“How It Ends” A Netflix Film Reviewed By Case Wright – Some Spoilers


How-it-ends

How It Ends is a horror/thriller from Netflix and if you don’t watch, Netflix will probably make you.  The story begins with Will, an up and coming lawyer who is seeing the ultrasound of his soon to be son with beloved Samantha. Will is sweet, but the least manly man to ever unmanly.  He’s wound tight, nervous, and hyper-insecure.  Will needs to get Sam’s father Tom (Forest Whitaker) to give his blessing so Will and Sam can wed.  Will flies from the greatest city on Earth- Seattle to a totally ok City of Chicago to see Tom.

We meet Tom and his wife.  Tom is everything Sam is not.  Tom was a career Marine, manly, confident, and determined.  During the dinner, Tom does everything, but say to Will- You are a wimpy worthless un-man. Tom’s response is both whiny and defensive.  It’s just all kinds of awful.  Then, the power goes out nationwide with F-22s buzzing around Chicago AND all communications are down as well nationwide.  Tom asks if Will rise to the occasion and road trip to Seattle to find/rescue Sam.

I know, I know… this sounds like Taken et al, but it’s not.  It becomes a Father (in-Law) and Son survival story and we watch Will become a Man.  They leave in Tom’s Cadillac and hit the road to Seattle.  Immediately, they find that they cannot stay on the main roads to get there because rednecks try to steal their car at the first rest stop and then an escaped convict tries to murder them.  This is within the first half hour of this very action packed show and we still don’t know what caused the catastrophe.  We get hints, but it’s not Aliens …. I don’t think.  Frankly, I’m still not totally sure of all of the details of the disaster even now.

They decide to stay off the main roads and team up with a teen who has mechanical skills.  Along the way, people are trying to murder them for gas and supplies.  The teen that goes with them becomes part of Will and Tom tribe for a short time and has to kill to protect her new tribe.  Unfortunately, this is too much for the teenager to accept and she abandons Will and Tom to find her way forward alone.  It’s a very accurate depiction of societal breakdown.  During Katrina, towns setup armed checkpoints to prevent looting and mayhem.  I had friends in Mississippi during Katrina and they did exactly that.  They needed to shut ingress and egress from their communities to survive and they did so.  The communities acted like a tribe would.

Will has to learn how to shoot, drive and shoot, do a chest-tube, read people, give up trust, and murder.  We watch him change from a spineless nerd to a confident leader who will readily kill to protect his tribe.  During Will’s transformation, the tribal bond between Will and Tom becomes as strong as steel.   It’s a story that gets to the very foundation of what family does and what it means to be part of a tribe.  The moment the lights go out, we will go from Facebook likes to being real tribal humans again.

When Will gets to Seattle, it’s heartbreaking.  Seattle is totally destroyed….sniff.  It just gets you. Even the Clink…The Home of my Beloved Seahawks is gone.  THE PAIN, THE PAIN!  It’s like 2015 all over again! Will’s beloved is gone, but she left a note for her coordinates.  Therefore, Will has to go back on the road to find her and save her from whomever.

Will finds Sam with a neighbor Randy who is at his mountain lodge getaway.  Randy is the epitome of our current society. He is a wealthy-techie-know-it-all-socially-awkward-creep who thinks that all of his thoughts are facts.  He believes that in this new society he will continue to be on top and he tries to take Sam as his own.  Not so fast, the world has changed- sorry the power was down forever so no more facebook updates for you.  Life has reverted back to a tribe-based system and Randy is left behind literally into dust.

I would recommend this film because it has tremendous suspense and dares to show us what we’ve lost trading our friendships for likes and retweets.  You never really know what caused the disaster because that is not the story.  The story is about the immediate reemergence of tribal life and how it enables people to determine rapidly who is a friend and who is a foe.  In essence, the film challenges us to see a possible positive to this new reality.  People are closer and snakes like Randy are easily identified and remedied for the good of the tribe.  We still survive, but we have to do it as human beings.

 

What Lisa Watched This Morning #189: My Little Girl Is Gone (dir by Ben Meyerson)


Today, I watched My Little Girl Is Gone, which premiered on the Lifetime Movie Network last night.

Why Was I Watching It?

As I stated above, My Little Girl Is Gone actually aired last night.  Usually, I make it a point to watch the latest Lifetime movie as soon as it airs but, last night, I was exhausted.  Seriously, SyFy’s shark week has taken a lot out of me!  So, I set the DVR and I watched it this morning.

Beyond the fact that I’m trying to make room on my DVR (I’ve currently got about 7 hours of recording space still available), I also watched this movie because Lifetime has a history of good kidnapping films.  At its best, Lifetime is about bringing to life everyone’s most basic fears.  I don’t know any mother who wouldn’t be terrified about her child suddenly vanishing.

What Was It About?

It’s about kidnapping and murder and romance and all the rest!

Stephanie (Sarah Lind) is looking forward to a good life.  Not only is she about to make a fortune designing handbags but she’s also engaged to marry the handsome and rich Jameson (Robb Derringer).  Jameson is about to become the stepfather to Stephanie’s daughter, Caitlin (Dylan Raine Woods), and Stephanie is become the stepmother to Jameson’s teenage son, Shane (Braeden Carl).

There’s only a few problems.  For one thing, Stephanie’s ex, Henry (Philip Boyd), doesn’t seem to be too happy about the engagement.  Secondly, Stephanie is getting strange phone calls from someone who is telling her not to marry Jameson and warning that, if she does, her daughter will be abducted.  When Stephanie ignores the caller and marries Jameson, Caitlin promptly vanishes.

Could it be Henry trying to break up Stephanie’s marriage?  Or does Jameson have secrets of his own?

What Worked?

The film’s main mystery was a good one.  Even though the pay-off was a bit disappointing, I was intrigued by who had kidnapped Caitlin and I was also curious about what exactly Jameson was hiding behind his superficial charm.  Dylan Raine Woods and Braeden Carl both gave good and natural performances as the two stepchildren and C.J. Valleroy had some funny moments as Shane’s best friend, Eli.

What Did Not Work?

The mystery was intriguing but the solution sadly wasn’t.  The story’s ultimate villain was a bit too obvious. so it wasn’t really a shock when their true nature was revealed.

As well, it never seemed like there was enough panic when Caitlin disappeared.  Everyone seemed to adjust to her absence pretty easily.  At times, I found myself wondering if the family really wanted her back.

“Oh my God!  Just like me!” Moments

Caitlin handled being kidnapped with cheerfulness and positivity.  If I had been kidnapped at that age, I like to think that I would have handled it as well as Caitlin did.

Lessons Learned

Be careful who you trust.  The handbag business is ruthless af!

Music Video Of The Day: Nothing Else Matters by Metallica (1992, directed by Adam Dubin)


“At first I didn’t even want to play it for the guys. I thought that Metallica could only be the four of us. These are songs about destroying things, head banging, bleeding for the crowd, whatever it is, as long as it wasn’t about chicks and fast cars, even though that’s what we liked. The song was about a girlfriend at the time. It turned out to be a pretty big song.”

— James Hetfield, on Nothing Else Matters

Eventually, Hetfield did play it for the guys and Nothing Else Matters went on to become one of Metallica’s signature songs.  The song may have been inspired by Hetfield’s feelings about being away from his girlfriend while he was on the road but, as Hetfield explained it to Mojo Magazine, “It’s about being on the road, missing someone at home, but it was written in such a way, it connected with so many people, that it wasn’t just about two people, it was about a connection with your higher power, lots of different things.”

The video was directed by Adam Dubin and edited by Sean Fullan and is made up of clips from the 1992 Metallica documentary, A Year And A Half.  Along with the song, the video is best remembered for a scene where Lars Ulrich throws darts at a poster of Kip Winger.  Do you blame him?

For his part, Kip Winger has said about Metallica’s hatred of him, “That is why it’s the great irony that we ended up on that geeky guy’s shirt on Beavis & Butt-head, because Metallica couldn’t play what we play, they couldn’t do it, they literally — technically — couldn’t do it. And I’ll challenge those chumps to that any day of the week, but we could play their music with our hands tied behind our back. And so, I was a little teed off about that, but in the end, none of that shit matters…”

If you say so, Kipster.

26 years after the release of Nothing Else Matters, Metallica is still selling out stadiums worldwide.  And Winger?  Look for them at the closest county fair.

Let’s give the final words to James Hetfield:

“I remember going to the Hells Angels Clubhouse in New York, and they showed me a film that they’d put together of one of the fallen brothers, and they were playing ‘Nothing Else Matters.’ Wow. This means a lot more than me missing my chick, right? This is brotherhood. The army could use this song. It’s pretty powerful.”