ABC Film Challenge – Action – E – The Equalizer 2 (2018)

Director: Antoine Fuqua

Writer: Richard Wenk (Screenplay) Michael Sloan, Richard Lindheim (Television Show)

Starring: Denzel Washington, Pedro Pascal, Ashton Sanders, Orson Bean, Bill Pullman, Melissa Leo

 

Plot: Robert McCall serves an unflinching justice for the exploited and oppressed, but how far will he go when that is someone he loves?


Tagline – There will be consequences

Runtime: 2 Hours 1 Minute

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple Slow Action Film

 

Story: The Equalizer 2 starts as we see how Robert McCall (Washington) driving around helping people when he learns they have been mistreated, just being a good guy around the neighbourhood. Robert still has his connection with the agency in Susan (Leo) who gives him the information to help with problems she can’t deal with.

After she is killed investigating a case, Robert reveals himself to his former partner Dave York (Pascal) who has believed he has been dead for years, to help get the people that killed their friend, all while trying to be a mentor to young man Miles (Sanders) who is being drawn into the gangster life.

 

Thoughts on The Equalizer 2

 

Characters – Robert McCall no longer works at Home Depot, he is a driver for hire around the town and he listens to the people’s stories and where he sees fit to step in to solve the problems. This time somebody makes it personal and he must come out from the shadows to get revenge. Dave York is the former partner of Robert’s who believed he was dead, he sees his new partner killed and is looking for answers to why his friend stayed away so long. Miles is a streetwise teenager on the brink of making a terrible decision to join a gang, Robert aims to guide him to make the right decision. Sam is an elderly client who Robert wants to help out, he is here to show just how good natured Robert is. Brian and Susan Plummer are the only connections with the agency Robert has, he will do anything to help them, as they help him with little matters he has.

PerformancesDenzel Washington is an actor that will always give us good performances, this is no different because we get to see the calm character and the deadly which he can switch between without blinking an eye. When we look at the rest of the cast, they are good without being anything overly memorable, with the villain being forgettable and the supporting arcs of the story not being given the time to truly focus on.

StoryThe story here continues to show how deadly, but fair Robert McCall can be, he wants to help people out, give them a chance to better their lives or admit to their mistakes. This time the story becomes personal after one of his friends in the agency is killed, sending him on a warpath against anybody involved. This side of the story is easy to watch, the more intense side of the story which is good to watch. The sentimental side of the story is interesting because we see how the problems in the world can be solved with moments of kindness which Robert shows different generations of people in his life, trying to teach people how to treat people, this is nice to watch, only for the two sides of the story struggling to connect to each other.

Action/CrimeThe action in the film is good when we get it, the final sequences being the highlight of the action, the crime side shows how one man can use his connections to get a job done to clean up the streets.

SettingsThe film shows Robert operating in a normal big city, this shows us how stories can be found in most corners for most people.


Scene of the Movie –
The showdown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The pacing between the serious side stories and the action heavy main story.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable action film that does everything you would imagine, it isn’t going to be one of the greatest just one you can enjoy without worrying too much about what is going on.

 

Overall: Simple and enjoyable action.

Rating

 

 

Ella Bella Bingo (2020) Movie Review

Director: Atle Solberg Blakseth, Frank Mosvold

Writer: Jeffrey Hylton, Frank Mosvold, Johnny Smith, Rob Sprackling (Screenplay) Frank Mosvold, Tom Petter Hanson, Trond Morten Venaasen (Creator)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Summer Fontana, Jack Fisher, Gard B Eidsvold, Mara Junot, Chris Anthony Lansdowne

Plot: Ella Bella Bingo (Elleville Elfrid) and Henry are best friends, but one day a new boy moves into the neighborhood and everything changes.

Runtime: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Heart Warming Animation

Story: Ella Bella Bingo starts as the two best friends Ella and Henry perform magic tricks around town, with their chickens, they get into a range of adventures around town together. With one of their first shows about to happen, they get interrupted by a new kid Johnny, who offers Henry a chance to learn new tricks, leaving Ella to prepare alone.

This day will become difficult for Henry as he sees the two friends in his life, fighting over his attentions, with the idea of picking just one being one of the decisions, he can’t handle. Ella and Johnny need to put their differences aside to have a bigger group of friends that can have their own adventures.

Thoughts on Ella Bella Bingo

Characters – Ella has always been the one that creates the adventures for the pair, she has always planned to make them fun with the latest to start a circus between the two, she gets jealous when the new kid arrives in town and gets determined to prove she is the closer friend of Henry. Henry is Ella’s best friend, though when Johnny arrives in town, he wants to hang out with him, be interested in the new toys he has, he ends up getting caught up in the middle of a battle for his attention, causing him to go into hiding, spending the day with his father instead of the two friends. Johnny is the new kid in town, he comes into the neighbourhood acting extra cool, showing off his expensive toys, he wants to be Henry’s friend, with these new toys and after Henry runs away, always makes a point of showing off his fancy toys.

StoryThe story here follows a perfect partnership friendship that gets shattered by a new kid in town, only for the two that clash needing to work together to fix the problems. This is a story that puts a firm spotlight on friendship, how hard it is to have, to start and maintain through changes in lives, showing the three young children needing to learn this is outstandingly done, this is a lesson people will always need to learn and for it to be told to the youngest members of society, is wonderful to see.

SettingsThe film is set in the small town where everybody is close, which highlights how out of place the new kid would be, only for it to show how important welcoming people will be.

AnimationThe animation looks great through the film, it does show us how you can get the message over with how the animation is displayed with comedy that doesn’t go over the top.


Scene of the Movie – The magic show.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The bull looks too much like Ferdinand.

Final Thoughts This is a wonderful little family film with a firm message about friendship shining through.

Overall: Kids will Love.

Eye for an Eye (2019) Movie Review

Director: Francesco Cinquemani, George Gallo

Writer: Francesco Cinquemani, Luca Giliberto, Richard Salvatore (Screenplay)

Starring: John Travolta, Morgan Freeman, Brendan Fraser, Famke Janssen, Ella Bleu Travolta, Robert Patrick, Peter Stormare

Plot: Inspired by classic film noir, Carson Phillips, an ex-football star turned PI, has a soft spot for a lady in distress.


Tagline – A Private Eye. A Public Murder. A Perfect Crime.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Wishes it had the Style it Wants

Story: Eye for an Eye starts as we meet former American football star, turned private investigator Carson Philips (Travolta) who likes to gamble and help a lady in trouble, with his latest case bringing him back into battle against a mob boss Doc (Freeman), who offers him chances to walk away.

Carson wanting to help Jayne (Janssen) and her daughter Becky (Bleu Travolta) who is getting the blame for her husband’s death in the middle of a football match, one which injury don’t make sense.

Thoughts on Eye for an Eye

Characters – Carson Philips was once a star American footballer, who through away his career by gambling, he has turned to being a private investigator, where he gambles still on the side. His latest case will take him back to his home team, where he finds himself needing to solve a case which involves an old love and an old enemy. Doc is the local mob boss that will always win on the tables and get what he wants, he knows how the get the most out of the people in his life, offering them deals to get out of the debts they face. Miles is the doctor at a specialist hospital that will give the correct answers to get people to leave and once played against Carson on the football pitch. Jayne is the ex-love of Carson who has turned to him to help fix the accusations being thrown towards her daughter, even if his husband made her hated within the town.

PerformancesJohn Travolta is the strongest of a weak performing cast who mostly all look bored delivering their lines. Having such a talented cast does leave us feeling disappointed in what they have to work with.

StoryThe story here follows a private investigator that returns to a town where he once was a star football player, only to find himself in the middle of a bigger issue that shows a crime that he must solve before it gets deadly. This does play out how you would expect in a mystery, it gives us clues which sends Carson to each different location, with each location then sending him to a new place, slowly unlocking a new location or suspect, it might well all add up, which is fine, only it just doesn’t get an intense as it could have.

MysteryThe mystery in the film is what Carson finds himself trying to solve, it doesn’t feel like one that is meant to be as interesting as it should have been.

SettingsThe film does give us a town where you can see everybody knows everything about each other, with each building being used to show us the unique style for the town.


Scene of the Movie – Miles secret.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Nobody really looks interested in being here.

Final Thoughts This is a simple, slow and lacks the style it could have done with to make it stand out more, as the actors don’t look interested.

Overall: Forgettable.

ABC Film Challenge – Favourites – E – Enemy of the State (1998) Movie Review

Director: Tony Scott

Writer: David Marconi (Screenplay)

Starring: Will Smith, Gene Hackman, Jon Voight, Lisa Bonet, Regina King, Stuart Wilson, Laura Cayouette, Barry Pepper

Plot: A lawyer becomes a target by a corrupt politician and his N.S.A. goons when he accidentally receives key evidence to a serious politically motivated crime.


Tagline – The only privacy left is inside of your head

Runtime: 2 Hours 12 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Fast-Paced Tension Filled Thriller

Story: Enemy of the State starts as a lawyer Robert Dean (Smith) shows off his skills dealing with criminals, he is out shopping for Christmas when he bumps into an old classmate Daniel Zavitz (Lee) who has footage of the NSA and Thomas Reynolds (Voight) murdering a congressman, he is being hunted down for the footage and leaves a cassette with Robert.

With the team believing Robert has the footage, he must go on the run from the team using the satellite system to track him, turning to conspiracy man Edward Lyle (Hackman) with any chance of escaping the man hunt.

Thoughts on Enemy of the States

Characters – Robert Dean is an labour lawyer who knows how to get the cases closed at all times, he has been working on his latest case which has seen a gangster coming after him, he has been unfaithful in the past, but has managed to clean up his act, while still working with the lady he had an affair with. Robert does become a target by the NSA who target him after they start to cover up a murder which will expose a big plan, where he must work to stay ahead of them and figure out why they are after him, learning to go under the radar. Edward Lyle is the conspiracy theorist that has been living off the radar that reluctantly helps Robert, knowing how much trouble he has gotten himself in. Thomas Reynolds is the man pushing for the surveillance system being used, he wants the win the votes, which means getting rid of the problems that were against it, which means he is running the operation to keep things under cover. Rachel is the source for Robert, though she does have a past with from their previous relationship, there working relationship is always going to be difficult, she sees her life spiral out of control too.

PerformancesWill Smith is wonderful in this role, he showed us a much more mature performance than we are used to after the fun performances he did before. Gene Hackman is great to watch too, you completely agree with his mindset through the film, while Jon Voight will always make for a great villain. We have such a big cast in this film, which sees all the actors performing strong through the film, which could be considered an early role for most of them.

StoryThe story here follows a man who’s live is turned upside down when he gets targeted by the NSA who believe he has evidence which could ruin a bill being put into place by congress. This story does focus on the idea that the country wants to use surveillance to watch over the people for the greater good, while arguing where the lines could be drawn about privacy. We do see how quickly Robert has his life taken apart and how is almost feels too easy to make happen. This is a fast-paced story which might have become something that has dated because the surveillance world is now here and the warnings are here for the characters to get through.

ActionThe action here is mostly filled with chases sequences that are entertaining to watch and show how the cameras keep everything on edge.

SettingsThe film is set mostly in the big cities, showing they would have an almost endless amounts of cameras watching over everybody.


Scene of the Movie – You made a phone call!

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The end is slightly ridiculous.

Final Thoughts This is a great action thriller that keeps the pace flowing showing just how the surveillance world has evolved through the years with wonderful performances throughout.

Overall: Great Action Thriller

Emerald Run (2020) Movie Review

Director: Eric Etebari

Writer: Anthony Caruso (Screenplay)

Starring: David Chokachi, John Schneider, Chris Mulkey, Yancy Butler, Michael Pare, Vernon Wells, Angela Gots

Plot: A Desperate man gets involved in a risky plan to smuggle emeralds across the Mexican border in order to save his daughter’s life. When the deal goes awry and he is left for dead


Tagline – Family is everything

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Slow Paced

Story: Emerald Run Starts as John Thomas (Chokachi) a former criminal that needs to raise money for his daughter Lisa’s medical bills, which sees him reunite with a former boss Alfio Sarda (Mulkey) which would see him look to smuggle diamonds across the border.

When the job goes wrong, John is left for dead in the desert, he must find his way back to safety to bring down the person that has set him up.

Thoughts on Emerald Run

Characters – John Thomas is getting to new lengths to try and help his family, he agrees to help his father-in-law, which sees him try and smuggle some emeralds over the border, only to be left for dead and needing to fight to survive to expose the truth. Alfio Sarda is the father-in-law that will do anything to make more money, he has a reputation for being a man that will give people opportunities, as quick as he will take them away. Anna is the wife of John’s who challenges John’s faith when it comes to fighting their daughter’s illness. We do meet plenty of other people who are all interested in the emeralds and money involved.

PerformancesDavid Chokachi in the leading role does bring the character to life, which is the only performance that gets enough time to make something out of his character and their limited screen time.

StoryThe story here follows a father that agrees to go on a risk smuggling run to help get the funds for his daughter’s medical treatment, only to be left for dead. This is a story that does have the right motivation for John to be going on the job, but it does seem to make him look to desperate, when he doesn’t need to be, we do have a religious theme in the film, which doesn’t help, as John is conflicted with the ideas behind the survival. The story never really feels as intense as it should be and ends up feeling flat throughout.

AdventureThe adventure does take John on a job which doesn’t go to plan, forcing him to try and survive in the wilderness.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show us just how harsh the environment John is travelling through will be on his mind and body.


Scene of the Movie – Home.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It felt very slow.

Final Thoughts This is a by the books adventure movie that focuses on how far people would go for family and what is worth risking for them.

Overall: Flat Adventure film.