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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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HORROR

Scream | Official Trailer

A new installment of the ‘Scream’ horror franchise will follow a woman returning to her home town to try to find out who has been committing a series of vicious crimes.



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Genre:

Horror, Mystery, Thriller

Release Date:

January 14, 2022

Director:

Matt Bettinelli-Olpin, Tyler Gillett

Cast:

Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette

Plot Summary:

A new installment of the ‘Scream’ horror franchise will follow a woman returning to her home town to try to find out who has been committing a series of vicious crimes.

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The Guilty – Review | TIFF 2021

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Despite having given some of the best performances of the past 20 years, Jake Gyllenhaal has only been recognized by the Oscars once after receiving a nomination for Best Supporting Actor in 2006 for Brokeback Mountain. His fantastic performances in Nightcrawler, Prisoners, Southpaw and so many other films went unnoticed by the Academy but now once again Jake Gyllenhaal is back in his latest film The Guilty. Whilst he’s quite unlikely to receive any awards recognition for his most recent role, Gyllenhaal is once againproving that he really is one of the greatest actors working today.

The Guilty is an American film directed by Antoine Fuqua (Training Day) and is a remake of the 2018 Danish film of the same name. The entire film takes place over the course of a single morning, and it follows Gyllenhaal’s call operator Joe Baylor in a 911 dispatch call centre. Joe receives a call from a woman named Emily who acts as if she’s talking to her young daughter and through asking her a series of yes or no questions, Joe determines that she’s been taken and is in danger.



Trapped at his desk in the call centre, Baylor must solve the issue and find the truths, rescuing Emily, all through a series of phone calls. Almost the entire film takes place from within the call centre and it’s a very interesting perspective to see in a film. I’ve not seen the original Danish film so I can’t compare the two and any differences they might have but it’s quite refreshing to see a crime thriller film confined to just one location.

Normally in a film like this the protagonist would be trying to solve the case by travelling to different places and talking to different people but instead Baylor can’t go anywhere and has to solve it all from his desk. There’s a point where he’s phoning up a police officer to go to Emily’s house to check on her kids and to search for any clues as to where she might be but instead of taking the audience to her house, we too are confined with Baylor in the call centre, feeling his frustration when he can’t get an officer to go.

The whole film is very tense and has you on the edge of your seat throughout. The direction from Fuqua is clear and he gets such a high level of suspense out of the situation. Not only with us fearing if Emily will make it out alive and if Baylor will save her in time but also through some of the subplots. Joe gets a couple of phone calls from journalists asking about his side of the story ahead of ‘tomorrow’. It’s not until near the end of the film where we find out what’s happening ‘tomorrow’ and what Baylor had done wrong and whilst perhaps it does add a bit of a dampener and it doesn’t entirely sit right with me, it creates another layer of tension and adds to the suspense.



Jake Gyllenhaal really is excellent and the standout in The Guilty. The film does have an impressive voice cast with Ethan Hawke, Riley Keough and Paul Dano all voicing characters over the phone, but Gyllenhaal really is outstanding. There are very few actors that can demand your full attention for 90 minutes like he does. The film is almost entirely just Gyllenhaal acting from his desk but you forget about this fairly quickly because of the way that Gyllenhaal takes control of every single scene. Seeing him react to both sides of the conversation over the phone rather than cutting backwards and forwards between the two ends is so enthralling to watch because of his excellent performance.

There are times when the film does begin to drag and when we do learn a bit more about the trouble Baylor got into at work, it needed to be developed a bit more to be wholly satisfying but nonetheless The Guilty is a riveting film propelled by Jake Gyllenhaal’s fantastic acting.

The Guilty premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and is released on Netflix on October 1st.

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The Toll | A Twist On Classic Genres Like The Iconic Western And Thriller

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Director Ryan Andrew Hooper puts together a suburb cast in his debut feature The Toll. This Tarantino-esque darkly comic thriller is set in the Old West of Wales. Specifically my own hometown of Pembrokeshire, it was filmed here too. So I was very familiar with the parts of Pembroke shown on screen in this neo-western which is centred in and around an isolated and feeble old toll booth. 

This non-linear narrative follows Michael Smiley’s character, a nameless Toll Booth operator living a simply boring pointless life. However his dark past soon catches up to him and its revealed that his life is not as simple, boring or pointless as we thought. his business may not even be entirely legal. He begins to operate and control events around him whilst a local group of people who look out for him end up doing some of his dirty work. Toll Booth does all the networking without even leaving his dull confine. 

Smiley brings an easy weariness to Toll Booth. The character intentionally mysterious, even though we don’t know the characters backstory and why he was on the run for all those years. Smiley still manages to make his character somewhat relatable. 

Iwan Rheon as Dom was absolutely fantastic and Paul Kaye who played Cliff had some great moments. However The Toll has a strong female lead, Annes Elwy who truly makes The Toll shift genres from thriller to an emotional story that allows the audience to get to know her a bit more, which added much needed emotion. 

The film also features many other eccentric characters such as Elvis personator and her mute partner played by Evelyn Mok and Darren Evans. 

Matt Redd’s screenplay truly forms an integral part of the experience, he creates many thrilling and hilarious encounters which sometimes feel reminiscent of Taika Waititi. The film mixes tension and black humour. Ryan Andrew Hopper’s direction truly makes the west wales landscape spectacular as he transports the western from the familiar wild west in America and brings it to the Pembrokeshire coast, the film all comes together with breathtaking cinematography from Adrian Peckitt. 

Overall The Toll rethinks and manages to put a twist on classic genres like the iconic western and thriller. And I look forward to seeing what Ryan Andrew Hooper does next.

The Toll is in cinemas and on premium digital from 27 August from Signature Entertainment.

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