Original v Remake Weekend – The Italian Job (2003)

Director: F Gary Gray

Writer: Donna Powers, Wayne Powers (Screenplay) Troy Kennedy-Martin (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Donald Sutherland, Jason Statham, Seth Green, Yasiin Bey, Edward Norton

 

Plot: After being betrayed and left for dead in Italy, Charlie Croker and his team plan an elaborate gold heist against their former ally.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid but Confusing Remake

 

Story: The Italian Job starts as Charlie Croker (Wahlberg) and his tea John Bridger (Sutherland) Handsome Rob (Statham), Lyle (Green), Left Ear (Bey) and Steve (Norton) pulling of a heist in Venice, an Italian Job if you like. With the job done perfectly the escape looks like a sure thing only for Steve to turn on them leaving the rest of the team for dead.

One year later Charlie brings the team back together with Stella (Theron) John’s daughter in to get revenge on Steve by stealing the gold he stole from them.

 

Thoughts on The Italian Job

 

Characters/PerformanceCharlie is not the character we knew from the first one, he isn’t the womaniser, quick talker we loved but just a dull smart guy, Stella brings us the female character need for the heist and the daughter of Mr Bridger does work but she isn’t anything overly special. Steve is the traditional backstabber greedy villain but again doesn’t have too much about him. The rest of the crew all have the banter they need that get laughs but are no more than you need, the tech guy, the explosives guy and the getaway driver.

Performance wise, I think the word fine is going to be used a lot here, Wahlberg just doesn’t have the charisma that Michael Caine bought to the role and the whole of the ‘good’ team have fine but nothing special performances. Ed Norton on the other hand you can see doesn’t want to be there.

StoryThe story does build on the original story, it has a heist in Italy, but after that first ten minutes it turns into a revenge heist in LA making the title misleading. The story isn’t anything fresh because we have seen this style of heist movie many times before, it just rips off one of the bests ideas.

Action/CrimeThe action is fine as we are left with the final chase being the payoff for the movie but it doesn’t live up to the original. The crime is a heist so we are cheering for thieve whatever happens.

SettingsThe opening setting is Italy great works for the title of the film but the rest is set in LA which doesn’t make sense.

Special EffectsThe special effects are used to show whole the heist will go but it just doesn’t look very good.

Final ThoughtsIf this was a stand-alone heist movie it would be good but nothing special but being a remake it just doesn’t work on the right levels.

 

Overall: Remake we never really needed.

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Original v Remake Weekend – The Italian Job (1969)

jobDirector: Peter Collinson

Writer: Troy Kennedy-Martin (Screenplay)

Starring: Michael Caine, Noel Coward, Benny Hill, Raf Vallone, Tony Beckley, Rossano Brazzi

 

Plot: Comic caper movie about a plan to steal a gold shipment from the streets of Turin by creating a traffic jam.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Crime Caper

 

Story: The Italian Job starts as Charlie Croker (Caine) gets released from prison and going about his day in his con-artist thieving lifestyle. Charlie has already got a job set up for with the recently killed Beckerman (Brazzi) who has planned a robbery in Italy down to perfection.

Charlie needs to put his own team together for this job which brings him back to his old business associates with Mr Bridger (Coward) financing the job from behind bars. Charlie puts together his team as they head off to Italy for the job with a series of training mistakes.

The job takes a turn when Charlie learns the Mafia are also looking to take out any Englishman trying to steal from their country but can Charlie pull off the biggest heist of his career, that is the question.

 

Thoughts on The Italian Job

 

Characters/PerformanceCharlie is your typical wheeler-dealer criminal that can charm his way into anything or out of anything. He likes his plan and most of all he is the leader for the crime team. Mr Bridger is the financer who is behind bars but has all of the power England seems to want to let him have. The rest of the characters all have odd quirks but don’t get enough screen time to become memorable.

Performance wise this film is a Michael Caine masterclass where he does steal every single scene he is starring in, Noel Coward does seem to have a lot of fun with his overly English character with the rest of the cast all doing their jobs well.stars

StoryThe story is about a crime heist in a different country, we get to see how it all comes together with twists in the story. There really isn’t too much more to go on when you break down the story, it is easy to follow and you all should know how it ends now.

Action/Comedy/CrimeWatching the heist unfold is all the action we need for this film with the crime side of the story being the planning of the heist which also has elements of comedy going on throughout.

SettingsHaving the heist set in Italy does make this stand out from the rest of the films in this genre and is still just as iconic as this film has become.genre

Final ThoughtsThis film will always be remembered for it’s unbelievable final car chase through the streets of Italy and you can see just how brilliant that scene is.

 

Overall: The classic of all heist movies and cliff hanger endings.

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Ice Age: Collision Course (2016)

iceDirector: Mike Thurmeier, Galen T Chu

Writer: Michael J Wilson, Michael Berg, Yoni Brenner (Screenplay) Aubrey Solomon (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Ray Romano, Jennifer Lopez, Adam Devine, Queen Latifah, Simon Pegg, Josh Peck, Seann William Scott

 

Plot: Manny, Diego, and Sid join up with Buck to fend off a meteor strike that would destroy the world.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Thank God it Ends Now

 

Story: Ice Age: Collision Course starts with the adventures of Scrat and his acorn because the main story clearly isn’t enough for the film, this time he ends up in space because all franchise go to space when they run out of ideas and he causes a meteor to head towards Earth because science.

Meanwhile on Earth Manny and his daughter Peaches are playing ice hockey because why not this film has jump to ridiculous a few films ago. Manny, Sid and Diego are all still best friends having their own problems with their mates so we get a bar for them all to go too because this is an animated nonsense film I guess.

Why am I watching this film? We have you forgot the anniversary between Manny (typical Ray Romano character) and Ellie. Parenting issues between Diego and Shira while Sid just can’t get a sloth of his own.

The story actually starts happening when the first signs of the meteor start impacting Earth bring back Buck rom the underground to lead the family to safety giving the animals a chance to deal with their personal issues and family problems.

Ice Age: Collision Course has only one good feature and that is the look of the animation which is always flawless. The story is beyond ridiculous this time around that puts horrendous science into the film that makes you forget what should be an easy subject to understand. The family issues all come off tiresome as we have seen Manny deal with his issues for 5 films now.

The voice acting is also becoming questionable here with each character almost now written to be stand up routine for the additional characters with Adam Levine doing his thing, Wanda Sykes doing her thing and Ray Romano bring back his Everybody Loves Raymond character. Thankfully this is the end of the franchise because this is just not acceptable from them anymore.

 

Overall: Awful addition to the franchise.

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I Am Heath Ledger (2017)

Director: Adrian Buitenhuis, Derik Murray

Writer: Hart Snider (Screenplay)

 

Plot: Friends and family of the late actor Heath Ledger remember his life and career.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fascinating Documentary

 

Story: I am Heath Ledger starts as we hear from friends and family about the drive from a very young age that Heath had, we learn how he would record his life and we see these previously unseen recordings of his own adventures, as he continued to learn his craft.

We learn how the fellow stars from Australia would come together to support each other through their time in Hollywood.

Seeing how many people both in personal and in the Hollywood world were touched by Heath is fascinating and showed us what a great man Heath was and how he should always be remembered.

 

Thoughts on I Am Heath Ledger

 

Final ThoughtsHeath Ledger is easily one of the biggest losses in modern Hollywood time, he potential was just coming through after The Dark Knight but he was taken from us too soon. Seeing how his life goals were achieved, how he went out with little to no experience to become a lead in a Hollywood. Seeing how he helped people, always wanted to learn and improve his craft is fascinating to see. This is a must watch for any of the fans of his, actors and Hollywood.

 

Overall: One for everyone to watch.

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Indecent Proposal (1993)

indiDirector: Adrian Lyne

Writer: Amy Holden Jones (Screenplay) Jack Engelhard (Novel)

Starring: Robert Redford, Demi Moore, Woody Harrelson, Seymour Cassel, Oliver Platt, Billy Bob Thornton, Rup Taylor, Billy Connolly

 

Plot: A millionaire offers $1,000,000 to a young married couple for a night with the wife.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Little Drama

 

Story: Indecent Proposal starts as we meet young newlyweds Diana Murphy (Moore) and David Murphy (Harrelson) who have been high school sweethearts who believed everything was going to go their way but once the recession hits they find all their dreams shattered with money becoming the serious problem after they both lose their jobs.

Wanting to make the money quickly they head to Vegas where they learn the good and bad side of gambling industry where they lose their remaining money after making it big. Their fortunes change when they bump into high roller billionaire John Gage (Redford) who shows them the life of luxury.

Gage offers the young couple $1 Million for one night with Diana, this gives the couple an almost impossible choice but we are left wondering just whether they could come to a deal or not. Making the deal we get to see how David and Diana deal with the night and the consequences of this decision.

 

Thoughts on Indecent Proposal

 

StoryThe story does give us one of the ultimate moral questions that any married couple could face to solve their monetary problems. We also get to see how they could become broken once the night is done. We get to see how the love between two people can be tested to the extremes as they need to solve their problems. The major issue I have with this story is that this couple have set an unrealistic dream in the first place putting themselves in the mess they find themselves in which a normal person wouldn’t end up finding themselves in.

Drama/RomanceWhen you look at the romance side of this story you get to see how a married couple with all the love in the world can be led astray by someone catching their eye even if it is the money that draws them apart. We get to see how undying love with always prevail whatever you have been through.

Characters/PerformancesDiana and David are the typical Hollywood couple with their unrealistic attempts to make their life the dream even though their love is all they need. John Gage is a man who believes he can buy anything but must learn that he can’t buy the one thing he wants. When you look to the performances everyone is great here with Woody Harrelson has the broken man, Demi as the naïve women dreaming of more and Robert Redford as the business man who can get all.

SettingsThe settings show us the difference in the lifestyles of the married couple and the billionaire which are used brilliantly as we see how Diana gets to look at a different life.

Final ThoughtsI see this film as one of the interesting films from the past that could be done on so many other levels with new technology but can be enjoyed by all.

 

Overall: Good drama about love, money and decision making.

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