Tom Hiddleston Weekend – I Saw the Light (2015)

Director: Marc Abraham

Writer: Marc Abraham (Screenplay) Colin Escott, George Merritt, William MacEwen (Book)

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Elizabeth Olsen, Bradley Whitford, Cherry Jones, Maddie Hasson, Wrenn Schmidt, David Krumholtz

 

Plot: The story of the country-western singer Hank Williams, who in his brief life created one of the greatest bodies of work in American music. The film chronicles his rise to fame and its tragic effect on his health and personal life.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lacks That Interest Factor

 

Story: I Saw the Light starts as we see Hank Williams (Hiddleston) slowly making his name in the music industry in the mid 40’s, his new marriage to Audrey (Olsen) does get questioned because she doesn’t have the singing voice he does and this shows early on when he must decide whether to supporting her singing or make his own career.

We follow how Hank continued to rise in fame but struggled with his own alcohol problems, his rocky marriage and his womanising, which led to his early death.

 

Thoughts on I Saw the Light

 

Characters/PerformanceHank is the famous country singer who rose to fame in the late 40s to become an icon, he has his own personal demons of drinking, womanising and rocky marriage. Audrey is the wife of Hank, she does want to be part of the singing but she doesn’t have the talent Hank has with brings a strain to their marriage.

Performance wise, well where do we start? Hiddleston is fine in this role as is Olsen and do the best with what they can with the story.

StoryNow I like watching bio-pics even if I don’t know who the film is centred around. I don’t know who Hank Williams is or what his most famous song was which I am not using as an excuse for not enjoying this film. I found the story way too long with very little happening and no focus on the music Hank has been making.

Biography/MusicThe story telling takes away from where the bio-pic side of the film should be focusing on where the music is all fine without being anything special.

SettingsThe settings are all fine for the time period in question which is all we need from the story of late 40s early 50s.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very weak bio-pic that doesn’t give us enough to like about the musician Hank Williams to look back and go, he was an interesting guy. The storytelling side of the film comes off confusing and doesn’t give us enough time on the music side of the film.

 

Overall: Weak bio-pic that lacks everything that is needed.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – I – In the Line of Fire (1993)

Director: Wolfgang Petersen

Writer: Jeff Maguire (Screenplay)

Starring: Clint Eastwood, John Malkovich, Rene Russo, Dylan McDermott, Gary Cole, Fred Dalton Thompson, John Mahoney

 

Plot: Secret Service agent Frank Horrigan couldn’t save Kennedy, but he’s determined not to let a clever assassin take out this president.


Tagline – An assassin on the loose. A president in danger. Only one man stands between them…

Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliantly Tense

 

Story: In the Line of Fire starts as we meet seasoned veteran of the secret service Frank Horrigan (Eastwood) who wants to get back in the field, granted he returns to protecting the President after getting a mysterious phone call from Mitch Leary (Malkovich) who is threatening to murder the President.

As Frank tries to stay ahead of Mitch, the game of cat-n-mouse starts to catch up with him, as Frank starts to see his career fall apart on political grounds and Mitch now has Frank exactly where he needs him.

 

Thoughts on In the Line of Fire

 

Characters – Frank Horrigan once worked on President Kennedy’s detail, now older he is reaching the age where his secret service work is usually behind the desk or in the field, not around the President, after receiving a threat towards the President he positions himself on the detail again, which puts his experience on the line to protect the president. Mitch Leary is the psychotic man who is threatening the President, he wants to play games with Frank as his master of disguise helps him blend into a crowd. He always believes he is ahead of the game with his planned calculated with each movement. Lilly Raines is the new agent that must work with Frank, she is mostly the question about female agents through the eyes of an older member of the community. Al is the current partner of Frank who has been struggling with the reckless behaviour he has been working with.

PerformancesClint Eastwood in the leading role is great because he is the perfect age for this movie which makes us understand that he is good man still trying his best for the President. John Malkovich is stunning as the villain as we believe each word and action his commits to this role, being haunting and calculated throughout. Rene Russo offers us the young agent role, she does well with what she has to do without taking from the spotlight shone upon the lead two. The rest of the cast are good and know how to make the most of their limited scenes.

StoryThe story here follows the aging Secret Service agent that is caught up in a cat-n-mouse assassination attempt from an anonymous criminal. The story gives Frank a backstory of regret as he was one the President Kennedy service team and he will forever deal with the pain that he couldn’t save him, this adds determination to his character and it also gives Mitch a motive to beat the man who would ne known to have failed twice. This story shows us how to make cat-n-mouse style story where the villain will do anything and will spend time mocking the hero when he fails to capture him. We do get a heavily influenced America is great theme though which in places can be annoying to see. The pacing and use of foreshadowing works well in the film too showing us just what we are waiting to see where things go.

Action/CrimeThe action in the film is mixed because most of the scenes involves an aging actor that is meant to not be able to handle the physicality of the job anymore. The crime side of the film is where we get the most interesting side of everything which shows us just how far one man is willing to go to put his name in lights by killing the President.

SettingsThe film uses the settings show to us how compact any situation where the President would be attending can become with threats from nearly every corner.


Scene of the Movie –
The rooftop.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too patriotic like no one else could have helped.

Final ThoughtsThis is a great crime thriller that shows us just how deadly a villain can be when they are completely set on completing a mission, we have two brilliant performances from Eastwood and Malkovich that will keep you on edge throughout.

 

Overall: Must watch crime thriller.

Rating

 

 

Point Man (2019)

Director: Phil Blattenberger

Writer: Phil Blattenberger (Screenplay)

Starring: Christopher Long, Jacob Keohane, Chase Gutzmore, Marcus Bailey, Matthew Ewald

 

Plot: Set in Vietnam in April 1968 – three months after the tide-turning Tet Offensive and one month after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. – Point Man is the story of a U.S. Army fire team fractured by racial tensions, moral crises, and the crushing pressures of combat in a war nobody wants to fight. Andre “Casper” Allen, a rough-edged ideologue, finds his radical politics put him at odds with the squad’s machine gunner, Silas Meeks. When their search-and-destroy mission in the Mekong Delta goes terribly wrong, both men find themselves pitted against each other and their recalcitrant platoon commander, Lieutenant Sutter. Point men die like flies in the bush, and as loyalties dissolve every step forward comes with a price.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Reality of War

 

Story: Point Man starts in Vietnam with a platoon of mixed raced soldiers, Andre ‘Casper’ Allen (Long), Joe Creighton (Gutzmore), Felix Wake (Bailey) and racist Silas Meeks (Keohane) all under the strict Lieutenant Sutter (Ewald). On their latest mission they four men get separated from their platoon and are left behind enemy lines.

The journey back sees the four men clash with Joe making difficult decisions when they see how the fellow American soldiers are acting, Silas needing to put his racial problems behind him with Casper trying his hardest to keep the four men together knowing it will be the only way they can make it back to safety.

 

Thoughts on Point Man

 

Characters – Andre ‘Casper’ Allen is one of the black soldiers in the platoon, he is tired of the racial divide within the platoon, but after he is split from the platoon, he must do the correct decision-making to see his friends back to safety, the decisions he must face will see him go after his own side that have gone too far in the war. Joe is the one that will do the right thing, he knows just how bad the situations will be and will do the right thing even if it means his life will end doing it. Silas is the racist soldier that ends up with the three black soldiers, he doesn’t want to work with them, but knows this will be the only way to get out of the situation alive, he is always looking out for himself. Lieutenant Sutter is the strict platoon leader that has been forced into difficult decisions, he seems like he going to be the one that is against everyone through this film almost in a cowardly way too.

PerformancesThe performance in this film are interesting because when it comes to the discussion points, we get strong acting from the whole cast, it gets to the conflict side which also plays into the budget which does expose the weak points in this film. Christopher Long in the leading performance shows the chemistry required with Chase Gutzmore and Marcus Bailey, with the tension feeling real with Jacob Keohane.

StoryThe story gives us a glimpse into the mindset of three black soldiers in the Vietnam war, they believe they are just there to be part of the body count, while being given the jobs which are more likely to die, mostly the Point Man role. We see how they react to becoming separated with a racist behind enemy lines and how they must work together to survive, while dealing with the soldiers in the land that could cause just as much problems whichever side of the fight they are on. This story gets to show us how war can affect people, make them do things they wouldn’t normally consider and how the skin colour of these soldiers is going to seeing them get the blame for anything going wrong. This story shows us just how difficult the war was on the victims, how doing the right thing can make you an enemy to your own side. The only part of the film I didn’t like from the story side of things was the final act, it felt to quick.

ActionThe action in this film comes from the standard war related material, we see guns firing and people falling, none of the graphicness of war though.

SettingsWe follow our soldiers through the forests and plains of Vietnam, nothing looks out of place for the settings side of things, though it could have look slightly more war torn.


Scene of the Movie –
The first difficult decision.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The ending was too quick.

Final ThoughtsThis is a strong look at the reality of war, we see how the lives of the men would have been affected by their decisions and how they are in constant fear of being the first to be picked off.

 

Overall: Strong Look at War.

Rating