Accidental Hero (1992)

Director: Stephen Frears

Writer: David Webb Peoples (Screenplay) Laura Ziskin, Alvin Sargent, David Webb Peoples (Story)

Starring: Dustin Hoffman, Geena Davis, Andy Garcia, Joan Cusack, Kevin J O’Connor, Maury Chaykin, Stephen Tobolowsky

 

Plot: A not-so-nice man rescues passengers from a crashed airliner, only to see someone else take credit.


Tagline – We’re all heroes if you catch us at the right moment. Even Bernie LaPlante.

Runtime: 1 Hour 59 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Idea, Not Funny Enough

 

Story: Accidental Hero starts as we meet Bernie LaPlante (Hoffman) who is facing jail time for his streetwise action, he is trying to talk himself out of jail time, without much success. We also meet reporter Gale (Davis) who has just received an award for her work even if her boss isn’t given her the chances she has earnt.

When the plane carrying Gale crash lands, Bernie happens to be next to accident, he ends up saving everybody on board, before vanishing into the night. When Gale wants to make the story out of the event, a fellow homeless man John Bubber (Garcia) takes credit, who wants to use his new-found fame to help the homeless, while Bernie is left in jail watching the events unfold.

 

Thoughts on Accidental Hero

 

Characters – Bernie LaPlante is a homeless man that has blown his successful life out the water, he lost his wife, most of his time with his son and is facing jail, he knows how to survive and push the limits to make sure he survives on the street, with his car being his home. He ends up doing an act of greatness, saving the passengers on a plane, but not wanting the praise for this, until a monetary reward comes up, he must figure out how to prove it was him. Gale is a reporter on the rise in the business, she is receiving an award, while still fighting her time on the big screen, she makes a story out of the plane crash, which sees her take a homeless man to celebrity status. John Bubber is a homeless man that decides to come forward and claim the reward for being the hero, he soon becomes the talk of the town that would inspire many into doing the right thing.

PerformancesDustin Hoffman is the right man for the job because he fits the unlikely hero that has been through the struggles in life. Geena Davis is fun in the role that sums up the struggle women would have in the professional field. Andy Garcia goes through the biggest change which sees him doing everything to live with the new fame.

StoryThe story follows a reporter who wants to make the hero of a plane crash rescue known to the people they saved, only for the real person behind it all, not getting the game after a fake takes the limelight. This does pain the picture of faster acting celebrities coming from such simple ideas of rescuing somebody, people struggling with new fame and how people are quick to just judge anybody that might be helping others out. Strangely enough this is one of the stories that could really become more appealing in the social media heavy world we now live in and would be an interesting one to see reach new level.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in this film doesn’t come off, it never feels like a film you could have a giggle about anything happening, the romance is strange because it just doesn’t give us a believable one either.

SettingsThe settings show us just how the big city can capture a story which would make an unknown a celebrity over night.


Scene of the Movie –
The balcony.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of comedy in the comedy film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a lacklustre romantic comedy that just doesn’t hit the marks it could and actually feels like it could be one film that makes a bigger impact now.

 

Overall: Stuck between too many genres.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – L – Leviathan (2014)

Director: Andrey Zvyagintsev

Writer: Andrey Zvyagintsev, Oleg Negin (Screenplay)

Starring: Aleksey Serebryakov, Elena Lyadova, Vladimir Vdovichenkov, Roman Madyanov, Anna Ukolova, Aleksey Rozin

 

Plot: In a Russian coastal town, Kolya is forced to fight the corrupt mayor when he is told that his house will be demolished. He recruits a lawyer friend to help, but the man’s arrival brings further misfortune for Kolya and his family.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Moving Drama

 

Story: Leviathan starts as hard working engineer Nikolay (Serebryakov) is facing the loss of his home and livelihood at the hands of the corrupt mayor, calling on lawyer Dmitriy (Vdovichenkov) to fight the law, he takes his first steps down the road to get what is his.

As the fight between the two parties continues, Dmitriy brings new information to the table, while Nikolay learns that his family isn’t as perfect as he once thought.

 

Thoughts on Leviathan

 

Characters – Nikolay is the hard-working man, he has earnt everything he has, his home, his workshop and his family, but now he must go against the town to keep what is his after they try to take it from him. Lilya is Nikolay’s wife, she is backing the decision against the town even if she has the one with a secret which could tear the family apart. Dmitriy is the big city lawyer that comes to take Nikolay’s case, he knows how to stay on step ahead of the mayor and will push back when needed.

PerformancesThe performances from the whole cast are great through the film, they commit to their roles with many of the drinking scenes including real drinking and reaction.

StoryThe story here stars by focusing on the idea of a singular town’s person fighting against the mayor to keep his home, but soon turns into a personal drama about his own battle to keep his family together through the struggles. The story does give us a good sense of community with how everything unfolds which makes us believe we are watching where the characters are going through life. The pacing of the story might however put people off as it moves at a slow pace.

CrimeThe crime side of the film deals with how the town want to just take a man’s home without him being able to fight them off, this does help show the descent the family will be going in.

SettingsThe film is set in a solo town which shows how united the characters can be during everything that happens.


Scene of the Movie –
The moment Roma gets along is beautiful shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The pacing isn’t for me.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good drama that does have a few pacing issues, it deals with very real issues and leaves us feeling the way you are meant to by the end of the film.

 

Overall: Powerful drama

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – K – The King’s Choice (2016)

Director: Erik Poppe

Writer: Harald Rosenlow-Egg, Jane Trygve Royneland (Screenplay)

Starring: Jesper Christensen, Andrew Baasmo Christiansen, Karl Markovics, Tuva Novotny, Katharina Schuttler, Erik Hivju

 

Plot: On the 9th of April 1940, the German war machine arrive in the city of Oslo. The Norwegian King faces a choice that will change his country forever.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 13 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice History Lesson

 

Story: The King’s Choice starts in 1940 Norway, when the Germans start to invade, dragging the peaceful country into the war, King Haakon VII (Christensen) is left to see his country come under attack and communicate with his government on how to protect his people, Curt Brauer (Markovics) the German representative tries to play peacekeeper before Norway does something against the Germans.

As the Germans continue to advance in the country, King Haakon must make the difficult decision which will leave his country in their own position for the war that torn Europe apart.

 

Thoughts on The King’s Choice

 

Characters – King Haakon of Norway has kept his country at peace for years, now the war has come to his doorstep and he must be separated from his family while trying to keep his country together through the opening invasion, one they were not prepared for. Kronprins Olav is the son of Haakon who stands by his side through the difficult situation, he sees his children sent into hiding, knowing that their lives and his father lives will be put on the line against this enemy. Curt Brauer is the closest connection to the Germans in Norway, he tries to stop the bloodbath spreading. The characters in this film are based on the real people that has to make the difficult decisions during the war.

PerformancesThe performances in this film are strong throughout, Jesper Christensen in the leading role makes us understand every single struggle his character is going through. The rest of the performances let him take the starring role in the film.

StoryThe story here shows us just how Norway became involved in World War II, how they were first invaded by German and how the King made the difficult decision to help the country. This is a history lesson on another story from World War II, not knowing any of the Norwegian involvement, this made this much more interesting for me as I literally didn’t know what was going to happen in this story. if you do know the full history this will play it out for you nicely too.

Biopic/History/WarThe film uses both the history and biopic side of things to show us the couple of days from the first German invasion through any negotiations to keep the bloodshed down.

SettingsThe film keeps most of the film in the different locations the King went to during the first invasion, where he talks out any solutions the Norwegian people will need to make.


Scene of the Movie –
The speech to the cabinet.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is slower than it needs to be.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good history lesson about World War II which continues to give us new moments in film that we didn’t know unless we truly studied the time.

 

Overall: World War II history lesson.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Goal III (2009)

Director: Andrew Morahan

Writer: Mike Jefferies, Piers Ashworth (Screenplay)

Starring: Kuno Becker, JJ Field, Leo Gregory, Kasia Smutniak, Anya Lahiri, Nick Moran

 

Plot: The heroes compete on the greatest stage of all, the FIFA World Cup Finals.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Soap Opera Boredom

 

Story: Goal III starts as we follow three footballers from Real Madrid Santiago (Becker) and two England internationals Liam (Feild) and Charlie (Gregory), they have finished their season and now the World Cup is on the horizon. Charlie gets a movie role, Liam will need to find a new club, which sees him return to Newcastle, while Santiago gets an injury which sees him ruled out of the world cup and leaving Real Madrid.

The Santiago watching from the touchline and seemingly forgotten about in this movie, we focus on the England lads who must learn life lesson while trying to make history.

 

Thoughts on Goal III

 

Characters – Santiago was the main character in the first two movies, here he is just the teammate that watches his teammates play in the world after getting injured, we have the smallest possible scene of him looking back at the love he lost in Roz, though they don’t mention names. Liam is being released by Real Madrid, returning to Newcastle, where he discovers a big surprise, a daughter he never knew he had, Liam must learn to give up his party style life to become the father he never knew he could be. Charlie remains at the big club, he gets a film role and meets the girl of his dreams, with his life turning around, he is ready to make history. Sophia is the actress that Charlie falls in love with, she is willing to make a new life with him too.

PerformancesKuno Becker has been the highlight of the franchise until this film, he is barely in the film which disappoints greatly. When we look at the newcomers JJ Feild and Leo Gregory, they both struggle in this film too. In fairness none of this acting is in any way shape or form near the standards we are used too.

StoryThe story decides to make this film become an England story by pretty much writing Santiago out of the film, with his teammates needing to sort their careers and lives out during the World Cup. First problem, this is going to be a list,

·        we have no timeline between the end of the last one and the events in this one.

·        Where did Gavin Harris go?

·        Who are these two new players, are they world beaters or just squad fillers?

·        Why did we forget Santiago’s story, which the franchise is about?

·        When did this become a soap opera?

Enough of the lists now, we do seen to have a script that feels like scraped soap opera, because everything that happens is too unrealistic, with too many, badly delivered lines. Plus that ending, really, are we ending a trilogy like that?

Romance/SportsThere is a romance in this film, it isn’t realistic in anyway though, the sports side of the film also takes a backburner here to life, we are meant to care if these players can make an impact right?

SettingsThe film is meant to be follow the England camp preparing for the world cup, we are meant to be in Germany, though we never see any locations to make us believe this.


Scene of the Movie –
Ummm, pass.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Pushing Santiago to the background.

Final ThoughtsThis is a terrible finally to the franchise, this forgets the original character turning the film into a soap opera.

 

Overall: Painful watching.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – J – Jupiter’s Moon (2017)

Director: Kornel Mundruczo

Writer: Kornel Mundruczo, Kata Weber (Screenplay)

Starring: Merab Ninidze, Zsombor Jeger, Gyorgy Cserhalmi, Monika Balsai

 

Plot: Aryan is a Syrian refugee trying to make his way into Hungary from Serbia, along with his father and many other wretched souls. They are all caught, and find themselves in a web of cynicism and corruption.

 

Runtime: 2 Hour 9 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Sci-Fi Film

 

Story: Jupiter’s Moon starts as Syrian refugee Aryan (Jeger) is trying to get into Hungary and becomes separated from his father and ends up getting shot by the police. Once the officer moves away Aryan shows an ability to push the bullets out of his body, which brings him to the attention of Dr Gabor Stern (Ninidze) who sees the abilities to make him standout from the world, with the added ability to float and fly.

Being chased down by the authorities, Aryan gets a lesson of fitting into the everyday life in Hungary from Gabor only to soon learn the harsh reality of the world he is part of and just how the people it in will use him solely for his ability.

 

Thoughts on Jupiter’s Moon

 

Characters – Gabor Stern is a respected doctor in Hungary, he gives up his own time to help the refugees in the camps even though this latest visit changes his life forever, because he meets a young man is amazing abilities which puts him against the law to help teach the man about the culture of Hungary. He does come off selfish at times with his motivations to help Aryan but as the film does he will learn the lessons needed. Aryan is the young man shot only to survive the bullet wounds because of his ability to escape difficult situations and enter Hungary on the more legal methods. In the rest of the characters we learn about a cop that is chasing down the refugee and the woman that Gabor is seeing who must decide who see will support.

PerformancesThe performances from the cast are good through the film, we mainly focus on Merab Ninidze and Zsombor Jeger who show good chemistry on screen together, we see the naivety from the younger actor for his character and the parental figure in the older.

StoryThe story follows a refugee that has unseen abilities that is taken in by a doctor who wants to use his abilities to get financial benefits while also showing him how to fit into society, we do get to touch on the difficult subject of how refugees are treated as terrorist if they are from the countries that are involved in conflict. This is an interesting story because if this had been a straight drama we might not have enjoyed on the same level, but the added sci-fi elements making this young man different are what makes this story feel unique while approaching the subject in question.  

Sci-FiThe sci-fi elements in the film focus on the young man with the abilities people can’t explain, being able to fly and float away from problems.

SettingsThe film has two main settings, first we get to see how compact and difficult the refugee camps are on the people, the rest is set in Hungary which is a nice city to be able to travel around for a film.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are simple, they show how people are reacting to seeing Aryan floating without needing to give him anything to make him look like a superhero or anything.


Scene of the Movie –
The train incident.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There are certain scenes we don’t need in the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting sci-fi film that adds this elements to the serious nature of refugees needing to be able to find a safe place to call home.

 

Overall: Sci-Fi Different.

Rating