ABC Film Challenge – Action – # – 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea (2007)

Director: Gabriel Bologna

Writer: Eric Forsberg (Screenplay) Jules Verne (Novel)

Starring: Lorenzo Lamas, Sean Lawlor, Natalie Stone, Kim Little, Victor J Springer, Emilio Roso

Plot: Captain Nemo goes even deeper into insanity in this mesmerizing fantasy tale. Once again at the helm of his fearsome, wildly advanced vessel, the nautical madman endeavors to turn the world above the waves upside down.

Tagline – A New World Deep Below the Ocean … Has Declared War on Ours.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Bland

Story: 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea starts when a US Submarine becomes trapped in the Mariana Trent, Lt Michael Arronax (Lamas) and his crew are recruited to use their technology to rescue them, joined by LT Commander Lucille Conciel (Stone) they head off in the rescue attempt.

When Michael vessel clashes with Captain Nemo (Lawlor) the two do clash about rescue, wanting to be in control and his city like vessel is ready for anything Michael tries to throw at him, to stop the madman before he steals all his ideas.

Thoughts on 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Characters – Lt Michael Arronax has been working on a prototype that breath under water, which sees him recruited for a daring deep water rescue, he is reluctant to work with his ex-wife, though he does find himself facing up against a naval madman in Captain Nemo, he does believe in saving lives over equipment. Captain Nemo is the naval madman that has plans for the bottom of the ocean, he is willing to go to war with anybody or nation that tries to stop him. LT Commander Lucille Conciel is the ex-wife of Michael, she has been assigned for the mission by the military which gives Michael somebody to bicker with on the mission.

PerformancesThe performances in this film are not very impressive, they just seem to have no chemistry between them which only makes them working together feeling unlikely with the actors seeming to just deliver their lines without anything behind them.

StoryThe story here follows Arronax on a rescue mission where he finds and clashes with Captain Nemo who has big plans for the world above the water. This is a modernisation of the classic novel, without any of the guts and morale dilemmas required to make the story interesting. It does seem to just be a clash between the two, without anything behind what is going on, which just seems to follow a big scheme rather than any sort of action.

Action/Sci-FiThe action in the film is beyond basic, it is almost non-existent, the idea of the sci-fi side of the film doesn’t seem like too far from the future though which is even more surprisingly weak.

SettingsThe film clearly puts us in a couple of random ships which makes it feel like we are watching an old Star Trek episode over anything else.

Special EffectsThe effects are weak too, being all CGI which despite the budget never feels connected to anything going on in the film.

Scene of the Movie – The bubble machine.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Everything.

Final Thoughts This is a terrible version of a classic novel that just feels like lots of random scenes tied together with zero chemistry between the actors and a story that doesn’t even seem to end.

Overall: Terrible watch.


Extraction (2020) Movie Review

Director: Sam Hargrave

Writer: Joe Russo (Screenplay) Joe Russo (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Golshifteh Farahani, Rudhraksh Jaiswal, Shivam Vichare, Piyush Khati, Randeep Hooda

Plot: Tyler Rake, a fearless black market mercenary, embarks on the most deadly extraction of his career when he’s enlisted to rescue the kidnapped son of an imprisoned international crime lord.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Explosive Actioner

Story: Extraction starts when Indian kid Ovi Mahajan (Jaiswal) is abducted by a rival gang, the ransom is set, his father demands his people go in for the rescue, with Nik Khan (Farahani) bringing her team in for an extraction, Tyler Rake (Hemsworth) leads the extraction mission.

Once Tyler has Ovi, he must find a way to escape the danger filled streets which seem him needing to battle gangster, police and anybody who will accept a pay check from the gangster who took him.

Thoughts on Extraction

Characters – Tyler Rake is a mercenary with a dark past, he has lost everything meaning he will do any mission that comes his way, his latest one see him going alone on an extraction mission of a kidnapped child, needing to use his skills connections to escape a city under lockdown trying to kill him. Nik Khan runs the operation, she has put the team together including Tyler and must find a solution from the outside to try and save him. Ovi is the young boy that has been kidnapped, he must learn to trust Tyler to help him get out of the situation. Saju is one of the men sent to rescue Ovi, only to find himself in the same situation Tyler is at.

PerformancesChris Hemsworth in the leading role is great to watch, he handles both the serious side and the action sequences with ease. Elsewhere we have a great cast that never look out of place through the film.

StoryThe story follows a mercenary who is assigned a mission to rescue and extract a kidnapped child only to find himself needing to fight back against an army of enemies to try and get him out alive. When we break down the story it is very simple in how everything plays out, this is entertaining to watch because it doesn’t hold back with how it unfolds. We have one person needing to take on endless enemies to get out. It might not be the most original, but it works on everything it needs to do.

ActionThe action is brutal with how the bullets are flying around getting blood flying around with the injuries, we have some wonderful sequences.

SettingsThe film keeps most of the film within the city, showing us how the city gets lockdown with no easy escape.

Scene of the Movie – The extraction gone wrong escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – One angle doesn’t make sense.

Final Thoughts This is a non-stop action movie that just doesn’t hold back, we have a great performance from Hemsworth in the leading role and we are kept on the edge of the seats from start to finish.

Overall: Non-Stop Action.

Al Pacino Weekend – Pirates of Somalia (2017) Movie Review

Director: Bryan Buckley

Writer: Bryan Buckley (Screenplay) Jay Bahadur (Book)

Starring: Al Pacino, Evan Peters, Melanie Griffith, Barkhad Abdi, Philip Ettinger, Coral Pena, Russell Posner

Plot: In 2008, rookie journalist Jay Bahadur forms a half-baked plan to embed himself with the pirates of Somalia. He ultimately succeeds in providing the first close-up look into who these men are, how they live, and the forces that drive them.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Biopic 101

Story: Pirates of Somalia starts as we meet struggling journalist Jay Bahadur (Peters) who believes he has his path set after graduating with nothing planning on the way he had hoped. Jay ends up having a chance meeting with retired journalist Seymour Tolbin (Pacino) who teaches him the new wave of journalism.

Jay sees the story in Somalia, taking a chance, he ends up getting a chance to work under the president’s son to learn about the pirates of Somalia and how they operate, with his translator Abdi (Abdi) who is still torn between the new ways and the old.

Thoughts on Pirates of Somalia

Characters – Jay Bahadur is the narrator, this is his story of finishing college in 2008 and realizing there isn’t the job opportunities he believed in his field of journalism, the highlight of his life in rejection letters and trying to do research on the napkin placement on shelves, back living in his parent’s basement with his high school sweetheart moved on with her own life. He meets one of his idols who advise him on the new form of journalism, which sees Jay putting his life on the line by going to Somalia to write a book about the pirates of the land and prove there is a lot more to the new developing country than the media shows. Seymour Tolbin is a retired journalist who offers Jay advice and connections to increase his chances of getting a story together. Abdi is the translator that shows Jay around Somalia teaching him about the culture keeping him safe during his time there. We do get to meet the different people who are considered pirates by the outside world, but live a different life once you are there.

PerformancesEvan Peters is front a centre of this film, he is the strongest part of the performances, because the fear he shows would be what was real, though he must show it while remaining strong. Barkhad Abdi is great once again as a Somalian guide this time, even with the previous role as one of the pirates under his belt. Al Pacino is more of a cameo like performance, by strong enough in the supporting role in the film.

StoryThe story here follows a journalist graduate that isn’t finding work in the US and ends up traveling to Somalia to see if he can learn more about the idea of pirates running the country and show the world the truth about the country. This story is based on the book the journalist wrote after returning, it does show how the culture shock wasn’t as big as he once thought, as well as the alarming lack of jobs for graduates in America. While nearly all the film focuses on his learning experiences in Somalia, it does show how the media and the outside world can always see a country before learning more about it before judging.

BiopicThe biopic side of the film shows how Jay couldn’t get much out of his life until he took a big chance with his story in Somalia, it is his journey, his encounters, his life, though it does only show that this was his last resort, with no backup plan for somebody who graduated with a journalism degree.

SettingsSomalia is the setting for most of the film, it does highlight how the country is still developing and has evolved to maintain itself.

Scene of the Movie – Meeting the pirates.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does highlight how reckless Jay was, with his life choice, no plans after graduating seems naïve.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting look at just how hard life can be once you graduate, but if you can tell a big story, you can make yourself a star.

Overall: Interesting Biopic.

ABC Film Challenge – Action – Z – Mortal Instruments: City of Bones (2013)

This is under Z for the ABC film challenge because of the director Harald Zwart.

Director: Harald Zwart

Writer: Jessica Postigo (Screenplay) Cassandra Clare (Novel)

Starring: Lily Collins, Jamie Campbell Bower, Kevin Zegers, Jemima West, Robert Sheehan, Robert Maillet, Kevin Durand, Lena Headey


Plot: When her mother disappears, Clary Fray learns that she descends from a line of warriors who protect our world from demons. She joins forces with others like her and heads into a dangerous alternate New York called the Shadow World.

Tagline – Worlds will collide August 21

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes


There may be spoilers in the rest of the review


Verdict: Young Adult Blah


Story: The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones starts when normal teenagers Clary (Collins) starts seeing and drawing a mysterious symbol which her mother Jocelyn (Headey) knows more about, this draws attention towards her which sees her mother disappear and Jace (Bower) teaching her about her mother’s past as a warrior fighting demons.

Clary enters a mysterious world beneath New York City, where Jace shows her just how big the battle between the two sides is, with Valentine (Meyers) searching for Clary.


Thoughts on The Mortal Instruments: City of Bones


Characters – Clary is the normal teenager girl that has started seeing a strange symbol in her everyday life, this takes her down a new path to search for her mother, only to learn about her own true identity which will see her learning that she is a warrior that fights demons. Clary is the typical young adult figure that we always see, she isn’t given anything new to make her look special in anyway. Jace is the young man that is a shadow hunter that looks to protect Clary from the other evil forces that what her information. He leads the strongest team, he also becomes a love interest for Clary. Alec and Isabelle are the two other members of the team, they are suspicious of Clary and what it might mean to the rest of the shadow hunters futures. We do have plenty of senior figure that help guide the younger characters along their way, some help, some have their own motives.

PerformancesLily Collins does the best she can in this role, it is hard to figure out the mindset of the character which part of the problem in the performance. Jamie Campbell Bower struggles to, because it is trying to be mysterious only to look uninterested in what is happening, this is a problem most of the cast suffer from with only Jemima West being watchable because she does get some funny lines.

StoryThe story here follows a teenage girl that learns she has a connection to a battle between good and evil going on in our own world, where she is one of the most important parts of bringing an end to it all. This is one of those young adult stories that made such an impact, we somebody in this case Clary learn about a world she wasn’t aware of, where he presence in will change it for every side of the battle. We do get thrown into a lot of information here because we get to see just how big this world is meant to be and how many different types of creatures, demons and monsters are living with in it. This is also one of those frustrating opening chapters of a set of stories which is meant to be growing to become much large in the future, the film idea failed, but the story does get to go to the small screen for answers.

Action/Fantasy/Horror/RomanceThe action comes from the battles between the different demons in the world that are preparing to fight against each other, the fantasy world we enter should be a lot more entertaining because of the creatures involved. We get the cheap horror moments involved which never feel remotely scary in anyway. The romance is angle does get awkward in places and tries to build a love triangle too.

SettingsThe film is set in New York, which is fine, the idea that there is a world out there that we don’t know about should be a lot more entertaining and visual special too.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are the flashing lights involved in the fights, most work well, with the demons looking the best.

Scene of the Movie –
Demons pause.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not following instructions.

Final ThoughtsThis is another one of the young adult movies that just doesn’t do anything special and falls into the, ‘we have seen this before’ category.


Overall: Disappointing Young Adult Film.




Al Pacino Weekend – Scarface (1983) Movie Review

Director: Brian De Palma

Writer: Oliver Stone (Screenplay)

Starring: Al Pacino, Steven Bauer, Michelle Pfeiffer, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Robert Loggia, Miriam Colon, F Murray Abraham

Plot: In 1980 Miami, a determined Cuban immigrant takes over a drug cartel and succumbs to greed.

Tagline – He was Tony Montana. The world will remember him by another name…SCARFACE.

Runtime: 2 Horus 50 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Gangster 101

Story: Scarface starts when Cuban immigrant Tony Montana (Pacino) leave Cuba to start a life in America, he isn’t happy by starting with the everyday labour jobs, before getting a chance to work with his friend Manny (Bauer) who draws him into the world of drugs, a place where Tony thrives.

As Tony learns the business, he looks to make his move to become the biggest drug lord in the country, with deals everywhere, taking out the competition if they ever get in his way.

Thoughts on Scarface

Characters – Tony Montana is a Cuban immigrant that went to Miami to start a new life, though he didn’t want to work for it, well not in the legal way, he gets put an entry into the drug world and he gets turn by the power he could get by becoming a drug lord, being straight with the people he deals with and going above the people he doesn’t trust heads. Manny is the best friend of Tony who has always helped him in Miami, he is always by his side as he rises up the industry never questioning him until he starts getting out of control with his decisions. Elvira is the beautiful woman that is with a drug lord that Tony eliminates, she is being forced to stay with Tony, where she is drawn to the drugs that he is suppling, which is the main reason she stays around. Gina is the little sister of Tony’s she is always being protected by him, as he doesn’t like anybody getting close to her.

PerformancesAl Pacino is wonderful in the leading role, showing how easily he can morph into any gangster figure and make a huge impact on screen. We do see most of the supporting cast working very well through the film, getting their moment to shine opposite Pacino.

StoryThe story here follows Tony Montana as he goes from Cuban immigrant to drug lord in Miami, slowly starting to lose control of the situation as more enemies appear looking to take the throne he has taken. When it comes to the drug lord films, we do always know how they go, somebody gets in at the bottom and finds a way to rise to the top, to become one of the most dangerous men in the business, even if this means that the police and other enemies have come out of the woodwork to take his position. The way that Tony slowly becomes more corrupt with power is the highlight of the storytelling process in this film.

CrimeThe crime world we enter shows how Tony would do anything to get the power in the world, he gets put through a traumatic experience with his first visit to the world and after that he doesn’t care about the violence he leaves behind him.

SettingsThe film shows us the different times that Tony has had, from his first arrival to his mansion he claims as his own after he gets all the money in the world.

Scene of the Movie – Say Hello, to my little friend.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It is too long, we have a lot that we don’t need to see.

Final Thoughts This is one of the strongest gangster movies, showing the drug lords rise to power and just how much it changes him on the way up.

Overall: One of the Best.