Tag Archives: Blake Lively

The Rhythm Section (2020) Movie Review By D.M. Anderson

The Rhythm Section Review

Director: Reed Morano
Writers: Mark Burnell (screenplay by), Mark Burnell
Stars: Blake Lively, Richard Brake, Elly Curtis

Though it will never be mistaken for a great film, there are two things that make The Rhythm Section worth checking out.

First, it features a believable protagonist. Since losing her entire family in a plane crash, Stephanie Patrick (Blake Lively) has descended into prostitution and drug addiction. Then she meets a reporter who claims the plane crash was a terrorist attack and has evidence provided by ex-MI-6 operative Iain Boyd (Jude Law). After the reporter is murdered, she takes his research and seeks Boyd’s help in avenging her family. He reluctantly agrees to train her to strike back at the organization responsible.

But Stephanie doesn’t morph into a fearless, indestructible supersoldier. Throughout the entire film, she is clearly in over her head and screws up a lot, sometimes making things worse. Dumb luck saves her more often than any acquired skills, which makes some of the action sequences feel a bit more down-to-earth than those in similar films.

Second, Blake Lively goes all-in with a dedicated performance. She effectively displays the hopelessness, nihilism, anger and wrath required for Stephanie to be convincing. Considering her statuesque beauty, I suspect the temptation to turn her into another Atomic Blonde was strong, but aside from a brief – and pointless – scene where she poses as a high-end call girl, Lively looks suitably strung-out, weary and beaten down by life.

She’s the only interesting character in a film that loses focus about half-way through, when it strays from being a straight revenge thriller and throws in unnecessary plot turns, even briefly turning Stephanie into a killer-for-hire. Once she starts trotting the globe like some kind of grunge-era assassin, the story grows increasingly convoluted, to say nothing of implausible.

Narrative quibbles aside, The Rhythm Section may be unremarkable, but it’s certainly watchable on a dull evening (which we all have plenty of, right now). Blake Lively makes her character compelling enough to keep things interesting during the duller stretches, while director Reed Morano strings together a few nifty action scenes.

 

The Shallows (2016) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier

The Shallows Review

Director: Jaume Collet-Serra
Writer: Anthony Jaswinski
Stars: Blake Lively, Óscar Jaenada, Angelo Josue Lozano Corzo

Plot:  A mere 200 yards from shore, surfer Nancy is attacked by a great white shark, with her short journey to safety becoming the ultimate contest of wills.

Running Time: 86 Minutes

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 78%    Audiences 54%

Why I Watched It: I almost didn’t, was dragging my feet cause for the most part shark movies are cliched and same old same old, plus the shadow of Jaws is very large.

Random Thoughts:  I will say I’m coming around on Blake Lively, I wasn’t much of a fan, she’s fine but not my favourite, and she’s one of the reason it took me awhile to watch this cause it’s like mostly her and a shark for the run time of this movie.  Seeing the adds for this movie I was like this is an excuse to see Lively in a bikini for 90 minutes, but I saw All I See Is You, which I didn’t really care for but did like her performance and that kind of swung me around to watch the film, that and it was a killer shark movie.

What I Liked: This one was a very pleasant surprise for me, I not only enjoyed it but was a little shocked I did.  This is a very small film scale wise, heck all the danger is like 200 yards away from land and no danger but once the action starts this is a very well done little thriller/horror movie they played it small and intense and made it about survival.  It’s one of the rare cases where having a shark act like a serial killer worked in a movie.

The film works cause it’s not man versus nature it’s Blake Lively’s character versus this shark, the shark knows she’s there and wants to eat her, she knows the shark is there and doesn’t want to be eaten.  I give the film a ton of credit for keeping this intense and for the most part grounded, they didn’t go over the top and they stayed clear of going campy and silly.  Lively does a good job of making us care if she survives, she’s tough smart and scared, and it works so much cause she doesn’t play it like a macho action star, she wants off the rock, she doesn’t need to kill the shark she just wants to get to land, and we also have the ticking clock cause the tide is coming and she’s injured so she has to be proactive she can’t just wait to be rescued.

The film is very well directed and shot, not easy to make a film in water, go ask Kevin Costner, but they kept the film tight and for the most part they kept the tension and the horror retched up.  The story is tricky, a women gets attacked by shark and now she has to get to shore, that’s maybe a 30 minute story there, but the filmmakers used the passing of time well, every minute of screen time that is being used up we know Lively’s character is closer to death one way or another.

The action stuff is very well done it’s been awhile since a shark movie got to me and this did, the ending is very well shot and it built up really well.

What I Didn’t Like: I know it’s hard to call an 86 minute movie long but it is, the beginning is slow and really they had to pad the run time but still it felt the need to had melodrama to a shark movie, did we care that this character left medical school, that her father was upset about it, we don’t need a soap opera sub-plot to make us care about her.

Other than that, not much to complain about, it’s not perfect but it’s a shark movie.

Final Thoughts: A solid horror/thriller that is much better than I thought it was going to be and yes I almost like Blake Lively, by the way she was very good here the biggest thing was making sure we cared she lived and she did that.

Rating: 7/10

All I See Is You (2016) Movie Review By Darrin Gauthier

All I See is You

Director: Marc Forster
Writers: Sean Conway (screenplay), Marc Forster (screenplay)
Stars: Blake Lively, Jason Clarke, Ahna O’Reilly

Plot:  A blind woman’s relationship with her husband changes when she regains her sight and discovers disturbing details about themselves.

Running Time: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 29%    Audience  33%

Why I Watched It: Not sure, I’ll blame Netflix but I will say I was kind of intrigued  by the trailer in a good/bad way, it looked odd.

Random Thoughts: Marc Forster is an odd/interesting director he jumps from different genres and he really doesn’t seem to have a pattern or comfort zone which isn’t bad but go and check out his IMDB page and it seems random.  He works a lot but he doesn’t have a strong following. Just a heads up here the trailer kind of made this film look like a thrillerish kind of film, it’ not, more of a weird drama.

What I Liked: This is a very odd/weird/off putting film, as you watch it you’re not sure of a couple of things, what it’s about and where it’s going.  Now I don’t mind that, weird can be cool just ask David Lynch he lives there. On the surface this film is about a women who lost her sight in an accident when he was a girl and through surgery gets sight back in one eye, that isn’t much of a plot, maybe a Lifetime movie but this film does it in a different and trippy way.  This film seems like a European Art House film, it’s got sex and it’s very sexual which is something Hollywood films stay away from.  At it’s core I think the film is more of a character study, how doe we see others and our self.  I think the film is trying to get at something and is trying to make the audience think and maybe squirm a little.  The film is off, almost all of the characters seem off, the tone is left of center for sure.  I will say this I didn’t dislike the film for it but I do wish they did something with the weirdness. Blake Lively gives a daring performance and she does a lot of the heavy lifting here as she’s in almost every scene, she does the shift from being blind to being able to see well and she does a good job of making us guess who her character is and what she wants.

What I Didn’t Like: This film is really, really slow to the point where it makes you sleepy I mean for the first 45 minutes it really doesn’t seem to have a point or a plot.  The location is nice and all but this film just is and you could call it Art House but it’s a boring Art House movie.  Honestly this film doesn’t have a plot, a women gets her eye sight back in one eye, that’s it now my big problem with the film is that it sets it up as her getting her sight back changes things for her and her husband but one could argue they didn’t have a great relationship to start with.  The major flaw is the husband he’s not well written and to be honest not well acted by Jason Clarke, he gives a performance of an actor who doesn’t have a handle on his character and his floating Australian accent doesn’t help.  I’m not sure if the director and screen writers were trying to say he was insecure cause his wife was better looking than him and once she got her eye sight she could see that, it’s not really played like that, he does come off as insecure but also he’s a jerk and to be honest she’s not great either.  If the film wanted to be based on character then it did a poor job of defining these people.

The film is a chore to get through, you just sit there hoping something would happen and the kicker is the film doesn’t really define it’s self. You might have been able to do something with this idea something deep something psychological but the film doesn’t say anything the ending is just bad, when the big climax is at a talent show where Lively performances a song she’s written with her young neighbor, and the song unnerves Clarke so much he runs out of the theatre, the song starts with “I like double dutch” and don’t get me started with the dog in the film or they’re attempts at having a baby, at first I thought a lot of this stuff was a metaphor and if it is I don’t know what the metaphor is for. This film left me lost, and really I stopped caring they didn’t give me enough to either care or be interested in.

Want to point out they wasted Danny Huston here, I have no idea why he’s in this film the character goes nowhere and also while we’re talking about wasting Yvonne Strahovski is in two scenes and I think has maybe two lines of dialogue. The running time also was a big killer for me, the tone and pacing is terrible, the attempts at being sexy were fine but they went nowhere this film might have been trying to touch on Eyes Wide Shut territory but it failed badly.

Final Thoughts: Not a good film, badly written for sure, somewhere there is a story trying to come out but it ends up being just odd and uninteresting.

Rating: 3/10