Power Rangers (2017)

Director: Dean Israelite

Writer: John Gatins (Screenplay) Matt Sazama, Burk Sharpless, Michele Mulroney, Kieran Mulroney, Haim Saban, Shuki Levy (Story/Creators)

Starring: Darce Montgomery, Naomi Scott, RJ Cyler, Ludi Lin, Becky G, Elizabeth Banks, Bryan Cranston

 

Plot: A group of high-school students, who are infused with unique superpowers, harness their abilities in order to save the world.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Filled Actioner

 

Story: Power Rangers starts as we meet our unlikely High School group of misfits, we have disgraced football star Jason (Montgomery), forgotten cheerleader Kimberly (Scott) social awkward genius Billy (Cyler), rebel without a cause Zack (Lin) and mysterious Trini (G), all five are serving weekend classes and detention, but one night will change everything when Billy help Jason unlock his ankle brace locator, the five discover something strange in a gold mine. The next day the five learn they have got new powers, increased strength.

As the five learn more about their powers they find Zordon (Cranston) teaches them that they are the new Power Rangers, chosen to protect Earth from enemies with Rita Repulsa (Banks) being the threat who wants to take all life from Earth. The Power Rangers must learn to work as a team to defeat her and learn their true destiny.

 

Thoughts on Power Rangers

 

Characters/PerformanceJason is the disgraced football star who could easily have walked into any college football team but his rebellious side leaves him in trouble but now he must take the leadership role of the Rangers. Kimberly is the former cheerleader who was pushed out of the team after being involved in a scandal, now she wants a new image and this will give her a chance. Billy is the smartest member of the team but he is also social awkward and makes the discover of the coins which give them power. Zack is a rebel who enjoys taking risks but at home he has his own responsibilities. Trini is the outcast, she keeps to herself because of her family moving a lot. Rita is the villain looking to end life on Earth by taking the life force from the planet, she is very creepy throughout and fits what we know in the Power Rangers universe. Zordon is the mentor of the rangers, once a former leader looking to continue to protect Earth.

Performance wise, all five of the ranger’s performers are good throughout the film show we have 5 young actors with plenty of potential. Elizabeth Banks looks like she enjoyed the villainous role through the film with Cranston always being a good choice for a mentor like role.

StoryThe story is the origin of the Power Rangers which needed fresh life away from the cheesy 90s show a lot of us grew up watching. We have characters that need to learn responsibility and this gives them that chance, we do have the generic training montage, singular villain that wants to end the world but this is everything we want from this film, we don’t need Shakespeare from a movie like this, just a fun story.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action is big but not done with the comic production value we are used too, with the adventure being used as our characters go into a world they could never imagine and the sci-fi side of the story coming from the idea of monsters needing defeating from space.

SettingsThe small-town setting plays into the environment the original had as we only have the first villain for them to face here.

Special EffectsWe have a lot of special effects to make this work and they click for what we need the film to work.

Final ThoughtsThis is fun movie, you can truly sit back and enjoy this one without needing to think too much.

 

Overall: Sit back relax

Rating

 

 

Resident Evil: Vendetta (2017)

Director: Takanori Tsujimoto

Writer: Makoto Fukami (Screenplay) Joe McClean (Adaptation)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Erin Cahill, Kevin Dorman, Jason Faunt, Matthew Mercer, Arnie Pantoja, Alexander Polinsky

 

Plot: Chris Redfield enlists the help of Leon S. Kennedy and Rebecca Chambers to stop a death merchant, with a vengeance, from spreading a deadly virus in New York.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Addition to the Animated Resident Evils

 

Story: Resident Evil: Vendetta starts as we see our soldier Chris Redfield searching a mansion for missing persons but the mission goes terribly wrong when the mansion is filled with the infected led by mercenary Glenn Arias who has a grudge with the system.

Chris teams up with Rebecca Chambers a scientist that has found a cure for the new virus being released in different areas of the world. The pair turn to Leon Kennedy to join in the battle against Arias, giving him a chance to finish everything once and for all.

 

Thoughts on Resident Evil: Vendetta

 

Characters Chris Redfield has been fighting the infected for years, he always has a trick up his sleeve when it comes into battling them and now his leadership skills put the team into battle. Leon Kennedy returns once more to put an end to the infection spreading around the world, the same infection he has been battling for years. Rebecca Chambers is a scientist that has discovered a cure for the infection but she doesn’t know everything. Glenn Arias is a man looking for vengeance for the death of his wife to be and now he has all the cards on the table to take down the people that ruined his life. I believe these four characters placed together make this feel like the game more than the live action films.

StoryThe story does feel like it could be part of the video game world created, we have three different good characters looking to battle one big bad with obstacles along the way. This story is a good watch and easily more entertaining and complete than the live action films (which I do have a soft spot for). One glaring story problem is the smart scientist is just a damsel in distress which disappoints in a game world that has created strong female characters.

Action/Horror/MysteryThe action is all good, not quite as big as Damnation but a lot closer quarters. The motorbike sequences are both strange and delicious to watch though. I would say this film hits many of the horror marks needed but does try very hard with the opening sequence. The mystery is easier to solve too but it doesn’t feel like a problem here.

SettingsMoving the biggest action sequence to New York City instead of the fantasy worlds shows us how the infection is starting to become a bigger threat.

AnimationThe animation does look great and does feel like a series of cut scenes from the games.

Final ThoughtsIf you are a fan of the Resident Evil games and or the animated films you will enjoy this outing but I would suggest not starting here.

 

Overall: Enjoyable animated movie well worth watching.

Rating

 

 

The Answer (2017)

Director: Iqbal Ahmed

Writer: Iqbal Ahmed (Screenplay)

Starring: Austin Hebert, Alexis Carra, David S lee, Adam Shapiro, Mark Deklin

 

Plot: After being attacked, an introverted young man must follow clues left by his dead parents in order to figure out who is after him – and who he really is.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Sci-Fi Thriller

 

Story: The Answer starts as we meet Bridd Cole (Hebert) a mild-mannered office delivery man, he has the ability to see things happening before disaster strikes and an early moments romance with new office worker Charlotte (Carra) makes everything look like a simple romantic drama, but No.

Things take a turn when masked me attempt to attack Bridd leaving him and Charlotte needing to go on the run for their lives. Armed with only a technology left by his deceased mother Bridd and Charlotte must look for the answers to just what is happening to his life.

 

Thoughts on The Answer

 

Characters/PerformanceBridd is your everyday man, he has a routine job that he doesn’t enjoy as he just goes about being normal as possible. He must deal with the change in his life as he learns his true identity. Charlotte is the office temp that starts with a first date with Bridd but ends up having to go on the run with his. Leader is the one controlling the people after Bridd but we don’t learn much about him until late into the film.

Performance wise, Austin Hebert works very well in this role, he doesn’t have the full action man look which is what we need from it. Alexis Carra is good as the strong streetwise female lead with David S Lee doing well as the villainous leader.

StoryThe story of an everyday person learning their true identity is a film we have done before and it takes a lot to find something fresh in the genre. This does that very well as we are left wondering just where everything will go and how big the situation is. Sure we do borrow from other films in places but overall this does grab your attention with the story from start to finish.

Romance/Sci-FiThe romance side of this film puts our main two characters on the journey for answers which is fine as it is a tool used to create opposites working together. The sci-fi side of everything comes once we learn more about Bridd and just what his involvement in the bigger picture is.

SettingsThe locations used are what you would expect from the genre of film about people on the run, none of them define any moment in the story.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well when needed but you can see the budget holding things back in places.

Final ThoughtsIf you like a god sci-fi mystery this one is for you to try.

 

Overall: Give it a go.

Rating

 

 

Original v Remake Weekend – Rollerball (2002)

rllerDirector: John McTiernan

Writer: Larry Ferguson, John Pogue (Screenplay) William Harrison (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Klein, Jean Reno, LL Cool J, Rebecca Romijn, Naveen Andrews Oleg Takarov

 

Plot: The big thing in 2005 is a violent sport which can have some pretty serious consequences… like dying.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Social Commentary 101

 

Story: Rollerball starts as we see aimless extreme sports lover Jonathan Cross (Klein) taking part in a boarding race through the streets of San Francisco only to be saved by his old friend Marcus Ridley (Cool J) who offers him a chance to take part in Rollerball in Central Asia where he can make a fortune for a couple of seasons work.

The sport is mostly hosted in Kazakhstan which while isn’t related to the film this does sum up big sports being offered major deals in Asia in the likes of football and cricket. Anyway, back to the story, Jonathan has become an overnight success in the sport and new favourite for owner Alexis Petrovich (Reno) with the sponsorship money pouring through Jonathan becomes the star for the whole crowd.

When the sport continues to draw a large audience with the violence we get to see just how deadly this sport can become as Jonathan’s popularity sky rockets he gets to live the life of luxury, fast cars, beautiful women and parties, but looking past this life Jonathan can see the problems within the country and with the sport he has become the star off.

 

Thoughts on Rollerball

 

Characters/PerformanceJonathan being made out to be the naïve extreme sports player works for this version of the film because he is the one that can see the problems in the sport he is the star of but isn’t able to take on what could easily be a dictator for the nation involved. Marcus is the best friend in the sport that is wiser to the country as well as happier to turn away from the problems he has seen. Aurora is your standard love interest with a dark past where she finds from the world. Alexis is the all powerful owner of the sport and what feel like the country that is desperate to be as rich as possible.

Performance wise Chris Klein does struggle to be the lead this film needs in places, but does pull the naïve side off well just not the action man lead. LL Cool J is fun as the best friend role while Rebecca Romijn does work for the love interest. Jean Reno does a good job as the power-hungry owner too. The rest of the supporting cast are all good without being scene stealers.stars

StoryThe story here is different in enough places from the original to only really use the sport as the remaining elements from the original. This time the sport has only just started to take off, the money is in it but the story focuses on the idea the sport is about to become the biggest sport in the world because of the nearly acquired blood lust of the audience, with the star player seeing this and wanting out and to stop this change to the sport. We get the feeling the rest of the world gets when they see the billionaires in similar countries spending money on sports when the rest of the country is struggle to make ends meet.

Action/Sci-Fi/SportsThe action is bigger and bloodier than the original film which shows how the fans will be drawn to the blood sport. The sports side is all entertaining for the fans.

SettingsThe settings are based in Asia showing how that is the new future for high paying sports owned by corrupt billionaire.

Special EffectsThe special effects for this film are all good but the night shot tries to be different and looks very difficult to watch.genre

Final ThoughtsI do have a personal soft spot for this movie and I can see why people don’t like it, but this is one film you can switch your brain off and enjoy the mad over the top entertainment.

 

Overall: Simple and enjoyable sports action movie.

Ratingrating

 

 

Original v Remake Weekend – Rollerball (1975)

rollerballDirector: Norman Jewison

Writer: William Harrison (Screenplay)

Starring: James Caan, John Houseman, Maud Adams, John Beck, Moses Gunn, Pamela Hensley

 

Plot: In a corporate-controlled future, an ultra-violent sport known as Rollerball represents the world, and one of its powerful athletes is out to defy those who want him out of the game.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Entertaining Sci-Fi Sports Film

 

Story: Rollerball starts as we get to see how the sport of Rollerball is played with the star of the league Jonathan E (Caan) and his team picking up another win in the league. The sport of Rollerball is a mix of roller-skating, motorcycling and fighting diving into the violent desires of the audience.

Star player of the Houston team Jonathan E has the attention of the owner of the sport Bartholomew (Houseman)) who will be giving Jonathan his own show looking at his career as the team prepares for semi-finals of the season.

When the powers that be want to change the face of the sport they want Jonathan to retire from the game for the greater good for the world. When Jonathan doesn’t want follow through the league gets new deadlier rules Jonathan and his team must overcome the odds against them to win the title and bring down the corporations running the league.

 

Thoughts on Rollerball

 

Characters/PerformanceJonathan E is the star of a world-famous sport, he teaches up and coming players the game, while being a brilliant face for the sport for the media. He winning mentality is a threat to the people who run the sport but he will fight for trophies and his team mate’s lives. Bartholomew is your typical businessman owner of the league who wants to dictate how the league is run as well as not having anyone bigger than the sport.

Performance wise James Caan is great in the lead role showing the physical side of the sport as well as the brains to want to understand the bigger picture. John Houseman works as the businessman character too showing how corrupt the sport can become. Looking into the rest of the cast they all give good performances too.stars

StoryThe story shows once more a future world where people have found a dangerous sport to turn too while the rest of the world is under control from the corporate leaders. This at the core of the story is the look into one man having to stand up against these people to give the people of the world hope for the future that they won’t be controlled by the corporations.

Action/Sci-Fi/Sports – The action is big and grows through each game on the level of violence being taken into the game, we are kept on the edge through each game to see what the next big hit will be. The sci-fi side of the story comes from where the world is now turning to a sport to get them through their days.

SettingsThe Rollerball arena is a brilliant creation that shows just how deadly the sport can be, we also have plenty of futuristic looking settings showing us how this future will look.

Special EffectsAll the effects are well created to show the brutality of the sport with each game becoming more violent.genre

Final ThoughtsThis film is long and does play into the idea of corporate fear taking over the world nicely, the sport is entertaining to watch with the violent nature it has making it all come together to be an entertaining film.

 

Overall: This is a film that stands up there with the best of the sci-fi world created.

Ratingrating