Heath Ledger Weekend – Ned Kelly (2003) Movie Review

Director: Gregor Jordan

Writer: John Michael McDonagh (Screenplay) Robert Drewe (Novel)

Starring: Heath Ledger, Orland Bloom, Geoffrey Rush, Naomi Watts, Joel Edgerton, Laurence Kinlan

Plot: An innocent man becomes one of the most wanted criminals the world has ever known.


Tagline – When the law tried to silence him a legend was born.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Biopic 101

Story: Ned Kelly starts in 1871 Australia where an Irish family the Kelly’s have settled in with the eldest son Ned (Ledger) ends up getting into trouble with the law, that has always targeted his family, seeing him placed in prison for a couple of years. Once out Ned does start to try and turn his family’s luck around with his friends Joseph Byrne (Bloom) and Aaron Sherritt (Edgerton), while working for an English family where Ned falls for Julia (Watts).

When Ned gets framed for assault by the constable that has always been out for his blood, his family gets targeted, but not the police are not going to stop until they have his head, forcing Ned to go on the run to protect his family, making him one of the most wanted criminals in the world.

Thoughts on Ned Kelly

Characters – Ned Kelly is a young Irish man that has always seen his family targeted by the law, he has gotten himself in trouble because of this, which sees him falsely accused and becoming a target. Ned refused to back down from the law needing to go on the run, leading to him becoming an outlaw taking from the rich inspiring the poor as he fights for what is right and his family’s pride. Joseph Byrne is Ned’s best friend, he will stand by his side through his battles, needing to do the right thing. Superintendent Francis Hare is the man charged with capturing the Kelly gang, he doesn’t want to hear the story, he just wants them gone. Julia Cook is an English woman that Ned was working for, she is one of the few that will help him seeing the good in his nature, but being held back by her own family.

PerformancesHeath Ledger does a great job here showing how he wanted to break his pretty boy image, this performance makes this happen with ease. Orlando Bloom in the supporting role is strong without being truly great, while Geoffrey Rush feels wasted, with him being involved but not getting too much screen time, same goes for Naomi Watts, she just doesn’t get enough time to shine.

StoryThe story here follows the innocent man that gets forced into become an outlaw who becomes the most wanted man in Australia. This story shows how settlers in other countries would always be unfairly targeted by the locals who saw them as threats, how people’s words could create outlaws because nobody would listen or understand the truths within a world. The story is only really told from Ned’s which will always make him look like the innocent man he was, but we do hear and see that most of the group have served time, so they might not be as innocent as they look (this is only from what the film shows, not what I know about the truth).

Action/Biopic/WesternThe action is everything you would expect from a western, we have seen the shooting like always. The biopic does only show one side of the story and it does feel like there is more to tell.

SettingsThe film utilises the location to show how Ned Kelly has to go into hiding and including the showdown.


Scene of the Movie – The showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does seem one sided.

Final Thoughts This is a by the book biopic that showed one of the most famous outlaws in Australia, though it doesn’t seem to reach an intensity level that it could have.

Overall: Nice biopic.

ABC Film Challenge – Action – D – Doctor Strange (2016) Revisited

Director: Scott Derrickson

Writer: Jon Spaihts, Scott Derrickson, C Robert Cargill (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Steve Ditko (Comics)

Starring: Benedict Cumberbatch, Chiwetel Ejiofor, Rachel McAdams, Benedict Wong, Mads Mikkelsen, Tilda Swinton, Michael Stuhlbarg

 

Plot: While on a journey of physical and spiritual healing, a brilliant neurosurgeon is drawn into the world of the mystic arts.


Tagline – Open your mind. Change your reality

Runtime: 1 Hour 55 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Visually Stunning

 

Story: Doctor Strange starts as arrogant, brilliant neurosurgeon Dr Stephen Strange (Cumberbatch) is involved in a reckless car accident, which was his own fault, loses the ability to use his hands on the same levels as he once could. Stephen learns about one patient that recovered from the injuries that he shouldn’t have recovered from and goes in search for answers.

Stephen searches for Kamar-Taj which should give the mind answers to healing himself through belief, with The Ancient One (Swinton) showing him the way. Here Stephen must train with Mordo (Ejiofor) and soon finds himself joining the fight against Kaecilius (Mikkelsen) who has been trying to gain the power the Ancient One has.

 

Thoughts on Doctor Strange

 

Characters – Doctor Stephen Strange is arrogant brilliant neurosurgeon, he always looks down on people who he sees not completing the operations he can, this has led him to become reckless in his personal life, which leads to his accident and loss of ability to operate. He learns that he could be cured, if he goes through certain mind training as he learns about multi verse which doesn’t need the physical body to get through or fight. Mordo is one of the oldest students un Kamar-Taj, he opens the doors to Stephen, working with him to teach him about what they will be fighting against. Dr Palmer is the only friend Stephen has at the hospital and she goes to him for advice when needed. Wong is the librarian that guards the books about power which the people there could learn from. Kaecilius is the villain of the piece, he has been trying to bring the dark universe to Earth’s and will stop and nothing to achieve this, he was once a student too, but turned evil once he learnt about the power. The Ancient One control the powers in Kamar-Taj, the oldest and most powerful of everyone there, she teaches Stephen the true meaning and powers he could control.

PerformancesBenedict Cumberbatch is better than I remembered in the leading role, it might be because I have gotten used to the character after Infinity War, he does make himself feel unlikeable through the film. Chiwetel Ejiofor is interesting in his role where he is designed to be conflict between everyone involved.  Rachel McAdams is however completely wasted in this role, she barely gets any screen time. Mads Mikkelsen as the villain is somebody we know we can trust, though we do wish we could have had more of his character, Benedict Wong is fun in the supporting role, while Tilda Swinton is always going to be the star of a film with her acting class.

StoryThe story here follows Dr Strange learn to give up everything he thought he knew from science and learn about the mystic arts that control universes. This is once again an origin film and Dr Strange is a brilliant, but unlikable man, he needs to learn that the world isn’t about him, its about the people if he is every going to make it in this new position. We do have the conflict between light and dark, which shows that he will need to learn the lines in this war, while others are fighting to be in control of this world. the story can look weak in places because we put so much time into the visuals of this film, but it does everything required to be an entertaining watch.

Action/FantasyThe action in this film comes from the world we see everybody fighting in, it plays hand in hand with the fantasy side of the film which just makes for some of the most visual fight sequences you will ever see.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to not only confuse the audience, but confuse Dr Strange, we see the different environments he must learn to adapt to with the laws of physics now longer being applied.

Special EffectsThe effects in this film are brilliant, it is like watching Inception in steroids when it comes to how the world folds in, moves and evolves.


Scene of the Movie –
The New York fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The story isn’t as strong as it could be.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most visually brilliant movies in this universe, it gives us an origin story that is ready to branch in many different directions and prepares us for a new type of hero.

 

Overall: Stunning on the eyes.

Rating

 

Dead by Dawn (2020) Movie Review

Director: Sean Cain

Writer: Wes Laurie (Screenplay)

Starring: Drew Lindsey Mitchell, Kelcey Watson, Jamie Bernadette, Bo Burroughs, Timothy Muskatell, Bobby Slaski, Detra Hicks

Plot: A suicidal man in a remote cabin is suddenly faced with protecting a kidnapped woman from three sexual deviants and their sadistic games.

Runtime: 1 Hour 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Enjoyable Slasher

Story: Dead by Dawn starts Lulu (Mitchell) walks out on her abusive relationship, looking to catch a ride, which only turns into a nightmare when she is taken by Neil (Burroughs), Chad (Muskatell) and Snack (Bernadette), Lulu does escape, finding shelter in a cabin in the woods, where depressed suicidal man Dylan (Watson) is thinking about ending his life.

With Lulu and Dylan working on a way to keep the others out, the three kidnapers need to find a way to get into the cabin, only the bigger secrets will be revealed during the wait.

Thoughts on Dead by Dawn

Characters – Lulu is an artist who is trapped in an abusive relationship, she tries to walk out on, only to find herself being kidnapped and forced into a sick torture, she does escape, seeking help, where we get to see the pain she has suffered, rather than seeing it, where she gives Dylan a meaning to keep fighting. Dylan is a depressed man, he has lost everything and is about to end his life before Lulu arrives on his doorstep. He decides to help her fight back against the people trying to kill her, using the memories of lost loved ones. Neil is the man that is running the kidnapping, he is psychotic in how he tries to control the situation, showing his power over people with how Snack is controlled by him. Snack was a former victim that has becomes Neil’s second, she is ruthless, never wanting to look back on the violent side she has gained.

PerformancesDrew Lindsey Mitchell in the leading role does start strong in the film, but strangely, she doesn’t get that much more to do in the second half of the film. Kelcey Watson does show us how broken his character is, with this new meaning giving him extra hope, becoming the most interesting character and performer to watch through the film. Bo Burroughs fills the psychopath role well, with Jamie Bernadette bringing us a performance we haven’t seen from her before, a much darker one.

StoryThe story here follows a young woman who has escaped a kidnapping situation to find herself in the middle of a battle of wits between her rescuer and kidnappers. The story does keep the ideas very simple, with most of the film being a battle between the two sides trying to get the upper hand, even though Lulu does seem to take the back seat while Dylan and Neil are the two in control. It does deal with a lot of issues around abuse, loss and living in pain you feel helpless in. one of the bigger known movies you could compare this to, would be ‘No One Lives’ with both sides having something bigger about what is happening behind the motivations they are doing this for.

HorrorThe horror in the film is around what has happened and what would happen if Lulu is taken again.

SettingsThe film keeps everything around the cabin, showing how there isn’t going to be help coming, why Dylan is away from the world and why the kidnapping has ended up here.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the effects, we do get some strong effects when it comes to injuries, with one trap coming off very well.


Scene of the Movie – Pressure plate.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Lulu does seem to take a back burner in the second half of the film.

Final Thoughts This is a strong game of wits between both sides, that holds back a lot with everybody getting a chance to show what this moment would mean to them.

Overall: Game of Wits 101.