Jean-Claude Van Damme Weekend – Derailed (2002) Movie Review

Director: Bob Misiorowski

Writer: Jace Anderson, Adam Gierasch (Screenplay) Boaz Davidson (Story)

Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Tomas Arana, Laura Harring, Susan Gibney, Lucy Jenner, Jessica Bowman

Plot: On an out of control train holding hostages and high-tech bio-weapons agent Kristoff (Van Damme) becomes a one man army to derail the terrorists and save the lives of everyone on board!

Tagline – A deadly Virus… Only one way to stop it!

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Easy to Watch Action

Story: Derailed starts when special agent Jacques Kristoff (Van Damme) is assigned one more mission, he must escort highly trained thief Galina Konstantin (Harring) who has secrets America want, the two must travel from Austria across the border by train.

His wife Madeline (Gibney) brings the family on the train to surprise him for his birthday, only to bring tension between the two, just are the terrorist Mason Cole (Arana) plays to cause a biological disaster using the train as a weapon.

Thoughts on Derailed

Characters – Jacques Kristoff is a bio-weapons agent that gets sent on one more assignment to escort an asset across the boarder with a weapon, he must lie to his wife about his target, which he gets caught out on, then he must save the passengers on the train from terrorist that want to use the weapon. Mason Cole is the terrorist that has unleashed the bio-weapon knowing there is a vaccine for the right people, he wants the weapon for his own use and is willing to kill either side. Galina is the thief that needs to be escorted, she has her own set of skills which will be used to keep her ahead of any threats that come her way and she will do whatever to survive. Madeline is the wife of Jacques who decides to surprise him for his birthday with his family only to believe he is having an affair.

PerformancesJean-Claude Van Damme is an action star you can watch in nearly anything and he does nothing wrong in the film. Tomas Arana seems to be trying to doing a John Malkovich impression and not the best. Laura Harring does well enough for the seductive woman that needs escorting. While the rest of the cast are fine without doing much.

StoryThe story here follows a soldier that must protect a train after a terrorist releases a deadly bio-weapon on the passengers and nearby station. This does play out like any action story starring Van Damme, it shows him needing to overcome the odds to protect people or in this case loved ones from disaster. It doesn’t try to reinvent the wheel, it is easy to watch and plays into Van Damme’s strengths without being on the intensity level of most films from the same genre.

ActionThe action lets Van Damme show of his fighting skills like all of his films do, you won’t be watching this one randomly, only if you are a Van Damme fan.

SettingsMost of the film is set on a train showing that the problems being faced are within tight walls that don’t offer an easy out for anybody to get of.

Scene of the Movie – Train top chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Split scene action.

Final Thoughts This is a truly typical Van Damme action film, it does everything it needs to without being anything that is truly ground breaking.

Overall: Van Damme 101.

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – K – All Good Things (2010) Movie Review

We are under K because of the star Kirsten Dunst.

Director: Andrew Jarecki

Writer: Marcus Hinchey, Marc Smerling (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Kirsten Dunst, Frank Langella, Lily Rabe, Philip Baker Hall, Michael Esper, Diane Venora, Nick Offerman

Plot: Mr. David Marks was suspected but never tried for killing his wife Katie who disappeared in 1982, but the truth is eventually revealed.

Tagline – The Perfect Love Story. Until It Became The Perfect Crime.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Lacks Focus

Story: All Good Things starts as we see David Marks (Gosling) the son of a property tycoon Sanford (Langella) who meets Katie (Dunst) who eventually becomes his wife, only for the perfect marriage to take a turn when Katie learns David doesn’t want to have kids.

The marriage continues to spiral out of control after Katie gets pregnant, with her disappearance being the reason why David sees his own life come under the spotlight, with people believing her murdered her and he doesn’t help his case.

Thoughts on All Good Things

Characters – David Marks comes from a property tycoon family who could have walked into any job for his father, he decides to go away from this lifestyle, dating a woman before marrying her, which shows a darker side to his nature, or is he just cold, he are never let into see if he is a calculated person or just somebody dealing with the issues bought on from his mother’s suicide. Katie is the woman David marries, she does give up her career and after learning of his own life decision, spirals out of control with drinks and drugs, before disappearing without a trace. Sanford is the father of David who wants him to remain in the wealthy lifestyle following in his footsteps over anything else. We do see many other people who are involved in the lives who have been involved in the lives even if the names have been changed.

PerformancesWe have a brilliant cast on paper here with Ryan Gosling in the leading role, where he really doesn’t show his skills, Kirsten Dunst does the most with her character, only it seems we don’t get the right outlet for the character, where we also seem to waste Frank Langella too.

StoryThe story follows a heir to a successful business that marries a women his family don’t approve of, only for her to go missing, with him being the prime suspect in the disappearance. The problems mount up quickly in this story because we do spend way too much time focusing on the early relationship and not enough time on the investigation to what might have happened, this is clearly the more interesting side of the story that we need to get watching before needing to care that much about their relationship as a hole.

Crime/Mystery/RomanceThe crime is more about if, buts or maybes, with no concrete evidence to what might have happened, which shows in the mystery not being solved in the film, while the romance starts strong before showing why it might not have worked out.

SettingsThe film uses a couple of settings which shows us the luxury lakeside house the couple have, while showing how they interact with people on a social occasion in the big parties.

Scene of the Movie – Strange new friendship.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough focus on the disappearance investigation.

Final ThoughtsThis does feel like a film that gets caught up following the wrong part too easily, we don’t seem to get any clues to what did actually happen, just following the man’s life for large parts both before and after the disappearance.

Overall: Disappointing mystery.

Greyhound (2020) Movie Review

Director: Aaron Schneider

Writer: Tom Hanks (Screenplay) C.S. Forester (Novel)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Stephen Graham, Elisabeth Shue, Michael Benz, Rob Morgan, David Maldonado

Plot: Early in World War II, an inexperienced U.S. Navy captain must lead an Allied convoy being stalked by Nazi U-boat wolfpacks.

Tagline – The Only Thing More Dangerous Than the Front Lines Was the Fight to Get There

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: War Movie 101

Story: Greyhound starts as we see the beginning of World War II, where American Naval Ship Captained by Captain Krause (Hanks) as he looks to navigate his way to the frontline, one that will see him need to navigate through Nazi U-boats that are waiting to pick off any incoming ships.

The closer they get to their destination, the more obstacles they must overcome, offering rescue to the ships they find along the way, taking advice from the other ships that they are following and experienced different levels of threat.

Thoughts on Greyhound

Final ThoughtsGreyhound is a war movie that shows the story of a rookie naval captain who looks to guide a fleet of ships to the frontline for the battles in World War II, where they must overcome the odds which will see them getting attacked by countless enemies losing souls along the way. This is another one of those incredible stories of war, it shows us just how many soldiers sacrificed their lives during World War II. While the story is incredible, it isn’t told in the most interesting way, with none of the conflict scenes hitting the intensity you would be expecting. Tom Hanks is strong enough in the leading role, but he never hits the full level of his abilities, with the supporting cast not putting a foot wrong, only they just don’t get to make an impact in anyway. This does end up feeling like one of the bigger disappointments in the year, being more average, rather than a spectacle it should have been.

Overall: Average war film.