Original v Remake Weekend – The Italian Job (2003)

Director: F Gary Gray

Writer: Donna Powers, Wayne Powers (Screenplay) Troy Kennedy-Martin (Original Screenplay)

Starring: Mark Wahlberg, Charlize Theron, Donald Sutherland, Jason Statham, Seth Green, Yasiin Bey, Edward Norton

 

Plot: After being betrayed and left for dead in Italy, Charlie Croker and his team plan an elaborate gold heist against their former ally.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid but Confusing Remake

 

Story: The Italian Job starts as Charlie Croker (Wahlberg) and his tea John Bridger (Sutherland) Handsome Rob (Statham), Lyle (Green), Left Ear (Bey) and Steve (Norton) pulling of a heist in Venice, an Italian Job if you like. With the job done perfectly the escape looks like a sure thing only for Steve to turn on them leaving the rest of the team for dead.

One year later Charlie brings the team back together with Stella (Theron) John’s daughter in to get revenge on Steve by stealing the gold he stole from them.

 

Thoughts on The Italian Job

 

Characters/PerformanceCharlie is not the character we knew from the first one, he isn’t the womaniser, quick talker we loved but just a dull smart guy, Stella brings us the female character need for the heist and the daughter of Mr Bridger does work but she isn’t anything overly special. Steve is the traditional backstabber greedy villain but again doesn’t have too much about him. The rest of the crew all have the banter they need that get laughs but are no more than you need, the tech guy, the explosives guy and the getaway driver.

Performance wise, I think the word fine is going to be used a lot here, Wahlberg just doesn’t have the charisma that Michael Caine bought to the role and the whole of the ‘good’ team have fine but nothing special performances. Ed Norton on the other hand you can see doesn’t want to be there.

StoryThe story does build on the original story, it has a heist in Italy, but after that first ten minutes it turns into a revenge heist in LA making the title misleading. The story isn’t anything fresh because we have seen this style of heist movie many times before, it just rips off one of the bests ideas.

Action/CrimeThe action is fine as we are left with the final chase being the payoff for the movie but it doesn’t live up to the original. The crime is a heist so we are cheering for thieve whatever happens.

SettingsThe opening setting is Italy great works for the title of the film but the rest is set in LA which doesn’t make sense.

Special EffectsThe special effects are used to show whole the heist will go but it just doesn’t look very good.

Final ThoughtsIf this was a stand-alone heist movie it would be good but nothing special but being a remake it just doesn’t work on the right levels.

 

Overall: Remake we never really needed.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – House of the Dead (2003)

writtenDirector: Uwe Boll

Writer: Dave Parker, Mark A Altman (Screenplay)

Starring: Jonathan Cherry, Tyron Leitso, Clint Howard, Ona Grauer, Ellie Cornell, Will Sanderson, Enuka Okuma, Kira Clavell, Sonya Salomaa, Michael Eklund

 

Plot: A group of college students travel to a mysterious island to attend a rave, and end up getting trapped there because it’s been taken over by bloodthirsty zombies.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Is It Really That Bad?

 

Story: House of the Dead starts as we meet Simon (Leitso), Greg (Sanderson), Cynthia (Salomaa), Karma (Okuma) and Alicia (Grauer) as they try to get to a rave on an island because well they are late for it. The island has been a party home for a while but this time things take a turn when it turns out zombies have come to the island.

The five friends are joined by few other survivors to make it off the island alive in an all-out gun battles body pilling up fest.

House of the Dead is notorious for being one of the worst movie ever made but the question remains is it really THAT BAD? The answer is actually no, sure this isn’t anything amazing but it is something that can kill time and get drunk watching. Sure you won’t care too much about any of the characters and most of the kills seem to be off camera but the nonsense this film gives us it time killing entertainment on the level of a Transformers movie.

 

Overall: Easy to watch nonsense horror film that people will watch just to see if it is as bad as people say.

Rating30

 

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Underworld (2003)

underworldDirector: Len Wiseman

Writer: Kevin Grevioux, Len Wiseman, Danny McBride (Screenplay) Danny McBride (Story)

Starring: Kate Beckinsale, Scott Speedman, Michael Sheen, Shane Brolly, Bill Nighy, Erwin Leder, Sophia Myles, Wentworth Miller

 

Plot: Selene, a beautiful warrior, is entrenched in a war between the vampire and werewolf races. Although she is aligned with the vampires, she falls in love with Michael, a human who is sought by werewolves for unknown reasons.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Fun, Over the Top Action Fantasy

 

Story: Underworld starts by taking us into a world where vampires and lycans where the vampires have the upper hand with the lycans on the edge of extinction. We meet Selene (Beckinsale) one of the most elite vampire warriors against the lycans who finds herself learning of an uprising of lycans waiting to come back into the battle.

As Selene investigates the encounter she learns that the lycans were targeting a human Michael (Speedman) but the reason is unknown to her, but this doe draw out Lucian (Sheen) the leader of the lycans and the old battle is starts once again. When Selene’s decision to save Michael only begins the war once more as the vampires await the rebirth of Viktor (Nighy) the lycans plan to take over the world.

Underworld is the fast-paced action fantasy film that brings us the war between vampires and werewolves in a style unlike anything we have seen before. We do have to go through a lot of the politics of the vampire world which at times get rather boring but when the action is unleashed it is all bullets and blood.

Beckinsale shines in this leading role showing she can kick ass like the best of them, it is the rest of the cast which don’t get the full effect out of their performance with Speedman looking lost most of the time, Sheen coming off too smart to be in the role he is given and Nighy being your typical elder character. In all honesty, this is purely fun and just switching your brain off you will enjoy it all.

 

Overall: Popcorn vampire flick that is easily enjoyable.

Ratingcard

 

 

School of Rock (2003)

schoolDirector: Richard Linklater

Writer: Mike White (Screenplay)

Starring: Jack Black, Adam Pascal, Lucas Papaelias, Chris Stack, Sarah Silverman, Mike White, Lucas Babin, Joan Cusack, Jordan-Claire Green

 

Plot: After being kicked out of a rock band, Dewey Finn becomes a substitute teacher of a strict elementary private school, only to try and turn it into a rock band.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Great Fun Comedy

 

Story: School of Rock starts as we meet Dewey Finn (Black) a down on his luck musician who is kicked out of his band and about to become homeless unless he kind find the money to pay rent to his long-time roommate Theo (Pascal).

Dewey takes a job as a substitute teacher that is meant to be for Theo and sees his class as a new band that he can enter into the battle of the bands. His class turns into band practise and this gives him a chance to learn to grow up himself and teach the children to be ready for the big world.

School of Rock is a film that shows elements of coming of age tale where we see one man who has never accomplished much who finds his passion for life in helping the next generation stand out from the crowd. This is an entertaining comedy that just spices something new into the teacher student relationship which is always one of the most important in developing the next generation and you can see that this is one role Jack Black was perfect to play, so much so you couldn’t see anyone else doing this role.

 

Overall: This is a perfectly cast fun comedy that can be enjoyed by all.

Rating75

 

 

 

Foolproof (2003)

foolproofDirector: William Phillips

Writer: William Phillips (Screenplay)

Starring: Ryan Reynolds, Kristin Booth, Joris Jarsky, Sean Sullivan, Tara Slone, Soo Garay, Wai Choy, David Suchet

 

Plot: Kevin, Sam and Rob are founding members of a theoretical group which pulls off heists. Leo, a gangster, blackmails them into pulling off a real multi-million dollar heist. Now it’s up to them to get out alive.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Clichéd Heist Film

 

Story: Foolproof starts as we meet Kevin (Reynolds), Sam (Booth) and Rob (Jarsky) as they play heist in their spare time deciding if they can make a Foolproof plan to rob companies. When the friends have their plans stolen and used they find themselves having to work for Leo (Suchet).

The three friends must work together with Leo to pull of his latest heist much to the friend’s wishes they will have to use all of the skills they have learned to get this job done to show they can pull off the Foolproof plan.

Foolproof tries to take a spin on the the idea of heist films by making the main three characters only plan heists in theory never going into the field. This works well but I do think this could have been used in the final outcome of the film too. The problem comes with the middle where we get to see the crew actually have to go through with a heist and most importantly they never show the most important part from the opening sequence the run through. I do think this film misses a lot of good chance to work on to the next level which it needed to be.

 

Actor Review

 

Ryan Reynolds: Kevin is the wise talking leader of the three friends, he gets sent of the psychical side of the heist to show how he can get this done. He is also the brains behind whether they should do this job. Ryan shows that he has all the potential to go onto bigger things with this performance without being top level.

Kristin Booth: Sam is the feisty member of the team, she can handle herself in a fight but this can also lead her to be in trouble she doesn’t need to be involved in. Kristin is solid in this supporting role without being anything but cliché.

Joris Jarsky: Rob is the last member of the team, he wants to take their practise into action and this chance gets his dream to come true. He is the tech guy of the team but also the clumpy member. Joris is solid but easily the most forgettable in this role.

David Suchet: Leo is the seasoned professional criminal that wants to use the team for his latest job, he gives them respect for their work but will put them in their place if they step out of line. David is solid as the villain but I find his calmness to laid back for my liking.

Support Cast: Foolproof has a small supporting cast with most just being there to make extra part of the trying to suspect our guys.

Director Review: William PhillipsWilliam gives us a clichéd heist movie that doesn’t hit the comedy level it could have.

 

Action: Foolproof has only slight glimpse of action being used through the heist side of the story.

Comedy: Foolproof doesn’t hit any comedy levels needed for a comedy heist movie.

Crime: Foolproof shows us how the crime side of the story is working with learning how the heist is going off.

Settings: Foolproof keeps the settings to scouting the ideas or the inside of the jobs. Nothing really comes off overly memorable.
Special Effects
: Foolproof uses the effects when needed without being used meaninglessly.

Suggestion: Foolproof is one that I feel is a good late night TV film. (Late Night TV)

 

Best Part: You can see Reynolds had the star quality.

Worst Part: Too clichéd.

 

Believability: No

Chances of Tears: No

Chances of Sequel: No

Post Credits Scene: No

 

Oscar Chances: No

Runtime: 1 Hour 34 Minutes

Tagline: This fall suspense gets intense!

Trivia: The movie was not only the widest release of a Canadian movie in history (as of October 2003), but had a record-breaking marketing budget of $2 million.

 

Overall: Overly clichéd heist film that is a fun enough watch.

Ratingcard