Nerve (2016)

nerveDirector: Henry Joost, Ariel Schulman

Writer: Jessica Sharzer (Screenplay) Jeanne Ryan (Novel)

Starring: Emma Roberts, Dave Franco, Emily Meade, Miles Heizer, Kimiko Glenn, Marc John Jeffries

 

Plot: A high school senior finds herself immersed in an online game of truth or dare, where her every move starts to become manipulated by an anonymous community of “watchers.”

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Glossy Thriller

 

Story: Nerve starts as we meet Vee (Roberts) a high school senior looking to go onto her dream college but for now she has to face staying at home with her mother after their own loss. When her risky friend Sydney (Meade) teaches about a new online game called Nerve which is Truth or Dare minus the Truth we get to see a new risk people are meant to take money.

When Vee gets her heartbroken by her crush she decides to be impulsive and become a player in Nerve. When Vee meets another player Ian (Franco) she finds herself getting caught up in a darker version of the game where she must battle life and death to make a little extra cash.

Nerve is a thriller that starts off simple and calm but soon becomes deadly, well this also ends up playing along the ideas of how far you will go to get extra money. This also plays on the idea that friendships at that age could only be thin and easily broken. When the film is all set and done this feels really long and over glossy to get to where the film wants to go and I would rather be watching the horror version of 13 Sins.

 

Overall: Over glossy thriller that just doesn’t suck you in like it should.

Rating

 55

 

Seven Samurai (1954)

sevnDirector: Akira Kurosawa

Writer: Akira Kurosawa, Shinobu Hashimoto, Hideo Oguni (Screenplay)

Starring: Toshiro Mifune, Takashi Shimura, Keiko Tsushima, Daisuke Kato, Isao Kimura, Seiji Miyaguchi, Yoshio Inaba

 

Plot: A poor village under attack by bandits recruits seven unemployed samurai to help them defend themselves.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: True Master Class

 

Story: Seven Samurai starts as we see the small poor village getting approached by bandits that they have already raided but decide to wait until the barley is ready which one of the villagers over hears. Searching for answers some of the villagers decide to go in search of poor hungry samurai to fight back against the bandits.

When the villagers find Kambei (Shimura) he purposes they need seven samurai including himself to defend the village once he learns just how desperate the villagers are. Kambei recruits the further six samurai Katayama (Inaba), Shichiroji (Kato), Kyuzo (Miyaguchi), Heihachi (Chiaki), Katsushiro (Kimura) and Kikuchiyo (Mifune) to come and protect the village putting aside all their difference they fight for honour.

 

Thoughts on Seven Samurai

 

StoryThe story shows how the villagers must defend themselves from bandits and just how they went about that happening. We get to see the honour of a samurai who are willing to fight not for money but for the right thing. This story is simple to follow but most importantly it is about how you can help somebody with their problems if you believe in the right things.

Action/Adventure When you look at the action inside tis film we get brilliantly choregraphed fight sequences for the time would have been something nobody would have seen and they still stand the test of time now.

Characters/PerformanceEach of the samurai has their own characteristics which makes us have added laughs for some but know they will be a force when it comes to battle. The performances are all good to throughout as we see the events of the film unfold.

SettingsThe settings for this film are constant as we see most of the film happen within the small village that needs defending, this helps us show just how close the community living there is making us support them through their struggles with the bandits.

Final ThoughtsThis is the classic people say it is, while it might be a little bit long you barely notice the 3 hour plus run time.

 

Overall: Essential viewing for anyone that wants to know how to make a truly special film.

Rating

 90

 

The Order (2001)

orderDirector: Sheldon Lettich

Writer: Les Weldon, Jean-Claude Van Damme (Screenplay)

Starring: Jean-Claude Van Damme, Charlton Heston, Sofia Milos, Brian Thompson, Ben Cross, Vernon Dobtcheff

 

Plot: Van Damme plays Rudy whose father, Oscar is an archaeologist. His father goes to Israel. When his father disappears, he goes to Israel to find him. The chief of police claims that his father never entered the country, but an old friend of his father’s was expecting him and before he could tell him more, some people start shooting at them. He manages to get away, and when he goes back to the police chief, he still refuses to believe that a crime has been committed. He then has Rudy deported, but Rudy convinces the police woman assigned to bring him to the airport not to and help him find his father.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Van Damme 101

 

Story: The Order starts with a history lesson because we need back story to what happen in this one battle in Jerusalem where a new order was born against the religious crusades. We move to the present day and meet Rudy Cafmeyer (Van Damme) who is a world class thief applying his latest job in Ukraine. Rudy’s father is archaeologist who has discovered the final chapter of the Visialy script while Ruby’s last adventure has led him to be wanted by the Russian Mafia.

When his father goes missing Ruby travels to Israel to uncover the truth and working with his father’s old friend Walter Finney (Heston) he learns just how much danger his father has got himself into. Rudy must work with LT Dalia Barr (Milos) to uncover a religious movement that his father has discovered the final piece off being led by Cyrus Jacob (Thompson) in the city of Jerusalem during the time when other religions have come to pray thanks to their gods.

 

Thoughts on The Order

 

StoryThe story is designed to give Van Damme a chance to show his fighting while have a loss idea on how to deal with a potential religious uprising in a modern world. This is a treasure hunt style movie which all works for fun and that is all you need from it.

Action/ThrillerWhen it comes to the action we have plenty of chase sequences as well as good fight sequences again all designed to show off Van Damme’s skills.

Characters/Performance –  Ruby is a thief that has a way of being able to look after himself and has a way to cover his tracks while uncovering the truth, this is what you would call a typical Van Damme character that is there to show off his fighting ability. Charlton Heston is pretty much here to fill in the gaps for Rudy in the history before biting the bullet early on. We do have the typical good cop working with Ruby too as well as a good religious leader ticking off the villainous role.

SettingsThe film uses Jerusalem as the main setting which works because of the religious implication going on within the story as well as looking good for the chase sequences.

Special EffectsHas good enough effects for the characters involved because we don’t need anything fancy just a few explosions during the chases.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film designed solely to show off how could Van Damme is as fighting, it has a good religious idea going on. This is fun easy to watch action film from start to finish.

 

Overall: This is easily the rule book on how to make a Van Damme movie.

Ratingcard

 

 

Studio Ghibli Weekend – Tales From Earthsea (2006)

talesDirector: Goro Miyazaki

Writer: Goro Miyazaki, Keiko Niwa (Screenplay) Ursula K Le Guin (Novel)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Jun’ich Okada, Aoi Teshima, Bunta Sugawara, Yuko Tananka, Teruyuki Kagawa, Jun Fubuki

 

Plot: In a mythical land, a man and a young boy investigate a series of unusual occurrences.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not their Best

 

Story: Tales from Earthsea starts as we see a mysterious fever sweeping through the kingdom of Earthsea with the King being attacked by a young boy who steals his sword, Arren escapes to the wastelands with his prize. Arren saved from wolves by Sparrowhawk who set out on their own adventure.

Captured by salvers Arren finds himself being sold into slavery only for Sparrowhawk to return to rescue him and continue guiding him. As Arren’s powers grow he becomes a wanted boy in the kingdom with Cob leading the chase for both him and Sparrowhawk.

 

Thoughts on Tales from Earthsea

 

StoryWhen you look at this story I can’t help but find that this one doesn’t ever reach the levels of what you have come to know and love from Ghibli’s work. I can’t quite figure out what it is that makes this happen but I think it falls into the dull characters for what you expect in a world that feels too outside the box of what fantasy world’s we have entered before. I could not find myself drawn into this story at all.

Adventure/FantasyIn what is meant to be an adventure film we only find our heroes on one adventure that just doesn’t feel as peril filled as it should be. The fantasy side of the story enters us into a world of wizards and witches but again like most of this film feels slightly short by the end.

Characters The characters all end up feeling very bland which is something Ghibli usually always gets correct none of these characters will be remembered once you have finished this film.

SettingsThe film does take us to a fantasy world that you can fully believe these characters being part of and can be one of the few highlights of this film.

AnimationThe visual look of this animation is brilliant and when it comes to the darker side of the story you can fully believe just how scary it aims to be.

Final ThoughtsI personally see this as one of the weakest stories from the great studio but I can see how people could enjoy parts of this film.

 

Overall: Not my favourite and I think it could struggle to get near my top 10 from Ghibli.

Rating45

 

 

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