Mile 22 (2018)

Director: Peter Berg

Writer: Lea Carpenter (Screenplay) Graham Roland, Lea Carpenter (Story)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Lauren Cohan, Iko Uwais, John Malkovich, Ronda Rousey, Carlo Alban, Natasha Goubskaya

 

Plot: An elite American intelligence officer, aided by a top-secret tactical command unit, tries to smuggle a mysterious police officer with sensitive information out of the country.


Tagline – Option 1: Diplomacy. Option 2: Military. Meet Option 3

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bloody but Lacking Substance

 

Story: Mile 22 starts as we meet our elite team led by James Silva (Wahlberg), we have Alice (Cohan), Sam (Rousey) and Douglas (Alban), they are Overwatch, with Bishop (Malkovich) providing the eyes from the skies from a distance. We see how skill and ruthless they are in the opening sequence.

Now 16 months later the team get their latest assignment, to get a mysterious police office Li Noor (Uwais) out of the country so he will give them the information on potential weapons of mass destruction, the problem is, everyone wants him dead.

 

Thoughts on Mile 88

 

Characters – James Silva is a vastly intelligent man, the needs puzzles to keep his mind in check or he will become violent, he sticks up for his team in any situation and will get the job done no matter what it takes. This character can get very annoying because we get too man speech moments from him which pause the action to take place. not liking the leading man isn’t always going to help the film. Alice is the member of the team with the connection to Li, she knows he is good for the information, but her personal like of going through a divorce and being away from her daughter is what tries to bring a human side to her character, while strong and resourceful, we still get the scene where the female needs a man to save her. Li Noor is the mysterious cop that has the information that the locals also want dead, he proves to be vital in escaping and proves to be the highlight of the action scenes. Bishop is the eyes in the sky, he leads the team from a distance which will help them find the best escape routes, he needs to be trusted to make the operation work.

PerformancesMark Wahlberg gives us a performance which is mostly annoying, sure, he can point and shoot a gun, but his speech moments and that damn wrist thing get so annoying through the film. Lauren Cohan breaking away from television here, she does give us a stronger performance showing what we could get from better writing on the Walking Dead. Iko Uwais is the main reason I went to see this movie and when he is let loose to fight, we get the best part of the movie. John Malkovich is good without needing to do that much in this role.

StoryThe story here follows an elite unit that must transport a man from point A to point B by a certain time, with an unknown number of enemies trying to hunt them down. Seems simple enough, well we do start slow, we get a lot of political red tape to get through before we get to the action, once we hit the action we end up getting a mix of 16 Blocks and The Raid, only not that good. The fact that the technology is that intelligent drains the life out of the story, we lose the suspense in the story when we get ‘drive down this road, take a left or a right’ we sometimes need to see the face the problems head on, which they end up doing anyway, just slapping this side part in. the story does have one impressive moment which you must wait to see, otherwise we do get into the over-complicated for no reason.

Action/CrimeThe action in this film is bloody gun battles, Iko Uwais showing his fight skills once again, which is always a pleasure to see, though the cutting between certain moments takes away from the excitement of the action. The crime world shows us how certain military roles can be above the law no matter what the case it.

SettingsThe film is set in an unnamed country in Southeast Asia, this does stop any political issues with how the story is told, we get tighter streets which is fine otherwise this is just the location we expect in a bigger city with embassies in.


Scene of the Movie –
Iko Uwais first gets unleashed.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Mark Wahlberg mainly.

Final ThoughtsThis is an over-complicated action movie that can be fun to watch in places, it doesn’t hold back on the blood and will soon be one that you mostly likely forget.

 

Overall: Over-complicated Action Thriller.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Hollow Body (2018)

Director: Alex Keledjian

Writer: Alex Keledjian (Screenplay)

Starring: David Arquette, Luke Wilson, Allie Gonino, Ryan Donowho, Perrey Reeves

 

Plot: Hollow Body is a struggling rock band led by Jimmy (David Arquette) who makes a deal with Rick (Luke Wilson) a shady record executive. Unfortunately, the band’s shy lead singer Rachel (Allie Gonino) suffers from severe stage fright and cannot play in front of a live audience. The band breaks up and as Rachel’s controlling stage mother Barb (Perrey Reeves) drives her home, they are struck by lightning and killed. Rachel comes back to life, now able to give electrifying performances, but at a terrible cost. Jimmy and bandmate Scott (Ryan Donowho) must decide if they are willing to pay the ultimate price for success.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Music Horror

 

Story: Hollow Body starts on aging Rockstar’s Jimmy (Arqutte) birthday, looking back at his career until he meets new younger musicians at his party with vocalist Rachel (Gonino) and writer Scott (Donowho) seeing this as a chance to come back to the top of the industry.

When the band gets their first gig disaster strikes with Rachel suffering stage fright and on the way home she is struck by lightening and killed. She doesn’t stay dead though and comes back full of confidence and the bands success takes off, only Rachel isn’t the same person she was when they started the band.

 

Thoughts on Hollow Body

 

Characters – Jimmy is our narrator, the aging Rockstar who has one big hit that keeps his name relevant in the industry, spotting new talent he wants to do a comeback, he uses his connections to give them the start and knows how to get the most out of their talents. He will however always be looked at as the aging star that hadn’t succeeded. Rick is the record label manager that Jimmy turns to when he needs the record for his new band, he is hard of Jimmy who had mostly worked with his father. Rachel is the new lead singer in the band, the problem is that she has stage fright, until she dies and comes back as a new improved performer that lights up the stage with her performance only to take on a much darker side. Scott is the writer for the new band, he is married and has an attraction to Rachel which puts his marriage in danger and is easily the heart and soul of the band.

PerformancesDavid Arquette in the leading role is great to see, he always gives a performance that fits this character, slightly outside the normal and being the rock star lets him enjoy performing. Luke Wilson is the biggest disappointment, not that he isn’t good, its more we don’t get to see enough of his character in the film. Allie Gonino is the breakout star from this movie, handling two different personalities through the film, showing off the singing skills and become her character in each scene we see her in. Ryan Donowho brings us a grounded performance which is needed with the wilder characters in the film.

StoryThe story here follows the upstart band that faces difficulties that start with performances problems and soon turn supernatural after the lead singer comes back from the dead. Now while the story goes in a different backstory to what is going on, you can’t help but get the same vibes that ‘All Cheerleaders Must Die’ had with he seductive return from the dead. We get to see how cutthroat the music industry is, with the stage performance issues, the rise and the vices that come from being in the industry. This is a story that can be enjoyed if you like your rock music even if we don’t get too many songs and just fits in the horror world nicely.

HorrorThe horror comes from just what Rachel comes back as and what she does, this is known by the band only to make sure that the success goes on even with what is going on.

SettingsThe film keeps the settings around the rock industry, we have the aging stars house, the stages and the parties which makes the settings work for every single scene we are watching.

Special EffectsThe effects are what we want to see, they are consistent with everything each time we see the lightening style used.


Scene of the Movie –
The first reborn performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I would have liked more music.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good horror thriller that takes us into the rock music world that does show just how far people will do to be part of the industry however much evil is guiding you.

 

Overall: Horror music fans dream

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – T -The Tourist (2010)

Director: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck

Writer: Florian Henckel von Donnersmarck, Christopher McQuarrie, Julian Fellowes (Screenplay) Jerome Salle (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Angelina Jolie, Paul Bettany, Timothy Dalton, Steven Berkoff, Rufus Sewell

 

Plot: Revolves around Frank, an American tourist visiting Italy to mend a broken heart. Elise is an extraordinary woman who deliberately crosses his path.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: This was Rather Boring

 

Story: The Tourist starts as we watch Inspector John Acheson (Bettany) track Elise Flifton-Ward (Jolie) across Europe in search for a mysterious Alexander Peirce. While travelling to Venice Elise is assigned to find someone who looks like Alexander, which brings in Frank Tupelo (Depp) an American tourist travelling through Europe that ends up enjoying the company of Elise.

When Acheson knows that Frank is a nobody in his case, he continues his case tracking Elise but crossed information leads to Frank finding his own life in danger from a gangster who is searching for Peirce too.

Frank must escape and stay alive but Elise needs to get her job done but now wants to keep Frank safe with multiple people after them, you know what I lost the plot here.

 

Thoughts on The Tourist

 

Characters/PerformanceElise is a mysterious woman that has connection to a known and wanted criminal, she finds herself trapped in the middle of saving an innocent man she has gotten in the middle of her misleading plan or getting the job done. Frank is the widowed American tourist who gets pulled into the world of criminal activity all while being innocent.

Performance wise, Depp clearly is in the middle of his pay day run here never reaching the heights we know he can while Jolie isn’t too much better in her role.

StoryThe story is mostly about a femme fatale trying to keep everyone away from her boss but soon learns that this random man has stolen her heart. We have twists turns but you just don’t care about the operation going on through the film, which just makes everything come off plain.

Action/RomanceThe action is very basic and you wouldn’t expect any tension through the film with the romance almost getting thrown down our throats too much without being believable.

SettingsVenice makes for a beautiful setting but the film just doesn’t capture everything in its full.

Special EffectsThe special effects are again all basic never pulling you into the story.

Final ThoughtsThis is a star driven action borefest, we rely on the idea that Depp and Jolie could pull in any audience member but then forget to give us an interesting story.

 

Overall: Easily forgotten movie

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – T – Titanic (1997) Movie Rob’s Pick

This is Movie Rob’s pick, head over to his site for his many reviews[as Jack sketches her in the nude] “I believe you are blushing, Mr. Big Artiste. I can’t imagine Monsieur Monet blushing.” – Rose

[amused by her comment, focusing more on the sketching, denying his blushing, remindering her] “He does landscapes.” – Jack

Number of Times Seen – Too many times to count (Theater, video, DVD, 7 Jul 2013, 6 Sep 2015, 24 Feb 2016, 27 Feb 2017 and 12 Nov 2017 and 3 Sep 2018)

Link to original review – HereHereHereHere and Here

Brief Synopsis – On the ill-fated maiden voyage of the Titanic, a young vagabond and an engaged upper class young girl fall in love and must try and stay together to survive as the ship begins to sink.

My Take on it – As soon as I saw the theme for this month’s ABC challenge by Darren, I knew that this film would be among my choices.

I have loved this film ever since I first saw it over two decades ago and that has so much to do with the fact that IMHO, this is one of the best films depicting a very realistic romantic relationship between its characters.

The love story between the two central characters is developed extremely well throughout the film and the fact that they take their time helping us get acquainted with them (as well as with each other) is so helpful in making this seem even more believable he entire time.

Kate Winslet and Leonardo DiCaprio are both superbly cast here and the chemistry between them is so easy to feel the entire time.

James Cameron is a stickler for detail and he was able to make a film that relies so heavily on its attention to details that it makes everything about the ship, its passengers and the events of this disaster look so thought out that it gives even more gravitas to the whole premise.

They are able to make us understand and feel what kind of life was lived aboard such a ship for both the rich and the poor respectively.

I love the fact that this film isn’t merely a love story but manages to keep things interesting as a thriller too because there are so many scenes that help make things feel even more exciting and thrilling as things move along.

The score (and Oscar winning song by Celine Dion) by James Horner adds a new dimension to the story and it helps make the story feel even more exciting and breathtaking throughout the whole film.

This film won 11 (of 13) Oscar nominations and is quite deserving of being one of only three films to ever have won that many awards.

This is among my favorite films and it’s so thrilling to watch it whenever I can.

I can’t wait to see it again soon!

Bottom Line – Excellent film that does an amazing job making the love story between the two main characters feel so realistic. They take their time developing the characters and slowly build up their relationship to a point where it is quite believable that such a love can truly happen. Winslet and DiCaprio are both superb in the leads and the chemistry between them is amazingly portrayed every step of the way. This film’s attention to details is what makes it near perfect and we get a clear sense of what life must have been like aboard this famed ship.  The story is mainly a love story about two very diverse people yet it still manages to keep things exciting and thrilling as the impending doom inches closer and closer. The music by James Horner adds so much to this film and helps keep things even more thrilling and breathtaking the entire time. This film won 11 Oscars and is quite deserving of being one of the three films to ever receive that many awards. This film is among my all time favorite movies and always keeps my adrenaline pumping no matter how often I get the chance of watching it.  Can’t wait to see it once again. Highly Highly Recommended!

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia –  James Cameron instructed the actors playing the officers to keep order amongst the extras in the sinking scenes. Jonny Phillips ad-libbed the moment when he whips around with the gun and shouts “keep back, or I’ll shoot you all like dogs!” After the take, James Cameron ran up to him and told him it was great and to do it again, and Phillips asked “What did I say?”, having been too caught up in the moment to realize what he was doing. (From IMDB)

Rating – Oscar Worthy (10/10) (no change from original review)

______________________________________

Check out my *updated* movie stats here

To see my reviews of Oscar Winning Performances check out this link

To see my reviews of all Oscar Best Picture Winners click here (now complete)

Here is a link to my movie index A-Z