Tag Archives: David Oyelowo

The ‪Cloverfield‬ Paradox (2018) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

CLOVERFIELD PARADOX

Director: Julius Onah
Writers: Oren Uziel (story by), Doug Jung (story by)
Stars: Gugu Mbatha-Raw, David Oyelowo, Daniel Brühl

Plot:  Orbiting a planet on the brink of war, scientists test a device to solve an energy crisis, and end up face-to-face with a dark alternate reality.
Running Time: 1 hour 42 Minutes
IMDB Score: 6.5

Why I watched it: Well I was watching the Superbowl saw the trailer and thought it looked decent, didn’t pay much attention after the game I was surfing went to Netflix Canada and saw that the film had dropped after the game so I jumped at the chance to see it right away.  Very cool bit of marketing.

Thoughts: Many thoughts here first off the film was shot under the title The ‪God Particle‬, now we can ask was this film just tweaked to make it a ‪Cloverfield‬ movie was it always meant to be a sequel?  Also I think the coolest thing about this movie was the marketing, one trailer and then a few hours later everyone can see it, not months of hype, so it seemed special and also you have to figure it’s going to get a lot more attention than just being thrown out into theatrical release.

What I Liked: This movie is filmed with very good actors and I mean very good to great actors, a true international cast, true they might not be huge stars in the US but this is not a random cast and it’s not a cast full of genre actors this is taking the genre very seriously.  Easily for me the cast is the best part of the film, I really liked David Oyelowo, he plays a leader and he does it thoughtfully and he takes care and thinks things out and he’s quiet for a lot of the film. Chris O’Dowd brings the humor and it’s needed cause this is a heavy film, in tone and plot, we’re talking about the world going to war and also add on alternate realities.

I liked the look of the film, the space station is cool, the effects are well done and they do hit that heavy tone, they set up the stakes and they show how important it all is.  I also like the fact that it is an international crew and not just Americans cause all the countries have a stake in this mission. The film does go heavy Sci-Fi but it does horror pretty well there is a couple of very freaky and strange set pieces, there’s one with O’Dowd’s arm going into the wall and what happens is very scary and then oddly funny.  Really like the dynamic of the group dealing with the pressure and also the fact that they’ve been up in this station a long time, the tension is earned.

What I Didn’t Like: To put it nicely The ‪Cloverfield‬ Paradox is a bit of a mess plot wise and because of that it’s a very mixed bag, this could have been just a cool little Sci-Fi thriller just looking at it reminds me of Life that came out not to long ago and of course Alien springs to mind with this cast it would have a been a decent little thriller but tying it to the ‪Cloverfield‬ films is the film biggest problems, now the hook of the one shot marketing was after 10 years we would get answers and we kind of did but man it falls flat.  I’ll be honest I was confused by the end, what did it mean?  What did we actually find out?  Through the three films we got what monsters, alien invasion, alternate reality.  It’s the last one in this film that really muddles the water cause we have to think these monster come from a different reality.  Does that make sense, maybe.

I think the main problem is that nothing is made clear and a sub-plot of Roger Davies(husband of Gugu Mbatha-Raw) finds a young girl and saves her from a monster then goes to a shelter seems odd and out of place from the main story.  The other huge problem is we have no sense of time-lines here, what happened first, when is now?  What came first? The film doesn’t touch on this at all and this film does film like ‪10 Cloverfield Lane‬, where it feels like it’s own movie then gets the ‪Cloverfield‬ logo branded on it.  There doesn’t seem to be an end game no big arc going through the films, none of the films fit with each other, it feels like three episodes of the Outer Limitless then three movie in a franchise.

Final Thoughts: This is a tough film to review cause for the most part I liked it as a stand alone film, I love Sci-Fi horror and the cast makes it worth watching but as part of a franchise it disappointed me cause I truly didn’t think they answered the questions they said they would answer or if they did it wasn’t satisfying.

Rating: ‪5/10‬

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A Most Violent Year (2014) Movie Retro Review by Stephen McLaughlin

A MOST VIOLENT YEAR

Director: J.C. Chandor
Writer: J.C. Chandor
Stars: Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo

“A Most Violent Year” is set in New York City in the year 1981, were an ambitious immigrant named Abel (Isaac) fights to protect his business and family during the most dangerous year in the city’s history.

Having watched this movie I can only describe this as a captivating drama more than an action film that perhaps the title may suggest to some. I enjoyed Oscar Isaac’s performance as Abel, a family man built on principals, who is provoked into crossing the line a few times by his competitors. Don’t get me wrong the movie doesn’t focus on violence that much and when it does it is justified and not unnecessarily shoehorned into the plot for effect.

The movie’s strength lies in the excellent cast and their performances and interactions throughout the storyline. Almost every shot and scene should be appreciated as the script is intelligent, interesting and gripping to the extent that the audience will be drawn in very easily. Abel’s stance and morals frustrate his wife Anna played by Jessica Chastain who seeks protection from Abel for her and their children in the means of being in the possession of an unlicensed firearm. Chastain’s performance is as equally strong and assertive of that of Isaac and both appear to excel in their shared scenes.

The pacing of “A Most Violent Year” is consistent and the plot is tight. At no point does the story appear choppy or misguided thanks to the films editing by Ron Patane. Director J.C. Chandor did a great job capturing a somber and dramatic tone throughout the movie and creating some tense scenes in there that are memorable also. His writing is also well done and you can sense that he has invested time and care into his characters that are fleshed out and you can relate to.

The cinematography by Bradford Young and Robert Levi (who created the documentary segments) managed to recreate a New York City in 1981 with impressive and convincing results. Added to this a very subdued soundtrack that adds atmosphere to these visuals and the audience is taken back 30 odd years thanks to the music of Alex Ebert.

“A Most Violent Year” perhaps wasn’t going to target a mainstream audience it is fair to say that Chandor has made possibly one of the best dramas of 2014 and should not be overlooked if you enjoy these type of films and cast. Oscar Isaac again has proven there is more to him than Poe Dameron in the new Star Wars Trilogy and flexes his acting abilities once more in the gripping and intriguing movie. “A Most Violent Year” came as a surprise to me and I’m glad I managed to get round to this movie. Highly recommend.