Trauma Center (2019) Movie Review

Director: Matt Eskandari

Writer: Paul Da Silva (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Steve Guttenberg, Nicky Whelan, Lala Kent, Heather Johansen, Texas Battle, Tito Ortiz

Plot: Alone and trapped in a locked-down hospital, an injured young woman must escape a pair of vicious killers who are after the only piece of evidence that can implicate them in a grisly murder, the bullet in her leg.

Tagline – The enemy is closer than you think

Runtime: 1 Hour 27 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Late Night Action

Story: Trauma Center starts as waitress Madison (Whelan) gets caught in a crossfire between Tull (Battle) and Pierce (Ortiz) looking to clean up the loose ends. With Madison injured, with the bullet in her leg, the piece of evidence that could find the men guilty and Detective Wakes (Willis) waiting for the evidence to capture the people who killed his partner.

Tull and Pierce look to end the loose end, as Madison is left in an isolated part of the hospital in hopes of it being a safer location for her, which sees her needing to fight for her life against the killers.

Thoughts on Trauma Center

Characters – Detective Wakes is leading the investigation into the shooting which saw his partner killed, he offers to help with a phone call away, only he is spending most of the film moving around crime scenes. Madison is the waitress who has scared of hospitals after her mother’s death, she is raising her teenage sister, when she gets shot in crossfire, being the only witness and evidence into a group of dirty cops, she must fight to survive while she is being hunted down alone in the hospital unit. Tull and Pierce are the dirty cops that are trying to tie up loose ends, only finding themselves leaving bigger problems along the way, they can come off humorous at times, with how one thinks something is a good idea, while its not.

PerformancesBruce Willis is the main selling point for this movie, he doesn’t give us the level of performance we know he can in action, which only leaves us disappointed and turning to Nicky Whelan needing to do the most work here, working well with Texas Battle and Tito Ortiz.

StoryThe story here follows a waitress who gets shot and is the only proof of the shooters that killed a police officer and now they want to get the evidence back. This story is pretty simple, it is one person needing to battle to survive against two season criminal killers in an abandoned part of a hospital that has been put in locked down, while her protective officer is investigating the crime. It is a cat-n-mouse style, which works, though the story never manages to get intense enough, anything away from the hospital is largely forgettable and the twist you think will happen, never does. This story is easy to watch without getting to any level that makes it feel like it is true peril.

ActionThe action in the film is very simple, it is the cat-n-mouse style that works well enough for the film.

SettingsThe film is set in Puerta Rico, though you wouldn’t have known this with any of the characters we meet in the film.

Scene of the Movie – The defibrillator.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The random investigation scenes.

Final Thoughts This is a simple to watch action film that never reaches the level of intensity it should.

Overall: By the Book Action.

TRAUMA CENTRE is available on Digital Download 17th February and DVD 24th February!

Pre-order on Amazon now

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – T – The Thomas Crown Affair (1968) Movie Review

Director: Norman Jewison

Writer: Alan Trustman (Screenplay)

Starring: Steve McQueen, Faye Dunaway, Paul Burke, Jack Weston, Biff McGuire, Addison Powell, Astrid Heeren

Plot: A debonair, adventuresome bank executive believes he has pulled off the perfect multi-million dollar heist, only to match wits with a sexy insurance investigator who will do anything to get her man.

Tagline – McQueen, together with this “Bonnie and Clyde” Gal…and the slickest gang that ever robbed a bank! 

Runtime: 1 Hour 42 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Classic Heist

Story: The Thomas Crown Affair starts as Thomas Crown (McQueen) pulls off a daring robbery with his selected team which sees him team walk away with millions of dollars, which he will hand out slowly to cover up any unusual additions to bank accounts. The banks turn to insurance investigator Vicki Anderson (Dunaway) to search for answers and it isn’t long before her attention turns to Thomas himself.

Vicki will push the limits of the legal side of her job to get to the truth even if that means she clashes with her employer Eddy Malone (Burke) and the deeper she dives into the case, the more she learns about Thomas and his desires in the criminal world.

Thoughts on The Thomas Crown Affair

Characters – Thomas Crown in the businessman that always knows how to get the best deal, isn’t afraid to splash his cash and he also enjoys a good heist, with his latest one giving him even more money to spend, he knows how the build a team that will get the job done without needing to let them know who he is, only this time he might have met his match. Vicki Anderson is a sexy insurance investigator who is assigned to help get to the bottom of this latest robbery, she starts to investigate Thomas and learns more about him, but never enough to prove he was the mastermind behind the robbery. The two do clash on what they feel is right and will go to any lengths to try and stay ahead of each other. Eddy Malone is the man that hires Vicki to help get the money his company had to pay out to the bank for insurance, he wants things done clean.

PerformancesSteve McQueen does have all the swagger to make this rick criminal come to life effortlessly through the film, while Faye Dunaway brings her character to life, playing into her strengths to get the truth. The rest of the cast are great through the film, letting the leads take full control.

StoryThe story here follows a slick businessman that enjoys committing robberies on the side, he has been doing it for years and now he will meet his match trying to catch him. This is a new spin on the heist genre because instead of being just a criminal wanting to complete his latest job, this turns somebody who never needs to commit the robbery into a man that believes he can get it done. There are elements of the cat-n-mouse between the two which is entertaining to watch, while we do focus more on the aftermath of the crime, rather than the actual crime itself, which is also different because we spend too much time watching the preparation of a crime.

Crime/Romance The crime side of the film does show how one man believes he can get away with the perfect robbery and does fall in love with the woman that is sent to try and capture him.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to show the high rolling life Thomas has been living both before and after the robbery, making it hard to pinpoint him as the mastermind.

Scene of the Movie – The robbery.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – It does seem to easy for them to fall in love.

Final Thoughts This is a fun heist film that does take us into a new direction that we don’t normally see, with some wonderful leading performances.

Overall: Heist film with a twist.

The Trial (1993) Movie Review

Director: David Hugh Jones

Writer: Harold Pinter (Screenplay) Franz Kafka (Novel)

Starring: Kyle MacLachlan, Anthony Hopkins, Jason Robards, Juliet Stevenson, Polly Walker, Alfred Molina, David Thewlis

Plot: Joseph K. (Kyle MacLachlan) awakens one morning, to find two strange men in his room, telling him he has been arrested. Joseph is not told, with what he is charged, and despite being “arrested”, is allowed to remain free and go to work. But, despite the strange nature of his arrest, Joseph soon learns that his trial, however odd, is very real, and tries desperately to spare himself from the court’s judgement.

Runtime: 2 Hours

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Just Confusingly Bad

Story: The Trial starts when Josef (MacLachlan) wakes to find two police officers Franz (Thewlis) and Block (Kitchen) waiting for him, telling him of his arrest, only to let him continue with his day, as they wait for their inspector to call for him to be taken to the station, they don’t announce what he is being charged with, leading to Josef being left wondering just what he is wanted for.

As Josef starts trying to learn about the case, he only learns just how unusual everything about the case is, nothing is playing out like it should do for any other criminal case and he must find a way to prove his innocence.

Thoughts on The Trial

Characters – Josef is the bank clerk that is being arrested and sent straight to trial for something he doesn’t know he has done wrong, he tries to handle everything with his intelligence only to learn that not all the people involved know what is going on. He looks completely lost through most of the events in the film. The Priest is the man Josef turns to for answers. Doctor Hudd is trying to figure out what is wrong with Josef and whether he can be fixed before the trial. This film does have a string a colourful characters that leave everything feeling more confusing that piecing anything together.

PerformancesKyle MacLachlan in the leading role tries to carry this film the best he can, because of the overly confusing storyline, it is hard to get the best out of any of the actors, with everyone in the supporting roles doing all they can and Anthony Hopkins barely getting any screen time.

StoryThe story here follows a man that has been accused of a crime and is getting ready for his trial, only not everything is quite as it seems. Now this is a story that is completely difficult to understand, it seems to be poking fun at the culture that is quick to accuse somebody without them having actually committed a crime or even having an investigation about them. If this isn’t the case, it is even more confusing to watch because very little seems to make any sense otherwise, which does make the story feel very weak all around.

ThrillerThis is meant to be a story that is sold on the idea of a trial, which on paper should be thrilling and interesting, this isn’t what we get and nothing much really happens.

SettingsThe film uses the settings to spin what we would be expecting for the most part, this only adds to the confusing in the film.

Scene of the Movie – The first arrest.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The overly confusing nature of everything else.

Final Thoughts This is a way to confusing film that is poorly advertised, it does try to turn what you are expecting on its head, only to leave us left wondering why things changed.

Overall: Too messy.

The Turning (2020) Movie Review

Director: Floria Sigismondi

Writer: Carey W Hayes, Chad Hayes (Screenplay) Henry James (Novel)

Starring: Mackenzie Davis, Finn Wolfhard, Brooklynn Prince, Barbara Marten, Joely Richardson, Niall Greig Fulton, Denna Thomsen

Plot: A young governess is hired by a man who has become responsible for his young nephew and niece after their parents’ deaths. A modern take on Henry James’ novella “The Turn of the Screw.”

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Basic Horror

Story: The Turning starts when tutor Kate Mandell (Davis) gets a job away from the classroom, to teach Flora (Prince) an orphaned little girl who has been living with her housekeeper Mrs Grose (Marten) in the mansion. While Kate it happy with this new opportunity, this job doesn’t seem as easy once Flora’s older brother Miles (Wolfhard) is expelled from boarding school.

After Kate starts experiencing strange events, nightmares and visions around the house, she starts trying to learn more about the past of the house and with Miles not making her time here easy, she must figure out the truth before it is too late.

Thoughts on The Turning

Characters – Kate is a teacher who is given a chance for this tutor role, a role which would mean only dealing with one kid instead of a classroom, she sees her own life in helping, with her father walking out on her and her mother dealing with her own mental health problems and tries to approach this role as something fresh. She does connect with Flora, but become friends with Miles proves to be more difficult and with her not sleeping she is torn between trying to help him or just leaving. Miles has been expelled from boarding school for assaulting another student, he has become friends with one of the housekeepers who died too, he doesn’t want to become friends with Kate and is happy to play games against her. Flora is the youngest member of the family, she witnessed her parent’s death, which has struck fear into leaving the home, she is just like any child of that age who wants to have fun, only she doesn’t have any friends in her life. Mrs Grose is the housekeeper and has been for generations with planning the daily meals and keeping the place clean.

PerformancesMackenzie Davis in the leading role does well dealing with the horror effects in the film, while the two young stars, Finn Wolfhard and Brooklyn Prince don’t put a foot wrong in their roles.

StoryThe story here follows a tutor that gets a new job in a mansion and while here she learns the house might well be haunted and wants to get to the bottom of this before it is too late. The story is one of the biggest talking points in this film, while it does start off routine, it ends up trying to become smarter than it needs to, only contradicting itself by the end. It is a shame because the basic haunting ideas all work very well, in fact I thought I was watching any of ‘The Haunting’, ‘Awakening’ and films along that line, which slowly builds, has a ghost investigation side to it, only for it is have a spanner in the final works which will leave you scratching your head, but is far from the ‘Non-ending’ people have spoken about.

Horror/MysteryThe horror in the film comes from the haunted house, every scene does give us a proper jump scare, rather than just a false one, though you would be left wondering why she didn’t just leave straight away. The mystery is what did happen, which is more disappointing than anything else, because we only learn things that we get told, rather than Kate learning about anything herself.

SettingsThe mansion setting is beautiful, it shows how you would have creepy noises around, the long dark corridors and massive gardens, which for some reason sees the time of day change when running through it.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are an interesting choice, with the ghostly figures fading in and out so eerily it does add something to the film.

Scene of the Movie – The first reaction.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We get some interesting camera angles, which seem to be here for no apparent reason.

Final Thoughts This is a horror that does the basic horror moments well, even if certain moments might come off overly complicated with how it ends.

Overall: Simple Horror, Complicated Ending.

Kevin Costner Weekend – Thirteen Days (2000) Movie Review

Director: Roger Donaldson

Writer: David Self (Screenplay) Ernest R May, Philip D Zelikow (Book)

Starring: Kevin Costner, Bruce Greenwood, Steven Culp, Stephanie Romanov, Lucinda Jenney, Frank Wood, Henry Strozier, Kevin Conway

Plot: In October 1962, the Kennedy administration struggles to contain the Cuban Missile Crisis.

Tagline – You’ll Never Believe How Close We Came

Runtime: 2 Hours 25 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: History Lesson

Story: Thirteen Days starts like a normal day in the Kennedy administration, his assistant Kenny O’Donnell (Costner) joins the President John F Kennedy (Greenwood), his brother Robert F Kennedy (Culp) and advisers from every side for an emergency meeting.

The meeting is called to discuss the appearance of nuclear warheads in Cuba, believing Russia are moving to a closer position which could destroy large parts of America in minutes. What follows in Kenny trying to help JFK make the smartest decision, despite how many different people are advising with multiply options, all leading to one of the most intense stand offs in military history.

Thoughts on Thirteen Days

Characters – Kenny O’Donnell is the assistant advisor to the President, he gives him advice which would see him make decisions which would support the image of the President and the country instead of agree with the fast track answers which would see America go to war, he is the man that people turn to if they are not prepared to challenge the President’s decisions. President John F Kennedy is the man in the middle of the situation, the man that needs to make the final decision after taking on all the advice from his experts, he wants to remain in control of the situation to the best of his ability. Robert F Kennedy is one of the men advising his brother, he knows how John thinks and knows how the help him make the right decisions to remain calm and in control. We do have plenty of different advisors who are trying to offer a plan to what could make this stand off end quicker.

PerformancesKevin Costner is always entertaining to watch in a political movie, this is no different as he plays the pivot to everything going on. Bruce Greenwood as the President is great to watch through the film, with the whole cast looking like they would have been the people they are playing.

StoryThe story here follows the events around the Cuba Mission Crisis, from the point of view of the Americans. This does break down to be a political thriller that does keep us on edge as we see all the potential ideas that were thrown out which could have seen the world in a different place if different outcomes had been used, while this is a 2 hour story, we only focus on the different ideas, which is interesting to see. Each person could have their own agenda which could show the mindset of the public during the events. We could have more intense moments, but it just doesn’t really do that much more, which doesn’t display just how dangerous the event could have been.

HistoryThis is a big historical moment and it does show how the people in power were put on panic station when the events started to unfold.

SettingsThe film uses the political settings for the most part, which does show us just how the people stayed together through the events of the crisis.

Scene of the Movie – Putting the Admiral in his place.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We could have had more intense sequences.

Final Thoughts This is an interesting look at one of the biggest stand offs in modern history, we do see how it could have gone very differently and how everything unfolded.

Overall: Interesting look at history.