A Doggone Adventure (2018)

Director: Tony Randel

Writer: Jim Wynorski (Screenplay)

Starring: Kurt Yaeger, John Henry Richardson, Walker Mintz, Jayden Hedden, Jonathan Tysor, Sydne Thackray, Dilan Patton

 

Plot: A telepathic dog enlists a group of fun loving kids to help him solve a mystery. The K-9 detective leads the children down a road filled with action and adventure.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Family Film

 

Story: A Doggone Adventure starts as four children David (Mintz), Ricky (Hedden), Jeremy (Tysor) and Jenny (Thackray) are looking to follow in David and Ricky’s father Steven (Yaeger) footsteps as a unsolved mystery hunter, role in Murphy the Jack Russell whose owner has gone missing, now he is looking to locate Steven to help solve the mystery.

Murphy meets the children and joins thm on investigating their haunted house with his telepathic ability, only for the real owner Masters (Richardson) to arrive after leaving him and with an evil organisation after Murphy the mystery turns into an adventure.

 

Thoughts on A Doggone Adventure

 

Characters – Steven Hill is the father of the family who has just seen his show cancelled on television, his show has given his kids the inspiration to follow in his footsteps one day, but now he must be the responsible father. Masters is the former owner of Murphy that had to let him go free instead of getting captured, he puts the plan together to save Murphy. Murphy is the Jack Russell with telepathic powers, he talks to the people and soon shows his intelligence while trying to stay ahead of anyone that is after him.

PerformancesThe performances in the film are good throughout, we have our adults that show the experience, which gives us a mix of the serious levels and comedic levels the film needs, while the child stars are good too, as they seem like they have been friends for a while now.

StoryThe story here is about a telepathic dog which befriends children to stay ahead of an evil organisation that wants to use him for their own benefits. The story is targeted to a young audience and does deliver on this, but if filled with Easter Eggs for the older audience to look out for. The film does keep everything simple to follow and does sprinkle comedy in the story which will get you chuckling through the film.

Adventure/FamilyThe adventure we see unfold here is everything the children want from their own lives which is what we like seeing from an adventure film, the family side of the film is how the film is targeted to a young family member but does have references the older family members will understand.

SettingsThe film uses the idea of a haunted house and government cover ups, the settings do however show us the level of budget which is lower and makes this feel like a television series over a film.


Scene of the Movie –
The escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The kids are given one too many lines when it comes to puns or one liners to commentate on what is happening.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun family film that animal lovers can enjoy, it has a nice amount of comedy which hits more than it misses and gives us a good sense of adventure.

 

Overall: Grab the family and enjoy.

Rating

 

 

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Rampage (2018)

Director: Brad Peyton

Writer: Ryan Engle, Carlton Cuse, Ryan J Condal, Adam Sztykiel (Screenplay)

Starring: Dwayne Johnson, Jeffrey Dean Morgan, Naomie Harris, Will Yun Malin Akerman, Joe Manganiello

 

Plot: Davis Okoye and his bestfriend white gorilla fight monsters in a big city.


Tagline – Big Meets Bigger

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Over the Top Blast

 

Story: Rampage starts as the secret illegal scientific experiment in space goes horrible wrong causing everyone to die and the research samples to come crashing to Earth, Claire Wyden (Akerman) and her brother Brett (Lacy) are rushing to cover up their work.

One of the areas that gets hit by the research is the San Diego zoo where George the albino gorilla gets infected, his handler and best friend Davis Okoye (Johnson) must rush to save him, joined by Dr Kate Caldwell (Harris) a former employee or the Wyden’s. America is struck by panic when George continues to grow, but he is the only animal as the research has infected a wolf and a crocodile or alligator (sorry can never tell them apart and we never get told which it is either), the race is now on to save the world before they destroy everything in their path.

 

Thoughts on Rampage

 

Characters – Davis Okoye is a former marine turn primatologist who works with the gorilla in San Diego Zoo, most notably George one he rescued when he was a baby from poachers. He does like people and isn’t afraid to admit this, he cares for the animals and will never give up on George. Dr Kate Caldwell is first a for most a good character that we could have been given more about, she is a disgraced scientist that once worked for the Wyden’s, she wants nothing more than to bring them down and happily teams up with Davis to bring them down. Claire Wyden along with her brother Brett run the business that the genetic materials come from, she is always one step ahead of the everyone in her attempts to keep her name out of the papers and jail, slightly cartoonish, but it works for this film. Agent Russell is a by the book man, he does the right thing through the film which makes him the important connection for Davis in the government.

PerformancesDwayne Johnson in the leading role gives us everything we want from him, he handles the big action sequences and even manages to hold back on moments of charisma. Naomie Harris as the doctor with a desperate need to see thing stop works well and Jeffrey Dean Morgan seems to have just become Negan forever. Malin Akerman as the main villain is good too because I believe her character is designed to feel like an evil genius and she pulls it off.

StoryThe story, well the question here is, how do you make a story about a video game which follows you just destroying buildings? This story does work something out here, where as other video games have been heavily story based and struggle to make an impact on screen, this film takes the simple idea that giant animals are destroying stuff and makes it an action movie with a race against time. We have the important moments which are dealing with the backgrounds of the characters, most notable Davis and George’s relationship and why Kate did what she did. For the whole film this  movie knows completely what it had and kept it simple, easy to watch and only needed to give us a sprinkle of humour.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action in the film is massive, its everything you want in a big blockbuster popcorn film, giant animals fighting stuff blowing up and no Michael Bay to be seen. The adventure side of the film comes form the race against time to stop total destruction and the sci-fi side shows us just what could happen if you mess with the wrong genetic in any species.

SettingsThe film uses a couple of iconic settings starting with the zoo in San Diego, we get generic land between before the final showdown in Chicago, this work and shows the panic which could hit America.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are good, we have massive battles that have full destruction going on, leaving you to believe everything, the creatures also look wonderful.


Scene of the Movie –
The final 30 minutes is fantastic popcorn fun.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Certain characters seem to just disappear.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun action movie, this could easily be up there with the very best video game movies ever made, it is one film you can honestly switch you mind off and enjoy.

 

Overall: Sit back relax and enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Cartel 2045 (2017)

Director: Chris Le

Writer: Chris Le (Screenplay)

Starring: Danny Trejo, Alexander P Heartman, Brad Schmidt, Blake Webb, Jay Whittaker, Kyler Steve Fisher

 

Plot: Its the year 2045. War on drugs in Mexico has escalated as a ruthless drug Cartel use robots to enforce their operations.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Robot Drug Wars

 

Story: Cartel 2045 starts as the war against drugs in Mexico looked like it was going to get cleaned up by the introduction of robots, but when the Cartel get their hands on the robots, drug lord Angel Malvado (Trejo) takes over the war. In the latest attempt to tackle the war former US Marine Carson Wright (Schmidt) is assigned to a team to take down Estevan Flores only for Angel to become the bigger threat.

 

Thoughts on Cartel 2045

 

Characters – Angel Malvado is the ruthless drug lord that controls the trade in Mexico with his robot bodyguards that will do any of his dirty work, he knows how to get the honest people to work for him and is smart enough not to waste a resource before their worth to him. Carson Wright is the former US Marine, being placed in jail, he gets offered a chance for freedom to be with his family by going on this latest mission, he has a past in battle and isn’t fond of the technology being used in battle.

PerformancesDanny Trejo is the biggest draw for this movie we know he can play the drug lord role with ease and this is no different. Brad Schmidt is good in the leading hero role looking just like any other soldier.

StoryThe story in this movie is the Mexican drug war with robots included, they are similar style to what we had in Chappie, we have the secret mission version the criminal drug lord that will stop at nothing to stay ahead in the game. The story is by the book and easy to follow, it is the other sides of the film which feel overly ambitious for the budget available.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action is basic shooting between human guns and robots with the robots not always looking convincing enough. The sci-fi side of everything feels very ambitious for the budget the film had because the robots seem placed into the scenes over the being part of it.

SettingsThe film does have a generic Mexican town which could be anywhere in the country.

Special EffectsThe effects for the most parts are not the strongest because everything feels too ambitious.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The robots don’t seem to be very effective with their shooting.

Final ThoughtsThis is an ambitious movie, that doesn’t always hit the marks because it gets held back by the budgets the film has.

 

Overall: Try this sci-fi film.

Rating

 

 

Russell Crowe Weekend – Robin Hood (2010)

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: Brian Helgeland (Screenplay) Brian Helgeland, Ethan Reiff, Cyrus Voris (Story)

Starring: Russell Crowe, Cate Blanchett, Max von Sydow, William Hurt, Mark Strong, Oscar Isaac, Danny Huston

 

Plot: In 12th century England, Robin and his band of marauders confront corruption in a local village and lead an uprising against the crown that will forever alter the balance of world power.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Burner

 

Story: Robin Hood starts with England at war with France, King Richard the Lionheart is leading his men which does include archer Robin Longstride (Crowe), when Richard is killed in battle the kingdom of England falls into Prince John (Isaac) a stricter ruler that wants to tax the country.

Robin returning a sword finds himself needing to pretend to be Marion Loxley’s (Blanchett) husband in Nottingham, while Godfrey (Strong) continues to play both sides as the French look to take advantage of John’s weaknesses. Robin starts to act in the way we know, stealing from what is heading towards the king to return to the poor but how long can he keep this up?

 

Thoughts on Robin Hood

 

Characters/PerformanceRobin Longstribe is an archer with loyal friends, he fights next to King Richard but once he is killed he wants to avoid returning to the new king, he soon finds himself needing to become the hero for the people of the land against the new enemy. Marion is the strong lady that wants what is best for her people wanting to lead in a time where women wouldn’t lead. Prince John becomes king but he is stricter than the previous king as he wants money from people who don’t have it. Godfrey is a man that has been playing both sides to raise himself through the ranks in England or France whoever was to win.

Performance wise, Russell Crowe is fine in this role but if you want to see him at his best Gladiator is superior. Cate Blanchett was an interesting choice here but she does well with her screen time. Mark Strong is always a good choice for villain and does what is needed here. The cast in general is all fine without being great in what is a solid but slow burning film.

StoryRobin Hood is easily one of the most iconic stories in British legend, we have seen plenty of versions of his actions of stealing from the reach giving to the poor, but this time we story has sucked all the fun out of the story and turned it into a medieval story that feels just like everything we have seen in the sub-genre before.

Action/Adventure/RomanceThe action is everything we have come to expect swords, shields and arrows being used throughout. The adventure side of the film is almost non-existent and calling it a romance film well there isn’t any.

SettingsThe settings are the only highlight as each look like the correct time in question.

Special EffectsThe effects all work for the film without becoming too heavily involved.

Final ThoughtsThis is a poor re-imaging or the iconic hero that just doesn’t make the subject matter interesting.

 

Overall: Uninspiring Robin Hood Story.

Rating

 

 

Jason and the Argonauts (1963)

Director: Don Chaffey

Writer: Jan Read, Beverley Cross (Screenplay)

Starring: Todd Armstrong, Nancy Kovack, Gary Raymond, Laurence Naismith, Niall MacGinnis, Michael Gwynn

 

Plot: The legendary Greek hero leads a team of intrepid adventurers in a perilous quest for the legendary Golden Fleece.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Practical Effects Masterpiece

 

Story: Jason and the Argonauts starts as Pelias (Wilmer) conquers the Greek kingdom looking to slaughter the children of the former ruler, the Gods rescue one and Zeus (MacGinnis) offers Hera (Blackman) five chances to save Jason (Armstrong) who will avenge his family’s murder.

Jason heading into a mission which could help him defeat Pelias which involves travelling to the edge of the Earth in search for the Golden Fleece with the strongest men for his ship and the adventure is on, with titans, gods and myths for Jason to overcome.

 

Thoughts on Jason and the Argonauts

 

Characters/PerformanceJason is the son of a slaughtered king, part of a prophecy that must go on a quest to find a Golden Fleece which will help him defeat his enemies. He must use his faith and communication with the Gods to complete his mission. We have the Gods watching the events are interesting as we do know the names and this explains part of their actions. We get Hercules thrown in for a character everyone knows from the Greek Gods and the villain is just what you are expecting with a man wanting power.

Performance wise, all of the performances are good throughout the film, we get good use of different types of soldiers by the performances throughout the film.

StoryThe story of one man leading a group of soldiers across the world to find a fleece which will defeat any enemy is something all the fans of Greek mythology will enjoy, we get the big names from the history stories which we end up sending us on the adventure the characters enjoy.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action is sword and sandals which works for the film, we have different enemies which changes the style of the battles required. The adventure takes our characters across the world on their quest with the fantasy being centred around whether this is fact of myth.

SettingsThe settings all fit the time the tale is told in, Ancient Greece as our character see stunning backdrops in search of their battle.

EffectsThis is by far one of the great achievements in practical effects of all time, it still looks fantastic.

Final ThoughtsOne of the greatest adventure stories ever told, it puts you in the story and never holds back as you want to see if Jason can make it to the end.

 

Overall: Must watch for films fans.

Rating