Escape and Evasion (2019) Movie Review

Director: Storm Ashwood

Writer: Storm Ashwood (Screenplay)

Starring: Josh McConville, Rena Owen, Hugh Sheridan, Firass Dirani, Bonnie Sveen, Steve Le Marquid

Plot: After his men are killed in Burma. A lone soldier returns home in search of solace. Hiding a dark secret and confronted by an unrelenting journalist, he’s forced to face the ghosts of his past one last time.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Story: Escape and Evasion starts when journalist Rebecca (Sveen) decides to go in search of answers, as to what happened to her brother Josh (Sheridan) in his time in Burma, where only one person returned, Seth (McConville), a troubled man, who is still suffering the nightmares of his time in the war.

As the two get to know each other, Seth slowly start to relive the final moments of his team in a battle they shouldn’t have been caught in the middle of, helping Rebecca get the closure she needs, as well as helping Seth himself fight his own demons.

Thoughts on Escape and Evasion

Characters – Seth was the lone survivor of his unit, this has left him broken back home in Australia, the one thing keeping him on the right path, is his daughter, his sunshine in a world of darkness. He suffers nightmares of his time, seeing the fallen soldiers in everyday life and struggling to handle his aggression. He gets a chance to finally exorcism his own demons when he meets Rebecca. Rebecca is the sister of one of the soldiers who was lost in war, Seth’s best friend, she wants to know the truth about what happened to her brother, which sees her getting close to Seth, letting him open up for the first time since his return. Josh was Seth’s best friend, the two served together for years and knew how to trust each, but he never returned after their latest outing.

PerformancesJosh McConville does give us an excellent leading performance, showing the damaged caused by being involved in war, showing the inner conflict he is suffering through, being torn up by his time, but wanting to be the man he once was. Bonnie Sveen does bring the grieving sibling to life well through the film, with the rest of the cast doing everything they need to, to make us understand what happened to them.

StoryThe story here follows a war veteran who was the lone survivor of his unit, he is torn up with what happened to him suffering nightmares, but when one of the siblings of his unit wants answers, he will need to confront the truth about what happened. When it comes to this story, we get to see the aftermath of war, when only one survivor returns, left being filled with nightmares of his time in conflict, struggling to get his life back on track. It is important to show us how difficult surviving war can be, how it will have made people do things they should never have had to do and how difficult the recovery process will in fact be.

WarThe film shows us how one person surviving war will leave them broken, while showing us what happened during his time, will focus more on the basic conflict of losing people.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us where Seth is in life now, struggling to hold things together in life, with dreams of a better life, along with the moments during the war.


Scene of the Movie – The light at the end of the tunnel.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We don’t see the help Seth gets to improve.

Final Thoughts This is an important drama that puts a highlight on just how difficult post-war can be on a soldier that is left to fend for himself.

Escape And Evasion will be released on Digital Download from September 28 and on DVD from October 26, both can be pre-ordered now:

 

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.

The Captain (2017) Movie Review

Director: Robert Schwentke

Writer: Robert Schwentke (Screenplay)

Starring: Max Hubacher, Alexander Fehling, Sebastian Rudolph, Max Thommes, Rike Eckermann

Plot: In the last moments of World War II, a young German soldier fighting for survival finds a Nazi captain’s uniform. Impersonating an officer, the man quickly takes on the monstrous identity of the perpetrators he is trying to escape from.


Tagline – Follow the Leader

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Shocking War Story

Story: The Captain starts in the dying days of World War II, young soldier Willi Herold (Hubacher) has run from his unit, but when in hiding, he finds a Captain’s uniform, he disguises himself as a German Officer to travel around the last few days, staying out of combat, showing a more human side than many would expect from a Captain.

The more time Willi finds himself in this role, he sees just how easily he can have a sway on decisions, while witnessing the horrors firsthand, horrors he would be going through himself for deserting the unit.

Thoughts on The Captain

Characters – Willi Herold is a private in the German army who has deserted his unit, he wants out of the war, but when he finds a captain’s uniform, he decides to pretend to be a captain, which sees him crossing lines he never imagined taking advantage of the new position of power during the closing days of the war. We do meet plenty of different military officials, who are using their position of power for their own good too, while others that have been suffering through the motions in the war.

PerformancesMax Hubacher is wonderful in the leading role, he shows the true transformation the man goes through during his time as a captain, he is head and shoulders above the rest of the cast, who don’t do anything wrong, just let him take centre stage.

StoryThe story here follows a private in the German army that while on the run finds a captain’s uniform and decides to use the remaining time to take control of every situation, he finds himself in. this is a very interesting look at how one solider looked to survive and thrive in the late stages of the war. It shows how a position of power can make people do things they would never imagine, going places they didn’t think were possible. It does show us the horrors of war through a different set of lights.

History/WarThe war side of this film shows us just how horrific war was, what people would do to survive and how much it will change people.

SettingsEach setting makes us see that the world will be set up to look as if we were with Willi during this war time.


Scene of the Movie – The trial.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The camp scenes are hard to watch.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting look at a war movie from the point of view of somebody who pretended to be an officer to escape getting put in a camp himself, slowly becoming corrupted by the power it gives him.

Overall: Surprising War Drama.

Signature Entertainment presents A Kid Like Jake on Amazon Prime September 4th

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – A – Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion (2018) Film Thoughts

Director: Alexandre Astier, Louis Clichy

Writer: Alexandre Astier, Louis Clichy (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Christian Clavier, Guillaume Briat, Alex Lutz, Alexandre Astier, Elie Semoun

Plot: Getafix/Panoramix decides it’s time to pass the magic potion recipe on to a young, trustworthy druid. He looks all over Gaul with Asterix and Obelix as Demonix is out to get the recipe.

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fun for the Kids

Story: Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion starts as Fetafix is looking to pass on his magic skills to a new druid, with him needing to travel the land in search for one, even though he finds a replacement that would be against everything he has been taught. When Demonix looks to gain the power for himself, it becomes a race against time to find a replacement, with Gaul needing to keep defending itself from a new threat heading its way.

Thoughts on Asterix: The Secret of the Magic Potion

Final Thoughts When it comes to the Asterix franchise, be it comic book or animated series, it feels like you will need to be part of the back story behind the characters to get the truly enjoyable level out of this film. The story does show their wild adventures taking them across the land in search of a new person to hold the secret to the power of the people, with evil trying to gain control before it is too late. It doesn’t seem to have much magic in the story, with everything feeling overly stretched, rather than just having the adventures you would expect to see.

Overall: Animation 101.

Battle Scars (2020) Movie Review

Director: Samuel Gonzalez Jr

Writer: Samuel Gonzalez Jr, Christopher Lang (Screenplay) Samuel Gonzalez Jr, Christopher Lang, Michael Kuper (Story)

Starring: Arturo Castro, Jonathan Peacy, Kit Lang, Arielle Brachfeld, Laure Malone Hunt, Jason Vail

Plot: After his best friend is drafted to fight in Vietnam, a young man must grapple with the reality of life before and after war.

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Stark Reality of a War Veteran

Story: Battle Scars starts as Michael (Lang) is graduating high school, only for him to learn that Vinny (Castro) his best friend has been drafted to the army for the Vietnam war, not willing to let Vinny go along, Michael agrees to go with Vinny, to keep him safe.

In the war Michael loses a close friend and finds himself coming home to a not so favourable welcome, dealing with the nightmares of his experiences he suffered over there, turning to whatever, he can to survive.

Thoughts on Battle Scars

Characters – Michael is the main character here, starting of as an enthusiastic student ready to start the big world, only to agree to join his best friends in Vietnam, just as his girlfriend announces she is pregnant, he wants to show his loyalty to his friends, but upon returning he is a different man, a broken man, a lost man, facing no future, left to be a single father, a role he isn’t prepared for, struggling just to keep a roof over his head. We do meet the best friends that are lost at war, the people he meets after war, the people that tried to support, the others that use him and the rest that abuse him

PerformancesKit Lang in the leading role is brilliant, he shows each difficult moment of his life upon his return from war, show us just how difficult returning to society is. The rest of the cast are good, but not enough of them are part of the main story for long enough.

StoryThe story here follows a young man fresh out of high school that agrees to go to Vietnam to support his drafted friend, only to see the world in a very different light when he returns, as he struggles to re-enter society the way he had imagined he would, dealing with his own demons of his time at war. This story does highlight the struggles with PTSD that the soldiers returning from war suffered through, we see how without help the soldiers life spiralled out of control, without the study of the problems they faced, they are left with nothing in the world. We see just how much of his life changed, how he never recovered and always tried to see some positive in life.

WarThe war side of this film shows us more of the aftermath of being there, rather than the conflict itself.

SettingsThe film shows us the different locations that Michael is forced to find himself in as he tries to rebuild his life, some are places no one should be forced towards.


Scene of the Movie – The robbery decision.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We jump forward in time a lot between what happens in the life.

Final Thoughts This is an important drama that does show us just how important looking after war veterans is, and how there should be more made available to help them.

Overall: Important Drama.