ABC Film Challenge – Crime – J – Joyride (2017)

Director: Matt Murphy

Writer: Matt Murphy (Screenplay)

Starring: Dean O’Gorman, James Rolleston, Ashleigh Cummings, Antonia Preddle, Matt Whelan, Siobhan Marshall

 

Plot: Pork Pie tracks the escapades of a trio of accidental outlaws as they travel the length of the New Zealand in a yellow mini, protesting conformity and chasing lost love, with a posse of cops and a media frenzy hot in their pursuit.


Tagline – The misfits. The Mini. The mayhem.

Runtime: 1 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Little Adventure

 

Story: Joyride starts when Luke (Rolleston) steals a mini escaping from thugs, he nearly hits author who is travelling across New Zealand for a wedding Jon (O’Gorman) and on their journey they pick up feisty young woman Keira (Cummings) as they are running from a past they can’t control.

As the three bond they each reveal why they are on the journey and they three start to guide each other through their problems and their causes, all while evading the law.

 

Thoughts on Joyride

 

Characters – Jon is trying to crash a wedding, not to steal the bride or anything, to try and make up with his ex, who he left at the altar. He wants to make up for everything, though he doesn’t know how to go about it. Luke is the young man who stole the car, he is on the run from some thugs, while dealing with his own loss, he needs somebody to be there for him. Keira is an animal activist that works in a fast food restaurant she joins the guys after learning they are travelling towards a protest, she wants to be part of, showing that she is planning to us the incident to make an impact. Susie is the ex of Jon that was left at the altar, she doesn’t anything to do with Jon, however much he tries to come back to her.

PerformancesDean O’Gorman and James Rolleston are both good in their roles in the film, they manage to have good chemistry and handle the emotional sides of their story too. Ashleigh Cummings completes the main line up with her performance equalling theirs.

StoryThe story shows an unlikely trio travel across New Zealand for different reasons, as they travel they must help each other with their problem as they become outlaws through the country. This does feel like a coming of age movie with the Luke character, a sort your life out movie for Jon and learn about yourself movie for Keira, the three stories mix together to show us how adventure can bring new meaning to life. We get the emotional levels required to make you laugh and cry which can be hard to achieve. This is a story that will stick with you without being one that gets bogged down with too much going on.

Action/Comedy/Crime/RomanceThe action comes from the car chases around the country which are entertaining and like many films include minis. The comedy comes from moments the three go through trying to escape, which shows how the crimes they are committing will only make things worst for the group. The romance is motivation for Jon which shows just how far he would go for love.

SettingsNew Zealand is the backdrop for the movie which shows us how beautiful the country is and how driving across it can be achieved.


Scene of the Movie –
The final car chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The love story takes over too easily.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun film that balance three stories well at times before falling slightly short with concluding a couple of them as well as it should.

 

Overall: Good little action crime comedy.

Rating

 

 

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Franchise Weekend – Jarhead 3 The Siege (2016)

Director: William Kaufman

Writer: Chad Law, Michael D Weiss (Screenplay)

Starring: Charlie Weber, Scott Adkins, Tom Ainsley, Erik Valdez, Dante Basco, Sasha Jackson, Dennis Haysbert

 

Plot: A group of Marines must protect a US Embassy in the Middle East when it suddenly comes under attack from enemy forces.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Siege Movie

 

Story: Jarhead 3: The Siege starts as new recruit Evan Albright (Weber) who has just gotten a role working in the US Embassy in the Middle East, welcomed by Hansen (Ainsley) and under the orders from Gunny Raines (Adkins) with the job to protect the Ambassador Cahill (Hogan). With Evan going through the lesson of how to operate in the embassy we are ready to begin.

Evan notices somebody outside the normal outside the embassy, which soon sees him learning the lessons of the protocol. The marines find the embassy under siege and must use all their training to keep the Ambassador alive against countless enemies.

 

Thoughts on Jarhead 3: The Siege

 

Characters – Evan is the newest marine bought into the embassy, he does fill in the gaps for the protocol that must be followed by the team, learn to work with the rest of the unit and is the first to suspect something is going on around the embassy and ends up being the one leading the fight back. Gunny Raines is the leader of the marines, you play by his rules or face the consequences. Major Lincoln is the one leading the rescue attempt, bringing the back-up required to hopefully help the stranded marines, spends most of the film in a helicopter racing to the scene. Olivia Winston is the computer operative at the embassy, she like Evan has bigger dreams when it comes to rising up through the military rankings.

PerformancesCharlie Weber does take the leading role here where we follow his character entering the world, he works as a soldier never setting the world alight, which can be same for the whole cast sees Scott Adkins, Sasha Jackson and Dennis Haysbert.

StoryThe story here follows a newly recruit marine in an US embassy that must deal with a siege from the locals on the building meaning he will join the marines to show off their skills to defend the embassy. This is one of the simplest stories you will ever see, we follow Evan as he and we learn the lay of the land, the siege is everything you would expect too, following the usual ideas of needing to have safety and out live the numbers that are trying to kill you. It does feel like the story is safe rather than challenging.

Action/WarThe action plays into the war side of the film, we get plenty of military manoeuvres to see bullets flying around.

SettingsThe settings in the film show us the embassy and how the marines operate within it, we see how this makes the positions difficult to defend.


Scene of the Movie –
The escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too by the books.

Final ThoughtsThis is an easy to follow military action film, it doesn’t do anything wrong, only it just seems to be by the book and overly safe.

 

Overall: Safe Military Film.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Jarhead (2005)

Director: Sam Mendes

Writer: William Broyles Jr (Screenplay) Anthony Swofford (Book)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Scott MacDonald, Peter Sarsgaard, Jamie Foxx, Ming Lo, Lucas Black

 

Plot: A psychological study of operations desert shield and desert storm during the gulf war; through the eyes of a U.S marine sniper who struggles to cope with the possibility his girlfriend may be cheating on him back home.


Tagline – Every man fights his own war.

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow and Effective War Film

 

Story: Jarhead starts as we meet Anthony Swofford (Gyllenhaal) who joined the marines, it isn’t long before he gets taken by Staff Sgt Sykes (Foxx) to the US Marine Sniper division going through the training regime meeting his spotter Alan Troy (Sarsgaard).

When war breaks out the marines are set to the middle east, where they must adapt to the desert condition before going into to conflict, this will test their psychical shape and their mental health as the waiting is just part of the sniper’s game.

 

Thoughts on Jarhead

 

Characters – Anthony Swofford who wrote the book the film is based on, we see how he joined the military out of college and struggled at first through the training regime. Anthony soon discovered he was ready for this life as a sniper, but his time in the gulf sees him start to lose his mind. Alan Troy becomes the best friend of Anthony’s and his spotter, he seems to be the most level-headed marine in the unit. Staff Sgt Sykes is the one running the sniper unit, he demands respect and isn’t afraid to put the marines in their place.

PerformancesJake Gyllenhaal is fantastic in the leading role, he shows everyone how he can play the calm soldier, the crazed soldier and the broken man through the scenes of the film which only increase what he is dealing with. Peter Sarsgaard give us a brilliant supporting performance which shows how the fear can be kept inside a calm outer layer. Jamie Foxx brings us the energy of a career military man.

StoryThe story follows the experiences of one soldier that joins the marines before being put in the sniper division when war breaks out, he must adapt to life in the desert during the waiting game before the conflict. This story does show us just how difficult adapting to war can be for the soldiers and just how the war can be fought without needing to fire a weapon. It shows us just how the mindset can change over a set amount of time which will see the soldiers make decisions they wouldn’t normally consider making. This does focus on the idea that the main soldier Anthony never truly feels like he was part of the war followed by the effects of returning back from war can have on the soldiers who have returned.

Biopic/WarThis film follows Anthony’s experience with war, it shows how war isn’t everything he was planning and how his mindset wasn’t in the right place for parts of his experience. The war side of the film shows us just how different war has become over the years, where the ground soldiers are not as required as once before.

SettingsThe film has some wonderful uses of settings with the march sequence showing us just how open the area in question will be for the soldiers.


Scene of the Movie –
Returning home.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Slow start.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fascinating look at the modern war effort, how the biggest problem is now waiting for the war to begin rather than the fighting.

 

Overall: Modern war time.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – J – Jupiter’s Moon (2017)

Director: Kornel Mundruczo

Writer: Kornel Mundruczo, Kata Weber (Screenplay)

Starring: Merab Ninidze, Zsombor Jeger, Gyorgy Cserhalmi, Monika Balsai

 

Plot: Aryan is a Syrian refugee trying to make his way into Hungary from Serbia, along with his father and many other wretched souls. They are all caught, and find themselves in a web of cynicism and corruption.

 

Runtime: 2 Hour 9 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Sci-Fi Film

 

Story: Jupiter’s Moon starts as Syrian refugee Aryan (Jeger) is trying to get into Hungary and becomes separated from his father and ends up getting shot by the police. Once the officer moves away Aryan shows an ability to push the bullets out of his body, which brings him to the attention of Dr Gabor Stern (Ninidze) who sees the abilities to make him standout from the world, with the added ability to float and fly.

Being chased down by the authorities, Aryan gets a lesson of fitting into the everyday life in Hungary from Gabor only to soon learn the harsh reality of the world he is part of and just how the people it in will use him solely for his ability.

 

Thoughts on Jupiter’s Moon

 

Characters – Gabor Stern is a respected doctor in Hungary, he gives up his own time to help the refugees in the camps even though this latest visit changes his life forever, because he meets a young man is amazing abilities which puts him against the law to help teach the man about the culture of Hungary. He does come off selfish at times with his motivations to help Aryan but as the film does he will learn the lessons needed. Aryan is the young man shot only to survive the bullet wounds because of his ability to escape difficult situations and enter Hungary on the more legal methods. In the rest of the characters we learn about a cop that is chasing down the refugee and the woman that Gabor is seeing who must decide who see will support.

PerformancesThe performances from the cast are good through the film, we mainly focus on Merab Ninidze and Zsombor Jeger who show good chemistry on screen together, we see the naivety from the younger actor for his character and the parental figure in the older.

StoryThe story follows a refugee that has unseen abilities that is taken in by a doctor who wants to use his abilities to get financial benefits while also showing him how to fit into society, we do get to touch on the difficult subject of how refugees are treated as terrorist if they are from the countries that are involved in conflict. This is an interesting story because if this had been a straight drama we might not have enjoyed on the same level, but the added sci-fi elements making this young man different are what makes this story feel unique while approaching the subject in question.  

Sci-FiThe sci-fi elements in the film focus on the young man with the abilities people can’t explain, being able to fly and float away from problems.

SettingsThe film has two main settings, first we get to see how compact and difficult the refugee camps are on the people, the rest is set in Hungary which is a nice city to be able to travel around for a film.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are simple, they show how people are reacting to seeing Aryan floating without needing to give him anything to make him look like a superhero or anything.


Scene of the Movie –
The train incident.

That Moment That Annoyed Me There are certain scenes we don’t need in the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is an interesting sci-fi film that adds this elements to the serious nature of refugees needing to be able to find a safe place to call home.

 

Overall: Sci-Fi Different.

Rating

 

 

John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum (2019)

Director: Chad Stahelski

Writer: Derek Kolstad, Shay Hatten, Chris Collins, Marc Abrams (Screenplay)

Starring: Keanu Reeves, Halle Berry, Mark Dacascos, Asia Kate Dillon, Ian McShane, Jason Mantzoukas, Said Taghmaoui, Lance Reddick, Laurence Fishburne, Anjelica Huston, Mark Dacascos

 

Plot: Super-assassin John Wick is on the run after killing a member of the international assassin’s guild, and with a $14 million price tag on his head – he is the target of hit men and women everywhere.


Tagline – If you want peace, prepare for war

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Brutally Brilliant

 

Story: John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum starts right where the last film ended, John Wick (Reeves) has one hour before the bounty on his head becomes live reluctantly by Winston (McShane), John searches for a way to escape which sees him turning to old connections including The Director (Huston) and Sofia (Berry).

With John searching for safety or redemption, The Adjudicator (Dillon) is set to punish the people that helped John commit the kill in the previous film, with her chosen assassin Zero (Dacascos) proving to be one of the toughest enemies John has ever faced.

 

Thoughts on John Wick: Chapter 3 Parabellum

 

Characters – John Wick is the world known assassin that broke the codes put in place, this sees him become the target this time with everybody wanting to hunt him down and cash in on his bounty. John does have connections which will see him stay ahead of the problems before he needs to make his own stand against the table. Sofia is from John’s past, she is the manager of another hotel who will help John because of what he did for her in the past, she is just as deadly of an assassin working hand in hand with her dogs, she is a character we want to see more of even if it is her own movie. Winston is the manager of the hotel in New York, he has run the place for 40 years and is reluctant to put the hit out on John, his delay will see him facing consequences of his action, but he is calm and always has a plan. Bowery King is a character we met last film, he has the ears of on the streets, left needing to honour the decision to go for the hit on John, he will also need to face actions for his decision to help John. Zero is the new assassin chosen to lead the battle against anybody that has help John, he has waited for this chance to get his hands on John to prove himself in combat. The Adjudicator has arrived to clean up the mess which led to John being able to kill inside the walls of the hotel, she is sent to punish anyone that helped John with the kill. Charon is the loyal member of the hotel that welcomes the guests and gets to step up when needed. The Director is one of the people John turns too, she does have a connection to his past which will be key to his escape.

PerformancesKeanu Reeves is fantastic once again in this role, he has made this character truly iconic in the action genre, with the effortless ability to step into the countless fight sequences. Halle Berry enters the franchise and gets one of the most memorable sequences, only wanting to see more from her character. Ian McShane, Laurence Fishburne and Lance Riddick continue to excel in the supporting roles, while Anjelica Huston adds to this list with ease. Mark Dacascos is a wonderful fighting villain, he even gets moments of comedy that don’t feel forced in anyway. Asia Kate Dillon is arguable the least known star in this film, she brings the a-game to shining in this role which shows authority and calmness through the film.

StoryThe story does pick up right where the last one left, showing us what happens next to John Wick when he becomes the target for all the fellow assassins in the world. This does continue to build the world that we have seen growing, showing how people can operate within the world. the story does follow John Wick facing endless amounts of enemies, connect to former contacts hoping they will honour their loyalty over the code, hoping to find a way to end the waves of enemies heading his way. The story does show how other characters have been affected by the actions in the previous film too, while also bringing in new characters with ease.

Action This is one of the purest, most brutal action films you will ever see, the fight sequences are breath-taking and you will see each and every blow giving out.

SettingsThe film uses the settings wonderfully, be it the New York, the hotel and even outside the city where John must visit for help.

Special EffectsThe effects are brutal as you end up seeing the wounds inflicted through the film, some even might make you wince that little bit.


Scene of the Movie –
John & Sofia double team fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me John getting a taxi in New York at half five and being confused about the traffic.

Final ThoughtsThis is easily one of the greatest third instalments in any action film, it is a must watch for fans of the originals and makes the trilogy feel complete.

 

Overall: Must Watch Action Film.

Rating