Penguin Bloom | Formulaic but Somewhat Engaging

This true Australian tale is ripped from the headlines because this family’s story was covered in the media a few years ago. There’s a great 60 minutes Australia episode that can be found on YouTube and a book of the same name by Cameron Bloom and Bradley Trevor Greive. The movie was directed by Glendyn Ivin (The Cry) stars Noami Watts (Allegiant) Andrew Lincoln (The Walking Dead), Jacki Weaver (Bird Box), Rachel House (Soul, Thor: Ragnorok), Leanna Walsman (2067, Cleverman) Lisa Hensley (Palm Beach).

Premise: A photographer and his family take in an injured Magpie and find hope and solace, helping them adjust to his wife’s paralysis following a fall.

Review: I knew the story had tragic elements in it but didn’t think they would come so quickly and suddenly. In that sense it reflects life, tragedy is often a surprising and that’s what this movie is about, the curveballs that life throws at you but more importantly the ways in which we recover.

The story is touching, cozy, and little dark. However, it has a similar rhythm that a lot of these movies have. If you’ve seen any movies about family tragedies or physical trauma, you’ll recognize the formula. This movie only stands out by the actors’ performances, Watts, Lincoln, and House in particular. They do an amazing job in the film, which helps the story. As good as the performances are, I can’t help but wonder if I’m not filling in what’s not there or implied because I’m very familiar with the formula.

Penguin Bloom has a beautiful story that might make you cry but it’s predictable and formulaic. I still enjoyed the movie because it has been a while since I’ve watched such a film.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

If you’re interested by the source material, help us by getting it using the links below:

The Divergent series: Allegiant

MV5BMTExMDA4MjI4NDVeQTJeQWpwZ15BbWU4MDU5NzAwMjgx._V1__SX1303_SY591_

Based on The “Divergent” book series by Veronica Roth, “Allegiant” is the latest film adapted by Robert Schwentke, and stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Jeff Daniels, Naomi Watts and a slew of young actors.

MV5BMjM3NTkxODg2OV5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwODg3MDAyODE@._V1__SX1303_SY547_

Premise: After the earth-shattering revelations of INSURGENT, Tris must escape with Four and go beyond the wall enclosing Chicago. For the first time ever, they will leave the only city and family they have ever known. Once outside, old discoveries are quickly rendered meaningless with the revelation of shocking new truths. Tris and Four must quickly decide who they can trust as a ruthless battle ignites beyond the walls of Chicago which threatens all of humanity. In order to survive, Tris will be forced to make impossible choices about courage, allegiance, sacrifice and love.

MV5BMTkxNTkyNjQzNF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTgwNzg3MDAyODE@._V1__SX1303_SY547_

Review:  After Insurgent I was skeptical, I wasn’t exactly rushing to see this film but I was quickly engaged in the story. The cinematography was beautiful and a step up to the previous film. The pace was nice and easy, there isn’t much going on, but I was entertained. I did feel like some characters were mishandled some were done away so quickly and without much impact that I almost rolled my eyes. The big baddy in this one start off great but becomes very stereotypical that it feels like the actor gave up at some point, or the direction given hindered the character.

Allegiant is a step up from Insurgent but it’s not as good as Divergent. At least that’s what I think, what about you?

Insurgent

image

Based on the second installment of the Divergent novels by Veronica Roth, the film was directed by Robert Schwentke and stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Milles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Naomi Watts & Octavia Spencer.

image

Premise: Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart.

image

Review: Divergent – the first book – was interesting but the first movie was even better, way better if you ask me. They managed to cast great actors and make a realistic futuristic movie. Despite having a different director Insurgent

looks familiar I easily slipped back into a world I was already familiar with. The movie is visually impressive, even though it looks a bit too CGI-ish for my taste, making the film not as grounded as Divergent was so at times it feels like watching a video game or an animated version of it. 

image

The acting is OK, I mean it’s a good cast so what they bring to the table fits the story and the emotional journey these characters have been through. But – because of course there is one – Theo James’ (Four) age is seriously starting to show. I know he’s only 30 – and Teller is 28 – but in the first movie it didn’t seem as weird that he’s with Tris (Woodley) but next to 46 years old Naomi Watts, who looks 35, maybe forty, it’s really weird. They look like brothers and sisters at best, they could have aged Watts or cast someone else completely because how young was she when she had him? 12?
It will be even weirder to see her playing opposite Ray Stevenson (Marcus Eaton) – Four’s dad – who’ll look like a dirty old man next to her, which is probably why we’ll see very little of that.

image

I wish these aspects of the film were the only ones I had a problem with but on top of all of that Insurgent lacks rhythm. It’s missing the slow, intense build up in which the tension and the action grows to an entertaining climax but it never doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong it is action-packed – kinda -, a rich adventure of a film but whenever the tension builds up it quickly dies down to go back up again at some point and that’s how it is throughout the movie. It comes and goes in waves but never rides on the high the previous action scenes gave you.

image

Although, it’s faithful to the book Insurgent was a bit of a disappointment I expected better. It’s only slightly more entertaining than the book, they could have done better. 

What did you think?

Insurgent

Based on the second installment of the Divergent novels by Veronica Roth, the film was directed by Robert Schwentke and stars Shailene Woodley, Theo James, Kate Winslet, Miles Teller, Ansel Elgort, Naomi Watts & Octavia Spencer.

image

Premise: Beatrice Prior must confront her inner demons and continue her fight against a powerful alliance which threatens to tear her society apart.

image

Review: Divergent – the first book – was interesting but the first movie was even better, way better if you ask me. But despite having a different director Insurgent looks familiar I easily slipped back into a world I was already familiar with. The movie is visually impressive, even though it looks a bit too CGI-ish for my taste, making the film not as grounded as Divergent was so at times it feels like watching a video game or an animated version of it.

image

The acting is OK, I mean it’s a good cast so what they bring to the table fits the story and the emotional journey these characters have been through. But – because of course there is one – Theo James’ (Four) age is seriously starting to show. I know he’s only 30 – and Teller is 28 – but in the first movie it didn’t seem as weird that he’s with Tris (Woodley) but next to 46 years old Naomi Watts, who looks 35, maybe forty, it’s really weird. They look like brothers and sisters at best, they could have aged Watts or cast someone else completely because how young was she when she had him? 12?
It will be even weirder to see her playing opposite Ray Stevenson (Marcus Eaton) – Four’s dad – who’ll look like a dirty old man next to her, which is probably why we’ll see very little of that.

image

I wish these aspects of the film were the only ones I had a problem with but on top of all of that Insurgent lacks rhythm. It’s missing the slow, intense build up in which the tension and the action grows to an entertaining climax but it never doesn’t. Don’t get me wrong it is action-packed – kinda -, a rich adventure of a film but whenever the tension builds up it quickly dies down to go back up again at some point and that’s how it is throughout the movie. It comes and goes in waves but never rides on the high the previous action scenes gave you.

image

Although, it’s faithful to the book Insurgent was a bit of a disappointment I expected better. It’s only slightly more entertaining than the book, they could have done better.

What did you think?