Jon Favreau Weekend – Iron Man 2 (2010)

Director: Jon Favreau

Writer: Justin Theroux (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Don Heck, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby (Comic Book)

Starring: Robert Downey Jr, Gwyneth Paltrow, Don Cheadle, Scarlett Johansson, Sam Rockwell, Mickey Rourke, Samuel L Jackson, Clark Gregg

 

Plot: With the world now aware of his identity as Iron Man, Tony Stark must contend with both his declining health and a vengeful mad man with ties to his father’s legacy.


Tagline – It’s not the armor that makes the hero, but the man inside.

Runtime: 2 Hours 4 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Entertaining Sequel

 

Story: Iron Man 2 starts in the world where Tony Stark’s (Downey Jr) Iron Man has seen the world in peace for the longest time in modern history, the government however isn’t happy with the device and the world is trying to build their own versions of the Iron Man suit. With Tony’s device slowly causing more damage than it should, he is looking for a way to stop the affects being caused.

With Tony searching for answers, he must deal with new member of the law team Natalie Rushman (Johansson), giving Pepper (Paltrow) the CEO position, a rival inventor Justin Hammer (Rockwell) and a jilted victim of his father’s work Ivan Vanko (Rourke) better known as Whiplash, who has his own form of weaponised equipment and wants revenge.

 

Thoughts on Iron Man 2

 

Characters – Tony Stark revealed his identity at the end of the last movie, he has become even more famous as the man that ended conflict in the world, the government want control over the suit and worry that other parts of the world could develop their own version of the suit. He must deal with his own mortality when the one thing keeping him alive, is making him sick. He will also need to fight for his father’s mistakes, pushing his closest friends away. Pepper Potts has been given a promotion by Tony, to CEO, she already runs his affairs, she is now running his company, while trying to control him during his self-destruction. Rhodey is still in his role in the military, he is still challenging Tony, but gets to use his own suit the correct way, for guiding the military. Natasha goes undercover in Stark’s company, she is a member of SHIELD where she uses her skills in combat to keep Tony out of trouble. Justin Hammer is a rival inventor still trying to get ahead of Tony in the weapons business, he has been working on his own Iron Man suit, without much success, he hires Ivan to build him a suit. Ivan Vanko has built his own weaponised suit, he is the son of a rival of Tony’ father, which sees him want to take revenge on Tony for his father’s action, becoming whiplash, the one man that has created a suit that could rival Iron Man.

PerformancesRobert Downey Jr is still great to watch, he keeps the charisma required for his role, while bringing an emotional factor which is needed for where his character goes in this film. Gwyneth Paltrow does have a bigger role here and brings us a much stronger performance with her character. Don Cheadle is an improvement on Terrence Howard, bringing Rhodey to life more. Scarlett Johansson has the perfect look for this character which is only first jumping into the franchise. Sam Rockwell as another inventor arms dealer who is filled with the swagger required. Mickey Rourke as the villain has good motives he does everything he can even if he character does grumble a lot.

StoryThe story follows up the beginning of Iron Man dealing with the idea that the military would want control of the equipment and the rest of the world will be playing catch up, with their own versions of the Iron Man suit. This is a strong world building exercise to the Iron Man universe, we get to see how SHIELD are operating in the shadows watching over the potential threats. We have a villain that is competition and another one that is out for personal revenge. We up the stakes in this one, Tony does have to deal with his own problems by needing to improve the suit and we get to set up the position of who is one the good side with teases of the eventual Avengers team up.

Action/Sci-Fi The action in this film relies on a couple of big scenes, we have the racing introduction, the mid-life crisis sequence and the showdown, each has their own way to make an impact. The sci-fi side of the film continues to show the technology advances that Tony is dealing with.

SettingsThe film uses the settings more for the action with one of the most iconic action sequences in the franchise, we continue to see Tony’s lab which tends to get destroyed a lot too.

Special EffectsThe special effects in the film make each fight, drone or Iron Man suit look realistic through the film which is what needed for the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Monte Carlo entrance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There is a small pacing issue.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun sequel that continues to build the universe we know now, Tony still needs to learn about his place and how to handle the suit which is important and shows the past could come back to haunt you.

 

Overall: Fun sequel.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Horror – T – Tank 432 (2015)

Director: Nick Gillespie

Writer: Nick Gillespie (Screenplay)

Starring: Rupert Evans, Steve Garry, Deirdre Mullins, Michael Smiley, Gordon Kennedy

 

Plot: A team of mercenaries confront nightmarish visions when they become trapped inside an armoured personnel carrier.


Tagline –  There’s no turning back.

Runtime: 1 Hour 28 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fails to Deliver

 

Story: Tank 432 starts as we follow army squad Reeves (Evans), Gantz (Garry), Karlsson (Mullins), Capper (Smiley), Smith (Kennedy) and Evans (Meeten) as they are alluding an unknown enemy, in an unknown woodland area, where they come across the last squad while coming down with a sickness.

When the unit discovers an armoured vehicle they use it for shelter from the approaching enemy but also find themselves locked in the vehicle where they discover they may have been infected by something because they all start seeing nightmare visions.

 

Thoughts on Tank 432

 

Characters – Reeves is one of the younger members of the unit, he seems like the newest member often making rookie mistakes in the eyes of other members of the unit. Capper is the injured member of the unit, he is left to defend for himself as the unit needs to move out quickly. Karlsson is the medic in the unit needing to take care of the injuries to Capper and the mental state of the random girl they find. The soldier all hit the generics of what you expect without giving too much about their lives outside of the unit away.

PerformancesThe performances across the board are good enough for the film, with most of the cast trapped inside the tank it doesn’t give them much to do other than sit around talk and searching for answers.

StoryThe story follows the unit as they look to survive from an unknown enemy, this is where a lot of this films story falls apart because, we don’t know their mission, where it is or what they are running from. It spends too long inside the tank trying to figure out a way out without any threat coming from the outside, for this film to hit the marks we needed to see more of the nightmare effects of whatever is meant to be going on which would explain the fear they are facing but not enough is revealed until the final act.

Action/HorrorThe action isn’t as heavy as we would like it too be, we have random shooting and a driving sequence the rest is waiting for something to happen. The horror is there just not as much as we would like it to be, the moments of the vision offer something but don’t deliver in the final punch.

SettingsMost of the film is set inside the vehicle, which I can accept being good for a confined setting waiting for an enemy but we don’t see the enemy do anything against them.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well when needed but the film doesn’t turn to them, which is a good thing.


Scene of the Movie –
Capper’s return.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not enough happens.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that disappoints in the most part, it doesn’t hit the levels it could and we are left wondering just where the film was meant to be going for the most part.

 

Overall: Disappoint horror that misses the chances it had.

Rating

 

 

Eli (2019) Movie Review

Director: Ciaran Foy

Writer: David Chirchirillo, Ian Goldberg, Richard Naing (Screenplay)

Starring: Charlie Shotwell, Kelly Reilly, Sadie Sink, Lili Taylor, Parker Lovein, Max Martini

Plot: A boy receiving treatment for his auto-immune disorder discovers that the house he’s living in isn’t as safe as he thought.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Excellent Horror

Story: Eli starts as we meet young boy Eli (Shotwell) who has an auto-immune disorder which leaves him living in a bubble like world, not being able to go outside, along with his parents Rose (Reilly) and Paul (Martini) are taking him across country to see Dr Isabella Horn (Taylor) that is offering an experimental treatment.

In the hospital like house that the family are staying in, Eli starts his treatment and starts suffering the hallucinations that are meant to be a side effect of the treatment, which get increasingly worse for the young boy as he believes he is being haunted by a ghostly figure.

Thoughts on Eli

Characters – Eli is the young boy with the auto-immune disease, he does suffer nightmares about what would happen if he was outside, he lives in a bubble, which is his only safety in life. He is going through an experimental procedure which is meant to cure him, only for him to start suffering haunting visions and attacks by ghosts, he must figure out if they are trying to harm him or help him before he reaches the latest procedure. Rose and Paul are the religious parents that have given up nearly everything to make their son’s life better, trying to remain strong for him throughout the events of the film. Dr Isabella Horn is the doctor that is trying to help Eli, only her methods don’t seem to get explained to the family, while they are left to just believe anything she says. Haley is a girl from the neighbourhood that visits Eli, hoping to find friendship, though she does know the fate of most of the people in the house.

PerformancesCharlie Shotwell does a wonderful job in the leading role, suffering through medical procedures, hauntings and emotional problems with ease through the film. Kelly Reilly, Max Martini and Lili Taylor are all strong through the film, which we don’t see much away from Charlie from any of them. Sadie Sink is solid without having much to do, other than being a friend to talk too.

StoryThe story here follows a young boy with a medical condition who gets taken to an experimental hospital for treatment, when he starts getting visits from ghosts, where he might learn the truth about the hospital. This is a story which does keep you on your toes, you will constantly be thrown through different sub-genres of horror and it is excellent to see how the film can keep you guessing and leave you surprised by the ending, because if anybody saw this coming, they would be a liar. This is a story where not learning too much going in is even better because it does start with what could be a routine horror, but will leave you shocked by the end.

HorrorThe horror here does seem to jump through so many sub-genres of horror it is a joy to watch, because the transition is seamless throughout.

SettingsThe film keeps most of the film inside the hospital, this is an excellent location for the film to be set, which sees everything unfold down the dark filled hallways.

Special EffectsThe effects do come off well too with how everything happens, be it the ghostly figures or the more practical ones too.


Scene of the Movie – The ghosts in the mirror.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The abusive people at the start of the film.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that does truly keep you on your toes, it is great to see this too, we will get scares and surprises and you won’t believe how everything unfolds.

Overall: Surprising Throughout.