Franchise Weekend – The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption (2012)

Director: Roel Reine

Writer: Brendan Cowles, Shane Kuhn (Screenplay) Randall McCormick (Story)

Starring: Victor Webster, Billy Zane, Ron Perlman, Selina Lo, Dave Bautista, Krystal Vee

 

Plot: Since his rise to power, Mathayus’ kingdom has fallen. Now an assassin for hire, he must defend a kingdom from an evil tyrant and his ghost warriors for the chance to regain the power and glory he once knew.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Funnier Sequel

 

Story: The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption starts where a disgraced Mathayus (Webster) is in search of a worthy death not that he has lost his kingdom and love, now he fights for money and honour with Horus (Perlman) hiring him to take out his brother Talus (Zane) a man trying to conquer the land. Mathayus is sent with European warrior Olaf (Christopher) who helps save a princess Silda (Vee) for King Ramusan (Morrison).

But this easy looking adventure takes a turn in the search for Cobra before Mathayus must come up against ghost warriors in Argomael (Bautista), Zulu Kondo (Ferguson), Tsukai (Lo) to free the kingdom from war.

 

Thoughts on The Scorpion King 3: Battle for Redemption

 

Characters/PerformanceMathayus is now older which is good because now this is a sequel to the original as we see how he has fallen from grace but is still a brilliant warrior. Silda is the plucky warrior woman starting her own revolution against the evil ruler. With Talus being the over the top cowardly ruler that will never get his hands dirty. Olaf adds most of the laughs in this film with the ghost warriors all have a great look about them.

Performance wise, Victor Webster is solid in the leading role being an improvement on the last outing but never reaching Johnson level. Krystal Vee makes for yet another beautiful warrior but Billy Zane is way to over the top for this role. The early role for Dave Bautista does show how far he has come though. If you are looking to see a lot of Ron Perlman you will be disappointed.

StoryThe story follows what happens once Mathayus has fallen from the top returning to his warrior ways for money. Finding him stuck between two sides in the battle also works and it could be argued that this is the best story yet from a Scorpion King film.

Action/AdventureThe action is almost painfully choregraphed with the adventure side of the film going the wrong direction. The fantasy side does work in places with the ghost warriors.

SettingsThe settings once more could have just been anywhere with no location sticking out.

Special EffectsThe special effects are fine as the film cuts back on them mostly returning just to hand to hand combat.

Final ThoughtsThis story is good but the poorly directed action, poor acting and repetitive action gets tiresome quickly.

 

Overall: Another part of this franchise where you don’t need to see anything else beforehand.

Rating

 

 

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The Sweeney (2012)

Director: Nick Love

Writer: Nick Love, John Hodge (Screenplay) Ian Kennedy Martin (Source Material)

Starring: Ray Winstone, Plan B, Hayley Atwell, Steven Mackintosh, Paul Anderson Alan Ford, Damian Lewis

 

Plot: A hardened detective in the Flying Squad of London’s Metropolitan police. Based on the ’70s UK TV show.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Gritty Crime Thriller

 

Story: The Sweeney starts as we see just how efficient DI Jack Regan (Winstone) and his team known as the Flying Squad taking down the criminals in any way they know how. Along with his team including rookie George Carter (Plan B) and the woman he is having a fling with DC Nancy Lewis (Atwell).

After a group of criminals that leave one woman dead which leads to the Sweeney needing to get to the bottom of this crime by any means necessary, which will be the toughest case of Regan career with his boss DCI Haskins (Lewis) on his back.

 

Thoughts on The Sweeney

 

Characters/PerformanceDI Jack Regan is a nonsense detective who always gets his man no matter how much he is risking making this happen while also balancing an affair with a young colleague. Carter is the youngest member of the unit and one that is destine to rise through the forces if he doesn’t follow in the footsteps of Regan. Nancy is the younger officers that is married but involved in an affair with Regan, she is a good cop and loyal to the unit.

Winstone does suit this role with just how you could imagine the man fighting crime. Plan B is fine without excelling because you can tell he is not the fully trained actor with Hayley Atwell doing a good job.

StoryThe crime story is what you would have come to understand because it is just another one of these stories where rough cop who pushes the boundaries slightly too much faces his toughest crime to solve. It does have twists along the way but in the end, does have a very British street feeling about it all.

Action/CrimeThe action is all fine with a basic car chase down a country road and some wild shoot outs around London with the crime side of the story focusing on the idea this could be the toughest case Regan has faced.

SettingsLondon makes for a great setting because it shows how tight knit the crime groups are as well as how difficult it could be o get to the truth for the cops.

Final ThoughtsThis is a gritty crime thriller that could be great but I feel the audience won’t quite enjoy it to the levels expected.

 

Overall: Does everything I needs to for the small target audience.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Horror – Girls Against Boys (2012)

Director: Austin Chick

Writer: Austin Chick (Screenplay)

Starring: Nicole LaLiberte, Danielle Panabaker, Matthew Rauch, Liam Aiken, Caroline Lagerfelt

 

Plot: After a series of bad experiences with men, Shae teams up with her co-worker, Lu, who has a simple, deadly way of dealing with the opposite sex.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Tame, Twisted Revenge Film

 

Story: Girls Against Boys starts as Shae (Panabaker) gets dumped by her boyfriend, not wanting to let him ruin her night, she goes partying where she meets Lulu (LaLiberte) who helps her enjoy the night which the two have a great night meeting some guys. This night takes a turn when one of the guys won’t take ‘no’ for an answer forcing himself on Shae.

Tired of the way men treat her Lulu takes Shae on a revenge mission against men in general as they look to track down the rapist doing what they want, killing who they want.

 

Thoughts on Girls Against Boys

 

Characters/PerformanceLulu has been dealing with men who look at her the wrong way for a while now, she has become a bit of an expert, she takes Shae under her wing. Shae seems like a nice honest girl that just picks the wrong guys and she becomes a victim of rape. She snaps with this joining Lulu in a revenge plan leaving the bodies of their victims along the way.

Performance wise, Nicole and Danielle are both great, we know Danielle more from her filmography and it is good to see her in a none slasher role.

StoryTwo girls from different worlds come together to get revenge on men that have wronged them, ok there is something slightly different in this one, first one of the two comes off as a victim more while the other one does enjoy what she does. When it comes to revenge films you do feel you need the characters to be pushed to the limits which you feel only one of the guys does over the line the others just come off like bad people. This does make the story feel slightly light weight in places not creating enough motive.

Horror/ThrillerThe horror is parts revenge but otherwise lacks that punch, it also doesn’t keep us on edge like you would expect it too.

SettingsThe settings put us in the normal backstreets of New York which works for the tone of the idea that these are just normal people in New York City.

Special EffectsAll the effects do come off well through the film and are only used when needed.

Final ThoughtsIn the end this is a revenge thriller but feels very tame for what we are used and sure it does go into a different direction in places but by the end it doesn’t click on the levels it should do.

 

Overall: Thriller without the bite.

Rating

 

 

Movie Reviews 101 Midnight Halloween Horror – 100 Bloody Acres (2012)

Director: Cameron Cairnes, Colin Cairnes

Writer: Cameron Cairnes, Colin Cairnes (Screenplay)

Starring: Damon Herriman, Angus Sampson, Anna McGahan, Oliver Ackland, Jamie Kristian, John Jarratt

 

Plot: Reg and Lindsay run an organic fertiliser business. They need a fresh supply of their “secret ingredient” to process through the meat grinder. Reg comes across two guys and a girl with a broken-down vehicle on their way to a music festival.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Easy to Watch Horror Comedy

 

Story: 100 Bloody Acres starts as we meet one of the brothers Reg (Herriman) who is a part of an organic fertiliser business, after Reg picks up a dead body, he finds himself drawn into picking up three hitchhikers, Sophie (McGahan), James (Ackland) and Wes (Kristian) who are heading to a music festival for a binge filled weekend.

Once Reg arrives back to his brother Lindsay (Sampson) the hapless brothers must decide to kill the three to continue to produce the highly popular fertiliser and keep their reputation up or let them go.

 

Thoughts on 100 Bloody Acres

 

Characters/PerformanceReg is the simple-minded brother who is always out to impress his brother, he brings the victims back to the factory. Lindsay is the brains of the act and he must clean up the mess Reg has left him in. He will go through with any killing. Sophie is the main reason Reg stops, she is travelling with her boyfriend but been cheating on him with their other friend. James just believes he is going to have the life he planned with Sophie. Wes is the traveller who enjoys a drug or two finding himself high through the whole film.

Performance wise, Damon and Angus are both good as the brother showing good chemistry as they do come off very different. Anna, Oliver and Jamie are all fine in the victim roles without coming off as interesting characters.

StoryThe story has moments that feel fresh in places but in the main it is all just another version of group of travellers get taken by isolated people who must fight to survive or become the latest victims. It has good moments but doesn’t end up being the most memorable story in the genre.

Comedy/HorrorThe comedy is good in places and does add to all the events of the film as it is almost what could go wrong does go wrong. The horror works in places too as we get the gore from it.

SettingsThe Australian outback always makes for a good setting as we know how isolated the places are when it comes to the horror.

Special EffectsThe effects work when needed without being used too often, the highlights come from the wild trip Wes is going through.

Final ThoughtsYou want to see an Australian version of Tucker & Dale versus Evil, then this is for you but it doesn’t quite live up to the levels of that one.

 

Overall: Enjoyable horror comedy.

Rating

 

 

Marion Cotillard Weekend – Rust and Bone (2012)

Director: Jacques Audiard

Writer: Jacques Audiard, Thomas Bidegain (Screenplay) Craig Davidson (Story)

Starring: Marion Cotillard, Matthias Schoenaerts, Armand Verdure, Celine Sallette, Corinne Masiero, Bouli Lanners

 

Plot: Put in charge of his young son, Alain leaves Belgium for Antibes to live with his sister and her husband as a family. Alain’s bond with Stephanie, a killer whale trainer, grows deeper after Stephanie suffers a horrible accident.

 

There may be spoilers the rest of the review

 

Verdict: Beautiful Drama

 

Story: Rust and Bone starts Alain (Schoenaraerts) moves to start a new life with his son Sam (Verdure), he moves in with his sister Anna (Masiero) until he can put enough money together. Working as a bouncer he meets Stephanie (Cotillard) after a brawl at his club. The two become friends after Stephanie a worker with killer whales suffers a tragic accident losing both her legs leaving her in deep depression. As Alain finds a way to bring the life back into Stephanie he looks to improve his financial situation by entering a kick boxing tournament which could help himself and Sam find their own place. The closer the two get the happier Stephanie finds herself with her new chance at life showing you can get anything out of a tragic event.

 

Thoughts on Rust and Bone

 

Characters/PerformanceStephanie works in an ocean tour park with killer whales but when she is involved in an accident she finds herself needing to start her life again. She dives into depression but a new friendship offers her a new look on life. Alain is a single parent not having much luck on the job front and ends up getting involved in underground fighter for quick money. He befriends Stephanie as he gets to see another way of life where he could settle down giving his son a stable future.

Marion continues to show her ability as an actress with this brilliant performance showing all the emotional levels need for her character. Matthias also goes a fantastic job here showing he is just as capable as Marion.

StoryThe story shows how two people can overcome problems in their lives, be it Stephanie’s life changing injuries or Alain needing to make a life for his young son. With this we get to see how a relationship between these two can motivate the two to make more of their lives and still enjoy the rest of their lives. It shows how you can’t let anything stop you doing what you want in your life.

Romance The romantic side of the film comes from the potential relationship the two could find themselves in, Stephanie wants something serious while Alain is happy sleeping around but can they put this aside and fall in love.

SettingsWhen you look at the settings most of this film is considered normal for the most part, they all have simple and do what they need without being anything special.

Final ThoughtsThis is a wonderfully shot drama that gives us two heavyweight performances and a story that shows you can overcome any injury suffered.

 

Overall: Wonderful film for all the drama fans out there to go and watch.

Rating