ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – P – The Patriot (2000)

Director: Roland Emmerich

Writer: Robert Rodat (Screenplay)

Starring: Mel Gibson, Heath Ledger, Joely Richardson, Jason Isaacs, Chris Cooper, Techeky Karyo, Rene Auberjonois

 

Plot: Peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin is driven to lead the Colonial Militia during the American Revolution when a sadistic British officer murders his son.


Tagline – Some things are worth fighting for. 

Runtime: 2 Hour 45 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Overly Long War Epic

 

Story: The Patriot starts where peaceful farmer Benjamin Martin (Gibson) sees the American Revolution coming towards his doorstep with his eldest son Gabriel (Ledger) fighting about the British. When the British reach his doorstep they end up killing one of his sons, Col William Tavington (Isaacs) makes an enemy he can’t prepare to fight against.

Benjamin prepares his own militia to fight back against the British, one that has experience fighting on this land, one that has already won a war, all this to get revenge on the man that took his son in a cowardly action.

 

Thoughts on The Patriot

 

Characters – Benjamin Martin was once a feared general in the military, now he is a quiet farmer looking after his children after his wife’s death. when the American Revolution comes to his home, he loses a son to a ruthless Colonel. Returning to the force he leads the militia in battle against the English showing all the tricks he has learnt through the years, in his mission for revenge. Gabriel is the eldest son of Benjamin’s he is the first to go into war and after it returns home, he will serve under his father to show the pride he has standing next to him. Charlotte is the sister-in-law that protects the children from the war while the men go off to fight. Col William Tavington is the man that kills Benjamin’s son in cold blood, he doesn’t want to give a calm peaceful end to the war and is willing to and wants to kill anyone against him.

PerformancesMel Gibson might well have a few personal demons, but when it comes to this style of film, he never looks out of place on the big screen, easily be the star of this film. Heath Ledger continued to show the world just how talented he was going to become with a wonderful supporting performance and Jason Isaacs gives us a villain from a war movie we are going to hate.

StoryThe story follows a once deadly war general who is forced back into battle after his son is killed during the American Revolution, this follows his revenge in the battle which does give us a fictional story to a real war that changed America at the time. Now this does have a reality in how the men would be losing family members to the ruthless British, though this does make out that the British were the worst of the worst when it came to battle. This is a movie designed to make the American audience feel extra patriotic and does show the two sides of war, the respectful way and the dirty tactics people will use to win.

Action/History/WarThe action is large scale war sequences, each one gets bigger with the number of bodies piling up as we go along. The historical side of the film focuses on the real war over the real people involved in the war which is fine, we only need the historical side as a backdrop for the personal battle.

SettingsThe film does make the realistic settings for the time the war took place in each location does play a key part in the film be it a battle, the moment which will leave people wanting revenge or safety.


Scene of the Movie –
The final battle.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Being overly patriotic.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of the long war epics that is designed solely to make America look great, it does end up going down the revenge line which gives an edge to the battles, which will be the highlight of the film.

 

Overall: Patriotic 101

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nomination – O – O Brother, Where Art Thou? (2000)

Director: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen

Writer: Joel Coen, Ethan Coen (Screenplay) Homer (Poem)

Starring: George Clooney, John Turturro, Tim Blake Nelson, John Goodman, Holly Hunter, Chris Thomas King, Charles Durning

 

Plot: In the deep south during the 1930s, three escaped convicts search for hidden treasure while a relentless lawman pursues them.


Tagline – Sometimes, you have to lose your way to get back home

Runtime: 1 Hour 47 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Wacky Comedy

 

Story: O Brother, Where Art Thou? Starts when three prisoners Everett (Clooney), Pete (Turturro) and Delmar (Nelson) escape from prison, going on a race across country in search of a treasure before it goes for good.

Along the way the three must figure out how to stay ahead of the law which puts them in a series of comical events along the way until they run into a salesman Big Dan Teague (Goodman) who is puts them against their match.

 

Thoughts on O Brother, Where Art Thou?

 

Characters – Everett is the brains of the three, he isn’t the strongest with this either, he tries to keep the guys together as they need to stay away from the law, he pushes them to take risks along the way too. Pete is the other fellow escapee that wants to be in charge, he will follow Everett as long as he can follow his dreams to get to the money. Delmar is the dumbest member of the group he makes all the mistakes along the way putting the friends in a bigger problem in search for the money. Big Dan is one of the many characters they meet along the way, one that makes a big impact on the adventure.

PerformancesGeorge Clooney is good in the leading role, going against the typecast of a pretty guy which he has been making a reputation for himself, John Turturro showed us once again that he can make any role work well, with Tim Blake Nelson getting the best lines which shows he can hang with the biggest names in Hollywood. The rest of the cast do bring us plenty of the laughs with the extremes of the characters.

StoryThe story follows three criminals in search of treasure and their hapless journey across country to locate it. They meet a string of colourfully people along the way, some who help and others than hinder.  This does follow the trends of comedy films which leaves our character into a mixed of events to make a simple journey never going the way they are planning them to. We do get a few twists along the way which change our opinions on the characters too.

Adventure/Crime/ComedyThe adventure takes our three convicts across country meeting the colourful characters along the way, this shows us the criminal world they are from and dealing with the people from, we also get the comedy involved in the film from just what happens along the way.

SettingsThe settings take us across a string of different Southern America towns which plays into he backward way of thinking the people in the area would have.


Scene of the Movie –
The KKK rescue.

That Moment That Annoyed Me We don’t see enough of the lawman after them.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wacky crime comedy that will see people in the audience laugh at times, it will however turn people in the audience off too.

 

Overall: Crime comedy with enough laughs along the way.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Oscar Nominated – B – Billy Elliot (2000)

Director: Stephen Daldry

Writer: Lee Hall (Screenplay)

Starring: Jamie Bell, Jean Heywood, Julie Walters, Gary Lewis, Jamie Draven

 

Plot: A talented young boy becomes torn between his unexpected love of dance and the disintegration of his family.


Tagline –  Inside every one of us is a special talent waiting to come out. The trick is finding it.

Runtime: 1 Hour 50 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: One for all the Dreamers

 

Story: Billy Elliot starts as we meet Billy (Bell) a young boy in Durham, England during the miners strike in the 80’s, his father (Lewis) wants him to compete in man sports like football or boxing, but when Billy sees ballet being performed and wants to learn it himself.

Showing how talented he could be the instructor Mrs Wilkinson (Walters) lets him take the class seeing how he could be the next big thing, but Billy’s dad forbids him from dancing, leaving Billy to need to find a new way to practise behind his father’s back.

 

Thoughts on Billy Elliot

 

Characters – Billy Elliot is the 11-year-old boy that dreams of becoming a ballet dancer, but must learn behind his family’s back because they see it as not manly enough for him to be doing. Billy’s Dad doesn’t want his son doing dancing, he is in the middle of the miner’s strike trying to prove just how tough the likes of his men are, he must learn to accept his son’s talent to let him free from the rough lifestyle he could be raised through. Mrs Wilkinson is the dance instructor that gives Billy the chance to take up dancing, teaching him the discipline needed to be the talented he could be.

PerformancesJamie Bell broke onto the scene here, he is fantastic as the young boy drawn to dancing, he showed everyone that he was going to be a star. Gary Lewis is good as Billy’s dad needing the aggressive side when needed while also showing the passion to support his family too. Julie Walters is great as the instructor showing us the desire to see someone succeed.

StoryThe story of the young boy going against tradition to become a ballet dancer when his world is considered closed of true opportunities. This is a tested formula with other sports or skills based movies before and is one that is enjoyable. The backdrop of the miner’s strike helps show how far away from hope he could be but most of all this film shows how to follow your dreams.

Musical/Romance The music side of the film shows how important the music is to ballet with the romance taking a back step but also being everything you would expect for the era the film is set in.

SettingsThe small town where the miner’s live shows us how depressed the environment would be for the family’s living there, it shows how important the escape is going to be for Billy.


Scene of the Movie –
Showing Dad the moves.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The change in his dad’s mind seems too sudden.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable drama about the struggle to take part in something you love. This is one you could enjoy to understand a moment in history too.

 

Overall: Must watch dream drama.

Rating

 

 

Unbreakable (2000)

Director: M Night Shyamalan

Writer: M Night Shyamalan (Screenplay)

Starring: Bruce Willis, Samuel L Jackson, Robin Wright, Spencer Treat Clark, Charlayne Woodard, Eamonn Walker, Leslie Stefanson

 

Plot: A man learns something extraordinary about himself after a devastating accident.


Tagline – Some things are only revealed by accident

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Modern Masterpiece

 

Story: Unbreakable starts when David Dunn (Willis) is involved in a train crash, everybody else on board is killed, David isn’t even hurt, not even a scratch. This leads the mild-mannered man to question if he has ever even been sick in his life, his wife Audrey (Wright) can’t remember any time either.

Becoming headline news David attract the attention of comic book collector, Elijah Price (Jackson) who believes the two men are on the opposite scale of a gene defect. David discovers that he is stronger than he could ever imagine and decides to start risking his life fighting crime.

 

Thoughts on Unbreakable

 

Characters – David Dunn is a security guard, his marriage isn’t working out and then he becomes the sole survivor of a train crash. Making himself front page news he tries to get back to his normal life, only to have attracted the attention of Elijah, he discovers just what he is capable of, being stronger than he could imagine, though he does have a weakness, water. Elijah Price has lived his whole life knowing that if he was to get hurt, he would most likely break a bone, he was branded ‘Mr Glass’ at school, he has grown up to study comic books which led him to the conclusion that if he can get hurt easily, someone else wouldn’t get hurt. Audrey is he wife of David, she is going through rough times between the two, she is willing to start again as neither had done anything that could ruin a relationship. Joseph is the son of David, he wants to see just how unbreakable his father is after seeing just how strong he can be.

PerformancesBruce Willis showed us here in a role with little dialogue that he can give us a character that is meant to everyday man, who would be someone you wouldn’t notice, become the most interesting person on camera. Samuel L Jackson gives us an amazing role here where delivers his line in such a cold calculated manner it is disturbing on the second viewing. Robin Wright gives us a wonderful supporting performance that is just as withdrawn as Bruce’s, while Spencer Treat Clark complete the cast bring the youthful enthusiasm required.

StoryThe story here plays into the human elements of the superhero concept, we have the idea that we have an unbreakable man and one that breaks easily meeting and learning their place in a human superhero story. The story does show us just how people will not know what they are capable of until they get pushed to the limits which is clearly how David’s story unfolds in this film. We are waiting through the film for the M Night twist which wasn’t such a big thing when this was released, but his reputation means you are waiting for one, which will leave you in shock.

Mystery/Sci-FiThe mystery in this film comes from us learning just what David is capable of, how has he gone this long in life without knowing more about his own abilities, the sci-fi elements are a lot subtler as they look into real life abilities people could have that would show evolution.

SettingsThe film is set in Philadelphia even if it does have a bigger concept to what is going on, the idea it could have been set in any city is the big thing about this film.


Scene of the Movie –
A handshake.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Comic Book store and the camera angle looks like a set rather than a shop.

Final ThoughtsThis is one of best modern movies that involves the ideas of superheroes without being a comic book superhero film. it will keep you on edge from start to finish just grabbing your attention through the film.

 

Overall: Must watch mystery.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Nutty Professor 2- The Klumps (2000)

Director: Peter Segal

Writer: Barry W Blaustein, David Sheffield, Paul Weitz, Chris Weitz (Screenplay) Steve Oedekerk, Barry W Blaustein, David Sheffield, Jerry Lewis (Story/Characters)

Starring: Eddie Murphy, Janet Jackson, Larry Miller, John Ales

 

Plot: Scientist Sherman Klump’s inventions, his upcoming marriage to his pretty colleague Denise Gaines and his reputation are threatened by his evil clone Buddy Love.


Tagline – Eddie Murphy Is The Klumps

Runtime: 1 Hour 46 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Just Gets Worse

 

Story: Nutty Professor 2: The Klumps starts as Sherman (Murphy) has continued his work in genetics with new professor Denise (Jackson), what they are working on is ground breaking, the problem Sherman is facing is Buddy Love (Murphy) is trying to come back through Sherman with his attitude at first.

With Sherman arranging to marry Denise, Buddy Love finds a way to come back as a clone determined to destroy Sherman’s work to get his share of the money.

 

Thoughts on Nutty Professor 2 The Klumps

 

Characters – Sherman Klump is still the likeable professor at the university, he means well and is being haunted by his nightmares of becoming Buddy Love again. He is getting married now with the biggest breakthrough in his career, only after trying to extract the gene that Buddy is part of he starts to lose his intelligence. Buddy Love comes to life through a clone, he still wants to take Sherman’s career and he will go out of his way to make sure he remains a big part of he world. Denise is the fiancée to Sherman, a like minded scientist that has been working with him on the latest project. She doesn’t get too much to other than be the love interest.

PerformancesEddie Murphy taking on more roles here, well large moments as the family members which are just boring to watch, in the leading role he is fine much calmer and less fat joke related, even as Buddy he is harder to watch with the added dog switch. Janet Jackson is fine without her character being more than just a love interest with the rest of the actors not getting enough time to shine.

StoryThe story shows us just how Sherman has continued research which sees him wanting to rid his genes of Buddy with disastrous side effects. For the most part this once again tries to do the same storyline about accepting who you are over anything else which Sherman just won’t accept, there is a love angle again which is more serious and the awful amount of focus we must have on the rest of his family because of lack of main story involving Sherman. This is one of those pointless sequels that doesn’t ever have the deepest storylines and in fact it is mostly none existent storyline.

Comedy/RomanceThe comedy does cut out moments of the fart jokes, but still doesn’t give us many funny jokes to enjoy. The romance side of the film is slightly more forward with Sherman in the relationship this time around.

SettingsThe film uses the similar settings with none of them being used for any moments in the comedy or romance.

Special EffectsThe effects have also taken a downturn for the worse with the different moments of practical effects or CGI moments.


Scene of the Movie –
Giant hamster.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The dog traits addition.

Final ThoughtsThis is a sequel that is actually even worse than the first film, it shows a lack of comedy and just ends up feeling boring.

 

Overall: Disappoint, boring and humourless.

Rating