The Girl

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Abbie Cornish plays Ashley in the tense drama ‘The Girl’.

This film sets a great example of starting the story at the near point of change or impending action.  We don’t see much of Ashley’s past but we get the idea she’s made a few mistakes in her life that lead to her son being taken into the foster care cycle.

Ashley seems set on making a change, working a minimum wage job, trying to earn the rights to get her young son back.  All whilst trying to keep it all together in her modest trailer home.

After a night out in Mexico with her truck driver father, she finds that he has been doing an extra business side, one that earns him pretty big bucks…. One that involves smuggling illegal immigrants into the U.S. in the back of his truck.

Being on the edge of desperation, Ashley tries her luck at the smuggling business herself, only with disastrous consequences which leave her without any extra cash and the responsibility to look after a little girl when she can’t even look after her own son.

Her moral dilemmas conflict her and she struggles to do the right thing for the girl while trying to make it back home in time for her court date.

Cornish plays the troubled Ashley with the poise she brings to all of her roles.  However, viewers are left wanting more from this film which has the potential to be such a greater and more moving story.

5/10

 

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World War Z

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Starring Brad Pitt and ‘The Killing’s Mireille Enos, World War Z will exceed your expectations, utilizing a new take on the zombie genre.

Gerry Lane (Pitt), recently retired from the United Nations is called back into action when what was thought to be an outbreak of rabies is actually a zombie pandemic.

It starts off as an ordinary day for Gerry, his wife Karin (Enos) and their two young daughters.   As they head into the city, hell breaks loose, and they find themselves fighting for survival in amongst the masses.

The zombies in this film aren’t your typical “walking dead” types.  These zombies are fast, really fast, and powerful too.  They swarm like insects and it is almost impossible to get away from them.

Luckily, Gerry and his family find shelter in a nearby apartment block where they meet another young boy Tomas and his family who take them in.  In the morning they are helicoptered out to a military ship base for safety only to discover that the only means for their continued safety on the ship relies on Gerry to travel into the heart of the outbreak and discover the cause and potentially a cure.

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The family dynamic in this film really works well and pulls the story together throughout the action and mayhem Gerry is confronted with around the globe.  You really feel for Gerry and Karin as they are separated during this unthinkable time.

While the action and thrills are super exciting, the cleverness of the plot and the thought put into the background of the zombie virus is very interesting.

I only wish the end wasn’t quite as abrupt, this is one of those films that you don’t feel the length of and don’t want to end because of the entertainment of it all.   But it does finish with you wanting just that extra bit more towards the end.

8.75/10

 

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The Place Beyond the Pines

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Ryan Gosling, Eva Mendes and Bradley Cooper star in ‘The Place Beyond the Pines’, the film that covers three different sets of stories intertwined into one.

The connection in the stories lies with the characters.  We are first introduced to Luke (Gosling), a motorcycle stunt driver who after discovering he is the father to an infant son, stumbles upon an opportunity to make so REAL money for himself and his family…  by robbing banks.

The next story centers on Avery (Cooper), a policeman who after an impulsive act, is drawn into the corruption of his fellow officers.  While his professional life blooms, his personal life suffers, which is evident with his distant wife, Jennifer (played by Rose Byrne) who struggles to essentially raise their son on her own.

Lastly we are introduced to Jason and AJ, the now teenage sons of both of the previous lead characters Luke and Avery.  The teen boys meet at their school cafeteria, unbeknown to their father’s connection to one another.

‘The Place Beyond the Pines’ is a well acted, well scripted film who pushes the boundaries by producing protagonists that aren’t your typical halo headed heroes.  Characters are flawed, complex and tempted with crossroads of good and bad choices.  Definitely worth a watch for inspiration.

8.5/10

 

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