Bait

Title: Bait

Director: Dominic Brunt

Writer: Paul Roundell

Runtime: 82 min.

Rating: NR (But probably R if the MPAA did rate it)

Synopsis: Two women, set on opening a cafe, end up taking out a loan from the wrong man.

Review: Now this is one that got somewhat attacked by critics, but I think it still has some merit. The plot line transcends traditional genre cliches in-order to form a one-part slasher, one-part thriller, one-part action, one-part I’m not even sure what else movie. The UK low budget film features some decent performances and solid cinematography. The recurrence of mirrors will probably leave you wondering if you need to reflect on your own life decisions, or if the DP just has a thing for stylizing things in ways they don’t need to be stylized. None the less, I enjoyed it. I’m a cinematographer at heart, so if something looks pretty I can let quite a bit pass. That may be my downfall…

The thing that kept me throughout the film were the female protagonists. It’s two tough (in their own way) women, out to get what they want, forced to face the realities of everyday sexism and just how sick some men can be. If you’re not an easily triggered person and fine with some over-the-top gore (because 1/4 of this film could be confused for slasher) then you’ll do just fine. But, if issues of sexism, rape, abuse, etc. put you in a bad state of mind, I’d recommend steering clear. On the bright side? These are two very real feeling women representing a spectrum of women and not a stereotype, so if you want some gory catharsis this is a good one for you.
Side note: Don’t confuse this film with the other two movies of the exact same name. Seriously, who’s in charge of naming these things!?! I’m not even sure why this movie’s called bait, the shark movie of the same name makes a lot more sense. But hey, who am I to judge? Films need names, I’m sure there’s a reason.

Interested? Watch the preview here

Or watch now on Amazon Prime VOD (with your prime subscription) or VUDU (free with ads)

Image is a still shot from the film and therefore being cited below:

Bait. Dir. Dominic Brunt. Perf. Victoria Smurfit and Andrew Dunn. Metrodome Distribution, 2015. VUDU. Web. 27 Apr. 2017.

Please, if my citations are incorrect let me know! I want to make sure to give credit where credit is due. The artists at work put a lot of time and effort into their films, I’m just here to help bring exposure to said films.

Assassin’s Creed

Title: Assassin’s Creed

Director: Justin Kurzel

Writers: Michael Lesslie, Adam Cooper, and Bill Collage (adapted from the video game franchise of the same name)

Runtime: 115 minutes

Rating: PG-13

Synopsis: A death-row inmate becomes part of a scientific experiment intended to stop violence, but ends up discovering the truth behind it and must decide whether to help, or heed the experiments.

Review: Normally I’d avoid Hollywood blockbusters because everyone on the planet writes reviews for them, but this one hits me close to home. As a video game lover I’ve encountered the game series on multiple occasions and am complete encapsulated in the world of Assassin’s Creed. Unfortunately, the film, though enjoyable to watch, had a difficult time pulling together the world. The architecture and costumes, color, scenery, etc, are all integral to the games themselves and provide the entire basis of exploration. However the film chose not to focus on this and instead went for the plot line. Why it did this I’m not entirely sure, maybe budget restrictions? But the lively landscapes and your ability to interact with them are part of what make the game so amazing. Plus, parkour, I mean who doesn’t love Parkour? And while these things are in the game, the world becomes dark, dirty, somewhat gritty. The white assassin’s coat is replaced by grundgy brown leather and the vivid landscapes become everyday CGI effects we all saw in Mad Max and Prince of Persia. Both, strangely enough, being video game movies. Maybe this is a trend.

That aside, I can forgive it due to Michael Fasbender being a phenomenal actor (If you haven’t seen him in Shame and you’re fine with NC-17 movies, his performance is amazing!) Also, the man has abs to die for. Why he was shirtless for only a portion of the film while doing things he was previously doing with a shirt on I’m not sure, maybe fan servicing? But I’m not complaining… Handsome man-moments aside, I’d have to say the movie only touched the surface of a complex plot line and complicated characters which it could’ve delved waaayyy further into and given far more depth. And I’m sure if it hadn’t garnished way less money then everyone expected and had less attention then initially intended, it would be getting a sequel. But for now, not getting my hopes up.

Interested? Watch the preview here

Or if you’re already sold hit up your local Redbox!

Image is a still shot from the film and therefore being cited below:

Citation:
Assassins Creed. Dir. Justin Kurzel. Perf. Michael Fassbender and Marion Cottilard. 20th Century Fox Film Corporation, 2016. DVD.

Please, if my citations are incorrect let me know! I want to make sure to give credit where credit is due. The artists at work put a lot of time and effort into their films, I’m just here to help bring exposure to said films.

Closer to God

Title: Closer to God

Director: Billy Senese

Writer: Billy Senese

Runtime: 81 min

Rating: R

Synopsis: A doctor successfully creates the first viable human clone, but behind this creation is a dark history.

Review: This is the sort of film that left me going “W…T…F…” the synopsis given by VUDU made me assume it would be a more thought-based piece, but it quickly turned into a horror. I’m not a fan of horror, so it wasn’t my cup of tea, but for people who love to sit on the edge of their seats only to jump under the blankets at least once or twice? This is the film for you.

The general idea is an interesting thought experiment, what would happen if we successfully cloned humans? How would humanity react? But the thought experiment quickly gives into the Hollywood need to entertain, resulting in a half horror half political work of art which features some amazing cinematography and a convoluted storyline. While I did find myself somewhat lost at times, and not entirely sure what was happening, I guess that is sort of the point of horror. If you enjoy a certain level of paranoia, this is the movie for you. If you’re more the mind meld kinda person, but don’t want to feel anxious, this will be a toss up. I find myself to be a very psychological person, so to others this could easily slip in one side of your brain and out the other without any consequence. If that’s the case, then I applaud you. Now I’m going to go back to wondering what the heck is up with Ethan?
If you watch the movie and figure it out, please, tell me… because I’m not totally sure.

Watch a preview of the movie here

Or, watch it free (with commercials) now on VUDU!

Image is a still shot from the film and therefore being cited below:

Closer to God. Dir. Billy Senese. Perf. Jeremy Childs and Shelean Newman. LC Pictures, 2015. VUDU. Web. 23 Apr. 2017.

Please, if my citations are incorrect let me know! I want to make sure to give credit where credit is due. The artists at work put a lot of time and effort into their films, I’m just here to help bring exposure to said films.

The Girl With All the Gifts

Title: The Girl With All the Gifts

Director: Colm McCarthy

Writer: Mike Carey (Based on the book written by the same author)

Runtime: 111 minutes

Rating: R

Synopsis: In a post-apocalyptic world humans, determined to find a cure for the fungi causing the “hungry” virus turn to children who, though infected with the virus, still retain sentience.

Review: The premise of the entire film feels very original and interesting. I was captivated with each moment as the main character guided my thought process. Where it is lacking it graphics it makes up in story-line. I’m not an easy person to surprise, but this film had multiple moments that caught my off guard. Things I never expected to happen would occur, and it kept me taking in every moment. At no point did I feel like turning away from the screen. Whether you’re an action-nut who just wants fight scene after fight scene or the person who prefers a heavily psychological premise, it will fit both those needs. This is the sort of movie that has something for multiple viewers.

On top of being riveting and containing some gorgeous shots mixed with more average ones, this film does something a lot of films don’t. It doesn’t dip into stereotypes or rely on tropes, it uses its’ individuality to sustain the audience. You have strong women, strong men, people of multiple races and ethnicities, and exists in a world where people of all skill sets are necessary to sustain the world. If you’re into political analysis this is the film for you. It will have you delving deep into your mind and wondering, what is the author trying to say about society as a whole? If analysis isn’t your thing, you can still enjoy the ride.

Interested? Watch the preview and learn more here
Or, rent it now at your local Redbox!

Image is a still shot from the film and therefore being cited below:

Citation:
The Girl With All The Gifts. Dir. Colm Mccarthy. Perf. Gemma Arterton and Dominique Tipper. Warner Bros. Pictures, 2016. DVD.

Please, if my citations are incorrect let me know! I want to make sure to give credit where credit is due. The artists at work put a lot of time and effort into their films, I’m just here to help bring exposure to said films.

 

Reviews With Athena

Hello all! I’m here because of my love of film. Being a current Masters student in production I have way too much knowledge of film theory and not nearly enough time on my hands. But, with that not nearly enough time, I’ve decided to start doing something I was once told I should pursue, which is writing movie reviews. You may be asking yourself, why should we listen to the opinion of this rando? Well, I only have one answer. You spend 2hrs of your life watching any film, so why not spend a few minutes reading a quick synopsis before you make the decision to delve into a new world?

What I intend to do is write quick synopsis of a slurry of films found on VUDU and in Redbox. I may also delve into Hulu and Netflix on occasion. My goal is to cover the strange few films you see that may intrigue you, but you’re not sure if you should watch them or not. While I will go into big blockbusters found in the various outlets, I mostly want to help you make informed viewing decisions when you’re sitting at home thinking “I need something to watch and I swear I’ve watched it all”.

I think we’ve all had those days where we have some time and want to watch something, but the amount of content available is insane. You’ve seen all the new best releases, and lets face it, the rating systems of these streaming/rental outlets aren’t the most accurate. For example, Zombeavers was rated a 1 1/2 stars for me on Netflix but when I watched it? I’d totally give it at least 4 stars as a comedy. That movie cracked me up to no end, maybe because of the hilariously fake looking beavers, but none the less the way a movie is intended to be received isn’t always how it comes across.

So a little about me: I’m pretty much your average viewer. Sometimes I will get technical, other times I just want to have a good laugh. I enjoy everything from raunchy comedies to intense psychological thrillers. I look at film as a spectrum, and every part of the spectrum is necessary. Something doesn’t have to be a cinematic masterpiece to be enjoyable. Also, being a college student I often find myself with only a couple extra dollars and not able to rationalize going to the theatre. Living is expensive, especially in Southern California, so I like to find cheap outlets for entertainment. And that’s how I ended up here!

I chose VUDU and Redbox as my primary outlets because Redbox is a low cost way to enjoy an evening, for $1 it’s accessible to tons of people in many areas. VUDU, offers free films to view with commercials and is a fairly underrated streaming service. No subscription required, just a Walmart account, but for a range of $2-$10 you can rent various movies, or watch some for free. I’ll focus mostly on the free ones since they’re easily accessible and tend not to be major movies.

At any point feel free to add your own comments about movies, or let me know a movie you’d like to hear about! Email me at reviewswithathena@gmail.com and I’ll be happy to write a review for whatever it is you’re interested in.

So, without further ado, allow me to begin my reviews!