ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – D – Daylight’s End (2016)

Director: William Kaufman

Writer: Chad Law (Screenplay)

Starring: Johnny Strong, Lance Henriksen, Louis Mandylor, Hakeem Kae-Kazim, Krzysztof Soszynski

 

Plot: Years after a mysterious plague has devastated the planet and turned most of humanity into blood-hungry creatures, a rogue drifter on a vengeful hunt stumbles across a band of survivors in an abandoned police station and reluctantly agrees to try to help them defend themselves and escape to the sanctuary they so desperately need.


Tagline – The apocalypse was just the beginning

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: By the Book Action Horror

 

Story: Daylight’s End starts as we enter a world with zombie like vampire creatures, that act like zombies but can only come out at night, we meet drifter Rourke (Strong) who has been hunting them for years, now he rescues Sam (Edmundson) a survivor from a larger group run by Frank (Henriksen) hiding out in a police station.

Rourke has found a plane which gives the survivors a reason to fight to escape from the nightmare they are facing, which divides the group who must learn to put their difference a side to survive in a new location.

 

Thoughts on Daylight’s End

 

Characters – Rourke is the lone drifter that has always kept to himself when it came to dealing with the creatures, now joining a group he looks to lead them to safety, he has a broken past like most in this world, he is ruthless to the bad guys and helpful to the good guys. Frank is the leader of the survivors, he doesn’t trust Rourke to start with, but soon must learn to trust him even if it means risking others.

PerformancesJohnny Strong is good in the leading role, he looks the part for a reluctant hero which is needed for this film. Lance Henriksen is always a draw in the horror world and this is no different working for the film. The rest are good without being anything over the top or weak.

StoryThe story is lone drifter that helps group of survivors escape from a trapped location where they are only surviving over having an escape plan. This has been done before, it is a tried and tested formula for action horror which is good, but it doesn’t offer anything new to the genre. There isn’t the deepest side to anything going on either.

Action/Horror/Sci-FiThe action is firing guns, running and rolling around fights nothing too difficult to enjoy. The horror is with the creature used which are good enough to be a threat for our survivors in the sci-fi look at the destroyed Earth.

SettingsThe setting take us to a big city as we see the survivors needing to find a way to survive the situation.

Special EffectsThe effects are fine, they work for the film without being overly used throughout.


Scene of the Movie –
Battling the Alpha

That Moment That Annoyed Me Borrowing the 28 Days Later music.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very simple action horror, it is one you could easily sit back and enjoy without being tested too much.

 

Overall: Easy to Watch

Rating

 

 

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Robin Williams Weekend – Dead Poets Society (1989)

Director: Peter Weir

Writer: Tom Schulman (Screenplay)

Starring: Robin Williams, Robert Sean Leonard, Ethan Hawke, Josh Charles, Gale Hansen, Dylan Kussman, Allelon Ruggiero

 

Plot: English teacher John Keating inspires his students to look at poetry with a different perspective of authentic knowledge and feelings.


Tagline – He was their inspiration. He made their lives extraordinary.

Runtime: 2 Hours 8 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One of the Greatest Movies

 

Story: Dead Poets Society starts as the new school year is starting at an elite boarding school for boys, Todd Anderson (Hawke) is following in his brother’s footsteps by attending, shy and not fitting in with the others. Neil Perry (Leonard) is the charismatic leader of a study group, following his father’s instruction to become a doctor, he welcomes Todd into their group.

The English teacher is a former student John Keating (Williams) who uses different methods to get his message over, including letting the boys know about his former club, ‘The Dead Poets Society’ this gives the boys a chance to experience poetry, both reading and writing, giving the boys a life lesson, no teacher could ever teach them.

 

Thoughts on Dead Poets Society

 

Characters – John Keating is the English teacher that has returned to the school he attended to teach the boys. He has unorthodox methods to teach life lessons to show them that learning doesn’t have to be boring, it can be enlightening. Todd Anderson is the shy new guy in the school, he is taken under the wing by the confident Neil and with both Neil and John motivating him to come out of his shell, he becomes the boy with the potential. Neil Perry is the class leader of the students, he is confident even though he is living the life his father wants him to, the father than has control over him, he pushes by following his own dreams of being an actor, showing the pressure a parent can put on their children.

PerformancesRobin Williams was at the peak of his talents here, he shines in his role which isn’t as loud as previous films, he keeps his performance restrained which is needed to be the leader his character it to the boys. Ethan Hawke is good in this movie, he did break out with his performance of a character that is the one that needs to come out of his shell the most. Robert Sean Leonard is wonderful, he shows the strength around the fellow students and the weakness around his father, which gives us the perfect example of the pressure his character would be feeling.

StoryThe story follows the one teacher that wanted to teach his students to follow their dreams, show their potential to the world, instead of just being part of the system. We follow part of the year which shows how John Keating inspires the boys to go come out of their shells, one to become the person he is hiding from, another to go against his father’s wishes, one to stand up against the whole system and one to be able to show his love for a girl. This shows us that not everything needs to be by the book and different directions can help people learn more than ever before.

ComedyThe comedy for the film helps take the film to a light-hearted nature instead of just being a serious drama which is what John Keating is trying to show the boys, life isn’t all serious.

SettingsThe film takes part in the boarding school, this shows the rules and regulation the boys are being taught to follow, which gets reflected in how the boys are being taught differently by Keating.


Scene of the Movie –
Oh Captain, My Captain!

That Moment That Annoyed Me I hate these types of schools.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the great movies of the 80’s one of the best of Robin Williams career and one that should inspire all to achieve greatness.

 

Overall: Simply Great.

Rating

 

 

Devil’s Cove (2018)

Director: Erik Lundmark

Writer: Chloe Traicos (Screenplay)

Starring: Chloe Traicos, Christelle Baguidy, Michael Keyes, Sammy Anderson, Mindee de Lacey, Caesar James, Jeff Prater, Cameron Barnes

 

Plot: An interracial lesbian couple commit a murder and have to flee for their lives.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Edgy Thriller

 

Story: Devil’s Cove starts as we see how Jackie (Traicos) and Toni (Baguigy) are on the run after killing Toni’s husband Rick (Barnes), going to their go to bar ‘Devil’s Cove’ the bar is run by Alan (Keyes) and is filled with the regulars.

We flash back to see how Jackie and Toni became friends and lovers. We are given interviews from the friends that are looking back on the events which led up to the murder before the girls go on the run.

 

Thoughts on Devil’s Cove

 

Characters – Jackie is the loose cannon, recently out of prison, she is in a loveless relationship and enjoys pressing people buttons the wrong way. She does become interested in helping Toni come out of her shell, but soon becomes the dangerous part of the partnership. Toni is the naïve woman that arrives to be the new wife to one of the locals, she doesn’t know anyone else there and struggles to fit into this world, Jackie shows her a new sign to life and what she gets pushed into could release her from her toxic marriage. Rick is the abusive husband of Toni’s he has been married before and his reputation has caused him problem. Alan is the bar owner that has always tried to keep things natural in his bar.

PerformancesChloe Traicos also has her hands in the writing and producing of this movie. She takes the leading role where she does give us an on-edge character whose every move does feel unpredictable. Christelle Baguidy gives us a good performance as the naïve partner in crime, we believe she doesn’t want to be part of it and she looks beautiful on this role. The male members of the cast are strong without being able to take the spotlight off the leading ladies.

StoryThe story here does channel moments of ‘Thelma & Louise’ by having the two women on the run from the law. This isn’t on the same path because we focus mostly on how Toni is experiencing the events unfolding compared to how Jackie seems to be enjoying the journey. It does touch on domestic abuse being the catalyst for the new attitude even if everything does follow the paths we know it will go. For the thrillers fans out there, this will be keep you on edge because you just don’t know where things will go next. I did like how the interview style was used to show how other characters react to the events.

ThrillerThis does keep us guessing to where things will go next for the girls on run which is all we want when it comes to the thrilling side of the story.

SettingsThe film keeps us in a dead end town, we focus on the bar where everyone hangs out before going on the run which shows us far freedom can be.


Scene of the Movie –
The murder because we understand the motive.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The casual suicide side story, which almost becomes a running joke.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good thriller that gives us two very strong female characters in a world they wish to escape even if their methods are not the most legal.

 

Overall: Thriller to enjoy.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – D – Downfall (2004)

Director: Oliver Hirschbiegel

Writer: Bernd Eichinger (Screenplay) Joachim Fest, Traudi Junge, Melissa Muller (Book)

Starring: Bruno Ganz, Alexandra Maria Lara, Corinna Harfouch, Ulrich Matthes, Ulrich Matthes, Juliane Kohler, Heino Ferch

 

Plot: Traudl Junge, the final secretary for Adolf Hitler, tells of the Nazi dictator’s final days in his Berlin bunker at the end of WWII.


Tagline – April 1945, a nation awaits its…

Runtime: 2 Hours 36 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful & Revealing

 

Story: Downfall starts as we see Traudi Junge (Lara) hired by Adolf Hitler (Ganz) to be his next secretary, she would stay in this role for 2 and half years, as we pick up the story as the Nazi’s soldiers are facing the battle to keep Berlin, one of their last strong holds in Europe.

In the final days we see how Hitler is losing the loyalty of the ones he trusted most and is finding himself facing certain defeat, but he isn’t going down without fighting.

 

Thoughts on Downfall

 

Characters – The characters in this movie are based on real people, any discussion is only about how they are depicted in this movie, my opinions are not being discussed here. Adolf Hitler is the leader of the Nazi’s they have been at war with Europe for years, not the battle looks like it will be ending, he has lost faith in the people he trusted to lead for him and no he is cleaning up the people that betrayed him, preparing for defeat, but never giving up full hope in recovering. This version of Hitler is like any dictator that is about to lose, he has given everything for his own belief and demands loyalty through even the worst times. Traudi Junge is the final secretary for Hitler, she is one of the only non-military people to know what Hitler was thinking, how he was acting in those final days. We do meet plenty of the people closest to Hitler, family and military in the final days the ones that stood with him and the ones that betrayed him.

PerformancesBruno Ganz is fantastic in this leading role, he gives us multiply memorable moments even though he is playing such a hated man in history. Alexandra Maria Lara is great in her role while the cast in the whole does nothing wrong all giving us great performances through the film.

StoryThe story here shows the final days of Hilter’s reign of terror over Europe, now this isn’t going to be something that everyone will want to see, because we know how diabolical the actions of the Nazis were. Withdrawing myself from any personal connection to this story, we are left with a very interesting take on how a fallen dictator will be taking everything before the battle is finally over, how the people closest to him would act, be it fear of him, fear of the consequences or even the reality they could now be free from his power. The chaos is clear to see, the betrayal he feels is shocking to see for someone that is meant to be so feared by his own side and the relief for the innocent is clear to see. This story isn’t going to be easy to watch, but the story is essential for any war historian.

Biopic/HistorySeeing the final days of Hitler before facing his impending defeat is interesting to see unfold the biopic and historical side of the film shows this in an accuracy unheard of before.

SettingsThe film does take us to what feels like a realistic setting for the whole film, the middle of battle at times and in the last strong hold Hitler held.


Scene of the Movie –
Protecting the family.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is very long over 2 and half hours.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most essential historical viewings of any movie, it shows the defeated dictator facing his reality while the high ranking generals etc doing whatever it takes to serve or betray him to survive.

 

Overall: Must watch historical drama

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Dumb and Dumber To (2014)

Director: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly

Writer: Bobby Farrelly, Peter Farrelly, Sean Anders, John Morris, Bennett Yellin, Mike Cerrone (Screenplay)

Starring: Jim Carrey, Jeff Daniels, Rob Riggle, Laurie Holden, Rachel Melvin, Steve Tom, Don Lake

 

Plot: Twenty years since their first adventure, Lloyd and Harry go on a road trip to find Harry’s newly discovered daughter, who was given up for adoption.


Tagline – The average person uses 10% of their brain capacity. Imagine what he could do with 1%.

Runtime: 1 Hour 49 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Embarrassing Sequel

 

Story: Dumb and Dumber To starts after the twenty years has passed, Lloyd (Carrey) has been playing a coma out for this time with Harry (Daniels) seeing him every week, when Lloyd ends the joke, we learn Harry needs a new kidney and discovers he has a long lost daughter, leading to the two going on another cross-country trip to locate her.

 

Thoughts on Dumb and Dumber To

 

Characters – Lloyd and Harry are both back, only twenty years older and still not on the intelligence level of the average person, strangely they do seem to be dumber than last time out. The mis-adventures continue for them and they cross the line in ways they never did before. We have the criminal characters who are not the most notorious of all them either.

PerformancesJim Carrey has gone off the radar now, he has lost his comic timing and this is showing how bad it has got, Jeff Daniels had built up a good reputation over the recent years, now he throws it out the window for this. The rest of the cast do the best they can with this terrible script.

StoryThis story follows similar paths to the previous film, the two must travel across the country to do deliver a package, we have a more serious idea behind the trip, but this gets swept under the rug as the forced terrible comedy tries to take over. This does try to keep the focus on the comedy duo which only drags everything down.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure side of the film is the glimpse of the highlight in the film as the comedy is the biggest miss in years.

SettingsThe settings are not important, we do get references to previous films which is fine, but otherwise nothing special.


Scene of the Movie –
End credits, because it is over.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The jokes are insulting this time around.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the worst movies I have seen in years, this forgets the heart of the first film and ends up being terrible experience.

 

Overall: Terrible is being nice.

Rating