Tag Archives: Gugu Mbatha-Raw

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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The Whole Truth (2016) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

THE WHOLE TRUTH

Director: Courtney Hunt
Writer: Nicholas Kazan (as Rafael Jackson)
Stars: Keanu Reeves,  Renée Zellweger,  Gugu Mbatha-Raw

Plot: A defense attorney works to get his teenage client acquitted of murdering his wealthy father.
Running time: 1 hour 33 minutes
IMDB Score: 6.1

Why I watched it: The cast, the trailer played like an 80′s thriller so there was that and I won’t lie the running time of 1 hour 33 minutes helped me watch it, I like shorter movies.

Random thoughts: You never know with Keanu Reeves, he’s been in some great genre films and others well not so much and he as an actor is very hit and miss his’ laid back approach sometimes really pays off and others he seems really miscast.  This film also kind of reminded me of Presumed Innocent  for some reason.

What I liked: This plays more like a film noir than a courtroom thriller, now with that being said a lot of this movie plays out in court so yes it’s very much a courtroom thriller but you throw in the dead husband who was wealthy and her son saying he did it but not speaking to anyone even his lawyer who also happens to be a family friend then this also qualifies as a film noir at least a little.

The film is pretty tight, not a lot of characters and really it turns into a mystery of who is the killer and of course why they did it.  The acting is pretty good across the board, Belushi is seen in flashbacks and is pretty slimy one of those rich guys everyone secreted hated.  Zellweger has a tricky role, she’s a grieving wife, a worried mother a possible liar.  She’s pretty good here I think she’s a tad miscast but she does her best. Reeves is pretty much like he always is likable but a bit wooded.  His character is kind of stuck with a client who won’t work with him and always the fact that he use to work with the victim and were friends.

There’s one thing in the film they do that I really like, the film uses flashbacks but during testimony as the witness  is answering questions we see what actually happened, so we get their version of the truth with the whole truth is you will.  The courtroom stuff is handled pretty well I think the film knows we’ve seen this kind of stuff a million times so they keep it quick and they keep things going towards the mystery of who did it.

My favorite part of the film is the ending and yes it’s a twist and it’s a good one, actually i didn’t see it, I went in a different direction, it’s a good twist and it works,  This isn’t a case of a screenwriter throwing in a twist to save a bad movie this makes the film more complex and better.

What I didn’t like: Th cast was fine but I do thing that the two leads played by Reeves and Zellweger could have benefited by different actors, a more femme fatalish  actress and a more gruff and  haggard actor, I see a younger Nick Nolte here.  There’s a sub-plot with a lawyer helping Reeves’ character and they give her backstory and she’s fine but she and her backstory play no part in the film, she’s more of a red herring.

Final verdict: I liked it for the most part a solid mystery and like I said I liked the twist, it’s always nice when a film surprises you.
Rating: 7/10