrissey, Liam Cunningham, Riz Ahmed and Noel Clarke all give decent supporting performances and leave an impression, regardless of their amount of screen time.

Overall, this is a fun watch for the gory carnage alone, don’t watch it if you want serious or thoughtful as it is neither of those things.

Pros.

The dumb fun

The violence

The over the top elements

Fassbender

Cons.

The villains are quite weak

The choice of display for the opening and closing credits is weirdly jarring

The ending doesn’t make any sense

3/5

Reviewed by Luke

One Night In Miami: The Struggle To Come

One Night In Miami is a drama film directed by Regina King. The plot sees Malcom X (Kingsley Ben-Adir), Muhammed Ali (Eli Goree), Sam Cooke (Leslie Odom Jr.) and Jim Brown (Aldis Hodge), all meet up to celebrate Ali’s titleship win and discuss his conversion to Islam.

I have been waiting on this one for a while and I have to say now that I have seen it I was not disappointed. This film is raw and passionate and is brimming with things to say (all of which important), this film left an emotional impact on me after I saw it and has never left my mind since. I think this is a very gutsy but also impressive directional debut for King and shows that she is a multifaceted talent.

This film tackles its messages and politics head on, it opens a very important set of conversations that will hopefully resonate in the minds of the viewing public. I enjoyed that this film was as much about the friendship and relationship between these four men as it is about its themes. The dialogue and the writing really shone in the scenes of quiet conversation between the actors, making the film feel engaging throughout.

The performances were all very strong, the main one I would pick out as an arbitrary best would be Ben-Adir as Malcom X, his performance was truly brilliant on a number of levels.

My one complaint would be the final quote, said quote talks about martyrdom, and as is itself a quote from Malcom X, I understand the meaning behind it and its place within the film’s narrative, however it left me feeling uncomfortable.

Overall, a powerful film and one you should all watch!

Pros.

The acting

The writing

The dialogue scenes

The emotional impact

Cons.

The final quote

4.5/5

Reviewed by Luke

You Cannot Kill David Arquette: The Best Comeback In Hollywood History

You Cannot Kill David Arquette is a documentary film directed by David Darg. The film follows Scream actor David Arquette as he attempts to return to the world of wrestling after winning the championship belt in the early 2000s, to much condemnation from the fans.

I enjoyed this film a lot, and part of the beauty of the film is that you can really enjoy it and get something out of it regardless of whether you are into wrestling or not. I personally, don’t really follow wrestling but I still appreciated the character journey and the raw emotional value. My friend who I recommended this film to is very much into wrestling, and he also really liked the film for entirely different reasons (namely, the amount of famous wrestlers who appear in it in one form or another). So anyone can enjoy it.

There is this hyper-reality surrounding the film that is quite hard to describe, certain parts of it almost feel larger than life and you question whether this is actually a documentary or is something else, something more in the vein of a mockumentary. However, it is all real and genuine and this larger than life aspect to the film really helps some of its more personal themes to land.

On that note this film makes you feel bad for David Arquette to an almost heart-breaking extent. Yes, he is not the traditional underdog in that he has the money, the house, the wife and the career, but despite all that you can see the scars he has from his time in the wrestling community and how desperately he wants to come back. Before watching this film I had almost entirely forgotten about Arquette, but now he is back on my map in a big way and I want to see him cast more.

Overall, this is the deserving winner of Best Documentary.

Pros.

The emotional journey

Fun to watch regardless of how into wrestling you are

A well-done underdog story structure, that really does make you feel something  

The ending

David Arquette   

Cons.

None

5/5

News Of The World: Read All About It, And Get Mad

News Of The World is a western drama film directed by Paul Greengrass. The plot follows newsman Jefferson Kyle Kidd (Tom Hanks), as he travels town to town reading the news. Along his way he meets a young girl (Helena Zengel), who has been living with a Native American tribe for some time but has now become lost.

Right off the bat I will say this is not a western film in the way you might be thinking of. There are only one or two shootouts over the course of the film’s runtime, really this film is far more of a drama with a western setting. The relationship between the two characters is the central focus, with the film acting more as a character study than anything else.

Moreover, this film will not be for everyone and wears its politics clear for all to see. It has a lot to say about certain parts of the American South and parts of the internet who are still hung up on a war that happened over 100 years ago will find it offensive. I will say the political message of the film does become a bit much at times, but I never found it put me off the film.

Personally, I thought the relationship between Hank’s character and Zengel’s was beautiful, and the final reunion scene almost brought me to tears. The heart of this film is well developed and masterfully constructed over the course of the two-hour runtime.

Overall, if you approach this film as a drama about two lost souls finding a reason to carry on together and saving each other then this is a beautiful film that packs an emotional punch.

Pros.

The father daughter relationship

The emotion

The drama and the stakes

The beauty and the setting

Cons.

It has a few pacing issues

4/5

Reviewed by Luke