Writer: Richard Ryan, Michael Marcelin (Screenplay)
Starring: Richard Ryan, Jackie Nova, Nicholas Talone, Leon van Waas, Prince Toe
Plot: After uncovering the CIA’s ruthless master plan for world domination by gaining complete mind control over the entire population, top scientist Joseph Markham is ultimately left with a choice: save the lives of billions…or the life of his wife, who has been kidnapped, interrogated, and brutally tortured as she viciously fights for her life. As a nationwide manhunt ensues, deadly assassins pursue, and one man’s decision will determine the fate of the world, Art of Deception is about a fight for life, love and world dominance,
Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Late Night Action Treat
Story: Art of Deception starts as Joseph Markham (Ryan) and his wife Valentina (Nova) are planning their future, with Joseph’s work for the CIA coming to an end, he has been part of project which would redefine the world with the project leader Roland Smith (Waas) wanting to tie up all loose ends that worked on the project.
Joseph goes on the run after learning Roland wants to terminate both himself and Valentina, but Roland isn’t prepared for what is coming next, when he learns that both a highly skilled assassination that know how to survive against the odds, with Joseph needing to make a difficult decision on whether to stop the CIA plan or save his wife.
Thoughts on Art of Deception
Characters – Joseph Markham has been working for the CIA on a top-secret mind control project, it has reached the final stages with the final test being a success. He along with his wife soon become targets for the CIA who don’t want loose ends, which means Joseph will show his skills and training that his boss never knew he had, he will uses his training to stay alive and plan to expose the truth to the world. Valentina is the wife of Joseph, she is just as deadly, despite being held captive, she knows how the stay alive. Roland Smith is the project leader that wants to tie up any loose ends involved in the project, he doesn’t want anybody being able to spill the plans and puts all his effort into killing the Markham’s.
Performances – Richard Ryan in the leading role and on directing duties handles everything very well, with he combat scenes, showing his character’s deadly ability along with using the brains to stay ahead of the game. Jackie Nova brings us the feisty character that is the highlight of her screen time. Leon van Waas makes for the fun over the top villain through the film.
Story – The story here follows a couple that become targets of the CIA after their work for them, where they show their skills to survive and expose the truth about the project. This does follow everything we know from a late night action story, we have a skilled killer that must come out of his retired decision to protect himself, his wife and the world, when the moment comes for him to shine. We do have a villain that does following everything we are expecting to see with his evil plan that does need to be stopped. We can easily sit back and relax through this film, with the feisty dialogue being used through the film too.
Action – The action in the film is easy to watch, we deal with different fight scenes, with different fighting techniques being used to show skills behind the characters.
Settings – The film does keep the settings simple, we do have the CIA offices which sees the tight corridors when it comes to dealing with the fights and the secret locations where kidnapped people will be held.
Final Thoughts – This is a fun late night action film that could be enjoyed by all the action junkies, it keeps most things simple, without being down as plain.
Overall: Fun Action Film.
Writer: Fran Walsh, Philippa Boyens, Peter Jackson (Screenplay) Merian C Cooper, Edgar Wallace (Story)
Starring: Naomi Watts, Jack Black, Adrien Brody, Thomas Kretschmann, Colin Hanks, Andy Serkis, Evan Parke, Jamie Bell
Plot: In 1933 New York, an overly ambitious movie producer coerces his cast and hired ship crew to travel to the mysterious Skull Island, where they encounter Kong, a giant ape who is immediately smitten with leading lady Ann Darrow.
Tagline – The eighth wonder of the world.
Runtime: 3 Hours 7 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Epic Remake
Story: King Kong starts when struggling actress Ann Darrow (Watts) loses her latest job in the packed city of New York, she gets lucky when she meets disgraced director Carl Denham (Black) who is rushing to find a leading lady, taking Ann for his latest film, with his screenwriter Jack Driscoll (Brody), the every man Ann wants to work with.
Escaping New York before Carl gets arrested, he sets out searching for the mysterious Skull Island, which he wants as his backdrop for his movie, a place nobody has ever set foot on. Once on the island the crew get attacked by a tribe who take Ann to feed to their feared leader King Kong.
With the crew going in search of Ann, they discover the island is crawling with animals they have never seen, with Carl continue to shoot his picture, the desire to hunt down Kong for display being the biggest attraction in New York.
Thoughts on King Kong
Characters – Ann Darrow is a stage actress who has ben performing in an unsuccessful show for years until her theatre gets closed down, she is getting desperate to work with famous play write, only to find herself meeting a film director working with him. Ann jumps at the chance to have a paid gig, only this becomes more than she ever bargained for, when she becomes the object of King Kong affections on Skull Island. Carl Denham is a film director whose latest film isn’t impressing his investors, he decides to run before having the whole projects plug pulled, taking his crew to an unknown island and even after the danger starts, he continues to film his evolving story. Jack Driscoll is the screenwriter that is trying to get back to his stage work, only to find that Carl has tricked him into remaining on the boat, forcing him to work on the screenplay, he starts to fall in love with Ann along the way too, willing to risk his own life to save hers. Kong is the feared ruler of Skull Island, he takes Ann as a sacrifice falling in love with the human on his island, he can fight any threat, including T-Rexes. He is the icon that we know from previous films bought to life once again.
Performances – Naomi Watts in the role made famous by Fay Wray, brings her own stamp to the role, handling the small comic moments very well through the film too. Jack Black might not have been many people’s first choice for the director role, but he proves a lot of people wrong with his performance, which still remains one of his best. Adrien Brody proves to be a great choice too because he gets to poke fun at the Hollywood stereotypes.
Story – The story here follows an ambitious director who takes his crew including a desperate young actress to Skull Island, a mysterious uncharted location only to find a land filled with unseen monsters including the king of the island Kong, who becomes friends with Ann the actress. This is the remake of the one of the classic films of the 1930s, it does tell the same story, only builds on everything to new levels, because back then, nobody knew how big movies were going to be, so this time we can look back at the movie building era, showing more of the conflicts between movies and theatre. The island is also much larger in scale with plenty of creatures which add to the story. we do even have small side stories which do work to fill the films lengthy 3 hour plus run time. We do get to see just how destructive the human can be to new worlds too.
Action/Adventure – The action in the film is massive, edge of the seat and most importantly brilliant to watch, be it the fights between creatures, monsters and humans, right down to the New York showdown with Kong. The adventure does take us to a new world, where we haven’t seen the creatures before, or at least not this size. It shows the most dangerous side of the explorer’s journeys in the world.
Settings – The film does use two main settings, first New York which is re-created for the time period perfectly, the second is the island which is filled with the beauty and terror you would have come to expect from an unknown location
Special Effects – The effects are one of the biggest talking points of this film, first of all Kong looks fantastic, large amounts of the film looks brilliant, but that one chase scene will drag this down because it is such a weak point for the film.
Final Thoughts – This is one of the remakes that works because of the improvement in technology, it is epic in scale and manages to capture the true feeling behind what made the original such a memorable movie.
Overall: Stunning remake that lives up to the scale of the movie.
Writer: Gregg Hurwitz (Screenplay)
Starring: Naomi Watts, Jaeden Lieberher, Jacob Tremblay, Sarah Silverman, Dean Norris, Lee Pace, Maddie Ziegler
Plot: With instructions from her genius son’s carefully crafted notebook, a single mother sets out to rescue a young girl from the hands of her abusive stepfather.
Tagline – Never leave things undone.
Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes
There may be spoilers the rest of the review
Verdict: Sweet Little Tale
Story: The Book of Henry starts as we meet 12-year-old Henry (Lieberher) who is the brains in the family with his little brother Peter (Tremblay) and single working mother Susan (Watts). Henry is a genius and knows how to support the family with his stock tips.
When Henry starts to suspect his neighbour Glenn Sickleman (Norris) of abusing his stepdaughter Christina (Ziegler) he wants to solve the problem, though none of the adults will listen to him. Henry writes a book on how to save Christina, which Susan finds and goes out to complete his work and save her.
Thoughts on The Book of Henry
Characters – Susan is the mother of the house, though she doesn’t have the full responsibility in the house as she lets her genius son Henry handle the finances in the home. She is a single working mother that does everything she can to help her kids, enjoys a drink with her best friend Sheila and videos to release the stress, she must go through a difficult process when Henry becomes sick and wants to follow his book to do the right thing. Henry is a genius 12-year-old boy, he keeps his family together while trying to leave his own legacy, he knows how to work the stock market which keeps the family a float and when he sees wrong in the world he wants to help change it, this brings him to write a book to stop the abuse of his neighbour by her stepfather. Peter is the younger brother to Henry, he always looks up to him and wants to help him with his innocent being the only thing that lets Henry have fun. Sheila is the best friend and work colleague of Susan, she enjoys herself a drink and has great banter with Henry. Glenn is the neighbour and police chief living next door to the Carpenter family, he has a stepdaughter that he is abusing though he position of power makes it nearly impossible for him to get investigated. Dr Daniels is the man that must treat Henry, he must help the family through the difficult decision.
Performances – Naomi Watts in the leading role is great through this film, we see how her character needs to develop after what happens to Henry. Jaeden continues to show us he is a fast-rising child star along with Jacob Tremblay who are both going to be talked about as a couple of the best of the current generations. Silverman, Morris and Pace give us good supporting performances throughout the film too.
Story – The story here follows a genius son that helps run the family to help take the pressure of his single mother, he plans long term and wants to make the world a better place, though when sees abuse he wants to step in and help. He doesn’t expect the short term though, leaving his legacy to his mother to help solve the abuse he sees the neighbour going through. We do have moments that make the children feel like they are in ‘Pay it Forward’ which does have a better message about, doing something to make the world a better place, this story does get that message over and does make you want to help bring calm to the world. if I was being honest with the way the story is told, I feel it would have been nice to mix the planning Henry does with the actual plan rather than showing his plan before the incident.
Crime – The film does have a crime base to everything going on, we get to see how Henry sees a crime being committed and the only way he can solve it is to have someone commit a crime for him.
Settings – The film shows us the simple life the Carpenter family are currently living and how Henry is happy with this even though he can make them rich with a blink of an eye, he wants family over anything.
Final Thoughts – This is a film that has taken a beating by the critics and sure there are a couple of weaknesses in this film, but the core of the story is one of the most interesting ways to show a child genius doing the right thing in life, well-acted and one people should be giving a chance too.
Overall: Nice story about leaving a legacy.