Good evening lovely people!
Tonight I return with a part two of a lil review of two movies from Amazon Prime Video. Before we begin, I’ve seen some good movies, some bad movies, and some ugly movies. Some were truly interesting or beautiful while others made me question my taste in films and had me wondering why I even wasted my time. Fortunately, the movies I watched over this past weekend were all pretty good so no complaints there.
So let’s get to it.
Up first: Unhinged
“Academy Award winner Russell Crowe stars in Unhinged, a timely psychological thriller that explores the fragile balance of a society pushed to the edge, taking something we’ve all experienced- road rage – to an unpredictable and terrifying conclusion. Rachel (Caren Pistorius) is running late to work when she has an altercation at a traffic light with a stranger (Crowe) whose life has left him feeling powerless and invisible. Soon, Rachel finds herself and everyone she loves the target of a man who decides to make one last mark upon the world by teaching her a series of deadly lessons. What follows is a dangerous game of cat and mouse that proves you never know just how close you are to someone who is about to become unhinged.” – IGN
Russell Crowe – Man/ Tom Cooper
Caren Pistorius – Rachel Flynn
Gabriel Bateman – Kyle Flynn
Jimmi Simpson – Andy
and a host of other fresh faces.
Unhinged has a runtime of 1hr and 30 minutes.
People, we’ve all been there, right? A bad day compounded by the stupidity of people doing careless shit on the roads while we are just trying to get home from work, or the store, or… the place that put us in such a terrible mood (highway 270 at rush hour, and now the bridge construction on West Florissant!). While we know that inconveniences and the poor decision making of other drivers on the roads (because WE can drive) has a tendency to sour our moods momentarily – something in us burns a bright red hot flame in our minds and beneath our skin. Now it doesn’t happen all the time…(Or maybe it does.. I don’t know) but the times that it does… makes it hard to get over the craziness we’ve just been effected by.
So what if our day is so much in the crapper that the slightest bit of unkindness sends us over the edge? For the answer to that question, look no further than this film. Unhinged is billed as a thriller and it’s a damn good one. Pulse pounding action and a high adrenaline inducing thrill ride await you.
Russell Crowe plays a character by the name of Tom Cooper…or that’s what he calls himself and that is what we are led to believe. In the cast roll at the end of the film and over at IMDB he’s simply called Man. LOL Man/Tom was having a bad day. At the beginning of the movie we see him break into a house with a can of gasoline in hand. We assume this house belongs to his ex-wife and her current boyfriend. He goes about his way of killing them and setting the house on fire. As he drives off, the house explodes.
The opening scene later on made me wonder if those people were actually known to him because of the way he hounded Rachel when they butt heads during a traffic incident. She’s running late for work and ends up behind a truck that won’t go through the green light. She honks her horn to get him to move. When he doesn’t, she pulls the car out from behind him and goes around him. “Tom”, the man in the truck, pulls up on the side of her and apologizes after addressing her son Kyle in the back seat then asks for his mom to apologize back which she refuses to do.
Tom tells her that she doesn’t know what a bad day is but she was going to find out… thus kicking off his plan to ruin her day and her life. While we watched this movie, my mom and I both wondered if he had somehow chose her to do all these horrible things to. It seemed far fetched to us that a random stranger would go so far but… then road rage in an unstable mind makes it make sense.
After Rachel drops her son off at school, Tom begins his assault.
The action sequences in the movie are something else and Tom proves himself to be every bit of ruthless and ferocious as he has promised. While the first kill of the movie happened right at the very beginning, the next one is very public. He tracks her down at a gas station and while she’s inside, he switches her phone out for one that he wanted her to use. She doesn’t see him do this but sees him parked behind her at the pump and alerts the gas station attendant of his presence to which, the clerk says, “Oh he’s road raging.” I laughed, she said it in such a matter of fact way. Like we didn’t know from his actions.
A young man offers to help her and also get the Tom’s license plate info for Rachel so that she can tell the police what’s happening. He gets the plate and Tom does something we thought would happen, he runs over the good Samaritan. Now I personally would have gone about it in a different way but I am here on the couch not in Rachel’s shoes. While I can say now that I would have behaved differently, if I ever found myself in such a predicament I might become a shaking bowl of human shaped Jell-O. Lol
I enjoyed the movie very much. The only thing I have a problem with is how incredibly idiotic the woman was being with each situation she found herself in. It wasn’t until much later in the movie that she began to wise up and by then so much damage had been done that it all seemed too little too late.
So onward we go to the ratings…
Cinematic Quality – 👏
I viewed this from the comfort of my own home so there’s that but I enjoyed it a great deal. We switch from Tom’s POV to Rachel’s and the switch is barely noticeable as we open up with Tom then go into their conflict then switch to Rachel’s story. We feel every ounce of Rachel’s fear during this ordeal and pick up on just how deep Tom’s mental break is. Unhinged is the correct word. he film does a good job of putting us in their situation. lol
Run Time – 👏
The hour and half it took tell this story was worth every second of the watch. As you can see in the trailer this was a no holds barred type of deal, there were no cut aways from the calamities and kills that happened during the movie. I omg’d so many times during this movie that I became a bit annoying to my mom. LOL I flinched and she covered her eyes LOL – I’d say this film did a great job of using the time to give us what we (audience) wanted.
Solid Storyline/Plot – 👏
SOLID! I like that this movie is built around something we’ve all experienced one time or another. We either identify with the antagonist (hopefully not too much) or the protagonist… having a bad day that ends up nightmare… yes. Having a bad day that ends with blood shed… not so much. The action was on point. Thrills galore while the maiming and mayhem was vivid and in our faces.
Attention Magnet – 👏
Couldn’t look away from the television even when I wanted to. I didn’t want to miss anything and I was actually rooting for Rachel and Kyle to survive Tom’s horrors. I can tell you, there was one scene in particular that you saw in the trailer that spawned a nightmare Saturday night. The big frikkin truck running over a car with a man in it. I mean, that kinda stuck with me. Brutal!
Ending – 👍
This is the only thing I wish would have been done better. I don’t want to spoil it but ..look, for as spectacular as the movie was throughout, the ending was kinda flat and had me wanting more. I have some specific in mind… call me moviemakers and studios.. we’ll do lunch. Lol
Last but certainly not least… Black Box
Before we get into this film, I just want to say I never thought I’d see Phylicia Rashad (Claire Huxtable) give us creepy vibes. Or am I late to the party?
“Directed by Emmanuel Osei-Kuffour Jr. (Born With It) and script by Osei-Kuffour Jr. and Stephen Herman, Black Box stars Mamoudou Athie (Jurassic World 3, The Circle), Phylicia Rashad (Creed), Amanda Christine (Colony), Tosin Morohunfola (The Chi, The 24th), Charmaine Bingwa (Trees of Peace, Little Sista), and Troy James (The Flash, Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark). After losing his wife and his memory in a car accident, a single father undergoes an agonizing experimental treatment that causes him to question who he really is. Executive produced by Jason Blum, Jay Ellis, Aaron Bergman, Lisa Bruce, Marci Wiseman, Jeremy Gold, Mynette Louie and William Marks.” – Amazon Prime Video
Phylicia Rashad – Lillian
Mamoudou Athie – Nolan
Amanda Christine – Ava
Tosin Morohunfola – Gary
Charmaine Bingwa – Miranda
Troy James – Backwards Man
Black Box has a runtime of 1hr 40 minutes.
Billed as a horror/sci-fi, Black Box is under the Blumhouse umbrella, the second film in an anthology series. The first of the series being The Lie that we discussed yesterday. This film gives me Get Out and Black Mirror vibes and I’m not mad at that. Make no mistake that while it gives me that feel, it is it’s very own horror film and really doesn’t need to be compared to another.
The story opens up with a young man and his daughter preparing for a day of school and what appeared to be an interview for work. Nolan is a photographer who, after his car accident..one that we assume took his wife, left him with amnesia.
Peoples… let me tell you like this – let’s skip a bunch of me giving away the plot and let me just say, you’ll want to watch this one. If you like sci-fi and horror along with a splash of psychological thriller mixed in there, then this is the film for you.
While I watched the movie, I felt Nolan’s frustration and his confusion. Ava, his daughter, helped him out a great deal with reminding him of things that made him who he is and the things that were a part of their relationship. The two share a secret handshake that Nolan can no longer remember. His world seemed a foreign animal to him, nothing seemed to make sense until he went to see a doctor, Lillian, who had treated him after his accident. She has all the clues and the breakthrough to Nolan’s memories and his life.
And we’ll leave it at that.
On to the ratings!
Cinematic Quality – 👏
Visually, the movie was something else. We were meant to be “kept in the dark” just as Nolan was throughout his recovery so that we could understand where he was coming from and know his pain. We discovered some things just as he did, which I absolutely love.
Run Time – 👏
So much was packed into that hour and 40 minutes that I kinda had a sensory overload… like just when I thought I was understanding things, something else happened and the rug was pulled out from under me. I like that they made use of the time for story development and character development.
Solid Storyline/Plot – 👍
While I want to call it an original idea, Blumhouse has already sipped this flavor of tea with Get Out. But this goes in a completely different direction that Get Out went and I’m glad of that. One of the things that I love about movies like this is character duality, who you are vs who you become. I wanted to understand the plot and the story because there were moments that I found some confusion so I found myself questioning everything I was seeing. Now if this was by design they did a good job but I feel like maybe it wasn’t. It may be different for those that view it. Maybe you’ll understand where I failed to.
Attention Magnet – 👏
I didn’t dare look away. One of the things I like to do is try to solve the mysteries that present themselves in movies like this and so my eyes were peeled to find clues to what was happening and why. It’s worth the watch but make sure you’re able to give it your full attention.
Ending – 👏
I felt like the ending was well deserved… we were given hope in a hopeless situation and that’s all we really want. A sign that everything will either be okay or a sign that things can be redeemed. We were given both as it were. One of the characters needed some serious jail time .. I felt. But they were out doing whatever the hell they wished and that was upsetting BUT it is possible that something more could happen later… I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.
So that’s all I have tonight. Thanks for coming by and I hope you enjoy one or all of the movies I “reviewed”. Let me know what you thought of them if you’ve seen them already or even if you plant to watch any of them.
The dawn comes in like 5 minutes… lol because time is evil so I will bid you all a good night and please please please…
Be Good Humans!❤