Tag Archives: Gonzalo López-Gallego

Open Grave (2013) Movie Retro Review by Darrin Gauthier ‬


Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego
Writers: Eddie Borey, Chris Borey
Stars: Sharlto Copley, Thomas Kretschmann, Josie Ho

‪Plot:  A man wakes up in the wilderness, in a pit full of dead bodies, with no memory and must determine if the murderer is one of the strangers who rescued him, or if he himself is the killer.‬
‪Running Time: 1 hour 42 minutes‬
‪IMDB Score: 6.3‬

‪Why I watched it: It’s genre and it was on iTunes for .99 cents, alright a dollar but still it was worth the risk.‬

‪Thoughts: I pretty well went into this cold, this film was really under the radar, so I went in knowing the plot and that was it.‬

‪What I liked: Open Grave is a gimmick movie and it’s also a movie hard to review cause anything about the plot is a spoiler, there’s a sub-genre of people waking up and having no memory and they don’t know who there are or what’s going on, I have to admit there’s been a couple of good movies with that premise and you can do a lot with it.  What I like here for the most part is that Open Grave is trying to make you guess what kind of film it is, now about half way through you can figure it out and I actually said out loud to no one”oh it’s a …… movie” now up until then the film was moving pretty good.  I won’t give it away cause really it’s the one thing the film has going for it.‬

‪The cast is fine but it’s hard when everyone is playing some with amnesia, not a lot of character work being done, everyone is confused and scared. I like Sharlto Copley, he’s a different actor, his look if different and he always plays characters that are a little off, now he’s no stranger to genre work and he’s fine here, he pretty much carries the film, I also like Thomas Kretschmann as well, he plays that gray area really well is he good is he bad and to play that when even the character doesn’t know is pretty hard but he pulls it off.‬

‪The film does have a good amount of tension and it’s shot pretty well, it’s set out in the woods, at least that’s what it looks like and the open space does make it a bit creepy and suspenseful. ‬

‪What I didn’t like: The film drags, and even though the idea and gimmick works they idea is strained about half way through, they try their best but you can’t keep up the game for over a hour and half we have to deal with the plot and the plot drags mid way through and once we know what’s going on it really does rely heavily on cliches of the genre.  By the end of the film is your standard film and maybe that’s why the main plot or the genre is a secret once you know it’s not a huge surprise and they don’t do anything different with the idea.‬

‪The supporting actors are fine but every role is written the same and it’s hard to care about people you know nothing about and yes of course there’s some huge plot holes and some of it doesn’t make sense, it’s one of those movies once you see the whole thing mentally you go back and pick it apart.  The film is fine when we’re trying to figure out what’s going on but once we do then it falls pretty much flat.  They relied to much on the gimmick to carry the film and they pushed it too far trying to keep the guessing going and the film ended up losing flow and momentum.‬

‪Final Thoughts: Not a bad film and I give credit to the idea and some of the acting like I said is good and some of the suspense and tension was well done, the film need to be tighter and a tad more original.‬

‪Rating: 4/10‬

The Hollow Point (2016) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier


Director: Gonzalo López-Gallego
Writer: Nils Lyew
Stars: Lynn CollinsIan McShanePatrick Wilson

Plot:  A new sheriff of a small town along the U.S. & Mexico border investigates a drug cartel deal that went horribly wrong.

Running Time: 1 hour 37 minutes

Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics  31%    Audience 32%

Why I Watched it: Mainly the cast, I hadn’t heard about this film until it debuted on Netflix Canada.

Random Thoughts: A little trivia to start off Patrick Wilson replaced Timothy Olyphant, it would have been a Deadwood reunion with Ian McShane, that would have been cool nothing against Patrick Wilson.  This is an odd film, not exactly what I thought it would be and going in this isn’t a drug cartel movie per say they’re moving bullets not drugs.

What I liked: This is going to be a hard movie to review cause there’s a lot of stuff to like but right beside it is stuff that just doesn’t work at all, it’s a love/hate movie for sure.  The acting is good across the board, honestly Ian McShane might be one of the most watchable actors working today, he reminds me of John Hurt no matter what they do, role genre they just own it.  He’s good in here and I kind of wish the film was about him.  I like Patrick Wilson he’s a solid actor and he’s done some very good genre work and he’s good here but the script and direction does his character no favors.  The action is violent and sudden I will say I was surprised at a couple of things, I rarely jump but it got me.  Leguizamo plays a scary killer in this for like ¾ of the film he doesn’t talk.  Spooky character, very driven.  Jim Belushi is a good slimy bad guy, he looks terrible and is clearly having fun.  The set up of this small border town is nicely done.

What I didn’t Like: There’s a lot wrong with this film and it’s too bad it has some good stuff in it and it had some promise but the script and direction is not very good here, it’s a case where the film didn’t cut together so much stuff is stilted or uneven, scenes don’t make sense together.  The one character hurt the most is played by Lynn Collins, an actress I like but here she doesn’t have a character, she has two things, she should leave town and she was in a relationship with Patrick Wilson, that’s all we know, why did they break up?  Why did she get involved with another guy?  Does she still care for Wilson?  Same with Wilson’s character he is from the small town and has come back, we don’t know why he left or why he’s back.  When I say scenes don’t cut together here’s a prime example McShane is trying to get info from Belushi, Belushi shoots him, McShane walls over in his chair, Belushi stands over him.  End of scene.  So we assume McShane is dead, wait for it, later McShane is shown with his shirt open with a bullet proof vest on, he’s talking to Wilson about Belushi shooting him, now Belushi isn’t arrested, so the question is how did McShane get out of that spot, he’s shot by a guy in the guy’s office yet gets out without either one being dead?  So Belushi just let him leave and then they go back after each other.  Also the big smuggler the bullets and the whole money thing is never fully explained.  By the end everyone is trying to kill each other for $250,000.

Final Thoughts: It has it moments and I would say see it for Ian McShane alone, but this is a bit of a mess, it doesn’t hang together very well.

Rating: 5/10