VFW (2019) Movie Review

Director: Joe Begos

Writer: Max Brallier, Matthew McArdle (Screenplay)

Starring: Stephen Lang, William Sadler, Fred Williamson, Martin Kove, David Patrick Kelly, George Wendt, Tom Williamson

Plot: A group of war veterans must defend their local VFW post and an innocent teen against a deranged drug dealer and his relentless army of punk mutants.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Big, Bloody and Violent

Story: VFW starts as we head into a world where a new drug nicknamed Hype has taken over the streets, causing the junkies to do anything to get their hands on it. Fred Parras (Lang) runs the bar in the local VFW (Veterans of Foreign War), with the locals Walter (Sadler), Abe (Williamson), Lou (Kove), Doug (Kelly) and Thomas (Wendt) meeting on a nightly drink, with a new member Shawn (Williamson) joining them this night.

When a young woman called Lizard (McCormick) arrives in the bar running from the drug dealer Boz (Hammer) the former soldiers must use their skills to fight back and protect their bar and life, to understand what has caused the new guest to enrage the drug dealer.

Thoughts on VFW

Characters – Fred Parras runs the bar, he served with the regulars and isn’t afraid to get into a fight to protect his bar. He does try to find the best solution for the regulars and former soldiers once they come under attack, even if it does mean giving up his own life for what he sees as his soldiers. Walter, Abe, Lou and Doug served with Fred and get another chance to show of their military skills defending their bar. Boz is the drug dealer that will kill for his product or anyone who gets in his way, including Lizard who ended up in the VFW. Lizard wants revenge for her sister’s death by Boz, she is lucky to end up with the vets because they will fight for her.

PerformancesStephen Lang is great to watch taking the leading role along with the veteran actors of William Sadler, Fred Williamson and Martin Kove, while the young stars don’t get the chance to make as big of an impact on the story.

StoryThe story here follows a group of war veterans who see their bar come under attack by a group of junkies and their dealer who want their product back and are willing to kill to get it back. The story does become an easy watch because it is mostly older or people with respect, versus young junkies, while have a different location and style, it could easily be compared to Assault on Precinct 13 with the numbers game being against the soldiers, and the enemy being people showing no respect. We don’t get into anything deep, it is just battle between two different sides.

Action/HorrorThe action is blood filled with violent weapons which only give us plenty of violent action in the fights, which can end up in the horror world, by showing us just how violent the battle between the two sides.

SettingsThe film does keep us in a contained area, with the battle between both sides coming from two opposite buildings.

Special EffectsThe effects are used very well to show the injuries through the film and they aren’t afraid to hold back.

Scene of the Movie – The final showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Shaky Cam, even though it is meant to show the effects of injuries suffered.

Final Thoughts This is a wildly over the top action horror that isn’t afraid to show the bloodshed, it might not get the strongest character development, but does feel like a throwback to 80’s action horror movies.

Overall: Throwback 101

ABC Film Challenge – Favourites – Z – The Core (2003) Movie Review Revisited

I have put this under Z because of the character Zimsky

Director: Jon Amiel

Writer: Cooper Layne, John Rogers (Screenplay)

Starring: Aaron Eckhart, Hilary Swank, Delroy Lindo, Stanley Tucci, Bruce Greenwood, Tcheky Karyo, Richard Jenkins

Plot: The only way to save Earth from catastrophe is to drill down to the core and set it spinning again.

Tagline – The only way out is in

Runtime: 2 Hours 15 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Disaster Movie

Story: The Core starts when people from around the world die suddenly when their pacemakers all stop, bringing in scientist Josh (Eckhart) and Serge (Karyo) to confirm this isn’t just a weapon, it doesn’t take long before over events in nature start bringing a worrying reality to the world, this becomes clear when astronauts Commander Richard Iverson (Greenwood), Beck (Swank) and Timmins (Johnstone) see their landing plan thrown out the window, forcing them into a daring landing in downtown LA.

Turning to Zimsky (Tucci), Josh, Serge, Beck and Richard are selected for an impossible sounding mission with the invention of Dr Brazzelton (Lindo) that would take a team into the centre of the Earth through the core of the planet in an attempt to kick start the planet once again, hoping to save the world from destruction, can they do the impossible or not?

Thoughts on The Core

Characters – Josh is a lecturer that gets assigned to help figure out what caused a sudden amount of deaths, he is a man that likes being able to use science to help solve problems and comes off like the cool teacher. His theory is what leads to the mission and he brings the brains to the operation. Beck is the astronaut who has always wanted to lead a mission, she is ready but held back, though she does know how to save the day for her craft, she is selected as one of the two pilots for this mission which sees her facing a task she has never seen before. Brazzelton is the man that has created the theory behind the ship which would take them to the core, he has seen himself become an outside in the science community, but the one they have to turn to, to save the day. Zimsky works for the president which shows him going to a different direction to his former partner Brazzelton, he does want to use this mission as his chance for his next best seller. He is the closest to a villain that you will see in this film.

PerformancesAaron Eckhart in the leading role is strong being the reluctant hero that is better with his brains that his actions, not having the physical image required for the role. Hilary Swank doesn’t have as much to do as her talent deserves, though she does get to show a strong female presence in the astronaut world. Stanley Tucci in the villainous role is amazingly smug with his character. Delroy Lindo as the one that is considered the crazy one does bring the genius scientist to life well.

StoryThe story here follows a group of scientist that must go into the Earth’s core to restart the planet before the world comes to an end after a string of natural disasters have hinted the end is coming. When it comes to disaster movies, we started with the extremes of a realistic disaster, then this one comes along, building on the desire to have bigger bolder edgy ideas for total destruction in new ways. If you are happy to watch a wildly over the top idea for a disaster story this is a joy to watch, we do focus on the human side of the mission, where the crew must make difficult decisions along the way, not putting too much focus on the disasters happening back on the surface, the only time we go into the world is for snippets of what is happening. You will need to suspend your disbelief for this one and once you do this we are going to see.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is big to see, we do get a couple of large scale disaster as well as the chase down through to the core, while this jump largely into sci-fi however much it wants to play on the idea the science could be real.

SettingsThe film has the disasters in big cities, which is what we would expect, the poor Golden Gate Bridge didn’t stand a chance. Inside the core we get different ideas to what we could see in the different layers.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film haven’t aged the as well as they could, these are mostly used to try and create a big moment or two along the way too.

Scene of the Movie – The dive down.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The effects have one or two bad spells.

Final Thoughts This is a fun disaster movie that will do everything you want in a disaster movie, it has bonkers science which does work and an idea that is so far out there you can enjoy.

Overall: True Blast.