ABC Film Challenge – Animation – G – Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)

Director: Kelly Asbury

Writer: Andy Riley, Kevin Cecil, Mark Burton, Emily Cook, Kathey Greeneberg, Steve Hamilton Shaw, Kelly Asbury (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) James McAvoy, Emily Blunt, Ashley Jensen, Michael Caine, Matt Lucas, Jim Cummings, Maggie Smith, Jason Statham

 

Plot: The neighboring gardens of Montague and Capulet are at war, but the gnomes, Gnomeo and Juliet, are in love.


Tagline – An epic tale on a tiny scale.

Runtime: 1 Hour 24 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Kids Will Enjoy

 

Story: Gnomeo & Juliet starts as we learn about two rival gardens, the Montagues and the Capulets, one has blue gnomes the other has red gnomes and they are at war when the humans are not around. Gnomeo leads the assaults from the blue side while Tybalt attacks for the reds.

When Gnomeo goes out on a solo mission he meets Juliet, a red that has been sneaking around only for the two to fall in love. Can their love bring an end to the war between the two sides.

 

Thoughts on Gnomeo & Juliet

 

Characters – Gnomeo is the leader of the blues he is doing everything to fight for his garden, until he meets Juliet and falls in love, he must continue his fight while trying to stay on Juliet’s good side, risking everything. Juliet is the daughter of the reds, she is forced to stay safe even though she wants her own adventure, she meets Gnomeo and the falls in love wanting to end the war from her side. We do get plenty of Shakespeare based characters with the aggressive Tybalt being the most interesting of them all.

StoryHere with this story we get another example of Romeo & Juliet being told, the waring families and forbidden love, only with gnomes and garden ornaments. The love story is fine, one we know and can learn from no a problem, the bigger problem comes with the idea of this wanting to be Toy Story with garden ornaments, but they just don’t seem to care if they upset their humans, even though when humans see them they stop.  You need to focus on one side and this just felt like something we have seen before with too many puns.

Comedy/Family/RomanceThe comedy is mostly garden puns, which can work at times, but like most puns has you groaning at times. We could see families learning from this which is good to see a proper message to people and the romance is what we know from Romeo & Juliet, you can find love in unlikely places.

SettingsThe film takes place in the gardens which have their own designs, this works for the film and makes this enjoyable to see the different designs people have for their gardens.

AnimationThe animation can’t be faulted here, everything looks the part with no problems for the audience to see.


Scene of the Movie –
That Pixar moment. Though this isn’t a Pixar movie.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The characters not caring about the destruction to the gardens while also not wanting to be seen moving by humans.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable family film, it tells a simple story with moment soft peril and puns all around, it is generic in its telling of the story and has a few funny characters.

 

Overall: Family film night sorted.

Rating

 

 

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ABC Film Challenge – Action Movies – C – Colombiana (2011)

Director: Oliver Megaton

Writer: Luc Besson, Robert Mark Kamen (Screenplay)

Starring: Zoe Saldana, Jordi Molla, Lennie James, Amandla Stenberg, Michael Vartan, Cliff Curtis

 

Plot: A young woman, after witnessing her parents’ murder as a child in Bogota, grows up to be a stone-cold assassin.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Pay Off Action Film

 

Story: Colombiana starts as a young Cataleya witness her parents murder by Marco (Molla) and his men for Don Luis (Benites) in Bogota, Columbia. Her father gives her the means to escape and Cataleya makes it to America where she reunites with Uncle Emilio (Curtis) who offers to teach her how to be a killer.

15 years later Cataleya (Saldana) is all grown up, she is now an assassin for hire and a brilliant one at that. Cataleya has been making a name for herself as a mysterious unknown killer leaving messages on her victims’ bodies, this is against her Uncle’s will and finds special agent Ross (James) tracker her down. Can Cataleya keep her secret life away from the authority and get her revenge on Don Luis that is what we are left to guess about.

 

Thoughts on Colombiana

 

Characters/PerformanceCataleya is the assassin who witnessed her own parent’s murder, she has trained for 15 years to get her revenge but now she must continue to pay the price for wanting to see the people responsible die. She is strong, determined and deadly one of the better assassins we know. Marco is you typical villain that breaks the rules and is willing to do anything to stay on the wrong side of the law. Ross is the agent looking to do the right thing on every step of the way.

Performance wise, Zoe Saldana is always going to make for a beautiful sexy assassin, Jordi Molla is fine throughout but isn’t used as much as you would think, and Lennie James is good as you would expect in a law role.

StoryA young girl that witness’s parent’s murder and turns into an assassin to get revenge, this has been done before and is a classic tried and tested formula for the genre which I feel does get the good pay off here without being the greatest in the genre. There isn’t too much we need to see for it to be new but what the hell it is fun.

Action/CrimeThe action is plenty of shooting with bullets and bodies flying around, this is all good fun and having the assassin revenge angle also works.

SettingsThe settings are all what you would have come to expect from the genre without being anything original.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good watch, it checks all the boxes without needing to make you think about what is going on.

 

Overall: Sit back and enjoy the action.

Rating

 

 

Killer Mountain (2011)

Director: Sheldon Wilson

Writer: Sheldon Wilson, Peter Sullivan (Screenplay)

Starring: Emmanuelle Vaugier, Aaron Douglas, Paul Campbell, Andrew Airlie, Crystal Lowe

 

Plot: A group of mountain climbers disappears while climbing the Himalayas in the 1950s. In the present, another group takes the same route and also disappears. A shady rich man hires a professional mountaineer and some scientists to find them.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Standard Sci-Fi Film

 

Story: Killer Mountain starts when Mr Barton (Airlie) comes to Ward Donovan (Douglas) to help organise a rescue mission climbing a forbidden mountain. Ward’s ex-wife Kate (Vaugier) is leading the original mission which has gone missing, now Ward must team up with scientists to find her party on one of the most dangerous mountains in the world.

The rescue team learn that the original team is nearly all gone with Kate in hiding on the mountain from what is only meant to be a legend, but this legend is true with a monster living high up in the mountain waiting to feast.

 

Thoughts on Killer Mountain

 

Characters/PerformanceWard Donovan is the expert climber with all the records of being the faster to ascend and descend the deadliest mountains, he might well be out of the business but now he must come out of retirement to rescue his ex-wife. Kate is the ex-wife of Wade that finds herself alone on the mountain needing to find a way down away from the creature living in the high altitude. Barton is the millionaire searching for something on the mountain and isn’t worried about how many teams he loses searching for it.

Performance wise, Nobody in this film really shines, most of them just work with the script they have to make the most basic idea to happen without showing off any of the skills.

StoryA mountain with a creature living near the top that kills anyone that gets close, well that is original enough for a sci-fi standard film and nothing more, we get the tagged on former relationship between the trapped one and the leader of the rescue team and a greedy man trying to get something he shouldn’t, that covers it all.

Adventure/Sci-fiThe adventure does come from climbing an unknown mountain system with the sci-fi side of the story coming from the idea that a creature lives in the mountain protecting something powerful.

SettingsThe settings upon the mountain are good because we get our characters trapped with nowhere to run when being hunted down by the creature.

Special EffectsThe effects are all cheap and very weak CGI to create the creature which you can see placed into the film.

Final ThoughtsThis is a clear made for TV movie that has very little going for it and could become something you watch late night on TV.

 

Overall: Forgettable sci-fi adventure creature feature.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – The Mechanic (2011)

Director: Simon West

Writer: Richard Wenk, Lewis John Carlino (Screenplay) Lewis John Carlino (Story)

Starring: Jason Statham, Ben Foster, Tony Goldwyn, Donald Sutherland, Jeff Chase, Mini Anden, James Logan

 

Plot: Follows an elite hit man as he teaches his trade to an apprentice who has a connection to one of his previous victims.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Easy to Watch Action Film

 

Story: The Mechanic starts as we learn how skilled Arthur Bishop (Statham) a mechanic better known as an assassin, he gets the job done and is one of the best, learning from his mentor Harry McKenna (Sutherland).

When the latest assignment gives Arthur the task of killing his mentor he starts by questioning things but goes along with the job anyway as the boss Dean (Goldwyn) has the proof of the dirty deeds Harry has been involved in.

Feeling guilty for his involvement in Harry’s death, Arthur takes his son Steve (Foster) under his wing teaching him the ways of the trade.

 

Thoughts on The Mechanic

 

Characters/PerformanceArthur Bishop is a mechanic, a fixer, an assassin and he is the very best, he can make kills look like accidents or even frame someone else. After his latest job he takes the son of the victim under his wing breaking but teaching the skills he has learnt. Steve is the song of Arthur’s mentor, he has been a loose cannon through his life and now he gets focus as he learns under Arthur. Dean runs this secret group, setting up the jobs for the mechanics, he doesn’t click as well with Arthur.

Performance wise, Jason Statham is one of the easiest go to guys for this type of film and here you can see why, not many lines and action-packed performance. Ben Foster once again shows us he can become any character. Tony Goldwyn is fine, but it would be fair to say we don’t see much from his character.

StoryWe are thrown into a world of hitmen, boss and victims which is good for the film, we can always enjoy this type of film because all the characters are usually shady even if they live by codes. We get what we expect without it being too much but in the world now we have an elite version of this style of film in John Wick.

Action/Crime The action is all big like you would expect, we have plenty of shoot outs and a brilliant escape off the side of a building. The crime side is the world we have be placed into, we know these are criminal assassins which makes us understand how they could be in everyday life.

SettingsEach setting is uses as almost a level for the character to overcome, we know just where they are going and the next fight will become more difficult.

Special EffectsAll the effects make this a fine enjoyable watch throughout with nothing not suiting the world we are in.

Final ThoughtsThis is an enjoyable action film that most action film fans will enjoy, it isn’t difficult to follow but does lack a villain you feel is menacing enough to challenge our lead.

 

Overall: This is late night action.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Fright Night (2011)

frightDirector: Craig Gillespie

Writer: Marti Noxon (Screenplay) Tom Holland (Story)

Starring: Anton Yelchin, Colin Farrell, Toni Collette, David Tennant, Imogen Poots, Christopher Mintz-Plasse, Dave Franco

 

Plot: After a new neighbor moved into the house next door, Charley discovers that he is an ancient vampire and goes in search for the help of Peter Vincent, a famous “vampire killer” to save his neighborhood from the creature.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Good Fun Remake

 

Story: Fright Night starts in small town America, well the locals around Las Vegas where we see an attack on a family before we meet Charley Brewster (Yelchin) a high school student with the perfect girlfriend in Amy (Poots). Charley’s whose old friend Ed (Mintz-Plasse) wants him to investigate the missing students in their school. When Charley and his mother Jane (Collette) welcome their new neighbour Jerry (Farrell) who comes off very shady.

Ed puts the idea into Charley’s head that Jerry is in fact a vampire and it isn’t long before we discover this too. When Ed goes missing Charley tracks down acclaimed supernatural entertainer Peter Vincent (Tennant) to help him and Amy finish off Jerry before he takes over the whole neighbourhood.

 

Thoughts on Fright Night

 

StoryThe story is pretty easy to follow; a family has a vampire move in next door and have to fight to survive when other members of the neighbourhood are going missing. This is a remake and I do feel it can handle the modern world coming off well and not getting to complicated with the original story.

Comedy/HorrorWe have small elements of comedy but I wouldn’t call this a full comedy, the horror does have moments that scare but this also does have moments that feel polished to look glossy over darker side it could be.

Characters/PerformanceCharley is a good leading character because he is in the middle of finding himself in life through his high school time while being positive throughout he has a past he isn’t proud of but a future he can’t wait to see unfold. Amy is your standard girlfriend character who is way out of the league of Charlie. Jerry makes for a great vampire addition with Peter Vincent being the television icon coward you would expect to see, very loud arrogate about his skills.

The performances now are great with Yelchin showing he was always the go to guy for this age range filled with an innocent look. Poots brings the look for this role showing she is making the impact in Hollywood but it is Colin Farrell who is brilliant as this vampire calm, deadly and charming about each scene. David Tennant is also brilliant in the smaller role where he pretty much steals the scenes he is in.stars

SettingsLas Vegas makes for a great setting for a vampire because it is a city where people could go missing for years before an investigation went on. This is mostly in the small towns on the outside of Vegas too.

Special EffectsThe special effects do all come off very impressive especially when you see the first effects of the vampires when it comes to them being in sunlight. We also end up having great effects when it comes to the kills and fights.genre

Final ThoughtsWhen you look for a good remake this one is right up there with one of the better not because the original was bad but it is a story that can work in both times.

 

Overall: Enjoyable vampire flick that can be enjoyed by the fans of the genre.

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