World’s Most Dangerous Paper Route (2019)

Director: Matthew Hausle

Writer: Paul Freedman (Screenplay)

 

Plot: The story of the unsung heroes who deliver the ‘Stars And Stripes’ military newspaper to soldiers in Afghanistan. Part of the film shows the paper delivery to Camp Lightning after 90 minutes on a Chinook helicopter, two miles up a mountain, and further travel on Humvees.

 

Runtime: 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Important to See How the Stories are Told

 

Story: World’s Most Dangerous Paper Route starts by telling us what the Stars and Stripes newspaper is and why it was created, to give the American soldiers in the military a chance to read about the stories of conflict they are fighting and has been running for years now, still being used today. We get to see how the journalists and photographers were able to capture some of the most shocking, important and special moments in conflicts.

 

Thoughts on World’s Most Dangerous Paper Route

 

Final ThoughtsWhen you look at this documentary you get to see just a newspaper can help tell the truth about war, be it for the real world or more importantly for the soldiers that want to know what they are fighting for. The insight these journalists have in beyond brilliant, we get to see how they can have intimate stories that show how united the soldiers are. We get to see how journalists have worked from the early 1950’s right up to the current affairs issues that have been able to show the conflict, we get to see how the paper has evolved to deal with the change in technology. We get to see the good the paper has created to survivors of the wars. One of the weaknesses comes from the almost glossed over moment of looking at how difficult to deliver the paper is, which wile learning how important the paper is, it would have been interesting to focus more on how difficult it would be to spread the word this paper does. The documentary does connect the members of military that will always be one of the go to for the many people in the services.

 

Overall: Headline worthy documentary.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – W – World Trade Center (2006)

Director: Oliver Stone

Writer: Andrew Berloff (Screenplay) John McLoughlin, Donna LcLoughlin, William Jimeno, Allison Jimeno (True Story)

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Michael Pena, Maria Bello, Jay Hernandez, Jon Bernthal, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Michael Shannon

 

Plot: Two Port Authority police officers become trapped under the rubble of the World Trade Center.


Tagline – A True Story Of Courage And Survival

Runtime: 2 Hour 9 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Powerful Drama

 

Story: World Trade Center starts like every other day for police officers John McLoughlin (Cage) who sets the assignments for his department which include Will Jimeno (Pena) and Dominick Pezzulo (Hernandez). Today is going to change their lives, today is September 11th the day the World Trade Centers Twin Twos get hit by the planes, while being part of the rescue team the crew find themselves trapped.

When the dust settles Will and John are the only ones still alive with their loved ones Donna McLoughlin (Bello) and Allison Jimeno (Gyllenhaal) waiting to hear if they were in the towers when they went down. The two must support each other in hope that they would get rescued as New York and America comes together to rescue their own.

 

Thoughts on World Trade Center

 

Characters – All the characters in this film are based on real people, we have real victims from 9/11 being portrayed. John McLoughlin is the experience police officer that leads his men into the Twin Towers in a rescue attempt, he is a father of four which is one of his greatest motivations to survive once he becomes trapped in the rubble. Will Jimeno is the fellow officer that becomes trapped with John, he is a parent too with a second on the way, he is injured but uses the company of John to stay awake. We do have the wives and loved ones and fellow officers that helped in the rescues to being portrayed here showing the heroes involved on those days.

PerformancesNicolas Cage shows in this role that he still was a brilliant performer along with Michael Pena stepped to a leading role. We have fantastic performances from the whole cast if we are being honest.

StoryThe events of this day shocked the world like no other events, the stories of the survivors being found was a race for hope for anyone who might have had someone in the towers. We do focus on just two officers that became trapped as they fought to survive while waiting for rescue. Watching how the rescuers worked to save people trapped, the family waiting helplessly for news on their families, add this together and you get a powerful drama that showed the heroics during that tragic event.

History/ThrillerThe events of this movie are one of the most if not the most famous terrorist attack in modern history, seeing how the two officers just had to rely on hope to survive shows us just how the country was bought together to find a people which does make this edge of your seat waiting to see if they make it or not.

SettingsJohn and Will are trapped for the most part of this movie, it shows how hopeless the situation looked for the men, outside we see the aftermath of the attack.

Special EffectsThe effects used in the movie are fantastic to show the horror of the moment the towers came crashing down on the people inside to the surviving in the rumble and re-creation of the devastation.


Scene of the Movie –
For the visual the collapse is shocking to watch.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It is still hard to watch because of the shock of the event.

Final ThoughtsThis is a powerful drama that shows how the city came together during the time of need.

 

Overall: This is a must watch but it is hard to re-live those moments.

Rating

 

 

Wilde (1997)

Director: Brian Gilbert

Writer: Julian Mitchell (Screenplay) Richard Ellmann (Book)

Starring: Stephen Fry, Jude Law, Vanessa Redgrave, Jennifer Ehle, Gemma Jones, Michael Sheen, Tom Wilkinson

 

Plot: The story of Oscar Wilde, genius, poet, playwright and the First Modern Man. The self-realization of his homosexuality caused Wilde enormous torment as he juggled marriage, fatherhood and responsibility with his obsessive love for Lord Alfred Douglas, nicknamed Bosie. After legal action instigated by Bosie’s father, the enraged Marquise of Queensberry, Wilde refused to flee the country and was sentenced to two years at hard labor by the courts of an intolerant Victorian society. 


Tagline – The story of the first modern man

Runtime: 1 Hour 58 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wonderful Biopic

 

Story: Wilde starts as we meet Oscar Wilde (Fry) the popular play writes of the upper class of London, he marries Constance (Ehle) as they start their own family, however Oscar lives a secret life among the upper class where has male friends, with Lord Alfred Douglas (Law) becoming his latest obsession.

As Oscar and Alfred’s relationship continues to grow, we see the differences between the two men and Alfred’s father The Marquess of Queensberry (Wilkinson) doesn’t make it any easy between the two.

 

Thoughts on Wilde

 

Characters – Oscar Wilde is one of the most famous poets and play writes of all time, here we meet him on top of the world as he has a family and has his men on the side, taking up most of his time. He was openly gay in a society that frowned upon him, though he did keep his actions secret and behind closed doors, it is his latest relationship which causes the most problems as the man’s father refuses to be involved in any of that activity. Lord Alfred Douglas is the latest man to come into Oscar’s life, he has the title which draws the attention of the city to the couple, though he isn’t as loving as Oscar towards each other. Constance is the wife of Oscar, who must see her husband’s name dragged through the mud because of his action.

PerformancesStephen Fry shines in this leading role, only he could have bought us the strength in speech that his brings Oscar, with his emotions coming through when needing. Jude Law does a wonderful job here too as the young lover of Oscar, he brings the bratty side to the high society too. When it comes to the actresses they are all strong with their performances, knowing they need to let Fry shine more often.

StoryThe story follows the life of Oscar Wilde, from where he was the most famous play writes in London, while known for having a tendency to go around town looking for men, even when it was frowned upon. We see how one man can break the sensible side of Oscar, making him make the mistakes in his life which will see him lose everything and be punished for his action. He story shows us how somebody can get power over anybody when it comes to love even if they don’t mean to, the greatest mind can take away moments from life and send it in a direction which is just as painful.

Biopic/RomanceThe biopic in this film shows the personal life of Oscar Wilde, how he didn’t care if he went against society for the time. The romance shows how Oscar was stuck in a position where Alfred managed to get control over Oscar without meaning too, showing how love can make you do crazy things.

SettingsEach setting feels like we are in the right time period where we get to see how the upper class lived during this time too.


Scene of the Movie –
The poems.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The frustration this is how human society once treated people.

Final ThoughtsThis is a brilliant biopic that showed how one of the greatest minds in history was shunned because of his sexual preference, showing the annoyance of how the world treats people.

 

Overall: Wilde by name, Wild by nature.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Biopic – D – Wyatt Earp (1994)

This is fitting in with the D for ABC Film Challenge because of the involvement of Doc Holliday.

 

Director: Lawrence Kasdan

Writer: Dan Gordon, Lawrence Kasdan (Screenplay)

Starring: Kevin Costner, Dennis Quaid, Gene Hackman, David Andrews, Linden Ashby, Jeff Fahey, Joanne Going, Mark Harmon, Bill Pullman, Tom Sizemore

 

Plot: The story of Wyatt Earp as he interacts and battles other famous figures of the Wild West era.


Tagline – The epic story of love and adventure in a lawless land.

Runtime: 3 Hours 11 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Epic Biopic

 

Story: Wyatt Earp starts as we meet young Wyatt who has been growing up in the shadow of his father Nicolas Earp (Hackman), he has been to war and doesn’t want his children to follow in his footsteps. Wyatt grows up to becomes a well-respected young man who wants to become a constable while finishing his education.

When his life is shattered after his wife dies of illness, Wyatt falls into the drink nearly losing his life in the process, saved, reformed, Wyatt becomes one of the most feared lawman in the land cleaning up the city of Dodge before meeting Doc Holliday (Quaid) as they look to take over the town of Tombstone.

 

Thoughts on Wyatt Earp

 

Characters – Wyatt Earp is one of the most iconic names in western history, we get to see how he went from lawman educating himself, to drunken mess, to skinner, feared lawman that most outlaws were scared off. His thinking was before the time of the wild west which showed with how he handled bringing down confrontation at the quickest possible chance. Doc Holliday is another lawman, he is dying which has made him disliked within his field with only Wyatt working with him. Nicolas Earp is the father of Wyatt who has shown him how to live his own life, he puts Wyatt back on his right path when he needs him most. We get to meet plenty of characters along the way here, be it the brothers of Wyatt, the men he takes under his wing, the wives and the outlaws causing the problems in the towns.

PerformancesKevin Costner is brilliant in the leading role, he had the epic long films down in the 90s, this shows just how he could pull of these films with ease. Dennis Quaid is great to watch to bring us a character that is larger than life. Gene Hackman might only have a small role, but he makes a big impact. We do have a wonderful cast that is filled with big name actors, everyone is great too.

StoryThe story here follows the life of Wyatt Earp as he rose up to become one of the most feared lawman in western history. We get 3 hours to learn the ups and downs he faced in life, from trying to become an educated man, to grieving man, to fearsome strict lawman. We see how he made friends and enemies along the way, how his methods were before the time with the no guns allowed in the towns and how he would shoot first. This is a story on epic level because of the scale of the years being followed and even at the 3-hour runtime, it doesn’t seem to get bogged down in anyway.

Adventure/Biopic/WesternThe adventure side of the film shows us just how Wyatt would travel to make a change in the towns he stepped into. We do follow Wyatt from childhood, to his time in Tombstone which will see him do things other lawmen couldn’t get done. For westerns this is easily one of the best you will see in the modern era, making you feel like you are part of the towns involved in the film.

SettingsThe film is set out in the wild west, with Dodge and Tombstone being the two main settings, they do show use the increased scale between the two and how they can become overrun by outlaws.


Scene of the Movie –
Tombstone shoot out.

That Moment That Annoyed Me It does have too many characters at times it is hard to remember who is who.

Final ThoughtsThis is an epic scaled western with great performances throughout, it does tell the life and times of one of the most famous lawmen and keeps the enormous length feeling like it is flying by.

 

Overall: Epically long western.

Rating

 

 

The Wandering Earth (2019)

Director: Frant Gwo

Writer: Gong Geer, Junce Ye, Yan Dongxu, Frant Gwo, Yang Zhixue (Screenplay) Cixin Liu (Story)

Starring: Jing Wu, Chuxiao Qu, Guangjie Li, Man-Tat Ng, Jin Mai Jaho, Mike Kai Sui, Hongchen Li

 

Plot: The sun was dying out, people all around the world built giant planet thrusters to move Earth out of its orbit and to sail Earth to a new star system. Yet the 2500 years journey came with unexpected dangers, and in order to save humanity, a group of young people in this age of a wandering Earth came out boldly and fought hard for everyone’s survival.

 

Runtime: 2 Hours 5 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Ambitious, Stunning & Original

 

Story: The Wandering Earth starts as the sun is starting to grown and engulf the Earth, the governments of the world have come together with the ambition idea of moving the Earth to a new solar system, which will see the select group of people living underground on Earth until they complete their 2500 year journey.

17-years into the journey Liu Qi (Qu) has been raised in the underground and along with his sister Han Doudou (Jaho) is trying to get out in time to see his father Liu Pieqiang (Wu) return from his mission as they get ready to pass Jupiter, which brings about the first danger the mission the Earth will face, can they pass on the impossible sounding journey.

 

Thoughts on The Wandering Earth

 

Characters – Liu Peiqiang is one of the astronauts that must leave his family for this mission which will see him leave his own father to care for his child in the safety zone. He does try to communicate through the years and tries to get back to them after the first danger occurs on the mission. Liu Qi is the ambitious young man that has lived most of his life underground, he wants to get to the surface, with his wild inventions being important to his quest for freedom. He does get himself in trouble by breaking the rules which is why he can find himself in trouble at times. He does hold resentment towards his father for leaving him behind. Wang Lei is the soldier that is leading the mission to try and bring the engine back to life in a hope of completing this mission, he will do anything to complete this mission. Han Ziang is the grandfather that worked on the rescue missions while raising the two children in the underground city, he will do everything he can to keep them safe and raise them well, however difficult Liu Qi can make it.

PerformancesThe performances in this film reminded me of the ones in Train to Busan, we get what feels and should be just generic characters that gain emotional impact. Jing Wu does most of his work away from the rest of the cast, he makes us feel the distance he has from his family, while knowing his mission is the important part of the mission. Chuxiao Qu does makes us believe his rebellious ways through the film, while being a protector for his little sister. Guangjie Li shows us just how a man following orders will do anything to save the planet from its potential problems.

StoryThe story follows the Earth on a voyage to find a new solar system after the current sun is going to die and engulf the Earth, killing everybody. We meet the residents of Earth 17 years into the mission when they face their first major danger, which could see the Earth destroyed by Jupiter, one group of rescuers will risk everything to hopefully stop the ending coming to the population. The story here is ambitious to say the least, we have always looked into the ideas of how life could continue if we needed to leave our solar system, this story offers one which is wildly original and emotionally impactful. Even considering this idea to work is something special and to achieve it is another story all together. This is one you have to see the story unfold and you will be left wanting more.

Action/Sci-FiThe action and sci-fi in this film play hand in hand, it keeps everything fully in the science fiction concept of two planets coming into each other’s gravity, with the action being the way to separate the two fields.

SettingsThe film shows us a destroyed Earth from the disasters that have hit, the underground city which is mankind’s only chance of survival and the space station guiding the mission to potential take Earth to a new solar system. Each location looks brilliant and completely takes us into the environment we are entering.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are mixed through the film, we do get the large scale beautiful shots, while this is one of the first major sci-fi films to come out of the Chinese market, we can see moments of CGI not coming off to the best level.


Scene of the Movie –
The final mission.

That Moment That Annoyed Me This is should be cinema experience not Netflix.

Final ThoughtsThis is a special film indeed, it is ambitious and a must watch for anybody that wants to see a sci-fi epic.

 

Overall: True Sci-Fi Epic.

Rating