The Dirty Dozen (1967)

Director: Robert Aldrich

Writer: Nunnally Johnson, Lukas Heller (Screenplay) E M Nathanson (Novel)

Starring: Lee Marvin, Ernest Borgnine, Charles Bronson, Jim Brown, John Cassavetes, Richard Jaeckel, Donald Sutherland


Plot: During World War II, a rebellious U.S. Army Major is assigned a dozen convicted murderers to train and lead them into a mass assassination mission of German officers.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Classic We All Know


Story: The Dirty Dozen starts as Major Reisman (Marvin) is assigned to train 12 convicted criminals lined up for execution to go on a secret mission in German during World War II. The criminals include Joseph Wladislaw (Brosnan), Robert Jefferson (Brown) and Victor Franko (Cassavetes) who along with the rest of the crew must go under training to be combat ready.

The men start coming into shape and start working in a unit but when other generals want to bring down and end the unit, Reisman must fight to get his men on the battle field to prove to General Worden (Borgnine) he can turn get these men into battle.


Thoughts on The Dirty Dozen


Characters/PerformanceMajor Reisman is the man assigned the criminal unit, he knows how to get men into line when it comes to battle and will risk his own career to prove he can make these men a powerful unit. General Worden assigns Reisman the unit believe he couldn’t get it done but also has to make the decisions on who to put into the field. Joseph Wladislaw is one of the criminals who happily takes up the role required and his German speaking background helps on the mission. Jefferson takes up one of the reluctant leaders of the unit. Franko is the one that rebels the most but soon learns his place even when he is standing up for the right thing.

Performance wise, Lee Marvin is great in the leading role dominating the screen whenever he appears, we also have a fantastic supporting cast that all know how to pull off their roles.

StoryThe story follows a group of misfits being pulled together to go on a deadly mission, this is always an entertaining type of story to watch as we like unlikely heroes but the problem with a lot of this story is we must support murderers who are just escaping death row rather than guys who have just fallen of the rails. The story is also slightly long but it does give each supporting character enough time.

Action/Adventure/Comedy/WarWe have the standard war time action sequences that have never come off overly original. We have nice moments of comedy mostly through the training sequences and the adventure coming from how hard the men must work.

SettingsEach setting works as it shows the different stages from the training to the mission itself.

EffectsThe effects all work for where the film is planning on going which does help and they are only used sparingly.

Final ThoughtsThis will always go down as one of the classic in war films and even after 50 years it doesn’t feel like it has been dated yet.


Overall: Still one of the classics of cinema.





ABC Film Challenge – Random – N – Night Moves (2013)

Director: Kelly Reichardt

Writer: Jonathan Raymond (Screenplay)

Starring: Jesse Eisenberg, Dakota Fanning, Peter Sarsgaard, Alia Shawkat, Logan Miller, Kai Lennox, Katherine Waterston


Plot: Three radical environmentalists look to execute the protest of their lives: the explosion of a hydroelectric dam.


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Very Slow


Story: Night Moves starts as we follow Josh (Eisenberg) and Dena (Fanning) who are environmentalists looking to find a way to change the world before it gets destroyed. Tired of the peaceful protests the couple head off to meet radical Harmon (Sarsgaard) who has a plan for a true statement the world will take notice off.

We watch how the three bring together the equipment to send their message and we are left to wonder if they will go through with it and what impact it could have on the environment.


Thoughts on Night Moves


Characters/PerformanceJosh and Dena are young idealistic environmentalists that are out on a mission to work with the radical Harmon they sum up the frustrated generation of how the world get mistreated and want to change it in their own way. Harmon is full left field, he wants to enjoy seeing the world change because of what they do.

Performance wise, we know how capable all three actors are, but sadly through this film we don’t get to see just how talented they are. I feel it is the script which holds most of this back really.

StoryThe story shows how environmentalists can push things to the extremes but must deal with the consequences of those action. The story is incredibly slow paced never pulling you into care about these characters or their actions and by the end everything all feels very flat indeed.

ThrillerYou simply don’t get sucked into this story or what is happening because of the poor pacing within the movie.

SettingsThe settings show the nature that these characters want to see live on, we also get to see just what has been happening with the human impact, so this does help us understand the situation the characters find themselves in, in a weird way.

Final ThoughtsThis was a very slow movie, it has a story that doesn’t drag you in and most disappointingly the film really doesn’t go anywhere.


Overall: Disappointing and slow film.




To The Beat! (2018)

Director: Jillian Clare

Writer: Susan Bernhardt, Jillian Clare (Screenplay)

Starring: Laura Krystine, Brisa Lalich, Jayden Bartels, Veronica St Clair, Marie Wilson, Lilly Melger, Martha Madison


Plot: To The Beat follows 14 year old twins Mia and Mackie Castillo – dancers since they were toddlers. Beginning at just three years old, that’s been their one true passion. They support each other through competitions and rehearsals, even though they dance different styles. Mia loves tap and Mackie loves jazz. When their favorite pop star launches an online contest to find the most unique dance group for his next music video, the twins each form their own team to compete for the chance to dance in the video – enlisting their friends and family to help gain online votes. Meanwhile, their arch rival and neighbor, Avery, the best dancer of all (who knows it too) uses her charm and resources to get the upper hand in the competition.

Tagline – Dance for Love or Dance to Win

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes


There may be spoilers the rest of the review


Verdict: Feel Good Family Film


Story: To the Beat starts when popstar Chris Trousdale (a real singer that I have never heard off) announces he is holding a contest for his latest video, teenage twins Mackie (Kystrine) and Mia (Lalich) believe they can make an impact, while rival neighbour and spoilt girl Avery (Bartels) goes full Veronica Salt (Yes, this is a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Reference) to get her chance.

With the twins having different dance techniques they compete in a friendly rivalry, while Avery is pushing people around like always, as the teenage girls battle for their dream.


Thoughts on To the Beat!


Characters – Mackie is one half of the twins, her dance style is jazz based, Mia the other half of the twins with her dance style of choice being tap. The two support each other in this contest and their own personal struggles of dealing with life after their father’s death, with their older sister and mother being their examples when it comes to chasing dreams. The two girls are perfect match without showing us any individual strengths or weaknesses. Avery is the Veronica Salt figure, she has always got what she wants, bossy and demanding throughout the film, she does get the funniest reactions with her behaviour.

PerformancesThe performances from the cast are good, Laura Krystine and Brisa Lalich as the twins get to show off dance techniques with both having different styles, they do have to handle moments of seriousness which they do handle well. Jayden Bartels will make you never want to have teenage daughters, this is because of the performance, she handles the character you are meant to hate with ease, that does need praising. It has to be said the girls in the groups are great performers and the actors playing the parents and families are good too.

StoryThe story follows 3 young teenage girls that love dance, that create teams to compete to be the dancers in a pop star’s latest video. This does show how competition can bring sisters closer and drive a rival into the selfish way. It shows us how coming together through struggles can bring light to life for the family that always got pushed to follow the dreams. There would be flaws here, we have teams, but we don’t learn about the rest of the teams, which should be just as important to what they are achieving.

Comedy/FamilyThe film will get you laughing throughout, mostly for how Avery reacts to anything happening to her, this does have all the feelings of a family film and the idea of coming together when needed.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show how the families are together in their support, the dance studios and the stage for the final battle is what you expect to see.

Scene of the Movie –
Final performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not learning about the rest of the team, even the names of the characters would have been nice, as they are chasing the same dream.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that you can see your teenage daughter loving, it does have wonderful dance routines and a coming together when one family needed it, encourages the idea of enjoying yourself while chasing your dreams and doing everything to take that one chance which comes your way.


Overall: Family dance film that will make you smile.