ABC Film Challenge – Thriller – # – 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain (2017)

Director: Scott Waugh

Writer: Madison Turner (Screenplay) Eric LeMarque, Davin Seay (Book)

Starring: Josh Hartnett, Mira Sorvino, Sarah Dumont, Kale Culley, Jason Cottle, Austin R Grant

 

Plot: An adrenaline seeking snowboarder gets lost in a massive winter storm in the back country of the High Sierras where he is pushed to the limits of human endurance and forced to battle his own personal demons as he fights for survival….”


Tagline – Never lose hope.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Survival Film 101

 

Story: 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain starts as we meet the former rising ice hockey star Eric LeMarque (Hartnett) who has thrown his career away because of his drug addiction, facing a trial he decides to stay out of the limelight and head to the mountains for some snowboarding.

When a storm hits Eric finds himself lost in the mountain range, forced to survive on what he has, using his memories as motivation as he continues to battle his own addiction

 

Thoughts on 6 Below: Miracle on the Mountain

 

Characters – Eric LeMarque had a future as one of the top ice hockey players, he threw this away with hiss reckless behaviour which has seen his career all but gone. With his addiction taking over his life, he finds himself hitting rock bottom and needing to find some hope. Heading for a snowboard away from the world he ends up lost in the harsh wilderness doing everything he can to survive in the conditions which will test his desire to get over his addictions and rebuild his life. Susan is his mother, she has always supported her son and will do anything to help him put his life back on track and is the first to notice he hasn’t been heard from for days. Sarah is one of the rescue team on the mountain, she leads the search once they learn that Eric is missing.

PerformancesJosh Hartnett in the leading role does a good job, even if it feels slightly mis-cast because you get the feeling Eric was a lot younger than Hartnett. Mira Sorvino and Sarah Dumont are both solid in the supporting roles as we see them both needing to make difficult decisions.

StoryThe story here follows the incredible survival story of Eric LeMarque as he faces days lost in the snow-covered mountain range without anyone searching for him for days, while also battling his own demons of addiction. The story itself is based on the real events that happened to the man who needed to rebuild his life. This does show us just how hard the survival was, though it just doesn’t become the truly engrossing story it could have been, because anything that happens is something we have seen before, be it wolves or injuries. Eric isn’t the most likely guy either because anyone that throws away a sporting career for drugs frustrates the audience. The rescue side of the film either needed to be a bigger involvement or not involved at all, we simply don’t get enough focus on what is happening on this side of the film.

Adventure/BiopicThe adventure side of the film shows us just what could go wrong for an ambitious rush can turn into a battle to survive. The biopic side of the film shows us the days which Eric is lost in the harsh snowy mountain conditions as he battles to survive and his own demons.

SettingsThe film puts us in the mountain range covered in snow, showing us how easy it could be to become lost and how hard it would be to survive.


Scene of the Movie –
The climb.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Hartnett feels too old for this role.

Final ThoughtsThis is a by the book survival story, it does show an incredible fight to survive and does give us a form of redemption for a young man who was throwing his life away.

 

Overall: By the books survival film.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Crime – # – 22 Chaser (2018)

Director: Rafal Sokolowski

Writer: Jeremy Boxen (Screenplay)

Starring: Brian J Smith, Kaniehtiio Horn, Raoul Max Trujillo, Aaron Ashmore

 

Plot: One of the city’s last decent tow truck drivers risks everything on a desperate quest to become king of the road and provide for his struggling family.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Burner

 

Story: 22 Chaser starts as we meet Ben (Smith) a tow truck driver who has been struggling to keep everything together with his family and with friendly rivalries in the field with the like of Wayne (Trujillo) and Sean (Ashmore) who offer him the advice he needs.

When his company gets a big break he must make the decision to continue to work for the company even if it means he must pay upfront it should bring more money back at the end, while his wife Avery (Horn) trying to get into cookery school. We are left to see just how far he will go.

 

Thoughts on 22 Chaser

 

Characters – Ben is an honest hard-working tow truck driver, he does the right thing for the injured people on accident sites which often loses him the tows. He is struggling with money back home which is putting a strain on his marriage and on this one night he will go for broke to make his son’s birthday special. Avery is Ben’s wife who is being strong around their son, trying to push Ben into a better life for them both. The rest of the characters we meet a different people in the tow truck business, we see how they operate both sides of the law.

PerformancesBrian J Smith in the leading role shows how desperate side to his character, we feel how much he needs his break from this world and life. When we dive into the rest of the cast each performer is good without taking the spotlight off Brian.

StoryThe story here focuses on a tow truck driver that needs to learn the reality of the game he is in, while trying to support his family, it is strange that we can compare this to ‘Nightcrawler’ when talking about the story because it shows us one man that gets deeper into a field that has darker sides about it becoming everything he doesn’t want to be to make sure his wife and child are supported. It does show how hard working people are often over looked until they show a meaner side. This isn’t the deepest and stories and does have a slow pace about it for the most part which can bring it down at times.

CrimeThe crime side of the film shows us how Ben can fall into the wrong side of the law when it comes to making the right decisions about what is happening with accidents, he doesn’t cause them and the competition can become fierce.

SettingsThe film keeps us in a big city, this gives us enough reason for traffic accidents to happen and shows us who the people cleaning them up are.


Scene of the Movie –
The race to the accident.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The pacing is very slow early on.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid enough movie that does get to put us in the world of tow trucks, showing the competition between drivers for jobs and how good guys might not always be first on call.

 

Overall: Slow but interesting crime drama.

Rating

 

 

3 Lives (2019)

Director: Juliane Block

Writer: Wolf-Peter Arand, Juliane Block (Screenplay)

Starring: Mhairi Calvey, Anatole Taubman, Maja-Celine Probst, Victor Afieri, Tyron Ricketts, Martin Kaps

 

Plot: A woman on the run from ruthless kidnappers discovers her rescuer is the man jailed for attacking her 15 years earlier.


Tagline – Know Your Enemy

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Thriller 101

 

Story: 3 Lives starts when a therapist Emma (Calvey) gets kidnapped after years of being on the run, left trapped with Jamie (Kaps) and Ben (Ricketts) a man that went to prison for her first kidnapping, despite being considered the rescuer. The three escape, with three men Thoms (Taubman), Piggy (Alfieri) and Frotti (Riley) chasing them down.

With Emma, Jamie and Ben trying to figure out why they are kidnapped, Emma starts looking back on her previous experience, hoping to uncover more about why Ben acted the way she believes he did, as he seems to be the only one guiding them to safety.

 

Thoughts on 3 Lives

 

Characters – Emma is a therapist that has been helping victims of violent crimes, she knows what it is like to have been a victim after previously being kidnapped and raped, she finds herself getting kidnapped once again and left wondering if the right person took the blame for the crime against her. Jamie is a man that has been kidnapped too, he believes that Ben was innocent and doesn’t want Emma to trust him while they plan to escape, he doesn’t seem to have any experience of the woods though. Ben is the man who claimed to be the rescuer of Emma before, only to take the blame for the crime, he sees this as a chance to redeem himself for what she believes he might have done, he knows how the survive in the conditions and is always thinking about survival. Thoms is leading the men hunting them down, with his training to make him a brilliant tracker through the woods.

PerformancesMhairi Calvey in the leading role is strong though the film, she does make us believe that her character has been a victim, while showing the strength to face the man that did this too her. Tyron Ricketts give us a strong supporting performance as a man who remains stronger than the broken version of himself could be. Martin Kaps brings us the annoying figure trapped in the woods, he does the I’m the nice guy routine with ease, while also bring us the ‘you’re an idiot’ side to his character.

StoryThe story here follows a woman that finds herself kidnapped again, going face to face with the man who went to prison for raping her years ago, now they are joined by another man from their past as they look to escape hunters in the woods looking to eliminate them. The story does tackle the serious affects of sexual assault, how the victim’s life will never be the same, we see how they can confront the person and still remain unsure of the real events of what happened because of the trauma involved such an act. The survival aspect of the story doesn’t reach the levels of peril it could do, while the constant back and forth that goes on trying to point figures between Emma, Ben and Jamie gets confusing because most of it is wondering why they have been selected. The story is saved by the final act which will put the pieces together and make sense of everything we have seen beforehand.

ThrillerThe film never reaches the full level of the intensity that it could, with the being hunted side of the story being the weaker and never putting the characters in a level of peril which does feel believable.

SettingsThe victims find themselves in the middle of the woods with nowhere to run that makes sense to them, it makes them feel lost and looking for answers to why they are there, creating isolation from their real world.


Scene of the Movie –
Final act.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The hunters never feel like they are dangerous.

Final ThoughtsThis is a strong drama with thriller on its arm, it tackles a real life problem of sexual abuse in a new way that will get a chance to see just how difficult it can be for a victim to speak up or even remember the full events of what happened to them.

 

Overall: Thriller with deeper meaning.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – # – 22 Bullets (2010)

Director: Richard Berry

Writer: Richard Berry, Mathieu Delaporte, Alexandre de La Patelliere, Eric Assous (Screenplay) Franz-Olivier Giesbert (Novel)

Starring: Jean Reno, Kad Merad, Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Marina Fois, Joey Starr, Richard Berry, Venantino Venantini, Claude Gensac

 

Plot: A retired mobster goes on a revenge spree after being left for dead with 22 bullets in his body by his former childhood friend.


Tagline – Le sang versé ne sèche jamais (Spilt blood doesn’t dry)

Runtime: 1 Hour 57 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brutal Action Film

 

Story: 22 Bullets starts when retired Mafia godfather Charly Mattei (Reno) is ambushed by multiply gun man who riddle his body with bullets, 22 in his body and somehow, he survives the attack. The man behind the attack Tony Zacchia (Merad) wants the job finished so he can take the control he wants over the business, while detective Marie Goldman (Fois) has her own scores to settle with Mafia who were behind her husband’s and fellow cops’ death.

Charly brings his trusted friends back together to go into a full-blown war with Tony which see the bodies piling up, until he can get his hands-on Tony himself.

 

Thoughts on 22 Bullets

 

Characters – Charly Mattei is the retired Mafia godfather that walked away from the business with strict rules on how it will continue, he gets left for dead by the new boss who wants to play by his own rules. Now the bear has been poked he will seek revenge on everyone who tried to eliminate him, no matter how many bodies get left in his way, he knows this is the only way to keep his family safe. Tony Zacchia has taken over the business, he doesn’t want to play by the same rules though, he needs to take care of Charly before changing the rules and after that attempts fails, he starts to throw waves of men as Charly to finish the job. Martin is the closest friend to Charly, he will help make the connections to who else was involved in the assassination attempt. Marie Goldman is a cop that lost her husband to the Mafia, she has wanted to take them down for years now and this will be her best chance after she get put in the middle of the blood war.

PerformancesJean Reno is fantastic in the leading role of the film, he brings back the type of performance we saw in Leon where he is the cold-hearted killer with the heart of gold. Kad Merad, Jean-Pierre Darroussin are both good in the supporting role, though it can be easy to mix the two up. Marina Fios is good as the detective trying to get to the bottom of everything with her own tragic back past.

StoryThe story here follows a former Mafia Godfather that goes on a revenge mission against the new godfather after he failed to have his assassinated bring France into a battle for power between the two leading sides in the war. This does play out like a revenge thriller with plenty of bullets, we have seen this done most recently with John Wick and this follows the same tone and body numbers you would be seeing in this one. The added side story of the cop wanting to final takedown the person who killed her husband adds to everything making this feel like a three-way war between the sides. The does play out how you would imagine which is great to see and the story doesn’t hold back either.

Action/CrimeThe action is brutal when it comes to the bullet wound, even if certain moments can become overkill when it comes to the bullets flying. The crime world shown gives us an insight into the world in and out of the world with people wanting out or control.

SettingsThe film is set in Marseille which shows us a new type of city for a crime film to take place in, we have all the locations you would imagine for a Mafia film.


Scene of the Movie –
Dinner meeting.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Sometimes overkill.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable action revenge thriller, that puts Jean Reno front and centre on a bloody rampage, one well worth watching for the action fans.

 

Overall: Enjoyable Action Film.

Rating

 

 

10,000 Days (2014)

Director: Eric Small

Writer: Eric Small (Screenplay)

Starring: John Schneider, Peter Wingfield, James Harvey Ward, Kim Myers, Lisa Pelikan, Kenneth Meseroll, Riley Smith

 

Plot: Ten thousand days ago, Comet 23 struck Earth with the magnitude of all the nuclear weapons in the world sending the planet into a deep freeze. Now, 27 years in the future, those who survived are locked in an epic battle of life or death.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 31 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Typical Sci-Fi Bore Fest

 

Story: 10,000 Days starts as we enter the world 27-years after a comet struck Earth putting the survivors into a permanent ice age, we follow two groups of survivors, once together now at war, William Beck (Schneider) on one side, Remy Farnwell (Wingfield) on the other.

As the Beck’s discover moments of truth about the disaster and a potential cure, Remy is playing his attack to take their base, the race against time for human survival is on.

 

Thoughts on 10,000 Days

 

Characters – William Beck runs one of the clans in the frozen land, he has kept his people safe, always searching for the next way to survive, hopefully peacefully even against his enemy, he knew the world before the disaster and now he wants to return to it. Remy Farnwell leads the rival clan, living on the ice he fell out with the Beck’s wanting revenge for the betrayal as he sees it. He doesn’t mind killing people in the battle which he has made too personal. We do have a lot of characters in this film, William has three sons that all look exactly the same, we have the scientist figures which seems to be three different female characters, a pilot who failed to stop the comet who still lives with the nightmare. We get so many characters it truly is hard to keep up or invest in any of them.

PerformancesThe performances, well this is difficult because nearly all the actors and characters look the same, it is difficult to figure out who the lead is, nobody has any sort of emotional factor or strong moments to stand out.

StoryThe story is the end of the world happened, we are now in an ice age which could be coming to an end, but two war driven clans want control of the best location. This sounds interesting enough, you would be wrong, we have moments of discovery, moments of war, though this just never knows which one is the most important. Sadly, this only ends feeling boring, we don’t get invested in the characters and for some reason the film kind of just ends with a massive cliff hanger.

Sci-FiThe world has ended and now an ice-age has hit, well that is the sci-fi side of the film.

SettingsThe film give us generic location which include ice area or cold looking warehouse.

Special EffectsThe effects here are just terrible and look completely fake.


Scene of the Movie –
The concept should work.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The Effects.

Final ThoughtsThis is a poor sci-fi movie that just doesn’t become interesting at any point in the film.

 

Overall: Boring throughout.

Rating