CENSOR (2021)

Directed By: Prano Bailey-Bond 
Written By: Prano Bailey-Bond & Anthony Fletcher 
Cinematography: Annika Summerson 
Editor: Mark Towns 

Cast: Niamh Alger, Michael Smiley, Nicholas Burns, Vincent Franklin, Sophia La Porta, Adrian Schiller

After viewing a strangely familiar video nasty, Enid, a film censor, sets out to solve the past mystery of her sister’s disappearance, embarking on a quest that dissolves the line between fiction and reality.


A film devoted to video nasties films that were banned or cut in the 1980’s when it came to content in The UK we follow a censor on a board.

The film isn’t what one might suspect which might be of a censor going mad and killing those she finds deplorable or those who make grotesque films and u leashes them on the public 

No Instead it goes the route of a slow burn horror more of a drama that is more of a character study who slowly breaks down and loses their grip. Dealing with childhood trauma that the job seems to release and come to the surface 

Most of the violence throughout is from the movies she watches until the third act when the film offers some gore of its own 

Throughout the film keeps a creepy vibe and is stunning in it’s detail to the time period it is ye in the 1980s and obviously an homage and indebted to the films it aspires to be and influenced by.

The film has a Great ending which really saves the film. That one wishes the film had been more like but it did need that build-up to get to that point of what feels like transcendence 

As before, The film might remind the audience slightly of 8MM before it becomes its own.

As it’s not what one expects watching the film it is well thought out and actually a bit deeper than expected. Unfortunately it still ends up being slightly disappointing from a certain standpoint. 

Though as the film goes into it’s Third act it goes past unsettling to actually quite brilliant and scary. 

Grade: C

NOCTURNE (2020)

Written & Directed By: Zu Quirke CInematography: Carmen Cabana
Editor: Andrew Drazek

Cast: Sydney Sweeney, Madison Iseman, Julie Benz, Rodney To, Jacques Colimon, Ivan Shaw

An incredibly gifted pianist makes a Faustian bargain to overtake her older sister at a prestigious institution for classical musicians.


You have seen this so many times before that this feels more like something that could have been wrapped up in an anthology episode.

While the film presents Itself with a character who cares what everyone else thinks too much, doing it in an artistic ambition might be the only original aspect. As it presents a character too shy and who has worked all her life only to be considered second best or even slightly above average and whose main competitor is always her sister who she naturally takes a backseat to. The film shows that with age what might be special when you get diminished with age if you haven’t done anything. With it or are still in the same place 

It plays off more like an episode than a full-length movie. As it seems like there is some padding used more to dive deep into psychosis. Rather than furthering the story making it come off more dramatic and a character study of one character where all the others come off as one-note.

As the film comes off more like a drama that uses a kind of supernatural element to make the film come off as a thriller that reveals itself to maybe be some kind of psychosis and mental illness eating away at the character or all because of some kind of supernatural curse. It can also be seen as an obsession passed on from one to another that causes madness or preys on their weaknesses and allows them to interpret their weaknesses into some kind of mythology and allows them success. 

The film also feels like it was only really made because they had an up and comer in the lead Sydney Sweeney and this film gives her a chance to star in a more genre-leading role and see what her potential is as a lead and if it had made it to theaters the box office, but with her in it. It helped secure funding. 

This is a sibling rivalry tale that takes it to another level. Even though really it is only one sibling jealous of the other and the more successful one turning petty when the tables are turned. As she is not used to losing.

In the end, this feels like a very special episode of a series rather than a shocking thriller.

Grade: C

SPECIES (1995)

Directed By: Roger Donaldson
Written By Dennis Feldman 
Cinematography: Andrzej Bartkowiak
Editor: Conrad Buff

Cast: Natasha Henstridge, Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Forest Whitaker, Alfred Molina, Marg Helgenberger, Michelle Williams 

In 1993, during a search for extraterrestrial life, a transmission was received, detailing an alien DNA structure, along with instructions on how to splice it with human DNA. The result is Sil, a sensual but deadly creature who can change from a beautiful woman to an armor-plated killing machine in the blink of an eye. Government agent Xavier Fitch assembles a team of scientists and mercenaries to locate and destroy Sil before she manages to find a mate and breed.


This film is one that might take you by surprise at how enjoyable it is.

One of the few times Michael Madsen has been the good guy but also essentially playing the hero. A kind of romantic one 

This is the movie that I believe started all the police procedural such as CSI were to solve the case was seen as a team effort and we saw how much each team member’s work helps to solve the crime that the star will get full credit for as the leader. Ironically one of the stars of CSI co-Stars in this film.

We get to learn about each member of the team and they each get their chance to shine some less triumphantly. Though forest Whitaker’s character is the one who has more of a psychic link with her. Which bumps his character up as much more needed in scenes. Madsen is the leader but mostly the action hero in this scenario. 

Ben Kingsley is the boss who gets them all together but can’t be trusted as every decision seems shady for the rest of them.

Essentially making this more an ensemble movie, with a cast of well-known character actors, but majorly focused on the alien played in a glamorous debut by Natasha Henstridge. As she tries to find a mate to procreate and inhabit the earth.

So it’s like a fantasy turned nightmare scenario. Whereas most films find this plot more through horror. This film also goes the sci-for horror route but also leaves room for fantasy. As in most films it is finding a mate or person and using them but maybe getting caught or the person dies before the process can happen. Here most of the men she encounters unfortunately are not good enough or don’t have the goods for what she needs.

This film has its fair share of tension and action to keep you interested and it has an alien character designed by H.R. Giger who created the alien Look for ALIEN 

The film has its fair share of exciting action and chase scenes but also leaves room for there to also be a bit of horror throughout. This alien is like a slasher but only truly kills when she is threatened in defense. 

Followed by an inferior sequel that just changes the sex around and seems crueler and oddly like they had less money which never comes as close to fun as this film has at least for the audience. 

This is an original and enjoyable action Science fiction movie. They don’t feel like a carbon copy. One which I saw In The theaters and made a huge impression on me. The film is never boring and keeps you entertained and interested. 

Only wish Natasha Henstridge got roles just as good as this one again. Even though her character is in the end a villain. You do care about her character and root for her a bit. No matter what her actions, plus at times she comes across as innocent snd shows some kind of humanity before she becomes more of a predator. 

Grade: B

THE STRANGERS (2008)

Written & Directed By: Bryan Bertino
Cinematography By: Peter Sova
Editor: Kevin Greutert
Original Music By: tomandandy

CAST: Liv Tyler, Scott Speedman, Gemma Ward

After returning from a wedding reception, a couple staying in an isolated vacation house receive a knock on the door in the mid-hours of the night. What ensues is a violent invasion by three strangers, their faces hidden behind masks. The couple find themselves in a violent struggle, in which they go beyond what either of them thought capable in order to survive.


I can understand how other people may enjoy this film but I honestly didn’t while you are there approach is riveting and exciting making you stay on your toes. The chilling masks that could be innocent are there more for terror. The cinematography makes you feel like you are watching a big-budget snuff film. The feel of this film is like it could have been made in the seventies it is that different from its contemporaries in the genre. Not too many cuts no annoying rapid editing. It has its problems but has good follow-through.

It just feels like it was manipulating from beginning to end. From the fake based on a true story coda at the beginning (It Wasn’t) and quite honestly ripped off TEXAS CHAINSAW MASSACRE.

Letting us know just enough about the characters as a backstory. So we can feel for them as they are victims on screen for most of this film, to the quiet stretches of the film. Only to be jarred by a loud sound and the music that expresses doom in almost every minute of this film. That is a warning that something is going to happen, but half the time doesn’t.

The filmmakers try to use what you already know about these types of films against you. Then tries to shock you by having scenes go a different way.

My problems are not only there, but in the beginning, they say not many details are known about what actually happened. Ok so why this movie is an interpretation of what the director thinks happened, then why so much attention to detail? like he was there and knew specific details about what happened.

Also if this is supposed to be a true story how come the killers are so talented or supernatural that they seem to be able to disappear at will. Then show up again unexpectedly with hardly a sound they are human, humans can have the best plan in the world, but make mistakes. it’s human nature, they also would thanks to gravity make noise, but not these killers who are kind of humanized at the end, but by that time it’s too late.

All the believability has already flown out the window. While the reasoning for the crimes is chilling and spoiled in the advertisement for the film. It is also what sells it and makes it scarier. If most other filmmakers had made it they probably would have copped out and shown the faces of innocent kids doing this as a thrill more than anything else it beats drugs. Which is not the actual ending.

SPOILER-

Though keeping them faceless does make them all the more scary and perfect for a sequel

SPOILER END

I give this film an A for effort and quite frankly believe the director does have talent which is plainly evident on the screen. He just makes these mistakes that take one out of the movie.

Would rather see more types of movies like this made by actual talent than the 20th remake of a Friday the 13th sequel which while fun in the original series are whack outside of it. Not to mention one would rather see films like this than another j-horror American remake.

The thing I can also give this movie credit for is that it seems to understand the horror genre. This while being gory a few times is mostly about thrills and suspense more than anything else.

Liv Tyler and Scott Speedman, Give good performances this might be the best film either have been in so far. it at least has given them the best roles to play.

I would say this is a good rental. More interested in the making of the film than necessarily the finished product.

GRADE: C+

ARMORED (2009)

Directed By: Nimrod Antal
Written By: James V. Simpson
Cinematography By: Andrzej Sekula
Editor: Armen Minasian
 
Cast: Columbus Short, Matt Dillon, Laurence Fishburne, Skeet Ulrich, Fred Ward, Jean Reno, Milo Ventimiglia, Lorna Raver, Amaury Nolasco 


The war veteran, Ty Hackett, is hired to work as security guard by the Eagle Shield Security where his old friend Mike Cochroone works. Ty is having financial difficulties after the death of his father, and is raising his brother Jimmy alone. He teams up with Mike’s brother-in-law, Baines, and their coworkers Quinn, Palmer and Dobbs. One night, Mike invites Ty to join in the robbery of two armored trucks transporting forty-two million dollars. The reluctant Ty accepts after Mike promises that nobody would be hurt in the heist. 



The directing by Nimrod Antal is solid that is one of the few good things I can say about this film. The story plays out more like action oriented theater. It has limited locations and most of the film takes place at a single one.


The action feels only necessary to dispatch characters and fill out the story. It helps the audience to feel more intense moments. The film feels more like it would play better in the 80’s or 90’s. with less dramatic cast.


Don’t get me wrong Matt Dillon and Laurence fishburne are good (Though Laurence Fishburne is often given to overacting in the film) This feels like a film Mr. Fishburne probably would have starred in, in his youth. Considering the cast involved this film should be much better then it is. They aren’t really given that much in the form of dimensions for characters.


It’s a shame that this is one of those High concept plotted films that could make a interesting big screen film, but feels like a b movie potboiler that is more at home making it’s premiere straight to dvd and/or Cable. The big names Deserve better roles then they have here and the up and comers. Who work out in the leads but shouldn’t be playing stock characters so early in their careers.

I wish we could have seen this cast in the film TAKERS and the cast of takers in this film instead as this film isn’t exactly rich with ideas or situations. This film has only one female speaking role. So this is more of a man’s only film.

The script could have been a lot better. If you are going to limit the action there should be more great dialogue and story or something or somebody to focus on. To take us out of the claustrophobic atmosphere by being interesting. Or add story to make this situation more intense and make the audience feel it.

Maybe tighten the claustrophobic atmosphere so they each must act in their own interests faster. Maybe make the character older so that these are his friend more or less that turn on him. Instead of just being the new guy in need of money and a steady job.

GRADE: D+

UNHINGED (2020)


Directed By: Derrick Borte 
Written By: Carl Ellsworth
Cinematography: Brendan Galvin 
Editor: Michael McCusker, Steve Mirkovich & Tim Mirkovich 

Cast: Russell Crowe, Caren Pistorius, Jimmi Simpson, Gabriel Bateman, Austin P. McKenzie, Juliene Joyner, Stephen Louis Grush, Anne Leighton

A divorced mother honks impatiently at a deranged middle-aged stranger at a red light while running late on her way to work. His road rage escalates to horrifyingly psychotic proportions as he becomes single-mindedly determined to teach her a deadly lesson for provoking him.


How the mighty have fallen. This is purely a star vehicle gig for Russell Crowe. Who instead of being the hero is more the unstoppable and unstable villain.

Who is clearly a psycho from the first scene only set off by a case of road rage. 

The shock of seeing Crowe once svelte and muscular packed on so much weight might seem to make him seem manageable but actually makes him much more threatening. As his size shows that he can easily overpower and outweigh others.

He comes across as the human embodiment of jaws. As he is just as vicious and menacing only we see him throughout.

What this film seems to take delight in are violence and punishment. As he takes it upon himself to exterminate all those who the Main Character his victim holds dear and he doesn’t seem to care who sees him or knows.

His character seems to be especially vicious or at least more joyful when it comes to the battering of women in this film, which the film doesn’t hold back from. Though he is pretty much that way towards all who cross his path. It is just more shocking when he is attacking the female characters.

The film plays pretty basic so that the only thing of note is the star and the violence. While watching it. It reminds the audience of films such as KIDNAP or THE CALL with Halle berry. Where the films seem made more to keep them relevant at the box office but are so familiar they offer nothing original. Except for basic bonehead thrillers for a new generation. 

The types of films they make hoping it will make a quick buck at the box office that weekend and offer an alternative to whatever blockbuster comes out that weekend.

What the film does have also going for it is that it is one of the few mid-budgeted films being made. Which is an increasing rarity these days.

This is a good enough movie. That will keep you entertained while you watch it and continuously roll your eyes. Though as soon as it is over you will begin to forget it. 

Grade: D+

SOUND OF VIOLENCE (2021)

Written & Directed By: Alex Noyer 
Cinematography: Danube Qin Wu 
Editor: Hannigan Aukia & Virtti Virkajarvi 

Cast: Jasmin Savoy Brown, Lili Simmons, James Jagger, Tessa Munro, Dana L. Wilson 

Alexis recovered her hearing during the brutal murder of her family when she was ten. The visceral experience awakened synesthetic abilities in her and started her on an orphaned path of self-discovery through the healing music of brutal violence. She goes on to pursue a career teaching and experimenting to find new sounds. She is supported and loved by her roommate Marie who is unaware of the dark secrets behind Alexis’ unique music and the part she unknowingly plays. Faced with the likelihood of losing her hearing again, Alexis escalates the pursuit of her masterpiece through gruesome sound experiments and devastating designs. She won’t let anything stop her not even love.


The film sets itself up quite nicely as far as the story goes though it seems more interested in Detailing the kills and deaths than working on human emotions and connections.

As the main character is diabolical when it comes to kills to the point that she could easily be the next saw villain that is how intricate her traps abs weapons are, though instead of seconding to be a moral judge or leaving the victims fate up to a game fo chance. 

She is more a killer who gets off on their deaths for a personal addiction. Where she sees music and colors and it gives her a kind of high that she can’t get enough of 

Her time period and the events move up as she realizes she is losing her hearing again and must complete her masterpiece before she is totally deaf again.

She is an Audio engineer though it never explains quite how she picked up these other seemingly gifted engineering skills when. It comes to building her devices of death.

The film also seems to almost make it seem like her killing. Is hereditary when her father massacres the family earlier even though it seems more his killing was done after a mental break after fighting overseas in the military. 

Though then again being introduced early to death and murder might just be ingrained for her. 

Though the film seems to only want to bring. Up her emotional connections or some relatively basic actions into the film And make them more important or prevalent when the film needs these points to continue the storyline. To make the film appear to age. More depth and convention. Towards the second. Half of the film.

As so revealed she has been doing this most of her life we only know of a few incidents. Though learn that she did it while in foster care and not as a survival mechanism but just like at the beginning of the film as kind of something that makes her happy and lets her have a one-of-a-kind experience. 

Not to mention it seems like most are attracted to her best friend in the film played by Lili Simmons as even the detective at the crime scene sort of seems to go out of her way to give her her card and really wants to talk to her about the case or anything else. 

Also find it hard to believe that in all her killings no one was attracted to her in her more normal mode with a few of her eccentricities. As once she and her friend reveal they kind of have feelings for one another it’s supposed to come as a surprise even though they have been having a clearly platonic yet intimate relationship throughout. That could have easily been another example of everything being done out of frustration for unrequited love. 

Where in fact she seems to hold out her cruelest punishment for the one person she loves and uses her to present and be her final masterpiece.

It would be easy to also attack the film for its protagonist to be a crazed minority and homosexual but the latter is only revealed in a later scene and the kills don’t seem dependent on that fact they are just who she is naturally and a disturbing homicidal   trait that just so happens to be there 

It’s a shame as the film does have promise and really wanted to like the film though at first the film seems a bit slow to get to its point then becomes more the audience waiting for her to strike next. Though soon it seems like they might be all the film has to offer is these kinds of heightened kill scenes. So that it tries to have depth at times but begins to become more monotonous. When it has the makings of something of more substance. 

Not to mention it leaves quite a few questions. For instance, she says her family was murdered but we never see or even know the details of her brother’s death. 

Grade: C-

ASSASSINATION OF A HIGH SCHOOL PRESIDENT (2008)

Directed by: Brett Simon  Written By: Kevin Jakubowski & Tim Calpin  Cinematography: M. David Mullen  Editor: William Anderson & Thomas J. Nordberg

Cast: Mischa Barton, Reece Daniel Thompson, Bruce Willis, Michael Rapaport, Kathryn Morris, Melonie Diaz, Zoe Kravitz, Josh Pais, Luke Grimes, Joe Perrino, Aaron Himelstein, John Magaro, Robin Lord Taylor, Vincent Piazza, Adam Pally, Emily Meade, Quinn Shephard

At a Catholic high school, a sophomore newspaper reporter investigates a case of stolen SAT exams. He thinks he’s nailed the suspect and managed to get the popular girl when he realizes a larger conspiracy is afoot.


While the film has its own quirky charm. It also tries too hard to be stylish and set itself apart. Calling attention to itself but by doing that it also allows us to notice its flaws

As the film tries to be a cross of a political conspiracy thriller mixed with a film noir film all set in high school. Which is cynical and surprisingly dark. It tries so hard to be an accessible version of brick yet keeping it high school-related that it dilutes itself and comes off seeming like it is trying too hard rather than just existing.

From the beginning, we know Mischa Barton’s character is the femme fatale but she gives an ice queenish Performance that while enticing you never know what drives all these guys so crazy over her. As she plays the role so stiff. Her face barely moves even when she is taking or trying to emote or seduce. Though the film does try to more exploit her looks and body to be an irresistible bombshell

Bruce Willis adds star power to the film. Even though his role is a major one. He is barely in it and the writing of his character isn’t that great or strong that you would understand why he would choose to take a small supporting role in this film.

Feels like it tries too hard to be a tawdry BRICK rip-off. Only with a bigger name cast.

Making a kind of teen film-noir conspiracy thriller movie. That stays more within its own Confines but still has the danger and sex all around. Though none of the hard-boiled language

Grade: D+

OFFICER DOWNE (2016)

Directed By: Shawn Crahan 
Written By: Joe Casey 
Cinematography By: Gerardo Madrazo 
Editor: Meg Ramsay 
Production Design: Jeremy Reed 
Art Direction: Anton Tremblay 
Cast: Kim Coates, Lauren Velez, Sam Witwer, Meadow Williams, Mark Neveldine, Reno Wilson, Tracy Vilar, Alison Lohman 

Based on the Man of Action/Image Comics original graphic novel created by Joe Casey and Chris Burnham, written by Joe Casey, about a police officer who can’t be stopped by death so he returns to the streets time and time again to fight crime.


An opening scene that offers sex and Nudity for no other reason than it just seems to go a long with the cliches of the material and to at least have that In the film which might help viewership. Though doesn’t offer much of later.

Only in glimpses and really has nothing to do with the story other than to have an inside joke of an orgasm counter. Which pretty much sets up the type of film you will be watching. As it’s not clever. Nor does it try to include anything as jokey as it again. So after watching the opening scene at least you know what you are in for and if you wish to proceed. At least you were warned. As it doesn’t get any better.

The film tries too hard To be offensive. It Feels like a combination of bigger budgeted Troma studios film mixed with ROBOCOP (just as nihilistic but without the satire) and the animated AXE COP series. Even though I know it is based on a graphic novel. It feels like it as the film is continuously episodic though gathers no real excitement and the world it takes place in makes no sense and seems outrageous and colorful just to be with no real reasoning behind it.

It obviously owes a debt to the CRANK movies which this film shares co-director and co- writer of Those films Mark Neveldine here as a cast member and one of the producers of the films. The film also has cast member Rob McHenley Who suffers the same fate in this film as he does in the CRANK movies and seems deemed to keep co-Starring in dark violent over the top comedies that make it to the screen. One wouldn’t expect less from one of the creators and cast members of IT’S ALWAYS SUNNY IN PHILADELPHIA.

The film is directed by Shawn Crahan of the band SLIPNOT a band that is heavy metal and he film feels like one of their songs or videos come to life. As it has a rocking soundtrack that always seems loud and has a rather nihilistic world view. That seems more exploitive and explosive, but never exactly tries to turn it down but never reaches the volume it clearly wants and seems building to.

Seems to want to be adrenaline pumping throughout. Though comes off more like a teenage boys wet dream, with Over the top violence and gratuitous sex. Three members of Slipknot make cameos in this movie. Corey Taylor as Headcase Harry, DJ Sid Wilson as a Thug and Percussionist Chris Fehn as Vulture

The film feels like it doesn’t have any reason or point to make. So it comes off more Like a fan film with It’s low budget quick cutting action sequences, quick editing and just off the wall humor. That seems like it was more intended as a highlight reel with a stitched together plot. That makes one believe this Seems like it would make an interesting short or even a series to go into more detail and explore this strange reality that the film takes place in as well as offering plenty of side stories.

I Wanted to like the film. As I enjoy the CRANK movies way more than I should, but this film leave one with a feeling of been there, done That and seen it before. that makes it feel like a copy rather then fresh even though it has it’s own original storyline. It also is barely 90 minutes and feels long. At least the CRANK movies while ridiculous knew how to keep the audience entertained and following along.

Though the CRANK movies were better maid and seemed to have a point and somewhat of a story. As this film only offers more do the same continuously while trying to seem like there is more to it.

I mean this film has killer Nuns and animalsor at least people in animal masks as gang leaders. Yet while fun it still never rises to the proper amount of lunacy. It reaks of attempts. Not out of passion. More like it was made up as it went along. Where the thinking was let’s include whatever silly thing we can think of to really mess with the audiences sanity.

I am usually always glad to see Kim Coates working. He is one of my favorite character actors. Usually playing villains of somebody of questionable morals. It is impressive here to see him Play a hero cop for once, of course one who is more extreme is not entirely surprising.

Also as a fan of Kim Coates I was more than willing to give the move a chance and actress Alison Lohman. Who I haven’t seen in anything in awhile who was once Hollywood’s new it girl. Disappointed in her small role in this film which might be a blessing as she might not have wanted to be too much in the film and be considered one of the major stars of it. As she is more in a small supporting role. It sets out to be a cult genre film and is mildly successful. Though it tries too hard and surpasses it’s aim and meaning. Especailly after starring a few years in the box office hit DRAG ME TO HELL

Though not a total failure. It’s not something I can imagine anyone wanting to see again more than once.

It’s an outsider film that seems desperate to fit in or gain an audience. As it does feel like a film made of youth and that is who it seems designed to appeal to. It’s Addicted more to cheap spectacle rather then detail.

The film is shot like a porno Film. There is always plenty of action. Only they use use the gore and violence as a kind of money shot with plenty of releases throughout.

Though this film is episodic and feels like informing the audience of an origin. The villains while a challenge, don’t seem that hard to defeat. So while predictable there is no suspense. Which is a shame as the film has all the ingredients. But the formula fails. This film makes like HARDCORE HARRY all the more impressive and fun.

Grade: D

ESCOBAR: PARADISE LOST (2014)

Directed By: Andrea Di Stefano 
Written By: Andrea Di Stefano & Francesca Marciano 
Cinematography By: Luis David Sansans 
Editor: David Brenner & Maryline Monthieux 

Cast: Josh Hutcherson, Brady Corbet, Benicio Del Toro, Claudia Traisac, Ana Girardot, Carlos Bardem 


Nicko and his brother take off from Canada in search of an easier life on the beaches of Colombia. Nicko meets a girl in the local village and they quickly fall in love, only for Nicko to later find out that Maria’s uncle is the drug trafficker, Pablo Escobar. His life takes a dramatic turn after meeting El Patron, and Nick is forced into impossible situations to try and keep his family safe, but does Pablo have other ideas?

The film is really shocking in its brutality and cruelty. The film shows, considering when the film first begins you believe it will probably stay on the fringes. Though slowly the film brings you in deeper as the character does. Until we are all in the middle.

Benicio Del Toro is top-notch though he is in throughout the film. Kind of haunting the scenes have isn’t in. He appears only in probably less than half of the film. You want to see more of him. Though him being a phantom character worked well. Like a horror film villain, you can’t wait to appear. Just as mean-spirited. Luckily the film doesn’t turn into a biography of his crimes.

What is not too hard to believe is that the main character doesn’t hide disillusionment well so I would suspect or not totally trust him one hundred percent either.

Hard to believe he didn’t see how dangerous and deadly he is though fictional was still riveting. as at first thought, it was based on a true story then realized it was impossible. For that reason thought the film would be filled with more hope

The last act is thrilling and filled with tension. Not so much action. The beginning of the film is kind of confusing as it seems to have quick flashes of aftermath edited together, but you can tell happened in different time periods.

I believe the film works just as it does for people discovering Pablo Escobar. At first, he seems like a genial nice guy. The boy realizes how ruthless, violent and brutal he can be. Just as the violence in the film comes more in the second half of the film.

Josh Hutcherson does what is required doesn’t really become effective until the last act when everything is on the line and vital as he is trying to escape. Though you wonder why his family didn’t leave earlier?

Too bad he doesn’t match the performance he is playing off of, but then again one is an acclaimed seasoned actor playing a charismatic larger-than-life role. At least he gets to try to match him. He stands his own, but not as memorable.

Would have been interested to learn more about the history of Pablo Escobar through enough films, television, Nolan, and information. This has a nice general overview.

It’s not an undercover tale, more a should have known better and what if kind of movies. Related it for more an American audience by putting a character we can relate to in this international situation and sensation.

Part of Making film more than just a potboiler is slowly presenting the thriller and dangerous moments and making the film about Pablo Escobar. Even if he is more in the background. even though the Canadian story could have been any random Colombians story who happened to cross paths close to Pablo Escobar.

Wish the film set its roots a little more rather than seeming like it speeds up to match its thriller premise when at first seems more like a drama.

Also not believable when he has tons of family, children, siblings that he moves his niece and her boyfriend into his living quarters. Even if he is Canadian. One would think he could use him more as an asset instead of all of a sudden seeing him as a burden.

One could see if it was more a result of him testing him and failing instead of guessing he needed a job done and all who could know except for him. The vital details eliminated, whereas henchman only knows the beginning and end. They don’t know the middle

Grade: C+