Saturday, January 2, 2021

Shadow in the Cloud - Movie Review

The Movie: Shadow in the Cloud

The Director: Roseanne Liang

The Cast: Chloë Grace Moretz, Nick Robinson, Beulah Koale, Taylor John Smith, Callan Mulvey, Benedict Wall, Joe Witkowski, Byron Coll 

The Story: A female WWII pilot traveling with top secret documents on a B-17 Flying Fortress encounters an evil presence on board the flight.

The Review:
First of all, I need to take a moment to commemorate this occasion as this is my first review of 2021 and this was just about as perfect of a movie as there could be to get the new year rolling. For me, this movie is something special because it is the type of movie that ticks all the boxes when it comes to what I enjoy in a movie going experience and my only disappointment is that I am not able to see it properly in a movie theater but that's not something I can control these days so not going to complain about it. Also, I have been waiting for Chloë Grace Moretz to snag a role like this ever since her iconic turn as Hit Girl in the Kick Ass movies so it made me extra happy to see her in this movie.

When I receive a movie to watch a movie for review, the publicist often sends materials along with it that have information on the film, the cast, the crew, and other behind the scenes type stuff to help give context to what I'm watching. While I don't always have time to pore through this information, I'm glad I did this time around as the "director's statement" from Roseanne Liang validated every reaction and emotion that I had to the story and all of it overwhelmingly positive. The short version is that this project was very much a labor of love and she went to great length to get every thing just right and I am here to tell you she accomplished all of it.

The vibe of the movie is kind of hard to describe, I guess I'll say it's a WWII, science fiction, horror episode of the Twilight Zone and it totally kicks ass. Honestly, I really wasn't sure what to expect going in, I just knew it looked like a cool movie and, as I mentioned, I'm always down to watch Chloë Grace Moretz do her thing. I was really impressed with her performance as she is really asked to do a lot and to basically carry the film for just about it's entire run time. There are dramatic moments where she has to act alone while isolated in the lower gun turret of a B-17 Bomber and then there are literally high flying fight scenes both inside and outside of said bomber. I hesitate to say it but she really kicks ass all the way through the whole movie.

One thing I have to point out is the movie's music which is a pulsing and pounding 1980's synth style soundtrack that immediately jumps out and catches your attention. It lets you know right away that this is no ordinary movie and it is a perfect accompaniment to all the craziness that ensues. This added touch and attention to detail really shows and proves how much Liang cared about getting everything right and making a truly special and unique experience for the viewer. The whole thing is fun and new and it also has such a feeling of nostalgia, you'd swear you saw this movie years ago, late at night, on some random cable network and that's just perfect.

The Verdict:
Shadow in the Cloud is an unexpectedly fun genre mashup that I thoroughly enjoyed. What an exciting way to start a new year of movie watching!

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