ABC Film Challenge – Action – R – RocknRolla (2008)

Director: Guy Ritchie

Writer: Guy Ritchie (Screenplay)

Starring: Gerard Butler, Tom Wilkinson, Thandie Newton, Mark Strong, Idris Elba, Tom Hardy, Karel Roden, Toby Kebbell

 

Plot: Lenny Cole, a London mob boss, puts the bite on all local real estate transactions. For substantial fees, he’s helping Uri Omovich, a Russian developer. As a sign of good faith, Omovich loans Cole a valuable painting, promptly stolen off Cole’s wall. While Cole’s men, led by the dependable Archie, look for the canvas, three local petty criminals, the Wild Bunch, steal money from the Russian using inside information from his accountant, the lovely Stella. Meanwhile, a local drug-addled rocker, Johnny Quid, is reported drowned, and his connection to Cole is the key to unraveling the deceits and double crosses of life in the underworld.


Tagline – A story of sex, thugs and rock ‘n roll.

Runtime: 1 Hour 54 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Over Saturated Film

 

Story: RocknRolla starts when One Two (Butler) and Mumbles (Elba) learn the hard way how London mobster Lenny Cole (Wilkinson) operates, needing to collect a large amount of money. Lenny is in the middle of a big deal with a Russian Uri Omovich (Roden) that would be the biggest of his career.

When a piece of art gets stolen Lenny is put under pressure to return the art work to Uri, he turns to his right-hand man Archy (Strong) to get it back, turning to One Two for help as we see how the underworld coming together to get one up on each other.

 

Thoughts on RocknRolla

 

Characters – One Two is the leader of the Wild Bunch, he gets left owing a lot of money within the month and it soon becomes his connections that help with the mystery about where a painting is hiding as he plans to solve his own problems. Mumbles is the best friend in the Wild Bunch, he is the one that One Two turns to for advice through the problems. Lenny Cole is the mobster that runs London, he has everyone in his pocket to get what he wants, with his greed taking over when he can have a deal with a billionaire Russian, though his past could cause the trouble in this deal. Stella is the accountant that has each party doing her dealings, she knows how to have each side in the palm of her hands. Archy is the one telling the story, he has the right-hand man for Lenny and the go between all the different sides of the underworld. In this film we do get too many characters with so many different arcs going on through the film.

PerformancesThe acting in this film is good from the whole cast, we have a large cast which does hinder them from getting a true star turn in this film. Butler, Wilkinson, Newton, Strong, Elba, Hardy all show how they can become good at making moments of impact in shorter scenes.

StoryThe story here follows three levels of mobsters as they deal with a deal gone bad as they are trying to stay ahead of each other, in typical Ritchie storytelling we get thrown all over the place with the story telling and miss the most interesting action aspects of the film. when it comes to the criminal underworld side of the story, we don’t get anything new with generic characters who just go through the emotions that don’t always make us enjoy the characters we are enjoy watching.

Action/CrimeThe action is disappointing because we have scenes which should be good, only Ritchie’s style of shooting chops too much hiding the best parts. The crime world created is good because we see just how many different levels of the crime world we are entering.

SettingsThe film is set in London which is good for the film because if these type of deals are happening it would need to be in a busy city location like London.


Scene of the Movie –
Sporting goods fight.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The action editing.

Final ThoughtsThis is your typical British gangster film, it has its own flair which can help and hinder the film at times, we have too many characters to stay on top of which only disappoints with the storytelling process.

 

Overall: Typical mobster movie.

Rating

 

 

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Room for Rent (2019)

Director: Tommy Stovall

Writer: Stuart Flack (Screenplay)

Starring: Lin Shaye, Oliver Rayon, Valeska Miller, Ryan Ochoa, Linda Cushma, Casey Nicholas Price

 

Plot: Lonely widow Joyce rents out a room in her house and becomes dangerously obsessed with one of her guests.


Tagline – All she wanted was a decent man.

Runtime: 1 Hour 21 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Lin Shaye is Truly Unsettling

 

Story: Room for Rent starts when Joyce (Shaye) loses her husband, feeling left alone in her house that she needs to pay for the debt left behind, she decides to open her own Bed n Breakfast in her home. Her first guests are a couple which sees her become friends with Sarah (Miller) helping her with her problems.

Learning from her early mistakes with her bed n breakfast, Joyce upgrades certain parts and starts searching for more guests with Bob (Rayon) being her next one. Joyce starts to get an unhealth obsession with her guest who helps her deal with problems including the local teenage troublemakers Wayne (Ochoa). Will Joyce obsession take things too far or not?

 

Thoughts on Room for Rent

 

Characters – Joyce is an older lady that has lived her life with her husband for years, her husband dies which leads to her feeling lonely wanting attention. She is considered strange in her town, she turns her home into a bed n breakfast in an attempt to make new friends which she does, even if she starts to become obsessed with one of her guest, acting like a school girl trying to impress him. Bob is her first long term guest that Joyce takes in, he is mysterious about his personal life and does grab the attention of Joyce, he will stand up for Joyce with the local troublemakers. Sarah is the first guest that Joyce gets, she is an author working on her latest book which sees her need to decide on her own future, she stays in contact with Joyce becoming a pen-pal and visiting when Bob has been staying long enough, seeing how Joyce is acting differently.

PerformancesLin Shaye is fantastic in this role, we are left truly unsettled by here performance which sees her making decisions which seem odd. Oliver Rayon is left looking confused by Joyce’s character which is needed for the film. Valeska Miller completes the supporting cast with a performance that doesn’t do anything wrong.

StoryThe story here follows a lonely widow that opens her house to guests, only for her to become obsessed with one of them, making up her own stories to what is happening between the two. This story does make us feel unsettled throughout, we see Joyce become more obsessed with each passing moment, acting like a school girl trying to grab the attention of her crush. It must be pointed out there is a hint of grief of losing a life partner, which could see anybody do something out of the normal. The story does suffer in places because we get the ideas of certain side stories to why Joyce is the way she is, only they don’t seem to get completed to the most satisfactory levels for us.

ThrillerThe film doesn’t take long to build up the tension because Lin Shaye makes her character feel like she could be up to anything in the film.

SettingsMost of the film is set in the home, it does feel disturbing when you know how Joyce could always pop up somewhere.


Scene of the Movie –
When Joyce gets betrayed in her eyes.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The lack of follow through on one story about Joyce’s past.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the more disturbing and unsettling movies of the year, even though it doesn’t pull all the triggers it could.

 

Overall: Unsettling and chilling.

Rating

 

 

Rottentail (2018)

Director: Brian Skiba

Writer: Brian Skida (Screenplay) Kurt Belcher, David C Hayes, Kevin Moyers (Graphic Novel)

Starring: Dominique Swain, Corin Nemec, William McNamara, Gianni Capaldi, Vincent De Paul, Brian Skiba, Tank Jones, Gianna Frangella

 

Plot: Rottentail tells the bizarre tale of young Peter Cotton, who grew up in the town of Easter Falls and loves rabbits. Peter’s Science project on rabbit breeding is ruined when the school bullies beat up, and actually kill, his rabbit. Years later, the kind but still shy Dr. Cotton works steadily and gently with his rabbits to cure human infertility. Unbeknownst to Peter, the military is perverting his work, developing fierce soldiers with strength far exceeding a human of their size, and with Peter’s fertility serum, the ability to breed in the field.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: B-Movie Madness

 

Story: Rottentail starts in a secret military research facility where Dr Serius Stanley (Capaldi) has been working with the military on new dangerous killer rabbit, while Peter Cotten (Nemec) has been working on his own infertility research. When Peter is bitten by one of the enhanced rabbits, we slowly starts to change turning into a rabbit himself, with two different personalities.

With Peter now turned into Rottentail, he looks to get revenge on the people that wronged him in life, including former high school bully Jake Mulligan (McNamara) who is planning on using his power as a pastor to change the church from the local history.

 

Thoughts on Rottentail

 

Characters – Peter Cotten is a shy scientist working on an infertility treatment using rabbits, he was bullied in in high school, which has seen him become vengeful and after he was bitten by a genetically modified rabbit, he turns into a giant killer rabbit who gets to unleash all his rage on everyone that crosses him. Anna is the girl from high school that has returned to protect her family church from Jake giving her a chance to see Peter after all the years away. Jake Mulligan is the celebrity pastor who is returning home to build his latest church, he used to bully Peter in school and he still use the bully techniques to get what he wants. Dr Serius Stanley has been working on genetically modified rabbits for the army, he keeps working on ideas that could stop the newly created Rottentail.

PerformancesCorin Nemec playing the two roles here, goes to both extremes, the quiet shy nerdy scientist to the foul-mouthed killer rabbit, both side help with the nature of the film. William McNamara and Gianni Capaldi are both well over the top which again help with style of the movie. Dominique Swain is more restraint with her performance, but this is what the character is meant to be.

StoryThe story follows a scientist that has been pushed around and bullied his whole life that becomes infected by a generically modified rabbit, turning him into a killer rabbit that can take back his frustration the world has caused him. First thing you need to know about this story is that everything is told through a b-movie style, we do get an over the top style which does work as we have the mad scientists, the over masculine military person and an evil pastor that only cares about money. The idea of a man turning into a killer rabbit man isn’t going to be something you have seen before and works for a b-movie. As long as you don’t go into this story for a serious story, you will end up enjoying this one.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy in this film comes from just the concept, the reactions and style of kills, it might go too far for some people though. The horror is everything you would expect from a B-Movie which for horror fans is something we can enjoy, we have wild kills, blood flying everywhere and evil scientist.

SettingsThe film is set in a small town called Easter Falls which shows how the people will always be connected through their past.

Special EffectsThe effects have blood filled practical effects which are wonderful, but certain sides of Rottentail’s attack seem like CGI which don’t always work.


Scene of the Movie –
The escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The sex scene is uncomfortable to watch.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun b-movie style horror comedy, it will get the laughs when it needs to, splatter blood when required and a character in Rottentail you won’t forget easily.

 

Overall: B-Movie Delight

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – R – The Right Stuff (1983)

Director: Philip Kaufman

Writer: Philip Kaufman (Screenplay) Tom Wolfe (Book)

Starring: Sam Shepard, Scott Glen, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid, Fred Ward, Barbara Hershey, Kim Stanley, Veronica Cartwright

 

Plot: The story of the original Mercury 7 astronauts and their macho, seat-of-the-pants approach to the space program.


Tagline – The spectacular story of America’s first astronauts

Runtime: 3 Hours 13 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Story, Too Long a Film

 

Story: The Right Stuff starts as America is trying to break the sound barrier and not having much success with their men crashing, they turn to Chuck Yeager (Shepard) who excels behind the stick of the plane, soon fellow pilots Gordon Cooper (Quaid) and Gus Grissom (Ward) prove they can hang with Chuck.

When Russia make it into space, the program changes with celebrity pilot John Glenn (Harris) and hot shot pilot Alan Shepard (Glenn) joining forces to take on the race to space as the men from different backgrounds try to prove they are the right men for the mission.

 

Thoughts on The Right Stuff

 

Characters – Chuck Yeager is the pilot that breaks the sound barrier for the first time, he is always going to try to beat any records that are being beaten, though he doesn’t go into the Mercury 7 program. He may well be the best of all of the pilots involved in this story. Alan Shepard is the military man through and through, he likes to take things lighter than the rest and is the first to be selected to go in the test flight. John Glenn is the celebrity pilot that is the clear candidate for the first mission into space, he has the best experience with dealing with press, he is by the books and doesn’t want to take things as lightly as the rest of the candidates. Gordon Cooper is the youngest of the candidates he has always go out his way to improve himself, even if his wife doesn’t like the idea of his job. Guy Grissom completes our main pilot group as the one who wants to use his new position to get more attention and is involved in one of the most unexplained errors o the missions. We do get to meet the wives who have to deal with the press invading their privacy through each mission and in constant worry about their husbands.

PerformancesWe have a brilliant cast here, with Sam Shepard, Scott Glenn, Ed Harris, Dennis Quaid and Fred Ward all showing us both sides of the pilots turned astronauts as they were willing to go through the punishment and personal difficulties to become the men history will remember.

StoryThe Space Race was a story that took over America in the 60s it is easily one of the most interesting moments in modern history because of the extremes people were going to go to, to make this happen. We follow the training that the men went through, the risks that were put up to make history and the frustration of the Russians beating them over nearly accomplishment. This is easily one that will appeal to anybody who is a fan of the space race, this will give you a story you will know, but will get to enjoy unfold, if you didn’t know it, you will learn the sacrifices they took. The only problem with the story is the length of the film being over 3 hours, we don’t need the film to be that long to tell the same story.

Adventure/BiopicThe adventure behind this story comes from the real risks the men went through to become names in history, which give us the biopic side of everything too, we have the two sides working hand in hand to tell us the moment in history that changed the space race.

SettingsThe film shows us the settings which are mostly military bases and labs where the work must take place in, it is the shots from the air which show us just how heavenly space travel could be for the men involved.


Scene of the Movie –
Chuck’s new plane.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too long for the story it is telling.

Final ThoughtsThis is an incredible story of what these men went through, it shows us just how intense the space race was and the powerhouse performances helps, the only weakness is the length of the film.

 

Overall: Space Race fans must watch.

Rating

 

 

Revenge (2017)

Director: Coralie Fargeat

Writer: Coralie Fargeat (Screenplay)

Starring: Matilda Lutz, Kevin Janssens, Vincent Colombe, Guillaume Bouchede, Jean-Louis Tribes

 

Plot: Never take your mistress on an annual guys’ getaway, especially one devoted to hunting – a violent lesson for three wealthy married men.

 

Runtime: 1 Hour 48 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Viscerally Disturbing

 

Story: Revenge starts when Jen (Lutz) is taking on a getaway by Richard (Janssens), she knows he is married with children and he uses her for what he can’t get at home anymore, when his two friends Stan (Colombe) and Dimitri (Bouchede) arrive the getaway seems like a drug and drink fuelled party, until things get out of control. The men leave Jen for dead, a mistake they want to clean up on.

The problem the men will face is the fact that Jen knows how to survive and she wants to get revenge for everything she ha been through, while trying to make sure she survives her terrifying injuries.

 

Thoughts on Revenge

 

Characters – Jen is the mistress of Richard, she dreams of heading off the LA in the future, but for now she is enjoying the life she can, by letting the rich businessman treat her to things. This latest trip doesn’t go as planned and she is left to fight for her life after being left for dead, she must heal her wounds, as she proves to be much harder to kill than the men could ever imagine. Richard is the host for the getaway, using Jen for sex, while his wife and kids are at home, it is planned and a hunting trip, when his friends mess this getaway up, he tries to kill Jen to clean up the loose ends, this only becomes harder for him after his friends start getting killed and he is left trying to escape before he becomes the next victim even though he remains calm through the situation. Stan and Dimitri are the hunter friends of Richard, whom have come on this getaway believing they will be going hunting only to take things too far with Jen, meaning their prey is going to be her, until she turns the tables on them.

PerformancesMatilda Lutz gives a breakthrough performance, where she makes her character sexy when needed and deadly too, she makes the wounds her character goes through just as devastating as they should be, making you want to look away at times. Kevin Janssens as the lead villain keeps his performance calm through everything, making us hate his character as all his actions in the film. Vincent Colombe becomes the most hateable of the villains as he causes most of the problems, he comes off disturbing at times too.

StoryThe story here is very simple which isn’t a bad thing, we have one woman left for dead by three men that have seen their getaway go wrong. This does follow the formula you would expect because it is the party, the event, left for dead and picking off one at the time until she faces off against the leader of the group. The story does take a back burner at times when we focus on the effects being used as wounds are here to shock over anything in the story. there isn’t too much more to say on the story other than simple and effective abilities.

Action/HorrorThe action is in the film shows us just how the wounds are received, they are full of blood and will shock you, the horror shows how the one woman is left for dead in the middle of nowhere which would mean she needs to fight back or die.

SettingsThe film is set on the edge of a desert, a location that is a helicopter ride away, showing that getting hurt isn’t going to be easy to escape from.

Special EffectsThe effects could be the true star of the show because you will wince through certain moments of the wounds when Jen needs to remove something from her body.


Scene of the Movie –
The cave sequence, will be shocking to watch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not sure where it is meant to be set, even which country.

Final ThoughtsThis is a shocking revenge movie that is full of blood and will make you need to look away at times because of what will be going through.

 

Overall: Shocking Must Watch.

Rating