ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – P – The Patriot (2000)

Director: Roland Emmerich

Writer: Robert Rodat (Screenplay)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs, Chris Cooper, Techeky Karyo, Rene Auberjonois

 

Plot: Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son.


Tagline – Some things are worth fighting for. 

Runtime: 2 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Long War Epic

 

Story: The Patriot starts where peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin (Gibson) sees the American Revolution coming towards his doorstep with his eldest son Gabriel (Ledger) fighting about the British. When the British reach his doorstep they end up killing one of his sons, Col William Tavington (Isaacs) makes an enemy he can’t prepare to fight against.

Benjamin prepares his own militia to fight back against the British, one that has experience fighting on this land, one that has already won a war, all this to get revenge on the man that took his son in a cowardly action.

 

Thoughts on The Patriot

 

Characters – Benjamin Martin was once a feared general in the military, now he is a quiet farmer looking after his children after his wife’s death. when the American Revolution comes to his home, he loses a son to a ruthless Colonel. Returning to the force he leads the militia in battle against the English showing all the tricks he has learnt through the years, in his mission for revenge. Gabriel is the eldest son of Benjamin’s he is the first to go into war and after it returns home, he will serve under his father to show the pride he has standing next to him. Charlotte is the sister-in-law that protects the children from the war while the men go off to fight. Col William Tavington is the man that kills Benjamin’s son in cold blood, he doesn’t want to give a calm peaceful end to the war and is willing to and wants to kill anyone against him.

PerformancesMel Gibson might well have a few personal demons, but when it comes to this style of film, he never looks out of place on the big screen, easily be the star of this film. Heath Ledger continued to show the world just how talented he was going to become with a wonderful supporting performance and Jason Isaacs gives us a villain from a war movie we are going to hate.

StoryThe story follows a once deadly war general who is forced back into battle after his son is killed during the American Revolution, this follows his revenge in the battle which does give us a fictional story to a real war that changed America at the time. Now this does have a reality in how the men would be losing family members to the ruthless British, though this does make out that the British were the worst of the worst when it came to battle. This is a movie designed to make the American audience feel extra patriotic and does show the two sides of war, the respectful way and the dirty tactics people will use to win.

Action/History/WarThe action is large scale war sequences, each one gets bigger with the number of bodies piling up as we go along. The historical side of the film focuses on the real war over the real people involved in the war which is fine, we only need the historical side as a backdrop for the personal battle.

SettingsThe film does make the realistic settings for the time the war took place in each location does play a key part in the film be it a battle, the moment which will leave people wanting revenge or safety.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Being overly patriotic.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the long war epics that is designed solely to make America look great, it does end up going down the revenge line which gives an edge to the battles, which will be the highlight of the film.

 

Overall: Patriotic 101

Rating

 

 

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Point Man (2019)

Director: Phil Blattenberger

Writer: Phil Blattenberger (Screenplay)

Starring: Christopher Long, Jacob Keohane, Chase Gutzmore, Marcus Bailey, Matthew Ewald

 

Plot: Set in Vietnam in April 1968 – three months after the tide-turning Tet Offensive and one month after the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. – Point Man is the story of a U.S. Army fire team fractured by racial tensions, moral crises, and the crushing pressures of combat in a war nobody wants to fight. Andre “Casper” Allen, a rough-edged ideologue, finds his radical politics put him at odds with the squad’s machine gunner, Silas Meeks. When their search-and-destroy mission in the Mekong Delta goes terribly wrong, both men find themselves pitted against each other and their recalcitrant platoon commander, Lieutenant Sutter. Point men die like flies in the bush, and as loyalties dissolve every step forward comes with a price.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: The Reality of War

 

Story: Point Man starts in Vietnam with a platoon of mixed raced soldiers, Andre ‘Casper’ Allen (Long), Joe Creighton (Gutzmore), Felix Wake (Bailey) and racist Silas Meeks (Keohane) all under the strict Lieutenant Sutter (Ewald). On their latest mission they four men get separated from their platoon and are left behind enemy lines.

The journey back sees the four men clash with Joe making difficult decisions when they see how the fellow American soldiers are acting, Silas needing to put his racial problems behind him with Casper trying his hardest to keep the four men together knowing it will be the only way they can make it back to safety.

 

Thoughts on Point Man

 

Characters – Andre ‘Casper’ Allen is one of the black soldiers in the platoon, he is tired of the racial divide within the platoon, but after he is split from the platoon, he must do the correct decision-making to see his friends back to safety, the decisions he must face will see him go after his own side that have gone too far in the war. Joe is the one that will do the right thing, he knows just how bad the situations will be and will do the right thing even if it means his life will end doing it. Silas is the racist soldier that ends up with the three black soldiers, he doesn’t want to work with them, but knows this will be the only way to get out of the situation alive, he is always looking out for himself. Lieutenant Sutter is the strict platoon leader that has been forced into difficult decisions, he seems like he going to be the one that is against everyone through this film almost in a cowardly way too.

PerformancesThe performance in this film are interesting because when it comes to the discussion points, we get strong acting from the whole cast, it gets to the conflict side which also plays into the budget which does expose the weak points in this film. Christopher Long in the leading performance shows the chemistry required with Chase Gutzmore and Marcus Bailey, with the tension feeling real with Jacob Keohane.

StoryThe story gives us a glimpse into the mindset of three black soldiers in the Vietnam war, they believe they are just there to be part of the body count, while being given the jobs which are more likely to die, mostly the Point Man role. We see how they react to becoming separated with a racist behind enemy lines and how they must work together to survive, while dealing with the soldiers in the land that could cause just as much problems whichever side of the fight they are on. This story gets to show us how war can affect people, make them do things they wouldn’t normally consider and how the skin colour of these soldiers is going to seeing them get the blame for anything going wrong. This story shows us just how difficult the war was on the victims, how doing the right thing can make you an enemy to your own side. The only part of the film I didn’t like from the story side of things was the final act, it felt to quick.

ActionThe action in this film comes from the standard war related material, we see guns firing and people falling, none of the graphicness of war though.

SettingsWe follow our soldiers through the forests and plains of Vietnam, nothing looks out of place for the settings side of things, though it could have look slightly more war torn.


Scene of the Movie –
The first difficult decision.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The ending was too quick.

Final ThoughtsThis is a strong look at the reality of war, we see how the lives of the men would have been affected by their decisions and how they are in constant fear of being the first to be picked off.

 

Overall: Strong Look at War.

Rating

 

 

Gemma Arterton Weekend – Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time (2010)

Director: Mike Newell

Writer: Boaz Yakin, Doug Miro, Carlo Bernard (Screenplay) Jordan Mechner (Video Game)

Starring: Jake Gyllenhaal, Gemma Arterton, Ben Kingsley, Alfred Molina, Steve Toussaint, Toby Kebbell

 

Plot: A young fugitive Prince and Princess must stop a villain who unknowingly threatens to destroy the world with a special dagger that enables the magic sand inside to reverse time.


Tagline – Defy the Future

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Action Adventure

 

Story: Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time starts in the land of Persia, ruler Nizam (Kingsley) and brother to the king Sharaman (Pickup) leads his armies in battle with his generals and rebellious prince Dastan (Gyllenhaal) still keeping his streetwise behaviour in him. The latest show of strength sees Dastan lead an attack on Princess Tamina (Arterton) city bringing the two cities together.

When Dastan gets framed for the King’s death, he goes on the with Tamina only to learn about a dagger that can control time, that his brother really wanted from the siege, Dastan must prove his innocence and return home while unlocking his own destiny.

 

Thoughts on Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time

 

Characters – Dastan was born on the streets, but raised in the place after impressing the king, he still remains close to the people on the streets which leaves him unable to follow orders. He leads an assault on a new kingdom only to find himself a pawn in a game of power for control of Persia and must learn his true destiny and save the kingdom. Tamina is the princess of a new land that the Persian’s claim, she is forced to marry one, but knows the secrets behind the dagger and the power it gives. She is willing to help get the dagger to safety and away from those who will use the power for their own greed. Nizam is the brother to the king, Uncle to Dastan, he has always lived in the shadow of his brother and no matter who takes over, he will not be king. Sheik Amar is a man that Dastan keeps running into on his travels, a man that is driven by gold which he sees with the bounty on Dastan’s head.

PerformancesJake Gyllenhaal is good when it comes to the action and physical side of the film, though his accent does bounce around at times. Gemma Arterton has the look of a princess, though the accent involved is questionable, for the location she is meant to be from. Ben Kingsley is an easy choice for a villainous character, which is fine he doesn’t get truly challenge in his role, while Alfred Molina adds comedy it can lighten up the movie enough.

StoryThe story is adapted from the video games series, which had a smart idea of a dagger that could control time and the battle for power of the dagger. The film does follow those lines well showing us that not everything is going to be easy for our hero and he simply won’t know who to trust when it comes to gaining power for good or evil. It does follow a trend which was going on at the time with the unlikely couple from different worlds that are slowly falling in love as they look to save the day, with unlikely friendship and enemies made along the way. The idea of a weapon which could possesses the ability to change time is interesting addition to the normal adventure movie too.

Action/Adventure/FantasyThe action in the film is good and entertaining, it includes the fights and battles which will show the number of people fighting for each side. The adventure side of the film shows us how far Dastan must travel to make his position right in the kingdom, going through location which would be considered dangerous on other days. The weapons power adds in the fantasy element which sees us reverse time when suited.

SettingsThe film does use the generic temple style cities and royal locations as well as the open deserts to show us where out character is going on their adventure.

Special EffectsThe effects are a mixed bag, when we see the time rewind, we do get a unique look which is good, the weakness come from certain larger scale moments.


Scene of the Movie –
The rewind of time scenes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The giant CGI moments.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun video game adventure movie, it has an idea which can become just like we could imagine a video game playing out which is what we would like at times.

 

Overall: Enjoyable adventure film.

Rating

 

 

Polar (2019)

Director: Jonas Akerlund

Writer: Jayson Rothwell (Screenplay) Victor Santos (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Mads Mikkelsen, Vanessa Hudgens, Katheryn Winnick, Fei Ren, Ruby O Fee, Matt Lucas, Robertt Maillet

 

Plot: The world’s top assassin, Duncan Vizla, is settling into retirement when his former employer marks him as a liability to the firm. Against his will, he finds himself back in the game going head to head with an army of younger killers.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Bloody Filled Action

 

Story: Polar starts when Duncan Vizla (Mikkelsen) a deadly assassin, is reaching retirement age, at 50, he has saved his money and is embracing retirement, only with two weeks before he is due to retire, he gets an offer to complete a new assignment from Vivian (Winnick).

The boss Blut (Lucas) doesn’t want to let his former employees retire, as he is looking to eliminate them claiming back their retirement funds, he sends he best team to kill Duncan, with Hilde (Ren), Sindy (Fee), Karl (Maillet), Facundo (Grant) and Alexei (Cruddas) trying to put the old guard down.

 

Thoughts on Polar

 

Characters – Duncan Vizla is known as the deadliest assassin in his field, he is reaching the age of retirement in this field though, he has been putting his affairs in order ready for the next stage of his life. He must fight the next generation of assassins who are been sent to kill him, using all his knowledge he will take the head of anyone who gets in his way and protecting his neighbour too. Camille is the neighbour that has been through a traumatic experience which sees her being extra jumpy when it comes to loud noises, she befriends Duncan, only to find herself in the middle of the warring assassins. Blut is the owner of the assassin business, he assigns the jobs and decides that after 50 they are no longer required, he has financial gain from this decision and takes great pleasure in hurting people. Vivian is the connection between Blut and Duncan, she doesn’t want to be put in the position on crossing Duncan, only to find herself right there needing to finish the job off.

PerformancesMads Mikkelsen in the leading role is fantastic as we see him feeling like he doesn’t want to be part of the world, living in the shadows, remembering the jobs he has completed. You see all this in his feelings through his limit lines in the movie as the cold-hearted assassin. Vanessa Hudgens is the weakest of the main four, but mostly because of her characters limited involvement in the film. Matt Lucas surprises us here by being the psychopathic leader of the assassins that is over the top which is required through the film. Kathryn Winnick seems to enjoy playing the villainous leading lady filled with the seductive side to her actions. We try do see the rest of the assassins trying to make the most of their time, which is solid enough without being anything great.

StoryThe story here is adapted from a graphic novel, so first we need to know everything will be over the top, which is important to prepare yourself for. When we look at the story, we get one that we have seen before, one that works, an aging assassin becoming the target by their employees who want to eliminate them from the world, leading them to take a stand, facing waves of assassins. As we said this is a formula that works and this is no different, it keeps everything simple, flashy version of it that oozes with its own style that will keep the action fans happy without turning to twist central.

Action/CrimeThe action in this film is big, loud and bloody, we get plenty of moments that could see people looking away at the level of violence being shown here.

SettingsThe settings of the film show where the assassins would be going from the world as they look to stay out of notice as well as showing us the flashy mansion the leader would be happy to live in.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film show us just how violent the action can become as we see and feel a lot of the brutality we see in this film.


Scene of the Movie –
One versus the room, hands up.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The flashback scenes are annoying.

Final ThoughtsThis is a bloody brutal action movie, that does feel like it has been ripped form the pages of the graphic novel and isn’t afraid to hold back.

 

Overall: Bloody and Brutal

Rating

 

 

Logan Lerman Weekend – Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters (2013)

Director: Thor Freudenthal

Writer: Marc Guggenheim (Screenplay) Rick Riordan (Novel)

Starring: Logan Lerman, Alexandra Daddario, Douglas Smith, Brandon T Jackson, Stanley Tucci, Nathan Fillion

 

Plot: In order to restore their dying safe haven, the son of Poseidon and his friends embark on a quest to the Sea of Monsters, to find the mythical Golden Fleece, all the while trying to stop an ancient evil from rising.


Tagline – Where there are gods there are monsters.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Simple & Enjoyable

 

Story: Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters starts as we head back to camp half blood, we learn more about the barrier that protects Percy (Lerman), Annabeth (Daddario) and Grover (Jackson) from the evils of the world. When a stranger Tyson (Smith) a cyclops arrives in the camp the barrier becomes weakened the best warrior Clarisse (Rambin) is selected to search for the Golden Fleece.

Percy learning of a prophecy that shows he could once again save Olympus, he is joined by Annabeth, Grover and Tyson to stop an old enemy that is targeting the same golden fleece which could save the demi-gods.

 

Thoughts on Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

 

Characters – Percy Jackson has now become the star pupil in the camp, only he hasn’t been on any more quest, lost looking for his place in the world, he learns of a prophecy which gives him a purpose in the world as he looks to save the day again with his friends. Annabeth isn’t the warrior we once new from the last film, we do learn more about her past, though she just seems to be standing around letting Clarisse be the warrior figure. Clarisse is the rival in the camp, she is ultra-competitive when it comes to being the best, which sees her selected for the quest. She is very confident that she is can succeed on any quest too. Tyson is the cyclops who arrives in the camp, claiming to also be related to Poseidon, he has been in hiding, considered an outcast for the most part, he does join Percy on his adventure as the two half brothers must learn to bond. Grover does take a back seat more in this film too as he ends up being taken early on during the adventure. Luke is back once again trying to figure out how to destroy the Gods above, showing that he wants to bring Percy onto his side of the battle.

PerformancesLogan Lerman does continue to be strong in the leading role of this film, it is when we look at the supporting roles things start to go downhill, first they waste Daddario and Jackson’s chemistry from the first film, by bringing us two new actors to work with. Douglas Smith doesn’t hit the comedy which is meant to be shown from his character and Jake Abel returning as the villain gets to have fun with the role.

StoryThe story here brings us the next chapter in the Percy Jackson adventures, this time the stakes seem to be higher with the potential return of a deadly enemy, even if we focus more on team work which is important for the characters in the camp environment. This does give us a similar style of adventure and brings more mythology from the Greek history which is always good to see. The biggest weakness of this story comes from the world building we never got to see the next chapter for. The story feels like it could become a wonderful television show which could teach elements of Greek mythology with a modern style which has been the main part of these films.

Adventure/FantasyThe adventure side of this film takes us to new locations which at meant to be American versions of the Greek historic location, which is fun to see, with Tyson seeing them for the first time. The idea of Greek Gods and monsters in the real world is always going to fascinate which it what makes this film stand out that little bit more.

SettingsThe film does take us to new locations which could easily be modern versions of the Greek Gods location, be it the abandon theme park with a cyclops in or the oceans giant monster literally eating everything in its path.

Special EffectsThe effects do take a step back, mostly because of the extra amounts needed in this film, we have Tyson which cyclops eye never looks right and the battles never hit home enough.


Scene of the Movie –
Final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The fact we never get the next chapter.

Final ThoughtsThis is still a fun adventure film that does deliver on what it is trying to give us, it doesn’t hit as well as the first film, but can still be enjoyed along the way.

 

Overall: Fun adventure exploring the Gods.

Rating