Prospect (2018)

Director: Christopher Caldwell, Zeek Earl

Writer: Christopher Caldwell, Zeek Earl (Screenplay)

Starring: Sophie Thatcher, Jay Duplass, Pedro Pascal, Luke Pitzrick, Arthur Deranleau, Andre Royo, Alex McCauley

 

Plot: A teenage girl and her father travel to a remote alien moon, aiming to strike it rich. They’ve secured a contract to harvest a large deposit of the elusive gems hidden in the depths of the moon’s toxic forest. But there are others roving the wilderness and the job quickly devolves into a fight to survive. Forced to contend not only with the forest’s other ruthless inhabitants, but with her own father’s greed-addled judgment, the girl finds she must carve her own path to escape.


Tagline – No One Survives Alone

Runtime: 1 Hour 40 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Slow Paced

 

Story: Prospect starts when a father Damon (Duplass) and his daughter Cee (Thatcher) are travelling through space, looking to make a big discovery, thrown off path they land on an alien moon, setting out to explore the area.

When the pair run into Ezra (Pascal) another prospector on the moon, things turn to deals with the tension amped up to see who will leave the moon with the treasure on the moon, or whether leaving is a better option and soon they will learn of the other dangers on the moon.

 

Thoughts on Prospect

 

Characters – Cee is the teenager girl that has been travelling through space with her father, she does want to make a place her home, always wondering if she can get home, she must work with her father and a stranger to survive her time on this latest moon, proving she is ready to step up to do the more difficult tasks in life. Damon is Cee’s father, he has been searching space for valuable treasures so he can get out of this desperate lifestyle, his greed is his biggest weakness. Ezra is a stranger that the two run into, he is after the same thing and must earn their trust to survive and trust them to get survive the threats the moon has to offer.

PerformancesSophie Thatcher as the teenager does everything she can in her role, she doesn’t get to shine on the levels she could, but this falls back into the writing, Jay Duplass really doesn’t get the time to make an impact in this film, while Pedro Pascal is the highlight of the acting, because he must carry large parts of the dialogue in the film.

StoryThe story follows a father and daughter prospector pairing that land on a new moon in search for their own richest only to find themselves in a battle to survive against rivals and the moon itself. This story is easily borrowing the idea of the early days of prospectors around the world, people that travelled great distances in hope of becoming rich, we get to see what is more important, riches or family, all in a position which has threats around every corner. The weakness of this story comes from the idea that moon is dangerous, though we only get environmental issues, with all the other problems being human, it would also have been nice to understand just how big the travelling is in this universe, we just casually follow on ship, is this one of the absolute poorest, is Earth uninhabitable now, there are so many questions about the universe we are entering that feel unanswered.

Sci-FiThe sci-fi side of the film does just seem to be the characters wearing helmets, we barely get anything that makes this as ambitious as it could be.

SettingsThe settings are beautiful though, the opening spaces, the closed woodland, yes it could easily be anywhere on Earth, but the visuals make this look like an alien moon in every shot.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to add environment to the moon, but outside of this for a space based movie, we get very little to work with.


Scene of the Movie –
First exploring of the moon.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is very slow.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the films that could have been a lot more interesting that we get, the pacing of the film does hold everything up and the fact we don’t learn more about the universe doesn’t help us understand just what is going on.

 

Overall: Keep searching for the treasure.

Rating

 

 

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Point Blank (2019)

Director: Joe Lynch

Writer: Adam G Simon (Screenplay) Fred Cavaye (Characters)

Starring: Anthony Mackie, Frank Grillo, Marcia Gay Harden, Christian Cooke, Teyonah Parris, Bris McGiver, Carly Tamborski

 

Plot: To save his pregnant wife, an emergency room nurse teams up with an injured murder suspect in a race against time, rival criminals and renegade cops.


Tagline – A Hell of a Day. A Hell of a Pair.

Runtime: 1 Hour 26 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Point Blank Action

 

Story: Point Blank starts when emergency room nurse Paul (Mackie) is preparing to have his first child with his wife Taryn (Parris), she is due within weeks, but she gets kidnapped by Mateo (Cooke) who wants Paul to help his injured brother Abe (Grillo) escape from the emergency room after being accused of murdering the DA.

Paul and Abe go on the run with LT Lewis (Harden) tracking them down as we see just who was really behind the murder of the DA.

 

Thoughts on Point Blank

 

Characters – Paul is an emergency room nurse, he is married and about to start his family, his life is exactly where he wants it.  His life takes a big change one this day when he gets forced to help a murder suspect escape from the hospital to save his pregnant wife, meaning he will need to start breaking the law to save her. Abe is the gun for hire that has been injured in the incident, he is the prime suspect and is being set up, where his brother is trying to help him escape, he is street smart and has connections in the criminal world which will help him stay ahead of the law. LT Lewis is the one trying to track down the pair trying to put away the person that killed the DA. Mateo is the brother of Abe that has gone to the extremes to try and get his brother out of custody.

PerformancesAnthony Mackie and Frank Grillo do everything they can with this film, Grillo is starting make a name for himself in the trashing action films now, where he can play the bad boy with ease, Mackie doesn’t do much that you wouldn’t expect from him here though. Marcia Gay Harden gives us the basic cop figure, while Christian Cooke completes the main cast with a basic enough performance.

StoryThe story here follows an emergency nurse that must help a murder suspect to save his kidnapped wife. This is a basic story which I always say is all you need for action at times, this is a remake of a French film, but we are lacking that one thing a good action film needs a villain that feels like a threat, we do get many suspects to who the villain might be because it is clear that Abe never committed a crime. We get moments of the unlikely couple needing to work together only for them to not have enough conflict about what is happening. This is basic storytelling that just never gets intense enough to the level it could do.

ActionThe action involved in the film is the highlight of the film, even if a lot is basic, it does bring the film to life with the car chases involved.

SettingsThe film is set in a big city which does help us understand how many people can be getting crimes done with ease.


Scene of the Movie –
Big D

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not enough villain potential.

Final ThoughtsThis is a mostly by the book action film that just doesn’t get going.

 

Overall: Forgettable Action Film.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Crime – P – P2 (2007)

Director: Franck Khalfoun

Writer: Franck Khalfoun, Alexandre Aja, Gregory Levasseur (Screenplay)

Starring: Wes Bentley, Rachel Nichols, Simon Reynolds, Philip Akin, Stephanie Moore, Miranda Edwards

 

Plot: A businesswoman is pursued by a psychopath after being locked in a parking garage on Christmas Eve.


Tagline –  A New Level of Terror

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Standard Forgettable Horror

 

Story: P2 starts as businesswoman Angela (Nichols) starts running late to her family’s Christmas party after her work party, gets trapped inside her work structure after her car fails to start, leaving her at the hands of security guard Thomas (Bentley).

As the night unfolds Thomas puts Angela through a string off tests, before she tries to figure out a way to escape this psychopath.

 

Thoughts on P2

 

Characters – Angela is a businesswoman that finds herself working late too often becoming more distant from her family, while not starting her own. When another late night finds her car breaking down and missing her taxi, she finds herself locked in the parking structure being chased down by the crazed security guard. Thomas is the security guard that has his own plan for Christmas, to keep Angela locked inside completing his twisted ideas.

PerformancesA crazy Wes Bentley is always something we like to see, but even he doesn’t reach the levels we would like to see him get too. Rachel Nichols is fine in the leading role as the damsel in distress, trying to fight back.

StoryThe story is very simple, crazed man prevents girl from escaping her parking lot only to want to get involved in a game to se how far he can push her. There isn’t much more to this story, we get glimpses into the idea that he is doing this to protect her against men that have done wrong, but otherwise, it is a cut and dry story with little in the way of twists along the way.

Crime/HorrorThe crime comes from what Thomas does, which works for the film, the horror never reaches the levels he could do for where the film tries to go.

SettingsThe film is set inside the parking lot which does make for a good setting with no escape once locked in.

Special EffectsThe effects are used when needed, the film doesn’t rely on them, when it could easily do so.


Scene of the Movie –
Merry Christmas Thomas.

That Moment That Annoyed Me She would know how to drive a car.

Final ThoughtsThis is a crime horror that grabs the basic ingredients and does nothing interesting with the story to make it a stand out.

 

Overall: Not worth the time it takes.

Rating

 

 

The Plague of the Zombies (1966)

Director: John Gilling

Writer: Peter Bryan (Screenplay)

Starring: Andre Morell, Diane Clare, Brooke Williams, Jacqueline Pearce, John Carson, Alexander Davion, Michael Ripper

 

Plot: Young workers are dying because of a mysterious epidemic in a little village in Cornwall. Doctor Thompson is helpless and asks professor James Forbes for help. The professor and his daughter Sylvia travel to Thomson. Terrible things happen soon, beyond imagination or reality. Dead people are seen near an old, unused mine. Late people seem to live suddenly. Professor Forbes presumes that black magic is involved and someone has extraordinary power. He doesn’t know how close he is: the dead become alive because of a magic voodoo-ritual, and so they must serve their master as mindless zombies…


Tagline – Only The Lord Of The Dead Could Unleash Them!

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic Hammer Horror

 

Story: The Plague of the Zombies starts when Sir James Forbes (Morell) takes his daughter Sylvia (Clare) to Cornwell, to help a for student of his Dr Peter Tompson (Williams) with a string of cases which can’t be explained by the normal science.

When Peter’s wife Alice (Pearce) dies, the two try to figure out what killed her, only what they discover isn’t human. Soon it appears the village is being over run by the zombies and they must hunt down the master controlling them.

 

Thoughts on The Plague of the Zombies

 

Characters – Sir James Forbes is the respected doctor that gets called upon to help with an unknown medical case, he will help his former student uncover the case, he does believe something unusual is going on and starts to worry about his daughter. Sylvia is the daughter that goes on the journey, she becomes the target from the master who wants her to become his bride. She is the typical 60’s damsel in distress. Dr Peter Tompson is the one who called for help knowing his mentor wouldn’t let him down when it comes to figuring out the unexplainable. Alice is Peter’s wife that is the latest to become cursed with what is happening within the village, she makes it feel more personal for the two doctors.

PerformancesAndre Morell as the more experienced doctor is entertaining to watch through the film, he fits the wiser role with ease. Diane Clare fits your typical 60’s horror figure for the era, never doing much more than screaming. Brooke Williams doesn’t make his character feel like a doctor though.

StoryThe story follows a doctor that is asked to investigate a new outbreak of a disease in a small village, only to learn it has connection to voodoo and zombies. We must think that this story was put together before zombie movies had over taken the world, the idea behind voodoo and zombies was always a connection which works for the ideas being used in this story. the story might not be the most intense and does end up being rather safe with how everything being handled, never managing to reach any level of creepiness which could be associated with voodoo zombie creation.

HorrorThe horror in this film comes from the ideas of zombies and voodoo, which for the time, was one of the scarier elements of horror, even if it has been watered down in the modern era.

SettingsThe film is set in a small Cornwell village, which shows us how the community has become considered, while also showing how the community could stick together with a more evil idea going on.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film comes from the zombie creations, which show us a wonderful use of make-up, with other elements of the film coming from how injuries are inflicted.


Scene of the Movie –
Alice rises.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not as creepy as it could be.

Final ThoughtsThis is a horror that when released would have gotten more scares, now it has dated and just doesn’t connect the audience in the same way it once did.

 

Overall: Hammer horror 101

Rating

 

 

The Pelican Brief (1993)

Director: Alan J Pakula

Writer: Alan J Pakula (Screenplay) John Grisham (Book)

Starring: Julia Roberts, Denzel Washington, Sam Shepard, John Heard, Tony Goldwyn, James Sikking, William Atherton, Robert Culp, John Lithgow

 

Plot: A law student uncovers a conspiracy, putting herself and others in danger.


Tagline – Two Supreme Court Justices have been assassinated. One lone law student has stumbled upon the truth. An investigative journalist wants her story. Everybody else wants her dead.

Runtime: 2 Hours 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tense Political Thriller

 

Story: The Pelican Brief starts when two Supreme Court Justices are assassinated, bring the country to a stand still in shock. Law student Darby Shaw (Roberts) puts together a theory of who was behind the assassinations, which she presents to her boyfriend and professor Thomas (Shepard), one theory that has turned his head.

After the theory is presented to the people investigating, Darby and Tom start getting targeted, when journalist friend of one of the victims Gray Grantham (Washington) start investigating a bigger conspiracy going on within the government, one that will put both their lives in danger.

 

Thoughts on The Pelican Brief

 

Characters – Darby is a law student having an affair with her professor, after the assassinations, she comes up with a theory about who was behind them, which sees her become a target for the people behind it, she doesn’t know who to trust seeing anybody she does get killed, her last resort is Gray. Gray is a journalist that has worked with the victims in the past, he is willing to dig for the truth, he does become Darby’s last resort and works with her to expose the truth which will become the biggest story of his career. Thomas Callahan is the connection between Darby and the people involved, he is a professor, with her theory interesting him at his own risk. We do go through many different political figures in search for the truth here, each one has their own agenda and could be involved.

PerformancesJulia Roberts in the leading role is strong as she gives us a strong independent figure that has been running for her life trying to expose the truth. Denzel Washington was a growing star at the time of release, here he makes us believe that he is a star in the role which is filled with the determination and skill to start ahead of the game. The rest of the cast are all strong with them each getting the moments to shine with them all having the importance to the story.

StoryThe story follows a law student and journalist that must team up to investigate the assassinations of the two members of the supreme court that puts both their lives in danger as it could bring the political system down. This story does give us plenty of swerves along the way as it does keep us guessing just to where everything will be going, it does show us how a political system will be used to gain an advantage and can be used to cover up anything that will incriminate them. The idea of the cover up shows just how corruption can effect so many lives and is ready to be exposed.

Crime/MysteryThe crime side of the film shows just how the laws can be bent to help the people who want to make the most money, how much they will do to cover up their secrets and how corrupt they will become. The mystery side of the film show just how the corruption needs to be investigated, how far up the chain it could go too.

SettingsThe film is set in a couple of major cities in America Washington and New York mostly, which show just how the big companies will use the political power to make the most money.


Scene of the Movie –
The video.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too long, with too many characters at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a political thriller that does keep you guessing, it shows how far up the chain corruption can go and how covering it up can be the only option.

 

Overall: Political thriller 101

Rating