Welcome to another installment of Movies, Movies, Movies! A short list today. Family matters have kept my blogging to a minimum for the time being.
The Water Man (2020)
Starring: David Oyelowo, Amiah Miller, Lonnie Chavis, Rosario Dawson, Maria Bello
Director: David Oyelowo
Genres: drama, adventure
Synopsis: Gunner (Chavis) and his parents, Amos (Oyelowo) and Mary (Dawson) move to a small town. Mom has cancer and dad has difficulty showing his feelings. Gunner happens upon some neighborhood teens talking about “The Water Man,” a man who was the only survivor of a terrible tragedy long ago and also one who knows the secret of cheating death. Gunner and Jo (Miller) a local teenage runaway embark on a search in the forest where The Water Man is believed to still live in order to bring back the secret in order to keep his mother from dying of cancer.
Impressions: The movie is rated PG and would be a good one for younger kids dealing with an ill parent or grieving over a parent who has passed away. There is also a story line with the runaway girl, about the reasons why she chose to be homeless rather than stay at home. I like how the whole thing starts out, but when the two kids go on their journey things quickly fall apart.
Etc.: first feature film directed by Oyelowo
Awards: 1 win and 2 nominations
Time (2021) TV Series
Starring: Sean Bean, Stephen Graham, James Nelson-Joyce, Hannah Walters, Dean Fagan
Writer: Jimmy McGovern
Genres: crime, drama
Synopsis: As the story opens, Mark (Bean) has just arrived in prison for killing a man with his car while drunk and leaving his body afterwards. Eric (Graham) is a prison guard with a sterling reputation as stern but fair at his job. The series shows how Mark adjusts to prison culture and keeps himself alive. Eric’s son is in a different prison, and it shows how the inmates that are large and in charge have communications networks that can allow such realities to be exploited to their advantage.
Impressions: There are a lot of moral and ethical questions raised in the series, and the acting by the two stars in it are exceptionally good. I see they will be making another season of Time. The atmosphere in this is tense. There are some disturbing scenes of violence, but not nearly as many as there usually are in prison movies.
Etc.: filmed in Shrewsbury Prison, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, England, UK and in Liverpool, Lancashire, England, UK.; On Tuesday, 22nd March 2022, the British Broadcasting Corporation announced that they have commissioned a 3-episode second series of the drama with further details to be announced. YAY!
Awards: 1 win and 19 nominations
The Adam Project (2022) netflix
Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Walker Scobell, Mark Ruffalo, Jennifer Garner, Zoe Saldana, Catherine Keener
Director: Shawn Levy
Genres: action adventure
Synopsis: Big Adam (Reynolds) travels back to the future of 2022 and enlists the help of his younger self, Young Adam (Scobell,) who then time travel together to enlist the help of his/their father, Louis (Ruffalo) to help save the world. Maya (Keener,) is the villain determined to destroy the world in order to save it (where have heard about that recently in the news?)
Impressions: Rated PG-13, younger kids may enjoy it. I watched it because Ruffalo was in it. I think it’s a chintzy piece of fluff that you might choose to waste an hour and 46 minutes on. I saw little in the way of redeeming qualities.
Etc.: from imdb: When Louis Reed (Mark Ruffalo) says that he ‘gets’ a student’s T-shirt during a lecture, the shirt has a picture of Nicolas Cage, but the name John Travolta under it. This is a reference to the John Woo film Face/Off (1997) in which the two actors played each other’s characters. Cage and Ruffalo also had collaborated on Woo’s Windtalkers (2002.)
Awards: too soon
Against the Ice (2022) netflix
Starring: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, Joe Cole, Heida Reed
Director: Peter Flinth
Genres: adventure, drama
Synopsis: short imdb blurb:
In 1909, two explorers [Mikkelsen and Iversen] fight to survive after they’re left behind while on a Denmark expedition in ice-covered Greenland.
A previous explorer mapped out terrain to prove that parts of Greenland did NOT belong to the United States as it was claimed to be; unfortunately the explorer didn’t make it back alive, but his maps were reported to be “out there” under a rock cairn somewhere. The exploratory ship is now iced in and the men must wait until the ice breaks to leave. Against all common sense the two men set out to find the maps and hope to get back before the spring thaw.
Where Mikkelsen (Coster-Waldau) is a seasoned explorer of arctic wilderness, Iversen (Cole) is taken onto the exploratory ship as a mechanic and has no arctic survivalism experience at all. The film shows how the attributes of each of the men works in a complementary way to keep them both alive.
Impressions: Against the Ice felt like two distinct halves of a whole story, with the first being the hair-raising cross-country search for the maps and the second the story of survival of the two men in the second half. I really loved the chemistry between the two mismatched explorers. Coster-Waldau is a familiar face after Game of Thrones, and he’s the reason I watched it, but Cole may just have stolen the show.
Etc.: from imdb: filmed in Iceland and Greenland; The production filmed on location on glaciers mostly in Iceland, some in Greenland, and relied minimally on CGI. In casting actor Joe Cole as Mikkelsen’s very green companion Iver Iversen, the filmmakers warned the actor that the conditions would be harsh and comforts minimal. And yes, this movie is based upon a true story! Learn more about it here.
Awards: too soon