Franchise Weekend – Daredevil (2003)

Director: Mark Steven Johnson

Writer: Mark Steven Johnson (Screenplay)

Starring: Ben Affleck, Jennifer Garner, Colin Farrell, Michael Clarke Duncan, Jon Favreau, Scott Terra, Ellen Pompeo

 

Plot: A man blinded by toxic waste which also enhanced his remaining senses fights crime as an acrobatic martial arts superhero.


Tagline – A man without hope, is a man without… fear.

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Origin Film

 

Story: Daredevil starts when young Matt Murdock becomes blind through a freak accident only to see his other sense bring him new life and after his father’s death, he dedicates his life to help fight for the ones who need it. Now an adult Matt (Affleck) he has become a lawyer to help people the mob victimise, if he doesn’t get justice in a courtroom, he puts on the mask to become Daredevil and eliminates the threat.

The Kingpin (Duncan) runs the town and he keeps everyone working for him under control, tired of Daredevil causing problems, he hires Bullseye (Farrell). With a new love interest in warrior Elektra (Garner) the daughter of a billionaire, the sides all come together to give Matt his toughest battle yet.

 

Thoughts on Daredevil

 

Characters – Matt Murdock was blinded as a child and saw his father killed by the mob. He dedicates his life to stopping the mob in a courtroom and if that fails, he will take justice into his own hands. A trained warrior who uses sound to visualise his enemies believing that revenge in the best way to solve the problems. Elektra is the daughter of a billionaire who grabs Matt’s attention, she is trained to protect herself and after her father is killed, she sets out on her own mission for revenge. Bullseye is an assassin for hire, he never misses, well that is his skill, he can turn anything into a weapon and enjoys the competition. The Kingpin is the man that runs the neighbourhood’s crime ring, he will kill anyone that gets in his way and doesn’t care who he kills.

PerformancesBen Affleck in the leading role is good for what he needs to do, there might be a few questions over the blind scenes, but for the fights he can handle himself well. Jennifer Garner has the look and experience in the combat roles, she doesn’t have much to do outside of this though. Michael Clarke Duncan in a villainous role where he is bigger than his opponent is an easy and good choice, while Colin Farrell seems to love playing this role.

StoryThe story shows us how Daredevil rose up to take on the biggest crime boss in the city of New York, he does have to question where he lays in the battle, will he cross the lines the villains do and get revenge for his father’s death. this might seem like a pretty safe origin story which is all we want at times. We do keep most of the story around human enhancements over superpowers which is good to see to because at times we are facing anything from Gods to aliens. The way this story is told does make it feel like an adult Spider-man though.

Action/AdventureThe action in the film is entertaining, we have a couple of close combat sequences bringing in an Eastern fight style to the Western heroes mentality which was different at the time compared to what the other comic book films were giving us.

SettingsThe film is set in New York city which is always known for the high crime levels which would make a vigilante believable.

Special EffectsThe effects are interesting because we get the idea of how Matt can see being the main use of effects which does feel unique in style and does add that little something to the fights.


Scene of the Movie –
I never miss.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The blind scenes don’t look natural.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that gets a lot more stick that it deserves if we are being honest, it is a simple to watch comic book movie that gets what it needs to right and doesn’t go wildly over the top.

 

Overall: Entertaining and watchable comic book movie.

Rating

 

 

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Hard Surfaces (2017)

Director: Zach Brown

Writer: Zach Brown (Screenplay)

Starring: Shawn Pyfrom, Julia Voth, Elliot Sancrant, Mariana Novak, Joseph Curtis Callender, Sophie Kargman, Hannah Victoria Stock, Chase Fein

 

Plot: A renowned photographer, Adrian’s unique style of shooting drug addicts has made him a local-celebrity. But there is a problem; life imitates art as Adrian parties hard with trophy-girlfriend Liz to drown out a painful past. When his sister suddenly dies, leaving him sole guardian of her 9-year-old daughter, Adrian must face his deepest secrets.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Hard Hitting Drama

 

Story: Hard Surfaces starts as Adrian Jacobs (Pyfrom) a celebrity photographer whose style involves taking photos of drug addicts, which has seen him become one of the best in the business, he has a beautiful girlfriend Liz (Voth) which sees them enjoy the party lifestyle.

When Adrian’ sister and her wife are killed in an accident, the will names Adrian as the sole guardian of their daughter Maddy (Stock). Adrian wants to take her in, but Liz doesn’t want Adrian to make this decision, with everything building up between the couple this decision will change their lives, will change Adrian’s lifestyle too as he gets used to having a child around.

 

Thoughts on Hard Surfaces

 

Characters – Adrian is a famous photographer that has made him a celebrity which has led him to live the party lifestyle, which does see him drink and take drugs. His sister is killed in an accident leaving him the sole guardian of her daughter, this will see him need to clean up his act, learn to ask for help, while trying to learn how raise a child. Maddy is the daughter of Adrian’s sister, she is 9-years-old struggling to adapt to life with Adrian, but is clearly going through grief, strangely making friends with Adrian’s best friend Steve. Liz is the trophy girlfriend of Adrian’s she doesn’t want anything to do with having Maddy around, which sees her wanting her own child. Sophie is the social services officer that only every wants the best for the children who have suffered through loss and drug addict parents.

PerformancesShawn Pyfrom is wonderful in the leading role, he portrays a man that is struggling with his addiction, while taking on a new responsibility. Hannah Victoria Stock brings everything for a young girl that has lost her parents, trying to prepare for a new life. Julia Voth is great as the unlikable girlfriend, while Sopher Kargman as the social worker plays both sides of her role well throughout the film.

StoryThe story follows a photographer drug addict that is given the responsibility of caring for his niece after his sister is killed, forcing him to face is own personal problems or risk losing her to the foster system. This story does tackle one of the serious problems people can suffer, the denial of the problem surrounding drugs. We get to see the foster system could work when the unexpected happens. The biggest part of the story comes from seeing how friendship can help, asking for help isn’t a bad thing and learning your own mistakes is the only way to get out of the hole you have dug for yourself. The story doesn’t shy away from reality of this life, which is the important side to see.

SettingsThe film is set in a big city where we see how the drug problem has consume people, you can have unique shops and a system that wants to help people.


Scene of the Movie –
Reading the notebook.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is hard to believe social services wouldn’t do a proper check before letting a child move in.

Final ThoughtsThis is a hard hitting drama about drug abuse, new responsibilities and learning to ask for help in the darkest hour.

 

Overall: Wonderfully strong drama

Rating

 

 

Us (2019)

Director: Jordan Peele

Writer: Jordan Peele (Screenplay)

Starring: Lupita Nyong’o, Winston Duke, Shahadi Wright Joseph, Evan Alex, Elisabeth Moss, Anna Diop, Yahya Abdul-Mateen II

 

Plot: A family’s serenity turns to chaos when a group of doppelgängers begin to terrorize them.


Tagline – We are our own worst enemy.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Horror That Will Stick with You for Days

 

Story: Us starts as the Wilson family, Adelaide (Nyong’o), Gabe (Duke), Zora (Joseph) and Jason (Alex) are on a vacation at a seaside resort, what starts as a routine vacation takes a turn when Adelaide’s past starts to see her acting differently.

That night the Wilson’s are visited by a mysterious family, who look and act just like them, they are in fact doppelgangers, the battle to survive is on, just as the world starts to turn to chaos.

 

Thoughts on Us

 

Characters – Adelaide is the mother and wife of the family, she has a past which sees her feeling uneasy about returning to the beach area, once that attack happens, she is determined to keep her family safe. Red the other version of Adelaide is the leader of the family that has come to terrorize has a story, fills in the blanks to just what is going on. Gabe is the father of the family, he is laidback which helps him be the good guy in the parental situation, he is the physical threat when it comes to the other version of the family, he also gets the laughs at times. Zora is the oldest child of the family, her athletic ability has always been encouraged, while she is meant to be like a moody teenager, only not the disconnected version of one. Jason is the youngster member of the family, he enjoys magic tricks, which will be his best for of defence against his doppelganger.

PerformancesLupita Nyong’o in the leading role is fantastic where like most of the cast takes on two roles, she brings both to life showing the determination to survive in one and the determination to live in the other. Winston Duke leads the supporting cast, he handles the comical moments in the film well too. The young stars Shahadi Wright Joseph and Evan Alex brings tow characters each to life too, the whole family does feel like they are together, with the chemistry shining through.

StoryThe story here follows a family that get terrorised by their own doppelgangers and must fight to survive their sinister motives. This is a story that is a lot deeper and one you really need to experience without knowing too much more. The concept behind the doppelgangers is dark, very dark one aspect of the film which will make you stop and think more after the film, than during. The pace of the story is great because unlike many home invasions, because it gets underway quickly, instead of just holding back the tension to why they are doing this. This is one story that will stick with you long after the experience, because you will come to realize just what we have been through.

Horror The horror in this film blends home invasion with bigger side of horror that is one that is only disturbing to think about.

SettingsThe film is set in and around a lake house holiday home which puts the character in an isolated location, the second location is around the beach with the funfair which should be a place of happiness.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects, we have the basic wounds which do look realistic, but the other side of the praise must come with how the actors can appear to be in the same location without looking out of place.


Scene of the Movie –
The showdown between Adelaide and Red.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Gabe’s injury comes and goes too often.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the best horrors in recent years, it won’t make you jump, but it will leave you feeling disturbed and thinking about everything you have just witnessed.

 

Overall: Disturbing horror.

Rating