The Invitation (2015)

Every year, Fantasia Film Festival has a lot of movies that slip through my radar.  The Invitation was one of those that just didn’t make the cut because it was really obscure and mostly because the time didn’t scheduling didn’t work for me. Its a choice I regret…let’s just put it that way. This review will be spoiler-free and short to make sure that you will enjoy it to the max.  Actually, I even think that not reading anything is even better.  The less you know, the better to maximize the enjoyment of it.

Let’s check this out!

The Invitation (2015)

the invitation

Director: Karyn Kusama

Cast: Logan Marshall-Green, Tammy Blanchard, Michiel Huisman, Emayatzy Corinealdi, Michelle Krusiec, Mike Doyle, Jordi Vilasuso, Jay Larson, Lindsay Burdge, John Carroll Lynch

While attending a dinner party at his former home, a man thinks his ex-wife and her new husband have sinister intentions for their guests.-IMDB

The Invitation is a gem.  Its been a while that a psychological thriller has truly grabbed me and made me think the whole length of it. This movie is crafted in such a way that even though there are multiple characters, we’re really bonded with our main character, Will, played by Logan Marshall-Green. We’re in his shoes and it doesn’t take long for us to have suspicion as we adapt and learn the relationships of each character at this dinner party.  Right from the beginning, the movie tries to foreshadow a personality trait that can be interpreted in many ways or maybe make us believe that we’re overthinking it. Its a constant that we, as the audience, bounce back and forth between wondering. That, in itself, is the beauty and awesomeness of The Invitation.

The Invitation

The Invitation is full of mystery from what happened to cause the divorce of Will and his ex-wife Eden to what makes him dread coming back.  Or even what made him accept the invitation.  Why did his ex-wife and new husband David pop back up after disappearing for a few years? There are mysteries of the friends that are there as we learn about them also. Each friend has their own dynamic with Will.

the invitation

With that said, The Invitation is fantastically mind-boggling.  The atmosphere it creates is refreshing and edgy.  Its well-crafted even with some little predictable bits but it never overshadows the tension it takes the time to slowly build.

The Invitation is a movie that I definitely highly recommend. And after you watch it and want to hear what we at The Random Chat Show have to say about it, head to check out the podcast HERE!

Have you seen The Invitation? What did you think of it?

Double Feature: Deadline (2009) & Gallants (2010)

While I use this week to rest up my mind, I’m going to review those backlogged movies (or at least some of them). Hopefully. I just feel like I need to recuperate my energy a little so it might be a bit sporadic.

Either way, Deadline expired on Netflix on December 1st whereas, Gallants still has a few days left.

Lets check it out 🙂

DEADLINE (2009)

deadline

Director: Sean McConville

Cast: Brittany Murphy, Thora Birch, Tammy Blanchard, Marc Blucas, Claudia Troll

Alice (Brittany Murphy) decides to go to a secluded and abandoned house to finish up a script before the deadline. Its not long before she experiences some abnormal events in the house.   As she follows the trail, it leads her to some video camera tapes from the previous owners.  As she uses these as her muse, she realizes that there is more than she expected.

deadline

Deadline was nothing to call home about.  Honestly, I can’t really remember the majority of the movie and I just saw it last Saturday.  Could have to do with the fact I was sipping on some wine, but I don’t know.  Either way, it started off alright.  Push a few logical issues out of the way, like why the f would you trap yourself to the point where you let some other person take your car.  And, if there’s some crazy thing that happens to my computer like “He won’t let me go” or something along those lines goes off for no reason, I’d leave. Like, I’d grab my shoes and my wallet (side bag/purse, whatever you fancy) and leave, even if it means walking out for miles. BUT, thats just me.

deadline

I’m not exactly sure why I chose to watch Deadline.  I guess I never saw anything else from Brittany Murphy and felt like I should (for whatever reason) and well, Thora Birch did really well in this movie I saw last year from a DVD I grabbed from the bargain bin with like 10 flicks on it called The Hole with Keira Knightley.  I had my hesitations since I just did a month of horror and was frankly not really into any  more of it but still, this was going to expire.  Either way, its nothing that I’m going to recommend.  It tries really hard to get that twist right and I guess it does because thats about the only part I remember of the ending.  And then, there was one part that was a tad creepy but its really predictable (but I’m easily scared so I still turned away).

I’m not hating on Deadline.  I’m just not a fan.  I’m not sure it even had the potential to be better so I’m indifferent to it. Thats really where I’m at.  If I say anymore, it’ll just sound like I really hated it.

GALLANTS(2010)

gallants

Director: Clement Sze-Kit Cheng, Chi-kin Kwok

Cast: Siu-Lung Leung, Kuan Tai Chen, Teddy Robin Kwan, You-nam Wong, J.J. Jia, MC Jin

Highly respected Master Ben Law has been in a coma for the last 30 years. His two disciples have been taking care of him ever since.  When a young and weak low rank office worker Cheung is sent to the village to claim back some property rights for a real estate project along with collaboration with the village’s real estate company, he meets the two disciples who now own a teahouse and this event awakens Master Ben Law.  Having a blur in his memory, he confuses Cheung for his two disciples and starts training him for the martial arts competition.

Gallants

Gallants is a peculiar martial arts movie.  It seems to try to mock the style of Stephen Chow’s absurd comedy in the form of Kung Fu Hustle.  However, the story isn’t quite as good, especially when it doesn’t seem to know whether its a comedy or a drama.  However, it does feature some older stars from back in the Shaw Brothers days, stirring up some nostalgia.  I’ve only seen a little of Shaw Brothers and that was when I was really young.  I haven’t had the chance to see more.

gallants

Some of the characters did draw me in.  The guy who plays Ben Law is absolutely hilarious in a really awkward way.  It reflects well that he’s well behind his time because he’s stuck 30 years ago and has everything mixed up.  Whereas, in the bad guys group, I really love MC Jin (the guy in the red track suit above).  He’s really fun to watch all the time.

I’m pretty sure Gallants won’t appeal to everyone.  The start of it took me a little while to get into, just the characters and the story itself.  But if it does successfully grow on you along the way, then you will have a decent amount of enjoyment and entertainment with this one.  It worked for me to a certain extent.

I really should get more Hong Kong movies in.  I’ve always wanted to add a focus on those, just never got around to it.  So many things to watch!

OVERALL…

Deadline wasn’t too good.  But Gallants has a strange humor that worked for me but not so sure it’ll appeal to everyone.

Have you seen Deadline? How about Gallants? Do you like martial arts flicks or Hong Kong movies in general?