ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – # – The 12 Disasters of Christmas (2012) Movie Review

Director: Steven R Monroe

Writer: Sydney Roper, Rudy Thauberger (Screenplay)

Starring: Ed Quinn, Magda Apanowicz, Holly Elissa, Roark Critchlow, Andrew Airlie, Ryan Grantham, Greg Kean

Plot: It’s Christmas Eve when an ominous dark star appears in the sky; could this star be a sign that Judgment Day is near? When massive earthquakes and natural disasters tear apart cities, it seems that the day of reckoning is upon us – and now a small band of heroes must come together to save the world!

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Enjoyable Disaster Film

Story: The 12 Disasters of Christmas starts on Jacey’s (Apanowicz) 18th birthday as she has a climbing day with her father Joseph (Quinn), the day takes a turn when Jacey’s grandmother gives her a ring claiming she is the chosen one.

Once the sky starts raining shards of ice, it becomes clear that this is just the latest disaster which is claiming the end of the world is coming, through different disasters, with only one person that can stop it, Jacey

Thoughts on The 12 Disasters of Christmas

Characters – Joseph is the husband and father that has been fighting to save his town from new control after seeing the jobs disappear, when the events of the disasters start happening, he will join his daughter in putting the clues together to try and stop the world ending, even if people do try and stop them. Jacey has just turned 18, she enjoys the physical hobbies including climbing, she wants to move away for college, which is the biggest strain in the relationship between her and her father, until she learns she is the chosen one that can stop the disasters, she gets put through pain whenever one is about to hit too. Mary is the mother and wife that is always around for medical problems the town is facing. Kane owns the town, he did grow up there, but has been looking to turn the town around to make more money for himself.

PerformancesEd Quinn does well enough in the leading role, this is a Syfy movie, so we know the performances aren’t going to be winning any awards, they just need to make sure they are passable for a film like this, which they whole cast is strong enough through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a small town that happens to be the epicentre of the end of the world after the prophecy claims that 12 disasters will signal the end of the world, unless the chosen one can stop it. The story does spin the idea of the 12 days of Christmas by turning it into different theories about disasters, which sadly is one of the weakest parts of the film because the disaster doesn’t match the songs ideas. If you look at this as a series of disasters, this is a fun enjoyable story, it plays out just like you would imagine, knowing who will die and when, usually just after giving the message, but it does feel fresh compared to most of the disaster films that don’t feel like they can be stopped with the power of one.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is a lot of different disasters, we have slow chases, nothing is truly ground breaking or leaves us with a giant set piece like most disaster films, while the sci-fi side of the film focuses on the idea of the world coming to an end, where the fantasy elements could be the one thing to stop it.

SettingsThe film is set in a small mountain town, which shows how close everybody is and how they would react to crisis.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are the low-budget ones we would expect, there is a couple of moments that work very well, even with the budget.


Scene of the Movie – The invisible wall.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The disasters don’t match the song lyrics which is implied by the title.

Final Thoughts This is a fun disaster movie, it keeps things simple, has plenty of peril and an idea that bigger things could happen if they are not stopped.

Overall: Simple and Fun.

3 Generations (2015) Movie Review

Director: Gaby Dellal

Writer: Nikole Beckwith, Gaby Dellel (Screenplay)

Starring: Elle Fanning, Linda Emond, Susan Sarandon, Naomi Watts, Andrew Polk, Marcos A Gonzalez

Plot: After Ray decides to transition from female to male, Ray’s mother, Maggie, must come to terms with the decision while tracking down Ray’s biological father to get his legal consent.


Tagline – In this family change is relative

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Important

Story: 3 Generations starts as we meet the three generations of women, Dolly (Sarandon), her daughter Maggie (Watts) and Maggie’s daughter Ray (Fanning) living in one apartment in New York City, Ray is starting her transition into a man, which sees Maggie willing to support the decision, Dolly struggling to understand it, while the biggest problem comes, from tracking down Ray’s father who must agree to the decision.

Thoughts on 3 Generations

Characters – Ray was born a woman, that wants to become a man, she has started the treatment, but must wait for parental consent to go through the procedure, he wants to start a new school, to have a new life as a man, which isn’t going to be easy for the rest of the family. Maggie is Ray’s mother who is trying to make the right decision, she has the fears and questions about how she raised Ray, thinking it could have been her fault and is worried he might change his mind, she will say yes to helping though it means going into her past to ask for help. Dolly and Frances are the women that raised Maggie and are trying to help even if they are not the most understanding of the situation, with Dolly usually saying the wrong thing.

PerformancesElle Fanning is brilliant in the leading role of the film, balancing the last stages of being a woman and first steps to being a man, showing the struggles she is facing. Naomi Watts shows the conflict she is facing through the film with ease, with Susan Sarandon adding moments of comedy to the serious side of the film.

StoryThe story here follows a teenage girl that is looking to go through the transition to become a man, with only the support of the women in her life, as we follow the family struggling to come to terms with the decisions being made. This story does show the difficulties in family’s that are going to go through this process, the complications if the family isn’t together still and the emotional damage it can do to the person who wants the change. Outside of this, we do look at the relationship between the generations involved, seeing how they do have their own problems to get through too.

SettingsThe film is set in New York City, which always is a wonderful place to have a backdrop for life stories.


Scene of the Movie – Family dinner.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Certain moments are overly complicated for no reason.

Final Thoughts This is an important look at the transitional process for a teenage girl, we get to see how families could always be fixed and how coming together can change things in life.

Overall: Importantly Well Acted Story.

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – # – 120 BPM (2017)

Director: Robin Campillo

Writer: Robin Campillo, Philippe Mangeot (Screenplay)

Starring: Nahuel Perez Biscayart, Arnaud Valois, Adele Haenel, Antoine Reinartz, Felix Maritaud, Ariel Borenstein

 

Plot: Members of the advocacy group ACT UP Paris demand action by the government and pharmaceutical companies to combat the AIDS epidemic in the early 1990s.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Important Drama

 

Story: 120 BPM starts when Nathan (Valois) looks to join the ACT UP group for homosexuals with aids fighting for their rights, Sophie (Haenel) and Thibault (Reinartz) lead the campaign which they make peaceful with fake blood being their only props.

As the fight continues to gain moment the group get to discuss issues in an open light which see them question a pharmaceutical company who is denying them medicine which could help prolong the life of the suffers, all while Nathan starts a relationship with one of the members of the group Sean (Biscayart).

 

Thoughts on 120 BPM

 

Characters – Sean is one of the active members of ACT UP group, he has been part of the group and will challenge the options of the group without going against them, he starts a relationship with Nathan as the two get to see just how much more they are fighting for. Nathan is the newest member of the group, he gets the chance to join after seeing what they are all about and it isn’t long before he knew this was where he was meant to be fighting for his right to live. Sophie runs eh campaigns for the group, she keeps them peaceful believing this will be the only way to keep their priorities in the right direction. Thibault helps run the group working with Sophie leading the campaigns for the rights of the people.

PerformancesWhen it comes to the performances here we get wonderful performances from the whole cast, each one shows the ability to have a calm and desperate side which is what the characters require if they are to get their points across. Nobody looks out of place in this movie.

StoryThe story here shows how the campaign to give the AIDS sufferers in France gained a movement through the 1990s, it showed how the homosexual community joined forces to peaceful protest to have the right to prolong their lives, while having their own tragic stories of how they became infected with AIDS. This story falls into the important genre because it shows just how important what these people fought for would be for the future of millions, be it through awareness of he disease or the potential cur that could one day save millions.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us the everyday life of the people involved, then the meeting locations with the campaign locations too.


Scene of the Movie –
The meetings.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel like a long movie.

Final ThoughtsThis an important movie and shows the struggles for equal rights when it comes to health care the people went through.

 

Overall: Important drama that needs watching.

Rating

 

 

7 Days (2016)

Director: Rolando Colla

Writer: Heloise Adam, Nicole Borgeat, Rolando Colla, Olivier Lorelle (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruno Todeschini, Alessia Barela, Marc Barbe, Linda Olsansky, Gianfelice Imparato, Aurora Quattrocchi

 

Plot: Ivan and Chiara meet on a beautiful Sicilian island to prepare for the wedding of Ivan’s brother and Chiara’s best friend. Despite the fact that Ivan is determined not to repeat the failure of his last relationship and Chiara does not want to jeopardise her marriage, the two fall in love with each other. They resolve to live their relationship for only a few days and then break it off when the wedding guests arrive on the island. However, they made such a plan, without taking love into account.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: An Affair to Forget

 

Story: 7 Days starts when Ivan (Todeschini) and Chiara (Barela) arrive on a Sicilian island to prepare for Richard (Barbe) and Francesca’s (Olsansky) wedding, this includes getting the hotel ready for guests and just making everything presentable for a ceremony.

The pair have seven days they must spend together, which will see them get involved in an affair, where they must both face a difficult decision about after.

 

Thoughts on 7 Days

 

Characters – Ivan has gone of this trip to help prepare his brother’s wedding, he doesn’t think the time limit is possible, but when he meets Chiara, he falls in love wanting to put a side his past relationship failings to be with her. Chiara is the best friend of the bride to be, she is also here to help prepare for the wedding, only she does have a partner back home, meaning that she is willingly cheating on him once the two fall in love, leaving her with the decision of whether to go back to him or not. Richard & Francesca are the couple that are getting married, trusting their friends and family to prepare their dream.

PerformancesBruno Todeschini in the leading role shows that he can show the struggle he is going through with the decisions in the film. Alessia Barela like wise show that her character will be put in a hard place with what is happening. The rest of the cast only have small roles which are not given a chance to make the most of their performance.

StoryThe story here follows two strangers that must work together to prepare a wedding, only for the to fall in love and spend the seven days together having an affair before being left to decide what to do next. This is one of those affairs based movies which isn’t the most interesting thing to watch as we get to see how the couple fall in love without a care in the world and both know the reality of how difficult life would be if they wanted to stay together. This doesn’t really do anything new to an affair based story which only ends going just like you would imagine.

SettingsThe film is set on a Silicon Island which does make a beautiful backdrop for the film. we do get to see how the island does feel lived in and does need improvement for a wedding.


Scene of the Movie –
The wedding.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Nothing we haven’t seen before.

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic affair movie without being anything we haven’t seen before, it gets the basic right without testing the audience enough.

 

Overall: Just another affair.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – # – 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea (2007)

Director: Gabriel Bologna

Writer: Eric Forsberg (Screenplay) Jules Verne (Novel)

Starring: Lorenzo Lamas, Sean Lawlor, Natalie Stone, Kim Little, Victor J Springer, Emilio Roso

Plot: Captain Nemo goes even deeper into insanity in this mesmerizing fantasy tale. Once again at the helm of his fearsome, wildly advanced vessel, the nautical madman endeavors to turn the world above the waves upside down.


Tagline – A New World Deep Below the Ocean … Has Declared War on Ours.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Bland

Story: 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea starts when a US Submarine becomes trapped in the Mariana Trent, Lt Michael Arronax (Lamas) and his crew are recruited to use their technology to rescue them, joined by LT Commander Lucille Conciel (Stone) they head off in the rescue attempt.

When Michael vessel clashes with Captain Nemo (Lawlor) the two do clash about rescue, wanting to be in control and his city like vessel is ready for anything Michael tries to throw at him, to stop the madman before he steals all his ideas.

Thoughts on 30,000 Leagues Under the Sea

Characters – Lt Michael Arronax has been working on a prototype that breath under water, which sees him recruited for a daring deep water rescue, he is reluctant to work with his ex-wife, though he does find himself facing up against a naval madman in Captain Nemo, he does believe in saving lives over equipment. Captain Nemo is the naval madman that has plans for the bottom of the ocean, he is willing to go to war with anybody or nation that tries to stop him. LT Commander Lucille Conciel is the ex-wife of Michael, she has been assigned for the mission by the military which gives Michael somebody to bicker with on the mission.

PerformancesThe performances in this film are not very impressive, they just seem to have no chemistry between them which only makes them working together feeling unlikely with the actors seeming to just deliver their lines without anything behind them.

StoryThe story here follows Arronax on a rescue mission where he finds and clashes with Captain Nemo who has big plans for the world above the water. This is a modernisation of the classic novel, without any of the guts and morale dilemmas required to make the story interesting. It does seem to just be a clash between the two, without anything behind what is going on, which just seems to follow a big scheme rather than any sort of action.

Action/Sci-FiThe action in the film is beyond basic, it is almost non-existent, the idea of the sci-fi side of the film doesn’t seem like too far from the future though which is even more surprisingly weak.

SettingsThe film clearly puts us in a couple of random ships which makes it feel like we are watching an old Star Trek episode over anything else.

Special EffectsThe effects are weak too, being all CGI which despite the budget never feels connected to anything going on in the film.


Scene of the Movie – The bubble machine.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Everything.

Final Thoughts This is a terrible version of a classic novel that just feels like lots of random scenes tied together with zero chemistry between the actors and a story that doesn’t even seem to end.

Overall: Terrible watch.

Rating