ABC Film Challenge – 80s Movies – Y – Black Rain (1989) Movie Review

This is going under Y because of the involvement of the Yakuza.

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: Craig Bolotin, Warren Lewis (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Douglas, Andy Garcia, Ken Takakura, Kate Capshaw, Yusaku Matsuda, Shigeru Koyama

Plot: Two NYC cops arrest a Yakuza member and must escort him when he’s extradited to Japan.


Tagline – An American Cop in Japan. Their country. Their laws. Their game. His rules.

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Gritty Drama

Story: Black Rain starts when bad boy cop Nick Conklin (Douglas) and his partner Charlie Vincent (Garcia) look to clean up their own problem, they stumble into a Yakuza gangster killing the godfather of the Japanese mafia.

Nick and Charlie find themselves needing to escort the killer, only for them to hand him over to an imposter, the pair need to work with the locals to try and recapture the killer in a country that has a battle between two deadly gangs.

Thoughts on Black Rain

Characters – Nick is the bad boy detective that doesn’t always play by the rules with how he gets the job done, this has landed him in trouble on countless times, his latest hearing ends up with his catching an international killer and needing to escort him back to Japan, only to find himself needing to investigate the gang war raging on in the country. Charlie is the by the book cop that knows how to keep Nick in line when he starts going too far, he is willing to be more open about the difference in culture, even if he doesn’t agree with everything, being the good cop to the bad cop attitude to Nick. Masahiro is the local Japanese cop that is assigned to show the detectives around, he ends up working with them to try and get deeper into the bigger case going on within the city. Joyce is an American living in Japan, she does fill in certain parts the locals don’t want to give up.

PerformancesMichael Douglas does do his best at trying to be more of a bad boy figure within the film, he has the attitude required for the role, Andy Garcia does bring a more relaxed approach which works well for the film, with the rest of the cast working well with what they need to bring to their roles.

StoryThe story here follows two New York detectives who travel across the world to escort a prisoner only to lose them and need to find themselves in the middle of a war for power in Japan, trying to understand the bigger picture. We are given a story here that shows how the change in culture will change how an investigation might well be addressed, it does seem to focus more on how Nick is more aggressive at times than he needs to, he is a shady cop. The investigation doesn’t seem to get into the intense level it should because we don’t focus on any of the criminal activities through the film though.

Action/CrimeThe action is simple enough, with most circulating around the motorbike usage of Nick and how controlled he is behind the world, with the criminal side of the film focusing on how everything will be different for the American cops in a new land.

SettingsThe film uses the Japan setting to show the cops with a new setting, which will operate in a different manner to what they are used to dealing with. It does show us how the world will feel darker to the criminal world they have come from.


Scene of the Movie – The motorbike riding sequences.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Not enough focus on the criminal’s actions.

Final ThoughtsThis is a by the book crime drama, it has a cop that isn’t a smooth around the edges forced into a world he knows nothing about.

Overall: By the Book.

ABC Film Challenge – 80’s Movies – X – Firefox (1982) Movie Review

Continuing my cheating ways with the letter X, we have Firefox ending in an X, which will making it the closest I can get to finding a movie.

Director: Clint Eastwood

Writer: Alex Lasker, Wendell Wellman (Screenplay) Craig Thomas (Novel)

Starring: Clint Eastwood, Freddie Jones, David Huffman, Warren Clarke, Ronald Lacey, Kenneth Colley

Plot: A pilot is sent into the Soviet Union on a mission to steal a prototype jet fighter that can be partially controlled by a neuralink.


Tagline – .the most devastating killing machine ever built… his job… steal it!

Runtime: 2 Hour 16 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Espionage 101

Story: Firefox starts when a war veteran pilot Mitchell Gant (Eastwood) who lives off the grid, is located and bought back for a new mission, a dangerous mission, which will see him travel to the Soviet Union to go undercover to steal a prototype jet fighter.

As Mitchell is undercover, he does start to show the side effects of his time in the war, which could bring the mission in trouble, with his instructions changing, can he get the mission complete before it is too late.

Thoughts on Firefox

Characters – Mitchell Gant is a former pilot, retired after being captured during his time in the war, he is often considered the greatest pilot the military saw and now he is trying to live off the map away from everyone in Alaska. He is tracked down and forced into serving his country once again, this time going undercover to steal a prototype plane, one that he will be the best pilot for. He does suffer from the side effects of his previous time in the military, which could expose his identity along the way. We do meet the military men that are trying to push Mitchell into the mission, guiding him along the way, helping fix problems on the mission along the way.

PerformancesClint Eastwood is solid enough in the leading role here, he does make us believe that he could be the military man with problems, but one that will get back out there to fight for what is right. The supporting cast are strong too without needing to do that much with their roles.

StoryThe story here follows a former pilot that is forced into a mission to steal a new plane from Soviet Union and return it to America, while dealing with his own demons from his time in the military. This is a story that is revolving around a single mission behind enemy lines, where the flying will be the easy part, it will be getting to the plane that will be the challenge. This is slow moving with how everything unfolds, with everything seemingly going to plan, which does seem to take off any edge the film could have.

ActionThe action does have basic fight, but we do have the highlight of the film coming from the dog fights.

SettingsThe film uses the locations which will see Mitchell preparing the mission, on the mission as, well as inside the cockpit during the daring escape.


Scene of the Movie – The dog fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Eastwood’s narration of the events in the dog fight.

Final Thoughts This is a by the book spy movie, which is only here to show the tensions between America and Soviet Union and wanting to stay ahead of each other in war.

Overall: By the Book.

The Bay of Silence (2020) Movie Review

Director: Paula van der Oest

Writer: Caroline Goodall (Screenplay) Lisa St Aubin de Teran (Novel)

Starring: Claes Bang, Olga Kurylenko, Brian Cox, Assaad Bouab, Alive Krige

Plot: Will believes his wife Rosalind is innocent of their son’s suspected murder, only to discover the devastating truth behind her past links her to another unsolved crime.

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Bay of Silence starts when Will (Bang) believes he is going to start the perfect life with his wife Rosalind, he twins and a new baby on the way, a new big house and a career moment which could secure his place in the company for years.

After an accident during the late pregnancy Rosalind believes she lost part of a twin, taking her down a dark path, which ends up seeing their baby die, Will must investigate, what really happened to their son and whether Rosalind was behind it.

Thoughts on The Bay of Silence

Characters – Will believes he is about to start the perfect life, his career is thriving, he has married his wife, with a child on the way and a dream home. Things take a turn, when he learns about his wife’s past and when their baby dies, he is left wondering just what to expect to be the truth about what happened to their son. Rosalind is the wife that believes she has lost a baby, she starts to lose control, only for her past to show the effects to what happened to her in the past. Milton is the fixer that has always solved the problems in Rosalind’s life.

PerformancesClaes Bang does show us how a husband would do anything to protect a wife from even the worst crimes, showing us how he is slowly losing his mind about what might have happened or not. Olga Kurylenko shows the changes her character is going through well, with Brian Cox being the highlight of every scene.

StoryThe story here follows a husband that is trying to figure out what caused his wife sudden change, which will see him dive into her past, which brings him a shocking truth, which will explain what happened to their daughter. This story is very busy, with most of the film circling around Will needing to discover what happened, which will give us more details by the end of the film, which does make much more sense to everything we see. We get to deal with very dark subjects, which could cause the changes, while not everything does seem to get to come out from what we are seeing.

ThrillerThe thriller side of this film comes from seeing what is happening, what could have happened and what did happen, we are left guessing to the truth.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us why the dream home is only the beginning of a new nightmare for the family, where most of the locations are here to show us what happened in the past.


Scene of the Movie – The truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We do have too much going on with Will that seems to lead him down different routes.

Final Thoughts This is a thriller that will keep you guessing along with leading us to a shocking conclusion.

Signature Entertainment presents The Bay of Silence on DVD & Digital HD 28th September

The Devil All the Time (2020) Netflix Movie Review

Director: Antonio Campos

Writer: Antonio Campos, Paulo Campos (Screenplay) Donald Ray Pollock (Novel)

Starring: Robert Pattinson, Tom Holland, Bill Skarsgard, Haley Bennett, Riley Keough, Harry Melling, Sebastian Stan, Mia Wasikowska

Plot: Sinister characters converge around a young man devoted to protecting those he loves in a postwar backwoods town teeming with corruption and brutality.


Tagline – Some people are just born to be buried.

Runtime: 2 Hour 18 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Devil All the Time starts as Willard Russell (Skarsgard) returns from war, in a place where he had to commit an action he will never tell anyone, losing his faith in God, the one thing that had driven him for years, until he returns home marries Charlotte (Bennett) and have their first child Arvin, even though his mother prayed to keep him safe to marry Helen (Wasikowska).

When Arvin (Holland) grows up, he decides he wants to protected his loved ones, including Lenora (Scanlen) his step-sister and when a new preacher, Preston Teagardin (Pattinson) arrives in the town, something doesn’t connect with the way he handles his community.

Thoughts on The Devil All the Time

Characters – Arvin is the son of a war veteran, he has been incredible pain through his childhood, this gave him the mentality to protect the people he loves, one that will see him commit violence towards the people who go against them. Preston Teagardin is the latest preacher to the area, he tries to make everyone feel welcomed to the town, even if he has a way about him, which is one that will cross the lines. Carl and Sandy spend years luring men into their own sadistic pleasure, while the film does have many more characters we meet who find themselves getting involved in something they shouldn’t.

PerformancesThe performances in the film are strong, with Tom Holland being the standout of the whole cast, Jason Clarke and Riley Keough work well together too and Robert Pattinson, keeps up his trend of giving us the unusual roles.

StoryThe story here follows a group of different people who are connected in a rural southern area, going through a different set of events, which will usually see them get involved in violence, while balancing the idea of God being involved in life. The story here is messy for the most part, we jump all over the place, we meet characters that don’t seem to have much point behind us needing to meet them and by the end of the film you will be left wondering what just happened. When we look into the messages in the film, it seems like we are meant to believe that things will catch up with you, if you are going against God’s will, which seems like it is trying to hard to just bump it on the nose for you.

CrimeThe film takes us into the crime world of seeing how different people will deal with problems or fantasies in their lives.

SettingsThe film is set in the Southern Rural area, which will show how people can get away with things, how people use the area to their advantage.


Scene of the Movie – Arvin meets Sandy and Carl.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too many characters not doing much.

Final Thoughts This is a crime thriller that deals us with too many characters that don’t seem to have much to do, while trying to connect the bigger picture for the most part, saved only by the performances being delivered.



The Tunnel (2019) Movie Review

Director: Pal Oie

Writer: Kjersti Helen Rasmussen (Screenplay)

Starring: Thorbjorn Harr, Ylva Fuglerud, Lisa Carlehed, Mikkel Bratt Silset, Peter Forde

Plot: When a truck crashes inside a tunnel, people on their way home for Christmas are brutally trapped in a deadly fire. With a blizzard raging outside, and the first responders struggling to get to the accident, it’s every man for himself.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: The Tunnel starts on Christmas Eve with a blizzard outside and the Norwegian tunnel system under control, families are looking to get home for Christmas, when a lorry gets involved in an accident inside one of the large tunnel systems, with people trapped inside the smoke fills the tunnels as Stein (Harr) leads the rescue crew, which includes trying to save his own daughter Elise (Fuglerud).

Thoughts on The Tunnel

Characters – Stein is a fire and rescue operator, one that has become distant from his daughter, which is always a strain on their relationship over Christmas, he leads the rescue which starts out like normal, until he learns his daughter is inside the tunnel, where he will risk everything to rescue her. Elise is the distant daughter that is trapped in the tunnel, she uses her own survival skills to try and keep the passengers of the bus alive, this will give her a chance to follow in her father footsteps when it comes to becoming a heroic figure to some. We do meet the rest of the rescue team that are put in the impossible position of not knowing what to do next, other victims that are trapped that need rescuing, which are here to add even more drama to the events of the film.

PerformancesThorbjorn Harr in the leading role shows us the determination to first make up his relationship with his daughter and secondly his strength to fight to save people. Ylva Fuglerud leads the supporting with ease, as the whole cast looks great through the film.

StoryThe story here follows the events of a disaster in a tunnel in Norway, which sees people trapped in the smoke-filled tunnel with a race against time to survive. When it comes to disaster movies, we are used to seeing a big over the top moment, while this one brings us a more realistic idea of what could happen, if an accident happened, it is a slow build that occurs, with the threat being smoke over explosions. This is based on a real event, which does make us wonder just how much was real, or was it just the idea a tunnel got filled with smoke.

ThrillerWe are kept on the edge of our seats through this film, left waiting to see what will happen next.

SettingsThe film keeps the action inside the tunnel, which improves the intensity going on through the film.


Scene of the Movie – The last call.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Certain things characters don’t seem to use common sense.

Final Thoughts This is a great realistic looking disaster film that brings the importance of needing to save a loved one, no matter what it takes.

Signature Entertainment presents The Tunnel on Digital HD 21st September