The Dam (2011)

damDirector: Sohan Roy

Writer: Sohan Roy (Screenplay)

Starring: Joushua Smith, Vimala Raman, Ashish Vidtarthi, Vinay Rai, Linda Arsenio, Thampy Anthony

 

Plot: After many years two mariners return to homeland with the hope of a new beginning, little did they know about a disaster that would change their destiny.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Not What it Says on the Tin

 

Story: The Dam starts as Captain Frederick Brown (Smith) is selling his newest book Dam999 as we flashback to learn the story behind the book. On the cruise liner Captain Brown is with his wife Raziya (Burman) and close friend Vinay (Rai) and his son Samuel (Rath) who are all heading to Vinay home searching for a cure for Sam’s diabetes.

As we follow the idea of lost love between Vinay and Meera (Raman) everything takes place in a small town next to the Dam built by the ancestors of Captain Brown and Sandra (Arsenio) the wife of Vinay arrives in the town. The town is being run by a corrupt Mayor who has cheaped out on the new dam which upon opening becomes a threat to everyone in the town.

 

Thoughts on The Dam

 

StoryWhen you look at the story I can’t help but find this miss-sold because this is very much a love story about following fate or your heart what could have been or what could be with a disaster tagged on the end of the film. This is all fine but it does feel very long in places making us lose interest in wait for the disaster event to actually happy.

Adventure/Thriller The adventure side of the story doesn’t really come through until the disaster moments of the film and with that we get some tense final moments on the dam disaster idea, the problem is the early stages take too long to get going.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters all feel like they have been perfectly pick to deal with the situations of the love story going on and have all the different dynamics going on for the characters without the shock value. When you look at the performances well let’s just say they are not the best and keep it at that.

SettingsThe settings all work giving us the traditional location for the characters with the location next to the dam just part of the bigger story.

Special EffectsThis is subject that I can’t really say anything good about so I will be keeping away from the criticism of it all.

Final ThoughtsThis is mostly an endless love story of how love can never die with the disaster storyline is just tagged on really.

 

Overall: Be carefully what you go into this one looking for.

Ratingcard

 

 

Drone (2017)

Director: Jason Bourque

Writer: Paul A Birkett, Jason Bourque (Screenplay) Ian Birkett, Roger Patterson, Paul A Birkett (Story)

Starring: Sean Bean, Patrick Sabongui, Mary McCormack, Maxwell Haynes, Joel David Moore, Viv Leacock

 

Plot: Ideologies collide with fatal results when a military drone contractor meets an enigmatic Pakistani businessman.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Thriller

 

Story: Drone starts as we see a drone hit in Pakistan, one year later we are back in America with Neil (Bean) and Ellen Wistin (McCormack) a married couple dealing with everyday problems and a teenage son Shane (Haynes). Unknown to them they are being followed by Imir Shaw (Sabongui) a Pakistan business man.

Neil is a drone pilot working with his partner on the coms Gary (Moore), their craft is searching Pakistan for the latest terrorist subjects and they are an effective team. Imir coming into the lives of the Wistin’s who are also dealing with the loss of Neil’s father, just as the release of government employees information has been leaked. Imir comes into the lives to purchase a boat, but his true motives become clear and the secrets of the Wistin family are revealed.

 

Thoughts on Drone

 

Characters/PerformanceNeil is a secret private drone pilot contractor for the government. He keeps this job secret from his family, he is also going through the loss of his father, he now must face the consequences of the collateral damage on his mission. Imir is a calm businessman from Pakistan who has alternative motives, he wants to confront the pilot of the drone that killed his innocent family. Ellen is the wife of Neil, the two have become strained leading to her getting involved in an affair.

Performance wise, Sean Bean is good in this role but his accent is slightly all over the place. Patrick Sabongui is good in this role, he never shows any emotion which is needed for the character who has lost everything. Mary McCormack is solid but her character doesn’t get enough development.

StoryThe story is one that asks the moral questions about drone pilots and victims of their attacks as well as offering a suspenseful revenge story. the problem with the story is that is doesn’t get going quick enough because we clearly know where it is going, so why hold us back? There is also another glaring problem with this film and that is making Imir come off as villain, when it was clearly the American that committed the villain act first, but the final moments of the film do make everything important in the message.

ThrillerThe final third of this film does keep you on edge throughout the film but getting to that stage does seem to take a while.

SettingsThe settings do show us that the two men have similar lifestyles, they work hard and raise a family, but the cultures see things differently and this causes the conflict in the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very slow thriller which could have been so much better, but it does have a good message by the end of the film.

 

Overall: Slow burning thriller with rewarding ending.

Rating

 

 

The Discovery (2017)

Director: Charlie McDowell

Writer: Justin Lader, Charlie McDowell (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Segel, Rooney Mara, Robert Redford, Mary Steenburgen, Brian McCarthy, Riley Keough

 

Plot: A love story set one year after the existence of the afterlife is scientifically verified.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fascinating Sci-Fi Mind Bender

 

Story: The Discovery starts in a world where DR Thomas Harper (Redford) believes he has proven there is an afterlife, one year after this announcement the suicide rating in the world has sky rocketed with people believing they will ended up in this afterlife free of the problems they face in the real world.

Thomas’ son Will (Segel) a neurologist returns to his research facility on a remote island where his other brother Toby (Plemons) has been working on collecting more evidence with other volunteers who believe this afterlife is real. Being joined by Isla (Mara) the latest suicide failure to join the course Will is left to face the reality that not everything is as cut and dry as he believes with all of his science and medical beliefs. Will finds himself working with Isla to learn about a mysterious recording that came from the mind of a dead man, searching into his own past coming to a conclusion to everything.

 

Thoughts on The Discovery

 

Characters/PerformanceWill is a neurologist that is living in a world where people believe there is scientific proof of the afterlife, he still doesn’t believe in his own father’s discovery. He gets to investigating in a scientific mentality hoping to get to the bottom of everything. Isla is one of the people who had planned to kill themselves to get to this afterlife, she finds hope in searching for the answers with Will. Thomas is the doctor who believes he has discovered an afterlife, he has people working for him in a cult like situation while he is still trying to get the complete truth.

Performance wise, Jason Segel is brilliant here showing he isn’t just a comical actor and can handle the serious performances, Rooney Mara is good as always in the supporting role with Hollywood Icon Robert Redford giving a performance that is great for a supporting one.

StoryAn idea that we are in a world where we could know there is an afterlife is truly fascinating, it offers up questions never once asked before because there is no ‘if’ it is a ‘when’. The film does claim to have this question with our main character Will looking to prove this wrong, which again is good because this is a scientific discovery. This story will keep you guessing from the start to the finish and leave you going ‘What’ even though you can understand the ending.

Mystery/Romance/Sci-FiThe mystery is would you believe and is this discovery real, the sci-fi from the story comes from the discovery itself, as it offers up what is a scientific idea to the afterlife. The romance comes from Will and Isla story as they search for the truth.

SettingsThe one weak point I found in this film I would say is the settings, they do add up to the final story which is good but the film has the beach which is important and the lone mansion where the believers live.

Final ThoughtsI love a film that makes you think, this will do that, I love seeing actors who have been typecast to one genre prove themselves, Segel does here. I love watching how scientific ideas are posed to the audience offer us a question on what we would do in the situation. This is nearly everything I like to watch in a film, this should have been a cinema release not Netflix.

 

Overall: One of the hidden gems of the year.

Rating

 

 

Dad’s Army (2016)

dasDirector: Oliver Parker

Writer: Hamish McColl (Screenplay) David Croft, Jimmy Perry (Original Series)

Starring: Toby Jones, Michael Gambon, Bill Nighy, Blake Harrison, Tom Courtenay, Bill Paterson, Catherine Zeta-Jones

 

Plot: The Walmington-on-Sea Home Guard platoon deal with a visiting female journalist and a German spy as World War II draws to its conclusion.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Insultingly Bad

 

Story: Dad’s Army starts as World War II could have been lost when a carrier pigeon is released from London but we move to Walmington-on-Sea as we meet the Home Guards, there is Captain George Mainwaring (Jones), Walker (Mays), Frank Pike (Harrison), Godfrey (Gambon), Arthur Wilson (Nighy), Frazer (Paterson) and Jones (Courtenay) who are preparing for any invasion.

With journalist Rose Winters (Zeta-Jones) arriving in town to report on the Home Guards we learn her truth motive and the unlikely heroes must show their real skills.

 

Thoughts on Dad’s Army

 

StoryI am a big fan of the sitcom and the mishaps the home guards must go through, this story is so insulting to what the sitcom was we are left with a flat story that has ruined the much-loved character for no reason what so ever.

Comedy/WarThis should be a comedy, it is not, but the war based side of this story works well enough.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are easily the most popular British sitcom character but this films turns them into laughing stocks not understanding where the comedy comes from characters except Godfrey. These actors don’t know how to re-create the comedy struggling to reach any of the levels they need to reach.

SettingsThe setting looks well re-created and might be the only thing the film gets right.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily the biggest insult from British cinema trying to re-capture the fun of a sitcom which was near perfect.

 

Overall: How did I get through this pathetic attempt that only butchers the source material.

Rating5

 

 

Deepwater Horizon (2016)

deepDirector: Peter Berg

Writer: Matthew Michael Carnahan, Matthew Sand (Screenplay) David Rohde, Stephanie Saul (Article)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Kurt Russell, Douglas M Griffin, James DuMont, Joe Chrest, Gina Rodriguez, John Malkovich, Dylan O’Brien

 

Plot: A dramatization of the April 2010 disaster when the offshore drilling rig, Deepwater Horizon, exploded and created the worst oil spill in U.S. history.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Explosively Entertaining Second Half.

 

Story: Deepwater Horizon starts with Mike Williams having to report what happened on the day in question on the Deepwater Horizon. We move back to the day of the events with Mike (Wahlberg) joining the team Jimmy Harrell (Russell), Andrea Fleytas (Rodriguez) joining a BP representative Vidrine (Malkovich) on the oil rig Deepwater Horizon.

Clashing on the rig Jimmy challenges Vidrine to invest money on maintaining the rig after the team was sent back early before they will start working. Being named the safest rig for the 7th straight year there is a go ahead to start preparation to commence drilling despite mixed results from the tests.

Finding themselves in the middle of a major blow out it becomes a race against time to prevent disaster and survive what will be one of the most devastating oil rig disasters known to man. It is up to Mike, Jimmy, Andrea and young driller Caleb (O’Brien) to stop things getting out of hand.

 

Thoughts on Deepwater Horizon

 

StoryThis is the story of what happened on the rig that caused the biggest disaster in oil drilling history. I will be honest that this starts slow with a good 40 minutes of talking in oil rig language mixed with business, you know the stuff we don’t care too much about, but once this all kicks off it becomes as chaotic as you would imagine it would be. When you look at how this story I can’t help but wonder how a man with Jimmy’s reputation would let anyone interfere with the operations on his rig which is made to look like the reason this is happened.

Action/ThrillerWhen the action starts well it never stops and you are on the edge of your seat from that moment until the final credits.

Characters/PerformanceThe characters are all based on the real men and women involved in the disaster so it is hard to question the characters involved. The performances are all fantastic be it as the last man off the rig in Wahlberg, the strong boss in Russell or the businessman that causes the problems in Malkovich.

SettingsThe setting is nearly all on the oil rig which once the incident happens we get to experience the chaos of the disaster first hand seeing just how life-threatening the situation is.

Special EffectsWhen it comes to the special effects it is only wow to describe them because they all look amazing making you feel like you are on this rig.

Final ThoughtsThe slow start does almost feel like filler but is important character filler before we want to see them all survive this disaster.

 

Overall: This was surprisingly one of the most intense films of the year.

Ratingcard