Warrior (2011)

Director: Gavin O’Connor

Writer: Gavin O’Connor, Cliff Dorfman, Anthony Tambakis (Screenplay) Gavin O’Connor, Cliff Dorfman  (Story)

Starring: Jeff Edgerton, Tom Hardy, Nick Nolte, Jennifer Morrison, Frank Grillo, Kevin Dunn

Story: When two brothers with very different lives clash in a battle for a mixed martial arts championship the past is exposed. The younger brother Tommy (Hardy) returns to his alcoholic father Paddy (Nolte) for training after his time in the military. The older brother Brendan (Edgerton) a high school teacher and married family man.

Both have different reasons to win the tournaments prize one to support a fallen comrade the other the money will save his families future. Who will win the battle?

Verdict

Story: Sports drama yes please this is a very good, instead of following one man who over comes the odd it gives us two both worth routing for both very mysterious in the world they are entering. As for inspirational this is full of that too showing how much you want or need something you can hold on and over come everything to achieve it (10/10)

Cast: Joel Edgerton as Brendan the high school teacher turned MMA fighter, goes against his wife’s wishes to pursue a all or nothing fight to save his families home. Joel does an excellent job showing enough emotional level between the fighting scenes to show how much he wants to win; full-blown underdog that no one thought would make it past round one. (9/10)

Tom Hardy as Tommy turns up at his father doorstep out of nowhere; full of mystery about what happened in his previous few years he does become the most interesting character because you just want to know who is he now. Tom follows on from a very successful year with this brilliant performance.  Favourite Character (9/10)

 

Nick Nolte as Paddy the alcoholic father of Tommy and Brendan who has spent years sobering up trying to regain a chance to be part of Brendan’s life while trying to find out what happened to Tommy. Nominated for an Oscar for his role in this film shows how good a job Nick does.  Star Performance  (10/10)

 

Jennifer Morrison as Tess the wife of Brendan who doesn’t want to see her husband go back into the fighting scene after bad experiences years before. Doesn’t get as much scene time as other supporting characters but does a very good job when appear reluctantly supporting her man. (8/10)

 

Frank Grillo as Frank family friend and trainer of Brendan with alternative methods to improve his fighters who don’t seem to look like the favourites to win. A top supporting performance all good fighting films need a good trainer Frank gives this one its. (9/10)

 

Director: Gavin O’Connor inspirational sports dramas are this guys thing with Miracle before and now this brilliant pieces of direction in a typical story that you don’t have to be the most liked, biggest or most popular to win a fight. (9/10)

Action: The action in the fight scenes is well put together with out being to violent by adding clips of the supports watching the fights. (9/10)

Thriller: I think some of the fight scenes could have been a bit more thrilling all of Tommy’s are quick, while Brendan’s start building tension only for it to be broken. The best and most thrilling part is when Tommy and Brendan meet in the tournament. (8/10)

Make up: Mostly from the fights all the bumps and bruises look very realistic (9/10)

Sound: The fight scenes are brutal for sound hearing all the punches kicks and snaps. (9/10)

Suggestion: I think even if your not a fighting fan this one really has an appeal with the underdog story. I would recommend this to most people and I would like to believe most people would enjoy it. (9/10)

Best Part: Tommy’s first fight in the tournament.

Worst Part: being picky the ending is a bit predictable.

Similar Too: Rocky

Overall: Even though I am not a fight film fan this one had an appeal to me and it was a good one this really Is a very good film that is hugely enjoyable.

Rating 92%

Advertisements

Treasure Planet (2002)

Director: Ron Clements, John Musker

Writer: Ron Clements, John Musker, Rob Edwards (Screenplay) Robert Louis Stevenson (Novel)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Roscoe Lee Browne, Dana A Davis, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Laurie Metcalf, Brian Murray, David Hyde Pierce, Martin Short, Emma Thompson

Story: An alternative take on Robert Louis Stevenson’s Treasure Island with a space element to it. Jim Hawkins (Gordon-Levitt) a teenager who seeks adventure in all the wrong places and has many run ins with the law, much to the disappointment of his mother Sarah Hawkins (Metcalf). One-day adventure finds when Billy Bones (Patrick McGoohan) crash lands at the family Inn. Bones passes on a map to the legendary Treasure Planet and after pirates destroy the family Inn looking for the map the Hawkins escape.

Doctor Doppler (Hyde Pierce) a family friend agrees to fund a space exploration to find Treasure Planet. He hires Captain Amelia (Thompson) a cat like figure and her first mate Mr. Arrow (Browne) a golem figure. The rest of the crew are full of a range of different creature and lead by Cyborg John Silver (Murray). With the adventure under way what series entertaining and funny characters including Morph a shape shifting blob, B.E.N. (Short) a robot that has completely lost his mind and many others.

Verdict

Story: Treasure Island is one of the great books and Hollywood seems to have made countless adaptation of the story, this one adds a new fresh spin to the story. Filled with a series of likeable characters. A space adventure over sea adventure makes the possibilities almost endless to what could have been created. A classic tale that most people will already know the basic story but still always a good watch or read with slight different takes on it. (9/10)

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Jim Hawkins The enthusiastic teenager who seeks adventure in his normal life. Joseph casting as the voice works perfectly as he would be the right age for match Jim and you can hear his enthusiasm shine through on his character. With the desire for adventure I will give this character my Favourite Character  (9/10)

Brian Murray as John Silver The villain who becomes a father figure to Jim. Making him a Cyborg adds to his character showing how he can perform many tasks at once and keeping his human factor, which is key to his character development.  (9/10)

 

David Hyde Pierce as Doctor Doppler Family friend who also seeks adventure but clearly has never even attempted to start his own, David is a great choice for the voice hear as he is very much narcotic which he pulls of very well without being to over the top I will give this my Star Performance (9/10)

 

Emma Thompson as Captain Amelia The no nonsense Captain who will do anything to protect here trusted crew mates, even though Emma Thompson is a great actress this voice role doesn’t really suit what we are used to from her and also not being one of the leads doesn’t promote her performance.  (7/10)

 

Martin Short as B.E.N. The crazy robot who has literally lost his mind, loud, erratic add a good amount of comedy to the story but joins the story a bit too late to really get full effect of character, but still a very enjoyable character to watch. (9/10)

 

Director: Ron Clements and John Musker Following on from their successes with Aladdin and The Little Mermaid these two both have pedigree for success I feel they did an excellent job with this pieces of directing.  (9/10)

Action:  The space peril action sequences are very well constructed along with the jet boarding Jim does from the open sequence to the conclusion are edge of your seat material. For animated the action is one of Disney’s best. (9/10)

Comedy: The support characters provide the comic relief through the film with Morph having most of the funny lines or shape shifting creations. (8/10)

Sci-Fi: The inculcation of the space element add the sci-fi side to the story, Having a supernova leading to a black hole adds some almost educational factor to what goes on in space. (8/10)

Animation: When you point this film up against any Pixar film the animation isn’t up to that level, still having an old animation feel to it which isn’t all bad though. (7/10)

Music: With one of the best songs from a Disney film ‘I’m Still Here’ you can’t but enjoy this film just waiting to hear the incredible song. (9/10)

Suggestion: If someone said a good Disney film this wouldn’t be on many peoples list, which is a bit disappointment as this is one of the best Disney films I have seen full of everything that a true film fan will enjoy (9/10)

Best Part: I’m Still Here video Montage one of the best I have seen.

Worst Part: Its underratedness is one of the worst things many people just over looked this film.

Favourite Quote: ‘Now, you listen to me, James Hawkins. You got the makings of greatness in you, but you got to take the helm and chart your own course. Stick to it, no matter the squalls! And when the time comes you get the chance to really test the cut of your sails, and show what you’re made of! Well, I hope I’m there, catching some of the light coming off you that day. ’

Overall: A top Disney action adventure well worth a watch and the classic tale should add to its appeal.

Rating 90%

 

Hesher (2010)

Director: Spencer Susser

Writer: Spencer Susser, David Michod (Screenplay) Brian Charles Frank (Story)

Starring: Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Davin Brochu, Rainn Wilson, Piper Laurie, Natalie Portman, Brendan Hill, John Carroll Lynch

Story: A young boy T.J. (Brochu) has to start dealing with life after his mother’s death. T.J’s father Paul (Wilson) spends most days in mourning and doesn’t offer up any chance to communicate with T.J. His Grandma (Laurie) has opened her house to the two of them and is trying to help hold things together but T.J. doesn’t offer the time for her.

While on the way to school T.J. has a chance meeting with Hesher (Gordon-Levitt), Hesher is a foul-mouthed tramp like figure that decides to move in to the house uninvited. T.J. is being bullied by Dustin (Hill) and after Hesher provokes Dustin he chases after T.J. who is saved by Nicole (Portman). With all this going on can T.J. come to terms with the loss of his mother?

Verdict

Story: This very touching drama following a grieving boy who meets different types of people with different struggles in their own lives. Each character has different ways to deal with situation and while the drama unfolds. As the story continues the drama intensifies. This might not be the highest level of commercial side for story but if you want to watch a well-constructed story this one great story. (9/10)

Cast: Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Hesher the foul-mouthed rebel who guides T.J. with certain methods that could offer many questions. He comes of as an anti role model but slowly turns into alternative guardian angel. Joseph Gordon-Levitt continues his remarkable performances on the indie films following brilliant performances in Mysterious Skin, Brick and The Lookout. I would have Gone with Star Performance But there is one better than his in the film, but still another excellent performance. (9/10)

Davin Brochu as T.JFrom the opening sequence of him following the wrecked car being towed away on his bike even getting knocked off he just keeps going after the car until he gets in and sits and starts the tears rolling down his face., you knew this was going to be a special performance. Starting off as a quiet wimpy kid who is bullied he breaks out of his box as the film continues. This is a very special performance that will hopefully lead the young actor to bigger things in what looks like a bright futureStar Performance, Favourite Character  (10/10)

Rainn Wilson as Paul Spends most of his time sat on the sofa watching television just mourning in his own way with pills, ignoring his son and unaware of the changes in his life. Rainn Wilson is usually known for his comedy role but this drama one is very good with a bit less scene time than his character really need to fully shine it is still a wonderful performance. (8/10)

Natalie Portman as Nicole works at a local shop for minimum wage and hours but after she sees T.J. in need of help she does the right thing. She starts to become a love interest of T.J. just a schoolboy crush. She is very lonely struggling to make ends meet and sees a chance of friendship with someone else who is in pain with T.J. Natalie Portman pull of a very average feel character with great effect so much so that you hardly notice it is her, great supporting performance (8/10)

Piper Laurie as Grandma, she lets T.J. and Paul move into her home after the death of Paul’s wife. All she wants in for one of them to go for a walk with her, but neither are willing too. Hesher befriends her and she starts playing almost like a surrogate grandmother to Hesher. She is pivotal to how T.J. and Paul come to terms with what has happened in their life. (9/10)

Director: Spencer Susser following a series of short films this is his feature film debut and nominated for the Sundance Grand Jury Prize is good for anyone record. What he creates here is very well constructed film that looks like it was going to follow one simple path just with one thing Hesher different from your traditional film. With this great debut I will be looking forward to seeing more work from this director and hope he can live up to these high standards. (9/10)

Drama: Having everything a top drama should have, with full emotional levels played out with all the characters. A story filled with characters with flaws giving them a more human touch as dramas go this was one that should have been given more of a chance in cinemas. Each scene towards the end seems to leave you with almost tears in the eyes some of sadness others of happiness. (9/10)

Music: The use of music in the background is very good and all the songs are suited perfectly to what is happening on scene. Add in to the rock music for Hesher first entrance and Exit. (9/10)

Cinematography: Good use of camera angles without really doing anything to stand out as extra special but nothing that doesn’t work great job done by all involved. (8/10)

Suggestion: If someone was to come up and ask me for a good drama to watch this would have to be near the top of the list, but I feel it may be a bit too serious for a more casual viewer to really enjoy.

Best Part: When T.J. sneaks into the junkyard to find the car that was involved in the accident and we find out what happened on that day.

Worst Part: I think a little bit more work on getting Rainn Wilson and Natalie Portman some more scene time would have completed the film.

Favourite Quote: ‘Life is like walking in the rain, You can hide and take cover or you can just get wet’

Overall: Very good emotional drama well worth a watch

Rating 91%

Planet Of The Apes (2001)

Director: Tim Burton

Writer: William Broyles Jr, Lawrence Konner, Mark Rosenthal (Screenplay) Pierre Boulle (Novel)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Tim Roth, Helena Bonham Carter, Michael Clarke Duncan, Paul Giamatti, Estelle Warren, Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, David Warner, Kris Kristofferson

 

Story: When astronaut Captain Leo Davidson (Wahlberg) is on a routine space mission things go wrong and he is transported to a new world. On this new world Apes are the dominate species and humans are their slaves. After Leo and fellow humans Daena (Warren) her father Karubi (Kristofferson) are captured by slave trader Limbo (Giamatti) they are to be branded and sold. Ari (Bonham Carter) believes humans and apes can live as one and buys the slaves.

 

Thade (Roth) is the general in charge of making sure all the humans are captured and trained. After Leo and the humans escape with Ari there is a race for survival leading to one last stand against the apes.

 

Verdict:

Story: This remake of the classic Planet of the Apes, with the basic outline story coming off very well, Proving that humans seems to be able to survive through any situation and rise up and fight against the odds. Though the story isn’t original it is told very well and anyone who hasn’t seen the original will be able to follow as the story unfolds (8/10)

 

CastMark Wahlberg as Captain Leo Davidson playing the lead and the Charlton Heston role. Marky Mark does a good job as the reluctant hero of the humans. This role follows on from his big hits in more of a supporting role in ‘The Perfect Storm’ and ‘Three Kings’ so in a way this was his leading man Blockbuster debut and he succeed with a great on screen presences. Star Performance  (9/10)

 

Tim Roth as Thade the newly created villain and leader of the apes, from a family that is meant to be descendant from the first ape Cesar and very much against the humans for what they did to his ancestors. Almost unrecognised able but still gives a good performance where you can see the rage against the humans all the way through strong performance all in all. (8/10)

 

Helena Bonham Carter as Ari another character from the original here, Ari/Zira is the character that supports the humans to have equal rights to the apes. This comes over a little on the annoying side as they are trying to make name for herself using her relationship to the Senator being his daughter to push for things more. Even after that I feel Helena does a great job playing the role with a character trying to show emotion in what seems like an emotionless species. I give this because of the character not the acting Least Favourite Character (8/10)

 

Michael Clarke Duncan as Attar the devoted follower of Thade the first in command of the armies but huge believe in that Cesar will be returning one day. Michael is great choice as the enforcer role being he larger size. Michael does a good job in one of his early roles soon after ‘The Green Mile’ unfortunately for him his career hasn’t really hit the same heights since. (8/10)

 

Paul Giamatti as Limbo the slave handler he plays the slightly weasel like character who will do anything to survive. Not the most known actor at the time with only a series of small supporting roles if this film was released in this sort of time he would be cast as Thade. With what he has to work with he does a great job and creates my Favourite Character of the film  (8/10)

 

Estella Warren as Daena the pretty daughter of the remaining humans. In one of her first roles and in all fairness for acting quality she wasn’t the best choice but I guess she was cast for a bit of eye candy in a ape dressed cast. I have to give her the Poor Performance due to poor character for the overall story. (4/10)

 

Director: Tim Burton is known for his alternative take on stories and with this he doesn’t give his best outing and with the recent releases of ‘Rise of the Planet of the Apes’ makes this film look worse. With the high standards set I feel this could have been better from Mr Burton (5/10)

Action: Some action scenes are just well performed chases scenes and one big final fight scene, which is one very impressive scene. Overall the action is good but is nothing that really will stick in your memory. (7/10)

 

Sci-Fi: With space travel and a new world the basic sci-fi is created but the overall side of it doesn’t really shine (5/10)

 

Special Effects: Nice atmosphere created and good use of make up giving the special effects a good mark (8/10)

 

Music: Danny Elfman music creates some very good tension does what he does best great work. (9/10)

 

Best Part: The beginning of the final fight scene

 

Worst Part: unnecessary remake

 

Trivia: Charlton Heston plays Thade father in a small cameo

 

Similar Too: original Planet of the Apes, Battlefield Earth

 

Rating 72%