ABC Film Challenge – Action – R – RocknRolla (2008)

Director: Guy Ritchie

Writer: Guy Ritchie (Screenplay)

Starring: Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton, Mark Strong, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Karel Roden, Toby Kebbell

 

Plot: Lenny Cole, a London mob boss, puts the bite on all local real estate transactions. For substantial fees, he’s helping Uri Omovich, a Russian developer. As a sign of good faith, Omovich loans Cole a valuable painting, promptly stolen off Cole’s wall. While Cole’s men, led by the dependable Archie, look for the canvas, three local petty criminals, the Wild Bunch, steal money from the Russian using inside information from his accountant, the lovely Stella. Meanwhile, a local drug-addled rocker, Johnny Quid, is reported drowned, and his connection to Cole is the key to unraveling the deceits and double crosses of life in the underworld.


Tagline – A story of sex, thugs and rock ‘n roll.

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Over Saturated Film

 

Story: RocknRolla starts when One Two (Butler) and Mumbles (Elba) learn the hard way how London mobster Lenny Cole (Wilkinson) operates, needing to collect a large amount of money. Lenny is in the middle of a big deal with a Russian Uri Omovich (Roden) that would be the biggest of his career.

When a piece of art gets stolen Lenny is put under pressure to return the art work to Uri, he turns to his right-hand man Archy (Strong) to get it back, turning to One Two for help as we see how the underworld coming together to get one up on each other.

 

Thoughts on RocknRolla

 

Characters – One Two is the leader of the Wild Bunch, he gets left owing a lot of money within the month and it soon becomes his connections that help with the mystery about where a painting is hiding as he plans to solve his own problems. Mumbles is the best friend in the Wild Bunch, he is the one that One Two turns to for advice through the problems. Lenny Cole is the mobster that runs London, he has everyone in his pocket to get what he wants, with his greed taking over when he can have a deal with a billionaire Russian, though his past could cause the trouble in this deal. Stella is the accountant that has each party doing her dealings, she knows how to have each side in the palm of her hands. Archy is the one telling the story, he has the right-hand man for Lenny and the go between all the different sides of the underworld. In this film we do get too many characters with so many different arcs going on through the film.

PerformancesThe acting in this film is good from the whole cast, we have a large cast which does hinder them from getting a true star turn in this film. Butler, Wilkinson, Newton, Strong, Elba, Hardy all show how they can become good at making moments of impact in shorter scenes.

StoryThe story here follows three levels of mobsters as they deal with a deal gone bad as they are trying to stay ahead of each other, in typical Ritchie storytelling we get thrown all over the place with the story telling and miss the most interesting action aspects of the film. when it comes to the criminal underworld side of the story, we don’t get anything new with generic characters who just go through the emotions that don’t always make us enjoy the characters we are enjoy watching.

Action/CrimeThe action is disappointing because we have scenes which should be good, only Ritchie’s style of shooting chops too much hiding the best parts. The crime world created is good because we see just how many different levels of the crime world we are entering.

SettingsThe film is set in London which is good for the film because if these type of deals are happening it would need to be in a busy city location like London.


Scene of the Movie –
Sporting goods fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The action editing.

Final ThoughtsThis is your typical British gangster film, it has its own flair which can help and hinder the film at times, we have too many characters to stay on top of which only disappoints with the storytelling process.

 

Overall: Typical mobster movie.

Rating

 

 

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Edward Scissorhands (1990)

Director: Tim Burton

Writer: Caroline Thompson (Screenplay) Tim Burton, Caroline Thompson (Story)

Starring: Johnny Depp, Winona Ryder, Dianne West, Anthony Michael Hall, Kathy Baker, Robert Oliveri, Conchata Ferrell

 

Plot: A gentle man, with scissors for hands, is brought into a new community after living in isolation.


Tagline – Innocence is what he knows. Beauty is what she sees.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautifully Dark Fantasy Film

 

Story: Edward Scissorhands starts as local Avon saleslady Peg (Wiest) reluctantly goes to the mysterious abandoned mansion overlooking her small community where she finds young man Edward (Depp) who is living in isolation with scissors for hands.

With Edward trying to settle into a normal life, he soon becomes popular with the locals because of his ability to use his hands to create beautiful garden decorations and soon he becomes the talk of the town while slowly falling in love with Kim (Ryder) the daughter of Peg.

 

Thoughts on Edward Scissorhands

 

Characters – Edward has lived in isolation for his whole life, when he is discovered he tries to get used to normal life even with the scissors for hands, he shows amazing abilities when it comes to cutting things be it bushes, hair or grooming, though his isolation has made it difficult for him to understand right from wrong in the world, until the time comes for him to make a difference. Kim is the daughter of the family that take Edward in, she has an abusive boyfriend who fits the generic high school asshole, she sees the kindness in Edward wanting to help make him understand life more. Peg is the Avon saleslady that finds Edward and wants to help him understand a normal life, she doesn’t believe she is doing anything wrong and with her being an outsider of the gossip girls, she suddenly is put in the spotlight too. Jim is the asshole boyfriend that wants to use Edward for his own gain knowing that he wants he girl, he gets jealous of the new bond between the two and looks to find his own way to fix it.

PerformancesJohnny Depp in the leading role is fantastic, he shows the innocence his character needs through each new discovery while looking like he is taking everything in. Winona Ryder works wonderfully as the romantic interest that shows the sweet side and the conflicted side of her character. Dianne Wiest shows us just how a middle-aged woman with her own insecurities can be strong for everybody around her no matter what they think of her and Anthony Michael Hall hits the asshole boyfriend down just like we need him to.

StoryThe story follows Edward a young man that gets bought out of isolation and bought into a normal community while always being the outsider. We see how they want to welcome him with open arms, while also having the fears of just what he could be capable of if something was to go wrong. We get a good strong moral to the story, which is to respect anybody no matter what they look like because inside they could have the same feelings as you. The story is told in fairy tale form which keeps a glimpse of magic about everything we are seeing. From the moment the father gets Edward drunk by accident to the barbecue scene we get to see how Edward adapts to each social situation too. This is one of the stronger of all Tim Burton’s stories which shows us just how important being nice to people in life will be for everyone.

Fantasy/RomanceThe fantasy side of this film focuses on just how Edward a man with scissors first came about and second must be accepted in life. The romance comes from just how Edward learns what love is when he meets Kim, how both learn about difficult decisions when it comes to loved ones and how important acts of kindness can help people.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in one location, a small community which has gossip about anything that happens there and comes together for the better moments.


Scene of the Movie –
Helping the dog see.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact all the women just seem to want to do is gossip.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of those beautiful fantasy films, it shows us just how people need to be treated fairly no matter what they look like because kindness can be found in all.

 

Overall: Fantasy fans enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Kill Me Three Times (2014)

Director: Kriv Stenders

Writer: James McFarland (Screenplay)

Starring: Simon Pegg, Steve Le Marquand, Alice Brage, Teresa Palmer, Sullivan Stapleton, Luke Hemsworth

 

Plot: Professional hit-man Charlie Wolfe finds himself in three tales of murder, blackmail and revenge after a botched contract assignment.


Tagline – Once is never enough

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Badly Executed Crime Comedy

 

Story: Kill Me Three Times starts with Charlie (Pegg) completing one of his jobs before getting called into the next one, where he follows Alice (Braga) who is the target of Lucy (Palmer) and Nathan (Stapleton), she is trying to get away from her life and be with Dylan (Hemsworth), but her gangster husband Jack (Mulvey) won’t let her.

As the plot thickens Charlie is looking back on where he thinks things might have gone wrong as we jump around the timeline a lot.

 

Thoughts on Kill Me Three Times

 

Characters – Charlie is the hitman assigned to kill Alice, he ends up witnesses another couple trying to get the job done as we see how he operates and thinks about how his plan could unfold. Alice is the target, she is married to an abusive man and is trying to get out of her relationship, only to become the target for hitmen. Nathan and Lucy are a couple that are planning on killed Alice, even when things don’t always go to plan.

PerformancesThis is a film where we can’t say much good or bad about the acting, because it is the directing and storytelling which are the weak parts. The performances across the board are average without being very good.

StoryThe story here jumps between three timelines to see different point of views when it comes to how the events unfold. Now this comes off messy for the most part because we lack the motivation early on from just what is going on, it tries to be too overly smart and falls flat on its face. This is a story that just doesn’t meet the levels it believes it should be and by the end you will have lost attention to follow each little branch of the story.

Comedy/CrimeThis doesn’t hit the comedy levels it could, even if they try to make us laugh at the moments that just don’t work, with the crime side we see how different sides are trying to get money or get rid of people in their lives.

SettingsThe film is set in a couple of locations where we see the bar, the road, the home just random spots which don’t make things look in the right place.


Scene of the Movie –
The opening sequence.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many branches in the storyline.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappointing crime comedy that just doesn’t hit the marks it needs to and falls flat on its face.

 

Overall: Dull.

Rating

 

 

Blood & Oil (2015)

Director: Curtis Graham

Writer: Samantha Iwowo (Screenplay)

Starring: William R Moses, Richard Mofe-Damijo, Dayton Sinkia

 

Plot: Based on True Events. A story about the 1st oil well drilled in Nigeria and how the impact has affected a small Nigerian Delta Village  (Oloibiri) and the lives of those involved.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Shocking Truth

 

Story: Blood & Oil starts after oil is discovered in a small Nigerian village of Oloibiri, the locals under a man known as Gunpowder (Mofe-Damijo) look to control the people, while businessman Powell (Moses) wants fair working conditions on everyone working for the transport of the oil.

Where the oil wasn’t controlled properly the first time, it led to the locals becoming sick and dying, this has led to the tension growing between the two sides when the new investment arrives with the locals not wanting to risk the lives of their own children.

 

Thoughts on Blood & Oil

 

Characters – Powell is the businessman that wants to run an oil business in Nigeria, he wants a honest business, with safe working and environmentally friendly towards the neighbourhood, unlike the previous people that run the company, he finds himself on the run after the locals want nothing to do with him. Gunpowder runs the local area, believing the oil will in fact be his to control, he rules by killing and forcing people to give him what he wants. He is feared by most of the locals in the area. Azu works for Powell, he has seen the consequences of the oil in his country and is torn between which side to be working on.

PerformancesWilliam R Moses is the America figure in the film and does a good job which is mostly trying to do the right thing. Richard Mofe-Damijo does bring us a character that does strike fear into the audience with just how dominate he makes his character.

StoryThe story here shows how one Nigerian village is dealing with the latest oil discovery and soon we see just how the different sides react to the latest look at investment. This does show us just how the oil business will make people do the craziest things for greed, we see how relationship between outsiders had become strained because of the actions of the people beforehand. We see how this behaviour is still happening in the modern times which shows how oil is only going to drive people to do crazy actions.

ActionThe action in the film comes from the militant behaviour of the Gunpowder and his men that use their guns to control people.

SettingsThe film is set in Nigeria in one village that shows how the people here have been affected for years and turned the mentality of the people in the area.


Scene of the Movie –
The captured reaction.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We could have seen more from the Powell ideas of doing things the right way.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting look at how the mentality of people when it comes to oil and the potential money that could come from controlling it.

 

Overall: Interesting look at the oil industry.

Rating

 

 

Kicks (2016)

Director: Justin Tipping

Writer: Joshua Beirne-Golden, Justin Tipping (Screenplay)

Starring: Jahking Guillory, Christopher Jordan Wallace, Christopher Meyer, Kofi Siriboe, Mahershala Ali, Rxchie

 

Plot: Brandon is a 15 year old whose dream is a pair of fresh Air Jordans. Soon after he gets his hands on them, they’re stolen by a local hood, causing Brandon and his two friends to go on a dangerous mission through Oakland to retrieve them.


Tagline – They aren’t just shoes.

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Shoe Mentality

 

Story: Kicks starts as we meet 15-year-old Brandon (Guillory) who comes from a poor family in Oakland, whose pride and joy would be to have a pair of Air Jordans. When Brandon buys some black-market versions of the shoes, only to have them stolen by local hood Flaco (Siriboe).

Wanting to get his shoes back, he goes on an adventure with his two best friends Albert (Wallace) and Rico (Meyer) which sees him dive into the gang mentality of the neighbourhood in Oakland.

 

Thoughts on Kicks

 

Characters – Brandon has come from a poor family, he knows how to stay out of trouble usually using his running pace, he has always wanted to have his own pair of Air Jordans, which he purchases, making him feel like he is on top of the world. After they are stolen, he risks his friendship to get them back from on of the most dangerous men in the hood. Albert and Rico are the two best friends of Brandon, they have their own characteristics which makes the group complete and will help Brandon retrieve his shoes. Flaco is the man that steals Brandon’s shoes, he uses his gang to outnumber him and is considered one of the most dangerous men in the neighbourhood.

PerformancesJahking Guillory in the leading role is great to watch, he has shows us how difficult being a kid in the wrong neighbourhood can be. We understand his character’s decisions and feeling of hopelessness in the world he is facing. The supporting cast are great too, fully embrace themselves in this neighbourhood.

StoryThe story here follows a teenager that ends up starting a potential gang war after his shoes are stolen and he wants to take them back from a notorious gang leader. This story shows us how important the little things in the kids in this gangland mentality neighbourhoods mean the world and how they will do anything to get what they need. The shoes are clearly metaphors for becoming a man which in this neighbourhood is one of the most important moments in the lives of these teenagers. Watching from the outside, we are watching the people involved fighting over a pair of shoes which does seem almost pointless in the end.

SettingsThe film is set in Oakland which shows us how the neighbourhood is being operated in by the different gangs.


Scene of the Movie –
The chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The whole story is about a pair of shoes being stolen.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting coming-of-age stories in the tough street of Oakland, it shows how difficult to navigate for the locals this will be.

 

Overall: Interesting Coming-of-age tale.

Rating