REVIEW: KNIVES OUT

 

Starring

Daniel Craig (Layer Cake)
Christopher Plummer (Beginners)
Jamie Lee Curtis (Halloween)
Don Johnson (Watchmen TV)
Chris Evans (Captain America: Civil War)
Toni Collette (Krampus)
Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why)
Michael Shannon (Man of Steel)
Riki Lindhome (The Lego Batman Movie)
Jaeden Martell (IT)
K Callan (Lois & Clark)
Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049)
Edi Patterson (Helen Keller vs. Nightwolves)
M. Emmet Walsh (The Scorpion King 4)
Lakeith Stanfield (uncit Gems)
Noah Segan (Chain Letter)
Frank Oz (Star Wars)
Marlene Forte (Marvel’s Runaways)
Joseph Gordon-Levitt (The Dark Knight Rises)

Daniel Craig in Knives Out (2019)Wealthy crime novelist Harlan Thrombey invites his family to his Massachusetts mansion for his 85th birthday party. The next morning, Harlan’s housekeeper Fran finds him dead, with his throat slit. The police are convinced that Harlan’s death is a suicide, but an anonymous party pays private detective Benoit Blanc to investigate.Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Michael Shannon, Riki Lindhome, Jaeden Martell, and Katherine Langford in Knives Out (2019)Blanc learns that Harlan’s relationships with his family had become strained: he threatened to expose his son-in-law Richard for cheating on his wife Linda, cut off his daughter-in-law Joni’s allowance for stealing from him, fired his younger son Walt from his publishing company, and had an altercation with his grandson Ransom. Unknown to Blanc, after the party, Harlan’s nurse, Marta Cabrera, accidentally administered him an overdose of morphine instead of his usual medication and could not find the antidote, leaving Harlan minutes to live. To protect Marta, Harlan gave her instructions to create a false alibi to avoid suspicion over his death; he then slit his own throat. Marta carried out Harlan’s instructions, but Harlan’s elderly mother saw her and mistook her for Ransom.Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Christopher Plummer, K Callan, Chris Evans, Michael Shannon, Riki Lindhome, Ana de Armas, Jaeden Martell, and Katherine Langford in Knives Out (2019)Marta cannot lie without vomiting, so she gives true but incomplete answers when Blanc questions her. Blanc asks her to assist his investigation. As they search the property, Marta attempts to conceal evidence. Harlan’s will is read: he left everything to Marta, to her astonishment as well as the family’s. They turn on her, but Ransom helps her escape. Ransom persuades Marta to confess to him and offers to help her in exchange for his share of the inheritance. The other Thrombeys try to persuade Marta to renounce her inheritance; Walt threatens to expose her mother as an undocumented immigrant.Marta receives an anonymous blackmail note with a partial photocopy of Harlan’s toxicology report. She and Ransom drive to the medical examiner’s office, but it has been destroyed in a fire. Marta receives an anonymous email with a time and address to meet the blackmailer. Blanc and the police, also investigating the destroyed medical examiner’s office, spot Marta and Ransom. After a brief car chase, the police arrest Ransom; Blanc explains to Marta that Harlan’s mother saw Ransom climbing down from Harlan’s room on the night of his death.Marta goes to the address in the email and discovers Fran drugged, along with her missing medical case. Marta hesitates, realizing that Fran can link her to the crime, but performs CPR on Fran and calls 911. Marta confesses to Blanc, but Ransom has already informed on her. At the house, Marta finds a copy of the full toxicology report hidden in Fran’s cannabis stash. Marta is about to confess to the family that she caused Harlan’s death, but Blanc interrupts her after reading the report.Daniel Craig, Noah Segan, and LaKeith Stanfield in Knives Out (2019)Blanc reveals his deductions to Marta, Ransom, and the police: After Ransom learned at the party that Harlan was leaving everything to Marta, he swapped the contents of Marta’s medication vials and stole the antidote so she would kill Harlan with an overdose of morphine, making her ineligible to claim the inheritance by the slayer rule. However, Marta actually administered the correct medicine without reading the labels, recognizing it by the weight and viscosity of the fluid, and is therefore innocent of Harlan’s death. After the death was reported as a suicide, Ransom anonymously hired Blanc to discover Marta’s guilt. Fran later saw Ransom stealing Marta’s medical case to hide the fact that the contents of the vials had been switched, and sent him the blackmail note. Realizing that Marta had unknowingly given Harlan the correct medication, Ransom forwarded the blackmail note to Marta. He burned down the medical examiner’s office to destroy evidence of Marta’s innocence. Finally, he drugged Fran with an overdose of morphine and emailed her location to Marta, planning to frame Marta for Fran’s murder.Marta tricks Ransom into confessing by lying that Fran has survived and will implicate him; after he confesses and vows revenge, she vomits on him, revealing the lie. Enraged, he attacks her with a knife but discovers it is a retractable stage knife. The police have recorded Ransom’s confession, and he is taken into custody as Marta watches the Thrombeys depart from what is now her mansion.Jamie Lee Curtis, Don Johnson, Toni Collette, Chris Evans, Noah Segan, Michael Shannon, Riki Lindhome, LaKeith Stanfield, Jaeden Martell, and Katherine Langford in Knives Out (2019)Generally speaking you tend to find more murder mystery TV shows than movies, this is partially since it’s hard to build a complete mystery in the allotted movie running time. This movie builds this murder beautifully by showing the different points of views of the suspects. It has a different take than other movies since it gives the viewer a little too much details mid-movie which leaves you questioning everything to the last minute. The acting was brilliant and I didn’t feel the number of characters was overdoing it at any stage.

REVIEW: EXPOSED

CAST

Keanu Reeves (The Matrix)
Ana De Armas (War Dogs)
Christopher McDonald (Fanboys)
Mira Sorvino (Mimic)
Laura Gomez (Orange Is The New Black)
Michael Rispoli (Kick-Ass)
Ismael Cruz Cordova (See)

A police detective investigates the circumstances behind his partner’s death. The mysterious case leads to an attempted police cover-up and a dangerous secret involving an unlikely young woman. The two parallel story lines initially appear to have little in common, but as events gradually unfold in the two separate urban worlds, the young woman appears to somehow be involved in the detective’s demise. The dead cop was depraved and corrupt. His colleagues fear that the investigation into his death will bring these facts to light. The results would include bad press for the police department and the loss of his pension for his family. The fear is based on the fact that one of the prime suspects in the case is a young ex-convict who had allegedly been sexually molested with a broomstick wielded by Detective Cullen. Supervisors within the precinct would rather let the murderer go free than to open up a Pandora’s Box of troubles for everyone concerned.Meanwhile in Isabel’s private world, she believes that the strange beings she has begun seeing on the streets are angels. Accordingly, she thinks that her mysterious “impossible” pregnancy is a gift from God. However, nobody in her family believes her. Isabel’s “angels” are a fabrication of her own mind. She created them to accompany a fictional narrative that would replace the unbearably traumatic memories of being raped by Detective Cullen on the subway platform the night that her “visions” began. She further suppressed the memory of catching him off guard afterwards and killing him in a fit of righteous rage. The buried memories are released in an avalanche of images after a brief stay at her parents’ house triggers a sudden recollection of sexual abuse from her father many years ago.  There is a plot device employing the use of a young girl whom Isabel befriends who, it is finally revealed, is almost as imaginary as her “angels”. The girl is revealed to be Isabel as a child. She disappears from the pew in the church as Isabel prays for the strength to accept what has happened.Exposed-2016-Movie-Wallpaper-01-600x338It was very original, interestingly designed and definitely worth the watch. I was not bored at any point, and indeed intrigued. I wondered whether I was going to be let down by the story, but actually the ending was far more interesting than I imagined.

REVIEW: OVERDRIVE

Starring

Scott Eastwood (Pacific Rim: Uprising)
Freddie Thorp (To Dream)
Ana de Armas (Blade Runner 2049)
Gaia Weiss (Vikings)
Clemens Schick (Renegades)

Scott Eastwood in Overdrive (2017)Half-brothers Andrew and Garret Foster operate as international car thieves, targeting high-end of the market vehicles. They steal a rare Bugatti in transit after it is purchased at auction in France, unaware that the car was bought by Marseille crime boss Jacomo Morier. Morier’s men capture them when they try to sell the car and take them to Morier’s house, where he shows them his garage full of cars. He then means to shoot them but, to escape their punishment, the brothers offer to help Morier complete his collection by stealing a rare Ferrari owned by ruthless tycoon and rival, Max Klemp. Morier agrees but sets the condition that the theft must be carried out within one week.The brothers hurriedly recruit a team in Marseille to carry out the job, including Andrew’s girlfriend Stephanie and her pickpocket friend Devin. Andrew tells Garret that this will be his last job. They also have to cope with Morier’s cousin Laurent keeping watch on their operation, as well as a pair of Interpol agents. Garret, who had recently been conned by a woman who pretended to fall in love with him, begins a relationship with Devin. For insurance, Morier’s men kidnap Stephanie in the Marseille marketplace. Andrew and Garret arrive in their flat and Devin tells them Stephanie has been taken. They head to Morier’s house to find Stephanie bound and gagged under a spinning car wheel, which Laurent threatens to lower onto her face. Andrew and Garret promise to finish the job in order to save Stephanie.When the day of the robbery comes, the brothers put their plan into effect. Stephanie, locked in a room in Morier’s house, attempts to seduce Laurent and fails, although she manages to steal his key to the door and escapes. She sets off the house alarms and leaves with a shotgun to meet Andrew, Garret and their team at the door. Morier realises that the events that led up to this point have been part of an elaborate diversion to allow them to steal his own car collection. Morier only understands what is happening as the gang are making their escape and he chases them to the docks. During the pursuit, Andrew proposes to Stephanie and she agrees to marry him. In a final confrontation, Morier is killed when his car is rammed into the water by a coach driven by Devin. Devin leaves, promising to call Garret. Andrew and Garret give all of Morier’s cars to Klemp, revealing that this had been the plan all along and that they had partnered with Klemp to get back at Morier. But as Devin leaves she has in her hand the code to the garage where Klemp keeps his Ferrari.Ana de Armas, Scott Eastwood, and Freddie Thorp in Overdrive (2017)Garret, Stephanie and Andrew are later seen together in Paris. Garrett thinks he has been stood up again when Devin shows up in Klemp’s Ferrari and gives the keys to Andrew. When Andrew then gives the car to Garret, Garret thinks this means Andrew is leaving the business. However, Stephanie mentions that there is a very rare car in Barcelona, one out of only nine in the world, and the three are tempted to steal it. Andrew decides to join them and the re-established team begins to make plans.Ana de Armas in Overdrive (2017)If you like action movies and you want to watch something light, relaxing and entertaining, my suggestion is to feel free to enjoy without listening to needlessly scandalized reviews.

REVIEW: BLADE RUNNER 2049

CAST

Ryan Gosling (Drive)
Harrison Ford (Indiana Jones)
Ana de Armas (Knock Knock)
Sylvia Hoeks (The Girl In The Spider’s Web)
Robin Wright (Wonder Woman)
Mackenzie Davis (The Martian)
Carla Juri (Wetlands)
Lennie James (The Walking Dead)
Dave Bautista (Guardians of The Galaxy)
Jared leto (Suicide Squad)
Sean Young (Dune)
Edward James Olmos (Battlestar Galactica)
David Dastmalchain (Ant-Man)

Ryan Gosling and Sylvia Hoeks in Blade Runner 2049 (2017)In 2049, replicants (bioengineered humans) are slaves. K, a replicant, works for the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) as a “Blade Runner”, an officer who hunts and “retires” (kills) rogue replicants. At a protein farm, he retires Sapper Morton and finds a box buried under a tree. The box contains the remains of a female replicant who died during a caesarean section, demonstrating that replicants can reproduce sexually, previously thought impossible. K’s superior Lieutenant Joshi is fearful that this could lead to a war between humans and replicants. She orders K to find and retire the replicant child to hide the truth.Ryan Gosling and Sylvia Hoeks in Blade Runner 2049 (2017)K visits the Wallace Corporation headquarters (the successor-in-interest in the manufacturing of replicants to the Tyrell Corporation, which went out of business) where the deceased female is identified from DNA archives as Rachael, an experimental replicant designed by Dr. Tyrell. K learns of Rachael’s romantic ties with former blade runner Rick Deckard. Wallace CEO Niander Wallace wants to discover the secret to replicant reproduction to expand interstellar colonization. He sends his replicant enforcer Luv to steal Rachael’s remains from LAPD headquarters and follow K to Rachael’s child.Ryan Gosling in Blade Runner 2049 (2017)At Morton’s farm, K sees the date 6-10-21 carved into the tree trunk and recognizes it from a childhood memory of a wooden toy horse. Because replicants’ memories are artificial, K’s holographic girlfriend Joi believes this is evidence that K was born, not created. K burns down the farm and leaves. He searches the LAPD records and discovers twins born on that date with identical DNA aside from the sex chromosome but only the boy is listed as alive. K tracks the child to an orphanage in ruined San Diego but the records from that year are missing. K recognizes the orphanage from his memories and finds the toy horse where he remembers hiding it.Harrison Ford in Blade Runner 2049 (2017)Dr. Ana Stelline, a designer of replicant memories, confirms that his memory of the orphanage is real and K concludes that he is Rachael’s son. At the LAPD headquarters, K fails a post-traumatic baseline test. He talks with his superior Joshi and lies by implying he killed the replicant child. Joshi gives K a chance to escape within 48 hours. At Joi’s request, K transfers her to a mobile emitter, an emanator. He has the toy horse analyzed, revealing traces of radiation that lead him to the ruins of Las Vegas. He finds Deckard, who reveals that he is the father of Rachael’s child and that he scrambled the birth records to protect the child’s identity; Deckard left the child in the custody of the replicant freedom movement.Ryan Gosling and Ana de Armas in Blade Runner 2049 (2017)After killing Joshi, Luv tracks K to Deckard’s hiding place in Las Vegas. She kidnaps Deckard, destroys Joi and leaves K to die. The replicant freedom movement rescues K. Their leader Freysa informs him that Rachael’s child is female and he is not Rachael’s son. To prevent Deckard from leading Wallace to the child or the freedom movement, Freysa asks K to kill Deckard for the greater good of all replicants. Luv brings Deckard to Wallace Co. headquarters to meet Niander Wallace. He offers Deckard a clone of Rachael for revealing what he knows. Deckard refuses and Luv kills the clone. As Luv is transporting Deckard to a ship to take him off-world to be tortured, K intercepts and kills Luv but is severely injured in the fight. He stages Deckard’s death to protect him from Wallace and the rogue replicants and leads Deckard to Stelline’s office, having deduced that she is his daughter and that the memory of the toy horse is hers; K dies peacefully from his wounds while Deckard approaches Stelline.Ryan Gosling and Sylvia Hoeks in Blade Runner 2049 (2017)As some negative reviewers said, it is slow….. but that works well with the story and its intent to create a very clear, pervasive mood rather than to dazzle with dumb car chases, gunfights, or explosions,not to mention pushing the viewer to form his own opinions. The boringpart is subjective: for viewers who like to be challenged intellectually I’d say many action movies are a lot more boring. Nothing wrong with escapist movies, which I also enjoy when I’m in the right mood, but it doesn’t change the fact that they’re inherently much more predictable, superficial and formulaic. In other words, entertaining but intellectually boring. It’s a fantastic, and unique, viewing experience, and even with its imperfections it does create a believable (if gloomy and depressing) dystopian vision of the future, and touches on themes that could spark endless debate and reflection. And herein lies its beauty: shallow popcorn movies will have faded from everybody’s memory in weeks. A movie like Blade Runner 2049 will inspire us and challenge us,whether we agree with some of its vision or not, maybe even whether we love it or hate it, for years to come.