ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – O – The Odyssey (2016)

Director: Jerome Salle

Writer: Jerome Salle, Laurent Turner (Screenplay) Jean-Michael Cousteau, Albert Falco (Book)

Starring: Lambert Wilson, Pierrre Niney, Audrey Tautou, Laurent Lucas, Benjamin Lavernhe, Vincent Heneine

 

Plot: Highly influential and a fearlessly ambitious pioneer, innovator, filmmaker, researcher and conservationist, Jacques-Yves Cousteau’s aquatic adventure covers roughly thirty years of an inarguably rich in achievements life.


Tagline – One of the biggest productions in the history of European cinema! 

Runtime: 2 Hours 2 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Interesting Biopic

 

Story: The Odyssey starts by taking us back to 1949, Jacques-Yves Cousteau (Wilson) is known as a great explorer around the world with his loyal wife Simone (Tautou) by his side, his reputation is growing with his latest adventure.

When Jacques’ latest job takes him away from home, he proves to become one of the greatest researchers and filmmakers of all time, with his children Philippe (Niney) and Jean-Michael (Lavernhe) grown up, they join him on exploring the oceans of the world. we see how Jacques goes about making history with his own documentary show and how over time his action will affects his wife and son.

 

Thoughts on The Odyssey

 

Characters – Jacques-Yves Cousteau was a great inventor whose ambition drove technology to a new level, underwater exploring, his fame takes his reputation to new heights as he sets out on new projects working with his son for new incredible discoveries underwater. He however has his vices which push his wife away and tries to hold his own son back from being as great as he is. Philippe is his son, the son that gets involved with the same research as his father, he is fearless which only leaves his father questioning his actions, it will be one of his action that brings his father his hardest day. Simone is the long suffering wife of Jacques, she stays by his side

PerformancesLambert Wilson in the leading role is good and does cover the man through over 30 years of his life in the process. Pierre Niney also gives us a good performance which is what you will be finding looking at the whole case, everyone is good without being standout.

StoryThe story here follows the life of Jacques-Yves Cousteau, one of the great pioneers and explorers of the modern era, he helped making underwater exploration a possibility and was one of the first people to understand that there was a problem in the world’s oceans. We follow 30-years of his life through the success and through his hardest days. As with any biopic we get to see just moments from this man’s life, which can help show us where he once went and just what he achieved, we could have seen more about just how many other people would challenge his ideas and go onto use them too.

Adventure/BiopicThe adventure from this movie comes from seeing the things that Jacques and his crew discovered over his career and blends with the biopic side of the story perfectly to teach us about the origin of certain elements of film making we admire most from the greats out there now.

SettingsThe film takes us to many different settings, we see the great ocean views above and below the water which only make us go wow, we get to see just how difficult the family life would have been for an explorer too.

Special EffectsThe effects are mixed because they are used wonderfully well with the make up and aging processes, but certain water scenes don’t work as well.


Scene of the Movie –
The underwater scenes look fantastic.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t see enough of the relationship with the other son.

Final ThoughtsThis is a strong biopic that any fans of the genre will be enjoying, it shows us just how influential one of the great explorers of the world would have been.

 

Overall: Nice biopic.

Rating

 

 

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Our Brand Is Crisis (2015)

Director: David Gordon Green

Writer: Peter Straughan (Screenplay) Rachel Boynton (Documentary)

Starring: Sandra Bullock, Billy Bob Thornton, Anthony Mackie, Joaquim de Almeida, Ann Dowd, Scoot McNairy, Zoe Kazan

 

Plot: A battle-hardened American political consultant is sent to help re-elect a controversial president in Bolivia, where she must compete with a long-term rival working for another candidate.


Tagline – May the best campaign win.

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Unfunny Political Comedy

 

Story: Our Brand is Crisis starts when disgraced political consultant Jane (Bullock) gets recruited by Nell (Dowd) and Ben (Mackie) to help improve the approval rating of Bolivian presidential candidate Castillo (de Almeida).

Jane must go against her old enemy Pat Candy (Thornton) who has always beaten her in campaign battles, this is going to be the time she will not be prepared to lose as she will try new ideas he isn’t prepared for.

 

Thoughts on Our Brand is Crisis

 

Characters – Jane is nicknamed calamity Jane after her mistakes in previous campaigns, she is dragged into returning to the field in Bolivia going against her old enemy. She has bright ideas which will help, but her own personal problems could cause the downfall in the campaign. Pat Candy is the rival that has always beaten Jane, he knows all the dirty tricks and will use them to make sure he wins. Ben is the member of the campaign that wasn’t in full support of hiring Jane because of her history or lack of involvement in her early days on the campaign. Castillo is the senator that is running for the presidency of Bolivia, a role he once had, he needs to help turn his public image around in hopes of trying to win this election.

PerformancesSandra Bullock is good through the film, though she isn’t as strong as we know she can be. Billy Bob Thornton is solid in his role, he will always make for a good villainous figure even if he is just the other side of the law. Anthony Mackie gives us another solid supporting performance without being too involved in the main story.

StoryThe story here follows a political consultant that gets bought into Bolivia to help with the Presidential campaign that is losing quickly. She goes against her real enemy, the man that always beats her in a country that remains loyal to certain sides of everything. this is loosely based on a true story and for a story that we are meant to care about, we just don’t get sucked into knowing or caring about what happens with the campaign. None of the characters are overly likeable and by the end you won’t remember too many events of the story.

ComedyThe film tries to use comedy, though most of it misses, the only time it hits are on random scene which don’t have too much to do with the actual campaign.

SettingsThe film is set in Bolivia, this can be seen with the divide in the people, the different classes and reaction to each presidential candidate.


Scene of the Movie –
Bus time.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It just isn’t overly interesting.

Final ThoughtsMostly forgettable political comedy, two words that shouldn’t go together when it comes to dealing with a real campaign.

 

Overall: Disappointing and boring.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action – O – Origin War (2016)

Director: Shane Abbess

Writer: Shane Abbess, Brian Cachia (Screenplay)

Starring: Kellan Lutz, Daniel MacPherson, Isabel Lucas, Luke Ford, Rachel Griffiths, Temuera Morrison

 

Plot: Set in the future in a time of interplanetary colonization, an unlikely pair race against an impending global crisis and are confronted by the monsters that live inside us all.


Tagline – A father on a mission, a convict on the run, must fight for the future. The countdown has begun

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Sci-Fi Pilot Episode

 

Story: The Osiris Child starts in the future where colonization has become the normal. LT Kane Sommerville (MacPherson) was a once great pilot whose accident left many dead, now he works on one of these planets, split from his family, when his daughter Indi (Croft) visits, unable to take her to the base he leaves her in the big city.

When a virus outbreak happens on the surface, the base is on lockdown, only for this to be a cover up for a monster they created outbreak and he must escape to the surface, where he meets escaped prisoner Sy Lombrok (Lutz) as the two reluctantly work together to save Kane’s daughter.

 

Thoughts on The Osiris Child

 

Characters – Lt Kane Summerville is a disgraced pilot working on a remote planet, his career has cost him his family being away from his daughter. He will get a chance to redeem himself when his daughter is put in danger, he rushes against time to save her from the impending destruction of the planet. He sees this as his final chance to make up for his mistakes. Sy Lombrok is one of the prisoners on the planet, he reluctantly joins Kane on his journey giving him his chance for redemption. Gyp is one of the people that joins the men on the journey, she has lived on the surface of the planet and enjoys a drink or two General Lynex is the one planning the destroying the planet after her own experiment goes wrong, she doesn’t care how many people will die to cover up their mistake.

PerformancesDaniel MacPherson in the leading role is strong who is willing to do anything for his daughter, it isn’t the most difficult role though. Kellan Lutz as the brooding criminal with a secret for his imprisonment does well through the film. Isabel Lucas and Rachel Griffiths both struggle to deliver on the standards involved.

StoryThe story follows a military pilot teaming up with a prisoner to save his daughter before the newly colonized planet is destroyed to cover up the mistake by the military. We know this type of story and it does play out like a video game, with each stage becoming more difficult. This story does feel like it is just a set up for a bigger concept, with the story told in chapter form too helps that theory. The story does have plenty of sup-plots which could have been investigated in more depth, which a film couldn’t have offered, because they are interesting and get flown over without given that much time on.

Action/Fantasy/Horror/Sci-FiThe action in this film feels very safe with one plane chase, bit of driving then a few bullets flying at the monsters. The horror elements in the film comes from the origin of the monsters which will be killing machines. The sci-fi world is brilliant because we get to see just how going to new worlds could happen.

SettingsThe world building in the film is the highlight because the new planet system feels like we could see a massive scale behind everything which shows us just how prepared this film is for the story to open up for more too.

Special EffectsThe effects are simple enough, the monsters don’t always look that scary though.


Scene of the Movie –
The original sin.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It feels like a pilot.

Final ThoughtsSimple sci-fi action film that feels like it should be preparing for something much bigger.

 

Overall: Simple and effective.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – O – O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Writer: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (Screenplay) Homer (Poem)

Starring: George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman, Holly Hunter, Chris Thomas King, Charles Durning

 

Plot: In the deep south during the 1930s, three escaped convicts search for hidden treasure while a relentless lawman pursues them.


Tagline – Sometimes, you have to lose your way to get back home

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wacky Comedy

 

Story: O Brother, Where Art Thou? Starts when three prisoners Everett (Clooney), Pete (Turturro) and Delmar (Nelson) escape from prison, going on a race across country in search of a treasure before it goes for good.

Along the way the three must figure out how to stay ahead of the law which puts them in a series of comical events along the way until they run into a salesman Big Dan Teague (Goodman) who is puts them against their match.

 

Thoughts on O Brother, Where Art Thou?

 

Characters – Everett is the brains of the three, he isn’t the strongest with this either, he tries to keep the guys together as they need to stay away from the law, he pushes them to take risks along the way too. Pete is the other fellow escapee that wants to be in charge, he will follow Everett as long as he can follow his dreams to get to the money. Delmar is the dumbest member of the group he makes all the mistakes along the way putting the friends in a bigger problem in search for the money. Big Dan is one of the many characters they meet along the way, one that makes a big impact on the adventure.

PerformancesGeorge Clooney is good in the leading role, going against the typecast of a pretty guy which he has been making a reputation for himself, John Turturro showed us once again that he can make any role work well, with Tim Blake Nelson getting the best lines which shows he can hang with the biggest names in Hollywood. The rest of the cast do bring us plenty of the laughs with the extremes of the characters.

StoryThe story follows three criminals in search of treasure and their hapless journey across country to locate it. They meet a string of colourfully people along the way, some who help and others than hinder.  This does follow the trends of comedy films which leaves our character into a mixed of events to make a simple journey never going the way they are planning them to. We do get a few twists along the way which change our opinions on the characters too.

Adventure/Crime/ComedyThe adventure takes our three convicts across country meeting the colourful characters along the way, this shows us the criminal world they are from and dealing with the people from, we also get the comedy involved in the film from just what happens along the way.

SettingsThe settings take us across a string of different Southern America towns which plays into he backward way of thinking the people in the area would have.


Scene of the Movie –
The KKK rescue.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t see enough of the lawman after them.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wacky crime comedy that will see people in the audience laugh at times, it will however turn people in the audience off too.

 

Overall: Crime comedy with enough laughs along the way.

Rating

 

 

The Ottoman Lieutenant (2017)

Director: Joseph Ruben

Writer: Jeff Stockwell (Screenplay)

Starring: Michiel Huisman, Hera Milmar, Josh Hartnett, Ben Kingsley, Haluk Bilginer, Affif Ben Badra

 

Plot: The Ottoman Lieutenant is a love story between an idealistic American nurse and a Turkish officer in World War I.


Tagline – In a land on the brink of war the most dangerous place to be is in love.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Paced

 

Story: The Ottoman Lieutenant starts on the eve of the First World War, American nurse Lillie (Hilmar) tired of the divide in the hospitals wants to help out with foreign aid in Turkey after meeting Doctor Jude (Hartnett) and against her parents wishes, she heads to Turkey.

Arriving in Turkey she is guided by Lieutenant Ismail (Huisman) who teaches her how to embrace the new culture which is just as divided as back home, in the middle of a war now her heart is captured by Ismail the man doing the right thing in this war.

 

Thoughts on The Ottoman Lieutenant

 

Characters – Ismail is the Ottoman Lieutenant, he is assigned to guide Lillie through the territory to make it safely, he knows how to handle situations of trouble, deals with the knowledge of killing his own kind over religion only to fall in love with Lillie. Lillie is an American nurse, raised in money and wanting to help people who are in need of help. She travels to Turkey to help where she learns the horrors of the war, while falling in love with a Lieutenant as she continues to battle to divide in people who need help. Jude is the American doctor stationed there, he doesn’t want to pick sides in the war and will do what he can to save the wounded.

PerformancesMichiel Huisman and Hera Hilmar are both strong in the leading roles of this movie, it would be fair to say they are not as known as the supporting cast, these two must carry the movie with Josh Hartnett and Ben Kingsley providing solid supporting performance.

StoryThe story follow an American nurse that wants to help change the world, this brings her to Turkey to help in the war which is something we have seen before. This has a love story here is a by the book idea falling for the mysterious stranger in a new world, while we do have the idea of just where people need to tackle the problems with the war going over differences between the two religious beliefs.

WarWe show the war but mostly gets told in commentary about what is happened in this war.

SettingsThe film uses the settings well to show the landscapes that are being used in the battle which looks wonderful.


Scene of the Movie –
The island.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The commentary of the war.

Final ThoughtsThis is a film that just is slow paced that shows a love story in the backdrop of war which is only going to be a basic movie to watch with snippets of history.

 

Overall: Slow, but effective enough.

Rating