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Before I fall (2017)

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SummaBefore I Fallry

February 12 is just another day in Sam’s charmed life, until it turns out to be her last. Stuck reliving her last day over and over, Sam untangles the mystery around her death and discovers everything she’s losing.

Genre : Mystery
Country : USA

Cast :
Zoey Deutch : Samantha
Halston Sage : Lindsay
Elena Kampouris : Juliet

Director :
Ry Russo-Young

My opinion on “Before I fall”

“Maybe for you there’s a tomorrow.
Maybe for you there’s 1,000 or 3,000 or 10.
So much time you can bathe in it.
So much time you can waste it.
But for some of us,there’s only today.
And what you do today matters.”

Damn time loops. Bill Murray got stuck in one in “Groundhog Day” and could escape it by surrendering to love. And Tom Cruise had a less pleasant loop in “Edge of tomorrow“. He died everytime during an alien invasion. Samantha (Zoey Deutch) faces the same problem. A night out with her friends Lindsay (Halston Sage), Ally (Cynthy Wu) and Elodie (Medalion Rahimi) ends in a disastrous way, after which she wakes up on “Cupid’s Day” over and over again. “Cupid’s Day” is that time of year when youngsters in school give each other roses to show their love.

Before I Fall

Egocentric and fake.

If these bosom friends would bury themselves with red roses, nobody would really be surprised. Because these narcissistic glamour tarts are living in an egocentric, artificial cocoon, where there’s only room for their stuck-up personalities. A life of perfection and complacency in which the other less-favored (both financially and in appearance) are criticized and mocked. These arrogant girls don’t even realize that they aren’t so popular just because of their looks, but largely thanks to their rich parents. This allows them to distinguish themselves from others materialistically. Driving a car of a somewhat more expensive class. Parading with Louis Vuitton handbags and exclusive clothes.

Not so original and predictable!

Before I fall” fails in two areas. First of all, it’s not very original. As I said before, it’s a kind of variation on “Groundhog day“. Except that the latter also had some comic situations. This film tackles the issue more seriously and has a much more important message on a moral level. And secondly, it’s highly predictable. Once you know what’s really going on and the facts are slowly revealed, you already know what will happen and what Samantha needs to do to break the cycle. You can even mumble the last sentence simultaneously with Samantha without a problem. As expected, Samantha walks through various emotional stages. From amazement and despair to fear and anger. Ending via a rebellious, fatalistic phase into getting the revelation where she suddenly realizes (although she has experienced that day already a thousands times) how she can solve the problem.

Before I Fall

I’m not a chick-flick fan, but still it was captivating.

It’s kind of weird. I’m not really a fan of chic flicks. But because of the cyclic aspect and the sophisticated analysis of the different personalities, this high school drama was still fascinating. The interpretations also surprised me in a way. You can’t say those girls are sympathetic, but gradually their intricate characters are revealed and you start to pity them. Especially Deutch delivered a brilliant performance. She looks like a fragile doll. A kind of “Holly Hobbie”-like Gillian Anderson. A lovely girl with an innocent appearance. You don’t see her as an arrogant, hateful and selfish person. The rest of the ladies are cut from the same cloth with their specific deep-rooted emotional issues. I hope they aren’t so vicious in reality.

Before I Fall

Karma is a bitch.

The ultimate life lesson in the end is quite obvious. It may be a bit of an exaggerated arthritis-causing waving with the index finger in a moralistic way, but ultimately it’s a truism. Perhaps some individuals in this world should focus more on the important things of life, instead of merely being busy with their own status. However, the “I” culture and social pressure are such that it’s almost impossible for young people to see this. Perhaps this film should be added to the school curriculum used nowadays. However, I can imagine that some of those like-minded girls are shocked when they see the denouement. Shocked about Samantha’s fate. But most probably they are happily giggling again the next day while bullying the lesser beauties. Oh well. But remember girls: “Karma is a bitch!”.

My rating 6/10
Links : IMDB

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Crime

Netflix’s Bodies Review: Stephen Graham’s Mind-Twisting Series Related To Dark?

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Netflix's Bodies

If you are a fan of time travel, crime, and mind-bending suspense then Netflix’s Bodies is perfect to binge-watch this weekend. Directed by Haolu Wang and Marco Kreuzpaintner, Bodies is based on DC’s graphic novel by Si Spencer – who has been tributed in the first episode. The story follows four detectives in four different timelines and they discover a naked man’s body with one eye gouged out, surprisingly it’s the body of the same person in different timelines!

Shira Haas and Stephen Graham

Shira Haas and Stephen Graham in Netflix’s ‘Bodies’

The 8-episode series parallelly shows four detectives – DS Hasan (Amaka Okafor) in 2023, DS Whiteman (Jacob Fortune-Lloyd) in 1941, DI Hillinghead (Kyle Soller) in 1890, and DC Maplewood (Shira Haas) in 2053 twisted in the same case discovering facts that are beyond their understanding. DS Hasan from the year 2023 discovers that the case she has been working on has happened before, not once but twice decades ago. Much to her suspicion, the evidence aligns with her own case which leads her confused more than ever.

Stephen Graham is not limited to one timeline, his intense performance deepens the storyline, leaving viewers jumpy. Amaka Okafor, Shira Haas, Kyle Soller, and Jacob Fortune-Lloyd’s distinctive acting and effective dialogue delivery are appreciated but Fortune-Lloyd deserves a standing ovation for his shining performance. Graham and Soller’s costumes and makeup are on point in the show.

Jacob Fortune-Lloyd

Jacob Fortune-Lloyd as DS Whiteman in Bodies

With each episode comes mind-blowing twists that keep you on edge all the time. Each detective’s personal story and connection to people close to them adds more depth to their character and the choices they make. Even till the end of the last episode, the series holds your attention profoundly. Different timelines connected to one another may cause confusion at first but it only adds more fun to the story that leaves us in shock.

Now, if it reminds you of Netflix’s other popular German series Dark, directed by Baran bo Odar, then we can’t blame you. Bodies and Dark are not related to each other but they draw strong parallels to one another and it’s mainly due to different timelines, time travel, and hard-to-understand relations between the two characters. Although characters in Bodies are not connected to each other deep and twisted like in Dark but you need to keep a close eye to understand their connection. Dark, starring German actors Louis Hofmann and Lisa Vicari, is Netflix’s one of the most popular supernatural twists series and it is safe to assume that Bodies is no less than the 3-season German series.

Time portal in 'Dark' vs 'Bodies'

Time Portal in ‘Dark’ vs ‘Bodies’

Stephen Graham’s Bodies is a mind-bending, thriller series full of brilliant performances. Its captivating narrative and depth keep the viewers engaged and entertained.

Bodies is available to stream on Netflix.

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Reviews

The Dive Review | Worth The Plunge

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(RLJE Films)

Plot

A dive at one of the world’s most remote spots becomes a fight to the death for sisters Drew (Lowe) And May (Krause) when a landslide sends rocks tumbling into the sea, trapping May in the depths. As their oxygen runs low, Drew must make life-and-death decisions with no outside help in sight…

Sophie Lowe as Drew (RLJE Films)

Movie Review (no spoilers)

The story starts off with this the two sisters Drew and May going for a dive, and the one moment it feels like pure bliss, the next calamity strikes and the sisters are in a dangerous situation where one has to do her outmost best to save her sister. Throughout the movie you feel the tensions between the two sisters as well as the suspense and the will to survive. There is a history between the two sisters and the movie doesn’t really reveal much about the reasons for the tension between the two, but the dangerous depths is enough to bring two sisters together in the fight for survival.

Everything felt so real with how the sister reacted and how she tries everything which is possible in any danger situation. The performances of both Sophie Lowe and Louisa Krause deserves an applause.

Will there be a good ending? I invite you to come “sea” this movie and experience this suspense thriller on the big screen.

I rate this movie a 4 out of 5.

There is no post-credits scene, so no need to wait till the end.

The trailer doesn’t spoil any major points and is done brilliantly. You can even feel the tension in the trailer. Take the plunge, and watch at a cinema near you!

The Dive Official Trailer (RLJE Films)

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HORROR

More Than Just A Game…

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Billy the Puppet (Lionsgate Movies)

The Saw Film Saga

Here is the recommend order to watch all the Saw movies.

Jigsaw (2017)

Thirteen years ago on Halloween weekend – SAW and the character of JIGSAW introduced the world to a new face of horror. For seven straight years “If it’s Halloween it must be SAW” was a holiday tradition. This October 27… Lionsgate and Twisted Pictures proudly present JIGSAW! After a series of murders bearing all the markings of the Jigsaw killer, law enforcement find themselves chasing the ghost of a man dead for over a decade and embroiled in a new game that’s only just begun. Is John Kramer back from the dead to remind the world to be grateful for the gift of life? Or is this a trap set by a killer with designs of their own?

Jigsaw Official Trailer (Lionsgate Movies)

Saw 1 (2004)

With its story of a morally obsessed serial killer who forces his victims to play horrific games of torture and survival, SAW shocked audiences, redefined the horror genre, and spawned one of the most successful franchises of all time. Now, experience the unhinged depravity of the Jigsaw Killer in an eye-popping 4K transfer that will chill your blood and disturb your dreams.

Two men awaken to find themselves on the opposite sides of a dead body, each with specific instructions to kill the other or face consequences. These two are the latest victims of the Jigsaw Killer.

Saw Official Trailer (Lionsgate Movies)

Saw X (2023)

John Kramer (Tobin Bell) is back. The most disturbing installment of the SAW franchise yet explores the untold chapter of Jigsaw’s most personal game. Set between the events of SAW I and II, a sick and desperate John travels to Mexico for a risky and experimental medical procedure in hopes of a miracle cure for his cancer – only to discover the entire operation is a scam to defraud the most vulnerable. Armed with a newfound purpose, the infamous serial killer returns to his work, turning the tables on the con artists in his signature visceral way through devious, deranged, and ingenious traps.
Saw X Movie Poster (Lionsgate Movies)

Saw X Official Trailer (Lionsgate Movies)

Saw II (2005)

Officer Eric realizes that Jigsaw is back to playing his evil tricks of locking down people and gruesomely torturing them. Eric has to find a way to set his son and others free from Jigsaw’s dungeon.

Saw II Official Trailer (Lionsgate Movies)

Saw III (2006)

Jigsaw orders his apprentice to kidnap a doctor in order to keep him alive while he watches his other apprentice put a man through a brutal test.

Saw III Official Trailer (Lionsgate Movies)

Saw IV (2007)

While FBI agents Strahm and Perez are still engulfed in the grisly Jigsaw case, SWAT Commander Rigg is roped in as the last pawn for yet another lethal game of the manic Jigsaw.

Saw IV Official Trailer (Lionsgate Movies)

Saw V (2008)

Although Jigsaw and Amanda are dead, the game still lures five unassuming victims. In the guise of a survival of the fittest routine, the contestants begin their journey towards a deadly end.

Saw V Official Trailer (Lionsgate Movies)

Saw VI (2009)

The legacy of the Jigsaw Killer continues as his successor Mark Hoffman follows his instructions while his wife carries out his final request.

Saw VI Official Trailer (Lionsgate Movies)

Saw: The Final Chapter (Saw 3D) (2010)

Jigsaw’s widow Jill Tuck attempts to assassinate Mark Hoffman, a psychotic detective. However, he escapes swearing revenge against her, as she seeks asylum from the police.

Saw: The Final Chapter Official Trailer (Lionsgate Movies)

Spiral: From The Book Of Saw (2021)

A criminal mastermind unleashes a twisted form of justice in Spiral, the terrifying new chapter from the book of Saw. Working in the shadow of his father, an esteemed police veteran (Samuel L. Jackson), brash Detective Ezekiel “Zeke” Banks (Chris Rock) and his rookie partner (Max Minghella) take charge of a grisly investigation into murders that are eerily reminiscent of the city’s gruesome past. Unwittingly entrapped in a deepening mystery, Zeke finds himself at the center of the killer’s morbid game.

Spiral: From The Book of Saw Official Trailer (Lionsgate Movies)
Tobin Bell as Jigsaw (Lionsgate Movies)

My Expectations Heading Into The Movie

Even though SAW X is the tenth film in the Saw film series, it is meant to be the direct sequel of Saw 1 and the prequel to Saw 2. I can’t wait to see how this movie connects Saw 1 and Saw 2.

I’m hoping for Saw X to go deeper into the background of John Kramer as well as the mystery behind Billy the Puppet. Still curious as to the motivation behind the puppet and since the puppet is the size of a kid, it makes me wonder if Billy is meant to be the representation of the kid he never had (thinking back to Saw IV when John’s ex-wife had a miscarriage).

I’m hoping for Saw to deliver on its bloody excellent gory scenes. Nothing like a few screams and traps to give you the shivers.

I’m also hoping on more character development and stories with both Amanda Young and Mark Hoffman. They played their parts to perfection in the other Saw movies. I’m also curious about whether we get to see Dr. Lawrence Gordon on screen again.

I’m also hoping to see if there are perhaps a conclusion as to what happened to Adam from the first Saw movie…just imagine if he is still alive, another puppet behind the scenes…

Also hoping on the famous Saw music theme to pop up before they deliver a deadly plot twist.

I’m hoping the movies delivers more gore and drama than the predecessor, Spiral: From the Book of Saw.

There is a rumor that the movie ends of with a post-credits scene, and I’m really hoping that Jigsaw’s games are far from over.

I’m ready to play the game.

Tobin Bell and Shawnee Smith as Jigsaw and Amanda (Lionsgate Movies)

Movie Review (no spoilers)

Tobin Bell and Shawnee Smith delivers a bloody excellent performance as Jigsaw and his accomplice, Amanda. But the emotions, pain and brutality felt real with the performances done by Synnøve Macody Lund, Steven Brand, Michael Beach and Renata Vaca. The assortment of traps in Saw X delivers just another level of realism. It really does well to connect Saw 1 and Saw 2 and leaves you with the hunger for another story, another game.

With a soundtrack to die for, a storyline as intense and deadly as ever and an ending that is true to the Saw saga, I can say the Saw storyline and Jigsaw is more alive than ever. I highly recommend binge watching the entire film series from start to end. Try to experience Saw X on the big screen if you, and please leave the young ones at home… There are quite a few gory moments, enough to make your toes curl.

My expectations for the movie was definitely met with a few exceptions that I won’t mention because I want you to join in on the action and play the game…watch the movie, I mean.

The trailer doesn’t spoil any surprises…except maybe for Amanda’s return, but we are more than happy to have her back. Make sure to wait for the mid-credits for another surprise.

I came, I SAW and I thoroughly enjoyed this! Saw X is another puzzle piece in a great masterpiece.

My rating for this movie is a 5 out of 5. A bloody fantastic masterpiece with a storyline that entraps you. I really hope that the game is far from over…

Catch Saw X at a cinema near you.

Saw X Official Trailer (Lionsgate Movies)

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