Tuesday, August 16, 2022

Keane (2004) Opens at Lincoln Center Friday


Lodge Kerrigan’s story of a man lost in grief is a kick in the chest. It’s a tour deforce performance that permanently put star Damian Lewis on the map for many people who encountered him for the first time when they saw the film.

The plot has Lewis playing a man trying to find his daughter in and around  the Port Authority Bus Terminal in New York. She had been abducted some time before and he keeps returning to the terminal in order to try and find her or the person who abducted her. The strain has clearly broken him.

While everyone talks about Lewis’s performance what is more interesting is the structure of the script.  When you see the film for the first time you don’t realize what the situation is, we think Lewis has just lost his daughter and he is going up to random people to ask for help. While some of the interactions were scripted some were not. And the result is a film that breaks us six ways to Sunday. Its only after we’ve followed Lewis around a while that it becomes clear that something isn’t right with him and what we thought was true isn’t entirely. As a result we sink deeper into sadness.

When I saw the film the first time I was floored. Its just a giant ball of emotion. We are inside Lewis’s character’s mind and its heart breaking. Later viewing changed things slightly in that knowing what is going on alters how we see things and we have distance, but it still haunts us.

If you’ve never seen Keane you must give it a go. And if you haven’t seen it in ages, like me, you should revisit since its still haunting .

(Random Fact when the film was released to home video originally the DVD included an alternate cut by Steven Soderbergh that tells the same story but through Soderberghs eyes. Its an intriguing look at how editing effects a film)

Monday, August 15, 2022

The Territory (2022) opens Friday


Get ready to get pissed off as we watch how the indigenous Uru-eu-wau-wau people are slowly being squeezed out and hunted by people looking to get themselves some land to farm. Spurred on by Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro's hateful rhetoric people invade the protected territory and destroy the rain forest. 

Its a sad thing to witness because many of the people coming to tke over the land think the Uru-eu-wau-wau just live off the land and don't create anything. They think they should go get  life. Its tlling that these same people note how much cooler it is in the jungle than on the farm land they covert, but they stillwant to have farm land. Its also sad that all of the small guys causing the destuction  in the invasion will in all likelihood end up taken over by big farming companies.

Half way into this film I was so  pissed off I had to pause the film and calm down.. The stupidity of the people trying to take all the land is monumental. They can see the problems with trying to turn the jungle into farms but they don't understand it. I was well aware of the trubles but this film gave it a very real face.

This film is a stunner. Its a film that will clearly show you what is being lost to the world by the destruction of the forest, not just the human cost but the envirmental one as well.

One of the best films at Sundance it is highly recommended

Elsa (2022) Hollyshorts 2022


Portrait of Elsa Sjunneson a deafblind woman who is also a fencer, an essayiest, a speculative fiction writer, a comic book writer and several dozen other things. 

This is a short film that connects to and expands upon material in the American Masters film BECOMING HELEN KELLER.  It is also a killer portrait of a woman  who probably needs a whole feature about herself. There is simply too much to here to fill seven minutes without making you want to know more.

This is a solid short portrait. Sjunneson is a hell of a woman, and she is the sort of person we need now. A crusader for the rights of those with disabilities, and pretty much everyone else, she  is  woman who will not be stopped , nor does she want anyone else to stop. 

This is a super film. Its a film that made me  smile and filled me with hope.

Highly recommended. 

Sunday, August 14, 2022

Nightcap 8/14/22 Random stuff coming up....


There was supposed to be a  piece last Sunday night but the subject- the lack of films for August got sidelined when I got flooded with films for August.

There are still a few empty slots but I suspect I will fill those with a few pick up films as well as the three interviews I did in June and July.

The Signe Bauman film is transcribed and just needs to be tweaked. It remains one of my favorites that I’ve ever done. The other two, from NYAFF are close to being finished  and should be done in short order. Expect them all to run Labor Day weekend

I’m still not sure what I’m going to do for the weeks after the New York Film Festival but I have time to sort it out.

--

I'm trying to decide if there will be an Unseen Film Awards this year.  I paused the awards last year because everyone's watching habits were so all over the place, we couldn't come up with a way of making it work. Would you have interest if we can pull it together?

--

I need four films for the annual Thanksgiving Turkeys.

Any suggestions?

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I don’t know my status of press credentials for NYFF, but I know I will see at least 10 films because I have a package.

I’ve also seen two films already. Both DESCENDANT and ALL THAT BREATHES are highly recommended.

And while we are talking festivals I should be covering both Camden and Tall Grass, the later is at the same as NYFF so it should make for interesting madness.

--

Film discussion wise I’m burnt out. Social media is either too much on MCU, DCU and big budget series or too much on the films playing at the early fall fests and their chances for year end awards based on the people involved as opposed to what anyone has seen. Its all speculation based on gazing in their own navels

I really wish people would talk about the good films they’ve seen but no one else has. I want to find new treasures...more so right now because so much of what I'm seeing is really.

BORN OF WOMAN collection From Fantasia 2022

Here are some brief thoughts on the films that played as part of the BORN OF WOMAN collection at Fantasia 2022 


LILY’S MIRROR
A woman whose hand was cut off by a dinner date is given a special box to help her.

Odd comedy drama with pointed things to say about the patriarchal structure of society. Whether it works for you or not will be determined by your feeling toward the tone.

EVERYBODY GOES TO THE HOSPITAL
Director Tiffany Kimmel relives the trauma of going to the hospital when she was child in a frightening horror film of real life

WILD CARD
2 people meet via a 1980’s dating service.

This just missed for me.

PUNCH DRUNK
Gut punch film has a bartender dealing with her recent surgery, her customers and memories of the past.

STAINED SKIN
Bleak dystopian tale of a hopeful story told between two women trapped in factory with no future.

Beautiful but the counterpoint is unbelievably sad.

ANTEROOM
At a border  woman must convince a computer that she and her newborn are eligible for refugee status.

More sadness of the dystopia we are heading towards. Ultimately more a Polemic than a thriller.

DAUGHTER OF WITCHES
A woman travels with her new born to country to participate in a ritual.

Folk horror tale that just kind of misses

DON’T GO WHERE I CAN’T FIND YOU
After her love dies, a composer write of piece of music in the hop of bringing her lover back.

A beautiful mood piece.

KIN
A young woman cares for her young siblings using gile and supernatural means.

This is a ghost story that reminds me of the horror stories for Christmas series from the BBC

Saturday, August 13, 2022

PRETTY PICKLE (2022) Hollyshorts

 A man begins to dwell on his girlfriend’s quirks until he makes a startling discovery.

My reaction to this film was that the film was okay until a certain moment at which point you just stare wide eyed and slack jawed at the screen. It’s one of those moments that comes out of left field and makes you sit up and gasp. I dare not say more because the whole film hinges on where this goes, however I will say that while at the same saying its the sort of thing that could make some people argue that director Jim Vendiola needs to be put away where he can't hurt himself or audiences

Recommended

Fantasia 2022's SMALL GAUGE TRAUMA collection

Thoughts on the SMALL GAUGE TRAUMA collection from this year's Fantasia Fest 


ROOTED
A man gets his DNA results and a mask that lets him see the slave ship of his ancestors.

This is a great looking horror film that has some creepy moments that doesn’t quite work as well as the moments because the film has a few too many unanswered questions. It almost works but doesn’t

CRUISE
This left me feeling torn. I love that spam callers were in danger of losing their life if they didn’t make the sale but at the same time you feel bad that it’s a possibility….

GOOD BOY
A dog sitter is faced with a cute puppy  who is a homicidal maniac.

If you’ve ever had a dog or a cat you’ll really relate. I mean really relate.

SCOOTER
A woman is left by the side of the road by her obnoxious boyfriend.  She finds a scooter and rides off, running into trouble outside a burger joint, as something begins killing people.

Feminist horror film is a kick in the pants. While not really scary it still kicks serious ass with its tale of vengeance. I have to say that this film does more in its brief time to say about female empowerment than a couple of features with similar takes that played Fantasia.

DARKER
The moody and heartbreaking story of a young girl who goes in the forest to find the spirit who collects the stories of the dead.

This is an utterly heartbreaking chiller that is pitch perfect from start to finish.

BREATHE
Magnificent film about a young girl who can connect to the spirits inside people. She is sought out to help with exorcisms, but is having doubts about what she does,

Absolutely wonderful character study in the guise of a horror film. A must.

I CALL UPON THEE
Two little girls recite a spell with unexpected, and monstrous, consequences.

This is why you don’t mess around with magic unless you know what the heck you are doing.

HYSTERIC
Grand masterpiece that is close to a single take story of two young girls on a remote island when  their mommy goes crazy.

This is as chilling a horror film as you will see all year or maybe ten.

Lucienne in a World without Solitude
In a world where everyone travels with an exact double of themselves, a woman becomes obsessed by a man who has lost his double.

This is a really good fantasy film that maybe a bit too long. Still the ending packs a punch.

Friday, August 12, 2022

The Fore-Men (2022) Hollyshorts 2022

TFMTrailer.mp4 from Zeus Pictures on Vimeo.

 This is one the most amazing films I’ve seen this year. It’s a visually arresting science fiction film that portends the arrival of a great filmmaker, Adrian Bobb, and, should they expand this into a feature (it's in the works), a potential science fiction classic.

The plot has two survivors trying to deal with a catastrophic event that compressed time. Beasts of all times are now roaming together. Things become complicated when the survivors meet the people behind the event.

I don’t know if the film makes sense. I don’t think the film is long enough to answer all of the questions it raises, but being a short it manages to brush away doubts because we understand there isn’t enough time. Additionally this film has enough going on that there is simply too much to ponder as s that you don’t have to worry about what isn’t there. You are just going to be blown away by what is here.

The real lynch pin to it all is the visuals. Kudos to Bobb and his team who give us a mix of stunning things to see and ponder. Giant beasts in the landscape mingle with some truly frighting dark figures.  It’s a visual delight of the highest order. What I love is that the film takes the aesthetic of Gareth Edwards and his film Monsters thus making the film feel lived in and real.

This film is a masterpiece and one of the best I’ve seen all year simply because it filled me with a sense of wonder I haven’t experienced much in the last few years. All films should be this maginficent.

Highly recommended, it plays this weekend at Hollyshorts in LA

FREE CHOL SOO LEE (2022) opens today

 


This is the story of Korean born Chol Soo Lee who was framed by the police who made him the murder suspect for a killing in San Francisco's Chinatown. Relying only on Caucasian testimony they ignored all the witnesses who said he didn't do it. They also ignored the chatter in Chinatown that said "the Korean didn't do it".

An important case of racial injustice that got worse by turns, (Lee had to kill a man in prison in self defense and there were later tragedies) is given a not very good telling in a film made for PBS's Independent Lens. The issue here is that the telling in jumbled, and not clear. For example talk of a committee to help get Lee free isn't mentioned until some time in the telling. The way the film is told you have no sense that Lee has any even vague support other than the woman who is his friend- when she says that she joined the committee.  Other details are left out (any real sense of the police or their investigation) or left hanging until they are brought in in such away that I was left to wonder why we weren't told that before. I was constantly asking questions to the screen the film never addressed or addressed badly (there is almost no sense of Chinatown as a place). The result is a film that is less moving than it should be, especially in the later section of the film when we should be crushed by the turn of events.

I was left shaking my head.

For me the film is a major disappointment. It's clear this is an important story but the telling doesn't do it justice and it's under 90 minute run time doesn't help. It feels like the film was put together by people too close to the material and checked by people just as close to the story.

A miss

FALL (2022)

 


If you have any interest in FALL go see it in a theater with the biggest screen possible. The film is pure movie spectacle and it needs to be seen as BIG as possible. Honestly if any film was made for IMAX this is it.

The plot of the film has two women going to climb a disused radio tower in the middle on nowhere. Called the fourth highest structure in America is it an abandoned metal tower over 2000 feet tall. One of the women is trying to get over the death of her husband  a short time before. He had fallen in climbing accident that she feels is her fault. Once they get to the top a section of the ladder breaks away and they are left stranded.

This film is all about the visuals. Its all about being on a tiny platform thousands of feet in the air. The visuals make the film and if you don’t like heights odds are this film is going to make you sick.  Yea, it you know it was done with green screen and tricks photography  but at the same time the result is as truly a harrowing experience as you will ever have in a movie theater.

The trick is that you really have to see this film in a theater where each turn is going to make you and those around you scream. If you don’t see this on the big screen, say on a TV or laptop (as I did), this is going to play to much lesser effect.

The problem with this film is that outside of the visuals there isn’t much here. The plot is nothing we haven’t seen before and its pretty much something that we could write ourselves. If you want to know how my the numbers the film is consider that one of the producers has made several similar films set in other locations where one or two people are stranded in a scary situation (often with sharks).  This film is so rote that the scenes of questionable steel cables and magically unscrewing bolts produce snickers instead of chills. And then there is one turn that had me literally screaming profanity at the screen threatening to kick the filmmakers in their privates because it was a total bullshit turn.

Of course had I seen this in a theater I would have felt differently since the images would have over whelmed the stupidity.

Recommended only if you can see this on the big screen because the images will make you forgive the stupid turns.

Thursday, August 11, 2022

We Are Living Things (2022) opens Friday


A workman taking up with a Chinese woman living in the US illegally. She is traveling under someone else's identity. The pair seem to know each other and they both share an obsession with an alien abduction that may or may not have happened.

 WE  ARE LIVING THINGS haunts me. I saw the film a couple of weeks before Slamdance and the film flipped a switch in me. Some how it just clicked with me and I have been haunted by the films look and feel and some of the scenes. I don't know why because in a weird way it doesn't do anything special except tell a compelling story.

Before you jump away understand that the film plays things absolutely straight. This is a drama cum thriller that plays things straight. If I walked into this film unaware of what it was about I wouldn't have known where it  was going, not that I could have really guessed. This is a drama and not a science fiction tale.

I have held off writing about the film because I'm not sure what to really say. My thoughts on the film are not about plot and detils but emotion. The film kicks up certin emotions that I can't really describe. It's hard to write up a review that says "I liked the film because it had a certain feel"  and then not be able to explain it.

Basically what I need you to do is take it on faith that WE ARE LIVING THINGS is worth at least trying. I'm not going to say that you'll fall in love with the film, but I think you will, as with all Slamdance films, find that there is something interesting there. This is basically a film you need to experience more than read about- mostly because my words can't express what I really want to say.

Recommended.

Wednesday, August 10, 2022

Emergency Declaration (2021)


As the police are informed that some people think that their neighbor is the guy threatening to do something to an airplane, the same neighbor gets on a flight looking  to do something terrible. The police quickly learn that the man has done something with a horrible disease and have to race to try and find him...just as someone on the flight begins to die horribly.

This is a killer film. Planned to be made at the time that covid shut the world down the filmmakers took the time to tweak their script and production with an eye of making this as realistic as possible.  They wanted it all to be as close to what would happen as possible. It was a move that paid off with an absolute killer thriller. This is a film that is quite simply going to make some people not want to fly.

I was rocked. This film grabbed me from the opening moments and dragged me white knuckled to the end. Yes, I knew some of this was a bit too neat and too formulaic, but at the same time I was so invested  I didn't care. I was willing to follow this anywhere because the cast, which includes greats like Song Kang-ho, and Lee Byung-hung, sells it. You believe because they believe.

I had a blast watching this. I was so in love with this film that I wished I was sitting in a theater with a big bucket of popcorn and a grape Hi-C  and losing myself in the madness. 

What a delight.

Recommended for those who want to take a white knuckle flight.

Tuesday, August 9, 2022

Roundup (2022) hits digital today


This is a sequel to OUTLAWS, not that you need to have seen that film, Ma Seok-do is a killer cop who is set up as a bad ass from the second scene where he stops a hostage situation cold. Everything you need to know about the unstoppable cop is learned in that one scene. Frankly he’s so kick ass I’m shocked this is only the first sequel.

The plot has Seok-do going to Vietnam in order to pick up a fugitive who voluntarily surrendered. Why he was doing that is a question that bothers the veteran cop and it becomes clear when he finds out that fugitive’s business of kidnapping tourists for ransom and killing them blew up in his face when he picked a mob connected victim and now his boss wants him dead. At this point bodies begin piling up and Ma Soek-do has to follow them to the man behind it all.

Told with wit and speed THE ROUNDUP is a killer film. Moving like a bone crushing wind this is one of the best action films I’ve seen this year. It’s not trying to do anything but entertain and make its audience yelp out loud with delight. This is a film you’ll want to see again and again with all your action loving friends and family. Best of all this fitting sequel to OUTLAWS scores bonus points for being a wonderful stand alone film.

I can’t say enough good about this film.

See it

Monday, August 8, 2022

Ariela Rubin on Girl Picture (2022) which opens Friday

 


Girl Picture is a Finish movie about three women coming of age and navigating love and sex.  Best friends, Mimmi and Rönkkö are having two different experiences with love and relationships. Then there's Emma, who is a competitive figure skating who Mimmi meets and is interested in. Meanwhile, Rönkkö feels nothing with the guys she's hooking up with and all she is hoping for is to feel something. 

I think Girl Picture is the first Finish movie I've ever seen. The film isn't groundbreaking, but it's pretty realistic to real life. It explores fears and confusion surrounding love and sex. Some of the conversations were a bit cringy though and I wondered if girls would really say certain things they did in real life.  I really like female coming-of-age relationship-type movies and so overall, I enjoyed it. I liked that there was some humor in it as well, and I thought all three women did a great job.

Sunday, August 7, 2022

The Old Man (2020) is released Tuesday

With THE OLDMAN THE MOVIE hitting digital release Tuesday here is my Review from last year's Fantasia

What do you get if you cross Shaun the Sheep with A Town Called Panic and filter it through the mind of kid who likes poop jokes?  The answer is THE OLD MAN THE MOVIE, a wickedly funny very unPC comedy that was spun off of Estonian TV series.

The plot has three kids going to stay with their grandfather  on his farm for the summer. The kids end up releasing his cow who wanders off the farm. The grandfather is horrified, but things take a turn for the worst when a wheelchair bound "old milker" shows up to say that the cow has to be found lest it make too much milk and explode in an explosion rivaling an atomic bomb. As the grandfather and kids head off on the tractor to find the cow, and bring her back, the old milker gets some chainsaw wielding nut jobs to help him find and kill the cow. WHat follows is a steady stream of off the wall jokes and turns you'll never see coming.

Rude, crude and sure to shock any parent who unwittingly takes their young ones to see "an animated film" the film will delight adults and older kids who love off color jokes. The big kid that I am I was roaring from start to finish wondering at what point this film was going to hit the US and take over the world.

Wrong on so many levels and right for exactly that reason THE OLD MAN MOVIE is one of the best films playing at Fantasia, assuming you are looking for well done films in bad taste. Highly recommended.




Saturday, August 6, 2022

Battle of Worlds (1961) Gets a 4K special edition on Tuesday


One of the first prerecorded VHS tapes I ever bought was the Italian Space Opera Battle of the Worlds. I bought it because it was a science fiction film and it was in a bargain bin so I could purchase it for a couple of bucks and have something to watch. It was a washed out, but watchable, pan and scan print that chopped out chunks of the 2.35 to 1 image. Not that it mattered it was a schlocky film and I loved it.

The truth of the matter is because the film has been kicking around in bargain bins for decades, almost always in crappy transfers no one has ever really seen the film the way it was meant to be seen, namely wide screen. We’ve crucified and laughed at the film simply because the film the presentation was not what it should be.

Okay, okay… seeing the film wide screen isn’t going to suddenly make you think the film is a masterpiece of scifi cinema but it will make the film slightly better. I mean the film is a good but slow space opera about a stray planet that approaches earth and once in orbit starts sending out craft to battle the earthlings. The film haunts me because it’s the final film of Claude Rains and because the sets of the alien planet seem to have rooted inside mt head. There is a physical nature to them that I rarely saw in Italian space operas of the period.

Releasing Tuesday Film Detective is releasing a 4k scan of Battle of the Worlds and it’s never looked better. This is another outstanding job by the company and seeing their edition is like seeing the film for the first time. To be certain the film is far from perfect but the new scan makes it clear that that the film is less cheesy then we have been thinking for decades.  The problems with the film are not the fault of the scenic designers whose work now can be seen to have rightly haunted my nightmares.

If you’ve only seen this film in a poorly transferred edition the Film Detective edition is a must more so because it has their usual slate of nigh impossible to beat extras (BONUS FEATURES: Original essay by author Don Stradley, Margheriti’s World; Full-length commentary track by film historian Justin Humphreys; all-new original production, A Cinematic Outsider: The Fantastical Worlds of Antonio Margheriti by Ballyhoo Motion Pictures; and an insert with a special surprise for TFD fans.)

Releasing Tuesday it is recommended.


I need to also mention that the film is going to be riffed by the Mads (Trace  and Frank from MST3K) on Tuesday as well. The riff was not planned as a tie in, however I do know that the producer of the broadcast is thrilled because he wants to see a good copy of the film.

Friday, August 5, 2022

The Fish Tale (2022) Fantasia 2022


This is the story of Japanese celebrity ichthyologist, Youtuber, TV host, illustrator and all-around “fish ambassador” Sakana-kun, here called Meebo. She was an obsessed young girl who followed her heart and love of fish to international fame.

The word coming out of Fantasia regarding this film was the talk of the New York Asian Film Festival. What I mean by that was that people at Fantasia were calling people at NYAFF telling them to see the film at the festival. The trouble was that the THE FISH TALE wasn't playing NYAFF which left everyone in Fantasia kind of incredulous (I heard more than one person ask "why not?" on a cellphone call) 

Having seen the film I'm wondering why this film didn't get picked either.

This is a lovely little film about a lovely person. Yea, it uses many of the quirky cute tropes, but at the same time, it's just a lovely little film.  It made me smile from start to finish.

What an absolute joy and must see. 

Fast And Feel Love (2022) NYAFF 2022 Fantasia 2022


Young man with a wicked skill in sport stacking is helped by a regular girl to to all he can be and along the way the pair become friends and help a lot of other people along the way.

First thing you need to know, sport stacking, people stack and  then unstack special designed cups in a prescribed pattern as fast as possible,  is a real thing. There are associations for it and lots of video. I say this because I thought it was something created for the film. I was wrong.

I had no interest in this film. Despite the film opening the New York Asian Film Festival and screening a few days later I was going to take a pass. Then I spoke with people at NYAFF who were raving about it. At the end of the first week of the fest everyone was raving about how it was the best film at the festival so when I got the chance to see it for Fantasia I jumped.

This is a great film.

This is a film that beautifully celebrates the uniqueness of everyone, even if it's just being average. This is a film that wonderfully says that everyone has a passion they should follow. I love that. THis is a film for the outsider in all of us.

What an absolute joy. 

I love that the film is its own thing. It doesn't follow any film cliche it goes off on its own merry way and simply tells it's story, passionately and in it's own way.

A must see.

Highly recommended.

Thursday, August 4, 2022

What To Do With The Dead Kaiju (2022) Fantasia 2022

 


WHAT TO DO WITH THE DEAD KAIJU? Was near the top of my must see list for Fantasia. I was curious to see what filmmakers were going to do with the obvious question, what do they people do with dead giant monsters after the battles in various films. It was a question that I wanted answered, kind of like wanting to know what happens after a superhero battle in the comics (Marvel answered that with Damage Control)

In WHAT TO DO the action picks up after the rampaging monster was killed by a mysterious light from the sky. As everyone rejoices, the government tries to deduce if the beast is indeed dead.  Once they realize he is, they then have to figure out what to do. Tourism is a possibility. As other solutions are suggested, it's realized that corpse is decaying and that trapped inside its tough hide gasses are building up and it could explode sending flesh and toxic gases everywhere. It now becomes a rush to solve the problem.

This is an interesting, if messy, comedy satire that sends up all sorts of kaiju related films. Its focus on bureaucracy makes it a direct riff on SHIN GODZILLA but there are even more references to other films, including Ultraman, whose rethink also played Fantasia. The kaiju fan in me was delighted by most of what I saw.

The problem though is the film is all over the place. The comedy ranges from low brow to witty references. It never settles on a tone.  Additionally while I was watching this I kept wondering if this wouldn’t have been better had it been played straight, with it all a kind thriller to solve the problem before an unexpected disaster. It’s so all over the place that I completely understand the weak IMDB rating, it really doesn’t work on it’s own terms.(You really need to be a die hard kaiju fan for this to work for you)

On the other hand as a spoof of kaiju with all sorts of references it a delightful footnote for giant monster fans.

A pointer toward The Witch Part 2: The Other One (2022) Fantasia 2022


Full disclosure, I never saw the previous film THE WITCH THE SUBVERSION. I mention this because I went into THE WITCH PART 2 thinking it was a sequel to a different film. Twenty minutes in, feeling hopelessly lost I stopped the film and rechecked the films description and when I realized I was in the wrong place, I read on the first film.  Sadly I was still still a bit lost watching this film.

The plot of the film has a young woman escaping from a super secret facility and going on the run. She's a young woman with special powers that everyone wants to control.  As she takes up with some people who don't know who she is, various people hunt her.

This is a great looking film with style to burn. It has some great action film and...it left me feeling like I should have seen the first film. Yes the plot isn't anything we haven't seen before and yes it hits a lot of expected notes so I could follow it. But at the same time I never stopped feeling that I was missing something. 

Because I felt lost and I don't think I could give this film a fair shake I'm simply going to point you toward the film and say if you saw the first one give this one a shot. If you haven't seen the first one see that one first before you try this.