Chris Hemsworth Weekend – Vacation (2015)

Director: John Francis Daly, Jonathan Goldstein

Writer: John Francis Daly, Jonathan Goldstein (Screenplay) John Hughes (Characters)

Starring: Ed Helms, Christina Applegate, Skyler Gisondo, Steele Stebbins, Chris Hemsworth, Leslie Mann, Chevy Chase, Beverly D’Angelo, Charlie Day

 

Plot: Rusty Griswold takes his own family on a road trip to “Walley World” in order to spice things up with his wife and reconnect with his sons.


Tagline – What could go wrong?

Runtime: 1 Hour 39 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Mostly Boring Comedy

 

Story: Vacation starts the Griswold family decide to take a different family vacation, Rusty (Helms), Debbie (Applegate) children James (Gisondo), Kevin (Stebbins) head across country to Walley World, the journey will bring them to meet a string of crazy characters.

Along the way they spend the night with Rusty’s sister Audrey (Mann) and her husband Stone (Hemsworth) who have a happier time with their lives.

 

Thoughts on Vacation

 

Characters – Rusty is a pilot, but seemingly a big of a dumbass outside of the job, he takes his family on a vacation across America, he seems to get away with making bad decisions along the way too. Debbie is the long suffering wife that wants to do something different for her holiday, not seeing eye to eye with Rusty. James and Kevin are kids which are different than normal with the younger bullying the older. Along the way the different characters are crazy in their own ways, mostly offence though.

PerformancesWe have a mix of actors that have been doing comedy for a while, Ed Helms should be doing a lot better as do the rest of the regulars, the only person that comes out of this with any credibility is Chris Hemsworth who shows he can hit the comedy levels.

StoryThe story is a family travelling across America where things go wrong along the way as they meet colourful characters. Part remake, part sequel following the family just feel like every basic mishap possible along the way or even having the basic level not hitting home well enough.

Adventure/ComedyThe adventure puts us across America to see which is fine, but never believable and the comedy misses more often than it hits.

SettingsThe settings takes us to location you would be used to see across America without them being anything you would need reminding about though.


Scene of the Movie –
Chris Hemsworth showing his early comedy level.

That Moment That Annoyed Me How is Rusty a pilot, he clearly is an idiot.

Final ThoughtsThis is just another offence comedy that misses more than it hits.

 

Overall: This is just another boring comedy that tries too hard.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – World Cinema – V – Veteran (2015)

Director: Seung-wan Ryoo

Writer: Seung-wan Ryoo (Screenplay)

Starring: Jung-min Hwang, Ah-in Yoo, Hae-jin Yoo, Dal-su Oh, Man-sik Jeong

 

Plot: Jo Tae-Oh is a young man who was grown spoiled in a wealthy family. He keeps on committing pretty much every crime that one can think of. He tries to buy his way out of everything which almost always works but Detective Seo Do-Cheol won’t let that happen this time.

Tagline – He will stop at nothing

Runtime: 2 Hours 3 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Smart Enjoyable Crime Thriller

 

Story: Veteran starts as we see how Seo Do-cheol (Hwang) and his team operate taking down criminals, his latest target in young businessman and vice-president of the family business Jo Tae-oh (Ah-in Yoo) who playboy lifestyle has been raising eyebrows as he can buy himself out of any problems.

When one of the contractors attempt suicide after lack of payment, Seo starts to investigate Tae-oh to bring down his corruption at a price as he puts his career and marriage on the line to bring them down.

 

Thoughts on Veteran

 

Characters – Seo Do-cheol is a detective that has been operating with his team to take down criminals for years now, his latest job made him a connection to a contractor that gets terminated before receiving payment, this gives Seo a chance to look at the vice-president of the company where he must show his determination to expose the truth and bring him down against everyone else’s opinions. Jo Tae-oh is the vice-president of a family company where he has more money then sense which lets him indulge in illegal part of life with his lawyer needing to clean up his actions.

PerformancesThe performances from the whole cast are good, Jung-min Hwang in the leading shines with his determined mindset to bring down Tae-oh. Ah-in Yoo is great as the playboy businessman, he brings out his cockiness in nearly every scene while also being able to snap at any moment.

StoryThe story follows one determined detective trying to take down a vice-president of a ruthless company who pays off anyone that tries to go against him. The story does have plenty of twists along the way and does handle business corruption well, we also get to see how South Korean culture can play into decisions being made by characters. The pace of the story works well to as it never seems to let up even if the film is over 2 hours long.

Action/Comedy/Crime The action in this film is kept for a couple of good sequences while we focus on the crime side of the film for the most part. We have moments of comedy while they don’t take over the film.

SettingsThe films place in a South Korean city where the rich can get what they want and get away with what they want, and the cops must try to take them down.


Scene of the Movie –
The takedown.

That Moment That Annoyed Me You feel we could have had more of Jo Tae-oh action before this crime.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good crime thriller that exposes plenty of truths in the corruption one man had been causing and shows the best of the two men and what they are fighting for.

 

Overall: Fun crime thriller.

Rating

 

 

Matthew Fox Weekend – Vantage Point (2008)

Director: Pete Travis

Writer:  Barry L Levy (Screenplay)

Starring: Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver, William Hurt, Said Tahgmaoui, Zoe Saldana, Edgar Ramirez, Bruce McGill

 

Plot: The attempted assassination of the American President is told and re-told from several different perspectives.


Tagline –  If you think you’ve seen it all…Look Again

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Relentless Action Packed Film

 

Story: Vantage Point starts in Salamanca, Spain where the world leaders are meeting for President Ashton (Hurt) anti-terrorist agreement which would bring nations from around the world together. Rex Brooks (Weaver) is controlling the media side of the story, with Angie Jones (Saldana) on the grounds.

President Ashton surrounded by secret service agents including Thomas Barnes (Quaid) who has saved the President in the past and flanked by Kent Taylor (Fox). When the President in shot a bomb is set off outside the plaza leave many dead including our reporter Angie.

We rewind to follow the events from Thomas’s perspective, his struggle to suit up and put his life on the line for the President. We continue to follow different vantage points we learn the bigger picture of the events of this day.

 

Thoughts on Vantage Point

 

Characters – Thomas Barnes is a secret service agent, he has saved the President before and his mindset has been questioned before, but he is excellent at his job, he must act quickly to learn the truth about who tried to assassinate the President. Kent Taylor is a fellow secret service agent, the one that supports Barnes’ return to duty, he goes in pursuit off the suspect doing his duty for the President. Howard Lewis is a tourist that is having a difficult personal life and was using this trip as a break from his family, he is filming the events becoming a crucial witness to the events. Rex Brooks is the television news director, controlling her reporter on the stage, the cameras in the arena, she has a history with trying to get Barnes to talk about his lifesaving moment in the past. President Ashton is about to agree on the biggest counter-terrorist agreement in world history, he will be making history at this event. We continue to follow other people too including the mysterious woman Veronica that becomes one of the prime suspects.

PerformancesThe performances here are good throughout the whole cast, not a single person truly becomes the main character of the film so, no one takes centre stage. Dennis Quaid, Matthew Fox, Forest Whitaker, Sigourney Weaver and William Hurt to name the biggest names are able to show how to make an impact with limited time.

StoryThe story follows the panic which follows an attempted assassination attempt of the President, we follow the different viewpoints, we flashback to different points where each vantage point does take us to the next stage of the story, keeping us guessing on each moment of the events of the day. This story does show the pure panic that would follow an assassination attempt and bombs going of at such a public event. The real-time feeling gives us an extra dimension to this film which makes this a real edge of your seat story which keeps us guessing.

Action/CrimeThe action comes thick and fast in this film, we have a car chase through the tight streets and plenty of foot pursuits the drive the movie as we are left to figure out who committed the crime.

SettingsThe settings give us the opening feeling of hope for the world, this setting then shows us how perfect it would be for creating the chaos required for the terrorist actions.


Scene of the Movie –
Car chase.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Forest Whitaker’s jump, it doesn’t suit the running rescue.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the most underrated action films if you want something that doesn’t make you think to much but does keep you guessing this is one for you. It is a relentless film that doesn’t give you too much time to breath.

 

Overall: Action fans just go and watch this.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – V – Valiant (2005)

Director: Gary Chapman

Writer: Jordan Katz, George Webster, George Melrod (Screenplay) George Webster (Story)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Ewan McGregor, Ricky Gervais, Tim Curry, Jim Broadbent, Hugh Laurie, John Cleese, John Hurt

 

Plot: Set in 1944, Valiant is a woodland pigeon who wants to become a great hero someday. When he hears they are hiring recruits for the Royal Homing Pigeon Service, he immediately sets out for London. On the way, he meets a smelly but friendly pigeon named Bugsy, who joins him, mainly to get away from clients he cheated in a game of find-the pebble, and helps him sign up for the war.


Tagline –  Some pigeons eat crumbs, others make history.

Runtime: 1 Hour 16 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun Family Film

 

Story: Valiant starts as small young pigeon Valiant wants to help out during World War II by joining the Royal Homing Pigeon Service, taking his chance a heading to London he meets hustler pigeon Bugsy as the pair con their way into the recruitment process.

Going through the recruitment process the pigeons are sent on their first mission with the danger of the falcons with the evil Von Talon waiting for any pigeons that try to cross the ocean.

 

Thoughts on Valiant

 

Characters – Valiant is a plucky young pigeon that wants to be a hero of war by becoming a carrier pigeon for the royal homing pigeon service, he has the guts even if he doesn’t have the build for it, he will risk his life to save his country. Bugsy is a cowardly con artist pigeon that uses joining the service to escape magpies, only to try to get out of it on a constant basis. Von Talon is the evil falcon that has been hunting the pigeons trying to return home, he is the typical foreign villain for this film.

StoryThe story follows an unlikely group of homing pigeons that must deliver secrets back to the soldiers in England during World War II. This gives you everything you want to enjoy in an animated story, the idea of a character overcoming his weaknesses to become the strongest part of a team, even if this does make light of the war itself, even when it is trying to tell the importance of the animals in the war.

Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe adventure out pigeons go on is life or death and a real one pigeons would have gone on during the war, the comedy does hit well for the British audience which is nice to see with a string of British comedies offering the laughs. This will be one the whole family could enjoy too, having moments that all ages will understand.

SettingsThe settings play into the idea that the animals will be involved in the war and just how they will be seeing the biggest moments too, while also decreasing the scale of everything.

AnimationThe animation looks great in the foreground, while the backgrounds have been scaled down, which is fine, but doesn’t show the busyness around the big cities.


Scene of the Movie –
The crossing.

That Moment That Annoyed Me I personally didn’t like how small London seemed to be.

Final ThoughtsThis is a fun animation that can be enjoyed by everyone, though it does have a very British core, certain jokes might miss for a more international audience.

 

Overall: Enjoyable and fun.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – V – Vigilante Diaries (2016)

Director: Christian Sesma

Writer: Christian Sesma, Paul Sloan (Screenplay)

Starring: Jason Mewes, Quinton Rampage Jackson, Paul Sloan, Kevin L Walker, Michael Jai White, Michael Madsen

 

Plot: The Vigilante Diaries is a high octane action-adventure that follows two black-ops agents (Paul Sloan and Kevin L. Walker) turned crime-fighting vigilantes. Their dangerous adventures take us from the mega-mansions and the underbelly of Los Angeles to far away places like Iraq, Armenia, Russia, and The United Kingdom. All of which are streamed online by film maker Mike Hanover (Jason Mewes). A trio of Asian femme fatales, to ruthless Armenian mobsters, to a pair of deep cover super spies hell bent on throwing the world into chaos.


Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Flashy Action Film

 

Story: Vigilante Diaries starts as we learn about the former soldier known as The Vigilante (Sloan) who has been cleaning up the world with a growing reputation, his only partner is a young man known as The Kid (Walker) with documentary filmmaker Michael Hanover (Mewes) having captured him killing the bother of an Armenian crime boss.

Once The Vigilante gets captured his old team including Wolfman (Jackson) come together to save him and keep Michael safe, but not everything is as it seems as it appears the old enemies have also returned.

 

Thoughts on Vigilante Diaries

 

Characters – The Vigilante was once a hero of war, he has turned to the new life where he takes out the problems of the world. Now he finds himself in the middle of a war he started bring his old team back together for one final mission. The team has your generic characters which offer little to the bigger story and by the end you will be left thinking oh well, they were in it. The character I wish we would have seen more from is Barrington but he isn’t in the film enough.

PerformancesThe acting on a whole isn’t the strongest, we are not getting convinced by any of the connections, Jason Mewes goes well over the top through the film and Michael Jai White is the highlight of the acting.

StoryThe story is the weakest part of the film, we have the idea of the Vigilante clashing with a mob, but things go to the extreme as they try to save the ones in danger. The problems start with the time jumps, we are thrown all over the place with this and to make things worse we are left not caring about what happens between each scene of the film.

ActionThe action is plenty of gun fire without coming to too much that will be remembered.

SettingsThe settings throw us all over the world never letting us settle on just one location for the battles to take place.


Scene of the Movie –
Meet the team.

That Moment That Annoyed Me That chase scene, so badly shot.

Final ThoughtsThis is a very clunky action film, the narrative is told messy throughout, the action sequences are fine but difficult to keep up on, while the acting is nothing to write home about either. The film is more interested in making the men look like they can handle guns and the women to be scantily clad and over sexualized.

 

Overall: Messy action film.

Rating