Paul Bettany Weekend – Firewall (2006)

firewalDirector: Richard Loncraine

Writer: Joe Forte (Screenplay)

Starring: Harrison Ford, Paul Bettany, Virginia Madsen, Carly Schroeder, Jimmy Bennett, Mary Lynn Raskub, Robert Patrick, Alan Arkin

 

Plot: A security specialist is forced into robbing the bank that he’s protecting, as a bid to pay off his family’s ransom.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Thriller

 

Story: Firewall starts as we see family man Jack (Ford), wife Beth (Madsen) and children Sarah (Schroeder) and Andy (Bennett). Jack works for a bank and prides himself on the software security. When Jack finds himself targeting first by online fraud he finds his late night meeting with Bill (Bettany) has alternative plans by taking his family hostage.

The plan is for Jack to go about his normal day while the kidnappers stay at Jack’s home to force him into helping them rob the bank. The problem comes with Jack as his bank is in the middle of a potential merger being handled by Gary (Patrick) who hasn’t taken too fondly of Jack.

While Jack tries to find a way to get his family safe he tests Bill’s patience while also trying to keep his career safe against the new take over can he make it all work out and save his family?

Firewall is a crime thriller that is a bank heist with a twist, yes we do get the idea where the bank worker has to do robbery, but what works here is the cyber side of the heist comes slightly original. The idea of having the family as bait also works but knowing the family will be killed means he has to fight back. The problem comes with a lot feelings of repetitive ideas which while solid easy to watch.

 

Actor Review

 

Harrison Ford: Jack has been working for a bank that he has helped grow from the ground up, on the verge of a merger that will have him and his partner having to make a difficult choice. With that going on Jack also finds himself being the victim of a plot to rob the bank where his family’s lives are put at risk. Harrison is good in this role but nothing we have seen it before from him.jack

Paul Bettany: Bill is the man holding Jack’s family hostage as he has carefully planned this, he comes of charming but equally as dangerous when it comes to tricks. He will kill his own men for being incompetent and will risk hurting Jack’s children to make sure he gets the money. Paul is good in this role where we get to see him take the role of British villain.bill

Virginia Madsen: Beth is the wife of Jack who has to spend the time with Bill’s men while protecting her children. Virginia is solid in this role without being too impactful.

Robert Patrick: Gary is the man planning the merger, he doesn’t like Jack after first impression which leaders to Jack having to impress him while protecting his family. Robert is good in this supporting role but I think we need a final scene with him.

Support Cast: Firewall has a supporting cast that you would expect to see in this type of film.

Director Review: Richard LoncraineRichard gives us an easy to thriller that doesn’t take enough risks.

 

Crime: Firewall enters us into the world of a bank heist that really shows both sides of the battle.

Thriller: Firewall keeps us one edge as we try to see how the Jack will solve the problem.

Settings: Firewall uses the settings to make everything simple for the story without making anything original.
Special Effects
: Firewall has a couple of solid effects when needed but doesn’t turn to them too often.

Suggestion: Firewall is one to try as it will tick all the basic ideas down correctly.  (Try It)

 

Best Part: Bill twisted message with the cookies.

Worst Part: Not much new.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

Tagline: Everything He loves Is About To Be Used Against Him.

 

Overall: Enjoyable thriller that never really tested.

Ratingcard

 

 

Paul Bettany Weekend – Legion (2010)

legionDirector: Scott Stewart

Writer: Scott Stewart, Peter Schink (Screenplay)

Starring: Paul Bettany, Lucas Black, Tyrese Gibson, Adrianne Palicki, Charles S Dutton, Kevin Durand, Willa Holland, Kate Walsh, Dennis Quaid

 

Plot: When a group of strangers at a dusty roadside diner come under attack by demonic forces, their only chance for survival lies with an archangel named, Michael, who informs a pregnant waitress that their unborn child is humanity’s last hope.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Fantasy Horror

 

Story: Legion starts as we see Michael (Bettany) a fallen angel find himself on Earth, losing his wings he arms up for what looks like a big assault. We learn Michael has gone against orders before escaping. We move to Paradise Falls where Jeep (Black) (yes that is the name) and a pregnant Charlie (Palicki) in a small diner in the middle of nowhere.

The diner owned by Bob (Quaid) is filled with guests including family Howard (Tenney), Audrey (Holland) and Sandra (Walsh) and Kyle (Gibson) who is trying to get to court. We also have the loyal chef Percy (Dutton) making everything set with our characters to meet Michael who is there to protect Charlie.

Michael has to prepare the people in the diner for battle against something they don’t know anything about but soon turns out to be angels sent to take Charlie’s baby, we are left to see who will survive these waves of the undead lead by Gabriel (Durand).

Legion is a film that is very much based on the another look at how the world could end when a God figure decided to end his creation. Well that is what I can take from it but while the film is unfolding we get to see how the fantasy world of angels and demons came from. It feels like it could be just a fun film that is easy to watch without being overly serious. The story isn’t the most original but works well.

 

Actor Review

 

Paul Bettany: Michael is a fallen angel going against the orders of God to protect the pregnant Charlie. He is prepared for the fight and has to bring the people in the diner together to fight his fellow angels. Paul is good in this role showing he can handle an action genre well.micharl

Adrianne Palicki: Charlie is the pregnant woman working in a diner in the middle of nowhere, the father is nowhere to be seen and she us just thankful to Bob and Jeep for support. She becomes the target of the angels as the baby is the only thing that can save mankind. Adrianne is solid in this role where most of the supporting cast are very much average.

Lucas Black: Jeep is the slightly slow young man working for his father as a mechanic. He is in love with Charlie and is always trying to find a way to supporting her. This fight will give Jeep the chance to finally step up to be the man he could become. Lucas is solid in this role.

Dennis Quaid: Bob is the owner of the diner and Jeep’s father, he has no faith as we have seen his wife leave him. He will do anything to make sure his son is safe though. Dennis is solid in this supporting role where you would have liked to have seen more from.bob

Support Cast: Legion has a very average supporting cast with mostly generic characters being used throughout.

Director Review: Scott StewartScott gives us an easy to watch action horror that is fun to watch once you suspended your disbelief.

 

Action: Legion has plenty of action throughout with fights, gun battles and car chases being used.

Fantasy: Legion enters us into the world of fantasy between angels and demons.

Horror: Legion does have the elements of horror with how the enemies are created for our heroes.

Settings: Legion keeps most of the action within the diner making it have an isolation feel while dealing with a siege.
Special Effects
: Legion does use some good special effects when it comes to dealing with all the threats coming to attack the diner.

Suggestion: Legion is one you can watch if you are looking for something easy to watch giving you nothing to worry about when it comes to being overcomplicated. (Easy Watch)

 

Best Part: Petrol Pump bullet.

Worst Part: Slightly predictable.

Funniest Moment: Having a character question that Charlie is a strange name for a girl while one of the characters is called JEEP.

Kill Of The Film: Percy

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Budget: $26 Million

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Tagline: When the last angel falls, the fight for mankind begins.

 

Overall: Enjoyable fantasy horror that is easy to watch.

Ratingcard

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Mockingbird (2014)

mockingbirdDirector: Bryan Bertino

Writer: Bryan Bertino (Screenplay) Bryan Bertino, Sam Esmail (Story)

Starring: Alexandra Lydon, Audrey Marie Anderson, Barak Hardley, Todd Stashwick

 

Plot: A couple are given a camera and a set of instructions which they must follow or else someone will die.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Messy, Confusing and Dull

 

Story: Mockingbird starts when Emmy (Anderson) and Tom (Stashwick) receive a video camera congratulating them on winning a contest telling them to continue filming through the night. Elsewhere Leonard (Hardley) also wins a contest that informs him to follow instruction through the night.

What follows is Emmy and Tom being terrorised by intruders from the outside ordering them to film themselves while Leonard continues on his mystery adventure dressed as a clown. We also follow how Beth (Lydon) is tormented by strangers outside her campus house. We are left to wonder how these stories are connected and even if they are connected from this storm night of terror.

Mockingbird tries to bring us three stories that are all happening on one night, two involved home invasion like tactics while the third just seems to be a man making an American Funniest Home Videos. One big issue for me is the fact that both the leading actresses look very similar at a glance which is all you get with the shaky cam style and it was nearly half way through the film before I realised there was a third story going on. The final act is just messy because we don’t know what the actual point of everything and I can safely say this is beyond boring.

 

Actor Review

 

Alexandra Lydon: Beth is the university student who believes she has won a camera as part of a campus prize but finds herself being terrorised in her own dorm room, ordered to follow the instructions. Alexandra is in the film that is about all I can say about her as I didn’t realize she was different character until late in the film.

Audrey Marie Anderson: Emmy is the wife and mother who along with her husband gets trapped inside her own home with her husband to follow the instructions left for her by the strangers outside their home. Audrey does a basic job in this role but mainly involved screaming.

Barak Hardley: Leonard is the man given the clown costume to wear as he follows instruction to do random acts around the town outside his own comfort zone. Barak is the remotely highlight of the film as the clown but that is it.

Todd Stashwick: Tom is the husband to Emmy who also gets trapped at home with her having to follow the instructions given. Todd doesn’t really give us anything special in this performance.

Support Cast: Mockingbird doesn’t really have a big supporting cast with only a couple of scenes with any in.

Director Review: Bryan BertinoBryan doesn’t really capture enough atmosphere needed in this film because of the story line jumps.

 

Horror: Mockingbird does have a couple of scare attempts but just doesn’t know where to stick the horror over the laid back style of the clown almost comedy story.

Thriller: Mockingbird doesn’t keep us interested enough through the film when it should be easy to achieve this.

Settings: Mockingbird gets us confused with locations because of the difficulty knowing the characters apart.
Special Effects
: Mockingbird doesn’t really use too many effects which is only disappointing.

Suggestion: Mockingbird is one to avoid really. (Avoid)

 

Best Part: It is short.

Worst Part: Confusing Emmy and Beth up.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: Please No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

 

Overall: Flat out terrible horror that doesn’t really know what it wants to be.

Ratingcard

Paul Bettany Weekend – A Beautiful Mind (2001)

beatfulDirector: Ron Howard

Writer: Akiva Goldman (Screenplay) Sylvia Nasar (Book)

Starring: Russell Crowe, Ed Harris, Jennifer Connelly, Paul Bettany, Christopher Plummer, Adam Goldberg, Josh Lucas, Jason Gray-Stanford, Judd Hirsch

 

Plot: After a brilliant but asocial mathematician, John Nash, accepts secret work in cryptography, his life takes a turn for the nightmarish.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Drama

 

Story: A Beautiful Mind starts as we see John Nash (Crowe) start his time at Princeton University where we meet fellow students Sol (Goldberg), Hansen (Lucas), Bender (Rapp), Ainsley (Gray-Stanford) and his roommate Charles (Bettany). Struggling to find his place in the University it takes an everyday occurrence for John to final start rolling on his theory.

After becoming the brightest student John moves onto becoming a teacher while secretly working for the government on code breaking reporting to Parcher (Harris). While teaching he meets the beautiful Alicia Nash (Connelly) and the two strike it off before starting their lives together.

When it becomes apparent John is struggling to manage both live the people that care about him with Charles returning to his life, Parcher pushing him too much and his wife wondering what he is up to, but this beautiful mind is about to be tested when Dr Rosen (Plummer) a psychologist enters his life.

A Beautiful Mind is a wonderfully drama showing us the story of one of the greatest minds of our generation. We see how difficult the life was for John before learning of his mind being damaged due to his schizophrenia. We follow from his time in school until his Noble Peace Prize. We see John deal and learn with his condition to still go on achieve greatness in his life. This is such a brilliant story that shows how success you can achieve your potential regardless.

 

Actor Review

 

Russell Crowe: John Nash is the brilliant mathematician that believes he has been working for the government cracking codes, but when we and he learns the truth we discover this beautiful mind is damaged in other ways. We see John’s life from early Princeton till his final acceptance in the scientific world. Russell gives the best performance of his career her where he shines in the drama.john

Ed Harris: Parcher is the man John believes works for the government as he lives the life of mystery and code breaking John believes he is part of. Ed is great in this supporting role.parcher

Jennifer Connelly: Alicia Nash starts off as a student of John’s before being the only person that sees there is something wrong with his mind, she supports him through every decision in their lives. Jennifer is brilliant in this role of the patience wife.

Paul Bettany: Charles is the roommate John has at Princeton that helps him break out of the problems he has been suffering through but we learn the truth about Charles once we learn John’s mental state. Paul put himself on the map with this great supporting role.charles

Support Cast: A Beautiful Mind has a brilliant supporting cast that all give performances worthy of this subject matter.

Director Review: Ron HowardRon shows that he can handle the serious films that are important to see the greatest people in human history.

 

Biographical: A Beautiful Mind shows the struggles John Nash had with his own sanity to achieve unlocking all of the potential inside his mind.

History: A Beautiful Mind is one film that shows the mind of someone so troubled achieving so much.

Settings: A Beautiful Mind uses the real life location re-created for the story to be unfolded in.
Suggestion
: A Beautiful Mind is one for everyone to watch at least once. (Watch)

 

Best Part: The Pen scene.

Worst Part: Slightly too much time on the imagined side of John’s life.

Favourite Quote: Dr Rosen ‘Imagine if you suddenly learned that the people, the places, the moments most important to you were not gone, not dead, but worse, had never been. What kind of hell would that be?’

 

Believability: Based on the John Nash and his amazing story.

Chances of Tears: Maybe a few nearer the end.

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: Won 4 Oscars including Best Picture, Director and Supporting Actress with another 4 Nomination including Best Actor.

Budget: $60 Million

Runtime: 2 Hours 15 Minutes

Tagline: The Only Thing Greater Than the Power of the Mind is the Courage of the Heart

Trivia: John Nash is shown smoking in the film. In reality, he was a militant anti-smoker.

 

Overall: Brilliant Biographical film that is a must watch for all.

Ratingcard

 

 

What is The Grudge (2004) Really About?

What is The Grudge (2004) Really About?casting card

This is as always is just a fun look at the film.

In a world crying out for a remake of a stand out Asian Horror movie we get Buffy the Vampire Slayer: The Grudge.buffy

Bill Pullman kills himself to open the film after reading the first draft of Independence Day 2 script.i day 2

Like all horror films we meet an innocent young character to get killed off with the first scare of the film before introducing us to a new plucky hero.disposable

I wouldn’t go crawling around the crawl space of a random house if I heard a noise, I would just get the fuck out.run

Random American couple are the only ones that will get haunted in the film set in Japan.odd one out

Breaking into a stranger’s house, well that can’t be bad especially when you are talking English while enter with the film set in JAPAN.wrong law

A book the meows well ok there is a cat with a creepy kid there too but still wouldn’t it have been great I she just found the book and thought nothing more from this event.noises

Book fills in gaps as ghost does some good background haunting and Buffy shows off about the same amount of Japanese as myself.background haunting

The smoke monster from Lost got Lost itself finding itself in the house in Japan to make Buffy Cry.smoke monster

Flashback time great I forgot about this.flashback

House viewing because we need to know why the family moved into this house where the real-estate agent knows it is haunted.haunted house

Speaking of the Smoke Monster from Lost there is Ethan from Lost starting a job in Japan, could it be for the Dharma Initiative.dharam

Evil kid trashes house then kills two people before cleaning up and putting the old lady back to bed, well you know you can’t have a party without cleaning up.eil kid

Oooo we are back to normal time now with Karen’s boss finding her shivering in the corner must be releases she isn’t made for horror films.found you

Missing person case is now open and bodies are turning up everywhere and even pieces of them.

Karen wakes up in a hospital and all I can think is.proclaimers

We get to learn the truth about the house.truth hurts

That fucking creepy ass sound that will haunt my nightmares for years to come.grugdge noise

Whenever I hear a phone ring I expect someone to say you will die in Seven Days because The Ring.7 ays

Ghosts steal handbags nowadays, well why not they scare people enough.stairway ghost

The Johnny Depp Horror movie death because it is time to scare you.depp death

Suggestive nudity of lead actress in a horror movie cliché with hand growing out of head.shower scene

Well we found out where that jaw was meant to go in possibly the best shot of the movie.missing jaw

When the cop looks freak out you know you have no chance of making it out of this film alive.freaked out

Research because studying is the coolest part of a film and we want to know why the former President killed himself and the ghost business.president

More back story as we learn that the President was in fact being stalked by a former student, oh come on finish one side of the story before jumping back.backstory again

Strange rooftop meeting with police officer who gives us the Grudge speech which I am pretty sure we had to read in the opening of the film but filler.remember

Murder, no mobile phones random boyfriend goes to haunted house even after reading research, maybe he should be the blonde with the big tits and no brain.blondes

Buffy gets to live through the moment that leads to the start of the ghostly activities finding the murdered bodies while creepily following the former President around the house.answers

Stalker alert because hi I just met you and this is crazy well here’s my number so call me maybe? Shit no mobile phones in this world.call me maybe

The money shot crawling down the stairs, easily one of the great horror scenes with the creaking bones and noise she makes.stairway scene 2

Buffy the Firestarter ends up living after burning the house down.firstarter

One final scare because horror and sequel needs to happen.jump scare