Rootwood (2018) Movie Review

Director: Marcel Walz

Writer: Mario von Czapiewski (Screenplay)

Starring: Tyler Gallant, Elissa Dowling, Sarah French, Felissa Rose, Tiffani Fest, Brandon Rhea, Kwame HEad

Plot: Two students are hired by a Hollywood film producer to shoot a horror documentary about the curse of The Wooden Devil.


Tagline – Welcome to the darkest place on earth.

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Running in the Woods 101

Story: Rootwood starts when two podcasters William (Gallant) and Jessica (Dowling) get to meet a horror movie producer Laura Benott (Rose) to shoot a documentary about the curse of The Wooden Devil. The pair are joined by Erin (French) and into the forest they go.

The further the trio get into the woods, the stranger the events are, with them looking to document other disappearances, they start to unlock clues to what might be happening, or will they become the latest victims.

Thoughts on Rootwood

Characters – William and Jessica have been working on their supernatural podcast for years, they like to look into stories from a distance, only now William has made connection to get their first field job looking into the unexplained, he see this as his chance to make himself bigger in the community, willing to risk more than life itself, while Jess doesn’t care about becoming as big as her co-star. Erin does bring glamour to the documentary, with the idea of using her status to make the documentary look more appealing to sell. Laura Benott is the producer that hires the team to investigate the Wooden Devil.

PerformancesWhere this movie is part documentary and mockumentary, it is hard to judge the performances, because Tyler Gallant, Elissa Dowling and Sarah French are doing the lost in the woods being haunted by something outside side of the film well.

StoryThe story here follows three podcasters that look to investigate a local legend, only to find themselves experiencing the horror in the woods themselves. The story can easily be compared to the Blair Witch Project with the documentary filmmakers going into the woods for a story only to find themselves running around in from the danger. It doesn’t get enough to feel completely original, even if it does try to go in a different direction with the final act, it doesn’t seem to get enough to make the impact required.

Horror/MysteryThe horror does fall into the three people running around the woods screaming with noises causing problems for the characters. We don’t seem to get into the mystery behind everything either, which then falls into something that really gets solved.

SettingsThe film is set in the random locations within the woods, it could be anywhere without being anywhere we haven’t seen before.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film work for the film giving us everything we need for what might be in the costume.


Scene of the Movie – Race to escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – Too similar to Blair Witch Project.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that does feel like it wants to try and give the Blair Witch Project, only to get caught up doing everything to similar, even with a fresh outcome.

Overall: The Blair Witch Project without the suspense.

Rogue Warfare: Death of a Nation (2020) Movie Review

Director: Mike Gunther

Writer: Michael Day (Screenplay)

Starring: Will Yun Lee, Jermaine Love, Rory Markham, Bertrand-Xavier Corbi, Katie Keene, Fernando Chien, Chris Mulkey

Plot: The Black Mask Organization coordinates a twisted plot which will devastate the world within the next 36 hours.

Runtime: 1 Hour 35 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Nice Finish to Trilogy

Story: Rogue Warfare: Death of a Nation starts as Daniel (Lee) is still struggling with the effects of his time in captivity under the Supreme Leader (Ferris), suffering nightmares of wanting to get his revenge, with his team Ralph (Love), James (Markham), Jacques (Corbi), Galine (Keene) and Xu (Chien) preparing their next attack on The Black Mask Organization.

With the team searching for the Supreme Leader, he has one plan set up to get his revenge on the western world, the question is, can the team stop him before he unleashes his devastation on the world.

Thoughts on Rogue Warfare: Death of a Nation

Characters – Daniel returned to safety now, filled with more anger than before, wanting to kill the man who kept him captive for so long, his nightmares are showing him how this will reflect on his own life. He must make sure his mind is in the right place before leading his team on the next mission to finally stop the Supreme Leader before his plan is unleashed on the world. The soldiers around Daniel, are loyal, they are from different militaries from around the world and will always check that Daniel is ready to return. We have followed these soldiers for three films now, they have all be same through the trilogy.

PerformancesWill Yun Lee takes centre stage here, he shows us the most about his character with the damaging time his character has been through during the film, showing glimpses of leadership, while the trauma can cause problems. The rest of the cast fill their roles very well never looking out of place as the different nationalities of military personal.

StoryThe story here shows the continuing battle Daniel and his military unit are facing against the Black Mask Organisation led by the Supreme Leader as they look to stop his plan to build a bomb to destroy the western world. This story ramps back up the action showing the peril the world could be facing if the plan goes ahead, much like the last hour of a 24 season, we have built up to this to unleash the biggest attack, the most important attack and we even get involved with seeing how the PTSD Daniel could have suffered could affect his judgement through this mission.

ActionThe action is military heavy, it does give us the biggest operation in the series so far, which is just what we were waiting for in a final battle.

SettingsThe film continues the same settings, with the military base being created to be like a level in any video game, it used for different tactical spots during the mission.


Scene of the Movie – The final assault.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – If you haven’t seen the previous films, you might struggle to understand just how damaged Daniel is.

Final Thoughts This is a nice conclusion to the trilogy, like the final episode in any continuous tv series, we get everything bigger, better and continues to show the continuing building unity between the unit.

Overall: Great Finish to Trilogy.

Rogue Warfare 3: Death Of A Nation will be available on Digital Download from 13th April and is available for Pre-Order here

Rumble in Hong Kong (1973) Movie Review

Director: Mu Chu

Writer: Mu Chu (Screenplay)

Starring: Charlie Chin, Qiu Yuen, Betty Pei Ti, Chin Hu, Jackie Chan, Nan Chiang

Plot: Ho Mei Fong is a young woman in trouble, running from a gang of criminals with something of importance hidden in her purse. She dies in Chien Chen’s taxi while trying to escape, but not before hiding the purse. Chien Chen is now involved whether he likes it or not, along with Ho Mei’s sister, who turns out to be an undercover Hong Kong policewoman. They must solve the mystery of the missing purse and what it contained, while being pursued by the criminals and their hired thugs 


Tagline – Before The Bronx there was..

Runtime: 1 Hour 20 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Martial Arts 101

Story: Rumble in Hong Kong starts when Chien Chen (Chin) picks up a woman in distress running from a gang in Hong Kong in his taxi, she is wounded and dies in his cab, hiding her purse before doing so. The gang led by (Chan) comes after him next demanding the purse, leaving him beaten and bruised, before the woman’s sister Jo Mai-Hua (Yuen) arrives to take on the gang and find out what her sister was hiding.

Thoughts on Rumble in Hong Kong

Characters – Chien Chen is an innocent taxi driver, he keeps his nose down can handle himself one on one in a fight, but finds himself being targeted by a gang of one of his passengers, he doesn’t know who to believe either as they are desperate to get what he doesn’t know he has. Ho Mai-Hua is the sister of the victim (I think, this isn’t the best copy the film I have seen) who has become distant from her and is looking for answers about her disappearance. The gang is led by the thugs who will beat up anybody who gets in their way no matter who they are or what they want.

PerformancesThis is a film where the performances can only be judge on the martial arts skills, the fights all look good for the era without being anything more than they should be, while the basic side of the acting is simple enough. Let’s be honest I only watched this because Jackie Chan was plastered on the poster.

StoryThe story here follows an innocent man that finds himself in the middle of a battle between a gang and a policewoman trying to end the battle which to her sister’s life. The story does everything it needs to without doing anything fancy, we know how this will play out without being anything fancy and by the end of the film you will be left feeling satisfied enough by the outcome. This is a story which does follow one person as each chapters get unlocked without showing us too much up front.

ActionThe action in the film is martial done to the basic, it never feels like they are as hard hitting as the modern style, but does everything he needs to.

SettingsWe are set in Hong Kong for most of this film as we see the different types of people that might get met through the time here.


Scene of the Movie – First proper fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We don’t see enough Jackie Chan, considering he is on the cover.

Final Thoughts This is a simple martial arts movie with nothing more than the simple stuff being done well, it is being sold on Jackie Chan, who is barely in the film either.

Overall: Simple Action.

Rogue Warfare 2: The Hunt (2019) Movie Review

Director: Mike Gunther

Writer: Andrew Emilio DeCesare (Screenplay)

Starring: Will Yun Lee, Jermaine Love, Rory Markham, Bertrand-Xavier Corbi, Katie Keene, Fernando Chien, Chris Mulkey

Plot: The next issue of the Rogue trilogy; Daniel’s been captured and it’s up to the team to find him before it’s too late.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 43 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Military 101

Story: Rogue Warfare 2: The Hunt starts where the last film ended, Daniel (Lee) captured by the Supreme Leader (Ferris) with the rest of his unit Ralph (Love), James (Markham), Jacques (Corbi), Galina (Keene) and Xu (Chien) searching for him, raiding camp after camp of the Supreme Leader’s.

As the days and weeks role by, the team starts to become desperate to find Daniel, with them needing to look through countless mountain ranges which could hold the stronghold for the Supreme Leader.

Thoughts on Rogue Warfare 2: The Hunt

Characters – Daniel is the member of the team which is captured, spending his time trying to remain strong, while waiting for rescue, knowing his team will be doing everything for the cause. When it comes to the unit, we have the soldiers from different backgrounds, who are as one that will fight to save their captured man, they have little moments which will make them different, but soldiers at heart will keep them together.

PerformancesWill Yun Lee plays Daniel where he must show us how a prisoner of war would need to survive and deal with things they shouldn’t, while the unit includes, Jermaine Love, Rory Markham, Bertrand-Xavier Corbi, Katie Keene and Fernando Chien who makes us believe they are military team.

StoryThe story picks up where the last one finished off, with one of the unit captured, this time the unit is trying to locate him to rescue him, while the Supreme Leader continues to reveal parts of his plan. With this being part of a trilogy, we know this part is more of a filler chapter, we needed to learn more about the Supreme Leader’s plan, which we get and we see how the unit is willing to do anything to save one of their own, the problem is this mission takes up the whole film and we are left needing to watch a lot of filler, which pads out a mission which doesn’t need this much time to tell. Everything does feel like a military story, which is entertaining to watch without being as intense as the last one.

ActionWhen it comes to the action, we get all military style action, which is everything we would expect to see in an action film, with bullets flying along with bodies too.

SettingsThe film is set in the desert locations showing us the different moving locations to show how the two sides are trying to stay ahead of each other.


Scene of the Movie – Rescue.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – There is a lot of filler for a mission that isn’t that long.

Final Thoughts This is a solid enough middle part of a trilogy that follows on the first well and leaves it open for the next chapter to unfold.

Overall: Military films is easy to watch.

Rogue Warfare 2: The Hunt will be available on Digital Download from 16th March and is available for Pre-Order 

The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012) Movie Review

Director: Mira Nair

Writer: Ami Boghani, William Wheller, Mohsin Hamid (Screenplay) Mohsin Hamid (Novel)

Starring: Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber, Kiefer Sutherland, Om Puri, Shabana Azmi

Plot: A young Pakistani man is chasing corporate success on Wall Street. He finds himself embroiled in a conflict between his American Dream, a hostage crisis, and the enduring call of his family’s homeland.


Tagline – When one day changes the world forever.

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Eye Opening Thriller

Story: The Reluctant Fundamentalist starts when a businessman is kidnapped in Pakistan, the American are using their information to search for him, while Changez (Ahmed) becomes one of the suspects, Changez is meeting with an American Bobby Lincoln (Schreiber) who is looking to tell him story.

Changez gives his story about his love for America and how he once worked his way up the ladder in wall street under Jim Cross (Sutherland) in 2001. This is only the beginning of his story, one that will show how he became somebody who wanted to lead change and one that saw the change firsthand.

Thoughts on The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Characters – Changez is a Pakistani man who was the first to leave the country to make something of himself in the modern world, he enters the world of wall street, where he looks to help business run smoother, seeing problems others can’t, he ends up becoming a target of hate after 9/11, now he is being interviewed to show his side of the aftermath from 9/11, where he is back in Pakistan becoming a target of the Americans who see him as a threat, he is smart, he knows how to remain calm and analyse the issues in the world, to show both sides of the views. Erica is the woman that Changez starts dating, she is a photographer and is open to seeing the world in the right way. Bobby Lincoln is a reporter that is interviewing Changez, he is open to hear his story, only he happens to have his own reason for the interview. Jim Cross is the man that offers Changez the job in New York, he sees all his potential to become one of the best in his business being somebody who never bothered about his background.

PerformancesRiz Ahmed is fantastic in this leading role showing everybody how big of a star he was always going to become. Kate Hudson is great to, bringing her style to a character that wouldn’t be normal in the traditional life of Changez life. Liev Schreiber is wonderful to see in the storytelling side of the film, listening and wanting to make an impact with her reasoning. Kiefer Sutherland is strong in his supporting role too, showing he can become the businessman in a film with ease.

StoryThe story here follows a Pakistan man who rose to success in New York, right around and in the aftermath of 9/11, dealing with racism put upon him, while trying to follow the traditions of his family back home, dealing with the idea that he has been placed on the watch list, despite not committing any crimes and trying to prove that anything can be spun to make anybody look guilty because people are blindly following panic. This is a try eye opening at how the world instantly sees certain ethnic backgrounds as bad, despite, never learning who they are or what they are doing in life. The one bad side of the story comes from seeing how we are going through his back story, even if this does offer twists in the story.

ThrillerThe thriller side of this film start heavily, when we see just how the kidnapping happens and the searching for the people responsible, we do drive into drama and seeing how the life can be turned upside down by panic of others.

SettingsThe film does use the key settings of Lahore to show when terrorists are believed to be, New York which sees people turn their heads towards people they don’t like and the world trips that show why Changez could have been seen as a threat, just because of his race.


Scene of the Movie – The moment that changed the world.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The attitudes instantly change no matter how wrong they are.

Final Thoughts This is a very insightful look at how the world changed on 9/11, seeing the people judging without understanding the truth about people is how we are seeing the world now.

Overall: Insightful thriller.