Heartlock (2018) Movie Review

Director: Jon Kauffman

Writer: Jon Kauffman, Chris Cummings (Screenplay)

Starring: Alexander Dreymon, Lesley-Ann Brandt, Erik LaRay Harvey, Cedric Young, Wayne David Parker

Plot: A rogue love story centered on a female correctional officer whose life is turned upside down by the fleeting affections of her lover – a male convict whose charm is only as genuine as his desire to be free.

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Strong Performances

Story: Heartlock starts when Lee Haze (Dreymon) is looking for a way out of prison, he has always kept himself to himself and he looks towards Continental (Harvey) who controls the prison from the inside to help him, which sees Lee turning towards rookie correctional officer Tera Sharpe (Brandt).

As the two get closer, Lee looks to risk it all to get out, while Tera knows the consequences if she gets too close to an inmate, left with the two needing to decide what to do next.

Thoughts on Heartlock

Characters – Lee Haze has been in prison for years now, waiting for his chance to be back together with his partner, only to find his letters returned to him, wanting to escape, he turns to try and turn on of the guards to help him escape, only can thing left to ask, is whether he can get away with it. Tera Sharpe is the correctional officers that is following in her father’s footsteps, she is struggling outside the job with her father, while slowly starting to fall for Lee. Continental runs the prison from the inside, he has guards in his pockets, who will do anything for him, running a drug trade from the inside.

PerformancesAlexander Dreymon in the leading role does reflect the confliction he is going through to get out of jail. Lesley-Ann Brandt does show us the difficulties of seeing a family member struggling with their health, showing that life isn’t going her way. Erik LaRay Harvey does show the confidence for a man that is in complete control of the situation he finds himself in.

StoryThe story here follows a prisoner who is looking to escape by getting closer to a corrections guard, but finds himself getting too close and not wanting to see her life ruined for his own personal gain. Here we get to focus on the problems you could face by trying to risk everything for freedom, from either behind bars or from one’s own life. It shows how easily prison guards could become corrupt without finding an option to escape. It has the message about taking responsibility for your actions coming through strong here.

Crime/RomanceWe are set in a prison, that does show us the criminal actions still being committed by the prisoners, which gets caught up in a romance between an inmate and one of the guards.

SettingsThe film does use the prison setting to not only show us how Lee has no escape, but outside of this world, we see how Tera is in her own prison, trying to protect her father.

Scene of the Movie – Tell the truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Tera does seem to change her mind about Lee way too quickly.

Final Thoughts This is a nice romance about how you could find love from someone you didn’t know at the wrong time in life, leading you to make decision which will only cause more problems.

Overall: Nice Romance.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch Up 2020 – I – The Iron Mask (2019) Movie Review

Director: Oleg Stepchenko

Writer: Dmitry Paltsev, Alexey A Petrukhin, Oleg Stepchenko (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Flemyng, Xingtong Yao, Anna Churina, Jackie Chan, Yuri Kolokolnikov, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Rutger Hauer, Li Ma, Charles Dance

Plot: English traveller Jonathan Green (Jason Flemyng) receives from Peter the Great an order to map the Russian Far East. Once again he sets out for a long journey full of incredible adventures that will eventually lead him to China. The cartographer will unexpectedly face a lot of breathtaking discoveries, encounter bizarre creatures, meet with Chinese Princesses, and confront deadly martial arts masters, and even the King of all dragons, the Dragon King. What could be more dangerous than meeting eye-to-eye with Viy, except doing it again? What would be stronger this time, a staunch skepticism of the scientist or the old black magic that has seized power of Eastern lands?

Runtime: 2 Hours

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Could be A Lot More

Story: The Iron Mask starts as Jonathan Green (Flemyng) recounts his previous adventures before going in search of Peter The Great. His adventure sees him being forced to leave Russia and head east, where he is joined by Cheng Lan (Yao) who proves to be a deadly fighter, while Jonathan’s wife Miss Dudley (Churina) searches for people that can help free him, including a captured Peter, from prison warden James Hook (Schwarzenegger).

With both sides on their own adventures, the two must trust each other to achieve the goal, which will see them needing to fight the unknown forces in the world, learning about China along the way, needing to rescue a princess from a witch.

Thoughts on The Iron Mask

Characters – Jonathan Green in the great explorer that finds himself needing to travel East of Russia, to map out China, he will help a person in danger in Cheng Lan, before finding himself in the middle of a greater battle in China. Cheng Lan becomes the assistant to Jonathan after he rescues her, she can handle herself in combat and is loyal to the person that saves her, leading the fight against the evil in her homeland of China. Miss Dudley is searching for her husband Jonathan, she finds help along the way, proving to be very resourceful.

PerformancesThe performances are one of the most misleading parts of the film, while Jason Flemyng is in fact the lead, he does everything right, with Xingtong Yao as the assistant, we do however have two huge names, Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger, who are both just supporting roles at best in the film.

StoryThe story here follows an explorer who is sent to try and map out China for the Russians, only to find himself in the m idle of a much bigger adventure, trying to save a princess from an evil witch controlling the land. This is a story that is filled with the fantasy elements, which at the core is still about trying to free a land from evil, we see how people from across the world would come together for the greater good. We do have two main stories going on hand in hand, with the plan aiming to meet together for a final battle in the end, which doesn’t give us enough time to connect to the characters, as we are expecting to see and travel with both Jackie Chan’s and Arnold’s characters along the way.

Action/AdventureThe action in the film does blend with the fantasy well, we might well have been expecting certain stars fighting, we even get a tease between two, we are left with a big concluding battle, which helps keep things enjoyable.

SettingsThe film takes us from the Tower of London, Russia, through to China, with the final taking place in a location with a beautiful backdrop.

Special EffectsThe effects are a right mix, we have some dubbing, which comes off terribly, while certain fights look amazingly well arranged.

Scene of the Movie – The little creature that flies with Cheng Lan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The dubbing.

Final Thoughts This is one of the most misleading movies of the year, it is sold on two big names only for them to be nothing more than supporting character, with the main story being routine for a fantasy adventure.

Overall: Easy to watch adventure.