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Before I fall (2017)

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SummaBefore I Fallry

February 12 is just another day in Sam’s charmed life, until it turns out to be her last. Stuck reliving her last day over and over, Sam untangles the mystery around her death and discovers everything she’s losing.

Genre : Mystery
Country : USA

Cast :
Zoey Deutch : Samantha
Halston Sage : Lindsay
Elena Kampouris : Juliet

Director :
Ry Russo-Young

My opinion on “Before I fall”

“Maybe for you there’s a tomorrow.
Maybe for you there’s 1,000 or 3,000 or 10.
So much time you can bathe in it.
So much time you can waste it.
But for some of us,there’s only today.
And what you do today matters.”

Damn time loops. Bill Murray got stuck in one in “Groundhog Day” and could escape it by surrendering to love. And Tom Cruise had a less pleasant loop in “Edge of tomorrow“. He died everytime during an alien invasion. Samantha (Zoey Deutch) faces the same problem. A night out with her friends Lindsay (Halston Sage), Ally (Cynthy Wu) and Elodie (Medalion Rahimi) ends in a disastrous way, after which she wakes up on “Cupid’s Day” over and over again. “Cupid’s Day” is that time of year when youngsters in school give each other roses to show their love.

Before I Fall

Egocentric and fake.

If these bosom friends would bury themselves with red roses, nobody would really be surprised. Because these narcissistic glamour tarts are living in an egocentric, artificial cocoon, where there’s only room for their stuck-up personalities. A life of perfection and complacency in which the other less-favored (both financially and in appearance) are criticized and mocked. These arrogant girls don’t even realize that they aren’t so popular just because of their looks, but largely thanks to their rich parents. This allows them to distinguish themselves from others materialistically. Driving a car of a somewhat more expensive class. Parading with Louis Vuitton handbags and exclusive clothes.

Not so original and predictable!

Before I fall” fails in two areas. First of all, it’s not very original. As I said before, it’s a kind of variation on “Groundhog day“. Except that the latter also had some comic situations. This film tackles the issue more seriously and has a much more important message on a moral level. And secondly, it’s highly predictable. Once you know what’s really going on and the facts are slowly revealed, you already know what will happen and what Samantha needs to do to break the cycle. You can even mumble the last sentence simultaneously with Samantha without a problem. As expected, Samantha walks through various emotional stages. From amazement and despair to fear and anger. Ending via a rebellious, fatalistic phase into getting the revelation where she suddenly realizes (although she has experienced that day already a thousands times) how she can solve the problem.

Before I Fall

I’m not a chick-flick fan, but still it was captivating.

It’s kind of weird. I’m not really a fan of chic flicks. But because of the cyclic aspect and the sophisticated analysis of the different personalities, this high school drama was still fascinating. The interpretations also surprised me in a way. You can’t say those girls are sympathetic, but gradually their intricate characters are revealed and you start to pity them. Especially Deutch delivered a brilliant performance. She looks like a fragile doll. A kind of “Holly Hobbie”-like Gillian Anderson. A lovely girl with an innocent appearance. You don’t see her as an arrogant, hateful and selfish person. The rest of the ladies are cut from the same cloth with their specific deep-rooted emotional issues. I hope they aren’t so vicious in reality.

Before I Fall

Karma is a bitch.

The ultimate life lesson in the end is quite obvious. It may be a bit of an exaggerated arthritis-causing waving with the index finger in a moralistic way, but ultimately it’s a truism. Perhaps some individuals in this world should focus more on the important things of life, instead of merely being busy with their own status. However, the “I” culture and social pressure are such that it’s almost impossible for young people to see this. Perhaps this film should be added to the school curriculum used nowadays. However, I can imagine that some of those like-minded girls are shocked when they see the denouement. Shocked about Samantha’s fate. But most probably they are happily giggling again the next day while bullying the lesser beauties. Oh well. But remember girls: “Karma is a bitch!”.

My rating 6/10
Links : IMDB

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Reviews

REVIEW: Horizon Line

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The COVID-19 pandemic may have shifted the way we watch movies but has kept the month of January intact. STX’s latest, Horizon Line, represents everything, oh, so well-known about “the dumping ground of movies”; it features a paint-by-numbers story with minimal character development, borrowed from infinitely superior pictures. After their pilot (Keith David) dies of a heart attack while on the way to a wedding, passengers Sara (Allison Williams) and Jackson (Alexander Dreymon) must now control the plane, without a GPS, compass and functioning radio frequencies. Sounds familiar? It absolutely is.

Horizon Line Trailer: We Have to Get Off This Plane – /Film

Nothing new and/or exciting is offered in Horizon Line that would justify an early PVOD purchase, save for one visually enthralling action sequence involving the plane flying through a thunderstorm. The use of lightning just poses itself perfectly with the dark menace of the storm, even if the entire sequence is completely unrealistic. Sara flies above the storm, which causes her and Jackson to have altitude sickness. The portion of that sequence is insanely silly, as it reduces a serious, potentially life-threatening condition to a joke. However, without it, the plane wouldn’t have looped in insanity through the storm which causes the best [and only] cathartic release you’ll get while watching the film.

Every action sequence is filled with fake-outs, in which director Mikael Marciman and screenwriters Josh Campbell and Matthew Stuecken will manipulate the audience into thinking the characters are in imminent mortal danger, but never are. Everything that goes wrong in every action scene…does go wrong, to try making the audience care about the characters, but a last-minute save always happens to keep the characters alive. Because of this, Horizon Line is devoid of any stakes and importance. Characters are put in impractical situations, always protected by a higher power (the screenwriter) with overzealous last-minute saves to keep them alive.

It also doesn’t help that Horizon Line contains poor performances from its leads, due to its mediocre script. The first half-hour of the film is spent on “character development”, yet it only introduces the protagonists’ worst qualities, which never once pays off during the “plane disaster” part of the movie. Sara is too hung-up on her job to move away from the corporate world of downtown London to pursue her passion, while Jackson is too hung-up on his love for Sara. None of what was established in the first act of the film ever gets mentioned while they’re on a plane since they face mortal danger at any moment (but not really). Alexander Dreymon’s native accent slips more than once on the plane, even though he uses an American accent for its opening act and during tense sequences. Allison Williams’ goal during the entirety of the film is to tell Jackson (and the audience) what she’s doing, even though the audience can clearly see what’s going on. Granted, some will argue that in a total state of panic, someone could talk to themselves to alleviate their state, but the use of descriptive dialogue feels like pure description: “I’m going to do ________ and ________” instead of “Ok….what do I do? What can I do?”, which becomes an annoyance instead of compelling dialogue.

If you’re looking for new “content” to watch, that’s an amalgamation of transport disaster films such as Airport meets the framing device of Hany Abu-Assad’s The Mountain Between Us, with sprinkles of Cast Away (+a Jaws/The Shallows fake-out), then maybe Horizon Line is the film for you. If you’re looking for a transport-disaster film that has any sort of value to it, watch Airport (or The Poseidon Adventure) instead. You won’t feel like you’re wasting your time instead.

Horizon Line is now available to rent on premium video-on-demand retailers.

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Action

The Doorman | Review

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The Doorman is the latest action film from cult director Ryuhei Kitamura (Versus, The Midnight Meat Train). It’s the same old classic Die Hard-esque set up, this time with Ruby Rose (John Wick: Chapter 2) trying to save her estranged family when villain Jean Reno (Léon: The Professional, Ronin) takes over their apartment building. Rose plays ex-Marine Ali taking a job as a doorman of a high-rise in New York City, now traumatised after an assignment went wrong. She soon has to protect her loved ones and save the day.

It’s the same old tried and tested action film that will inevitable be compared to Die Hard and the many other similar films. The one big thing this had going for it is the fact that it’s female led. Of all the Die Hard rip-offs there doesn’t seem to be a single one with a female lead so it’s very refreshing to see the kick-ass lead action character be a woman for a change. But that’s about all The Doorman really has going for it. There’s nothing else fresh or new to this film and so the female lead is all it has. And even then, that’s not a whole lot.

In terms of acting for the most part it felt very bland and wooden. Ruby Rose just wasn’t a great choice for the lead. Rose is good when it comes to playing a smaller action role without many lines like in John Wick 2, but she just wasn’t strong enough to carry this film and she just really didn’t feel like a good fit for the more character driven scenes. She was good when it came to the action scenes but for the moments in between she just felt really out of place. French acting legend Jean Reno was very clearly there just to pick up his pay check and then get going again; his performance felt very bland and he has definitely done much better in his career. He had potential to really elevate his character to be a very menacing villain like Hans Gruber but he just wasn’t all there and his villain just didn’t feel threatening in the slightest. In fact, he’s even outshone by the secondary villain played by Aksel Hennie who seemed to be the only person in the film giving a good performance, trying to carry as much of the film as he could.

In terms of action, it did a decent job and that’s really the main thing that you’re watching a film like this for. It had some choppy editing and some questionable CGI in places but ultimately if you just sit back and enjoy the action as it comes and for what it is you can definitely have a good time with this flick. There’s plenty of action to keep you going through the whole runtime right from the start up until the very end and it’s enjoyable and you can definitely have a good time with some of the action in this film. If you’re a fan of this type of action film, you’ll be able to find entertainment in it.

The Doorman is a totally passable 93-minute action film that’s entertaining enough but it doesn’t bring anything new to the Die Hard rip-off genre other than a female lead.

★★☆☆☆

The Doorman is available on Digital Download 18 January and DVD 25 January 2021 from Lionsgate UK

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Action

Greenland | A Film That Can Satisfy The Disaster Tourist In You

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Just please give us a call if you find out anything when you get there.
Like where we can go to be safe.

 

Nothing like a decent disaster movie every now and then. A film that can satisfy the disaster tourist in you. The number of such films that have already been made is countless. The causes of global destruction are varied. There were devastating earthquakes (“Earthquake” and only recently “San Andreas”) that lifted up plateaus and ripped apart entire metropolises. Boats that sank because of a huge wave (“The Poseidon Adventure”) or a stray lump of ice (“Titanic”). Erupting volcanoes (“Dante’s Peak”), oncoming ice ages (“The Day after Tomorrow”), tsunamis (“Lo Imposible”), or (and more appropriately at the moment) a rapidly spreading, deadly virus (“Contagion”). The storyline of such disaster films is generally the same. In the first place, you already know what’s going to happen and so you wait patiently for the catastrophic moment to kick in. Next, you’re witnessing the effects of the announced disaster. And secretly you feel that blissful moment realizing you are only a silent witness and not physically present. And each time, it ends well for the protagonists (with some random victims though). They manage to escape death in a miraculous way. Such films usually end with apocalyptic images that show how devastating it all was.

 

 

Lots of drama, limited disaster

In my opinion, “Greenland” fell outside the category of films that follow such a storyline. It rather fits in the list of films in which you can also find “Seeking a Friend for the End of the World”. You are aware of what drama is going to take place. But it won’t be really spectacular. The action-packed scenes in which fragments of the approaching comet hit Earth are rather scarce. A bit like in “Armageddon”, where topics such as almost impossible human missions and self-sacrifice were more central than the disaster part itself. In the latter, the spatial trip with a space shuttle was pushed to the foreground. In “Greenland” it’s the Garrity family’s trip to a certain place where John (Gerard Buttler) and his family are safe from the imminent destruction of all living things on Earth. In short, the approaching disaster shifts to the background and drama takes over. Admittedly, in many ways.

 

 

Hysteria and panic.

As befits a clichéd disaster film, you first have the family aspect. Usually, it concerns a family with relational problems. This is also the case here in “Greenland”. What John has actually done, isn’t explicitly stated. But rest assured, the longer the arduous journey takes, the more the mistrustful spouses grow closer together. I think that’s also a mandatory item that must be included in a disaster film. The film focuses more on the side effects of such a disaster that takes place all over the world. The hysteria and panic that arises. The looting and the massive exodus with the known monster traffic jams. The indignation felt by friends of John and Allison (Morena Baccarin), who attended a birthday party after John receives a personal message from the authorities to get himself and his family to safety in a secret place. One parent’s plea to bring her child to safety had more of an impact on me than the rest of the movie.

 

 

Realistic, yet a bit unrealistic.

The rest of the film shows the arduous journey to this secret place full of obstacles and adversity. Naturally, the son Nathan (Roger Dale Floyd) suffers from diabetes and the vital medication shouldn’t be forgotten. And yes, you can expect problems related to that medication. In such a way that it’ll get on your nerves. Reaching the military airport to claim their reserved seats on a transport aircraft is also not without a struggle. And at some point, it all gets a bit too much. Just when you think this family has dealt with enough setbacks, the following presents itself. And although the makers have tried to give this film an extremely realistic character, it also contains some unrealistic situations, such as the chaos at the airport. I fear that if we are confronted with such a situation, in reality, a multitude of citizens would be in front of the control barriers. And the way things get resolved during these tumultuous times also sometimes seems a bit unbelievable and too good to be true.

 

 

Great actor, Butler.

Maybe my expectations for this movie were a bit too high and it turned out to be a rather disappointing experience. They’ve made an emotional rollercoaster rather than a disaster film “Avant la lettre”. But turn off your brain, and it’ll be quite enjoyable. And although Gerard Butler is usually associated with mindless action films, he knows how to convince in this film. Just like he did in “The Vanishing”. The very sympathetic family man who, thanks to heroism, manages to restore the broken trust. “Greenland” is certainly not a bad film, despite the shortage of action-packed and apocalyptic images. I found “2012” much worse, even though “Greenland” feels quite melodramatic at times. But this film isn’t boring. Before you know it, the 2-hour movie is finished. Unfortunately, this disaster movie wasn’t unpredictable compared to the oncoming comet.

 

My rating 5/10
Links: IMDB

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