Writer: Christopher McQuarrie (Screenplay) Bruce Geller (Television Series)
Starring: Tom Cruise, Henry Cavill, Ving Rhames, Simon Pegg, Rebecca Ferguson, Sean Harris, Angela Bassett, Vanessa Kirby, Michelle Monaghan, Wes Bentley, Alec Baldwin
Plot: Ethan Hunt and his IMF team, along with some familiar allies, race against time after a mission gone wrong.
Tagline – Some missions are not a choice.
Runtime: 2 Hours 27 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Adrenaline Blast
Story: Mission Impossible: Fallout starts when Ethan Hunt (Cruise) and his team Luther (Rhames) and Benji (Pegg) have a mission gone wrong with plutonium falling into the wrong hands. CIA director Erica Sloan (Bassett) wants it back and her team to do the job, but know Ethan has everything lined up she assigns them her best man August Walker (Cavill) to join the team.
Thoughts on Mission Impossible – Fallout
Characters – Ethan Hunt is the man, agent the leader of the group, he will go into any situation with a plan, trusting the people behind him, this time his loyalty puts the world in peril and his must prove he can find a way to save the day without comprising his position. August Walker is a CIA agent, a fixer if you like, he will get the job done by shooting first asking questions later, which has led him to clash with Hunt, they have both made mistakes which could have got the job done earlier and now he is the one man you don’t want to fight against. Luther and Benji are the key components to Ethan’s team, they have the know how to get the job done and are two of the only people he will trust. Ilsa Faust returns and this time she crosses paths with Ethan turning up at the same locations on her own mission, still deadly and a figure that you will be on the fence about what side she is fight for. We have our authority figures in Alan Hunley and Erica Sloan who of course are clashing, as well as other figures that would be in the criminal world.
Performances – Tom Cruise, what more can say about this guy, when it comes to action he commits big time and this is no different, the action sequences he puts his body through and even the emotional factors included in this film show just how talented he is, with this easily being one of his best action performances of his career. Henry Cavill, I haven’t always been a fan of because Superman is kind of boring, in this film however, we get to see that this man is a talent, we believe he will kick your ass if you crossed him and the moments of emotionless moments are key to his character. Pegg and Rhames do have great chemistry and the comic relief, while Ferguson returns to keep enough mystery about her character for long enough in the film. Bassett and Baldwin will always make good authority figures and to see Vanessa Kirby fresh from The Crown in a big movie, she is great to watch here.
Story – The story here follows Ethan on his latest mission, this time we get to see what could happen if the by the book mission goes wrong for his own personal reasons over a traitor in the group like the normal opening. The idea he needs to work with an outside isn’t new, the idea that he could be the traitor in the eyes of the authority isn’t new, but it has been tried and tested. Making this feel like a direct sequel is new though, the previous instalments have always felt like, just another mission, this one references previous stories and that increases the peril even if everything plays out to not completely mock certain aspects, but poke a tiny bit of fun at them.
Action/Adventure – The action, the reason we go to these films, while you do get a glimpse of nearly all the sequences in the trailer, the length and intensity to them isn’t shown there and you will be watching from the edge of your seat just to see where or what Hunt does next. The adventure side of the film does take Ethan across the world to save it before it is too late.
Settings – The film uses key locations, with have Paris, London and Kashmir, each one offers a different action sequences to take place.
Special Effects – The effects show us just how committed or crazy Tom Cruise is, while they are prepared stunts everything is practical and looks it in every single scene.
Final Thoughts – This is another quality addition to the Mission Impossible franchise, it is going to go down as one of the best usages of practical stunts for years to come and shows how they can still be used to this day.
Overall: Pure rush of an action film.
Writer: Joss Whedon (Screenplay)
Starring: Kristy Swanson, Donald Sutherland, Paul Reubens, Rutger Hauer, Luke Perry, Michele Abrams, Hilary Swank
Plot: A flighty teenage girl learns that she is her generation’s destined battler of vampires.
Tagline – Sometimes it takes more than just good looks to kill.
Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Fun, But Not as Good as the TV Show
Story: Buffy the Vampire Slayer starts as we meet high school cheerleader Buffy (Swanson), one of the popular girls in school preparing for the latest dance. Buffy’s life is going to take a turn when the mysterious Merrick (Sutherland) enters her life, with the tales of vampires and her being the chosen one to fight them and protect her town.
Buffy now goes through the training process, so she can defeat her first deadlier enemy, Lothos (Hauer) a vampire that is haunting her dreams with the history of the previous slayers and make it to the dance on time.
Thoughts on Buffy the Vampire Slayer
Characters – Buffy is the high school cheerleader who is more worried the latest school dance to notice her own destiny. She learns she is the slayer that is meant to fight vampires and her town is now in danger. Merrick is the watcher, the man that must teach Buffy how to defeat the vampires and becoming the slayer warrior she is destiny to be. Lothos is the big bad vampire that is waiting to take control of the town that Buffy is part of, we see how he has been planning this attack for a while with his vampires in the shadows.
Performances – Kristy Swanson is good in this leading role, we might not the role of Buffy as Sarah Michelle Gellar, but Kristy was here first and built the unlikely hero very well. Sutherland is good pick for the watcher because it is the answers for wise old man. Going into the supporting cast, none of these performers make an impact on the way they could which only disappoints when we know how these characters are going to be known in the TV series.
Story – The story is difficult to talk about, because I grew up watching the show and for me, I was used to a different Buffy, an outsider, seeing the popular girl become the slayer just seems strange, but for a teenage action fantasy comedy works as we see one girl find her place in the world. This is an enjoyable watch and plays out just how you would imagine without being as interesting as it should be, because we want the world to be so much bigger.
Action/Fantasy/Horror – We have action sequences which see Buffy face increasing numbers or difficulties in her battles, in a world that is filled with vampires which plays for the fantasy and the horror side of the film.
Settings – The film takes place in the small town with a high school, this works for the movie because it shows us what Buffy will need to protect.
Special Effects – The effects were good for the time of release, while moments have dated, we don’t get the need for the effects for the most part.
Final Thoughts – This does feel like the 90’s movie it is, it gave us the film that went onto become a wonderful TV series, which is something that people will forever be grateful for.
Overall: Simple action fantasy.
Writer: Yoshitaka Yamaguchi (Screenplay)
Starring: Yayan Ruhian, Lily Franky, Hayato Ichihara, Riko Narumi
Plot: In the ruthless underground world of the yakuza, no one is more legendary than boss Kamiura. Rumored to be invincible, the truth is he is a vampire-a bloodsucking yakuza vampire boss! Among Kamiura’s gang is Kageyama, his most loyal underling. However, the others in the gang view Kageyama with disdain and ridicule him for his inability to get tattooed due to sensitive skin. One day, assassins aware of boss Kamiura’s secret arrive from abroad and deliver him an ultimatum: Return to the international syndicate he left years ago, or die. Kamiura refuses and, during a fierce battle with anime-otaku martial-arts expert Kyoken, is torn limb from limb. With his dying breath, Kamiura bites Kageyama, passing on his vampire powers to the unsuspecting yakuza. As he begins to awaken to his newfound abilities, Kageyama’s desire to avenge the murder of boss Kamiura sets him on a course for a violent confrontation with Kaeru-kun, the foreign syndicate’s mysterious and seemingly unstoppable leader!
Tagline – Once bitten, you’re a yakuza.
Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Bonkers Revenge Thriller
Story: Yakuza Apocalypse starts with Yakuza boss Kamiura (Frankly) showing his kindness to the civilians in his neighbourhood, removing any members that wrongfully harm any of his people, with a new understudy Akira Kageyama (Ichihara) we start to see the tension from the rest of the Yakuza before assassin Kyoken (Ruhian) is set to murder Kamiura who just so happens to be a Yakuza vampire that in his dying breath turns Kageyama.
Kageyama must learn how to survive his new abilities to become strong enough to extract revenge on Kyoken and the rest of the Yakuza who turned on his boss by turning everyone into vampires.
Thoughts on Yakuza Apocalypse
Characters – Akira Kageyama is a member of the Yakuza, he is a good man not following traditions of tattoos and never hurting anyone innocent, which has raised him up the ranks under his current boss. When his boss is murdered, he takes his ability of being a vampire to continue his good nature in the battle while taking out the men that killed his boss. Kyoken is the stranger in town, the assassin sent to kill Kamiura, deadly in combat, he knows how to blend into a crowd. Kamiura is the respected Yakuza boss that keeps the city in check not letting anything get out of hand, which has made him enemies within the Yakuza with his secret being revelled.
Performances – The performances in this film are good throughout, there is a stand out performer in Yayan Ruhian because we know just how amazing he is at combat, Hayato Ichihara is good too in the lead role, but some of the small supporting performances do feel over the top.
Story – The story here as far as I could tell, was a Yakuza boss being murdered and one of his men seeking revenge with a vampire filled twist, which just makes things bigger and crazier through everything that is unfolding. Then there is the frog costume, well things get crazy here, this is a story you remember, not for being great, but for being weird as they come.
Action/Comedy/Horror – The action is big and gives us plenty of martial arts material to watch unfold, the horror comes from the different styles of vampires that become Yakuza and the comedy comes from the craziness going on through the film.
Settings – The film keeps everything in on location of a small city which is now under control from Yakuza, first the kind type and soon the deadly type.
Special Effects – The effects in the film work well because they show the blood splatter at its very best.
Final Thoughts –This is truly a crazy movie which has blood splatter throughout the film even though it does follow a simple revenge plot.
Overall: A movie you won’t forget.