Day 185 & Day 186 & Day 187 – Tau & The Blackcoat’s Daughter & The Monster

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Movie Title: Tau

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 37 min.

Rated: R

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

What better way to celebrate the fourth of July than by watching a movie about the futuristic prisons we will be kept in some day by our robot overlords. Tau has an interesting premise. A young con artist named Julia (Maika Monroe) is kidnapped and held hostage in what seems to be a young man’s personal high tech dungeon. She is living in an unexplained dystopia and no one is going to miss her. This is all managed through an operating system named Tau. Tau (Gary Oldman) manages every aspect of Alex’s home including how he keeps his hostages. Alex (Ed Skrein) is a prodigy, but his company is failing. He needs Tau to live up to whatever he has promised investors or the company will undoubtedly fail.

Tau is visually very interesting as the special effects and set designs have a unique design quality. Tau is simultaneously very well designed, but at times also resembles a Sci-Fi original movie. All Julia wants to do is escape and all Alex cares about are the final results. She uses all her wiles to attempt escape, but she knows Alex will never let her go. Instead of actively trying to escape, Julia tries to co-opt the management system of the house to convince it to let her go.

Verdict:

It is a visually superb movie with a simple story. It is absolutely worth a watch. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: The Blackcoat’s Daughter (2015)

 

Movie Title: The Blackcoat’s Daughter

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 33 min.

Rated: R

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

The Blackcoat’s Daughter tells the story of two girls stuck in their boarding school over Christmas vacation. Rose (Lucy Boynton) chose to stay behind. She called her parents and told them the wrong day to get picked up. Rose just found out that she is pregnant and wants to speak to the father before she gets an abortion. Kat (Kiernan Shipka) has been left behind and she doesn’t know why. Her parents never came to get her though for some reason she believes they are dead.

After the campus clears out and everyone save some late middle-aged nuns leave strange things start to occur. There were rumors that the nun’s were up to a little old fashioned Satan worshipping, but could those rumors be based in fact? Joan (Emma Roberts) is a third character seemingly en route to the boarding school for reasons that are not immediately apparent. She has flashbacks to sounds and visuals that hint of recent trauma and it is quickly revealed that she committed at least one murder to escape from the institution she was in. From there she is picked up by a kind middle aged man and taken to a hotel in town where the boarding school is located.

The movie takes a very long time to get going and congeal into something coherent. After Rose finds Kat behaving strangely in the basement she begins to make threats toward Rose for not taking good care of her. Time gets muddy as Kat begins to behave even more strangely and demonstrates sign of being demonically possessed. The ending can be determined well before the final bell, but the last act helps redefine the movie into a genre of its own as it becomes a personalized love letter to Satan.

Verdict:

It was not what I was expecting and I was down on it for parts of the running time. Overall, I would say it is very successful about doing what it set out to do. It just takes its sweet time getting there as you wish some of the characters could move at full speed for a little while. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: The Monster (2016)

 

Movie Title: The Monster

First Watch / Repeat Viewing

Running Time: 1 hr. 31 min.

Rated: R

Who did I watch with?: Flying Solo

Where did I watch it?: Home

Review:

Lizzy (Ella Ballentine) is taking care of her mother. Kathy (Zoe Kazan) is an alcoholic deadbeat parent that chain smokes and drinks all day long. Lizzy has her mother beat in maturity by leaps and bounds. Lizzy despises her, but the feeling is mutual. After being harassed to get out of bed they eventually hit the road and head toward Lizzy’s father’s house. Kathy knows this will likely be the last time she sees her daughter for a long time. Lizzy isn’t going to be making the return trip with her.

While they are on the road a tire on their car blows out and they have a minor accident hitting an animal. They call 911 and tell them roughly where they are, but help is far away. Jesse (Aaron Douglas) comes to tow their car when the animal in the road disappears. During the time stuck on the side of the road Lizzy flashes back to the instances where her mother failed her and didn’t take care of her which are generally pretty good aside from one where it very nearly jumps the shark.

Eventually, Jesse meets his maker at the hands of our woodland and titular monster. The monster itself is fairly lackluster. It has a vague outline and makes interesting sound effects. It is generally menacing, but lacks a lot of definition. Some practical effects go a long way toward fleshing out the creature as the movie progresses. While the creature lacks depth, Ella Ballentine makes up for it with a terrific performance by a child actor that borders on heartbreaking for the movie’s running time.

Verdict:

Once the action heats up the dramatic elements blend well with the horror themes that get introduced later in the movie. See it.

Tomorrow’s Movie: Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom (2018)

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