ABC Film Challenge – Action – A – Ant-Man (2015)

Director: Peyton Reed

Writer: Edgar Wright, Joe Cornish, Adam McKay, Paul Rudd (Screenplay) Stan Lee, Larry Lieber, Jack Kirby (Comics)

Starring: Paul Rudd, Michael Douglas, Evangeline Lilly, Corey Stoll, Bobby Cannavale, Anthony Macke, Michael Pena

 

Plot: Armed with a super-suit with the astonishing ability to shrink in scale but increase in strength, cat burglar Scott Lang must embrace his inner hero and help his mentor, Dr. Hank Pym, plan and pull off a heist that will save the world.


Tagline – No shield. No armor. No problem.

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Heist Movie

 

Story: Ant-Man starts when Scott Lang (Rudd) gets released from prison, he wants to try and go straight to rebuild his relationship with his daughter, but is struggling. When his best friend Luis (Pena) offers him a score which could fix the problem he jumps at the chance. the job is to break into a house and open a safe, which he does finding a suit.

The suit is the Ant-Man suit which Dr Hank Pym (Douglas) invented and planned to keep secret, until his student Darren Cross (Stoll) has learnt of the technology and has been looking to create his own form of it. Hank wants Scott to use the suit to stop Darren from using the technology that could be dangerous in the right hands.

 

Thoughts on Ant-Man

 

Characters – Scott Lang is a cat-burglar that is freshly out of prison searching for a job, so he can rebuild his relationship with his daughter, who still loves him. He can’t get employment, which sees him return to a life of crime, which sees him get an opportunity to work for Hank Pym that see him use his skills to help him steal his own technology back before it gets in the wrong hands. Scott can see this as a chance for redemption. Dr Hank Pym created the shrinking technology that made Ant-Man, he has seen the danger involved in it and has been gone into business for himself, he needs somebody to make sure his technology doesn’t get sold into the wrong hands, he doesn’t want his daughter to do the job because he knows the danger involved in it. Hope is the daughter of Hank, she has remained in the company watching over Darren’s research, reporting to her father if thing go wrong. She wants to go on the mission no matter how risky it could be. Darren Cross was mentored by Hank, he has always been waiting to step out of the shadow and after learning the secret about technology involved in creating the shrinking technology.

PerformancesPaul Rudd does get to bring us a fun character that has been left with nothing and still remains positive and isn’t the smartest person in the room. Michael Douglas fits his role perfectly as the inventor figure. Evangeline Lilly is strong in her role, even if she does a lot better in the sequel. Corey Stoll does make for a strong villain which is needed in this film.

StoryThe story here follows a former criminal that gets recruits to steal a piece of equipment from his own office that could one day create a new army becoming a threat to mankind. This story does go in a different direction to the previous outings of creating a new superhero, most before hand had been experiments or self-created heroes. Scott is given a chance to improve his life to step into a suit that was once just an experiment. We also have a heist going on which is always entertaining to watch as we do get the colourful characters involved in the film. this might get references for previous Avengers movies which shows how Ant-Man will be part of the universe too.

Action/Adventure/Comedy/Sci-FiThe action in this film has a unique look because it deals with the ideas of most of the fighting happening within the miniature world. the film does target plenty of laughs which with the supporting cast come off regularly and once again we see how the sci-fi side of the film is used for the technology being used in the film.

SettingsThe film is set in San Francisco which does bring us to a new city for a superhero movie which is refreshing to see.

Special EffectsThe effects in this movie are amazing when you think of the world that is created with the ant army being used.


Scene of the Movie –
Training the ants.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We needed more of Luis.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun heist movie with a superhero spin on it which lightens the mood the previous films might have had.

 

Overall: Entertaining Superhero movie.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Favourites – Y – Speed (1994) Movie Review

This is under Y because of the writer’s last name, these are my favourite films and Y is very limited.

Director: Jan de Bont

Writer: Graham Yost (Screenplay)

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Dennis Hopper, Sandra Bullock, Joe Morton, Heff Daniels, Alan Ruck, Glenn Plummer

Plot: A young police officer must prevent a bomb exploding aboard a city bus by keeping its speed above 50 mph.


Tagline – Get ready for rush hour.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Brilliant Action Film

Story: Speed starts when hot shot police officer Jack Traven (Reeves) and his partner Harry (Daniels) stop the plans of bomber Howard Payne (Hopper), getting awarded for saving the lives of the hostages, believing Howard died in his explosion.

Howard isn’t finished yet and plants his next bomb, forcing Jack to find the bus her has placed it, where if the bus goes over 50mph is activates the bomb, Jack needs to keep the bus travelling over 50mph to prevent it exploding, with passenger Annie (Bullock) needing to take the wheel for him.

Thoughts on Speed

Characters – Jack is the young police officers that will always look to protect and serve, his latest job is to rescue hostages from a bomb threat, which he uses his quick thinking to stay one step ahead of the terrorist, he tries different ideas to win the battle, or so he thought. Now he must go through the same struggles as before as he has become the target of the terrorist, needing to keep a bus safe from his next target. Howard Payne is the calculated bomber, he wants money and after losing the opening dual with Jack, he has taken it personally this time around. Annie is one of the passengers on the bus, she is on the bus because of losing her licence for speeding, she takes over the driving side of everything usually screaming about what is happening too. Capt McMahon is trying to run the operation from outside the bus, he might well be Jack’s boss, but he lets him make the decision during the operation.

PerformancesKeanu Reeves is brilliant in the lead action role, showing he was always going to become one of the biggest names in this side of film, following up Point Break. Dennis Hopper will always be one of the greatest actors for villains, this is no different, while Sandra Bullock steps up in the heroine role, showing more fight than just another woman in trouble.

StoryThe story here follows a police officer that gets caught in a cat-n-mouse game with a terrorist that plants bombs around the city, with his latest one being placed on a bus that once it goes over 50mph, become active. This story is one of the more simple cat-n-mouse battles between law and criminal, it is pure simple action, we need to keep the bus over 50mph whatever the situation is, showing the officers needing to find a way to keep the bus moving whatever gets in the way, thinking on their feet, the terrorist is also well prepared for what could happen, remaining in control for most of the film. The story just keeps everything simple and this works for the film with ease.

ActionThe action in the film comes from the different problems that Jack must overcome at high speed, along with the explosion.

SettingsJack finds himself trapped on the bus for the most part of this film, here he will not find escape, rescue or disarming the bomb.


Scene of the Movie – Bridge jump.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Most of Harry’s side story.

Final Thoughts This is one of the best action films of the 90s if not of all time, it keeps everything simple, while not sacrificing the intensity level.

Overall: Fun, Action Packed Movie.

The Peanut Butter Falcon (2019) Movie Review

Director: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz

Writer: Tyler Nilson, Michael Schwartz (Screenplay)

Starring: Zack Gottsagen, Shia LaBeouf, Dakota Johnson, John Hawkes, Bruce Dern, Jon Bernthal, Thomas Haden Church

Plot: Zak runs away from his care home to make his dream of becoming a wrestler come true.

Runtime: 1 Hour 37 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Beautiful Movie

Story: The Peanut Butter Falcon starts as we meet a down syndrome young man Zak (Gottsagen) who dreams of being a wrestler, but is stuck in a care home sharing a room with Carl (Dern) under the care of Eleanor (Johnson), he has been trying to escape before and when he finally does, he meets Tyler (LaBeouf) a rebel who is fighting for his place in a fishing world.

As Tyler reluctantly agrees to help Zak, the two go on an adventure through the outdoors to make it to the wrestling school to live his dream of becoming a wrestler like his hero Salt Water Redneck (Church), even though Eleanor is trying to find him before it is too late.

Thoughts on The Peanut Butter Falcon

Characters – Zak is a down syndrome young man that is living in a nursing home with nobody else offering him a place to live, he loves wrestling and wants to make this his dream to become a wrestler, which sees him running away from the nursing home, meeting Tyler and having his first adventure. Tyler is a drifter working on the local fishing area, that has found himself getting into trouble with the locals, needing to go on the run, where he ends up meet Zak, reluctantly teaching him about life. Eleanor is the carer that has always looked after Zak, she has become concerned about his desire to move away and after he runs away, she must go in search of him, needing to learn more about opening up to his own desire in life.

PerformancesZack Gottsagen is wonderful in the leading role showing all the delight and pain his character is going through. Shia LaBeouf is going down the right path here, doing the roles which require him to show his skills rather than cash heavy roles. Dakota Johnson is great too, with the supporting cast that all work wonderfully through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a young down syndrome man who decides to run away from the nursing home he is living in, with dreams of becoming a wrestler where he meets a lost drifter who teaches him more about life, while chasing his dream. This is a story that is similar to the story of Mark Twain with a fresh approach, with one of the clear messages being, not to judge somebody on a disability they have, they can achieve as much as anybody else. This is a joy to watch as a story, seeing how the two bond and just have a life adventure.

Adventure/Comedy The adventure side of this film, sees two unlikely men at different stages of their lives spending a couple of days together learning about life, it is inspiring to see how people might react to life, while getting a couple of laughs along the way, with the friendship.

SettingsThe film uses the back-water locations to show the drifter lifestyle to which Zak has fallen into and one that Tyler can navigate.


Scene of the Movie – The match.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nothing really.

Final Thoughts This is a delightful movie that can be enjoyed by all, one that has a clear message about treating everyone equal and one that will leave you feeling good by the end.

Overall: True Delight.

Emerald Run (2020) Movie Review

Director: Eric Etebari

Writer: Anthony Caruso (Screenplay)

Starring: David Chokachi, John Schneider, Chris Mulkey, Yancy Butler, Michael Pare, Vernon Wells, Angela Gots

Plot: A Desperate man gets involved in a risky plan to smuggle emeralds across the Mexican border in order to save his daughter’s life. When the deal goes awry and he is left for dead


Tagline – Family is everything

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow Paced

Story: Emerald Run Starts as John Thomas (Chokachi) a former criminal that needs to raise money for his daughter Lisa’s medical bills, which sees him reunite with a former boss Alfio Sarda (Mulkey) which would see him look to smuggle diamonds across the border.

When the job goes wrong, John is left for dead in the desert, he must find his way back to safety to bring down the person that has set him up.

Thoughts on Emerald Run

Characters – John Thomas is getting to new lengths to try and help his family, he agrees to help his father-in-law, which sees him try and smuggle some emeralds over the border, only to be left for dead and needing to fight to survive to expose the truth. Alfio Sarda is the father-in-law that will do anything to make more money, he has a reputation for being a man that will give people opportunities, as quick as he will take them away. Anna is the wife of John’s who challenges John’s faith when it comes to fighting their daughter’s illness. We do meet plenty of other people who are all interested in the emeralds and money involved.

PerformancesDavid Chokachi in the leading role does bring the character to life, which is the only performance that gets enough time to make something out of his character and their limited screen time.

StoryThe story here follows a father that agrees to go on a risk smuggling run to help get the funds for his daughter’s medical treatment, only to be left for dead. This is a story that does have the right motivation for John to be going on the job, but it does seem to make him look to desperate, when he doesn’t need to be, we do have a religious theme in the film, which doesn’t help, as John is conflicted with the ideas behind the survival. The story never really feels as intense as it should be and ends up feeling flat throughout.

AdventureThe adventure does take John on a job which doesn’t go to plan, forcing him to try and survive in the wilderness.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us just how harsh the environment John is travelling through will be on his mind and body.


Scene of the Movie – Home.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It felt very slow.

Final Thoughts This is a by the books adventure movie that focuses on how far people would go for family and what is worth risking for them.

Overall: Flat Adventure film.

Rose Byrne Weekend – Peter Rabbit (2018) Movie Review

Director: Will Gluck

Writer: Rob Lieber, Will Gluck (Screenplay) Beatrix Potter (Characters)

Starring: (Voice Talents) James Corden, Fayssal Bazzi, Domhnall Gleeson, Sia, Sam Neill, Margot Robbie, Daisy Ridley, Rose Byrne

Plot: Feature adaptation of Beatrix Potter’s classic tale of a rebellious rabbit trying to sneak into a farmer’s vegetable garden.


Tagline – Born to be wild.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Poor Film

Story: Peter Rabbit starts as we see how Peter Rabbit and his family and friends had a battle with old Mr McGregor (Neill) after they continued to steal from his garden, until he passes away. The next-door neighbour Bea (Byrne) does try to keep them safe the best she can.

When Thomas McGregor (Gleeson) moves into the house with plans to sell it, which sees the war coming back for Peter and his family, this time it might become deadlier.

Thoughts on Peter Rabbit

Characters – Peter Rabbit is the mischievous little rabbit that always gets his siblings into trouble as they always seem to terrorise the McGregor family, that does seem to be the only thing he does each day, making him out to be a horrible little rabbit. Thomas McGregor is a completely by the book toy store employee wanting to get to management, when he loses his job, he ends up following in his uncle footsteps, getting into a battle with the rabbits. Bea is the nice neighbour that has always tried to look after the animals, loves nature and is an artist.

PerformancesDomhnall Gleeson is great along with Rose Byrne are the two main live action stars that both work well with how they act towards the animals. Most of the voice acting is mixed, with the three sisters working well, but James Corden not suiting the character.

StoryThe story follows the adventures of Peter Rabbit against the McGregor’s, which just seems to keep escalating. The story is strange because it doesn’t make Peter likeable at all, he just seems to annoy McGregor and never do anything else, surely there would have been another food supply for him. Most of the story revolves around pop culture jokes, which have dated quickly, but by the end the story just becomes boring more than anything else.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure is just the troubles Peter gets himself in, we don’t seem to go any further, while the comedy is a miss already.

SettingsThe film keeps the action in the country, which does seem to have only show how close the war between the two was.

AnimationThe animated animals looks solid for the most part, but some of the moments seem weird.


Scene of the Movie – Harrods break down.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Peter Rabbit.

Final Thoughts This is a big disappointment because the characters used are loveable for the most part, while this movie just makes them horrible.

Overall: Boring.