Apollo 13 (1995)

apolo-13Director: Ron Howard

Writer: William Broyles Jr, Al Reinert (Screenplay) Jim Lovell, Jeffrey Kluger (Book)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Bill Paxton, Kevin Bacon, Gary Sinise, Ed Harris, Kathleen Quinlan

 

Plot: NASA must devise a strategy to return Apollo 13 to Earth safely after the spacecraft undergoes massive internal damage putting the lives of the three astronauts on board in jeopardy.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Intensely Brilliant Drama

 

Story: Apollo 13 starts on 20th July 1969, the date Neil Armstrong landed on the moon, Jim Lovell (Hanks) a fellow astronaut who missed out on the moon landing on Apollo 8 is hosting a landing party with fellow astronauts Fred Haise (Paxton), Jack Swigert (Bacon), Ken Mattingly (Sinise) who are scheduled to work together on the Apollo 14 mission.

When the team who are planned for Apollo 13 lose their place Jim, Fred and Ken are placed in for Apollo 13 with Jack part of the backup team. This does mean moving the preparation forward 6 months but an astronaut with Jim’s experience is trust to lead this mission.

With the world seeing this mission as curse because of the number 13 the team does have to make a last-minute crew change with Jack replacing Ken who is according to medical records going to become sick on the mission, with two days to prepare with Jack the mission is a go with mission commander Gene Kranz (Harris) controlling the mission back at NASA.

With the mission going well, it turns out the television networks just don’t want to show the mission because they see no excitement from just going to the moon once again, but the astronauts don’t know this.

When disaster strikes, the astronauts must use their skills to survive while the NASA puts together a rescue solutions for the men who could be lost in space forever. With the disaster potentially happen the television networks pick up the story with the nation watching on to see if the crew of Apollo 13 will make it home.

 

Thoughts on Apollo 13

 

Characters/PerformanceAll the characters are based on the real people, with Jim Lovell being the experienced astronaut leading the team of first timers in space. The characters are all real and made to all be heroes through this story, unlike most films of similar nature we don’t have anyone remotely like a villain in this film.

Performance wise Tom Hanks shines in the decade where he just didn’t seem to put a foot wrong. We also get brilliant performance from the whole cast playing the characters perfectly throughout the film.stars

StoryThe story is one that even Hollywood couldn’t write, this is one if not the most famous story in space history that could rival the actual Moon landing. It shows how NASA could work in limited time to prevent disaster. You are drawn into this story for the whole film which is part history lesson and part edge of your seat thriller.

Adventure/HistorySpace travel became one of the most interesting parts of history in the late 60’s with the moon landing stealing the headlines, this story captures the idea to become one of the most important moments in history for NASA.

SettingsOutside the space shuttle all the settings including mission command all fit the time perfectly with the space shuttle being the highlight of the film because it shows how the men had nowhere to go to survive.

Special EffectsThe special effects for this film are brilliant as the film doesn’t turn to them too often but when it is needed we are left believing everything that is happening.genre

Final ThoughtsIf you want to learn about one of the most amazing stories of survival in human history this is the one for you to see.

 

Overall: Breath-takingly brilliant movie about one moment in human history.

Ratingrating

 

 

The Answer (2017)

Director: Iqbal Ahmed

Writer: Iqbal Ahmed (Screenplay)

Starring: Austin Hebert, Alexis Carra, David S lee, Adam Shapiro, Mark Deklin

 

Plot: After being attacked, an introverted young man must follow clues left by his dead parents in order to figure out who is after him – and who he really is.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Sci-Fi Thriller

 

Story: The Answer starts as we meet Bridd Cole (Hebert) a mild-mannered office delivery man, he has the ability to see things happening before disaster strikes and an early moments romance with new office worker Charlotte (Carra) makes everything look like a simple romantic drama, but No.

Things take a turn when masked me attempt to attack Bridd leaving him and Charlotte needing to go on the run for their lives. Armed with only a technology left by his deceased mother Bridd and Charlotte must look for the answers to just what is happening to his life.

 

Thoughts on The Answer

 

Characters/PerformanceBridd is your everyday man, he has a routine job that he doesn’t enjoy as he just goes about being normal as possible. He must deal with the change in his life as he learns his true identity. Charlotte is the office temp that starts with a first date with Bridd but ends up having to go on the run with his. Leader is the one controlling the people after Bridd but we don’t learn much about him until late into the film.

Performance wise, Austin Hebert works very well in this role, he doesn’t have the full action man look which is what we need from it. Alexis Carra is good as the strong streetwise female lead with David S Lee doing well as the villainous leader.

StoryThe story of an everyday person learning their true identity is a film we have done before and it takes a lot to find something fresh in the genre. This does that very well as we are left wondering just where everything will go and how big the situation is. Sure we do borrow from other films in places but overall this does grab your attention with the story from start to finish.

Romance/Sci-FiThe romance side of this film puts our main two characters on the journey for answers which is fine as it is a tool used to create opposites working together. The sci-fi side of everything comes once we learn more about Bridd and just what his involvement in the bigger picture is.

SettingsThe locations used are what you would expect from the genre of film about people on the run, none of them define any moment in the story.

Special EffectsThe effects are used well when needed but you can see the budget holding things back in places.

Final ThoughtsIf you like a god sci-fi mystery this one is for you to try.

 

Overall: Give it a go.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – A Cure for Wellness (2017)

Director: Gore Verbinski

Writer: Justin Haythe (Screenplay) Justin Haythe, Gore Verbinski (Story)

Starring: Dane DeHaan, Jason Isaacs, Mia Goth, Ivo Nandi, Adrian Schiller, Celia Imrie

 

Plot: An ambitious young executive is sent to retrieve his company’s CEO from an idyllic but mysterious “wellness center” at a remote location in the Swiss Alps, but soon suspects that the spa’s treatments are not what they seem.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Extended Mystery Horror Thriller

 

Story: A Cure for Wellness starts young executive Lockhart (DeHaan) is sent to a remote wellness centre in Switzerland to bring the CEO Pembroke (Groener) back to help close a merge in New York. After being involved in a car accident Lockhart finds himself with a broken leg and now a patient of the Wellness Program.

Still searching for Pembroke, Lockhart makes a deal with the director Volmer (Issacs) to stay for a couple of days to finish up the treatment for Pembroke. In this time Lockhart meets a mysterious young woman Hannah (Goth) the only other young patient who he tries to unlock the secrets of the program, which will test his own sanity.

 

Thoughts on A Cure for Wellness

 

Characters/PerformanceLockhart is the driven ambitious young man who has nearly reach the peak of his career at such a young age, he is haunted by his past which does include his father’s suicide and his mother’s death, this leaves him alone but in search for answers once he becomes the latest patient in the program. Volmer is the director of the clinic, he constantly remains calm through any incidents that occur and does have his own motives for the clinic. Hannah is the mysterious young woman also in the clinic, she is the only young patient there and she is Volmer’s main project but we are left to wonder about her past.

Performance wise, Dane DeHaan is good in this leading role and you can clearly see why he is tipped for a great career. Jason Isaacs always makes for a good doctor figure and this is no exception, while Mia Goth continues to make a name for herself in these stranger roles.

StoryThe story is filled with questions which always makes for a good story, I will have to point out that this is a long film nearing the 2 and half hour’s mark and even at that you can see how the pace can be questioned but it doesn’t feel long. We get a new look into the asylum genre which I feel is something we needed but the weakness is that we never hit the full levels of any of the genres involved.

Fantasy/Horror/MysteryThe fantasy elements of this film come from the world we are placed into, this also comes for the sci-fi side of everything too. The horror comes from see what happens within the walls which is quite shocking at times but the best use of the genres comes from the mystery element which keeps us guessing from start to finish as we simply don’t know where it will go.

SettingsWith most of the film taking place in the clinic we find ourselves trapped just like Lockhart in a place which doesn’t have an escape because being there means you don’t want to leave.

Final ThoughtsThis is one long mystery thriller that doesn’t stop you wanting to see where the film will go and then it will leave you shocked by the end.

 

Overall: A rewarding mystery thriller

Rating

 

 

American Mummy (2014)

Director: Charles Pinion

Writer: Charles Pinion, Greg Salman (Screenplay)

Starring: Suziey Block, Aidan Bristow, Aaron Burt, Esther Canata, Erin Condry, Jack Grimmett

 

Plot: A group of university students in the New Mexico desert unearth an ancient mummy, on which one of the students performs a secret, primeval blood ritual. This awakens the death-hungry spirit of the Aztec Lord Tezcalipoca, intent on finishing his centuries-old reign of terror. Soon, the mummy’s curse possesses the students’ souls, turning them against each other in a bid to spread his evil to the entire world.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Not Good Enough

 

Story: American Mummy starts as a couple of student discover an Aztec mummy in the New Mexico desert, Professor Jenson (Block) leads her team of students, Max (Bristow), Derek (Burt), Carmen (Canata), Conniee (Condry), Albert (Marr) and Becca (Ross) are all working on the discovery, but it is clear one of the students has alternative means for being there.

Once the ritual has been performed the mummy of the Aztec lord Tezcalipoca rises in search for blood, the surviving members of dig are forced to use their intelligence to stop the mummy from taking back over the whole world.

 

Thoughts on American Mummy

 

Characters/PerformanceThis is the part if hate, saying all the bad things about the poorly written characters, the Professor Jenson character doesn’t seem to have any idea, control or plan for the dig with the students falling into the generic we have all seen before.

Performance wise, we don’t get much improvement here, nobody does themselves any credit here and you are left wondering just what happened.

StoryI want to start this with saying I am a HUGE fan of the Mummy concept in films, I will watch any and give small idea a chance. going into this story I couldn’t help but think it missed on every level, it seems to mix Cabin Fever with a Mummy movie and doesn’t quite click.

HorrorWe have gore, sure but too me this is never scary which is what I want in a horror film.

SettingsWe are left in the desert for the most part of the movie which is fine but it could be any desert you would have expected someone would have found by now.

Special EffectsThe effects are all used for the gore and are fine without being anything special.

Final ThoughtsThis was a poor attempt to bring another Mummy film to life, it lacks characters we care about and a Mummy figure or disease that feels like a real threat.

 

Overall: Poor Mummy film.

Rating

 

 

Alien: Covenant (2017)

Director: Ridley Scott

Writer: John Logan, Dante Harper (Screenplay) Jack Paglen, Michael Green, Dan O’Bannon, Ronald Shusett (Story/Characters)

Starring: Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup, Danny McBride, Demian Bichir, Carmen Ejogo, Jussie Smollett

 

Plot: The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an uncharted paradise with a threat beyond their imagination, and must attempt a harrowing escape.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Plain Bad

 

Story: Alien Covenant starts with the colony ship the Covenant heading towards a new planet, a crew of 15 and over 2000 colonist on board with just Walter (Fassbender) the android running the ship. When the ship encounters a freak storm in space leads the crew suffering loses they need to let the new captain Oram (Crudup) guide them through the damage to the systems.

When the repairs find a ghost transmission from a planet which appears perfectly habitable Oram goes against first mate Daniels’ (Waterston) opinion to continue their mission and takes a crew to this planet.

While on the planet the crew learn, this planet isn’t as safe as they had thought as they learn the deadly species waiting to be awoken along with a discovery which will give them answers about one of the mysterious of space.

 

Thoughts on Alien: Covenant

 

Characters/PerformanceWalter is the latest model of the androids that joins the mission to do the jobs humans can’t manage he is good natured and understands his mission. Daniels is the second in command after the early tragedy, she doesn’t want to investigate the new planet but soon becomes the one we must rout for once she decides to fight. Oram is your standard captain trying to take the role with his own stamp, also he is meant to be religious. The rest of the crew are what you expect.

Performance wise, well this is where things get interesting, Fassbender is fine but let’s face it he is wasting his talent in movies like these. Waterston struggles to follow in the strong leading action heroine footsteps with Crudup being easily forgettable. This does have known names but nothing that comes off truly memorable in the performances.

StoryThe story looks to follow up what happened after the Prometheus in what just feels like a complete rip off, of plenty of films, we have horribly written characters that just do panic instead of being professional in the role that would remain calm through each situation. This is a rinse, repeat film that ends up being one of the most predictable movies you have ever seen.

Horror/Sci-FiThere is little to no horror in a movie that has ALIENS in which is the whole point. The sci-fi side of the story is all what you have come to expect from the genre without being anything fresh.

SettingsThe film looks beautiful and stunning throughout but they also don’t have anything looking original though.

Special EffectsThe special effects show us the settings looking almost flawless, it is the aliens which come off weak in places.

Final ThoughtsThis is a poor addition to the franchise of aliens, we barely see them and the science versus religion question doesn’t end up getting discussed enough.

 

Overall: Poor franchise addition that is weak in every single aspect.

Rating