I hadn't heard too much about this one before going in, the ratings looked very hit and miss and I wasn't seeing all that much critical acclaim, yet something about it intrigued me enough to give it a go, and I have to say I'm pretty glad I did. I thought it was a compelling story, presented in a non-linear way, which kept it even more interesting as it peeled away layers of the characters, very clever from Shawn Christensen who directed.
The story focuses on an author called Sidney Hall who writes a very popular but controversial book. It follows his story from school where he finds the inspiration for writing it, through to the success of completing and selling it and then onto his elder years where he disappears, living his life roaming like a vagabond, disillusioned with all he has created. The title role is captured brilliantly by Logan Lerman throughout and he is joined by some great support with Elle Fanning, playing romantic interest Melody, and Kyle Chandler who plays a man searching for Sidney in his later years. There are some great little plot points waiting to surprise you that I obviously can't highlight without spoiling the film, but take my word for it, this movie is well worth a watch.
Roman J. Israel, Esq. - 6 out of 10
If you are a fan of Denzel Washington then I recommend watching this movie for his performance alone. I think the man is a living legend and to me he can make anything watchable with his delivery, is this the most action packed interesting movie? No, it certainly isn't. But this is all about building his character in front of your eyes and thrusting life into it.
Roman is a a very clever man, a lawyer who does not enjoy the courtroom but his mind for the law is undoubtedly genius. He is also a very brash man who finds it easy to upset people. Despite this you grow to love him as he displays his ethics on screen, you'll feel sorry for him when he has altercations with others as they look down on him and then, with everything that's happened along the way, Roman does something that questions his own ethics. His performance shows how hard an inner struggle he's trying to deal with what he has done. All expertly performed by Mr Washington, of course.
He is joined by Colin Farrell and Carmen Ejojo throughout who do okay in what is truly only an okay movie. Denzel does give it that bit extra to make this a worthwhile watch though it will never stand in his true classics collection.
Annihilation - 7 out of 10
This little mad slice of Sci-fi will have you wondering what the hell was slipped in your coffee, personally I love films which will have you scratching your head, I know they are not for all but this one in particular had some stand out weird moments. It will be quite hard to explain what happens without ruining things so here is my feeble attempt at the introduction; a woman is being interrogated about what has happened somewhere, you aren't sure where or what but sure enough you then go back in time to the beginning of the story where you learn she is a teacher. Her husband has gone missing, but then he pops up with no memory of where he has been for a about a year and is acting pretty damn strange, Then for some reason his organs begin to fail and they both get taken away by some sort of government type force. In this secret laboratory type location, she learns of a weird bubble which has impacted on earth which seems to be growing and everyone who has gone in beyond its walls hasn't come back out, bar her husband who has, but clearly is in a bit of bother. She decides (obviously) the only thing to do, is to go in too!
I need a lie down just typing that bit out and that's just the very beginning, I ain't going to tell you what happens in the bubble, but all I can say is shit gets crazy and fair play to director Alex Garland, because I think the mad world he created looked fantastic. Natalie Portman does a great job as lead role Lena, as she creeps her way through the bubble world. There are some great action and suspense moments all the while your head is being battered by what's actually happening. A great movie to watch, and you know a movie plays with your mind a bit when for the next two nights, I dreamed I too was in this madness! But if you love madness, like me, this movie is for you!
Veronica - 5 out of 10
Now is the time to personally thank facebook and the many posts of utter shite which streams its walls saying "the scariest film to hit Netflix for years" or "this movie had people being sick throughout it" or "This scene had people running for the door".
I can reveal all of the above was utter fucking garbage! It's not even that scary. Firstly, I am not a massive fan of horror in general but when a good horror comes along, I love it! This one was overhyped to the point that I felt I had to watch, and in particular one scene, just because of the shite I was reading about it.
In particular it was the highlighting of that one scene which was meant to be so scary, a person might puke. Not that I wanted to puke but morbid curiosity gets the better of you and you challenge yourself just in case. If someone can tell me which scene it was, I'd be even more puzzled because this movie just seemed to drift by with very little in the way of a scare. Even the main antagonist was presented poorly, I thought, and I found myself lacking any sort of nervous excitement for what was going on. There was a creepy looking nun at one point who was blind but even she turned out not to be the evil thing and despite that, that was still the most haunting image I will take away from the movie. Equally shocking is that this is based on a true story and I'm usually a sucker for this type of thing but it just fell so flat for me.
Maybe you horror fans out there can tell me what on earth I missed but this will be one to file into my overhyped and forgettable category for sure!