ABC Film Challenge – Comedy – X – Goon: Last of the Enforcers (2017)

This is under X because of the character Xavier.

Director: Jay Baruchel

Writer: Jay Baruchel, Jesse Chabot, Evan Goldberg (Screenplay) Adam Frattasio, Douglas Smith (Book)

Starring: Seann William Scott, Alison Pill, Marc-Andre Grondin, Liev Schreiber, Wyatt Russell, Kim Coates, Elisha Cuthbert

Plot: A hockey player plagued by injuries is confronted with the possibility of retirement when a tough new player challenges his status as the league’s top enforcer.


Tagline – Twice as hard as the first time.

Runtime: 1 Hour 41 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Misses Most the Punchlines

Story: Goon: Last of the Enforcers starts when Doug (Scott) meets his match on the hockey rink in Anders Cain (Russell) leading to fresh injuries and him thinking about retiring when his wife Eva (Pill) is expecting their first child.

With Doug out of the game the team owner signs Anders, which starts turning the team including Doug’s best friend Xavier LaFlamme (Grondin) upset with the new style of management. Doug turns to his old enemy Ross Rhea (Schreiber) to help him rebuild his career before deciding the next step of his career.

Thoughts on Goon: Last of the Enforcers

Characters – Doug is the toughest ice hockey player in the game on the rink, off the rink he is one of the nicest guys of the sport, he looks after his team, he suffers an injury from a young upstart and is about to start his own family, he must consider his future in the sport and he finds it hard to walk away from the sport he loves. Eva is his ever-supporting wife of Doug that is expecting their first child and is happy to support him as long as he is there for her. Xavier LaFlamme is the goal scorer for the team, he knows he can trust Doug to get his back only for him to not enjoy playing under Anders. Ross Rhea is the old enemy for Doug, a man that he can see his life heading down the same path if he continues with his own injuries.

PerformancesSeann William Scott is the best part of the film, he can play this character with ease being the slightly dim-witted figure, while the friendly presence to the team. Alison Pill does give us a great supporting performance as the wife that does go through the fear of seeing her husband hurt. Marc-Andre Grondin, Liev Schreiber and Wyatt Russell complete the main cast of hockey players and they are all doing what is needed.

StoryThe story here follows Doug the most famous enforcer in ice hockey only after he gets knocked out by a young upstart, he must decide his professional future as he is reaching the end of his career, or return to get one over the man that took him down. The problem with this story comes from the fact we do have a smart idea about trying to decide whether somebody wants to stay in their sport or not, which is interesting, only for the story seemingly focusing too much on Anders daddy issues, which strangely does become the most important part of the film’s story. If you don’t understand the league system in hockey either, you will find a lot of this story confusing too.

Comedy/SportsThe comedy in this film does feel like very forced jokes that are not tonally matching everything that is going on, the sports side of the film only wants to focus on the violence inside the sport of ice hockey.

SettingsThe film is set in the locations you would see hockey players, their homes, their bars and their stadiums, this all works without being anywhere that takes the film away from the story it is telling.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are mostly around the fights which show the brutal hits, blood splatter and bruises covering the faces of the players.


Scene of the Movie – The last walk.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Focusing to much on the daddy issues that Anders has.

Final Thoughts This is a simple follow up to the great comedy, it tries to show the different lives that the players now have and how older players will need to face a new reality.

Overall: Simple but not funny sequel.

Rating

You Cannot Kill David Arquette (2020) Movie Review

Director: David Darg, Price James

Plot: Actor David Arquette attempts a rocky return to the sport that stalled his promising Hollywood career.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: You Cannot Kill David Arquette starts as we learn how David Arguette became World Heavyweight Champion in 2000, something that shouldn’t have ever happened in the eyes of the wrestlers who worked for years for that chance, his acting career hasn’t gone the way the other actors of his generation went.

Now David still has a love for wrestling and is sick and tired of being seen as the biggest mistake in wrestling history, he wants to learn to wrestler to make a come back and earn the respect from the wrestling community.

Thoughts on You Cannot Kill David Arquette

Final Thoughts You Cannot Kill David Arquette gives us an intermate and eye opening look at his life, a career which saw him being placed in the same lists of his early career as Oscar winners, before he shocked the wrestling world in 2000, becoming one of the most hated men in the history of wrestling. This documentary follows a year long journey where David tries to prove his love to the industry, starting with his rejection from a Legends of Wrestling event and diving into the indie scene, learning the trade, taking the bumps and putting his life on the line to prove he respects the industry. This documentary gets to show us a different side to stardom, showing us how created anger towards someone who wasn’t to blame for event can cause damaged to the celebrity mental health, with people constantly bashing them, we see how the road to recovery had already taken a toll on David, his health isn’t the best, but his desire to learn, improve and earn respect drives him on more. This is a much watch documentary for any sports fans out there, any wrestling fan, this is essential viewing and it will give the respect David Arquette deserves.

Blue Finch Film Releasing presents You Cannot Kill David Arquette on Digital Download 23 November

ABC Film Challenge – 80’s Movies – V – Escape to Victory (1981) Movie Review

Director: John Huston

Writer: Evan Jones, Yabo Yablonsky (Screenplay) Yabo Yablonsky, Djordje Milicevic, Jeff Maguire (Story)

Starring: Sylvester Stallone, Michael Caine, Pele, Bobby Moore, Osvaldo Ardiles, Paul Van Himst

Plot: As allied P.O.W.s prepare for a soccer game against the German National Team to be played in Nazi-occupied Paris, the French Resistance and British officers are making plans for the team’s escape.


Tagline – Now is the time for heroes

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun Sports War Film

Story: Escape to Victory starts as German Prisoner of War Captain John Colby (Caine) is asked by a German Major Karl Von Steiner (Von Sydow) if he would like to have a football match, Colby accepts, with him putting together a team of elite players from different prisoners of war, with America Captain Robert Hatch (Stallone) talking his way onto the team to help his escape attempt.

As the team prepares for the game, Hatch is instructed to make a plan for the whole team to escape, with Colby needing to keep face with the German officers before the big game.

Thoughts on Escape to Victory

Characters – Captain Robert Hatch is the American in the prisoner of war camp, he is always planning an escape, but his latest plan is ruined by the upcoming football match, he pushes his way into the squad as the coach and then goalkeeper, as he uses his connections to create the latest plan of escape. Captain John Colby is one of the many former great footballers in the prisoner of war camp, he wants to prove himself on the pitch against one of the majors in the German side, once a great rival on the pitch, he arranges to put together his own team of players from around the world that are in camps to challenges the Germans to a match. Major Karl Von Steiner is the former professional footballer that wants to offer Colby a match, his sportsmanship side shines through, as he gives Colby what he wants, even if the rest of his military is against his idea, he just wants an honest match between men, not guards and prisoners.

PerformancesWe have three main stars of this film with Sylvester Stallone as the brash American working well through the film, Michael Caine as the calm collected English man is the highlight, with Max Von Sydow bringing to life an honest officer, proving not all Germans were bad.

StoryThe story here follows a group of prisoners of war offered a game of football by a German officer, looking for an honest game, only for it provide a plan to escape the prison. We have seen the escape from prison films before in film, with this being no different, with how the plan is put together, the only change comes in seeing how the honour of competing at sport will make difference. The story is keen to highlight that not all Germans were bad during the war, just like most people, they were left with no choice and tried to make the best of the situation.

Sport/WarThe football in the film is edited for the glory moments, with the former international stars, which do give those moments extra realism. The war backdrop shows us how operations would be put in place for an escape, while not showing any of the horrors of the situation.

SettingsThe film uses the prison camp for the most part, which will highlight the closed-up environment for the practise, while the escape plan is put in place.


Scene of the Movie – The match.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Hatch’s improvement is way to unbelievable.

Final Thoughts This is a fun sports movie that shows the spirit of the game will always come through, with appearances from some of the biggest names in the game.

Overall: Enjoyable.

Point Break (2015) Movie Review

Director: Ericson Core

Writer: Kurt Wimmer (Screenplay) Rick King, W. Peter Iliff, Kurt Wimmer (Story)

Starring: Edgar Ramirez, Luke Bracey, Ray Winstone, Teresa Palmer, Matias Varela, Clemens Schick

Plot: A young FBI agent infiltrates an extraordinary team of extreme sports athletes he suspects of masterminding a string of unprecedented, sophisticated corporate heists.

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Praise the Stunt Team & That is it

Story: Point Break starts as Utah (Bracey) loses a friend in a extreme stunt, seven-years-later Utah has worked his way up the ranks in the FBI, getting his first training position, with the first case he gets to investigate being about a string of extreme sports robberies from around the world.

Utah manages to go undercover within the group run by Bodhi (Ramirez) needing to report anything he learns to Pappas (Winstone), while trying to keep his cover a secret from a group that aren’t afraid to eliminate the problems within their group.

Thoughts on Point Break

Characters – Utah is the former extreme sports stunts man who lost a friend on the latest stunt, he rebuilds his life for the better becoming an FBI agent, with his first case putting him in a position of following his love of the extreme sports from the past or stopping crime from around the world, after he goes undercover in a criminal gang that are using the extreme sports to escape. Bodhi is the leader of the gang, he was a follower of the man who created the idea for creating extreme enlightenment and now has placed it into action, he believes people are responsible for their own actions and must live with the consequences. Pappas is the English agent that Utah must work under, he doesn’t like many people and Utah is no different, with his cocky ways only holding him back. Samsara is the love interest that sees Utah become more torn between the worlds as she isn’t a devoted follower in the same mindset at Bodhi.

PerformancesIt was always going to be hard for the actors to step into the shoes of Patrick Swayze and Keanu Reeves, sadly both do struggling to get to the level of either of the original actors, with both lacking the charisma to show what it is to be in this world. Ray Winstone clearly enjoyed his pay-check for this film, while the rest just don’t get going either.

StoryThe story here follows a rookie FBI agent going undercover in an extreme sports criminal team that are committing crimes from around the world. While this is a remake, the story does become a lot bigger than just a group of criminal surfers, we do get a bigger motivation behind the criminal actions, which is one of the few highlights in the film, the problem in the story comes from the idea that we spend more time just showing off the glorified stunts, we just get little to no character development, the original gave us that big moment when Utah couldn’t do the right thing and it had an impact, this doesn’t reach that level for that same moment. We could have easily had an original set of characters with the same criminals involved instead of leeching off a popular film and got a darker gritty story too.

Action/Crime/SportThe action here is big stunt works, which should be praised, the team create amazing moments, but we can’t only have big stunts to make a film interesting, the crime side of the film doesn’t get very interesting, with most of the parts being after the criminal actions taking place. The sports again plays into the biggest extreme sports, without being anything that plays into the story enough.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to take us around the world for the biggest stunt locations, it doesn’t help for the idea of the story because nobody else thinks outside the box, when they clearly know they are dealing with criminals that do extreme escape plans.


Scene of the Movie – The stunt work gets the most praise.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The script gets the rest of the weakness.

Final Thoughts This is a pointless remake that could have stood taller being it own action movie and could have gotten its own legs for something bigger in the action world.

Overall: Pointless remake.

Rating

ABC Film Challenge – Favourites – K – The Keeper (2018) Movie Review

Director: Marcus H Rosenmuller

Writer: Marcus H Rosenmuller, Nicholas J Schofield (Screenplay)

Starring: David Kross, Freya Mavor, John Henshaw, Harry Melling, Michael Socha, Dave Johns, Barbara Young

Plot: The Keeper tells the extraordinary love story between a young English woman and a German PoW, who together overcome prejudice, public hostility, and personal tragedy. While visiting a PoW camp near Manchester at the end of WWII, Margaret Friar, the daughter of the manager of the local football team, notices young German soldier Bert Trautmann. 


Tagline – He came as an enemy… And became their hero.

Runtime: 2 Hours

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Outstanding

Story: The Keeper starts with the war ending, the English are putting their lives back together and the German Prisoners of war are helping with the rebuilding process. Jack Friar (Henshaw) a local shopkeeper who wheels and deals with the soldiers, while noticing one of the prisoners, paratrooper Bert Trautmann (Kross) has goalkeeping skills.

Jack offers Bert a place in his shop and being the goalkeeper for his local struggling football team, soon the teams fortunes turn around and suddenly the locals including his daughter Margaret (Mavor) learn that just because he is German, he didn’t have a choice but to fight. Bert builds a reputation which will make him one of the greatest goalkeepers of an era, one whose story will change football in England forever.

Thoughts on The Keeper

Characters – The characters in this film are based on the real people, Bert Trautmann was a paratrooper for the Germans in World War II, he was captured by the English becoming a prisoner of war, waiting for his chance to return home, he must serve around the village where his goalkeeping skills are discovered seeing him sign for Manchester City. Outside of football he must prove that he was a solider with little choice, but to fight for the Germans, he must overcome all the hate that is thrown his way, while falling in love with an English woman, breaking the boundaries of post war feelings. Margaret is the local woman that isn’t happy about having a German around the village, but slowly gets to learn that he didn’t have a choice, as the two slowly start to fall in love, showing how people need to learn to forgive, instead of holding on the hate. Jack Friar is the man who gives the Bert a chance to go in goal for a local team, a place to work away from the camp and lets him into his life, he is a typical wheeler and dealer. Jock Thompson is the Manchester City manager who offers Bert a chance at a major team, he has a bigger job at bringing a city together to support a man that could change the team’s fortunes.

PerformancesDavid Kross is brilliant as the solider turned goalkeeper, he shows us the pain a war soldier would have been through, just showing the hope he wants a new life after it. Freya Mavor is wonderful too in her role, which shows us how somebody would stand up for a change. In the support roles we have strong work from everybody through the film.

StoryThe story here follows the life and career of former prisoner of war, turned professional goalkeeper Bert Trautmann, how he found love and had to build bridges after the war to make history. Before watching this story, I only knew one major part of Bert’s career, the FA Cup final he won with a broken neck, this is shown and is very scary to watch, when you think about the safety in sport now. Outside of this we get to dive into how the English must learn to forgive the Germans for what happened in the war, something that was never going to be easy, but it was the only way to move forward, this is show through the different levels of acceptance Bert must achieve, his personal life is also very interesting to see, with the ups and downs which could have broken any man, showing the horrors war did to him too. This story is a must watch for any of the sports fans out there, it is told in a way that does show people can be good, not everyone is considered to be bad.

Biopic/Sport/WarWe do follow Bert’s time from his POW days to his return to football after his own personal tragedy, seeing this shows how the war can create a divide that needs to be broken and with sport, it gave him a chance to build the bridges.

SettingsThe film uses the settings well, they are kept simple for the most part, with it being focused on the small village and the football stadiums.


Scene of the Movie – The cup final.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Certain hate filled characters, are just basic with why they are created, a little bit more about them would have given them more reason to hate.

Final Thoughts This is a brilliant biopic about one of the most iconic men to every play football, we see his life which was filled with so much to overcome, he still managed to make history.

Overall: Brilliant Biopic.