Tag Archives: Matthew Modine

47 Meters Down (2017) Movie Review by Darrin Gauthier

47 METRES DOWN

Director: Johannes Roberts
Writers: Johannes Roberts, Ernest Riera
Stars: Mandy Moore, Claire Holt, Matthew Modine

Plot:  Two sisters vacationing in Mexico are trapped in a shark cage at the bottom of the ocean. With less than an hour of oxygen left and great white sharks circling nearby, they must fight to survive.
Running Time: 89 Minutes
Rotten Tomatoes Score: Critics 55%    Audience 36%

Why I Watched It: This got very mixed reviews, but it was the type of movie that you knew what you were getting and it was on sale at iTunes so I gave it a watch.
Thoughts: Just Look at the poster and you can tell what the selling point of the movie is, Sharks and the fear of sharks.  Let’s be honest in these types of movies sharks are serial killers or home invaders.

What I liked: It’s a basic set up and to be honest it works, it’s scary, being in a cage left by yourself with sharks swimming around you is a scary premise and it works.
I liked the fact that this was streamlined, under 90 minutes and the film gives you what you want, sure it’s jump scares but a couple worked and there was a real sense of dread.  The film was into the category I call “it is what it is” it’s a shark movie you not getting anything deeper than that.

What I didn’t like: Sure it’s a shark movie but could they put any effort into the human characters, this is more than slight and also you’re giving no reason to care for these people.  My main problem character wise is Mandy Moore’s character, she’s the oldest sister, she just got dumped by her boyfriend cause he said she was boring, that’s it and add that she comes off whinny and come on you’re in a shark cage on the bottom of the ocean and you tell your younger sister the reason she loved having a relationship was that she had something her sister didn’t.

Also Moore’s performance is not great, she never stops talking and I mean she says everything in her head and she says it over and over again she sounded something like this “we’re doing to die, they’ve left us, I don’t want to die, I’m cold, there’s sharks, they’ll eat us, help me” After awhile she just drove me crazy and she’s one of those characters that keep saying the other characters name every time she talks to them. Claire Holt comes off better but she had no character at all, she’s the younger sister and she’s pretty, that’s it.

The film is not shot very well at times very hard to see and also the film looked bad, I get it was a small budget film but the film looked grainy.  Also the direction was uninspired, workmanlike but boring and really lazy. The ending is going to divide people, I didn’t like it, I thought it was cheap and really mean and not earned.  It was foreshadowed and I kind of saw it coming but still didn’t care for it.

Final Thoughts: It’s a shark movie pure and simple, they didn’t do anything different and it doesn’t stand out, it’s not terrible and it gives you mostly what you want from the sharks but I just wished they took some time with the characters.

Rating: 4/10

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Jobs (2013) Movie Retro Review by Stephen McLaughlin

JOBS

Director: Joshua Michael Stern
Writer: Matt Whiteley
Stars: Ashton Kutcher, Dermot Mulroney, Josh Gad, Matthew Modine, J.K. Simmons

Not to be confused with the 2015 Michael Fassbender film ‘Steve Jobs” which I will review in good time and I decided to review the one that came first. This movie is the story of Steve Jobs’ rise from from a college dropout into one of the most creative entrepreneurs of the 20th century.

It has to be said that making a biopic about Steve Jobs is a great idea and you wonder why it took so long for a movie on his life to be made. Opening at the 2001 launch of the “IPod” with Ashton Kutcher is the title role as an older Steve Jobs was a neat way of hooking the audience into the movie and it also reminded our current selves that announcing a device you could fit in your pocket could store over 1,000 songs was a pretty big deal over 16 years ago. In the room the audience gasp at the reality of such a device. Just like we did back then.

The Filmmakers had a tremendous opportunity to make an interesting character based and informative movie about Steve Jobs who created ‘Apple” but instead used him as the presence of Apple’s story instead. It may appear nitpicking but I felt the movie should have been called “Apple” instead, but from what I have read the company had no input in the making of this movie at all.

“Jobs” quickly takes us back to the early seventies to where it all began. Don’t get me wrong, the movie is interesting to a point and having watched (and reviewed) the documentary about IBM a few months back “Silicon Valley” it was nice to see things from another perspective in the era of home computing from the major players.

I’ll be honest, apart from mainstream media attention I have to admit I didn’t know too much about Steve Jobs other than his “Apple” life story. I was interested into seeing his personal life and how he became one of the most powerful men in the technology world. This movie doesn’t do this and although the cast of Ashton Kutcher (Steve Jobs), Josh Gad (Steve Wozniak) JK Simmons (Arthur Rock), Dermot Mulroney (Mike Markkula) and Matthew Modine as John Sculley is very steady. The movie is more a time line of his life (to an extent) and the company.

This is where the problem lies with “Jobs” it isn’t sure what it is meant to be projecting as Jobs personal life is portrayed in bullet points and only skims the surface of the man and his personal problems. It also displays a lack of pace and the fluidity appears start / stop at times. I learned that he had a daughter Lisa that he denied for a very long time and it’s not until later on in the movie it appears he had a change of heart and a teenage Lisa is portrayed and in his life at this point. There was no emotional storytelling in relation to this or to others which I felt was a missed opportunity.

Away from these issues I learned more about the business side of Apple and Jobs relationship with his board and colleagues. Kutcher portrays him as best as he could and picks up some of the mans traits and mannerisms which I should give him credit for. Kutcher in my opinion isn’t the greatest actor in the word but his scenes with Josh Gad as Steve Wozniak were fun and lightened the story with humour between them. Josh Gad to me was the best thing in the movie and although I didn’t know much about Wozniak other than what most folk know about him through various interviews, this movie gave you an insight into what it was like to be Steve Jobs’ colleague, company partner and friend.

With a supporting cast of Mulroney, Simmons and Modine this is another saving grace to the film and particularly Mulroney’s portrayal of Mike Markkula who is the long suffering business partner of Jobs who endured some awkward moments throughout the film protecting Jobs in particular during the boardroom scenes that both Simmons and Modine excelled in.

Another positive throughout the movie is the soundtrack. From Cat Stevens’ “Peace Train” and Bob Dylan’s “Boots of Spanish Leather” to the brilliant “Life’s Been Good” by Joe Walsh which add to the era and fit well into the story.

In summary, if you wish to learn more about Steve Jobs I wouldn’t recommend getting that from this movie. That’s not to say it’s a bad film. “Jobs” is interesting enough to keep you entertained for a couple of hours and learn a few things about how “Apple” began in a garage and what it became today which is quite astonishing. Just don’t look for a deep thought provoking insight into one of the most brilliant minds of a generation.