ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – G – The Greatest Game Ever Played (2005)

Director: Bill Paxton

Writer: Mark Frost (Screenplay) Mark Frost (Book)

Starring: Shia LaBeouf, Stephen Dillane, Elias Koteas, Peter Firth, Stephen Marcus, Josh Flitter

 

Plot: In the 1913 US Open, 20-year-old Francis Ouimet played against his idol, 1900 US Open champion, Englishman Harry Vardon.


Runtime: 2 Hours

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Champion Golf Drama

 

Story: The Greatest Game Ever Played starts as we learn how young Harry Vardon comes from a small Jersey (England) island being looked down on about the idea of playing golf, grown-up Harry Vardon (Dillane) is a world champion welcomed to America where he is idolised by Francis Ouimet a young caddy.

When Francis Ouimet (LaBeouf) studies the game becoming a high school age champion before entering an amateur tournament against the wishes of the gentlemen who also look down on him, failing to make an impact Francis gives up his dreams of playing golf.

When Harry Vardon leads Britain’s campaign to retain the US title meaning they could hold all the professional titles in sport, the club enters an amateur into the tournament with Francis being that player following his dream for one final time in a game that will change the face of golf.

 

Thoughts on The Greatest Game Ever Played

 

Characters – Francis Ouimet grew up opposite a golf course he was never welcomed as a player growing up, he could be a caddy though. He tries his luck as an amateur but fails to make an impact leading to his early retirement to focus on making a living. He is given one more chance to enter the US Open which brings a strain on his relationship with his father who believes he should make a living and giving up a dream. Harry Vardon came from Jersey, a small island off the coast on England, he had never heard of golf until the rich built a golf course on his family’s home. He learnt the game became a champion but never forgot where he came from, now he looks to reclaim his title from the American players but he still feels the judgement of the rich watching him. We have the family that tries to support Francis, we also have the rich men who believe golf is only for them.

PerformancesShia LaBeouf shows us here that he is a truly capable actor before getting involved with the stranger roles. Stephan Dillane is great as the professional that has respect for the working-class player trying to make their way in the sport.

StoryThe story does show the difference in class of people who were playing golf in 1900’s we have two men at different stages of their career who have come from nothing to show their gifts for the game as they must go against the gentlemen who believe the sport it only for the rich. This game shows why we sports fan enjoy watching and playing, showing us that anyone can have their moment that can launch a career however many people want to get in their way.

History/SportWhen we look at sports records we know there are plenty of upset and shocks through the years, we also have many moments which give people hope who want to learn the game, this story and moment in history is one of the greatest to witness in sporting history.

SettingsWe have the settings that show where both Francis and Harry have come from as they enter the high society side of the sporting world where they are both never truly welcomed until they are champions.


Scene of the Movie –
No bad-mouthing Jersey.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The frustration of seeing the difference in class between the players at the club, giving the attitude between them.

Final ThoughtsThis film is inspirational to sporting fans and players everywhere, it gives us the entertainment needed to keep us on edge through a film to show us that anyone could win a tournament against the odds if given the chance.

 

Overall: Wonderful sports drama.

Rating

 

 

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Guardians of the Tomb (2018)

Director: Kimble Rendall

Writer: Kimble Rendall, Paul Staheli (Screenplay) Kimble Rendall, Jonathan Scanlon (Story)

Starring: Bingbing Li, Kellan Lutz, Kelsey Grammer, Chun Wu, Shane Jacobson, Stef Dawson, Jason Chong

 

Plot: An innocent discovery of a well-preserved mummified Chinese Emperor from 200 B.C. unearths a two-thousand-year-old nightmare, a secret that should have remained buried.


Tagline – Unearth the legend. Unleash the curse.

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Terrible Adventure

 

Story: Guardians of the Tomb starts when pharmaceutical business man Mason (Grammer) turns to the daughter of his former partner Jia (Li) to search for her brother Luke (Wu) who went missing during the latest search for a cure that would put the company back on the map.

Jia joins Mason, survival expert Jack Ridley (Lutz), Gary (Jacobson), Milly (Dawson) and Chen (Chong) in search for the answers in the tomb, a tomb which is filled with deadly spiders that could bring a new cure for diseases.

 

Thoughts on Guardians of the Tomb

 

Characters – Jia is a specialist in venoms and dangerous animals from around the world, she knows how to remain calm around them if somebody is infected, she is forced into the field after her brother goes missing on his latest expedition, where she must use her own expert skills to keep the team alive and guide them out alive. Jack Ridley is bough in because of his skills in survival situations, he is here to keep the team safe. Mason is the co-founder of company, he has seen his partner killed and is always looking to push the boundaries in search new products which could help make him money in the pharmaceutical world, he leads the team after his own men go missing. Luke is the younger brother to Jia, he goes on the adventures, with his latest one seeing him go missing, he is working for Mason too.

PerformancesBingbing Li is easily the best of performers in this film, she does look like she is trying unlike most of the rest of the leading members of the cast. Kellan Lutz continues to fall into the generic soldier figure, offering nothing new, Kelsey Grammer does seem to be wasted in his role, he would have been better to not go on the adventure too. Chun Wu is solid enough in what is a smaller role, though it he could have done more with more screen time.

StoryThe story follows a rescue mission after a discovery mission goes wrong inside an ancient tomb in China. This is a story we have seen before, we know how ancient tombs tend to play out, with traps only this time we get spiders that are protecting a tomb. We have greed, family and memories planning out for the characters, even we do end up just going through the, spiders are coming lets run storyline way too often. This is simply enough without being anything original or enjoyable.

Adventure/HorrorThe adventure involved in the film follows the characters as they go through the tomb. The horror in the film comes from the spiders being deadly.

SettingsThe film keeps us going through the tombs with each room offering a new problem for the team to face.

Special EffectsThe effects come from the spiders which at times are awful looking CGI, in a place where we could have had practical ones.


Scene of the Movie –
Couldn’t find one.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The CGI spiders.

Final ThoughtsThis is a disappoint adventure horror that could have been a lot of fun, only to become bland, predictable and just becomes forgettable quickly.

 

Overall: Forgettable.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – G – The Good, The Bad and The Dead (2015)

Director: Timothy Woodward Jr

Writer: Sean Ryan (Screenplay)

Starring: Johnny Messner, Dolph Lundgren, Danny Trejo, Vivica A Fox, Michael Pare, Natassia Malthe, John Laughlin

 

Plot: Brian Barnes (Johnny Messner) wakes up in the desert wounded and with no memory and no idea why he’s surrounded by eight bodies, a van with four million in cash and a van full of cocaine. Brian is pursued by not only notorious drug lord Danny Perez (Danny Trejo) who desperately want his money back, and DEA Agent Rooker (Dolph Lundgren), but also a by the corrupt Sheriff Olson (Michael Pare) who will stop at nothing to get his hand on the new found fortune. On the run, Brian discovers the more he remembers the less he wants to know about who he really is.


Tagline – Who can you trust?

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Over Populated Action Film

 

Story: The Good, the Bad and the Dead starts as the outlaw (Messner) wakes after a drug deal goes bad, corrupt sheriffs try to claim his prize which brings in the Enforcer Bob Rooker (Lundgren) to do the work for the Suit Imani Cole (Fox) who has been trying to stop the drug deals coming across the borders. When the drug lord Mateo Perez (Trejo) wants his drugs back, it becomes a race against time to see who ends up with the drugs, money and lives.

The race to solve the case and close the case brings us many twists which leave Outlaw Brian needing to face the facts about who he really is and what he was doing at the crime scene.

 

Thoughts on The Good, the Bad and the Dead

 

Characters – Brian Barns is the outlaw, he is left shot in a drug deal gone bad, he has no memory which leads him to need to go on a journey to first learn who he is and later how to escape. Bob Rooker is the DEA Agent tracking down the events of the shootout, he is following clues while staying on the right side of the law. Mateo Perez is the drug lord that is wants to track down who killed his son and took his money. Imani Cole is the suit trying to put the pieces together with her team. Most of the characters we meet don’t get enough development and we keep getting more characters added to complicate things.

PerformancesThe performances are affected by the pure number of characters we are dealing with, nobody gets a chance to stand out or is given enough screen time to be effective for the film.

StoryThe story does try to bring us a story that has plenty of interweaving arcs, which the film doesn’t get enough time to get flushed out and then we try to make every single character seem like they are the most important character to the story. The story does try to stay fast paced which doesn’t help either because we do get a lot of scenes which involve talking and just shooting or planning which takes a lot away from the final outcome of the story.

Action/WesternThe action is by the book shooting which never feels challenging to watch and leaves you not caring too much.

SettingsThe film doesn’t use the settings well enough for the film making none of them having any memorable scenes.

Special EffectsThe effects are fine when it comes to the wounds, but otherwise it will not become anything memorable.


Scene of the Movie –
The opening sequences works well.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters and twists.

Final ThoughtsThis is an overly complicated and populated movie that brings in too many characters to make the twists happening.

 

Overall: Too busy.

Rating

 

 

Elizabeth Olsen Weekend – Godzilla (2014) Revisited

Director: Gareth Edwards

Writer: Max Borensteing, Dave Calaham (Screenplay) Ishiro Honda, Takeo Murata, Shugeru Kayama (Character)

Starring: Aaron Taylor-Johnson, Ken Watanabe, Elizabeth Olsen, Sally Hawkins, Bryan Cranston, Juliette Binoche, Carson Bolde

 

Plot: The world is beset by the appearance of monstrous creatures, but one of them may be the only one who can save humanity.


Tagline – The world ends, Godzilla begins

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brilliant Godzilla Movie

 

Story: Godzilla starts the Brody family, Joe (Cranston), Sandra (Binoche) and son Ford living in Japan where the parents work in a nuclear reactor when a disaster strikes that Joe believes he sees coming, Sandra is killed and the town is evacuated.

15-Years later Ford (Taylor-Johnson) is married to Elle (Olsen) with his own son Sam (Bolde), he serves in the military and finally under leave, when he must bail his father out of a Japanese prison and reluctantly goes into the quarantine zone in search for answers. The Brody’s learn about that something is being covered up by Dr Ishiro Serizawa (Watanabe) and that secret is about to escape becoming a threat to the world with MUTO and Joe is assigned to try and help bring the creature under control with a little help from Godzilla.

 

Thoughts on Godzilla

 

Characters – Ford Brody was raised in Japan where he lost his mother, now a solider he is used to being away from his own family, giving his father one last chance to forget about the past. Ford finds himself on a mission and journey to get from Japan back to his family in San Francisco, he somehow always ends up in the location of the attacks, doing the right thing without wanting any thank you from the people he saves. Dr Ishiro Serizawa is the man leading the investigation into the first appearance of the creatures, he has studied the cocoons they have emerged from and has ideas on how to stop them. Elle is the wife of Ford’s who is a nurse that stays in town when the attacks start in an attempt to save lives where she can, she doesn’t really do much more than this. Joe is the father of Ford that worked at the nuclear power planet which saw his wife killed, he believes there is more to what happened and is determined to figure it out, risking his life too often.

PerformancesAaron Taylor-Johnson is an actor who has gone onto do bigger projects that have tested his acting, this isn’t a film that will show off much acting, mostly because his character is so painfully average. Elizabeth Olsen suffers from this too which brings both their performances down to solid. Ken Watanabe and Bryan Cranston bring the best performances with characters we just want to see more from.

StoryThe story brings us the first chapter if the universe, without needing to make a big point about it, which is the weakness in other films, such as 2017 The Mummy. By doing this we get an introduction to Godzilla the one creature that can save humanity from another deadly creature that is using radioactive material to grow. We do have a human side to this story as we follow the military try to do battle against the creatures that are killing millions. Unlike the 1998 Godzilla we do keep the beliefs of what makes the original brilliant in the story behind their origin. The weakness in the story comes from the idea that our main human character just happens to always be in the location of the latest attack surviving against all the odds.

Action/Adventure/Sci-fiThe action in the film plays into the less is more, we get teased early on about the giant creature battles which could frustrate the fans because they will want to see them fight, but the wait for the final battle is worth it as Godzilla gets involved in one of its biggest battles to date. The adventure side of the story must be the focus on Ford and his journey home, just being unlucky when it comes to being in the middle of the battle, with the sci-fi side of the film uses the idea that the giant creatures have been created through our own human errors.

SettingsThe film does go for iconic locations which is understandable with the final battle being in San Francisco providing the watery side for Godzilla’s entrance.

Special EffectsThe film uses the effects that Gareth Edwards is most known for, the less is more idea which makes the film feel like it has the original motivation behind the attack making the fights feel real.


Scene of the Movie –
The big battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The blandness of our human characters.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brilliant monster movie, that action is giant destructive and worth the wait for, while the human characters could be considered slightly bland, the beginning of this universe is worth the wait.

 

Overall: Must watch monster movie

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominations – G – Green Book (2018)

Director: Peter Farrelly

Writer: Nick Vallelonga, Brian Hayes Currie, Peter Farrelly (Screenplay)

Starring: Viggo Mortensen, Mahershala Ali, Linda Cardellini, Sebastian Maniscalco, Dimitier D Marinov, Mike Hatton

 

Plot: A working-class Italian-American bouncer becomes the driver of an African-American classical pianist on a tour of venues through the 1960s American South.


Tagline – Inspired by a True Friendship

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Story of Friendship

 

Story: Green Book starts when Italian-American Tony Lip (Mortensen) sees the club he is working at close down for a couple of months, needing to find a job, he gets connected to Dr Don Shirley (Ali) who requires a driver for a tour of the deep south in 1960s America.

While on tour it is clear the two have their differences, with Tony not being fond of black people and believing Dr Don should know about black musicians, and Dr Don wanting to see Tony learn to be more accepting to people and carry himself more professionally in everyday life.

 

Thoughts on Green Book

 

Characters – Tony Lip has been a hired hand in the nightclub scene for years in New York, he has opinions on people that he holds in which does include his racist side, he is facing a couple of months without work which leads him to become a driver for a black musician going on tour in the deep south, Tony must put his opinions aside to get paid working for a man that will give him finically security. Dr Don Shirley is the musician that has built up a reputation for his ability on the piano, he hires Tony to be his driver, he carries himself proudly never letting the racist behaviour drag him down, as he looks to improve Tony’s behaviour. Most of the film follows the two on their journey with the problems they are facing along the way. Dolores is the wife of Tony that stays home while the journey is happening, supporting her husband with his decision.

PerformancesViggo Mortensen and Mahershala Ali both give wonderful performances, which when you see the calibre of actor you are dealing with, you would expect, they both show the characters the weaknesses and strengths, so we can understand the struggles they must get through during the film. when it comes to the supporting cast everyone is good, though they don’t have much to do.

StoryThe story follows two men from different backgrounds going on music tour as they teach each other life lessons as they become lifelong friends. We go through the segregation problems that were still going on through America in the 1960s and how both men dealt with the problems in their own ways.  This is another example of just how behind America was about treating people equal no matter what their skin colour or talent is. While this is a personal story between two men, it is slow paced and might not be for everyone to enjoy.

Biopic/Comedy The biopic ide of the story shows us just how the two men became friends even though they came from different backgrounds, while the comedy is basic without being as good as it could have been.

SettingsThe film takes us through the South of America where the racial segregation was still happening, which gives us a road trip feeling through the film.


Scene of the Movie –
Bar performance.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is the same sort America was behind with racial segregation again.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good friendship movie, it has wonderful performances without being anything overly fresh with its ideas.

 

Overall: Simple friendship movie.

Rating