ABC Film Challenge – Horror – B – Bait (2012)

Director: Kimble Rendall

Writer: Shayne Armstrong, Duncan Kennedy, John Kim, S.P. Krause, Justin Monjo, Russell Mulcahy (Screenplay)

Starring: Richard Brancatisano, Xavier Samuel, Chris Betts, Sharni Vinson, Jullian McMahon, Dan Wyllie, Alice Parkinson, Phoebe Tonkin

 

Plot: A freak tsunami traps shoppers at a coastal Australian supermarket inside the building – along with 12-foot Great White Sharks.


Tagline – A tsunami just flipped the food chain. 

Runtime: 1 Hour 33 Minutes

 

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

 

Verdict: CGI Shark Attack Movie

 

Story: Bait starts when Josh (Samuel) and his fiancée Tina (Vinson) witness their best friend and brother killed in a shark attack, one year later, they live very different lives, with Josh stacking shelves and Tina moved on with her life. On this day Doyle (McMahon) has planned his robbery of the supermarket, on a tsunami hits the coast, flooding the store.

The survives find themselves trapped on the shelfs with Josh taking charge of the survival efforts, using his knowledge of water survival, with Tina needing to face her own fears of the water, with the water rising, things only get worse when they learn that a great white shark has become trapped in the store too, the race to survive is on.

 

Thoughts on Bait

 

Characters – Josh is the former lifeguard that sees his best friend killed by a shark, his life has been ruined with the guilty eating him up inside, when the disaster happens, he gets to help the survivors and reconnect with the love of his life Tina. Tina is the former fiancée whose brother it was killed in the opening attack, she has moved away which broke them up, her character is a strange one because it starts with her fear of the water, only to seemingly forget this once the shark arrive. Doyle is the thief who wants to rob the supermarket, he has lost control of his team which causes the robbery to go wrong, though he shows he never wanted to hurt anyone. We get lots of supporting characters that don’t really bring too much to the film if we are being honest, we have too many which only gives us too much shark bait or too many small side stories we don’t care about.

PerformancesXavier Samuel is the highlight of the performances here, he does have to do the action and emotional material as he is the one dealing with the loss of his best friend and life falling apart, he handles the action well too. When we look elsewhere Sharni Vinson, Julian McMahon and Phoebe Tonkin are fine with their roles and could have been interchangeable with a blink of an eye.

StoryThe story does bring us elements of original material, a tsunami hits the coast trapping people in a supermarket which just so happens to get a great white shark trapped in too. Watching the survivors trying to figure out how to get out of the building is interesting to see, for a survival movie you can enjoy this, the problem comes from too many characters that are harder to keep up with because you don’t know who to invest in because some are not interesting, the couple in the car are just annoying and you start to feel like some characters don’t even have an idea between their ears. For a shark movie, this is an acceptable story to watch, it does work well without breaking any barriers.

Action/HorrorThe action is the strangest part of the film, we get the shark moments sure, but the final attempt to escape is the highlight of the film. when you get to the horror side of the film, we get to leave it with how you feel about shark films.

SettingsThe film keep us in two main locations, one is the supermarket and the other is the parking lot, they both have sharks in with little chance of escape until the shark is dealt with and the water levels rising.

Special EffectsThe effects are the weakest part of the film, the opening shark attack is laughable and it doesn’t get much better from there.


Scene of the Movie –
Final escape plan.

That Moment That Annoyed Me The CGI is terrible.

Final ThoughtsThis is a good late-night shark attack movie, you can enjoy this with a couple of drinks to get extra kicks.

 

Overall: Simple shark attack movie.

Rating

 

 

Franchise Weekend – Starship Troopers: Invasion (2012) Movie Review

Director: Shinji Aramaki

Writer: Shinji Aramaki, Shigehito Kawada, Joseph Chou (Screenplay) Robert A Heinlein (Novel)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Luci Christian, David Matranga, Justin Doran, David Wald, Andrew Love, Leraldo Anzaldua

Plot: A black op has gone terribly wrong. Now, Captain Carmen Ibanez and a hardcore trooper famed as Major Henry “Hero” Varro must lead a team of battle-weary troopers to find the missing ship and discover what went wrong.


Tagline – Everyone Fights. No One Quits.

Runtime: 1 Hour 29 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Great Once the Action Starts

Story: Starship Troopers: Invasion starts as we see how the war on the bugs has continued on, with Captain Carmen Ibanez losing her ship to paranormal general Carl Jenkins, while the soldiers barely escape the ship alive.

Returning home the ship gets a call from Captain Johnny Rico who needs the crew to go on a rescue missing for the very ship Jenkins has taken which has turned dark, with the soldiers agree on one stipulation, that their Major Henry ‘Hero’ leads them despite being under arrest.

Thoughts on Starship Troopers: Invasion

Characters – Carmen Ibanez is the Captain of her own ship, one which she is has lost control of because of people above her command, she wants it back and will do what it takes when the ship goes dark and is in need of rescue. Still the character we know from the very first live-action movie, she will not let anybody hold her back from her part in the war. Johnny Rico assigns the ship to go in search of the dark ship in space, he does answer to others, only here he will need to turn to his old friends to get what is required. Carl Jenkins is the one that has taken the ship, his paranormal warfare department sees hope in taking another queen, only his mistake will lead to the events in the film. Hero is the leader of the solider that has been arrested, they refuse to fight without their leader who will always put his soldiers first. We do get the typical group of soldiers with their own vices, be it macho, sniper skills or religious, every type you could imagine.

StoryThe story here follows the next chapter in the war, seeing how the paranormal warfare unit are looking to us the bugs to the human advantage, only the experiment goes wrong leading them to needing rescuing from a bug infested ship. This is a much darker movie that we are used to seeing, with the events all taking place in a life or death tone like the first, putting most of the action on the ship in space does help contain, showing how the bugs have evolved to deal with human conditions, rather than just their own home world. We do get a lot of baggage in the first 30 minutes or so to introduce all the new soldiers we are likely to see die, to try and give thin backstories for them, but once the mission starts we get everything he need.

Action/Sci-FiThe action plays into the blood spatter that we see through the film, using the sci-fi elements of the space and bugs strengths to the films advantage, easily being the most exciting part of the film.

SettingsThe film does use the settings to keep everything contained on one ship at a time, we see how the soldiers are caught in the middle of a life and death situation where they must fight to survive.

AnimationThe animation in the film does work, it does have a more adult feel, with this being a more adult theme film, which all works for the film.


Scene of the Movie – The new bug.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – We do spend too much time meeting all the different soldiers who you know will be disposable.

Final Thoughts This is a darker sequel to the original live action film, it does show the continuing conflict between the three friends from school who have all gone in different directions in the military fields to fight the bugs.

Overall: Darker Sequel.

ABC Film Challenge – Animation – D – Dino Time (2012)

Director: Yoon-suk Choi, John Kafka

Writer: Adam Beechen, James Greco, Jae Woo Park, Zachary Rosenblatt (Screenplay)

Starring: (Voice Talents) Melanie Griffith, Pamela Adlon, Kari Wahlgren, Tara Strong, Rob Schneider, Jane Lynch, William Baldwin, Stephen Baldwin

 

Plot: Three kids who travel back in time to 65 million years ago, where they are taken in by a dinosaur.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Solid Kids Movie.

 

Story: Dino Time starts with our main character and dinosaur enthusiast Ernie giving us a tour of his town which is famous for the number of dinosaur fossils, Ernie is tired of all the rules he must face which leads to him constantly getting in trouble.

When Ernie’s best friend Max lets him into his inventor father’s basement, Ernie, Max and Julia end up getting transported back to the dinosaur era to witness the dinosaurs while they do also need to find a way home.

 

Thoughts on Dino Time

 

Characters – Ernie is the over excitable kid who loves dinosaurs and is given a chance of an adventure of lifetime when he gets transported back to the time of dinosaurs, he is enjoying himself too much putting his own friend’s lives at risk. Max is the best friend of Ernie that ends up trapped in the past too while Julia, Ernie’s sister who enjoys getting him in trouble.

StoryThe story shows us what it would be like from a kids point of view to head back into the dinosaur time and having to survive while also making it back home. We don’t get overly scientific which is fine and as this is designed for kids you can overlook the blatant time travel problems in the film.

Adventure/Comedy/FamilyThe is a perfect kids adventure that will keep them quiet for an hour and a half.

SettingsThe settings created look great throughout the film be it modern time or the dinosaur time.

AnimationThe animation works for the story being told, it isn’t the greatest but it works for the audience it will be targeting.

Scene of the Movie – Dinosaur birth.

That Moment That Annoyed Me Ernie is an asshole kid.

Final ThoughtsIf you want something for the kids to watch, this is one for them to enjoy without it being the worst film of the animation genre.

 

Overall: Kids free time.

Rating

 

 

ABC Film Challenge – Sci-Fi – # – The 12 Disasters of Christmas (2012) Movie Review

Director: Steven R Monroe

Writer: Sydney Roper, Rudy Thauberger (Screenplay)

Starring: Ed Quinn, Magda Apanowicz, Holly Elissa, Roark Critchlow, Andrew Airlie, Ryan Grantham, Greg Kean

Plot: It’s Christmas Eve when an ominous dark star appears in the sky; could this star be a sign that Judgment Day is near? When massive earthquakes and natural disasters tear apart cities, it seems that the day of reckoning is upon us – and now a small band of heroes must come together to save the world!

Runtime: 1 Hour 30 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Enjoyable Disaster Film

Story: The 12 Disasters of Christmas starts on Jacey’s (Apanowicz) 18th birthday as she has a climbing day with her father Joseph (Quinn), the day takes a turn when Jacey’s grandmother gives her a ring claiming she is the chosen one.

Once the sky starts raining shards of ice, it becomes clear that this is just the latest disaster which is claiming the end of the world is coming, through different disasters, with only one person that can stop it, Jacey

Thoughts on The 12 Disasters of Christmas

Characters – Joseph is the husband and father that has been fighting to save his town from new control after seeing the jobs disappear, when the events of the disasters start happening, he will join his daughter in putting the clues together to try and stop the world ending, even if people do try and stop them. Jacey has just turned 18, she enjoys the physical hobbies including climbing, she wants to move away for college, which is the biggest strain in the relationship between her and her father, until she learns she is the chosen one that can stop the disasters, she gets put through pain whenever one is about to hit too. Mary is the mother and wife that is always around for medical problems the town is facing. Kane owns the town, he did grow up there, but has been looking to turn the town around to make more money for himself.

PerformancesEd Quinn does well enough in the leading role, this is a Syfy movie, so we know the performances aren’t going to be winning any awards, they just need to make sure they are passable for a film like this, which they whole cast is strong enough through the film.

StoryThe story here follows a small town that happens to be the epicentre of the end of the world after the prophecy claims that 12 disasters will signal the end of the world, unless the chosen one can stop it. The story does spin the idea of the 12 days of Christmas by turning it into different theories about disasters, which sadly is one of the weakest parts of the film because the disaster doesn’t match the songs ideas. If you look at this as a series of disasters, this is a fun enjoyable story, it plays out just like you would imagine, knowing who will die and when, usually just after giving the message, but it does feel fresh compared to most of the disaster films that don’t feel like they can be stopped with the power of one.

Action/Sci-FiThe action is a lot of different disasters, we have slow chases, nothing is truly ground breaking or leaves us with a giant set piece like most disaster films, while the sci-fi side of the film focuses on the idea of the world coming to an end, where the fantasy elements could be the one thing to stop it.

SettingsThe film is set in a small mountain town, which shows how close everybody is and how they would react to crisis.

Special EffectsThe effects in the film are the low-budget ones we would expect, there is a couple of moments that work very well, even with the budget.


Scene of the Movie – The invisible wall.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The disasters don’t match the song lyrics which is implied by the title.

Final Thoughts This is a fun disaster movie, it keeps things simple, has plenty of peril and an idea that bigger things could happen if they are not stopped.

Overall: Simple and Fun.

The Reluctant Fundamentalist (2012) Movie Review

Director: Mira Nair

Writer: Ami Boghani, William Wheller, Mohsin Hamid (Screenplay) Mohsin Hamid (Novel)

Starring: Riz Ahmed, Kate Hudson, Liev Schreiber, Kiefer Sutherland, Om Puri, Shabana Azmi

Plot: A young Pakistani man is chasing corporate success on Wall Street. He finds himself embroiled in a conflict between his American Dream, a hostage crisis, and the enduring call of his family’s homeland.


Tagline – When one day changes the world forever.

Runtime: 2 Hours 10 Minutes

There may be spoilers in the rest of the review

Verdict: Eye Opening Thriller

Story: The Reluctant Fundamentalist starts when a businessman is kidnapped in Pakistan, the American are using their information to search for him, while Changez (Ahmed) becomes one of the suspects, Changez is meeting with an American Bobby Lincoln (Schreiber) who is looking to tell him story.

Changez gives his story about his love for America and how he once worked his way up the ladder in wall street under Jim Cross (Sutherland) in 2001. This is only the beginning of his story, one that will show how he became somebody who wanted to lead change and one that saw the change firsthand.

Thoughts on The Reluctant Fundamentalist

Characters – Changez is a Pakistani man who was the first to leave the country to make something of himself in the modern world, he enters the world of wall street, where he looks to help business run smoother, seeing problems others can’t, he ends up becoming a target of hate after 9/11, now he is being interviewed to show his side of the aftermath from 9/11, where he is back in Pakistan becoming a target of the Americans who see him as a threat, he is smart, he knows how to remain calm and analyse the issues in the world, to show both sides of the views. Erica is the woman that Changez starts dating, she is a photographer and is open to seeing the world in the right way. Bobby Lincoln is a reporter that is interviewing Changez, he is open to hear his story, only he happens to have his own reason for the interview. Jim Cross is the man that offers Changez the job in New York, he sees all his potential to become one of the best in his business being somebody who never bothered about his background.

PerformancesRiz Ahmed is fantastic in this leading role showing everybody how big of a star he was always going to become. Kate Hudson is great to, bringing her style to a character that wouldn’t be normal in the traditional life of Changez life. Liev Schreiber is wonderful to see in the storytelling side of the film, listening and wanting to make an impact with her reasoning. Kiefer Sutherland is strong in his supporting role too, showing he can become the businessman in a film with ease.

StoryThe story here follows a Pakistan man who rose to success in New York, right around and in the aftermath of 9/11, dealing with racism put upon him, while trying to follow the traditions of his family back home, dealing with the idea that he has been placed on the watch list, despite not committing any crimes and trying to prove that anything can be spun to make anybody look guilty because people are blindly following panic. This is a try eye opening at how the world instantly sees certain ethnic backgrounds as bad, despite, never learning who they are or what they are doing in life. The one bad side of the story comes from seeing how we are going through his back story, even if this does offer twists in the story.

ThrillerThe thriller side of this film start heavily, when we see just how the kidnapping happens and the searching for the people responsible, we do drive into drama and seeing how the life can be turned upside down by panic of others.

SettingsThe film does use the key settings of Lahore to show when terrorists are believed to be, New York which sees people turn their heads towards people they don’t like and the world trips that show why Changez could have been seen as a threat, just because of his race.


Scene of the Movie – The moment that changed the world.

That Moment That Annoyed Me – The attitudes instantly change no matter how wrong they are.

Final Thoughts This is a very insightful look at how the world changed on 9/11, seeing the people judging without understanding the truth about people is how we are seeing the world now.

Overall: Insightful thriller.