ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – S – See You Yesterday (2019) Movie Review

Director: Stefon Bristol

Writer: Fredrica Bailey, Stefon Bristol (Screenplay)

Starring: Eden Duncan-Smith, Dante Crichlow, Astro, Marsha Stephanie Blake, Johnathan Nieves, Michael J Fox

Plot: Two Brooklyn teenage prodigies, C.J. Walker and Sebastian Thomas, build makeshift time machines to save C.J.’s brother, Calvin, from being wrongfully killed by a police officer.

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Messy Time Travel Film

Story: See You Yesterday starts as we meet the two teenagers Claudette ‘CJ’ Walker (Duncan-Smith) and Sebastian Thomas (Crichlow) who have been working on their science project to make time travel possible. After they prove they can go back just one day, CJ the brains behind the project, does something reckless, which changes the pass, while dealing with an ex-boyfriend.

The consequences of her actions create a domino effect which sees her brother Calvin (Astro) killed in a police shooting, wanting to make a different CJ works with Sebastian to try and create the ability to go further back, which only ends up creating more problems, the more she tries to fix.

Thoughts on See You Yesterday

Characters – Claudette ‘CJ’ Walker is the brains behind the time travel machine, she however has started to become difficult to be around, causing unnecessary trouble in an already combustible neighbourhood. When the pair get the machine to work, it is her mistake which causes the effects the pair must go through. She is always so desperate to fix the mistakes, she doesn’t even consider the consequences. Sebastian is the best friend that has always helped along the way, he is the one that will ask the questions about the consequences, seeing how reckless CJ has become. Calvin is the big brother of CJ’s, he will always make sure she is safe, whenever somebody in the neighbourhood causes her trouble.

PerformancesWhile the two leading stars Eden Duncan-Smith and Dante Crichlow don’t do anything wrong through the film, they have annoying character traits to bring to life, which doesn’t help what they have to work with.

StoryThe story here follows two high school friends that are trying to prove time travel is possible and soon learn the consequences of trying to change the past. This story does have an important reason for trying to create the time travel, we are placed into a Brooklyn neighbourhood that has been dealing with police shooting, overly aggressive gang mentality and will have signs of poverty. Outside of this side of the story, we are dealing with really bad time travel decisions, even though the characters seem clear of what not to do. We won’t go into the non-ending either, which leaves us with nothing after what has happened through the film, this does just feel like an unfinished script, that really wants deal with topical issues through the film.

Action/Sci-FiThe action in the film does come from the panic involved once the first incident happens, it is more neighbourhood action, rather anything else, while the time travel might dive into basic science behind time travel, which does work well, it is the behaviour from people that believe they understand it that let everything down.

SettingsThe film is set in Brooklyn which shows the environment the two friends are around, which brings the combustible elements.


Scene of the Movie – See You Yesterday.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Most of CJ’s decisions.

Final Thoughts Messy time travel film, which does deal with big topical issues the best it can, sadly, get caught in the middle of both worlds.

Overall: Missed the point.

Bad Boys for Life (2020) Movie Review

Director: Adil El Arbi, Bilall Fallah

Writer: Chris Bremner, Peter Craig, Joe Carnahan (Screenplay)

Starring: Will Smith, Martin Lawrence, Alexander Ludwig, Vanessa Hudgens, Joe Pantoliano, Kate Del Castillo, Jacob Scipio

Plot: The Bad Boys Mike Lowrey and Marcus Burnett are back together for one last ride in the highly anticipated Bad Boys for Life.


Tagline – Ride Together. Die Together.

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Absolute Blast

Story: Bad Boys for Life starts as we hit a new personal landmark for Marcus Burnett (Lawrence), he has become a grandfather, considering retirement once again, Mike Lowrey (Smith) doesn’t want him to retire and after he is shot in a drive by, by a vengeful Armando (Scipio) life flies by.

Mike wanting to hunt his attempted killer, must reluctantly work with a new department known as AMMO run by his ex-girlfriend Rita (Nunez) to learn who is behind this and why has he become targeted.

Thoughts on Bad Boys for Life

Characters – Mike Lowrey is still the playboy we know from the first two films, he actually even runs from the new baby showing he fear of commitment once again, he gets shot, only just surviving and comes back with hate in his blood, wanting to break every rule in the book, he must look into his own past to learn who his want to be assassin is. Marcus Burnett has become a Grandfather, now he wants to retire for good and after Mike’s shooting he follows through, only he is bored with his retirement and reluctantly helps Mike look into the case, getting all of the laughs along the way. Isabel is the escaped convict who has targeting Mike with her son doing her dirty work, she is known for believing in the dead, with her son willing to do anything for her. Armando is the son of Isabel who will do everything his mother askes him to, to get revenge for his father’s death, becoming the deadliest enemy that the bad boys have come up against

PerformancesWill Smith does take more of the centre stage this time around, but he does an excellent job, giving one of his best performances in years, if not decades. Martin Lawrence does steal the show here, he gets the laughs in every single scene, as the pair just have the chemistry producers pray to have on screen. Kate del Catillo makes for a great villain, being different to what we have seen before, while Jacob Scipio is wonderful as the deadly fighter, who will do anything for his mother.

StoryThe story here continues the adventures of the bad boy detectives in Miami, with one facing life of death and the other looking to his future away from the force. This might well be the most personal of the stories, the pair have been through. The continuing life growing situations Marcus goes through works wonderfully for the comedy side of the film, while Mike has a more intense storyline, which feels like it could be more for a vendetta based movie, even though he shows how the balance the law with the work. The story keeps us wanting to see the motivation behind why Mike is being targeted, while showing us just how the two senior detectives will need to embrace a younger approach to fighting crime.

Action/Comedy/CrimeThe action in this film is a nice mix of car chases, fight scenes and a big spectacle ending which continues to build up the stakes as the shoot out goes on. The crime side of the film doesn’t focus on the drug world this time, it is a criminal’s revenge mission against people they believed wronged them, which is different and nice to see. The comedy is the best in the franchise here with Martin Lawrence getting most of the laughs, while we do get a couple of generational laughs along the way too.

SettingsKeeping the film set mostly in Miami is good for the series, it is where the cops operate in, we do see them travel for the final battle, which is no different than the last one.


Scene of the Movie – Hotel fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does feel like a better story than one of Will Smith’s recent films.

Final Thoughts This is a blast, so much fun with Smith and Lawrence hitting out the park with their performances.

Overall: Most Fun at the Cinema This Year.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – Q – The Quake (2019) Movie Review

Director: John Andreas Andersen

Writer: John Kare Raake, Harald Rosenlow-Eeg (Screenplay)

Starring: Kristoffer Joner, Ane Dahl Torp, Edith Haagenrud-Sande, Katherine Thorborg Johansen, Jonas Hoff Oftebro, Stig R Amdam

Plot: In 1904 an earthquake of magnitude 5.4 on the Richter scale shook Oslo, with an epicenter in the “Oslo Graben” which runs under the Norwegian capital. There are now signs that indicate that we can expect a major future earthquake in Oslo.


Tagline – The Wave was only the beginning.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Set Piece Disaster Film

Story: The Quake starts one year after the events of the Wave, Norway is remembering the tragedy, while preparing for any other unexpected disasters, with belief there could be an Earthquake in the near future. Geologist Kristian Eikjord (Joner) is still feeling guilty for the number of people who died, despite saving his family from the tragedy.

When one of Kristian colleagues dies looking into seismic activity, it brings he out of his research to follow up on the information he has received and now in the Oslo, his worst fears look like they might come true.

Thoughts on The Quake

Characters – Kristian predicted the tsunami in the Wave, he couldn’t save everybody, now he is still feeling the guilt of not saving everybody, now he believes there could be an Earthquake hitting Oslo, one that could take more lives, he wants to find evidence to prove this, even if it means he is becoming more distant from his own children. Idun is the ex-wife to Kristian who will give him chances when it comes to their children, but doesn’t want to forgive him for become distant from then in the past. Julia is the daughter that wants to spend time with her father, she is getting pushed away by his own guilt, she will be the one that needs to be rescued the most in the film. Marit is the daughter of the colleague, that starts helping Kristian with his research understand that his work meant something more and his death can’t be in vain.

PerformancesKristoffer Joner does return as does the most part of his family actors, he is the best performer in the film, with her desperation, while the rest of the cast don’t seem to get as much impact in the film.

StoryThe story in the film does follow the guilt of surviving a disaster and the fear another one could come, before it does hit showing the desperate actions of one man to try and save his family. The story does follow the same formula as The Wave, so we know we are getting into a debate between characters about whether it could happen or not, before the event, the event itself is big and the battle to survive likewise, even if certain parts of it are repeated. It does feel slightly too random that everybody else does just vanish after the quake as we solely focus on the four trying to figure out how to survive.

ActionThe action here does wait for the big event to happen, which is a big event and doesn’t hold anything back.

SettingsThe film does take us to a new location, a big city in Oslo, with the big disaster sequences happening within the skyscrapers, with so how dangerous they would be in an Earthquake.

Special EffectsThe special effects are used for the destruction sequences, which do look terrifying, it shows the pure amount of destruction a city will face and fires up the tension in the film.


Scene of the Movie – The Quake Hitting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Trying to survive in the quake is slightly too repetitive

Final Thoughts This is a nice sequel to The Wave, the disasters are still big and the determination to survive is the most important part of the film.

Overall: Big Disaster Movie.

Ground Control (1998)

Director: Richard Howard

Writer: Mark Shepherd, Robert Moreland (Screenplay) Talaat Captan, Robert Moreland (Story)

Starring: Kiefer Sutherland, Bruce McGill, Kristy Swanson, Robert Sean Leonard, Kelly McGillis, Margaret Cho, Ruben Paul

Plot: A disgraced former air traffic controller is called back into service when the airport’s traffic control system malfunctions.


Tagline – No Radar. No Contact. No Control.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Nice Smart Thriller

Story: Ground Control starts as air traffic controller Jack Harris (Sutherland) loses one of his planes in an accident, with nothing being his own fault. Jack is out the game working on developing a video game in air traffic controlling when his friend T.C. Bryant (McGill) comes to him in need of help because of the workload thrown upon his team.

When Jack reluctant agrees to work for one night, he must face his past, even with hot shot new trafficker Cruise (Leonard) not wanting to work with him and rookie Julie (Swanson) willing to learn off Jack.

Thoughts on Ground Control

Characters – Jack Harris was once one of the best air traffic controllers in the business, he does suffer the nightmare of all the air traffic controllers have, losing a plane, turning to the drink to blame himself for what happened. He has turned to designing video games, but it talked into return on a business night, where he must finally face his own past and deal with the pressure once again. T.C Bryant is the friend of Jack’s who has turned to him for help deal with the added pressure piled onto him, he controls the team with his work, which sees him showing off his micromanagement skills. Julie is the rookie on her first night in the team, nervous at the start, Jack offers to help her, while Cruise is willing to put her under pressure. Cruise is the hot shot that gets through the day with his abilities that could make him the best in the business, his attitude has been the one thing that has always held him back, where he is the closest to a villain we have in this film.

PerformancesKiefer Sutherland was a strange choice for this role, when it comes to being in the controller persons, he is great to watch, but when it comes to the unsure nervous filled with regret side of the character he does seem slightly miscast. Bruce McGill, Kristy Swanson and Robert Sean Leonard are all great to watch in their roles in the film.

StoryThe story here follows one night in an air traffic control station which has had increased number of flights thrown onto them and the pressure forces the boss to turn to his old colleague to help even though he has been battling his own problems. This is a story that does come from a strange angle because instead of doing anything glorified or over the top, it simply just looks to focus on the pressure these teams will be facing while working on daily basis. We do have the incidents that will show how calm they need to be and how easily they can work to solve the problems they face and by the end you will find yourself gripped to what is happening.

Action/AdventureThe action involved in the film is mostly off camera, it follows what could happen with the planes during difficult decisions, while it does have an adventure tone through how Jack wants to overcome his problems.

SettingsThe film is set within the air traffic control station which shows us how close the team must work together for when the pressure grows.


Scene of the Movie – The last plane to land, it is an intense scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Sutherland doesn’t seem to fit the nervous unsure figure.

Final Thoughts This is a tidy thriller that does keep us guessing just to what will happen next with the pressure being piled upon the team, it does keep everything feeling realistic too by only showing the team at work.

Overall: Air Traffic Thriller.

ABC Film Challenge – Catch-Up 2019 – M – Miss Bala (2019)

Director: Catherine Hardwicke

Writer: Gareth Dunnet-Alcocer (Screenplay)

Starring: Gina Rodriguez, Anthony Mackie, Ismael Cruz Cordova, Aislinn Derbez, Matt Lauria, Damian Alcazar, Ricardo Abarca

Plot: Gloria finds a power she never knew she had when she is drawn into a dangerous world of cross-border crime. Surviving will require all of her cunning, inventiveness, and strength. Based on the Spanish-language film.


Tagline – Ordinary Becomes Extraordinary.

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Miss Congeniality 3?

Story: Miss Bala starts when makeup artist Gloria (Rodriguez) visits her friend Suzu (Rodlo) in Mexico only for a night out to end up with a shoot out and Gloria finding herself being dragged into the criminal world by Lino (Cordova) threatening to kill her and Suzu if he doesn’t help.

Gloria is also recruited by the DEA and she is caught in the middle of both worlds trying to decide what is best to do, while she just wants to keep her loved ones safe.

Thoughts on Miss Bala

Characters – Gloria is a simple make up artists that is always dreaming of getting higher up the business, she has friends both sides of the American border, which sees her visiting Mexico a lot, including seeing her best friend. She gets caught up in the middle of a shoot out and becomes the target for the Mexican cartel who want her to help them transfer across the border. She needs to do what she can to remain alive, whether it be illegal or not. Lino is the runner that has the ruthless gang that forces Gloria into working for him, he offers the most human emotions of the people trying to push her around. Jimmy is one of the connections on the American side, he believes there is a problem within the gang.

PerformancesGina Rodriguez does a solid enough job in the leading role, though it does seem like she doesn’t know this world is happening in her character. Anthony Mackie does feel more like a cameo that an important role in the film. Ismael Cruz Cordova is the best performer in the film

StoryThe story here follows a makeup artist that gets drawn into a criminal world where she is forced to complete illegal actions to make sure her friends are kept safe, while learning more about the corruption within the world she has been thrown into. This does show us how one person can be thrown into a world they know nothing about, while it also shows us just how the world is both corrupt and one that can swallow people whole if they don’t fight back in their own way. We do only learn what is happening through the eyes of Gloria, which helps keep certain parts more of mystery, though being a remake, it does seem to lose a big part of the story.

Action/CrimeThe action is just wild shootouts which don’t feel like they are as tactical as both sides think not being the most entertaining, while the crime world is everything people imagine the cartels to be.

SettingsThe film does show us just how close the two worlds could be despite being two different countries.


Scene of the Movie – Final shootout.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We have seen this story before.

Final Thoughts This is an unimaginative action crime that we have seen before, it doesn’t reach any levels of intensity which it should, with the performances just not making the film any better.

Overall: Basic Action.