ABC Film Challenge – Random – # – The 33 (2015)

Director: Patricia Riggen

Writer: Mikko Alanne, Craig Borten, Michael Thomas, Jose Rivera (Screenplay) Hector Tobar (Book)

Starring: Antonio Banderas, Rodrigo Santoro, Juliette Binoche, James Brolin, Lou Diamond Phillips, Mario Casas

 

Plot: Based on the real-life event, when a gold and copper mine collapses, it traps 33 miners underground for 69 days.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Incredible True Story, Slow Film

 

Story: The 33 starts as we follow our Chilean miners including family man Mario Sepulveda (Banderas) and safety inspector Don Lucho (Phillips) who is reluctantly backs down from their boss about the conditions inside the mine, believing the mountain will start to collapse in on itself.

When the mine does collapse, it leaves all 33 miners trapped hoping they might get rescued, well that is inside the mine. Outside the mine the miner’s families led by Maria Segovia (Binoche) demanded answers and help from the government with Laurence Golborne (Santoro) calling the shots, doing the best he can to find a way to rescue the miners. This is the incredible story of how the Chilean miners survived and were rescued.

 

Thoughts on The 33

 

Characters/PerformanceThe film is based on the real people involved, Mario is the one that takes control inside the mine, the reluctant hero even against the odds. Laurence is the government man that must do the right thing while working with the experts as well as keep the families happy. Maria is the sister of one of the miners and leads the protest to find answers about her brother and other miners.

Performance wise, Banderas shows himself to be the biggest star within the mine, we do get strange casting choices up next because we have a French actress playing a Chilean lady, and Irish man as a Chilean. But away from this we have good performances all around from the whole cast.

StoryThe story is one that we all followed on the news, it was one of the most must watch news stories of the 21st Century. Seeing the amazing story of how the men survived, the way a small town can together to bring a nation, then the world to see, beg and pray for these men is an incredible story of courage, strength and belief in the human race.

Biography/HistoryWhile we don’t truly get to know the men personally, we do see the 69 days that changed their lives. This will go down in history as one of our moments of greatness as a human race.

SettingsThe film is set between the mine which shows us just how trapped the character will be but we also see how the family members are working towards rescue.

Final ThoughtsThis is an incredible story that was one we followed and seeing this brings back the memories but in places this is slightly slow.

 

Overall: Great glimpse into history.

Rating

 

 

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4/20 Massacre (2018)

Director: Dylan Reynolds

Writer: Dylan Reynolds (Screenplay)

Starring: Jamie Bernadette, Vanessa Rose Parker, Stacey Danger, Justine Wachsberger, Marissa Pistone, Jim Storm, James Gregory

 

Plot: A group of five women go camping in the woods to celebrate a friend’s birthday over 4/20 weekend. But when they cross the turf of an illegal marijuana grow operation they must struggle to survive the living nightmare.


Tagline – Inhale. Exhale. Scream.

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slasher Fans Dream

 

Story: 4/20 Massacre starts as we follow our five friends Jess (Bernadette), Aubrey (Parker), Donna (Danger), Rachel (Wachsberger) and Michelle (Pistone) as they head off for a camping trip for Jess’ birthday on the holiday known as 4/20 (the motivation for this holiday will be revealed in the film, don’t worry I was completely lost on it too to start with).

As the weekend unfolds the girls have a drink, drug induced time in the woods nearly a local illegal marijuana operation, which brings them face to with a killer protecting their investment.

 

Thoughts on 4/20 Massacre

 

Characters – When we get into the characters it would be fair to say each one fits into a horror type for the slasher genre. Jess is the cleaner living of the group, the only one that won’t touch drugs and looks after the rest of the group, while celebrating her own birthday. Aubrey fits in the role of the one that is good at heart that has her own feeling for our lead and wants to use this weekend to show their feelings. Donna the stoner of the group spending more time high stating moments of the obvious, like Marty from Cabin in the Woods. Rachel is the womaniser of the group with her latest project along on the trip with Michelle being that project is the newest member of the group just trying not to say anything she shouldn’t around the friends.

PerformancesJamie Bernadette in a leading role again, this up and coming actress is a very busy lady of late with Killing Joan only just appeared on VOD. In this role she once again shows she can handle combat skills and strength to be the lead role, fingers crossed we will see her many more horror films. Diving into the rest of the cast we have good performances from all with Stacey Danger becoming the character you want to see more off.

StoryThe story isn’t the most difficult for anyone to follow, it follows five friends that are going for a camping trip only to find themselves needing to survive against a ruthless killer. There is on part of the story that sticks out, none of the film is set at night which is something that breaks the generic idea of slasher films. You don’t need anything too deep here, it does everything the story needs to do.

Action/HorrorThe action in the film plays hand in hand with the horror as we see the killer calculate his next kills in full action form, the horror is plenty of blood and gore with the kills, that do feel original even if the moments don’t feel like they have the tension being built in them.

SettingsThe film is set in the woods during the day, which breaks the mould for slasher movies which generally take place in the darkness.

Special EffectsThe effects used when it comes to thee kills are good throughout when it comes to the kills which feel unique in their own way.


Scene of the Movie –
Smoking alone.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many disposable characters.

Final ThoughtsThis movie plays into the slasher movies of old, it hits the marks on every level making us enjoy the film, it has great kills and a strong lead.

 

Overall: Enjoyable slasher movie.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – # – 20 Feet from Stardom (2013)

Director: Morgan Neville

 

Plot: Backup singers live in a world that lies just beyond the spotlight. Their voices bring harmony to the biggest bands in popular music, but we’ve had no idea who these singers are or what lives they lead, until now.


Tagline – Meet the unsung heroes behind the greatest music of our time.

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Documentary

 

Story: 20 Feet from Stardom starts as we meet different backup singers that have worked with the biggest names in music, Mick Jagger, Sting and Bruce Springsteen to mention a few, we follow these backup singers that have always wanted to sing, but not perform not giving them the fame the lead singer would get, despite the effect their singer put towards the songs.

 

Thoughts on 20 Feet from Stardom

 

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice documentary about the people that add something to the songs you know and love with their backup vocals, there stories of how they learned from the more famous performers while also aspiring to become the big names on their own stage. This is a documentary that shows that talent comes from each position on the stage.

 

Overall: Good documentary about the lesser known talents.

Rating

 

 

12 Strong (2018)

Director: Nicolai Fuglsig

Writer: Ted Tally, Peter Craig (Screenplay) Doug Stanton (Book)

Starring: Chris Hemsworth, Michael Shannon, Michael Pena, Navid Negahban, Trevante Rhodes, Geoff Stults, Thad Luckinbill

 

Plot: 12 Strong tells the story of the first Special Forces team deployed to Afghanistan after 9/11; under the leadership of a new captain, the team must work with an Afghan warlord to take down for the Taliban.


Tagline – The Declassified True Story of the Horse Soldiers

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Pulse Pounding Action Film

 

Story: 12 Strong starts on the day of 9/11, Captain Mitch Nelson (Hemsworth) witnesses the horrors of the terrorist attack on the Twin Towers, returning to his military base, he wants to lead her unit into battle against the Taliban in Afghanistan.

Once receiving permission and earning the right, Mitch is joined by Hal Spencer (Shannon) and his 10 other trusted soldiers that head into Afghanistan to work with the Afghan Warlord General Dostum (Negahban) as they unleashes the first attack in retaliation after the 9/11 attack.

 

Thoughts on 12 Strong

 

Characters – These soldiers are real people, Mitch Nelson is the unexperienced combat Captain that takes his driven man into battle, he must use his own smarts to be given the opportunity to be the first in the retaliation, he uses his knowledge to work with General Dostum as the two different cultures and ideas must come together for the battle. Hal Spencer is the second in command of the unit, he is older and offers the advice he soldier needs to get himself to the right answers. The rest of the unit all have their moments through the story and by the end you will believe you are watching a real unit.

PerformancesChris Hemsworth in the leading role is fantastic, he keeps himself looking like the star even though he needs to work with a unit to get the right answers, showing he can handle the serious roles once again. Michael Shannon in the supporting role shines even though it is strange seeing him in a good guy role after his recent run as a villain. The rest of the cast are great, they all have wonderful chemistry which the unit needs to pull this off.

StoryThe day of 9/11 shocked the world, America the most and this shows the plan to retaliate after the attacks, the first men to go into combat against the Taliban as they risked everything to get a strike back and prevent what was believed to be another big attack. This is a true story, this could easily have been a fictional story because after the mission starts, you are pulled into seeing just what the men will do to get the job done and of course it is an against the odd style mission.

Action/History/WarThe action sequences are shot in a brutal style that doesn’t hold back with what happens, we are left shocked by certain moments and on the edge of our seats the next because of the war time battle sequences.

SettingsThe settings look the part, we are mostly just in and around caves and canyons which is where the Taliban would be hiding and preparing.

Special EffectsThe effects for the battle sequences are flawless, looking brutal and the stunt team need praise for the work they have put into this movie.


Scene of the Movie –
The final surge, wonderfully shot moment.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is ‘we are America, we are great’

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the best war movies or recent years, it shows the brutally of the war, the thin line between good and evil between the Afghan units and just how bringing together two cultures can unit for a same enemy.

 

Overall: Must watch action movie.

Rating

 

 

 

2047: Virtual Revolution (2017)

Director: Guy-Roger Duvert

Writer: Guy-Roger Duvert (Screenplay)

Starring: Mike Dopud, Jane Badler, Jochen Hagele, Maximilien Poullein, Kaya Blocksage

 

Plot: Paris 2047. Most of the population spend all their time online, connected into virtual worlds, and don’t care anymore about reality. A shadow agent, Nash, working for one of the multinational companies behind these virtual worlds, is tracking down terrorists who threaten the system…


Tagline – The revolution did happen… Just not the way they thought it would.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Strong Addition to the Sci-Fi World

 

Story: 2047: Virtual Revolution starts as we enter the world where people lock themselves inside to enter virtual reality worlds in the near future, 2047. When someone starts performing terrorist actions inside the game, Nash (Dopud) a shadow agent is hired by the company reporting to Dina (Badler) on his findings to do about the crimes.

To learn who is behind this terrorist attack inside the game Nash takes over an avatar of one of the terrorists and infiltrates the cell online, but not everything is completely what it seems.

 

Thoughts on 2047: Virtual Revolution

 

Characters – Nash is an off the grid shadow agent, he gets hired to find a terrorist that is killing people inside a virtual reality world, he uses his contacts to get the job done as he is one of the few people that doesn’t spend his whole time logged into the virtual reality world. Dina is the owner of a cooperation that is seeing her customers murdered, she hires Nash to find the people behind it. Stilson is part of the Interpol unit that is searching for answers too, looking at both the companies and the terrorists.

PerformancesMike Dopud in the leading role is good, he has the grittiness for his character of the detective that finds himself in the middle of a bigger battle. The rest of the cast are good and fit their characters well through the film.

StoryThe story takes into a world where people hide from reality in a virtual world everyday all the time. When a movement wants to end this a Shadow Agent must work his way through all the different parties to figure out who is doing the right thing for the world, for what he wants from the world and work out who the terrorists really are. This story does keep you guessing by having plenty of different twists in the story, different sides to the story and puts us into a future which could be a reality for some. We need to have a story that keeps us guessing here otherwise we will find ourselves feeling empty and the way this all unfolds does feel like something we have seen before, but does have enough twists to make it original too.

Action/Crime/Sci-FiThe action is steady, we have a mix of fights in both the real world and the virtual world with the second offer bigger chances to fight. There is a crime conspiracy going on and we must figure out who is the one that is guilty, the future world helps with the sci-fi concepts with the bleak world we enter and the virtual world we enter.

SettingsThe settings show both the bleak future world, mostly in backdrops though and the virtual world only seems to be a swords and armour battle location.

Special EffectsThe effects are limited for a world that could be all about the effects, this doesn’t mean they are bad just not needed to tell this world.


Scene of the Movie –
Learning the truth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me While this gets away without using effects, it could have had a couple to help show the bleakness of the modern world.

Final ThoughtsThis is a smart idea for a sci-fi film, it keeps you guessing from start to finish, it takes us into a modern world that works well with strong performances.

 

Overall: Good sci-fi movie that deserves attention.

Rating