Tag Archives: daniel espinosa

Suspenseful & Thrilling | Review of ‘Life’ (2017 Film)

By Cynthia Ayala

Life starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Ryan Reynolds, Hiroyuki Sanada, Ariyon Bakare & Olga Dihovichnaya
Columbia Pictures
Image Credit: IMDB

“A team of scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form, that caused extinction on Mars, and now threatens the crew and all life on Earth.”


The alien in space movie is not new, many are failures, but others have become staples of the genre. Life is part of the latter. The premise of the film is about a team of scientists who have discovered life on Mars. At first, the creature is docile, but when provoked, the alien has entered monster territory, if only for its desire to survive. The problem is it doesn’t know when to stop feeding, creating a being that is incredibly dangerous. What makes it even more dangerous is how smart it is. It evolves, and with its evolution, it grows bigger. It’s a sinister being and the writers knew how to develop the creature, its needs and everything that made it dangerous.
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‘Child 44’ is a Dark Tale Told Unwisely | Review of ‘Child 44’

By: Cynthia Ayala

‘Child 44’ starring Tom Hardy, Noomi Rapace & Gary Oldman
Distributed by Lionsgate Films

Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace star alongside one another once again to bring to life this 1950s Soviet Russia movie revolving around a mysterious serial killer who preys on young boys alongside the Russia train system.

Child 44 focuses on the mystery of the child killers while investigating the lack of an investigation. Tom Hardy plays Leo, a decorated agent of the Russia secret police who loses everything when he refuses to denounce his wife Raisa (Noomi Rapace) as a traitor. This sends them into exile into “a grim provincial outpost” where the number of child murders rises. Soon, the married couple find common ground in solving these mysterious murders as they team up with Mikhail Nesterov (Gary Oldman), the only official investigating these murders.

Those three actors have an amazing dynamic with one another. Tom Hardy and Noomi Rapace have become one of those on screen couples that complement each other brilliantly, whether they are in love or whether they are against one another, both of which they capture in the film. The pair of them not only played their parts well, but they also actually made the effort to sound Russian, to be Russians in the film versus Gary Oldman who – despite his incredibly acting skills – continued to sound like a British man in the Russian countryside. Nevertheless, that aside, the actors did an amazing job with what they were given.

As far as the story went, it was just a little complex and fragmented; not all the elements of the film connected well together. There was a lack of cohesion within the film, and while it added for good drama and suspense, it makes it difficult for the audiences to understand. There is the one plot line of his wife being a supposed traitor, forcing them into exile, a commodity due to his former rank; there is the bigger picture of the child murder who is traversing across Russia. Yet, Leo’s (Hardy) former compatriots are after him because he’s investigating the murders. It doesn’t make sense, even though the investigation goes against the Soviet doctrine, there isn’t enough evidence within the film to explain it why they want him dead so badly.

Overall, this was a half-decent movie. The acting and the dynamic between the cast members was strong, the only real flaw in the movie was the story that needed a little more fine-tuning and cohesion which would have made it a strong movie. (★★☆☆ | C)

– Film Credits –

Directed by Daniel Espinosa

Screenplay by Richard Price

Based on Child 44 by Tom Rob Smith

Starring: Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Noomi Rapace, Joel Kinnaman, Paddy Considine, Fares Fares, Jason Clarke & Vincent Cassel

Genre | Rating | Length: MysteryThriller | R | 2 hr. 17 min.

Distributed by Lionsgate Films

Universal Wins Bidding War For Safe House Writer’s Script Black Box

By: Kristy Puchko


One of the surprise hits of 2012 is Safe House. “Surprise hit?” You might scoff, “It starred Denzel Washington!” True, but it also starred Ryan Reynolds, who lost much of his leading man appeal following flops like Green Lantern the underrated comedy The Change-up. Nonetheless, the spy thriller with a moderate budget of $85 million took in more than $205 mil worldwide, making it one of Universal’s most bankable efforts to date domestically.

Safe House‘s success has already led to its director, Swedish filmmaker Daniel Espinosa, being offered the chance to replace Ridley Scott at the helm of Child 44, and has spurred Universal pursue a Safe House sequel.And now THR has good news for Safe House scribe David Guggenheim, the former US Weekly editor who is now one of Hollywood’s most sought after spec script writers.

Guggenheim’s latest spec script Black Box went out to studios Wednesday, sparking a bidding war between DreamWorks, Warner Bros and Universal. At the end of the day, Universal reportedly laid down an offer in the upper six-figures that secured the screenplay which begins with a horrific plane crash once Air Force One plummets in America. The political thriller then follows an investigator whose life is thrown in the balance once he uncovers the plane’s black box, which contains evidence that the official report of “technical issues” is just a smokescreen.

In a Hollywood frenzied for established franchises and movie adaptations of marketable pre-existing properties, Guggenheim has been enjoying extraordinary success as a spec screenwriter. Aside from Safe House andBlack Box, he’s also sold Millennium Medallion, which has become the soon-to-be released Stolen starring Nicolas Cage and Malin Akerman, and Summit snagged his Puzzle Palace, promptly attaching McG to helm. In short, everything’s coming up Guggenheim.

Source: Cinema Blend