First Man (2018)

Director: Damien Chazelle

Writer: Josh Singer (Screenplay) James R Hansen (Book)

Starring: Ryan Gosling, Claire Foy, Corey Stoll, Pablo Schreiber, Christopher Abbot, Ethan Embry, Ciaran Hinds, Jason Clarke, Kyle Chandler

 

Plot: A look at the life of the astronaut, Neil Armstrong, and the legendary space mission that led him to become the first man to walk on the Moon on July 20, 1969.


Tagline – Experience the impossible journey to the Moon.

Runtime: 2 Hours 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Biopic

 

Story: First Man starts as we see how Neil Armstrong (Gosling) can solve problems in flight with one of his test mission to the limits of the atmosphere going wrong before he saved it, we meet his family wife Janet (Foy) and children Richard and Karen, we see how they suffered a tragic loss of young Karen, which drove him to apply to become an astronaut.

We follow the astronaut training program which showed Neil’s abilities to solve problems even after seeing his friends around him lose their lives to the pursuit of space. We follow up to the legendary mission he will always been known for as he was the first man to walk on the moon.

 

Thoughts on First Man

 

Characters – These characters are and were real people, Neil Armstrong is always going to be remembered as the first man to walk on the moon, we see how this shy man managed to overcome his own personal tragedies to achieve this as we see how he reacts and deals with everything that gets thrown at him until he made history. Janet is his wife, she also suffers through the tragedies, she will give Neil all the support he needs to make sure he will keep his promises to come home, we mostly watch how she must keep the life for their children normal and calm. Edward Higgins White is one of the fellow astronauts, one that becomes close friends with him through the training and the program, he is the one that will offer a shoulder if Neil ever needed it. We meet many famous names from the astronaut programs each gets there moment, we know Buzz Aldrin was onboard Apollo 11 and of the other big named astronauts we know Jim Lovell from the Apollo 13 mission.

PerformancesRyan Gosling gives us a magnificent performance as the icon of astronauts, he shows us how shy, timid and genius Neil was, never making him a cocky man, this simple performance makes you understand each emotion he is going through. Claire Foy sets away from the small screen to give us a flawless performance as the wife who must remain strong, but dealing with anxiety of the unknown through each mission. The rest of the cast are great through the film, each actor gets to pay the respect to the man they are performing as.

StoryThe story here follows Neil Armstrong’s life from 1961 to his moon landing in 1969. We do have plenty of interesting aspects to his life, be it the battle to remain strong after his daughter’s death or the feeling of proving himself worthy of being part of the astronaut program. While these are all wonderful to watch, they do feel like they are being told, like, this is what happened here, then this, then this and so on. It never feels like a smooth story and the movie does make out that Neil was an excellent astronaut, but terrible PR man, he didn’t do anything stupid or risky, he lack charisma that other astronauts had, he was just the right choice for the job. The biggest warning you must have before going in, is that this does follow his life over the space program, yes, we do have parts of the space program and they are the most entertaining parts, but we also follow his life away from this.

Biopic/History8 years in the life of the most iconic man to go into space, we see his lowest point in his life, to the crowning achievement, nobody can ever take away from him. The history side of the film shows us the key moments in the space race, if you know the basics you will know these moments.

SettingsThe film recreates the settings brilliantly, be it the world around the space race, or the cockpits the astronauts get rammed into with little space for any freedom on these deadly missions.

Special EffectsThe effects are mesmerizing, when we are in space we are left stunned by the beauty of the views these men had. The film is also used to make it feel like it is shot for the same time the events took place.


Scene of the Movie –
Apollo 11

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many close ups.

Final ThoughtsAs a space race fan this manages to shed new light on the man who made history, it gave us brilliant performance, effects and shows us there was more behind the man than just the icon.

 

Overall: Must watch biopic.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Horror – F – Freehold (2017)

Director: Dominic Bridges

Writer: Dominic Bridges, Rae Brunton (Screenplay)

Starring: Javier Botet, Mandeep Dhillon, Mim Shaikh, Michael McKell, Kola Bokinni

 

Plot: An oily, amoral estate agent is preyed upon by one of his victims, who quietly moves into his flat and, unseen, begins a deliciously malicious campaign of revenge.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Very Creepy

 

Story: Freehold starts as we follow estate agent Hussein (Shaikh) go about his daily routines in his small London flat, but as soon as he leaves for a skinny man Orlan (Botet) appears, he has been secretly living in the flat, going around using the supplies while he is out.

When Mel (Dhillon) comes to live with Hussein we start to see the bigger picture of what Orlan’s plan is causing havoc in the flat, but what is his motivation for this?

 

Thoughts on Freehold

 

Characters – Orlan is the man secretly living in the flat, he seems to be making the life of the man living in the flat, sneaking around when he is asleep or at work, his motivation unfolds through the film, he does have a strikingly haunting look about him with his skinny bone structure coming through. Hussein is the estate agent that is living in the flat, he is very cocky with everything he does and starts to believe he is being haunted, though never investigates. Mel is the girlfriend of Hussein that wants to do the best with the small flat but soon gets tired of Hussein’s behaviour.

PerformancesJavier Botet does have an extremely creepy look which makes him stand out in this role which he is creepy throughout the film. Mandeep Dhillon isn’t in the film long enough to make the impact you feel she could have. Mim Shaikh is good in this role because he does end up being the person getting tortured through the film without knowing it.

StoryThe story follows one man that tries to live his normal life, only for us to learn that he isn’t alone in his flat. The story follows this mysterious man doing random acts to try and make Hussein’s life a nightmare. Most of the film is following Hussein trying to keep everything together, leaving us to wonder just how far people will go through the get this to happen and whether we would be able to notice this.

Comedy/Horror This does have an air of comedy about what is going on while not a full laugh out loud moment, the horror comes off the biggest part of the film because it shows just how difficult it could be to learn the truth.

SettingsThe film is set inside the flat, which keeps everything together and adds the creepy disturbing factor the film needed.


Scene of the Movie –
The first appearance of Orlan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Orlan believes there is a ghost but never investigates more.

Final ThoughtsThis is a short creepy movie that will keep you on edge form start to finish as we see just how far this one man will go and what would you do if you found out that someone was living in your flat.

 

Overall: Disturbing and creepy

Rating

 

 

Five Fingers for Marseilles (2018)

Director: Michael Matthews

Writer: Sean Drummond (Screenplay)

Starring: Zethu Dlomo, Garth Breytenbach, Anthony Oseyemi, Kenneth Fok, Vuyo Dabbula, Warren Masemola

 

Plot: Lives change forever when Tau, the young lion, kills two corrupt policemen in a South African shanty town.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Western of the Year

 

Story: Five Fingers for Marseilles starts as we meet the group of friends who decide to create a group known as the Five Friends and the girls that loves them, Zulu the leader, Lerato (Dlomo) the heart and soul, Unathi (Poolo) the pastor and storyteller, Luyanda (Mabaso) the broken one, Bongani (Nkosi) the richest one, Tau (Dabula) the fastest most ruthless one. together they plan to former a group to protect their rural town or Marseilles as children.

Tau must flee the village after killing two corrupt police officers, now 20-years later he is still fighting the law. Returning home Tau seems Marseilles has changed with Bongani running the town and Sepoko (Dhlamini) looking to eliminate the town, Tau must step up to defend his childhood home and with the remaining members of the gang.

 

Thoughts on Five Fingers for Marseilles

 

Characters – Tau was a member of the Five Fingers gang as a boy, he killed two police officers forcing him into hiding, 20-years later he returns to see the town still being controlled by criminals. He must use the fight he always showed to lead the remaining members of his gang to freedom. Sepoko is the ruthless man that wants to kill anyone that gets in his way to control the area, he is filled with stories that can only show us what he is capable of and doesn’t give second chances. Lerato is the girl from the gang, she has been raised to take over the tavern with her father and her own son, she is surprised with Tau’s return after he saved her in the incident, she knows how to handle the drunks and trouble makers. Strong is the best word to describe this character. Luyanda is known as the cockroach by the gang, he has always had to fight to survive turning himself into one of the cops in the village, waiting for his chance to return the village to the right way.

PerformancesVuyo Dabula could easily be a break out star this year, he gives us a performance that could be put in any western conversation as one of the best especially in the modern era of cinema. Hamilton Dhlamini does fit the villainous role wonderfully too, we completely believe he delivery of his twisted words towards anyone who gets in his way. The whole cast are great through this film because one performer makes us believe their characters are real.

StoryThe story here follows a once tight knit teenage gang that get separated fighting for their village, 20-years-later one member of the gang returns to the village to learn the fates of the rest and learns the fight is still going on. In this story we get characters that feel like we could see them living the 20-years between the start and present part of the story. we get the returning member of the gang that we have seen facing his past and how the rest of the gang has adapted to survive while staying in the same village. This follows the known traits for any western and only adds to the story interest and suspense.

WesternWhen it comes to westerns, we just don’t seem to get that many anymore, this brings us one that uses all of the typical western themes to make us care about the reluctant hero, the outcast and one that makes us want to see the villain get what they deserve.

SettingsThe film is set in a small South African village, one that has been put under pressure by a police presence, each location truly feels lived in and helps us enjoy what we are seeing as money talks when it comes to holding back potential.


Scene of the Movie –
The showdown, which shows us just how real these people feel.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This almost feels like it should be even longer to help us learn about the rest of the gang.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful western that could easily be the best of the year, this is a film people should be watching and most importantly, be one people are talking about.

 

Overall: Western done to perfection.

Rating

 

 

Final Score (2018)

Director: Scott Mann

Writer: Jonathan Frank, David T Lynch, Keith Lynch (Screenplay)

Starring: Dave Bautista, Pierce Brosnan, Ray Stevenson, Martyn Ford, Ralph Brown, Victoria Broom, Lucy Gaskell, Lara Peake

 

Plot: After deadly terrorists abduct his niece at a soccer match, an ex-soldier with lethal fighting skills wages a one-man war to save her and prevent mass destruction.


Tagline – 35,000 lives. 90 minutes. No extra time

Runtime: 1 Hour 44 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Late Night Action Delight

 

Story: Final Score starts when Michael Knox (Bautista) visits his niece Danni (Peake) in London to take her to the last ever game at the Boelyn Stadium for West Ham in a European Semi Final (This is hilarious because West Ham haven’t been near one in decades) against a Russian team called Dynamo FC.

With his niece going to be with her boyfriend, Michael must search for her, which just so happens to become locked down by terrorist Arkady (Stevenson) who wants to use the game to kill his brother Dimitri (Brosnan), when Michael learns of the problem, he must become a one man fight to save the stadium.

 

Thoughts on Final Score

 

Characters – Michael Knox is a soldier that has travelled the globe fighting the good cause, his brother was lost in battle and he watches over his niece taking her to football matches. He sees that there is a big problem and uses his training to save his niece and the people in the stadium. Arkady is the terrorist that has taken over the stadium, the former war criminal will do anything to get his hands on his brother even if it means killing everyone in the stadium. Dimitri is the brother that recreated his life after leaving his brother to be destroyed and bring peace to their home country, he is now the target for the nights terrorist actions. In the rest of the characters we get the typical men working for Arkady, the one that is bigger than Michael, the bad ass woman and the tech heavy one etc, we also have the rebellious teenager and the quick talking steward.

PerformancesDave Bautista has been steadily getting on with the action genre, he does a good job once again as the reluctant hero of the situation, handling the combat scenes well and looking like the uncle that would only scare boys away from the niece. Ray Stevenson in the villainous role is good to never letting his accent drop through the film. Pierce Brosnan is good even though he doesn’t really do too much in the film, as are the rest of the cast working well through the film.

StoryThe story here follows one man that must stop a terrorist attack within a certain amount of time, 90 minutes well 105 minutes if you include half time. This is simple enough for a story and by having the countdown helps us feel like part of the action. This does follow the trend of any action film which can be compared to Die Hard, only this time in a football stadium. When we look at the villains motives we get mixed feelings as it seems simple to start with only to become overly complicated when we get the mass numbers outside the stadium trying to stop anything happening. Overall the story isn’t challenging, it is watchable and enjoyed which is all we want to see.

ActionThe action in the film comes from the fights, which all play into Dave Bautista’s strengths, with the highlight of the film being the motorcycle chase through the stadium, which shouldn’t work only to be brilliant.

SettingsThe film is set inside Upton Park, now this could be easy to say this is Die Hard in a football stadium and it is, but having the match going on at the same time gives us a true look at the time rolling by and just how difficult it would be to stop people from knowing what is going on.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film don’t always look good, but strangely enough fit the movie well.


Scene of the Movie –
Motorbike chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too hard to believe West Ham would be in a semi-final in European football.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable action film that gets most things right to make us enjoy what we are seeing, easy to watch and shows Bautista to be a good action star.

 

Overall: Action packed fun.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Romance – F – The First Time (2012)

Director: Jonathan Kasdan

Writer: Jonathan Kasdan (Screenplay)

Starring: Britt Robertson, Dylan O’Brien, Craig Roberts, Joshua Malina, James Trecheville, Christine Taylor, Victoria Justice

 

Plot: A shy senior and a down-to-earth junior fall in love over one weekend.


Tagline – Nervous is normal.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Cliched and Generic

 

Story: The First Time starts as we head to the most unrealistic high school party where senior Dave (O’Brien) is trying to put together a speech to try and get the girl he loves at his high school Jane Harmon (Justice), only he stumbles upon a junior Aubrey (Robertson) with the two bonding over the night, where the people are mostly just looking to hook up and get drunk.

As the two spend more time together over the weekend they learn that the ones they have crushes on are no the ones they want to be with.

 

Thoughts on The First Time

 

Characters – Dave is in his last year of high school, he is best friends with his high school crush without ever being able to telling her how he feels, he has his life planned out until he meets Aubrey. He wants to make a change in his future with her in it, tired of the just going around searching for parties. Aubrey is a junior, she has an older boyfriend and happens to be in the same party that Dave is at, the two click and soon become friends as they fall in love over the weekend, even if she doesn’t know her plan for her life. Jane is the popular girl all the guys want, she is the best friend to Dave and the one that Dave has a crush on, she makes the mistakes in her choice of guys. We get the traditional stereotypes for the characters that are friends of the two characters.

PerformancesBritt Robinson and Dylan O’Brien are both good in their roles, they make the most of the generic characters they are playing, they are good for the ages and show us they were two names that could have gone onto bigger projects. The rest of the cast get their laughs without needing to do too much.

StoryThe story here follows two high school students that fall in love over a weekend changing their perspective on life. Now to say this is a generically painful movie to watch because the lives these students are living is so unrealistic, while trying to touch on a serious matter because it tries to tell the story of how to virgins have sex for the first time. I don’t know what the target audience for this movie is either because it is way to slow for a teenage audience even if it is trying to tell us about more important things in life for teenagers before college.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy in the film comes from the supporting friend characters which work for the film, while the romance in the focuses on the ideas of two people meeting and falling in love when they least expect it.

SettingsThis film uses the neighbour settings for the couple of spend time around, we don’t have anywhere standout, but it is slightly confusing how these kids are always out all night at parties.

 

Final Thoughts – This is a generic teenager rom com that doesn’t give us enough to focus on because of how unrealistic they make the lives behaviour of the kids.

 

Overall: Rom Com simples.

Rating