Tag Archives: Amy Seimetz

No Sudden Move (2021) Review

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No Sudden Move

Time: 115 Minutes
Cast:
Don Cheadle as Curt Goynes
Benicio del Toro as Ronald Russo
David Harbour as Matt Wertz
Jon Hamm as Detective Joe Finney
Amy Seimetz as Mary Wertz
Brendan Fraser as Doug Jones
Kieran Culkin as Charley
Noah Jupe as Matthew Wertz Jr.
Craig Grant as Jimmy
Julia Fox as Vanessa Capelli
Frankie Shaw as Paula Cole
Ray Liotta as Frank Capelli
Bill Duke as Aldrick Watkins
Director: Steven Soderbergh

In 1954 Detroit, small-time criminals are hired to steal a document. When their heist goes horribly wrong, their search for who hired them — and for what purpose – sends them wending through all echelons of the race-torn, rapidly changing city.

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I was interested in No Sudden Move for the talent involved alone. This is Steven Sodebergh’s latest movie, I like the movies from him that I’ve seen, and this would be another crime movie from him.  Not only that but it has a fully stacked cast including Don Cheadle and Benicio Del Toro, so I definitely wanted to check out. I was expecting an entertaining watch, and it turned out even better than I was expecting.

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No Sudden Move has a tightly written and solid script, making for a really good crime thriller. It is tense, smart, intriguing and filled with twists and turns, which you would expect from a Steven Soderbergh movie. Not only that but it also manages to balance the humour and playfulness with the engaging intensity and grittiness of the story and setting, and I was enthralled the entire way through. The dialogue is particularly strong, it is witty which you would expect from a Soderbergh movie, but its also very reminiscent of a classic noir film in the way everything is written. There’s even some social commentary on display, mainly towards corporate greed, classism and particularly with a lot of cynicism towards automobile industry corruption. That really only comes out strongly towards the end of the movie, but even without it, No Sudden Move works as a twisty crime thriller. It’s not exactly tightly paced but it moves well over its 2 hour runtime.

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There is a large ensemble cast and everyone brought their A-game to their performances. Don Cheadle and Benicio Del Toro are in the lead roles, and they are great in their parts. David Harbour gives one of his best performances in his supporting role, and Brendan Fraser makes a strong impression in his screentime. Other supporting actors like Kieran Culkin, Jon Hamm, Ray Liotta and more all work in their parts. There’s even a surprise major actor who appears in a key role near the end, who actually works very well for his part.

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There is some very solid filmmaking from Steven Soderbergh here. This is easily one of his best shot films with its eye catching cinematography, and the lenses give it the 50s noir aesthetic with the right amount of grain, setting the period correctly. It is a very stylish movie that’s really nice to look at. The score from David Holmes is nice too, adding a lot to the mood and feeling of the movie, especially with the era it is set in.

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No Sudden Move is a consistently entertaining, smart and stylish crime thriller, well written and directed, and with some great performances from the amazing cast. One of Steven Soderbergh’s best films, especially in recent years.

Pet Sematary (2019) Review

Time: 101 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Horror, graphic violence & offensive language
Cast:
Jason Clarke as Dr. Louis Creed
Amy Seimetz as Rachel Creed
John Lithgow as Jud Crandall
Jeté Laurence as Ellie Creed
Hugo and Lucas Lavoie as Gage Creed
Director: Kevin Kölsch and Dennis Widmyer

Dr. Louis Creed and his wife, Rachel, relocate from Boston to rural Maine with their two young children. The couple soon discover a mysterious burial ground hidden deep in the woods near their new home. When tragedy strikes, Louis turns to his neighbour Jud Crandall (John Lithgow), setting off a perilous chain reaction that unleashes an unspeakable evil with horrific consequences.

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Pet Sematary was one of my most anticipated movies of 2019. It was an adaptation of a famous Stephen King book, I liked the actors involved that I recognised, and the trailers actually made this look pretty good and effectively creepy. Prior to watching this, I had started reading the book (and finished it later on after watching the movie), and I haven’t seen the previous adaptation from the 90s. Sadly I heard that the 2019 movie wasn’t so great, and aside from The Dark Tower was among the only recent Stephen King adaptations that wasn’t generally positively received. Still, I wanted to see it for myself. While I’m not sure that I’d say that it’s terrible, it’s certainly uninspired and underwhelming.

The story for the movie was a very mixed bag. Having read the book in its entirety, I can confirm that there are a number of changes to the story, even if the essence of the story is the same. However even early on, there was some odd changes. While it definitely doesn’t need to follow the story beat by beat, it almost feels a little rushed, for example with the way they introduce the Pet Sematary into the plot. A lot of the changes seemed to have been made to make it the most simplistic version of the story possible. There are also changes later in the story as well which are vastly different from both the book and the 1989 movie. In fact while there are some similarities, the third act is mostly different from the book. Now as for the third act changes, I guess they were fine and I didn’t have too much of a problem with them. However at the same time they really served no purpose outside of just being different from the book, or potentially making it easier to put in a conventional horror movie. I mentioned earlier about how it seemed like the movie was trying to rush through the plot. At the same time, the pacing can be really slow, even with a runtime of an hour and 40 minutes. It picks up in the second half in the story and pacing however. I liked the dark tone and a lot of the ideas, but the ideas are straight from the book, which did them a lot better. It feels so by the numbers and generic here. Much of the harshest of the events happens right at the end of the story, but in the second half there is a real sense of dread. In the movie however, you don’t feel anything like that. You feel empty, and unfortunately it’s not the good, unsettling and most of all intentional feeling of emptiness.

The cast do fine enough with Jason Clarke, Amy Seimetz, and others as the family, and they definitely try their hardest with what they have, but these characters are just not given enough things to do. They are barely characterised, and you just don’t care about them at all beyond the fact that they are our main characters. The standout of the whole movie was John Lithgow, who was great as Jud Crandall, an older man who knows a lot about the Pet Sematary. It was perfect casting, and he plays the role very well.

The direction is a bit of a mixed bag. On a technical level it’s fine, but they weren’t exactly utilised the best. The scares didn’t work at all and didn’t produce a reaction anywhere close to genuine terror. Weirdest of all, there were some fake truck jumpscares that would randomly happen, and although I know why they were in there, it just made it harder to take the movie seriously. Think of all the bad clichés that most average to bad modern horror movies have, Pet Sematary 2019 does many of those things. From the building tension music that eventually stops and then a scare happens, or when a character looks around, concluding that everything is safe, before turning around and something scary is right in their face. There are some technical parts that work alright. Church the cat was handled well, from cat actors, to the makeup used on them, basically what you’d imagine him being based off the book. Without spoiling anything, the whole thing involving the character of Zelda was effectively creepy.

There was a lot of potential with Pet Sematary, and the source material seemed like there’d be a lot to use (especially with the recent solid Stephen King movies with the likes of It, Doctor Sleep and others getting some good adaptations). But it’s just so generically done. Not to mention it’s ironically devoid of life. There are some aspects of the direction that are decent, I like some of the acting, and some ideas from the book which still work. However it’s not enough to save this movie from just being average. If you really want to watch it and you’ve got 100 minutes to kill, then maybe check it out for yourself.

Alien Covenant (2017) Review

Time: 122 Minutes
Age Rating: 860949[1] Violence, offensive language and horror
Cast:
Michael Fassbender as Walter/David
Katherine Waterston as Daniels
Billy Crudup as Christopher Oram
Danny McBride as Tennessee
Demián Bichir as Sergeant Lope
Carmen Ejogo as Karine Oram
Amy Seimetz as Faris
Jussie Smollett as Ricks
Callie Hernandez as Upworth
Nathaniel Dean as Sergeant Hallett
Alexander England as Ankor
Benjamin Rigby as Ledward
Director: Ridley Scott

Bound for a remote planet on the far side of the galaxy, members (Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup) of the colony ship Covenant discover what they think to be an uncharted paradise. While there, they meet David (Michael Fassbender), the synthetic survivor of the doomed Prometheus expedition. The mysterious world soon turns dark and dangerous when a hostile alien life-form forces the crew into a deadly fight for survival.

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Alien Covenant was one of my most anticipated movies of 2017. I am in the minority of people who loved Prometheus and the story it was going for. With Ridley Scott returning to direct the sequel, I had high hopes for Alien Covenant, and it didn’t disappoint. The story as usual was great, the acting was really good, and Ridley Scott as usual delivers at making an intriguing, intense sci fi thriller. What makes it work even better than Prometheus though is that it makes the story even more interesting and engaging, while adding some of the horror elements, which didn’t detract from the interesting story.

This film is a mix of Prometheus and Alien. Don’t go in expecting a full on Alien movie, go into it expecting a Prometheus sequel. With that said, there are many ties to the Xenomorphs, and you get to see more of them here than we did with Prometheus. The film does take its time to explore thematic elements (exploring ideas such as creation and A.I.), but it also has the suspense and horror element from Alien. This movie’s story is better than Prometheus’s, it delivers an interesting story but it’s a lot more engaging and fascinating, the movie on a whole is a lot more entertaining too. The characters themselves aren’t spectacular (aside from Fassbender’s David) but they are better than Prometheus’s characters. Part of that is due to the fact that they felt more believable and more like real people and while they do make some dumb decisions (like the characters from the first movie), here it is believable that they would make them, because of the situations that they are placed in. As for the ending… I’m intrigued to see where the franchise goes from here. If there’s any problem I can possibly find, I guess while I like the third act, the tones did clash just a little bit, especially with the action scenes. But even then it’s not a huge flaw.

The acting was all around really great from a large cast which includes Katherine Waterson and Billy Crudup. A stand out amongst these actors is Danny McBride who was surprisingly great in his role. The stand out performance from this movie however is Michael Fassbender, in dual roles as Walter (the Covenant’s android) and David (from Prometheus). He does well particularly acting across from himself, in fact these interactions and conversations are some of the best scenes in the entire film. He is especially great as David, that character is so well written and performed, at this point he’s one of the best characters in the entire Alien/Prometheus universe. That’s all I’ll say about him, I don’t want to give away any spoilers. Fassbender might be one of the best parts of this whole movie, and that’s saying a lot, because there’s a lot of great things here.

This film a lot of the time felt like Alien, the opening titles for Covenant was very much like the opening titles for Alien, even the score by Jed Kurzel is literally Jerry Goldsmith’s Alien soundtrack at times. While it’s not necessarily essential for the film to have it (and I’m not really sure why they had it), I really liked it. This movie is beautiful, with the cinematography, production design, the CGI, everything about this movie is gorgeous. The Xenomorphs themselves, I won’t go into detail about them, but I’ll say that they are handled so great. Yes, they are computer generated but they don’t feel fake at any point. This movie is very intense, Ridley Scott really nailed the horror aspect excellently here, and when this movie is violent, it is really violent.

Alien Covenant is a great film overall, it continues on the story from Prometheus and improves upon it in almost every way. I won’t give away a lot about this movie, just know what you are getting into, it’s a Prometheus sequel with Alien elements, which is better than the original. I’m pretty sure that no matter your thoughts on Prometheus, you’ll like Covenant a lot more. I am curious about where Ridley Scott is going to be taking this series. I am a little concerned that it could get repetitive (Alien, Prometheus and Alien Covenant have all had the scenario of people visiting a planet and aliens attacking and killing them), I don’t know what’s going to happen. But I trust Scott. Prometheus was great, and Covenant was even better. I can’t wait to see what Ridley Scott has planned.