Pacific Rim Uprising (2018)

Director: Steven S DeKnight

Writer: Emily Carmichael, Kira Snyder, Steven S DeKnight, T.S. Nowlin (Screenplay) Travis Beacham (Characters)

Starring: John Boyega, Rinko Kikuchi, Scott Eastwood, Adria Arjona, Tian Jing, Charlie Day, Burn Gorman, Tian Jing, Jin Zhang

 

Plot: Jake Pentecost, son of Stacker Pentecost, reunites with Mako Mori to lead a new generation of Jaeger pilots, including rival Lambert and 15-year-old hacker Amara, against a new Kaiju threat.


Tagline – Rise up.

Runtime: 1 Hour 51 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Average Action Film

 

Story: Pacific Rim Uprising starts in the aftermath of the great war with the Kaiju, cities have been rebuilt, while others became squatter’s paradise, Jake Pentecost (Boyega) has taken to this life style, getting what he wants through stealing, not following in his father’s footsteps. When he meets genius engineer Arama (Spaeny) who has built her own illegal Jaeger unit, the get captured.

Jake is force back into the Jaeger program by his step-sister Mako (Kikuchi) with Amara being one of his cadets. When Liwen Shao (Jing) has created drone controlled Jaeger, it looks like the program has become obsolete, until they malfunction bringing the Kaiju back with a bigger and deadlier threat. Jake must put his past a side, follow in his father’s footsteps and work with his rival Nate Lambert (Eastwood) to save the world again.

 

Thoughts on Pacific Rim Uprising

 

Characters – Jake is the son of the great Stacker Pentecost, he hasn’t followed in his father’s footsteps, believing the war to be over for good, getting himself in trouble with the law brings him back into the program to train new recruits in case the Jaegers return. When they do he must become the leader his father was. Nate Lambert is the Ranger that has been working in the force for years, he enjoys training and was once a brilliant combat operator, he is the rival in the sense of having different mentality, but they both respect each other. Amara is the 15-year-old genius engineer that can build Jaeger’s like the best, she gets to become a cadet where she must prove herself to the fellow cadets. We have a random love interest, that seems to be there to add slight, weak tension between the boys, the scientists are back with their experiments and Liwen Shao is the brilliant mind behind an improved defence system.

PerformancesJohn Boyega gets to have fun in this role, his performances feels like a mix of his Attack the Block streets wise and Fin who is being brave on the outside, this works even though he does get more screen time that you think he needs for certain moments. Scott Eastwood is good in his role, its not the most difficult role to play and he doesn’t put a foot wrong. Cailee Spaeny is the new comer here, she has good chemistry for the banter with Boyega which is important between the two. No one really gives a bad performance, it is the lack of time given to Jin Zhang and Rinko Kikuchi that disappoints the most.

StoryThe story here brings us into a world which has seen the war, believed it was over and moved with life. This reflects what would happen with major disasters, parts gets rebuilt others forgotten. The idea that a tech firm wants to improve, this time by going drone warfare is something we know and have seen before, while the twist behind everything just seems random and out of place. we come into this movie to watch giant robots fight giant monsters, we get moments but for a story this felt like almost a forced sequel that believes it will become a franchise. The characters arcs are basic Jake’s has the clearest one at that.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action sequences are a mixed bag here, the big finally one, great loved how it was shot, tracking the different battles, the problem with most of the action sequences comes when we jump between non action moments, taking us out of the carnage. The adventure side comes from new people needing to prepare for a big battle, been here seen this. The sci-fi side of this is giant robots fighting giant monsters from another dimension, can you get more sci-fi than this?

SettingsThe settings show us once again that Kaiju only attack tourist destinations, like Sydney and Tokyo, we have some random time in the snow because why not.

Special EffectsThe effects do look flawless on the surface, my only issue here is watching the destruction sequences, it always feels like the buildings just vanish at times.


Scene of the Movie –
Final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The building destruction never feels permanent.

Final ThoughtsThis is a solid enough sequel, it does everything a brain switch off movie needs to, grab popcorn, don’t car about anything for 2 hours and enjoy. If you want a deep story you will be disappointed and loveable characters, look elsewhere.

 

Overall: Solid popcorn nonsense.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Random – P – Payback (1999)

Director: Brian Helgeland

Writer: Brian Helgeland, Terry Hayes (Screenplay) Donald E Westlake (Novel)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Gregg Henry, Maria Bello, David Paymer, Bill Duke, Deborah Kara Under, John Glover, Lucy Liu

 

Plot: After a successful heist, Porter is shot by his wife and his best friend. They leave him there to die but when he recovers, he seeks revenge and wants his share of the money.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Enjoyable Revenge Thriller

 

Story: Payback starts as Porter (Gibson) is left for dead by his partner Val (Henry) and wife Lynn (Unger), Porter explains everything he wants to go and why it happened as he tells us all his plan. We watch how Porter dives into the criminal underworld to get his hands-on Val first to get his money, then to kill him.

Porter’s mission is filled with twists and turns along the way as he deals with his former bosses, Bronson (Kristofferson), Carter (Devane), dirty cops and his only friend is old flame Rosie (Bello), can he get what is owned to him?

 

Thoughts on Payback

 

Characters – Porter is a streetwise criminal that does the small jobs in the underworld until he is betrayed, he only wants his money but ends up going after the whole organisation in his cold calculated way. Val is the man that betrayed Porter, he has a short temper and gets himself into trouble more often than not. Rosie is the one person Porter is willing to trust but mostly used to show Porter could have a life after this revenge mission. We also have the traditional crime characters that don’t seem to have anything overly original about them.

PerformanceMel Gibson was one of the hottest properties in the 90’s before any controversy and here you can see he knew how to be the star of the show. Gregg Henry is a good villain but we have three main villains that all get the limited amount of time. Maria Bello is also good in this film as the helper showing us she can pull off the sexy smart partner in crime.

StoryThe story is a by the book revenge story of a betrayed criminal that goes after the man who turned on his just to get the money back but ends up facing off against the how organisation. This is also a film which is known for how the editing changed the tone of the film which is something you can see through the story a lot, one minute it feels like a dark thriller the next it has a moment of what feels slightly comical. This does take part of the film out but the story still ends up going the same way.

Action/CrimeThe action is shoot ups which are a good watch throughout the film, each having bigger stakes and each trying to give us something original. The crime world shows us the world all the characters are from which helps us understand all the motivation they show.

SettingsNew York, my old friend and favourite for a crime setting, nothing can be flawed and staying away from some of the bigger iconic monuments or structures helps us enjoy the gritty underworld.

Scene of the Movie – Pearl in a jam.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I would agree with the people who say the edit doesn’t click for the tone.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good by the book crime thriller but the tonal problems stops it reaching the highlights of everything it could have from what I hear of the director’s cut.

 

Overall: Crime thriller fans will enjoy.

Rating

 

 

Pitch Perfect 3 (2017)

Director: Trish Sie

Writer: Kay Cannon, Mike White (Screenplay) Mickey Rapkin (Book)

Starring: Anna Kendrick, Rebel Wilson, Brittany Snow, Anna Camp, Hailee Steinfeld, Ester Dean, Hana Mae Lee, Kelley Jakle

 

Plot: Following their win at the world championship, the now separated Bellas reunite for one last singing competition at an overseas USO tour, but face a group who uses both instruments and voices.


Tagline – Last Call Pitches

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice Conclusion to the Trilogy

 

Story: Pitch Perfect 3 starts as the Bellas tired of their everyday lives, reunite for an overseas military performance. Beca (Kendrick), Fat Amy (Wilson), Chloe (Snow), Aubrey (Camp) and Emily (Steinfeld) along with the rest set up to tour and perform with fellow bands for military families.

Arriving the Bellas learn they are not on the same level as the fellow bands which brings the Bellas together to improve their own game and et themselves for their lives.

 

Thoughts on Pitch Perfect 3

 

Characters – Beca has been working as a music producer, her dream job, but she is struggling with the artists, which leads to her going on tour with the Bellas for one last round before trying to find her place in the real world. Fat Amy brings us the jokes through the film, embracing her image and this trip gives her a chance to re-connect with her father. Chloe and Aubrey are both struggling in real life and thrive on bring the group back together. Emily is still the youngster member of the group and this time she does start to fade into the background of the group.

PerformancesAnna Kendrick in the leading role is good in her role where she handles the singing wonderfully and is the role she can handle with ease. Rebel Wilson is always the centre of attention with the comic timing this time she does it solo without Adam Devine to bounce off.

StoryThe story picks up with the Bellas as they reunite again, they are all at pivotal points in their lives and this will be the last chance they have to perform together and once again they must prove themselves to the next level. We do have a lot of sub plots for the girls which can at times feel buried compared to others, but the highlight of the story is the Gail and John character providing commentary to the film, pointing out the problems in the previous films. This will tick all the boxes for the fans of the previous films.

Comedy/MusicThe comedy is a nice mix even if most falls for Rebel Wilson to hit home, the music brings a mix of the popular songs that get great remixes.

SettingsThe settings takes us around certain Europe where we would have military bases showing we are going bigger for the Bellas.


Scene of the Movie –
Riff off.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Trying too hard with side stories that don’t hit because they don’t get enough time.

Final ThoughtsThis is a nice conclusion to the Pitch Perfect trilogy, it could easily show growing up with the Bellas as they heading to the real world and finding their feet. The music does hit home well too.

 

Overall: This is an enjoyable movie you can enjoy from start to finish.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – P – Philadelphia (1993)

Director: Jonathan Demme

Writer: Ron Nyswaner (Screenplay)

Starring: Tom Hanks, Denzel Washington, Roberta Maxwell, Buzz Milman, Karen Finley, Antonio Banderas, Jason Robards, Mary Steenburgen, Ron Vawter, Robert Ridgely, Charles Napier

 

Plot: When a man with HIV is fired by his law firm because of his condition, he hires a homophobic small time lawyer as the only willing advocate for a wrongful dismissal suit.


Tagline – No one would take on his case… until one man was willing to take on the system.

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful Drama

 

Story: Philadelphia starts as we meet two rival lawyers, Joe Miller (Washington) who fights for the innocent and Andrew Beckett (Hanks) a company man who has risen up the firm to become an associate partner, but Andrew has been fighting a sickness, aids.

When Andrew gets fired from the law firm, he turns to Joe to sue for wrongly termination from the firm after he believes he was sabotaged because of his illness, but Joe’s own homophobic mindset and his questioning how contagion aids is. Joe eventually puts aside his prejudices and takes the case against the law firm, but it becomes a race against time for Andrew.

 

Thoughts on Philadelphia

 

Characters – Andrew Beckett is the brilliant lawyer on the rise within his firm, just after he gets a promotion, he finds himself getting sacked for having aids and being homosexual. He has always been good to the staff he works with and wins his cases but now he battles his illness and wants to sue for wrongful dismissal. Joe Miller is a homophobic ambulance chaser, he wins cases for personal injuries, he is reluctant at first but decides to take the case where he must learn to put his own prejudices aside. The rest of the characters focus around the law firm that dismiss Andrew and Andrew’s boyfriend Miguel as he supports him through his struggles.

PerformancesTom Hanks won an Oscar here, do I need to talk about how fantastic he is in this role, I think not. Denzel Washington also shows how brilliant he was in this role. The rest of the cast also give us wonderful performances throughout the film to make this one of the biggest films of the year.

StoryThe is a story about one man trying to fight against what he thinks is wrongful dismal for his sexual orientation and for having aids.  This is an important film that shows the discrimination people had with both people with aids and homosexuals which should never be a deciding part of whether to keep a member of staff. It is a powerful court room drama that shows us just how people can fight for what is right even if it is against their belief.

SettingsThe film is set in Philadelphia which is a beautiful setting, we are mostly in the courtroom which is now becoming one of my favourite locations for a film to take place in.


Scene of the Movie –
Andrew’s testimony.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This is a difficult subject matter to watch for some.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most important films you will see, it has two truly great performances with a supporting cast that is equally as great throughout the film.

 

Overall: Brilliant drama about the struggle.

Rating

 

 

Phantom Thread (2017)

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson (Screenplay)

Starring: Daniel Day Lewis, Lesley Manville, Vicky Krieps, Sue Clark, Joan Brown, Harriet Leitch

 

Plot: Set in 1950’s London, Reynolds Woodcock is a renowned dressmaker whose fastidious life is disrupted by a young, strong-willed woman, Alma, who becomes his muse and lover.

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Battle to get Through

 

Story: The Phantom Thread starts as we meet the eccentric dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock (Day-Lewis), he is renowned for his quality in his work, he has always had a muse, but when his latest one has become tiresome in his eyes, he needs an escape. This brings him into contact with waitress Alma (Krieps) that has the look he loves for his dressmaking style.

With Alma becoming his new muse, she moves in with Reynolds and his sister Cyril (Manville) in London as they aim to continue the next level of their relationship and design which includes royalty, as time goes by we learn how Reynolds has his own way of doing things and doesn’t like anyone getting in the way of his routine.

 

Thoughts on The Phantom Thread

 

Characters – Reynolds Woodcock is a famous dressmaker, he makes the most desired dresses in London with the rich and famous coming to him for his latest design. He needs a muse to inspire him and order to keep him motivated, without the order, he can’t focus on his work. Alma is just a waitress that captures the eye of Reynold’s this gives her new meaning in life as she goes from shy quiet waitress to part of the fashion industry, still wanting more from her life she tries to inspire Reynolds to take her seriously. Cyril is the sister of Reynolds, that keeps his affairs in order, his routine in place and the right people around him to inspire him.

PerformancesThe performances in this movie are great throughout, we know Daniel Day-Lewis will always be a top performer and this being his last is a nice exit for him. Vicky Krieps is strong throughout the film too, showing that we can get more unknown stars opposite Day-Lewis and not look out of places, while Lesley Manville works wonderfully in the supporting role of the film.

StoryThe story follows an eccentric dressmaker that always strives for perfection in his work, but he always needs inspiration in his work too. This comes from his new muse which only turns him comfort zone against him, as he prepares for his next work. This is a slow moving story, it shows one man’s imprisonment in his work as he blocks out the people close to him, making mistakes in both his lives. In all honesty this does play out in a rather slow and boring style, we learn nothing about dressmaking, which isn’t what I wanted from the movie, but he doesn’t seem to do anything, it is his team that do most of the work, the relationship is weird and not interesting to see unfold even though you do think something will happen.

RomanceThis does have a twisted romance side to the story, which when it all comes out becomes even more disturbing.

SettingsThe settings are mostly inside the house as we see the different rooms for the designing and living.


Scene of the Movie –
Final scene.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The Slowness

Final ThoughtsThis is a slow movie that builds up for an eventually big pay off, the problem is that is takes way to long to get to this moment.

 

Overall: Slow and hard work

Rating