FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse (2018)

SIX SPIDIES ARE BETTER THAN ONE!

I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse

Columbia Pictures / Sony Pictures Animation / Marvel Entertainment / Arad Productions / Lord Miller Productions / Pascal Pictures / Sony Pictures Releasing

When rebellious teen Miles Morales (Shameik Moore) gets bitten by a radioactive spider from another dimension, he begins to develop similar abilities to everyone’s favourite neighbourhood Spider-Man (Chris Pine).

This high-octane comic book caper literally pops on the screen! With a colour pallet that resembles the most vibrant pop art, it goes without saying that Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse is by far one of the most aesthetically perfect animated films in a long, long time. With characters from multiple dimensions thrown into the mix, thanks to the evil King Pin (Liev Schreiber) and Doc Ock (Kathryn Hahn), there’s plenty of opportunity to play with animation styles. And here, the film does not disappoint, going as far as resembling a moving comic book at times and backed up with an incredible soundtrack.

Phil Lord and Rodney Rothman’s screenplay sings divinely, making a typical comic book narrative feel fresh and easily accessible. Incorporating interdimensional travel into a plot isn’t always easy to do, and usually falls victim to excessive and convoluted exposition because it is too concerned with coming across as believable. However, the filmmakers have incredible confidence in the story, the world they have created, and the characters within that you are invested from the get-go. This is also helped by the design and Shameik Moore’s outstanding performance of our chief protagonist Miles Morales. He is extraordinarily likeable and relatable, and his interactions with Peter B. Parker (another Spider-Man, performed by the exceptional Jake Johnson) provide a number of the film’s most engaging moments.

Self-referential, cheeky, humorous, heart-felt, exciting, and always fun, this is not only Spider-Man’s greatest big screen adventure to date, but it easily ranks in the top films of 2018, as well as one of the best comic book adaptations and animated feature films of all time. 5 / 5

 

Starring: Shameik Moore, Jake Johnson, Chris Pine, Hailee Steinfeld, Mahershala Ali, Brian Tyree Henry, Lily Tomlin, Luna Lauren Velez, Zoë Kravitz, John Mulaney, Kimiko Glenn, Nicolas Cage, Kathryn Hahn, Liev Schreiber, Lake Bell, Jorma Taccone, Marvin “Krondon” Jones III, Joaquín Cosío, Post Malone, Cliff Robertson [archival], Stan Lee [cameo], Oscar Isaac, Greta Lee, Jorma Taccone.

Directors: Bob Persichetti, Peter Ramsey, Rodney Rothman | Producers: Avi Arad, Amy Pascal, Phil Lord, Christopher Miller, Christina Steinberg | Writers: Phil Lord, Rodney Rothman; Story: Phil Lord (based on Spider-Man created by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko; Miles Morales created by Brian Michael Bendis and Sara Pichelli) | Music: Daniel Pemberton | Editor: Robert Fisher Jr.

 

Available: Amazon Prime, Google Play, and YouTube.

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

I’ve been a Wayne Stellini and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.


FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Spider-Man: Far From Home (2019)

HOLLAND IS FAR FROM OVER!

I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Spider-Man: Far From Home

Columbia Pictures / Marvel Studios / Pascal Pictures / Sony Pictures Releasing

Despite his intention to leave his usual heroics behind for a few weeks while on a vacation in Europe with his classmates, Peter Parker (Tom Holland) agrees to help Nick Fury (Samuel L. Jackson) and Mysterio (Jake Gyllenhaal) uncover the mystery of several elemental creature attacks across the continent.

The twenty-third and final Phase Three film in the Marvel Cinematic Universe (MCU), Spider-Man: Far From Home is the sort of joyride that devoted fans need following the likes of Avengers: Infinity War (2018) and Avengers: Endgame (2019).

But, of course, we know we are in safe hands with Tom Holland, whose beautifully nuanced portrayal of the awkward and wide-eyed Peter Parker/Spider-Man has always been one of the extensive franchise’s strongest points, back to swing into action. Thankfully, many familiar faces return for this latest adventure as do a number of familiar names behind the scenes.

And while Spider-Man: Far From Home does not break any new ground, it knows how to tell a straightforward superhero story in an entertaining manner. The action sequences are nicely placed among the plot exposition and character development, so we are engaged all the way through. Jake Gyllenhaal’s Mysterio is straight from the comics and a lesser actor would have taken the role too far into moustache-twirling campiness. He is, as always, a pure joy to watch. Jacob Batalon is again a delight at Peter’s best friend Ned and Zendaya is perfect as love interest M.J.

Despite the visuals not always as sharp as they could be (especially during the climactic showdown), Spider-Man: Far From Home is a consistently fun caper that asks its audience to accept a lot in the delicate balance of fantasy and reality. And because director Jon Watts and team do such a great job, we are more than happy to oblige. 4 / 5

 

Starring: Tom Holland, Samuel L. Jackson, Zendaya, Cobie Smulders, Jon Favreau, J. B. Smoove, Jacob Batalon, Martin Starr, Marisa Tomei, Jake Gyllenhaal, Tony Revolori, Angourie Rice, Peter Billingsley, J. K. Simmons, Ben Mendelsohn [uncredited cameo], Sharon Blynn [uncredited cameo], Numan Acar, Remy Hii, Zach Barack, Dawn Michelle King [voice].

Director: Jon Watts | Producers: Kevin Feige, Amy Pascal | Writers: Chris McKenna, Erik Sommers (based on Spider-Man by Stan Lee and Steve Ditko) | Music: Michael Giacchino | Cinematographer: Matthew J. Lloyd | Editors: Dan Lebental, Leigh Folsom Boyd

 

Available: YouTube and Google Play

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

I’ve been a Wayne Stellini and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.


FRED Watch Episode 29: The Shawshank Redemption (1994)

BREAKOUT MASTERPIECE!

For this month’s FRED Watch, it’s The Shawshank Redemption (1994)…

Castle Rock Entertainment / Columbia Pictures

Phillip and Wayne discuss Frank Darabont’s masterpiece The Shawshank Redemption (1994) and dissect some of the more interesting elements of this enduring classic.

Listen to their review here:

Check out the trailer:

Starring: Tim Robbins, Morgan Freeman, Bob Gunton, William Sadler, Clancy Brown, Gil Bellows, James Whitmore, Mark Rolston, Jeffrey DeMunn, Alfonso Freeman, Ned Bellamy, Don McManus, Dion Anderson, Renee Blaine, Scott Mann, Frank Medrano, Bill Bolender, James Kisicki, Claire Slemmer.

Director: Frank Darabont | Writer: Frank Darabont (Rita Hayworth and Shawshank Redemption by Stephen King) | Producer: Niki Marvin | Music: Thomas Newman | Cinematographer: Roger Deakins | Editor: Richard Francis-Bruce

Available: Netflix, YouTube.

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

You’ve just experienced FRED Watch.


FRED Watch ANZAC Day 2020 Special: They Shall Not Grow Old (2018)

ALL COLOUR ON THE WESTERN FRONT.

WingNut Films / Warner Bros. Pictures

On this ANZAC Day, Phillip and Wayne discuss Peter Jackson’s critically acclaimed They Shall Not Grow Old (2018).

Completely made up of rich and some never-before-seen or heard primary sources, the documentary is an historian’s treasure trove… but does that make it a good film?

 

Listen to their review here:

 

Check out the trailer here:

Director: Peter Jackson | Producers: Clare Olssen, Peter Jackson | Music: Plan 9 | Editor: Jabez Olssen

Available: Google Play, Netflix, and YouTube.

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

You’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

 

RELATED PODCAST: FRED Watch ANZAC Day 2018 Special: All Quiet On the Western Front (1979) ⬇︎

 

RELATED PODCAST: FRED Watch ANZAC Day 2019 Special: Horrible Histories special, ‘Frightful First World War’ (2014) ⬇︎


FRED Watch Episode 28: Duel (1972)

INTRODUCING STEVEN SPIELBERG…

Wayne introduces Phillip and special guest Kendall to the theatrical cut of the cult classic thriller Duel (1972)…

Universal Pictures

Much more than a road rage movie, the team dissect what makes Steven Spielberg’s first feature film an impressive debut!

Listen to their review here:

Check out the trailer:

Starring: Dennis Weaver, Jacqueline Scott, Carey Loftin, Eddie Firestone, Lou Frizzell, Eugene Dynarski, Lucille Benson, Tim Herbert, Charles Seel, Shirley O’Hara, Alexander Lockwood, Amy Douglass, Sweet Dick Whittington, Dale Van Sickel.

Director: Steven Spielberg | Writer: Richard Matheson (based on his short story) | Producer: George Eckstein | Music: Billy Goldenberg | Cinematographer: Jack A. Marta | Editor: Frank Morriss

 

Available: Google Play, YouTube.

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

You’ve just experienced FRED Watch.


A note on the year of release: Duel debuted on the United States’s ABC television network on Saturday, 13 November 1971 and is therefore almost always given that year as its release. However, an additional fifteen minutes were added for Duel‘s international theatrical release the following year. It is this version the FRED Watch team have reviewed, hence the film’s release year referenced as 1972 in our podcast.


FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Kiki’s Delivery Service (1989)

Kiki Delivers!

I’m a Fulya Kantarmaci and welcome to FRED Watch where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. To celebrate the thirty-fifth anniversary of its establishment this year, I will be reviewing the animated movies created by Studio Ghibli. Today’s film is Kiki’s Delivery Service (魔女の宅急便).

Studio Ghibli / Toei Company

A trainee witch leaves home with her black cat to become a great witch by going on a year-long journey of discovery.

No this isn’t the cartoon version of Sabrina the Teenage Witch. This gorgeous animated film is about a thirteen-year-old witch who wants to become a great witch and must go on a journey of self-discovery in order to do it. This teenage witch is Kiki (Minami Takayama) and she is ready to discover what her skill is to help others around her. Kiki takes her mother’s broom, her bag, her black cat Jiji (Rei Sakuma) (whom she can understand), and her father’s portable radio. Once she is ready, Kiki takes off into the night sky to find her new home for the next twelve months.

During her flight, Kiki comes across the port city of Koriko and decides this is where she wants to be. While in search of a place to live, Kiki is followed by a young boy named Tombo (Kappei Yamaguchi) who is obsessed with aviation and really admires her flying skills. Eventually, Kiki finds a place to call home thanks to a kind and heavily pregnant bakery owner Osono (Keiko Toda). In exchange for the accommodation, Kiki agrees to help out around the bakery, during which time she discovers that she can use her flying ability to deliver goods. With that, Kiki’s Delivery Service is open for business!

Written, directed, and produced by the great Hayao Miyazaki, this is a feel-good movie for the whole family! Kiki’s Delivery Service has so much heart and deals with common adolescent problems such as finding a job, becoming independent, and seeking acceptance. Kiki is also very vulnerable once she leaves home but luckily, Jiji is there as her wise companion to help her with certain decisions—that’s if she decides to listen to him. 

A combination of traditional and contemporary themes are evident in this film. An example of this is with how Kiki dresses as a witch—traditional black dress but with a bright red bow adorned on her head. She also cooks using a wood-burning stove and flies her mother’s old broom. And of course, having a familiar is definitely a witch tradition. 

I love the use of colour in this movie. It helps to bring out the details in the scenes without being too bright. The contrast between night and day is also very beautiful, especially when the weather changes on screen. Oh, and can I just say how appetising all the baked goods look in the bakery? The whole shop is covered in varied shades of brown and beige, and it doesn’t look dull at all!

Watching Kiki fly around on her broom always makes me daydream of me being able to fly around like that so freely. Speaking of, Miyazaki seems to have a fascination with aviation as it is used in a few of his other films. In Kiki’s Delivery Service, Tombo is obsessed with flying and he is given the opportunity to go on a ride on a dirigible with his friends. He also creates a flying contraption using his bicycle. And let’s not forget that witches fly on broomsticks. I would like this flying ability please!

The film does go into a negative turn when Kiki becomes depressed, is unable to understand Jiji, and loses her ability to fly. I won’t go into too much more detail, but this Studio Ghibli movie is well-worth checking out!  4 / 5

 


Starring: Minami Takayama, Rei Sakuma, Keiko Toda, Minami Takayama, Kappei Yamaguchi, Kōichi Yamadera, Mieko Nobusawa, Kōichi Miura, Kikuko Inoue, Haruko Kato, Hiroko Seki, Yūko Kobayashi, Keiko Kagimoto, Yuriko Fuchizaki, Kikuko Inoue, Mika Doi, Takaya Hashi, Shō Saito.

Director/Writer/Producer: Hayao Miyazaki (based on the novel by Eiko Kadono) | Music: Joe Hisaishi | Cinematographer: Shigeo Sugimura | Editor: Takeshi Seyama

 

Available: Blu-ray, DVD, and Netflix.

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

I’ve been a Fulya Kantarmaci and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

FRED Watch Episode 27: Look Both Ways (2005)

LOOK THIS WAY!

Wayne introduces Wayne and special guest Kendall to the award-winning independent Australian film Look Both Ways (2005)…

Madman Entertainment

Listen to their review here:

 

Check out the Movie Show review here.

 

Starring: William McInnes, Justine Clarke, Anthony Hayes, Lisa Flanagan, Andrew Gilbert, Daniella Farinacci, Maggie Dence, Edwin Hodgeman, Andreas Sobik, Alex Rafalowicz, Sacha Horler, Robbie Hoad, Mary Kostakidis.

Director/Writer: Sarah Watt | Producers: Andrew Myer, Barbara Masel, Bridget Ikin, Vicki Sugars | Music: Amanda Brown, Ashley Klose | Cinematographer: Ray Argall | Editor: Denise Haratzis

 

 

Available: DVD.

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

 

You’ve just experienced FRED Watch.


Beta Test #27: Ori and the Blind Forest

Beta Test

What’s up everybody! (you know, every time I say that, I want to say ‘Hello Bujamburan’s’, from George of the Jungle, but I don’t really know the social implications of just addressing people from Bujambura on this channel, so for what it’s worth if y’all are out there…Hi) It’s ya boi, Bethany Griffiths, coming atcha almost live, with this month’s Beta Test, a game review platform where I choose one game a month to go ham on until either I get better or get wrecked. All in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely (un)biased review. 

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What a month it’s been. I’m ass deep in possibly contagious patients, while getting a severe case of anxiety induced hypochondria, which means I’m fine at home, but can’t physically breathe at work because my windpipe feels like it’s burning, and my chest has an unpoppable bubble in it. Due to that, I’m also ass deep in the escapism of video games, because nothing says intense fear like burying my head in the sand and playing something I know I have a fighting chance at winning (because let’s be real here, there is no war in Ba Sing Se, and there is no COVID-19 pandemic in Melbourne). I’m not on my 5th drink into the night, you are. That’s not Gin, it’s…Cranberry soda? Ugh. 

Ori and the Blind Forest is a multi level platformer that expresses story line through conservation and activism, implementing heart-string moments and themes such as loss, love, and light, to exemplify the circle of life (Nants ingonyama bagithi Baba). You play as Ori, a child of the Spirit Tree, the Governing force of the land of Nibel. Ori must reunite the elements to bring back peace to the land. It’s a harrowing journey, one only achievable with the force of your love, and the strength of your character (sometimes literally).

Developed by Moon Studios GmbH, and Published by Xbox Game Studios, Ori is a fantastic way to channel your quarantine tension into gamer tension instead. Judging by the ferocity of which I tried to demolish this game, the average noob will spend the better part of a week dodging obsticles, jumping from lanterns, and trying REALLY FUCKING HARD to get passed the water tree timer level (aka. My Hell). 

The game is a classic platformer with power ups, levels, and enemies you can’t defeat with one blow. In this way, I really respect the game. It takes what I loved about the game play of Hollow Knight, the un-linear nature and learned abilities, swishes it around with the skill set of Vampyr, with the skill tree, and power up choice, and wraps it up in a small little animal based package. 

Really I can only downfall this game in one area. I can’t berate it for the lack of extra lives you get, because you create your own save points. Nor can I discredit the amount of storytelling, as you can play as a pure story base, or branch out into various degrees of difficulty. No, the only fault I have with Ori and the Blind Forest is that you can’t set the WASD keys. I spent forever playing hollow knight, so when the switch over happened, I was constantly pressing D expecting to dash, only to find the ctrl key sitting wondering why the hell it wasn’t being used. There are options, oh yes, but shifting to the mouse isn’t going to fly, and the other configurations hurt my small Bethany head to try and figure it out. Long story short, I got stuck for a WHILE wondering why I wasn’t moving like I’ve seen every other gamer move. (and no, it’s not cos I suck. I take pride in my inability to game. Come at me Susan)

Over all though, Ori and the Blind Forest is a delightful game, choc full of explorative adventures waiting to be found. I had a great time finding new hidey holes and creating chaos where I could. Overall a very impressive, constructive game with a wholesome vibe, and super fun art style. 

Yo dawg, I heard you liked the game, so I put a score in your review, so you could game while you game, and for that reason I give this Xzibit, I mean, Game:

4/5 NARU’S for style
0/5 NARU’S for plotline
0/5 NARU’S for easiness
5/5 NARU’S for Aesthetic jumping maneuvers 

What? It’s over? Well not so fast. CROSS PROMOTION TIME. Have you ever enjoyed a podcast? Do you listen to The Monthly? A podcast called FRED? FRED watch? Then you’ll love to hear me ramble on my super new and impressive DnD podcast! ‘Wow, I’m interested’, you say? So am I! The Support Party is a podcast of stressed women playing Dungeons and Dragons with all supporting roles! We bring the drama, to bring you Calm-a (not Karma, which is a totally different thing, and I can not guarantee the expression of Karma onto any individual, but ya like to think it’s there right? anyway…). Follow our journey, comin atcha live in the next few weeks at #thesupportparty. Get on it!

Till then, I’ve been and always will be Bethany Griffiths, and this has been Beta Test, A game review platform where I either got better or got wrecked. All in the hopes that I can provide you with a completely (un)biased review.

Stay safe out there, and if you get COVID-19, remember, it’s a string of RNA, and you’re a pussy if you let RNA beat you. It’s not even DNA based! (not but seriously stay safe. I love you. Take care of our imuno-compromised and elderly. Don’t be a dick with toilet paper. God is watching). 

See you all next time!

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FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: When Time Ran Out… (1980)

TIME’S UP FOR DISASTER DECADE…

I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is When Time Ran Out…

Warner Bros.

A volcano causes havoc on an idyllic South Pacific island which has become a holiday paradise for the rich and powerful. Encouraged by island owner Bob Spangler (James Franciscus), most of the guests ignore the danger, but one group, lead by oil rigger Hank Anderson (Paul Newman), embarks on a risky escape attempt.

In a 1998 interview, Larry King asked Paul Newman if he had regretted making any films. The actor replied, ‘that volcano movie.’

A critical and commercial flop, When Time Ran Out… marked the end of the disaster movie era, kickstarted by Airport (1970) and perfected by the master of disaster himself, Irwin Allen, with The Poseidon Adventure (1972) and The Towering Inferno (1974). Though Allen would never reach the astonishing narrative, technical, and commercial success of his two biggest pictures, the formula worked well when used correctly. (For example, Allen’s instance on directing 1978’s The Swarm was one of many poor production choices.)

Fans of the genre, however, will find that When Time Ran Out… isn’t as bad as its reputation may lead you to believe. All of the pieces are in place here, with a stellar ensemble cast brought together to face a natural threat. We are introduced to a handful of characters and their respective, sometimes intertwining, storylines; each faces a personal or professional dilemma which is the source of the surrounding melodrama as the island’s dormant volcano prepares to erupt.

As The Poseidon Adventure, The Towering Inferno, and (to a lesser extent) Earthquake (1974) exemplified, taking the time to get to know and care about the film’s characters are just as important as the build-up to the Main Event, if not more so. Originally running for 121 minutes, the film’s poor domestic performance resulted in the runtime being cut down to 104 minutes, only to have a 144-minute extended cut released on VHS in the mid-‘80s and ‘90s.

For better or worse, the shortest rendition of When Time Ran Out… leaves the audience at a distance from the characters, which is unfortunate, because they are performed really well under James Goldstone’s direction. However, the film also comes across more like a made-for-television movie than a big screen blockbuster. The special effects are a mixed bag, which is a shame considering the twenty million-dollar budget (four times the amount afforded to the superior Poseidon Adventure); some haven’t aged well and don’t even look like they were at the forefront of technology at the time.

So, what works about When Time Ran Out…?

Well, there’s no denying that it is a lot of fun and its hokey quality adds to the viewing experience. Fans of the disaster genre will enjoy the clashing personalities of the characters here, some of the over-the-top action sequences, and the performances overall.

Contractually obligated to appear in an Allen production, Newman is in fine form as our scrupulous hero, and any lack of enthusiasm for the project does not come across on screen. His Towering Inferno co-star William Holden is quite commanding as the resort’s owner, while Jacqueline Bisset is engaging in an underwritten leading lady role. Handsome James Franciscus is captivating as our villain, holding his own against the likes of Newman and Holden, and his scenes with the lovely Veronica Hamel are a particular highlight—if only there were more them. Additionally, The Poseidon Adventure‘s Red Buttons, Ernest Borgnine, and Shelia Allen are rather good here, as are Edward Albert, Burgess Meredith, and Pat Morita, who all do a lot with very little. Collectively, their roles are undemanding for their talent.

When Time Ran Out… might not be as thrilling on screen as it reads on paper (the bridge cross goes on for too long and the resort’s destruction is too brief), but it is an entertaining spectacle of race-against-time melodrama that sustains energy for most of its duration. It had all the makings of being able to turn the declining tide of disaster movies, but after a decade of genre saturation, audiences were lapping up a new wave of musicals, summer blockbusters, and a little space opera you may have heard of.

But it is what it is. So, grab some popcorn, open a can of cold soft drink, and kick your feet up on a lazy Sunday afternoon to farewell an era of fun disaster epics with Allen Irwin’s production of When Time Ran Out… 3 / 5

 

Starring: Paul Newman, Jacqueline Bisset, William Holden, Edward Albert, Red Buttons, Barbara Carrera, Valentina Cortese, Veronica Hamel, Alex Karras, Burgess Meredith, Ernest Borgnine, James Franciscus, John Considine, Sheila Allen, Pat Morita, Lonny Chapman, Sandy Kenyon, Ava Readdy, Glynn Rubin.

Director: James Goldstone | Producer: Irwin Allen | Writers: Carl Foreman, Stirling Silliphant (based on The Day the World Ended by Gordon Thomas) | Music: Lalo Schifrin | Cinematographer: Fred J. Koenekamp | Editors: Edward Biery, Freeman A. Davies

Available: DVD

 

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

I’ve been a Wayne Stellini and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.

FRED Watch Quickie Film Review: Just a Breath Away (2018)

DON’T HOLD YOUR BREATH…

I’m a Wayne Stellini and welcome to FRED Watch, where we review everything from the mainstream to the obscure. Today’s film is Just a Breath Away (Dans la brume)…

Gravitas Ventures

Separated parents Mathieu and Anna (Romain Duris and Olga Kurylenko) try to protect their daughter (Fantine Harduin), whose medical condition keeps her confined to a tank, from a rising toxic gas cloud that envelops Paris.

Daniel Roby‘s race-against-time thriller has all the makings of a genre masterpiece but never reaches its full potential. This is despite some utterly captivating action sequences; Parisians running from the toxic cloud, for example, is incredibly well done and the film overall benefits from Pierre-Yves Bastard‘s cinematography.

Romain Duris, by far one of French cinema’s most interesting actors for the past two decades, and the prolific Olga Kurylenko are unsurprisingly excellent as loving, selfless parents Mathieu and Anna, who go through hell and high water for their child. So, while there’s never really a dull moment, Guillaume Lemans‘s screenplay fails to delve deeply into our protagonists—neither as individuals nor as a couple. In contrast, we have more investment in the elderly couple played by Michel Robin and Anna Gaylor, who offer Mathieu and Anna refuge, but the film isn’t about them. So while the stakes are high, there is an unshakable disappointment that our central duo were not fleshed out more during the writing stage. An emotional connection is vital to disaster movies such as these so that when selected characters inevitably begin to drop like flies, we not only care about who lives but how they manage to do it.

In spite of this significant flaw, Just a Breath Away works on a superficial level and is still well-worth a look, if only for its stunning visuals and a reason (not that you need one) to see the two leads do so much with only a cloud. 3 / 5

 

Starting: Romain Duris, Olga Kurylenko, Fantine Harduin, Michel Robin, Anna Gaylor, Réphaël Ghrenassia, Erja Malatier, Alexis Manenti, Maurice Antoni, Robin Barde, Geoffroy De La Taille [uncredited], Margot Maricot [uncredited], Christopher Ramoné [uncredited].

Director: Daniel Roby | Producers: Guillaume Colboc, Nicolas Duval Adassovsky | Writer: Guillaume Lemans | Music: Michel Corriveau | Cinematographer: Pierre-Yves Bastard | Editors: Stan Collet, Yvann Thibaudeau

Available: SBS On Demand

 

Let us know what you thought of this film in the comments!

I’ve been a Wayne Stellini and you’ve just experienced FRED Watch.