ABC Film Challenge – Crime – O – One Last Score (2015)

Director: Hank Bedford

Writer: Hank Bedford (Screenplay)

Starring: Chris Zylka, Riley Keough, Faith Hill, RJ Mitte, Brad Carter, Steve Earle, Mick Foley

 

Plot: A young, recently-released and unpredictable ex-con with bad luck, and a sexy, listless girl-next-door with a troubled family, become trapped in a downward spiral of crime and obsessive love, as they try to ditch their dead-end town for a better life.


Tagline – Get out while you can.

Runtime: 1 Hour 32 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Burner

 

Story: One Last Score starts as young man Kermit (Zylka) is release from prison and returning to the preverbal wrong side of the tracks where the families struggle to make ends meet. He returns home to his mother Arletta (Hill) who wants him to stay out of trouble, his neighbour Rachel (Keough) who is working to help care for her sick mother, with her latest job being as a stripper.

Kermit and Rachel strike up a friendship for the bonding of their own struggles, supporting each other through this tough time. This brings Kermit back to the life of crime, the one he promised to star away from in an attempt to escape the dead-end town with Rachel.

 

Thoughts on One Last Score

 

Characters – Kermit is the former criminal that returns to his trailer park home to try and rebuild his life, he wants to be a barber, but is drawn back into his life of crime as he falls in love with Rachel and the two want to escape their dead-end town. Rachel is trying to help her mother paying for medical bills which leads her to a life of stripping, the two bond and plan to escape this life and start over.

PerformancesChris Zylka is good in the leading role, he works well with Riley as we see just how desperate his makes his character feel in what seems like a hopeless situation. Riley Keough shows her talent in this role as the woman that is left with her back against the wall.

StoryThe story here shows the tough lives people can be living in America with little money, we see how two people that have turned to a life they didn’t want try to make ends meet in an attempt to escape this style of living. This shows us how another side of America lives which isn’t the side that gets shown enough, the side that are forced into lives they can’t handle, that are dangerous and at times illegal. The pace of the story is slow, but that does help the final pay off in the story which makes you think at times.

CrimeThe crime world that Kermit is going into is only scratched on the surface, while we know he doesn’t want to be deeper in, this shows us how on the lines he wants to be to survive.

SettingsThe film shows us with the settings the poorer parts of America, the ones living in the trailer parks trying just to get by each day, this helps us understand the characters struggles.


Scene of the Movie –
The Lake.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The strange interviews through the movie, while I understand it reflects real life people, we lose something about the characters we are following.

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow burning story that shows the tough times in America, it shows the desperation for two people to escape in a job they would never want to do, but must do.

 

Overall: Bleak view on America

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – O – Office (2015)

Director: Won-chan Hong

Writer: Choi Yun-jin (Screenplay)

Starring: Ko Asung, Seong-woo Bae, Eui-sung Kim, Sung-woong Park

 

Plot: The investigation following a sales manager brutally killing his entire family leads to a track of mystery and tragedy in an overwhelmed work team at Seoul.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tension Fuelled

 

Story: Office starts when a section chief Byeong-Gook Kim (Bae) murders his family before going on the run, the police head to his office run by director Sang-Gyu Kim (Kim) to question the employees. Detective Jong-Hoon (Park) leads the investigation which sees him learning only good about the suspect.

Th newest intern Mi-Rye Lee (Asung) is question after being warned about how to answer the questions, which soon hints at a mystery surrounding the office and what goes on within the walls, as the manhunt for Byeong-Gook continues.

 

Thoughts on Office

 

Characters – Mi-Rye Lee is an intern in the office, she is the newest member of the staff, with the least knowledge of the accused murderer, she travels the furthest for this job seeing working in the big city as her dream. She knows the least about what the company and just what have caused the unusual behaviour. Byeong-Gook Kim is the section chief, he is the man that murdered his family before going into hiding, he was respected by his employees and seems to have a motivation for coming back. Director Sang-Gyu Kim wants answers and wants the company name kept out of the papers. Detective Jong-Hoon is leading the investigation into the murders which sees him asking the office the questions trying to figure out a way to understand how the office operates, he is honest in his approach which sees him searching for answers in places others would even think of looking.

PerformancesKo Asung is brilliant in this leading role of a character that is constantly evolving as the story unfolds, the range displayed is wonderful to see. Seong-woo Bae is haunting in his scenes in the film, you will be genuinely unsettled by his presence on screen. Sung-woong Park is the determined detective who shows us just how determined he is to get to the truth. Eui-sung Kim brings us the strict boss which seems to be his strength when it comes to movies.

StoryThe story follows an office that becomes the centre of attention after a murder by one of the member of the office, the investigation sees the truth slowly starting to surfaces with a shocking truth behind what is happening. This is a story that does truly keep us guessing through the film, it shows how an office could see extra stress placed upon the employees which would see the bickering between them increase, while the investigation shows just how far people would go for a promotion. Most of the story is spent wondering what the motivation for the murder in the first place was.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in the film comes from just seeing what happens when somebody is left alone in the office, with some uncomfortable tense scenes. The mystery surrounds just what is happening, why it is happening and whether it could be stopped from happening again.

SettingsMost of the film is set in and around the office which see how close these workers must be at all times, no matter how they feel about each other which could see tension rise between them.


Scene of the Movie –
The late visit one.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does feel like not everything is answered.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the tensest movies you will see, it does keep you guessing, no matter what is going in and is filled with horror moments that drag you to the edge of your seat.

 

Overall: Edge of your seat thriller.

Rating

 

 

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

 

 

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