Category Archives: Thriller

US (2019): The Things I Liked…

What to say about Us? It had its moments, several that were perfectly engaging. However, there were some scenes I wish had gone differently. 

Starring Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Elisabeth Moss and Tim Heidecker, I enjoyed much of the mystery in Jordan Peele’s horror/mystery/thriller about a family whose beach holiday takes a terrorising turn, thanks to the arrival of their doppelgängers. It’s just unfortunate that a little bit of that enjoyment disappeared when I realised I’d guessed a crucial element of the story within the first ten minutes.

Other moments that convinced me I’m not enjoying Us as much as I did Get Out (2017) include the feeling that Nyong’o’s doppelgänger has far too much dialogue. Another is the taking of young Evan Alex’s character towards the end. Now, I’m sure that parents get distracted in extraordinary circumstances. Nevertheless, that specific taking felt as though it happened far too conveniently for my liking.

Even with the above considered, there’s no taking away from the brilliant performances by the entire cast. I especially found Winston Duke’s character quite entertaining. 

For me, Peele is still great at creating a perfectly uncomfortable atmosphere that’s very difficult to look away from, even if, in the case of Us, the social commentary doesn’t quite land as neatly. 

You’ve probably already watched Us, but if you haven’t and you’re curious. Plus you enjoyed Get Out, then give Us a chance. 

Happy Film Loving

G

FALL (2022): The Things I Liked…

Fall (2022), Grace Caroline Currey, Signature Entertainment
Fall (2022), Grace Caroline Currey, Signature Entertainment

The idea of being up high on a structure where falling is incredibly likely was never going to be my idea of fun. Unless, of course, I am watching actors pretend to do it for my entertainment. 

Directed by Scott Mann, Fall is an adequately engaging thriller that follows two best friends who climb a 2,000-foot radio tower just for kicks. 

Starring Grace Caroline Currey and Virginia Gardner, Mann’s film is the type of thriller that made me super uneasy. Yet, it still kept me curious enough to stay watching.

Fall also stars Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Mason Gooding, happens to be generally well-paced and features good chemistry between Currey and Gardner. I enjoyed the smartly executed terrifying moments. Especially as the two friends continue to climb higher and the audience sees just how physically vulnerable they truly are.

If heights are not your worst nightmare, why not try Fall for that relatively easy-to-watch thriller? The kind that will have you wondering whether you would survive if you found yourself 2000 feet in the air, without barriers to keep you safe.

Happy Film Loving

G

GLASS ONION – A KNIVES OUT MYSTERY (2022): New Trailer Starring Daniel Craig, Edward Norton, Kathryn Hahn, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista…

Daniel Craig is back as everyone’s favourite Southern detective, Benoit Blanc. Directed once again by Rian Johnson, Glass Onion – A knives Out Mystery. takes us to Greece for Blanc’s next case.

Get ready for a bunch of intriguing new characters played by Ethan Hawke, Edward Norton, Kate Hudson, Dave Bautista, Madelyn Cline, Kathryn Hahn, Leslie Odom Jr. and Jessica Henwick.

I like that the cast mix feels quite unexpected here. And if the finished film is close to as captivating as this trailer, I’m going to be very happy indeed.

Lastly, remember how Chris Evans’s Knives Out (2019) character Ransom Drysdale had people rediscovering their appreciation for cable knit sweaters? Well, what are the chances that Bautista’s speedos will do something similar? Maybe?

Glass Onion – A Knives Out Mystery Release Dates: December 23rd, 2022 (US & UK)…

Happy Film Loving

G

BULLET TRAIN (2022): The Things I Liked…

Brad Pitt rarely letting his audience down with his movie choices is a major reason I watched director David Leitch’s latest, Bullet Train.

Also starring Joey King, Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Brian Tyree Henry and Sandra Bullock, the story of five assassins aboard a fast-moving bullet train proved too intriguing to resist. You can therefore imagine my disappointment when I realised that Leitch’s movie was not going to deliver. 

Despite some funny scenes, a handful of visually beautiful shots and camera angles, the story edit left me desperately wanting. I found the pace slow, tedious and inadequately engaging. 

The dialogue between Taylor-Johnson and Bryan Tyree Henry’s characters is the thing that made me realise the inspiration that seems to have come from Guy Ritchie and Quentin Tarantino’s best work. Unfortunately, however, the film does not work as well as those classic examples of filmmaking excellence. And finding myself not liking much of the music featured only made matters worse.

Despite my obvious disappointment, I do have a couple of highlights to point out. Firstly, every scene with Hiroyuki Sanada as The Elder. Joey King’s character, even though she isn’t particularly likeable. Channing Tatum; what a welcome addition he proved to be. 

Lastly, Brad Pitt. He is always good, right? It’s the script and overall execution that let everyone down.

Even after all the above, if you still find yourself super curious about Bullet Train, watch it. There’s always a chance you’ll have more fun than I could.

Happy Film Loving

G

THE GRAY MAN (2022): The Things I liked…

Thrills and action were promised. And thrilling action is precisely what Chris Evans, Ana de Armas and Ryan Gosling’s latest, The Gray Man delivered.

A key highlight of the Anthony and Joe Russo-directed action/thriller is all the action sequences that made it impossible for me to look away for at least two-thirds of the movie. Even more so during the scenes set in Prague.

Evans as the bad guy in a story about the CIA’s most skilled operative’s uncovering of dark agency secrets is a fun surprise. I rather enjoyed his well-dressed turn as a psychopath. Gosling has always been fun to watch in action roles, and The Gray Man is no different.

And to think that my Friday wasn’t quite going to plan today. It turns out that all it took was to watch the first ten minutes of The Gray Man to have me cheering and ‘woohooing’ at the thrilling action, smile-inducing dialogue, rich visuals and heart-thumping musical score.

Undeniably, perfect is not the word to describe The Gray Man. However, it is a perfectly entertaining escape that isn’t so easy to turn away from, especially during the highly engaging action scenes. 

If you’re a fan of the cast and directors, I implore you to alter your mood and take in all the highlights mentioned above, including the fun camera work.

Happy Film Loving

G

BLACK BIRD (2022): New Trailer From Taron Egerton, Paul Walter Hauser, Greg Kinnear, Ray Liotta…

Black Bird (2022), Paul Walter Hauser, Apple TV+
Black Bird (2022), Paul Walter Hauser, Apple TV+

New crime/drama/thriller series, Black Bird has Taron Egerton as Jimmy Keene, a man sentenced to 10 years in a minimum-security prison. A sentence that could be reduced to zero, if he’d just do one not quite so little thing.

Elicit a confession from Larry Hall (Paul Walter Hauser,) a suspected serial killer so that the FBI can find the bodies of as many as eighteen women.

I can’t even begin to guess if Keene will get out of this alive, especially knowing how prisonguards in TV shows and movies tend to stir up trouble and inappropriately exercise their power. Then there’s the assumption that the FBI care whether Keene survives. I mean, he does seem to be, you know, a full-on criminal.

I’m into this because of the cast and this rather well-edited trailer, even if it is tinged with some sadness since Liotta is no longer with us.

I see a pair of perfectly rich roles for Egerton and Hauser, plus some incredibly tense scenes coming our way. Scenes that are ideal for fans of great prison dramas and mob/crime stories.

Greg Kinnear, Ray Liotta, Sepideh MoafiTrazi Lashawn, Christopher B. DuncanJake McLaughlin, Robert Diago DoQui, Alexander Babara, Cecilia Leal and Rachel Whitman Groves also star.

Black Bird Release Dates: July 8th, 2022, Apple TV+

Happy Film Loving

G

SLOW HORSES (2022): Hello, Thrilling Chase…

Why aren’t there more movies with chase sequences as long and satisfying as Mel Gibson’s Apocalyto (2006? I often wonder about this and the answer is probably the same as the reason there aren’t enough films with the unexpectedly masterful execution of Bong Joon Ho’s Parasite (2019); it’s incredibly hard to do.

I say all the above as a big fan of the following clip from Apple TV+’s latest drama/thriller series, Slow Horses.

Starring Jack Lowden, Kristin Scott Thomas and Gary Oldman, the story’s focus on a team of British intelligence agents is intriguing enough. Especially considering that said team serve as a dumping ground department of MI5, thanks to their career-ending mistakes.

Nevertheless, it’s roughly 1.5 months since I saw the above clip, and I still haven’t watched beyond these 20+ minutes.

There are several reasons I’ve been unhurried about committing to Slow Horses. They include the non-film-related things keeping me busy. Also, I am a person for whom a thrilling chase sequence is one of the most fun events a film can have. Remember how exciting all the running in Apocalyto was?

I’d hate to start watching Slow Horses, only to stop because I’m not getting enough of that which had me hooked in the first place; the thrilling chase.

The cast is undoubtedly great, and with clever pacing, great dialogue and more, I may well have a good time, should I decide to surrender; something I may have done more readily had the last 12 minutes of the above clip not caught me off guard.

Finally learning patience and the right mood arising may help get me there. Or, I could be that millennial/ Tik Tok generation type. You know, the ones who are having more and more trouble enduring footage that can’t be categorised as ‘a clip.’ How scary.

Have you seen Slow Horses? Which movie features your favourite chase sequence?

Happy Clip Loving.

G

NOPE (2022): New Trailer From Jordan Peele, Starring Daniel Kaluuya, Steven Yeun, Barbie Ferreira, Keke Palmer…

Isn’t it great when a promising trailer from one of your favourite directors lands when you weren’t expecting it?

The director is Jordan Peele and the movie is Nope. A scary but fun looking horror/mystery/thriller starring Daniel Kaluuya, Keke Palmer, Steven Yeun and Barbie Ferreira.

The question going through my mind right now is ‘What kind of terrifying ride, likely involving aliens is this story about to take us on?’ I want to find out. I’m in for the special effects and to discover whether we’ll even get to see the entity causing all the terror.

What’s a bad miracle? They got a word for that?

I just love the above words and the way Kaluuya’s character delivers them, with that perfectly placed pause in the middle.

Michael Wincott, Donna Mills, Terry Notary, Jennifer Lafleur, Brandon Perea, Sophia Coto, Ryan W. Garcia, Andrew Patrick Ralston and Gloria Cole also star.

Nope Release Dates: July 22nd, 2022 (US)…

Happy Film Loving

G