The VelociPastor (2018)

Director: Brendan Steere

Writer: Brendan Steere (Screenplay)

Starring: Alyssa Kempinski, Gregory James Cohan, Daniel Steere, Yang Jiechang, Jesse Turtis, Fernando Pacheco de Castro

Plot: After losing his parents, a priest travels to China, where he inherits a mysterious ability that allows him to turn into a dinosaur. At first horrified by this new power, a hooker convinces him to use it to fight crime. And ninjas.


Tagline – A Man of the Claw.

Runtime: 1 Hour 15 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Completely Self-Aware

Story: The VelociPastor starts when Doug Jones (Cohan) whose parents are murdered leading to him to loses his faith, Father Stewart (Steere) sends him of a self-discovery holiday, which sees him head to China, when he returns he finds himself having horrendous nightmares and after he meets a hooker Carol (Kempinski), he tries to put everything together.

Once Doug learns that he can turn into a dinosaur, he works with Carol to fight crime to clean up his own town, including the man that murdered his parents.

Thoughts on The VelociPastor

Characters – Doug Jones is a priest that has followed God for years until his parents are murdered outside his church, he goes on a voyage of self-discovery in China, which sees him infected with an illness. Doug have the ability to turn into a dinosaur, where he decides to use this new power to fight crime in his town, getting revenge on the person who murdered his parents and bring down the drug lord. Carol is a local hooker that meets Doug and sees first-hand just what he is capable off, she pushes him into fighting crime, while she can handle herself in combat too. Father Stewart is the mentor of Doug, he has always helped him keep the faith and is willing to let him discover his faith once more. Wei Chan is the local drug lord that has been controlling the crime in the town, along with his ninjas he will be the fight Doug must take on.

PerformancesThis movie does have the over the top performances which does only help make things more entertaining, Greg Cohan in the leading role knowns when to hold things back before going over the top, which helps the character. Alyssa Kempinski is fun in her role, which brings the change in our lead character through the film. The whole cast know exactly the tone of this film and it shows in the their performances.

StoryThe story here follows a priest that gets infected with something that turns him into a dinosaur and decides to go on to fight crime with this new ability. The first thing you must be prepared for is knowing that this film doesn’t take anything serious and is well aware that everything is as ridiculous as it sounds. The idea behind the film is truly original, it is purely fun and wildly over the top. If you do go into this story thinking you are getting something serious, you will be disappointed because this film is completely self-aware of what it is trying to tell.

Action/Comedy/Horror/Sci-FiThe action in the film does play into the comedy, which is silly and over the top, which does include the dinosaur fighting ninja, which helps with the horror and sci-fi elements in the film.

SettingsThe film is set in a small town, this does help with the idea of how silly this film takes itself without needing to go into anything too serious once again.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are practical, this again plays into the self-aware side of the film, which does show with the dinosaur suit fighting ninja.


Scene of the Movie – Dinosaur v ninjas.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The random Father Stewart backstory.

Final Thoughts This is one if not the most self-aware movies you will see, it is so funny you can enjoy laughing through how ridiculous this film is.

Overall: Purely fun.

Rating

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Villain (1971)

Director: Michael Tuchner

Writer: Dick Clement, Ian La Frenais (Screenplay) James Barlow (Novel)

Starring: Richard Burton, Ian McShane, Nigel Davenport, Donald Sinden, Fiona Lewis, T.P. McKenna, Joss Ackland

 

Plot: In 1970s London, the Scotland Yard orchestrates the downfall of mob boss Vic Dakin after he crosses the line by blackmailing Members of Parliament.


Tagline – You are looking at the face of a Villain.

Runtime: 1 Hour 38 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Basic British Gangster Film

 

Story: Villain starts as we see how gangster Vic Dakin (Burton) controls London, he has people that will grass on him to the cops with Inspector Bob Matthews (Davenport) trying to bring down the criminal.

Vic continues to use his business connections to stay ahead of the police, with Wolfe Lissner (McShane) being the latest person the inspectors are turning to try and give up Vic’s secrets.

 

Thoughts on Villain

 

Characters – Vic Dakin runs London with his criminal activities, he is feared by most people and if you cross him, you will get hurt if not killed. He has become over confident that he can get away with anything, making him one of the prime targets for everyone involved in law. Wolf Lissner works for Vic, he is one of the youngster members of the crew and the one that the police are trying to use to turn on him, even if he the one person that Vic will always turn to. Bob Matthews is the inspector that has been trying to bring down Vic for years, he has risen up the ranks, got the people in the gang, but never been able to get the conviction. Gerald Draycott is the politician that is being blackmailed to keep the business under wraps for Vic.

PerformancesWe do have two big names in his film, first Richard Burton that doesn’t get to show the skill he could bring to a film, while a younger Ian McShane shows us that he could be set for a career in this sidekick gangster role. The rest of the cast are doing all they need to without being in anyway stand out through the film.

StoryThe story follows a gangster that has the power over London, the police have been hunting him for years, but he always finds a way to get out of trouble. This time they get closer than ever before and could finally take down one of the biggest gangsters in London. When it comes to the gangster genre, we don’t really ever get much different when it comes to where the story goes, this one is based loosely on the Kray brother, but for some reason only one of the twins. It does feel like we have seen everything before, we don’t get drawn into support either side of the battle and end up feeling like it is just another gangster film.

CrimeThe crime world we enter shows us just where the criminals operate and just where the police will need to turn to, in any hope of bringing him down.

SettingsThe film is mostly set in London which see just how the criminals operate, where they can get away from crime.


Scene of the Movie –
The opening scene as we see just how Vic can operate.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The final shot.

Final ThoughtsThis is a typical British gangster film that starts with an intense opening, only to become a drag as the film unfolds.

 

Overall: British Gangster 101.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Crime – V – Veronica Mars (2014)

Director: Rob Thomas

Writer: Rob Thomas, Diane Ruggiero (Screenplay)

Starring: Kristen Bell, Jason Dohring, Enrico Colantoni, Chris Lowell, Percy Daggs III

 

Plot: Years after walking away from her past as a young private eye, Veronica Mars gets pulled back to her hometown, just in time for her high school reunion, in order to help her old flame Logan Echolls, who’s embroiled in a murder mystery.


Tagline – She thought she was out

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Too Many Blanks From the Show

 

Story: Veronica Mars starts as Veronica Mars (Bell) fills the fans of the show in with the last few years of her life after the television show finished and gave us first time viewers a chance to get a basic grip of who the main characters are going to be.

Veronica is now about to take her bar exam, but when her ex-boyfriend Logan Echolls (Dohring) is accused of killing his celebrity girlfriend, Veronica returns home to get to the bottom of the crime, re-living her private eye ways and catching up with old friends.

 

Thoughts on Veronica Mars

 

Characters – Veronica Mars is the former private eye that has moved on to study law only to learn a former friend has been accused of murder. The character gets to return to see old friends to see where they are in life now and how things have changed, in the biggest case of her life. Logan Echolls is the ex-boyfriend of Veronica that has been accused of murder, he needs her help to prove his innocence.

PerformancesKristen Bell made this role her own on television and now you can see her own enjoyment of returning to this role. Jason Bohring is solid enough in the role of the suspect. It would be fair to say the whole returning cast enjoyed coming back and it worked for the film.

StoryThe story plays into the hands of the fans of the show wonderfully, the problem comes if you never saw the show, you will never understand the moments between characters in this movie. This isn’t a film for people that never saw the show, but it does bring our character back to her old role to see where friends are which is always a nice touch for popular shows.

Crime/MysteryThe crime mystery tone is everything the TV show kept up with the light-hearted comic tone of the movie, with plenty of mystery moments to keep us guessing.

SettingsThe settings do help the fans of the original show that have returned to their favourite show, seeing all the places we saw their favourite characters.


Scene of the Movie –
Reunion.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Not knowing enough from the TV show.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful treat for the fans of the show, catching up with our favourite characters is something we all like to do and this is no different.

 

Overall: Good TV show to movie.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – V – Viking (2016)

Director: Andrey Kravchuk

Writer: Andrey Kravchuk, Johan Melin, Andrey Rubanov, Viktor Smirnov (Screenplay)

Starring: Danila Kozlovsky, Aleksandr Ustyugov, Kirill Pletnyov, Maksim Sukhanov

 

Plot: Kievan Rus, late 10th century. After the death of his father, the young Viking prince Vladimir of Novgorod is forced into exile across the frozen sea.


Tagline – “Istoriya eto simptom. Diagnoz eto my” (“History is a symptom. The diagnosis is us”)

Runtime: 2 Hours 22 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Too Much to Process

 

Story: Viking starts as three brothers rule different kingdoms under the Russia we follow the youngest Vladimir (Kozlovsky) who is trying to end the war between them after being exiled to the frozen land of Novgorod. Completing his quest, he will need to come across new enemies, while old enemies are waiting in the wings for his weaknesses to be exposed.

 

Thoughts on Viking

 

Characters – Vladimir is the youngster son of the king, he gets the weakest area to rule, but isn’t going to let that stop him taking control of the area, he proves to be a strong leader one that is fair and will look after his people. When it comes to the rest of the characters it was hard to figure out who to focus on, because as soon as one looked like they were going to be important, they seemed to get killed.

PerformancesThe performances suffer because of the issues with the characters not being given the focus they require in the film, it is too hard for the audience to know who they should be following in this film.

StoryThe story seems to focus on Vladimir the youngest son of the rule of Russia, whom after his death gets given part of the land to defend, we watch his rise to try and claim his crown as the rule of Russia as he takes on enemies from all over the land including his own blood. The story telling process is difficult to keep up with as we do seem to meet group one get slightly invested in these character, but nope they get killed leaving us wondering just who we are meant to be supporting through the film.

Action/History/WarThe action is plenty of battle sequences, each one getting bigger, bloodier and deadlier as the film unfolds. The history, well I don’t know how accurate any of it is, most of that would involve research and the war side of the film shows us the different strategies adopted during the 10th century.

SettingsThe film shows us the settings that will keep us believing we are in the time the film is set, it keeps the battles feeling down and dirty which is how you would imagine them happening.


Scene of the Movie –
The hiding escape.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Too many characters introduced for nothing.

Final ThoughtsThis is an overly complicated movie that is trying to tell a massive story only for it to end up not given enough time for most of the characters to develop or unfold.

 

Overall: Too long and dull

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – V – Viceroy’s House (2017)

Director: Gurinder Chadha

Writer: Gurinder Chadha, Paul Mayeda Berges, Moira Buffini (Screenplay) Narendra Singh Sarila (Book)

Starring: Hugh Bonneville, Gillian Anderson, Manish Dayal, Huma Qureshi, Michael Gambon, Om Puri, David Hayman

 

Plot: The final Viceroy of India, Lord Mountbatten, is tasked with overseeing the transition of British India to independence, but meets with conflict as different sides clash in the face of monumental change.


Tagline – The end of an empire. The birth of two nations.

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Nice History Lesson

 

Story: Viceroy’s House starts as Lord Mountbatten (Bonneville) is taking his place as the last Viceroy of India, to help see oversea the independence of India, his wife Lady Edwina wants to help with change by making the house open to Indian’s something the residents have never seen before.

We also meet young Indian Jeet Kumar (Dayal) who gets hired to the staff that has a past with Aalia Noor (Qureshi) who have their own feelings to battle against tradition. As Lord Mountbatten tries to bring the leaders of Indian together, we only see how the country becomes more divided over their independence and how he tries to do the best he can to stop the bloodshed.

 

Thoughts on Viceroy’s House

 

Characters – Lord Mountbatten was the British choice to take over the Viceroy house during the final days of the British Empire’s control of India, he wants a peaceful transition only to learn the divide in the people wants their own country Pakistan. He must show the leadership skills to create the peace needed for this nation after the years that British ruling. Lady Mountbatten opens up the house to more Indian families, she wants to create an equal environment for the people, she will rid the house of anyone that shows discrimination in a hope for an equal future. Jeet Kumar is a young man that gets a job in the Viceroy House under Lord Mountbatten he wants to see the peace unfold, but his heart is take by a former friend Aalia.

PerformancesHugh Bonneville is great in this leading role, he brings us the class the character requires while also giving us the human side needed. Gillian Anderson is good even if her accent does come off overly posh at times. Manish Dayal as the young Indian is strong too with Huma Qureshi going well in the side story which is about love through the difficult times.

StoryThe story here follows the time in history when Britain gave up the power of India and the chaos this caused between the Indian’s and their different religious beliefs. It showed us how Britain once again looked down on a nation for being different and had to learn just how important equality within all nations should be. It also shows us the different between the people with different religious beliefs which could be against each other so easily, a problem we still see today. There is a love story put into this film which doesn’t feel the most important to everything going on.

Biopic/HistoryThis is an important look at a historical moment in human history, one that changed India forever and showed the British at their best and worst.

SettingsThe film takes us to India where we believe we are at the same time and place as this movie’s events, nothing feels or looks out of place.


Scene of the Movie –
Lady Mountbatten putting an English helper in her place, back on a boat.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The love story does feel like something we didn’t need.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderful look at the history of the British Empire and India, we see the struggle the country went through during the time of change, one larger than ever seen, for the history fans out there, this will be one for you to see.

 

Overall: History fans will enjoy this movie.

Rating