In this episode I preview these popular films: Beast, Braven, Wildling, Sleepy Hollow
Below is the text from my reviews of these films, mostly for archive and SEO purposes. All my written reviews live at rileyonfilm.com
His managers are wisely making sure to get him out there as much as possible prior to December’s release of “Aquaman.” Braven is one where, even though I kept shaking my head at overused tropes, I got into because of the lead star Jason Momoa. Probably my favorite thing after him is the cinematography. From the ocean waves to the snow capped mountains, this film is unbelievable looking. It’s the writing I wasn’t wholeheartedly behind. These loggers are serious. They joke around some but at the end of the day, Momoa’s character sets the standard for all work and very very little play.
R | 1h 34min | Action , Drama | 2 February 2018 (USA)
A logger defends his family from a group of dangerous drug runners.
Director: Lin Oeding
Writers: Thomas Pa’a Sibbett (screenplay by), Michael Nilon (story by) | 1 more credit »
Stars: Jason Momoa, Garret Dillahunt, Jill Wagner
Our director is Lin Oeding was born on August 9, 1977 in Sacramento, California, USA. He is known for his work on The Equalizer (2014), Straight Outta Compton (2015) and Inception (2010). I’ve seen 2 out of 3. This guy is the big time. He is unsuccessful here in coaching actor inevitability.
I’m not a huge fan of watching people fake dementia. Probably because I have seen it in deceased relatives and it is not something you can fake. Apparently the family in which he is the perfect dad and husband isn’t enough chracter development. He has to be the martyr son taking care of his Alzheimer’s dad who wanders into the local bar and beats the crap out of people. Then, he is set against the drug runners. This movie was good but not great, and greater than most that’s out there that hasn’t gotten enormous praise. Something’s missing. 6/10.
Here’s one I’m happy to share about during Halloween! The Legend of Sleepy Hollow is probably one of the most beloved stories from my childhood that I associate with the witching holiday. There is a short film made by Disney that came out in the 70’s. It was on television here and there in my youth. The story of Ichabod Crane and the headless horseman. But that was Disney then, this is Tim Burton.
Sleepy Hollow (1999) R | 1h 45min | Fantasy , Horror , Mystery | 19 November 1999 (USA) Ichabod Crane is sent to Sleepy Hollow to investigate the decapitations of 3 people with the culprit being the legendary apparition, the Headless Horseman. Director: Tim Burton Writers: Washington Irving (story “The Legend of Sleepy Hollow”), Kevin Yagher (screen story) | 2 more credits » Stars: Johnny Depp, Christina Ricci, Miranda Richardson
As with all things Burton, this is an odd take on the traditional tale. You will see indeed a lot of “heads roll.” Christopher Walken plays the headless horseman and I think no other performer could pull off seeming joyful about cutting off heads. Christina Ricci and Johnny Depp are also lead roles in this. That adds a lot! There is a bit too much silliness for my liking. The “creepiness” I talk about in horror films (some anyway) is achieved very well in this film. It is one that spared no expense to create a creepy ambience. Mission Accomplished! 9/10.
This week I specifically tried to get some films watched that were not in the 80-100% range. I wanted to see what I would find. “Wildling” is what I found and I am so glad I looked there! Critics rate on somewhat common criteria and it’s not always what I like. I’m starting to see ratings as “genres” in increments of 10. ie; 0-10 genre, 11-20, 21-30, 31-40, 41-50 on and on. This way instead of seeing a 14/100 as a negative, think of what we know for sure about this spread. There’s a chance it’s a low budget, devil-may-care movie which I might love! Anyway, think about it, I did.
R | 1h 32min | Drama , Fantasy , Horror | 13 April 2018 (Canada)
A blossoming teenager uncovers the dark secret behind her traumatic childhood.
Director: Fritz Böhm
Writers: Fritz Böhm, Florian Eder
Stars: Bel Powley, Liv Tyler, Brad Dourif
“Wildling” is directed by Fritz Böhm and he has done nothing on a cinema scale besides that.
I kept thinking of Twilight in this. Teenage young woman discovering things around her. It started out much more interesting than that though. In the end, it became a question of supernatural things. It was quite good actually how they wove the story in that direction. Maybe it would have been a 10/10 with me if things didn’t take so long to start making sense. I recommend it as a thriller. 8/10.
I liked the simple yet suggestive title right away. It sounded like a sci-fi or horror film but instead it’s a drama/mystery/thriller. Once I saw that, I wanted to know about this “Beast.” It could have been anything: a person, a drug, a relationship … so I coughed up the few bucks and bought the Prime stream. It was a wild ride that turned the screw of mystery all the way through. It had amazing cinematography of the European countryside and superb acting. And then, there is that mystery of “Beast” and what the hell that means. You may find everyone in the room does not agree. I love films like that.
R | 1h 47min | Crime , Drama , Mystery | 11 May 2018 (USA)
on Prime Video
A troubled woman living in an isolated community finds herself pulled between the control of her oppressive family and the allure of a secretive outsider suspected of a series of brutal murders.
Director: Michael Pearce
Writer: Michael Pearce
Stars: Johnny Flynn, Jessie Buckley, Geraldine James
Michael Pearce is our director and this is his first movie. It is the development of a concept that impresses me here. I will be looking for more technical ability and other fine concepts from this man.
This film made the rounds with numerous festivals. I heard about it on podcasts here and there that I follow. It sounded interesting but after watching it just now, I am much more impressed. It doesn’t get a 10 with me because some of the scenes are disjointed and I don’t follow the mystery with too may clues. Still, I do have a theory and getting there excited me fully. 9/10.