The Mule (2018) Movie Review

Director: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Nick Schenk (Screenplay) Sam Dolnick (Article)

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Bradley Cooper, Taissa Farmiga, Dianne Wiest, Michael Pena, Austin Freeman, Laurence Fishburne

Plot: A ninety-year-old horticulturist and Korean War veteran turns drug mule for a Mexican cartel.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Simple & Enjoyable

Story: The Mule starts as Earl Stone (Eastwood) a horticulturist that has spend too much of his life on the road away from his family, missing the major events in his family’s life. After he doesn’t cope with the changes in the market, he is left with nothing and looking like failing his granddaughter Ginny (Farmiga), only for her fiancée Mike (Freeman) offer him a chance to just drive.

With Earl taking the job, it turns out he has been transporting drugs, with Agent Colin Bates (Cooper) and Agent Trevino (Pena) trying to track down anyone smuggling drugs across the border. How long can Earl keep this up before he gets caught, even though he is spending the money on helping the community.

Thoughts on The Mule

Characters – Earl is a horticulturist, he has spent his whole life in this business, which has seen him sacrifice major family events, making him distant to most of his family. He loses his job and is given a chance to become a driver for a cartel, which he soon becomes the most successful in the industry he even gives the money back to the community he has seen struggle for years. Mary is the ex-wife that has finally become tired of the let downs that Earl has left the family with. Ginny is the granddaughter that has been promised money and doesn’t care as long as her grandfather is willing to be there for her on the big days. Agent Bates is fresh to the force he is tasked to try and stop the smuggling and spends most of the time trying to learn about the new mysterious mule for the cartel.

PerformancesClint Eastwood is a joy to watch in this film, he comes off like an everyday older person that just wants to be willing to help people around his life, even though he is filled with regret about his family life. Bradley Cooper doesn’t really get too much time to shine or do anything in his role, while the rest of the cast don’t seem to get that much time to show off their characters.

StoryThe story here that follows a retirement aged, he has worked his whole life and ends up becoming a drug mule for a cartel, which sees him becoming one of the most wanted men in America. This is based on a real man that took this role because he enjoyed driving, he isn’t like anybody else they have worked for, but his style makes him harder to track down. The story does use the themes of regretting losing time in life which is clear in the behaviour from Earl along the way. We do have a few plot holes with how the cartel carry out their jobs, because this just seems to end, without any consequences, why would they give up the success they were having too.

CrimeThe crime side of the film does feel like just somebody casually taking part in the drug mule business, he is only ever put to a test once he needs to decide his own future.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the locations that Earl stops along the way, which does make him harder to track.

Scene of the Movie – The last run.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing seems to happen to the cartel.

Final Thoughts This is an easy to watch crime story that shows just how one person can casually commit crimes without anybody noticing them.

Overall: Easy Watch.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – I – The Informer (2019) Movie Rob’s Pick

Head Over to Movie Rob’s site for more of his views.

“I don’t have kids, I would suffer too much if something happened to them. ” – Klimak

Number of Times Seen – 1 (8 Jan 2020)

Brief Synopsis – An ex-con working undercover for the FBI is sent back into prison in order to get in deeper with the mob.

My Take on it – This is a film that I recently heard about and it seemed quite intriguing, so I decided to check it out.

Unfortunately, the entire film’s plot and story is told in the trailer which is quite a shame.

The story itself is told in a very generic way that feels like they are just copying the ideas of other films and using them here with the hope that no one will notice.

The way that things unfold is done in a very predictable manner and that hurts things even more because there are no surprises along the way or even any twists or turns that would help make this more thrilling instead of being a dud.

What is most surprising is the fact that this film sports a nice cast and they are all wasted because of the fact that nothing interesting happens at all.

Rosamund Pike and Clive Owen are the most wasted here and neither has enough to do with their stereotypical characters.

The way that things are presented make the viewer feel as if they are trying much too hard to do something special here yet never succeed at any point because it comes across as being quite uninteresting throughout.

If you wanna save time, just watch the trailer and you basically will understand the whole plot…

Bottom Line – Very generic crime film that fails to bring anything new to the forum. The story is quite predictable in so many ways which takes away the fun of trying to watch this film because it all seems like it’s been done before. The cast is completely wasted here and I’m a bit shocked that some big named actors chose to partake especially Pike and Owen.  The story tries too hard to want to do something more and completely fails the whole way through which is a shame.  The trailer basically gives away the whole film, so it’s easier just to watch it instead of sitting through two hours of this turkey.

MovieRob’s Favorite Trivia – Part of this movie was filmed in an abandoned prison in Gloucester, UK (From IMDB)

Rating – Razzie Worthy (2/10)

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – I – Iron Sky: The Coming Race (2019) Movie Review

Director: Timo Vuorensola

Writer: Timo Vuorensola, Dalan Musson (Screenplay) Jarmo Puskala, Johanna Sinisalo, Samuli Torssonen (Story)

Starring: Lana Rossi, Vladimir Burlakov, Kit Dale, Julia Dietze, Stephanie Paul, Tom Green, Udo Keir

Plot: A follow-up to the film Iron Sky (2012) in which Nazis plan to take over the world after lying dormant in a secret military base on the moon.

Tagline – Let’s make earth great again

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Bonkers

Story: Iron Sky: The Coming Race starts years after the events of the first Iron Sky, both the Nazi Moon Base and Earth have been destroyed by nuclear war, with the remaining survivors living side by side in the former moon base, Obi (Rossi) loves her title and can fix most problems in engineering, being one of the few people that thinks what might be needed if they needed to leave.

When Vril Wolfgang Kortzfleisch (Kier) is discovered by Obi, who explains the reason for everything that he had planned, his history and how to continue the human race despite the history of war between the people, leading to Obi needing to return to Earth with a team of Sasha (Burlakov), Malcom (Dale), religious leader Donald (Green) and his followers to locate an item, that could save the lives of the people.

Thoughts on Iron Sky: The Coming Race

Characters – Obi is the daughter of the hero of the last movie, she has always lived on the moon, working on using her skills as an engineer to try and find a solution to the people on the moon, which would see her return to Earth in search of the secrets in the centre of the Earth. She goes on this mission in an attempt to save her mother, while giving us commentary to everything that is happening. Sasha is the Russian that arrives on the moon with a ship that barely functioning, he helps Obi on her mission, knowing that if he helps it could give his people a chance to stay. Donald is the leader of a religious group on the moon, if you don’t fit into their perfect world he will kill them, he goes on the mission in hopes of being able to find the great hope for his people. Vril Wolfgang lives on the moon, he fills in the gaps in the world and what has been the plan for so long and how the remaining survivors could make it off the moon. Vril Hitler is still on Earth along with the other evil leaders from history, waiting for his chance to get back it his brother.

PerformancesLara Rossi does a great job in the leading role, we see how she makes us support her character, while keeping the idea feeling like a much more relaxed movie, almost like any reluctant hero in a film. Udo Kier is great to watch as always, while Tom Green doesn’t hit his comedy enough and Vladimir Burlakov does play against generic Russian figure well, but it is too much at times.

StoryThe story here follows up the events of the first Iron Sky by seeing the survivors needing to find a new source before it is too late, which sees them return to Earth and get involved in another battle which will put all the lives at risk. When it comes to the story, it feels like it is too long after the previous one, with the 25 odd years time jump, it does give us the next challenge, which does give us a simple sort of adventure story, which does feel like a Star Trek idea. Where the story might standout more is with the ridiculous ideas that are put in place with the dinosaurs, aliens and everything about this coming to life with a cult of Steve Job worshipers, this added together gives us plenty of bonkers material on the side to work with. It feels like a safe sequel, where you would only watch if you enjoyed the first one, but it won’t be considered bad in any of those conversations.

Action/Comedy/Sci-FiThe action might well use ideas from other films, but it twists them into a way that you haven’t seen before, including an alien Hitler riding a T-Rex. The comedy plays into joking about surviving certain situations that other films take for granted, which does work, but when we try to have other jokes, we do see them miss more often than hit. The sci-fi world created here is wonderful, the idea of aliens creating super villains in history, living in the Earth and with dinosaurs is fantastic and original.

SettingsThe film does make use feel like we are watching a Star Trek story in a Firefly world with the settings, with most places looking beat down, broken, while the Earth creates a paradise you couldn’t imagine.

Special EffectsThe effects are stronger than you would expect for such a low budgeted movie, they show great achievement, even if we can tell the green screen moments.

Scene of the Movie – Hitler riding a T-Rex

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The comedy misses too much.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting idea for a sequel that is willing to break the ideas of the third wall, taking history and spinning it into a giant sci-fi twist on everything.

Overall: Crazy fun.

Well Water (2017) Short Movie Review

Director: Sharisse Zeroonian

Writer: Sharisse Zeroonian (Screenplay)

Starring: Kathy-Ann Hart, Marcus McDermott, Kevin O Peterson, Maureen Vlaco, Katraya Wier

Plot: Ben and Cora, two teenagers in love, learn to slow down and embrace their youth instead of being in a hurry to grow up.

Runtime: 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Relationship Start Drama

Story: Well Water starts as we meet young couple Ben (McDermott) and Cora (Wier) who have just started dating, while having different ideas of life, we follow how the two look to a future they may never have, a future they could both enjoy together, having certain ideas of what could make them happy.

Thoughts on Well Water

Characters – Ben seems to be the more laid back about his future, while being very much planned and keeping everything calm for his own life choices for now, while Cora is a free spirit that wants to have fun, trying to get Ben to break out of his shell. The two are discovering more about each other, the more time they spend together, which does show them both opening up like any relationship.

PerformancesMarcus McDermott & Katraya Wier are both strong in the film, they show how comfortable, while sometimes unease that can come from just starting to get to know somebody.

StoryThe story here follows a young couple as they continue to get to know each other, plan their future together and just become even more comfortable around each other, we don’t get the drama of how friends feel, just two people that are falling in love, which does make this a much more interesting version of what falling in love can be. It is also nice not to learn more about the character’s lives away from this relationship because it is only about getting to know each other.

Final Thoughts This is a nice look at how love can start, the getting to know each other stage of it, which is the most enjoyable part of any relationship.

Overall: Sparks Can Fly.