Survivor (2014)

survirovDirector: John Lyde

Writer: John Lyde (Screenplay)

Starring: Danielle Chuchran, Kevin Sorbo, Rocky Myers, Ruby Jones, Melanie Stone, Blake Webb, Abigail Mason, Andrew Dee Jones

 

Plot: During their search for a habitable planet the last living humans crash-land on a barren world, inhabited by bloodthirsty aliens and mysterious post-apocalyptic warriors.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable

 

Story: Survivor starts in 2067 where the Earth has been destroyed and the only trace of humanity is on 7 ships that have all been searching for a new planet, we follow Kate Mitra (Chuchran) born on the ship, trained on the ship and now at 21 years old is ready for the next mission.

When the ship gets a transmission from within a wormhole Captain Hunter (Sorbo) leads a team including Kate, Weston (Webb), Anne (Mason) and Hayley (Stone) to investigate the answers. During the mission the ship takes damage where it crash lands but that is only the beginning of the nightmare as Kate finds herself in the middle of a battle between blood-thirsty aliens and post-apocalyptic warriors as she searches for a way home.

Survivor is a sci-fi adventure film that puts us on a new planet that is filled with an enemy our human characters haven’t met before, yeah you know Planet of the Apes style. Where this films stands away from this is we have one hero in Kate who has to find her crew and rescue before learning the truth about the planet. I will say this is easy to watch and follow but when it comes to something original it falls slightly short. We also fail to develop any characters after Kate with most just being disposable.

 

Actor Review

 

Danielle Chuchran: Kate is one of the team that finds herself crash landed on the alien world, she must use all of her training to stay alive and find a way how. This is a very physical role where we get to see Kate as a warrior. Danielle is the star of this going through all of the physical side of the story.

Kevin Sorbo: Captain Hunter leads the mission as he has been training his crew for years. During the mission he finds himself injured and waiting for Kate to find a way to rescue him and his team. Kevin is solid but most of this film is him sitting around waiting for rescue.

Rocky Myers: Rogan is one of the warriors on the planet who goes against others wishes to help Kate find safety while he tracks down his missing daughter from the aliens. Rocky is good in his role but I don’t think we meet his character until too late in the film.

Ruby Jones: Nidal is the daughter of Rogan who has been kidnapped by the blood thirsty aliens. She becomes the innocent in the danger our characters find themselves in. Ruby is only in the final act and doesn’t get any real time to show off any skills.

Support Cast: Survivor has a supporting cast which are mainly used as disposable characters as we spend most of the film following Kate.

Director Review: John LydeJohn gives us a fun sci-fi that entertains throughout.

 

Action: Survivor has good mix of action with fights, chases and high risk climbing.

Adventure: Survivor puts our characters on the adventure to survive which works for the style the film is shot in.

Sci-Fi: Survivor goes all Planet of the Apes with the sci-fi side of the story being in the future we get to see another looks at the future where Earth has been destroyed.

Settings: Survivor keeps most of the film in a setting which fills like it has been away from technology throughout the whole film.
Special Effects
: Survivor has very basic special effects which you would expect to see in low budget films.

Suggestion: Survivor is one I do think you can sit and watch late night on television. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: Danielle Chuchran shines in this role.

Worst Part: Not the most original story.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

Tagline: Alone. Stranded. Deadly

 

Overall: Fun filled action adventure sci-fi film.

Ratingcard

 

 

Kong: Skull Island (2017)

Director: Jordan Vogt-Roberts

Writer: Dan Gilroy, Max Borenstein, Derek Connolly (Screenplay) John Gatins (Story)

Starring: Tom Hiddleston, Samuel L Jackson, Brie Larson, John C Reilly, John Goodman, Corey Hawkins, John Ortiz, Tian Jing, Toby Kebbell, Jason Mitchell

 

Plot: A team of scientists explore an uncharted island in the Pacific, venturing into the domain of the mighty Kong, and must fight to escape a primal Eden.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mindless Monster Mayhem

 

Story: Kong: Skull Island starts as we see an instant introduction to Kong during World War II, move forward to 1973 Bill Randa (Goodman) want to lead an expedition to the mysterious island in the Pacific Ocean, one that has only just been discovered by satellite images. Joined by his assistant Brooks (Hawkins) and a mapping team Randa puts together a unit to cover him if the stories are true.

The team includes tracker James Conrad (Hiddleston), photographer Mason Weaver (Larson), San (Jing) and army unit led by Preston Packard (Jackson). Upon arrive on the island Kong destroys all the helicopter killing half the unit, with the scientists looking for a way off the island and Packard out for revenge the two battle within as they face enemies they had never imagined including the monstrous Kong.

 

Thoughts on Kong: Skull Island

 

Characters/PerformanceConrad is a British tracker who we rarely see track, Weaver is a photographer who clashes with Packard a lot on the morale side of her job post-Vietnam, she isn’t just the damsel in distress though. Packard is a war-hero who I believe wasn’t a hero in war, he wants one more chance to go into a battle before returning home, as the film unfolds he does feel very similar to Pete Postlethwaite character in Jurassic Park 2. Bill knows more than he lets on but could be considered a businessman villain. Hank steals most of the scenes here, he is the former WWII pilot who has been stuck on the island for 28 years. Kong is a character all to his own, destroying anything that gets in his way while also showing the most emotion of any character in the film. we also have scientists who are forgettable, and soldiers who are giving basic banter to work with.

Performance wise, Hiddleston does struggling to make much of the poorly written character, Larson starts well but again her character is written weakly, Jackson does what Jackson does well without being his best, Goodman also doesn’t reach his potential while Reilly knows how to steal a movie with limited scenes. Most of the stars all struggle with the same problem, their characters are written very weakly.

StoryThe story here is fine, I liked that is wasn’t the same as the 30’s era trying to bring Kong back to New York, this is just a surveillance job turned race against time to survive. So, this is The Lost World with King Kong in the end. There isn’t too much to say good about the story because I found myself confused a lot, we had ONE ship with about SIX helicopters on it and sudden when they reach Skull Island there is about TWENTY helicopters, the same goes for the number of soldiers, one minute we have the FOUR we know and then when we need people to die there suddenly seems to be another group of disposable ones. These inconsistent annoyed me most.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action is very big and sure you can switch off and enjoy it all, the adventure is in the new world unseen and comes off fine throughout, the fantasy comes from battle what should be the impossible.

SettingsI did like that we kept all the action upon Skull Island, I feel this is important to creating the bigger universe they want to.

Special EffectsI also think the special effects are brilliant through the whole film and could barely tell the different between what is real or not.

Final ThoughtsThis is big bad and fun but I feel the character development comes off pointless in places because all we get is a sudden death to a character that doesn’t make sense or it is an unknown character killed to save ones we have got to know.

 

Overall: This will go down in the fun but not great action set piece.

Rating

 

 

Logan (2017)

Director: James Mangold

Writer: Scott Frank, James Mangold, Michael Green (Screenplay) John Romita Sr, Roy Thomas, Len Wein, Herb Trimpe, Craig Kyle, Christopher Yost (Characters)

Starring: Hugh Jackman, Patrick Stewart, Dafne Keen, Boyd Holbrook, Stephen Merchant, Elizabeth Rodriguez, Richard E Grant

 

Plot: In the near future, a weary Logan cares for an ailing Professor X in a hide out on the Mexican border. But Logan’s attempts to hide from the world and his legacy are up-ended when a young mutant arrives, being pursued by dark forces.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Rawest, Grittiest Superhero Movie Ever

 

Story: Logan starts in the near future, 2029 to be exact where mutants are nearly all but extinct. Logan, Wolverine or this time James Howlett (Jackman) is an aging man drive a limo for hire, he is saving enough money to get a sunseeker so himself and an also age weary Professor Charles Xavier (Stewart) can sail off into the sunset.

With Charles suffering from strokes which cause his power to become out of control, Logan knows the time is short but for the moment the money is shorter. When Logan is forced into defending himself we can see the effects or any battle on his body, no longer instantly healing, but this attack draws the attention of Pierce (Holbrook) and his soldiers but also nurse Gabriela (Rodriguez) who needs Logan’s help. When Logan finds, himself helping he learns of a new experiment on mutants and with his genetics creating Laura (Keen). Laura along with other children have all been enhanced but when the experiment is closed they must fend for themselves.

Logan finds himself in the middle of a battle he will struggle to fight this time as himself and Charles travel cross country to a new location that could be the new safe haven for mutants.

 

Thoughts on Logan

 

Characters/PerformanceLogan is a character we have known and loved for nearly 17, we have seen him through origins, beginning and cameos but now we get to see him near the end of his life. This version of Logan is battered, beaten and not long for this world, making him a version of a comic book character that we have never yet seen. Profession Charles Xavier is also very old in fact sick in this outing, he can’t control his powers like he once used to, making him a risk for everybody he meets. He still dreams of finding and protecting more mutants which is what draws him to saving Laura, but he is also filled with a guilt he just doesn’t understand. Laura is a great look at the new breed of mutants who is deadly in a fight without understanding how the world works, I would like to see the next chapter of this characters development. Pierce who is the primary villain of the piece is interesting to start with but through the film does slowly turn into a generic mercenary character. Dr Rice is filling the William Striker role well, being the one that wants control over the mutants with Caliban at times I feel we could have learnt more about this character.

When you look at the performances Hugh Jackman gives one of his, if not his best performance as Logan here, with Patrick Stewart easily being able to be considered an outside bet for an Oscar nomination. Dafne Keen is great for what is the first role I have ever seen her in. even though I feel the character does fall into the background of the final story I did also think Boyd Holbrook does an excellent job too.

StoryWhen you look at superhero movies we often find ourselves stuck in the middle of too many characters, too many subplots and too many over the top storyline action sequences, but much like Deadpool last year we get a simplified story here. The idea that two aging mutants in a world without any known mutants must travel cross country to save this young mutant’s life while being chased down by ruthless henchman works for this movie. The story is easy to follow, you don’t have to know the previous films and you will get the emotional impact of each moment of this film.

Action/Drama/Sci-FiThe action sequences are all raw based fights which are saved for few and far between but this helps the impact of these moments. Going into the future once more gets to see how the final chapters of these character’s lives could unfold but still leaving the door open for the time between.

SettingsThe settings all feel like they could be a western and you can tell this movie borrows heavily from the classic western ‘Shane’. I liked how this wasn’t about a big destruction sequence followed by another like many other films in this genre.

Special EffectsThe special effects are brilliant to show the brutality of the fight sequences with how the Wolverine movie could be bloody throughout.

Final ThoughtsI think this could easily be one of the best superhero movies of all time, but the one moment I didn’t enjoy was the fact the film did get the keys of the kingdom and felt like they did just swear for the reason to be able too.

 

Overall: This is a must watch for the superhero movie fans out there.

Rating

 

 

North by Northwest (1959)

northDirector: Alfred Hitchcock

Writer: Ernest Lehman (Screenplay)

Starring: Cary Grant, Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Jessie Royce Landis, Leo G Carroll, Josephine Hutchinson, Philip Ober

 

Plot: A hapless New York advertising executive is mistaken for a government agent by a group of foreign spies, and is pursued across the country while he looks for a way to survive.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Classic

 

Story: North by Northwest starts as New York advertising executive Roger O Thornhill (Grant) is taken my Phillip Vandamm (Mason) and his man believing he is George Kaplan a spy. Setting up to kill Roger he is filled with booze but escapes by finding himself arrested.

Roger teams up with his mother Clara (Landis) to figure out who this Mr Kaplan with the people in the hotel believing him to be and no one believing the story of his events, searching for the truth takes him right across the country where he meets the beautiful Eve Kendall (Saint) who aids in his escape but not everything is what it seems for Roger.

 

Thoughts on North by Northwest

 

StoryThis is the classic Hitchcock thriller that tells us the simple story of being miss-identified by all the wrong people with nowhere to turn to. This is a thriller that shows us that the idea that could easily be what inspired many a movie in modern times. The story had plenty of twists and turns along the way which at the time would have kept you guessing what will happen next at the time.

Action/Mystery/ThrillerThis has action when the chase scenes with the mystery of what is going on happening very early on with the thrilling side of the story keeping you guessing from the start to the finish. All the genres mix together to give us one of the most ground breaking thrillers of all time.

Characters/PerformanceRobert is a great everyday man who ends up in the middle of the bigger conspiracy going on with each of the people he meets either offering something new or a threat for his life. Cary Grant is brilliant in this role showing he was the star of the era with the rest of the cast all shining close to his level throughout.

SettingsEach setting is used to show how Robert is looking to escape or answers to what is going on. We have the iconic scenes in the crop field, Mount Rushmore and the opening shot overlooking New York.

Final ThoughtsThis will always be looked at as one of the best thrillers of all time that did truly inspire so many of the films we get in modern cinema.

 

Overall: An absolutely classic that could never be beaten.

Ratingcard

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985)

madDirector: George Miller, George Ogilvie

Writer: Terry Hayes, George Miller (Screenplay)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Adam Cockburn, Tina Turner, Frank Thring, Angelo Rossitto

 

Plot: After being exiled from the most advanced town in post-apocalyptic Australia, a drifter travels with a group of abandoned children to rebel against the town’s queen.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Finish

 

Story: Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome starts as Max (Gibson) is rob in the wasteland when he heads after the person responsible he ends up in Bartertown making a deal for 24 hours of his life to search for his belongings.

The leader of the town is Aunty Entity (Turner) recruits Max to eliminate The Blaster from the pig power factory to keep her reign over the people. This means Max challenges The Master Blaster to a one on one fight in the Thunderdome with the winner getting the freedom and Max getting his belongings back.

When Max backs out of the deal he finds himself facing the wheel that will decide his fate in bartertown. After being exiled Max sets out on a revenge mission to get his stuff and bring down the home of the thunderdome once and for all.

 

Thoughts on Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome

 

StoryThis is the third story of the Mad Max saga and this time around we dive deeper into the dystopian world where we meet different pockets of survivors that Max must interact with to make a better future for the right ones but like before he wants to keep to himself and go about hi business only getting involved when he is affected by the choices. This story feels bigger but this is also part of the downfall in this one because it was the simple story that made the last one so great.

Action/ThrillerThe action feels different but does lack the use of vehicles this time around and feels like it is in the post-apocalyptic world we are sold on. This also doesn’t feel as edge of your seat anymore because of the number of characters involved.

Characters/PerformanceMax continues to be the character that fights for the right things but also the one who wants to be isolated from the others. The villain continues to be over the top with Tina Turner taking this role well but otherwise this also feels like a step back from the last outing in the series.

SettingsThe settings are created to make us fully believe we are in the post-apocalyptic wasteland with both main settings coming off bigger and much more settled that last time which is one of the highlights of this film.

Special EffectsThis outing doesn’t have as many special effects with well-planned stunts that all come off.

Final ThoughtsThis feels like a step back in the franchise even if it still keeps the basic idea together for the mad world this works very well indeed.

 

Overall: Tidy conclusion to the saga but easily the weakest of the three.

Ratingcard