Jean-Claude Van Damme Weekend – Dragon Eyes (2012)

Director: John Hyams

Writer: Tim Tori (Screenplay)

Starring: Cung Le, Jean-Claude Van Damme, Johnny Holmes, Peter Weller, Sam Medina

 

Plot: In St. Jude, drug dealers and corrupt cops have destroyed an urban neighborhood. But newcomer, Hong, has the fighting skills and moral vision to save this town from itself.


Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Action Film

 

Story: Dragon Eyes starts as Hong (Le) gets taken under the mentorship of Tiano (Van Damme) while in prison, once released he heads to St Jude, a rough neighbourhood with waring drug dealers who are destroying the lives of the innocent residents in the area.

Creating a war between the two sides, Hong finds himself targeted by the main kingpin between the two Mister V (Weller) who uses him to clean up the messes he has, but Hong wants to bring down the whole system which involves corrupt police and everything.

 

Thoughts on Dragon Eyes

 

Characters – Hong is a mysterious stranger that locates himself in the middle of the St Jude drug war, he rises up the ranks to make an impact on gangs becoming the go to man for Mister V, but he refuses to kill people and has been training for his own form of revenge. Tiano trained Hong in prison, he taught him how to handle himself in conflict which lets him go into battle against the gangs. Mister V runs the drug movement in the area, he has the police under his fingers and is willing to go to all ends to make sure his money continues to come in.

PerformancesCung Le handles the combat side of the film well, never looking out of place, but his dialogue delivery sometimes leaves something to the imagination. Van Damme is barely in the film, he is used in the flashbacks to learn the training. Peter Weller enjoys the villainous role which is the highlight of the storytelling of everything.

StoryThe story here plays out like one man sets to bring down the drug culture in a small town but not everything goes to the plan. The way the story is told does feel messy because it jumps between timelines making us unsure which is the current timeline, until we are well into the film. the story is just like you would expect a film based on the action to turn out like though.

Action/Crime The action in the film is good for entertainment because we have the action that never challenges the audience. The crime world we enter works too because we see how hopeless it feels for the people.

SettingsThe main setting in the film is St Jude, a drug filled crime area of town which needs cleaning up, this isn’t the worst, but it could be anything you want it to be in a location.


Scene of the Movie –
Final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The way the story is told.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid enough action movie, it ticks the boxes needed but never ends up looking as polished as it could have been.

 

Overall: Easy to watch.

Rating

 

 

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Created Equal (2017)

Director: Bill Duke

Writer: Ned Bowman, Thada Catalon, Joyce Renee Lewis, Michael Ricigliano Jr (Screenplay)

Starring: Lou Diamond Phillips, Aaron Tveit, Gregor Alan Williams, Edy Ganem, Lauren Compton, Yohance Myles

 

Plot: A cocky, up-and-coming attorney, begrudgingly takes on a case to sue the Archdiocese of New Orleans for sex discrimination; after a woman, who’s desperate to become a priest, solicits his help.


Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Courtroom Drama

 

Story: Created Equal starts as we see how Sister Alejandra Batista (Ganem) who gets punished for wanting to become a priest, this leads her to meet with lawyer Tommy Reilly (Tveit) to represent her in a case to sue the Catholic church for discrimination.

When Tommy known for not going to trial accepts the case and to take it to trial against Monsignor Renzulli (Phillips) to take on the church for the simple right to enter the church, which sends family and business partners into a frenzy of panic as everything goes against what they believe, can this case break the grounds it intends too.

 

Thoughts on Created Equal

 

Characters – Tommy Reilly is a lawyer, he was raised catholic, but doesn’t follow the religion to the strictest beliefs, he isn’t loyal to any woman in his life and doesn’t take any of his cases to trial. He takes his case which could destroy his career, but he knows it is the right thing. Alejandra Batista is the sister that wants to become a catholic priest, the only thing stopping her is that she is a woman, she shows the strength to want to fight the catholic church in an attempt to get her chance to follow her dream. Monsignor Renzulli is the church’s lawyer who follows the strict following to make sure no woman will ever become a catholic priest. Judge Watford seeing over the case in his courtroom, he acts fairly to both side of the trial.

PerformancesAaron Tveit in the leading role is good, he shows us two sides of his character with the lawyer side coming off stronger than the womaniser. Lou Diamond Phillips is the biggest name in the movie and he doesn’t take that for granted as he is strong from start to finish. Edy Ganem is great as the woman standing up for her for what she wants to do for a living, she shows the strength needed for this role.

StoryThe story comes into the idea of dealing with equality between the government versus religion, this makes everything interesting to see how things unfold especially in the time we are in trying to accept everyone as equals. Who doesn’t love a good court case too, this has the right questions, the right answers to show the divides between the beliefs.

ThrillerThe has a thrilling side to the story as we follow the one person trying to stop Alejandra from taking on the church in a court of law.

SettingsThe settings show us where this case takes place because it doesn’t turn into the circus courtroom dramas can do.


Scene of the Movie –
Final hearing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The threat from the outside seems to be added when it isn’t needed at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good religious based courtroom drama that gives the question about equal rights within the catholic church.

 

Overall: One for courtroom drama fans.

Rating

 

 

Battalion (2018)

Director: Michael Miller

Writer: Michael Miller (Screenplay)

Starring: Jesse Richardson, Ellen Williams, Michael Thomson, James Storer, Leigh Walker, Darrell Plumridge

 

Plot: After a war against an enemy from another world breaks out in the South Pacific, a group of freshly recruited U.S. Marines are sent to the front lines.


Tagline – Our world is at war.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Sci-Fi

 

Story: Battalion starts as we learn the world has been a war for 7 months as we follow John Blake (Richardson), Tracey Gleeson (Williams) and Chris Jackson (Thomson) whose normal lives were shattered with the outbreak of the war, but now they fight back together.

After suffering casualties in the first retaliation mission against the machines from another world, Blake must continue the battle with Tracey by his side, but will Jackson step back up next to his brother to try and save humanity.

 

Thoughts on Battalion

 

Characters – John Blake grew up with Jackson in LA, close enough to being brothers who joins up to the military after the attack that kills their family. Trained under Jackson it isn’t long before he is the one stepping in the battle. Tracey Gleeson is a college professor that decides to join up after the attack, follow Black into battle she must show the fight that she had been struggling to find in life.

PerformancesThe three leads in the movie are good for what they are meant to be, we have the reluctant hero, the soldier whose lost faith and the one looking for direction and they work this well through the film.

StoryThe story follows a group of soldiers, a battalion if you like that come from different backgrounds to fight alien invaders that are wiping out the population of the world. We do jump around the timeline here seeing before and after the opening sequence, which at times can be hard to keep up with, but once you think you can piece it together. It plays out like you would imagine for the most part, but it is the story side of things you have come to know anyway.

Sci-FiAliens invading Earth, you don’t get that much more sci-fi than this.

SettingsThe settings show us how the big city get wiped out and how the battles can take place in a quieter location of the islands in the oceans.

Special EffectsThe effects are not the strength of this film, everything looks like a video game, but for me that seem to add to the fun of the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Final moment.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Keeping up on the timeline.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid low budget sci-fi that shows another vision of how an alien attack could become deadly for the human race.

 

Overall: Enjoyable without being ground-breaking.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – What I Enjoyed in 2017 – N

What I Enjoyed in 2017

N

This month I won’t be doing reviews at all, just a small discussion to what I enjoyed last year, you will be able to find my reviews by following the link HERE

Actress
Noomi Rapace

Why I’ve Picked this choiceNoomi became a big international name after the Dragon Tattoo trilogy, she went onto become the face of the Prometheus movie, but it would be fair to say her popularity decreased in recent years, though her talent remained. This year she made a big comeback in What Happened to Monday where she played 7 leading roles as the 7 sisters in a world where siblings are forbidden, they have their own personalities, but are only aloud out the house on the day of their namesake. For me this was yet another one of the potential sci-fi films of the year.