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

 

 

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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

 

 

Moonshot (2009)

Director: Richard Dale

Writer: Tony Basgallop (Screenplay)

Starring: Daniel Lapaine, James Marsters, Andrew Lincoln, Nigel Whitmey, William Hope, Anna Maxwell Martin

 

Plot: The story leading up to the July 20, 1969, Apollo 11 moon landing launch.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic History Lesson

 

Story: Moonshot starts as we meet the main three astronauts Neil Armstrong (Lapaine), Buzz Aldrin (Marsters) and Michael Collins (Lincoln) as they go through the training regime wondering if they will become the ones that are selected for the first moon landing.

We tend to focus on Buzz’s point of view as he must deal with the idea of being the second man on the moon, even if he is better with the press and has more experience than Neil with actual time in space, but we know the story and how the three men created history.

 

Thoughts on Moonshot

 

Characters – The men involved are version of the three men that created history, Neil Armstrong is the quiet but brilliant pilot who must command the mission, Buzz Aldrin who does seem to be the one we follow most, he desire to impress his father by being the first on this mission, he questions the most however much it seems like he could be a perfect PR guy for the moon landing. Michael Collins in the one that didn’t walk on the moon, he goes through his own problems leading up to the mission including a life changing operation which could ruin his chances.

PerformancesThe three main actors are solid with the roles they are given, they have to play history makers, Daniel Lapaine keeps everything simple and distant which was how Neil is meant to be looked as. James Marsters brings energy to his performance, while Andrew Lincoln is being used to sell the DVD versions of this because of his Walking Dead status.

StoryThe story is designed to show the history of the three men’s journey to the mission which defined their lives. We do seem to follow Buzz slightly more than the rest, but this is more focused on the mission over the personal relationship. It is strange to watch this level of story after seeing just how masterful ‘First Man’ was for the same story. if you know the basic history of the events, you will barely get anything out of this film because it is just the ABC of what happened, rather than showing the scientific nature behind the story.

SettingsThe settings used feel authentic even if they are just the basics of what was used, it does feel like we do use moments of actual footage too which helps when it comes to the settings.


Scene of the Movie –
Deciding who walks on the moon first.

That Moment That Annoyed Me First Man being a lot more interesting.

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic version of one of the most important moments in history, it has since been improved upon when it comes quality of storytelling, but for the basic history lesson it does what it needs to.

 

Overall: History Lesson 101

Rating

 

 

The Station Agent (2003)

Director: Tom McCarthy

Writer: Tom McCarthy (Screenplay)

Starring: Peter Dinklage, Patricia Clarkson, Bobby Cannavale, Michelle Williams, Josh Pais

 

Plot: When his only friend dies, a man born with dwarfism moves to rural New Jersey to live a life of solitude, only to meet a chatty hot dog vendor and a woman dealing with her own personal loss.


Tagline – Loneliness is much better when you have got someone to share it with

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Charming

 

Story: The Station Agent starts when Finbar McBride (Dinklage) must relocate to rural new Jersey after his friend passes away, he wants a quiet solitude life, as he moves into an abandoned train station. He just so happens to be opposite a chatty hotdog vendor Joe (Cannavale). Finbar continues to meet the locals including the clumsy Olivia (Clarkson) and Emily (Williams).

Finbar, Joe and Olivia end up striking up an unlikely friendship as Fin learns to let people in to his life, Joe learns to open up more about life and Olivia reveals her own tragic story.

 

Thoughts on The Station Agent

 

Characters – Finbar has always worked and lived in the same location until his friend dies, Fin is forced to move out of the city where he wants to continue his life of isolation, only the overly welcoming locals want to be his friend. Finbar starts to learn about other people’s problems as loneliness isn’t the best thing in his life. Olivia nearly runs Finbar over, she is dealing with her own problems that she is covering up with a bubbly personality, she becomes one of the people that Fin wants to help. Joe runs a hot dog stand opposite Fin’s new home, he likes to chat and wants to become Fin’s friend, he has his own problems that he doesn’t want to talk to anybody else about.

PerformancesPeter Dinklage showed the whole world just how talented he is as an actor in this leading role, Patricia Clarkson is also wonderful in her role as we feel the pain her character is going through. Bobby Cannavale completes the main cast with an enjoyable performance

StoryThe story here follows one man that must relocate after his friend dies, he wants to be left in isolation only for the locals to just want to welcome him to the neighbourhood, even if they have their own problems. This is a story that teaches people that need to have a friend to get through your problems, even if the friend comes from the most unlikely location in your everyday life. It shows how people can live a life in pain without you knowing until you are willing to listen to them. It can show how life isn’t going to be easy and it can take you down dark paths and you will need people to help you.

ComedyThe film fits the comedy drama wonderfully, handling the serious nature of the events of the film, while getting the laughs when needed.

SettingsThe film is set in a small location of a town outside of New Jersey, the people are friendly and have problems, they want to stay strong in the eyes of the other members of the community.


Scene of the Movie –
The final shot.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We do have too many dwarf jokes, which feel like they haven’t aged well.

Final ThoughtsThis is a charming comedy drama that shows the real struggles in life with friendship coming from the unlikely places.

 

Overall: Enjoyable comedy drama.

Rating