ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – R – Robot Overlords (2014

Director: Jon Wright

Writer: Jon Wright, Mark Stay (Screenplay)

Starring: Ben Kingsley, Gillian Anderson, Callan McAuliffe, Ella Hunt, James Tarpey, Milo Parker

 

Plot: Earth has been conquered by robots from a distant galaxy. Survivors are confined to their houses and must wear electronic implants, risking incineration by robot sentries if they venture outside.


Tagline – Robots never lie…….

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Young Adult 101

 

Story: Robot Overlords starts as the Earth has been invaded by robots and humans are confined to their homes, Kate (Anderson) has her own son Sean (McAuliffe) and adopted children Alexandra (Hunt), Nathan (Tarpey) and Connor (Parker). When the kids learn how to disable the electronic devices they venture outside.

Once outside the kids go in search of answers, keeping one step ahead of the robots one the chief Robin Smythe (Kingsley) who is working for the robots, they must learn the secrets of the invasion.

 

Thoughts on Robot Overlords

 

Characters – Robin Smythe is the zone chief, he works for the robots while keeping the humans safe when they could be in danger and are worth saving, he will not stop until he gets to be with Kate even if that means taking her son. Kate is the one that has taken in the orphans of the invasion and with her son she keeps them safe even in the battle against Robin. Sean is the eldest of the children, he leads the fight back once he discovers he has a very special ability in the war. The rest of the kids offer us comic relief when needed in the film.

PerformancesWhen we look at performances we must realizes Sir Ben Kingsley is in the film, this is the definition of a pay check performance from him. Anderson is good, but it is always hard to see her in any peril after the X-Files. The kids are good throughout never looking out of place.

StoryThe story here follows the pattern of the young adult movies, we have a group of teens that are in a post-apocalyptic world (well nearly) that must rise up and become the resistance. That is the soft outer shell of this movie, going deeper into the story we do have an original idea by having the robots force the humans into staying in their homes over just having them hiding. For the most part this would pass as what we know, it is the main twist which makes zero sense, but what the hell it worked to save the day somehow.

Action/Adventure/Sci-FiThe action in the movie does have a unique style, but just doesn’t come off in the most interesting or entertaining way, the adventure side of the film gives us the standard children, teenagers are the ones that will be the ones to save the day and the sci-fi ideas do work with how robots have taken over the world.

SettingsThe film is set in a small English coastal town, it is nice, but if you took the robots out of the scenes it looked like just backdrop stock photos.

Special EffectsThe special effects for the most part look very CGI, everything looks like a robot placed into the world rather than a robot in the world.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The ability seems very random.

Final ThoughtsThis is a basic young adult movie, it checks the boxes but never becomes one that you will remember when talking about them in general.

 

Overall: Standard young adult movie.

Rating

 

 

Advertisements

Robin Williams Weekend – R.V.: Runaway Vacation (2006)

Director: Barry Sonnenfeld

Writer: Geoff Rodkey (Screenplay)

Starring: Robin Williams, Cheryl Hines, Joanna ‘Jojo’ Levesque, Josh Hutcherson, Jeff Daniels, Kristin Chenoweth

 

Plot: Bob Munro and his dysfunctional family rent an RV for a road trip to the Colorado Rockies, where they ultimately have to contend with a bizarre community of campers.


Tagline – One family. Eight wheels. No brakes.

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Serviceable Comedy

 

Story: R.V.: Runaway Vacation starts as businessman Bob (Williams) is facing the reality of seeing his kids about to start preparing for their next steps in life, he decides to cancel their Hawaii vacation to take them across country in an RV. Bob must convince his wife Jamie (Hines) and children Cassie (JoJo) and Carl (Hutcherson) this trip is going to be good.

As their journey continues we get the usual series of mishaps along the way as Bob is fighting to keep his job by secretly doing his work while the others sleep, just what else can happen in the family’s adventure.

 

Thoughts on R.V.: Runaway Vacation

 

Characters – Bob Munro is an officer worker always on his boss’s good side, his family is growing up and about to move on with their lives and he decides to take them on a cross country trip to keep his job. Jamie is his wife that isn’t happy about losing the Hawaii vacation but understands he wants to spend time with his family. Cassie and Carl are the children with their own growing up problems that Bob has been ignoring for the most part.

PerformancesRobin Williams is the main star of the movie, he gets to do a watered-down version of his comedy which is serviceable for the film. Going into the supporting cast we don’t get too much that stands out as most of them are playing off what Williams does.

StoryThe story follows a family vacation in an RV which takes them on a series of unfortunate events. The story does feel weak for the family growing dynamic because too much of the movie is focused on the father’s problems rather then looking at how the family needs to come together. This will pass as a comedy level story which is fine and never becomes the importance a lighter comedy could achieve.

Comedy/FamilyThe comedy is hit or miss, it is mostly material we have seen before and even with Williams in the leading role, it doesn’t always hit.

SettingsThe film takes us across parts of America which is fine, we get the beauty spots in certain places.


Scene of the Movie –
The reason why the trip happens.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The weakness of the comedy.

Final ThoughtsThis isn’t the best comedy, it has moments but in the end it will become one that you do end up forgetting.

 

Overall: Forgettable comedy for the most part.

Rating

 

 

Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind (2018)

Director: Marina Zenovich

 

Plot: An intimate look into the life and work of the revered master comedian and actor, Robin Williams.


Tagline – This intimate portrait examines one of the world’s most beloved and inventive comedians.

Runtime: 1 Hour 56 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Must Watch Documentary

 

Story: Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind starts as we learn about Robin Williams’ childhood, from different parts of the country which gave him different cultures for him to grow up in, how he learned that he can entertain and started to study acting, we see how he learnt to cope with not having work by showing his improv ability.

We see how he got his first break with the role of Mork which launched him to superstardom, which also gave him the addictions of drug, where he does get to meet and see his friends fall victim too and the early stages of his battles started.

 

Thoughts on Robin Williams: Come Inside My Mind

 

ThoughtsRobin Williams is easily one of the actors I respected the most, for me he is an icon of the modern cinema and comedy. In this documentary we get to look at the highs and lows from his life from his childhood to the tragic end. We get the interviews from the people that become friends, co-stars, directors that he worked with through his career and how they saw the changes in his life, we learn how he would always want to be happy to meet and entertain new people. I only have one part of this documentary I wasn’t keen on and that was the timeline we can jump between events even though we are focusing on the same time of the career. If you do want to see another perspective of the great man, you can see how his own words can help guide you through his life, one man that will forever be missed.

 

Overall: This is a wonderful documentary about one of the greatest humans to walk this Earth.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – R – Red Cliff (2008)

Director: John Woo

Writer: John Woo, Khan Chan, Cheng Kuo, Heyu Sheng (Screenplay) Guanzhong Luo (Novel)

Starring: Tony Leung, Takeshi Kaneshiro, Fengyi Zhang, Chen Chang, Wei Zhao, Jun Hu

 

Plot: The first chapter of a two-part story centered on a battle fought in China’s Three Kingdoms period (220-280 A.D.).

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Spectacular Battles but Hard to Follow

 

Story: Red Cliff starts in the year 220 A.D. with Sun Quan (Chang) sending his army lead by General Cao Cao (Zhang) to defeat the southlands to create a peace within China. The other sides of the battle come from Zhuge Liang (Kaneshiro) who joins a union with Zhou Yu (Leung) to stop this battle from taking over the country.

As the battle rages on we come to the final showdown as the Red Cliff, one of the most famous battles in Chinese history and if you don’t know history you will be left wondering who won.

 

Thoughts on Red Cliff

 

Characters – Zhou Yu is a great warrior that eliminates any enemy that comes close to threatening him. Zhuge Liang is the calm tactical leader that brings two sides together in battle to stop the general. Cao Cao is the general trying to win the battle against the Southlands, he is aggressive in his tactics which would eventually be his weakness.

PerformanceThe performance from the whole cast are good throughout the film, we get to see the combat skills from some of the cast and their abilities to look like the calmest person in the room in other.

StoryThe story is focused on one of the greatest battles in Chinese history, it bought change to the nation and most importantly showed how organised and deadly the three sides of the battle were. If I am honest I did find this hard to follow as I haven’t done much in research into Chinese history but other than that if you just look to watch the battle sequences this is a visual over storytelling experience.

Action/History/WarThe action is the highlight of this film because the sequences are amazing to watch, we do get to look into history which is fine with the war side of the film showing us just how far the three sides would go for victory.

SettingsThe settings are mostly military based as we see both sides prepare for the battle around the iconic location of Red Cliff.

Special EffectsThe effects are used to show in the increased number in battles which looks great through the film.

Scene of the Movie – The arrows on the river.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It was hard to follow at times.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good action packed historical film but it does drift into the land of hard to follow at other times.

 

Overall: Breath taking battles but difficult storyline.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – R – Robin Hood (1973)

Director: Wolfgang Reitherman

Writer: Larry Clemmons, Ken Anderson, Vance Gerry, Frank Thomas, Eric Cleworth, Julius Svendsen, David Michener (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Roger Miller, Peter Ustinov, Terry Thomas, Brain Bedford, Monica Evans, Phil Harris, Andy Devine, Carole Shelly

 

Plot: The story of the legendary outlaw is portrayed with the characters as humanoid animals.


Tagline – Oo-de-Lolly Golly What a Movie!

Runtime: 1 Hour 23 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Classic Disney

 

Story: Robin Hood starts as we head to Nottingham to meet the humanoid versions of the Robin Hood legend, Robin a fox with Little John being a bear, we see how they are trying to fight back against the Prince John a lion who uses the Sheriff of Nottingham a wolf to take the taxes from the poor leaving the country being near broke. We play into the idea of how Robin Hood fought back against this prince in a hope to bring King Richard back to his rightful place.

 

Thoughts on Robin Hood

 

Characters – Robin Hood is the legend we know in British folk law, stealing from the rich giving to the poor, a brilliant archer that finds a way to get away with any crime that comes his way and now he stands up for what everyone can’t. Little John is the trust second and partner of Robin Hood, they have excellent chemistry which helps us see there plans come together. The Sheriff of Nottingham does Prince John’s dirty work, taking the money a striking fear in the locals. Prince John continues to take the money from whoever has any to continue his reign of terror.

StoryThe story plays loosely into the idea of Robin Hood, to make it family friendly of course, this is Disney. We see how the poor were treated badly by the Prince of John and being told through different animals adds to the predator that this could be considered through these characters. It is an easy to follow story, which does have a side to how serious things could get, but never offers the true peril of the situation.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventures of Robin Hood are the stuff of legends and this is nothing away from this, even if it has a comic tone to everything going on.

SettingsThe film recreates the Nottingham setting for the Robin Hood era well to show the divide between the castle of the Prince and the homes of the poor.

AnimationDisney were the top dogs for animation and this never looks like it misses any beats with how the look of the film looks.


Scene of the Movie –
Archer tournament.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is too loose with the legend.

Final ThoughtsThis is Disney doing their magic in the 70s without a doubt, a fun and enjoyable movie throughout.

 

Overall: Fun family enjoyment.

Rating