Braven (2018)

Director: Lin Oeding

Writer: Thomas Pa’a Sibbett (Screenplay) Michael Nilon, Thomas Pa’a Sibbett (Story)

Starring: Jason Momoa, Garret Dillahunt, Jill Wagner, Stephen Land, Sasha Rossof, Sala Baker, Fraser Aitcheson

 

Plot: A logger defends his family from a group of dangerous drug runners.


Tagline – They threatened his world. He will destroy theirs.

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Action 101

 

Story: Braven starts as we meet everyday nice guy Joe Braven (Momoa) who is caring for his aging father Linden (Lang), while having a family of his own with wife Stephanie (Wagner) and daughter Charlotte (Rossof). In an attempt to help his father with a difficult decision, Joe takes him to their remote cabin, with Charlotte sneaking along.

Joe will have to defend his family however, after a drug transport goes wrong and the drug runners use his cabin to hide their merchandise. The kingpin behind the drugs Kassen (Dillahunt) arrives in town to clean up the mistake which sees him going face to face with Joe.

 

Thoughts on Braven

 

Characters – Joe is a good man, he has always looked after his family and worked hard, he is in need of making a difficult decision regarding his father, whose mental health is getting worse. With this moment being his main focus, it isn’t long before he learns his family is in danger from drug runners and his must defend them at any cost. Kassen is the leader of the drug runners, he isn’t afraid to kill anyone who gets in his way and shows that he is the brains of the operation. He doesn’t like to leave a mess behind. Stephanie is Joe’s wife, she is the only family member not at the cabin, while he is worried about what is happening once she learns their daughter has snuck away. Linden is Joe’s father, a war veteran whose memory is going, he gets himself in trouble around town because of this, but when conflict occurs, he will show not everything in his mind is gone.

PerformancesJason Momoa in the leading role is great, he has the physical presence required for this role, while also looking vulnerable when it comes to what is happening, to make his performance complete he gets to show the emotional impact while caring for his father. Garret Dillahunt is an actor that can play the twisted villain and always has been underused in this side of films, here he gets to shine once again. Jill Wagner doesn’t get as much to do in this film but what she does do is good, while Stephen Lang brings the experience required to the film.

StoryThe story here is very simple, it is a man trying to protect his family from drug runners, this is all we need for an action film at times, we do have a side story about how Joe is coping with his father’s mental state which is getting worse, which is one of the serious moments within the story. The idea that one man will take out a squad of drug runners is one we have seen before, it does work and is easy to watch from a story side of things.

ActionThe action comes from the use of environment to stay ahead of an enemy, while having the typical shootouts which we have become a custom to. Nothing is overly complicated with the fights and we do know how they will end though.

SettingsThe film takes place in and around a remote cabin in the snowy mountains, this provides the isolation in which a drug deal could take place, but we also get to use the environment to give Joe the advantage.


Scene of the Movie –
The final fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The cops pretty useless.

Final Thoughts – This is an enjoyable simple to watch action film, it gets everything it needs to right without going over the top at any point.

 

Overall: Enjoyable action.

Rating

 

 

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Don’t Look (2018)

Director: Luciana Faulhaber

Writer: Jessica Boucher, Danielle Killay (Screenplay) Luciana Faulhaber (Story)

Starring: Jeff Berg, Luciana Faulhaber, Curtis K Case, Hailey Heisick, Jarrod Robbins, Lindsay Eshelman, Javier E Gomez

 

Plot: In the tradition of classic horror movies, “Don’t Look” is the story of five friends who leave NYC for a weekend they’ll never forget.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 11 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Bland Slasher

 

Story: Don’t Look starts with five friends Lorena (Faulhaber), Ted (Berg), Alex (Case), Nicole (Eshelman) and Sebastian (Gomez) who head of for a weekend away in a family cabin, they are joined uncomfortable by the hillbillies Kelley (Robbins) and Sherri Baby (Heisick), who make the friends see the different lifestyles they are living between.

The group soon find themselves under attack by a masked killer that wants to pick them off one by one, leading them to a desperate race to escape the killer.

 

Thoughts on Don’t Look

 

Characters – Lorena is one of the women on the trip, she is there with her new boyfriend and soon needs to use her knowledge of survival to make it through, she does seem to be the only one ready to fight back. Nicole is the best friend of Lorena, she has a pat with the location and is caught up in a love triangle. Ted is the boyfriend of Lorena, he is a man that thinks his looks and cocky attitude will get him whatever he wants. Alex and Sebastian complete the group of friends characters that are not truly given enough back story to make interesting.

PerformancesLuciana Faulhaber does take a couple of duties on this film with directing being one of them. When it comes to the performances nobody really makes an impact and most struggle through the film.

StoryThe story here follows five friends that head to a cabin in the woods for a fun booze filled weekend only to find themselves battling for their lives from a masked killer. The problems with the story start early because it just follows everything we have seen before without offering us anything new, it struggles to establish one of the characters to feel like a main character which is essential in the slasher genre. This plays out like every slasher we have seen only watering down everything to become forgettable with how it all unfolds.

HorrorThis is the basic slasher ideas of horror, it doesn’t become anything new and doesn’t push what we know to any limits.

SettingsThe film puts us in the remote cabin in the woods, it does create the isolation required, though it is just running around in the dark for the most part.

Special EffectsThe effects are basic to say the least, we usually get cuts to avoid the extra blood involved.

Scene of the Movie – First kill.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Nothing new to the slasher genre.

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic slasher that doesn’t bring anything new to the genre and feels like it is left in the 80s that could easily find a cult following, but won’t make the casual horror fans happy.

 

Overall: Basic slasher.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Justice League Dark (2017)

Director: Jay Oliva

Writer: Ernie Altbacker (Screenplay) J.M DeMatteis, Ernie Altbacker (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Rosario Dawson, Camilla Luddington, Jerry O’Connell, Jeremy Davies, Alfred Molina, Enrico Colantoni, Matt Ryan, Jason O’Mara, Nicholas Turturro, Roger Cross, Ray Chase

 

Plot: Beings with supernatural powers join together to fight against supernatural villains. This team of supernatural beings include John Constantine, Zatanna and Jason Blood also known as the demon Etrigan.


Tagline – Every super hero has a dark side.

Runtime: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Darker Justice League Delight

 

Story: Justice League Dark starts when the people of the world start seeing demons in everyday life causing them to commit crimes including murder. Batman, Superman, Wonder Woman and Green Lantern are doing their best to solve the mystery which leads them to work with John Constantine.

John is joined with his connection Zatanna and Boston Brand as Batman leads the investigation to the mysterious demons being seen by the people around the world. Destiny an ancient evil has returned and only Constantine’s dark magic can save humanity.

 

Thoughts on Justice League Dark

 

Characters – Batman must look outside of the normal Justice League for help on the latest mission, one that goes into the dark arts of magic, he must use his connection to find Constantine as they prepare to fight to save the world once again. John Constantine is the British dark arts expert, he doesn’t get on with many people, but knows each and every connection in the darker side of the universe. Zatanna is the connection between Batman and Constantine, she does have Boston around to help control bodies, which is what Boston uses his abilities for, Jason Blood is the one friend that John still has even if they do have moments where they don’t see eye to eye, as well as his own inner demon which does the fighting for him. Destiny is the demon that is trying to find his way back to Earth after being left in darkness after his failed invasion.

StoryThe story here takes Batman to a new group the dark magic group of the DC Universe which brings us the darkest story to date. We only have small appearances from most of the Justice League, this does let the new characters have the focus for the story which is important because we are in a world a dark magic. This does have twists along the way in the story which will keep you guessing along the way and if you don’t know most of these characters you will get a chance to learn with how they are introduced through the film.

Action/Fantasy/HorrorThe action does fill the quota for a big superhero style fighting film, we have lots of explosion and destruction with each case getting bigger as the film unfold. Where this film uses the fantasy card is with the magic involved in the film, we get to see the creature from different universes appear and fight, with some showing us the horrors in these worlds.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us the different places the magic can take us, we see the darkness and the normal, the homes of the new characters and the past of them too.

AnimationThe animation is of good quality here and fits the style of the film giving us the action and horror we deserve.


Scene of the Movie –
Swamp Thing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Slight short again.

Final ThoughtsThis is a much darker comic book movie with the big name of Batman involved, it works with the worlds colliding giving each side the battle they are looking for.

 

Overall: Darkest Justice League story.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Justice League vs. Teen Titans (2016)

Director: Sam Liu

Writer: Bryan Q Miller, Alan Burnett (Screenplay) Bryan Q Miller (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Rosario Dawson, Christopher Gorham, Shemar Moore, Jerry O’Connell, Jason O’Mara, Stuart Allan, Jake T Austin, Taissa Farmiga, Sean Maher

 

Plot: Robin is sent to work with the Teen Titans after his volatile behavior botches up a Justice League mission. The Titans must then step up to face Trigon after he possesses the League and threatens to conquer the world.


Tagline – Two teams. One epic battle.

Runtime: 1 Hour 18 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Justice League Movie

 

Story: Justice League vs. Teen Titans starts as Robin’s behaviour on the latest mission sees him disappointing his father Batman and letting down the Justice League, being forced by Nightwing, to work with the Teen Titans, Raven, Blue Beetles, Beast Boy and Starfire.

With Robin needing to bond with people his own age, the evil spirit Trigon finds a new host in Superman, one deadlier than the Justice League is ready to handle, leading to the Teen Titans needing to assist in the defence of the planet.

 

Thoughts on Justice League vs. Teen Titans

 

Characters – Robin is the son of Batman, he has been getting tired of going on the mission and not getting involved in the action, he ends up being sent to the Teen Titan headquarters to learn about teamwork, here he discovers that his abilities will make him a great leader. Starfire runs the Teen Titans, she is from another universe which has seen her become like a guardian to the teens. Raven is another inter-dimension being that has called Earth home, she has a connection to Trigon showing she is the only one that knows how to stop him. Beast Boy, Blue Beetle and Nightwing complete teen titans. The Justice League do take a step back for Robin to learn, with Batman being the disappointed father, Superman being the one that gets taken over first, with Trigon as the demon villain wanting to destroy the Earth.

StoryThe story here shows that Robin needs to learn his place in the world of superheroes as he isn’t ready to be a part of the Justice League and will need to be ready to lead another team of young heroes, the Teen Titans. This does show how the Justice League can’t always be turned to, to fight evil and how the past of the young teens will show they will be best to fight against the enemies that will come to Earth. This does build on everything we have meant in the genre bringing the adventures the popular characters into the animated world which can make things bigger too.

Action/ComedyThe action is big fight sequences which show what each hero is capable off, the comedy in the film comes from how the teens react to the superhero world they aren’t fully prepared for.

SettingsThe film uses the basic big city settings, while going to other worlds to learn the bigger pictures.

AnimationThe animation is this film is good without reaching the levels of Pixar levels of the film.


Scene of the Movie –
The trip to hell.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too short really.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun animation that brings the Justice League into new light which is refreshing to see.

 

Overall: Justice League animation to enjoy.

Rating