A Most Violent Year Review
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A Most Violent Year Review

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A Most Violent Year is a drama/crime film set in New York during 1981, one of the most violent years for crime in the city’s history. The film comes directed by J.C. Chandor who is known for his work on All Is Lost (2013) and Margin Call (2011). It stars Oscar Isaac as Abel Morales, a businessman trying to make it a world that is very dangerous to survive in, but his ambition won’t let the danger impact on where he sees his future. The film also stars Jessica Chastain as Anna Morales who as a wife to an ambitious small business owner helps to balance his books and take care of her family and her husband.

A Most Violent Year is probably the best drama film I have seen so far in 2015 and one of the best films films I’ve seen in recent months. Oscar Isaac delivers one incredible performance here as Abel Morales and one of the best of his career, the seriousness of his character and the way he presented himself on screen was a joy to watch. Jessica Chastain was also quite excellent with her performance as well and really worked well with Oscar Isaac. Both were perfectly cast for these roles.

The costumes and the presentation of characters on screen looked to be almost iconic in appearance, Abel would wear his suit with the light coloured warm jacket while Anna would always be well dressed in a way that reflects how her character is feeling at the time, while Abel’s outfits usually suggest his wealth and his power. It’s not often that clothes are chosen perfectly, as I did watch Inherent Vice recently as well and it’s a mess compared to this film.

Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac in A Most Violent Year

Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac in A Most Violent Year

Most of the focus is on Abel and his character as he tries to expand his business and purchase a factory which he can use to both fill up his trucks to deliver his oil around New York as well as store it in large quantities. The situation places the family with a lot of debt and we look at how this impacts his wife who also works at the company as well as the staff who are being attacked by random thugs who steal the oil and sell it themselves. Abel and Anna do have  a gangster connection with Anna’s father being a very successful one, but Abel doesn’t want the gangster life. He wants to be legitimate and do things the right way and this is hard because there are those who would resort to violence to get ahead in the short term. The question is will Abel resort to violence or will he stick to his values and beliefs against it?

A Most Violent Year has one really strong aspect and that is its characterisation. Abel Morales is a very interesting person to think about because in this most violent year, he faces issues with his trucks which deliver his oil being robbed. But as most American films tend to suggest what should happen is that the character should buy some guns and go shoot up everyone, that’s not what Abel is or what he believes. He is trying to stay as a legitimate businessman and in a way is a pacifist, which is interesting considering the world he is in. There are moments when his ideology is pushed and we as an audience wonder which way will he go, will he go down the path of violence in order to get ahead or won’t he? That’s what is so interesting about him really and he’s written very well with excellent dialogue all the way through.

Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac in A Most Violent Year

Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac in A Most Violent Year

In terms of the directing, all of the film is well shot, there are a lot of close camera angles which give the feeling that the tone of the film is tense because of all the pressure on Abel and his family. It has a realistic feel to it, we don’t see people in this film going out on shootouts and killing hundreds of goons like in an action film. This a drama and it focuses on characters, the violence in the title is really the backdrop and the setting for what is happening in he film. It’s not the forefront of it so don’t go in expecting to get an action movie, because it isn’t, although it does have a shootout, some robberies and a car chase.

Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac in A Most Violent Year

Jessica Chastain and Oscar Isaac in A Most Violent Year

I wasn’t sure how good this movie was going to be when I went in to see it, but it turned out being really great and different. I really enjoyed the characters and the ambition that they have inside them which drives their desire to succeed in their lives. I thought it really represented how tough things can be at times for people in the world who are trying so hard to succeed. Abel himself is a small businessman who wants so much to make it and have something larger than what he currently has and it’s scary to do for people to take such a risk. When Abel says “when it feels scary to jump, that is exactly when you jump, otherwise you end up staying in the same place your whole life, and that I can’t do” I think it sums up his character and the film in the best way, it’s just about the risks people need to take to succeed.

Jessica Chastain iin A Most Violent Year

Jessica Chastain in A Most Violent Year

Overall I really enjoyed watching A Most Violent Year, it’s one of the best directed drama’s so far this year and I’m really glad I got to see this film. The characters are so well crafted which makes them incredibly interesting to watch on screen, while the violent setting adds a lot of tension to the troubles the characters must deal with. The acting is superb from both Oscar Isaac and Jessica Chastain who both shine in this film. I can’t think of any issues with the film at all and I highly recommend going to see it if you can.

10 out of 10

Bryan loves writing about movies, TV shows and games and tries his best to give a balanced and honest view in all his reviews or opinion pieces on Resident Entertainment.

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Need For Speed Heat Australian Release Date

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Need For Speed Heat Australian release date Is November 8

The Need For Speed Heat Australian release date is November 8 2019. The game will be published by Electronic Arts and comes developed by Ghost Games. The game will be available on Xbox One, PS4 and PC.

EA says “The game deepens and expands everything Need for Speed  fans love – expressive customisation, authentic urban car culture, and an immersive narrative that pulls you into the game.”

What is Need For Speed Heat about?

Need for Speed Heat sends fans to Palm City, a brand-new open world where street racers have gathered to make their names known. By day, players compete in the Speedhunters Showdown, a sanctioned competition where they earn Bank to customise and upgrade their garage of high-performance cars. At night, players risk it all to build their Rep in underground races where a rogue police task force roams the streets, ready to take racers down and swipe all their earnings. The roads, the risks, and the rides never end in this street racer where a player can roll deep with their crew, build their garage full of hot cars, and make the city their nonstop playground.

Riley Cooper, Creative Director at Ghost Games said “Our fans have been clear that they want more cars, more customisation, and more challenges, and we’re tuning up on every aspect. From your character’s style to your car’s performance and your driving style, we’re fuelling everyone’s creativity with this new game.”

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Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Review

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Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Review - Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton and Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth
Once Upon A Time In Hollywood Review - Leonardo DiCaprio as Rick Dalton and Brad Pitt as Cliff Booth

Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is a film which comes written and directed by Quentin Tarantino who some may know for films such as The Hateful Eight (2015) or Pulp Fiction (1994). The film stars Leonardo DiCaprio, Brad Pitt, Margot Robbie, Dakota Fanning and Al Pacino. Once Upon A Time In Hollywood is about a fading Hollywood actor and his stunt double who are striving to achieve success in the final years of the Hollywood golden age.

Before going into this film, I must admit I was quite excited about it. This is the 9th film from Quentin Tarantino, who is one of my favourite directors of all time and the cast is filled with so many great actors there’s no reason to not want to see this one. Even though my expectations for this film were set very high, I came out of the cinema incredibly happy, very entertained and extremely impressed with what I just saw. Quentin Tarantino has truly delivered something very special this year and I highly recommend going to see it.

The way the story is told is very interesting. The audience follows the career of Rick Dalton (Leonardo DiCaprio) who is trying to maintain his stardom and Hollywood status in a time when things are changing. The actor is trying to transition from being a major TV star to a Hollywood actor, but it’s very difficult. On top of this, Rick Dalton is ageing and he is no longer in his prime, he’s sort of becoming obsolete. Cliff (Brad Pitt) is sharing a similar fate with his career tied to the success or failure of Rick’s. In contrast to these two, Sharon Tate (Margot Robbie) is a character who is everything good about Hollywood in 1969, her personality is welcoming, she helps people and she’s friendly. Quentin Tarantino’s Sharon Tate is the ideal Hollywood star of the time.

Quentin Tarantino with this film captured the spirit and essence of Hollywood in 1969. I felt like I was watching real people going through real things. The attention to detail on each of the characters and also watching them develop as the film progresses was very well done. This film also one has of the best endings and is maybe the best film that I’ve seen in 2019.

The actors were all great, I really enjoyed watching Leonardo DiCaprio in this film. The actor has a very wide range of things he could do as his character Rick Dalton is going through quite a lot and there are a lot of different emotional elements. On top of this, as a character who is an actor, Rick is seen acting in other films within this film as different characters he is playing. There are some very good performances within this film from Rick Dalton and in some ways, I wish I could watch the films that he was making within this film. Brad Pitt does very well and so too does Margot Robbie. Dakota Fanning surprised me a lot in this film as I didn’t even recognise her as Squeaky Fromme, she was only in the film for a bit, but for that time she was, she was very impactful.

Overall, I have no further comments to make about this film without having to go into major spoilers discussing all the different elements of it. It’s hard to write a long review for a film when everything was awesome in it. The directing, acting, writing, music and everything else about Once Upon A Time In Hollywood was awesome and Quentin Tarantino exceeded my expectations for this film. It may just be one of his best ones yet. I highly recommend going to see it at the cinema this week or as soon as you can. I am already wanting to see it a second time and probably will re-watch it on Blu-Ray when it’s released.

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Crawl Review

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Crawl Review

Crawl is a film which comes directed by Alexendre Aja who some may know as the director of The Hills Have Eyes (2006). The film stars Kaya Scodelario and Barry Pepper.

Crawl is a film about a young woman named Haley (Kaya Scodelario) who attempts to save her father (Barry Pepper) who is trapped in his house during a category 5 hurricane. Tremendous damage has occurred to the home and the surrounding area during the storm, with the streets slowly flooding But that’s not the only danger to be wary of, the flood waters have paved the way for dozens of alligators to come into town and they’re ready to feast on anyone still around. Will poor Haley and her father survive though?

Going into this film. I was actually quite excited. I do enjoy these action films where there’s some creature out there and it’s preying on whatever character the film is about. This film is a little similar to The Meg, but it most reminded me of Anacondas (2004). All of these films and Crawl included wouldn’t be ones I’d say were legendary films, but gosh, I definitely have fun watching them!

Crawl as a story is about survival. There are themes all throughout it related to man vs nature and also the idea of the apex predator is scattered all throughout it. Both characters in the film are constantly challenged and struggle to survive in the a town getting torn apart by the storm.

The main reason most people would go to see Crawl at the cinema would be for the action and that’s the same reason I wanted to go along and see this one. I wanted to see what the alligators could do and I wanted to see some people get eaten up. Did I get that? I certainly did! Did I need much more out of this? Probably not.

As for Crawl being scary. I’m not too sure, I find it all quite fun. But there are people who this would probably frighten a little. Much of the film is cgi and for what it is and for the type of movie this is I think it was just the right quality. They didn’t try to go too big like in The Meg where the cgi seemed to struggle in certain areas. Although the limitations of the cgi are visible in Crawl, it’s not too bad in the end.

The acting in Crawl isn’t too bad. Kaya Scodelario is who you’ll be watching for basically the entire film and she delivers a pleasant performance. Some may recognise this actress from her appearance in The Maze Runner (2014) where she played Teresa. Hopefully there is more to come from her in future films.

The tone of the film, while at times can be a little intense with all the danger out there did actually feel a little light. Alexandre Aja seemed to keep the tone not too serious and embraced the silliness of it all in certain areas to keep it light and fun. But it was also tense and scary when it needed to be.

Overall I had a good time with Crawl at the cinema last week. This isn’t a film that is going to blow anyone away with how good it is, but it’s something to see for a bit of fun over the weekend. You get to watch two characters try to survive a massive hurricane and not get eaten by alligators. Crawl was 1 hour and 27 minutes of fun!

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