Director: Potsy Ponciroli
Writer: Potsy Ponciroli (Screenplay)
Starring: Tim Blake Nelson, Scott Haze, Gavin Lewis, Trace Adkins, Stephen Dorff, Max Arciniega, Brad Carter
Plot: An action western about a farmer who takes in an injured man with a satchel of cash. When a posse comes for the money, he must decide who to trust. Defending a siege, he reveals a gunslinging talent calling his true identity into question.
Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Story: Old Henry starts when farmer Henry (Nelson) gets an unlikely visit from an injured man with a satchel of cash, Henry knows nothing good can come from this and looks to try and keep his son Wyatt (Lewis) safe.
When the man Curry (Haze) wakes up, he warns of the men searching for him, led by Ketchum (Dorff) who have come across multiply counties in search for Curry, leading to stand off between three sides.
Thoughts on Old Henry
Characters & Performances – Henry is the mild-mannered farmer who has lived a quiet life for years away from any confliction, raising his boy away from gunfire. When he clashes with Ketchum, he finds himself needing to dive into a past life, when it comes to defending his home and son. Tim Blake Nelson plays this character wonderfully, filled with all the confidence in his characters presence in every moment, even against the odds. With Henry being such a captivating character, Ketchum the leader of the outlaw gang searching for the man, doesn’t feel like such a threat, despite having the numbers, he feels like he is hoping to scare people, rather than having that evil menace about him. Stephen Dorff tries to make this an interesting villain, but he doesn’t get to give us the type of figure we need for this film. Curry is the stranger Henry takes in to help recover, he knows the danger coming his way and tries to warn Henry and his son. Scott Haze does everything he needs to with this role, sadly much like Ketchum the character feels list in the bigger shuffle of what is truly going on. Most of the characters we meet in the film do feel overshadowed by Tim Blake Nelson and his Henry performance.
Story – The story here follows a farmer living a quiet life away from everyone with his son, when they get an unwelcome visitor and a group of outlaws hunting him down, with the farmer needing to look into a past life to make sure his son stays safe. This is a story that will start with a slow build, one that will make us wait for the big sequence which will leave us in shock with what the story has kept hidden for so long. With how most of the story plays out, it is everything we would have seen before, with the innocent figure getting caught in the middle of a battle between criminals, which is fine because when it comes to the final outcome, the story rewards the patience of waiting.
Themes – Old Henry is a western that keeps the action to the minimal, waiting for the explosive ending to unleash the biggest sequences. The locations are used well, with most of the film being set on the land of Henry, a small farm away from the main world, showing us that someone is trying to live a peaceful life.
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Final Thoughts – Old Henry is a captivating western, one keeping you wanting more and leaving you shocked by the end.
Writer: Christian Taylor, Matthew Huffman (Screenplay) G.P. Taylor (Novel)
Starring: Aneurin Barnard, Michael Sheen, Lena Headey, Sam Neill, Ioan Gruffudd, Keeley Hawes
Plot: Ancient mysteries. Powerful evil. And a fearless hero’s quest through a fantastical realm of steam-powered wonders and sinister magic…
Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes
There may be spoilers in the rest of the review
Verdict: Basic Adventure Film
Story: The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box starts when adventurer Will Charity (Sheen) escapes with a crucial part of Otto Luger’s (Neill) plan to unlock the Midas Box, he turns to his old friends Charles (Gruffudd) and Catherine (Hawes), who find themselves the target of Otto. Their eldest son Mariah (Barnard) must work with Charity to rescue his family and stop Otto from unlocking the box giving him the chance to have a powerful weapon, which would give him control of the world.
Thoughts on The Adventurer: The Curse of the Midas Box
Characters – Mariah Mundi is the son of museum curators, from the upper class of society, he isn’t used to getting his hands dirty, he is the only member of his family that isn’t captured by Otto and is thrown into an adventure where he must go in disguise to try and save his family and stop Otto. Charity is the adventurer friend of the family that is guiding Mariah, he knows if he is seen, he will get killed, forcing him into going in disguise himself to find the truth and stop Otto. Otto Luger has been hunting for the Midas Box for years, he is closer than ever now, he just needs the key which Mariah has to unlock a power the world isn’t ready for, he is the typical greedy explorer that uses his money to get everybody to do his dirty work. Monica is one of the workers in the hotel that Otto owns, she is the eyes and ears around the hotel for information.
Performances – Aneurin Barnard in the leading role does make for a solid enough reluctant hero for the film, though he never feels like a true adventurer. Michael Sheen looks like he had a lot of fun in his role, Lena Headey is pretty much wasted in her role though, while Sam Neill will always make for an entertaining villain.
Story – The story here follows a young man that is pushed into an adventure to save his family from an evil explorer with the help of another adventurer as they look to stop his plan of releasing evil on the world. On paper this feels like it should be a big wild adventure, only it ends up being more about lurking around a hotel for the most part, with an annoying kid. It could have given us a big adventurer, only it just seems to throw us a stuck up young man trying to find his way in the world, one he has never had to work hard in.
Adventure/Fantasy – The adventure side of the film doesn’t get unleashed well enough in this film, with the fantasy element of the film not coming out until way to late into the film.
Settings – Most of the film is set within the walls of a hotel, it is located on an island, which shows how the rich would operate, relying on the poor to make more of the entertainment for them.
Scene of the Movie – The box
Final Thoughts – This is an adventure film that just doesn’t let enough of the story unfold to be enjoyable.
Overall: Doesn’t get going.
Puppet Killer will be available on Digital Download from 29th November