Stonehearst Asylum (2014)

Stoneheart Asylum
synopsis

On Christmas Eve, 1899, Edward Newgate [Sturgess] arrives at the imposing gates of Stonehearst Mental Asylum, eager to be granted an apprenticeship with the superintendent.

Delighted to share his knowledge and philosophy, Dr. Lamb [Kingsley] agrees and immediately takes Edward on a tour of the asylum, proudly introducing his staff and the troubled patients in his care, including the hauntingly beautiful Eliza Graves [Beckinsale] – a captivating woman whose violent aversion to intimacy has ensured her permanent residence at Stonehearst.

As the days pass, Edward observes Lamb’s modern methods. The “medieval” practices so favored by his predecessor, Dr. Salt [Caine], have been abolished and his patients are never sedated, segregated or locked up. Instead, they are celebrated as individuals in their natural, unadulterated state of lunacy. Lamb’s vision is to build an enlightened society within the walls of his establishment, where the patients are respected and mingle with the staff as equals.

However, one night Edward notices a strange thumping noise coming from the vent in his sleeping quarters. Intrigued, he follows the sound down into the dark asylum cellar. At first unsure of his surroundings, he is astonished to discover Dr. Salt, locked behind bars with Matron Pike and their orderlies. As Dr. Salt tells of Lamb’s deadly past, a dawning horror engulfs Edward and he realizes the lunatics have taken over the asylum.

With fresh awareness, Edward can only watch as Lamb’s lawless utopia starts to crumble; there is no heat, little food, and his grand experiment is reaching terrifying new levels of fanaticism. Knowing he must intervene before it is too late, Edward struggles to find a way to save Lamb’s prisoners and restore order at Stonehearst, but his efforts will be futile without the love and affection of the mysterious Eliza Graves.

~ Stonehearst Asylum Official Movie Site

review

When I saw that this movie was based on an Edgar Allan Poe short story The System of Doctor Tarr and Professor Fether, I thought it would be good viewing as I am a fan of Poe’s.

Wow! I was completely enthralled with this movie and the story which has its twists and turns that practically come out of nowhere. When provocative secret one is revealed, it really made me stop and think for a minute. As more secrets are revealed, the movie gets even more interesting as it winds up. Though the ending was a bit of a let-down for me; I suppose that is because I am not crazy and could not understand.

The casting for this movie was superb, including Kate Beckinsale, Ben Kingsley, Michael Caine, and Jim Sturgess.

Excellent!

The Jungle Book (2016)

The Jungle Booksynopsis

In an epic adventure directed by Jon Favreau (Iron Man), Mowgli, a man-cub raised in the jungle by a family of wolves, embarks on a captivating journey of self-discovery when he’s forced to abandon the only home he’s ever known. Featuring an all-star voice cast including Bill Murray, Ben Kingsley and Scarlett Johansson, The Jungle Book is “stunning” (Todd McCarthy, The Hollywood Reporter).

~ The Jungle Book

review

Wow! This has to be the best version of The Jungle Book I have ever seen, including Disney’s original animated movie. I almost cried at least three times because the scenes – I think because they involved animals – were so innocent, moving, touching, endearing. And the excitement at the suspenseful scenes was just as enticing!

Exceptional!

Self/less (2015)

Self/less

synopsis

In this provocative psychological science fiction thriller, an extremely wealthy man (Academy Award® Winner Ben Kingsley) dying from cancer undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man (Ryan Reynolds). But all is not as it seems when he starts to uncover the mystery of the body’s origin and the organization that will kill to protect its cause.”

~ Official Movie Website

review

I knew I had rented this before! I must have fallen asleep during the first viewing…forcing myself to keep from dozing and repeating the process, I ended up enjoying this movie  from beginning to end. Perhaps it was the lack of Ryan’s skin on screen…

I don’t think the press this movie got was sufficient enough of a description of the plot. It just didn’t seem like it would hold so much weight. This could be attributable to the acting: Ben Kingsley & Ryan Reynolds, who’s talent breached the boundaries of imagination enough for an avid movie-viewer the opportunity to become involved with the story.

To be honest, the details of the story have already begun to fade from my memory, but I distinctly remember being impressed with the level of story-telling going on here.