Tag Archives: Jason Isaacs

Look Away (2018) Movie Review By Peter Pluymers

 

Look Away Review

Director: Assaf Bernstein
Writer: Assaf Bernstein
Stars: India Eisley, Jason Isaacs, Mira Sorvino

I’m everywhere where you are.
Whenever you see yourself,
what you really see is me.

There are large numbers of films in which mirrors play a crucial role. Just think of “Mirrors“, “Oculus” and “Candyman“. And when someone is standing in front of a mirror in a horror movie, you can be sure there’s something frightening behind him or her when the camera focuses back on that mirror. One of the many tricks that makers of horror films use. And when they properly apply this gimmick, you’ll be avoiding every mirror the next days. But what if your reflection suddenly begins to speak to you and offers you a way out of a hopeless situation you can’t handle anymore? Well, that’s what Maria (India Eisley) is experiencing. Maria’s alter ego Airam (I thought it was smart how they reversed her name. As a mirror image) proposes to switch sides, to put Maria’s adolescent life on the right track again.
Maria’s life isn’t exactly rosy.

She’s an insecure and frightened little gray mouse. Although she has wealthy parents and radiates a natural beauty, she’s not exactly the happiest person at home. She doesn’t eat, looks pale and in a certain way unkempt. And confidence isn’t her strongest point. The cause is primarily due to her parents, Dan (Jason Isaacs) and Amy (Mira Sorvino). Dan is a successful surgeon who immediately notices any deviation on the scale of aesthetic beauty.

Perfectionism is his dada. A terrible person whose disparaging remarks clearly have an impact on his daughter. When he offers some surgery as a gift for Maria’s 18th birthday, you can see Maria’s self-confidence slip away. And Maria’s mother isn’t exactly the person to restore this confidence. Amy is a woman who lives in denial and resolutely refuses to see that “being faithful in a marriage” isn’t a priority for her husband.

And Maria’s school-time isn’t really pleasant either. She’s treated like a pariah. And of course, once again there’s such an annoying smartass who’s bullying her constantly (but well-known folk wisdom says: “Teasing girls, is asking for love”). Her circle of friends is also rather limited. Only Lily (Penelope Mitchell) seems to be a soul mate. Ultimately, this friendship appears to be superficial. In short, Maria’s social network is not really extensive. And despite her rich parents and appearance, social acceptance is nil. So, she doesn’t belong to the favourite girls’ club as known at American colleges. That’s why Mary’s alter ego is only too happy to take over her day-to-day life in such a way that she could correct these worries and injustices.
Despite the fact that “Look Away” has many points of contact with existing films and you cannot really call it innovative, I thought it was a fascinating film that kept my attention. The interaction between the two doppelgangers through the mirror is fascinating to see.

That the story gets a “Carrie” -like touch after Airam takes matters into her own hands, was of course extremely predictable. However, don’t expect bloody situations. For that, the film is more a thriller than a horror. The only thing that can cause any suspense is the mystery of the bizarre ultrasound picture at the beginning of the film. That provides the necessary guesswork. Is a supernatural entity involved? An evil twin sister? Or is Mary mentally derailed after she discovered this picture? Is it a case of split personality? Well, the denouement won’t make you any wiser. And unfortunately, this ending was no surprise either. “Look away” has some great scenes. Maybe you shouldn’t look away when you come across it and give the film a chance.

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights (2011) Movie Review By Stephen McLaughlin

Green Lantern Emerald Knights

Directors: Christopher Berkeley, Lauren Montgomery
Writers: Michael Green, Marc Guggenheim 
Stars: Nathan Fillion, Jason Isaacs, Elisabeth Moss

I’m assuming that this was DC and WB preparing the world for the then upcoming live action version of The Green Lantern and ironically in my opinion this is way better than the Ryan Reynolds big budget movie. That’s not to say that Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is a great movie, nor is it a bad movie. My feelings are that this was made for the fans that perhaps may have felt the previous Green Lantern Animated Film “Green Lantern: First Flight” was made for a more widespread audience. Personally I really liked First Flight.

Green Lantern: Emerald Knights is really a well told story that is constructed into the pending threat as the home planet of the Green Lantern Corps faces a battle with an ancient enemy and Hal Jordan (Nathan Fillion) must prepare new recruit Arisia (Elisabeth Moss) for the coming conflict by relating stories of the first Green Lantern and several of Hal’s comrades. It’s a great method in embedding previous adventures from the comic books that casual fans may not have read or heard of and that applies to the characters too. If like me, a casual fan I am listening to Jordan’s tales in the same vain as Arisia. So I thought that was a neat way of storytelling. The sub stories are actually really good and remain interesting throughout the films duration. Yes some of the alien characters and the animation in these characters looks and voices could be silly at times but the storytelling remained consistent and made me understand this universe a little more. 

The cast again like most of these DC animated films are strong and Nathan Fillion is back (Last time as Steve Trevor in Wonder Woman from 2009) Jason Isaacs as Sinestro (last played Ra’s al Ghul in 2010’s Batman: Under the Red Hood) Elisabeth Moss as Arisia (I think this was his first and only time in the DC Animated Universe) Arnold Vosloo of Mummy fame playing Abin Sur (previously Bar-El in All-Star Superman from 2011) and Henry Rollins as Kilowog (Rollins has a long list of animated features including Batman: The Brave and the Bold Television Series. The majority of the cast have a history in comic book animations or live action and I feel this is important on how they come across in their voice acting. Here  the likes of Fillion and co get it and what they have to bring to the table. In all of the DC Animated Universe Films I commend the voice actors as they have all done a sterling job in their roles and once more show us that even in voice they must perform to the peak of their game.

The action sequences are fast and furious. The opening scenes are quite graphic and sets the tone to the movie which worked well as the movies colours where bright throughout and I think with Christopher Berkeley (The Batman (TV Series) and Lauren Montgomery (Superman/Doomsday, Wonder Woman,Green Lantern: First Flight, Justice League: Crisis on Two Earths, Superman/Batman: Apocalypse) in the Directorial chair I knew we were in safe hands on where we were going with this movie. It might have been my mind playing tricks on me but I am pretty sure all the flashbacks had a different animation style to differentiate the storytelling. Some of the animation at times made the alien creatures silly looking at not at all menacing or superior and thankfully this is just nitpicking because as I said the storytelling was dominant here anyway. The Hal / Arisia animation interactions in between the stories was more traditional comic book look and both characters came across as teacher and student as it was intended.

Overall, Green Lantern: Emerald Knights may have been created with the core fanbase in mind but newbies like myself will be able to pickup and understand the plot easily enough and be taught some of the backstory to the other characters within the Green Lantern Core and it’s universe.

Personally I enjoyed the First Flight film as an overall experience but storytelling wise Emerald Knights is one of the best in the DC Animated Universe out there. My advice would be not to start your DC adventures here. Go back and watch them chronologically and embrace the build up to this cracking film from Christopher Berkeley and Lauren Montgomery. Highly Recommended.